Beloved assistant Wilda leaves Dean of Students

By Christina LoBrutto

After 11 years of working in the Dean of Students office, Wilda Bleakley has taken on a new position in the College of Business Administration (CBA).

Bleakley will now serve as the executive secretary in the CBA Dean’s office. Her co-workers in Student Affairs are sad to see her go.

“Wilda’s been part of our Dean of Students staff for 11 years and has always been there to serve the students and to serve the division with a wonderful personality, a wonderful temperament and always a can-do attitude,” Dean of Students Anthony Campbell said. “I’m going to miss her.”

The Administrative Specialist for Students Affairs Maureen Kyle, who is set to take Bleakley’s place as executive assistant in Student Affairs, also said she will miss her mentor.

“Wilda trained me on two jobs in the Student Affairs division,” she said. “I asked her all kinds of questions and sometimes I’d feel stupid. She’d say, ‘There are no stupid questions.’ But she was always just patient, kind and showed respect for me, for everybody.”

Kyle admires Bleakley’s dedication to Rider students.

“There are so many satisfied students, parents and faculty members because of Wilda,” she explained.

“She won the Frank N. Elliott Award a few years back and I was one of the people that wrote a recommendation for her and I ended it with saying, ‘Wilda makes students feel glad that they came Rider.’ That’s what we’re here for — to make them happy they came and try to help them with their journey through school.”

Bleakley was awarded the Frank N. Elliott Award for Distinguished Service in 2007. The award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary service to Rider.

“Everybody works hard, but she drops everything for a student that comes in to the office,” Kyle said. “She’s just a wonderful person and she will do similar things in CBA. We’re very happy for her, but we’re very sad to see her go.”

Bleakley will miss her old job, but she is looking forward to a change of scenery.

“I was hired in Student Affairs in August 1999,” she said. “I was comfortable in my position and loved my job and the people I worked with so it was a difficult decision to apply for the position in CBA. The opportunity to grow and learn about the academic side of Rider, however, I felt was worth taking the risk of moving ‘my home’ from Student Affairs to CBA.”

Although she is still transitioning into her new position, Bleakley’s commitment to helping students will remain with her in CBA.

“The people in CBA have been very welcoming and patient with me as I learn the ropes,” she said.

Contact this writer at lobruttoc@theridernews.com

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