Missing Rider University student located

By Shaun Chornobroff

Update (2/09/22 2:12 p.m.): Jordan Clark-Sherman, the 26-year-old graduate student who went missing on Feb. 2 has been located in Virginia Beach and is safe, according to Lawrence Township Police Lt. Chris Longo.

A Rider student sent an alarming email to multiple members of the university faculty, leading to him being reported missing, multiple sources have confirmed to The Rider News. 

Jordan Clark-Sherman, 26, who is working toward a master’s degree in homeland security, was reported missing Feb. 2 after sending the message and remained unaccounted for as of Feb. 8, Longo said. 

Sherman is considered “endangered” and was last seen in his hometown of Trenton on Feb. 2 at approximately 6 p.m. with a possible destination of Maryland, a press release from the Lawrence Township Police Department said. 

The release said that Sherman is 5-foot-11, weighs approximately 200 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes. 

Before his time at Rider, Clark-Sherman served in the United States Army and Army National Guard, according to Thomas Reddington, Rider’s coordinator of veteran affairs. 

It was Clark-Sherman’s time in the military that led him to be introduced to Reddington, who called the two of them “pals” and said he enjoys the relationship the two of them have. 

“He’s a pretty easy-going guy. You know, friendly guy, he has manners, he’s well-read. He’s very interested in current events and what’s going on around him,” Reddington said. “He’s a good observer of people; he can pick up on what’s going on with people. I always told him he should be a counselor because he can just read people really well. I think he had to; he grew up on the mean streets of Trenton. You had to have a radar of the people around you.”

Reddington said that Clark-Sherman has been a student at the university “on-and-off” for six or seven years. In a recent meeting between Reddington, Clark-Sherman and a professor, Redington said Clark-Sherman revealed that he had lost 23 extended family members since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“He had his issues like anybody else and he had taken mental health breaks,” Reddington said. “When all his family members were getting sick and dying, that was too much for him. He took a break from school and then he started his own business and he had started a cleaning business that actually took off.” 

Despite having a bevy of clients begging him not to leave, Clark-Sherman shut down his business and started the process of coming back to school to finish his master’s. 

Political science professor Barbara Franz was one of the professors Clark-Sherman worked closely with as he tried to get on track. When he was ready to return to school, Franz supported and aided his decision to return to the homeland security program. 

“I encouraged him to come back to education. He said education is his way out, and he told me it disciplines his mind. He was totally ready to come back. He even sent me a paper … right before he disappeared,” said Franz. 

Professor Adam McMahon, director of Rider’s homeland security program, taught Clark-Sherman in the fall of 2020 over Zoom, and even through a screen the graduate student shined as an “exceptionally bright student.”

“I’m very worried. I’m very concerned. He’s considered endangered. If anybody knows anything, they should contact campus security as soon as possible. He’s a very bright student with a lot of potential. We hope that he’s safe,” McMahon said. “It’s clear from a faculty perspective that a lot of students are dealing with a lot of personal issues stemming from the pandemic or associated with the pandemic. … Somebody who’s struggling who hears about this, use this as motivation to seek out help.” 

Rider’s counseling center can be reached by calling 609-986-5157 or emailing counseling@rider.edu.

Anyone with information should contact Rider Public Safety at 609-896-5029 or Detective Ryan Dunn of the Lawrence Police Department at 609-844-7125 or 609-896-1111. 

Sarah Siock contributed to this report. 

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