Senior rider honored as a rising star by NJBIA

Senior Elizabeth O’Hara was one of five students to receive a Rising Star Award from the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA). The award honors outstanding students at New Jersey colleges and universities for their academic work, leadership, and community service.

“While this award is a testament to all I was able to accomplish during my time at Rider, I think it is also a tribute to everyone who helped me get to this point,” O ‘said Hara. “Whether it’s my family, professors, peers or campus mentors, so many people have played a role in my journey and helped me stay grounded in my values. Along the way, they helped me understand the importance of working hard, leaving everything better than I found it, and moving towards perfection. “

O’Hara is a double major in Graphics and Computer Science with an overall GPA of 4.0. She has taken on a number of leadership roles throughout her time at Rider, and many of them involve welcoming and supporting current and future students. Since May 2021, she has been president of the student body. She is a tour guide, orientation officer, member of the Leadership Development Program, and president of Rider’s Unified Sports Club, where Rider students and Special Olympics athletes play a variety of sports together.

“For me, the goal has never been to take on as many leadership roles as I can just to fill out a resume,” she says. “Instead, I wanted to be more intentional with the organizations I joined and leave a positive, lasting impact.”

O’Hara’s work with the Unified Sports Club inspired his career aspirations. She hopes to be an advocate for accessibility in her work, designing and developing software with particular attention to visual, auditory, motor and cognitive abilities. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in software engineering after graduation.

“I can’t think of a more deserving recipient than Liz, who embodies the spirit of the Rising Star Award,” said Dr Kelly Bidle, Dean of Rider’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Bidle nominated O’Hara for the award. “She is truly a natural leader and an exceptional student and is passionate about serving her community. We are very proud that she has been recognized for this honor.”

O’Hara will be honored at the 7th Annual NJBIA Women in Business Forum from September 22-24. The event is New Jersey’s largest professional women’s conference. Attendees participate in workshops, TED-style talks, and inspiring speeches from nationally recognized speakers.


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