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Alumni Pride is on the Rise as Denise Rover ’84 and Cynthia Watson ’99 Join the Montclair State University Foundation Board

Montclair State Welcomes Newest Board members

Posted in: Alumni News and Events

Denise Rover and Cynthia Watson

The Montclair State University Foundation’s newest board members are excited about joining their alma mater’s leadership. But alumni pride is only one of the many assets that Denise Rover ’84 and Cynthia Watson ’99 bring to the Foundation board. Both are accomplished professionals whose expertise, energy and generosity will strengthen the board’s efforts to ensure the quality and financial accessibility of a Montclair State education.

Rover is an account manager in the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations Sales Unit. The 36-year veteran of NBCUniversal Media, LLC has held leadership roles with the New York Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Moving Forward: Daytime Emmy® Awards Committee. A lifelong skater, Rover is also active with U.S. Figure Skating, a governing body of the U.S. Olympic Committee. In addition, Rover serves on the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ and the Board of Overseers at Seton Hall University/Immaculate Conception Seminary. She has been invested into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, holding the rank of a Lady Commander.

Rover, who serves on the board of advisors of the College of the Arts, was honored as a 2018 Distinguished Alumna and received the 2021 Margaret and Herman Sokol Award for Alumni Achievement and Civic Leadership. She sees Foundation board membership as a great way to give back to the institution that offered her so much. “I benefited from the wide variety of core courses, and so much more,” Rover says. “I can be an ambassador for what Montclair State can provide.”

Watson is an accomplished internal audit professional whose career includes roles as senior auditor at both KPMG and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA), controls manager at Pearson Inc., internal controls senior manager at Honeywell and chief audit executive at Honeywell spin-off Resideo, and internal audit and controls leader at TikTok. Watson, who is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), is currently working as an internal audit director for the Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA). In addition, Watson recently launched a new entrepreneurial venture, Accelerated Waste Solutions – North Jersey, that provides waste management services to large apartment complexes.

Watson is looking forward to encouraging her fellow alumni to support Montclair State. “Think about what a difference Montclair State made for us,” she says. “So many of us were the first in our families to go to college. Montclair State exposed us to a wide variety of possibilities that were backed up with solid opportunities.”

“Denise and Cynthia have so much alumni pride and genuine appreciation for the university,” says Montclair State University Foundation chair Greg Collins ’79. They also have heartfelt concern for how hard our students work to achieve their goals. I am looking forward to the energy, experience, knowledge and talent that they will bring to our board.”

Colleen Coppla, the University’s vice president for Development, agrees. “Alumni participation is one of the many things that makes the Foundation board strong and effective. We are grateful to Denise and Cynthia for being so generous with their time and expertise. Together we will ensure that every Montclair State student has the resources they need to succeed.”