From Adversity to Purpose: The Resilient Journey of Richie Suarez

Richie Suarez presenting to a group of people in a conference room.

A Rowan University biological sciences major finds his purpose and launches a career as a medical doctor Meet Richie Suarez, the current Chief Resident at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia who will soon start his fellowship in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Cincinnati Children’s this summer. Richie graduated from Rowan University with a bachelor’s degree […]

Meet Our Researchers: Andra Garner Studies How Climate Change Impacts Natural Hazards [VIDEO]

Three globes.

How One Rowan University Climate Scientist is Shaping the Future of Coastal Cities Meet Andra Garner, a leading climate scientist and assistant professor in Rowan University’s School of Earth & Environment who focuses on investigating the effects of climate change on hurricane patterns and sea-level rise. Have you ever wondered how understanding and mitigating the […]

Unlocking Magical Career Opportunities: One Rowan University Student’s Path with the Disney College Program

Discover the Benefits of the Disney College Program: Real-World Experience, Networking, and Lifelong Memories Meet Sydney Cella, a business management major, entrepreneurship minor, and John H. Martinson Honors College student from Washington Township (Gloucester County), New Jersey. Sydney will graduate in about a year and half from now, and participated in the Disney College Program. […]

Leadership, Passion & Purpose Through Vietnamese Student Association

Cindy stands next to the Science Hall sign.

A Highlight of Student Life at Rowan University Meet Cindy Nguyen, a rising senior biochemistry major, with minors in neuroscience and psychology. She is a commuter from Voorhees, New Jersey, and is here to discuss her role as president in the Vietnamese Student Association. Can you describe the goals of the Vietnamese Student Association? “With VSA, […]

International Student College Juniors Reflect on Their Journeys and Goals at Rowan University

A campus beauty photo showing bright autumn colors on Rowan University's campus.

This story is one within a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories.  Meet rising seniors Aayush Kapri from Nepal, Doménica Gusqui Gavidia from Quito, Ecuador, and Abigail Jones from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  What is your long-term professional goal […]

75 Things Out-Of-State Students Love About Rowan University

A student wearing a Rowan yellow dress and Rowan brown graduation gown tosses her graduation cap in the air in front of the Rowan University arch sign.

This story is a part of Rowan’s centennial series to celebrate 100 years of Rowan University. Rowan Blog contributor Jordyn Dauter, a junior from Quakertown, PA, double majoring in elementary education and dance, collected these insights from fellow students.  David Martinek, a graduate student in the MS Teaching: Theatre program from Glen Burnie, Maryland:“I like […]

Transfer Nutrition & Dietetics Majors Share Their Professional Goals

A stock image from Pexels showing a close up of a variety of densely packed fruits and vegetables.

What internships, clubs, networking, etc. are you involved in and how do they support your goals? “Wellness Center Intern, Vice President at Nutrition Care Club, Success Coach with Rowan Student Success Program, Apart of Cohort 7 in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.” – Kathleen Ramos, senior transfer student from Brookdale Community College “I don’t participate much […]

My Favorite Class: Puppetry [VIDEO]

Students in Puppetry class work alongside each other in class.

This story is a part of the “My Favorite Class” series.

Meet Grace Fox, a senior English major and Raven Vijayakumar, a sophomore environmental & sustainability studies major. They are sharing memories from their favorite class, Puppetry.

Puppetry (ART 02300) is a studio-based class where students have time to work on creating puppets. This course is a great fit for students who like a hands-on art experience. It gets students thinking creatively about how to design artistic work. 

This course is traditionally taught by Professor Patrick Ahearn. He provides his students with guidance, rather than strict instructions, giving students the opportunity to let their personal artistry flow. He educates his students on which techniques would give them the best results for the puppet they are trying to create. Rather than being an art piece that gets displayed on a wall, puppets can be used by anyone of any age, making it an interactive experience. 

A student working on constructing a puppet in Puppetry Class, held in Westby Hall.

Senior Grace Fox spends a lot of time on the opposite end of creativity, including time spent in writing and directing. Grace does more behind the scenes work for artists. She has found it very exciting to be fabricating her own puppets with Professor Ahearn’s guidance. Grace describes her experience in Puppetry as “real exciting and broadly applicable.”

Through Puppetry, sophomore Raven Vijayakumar realized that they need art in their lives. In high school, Raven was involved in Drama Club, where they worked on creating props for various performances. Raven likes engaging in artistic activities because of how fun they can be, and it gives them an outlet of expression.

“You should take this class because it is super fun, first of all, and because you get the opportunity to do something in a way that is practical.”

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Written by: Jordyn Dauter, junior double major in dance & elementary education

Seasons of Life by Suzie Tse

Suzie sitting on a bench on a fall day.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @rowanuwellness on social. This story is by Suzie Tse, a graduate student in the MA Higher Education: Academic Advising. Here at Rowan, we experience a temperate climate. We witness seasonal changes […]

Rowan University Social Media Seeks Student Workers

Student stands holding a DSLR camera, taking a photo.

Award-Winning Social Team Seeks Students For Experiential Learning Opportunities On Rowan’s Glassboro Campus Be creative. Be dynamic. Be a part of Rowan University’s social media team. With paid student worker positions available within both content creation and social media community monitoring, gain the experience you need to propel your post-graduation career forward with a well-rounded […]

Can You Teach Someone Entrepreneurship? This Successful Rowan Alumnus Says Yes

Rowan alumnus stands wistfully outside of Business Hall, standing for a portrait.

From Classroom to CEO: Unveiling the Success Story of Anthony Magaraci, a Rowan Entrepreneurship Alumnus Anthony Magaraci, Entrepreneurship ‘06 alum, gives insight on his successes since graduating from Rowan’s entrepreneurship program.  A member of the inaugural class of the entrepreneurship program within the William G. Rohrer College of Business, Anthony Magaraci graduated in 2006 alongside […]

My Favorite Class: Teaching Concepts of Dance in Physical Education [VIDEO]

Mackenzie Saber dancing with a partner inside of Esby Gym

This story is a part of the “My Favorite Class” series.

Interested to see what it’s like to be part of the health & physical Education major? Check out this feature on this upper-level course “Teaching Concepts of Dance in Physical Education.”

“Teaching Concepts of Dance in Physical Education” (HPE 00316) is a course that teaches students how to integrate social dance and culture dance inside of a physical education classroom. This course occurs once a week during a 3-hour block. During the first part of the class, students learn about different dance styles and methods of instruction. During the second part of the class, students actively engage in executing the dances that they’ve learned. They review between three and four dances per class period.

As students are learning these dances, they have the opportunity to practice their teaching methods on preschool students, at the on-site Rowan University Early Childhood Demonstration Center housed within James Hall, the education building. “It’s learning how to be hands-on, which goes into depth on how to teach step-by-step so a preschooler can understand,” says junior health & physical education major Rachel Dubois of Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County.)

This course is usually taught by Professor Merry Ellerbe-McDonald. “It is a required course for health & physical education majors because students are required to take teaching concept classes during their last two years in the program,” shares Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County) junior Mackenzie Saber, who was a dancer for 15 years. 

Senior Nicholas Seibel, of Mount Holly, NJ (Burlington County), shares: “I don’t have a background in dance. I never danced before. I’m not a great dancer to begin with, so this course gave me a lot of confidence.”

This class allows for students to be goofy with each other, while accomplishing work and having fun. Teaching Concepts of Dance in Physical Education gives student a chance to get an active education with an encouraging professor. 

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Written by: Jordyn Dauter, junior double major in dance & elementary education

Rowan University NAACP President on Cultivating a Caring Community for Students of Color

This Black History Month we hear from Esther Lendore, president of Rowan NAACP, on her journey as a Rowan student and her passion for creating a sense of community for students of color.  A double major in political science and law & justice studies, senior Esther Lendore, from Far Rockaway, NY, holds a variety of […]

Human Services, Leading & Impacting Lives [VIDEO]

Dimirra working alongside three other children.

Human Service professionals work with diverse populations providing a wide variety of social, personal and health services depending on need. Potential career paths include becoming a case worker, social advocate, welfare service professional, child welfare professional or law enforcement. “The sky is the limit. We need more activists. We need more listening learners. We need […]

From North Jersey, What These Students Love About South Jersey’s Rowan University

Two students peer into a giant telescope in the planetarium.

This story is a part of Rowan’s centennial series to celebrate 100 years of Rowan University. Rowan Blog contributor Jordyn Dauter, a junior from Quakertown, PA, double majoring in elementary education and dance, collected these insights from fellow students. 

There’s a lot of different activities to participate in Rowan. You can always keep yourself busy and meet new people. There are a lot of different ways South Jersey is different from the North. One of the more obvious ways is the sports teams each side represents. In North Jersey, it’s all Giants, Knicks and Devils. In South Jersey, it’s Philly-based sports like the Eagles, Phillies and Flyers. Another way they are different is the population. There are more densely populated towns and cities in North Jersey than South. More people are out and about in places like Hoboken and Newark.” – Nick Carney, senior biomedical engineering major from Flemington, NJ (Hunterdon County)

The commitment shown by teachers toward students. Any student that wants to learn could easily thrive at Rowan University. I enjoy the daily life pace of South Jersey. North Jersey is a lot more on-the-go, and South Jersey is a lot more relaxed.” – Brian Osterlof, senior public relations major from Oakland, NJ (Bergen County)

Brian Osterlof sitting outside at a table.
Brian Osterlof

I love the university and the diversity of things around the campus. One of the two favorite things about campus are the classes and the student-to-teacher ratio. Great opportunity for us students to interact in class and gain connections with our professors. The Student Center is my other favorite place on campus. We get to meet a lot of different people there and it’s a great place to socialize and make friends.” – Aaliyah Owens, junior law & justice major from East Orange, NJ (Essex County)

“Some things I love about Rowan are living in a dorm, being close to my friends, taking interesting classes in my major, small class sizes, and the professors in my major really care about teaching.” – Alianna Bronstein, senior environmental science major from Franklin, New Jersey (Sussex County)

Alianna Bronstein sitting outside, with the Rowan Prof statue in the background.
Alianna Bronstein

“Some of my favorite spots on campus include my freshman dorm Willow Hall. Also, the scholarship I have is the parent plus loan and the PEL grant. My favorite club I’m a part of is rugby, and I love my teammates. My favorite spot is Discovery Hall green and the woods trails behind Engineering Hall!” – Hunter Kupersmith, senior health & exercise Science major from Cresskill, NJ (Bergen County)

I love the opportunities and friendships I’ve been able to obtain through Rowan. There is a chillness and quietness to South Jersey that I love.” – Natalia Peralta, a master’s student in the strategic communication program from Belleville, NJ (Essex County)

Natalia Peralta and John Hunter peer into a giant telescope at the planetarium.

I am forever indebted to Rowan University for the amazing people I’ve met and befriended in my time here. In addition, I’ve been able to work with incredibly intelligent professors that I will soon be able to call colleagues.” – Taylor Bailey, senior vocal music education major from Roxbury, NJ (Morris County)

“Rowan has brought me complete independence and the ability to make my own choices and learn to live with them. I love its proximity to Philadelphia.” – Daniel Myers, senior finance major from Phillipsburg, NJ (Warren County)

I love how the faculty is invested in the future of each of their students and makes themselves available for each student’s individual needs. I also love meeting up with my friends from my program after class at Mexican Mariachi or Chickie’s and Pete’s.” – Rachel Rumsby, a master’s student in the strategic communication program from River Edge, NJ (Bergen County)

Rachel Rumsby outside on Rowan Boulevard
Rachel Rumsby

“I love the feeling of being on campus. The rush of meeting new people daily and having thousands of stories pass you as you walk through halls. I love the relationships Rowan has brought me.” – Juliana Elliffe, senior radio television & film major from Ridgefield Park, NJ (Bergen County)

“My favorite parts about Rowan are the Outdoors Club and the cheesesteaks around campus.” – Richard Russo, senior civil engineering major from Fredon, NJ (Sussex County)

Richard Russo walking outside of the Henry M Rowan College of Engineering
Richard Russo

I love being part of Social Justice, Inclusion & Conflict Resolution (SJICR) as a front desk worker and as a Harley E. Flack Mentor. South Jersey is a little more suburban than North Jersey where there are way more buildings and not much greenery.” – Monica Torres, senior computer science major from Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County)

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Rowan University Wellness Center Intern Shares How College Students Can Break the Procrastination Cycle

Dabany poses in front of the wellness center.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @rowanuwellness on social. This story is by Dabany Garris, senior psychology major with a concentration in child behavioral services. Procrastination. Take a minute and think about some of the things that […]

Rowan University Anthropology Majors Share Their Professional Goals

A close up of Mexican communication on a stone from an ancient civilization.

Anthropology is the scientific and humanistic approach understanding human origins, and biological and cultural diversity. Potential career paths can include becoming an anthropologist, archeologist, forensic science technician, curator, medical scientist, museum technician and conservator or geographer. What internships, clubs, networking, etc. are you involved in and how do they support your goals? “I am currently […]

Bangladeshi Graduate Student Finds Opportunity & Community at Rowan University Pursuing a Master’s in Computer Science

A portait of Tilpa outdoors.

This story is one within a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories.  What is your long-term professional goal or dream career? “I see myself as a cloud engineer; it’s my dream career.” Are you involved in internships, clubs, networking, etc. here […]

Three-Time Alumnus & Former Alumni Board Members Reflects on Rowan University’s Changes and How the University Changed Him

Tobi standing with his family after graduating in 2016.

Tobi Bruhn has witnessed the evolution of Rowan by first attending Rowan for his bachelor’s degree in communications in 1995, then immediately returning after graduating in 1998 to receive his master’s in public relations, before finally returning for his doctorate of education in educational leadership in 2011. During this time, he served in a variety of roles at Bucks County Community College in Pennsylvania before being appointed CEO of a private grant-making foundation. Even after graduating from Rowan, he remained connected by serving on our alumni board.

Headshot of Tobi Bruhn.

Glassboro has changed through the years. Rowan University has gone through many changes from Glassboro Normal School from 1923 to 1937, to New Jersey State Teachers College at Glassboro from 1937 to 1958, Glassboro State College from 1958 to 1992, then Rowan College of New Jersey from 1992 to 1997 until Rowan earned its University status in 1997 — a historical change that Tobi witnessed.

“I arrived shortly after the institution changed from Glassboro State to Rowan College of New Jersey, and then there was the excitement about Henry Rowan’s gift and we thought, ‘Oh, we’re going to become Rowan University.’ It was a very exciting time when I first enrolled because there were so many changes happening in a short amount of time, like new buildings, new initiatives, new majors.” It was not just a matter of excitement but also a matter of pride, a pride that the University carries to this day. “I think the way Rowan is going about its growth is smart, and the vision for South Jersey is exciting because the state needs another leading university to educate the next group of leaders.” While he mentioned the importance of growth at Rowan, the feel of a close knit college has also been well preserved. “I think they have done a good job to keep that South Jersey feel in the community, consistent with the values, and obviously with where they want to go as an institution.”

Students create a human form spelling out R and U to celebrate Rowan becoming a university.
Students create a human sign to celebrate college-to-university status with Henry Rowan and President Herman James as the dots, during the spring 1997 semester.

Tobi continued to stay involved after earning his Rowan degrees. After earning a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate at Rowan, it only felt right to him to get involved with the alumni board and give back. The eight years that he was involved with the alumni board allowed him to meet people in other fields of study that he may not have had the opportunity to meet during his time in the classroom. He was also able to see the benefits of Rowan’s growth by meeting some of the first medical school graduates. Further, the role offered him a behind the scenes look into how the university functions. “You get a lot of really neat insights into the way Rowan works and the way it wants to grow in the future.”

People form the visual of the digits of 100 on Bunce Green.

While Tobi has maintained his connections to Rowan, he currently teaches at a community college in Pennsylvania. Part of his drive is the connection to his students and the interactions between the wide variety of students he has from various walks of life, “I really enjoy teaching at the community college level because in my courses I have students of all ages, those coming straight out of high school and going into college, and those enrolling later as adults. It’s nice to see when that atmosphere comes together and you see the interactions between people giving tips to one another, sharing experiences, helping out with technology needs. It’s usually the younger students helping the more mature students. So it brings me a lot of enjoyment, it’s a lot of fun, and hopefully they keep having me back to teach that course [Editor note: Effective Speaking].”

Teaching has only been one of his career paths as he spent time on the administrative side, too. The multitude of responsibilities that he had as president of advancement included going out to help individuals grasp the importance of education and the benefits to one’s career. Working as part of the president of the community college’s cabinet was also an insightful experience, “Also serving on the president’s cabinet you had a little more input in the strategic direction of the institution.”

After being a part of the administrative side for a long time, a new path that was equally rewarding and impactful opened up. Becoming executive director at Foundations Community Project, a private grant foundation that supports local nonprofits to tackle behavioral health and human service issues, was an opportunity to touch people’s lives in a different capacity, “So it’s another outward kind of role so you interact with a lot of nonprofit leaders which is a lot of fun. You get to learn about how to help vulnerable populations and hopefully we can figure out a way we can support them through grants so it’s another very rewarding role that I’ve had. It all kind of comes to helping people and meeting them in terms of where they are and what they need.” Even with the new job being exciting, the element of uncertainty stepping into a new role and new environment was present. But the intrigue of what he could help others achieve helped quell the nerves, “You know the big names like the Red Cross, but I think what I found in this role is there are so many small nonprofits that really do a lot of important work and kind of getting to know that and getting to know the people who run these organizations and figuring out a way how we can be helpful.”

An above shot of four students working at a small table with a professor assisting them.

Although a switch in careers could be viewed as daunting, Tobi felt that both his previous work experience as well as his education prepared him for working at Foundations Community project. As coordinator of development at Bucks County College helped give him insight into building a network that could not only connect him to different people but so he could connect others together as well. Connecting people together is a tool that is often handy working in private grants,  “One of our objectives is to also build collaborative relationships between the nonprofits because I think of the curses of nonprofits is duplication of services so when you have two nonprofits kind of doing the same thing, you want to do your best to say, ‘Hey, you should talk to one another to either combine, figure out where the gaps are that maybe one of you can fill those gaps’. So I think development is a really good profession to learn some of those skills along the way. I think my experience has been that if you do those things, you connect people, you provide leads, it comes back around and people will remember that.”

By coming back to Rowan for different levels of degrees, Tobi has a unique insight into the challenges and benefits of being an adult learner. Certain questions had to be asked before returning to the classroom, “It was a little daunting pursuing a doctorate degree. It’s like 1) am I ready for this 2) do I have the time, I had a young daughter at the time. You’re playing it out, it sounds good but when you’re in the courses, because they were eight-week courses and it’s fast paced, is that really something I can really handle? I figured that I was never going to figure it out from the sidelines so I might as well go for it.” Yet one of the positive aspects was that as an adult he was able to structure his time to care for his family, continue to work, and fulfill his education obligations. 

It’s rare that a student gets to observe the evolution of a university through multiple periods of time, however Tobi Bruhn was grateful that he did and decided to give back– a theme that has persisted through his careers.

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Story by: Thomas Ubelhoer, junior double major in political science and international studies

Dance Majors Share Their Professional Goals

Two dancers in mid-pose outdoors.

What is your long-term professional dream goal? “Long term I see myself working with a big theater corporation like Lincoln Center, administratively. I want to continue working in DEI work to some capacity. And hopefully working in the dance world as a teacher later down the line.” – Gabrielle Langevine, senior dance major and women […]

How to stop being the “Problem Solver”

A campus photo of Laurel Hall during Spring.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @rowanuwellness on social. This story is by Kathleen Ramos, senior nutrition major. As college students, we all have our own personal problems. It could be about that one professor that […]

A Look Inside Geo Information Systems With Jackie Ganter & Danielle Miller

Four members of Geo Lab discuss a project while outside holding equipment.

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) majors and graduating seniors, Danielle Miller and Jackie Ganter, give insight into what the GIS major entails and its impact. What is GIS? According to Danielle, “geographic information science, it’s the analysis of data sets, the creation of maps, and other imagery.” She went on to give her point of view […]

Homebodies Unite!

Jocelyn wearing a red dress standing under a red gazebo.

Embracing the Art of Homebound Bliss at Rowan University This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @rowanuwellness on social. This story is by Jocelyn Reuben, a senior athletic training major. Rhythmic Japanese plays in the […]

How Physics Took Nicholas Kurth to Switzerland To Work With CERN

Nicholas stands outside the science building wearing a lab coat.

A Dive Into the Physics Major at Rowan University With a Graduating Senior Tell us more about your CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) experience. “I knew about this opportunity at CERN for over a year before I applied because when I was applying to LSU to go do research work for them, I saw […]

Going Away to College Close to Home: Deptford Resident Living On Campus

Asiya stands outside on campus on a chilly day.

Rowan Blog contributor and senior writing arts major Asiya Robinson, from Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County), shares a first-person perspective on going away to college close to home. Asiya’s hometown is approximately 20 minutes from Rowan. As a student, Asiya lives on campus, is a member of student clubs, and balances academics with both an on-campus […]

One Rowan University Indian Graduate Student Reflects on His Journey at Rowan University, Computer Science Education and International Community

Somyaranjan Rout sits behind business hall.

This story is one within a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories.  What is your long-term professional goal or dream career? “My long-term professional goal is to become an expert in cloud architecture and full stack development. I aspire to architect […]

Rowan University Entrepreneurship Majors Share Their Professional Goals

A student stands in front of a wall with the word "Idea" behind him, with his arms crossed across his chest.

What internships, clubs, networking, etc. are you involved in and how do they support your goals? “I currently sell cars at a local Ford dealership, which helps with developing a stronger understanding of how the business industry works.” – Brendan Liebenow “Networking with other students and professors at Rowan has helped me realize how much […]

The Professor Behind The Building of Rowan University’s Marching Band, Pride of the Profs

A close up of the Rowan University marching band drum major practicing on the athletic field with a dramatic sunset in front of him.

Once she got to Rowan, she didn’t know that we were known to be a teaching school at that time. Her professors within the College of Performing Arts really looked out for her; they would sign her up for conducting symposiums and competitions outside of the department. “One of them was my percussion teacher who […]

One Rowan University Pharmaceutical Science Graduate Student’s Professional Goals & Career Aspirations

Pintu stands outside an academic building.

This story is one within a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories.  What Rowan professors or Rowan classes have been most helpful and enlightening to you, and how? “To begin with, the majority of the professors at Rowan University exhibit a […]

Empowering Dreams: Meet Sreypich Heng, A Rowan University International Computer Science Senior Pursuing a Career in UX/UI Design

A close up of Sreypich with Bunce behind her.

This story is the first in a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories.  What is your long-term professional goal or dream career? “My long-term professional goal, or dream career, is to become a skilled UX/UI designer. I wouldn’t have thought that […]

Biological Sciences Major On Academic Opportunities, Campus Life

Nathaneal studies his experiment with a serious face.

Nathanael Alicea is a senior commuting transfer student (from Rowan College of South Jersey) here at Rowan University originally from Lindenwold, New Jersey (Camden County) pursuing a BS in biological sciences; with minors in Pre-Health and Chemistry. When asked what inspired him to choose his major Nathanael shared, “I would like to get to medical […]

From Florida to NJ: One Student Athlete Shares Tips for Adjusting to College

Emily stands close to a friend outside on the soccer field.

Emily Casale, a senior advertising major from Tampa, Florida shares some tips to help fellow out-of-state student athletes prepare for college.

A portrait of Emily outdoors, wearing an oversized sweater sticking her hands into her jean pockets.

1. Prepare for emotional and physical discomfort:

  • At some point during your college experience you will feel homesick and that is totally normal. The best piece of advice I can give is to get involved and reach out to people if you need help. It’s important to understand that nobody knows you’re struggling unless you tell them. With being on a team you have a big group of people you can lean on for support and it’s almost like automatic friends. However, I do recommend being open minded to meeting new people outside athletics as well. Saying yes to new things can be exciting and you never know what you might discover by doing so.
  • Being in a new environment can also be scary because you don’t know where anything is. Feel free to explore and ask people! The reason I came to Rowan was not only to play soccer but to be close to family. I am extremely fortunate that I have them here if I need anything at all. But that’s just my situation. You might be going to a school just for athletics and might not know anyone at all and that’s okay. Know that in college, everyone is going through the same thing. 
  • Culture shock is also a real thing. But don’t get discouraged; embrace that people grew up different from you and learn to adapt to the area around you.
  • Injuries may happen but you must trust the process. Use your resources like athletic training and rehabilitation.
Emily looks off to the side, arms crossed across her chest, while wearing a soccer uniform on the soccer field.

2. Prepare for new weather:

  • Being from Florida, the weather was a big change when I decided to go to school up north. Winters are grueling and you should invest in some warm gear if you plan on going to school somewhere with the four seasons.
  • Get adjusted to playing your sport in new weather.
Emily captured in mid-kick of a soccer ball on the soccer field.

3. Prepare for balancing school and sport:

  • Balancing your school assignments and practices can be a lot. Staying ahead of your workload is the most important thing.
  • You will be traveling a lot for games. Working on schoolwork during the trip is a good idea to get assignments done and study for upcoming exams.
  • Make sure you are scheduling your classes around practice time and what works best for you. Giving yourself enough time to get from class to practice is also a good idea that way you aren’t feeling rushed or stressed out.
Emily stands casually while resting a soccer ball on her hip, next to an oversized logo of the Rowan mascot, The Prof Whoo RU.

4. Prepare for out of state cost:

  • Know that when you are going out-of-state you need to consider out-of-state costs, such as traveling home to visit or storage costs for your personal belongings over the summer. 

  • Out of state students also tend to pay higher tuition than in-state students, but there are ways to close the gap through scholarships through your university or your local community. 
  • Always be on the lookout for new scholarships and awards you can earn.
  • If you plan on playing Division I or Division II you have the opportunity to get money for playing your sport. However, if you are playing Division III they do not have any athletic scholarships. The only way you can gain them is through academic scholarship. That is why excelling in the classroom is so important.
  • Take into account the cost of living, groceries, and textbooks.
Emily looks downward as she methodically taps a soccer ball in the air with her foot.

5. Prepare for opportunities:

  • When you go to college out of state you are embarking on such an incredible journey. You learn so much about yourself and you learn to appreciate where you are from. There are many opportunities and experiences that you can make.
  • Specifically going to school in New Jersey, there is so much surrounding Rowan. Philly is 30 minutes away and you are also an hour away from the beach and Atlantic City! New York is also not too far away.
  • Studying abroad is also another opportunity that most schools offer.

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Written by: Emily Casale, senior advertising major

Story edited by: Valentina Giannattasio, junior dance and marketing double major

Why Civil Engineers Build Concrete Canoes & How it Benefits Them

A close up of the side of the Rowan concrete canoe.

Civil Engineering Majors Learn, Network & Race in ASCE Competition In the annual concrete canoe competition, Rowan University Civil Engineering students and the American Society of Civil Engineers, alongside engineering students from other schools in the area, compete. Each engineering team must determine what kind and mixture of lighter materials they should combine with the […]

National Book Month: Writing Arts & Journalism Students, Faculty Share Favorite Reads

A female student browses a bookshelf at the bookstore.

The month of October is known as a time centered around witches, pumpkins, and candy of course. However, as werewolves howl at the moon and that first October moon rises, National Book Month also begins! With only 31 days to celebrate Rowan students and faculty weigh on their favorite current and past reads on their […]

Running The Funny Farm Rescue is Serious Business for this Rowan Grad [VIDEO]

A view of Laurie's back as she walks through her farm, wearing her signature bright pink hat and bright pink boots.

“Life happens when you’re busy making other plans,” says art alumna Laurie Zaleski, who never intended to run a farm. Meet Laurie Zaleski, the owner and founder of the Funny Farm Rescue and Sanctuary in Mays Landing, NJ (Atlantic County). Laurie also owns Artsy Graphics, which is a graphic design and photography company. She graduated […]

How Political Science Majors Can Grow Through Research and Internships: A Conversation with Professor Markowitz

The student government association president sits at his desk for a interview.

Like most political science majors, Professor Lawrence Markowitz was originally set on entering law school after he had completed his undergraduate degree. However, after a brief internship in law that exposed him to what big law was like, some time off and a tour of Western Europe exposed him to the alluring complexities of international relations. He has since then become an expert on and published work on a variety of topics from political violence to state building with a focus on post-Soviet Eurasia and is the current chair of the political science department at Rowan University.

Transitioning from one field of study to another presented new opportunities to learn not only in the classroom but by working as well, “I interned for human rights on international affairs, then decided that I wanted to go into the field, but knew I needed a little bit more of a regional focus and a little bit more language skills.” The 1990s changed the landscape of international politics as the Soviet Union fell, providing Professor Markowitz with an opportunity that most people for close to 70 years only could dream about. As he waited to see which university would be his home for his master’s degree, he says, “While my applications were being reviewed, the year before I started my master’s, I went overseas to Moscow and did a study abroad language study for about five months in Moscow.” Even after starting his master’s degree in the fall of 1995, trips to Armenia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Russia again all helped add to his depth of knowledge–something that can be seen and heard when sitting in his class. 

Professor Markowitz stands in front of a slide labed "The Politics of Multiculturalism" with his hand pointing to some of the bullet points such as "Why is multiculturalism important?" and "How does multiculturalism matter?". There is a student in the foreground taking notes.

What Professor Markowitz does for students extends outside the classroom setting, helping to guide students through their academic career. The vision he has for his department has been carefully put together to maximize the potential of students, “In political science, the faculty spends a good amount of time talking about and thinking about putting together a curriculum that builds multiple skills and helps broaden students in a variety of ways. Obviously on the most superficial level, we want you to cover the basic topics, themes, and theories and to know the material in political science. That’s the obvious. Underlying that, we’re developing a lot of the skills and less tangible abilities that will serve you over the long term.” The benefits of the skills you learn exceed being able to think more analytically or write better, “For example, how to impose and support an argument through compelling logic and evidence. If you go into law, that is obviously relevant, but in any field you’re going to be able to do that. You want to ask for a raise? That’s a good tool to have–the ability to craft an argument and to think through how to support it.”

Even when diving into the specifics of what you learn, Professor Markowitz ensures that students leave class with a better understanding of the world around them. The experiences he’s had in his own studies, research, and travels are all passed onto the students to provide a well-rounded approach to the topics covered in class. Helping students craft well thought out opinions on the world comes from taking a look at the world around them and analyzing the pros and cons in the differences, “If you just look at your experience in the U.S. and you look at the U.S. and try to interpret the U.S. American politics and the world around you and the economy, without having that broader perspective, you only have a limited view. In comparative politics and in the Russian politics class I teach we talk about themes, such as in the comparative politics class I teach, one day we do welfare states, we look at social programs, we look at Germany’s pensions and version of social security and its health care.” As much as Professor Markowitz seeks to help develop his students ability to learn and think critically outside the classroom, opportunities outside the classroom are equally as important. 

While many students think primarily of internships, there are other opportunities that are available to students as well. Research opportunities are also available to students, an opportunity that helps a student branch out, “Students in their undergrad years, if they can work with a professor on a research paper project or conduct research for their classes, that is a big opportunity and advantage. In other words, they’re working on a paper and have a wide range of themes, but develop over time where your interests are.”  Traditional internships are always available to students. The benefits to those are clear, “But also: not just research, but doing work within organizations or on campaigns, getting involved in various ways in politics;  there’s a lot of opportunities for that.” There was also an emphasis on how lucky students are to have three major cities (New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia) all within relative proximity to campus for tangible hands-on experience. Opportunities are boundless to those who look for them, with the staff helping students find positions for them to not only grow in, but find success as well. With both the Rowan Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship (RIPPAC) offering internship opportunities and the College of Humanities & Social Sciences offering a wide variety of internships, the possibilities available are varied.  Rowan’s study abroad program also adds a layer of depth to the chances that students can create for themselves by immersing themselves in the cultures they’ve spent time studying in the classroom. 

As much as Professor Markowtiz sees opportunities for students’ growth within their own fields of study, he also believes that students should expand their horizons by taking classes outside of what their area of focus is. Undergraduate studies provide students with the opportunities to explore a variety of interests, “First of all, even before selecting, but also after selecting a major, they should take a wide range of classes and explore. We’re one of the few countries on the planet, historically one of the few countries where you have a liberal arts education and you can take a range of classes and just take something in art or biology just because you want to learn about biology.” But when picking classes, students should not just choose randomly, but pick based on how it could relate to future careers, “If they go into law, then political science is a good major, but then the question is, ‘What kind of law might they be interested in?’ They don’t have to decide for sure, but if they are randomly thinking they might want to go into corporate law, then doing a minor or CUGS (Certificates in Undergraduate Studies) in something in finance or business makes sense. If they want to go into family law, then maybe doing a minor in psychology makes sense.” Finding a balance to broadening your horizons and narrowing down what a student is key to academic success. 

Professor Markowitz is standing in front of the board with his hand out stretched lecturing to his students.

Rowan’s political science department gives students the tools they need to succeed through lessons taught in the classroom, to the doors that lead to the professional world. When asked about what makes this university produce graduates who are so competitive, Professor Markowitz was quick to give credit to his colleagues, “We have a lot of faculty, especially in our College of Humanities & Social Sciences, who research within these fields. Most of them are at the high levels in their particular sub-field; they’re specialized. They are experts and they’re among the top experts in the broader fields that they’re in.” The staff aims not just to research for their own benefit, but to also help students stay on the cutting edge of information, to help them stay competitive in their fields of study. Professor Markowitz is not wrong when he says, “They’re not someone who is never interacting with undergrads and they don’t know how to talk about their research topic in everyday terms. We have that great mix, we have a dozen people or so in every discipline that have that kind of specialization and expertise. For the price tag, it’s a pretty good deal.”

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Story by:

Thomas Ubelhoer, sophomore political science and international studies double major

Education and Soccer Alumna Makes Magic at Disney World & Remains A Ray of Sunshine Through Cancer Diagnosis

Miranda kicks a soccer ball into a soccer net as an alumnus, while wearing Rowan gold.

In this alumni success story, we learn more of the career path for 2013 education alumna Miranda Donnian. With our catching up with Miranda, a former record-breaking women’s soccer player for the University, we learn more of what came after her time here at the University, where her career has taken her, and her personal […]

Biological Sciences Major Shares a Snapshot in Time of Her Days at Rowan

Yesenia sits at a lab table for a portrait.

Originally from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County) first-generation senior biological sciences major Yesenia Flores heads into her final semesters at Rowan, and there’s so much more to come for her. About her major Yesenia shared, “I have always been very curious about the dynamics and mechanisms by which science is able to revolutionize the world and […]

Hispanic Heritage Month: A Story of Compassion for Those in Need

A close up portrait of Jeanette smiling, wearing a white collared business shirt.

An adult learner graduating next year with a degree in communication studies, Jeanette Alvarez talks about her upbringing and the ways in which she has learned from it, to give back to her community. Jeanette Alvarez’s story is one of kindness, caring, and generosity, all stemming from her memories of the place she calls home: […]

Q&A With a Senior Public Health and Wellness Major & Rowan Choice Student

Theresa Bennett stands outside her internship at Inspira Health Network with their logo behind her.

Public Health & Wellness Major Discusses Her Passion for Public Health & Wellness, her internship and professional goals Senior Theresa Bennett, from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County) joined Rowan through the Rowan Choice program, a partnership with community college RCSJ that allows students to live on Rowan University’s campus while taking 24-30 community college credits, which […]

Men’s Hockey Student Athlete Reflects on Earning Captain

Jared Cohen in the offensive zone reading a play.

Not many have the privilege of playing collegiate sports; fewer have the chance to earn the title of captain. A recent graduate of Rowan’s finance program, Jared Cohen of Wayne, NJ (Passaic County) wore the “C” after holding down the blue line for Rowan’s Men’s Hockey team for three seasons (2019-2020, 2021-2022, 2022-2023). Wearing a letter in two of the three seasons he played, Jared is a student of the game on the ice and in the locker room.

Jared bowing his head for the national anthem.
Jared bows his head for the national anthem before a game

The transition from being captain on a youth team to being a rookie on the next can be challenging. Yet Jared attributes a smooth transition to the team of veteran players around him, “I didn’t really know what to expect coming in but I was fortunate enough to meet some really cool guys my first year, some older guys who really took me under their wing.” His first-year season was about finding his role, allowing himself to take in the personalities of his new teammates before finding the confidence to be vocal with the veteran players on the team. Part of being a great leader was about being a great follower: showing up and doing your job, a concept that he executed on which lead to him becoming an assistant captian his junior year.

Going into his senior year, the obvious goal was to not just make the playoffs or make a run, but to bring home a championship. On an individual level, Jared strove to become the de facto leader on the team. Going into his senior year he was one of three players who was still wearing a letter on his jersey. Wearing the “C” was a responsibility he carried at every level. Wearing it at Rowan was the last step.

Captains come in a variety of forms, some are vocal while some lead by example, but when asked what his teammates would say if asked why he should be captain he had this to say, “I think mainly they’d say I’m smart. I’m not here to be everybody’s best friend as nice as that would be; I’m here to make sure everyone does their job for the team. That’s really what it’s about. I don’t think being the captain should be anyone’s best friend, I think they should have your best interests at heart instead. Sometimes tough love is called for, and other times it’s just a sit-down conversation. But I was always transparent with everyone.”

Jared stepping onto the ice.

Although he’s been a captain at every level, he acknowledges that he still had a lot to learn before wearing the C. When asked about what lessons he picked up on under different captains, he had this to say, “It’s definitely just keeping the team together. I mean it’s hard to get through to everyone. You have a bunch of different types of guys on the team, strong personalities, weak personalities, but it’s my job to blend those together to make it as successful for the team as possible. It’s almost like a chef making a recipe, sometimes you’ve got to do it by feel, so that’s what being a captain requires. Especially on a college team where we’re not going to play pro after this, but everyone still wants to win and have fun doing it.” 

Earning the captaincy was a season-long endeavor, but one that was worth it. Throughout the season Jared positioned himself to be the guy that both his teammates and coaches go to. He says, “I went into the season as the only returning player with a letter so that was really cool. I told  my coaches in the beginning, during training camp, ‘I want the ‘C’, I want to be the guy on this team.’” After handling extreme lows and highs during the season, carrying both extremes with grace and a leader’s stoicism, the coaching staff agreed that it was time to give him the job he earned. Getting the ‘C’ was a special moment, “It was me and two or three other guys with ‘A’s on our jerseys, no one had a “C”. But I kind of knew I was the guy and I acted like it and I think the team reciprocated that. Toward the end of the season, before our playoff run, at a random coaches meeting before practice he gave me the ‘C’. He took my jersey and put it on. It was pretty cool.” Navigating the good and bad of a long season exemplified what being a leader of a team was. 

Jared making a cross ice pass in the offensive zone to his teammate.

When reflecting on the better moments of his collegiate career, several moments stand out. However the memory that sticks out the most is from his freshman year, “All three years I played we won probably 70-75% of our games so I’ve definitely been on three good teams, three years of playing– we lost the COVID year. It was never really about the regular season, we always won a lot more games than we lost but come regionals times the closest we got was my freshman year. I was playing so hurt so I was just a shell of myself, we were on goal away from going to nationals. The way it works is you have to win three games in a row at regionals. We won two my freshman year, went to the third game, we gave it all we could and just fell short a little bit.” The taste of glory and being just shy of the national tournament put a fire in his belly to be better going forward. 

The somber moments of sports drive individuals to elevate their game, when reflecting on the lower moments of his career, games during his senior year stood out, “We had a couple tough games against Penn State and a few others, but we knew we had a good team, we knew our record would be good in the end. So we righted the ship there, we talked about it, we talked about whatever we had to do. Toward the end of the season, when things started to go south, in hindsight it might’ve been past salvageable at that point, it might’ve been that’s what it was. We had two really bad losses, one of them being on senior night. We blew a 2-1 lead, but ended up losing 3-2 in the final minute.” However, instead of sulking, he immediately followed up by watching film to see what went wrong to put a better effort, more effective team on the ice for the next game. His philosophy embodies learning from what you did well during your best games as well as your worst game.

Jared watching a play unforld in the offensive zone.

Many lessons have been learned through watching other leaders, thousands of hours of time on the ice both in game and practicing, but in the classroom as well. Being a finance major helped in a variety of ways. Some of the tools that he refined through projects in class have translated to an on ice setting, “I love to be extroverted and meet new people. I think being a leader has definitely done that. Communicating with so many guys over the years, I learned about their different styles, their likes, their dislikes. Being a finance major, it’s kind of funny, I learned to communicate with a lot of people and how to get stuff done for a team. I think that’s the most important thing I’ve learned– communication.” Embodying the spitting of a leader means drawing from a variety of lessons to apply in unconventional scenarios, something that Jared does very well.

After bleeding brown and gold for his team, after four years his collegiate and education career has come to close. Through his four years in class, 61 games and 41 points, and now a finance degree to his name, Jared Cohen has walked the stage into the professional world. 

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Story by Thomas Ubelhoer, international studies and political science major

Alumni Success: Special Education Teacher Creates Special Needs Sports Organization [VIDEO]

A view of Spectrum Sports with people working out.

A glimpse into a former special education teacher’s career pivot After graduating and launching his special education career in 2011 and teaching for 10 years, alumnus Dan Minko noticed a gap in available recreation and athletic opportunities for people who are a part of the special needs community. To fill the gap and serve the […]

Ways To Improve Your Mental Health

Alexia poses for a portrait surrounded by trees on campus.

College life is fun and exciting but it can also be stressful for many students. Mental health can affect individuals physically, mentally, and socially. On a college campus, students can get stressed from various things like relationships, internships, workload, financial struggles, extracurricular activities, and much more. There are many ways students can receive the support […]

My Home Away from Home, The United Latino Association

Student clubs and organizations fair.

Julianna Wells, a junior political science major from Oak Ridge, NJ (Passaic/Morris Counties), shares this first-person perspective on how joining the The United Latino Association at Rowan University helped her rewrite her experience and find a home away from home. In addition to her major, Julianna will earn certificates of undergraduate study (known as CUGS) in Spanish, public policy and public relations and the news. 

Julianna poses for a beautiful portrait in front of the owl statue on campus, with her hair curled, wearing a white shirt and blank pants.

For the entirety of my life prior to attending Rowan University, I lived in a predominantly white town. As a Latina, this experience came with its own challenges. I never saw anyone who shared my own culture, my own language, or even looked like me. Needless to say, it was a very sheltering experience. At times, I even experienced harassment due to my own ethnicity. I would receive anonymous messages telling me I would end up selling drugs and mowing lawns in my future. I was even told to go back over the border. Yet, besides the harassment, all I ever wanted was to feel less alone. So many people value having at least some friendships and connections that share the same culture and backgrounds. With that being the thing I craved all those years, I was looking forward to starting my life on a college campus and meeting a whole new world of people. 

United Latino Association board members with Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students board members & Pre-Law Society board members.
Julianna (back row, third from left) with United Latino Association board members and Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students board members & Pre-Law Society board members.

Once I finally left my hometown and came to the Rowan University campus, I was determined to rewrite my experience. It was at the student organization fair where I met my home. The United Latino Association caught my eye as it was the only Latine organization I saw as I combed through the rows of tables. I wrote my name and email on their sign-up sheet immediately. From there, I attended a handful of events and made the decision to run for their electoral board.

Julianna and a friend look at each other candidly in the Student Center with lights behind them.

As a result, I was the new treasurer for the last academic year and couldn’t have been more grateful for that opportunity. Throughout the year, the friends I made in this organization were no longer just friends, but family. From meeting those who share the same cultural background, to learning how to dance to Latin music better, to even bettering my own second language, my life on campus and in general had been forever changed. Due to how sheltered I felt in high school, I didn’t have too many friends but this was no longer the case at ULA. For every event I attended, I felt l a bit closer to home. 

Julianna stands with a friend in front of the iconic owl statue on campus, with yellow balloons by her side and a classic "first day of school" blackboard with chalkboard for the date September 5, 2023.

What’s more is that with being on the board, I was able to help this organization grow and prosper, myself included. I saw our family go from just 30 members to around 160 members. I think my favorite memory with all of the members was when we all came together for a dance night to learn salsa, bachata, cumbia, and other dances that people wanted to share. I have loved my time being a part of this organization and board so much that I decided to run for president for the upcoming academic year, and I won! The shy, alone Latina I once was prior to university was now a figment of my imagination. It has been practically mind-boggling to reflect on the difference between my experience from high school to my experience at Rowan University all because I was able to join just one organization. Needless to say, ULA has become my home away from home. 

ULA Valentine’s Day Speed Friending Event.
ULA at last Valentine’s Day speed friending event.

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Written by: Julianna Wells, junior political science major

Story edited by: Valentina Giannattasio, junior dance and marketing double major

Neurodiversity Student Government Representative Advocates for Autism Awareness and Education

A close up of Heather as she sits smiling at Robinson Circle on Rowan University's campus.

One Rowan University Student Breaks Down Barriers All Year Round, Not Just During Awareness Months In 1997, sociologist Judy Singer introduced a new terminology to the world of science/medical world called neurodiversity, which is a concept that helps those to understand that there are varied ways that each person’s brain processes information, functions, and presents […]

Community College to a 4 Year University

Three students walking around Rowan College of South Jersey campus.

Kaleigh Bonitatibus, a senior communication studies major from Washington Township (Gloucester County) shares this first-person perspective on their experience transitioning from Rowan College of South Jersey to Rowan University.

Graduating in 2020 at the peak of the pandemic not only ruined the best part of my senior year but also affected my college decision. I dreamed of going away for all four years to live the “college experience.” However, due to the persistent stay-at-home mandate, I knew it was pointless to leave the state for school if my first year was bound to be all on Zoom anyway. I put away my fantasy of going to a university and decide to begin my higher education at the community college RCSJ. It was more affordable and realistic during the pandemic. However, I always knew that I wanted to transfer to a four-year university to pursue my bachelor’s degree. Rowan University was affordable, close to home, and the easiest to transfer credits to because RCSJ is affiliated with Rowan.

Two students sitting outside the Rowan College of South Jersey entrance.

Transitioning from a community college to a university can be challenging. I was nervous about entering a larger campus, navigating my way to different classes, and meeting new people. Nonetheless, my time at Rowan University has been very successful.

One of the things that helped me with my transition was attending Rowan’s Transfer Student Orientation. It provided me with all the information I needed to know about the university. This especially eased my anxiety about getting around campus and the location of all the different academic buildings.

Another thing that helped me adjust to university was my proximity to campus. Rowan is only a 15 minute drive from my home, so I commute to campus. However, being so close to home means a lot of my high school friends attend Rowan. My friend Spencer, who I went to all of grade school and high school with, also attends Rowan and lives in an off-campus home. Spencer has been a big part of me meeting new people at school because he invited me to several social events where I was able to meet so many more people and even gain some valuable friendships. Joining clubs has also eased my adjustment to Rowan. Currently, I am on the Commission of Community Standards. Being a part of this commission allows me to solve issues that clubs are having and help them grow.

Two students talking in front of a Rowan College of South Jersey flag.

Academically, the transition was challenging but manageable. The courses at Rowan are more rigorous than those at RCSJ, but as I have always prioritized my education I found that I was able to keep up with the workload. Most of my courses at RCSJ were online, and adjusting to in-person classes was slightly taxing since I had to further manage and adjust my work schedule so it could fit in with classes.

Overall, my experience transitioning from RCSJ to Rowan University a was positive one. If you’re considering transferring to a four-year university, my advice would be to attend transfer orientation, get involved on campus, and utilize the resources available to you. It can be anxiety-filling at first, but eventually, it will be worth it and you’ll enjoy your experience at Rowan.

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Written by Kaleigh Bonitatibus, a communication studies major

Story edited by Valentina Giannattasio, a rising junior dance and marketing double major

Finding My Home Away from Home at Rowan University Through the Student Organization Fair

Students walking around the Rowan clubs fair event featuring different clubs and organizations on campus.

Nicholas Wright, a junior health science communication and communication studies double major, from Gloucester County, NJ shares this first-person perspective on how he found a home away from home on Rowan campus.

As a freshman at Rowan University, I was nervous about the transition from high school to college. I had heard stories from friends and family members about how difficult it can be to adjust to a new environment, but I was determined to make the most of my college experience.

One of my biggest concerns was finding my place on campus. I wanted to get involved in activities and clubs, but I didn’t know where to start. Luckily, during my first week at Rowan, I stumbled upon the student activities fair.

The student activities fair is an event where all the clubs and organizations on campus set up tables to showcase their group and recruit new members. I was amazed at the variety of groups available, from academic clubs to sports teams to service organizations. As I walked around the fair, I was struck by the passion and enthusiasm of the students involved in each group.

A Rowan student walking around the Student Activities fair event featuring different clubs and organizations.

After talking to a few club representatives, I decided to join the International Student Association. As an international student myself, I was excited to meet other students who shared my background and interests. Joining the club was one of the best decisions I made during my freshman year. I was able to make friends, learn about different cultures, and participate in fun events and activities throughout the year.

In addition to the International Student Association, I also joined the Rowan Ambassadors program. The Rowan Ambassadors serve as official hosts and representatives of the university at events such as open houses and campus tours. Through the program, I was able to develop my leadership skills, meet other students who were passionate about representing Rowan, and gain valuable experience in event planning and public speaking.

Aside from the clubs and activities, I also found a sense of community through my professors and academic advisors. Whenever I needed guidance or support, they were always there to offer their expertise and advice. They helped me navigate the transition to college and provided me with the resources and support I needed to succeed in my classes.

Looking back on my freshman year, I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences that Rowan University has provided me with. From joining clubs to building relationships with professors, I have found a home away from home on this campus. If you’re a future college student or parent, I encourage you to explore all that Rowan has to offer. It may seem daunting at first, but with an open mind and a willingness to try new things, you can find your place on this campus too.

Read this story for another perspective of the student organization fair from upperclassmen involved on campus. 

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Written by: Nicholas Wright, junior health science communication and communication studies double major

Story edited by: Valentina Giannattasio, junior dance and marketing double major

‘MIS’sion International: International Student on Management Information Systems Major [VIDEO]

Osvaldo smiles at the camera while outside wearing a bright yellow Rowan shirt.

Osvaldo Rosi, an international student from the Dominican Republic, gives his insight on Rowan’s international program and his experience as a management information systems major. 

Osvaldo Rosi, originally from the Dominican Republic, is a senior management information systems major with a minor in business analytics and a certificate in cybersecurity. He originally moved to America in 2020 with his family, seeing it as a land of opportunity to further his career outside of his home country. 

He says his Rowan experience was amazing from the start: “I applied to around 20 universities in the area and was accepted to all of them, but to me Rowan was a big campus but with everything concentrated in one place. When I visited Rowan I felt at home, everything from Rowan Boulevard to the academic buildings just felt right. The energy in the student center and other places around campus is something that really inspired me to be here.”

Osvaldo talks with his friends outside on a bench.

Osvaldo feels like he made the best choice with Rowan, especially with the international student program: “I think that Rowan really offers opportunities to all international students with the program that they have. They give us the opportunity to be involved with American culture and its students. Everything is networking, so being able to be involved with different cultures and see different points of view, it really helps to open your mind. Rowan gave me all the resources I needed to be successful here.” In fact, Osvaldo currently serves as the vice president of the International Club, where he helps fellow international students get adjusted to their Rowan experience: “My job is to help international students around campus and help introduce them to the resources Rowan has to offer. Our job as a club is to help students get involved around campus, with their advisors, and other things to help them through the process.”

Osvaldo and his friends look at something on a tablet while sitting together outside.Touching a bit more specifically on his major, Osvaldo explains: “Management information systems is the science that studies people, organizations, technology, and companies. We are like the bridge between technology and people. We try to take all of the data and create ways for companies to make better decisions with the implementation of technology in their companies.” Osvaldo also elaborates on the importance of management information systems, especially in the modern-day surge of workplace technology: “The best part about this major is that you can be involved in any area of the company. You can be in finance, you can be in marketing, you can be in human resources, because in the end we try to implement technology into all the functions that any company has.”

As far as his advice to incoming Profs goes, Osvaldo had a simple message to send: “Live every day. Enjoy your time. Take advantage of all the resources that Rowan can offer to you. You can get jobs, you can be involved with campus activities, you can be involved with clubs. In the end, the big word for me is networking. If you can make connections here, they are connections you’ll take with you all your life. Be open to learning, and be open to new experiences.”

More specifically to any students considering the management information systems program, Osvaldo has this to say: “The world is changing every day, because we have technology. My major offers you the opportunity to always be in stride with technology. If you change with the technology, you will always be involved and job secure. MIS offers you those kinds of opportunities.”

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Story by Connor Bicknell, senior communication studies major

My First Day At Rowan University, Move In

Magnolia Hall during the fall with blooming trees.

Lucy Marks, a sophomore public relations major from Voorhees, NJ (Camden County) shares this first-person perspective on their move-in day as a first-year student last year. Welcome back, Profs, we hope you’re kicking off the year great!

Before I got myself settled at Rowan, I had been nothing but excited for months. From the moment I got my acceptance letter to the second I made the commitment deposit, I only had enthusiasm for the future. It was not until the night before my move in day where I found myself afraid of the unknown. The realization hit that I would be closing off an amazing year and taking a step toward unfamiliar things and more responsibilities. The fear that I would be starting the path to being on my own terrified me.

The morning of, there was no worry on my mind since I was too focused on instructing my brother and dad of where I wanted each of my duffle bags. I had six heavily packed bags that included all of my clothing and necessities. Everything was organized and labeled because I did not want to add another thing on the list of things that were stressing me out. Once everything was packed, My parents and brother made our way to campus in separate cars.

Rowan students moving their stuff during the move in day.

Parking was simple; we were instructed to empty the car while I went ahead and received the key. Getting settled was the difficult part because everything had to be dragged up three flights of stairs in ninety degree weather and I had to decide where everything should go. At that moment I had not been feeling anything besides, hot, sweaty, and out of breath. Once everything finally made its way in the dorm room that seemed so far away and unfamiliar, my parents helped me organize. Fortunately one of my good friends was also going to Rowan so she came and helped as well. It made me feel less alone and stable. All of the decoration and organization was fun in the way where it was the time of personalization and brought some comfort. However, the feeling that had been eating at me was the suspense of when my parents would leave.

Residential hall dorm with  blue decorations and 2 beds.

It was not until they stood in front of me as I sat on my bed looking at them inch closer to the door when everything I was holding in came to the surface. The knowledge that they were going to leave me alone in a new place felt surreal. I had never imagined I would have to face the feelings of being left behind.
Basically, it came out of nowhere and so did my tears. I felt so strange when they were gone. I did not know what to do with myself and kept asking myself what was supposed to happen. The day was excruciatingly long and ended with my floormates and I talking about the weird feeling we had while sitting in that hot lounge alone; just us. The most common description of this feeling was that it was like being dropped off at summer camp, except your parents were not coming back and there were no adults
telling you what to do. I never thought that feeling would go away. September felt like it was three months long and the rest flew by. I just finished my first year at Rowan University and this once unfamiliar place now feels like my home.

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Studying Abroad in Colombia as a First-Generation and Transfer Student

A street sign with many different countries on it.

Bonnie Williams, a senior international studies major from Downe Township, NJ (Cumberland County) shares her personal experience with us about the study abroad program she is participating in.

As a first-generation, transfer student, Bonnie is proud that she is about to be the first Williams (of her direct family) to receive her bachelor’s degree, and possibly continue her education to aim for a graduate degree. She shares that her family has seen how hard she works for school and they’ve never underestimated her efforts. Although she occasionally has feelings of guilt because she recognizes that her parents didn’t have the opportunity to earn a college degree, she knows that they work hard to support her and that they are beyond proud of her. 

Bonnie standing in front of a brick wall (James Hall).

This semester, Bonnie is studying abroad in Colombia, with the goal of gaining volunteering and service experience. She’s looking forward to learning more about the culture and environment of Barranquilla, Colombia, specifically its people, music, food, everyday life, and the university- “Universidad del Norte”. After spending a few weeks there she is already in love with Colombia’s culture. Bonnie stated that “being there feels like living a different life than [she] could ever have imagined for [herself], and that it has made [her] feel an array of emotions, from excitement, scared, homesick, but most of all it has felt like a nonstop adventure that [she] is thoroughly enjoying.”

Bonnie’s long-term professional dream goal is to become a professor in Spain and/or Latin America. She has always admired other countries, their cultures, and their people. Bonnie mentioned that her main inspiration for pursuing an international studies degree was because of a cultural geography course she took at Camden County College, where she analyzed various countries, cultures, traditions, religions, etc. Bonnie said that this course “opened [her] eyes to the varieties of the world’s different cultures and sparked [her] passion for learning about the world and its many different people”. Bonnie believes that earning her degree at Rowan will allow her to broaden her knowledge of the world’s people by studying different countries, cultures, etc. She supports the idea that her degree “will open the door to expanding [her] degree or starting [her] professional journey right after graduation.”

Bonnie holding two flags in her hands (Dominican Republic and Colombia).

Bonnie is proud of her courage and the experience she has gained so far. If Bonnie has one piece of advice for transfer students, it’s “if you’re interested in studying abroad, do it! Apply for scholarships, grants, and believe in yourself! All of your hard work will pay off, and you will find answers to yourself that you never even knew you had when you put yourself out there and challenge yourself to live in another part of the world.” 

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Written by: Valentina Giannattasio, junior dance and marketing double major

Meet #Rowan2027 First Year Students

A student riding a skateboard outside Holly Point.

With Rowan celebrating its centennial year, we hear from several incoming first year students who share their stories, interests, and goals for their upcoming years at Rowan University.

Students are eager to step foot on Rowan’s campus and are looking forward to meeting new friends, all while making memories that will last a lifetime. They can’t wait to be more independent and start a new path toward their future goals, and gain new experiences throughout their college years. Most freshmen anxiously await networking in college and being introduced to people in their field of study that may provide them with new opportunities down the road. For most of them, college means a change in scenery that provides a better environment to help them succeed academically. One of the most exciting things about college is that students can dedicate their time to learning about something they are truly passionate about, while also having the opportunity to get involved in clubs, sports, and other events that Rowan offers.

Four friends with purple and pink paint on their bodies hugging eachother.

Committing to college is not an easy task, and a big decision for most. Some incoming freshmen stated that they choose Rowan because it has a beautiful and colorful campus that provides a welcoming atmosphere. As one student mentioned, “Everyone I met seems to genuinely care about your future success as a person.” Rowan also offers a diverse and friendly environment for all of its students and faculty. Students have also pointed out that even though Rowan is a large school with lots of options, it’s very personal, with small class sizes and committed faculty and staff. Not only that but Rowan’s broad offerings of activities, clubs, sports, events, etc were also aspects that encouraged incoming freshmen to commit to Rowan.

Three friends woth a laptop looking at each other and smiling.

Getting involved around campus is a huge part of the college experience many students look for. Many freshman students are excited to join different sports such as swimming, softball, volleyball, weight lifting, track, football, and basketball, among many other teams. Others are looking forward to joining a wide range of clubs, like the marching band, gaming, art, business clubs, etc. 

A group of friends playing soccer.

Some advice that Fall 2023 incoming students would give to high school seniors:

  • “Choose wisely and follow your heart.” (Fran Lacap)
  • “Do not give up yet. We didn’t come all this way from kindergarten to senior just to drop out, we are almost there. Have patience.” (Adjoa)
  • “Make sure to decide on a college that you can see yourself at and has potential for your career.” (Emily Andryca)
  • “Do research before deciding where you want to go, your top schools may change.” (Aidyn C)
  • “Go where you feel most comfortable, and even if you think you make the wrong choice, you still have the time to fix it.” (Jordan Violante)
  • “Follow your heart, not the trend, not figures.” (Chimnecherem Obiadazie)
  • “Write out a pros and cons list. This really helped me ultimately decide what is the best choice for me!” (Hailey Sacco)

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Written by: Valentina Giannattasio, junior dance and marketing double major

Behind the Lens: Our Favorite Summer Shots

Dramatic sunset photo over the athletic field with the marching band on the field at Rowan University.

We’re lonely in the summer without you, Profs. Welcome home! Here are our photographers’ and videographers’ favorite shots, stories and moments from this summer:

Four Rowan University alumni stand holding a Rowan flag on a rock in Delta Lake in the Grand Tetons.
#RowanEverywhere, a few Rowan alumni shared this pic with us from Delta Lake in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Go Profs!
Rowan University marching band with a dramatic sunset behind the drum.
Introducing Pride of the Profs, Rowan’s new marching band. This no-filter sunset was from just last night.
Three Rowan University students work in the community garden.
Fighting food insecurity with homegrown produce, the Community Garden is for all! They donated 75 pounds of produce to the on campus food pantry, The Shop, this summer. Story here.
A Rowan University student engrossed in work, with a line of toy dinosaurs in front of him.
Dinosaurs aren’t just for kids. In this story and video on the class Breathing Life Into Fossils, Thomas talks about paleoart.
A Rowan University faculty and student work in a blueberry field for research.
Blueberry fields forever … using math to predict crop yields for farmers, this video highlights hands-on student research.
A full half-circle rainbow over Engineering Hall at Rowan University.
Rainbows for dayssssss after summer storms behind Engineering Hall and Rowan Hall. (Notice the reflection creating a full-circle rainbow.)
A Rowan student wraps each of his arms around one parent and pulls them in for a hug.
How adorable is this family? We’re launching a parent portal with helpful info for new college parents, and a Rowan blog series just for parents and families.
A Rowan University student intern at NASA standing with his arms folded across his chest with the NASA building behind him.
It isn’t rocket science … until it is. Benjamin landed an internship with NASA and our team traveled to Washington, DC to put together this video on his experience. How cool is that?
Bunce Hall at Rowan University with the 100 banner in between each column to celebrate the university's centennial.
Celebrating Rowan’s centennial. Happy 100th birthday to us!

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Finishing His College Career Strong With a Summer BioChem Class

Jonathan stands outside his workplace with the Inspira logo behind him.

Today, we meet Jonathan Philip, a senior biological sciences major from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County), here to talk about his experience with taking summer classes at Rowan and how it’s been beneficial to him.   Jonathan enrolled in Intro to Biochemistry this summer at Rowan. As it relates to his experiences in the class, Jonathan […]

Accelerating Graduation and Building Stronger Connections Through Rowan’s Summer Classes

Richard Ricks touches a tree.

Today, we meet Richard Ricks, a senior biological sciences major on a pre-vet track, from Burlington, NJ (Burlington County), here to talk about his experience with taking summer classes at Rowan and how it’s been beneficial to him.   This summer Richard completed Organic Chemistry, Physics II, (both online) and Plant Diversity (in person) summer […]

Maximizing Summer: Interning at Campbell’s Soup Company and Taking Summer Classes at Rowan University

Landon stands in front of Bunce, decorated with the 100 year banner.

A glimpse into hands-on learning for a finance and management information systems major Landon Nicholson, a senior double major in management information systems and finance from Mullica Hill, NJ (Gloucester County), gives some insight into his experience taking summer classes at Rowan and his summer internship at Campbell’s Soup Company. Landon wrapped up two online […]

Summer Classes: Adam Amaefuna Taking On 3 Engineering Entrepreneurship Courses

Adam smiles looking off to the side.

Ever since he was young, Adam has been fascinated with building things and how they work, which led him into the engineering field. The entrepreneurship side was modeled for him within his family. Adam enjoys communicating and business as a whole, so he felt like it was perfect to pursue this degree. This summer session, […]