#PROFspective: History Major Jimmy Witkoski

Today we speak with Jimmy Witkoski, a senior history major who commutes from his Marlton, Burlington County, home. Jimmy will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how he’s getting the most out of his college experience as a Rowan Prof. 
Student headshot
Name: Jimmy Witkoski
Major: History within the College of Humanities & Social Sciences
Year: Senior
Housing: Off Campus

Hometown and County:
Marlton, Burlington County

Are you a transfer:
No, entered Rowan as a freshman.

Yes, I commute from Marlton. 

Academic or social clubs:
Member and senator for Canine Companions for Independence. We work to train, raise, and fundraise for future service dogs.

Do you have an off-campus job?
I am a member of the Army National Guard. The Army pays my tuition for college and pays a stipend to soldiers to help them with the cost of books or living expenses.

Why did you choose your major?
I chose my major because history has always been the subject that fascinates me. History gives you the ability to look and see what events that occurred in the past, and how they helped to shape the world we live in today. Another reason why I chose to research history is due to the fact that history repeats itself. By studying and researching events that occurred in the past, it could help the world from making the same mistakes, and possibly make the world a better place to live in.

One reason why you chose Rowan?
One reason why I chose to go to Rowan was that it was close to my home. I wanted to be able to live at home to save money and continue to do volunteer work in my hometown coaching the local high school hockey team. This is very important to me because I like being able to give back to the school that helped to prepare me for college as well as other pursuits in my life.

Student poses with his dog outside

My Typical Day as a Rowan Student:

A normal Tuesday for me begins when I wake up at 7:30 a.m. I like waking up early because it forces me to get up and not feel like I’m wasting any time lying around in bed. The first thing I do is go to the gym by my house for a few hours to work out and really wake up to be ready for the day. I usually get home from the gym around 10 a.m. and I will do any remaining homework that I have to finish for that day’s classes.

I prepare to leave for class around 11:15 a.m. One very unique thing that I do as a get ready to leave is to get my service dog in training, Augie, ready to come with me as well. He comes with me most days since training him at school is great because he learns how to deal with distractions, and sit in a classroom and not be a distraction to other people.

My ride to Rowan usually take me about 30 minutes every day, depending on the traffic. Once I get to school, I usually have some free time before I get to class. To relax before class, I tend to walk around and talk with some friends who I see around the campus. This walking around is also nice because it helps to tire out Augie and allows him to get some of his energy out before a long day of classes.

My first class on Tuesday’s starts at 12:30 p.m. and it is Islamic civilization. It is one of my core classes for my history major and I find the class very interesting because it allows people to learn about Islam as both a religion and a social structure. In today’s world, people are fearful of Islam because they are unsure about the religion and what it teaches. Being part of this class does justice to the religion of Islam as well as those who truly follow the religion because the professor does an outstanding job explaining the intimate details of the religion and shows the religion in a positive light.

After that class gets done at 1:45 p.m., I will usuStudent enjoys time inside with dog ally go to the Student Center to talk to some friends, or meet with the advisor for the Canine Companions Club. This time is very relaxing because I don’t feel as if I have to do any school work and I get to talk with people about how their day is going. While I am at the Student Center, I also usually like to go to Jersey Mike’s and grab some food from there. While I eat my lunch, I will feed Augie as well to keep his eyes from following my every move as I eat. If I don’t he tends to beg for my food as well.

My second class on Tuesdays is Contemporary Math, which starts at 5:00 p.m. This class is one of my general education classes that I still have to complete to graduate in May. The class itself is rather easy, and I like that my professor knows that no one in the class is a math major, so he makes it simple enough for most students who apply themselves to be able to do well. Directly after this class, it’s a simple walk just up two flights of steps for my last class of the day from 6:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. This class is Intro. to Mapping, and it is a class that I took because it is very far from my comfort zone. The class itself is a free elective, but it is very interesting to me because not a lot of people take the class or know much about mapping or geography.

Meeting for the Canine Companions My last activity on Tuesdays is to go to a meeting for Canine Companions for Independence at 9:30 p.m. The meetings are in the libraries, and they are very entertaining because it is the one time a week when I can see an entire group of people who are just as interested in training service dogs and possibly helping people who are disabled as me. This group is amazing because it shows me just how many people are interested in helping people who need assistance in their everyday lives. This new club has grown beyond my wildest expectations from when it began last March. Out of everything that I have done and been a part of at Rowan University, this club and the chance that I get to personally train Augie is what I am most proud of.

We are #RowanPROUD and we are Rowan Profs! Not exactly sure what a Prof is? It’s our owl mascot, Whoo RU. Read about him here

Story organized by: Jen Green