#PROFspective: Communications Studies Major
Hamish James Silva

students in True Color club meeting

Today we speak with Hamish James Silva, a junior communications studies major from Hammonton, Atlantic County, who lives off campus with friends. He 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. 

Name: Hamish James Silvastudent portrait
Major: Communications Studies in the College of Communication and Creative Arts
Minors or concentrations: Women and Gender Studies
Year: Junior

Hometown and County: Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County)

Commuter: Yes

Off-Campus resident: Yes, I live two streets away from Rowan with some friends.

Academic clubs: Peer Referral and Orientation Services (PROS) Member and in Chi Alpha Epsilon honor society

Athletic club: I am not in Women’s Ice Hockey but I do go to every game I can.

Social clubs: I’m a head coordinator for True Colors and co-coordinator of Queer for the Holidays, both a part of the LGBTQIA+ Resource Center within the Office of Social Justice, Inclusion & Conflict Resolution, and I’m also a member of the American Sign Language club and Lyrical Alliance.

Do you work on campus? If so, where/what do you do? I am a PROS Member where I just got promoted to Orientation Assistant. I also intern at the Academic Success Center

Do you have an off-campus job? If so, where/what do you do? I work for Oakley selling luxury sunglasses. 

Why did you choose your major? I actually wanted to be a vocal music teacher. It was my dream for years and years but I’m transgender and with my medication, my voice changed pretty drastically and I would have been dropped since I can’t sing anymore so I had to change. When I was in the advising office she was listing off majors and I just said “Sure that one” to something I didn’t even really hear and it happened to be something I turned out to really like.

One reason why you chose Rowan? My family lives close and (even though I studied abroad) I wanted to be close to them.

student in LGBTQ office

My Typical Day as a Rowan Student

Mondays are normally the worst. The Worst. However, this semester they’ve been pretty cool. I wake up around 6:30 a.m. to make myself breakfast and coffee (and try not to set off the fire alarm again). My housemate Becca and I carpool over to campus since it’s better for the environment and it saves gas.

Since her class starts at 8 a.m. and my internship starts at 8:30a.m. I often read to fill the gap. At the moment I’m reading “Welcome To Nightvale” and I recommend this book if you are into the podcast or if you like Area 51 utopias. My internship focuses on students who want to go into higher education and if all goes according to plan I will either be a PROS Member for the rest of my life or a study abroad advisor since my time abroad was beyond amazing. The internship is in the Academic Success Center, where you go if you are in need of basic skills testing or need disabilities resources and it houses the Office of Veterans Affairs. Today was kind of an interesting day. Someone came into the office and our secretary had a hard time communicating with him since he was verbally impaired and the conversation evolved into them just passing notes back and forth … until I remembered I know some sign language, which one would think isn’t something you forget but here I am.

student points at world map
Here’s where I studied abroad: Ireland!

During my break today I stopped by the study abroad office to drop off a gift to the main advisor, since her along with everyone else helped me get to Ireland. I got them laminated clovers from my university over there. I went to Maynooth University for a full semester and it honestly was life changing. I know that every time you talk to someone who goes abroad they all say the same 3 lines of “It broadened my horizons!” “I have a greater appreciation for my culture” or my favorite “Life changing!” But honestly going abroad was freaking awesome! If you were to tell me that I would one day go barefoot into an ice cold waterfall river, fall off a real life Hobbit, get a Star Trek tattoo, and cry at some cliffs, I would have said you have me mistaken for someone much cooler.

Now at 2 p.m. I have meetings for orientation planning with the Orientation and Studentstudent with pamphlet Leadership Programs office. I have been a peer referral and orientation staff (PROS) Member for three years now, but I recently was promoted to an orientation assistant so now I get to help plan every training, presentation, and orientation itself. That may not sound like a whole lot of fun but I actually want to do this as a career and my staff is amazing and so helpful.

After a busy meeting, I go for some lunch with my co worker Cristina to the Student Center and go over anything we weren’t too sure about in the meeting or rather talk about our time abroad. We both have gone to Europe abroad and three months of being away is three months worth of stories about getting lost, going on really REALLY bad dates, eating the world’s worst hot dogs, and the world’s okayest burgers.

My LGBT club True Colors meets at 7 p.m. so from now to then the club goes over any last minute plans or adjustments to the meeting’s activity. I actually live with 2 other of the coordinators for the club, Liz and M, so planning meetings are often just done over dinner and we communicate with Ashley, Justine and Erin through GroupMe until we meet for the meeting in person. There are 3 LGBT clubs on campus but True Colors focuses on the person first before the identity, and being a biracial, gay, transgender man being seen as a person isn’t all that common. We wanted a Safer Space that didn’t tokenize people based off their sexuality because unfortunately that is often the case in LGBT groups. So after our meeting the coordinators I live with all drive back together (again to save the environment/gas) to review the meeting to see if there is anything that needs to be adjusted over an episode of The Office or Parks and Rec.

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 and photography by:
Jen Green, senior public relations major