#PROFspective: Health & Exercise Science Major Nikayla Pascual

Nikki stationed with physical therapy equipment

Today, we speak with Nikayla Pascual, a senior health and exercise science major from Cranford (Union County), NJ, who lives on campus in 220 Rowan Boulevard. Nikki will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.

Nikki pictured outside the Rowan University Student Rec CenterName: Nikayla Pascual
Major: Health and Exercise Science
Minors: Health Promotion and Wellness Management
Year: Senior
Hometown and County: Cranford, NJ (Union County)
On Campus Resident: On Campus in 220 Rowan Blvd
Social clubs: I am a founding member of the Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority where I serve as Vice President of Operations.

Do you work on campus? I have two jobs on campus, my first job, is at the Rowan Recreation Center as a Zumba Instructor. I started working there since my spring semester of my sophomore year. I decided to become a Zumba instructor because during my freshman year I went to all the Zumba classes offered at the Rec while taking the classes I love the energy that comes with group fitness. So, I decided to get my certification.

Nikki in her sorority tee shirt holding up their sign The second job I have on campus is through the Student University Programmers (SUP) under the Chamberlain Student Center and Campus Activities. I have been a committee member of SUP since freshman year and was awarded the Off-Campus Committee Member of the Year. This pushed me to apply to become part of the SUP Executive Board as the Director of Off-Campus Events. In this position, that I have been in for two years, I am in charge of planning and coordinating 10 to 13 off-campus trips per semester for the undergraduate students. Some trips include Six Flags, Broadway Shows, Washington D.C, professional sporting events, and movie premieres.

Why did you choose your major? I chose my major because during my sophomore year of high school, I tore my ACL playing soccer. I got surgery and went through recovery at the physical therapy office. Once I recovered, I worked at the physical therapy office and being exposed to that environment of helping people wanted me to purse a health major.

Nikki in the Rowan University student center wearing her Student University Programmers hoodie

One reason why you chose Rowan? I chose Rowan because it was the perfect distance from my hometown. It was far enough that I am able to live on campus, however, close enough so that if I wanted to go home for the weekend I can easily get home to see my family.

Typical Day as a Rowan Student: I am a relatively busy Rowan student because of my involvement in many areas on campus. I typically only have one or two classes per day, and then spend the rest of my time in the Student Center.

My week usually starts with office hours for SUP- Student University Programmers. I am normally slow with getting up in the morning so I make my way to Student Center around noon. In hours, I am busy contacting the places we are doing trip for, bus companies and the student leaders for the trip. After these hours, I have a big break until my 8pm Practicum in Health Promotion and Wellness Management class at night.

Nikki at the School of Health Professions sign at Rowan University

Before class, I usually go to the Rec Center or the Fitness Center and put a workout in or try to catch up on my homework for the week to come. On Tuesdays, I spend my time working on class and schoolwork. At 2 pm, I am in my most interesting class of the week, Exercise Prescription. Once again after class you can find me working out or heading home to relax before another 8 pm night class, Exercise for Special Populations.  

Rowan University student Nikki pictured at brick wall

The next day I find myself once again doing office hours at noon until 3 pm. This is the only thing I have planned for the day so after I am done with office hours, I use Wednesday’s to relax, do some cleaning around my 220 apartment or catch up on my favorite TV shows. Some of the shows I enjoy are American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, and Bob’s Burgers.

Thursdays are my busiest days of the week. I usually try to sleep in until my 2 pm class. After class, I go back to the Student Center to have my Off-Campus Committee Meeting where we discuss the previous trips and I get volunteers for ticket sales. Then, I head to the Rec Center so I can teach my 45 minute Zumba class. On average, I usually 8 to 14 people attending the class, it is very high energy and so much fun.

Once I am done with my Zumba class I rush over to the Library for my Alpha Sigma Tau Executive Committee Meeting. Since I serve as the Vice President of Operation for my sorority it is my job to make sure the meeting runs smoothly by taking minutes and making sure we do not get off track. At the end of the meeting, around 9:30 pm or 10 pm, my day it finally over so I head home to hang out with my friends.Nikki inside the School of Health Professionals building at Rowan University

Fridays are my earliest days of the week, I once again make my way to the Student Center for a 9:00 am SUP Executive Board Meeting. Right after the meeting, I prepare for our Alpha Sigma Tau Weekly Chapter Business Meetings by making up the agenda and making it available to the organization.  My only class for Friday is at 12:30 pm, called Lab Personal Training Techniques; once I am done with class I am running back to the Student Center to take lead on ticket sales for the Off-Campus Trips. Ticket Sales usually run every Friday from 11:30 am-2:30 pm, students wait in line to buy tickets until 2 pm when they are available for purchase from the Student Center Information Desk. I do my last hours of office hours for the week where I send e-mails to student going on the Off-Campus for the weekend as well as prepare for next week’s trips.

Nikki teaching zumba in the Rec Center at Rowan University

During the weekend is when I slow down. Saturdays I just try to catch up on more school that I missed, as well as hang out with all my friends. My weekends with an Alpha Sigma Tau Weekly Chapter Business Meeting on Sunday as well as a little more homework and preparations for the next week to come.  

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Story organized and photography by:
Vanessa Vause, junior public relations major and advertising minor