#PROFspective: Civil Engineering Major Sidney McLeod-Whitener

Sidney in track pose outside the track field at Rowan

Today, we speak with Sidney McLeod-Whitener, a freshman civil engineering major from Philadelphia (Philadelphia County), PA, who lives on campus in Holly Pointe. Sidney 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.

Name: Sidney McLeod-WhitenerSidney inside College of Engineering building at Rowan
Major: Civil Engineering at the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering
Year: Freshman
Hometown and County: Philadelphia, PA 
On Campus Resident: Yes, Holly Pointe Commons
Academic clubs: National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
Athletic clubs: Track & Field team; sprinter and jumper
Social clubs: Women of Color Collective
Do you have an off-campus job? Yes, during the breaks I work at Duck Donuts in King of Prussia

Why did you choose your major? I chose civil engineering because I’m very creative and like to be hands-on when solving problems. I’ve always been good at math and science so I thought engineering would be a good fit for me. Being able to create something that other people will use in their daily lives is really rewarding and exciting to me.
Sidney in a lab inside the Henry Rowan College of Engineering building at Rowan
Reason why you chose Rowan? I chose Rowan because of the great engineering and track programs that it has to offer. It’s not too far away from home but far enough where I feel like I can have some independence. When I toured I enjoyed seeing the diverse group of students that Rowan has and also the amount of support that is offered around campus.

My Typical Day as a Rowan Student: There is never usually a weekday where I don’t feel like I’m busy. I have class every day of the week but my schedule varies slightly day to day. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I start my day by grabbing a quick breakfast in Holly Pointe cafe and then I make my way to my class that starts at 9:30. I have two back to back classes that are finished by 12:15 at which point I can go back to my room and take a quick nap, sit down to eat lunch in the Marketplace, or both if I’m lucky.Sidney outside on track at Rowan in Glassboro, NJ

After that I have one more class right before I have to go to practice. Practice begins every day at 3:30 and typically lasts about 2 hours. We begin practice by warming up with a few laps around the track, doing drills, and stretching. After that we get started on the workout which is given by our coach. The workouts change daily especially since I’m a sprinter and jumper. One day I could be doing run throughs and focusing on my starts, the next it could be an endurance workout to build strength, or a speed workout that focuses on having quick turnover.

Sidney in her #ROWANproud shirt at the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering building sign outside

Once or twice a week I’ll go to the gym and lift after practice with a few of my teammates. Every other Monday night after practice I go to the Women of Color Collective in Hawthorne Hall. On Thursday my day is about the same except I start a little earlier with an 8:00 a.m. class. On Fridays I only have one class at 11:00 a.m. but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a busy day. After class I usually must hurry and grab my stuff to get on the bus for a track meet or I may have go to one of my professor’s office hours. If I don’t have a meet to go to, you can usually find me on Friday’s at 2:00 either at a NSBE club meeting or another engineering club meeting.

Sidney outside engineering building at Rowan University When I’m not at a track meet on Saturdays I usually spend most of that time hanging out with friends or watching shows on TV, and carving out some time to study or work on a project. My Sundays are typically spent on finishing any work that is due for Monday and getting a head start on any upcoming assignments that I have due throughout the week. So, as you might see my schedule is fairly busy with engineering classes and track but the experiences that I’m having and the memories I’m making make it all worthwhile.

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Related stories:
Sidney, Video Tour Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering at Rowan University [Video]
#PROFspective: Biomedical Engineering Major Shanna Davidson
Carlo’s Day at Rowan University [Video]

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