#PROFspective: English & Writing Arts Major Rachel Barton

Rachel outside Barnes and Nobles sitting on bench with her books and Her Campus pennant

Today, we speak with Rachel Barton, a senior English and Writing Arts double major from Camden County who lives off campus in a house with friends. Rachel 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: Rachel Barton Rachel arms crossed outside Barnes and Nobles sign on campus
Majors: English, Writing Arts
Minors or Concentrations: Women’s & Gender Studies, Creative Writing (Minors), New Media & Publishing, Honors (concentrations)
Year: Senior
Hometown and County: I moved around a lot, so I’m not sure what counts as my hometown. I’ve actually been to eleven different schools. I’m definitely from Camden County though. I graduated from Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Off campus resident: I lived on campus freshman and sophomore year (Evergreen Hall, Whitney Center), but my friends and I moved off-campus for junior and senior year.
First generation college student: Yes.

Academic clubs: Avant Literary Magazine, senior editor … I’ve been a part of Avant since my freshman year. I’ve been senior editor now for two years now. In Avant’s weekly meetings, we review anonymous submissions and elect to submit or resubmit each piece. We don’t reject pieces, but rather provide a bundle of feedback and suggestions to help the writer improve not only the piece, but also their writing as a whole. 

Rachel in #ROWANproud shirt holding Her Campus pennant outside High St buildingHer Campus Rowan: President/EIC

I started writing for Her Campus  (HC) as a freshman. Here at Rowan we have an installment of Her Campus, a national online magazine for college-aged women. Although I entered Rowan leaning heavily toward creative writing, HC (along with the Writing Arts department) helped me branch out and recognize the pleasure of writing reportage and blogs. As a junior, I became the president/EIC. I maintain contact with HC headquarters and organize our postings each week. Since I’m graduating, we’ll be looking for people to replace myself and other writers on the team. 

Do you work on campus? Rowan Admissions Ambassador, Writing Center Tutor, Writing Arts department internRachel in jean jacket in front of brick background holding Avant literary magazine

Share an “a ha!” moment you’ve had within your major that made you feel passionate about your intended field.

I think I’ve had less of an “a ha!” moment and more of a growing glow. Generally, this glow has grown through my internships. Because I love all of the classes Rowan has to offer, I try to do internships over the summer and usually without credit. Each one has shown me a different area of writing and publishing; they show me all the different ways I could do what I love. I’ve interned at publishing houses, literary magazines, online publications, and multicultural nonprofits. My favorite would have to be this past summer when I interned at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. While living in DC, I did research, wrote, and edited various materials leading up to their annual Folklife Festival. The two weeks of the Festival specifically were incredible. While sweating while I was on the National Mall, I met and interviewed people from all over the world focusing on people from Armenia, Catalonia, and African nations–places that were featured in the program. Each night, I went home covered in dust and so utterly thrilled with my day. My time at the Smithsonian showed me a way that I could combine my writing and editing skills with my passion for learning and culture.

Rachel sitting on bench outside on the Rowan Blvd. with her booksDescribe for us an experience you’ve shared with a professor in which you felt like you were working with a visionary in your field.

Although all of my professors have shared their insight and experience, I would have to say I’ve most experienced this with Megan Atwood. Megan has worked in publishing for almost two decades and has published an incredible number of her own books. At Rowan, she’s leading the efforts to launch a nonprofit publishing house to ultimately be led by students. She commands a resource of knowledge about the industry as well as story-telling in general.

Why did you choose Rowan?

I actually answer this question more than you might think. As a tour guide here, I get asked why I chose Rowan almost every tour. I tell the same story each time. My cousin Ben is four years older than I am. When I graduated high school, he graduated from Rowan. Since he went here, I was on campus a bit and already had a feel for the energy here. When Ben first showed up, his roommate didn’t. He was so excited to be in a single, but a single wasn’t a good fit for him. One day, someone knocked on his door and invited him to lunch. They got lunch that day and every day after that. They also became roommates for the rest of their time at Rowan and even moved in together after graduation. I guess what I saw there is, even in the worst case scenario, you can still make lifelong friends at Rowan. You can still find your people, or they find you. I don’t think he likes when I tell that story, but it’s true.
Rachel sitting on block at Town Square in Glassboro holding her books

What’s your favorite thing about your typical Monday at Rowan? 

My Mondays on campus are incredibly busy. I have classes at 8, 11, and 5. Then, I have meetings at 9:30 and 6:30 as well as work from 12:30 to 4:30. My favorite thing about Monday, as I’m bustling around talking to students and faculty, is walking from place to place. I know it sounds weird, but I feel most “in college” when I’m moving around campus. As I walk between Evergreen Hall and the Hollybush Mansion, I’m surrounded by trees, fall air, and Rowan’s history. It makes me feel like I’m part of something. It reminds me of the students that were here before as well as all the students that will attend after I’m long gone. I think Rowan quite intentionally incorporates alumni and history into our everyday going ons.

On your busiest day, what academic, non-academic and social responsibilities are you juggling?

Rachel leaning on college of communications and creative arts sign outside High St on campus This semester has been my busiest so far. I took 18 credits, courses that combined my English major, Writing Arts major, and Women & Gender studies minor. I also worked three jobs: Admission Ambassador, Rowan Writing Arts department intern, and Writing Center tutor. I’m also in charge of Her Campus at Rowan and senior editor of Avant. On top of all that, I applied to 12 grad schools and a few scholarships/fellowships. Other than those responsibilities, I also have a network of friends both at Rowan and at home, my family connections to maintain, and a partner to communicate with.

Like what you see? Come visit us!


Photography by: Vanessa Vause,
senior public relations, advertising and theatre major