Beyond the Classroom: A Leader in Rowan’s First-Year Connection Program

First-Year Volunteer Connection student leader Rose Dickmann (center, in green) helps out at the St. Bernard's disaster relief project.

Meet Rose Dickmann from Mount Laurel, NJ (Burlington County), a transfer student from Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) who is majoring in Supply Chain and Logistics at the Rohrer College of Business. Rose was a student leader for this year’s Rowan’s First-Year Connection: Volunteerism Program. Today she will share with us her experience in the program and what she’s learned from being a student leader.

First-Year Volunteer Connection student leader Rose Dickmann looks on during her summer volunteer experience. Every year entering students (freshmen and transfers) who have registered for the program arrive early on-campus for the Fall semester and participate in group activities run by Rowan’s staff members and upper-class student leaders.

In 2018, Rose decided to join the Rowan’s First-Year Connection Program to meet new people. She had just transferred from RCBC and saw that the program was an excellent way not only to meet new people, but to help in the community. “That’s one reason I was attracted to the program, because it was something different and interesting,” she said.

Rose had a great time last year as one of the participants in the program and she decided to return this year, but as a student leader. “I loved the program so much last year, that I wanted to make it a good time for this year’s new students,” Rose said.

First-Year Volunteer Connection student leader Rose Dickmann helps out at the St. Bernard's disaster relief project. This year there were four student leaders and they all had to work together in planning different types of activities for the participants to do during their free time. “We put together a scavenger hunt and some games,” she said.

The leaders had responsibilities to accomplish throughout the one-week program, like coordinating trips and arranging breakfast and dinner in between their service projects.

Some of the service projects that the student leaders and participants got a chance to volunteer at this year were: Food Bank of South Jersey, Saint Bernard’s Project for disaster relief, Little Owls Preschool at Rowan, Salem County Humane Society and the Ronald McDonald House Southern New Jersey. 

The Little Owls project was one of Rose’s favorite places to volunteer. The Rowan Preschool is in James Hall. “We went in and cleaned their two classrooms. We helped them out with their deep clean day. Once we finished just about everything was all ready for them,” she said. 

For Rose, being one of the student leaders for Rowan’s First-Year Connection Program is important. “To me personally it’s an opportunity to make students feel welcome on campus and to encourage them to get involved in volunteerism, to get involved just in general on campus and to make sure their transition to college is as smooth as it can be,” she said

First-Year Volunteer Connection student leader Rose Dickmann helps out at the St. Bernard's disaster relief project. Being a student leader has taught Rose to work along with other fellow leaders, bounce off ideas from one another and how to make plans in a group where everyone agrees.

“I really loved getting to know my fellow leaders more and getting to know the participants,” Rose said.

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Story by:
Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major