#PROFspective: Junior Physics Major Reinaldo Vázquez Jr.

Today we feature Reinaldo Vázquez Jr., a junior Physics major and Mathematics minor from Paulsboro, NJ (Gloucester County) who has an off-campus rental. 

What clubs are you a part of on campus? I am the Vice President/Treasurer of Queer People of Color (QPOC).

Reinaldo with the Queer People of Color club.Tell us about one club, organization, or group of friends that make you feel like Rowan is home. Queer People of Color, or QPOC, is a multicultural and LGBTQ+ support group on campus. I spent the last two semesters as Treasurer and Vice President with the goal of making QPOC a diverse community free of ignorance and judgment. I know every meeting that all of our members are going to feel safe expressing themselves and speaking what’s on their minds.

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you? When I came to Rowan almost two years ago, I was with a different major. I worked in the department, but it wasn’t a good fit for me. I felt disconnected and isolated, and I carried that feeling with me for my entire first semester anytime I entered the building. It wasn’t until I met my best friend, partner, and the President-to-be of QPOC, Jahnaya, at the start of the spring semester that I started to feel welcome at Rowan. Naya helped create an environment where I could feel comfortable, and proud, of who I am and does the same for everyone she meets.

Reinaldo at a Queer People of Color event.
Jahnaya and Reinaldo hosting a bake sale table for QPOC at the Student Center

What’s your favorite thing about your typical Monday at Rowan? QPOC meetings were always the best way to unwind at the end of a long day. Since the meetings were on my “off day,” I would do homework all day and then spend a couple of hours catching up with everyone else.

Reinaldo in nature.What is one thing about Rowan that was a happy surprise for you? As a native of South Jersey, I had the opportunity to see Rowan University as it grew over the years. I can remember when the Nexus Apartments were home to Glassboro residents and Holly Pointe Commons and Rowan Boulevard were still just expansion plans for a small-town college. I came to Rowan primarily out of convenience but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is still growing every year, both in students and new projects like the one happening right now on 322. And despite this rapid growth, Rowan has managed to keep students closely engaged with campus life.

Describe for us an experience you’ve shared with a professor or staff member in which you felt like they truly cared about your wellbeing. My Physics professor Dr. Carol Guess is hands-down my favorite professor thus far. Whenever I needed help, whether it was for her class or just guidance during a difficult time, her office door was open. When I wanted to change my major from Engineering, it was thanks to her help in class that I knew Physics would be a better fit for me, and it was thanks to her guidance outside of class that I was able to make the change.

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Story by:
Rachel Rumsby, freshman communication studies and public relations double major