New Year, New You!

We are getting closer to the new year. It’s pretty exciting and unbelievable how time flies. Here are ideas worth trying in 2022. 

Someone preparing to lift weights.
Gym

Yes, the basic goal of all time! Try working out consistently. The results are more than just physical appearance, it improves health conditions and also plays a big role in mental health as it may decrease anxiety and boost confidence. Take at least three days of the week to work out. It doesn’t necessarily have to be at the gym; exercising from home is also effective.

A stock image of two people holding passports.
Travel

If you’re an adventurous person, you probably already do this. Traveling is one of the greatest ways to learn about different environments and possibly learning more about yourself. It could also open new opportunities and relationships for you. Whether you choose to travel in states or overseas, use that moment to expand your knowledge, relax and have fun.

A stock image of a person calculating and budgeting.
Budget

Very ironic to mention traveling just to bring up budgeting afterwards. Well, maybe you have important things coming up that require a lot of funds, or you may have big purchases in mind. Take this time to save up if you haven’t started already. It’s challenging to budget and spend at the same time, but when you finally get what you always wanted, you feel so accomplished and grateful.

A stock image of a person at the top of a mountain's observation point.
Try new things

Take this new year as the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. Do things you’ve never done before — maybe skydive, try new restaurants, build new friendships, move to a new place, get a new job, launch your own business, meditate, go camping, attend grad school, go to a concert and so much more to do. Getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to respond to unexpected things.

A graphic of a detailed vision board.
Vision board

Maybe you’re passionate about many goals you want to accomplish in 2022. Make a vision board of those goals and go after each of them. It keeps you motivated and sets you for things to look forward to. If you want to challenge yourself, set a deadline date for each goal and observe how ambitious you truly are.

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Story by:
Nene Diallo, senior public relations major

Photos courtesy of:
Pexels

The Rowan Blog Team’s Favorite Posts of 2021

Drone shot over Wackar Stadium at sunset.

This year, Rowan Blog published more than 500 posts spotlighting the people and places that make Rowan University our home away from home. Here, members of our team revisit a few of these stories and select those that stayed with us as we bid farewell to 2021. 

Jars of Beekeeping Club honey packaged for sale.

Rowan Beekeeping Club Launches: A Q & A with President Michael Hoban

Read the full story here

“I loved learning about the Beekeeping Club by Michael. He was so passionate about this club and saving the bees. He informed me on so much information about bee pollination and extracting the honey. I was never educated on this information prior to interviewing him.” – Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major


Nicole smiles in the fiction stacks of Rowan Barnes and Noble.

Finding My Path and Passion with an English Degree

Read the full story here

“I believe [Nicole] shows that although she was not sure about what to do with her major at first, she ended up finding a job she loves and enjoys. I personally love this quote: ‘Here was a career path that let me balance my desire to help others with the analytical skills I’d developed as an English major.’” – Valentina Giannattasio, first year dance and marketing double major


Ayanna smiles at the New York City Pride Parade.

Ayanna Johnson Reflects on New York City Pride Parade

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“I love Ayanna — amazing personality, very vocal!” – Nene Diallo, senior public relations major


One of the pieces of artwork sold by Taylor at the Philadelphia Art Show.

Studio Art Majors Taylor Brown and Abby Leitinger Featured in Philadelphia Art Show

Read the full story here

“I thought this piece was so interesting. I loved learning about these two artists on the rise and the differences they hold while creating their pieces. It was interesting to see the art they produced and how they use different mediums.” – Natalie DePersia


Sarah and Madeline McClure hug at the Rowan Prof statue.

Sisters on SGA: Madeline and Sarah McClure

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“I was really happy with the way my photographs turned out, and I especially loved getting to meet and know Sarah and Madeline McClure. They were the absolute sweetest and such a joy to work with!” – Missy Pavorsky, junior advertising major


Victoria kisses her son Rowen on Rowan Boulevard.

Meet Transfer Profs: 3+1 Psychology Student and Mother Victoria Hable

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“Victoria’s story is an impactful one. Any story of a person being a parent and going to college is amazing, and I’m proud of all of them. However, Victoria’s story shows that even if there is an unexpected change during your college career, Rowan will help you get to the finish line.” – Rachel Rumsby, junior communication studies and public relations double major


Dr. Santos smiles inside Business Hall.

Faculty PROFile: Journey into the Entrepreneurial Mindset with Dr. Susana C. Santos, Rohrer College of Business

Read the full story here

“I first learned of Dr. Santos when she won the Excellence in Online Learning award from Rowan Global Learning and Partnerships (she has since won this award again, the first faculty member to do so). I was really impressed with the creativity and care she imbues into her instruction, especially when she couldn’t interact with students face-to-face. We also share a mutual love of the ‘How I Built This’ podcast, which Dr. Santos uses in her coursework.” – Christina Lynn, digital content strategist


A photo of Chloe as she graduated from Rowan at the Prof statue.

Rowan Abroad: Recent Graduate, Chloe Senatore, Talks Acceptance into Trinity College in Dublin

Read the full story here

“It showcases how amazing the Rowan English Department by highlighting the accomplishments of one of its students.” – Bianca Gray, senior English major

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Header photo: One of our favorite campus photos of the year, taken at sunset in Sept. 2021

#PROFspective: Senior Communications Studies Major Jack Maisonneuve

Jack works on his laptop computer.

Today we feature Jack Maisonneuve, a senior Communications Studies major from Asbury Park, NJ (Monmouth County). Jack is a photographer for Rowan Blog and speaks with us today about his love for photography and his experience within his major.

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major because I figured it would be broad enough where I could continue pursuing my photography career, while also exploring other aspects that I found interesting that Rowan had to offer.

Tell us about one moment that made you feel like Rowan was the right fit for you.

When I joined my club that I’ve been a part of for four years now (Rowan Alternative), it made me find crowds that I enjoyed being with, as well as help me find some of my lifelong friends.

Did you ever have a moment of uncertainty within your major? How did you get through the challenge?

I was uncertain that communications would be for me, and well actually I’m still pretty uncertain of it. But communications helped me find that I’m interested in aspects of research and communications in itself, and that’s what made me stick with it.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

Moving out! No, but getting to experience the professional world and finding my career.

Are you involved in any clubs/organizations on or off campus?

I’m involved in Rowan Alternative as well as being a founding consultant for Rowan Photo Club.

Jack playing the drums in his room.

How did you get into photography?

One of the classes I took here during my sophomore year! I had [Prof.] Jenny Drumgoole … for photos, and she inspired me to want to become a photographer.

If you could have a photoshoot with someone famous, who would it be and why?

Henry Rollins from Black Flag. He’s my number one hero; I aspire to be like him when I grow up. I think he’s a very worldly person, and he has a lot of interesting things to say.

Who or what inspires you to create? 

What inspires me to create and shoot are the people I get to work with, and my surroundings.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself working for a music magazine company of some sort, and getting to do what I love most, which is concert photography.

Jack smiling in front of a gray background.

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Story and photos by:
Missy Pavorsky, junior advertising major

Asian Cultural Association with Senator Mita Ray

Asian Cultural Association member Mita Ray sits outside Savitz Hall.

Today we introduce the Asian Cultural Association. We talk to junior Chemistry major Mita Ray, club senator, as she discusses what the Asian Cultural Association is, her personal responsibilities within the club, and what members do on a daily basis.

What is the Asian Cultural Association? What is the goal of this club?

The goal of this club is to basically promote Asian culture and diversity at Rowan University. This organization’s main purpose is to provide education and awareness of asian culture in hopes to form a better multicultural community. We encourage all individuals to be team members of this club and to learn about Asian culture!

We meet every Friday at 2-4 p.m. at the Business Hall in room 303, and anyone and everyone is welcome to attend.

Mita smiling while sitting on a boulder outside on campus.

What does your role as Senator of the Asian Cultural Association entail? 

My job is to outreach and spread awareness about our club. I also look to do collaborations with other culture clubs in hope to learn more about other areas around the world as well. 

ACA’s collaboration meeting with RUPAC (Rowan University Philippine-American Coalition) where members are making paper flowers called sampaguitas.
ACA’s collaboration meeting with RUPAC (Rowan University Philippine-American Coalition) where members are making paper flowers called sampaguitas.

What actions have you taken to promote awareness for your club? 

We are in the process of creating different flyers and posters for our club. We also are focusing on reviving the Asian Cultural Association Instagram so we can connect with current members and potential members through social media.

Mita sitting outside of Savitz Hall.

How do you work as a club to respond to Asian hate?

This is a topic we will cover in our event nights. We have history nights planned where we discuss past events and how these events affect the present. We also have nights where we discuss current events going on in the United States and around the world. As of right now, we are still thinking of different ways to educate our members on topics like Asian hate and ways to start conversations about Asian hate.  

ACA's Henna night where Mita is pictured on the right and Aarushi Gupta (e-board member) is on the left.
ACA’s Henna night where Mita is pictured on the right and Aarushi Gupta (e-board member) is on the left.

What are your goals and aspirations for the future for this club? 

Before this club, I did not feel fully seen as a member of the Asian community. I went to a diverse high school and I was comfortable around individuals with similar cultures. However, I feel as if it was more difficult for me here to connect to individuals that are the same culture.

I hope this club provides a safe space for members of the Asian culture to gather and simply have conversations. As for individuals who are not Asian, I hope they aspire to learn more about other cultures because I believe cultural generalization is a problem we face as a society. 

Mita poses next to a tree on campus.

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major 

Select photos provided by:
Mita Ray

M.A. in Criminal Justice Student Says it’s “Never Too Late” to Earn a Master’s Degree

Angela sits under a tree with Bunce Hall in the background.

Meet Rowan Blog guest contributor Angela Damiano, a student in the M.A. in Criminal Justice Online program through Rowan Global. After earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology, Angela set off into the workforce. Here, she shares her hesitation at going back to school, the differences she feels between being […]

My First Year as a Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Major

A Rowan SOM Vaccine Site

Meet De’Chyna King, a junior transfer student from Cumberland County who is double majoring in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and Law and Justice.

I’ve always liked humanitarian-type services and helping people. During high school I found myself in a lot of helping environments like working with the Red Cross. That was my first introduction to disaster preparedness, because I didn’t even know what the field was called.

De'Chyna poses for a portrait.It made me think, “What is that major anyway?” So I did my research and fell into it. This is such a new field that not many people know about it, but there’s so much opportunity.

When I came to Rowan I didn’t realize they were one of the only schools that teach this program in person. There’s such a variety of teachers on campus and after working with them and learning about what they do, I’ve realized this is really what I’m interested in. 

I want to help people and direct people through national disasters, whether it be through food drive, blood drives, relocating people or through more of a director role.

This is my first year at Rowan, and I’ve found that there are a lot of opportunities. Especially with COVID-19, there’s a lot of internships at Rowan’s mega-site.

De'Chyna stands in front of Westby Hall.This pandemic was a new experience. Nobody was prepared to know how to handle it — exactly what Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management majors do. As an intern you could be involved from directing people, assisting with checking cards, organizing lines, checking allergies, even working with the military. It was a great experience with all these professional people. Working with first responders was a lot to experience my first semester here.

All of my teachers are very hands on, as far as internships and involvement. Everything from internships and resumes to jobs after college. Especially on the East coast, there’s so many federal jobs with the White House and Homeland Security.

If you know you like helping people, not even in a direct way, this could be great option for you. Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness is such an umbrella of things. You can be working with logistics if you’re good with numbers. You can be working with directors for hands-on leadership skills. You can work with mapping, there’s geographical, there’s environmental sciences.

This such a broad major that you can apply yourself wherever — you’re never out of a job, and you’re always needed. So it’s something that everyone can enjoy if they find the right space for themselves.

If you do your own research and you enjoy logistics and humanitarianism, this is absolutely a great fit for you. This major is so broad that work-wise [it will] always be needed.

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Sisters on SGA: Sarah and Madeline McClure

Sarah and Madeline pose together in front of the owl statue.

Today we speak to Rowan siblings Sarah and Madeline McClure. Sarah McClure, the Executive Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA), is a senior International Studies and Political Science double major. Madeline McClure, the Assistant Vice President of Public Relations of the Student Government Association, is a junior Marketing major. They are from Rockaway, NJ (Morris County), and they live together in an on-campus apartment. Sarah and Madeline tell us about their positions in SGA and their experiences as being sisters at Rowan and in SGA together.

Madeline and Sarah pose together at a white table.
Madeline, left, and Sarah, right.

Can you tell me a bit about your positions in SGA?

Sarah: I am the Executive Vice President of SGA. I am in charge of club development. That means I oversee all the about 170 clubs on campus, as well as field new clubs.

Madeline: I am the Assistant Vice President of Public Relations. I run all of SGA’s social media. I focus on Instagram the most. I make any promotional materials, and I write press releases. In the spring, I will run Back to the Boro, which is a community service event where we give back to the residents of Glassboro. My job is to make sure that people view SGA in a positive way. 

Why did both of you choose to go to Rowan?

Sarah: All of our cousins are much older. The youngest is about seven years older than me. When I was touring schools, one of them told me not to look at Rowan because it was just a bunch of buildings in the middle of nowhere. When she looked at Rowan, many of the buildings that are here now weren’t. But, I came, and I toured anyway because one of our mom’s coworkers works in admissions and she recommended I tour. So, we toured, we spoke to someone in admissions, and I just had a great feeling about Rowan. I went to an accepted student’s day, and I heard Richard Jones speak, who was the Dean of Students at the time. He spoke about the community here and how all the professors really care about their students, and that resonated with me in a way that no other college had. 

Madeline: I had never heard of Rowan until Sarah began her college search. When we toured for Sarah, I immediately loved the campus and was interested in Rowan. However, when Sarah applied, I didn’t want to come here anymore because I didn’t want to go to college with my sister. But, I ended up here anyway. Now, we live in an apartment together, and we’re on SGA together. 

Another big part of us both choosing Rowan was the financial aspect. We both wanted to make a good financial choice with our education. We both wanted in-state tuition, and there is a scholarship you can apply for if you have a family member that also goes here.

Madeline and Sarah talk outside the SGA office in the Student Center.

What’s it like being on SGA together?

Madeline: Sarah is actually the reason I ran for this position in SGA. My whole idea of SGA, before I started, revolved around Sarah’s involvement in SGA. It’s amazing to be a part of SGA and be in this position. But, working with Sarah, she’s just another member of the board. Well, she’s so important, and I think she’s a genius, but it doesn’t feel like I’m working with my sister. I’m glad I get to experience this with her. 

But being on SGA is really fun, but it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot more work than I initially expected. It’s very rewarding when you finish the work, especially because I didn’t think I could handle all of it.

Sarah: Like Madeline said, it’s less like working with my sister, and more like a team member relationship with the added background of knowing each other for 20 years. Since I was involved in SGA last year too, sometimes people come up to me and ask me if Madeline is my sister. I was worried in the beginning that Madeline might feel out of place, but she proved to me quickly that I didn’t need to feel that way. She fit right in. She’s doing a great job. I’m proud of her.

Sarah and Madeline hug outside Robinson Hall.

How has going to college with your sister affected your college experience?

Madeline: When I first started at Rowan, I wasn’t looking for a super involved college experience. I was expecting to get the degree, and that’s all. But, being here with Sarah has pushed me to be more involved, be a better student, and achieve so much more than I thought I would. Sarah is so smart and takes so much on her plate. I never would have joined something like SGA if I weren’t here with Sarah. It would have gone so differently if we had gone to different schools.

Sarah: To add to that, it’s just nice to have someone who knows me on campus. I try my best, but in doing so much on campus, it can be hard to maintain a steady social life. To be able to go back to the apartment and have my sister there to crack jokes and hang out with is special. It makes it feel more like home in the apartment. 

Madeline and Sarah pose in front of the SGA bulletin board in the Student Center.

Do you have any advice for incoming students who are hesitant about going to college with their sibling?

Madeline: I was definitely hesitant at first. As kids and teenagers, we had a lot of arguments. I was worried about that continuing if we went to college together, but in a short period of time you mature and you realize you aren’t so different and you have the same goals. Even if we get into little arguments in the apartment, we forget about it the next day. 

Also, there’s no rule that you have to live together like Sarah and I. For the first two years I was here, Sarah and I barely saw each other. The campus can be so big. You do not have to be intertwined at all. Being at college with your sibling doesn’t have to define your experience.

Sarah: To go off of that, Madeline and I are in two different majors and two different years. I maybe saw Madeline walking down the street once or twice and waved, but that’s all. It’s like going to the same college as someone random in your high school. You aren’t going to see them all the time, especially if you are taking different classes and are involved in different things. I used to get so excited to see her and walk past her, since we didn’t see each other that much. While you’re looking for independence, it’s nice to have someone to come to or fall back on, and it’s someone who has known you your entire life. I can be goofy with her like nobody else. I never expected to have this good of an experience with my sister. We were different as kids and teens, but now we are adults and we are much closer.

For anyone who is contemplating going to the same school as their sibling, give it a chance. Think about how you feel about the campus, if you like the program, and if you feel the school is a good fit for you. Don’t let the fact that you may already have a sibling going to that school influence your decision. Chances are, your sibling probably won’t play much of a factor in your experience while you are there. 

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

Photos by:
Missy Pavorsky, junior advertising major 

Student by Day, “Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins” by Night

Nick Flagg as Buddy the Elf in Elf the Musical.

Nick Flagg is a senior double major studying both Advertising and Theatre, concentrating in Theatre Education, Acting/Directing and Musical Theatre. After his undergraduate graduation in the spring of 2022, he will continue as a Rowan CADP student working toward a Master of Science degree in Theatre Education. Nick will be certified to teach K-12 theatre in May 2023. In addition to being a student, he looks to engage his surrounding communities as a working actor, director and teaching artist with several theatre companies across South Jersey.

Balancing work and class as a college student is never something that comes easy. But really, when does anything rewarding come easy?

I find that the way to make it all happen is by staying focused on the positive. I adopted this mindset my sophomore year in Acting I, taught by Michael Dean Morgan. He encouraged us to approach scene work with the intention of progressing what we want to happen next. He said we should look to build off of our scene partners and work with them, never against them.

After a while, I started to realize how this should translate to everyday life when we consider how we will achieve our goals and fulfill our passions. Good theatre will always be a collaborative art, just like a life should always be a communal experience. In short, life is best spent with others. This has stuck with me, and the ideals of “togetherness” felt very present during my time working on a holiday show such as Elf the Musical.

Nick as Buddy the Elf in a performance of Elf the Musical.

I have done quite a few productions while enrolled as a student at Rowan, both on the mainstage and with outside theatre companies. Getting to play Buddy in Elf the Musical has been like no other process. It took the most commitment, but has been one of the most rewarding experiences.

The production took place at The Levoy Theatre in Millville, NJ, where they have one of the most beautiful spaces. On a whim, I went to audition for this company that I have never worked with before. It was not too nerve-wracking, because I was with some fellow Profs 𑁋 Lauren Coffey and Natalie Donisi. At callbacks, the three of us found ourselves finding other Rowan students, including Kerry O’Connor and Ben Helbert. Next thing you know, the five of us were all cast in the show together, taking turns on who would drive the carpool, and bringing all that we learned in class to the process. With the intention to work positively, it was also easy to take on this show with so many friends by my side.

In addition to the already established friendships, it was a pleasure to leave with so many new bonds and connections for future projects. There is nothing like getting to do a show with friends, who then become family, let alone a Christmas show during the beginning of the holiday season.

A collage of Nick with castmates, including fellow Rowan students and Admissions Ambassadors, performing in Elf the Musical.
In the bottom right picture from left to right is Ben Helbert (Sophomore Theatre & Dance major), Natalie Donisi (Senior Theatre & Psychology major; CADP/MST Theatre Ed. student), Nick Flagg (Senior Theatre & Advertising major; CADP/MST Theatre Ed. student), Lauren Coffey (Junior History & Education major), and Kerry O’Connor (Freshman Theatre major, Dance minor). Top right picture features the cast and crew. From left to right in the left picture is Nick Flagg as Buddy the Elf, Darryl Thompson as Santa Claus, and Natalie Donisi as Mrs. Claus.

The production ran Nov. 12-21, and all but two shows completely sold out for a theater with almost 800 seats.

When you walked in, you were met with a lobby decked out in holiday decor, featuring trees, lights, hot cocoa and holiday beverages, and even some snow. Typically, a cast’s headshots are featured on a board, but our marketing team brilliantly decided to showcase our headshots in Christmas ball ornaments on a decorated tree. The Christmas spirit was present from the moment you stepped into the building, and surely stayed with you long after.

Nick as Buddy the Elf in a performance of Elf the Musical.

The Mezzanine lobby was where my now good friend Darryl Thompson and I went after the show for a Santa and Buddy meet and greet with many kids … and many adults believe it or not! I loved hearing the crowd’s enjoyment during the show, but nothing beats seeing each kid come up to meet us with excitement.

Christmas never reigned as the top holiday for me … I mean aren’t most theatre people Halloween fanatics? But this year was different. I specifically remember so many sweet kids coming up. Darryl would ask them, “What would you like for Christmas?” and some would say things like “For my family to have a good Christmas” or “To be with my family.” It was incredible to see so many people were so moved by our show and full of the holiday spirit, even at such a young age. I was thankful to see so many friends and family came, along with some of my coworkers in Admissions and my incredible boss Cristin.

Nick as Buddy the Elf sings a solo during a performance of Elf the Musical.

Elf the Musical was a popular choice for so many theater companies this season. In South Jersey, there were at least three productions all going on at the same time. I bring this up because it has been nothing but nonstop support from everyone involved in these productions. We would all send our broken leg wishes on social media, along with wishing a happy opening or closing show to one another. It is important for that mentality to exist in a business like theatre that can get so competitive.

Being a part of moments such as these are reminders of the true meaning of the holidays, and how much care we should all show to one another. The holidays are not always happy for everyone, but actions such as these are what carry us through. Getting to bring the holiday spirit to so many people in such an iconic role was something I will always cherish. I loved getting to hear the roaring applause for my cast after each hilarious bit and touching moment on stage. Community, especially in theatre, has been so important to me, and this experience only enhanced that. And if working in communities full of this hope and respect is how I get to spend the rest of my life, I am in. And getting paid for it isn’t so bad either. 

Nick makes a surprised expression as Buddy the Elf in a performance of Elf the Musical.

Next up you can find me working on Matilda the Musical, where I will be playing Michael Wormwood at The Broadway Theatre of Pitman from Jan. 14 – Feb. 6. Very soon after, I will be teaching acting classes and assistant directing a production of Evita at my home theater, The Grand Theatre: Home of the Road Company. 

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Joyous Kwanzaa, a Blessed Yule and a Happy New Year!  

The cast of Elf the Musical wave goodbye to Santa Claus.

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Production Photos by:
Valerie Neuber

Story by:
Nick Flagg, senior theatre and advertising double major 

Air Force Veteran, Strategic Communication M.A. Student Alex Walpole on His Road to Rowan

Alex stands on one of the pathways along Rowan Boulevard.

Today we feature Alex Walpole of Burlington County, a student in the M.A. in Strategic Communication program through Rowan Global. Alex, a retired Air Force officer, shares his military transition from active to civilian life, his goals and challenges as a Strategic Communication student and the unconventional way in which he discovered Rowan. It was […]

Rowan University Geography Major Hopes to Create Change For Future Generations

A landscape photo of the fountain behind engineering pond.

Jaylen Shanklin, a junior Geography major from Gloucester County, shares why he chose his major and the environmental impact that he hopes to have.

Jaylen poses for a portrait outside Science Hall.“I’ve always had an interest in geography. My dad is a major history buff and we’d watch shows together and it drew me in,” says Jaylen.

His initial interest in the major drew him to the program, but the classes and professors are what made him know it was a good fit.

“I’ve been lucky! All of my professors I’ve had, no matter the subject or the class, have all gone above and beyond the call of being a professor,” Jaylen explains. “They’ve made sure everyone succeeds professionally and personally.”

Geography students research and present ways to build and manage resources in a more sustainable way. 

“I want to make a positive change and I know this major will get me there. I want to know that I put my imprint on our local community and made this place a better, more sustainable state for my kids and future generations. My favorite class so far has been Geography in New Jersey, because it focuses on what I can do for my community.”

Jaylen, a Rowan University geography major, looks at a globe.Jaylen is currently in his junior year and has been involved with extracurricular activities in addition to things related to his major. While he looks forward to the field work and internships, he finds a lot of value in networking and making friends.

“I play Rugby and I wrestle, so my advice is to just get involved. Take classes in your major, even out of your major. Dip your toe in everything and take a wide range of exploratory classes. Do a bunch of clubs, even if you think it wouldn’t be for you. It all helps and makes you a better person, and that’s what college is about after all.”

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Alumni Success: Aeberli Begasse ’19 Strives For A Healthy Community [VIDEO]

Aeberli walks with Dr. Nicole Vaughn in front of Wilson Hall.

Aeberli Begasse, a 2019 Rowan graduate of the Health Promotion and Wellness Management program, works as a tobacco program coordinator, educating and helping the community kick the habit.  “When I went to Rowan, I had the opportunity to explore other possibilities, and I was fortunate enough to find a career that fit more of what […]

5 Tips For Improving Your Mental Health Before Experiencing “Burnout”

Carrie sits on Rowan Boulevard with the view of Rowan Boulevard behind her.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanUWellness on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

It is quite common for college students to experience what is called “burnout” at some point throughout the semester, as coursework gets more and more demanding. “College burnout refers to an extended period of extreme fatigue and apathy that often results in a decline in academic performance.” (Tyler Epps)

It seems that burnout is increasing more as college environments evolve to accommodate COVID guidelines. “At Ohio State, the number of students reporting feelings of burnout jumped from 40 percent of students in August 2020 to 71 percent in April, according to a university study.” (Olivia Sanchez)

As the likelihood of burnout increases among college students, it is important to find ways to combat it in your life.

Carrie sits on a bench on Rowan Boulevard.

Get Involved
Some ways to relieve stress involve branching out and trying new things. While this might cause some people more stress and anxiety, it is important to give it a fair shot. You could look into a new club to join or go to an event that interests you or even just make it a priority to get out in any way you can and be around people.

Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin
Scheduling is everything, so make sure you know what to say yes to and what to miss out on in order to keep yourself on track. Try not to add too much to your plate at one time and, if needed, try to trim out unnecessary time commitments.

Take Time For You
Self-care is always an important part of repairing your mental health. Find out what self-care means to you, whether that’s bubble baths and facemasks or video games and a pizza. Make sure that you find time to turn off your phone or computer and limit distractions so you can take time to recharge.

Carrie sits on a bench on Rowan Boulevard wearing sunglasses and looking away.

See The People Who Matter
When life gets busy, it is hard to factor in visits with loved ones. Spend some time catching up with family or friends over the phone or take a weekend trip if possible. The people who care the most about you are usually the ones that will root for you the hardest. They might inspire some motivation or at the very least validate your feelings and allow you to blow off some steam.

Get Moving
While a change in scenery is imperative to improving overall mood, moving is awesome for brain activity. You could hit the gym, take a class or join a team, or even just take a walk around campus and try to find somewhere you haven’t seen before. Moving just a few minutes each day will bring you much more energy overall.

While all of these options are great to do, it is important to find out what helps you in times of stress. What works for some might not work for all, so spend some time learning about what makes you tick.

References:

Sanchez, Olivia. “Burnout Symptoms Increasing among College Students.” The Hechinger Report, 30 July 2021, https://hechingerreport.org/burnout-symptoms-increasing-among-college-students/.

“What Is College Burnout?: BestColleges.” BestColleges.com, 27 July 2021, https://www.bestcolleges.com/blog/what-is-college-burnout/.

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Story by:
Carrie Cunningham, Rowan Global student, MA in Higher Education program from Bergen County, NJ, Wellness Center intern

Photos by:
Jack Maisonneuve, senior communication studies major

Finding My Path and Passion with an English Degree

Rowan English graduate Nicole sits in front of fall foliage on campus.

Meet guest Rowan Blog contributor Nicole Tota of Marlton, NJ (Burlington County), who recently earned her degree in English from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She now pursues her master’s degree in Higher Education: Advising at Rowan Global. Here, Nicole candidly shares her degree brought more career questions than answers until she ultimately […]

Sports CaM Major, Navy Reservist and Mother Harley Sarmiento Shares Her Story

Today we feature Harley Sarmiento, a junior Sports Communication and Media major with a concentration in Sports Journalism from Gibbstown, NJ (Gloucester County). Harley is a member of the Navy Reserve and mother to her 1-year-old son. Harley goes into detail on her experience within the military and as a transfer student at Rowan.

Why did you choose to study Sports Communication and Media?

I was an athlete growing up. During high school I competed in two different varsity sports and then I managed a varsity sport in the winter. Because of this, I always had a personal connection to sports. My family was also heavily involved in our sports programs back in my home town. Once I started journalism in the military, I decided I wanted to pursue it on the sports side while working on the civilian side. 

Harley Sarmiento smiles near a tree-lined path on campus.
Harley Sarmiento

Why did you choose Rowan to study Sports Communication and Media?

I am a transfer student from University of California San Diego. I was stationed there for four years, and I just moved back to New Jersey in May.

Once I moved back to New Jersey and I was looking at schools, I found that Rowan was the best fit for me location wise and in regards to my academic goals. 

How has Rowan supported you in being a mother, active in the navy and being a student?

This fall semester is my first semester here at Rowan. The professors that I have had this semester have been extremely supportive. I have been taking both online and in person classes this semester and the professors have really been flexible with my schedule. For the most part, I have had really good relationships with all my professors to where if something comes up with my son, they were super easy to communicate with and understand that being a mother comes first.

At my previous university, I did not have the support, understanding or flexibility from my professors. Rowan has been extremely helpful, especially during my first semester here as a transfer student. 

Harley holds up her son Easton in front of autumn foliage.
Harley with her son, Easton

Can you talk a little bit about why you joined the Navy? What was your motivation to join?

My grandfather and my uncle were both in the Navy. Because of this, I always heard about the military growing up. The year before I joined the Navy, my cousin, who was my best friend throughout my childhood, joined the Marine Corps. My cousin seemed to have a very positive experience and  this led me to deciding to join the Navy. I also did not want to give my parents the burden of paying for college. After weighing my options, I decided to join the Navy, travel the world for a time period, and then come back and finish my degree. 

Can you talk a little bit about where you have been deployed to and your experience on duty? What is the longest time you have been away from home? Are you going to be deployed anytime soon?

When you are active in the Navy, you know a timeframe of when you will be deployed. For instance, I knew a couple months ahead that I was going to be deployed because they are scheduled. However, now that I am on the reserve side, I kind of get to pick and choose if I want to go or if I want to stay home — unless something huge happens and they need me to go serve. My current title is Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class, Surface Warfare/Air Warfare. 

When I was on the active side, I deployed to many different places. In 2018, I deployed for 10.5 months on the USNS Mercy. This was a hospital humanitarian ship where we provided medical care for many different countries. Some of the countries that I have been to were Japan, Indonesia, Guam, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and some smaller islands owned by the bigger countries mentioned. I was a photographer journalist, so my job was basically to document everything we did for these countries while on these deployments. 

Harley walking with her son on a walking path along Rowan Boulevard.

Do you plan on having a future professional career in Sports Communication and Media or do you hope to stay involved with the naval academy and/or military in some way?

My goal overall is to eventually separate from the Navy to pursue a more civilian career in Sports Communications. As much as I loved the military, it was not heavily family oriented. I want to see my son grow up and be available to attend all his events, and this is unlikely while being active in the Navy. 

How do you manage to balance your education with your involvement in the Navy while also being a mother? 

Coming back to New Jersey and my hometown has been extremely beneficial for my son and my family. My parents still live locally, my cousins, aunts, uncles and siblings all chip in and help, [my] boyfriend’s family helps, and everyone in my circle is willing to help whenever we need anything. I am really lucky that I have such a big support system. 

Harley reading to her son at Rowan Barnes and Noble.

What is your favorite part of being a mother?

I think providing my child with everything I ever wanted is one of my favorite parts of being a mother. For instance, my son just turned 1 year old in August, and we took him to Disney with my family for his birthday. I think seeing his excitement everyday is so rewarding. The little things that make him happy like the Christmas tree and the lights are so rewarding. It is like I get to see the world through a kid’s eyes again. 

What are your goals after you graduate?

I am hoping that it works out that I can be a stay-at-home mom for a little bit since my boyfriend has a stable job [who is in the Army]. Once my son starts school, I plan on hopefully working for a local newspaper and cover the high school sports of the area. My boyfriend is 28 and I am 23 and we enjoy attending and watching the sporting events locally, so I think it would be interesting to cover those events for a newspaper. 

Harley smiling while sitting on a bench on campus.

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Story By:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

A Series of Chances Led Biomedical Engineering Major Brandon Hickson to His Perfect Fit

Brandon works in a biomedical engineering lab.

Meet senior Brandon Hickson of Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County), a Biomedical Engineering major and member of the Honors College. A last-minute change of plans brought Brandon to Rowan University’s College of Engineering. Later, a cancelled research experience sparked a new passion and career path for Brandon in the medical field. Read on to learn more about Brandon’s story and future plans. 

What made you choose biomedical engineering?

Growing up, I was fascinated with LEGOs and building things and constructing something out of nothing. And as I got older and got into middle school in high school, I realized that I had a passion for people as well. And I knew that I couldn’t live and do something for the rest of my life without incorporating both of those things into my life.

And I found out that biomedical engineering was really the thing that was perfect for me, because it combined the human component of biology and interacting with patients and people. But then also the mathematical and technical side of engineering meant a lot to me. And I feel like I found my perfect fit here at Rowan.

Brandon stands next to a Henry Rowan quote.
What impact do you hope to have in your field?

No matter how big or small it is, on every single level, I hope to impact the patient directly. Patient interaction is huge with me. I have had a family history of medical issues where over the years, we’ve had several different doctors and engineers who have had profound impacts on our lives. And I think that is something that goes very much unsaid that the people who work behind the scenes have a profound impact on the way that people live their lives and the success that they encounter. And I would love to be a part of that success in different people’s lives.

Share an “aha” moment that you’ve had within your discipline that made you feel passionate about your major.

My “aha” moment, believe it or not, happened when COVID was at its peak. I had a cancelled Biomedical Engineering research program at the University of Delaware. And through that cancellation, I ended up working at a doctor’s office in the area. Through that experience, I realized that medicine is actually my true calling.

The work that I have done in biomedical engineering has allowed me to have an appreciation for the overall holistic view of health in the human body, and to one day integrate that into a practice that I will hopefully have on my own. So as of now I’ve wanted to shift over to pre-med studies in addition to biomedical engineering, and I can’t wait to see what that’s going to bring.

Close up of Brandon in the lab.

Can you give one piece of advice for any student who is looking into this major and aren’t sure if it’s right for them?

I would say learn from me, and don’t come in with a very closed-minded approach. I graduated high school and thought that I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and had the next 10 to 15 years planned and ready to be executed. And I had a giant curveball thrown my way. And I feel more at peace now with my professional career than I ever have. So definitely have an open mind when it comes to deciding what you want to do with your future and how you live your life because you’re only going to have one college experience. And you’ll hear this a million times, but live it how you would want to live it. Don’t let other people dictate what it is that you’re going to do with your life.

Portrait of Brandon leaning against a chair.

Why did you choose to come to Rowan?

I chose to come to Rowan because of the size of it. Believe it or not, I originally planned on going to the University of Maryland, and at the last minute decided to come here because of the streamlined approach that the engineering program takes with its students.

The class sizes are extremely small, so much so that the faculty can have a one on one relationship with multiple if not all of their students. And that is not really the case at any other university, especially any other university that has a program as prestigious as this one. Any other university, you would be simply a number on a page, or a name in a book. But here you’re a person who has wants and needs and desires for their future, and the faculty here make sure that that happens. 

Brandon works in the biomedical engineering lab.

The engineering program starts day one [your first] year and is meant to cultivate you to what you would eventually want to do for the rest of your life as you graduate. And you have faculty that are always pushing you along the way for excellence to make sure that you attain all that you seek out to achieve in life.

See our video with Brandon here.  

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Related posts:

Beyond the Classroom: Biomedical Engineering Major Ashleigh Jankowski Interns for Biotech Startup

Reaching New Heights: AJ Pingol Shares His Experience as a Biomedical Engineer

Student Leader Lauren Repmann on Biomedical Engineering Major, 3D Printing Club Success

Our Environmental Crisis, and How a College Student Can Help

Samaria poses with a tree at Bunce Green.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanUWellness on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

According to earth.org, the biggest problems that our world is facing are: poor governance, food waste, plastic pollution, air pollution and agriculture.

These are just a handful of some problems that we are facing, but as the next generation of this planet, it is now up to us to do as much as we can in order to (literally) try to save the world.

One can consider Rowan University as our own small community. That being said, it is important that we take as much care of this community as possible. 

Samaria poses in front of trees on campus.

Poor Governance 

Our local, state and federal government have the power to work together and even create policies to enforce different rules that would be beneficial for our environment. For example, Glassboro’s local government has board meetings throughout the month that anyone is allowed to attend. There, you could express your concerns over our current environmental state and ask the members what they are doing to help Glassboro (or you could even do this in your hometown). You could also recommend different ways to allow citizens to participate in being more environmentally conscious. 

Samaria poses in the woods on campus.

Food Waste

According to foodwaste.org, “America wastes roughly 40% of its food. Of the estimated 125 to 160 billion pounds of food that goes to waste every year, much of it is perfectly edible and nutritious.” A few ways to eliminate food waste in your lifestyle and on campus is to try to adopt a healthier eating lifestyle. The SHOP at Rowan offers free fruits and vegetables to all students. They also offer Fresh For All for anyone to receive fruits and vegetables regardless of student status! The SHOP is located in room 141 of building 5.

Another way to eliminate food waste is to store food appropriately. For example, containers that will help preserve your food efficiently to make it last longer are also a great option. Stores like Target offer student discounts, which means you can use it to buy more efficient storage for your food. 

Samaria poses in the gazebo near Bunce Hall.

Plastic Pollution

The National Geographic claims that each year, “8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the ocean…” Constantly, millions of animals around the world suffer and die at the hands of plastic, ending up in their habitats. Not only does plastic pollution hurt our wildlife, but it can end up in the food that we eat, (fish especially), overflowing landfills, overuse of fossil fuels and so much more (nonplasticbeach.com). 

The average college student can help by using reusable water bottles/straws, bringing reusable shopping bag to the store, cutting down on drinks/food that come in plastic, and most importantly… NOT LITTERING!

These are just a few ways to combat the climate and environmental crisis that are currently hurting our beautiful world. Practicing these tips and passing on the information to family and friends is a great way to start and get your foot in the door to save our planet. 

Good luck Profs! 

References: 

Earth.org. “The Biggest Environmental Problems of 2021.” Earth.org – Past | Present | Future, 17 Aug. 2021, earth.org/the-biggest-environmental-problems-of-our-lifetime/.

“15 Quick Tips for Reducing Food Waste and Becoming a FOOD HERO.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 29 Sept. 2020, www.fao.org/fao-stories/article/en/c/1309609/.

“100 Steps to a Plastic-Free Life ” MY Plastic-Free Life.” My Plastic-Free Life, myplasticfreelife.com/plasticfreeguide/.

Parker, Laura. “Plastic Pollution Facts and Information.” Environment, National Geographic, 3 May 2021, www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/plastic-pollution.

https://nonplasticbeach.com/blogs/latest/how-does-plastic-harm-the-environment

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Story by:
Samaria Wicks, senior human services major from Cumberland County, NJ, Wellness Center intern

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

#PROFspective: Chemistry Major, Rowan After Hours Programming Coordinator Jon Marcolongo

Exterior shot of the Chamberlain Student Center.

Today we speak with Jon Marcolongo, a senior Chemistry major and commuter from Mullica Hill, NJ (Gloucester County). Jon is a programming coordinator for Rowan After Hours (RAH). He will share insight on studying chemistry and his involvement in his student worker position. 

Why Rowan?

I knew I wanted to pursue chemistry ever since junior year of high school. Rowan stuck out to me because it is local as I am a commuter from Mullica Hill, and because my sister went here. Prior to making my college decision I was very familiar with the campus and it quickly became one of my first choices in my college search. 

Why did you choose to study Chemistry?

During my time in high school, I was always interested in science. It wasn’t until junior year that I took chemistry and realized it was the route I wanted to explore while in college. I had an amazing teacher for chemistry who inspired me to choose this type of science as my major.

Although being a chemistry major is difficult and a lot of work, the professors are there to help you. Put in the time to complete your work and ask for help when you need it because you professors truly do want to see you succeed!

Jon Marcolongo.
Jon Marcolongo

What are your future plans and what is your dream job for working as a Chemistry major?

Eventually I do want to work in a laboratory setting, preferably involving research. Right now I am planning on graduating and hopefully working for a chemical manufacturing company. 

What is it like being a commuter on campus? What advice do you have for fellow commuters when trying to get involved around campus and meet new people? 

The one difficult and stressful part about being a commuter is finding parking. However, it has pleasantly not been too difficult to find a spot this year yet.

My advice for fellow commuters is to go to any clubs or activities that you are interested in. I would definitely recommend seeing if Rowan offers the clubs or activities that you were a part of in high school. There are so many options and ways to get involved around campus.

Most importantly, go to events. This is the best way to meet new people and find others with similar interests. 

What inspired you to get involved on campus?

Back in high school I was more of an introverted than extroverted person. I decided that in college I wanted to make a conscious effort to break out of my shell. I started going to different activities and events on campus especially through Rowan After Hours and I quickly realized that RAH was simply an enjoyable experience. This is how I ended up applying for RAH in the first place. 

What is your typical day like at Rowan?

Typical day starts with breakfast before driving to Rowan for the day. During my free time I usually go to the student center to relax between classes or to get work done. I then attend any classes I have for the day and head back to the student center for RAH. 

Rowan After Hours science night in 2019 where attendees made lava lamps.
A Rowan After Hours (RAH) Science Night where attendees made lava lamps

What is the best part about being a part of RAH?

The best part is definitely all the experiences you’re going to have. During my time as a member of RAH I have met so many amazing people whether it was co-workers or students attending our events. I even met my girlfriend while being a member of RAH. This experience has also led me to express myself and has taught me to put myself out there especially while being the introverted person I am.

What makes Rowan feel like home?

The people here. All the people that I have gotten to know over the years have made this campus feel like home for me. 

What are some of the activities that Rowan After Hours provides? 

Our most popular events are our bingo events. We always give great prizes out to the winners of our bingo events and I am actually in charge of the bingo events. We just gave out a 32 inch TV to the winner of the event.

We also do some cultural appreciation nights. We brainstorm a variety of different events and are always looking for ways to attract more people and different interests. 

When can students participate in RAH activities? Is there a calendar event list?

Our calendar event list is located on the Rowan After Hours ProfLink website. This provides all events for RAH and SUP (Student University Programmers.) The typical RAH events take place between Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to midnight. 

If anyone is interested in joining RAH there is an opportunity to interview for a position next semester. More information is available on the RAH website as follows: https://sites.rowan.edu/scca/RAH/index.html

Jon Marcolongo working as an RAH coordinator at Saturday Night Lights football game on September 4th, 2021.
RAH Coordinator Jon Marcolongo at a Saturday Night Lights football game

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos provided by:
Jon Marcolongo