Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective: Law and Justice Major Cisley Calva on Taking Pride in Her Path and Culture

Wooded walking path on campus.

Today, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, we feature senior Cisley Calva from Newark, NJ (Essex County). Cisley is a first generation college student majoring in Law and Justice and minoring in Psychology, and is the President of ULA (United Latinos Association). 

What is your student experience here at Rowan? Do you feel included? Supported? How so? Could you highlight an example or two?

My student experience at Rowan was fulfilling since I felt included and supported on campus through different branches in the college. An example would be my freshman year in which I had a lot of trouble with Statistics. I found support through tutoring and asking for help in office hours.

Another example of where I felt included was through the Rowan SJICR department, since I was able to see different cultures appreciated through workshops, food nights, Harley Flack and even the people at the office.

How did you find your friend group here at Rowan?

I was part of EOF, which stands for Education Opportunity Fund, but the program is known as Ascend. We all come from different backgrounds, but we have similar interests like receiving our degree and graduating from college.

Are you involved on campus? How so? 

I’m the President of United Latinos Association, which is a Latino club on campus. I am also part of the Rowan Admissions Ambassadors program. This means I help incoming students like freshman or transfer students figure out if Rowan is the right choice for them; I do this by giving tours. I was part of Student Patrol, where I was able to intern with Public Safety. This gave me a first-eye view of protecting campus and learning more about security.

Rowan Law and Justice major Cisley holds an award at Nu Iota Royal Court’s Miss Black and Gold Awards.
Cisley Calva pictured at Nu Iota Royal Court’s Miss Black & Gold Awards receiving the “Helping Hand” award, awarded to a woman who exemplifies community service and gives back to her community and neighboring ones.

How would you describe inclusion? Could you highlight a Rowan classroom or campus experience that was inclusive and made an impact on you?

What I would describe as inclusion is all backgrounds coming together to experience a certain event in which all their intersectionalities are understood. At Rowan I experienced ASPIRE, in which everyone had the ability to join and learn how to be successful and thrive through a retreat.

Do you have a role model or mentor here at Rowan? Who are they and how have they supported your growth?

Yes, my mentor here at Rowan is Mr. Whiting. He is part of the EOF program and he has supported my growth by checking up on me and always celebrating my successes in class and final grades.

What advice would you give to a Hispanic/Latinx high school student considering your major here at Rowan?

I would tell them that everything is possible if you really believe in what you set your mind to. Never let anyone belittle your dreams; continue running the race, because the outcome will be better than expected. Create goals for yourself and find ways to network and connect yourself with others. It is also important to emphasize that asking for help is never a bad thing. Sí, se puede!!!

Rowan Law and Justice major Cisley poses with the Rowan Prof mascot at an Admissions Ambassadors event.
Cisley Calva pictured with the Rowan Prof at an Open House event.

What are your professional goals?

My professional goals at the moment are to get my master’s or get into a career related to detective work, law or helping people get services that will help them attain a better future.

If you are open to it, could you share a little about your Hispanic or Latinx heritage?

My ethnicity is Ecuadorian, so my parents were born there and came to America to give me a better future. I live in Newark, NJ, which is a city that has different backgrounds and where my culture is given a platform to shine. My culture prides themselves in Cumbia music, taking care of the Amazon nature and animals, and food that is related to seafood.

Cisley carries her Hispanic hometown flag down a street during the Ecuadorian Parade in Newark, NJ.
Cisley Calva (pictured in front) at Newark’s Ecuadorian Parade.

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major

Photos courtesy of: 
Cisley Calva