Be Prepared for the Unexpected: Rowan University’s Wilderness First Responder Course

Rowan Health and Physical Education major Gabriel Sherry treats another student in a scenario in Rowan's Wilderness First Responder course.

Today we take you outdoors with the Wilderness First Responder class, led by Dr. Shari Willis, within the School of Nursing & Health Professions. In a simulated training sequence for the Rowan University course Wilderness First Responder, a wooded area on campus serves as an isolated, high-altitude patch of the Colorado mountains. Here, students must […]

Rowan Engineering Major Benjamin Busler Achieves Dream of Interning for NASA [VIDEO]

Electrical and Computer Engineering major Benjamin Busler is representing Rowan University this semester as a Pathways Intern with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Benjamin, a junior from Somerset County, is among a select group of students nationwide in NASA’s Pathways program, which offers internships and a direct avenue to future employment with the […]

How Law and Justice Major Keshawn Porter Stepped out of His Comfort Zone

Rowan University Law and Justice major Keshawn Porter stands in front of the Rowan arch.

Today we feature Keshawn Porter, a Law and Justice major from Essex County, who shares how joining on-campus clubs and organizations changed his Rowan experience for the better. Could you tell us a few on-campus activities, clubs, sports or events that you’ve attended? What was your favorite, and why? I am part of the Black […]

Connecting with Kids: An Elementary Education and Literacy Studies Student’s Story

Rowan College of Education student Isabella stands next to the Reading Clinic room inside James Hall.

Today we feature Isabella Muchler, a junior in Rowan University’s College of Education. Isabella, a dual major in Elementary Education and Literacy Studies, hails from Franklinville, NJ (Gloucester County). She enrolled as a transfer student, having attended Rowan College of South Jersey at Gloucester. Could you share a few on-campus activities, clubs, or pre-professional activities […]

#PROFspective: An Introduction to Tammy Nguyen, Leadership and Social Innovation Major

Rowan Leadership and Social Innovation major Tammy stands in front of James Hall.

Today we feature Tammy Nguyen, a junior in Rowan University’s College of Education. Tammy, of Camden County, NJ, majors in Leadership and Social Innovation and is also pursuing a Certificate of Undergraduate Study (CUGS) in Access, Success, & Equity for Educational Innovation. Please share an “aha!” moment you’ve had within your major that made you […]

First Year Voices: Carmine Petronglo on Finding Community in Classes and Activities

Mechanical Engineering major Carmine works on his laptop inside Engineering Hall.

Meet Carmine Petronglo, a first-year Mechanical Engineering major and member of the Martinson Honors College who commutes to campus from Gloucester County, NJ. I am a member of the Honors College. I attend a weekly Honors BLAST group meeting with sophomore mentors in the Honors College. I went to the Honors priority registration breakfast and […]

Paving Her Own Path: Breanna Kiger’s Experience as a First-Generation Student

Exterior shot of James Hall.

Today, we introduce you to first-year student Breanna Kiger, who hails from Cape May County, NJ and majors in Elementary Education. Breanna is not only the first of her family to attend college, she is a first-generation high school graduate as well. She shares her first impressions of the campus community in her first year […]

Breaking Barriers: How Perseverance and Family Found Kayla College Success

Rowan University Law and Justice major Kayla stands outside on campus near Hollybush Mansion.

Meet Kayla Molinaro, a junior Law and Justice major with minors in and Sociology and Psychology from Rockaway, NJ (Morris County). Kayla is a member of the first class of Rowan’s National Honor Society for First Generation College Students, and her sister now joins her studying at Rowan. Kayla shares what it’s like to be […]

The Power of Connecting with Others: Miral Rawy’s Story

Biomedical Engineering major Miral walks down Rowan Boulevard with two friends.

Today we feature first-year student Miral Rawy, a Biomedical Engineering major who commutes to campus from Burlington County, NJ. Could you share a few on-campus activities, clubs, sports or events that you’ve attended so far? What was your favorite, and why? I have attended some RAHs [Rowan After Hours], which were a lot of fun, […]

Faculty PROFile: Dr. Adrian Barnes on Music Education through a Social Justice Lens

Music Education Assistant Professor Dr. Adrian Barnes sits outside Wilson Hall.

Today we feature Assistant Professor Dr. Adrian Barnes, coordinator of Rowan University’s Bachelor of Music Education and a key architect behind the school’s new Master of Music Education program, which launched this fall. Here, Dr. Barnes details his research and teaching, shares more information on the new graduate program and explains why he believes education […]

In Foraging Course, Wild Foods Abound on Rowan University’s Campus

Today, we join Rowan University’s Foraging for Edible Plants class, led by School of Earth & Environment Assistant Professor and course founder Dr. Daniel Duran. Just steps outside their classroom on the side of the newly opened Discovery Hall building, Dr. Daniel Duran shows his students a juneberry shrub, one of dozens of edible plants […]

How Rowan University’s Accelerated MBA/MSF Program Fits One Student’s Fast-Paced Life

MBA/MSF accelerated student Kristin Carlson works with another student inside Business Hall.

Rowan University’s Rohrer College of Business offers an MBA/MS in Finance accelerated program that grants two graduate degrees in less time at a lower cost. That pathway appealed to Kristin Carlson, whose time is limited with raising and homeschooling four children. It may also place her closer to her own long-term career goals. Read on […]

How One First Year Student’s Classes, Friends and New Experiences Gave Her Purpose

Exterior shot of Holly Pointe Commons with yellow and red mums in the foreground.

Like many new college students, I began my freshman year unsure of what to do with myself. I was unsure if I had chosen the right major and was questioning what I could see myself doing after graduation. I decided to start by getting some required classes out of the way and see how things […]

Beyond the Classroom: Jack Campanella Takes Club Leadership, Engineering Skills to Internship with Robotics Company

ECE major Jack Campanella sits with robots from the Rowan club from which he is president.

Today we feature Jack Campanella, a senior Electrical and Computer Engineering major with a minor in Computer Science and a concentration in Honors. Jack is a lab assistant and peer tutor, and he also serves as president of Rowan’s Robotics and Automation Society (RAS). He hails from Monmouth County, NJ. Here, Jack shares more details […]

Rowan University Student Discovers New Passion After Finding The Whit [VIDEO]

After discovering our school newspaper, The Whit, Helena Perray ’22 changed her major to Journalism and worked her way up to become co-editor-in-chief her senior year. She credits The Whit for helping her build relationships and her interpersonal communication skills. “The Whit has been an invaluable experience because you’re working with a group of people […]

Future Students Explore Creative Arts, Career Possibilities at Rowan’s Inaugural Storytellers Camp

Storytellers Camp students receive a tour of Rowan Radio.

What is Storytellers Camp?  Storytellers Camp is a creative media arts camp where students learn how we tell stories in all walks of life.  When we think about storytelling, often we think of a book, but it’s not limited to books. The commercials that you watch that tell a story about a parent and a […]

Inside the M.S. in Biomedical Engineering Program with Rowan Global Student Brennen Covely

Brennen leans against a wall inside Engineering Hall.

Gloucester County native Brennen Covely graduated from Rowan University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering and two patents to his name. He returned to pursue his master’s degree through Rowan Global and leads a novel research project studying fetal alcohol syndrome. Brennen takes us through his research and gives us a more detailed look into […]

Alumni Success: “What’s Good” with Isaiah Showell ‘15, Multimedia Journalist and Local Storyteller

Isaiah interviews a subject for What's Good.

Isaiah Showell of Atlantic County has hosted and produced more than 100 videos spotlighting the people, places and programs of South Jersey communities for the series “What’s Good,” which he founded in 2017. Isaiah, who graduated with a Journalism degree from the Ric Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts, shares his own South Jersey […]

Senior Reflects: Carly Morton and the Power of Music Education

Carly with family at her graduation.

Carly Morton, a recent Music Education graduate from Burlington County, shares her meditation on her passion for music and the value of her student teaching experience at Washington Township High School. Carly Morton’s inclination for music has always been a prevalent aspect in her life. During elementary school, Carly began playing the flute; however, it […]

Passing the Torch: Outgoing SGA President Matthew Beck’s Parting Advice and Rowan Legacy

Matthew Beck stands in front of Bunce Hall.

“Put yourself out there, take those opportunities, because if you ask for them and are looking for them, then the opportunities will come.” From leading the student body to interning for the company he will now join after graduation, Mechanical Engineering major Matthew Beck of Monmouth County stayed open to new possibilities throughout his Rowan […]

Passing the Torch: College of Performing Arts Graduate Kaya Snow on “Maximizing Your Opportunities”

Kaya smiles, holds her diploma.

Dance and Theatre Arts double major Kaya Snow of Morris County will tell you the connections you make offstage are just as important as the ones onstage — they may even help land you your next gig.  “I don’t always have to apply to jobs that are in my field, specifically, because I get references […]

The Value In Fighting: My Experience With Rowan MMA

Today we hear from Rowan Blog guest contributor Demetri Moutis, a junior Sports Communication and Media major, who recounts the powerful effects of joining Rowan’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Club. Demetri, of Roselle Park, NJ (Union County), is a transfer student from Ocean County College. After discovering Rowan MMA, I found myself doing things that […]

Senior Reflects: Engineering Major Danielly DeMiranda Ribeiro on the Campus Opportunities that Shaped her Rowan Experience

Danielly celebrates commencement with her family.

Peer Tutor. Women in Engineering Club Treasurer. AIChE student chapter class representative. Chemical Engineering major Danielly DeMiranda Ribeiro stayed active on campus and online as Covid-19 surged through her college career. Now, with her degree in hand and a position with the pharmaceutical company Merck, Daneilly shares her best Rowan memories and her words of […]

Rowan University Engineering Alum Shares Advice for Graduating Seniors

Jennifer in front of a sign.

Jennifer Roddy has had a flourishing career since graduating from Rowan University with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 2008. Profiled here for Rowan Blog, she currently serves as Director of GPS Business Development for Bristol Myers Squibb. As we celebrate this year’s graduates, Jennifer offers words of wisdom for future and fellow chemical engineers […]

My Most Interesting Class: United States History to 1865

Ahmad looks to the side while leaning against a railing in Business Hall.

While senior Ahmad Conteh has pursued his degree in Finance through the Rohrer College of Business, one course he took from outside his major quickly became one of his favorites. Read on as Ahmad, a transfer student from Mercer County College, shares details on a class that took him centuries back in our nation’s past. […]

Rowan Global Student Makes History as First to Earn Diversity and Inclusion Certificate of Graduate Study

LaWana works on her laptop inside Savitz Hall.

LaWana Boone of Gloucester County, NJ chose Rowan’s Diversity and Inclusion Certificate of Graduate Study for its rigorous curriculum, classes both online and close to home, and opportunities to get involved on campus. This fall, she earned her graduate certificate — the first to do so — and plans to leverage her knowledge to help […]

Rowan Dance Major Gabrielle Langevine, Front and Center

Gabrielle dances with two spotlights shining on her from either side.

Dancing since she was 10 years old, sophomore Gabrielle Langevine of Middlesex County continues to study her craft at Rowan University’s College of Performing Arts. She is part of the Dance Extensions group and the university’s NAACP chapter. As a Black artist, she hopes to encourage future dancers of color not to “shrink themselves” but […]

How the Africana Studies Major Changed the Course of Jamar Green’s Studies, Leadership and Future

Jamar smiles while looking to his left side.

Senior Jamar Green is passionate about both his majors: Law and Justice and Africana Studies. But it’s the latter major, which he added further into his Rowan career, that Jamar calls “eye-opening,” strengthening his student leadership at the university and altering his career plans. A first-generation college student and transfer from Union County College, Jamar […]

Removing Deficit from Disability: Rowan Minds Reframe College Success for Autistic Students in New Book

John Woodruff and Dr. Amy Accardo seated together with a copy of their book.

The steady increase of autistic students entering higher education coincides with schools creating programs and services to meet this growing need. But are these supports working? Autism researchers at Rowan University set out to learn more, and they’ve published their findings in a new book. Read more about their research, recommendations for college success and […]

DEI Spring 2022 Book Study Recommendations

Stock image of a person's hands holding a hardcover book.

Monika Williams Shealey, Ph.D. (she/her/hers), Professor of Special Education and Senior Vice President of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, shares details on Rowan’s community-wide book study initiative with essential reads as we celebrate Black History Month.  The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) launched in 2019 with a listening tour which included […]

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

Read the full story here

“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

Read the full story here

“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

Read the full story here

“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

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE 


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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.  

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

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

First Year Voices: Engineering Majors Brayden Bruseo and Kristian DelSignore

Group of first year students in front of Holly Pointe Commons.

Today, we meet two first-year students from the College of Engineering. Civil and Environmental Engineering major Brayden Bruseo calls Rockaway, NJ (Morris County) his hometown. Electrical and Computer Engineering major Kristian DelSignore, a first-generation college student, is from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County). “I’m looking forward to meeting new people, getting used to college life […]

Retired Marine Corps Veteran Morgan Kelley Challenged and Changed by Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Program

Morgan looks at an award inside Bunce Hall.

After multiple tours to Iraq, one to the western Pacific and more than 20 years in service to his country, Staff Sergeant Morgan Kelley had planned to enjoy some quiet time and look for government employment after he retired from the United States Marine Corps. But when his family moved close to the Rowan University […]

Purpose & Community Impact Through Dietetics [VIDEO]

Jeramie stands inside a local ShopRite as part of the research he worked on in his program.

A chef by trade, Rowan Global student Jeramie Cooper says he’s combining health and “something he’s always loved” into a new career path through the Nutrition and Dietetics program.  “I just want people to be healthy, it’s what I want to be able to bring to other people,” Jeramie says. “So that’s pretty much my […]

First Year Voices: Musical Theatre Majors Olivia Frankenbach and Liz Baginski

Olivia and Liz sit outside Holly Pointe Commons.

Meet College of Performing Arts students Olivia Frankenbach of Lambertville, NJ (Hunterdon County) and Liz Baginski of Metuchen, NJ (Middlesex County), who share the theatre experiences they’re looking forward to this year.  “I love Rowan. I knew when I chose this school I would be happy here and my opinion hasn’t changed. I’m looking forward […]

Strengthen Your Writing with Strategic Communication [VIDEO]

Shot of Owl Statue.

Brandon West, a Rowan Global student pursuing his master’s degree in Strategic Communication, shares his thoughts on the program.  “No matter what field you want to go into, whether it’s public relations, sports communication or being a teacher, this program is applicable to pretty much any career,” he says.

Transfer to Transformed: Five Students Share

Exterior shot of a walkway near Wilson Hall.

Rowan Blog celebrates National Transfer Student Week and partners with the Office of Student Success Programs in spotlighting five students who have found their new college home at Rowan University. Victoria (Tore) Butler, Elementary Education and Literacy Studies major who transferred from The University of Scranton in fall 2019 Why did you select to transfer […]

Transfer Story: La’Tonia Carnegie [VIDEO]

Exterior shot of 301 High St. and Art Gallery entrance.

Originally from Jamaica, La’Tonia Carnegie transferred to Rowan to pursue a career in public relations. “Because of Rowan, I just launched my business,” La’Tonia says. “Rowan definitely elevated and gave me that push I needed to pursue my career.”

La’Tonia is just one of the thousands of students who choose to transfer to Rowan each year.

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Video by:
Max Morgan, Radio/TV/Film graduate

Active Minds [VIDEO]

Purple azaleas near Hollybush.

“Active Minds is an organization, and our main goal is to educate others about mental health,” says Rowan Active Minds Chapter President Mia Fondacaro.  A national organization, the mission of Active Minds is to break the stigma surrounding mental health. The Rowan chapter “is geared toward changing the conversation, supporting one another, building community, and […]

Rowan Global Student, SJICR Grad Coordinator Alondra Martinez on Bringing More Students of Color into Higher Education Spaces

Alondra stands in front of Bunce Hall.

Alondra Martinez’s coursework and on-campus position both align with her passion to see more students like her, from underrepresented backgrounds, “achieve anything they want.” Alondra, a Rowan Global student in the M.A. in Higher Education program, works as a graduate coordinator with the Social Justice, Inclusion, and Conflict Resolution (SJICR) office. Alondra is a first […]

First Year Voices: Exercise Science Majors Kim King and Tyler DelSignore

Kim and Tyler with friends at Holly Pointe Commons.

Today, we feature two Exercise Science majors within the School of Nursing and Health Professions. Kim King calls Shamong, NJ (Burlington County) her hometown. Tyler DelSignore, a first-generation college student, is from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County). “I went with some friends to Welcome Week … and trivia. I’m looking forward to labs, getting into […]

#PROFspective: From Colorado to Glassboro, Biomedical Engineering Major Katie Driscoll

Katie works in a biomedical engineering lab.

Today, we speak with senior Biomedical Engineering major Katie Driscoll of Durango, Colorado. She holds minors in History, Chemistry and Arabic Studies and is part of the Honors College. Here, Katie shares insights on her major, including the research work she’s been part of since her first year here at Rowan, and talks about the importance of getting involved on campus.

What made you come all the way here to New Jersey?

I just felt really at home when I visited the Biomedical Engineering program. It felt like everyone was super excited about Rowan’s potential for growth. And everyone was really happy to be here, students and faculty alike. So it really kind of felt like a welcoming place. 

Why Biomedical Engineering? 

I decided to major in Biomedical Engineering because it is a super well-rounded major. I wanted to know about a lot of things, and I wanted to have a lot of skills coming out upon graduation. So that was kind of my focus coming into undergrad.

Portrait of Katie Driscoll.

What do you want to do with this degree? 

I’m not really sure exactly what I want to do yet. But that’s a really good thing about this degree is you can do pretty much anything coming out of an undergrad in Biomedical Engineering. There are a lot of different paths open, whether it’s industry, med school or grad school, I feel really comfortable and confident going into anything.

Can you tell me a little about your experience in the lab? Have you done any research? 

I started research at Rowan in my freshman year with Dr. Vega, which was really cool, because it’s rare that you get to actually do hands-on research as a freshman in any research university.

I currently work in his biomaterials lab, looking at how the mechanical environments of stem cells affect their behavior. And that is for future use and tissue engineering applications.

Can you share an “aha” moment either with a faculty member or in a class where you knew you made the right decision?

So my freshman year when I started research in Dr. Vega’s lab, he was going over protocols with all of us and teaching us how to do everything. And we were imaging some cells on a fluorescent microscope and one of the labs, and he put the image up on the computer, and I just remember thinking that all the cells against the black background really looked like space. They looked like their own little, little galaxies. And I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Because you always see the pictures or the cells in a textbook, but to see it in real life, and all lit up, that was really different. 

What advice would you have to an incoming student who just chose this major?  

I would say definitely get connected with faculty in the department as early as possible because they are some of the most supportive people that I’ve met at Rowan. And if you know the faculty, you’re going to feel a lot more at home in the program. And also just get involved super early, whether it’s in research or in clubs, whatever you want to do, just kind of day one freshman year go in with a plan of how you’re going to get involved on campus.

Katie performs an experiment in a lab.

Can you share with me some things that you’re involved in or things that have had an impact on your college career?

I’m pretty involved with research here through Dr. Vega’s lab. This is my third year in his lab. And then I am also involved with Rowan Food Recovery Network. It’s a club that focuses on taking food from the dining halls that would otherwise get thrown away and redistributing it to community partners to reduce food waste and help with community hunger. So that is one big thing that I do. 

I’m an assistant resident director through the Office of Residential Learning (University Housing). I also am the Vice President for Rowan Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), which is like a pre-professional club that we have through our department. And that’s been really impactful to get to meet different people from industry and grad school and have them talk about their experiences.

Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

BMES is like our major specific club, and we meet every other week. And we usually have people from industry or have our own professors talk about their research. And it’s just a really great way to get connected within the major. Because a lot of the faculty will come to the meetings, people like freshmen through seniors come, and you can kind of network with each other, and talk to each other.

We also do some community service events. And we also usually, in non-COVID times, we have the BMES games, which is where everyone — it’s like a field day for our department. But all the professors also come out and they compete with us. So it’s a really fun environment.

You said that you’ve been working in a lab for three years. So are you able to start working in a lab early into your college career, you don’t have to be a junior, senior? 

You can start day one. I walked in, and I just emailed the head of the department … it’s that accessible. And he set up a meeting with me as a freshman, which I don’t think that’s really found at any other university. And he was able to get me connected with Dr. Vega. And I started in his lab, like my first month, freshman year. We also have other freshmen in our labs, we have sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

As an out-of-state student, do you have any advice for the transition process to come here? 

Rowan is a place where it’s really easy to make friends. Even though a lot of people here are from New Jersey, and there’s not as many people from out of state, it’s super easy to get integrated with the community. I’ve never once felt out of place.

Katie views a microscope in the lab.

Is there anything else that you want to share?

I’d like to reiterate how excited everyone in this department is to be here. And I think that’s really rare in other schools; faculty just kind of like their jobs. But like, every single one of our faculty members are super passionate, not just about their research … instructors are super passionate mentors. I think that’s a really rare combination to find at another university. 

See Katie with the Rowan Food Recovery Network in this video

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Gettin’ Sudsy with Whoo RU [VIDEO]

Whoo RU relaxes in the laundry room between wash cycles.

Laundry service on the ground floor of the Chamberlain Student Center lets our Profs stay spiffy and clean. With 10 washers and 10 dryers that accept quarters or Rowan Bucks, this central location on campus is easily accessible.

Watch as Whoo RU demonstrates how to do laundry.

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Produced and edited by:
John Hunter, junior radio/TV/film major

Video by:
Brian Seay, junior sports communication and media major

Gardening For All: An Inclusive Community [VIDEO]

The Borgerson family and Jenna see the raised beds at the Williamstown Organic Community Garden.

“Having an inclusive garden makes it easier for other people to access, whether it includes people in a wheelchair, using a walker or a cane,” says junior Charlotte Borgersen.

Inclusive Community Gardens is funded by the Division of Disability Services, New Jersey Department of Human Services.

A Rowan team, under the guidance of Dr. Spencer, has partnered with seven area community gardens, reviewing each and making changes such as reducing sensory stimuli, adding Braille and images to signage and designing paths and beds that are more accessible.

Read more about this project and one of the students behind the research here.

For more on our M.A. in Wellness and Lifestyle Management program, click here

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Beyond the Classroom: On the Campaign Trail with Political Science Major Stephen Scheuren

Stephen with candidates and volunteers from the campaign.

Today we feature Stephen Scheuren of Marlton, NJ (Burlington County). Stephen has served in the Army National Guard for nearly six years as a Signal Support Systems Specialist and was on active duty in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria. He transferred to Rowan University in spring 2021 from Rowan College at Burlington County. A Political Science major, Stephen works as an intern on a state senate and assembly campaign in Atlantic County’s second legislative district. He earned a Rick Rosenberg, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, which offsets the costs to take an unpaid internship. Here, Stephen describes his internship experience and his plans for the future. 

Have you had time to join any clubs on campus?

I’m very involved in RIPPAC (Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship). I’ve gone to almost every event they’ve scheduled with Dr. [Benjamin] Dworkin. I also joined the Pre-Law Society so I’ve been going to their events as well, and Phi Alpha Delta with their LSAT studying. It’s a law fraternity [for] people who want to go to law school and people who are in law school. I would like to look at what other clubs are at Rowan, but I think due to COVID, you couldn’t really do that.

How did you find out about RIPPAC? 

Exactly how, why and where I’m at is because of Dr. Dworkin. ­­­I was talking to him, and he asked me, “What do you want to do in life?” I said, “I want to be a prosecutor.” He was asking me why. And then he started giving me advice: “Okay, here’s what you need to do. You need to do an internship now. You have three semesters left, go now. Now, now, now.” And he said, “Join my class, New Jersey Politics.” And I did, I took his class, took his advice and this is where I’m at, because of Dr. Dworkin, and so I attribute it to him, and RIPPAC is why I’m at where I’m at. RIPPAC is a very successful organization. It’s young, and it’s really hit the ground running.

Stephen (left) with Assemblyman Jon Brambick.
Stephen (left) with New Jersey Assemblyman Jon Bramnick.

What got you interested in political science?

I just honestly like the functions of government, and not only that, along the lines of foreign policy and domestic issues as well. The justice system is something that especially interests me. And partly economics and international relations, it’s kind of a mix of everything that interests me. I guess one word to sum it up is just government. Just government. 

How did you find out about the Rosenberg Memorial Scholarship? 

Yes, same answer through Dr. Dworkin, because I’m conservative. I’m interning with the Republican Party out of Atlantic City and their ticket. Well, Atlantic County, second legislative district. He told me, “You should apply for this, you should definitely apply for this.” And because I was new at Rowan, I couldn’t apply to it right away. And so the semester was over, because I had to have the generated GPA. And Dr. Dworkin would say, “Did you apply yet, did you apply yet?” I just finally did, because my GPA came in. And I was shocked when I received that … it was one of the first scholarships I got. It was great, I was very happy about it. 

Tell me about your internship. 

Stephen had originally interned for another campaign; but when the candidate resigned, the campaign manager connected him with his current campaign under a new manager named Brett Barbin.

I started doing the same thing for him, opposition research, public things, and then I started working more directly with him and the candidates. And I would go with Brett as an aide for Brett when he was aiding the candidates who are Don Guardian, Claire Swift and Vince Polistina.

And so, as more time went on, I was more direct with the candidates. And because my intention with going and interning here, I specifically sought the second legislative district because they looked like they had the highest chance of winning for a Republican nomination.

We had specific lists for people we’d reach out to to volunteer, and I would contact those people as well. And honestly, whatever Brett asked me, I was just jumping on. I wasn’t a volunteer, I was more of an intern because I was working with the candidates themselves. 

Whenever I’m at Rowan, and I’m still a representative of that campaign. Anywhere I go, I am a representative of that campaign. We’re still campaigning; I mean, my car is literally filled with literature for the campaign.

You’re right in the thick of it. There is no coffee grabbing for you for sure.

Yeah, actually, it’s funny you say that, because when we were door knocking, it was over 90 degrees. And so what I did was, I said to myself, alright, it’s going to be insanely hot. So what I did was I put in my backpack, like, six large tallboy waters. And then I put ice packs in between them. And I would walk around, I would just say to the candidate, “Don,” and I would just turn around, and he would [go to] my bag and just pull out a water, he would he would say to me, “Steve, you’re moving up in the world. You got water all ready for us.” And then I would have the candidates running over to my bag and just grabbing water out of my bag.

Stephen (at right) has water bottles and campaign materials at the ready while door knocking with the candidates.
Stephen (at right) has water bottles and campaign materials at the ready while door knocking with the candidates.

It would help get us through the day. Because when we were at the end, I mean, everyone was just, it was like we were in a rainstorm. We were all soaked. It was great because you kind of learn when you’re door knocking with them, you get the experience of how they’re trying to get someone to come to our side and vote. 

How has the Rosenberg Scholarship impacted your internship experience?

It impacted it significantly. I won the Rosenberg Scholarship and [was] very happy about it. But I was able to get the opportunity to introduce Assembly Minority Leader, Jon Bramnick, for the Republican Party, at RIPPAC’s political intern summit MAPIS [Mid-Atlantic Political Intern Summit]. And that helped me talk about the campaign from a public aspect and be a representative of the campaign for and talk to Jon Bramnick.

With the Rosenberg Scholarship it gave me more recognition and solidified that I’m a representative here in Atlantic County and outside of Atlantic County, because of the speech I was able to give and deliver with introducing Assemblyman Bramnick.

Stephen (at right) introduces Assemblyman Bramnick at the Mid-Atlantic Political Intern Summit.
Stephen (at right) introduces Assemblyman Bramnick at the Mid-Atlantic Political Intern Summit.

What are your professional goals?

This year that’s passing and next year are just all structured around going to law school.

And for anyone that wants to go to law school, I would highly recommend they have at least one campaign trail. Even if you don’t politically identify with anyone, just go with someone. I mean, it is technically a form of public service, in my opinion; I mean, you’re helping people having governments. It’s about following Dr. Dworkin’s advice and get your internships in; that way, I have a better law school resume. Same thing with the Army National Guard, helps me with my law school resume.

And well, doing prosecution, because that’s the one area I want to practice. And if I fall out of prosecution, I will look into whatever I would like to do for private practice.

What advice do you have for other students seeking out college internships, specifically, political science internships?

This is going to be kind of specific, it depends on where you want your career to be. So you kind of have to tailor it. I tailored mine. And, again, Dr. Dworkin helped me tailor it. I tailored mine to law school, and to help me have someone look at my resume and go, I want to interview him.

I would go through RIPPAC, and you can always ask Dr. Dworkin because he is a New Jersey guru on how the state works. And that’s how I went. But once you get in there, it’s a whole different ballgame. You’ve got to be reliable. I live an hour away from where the offices for our campaign and where we’re campaigning, but I’m always there. Whenever they asked me. Always there ready to go.

And I would say flexible would be another good word. But also, I think you should get a an idea, if you’re a Political Science major, where you want to work. You should really have that in your mind. And that will help you tailor to what internships you’re looking for. It’s kind of like a two-step process: tailor it and then just always say yes to what they need every single time.

Stephen (second from left) at a event for the state senate and assembly campaign he's representing in a political science internship.
Stephen (second from left) at a event for the state senate and assembly campaign he’s representing in a political science internship.

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Photos courtesy of:
Stephen Scheuren

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Double Major Rachel Ricci Uses Her Voice for Theatre and Therapy

Rachel sits at the Wilson amphitheater.

Today we feature junior Rachel Ricci of Moorestown, NJ (Burlington County), who transferred from Rowan College of South Jersey. Rachel, trained in classical voice, is a double major in Musical Theatre and Music Therapy within the College of Performing Arts. She shares how she first learned of the Music Therapy program and her first impressions of Rowan life.

How did you discover the Music Therapy program?

I had been interested in it because I just heard about it through people for a while. But it was actually Morgan, a friend of mine who … was in the program, and we got to talking about it. She just was telling me about her classes, how much she loved all her professors. And I got even more interested in it from hearing that.

I started looking into music therapy as a general concept, a lot more online research. I spoke to [Professor] Andrea Hunt, I had an interview with her. And they were all super helpful to give you a lot of information about it, hearing about the internships that come afterwards, and all that sort of stuff.

Rachel sits near Wilson Hall.

What got you interested in music therapy as a career option?

I really love the combination of areas that it is. It’s all the things that I’ve been really passionate about and really interested in, from psychology to music, and just the different demographics of people that you get to work with. I love working with children. I’ve also spent a lot of times in assisted living facilities, and I love working with older people. And I just like that you have the option to go into a lot of different areas with it.

What is your favorite part so far of being part of this program?

For me, I mean, I’m very brand new to it all. But I love how much I get to do voice with it. Because my instrument … everyone has a different instrument for the program. And mine is classical voice, which I love studying. So I’m very excited about all the voice classes and the choirs, studio days and all that.

How are you meeting people as a commuter?

Actually everyone’s really welcoming. Just last night, I was at a meet-and-greet for my [musical theatre major] and people were very warm. And there’s a lot of clubs on campus and stuff. So it’s not hard to get to know people even as a commuter.

How do you like Rowan so far?

Oh, I love it. A really nice environment. I love the campus. And it’s fun because I’m around here so I have a lot of friends that I knew since before college who go here, so it’s nice to already have kind of a community.

What are you looking forward to?

Just the whole experience because I’ve only done community college so far. I’m very excited to be at a university. I get to spend time with the friends I already have here and to make new friends when I start taking classes here.

Rachel sits near Wilson Hall.

Have you thought about joining any clubs or organizations on campus?

It’s hard as a commuter sometimes because you’re going back and forth so much, but I’ve been hearing about a lot of great ones and I definitely want to start looking into to get involved.

Why Rowan?

I really loved the school as soon as I when I was touring campus a few years ago. As soon as I was here, I liked the environment. I really liked it. It’s a medium-size school, you know, so you get the experience of being a bigger-feeling school without feeling too massive. I liked the community. I like the commute from where I live …  just a lot about it that was a really good fit for me. 

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Photos by:
Nick Flagg, senior advertising and theatre major

Roommates Reflect | Anthony and Nasir | Holly Pointe Commons [VIDEO]

Exterior shot of Holly Pointe Commons.

Roommates Reflect is a series highlighting campus living, how new students bond together and the stories they share.

“The reason I like it here is because it’s very close to home,” says sophomore Civil Engineering major Nasir Brown. “It’s good to get the experience of living on your own and having the real college experience despite all the difficulties.” 

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Video By:
Brian Seay, sophomore sports communication and media major

20 Minute Radius: Plant-Based Food

A burger basket at The Gentle Giant.

You don’t have to go too far to find great plant-based options near Rowan. Whether they’re on campus or a short drive away, all of these restaurants offer at least one plant-based meal option, with one holding an entirely vegan menu. You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy these delicious dishes.

Menu from Burger Barr in Sewell.
The Burger Barr
Veggie burger at Burger Barr.
Veggie burger at Burger Barr
  • Burger Barr | Sewell, NJ

BurgerBarr carries a plant-based burger that is so good the flavor rivals the animal products on their menu, and they cook it on its own corner of the grill so you can be sure there won’t be cross contamination. To order vegan friendly, get the “Veggie” burger with vegan cheese and vegan sauce on a pretzel bun.

Cauliflower wings at The Wing Kitchen.
The Wing Kitchen’s Crispy Fried Cauliflower
  • The Wing Kitchen | Glassboro, NJ

The Wing Kitchen is known for more than its chicken wings. Order the “crispy fried cauliflower” in a vegan-friendly sauce and you’re in for a crispy, delicious treat. 

Exterior shot of Monarch Diner.
Glassboro’s Monarch Diner offers vegan-friendly options all day long.
  • The Monarch Diner | Glassboro, NJ

Located in the heart of Glassboro on Delsea Drive, the Monarch Diner is serving up all kinds of plant-based meals. With specials located throughout their menu you can stop in at any time and find a vegan dish: from breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and even dessert. Fan favorites include their loaded broccoli and seitan potato skins, tofu avocado quesadilla, tofu pasta primavera and eggless veggie omelette.

  • Saladworks | Glassboro, NJ

Saladworks has been known as the health food chain for quite awhile but really upped their menu last year with plant-based protein options. They now offer tofu and quinoa amongst their long-standing, vegan-friendly toppings such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

A tabletop at The Gentle Giant.
A burger basket at The Gentle Giant

A burger cross section at The Gentle Giant.

  • The Gentle Giant | Pitman, NJ

Last, but certainly not least, The Gentle Giant is Gloucester County’s only 100% plant-based restaurant, making it a vegan paradise! This restaurant dedicates itself to the memory of William Blease, IV, the original “gentle giant,” by supporting the sale of local vegan products and raising money each month for causes such as animal sanctuaries. Their entire menu is vegan and highlights breakfast and lunch items such as wraps, burgers, sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches and more.

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story and photos by:
Madison Neumann, Rowan Blog contributor

Rowan Sorority Sisters Share How Greek Life Brings Women Together

Bunce Hall behind trees

Six of Rowan’s sorority members talk with us about how Greek life brings women together and how they’ve positively changed as individuals. 

What is it like being in a sorority?

Lesley Esteves, junior Accounting and Finance double major, and president of Rowan’s Delta Phi Epsilon chapter, says being in a sorority is very impactful. “Personally, I’ve definitely grown so much as an individual. I have a better understanding of people and understanding that not everyone is raised the same way. I’ve definitely become more confident in myself. Being in a sorority has given back to me so much more than even what I’ve put into it. I’ve become more organized, independent, and professional. It’s given me more than I can even explain.”

Lesley smiles while wearing her Greek letters.
Lesley Esteves

How do you think Greek life brings women together?

Kristin Jennings, a recent Public Relations and Advertising graduate and member of Rowan’s Alpha Sigma Alpha chapter, says Greek life helps to bring all of the people in your organization together. “Because you meet every single girl that you’re part of the sorority with, it helps you make friends with way more people than you’d probably ever be friends with otherwise. It’s so much togetherness because of all the events and bonding. It creates a sense of comfort within the sorority and brings us together that way.”

Kristin smiling at home.
Kristin Jennings

How important is sisterhood to you?

Lauren Marini, junior Finance major and member of Rowan’s Alpha Sigma Tau chapter, says sisterhood is really important. “Sisterhood is really important, especially within my close friend group, but it’s also nice to have that sense of sisterhood with girls I’m not as close with because no matter, if you need something there is always someone there for you and we all always have each other’s back.” Lauren also adds that sisterhood is supporting one another and that it’s a sense of bonding. 

Lauren smiling at the beach.
Lauren Marini

How does Greek life inspire you?

Jennifer Probert, a recent Public Relations and Advertising graduate and former president of Rowan’s Alpha Sigma Alpha chapter, says Greek life is inspiring because of the tradition that it holds. “Even with other ASA chapters throughout the country, we all hold the same values and it’s cool because sisters that I don’t even know still reach out and refer to me as a sister. It’s inspiring that one mutual thing bonds us and shows how much we respect that bond and each other.”

Jen smiling outside of Bunce Hall.
Jennifer Probert

What’s your favorite aspect of your organization?

Shanell Mighty, junior Law and Justice Studies major and Mu Sigma Upsilon sister, says her favorite aspect is the support within the organization. “Regardless of anything, all of us are always here for each other. It doesn’t matter what happens, someone is always going to be there for you in our chapter. It’s like a home away from home.”

Shanell Mighty poses with two of her sisters.
Shane Mighty (right)

Do you have any advice for other students looking to rush next year?

Maura Jackson, senior Accounting major and president of Rowan’s Mu Sigma Upsilon chapter, advises students to remember why they wanted to rush in the first place. “I think the best way to find out what organization you like is to first, before you even pick an organization is to form what we like to call ‘the why you’re joining Greek life.’ Then, figure out what organization lines up with your whys. A lot of people do this backwards, which isn’t bad but you don’t want to form yourself to an organization, you want your organization to form to you.”

Maura with sisters on the beach.
Maura Jackson (seen at left)

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Caitlyn Dickinson, senior public relations and advertising graduate

Photos courtesy of:
Lesley Esteves, Kristin Jennings, Lauren Marini and Maura Jackson

Photo of Jennifer Probert by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

Beyond the Classroom: Rowan Global Wellness and Lifestyle Management Major Discovers Passion for Research

Jenna stands by the entrance sign for the Williamstown Organic Community Garden.

Meet Jenna Bottiglieri, who graduated from Rowan with a degree in Exercise Science and is now pursuing her master’s degree in Wellness and Lifestyle Management through Rowan GlobalLearn more about Jenna and how her work with two health research and grant programs helped her zero in on her career goals.

Seeing a new installation of wheelchair-accessible raised beds for the first time while visiting the Williamstown Organic Community Garden, Jenna Bottiglieri witnessed part of her research come to fruition. 

Jenna, a student in the M.A. in Wellness and Lifestyle Management program, serves as project coordinator for Inclusive Healthy Communities, a grant-funded initiative that works with South Jersey towns on projects that make spaces more welcoming for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Jenna talks with the Borgersen family by the raised garden beds.
Jenna (second from right) checks out one of the new, accessible raised beds in the Williamstown Organic Community Garden with the Borgersen family, clients whom she worked with from both Rowan’s Get FIT program and the Inclusive Healthy Communities project. Standing, from left: Kim and Brenda. Seated, from left: Charlotte and Nathan.

She also coordinates the Shop Fresh Foods Rx program, a research study combining nutrition outreach and education for South Jersey residents who are pre-diabetic and food insecure. 

Jenna’s work on these research projects has altered her academic career trajectory; she now wants to pursue another advanced degree in public health policy either at the master’s or doctoral level.

“I think that it’s so interesting being involved in research. And that’s definitely something I would like to continue, in my next degree, and after that, and actually, in my career … continuing some kind of research,” Jenna says. 

A chance discussion set Jenna on a continued path at Rowan in graduate studies and sparked her passion for health research. As an undergraduate Exercise Science major, Jenna headed into her last two semesters unsure of where to go next. One of the highlights of her college career had been volunteering and then working for Get FIT, a Rowan fitness and nutrition program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

She describes the program as “fitness oriented but also very socially oriented.” Rowan students and volunteer staff work one-on-one with each client. “They’re able to exercise together, they talk together. And it’s really just a great program for everyone,” she says.

Jenna at the Williamstown Organic Community Garden.
“I definitely see myself leading a nonprofit organization or working for a state Department of Health,” Jenna says.

Jenna worked all the way up to program coordinator for Get FIT, run by Dr. Leslie Spencer, professor of Health Promotion and Wellness Management. She and Jenna were to conduct a study on the social impact of Get FIT on clients and caregivers before the Covid-19 pandemic paused both their research and the in-person client sessions. At the height of the pandemic, Jenna then organized a virtual Get FIT program

When Jenna shared her uncertainty about her future with Dr. Spencer, the professor suggested Jenna look into the Wellness and Lifestyle Management master’s program through Rowan Global. Here, Jenna says she could expand her health and wellness knowledge beyond the anatomy and kinesiology-based training she received as an undergraduate. She also appreciated the online format that allows her to craft a flexible schedule around her research.

“That was really helpful, because I wasn’t really ready for that commitment of going back onto campus right after I graduated. So this ended up being perfect from not only just the criteria that I’m learning in the curriculum, but also the structure of the courses definitely just aligned with my schedule,” Jenna says.  

She now works with Dr. Spencer on the Inclusive Healthy Communities project, a grant from the Division of Disability Services, NJ Department of Human Services. Jenna explains the university’s work has three main components. A Rowan team, working with master gardeners, has partnered with seven area community gardens, reviewing each and making changes such as reducing sensory stimuli, adding Braille and images to signage and designing paths and beds that are more accessible. 

Jenna poses with the Borgersen family, Backyard Gardens LLC and the Sustainable Monroe Township.
Jenna (fourth from left) with the Borgersen family, Patrick McDevitt of Sustainable Monroe Township (center) and Alex Seidel and Brian Pearsall (standing, left) of Backyard Gardens, LLC, who designed and built the garden’s accessible raised beds.

Jenna says the second and third parts of the project include a collaboration with five area group homes; the Rowan team has subcontracted area master gardeners to build garden spaces and organized cooking classes for its residents. 

“The goal is to hopefully use what they grow in the garden,” Jenna adds.

Her work with Dr. Nicole Vaughn, assistant professor of Community Health, on the Shop Fresh Foods Rx program analyzes data collected throughout a four-month period with 20 participants, whom Jenna recruited throughout South Jersey. Participants receive groceries and dietician-created recipes, then attend sessions on food, fitness, nutrition and managing stress. For the last four weeks of the program, Jenna says participants will shop for their own healthy groceries using the skills they learned from the program. 

“The goal is to see if this lifestyle change will prevent their onset of type 2 diabetes,” she explains. 

Jenna speaks highly of her faculty, recalling: “My friend Brianna … we work together in Dr. Vaughn’s lab, and we met working together on Shop Fresh Foods Rx. We had been discussing a topic like nutrition knowledge and social media, because we go on social media, [and] there’s so many things that are just not true. And we actually ended up presenting this to two professors in our department (Dr. Dara LoBuono and Dr. Dylan Klein). 

Jenna chats with the Borgersen family.

“And they were extremely happy to hear us out there even though it sounded very ambitious, they were all very supportive. The professors are so helpful at Rowan, they really want you to succeed and get involved within the research.”

She adds, “I just wish other students would get involved in research because it really is a really great experience, especially at Rowan. There’s so many opportunities.”

See Jenna’s work with the Inclusive Gardens project in this video: 

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Related posts:

Rowan Global Student Makes History as First to Earn Diversity and Inclusion Certificate of Graduate Study

Inside the M.S. in Biomedical Engineering Program with Rowan Global Student Brennen Covely

Rowan Global Student Shay Williams: Earning a Master’s in Diversity and Inclusion

Welcoming Incoming LGBTQIA+ Students to the Rowan Community

Students carry a Pride flag outside Bunce Hall.

Though we approach the end of Pride Month, we will soon usher in a new class of Rowan Profs. Here, faculty and staff offer their tips for incoming LGBTQIA+ first-year and transfer students. 

Headshot of Brent Elder.

I think Rowan’s proximity to Philadelphia and the queer community is a wonderful asset to new students. In addition to the support and services Rowan has to offer, there are exciting events that happen annually in Philadelphia like Philly Pride in September and OutFest held in October. Also, I’ve personally attended the socials/lunches provided by the LGBTQIA+ Center and have found that to be a fun way to connect with the queer community on campus. 

Brent Elder, Ph.D. 
Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education Department, College of Education


Headshot of Drew Tinnin.

For new students, I would just encourage them to get involved and explore their new community! We have many LGBTQIA+ student organizations and resources, and they should not hesitate to check them out no matter how they identify.

Drew Tinnin, Ed.D.
Associate Vice President for Student Life
Division of Student Life

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Passing the Torch: Rowan STEM Majors See All the Possibilities

Alyssa smiles and stands in front of the Rowan arch.

“One thing I like is that you have a lot of options. Once you graduate, there’s so many fields you can go into,” says recent grad Margot Clarke about the Chemical Engineering program.

“And it’s something that you can take on with an open mind. I would say my biggest lesson was learn as you go.” 

Margot stands in front of Bunce Hall.

Margot, from Burlington County, NJ, is looking at positions in the pharmaceutical industry. She says she hasn’t accepted an offer yet but is “considering something right now.” 

Margot smiles and stands in Bunce Green.
Margot Clarke

Alyssa Salera of Gloucester County, NJ, who graduated with a degree in Biochemistry, plans to continue doing research at Rowan while applying for jobs and focusing on her long-term goal of medical school. 

“Personally, some of my friends are going to medical school, some of my friends are going to be pharmacists. And then I have a lot of friends who are going to get Ph.D.s and … research in different aspects of chemistry. The major is very diverse and you can really do whatever you want with it, which is really nice,” she says.

Alyssa stands in front of the Rowan arch.
Alyssa Salera

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE



Passing the Torch: Second-Generation Rowan Grad, Top-Tier Engineering Student Alexa Aulicino’s Favorite College Memory

Alexa stands in front of the Rowan arch.

When we first met Alexa Aulicino, the year was 2017, and the first-year Mechanical Engineering major from Burlington County walked us through her day for this feature profile

Four years later, the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society president and Medallion award winner is poised to begin her career across the country. 

Alexa wears her graduation gown with spring flowers in the foreground.

The move makes sense for Alexa, whose favorite Rowan memory saw her travelling more than 7,000 miles away. 

As a sophomore in 2019, Alexa enrolled in a pilot course called Engineering in a Global Context, where she says students learned what it means to be “globally competent engineers.” The class culminated in a two-week study abroad tour of China, visiting Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. 

The students visited Inductotherm Group China, a branch of the company founded by Rowan University’s namesake, the late Henry Rowan. They toured its factory, where Alexa recalls they were warmly greeted by employees and presented with tiny, hand-painted Inductotherm cups. 

Alexa stands in front of the Rowan arch.

“Then the rest of the trip, we got to visit different universities and engineering programs and see the robotics, their technology, their buildings, and it was really cool,” Alexa explains.

“It definitely puts in perspective how big the world is. And it makes me grateful for things, to live here. And then it also makes me curious, like, what else is out there?”

Alexa smiles in her graduation gown.

Alexa will soon find out. She’s headed out west to work for Roccor, a Colorado-based aerospace company. 

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Passing the Torch: Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts Grads Reflect

Recent graduates from Rowan’s Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts (ECCCA) share their memories, tips and wisdom with future Profs.

Marian smiles and stands in front of the Bunce Hall steps.

“Get involved with clubs like PRSSA and Ad Club because they let you build a community outside of class and you get to practice classroom skills with real clients! Start working internships as soon as possible,” says Marian Suganob, who earned degrees in Public Relations and Advertising.


Caitlyn smiles in front of spring flowers on campus.

“There is just so much room for you to do whatever you want. There are so many possibilities. When I started my Comm. Studies major, I thought I wanted to do interpersonal, organizational; and within the past few months, I realized that I don’t want to do that. But I still have enough skills to go into any other field that I want within communication. So there’s lots of options, and you’re never going to feel like ‘Oh, I picked the wrong thing,’ because you have so many options,” says Caitlyn Halligan, who earned a degree in Communication Studies


Jenna smiles and stands on Bunce Green.

“Take every opportunity you can when it’s right in front of you. It’s definitely going to pay off when you’re applying to jobs,” says Jenna Fischer, who earned a degree in Public Relations.


Zachery smiles in front of Bunce Hall.

“I think one of the most fulfilling things about being a part of the Westby community and being a student studying in the arts is certainly the faculty and the friends you make along the way. It’s a wonderful community. Everyone is very inspiring and always pushes each other for success,” says Zachery Woodward, who earned a degree in Studio Art with a concentration in printmaking.

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Passing the Torch: International Studies, Modern Languages Dual Major on Taking Advantage of Every Rowan Opportunity

Ashley walks down Bunce Green in her cap and gown.

If there’s one member of the class of 2021 who truly knows the ins and outs of Rowan University, it’s Ashley Hermansen.

The Gloucester County native and dual major in International Studies and Modern Languages and Linguistics works as an Admissions Ambassador coordinator. In this student leadership role, she has recruited and trained dozens of students to connect prospective Profs and their families with Rowan’s history, culture and campus.

Portrait of Ashley in front of Bunce Hall.

As a sophomore, Ashley led the Spanish Studies Association as its president. She’s also been involved with the Arabic Club and Model UN, contributed articles to Her Campus, coordinated opportunities for the Office of Volunteerism and studied abroad

“The more you talk to people and the more you take advantage of all the opportunities you have, the more you’re going to feel like you got out of it. And so I feel like I’ve exhausted all my opportunities” at Rowan, Ashley says.

“I’ve done everything. And I’m ready to pass the torch on to the next incoming [first year] class because there are so many things for them to take advantage of. And I know I did, and I know they could totally do the same thing and have just as great and even a better experience, too.”

Her favorite experiences — and people — extend to the classroom as well.

Ashley smiles and stands on Bunce Green.

“My advisor, Christine Larsen-Britt, she’s my favorite person on this planet. She has helped get me from point A to point B in college, and I could not have done it without her. She’s the best.”

She adds, “My favorite class was with Dr. Schrader. He was absolutely awesome. He’s turned my research from high school level to academic and professional level. I’ve had experiences with all the Modern Language professors, Dr. Hernandez, Mousa, mainly all of them.”

Ashley hopes when she enters graduate school, it will even compare to the level of connection and care she has had with her Rowan professors. 

“They care about you so much. They just want to see you succeed. They’re so happy when you do succeed, they all support you really well,” she says.

Ashley photographed from behind in front of Bunce Hall.

Ashley will head to Washington, DC this fall to begin her master’s program in International Development Studies at The George Washington University.

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

3D Printing Club [VIDEO]

Stock image of 3D printing supplies.

The mission of the 3D Printing Club is to give all students, regardless of major or skill level, the opportunity to learn about 3D printing.

“You don’t have to be a pro at 3D modeling or 3D design,” says Lauren Repmann, co-president of the 3D Printing Club. “You can take an idea that you have in your head and make it something that you can hold in your hands.”

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Video by:
Adam Clark ’20, radio/TV/film major

Header photo courtesy of:
Unsplash

Beyond the Classroom: Fiona Hughes, CFO for SGA [VIDEO]

Exterior shot of Chamberlain Student Center.

As Chief Financial Officer for Rowan’s Student Government Association, Finance major Fiona Hughes oversees all finances, monitoring all clubs and resolving any issues that may arise.

“I’ve learned a lot more with my position in SGA, relating to my major, than I would have if I were just … attending classes,” she says.

“I think my role in SGA has helped me learn how to be a better leader as a woman in a male-dominated field.”

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Video by:
Joshua Hedum, radio/TV/film graduate

Studio 231: Rowan’s Central Hub For Ideation and Prototyping [VIDEO]

Photo of the inside of Studio 231.

Studio 231 is an experiential learning lab and makerspace, dedicated to all students of any major. At the Studio, students are provided with the resources they need to grow their ideas into profitable, scalable, and sustainable businesses.

“We go from helping you create ideas or come up with ideas for different problems all the way up to different forms of prototyping, so whether that’s 3D printing, laser cutting, etc.,” says Andrew Bunoza, a Rowan Global student in the master’s of engineering management program. 

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE


Produced by: Max Morgan, radio/TV/film graduate

Video Credit: Quintin Stinney, junior radio/TV/film major
Brian Seay, junior sports communication and media major

Advice from Cannes Festival Award-Winning Filmmaker to Radio/TV/Film Majors

Ryan types on a laptop at a work table in the office.

Today we speak with Ryan Geiger, who attended Rowan from 2004 to 2008. He was a Radio/TV/Film major and Advertising minor. He now owns his own media studio called Pinch located in North Jersey. Ryan also is an independent filmmaker and has won awards in several film festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival 

What advice would you give to students about starting their own business? 

Pinch is going really well, but starting a business was so much harder than I thought it would be. When you start small, you wear all of the hats. It can make for a very stressful work environment. You have to juggle all of the balls all at once. If I had $1,000,000 in seed money, I would hire 100 people. You have to think about every single step because there is little room for mistakes.

I was a Creative Director for nine years, and after Bingley was bought out, I finally decided that I did not want to put my career in the hands of somebody else. I know this [field], and I know what I want to do. It just made sense at that moment, with the handful of clients I was trusted with, to start my own marketing studio. Earning those clients was the ultimate push to start building Pinch. Now, I’m making an animated logo for the Yankees and filming commercials for Roadwarez Backpacks, Natural Delights Medjool Dates and Vinglace Wine Chillers. I get to be a director every single day!

Ryan wears a tuxedo to the Cannes Film Festival.

I think like a storyteller, not a marketer that’s focused on the numbers and packing in as much information as possible. I want people to connect with the story we show the people they’re watching and the name of the brand. Part of this has to do with the fact that I am a perfectionist and my love for the craft of making compelling stories gets me up every morning.

Every single day I’m learning something new, whether it’s how to better interact with a client or finding the right conditions to film with a drone. In my last commercial, it happened to be raining that day and the street we wanted to film on had too many wires for flying a drone. I’m problem-solving every day. I really look forward to seeing Pinch continue to grow. I hope one day to make more industry connections and possibly pivot into producing a television show or an animation.

Ryan Geiger directing his independent film, Death By Scrabble.

How did you learn to be your own boss?

All of my bosses over the years have played a role in shaping the professional I am today. Also, knowing what I want to accomplish gives me drive. I want to feel proud at the end of the day, knowing that my clients are happy is what motivates me every day.

What was the most important lesson you learned after you graduated? 

When I was the Creative Director at an animation studio in Brooklyn, we were always recruiting local talent or talent that came from college. It was really important to me to onboard them correctly and prepare them for the real world. This means you’re making creative [meaning creative projects or materials] for clients. You’re not making your own personal little project. In any kind of art, you go from being told by professors to look deep within yourself and create wonderful art. When you start working in the real world, you’re making art for other people. You have to start thinking about that. It’s a hard thing to accept when you step right out of college. It’s really critical that we prepare our oncoming workforce to be ready for the challenges.

When Ryan graduated and became an art director for a magazine called Hometown Quarterly in Cranford, N.J., he made ads for local businesses. He remembers the creative director slashed through his designs because they were not geared for the client’s taste. He quickly learned how to adapt to this expectation in the creative industry. 

What advice would you give to a student today, especially a RTF major?

I could write a book about advice for RTF majors. I was a huge part of the RTF program. I was part of RTN and Rowan Radio. I really tried to take full advantage of everything while I was there. 

If you feel embarrassed to join RTN late, it doesn’t matter. Get in there and make friends. These people are going to be your peers in the future. These people are going to eventually find work. Make friends with everybody in the RTF network. Before you graduate get their email and contact information. Don’t just rely on Facebook. People get off Facebook or become married and change their names. Go around all to all the people that you admire and have done really great stuff. Say, ‘Hey, I want to stay in contact.’

Get behind a camera. Mess with a camera. Go shoot some birds. It doesn’t matter. Write a really short little movie. This is the time to take advantage of the fact that you have all of this free work at your disposal to make movies. Always be creating because you need to walk away with something to show for yourself. All I had was my resume. I thought it was a good one because it had NBC on it. I still had done nothing to show for it. I had no real website. It’s so crucial to showcase some of your work. Post your videos. 

Ryan attends the Cannes Film Festival photo op.

I wish I made more movies in college. I wish I’d kept in contact with a lot of my friends and not just watched what they did on Facebook. I wish I actively kept calling them and picking their brain about how they got out to L.A. Once you go five to 10 years without talking to them, it’s hard to build a relationship back up again. 

You have to think of yourself as your own little business. Even in college, you need to start building a repertoire of work. Nobody goes to art school, just takes a class and says, ‘I’ll start painting when I get my degree.’ You gotta have a gallery of work by the time you graduate.

There are so many options and roles for RTF majors. I was so pigeonholed and determined on directing films. There should be constant filmmaking on campus and pushing students to utilize the bubble that they’re in. You have talent all around you, friends who can help, and scriptwriters [from any background]. Once I graduated, no one could help me anymore with filmmaking.

At the same time, the film wasn’t like it is now with DSLRs and 4K cameras. You can grab your iPhone 12 and you can make a movie. It’s come such a long way since I graduated. You have to get on set and realize that it’s not just about directing. There are 1,000 roles on set.

Who do you hope to work with one day? 

I really hope to work with Apple, Pixar and Nickelodeon one day. I created a script for Nickelodeon in the past, but I’m holding onto it because I hope to line up the right stars and the right budget for this idea. From the film festival circuit, I learned festival judges have to be very selective because almost anybody can make a movie. When recognizable names are attached to a project, they often get more attention than projects without those names. Being a perfectionist, I want to have all of my ducks lined up, and it would be really great for Pinch to be able to financially host those big names one day.

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Marian Suganob, senior public relations and advertising double major

Yes, Mama, YOU CAN DO IT!

Alexis holds her son outside on campus.

Alexis Houck is a junior Advertising major and a certificate of undergraduate study (CUGS) in graphic design student from Ocean County, NJ. She shares her first-person perspective, tips and advice for the mom going back to college.  

Two years ago, I was at a dead-end job being paid minimum wage not feeling very fulfilled with my life. I was married, and my husband worked hard to take care of us. I had always thought about going to college, but unfortunately, I could not afford the luxury of it straight out of high school. I also lacked the support, guidance and help to get into one.

Portrait of author Alexis on campus.

Well, that all changed July 2018 when I saw two pink lines and I knew. It was time to go back to school. I understood the challenges I was about to face being a new mom and now a [first year student] in college. Yet, I knew the importance of an education.

The second I saw the positive pregnancy test I knew I wanted, I needed, to do more for my baby. He needed parents who were not too stressed out about money and bills to enjoy life and parenthood. I wanted to make sure we could live comfortably on two incomes not just one. I wanted to make sure my child knew how important an education and hard work is.

I made the right choice to go back to college, and I started that fall. Of course, when my son was born, I took one semester off and then jumped right back into it. I now have my associate degree and am currently working on my bachelor’s in advertising and undergraduate study in graphic design here at Rowan University.

Alexis, her son and husband walk through the Rowan welcome gate.

I could not be prouder of being a Rowan Prof even at 30 years old with a 2-year-old at home. If I can do it so, can you. I hope I can inspire some hope and encourage you to further your education here at Rowan University.

Stop asking how and why? Stop questioning if you could do it because yes, Mama, YOU CAN DO IT!                          

Here are a few tips and advice for the mama starting your college education journey here at Rowan University:

  • Talk to an advisor and be realistic.

This is a big one. You need to be honest, talk about what you want to do. If you are unsure this is where you and your advisor discuss your strengths and what you have a particular interest in. I changed my major three times before I finally found the one I love. Ask your advisor about the courses you need to take and how much time you will need to delegate to your studies. Rowan offers full-time and part-time enrollment. I prefer full-time, but do what you can. Certain degree programs only have day classes; making a schedule that is realistic and works for you and your family is crucial. College and being a parent are hard enough; do not stress yourself out any more than you need to.

  • Financial aid, grants and other scholarships are available!

Financial aid and grants have been super helpful! Make sure to apply in time and get that situated ASAP. Scholarships are available as well. Make sure to do your research so you know you will be prepared and financially stable during your time at Rowan.

Alexis holds her son and poses with her husband on campus.

  • Rowan supports parents with a family-friendly campus!

Rowan has on-campus childcare. It is called the “Early Childhood Demonstration Center,” home of the Little Owls! They are parenting friendly at Rowan — they even have a Lactation Center and Nursing Mothers’ Room available, which is open Monday through Friday, they even provide storage for your milk! 

Rowan is a “family-friendly campus.” Rowan offers resources and events for all students who are parents. Rowan CCAMPIS Program (Child Care Access Means Parents In School), offers free or low-cost tuition for eligible students’ children at the Early Childhood Demonstration Center as well as social and academic services designed just for college student parents. Rowan also has events for student parents who attend the university! Join in! You will meet others going through exactly what you are, and you can really lean on each other.

  • Stay organized and keep your family on a schedule.

Make sure you have an area in your home you can designate to your studies, a nice, quiet and organized place where you can store all your school supplies that is away from any distractions. Due to COVID I know it is tough to find places nearby, luckily Rowan has some great on-campus options including the library. When you are going back to college, you need to pick out a regular time each week to get the work done. I personally make evenings a time to get my work done. I cook dinner and then my husband takes over for bath and bed time while I get my work done. Once you schedule your time for your assignments, treat it like you would a doctor appointment for your child(ren). You and your work are important, too. Let the rest of the family know that you are unavailable at these times.

  • Let your support system help you.

Thankfully, I have an amazing husband and family who support me in my goals and help as much as they can. There will be days when unexpected things happen, I mean, come on, we are parents!!! It’s important to acknowledge that you will need some help to get it all done. Make sure to let your support system help when they can. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it takes a village.

Alexis smiles with her son and husband.

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Alexis Houck, junior advertising major

Alumni Success: Nah’Ja Washington Shares How Rowan Helped Her Succeed In The Advertising Industry

Rowan arch near Bunce Hall.

What are some of your responsibilities at DDB? I have a lot of different responsibilities. One of them is being aware of different trends and what’s going on in the market and creating a newsletter with my manager to keep her up to date on those things. I also, as the junior strategist, essentially do […]

Beyond the Classroom: Tanvi Koduru, 3D Confectionery CEO

Tanvi Koduru is a senior Entrepreneurship major and hails from Somerset, NJ. She founded the Rowan Period Movement organization on campus and also leads the Rowan Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO). Period Movement aims to bring free and easily-accessible period products to all students in need on campus. Tanvi began her own business, 3D Confectionery, her […]

Leading Innovation: Rowan Engineering, MBA Grad Brandon Graham Launches Startup Venture, Mentors Future Entrepreneurs

Brandon poses inside Business Hall.

Today we feature Brandon Graham, a recent graduate of Rowan Global’s Master of Business Administration program. Brandon co-founded the company Arke Aeronautics while still an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student at Rowan. Learn more about Brandon, his business and his contributions to the Rowan community. Brandon Graham defined his own education at Rowan. Now, as a […]

Women of Westby [VIDEO]

Art installation in Westby.

Learn more about the Rowan creative collective Women of Westby. 

“Women of Westby looks to create community through uplifting the voices of our creative makers in the effort to bridge the gap of unequal representation for women, people of color and those in the LGBTQIA+ community,” says Noel Waldron. Those who join can “have a safe platform to display their art and build their CV’s in an otherwise competitive market.”

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Video by:
Quintin Stinney, sophomore Radio/TV/Film major

Music by:
Don Dewitt, junior music industry major

Women of Westby on Instagram 

Beyond The Classroom: Business Major Joe Sansone Secures Virtual Internship

Joe Sansone stands outside the entrance to Business Hall.

Joe Sansone, a senior Business Management and Marketing double major from Monmouth County, shares his experience at his virtual internship with Clearbridge Branding Agency and how he manages his busy schedule. 

Joe Sansone leans against a railing outside of Business Hall.

Do you feel that Rowan provided you with the necessary skills and education to help secure your internship?

I feel like with business majors there is an emphasis on networking and marketing yourself and your resume and just putting yourself out there. We do a lot of group projects so I think that prepares you, too. Communicating with other people who are different from you and working together, I definitely felt prepared with my education. 

How did you secure your internship?

I had a pretty tough time finding an internship, so I was applying to a bunch of different ones. Even though I’m not a Communications major, they have a match program for internships [through Profs Jobs], so I talked to someone in the Communications department and they set me up on this interview with [Clearbridge] and I ended up getting it. 

Joe Sansone reads a book inside Business Hall.


What do you love the most about your internship? 

I like how they are very flexible around my schedule. I think they’re very respectful to me in the way they communicate with me. My boss is very attentive, polite and respectful yet still laid back and casual at the same time. 

How did you become interested in business?

Going into college I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I thought about doing social science, law and justice, or emergency preparedness but I kind of thought about what I was good at. I think for my life and in high school I loved being involved in the school through different clubs and I noticed I liked the leadership position in these clubs. I think Business Management is similar to that. 

Is there anyone in your industry that you admire or inspire you?

A lot of my professors have been sources of inspiration for me. They have been industry professionals and bring a lot of experience and examples into the classroom. I think going into college everyone told me, “Oh, your professors are going to be so hard on you, you can’t do what you did in high school.” I think it’s the complete opposite. I think that there’s a level of respect that they have for us and we have for them. I’m motivated and excited to learn because of how nice they are and how informative they are to us. 

Joe Sansone stands outside the entrance to Business Hall.

What do you think is the most important to skill to have in your industry?

Willingness to learn. You can’t go into it thinking that you’re going to know everything, going into it open to challenge yourself and willing to be wrong and learning from that is really important. 

How do you handle your time in and out of the classroom?

I just write things down and cross them off as I go. I have a really good memory too, I just know what I need to do in my head. It’s a lot of discipline between my time here. I think every year prepares you for the next. It’s being able to know that I don’t always need to hangout with my friends if I have something to get done but I also can let an assignment wait a little and go out and get my mind off things too. It’s just being responsible and having an end goal in sight. 

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Caitlyn Dickinson, senior public relations major

Photos by:
Joe Gentempo, senior art major

Leadership #PROFspective: Alana Brown of Orientation & Student Leadership Programs

Alana Brown sits outside on campus.

Today we feature Alana Brown, a leader at Rowan University. Alana Brown is a Rowan Global student pursuing her master’s degree in Higher Education with an Academic Advising track. She calls Paterson, NJ in Passaic County her hometown. 

This story is part of a series spotlighting campus leaders during Women’s History Month. 

What is your role in your organization? 

As the graduate coordinator of the Orientation & Student Leadership Programs (OSLP) department, I work with data and administration for OSLP as well as for the Office of Greek Affairs. I help students with program initiatives on campus and serve as one of their advisors. I also work with the Leadership Rowan Program. For this program, I coordinate the Mentor and Mentee Matching Program and also serve as one of the facilitators for the Leadership Seminars. I am also coordinating the Celebrating Leadership awards this year. 

OSLP hosts the orientation events that all new students first attend when they come to campus. We host all of the summer orientations and a few in the winter. We also do some transfer orientations as well. Everything the Leadership Rowan Program and the Office of Greek Affairs do is under the OSLP department. 

Alana sits at the amphitheater on campus.

What have you learned in your role as a leader?

I’ve learned that it is something I should be a part of. I know that I should contribute to higher education. I know how important my role is for the students and how I can be a liaison between students and staff. I think it is very important to advocate for students because some may feel like their voice is [unheard]. Knowing that I have that bridge, I know that I have a voice and that my voice should be heard. I’m going to advocate for my students. It’s very important to at least have students come to me and feel comfortable enough to express how they may feel about campus and life. Students will remember you for a lifetime if you make an impact. 

What’s your favorite memory as a leader or at Rowan in general? 

My favorite memory was connecting with Chase Campbell and Mike Nash. They came to me about an event they wanted to host on campus. The conversation organically flowed and we built a strong advisor and student relationship. Connecting with those two students has made such an impact on how I want to be [helpful] for other students at my next institution. That moment is when I realized that this [path] is definitely for me.

When you’re in grad student as a student and a staff member, you have this scale. You always wonder if you’re a student or a staff member. It always puts me in a place where [I realize], “Wow, I’m making an impact but I’m still learning how to make that impact.” It’s so important for me to be in this role. Without it, I would not have realized what I want in the future. 

Where do you see yourself in the future? 

I see myself still working in education, but also have my own nonprofit. I want to have a program that provides a space for Black and brown people to create art, especially if they cannot afford to create art [my program] is there to support them. I have always wanted something of my own to pass on to my community and others. I see myself owning my own business and also still advocating for students. There are limited spaces for Black and brown people; it’s okay to chase your passion. You don’t have to just go to school, sit in a classroom for four years and just learn a skill because you need to make money. It’s ok to want to be an artist. Your art and your passion will bring you clientele. Art keeps me going. 

Who inspires you and why?

My mom is very supportive of my dreams. As many times as she wanted to give up, she always found a way to get it done. My mom has sacrificed a lot for me and my brother. There are not enough “Thank You’s” in the world I can say to her. She’s the best.

Alana sits inside James Hall.

What’s the most significant barrier to women today? 

That’s a hard question because there are so many. We still are not allowed to have a voice. We are told to “let things be how they are.” You step into spaces that may not be diverse. Many times, I’ve been the only Black woman in the room. If I were to speak up, I would be pictured as the “loud, angry Black woman.” I still struggle with this. I want to use my voice, but when I speak people say “she may be angry.” I’m not angry, I’m passionate.

Showing up as your whole self is key. It’s hard being a Black woman. I have to show up in spaces and sometimes keep my mouth shut because I don’t want to be perceived as angry or upset. I don’t regret anything that I have to say. That just makes me, me. I am a bold, Black woman and that’s never going to change. 

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?

Always own yourself, [your voice]. Always advocate for what you know is right. Be the change that you want to see. If you don’t like something, speak your voice. That voice should never be silent. Anything that you’re passionate about, your voice should never be silent. 

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Marian Suganob, senior public relations and advertising double major

Photos by:
Jabreeah Holmes, senior radio/TV/film major

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

Dr. Susana Santos stands outside Business Hall.

Meet Dr. Susana C. Santos, assistant professor of Management and Entrepreneurship within the Rohrer College of Business. Rowan Global Learning and Partnerships awarded Dr. Santos its Excellence in Online Learning faculty award last year. Learn more about Dr. Santos, her teaching and how she created an inventive, daily exercise to build online engagement with her students. 

Dr. Susana C. Santos is teaching her students chasing business dreams the skills to leverage those ideas into real ventures, to improve their lives and, perhaps, to make the world “a little bit better.” 

An assistant professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Santos joined the Rohrer College of Business faculty in 2018.

Dr. Susana Santos stands inside Business Hall.

Santos’ family lay the foundation for her future career in entrepreneurial research and scholarship. 

She was drawn to teaching by her parents, both of whom were educators. 

Growing up in her native Portugal, she was actively involved in her extended family’s ceramics business, which, like many at the time, was affected by the economic crisis of the late 2000s. This shift, according to Dr. Santos, showed people they couldn’t wait for someone else to develop, generate and launch their own businesses. 

“To have your own job, to be self-employed, was becoming very important,” she notes. 

Observing this movement through the lens of her family’s business shaped her research and study in entrepreneurship. 

“I realized how it could be important to teach our students these … comprehensive mindsets and skills of how they can be self-employed, how they can be launching their own companies,” she says. 

Dr. Santos teaches Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a course she describes as hands-on, experiential and one that thrives on experimentation. As she quickly converted her sections from in-person to online delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her research into entrepreneurship handed her a distinct advantage. She explains: “The online environment really asked me as a teacher to be entrepreneurial in thinking about how I could adapt and change my own exercises that we used to have in the classroom and how we can change it.”

She believes entrepreneurship is a life skill, and with COVID-19, students needed this know-how more than ever before. In her course, “we define entrepreneurship as a way of thinking, acting and being that combines the ability to find and develop new opportunities and the will to act upon them. This mindset is something you do daily,” she says. 

Dr. Susana stands by a railing inside Business Hall.

Inspired by the work of Dr. Heidi Neck from Babson College, Dr. Santos developed a mindset exercise. She sent her students what she calls a “a daily mindset vitamin” and launched an accompanying classroom chat via the What’s App application. Her “vitamins” took the forms of questions such as “What is the difference between learning and failure?” or an action item prompt like “Today, smile a lot more than usual.” 

“I didn’t expect anyone to actually answer them, they weren’t required to answer. But guess what — they actually did!” Dr. Santos says. “People started chatting every day about whatever it was I was sharing with them. I wanted to send this daily mindset vitamin to be absorbed and to be connected in such challenging times.”

She adds, “I believe this was a unique way to build connections between students themselves and also with me during online classes.” 

This isn’t the first time Dr. Santos has used technology to engage with students. 

She also sources YouTube and podcasts to extract the most up-to-the moment resources for her courses, which simply cannot be replicated in textbooks.

One such source is the NPR podcast “How I Built This,” which deep-dives into businesses launched by entrepreneurs from Chipotle to Instagram. A self-described fan of the program, Dr. Santos connects these real-world stories of successes and struggles with key concepts or theories in her courses. 

She also collaborates with Rowan’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, with whom she is a faculty partner. The Center supports budding entrepreneurs throughout the university by hosting guest speakers and offering competitions, events and workshops. Without missing a beat, RCIE has delivered its programming online since the pandemic. Dr. Santos connects her course content to the people and workshops offered by RCIE.

Dr. Susana Santos smiles by a railing in Business Hall.

Dr. Santos’ infusion of tech with daily doses of engagement prompted colleagues from the College of Business to nominate her for Rowan Global Learning and Partnerships’ second annual Excellence in Online Learning award. She says will extend her “vitamins” to her upcoming summer course and continue her teaching and research on the entrepreneurial mindset, which she says is more universal than most assume: 

“When I do research in so many different fields, it’s thinking about how people can use this mindset in different contexts. One of my research [interests] is on low-income people. They have few resources, they live in a very complicated world. But they find a way to turn around, they leverage the resources they have and the courage to act on those opportunities. So in offering my research I make an effort to understand better how this entrepreneurial mindset can be really relevant in many others rather than just having your own company.”

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Leadership #PROFspective: Kalie VanDewater, Editor-in-Chief of the Whit

Kalie sits and smiles outside on campus.

Today we feature Kalie VanDewater, a leader at Rowan University. Kalie is Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of Rowan’s newspaper, The Whit. She is a senior Journalism and Modern Languages and Linguistics double major with a minor in International Studies from Mount Holly, NJ (Burlington County). Kalie is also involved in the Rowan Environmental Action League and ASL Club

This story is part of a series spotlighting campus leaders during Women’s History Month. 

Kalie stands on a walkway on campus.

What is your role in your organization?

As EIC of the Whit, I have a managerial role. I do a lot of coordination with the printer we work with, advertisers, and I usually write the editorial every week, and make sure all the other editors and writers know what they’re doing and answer any questions they might have. 

Kalie also adds that when she first started working for the Whit her sophomore year, the staff was mostly male. In her three years there, she’s seen a trend in more diversity with race, gender and majors. 

Can you briefly describe what your organization does?

We’re basically the independent student newspaper on campus, so that means we are the source of news on campus. We cover events that are happening and general university happenings. We get to dictate what content we put out. We’re student-run, so we don’t have faculty influence aside from our advisor who is there to make sure things are running smoothly. 

Kalie sits and smiles outside on campus.

What have you learned in your role as a leader?

I’ve learned to trust the people that I’m leading with their capabilities. I tend to be very particular about what I want to do. I started last year as our features editor, I would have an image in my head about what I thought an article should turn out like, but I’m not writing the article, someone else is. I had to get used to trusting my staff. It’s been a lot of learning when to step in and when to take a step back and let everyone do their own thing. You can be a leader without having control all the time. 

What’s the most significant barrier to women today?

It’s that we don’t say what we feel. I feel like it’s kind of been internalized to just accept what is happening. It’s that feeling of if I don’t do what everyone else wants, I won’t be accepted. I think because of that, ideas and feelings that are completely valid may not be brought to light. 

Kalie sits at a bistro table on campus.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?

Be confident in yourself and confident in your abilities. Specifically for leading, be confident in the people that you are leading. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your team. It’s important to know.

Check out Kalie’s work at The Whit here.  

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Caitlyn Dickinson, senior public relations major and 
Marian Suganob, senior public relations and advertising double major

Photos by:
Joe Gentempo, senior art major



Leadership #PROFspective: Roshni Gandhi, Advancing Outreach and Mentorship for Women Engineers

Roshni stands by a glass window inside an academic building on campus.

Today we feature Roshni Gandhi, a leader at Rowan University. Roshni served as the President of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) during the 2019-2020 school year. She is from Old Bridge, NJ (Middlesex County) and is a senior Biomedical Engineering major. Roshni is part of the 3+4 BME/MD program with Cooper Medical School, where she completes her Biomedical Engineering degree in three years and then begins medical school for four years. Roshni is also the president of Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Society and was an SGA Representative of the Biomedical Engineering Society last year. 

This story is part of a series spotlighting campus leaders during Women’s History Month. 

What is your role in your organization?

I was the President of SWE during the 2019-2020 school year (we switched eboards at the beginning of this year). SWE is the Society of Women Engineers and is a professional development organization that helps foster a community between female engineering students and hosts career development events like networking opportunities with big industry partners and mentorship programs. This is very important because studies have shown that fostering connections like these are extremely important in retaining females (and minorities) in the STEM fields, and specifically engineering.

Roshni stands inside Science Hall.

What have you learned in your role as a leader?

I am forever grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to serve as a leader for our Rowan community, as I genuinely believe it has helped me build my character and allowed me and my peers to work towards something we believe in and enjoy! I’ve learned how to adapt to new situations — especially with COVID and having to move to a virtual platform mid-semester, the importance of fostering connections and maintaining good relationships with those individuals, and most importantly I’ve learned that so many people are willing to help you bring your ideas to life or to further the mission of your organization, and for that I cannot thank them enough — whether it be faculty and staff at Rowan or people from industry and academia beyond our own university.

What’s your favorite memory as a leader?

My favorite memory as a leader at Rowan has to be being able to help start new outreach programs through SWE and the College of Engineering. It’s really exciting to be a part of something new that will hopefully continue on over the next several years. Our new outreach program – The SWEET program, or Society of Women – Engineers Engineers in Training, is aimed at introducing middle school students to STEM and engineering and getting females interested in it from early on. Our first summer program is going to run virtually this summer, during the month of August. Our SWE team is really hopeful that we can make a positive impact on these young students and give them the confidence to pursue a career in STEM if that is what they’re interested in.

Who inspires you and why?

As a student conducting research in Dr. Vega’s research lab, someone I look up to and am thankful to have as a mentor is my graduate student on the project, Kirstene Gultian, who is getting her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. She accomplishes so much in the lab, while working as a teaching assistant, and helping with extra-curricular programs as well. She’s a strong leader within our lab, able to balance a number of different tasks at once, and always willing to help everyone.

Roshni stands next to a glass window inside an academic building on campus.

What’s the most significant barrier to women today?

One of the most significant barriers to women today is still representation of females in industry, in the workspace, and in leadership roles. Without the representation, so many women are not given the opportunity to hold leadership positions when compared to their male counterparts due to implicit biases. As such, I think our newest SWE program that we co-founded with PSEG during my time as president is really great in helping female engineering students make industry connections with successful female engineers already working in industry at PSEG.

The program offers mentorship (pairing of SWE students with PSEG mentors) and career advancement events for our SWE members. Through SWE’s international platform, we get to connect with women engineers from all across the world, who offer mentorship and other resources as well, and it is so inspiring to see how much they have and continue to accomplish.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?

Something I’ve learned during my leadership positions over the past few years is: Don’t be afraid to just ask! Sometimes you’ll have an idea that seems crazy or hard to organize and you won’t be sure how to make it come to life or if anyone will support you in making it happen, but lots of times if you just ask, you can make it happen!

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Caitlyn Dickinson, senior public relations major and 
Marian Suganob, senior public relations and advertising double major

Photos by:
Jabreeah Holmes, senior radio/TV/film major

Michelle Martinez: Rowan MBA Fellow for Innovation and Impact, Change Agent for the Financial Industry

Michelle folds her arms on a railing inside Business Hall.

Today we feature Michelle Martinez, a Rowan Global student pursuing her master’s degree in business administration (MBA). Michelle is the inaugural Rohrer College of Business MBA Fellow in Innovation and Impact. In this selective role, she’ll leverage her professional experience to normalize financial literacy and advocate for greater diversity and inclusion in the finance industry. 

Learn more about Michelle, her experience as an MBA Fellow thus far and what responsible leadership means to her. 

From a very young age Michelle has always been determined to change a corner of the world in some meaningful way. Initially, she wanted to explore new underwater worlds as a marine biologist. Over the years, her interest evolved; however, she never lost her interest in math. During her last semester in high school she took a personal finance course and an advanced placement course in macroeconomics. From there, she was inspired to affect the world through the lens of finance. 

Michelle stands outside Business Hall.

Like many millennials, Michelle’s professional journey began at the onset of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. In the aftermath of the recession, she channeled her efforts into helping people interpret and overcome their financial challenges. At the time, Michelle worked for Cherry Hill, NJ-based Commerce Bank. 

“Commerce Bank was a place where customer service and attention to detail was highly important. During that time I saw a lot of people struggling to meet their financial needs. I floated around to different branches in different positions consulting clients on basic financial concepts such as budgeting and building savings, managing debt and using credit. The individuals whose stories stick with me the most are the ones I couldn’t help. These were the people who came to me trying to try and figure a way out of their expensive payday loans. I wanted to be able to do more for them, but I couldn’t,” Michelle says.

After graduating from La Salle University with dual degrees in Marketing and Management Leadership, Michelle went on to work as an investment specialist for one of the world’s largest mutual fund distributors, Vanguard Marketing Corp. There she helped clients with investment operations, portfolio management, financial planning and advisory services. She later went on to work at Morgan Stanley, where she helped direct and lead client/advisor support activities for a team of financial advisors handling several million dollars in assets under management. 

It was soon after her experience working with ultra-high net worth clients that Michelle began to witness firsthand the widening financial capabilities that marked her experiences as a financial professional. 

Michelle leans against a wall inside Business Hall.

“As I progressed professionally, I had begun to more clearly understand the role financial institutions played in easing the economic conditions that perpetuated the growing wealth divide. What I come to realize is that one of the many critical components of building wealth is guaranteeing access to certain resources in a self-sustaining manner. It’s not about guaranteeing specific outcomes,” Michelle says.

“Many people fail to grasp how dependent our financial systems are to one another. A vibrant economy is one that works for everyone. When certain pockets of people are excluded from these systems, we create a room for scarcity and codependency. 

“Not everyone gets a grand for Christmas from grandpa. Not every kid gets a car for their 16th birthday. Not having to choose between getting an education or holding down a job is a privilege. The idea that people should pull themselves up by their bootstraps completely ignores the fact that wealth is not built alone. It takes an orchestra of events,” Michelle adds. 

Michelle stresses that financial institutions must proactively seek out ways to leverage cross-sector relationships in order to help solve growing social issues.

“With the ushering in of a more democratized financial services sector, there is an overwhelming opportunity to reorient wealth management to be more inclusive of the burgeoning potential of outcome-driven, minority-owned enterprises. This goes beyond philanthropy. Too often, portfolio managers lend their success to the securitization of distressed assets in already at-risk communities. 

“The collateral consequences of these traditional investing models perpetuate a long legacy of racism and redlining,” she explains.

Michelle stands in the lobby of Business Hall.

As a Rohrer MBA Fellow in Innovation and Impact, Michelle is on a mission to help disrupt this process. Innovations and Impact Fellows are committed to enhancing both firm and industry performance through the development and implementation of practices that maximize opportunity while minimizing the negative impacts operations have on the environment, people and economic systems.

The MBA Fellowship in Innovation and Impact offers three major areas of focus: Advocacy, Engagement and Research. Fellows will further participate in on-campus initiatives that further shared community connections and shape the culture in which students thrive. 

During her time as a fellow, Michelle will focus on conducting advocacy and engagement as it relates to financial literacy and helping to advocate for greater financial inclusion within the finance industry through community development. 

Michelle adds: “If there’s anything we have to take away from the last year dealing with the fallout of COVID-19 and the impact on vulnerable communities; it’s that healing is not linear. We take the momentum of incredible strides in history and we think our work is done. Except, atrophy starts to set in immediately after. And so, our work must continue.   

Michelle smiles outside Business Hall.

“Organizations have to start digging deeper to find shared values and work towards practices that strengthen our ecosystems as a whole. Guaranteeing opportunities is not the same as guaranteeing outcomes! 

“It’s about creating an enabling environment for all individuals to work hard, pursue life and exercise their civic duties. Is that not the American dream?” she says. “This is what responsible leadership means to me.”

In lending her experience to this growing social challenge, Michelle says she’s optimistic we can advance the equity and economic prospects of low-income Americans. 

Michelle resides in South Jersey and is the proud wife, mother and dog mom of two active goldendoodles. Follow Michelle’s journey on LinkedIn!

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Michelle Martinez, Rowan Global MBA student

Pharaoh Freer: Realizing My Power, Passion and Prof Pride

Pharaoh stands outside on Rowan's campus.

Meet Pharaoh Freer, a Music Industry major from Jamesburg, NJ (Middlesex County). Read his first-person perspective on the lessons he’s learned on his journey to becoming a Rowan Prof. From discovering how to hone in on your passions to understanding the power of your brand, Pharaoh shares the wisdom of leading a life with great ambitions, talent and vision.

Pharaoh stands outside near a wooded spot on campus.

When building an empire, you will go through many obstacles. Life is constructed of multiple points and times you learn and make a mental note so that it won’t happen again.

When I was in middle school, I wasn’t the best kid. This age was my lesson stage. I was getting in trouble, disrupting class. It never occurred to me the image I was setting out for my brand, and when I say brand I mainly mean my name. In your adolescent days, you aren’t aware of the meaning of your name and how much power it has. 

After middle school, I went to a technical school and made better decisions, but there were still a few things I had to “freshen up” on. High school was trial and error. I didn’t take it seriously. I was doing music but not seriously, very unconscious of my actions. All of my friends left me. When I graduated, I hadn’t quite understood what I wanted to do. 

What did I love? Music was something I was always around but never started to take it seriously. My dad introduced it to me early when he started his gospel group. “Heaven Sent” is the group name I helped them [create]. When they went to the studio, I would play around on the mic. So, maybe I fell in love with the way I sounded on the mic. Once I found out I wanted to pursue music as my career, that’s when I found out what person I wanted to be. 

Pharaoh stands inside an academic building stairwell.

After not doing well at community college, I went to an audio engineering school in Philadelphia. [I] shadowed a well-known producer … who has worked with B.o.B, Christina Aguilera, and M.G.K. I passed with flying colors there. It was the first time I maintained a 3.3 GPA.

After this program, I transferred to Rowan and [chose] my major: Music Industry. My dad went here, so this was always a school in mind. When he went back in the day, he came here for soccer on a full ride. But that wasn’t my main reason. I got accepted to Full Sail University in Florida, but I felt like it was too far from home, and I needed to master my area before venturing off. 

Rowan gave me a chance to STRIVE. When my back was against the wall, this was the school that gave me that second chance to strengthen my empire, which is my name. When you think of yourself as a business or an entity, you will try your hardest to not tarnish your business, which is your name. 

I never thought I would ASPIRE to these heights, but it would have been very hard [without] the helping hand of big brother Rowan. 

Pharaoh stands outside an academic building on campus.

If you’re a transfer student coming here or someone discouraged to apply, don’t hesitate: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” 

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Pharoah Freer, freshman music industry major

Edited by:
Marian Suganob: senior public relations and advertisting double major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista: sophomore music industry major

Living with Loss, But Not Staying Lost

Nearly one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Tatyana Bell, a senior Biological Sciences major with a pre-medical track, shares her first-hand account of grief, love and resilience. 

Throughout life we always hear the words “expect the unexpected.” However, during your final semester as a senior in college, you don’t expect that unexpected event to be the loss of your parent.

As we find ourselves in a pandemic, this unexpected event has sadly become the new normal for young individuals.

During winter break, my family and I were all diagnosed with the coronavirus, in which it took the final breath of my father at the age of 45 years old.

On Jan. 4, 2021 I had to say that last and final goodbye through a glass wall. The last touch that was given to me from my father, was not physically from him, himself. That last touch was given to me by a doctor. As I watched a red line drag across the screen, and in a very faint voice she read the final time and hugged me tight.

Tatyana with her father at a homecoming game.
Author Tatyana Bell (right) with her father, Mark (left), at her 2017 high school Homecoming. Tatyana won Homecoming queen, and her father escorted her at the game.

Moving forward often seems less promising when someone close to you is no longer there. You often fight for that voice and that presence to magically reappear. You find yourself feeling guilty when wanting to move on with your own life, because knowing that your loved one is no longer able to share those happy moments with you, it makes those moments seem less rewarding at that given time.

These emotions continue to build as time goes on. However, these are all the normal feelings that one will endure when dealing with grieving.

Tatyana and her father at a family vacation.
A younger Tatyana (left) and Mark are seen here at a family vacation in Virginia (2004).

Grief and love are two words that mirror one another. Because it is love that makes us grieve. I am here to say to you that even when life is not as beautiful as it was before, we most hold onto that love.

When you feel that tight feeling in your body that just wants to be released with screams, those are the memories that keep replaying in your mind. The same memories that give you comfort in knowing that, that individual is with you forever.

It seems diabolical when one expects you to live when you’re enduring so much pain inside. But finding your purpose in life makes every day much easier. Giving up has always been the easy way out, but coming so far as a college student, we cannot make that the answer because we were lucky enough with another chance.

I remind myself every day that when life seems unfair, I must continue forward because when I become a doctor, I owe that hug to a family that was just like me. The family that had to move on, and the family that will miss their Dad forever.

Tatyana at a mountain summit.
Tatyana at the summit of Mt. Tammany in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

Love is so beautiful, but we often get reminded that it is also very painful. However, healing is mandatory for all. The timing is all up to you, but know you are never alone. 

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

 



How to Take a Break with No Break

Angela stands outside Business Hall on campus.

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.

Across the United States, college students’ beloved week off, Spring Break, has been cancelled for many universities. This was a designated slot in the semester to take a break. Some vacationed in Miami, others headed to local East Coast shores and some ventured across the globe to enjoy a week of fun, but mostly, of time off. 

Without the week off, students have a semester that goes straight through — something that is new to most students. Even during fall semesters, we have a Thanksgiving break, which allows allotted time to decompress. Taking time away from school, a break from studying and worrying about deadlines is a huge component in maintaining mental health, motivation and minimizing your risk of burnout. 

Angela leans against a bridge outside on campus.

Taking a break doesn’t look the same for each individual. There are many ways to take a break, and many ways to manage time to take a break. Some people benefit from taking short, quick breaks throughout the day. Youki Terada from the George Lucas Educational Foundation found that “[s]tudents are easily distracted, but regular, short breaks can help them focus, increase their productivity, and reduce their stress.” Others would benefit from designating one day a week to doing something enjoyable — or doing nothing at all (which is also very enjoyable).

Another way to plan breaks is to set aside evenings to yourself and complete all work in the morning. Or, maybe one to two hours a day of self care is beneficial.

While there are several ways to manage relaxation time, there are also endless possibilities in which someone can take a break. With what should’ve been Spring Break around the corner, individuals may be scrambling to manage time as well as celebrate this college-beloved “holiday.”

Angela sits inside Business Hall.

An alternative spring break could be volunteering through a program at Rowan — the Alternative, Alternative Spring Break. It’s also fun to gather friends and take a trip to the beach, masked up and socially distant. Maybe roommates decide to have a movie weekend. A quiet weekend with a Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked, pajamas and a movie marathon may be exactly what some may need.

To plan ahead enjoying Spring Break, be sure to complete homework in ample time to minimize stress. 

Enjoying time off is important, and a dire need of students. Take some time to kick back, relax and leave worries about those modules at the logout button on Canvas. 

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Angela Colo, junior psychology major, Wellness Center intern

Photos by:
Joe Gentempo, senior art major

11 Art Majors Share Artists Who Inspire Them

Studio art major's artwork.

Some are famous; others, just under the radar. Today, 11 Art majors from Rowan’s Ric Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts reveal artists whom they admire — perhaps they will inspire you!

Lotta Nieminen, submitted by Marysa Naiduk.
Lotta Nieminen

Marysa Naiduk is a senior, first-generation college student with a specialization in Graphic Design who transferred from Ocean County Community College. She appreciates the graphic design and modern unique style of artist Lotta Nieminen. “Through her work, Nieminen does an exceptional job of bringing visual identities to life. If you have any interest in art, Nieminen’s work is certainly worth checking out!”

Paul Rand Exhibit (credit: Catherine Cronin via Creative Commons).
Paul Rand

Artist Paul Rand is a favorite of Micah Husk, a senior with a specialization in Graphic Design and transfer from Camden County College. “As a chief of design, he made a difference to convert the publicizing industry by emphasizing the significance of realistic plans and visuals over composing. He created logos for huge companies, now recognizable ones, such as ABC, IBM and UPS. Paul Rand succeeded in changing the American commerce scene through his work. When it comes to style and vision, Paul Rand is certainly a master at it.”

Joe Gentempo wears a design by Justin "Fvller" Fuller.
Joe Gentempo wears a design by Justin “Fvller” Fuller.

Joe Gentempo, a senior from Monmouth County, NJ, Brookdale Community College transfer and first-generation college student, values the work of artist Justin “Fvller” Fuller. “He’s one of the most hardworking artists I’ve seen, always making stuff all around the clock. I have a few of the pieces of clothing he’s made and it’s all hand painted. I think a lot more people need to know about him and see what he’s creating,” Joe explains.

Maya Barton's art.
Maya Barton

Jessica Hedum (featured in this video), a Cape May County, NJ senior and Atlantic Cape Community College transfer, recognizes artist Maya Barton. “Maya is a truly talented person. She does everything from screen printing her own etchings, lino cuts and t-shirts for the Women of Westby to any graphic design work. She has created business cards, websites, flyers and more! Maya is a wonderful artist that produces beautiful work in a timely manner with flawless digital layouts and designs.”

Giovanna Eley's work.
Giovanna Eley

Giovanna Eley, a senior, Law and Justice Studies minor and Rutgers transfer from Union County, NJ, shares her own work. “The artist is me and this is part of the work I’ve done at Rowan University and my art and talent have grown so much since studying here. So, I want to share my art with others.” 

Paula Scher (credit: Ben Terrett via Creative Commons).
Paula Scher

Senior Jana Jackstis, a Rowan College of South Jersey transfer student from Gloucester County, NJ, admires artist Paula Scher. “Paula Scher is one of the most influential graphic designers alive. She’s created so much recognizable stuff, like the Microsoft Windows 8 logo and the Citi logo, for example. She was also one of the first female principals at Pentagram, one of the biggest design firms in the world.”

Mucha (credit: Sofi via Creative Commons).
Alphonse Mucha

Senior Abigail MacNeill of Cumberland County, NJ, who transferred from  Rowan College of South Jersey, and also majors in French, values artist Alphonse Mucha. “He had a revolutionary treatment of subject matter and style that defined art nouveau as a movement and ushered Paris into the golden age of poster art.”

Meg Lemieur.
Meg Lemieur

Melissa Powell, a senior, from Mt. Laurel, NJ (Burlington County), Camden County Community College transfer and first-generation college student, respects artist Meg Lemieur. “Meg Lemieur creates beautiful illustrations that carry powerful messages. I always look forward to what she will represent next.”

Friday Kahlo (credit: Steven Zucker via Creative Commons).
Frida Kahlo

Kaitlyn Davis, a Gloucester County, NJ senior and transfer student from Winthrop University who specializes in graphic design, admires artist Frida Kahlo. “I believe Kahlo to be the definition of perseverance. She is an inspiration and through her pain she created many beautiful paintings.”

Hayao Miyazaki (credit: Domenica Vescio via Creative Commons).
Hayao Miyazaki

Senior Chelsea Herrmann, of Gloucester County, NJ appreciates artist Hayao Miyazaki. “He is a mastermind of storytelling through his art of these movies. He incorporates traditional art with animated art and his stories are so beautiful.”

Keith Haring (credit: Heinz Bunse via Creative Commons).
Keith Haring

Charlotte Steinman, junior, Art major, Washington Township/Gloucester County, Rowan College South Jersey transfer, admires artist Keith Haring. She explains: “Keith Haring was an influential pop artist in the 80’s that started out drawing graffiti in New York City subways and grew in popularity until he became an influential public figure. His work commented on relevant social and political themes like homosexuality and AIDS. Not only is his art beautiful and striking, it also conveys important messages.”

Like what you see? 

LEARN MORE


Story by:
Max M. Morgan, senior radio/television/film major

5 Juniors Share Why They Changed Their Majors

These students recognized their majors weren’t the right fit and took the time and energy (which isn’t much) to make the switch. If you don’t absolutely love what you’re studying, it might be good idea to make a switch to improve your college experience!

Selfie of Bria Riley.

“I was exploring a couple different paths such as addiction counselor, teacher and community health educator, but I realized they weren’t for me. Then what really drove me to add world religions was just my own personal experiences with spirituality, and I realized that I really value critical thinking and multicultural competency … everyone having peace with one another and getting along.” – Bria Riley, junior Psychology major (previously Writing Arts) from Washington Township (Gloucester County)

Outside headshot of Michaela Navarro.

“I wanted a place where I could do music business and not have to deal with the recording and playing an instrument. My ex-boyfriend took me to see ‘Wicked’ and that was the deciding factor for me. I wanted to do theatre and I wanted to make amazing theatre like ‘Wicked.’ I just always really loved the technical aspect of everything. I do live sound, so I mix musicals here and I do lighting.” – Michaela Navarro, junior Musical Theatre-Design/Technical major (previously Music Industry) from Howell, NJ (Monmouth County)

Jackie Carlton sits on a purple chair outside.

“I was a Mechanical Engineering major up until the fall of my sophomore year. I wasn’t really enjoying the classes that were more specific to it, I was trying to go to the clubs to figure out more what to do. But all the career stuff wasn’t really stuff I wanted to do. I want to get as much diverse experience as I can, I’m not really sure what I specifically want to get into, but I kind of want to learn a little bit of each field.” – Jackie Charlton, junior Civil & Environmental Engineering major (previously Mechanical Engineering) from Boonton, NJ (Morris County)

Shirley stands in front of a tree and a nearby academic building.

“I changed a bunch of times. I came to Rowan as a Biochem major, then I switched to Psychology, then I was undecided for like two seconds, then I was Physiological Sciences, and I became an Anthropology major and I recently doubled majored in Modern Language & Linguistics. Spring semester [sophomore year] I had to take an Anthropology class and I was given Natives of South America with Dr. Maria Rosado, and she changed my perspective on everything. Coincidentally, the major just became a major that same semester, if I’m not mistaken. – Shirley Celi-Landeo, junior Anthropology / Modern Language & Linguistics dual major (previously Biochemistry) from Newark, NJ (Essex County)

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

Photos not submitted taken by: 
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major
Quintin Stinney, sophomore Radio/TV/Film major

NJ Children’s Advocate Kelley Michalowski Advances Degree in Rowan’s Ed.D. Program

Kelley is pictured in her home.

Today we feature Rowan Global student Kelley Michalowski, part of Rowan’s Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) program, P-12 track. Read more about Kelley’s professional career in education and her personal dedication to lifelong learning. 

Kelley Michalowski will soon be a two-time graduate of Rowan’s College of Education earning her master’s degree and ultimately her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. 

Kelley started work with the state’s Juvenile Justice Commission as a teacher, then rose to Supervisor of Education. When she first started her career, Kelley taught first-time offenders; her job was to transition them so they can rejoin society. 

You can now find Kelley serving as Director of the Department of Children and Families. In this role, she oversees the needs of those children living in poor circumstances and their educational needs all over New Jersey. She visits 18 schools ranging from Cape May County to Bergen County. 

Kelley is pictured outside her home.

When asked about how the Ed.D. program will help her in the future, Kelley replies: “It already has. The kids I serve are so underserved and had [few] resources when I got there. So even just the contacts I made and the different roads the districts are doing … we can get them back into districts easier because of the contacts I’ve made, with not only the other students but professors. It’s been fantastic for our schools.”

Kelley started her program with a research theory in mind. She also wants to focus on the impact that can be made on teachers. Her overall goal is to motivate educators who serve underserved students and keep them from getting “burned out.” To do this, she plans on creating a teacher mentorship program to pair teachers together to talk and collaborate.

A class that Kelley regarded as being beneficial to her was her diversity class. She feels as though this class informed her enough to educate others. She and her staff would later be inspired to form a racial equity committee based off of the information that Kelley got from her Rowan class.

Like many, Kelley and her family had to learn how to adjust to a work-at-home environment. In addition to work, Kelley served on two of the state’s COVID committees and continued to work on her program while also attending to her family needs, Kelley has been staying strong and pushing hard to complete her program and help others.

Kelley poses outside her home.

“I always promised my father I would continue,” Kelley mentioned as a part of her inspiration to complete this program. Her father always wanted her to do well in whatever she wanted to do and was excited to learn she would be earning her Ed.D.

Some advice Kelley would like to give to prospective doctoral students is to stay calm and do everything slowly so you won’t stress out. She also wants to let you know that Rowan has very caring professors who only want to watch you succeed.

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Cam Hadley, senior public relations and advertising major

Take Control

Marco stands in a wooded section of campus.

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.

In a simplistic way, we are all conscious beings. It is what differentiates us from all other life forms and is the reason we can imagine ourselves in a situation before it becomes a reality.

But what happens when our moral guide no longer exists, the voice in our head seizes to separate right from wrong and instead criticizes the very existence of everything.

The authors at PsychAlive view this as the “critical inner voice” and explain it as “a well-integrated pattern of destructive thoughts toward ourselves and others.”

Marco stands in a walking path along campus.

The critical inner voice is often the result of a maladaptive childhood. It is when the child does not meet the adequate necessity of self-recognition, therefore the child’s self-concept begins to match a false perception of what important others think, for example, Mom and Dad. This often leads to the concoction of feelings experienced by the archetypal villain: arrogance, deceit and resentment. But instead of plotting the very destruction of the world, there is an alternative pathway that leads to the halt to the internal destruction within.

According to PsychAlive: “In order to take power over this destructive thought process, you must first become conscious of what your inner voice is telling you so you can stop it from ruining your life. To identify this, it is helpful to pay attention to when you suddenly slip into a bad mood or become upset, often these negative shifts in emotion are a result of a critical inner voice.”

Marco smiles while standing on campus.

Understanding the difference between conscience and the critical inner voice is vital in gaining control over one’s actions, thoughts and behaviors, therefore acquiring the ability to stop and analyze the situation can mean the end to damaging unwanted thought processes. Take control.

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Marco Imperiale, sophomore psychology major, Wellness Center intern

Photography by:
Rachel Rumsby, sophomore public relations and communication studies major

Reference Page 17th, L., 16th, W., 12th, P., 4th, W., 21st, L., 15th, S., . . . 23rd, S. (2018, April 02). The Critical Inner Voice Explained. Retrieved September 16, 2020, from https://www.psychalive.org/critical-inner-voice/

Flying and Finance: It’s All in a Week’s Work for Business Grad Colin Cox

Colin smiles in front of Business Hall.

Today we feature Colin Cox, a Rowan Global alumnus with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Finance from the Rohrer College of Business. Colin, from Camden County, is a Corporal in the Army National Guard. When not on duty, he works as a proposal analyst for Lockheed Martin. Learn more about how Colin navigates his military and civilian positions — and how he says Rowan brought out his true passion for finance. 

Recent M.S. in Finance graduate Colin Cox could not attend his commencement ceremony this summer for a good reason — he was serving his country.

Colin, a Corporal in the Army National Guard, had been on a one-month special assignment as a crew chief aboard a Black Hawk helicopter in California. 

Since he enrolled at Rowan’s Rohrer College of Business in 2016, the Camden County native frequently found himself balancing his military responsibilities and academics … often at the same time. But since earning his degrees, Colin has mapped out new plans that leverage his military discipline and skills toward a bright future in finance. 

Colin with his M.S. in Finance degree.
Colin earned his M.S. in Finance degree while on special assignment for the U.S. Army.

Since eighth grade, Colin had always envisioned his career path as an Army pilot, circling around a college experience. He enrolled in junior ROTC in high school. After graduation, he joined the New Jersey National Guard, leaving for basic training in South Carolina and then advanced individual training in Virginia, where he learned how to be a UH-60 (or “Black Hawk”) helicopter mechanic. 

When he returned home, Colin admits he had little interest in attending college. With a bit of prodding from his family and friends, several of whom were attending Rowan, he hesitantly gave it a shot. He applied as an undergraduate to the College of Business, and his course changed from there. 

“When I started Rowan, I loved it. And that kind of changed my career path, kind of wanting to follow the military [path for] 20 years to actually wanting to get into finance,” he says. 

Colin completed his undergraduate degree in three years while still serving in the military.

“I ended up loving finance. It’s so much fun. I love the professors and I loved the degree program itself,” he says.

The same week he graduated with his bachelor’s degree, Colin began the M.S. in Finance program. With the master’s degree, he wanted to hone his finance skills and, if he were to seek leadership roles down the line, pursue a broader MBA degree long-term. 

The fully-online program also appealed to Colin, who was working full-time and in the military and structured his classes around both to complete the graduate degree. He explains: “You can’t put it all off, but it gives you the flexibility to do it on your time whether it’s early morning, late at night or in the middle of the day.” 

Colin's helmet and degree on a Black Hawk helicopter wing.

Colin speaks highly of the College of Business’s many mentorship programs and networking events, where at such gatherings he met two alumni who helped forge his future business career. One alumnus helped him decide to apply for the M.S. in Finance program. Another connected him with Lockheed Martin; the defense contractor hired Colin as a proposal analyst soon after he graduated with his bachelor’s degree.

In this role, Colin is part of a team which, working with engineers and supply chain personnel, develops pricing and estimating strategies for government defense projects. It is here that his Army background circles back again. 

“Sometimes it’s a missile defense system, and you get to meet the engineers on all these things I got to use in the military. I got to experience some of this stuff, I got to be the customer. And now I’m delivering the product. So it’s fulfilling. It’s kind of like rounding out the military experience,” he says.

Colin has logged more than 222 flight hours in his Army career. According to him, serving onboard the aircraft demands more training than a typical member of the Reserves. On active duty in California last summer, he says his special assignment’s purpose was to give commanders experience leading troops into battle without the consequences of real combat. 

Professional headshot of Colin Cox.

Colin’s military contract expires early next year, and he says he will not renew it nor train after that date with the Army reserves. He explains: “As you get into your career in the military, you take on more responsibility — and then the same thing on the civilian side. So I would just be nervous about trying to do both and not excelling at either.” 

Colin says Rowan University changed his mind about the corporate world — he calls his position with Lockheed Martin his “dream job” and is poised to climb the company’s ranks. He’s returned to Rowan as an active alumnus, working alongside current and former Rohrer College of Business graduate students as a founding member of the Rohrer Graduate Student and Alumni Advisory Board, which aims to enhance the student and alumni experience by hosting networking events, seminars and industry nights.

He’s also channeled his finance know-how toward a new passion project called More Money Maintenance, a financial literacy blog aimed to helping young adults making better decisions with their finances.

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

5 Things I’ve Learned as a Radio/Television/Film Major

Today we spotlight Max M. Morgan, a senior Radio/Television/Film (RTF) major from Marlton, NJ. Max reflects on 5 game-changing skills he’s developed while at Rowan University.

Max wears a Rowan t-shirt and holds a yellow guitar.
Author Max M. Morgan
  1. How to write a script.

As a senior looking back, the screenwriting courses really stood out to me, and helped me develop an initial method to approach any type of production and maximize the value. Also, the in-class discussions and critiques helped me fine-tune my vision and develop new perspectives, which instilled in me the importance of listening to other voices.   

  1. How to capture any subject on camera.

Another course of great importance to me was Film Production, in which learning the process of how professional video production works is invaluable. I had no idea how much is involved before I enrolled at Rowan, like the different types of camera lenses, how to stylize an image to give a certain look and feel, color correcting, and the different types of microphones. All of this enabled me to showcase my work and add to my personal portfolio. 

RTF students film outside Bozorth Hall.
RTF students film outside Bozorth Hall (spring 2018).

  1. How to edit/score a production.

Any one of these software programs are really intimidating to a first-time user, but with Rowan’s access to free Adobe Creative Cloud programs for students, it gives hands-on experience with today’s cutting-edge technology. The most common software programs I’ve mastered here are Adobe Premiere, Adobe Photoshop and Logic Pro X. 

A RTF student edits video.
A RTF student edits video.
  1. How to create custom graphics in Photoshop.

Intro to New Media and Foundations of Media are courses that have given me useful experience in Photoshop, creating unique graphics, lower thirds, etc., in a very easy-to-understand, digestible way. Photoshop is an invaluable tool in my arsenal; being able to turn average photos into amazing ones, extracting precise elements from an image, being able to piece together and make something new and exciting!                    

  1. How to develop a voice.

Podcasting and Media Performance Techniques classes have really helped me develop my voice and communication skills that translate in everyday life, and have given me the confidence I wish I had years ago. The voice is the most practical thing I’ve developed here at Rowan, and I am using what I have learned everyday already.  

Author Max wears a Rowan shirt and holds a yellow guitar.

I feel that Rowan has helped me grow so much, not only in my field, but as a young adult, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a Prof!! Furthermore, I’d like to give a shout-out to some extraordinary instructors who shared their own talents and experiences to enrich my own learning. Thank you!

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story and author photos by:
Max M. Morgan, senior Radio/Television/Film major











Doctoral Student Erica Watson Brown Believes Time Management is the Most Important Part of the Ph.D. Pursuit

Erica Watson Brown stands outside of a playground.

Today we feature Rowan Global student Erica Watson Brown, who’s pursuing a Ph.D. in Education at Rowan. Learn more about her journey, research focus on urban studies and insights on work/life balance. 

Full-time Rowan employee, Erica Watson Brown, is currently in her second year of earning her Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Urban and Diverse Learning Environments. On top of her doctoral and full-time work, Erica is also a mother and a wife. She is interested in civil rights relating to education, which is evident in her research on diversifying the teacher workforce. 

Having the ability to balance family, work and school was an important factor for the timing of when Erica would pursue this degree. Erica grew a strong interest in Rowan’s Ph.D. program four years ago when she attended an information session. There she asked if it was possible to do the program part time, and they told her not at the time. Erica had been working as a teacher full time in South Jersey, and at that point Erica thought the timing was not right. She said she “wasn’t going to drop any responsibilities in her life.” 

Fast forward a few years later, and Erica landed a job at Rowan University as the Program Coordinator for Elementary Education. After working at Rowan for about a year, she decided it was time to look into the Ph.D. program again. For a number of reasons, she decided that this was a good time to go after the degree. 

Erica Watson Brown stands outside in a playground.

Erica’s concerns about having enough time for all her responsibilities were definitely warranted as she describes the most vital aspect of graduate school is time management. When asked about this, she explained: “The one thing that is the most challenging is all of the reading you have to do. There is a massive amount of information you need to know about different theorists because it will then inform your research at some point in time.”

Erica’s research focuses on diversifying the teacher workforce. This is an issue that hits close to home for her because she went to a school where she was “one of two women of color.” She went on to say she had many good friends and meaningful relationships at school, but it was not always easy. 

“Oftentimes I felt like I was the voice of people of color,” Erica explains. “As a woman of color I have certain insight into situations that relate to social justice.” 

Erica Watson Brown stands outside in a playground.

Her research is extremely prevalent today since it has been made clear there are questions about race that must be asked in every aspect of American life. Erica seems passionate enough about this subject to institute impactful change. 

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

Betzy Miranda: Soldier, Student, Nurse

Betzy looks at a distance holding her military helmet.

Meet Betzy Miranda, a graduate student in Rowan Global’s M.S. in Nursing program, Nurse Practitioner concentration who is completing her degree while working as both a nurse and a case manager in the United States military. Learn more about she balances her responsibilities and why she is furthering her education at Rowan. 

Betzy Miranda is a triple threat. She is a member of the U.S. military, a student and the only Spanish-speaking nurse in her program. Her story can’t seem to get more awe-inspiring, but the work she does in each of these roles is even more impressive. 

Her work with the U.S. military was inspired by her ex-husband, who experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after his service with the Navy. Currently, Betzy is an Army Nurse Case Manager for the Medical Management unit. She works with soldiers suffering from anxiety, PTSD and TBI. 

Along with her military duties, Betzy is advancing her practice further by attending Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. She is grateful that she gets a chance to do both, even if it isn’t easy at times.

“Dr. Kasper has been such an ace. When I come back from my military responsibilities, I have a limited amount of time to get back to my school work. He has been flexible with deadlines and that has made things a lot easier on me. I am a soldier first, and he understands that,” Betzy says.

With her degree, Betzy plans on working in the operating room or with interventional radiology with a focus in cardiology. “I always want to be challenged. I always want to advance my knowledge,” she says. “I always want to do more for the patient. That is why I came back to school at this point in my life.”

Currently, Betzy is the only Spanish-speaking nurse in her program. She loves being an advocate for the Latino community and helping break the language barrier so her patients can have the best care possible. 

Betzy attributes her passion for care to her grandmother. “She always wanted to care for people, heal people, even cook for people. I feel like I’m the same way. Even on my day off, I’ll reach out to a friend and ask if they’re doing okay. I just want to help others.”  

Betzy is originally from Union City, New Jersey. After high school, Betzy moved to Florida, where she attended Florida Community College on a full-ride scholarship. She moved on to graduate from Norfolk State University and obtained a second degree from Drexel University’s accelerated program.

Betzy holds her military helmet.

Betzy has been a nurse for five years and is clearly ready to take on the world. “I still can’t believe that I’m little Betzy from Union City High School. I have come so far to be where I am now. I really count these blessings.” 

Like what you see?

LEARN MORE

Story by:
Loredonna Fiore, senior public relations and advertising major