Human Services, Leading & Impacting Lives [VIDEO]

Dimirra working alongside three other children.

Human Service professionals work with diverse populations providing a wide variety of social, personal and health services depending on need. Potential career paths include becoming a case worker, social advocate, welfare service professional, child welfare professional or law enforcement. “The sky is the limit. We need more activists. We need more listening learners. We need […]

Rowan University Anthropology Majors Share Their Professional Goals

A close up of Mexican communication on a stone from an ancient civilization.

Anthropology is the scientific and humanistic approach understanding human origins, and biological and cultural diversity. Potential career paths can include becoming an anthropologist, archeologist, forensic science technician, curator, medical scientist, museum technician and conservator or geographer. What internships, clubs, networking, etc. are you involved in and how do they support your goals? “I am currently […]

How Political Science Majors Can Grow Through Research and Internships: A Conversation with Professor Markowitz

The student government association president sits at his desk for a interview.

Like most political science majors, Professor Lawrence Markowitz was originally set on entering law school after he had completed his undergraduate degree. However, after a brief internship in law that exposed him to what big law was like, some time off and a tour of Western Europe exposed him to the alluring complexities of international relations. He has since then become an expert on and published work on a variety of topics from political violence to state building with a focus on post-Soviet Eurasia and is the current chair of the political science department at Rowan University.

Transitioning from one field of study to another presented new opportunities to learn not only in the classroom but by working as well, “I interned for human rights on international affairs, then decided that I wanted to go into the field, but knew I needed a little bit more of a regional focus and a little bit more language skills.” The 1990s changed the landscape of international politics as the Soviet Union fell, providing Professor Markowitz with an opportunity that most people for close to 70 years only could dream about. As he waited to see which university would be his home for his master’s degree, he says, “While my applications were being reviewed, the year before I started my master’s, I went overseas to Moscow and did a study abroad language study for about five months in Moscow.” Even after starting his master’s degree in the fall of 1995, trips to Armenia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Russia again all helped add to his depth of knowledge–something that can be seen and heard when sitting in his class. 

Professor Markowitz stands in front of a slide labed "The Politics of Multiculturalism" with his hand pointing to some of the bullet points such as "Why is multiculturalism important?" and "How does multiculturalism matter?". There is a student in the foreground taking notes.

What Professor Markowitz does for students extends outside the classroom setting, helping to guide students through their academic career. The vision he has for his department has been carefully put together to maximize the potential of students, “In political science, the faculty spends a good amount of time talking about and thinking about putting together a curriculum that builds multiple skills and helps broaden students in a variety of ways. Obviously on the most superficial level, we want you to cover the basic topics, themes, and theories and to know the material in political science. That’s the obvious. Underlying that, we’re developing a lot of the skills and less tangible abilities that will serve you over the long term.” The benefits of the skills you learn exceed being able to think more analytically or write better, “For example, how to impose and support an argument through compelling logic and evidence. If you go into law, that is obviously relevant, but in any field you’re going to be able to do that. You want to ask for a raise? That’s a good tool to have–the ability to craft an argument and to think through how to support it.”

Even when diving into the specifics of what you learn, Professor Markowitz ensures that students leave class with a better understanding of the world around them. The experiences he’s had in his own studies, research, and travels are all passed onto the students to provide a well-rounded approach to the topics covered in class. Helping students craft well thought out opinions on the world comes from taking a look at the world around them and analyzing the pros and cons in the differences, “If you just look at your experience in the U.S. and you look at the U.S. and try to interpret the U.S. American politics and the world around you and the economy, without having that broader perspective, you only have a limited view. In comparative politics and in the Russian politics class I teach we talk about themes, such as in the comparative politics class I teach, one day we do welfare states, we look at social programs, we look at Germany’s pensions and version of social security and its health care.” As much as Professor Markowitz seeks to help develop his students ability to learn and think critically outside the classroom, opportunities outside the classroom are equally as important. 

While many students think primarily of internships, there are other opportunities that are available to students as well. Research opportunities are also available to students, an opportunity that helps a student branch out, “Students in their undergrad years, if they can work with a professor on a research paper project or conduct research for their classes, that is a big opportunity and advantage. In other words, they’re working on a paper and have a wide range of themes, but develop over time where your interests are.”  Traditional internships are always available to students. The benefits to those are clear, “But also: not just research, but doing work within organizations or on campaigns, getting involved in various ways in politics;  there’s a lot of opportunities for that.” There was also an emphasis on how lucky students are to have three major cities (New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia) all within relative proximity to campus for tangible hands-on experience. Opportunities are boundless to those who look for them, with the staff helping students find positions for them to not only grow in, but find success as well. With both the Rowan Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship (RIPPAC) offering internship opportunities and the College of Humanities & Social Sciences offering a wide variety of internships, the possibilities available are varied.  Rowan’s study abroad program also adds a layer of depth to the chances that students can create for themselves by immersing themselves in the cultures they’ve spent time studying in the classroom. 

As much as Professor Markowtiz sees opportunities for students’ growth within their own fields of study, he also believes that students should expand their horizons by taking classes outside of what their area of focus is. Undergraduate studies provide students with the opportunities to explore a variety of interests, “First of all, even before selecting, but also after selecting a major, they should take a wide range of classes and explore. We’re one of the few countries on the planet, historically one of the few countries where you have a liberal arts education and you can take a range of classes and just take something in art or biology just because you want to learn about biology.” But when picking classes, students should not just choose randomly, but pick based on how it could relate to future careers, “If they go into law, then political science is a good major, but then the question is, ‘What kind of law might they be interested in?’ They don’t have to decide for sure, but if they are randomly thinking they might want to go into corporate law, then doing a minor or CUGS (Certificates in Undergraduate Studies) in something in finance or business makes sense. If they want to go into family law, then maybe doing a minor in psychology makes sense.” Finding a balance to broadening your horizons and narrowing down what a student is key to academic success. 

Professor Markowitz is standing in front of the board with his hand out stretched lecturing to his students.

Rowan’s political science department gives students the tools they need to succeed through lessons taught in the classroom, to the doors that lead to the professional world. When asked about what makes this university produce graduates who are so competitive, Professor Markowitz was quick to give credit to his colleagues, “We have a lot of faculty, especially in our College of Humanities & Social Sciences, who research within these fields. Most of them are at the high levels in their particular sub-field; they’re specialized. They are experts and they’re among the top experts in the broader fields that they’re in.” The staff aims not just to research for their own benefit, but to also help students stay on the cutting edge of information, to help them stay competitive in their fields of study. Professor Markowitz is not wrong when he says, “They’re not someone who is never interacting with undergrads and they don’t know how to talk about their research topic in everyday terms. We have that great mix, we have a dozen people or so in every discipline that have that kind of specialization and expertise. For the price tag, it’s a pretty good deal.”

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Story by:

Thomas Ubelhoer, sophomore political science and international studies double major

Neurodiversity Student Government Representative Advocates for Autism Awareness and Education

A close up of Heather as she sits smiling at Robinson Circle on Rowan University's campus.

One Rowan University Student Breaks Down Barriers All Year Round, Not Just During Awareness Months In 1997, sociologist Judy Singer introduced a new terminology to the world of science/medical world called neurodiversity, which is a concept that helps those to understand that there are varied ways that each person’s brain processes information, functions, and presents […]

Studying Abroad in Colombia as a First-Generation and Transfer Student

A street sign with many different countries on it.

Bonnie Williams, a senior international studies major from Downe Township, NJ (Cumberland County) shares her personal experience with us about the study abroad program she is participating in.

As a first-generation, transfer student, Bonnie is proud that she is about to be the first Williams (of her direct family) to receive her bachelor’s degree, and possibly continue her education to aim for a graduate degree. She shares that her family has seen how hard she works for school and they’ve never underestimated her efforts. Although she occasionally has feelings of guilt because she recognizes that her parents didn’t have the opportunity to earn a college degree, she knows that they work hard to support her and that they are beyond proud of her. 

Bonnie standing in front of a brick wall (James Hall).

This semester, Bonnie is studying abroad in Colombia, with the goal of gaining volunteering and service experience. She’s looking forward to learning more about the culture and environment of Barranquilla, Colombia, specifically its people, music, food, everyday life, and the university- “Universidad del Norte”. After spending a few weeks there she is already in love with Colombia’s culture. Bonnie stated that “being there feels like living a different life than [she] could ever have imagined for [herself], and that it has made [her] feel an array of emotions, from excitement, scared, homesick, but most of all it has felt like a nonstop adventure that [she] is thoroughly enjoying.”

Bonnie’s long-term professional dream goal is to become a professor in Spain and/or Latin America. She has always admired other countries, their cultures, and their people. Bonnie mentioned that her main inspiration for pursuing an international studies degree was because of a cultural geography course she took at Camden County College, where she analyzed various countries, cultures, traditions, religions, etc. Bonnie said that this course “opened [her] eyes to the varieties of the world’s different cultures and sparked [her] passion for learning about the world and its many different people”. Bonnie believes that earning her degree at Rowan will allow her to broaden her knowledge of the world’s people by studying different countries, cultures, etc. She supports the idea that her degree “will open the door to expanding [her] degree or starting [her] professional journey right after graduation.”

Bonnie holding two flags in her hands (Dominican Republic and Colombia).

Bonnie is proud of her courage and the experience she has gained so far. If Bonnie has one piece of advice for transfer students, it’s “if you’re interested in studying abroad, do it! Apply for scholarships, grants, and believe in yourself! All of your hard work will pay off, and you will find answers to yourself that you never even knew you had when you put yourself out there and challenge yourself to live in another part of the world.” 

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Written by: Valentina Giannattasio, junior dance and marketing double major

Master In Public Policy: What Students Can Expect and Look Forward To

Professor Zundl listening to a student.

Rowan University recently launched a new Master in Public Policy program. Professor Elaine Zundl is one of the professors involved in creating the program and shares with us what students can expect. 

How did you become involved with the creation of this program?

My colleagues, including Dr. Lawrence Markowitz, Dr. Katharine Javian, and Dr. Danielle Gougon, worked on the program before I arrived on the scene, spending, probably, two years, maybe more, putting together the curriculum. I think there were many other people at Rowan who supported the development of this program and realized that this was a degree we needed but didn’t have. It’s an innovative program because it is relevant for students who are in environmental science or engineering or other social science majors like sociology. The program is useful to anyone who’s interested in how their work in another discipline can be important for influencing policy development and government stakeholders. Public policy crosses a lot of different domains. That’s the reasoning behind the program.

Faculty from political science, economics, and public policy, as well as members of the New Jersey public policy community lead the courses and discussions. 

Professor Zundl laughing at something said in class.
Professor Zundl leads discussion in a Master in Public Policy course.

What goals should students set for themselves coming into this program?

Prospective students should have a sense of the policy area on which they would like to focus. They may change their mind over the course of the program but a strong interest in policy and policymaking is key.

When thinking about using a political science degree, many people jump immediately to the idea of law school. What alternative career paths does a Master in Public Policy (MPP) offer?

There are a lot of jobs in the policy world that don’t require you to go to law school. If there’s an issue you are passionate about, you might find yourself being the executive director of a nonprofit, being a policy analyst at a think tank, or working for a lobbyist who’s passionate about changing policy for an organization you care about. Recently our department hosted a panel event with stakeholders who are advocating for making the cannabis industry in New Jersey more equitable. That’s something that anyone could get involved with: writing briefs, influencing how that policy unfolds, organizing community groups. Careers in policy are more diverse than most people realize.  Students tend to think, “Well. I’ll work at a government agency or I’ll go to law school,” but there are so many organizations that need someone who understands policy.

Adult learner works from her home office, looking seriously at the camera.

What is the importance of being able to understand the nuances of public policy?

The average person might have taken a college course in government or might remember back to high school when they learned how a bill becomes a law and the checks and balances of our government. But in reality, there are a lot of other things you have to consider when you are trying to change policy or create programs for the public. We call that the policy process. If you really want to be successful, if you want your vision for changing the world to get attention, you need an advanced understanding of how issues get onto the agenda and implemented. We cover research techniques for understanding the impact of a policy, we cover how certain issues end up in front of the public or on the government agenda for a particular session.

What should students entering the program look forward to?

The best part of being in an MPP program is that there are a lot of seminar courses where you get to learn by discussing issues with your peers. In the public policy classroom, it’s not just political science folks, it’s people who study economics, it’s people who are from sociology or diversity & inclusion or work in education. So, discussing one issue or the significance of one policy becomes very exciting because there are so many different viewpoints that you hear and that allows us to learn collaboratively. I think that’s one of the most exciting things about graduate school overall. The students have formed a very tight cohort and they are comfortable reaching out to each other. Most of our students are working professionals with a mix of incoming students who have recently completed their undergraduate degree. They have families or they have other things going on in their lives, but we are a tight community. We all reach out to each other to check in with each other and support each other.

Adult learners dressed in business clothes cross a bridge on campus as they walk together.

Are there opportunities that will be open to students at the master’s level that may not be available at the undergrad level? If so, what are they?

Internships and research opportunities for MPP students are separate from those offered at the undergraduate level. Typically, these opportunities require students to have more advanced skills than would be expected of undergraduate students. We work with employers and think tanks and legislators to cultivate internship experiences for our masters’ students. Students might also have a chance to work on a faculty member’s ongoing research project. There are also professional development opportunities for students. We hosted the New Jersey Political Science Association Conference at Rowan in Spring 2023 and some of our students attended the membership meeting.

What differences should students be aware of when jumping from an undergrad political science program, or something similar, to a Master of Public Policy?

I would say the most important thing to realize is that undergraduate studies are more directed and closely supervised. You are given assignments and prompts by faculty members, you have smaller assignments and you check in more often with your professor. When you are doing graduate level work, you participate in discussions at seminars and choose the topics for your projects, and you need to take more responsibility for asking for help and checking in with your professor. Sometimes students struggle with that transition, about being more self-directed because it can be a little intimidating. It’s not that we won’t be here to support students; faculty are always helpful, but ultimately you get from the program what you bring to it. You are expected to know what kind of policies you want to study and your faculty member works as a facilitator, in that sense, to help guide you.

One thing that I love about Rowan is that students can take MPP courses in their senior year using “senior privilege.” If students are not sure about a public policy degree or graduate school, this program is a great way to find out. If someone told me I could take a graduate course as a senior and pay undergraduate tuition and get a taste of graduate level work, I would have done it. Even if you decide to go on to do something else, you understand what to expect– it demystifies the whole experience for students. I want to break down barriers for students who might not think of themselves as graduate students.

What can students do to prepare themselves for a more rigorous curriculum?

You can always reach out to faculty who teach the courses and ask to see the syllabus or ask to meet with them to discuss the class to see whether the program will meet your goals. I think that’s an excellent first step. A lot of folks come to me and say, “Should I do an MPP? I don’t like what I’m doing now, and this seems interesting.” I try to emphasize that getting a graduate degree is a big commitment, it’s a lot of work. You should be pretty sure that this is something you want to pursue for at least the next 5-10 years. If you don’t have a sense of the policy area or issues you want to focus on, it might make more sense for you to take a few courses in the program before you commit. If students are not ready to enroll in the MPP, our department offers a Certificate of Graduate Study in Public Policy.

There are two ways you can enroll in the MPP program. The first is the CADP, the Combined Advanced Degree Program. That’s where if you’re currently an undergrad at Rowan, you can enroll in this program and take 12 credits in the MPP program while you’re still an undergrad and save money because you’re not paying graduate tuition for those 12 credits. Or you go the traditional route, where you finish your bachelor’s first and then enroll in the MPP program.

Is there anything else you want to highlight for people to know about the program?

There are many ways to get in touch with us and learn about the program. The best way for people to find out more about the MPP, learn about our current students, and stay up to date on our events, is to follow our Linkedin page. I personally host Master of Public Policy info sessions throughout the year for prospective students. Many of the info sessions are held over Zoom but we tend to have one or two in person as well.

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Story by:

Thomas Ubelhoer, rising junior political science and international studies double major

#PROFspective: First-Year Student Talks Exploratory Studies & Accepted Students Day

Close up of a smiling Kayla.

What is Exploratory Studies? “Exploratory studies means that you do not have a set major; you’re exploring what you want to do. You have the opportunity to take classes that you are interested in. I took a Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management course because it caught my interest. From there, if I decide that this […]

From Political Science Student to Political Operative

Connor talks to two people.

Originally intent on a completely different major, that changed after Connor attended Dr. Lawrence Markowitz’s talk on Russian collusion in American elections. Although he quickly changed majors to political science, he did not want to lose other areas of interest that had been a big part of his life growing up, causing him to pick […]

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 […]

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 […]

#PROFspective: Liberal Studies, Languages and Law with Junior Alexzia Lyons

Today we feature Alexzia Lyons, a junior Liberal Studies major. Alexzia is from Durham, North Carolina and previously went to North Carolina Central University, where she dual enrolled as a high school and college student. She discusses how she decided to come to Rowan, her experiences and involvement around campus, and advice to other students […]

Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective: Law & Justice, Psychology Double Major Katerine A. on Not Hiding Her “Personality, Culture or Heritage”

Top of Bunce Hall with a blue sky background.

Today, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, we feature Junior Katerine A. (she/her) from Bronx County, New York. Katerine is double majoring in Law & Justice Studies and Psychology. She discusses her Rowan experience, staying true to herself, and gives advice to future students. What is your student experience here at Rowan? […]

Beyond the Classroom: Writing Arts and English Major Skyla Everwine Interns for Project Little Warriors

Skyla holds a Rowan University pennant against a wooded backdrop.

Senior Rowan Blog contributor and Writing Arts and English major Skyla Everwine shares her experience working as a Grant Writing Intern for Project Little Warriors, a non-profit that practices yoga with kids in underfunded schools. As the spring semester was wrapping up, I decided that I wanted to find a summer internship closer related to […]

Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective: History and International Studies Double Major Kyle I.

Rowan arch with a cloudy blue background.

Today, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, we feature Senior Kyle I. (he/him) from Woodlynne, NJ (Camden County). Kyle is double majoring in History and International Studies, having transferred to Rowan University from Camden County College. He discusses his experience at Rowan, professional aspirations, and gives advice to future students. What is […]

Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective: Law & Justice Major Kathleen has “Dreamed Big”

Close up of the top of Bunce Hall with a blue sky in the background.

Today, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, we feature senior Kathleen (she/her) from Perth Amboy, NJ (Middlesex County). Kathleen is majoring in Law & Justice Studies, having transferred to Rowan University from Rowan College of South Jersey. She discusses her experience at Rowan, professional aspirations, and gives advice to future students. What […]

Meet Transfer Profs: Welcoming Students from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Bunce Hall on Rowan's Glassboro Campus behind some foliage.

Today we feature incoming transfer students April Casey (she/her), an English major from Gloucester County and Emma Rodriguez (she/her), an Anthropology major from Ocean County. The two tell us about their majors, why they’re excited to start classes at Rowan, and give advice to future transfer students. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us […]

History, Anthropology Graduate Kathryn Seu Pursues M.A. in Holocaust and Genocide Education

Kathryn holds a textbook. in inside

Today we speak with Kathryn Seu, a recent Rowan University graduate with degrees in History and Anthropology. She will continue her studies by pursuing her master’s degree in Holocaust and Genocide Education, the first program of its kind, through Rowan Global. Kathryn is from West Berlin, NJ (Camden County) and is student association president of the Rowan Center for the Study of Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights (RCHGHR). In this article, she discusses her experience within her studies at Rowan, her goals and her responsibilities as within RCHGHR. 

Why did you choose to pursue a master’s?

For my career goals, it feels like the natural next steps. I would like to pursue [a degree] higher than a master’s eventually, so it seems like for what I want to do and with research, it helps to have more of an advanced degree — especially with a specialized field. It definitely helps more to have academic experience.

Kathryn reads from a text inside James Hall.

Why did you choose to study Holocaust and Genocide Education?

Rowan is the only university to offer Holocaust and Genocide Education. You can get degrees in Holocaust and Genocide Studies or Conflict Studies, but Rowan is the only one that has the education aspect. I think it’s really important, especially with so much negativity and hate speech that we see almost everywhere, that we encourage accessible education to these subjects.

Most states don’t require Holocaust education in public school curriculum, so some people don’t even get that education. I think it’s really important to emphasize that and make it accessible for as many people as possible.

Are there any notable differences between the undergraduate program versus the graduate program?

Mostly the course load is different. It’s also interesting because you have a different relationship with your professors. It’s more professional rather than superior and inferior. Rowan already has small class sizes and the master’s or higher education classes are much smaller, so you have more time to have more in depth conversations because you’re not in a classroom with 25 people, it’s more like 10 people. Pretty much everyone knows each other. It’s easier to have a tighter community. 

What are your career goals?

I would like to pursue an even higher education and apply for some Ph.D. programs this summer. I would like to go into some sort of research position or public advocacy. I think it’s really important and I love doing research. There’s just so much that we can learn and you can draw connections from the past to the present. I think it’s really important to spread that information to everyone.

What is Rowan Center for the Study of Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights (RCHGHR)?

This is a center on campus for interdisciplinary studies to help grow the next generation of educators. The center is run by the professors, but the student association focuses on student-led events on campus like International Holocaust Rememberance Day in January and student-led discussions.

Kathryn holds a candle at International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Kathryn at Rowan’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day event

Some of our more popular discussion events were “Antisemitic Tropes in Media” and “Rights on the Reservation,” which was about indigenous rights in America. The main goal is to get students and faculty alike more involved with talking about the Holocaust Genocide and human rights.   

What was your role or involvement with the RCHGHR?

For the student association, I am the president, and one of the big responsibilities was planning International Holocaust Remembrance Day. That was at the beginning of January, and I would only have a couple of weeks to work it out because we weren’t a charter, so we didn’t have our own budget. It was really nice to have other organizations coordinate to help bring food, candles and lighters.

We have meetings every other week, and I would work on a presentation or a discussion topic. For example, the one that we had before the end of the semester was about The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and why it’s not a good book. Meetings are around discussion topics like this to get more people involved.

Why did you choose to be involved with the RCHGHR?

I took a Historical Methods class with Professor Manning and at that time I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with history and anthropology. I thought I was going to be an Egyptologist for a while, but after I took that class I thought that this might be it. Professor Manning told me about the student association and recommended that I joined so I did. I did that for a semester and at that time the President was graduating and thought that I should take on that role after he left.

Are you currently involved in any other activities or clubs at Rowan?

For the past two semesters I was involved with the Mixed Martial Arts Club as a recreational activity. I was also involved with Phi Alpha Theta, which is the National History Honor Society and Lambda Alpha, which is the Anthropology Honor Society.

What is your most memorable experience at Rowan?

My situation was unique because I did my undergrad in three years and I started in Fall of 2019 and then we immediately went online next semester. I really only had three semesters in person, but even still, the whole experience was very memorable. Probably the most memorable experience was getting to speak at graduation, which was a pretty big deal to me.

Kathryn speaks at commencement.
Kathryn speaks at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences commencement ceremony.

What class during your studies in Holocaust and Genocide Education do you find most memorable? Why?

I just got back from a study abroad trip for the class, Nazi Germany & the Holocaust. It was 13 days and we were in Germany, Poland, Czechia and Austria. We got to see and do so much. We went to so many museums that I can’t even begin to list how many. It was really impactful because the furthest I had gone was Florida. This trip was the most memorable and the most enriching for my education because I had never been to a concentration camp before. I had never seen all these sights that we talked about.

It was really powerful to be there because we read about this all the time, but going to all these museums, talking to the locals, and seeing all these places and memorials in real life was really impactful.

Kathryn holds a textbook inside Campbell Library.

How do you think Rowan has prepared you for your future endeavors?

My education at Rowan has been incredibly interdisciplinary. I feel like I’ve gotten so much out of my two majors and undergraduate programs than what I’ll get in graduate school. With Holocaust and Genocide Education, the principles that you learn can be applied to other areas of history. You’ll sometimes hear it referred to as the “hard histories,” like the Holocaust and slavery. The same principles of education can be applied to different areas, and I think that has been the main thing that Rowan has been able to do for me, and I’m very grateful for it.

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Story by:
Jessica Nguyen, elementary education and literacy studies graduate

Photos by:
Tyler Allen-Williams, radio/TV/film major
Kathryn Seu
University Publications

Meet #Rowan2026: Incoming Profs from the Colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences, Education

Image of prof statue near Robinson and James Halls.

Today we welcome incoming first year students from the College of Education and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Rowan University. Haley Hill (she/they) is from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County) and will be living on campus as an Education and History major. Gianna Burgio (she/her) is also from Williamstown, NJ and will be […]

Passing the Torch: International Studies Grad Griffin Lallier Looks Ahead

Griffin poses next to a flower bush with his diploma.

Griffin Lallier, an International Studies major with minors in Political science and Geography and a CUGS in sustainable urbanism, is a commuter student from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County).

Griffin looks off into the distance in front of Bunce Hall.

As a commuter, Griffin could still make many friends. He shares the best ways he found to make friends at Rowan. 

“Go to any of the social events that have been on campus, such as events held by RAH or SUP. Also, go to any of the events that professors talk about in class or any events the department is holding. It’s fun to hang out with fellow students. Being a part of clubs and activities has been a great way for me to meet a bunch of different people from so many walks of life,” he says.

Griffin talks about the clubs and organizations he was involved in where he made friends.

I’m involved in a couple of different things. While it’s not really a club, I am an Admissions Ambassador. I’ve been an Admissions Ambassador for just a little under two years now and we’re the people that give tours around campus and be the faces of campus. Aside from that, I’ve been heavily involved in RIPPAC, which is the Rowan Institute of Public Policy and Citizenship. We’re an organization that prepares students for dealing with matters of public policy and legalities. We get to meet a lot of really great high-end people in politics in New Jersey. I am also in the Spanish Student Association,” Griffin explains.

He shares his favorite moment of being involved on campus.

“Aside from just hanging out with people on campus and being in the Admissions Ambassadors, there was a moment last spring. One of our graduating seniors, Allison Mosley, was a Biomedical Art and Visualization major. She had an art show for her final, and so she invited all the Admissions Ambassadors to go. All of us got dressed. We treated it like a Met Gala sort of thing and it was so much fun. We all had pizza there and we all just hung out with one another. It was such a great night because not only did we get to celebrate her academic accomplishments, but we also got to have that fun, carefree atmosphere that anybody in college is always looking forward to. I think that’s probably my favorite memory that I’ve ever had.”

Griffin jumps and throws his graduation cap in the air in front of the Rowan arch.

Griffin describes his major as interesting and interdisciplinary.

“Being an International Studies major, it is very interdisciplinary. You learn a lot about so many things in terms of political science, anthropology, economics and all that. But with that, you also have to be prepared to do the research. It might sound intimidating, but when you do the research, your professors are always there to help you, so it’s a great balancing act. If you do a little of this, your professors will go a mile to help. So really, just get the chance to do the research and then get the chance to get to know your professors. That is the best way to succeed in this major.”

Griffin looks back and advises his high school senior self on making it through college.

“There are two things. Stop procrastinating. You need to get it together, dude. But also go easy on yourself. College is hard for everybody. Thinking that you need to have everything in your life figured out freshman year is completely unrealistic. It’s not sustainable for your own academic career or your mental health. Honestly, taking things as they go and proactively working on what’s going on at your current moment is the best way to make a successful college career.”

This summer, Griffin is interning with Welcome America, a company that partners with Wawa, in their marketing department. After the internship, Griffin hopes to take a year to work and then start applying for master’s in environmental policy programs.

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

Passing the Torch: Passionate First-Generation College Student Shirley Celi-Landeo

A proud first-generation college student from Newark, NJ (Essex County), Shirley Celi-Landeo is an Anthropology and Modern Language and Linguistics double major. She has concentrations in medical and forensic anthropology, and concentrations in Spanish, German, and Arabic. Shirley is minoring in Latin American Studies and has three certificates of undergraduate studies in Spanish, German, and Forensic Studies.

Shirley poses in a garden.

Shirley looks back at how she made friends on campus.

“I made friends in the Educational Opportunity Fund through the Pre-College Institute and through all the clubs that I’m involved in, especially in Greek life. I just became a sister in the Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated. With that involvement, I was able to make more bonds on-campus, make more friends, and do a lot more.”

Shirley advises her high school self to take risks.

“Don’t be scared. Take risks, even if it seems kind of cringey and scary, especially coming into a PWI and not having the family support. Do whatever is offered to gain the opportunity to gain the experience. I’m grateful for coming to school across the state.”

Shirley poses outside of Bunce Hall.

A mentor in the Dr. Harley E. Flack mentorship program, Shirley reminisces about her favorite moments being a mentor. 

“My partner and I had to create an event or program for our mentees using a resource on campus. We paired up with the Flying First Task Force because a lot of our mentees are first-generation students. We were able to show them the resources on campus not only to them but open to the public. I was able to really get to know my partner as well as like getting to know my mentee a little more. I also developed a really good relationship with my supervisor.”

Shirley hopes to use her platform as a college graduate to help pave the way for others in her community and family.

I am a minority coming from the city of Newark where the stereotype is that you don’t graduate high school, let alone go to college and graduate college and go to grad school. I am not only the very first college graduate in my family, but I have younger siblings. My goddaughter looks up to me. The babies from my church from back home, I’ll be able to help them navigate when it comes to their time for college.”

Shirley poses in front of the Rowan arch.

Shirley advises current and incoming students to find what they love on-campus, join Greek life, and more.

“Greek life has been a huge thing in my life, and I just became a sister last semester. Also, don’t be scared when you change your major like 20 times like I did. I don’t regret any moments of changing my major. Don’t be scared, do what you gotta do. If you’re the first, be the first and pave the way for your family. Take the risk, and inspire more people.”

In the fall, Shirley will finish up her degree while applying to Rowan’s M.A. in Diversity and Inclusion program. Shirley hopes to go to law school in the future. 

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

Passing the Torch: Outgoing Student Government Vice President Sarah McClure

As a graduating senior, Sarah McClure reflects on her time as a Rowan student. Sarah was an International Studies and Political Science double major and on-campus resident from Rockaway, NJ (Morris County). 

Sarah poses under the Rowan archway.

Sarah held positions on the Student Government Association and Honors Student Organization executive boards. 

“My executive boards, through the Honors Student Organization and the Student Government Association, especially this year, left me with lifelong friends. These are people I’m going to come back and visit next year and check-in with. I’m really lucky to be blessed with such amazing people I was able to work alongside that I could eventually call my friends.”

Sarah is passing her Executive Vice President (EVP) position on SGA to one of her newfound lifelong friends.

“I’m so thrilled with my successor that was elected, Emily Lowe. She was on the board with me this year and she was the Vice President of Student Affairs. She is so lovely, so nice, and I’m really confident that she’s going to do a really good job.”

Sarah stands in a garden in her cap and gown.

Although she is thrilled with her successor, Sarah will miss being in the Executive Vice President role.

“I really loved the position of EVP. I enjoy engaging with all the clubs and getting to see what they all do on campus. When clubs did really cool things, I celebrated their successes with them, whether it was like a really awesome event or a great fundraiser. It’s hard saying goodbye, but I know Emily will do great things. SGA is something I will really miss,” she says.

Sarah reflects on her Rowan experiences and leaves a piece of advice for incoming students. 

“I just got a letter from my freshman year self through a mentorship program I did through the Honors College and the end of the letter said, ‘I hope you become someone that we can be proud of.’ It really moved me reading that because I think I have become someone that I would have been proud of because I got involved and that was something that I didn’t do freshman year.”

She adds, “I think one of my biggest regrets in college is not getting the jump on that sooner and looking at clubs and organizations during my first year of college. I would say to put yourself out there and don’t let your past experiences define who you’re going to become in college.”

Sarah is looking forward to starting her M.A. in Political Science in the fall through Rutgers University’s United Nations and Global Policy Studies program.

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

First Year Voices: History Major Abbigail Ealer

Today, we feature Abbigail Ealer, a first year History major from Washington Township, NJ. Abby is in the Honors program and a mentee of the Bantivoglio Leadership and Service Training (BLAST) peer mentoring program, which pairs upperclassmen with incoming Honors students to help guide them through their first semester in Honors and at Rowan. Abby speaks with us about her experience in the program and her first year of college. 

What was the transition to college like for you? How did you push through any challenges? 

I was definitely nervous. This was the first time where I’m going to school with people I don’t know. I’ve gone to Catholic school my whole life, so from grade school to high school I’ve known everybody. It was very weird going to classes like American Government where most of the students were upperclassmen and I didn’t know anyone. 

On your busiest day, what responsibilities do you find yourself juggling? 

Wednesdays are definitely my busiest day of the week. I have three classes and I have BLAST at night. As a commuter, I drive all the way to campus for my classes during the day, then have to drive back home at night. My BLAST group gets out around 7:30 p.m., so I don’t get back home until late. It’s really hard to get any work done that day. 

What are the three classes you have that day? 

I have Western Civilization at 9:30 a.m., American Government at 12:30 p.m., then Honors Comp II with Prof. Flocco at 2:00 p.m. I have a break in the middle of the day between classes and BLAST and I usually spend that time with my sister (who is also a Rowan student) or with my friends. 

What have you enjoyed most about BLAST?

Honestly, friendships are the most valuable things. The mentors give us really great and helpful advice, but I’ve made some really great friends that have been super supportive and helpful. I’ve talked to them regularly outside of our group after finding out that we have classes together. They’ll even walk me to my car after our meetings. They always invite me to come with them to different events on campus, which is really sweet and inclusive. 

Abby leaning against Science Hall.

How are your mentors? 

Our mentors are great and they are also becoming my really good friends. I think it’s helpful to have friends who are upperclassmen because they can serve as a guide to us younger students. 

Tell us about a moment that made you feel like Rowan was a good fit for you?

There was this Honors event that I went to where we were able to meet the deans of our college. I’m a history major, so my college is the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. I met this girl at the event who was in the same college. She overheard me talking about how I was interested in Museum Studies, which happened to be an area of interest for her as well. She said to me, “I’m doing the same thing! Let me get your number,” and she spent thirty minutes just giving me all the information she could about the program and typed it all up in a google document.  That moment made me realize that this university isn’t just a school. It’s a community. People want me here, they want to help me succeed. Not just faculty but the students as well. It was just a really wonderful moment and made me feel like I belonged. 

What advice would you give to a high school student about choosing the right college?

Go with your gut. That’s what I did. I almost went to community college to save money, but I just felt like that wasn’t the path for me, so I came to Rowan. I don’t think if I went down any other path that I would be as happy as I am now. 

Abby holds the Hoot, spreading his wings
Abby’s friend, Hoot, steals the show!

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Story By: 
Bianca Gray, English graduate

Photos By:
Nick Flagg, senior theater and advertising major 

#PROFspective: A Dialogue with English Education Major Lucas Taylor

Lucas is smiling and staring away from the camera. There is a large blue sky behind him.

With Rowan Blog’s latest release of #PROFspective, we converse with Lucas Taylor, a commuting senior English education major from West Deptford (Gloucester County). In our discussion with Lucas, we learn of his unique Rowan experience with his new job as a producer for Rowan Blog as well as his own motivation for pursuing higher education in English.

What inspired you to choose your major?

I originally didn’t want to be an English major; I didn’t really find it all too interesting until my senior year of high school. I was always good at writing and analyzing texts but never really took an interest in it until my teacher at the time had seen how proficient I was at it. She saw through me being lazy, and I suppose in a sense, that resonated with me. I wanted to do well to make her proud and at the end of the year I kind of realized that teaching was something I could spend my life doing. I owe a lot of my college career to that teacher and hope she’s doing well with her own life.

How does your field impact the world? What impact would you like to have on the world in your field?

I think teaching is a very admirable occupation. My mother is an art teacher herself, and I learned all of the different tribulations that she goes through with teaching almost hundreds of kids a year. Yet, she’s always so happy and proud to teach all of them. Mainly, I want to be able to reach out to kids like me who really didn’t have an ideal path for the future and show them the different paths that they could take.

Lucas is walking towards the camera and smiling.

How are you involved on campus?

I’m a newly hired producer for Rowan Blog and I have to say it’s pretty exciting. With Covid indirectly wiping out 2-3 years of my college career, I really haven’t spent all that much time on campus. I’m a commuter so I don’t really get around to traveling so much around campus. So far, this job has had me go into buildings that I’ve never even seen and meet with people. It almost makes you feel like a first year all over again.

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you?

Coming into Rowan, I already knew that I had a lot of really close friends that were also going to be attending. I wouldn’t say that there is a specific moment but I guess you could call it a collection of experiences. Whether it was my buddies and myself going to grab a pizza and goofing off in one of the buildings at Holly Pointe or just meeting different people with every new class I take, it’s a different ordeal every time which I find pretty fascinating.

Lucas is sitting down and smiling at the camera.

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

Honestly, there was this one moment where I had just bought a new car to start off my first year here at Rowan. If I remember right, it was like a 1998 Camaro and I had thought it was the coolest thing, especially since it had that retro looking t-roof. I was going to pick up my friends and grab something to eat as a first trip with the car and it didn’t start for some reason. While I was calmly freaking out I was surprised over the amount of students that actually were coming up and asking me if everything with the car was alright. It was a very humbling experience but something that made me feel really included with the entire population.

Lucas is holding a notebook that he was writing in and looks off in the distance.

What would you share with a future student interested in your major?

You really have to appreciate the different classes that are offered in the major. There are so many different welcoming professors such as Professors Falck, Meadowsong and Tucker that really make you invested in what you’re learning. I think with English there’s always something new to learn or even just interpret based on what you think a source is trying to convey which makes it almost tailored to however you want to believe. All in all, I would just say to keep up with reading and not to slack off too much.

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Story and Photography: by Ashley Craven, junior sports communication and media major

Produced by: Lucas Taylor, senior English Education major



Faculty #PROFile: Insight on the Perspective of Dr. Alicia Monroe

Dr. Monroe has a thought provoking look on her face and is looking off.

During her time here at Rowan University as both an instructor for the Africana Studies department and assistant director at the Office of Career Advancement, Dr. Alicia Monroe can be seen as a beacon for students who are facing uncertainty in their own careers and futures. In her perspective, Dr. Monroe wants to let students know that she understands the trials and tribulations that they might be facing and wants to create a safe space for students to be able to flesh out their own ideas in a safe environment.

In this Faculty #PROFile we learn more of Dr. Monroe’s thinking on her self-created course around Black Lives Matter as well as her own thoughts on academia for students.

Dr. Monroe is in a conversation with another person. Using her hands to emphasize her points.

For Dr. Monroe, education is a pivotal part of the academic journey. By being able to comprehend and understand the perspectives of others, Dr. Monroe would argue is just as important. The effervescence of this idea inevitably gave foundation to Monroe’s Black Lives Matter course here at Rowan University, where it explores different dimensions of society that is often overlooked due to it being controversial or tucked underneath the carpet. However, the current state of the Black Lives Matter course came through not only the preserving of Dr. Monroe, but also through the request of the student body. 

Originally, the course was a part of a coordinating project used to supplement and help students in poor areas. Although many of the different aspects of the project had drastically helped enrich the education of the students involved, Dr. Monroe wanted to give these students opportunities to gain college credits that would help them further along their academic journey. 

“[W]e really wanted these students to have opportunities to earn college credits. So, I was asked, ‘Dr. Monroe, you’re the educational guru, you’re the educational wizard, can you develop this course?.’ I already had a lot on my plate but I replied that I would consider it. I was told that I needed the course in two weeks. You don’t develop curriculum in two weeks, especially not a credit-bearing course curriculum. However, I had been doing extensive research on Black Lives Matter, such as the backdrop of Trayvon Martin and all of the unfortunate killings that had increased from there. I noticed that it was finally starting to gain traction and the media attention that it deserved.”

Dr. Monroe is posing and smiling directly at the camera.

In Dr. Monroe’s perspective, she had wanted this course to not only be be just subjected to the Black Lives Matter cause but for it to apply to aspects that affected a wider population. Although the course may be titled “Black Lives Matter,” Dr. Monroe reassures students that the class affects the entirety and not just a selected group. This can be seen in the various amount of students and their different backgrounds attending each of her classes as they range from white, hispanic, Black and many other minority groups.

The course covers a wide range of different subjects that Dr. Monroe considers important to bring up through class discussion such as climate change, the recent rise of the AAPI (Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate) or even giving more context to cases such as Ahmaud Aubrey’s that wouldn’t be presented on television. 

“When there were attacks on the AAPI community, we spoke about that. We don’t only focus on a specific race, we focus on the movement and what it is directed on. We had conversations on climate change. I argue that social media has skewed the overall appearance of the movement but if you look at the content it’s so much bigger. Although the core element is Black and brown lives, it’s so much bigger than that,” she explains.

In Dr. Monroe’s eyes, she looks at the bigger picture, the ability to have conversations with others and ultimately reach an understanding. This premise of respectability and the ability to have these difficult conversations is something that is primarily not taught in classes. For her, she wants to normalize these conversations and allow her students to be able to format their own thoughts and opinions on core events throughout the country. 

“When I had offered this idea of the course, I had told the coordinators that the course was going to be focused on the research that I have discovered as well as focus on the constructs of race, class and culture. This is what it was all about, the respect of diverse world views, the respect that everyone has a voice, the respect of what is truly fair and just,” Dr. Monroe says. “We can have that level of conversation and it can develop into a credit bearing course.”

From her exhaustive research on the subject matter, Dr. Monroe was able to successfully undergo teaching the course in the summer semester of 2016. However, it was not green lit to continue for the upcoming fall semester. As a result, the course was shelved for multiple years until students expressed their desire to have a course that catered to their own feelings in 2019. In her recollection of the moment, Dr. Monroe states: “Dr. Chanelle Rose had approached me with the sentiment of her students. Dr. Rose had said, ‘I need a course, students are asking for a course that really reflects some of the contemporary issues that they are grappling with. They need a space to release but also be guided into the right formats of collective action.’ I replied, ‘There is a Black Lives Matter course that I developed two to three years ago.'”

Dr. Monroe is having a conversation with another woman across a table.
Dr. Alicia Monroe works with colleague Altonia Bryant (right) in the Office of Career Advancement

Dr. Monroe’s harbored no hard feelings as to why her course ultimately was placed on the back burner for some time; instead, she saw it as a reflection of the status of the country and University at the time. During this lapse, Dr. Monroe kept up with her research with most current events that were applicable to the Black Lives Matter movement and bided her time; she says she knew eventually that it was going to be needed to further the conversation on injustice for those that didn’t have the ability to use their voice. 

It’s with these students that motivated Dr. Monroe to keep upholding her teaching values and instill confidence in students and let them understand their own value and worth. Whether it’s through the classes that she is heading or even students that come to her for advice on their own future, Dr. Monroe places a great amount of emphasis for these students and how they come to mold her own futures through her guidance.

The education process can be seen as an ever moving and fluid system. Each stage of this system makes up an intricate cog of modern day academia. For Dr. Monroe, she’s played a vital role in almost every phase of learning; she states she is a “Pre-K through 20 educator.” Her experience is invaluable information for any student facing their own academic issues. Instead of treating each unit in the process of learning, Dr. Monroe’s motivation in progressing has been fueled by gaining an entire understanding of the developmental process. 

“I’ve spent a number of years in pre-k through 12, starting off from the classroom and moving up to every level from department supervisor, assistant principal to a middle school, a principal to a high school as well as becoming an assistant superintendent. I had moved up deliberately because I wanted to identify each role in this whole hierarchy of learning,” she says.

Dr. Monroe is laughing and pointing her finger.

As a result of her dedication to her work and her students, Dr. Monroe has exemplified the characteristics of a model educator. Whether it’s through her own spread of her research and rhetoric or through her own unique framework through the educational process, she’s committed herself to create an effect on her students that goes beyond teaching and guidance. 

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Story by
Lucas Taylor, Senior English education major

Photography by
Valentina Giannattasio, first year dance and marketing major

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LaWana works on her laptop inside Savitz Hall.

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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 […]

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Matt smiles outdoors in front of fall foliage on Rowan's campus.

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

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

My First Year as a Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Major

A Rowan SOM Vaccine Site

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Finding My Path and Passion with an English Degree

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

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Morgan looks at an award inside Bunce Hall.

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Cyreelle Cruz, RIPPAC Member and Scholarship Recipient, Shares Her Story

Exterior shot of the top of Bunce Hall.

Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship (RIPPAC) member and recent scholarship recipient Cyreelle Cruz, a junior History major from Camden County, shares how the connections she has made with Rowan faculty have taken her to the next level. 

What got you interested in your major?

Since I was a freshman in high school, I was always really good at history. Everyone else dreaded history classes, but I always felt cool knowing I did well in the classes. Since I had a really good AP history test score, I was able to bypass a college course.

I started as a Computer Science major because that’s what I thought I wanted to do, but when it came down to it, I decided to change it to something I knew I loved and I was good at.

How did you find out about the RIPPAC internship scholarships? [editor’s note: these scholarships help offset the costs of taking on an unpaid internship]

I was lucky enough to have Professor Dworkin in class, who happens to be the head of RIPPAC. He talked non-stop in the class about the scholarship and how to apply for it. I was hesitant at first because I work two jobs and didn’t know if I could take on another commitment. But after hearing about all of the benefits of the opportunity, I started to ask myself, “What if this would be more beneficial to my future than working two jobs?”

After thinking about it for a while, I decided to apply for the James P. Fox Memorial Fund. 

Cyreelle sitting while looking at her phone.

Describe your internship and the work you do.

I intern with the Addiego, Natale and Eckel campaign for State Senate and Assembly. The people are really great and I never feel overwhelmed or pressured with the workload. We do a lot of event research and will even start to attend events in the future. We are in the process of recruiting more members and making lots of phone calls. It’s been an awesome experience so far!

What is your advice for other students who want to apply for internships?

I would say it’s so important to utilize the connections with professors. I don’t know how I would have done it without the guidance and encouragement from Professor Dworkin. I remember I would try to find internships/jobs on Indeed and other external websites, but it would never work out. But your professors are there to help you and get you the opportunities you want, so don’t be afraid to ask for that help.

A selfie of Cyreelle

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

Header photo by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

Other photos courtesy of:
Cyreelle Cruz

Studying Abroad in Japan: The Best Decision I Have Ever Made

Dominique attending an event in Japan.

Meet Dominique DiGiacomo, a Rowan Global student pursuing her master’s in education. She graduated from Rowan with her bachelor’s in English last spring. Dominique had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Japan during her fall semester of junior year.

I lived in the city of Machida, a suburban area located just 45 minutes outside of center city Tokyo. My typical days abroad consisted of a delicious breakfast (either homemade or from a convenience store), classes anywhere from 9am-5pm (three completely taught in Japanese and two in English), a workout at the on-campus gym, study sessions with my friends, and a night out in the city with my friends! My time abroad helped me to realize that I was indeed in the right major.

Dominique and two friends overseas in Japan.

As an international student at JF Oberlin University I had the opportunity to apply for a job at their Brown Bag Cafe, an area in which Japanese students could go in order to learn and practice English. It was there that I confirmed my love for teaching English as a second language, loving every moment as I had the opportunity to talk to my Japanese classmates and help them break down the language barrier. This opportunity confirmed for me that I was on the right path and that my future dream of teaching English in Japan could become a reality. 

Rowan has set me up for my professional goal of teaching English abroad by giving me the experience of student teaching and education classes that have helped me to study to become a better teacher. My experience abroad has helped me to work toward my goal of teaching abroad, especially since I received the opportunity while I was there to teach English to non-native speakers. I am hoping that my combination of skills I have learned from Rowan as well as abroad will help me in my endeavors to get a job teaching English abroad in Japan. 

Dominique and her friends in front of a futuristic statue in Japan.

My time in Japan is one that I will cherish in my memories for years to come. Studying abroad in Japan was such an amazing experience and despite my slight nerves of living all on my own in a country half way across the world, I absolutely loved every moment I was there and am already counting down the days until I can hopefully return. The transition I had from going to college in Japan instead of America was honestly seamless, the only difficulty being adjusting to the time difference which was something my body eventually just got used to.

Besides my three years of study beforehand of the Japanese language and my experience traveling there once before, I still had some nerves when it came to studying abroad on my own so the on-site staff were super helpful during my transition. There was staff at the airport to pick us up and bring us to our housing, staff constantly on duty throughout the building to help us with anything we needed, and staff throughout campus helping to direct us when we were lost or confused.

Studying abroad in Japan was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and it opened up so many doors for me both academically and professionally. I encourage anyone who is interested in studying abroad to take the leap and go for it! It will be an amazing experience that you will never forget! 

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Photos courtesy of:
Dominique DiGiacomo

Andrew Slowinski, 2021 Rick Rosenberg Jr. Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Exterior shot of Robinson Hall.

Today we feature Andrew Slowinski, a junior Political Science major. Andrew also minors in Economics and is from Toms River, NJ (Ocean County). Andrew shares his internship experience this past summer as a recipient of the 2021 Rick Rosenberg Jr. Memorial Scholarship.  

According to the Rowan Institute of Public Policy and Citizenship (RIPPAC), the scholarship awards $2,500 for a student to take an unpaid summer internship “and aspire to pursue a future political career like the late Rick Rosenberg, Jr., the Republican political operative.”

    What got you interested in political science?

    Back in my junior year of high school I took a class called Political and Legal Education because the class I originally wanted to take was not available. I decided to take this class after having a few options to choose from. I quickly realized that I really liked learning about the political science field and I thoroughly enjoyed taking the class.

    During the class there was a legal chapter where we had to do a mock trial, which I thought was very fun. After that class I decided to make a career out of it.

    Andrew Slowinski.
    Andrew Slowinski

    How did you find out about the Rosenberg scholarship?

    Professor Dworkin introduced me to this scholarship and internship opportunity. I met Professor Dworkin through a club I am part of called the Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship (RIPPAC). He told me to check out the RIPPAC internship scholarships available, and that is how I found the Rick Rosenberg, Jr. Memorial Scholarship.

    What are your responsibilities in your internship?

    I interned at the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, and I had several responsibilities for the summer. First off, my supervisor would send me documents, court reports and testimonies to look over and prepare for upcoming court that we had. I would outline key sections that would be of value to us, write questions for cross-examination and write memos. An example of a memo I have written was a memo for reconsideration and I would apply it to a case we currently have because the judge ruled it not the way we hoped … therefore we ask for reconsideration.

    The internship took place over the whole summer, and we had court at least five times a week.

    Andrew (left)with friends Brandon, Tyler, and Joey at Joey's sisters wedding.
    Andrew (left) with friends Brandon, Tyler, and Joey at Joey’s sister’s wedding.

    What are your professional goals?

    After undergrad I will be attending law school; I am not sure on where I want to get my law degree from yet. From there I am still deciding on whether I want to become a lawyer or a judge for my future profession. 

    What advice do you have for other students seeking political science internships?

    Networking is imperative when it comes to seeking out any internship or scholarship opportunities. I reached out to Professor Dworkin, and he helped me build a well-written resume. In high school I interned for a U.S. congressman because my mom’s friend is a supervisor and she assisted in helping me get that internship at such an early age.

    Networking and reaching out to friends or family that may work in your area of interest is huge when starting out. 

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos courtesy of:
    Andrew Slowinski

    Header photo courtesy of:
    University Publications

    Alumni Success: Byron Bustos Tells It All!

    Byron holds a Rowan University flag.

    Today we feature Byron Bustos, a 1999 graduate of Rowan’s Political Science program. Originally from North Jersey, Byron details his journey to Rowan, how he joined his fraternity and how it led him down a path he didn’t know he’d be taking.

    When did you graduate from Rowan and what clubs, organizations or activities were you a part of?

    I graduated from Rowan University in spring of 1999. I graduated as SGA [Student Government Association] President. I was also a resident assistant, and I worked with the Admissions Office as an Ambassador. I was in the United Latino Association, a member of my fraternity Lambda Theta Phi, BOCO which was the Borough of Cultural Organizations, the student activities board, the Political Science Association, Rowan Christian Fellowship, and Greek Council. I’m sure I was involved in other things throughout the years, but that’s what I can remember. 

    What have you been up to since graduating from Rowan?

    Right from Rowan, I went straight to grad school at Seton Hall University to get my master’s in Public Administration. I got my undergraduate degree in Political Science so I knew I wanted to work in the government but I didn’t know which aspect of it. I was also contemplating becoming a guidance counselor since I got my certification in Secondary Education at Rowan as well. After Seton Hall, I was offered a job in DC with the Office of the Inspector General for postal service. I did 19 years with that agency. This past January, I was promoted to the Director for the General Service Administration of the Office of the Inspector General (GSAOIG) .

    Byron holds a Rowan flag while sitting on a flight of stairs.
    Byron Bustos

    I became the national president for my fraternity. I then became the executive director for my fraternity. I was elected to be the President of the school board in my hometown of Passaic, New Jersey. I’ve been involved with different cultural and political organizations as well. I started the New Jersey Young Professionals Organization. Then I moved to Maryland about five years ago, and I’m just as busy here. I’m currently the president of the Homeowners Association.

    I also started the Urbana Latino Festival after feeling like I needed to do something cultural in my community. We just had our fifth celebration recently. Other than that, I got married, had two kids, a dog and a few houses.

    Did you always have plans on attending graduate school after college or was it just something that you happened upon?

    I didn’t know I was going to be going to grad school until I was a senior and that was exposed to me. Mind you, I was the first person in my family to go to college, so college was all new to me. I didn’t have anyone to show me the ropes.

    Senior year, I knew graduation was coming and yet I was uncertain about what I was going to do. I wanted to be a guidance counselor, but back then, it was required that you had to become a teacher first. So I got my certification to teach. But, just like everything else in life, there was a crossroad. An opportunity arose for me to go to Seton Hall. Going to grad school gave me more time to think about what I wanted to do with my life. 

    What was it like being a first generation college student? 

    In my family, no one went to college. In high school, I didn’t even know if I was going to college. I didn’t have the mindset of: “I’m going to college, I know my next steps, and I’m going to become XYZ.” I just kind of fell into it because I was so involved in high school and exposed to different things. The doors were presented. I just had to walk through them.

    The only reason why I went to Rowan was because, back then, Rowan sent buses to North Jersey to communities like mine that would bring high school students down to Rowan to expose us to something that we otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to. We were able to apply right on the spot. Without that, I would have never been exposed to Rowan since the only colleges and universities I knew were the ones around me in North Jersey. 

    Were you always super involved as a child?

    I always had inklings that I wanted to do things, but it really took off in 8th grade. I found my area of things that I wanted to do, which was community-oriented public service advocacy.  Just trying to inspire people to do things. I did things in high school, but I really blossomed in college. 

    Were there any classes you took or professors you met that you felt helped you achieve your success?

    I can’t pinpoint to one specific professor, but in my last semester at Rowan I did student teaching. Although I never fully taught a classroom after I left Rowan, I still had my certification in teaching, which helped me when I became elected to the school board. I had perspectives on [questions like:] What are pedagogies? What is it to teach the curriculum? What is it like to go through the training and be able to have students in front of you? Those things were all crucial to know. 

    How do you feel being a member of Lambda Theta Phi and the United Latino Association impacted you?

    If I didn’t have the United Latino Association while at Rowan, my years would not have been as fruitful or as fulfilling. If I didn’t have Lambda Theta Phi, I don’t know what friends I would have carried on from college. I don’t know what my future would have been like if I wasn’t so involved in my fraternity. I was able to build a great network with both of the organizations. They really shaped a lot of who I am and I helped to shape them as well, so it was a two-way street. I’m glad I had them. 

    Did you have plans of joining Lambda Theta Phi or was it just something that happened? 

    When I was a freshman, my family’s attitude was very much: “No, you’re not joining a fraternity,” which, at the time, I didn’t care much about anyways since I didn’t know much about fraternities. However, my sophomore year is when my perspective started changing and I became more open minded. I went to a meeting, heard about it, learned about it, and did my own research. 

    I learned what the members were doing and how they were giving back to the community and what they were doing for the university, which really propelled me to say, “This can be a way for me to do more of what I want to do, which is advocacy, motivation and trying to get others to change things.” What better than joining a cohort of like-minded individuals? 

    A young Byron Bustos
    Byron at Rowan University

    What was it like going from just a member of Lambda Theta Phi to becoming the National President, then the Executive Director? 

    It didn’t happen overnight, but I was heavily involved during my undergrad, which propelled me to going to the regional meetings. After that, I would go to the national conferences, which exposed me to the organizations and the leadership, which allowed me to join the alumni board. Getting so involved just propelled me further and further in the organization.

    With the fraternity, I wasn’t in favor of a few things and thought things could be improved. So I decided to run for national president to be able to create change from the top down. I didn’t go through the normal process to become the head person, but that’s just the way I am.

    Do you feel like fraternities and Greek life in general get a bad rap which deters people from joining?

    Definitely. Fraternities and sororities provide more good than what they get credit for. Many times, the media focuses on the incidents that occur rather than the greater benefits that Greek life provides to the campus and the community overall. It’s a disservice to the legacy of those organizations, some that have been here for hundreds of years, to have that legacy erased in a moment. 

    How do we get minority students more involved in Greek life and make them aware of the fraternities and sororities that are made for them and by them like Lambda Theta Phi? 

    It’s a catch-22 sometimes. I don’t know if the university needs to shove in people’s faces per se but I think it just depends on the student and what the student wants to be involved in. All the university can really do is make sure that these organizations are available. 

    Going back to something we discussed earlier, do you care to tell us a little bit more about the Urbana Latino Festival?

    When we moved down here to Maryland, we quickly realized that there was a need for a little bit of music and more diverse events. My wife and I decided to put the event together and, within a day, the RSVP was sold out which no one expected. Five years later, we moved it to a different location and had over 600 people attend.

    There’s vendors and different food trucks. It just has really blossomed into a beautiful thing. We’ve added more diversity and exposure to what it means to be Latino and everything that comes with it.

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    Story By: Bianca Gray, senior English major

    Photos and video courtesy of:
    Byron Bustos

    Beyond the Classroom: Legislative Intern, Scholarship Winner Nick Feldman

    Nick smiles, stands in front of Bunce Hall.

    Today we feature Nick Feldman, a junior Political Science major with Certificates of Undergraduate Study (CUGS) in Public Policy and Russian. An on-campus resident from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County), Nick transferred to Rowan from Rosemont College. He works as a photographer for Rowan Athletics and as a Multimedia Editor for The Whit. Nick interned at NJ State Assemblywoman Patricia Lampitt’s office (District 6) and NJ State Assemblyman William Spearman (District 5), and is one of eight recipients of the Dr. Bruce Caswell Scholars Fund. 

    Nick poses on the side of Bunce Hall.

    Could you share some backstory about yourself?

    When I first came to Rowan, in Fall 2020, we were in the middle of the pandemic. I went to campus reluctantly. At first, I thought there wouldn’t be a lot of opportunities, but as I got involved, I realized that there were. I’m really, really excited about this semester. I know there’s going to be so many more opportunities. 

    What got you interested in political science?

    I’ve always liked history. At Rosemont College, the college I transferred from, my major was history education. I was studying to be a high school history teacher. However, I’ve always been very interested in politics.

    During the 2020 election, I obsessed over the campaigns, the candidates, the policies, everything. So, I thought it was a logical choice to switch my major over to the political science, which is something that I’ve always really liked. I have always thought about how I can make a difference in the world. Well, if I major in Political Science, and I’m able to intern with the people who represent me, I get to know the ins and outs of the process. Then, hopefully, when I graduate college and go into the professional world, I can make a positive impact on the world. Therefore, it was a natural choice. 

    Nick holds a DSLR camera in front of Bunce Hall.

    How did you find out about the Caswell Scholarship?

    I received an email from the Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship (RIPPAC) about the Caswell Scholarship and other scholarships. The scholarship was enticing. I worked on two unpaid political internships this summer. I thought I might as well just apply for any of the scholarships in the email, in order to cover my expenses. I ended up getting the Caswell Scholarship, which is huge. The Caswell Scholarship helped with even just gas money to get from my house to the internships. 

    Can you tell me about your two internships?

    One of my internships was with Assemblywoman Patricia Lampitt, an assemblywoman in the sixth legislative district, where I live. This internship was remote, and more policy and analysis focused. I was given bills as long as 20 pages, and I read through them and categorized where money was being spent. While some people might find this kind of work boring, I found it fun.

    My other internship was in the fifth legislative district office in Woodbury with Assemblyman William Spearman. My internship with Assemblyman Spearman was in person. I enjoyed being in person and getting to talk with my co-workers face to face and learning from their experiences. Most of my responsibilities were focused on constituent services, such as answering the phone, transferring calls, and entering callers into our call system. Our call system keeps track of the reason for their call, so we can keep track of their concerns and their contact information. Unfortunately, many people are calling about unemployment, but we were able to track that and help them. I really liked this internship. 

    Nick poses in front of a tree.

    What are some policies that you worked on specifically?

    Many of the policies I worked on at my internship with Assemblywoman Lampitt were K-12 education based, since the Assemblywoman is the Chair of the New Jersey General Assembly Committee on Education. Something I worked on was keeping track of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, which is the state agency for rebuilding and upgrading our schools and public school system. One project was looking through their massive portfolio and seeing where their money is being spent, and what it is being spent on.

    Also, the Assemblywoman did a lot of work regarding childhood poverty. I remember she had me looking at legislative proposals that worked to diminish the effects of childhood poverty in our state. New Jersey, unfortunately, has a high cost of living, so the cost to live here is a lot more than the federal guidelines say it should cost to live. Unfortunately, there are many people in New Jersey who are technically in poverty, but to the federal government, they are not, because the federal government’s guidelines are so low. So she’s working to see if there are any remedies to that so that people who need help can actually get instead of being frozen out of the system.

    How has the Caswell Scholarship impacted you?

    To be chosen for the Caswell Scholarship felt like validation of everything that I’ve been trying to achieve over these last few years. I hold it in the same regard as making Dean’s list. The scholarship feels like affirmation of those times where I’ve had trouble. I have ADHD, so I have had a really hard time with organization and whatnot. Getting these two internships was a huge moment for me, because it was wonderful to be out in the outside world working. It required great organizational skills so that I could have two different positions. The scholarship made me feel like all the work that I’ve been putting in has come to fruition. Feeling recognized makes me feel really good, not just about what I’ve achieved, but about myself. It makes me feel that even though I have this thing that makes me different and is pretty difficult sometimes with daily tasks, I can accomplish what I want to accomplish.

    Nick poses in front of a tree and the American flag.

    Could you describe your professional goals?

    I really, really want to be in [Washington] DC. DC is the place to be, but I would really love to be on a staff in the federal government, so that I can work on laws and legislation. State and local governments are important, but the federal government is a whole different animal. I would love to be down there, not only working, but continuing to advocate for the causes that I believe in, progressive education policy and progressive health care policies. Then who knows. Maybe one day, I would love to run for office, but that would be in the future. 

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

    I would say don’t be scared and don’t be intimidated. That’s how I felt applying for a lot of these internships. I got rejected by a couple and that got me down; but overall, I was fine in the long run. Don’t get intimidated by the process. It might seem intimidating that someone who’s part of a staff is going to interview you for an internship. However, once you get in contact with these people, you’ll realize that they’re normal people just like you. The staff wants to hire somebody who works hard. They want to bring somebody in who’s affable, who will not be a negative presence in the office. They want somebody who’s going to be a hard worker and will do what is needed to help. If I had to do the process over again, that’s exactly what I would try to emphasize.

    Also, don’t be afraid to work at the state and local level. The federal government is cool and all. However, if you think about it, your local government takes care of daily things such as sewage. Your state government provides unemployment. So don’t knock working in the state or local government. It’s very important.

    Nick stands on the side of Bunce Hall.

    Final thoughts?

    I really wish that I had come to Rowan from the start. I love my experiences here, the people I’ve met, and just how welcoming the entire campus has been. I went to a smaller school to start out. There were probably 300 people at my previous school. I like that Rowan is bigger and feels more like a university. One of the best decisions of my life was transferring to Rowan. 

    I am also thankful for Dr. Dworkin and the entire RIPPAC team. When I first came to Rowan, I didn’t think there was anything for me to do. I got these emails from Dr. Dworkin saying, if you’re interested in Political Science, come on, come out. I thought, “I’ll just go, I have nothing better to do.” It was a brilliant decision for me to get involved with RIPPAC and get involved on campus.

    RIPPAC’s been great. They made me feel welcome. They have improved not only my professional development, but they’re also teaching me. Besides just the ins and outs of policy and legislation, they also have been having these great leadership seminars too. They’ve also been an extremely big help for me, and they’ve helped me grow not just in terms of my experience and what I can do, but also in terms of who I am. They’ve been a positive influence.

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

    Photos by:
    Nick Flagg, senior theatre and advertising major

    Frequently Asked Questions About the Rowan Writing Center Answered With Tutor Bianca Gray

    Today, Rowan Blog contributor and Writing Center tutor Bianca Gray answers questions people often ask her about the Rowan Writing Center. Bianca, a senior English major with a concentration in Shakespeare Studies, notes: “Spoiler alert! Don’t be surprised by how much I say RWC.” 

    What is the RWC?

    The Rowan Writing Center (often abbreviated as RWC) is the place on campus to go if you need help with any form of writing and is also a nice place to study. It’s open Sunday-Friday and operates throughout the entire school year as well as the summer. Currently, it’s fully virtual, but there are hopes that it will be open for the 2021-22 academic school year (check the RWC site for up-to-date hours of operation). 

    Bianca stands next to a sign in The Writing Center.

    Where is the RWC?

    The RWC is located on the first floor of the Campbell Library.

    How did you get hired with the RWC?

    Buckle up ’cause it’s a long story: The worst part about being a transfer student was everything I had built for myself at my previous institution being torn down. Before coming to Rowan, I spent the majority of my [first] year at my previous school making a name for myself around campus, specifically with the Writing Arts department. I had won the Freshman essay contest and had snagged an internship working with the Writing Center at that campus before I had to leave the school due to an unforeseen change in my finances.

    I came to Rowan because I saw how well the Writing Arts department was and hoped to make the same foothold at this institution as I had at my previous one. My academic advisor placed me in a class called ‘Tutoring For Writing’ where I met one of the nicest professors on campus, Dr. Leslie Allison. I told Dr. Allison about my situation and how I wanted to be involved with the writing department on this campus and, while she couldn’t just give me a job, she helped me strengthen my tutoring skills to make me properly prepared to apply to work at the Writing Center when the time came. Thanks to Dr. Allison’s help as well as my newly strengthened skills, I was able to get a job with the RWC. 

    Will the hiring process be as dramatic for me?

    No, I’m just dramatic by nature. The hiring process is pretty straightforward. Applications go out in the spring, then there’s interviews, then you’ll know if you got the job relatively quickly.

    Bianca works on a computer at The Writing Center.

    What does your job consist of?

    Students from all over the university (both undergraduate and graduate) make appointments with my co-workers and I in order to get feedback on any given writing assignment. We don’t just look over English or writing major papers; we look and give feedback on papers that span across many different majors.

    The RWC hires people of many different majors so that we’re better equipped at helping all students. We even have Engineering and Biology major tutors in order for them to help students who need help with lab reports.

    On top of that, tutors also work closely with first year writing classes and hold weekly hour-long sessions in order to help first year students with their home/classwork as well going over things they may have been struggling with in class.

    So if I go to the RWC for help with a paper, will they edit it for me? 

    No, RWC tutors are not editors. Editing a paper does nothing to help a student grow. It’s like when a teacher just X’s something you wrote out and writes wrong next to it. If you don’t know what the problem is then how can you be expected to solve it? RWC tutors, however, will go through your paper and mark areas where they see repeated problems and discuss those problems with you so that you can better understand the issue and learn not to make those same mishaps again.

    What I do is this: If I see a repeated problem in a paper, I correct it the first time and mark it the next two times but don’t correct it. After that, I don’t correct or mark the problem at all. I discuss the issue with the student and expect for them to go back through the paper and find places where they see the problem and correct it themselves. Editing a paper doesn’t help a student to become a better writer. 

    What’s the best part about working there?

    Definitely my co-workers and supervisors. Celeste, Donna and Cate are some of the coolest people I’ve ever met since being in college. I remember taking Shakespeare my first semester of working at the Writing Center and Cate always taking the time out of her day to better help me understand my work for the class, something she was under no obligation to do. It’s little stuff like that that makes me really appreciate them. My coworkers are cool as well. They’re a very boisterous group of people (more boisterous than you’d expect a group of tutors to be), but they all mean well. I remember my coworker, Nia, going out of her way to make me feel included and help me out when I first started. Having such a positive work environment with friendly faces makes the job so much easier. 

    Bianca checks her laptop at The Writing Center.

    What’s your advice to anybody nervous to come to the RWC in fear of their paper being judged or criticized harshly?

    The RWC is a no-judgement zone. No tutor wants to read a paper and rip it apart. Everything we say is meant to be constructive and help to make your paper the best it can possibly be. If a tutor does or says something that makes a student feel upset or uncomfortable, report it immediately and it will be handled by the supervisors. 

    What are some other cool things about the RWC?

    They host so many different events throughout the academic year. In a COVID-free school year, the RWC hosts multiple events including movie nights, trivia nights and holiday parties. If you’re ever free, don’t be afraid to come! 

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    Story By:
    Bianca Gray, senior English major

    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.

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    Photos courtesy of:
    Stephen Scheuren

    In Case You Missed It: Favorite Classes At Rowan

    Tell us a little about what the class is. IMC goes over all the parts to an integrated marketing communications plan, such as advertising, public relations, direct marketing, digital/internet marketing, sales promotion and personal selling. You really get to work a lot of different muscles within the communications industry. Is there anything else that made […]

    #PROFspective: Emergency Management with Kevin McCarthy

    Kevin stands in front of the Rowan arch in a Rowan t-shirt.

    Today we speak with Kevin P. McCarthy, a recent graduate from Cranford, NJ (Union County) who earned degrees in Political Science and Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management. He was an RA (Resident Assistant) for three years in Holly Pointe, Chestnut Hall, and Triad Apartments. Kevin was also heavily involved in the SGA as well as Rowan EMS.

    What advice do you have for incoming students? 

    Get involved, especially with hall council your freshman year. Also SGA, that’s how I got my start in leadership on campus. Finding what organizations are good for your major. I’m on Rowan EMS. I got a lot of my connections and experiences through SGA and Rowan EMS. 

    Now the Disaster Preparedness Major, I remember the last two years of that major were intended to be in Camden, correct? 

    I’ve actually been taking major-related courses my entire four years. So, I’ve been going to Camden almost every semester. 

    Kevin and Leah sit on the Bunce Hall marble steps both wearing Rowan t-shirts.

    Has that moved to online format because of Covid?

    Yes, everything is online. 

    So you haven’t been able to go to Camden very much? 

    Yes, not much this [past] semester. I’m also in the master’s program. I was accepted for next year. We’re seeing what’s gonna happen. If I get a full-time job or if I continue with my master’s or not, I have been taking master’s classes for senior privilege through that. 

    What have been some of the advantages of going to the Rowan Camden campus for classes (even in a COVID world)?

    It’s a really gorgeous building. It’s an old bank! There’s a student lounge in the basement that used to be the old safety deposit room. The area is nice and the shuttle drops you off right there. I also have a friend that goes to Rutgers Camden and it’s only two blocks away. I would go over and meet her in their Student Center every so often. It’s a very nice building.

    Kevin and Leah study on their laptops sitting on Bunce Green.

    What is the professional direction you would like to go?

    I would like to go into emergency management in some capacity, whether that be for the government or the private sector. I’m keeping my options open. 

    For those who are not familiar with this emerging major, what does that mean to a layperson? Is it like working for FEMA? 

    My professor, Dr. Len Clark, said that it’s like being a general without an army. You’re making the plans and you’re in charge during the emergency, the police, the firemen, the EMS. You’re working with their respective leads and coordinating an “all-hazards” approach. If there’s a hurricane coming, you have to work with DPW, EMS, the fire department, the police department evacuating people, and preparing the town with sandbags. 

    Is a lot of your work preventative? A town would bring you in to develop a plan for them and then you would move on?   

    Yes, you can! There are some people who do subcontract. You’ll develop a plan for a town or a business and then leave. Or you can continue to work for that town or business, as an internal [contractor]. You would develop plans, run drills, and serve as a liaison.

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    Story by: 
    Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

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

    Chloe holds her decorated cap inside a gazebo on campus.

    English major and Rowan Blog contributor Bianca Gray sat down with fellow English major and recent graduate, Chloe Senatore, to talk about her acceptance into Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Chloe not only discusses the journey that led her to Trinity College but how the English Department at Rowan helped her along the way. 

    Can you tell us a little bit about your graduate program and what you’ll be studying? 

    I’m studying Irish writers. I’ll be focusing on Irish literature and Irish writing at Trinity College in Dublin where many of those writers went to school. It’s a one-year program but it’s going to be really cool and I’m really excited. I definitely feel as though the classes I’ve taken at Rowan and the professors I’ve worked with have prepared me to do something like this. 

    Was it always your intention to study abroad for graduate school? 

    No, actually. I wasn’t even fully planning on going to graduate school. I just wanted to apply to this one singular program to see if I could get in. It’s a difficult program to get into but I knew if I didn’t apply then I would never know and spend the rest of my life sad about it. I didn’t apply to any other programs. If I didn’t get into Trinity then I was just going to enter the workforce but, lo and behold, I actually did get accepted and that’s what I’m doing. 

    Why did you choose Irish Writing to be your field of study?

    That’s very personal to me. I’m Irish. I have a big mane of red hair. You’ve seen me. I have Irish heritage on both sides of my family. Irish literature often gets lumped into British literature but Irish literature is its own separate thing, and I really wanted to dive into it more. I chose Trinity specifically to learn more about this field. I literally have a quote by W.B Yates tattooed on my body.

    I’m very into not only Irish poetry but the Irish experience in general. I dove into the history of Ireland when I was supposed to go abroad through a program Rowan was hosting before everything happened with COVID. The program was a law class called International Terrorism and, though it wasn’t something affiliated with my major, I was going to take it as a free elective. Since COVID shut down the trip, I’ve just been yearning to go and experience the culture and history of the country. 

    Chloe stands in front of the Owl Statue

    Can you tell me any specifics about the program you’re enrolled in at Trinity?

    It’s a small program. It only accepts around 20 students a year. It’s not a traditional English program. There are multiple different paths I could take, and I could choose to study one specific author. The general structure is that the first semester is just studying all of Irish literature in general, and the second semester is going to be spent with me writing a dissertation on whichever path of Irish literature I choose to study. 

    Who are your favorite Irish poets/writers?

    Seamus Heaney and W.B Yates. They’re just the best. 

    What inspired your initial interest in literature? 

    Oh gosh, that takes me back to being a kid and reading Harry Potter. I’ve always been a book nerd. I love to read, and I think it’s something I’ve just always naturally gravitated towards. It’s just been my thing for as long as I can remember. 

    Why did you choose Rowan to pursue your passion? 

    I actually transferred to Rowan. I did my first two years of college at a different university but I didn’t like it there. I ended up transferring to Rowan because it was closer to where I lived and I could easily commute to school. My decision to transfer was one of the best decisions I ever made. Rowan’s English department is just so superior to the English department at my other school. I just think that it’s really awesome that I got to be a part of the Rowan English program. The professors are just so cool and knowledgeable. They push you to improve. 

    Who was your favorite professor to work with overall? 

    I loved so many of the professors, but I’d have to pick Dr. Falck. She’s just amazing and phenomenal. She’s one of the best teachers I ever had. The feedback she gave and the way she taught was just incredible. I learned so much from her. She even wrote one of my recommendation letters to go to Trinity. 

    What was your favorite course? 

    Probably Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S. It opened my eyes to see that American literature isn’t just Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. There’s so many people of different ethnicities that wrote some great works that should be more heavily acknowledged in the canon. 

    Chloe standing in front of city skyline at night.

    How do you feel the Rowan English Department prepared you for graduate school? 

    They couldn’t have prepared me any better to handle my academic career moving forward. The professors at Rowan don’t just give you an A or a B. They genuinely see you and see your writing and they help you to improve. They aren’t just going off a rubric. They’re genuinely interested in helping people improve on an individual level. There was a time or two where I had a professor give me a B on an essay when I knew for a fact that I did better than some people in the class who got the same or better grades than me. I would voice my opinions to the professor and they would just tell me that I got the grade I got because they knew I could do better. 

    What advice would you give to a student thinking about pursuing an English career at Rowan? 

    Whatever you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it. I can admit that I’m a try hard, but what I put into it was what I got out of it. I put a lot of hard work into essays and things like that so I got a lot out of it. My professors gave to me what I gave to them. 

    Where do you see yourself in the future? 

    After this next year of grad school, I’ll have a bit of a beefier resume. My goal is to work for a publishing company or work as an editor. I’m not really sure where I’ll be led but I like the idea of reading and editing books for a living.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Gray, senior English major 

    Photos courtesy of:
    Chloe Senatore 

    Related posts:

    The Rowan Writing Arts 4+1 Program: Students Share Their Experiences

    Mic Worthy: Earning a M.A. in Writing While Inspiring Students

    Beyond the Classroom: Writing Arts and English Major Skyla Everwine Interns for Project Little Warriors

    My Favorite Class: American Material Culture

    Anthony stands with Bunce Hall far in the distance.

    This story is a part of the “My Favorite Class” series.

    Today we speak with recent graduate Anthony Raisley. He earned a degree in History with a concentration in U.S. History and multiple minors in Entrepreneurship, New Media, International Studies as well as a CUGS (Certificate of Undergraduate Studies) in Italian! Anthony comes from Middletown, NJ in Monmouth County and lived on campus all four years of college. 

    Tell me about your favorite class at Rowan.

    There are a few! I have a favorite class for [each of my concentrations]. As far as History courses, one of my favorite classes was the U.S. Since 1945. We studied recent history. That’s my favorite period of American history, post-World War II and on to the present. Even now, I’m taking a class with Dr. Jennifer Janofsky called American Material Culture, it’s an aspect of history that a lot of people don’t realize — for example, the music, decor, and clothes.

    A lot of people think of History majors and history in general as date-oriented or event-oriented, but there’s so much more to it. The development of different things is also part of history. I find that class very interesting because it’s basically from the Civil War and on.

    Can you share why history is relevant to people who are not History majors? 

    For example, we can look at technology and how much of a role it has played in our lives, and its development. Fifty to 60 years ago, the refrigerator, oven or microwave were just starting to develop. Now we obviously see with our computers or phones just how that has certainly changed over time. The computers were massive, and now we basically have a computer in our pocket.

    I think it’s important for non-history majors to realize that we live in history, and we’re living through it now (obviously with Covid). It’s certainly all around us. Even in car culture, there’s so much technology now within cars, the role of cars, and how that has changed in the development of our neighborhoods. [There is] so much around us that a lot of people don’t realize is history.

    Anthony stands under a tree wearing a pastel yellow shirt.

    Do you ponder on the sociological impact of technology in history? 

    The first [TVs were in] black and white, now we have color TVs. Now the TVs are even smaller, thinner and bigger. Just the channels and the content you can watch [now] have expanded over time. There used to be only six or seven channels 40 years ago; now we have over 500. There are so [many] things out there for people to see and learn.

    What makes the professor of this class so wonderful?

    She’s been teaching this class for a while so she’s very knowledgeable. This is her area of expertise. She really connects it to the present as well. It all ties back to the present. We actually just did a class discussion on the Coney Island Amusement Park. Over a hundred years ago when Coney Island first opened up, it was a totally new concept. Now we [have] places like Six Flags. A hundred years ago that would have been a totally foreign thing.

    Anthony gazes into the sun in front of Bunce Hall wearing all light colors.

    How did this class help to support your academic or professional growth? 

    I really like public history because of this class. I had never taken too many courses focusing on public history, especially on material culture. I think that definitely prepares me for my master’s degree next year. It’s a great foundation and will help prepare me going forward.

    Where do you see yourself in the future? 

    I hope to work in communications for either a private company or for public officials in the government. I see myself working in media, [although] I’m not entirely sure [on the specifics] yet, but I [have] a general idea. Most likely for a public official doing communication or research for them. I think that’s something that I see myself doing since I’m going to be down in DC.

    Anthony skate boards underneath the Rowan arch.

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    Story by: 
    Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    #PROFspective: English Major Bianca Gray Shares Her Rowan Experience

    Bianca poses in front of some greenery.

    Today we feature senior Bianca Gray, an English major with a concentration in Shakespeare Studies. Bianca is a commuter student from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). Bianca shares her experience at Rowan after transferring from a private college in Spring 2019. 

    Bianca poses next to the prof statue.

    Do you commute or live on campus?

    “I used to live on campus, but because of personal reasons, I will commute next school year.”

    What are some likes and dislikes of your major?

    “I enjoy reading, writing, and studying English. The professors in the English department aren’t only supportive in class, but they also help students get jobs in the department. One of my professors recommended me to the Academic Integrity Board after I showed my interest. I got the position instantly, and that wasn’t something she had to do. She placed me in a position where I can interact with higher ups from Rowan and have better recommendations when I apply to grad school. So far, I don’t have any dislikes about my major.”

     Why did you transfer to Rowan?

    “I transferred from a private college in New York. The school was very expensive, I had complications with the staff and the problem with small colleges is they run it like a boarding school. The college felt just like high school and I didn’t really like that you could be labeled for something you did your [first] year. Rowan is the opposite, it’s a public university, I feel free here, and it’s been very convenient for me.”

    Bianca gets some work done at the writing center.

    What has your experience at Rowan been like so far? 

    “At first, Rowan seemed culture shocked because it didn’t feel as diverse as I imagined it for a public university. As for friendship, I reached back to high school friends and most could connect since they live close to campus. Overall, I am having a good experience. People at Rowan show they care about the Rowan community, especially my RA.”

    What do you like to do for fun?

    “I enjoy writing short stories and hanging out with friends. I also like watching old TV shows such as ‘Gossip Girl’ or ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ The older TV shows are just blunt, whereas newer TV shows show faux diversity.”

    Do you have any jobs on campus?

    “I work at the Writing Center, assist professors with writing, and I intern at the Rowan Blog as a Digital Content Contributor.”

    Bianca poses in front of some trees on a bridge.

    What do you look forward to after graduation?

    “My goal is to attend graduate school. There’s a competitive program that offers not just your master’s but your doctorate as well. After that, I would like to work in the higher education field. I would like to become a resident director, vice president or even a dean. I also want to be involved in academia, self publish, and hopefully write novels.”

    What is one piece of life advice for current Rowan students?

    “Honestly, live your life to the fullest. Do what makes you happy.”

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    Story by:
    Nene Diallo, senior public relations major

    Photography by: RJ Wentzell, senior exercise science major, and Stephanie Batista, junior, music industry major



    Beyond the Classroom: Kevin McCarthy and His Time with SGA

    Kevin smiles wearing a gray Rowan t-shirt with Bunce Hall in the distance.

    Today we speak with Kevin P. McCarthy, a recent graduate from Cranford, NJ (Union County) with degrees in Political Science and Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management. He was an RA (Resident Assistant) for three years in Holly Pointe, Chestnut Hall and Triad Apartments. Kevin was also heavily involved in the Student Government Association (SGA) as well as Rowan EMS.

    How did you get involved with SGA? 

    At the federal work-study career fair, SGA had a table looking for student workers. They hired me but I also had an offer from IRT doing something that was a little bit more in [tune with] my major. But, I decided to go with SGA. I ran for the senator-at-large position. It was a mid-semester election. I served one semester as the senator-at-large. Then I ran for vice president of government relations. I’ve been there for three years. 

    What have you gotten out of being part of SGA personally and professionally? 

    I helped pass the Student Wellness Fee my sophomore year. It was introduced as a $50 fee and it wasn’t well-discussed in e-board, so it failed miserably at the Senate. 

    We had our CFO at the time rally against it. It lost by 125 to 10. I spent the rest of the year working with Arielle Gedeon, who [later became] President. At the time, she was the Recording Secretary. I worked with her and a couple of other e-board members in order to get the fee reshuffled and changed. Eventually, we put it up during the series 2 elections for a $30 fee to support Rowan EMS and the Wellness Center in hiring more counselors and physical health providers as well as providing free medications and other free [items] for students. During the series 1 elections, it tied exactly at 250 to 250. So, we put it in front of the Senate. Arielle and I talked for 45 minutes, then we were discussing and debating the bill.

    Kevin and Leah sit on the marble steps of Bunce Hall wearing Rowan t-shirts and glasses.

    It provided so many critical things like vehicle replacement for Rowan EMS. People spoke out against the Wellness Center charging per visit [preventing students from reaching out for help]. They were planning on charging Insurance in charging a copay. I have good insurance; my mom works for a hospital up north. However, it is one of those in-network kinds where if [the treatment] was connected to the hospital it cost $5, but if it’s not connected in any way it cost $100. So a Wellness Center bill for me would cost over $100. I really advocated for the bill and eventually, it passed. 

    I also did a couple other things in SGA. I attended the Conference on Student Government Associations in Texas. We actually went right before the pandemic, like March 10. A week later, we were sent home. I went with the Dean of Students, the next SGA Vice President Sarah McClure, the current AVP of Facilities & Operations Liam Cutri-French, and one senator. We thought Covid was not going to be a real thing and would be over in two weeks. But here we are now! 

    From that, I got the inspiration to start the New Jersey Conference of Student Government Associations NJSGA. We had the first one in 2019 around Thanksgiving. 

    We had it in the Business Hall. Rutgers New Brunswick and TCNJ came as well as William (Bill) Moen, who’s actually a Rowan alumnus and a current assemblyman from Camden County. He came to do the keynote speech. We took a little hiatus, but last weekend we hosted the second conference of NJSGA. Rutgers New Brunswick, Rutgers Newark, TCNJ, Ramapo, and Drew attended as well. We [aim to] raise fruitful discussion about supporting students and how SGAs should operate.

    Kevin stands confidently in front of Bunce Hall.

    Luckily, Rowan does really great with shared governance. For example, Arielle has a meeting with President Houshmand every month. The AVP of Academic Affairs meets monthly with the Provost. The AVP of Student Affairs meets with advisor Kevin Koett. We really have very involved faculty that want to know what the students want.

    It’s super important to get involved with SGA. We always have openings for our Class Senators and Academic Senators. Every class has four senators, there are four at-large Senators, and every single college has its own Senator. 

    With everything that you’ve experienced, what has been your most to use what is 

    Definitely “Rowan Well,”  just having the mental health resources available to students is a really big thing. Obviously, it’s taken a long time to see that change, but there were at least two counselors hired, there are more resources available, and they got rid of a waitlist.

    After the Rowan Well bill passed, they expanded counseling services to include Victoria St. and in different academic buildings. Rowan EMS also got a new truck. I think they get $3 out of the $30 every semester from every undergraduate student. It really helps a lot. 

    Is there anything else you’d like to share about your SGA experience? 

    Applications are open for Senator positions. We have every position open except for the College of Science & Math. If you go on ProfLink and look into forms, you can find them. Applications close in September which allows people going through any incoming student orientation to get involved.

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    Story by: 
    Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    Alumni Success: Stephanie Ibe and How She Became a Teaching Assistant in France

    Stephanie sits at the Giant Prof statue on campus while wearing a custom stole showing the Filipino and French flags.

    Today we speak with Stephanie Ibe, a 2020 graduate who majored in Biological Sciences with a minor in French and Honors and Pre-med concentrations. Stephanie stayed in Le Havre, France for seven months while working as a teaching assistant through the TAPIF Program. Stephanie comes from Franklin Park, NJ in Somerset County. She was involved in MAPS (Minority Association of Premedical Students), Res Life as an RA/ARD, research, tutoring, RUPAC (Rowan University Philippine American Coalition), Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED – Premed Honors Society), University Chorus, and mentoring through the Dr. Harley E. Flack program.

    What is the name of this program? 

    It’s called TAPIF, which stands for Teaching Assistant Program In France and it’s through the French Ministry of Education. TAPIF was recommended to me by my French teacher, Dr. Maria Hernandez, a former Fulbright Program alumna.

    What part of France were you mainly based in? 

    Normandy! It has a mix of everything. It’s in the northwest of France. You can find suburbs, cities, small towns, beaches, cliffs and the countryside. It’s about two hours away from Paris. You could take a bus to Paris from Normandy for as low as eight euros (about $9). When we traveled to the south of France, we took a train ride from Normandy that took about six hours.

    Stephanie poses in a gorgeous, tiny street in the French city of Marseilles.
    Marseilles

    My base city is really special. It’s called Le Havre. It is an urban city with a beach and a port. It is located right next to Sainte-Adresse, where Claude Monet created many of his paintings. What happened in Le Havre is that during the World War II bombings, the entire city was destroyed. The city was rebuilt not too long ago. It was rebuilt by Auguste Perret between 1945 and 1964, so Le Havre looks completely different from other typical French cities. The buildings are a little bit newer and more modern. They are boxier and made of concrete.

    How many people again were in your program in France? 

    According to the website, about 1,100 people participated in it and in my city there were 13 assistants.

    How close did you live near each other? 

    We were all within about 20 minutes of each other, whether by bus, tram or walking. Public transportation is really important in France so we all had our own public transportation card which was pretty affordable. I only had to pay 25 euros a month. It made transportation really easy. Most of us were within the city center, so it was very easy to walk to each other’s apartments.

    Stephanie wears a dark red winter hat to the cold beach in Le Havre, France.
    Beach of Le Havre

    Could you describe what it was like going from graduation to the pandemic to going to France? 

    It was such a stressful experience. From the time I graduated to the time I was actually on the plane to France, I didn’t know if I would still be doing the program. We didn’t get our acceptance letters until the end of June, because of Covid delays, and our actual placements until the end of July. And even though we got our acceptance letters, we still weren’t sure if we could leave the country because of the pandemic. The visa center did not open until mid-September. They were not accepting applications to apply for a visa until mid-September, and I had to be in France by mid-October. After I was able to schedule my appointment time for the visa center it took a little bit of time for my visa to process. I got my visa about one week before I had my flight to France. 

    Even after I got my visa, I had a lot of other things to do before my flight to France. I had to get a background check, my fingerprints scanned, and I had to get my COVID test done 72 hours before boarding. Until I was on the flight, it was stressful, but I made it! Thankfully, it was a lot easier to come back to the US.

    Stephanie poses under a transportation sign in Bordeux, France with a reflective structure in the background.
    Bordeux

    What did you do as a teaching assistant?

    I taught English and American culture. I taught at two different high schools. One was a hotel and service trade school, where they taught things like culinary, restaurant service. All of the classes I taught for that school were centered around things like food and drinks, holidays and traditions, nutrition, and service dialogues. The other high school I taught at was a technical and professional high school, where they have programs for Biotechnology, Health, and Social Science. I got to talk a lot about things I was passionate about like U.S. healthcare, our education system, civil rights, nutrition, designing experiments, ethics, biotechnology, and general American culture and traditions. 

    I incorporated a lot of things they were interested in learning about. I would do different kinds of presentations and activities about American culture. I helped them prepare for their oral presentations and would give them feedback.

    Did you get to decide that or was there a guideline from TAPIF?                

    When you’re filling out your application, you get to check off a few boxes about your background. I majored in biology and I did bench and clinical research, so that’s what I included in my application.

    I think TAPIF also tries to decide your placement based on your hobbies. For example, I put on my application that I really enjoy cooking so they placed me in a school with a culinary program. For the most part, they put you where they think you’d fit in best and what high school you are able to give the most to.

    Stephanie sits on a wall overlooking the whole city of Marseilles, France.
    Marseille from Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde

    What was your favorite memory as a teaching assistant?                             

    I really liked getting to know all of my students and seeing their growth from when I first began teaching to the end. I remember when I first met them, they were so shy and scared to speak to me. By the end of the program, they were so excited to speak in class and we were able to have a lot of fun conversations together.

    I loved being able to actually talk to them about what they’re interested in and seeing them build their confidence in being able to speak English. I had them pick what topics they’d be interested in learning. I really liked that because they also had a lot to teach me in return, through our discussions. I would always ask them about things like what kind of music, shows, food, stores, and activities they like. It was like an inside scoop to their culture.

    Stephanie poses happily while holding a Rowan umbrella in the air in France.
    Vieille Ville (Bordeaux)

    How did Rowan’s French program help prepare you for this experience?

    I loved how small Rowan’s French program was. I had a lot more opportunities to practice speaking with the students in my class because there were only five or six students. There’s also more one-on-one help from your professors.

    The support I got from the faculty was huge. I wouldn’t have gotten the position if it wasn’t for Dr. Hernandez. She encouraged me to pursue the French minor and apply to the program. In the beginning, I was debating on whether or not I should go to France because I am also applying to medical school. Dr. Hernandez walked me through the pros and cons of going to France in the midst of a pandemic. Eventually, I made my decision to go based on the idea that I’ll never get to experience and learn about France the way I did in those seven months. It truly would’ve been an opportunity of a lifetime.

    Stephanie wears a custom stole with the Filipino and French flags on the sunny and green Rowan campus near Bunce Hall.

    In the end, I was honestly so thankful that I went this year. Even though everything was closed the entire time I was there, I don’t think I would have built such a strong bond with all the other assistants if everything was open. We would have each been doing our own thing. Being able to experience big cities like Paris with fewer people on the streets was also really cool.

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    Story by: 
    Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    and Stephanie Ibe, biological sciences graduate

    Related posts:

    Studying Abroad in Japan: The Best Decision I Have Ever Made

    Calysta Laurente’s European Study Abroad Experience

    We’re Not in Glassboro Anymore: Nadine El Maalem Shares Her Study Abroad Experience in Morocco

    #PROFspective: History Major Anthony Raisley on Living On Campus

    Anthony sits on the grass in front of Bunce Hall wearing a yellow shirt.

    Today we speak with recent graduate Anthony Raisley, who majored in History with a concentration in U.S. History and multiple minors in Entrepreneurship, New Media, International Studies as well as a CUGS (Certificate of Undergraduate Studies) in Italian! Anthony comes from Middletown, NJ in Monmouth County and has lived on campus all four years of college. Anthony graduated this past May.

    Advice for incoming transfers or freshmen who want to live on campus?

    It’s very exciting to see all the facilities Rowan has to offer and the new things that Rowan is developing. There’s great housing and great options for everybody. I’d definitely say to live on campus if you can because the experiences you get are certainly unique to being an on-campus resident. I very much enjoyed my time living on campus all four years.

    What are some of the advantages of living on campus? 

    It’s much easier to walk to class and to visit friends in other residence halls. Also if I have to meet up with other classmates to work on projects, it’s easy to meet in one of the academic buildings or in one of the resident lounges.

    Anthony stands confidently in front of the Rowan arch.

    What about practical tips for packing? Tips on what to leave at home?

    Each year you get better and better with picking and knowing what you need to bring. To be honest, I never bring enough (lol). There are things where I’m like, “Oh, you really don’t need this.” But you can never have too many sweatshirts if it gets chilly on certain days. Don’t forget the rain boots or rain jacket. Those are things you forget because it’s a beautiful August day when you move onto campus and then you realize once it’s October: “Oh yeah, I need my boots and rain jacket!” Definitely prepare for all of the elements, but it’s great to see the campus change through all of the seasons!

    How did you make friends as a resident? 

    My freshman year, when I moved in, I started off running cross country and track. I was able to move in early. I met the guys on the team. Everyone from Rowan Athletics is fantastic, makes you feel welcome, and helps you with your transition from moving from home into college. My sophomore year I was still running. I [also] started working in admissions as an ambassador. Being able to meet a lot of my fellow ambassadors as a sophomore, junior, and senior, you get a great idea of what Rowan represents as far as all of the different backgrounds and different majors. It’s a great way to meet people that way. It’s a great environment to work in. In my junior year, I started working for the social media team, another great way to meet people and professional staff as well.

    Anthony gazes into the sun in front of Bunce Hall wearing all light colors.

    How did you get connected with Rowan Social Media? 

    I saw an email or announcement online. Immediately, I was interested in it because on the side I take photos. Being able to be part of this environment, taking photos of campus, and getting to meet so many people has been fantastic.

    What do you want to do professionally after graduation? 

    After graduation, I’m actually going to Georgetown for grad school. I’m moving to Washington, D.C. because the program I got into was the Master of Arts in Communication, Culture, and Technology. It’s exactly what I love, all those subject areas even with the minors that I have here and also my major. It all fits together. I’m so glad I’m able to pursue that next year. It’s nice because you can pick what you want to focus on. That’s what’s in store for me this fall.

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    Story by: 
    Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    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.

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    My Favorite Class: Gender, Sexuality, and Literature

    Field of flowers near Wilson hall.

    Today we feature recent graduate Amanda Carlin. Amanda earned her degree in English with a minor in Psychology and is from Bridgewater, NJ (Somerset County) where she transferred from Raritan Valley Community College. Amanda’s favorite class is Gender, Sexuality, and Literature in the English department, which was taught by Dr. Yvonne Hammond. Tell us a […]

    Faculty PROFile: Joseph L. Coulombe

    Joe Coulombe sits in front of a stack of bookcases.

    Meet Dr. Joe Coulombe, an English professor who has been teaching at Rowan University for 20 years.

    An outdoor portrait of Joseph L. Coulombe a professor in the english department at Rowan University.
    What is your area of expertise?

    I’m a generalist in U.S. literature, but I’ve used that broad framework to develop research specializations in three areas: Mark Twain and the American West; contemporary Native American fiction; and the function of humor in literature.

    What inspires you to continue teaching?
    Two things: literature is endless, and my students are wonderful.

    I’ve always been fascinated by the ideas and artistry of literature, specifically the ways that literary narratives shape our nation and its cultures. Literature involves so much – history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, etc. – that you can never reach the end! There are always new intersections and insights.

    Second, I love talking with students about how literature informs our past and present. Rowan students bring such an exciting energy to the classroom, and they share unique and sometimes generational ways of thinking about issues and ideas. The classroom dynamic – that is, students’ interests and backgrounds – directs our discussion.  It’s always new!

    How would you describe your teaching style?
    My goal is to create a collaborative classroom that invites students to voice their own responses about assigned poems, plays, and novels. While I provide interpretive frameworks for our discussions, I adapt my approach to students’ interests. They often alert me to themes and questions that I hadn’t fully anticipated, and I use those moments to redirect our collective focus to how the text addresses their concerns. Ideally, my teaching style is one of informed versatility and structured exploration.

    Joseph L. Coulombe sitting in a classroom in Bunce Hall.

    Share an “aha!” moment you’ve had within your discipline that made you feel passionate about your field. 
    My students and I were talking about a collection of very engaging and funny short stories by Sherman Alexie, and we noticed that the narrator repeatedly and explicitly stated when characters laughed. This seemingly minor detail led us to think about how humor can function in varied ways: as a signal of creativity and intelligence, or as an insulting put-down, or as method of fostering a connection between ostensibly different people.

    We increasingly focused on this last possibility, theorizing that humor can create a sort of shared space for people to occupy together. Then we related these moments within the text to the reading experience itself, arguing that Alexie’s fiction builds bridges between groups that have historically been divided. These organic moments of realization and discover are very exciting.

    What is one thing you wish people knew about your academic discipline or your research focus?
    Majoring in English isn’t simply about learning correct grammar and punctuation. Sometimes the most expressive statements break the rules.  Vernacular language is rarely correct, but it can be engaging and insightful.

    Second, literary texts don’t “mean anything we want them to.” We support our claims using textual evidence. If we can’t defend our interpretations with evidence, then they are unconvincing at best and wrong at worst.

    Our English program prepares students for a variety of career trajectories, not only teaching. Our students learn to work and think independently; they develop their oral and written communication skills; and they build a broad yet detailed understanding of language and culture that facilitates their individual success.

    Learn more about the English program at Rowan University.

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    My Favorite Class: Philosophy of Science

    Madison inside Business Building

    This story is a part of the “My Favorite Class” series.

    Madison Dautle is a junior Bioinformatics major. She is from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County) and transferred from Stockton University.

    What was the name of your favorite class at Rowan? 

    Philosophy of Science

    What department was the class in? 

    Philosophy (PHIL)

    Who taught the class when you took it? 

    Dr. Nathan Bauer

    Madison outside on the bridge

    Tell us a little about what the class is.

    Most people assume that science is constantly progressing to explain the true nature of the universe. To explain what it is we see. This class teaches you that isn’t necessarily true. It opens up your eyes to assumptions you hold as a scientist that you probably didn’t even know you were assuming.

    Share with us a few details on why this class was interesting or special to you.

    This class finally made me think. Sure, I’m good at explaining chemistry and biology, but that doesn’t make you think, or at least not in the same way. That class made me think in ways I never had to before, and it was exciting!

    It’s funny to be able to believe something yet not have a fully thought out reasoning for why. Like one hypothesis referred to as the Grue hypothesis. This idea states that all emeralds are green until a certain date when they all suddenly turn blue. Seems silly, right? That can’t possibly be true, but until the date passes, it can’t be proved false. Yet we all believe that the emeralds will stay green when that hypothesis has a 0% chance of occuring. Look it up. It’s really interesting. My brain hates it but also loves it because I want to know why we believe that.

    Madison outside Business Building

    Is there anything else that made this class impactful?

    The way Professor Bauer ran the class. He really made it easy to follow while still making us think. He asked for student input and gave us the opportunity at the end of the semester to present one of our own ideas as a group. I still think about that class daily, and it’s been a while since I’ve taken it.

    What makes this professor great? 

    He’s engaging. Quirky. Kind of what you’d expect from a philosophy professor, but you can tell he loves it. Sometimes you’ll ask a question and he’ll become confused because he didn’t think of that, but he just tells you to go write it down because it’s a good idea. He supports a learning environment and gives adequate room to grow.

    Madison sitting on a rock

    How did this class help to support your academic or personal growth, or your professional goals? 

    To be honest, I thought I would hate this class. Turns out it was the best possible thing that could have happened to me. I finally have something to really THINK about. I am thinking about things that can’t be reconciled by a Google search or even a bit of heavier research. The answers for these questions aren’t written down because no one has truly figured them out yet. Academically and professionally, it can help just broaden my horizons. But personally, it entertained my brain.

    I’m lucky that I don’t struggle with understanding most teachable concepts, but with this class, the more he taught, the more questions I had. A really amazing class.

    What are your professional goals? 

    I would like to perform genomics research using bioinformatics. Currently, I am interested in long-term memory — what genes, and in what concentrations, are expressed during memory recall and consolidation.

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

    Photos by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    Senior Reflects: Sarah Dixon, Law & Justice Studies Major Thanks Outstanding Professors

    Photo taken by a drone of Bunce Hall with students sitting on the marble steps.

    Today we speak with Sarah Dixon, a graduating senior Law & Justice Studies major from Philadelphia. Sarah is a commuter who transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC).

    Could you please share your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes?

    In my Public Speaking class, the professor was 9 months pregnant. Each class, she would tell stories at the beginning of class about her life. She had four kids already, and the way she told the stories was so funny and real! I loved her class!

    What are your career aspirations? 

    I aim to be a public defender.

    How did the people or programs at Rowan help to support you with your professional growth or career aspirations? 

    The Law & Justice Studies program really helped shape me in the way I think and view things now.

    Sarah James poses with her daughter in matching shirts.

    Do you want to give a thank you shout out to your family, friends, advisors or mentors?

    I wanna give a huge shout out to Professor Buie who teachers Law Seminar because he is the best professor on earth! 

    Who is your favorite professor? What class did you take them for? And why is this person your favorite?

    My favorite professor is Buie. I have him for Law Seminar. He is the most intelligent, down-to-earth professor I ever had!

    What advice would you give to incoming freshmen or transfers about making the most out of their college experience?

    Be yourself and follow your own path! Everything happens for a reason and as long as you choose good over evil you will succeed in college and in life!

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

    Meet Transfer Profs: Liberal Studies Major Erin Finter

    Photo of future Prof Erin taken outdoors.

    Meet incoming transfer student and first-generation college student Erin Finter! Erin is an aspiring Liberal Studies major from Medford, NJ (Burlington County) who transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County. She shares more about what she’s looking forward to at Rowan University and she gives advice to other transfer students.

    Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward at Rowan University?

    New professors!

    What is one hobby, activity, sport or club that you’re involved in that you’d like to continue at Rowan?

    I’m currently the VP of the criminal justice club … I’d love the chance to continue that!

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I’ve chosen liberal studies with a focus in law.

    Did you tour Rowan or attend any virtual events? If so, which ones, and what did you think?

    The 3+1 info event. It was well put together and full of great information!

    Do you have advice for other transfers who haven’t committed to a school yet?

    Figure out what you want to do after graduating and pick a school bed equipped to help you achieve it!

    Where are you going to live next year?

    Renting off campus!

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    History Graduate Student Shares: Teaching Online and Supporting Distant Students [VIDEO]

    Rowan Global student Steven Anderson shares how his history degree prepared him as a high school social studies teacher during COVID-19. Steven recently earned the James Madison Fellowship as an outstanding educator of the U.S. Constitution. This prestigious award is granted to only two history teachers yearly.

     

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    Video by:
    Adam Clark, senior Radio/TV/Film major
    Max Morgan, senior Radio/TV/Film major
    Brian Seay, sophomore sports communication and media major

    Meet Transfer Profs: Human Services & Psychology Major NyEsha Cintron

    An outdoor photo of a branded chair on campus.
    A selfie of NyEsha in a botanical garden.

    Meet incoming transfer student NyEsha Cintron. NyEsha is a first-generation Human Services and Psychology major from Maple Shade, NJ (Burlington County) who transferred from Rowan College of Burlington County. She shares how she ended up at Rowan and what she’s looking forward to!

    Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward at Rowan University?

    I am looking forward to meeting new people, the ability to foster lasting relationships and grow in experience with my area of study. I am excited to see how school will impact my life as well as how I will impact the lives of others.

    What is one hobby, activity, sport or club that you’re involved in that you’d like to continue at Rowan?

    I’d like to get involved in the Human Services Club or a language club.

    Is there anything you’re hoping to discover about yourself at Rowan? Grow a new skill? Try a new interest? Starting a new activity, sport or club?

    I will be taking a Spanish class, and I’d like to see my knowledge increase in this language to speak it fluently.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I am a Human Services and Psychology major through and through. I love learning how to better understand people in efforts to better serve them. These majors are very organic to how I am wired, and I feel that I can be my best by furthering my education in these areas of studies.

    Did you tour Rowan or attend any virtual events? If so, which ones, and what did you think?

    I haven’t had the time to do so, but am awaiting orientation for transfer students, can’t wait!

    Do you have advice for other transfers who haven’t committed to a school yet?

    Do it and get started!

    Where are you going to live next year?

    Commute from home.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    I like that Rowan participated with community colleges to ensure continuity of learning to a accredited university.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    From Past to Present: History Shares A Lesson [VIDEO]

    “It’s a cliché to say, but you understand history so you don’t repeat it,” says Timothy Dewysockie, a Rowan Global M.A. in History student. Graduates with a master’s degree in history have the opportunity to position themselves in roles across a variety of fields, including educators, museum curators or archivists.

    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.  

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    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



    7 History Majors Share How Their Degree Supports Their Professional Goals

    Raymond standing outside.

    “This major supports my professional goal of being a teacher and continuing to give back to my community and my country. I am excited to see where my dual major takes me,” says junior Frank Gurcsik, a History and Education major from Gloucester County. “My major has been helping me to prepare and become an educator […]

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Future High School Teacher Gianna Venturini

    Stock photo of sunflowers.

    Meet Gianna Venturini, a Secondary Education and History major and Psychology minor. Gianna is a transfer student from Monmouth University but is originally from Rockaway, NJ (Morris County). She shares with us why she chose her major and why she chose Rowan!

    A selfie of Gianna holding a sunflower in a sunflower patch.

    What are your professional goals? And how is Rowan (your program, faculty, etc.) helping to support you in those goals?

    I am currently a senior in the College of Education studying to become a high school teacher. The COE has provided me with so many opportunities to be hands-on in real classrooms, and has continued to support me as I do my clinical practice this semester!

    How does your field impact the world? What impact would you like to have on the world in your field?

    I truly believe that becoming a teacher is one of the most important and impactful career fields that a person can get into. As teachers, we are responsible for educating and cultivating the next generation of thinkers and leaders. There is nothing I want more than to inspire and encourage my students to pursue their passions and be there to support them during such an important phase of their lives.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher; I was one of the few kids who always loved going to school and had a true love for learning. When I got to high school, I had a really difficult time struggling with mental health issues and I never felt like I had a true support system in a teacher or counselor at the school.

    Once I graduated, I knew that I wanted to become the teacher I had needed at such a difficult point in my life, and that is my number one priority as a future educator.

    As a student from North Jersey, how did you become aware of Rowan University?

    Many people from my high school had gone to Rowan or were planning to after graduation! I also have a family member who attended Rowan.

    How long is your trip/drive “home” to North Jersey?

    The trip home takes me about two hours — a very long, straight and boring drive up the NJ Turnpike!

    A portrait photo of Gianna wearing her high school cap and gown while holding a Rowan flag.

    What are some of the benefits for you, living this distance from home?

    I think that two hours is the perfect distance because it’s far enough away that I feel like I am living my own life, but close enough and still in NJ so that I can visit my friends and family for the weekend when I want to go home!

    What are a few interesting or new things (to you) about Rowan’s South Jersey area that you would share with future out-of-state students?

    Prior to coming to Rowan, I had never been to Philadelphia and I had no idea how close it was to campus! Back home, we always refer to New York as “the city” but when I transferred, I had to get used to people calling Philly “the city.” My best friend and I are actually planning on living in Philly after graduation!

    What off-campus, local fun places do you recommend students check out?

    As I said before, I love how close Rowan is to Philadelphia, and my friends and I often like to visit the city. As a history major, I love exploring the rich culture and historical significance that Philadelphia holds! There are also so many amazing restaurants and bars to check out, as well as fun shops and public park spaces.

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

    The first time I visited and toured Rowan’s campus, I instantly felt at home and knew I wanted to spend the rest of my college career here. I had such a terrible freshman year, and I was desperately in need of a fresh start. That’s exactly the opportunity I saw at Rowan!

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, Senior music industry major

    Header photo courtesy of: Unsplash 

    We are #RowanPROUD to be included on Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s 2021 Transfer Honor Roll, which recognizes select nationwide colleges and universities that foster dynamic pathways for transfer students.

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Future History Teacher Kaan Aktas

    Exterior shot of walkway by Bunce Hall.

    Today we speak with Kaan Aktas, a senior transfer student from Bergen Community College who majors in History and Subject Matter Education. Kaan, a remote student from Fairview, NJ (Bergen County), is a first-generation college student.

    Kaan poses in front of some greenery.

    What are your professional goals? And how is Rowan helping to support you in those goals?

    My professional goals are to be the instructor of a history classroom. Rowan, especially my advisor, has done a great job in setting me up for my goals by creating benchmarks for my classes and exams where I can keep track of and complete.

    How does your field impact the world? What impact would you like to have on the world in your field?

    My field impacts the world by educating the future. I strongly believe that our students are the future of not just our country, but the future of the world. The work and effort you put into a classroom can completely benefit and alter the student’s way of learning for the future.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    My passion for history has always been present. Since elementary and middle school I would find the subject interesting. History isn’t just about memorizing dates and people, but how those dates and people have impacted our current society and so forth.

    As a student from North Jersey, how did you become aware of Rowan University?

    I became aware of Rowan by doing some online research of the top best colleges in New Jersey. I initially fell in love with Rowan while on a tour of the school. The scenery is beautiful, and class sizes are perfectly arranged.

    How long is your trip/drive “home” to North Jersey?

    My trip “home” to North jersey is approximately an hour and a half.

    Kaan poses in front of some colored lights.

    What are some of the benefits for you, living this distance from home?

    The benefit of living far from home is the college experience you could not have gotten anywhere else. Also, the friendships I have built and experiences I have had are one of a kind.

    What are a few interesting or new things about Rowan’s South Jersey area that you would share with future students that are not from the area?

    In every corner, there are lots of spots to eat on campus! The wide variety of food, not just located inside of the dining hall, gives students lots of choices for some grub!

    What off-campus, local fun places do you recommend students check out?

    Some attractions just off campus include many parks where you can take a stroll, or even study!

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

    I transferred to Rowan University because of many factors. The professors are truly great! They work with you with your classes. Class sizes were also an important factor in why I chose to enroll. Unlike other universities in New Jersey, you are not put into a big lecture hall with a hundred other students where the professor has a lot more to manage.

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

    Photos submitted by:
    Kaan Aktas, senior history and subject matter education double major

    Header photo by:
    Anthony Raisley, senior history major

    We are #RowanPROUD to be included on Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s 2021 Transfer Honor Roll, which recognizes select nationwide colleges and universities that foster dynamic pathways for transfer students.

    7 Economics Majors Share Their Professional Goals

    Photo of a one dollar bill.

    Seven students in the Economics program share with us how they’re dreaming big and where their major will take them in their professional goals.

    Carolyn smiles in a wooded area.
    Carolyn Cover

    “My long-term professional dream goal is to be able to apply my knowledge of economics and business alongside my personal interests to find a career path best fitting for me,” says junior Carolyn Cover, a Rowan College at Burlington County transfer student and Economics major pursuing a minor in Business Administration from Mount Laurel, NJ (Burlington County).

    Headshot of Ryan Brubeck against a neutral background.
    Ryan Brubeck

    “In the short term, I plan to finish independent research essays on different Blockchain topics, which I can disperse through online platforms such as LinkedIn and Medium. Additionally, I am learning programming languages to supplement my education from university classes. Within the next two years, I will be working for an internship or entry-level job in addition to helping grow the Rowan Blockchain Club,” says junior Ryan Brubeck, an Economics major with a Mathematics minor from Westwood, NJ (Bergen County).

    Dayne pets animals outside with clouds in the background.
    Dayne Costa

    Dayne Costa plans to go to graduate school and become a professor or a dean in the future. “I will use my economics degree to help teach others the wonders of economics,” he says. Dayne, from Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County), also holds a Certificate of Undergraduate Studies in Public Policy and is a transfer from West Virginia University.

    Portrait of Rachel Ricci with a plant in the background.
    Rachel Ricci

    “My short-term goal is to find a great entry-level job after I graduate that opens the door for promotions and growth,” says junior Rachel Ricci, an Economics major with a minor in Business Administration and Rowan College of South Jersey transfer student from Millville, NJ (Cumberland County).

    Portrait of Amir Ross against a gray backdrop.
    Amir Ross

    “In the long term, I would like to be a Certified Accountant and professional farmer,” says senior Amir Ross, an Economics and Accounting major and Rowan College at Burlington County and transfer student from Palmyra, NJ (Burlington County).

    Nick Scheurer wears a Rowan sweatshirt outside with woods in the background.
    Nick Scheurer

    “My dream is to be financially stable while still being able to challenge myself and grow in my field as my career advances. I want to feel secure but never stuck, bored or uninspired,” says first-generation senior Nick Scheurer, an Economics major with a minor in Business Administration and Certificate of Undergraduate Studies in Management Information Systems from Flemington, NJ (Hunterdon County).

    Tamora smiles outside with an academic building in the background.
    Tamora Hill

    A transfer from Cumberland County College, senior Tamora Hill wants to work with personal finance, activism work, global economics and inequality. A first-generation college student and commuter, Tamora plans to attend graduate school. Her long-term goal is to start an economics firm and children’s book series.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Beyond the Classroom: Senior Emergency Medical Technician Maribeth Novsak

    Maribeth stands in front of an EMT vehicle.

    Maribeth Novsak, a senior Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management major from Cape May Courthouse, NJ (Cape May County), talks about her experience as an EMT with Rowan’s Emergency Medical Services squad. Maribeth shared her #PROFspective with Rowan Blog in an earlier post; read that story here

    What got you interested in becoming an EMT?

    Growing up, my dad was a law enforcement officer and I watched him throughout his career. He actually got an injury in the line of duty. Through that whole experience, I saw how much he appreciated the help of the EMTs who responded. This really inspired me to want to be in public service. I always wanted to be in the medical field as well, so when I found out Rowan had an EMS squad, I took a shot and applied. I ended up getting hired and they paid for me to go to EMT school. 

    Maribeth in front of a Rowan EMS vehicle.

    Was there an influential person who has helped you throughout your experience as an EMT?

    Chief Vern is really here for all of us. At some point, he has given us all advice along the way. There have also been a few upperclassmen who have moved on and graduated but were so helpful, too. Rowan EMS is a family and once you’re in, we all look out for each other. 

    What has been the most meaningful experience you’ve had at your position so far?

    In this job, you are really seeing students on their worst day. It’s meaningful to try to make them laugh or smile and try to make the situation even a little better for them.

    Maribeth at the EMS station.

    What is your favorite accomplishment as an EMT thus far?

    In June 2019, one of the crews I was working with was rewarded with a life-saving award from the New Jersey College and University Public Safety Association for a call we responded to in February 2019. We had a life-threatening call and had no advanced life-support available, but the actions we took were able to keep the patient out of critical care and the patient was discharged from the emergency room just a few hours later. In that moment we thought it was just another crazy call and had no idea we would be recognized. When we got that email that we were invited to an award ceremony to be recognized for our work, it was a really great accomplishment. 

    Maribeth in uniform on campus.

    What knowledge or skills have you developed through this opportunity that you will take with you for future endeavors?

    I have definitely developed great communication skills and have learned to communicate with different types of people. This job has also taught me to have empathy, time management. Another big skill is time management, we’re all balancing a 15-credit course load plus putting in a ton of hours to EMS each week.

    Maribeth plans on working as a full-time EMT in Wildwood Crest after graduating from Rowan in hopes to get a position in the Emergency Management department there. 

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

    Photography by: Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    Alumni Success: New Jersey State Police Sergeant Danyel Barnes

    Sgt. Barnes stands in front of a bank of windows.

    Danyel Barnes, a 1994 alumnus, shares his Rowan story and how it shaped his life today as a Sergeant with the New Jersey State Police.

    Danyel’s college journey is an amazing story in and of itself.

    In high school, Danyel considered joining the military and was being recruited by the Army and Air Force. A guidance counselor at Camden High School, Ms. Sanders, encouraged him to apply to college. After getting into Rowan (then Glassboro State College), he told his grandmother that he got accepted but didn’t have the money for school, so he’d have to choose the military. That same day, his grandmother wrote him a check and told him to go to college. 

    As you can tell, education was very important in the Barnes’ family. Danyel comes from three generations of college, so he was happy to keep the legacy going. 

    Danyel standing by window

    When Danyel got to campus, he had an awesome experience. He lived in Chestnut Hall his freshman year and got involved in Greek life early on. Being in a fraternity was one of Danyel’s “musts” going into college, so his second-semester freshman year he pledged Phi Beta Sigma. Danyel speaks about the strength of this brotherhood. “Our kids call each other aunties and uncles. We all keep in touch and are close to this day,” he says.

    When asked about any influential people at Rowan, Danyel easily recited a whole list. One of the people mentioned was a former Rowan president. “Herman James was always on the ground with students — we would see him every day in the Student Center just walking around and talking to people, he had a quiet calm about him,” he says. “I learned a lot from the way he carried himself. Professors and staff at Rowan really taught me how to be a benevolent leader.”

    Headshot of Sgt. Barnes wearing a state police mask.

    Danyel, who majored in Sociology, also mentioned a really influential Women’s and Gender studies course. “Dr. Gallant taught me all about real feminism. I was the only boy who didn’t drop the class because I really wanted to learn.” 

    Currently, Danyel serves as a Sergeant for New Jersey State Police. He got into law enforcement from inspiration from his brother and recruiters who visited Rowan’s campus. Danyel got information from the recruiters, passed a written exam, and went to the New Jersey Department of Corrections to start his career. Danyel felt that Rowan prepared him for his career by giving him a strong foundation in writing. He also learned a lot about human behaviors from being a sociology major and taking courses like anthropology. 

    Sgt. Barnes stands in front of a bank of windows.

    When asked what his advice to graduating Rowan students would be, Danyel says, “Everything you do isn’t about you, it’s about everyone else — you have to give back.” 

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

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

    Related posts:

    How One Student Uses Skills Learned at Rowan to Fight Crime

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

    Alumni Success: Dr. Janelle Alexander, Director of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging at Washington Township Public Schools

    Black #PROFspective: Junior Law and Justice Studies and Africana Studies Double Major Jamar Green

    Drone shot view of Campbell Library and Savitz Hall.

    Today we speak with Jamar Green, a junior double major in Law and Justice Studies and Africana Studies from Linden, NJ (Union County). Jamar, who transferred to Rowan from Union County College, is a first-generation college student. Jamar lives on-campus at 230 Victoria.

    Thank you to Tatianna Addison, senior communications studies major from Browns Mills, NJ (Burlington County), for this series idea to honor Black students during Black History Month. 

    What is your student experience here at Rowan like, as a Black student at a PWI (Predominantly White Institution)?

    I feel that going to a PWI will better benefit me. The experience I have had so far at Rowan had been on the positive side. I do feel included at Rowan. In both of my majors, I feel like they support Black students well.

    Jamar Green sits and smiles, wearing a red vest.

    How did you find your friend group here at Rowan?

    The way I found my friend group at Rowan was by joining clubs and a transfer group chat when I first attended.

    Are you involved with Black Rowan?

    Yes, I am. I am on the executive board for the African Student Association and the NAACP chapter.

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

    Be ready to work hard and don’t give up no matter what anyone says. It’s not a field they want to see us in, but a field they’re going to need us in if they want to see change.

    What are your professional goals?

    I want to become a criminal defense attorney.

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

    My Favorite Class: Shakespeare I

    Taryn poses outside the library.

    This story is a part of the “My Favorite Class” series.

    Today we speak to Taryn Guettler, a senior English major with minors in Women and Gender Studies and Writing Arts and concentrations in Honors and Shakespeare Studies from Succasunna, NJ (Morris County). Taryn is an on-campus resident at Whitney Center

    Taryn poses outside the Campbell Library.

    What is your favorite class at Rowan?

    My favorite class at Rowan is Honors Shakespeare I. The class is in the English department, and Dr. Claire Falck was my professor.

    Tell us a little about what the class is.

    Shakespeare I is a required course for all English majors. Throughout the semester, students study six of Shakespeare’s plays (my section read: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Othello,” “Julius Caesar,” “Hamlet,” “Twelfth Night” and “The Tempest”).

    Shakespeare I focuses on some of the more well-known plays, while Shakespeare II (an elective course) features those that are less often studied. Class discussion in Shakespeare I often focused on key moments of the plays, different interpretations of scenes or dialogue, and the history surrounding each play. We also watched one full production of each play, some being very true to script while others took a more out-of-the-box approach, which added a new perspective to studying Shakespeare.

    Taryn poses in front of the Campbell Library.

    Share with us a few details on why this class was interesting.

    One of the main reasons that this course was interesting for me was because it went beyond just reading Shakespeare’s plays. We were able to watch productions (including one live performance from Rowan’s Theatre department), which gave us an understanding of the impact of different interpretations of the script on the characters, themes, and play as a whole. We even were able to try our hands at acting out a scene ourselves for our final project; both groups chose scenes from the same play but portrayed them with very different tones and moods.

    Another reason that this course was interesting was because of the small class size. There were only a handful of students in my section, which allowed us to get to know one another better, and made the final group project much easier and much more enjoyable. Plus the group being more close-knit encouraged more participation in our daily discussions.

    Is there anything else that made this class impactful?

    I enjoyed getting to read a mix of plays — some that I was familiar with and others that I was not. It demonstrated the range that can be found in Shakespeare’s works. I went on to add a concentration in Shakespeare Studies, which I think speaks for itself in showing how much the course impacted me.

    Taryn poses in front of vines.

    What makes this professor great?

    Dr. Falck is clearly very passionate about the subject. When a professor can share their enjoyment of the course material, it makes the course feel much more engaging and interesting. I have been lucky to have many professors in the English department who really enjoy what they teach, and that enjoyment shows throughout the course. Dr. Falck also went beyond to provide additional enriching experiences for the course, like an acting workshop, that made this course stand out from others that I have taken.

    How did this class help to support your academic or personal growth or your professional goals?

    Honors Shakespeare I certainly improved my writing skills by pushing me to be more critical of my own work and expand my thinking. I would definitely say that I am a better writer for having taken this course, which has been a great benefit as I continue with my English major courses. It also helped me to develop my critical reading skills, which have been useful in other courses and I think will continue to be useful as I enter the professional field. The class also introduced me to a subject area that I might one day be interested in studying further.

    Taryn poses in front of Campbell Library.

    What are your professional goals?

    Currently, my short-term professional goal is to begin working in the publishing industry and work towards becoming an editor, preferably for children’s and young adult books. I think the writing and reading skills Shakespeare I helped me to develop will be key in this field. In the long-term, I want to earn a master’s degree, which will likely lead me to encounter Shakespeare once again. In this case, Shakespeare I will have provided me with a strong base of knowledge that I can use in furthering my education.

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

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Sociology Major LaDaysha White

    LaDaysha standing outside near a bridge.

    Today we feature LaDaysha White, a first-generation senior Sociology major from Florence, NJ (Burlington County). She also has a Certificate of Undergraduate study in Public Policy. LaDaysha is a transfer student from Ramapo College of New Jersey, and she tells us about her Rowan experience. Tell us a little bit about your favorite class at […]

    Alumni Success: Attorney Jennifer Webb-McRae

    Rowan alumna Jennifer Webb-McRae shares how impactful her college experience was to her current career as an attorney.

    Jennifer admits that Rowan (Glassboro State College at the time) was not her first choice going into college. Growing up in Vineland, she didn’t think she could possibly have her ideal college experience living 30 minutes away from campus.

    Sure enough, Jennifer ended up exactly where she was meant to be and made Rowan her home. “I stayed on campus, I rarely went home, and was a part of a phenomenal little community.” 

    Headshot of Jennifer in front of flag

    On campus, Jennifer was a Resident Assistant her junior and senior years, a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and was part of the Gamma Tau Sigma law and justice society of Rowan University. 

    Coming into college, Jennifer knew she wanted to be a lawyer and felt that way all her life. “My parents would tease me and say I would argue every point, so I had that idea since I was a little girl,” she says.

    During her time at Rowan, Jennifer made impactful connections that helped catapult her to that goal. “My advisor Dr. Douglass from the Law & Justice department really helped me get into law school by preparing me and guiding me through the process. He steered me in the right direction and gave me advice on taking the appropriate classes and getting good grades so I would be a competitive applicant to get into law school.”

    Jennifer got accepted and attended Rutgers Law School after graduating from Rowan. 

    Jennifer in front of county prosecutor crest.

    Jennifer says her education from Rowan really helped her transition to law school. “I was definitely prepared for law school. It was really the mentors I had at Rowan that pushed me, supported me, and made me feel like I could do it.” Jennifer says she still keeps in touch with those people to this day. 

    Jennifer serves as Cumberland County prosecutor, the first female and first African American appointed to this role.

    She also teaches classes at Rowan for the Law & Justice Studies department. During our interview, Jennifer personally offered herself as a resource to this contributor and any other Rowan student. “I was very fortunate to have mentors in my life at every step of my career, and that starts in college,” she says. 

    Jennifer in front of child advocacy office.

    Jennifer’s advice for graduating Rowan students would be “go for it, plan for it, and take advantage of opportunities college has to offer you.”

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

    Header photo by:
    Anthony Raisley, senior history major

    My Favorite Class: Cheyenne Smith, Introduction to American Studies

    Cheyenne holds a pennant on campus.

    This story is a part of the “My Favorite Class” series.

    Today we speak to Cheyenne Smith, a senior Early Childhood Education major with a dual minor in American Studies & Africana Studies from Somerdale, NJ (Camden County). Cheyenne is a transfer student from Camden County College and commutes to campus.

    Cheyenne poses outside of James Hall.

    What was the name of your favorite class at Rowan?

    Introduction to American Studies is my favorite class.

    What department was the class in?

    The class is in the American Studies Department

    Who taught the class when you took it?

    Professor Brian Dashefsky was my professor for Introduction to American Studies. 

    Tell us a little about what the class is.

    In Intro to American studies, we learned about history, but in a new light. This course was an introduction to the history, the people, and the culture of America, and to encourage critical thinking and writing. In addition to this, we learned about the Vietnam war and WWII through different perspectives, in the form of a story from a different point of view and forces you to think critically and change your perspective on it. We learned about how pop culture was developed and who runs pop culture. We looked at ads from the 1950s and old commercials and compared them to today and saw not much change in the approach.

    Cheyenne poses on a bench.

    Share with us a few details on why this class was interesting.

    I loved the material we talked about in class. It was a lot of critical thinking and using the critical eye to observe and reflect. You learn about pop culture and how it was born, view world history in a new light than your typical classes in the past to expand and broaden your perspective.

    Is there anything else that made this class impactful?

    The project that you have to do at the end of the semester is amazing! I had so much fun doing this. It was incorporating pop culture of today with what we learned over the semester and present it to the class in about a seven-minute presentation. I volunteered to go first because I was that confident in the material I was equipped with to present my project.

    What makes this professor great?

    Professor Dashefsky is the best professor! Has a great sense of humor, easy-going guy, has easy grades. He may give a pop quiz ONLY if the class is not participating. He likes conversation and equal participation in the class. His approach to the content of the class was unforgettable and made it easy to learn and feel great learning. It almost felt like we weren’t in a lecture but a general educated conversation for three hours! Time flies when you’re having fun with Professor Dashefsky!

    How did this class help to support your academic or personal growth or your professional goals?

    This class helped me realize that what I’m always taught is not always right and that there are other people in this world who also have feelings. The content and material in the class forced us to change our point of view and place ourselves in other’s shoes.

    What are your professional goals?

    I want to be a teacher in a public school and hopefully, eventually, work my way up to being the principal, and then get on the board of education to improve and make a change in the world one child at a time.

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

    International Studies Majors: My Professional Goals

    Today we speak with five International Studies majors. They tell us about their short- and long-term goals, how Rowan has prepared them for their field and how it all relates to their goals and dreams. “After graduation in the spring, I plan to go to law school. My long-term professional dream goal is to have […]

    Black #PROFspective: Senior Economics Major Tamora Hill

    Today we speak to Tamora Hill, a senior Economics major from Salem, NJ (Salem County). Tamora is a transfer student from Cumberland County College and a commuter student.

    Thank you to Tatianna Addison, senior communications studies major from Browns Mills, NJ (Burlington County) for this series idea to honor Black students during Black History Month. 

    Tamora poses with braids in her hair.

    What is your student experience here at Rowan like, as a Black student at a PWI (Predominantly White Institution)?

    I started at Rowan in Spring 2020, so I’m not really sure how Rowan was before the pandemic. I feel that the Black clubs we have are not pushed or marketed as much. I found the Black clubs on my own from wanting to have more extracurricular activities at Rowan. 

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

    My Intro to Africana Studies class has had the biggest impact on me compared to any other course I have taken at Rowan. I learned a lot of things about the Black culture in history, art, and even economics. I had Professor Lola Ames, and she was amazing.

    Tamora poses in a graduation cap with a Rowan banner.

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

    I would ask them what it is in economics they want to do. I want to work on studies and projects with the Black economy and improving its well-being nationally and internationally. 

    What are your professional goals?

    As of right now, I am very open. I currently am a freelance writer and do different articles for websites on economic topics. My goal is to have a successful business consultant company and my own economic firm to do research on personal finance, race/inequality, and possibly global economic topics.

    Tamora stands in front of a black metal bench on Rowan's campus.

    If you are open to it, could you share a little about your Black heritage?

    Honestly, my grandparents don’t know any history prior to their parents. Their parents were born on plantations and are unsure where their parents’ parents actually came from. My grandmother knows that her grandmother is from the West Indies, but does not know which island in particular.

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

    Black Lives Matter Poem by Peterson Dossous

    Peterson wearing a black suit and white shirt with the collar open.

    Today we feature Peterson Dossous, a recent Rowan Sociology graduate from Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County). Peterson wrote this piece in regards to racial division in the United States.

    Peterson poses, sitting on stairs.
    Peterson Dossous, the writer of this poem.

    The world we live in is a monopoly, it speaks for itself. The greed, the power, and ambition of having it all. It’s sad, what the government says to keep us civilians contained, to have a sense of control … how can you overpower others if your home is not taken care of first … our home; what we call earth is camouflaged to manipulate humans to appeal to their satisfaction through government aspirations and it starts early; to the simplicity of smacking a baby’s butt, to see if it meets the qualifications of falling in line to following the government set guidelines; it’s crazy. It consists of schooling, teaching a child their ABC’s to having intelligence, money to form ambition and greed, order to be obedient, torture to understand setbacks, religion to provide a sense of hope when all is wrong. The structure is what they call it, so you can be used as a utility. That’s messed up, in my opinion. Life itself is its own whooping, but they pull the strings in every event to accommodate their foolishness. They figure why to worry if there would be a replacement in a matter of seconds but when we overpopulate they form disease or send us off to war to manage the economic pole and space … the purge was always in effect, it’s just we haven’t realized it yet … there isn’t enough space for us or money and I find that crazy we are our worlds virus and we are killing it slowly it’s just a matter of time where there isn’t enough space in the dirt to even be buried and it’s all the cause of one-word; POWER …

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    Story written by:
    Peterson Dossous, Rowan sociology May 2020 graduate

    Thank you to New Jersey Digest for recognizing Rowan Blog as one of the best university blogs in the state.

    5 Law and Justice Majors Share How They Became Interested In Their Major

    A close up of marble columns at the top of a traditional looking state building.

    Today, we speak to five Law & Justice Studies majors about how they became passionate about their major and why it was the right choice for them.

    Shakira taking a selfie.
    Shakira Harris

    “As a Black woman I have lived a life where the justice system played a major part of my childhood. Being in an environment where anything you do could get you stopped by the police, from a parent of mine going to jail for something he did not do. I knew that there were so many injustices in the system and I wanted to change it,” says senior Shakira Harris, a transfer from Rowan College of Gloucester County (now RCSJ), from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County).

    Josh wearing a police uniform.
    Josh Abbott

    “Since I was a kid, I wanted to be a police officer or fireman. Then the events of 9/11 cemented my interest in law and justice. I worked as a first responder for ten years and decided I wanted to finally complete my bachelor’s degree. This program most closely aligns with my passion and experiences,” says first-generation college student, senior Josh Abbot a transfer from Rowan College of Burlington County from Hainesport, NJ (Burlington County).

    Carl taking a selfie.
    Carl Watkins

    “I have wanted to be an attorney since I was a child. It started with watching the old Perry Mason show while visiting my grandmother,” says junior Carl Shawn Watkins a transfer from Devry University, who is from Chicago, IL.

    Teressa taking a selfie.
    Teressa Stringfield

    “My son was falsely accused of a crime, and exonerated. I started my interest with wanting to work with youth, and especially minorities, who are absorbed into the system and do not either have fair advantage or are wrongfully accused. That is what gave me my passion in law and justice,” says first-generation college student, junior Teressa Stringfield from Somerdale, NJ (Camden County).

    Jamar sitting on a chair while wearing a red sweater and red bottomed shoes.
    Jamar Green

    “I want to be a criminal defense attorney,” says first-generation college student, junior Jamar Green, a transfer from Union County College who is from Linden, NJ (Union County).

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, Senior, Music Industry major

    #PROFspective: Brett Mayer, An EMT At Rowan EMS

    Brett poses next to a tree.

    Today we speak with senior Law & Justice Studies and Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management double major Brett Mayer. Brett is an EMT at Rowan EMS. He also lives on campus and works as a resident assistant in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments. Brett is from Manalapan, NJ (Monmouth County). 

    Brett poses next to some trees.

    Are there any professors you feel are a visionary in your field? 

    Definitely. Dr. Stanley Yeldell in the Law and Justice Studies department, and Dr. Demond Miller in the Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management department. They both send their students job opportunities, and, especially senior year, it is important to look at all the opportunities and try to line up jobs. They have both been big helpers with my internship. They also both gave me a lot of help along the way with helping me decide what courses I should take, and helping me maximize my education. 

    What career field do you see yourself in after graduation?

    As of now, I am still deciding, but I am thinking of going into the Law and Justice field and becoming a police officer, or something in emergency management. 

    Brett poses in front of the student center and sits at a table.

    Why did you choose your majors?

    I chose my majors because of being an EMT. I knew I wanted to be in the emergency response field, whether that’s the police or EMS. I figured, I love it so much, why not study something in that field? I had an interest in it, and I was already working in the field, so I thought I might as well study it.

    How do you feel that your field impacts the world? 

    Especially today, a lot is going on in the world. Especially in the Law and Justice and police area specifically. The Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management side definitely impacts the world, because disasters happen all the time, and the emergency managers are the people who handle those disasters. Someone is needed to run operations when there is a disaster or big storm, and these events are always going to happen. There is not only job security, but the field has a great impact on the world. 

    Brett poses against the wall of the student center.

    What would you share with a future student that was interested in one of your majors? 

    Get involved within the major. Law and Justice has a few clubs, one that I know of is the Criminal Justice Preparation Club. In clubs related to your major, you can meet other people in your major, discuss job opportunities. It is a great way to meet other people in your major, as well as get ready for your future. 

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

    Kudos To Professors Who Made An Impact

    Exterior shot of the side of Campbell Library.

    We recently spoke to students who each picked a professor they’ve had at Rowan who really made an impact on them. Here, the students explain how these professors affected them and what made them truly enjoy their classes. Tiara Gbeintor, junior Psychology major Professor Lisa Abrams, Psychology: “She was a very understanding teacher. She made […]

    Senior Reflects: Subject Matter Education And English Major Christina Bharda

    Christina standing outside.

    Today, we speak to senior Subject Matter Education and English dual major Christina Bharda from Middletown, NJ (Monmouth County). She tells us more about her Greek life involvement and what she looks forward to doing with her degree.

    Christina smiling outside on Rowan Boulevard wearing a white shirt.

    Are you in any campus involvement or clubs?

    I’m in a sorority! I’m the vice president of programming and ritual for Alpha Sigma Alpha.

    What do you want to do with your degree once you graduate?

    I want to teach middle school or high school English. Eventually, I want to teach students with learning disabilities.

    What favorite class experience or professor have you had so far?

    I would say Dr. Glazer is the most amazing Education professor. I’m also student teaching right now, too so that’s pretty cool! I’m teaching at Millville Memorial High School.

    Christina posing with a friend.

    How would you rate your Rowan experience as a whole?

    Ten out of 10. It has been the best. I definitely picked the right place!

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Writing Arts & Spanish Major Helaina Parejo

    Helaina sitting on a bench outside.

    Today we feature sophomore Helaina Parejo who double majors in Writing Arts and Spanish. Helaina is from Barrington, NJ (Camden County) and transferred from Ursinus College the spring semester of her freshman year. She has an internship with the Writing Arts department and is a part of the Writing Arts Club. Why did you choose […]

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Double Major Robert Pallante

    Robert Pallante, a Rowan College at Burlington County senior transfer student from Winslow Township (Camden County), shares a bit about his Rowan experience as a Political Science and Philosophy major with an American Studies minor.

    What wakes you up in the morning? 

    I tend to look at things one day at a time, so I wake up with a goal for that day with my mindset to accomplish that goal.

    How would you tell a fellow student interested in your major that they’re choosing a worthwhile field?

    Political Science is a great field to go into, I mean we’re always going to have deal with politics. And with the problems that the world faces, from COVID-19 to global climate change, having people that are able to help enact policy changes to combat these challenges is what the world needs. Being the change is a fulfilling thing.

    I worked on a congressional campaign back in 2018, we won a very close race. That feeling of working on a winning race cannot be taken away.

    Robert close up in front of Owl statue.

    Could you share with us one moment that made you feel inspired or confident that you’re in the right field for you?

    Going back again to 2018, I worked on Congressman Andy Kim’s first congressional campaign. I was just an intern. The race was going to be close, we had probably started out at the beginning of the summer as underdogs. But I remember a few days after Election Day once they had counted every vote, we had won by a little over one percent. The campaign office was filled with supporters and other staff, that feeling of accomplishment was amazing.

    What has been one aspect of Rowan that you’ve enjoyed so far, or one happy thing about Rowan that surprised you?

    The campus life is very vibrant, clubs and organizations are very well organized and easy to get involved with. Being a commuter, it’s sometimes hard to feel like you can be a full member of the college community, but Rowan really has done a great job.

    How was transferring to Rowan the right choice for you?

    Not only was the transferring rather seamless, but since I commute, the distance from where I live is convenient. And the affordability doesn’t sacrifice the quality of classes, which Rowan offers a lot of great classes and curriculums.

    Robert in front of Science Hall.

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

    Photography by:
    Quintin Stinney, sophomore radio television and film major

    6 Economics Majors Share What They Wish They Knew About Their Major

    Economics major Sarah stands outside

    “Economics is a social science which is focused on governments, individuals, companies, the environment, and every factor which affects each of these. Economics is not similar to a business or finance major and students will receive a broad education about the world rather than a specific education to prepare one to trade stocks or such.” […]

    3 Anthropology Majors Share How They Became Interested In Their Major

    Exterior shot of campus walking paths.

    Today, we speak to 3 Anthropology majors from Rowan’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. They tell us what sparked their interest in the major. 

    Kasia posing with a grad cap and gown.

    “I took a Human Variation class as an elective for, at the time, my Biology major that I later switched. I loved the class and the teacher so much that I decided to make it my minor, but as time went on I decided to make the full commitment to make it my major.” – Kasia Krzton, senior, Anthropology major, Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County)

    Jessica taking a selfie with friend.

    “I love history and learning about cultures, so anthropology was a natural choice.” – Jessica DeJesus, junior, Anthropology major, transfer student from Rowan College of South Jersey, Millville, NJ (Cumberland County)

    Selfie of Kimberly.

    “[I became interested] through a TV show I used to watch when I was younger. The main character was a forensic anthropologist, and I thought that was the coolest job out there.” – Kimberly Proctor, junior, Anthropology major with minors in Law & Justice Studies and Sociology, Burlington County

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    English Majors Share What They are Reading over Winter Break

    Snowy scene on campus.

    Rowan students and English majors from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences suggest some good reads for Winter Break.

    Senior Superia Ryan from Pittsgrove, NJ (Salem County) recommends “Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin. She thinks the book “shares a powerful story that I believe others should hear.” To read, Superia enjoys sitting and reading in Starbucks with a cup of coffee.

    Superia Ryan pictured outside.

    Senior Fatima Khalid from Brooklyn, NY recommends “For One More Day” by Mitch Albom because it is one of the only books to make her actually cry! Fatima’s spot to read is her room with a candle lit. 

    Selfi of Fatima Khalid.

    Junior Brianna Benfield from Gloucester County, NJ recommends “A Darker Shade of Magic” by VE Schwab. Brianna describes the book as a “fantastic new adult/adult fantasy novel with a well-developed new world and magic system and ample LGBTQIA+ representation. This is the first book of a trilogy that keeps you hooked until the very end!” Brianna’s favorite way to read is in bed with headphones in. 

    Brianna Benfield sits on a stone bench outside.

    Senior Chris Finnegan (seen below, left) from Wyckoff, NJ (Bergen County) recommends “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury because of its prescience and relevance in regards to today’s digital culture. To read, Chris needs natural lighting and a hot drink! 

    Chris Finnegan and friend on campus.

    Senior Dominique DiGiacomo from Atco, NJ (Camden County) recommends “The Wind Up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murakami. Dominique has begun reading the book in Japanese! Dominique thinks the book is super interesting and that there are translated versions of it as well! To read, Dominique gets in a quiet area and wears her favorite loungewear.

    Dominique in front of bridge

    Junior Hannah Roselli from Bordentown, NJ (Burlington County), recommends “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. Hannah loves Little Women. She explains: “While it is a timeless classic, it also brings the reader into a time before the world went crazy.  It is a sweet and endearing novel with an amazing meaning. It may seem to be too old for our generation to read, but when they say that this book is a timeless classic, they mean it.” Hannah enjoys reading while snuggled up with a cup of tea in the evening and my dog and fiancé by my side.

    Selfi of Hannah Roselli.

    Sophomore Sam Grasso from Sicklerville in Camden County, NJ recommends “Inkheart” by Cornelia Funke. “If you really want to get lost in a fantasy world where characters from your favorite books can plop into the real world, this is the perfect book to dive into,” she says. To read, Sam tends to wait until she’s alone, usually at night, curled up on the couch with her puppies right beside her. 

    Samantha Grasso

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




      

    History Majors, Professors Suggest Historical Sights to Visit Over Winter Break

    Building at Arlington National Cemetery.

    Today we feature History majors and their professors, who suggest historical sites to visit over winter break. 

    The statue of liberty.
    Statue of Liberty

    Kaan Aktas, a senior education and history double major from Fairview, NJ (Bergen County), is a transfer student from Bergen County Community College and a first-generation college student. He recommends that Rowan students visit the Statue of Liberty, or Ellis Island, because “Ellis Island has the Immigration Museum, which is also indoors and can get pretty empty during the wintertime. The Statue of Liberty is very beautiful and breathtaking. It shows the relationship between France and the U.S., and also the importance of immigration to our country.”

    Anthony poses against a backdrop, wearing a suit and tie
    Anthony Raisley

    Anthony Raisley, a senior history major with minors in international studies, entrepreneurship, and new media studies and a CUGS in Italian, is from Middletown, NJ (Monmouth County). He also recommends that Rowan students visit Ellis Island, as well as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Transit Museum, American Museum of Natural History. He says “Much of what’s at these museums I feel that even if you are not a history major you can relate to and learn.” He also tells us about his favorite museum or historical site. “Ellis Island is my favorite. All of my great grandparents came to the United States from Italy through Ellis Island. It was very impactful to see the sight first hand and what other immigrants coming to the United States went through, and how immigration has enriched New York City, and the U.S. today.”

    Jen poses in front of a mirror.
    Jen Gruberg

    Jen Gruberg, a senior history major with minors in education and international studies is from West Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County). She recommends visiting the James and Ann Whitall House Museum and Red Bank Battlefield. She says “The Whitall House sits on the side of the Delaware River and was a private plantation since 1748. It was used as a field hospital in 1777 during the American Revolution. It’s now a museum and park in Red Bank, NJ. My favorite part about the park is the artifacts left in the trenches and in the house itself. There are cannons, cannonballs, anchors, and medical equipment, but unfortunately due to COVID, you can only see things that are outside of the house.” She also tells us about her favorite museum or historical site. “It’s so hard to pick a favorite, but my favorite museum or historical site I’ve visited would be the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I’ve been there a handful of times and I’m always in shock of the sheer beauty of the place.”

    A photo from the Morris Arboretum.
    The Morris Arboretum

    Connor Hoagland, a senior history major with a minor in French from Mount Holly, NJ (Burlington County), is a transfer student from Rowan College at Burlington County. They recommend visiting the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, or the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. They say: “Both of these places are primarily outdoors. I like the arboretum since it’s one of the last of its kind remaining, and I’ve been there a few times when I was younger. The Grounds for Sculpture has some really impressive works of art and it’s fun to just explore.” They also tell us about their favorite museum or historical site. “My favorite historical site would have to be Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The free tour and the knowledge that the country was literally founded in that building was pretty nice. History has always been my strongest subject, and I’ve always had an interest in the revolution, especially since it pretty much happened in my own backyard.”

    Bobby poses next to a cannon at the Museum of the American Revolution.

    Bobby Scott a senior secondary education major with history subject matter, is from Elk Township, NJ (Gloucester County). He recommends students visit the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, or the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. He says “Each of these museums or locations show true insight into what life was truly like for people who have through trying times of history, or pay remembrance to the sacrifices that others have made in service to their nation in the hopes of bringing freedom to others.” He also tells us about his favorite museum or historical site. “Pearl Harbor was perhaps the most significant sight I have ever visited, however, it is quite a distance from Rowan University and sadly out of reach for many college students. Arlington holds an even more impactful memory upon me, as seeing the thousands of graves of those who selflessly gave their lives for their friends and their country. Pictures cannot capture the emotions, and words are difficult to choose that convey the emotion and overwhelming presence of such a place. The Holocaust Museum, which is only a short distance from Arlington, gives a truly personal account of the horrors that Jews and other minorities were forced to endure during some of the darkest days of the twentieth century. Many who walk out of there are often in tears, as they finally come face to face with the odds that men, women, and children had to go up against. Each of these locations can often take even those who find history a dull and boring affair, and can turn it into a life-altering experience.”

    Dr. Kelly Duke Bryant, history professor, recommends that students visit The Newark Museum of Art. She says “I teach African history, and this museum has a wonderful collection of African art. They are currently featuring the “Arts of Global Africa” in a special exhibition. Even if you can’t go in person due to distance or the pandemic, the online exhibition is worth a look. ” She also tells us about her favorite museum or historical site. “The National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian) is my favorite museum. I visited this museum a number of years ago, shortly after it opened, and was impressed by the range of historical artifacts on display and the complexity (and honesty) of the historical narrative presented. The building itself is gorgeous, too.”

    George Washington's house in Philadelphia as shared by Dr. Emily Blanck.
    George Washington’s house in Philadelphia.

    Dr. Emily Blanck, history professor, recommends that students visit the Harleigh Cemetery in Camden/Collingswood (Camden County), Historic Germantown (Philadelphia), and Washington’s House (Philadelphia). She says “These two off-the-beaten-path destinations have interesting aspects. I love Walt Whitman, and in the COVID environment, it is good to stay outdoors. Bundle up and go visit Walt Whitman and many other souls in Harleigh Cemetery in Camden. It is one of the oldest with lots of prominent folks with interesting headstones. Historic Germantown is great because they have worked to engage with the past of slavery as well as feature important elite homes. There are many small and medium historical sites here, and they’re not well-trod, so the chance that you’ll be in a crowded indoor space is slim. The Johnson House is especially a gem, but there are a couple of small museums dedicated to understanding and remembering the black experience too. Another COVID-friendly outdoor spot is Washington’s House near Liberty Pavillon in Philadelphia. It is just the frame of the house and it focuses on the interpretation of George Washington’s slaves when he was President. Great stories and it’s really accessible. ” She also tells us about her favorite museum or historical site. “I can go on the Independence Hall tour over and over. I don’t know why. I like hearing the different interpretations from the rangers and hearing the outlandish stories folks have about America’s founding.”

    Dr. Hague poses at a book signing for his first book.
    Dr. Hague at a book signing for his first book that he wrote. One of the sites he recommends, the Stenton Historic House, is featured extensively throughout the book.

    Dr. Steven Hague, history professor, recommends that students visit The Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA; the Wharton Esherick Museum in Malvern, PA, and Stenton historic house in Philadelphia. He says “As a former museum director I would suggest three great and very cool hidden gem museums in the Delaware Valley: The Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA; the Wharton Esherick Museum in Malvern, PA, and the Stenton Historic House in Philadelphia. Imagine a giant concrete castle built as a museum filled with objects from the early time of America, everything from a whaleboat hanging from the ceiling to a gallows. Chock-a-block filled with great stuff. That is the Mercer Museum. Wharton Esherick was an American artist who worked in wood and built his own house. Quirky, fun, and absolutely worth the visit. Call ahead. The Stenton Historic House is one of the best-preserved 18th-century historic sites anywhere. Off the beaten path with remarkable collections and history. And a Rowan grad runs their award-winning educational programs!” He also tells us about his favorite museum or historical site. “There are so many (in addition to the regional ones mentioned above): Art Museum: The Louvre in Paris – stunning – with a close honorable mention for the Met in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is world-class. Historic site: two houses – Beauport, a rambling house filled with amazing collections, in Gloucester, MA. Similarly, Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. Both were put together by quirky, eccentric individuals with lots of flair.”

    Dr. Dack poses outdoors.

    Dr. Mikkel Dack, history professor, recommends students visit The German Resistance Memorial Center. He says “The memorial’s (virtual) permanent exhibition provides extensive documentation of the motives, aims, and forms of the fight against the Nazi Dictatorship. This is an important topic of German and WWII history that most students are unfamiliar with.” 

    Denis Long, a senior history major with a minor in American Studies, is from Point Pleasant, NJ (Ocean County). They recommend that Rowan students visit the Monmouth Battlefield in Freehold, New Jersey. They say “While I’m not sure if its Visitors Center will be open, Monmouth Battlefield in Freehold, New Jersey is a beautiful, scenic location filled with historical significance to the American Revolution. Since its Visitors Center is likely closed, I recommend reading up on the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse beforehand, it’s a really wonderful piece of American history!  I’ve been going there most 4th of Julys ever since I was young. I have many great memories there of traversing the fields and Comb’s Hill with my family, taking in the history. I also did research on the battle that I presented for an undergraduate research workshop at Penn early this year and to be able to spread my love for this event makes it even dearer to my heart.” They also tells us about their favorite museum or historical site. “Besides from Monmouth Battlefield, Ellis Island struck a chord when I visited it last summer. It was a beautiful museum packed with information and stories about immigration to the United States that helped show the importance of immigrants and diversity to this nation. People of all races, ethnicities, and other walks of life were there and to see people come together to learn about all of this honestly made me emotional.”

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

    Photos of Morris Arboretum and the Statue of Liberty and header photo courtesy of:
    Unsplash

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Connor Crafton-Tempel

    Connor stands in front of the student center.

    Today we speak to Connor Crafton-Tempel, a senior Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management major with a minor in Sociology. Connor is involved in Rowan University EMS, Rowan Progressives, Tau Sigma (National Transfer Student Honor Society) and Epsilon Pi Phi (DPEM Honor Society). Connor is from Freehold Township, NJ (Monmouth County) and transferred from Holy Family […]

    I’m Not Sure What to Major in, is That Normal?

    Outside shot of Welcome Center.

    Admissions counselor Amanda Marcks dispels a myth about majors and details a unique Rowan program called Exploratory Studies that’s designed for undecided students. 

    Deciding on a college major can be really intimidating, especially when there are so many options to choose from! At Rowan we have more than 80 different majors ranging from all areas of interest.

    Student studies outside on campus.

    Some students who apply to college know exactly what they want to study and what they want to pursue as a career, and others don’t, which is totally normal.

    There is a misconception out there that applying to college undecided will hurt their chances of being admitted, make them ineligible for scholarship and financial aid, and just look bad on a college application — which is all untrue. 

    As I am writing this, I am reflecting on my own college experience and as a 17 year old, applying to college, I had no idea what I wanted to study! I was afraid to admit that to my parents because I didn’t know how they would react to me saying “I know college is for me, but I’m not sure what my path looks like.” I remember them being so supportive in my decision and talked through all of my options. 

    At Rowan, we have an AMAZING program called Exploratory Studies (ES), which is our undeclared major here at Rowan. What makes this program unique and different from other undecided programs out there is that it is structured and there is a layer of support.

    Students talk inside the Student Center.

    Every ES student will meet with an academic advisor, who kind of acts like a high school counselor, and they will sit down and go over their interests. The advisor will then put a schedule together that gives the student an opportunity to take courses in different areas so they can see if it is something they want to pursue further as a possible major. 

    Students who start off as an ES major will not graduate with an ES major. At the end of their first semester, sophomore year, they will decide what major they wish to pursue. Applying for Exploratory Studies is not frowned upon in admission, we don’t look at an ES applicant any differently than a student applying for Biological Sciences or Law and Justice Studies for example. It will not affect any potential merit scholarship or financial aid eligibility. 

    Two students in denim jackets talk and walk on campus.

    So, if you are unsure of what major you want to pursue, you’re not alone and it is ok not to know! You have time, support, and resources available to you here at Rowan. If you have any questions about majors, feel free to contact the Admissions office at admissions@rowan.edu.

    Amanda Marcks sits on a campus table and chair set.
    Author and Admissions Assistant Director Amanda Marcks

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    Story by:
    Amanda Marcks, Assistant Director of Admissions

    6 English Majors Share How Their Major Supports Their Professional Goals

    Six students from Rowan’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences tell us how their English major will support them professionally.

    Reilly posing for a photo with pink flowers and a white structure in the background.

    “I want to teach elementary school after college, and I feel like an English major covers so many important things that go alongside education. An English major explores racial issues, class issues, historical moments, gender, sexuality and so much more. I feel like that is so important in order to aid in the understanding of how history has treated your students differently.” – Reilly Stowell, Junior, English and Elementary Education dual major, Sicklerville, NJ (Gloucester County)

    Cat posing with an old blue police public call phone box.

    “This major supports my professional goals because by analyzing literature, I can use that knowledge to better construct my own written works. Rowan also has a great Writing Arts department so by taking some creative writing courses as electives I can really feel at home in my major.” – Cat Reed, Junior, English major, transfer from RCBC, Pemberton, NJ (Burlington County)

    Abigail posing for a portrait photo.

    “I have made great connections with many of my professors, peers and other faculty members by being a part of this major. My professors have also helped me transform my writing over the years. I hope that because I’ve experienced such a transformation myself, I’ll be able to help my students transform their writing in the future as well.” – Abigail Brous, senior, English and Education (BA/MST) and American Studies major with a minor in History, West Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County)

    Caroline posing in Central Park, New York City.

    “My major will help me understand the material that I’d love to teach to middle school/high school students!” – Caroline Dillon, junior, Secondary Education and English major, Hamilton, NJ (Mercer County)

    Taryn posing for a portrait photo.

    “My career goal currently is to work as an editor in the book publishing field. English has helped me develop my writing and critical reading skills, which are both of key importance in this field.” – Taryn Guettler, Senior, English major with minors in Writing Arts and Women’s and Gender Studies with concentrations in Honors and Shakespeare Studies, Succasunna, NJ (Morris County)

    Nicole posing for a selfie.

    “I always get the question, ‘So what are you going to do with that major?’ My response is ‘Everything!’ I am going on to Rowan’s Master’s in Teaching: Subject Matter-English in May 2021 so that I can become a high school English teacher, but my major has taught me life skills that I know could be an asset no matter what profession I choose. Between critical thinking skills and communication skills, being an English major taught me to look at anything I encounter in new and creative ways and how to share my knowledge with others.” – Nicole Tota, Senior, English and History dual major with minors in International Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and American Studies, Marlton, NJ (Burlington County)

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    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Beyond the Classroom: Meet Africana Studies Club President Nafisat Olapade

    Nafisat Olapade sitting on a cement bench in front of a large brick building.

    Today we feature Nafisat Olapade, president of the Africana Studies Club. She’s a Biological Sciences and Psychology double major and a first-generation college student. Here, she tells us more about the club and her leadership role in this campus organization. 

    Nafisat Olapade poses on a black metal bench in front of some trees.

    Can you tell me about the Africana Studies Club?

    Africana Studies Club is here to promote a higher level of consciousness for students when it comes to whatever path they decide to choose after Rowan. It’s important to emphasize Africana Studies as a major or a minor. It’s important to battle racial disparities in its forefront in whatever career you decide to get into. 

    Nafisat Olapade poses in an orange shirt in front of bushes and a parking lot.

    Is the Africana Studies Club involved in any events?

    We have events that are planned, currently this year we plan on doing volunteering programs. We’re partnering with NJAC, which is the New Jersey Abolitionist Collective; they work with the communities that are less funded and have less opportunities. They are also really big on advocating for the rights of inmates. We plan on doing a volunteering outreach programs with them.

    What do you hope to get out of the Africana Studies Club for yourself?

    Africana Studies itself allows me to learn more about how I can use whatever position I gain in the future to help people in communities that need help. It allows me to be aware of the disparities and just the structural racism that is in a lot of different fields in the world and how I can do my part from where I stand. 

    Nafisat Olapade poses in an orange shirt in front of a rocky wall.

    Does the Africana Studies Club have a different meaning this year with the Black Lives Matter movement?

    I think right now we have a lot of people who care, and that’s something great to hold onto. I feel like this momentum is great for our club and it’s great for also gaining members. People need to translate their caring and social media activism into things that are tangible in real life. I think this momentum that we currently have could be used in the club and having people just gain awareness in what racism means in day-to-day life. 

    What is your favorite thing about the Africana Studies Club?

    I really like that I’m friends with my e-board members, some of them are my roommates actually. I like the passion behind a lot of the members in the club and I like that I get to leave something at Rowan before I move on. 

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    Story by:
    Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

    Photography by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

    #PROFspective: Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Major Maribeth Novsak

    Marybeth sits outside on campus.

    Maribeth Novsak, a senior Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management major from Cape May Court House, NJ (Cape May County), shares some highlights of her Rowan experience. 

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    I actually started as an Athletic Training student here at Rowan. After my sophomore year, I realized I wasn’t happy in the classroom but I was happy working as an EMT and learning about mass casualty and shelter operations, that’s what really drew me to switch my major to Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, as well as a great group of friends and family.

    How are you involved on campus? How does it fulfill you or support your future goals?

    I currently volunteer with Rowan EMS as well as hold one of their two student worker positions. When I am there as a student worker I coordinate non-emergency transports for students to doctors’ offices. When I am there in a volunteer capacity, I answer 911 calls, assist in the training of EMTs as well as help with the driver training program. I’m usually at the squad about 48 hours a week.

    Marybeth stands outside on campus.

    Could you share with us one moment that made you feel inspired or confident that you’re in the right field for you?

    Every interaction that I have with my classmates and professors as well as every time I hand in a quality paper or project shows me that this is where I am meant to be and I made the right choice in changing my major.

    Describe for us an experience you’ve shared with a Rowan professor in which you felt like you were working with a visionary in your field.

    All of our professors in our program are great. There is one professor in particular that I have connected with, and she has become a great mentor to me. Not only have I had her for multiple classes she has helped me with career advising and has let me talk through all of the different scenarios with her.

    The thing with my field is, I feel like learning the curriculum is important but learning the networking and building capital for yourself is even more important because one day you are going to need to use it.

    maribeth in front of prof statue

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

    Photography by:
    Quintin Stinney, radio/television/film major 

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Double Major International Student Elona Noka

    Elena photographed outside campus wearing a blue blazer.

    Today we feature first-generation college student Elona Noka from Albania studying Economics and Political Science. Elona is a senior who transferred from Tirana University in Albania. She is a part of Women in Business and Phi Sigma Pi. She currently commutes from Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County). What wakes you up in the morning? What wakes […]

    #PROFspective: English and Writing Arts Double Major Destiny Hall

    Destiny Hall standing a fall forest.

    Today we feature Destiny Hall, a first-generation college student and senior double majoring in Writing Arts and English with specializations in Shakespeare Studies and Creative Writing. She also has a minor in Women and Gender studies and is from Gloucester City, NJ (Camden County). Destiny shares her thoughts on her major, feminism and her future. Why did […]

    Rowan Student Leaders Alexa Bassano, Sydney Ramos and JT Kurtz Share Their Insights

    Read firsthand accounts from three Rowan students who talk about the benefits of their on-campus leadership positions. 

    First up is Alexa Bassano, a junior Biological Science major from Brick Township, NJ (Monmouth County). Alexa is a Resident Assistant at Mimosa Hall, a member of Rowan Emergency Medical Services and the Director of Collegiate Alumnae Engagement of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority. She explains: “Each role has benefited me in a different way. Now more than ever, people are thanking me for my service with EMS. As an RA, my residents tell me how much they appreciate me referring them to resources or just showing them where a building is. To me, those little things are just me doing my job, but that gratification reminds me I am a part of something bigger. Being involved and helping people just makes me so happy, whether it comes with a ‘thank you’ or not.”    

    Lexi in front of library columns
    Lexi Bassano

    Next, Sydney Ramos is a junior Human Services major from East Brunswick, NJ (Middlesex County). When talking about her role as a student leader, she shared her experience from the very beginning. “Overall, I have to thank Res Life for making me the leader I am today. As a freshman, I really kept to myself and didn’t explore what options were out there for me. But as soon as I found RLUH, I knew I was where I needed to be: in a family atmosphere with amazing people I really respect.” Sydney is a Resident Assistant at Mimosa Hall and a new member of the United Latinos Association

    Sydney on bridge
    Sydney Ramos

    JT Kurtz, a senior Computer Science major from Egg Harbor Township, NJ (Atlantic County), is also heavily involved on campus. He is the Assistant Resident Director of Nexus Properties, a learning assistant for the Computer Science department, a researcher in the Psychology department, and a member of the Filipino Club. “In all of my roles, I want to be a valuable resource for the people around me,” he says. “I want to push people to be the best they can be and get them to success. By coming up with innovative ways to work and help others, I get to learn and grow every day.”

    JT with tree in the back
    JT Kurtz

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

    Photography by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

    Junior Major Moments: Combined Advanced Degree Program (CADP), Law and Justice Studies Major Julia Esposito

    Julia sitting and smiling wearing a Rowan sweatshirt.

    Today, we speak to Julia Esposito, a Law and Justice Studies major with a concentration in Forensic Science from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County). Julia transferred from Stockton University to Rowan her sophomore year and has no regrets about it. She’s been a commuter since her freshman year. She tells us more about her experience at Rowan, including more details about her major’s Combined Advanced Degree Program (CADP). 

    Could you share your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes?

    One of my favorite experiences with a faculty member was taking American Constitutional Law with Prof. Kathy Balin during fall semester of junior year. She has become one of my favorite professors due to the genuine care she has for her students and the information she taught us about the field of law. I knew walking into every class that I would leave truly learning something new and feeling more confident with my knowledge about the subject.

    Whenever I would have concerns regarding a grade or assignment, Prof. Balin always took extra time to assure me that I was on the right track and always answered any questions I had leaving me feeling assured. She truly goes above and beyond for her students, and I am grateful to have had that experience with her.

    Prof. Kathy Balin on campus.
    Prof. Kathy Balin

    What pre-professional experiences are helping to support your growth?  

    A pre-professional experience that is helping to support my growth is being accepted into the Law and Justice Combined Advanced Degree Program (CADP) my junior year. I first learned of this program on my tour of Rowan during my senior year of high school. Then known as the 4+1 Program, I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of, as it is an amazing and rewarding experience. There are certain requirements upon being accepted, such as having a high grade point average, not only overall, but in my Law and Justice major.

    Throughout my three years of college, I worked to keep my GPA high and above the requirement for the CADP. My hard work was rewarded, and I was accepted into the program in the spring semester of my junior year. This is a huge accomplishment for me and has been a goal of mine since freshman year of college. I am proud of my acceptance into the program and it was definitely the highlight of my junior year at Rowan.

    What is the most amazing or interesting ​thing you’ve learned in your major this year?

    The most interesting thing I have learned in my major [my junior] year was a variety of Supreme Court cases that have shaped the laws of our country. Each case has a unique story that never fails to intrigue and make me want to read and learn more about the process that goes into deciding and ruling on a case.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, music industry major

    Header photo by:
    Anthony Raisley

    Rowan Alum, Aspiring Professor Continues Education in Criminal Justice Graduate Studies

    Marlo Rossi sits by a tree with her computer speaking to another student

    A prospective career change brought Marlo Rossi back to Rowan and on a brand-new professional path in the university’s Criminal Justice master’s degree program.

    Marlo, from Gloucester County, NJ, transferred to Rowan and earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2019. She graduated with her sights set on law school. Through substitute teaching in public schools, Marlo found a new calling that drew from her civil service knowledge base and interests in both education and the justice system. 

    Her future goals now include completing not one but two advanced academic degrees.

    Marlo sits outside up against a black fence

    “I thought I was going to get my four-year degree and then go right into the workforce or go to law school,” Marlo says. “But this program has allowed me to learn more in-depth information about a subject that I was interested in initially. This has really narrowed that focus on what I want to do.”

    Just one semester in, Marlo says she loved the program from the first class she had.

    “I left with a sense of pride in knowing I’m going to continue to learn more. It’s only my first semester; it that was that good, I can’t wait for the rest,” she adds. 

    Rowan offers both face-to-face and fully online criminal justice master’s programs for adults returning to college. Enrolled in the on-campus experience, Marlo says she prefers face-to-face courses — though COVID-19 shifted how she took classes in the spring 2020 semester. 

    “With the pandemic, I had to go online. I prefer the interaction with the professors and with other students in the program. I like that interaction. I was homeschooled my whole life, so I was used to the online, at-home kind of schooling. But I’d prefer face-to-face,” she says. 

    Marlo sits outside with a laptop and talks to another student

    “Getting to know people” in smaller classes, on a close-knit campus with restaurants and nightlife, are a few things that initially drew Marlo to Rowan as an undergraduate — and still do. Now, the graduate program affords her a work-life balance she enjoys. 

    “I like that the program was only one day a week. It was later in the afternoon, so you could work during the day, which I really liked because I would [teach] in the afternoon and go to school at night,” she says.

    Marlo’s advice for prospective students is to be ready to work hard and be prepared to learn a lot in “such a short time.”

    “For instance, I started with only two classes, and the amount that I’ve learned in terms of writing and critical thinking, has been mind-blowing,” she says. 

    Her long-term goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in an interdisciplinary program blending political science and criminal justice. After she earns her master’s degree, she hopes to become “an adjunct [professor] at Rowan so that I could give back to the school I’ve learned so much from.” 

    Marlo sits outside next to a tree

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    #PROFspective: English and Computing & Informatics Double Major Chris Finnegan

    Chris Finnegan and friend walk down campus

    Today, we speak to rising senior Chris Finnegan. Chris is a double major in English and Computing and Informatics and is an on-campus resident. He’s also an admissions ambassador for Rowan University! Chris tells us more about why he chose Rowan and what a typical on-campus day is like for him. 

    Chris smiling and posing with a friend outside the wellness center.
    Chris Finnegan (left) on campus in early spring.

    Why did you choose your major?

    Indecision. My advisors worked with me to find a path for me to pursue all of my personal and academic interests when I couldn’t bring myself to choose just one, which led to me landing a double major in English and Computing & Informatics.

    Why did you choose Rowan?

    Rowan was the third school that I visited, and as soon as I toured campus I could truly just see myself there. Rowan grants its students nearly full independence from the first day they move in and provides numerous avenues to pursue social and academic extracurriculars at your own pace.

    I chose to go to Rowan because I knew they provided the flexibility that I needed to explore many different interests.

    A group picture of the Rowan Club Rugby Team.
    Chris plays for the Rowan Club Rugby Team.

    Take us through a typical Rowan day for you!

    Every day starts with lots of coffee, but if I’m not giving a daily tour at 11 a.m., you would probably find me getting a breakfast sandwich meal swipe from Peet’s Coffee in the student center. I try to take all my classes in the afternoon so that I can work and study in the morning, and go to Rugby practice and do my homework in the evening. If possible, I will try and eat every meal with friends, classmates, teammates or coworkers.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Photo provided by:
    Chris Finnegan, senior English and computing and informatics major

    Junior Major Moments: Law and Justice Major Nicolette Salzano

    Exterior shot of the Owl statue and the back of Campbell Library.

    Today we feature Law and Justice major and Psychology minor Nicolette Salzano. Nicolette is a transfer student living off-campus this fall. 

    Can you please share a favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes?

    As a Law and Justice major, I have had numerous classes with Professor Houser. She is a great teacher, motivator and friend. She makes our classes engaging and interesting for each student and has worked closely with me to help me achieve success in the field. 

    Law and Justice major Nicolette at a formal event.

    What is the most amazing or interesting thing you’ve learned in your major this year? 

    The most interesting thing I have learned in my major this year is how many vast options of work are available to me. Being a Law and Justice major, the opportunities are endless in the field. It is great to know I will always have something interesting going on in my everyday work life. 

    What pre-professional experiences are helping to support your growth? 

    I am a member of the Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority, Phi Kappa chapter here at Rowan. This chapter has expanded my horizons in so many different ways, such as making so many new and extraordinary friendships and always keeping busy with community and campus work. 

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    Story by: 
    Melanie Sbaraglio, public relations and advertising graduate

    Header photo by:
    Anthony Raisley

    Junior Major Moments: Studying Abroad and More with International Studies Major Alexander Rossen

    Exterior shot of the Townhouses, where Alex lives on campus

    Today, we speak to Alex Rossen, an International Studies major with Jewish Studies and Sociology minors from Westfield, NJ (Union County). Now a senior, Alex is also an on-campus resident who lives in the Townhouses. He tells us more about his junior year and his favorite Rowan moments.

    Alex in Prague in the RCHGS Study Abroad program in 2019.
    Alex visited Prague in 2019 through the Rowan Center for the Study of Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights’ Study Abroad program.

    Could you share your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes?

    My favorite memory with a faculty member would have to be with Professor Manning. I first met him my freshman year when I started as an intern working for him, and he’s been a huge mentor for me ever since.

    In summer 2019, Dr. Manning led the Rowan Study Abroad trip on Holocaust Memory, which I was on. One day, Dr. Manning was chatting with me and a couple of other students on the trip, and he jokingly said, “Just so you all know, Alex is my favorite student.”

    Alex sitting with friends on Rowan's big yellow chair on the Bunce green.
    Alex sitting with friends on the #RowanProud chair on Bunce Green.

    What is the most amazing or interesting ​thing you’ve learned in your major this year?

    I guess I would have to say the most amazing thing I’ve learned this year was meeting [Canadian military officer] General Romeo Dallaire when he came to give the annual CHSS Lecture. I was volunteering to help set up the event and got the chance to meet him before his speech. I really admired his work as a peacekeeping leader in Rwanda and as an advocate for human rights.

    When I asked him how he handled all the indifference, ignorance and extremism he’d seen throughout his career, his answer was pretty simple, but also very powerful. He just said, “Don’t blink, stand your ground, young man.”

    What pre-professional experiences are helping to support your growth?

    I think my time interning for the Rowan Center for the Study of Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights (RCHGHR) was one of the greatest experiences in pre-professional growth I’ve been lucky to have. I applied and got accepted into this internship through the CHSSMatch program. In addition to that internship, I serve as treasurer for the RCHGHR Student Association and am now also starting out as Secretary for the College Democrats at Rowan and Multimedia Editor for The Whit.

    All these experiences have helped me work toward personal and professional goals that I feel passionate about in areas like photography and human rights awareness. They’ve also helped me develop as a leader and build valuable professional skills.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Photos courtesy of:
    Alex Rossen

    #PROFspective: Combined Advanced Degree Program (CADP) in Subject Matter Education: English Major Dominique DiGiacomo

    Dominique poses in front of a stream.

    Today we feature Dominique DiGiacomo, a rising senior in the Combined Advanced Degree Program (CADP) in Subject Matter Education: English program, minors in International Studies and Asian Studies, and a Certificate of Undergraduate Studies in Japanese.  Dominique is a commuter student this coming year from Atco, NJ (Camden County).

    Dominique poses in her Rowan attire.

    On your busiest day, what academic, non-academic, and social responsibilities are you juggling?

    On my busiest day, I am juggling two to three classes along with an opening shift (6:30-11 a.m.) for work as a building manager at the student center, an hour workout at the gym/kickboxing, an hour meeting for my second job, and a club meeting in which I am the vice president. 

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

    Yes, I have experienced a moment of uncertainty within my major. There was a time in which I was not enjoying my education classes as much as my classes that were going towards my international studies minor. In order to get through this challenge, I talked to my teachers as well as those who I trusted to confide in them and ask for their opinions. This moment helped me to rediscover my passion for education and it also helped me to combine both my passion for education and international studies into one. 

    Dominique poses with some friends in front of a "Rowan University" banner.

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

    After my freshman year, I had the opportunity to work as a PROS (Peer Referral and Orientation Staff) member for Rowan orientations, as well as an SCCA staff member in the game room. The moment I started these two jobs was the moment I felt I really belonged at Rowan University. Through these jobs, I not only met new friends, but I also formed new families within the Rowan community. Working for Rowan really helped me to feel at home within the university.

    Tell us about your transition into college and how you pushed through any challenges

    Transitioning into college was definitely a nerve-racking situation. It was my first time living away from home, as well as the first time I had so much freedom in my life. These nerves, however, only lasted for the first week of school. Overcoming these nerves proved to be a lot easier than I had expected. I made sure to be social, interact with my roommate and my classmates and joined a few clubs. I also realized that every freshman in college was in the same boat; they were all nervous and looking to make friends. After realizing this, my transition to college became a whole lot easier. 

    Dominique poses with some friends in the ballroom.

    What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a college?

    Don’t feel pressured by your friends to choose a certain school. Go on tours, interact with students, and get excited about going to college. Choose the place you feel most at home because college truly does become your second home. 

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

    Photos contributed by:
    Dominique DiGiacomo