From Adversity to Purpose: The Resilient Journey of Richie Suarez

Richie Suarez presenting to a group of people in a conference room.

A Rowan University biological sciences major finds his purpose and launches a career as a medical doctor Meet Richie Suarez, the current Chief Resident at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia who will soon start his fellowship in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Cincinnati Children’s this summer. Richie graduated from Rowan University with a bachelor’s degree […]

Transfer Nutrition & Dietetics Majors Share Their Professional Goals

A stock image from Pexels showing a close up of a variety of densely packed fruits and vegetables.

What internships, clubs, networking, etc. are you involved in and how do they support your goals? “Wellness Center Intern, Vice President at Nutrition Care Club, Success Coach with Rowan Student Success Program, Apart of Cohort 7 in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.” – Kathleen Ramos, senior transfer student from Brookdale Community College “I don’t participate much […]

Q&A With a Senior Public Health and Wellness Major & Rowan Choice Student

Theresa Bennett stands outside her internship at Inspira Health Network with their logo behind her.

Public Health & Wellness Major Discusses Her Passion for Public Health & Wellness, her internship and professional goals Senior Theresa Bennett, from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County) joined Rowan through the Rowan Choice program, a partnership with community college RCSJ that allows students to live on Rowan University’s campus while taking 24-30 community college credits, which […]

#PROFspective: How Senior Jasmine Hull is Working Toward a Better Future in Healthcare

Rowan University Public Health and Wellness major Jasmine stands outside Rowan's Business Hall.

Today we feature senior Public Health and Wellness major Jasmine Hull (she/her) from Mercer County, NJ. Jasmine is living on-campus after transferring to Rowan from Stockton and is a first-generation college student. Here, she gives us some insights into her major and favorite experiences at Rowan. Why did you choose Rowan? Larger sum of transfer […]

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

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

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

Alumnus Dominic Whitener on Using His Passion for Exercise Science to Help Others

Dom is working on cast mold in the lab.

Can you explain what Exercise Sciences is? Exercise Science is essentially looking at exercise from a more quantitative and qualitative background. So it’s more taking apart the exercise, looking at what happens in the body physiologically, anatomically, and really breaking down all of that to really get the most efficient form of exercise and apply […]

Meet Transfer Profs: Marleigh Davis from the School of Nursing and Health Professions

A photo of James Hall behind flowers and an art installation.

Today we feature incoming transfer student Marleigh Davis (she/her) from Gloucester County. Marleigh tells us about majoring in Nutrition, gives advice to future transfer students, and discusses why she chose to attend Rowan University. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward to at Rowan University? I am looking […]

Passing the Torch: Future Public Health Educator Keyanna Meade

After transferring from Monmouth University, Nutrition major Keyanna Meade from Marlton, NJ (Burlington County) found many opportunities at Rowan. 

Keyanna poses under the Rowan arch.

Keyanna enjoyed getting out into the community to do research.

“I joined Dr. Vaughn’s lab in my junior year in the fall semester, and I absolutely loved it. It is a little independent and a little teamwork-based. We meet weekly,” she said. “I think getting involved with research in the community is something different. Everybody knows about research within the lab, but it was nice to do research within the community and for the community. “

Beyond research opportunities at Rowan, Keyanna made connections and found an internship.

“I interned with New Jersey Food Democracy Collaborative (NJFDC) over the school year. I just got signed on to a project where we’re going to do a food audit for Atlantic City. Dr. Vaughn reached out to a colleague of hers and recommended me to work with them.

Keyanna walks in her graduation outfit.

Keyanna recommends that other students get involved with research where they can.

“If you can do research, definitely do research. Doctor Vaughn is always looking for people to help. Definitely surround yourself with opportunities like internships or a work-study that’s focusing on your majors so that it helps you in the future.”

Keyanna advises her high school senior self to be more involved.

Make sure you get involved. Make sure you speak to your counselors about different things that you’re interested in. Look at other opportunities that you’re interested in, and even if it’s just like an idea or a little thing, just see where it can take you because you never know what your interest is. It might take you into college and you never know if you might switch your major or decide that you no longer want to do that major. Definitely take advantage of internships and other opportunities.”

In the future, Keyanna would like to be a public health educator.

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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: Athletic Training Graduate Marlon Carvajal

Marlon poses in front of a greenhouse in his graduation attire.

After five years, Marlon Carvajal of Weehawken, NJ (Hudson County) is graduating from Rowan’s Athletic Training program. Rowan’s athletic training program includes a bachelor’s in the pre-athletic training program and a professional graduate program resulting in a Master’s of Science in Athletic Training. Marlon tells us about the program, his work at Campus Recreation and more. 

Marlon poses in front of the Rowan arch.

“My program was a 2 + 3 grad program. The first two were undergraduate and then the last three were technically graduate, but we called it the professional phase. During the professional phase, I went out to multiple clinical rotations. I went to a couple of high schools and doctor’s offices. I was both here at Rowan and at Stockton University for a semester, and I was just doing athletic training work. I was doing evaluations for injuries, rehabilitation, practice, and game coverages, taping the athletes to get them ready for the game, and just overall improving their health so they can return to their sport,” he explains.

Marlon tells us a bit about the difference between his time as an undergraduate student and in the professional phase.

“For my program at least, I feel like it’s a lot less classroom work, and more hands-on. All my undergrad classes were in person, and they gave us many assignments throughout the semesters. My program was accelerated, and the graduate portion was, I don’t want to say it was laid back because I still did a lot, but it was only my fellowship and my research project. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but definitely less intense because I’m only focusing on two things instead of five different classes.”

The curriculum that Marlon went through is a little different from the curriculum for incoming students.

“Now it’s a 3+2 program, so three years of undergraduate and two years of graduate school, which is the professional phase now. So the classes are set up a little different, and the material is just a little different.”

Marlon poses in front of some greenery.

For high schoolers who think they might be interested in athletic training, Marlon offers some advice.

“If you want to do something before coming into the program, I’d say reach out to your high school athletic trainer just to see if you can shadow them after school or at games. That way, you can see what actually goes on before you come into the profession here.”

Marlon made many friends throughout his time at Rowan, especially working at Campus Recreation.

“I started off as a general employee and then I worked my way up to manager and I have met so many great people throughout the years.”

He recalls a special moment during his time at the Rec.

“The first banquet for the Rec I had attended was before COVID. It was the first year I worked a full school year at the Rec Center, so I got to know many people and I got a promotion that year. Many people were receiving awards, and it was just a great time. I got to see all the seniors back then graduate, so it was nice.”

Marlon is currently working on getting his paperwork done for his license and fielding offers for jobs.

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

Q and A with Award-Winning Athletic Training Graduate Student Samantha Santos

Samantha stretches out an athlete's arm in the training room.

Today we feature Samantha Santos, a recent Rowan Global graduate of the M.S. in Athletic Training program. Samantha won the 2022 Athletic Training Medallion Award for her commitment to her major and passion for the athletic training field. She talks about her experience as an athletic training major, her experiences with her professors, and how working in the Rowan University Athletic Training Program has prepared her for her future endeavors.

How would you generally describe the athletic training major?
The easiest way to describe athletic training is that we are the sports medicine professionals who assist athletes in injury rehabilitation. We all specialize in the prevention and emergency care — we do a lot of paperwork — but we are the guys you see on the sideline of a football game. I feel like that’s the most of the easiest way to put it.

Samantha Santos going through medical bag in athletic training room.
Samantha Santos going through medical bag in the athletic training room.

Can you talk about what you do on a day-to-day basis?
When people think about athletic training, they instantly think of taping ankles or a specific body part before players attend a practice or play in games. We do tape ankles, and we tape a lot of everything, honestly, but what we do is way more than that.

Athletes come in to see us, and they may tell us that they don’t feel great today, and I don’t feel that well. We come in and assess their symptoms for general medical concerns like sicknesses or allergies for a doctor to then come and officially diagnose. There are also moments where players come in, and it’s related to their mental well-being. Sometimes we have to sit down and have a conversation with them. We want athletes to know that we are here for them in other ways other than just rehabbing their hamstring or ankle. The field setup and game coverage are the best part of the job and why I was drawn to the profession; but honestly, I think my favorite part of it is seeing an athlete that got hurt and went to rehab with your return to play and get back out on the field.

Why did you choose to major in athletic training? What made the field stand out to you?
I first got interested in athletic training in high school. We didn’t have an athletic trainer at my high school because I went to a small private school. So when I found out about the profession, I was like, wait a second…this seems like something that would fit me perfectly.

I love how the role athletic trainers play in the lives of the athletes they work with is continuous. I like to be there every step of the way. It’s not a job where I’m in an office all day. With this job, we are involved with initial symptoms and injury prevention and recovery, return to play, and the mental and physical components of being a player who came back from injury. I remember my junior year here when I started my clinical assignment; on my first day in the facility, I worked with women’s basketball and men’s and women’s swimming and diving and helped out with football because they were beginning preseason. I remember thinking that there were so many football players, and it was overwhelming.

I am not going to sugarcoat it, you do get thrown into the fire, but it was the best way to learn and be comfortable in this field.

Samantha Santos using an ultrasound machine on a baseball player's arm for active physical therapy.
Samantha Santos using an ultrasound machine on a baseball player’s arm for active physical therapy.

How was being an athletic trainer major different post-Covid-19 lockdown? After returning from lockdown, how do you handle the fast-paced, athletic training environment?
It is crazy how much has changed over the years. The other day, I was talking to Colleen, the head athletic trainer, about how we had to do temperature checks on every athlete and person who walked into the training room. We had to set scheduled time slots for teams and athletes to come into the training room to eliminate many people being in all at once. It is controlled chaos in the athletic training room. We would continuously keep up with patients via email and online too.

In Spring 2021, I was at Delsea High School, and when I was there, there were still some Covid-19 protocols and enforcements to follow, like wearing masks. But as time went on, it started to feel more and more normal. This past fall, it was the first time I thought we were genuinely seeing normalcy in the training rooms. We still were encouraged to wear masks; however, athletics in high school and college had no more restrictions. The most significant adjustment was definitely from Spring 2020 to Spring 2021. I saw a substantial change in regulations and accessibility from Spring 2021 to Fall 2021 and even Spring 2022.

Samantha Santos in athletic training room adjusting an athlete's shoe.
Samantha Santos in athletic training room adjusting an athlete’s shoe.

What is the best part of pursuing this major at Rowan?
The hands-on experience is the best part of the program. We learn so much in this program in and out of the classroom. For example, in my sophomore year here at Rowan, we learned so much anatomy about injuries, pathologies, rehabilitation, case patterns, how to reach a diagnosis, and so much more. I remember feeling like my brain was overloaded because we had obtained so much information. I was overwhelmed the summer before my first clinical because I was thinking, how will I apply everything I learned into actual practice on patients and athletes? But obtaining this clinical experience while being a student was unique and an excellent opportunity for learning and applying knowledge in real-life settings.

As previously stated, I have completed hours with Rowan University Women’s Basketball, Swim and Dive, Football, and Baseball teams which made my experience special. The opportunities that we get as athletic training majors regarding working with athletes in high schools are also fantastic for obtaining experience in the field. I got to work and complete hours at Woodstown and Delsea Regional High Schools.

Samantha Santos stretching out a baseball player's shoulder.
Samantha Santos stretching out a baseball player’s shoulder.

Can you talk about how working with professors and professionals like Head Athletic Trainer Colleen Grugan and Assistant Athletic Trainers Chris Pantellere and Steve Schultz have helped prepare you for your future endeavors?

Our professors are great. I worked with Dr. Sterner, Dr. Mann, and Dr. Pledger. My professors impacted my academic, professional, and even personal life in so many different ways. Classes were never easy. We were always learning a lot of material, and it became very overwhelming at times, and I was constantly studying. I had worked over 1,600 clinical hours, and I probably put equally the same amount of time just into studying. The work was non-stop, and it felt at the time that it was never going to end. But it always ended up being worth it. Thankfully, I did well in my classes, and it truly helped me clinically to be able to practice what I have learned. My professors made it easy because if I needed help, all I had to do was ask. My professors would go over anything ranging from quizzes, exams, material taught in class, and more.

I have had the same experience working with Head Athletic Trainer Colleen Grugan and Assistant Athletic Trainers Chris Pantellere and Steve Schultz. I have never hesitated to ask them questions on anything I was unsure of or wanted more guidance on. In my first semester, Chris was my preceptor. It was just one of those things where you are just thrown into the fire.

I remember it being the third week in August that we started, and we were covering the men’s soccer tournament. There was an emergency, and my partner and I just had to do what we were taught to do, and Chris was coaching us through it. We handled the situation exactly how we were taught to handle it in class; however, Chris guided us the whole time and really established for me that we are never alone. It was nice having Chris there because we calmly handled the situation quickly and efficiently. Colleen is so easy to talk to and one of my favorite people to work with. She taught two of my lab classes, and I instantly remember thinking that Colleen was a boss and an excellent person to be mentored by. She is knowledgeable, loves teaching, and truly wants us to learn from experience. Colleen, Chris and Steve all put us in situations where we are forced to figure it out, and I have learned to love expanding my knowledge within the field this way.

Colleen Grugan, Head Athletic Trainer (left), assisting Samantha Santos (right) with using an ultrasound machine on an athlete's hamstring.
Colleen Grugan, Head Athletic Trainer (left), assisting Samantha Santos (right) with using an ultrasound machine on an athlete’s hamstring.

What advice would you give to someone pursuing the athletic training major at Rowan?
Stay on top of studying because it is easy to fall behind in this field. Go to the library for an hour or two every day to familiarize yourself with the material. I felt like I lived in the library most of college because I was always studying or trying to obtain new material in a quiet space. It is essential to find people in your classes with whom you work well. These people can be great study partners and can help with collaborating ideas.

Can you sum up your experience at Rowan? Why was Rowan the best fit for you?
Rowan was my first and kind of only choice, to be honest with you, when I was in my college search. I was in a community college. I went there for two years and got my associate in Biomedical Science. I remember looking up athletic training programs one day, and I saw that Rowan had a top program, and I grew up in Vineland, so it was convenient for me. I knew coming into it that it would be difficult, but I knew that if I wanted to be successful, this was the route that I had to take. So when I started, I didn’t realize that it would be as difficult as it was, but I genuinely feel that I am now ready for work post-graduation and am confident that I will be fine.

But Rowan was definitely my number one choice for that reason, and I just knew that I just felt right, and it was so close to home, and then the program itself resonated with me. So Rowan was the right fit for me; there was no question about that.

Close-up of Samantha Santos using an ultrasound machine on a baseball player's arm for active physical therapy.
Close-up of Samantha Santos using an ultrasound machine on a baseball player’s arm for active physical therapy.

What are your plans post-graduation?
So as far as the job hunt goes, I have seen plenty of jobs up in North Jersey, which is fine. However, I don’t think I could do more than an hour commute, and I can’t move just yet, so I’m going to try to say more in the South Jersey area.

I would love to work in the college atmosphere. However, my dream job would be to work as a trainer in professional baseball. Right now, I am going to search for jobs in college or high school. I want my first job to be a huge learning experience to continue to build and grow. So I’m kind of open to whatever opportunities I find.

Rowan is excellent because you form these connections with professors and fellow students, and sometimes they know people that are hiring or are good referrals for job applications. I feel like people are always helping each other in some capacity, and it is nice.

Samantha Santos stretching out a Rowan baseball player's arm.
Samantha Santos stretching out a Rowan baseball player’s arm.

See our video with Samantha here.

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Story By: 
Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major

#PROFspective: Senior Health and Physical Education Major, Cheerleader Gianna Moyer

Today we feature Gianna Moyer, a senior Health and Physical Education major. Gianna is from Glendora, NJ (Camden County) and a first generation college studentShe discusses her major and goes into detail about her involvement in cheerleading and other extracurriculars around campus.

What inspired you to choose your major?

I am a Health and Physical Education major. That being said, I was inspired to choose this major because I grew up loving sports, dancing and cheerleading. That made me develop a love for exercise. Being a college cheerleader, it has inspired me to have a passion for coaching, which is also a big part of my major.

What is something interesting thing that you’ve learned in a class this semester?

In class this semester, something I personally learned in Teaching Concepts of Secondary PE II is how physical education is taught in three different domains. These domains are Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor. Teaching in the Cognitive domain is the knowledge the student should know and understand during the when the lesson is being taught. The Affective Domain describes the student’s feelings, perceptions and attitude while teaching. Lastly, teaching in the Psychomotor Domain is how the students are moving or the movement of the body.

Gianna Moyer standing in front of the Rowan Athletics Team House.
Gianna Moyer outside the Rowan Athletics Team House

What does a typical day in the life look like for you?

A typical Wednesday for me consists of waking up around 9 a.m. and going to the gym. I have to go to the gym twice a week for cheerleading, so I get in 20 minutes of cardio and a good amount of weightlifting. Next I come home around 10:30 and eat breakfast, which is normally a breakfast burrito, which is my favorite. Then I shower and get ready to do some school work around noon. Then I do some homework from 12-2 and eat a quick snack after. Then I drive to school around 2:45 to get to my 3:30 class. I then spend 3:30-4:45 in my Clinical Observation class, which is a class that observes teaching. Next I have a 15 minute break and then I go to another class, which is K-12 Health and Physical Education Curriculum and Instruction from 5-6:15. After this class I have about 45 minutes to go grab a snack and then I come back to campus for practice. I then have cheerleading practice from 7:30-9:30 p.m. After practice I am finally able to go home, eat dinner, shower and go to sleep for the night.

Is there a certain club or organization that you are involved with at that makes Rowan feel like home?

A club where I feel at home is Cheerleading. Although Cheerleading is a club sport, my team treats it like we are athletics. We are doing stuff all year long to try and make our team successful such as team bonding, practices, community service, fundraising, cheering basketball games, cheering football games, and lastly competing together.

This club feels like home because of the amount of friendships and experiences I have gained. I am so lucky to be the President and Captain for this season.

Gianna Moyer posing outside Richard Wackar Stadium.

What are some academic clubs, social clubs and extracurriculars that you are involved in?

I am involved with a few different things around campus. I am part of the Cheerleading Club, Health and Physical Education Club, and the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority.

Do you hold any jobs on or off-campus?

Off-campus I work at the Scotland Run Golf Club as a snack-shop attendant and a beverage cart girl. 

Gianna Moyer at Richard Wackar Stadium.

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Story by: 
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

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

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

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

Purpose & Community Impact Through Dietetics [VIDEO]

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

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

Gardening For All: An Inclusive Community [VIDEO]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Beyond the Classroom: Nutrition Major Keyanna Meade on Her Community-Based Research

Keyanna sits on the steps by Engineering pond.

Today we feature Keyanna Meade, a senior Nutrition major and transfer student from Burlington Township, NJ (Burlington County). She is part of the Minority Association of Premedical Students MAPS and will be president of Helping Our People Excel through Wellness (H.O.P.E. through Wellness) this year. Keyanna shares her experience as a nutrition research assistant under the direction of Dr. Nicole Vaughn.

Why did you choose Rowan to study your major?

I chose Rowan because it was kind of close to home. After also hearing about all the great programs they had for my major, I decided Rowan was the best place to transfer to prepare me for my future endeavors.

Keyanna Meade.
Keyanna Meade

What does everyday life at Rowan look like for you? Can you walk us through a day in your shoes?

My schedule looked pretty similar day to day. I would often start my day by going to work, and then I would come to campus. When coming to campus I would attend class and then typically I would head to the gym. After leaving campus I would usually head home and cook myself something to eat. My day usually ends with completing homework and relaxing.

How did you start your research process? Why did you decide to start research in the nutrition field?

I have always been interested in being part of research and studies that were more community based rather than just conducting research out of a lab. By being a nutrition major, I’ve learned it is important to be educated on topics like, why individuals are food insecure and why certain diseases are more prevalent in certain communities … to name a few.  

I was thrilled to find when I was looking on the Rowan Announcer that Dr. Vaughn was looking for a research assistant. I sent over my resume and applied for the position, and that’s how this all started.

Keyanna laughing by Engineering pond.

Can you talk about what you are researching and why? 

This summer I worked on a project that basically created a food system flow chart of all the nutritional programs provided in New Jersey. I was a part of the summer undergraduate research program (SURP), and my day-to-day consisted of a lot of researching, interviewing directors of programs, participants and stakeholders, and I was even part of the funding process.

For the flowchart we used something called Lucidchart. Our chart basically starts off with the Farm Bill, then the USDA, the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and then the bottom of the flow chart is where it reaches the county level and the consumers.

This whole flow chart creation process took about 10 weeks, and we are currently still editing it and sending it over to stakeholders to approve the accuracy.

Can you describe the research methods you have used in the past or are currently using?

One of our data methods is qualitative. We also conduct a lot of interviews for the community-based research we conduct.

Portrait of Keyanna Meade.

What research skills have you acquired during your academic and/or research career?

Throughout this process my communication, critical thinking, writing and leadership skills have definitely improved.

What have you learned so far in your research process?

I have learned a lot through this experience. Specifically, I have learned how important it is to help out in your community and ways that you can give back because a lot of individuals are hungry, starving, homeless … and they are unaware of the programs available to them, so I think it is very important to not only give back to your community, but to spread knowledge on the programs available.

This whole process led me to wanting to get my master’s in Public Health. I want to help more on a community base and a whole population rather than just one individual at a time.

Keyanna Meade in front of Prof Statue.

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industries major

Related posts:

#PROFspective: Nutrition and Exercise Science Major Caroline Lippincott

Community Garden: Fighting Food Insecurity From Home

From Teacher to Student: Career Change Brings Nutrition and Exercise Science Major Kerry Perez to Rowan

Interesting Clubs To Check Out At Rowan University

Students check out a club on campus.

Rowan University has countless of clubs ranging from staying active clubs, diversity/inclusion clubs, major-specific clubs, residential assistant clubs and more. Rowan Blog contributors each share a club on campus that students should check out!

Club Fair Outside Student Center.
Annual Club Fair Outside Student Center

Outdoors Club

The Outdoors Club is all about exploring the wilderness and connecting with nature. The club takes multiple trips throughout the year to go hiking, kayaking, camping and more. Trips are really cheap and can be free or cost $5-10. 

ProfLink: https://rowan.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/outdoors

– Reshaun Timmons, senior Marketing major

Get FIT Club

The Get FIT Club is a great way to volunteer and help an underserved population. If you like staying fit and helping others, this is the club for you. In this club you act as personal trainers for local individuals with special needs. 

– RJ Wentzell, senior Exercise Science major

Student University Programmers (SUP)

Help brainstorm campus events, help advertise and work events. Meets the first Wednesday of every month at 9:15 p.m, usually in the Student Center. There are various committees that plan certain events and help with [planning] events. Committees include special events, live events, charitable events, technical services, off-campus events, cinema and marketing. You can meet new people, make friends, and build camaraderie while volunteering and having fun. Their signature programs you can help with and enjoy are Hollybash, Movie Nights, Food Truck Festival, Battle of the Bands and more!

Student University Programmers – ProfLink (campuslabs.com)

– Rachel Rumsby, junior Communication Studies and Public Relations major

Student University Programmer.
Student University Programmers staff member

Women of Color Collective 

Held every other Tuesday of the semester, the Women of Color Collective (often abbreviated as WOCC) serves as a safe space for Rowan’s women of color to openly and honestly discuss their feelings and experiences. It’s sponsored by SJICR and is held in Hawthorn Hall.

ProfLink: https://rowan.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/123

– Bianca Gray, senior English major

Athletic Training Club

This club delves into everything related to the athletic training field. Whether you are an Athletic Training major or just simply interested in the field/major, this club teaches members about rehab, responsibilities as an athletic trainer and rehabilitation for athletes. This club is also useful for athletes looking to develop a deeper understanding of personal recovery. 

ProfLink: https://rowan.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/atc

– Natalie DePersia, junior Public Relations major

Residential Learning University Housing (RLUH) 

RLUH is an organization catered to residential life on campus. To be a part of RLUH, you can apply to be a Resident Assistant, or RA. RAs are responsible for programming to residents, helping them through their transition from high school to college and connecting students to campus resources. Some major perks of being an RA are the amazing transferable skills learned and free room and board. 

ProfLink: https://rowan.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/rluh

– Loredonna Fiore, senior Public Relations and Advertising major

Resident Assistant.
Resident Assistant

PRSSA  

The Public Relations Students Society of America is an organization for students pursuing careers in the communication field. The club provides networking opportunities as well as special events such as virtually meeting with PR practitioners, participating in Organ Donor Day and even picnics. Meetings are held bi-weekly on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. 

ProfLink: https://rowan.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/rowanprssa

– Nene Diallo, senior Public Relations major

RU Puppet Artists (RUPA) 

RUPA was founded in Fall 2020 by TJ Jacobs to cultivate the art of puppetry at Rowan University and beyond through sustainable and accessible practices. We are an experiential and collaborative organization dedicated to the puppetry and artistic growth of our community using proven educational techniques. Members can expect to learn not by sitting in the classroom or in virtual meetings, but by actually creating artistic experiences for their communities.

Contact: RUPUPPETARTISTS@gmail.com

ProfLink: https://rowan.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/rupa

– Nick Flagg, senior Theatre and Advertising major

Rowan Photography Club 

Rowan Photo Club is a great place for ANYONE interested in art, photography, modeling and more. We host meetings with fun games and activities. We have photo contests and the winner gets featured on our instagram. We plan to have in person photo walks and photography meets. The club is a fun environment with cool people. 

Follow us on instagram! @RowanPhotoClub

– Stephanie Batista, junior Music Industry major

Student holds a DSLR camera in front of Wilson Hall.

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jenna chats with the Borgersen family.

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

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

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

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Related posts:

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

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

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

Beyond the Classroom: Senior Jocelyn Reuben Selected as State Finalist for 2021 Miss New Jersey Pageant

Jocelyn sits and smiles in front of a wooded area of campus.

Today we feature Jocelyn Reuben, a transfer student from Burlington Township majoring in Athletic Training with a minor in Spanish. Rowan Blog previously featured Jocelyn focusing on her involvement around campus and her academic experience. Now we feature Jocelyn as she discusses her recent selection as a State finalist for the 2021 Miss New Jersey pageant. 

What made you interested in pageants? How did you get started?

“This is my first ever pageant. What made me do it … it sounds so funny saying it out loud but I just kept seeing these ads on my phone come up about these pageants and how they are looking for people to compete … It’s still a mystery to me today how these ads ended up on my feeds considering that I have never searched anything about pageants. The main reason on why I wanted to do this because I am always looking for ways to push myself out of my comfort zone, to expand my leadership skills, and to meet new people.”

Jocelyn standing on steps.

What do you think your favorite part about competing in pageants will be?

“I think my favorite part of the pageant will be the interview because I simply love talking. Because of leadership roles I have held in high school and even at Rowan, my public speaking skills have flourished over time. I like to think of confidence as a muscle; the more you work at it … the better you are going to have it and the better you will be able to utilize it at any moment.”

Do you need a talent portion in your pageants? What does your talent portion include?

“Unfortunately, this one does not include a talent portion. If there was a talent portion I would probably perform a monologue because in my spare time I write my own pieces. Fun fact: the longest monologue I have ever written took about 10-12 minutes to perform.”

Jocelyn smiling outside.

What is a misconception about competing in pageants?

“I would say that pageant girls are dumb or that the competition is all about physical appearances. In order to prepare for this pageant, I have been researching past contestants for all different types of pageants and based on what I have been studying from past winners — Miss Teen USA, state title winners, and even Miss Universe — when you look at these people’s credentials and accomplishments … these individuals are super intelligent, very philanthropic and truly inspiring.”

Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to compete in pageants or to try something new but is too scared to get out of their comfort zone?

“My advice has to be one of my favorite quotes. The quote is by Childish Gambino. He says, ‘If it makes you nervous, you are doing it right.’

“You know I figured out along the way that growth is uncomfortable and that is normal, and in order to grow you need to experience growing pains.”

How can Rowan students and fellow supporters follow your journey in the 2021 Miss New Jersey pageant in July?

Information is available on the website at https://missnewjerseyusa.com/pageant-information/

Jocelyn laughing up close.

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

Senior Reflects: Anderson Chumpitaz on Mentorship and His Rowan Legacy

Anderson posing near a tree outside wearing a blue suit.

Today we feature first-generation college student Anderson Chumpitaz, who will graduate this summer. Anderson majors in Health Promotion and Wellness Management and is from Newark, NJ (Essex County). He gives advice and tells us about his involvement on campus. Do you have any advice for people who are moving to campus for the first time […]

4 Out-Of-State First Year Students Share Why They Chose Rowan

Today we speak with four out-of-state first year students about why they chose a university further from home and their experiences here at Rowan. Abby Riley, a first-generation student and Exercise Science major from Elkton, Maryland, shares the value of attending an out-of-state university. Abby says, “I considered and chose an out-of-state university because I […]

Meet Transfer Profs: Dual Major Stephanie Maszera

Exterior shot of Stephanie smiling.

Meet incoming transfer student Stephanie Maszera! Stephanie is an aspiring double major in Athletic Training and Education from Millstone Twp., NJ (Monmouth County) who transferred from Brookdale Community College. She shares why she chose Rowan and what she’s looking forward to!

Stephanie smiles outside wearing a yellow dress.

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

Being able to fulfill my dream career for real.

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

Stage crew, managing a sports team, and participating in any sort of band.

Is there anything you’re hoping to discover about yourself at Rowan?

I’d like to learn a new language in my program!

What majors are you considering and why?

I want to double major in athletic training and education, because both would go together really well in a school environment, leading to two great jobs. I love the field of sports medicine, and I see myself as a teacher.

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

I toured Rowan back in 2018, and was in love with the campus ever since.

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

The process is extremely tedious and frustrating, and it takes all of your time. You’re going to worry about things not working out, but I promise if you take it slow and get help, everything will be perfect.

Where are you going to live next year?

On campus!

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

The environment and the beautiful campus.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Senior Reflects: Esther Dede, Health Promotion and Wellness Management Major

Esther wears her graduation gown and stands in front of campus greenery.

Today we speak with Esther Dede, a graduating senior Health Promotion and Wellness Management (HPWM) major from the island of St. Maarten. Esther transferred from Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) at Gloucester County and is a first-generation college student.

Tell us about your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes!

My favorite moment with a faculty member was when I told her that I planned to take three summer courses as prerequisites for dental school, and she looked at me and said that I was very ambitious and that it’ll take me far in life, and that she was happy for me and to continue being great.

Esther smiles and stands in front of a campus gazebo.

Could you please share your favorite social memory?

S.O.C.A. (Students Organization for Caribbean Awareness), which I was a part of, held a SOCA gala, which was amazing. We had amazing food, music and art where different cultures were showcased. It was so fun to dance to different Caribbean music and overall have a great time.

What are your career aspirations?

My goal is to become a dentist and specialize in either orthodontics or cosmetics.

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

They motivated me to keep on excelling in life. After having events with S.O.C.A. and doing community service work such as Back to the Boro, they made me realize that I can do so much to give back to the community, especially in my career.

Esther stands and smiles in front of an entrance door at Bunce Hall.

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

Dr. Robert Weaver (Practicum in HPWM) and Dr. Leslie Spencer (Foundations of HPWM) are my favorite professors because they always remind me how great I can be in life. This really helps me because sometimes I can be so hard on myself, and the fact that they always remind me that due to my ambition I can go far in life is really helpful. Also, they show me that they truly care for my future, and make time to meet with me when I need it.

Esther smiles wearing her graduation gown with Bunce Hall in the background.

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

To create a list of goals they’d like to accomplish and to be willing to make sacrifices to accomplish those goals. Also, remember to always be kind to others and themselves.

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

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

Meet Transfer Profs: Public Health & Wellness Major Heather Doerr

A photo of Heather outside at the beach wearing sunglasses.

Meet incoming transfer Prof Heather Doerr, a Public Health & Wellness major from Marlton, NJ (Burlington County). Heather transferred from the University of Maryland Global Campus. She shares how she chose Rowan and what she’s looking forward to!

A selfie of Heather wearing glasses.

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

I am looking forward to being involved in clubs and initiatives that advocate for wellness and support communities’ overall health.

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

I recently joined the Public Health 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 have changed my major from IFSM to Public Health and Wellness, which is a new venture for me, but an interest I have had for a few years. I hope to combine my passion to advocate for our community’s good health with the skills and knowledge that I will be learning at Rowan and play an instrumental role in educating, empowering and improving the overall health of communities.

What majors are you considering and why?

I am enrolled in the Public Health & Wellness BS program. After working in the Information Systems realm for the last two years, I realized my work did not fulfill my desire to help users as I had intended when entering the field. Working in a stationary position in front of a computer for 8-12 hours a day was not conducive to my good health, both physically and mentally. When I took the Nutrition class in my first year, I was amazed by how uninformed I was in what my body needed for optimal health function. This sparked my interest and passion to play a role in improving not only the health of myself and my family, but also society.

Heather standing on the beach with her dog.

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

Yes, I attended the Rowan self-paced tour. The Rowan campus was huge, the campus has grown into its own community, which is very inspiring and comforting. Although I was there on a Saturday during COVID restrictions, I was able to get a sense of the positive energy and support that exists at this school. The buildings that I was able to access were easy to find and had an abundance of resources.

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

Review all the programs that Rowan has to offer as well as the career options within those programs. Rowan provides prospective students with information online, over the phone, and through various tour options of the campus. Everyone I have communicated with through email or virtual meetings were very informative and helpful.

Where are you going to live next year?

Commute from home.

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

The abundance of resources to help achieve success.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Meet #Rowan2025: Uche Ezeukwu of Hamilton, NJ

A sign that says Wake up and Workout.

Today we welcome incoming first year student Uche Ezeukwu. Uche will live on campus in the fall studying Exercise Science. Uche is from Hamilton, NJ (Mercer County) and attends Nottingham High School. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college? I am looking forward to meeting new […]

Leadership #PROFspective: Eliya Bravo, Inspiring Community Action and Change

Bravo speaking into a horn.

Today we feature first-generation college student Eliya Bravo, a leader at Rowan University. Bravo is the founder and president of the Women of Color Alliance and vice president for both the Students For Caribbean Awareness and Rowan Universities Club Swim Team. Bravo is also the public relations rep for the United Latinos Association and a […]

#PROFspective: Junior Athletic Training Major Jocelyn Reuben

Drone shot of Route 322 portion of campus.

Jocelyn Reuben, a junior transfer student from Burlington Township, is an Athletic Training major with a minor in Spanish. She is very involved on campus and is a part of Improfs, Black Cultural League, and the Athletic Training Club. Here is a little bit about her Rowan experience thus far! 

Tell us about one club, organization, or group of friends that make you feel like Rowan is home.

My friends Keyanna Meade, Keianna Williams, Alex Brown, Rob Brown, Reena Patel and Liam O’Brien have made me feel like Rowan has been home since the day I step foot on campus. Keyanna Meade is my childhood best friend who transferred here; meanwhile, I met my other friends through being an RA and Rowan’s ASPIRE Leadership Development Program. They all inspire me to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. Furthermore, their dedication to education makes me work harder so we can thrive together. They have each been a part of the reason I’m glad I came to Rowan.

Jocelyn smiles, stands by a staircase inside an academic building.

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

Last year, during Black History Month, Black Cultural League hosted a Speakeasy Night with [Rowan After Hours]. It was the most amazing event I had ever been to on campus. The Pit transformed into the well-known “Cotton Club” and even required a password to get in. Once inside, host, Treasure Cary was dressed perfectly to fit the 1920s theme and she looked amazing. The event had an open mic, a live jazz band, card games, and a raffle. It was nice to see Black talent showcased and celebrated.

I was debating going on stage because I was nervous and my phone battery was on 5% (all my poems were on my phone). This girl next to me gave me her charger without asking questions and once I had at least 20% I mustered up the courage to perform an original poem of mine and was met with so much love and support from the audience and the people who organized the event. I gave her the charger right back and thanked her. She said it was no problem and even complimented my poem. I had only wished I dressed up for the occasion.

A candid photo of of Jocelyn.

What’s your favorite thing about one typical day at Rowan for you?

Every day at Rowan you can meet someone or learn something new. There is always an opportunity on campus to network with other students and even faculty, and I learn new things in and out of the classroom setting at Rowan.

What is one thing about Rowan that was a happy surprise for you?

A happy surprise for me was definitely the Student Mental Health Conference. Mental Health is such an important issue/topic, it’s good of Rowan to allow students to share their stories and talk about them openly in a safe environment. I especially like that it was mostly student-led. “For students by students.” I had the pleasure of presenting at the conference two years in a row.

Describe for us an experience you’ve shared with a professor or staff member in which you felt like they truly cared about your wellbeing.

Mrs. Laurie Dwyer, my academic advisor, is amazing! She’s definitely cared about me and my well-being on numerous occasions. When I transferred to Rowan she made the process easy and painless. Although I was a transfer, she helped me get right on track with all the requirements and classes I had to complete to even be eligible to apply to the Athletic Training Program.

She has always pushed me to be better academically and encourages me when I would get insecure about taking some of the harder classes in my major. I know she is the advisor for hundreds of students so for her to always show so much patience and care for me … I appreciate her for always having my best interest at heart. Even when I told her that I wanted to do a Spanish minor and it seemed like there was no room in my schedule to do so, she came up with a plan that allowed me to finish it right on time before it would possibly interfere with my Athletic Training classes. In short, I would not be as focused and prepared without her.

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

Faculty PROFile: Rowan Global Senior Lecturer, Nurse Practitioner Dr. Matthew Kaspar

Matthew works in the facility where he cares for senior patients.

Meet Dr. Matthew Kaspar, who has earned many titles to his name: RN, DNP, MED, MSN, APN and FNP-C. His students know him as senior lecturer and coordinator of Rowan Global’s nurse practitioner programs. His patients know him for his homebound geriatric healthcare practice, which he has run with a physician partner since 2011. Learn more about Dr. Kaspar and how he manages his teaching and nursing positions.

How long have you worked at Rowan?

I started in 2014. 

What do you teach in the nursing program?

I teach the nurse practitioner courses: epidemiology, role of the nurse practitioner and the concentration courses. I generally teach four courses, but I’m a nurse practitioner, I have to practice so many hours per year in order to keep my certification and license, so I get credit for my practice. I get credits also for coordinating the three nurse practitioner programs as well. 

Matthew Kaspar in a facility where he cares for senior patients.

What is your role as nurse practitioner coordinator? 

I arrange student placements [for clinical practice], contracts, background checks, fingerprinting. I vet their preceptors to make sure that they don’t have any marks against their licenses and coordinate affiliation agreements with the clinical sites. 

Is it safe to say nursing at Rowan is a rapidly growing program?

Yes. When we started, we had two master’s concentrations: gerontology acute care nurse practitioner track and family nurse practitioner track. Now we have, in addition to those two, primary mental health nurse practitioner — so now there are three tracks for nurse practitioner — and nurse educator. We’ve grown a lot, and we’ve got a lot still in the pipeline. 

Can you tell us about your students?

Our typical students are seasoned. They already have their bachelor’s degrees in nursing. They’ve been practicing nurses for about three years. They generally work full-time, so the benefit of our program is that it’s predominantly all online, and it allows students to have that family work-life balance where they can work full-time as a registered nurse and then attend classes when it’s convenient for them since most of the classes are online … they can take them when they want to. 

We have students throughout the entire state. We have two or three students who are in North Jersey. They’re all over the place. It’s a real plus for them because they don’t have to spend the hour, two hours driving to campus, they can really just attend class when it’s more convenient for them. 

Can you tell us more about your homebound practice? 

I’ve been doing house calls since 2011. A physician and I started the practice. We generally see older patients, people who can’t get out of the house, we provide primary care services for them. We specialize in bringing services to their house, such as EKGs, labs, ultrasounds, X-rays, so we can do a lot of those primary care-type services for those patients who can’t get out. Somebody’s homebound status could be due to a physical, mental or respiratory disability. My patients generally range from 50s to, my oldest is 104. The practice has grown quite a bit. 

Matthew works inside the senior facility where he cares for patients.

What areas does your practice serve?

Our practice covers Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, parts of Atlantic and possibly parts of Salem and Mercer counties.

How many patients do you have, on average?

I manage about 300 patients. 

Is this you and a team of nurses? Or just you individually?

We manage our own patients regardless of if you’re a physician or a nurse practitioner provider. Just like if you go to your primary care provider, and that’s who you generally see. We do the same thing for our homebound patients. We assign them a provider and you follow that provider. We have our own caseloads. Most providers have a MA, or medical assistant, that goes with them, to help with charting and call box and patient care. I’m the only provider in the practice who doesn’t have one. I generally take students with me from our program … and serve as their preceptor. 

Do Rowan students need that clinical practice as part of their program completion? 

Yes, they’re required to get 600 clinical hours of direct patient time. Their clinical experience has to be done in the advanced practice role, working under either a physician or another nurse practitioner. I don’t know everything, so I like [students] to get exposure from other providers so their teaching instruction is not just done by one person.

I love taking students because not only does it allow me to give back to the community, and give back to nursing, it keeps me sharp, too, because you get some really good questions sometimes. It’s a great way to keep up with evidence-based nursing. 

Matthew smiles outside the senior facility where he cares for patients.

What is one thing you wish people knew about your academic discipline?

Nurses are lifelong learners. I always use the expression that the day you stop learning something is the day you retire. Nursing is constantly evolving and changing, and that’s our only constant is that [things] change so frequently. 

What inspires you to continue teaching?

My first career, I was a middle school science teacher, my first career choice was nursing. I didn’t have the grades to get into nursing, unfortunately. So I taught middle school science for a few years, went back and got my master’s in education, and I kind of focused more on academics, and once I figured out I could do it, I decided to go back to nursing. And after I graduated nursing, it was part of the calling. Nursing does a lot in education in terms of clinical practice. I always wanted to get back into education. And now it’s perfect for me because now I’ve got clinical and I also teach, and I love that marrying of the two disciplines together. 

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TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Exercise Science Major Taylor Fest

Taylor poses with her roommate, Rachel.

Today we speak to Taylor Fest, a sophomore Health and Exercise Science major. Taylor is from Cinnaminson, NJ (Burlington County) and transferred from Rowan College of Burlington County. She lives on campus in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments

Taylor poses in front of a brick wall.

What wakes you up in the morning?

I am very passionate about animals. I have 3 pets of my own. I have a bunny named Cooper, a dog named Krimpet, and a cat named Primrose. I also take care of some of the cats in the neighborhood, and I take care of my neighbor’s four dogs sometimes. I love my pets so much that I decided I want to be an Animal Rehabilitation Therapist. 

Taylor's dog, Krimpet.
Taylor’s dog, Krimpet.
Taylor's cat, Primrose.
Taylor’s cat, Primrose.
Taylor's bunny, Cooper.
Taylor’s bunny, Cooper.

Tell us about your transition into Rowan.

I was nervous to be away from home for the first time. I overcame it by finding things to do on campus. I was able to go to events that I found on ProfLink. My brother is here working on his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, so I was able to see him a lot too. 

Share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you.

I was looking through ProfLink for clubs to join, and the Crew Club Team caught my eye. I emailed the president, Kristen Wolfe, and she emailed me back telling me when the next meeting was. I went to the meeting, and everyone was very friendly and welcoming. I made a lot of friends through the club, and one of them is now my roommate. 

Taylor with her friends Rachel and Erwin from the Rowan Crew Club team.
Taylor, left, with her friends Rachel, center, and Erwin, right, from the Rowan Crew Club team.

Why did you choose Rowan?

I have a few family members that went here, such as my brother and my cousin. They had wonderful experiences here, and my whole family loves Rowan. Knowing that they had good experiences here made me want to choose Rowan. 

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

Header photo and photo of Taylor, Rachel, and Erwin by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

Photos of Taylor and Taylor’s pets submitted by:
Taylor Fest, sophomore health and exercise science major

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

7 Dance Majors Share How Their Degree Supports Their Dreams and Goals

Photo of dancer Grace Koller in an upward split.

Shoot for the stars. Seven Dance majors share how they’re dreaming big and how their degree is going to get them there. 

Grace dancing in a dance studio.
Grace Koller

“Being in a B.A. dance program gives me the opportunity to expand and customize my dance major. While I am taking dance classes weekly, I also have the opportunity to grow in my passion for business through my entrepreneurship minor. Some days I am in the dance studio all day working on my technique, and other days I am in the business building learning how to run my own business and how to create product prototypes in the lab. This degree supports my short term and long term goals by giving me the confidence to dance professionally and the knowledge to run my own business!” says first-generation college student Grace Koller, senior, Dance major with a Entrepreneurship minor from Pitman, NJ (Gloucester County).

Gregory outside the student center wearing a Rowan sweatshirt.
Gregory Williams

“Having a degree in dance would help me expand my ideas so that I can become a more well-rounded dancer. I like to keep in mind the things that I am taught so that everything can intertwine with each other creating depth in my ideas,” says freshman Gregory Williams, a Dance major with an Entrepreneurship minor from South River, NJ (Middlesex County).

Katie dancing in a show.
Katie Fasbach

“As someone who has been dancing my entire life up until this point, there is no way I couldn’t include dance in my future – near or far. Through my dance degree, I will be able to accomplish all that I plan to because I have learned the necessary skills to go beyond in the real world of dance,” says senior Katie Fasbach, a Dance major from Monroe Township, NJ (Middlesex County).

Brooke posing for a picture on a railing while wearing a yellow skirt with a lake in the background.
Brooke Foster

“A dance degree is the first step to reaching my goals of getting my master’s in dance.” says senior Brooke Foster, a Dance and Exercise Science double major from Burlington, NJ (Burlington County).

Abby holding a trophy from a dance competition.
Abby Lamb

“My dance degree supports my dreams and goals because I needed to be fully experienced and educated in dance to be able to continue and educate others. A dance degree shows my eligibility to teach dance in schools and show future members of my studio that I have a very good understanding,” says junior Abby Lamb a Dance and Business Management double major from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County).

Lesleigh posing for a picture on train tracks.
Lesleigh Emanuel

“Pursuing my dance degree has allowed me to study with so many amazing different professors and learn different techniques to broaden my horizons. I also study so many different styles of dance that I have become a more well rounded dancer,” says first-generation college student, freshman Lesleigh Emanuel a Dance major from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County).

Gabrielle smiling on a cobblestone street.

“A dance degree will help me gain a possible dance company job after I graduate. Also, this degree allows freedom to possibly do other things such as, teaching or choreographing,” says freshman Gabrielle Langevine, a Dance major from Piscataway, NJ (Middlesex County).

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Story by: Bianca Torres, Senior, Music Industry major

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Michael Grabowy “You Put Heart into This School, You Get Heart Back”

Michael sitting on a stone outside.

Today we feature senior Michael Grabowy, an adult learner double major in Physical Education and Health Studies from Vineland, NJ (Cumberland County). Michael transferred to Rowan from Cumberland County College.  Tell me about your experience at Rowan. I love Rowan. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be here. All of the students and faculty here. With […]

Healthy New Year’s Suggestions from Health-Related Majors

Close of Hannah's face surrounded by fruit.

As we finally kiss 2020 goodbye, enjoy this advice from our health-related majors on some New Year’s suggestions that can hopefully make 2021 a better year! 

Amanda poses wearing a red dress.
Amanda Murphy

Amanda Murphy, a senior Nutrition major specializing in Exercise Science from Tinton Falls, NJ (Monmouth County) shares a great New Year’s resolution to encourage healthy eating habits. She challenges you to “rely less on convenience foods and more on whole food sources.” Healthy eating is possible on a college campus, you just have to be committed to finding the foods that work for you! 

Erica pulls her hair back, while standing in the woods with a lake behind her.
Erica Walsh

“You only have one life to live – make changes now to help your quality of life later,” says Erica Walsh, a senior Health & Exercise Science major from Somerdale, NJ (Camden County.) She suggests putting your mental health first, getting activity every day and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Close up of Heather's face and comfy, casual hair.
Heather Tomaselli

Heather Tomaselli, a sophomore Nutrition major with an Honors Concentration from Bound Brook, NJ (Somerset County) challenges you to take the stairs rather than the elevator to promote physical health. “The choices we make now determine our long term health!”

Tyler Weiss poses at a tourist destination, with a city behind him.
Tyler Weiss

“Not only will exercise and a healthy diet improves your physical health, but it will also have a positive impact on your mental health as well.” This advice about the importance of exercise comes from Tyler Weiss, a senior Nutrition major Specialized in Exercise Science from Winfield Park, NJ (Union County.)

Jocelyn holds onto her mustard yellow jacket, looking slightly off to her right. She is wearing blue lipstick.
Jocelyn Reuben

Junior Athletic Training major Jocelyn Reuben from Burlington, NJ (Burlington County) doesn’t drink any soda, unless it’s ginger ale for a stomach ache, and she walks everywhere she goes. She shares that, “Making healthy changes can help you see and carry yourself more confidently.”

Hannah shares a smiling selfie.
Hannah Holzhauer

A few healthy practices that you can try are “Going on walks outside to center yourself, listening to podcasts to motivate and inspire, using art as a form of self-expression.” These are some suggestions from Hannah Holzhauer, a junior from Nutrition major, Dietetics Master Program from Green Township, NJ (Sussex County.) 

Krishna stands leaning on a tree with his hands in the pockets of his hoodie.
Krishna Mansukhani

Although it may be difficult  “you simply can’t buy a bottle of soda and label it ‘self-care’ … you need to actually make the decision to upgrade your life, make it your number one mission to become overall happier, more positive than ever  and take steps every day to get that result.” so “ leave a toxic relationship, say daily positive affirmations, forgive  yourself for past mistakes and try to disconnect from stress by going  for a walk.” These are all great suggestions from Krishna Mansukhani, a senior Health Promotion & Wellness Management major with a minor in Psychology Sports, and Exercise from Sayreville, NJ (Middlesex County.)

Danielle Holroyd shares a selfie taken inside her car.
Danielle Holroyd

Danielle Holroyd, a senior Health Promotion and Wellness Management major from Barrington, NJ (Camden County) shares a few ways she stays healthy while in college. She is committed to “eating healthy, exercising, and keeping up with her school work.”

Caroline Lippincott sits on a Jeep wearing her sorority's t-shirt.
Caroline Lippincott

Caroline Lippincott, a senior Nutrition and Exercise Science major from Columbus, NJ (Burlington County) suggests taking daily walks in the new year to promote physical and mental health. 

Brianna stands arms outstretched mimicking the tree branches behind her.
Brianna De la Cruz

To stay healthy, try to “remember to take breaks. Yes, school is important, but so is mental health.” Brianna De la Cruz, a senior Nutrition and Dietetics major from Hillsborough, NJ (Somerset County) tries to “exercise most days of the week, eat well, and hang out with my roommates to help destress.” 

Haley sits in a chair smiling for a portrait.
Haley Bencivengo

“One small healthy change you can make is taking 10-15 minutes out of your day to meditate. This can help give your mind a break and relieve stress from school and work.” This advice comes from Haley Bencivengo, a sophomore Nutrition major from Hamilton Township, NJ (Mercer County).

Emily looks over her shoulder, with a view of sand, beach and palm trees in the background.
Emily Nicholson

A small, healthy change you can try to make in the new year comes from Emily Nicholson, a sophomore Nutrition major from Turnersville, NJ (Gloucester County). “Instead of sugary coffee every morning, try green tea!”

Sal poses in a tuxedo with brick behind him.
Sal Murphy

In the new year, try “Spending 30 minutes less on electronics to be outside and enjoy the fresh air! This is good for mental health and can also be beneficial to physical health if you decide to go on a walk or perform any physical activity.” This advice comes from Sal Murphy, a senior Health Promotion & Wellness Management major from Gloucester County, NJ. 

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

Betzy Miranda: Soldier, Student, Nurse

Betzy looks at a distance holding her military helmet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Betzy holds her military helmet.

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

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

First Year Voices: Biology Major Analiz Santana and Exercise Science Major Mia Guerra

Today, we speak with freshmen Analiz Santana and Mia Guerra. Analiz is a Biology major from Pennsauken, NJ (Camden County) who is currently residing in Mimosa and Mia is an Exercise Science major currently residing in Holly Pointe from Hasbrouck Heights, NJ (Bergen County). They tell us more about why they chose Rowan and how it is being a freshmen in college during a pandemic.

Analiz and Mia hanging out on campus.
Analiz (left) and Mia (right) hanging out outside!

How did you two meet each other?

Mia: They were just walking by one of my friend’s dorms and we had the door open and they just said “Hi,” and that’s how we met.

Why did you choose Rowan?

Analiz: My sister goes here too! She’s a sophomore. Last year, she would always invite me onto campus last year and she’s also a basketball player and I would always go to her games. I had to choose between here and TCNJ, and I chose here because I ended up really loving it here.

Analiz and Mia talking outside on campus.

Mia: I’m on the cross-country track team. I like the program here. I like the campus in general in comparison to other colleges as well. I was supposed to choose a campus in Indiana, but I ended up choosing here!

How has it been being freshmen at college during pandemic?

Analiz: It was helpful having that first week where we didn’t have to worry about classes. It was good to actually figure out where we need to put our masks on and figure out the rules around here. It was actually really helpful.

Mia: Just learning the campus in general, too. Walking around and learning where our classes are and stuff was helpful, too!

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista sophomore music industry major

#PROFspective: Sophomore Health and Exercise Science Major Erwin Lopez

Erwin sits outside Science Hall.

Today we feature Erwin Lopez, a sophomore Health and Exercise Science major from East Windsor, NJ (Mercer County). Erwin, a first-generation college student, lives on campus in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments. He’s a member of the Pre Physician Assistant ClubCrew Club Team and the Exercise is Medicine Club, for which he’s Fundraising Chair. Erwin also works for the Office of Orientation and Student Leadership Programs

Erwin stands on a footbridge wearing a Rowan t-shirt.

Why did you choose your major?

I chose Health and Exercise Science as my major because at first, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school, and I knew I wanted to be part of a health-related field. Health and Exercise Science gave me a broader spectrum of things that I can do, such as medical school or PA school or PT and OT, and so on. 

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

The major is fun and you can do a lot with it. It is very versatile and there isn’t only one thing you have to do with it. It is very flexible in regard to what you can do with it.

Erwin stands in front of a brick wall with his "Profs" mask on.

How does your field impact the world? 

It’s helping people, no matter what field you go into after completing the Health and Exercise Science program. No matter what you do with it, there’s always going be that aspect of helping people and providing a service to people. 

Erwin stands outside wearing a Rowan t-shirt.

Have you had any professors that you felt really cared about your wellbeing? 

This isn’t major-specific, but my College Composition professor, Professor Mandi Dorrell, was a really great professor. She understood that you’re also a person and not just a student. She was very helpful and understanding of people’s problems. She was very caring in that aspect. 

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

Sophomore Reflects: Navya Kunigal Shares Tips and Her Top 5 Reasons She Chose Rowan

Rowan Boulevard at night.

Today we feature Navya Kunigal, a rising sophomore Community Health major from Hillsborough, New Jersey (Somerset County). Here, Navya writes about her on-campus, first-year experience and gives future Profs her best Rowan tips. 

As a freshman, I lived in Chestnut Hall, and I loved it! It is a wonderful dorm with so many wonderful people. I lived in a double by myself there.

Community Health major Navya poses in a Rowan shirt.

Get involved. I am [involved] on Rowan’s campus in so many different ways. I’m a member of the National Wellness Institute (NWI) (Rowan Student Chapter) and the Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC).

I am also part of the Get Fit program that the Health and Exercise department manages. Get Fit is a program where we help people with intellectual and learning disabilities and work with them to benefit their health. It is such a rewarding experience. I look forward to this every day of the week.

I am usually quite occupied on campus. When you get involved in stuff, you will never be bored, every day will be a new adventure.

Where to go when you first arrive on campus. When I first came to Rowan, I had no friends. The Chamberlain Student Center is a great place to meet people. Try to have a friend in every class so you have an additional resource other than the professor.

Rowan After Hours (RAH) is how I made most of my friends. Rowan After Hours has night activities every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Activities include cooking, arts and crafts, dancing and a food bar. Sometimes we play video games too. It is really fun, and it is such an easy and cool way to meet new people. Definitely, go to RAH!! 

Navya poses at a table at a restaurant.

Check out Rowan Boulevard! They have delicious restaurants and really cool places to visit. There are a lot of jobs on Rowan Boulevard as well. It is a really cool place to spend your time. 

The Rec Center has something for everyone. Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, you name it! They got it! I go to yoga there once in a while, and they have so many different levels and types of yoga. I go to beginner yoga and it is so calming. It releases so much stress for me. Definitely go to the Rec Center when you have a chance!

Advice for choosing a major: It’s okay to be undecided (Exploratory Studies) when you go to college! Rowan gives you a chance to explore and find what you’re good at. Always consult with your advisor before choosing a major. They can help you narrow down your choices. 

Moving in tips (do’s and don’ts): Moving into campus can be confusing, here is what to bring and what not to bring. 

  1. Enough clothes. 
  2. Hygiene products.
  3. Decorations to spruce up that room. 
  4. Shoes, of course.
  5. And some coats, for the chilly days.

These five things are mandatory to bring on campus — most importantly, shower shoes! 

What not to bring: 

  1. Candles, because they can set off fire alarms. 
  2. Not too many bags, they can cause clutter. 

Navya poses with her friend.

Five reasons why I love Rowan: 

  1. The people
  2. The buildings
  3. Diversity
  4. Kindness
  5. Friends 

I chose Rowan because not only was it a great fit for me, but it was a great experience being a freshman! I hope incoming freshmen have such a wonderful experience, too. Rowan had everything I was looking for and more. I cannot wait to go back and start a new chapter as a sophomore. 

Enjoy campus as much as you can! 

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Story and photos by:
Navya Kunigal, rising sophomore community health major

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




Sophomore Reflects: New Hampshire’s Hilda Barrioz Tells Us What She Learned About Coming to South Jersey

stock image of a laptop, map and a camera

Meet rising sophomore Hilda Barrioz. Hilda is an Athletic Training major all the way from Farmington, New Hampshire! She tells us more about how Rowan became her home away from home and how she adjusted to living on campus in South Jersey.

Tell us a about the change from New Hampshire to South Jersey:

South Jersey was a huge change for me because not only was it far from home but also New Jersey is wildly different than New Hampshire.

Rowan is roughly a 7-hour drive from my house, so making Rowan a home away from home was really important to me. I made sure to print out a bunch of pictures of my friends and family and of course my pets. I hung all them on a set of string lights so that I’d be able to see them every time I went back to my dorm. I also made sure to bring an air freshener version of my favorite candle and some other little decorations from home. 

Living in the dorm wasn’t a new experience for me because I had gone to prep school for part of high school, but New Jersey was a bigger change than I realized. Even the trees and flowers were different than the ones I had at home. I had to get used to the lack of wild animals, like deer and the occasional bear. Rowan mainly has geese. I also have an off-campus job so I needed to get gas. Getting gas for the first time was a weird experience because my whole life I grew up pumping my own gas, and then suddenly I was in a state where people did it for you.

How have you made Rowan your home away from home?

Rowan really has become a home away from home to me and I’ve met some of the most amazing people here and made friends that I don’t know what I would do without. This community is a place where I can be myself, meet new people everyday, and support my friends from other teams. I didn’t realize I could fall in love with a place that’s an hour away from the beach, but South Jersey and Rowan really has my heart.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photo provided by:
Hilda Barrioz, sophomore athletic training major

Header photo courtesy of:
Unsplash

#PROFspective: Nutrition and Exercise Science Major Caroline Lippincott

Outdoor photo of Rowan Boulevard

Today’s #PROFspective features Caroline Lippincott, a senior majoring in Nutrition and Exercise Science from Columbus, NJ (Burlington County). Caroline, a first-generation college student who lives off campus, transferred to Rowan from Stockton University. How have you gotten involved on campus? I’m proudly a part of organizations such as Theta Phi Alpha and Inter Greek Council […]

Junior Major Moments: Health Promotion & Wellness Management Major Krishna Mansukhani

Krishna flexing his muscles outside 232 Victoria St.

Today we feature junior Krishna Mansukhani, a Health Promotion & Wellness Management major with a minor in Psychology of Sports and Exercise from Sayreville, NJ (Middlesex County). Krishna transferred to Rowan from Middlesex Community College in fall 2017.

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

If I could pick one moment in my college career based upon an interesting class experience I would say it would be with Dr. Spencer. She is someone I respect in my field and was also my professor for my intro class in my major. She does so much for the health and fitness field like teaching us students or even running a health program called Get Fit, where students help mentally challenged people become active by working out or doing any kind of physical activity they enjoy. Dr. Spencer has taught me so much about my field and what I’m getting into, which makes what I do today and every day so much more important.

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

The most interesting thing I learned in my major if I can only choose one it would be learning why we do this. I learned a new perspective on the satisfaction of helping someone achieve their goals and feel more confident in themselves. It could have been with all the certifications I got this past year. I don’t know what it is, but this year I learned how to take my coaching business to the next level.

Krishna working out at the Fitness Center.

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

I personally run an online coaching business and post vlog-like videos, a full day of eating, and workout tips on YouTube and Instagram. I was the VP of the Nutrition Care Club during my sophomore year and still take part in activities. But the number one thing that helps me grow is the satisfaction I get from helping my followers, clients or people messaging me questions about college or fitness. 

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Story by:
Alyssa Bauer, public relations graduate

From Teacher to Student: Career Change Brings Nutrition and Exercise Science Major Kerry Perez to Rowan

Photo of Kerry and her four children.

Today we feature adult learner Kerry Perez, a Nutrition and Exercise Science major from Haddonfield, NJ (Camden County). She transferred to Rowan from Camden County College. Kerry shares how she’s made a successful transition from full-time teacher to “nontraditional” student here at Rowan. 

Photo of Kerry.

Before you pursued your degree here at Rowan, you were an educator. Could you share why you are making a career shift?

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, and that is exactly what I became. I studied elementary education at Bucknell University and graduated in 2002, I took my first teaching job after a yearlong AmeriCorps Volunteer position, right outside Washington D.C and continued this path for the next 11 years.  In those years I got a master’s in special education at Rider University and taught in three different schools, moving as my husband made his way through medical school and surgical residency.

I loved teaching both for the rewards personally and professionally.  In 2011, my husband and I welcomed our first set of girl twins, Esme and Georgina. With lots of help and support I was able to go back to teaching and continued for three more years until we were blessed with our second set of twins (boy/girl) in 2014. When I left for maternity leave, I had all intentions of returning to this career that I loved.  But the reality of having four children under the age 3 and a husband who was now living in Albany, NY (I was in Haddonfield, NJ) completing his fellowship set in hard. 

The decision to leave teaching was a hard one; this career had defined me and for a large part was how I valued myself. Thrust in the role of stay-at-home mom, staying on top of the demands of young children, while also not losing one’s identity, is incredibly challenging. I knew that staying home with them was a luxury that many parents do not have, so I also struggled to stay grateful. I continued to remind myself raising these four children to be valuable members of society, to teach them a strong moral compass so that our world would be better off, was truly the most important work that anyone could do.

Photo of Kerry and her four children.

What inspired you to choose your major?

As my children got older our family was introduced to some mental health issues and young daughter was diagnosed with anxiety at the tender age of six and in addition to therapy, we became educated about the important role of nutrition on mental health. I found myself deeply connecting with the notion that food is our healer, and that through changes to our diet we can positively affect not only our physical health but also our mental health. I could not resist continuing to explore this passion in nutrition and dietetics, and with the gentle nudge and support of my husband a new and scary path began.

I knew that I wanted to return to the work force in some fashion, but I was only ever going to be a teacher, this new path would involve subjects and content I hadn’t studied in over 20 years (actually I had avoided) and even though I had both a bachelor’s of science and a master’s degree I would pretty much be starting from the beginning.

Photo of Kerry and two of her children.

How did the transition go from teaching to learning? 

I graduated in the class of 2002 — we didn’t have cell phones, we barely had email. So here I was in 2019 and taking both an online and on-campus class. Canvas, Banner ID, Examity, Google Classroom, and the Cloud were new terms, and the learning curve was steep and quick. As a double hit I was learning how to navigate the world of online learning while also learning content I had avoided, which was science. To top it all off my brain as a 39 year old just didn’t function like my 20-year-old brain, I had mastered the techniques of making a third grader’s lunch while emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry, cooking dinner and kissing boo-boos, but figuring out the potassium and sodium pump or stoichiometry was a different ball game. There may have been tears, a lot of questioning of why I am putting myself through this.

Being a nontraditional student, being almost double the age of many of your peers, being part of classes that you have little recollection of, is intimidating and humbling. My first class I brought notebooks, highlighters and my reading glasses, the rest of the class brought their iPads and cell phones. 

The juggling of studying and completing classwork and finding the balance of fulfilling my role as a mom and wife while not feeling guilty about pursuing a new career is challenging. There won’t ever be the right balance: some days the kids overrun all my checklists and some days I’m up early or stay up late to watch yet another YouTube video on calorimetry.

Any parting advice for Rowan students, specifically adult learners or those who are considering going back to school?

It is hard, but we can do hard things.

I remind myself that one day my four children will reach a wall they’d rather not climb. A wall that on the other side leads to opportunities they never dreamed of, I want to be able to tell about the time I, too, met that wall. I desperately wanted to stop and fell many times but I climbed that wall and it was worth it. 

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#PROFspective: Sophomore Health Promotion and Wellness Management Major Brianna Bentley

Brianna poses for a photo outside Business Hall.

Today we feature sophomore Brianna Bentley, a first-generation college student. She is a Health Promotion and Wellness Management major with a minor in Psychology. Brianna commutes from her home in Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County). We were able to speak to her just before she was getting ready to leave campus because of social distancing to protect society from the spread of COVID-19.

What academic and social clubs are you a part of?

I am a part of  UnifiedBrianna poses for a photo outside Business Hall. Sports, Pre-Allied Health Club, and American Sign Language Club.

Do you have any on-campus jobs?

When the campus reopens, I will be working at the Rec Center!

Why did you choose a university close to home?

I couldn’t imagine being too far from my family, and Rowan was the only college I toured that felt like “home” away from home.

How do you get that “away” feeling while close to home?

Hanging out with friends on campus, whether that is to study or have fun.

What is the most interesting thing you did on campus this year?

I helped out at the Unified Sports Championship game.Brianna poses for a photo outside Business Hall.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned in a class this year?

All of the material I learned in Psych of Human Sexuality! I highly recommend this course to anyone; I left each class feeling like I learned something new about myself.

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?

Enjoy every moment, get involved, study hard, and make memories you’ll never forget!

What’s the best decision you’ve made since you got to college?

Volunteering with the Get Fit program.

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

#PROFspective: Nutrition, Exercise Science Major and Aspiring Business Owner Tyler Weiss

Tyler Weiss sits outside of Business Hall.

Today we feature Tyler Weiss, a Nutrition major with a specialization in Exercise Science. Tyler, a junior from Winfield Park, NJ (Union County), lives on campus. 

Tyler Weiss sits outside of Business Hall wearing a blue sweatshirt

Why did you choose Rowan?

I chose Rowan because of its size. I felt the community wasn’t too small, so I’d have a lot of opportunities to meet new people, but I wasn’t too big.

How did you know Rowan was the right choice for you?

It was a mix of things. I always knew I wanted to be a personal trainer and eventually own a gym. My friends would always ask me for fitness advice. In high school, I talked to my gym teacher about my passion for fitness and she suggested her alma mater, Rowan University.

What clubs and activities are you involved in on campus?

I work as a personal trainer for the Rec Center. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to train anyone [right now], but typically, I’d be working with a client 2-3 times per week. I’ve also conducted body scans, gym tours, and routine obligations.

Tyler sitting reading a book in front of Business Hall

What is a topic you learned in class that you applied in your industry?

An important lesson we learn in the program is communicating with clients. Students are used to anatomy and physiology terms, but most people aren’t. I’ve learned methods to explain certain exercises in a way they’ll understand.

How are you keeping in touch with your Rowan friends while at home?

Since being at home, my Rowan friends and I keep in touch by texting.

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Story by:
Alyssa Bauer, public relations graduate

#PROFspective: Sophomore Health Promotion & Wellness Management Major Hajah Carpenter

Hajah walks around campus.

Today we feature sophomore Health Promotion & Wellness Management major Hajah Carpenter. She is a first-generation college student from Somerdale, NJ (Camden County). Before campus closed due to COVID-19, Hajah lived in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments.

How are you getting the most out of your college experience? 

I’m getting the most out of my experience at Rowan by trying to participate, get involved and take walks on beautiful days. I really appreciate Rowan’s campus and how beautiful it is. 

Hajah leaning up against a tree

What are you learning socially and academically about yourself?

I am learning about how much I love to work and communicate with people! I love to help others, whether it’s with schoolwork or being someone to talk to!

How have you grown as a person since coming to Rowan? 

Rowan has helped prepare me for the outside world and has made me very excited for my future! My ideas for the future have grown and I’m excited to continue in my education! My major has inspired me to hopefully open up my own gym one day!

What experiences have you enjoyed the most at Rowan?

I love all the events Rowan runs in the Student Center!

Hajah walks around campus.

How do you get involved on campus?

I get involved by attending events on campus, and being a part of the Club Lacrosse team!

How have you made friends and continue to make friends?

I have many many friends at Rowan who I love dearly. I have met some friends from Willow Hall, where I lived my freshman year! I also like to keep in contact with people I have done group projects or been in classes with! I have made a good amount of my friends in study groups I join for my classes too.

How do you create that “away” at school experience while close to home?

My friends have become my family here at Rowan, so I feel at home here.

Why Rowan?

Rowan has always had a good reputation while I was growing up! My family is from Glassboro, and watching the ‘boro be built up to what it is now has been amazing!

Exterior photo of Hajah leaning up against a tree

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

Senior Reflects: Health and Exercise Science Major Ciani Eugene on Her Way to “Dream Career”

Exterior shot of Robinson Hall

Today we feature Ciani Eugene, a Health and Exercise Science major and Psychology minor from Mount Holly, New Jersey (Burlington County) who transferred from the University of Maryland. After the transfer, she commuted to Rowan University.

Please tell us about your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes. My favorite experience in one of my classes was when I realized there are other students just like me! I had just started the fall semester and I was pregnant. I was nervous people would not want to be friends with the “pregnant girl.” That was not the case at all! Everyone was so excited for me to have my son and always looked out for me. Interestingly enough, another student walked into the class, sat next me, and she was pregnant too! We were due five days apart and she ended up becoming one of my closest friends at Rowan! Love you Autumn and Halo!

What was your favorite or most meaningful personal moment at Rowan? My most meaningful personal moment at Rowan was being chosen to speak at commencement. Even though I won’t be able to give my speech in person, Rowan made sure my speech was heard anyway. They featured my speech on the CSM [College of Science and Mathematics] and SPH [School of Health Professions] students’ awards and recognition page. It is such a nice feeling when others recognize the hard work and dedication you put into obtaining your degree.

What are your career aspirations and how did the people or programs at Rowan help to support you with those aspirations? My career aspirations are to become an occupational therapist. Before I transferred to Rowan, I didn’t know anything about occupational therapy. I thought I wanted to become a physical therapist. After taking the course “Foundations of Human Performance in Clinical Settings,” I learned about occupational therapy and realized it was my dream career. I even completed a 400-hour internship shadowing a phenomenal occupational therapist, who taught me so much.

Do you want to give a thank you shout out to your family, friends, advisors or mentors? 
  • My mom and my Oma for always being my guardian angels, I love and miss you both more than words can describe. 
  • My dad, for making sure I followed through with my promise to my mom and my Oma. 
  • My boyfriend Isaiah for always pushing me to be the best mother to our son as well as best student possible. I can’t wait to spend forever with you. 
  • My son Izeem for keeping me on my toes no matter what and always giving mommy your lovely hugs and kisses.
  • My aunt Tayana and my best friend Kellie, for always reminding me that I can do this, even if I was upset and doubting myself. 
  • My Rowan family! Brianna, Candy, Nicole, Anthony, Lizzy, Brennan, and Gianna! You all made transferring to Rowan one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. WE DID IT, WE ARE GRADUATING! 
  • Also a big shout out to Dr. Biren, Dr. Evrenoglou, and Professor Gibb for always being there for me and all of your students. You all are amazing role models! I will miss you all dearly!

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Senior Reflects: Health Promotion and Wellness Management Major Eric Chen

Health promotion and wellness management major Eric Chen posing on the Rowan Proud yellow chair.

Meet Eric Chen, a first-generation graduating senior from Cape May, Health promotion and wellness management major Eric Chen posing in front of Bunce Hall.NJ (Cape May County) who majored in Health Promotion and Wellness Management

Favorite Class: My favorite class experience was my Public Speaking class with Mr. Paul Viggiano, he always made class interesting and he made that class very comfortable. The best moments were when he would split the class into different teams and we would have little competitions.

Experience with Alpha Chi Rho- Iota Chi Phi Chapter: Over the past couple years, I have been fundraiser, bursar, and postulant educator. My proudest experience was being able to do “Alpha Chi Rhoses,” a yearly fundraiser in which people around the Rowan community can purchase flowers and send notes to each other. The proceeds have gone to the American Cancer Society and to our local chapter of Camp Kesem.

Career Aspirations: My career goal is to become a nurse and to work in cardiac rehab.

Shout outs: Thank you to my brothers in Alpha Chi Rho and to thank you to the professional staff and student staff at Rowan Rec Center. Thank you for believing in me!!!!

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Senior Reflects: Health & Physical Major J Renee Collazo

a cyclist riding by on the road.

Meet J Renee Collazo a hJ Renee Collazo posing for a portrait.ealth and physical education major from Burlington County who transferred after 15 years at Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC). Before COVID-19 she commuted to campus.

Favorite Experience: I have to say, my favorite experience was completing the crate stacking/climbing in Adventure Learning class!

Favorite Personal Moment: My most meaningful, personal moment was my first day starting at Rowan! I went back to school after 15 years from graduating from RCBC. 

Career Aspirations: I want to teach people the tools it takes to live a healthy, active, and meaningful life. The programs at Rowan were an inspiration to learning the methods I can use to accomplish this goal of mine!

Shout Outs! Shout out to my family for always supporting me, my friends helping me along the way, Dr. Willis, Professor Lieberman, Dr. McCall, and many more were such a great inspiration to the success of my time at Rowan! Thank you so much everyone!

Renee Collazo and family

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Senior Reflects: Athletic Training Major Phil Brenner

A family photo at Disney World.

Meet Phil Brenner, a graduating senior from Westville, NJ (GloucesterPhil posing in front of the ocean. County) who majored in athletic training. Phil lived on campus in Evergreen, on Rowan Boulevard and in off-campus campus during his time at Rowan.

Favorite Class: One of my favorite moments in a class was during Mr. Christy’s therapeutic exercise class when our class had to go into the cold whirlpool for 20 minutes at 8 a.m. in the morning. It was definitely better than the effect of any coffee. 

Most Meaningful Memory: One of my most meaningful experiences at Rowan was joining the Unified Sports Club my freshman year. I had so much fun competing with all of the athletes and partners. It was one of the things I looked forward to most on the weekend when it was soccer or basketball season. 

Career Aspirations: My career aspirations are to continue in the athletic training program at Rowan so I can get my master’s in athletic training. I aspire to be an athletic trainer for a high school. I got to learn alongside two of the best high-school athletic trainers (shoutout Mr. Evans at Woodstown and KB at Delsea Regional High School). They taught me the ins and outs of what it takes to be a high-school athletic trainer and I’m very grateful for their mentorship. Also, the professors and educators of the athletic training major helped me reach where I am. They have challenged me and pushed me to be the best I could be. It was definitely a lot of work but without their guidance, I wouldn’t be where I am at right now.

A group photo of Phil and his famiy.

Shout outs! I want to give a shout out to my mom, sisters (Jenna and Kristina), my brother Chris, my girlfriend Grace, and my close friends who have supported me throughout my academic journey. I also want to give a shoutout to Colleen Grugan, Dr. Sterner, Dr. Mann, Dr. Pletcher, Dr. Bullard, Mr. Christy, KB, Mr. Evans, Steve Shultz, and Chris Pantellere for being educators and preceptors for me throughout my courses and residencies. My knowledge base is a cumulation of these high quality educators and I could not be more grateful for that. 

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Meet #Rowan2024: Tyrone Rashaun Pursues Community Health

Stock image of a face mask laying across a laptop.

Today we feature Tyrone Rashaun, who is a first-generation college student (first in his family to go to college) from Lawnside, NJ (Camden County). Tyrone will live on campus and will major in Community Health

What are a few things you’re looking forward to at Rowan next year?
I am looking forward to meeting new people, dorming, and living the college life.

Why did you choose your major?
I chose my major because ever since I was young I always wanted to be in the medical field.

Tyrone tugs at his new Rowan shirt to indicate how proud he is to be with Rowan.

Why did you choose a university closer to home?
I felt Rowan has more to offer than schools out of state and further from home.

Why Rowan?
Because Rowan is close to home and I see that it can give me a successful career path for my future.

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TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Haddonfield Native Marybeth Coyne

Marybeth Coyne- Senior exercise science major

Today we speak with Marybeth Coyne, a senior Exercise Science major from Haddonfield, NJ (Camden County) who rents off campus. She transferred from Stockton University her junior year. 

How did you end up at Rowan?

“I attended Stockton for my first two years of college, and I wasn’t getting the college experience that I had originally hoped for. My three older brothers all attended Rowan and had great experiences, so my mom really encouraged to transfer. I couldn’t be happier with my decision.”

Marybeth Coyne in the pool for swim meet warmups

What made Rowan feel like home?

“When I first transferred to Rowan, I knew that the best way to be successful and to meet people was to get involved. I was a swimmer my whole life, so I joined the Swim Club and made a bunch of friends there.” 

This photo was taken at last year's homecoming football game. Marybeth was on the winning battleship team for the swim club and is featured holding the trophy.
This photo was taken at last year’s Homecoming football game. Marybeth was on the winning Battleship team for the Swim Club and is featured holding the trophy.

How has Rowan helped your professional development?

“I am the treasurer of the Exercise is Medicine Club. This position has given me leadership skills and other learning experiences for me to be successful in my field. I have also attended many conferences needed for professional development hours that have taught me a lot along the way.”

You are about to graduate. Do you have plans for after graduation?

“I want to be a physical therapist and am currently applying to physical therapy schools in the Philadelphia area.”

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Story by:
Julia McAleavey, senior advertising major

#PROFspective: Dietetics Major Hannah Holzhauer

Hannah smiles, wearing a gray Rowan sweatshirt.
Hannah lays on the ground with colorful fruit and vegetables surrounding her head like a halo.

Meet Hannah Holzhauer, a sophomore dietetics major from Sussex County, NJ who lives on-campus in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments. Hannah is on track for a 5 year master’s program to support her future career in nutrition.

Name: Hannah Holzhauer
Year: Sophomore
Major: Dietetics major (5 year master’s program)
Hometown: Green Township, NJ (Sussex County)
On campus resident or commuter: On-Campus resident in Rowan Boulevard Apartments
Academic or social clubs you are a part of: I am a member of the Exercise is Medicine Club, Nutrition Care Club, and the Culture in Green Club. I am also in the National Honor Society fraternity Phi Sigma Pi as the scholarship chair.

Why did you choose Rowan University?

“I chose Rowan because it is the perfect fit for me. It is the right distance away from my home; far but not too far. It has a big campus with lots going on, but at the same time, it feels safe and inviting. It is reasonably priced for in-staters like me. The biggest deciding factor, however, was that it offers the field I so badly wanted to study … Nutrition.”

Hannah smiling and posing in front of a yellow shed with a purple door wearing a Rowan University hoodie.

What inspired you to choose your major?

“I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at 7 years old. For most of my life, my body had been at war with itself. I was tired of being a victim to my condition and accepting that my pain, frustration and sadness were inevitable. I knew there had to be some way that I could help myself, but never did I imagine ending up where I am today. After doing extensive research on the impact diet has over disease, I decided to try it out myself. I changed my diet overnight and stuck with it out of hope and pure desperation that it would do some good. It not only did some good, it put me in full remission. This is something no pill, injection, or procedure has ever been able to do for me. I knew from this point on that I had found my purpose; to help others heal their bodies and regain control of their lives.”

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

“The field of nutrition is ever-expanding, with new discoveries and research coming out every single day. I am living proof that food is medicine and that what you put into your body matters. If we shift our perception and start treating food more like fuel, we have the potential to improve the wellbeing of our nation and change the way health care is looked at for good.”Hannah sits criss cross apple sauce surrounded by colorful fruits and vegetables while holding a pineapple.

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.

“One of the best people I have had the pleasure of knowing at Rowan has to be Dr. Leslie Spencer. She teaches the Health Behavior Theory and Counseling class that I am in this semester. Never have I met an educator so dedicated to her work, her students, and the university as her. She is incredibly smart and passionate about health and wellness, which makes being in class with her such a joy. The life skills and personal growth I have attained from her class has turned me into a better human being with a greater understanding of those around me. I have no doubt that the things I have learned from Dr. Spencer will stay with me forever and benefit me in my professional career. I honestly believe that everyone, regardless of what you are studying, should take this course with her. She has so much to teach you.”

Any advice for students interested in Dietetics or any advice in general?

“Nutrition is an exciting field to study with endless career opportunities. The biggest thing when choosing a career path, whether it be Dietetics or something else, is to establish your “why”. If you can’t effortlessly answer why you are studying what you are, then maybe you are not where you are meant to be. Find your why.”

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Story by: Bianca Torres, junior Music Industry major

#PROFspective: International Student Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang

Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang stands outside Science Hall

Today, we speak with Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang, a junior Nutrition major from Đà Nẵng, Việt Nam who commutes from Cape May. Nam Phuong will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.

Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang poses outside in front of the Rowan owl statueYour name: Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang

Your major(s): Nutrition

Are you a first-generation college student? No

Your year: Junior

Transfer student: Yes. I transferred my credits from Atlantic Cape Community College.

Hometown: Đà Nẵng, Việt Nam

Where do you live? Cape May, NJ (Cape May County)

Commuter: Yes, this [fall] semester I [commuted] 5 days a week from Cape May.

Academic clubs you are a part of:  Nutrition Care Club, student member of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Social clubs you are a part of: Volunteer for the Community Foodbank of New Jersey, Social Media Volunteer for Clinical Nutrition Management Dietetic Practice Group.

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

This is my first semester at Rowan as a Dietetics student. I have to say that the Department of Health Sciences keeps me excited every week with weekly emails about different opportunities for internship/jobs/volunteer experiences for Rowan students in our field. Recently, I received an email about an internship for students who are interested in attending the Health Promotion Conference in South Carolina. The chapter will cover the transportation and hotel fee for the accepted interns, and the conference fee is waived for interns. How cool is that!

Nam Phuong’s laptop stickers are Keith Haring designs. “His work just speaks to me and makes me happy!” she says.

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

I really enjoy my Intro to Nutrition Profession class with Dr. [Christina] Riccardo. In this class, we are encouraged to develop our professional philosophies, making connections, identify both professional and personal future goals, as well as build positive growth mindset. As we are still in the preparation for the program, I think it is very important for each of us to reflect and know what we really want to do in the future, as we don’t want to enter the program and realize it’s not what we thought it to be, right?  

Describe for us an on-campus experience (academic or non-academic) in which you felt that your future goals are supported.

The Office of Career Advancement (OCA) in Savitz Hall is very helpful and valuable for me as well as anyone who is a current Rowan student. Most of the time a good GPA is not enough to get the job that we want; it is also about how we present ourselves in person and on paper. It is sometimes quite intimidating for many students to create a professional resume, prepare for an interview or search for job opportunities. The OCA helps students learn how to write a proper cover letter, résumé, do mock interviews and find jobs and internships. I think this service is absolutely amazing. I received a lot of help and I am very grateful for all the feedback and suggestions from the faculty in this office.

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

Rowan has a diverse college environment where people with different backgrounds, personalities and perspectives come together. The diversity is a great opportunity for students to learn and grow from each other. In the midst of diversity, there are associations for students with particular interests, and that made me feel like I belong. The second week at Rowan, at the Fall Festival, I met the Vietnamese Student Association. That made me feel so happy when there is diversity and ethnic integrity.  

Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang listens to podcasts on her commute to Rowan's campus
“I listen to podcasts that explain topics that I find particularly challenging in my classes.”

Why did you choose Rowan?

I want to be a Registered Dietitian and the first thing to do to become one is to get my education at an accredited institution. I did my research and found that Rowan is one of the 62 accredited colleges in America that offers the program I am pursuing, which I think is so awesome. I had a chance to talk to my current academic advisor, Ms. Dwyer, a year before I applied to Rowan. She helped me with what I should expect and what I should do to prepare for the program. As I learn more about the program, I am so excited to see Rowan expanding the opportunities for Dietetics students.

What’s your favorite thing about your typical Monday at Rowan?

I am taking 17 credits this semester, plus 15 hours commuting per week, so currently my favorite thing to do during the week is enjoy my coffee and podcast as I drive to campus. Some days I listen to Spotify, and other days I listen to podcasts. One of my favorite things about my days at Rowan is my studying time at the Campbell Library between classes. The staff is very friendly, and there are a lot of quiet study spaces for individual use as well as group use. Also, the printers at Rowan are awesome. 

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Story by:

Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang, junior nutrition major

Photography by:
Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major

#PROFspective: From The Republic of The Gambia to Rowan University

Mary Gomez, an international student and Community Health major, stands inside the Chamberlain Student Center

Mary Gomez, an international student and Community Health major, stands inside the Chamberlain Student Center

Meet Mary Gomez, an international freshman student from The Republic of The Gambia. This is her second semester at Rowan University. She is currently majoring in Community Health from the School of Health Professions. Today she will share with us her experience on becoming an international student and how Rowan has become her second home.

Name: Mary Gomez           Mary Gomez, an international student and Community Health major, sits outside the Chamberlain Student Center

Major: Community Health

Year: Freshman

Hometown: Washington Township

Resident: Triad

Academic clubs: African Student Association, Leadership Rowan and Public Health.

As an international student, where are you coming from? I’m from The Republic of The Gambia. We call it the smiling coast of Africa.   

How did you hear about Rowan? My uncle works here, Dr. Banutu-Gomez, he’s a business professor. Last year, I was kind of confused on which schools to look into, and my mom was like ‘Oh, your uncle works at Rowan.’ He told us about Rowan, and then I started the application process.

Why did you choose to come to Rowan? First, I chose to come to Rowan because the application process was so easy to fill out. Other schools can be complicated and hard to know where to find information. Sometimes, you have to call 10 times just to talk to someone. But here, the application process was so easy to do. Every information I needed was online, like literally everything.     

As an international student, you can imagine I can’t keep calling every time. They [Rowan] had the live chat right there, so I could talk to pretty much anyone. It’s pretty expensive to call from an international phone number to the U.S. so the live chat was perfect, and the people were so nice from the international center. I was like, ‘This is definitely the right school for me.’

Mary Gomez, an international student and Community Health major, stands inside the Chamberlain Student CenterWhat else caught your attention about Rowan? The school was pretty diverse. I’m from Africa and in Africa we always treat each other like family, and we are all about feeling welcomed. So, I wanted to be in a place where people were welcoming and where I wouldn’t feel left out.

Also, I’m a twin. So, I was looking for a school that had both majors we wanted. A major that would go into biochemistry for my sister and public health for me.

Tell us about one moment that made you feel like Rowan was the right fit for you. After I applied to Rowan and came here, I didn’t have any friends at all. But I got enrolled in this class called Rowan 101 and my professor was Jessica Syed. She basically made me fall in love with this school. In the class we had to go to five events and write about them. When I started going to these events, I got to meet so many people. And Professor Syed got people from the Rowan Leadership program to come talk to the class and from then I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the correct school for me,’ because I’m all about leadership and public speaking. And that’s when I knew Rowan was for me. I recommend any student that comes here to take Rowan 101.

Favorite thing about Rowan? One thing I like about Rowan is that you can go to any event, and if you Mary and two students sit on a pink chairdon’t know anyone at the event you come back knowing about 10 people. There was one time I went to this event, I think the African Student Association hosted it, I didn’t know anyone — at the end of the day I knew like 10 different people. I didn’t feel like an international student anymore. Everyone is included here; all the opportunities are for everyone.         

What’s your biggest life goal? Since I’m studying public health, my biggest life goal is to be able to change the healthcare system in my country. I want an institution where no one has to say ‘I’m not going to the hospital because I don’t have money.’ I don’t want money to be the reason why people don’t have access to healthcare. Afterwards, I want to go into global health and probably work with the United Nations and improve the healthcare system at large, so after helping my country I want to go bigger.

Any advice for international students? I would tell them not to be afraid to ask questions. That’s one limitation I used to have during my first weeks. I used to worry about what people would think if I was asking a question, but don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask as many questions as you can. And for your accent, don’t let your accent be a barrier and don’t ever worry about how you speak. Nobody really cares, as far as you can get your information out there.

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Story by:
Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

The 3+1 Program that Creates a Balanced Lifestyle

Susan Hacker talking with her mentor at Virtua

Meet Susan Hacker, a mother and first-generation college student from Burlington, NJ (Burlington County) currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Today she shares her experience on how convenient Rowan’s RN to BSN program through Rowan Global has been for her.

“Returning to school at middle age and becoming a registered licensed nurse provides a sense of pride,” said Hacker.

Susan posing in front of the donor wall at Virtua
Hacker, a registered nurse for Virtua Health System, will earn her bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree in spring 2020.

Hacker, a registered nurse for Virtua Health System, decided to further her education at Rowan for a few reasons. The 3+1 program offers partnerships between Rowan and local community colleges — making the transfer process easier and faster. “Rowan allows one to obtain a university degree at a well-known research school while simultaneously limiting costs and the prospect of long-term college debt,” said Hacker.

For Hacker, finding a work/life balance was important, and the 3+1 program has given her that balanced opportunity. “College is considered higher level learning, as is life. Much like life requires development and growth, through self-management of experiences, Rowan Global does the same. The online learning environment allows for self-management of study time through the limited log-in requirements,” said Hacker.

Attending Rowan has not only impacted her life in a positive way but her children’s lives too. Her children get to see her achieve each educational goal she sets, and for her, that is important.

Susan and Anne in the nurse station
Hacker (right) reviews a patient’s record with Anne Bertino-Lapinsky (left), advanced nurse clinician for Virtua Health System.

“Rowan has allowed me to develop professionally as well as personally, and [that] has not only changed my life but also the course of my children’s lives,” said Hacker. “Witnessing my passion to never give up as well as for learning and educational development later in life, Rowan has enabled me to instill the importance of education and the prospect that anything is possible in the eyes of my children.”

Hacker recommends anyone who is thinking in getting their degree through Rowan Global to do it. She said “it’s a convenient learning experience” while concurrently developing growth and maintaining a healthy balance between school, work and life.

“Every further step in education is an opportunity for new beginnings,” said Hacker.

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Story by:
Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

Home Away From Home: Michael Onu [VIDEO]

Michael inside training facility with face mask on treadmill

Meet Michael Uno, a sophomore human performance in clinical settings student from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County).

https://youtu.be/PWlrPnqV3ZI

Video by: Alexander Belli, senior public relations and advertising major
Meech Tobar, junior radio/TV/film major

Music by: Don Dewitt, junior music industry major

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Krishna’s Home Away From Home: Rowan Fitness Center [VIDEO]

Young male student flexing in front of glass doors
https://youtu.be/yKLPWRX1QQM

Take a look at where Krishna Mansukhani feels most at home while getting his “sweat on.” Rowan’s Fitness Center has all your work-out needs to stay fit and to get in-shape. Get ready to feel the burn!

Krishna is a junior studying health promotion and wellness within the School of Health Professions, and he’s originally from Sayreville, NJ in Middlesex County.

Like what you see? Register for a tour or open house. 

Video filming by: Alyssa Bauer, junior public relations major
Video production by: Alexander Belli, senior public relations and advertising major
Music by: Don Dewitt, junior music industry major

#PROFspective: Advertising Major & Aspiring Nurse Practitioner John Brittin

Young man standing in front of a white and yellow Rowan EMS vehicle

Today, we speak with John Brittin, a junior advertising major from Upper Township, NJ (Cape May County). John will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student, how he’s getting the most out of his college experience as a Rowan Prof, and what helped him to choose Rowan University. […]

Juggling Two Internships To Prep For Graduate School

female student in hallway surrounded by pt equipment

Emily Acton holds not just one internship but two – acting as a research assistant in the Health & Exercise Science Department here on campus and shadowing professional therapists at Woodstown Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab. Emily’s time at the rehab clinic, located close to her Pennsville (Salem County) home allows her to experience the professional life a […]

#PROFspective: Nutrition & Dietetics Major Brianna De la Cruz

Today, we speak with Brianna De la Cruz, a freshman Nutrition and Dietetics major from Hillsborough (Somerset County), NJ, who lives on campus in Holly Pointe Commons. Brianna will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience […]

Compare/Contrast Freshman Housing

Scott Timko is a resident assistant in Mullica Hall, wearing a yellow sweatshirt that says Glassboro State

Chatting with Rowan University on campus residents on a frigid, hectic morning just before finals (seriously, is it really spring yet?!), one thing was clear: the sense of community within their residence halls is what they love most. However, what “community” means in each residence hall is different. I learned that Evergreen is known for […]

#PROFspective: Athletic Training Major Maribeth Novsak

Maribeth outside the Rowan field

Today, we speak with Maribeth Novsak, a freshman athletic training major from Cape May Court House (Cape May County), NJ, who lives on campus in Willow Hall. Maribeth will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience […]

#PROFspective: Health & Exercise Science Major Nikayla Pascual

Nikki stationed with physical therapy equipment

Today, we speak with Nikayla Pascual, a senior health and exercise science major from Cranford (Union County), NJ, who lives on campus in 220 Rowan Boulevard. Nikki will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as […]

Exploratory Studies Workshop: A Preview of Science, Math and Health at Rowan

While the Exploratory Studies program at Rowan is being chosen more by freshmen undecided about their educational paths, many within the major do have a general idea of what fields they are drawn to, but they want a closer look before committing to a major. The workshops held by Exploratory Studies provide students with an […]

#PROFspective: Health Promotion and Wellness Management Major Alison Pelose

student and ix club banner

Today we speak with Alison Pelose, a sophomore health promotion and wellness management major from Clinton, Hunterdon County, who lives on campus in Robo. Alison will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.  Name: Alison Pelose […]

#PROFspective: Athletic Training Major Cassie Dennis

athletic training major works on a student's ankle

Today we talk with Cassie Dennis, a senior athletic training major from Edison, Middlesex County, who lives on campus at Whitney Center. Cassie will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof. Name: Cassie […]