Dance Majors Share Their Professional Goals

Two dancers in mid-pose outdoors.

What is your long-term professional dream goal? “Long term I see myself working with a big theater corporation like Lincoln Center, administratively. I want to continue working in DEI work to some capacity. And hopefully working in the dance world as a teacher later down the line.” – Gabrielle Langevine, senior dance major and women […]

The Professor Behind The Building of Rowan University’s Marching Band, Pride of the Profs

A close up of the Rowan University marching band drum major practicing on the athletic field with a dramatic sunset in front of him.

Once she got to Rowan, she didn’t know that we were known to be a teaching school at that time. Her professors within the College of Performing Arts really looked out for her; they would sign her up for conducting symposiums and competitions outside of the department. “One of them was my percussion teacher who […]

#PROFspective: Student Leader Arianna Granda Talks Clubs, Music Education & Faith

Arianna Granda lays on the grass with musical scores surrounding her.

Today we feature Arianna Granda from Morris County, NJ. She is a rising senior studying Music Education with a vocal concentration and pursuing a CUGS in Jazz Performance. She currently serves as the president of both Rowan’s NAfME (National Association for Music Education) chapter and Profecy A Cappella group, as well as a leader of […]

#PROFspective: A Closer Look at Music Education and Jazz with Jovan Rivera

Rowan University student Jovan Rivera posing inside of Wilson Hall with a saxophone sitting in front of a piano.

Today, we are hearing from Jovan Rivera, a junior Music Education and Jazz Performance major and transfer student from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County). Could you share a few on-campus activities, clubs, sports, or events that you’ve attended so far? What was your favorite, and why? I am a part of the Photography Club, Esports Club, […]

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

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

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

Rowan Alumnus and Band Director Mike Massaro on Music Education

Music education alumnus Mike Massaro plays the trumpet wearing a red polo shirt.

Today we feature a Q and A with 2020 Rowan Music Education graduate Mike Massaro, the middle school band director at Kingsway Regional Middle School and coach for the Rowan Youth Jazz Orchestra. Music is a passion of Mike’s, and it all started for him at an early age. He talks about the journey he has been on with the art, his teaching position and the importance of learning music.

Where did your passion for music stem from?

I can think back through my life of how I got progressively more involved with music, but it all started back when I was a little kid. When my grandmother would be driving me in her car, I’d be in the backseat. And she put in this cassette tape. The first track on it was “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, and I would sing along in the back and I’d hum along.

I always knew that I liked music a lot. As I got older, eventually I joined band when I was in elementary school, got in the jazz band when I was in middle school.

But it was really when I got into the high school jazz band and my high school band director believed in me a lot, that I knew that this was something that I wanted to spend a life in.

What was the exact moment that you were like, this is what I want to do for my life?

The moment that I realized I wanted to go into music was actually the moment that music had gotten taken away from me. When I was a sophomore in high school, I always used to come right home from school, and I’d go up to my room and I’d practice trumpet right away.

One time that winter break, I was hanging out with a bunch of my friends and we were just being silly sophomores in high school, throwing stuff around the basement. I got hit in the face by a toy and my lip busted, which is not good for trumpet players. I couldn’t play trumpet for about a month or two. So, I would come home and in that time where I previously used to practice, I would just go up and sit, and just keep an icepack on my face, and not do anything. And it was boring. It wasn’t fun, it was depressing.

I realized, if this is what my life is without music, why would I go into anything but music?

Mike is sitting down and looking off to the left.
Mike Massaro (above) wrote a piece for Rowan Blog while a student; read that here.

Why did you choose Rowan for music?

There were a lot of factors that went into me choosing Rowan for music, but ultimately what it came down to was the professors that I knew I would be studying under, and the individual attention that I knew I’d be receiving.

I can tell, looking at Rowan, that every single professor truly cares about every single student that is involved in their program. Through my time learning with all these professors, I was able to get to know them all so personally, and so closely. Looking at myself now as a teacher, I’m able to look at anything I do and pick apart almost sort of where I got that from, which professor kind of instilled that in me and how it’s grown ever since that.

You knew that you wanted to continue with music, but when did you decide that you wanted to teach it?

So for me, I realized I wanted to go into music in a very finite moment. However, realizing that I wanted to teach music was more of a progressive thing.

It was probably around my junior year in high school, I had gotten a lot more opportunities to teach other students. I was running sectionals, I was just getting to work with a lot of younger students, and I started to really like that feeling of knowing that somebody was getting better at music because of something that I was able to share with them.

I started to fall in love with that feeling so much. I realized it was really what was keeping me going. It was my big spark in life and I knew that I wanted to live with that for the rest of my life.

Mike is sitting in a tree playing the saxophone.

Can you talk a little bit more about the relationships that you have with the students and the inspiration that their growth brings?

Sure. I believe in all of my students, I believe any one of them can truly achieve what they want to, especially in music. I can look at all of them and see so much of my past self and see so much of my past friends from when I was in their shoes. But I can also see so much new in all of them. There’s so many new ideas that they all bring to the table, so many new things that they want to try, and new things that they’re able to accomplish.

Every student is at a different level. I don’t expect all of my students to achieve the same things. We all start at different levels and we all end at different levels. But ultimately, what my relationship with my students is based off of is progress, and seeing that we’re all able to grow together at the same time.

Music education seems to be one of the first programs that always gets cut. Why do you believe music education is vital to help students build on their skill set?

To anybody that’s asking why music should be in schools, why is music education important? I ask the question, what would your life be without music? it’s something that surrounds us everywhere that we go. We’re in the car, we’re in the store, we go to concerts, we can hear these birds around me right now. Any sound can be considered music.

I think establishing a relationship with that art is one of the most important things that any young student can experience, because it truly exposes them to the world that is around them in a more personal and connected way than, in my opinion, any other field that is out there.

Mike is sitting and looking off to the right with a slight smile.

Can you kind of talk about how music can additionally teach kids math and language?

I definitely believe that music is a universal language. It encompasses so many of the other fundamental skills that we see. Math, rhythms are all math. Everyday pitches are all math, and in that same realm of math, it’s all science. Everything that we do is based around physics, It’s all based around acoustics.

In terms of language arts, English, literature and any other language you could possibly dream of, everything that we do is storytelling. It’s all based and structured around the same types of forms that we see in literature and stories. And, I mean if we’re talking history music has such a diverse and extensive and beautiful history throughout all of mankind. It truly does bring every single subject into play all at once, and you can take moments to isolate down and work with those specific subjects.

A side profile picture of Mike sitting and talking.

Whenever it comes to like the band, the orchestra, the jazz band, everybody has to be on the same page or the music fails. How is each individual person important, no matter if they’re the first chair with a big solo, or they’re the last chair?

Ultimately, our job as musicians in an ensemble has to pay respect to the original work that was written, that was composed. That composer wrote that work for a very specific purpose, for a very specific reason. Every single member of our team matters when it comes to making sure that reason can come to life. Whether it’s some situation where there’s one student on a part, like there is in a jazz ensemble, or there’s many students on a part, like there is in a wind ensemble. Every student matters, because again, we’re trying to pay respect to these words.

Ultimately, the melody doesn’t mean anything without the harmony. The harmony doesn’t mean anything without the melody. The drumbeat doesn’t mean anything without the melody and the harmony. It takes every single student to really create the story that we are trying to tell in there. And if you look at an activity like marching band, there’s nowhere to hide on the field. Every single student has a role. There is no bench, all of our students are on 100% of the time.

As a music education teacher, how do you keep everybody engaged evenly?

When it comes to keeping all of the students in the room engaged all the time, I’m constantly asking myself what their skill set is in three different perspectives. I’m looking at the individual skill sets, the skill sets of their sections. Like the trumpets, the alto sax is the percussion section, and then the skill set of the full ensemble.

I think the hardest part about being a band director is finding the balance between managing those three skill sets increasing all at once. ‘m constantly asking myself, is this challenge enough for this student? Is it too much? I want to push the bar for everybody individually, just how I can at the right pace.

The same goes for their sections, they grow together through their sections and ultimately ensemble goes together. So, I’m constantly listening and assessing their growth on those three levels. 

Mike is smiling and holding his saxophone.

What do you feel is the importance of having somebody to guide the students? What was the importance for you to have professors that show you the way and sparks your love for music?

I tell my students all the time, the most important thing that I could ever teach them is how to teach themselves. I always want to be there to give them the material that they need when they are ready for it. And when they are ready to take those next steps, I will push them to do it. But ultimately, I’m not the one playing the instruments. That’s them. I’m not the one sitting in the group playing that is that is them.

I want to constantly be giving them the skills that they need to take any inspiration in any musical knowledge that they can, and use it to make themselves be the best version of themselves that they can.

You touched on this earlier, but could you dive deeper on the overall experience that you’ve got with your professors and how they’ve shaped you as a musician?

One of the most important interactions that I had with a professor when I was at Rowan, was with one of my professors who was actually a middle school band director at a local middle school. This was the day that I realized I wanted to teach middle school.

I went out there on one of my practicums, which was through the ED major, and I saw what he was doing with his students and the level that they were performing. I was completely unaware that middle schoolers can perform at that level. That was the moment where I said, I want to be able to do this.

I was able to talk with this professor for a while afterwards and he talked to me about being a musician, being a teacher, and how important it is to teach to my own musicianship. Everything that I learned in my ensembles, at Rowan, whether it was in jazz band with Denis [DiBlasio], wind ensemble with Dr. Higgins, or my trumpet lessons with with Brian [Appleby-Wineberg], no matter what it was that I learned, these were all things that built my musicianship up.

Ultimately, as a teacher, I’m constantly teaching to what I know. As a musician, I’m constantly pulling from those experiences. So, how did my experiences at Rowan shape myself as a teacher? They built my musicianship. They made me who I was, as a musician. They exposed me to so many different situations and types of music and opportunities, that I was able to take all these things, and now share them with my students who can now evolve on them themselves, teaching to my musicianship.

Another shot of Mike playing the saxophone in the same location.

What is the importance of being able to teach music for grades K-12?

Like I said earlier, music is universal. I think in music, having experience teaching every single grade level can only be beneficial for you. One of the time periods of my most intense growth was during my student teaching, when I was actually teaching kindergarten. I taught K through five general music and it was so much fun. I learned so much more about the teaching process in that time period, through working with kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders. Seeing how they received information and seeing how important structure was.

Music is cool in the fact that from the time we’re young, when we first experience it, and we’re in our music classes in kindergarten, second grade, and all that stuff, we’re working on what is essentially the same set of fundamentals from then all the way up to the professional level. The only thing that changes is the amount of it that we’re able to receive. And of course, yes, concepts become more and more advanced as you get older, but I perceive that as the amount of information that we’re able to receive. Being able to teach at the younger levels and at the older levels is incredibly beneficial, because seeing how people learn and how they receive this information really helps establish what comes next.

Mike is smiling while holding his saxophone

What is your role in youth jazz? How did you get involved?

I am the coach for the Rowan Youth Jazz Orchestra. This is a brand new program that is being offered through the Rowan Community Music School, to middle school and high school aged students. I got involved through this shortly after I graduated, I got a call from my former student teaching supervisor who had become the head of the Rowan Community Music School, the director of the school. She called me asking if I would want to hop on board with this new group. I said, Absolutely. We did a semester through Zoom and then we just finished our first full year of in person ensemble rehearsals and performances this year. It’s so fun being able to work alongside Skip Spratt, who is just an absolute amazing educator and musician overall, learning so much from it. I’m glad that I’m able to learn and teach these things at the same time.

How do you find a balance between your teaching and your musicianship?

Finding the balance between the teacher side of things, and the musician side of things can be very difficult at times. But again, I always do everything I can to not compromise the music and exchange for the things that come on the teacher side of things such as, the procedures, the logistics, the discipline.

I make sure that my students know my expectations as early and as upfront as possible, so that we can get right into the music as quickly and as efficiently as we possibly can. The more that side of things is running, the easier it can be for all of us to just experience what we want to get out of the music that is in front of us.

Mike is sitting and looking off right.

We know that middle schoolers obviously have a shorter attention span. How do you kind of deal with the different environment of middle school compared to college, where you are just coming from?

In college, the music that we’re performing and practicing and playing is consistently at the highest level that is available. In middle school, for most of the students, that is their first time really getting to experience music in this capacity. I often have to take a step back a lot of times and remind myself that it is the first time for the students going through this and that they can’t be expected to know all of these high-level concepts, or even sometimes, just know what to do in any given situation.

That is my job as an educator, to teach them what to do in these situations. So for me, I have to go back to square one and ask myself if I was in their chair, what would the next thing I would need to accomplish be? And then from there, I step into teacher mode and say, how can I help these students accomplish this next step?

Being there for their sort of first interaction with music, have you had that opportunity where you see a spark for the love of music in a student’s eyes? If you have what does that feel like?

Yeah. So for most schools, our pay days on the 15th, and the 30th. That’s cool and all, but for me, the real pay day is when students have those moments of those big realizations. Those, oh that’s it type of moments when they really get something and it’s clear that it locks in, and they actually understand it. That is my pay day. That is when I really understand and that’s when I really feel the reward of what I’m working for. When the students get to experience and when they take that next step, and when they really love what they’re doing. 

Mike is leaning on a tree while smiling and holding his saxophone to his chest.

How do you describe Rowan for someone to come here to further their music education?

The beautiful thing about majoring in Music Education at Rowan is that you’re going to be constantly surrounded by professors who care about you. Like I was talking about earlier, every single professor that I had believed in me and was patient with me through my learning process, and gave me the tools that I needed to figure it out and to succeed on my own. I had such a different college experience than a lot of my friends. We were all looking for different things. But whatever it was that we were looking for, our professors were able to help us achieve that and find that and live that.

So for any student that is looking into Rowan, no matter what it is that you want to accomplish with your time in college, these professors in this department is there for you to make sure that can happen.

Watch our video feature of Mike here:

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Story by:
Jada Johnson, political science major

Photography by:
Brian Seay, senior sports communication and media, radio/TV/film major

Meet #Rowan2026: Introducing Students from the College of Performing Arts

Today we feature incoming CPA first year students Katherine Lanzerotti (she/her), Grace Hoeltje (she/her), Bella Campo (she/her), and Jeszenee Turner. Katherine is from Rockaway, NJ (Morris County) and will be living on campus as a Music Education in Vocal Performance major. Grace is from Mount Laurel, NJ (Burlington County) and will be living on campus […]

Senior Reflects: Carly Morton and the Power of Music Education

Carly with family at her graduation.

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

Passing the Torch: Theatre Educator Nick Flagg

Nick poses in front of some flowers

Theatre and Advertising graduate Nick Flagg is excited about the next scene of his journey. A commuter student from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County), Nick is going into his second and final year of the Combined Advanced Degree Program (CADP) for the Master of Science in Teaching in Theatre Education

The program is basically an accelerated track where students start grad courses while in undergrad. It’s pretty beneficial because you don’t have to take all the classes at once. You get to dip your toes in the water a little, which is nice. It’s an easy transition,” Nick explains. “Also, it’s super affordable, mainly because the first year is done during undergrad. It’s really exciting. I am doing it with many of my friends too, so I’m not alone. I’m really excited to start student teaching next year.”

Nick poses with a diploma.

Nick is gaining experience over the summer to get a jumpstart on his career. 

“I work right down the road at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman as an actor, and I just got hired as a director for their summer camp. I’ll be directing a kid’s show for 5 to 9-year-olds called Seussical. I’m excited to start and continue teaching around the area. I teach in Millville at the Levoy Theatre, I’ve taught at the Grand Theater in Williamstown, and I’m excited to work some more right down the road at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman.”

After taking a peek into what is in store for his immediate future, Nick reflects on his favorite moment at Rowan.

“Right before COVID shut down the campus, I was involved in Urinetown, the musical, directed by Michael Dean Morgan. The day before the shutdown, we spread the word and got many people in the Tohill Theatre to come to see what we had done, since we wouldn’t get to perform it. We didn’t have all the technical elements yet, or our costumes, but our tech professors still pulled through and did lighting on the spot for a big open dress rehearsal. The run was one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced because I’ve never felt so much applause and support in a room. People knew we worked so hard for the show. Hearing that roar of applause from so many supportive people is something I’ll always remember.”

Nick, left, laughs with his friends in their graduation attire under the Rowan arch.
Nick, left, laughs with his friends.

Nick reflects on what advice he would give to himself senior year of high school.

Do what makes you happy and to continue to seek out opportunities that make you happy, and not just opportunities that you think will make you appear a certain way. Do things you think will fulfill you and push you further, even if it’s not what everyone else is doing.”

From his experience at Rowan, Nick gives incoming Profs some advice.

Soak up every opportunity. Be eager to audition for everything, but also be eager to take what you’ve learned here, and implement it in other artistic areas within the community outside of Rowan, and really make sure you take what you learn and apply it as soon as you can. But don’t be afraid to audition. Just always look to be creative. Always think about who you’re making your work for and who’s digesting your work.”

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

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

Kaya smiles, holds her diploma.

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

Alumni Success: Catherine Chambers ‘16, Where My Music Education Degree Has Taken Me

Catherine smiles and poses inside an academic building on campus.

What made you choose Rowan? What made you choose music? When I first started exploring colleges as a senior in high school, I really wanted to move far away from New Jersey and find my own way. I was set on not going to a state school, but I humored my mother and decided to […]

Alumni Success: Music Performance Major, Clarinet Player Lia Boncouer ’20 Joins U.S. Navy Fleet Bands

Dr. Joseph Higgins leads a practice performance in Pfleeger Hall.

Today, we feature Lia Boncouer, who graduated from Rowan’s Music Performance program with a concentration in Clarinet Performance. Currently, Lia is completing her Master of Music degree at the University of Michigan. She discusses her undergraduate experience at Rowan, her journey to becoming a Music Performance major, and shares details on her recent acceptance of […]

#TRANSFERmation Tuesday: A Conversation with Music Industry Major Emileigh Zane

In this edition of #TRANSFERmation Tuesday, we learn more of Music Industry major Emileigh Zane of Penns Grove, NJ (Salem County). In this exchange, we learn more of her own experience as a transfer student as well as what motivated her to pursue a career inside the music industry. 

Why did you pick Rowan? 

I mostly picked Rowan for their music industry program. There are not that many schools that do have a music industry program. I know that in the state of New Jersey, only [two other schools] have one. So because Rowan is so close to me, I went through with it. I only live 40 minutes away from here, so I liked that aspect here that was somewhat close to home but still far enough away where I’m not too tempted to go home all the time (sorry Mom and Dad!). I really liked the program and what they were offering. I know a lot of people who have gone to school here and I’ve heard a lot of great things about it, so that kind of pushed me to go forward with that direction.

Could you describe the journey it took you to get to Rowan? 

The transfer process was actually super simple because I went to Rowan College of South Jersey, which is the school that Rowan is associated with. The transfer process was super easy, I just had to apply to Rowan. I’m pretty sure all of my credits transferred over because of that affiliation between those two schools. It was super simple and I didn’t have any problems.

Emileigh is looking at a computer while typing on a keyboard.

What aspects here at Rowan made you know that this was the place you wanted to be? 

I like how many opportunities there are for involvement at Rowan. There are hundreds of clubs and Rowan After Hours. I’ve always been the type of person who’s been super involved at school, especially at high school. I was the girl that was in every club. I went to a very small high school so it was okay that I was involved in a lot, it was like a sense of community with everyone. I was a part of clubs that were focused on the arts, athletics and even academic-oriented ones. Looking back, I can say that I was really involved over there.

When I got to community college I knew that I still wanted to be involved. So, at RCSJ (Rowan College of South Jersey), I was on the track team and it took up most of my time there. It was really fun, I met a lot of great people there. 

When I got to Rowan University, I knew that I wanted this type of place where I can be involved and meet a lot of new people from it. I also really like Rowan’s campus. It’s a great medium-sized campus; it’s not too big and not too small. The fact that there are a lot of good food places nearby is great too!

With being a transfer student, how included do you feel with the different events/clubs here on campus? 

I feel super included, I’ve never really felt different as a transfer student. The only real disadvantage was that people have had more time to explore on campus than I have. Sometimes it takes me longer to discover new things on campus, but for the most part I feel like the school does a pretty good job about advertising all of the opportunities for students. I had an easy time just coming right in and finding clubs and groups that I wanted to be a part of on campus.

Emileigh is sitting down on some gross with her legs crossed and smiling at the camera.

What drew you to your major?

I would say the big event that drew me to my major was when I was at Warped Tour in 2018. I was with my cousin and her girlfriend and they had entered this raffle to win backstage passes for one of the performers. They ended up winning the drawing so all three of us got to go backstage at Warped Tour and I got to see what happens behind the scenes, like the walkthrough location or the area where everybody is eating. During the tour, our guide showed us where even the green rooms were at and then we got to be backstage while 3oh!3 performed.

Just seeing the environment with everybody working backstage like the lighting crew, the audio crew, the guitar technicians, just seeing it all from that perspective and seeing them perform with the crowd had captivated me. I knew that I wanted to do this and this was what I wanted to do with my life.

Emileigh is standing out front of a sign at Warped Tour.
After her experience with Warped Tour, Emileigh Zane became aware of how a career in the musical industry field could be her calling.

How do you view your major making a difference for others?

I think my major is very helpful, especially to people that are already trying to pursue it. If they are an artist themselves, you really get to see all of the behind the scenes things that really aren’t talked about. It’s not the fun stuff so it’s not what people are usually talking about. The music industry is a very traditional type of business. It’s really easy to get screwed over in the industry and make mistakes such as in the case of ambiguous contracts or labels. It’s started to change a little bit but just knowing how it works and learning how to take advantage will really boost your career with which I consider as super helpful. For example, there’s this one class called Music Publishing and it has to do with ownership of a song and how licensing and rights work with your song.

I think that my major teaches you a lot of things that you would have to learn the hard way if you didn’t take the college route. You can take the proper precautions for starting your career or even if you just want to work on the business side of things, the teachings that we learn all deal with preventing common mistakes and setting ourselves up for future success. Just learning how to get the most money possible for yourself and your artist is great, but also learning without the whole trial and error experience is even better.

Emileigh is standing in front of a brick background smiling at the camera.

What has Rowan done to prepare you for the future, aka, post-academia? 

I think that my major in particular has done a great job of giving me a lot of hands-on, relevant experience. I’m currently in a touring and concert promoting class, and it teaches us what it actually takes to put on a show. But then the other part of that class, and what I think is most helpful, is that we get to put on two shows as a part of that class as a part of our grade. 

For our capstone projects, we have the freedom to do a lot of different things, whatever you’re interested you can do for the most part. For example, a lot of artists that I’m friends with do an EP (Extended Play) or album and other people have started artist management companies. For my capstone project, I’ve decided to do a one-day music festival called Better Now Music Festival. Currently, I’m looking for a local venue to book the show at as well as looking at many different local and semi-local artists. There’s still a lot to plan, but I also really like the idea of having a lot of activities, food trucks and some tables with helpful resources. It’s like my own little homage to Warped Tour in a way, I guess.

What have been your favorite moments so far on campus? 

My house shows with Rowan Alt (@rowanalternativemusic) are the most fun and enjoyable thing that I do on campus. I also went to see the Rowan jazz concert that they have every winter and spring. I went to one in the winter and it was really good. I was really surprised, I didn’t realize that the students were as good as they were. That jazz festival was really fun. Just getting to be involved with Rowan Music Group, that was really cool by itself too. If I could describe it, It’s like the Rowan record label that a lot of people don’t really know that we have, but we have. I have a lot of fun just hanging out with my roommate too, we’ll just be hanging around at our apartment.

Emileigh is leaning on a railing and smiling directly at the camera with the sunset at her back.

What’s the most interesting thing that you had learned during the transfer process?

Most things that you may need help with are a simple ask away. I feel like a lot of people don’t realize that there are people out there willing to help you. Knowing how to ask for help in a nice way can get you pretty far.

With everything that you know now, what advice would you give to your high school self in regards to college?  

To just stay organized. I’m already a very organized person, but I think staying organized is really important because there are so many things that you’re trying to juggle between school, taking care of yourself and being involved. Just make sure that you are aware of all of the opportunities and that you take advantage of them. It’s very important to the entirety of the college experience.

Story by:
Lucas Taylor, English Education major

Photography by:
Valentina Giannattassio, first-year dance and marketing double major

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#PROFspective: Senior Theatre Major Kayla Bowe

Today we highlight Kayla Bowe, a senior Theatre major from Swedesboro, NJ (Gloucester County). Kayla is also minoring in Psychology, has concentrations in Acting and Pre-Teaching, and has a certificate of undergraduate study (CUGS) in Shakespeare Studies. She discusses her major and goes into detail about her involvement in several clubs around campus.

Why did you choose to study Theatre? 

I went to a technical high school, and you pick a concentration. I chose theatre. Even though I was passionate about theatre, I was unsure of what major I wanted to pursue in college. I talked to my theatre teacher and she told me I could teach and study English. She explained I could be a theatre educator. This instantly sparked my interest. She then informed me on the colleges that had programs that fit both of those interests of mine. My professor went to Rowan and expressed that Rowan would also be a great school for my interests. 

Is that why you came to Rowan?

Yes and no. When I looked in the colleges with 4+1 programs, I learned that  Rowan was one of the very few schools that offers theatre education. But I was originally committed to another university. The summer before my first semester of college in June, the university reached out to me and said they had no more housing. They expressed that I needed to commute or find off campus housing. I instantly started panicking and I called Rowan’s Office of Admissions. I explained my situation and how I could not attend the university I intended to; I asked if I could enroll to Rowan since I was already accepted into the university. Admissions said yes, and within that short timeframe I was enrolled as a Rowan student.  

And I was so thankful and kind of blessed that that happened because I think I’m way happier here than I would have been at the other university.

Kayla Bowe poses inside Tohill Theatre.
Kayla Bowe

What’s your favorite moment or happiest memory here? 

I have had the privilege of being in a lot of very fun shows here. I was in a show called “Failure: A Love Story.” From this experience I got to like being a professional swimmer and swim on a rolling stool. This was the first time I had the opportunity to be something so abstract and surrealistic. It was one of my favorite roles to this day. The show was also a student-run production directed by Maddie Roberts. It was a super awesome experience. 

What’s your typical day like at Rowan?

I am a TA for one of the theatre professors in their Intro to Performance course. So I usually go to that in the morning and assist Melanie Stewart. During this I help lead theatre games. I also am a federal work study student. So sometimes I work in the associate dean’s office in the College of Performing Arts or I work in the box office of Pfleeger Hall. Finally, I go to either On Camera Acting with Michael Dean Morgan, or I do Shakespeare I with Dr. Falck (which is one of my favorite classes I’ve taken here.)

Kayla Bowe in Tohill Theatre in Bunce Hall.

What is your favorite class?

I loved all my psychology courses, which was I chose to minor in psychology. But having a CUGS in Shakespeare was the best decision I ever made mainly because of Dr. Falck. I believe she is an amazing educator and simply a genius in the theatre world. She’s so smart when it comes to like dissecting Shakespeare pieces, and the dramaturgy behind them. I learned so much just by having a CUGS in Shakespeare.

What’s your favorite Shakespeare piece? 

That’s tough. I’ve discovered so many new ones I’ve come to love. I found a new appreciation for “Othello,” despite the controversy behind it. For those who don’t know Othello, it’s about a Black man who was a head general and he ended up marrying a white woman. Throughout the show he’s just slandered and heavily criticized, and because of this he ends up going crazy. But I think now with production of Othello, it’s about reclaiming the Black point of view of Othello and making it personable, real, and not just some blackface character that would have been done hundreds of years ago.

On a lighter note, I enjoy the comedy show titled “Twelfth Night.”

Kayla Bowe posing in Tohill Theatre in Bunce Hall.

Is there anything you want to mention or highlight about your time here at Rowan? 

The most important thing, I think, for me, was just getting involved because I couldn’t imagine what my years of college would have been like if I wasn’t involved in all the clubs that I’m in and the programs I’ve done. These extracurriculars take up all of my time and without them my college lifestyle would be very uneventful. I am part of a lot.

I’m president of Campus Players, which is a theatre-based organization. Within this we do workshops and a senior showcase for the senior theatre students. And we also do the banquet of theatre and dance artists, which is basically just an end of year celebration for theatre students and the professors. I’m also vice president of Alpha Psi Omega, which is the theatre honor society on campus. Anybody can be a part of it, you don’t have to be a theatre major, you just have to have a year of experience of theatre. And that’s always fun. 

And I also am a part of the Chamberlain Student Center Advisory Board, which they started during COVID. It’s interesting to hear what all the other colleges are doing and their opinions on the changes that are trying to be made in the student center and within student life on campus.

Final thoughts?

You don’t have to be in the theatre department to be involved in what we do. Our mainstage season is open to anybody. Our student-run Lab Theatre productions are also open to anyone. Any student can also take theatre classes. If you want to be involved just reach out, we’re friendly. We don’t bite!

Kayla Bowe smiling.

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

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Rowan Dance Major Gabrielle Langevine, Front and Center

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

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

A Q&A with Terry Nguyen, Co-President of Rowan’s Neurodiversity Club

Terry stands outside near the Wilson Hall amphitheatre.

What brought you to the Biomedical Art and Visualization program? A little background information about myself would be that I always loved art. But I also really valued the importance of scientific endeavors, and just general scientific literacy. I wanted something that could combine the two of them. But … I didn’t want to fully […]

Prof Pairs, Love is in the Air: The Story of Scott and Kevin

Scott and Kevin pose together on Rowan's campus.

Kevin: “The Rowan Music Department is pretty small and close-knit, so we always knew of each other. I always thought of Scott as… a little intimidating. He was the choral librarian, the choir section leader, the upperclassman. He was a HUGE part of the music department! I was accepted into Rowan as a saxophone player, […]

#PROFspective: Kaya Snow, Combining Passion with Academics

Senior Kaya Snow, a Dance and Theatre Arts major from Morris County with a concentration in Acting and Musical Theatre, shares her #PROFspective as a Rowan student. 

What inspired you to choose your major?

I was inspired to choose my major because I did not want to give up the things that I loved. I’ve been singing and dancing my whole life, so pursuing Theatre Arts and Dance have allowed me to continue with my passions.

Dance and theatre major Kaya leaps in front of Bunce Hall.

Tell us something interesting that you’ve learned in a class this semester. 

I am currently taking a seminar called “Acting for the Camera” that is really interesting. I have learned so much about what goes into creating anything on film. We have done both acting and filming which helps give a perspective of what the people around us would be doing on set. So far it has been a really worthwhile experience.

Dance and theatre major Kaya does a heel stretch on the steps of front of Bunce Hall.

Take us through one typical Rowan day for you.

Every day is different for me, but Wednesdays are probably my most exciting day. I wake up and eat breakfast with my roommates and then get ready for my singing lesson. After my singing lesson is over I go back home to eat lunch and watch some Netflix. Then I drive back to campus for Dance Theatre Workshop and Acting II. Both take a lot of creative energy and are very interesting. After that I take a dance class to keep motivated and strengthen my skills. I then go home for dinner with my  roommates and do some homework before I go to practice for the Dance Team. When I get home from practice I shower and go to bed so I can be ready for another day!

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

Dance Extensions has really made Rowan feel like home for me. I met so many of my close friends by joining freshman year and now have the honor of being President the last two years. I have been able to watch our club and members grow so much, and it has brought me so much joy.

Dance and theatre major Kaya leaps in the air near an entrance of Bunce Hall.

Could you share any academic clubs, social clubs and/or sports you are involved in?

I am a member and president of Dance Extensions, the Rowan University Dance Team and Campus Players, as well as a member and Social Chair of Alpha Psi Omega.

Could you share any jobs, either on campus or off campus, that you hold?

I am currently doing federal work study with the Theatre department!

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

#PROFspective: Theatre Major, Texas Native and Longboarder Maria Dixon

Maria sits with her longboard in front of a brick building on campus.

Today we feature Maria Dixon, a sophomore Theatre major with a concentration in acting from Wylie, Texas. Maria is also the Senator for Rowan’s chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honors society, an Admissions Ambassador, and a Theatre department student advisory board member. She discusses her major and goes into detail about her experience at Rowan.

Why did you choose Rowan to study Theatre?

It was really important for me to go to a college near Philadelphia and New York, given my interests in theatre, and because those two cities are the main hubs of stage theatre.

Rowan’s Theatre and Dance program is well known in the community, and the program is great at marketing and recruiting. I also learned very quickly that Rowan valued movement in theatre and acting and did not just value script and straight play-acting. The program emphasizes using your body as an instrument when you perform, and I really appreciated that. I truly appreciate how Rowan valued certain aspects of theatre. 

Maria sitting outside on lawn chair.
Maria holding her one of her paint-by-numbers landscape pieces. 

Why did you choose to study Theatre?

I come from a very musical background and was involved in different theatrical and musical arts growing up. In high school I did a bunch of different activities and extracurriculars like band and color guard and track.

Initially, theatre was just for fun. I started theatre two years after playing music and I had awful stage fright. For plays and productions I was always in the ensemble. Senior year came around and it was common from where I live Texas to audition for a bunch of different opportunities and schools and just see what scholarships are accessible to you. In this process, I went to a mass audition, and Rowan was one of the first schools to call me back and offer me a scholarship. I quickly decided I liked to do theatre and wanted to explore it more throughout my collegiate journey. 

What are your future plans and what is your dream profession for working as a Theatre major?

I am used to being behind the scenes within theatre rather than the star actor or performer. However, in the fall play this year, I was the star and throughout this experience I realized that I love working behind the scenes and would prefer stage management. I am looking to pursue an M.A. in arts administration here, and my dream job could involve managing a venue to schedule tours and events. 

Maria posing next to her longboard in front of Wilson Hall.

What professor has stood out to you in preparing you for your future?

I took Professor Ross Beschlur’s Intro to Acting class last spring over Zoom. His class focused a lot on breathwork, and it was the first class that educated me on using my body and movement as an instrument in theatre. This class set the foundation for me in my theatre studies. 

What class at Rowan have you found most challenging, interesting, difficult?  

One of the more challenging classes that I have taken has been my Script Analysis class. This class challenges me to look at script in new ways. Our professor teaches us different terminologies to use when analyzing script. 

Maria sits outside Business Hall.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a pretty avid longboarder. I skate to class around campus, and I am always trying to improve my skating skills. I will say that gravity is not my friend … and I do fall occasionally; however, I do love longboarding. I have recently started enjoying paint-by-numbers. 

What is your favorite part about your major?

My major is very fun. It is challenging in completely different ways that other majors are challenging. I think my major and the courses I need to take are all interesting to learn about. I also appreciate I think it is so cool that there is a mental side of acting … It sometimes feels like I have a psychology minor.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

I have most of my classes on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. Therefore, on Monday and Wednesday, I usually have some free time to meet my work and hour requirements for my Admissions Ambassador job. In the rest of my time I either usually have rehearsal for theatre or I am participating in events for Alpha Psi Omega. 

Maria smiling on one of the steps at Bunce Hall.

See our video with Maria here. 

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Story by: 
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos by:
Jack Maisonneuve, senior communication studies major

My First Semester As An International Student

Valentina poses on the #RowanProud chair near Bunce Hall.

Today we hear from Valentina Giannattasio, a first-year international student from Argentina. Valentina is a double major in Dance and Marketing. Today, she shares with us her experience of being a first-year international student at Rowan.

Flying around the world and living in the opposite hemisphere of the globe is not an easy task. Since I was 9 years old, I had always wanted to study abroad and earn my college degree in the United States of America. Today, 10 years later, I am here at Rowan, fulfilling my dreams and double majoring in Dance and Marketing.

Valentina poses in front of the Prof statue.

Since I can remember, dancing has been my passion, and I am thrilled to say that my first semester at Rowan has provided me with a lot of opportunities to navigate my dance experience. Not only I am attending classes with amazing professors, but I also performed in the Main Stage production “Making Good Trouble.” Besides, I am a member of Rowan University Dance Team and a senator of Rowan University Dance Extensions.

When I first arrived at Rowan, I was really scared. A new chapter of my life was about to start, and my fears were flooding my mind. The fact of living 5,225 miles away from home, my family and friends was terrifying. I remember I was really excited but upset at the same time, my emotions were crushing against each other. However, I was sure that although I was going to miss Argentina, my goals and desires were more important.

Valentina poses in front of Bunce Hall.

I will never forget the day I moved into Rowan, and I immediately realized that this campus was going to be my home for the next four years! Today, after my first semester, I need to admit that adapting to this huge change, the new language, food, ideologies, currency and culture was easier than I thought. I need to say that everyone at Rowan was really kind and ready to help me at any time. I am more than happy and thankful for being here, surrounded by all the amazing people, faculty and friends.

Personally speaking, and as an international student, I would like to say that Rowan is an amazing place to make new friends, socialize with others, learn and acquire the necessary tools for future success. Although I really miss my home, my family and my friends, Rowan has become a special place for me, and I am thankful for all the beautiful experiences and memories I am creating there. I am proud of attending Rowan, and I am sure this was the best decision I have ever made. I truly cannot wait to see what my next years have to offer.

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Story and photos submitted by:
Valentina Giannattasio, first year dance and marketing double major

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

Nick Flagg as Buddy the Elf in Elf the Musical.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Production Photos by:
Valerie Neuber

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

Music Industry Major Pharaoh Freer’s Big Break

Pharaoh sits on a bench near James Hall.

Today we feature Pharaoh Freer, a sophomore Music Industry major from Jamesburg, NJ (Middlesex County). Over the summer, Pharaoh had the opportunity to work on a movie set as an extra! Pharaoh shares his experience on set with us and how it has impacted his life. 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Pharaoh Freer, and I’m a sophomore Music Industry major. I went to a school in Philly before I came to Rowan. Before going there I didn’t really know what I was doing when it came to school. That school was my chance to show myself and others that I can do school. Prior to that, I didn’t really think I would end up at Rowan. I’m still living in the “Wow, I’m really here!” Other than that, I’m an artist and a rapper. My goal for right now is to make my mark on Rowan.

Pharoah smiles in front of Wilson Hall.

You were recently in a movie! What was the experience like for you?

My aunt works for Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta. Somebody she knew was a movie director and he let her know that they needed a few extras. My parents flew me out the next week. It was so fast. The movie was filmed at my aunt’s house. You had to see it! Her house is so big and modern, which is why they asked to film there.

I get there and all the movie stuff is set up: microphones, cameras, all of it. I’m just thinking, “Wow, this is really a movie.” All the stuff behind the scenes was almost like a movie itself.

The scene they needed me for was a church scene. I had to wear certain attire and I needed a haircut. But I was doing more than just my scene. I was helping the director, I was taking COVID temperatures, and doing other stuff like that. It was super crazy!

Pharaoh walks on a path near James Hall.

Would you ever do something like that again?

I definitely would! I’m already a musician. Music, acting, fashion, all of that comes hand in hand. After my experience in Atlanta, all I thought about when I got back to New Jersey was, “I want to make a movie! I need to direct my own movie!” I’m the type of person where if I see something and I feel like I can accomplish it then I want to do it! 

Did you go to the premiere? 

Yes! There were two premieres. One in Atlanta that I went to see and a premiere in Michigan. There weren’t a ton of people but enough people to show that the director really had a lot of support. It’s not a crazy big movie, but seeing the community really come out in support made me want to move to Atlanta. 

Pharaoh looks ahead near James and Wilson Halls.

Tell us a little bit about “Broken Covenant: The Movie.” 

I’ll sum it up in a nutshell. It’s basically all about family, love and trust. I’m telling you, the movie is crazy! 

Has the experience made you want to get more involved in the film industry?

I want to do it all! One thing about me is I try to do everything I set my mind to. I want to do movies, music, fashion, everything! After my first experience in Atlanta I told myself, “The next time I come out here to do a movie, I’m going to have a bigger role.” I’ve always loved acting and I’ve started to take becoming an actor more seriously along with my music. 

Read Pharoah’s first-person take on the lessons he’s learned on his journey to becoming a Rowan Prof here

Pharaoh sits and smiles with Wilson Hall in the background.

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Story By:
Bianca Gray, senior English major

Photos By:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major 

Alumni Success: Felicia Brown Talks Career, Future Goals and Her M.A. in Arts Administration

View from the stage at Rowan's Pfleeger Hall.

Today, we feature Felicia Brown, a graduate of Rowan’s Arts Administration masters program through Rowan Global. Currently, Ms. Brown serves as the Career and Technical Education (CTE) theatre educator at Trenton Central High School. She sits down to explain how the arts have taken her all across the world.

Would you mind introducing yourself and telling us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Hello! My name is Felicia Latoya Brown, and I am currently a CTE [Career and Technical Education] theatre educator at Trenton Central High School. Prior to that, I taught at Life Center Academy. I am the regional programming director for the Alliance for Theatre and Education. Along with this, I am on the board for the Ritz Theatre Company as well as a member of the Speech Theatre Association of New Jersey and the Educational Theatre Association in which I am a Thespian Troupe director.

I’ve taught short theatre programs in Kenya, Brazil and Costa Rica, one of which included drama therapy for former child prostitutes. I’ve also performed internationally in Egypt and Slovakia, and that’s just the short list. 

Felicia directs Seussical Jr.
Directing Seussical at the Life Center Academy

Tell us a little bit about your educational background. 

I did my undergraduate degree at Eastern University. I always tell people it was a triple major, double minor. My major was English with Communications for Secondary Education and a minor in music and theatre. Rowan was where I got my second master’s degree, which was in Arts Administration. My first master’s degree was in Theatre studies, which got me the fancy term of Theatreologist.

What made you want to pursue your second master’s at Rowan University? 

What initially drew me to Rowan was their online program. I was interested in Arts Administration mainly because I have this huge crazy dream of running my own full-scale arts production company that would encompass every aspect of the arts.

I got into these classes at Rowan and every single professor asked me about my future dream business. They go, “Is it a museum? Is it a theatre? Is it a dance studio?” And I just reply, “It’s everything.”

Every professor I had definitely encouraged me and knew how amazing my dream business would be if I ever got it up and running but they wanted me to focus on just one aspect of it for their course. 

Felicia performing on stage during a theatre production surrounded by three other actors
Felicia performs in a Ritz Theatre Company production

Was there ever a professor who allowed you to focus on your dream in full and not just an aspect of it?

There was one professor who allowed me to come up with what my season would look like if I had my dream business up and running, which allowed me to think about it further. If I had it up and running like I want, there would be a dinner theatre, a children’s theatre, a community theatre, as well a professional equity house. That’s about four or five spaces that would have shows happening [at the same time] along with outdoor performances that would take place during the summer.

My professor wanted me to think about how I would make all of these shows connect so that I have people interested in coming and seeing shows in whatever space they may be in. I came up with a PowerPoint presentation that took you through the whole thing. It was nice for my dream to be encouraged in that way and to be able to share it with others. 

How would you describe your time at Rowan?

My time at Rowan was very interesting. When I started the program, it was still under theatre arts and it was called Theatre Arts Administration. It changed to just Arts Administration while I was in the program, which was cool with me. I liked it! It was a challenge though.

One of the most challenging courses I had taken wanted me to learn QuickBooks and how to handle the financial aspects of running an organization. I was just like, “Numbers? I’m an artist! Numbers and the arts don’t go together!” It’s funny to me now, but it wasn’t an easy feat during the time. Ultimately, I’m glad I took that course because it helped me so much. I truly believe that every single person that runs any kind of artistic organization needs somebody who has gone through an arts administration program. 

How have the arts education programs in New Jersey changed over the years? 

There’s this beautiful learning that’s happening right now. Priscilla, a colleague I met through Rowan, works with Arts Ed New Jersey, and she told me how the program is looking to teach anti-racism through Art Education. They’re conversations happening amongst the leaders of the Artistic Educational Programs in New Jersey where these leaders sit together and ask themselves, “Alright, how do we make sure the work we bring to our students is anti-racist?” These conversations weren’t happening 10 years ago and certainly not when I was growing up. Now, they’re in the forefront of our teaching, and I’m happy to be a part of it.

How can arts educators and administrators across the country make sure they are incorporating anti-racist practices into their teaching? 

It starts with just asking the right questions. To make sure educators are invoking these anti-racist practices while teaching students, they can take a step back and ask themselves: “What are things that we need to do to change? How can we make ourselves better? How can we be an anti-racist organization?” 

I sit on the board for the American Alliance for Theatre and Education as regional programming director and that has been the whole thing for this past year: Asking ourselves what are the changes that we need to make in our organization to make sure more voices are heard. It’s not that we need to lose room at the table. We just need to make more room at the table for other. 

Felicia on stage alone during a production of The Crucible.
Felicia on stage during a production of The Crucible for the Ritz Theatre

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Story by:
Bianca Gray, senior English major

Photos courtesy of:
Felicia Brown
Ritz Theatre Company photos, Steve Rogina
Life Center Academy photo, Rebekah Yeretzian

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

Rachel sits at the Wilson amphitheater.

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

How did you discover the Music Therapy program?

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

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

Rachel sits near Wilson Hall.

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

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

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

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

How are you meeting people as a commuter?

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

How do you like Rowan so far?

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

What are you looking forward to?

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

Rachel sits near Wilson Hall.

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

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

Why Rowan?

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

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Photos by:
Nick Flagg, senior advertising and theatre major

In Case You Missed It: Favorite Classes At Rowan

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

First Year Dance Major Amanda Drayton Performs in String Ensemble Concert

Amanda dancing on stage in a purple outfit and mask with the ensemble around her.

Amanda Drayton, a first year Dance major from Somerset, NJ (Union County), rehearsed on Zoom with Associate Professor Paule Turner for weeks leading up to her first live performance during COVID-19. Amanda walks us through her performance and shares her experience as a College of Performing Arts student this past year. What made you choose […]

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

Out-of-State Students’ Returning to Rowan Bucket List

Einstein Bagels storefront in Engineering Hall.

Many out-of-state students are coming to campus for the first time since COVID, while some were able to come to campus last year. Here are some things that out-of-state students are looking forward to when campus opens up a bit more this semester. 

Magdelyn Kelly is a senior Musical Theatre and Theatre Education major from Inwood, West Virginia. Magdelyn transferred to Rowan from Blue Ridge Community College. Magdelyn is a first-generation college student and an off-campus renter. She says she’s most looking forward to seeing all her peers and learning face to face again. When asked if there was someone she hasn’t seen in person since before Covid who she is very much looking forward to seeing on campus this fall, Magdelyn replied, “My voice teacher!” Magdelyn is involved with Campus Players and Rowan Lab Theatre, and she adds that Rowan Lab Theatre will be putting on some great shows this year. Magdelyn can’t wait to take part in Rowan After Hours (RAH) and Student University Programmers (SUP) events again, such as Bingo. She can’t wait to take senior pictures with her friends and hang out on campus on Bunce Green.

People hanging out on Bunce Green, as Magdelyn looks forward to.
Students hanging out on Bunce Green, as Magdelyn looks forward to.

Nick Kreuz, a senior Electrical and Computer Engineering major from Quakertown, Pennsylvania, is looking forward to working back in the labs with other students. Nick says, “I am looking forward most to going back to a campus that feels alive,” and he notes being on campus last year felt less warm and welcoming than it has been in the past. Some campus must-dos for him include activities put on by the Rec Center (where he will work as a Building Manager) and shows returning to the Planetarium. Nick is also looking forward to visiting Einstein’s Bagels in the mornings for coffee.

Nick poses in front of some trees.
Nick Kreuz

Petro Skrypnyk has never been to campus before, and he is excited to see the place he has been studying at for a year. Petro is a senior Computer Science major and commutes from his home in Philadelphia. Before attending Rowan, Petro transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County. Petro wants to get involved with Rowan’s Association for Computing Machinery and the Volleyball team. Petro is excited to earn his bachelor’s degree and meet up with people in between classes.

Philadelphia, where Petro is from.
Petro, of Philadelphia, is looking forward to the on-campus experience this semester.

Samuel Jolade, senior Computing and Informatics major from Deer Park, New York, is excited to come back to the Rowan campus after nearly two years. He can’t wait to get back into Gaming Club and visit the Game Room in the Student Center. Samuel hasn’t seen his friend Max and a few other friends since before COVID, and he is excited to see them. 

Samuel looks forward to hanging out in the game room like these guys are.
Samuel (not pictured) looks forward to hanging out in the Student Center’s Game Room.

Ashleigh Jankowski is a junior Biomedical Engineering major with a Chemistry minor from Catonsville, Maryland. Ashleigh is living off campus this semester. Ashleigh says while “virtual learning was a great way to proceed in learning while continuing to be socially distanced, nothing can replace the friendly, bustling campus atmosphere.” She is looking forward to taking classes that are major specific this year, and because most of them are engineering labs, hopefully having them in person! She is looking forward to Outdoors Club getting started again, as she is hoping to go on a few trips with them this semester. She’s also looking forward to RAH events like Bingo and SUP activities like Outdoor Movie Night. Ashleigh also can’t wait to hang out at Einstein’s Bagels again. 

Ashleigh poses in front of Rowan Hall.
Ashleigh Jankowski

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

Philadelphia photo courtesy of:
Pixabay

Sneak Peak into the Theatre – Design/Technical Program and its Stagecraft Class

Someone measures a line on a piece of wood.

Today we share moments from our conversation with College of Performing Arts students Michael Landolfi and Jenna Hope during a session of their Stagecraft Fundamentals class. We asked them about their favorite parts of their majors and the course itself.

Michael Landolfi is a sophomore Theatre major with a concentration in Theatre – Design/Technical

Why did you come to Rowan?

“I recently just transferred from the Music Industry program so it was actually the major that made me want to come to Rowan. I also like that it is fairly close to home but not too close. It was important to me to be close enough to home where I could see family but still be able to explore a new area.”

In the Stagecraft Fundamentals course, have you found anything you are particularly passionate about that you did not think you would like? 

“I definitely have taken an interest in woodwork and carpentry more than I thought I would have.”

Michael in class.
Michael Landolfi

Can you tell me about the relationships you have between the staff here? 

“Especially the staff in the theatre department and the staff in the music program … [t]hey all have been pretty open with communication. Several professors have helped me figure out what trajectory I am taking in terms of what I am learning here and what I want to do in the future.” 

What made you change your major?

“I personally did not like taking business classes … [t]here were quite a few of those classes I had to take. Also I have also always loved live sound, and that is mainly what I am trying to get a career in because those jobs are more secure than trying to land a job as a music producer or a performer in general.” 

A student working in Stagecraft Fundamentals.
A student working in Stagecraft Fundamentals

What is your favorite class so far?

“Stagecraft Fundamentals is pretty great. Starting to get involved in the theatre department and stuff has been a really good experience. I also enjoy a Social Problems class I have taken that is completely not related to my major. I just needed to take it for credits, but I heavily enjoyed it.”


Stagecraft Fundamentals student, Jenna Hope, using power tools in class.
Stagecraft Fundamentals student, Jenna Hope, using power tools in class.

Jenna Hope is a transfer junior Musical Theatre major; however, she will be switching to the Theatre – Design/Techical major. 

What made you want to change your major?

“What made me change my major was the fact that I felt like I was not able to use my hands as much, and getting to take classes like Stagecraft Fundamentals in my first year was something that really made me realize that design and tech is something that makes me really excited. Things like carpentry and costuming are so interesting and also simply fun for me.”

A picture of a power saw used in Stage Craft Fundamentals.

Out of all the elements in design and tech, what would you say your favorite is?

“Out of all of them I would say carpentry, but I really have a soft spot for costuming even though I have not gotten to do it yet.”

Can you tell me about some things that you have made in your Stagecraft Fundamentals class?

“We made a couple of different things … sadly most of the things we make in class are for productions we are holding in the semester, but with Covid we were unable to put on the amount of productions that we would have liked to so we did not have that many sets or props to make. With that being said, we have been making birdhouses this semester as a little project for everybody.”

What advice would you give to a person who is interested in the major but unsure of design and tech?

“I think they should just take Stagecraft because it gives total insight to the major. Asking for help is also so important. Just because you need assistance or help does not mean you cannot partake in something you enjoy.”

Stage Craft Fundamentals students using a power saw.
Associate Professor Tom Fusco (left) works with Jenna (center) and another student using a power saw.

See more from the Stagecraft Fundamentals class in this video. 

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Story By:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

First-Year Student Amanda Drayton Performs in String Ensemble Concert [VIDEO]

Amanda dances in front of string players.

Amanda, a first-year Dance major, rehearsed on Zoom with Associate Professor Paule Turner for weeks leading up to her first live performance during COVID-19. She steps out onto the stage for the first time and shares her experience as a performing arts student this past year.

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Video by:
Christianna Arango, Radio/TV/Film graduate
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

#PROFspective: Theatre and Advertising Major Nick Flagg

Nick sits in a director's chair on Bunce Green.

Today, we speak to Theatre & Advertising double major Nick Flagg from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County). Nick has a concentration in Theatre Ed, Acting/Directing & Musical Theatre, and will graduate next spring. He shares with us why he heavily enjoys studying his majors and the endless opportunities Rowan has offered and equipped him with.  Why […]

Stagecraft Fundamentals | Building Your Skill Set [VIDEO]

Someone measures a line on a piece of wood.

COVID-19 did not stop students from learning the fundamentals of set design and building. “I think everybody should take Stagecraft Fundamentals because you will learn so many things,” says Jenna Hope, a sophomore theatre major. “You don’t just learn carpentry. You can learn costuming, lighting, sound, really a lot of different skills that are helpful […]

My Favorite Class: Foundations of Music Education

Luis stands with his trumpet outside on campus.

Today we feature first-generation college senior Luis Ozoria. Luis’s favorite class was Foundations of Music Education in the Music department taught by Dr. Adrian Barnes. Luis recently graduated with a bachelor’s of music in Jazz Studies and is from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County). Tell us a little about what the class is… The class gives […]

Queer Voices: Theatre Major Tyler “TJ” Jacobs

This interview was originally featured on the Queer Voices Instagram page @queer_voices. 

Biomedical Art and Visualization major Emerson Harman created the Queer Voices Project, which is working “to amplify LGBTQ+ student, faculty, and alumni voices at Rowan University through portraits and interviews.” You can also find more of their content here.

TJ smiling while wearing a rainbow headband.

Name, pronouns, and identity?

I am Tyler “TJ” Jacobs, my pronouns are he/him/his, and I am a gay man.

What is your year in school and your major?

I am a junior Theatre major at Rowan University.
When did you come out as LGBTQ+, and why then?

[laughs] Ok, this is actually a really funny story. So there is never a right time for anything. I actually came out twice, and the first time was of my own accord. I was in 8th grade, and I had attended an open house at my sister’s elementary school with my family and my sister. My sister’s school had one of those “cafetoriums” where there’s a stage in the cafeteria, and I had gone up on the stage and had done some kind of flourish or something, and my mom was like, “Be careful Tyler, do something like that and people might think that you’re gay.”

I said “Haha, yeah,” and she said, “It would be ok if you were,” and I was like, “Cool, that’s good to know.” 

That in mind, we were going out to the car, and I said, “Well, I am gay.”

My stepdad laughed and said ok, but my mom proceeded to freak out. She pulled every emotional trick to basically force me back into the closet, and that was not great. She had said it would be okay, so I had been like, well, there’s no better time than the present, and it turns out the present was not a great time. Later, sophomore year of high school, I had two of my friends over. My friend, who I had a crush on at the time, and I were cuddling and my mom came in and said “Stop that.” Well, obviously, we didn’t stop, and then she came back and said​ that I needed to come downstairs, while my friends were still in my room, and then had this entire confrontation with me that was forcing me out of the closet. Now everything’s fine, we have a great relationship. My mom doesn’t have a problem with it; she did research on her own to figure out what was going on, and we have a great relationship now. Certainly back then, things were a bit rocky.

Has being LGBTQ impacted or influenced your education?

Not really in any negative way. Generally, I’ve been pretty blessed with being a white cis man, who is also straight-passing, that I haven’t had any backlash. I mean, I’ve been called “fag” only twice in my life, and not so many are that lucky. 

Has LGBTQ culture and acceptance changed throughout your time at Rowan?

I’m in the theatre department, so I’m just generally around a large amount of LGBTQ+ people, but I haven’t really felt super connected to a larger community of LGBTQ+ people as a whole at Rowan. I haven’t felt that at all. I haven’t really experienced any hatefulness or anything from the general public, besides being called “fag” once, but that was one time out of three years. Ultimately, it doesn’t feel like there’s a huge presence with any of the LGBTQ+ organizations. I know that they’re there, but I’m never able to attend because of my schedule.

This year I’m really, really trying to reach out and connect to other people in the community because in general LGBTQ+ youth do not get to connect to others in the community throughout their adolescence. I really think we are negatively impacted by that, because we don’t get to relate and share our experiences with others as our straight counterparts do. I’m hoping that the community continues to grow and open up and connect with others on campus, but I haven’t seen any new developments. It’s honestly stagnant. The community at large here is very accepting.

How has attending Rowan helped you in finding an inclusive community?

Rowan, like many other institutions, helped me find an inclusive community by providing a space where I could find like-minded individuals. Whether it is in the classroom, at the student center, the library, or the theatre, usually I could find someone to speak to or learn something from. Rowan has also provided me with a wealth of opportunities to build smaller communities within through artistic endeavors, educational experiences, and club formulation. For instance, from my understanding I was the only puppeteer on campus with the exception of the puppetry workshop professor. Seeking to change that, I created RU Puppet Artists (RUPA), which allowed me to create the community I wanted to be a part of. Over a single school year, despite COVID-19, there are now several students that would proudly call themselves puppet artists that I know I can rely upon. 

Were there any faculty that you particularly enjoyed, inspired you and/or made you feel you had a safe space?

My biggest inspiration is the Department of Theatre & Dance’s Technical Director Tom Fusco. Not only is Tom an incredible professor, he has been an amazing friend and collaborator. He has been there to support myself and many other students throughout all of our endeavors. I know that whenever I need a hand or advice, I can call on him. That is not to say that he is the only professor who has supported me, especially when it comes to the theatre & dance department. There are several of them who I am proud to have worked with and am incredibly grateful for all the support and wisdom that they have imparted upon me. As I approach the end of my undergraduate studies, I can smile at all that I have learned from these incredible people and look forward to continuing my work with them in the larger South Jersey/Philadelphia community so that we can continue to inspire young artists trying to find their voice.

Is there anything you would want to see changed at Rowan in regards to LGBTQ+ life?​

I would like to see a large presence besides rainbow balloons at Pride month. There are drag competitions that happen, but only once a year. Maybe I’m wrong, because I’m not super connected to any of the organizations, but I would generally like to see more outreach and letting people know “Hey we’re here.” Other than me just being aware of the existence of these clubs, I see and hear nothing. That’s really unfortunate because there are a lot of people who could really use a little more messaging and letting them know that they’re there. There’s no connection, there’s no flyer up or anything that’s constantly up in their periphery to remind them that ‘Oh, there are people out there like me on campus who I can connect to and grow with.’ It would be really assuring if there was a general expansion of LGBTQ+ presence to let people know we are here.

Anything else you want to discuss?

​I think it’s really, incredibly important to find people in the community you look up to and can relate to and maybe reach out to. I’m a puppeteer, and the puppeteering community, like most professions, is dominated by straight, cis, white men, but there are queer puppeteers out there, and there are some truly amazing ones. While I haven’t had the privilege of getting to speak with them, just knowing that they exist and being able to see and relate to their work, and to know that they’re approaching it through that [LGBTQ+] lens is a really powerful thing. To know that there are these artists representing gay men in the puppeteering profession is really important to me. They are truly my biggest heroes.

I know for me, I hope I can connect with them so maybe one day I can be that hero where someone looks at my work and says he did it, I can do it, which is a beautiful thing. Find your idols, find your role models, and if you can, let them know that you’re here too. 

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My Favorite Class: Instrumental Conducting 2

Rowan music performance in Wilson Hall.

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

Abby Bernhardt is a first-generation college student and a recent graduate with a degree in Instrumental Music Education from Egg Harbor City (Atlantic County). Her favorite class was Instrumental Conducting 2 in the Music department taught by Dr. Joe Higgins.  

Abby standing with French horn in hands.

Tell us a little about what the class is.

This class is a continuation of Conducting 1, and in this class you learn skills regarding how to conduct a band. We also focused a lot on things to do to make us better educators, and how to select repertoire that represents wide groups of people.

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

I loved this class because it made me realize what I want to do with my future. I learned so many things that I had been waiting for since high school, and I plan on using all of them in my career.

Is there anything else that made this class impactful?

Dr. Higgins is a wonderful teacher and role model, and I am so grateful to have been able to have had this time spent learning from him.

Abby smiling with French horn in front of Christmas tree.

What makes this professor great? 

Dr. Higgins not only is an amazing educator himself, but he is very good at teaching others how to be their own type of great teacher also. He also is always around for a chat or some advice.

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

This class helped me solidify that I want to be a music teacher. I was always excited to go to class and learn new things that will help me immensely in my future. This class also gave me a lot of motivation to do well in school.

What are your professional goals? 

I plan on being a music teacher for a bit and then getting my master’s and going into administration as an arts administrator or vice principal. This way I will be able to support my students in the classroom and then help to support them from above, and hopefully help others to see the importance of arts education.

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Story by:
Caitlyn Dickinson, public relations and advertising graduate

Senior Alex Brown Shares Insight on Rowan’s Music Industry Major

Alex stands in front of Bunce Hall

Today we speak with Alex Brown, a senior Music Industry major from Glassboro, NJ (Gloucester County). He tells us more about his experiences in the Music Industry program.

What area of the music industry interests you?

“Artist management. I’ve always enjoyed helping people, and I’ve taken that aspect of my personality and translated it to music. Music is one of my passions; I used to sing throughout middle school and high school. I kind of just merged the two into this field of managing artists, getting their music out there for fans to discover them and make sure those fans stay to support them. That’s my dream job, but I’m content with anything within the music industry.”

What music was played in your home? What music did you grow up listening to?

“I’m from a Caribbean family. Both of my parents and I were born in Jamaica, but since my father had citizenship in the U.S., I’m considered American. They would play all kinds of songs, top 40 pop songs, reggae, old school songs like classical blues. I had a wide range of influences.”

Alex smiling outside

Alex mentions that there are two different tracks you can take within the program. The first is the business side of the industry, which focuses on contracts, the structure of labels and organizations, learning about deals, management, marketing, touring, promoting and sponsorships. The second aspect is the technology side that focuses on the production of music, where students gain skills about special effects, recording vocals, using a soundboard and live recording.

Alex says, “There are many options available for people who want to be an artist and hone their craft or people who want to work more behind the scenes and looking at the business aspect.” 

Alex enjoys that the program is run by professors who are still actively working in the industry. He mentions one of his professors is currently working at Atlantic Records managing artists like Estelle. Alex adds, “It is good to have that aspect that you’re working with people who are still in the field.”

Have you had any internships yet?

“I’ve had two internships, one being with the Philadelphia International Music Festival. They bring in [students] from all over the world for a two-week program where they get to work with professional musicians who are part of the Philly Orchestra. Before the camp started, I worked in their offices where I was mainly contacting universities and schools to see if anyone was interested in registering for any last-minute spots. Once the camp session started, I acted as a residential manager for children who chose to stay on the camp. I’d stay there for the entire two weeks, live in the dorms with them, make sure they were going to lessons, practice their instrument and I helped out with the choir program.

“My second internship was with the school label, Rowan Music Group, over the summer. We essentially worked on building up our social media, looking for music to put in a compilation, and learning about different aspects of how labels run.

“Both internships were so fun, I learned different things from the two and I hope to take that experience with me into whatever next position I can get.”

Alex stands on the steps of Bunce Hall.

Is there anything you wish you knew beforehand about your major or anything that is better than you expected that you could share with others?

“I wish I knew more about this option in high school. I never knew there were dedicated programs for the music industry and learning the ins and outs. I wish I was better prepared for all this program has to offer.”

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

Photography by: 
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

Pharaoh Freer: Realizing My Power, Passion and Prof Pride

Pharaoh stands outside on Rowan's campus.

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

Pharaoh stands outside near a wooded spot on campus.

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

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

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

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

Pharaoh stands inside an academic building stairwell.

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

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

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

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

Pharaoh stands outside an academic building on campus.

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

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Story by:
Pharoah Freer, freshman music industry major

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista: sophomore music industry major

#PROFspective: Senior Theatre/Marketing Double Major Says “Try New Things … You’re Only Young Once”

Erik during an acting class monologue.

Today we speak with Erik Kattermann, a senior theatre and marketing double major with concentrations in Acting and Honors from Montville, NJ (Morris County). Erik is a Resident Assistant and lives on-campus at 114 Victoria Street. He serves as the vice president of the Fishing Club.

Erik poses against a gray backdrop.

What inspired you to be passionate about your major?

I’ve taken classes with Professor Michael Dean Morgan, a theatre professor, since sophomore year, and he’s had a huge impact on me. He really showed me theatre and he showed me that anyone can be an actor, the work that has to be put in. When Professor Morgan showed me what theatre was about, it opened doors for me and motivated me. I truly love going to every theatre class I have, no doubt about it. I love going to class and watching my classmates, who are super talented and super hard-working, perform. I love getting the opportunity to perform and be in the environment of the Rowan Theatre Department. I’m so grateful. I always take steps back and realize how blessed I am just to have this opportunity to learn about something that I really am passionate about. Rowan also helped me find that passion. In high school, I had nothing to do with the arts or theatre, or acting. Professors, classmates, and friends at Rowan helped open that door to me, and I really love it. 

What would you say to a future student interested in a major?

Definitely don’t be afraid to try. Try new things and put yourself outside of your comfort zone. I can say from personal experience that if I never put myself outside of my comfort zone that I would not be where I am today with the goals that I have today. Something like acting or theatre or performing or even just talking in front of a group of people is something where, years ago, I would have never thought I would be doing, let alone enjoy doing, and it’s all because I put myself out of my comfort zone. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get nervous at first. I still get nervous sometimes. But you’re at a time in your life when you’re young and we’re only doing this once. So just try new things, and every day, challenge yourself to do one thing that’s outside of your comfort zone. You’re going to have so much personal growth and find so many new passions and so many new journeys that you’re going to want to go on.

Erik poses in a Rowan shirt.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned this year in one of your classes?

I took a dialect class where we learn accents. This whole semester I got the opportunity to work on an Australian accent. Everybody gets to choose their own accent. I got to work on an Australian accent, which is by no means mastered. But it’s pretty good. And we also got to talk in a New York accent. And I got to listen to all my classmates do their own accents. Some people worked on French, British, Irish, and Scottish accents, among others. So that was definitely something cool I got to learn this year.

What’s one moment that made you feel like Rowan was the right fit for you?

I knew Rowan was right for me the second my parents dropped me off freshman year. I just had this overwhelming feeling of comfortability and knowledge that I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted. There is a feeling at Rowan of everyone wanting you to succeed. I immediately felt that, and I have felt it every day on and off-campus, for as long as I have been a Prof.

Eric during one of his acting class monologues.
Eric during one of his acting class monologues.

Could you share one moment that you felt that Rowan was a welcoming environment for you?

There definitely was a specific moment. I was originally just a marketing major, but then I took a theatre class. The theatre major is like nothing else. It is such a unique and diverse and connected family. Everyone knows everyone and supports everyone. Everyone makes such a big effort to get to know you as a person and to get to know your goals and make sure you feel supported and comfortable. That sense of community and family is what made me want to audition for the theatre department and become a double major. 

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

Photos provided by:
Erik Kattermann, senior theatre and marketing double major

#PROFspective: Jazz Studies Major Luis Ozoria

Luis standing outside of WiIlson hall with his trumpet.

Today we feature first-generation college student Luis Ozoria, a senior Jazz studies major from Galloway (Atlantic County).  Luis has been a part of the jazz band, wind ensemble, some time in the orchestra, small jazz ensembles, Rowan brass band and the choir. Why did you choose your major? I always knew I wanted to go […]

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: Jazz Bass And Classical Cello Major Rafael Alvarez From Tampa, FL

Raphael standing playing bass.

Today we speak with first generation college student, Rafael Alvarez, who is a transfer from Raritan Valley Community College. Rafael is a senior double major in Jazz Bass performance and Classical Cello. He is originally from Tampa, FL. Why did you transfer to Rowan? There were just a lot of opportunities and my brother went […]

Kudos To Professors Who Made An Impact

Exterior shot of the side of Campbell Library.

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

PA to NJ: Theatre Major, Education Minor Elliot Colahan

Elliot stands in a wooded area on campus.

Today, we speak to PA native Elliot Colahan! Elliot is a sophomore Theatre major with concentrations in Acting, Musical Theatre and Theatre Education with a minor in Education from Malvern, PA. Elliot tells us more about why he chose to cross the bridge over to Jersey.

Elliot posing and standing outside Robinson Hall.

What are some fun off-campus things to do within 20 minutes of Rowan on this side of the bridge?

This is a very “theatre major” answer, but bear with me — I really love going to all the different theatres in the Glassboro area! There are so many different ones close by, and it’s always super cool to see what shows are being performed each year. I also love going to grab a bite to eat before going to see a performance! There are a ton of super cute and fun restaurants nearby, with a special shout-out to The Pop Shop in Collingswood. Looking for some super great pancakes? That’s the place to go!

Why did you choose to leave PA for college?

One of the biggest things I wanted out of college was a new, fresh start. Originally, I hadn’t planned that a different state would be part of that fresh start. In fact, Rowan was one of two colleges on my list that wasn’t in Pennsylvania. But as I did some more research and started to tour colleges and audition at various places, it kinda hit me that there’s something super magical about getting to say you go to school in a completely different place than where you live. At the same time, I’m never too far away from home when I start to miss my mom’s garlic bread or my dad’s movie collection. It’s the perfect mix for me!

Why did you choose Rowan?

I really fell in love with the environment here! I came for a shadow day to see what it was like to be a student in classes, and I had an absolute blast. I met some really amazing people that I’m still close with today, and got to check out some classes that I’m still looking forward to taking in my next few years here. Rowan is truly a second home, and I’m really happy with my choice to come here.

Elliot sitting on a rock outside on campus.

What is one thing about South Jersey that was a happy surprise for you or different than you expected?

I don’t think I ever realized how often people go to the beach around here! Back home, we would always have to plan our beach trips weeks in advance, and make sure we’d have enough time to have a good day at the shore and get back before midnight. Here, people will randomly say “Hey, let’s go to Ocean City!” And then they just do it! It’s so weird to see, but I for one am not complaining about it at all. 

Have you adopted any “Jersey” tendencies?

Hmm, this is a tough one. Nothing that I’m aware of? I’m certainly more aware of New Jersey culture than I was before — specifically that I should never get into an argument about whether Central Jersey exists or not. I’ve also gotten a lot more used to New Jersey traffic over the past year. Crosswalks are now my new best friend, but don’t tell Pennsylvania that.

Elliot smiling and sitting outside on campus.

How has choosing to move out of your hometown area for school benefited you?

Moving to a new state that’s completely separate from my hometown has made me feel very free and open! Everyone in my college life only knows me from here, so I don’t need to think about who I was in middle school, in clubs, in any of that. I’m still myself, but I can be me with a lot less stress. It’s a really wonderful feeling.

What advice do you have for Pennsylvania residents leaving PA to go to school in NJ?

Go into things with as much of an open mind as you can! Some things are going to be identical, and others are going to be bizarrely different. Go with the flow and don’t forget to be you! And yes, Wawa’s still exist in New Jersey, so you’ll be fine.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

RU Puppet Artists Rowan University [VIDEO]

Two puppet in front of a blue backdrop.

President of RU Puppet Artists Tyler “TJ” Jacobs, a Theatre major from Fredericksburg, VA, shares his excitement about the club and how the club adapted to a virtual platform. “Anyone no matter who they are, what they are capable of, or what they think they are capable of is welcome to the puppet club because absolutely anyone can do puppetry,” says TJ Jacobs.

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Video by:
Joshua Hedum, senior radio/TV/film major

Music by:
Bianca Torres, junior music industry major

Music To Listen To While Studying, According to 7 Music Majors

Study area with earphones, laptop and notebook.

Need some study music recommendations? Let students from Rowan’s music majors give you some suggestions.

A selfie of Mia.

I really enjoy listening to NCT and Day6 when I study.

They have both nice songs for background music (ballads calm songs) and songs that are upbeat and fun to keep you awake and feel more energized.

How It Was Discovered: I’ve been listening to the K-Pop genre since 2011 so I knew about NCT since they debuted as a group and Day6 was one of the first groups I listened to when I got into the genre.

– Mia Visconti, Freshman, Music Therapy major, Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County)

The Chopin "Ballade no.1 in g minor Op.23" album cover.

Ballade no.1 in g minor Op. 23 by Chopin

Chopin was an amazing romantic composer and pianist whose pieces are very emotional and well written. It is great background music for studying or doing something important. I use it for tests all the time.

How It Was Discovered: From the movie “The Pianist”

– Anthony Jimenez, Freshman, Music Education and Music Performance major, Vineland, NJ (Cumberland County)

Samuel smiling for a photo on the Bunce Hall steps.

I suggest listening to Aladdin – Not3s.

This song has a very soothing vibe to help you vibe but still focus, with a little bit of Afro-beat tunes to groove to, very nice to study with.

How It Was Discovered: I discovered this song through the music streaming app AudioMack.

Samuel Poku, Freshman, Music Industry major, Old Bridge, NJ (Middlesex County)

The album cover for "Locket" by Crumb.

Plants – Crumb

It’s not too distracting and it’s soothing to listen to even when you aren’t doing homework.

How It Was Discovered: On my recommended songs in Spotify.

– Katie Alvarez, Sophomore, Music Education major, Passaic, NJ (Passaic County)

Nayyirah smiling for a selfie.

Darlin’ – Tobi Lou

It’s slow and I like his voice.

How It Was Discovered: From a friend

– Nayyirah Wood, Freshman, Music Education major, Philadelphia, Pa

The single cover for "walk but in the garden" by LLusion.

“walk but in the garden” – LLusion

Off the bat, you can recognize the chord progression remains in a major key. The melody has aspects of suspense and resolution, making it pleasing to the ear. A unique aspect about this song is that the melody and chord progression repeat consistently throughout the piece, easily making it uplifting background noise.

How It Was Discovered: I was editing a Spotify playlist of mine, and this song popped up in the recommended songs section. I find a lot of new music through this feature of Spotify’s playlists.

– Arianna Granda, Freshman, Vocal Music Education major, Bantiviglio Honors Concentration, Rockaway, NJ (Morris County)

The Nelson Rangell album cover "Blue."

Sweetest Somebody I Know – Nelson Rangell

The song just has a really chill vibe to it that you can just listen to in the background while doing other things.

– Tyler O’Shaughnessy, Sophomore, Music Education – Instrumental major, Atco, NJ (Camden County)

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Header photo courtesy of:
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#PROFspective: Music Education Major Austin Kurbansade

Austin sitting outside on stairs.

Today we feature Austin Kurbansade, a sophomore Vocal Music Education major from Roxbury Township, NJ (Morris County). He is an on-campus resident and is involved in the National Association of Music Education, American Choral Directors Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He tells us today about his student experience and how connected he has felt at Rowan. […]

Beyond The Classroom: Musical Theatre, RTF Double Major Shows Support For the Filipinx Community by Organizing a Talent Showcase For Charity

Stock image of a microphone
Faith sitting and posing on the edge of a fountain.

Today, we speak to Faith Lynn Diccion, a junior Musical Theatre and Radio/ TV/ Film double major from Egg Harbor Township, NJ (Atlantic County). She currently lives on campus in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments. She tells us more about her work this past summer with the nonprofit organization EmbraceRace and how she put together a Filipinx talent showcase for charity.

First, how did you find Rowan?

I found Rowan after being scouted at the NJ Thespian Festival by one of the theatre professors my senior year of high school. I had never really thought about Rowan as a theatre school, but I was instantly captivated by the faculty and campus. So, I was eager to come and audition at the school.

Why did you choose your major?

Growing up, I loved participating in theatre productions and singing. I just found it natural to pursue what I loved as a kid in college. Watching Disney movies when I was younger also left a big impression on me and gave me a push toward a career in performance and art creation.

What is EmbraceRace? How did you get involved?

EmbraceRace is a nonprofit organization that provides resources to parents, teachers and all in order to help raise children in a community based on acceptance, understanding and equity. From March 2016-2020, EmbraceRace has published 170+ articles from many storytellers, 34 Talking Kids & Race webinars with over 9K registrants per session, 30K+ email subscribers and 90K+ Facebook fans, and partnerships with well-known organizations such as The American Psychological Association and The Prejudice and Intergroup Relations Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I happened to stumble upon EmbraceRace’s website while researching for organizations to donate to for my final project with the DIAL National Fellowship with Metro Arts Nashville under Americans for the Arts.

At the time, I was brainstorming ideas for what causes I was most interested in supporting. In light of the surge in BLM protests and rallies, I wanted to show my support as well. Also, the slogan for EmbraceRace is “Raising a Brave Generation.” It really resonated within me and further strengthened my resolve to donate.

I organized this showcase to show support not only for my Filipinx community and heritage, but also for the BLM movement that paved the way for all of the following minorities to come to America.

How did you go about finding the talent for the showcase?

Finding the talent was super fun. All I had to do was reach out to my network of friends and acquaintances to see who would be interested in participating, and it all just happened to work out somehow. Some of the talents I know very well, and some of them I had never even met before. Still, we are all connected to each other. So it was really uplifting to be able to reach out to these wonderful performers and ask them to share their talents for a special cause.

A social media flyer for the Filipinx Talent Showcase.
Featured performers from the Sa Bahay (“At Home”) musical showcase.

What was a typical day like working with EmbraceRace?

Because this was an individual project under my Fellowship, I did not work exclusively with EmbraceRace to accomplish this. When the fundraising timeframe ends, I will personally send the money raised as a one-time donation on the EmbraceRace website. As of [early September], our goal of $500 has been met. But because we are still accepting donations, we are still receiving donations and have exceeded our goal by a substantial amount.

Any advice to students looking to get involved with EmbraceRace or advice in general?

Browsing their official website is a great place to start. They even have volunteer opportunities available for people looking for more active roles in the organization. Also, their donation button has options to either donate as an individual or set-up up a fundraiser. The individual donation option fit the best with my showcase’s structure, so I opted out of creating a fundraiser directly though the organization. All in all, EmbraceRace is a wonderful nonprofit with useful resources and a great community open to discussion, so I highly recommend checking them out!

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photos provided by:
Faith Lynn Diccion, musical theatre and RTF double major

Header photo courtesy of:
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Sophomore Reflects: Musical Theatre and Public Relations Double Major Erica Gerold

Erica sitting with friends on the Bunce Steps

Meet sophomore Erica Gerold, a Musical Theatre and Public Relations double major from Philadelphia. She’s also an on-campus resident who resided in Magnolia Hall this past year. Erica tells us more about what she enjoyed most about her first year at Rowan and shares advice for future freshmen.

Erica sitting with friends on the Bunce Hall steps.
Erica sitting with her roommates (from left to right: Mattie Millet, Hannah Kittrell, Erica Gerold and Emilia Weiss).

What did you most enjoy your freshman year at Rowan?Erica taking a selfie.

Something I enjoyed most here at Rowan were the amount of on-campus artistic opportunities I was able to have as a freshman! This past year I have been in directing scenes, written/done voiceover work at the art exhibit, “The Sister Chapel,” performed in our annual Holiday Celebration, “The Vagina Monologues,” devised cabaret “(di$) conn3cT*d” and “Urinetown: The Musical.” I have made amazing friends through our college and learned so much through its chances to create. I truly do not think I would be happier anywhere else.

Could you share with us one happy moment you had with friends, professors or other members of the Rowan community that made you realize Rowan felt like “home”?

Among many things I am beyond grateful to have been involved in this school year, the first that made me feel at home was rehearsing “(di$) conn3cT*d.” I was cast within my first month of moving to college when unfamiliarity was around every corner. Right away not only were the cast/creative team eager to hear the ideas of us freshmen, they were eager to make us feel welcome. I became so close with the people involved with that production, including my new best friend Elliot Colahan. The support the people of Rowan (my profs and classmates alike) have for us is nothing like I have seen anywhere else. Especially as a freshman, their care for me and the rest of my peers filled me with motivation and happiness. They make me feel lucky to be a part of this community.

Erica alongside the cast of a production called The Vagina Monologues.
Erica alongside the cast of The Vagina Monologues (directed by Robin Purtell and Chelsea Sharp, 2020).

What advice do you have for future freshmen looking at colleges right now?

Shadow! Leading up to College Decision Day, I actually had my mind set on committing to a different school. Once your choices are narrowed down, seeing a day in the life of your options really puts things into perspective. Once I shadowed my now dear friend Marisa Pelikan, the decision could not have been clearer that Rowan was the right fit for me (note: If you cannot shadow due to COVID-19, research schools to the best of your online abilities. Also, do not be afraid to reach out to their current students/profs!).

What are you most looking forward to next year at Rowan?

I am most looking forward to honing my skills as a double major! I currently combine my passions of PR and theatre as a member of the social media team for RUTD, a publicity officer for our Lab Theatre organization and the creator/writer for my school blog highlighting the Rowan University Department of Theatre & Dance, RUTDInsider. All of that being said, Public Relations students typically do not start taking major-based classes until their sophomore year. This fall I will be taking three of those classes and I am super excited to put all forthcoming knowledge into my current projects. I will be the first to admit learning/creating in the upcoming school year will be difficult due to the coronavirus, but I hope to push forward in making it happen any way I can.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photos provided by:
Erica Gerold

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Meet Music Industry Major Stephanie Batista

Stephanie at Wilson Hall with greenery and flowers

Stephanie posing in front of the Campbell libraryMeet Stephanie Batista (she/her/hers), a transfer Music Industry major from Toms River, New Jersey (Ocean County). She will graduate with the Rowan Class of 2023. She tells us a little more about herself and why she chose Rowan!

What is one goal you have this semester?

To make friends despite difficulties with Covid and online classes. 

Why did you choose your major? 

I am a Music Industry major with a concentration in Business. It was something I knew I would be very happy doing and it would never feel like work because I love it. 

What are you most excited for this semester?

 I am most excited for the live shows. 

What club/activity do you want to join on campus?

I want to join the Rowan Alternative Music Club!

Why Rowan?

Rowan has a great music scene and is very close to Philadelphia.

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



Junior Major Moments: Theatre Major Caitlin Alvarez on Her Most Memorable Class and an Apprenticeship

Caitlin poses at a stadium.

Today we speak to Caitlin Alvarez, a senior Theatre major from Dallas, TX. Caitlin is an on-campus resident who lived in 114 Victoria during her junior year at Rowan. 

Theatre major Caitlin poses at a stadium.

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

I’ve had so many amazing moments in my classes, but I think the most memorable overall was my Acting 1 class sophomore year. Professor Michael Dean Morgan is a terrific teacher and mentor, and I’ve learned a lot from him in the two years we’ve worked together.

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

I’m definitely a lot more confident now than I was in my freshman year or even sophomore year. This year I was able to let go of a lot of my insecurities and understand myself and my body much better, and a lot of that came from the classes I took. 

Theatre major Caitlin poses with members of her theatre company.

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

Last summer, I did an apprenticeship at Barrington Stage Company, which helped me grow tremendously. I got to understudy a role in a professional show and work with lots of professional performers, directors and musicians. It helped me realize not only that a career as a theatre artist was very much tangible, but that I was capable of a lot more than I had previously thought I was.

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

Junior Major Moments: Theatre Major Julia Rivenburg Stays Active on the Rowan Arts Scene

Today we feature Theatre major Julia Rivenburg from Waldorf, Maryland (Charles County). Julia also has a concentration in Pre-Teaching and is currently pursing her Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.) in Theatre Education while commuting to campus. 

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

Some of my favorite faculty moments include being in the Theatre and Dance office with Caitlin Reed and Dr. Elisabeth Hostetter the past three years. I always have wonderful conversations with them about the professional world and they always seem to be able to guide me in the right direction when I need them. Being an out-of-state student, you truly want someplace to feel at home, and with Caitlin and Dr. Liz I never feel homesick.

Photo of Julia wearing a black shirt and glasses
Julia Rivenburg (right)

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

This year, the most interesting thing I learned was probably everything that goes into being a director. I waited very patiently to be able to take Directing with Lane Savadove and was so excited to be able to learn about how to apply viewpoints to your directing and being able to execute a point of view. 

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

Photo of Julia in front of Bunce Hall.
Julia fields calls on the steps of Bunce Hall.

As far as pre-professional opportunities, I am very fortunate have been a stage manager for multiple Lab Theatre and Mainstage Productions at Rowan, an executive board member for USITT (co-president 2019-2020, senator 2017-2019) and Rowan Lab Theatre (box office coordinator and co-publicity manager), and to currently be the resident house manager over in Bunce Hall’s Tohill Theatre, as well one of the student event coordinators for the Mid-Atlantic Regional College Auditions. Each of these opportunities has furthered my growth in the theatre management field and are titles that I wear proudly.

On top of all of the opportunities I have had the last three years, I am also pleased to announce that next year I will be assistant directing both the musical theatre Cabaret and Heathers alongside Dr. Christopher Marlowe Roche as well as directing The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer in the Lab Theatre.  

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Header photo courtesy of:
Rowan Theatre Department Flickr

Beyond the Classroom: Music Education Major Mike Massaro Directs Two Local High School Bands

stock image of a trumpet player against a red background

Meet Mike Massaro, a recent Music Education graduate and commuter from Swedesboro, NJ (Gloucester County). He had the great opportunity to take his musical skills outside of the classroom and was able to direct the jazz band and marching band at a local high school. He tells us more about his experience and his passion for music education.

Four years ago, every single person I knew was telling me, “All of the opportunities and resources are there, you just have to choose to use them.” Genuinely, it probably took me until my 7th semester to truly understand what that meant. However, I had been surfing the opportunities of Rowan University since the first day I stepped on the campus.

Music Education is considered a double major at RU — music and education. Because of this, my program involves being a student of both the College of Performing Arts and College of Education (two degrees, two commencement ceremonies, etc).

The most amazing aspect of this has been being able to learn from and collaborate with my student colleagues and the incomparable faculty from both colleges. Being around other people who want to see you learn is what truly can put your college education to the next level.

I’m going to be very real here: more than likely, you will graduate. You will get the paper. At the end of the day, many will earn that paper, but the paper isn’t what matters in the end. It’s the education that went INTO the paper. What can YOU do to make what is very likely to be your most enriching 4+ years of education as educational as possible for YOU?

As an educator, my belief on this is very firm and was inspired by one of our CPA adjunct professors, Mr. Gerry DeLoach. The passion for what it is that you are teaching is what will drive you forward as an educator. Your knowledge and ability in your specific subject or field is what makes you tick. It is so important to keep that flare to learn alive. What you do in your field sets your ability for what you can do as a teacher. How tall will you let that ceiling be?

Mike Massaro playing trumpet with a high school band on the bleachers.

Here’s a short story. I was offered a very rare opportunity to direct a marching band and jazz band at a local school, Woodstown High School, while still completing my undergrad. By my sophomore year I was directing the jazz band, and junior year I was directing the marching band. It was a dream come true come early — teaching real students.

The program showed success very quickly. One of my beliefs when it comes to teaching is that the best way to learn how to teach is to teach. I wanted to do as much as I could for this school’s music program. It seemed like every day I was at Rowan, speaking to my professors about teaching strategies, learning more about music, and sharing and listening to stories; then in the evening, I would go put it all into practice when I taught for real. One of my biggest focuses through my undergrad was on making this program grow, because I knew that the more I was able to learn as a musician and a teacher, the more I would be able to teach these students. I think it is very important as a teacher to learn from your students, as they can teach us far more than we can teach them. I certainly learned so much from them.

Rowan let me learn from these students.

If it wasn’t for the education that I received every day, the conversations and performing experiences that I had, I would have never had anything fresh to offer my students. I’ve had professors come out to Woodstown on their own time to give clinics to the bands and watch me teach. What the faculty has to offer is truly unmatched. Rowan is a growing school that still has a small school feel where it matters the most — in the classroom.

The professors here care for you and want to watch YOU learn. We don’t have massive educational lectures. We have conversations about the real world and how you can make it better. In my teaching, I can directly categorize aspects of individual professors that have molded so many aspects of my musicianship and teaching.

Mike Massaro sitting with a trumpet

Thanks for making it to the bottom of my text blob. I have one more blurb. My trumpet professor, Dr. Bryan Appleby-Wineberg, once said, “You can’t change the whole world at once, but you can start by changing your corner of it.” Dr. AW’s belief about education is one that should resonate with all of us. Educators are at the center of any community. The educators teach the students, the students graduate, the students get jobs, contribute to our workforce, grow the economy — the students become the doctors, entertainers, designers, chefs, researchers who allow our community to grow. It all starts at the educator.

The educators are the students. The students are the educators. Be the best one you can be and take the opportunity. We are profs. Eruditio spes mundi — education, hope of the world.

If I knew my last time riding back from the student center on my skateboard holding my box of hot pulled pork with a piece of cornbread and a cup of red Gatorade would be my last time, I probably would have done it again. Remember that when you get nervous, it’s because you care.

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Senior Reflects: From Military to Music Industry, Travis Keiser Thanks Faculty, Family, Friends

Travis on stage playing in a band.

Today we feature Travis Keiser, a Music Industry: Technology major from Washington, NJ (Warren County). He transferred and was commuting to Rowan before COVID-19 shut down campus. 

Selfie of Travis Keiser in the Chamberlain Student CenterCould you please tell us about your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes?

One of my favorite moments was when my professor Barb Adams told me that I looked exhausted and I joked saying, “It must be from all the exhaustion I’ve been getting.” We both chuckled. She pulled me aside after and asked if I was okay and was genuinely concerned about my lack of sleep due to school. It’s that level of caring that is truly amazing.

What was your favorite or most meaningful personal moment at Rowan? 

During Public Speaking, I was giving my first speech and completely froze up in the middle of my speech. Instead of the class quietly giggling, I was greeted with “You’ve got this” and “It’s all good dude!” [There was] a lot of positivity that I was not used to.

What are your career aspirations and how did the people or programs at Rowan help to support you with those aspirations? 

I would love to work in post-production for a music/movie studio, as well as become a movie/tv show score composer. The Music Industry department faculty have really given me the expertise and knowledge that I need to pursue these careers.

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

I want to give a huge thank you to Beth and Connie at the Military Service office for all of their help during my time at Rowan. Transitioning from military to college life was difficult, but they made it easy. They seriously are the best and deserve a raise!

Also a HUUUUUUGE thank you to Jeff Hiatt, Barb Adams, Jeff Otto, and Mat Gendreau for all of their mentoring and teaching. And one last shoutout to Matt, Emma, Stella, Mike, my mom, sister and my girlfriend Katie for all of their amazing support and love throughout this journey!

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Senior Reflects: Aspiring Music Educator Kayode Gloster

A wide shot of one of Rowans concert halls.

Meet Kayode G, a graduating senior majoring in vocal music education who lives on campus on Rowan Boulevard. Kayode commuted to Rowan during his last semester, from his home in Pine Hill, NJ (Camden County). Kayode shares his favorite memories as president of the Table Tennis Club and as a performing arts student.Kayode poses for a portrait.

Favorite Memory with a Professor:
My favorite moment with a faculty member was when Professor Art McKenzie, my high school and Rowan men’s choir director, asked me to choreograph/stage one of the men’s choir concerts. He had a brilliant vision and he believed in me to help bring it to life.

We had many creative meetings on the order of the music for the program, lighting & staging ideas, transitions, and choreography. He allowed me to have a voice in the process, and he didn’t have to. He is one of the most selfless, egoless, and talented people I have ever met. I learned so much from this experience. I felt honored to be able to work on this huge project with one of my inspirations.

Favorite Rowan Memory:
My personal favorite moment at Rowan was when I was the President of the
Table Tennis Club. My goal for the club was to get the history of the club to 100 members on Proflink. When I was elected president, there were about 40 students in the history, and by the end of my term, the club had over 100 members! That was a very ambitious goal, but I exceeded that goal. This accomplishment stands out for me because this club allowed me to meet and connect with many great students on campus.

My motto for the club was: It’s more about collaboration than it is competition!

Table tennis group portrait.

What are Your Career Aspirations:
I aspire to be a music educator and work in all areas of performing arts. I love to sing, dance/choreograph, play the piano, write music & poetry, and of course teach and inspire others to get involved in music. I have had many opportunities to teach and showcase my gifts whether it was front stage (singing solo/duets, piano recital) or behind the scenes (choreographing, staging and lighting). I thank all of the teachers who allowed me to share my love of music in a variety of ways.

Kayode and a professor pose for a photo.Shout outs! I would love to say thank you to my family and friends who have been there during this long journey. All of the love, laughter, support, and meaningful moments have truly kept me alive.

Thank you to my table tennis friends. You will never truly understand how much this group has helped me through some of the hardest times at Rowan.

Huge thank you to Mr. McKenzie for all of your love and support! Thanks to Dr. Christopher Thomas and the choir who sang at my mother’s funeral. I will never forget that moment. Lastly, a huge shout out to Professor Karen Brager!!!!!! You truly mean so much to me! You are a huge reason why I made it to graduation. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Much love to you all.

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Meet #Rowan2024: PA Resident To Jersey Guy

Connor S wears a backpack.

Today we feature Connor Shields, an incoming freshman from Holland, Pennsylvania, who will live on campus. Connor will major in theatre, with a concentration in music theatre, and he will add the pre-teaching concentration once the school year starts. 

Why Rowan?
Well, it was tied with West Chester for my number one spot, so I decided to shadow both schools to see if that could help me make a decision. Once I got to do my shadow day at Rowan and started experiencing a class, I just told myself that I want to go here! Plus the opportunity to explore both musical theatre and education was a very big plus for Rowan, as there are many schools that, if you’re going for musical theatre, you’re stuck in that program and unable to double major.

Connor shows off his new Rowan hoodie.
What is one activity, club, sport or hobby that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan? (Or a new one you’d like to try?)
One activity I’m excited to continue doing is theatre, of course! That’s why I’m majoring in it. I do really want to try to learn ASL, so that’s something I’d want to try and learn while at Rowan. 

How or why did you choose your major?
The reason why I chose theatre with a concentration in musical theatre and adding ore-teaching is because I love performing and want to see if I can possibly make a career out of it, while also giving me the chance to explore teaching. Teaching is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I thought why not try to go to college for both?

What are a few things you’re looking forward to next year at Rowan
I’m really looking forward to the campus life at Rowan. For the few times I’ve been on campus, I’ve just loved every second of it. I love the vibe and I can’t wait to be a part of it in the fall. 

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Meet #Rowan2024: Rowan “Feels Like Home” for Music Therapy Major Maia Morales

Exterior shot of Wilson Hall on Glassboro campus

Today we feature Maia Morales, an incoming freshman from Millville, NJ (Cumberland County). Maia will major in Music Therapy and plans to commute to campus.

How or why did you choose your major?
I chose my major in music therapy because not only do I love music, but I love helping others. To have the opportunity to do the two things I love all in one is so special to me!

What is one activity, club, sport or hobby that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan? 
One thing I am looking forward to at Rowan next year is to partake in the many of the music programs that are offered, and hopefully also make some new friends while I am at it too! 

Maia proudly displays her #Rowan2024 acceptance package from Rowan University.
Maia proudly displays her #Rowan2024 acceptance letter.

Why Rowan?
I chose Rowan because not only is it close to where I live, being on campus feels like home and I love the atmosphere of it all. Knowing I do have the opportunity to commute back to home does mean a lot, as it makes life financially better! 

What are a few things you are looking forward to next year at Rowan?
I definitely would like to partake in Rowan’s Performing Arts program and audition for their plays and musicals! All the way through high school I participated in theater, so I would love to be a part of it hopefully at Rowan! 

Why did you choose a university that is close to home?
Rowan is not only [like I said] a place that feels like home for me, but hearing from my brother who is graduating from Rowan say how much he loved it only made me love it more. Meeting others who attend Rowan and just hearing them talk so highly about the campus and their classes and professors just makes me so excited to start working hard and begin a new chapter in my life! 

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Meet #Rowan2024: Music Industry Major Sam Poku

Stock image of music industry technology.

Today we feature incoming music industry major freshman Sam Poku, who is from Old Bridge, NJ (Middlesex County) and will live on campus. 

Why Rowan?
Choosing Rowan was probably the best decision for me particularly because of how great the overall Rowan environment is, staff, and education of my intended major. But, there was just a unique “feeling” deep down that had sat with me, that it was the right place to go. Knowing that picking Rowan will help me reach my greatest goals in years to come.

A side view of Sam singing into a microphone.

What are a few things you are looking forward to next year at Rowan?
As a freshman at Rowan University I’m really looking forward to meeting a lot of people, networking with different talents in my major, and spreading positive energy/wisdom across campus.

How or why did you choose your major?
I chose the Rowan Music Industry program as my major because of my passion and creativity towards music in general, and wanting to leave a mark in the field of A&R someday on the big business of the music industry as well as Rowan’s Music Industry program.

Why did you choose a university that is close to home?
Choosing a university close to home was very beneficial in a way considering finances, and being near family as well.

What is one activity, club, sport or hobby that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan? 
An activity I would love to continue with at Rowan University from high school is the overall art of band and playing in musical ensembles.

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First Year Voices: Theatre Major Lydia Riddell

Drone view of Holly Pointe curved building with trees in the horizon.

Today’s (FRESH)man Voices features Lydia Riddell, a theatre major from Swedesboro, NJ (Gloucester County) who lived in Holly Pointe Commons until COVID-19 shut down the campus. 

Lydia has a sunkissed face and windblown hair in this selfie.

What did you most enjoy your freshman year at Rowan?

What I enjoyed most about my freshman year was all of the welcome events in the beginning of the year. With all of the food truck festivals and little events at Holly Pointe, I was able to meet some great people really fast!

Could you share with one happy moment you had with friends, professors or other members of the Rowan community that made you realize Rowan felt like “home”?

One of the happiest moments this year was when I decided to switch my major to theatre. I was nervous, but everyone in the department was super welcoming and really helped me feel like Rowan was my home.

Large group of theatre majors pose together in front of Bunce Hall.
My new home away from home, fellow theatre majors at Rowan.

What advice do you have for future freshmen looking at colleges right now?

Advice I have for future freshmen is: be yourself and stay optimistic. Go in to college with a positive view, it makes it much easier to enjoy the transition and make friends.

What are you most looking forward to next year at Rowan?

Even though my first year was cut short, I’m looking forward to seeing all of my friends again and having even more fun at Rowan next year!

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Three Things I Love About My Major

Bianca stands in front of a Music Industry bulletin board.
Bianca stands in front of a Music Industry bulletin board.

Hi! My name is Bianca Torres. I’m from Morris County, NJ (North Jersey). I am a junior Music Industry major with a minor in Marketing here at Rowan University and I love my major!

Bianca sits at a desk, arms folded, in front of a laptop and a keyboard. Back in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do in the future or where I wanted to go for school. I knew that I wanted to go in the direction of music because I love it so much but I didn’t know what I could do with that. Then through my choir class, I met a friend who was a senior in high school at the time who had told me they were going to school for Music Business. Once she told me more about it, I instantly knew that music industry is where I needed to be. 

After looking at a couple options, I came to the conclusion that Rowan definitely had the best program for the affordable price I was looking for. When I found out that I had gotten into the Music Industry program, I was extremely excited! Now that I’m a junior in the major, I can definitely say that I have no regrets about the program and I’ve had so many opportunities as well. 

  1. The faculty and students are amazing! 

The professors are very down-to earth and are willing to help with anything you might need. They are also extremely highly regarded in their careers and have so many connections into the industry. They’re honest and very accepting of all the different areas and backgrounds of the music industry! The program offers students the option between two concentrations; the business side of the music industry, the tech side, or there is even the option of both! The professors, no matter what “side” they are on,  are very knowledgeable of all aspects of the Music Industry and it clearly shows. 

I’ve also made so many connections and close friends through this program. We can all bond over the love of music and the strengths we all have in different areas of music. Everyone is extremely talented. I’m so happy that I’ve found a community within my major. 

2. The hands-on experiences.

Another great thing about the program is all of the hands-on experiences they offer to their students. Within our department, we have a student-run record label called Rowan Music Group (RMG). Through that label, we are able to sign, assist, and create Rowan student music and help them further their artistic careers. 

Within our department, we also have our own studios in which students can create, produce, and mix their songs, whether it be for a class or project.

A group of approximately 20 Rowan students grouped together inside a concert venue.
My class and I at the Trocadero in Philadelphia

Through our Touring and Concert Promotion class, we find talented artists, book them, and then host our very own show. Most recently, my class has hosted one of the last shows at the legendary Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia.

Through these experiences, there are so many ways to network and connect to people in the industry that could be of great use to students in the future.

The program has also been able to send students and student-artists SXSW in Austin, TX.

3. They offer so many opportunities for Internships and jobs!

Lastly, one of the best things about my major is all of the internship and job opportunities the department notifies us about. Looking for an internship/job is already a hard and stressful task that many college students struggle with. I can proudly say because of the Rowan Music Industry program, I have already completed one internship and am currently working at another internship right now at the Ardmore Music Hall in Ardmore, PA! Whether it be for smaller labels, venues, or paid-sound engineering opportunities in the Philadelphia area or even bigger record labels and venues, all the way from New York to Nashville, TN, the Music Industry program will always help out and let their students know. This is a great help for any students looking for internships or paid-jobs once their time at Rowan comes to a close. 

The Rowan Music Industry program has made me a more well-rounded and hardworking individual. I’ve met so many amazing, talented, and inspiring people through this program that have helped me through tough-times and have supported me through good times. In my opinion, music is a universal language that can bring different people from different cultures and backgrounds together through one shared experience.

 For me to have the opportunity to be apart of that experience through Rowan’s program, is life changing! 

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Written Story by: Bianca Torres, junior music industry major
Photography by: Nicole Cier and Jen Green



Pandemic Profs: Music Industry Major’s Advice to Help Musicians [Spotify Playlist]

Jen Green stands in the Rowan University bookstore, looking toward her phone with the Badflower album cover OK I'm Sick

Welcome to our series to give you a glimpse into Rowan University, our campus culture, and the lives of our students, while we’re practicing social distancing to protect society from the spread of COVID-19. Today’s story is from Tommy Bell, a junior isolating from his home in Atlantic County, NJ, during spring break. Tommy is a music industry major who normally lives in Triad Apartments.

With concerts and tours being canceled or postponed because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, musicians have already felt big monetary losses. For smaller artists, the impact is huge and immediate. 

Soraia on stage in the middle of a show.
Philadelphia-area band Soraia had their East Coast tour cut short due to coronavirus. Singer ZouZou and drummer Brianna live in Pitman, the town next to Rowan. (Photo courtesy of Soraia. Photo credit: Jen Green.)

Not only are musicians not getting paid for playing shows and not able to sell merchandise at shows, but they are also missing networking opportunities. Smaller bands thrive off of networking at their shows. Meeting new people and getting to know them is what helps a band grow. 

But all hope isn’t lost, there are still a few ways that you can support local artists from your house.

Here is what I’m doing – and how you can help local artists. 

  1. Add smaller artists’ songs to your playlists. Streaming platforms pay attention to this, and will suggest artists to new listeners based on related artists from playlists they’re on. 
  2. Even though streaming doesn’t provide much of an income to most artists, listening to and sharing their music could lead to them making it onto a major Spotify playlist which is great exposure. 
  3. Go to artists’ websites and buy merch. If they don’t have a website contact them on social media to buy. Most artists are still able and willing to send out merch to fans. 
  4. Follow artists’ social media pages and have your friends follow them. 
  5. Stream music in the background while you’re home. 
  6. Some artists are hosting virtual shows to watch and listen online. Buy tickets for this alternative type of show. 

I created a Spotify playlist of my favorite local bands to listen to. It includes a lot of Rowan student bands (Pastelephone, Upon Knee Hill, Aftyn, and Sanity Falls) and local bands such as Soraia, The Underground Thieves, Deal Casino and a few others. So go and stream while you’re stuck at home and support local artists!

Pastelephone singer kicks in the air during Battle of the Bands.
Rowan music industry students make up Pastelephone, shown here during a Battle of the Bands on campus. (Photo courtesy of Pastelephone.)

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Story by: Tommy Bell, junior music industry major

It’s OK to be Scared

cassidy stands in front of a brick wall.

Moving away from home is scary. I’m not going to sit here and lie Cassidy posing for a portrait on train tracksand say that the transition from high school to college was easy for me. I’m sure other people had smooth transitions and would love to share their stories, but for the people who are scared to move away, I want to let you know that you’re not alone.

The longest I had been away from my parents before moving to college was on a school trip to Europe that was a week long, and by the end of the week, I called my parents crying.

Believe it or not, I was excited to move into college. Buying all the things I needed for my dorm was exciting, but there was always a voice in the back of my mind that said, “What if I’m making a mistake?” My boyfriend who lived close to me was commuting, so why was I going to live on campus? I pushed those thoughts out of my head and told myself I wanted the “full college experience.”

Cassidy holding a sunflower umbrella by red foliage.I moved in a day before move-in day because I had a late orientation date. I had talked to my roommate before I moved in and we decided to live together because we were both Theatre majors. My family moved me in, we had dinner, and then they left. Then I was alone in a place I was not familiar with. I had no idea where anything was and I felt alone. I decided to reach out to my friends from home and we hung out all night. I felt a little more comfortable. The next night, my roommate Faith invited me to hang out with some people from the department. Little did I know that I would make a ton of friends that would help me through this rough transition.

Cassidy and her sister on her first move in day.During my first week of classes, I met professors who made sure I was comfortable and taking care of myself. I quickly learned that everyone cared about me and I wasn’t alone. I joined clubs, performed in shows and made friends along the way who have changed my life for the better.

If you are scared or anxious about moving away from home, I want to let you know that it’s OK. Once you get to college, you will quickly realize that everyone here wants to help you and they want to see you succeed. So don’t be afraid, call your parents every day, and don’t forget that if you’re having a really tough time, just reach out.

Story by:
Cassidy Anderson, sophomore public relations and theatre major

Photos by:
Scott Anderson

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4333 Collective Holiday Show [VIDEO]

Sweetpills lead singer
https://youtu.be/78DoBDkuddc

Jayce Williams, a senior Music Industry major from 4333, a student-run music collective, tells us about his fundraising holiday show featuring Tigers Jaw, Oso Oso, Twentythreenineteen, Sweetpill and Typopro. The show raised more than 400 cans of food for the Glassboro Food Bank.

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Video by:
Dean Powers, sophomore radio/TV/film major

#PROFspective: Music Industry Major Jeff McConnell

Music Industry major Jeff McConnell stands outside Wilson Hall

Jeff McConnell posing in the SUP office.Name: Jeff McConnell 

Major: Music Industry  

Year: Senior 

Hometown and County: Marmora, NJ (Cape May County)

Commuter: Off-campus 

Social clubs you are a part of: E-board member for Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship 

Do you work on campus? Director of Live Events for the Student University Programmers (SUP) and Building Manager at Rowan Rec Center

Jeff playing the piano in Wilson Hall.Share an “aha!” moment you’ve had within your major that made you feel passionate about your intended field. The first class I took for my major was Business of Music 1, and as soon as the class started and we got into the course material I knew I had made the right choice.

We started learning about the “ins and outs” of the music industry, and all of my professors experiences while working in the music industry with some of the biggest names in music. Once this class started in addition to the other classes I was taking once I transferred into this major, nothing felt like homework anymore and I just wanted to know more about everything we were learning. Ever since then, I have loved every class I have taken and each one has made me more excited to get a job and start doing everything my professors have been telling me about the past three years. 

Describe an on-campus experience (academic or non-academic) in which you felt that your future goals are supported. I think getting my job as the Director of Live Events for the Student University Programmers really helped support my goals. I’ve had the opportunity to plan and execute events, concerts, comedy events and committee meetings. 

Jeff McConnell (left) discussing future SUP plans with his coworkers.
Jeff McConnell (left) discussing future SUP plans with his coworkers.

In addition to that, I’ve been able to work with so many graduate students and professional staff members who have helped me so much on my path with encouragement and insight. Lastly, this position has afforded me the opportunity to work with outside companies for my events and I have made so many good on-campus and off-campus connections that I will definitely keep up, even after graduation.

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you? Honestly, as cliché as it may sound, I think I have always felt welcome and as if Rowan was a home for me. With being involved in so many clubs in my time here, as well as working many different jobs on campus, I feel like I have always had a space to feel at home and a group of people that I know Music Industry major Jeff McConnell stands in front of a hallway displayare always going to be there for me. I think one club that has really done this for me above any other has been Chi Alpha. I have been a part of Chi Alpha for the past four years and it has given me so many lifelong friends and amazing memories and experiences. I will be forever grateful for the people that are in my life now that I met through my undergraduate time in Chi Alpha. 

And lastly, why Rowan? My freshman orientation leaders were the ones who told me that college was going to be what you make of it: “You will get out what you put in,” they told me. Since then, I took that and ran with it, working in three different offices in my undergraduate time, as well as being a part of about 10 clubs. Rowan had so much to offer and I really think I took advantage of it.

As a senior headed into my last semester, I look back so fondly on my time at Rowan and am so grateful for a school that has so much to offer. I have loved my time here and made so many friendships with students and professional staff members and it makes me sad to think about leaving. But I am so grateful for everything I have learned and truly feel as though Rowan has prepared me well to be successful in whatever I decide to pursue post graduation.

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Story and photography by:
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major

Rowan Sessions – Baby, It’s Cold Outside feat. Gabe Georges, Rocco Fiorentino, Rachel Martin [VIDEO]

rowan students making music in the studio
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nazPxFHlyDM

Music Industry major and guitarist Gabe Georges, brings vocalist Rachel Martin and pianist Rocco Fiorentino into Rowan’s studio to record a cover of Baby, It’s Cold Outside for the holiday season. 

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Video by:
Noel Waldron, senior public relations major
Dean Powers, sophomore radio/TV/film major

First Year Voices: Mattie Ballard-Millet

Mattie and her friend chatting outside on a grassy lawn.

Name: Mattie Ballard-Millet
Year: Freshman 
Major: Theatre, Musical Theatre Concentration within the College of Performing Arts
Hometown: Biloxi, Mississippi
Where do you live? On-campus, Holly Pointe Commons

What first surprised you about Rowan?
“I think how nice everyone is, because they say that northerners aren’t always the nicest. It’s a stereotype, but that’s not true. Everyone, especially within the Theatre and Dance Department, has been really sweet and encouraging.”

Mattie sitting on a grassy field.How is New Jersey different from Mississippi?
“Everybody here is very into what they are doing. It’s a very dedicated space for theatre. In high school, there are so many people that do theatre who are just doing it for the credit, and now it’s so nice to be surrounded by people who are just as passionate about theatre as I am. Students care so much.

“I guess there’s an energy that’s different, where everyone’s got something to do.
Whereas in the south, everyone’s kind of like content with living in their hometown forever and staying put. I feel like up north there’s kind of a ‘go-getter attitude,’ where everyone’s like ‘Let me go make a career for myself’ or ‘Let me shape my own path.’ Yeah, it is more fast-paced, and it’s very refreshing.

“Also, my teachers are more chill and laid back. There is a respect thing — where it could just be like a college thing or a north vs. south kind of thing. But it’s like the teachers understand that we’re people, and it’s not like ‘I’m your elder, so you have to respect me.’ Oh, and people don’t say ‘yes, m’am’ or ‘yes, sir.’ It’s such a weird feeling because I’m so used to saying those things.

“In the south, there’s an expectation for younger generations to speak that way to older generations. But here, there’s just a general respect for everyone. And Rowan is very progressive, so it made me super happy to see that people were using pronouns to introduce themselves and address each other. It just felt new and right.”

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Story and photography by:
Faith Lynn Diccion, sophomore theatre & radio/TV/film double major

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Music Industry Major Nikola Berardo

Rowan transfer student and Music Industry major Nikola Berardo photographed outside Engineering Hall

This is Nikola Berardo, a junior Music Industry major with a concentration in Music Technology from Absecon, NJ (Atlantic County). Today, he will share his experiences on his first month at Rowan University. 

Rowan transfer student and Music Industry major Nikola Berardo photographed outside Engineering HallName: Nikola Berardo

Major: Music Industry with a Music Technology concentration

Year: Junior

Hometown and County: Absecon, NJ (Atlantic County)

Off-campus resident? Yes

First-generation college student? No

Tell us about your transition into Rowan. Were you nervous? 

“I was not nervous initially, but as the first day approached, I grew a little jittery. But the first day went really well! I had a great time and transitioning was fine. Pretty straightforward.”

Why did you choose Rowan?

“It was the cheapest option, and it was pretty close to my hometown. I looked into Stevens Institute of Technology and The University of the Arts as well.”

Rowan transfer student and Music Industry major Nikola Berardo photographed outside Engineering Hall

Why did you want to major in Music Industry?

“Because I’m a musician, I play in various bands, I play various instruments and I’m a huge fan of music.”

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Story and photography by:
Enzo Ronchi, senior public relations major 

Beyond the Classroom: Jesse Panico, an Act for Theatre Arts

Rowan Music Performance major Jesse Panico next to the Henry Rowan statue

Meet Jesse Panico, a junior Music Performance major with a specialization in Voice from Magnolia, NJ (Camden County). He is also the senior student technician for Rowan’s Theatre Arts Management.

Rowan offers many flexible job opportunities for its students. After meeting his (now) supervisors at Theatre Arts Management through other networking, Jesse asked them for a job, filled out some paperwork “and since then it’s been wonderful!” Jesse said.

Jesse helps runs events in both Pfleeger Concert Hall and Boyd Recital Hall

“It greatly benefits me working there because I’m always there and the bookings are often from my own peers. Being able to work a recital (in Boyd Hall) and the person working it is someone you know and trust really takes the pressure off of the person performing,” he said. The work he does in Pfleeger Hall is little bit of everything, from ushering to lighting. 

His behind-the-scenes knowledge with Theatre Arts has helped him with his own student work as well. 

Rowan Music Performance major Jesse Panico in the Rowan Opera

“Knowing everything off-hand helps me plan as a student. When I was planning my Junior Recital, I knew how far to plan in advance, what works and what doesn’t,” Jesse said. 

“Rowan best prepared me by giving me to opportunity work with the technical side of what I want to do. I love to perform. It is very near and dear to my heart. It gives me insight on how to do certain things on stage — such as, many people think to stand right in the middle of the spotlight. But you actually should stand in front of the spotlight so you don’t have the lower half of your body cut off,” he said. 

Jesse noted that Theatre Arts Management tries to emphasize working all parts of the theatre so you get a better understanding of what goes into everything.

“I have developed a lot of people skills from starting as a house manager, which deals with the public saying ‘No ma’am, you can’t bring food in.’ A lot of the training was learning as I go. The high-stress environment helped me to learn quickly. I’ve learned everything from lights and rigging to building the sets.

“I feel at home in Pfleeger Concert Hall,” Jesse said.

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Story and photography by:
Justin Borelli, senior advertising major

Pre-College Institute Holds Elements of Dance Finale [VIDEO]

wide shot of students in their Elements of Dance class
https://youtu.be/46FOrGeEjLA

This summer students earned three college credits through Rowan’s Pre-College Institute (PCI), a six-week academic/residential program to better prepare freshmen for college. Here, we showcase their Elements of Dance class finale, where students performed in a recital organized by Professor Paule Turner of the Dance department within the College of Performing Arts

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Story and video by: Dean Powers, sophomore radio/TV/film major
Music provided by: JoySpace

My Favorite Class: Elements of Dance

Three students by the ballet bar in a session of Elements of Dance

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

Rowan student Giovanni Rodriguez striking a dance pose in the dance studio

Meet Giovanni Rodriguez, an Athletic Training major from Woodbury, NJ (Gloucester County).

Giovanni is seen here in Elements of Dance, one of the courses he’s taking as part of the Pre-College Institute (PCI), a summer orientation program designed to prepare students for their transition to Rowan in the fall. 

“[Elements of Dance] is one of my favorite classes that the PCI program offers. I love everything about it, and our professor Paule Turner is very open, kind and patient,” says Giovanni. “I’m happy that I’m living in Mullica Hall and that it’s so close to the dance studio in Memorial Hall.”

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How My Theatre Degree Opened Up Many Doors

Rowan alumna Vanessa Vause in a performance of "The Little Mermaid"

Confidence, personality and dedication. These are three of the biggest things my theatre degree drilled within me. They’re often three words employers add in job descriptions, too. Companies want to work with people who are dedicated with a strong work ethic, confident in themselves and when carrying out tactics. Most importantly, people want to work with someone who stands out, has a good personality with a big heart and open mind.

Rowan alumna Vanessa Vause
In costume for a performance of “Shootout at Shadow Mountain.”

With self-confidence, I tell myself that I can truly do whatever it is I put my mind to. Learning a new skill, taking on a different job, working in a new environment … all of these things can be quite scary, especially for a fresh post-grad. I feel exceptionally prepared when entering new experiences with the confidence the Rowan Department of Theatre and Dance taught me to have. 

Parents often have worries when their child wants to pursue a degree in theatre. It really is like entering the world of the unknown, but trust me when I say your child will gain the confidence to excel at any job they get after graduation. 

Being a part of the theatre department, I was taught to be prepared and to stay on top of my timeline. This is a skill that every single person should have, but especially in the performing world because jobs aren’t always traditional, and they don’t last for lifetimes. This field consists of new job after new job, and so you have to be dedicated to your craft and always willing to work. 

Rowan alumna Vanessa Vause (at left) posing with fellow castmates
At left, before “A Little Mermaid” performance at the Pickleville Playhouse.

Because of what I was taught here at Rowan, I applied (auditioned) for jobs beginning in December of 2018 to have a job after May 2019 graduation. My education and professors provided me with so much knowledge on so many topics. I was prepared with technique, but most importantly, I was equipped with life and people skills. 

The theatre degree taught me so much more than how to sing, dance and act. I feel highly advanced with “reading the room” and knowing what people (employers) want. But there needs to be a balance between providing the employer with what they’re looking for and showing the real you. Being a theatre major taught me how to stick to my guns, yet adapt to what people want, in order to make a living while staying true to myself. 

Rowan alumna Vanessa Vause and her dad stand at the entrance to the state of Utah
Hello, Utah!

I have no regrets going to college for a theatre degree. The relationships I’ve made, the life skills and performing knowledge I’ve gained … these things are priceless. Rowan University Department of Theatre and Dance blessed the past four years of my life. Not only do I cherish everything I learned in the past, but I’m so thankful that it has set me up with the job of a lifetime post-grad. In the spring semester, I landed a dream job, one that I had my eyes on ever since I looked up their website www.picklevilleplayhouse.com

I got to drive across the country to Utah where I’m working all summer long, performing 10-13 shows a week for sold-out crowds in the beautiful lake town of Garden City. I’ve met my soulmates here, friendships that I know will last forever.

Utah mountains captured by Rowan alumna Vanessa Vause.
What a view!

I’m also learning more about myself than ever. Being around breathtaking nature in a new environment with a brand new crowd has brought out the best in me. There sure aren’t mountains like this in Jersey. To top it off, I’m making connections that are leading to new jobs in the area, something I’m very grateful for. 

This wouldn’t have been possible without the skills I’ve learned while earning my theatre degree. I definitely landed this job because of my personality, confidence and dedication to the craft. If I can do it, you can too. A theatre degree has opened many doors for me, and I’m excited to see what’s next.

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Story:
Vanessa Vause, B.A. in theatre (musical theatre concentration) and B.A. in public relations

Photos courtesy of: 
Vanessa Vause

Achieving Goals: Getting Produced

Rowan student and public relations major Enzo Ronchi

Today we are talking with Enzo Ronchi, a senior Public Relations major who transferred from Atlantic Cape Community College. Enzo is a part of the band Transfer Post. Transfer Post was featured on a completion album produced by Rowan Music Group.

Enzo was always inspired by music and is a self-taught musician from an early age, being a part of music in anyway he could — from jazz band in high school to writing his own music. One of the major reasons he decided to join the Rowan family is because of the music scene around us, with Rowan Alternative Music club and the venue 4333 playing an enticing role. When Enzo arrived to Rowan he met his bandmates, who formed Transfer Post. 

“Coming here gave me every resource I needed to start this band,” says Enzo. Besides having a great music industry and tech program, Rowan allowed him to meet many talented people. Enzo was able to network throughout the music scene on campus enough to meet the right people, who eventually asked his band to be a part of their album and produce their song. 

“A friend of mine who recently graduated was a part of Rowan Music Group and asked if we wanted to be a part of an album compilation and at that time we finished recording the song shortly prior but we didn’t have anyone to produce it, so everything sort of fell into place.” Rowan Music Rowan student and public relations major Enzo Ronchi Group opened the door of opportunity for Transfer Post to become more known and get their name out there with other popular local bands. Here’s a story of how a talented self-taught musician, was provided with every opportunity and made his aspirations a reality.

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Story and photography by:
Justin Borelli, senior advertising major 

Music Industry Students put on “Summer Kick Off” show at the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia 

Touring and Concert Promotion class at Rowan

At the end of the spring semester, Rowan Music Industry students created their very own touring and booking company and put on one of the last shows at the legendary Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia. 

The students of Rowan’s Music Industry program must take a “Touring and Concert Promotion” class. In this class, students have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with choosing/booking venues for music artists and handling all of the financials, marketing, merchandise and production of the show. This past year, the students were able to get their show at the Trocadero Theatre right before its final days as the venue is closing down for good. They decided to call their booking company “856 Touring” named after the local area code. 

The show was named “Summer Kickoff” as it was toward the end of the school year and summer was fast approaching. The show consisted of four acts, which were all local.Guitarist performing at the Trocadero as part of Rowan's "Summer Kickoff" show.

The acts were Rec Philly acoustic soul artist Scarlet Cimillo, local rappers MCtheRockstar and OnlyJahmez, and New Jersey based band Ocean Heights as the headliner for the night.

Overall, the fun-filled night was full of different styles of music, people, and overall a fantastic turnout for the Touring and Concert promotion class! 

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Story and photography by:
Bianca Torres, sophomore music industry major

Music Industry Major Works With Dream Company

During the summer of 2018, Devon interned with Sponsorships, then Premium Seat Sales in the fall. She anticipated challenges going into her sales position, but overcame issues faced with sales by integrating a different personality needed for the job. Her hard work paid off because she now works for Live Nation as a Scheduling Coordinator […]

Faculty PROFile: Joseph Higgins [VIDEO]

Professor Higgins conducting the ensemble on stage in Pfleeger Hall

Meet Professor Joseph Higgins, a professor and musician who strives to inspire curiosity, creativity, and understanding through art. 

In 2015, Professor Higgins joined Rowan’s faculty with the College of Performing Arts. He conducts the student wind ensembles, teaches courses in conducting and trains students who hope to be future music teachers.

“For the young musicians who love creating new things, who crave the power and connection of ensemble performance, who want to use their art to be a positive influence in their communities, this is exactly where they should be.”

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Video by: Vanessa Vause, senior public relations and theatre double major

First Year Voices: Niambi Fetlow

Bambi sitting on a chair in the rehearsal room in Bunce
Bambi inside Rowan rehearsal room

“I love the Theatre and Dance Department here because everyone makes me feel at home no matter how many times I fall down. I know I have a huge group of people here supporting me and helping me in any way that they can.

The people here are just a reminder of a quote from Maya Angelou that I live by, ‘People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'”

Niambi (Bambi) Fetlow, theatre major (musical theatre concentration) from Pennsauken, NJ (Camden County) who lives in Rowan Boulevard Apartments. 

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Story and photography by: Vanessa Vause, senior public relations and theatre major

First Year Voices: Salma Elwy

Salma sitting at the piano inside Bunce
Salma sitting at the piano in the practice room in Bunce

“I’m very lucky to be studying acting at Rowan because the sense of community here is so strong. In just one semester, I’ve made friends who I already feel so comfortable around and professors who are so willing to help me grow in my field. The small class sizes make it easy to learn and to make friends without the intimidation of a huge lecture class. I’m so excited to see what the next three and a half years have in store for me!” Salma Elwy, freshmen theatre major and Arabic minor from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). (First generation American college student).

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Enter for a chance to win a Rowan t-shirt! Email RowanBlog [at] rowan.edu with the date and time of your upcoming campus tour … we may just email you that we’re going to surprise you while you’re visiting!

Photography by: Vanessa Vause, senior public relations, advertising and theatre major

Kerry’s Home Away From Home: Blackbox Theater [VIDEO]

Kerry and cast on the stage in the blackbox theater at rehearsal

Meet Kerry Jules, senior theatre major and advertising minor from Union, NJ (Union County), directing an original musical conceived by Matthew Vesely, senior theatre and writing arts major from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County). Lights went up for the world premier of “Trigger Warning: A Melancholy Musical” on March 7 & 8 at 7:30 pm, and […]

Music Industry Student Gains Hands-On Experience Through Live Performances

Claire sits at a table with a Mac computer and microphone to work on a song in Wilson Hall's private recording studio.

Claire Jesseman, a senior Music Industry and Spanish double major from Ewing, NJ (Mercer County)  may have discovered her favorite sound: the “ding” of a new email notification! Through opportunities sent out to Music Industry students by her professors and program coordinators, her Rowan education is actively filled with traveling, networking, and experiencing her field […]

#PROFspective: Music Industry major Luis Vera

Today, we speak with Luis Vera, a junior Music Industry major from Bridgeton, NJ (Cumberland County) who commutes. Luis will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how he’s getting the most out of his college experience as a Rowan Prof. Name: Luis Vera Major: Music Industry Minor […]

Joshua’s Home Away From Home: Wilson Practice Rooms [VIDEO]

Young, white male student with yellow Rowan University standing in foreground with brick building blurred out in background

An environmental studies freshman from Nutley, NJ (Essex County), Joshua Masucci has continued with his love for playing music and has found a welcoming home away from home within the College of Performing Arts’ Wilson Hall’s practice rooms. Like what you see? Come visit us! VISIT CAMPUS​ Produced by: Alexander Belli, senior public relations and advertising […]

Don’s Home Away From Home: Studio 1 [VIDEO]

Young male student playing electric guitar inside a music production student while sitting down in a chair

Watch Don DeWitt, junior music industry major and commuter from Monroeville, NJ (Gloucester County) in his home-away-from-home at Rowan, Studio 1 in Wilson Hall. Like what you see? Register for a tour or open house.  VISIT CAMPUS​​ Enter for a chance to win a Rowan t-shirt! Email RowanBlog [at] rowan.edu with the date and time […]

#PROFspective: Classical Performance Major Luke Altman

Luke outfront of Wilson Hall with his guitar and amp outfront Rowan University sign

Today, we speak with Luke Altman, a sophomore classical performance major from Westfield, N.J. (Union County) who lives on campus in 230 Victoria Street. Luke will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how he gets the most out of his college experience as a Rowan Prof. […]

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Pascale Molina

Pascale

Meet Pascale Molina, a senior theatre major from Santiago, Dominican Republic whose home is now in Bradenton, Florida. Why did you choose to come to Rowan? “I choose Rowan because not only does the theatre program expose all of its students to many schools of acting and performance, but it provides out-of-state students with great […]

Rowan University Student with Spondylo-Epi-Metaphyseal Dysplasia (SEMD) Shares Her Campus Experience

Mackenzie Trust outside Rowan University Bunce Hall

Two years ago, Rowan University student Mackenzie Trush shared her experience with Spondylo-Epi-Metaphyseal Dysplasia (SEMD), an extremely rare form of dwarfism (less than 100 known cases exist). After the previous article, “Dominating the Stage at 3 ft tall,” Mackenzie received an overwhelming amount of support from readers all over the world. In honor of Dwarfism […]