From North Jersey, What These Students Love About South Jersey’s Rowan University

Two students peer into a giant telescope in the planetarium.

This story is a part of Rowan’s centennial series to celebrate 100 years of Rowan University. Rowan Blog contributor Jordyn Dauter, a junior from Quakertown, PA, double majoring in elementary education and dance, collected these insights from fellow students. 

There’s a lot of different activities to participate in Rowan. You can always keep yourself busy and meet new people. There are a lot of different ways South Jersey is different from the North. One of the more obvious ways is the sports teams each side represents. In North Jersey, it’s all Giants, Knicks and Devils. In South Jersey, it’s Philly-based sports like the Eagles, Phillies and Flyers. Another way they are different is the population. There are more densely populated towns and cities in North Jersey than South. More people are out and about in places like Hoboken and Newark.” – Nick Carney, senior biomedical engineering major from Flemington, NJ (Hunterdon County)

The commitment shown by teachers toward students. Any student that wants to learn could easily thrive at Rowan University. I enjoy the daily life pace of South Jersey. North Jersey is a lot more on-the-go, and South Jersey is a lot more relaxed.” – Brian Osterlof, senior public relations major from Oakland, NJ (Bergen County)

Brian Osterlof sitting outside at a table.
Brian Osterlof

I love the university and the diversity of things around the campus. One of the two favorite things about campus are the classes and the student-to-teacher ratio. Great opportunity for us students to interact in class and gain connections with our professors. The Student Center is my other favorite place on campus. We get to meet a lot of different people there and it’s a great place to socialize and make friends.” – Aaliyah Owens, junior law & justice major from East Orange, NJ (Essex County)

“Some things I love about Rowan are living in a dorm, being close to my friends, taking interesting classes in my major, small class sizes, and the professors in my major really care about teaching.” – Alianna Bronstein, senior environmental science major from Franklin, New Jersey (Sussex County)

Alianna Bronstein sitting outside, with the Rowan Prof statue in the background.
Alianna Bronstein

“Some of my favorite spots on campus include my freshman dorm Willow Hall. Also, the scholarship I have is the parent plus loan and the PEL grant. My favorite club I’m a part of is rugby, and I love my teammates. My favorite spot is Discovery Hall green and the woods trails behind Engineering Hall!” – Hunter Kupersmith, senior health & exercise Science major from Cresskill, NJ (Bergen County)

I love the opportunities and friendships I’ve been able to obtain through Rowan. There is a chillness and quietness to South Jersey that I love.” – Natalia Peralta, a master’s student in the strategic communication program from Belleville, NJ (Essex County)

Natalia Peralta and John Hunter peer into a giant telescope at the planetarium.

I am forever indebted to Rowan University for the amazing people I’ve met and befriended in my time here. In addition, I’ve been able to work with incredibly intelligent professors that I will soon be able to call colleagues.” – Taylor Bailey, senior vocal music education major from Roxbury, NJ (Morris County)

“Rowan has brought me complete independence and the ability to make my own choices and learn to live with them. I love its proximity to Philadelphia.” – Daniel Myers, senior finance major from Phillipsburg, NJ (Warren County)

I love how the faculty is invested in the future of each of their students and makes themselves available for each student’s individual needs. I also love meeting up with my friends from my program after class at Mexican Mariachi or Chickie’s and Pete’s.” – Rachel Rumsby, a master’s student in the strategic communication program from River Edge, NJ (Bergen County)

Rachel Rumsby outside on Rowan Boulevard
Rachel Rumsby

“I love the feeling of being on campus. The rush of meeting new people daily and having thousands of stories pass you as you walk through halls. I love the relationships Rowan has brought me.” – Juliana Elliffe, senior radio television & film major from Ridgefield Park, NJ (Bergen County)

“My favorite parts about Rowan are the Outdoors Club and the cheesesteaks around campus.” – Richard Russo, senior civil engineering major from Fredon, NJ (Sussex County)

Richard Russo walking outside of the Henry M Rowan College of Engineering
Richard Russo

I love being part of Social Justice, Inclusion & Conflict Resolution (SJICR) as a front desk worker and as a Harley E. Flack Mentor. South Jersey is a little more suburban than North Jersey where there are way more buildings and not much greenery.” – Monica Torres, senior computer science major from Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County)

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Men’s Hockey Student Athlete Reflects on Earning Captain

Jared Cohen in the offensive zone reading a play.

Not many have the privilege of playing collegiate sports; fewer have the chance to earn the title of captain. A recent graduate of Rowan’s finance program, Jared Cohen of Wayne, NJ (Passaic County) wore the “C” after holding down the blue line for Rowan’s Men’s Hockey team for three seasons (2019-2020, 2021-2022, 2022-2023). Wearing a letter in two of the three seasons he played, Jared is a student of the game on the ice and in the locker room.

Jared bowing his head for the national anthem.
Jared bows his head for the national anthem before a game

The transition from being captain on a youth team to being a rookie on the next can be challenging. Yet Jared attributes a smooth transition to the team of veteran players around him, “I didn’t really know what to expect coming in but I was fortunate enough to meet some really cool guys my first year, some older guys who really took me under their wing.” His first-year season was about finding his role, allowing himself to take in the personalities of his new teammates before finding the confidence to be vocal with the veteran players on the team. Part of being a great leader was about being a great follower: showing up and doing your job, a concept that he executed on which lead to him becoming an assistant captian his junior year.

Going into his senior year, the obvious goal was to not just make the playoffs or make a run, but to bring home a championship. On an individual level, Jared strove to become the de facto leader on the team. Going into his senior year he was one of three players who was still wearing a letter on his jersey. Wearing the “C” was a responsibility he carried at every level. Wearing it at Rowan was the last step.

Captains come in a variety of forms, some are vocal while some lead by example, but when asked what his teammates would say if asked why he should be captain he had this to say, “I think mainly they’d say I’m smart. I’m not here to be everybody’s best friend as nice as that would be; I’m here to make sure everyone does their job for the team. That’s really what it’s about. I don’t think being the captain should be anyone’s best friend, I think they should have your best interests at heart instead. Sometimes tough love is called for, and other times it’s just a sit-down conversation. But I was always transparent with everyone.”

Jared stepping onto the ice.

Although he’s been a captain at every level, he acknowledges that he still had a lot to learn before wearing the C. When asked about what lessons he picked up on under different captains, he had this to say, “It’s definitely just keeping the team together. I mean it’s hard to get through to everyone. You have a bunch of different types of guys on the team, strong personalities, weak personalities, but it’s my job to blend those together to make it as successful for the team as possible. It’s almost like a chef making a recipe, sometimes you’ve got to do it by feel, so that’s what being a captain requires. Especially on a college team where we’re not going to play pro after this, but everyone still wants to win and have fun doing it.” 

Earning the captaincy was a season-long endeavor, but one that was worth it. Throughout the season Jared positioned himself to be the guy that both his teammates and coaches go to. He says, “I went into the season as the only returning player with a letter so that was really cool. I told  my coaches in the beginning, during training camp, ‘I want the ‘C’, I want to be the guy on this team.’” After handling extreme lows and highs during the season, carrying both extremes with grace and a leader’s stoicism, the coaching staff agreed that it was time to give him the job he earned. Getting the ‘C’ was a special moment, “It was me and two or three other guys with ‘A’s on our jerseys, no one had a “C”. But I kind of knew I was the guy and I acted like it and I think the team reciprocated that. Toward the end of the season, before our playoff run, at a random coaches meeting before practice he gave me the ‘C’. He took my jersey and put it on. It was pretty cool.” Navigating the good and bad of a long season exemplified what being a leader of a team was. 

Jared making a cross ice pass in the offensive zone to his teammate.

When reflecting on the better moments of his collegiate career, several moments stand out. However the memory that sticks out the most is from his freshman year, “All three years I played we won probably 70-75% of our games so I’ve definitely been on three good teams, three years of playing– we lost the COVID year. It was never really about the regular season, we always won a lot more games than we lost but come regionals times the closest we got was my freshman year. I was playing so hurt so I was just a shell of myself, we were on goal away from going to nationals. The way it works is you have to win three games in a row at regionals. We won two my freshman year, went to the third game, we gave it all we could and just fell short a little bit.” The taste of glory and being just shy of the national tournament put a fire in his belly to be better going forward. 

The somber moments of sports drive individuals to elevate their game, when reflecting on the lower moments of his career, games during his senior year stood out, “We had a couple tough games against Penn State and a few others, but we knew we had a good team, we knew our record would be good in the end. So we righted the ship there, we talked about it, we talked about whatever we had to do. Toward the end of the season, when things started to go south, in hindsight it might’ve been past salvageable at that point, it might’ve been that’s what it was. We had two really bad losses, one of them being on senior night. We blew a 2-1 lead, but ended up losing 3-2 in the final minute.” However, instead of sulking, he immediately followed up by watching film to see what went wrong to put a better effort, more effective team on the ice for the next game. His philosophy embodies learning from what you did well during your best games as well as your worst game.

Jared watching a play unforld in the offensive zone.

Many lessons have been learned through watching other leaders, thousands of hours of time on the ice both in game and practicing, but in the classroom as well. Being a finance major helped in a variety of ways. Some of the tools that he refined through projects in class have translated to an on ice setting, “I love to be extroverted and meet new people. I think being a leader has definitely done that. Communicating with so many guys over the years, I learned about their different styles, their likes, their dislikes. Being a finance major, it’s kind of funny, I learned to communicate with a lot of people and how to get stuff done for a team. I think that’s the most important thing I’ve learned– communication.” Embodying the spitting of a leader means drawing from a variety of lessons to apply in unconventional scenarios, something that Jared does very well.

After bleeding brown and gold for his team, after four years his collegiate and education career has come to close. Through his four years in class, 61 games and 41 points, and now a finance degree to his name, Jared Cohen has walked the stage into the professional world. 

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Story by Thomas Ubelhoer, international studies and political science major

My Home Away from Home, The United Latino Association

Student clubs and organizations fair.

Julianna Wells, a junior political science major from Oak Ridge, NJ (Passaic/Morris Counties), shares this first-person perspective on how joining the The United Latino Association at Rowan University helped her rewrite her experience and find a home away from home. In addition to her major, Julianna will earn certificates of undergraduate study (known as CUGS) in Spanish, public policy and public relations and the news. 

Julianna poses for a beautiful portrait in front of the owl statue on campus, with her hair curled, wearing a white shirt and blank pants.

For the entirety of my life prior to attending Rowan University, I lived in a predominantly white town. As a Latina, this experience came with its own challenges. I never saw anyone who shared my own culture, my own language, or even looked like me. Needless to say, it was a very sheltering experience. At times, I even experienced harassment due to my own ethnicity. I would receive anonymous messages telling me I would end up selling drugs and mowing lawns in my future. I was even told to go back over the border. Yet, besides the harassment, all I ever wanted was to feel less alone. So many people value having at least some friendships and connections that share the same culture and backgrounds. With that being the thing I craved all those years, I was looking forward to starting my life on a college campus and meeting a whole new world of people. 

United Latino Association board members with Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students board members & Pre-Law Society board members.
Julianna (back row, third from left) with United Latino Association board members and Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students board members & Pre-Law Society board members.

Once I finally left my hometown and came to the Rowan University campus, I was determined to rewrite my experience. It was at the student organization fair where I met my home. The United Latino Association caught my eye as it was the only Latine organization I saw as I combed through the rows of tables. I wrote my name and email on their sign-up sheet immediately. From there, I attended a handful of events and made the decision to run for their electoral board.

Julianna and a friend look at each other candidly in the Student Center with lights behind them.

As a result, I was the new treasurer for the last academic year and couldn’t have been more grateful for that opportunity. Throughout the year, the friends I made in this organization were no longer just friends, but family. From meeting those who share the same cultural background, to learning how to dance to Latin music better, to even bettering my own second language, my life on campus and in general had been forever changed. Due to how sheltered I felt in high school, I didn’t have too many friends but this was no longer the case at ULA. For every event I attended, I felt l a bit closer to home. 

Julianna stands with a friend in front of the iconic owl statue on campus, with yellow balloons by her side and a classic "first day of school" blackboard with chalkboard for the date September 5, 2023.

What’s more is that with being on the board, I was able to help this organization grow and prosper, myself included. I saw our family go from just 30 members to around 160 members. I think my favorite memory with all of the members was when we all came together for a dance night to learn salsa, bachata, cumbia, and other dances that people wanted to share. I have loved my time being a part of this organization and board so much that I decided to run for president for the upcoming academic year, and I won! The shy, alone Latina I once was prior to university was now a figment of my imagination. It has been practically mind-boggling to reflect on the difference between my experience from high school to my experience at Rowan University all because I was able to join just one organization. Needless to say, ULA has become my home away from home. 

ULA Valentine’s Day Speed Friending Event.
ULA at last Valentine’s Day speed friending event.

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Written by: Julianna Wells, junior political science major

Story edited by: Valentina Giannattasio, junior dance and marketing double major

#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 […]

From Jersey City to Future Jersey Teacher, Jonathan Dale Shares What Fuels Him

Jonathan is sitting in a chair looking off in the distance.

In this edition of #PROFspective, we discuss with Jonathan Dale, an elementary education major, his intrinsic desire to go into education as well as the different motivations that have fueled him to go into the schooling system. Jonathan, a sophomore from Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County) also serves as marketing coordinator for Rowan After Hours (RAH).

So what was high school like for you in Jersey City?

I’m a product of the Jersey City public school system and I’m proud to be able to say that. There’s about seven public high schools in Jersey City. Where I went to school it was specifically for performing arts. Even though students were separated based on what they wanted to do, everyone still knew everyone. 

As a Black man, how often did you see teachers like yourself? 

All four years of high school; I can’t really complain. I think I only had one or two teachers that I couldn’t relate myself to. I think that because of that, it was one of the reasons as to why I knew that teaching was something that I could do. With me seeing other people being able to put themselves in such a position it helped me envision myself in the same spot. I was able to pick up so many different teacher mentors from my school experience. I think every year I had a teacher who was Hispanic, Black or even international, such as from India. My school did a pretty good job at making sure I could see myself as a teacher. 

Jonathan is standing in front of James Hall with his arms crossed.

How has your time been here so far at Rowan?

My experience has been good. I think now I’m getting more of the behind the scenes view. As I’m working through the school now I feel as if it’s become a lot better because of the friendships I’ve started to create with people. I’ve only been here a year, but I really do feel the appreciation and support here. I was just telling my coworkers about this, but just the other day it was my birthday and I had around 20 people text me and tell me “happy birthday!” I can’t remember how we met but just knowing that connection is there feels so gratifying. 

For yourself, you’re in the process of becoming a future educator.  What do you think is necessary for someone who’s thinking about going into the education field?

I think that at a certain point,  you feel like it’s something that you know you can accomplish. You have those understandings where you can kind of sit back and reflect on things like “I’m actually inspiring other people, what else can I do?” Of course, there are a plethora of different things that you can go into within the education field like becoming a counselor. I was fortunate enough to have teachers who were minorities, it helped me see myself in a similar career and know I’m not alone. I know that there are situations where a lot of people don’t have that same experience. However, I also think this brings out a great opportunity. You might not see people like yourself in school, if that’s the case do it yourself. Make a name for yourself. Instead of waiting for something to happen, start the next big trend of your city and start trailblazing different paths for young people. 

Jonathan is in James Hall sitting in a chair.

How did you come into RAH (Rowan After Hours)? How did that type of dynamic come to be?

I have a funny story about that. A while ago I was on the phone with my mom and remembered asking her for money. I still remember, my mom had told me “You need to find a job.” When she had told me that I remember I had looked down and I had an immediate response. I replied back to her and said “I think this is our lucky day”, the floor tiles were advertising for Rowan After Hours. It was probably one of the best moments that could have happened to me. I’ve made so many meaningful connections with RAH and it’s really helped me develop as a person and leader as the marketing coordinator. 

What drew you towards elementary education?

Going back to high school, I was a part of a mentorship program. They have students from my school go to other diverse schools around the area. I remember doing that my freshman year of high school. Another thing about Jersey City is that the school system is not that good. To put it lightly, we do have our rough places. But I remember going to one of the roughest schools in the district, at least in terms of trouble and behavior with students. I would go there and teach these students about different aspects that mean a lot to myself, such as bullying. You know, I’ve had family members that were personally affected by bullying and I would tell the students of the different experiences that go on. For the students, I think they knew I wasn’t just coming up with some generic story, they knew that I was being sincerely genuine. Because of my work with that, I think that was the beginning of when people, specifically kids that I talked to from before, would start coming up to me and telling me how my interactions had mattered to them. Kids come up to me all the time with things like “Jon, I remember you. Do you remember coming to my school? You taught me about bullying, drugs etc.” There’s something about that, I believe it to be the most gratifying part of imparting knowledge on people. Teachers will always say that they’re in it for the long run. With elementary education, I think this is the part of kids’ lives where they’re starting to make choices for themselves and you can really make a difference for them. 

What do you think of the lack of male teachers in the education field? 

At first, it was a bit shocking to me. I remember specifically last semester where I was one of the only guys in my class. I had thought it was a bit odd and I do feel as if there could be more males in the field. For most people, their male teachers are usually centered on physical education; but it doesn’t have to be like that. I just think that really constraining yourself into one field that you might not feel passionate about really isn’t the most optimal way to try and live your life. I’m actually apart of a project which is solely focused on increasing male practitioners and classroom teachers. It’s a program centered around men of color and enrolled students where they are paired off with a mentor. It’s not just like a very usual conversation with your mentor, it’s always extremely deep and eloquent in terms of context. Personally, I talk to my mentor just about every week. We discuss the different ways that we ourselves can improve ourselves and our mentors also help different parts of the education process that isn’t necessarily discussed enough; like finding clinical practices, data, networking with different school districts. I do believe that men are moving in the right direction and we’re starting to see more diversity in the field. 

Jonathan is looking off in the distance wearing a Rowan hat.

What drew you to Rowan? 

It’s such a funny thing. When it comes to me and my mom, almost everything that we do could be a coincidence. Covid had occurred during my junior year and I recall being with my mom and looking at all of the different college shows. At the time, virtual tours were especially big just because of how no one could get to any of the campuses. I remember doing research with her and something had caught my eye. I had known barely anything about the school but I was extremely perplexed over it. I remember seeing Rowan and asking myself how I never had heard of this university before. It was hitting all of my check marks at the time. In Jersey? Two hours away? I was extremely interested and was ready to sit through those three-hour virtual campus tours. I was mulling over a few other options like Moorehouse but after I had got to around the three-hour mark with the video, I was sold on the dream.

What attributes of Rowan made you know that was going to be your spot? 

One of the most important aspects that I was looking for with colleges was the emphasis on location and traveling. Knock on wood, but if anything were to happen, I think one of the biggest things that I need is the security of knowing I’m not too far from my family. When I was looking at different colleges the ones that I was really interested in unfortunately were in different states or many hours away. During this process of figuring out where I wanted home to be the next four years I figured that I had wanted to stay home in New Jersey. There’s something about it; I know that it’s somewhere I can build a life in and be successful for years after college. 

In regards to my parents, I didn’t want to make things difficult for them. Of course, I don’t want them to drive two hours to see me, but I think that it’s far enough and also close enough. If I ever get that feeling where I want to go and see my mom I’m fortunate enough to be able to get in my car and still do so. It’s really reassuring knowing I have that security. 

How do you envision yourself as a teacher? We talked about how you’ve been able to connect with all these kids. How do you envision yourself as a teacher? What do you hope to accomplish once you do become an educator? 

I always envisioned myself being that teacher where students could come to and know that everything is going to be okay. I want to be the teacher where I can hear things like “Mr. Dale I’m having a bad day. Can I stay in your room?” I want to create and cultivate a safe space for my students where they know they can come and see and we can come up with a solution together. That’s always been one of the biggest aspects of my life. I think that all my values are increasing for the hope that kids can get taught irregardless of what’s going on. I’m a teacher. It genuinely makes me really happy just to say things like that.

Jonathan is standing and smiling with his arms crossed.

How did your family react when you told them of your plans of pursuing education?

It’s funny because I feel like I was often told “your mom’s a teacher, therefore you want to be a teacher.” When we actually sat down and started discussing my future we had been going over a bunch of different career paths that might interest me, but never actually had a solidified route. I remember her saying “we have to figure out something you like.” I think that at the time we both knew that we couldn’t envision myself really enjoying anything outside of education. For my mother, she was just really happy that I had a sense of direction. I still remember when I had first told her that I wanted to go into education, she had just looked at me rather plainly and said “Yeah, it’s something that I thought you would do.” Mothers really do know best. 

Jonathan is smiling with his arms crossed.

What do you hope your lasting legacy will be as an educator? 

I want to be a contributor; I wouldn’t say change because change comes with time, but I want to improve the system as a whole. When I say I want to improve my school system, I want it to be specific. I want there to be more people of color in my position. I want the students to be able to envision themselves in the field and not feel disoriented. How can I make the students more comfortable? How can I improve the system? It’s these types of questions that I ask myself that fuel my mindset toward education. 

What words could you give to somebody who’s on the fence with majoring in education? What could you say to get them on board? 

Just go for it. Take advantage of all the resources and opportunities that your school provides. If you can go back and reflect on your own high school experience and still be able to name five teachers that had an impact on you, take a second and try to envision yourself in the same circumstances. Could I do something like that for someone else? It takes a lot of introspection and self awareness; this isn’t the field that you’re going in just for the money it’s a lot that you’re undergoing. If it’s something that you know you feel passionate about, I do think that education has a place for everybody. 

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Story by Lucas Taylor, Graduate English Education 









Lila Dasi Reflects on Her First Year (So Far) as a Biomedical Engineering Major

Lila Dasi posing outside of Bunce Hall at Rowan University

What is your favorite part about attending Rowan University? I think the campus is really pretty and offers a lot of great spaces to sit and relax. I also like that Rowan has a lot of different organizations and clubs on campus for students to be involved in, and to find their community. What inspired […]

#PROFspective: What Health Means for Senior Adrianna Blake

Rowan University Health and Physical Education major Adrianna is standing out front of the PROF logo in her basketball gear.

In this edition of #PROFspective, we learn of the the viewpoint of senior Health and Physical 
Education major
Adrianna Blake of Bayonne, NJ (Hudson County). In our conversation with Adrianna, we discuss with her as to how her unique Rowan experience led the way for her discovering what her future in physical education means. 

What goes into being a Health and Physical Education major here?

Being a Health and Physical Education major means a lot to a lot of different people. For myself, I went into the major more so thinking of the health aspect. I grew up to be a really intuitive eater. I’m one of the people that you’ll see in the grocery store looking at the back label making sure there’s no gums or corn fructose syrup. I want to implement more longevity, taking especial care as to what individuals are putting into their body and noticing the difference in their everyday life.

Rowan University Health and Physical Education major jots down notes inside a gym.

Health and physical education is essentially teaching students to build healthy and sustainable life habits. Whether that be through nutrition, your mental and physical health or as I stated earlier, creating healthy life habits, it’s our duty as future educators to remind these kids to make sure they implement all of these different lifestyle habits into their life. 

How did you come into Rowan?

When I first came into Rowan I was actually a Law and Justice major. I was obsessed with “Criminal Minds” in high school and I had envisioned myself as this FBI/detective character. Eventually, I figured out what kind of work that entailed and that I would have to take it home with me. I figured it would be too much for me to handle. So, I looked into the education field.

I’ve been playing sports all my life and I figured health and physical education would be the right fit for me. It was a mix of trial and tribulation. I had originally gone in as early elementary from, from what I believe was Kindergarten to grade two or three. Elementary ed was from grade three to five and I remember realizing that I didn’t want to be put into this box where I’m stuck teaching only a specific age or grade level for the rest of my life. With physical education, which is K-12 certification, it gives me more leeway to test the waters and broaden my own perspective. 

Rowan University Health and Physical Education major Adrianna can be seen helping a student out with stretching.

What is your coursework like being a physical education major?

I had actually just come back from Concepts of Creative Dance and HPE. I had taught a lesson where I was this tree going through all of the four seasons. It’s a lot of creativity and adding your own originality to the lessons that you’re teaching. In my opinion, it takes a lot of planning and formatting and can be a bit on the tedious side. But overall, I feel that the concepts that we want to get across can best be accomplished through the energy that you, as the educator, bring to the class. You can have a stellar lesson plan and meet all the criteria on paper, but if you show up to class and have low energy or just not familiarize yourself with the students, they’re not going to be as responsive to the material as they’ll just be reading it off like a piece of paper. 

What is your involvement on campus like? Are there any specific clubs or organizations that you’re a part of? 

So I’m part of the HP club and this semester I’ve been volunteering to do “Get Fit.” It’s an established program where people with disabilities come with whomever, such as their parents or guardians, and get assistance with weight training.

For many people with disabilities, they do not receive a well-rounded physical education. However, with “Get Fit” we create a safe environment. It’s easier to feel comfortable in a room where you’re able to relate and empathize with other people, especially more so when you have a support system and people that want to see you succeed. Our participants give us progress worksheets that we fill out every week so we can see their progress. 

What sport(s) were you involved with when you were in high school? How did this inspire you to later become a physical education major? 

Another reason I had thought physical education was a good choice for myself was because of my athletic background. In high school, I was a triathlete, I was involved with soccer, basketball and threw shot put and discus in track and field. On the latter, I had thought it was almost crazy that I was involved with throwing. I had started my sophomore year and I ended up being exceptional at it. For myself, I had really gotten so proficient in throwing through technique and not just the raw physical aspect of it. All of my background in sports had given me inspiration to go into the physical and health education major. I’ve had so many great figures in my life that eventually I want to be on the coaching side of things. 

I had actually come into Rowan to play basketball my first year. Unfortunately, four days into my second year I had torn my ACL around four days before the season had started. Health and physical education really had played a part in changing my perspective as a whole. I understand why there is a stigma with the major and how it can be perceived as being solely focused on sports, but it is so much more than that. And obviously, physical activity helps with longevity and putting you in a better mood, enhancing all these great things. But you want to make sure that you’re also working on your mental health and being mindful of what you consume and put into your body as well. 

Rowan University Health and Physical Education major Adrianna can be seen on the basketball court with friends smiling inside Esby Gym.

How has tearing your ACL affected your going into the health and physical education field? 

I would say it has. Tearing my ACL was more so of a mental injury more than anything. I was kind of down for a bit. I wasn’t able to do the normal things that I’ve been doing since I was six years old when I had first started participating in sports. It was definitely hard on me. I feel like health and physical education was that kind of linkage and gave me solace as to where I am now. I know my own limitations now physically but I also am aware of the other side of things. I can always coach and help other young students and athletes play the sport that I love. 

Where are you originally from and how has your transition been from there to Rowan? 

I’m originally from North Jersey. I grew up in Bayonne. For myself, the camaraderie has been extremely beneficial for myself since I’ve been on campus. The best comparison that I could give for it is that it’s been almost like a natural instinct where I knew that Glassboro was going to be home for a few years. I feel like it was far away from home but not too far. I’ve still had my dad be able to come down and visit me down here. When I first arrived I do think there was a bit of a culture shock. I always knew North Jersey and South were super different but I remember just picking up on all of the different lingos when I first moved. The transition was still adaptable and now I can see myself staying down here for a few more years. 

What do your future plans look like outside of college in the field of education? 

For myself, there is still a bit of uncertainty. I don’t know if I’m going straight into a district and teaching after I graduate. But I do see myself coaching. I feel like I can bring about a very interesting perspective and would love to implement that into either coaching or physical education.

When I was growing up, my dad was a boxer and he actually won the Golden Glove a couple of times in New Jersey. My mom was a yoga instructor so I always felt as if it was natural for me to be as active as I am. What’s interesting to me nowadays is children who are struggling with mental health and how prevalent of an issue it’s becoming. You know, in this day and age there are so many different curveballs that are constantly being thrown at teachers such as social media, it makes it difficult to remain flexible. 

During my clinical experience there was one particular teacher, Michelle Thornton, who had stood out to me. Thornton had the students work on their mindfulness and had a class dedicated to meditation in substitute for a physical activity in their PE class. I had sat in on one of those classes and I was blown away. In one of the times I was observing she told me this story of this room that was originally a storage room and how the school had renovated it just for her. This room was heavily decorated and seemed so warm and welcoming; there were multiple different tapestries arrayed on the walls alongside string lights and different yoga mats. Thornton’s teaching method was incredible to me, she would talk with the students for 40 minutes just reminding and reassuring them that they were okay and that the classroom was a safe space for them to get anything that they wanted off of their chest. I think in my field, I want to implement something similar, whether that be a yoga class instead of a volleyball lesson or a mindfulness class instead of something. 

Rowan University Health and Physical Education major Adrianna can be seen at "Get Fit" and is coaching another person how to use a machine.

Can you discuss with us the importance of mental health in connection with physical health? 

With physical activity, it boosts your endorphins and stimulations you; but, that’s not everything that occurs. Mental health is something that we forget to exercise and work on. As a society, I feel like we’ve grown as its become more of a goal that we want to reach to be happy by working on that part of ourselves. For myself, this is especially important for my own set of values. The professors here at Rowan do a great job at implementing health and wellness just as much as the physical education aspect. 

With your ACL injury, you stated that it became more of a mind injury, how were you able to heal yourself mentally and continue to keep moving forward? 

Going back to my personal injury, it was a big blow. Something that had helped me a lot was journaling how I felt every day and keeping track of the progress throughout the injury. It’s an extensive recovery lengthening around over nine months. Even after the recovery process you can still feel some aches and groans from the area. No matter how much I tried to focus on the physical aspect and get back to playing sports, I knew that I couldn’t rush the process. The mental block was especially draining. I had to face the fact that I might not be able to go back to playing sports.

Because of my experience, I want to remind students that if you ever go through such an endeavor, whether it be injury or anything else, I want to remind them that it’s good to have grit and have that drive to get back but to also be able to take a step back and let your thoughts settle about what had just happened. It’s important to recognize these type of thoughts, recognizing trauma is a huge task in itself, especially at a young age, students may not think of that possibility of not being able to play a sport again. 

Of course, it may seem a bit outlandish to someone who has never played sports, but I can understand why someone may think it a bit extreme. However, to that person, whether that’s a student or athlete, these types of injuries are prone to causing trauma and be detrimental to their life. Right now I’m learning more about these trauma-based injuries and as a teacher, we have to be aware of the signs of it. Noticing patterns of lack of effort, attendance, and depression, lets you as an educator put that hand out to help students going through bleak times. 

What’s an interesting aspect about physical education that you didn’t know until you took a course on it?

I’ve talked about nutrition a lot so far but something that was really eye-opening to me was school lunches. I want to be that voice to persuade the school or district that I’ll be at and let them know how processed students’ lunches are. 

I also remember in high school that the football team that we had was the only team that had taken weight training seriously. In connection with my own injury, I tore my ACL and the doctor’s and people involved all had thought that it was my hamstring that had torn because it was so weak. Naturally, women have weaker hamstrings than men. Women are more quad dominant while men are more hamstring dominant, which is why you may see more ACL injuries in women. When I tore my ACL they had wrapped it up and I was even able to go to a Halloween attraction that night. I had surmised that everything was fine but when I woke up the next morning, my knee was the size of my thigh. From that point I knew something awful had happened.

This was also a great learning point for myself. Throughout that process of physical therapy and the read to recovery, a lot of emphasis was placed on growing the muscles around the knee such as the hamstrings, quads and glutes. Growing up, I had no idea that was even a thing. I hadn’t got involved with weight training until I came to Rowan my first year where it was mandatory for the basketball team to have 5 a.m. lifts. I can reflect on that now and think of how bizarre it was to have something so important such as weight training and have it neglected. You have the usual sports that are heavily involved with weight lifting such as the wrestling and football team but it goes beyond that. Women should also be doing the same thing to ensure maintenance of the body as well as prevent injury. 

See our video with Adrianna here:

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Story produced by:
Lucas Taylor, English education graduate student

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

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

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

#PROFspective: Senior Lauren Cooper Says “Opportunities for Molecular and Cellular Biology Majors are Endless”

Rowan University Molecular and Cellular Biology major Lauren conducts research inside Discovery Hall.

Lauren Cooper is a senior here at Rowan University, from Sussex County, NJ. Lauren is majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) along with her minors in pre-medical and chemistry.  Why did you choose Rowan? I chose Rowan because it felt like home when I stepped on campus. I loved the size of the school, […]

What Hispanic Heritage Month Means for Jeremy Arias

Jeremy is sporting a sweatshirt with his fraternity letters on it and is sitting down in some greenery with his arms spread open.

From Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, Hispanic Heritage Month is not only a celebration, but is also a time of recognition for the many people in the United States and beyond. In our conversation with Jeremy Arias, a junior majoring in Finance from North Bergen, NJ, we learned more of his own unique Rowan experience. In our dialogue with Jeremy we learned more of his leadership qualities as the president of a fraternity on campus (Alpha Phi Delta) as well as what his own Hispanic heritage means for himself. 

What aspects here at Rowan motivated your decision to spend your higher education here? 

The main thing was the environment. All my life I had been going to school with people I know. For example, the same kids I went to elementary school with were also in my high school. I think that’s why most people choose colleges that are so far away.

In my case, I transferred all the way from Indiana. I wanted to be away from home and meet new people. I think that going to Rowan, I was still home in New Jersey but I was still far enough from home where I could be around new people instead of surrounding myself with people I already knew. I still got the best of both worlds here at Rowan University.

Jeremy Arias is leaning against the Rowan Barnes and Noble with his fraternity letters on him.

What was the transition like transferring into Rowan? 

I can definitely say it was a decently difficult transition. When I transferred I did end up missing the spring orientation. At this time, Covid was especially prevalent too so I was put into the transfer floor of Holly Pointe on the 7th floor. There was nobody living there except for my one neighbor. I didn’t even have a roommate, I was living in a double room by myself. Even when I went to all the programs like RAH (Rowan After Hours), they would have bingo or other activities but it was still all online so you really couldn’t meet people in the usual way. It was hard to get in touch with people because of everything being online, but it was an experience nonetheless.

Why did you choose to major in Finance? 

The reason that I wanted to get into finance was because I grew up in a town that was across the water from New York. You see a city like that and you see how it’s run all by money, like Wall Street for example. It’s a big corporate town, but I knew that I wanted to be a part of something bigger like that one day. I wanted to be one of those people that have the distinction, the titles and of course, the wealth as well.

I feel like part of the reason that I wanted to be a part of an environment like that was because I’ve always wanted to be a part of a higher purpose. I’ve always wanted to be in places of greater importance and opportunity.

Jeremy can be seen hanging around the boulevard talking with friends.

What have you enjoyed the most about Rowan so far? 

What I’ve enjoyed the most about Rowan has to be the community. It’s not a big school but it feels so big because of the people. For me, it doesn’t matter how large or small a school is as long as the people there are large in personality or attitude. You always feel at home. There’s so many different people out there and they make the world larger than it is. Between the school programs and the boulevards and all the other opportunities that Rowan has to offer, it definitely is a close knit community.

The people here are larger than life itself. They want to involve you so much within the community. Even though you might feel isolated at times, you’ll always find a home in the community. 

Could you tell us a bit more about your Fraternity? 

I’m currently in the fraternity Alpha Phi Delta, which is an Italian heritage fraternity that was founded on Nov. 5, 1914. We chartered here at Rowan University in the 1970s. We were deactivated and then reinstated in 2017. While we may be one of the few fraternities that have been here for so long, we’re still building. As of now, we’re five years strong and excited for the future.

Even though we might not have as many brothers as other fraternities on campus there’s a beauty in it. All of the brothers are so close knit and really know each other. It’s just like a big family.

I definitely think it’s been quite a ride; I came in knowing nothing and then you come out and become a brother and you know everything about everyone. It’s like a circle of life. You have to learn everything about the brothers but eventually they become your best friends. As a new person comes in, you almost feel old. You were in the same spot as them only a few years ago. You become almost like the old wise guy. On another note, rush Alpha Phi Delta. 

Jeremy is holding up a soccer jersey and smiling at the camera.

How did you come into your leadership position within your fraternity? 

During elections, there were a couple of us running but I think that most people felt the most confident in me and my vision for the future. I ended up winning by only one vote but I had all the confidence in the world in myself that I had a shot at it but I understand why people were skeptical. I had just recently become a brother but I had a plan with how I wanted to steer the fraternity. A lot of the guys who had been in the fraternity at the time were involved during Covid, we were just getting out of it and there were certain things that unfortunately couldn’t work anymore.

But I knew the direction that I wanted to take everyone. I won the election by one vote and told everyone of my plans and really won them all over. I was one of the youngest presidents in the fraternity’s history. There’s definitely a learning curve and there is a much needed adjustment period. You think the whole presidency thing is all fun and dandy but there are so many different responsibilities. People depend on you. It’s still fun, but it was an awakening. I knew I wanted to be president. I wanted to shoot for the top. It’s everything I wanted out of it.

Jeremy is throwing peace signs and smiling at the camera.

How has your experience as President of your fraternity changed your framework of mind? 

I definitely feel like my leadership has steered the fraternity in the right way internally. There is a lot more work to be done, especially in the upcoming semester, but there’s a lot of things that we’re all really excited about.

My leadership is built upon a lot of values that I really believe in. I think that with hard work it gives you a sense of satisfaction. You work hard and when the job gets done you can sit down, reflect and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

What motivated you to take up a leadership position in your fraternity? 

My mentor in the fraternity was the previous president of the fraternity. I saw all the work that he had done and all the leadership qualities that he exhibited. At one point, he told me that he had “picked me because he thought that I was worthy of this.” It resonated with me. I always want to be a part of a higher purpose and that was my calling. It was great for my confidence and I knew I had people who knew that I had potential.

Could you tell us a bit about your hispanic heritage?

My mother is Venezulean, she grew up in Caracas. My dad is Colombian, he was born in Bogota. He moved with my Aunt and Uncle to Venezuela where he eventually met my mother. Together from there they made their way to the United States.

Jeremy is holding up a book and pointing to his families home country of Venezuela.

How has your family incorporated aspects of your hispanic heritage into your life? 

In every aspect of my life. The language, the values, the prevalence of family. Of course, especially the food as well. I’m a huge fan. I think everything really when it comes down to ethics and values. I attribute a lot of my drive and hard work to that type of upbringing. Everything they taught me was all I’ve ever known my entire life.

What does being Hispanic mean to you? 

To me, it means being a part and representing an ethnicity that is filled with culture and life. There are so many colorful things that go with being Hispanic, the culture especially. My parents came here with nothing and worked for everything that they have. It’s kind of a representation for the entirety of the Hispanic culture. Some of us have come from nothing. A lot of work, so hard for everything that we have.

That’s the Hispanic way. It’s a hardworking and yet such a loving, family-oriented community.

How do you involve your Hispanic heritage into your daily life? 

I think that I involve it in every way possible. For example, every morning I make a Hispanic breakfast. When I’m in class, I’m working as hard as I can so that eventually I can go home and show my parents, “Look at my grades, this is all for you guys.” The way that I’m around people, I treat them all like family. I love being around people, it’s amazing what happens when you treat people the way that you want to be treated.

Jeremy can be seen in the Rowan Barnes and Noble holding up books that discuss about different countries flags.

What are your favorite parts about your Hispanic heritage? 

It has to be the food, the language and the people. What I love the most about the Hispanic culture is that there is no such thing as one “Hispanic.” Even with dialect as well, Colombian Spanish isn’t the same as Venezuelan Spanish or even Ecuadorian, Dominican and Puerto Rican. They are all so different but at the end of the day there is one root for it all. There’s still enough similarities where you can understand what the other person is attempting to convey. We’re all so different but we’re also all the same.

How has your heritage influenced your identity as a person? 

I think that the part of my Hispanic heritage that has influenced my identity the most is probably the family aspects. It’s such a loving community, like I said earlier, I’m a people person, I treat everyone like family. That’s just how I am. The discipline and the hard work has ingrained itself into me. In my opinion, every Hispanic has had that ambition and drive at one point in their life. I feel like that’s something that makes up my identity. I’m always striving for better because I always want more out of life. I want that not just out of me, but also everyone around me.

I gotta say though, the Hispanic food has definitely made up a large portion of my identity. It’s my favorite! Lastly, I think the idea of always making someone proud has made up a huge chunk of my own self. With my parents, they continue to work hard and give me everything that I have to help me in life. They still are guiding me down this path for as much as they can. I just want to be in a position of success where I can say “Hey Mom and Dad, I did this for you and I hope you’re proud of me.”

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Story by:
Lucas Taylor, Rowan Global student in Graduate English Education program

Photos by:
Ashley Craven, junior sports communication and media major

    Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective: Senior Biological Sciences Major Esteban Nieto on a “New Community” at Rowan

    Esteban sits in front of Science Hall.

    Why did you decide to attend Rowan University? I wanted something different, something far from home. A new community, you know? Getting out of my comfort zone. What has your experience as a student been like? It’s been pretty good, honestly. Overall, I do enjoy it here. It’s very different. What attracted you to the […]

    Beyond the Classroom: Marketing Major, Consulting Firm Intern and Rowan Social Media Student Team Member Zara Capone

    Zara poses outside on campus.

    Today we speak to Zara Capone, a Marketing major from Flemington, NJ (Hunterdon County). Zara finds value in attaining hands-on experience as a Rowan social media team member and Slalom intern. In the following article, Zara shares experiences within her university studies, internships and advice for incoming marketing majors. 

    What is your major and what inspired you to pursue it?

    I am a marketing major. I chose a business major because there are many opportunities for full-time jobs after college and you can use the degree in so many different industries. I chose marketing, specifically, because I enjoy the creative aspect of it.

    What are your career goals?

    As of now, my career goal is to land a job out of college and to continue to build my skills in marketing. I don’t know exactly what industry I want to work in, but I always thought that working in the media and entertainment industry has always seemed exciting to me.

    Portrait of Zara outside.

    How do you think Rowan has prepared you for achieving these career goals?

    Rowan has prepared me well for my career goals. The Rohrer Center for Professional Development has a lot of resources that students can utilize to assist them through their job search such as resume reviews, career fairs, and mock interviews. Rowan also provides students the opportunity for on campus jobs in the field that they’re looking to get into, which is great. 

    Why did you choose to study at Rowan?

    I chose Rowan because I thought that they had a great business program and I really liked the campus. They also have a lot of opportunities for professional development.

    Are you involved in any clubs or organizations?

    Yes, I am in Alpha Sigma Alpha, a sorority.

    How did you get started on Rowan’s social media team? What are your responsibilities as an intern?

    I was hired to be on the social media team in June of 2021. I saw a post on the Rowan University Instagram page saying that they were looking for student workers to join the team, so I applied and got the position. My responsibilities include monitoring Rowan’s social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. During these shifts, I respond to mentions, comments, and messages. I also create weekly content for Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok.

    Are you currently involved in any summer internships? If so, what is it and what are your responsibilities?

    I am currently working for Slalom, which is a consulting company. I am working as a marketing intern. I work with the marketing team in the New York City office. Right now, I am developing a social media strategy for them and I’m also assisting in the preparation of partner events. The marketing team hosts a lot of events so I’m helping them create the materials that they need.

    Zara poses outside on campus.

    How are these experiences contributing to your development?

    I am gaining a lot of hands-on experience, which is great. Also, having these experiences have allowed me to see what aspects of marketing I’m strong in and enjoy. I am also meeting a lot of new people and building connections, which is really important.

    What do you believe is an important trait for those pursuing marketing? Do you have any advice for people who want to go into the field?

    Marketing can be broad since there are many different skills that go into marketing. Finding skills that you enjoy or are good at can help you tremendously when figuring out what type of jobs you want. Gaining as much experience as possible throughout college gives you the opportunity to do that. Another piece of advice is making connections and building a network. Having a network is extremely important for people trying to get into the field and can open so many doors for you. 

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

    Photos courtesy of:
    Zara Capone

    Meet #Rowan2026: Incoming College of Science and Mathematics Students

    Exterior shot of Science Hall.

    Today we feature incoming first year students Ariana Benitez, Soorya B., Abby Titus (she/they), Leila Underwood (she/her), and Dallas Hainsworth (she/her). Ariana is from Bergen County, NJ and will be living on campus as a Psychology and Exercise Science major. Soorya is from Princeton, NJ (Mercer County) and will be living on campus as a […]

    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 […]

    Meet #Rowan2026: Incoming College of Engineering Students From Near and Far

    College of Engineering building.

    Today we feature incoming first year students Pedro Geraldes (he/him), Ella Pennington (she/her), and Alex Ballou. Pedro is from Newark, NJ (Essex County) and will be living on campus as a Chemical Engineering major. Ella is from Elkton, MD and will be living on campus as a Biomedical Engineering major. Alex is from Mililani, HI […]

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

    Matthew Beck stands in front of Bunce Hall.

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

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

    Kaya smiles, holds her diploma.

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

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

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

    Shirley poses in a garden.

    Shirley looks back at how she made friends on campus.

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

    Shirley advises her high school self to take risks.

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

    Shirley poses outside of Bunce Hall.

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

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

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

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

    Shirley poses in front of the Rowan arch.

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

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

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

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

    The Value In Fighting: My Experience With Rowan MMA

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

    ICYMI: Rowan University Dance Team Ranked Fifth in Nation

    Group photo of Rowan Dance Team at Nationals.

    This year, the Rowan University Dance Team competed at the Universal Dance Association (UDA) Nationals in Florida, where the team placed fifth in the Open Division Hip Hop category. Here, members of the Dance Team reflect on their time at the competition and talk about their dynamic as a team. 

    What makes the Rowan Dance team different? 

    Jordyn Dauter, a first-year Dance & Exercise Science from Quakertown, Pennsylvania says: “Everyone on the team has something unique to offer, whether that is something specifically to dance, or other elements like attitude or leadership skills. We all have something special to offer, which makes our team diverse.”

    Teammate Amber Schott, a junior Psychology major from Bayville, NJ (Ocean County), adds, “Definitely the dynamic of the team. I made my best friends here at Rowan through this team and I always feel super supported and encouraged in reaching my dance goals.”

    Rowan Dance Team outside at the Florida competition.

    Senior Kaya Snow, a double major in Dance and Theatre Arts with concentrations in Acting and Musical Theatre from Oak Ridge, NJ (Passaic County), says, “We’ve really gone through some huge changes in the last few years and we’ve come out stronger through it all. I’m so glad that we decided to pursue UDA Camp and Nationals my sophomore year because it really has changed the entire dynamic of the team for the better.”

    Kristin Mostrangeli, a sophomore Psychology major from Hamilton, NJ, (Mercer County) puts it simply: “Since we get to spend so much time together, we really become so close with each other as a team.”

    Dance team outside

    What is your most memorable memory with the team?

    Junior Inclusive Elementary Education Bianca Moffa from Maple Shade, NJ (Burlington County), shares, “Hearing our university get called as a finalist qualifier will definitely be a core memory for sure. I am so proud to be a member of this team and to see all our hard work pay off by becoming 5th in the Nation in Hip Hop.”

    Do you have a Rowan University or Dance Team experience you’d like to share?

    Nicholette Voci, a junior Law & Justice and Psychology double major from Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County), says that “being able to dance at football games, volunteer events, and be in Florida with my best friends is the best experience anyone could ever have in college.”

    Sophomore Sociology major Taryn Larsen from Toms River, NJ (Ocean County), reflects on her time with the Rowan Dance Team by saying “it is the perfect mix of practice each week, meeting new friends and performing.”

    A member of the Rowan Dance Team smiles at Nationals.

    How was your experience at Nationals 2022?

    Reflecting on her experience, Mia Tabasco, a first-year Sociology student from Haddon Township, NJ (Camden County), says, “It was so incredible. I’ve been dreaming of going to UDA for the longest time and I’m so proud of our team for making finals. We’re a new team and we made our names known.”

    Sophomore Exercise Science major Adrianna Laezza from Monroe Township, NJ (Middlesex County), shares that the journey to the UDA National competition was a big deal to her. “It was the best feeling in the world to perform on stage again. I got to compete at UDA which was a dream I have had since I was 12 years old.”

    Valentina Giannattasio, a first-year double major in Dance and Marketing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, says, “It was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. I still cannot believe we performed there with all those astonishing dancers. I am proud of how far we have gone. Now we are Top 5 in the nation for Hip Hop!”

    Dance team performing

    What is the best part of being a member of Rowan University Dance Team?

    Alyssa McAvoy, a sophomore Music Industry Technology and Business major from Shrewsbury, NJ (Monmouth County), says, “I love that I am still able to dance in college and the friends I have made through being on the team!” 

    Junior Engineering Entrepreneurship major Isabel Rivera from Flemington, NJ (Hunterdon County), puts it simply. She says, “The best part about being a member of the Rowan University Dance Team is “being surrounded by people who will motivate you no matter what.”

    First-year Spanish Education major Lily Cummings from Pittsgrove, NJ (Salem County), reflects on her first year on the Rowan Dance Team by saying, “It allows me to grow in my ability as a dancer and dance throughout college without it having to take up my whole life. It also provides so many exciting and memorable experiences along with amazing new friendships.” 

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

    Photos by:
    Valentina Giannattasio, first year dance and marketing double major

    Header photo courtesy of:
    Rowan University Dance Team ProfLink



    Senior Reflects: Finance Major, Soccer Team Captain Bethany Sansone on Leadership and Mentorship

    Today we speak with Bethany Sansone, who recently graduated with a degree in Finance and a minor in Marketing. Bethany is from Roxbury, NJ (Morris County) and is involved around campus as a member of the Women in Business Club, member of Rowan Athletics’ OWL (Outstanding Women Leaders) Group and as captain of the Women’s Soccer Team. She discusses her experiences within her major, her career aspirations, and she shares details on the job she will be starting this fall.

    Why did you choose to study Finance? Have you always wanted to pursue a career in this field?

    The reason why I choose to major in Finance is because it’s challenging, fast-paced and exciting! I’ve always loved and excelled in working with numbers and math in general. Finance seemed to be the perfect fit for me. My parents are both in the accounting and finance field, so from high school I’ve always known I would be going into the business field in some way. 

    Why did you choose Rowan to study Finance? How did Rowan stand out to you in your college search?

    I ultimately chose to go to Rowan to play soccer. Luckily enough, Rowan happened to be a great school for business and my academic aspirations! Rowan’s campus and atmosphere also stood out to me compared to all of my other college visits. 

    Who was your favorite professor and what class did you take with them?

    Professor Singkamanand is my favorite professor at Rowan. I [took] Advanced Excel Applications with him. He truly cares about all of his students and wants them all to do well in school and at their workplace upon graduation.  

    Bethany Sansone after graduation.
    Bethany Sansone after graduation.

    What advice would you give to incoming first year students and transfers about making the most out of their college experience? 

    Advice I would give to incoming first year students is to go out and experience everything! Rowan has so many different events where you can truly discover what you’re passionate about. Not only that, but at these events you can meet new people, form new connections, and explore different things about yourself. Overall, Rowan offers so many clubs and activities that you should take advantage of and can lead to a whirlwind of opportunities — whether it’s a job connection, a new passion, new friendships, etc. 

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

    I’ve had many great experiences in all of my classes at Rowan, but a time that truly took a turn for the better was when we were able to go back to in-person class opposed to learning remotely over the computer. All of my professors were amazing during the pandemic, but nothing compares to being able to learn face-to-face in a classroom with your peers. 

    What are your career aspirations? How do you think Rowan has prepared you for your future endeavors?

    I aspire to become a CFA or CPA in the future. One way Rowan really prepared me for my future is with the Finance Mentorship program it provided. I am so thankful for this program, as I believe it was the best thing to help prepare me for my career post graduation. My mentor helped guide me through everything I needed; through resume help, interview prep, to choosing what industry in finance fit me the best. 

    Can you talk about being a female in a predominantly male field of study? What are some challenges you have faced? What do you believe your biggest strengths are as a student within this major?

    Being a female student in a predominantly male field of study definitely had its challenges. First and foremost, I questioned whether this field was a fit for me personally and professionally and how I was viewed by my peers especially when working in group projects since I was typically the only female in the group. This definitely made me introverted and shy at first.

    As I grew as a person over the years, I became more comfortable and confident in myself. One of my biggest strengths as a student is that I am always on top of my work; I make sure the quality of my work is high and I make sure that I have everything done before the deadline. 

    Bethany Sansone pictured with her cap and gown.

    Why is finance the best suitable major for the goals you would like to accomplish in your future?

    Finance is the best suitable role for me because I enjoy problem solving in creative ways. My goal is to help the company that I work with in planning how to grow their revenue and maintain profitability. 

    Can you talk about the position you have accepted post graduation? Can you talk about the process of applying and then accepting this position?

    I accepted a full-time offer as an Analyst with WithumSmith+Brown upon graduation. My process for applying to this position started with a referral from a friend; from there I attended the career fairs that the firm was going to, and had multiple interviews with different people from the firm to then be able to accept the position.

    Do you have advice or tips, in particular for females, that are trying to stand out within the job search and interview process? What do you believe were your biggest attributes to obtaining this position?

    My advice for the interview process is to be yourself and don’t let your nerves get to you! Along with that, I suggest that you do a good amount of research on the company and to prepare questions to ask at the end of it. Additionally, make sure to mention your strengths and share previous professional experiences like internships. For me, I think I stood out in the interview process by highlighting my leadership roles in college, like being captain of the Rowan Women’s Soccer Team, along with sharing the clubs I am a part of. I also think my previous internship experience helped showcase my skills and knowledge. 

    Is there anything else you would like to look back on and reflect on regarding your time at Rowan?

    I am so thankful to have had a great college experience at Rowan. I gained so much knowledge, met so many great people, and explored many different interests. Rowan gave me all the tools and resources to be successful while in school and preparing for the real world post graduation. 

    Bethany Sansone posing on Bunce Hall steps after graduation.

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    Story by: 
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos courtesy of:
    Bethany Sansone

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

    Danielly celebrates commencement with her family.

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

    Why Liliana Ferrara Chose Rowan for her Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration

    Liliana wears her graduation cap and gown.

    Liliana Ferrara, a Rowan Global student in the MA in Higher Education: Administration program from Parsippany, NJ (Morris County), shares why she chose Rowan to pursue her graduate degree. 

    Liliana is no stranger to Rowan University’s campus. As a proud Rowan alumna, Liliana graduated with a degree in Psychology and two minors in Sociology and Italian Studies. In fact, Liliana was the first person in Rowan’s history to graduate with an Italian Studies minor. During her undergraduate degree, Liliana also served as a resident assistant in Mimosa Hall and Nexus Apartments. 

    Liliana grad photo
    Liliana graduated from Rowan University with a degree in Psychology.

    Knowing that she wanted to continue working in residential life, Liliana looked for programs that not only had a higher education program, but a graduate assistantship that would meet her needs.

    “I interviewed at a few other schools through the MAPC conference and even got offered a few other positions. Rowan’s package and program was one I could not pass up,” Liliana says. “I loved Rowan so much during my undergraduate experience so it made the decision to come back so easy.” 

    Now that she’s back on campus, Liliana talks about her adjustment into graduate level courses.

    “My first semester was a nice introduction into the MA in Higher Education: Administration program. My professors really helped with the adjustment and made me feel comfortable,” Liliana says. “Now that I am in the second semester, it is definitely starting to feel more real. We are starting to talk about our research projects for next year and preparing for that.” 

    Liliana and staff

    So far, Liliana has enjoyed her time in the program and has connected with her professors. “Dr. Dale, who I had for Higher Education in America last semester, was really great. She gave me so much encouragement and support throughout the semester. I really valued that she was able to share so much of her experience in residential life because that is what I am passionate about. I was really able to connect with her on that level and hope to take her classes again next semester.”

    Along with her coursework, Liliana has her hands full being a resident director of Rowan Boulevard Apartments.

    “Although it is challenging to manage being a student and an RD, I have had such an amazing experience so far. I love getting to work with the RA’s on my staff and across campus. I wanted this job to help students and develop a close connection with them past the supervisory role. As an RD, I get to do just that,” she explains.

    Liliana and staff pointing at her
    Liliana (center) poses with members of the resident assistant staff.

    Liliana can’t imagine being an RD anywhere else, either. “Being an RD at Rowan specifically gives you such a holistic experience in higher education. This assistantship stuck out to me because we get to do so much as graduate students. Whether it is working with the housing assignments team, supervising a staff, or serving in a duty rotation, this assistantship is so hands on. We really get to put the theory we learn in class into practice,” she says.

    When asked to give advice to students who want to pursue a career in higher education, Liliana replies: “You really have to think about the work-life balance you want to achieve. In a field like residential life, it is so easy to get burnt out because there is a stigma that you have to work after hours to be great. I think it is really important to set boundaries so you can be successful in your work life and your personal life.” 

    After graduation, Liliana wants to continue to work in residential life and maintain the work-life balance that is so important to her. 

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

    Photos courtesy of:
    Liliana Ferrara and Residential Learning and University Housing Department 

    Related posts:

    Higher Education Master’s Program Sounds Like Sweet Success For Rowan Music Alum Ben Wilner

    Rowan Global Student Brittany Passano: Paving the Way for Latina Women in Higher Education

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

    Amelia Gonzalez: Member of the New Jersey Army National Guard, MBA Student and Mother

    Today we feature Amelia Gonzalez of Cumberland County, a Rowan Global student in the MBA program. Amelia works as a Recruiting and Retention noncommissioned officer (NCO) for the New Jersey Army National Guard. She shares how she and her husband James, who also works for the New Jersey Army National Guard, got involved with the military. 

    Amelia Gonzalez is not afraid of the hard work or challenge that comes with being a non-traditional student. 

    Within her professional life, Amelia is currently in the military as a recruiter for the New Jersey Army National Guard (NJARNG). Amelia expressed that even though she always wanted to pursue her graduate degree, being in the military made the decision to pursue her master’s degree less financially stressful. The military provides Amelia with the opportunity to obtain her MBA while being able to raise her family of six with her husband. 

    Amelia Gonzalez outside of Rohrer College of Business.
    Amelia Gonzalez outside of Business Hall

    Amelia earned her undergraduate degree from Hofstra University in 2007 and married her husband, James, in 2012. At the time, Amelia worked as a wedding coordinator at a local hotel, while her husband was a general manager at a restaurant (both being private, family-owned businesses). The cost of healthcare while working for a smaller business at the time compelled Amelia and her husband to look into other career paths. 

    After researching different options that would be best suitable for their family, of four at the time, Amelia and James came across the New Jersey Army National Guard. They realized the NJARNG could provide them with great financial relief. This is when Amelia and James first decided to become part-time soldiers and began their military careers. 

    They were part-time soldiers for the first 3-4 years of their military careers. While being members of the military, they were still working in the hospitality industry. When they decided that they wanted to expand their family and continue to have more children, Amelia started to rethink her professional career path. After having her third child, Owen, she resigned from her position. During this time, she ended up being a substitute teacher to figure out what she truly wanted to explore professionally.

    Amelia expressed, “I was in between deciding what I wanted to do, and this full-time opportunity came to my attention [by recommendation] to work at the National Guard at our headquarters with our Education Services Office, and I took it. This is where I first started my full-time career with the National Guard.” Amelia shared that this opportunity was one that just seemed to fall in her lap at the right time. It came with so many benefits that not only supported her personal life, but her aspirations for her academic career as well.

    Amelia Gonzalez in her military attire outside of Rohrer College of Business.
    Amelia Gonzalez in her military attire

    Amelia’s current title is Recruiting and Retention NCO [noncommissioned officer]. She works out of Cumberland County, NJ where she holds several responsibilities. Amelia enlists new soldiers into the New Jersey Army National Guard, oversees the process of enlisting them, and gets them ready to go to training. 

    Earlier this year, Amelia began a new position as a Marketing NCO, working within the Recruiting and Retention headquarters.

    While working in the NJ Army National Guard, Amelia is also pursuing an MBA and is on track to graduate in Spring 2023.

    She shares how her career in the military has supported her academic endeavors and aspirations: “By having a career in the military, I am granted with a full college tuition waiver and a stipend, which helps pay for books and other college necessities. I always knew I wanted to get my MBA, so it’s amazing I can focus on school and class and never have to worry about a financial hardship.”

    Once Amelia earns her MBA, she aspires to stay in higher education, launching a new career as a college professor. However, she still plans to be involved with the military as a volunteer with The American Legion, a nonprofit for U.S. war veterans.

    “The military has done nothing but help me, so I will definitely always work for them or give back in some way,” she says.

    Amelia Gonzalez smiling outside of Rohrer College of Business.

    Amelia now has a family of six shared with her husband, James, who also works for the New Jersey Army National Guard. She explains: “Now, with my husband and I both having careers in the military, our life is so much better. We have dinner every night as a family, we have good quality jobs, and we simply have a quality of life that we did not think we would have ever had in the other industry that we were in.” The main reason why they first looked into the military was health insurance, but after many years of working within the military, it is easy to say that the opportunities and benefits that this career path has provided Amelia and her family is way more than assistance on just that regard. 

    She has learned to balance her commitments to the military, academics and her professional life by time management. Navigating these different roles is definitely not easy; however, she gets by with the help of her husband and her family’s support. With the help of a daily calendar, Amelia organizes her life down to the hour, constantly making sure she is managing her time efficiently — work, school, football practice with the kids.

    When times get tough, Amelia thinks of wise words from her mother: “Dishes will always be dirty and laundry will never be done, but your family has to come first. Prioritize your family over all of the work.”

    Whether Amelia is focusing her efforts on her professional career within the NJARNG, her academic career by obtaining her MBA, or cleaning up after her four boys at home with her husband, she chooses to appreciate the little things in life and always puts her family first.

    Amelia Gonzalez sitting outside of Rohrer College of Business.

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

    Related posts:

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

    Veteran Transfer Student Asks: Am I Too Old?

    Woman in Business: Fey Talabi Reflects on Her First Year in the MBA Program

    #PROFspective: Senior Communications Studies Major, Sorority President Kate Palozzola

    Kate leans against a brick wall and stares off in a different direction.

    What inspired you to choose your major? I chose to be a Communication Studies major at Rowan University considering this field of study is an intersection of various social sciences, flexible in the creative process, and because of my passion for reading and writing. I came into Rowan as a Psychology major, which I also […]

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

    Jamar smiles while looking to his left side.

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

    #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

    First Year Voices: Radio/Television/Film Major Sincere Silvera

    Sincere poses on the stairs in the back of Bunce Hall.

    Today we talk to first-year student and on-campus resident Sincere Silvera. Sincere is a Radio/Television/Film (RTF) major from East Orange, NJ (Essex County). Sincere is a first-generation and EOF student. 

    Sincere poses in front of Robinson Hall.

    What do you like about living on campus?

    Well, I live in a single room. It’s pretty good, you know, I can just do whatever I want in my room. I don’t have to ask permission for nothing, nothing like that. I don’t have to ask somebody, “Can I have a person over?” I can have somebody over whenever I want.

    How are you enjoying your classes so far? Are you taking RTF classes or just general education classes?

    I am [taking RTF classes]. One is Foundations and Media and that one you explore the technological side of it, like this is what a camera angle is, this is what a shot is, this is what a frame is, this is the science behind audio waves and you know, frequencies and stuff. And then I have [Applied Media Aesthetics: Sight, Sound And Story] and you know, all that good jazz. So it’s like, how do these things create emotion? How does this camera angle make you feel and things of that nature? So I’m loving that and then all the rest of the classes, they cute, you know, I’m just trying to get through. 

    Sincere poses in front of Wilson Hall.

    What about what expectations did you have for Rowan before you got here?

    Well, that’s a good question. I expected it to be a social environment where I could meet new people and have lots of different conversations, conversations I probably never would have thought I would ever have. I expected to make connections and learn some things as it relates to what I want to do moving forward with my life.

    Have you been able to be social and meet new people? 

    I definitely have. There are many opportunities, especially on ProfLink, where you find out the different events going on like karaoke — so you know Imma show up to the karaoke, I’m gonna show out. Cooking classes, movie nights, different little interesting things. 

    Sincere poses on the Prof statue.

    What was your favorite event that you’ve been to so far?

    I’m gonna say karaoke [Prof’s Spotlight] because I really enjoyed myself. I had a really good time at karaoke. I could express myself on a stage and show my little performance side a little bit. That was good. I’m not just in the audience. I’m gonna be on the stage with a microphone over my mouth going off. I last did Nicki Minaj’s “The Night is Still Young.” It was an amazing experience. 

    Was there an experience or a moment at Rowan that made you feel like this is home?

    I actually want to say no, but in a good way. Because at home … there’s not as many fun things and events or opportunities to do things like that. And here there is. So I’d like to say that this is very different from home, and I’m having a lot more fun here.

    Sincere poses in front of some leafy green plants.

    Were you nervous to start at Rowan?

    Yes. I could say there were nerves in certain areas. I wasn’t nervous, like, in the sense of, “Oh, I’m like, so scared to like, you know, go out there. I’m not going to do nothing.” That wasn’t me. I was like, “Ok, I’m excited.” I turned any nerves into excitement if there were any nerves. So I was more excited than anything else. But if I was nervous about anything, I probably was a little nervous about whether I chose the right major for what I want to do with my future, because that’s like, what’s most important to me?

    Final thoughts?

    Even though I feel like it might be easy as a freshman, or a first-generation student or whatever, just going into college and experiencing that whole like situation with so many people, the events, the organizations, the clubs and everything might throw a person off. I think that at the end of the day, even though you do want to experience and you do want to have fun, and I’m all about it, at the same time, I think it’s important to manage that. Yes, I can be a very social person. I can have friends and things of that nature. But I cannot let that take over my life. I cannot be thinking about that 24/7. I have to also keep in mind my passion, what I want to do, the type of education that I want, as an individual. So sometimes, you know, not everybody’s gonna like you so you don’t want to think about, “Oh, what friends am I gonna make? How am I gonna make them?” every day. Sometimes it’s like, “ok, maybe I don’t need any friends.” Maybe I’m gonna just go to this event and sit down because I want to be there, or maybe I’m going to get up on the stage not because I want to impress people, but because I want to get on stage and express myself and have a good time. I feel like that if there’s anything that I want to say about being a first-year student, it’d be that.

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

    Interview and photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major 

    Sisters on SGA: Sarah and Madeline McClure

    Sarah and Madeline pose together in front of the owl statue.

    Today we speak to Rowan siblings Sarah and Madeline McClure. Sarah McClure, the Executive Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA), is a senior International Studies and Political Science double major. Madeline McClure, the Assistant Vice President of Public Relations of the Student Government Association, is a junior Marketing major. They are from Rockaway, NJ (Morris County), and they live together in an on-campus apartment. Sarah and Madeline tell us about their positions in SGA and their experiences as being sisters at Rowan and in SGA together.

    Madeline and Sarah pose together at a white table.
    Madeline, left, and Sarah, right.

    Can you tell me a bit about your positions in SGA?

    Sarah: I am the Executive Vice President of SGA. I am in charge of club development. That means I oversee all the about 170 clubs on campus, as well as field new clubs.

    Madeline: I am the Assistant Vice President of Public Relations. I run all of SGA’s social media. I focus on Instagram the most. I make any promotional materials, and I write press releases. In the spring, I will run Back to the Boro, which is a community service event where we give back to the residents of Glassboro. My job is to make sure that people view SGA in a positive way. 

    Why did both of you choose to go to Rowan?

    Sarah: All of our cousins are much older. The youngest is about seven years older than me. When I was touring schools, one of them told me not to look at Rowan because it was just a bunch of buildings in the middle of nowhere. When she looked at Rowan, many of the buildings that are here now weren’t. But, I came, and I toured anyway because one of our mom’s coworkers works in admissions and she recommended I tour. So, we toured, we spoke to someone in admissions, and I just had a great feeling about Rowan. I went to an accepted student’s day, and I heard Richard Jones speak, who was the Dean of Students at the time. He spoke about the community here and how all the professors really care about their students, and that resonated with me in a way that no other college had. 

    Madeline: I had never heard of Rowan until Sarah began her college search. When we toured for Sarah, I immediately loved the campus and was interested in Rowan. However, when Sarah applied, I didn’t want to come here anymore because I didn’t want to go to college with my sister. But, I ended up here anyway. Now, we live in an apartment together, and we’re on SGA together. 

    Another big part of us both choosing Rowan was the financial aspect. We both wanted to make a good financial choice with our education. We both wanted in-state tuition, and there is a scholarship you can apply for if you have a family member that also goes here.

    Madeline and Sarah talk outside the SGA office in the Student Center.

    What’s it like being on SGA together?

    Madeline: Sarah is actually the reason I ran for this position in SGA. My whole idea of SGA, before I started, revolved around Sarah’s involvement in SGA. It’s amazing to be a part of SGA and be in this position. But, working with Sarah, she’s just another member of the board. Well, she’s so important, and I think she’s a genius, but it doesn’t feel like I’m working with my sister. I’m glad I get to experience this with her. 

    But being on SGA is really fun, but it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot more work than I initially expected. It’s very rewarding when you finish the work, especially because I didn’t think I could handle all of it.

    Sarah: Like Madeline said, it’s less like working with my sister, and more like a team member relationship with the added background of knowing each other for 20 years. Since I was involved in SGA last year too, sometimes people come up to me and ask me if Madeline is my sister. I was worried in the beginning that Madeline might feel out of place, but she proved to me quickly that I didn’t need to feel that way. She fit right in. She’s doing a great job. I’m proud of her.

    Sarah and Madeline hug outside Robinson Hall.

    How has going to college with your sister affected your college experience?

    Madeline: When I first started at Rowan, I wasn’t looking for a super involved college experience. I was expecting to get the degree, and that’s all. But, being here with Sarah has pushed me to be more involved, be a better student, and achieve so much more than I thought I would. Sarah is so smart and takes so much on her plate. I never would have joined something like SGA if I weren’t here with Sarah. It would have gone so differently if we had gone to different schools.

    Sarah: To add to that, it’s just nice to have someone who knows me on campus. I try my best, but in doing so much on campus, it can be hard to maintain a steady social life. To be able to go back to the apartment and have my sister there to crack jokes and hang out with is special. It makes it feel more like home in the apartment. 

    Madeline and Sarah pose in front of the SGA bulletin board in the Student Center.

    Do you have any advice for incoming students who are hesitant about going to college with their sibling?

    Madeline: I was definitely hesitant at first. As kids and teenagers, we had a lot of arguments. I was worried about that continuing if we went to college together, but in a short period of time you mature and you realize you aren’t so different and you have the same goals. Even if we get into little arguments in the apartment, we forget about it the next day. 

    Also, there’s no rule that you have to live together like Sarah and I. For the first two years I was here, Sarah and I barely saw each other. The campus can be so big. You do not have to be intertwined at all. Being at college with your sibling doesn’t have to define your experience.

    Sarah: To go off of that, Madeline and I are in two different majors and two different years. I maybe saw Madeline walking down the street once or twice and waved, but that’s all. It’s like going to the same college as someone random in your high school. You aren’t going to see them all the time, especially if you are taking different classes and are involved in different things. I used to get so excited to see her and walk past her, since we didn’t see each other that much. While you’re looking for independence, it’s nice to have someone to come to or fall back on, and it’s someone who has known you your entire life. I can be goofy with her like nobody else. I never expected to have this good of an experience with my sister. We were different as kids and teens, but now we are adults and we are much closer.

    For anyone who is contemplating going to the same school as their sibling, give it a chance. Think about how you feel about the campus, if you like the program, and if you feel the school is a good fit for you. Don’t let the fact that you may already have a sibling going to that school influence your decision. Chances are, your sibling probably won’t play much of a factor in your experience while you are there. 

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

    Photos by:
    Missy Pavorsky, junior advertising major 

    Genesis Roman, Management Information Systems Major and Intern for Arizona IT Firm

    View from above a Business Hall room.

    Today we feature Genesis Roman, a senior Management Information Systems major from Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County). Genesis also has a Certificate of Undergraduate Studies (CUGS) in Cyber Security and has previously worked on campus for Classroom Support. She discusses her experiences with her major and details her recent internship for Insight Enterprises Incorporated, based in Arizona.

    Why did you choose Rowan to study Management Information Systems?

    My English teacher in high school told us to broaden our horizons and to further our education in a different area than our home town. I personally believe staying in your hometown for college limits your perspective on life. There is so much more to see and learn outside of your comfort zone, so I wanted to go somewhere not too far from home but far enough to where I could learn in a new environment and meet new people.

    Rowan put me out of my comfort zone in the best way possible. 

    Genesis Roman.
    Genesis Roman

    Why did you choose to study Management Information Systems? 

    I have always been very fascinated with technology. I have had so many experiences growing up that made me realize this major was something I would be very interested in. For instance, when I was younger, I had a PlayStation 2 and I completely broke it down just to put it all back together. Also, when Tumblr came out,  I was so interested in coding my personal page so I could customize it to my own liking. This is how I started learning HTML and coding.

    In the grand scheme of things, I really enjoy how challenging it is to fix things, and I also enjoy helping others. Management Information Systems is a major that combines both of these passions of mine.

    What are your future plans and what is your dream job for working as a MIS major?

    I am still trying to figure out what my dream profession is. This is a big reason why I decided to apply and take on the internship opportunity at Insight Enterprises. Currently, I am interning for Insight Enterprises and doing something completely different compared to the responsibilities I had for this company in the summer. From my experience in the past few months, I think I am developing a great interest in being a Solutions Architect. I really enjoy supporting clients and deciphering what the best solutions are for them and their particular needs. 

    Exterior shot of Business Hall.

    How did you seek out the internship opportunity for Insight Enterprises?

    One day I received an email from Professor Jennifer Nicholson regarding the internship, sent out to all MIS majors; the position was described as a Systems and Database Administrator. At the time, I was unsure of what this position entailed; however, I thought it was a great opportunity to try something new and to branch out from New Jersey. When I applied for this position I was applying to relocate to Tempe, Arizona. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the internship was switched to a remote position, however, I hope I can one day see the Insight Enterprises Headquarters in person and potentially relocate there for an in-person position.

    What were the commitments and responsibilities of this internship? 

    This position was a 10-week internship where I worked eight hours everyday starting at 7 a.m. Insight Enterprises is a technology company that provides smart and innovative solutions for their clients. Within the company, I worked within the Cloud and Data Center Transformation branch during the past summer. This is where I worked on several different projects a week and collaborated with several different teams. This got confusing at times, but it taught me how to be good at multitasking and productive in a busy work environment.

    The company also provided workshops for us interns where we learned how to transition from college education to being able to utilize our skills everyday in the workplace. This experience mentally prepared me for the tasks I would face as an intern.

    Exterior shot of Business Hall.

    What were some of the biggest challenges you faced as an Insight Enterprises intern? 

    One of the biggest challenges I faced was being able to stay mentally focused while working remotely. It was difficult at times to try and be in work mode when I am surrounded by my family and in my household environment. I found it was also difficult at times to not only learn all this new information as an intern, but know how to solve problems and utilize the skills I learned while working remotely. I quickly realized that it is easy to be hard on yourself when your fellow employers have more experience than you; however, with time and consistency, you will not only learn so much but be able to apply your new knowledge to your work.

    What have you learned from being an intern for Insight Enterprises?

    This internship has led me to believe that this is a profession that I want to be working in. I also learned how to successfully work from home and in a remote environment. Sophomore year of college I would continuously tell my friends that I wanted a remote job because of my aspirations to travel and work simultaneously. Now, I am halfway there and already have a feel of what working remotely is like.

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    #PROFspective: Junior Electrical and Computer Engineering Major Omar Bedewy

    Omar stands in front of the banner at Rowan Hall.

    Today we speak to Omar Bedewy, a junior Electrical and Computer Engineering major with a minor in Business. Omar is an off-campus renter from Paterson, NJ (Passaic County). He transferred to Rowan from Union County College.

    Omar poses in a wooded area.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    Life is changing around us. Before I was an Electrical and Computer Engineering major, I was hoping to be a petroleum engineer. I switched to studying electrical and computer engineering because I believe this field will have a big impact on the future.

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

    I am taking a class on electromagnetics. I found out that electromagnets are in everything, and I am really interested in the science behind it.

    Omar poses in front of Rowan Hall.

    Take us through one typical Rowan day for you.

    Wednesdays are usually my busiest days. I come to Rowan at eight in the morning. I have some coffee and check my email. After that, I head out to my first class at 9 a.m. I have a lab right after, but I have 15 minutes in between. During that time, I talk and chill with my friend. After the lab, I go for some tutoring and study for a bit. Then, I have another class. After this class, I go to the cafeteria for my lunch. I have one more class at 5, and then I go home.

    Omar poses in a wooded area.

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

    I really enjoy going to tutoring at Rowan. The people there make me feel like Rowan is home.

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major 

    Valentina Giannattasio, freshman dance and marketing double major

    First Year Voices: Fall Edition

    Campus beauty autumnal photo.

    Today we feature first year Rowan students Destinee Hines, Jake Brandenburg, Abbie Ealer and Sam Skripko — each with a unique sense of style, sharing their experiences and ambitions for the school year.

    Destinee posing with a peace sign
    Notice Destinee’s TLC shirt? She enjoys listening to 90s music.

    “My year’s been good, had a couple ups and downs, but it’s getting better. I went to pop-up shops and I hope to get into more activities on campus. Rowan’s been good to me and I like the people here. I definitely want to get engaged and have more fun.” – Destinee Hines, Radio/Television/Film major from Camden, NJ (Camden County)

    Jake poses with his sunglasses
    Jake Brandenburg recommended the crossed arm and sunglasses pose.

    “My freshman year so far has been unexpected, but I mean how could you expect college life if you never experienced it right? Anyways, I did a couple things like going to Bingo Night. I didn’t get any matches but it was really fun. By the end of this year, I’m looking forward to having a solid group of friends. I do have a few people right now but I want to build more friendships. So far I like it here, I’m having a great time.” – Jake Brandenburg, Management major and first-generation college student from Haddonfield, NJ (Camden County)

    Abbie is holding a beanie baby.
    Abbie Ealer enjoys bringing Hoot the owl around campus.

    “I’m trying to get used to my class schedule and navigating college especially being a commuter; therefore I’m not here often. The most interesting thing is that my best friend from childhood goes here all well, so I get to spend so much more time with her. Since I’m in the honors college, I’m really excited to explore all the opportunities the program offers like the Think Thrive events. I’ll have more time in the spring semester, so I’m looking forward to engaging myself more on campus.” – Abbie Ealer, History major, commuter from Turnersville, NJ (Gloucester County)

    Sam" holds" the water tower
    Sam Skripko is fluent in Russian.

    “I love the campus, although I felt a little down and catching up was challenging because of missing work, but now I’m all caught up. I’m thinking of joining Rowan’s hockey team since I already play the sport and I’m a referee. By the end of my freshman year, I hope to learn more about my major.” – Sam Skripko, Computer Science major from Fair Lawn, NJ (Bergen County). 

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    Story by:
    Nene Diallo, senior, public relations major

    Photos by:
    Nick Flagg, senior, theater and advertising major 

    Header Photo by: 
    Missy Pavorsky, junior advertising major





    First Year Voices: Engineering Majors Brayden Bruseo and Kristian DelSignore

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

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

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

    Olivia and Liz sit outside Holly Pointe Commons.

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

    Alumni Success: Byron Bustos Tells It All!

    Byron holds a Rowan University flag.

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

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

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

    What have you been up to since graduating from Rowan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What was it like being a first generation college student? 

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

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

    Were you always super involved as a child?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    A young Byron Bustos
    Byron at Rowan University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Story By: Bianca Gray, senior English major

    Photos and video courtesy of:
    Byron Bustos

    #PROFspective: Emergency Management with Kevin McCarthy

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

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

    What advice do you have for incoming students? 

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

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

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

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

    Has that moved to online format because of Covid?

    Yes, everything is online. 

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

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

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

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

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

    What is the professional direction you would like to go?

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

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

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

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

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

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    Story by: 
    Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    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 […]

    A Look Inside the Rowan Men’s Club Lacrosse Team

    An athletic field as seen through a fence on campus.

    Today we feature three members of the Men’s Club Lacrosse team as they share their experiences and touch upon why Rowan Men’s Club Lacrosse is a great extracurricular to participate in.

    Participating in sports at the high school level is important to students as it fuels their competitive edge, allows individuals to make new friends, and simply teaches students about leadership and confidence. However, being recruited by collegiate sports teams and continuing to play at college can be physically rigorous, difficult to manage socially, and requires an immense amount of time. 

    Team volunteering to help the youth players of Washington Township for a clinic.
    The Rowan Men’s Club Lacrosse Team volunteers to help the youth players of Washington Township at a clinic.

    Rowan University does not have a collegiate Division III Men’s Lacrosse team; however, the university does offer a Men’s Club Lacrosse team. Today we feature several members of the team to hear their insights on the program. 

    Rowan Men's Club Lacrosse celebrating a tournament win in Spring 2021.
    Rowan Men’s Club Lacrosse celebrating a tournament win in Spring 2021.

    Ryan Meiluta is a senior long stick midfielder majoring in Civil Engineering from Delran, NJ (Burlington County).

    Why did you choose to play men’s club lacrosse?

    I wanted to continue playing lacrosse and compete.

    What is your favorite thing about being a member of the men’s club lacrosse team?

    The bonds we have with our teammates. 

    Do you play on the team more so for the social aspect or because you love the sport?

    I started because I love the sport, but the social aspect makes it a lot better.

    How many days a week do you practice? 

    Two days a week.

    Rowan Men's Club Lacrosse goalie and defenders walking onto the field for a game.
    Rowan Men’s Club Lacrosse goalie and defenders walking onto the field for a game.

    Christian Boylan is a senior midfielder from Hillsborough, NJ (Somerset County) majoring in Environmental Science and Sustainability and minoring in geology and environmental planning.

    Why did you choose to play men’s club lacrosse?

    I really enjoy playing lacrosse and wanted to continue to be a part of a team.

    What is your favorite thing about being a member of the men’s club lacrosse team?

    My teammates.

    What is a pro of playing for the team?

    Winning games and winning the games without a coach is definitely a pro. 

    If Rowan had an NJAC/ NCAA men’s lacrosse team, would you pursue that or try to walk on?

    Yes.

    Rowan Men's Club Lacrosse at their annual walk for one of their founding members, Donnie Farrell, in Glassboro.
    Rowan Men’s Club Lacrosse at their annual walk for one of their founding members, Donnie Farrell, in Glassboro.

    Ryan Collins is a junior defender majoring in Marketing and is from Lacey Township, NJ (Ocean County). 

    Why did you choose to play men’s club lacrosse?

    I chose to play lacrosse at Rowan because I wanted to continue playing the sport after high school. I felt it was a good way to meet new people and to continue playing.

    Do you travel and play other schools?

    Yes, we travel to different tournaments and colleges playing other club teams from all different schools.

    How competitive would you say the team is?

    I’d say the team is very competitive. Every practice and game we have we all give 100%, and our goal is to be the best we can.

    Do you play on the team more so for the social aspect or because you love the sport?

    I’d say a little bit of both, they’re both great factors that come with playing on the club team. I’ve always loved lacrosse and have played my whole life so I knew I wanted to play in college. But, I think club lacrosse was the perfect thing to do because I am able to focus a ton on school while still playing the sport and spending time with teammates.

    Face-off win by Dylan Ritchkoff during a scrimmage in Spring 2021.
    Face-off win by Dylan Ritchkoff during a scrimmage in Spring 2021.

    To learn more, visit:

    https://rowan.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/mensclublacrosse

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Related posts:

    Sports and Mental Health

    First Person Perspective: Women’s Lacrosse at Rowan University With Natalie DePersia

    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

    5 Interesting On-Campus Jobs

    Rowan Blog student worker Bianca on the job at a photo shoot.

    Finding the right on-campus job can change your whole college experience, leading you to important connections, helping you discover your career goals or letting you find the right school/work/life balance. Five students share their experiences in some of the most interesting, beneficial and well-paid jobs on campus!

    Summer Conference Assistant – Chase Campbell

    Chase Campbell smiles for his portrait in front of Bunce Hall.

    Advertising major Chase Campbell of Burlington County worked as a Summer Conference Assistant for the Office of Conference & Event Services in 2019. As part of a staff of eight students, Chase worked and lived with his teammates! This job offers a stipend and free summer housing. He found this job through the Rowan Announcer and attended an informational session.  

    Some of the responsibilities in this job included helping people check into the conferences, preparing residential and event spaces and taking turns being the 24/7 customer service representative for the events. Chase learned the importance of being himself rather than just being the “perfect customer service representative.” He enjoyed speaking with clients and helping them feel welcome to the university with kindness. Look out for this job if you enjoy working on a team and assisting people! 

    Academic Success Coach – Alee Rebillon

    Alee works on her laptop and chats with a friend.

    Alee Rebillon, a senior Psychology major from Mercer County, worked as an Academic Success Coach her junior year for one semester. She found this opportunity through an email listing Federal Work-Study (FWS) options. She also spoke to their department staff at the on-campus Fall Job Fair. As a psych major, Alee felt this would give her great experience in working with people one-to-one. Although, Academic Success Coaches come from all different majors and walks of life! 

    Alee worked with fellow students who needed guidance in lots of different areas! Such as, who to speak to if they want to change majors, where to find a student organization, or even how to make a schedule for themselves. She learned so much about herself, other students, and the university from this job. She has helped people receive supports through the Wellness Center and Tutoring Services; she also walked students through how to use The Shop or Prof Jobs. If you want to help other students by being a relatable source of guidance, this job is for you! 

    Picking Peppers with President Houshmand – Dyone Payne

    Dyone holds a bucket of peppers fresh from the farm.

    Public Relations major Dyone Payne, a senior from Gloucester County, worked for Dr. Houshmand, Rowan University’s president, on his local farm picking peppers and several other vegetables. They use the peppers to create the famous Houshmand’s Hazardous Hot Sauce, which is processed in a factory (by professionals) in Bridgeton. All proceeds from the Hot Sauce go towards the Student Scholarship Fund. The amazing part of this job is that they work to support students on all levels of operation in the making of this hot sauce. A team of students, Houshmand, and his staff go out to the West Campus farm throughout the spring and summer to begin the process. 

    Dyone remembers enjoying the hands-on experience and learning so much about the different kinds of peppers and sauces. The ghost peppers went into the hottest flavor, the mushroom peppers were the mildest peppers, and jalapeno peppers also went into the mildest sauce. She also shared how kind the staff was, always making sure the students were hydrated and offering transportation to and from the farm. Another responsibility of this role was selling the Hot Sauce (and Hot Sauce merch) at university football games, basketball games, and university holiday parties. She enjoyed being able to connect with the university staff and see that they truly understand the students’ struggles. 

    Dyone found this job through Rowan emails and contacted the president’s staff. She learned important life skills such as the importance of patience and taking your time. She also appreciates the president’s mission, even more, knowing that he is genuinely kind and interested in caring for Rowan students. Dyone also recalls the students having to leave their phones (because the pepper residue may get to your eyes and face through your phone). This helped the students to connect with each other and forge strong friendships. She absolutely adores plants and keeps a lovely mini garden oasis in her room now!

    Engineering Intern – Jed Vergara 

    Students working in the RU Sustainable Facilities Center with faculty.

    Students working in the RU Sustainable Facilities Center with faculty (Jed Vergara not pictured).

    RU Sustainable Facilities Center – Rowan University + NJARNG (NJ Army National Guard) Building Information Modeling (BIM) Intern

    Jed Vergara worked as a Building Information Modeling (BIM) Intern for more than two years as a Rowan undergraduate. This internship was under Rowan’s Sustainable Facilities Center in contract with the NJ Army National Guard (NJARNG). It’s offered as both a part-time job as well as an engineering clinic on campus. He first discovered this role at the beginning of his sophomore year after a professor shared the opportunity because of Jed’s stellar grades. 

    The internship also offers different roles in the operation. Some interns would inspect recruitment centers across NJ for the Army National Guard, and others like Jed worked on building information modeling (BIM). BIM is basically cataloging several parts of a building such as spatial measurements, construction materials, HVAC, electrical or plumbing. In the 50 years the buildings have been around, there have been so many refurbishments added that no single catalog of the buildings records all of the changes. Rowan was contracted to change this and catalog every NJARNG recruitment center in the South Jersey area. 

    Jed was able to work with a 3D laser scanner and connect individual room scans into a large model of the building on a program called Revvit. The basic three-step process of his internship was to scan the building, consolidate all of the scans, and finally add the details. He greatly appreciates this internship experience because he works with images of building scans as a Structural Engineer. He also found that his experiences with different computer programs proved to be very valuable in his career. Many times, Jed had to quickly learn how to use a program and help others learn how to use it as well. Another valuable lesson he learned was how to plan effectively and efficiently. This internship is open to civil engineering majors, electrical & computer engineering majors (ECE) and mechanical engineering majors. This department is located within Rowan Hall (the original Engineering building).

    Rowan Blog Digital Content Contributor – Bianca Torres

    Bianca stands confidently in front of a brick building on Rowan Boulevard.

    Lastly, we speak with Bianca Torres, a Music Industry major and senior from Morris County, who works as a fellow Digital Content Contributor for Rowan Blog. Bianca helps the blog run smoothly in so many different ways! She not only creates content for the Admissions page, but she also contributes to the Humans of Rowan Instagram and other Rowan social media platforms. Bianca finds ways to market the school to incoming first year and transfer students. She loves sharing the vibrancy of campus life through stories. She started off creating music for the background of Rowan’s YouTube videos. She has since branched out into photography, writing articles, interviewing leads and strategy (planning stories and Google Ads). Bianca appreciates how much knowledge she has learned about journalism and marketing in this role. 

    She really enjoys working with fellow college students and diving into the campus culture (which helps her with networking). The schedule is super flexible and was perfect for working during the pandemic because it can be remote and you can work whenever you choose. She enjoys how much freedom she has gotten in this job, being able to pitch stories and share so many unique perspectives at Rowan. This real-world experience has taught her how to market effectively to different target audiences. Knowing that the skills she uses every day, such as blogging and creating graphics for social media, she feels confident in her career goals. Without this job, Bianca would not have known that she wants to do digital marketing for the music industry.  

    Bianca found this job through an email from the program director of the music industry program. She advises students looking for student jobs to start looking as soon as possible and ask their professors if they know of any openings! Many professors have side gigs and know other connections on campus. She also says to check if you qualify for Federal Work-Study (FWS). If you enjoy connecting with people and making creative content, working for Rowan Blog is for you.

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

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    Senior Reflects: Anderson Chumpitaz on Mentorship and His Rowan Legacy

    Anderson posing near a tree outside wearing a blue suit.

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

    Senior Reflects: Biomedical Art and Visualization Major Emily Higgins

    Emily in front of Bunce Hall

    Emily Higgins is a senior Biomedical Art and Visualization major, with minors in Art History and Biological Sciences, from Randolph, NJ in Morris County.

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

    One of my favorite class experiences was going to the cadaver lab at Cooper Medical School in Camden. I was able to draw from in-person observations, as well as being exposed to a professional medical setting as a freshman. 

    Could you please share your favorite social memory?

    Some of my favorite memories come from Outdoors Club, like going camping for the first time, to seeing wild horses at Assateague Island, to eventually joining the executive board and helping plan club trips. 

    Emily outside in gazebo

    What are your career aspirations?

    Medical Legal Illustrator.

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

    I had several professors over the years offer practical advice for entering the workforce, and professors who went out of their way to help support their students’ professional growth and personal well being. 

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

    I would like to say thank you to my parents, my sister Trish, and my partner Danny for their continuous love and support over the past four years. I’d also like to give a big shout out to the friends I have made while at Rowan, including the BMAV crew + co., friends from freshman year D-Pod, and countless others who I hold very near and dear to my heart. 

    Emily on Bunce steps

    Who is your favorite professor and what class did you take them for? 

    My favorite professor was Ron Mathias, who I had for a few classes within my major including Introduction to Figure Anatomy for the Artist and Digital Rendering Techniques. Ron no longer works as a professor here, but keeps in touch with former students and is always available to give us advice about our art and practical advice for our futures as well. 

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

    Join some clubs and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Everyone else is just as nervous about making friends as you are, so reach out to others with compassion. You can reinvent yourself into whoever you want to be, and can choose to take a step in the right direction at any point, no matter how many mistakes you have made in the past.

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

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

    Alumni Success: Ryan Geiger, Creative Media Business Owner and Accomplished Filmmaker

    Ryan types at his a work table on his laptop.

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

    Can you tell us more about where you currently work? 

    Ryan Geiger recently opened his own media studio called Pinch. With 15 years of experience in the creative industry, Ryan created a strong network with many creative professionals. Ryan previously worked at Bingley Digital in Connecticut as the Creative Director. Bingley was bought by one of their clients, and the owner of Bingley trusted Ryan with its remaining clients.

    He strongly encourages students to forge strong connections as early as possible and opportunities like this can be in their future. 

    Ryan remembers his first job immediately after college, proving the power of connections. Through one of his connections, Ryan went to work as an Assistant Director for Center City Film & Video (CCFV) in Philadelphia, which films commercials. Ryan enjoyed the feeling of being on a stage set with actors and how it felt so professional. Ryan shared the news about opening Pinch studio with his network and received a request from CCFV to work with that same client he worked with at CCFV. 

    “You never know when someone from your past is going to come to you for more work!”

    Starting your own business is way harder than it looks. You see people on Instagram; they sell cookies and go viral because [a] celebrity posts about their [product]. In all life, you [either] get lucky or you work, grind, hustle, and you make a name for yourself.” 

    Ryan poses confidently wearing blue plaid.

    What does your day-to-day work look like? 

    “When you start your own business, a lot of it is me reaching out to previous clients and new clients trying to get work. Then, it’s directing all the current workload. Working with the clients to direct digital ads, web design, a video series, or social media videos. 

    It’s navigating when things are due, how things get done, and who needs to work on them. I still have my hand in a lot of it. I was editing up until the minute I took this call. I’m always working on something. We [creatives] are always working, always tormented. We’re always trying to do better things. We are obsessed with looking at what other people are making and learning how they made it. It’s not an easy job.”

    Can you tell me about your experience as an undergrad?

    “I had a wonderful four years and that was partially due to the fact that I engrossed myself in everything. I dabbled in Rowan Radio (89.7 WGLS-FM) and had a morning radio show. I had a  television show on RTN called The Rowan Update. I shot 22 episodes and it was a spin-off of “The Daily Show,” a comedy show that reports on the news. I was a Student Ambassador and I ended up becoming the Ambassador Coordinator my senior year being the leader of all of the tour guides. I could walk around campus blindfolded! I knew everything about every single building! Landmark was my local watering hole as an undergrad.”

    Ryan attends The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival in a suit.

    Did you have a favorite class or professor? 

    As a freshman, Ryan took a philosophy class and fondly remembers the professor treating every student as an adult. The professor’s honesty, seriousness and curtness left such an impression on Ryan.  

    “He was the classic idea of a professor who comes in barreling through the door, yells at everybody, and writes things on the wall. It really opened my eye to philosophy, to the phrasing of sentences, and to the thought process of decision-making.”

    Ryan’s favorite professor was Prof. Sheri Chinen Bieson, who wrote a book about film noir called “Blackout: World War II and the Origins of Film Noir.” Her contagious passion and giddiness about film made the class more engaging and exciting.

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

    “I think the Student University Programmers really did an amazing job in finding a lot of really funny things to do and keeping people engaged. I remember a lot of my fun memories are going to all the comedian shows. They had Bob Saget to Zach Galifianakis. They had a ton of bus trips to go to Philly and to Broadway shows. All the tickets were so cheap! Coming from a guy who grew up in North Jersey, there were a lot of really funny things that I never experienced before. I hope it’s still being funded and that they are still doing awesome stuff because they really did some great programming.”

    Ryan sits at his desk at work, typing on his laptop.

    What was your journey like after Rowan? 

    “My journey after Rowan has been nothing but completely tumultuous, challenging and exciting times. I graduated in 2008, during the collapse of the economy and the housing market crash. It was a real psychological struggle to realize that it wasn’t as simple as I thought it was going to be.” 

    Ryan hustled and worked on a few TV shows and movies, but never got the breakthrough he was looking for. He continued to chase his passions in 2009, making his first feature film called “Stealing God’s Money.” It went on to win Best Feature at the Garden State Film Festival

    “It was such an encouraging and amazing thing. I was at the awards ceremony and sitting at a table with production companies that spent $100,000 on their film. One guy leaned over and he asked, ‘What was your film budget?’ I said, ‘A thousand bucks. What was yours?’ He said, ‘A hundred thousand.’” 

    Ryan continues: “You can do it on a scrappy budget. I made some more movies and that went on to also win film festivals and awards. Most notably, my film ‘Town Red screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. That was a massive moment for me to go there, walk the red carpet, be in the same building as Leonardo DiCaprio (who was showing ‘The Great Gatsby’ that year). I even got an interview on NBC about Town Red. But, the phone doesn’t just ring because you get an interview. You still have to hustle and work hard. I didn’t let that discourage me and I still kept going down the creative direction.”

    ….

    Although Ryan loves Rowan, the journey after was not the easiest. Rowan taught him so many things but most importantly to never give up. As an alumnus, Ryan would like to help current students get involved in more real-world productions. He also hopes to offer his mentorship through the Alumni Association, offering a valuable connection to students now and in the future. 

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

    Senior Reflects: Marketing Major Jessica Russo Aspires to Work in the Fashion Industry

    Business Hall shines under the sun.

    Today we speak with Jessica Russo, a senior Marketing major and Economics minor from Westwood, NJ. Jessica is a first-generation college student and an off-campus resident.

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

    My favorite memory is when Professor Pontes told me that in the past two years he has had over 180 students and I have been the first to have completed the Salesforce Assignment so early. He praised me for my abilities and that being a “pre-crastinator” is a great quality to have.

    Could you please share your favorite social memory?

    My favorite social memory is being the Treasurer of the American Marketing Association as we meet every Friday at 12 pm.

    What are your career aspirations?

    I want to go into the fashion industry where I would be conducting B2B activities on a global scale as I would be purchasing products from different brands to distribute to consumers at the company I would work for. 

    Jessica Russo stands outside in the sun snapping a selfie.

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

    By developing personal relationships with my professors, they were more inclined to recommend me for opportunities presented by Rowan alumni. They have taught me important key characteristics for job interviews and how to professionally present myself.

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

    Shout out to the lovely ladies on West High Street! 

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

    My favorite professor is Dr. Nina Krey, who I had for Advanced Marketing Research Methods, since she has real-world experience. She was able to teach me skills that I can bring into the professional world. She is a great person to go to if you need advice as she is very honest and helpful. 

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

    Get involved in extracurricular activities! It’s always a great idea to increase your network!

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

    Senior Reflects: Art Education Major Bianca Fusaro

    Bianca smiles with the top of Bunce Hall in the background.

    Today, we speak to graduating senior Bianca Fusaro. Bianca is an Art Education major from Randolph, NJ (Morris County). She shares more about her favorite times at Rowan and offers some advice to incoming students. 

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

    My favorite moment with a faculty member is with Doc Appelson in Printmaking. He made the class fun to be in and I learned so much. Almost everything in printmaking I know because of him. he also helped me become a better teacher by giving me tips and tricks on how to create printmaking lesson for little kids!

    Bianca stands on the steps of Bunce Hall.

    Could you please share your favorite social memory?

    My favorite memories I have with clubs is every year TRAC, or The Rowan Arts Collective, participated in Homecoming Banner Competition. It was so fun and exciting to complete a banner in a matter of a couple of hours.

    What are your career aspirations?

    I want to become an elementary art teacher. I love little children, their love to learn and their drive to want to create.

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

    The Art Education program is very small here, but that smallness created a family. Everyone in the program helps each other when it comes to teaching, even our senior project, which is presenting at the Art Educators of New Jersey conference. The professors in the program have been art teachers throughout their life. They know what you’re going to go through when you get a job. They want you to succeed and they share stories to help you become the best art teacher you can be.

    Bianca smiles inside a gazebo on campus.

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

    I want to thank everyone in the Art Education program. These professors helped my classmates and I become who we are today as teachers. We learned from the best, and I hope that I can be an amazing art teacher like they are.

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

    Fred Adelson is my favorite professor at Rowan University. I took his Art History classes during my time at Rowan. He is so knowledgable about everything he teaches. He makes art history fun to learn about because he is so energetic and passionate about everything he teaches.

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

    Make friends with the people in and outside of your major. Get out there and join clubs that you are interested in. You may make lifelong friends!

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

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

    Senior Reflects: Civil Engineering Major Liam Cutri-French

    Liam stands outdoors on campus.

    Today, we speak to senior Civil Engineering major Liam Cutri-French from Glen Gardner, NJ (Hunterdon County). He tells us more about his time at Rowan and provides some advice for incoming students.

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

    My favorite moment from a class was freshman engineering clinic, where I had to trade up from a paperclip to a backpack.

    Could you please share your favorite social memory?

    My favorite memory from Rowan was probably my time spent in the Holly Pointe. I was able to meet so many great friends while working together to pass freshman year courses.

    What are your career aspirations?

    I plan on attaining my M.S. in Engineering and Public Policy, and after that I hope to work on designing major infrastructure projects with a focus on how infrastructure impacts the public.

    Liam stands in front of the Rowan arch..

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

    My work with interdisciplinary courses as well as extracurriculars helped me to grow as an engineer. I was able to gain valuable project management skills through Engineers Without Borders. I was also able to learn about the intersection of engineering and policy while working as the AVP of Facilities and Operations for SGA.

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

    I would like to give a shoutout to my roommates Augie Scorzo, Sam Mardini, Chris Contos and Matt Cangemi for always helping me be the best student I could be.

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

    My favorite professor is Dr. Jagadish Torlapati, who was my advisor for the Engineers Without Borders Clinic. Dr. Torlapati was extremely helpful for us to complete our projects and has been an excellent mentor.

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

    I would recommend that freshmen and transfers should get involved as quickly as possible. Don’t turn down any opportunity, as you never know where it could lead you.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Photos not submitted by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ryan wears a tuxedo to the Cannes Film Festival.

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

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

    Ryan Geiger directing his independent film, Death By Scrabble.

    How did you learn to be your own boss?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ryan attends the Cannes Film Festival photo op.

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

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

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

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

    Who do you hope to work with one day? 

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

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

    Professional Goals of Engineering Entrepreneurship Majors

    Kenyon looked to the side outside of Rowan Hall.

    Today, we feature the long-term and short-term goals of two students in the Engineering Entrepreneurship program. 

    Kenyon sits inside the Engineering Bridge.

    Kenyon Burgess, a sophomore from Jackson, NJ (Ocean County), is taking advantage of the programs Rowan has to offer to reach his goals.

    Currently, Kenyon is on an engineering research project and is also attending events held by the College of Business for networking and personal development. These are all steps he’s taking to be prepared for his next steps after graduation.

    His long-term goal is to own his own business where he can utilize his engineering experience. 

    Michael sits by Engineering Pond and Rowan Hall.

    Senior Micheal Lampasona, from South Plainfield, NJ (Middlesex County), is taking charge of his future by actively expanding his network, self-educating through reading books and watching videos, and reaching out to business professionals to ask them questions regarding his interests in different industries.

    In his last semester, Micheal wants to continue to search the technical and business fields to see what industries he gravitates towards for his career. His long-term goal is to own and develop real estate by investing in and developing multi-unit (30+) properties.

    He says: “Engineering entrepreneurship will support my dreams and goals because it gives me the best of both the technical and business world. I know that the world of technical sales, product development, project management, technology commercialization, and operations in manufacturing is what I was born to do.”

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

    Select photos by:
    Quintin Stinney, sophomore radio/TV/film major

    Music Majors Share Music to Listen to While Studying

    Photo of a student studying.

    Need some tunes to help you study for finals? Here are some recommendations from upperclassmen music majors.

    The "Spiegel im Spiegel" by Arvo Part album cover.

    Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

    “It’s one of my favorite minimalist pieces. It repeats over and over, so it’s good to listen to when you’re trying to focus. I love how delicate it sounds; it reminds me of a lullaby. A couple years ago, I was reading a book called ‘The Rest Is Noise’ by Alex Ross. Pärt was mentioned in it, so I wanted to dive into his music more,” says senior Kimmy Speers, a Music Education: Instrumental major from Morristown, NJ (Morris County).

    The "3am Talk" by Icemann album cover.

    3Am Talk – Icemann

    “Chill vibe. I created the song myself,” says first-generation junior Justin Nunez, a Music Industry major with a concentration in Technology and a transfer from Kean University from Jackson, NJ (Ocean County).

    Lisa holding a clarinet outside by the Rowan Hall pond.

    Nocturnes (all 21) – Chopin

    “It is very calming and relaxing. Chopin is very popular in the classical music world, and played very often by pianists,” says senior Lisa Harkisheimer, a Music Education Instrumental major from Sicklerville, NJ (Gloucester County).

    Melissa wearing a Rowan sweatshirt while walking on the beach.

    Etude No.2 – Phillip Glass

    “Phillip Glass is a minimalist artist. His songs are thought provoking and stimulating to the ear. I studied minimalist artists in my theory course a year ago and found the compositions of Phillip Glass. I use his Playlist on Spotify to focus when I’m studying and thought it might help other students,” say junior Melissa Breslin of Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County), a Music Education Instrumental major and transfer student from Rowan College at Gloucester County. 

    Liz sitting on a bench.

    Rêverie – Claude Debussy (or really anything by Debussy)

    “It relaxes me without putting me to sleep. I discovered the song by researching romantic composers on my own and also hearing his music in my music classes,” says senior Liz Cicali, a Music Education major with a specialization in instrumental music from Absecon, NJ (Atlantic County).

    Sunshine holding a guitar while smiling outside.

     The Brain Dance – Animals as Leaders

    “This will stimulate your mind and senses in every way. You will be awakened to learn and receptive to new information. I discovered the song at a concert,” says senior Sunshine Jones, a Music Education Vocal Major and Classical Guitar minor from Sewell, NJ (Gloucester County).

    The "Viberations" by Iman Omari album cover.

    L.A. Vibes – Iman Omari 

    “Iman Omari is the king of chill and loops. He’s a producer that makes dream like beats. He can chop any song up and claim it as his own. A lot of his music doesn’t contain words, he has a beat tape that has nothing but loops and it really helps me study. Hearing the beats allow me to read, think and focus on my tasks. I’m able to listen to music and concentrate, that’s all I need in this world. Music and focus,” says first-generation college junior Phinesse Scott, a Music Industry major and transfer student from Rowan College at Burlington County

    Phinesse adds: “I discovered Iman Omari through YouTube. You can really go down a never-ending hole on YouTube. I typically like to search for beats on there and I came across one of his old tracks and it was at that moment I became a fan and looked for every song I could find that he made.”

    The "We the Kings" album cover.

    Check Yes Juliet – We The Kings

    “It’s a good song and catchy but by studying to this song it helps you to think back to what you read right before an exam if you listen to it again. It’s a popular pop rock song similar to artists I listen to,” says first-generation college junior Amanda Uretsky, a Music Industry major with a concentration in Technology and Business from Lumberton, NJ (Burlington County).

    Emileigh smiling for a photo.

    Imagine Paris – Daniel Paterok

    “I find this song very relaxing, which I believe is important when doing homework or studying. Plus, I find the melody really pretty and catchy. I found this song on a public Spotify playlist that I sometimes listen to when I study,” says junior Emileigh Zane, a Music Industry major with a Business concentration who transferred from Rowan College of South Jersey and is from Penns Grove, NJ (Salem County).

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major 

    Header photo courtesy of:
    Unsplash

    Meet #Rowan2025: Incoming First-Year Student Dara Donahue

    Close up of top of Bunce Hall.

    Today we speak to Dara Donahue, an incoming first-year Marketing major from Wantage, NJ (Sussex County). Dara hopes to live on campus next semester.

    Dara stands in the parking garage wearing a Rowan sweatshirt.

    Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward to in college?

    I am really looking forward to living on campus and getting to make friends!

    What is one hobby, activity, sport, or club you were a part of in high school that you’d like to continue in college?

    I was a part of DECA, a club that builds business and leadership skills, and I hope to join a similar club in college as well. 

    Dara poses by a car and a fence.

    Is there anything you’re hoping to discover about yourself in college?

    I hope to better my education in marketing and business in general.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I am considering a career in either marketing or becoming a lobbyist.

    Did you tour Rowan or attend any virtual events?

    I toured Rowan my junior year before COVID hit and loved it right away. I have attended some virtual events as well.

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

    My advice is cheesy, but just listen to your gut and see how you feel at each college you tour.

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

    Beyond the Classroom: Tanvi Koduru, 3D Confectionery CEO

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

    Rowan Global Student Brittany Passano: Paving the Way for Latina Women in Higher Education

    Brittany stands underneath a gazebo on campus.

    Brittany Passano, a Rowan Global student from Elizabeth, NJ (Union County), is earning her master’s degree in Higher Education: Administrative track. Here is her inspiring story. 

    Brittany learned about Rowan’s graduate program at her prior institution, Montclair University. The program was appealing to her because of the size of Rowan’s residential life department and the benefits that came with the hands-on experience Rowan offers their grads.

    Brittany describes it as “a two-year program that develops graduate students working in academic and student affairs. We are tasked to foster diversity and inclusion within the residence halls by supporting students and their identity. Our goal is to learn how to make universities a better place in the future.” 

    Currently, Brittany is the Resident Director of Mimosa Hall, a first-year student residence hall on campus. Her job is to oversee the administrative/logistical process of the residence hall and to manage a staff of resident assistants.

    “The best way to describe my job is that I assist the RA’s who assist the residents. I make sure my staff has all the right skills and resources to help our students,” she says.

    Brittany leans in front of a Mimosa Hall sign.

    When asked about the most rewarding part of her job, Brittany replies, “Seeing the transformation in each RA from the beginning of the semester to the end. I love watching my staff grow and help them to improve from their mistakes. It’s so nice to see how each RA makes the job unique to them.” 

    Brittany has had influential mentors throughout her Rowan experience.

    “Catie Baxter, who was my direct supervisor and area coordinator, really helped me when I first got here. I felt so tiny but she made me come out of my shell and helped me realize I could do it.”

    She also talks about the impact her Student Development professor had on her. “Dr. Wright’Mair helped me to get out of my comfort zone and think outside of the box. I learned how to really think critically in that class. Dr. Wright’Mair challenged me to the professional I want to be. “ 

    Britt sitting inside a gazebo on Rowan's campus.

    Brittany shared how it feels to be a Latina woman achieving her master’s degree. “It feels incredible. I’m proud to be Latina. I wake up every morning, look at my skin and hair, and am thankful that I have it; I think that goes back to my family and how I was raised.

    “Being a part of a minority community does come with personal struggles, but with that comes learning to work with integrity and caring about others. Not many Latina women have a master’s degree, but I am looking forward to being a part of the small percentage that will work to make sure there are more women like us in the future,” she explains. 

    Brittany is writing her thesis on the Latina student experience with a sense of belonging. 

    Brittany stands inside a gazebo on campus.

    After graduation, Brittany wants to continue her career in residential life in a professional position. “I’m currently interviewing for positions and can’t wait to take everything I’ve learned into action and practice.”

    When asked to give advice to students who want to enter the field of higher education, Brittany says, “Remember your first leadership position and how amazing it was — that experience brought you to this point. Remember that sometimes we have to unlearn to learn, and live in every moment.” 

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

    Photography by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

    #PROFspective: Public Relations and Advertising Major Madison Sweet

    A headshot of Madison Sweet outside on Rowan's campus.

    Today, we speak to Public Relations & Advertising double major Madison Sweet! Madison is a transfer student from Raritan Valley Community College and is from Bridgewater, NJ (Somerset County). She shares with us what a typical day at is like for her and how she transitioned into Rowan.

    A portrait photo of Madison outside on Rowan's campus.

    What is a typical Rowan day for you?

    I work at Financial Aid in the mornings and afternoons and then I return home to join my Zoom classes. After that, I cook myself dinner or I will treat myself and order out (sushi always). After my work load is done, I love spending quality time with my friends, my boyfriend, and my Big in my sorority. Some nights, I like to go out to Landmark or Chickie’s & Pete’s for a drink with my friends as well (following COVID procedures, of course).

    Could you share with us one moment during your time at Rowan that made you feel inspired or confident that you’re in the right major for you?

    The relations that I have built with my professors have made me love my major even more. I am super comfortable with them and love doing my work. The moment I knew I was in the right major was my accomplishment in making the Dean’s List back to back. I struggled with school growing up, and now I have a 3.7 GPA that I am super proud of, it would have not been possible without the Communication Profs.

    Could you tell us a little bit about your transition into Rowan as an incoming student? Were you nervous? Excited? Stressed? What people, programs or things helped to make your transition smooth?

    I felt all the nerves. Since I was in community college before, I was super eager to start a new chapter of my life away from home to learn who I am as a person on my own. I was super excited to start my classes but worried I wouldn’t make any friends. But Rowan’s students and profs are the nicest people I have ever met. Class was never boring. Joining my sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi, also had a huge impact on my social life. Without this org, I wouldn’t have all of the friends that I do, today.

    Madison posing with her four friends outside the Engineering building.
    Madison hanging out with friends outside the Engineering building.

    What are your professional goals?

    Currently I am not sure what I want to do for a job after college. I would love to work in the social media field for a big company if possible.

    How has Rowan helped to support you with your professional goals?

    My profs have always been very supportive toward me, they are very understanding and are always willing to help if you need it, which was very nice and comforting. If I was ever confused they would help me with an assignment if needed. My sorority has always encouraged us to prioritize school work first to make sure that we stayed on top of our grades. My profs and advisor always let us know about potential Internships as well.

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Photography by: Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Psychology Major, HR Management Minor John Tully

    John stands outside Bunce Hall.

    Today, we speak to Psychology major and Human Resources Management minor John Tully. John, from Ramsey, NJ (Bergen County), is a transfer student from Bergen Community College. 

    John standing against the door of Bunce while wearing sunglasses and a Rowan Psychology sweatshirt.

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

    I am going to Georgetown in the fall for a master’s in Human Resource Management. After that, I hope to work in global HR management. Rowan has Psychology majors take a professions and practice class, that is where I learned about HR master’s programs and realized that is the direction I wanted to go in. Also, I was able to add a Human Resources Management minor to my program which helped me stand out from other applicants to the programs I applied to.

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

    HR is a crucial part of business and has major influences globally. HR has the ability to influence workplace happiness, motivation and profitability. HR also creates a safe and inclusive workplace while ensuring legal compliance. I would like to work in global HR management by designing human resource programs that are able to be applied across multiple cultures.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    I was originally a bio/mathematics major and took an Intro to Psychology class to fulfill an elective requirement. I fell in love with psychology because of how diverse and interesting it is. It is an amazing field, which can be related to nearly any topic of interest. I knew after taking that class that I wanted to change my major and pursue a career in some way related to psychology.

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

    I read about Rowan while researching colleges to transfer to. Rowan is a well-ranked school with classes related to Industrial Organizational Psychology. That made it stand out from other schools.

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

    Around two hours.

    John standing on the steps of Bunce Hall while wearing a Rowan Psychology sweatshirt

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

    I am far enough away from home where things feel different, but still close enough where visiting friends and family is easy. I wanted a change of scenery but I didn’t want it to be too difficult to visit family.

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

    Mostly that South Jersey is very different than North Jersey. They’re like different states. South Jersey has a slower, more relaxed energy. Also, South Jersey is beautiful. It isn’t as crowded or urbanized as North Jersey. I always enjoy driving around and just taking in the open space and beautiful farmland.

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

    There is so much good food here and it is so much cheaper to dine out than in North Jersey. There are also vineyards and a brewery near by. Rowan hosts a lot of events. Plus, Philadelphia is only about 20 minutes away so you have the ability to have city life if you want.

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

    Rowan is a well-ranked university with an impressive psychology program taught by respected experts in their fields. Also, Rowan offers classes about Industrial Organizational Psychology, which is my area of interest.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

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

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

    Alana Brown sits outside on campus.

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

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

    What is your role in your organization? 

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

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

    Alana sits at the amphitheater on campus.

    What have you learned in your role as a leader?

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

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

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

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

    Where do you see yourself in the future? 

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

    Who inspires you and why?

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

    Alana sits inside James Hall.

    What’s the most significant barrier to women today? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Leadership #PROFspective: Debate Team President and Sophomore Allison Gould

    Allison poses in a wooded area.

    Today we speak to Allison Gould, president of the Law and Justice Debate Team. Allison is a sophomore Finance and Accounting double major from Whippany, NJ (Morris County) and lives on campus. Besides being the president of the Debate Team, Allison is also involved with the Financial Management Association and the Accounting Society.

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

    Allison poses in front of the Prof Owl statue.

    What is your role in your organization? Briefly describe what your organization does.

    I am president of the debate team, so I am in charge of a lot of things. I didn’t get a chance to learn from the seniors before, because of COVID, so I had to figure out the role on my own. Lately, we have been having meetings about current events, having mock debates and working on public speaking.

    Why did you join the Debate Team? What made you want to become president?

    I participated in my high school’s debate team all four years of high school. We used a different debate-style called Lincoln Douglas, which is where you go up against your opponent one on one. Rowan does public forum, which is two people going up against each other. I knew I wanted to join the debate team in college because I like it. Winning isn’t the point for me. Even if I don’t win, the point is to better myself and get better at public speaking. 

    It was hard to find the club. I remember I was walking to the academic buildings and there was a table set up on the way there [for the debate team]. I heard somebody say debate, and I had to walk back through to sign up.

    As for why I became president, it was more or less because nobody else wanted to step up to the plate. My parents encouraged me to be independent. Leadership is reinforced by whatever environment you grew up in.

    Allison leans against a railing by a wooded section of campus.

    What have you learned in your role as a leader?

    I have learned that most leaders don’t know what they’re doing, but they know how to work through it and weave their team. I’ve learned how to not get overwhelmed with everything.

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

    My favorite memory was being able to do a mock debate for the first time. We were kind of dying a club and we didn’t have that many members, so we weren’t able to do a mock debate. Then, we had more people join, and we were able to. 

    I feel that a lot of people think they have to win in debates, but you learn more when you lose. Debate is a great skill to have. It teaches you how to persuade people and put arguments together. You also have to learn how to see topics from the other person’s point of view.

    Allison smiles and stands in front of the Owl statue.

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

    Don’t give up. If you want something enough, you can do it. 

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    Story by:
    Marian Suganob, senior public relations and advertising double major and Rachel Rumsby, sophomore communication studies, and public relations double major

    Photos by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: From North Jersey To Utah, Chemical Engineering Major Jacob Molinaro

    Stock image Mountain View.

    Meet Jacob Molinaro, a Chemical Engineering major with minors in both Math and Chemistry who transferred from the County College of Morris and is originally from Essex County, NJ. He is taking remote classes at Rowan from his current residence in Utah. He shares more about his decision in choosing Rowan and what he loves about South Jersey.

    Jacob taking a selfie of himself while climbing a mountain.

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

    My goal is to get my Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and lead research in the field of renewable energy and energy storage. My time at Rowan has provided me with the educational background and experience to be competitive as I apply to my graduate programs and indirectly inspired me to follow this career path.

    As a sophomore, my department head sent me an email encouraging me to apply to an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program in Ohio. Following his advice, I applied and was admitted to the program and discovered my passions for both research and the field of electrochemistry.

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

    The field of chemical engineering is extremely diverse, incorporating manufacturing, research and development and process design. Without chemical engineering, we would find many of the everyday products we use would be unavailable. I specifically would like to work in the growing field of renewable energy and energy storage, which is becoming increasingly important as we strive for more sustainable and ecologically friendly alternatives to fossil fuels.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    Excellent chemistry teachers in high school (for both Honors Chemistry in 10th grade and AP Chemistry in 11th) fostered my interest for the subject, but I have always been more interested in applying chemistry to real-world problems rather than understanding the technicalities of it. Hence, I went into chemical engineering (applied chemistry).

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

    At the time I applied, there were five strong chemical engineering programs in the state of New Jersey that my community college made me aware of. I applied to all of them, and upon being accepted to Rowan, I came to visit and loved it!

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

    This is an amusing question. As the question is intended to be answered, it is two hours up the NJ Turnpike/Garden State Parkway to where I lived in Essex County from my apartment in Marlton. To go visit my parents in Pennsylvania is about three hours.

    However, at the moment my wife and I are living in Orem, Utah while I do all of my classes remotely. My wife, Kaitlin, is a travel nurse and is supporting a hospital here in Utah. Back to New Jersey from HERE is about 35 hours of driving.

    Jacob posing with his wife for a wedding photo.
    Jacob and his wife, Kaitlin, at their wedding.

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

    When I’m back in NJ it is nice to be close enough to my parents to go visit over the weekend and help out around the house, but far enough away that we’re not getting unexpected dinner guests every other evening while I need to be studying for an exam or my wife is getting home from a long shift at the hospital.

    Here in Utah, the largest benefits are by far the accessibility of my favorite hobbies. I’m a runner, climber, mountaineer and skier; the whole Salt Lake City area is absolutely amazing for these activities. In the past two weeks I’ve been to the climbing gym, two different ski resorts, been up two mountains, and been able to run and hike in between classes.

    Between my own personal travels and moving around with Kaitlin’s travel nursing, I’ve been to 49 of the 50 states, and Utah is probably tied for second with Montana among my favorite states (only second to Wyoming!). Utah residents are also doing a great job with social distancing and mask-wearing, so COVID-19 cases are low here and places like the ski resorts and climbing gyms are able to stay open and operate at reduced capacity.

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

    After living in the “sixth borough on NYC” in Essex County, I’ve really appreciated that South Jersey is much more rural. If it hasn’t come across yet, I’m not at all a city person and really appreciate some good nature. The accessibility to different parks and preserves throughout the Pine Barrens has been really special. There’s also a great running community, some really awesome little towns (I work as a barista in Haddonfield and love it there, for example), and a bit more of a laid back feel than you’d be used to in North Jersey.

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

    Parallel to 322 and off of Delsea Drive there’s a really awesome bike path that runs about seven and a half miles to Sewell. That’s a fun ride/run, and I would definitely recommend students check it out. Duffield’s Farm Market in Sewell is a great place to visit in the fall for pumpkin picking and year-round for affordable fresh produce. It’s a bit of a drive, but I love the Black Run Preserve a bit north in Evesham Township.

    Closer to campus, Pitman is always worth a visit for great restaurants and a fun main street. Overall, I’d encourage any new students to just drive around and get to know both Glassboro and the surrounding towns. There’s a lot of neat stuff to be seen, regardless of whether you’re interested in getting outdoors or visiting a town.

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

    Of the three schools I was accepted for transfer to, Rowan was the most affordable (by a long shot!) and the most rural. I had spent two years at that point living in the extremely urban sections of northern New Jersey and was ready for a little farmland nearby!

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Header photo courtesy of:
    Unsplash

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

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

    Bravo speaking into a horn.

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

    Leadership #PROFspective: Catherine Nguyen, Cofounder of Rowan Vietnamese Student Association

    Catherine against a railing at Bunce.

    Today we feature Catherine Nguyen, a leader at Rowan University. From Washington Township, NJ (Morris County), Catherine majors in Biological Sciences and minors in Chemistry, Sociology and Thomas Bantivoglio Honors Concentration. She talks about her experience with the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) and overall experience as a student leader. This story is part of a series spotlighting campus […]

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Chemical Engineering Major Jean Han

    Jean stands outside in front of a wooded area on campus.

    Today, we speak to transfer student Jean Han. Jean is a Chemical Engineering major from Fort Lee, NJ (Bergen County) who transferred from Bergen Community College. She shares with us why she chose Rowan and tells us what she likes about South Jersey.

    A portrait photo of Jean.

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

    I would like to work in the medical device field or within biotechnology. My major allows me to be qualified for these positions as an engineer. I’ve received a lot of professional advice from my professors and academic advice from my peers.

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

    I think chemical engineering is a broad field that allows various career paths, all of which are pretty innovating. I would like to contribute to society by improving upon medical technology.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    I really enjoyed my high school calculus/chemistry classes and wanted to choose a major that would have me take more courses in both subjects.

    Jean wearing a lab coat and a blue mask while working in the lab.
    Jean working in the lab.

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

    I Googled top engineering schools, and Rowan popped up as one of them for undergrad.

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

    About two hours, an hour and 45 minutes on a good day.

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

    I’m not distracted by my usual friends or family members. There are less places here to go to.

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

    South Jersey seems quieter and less busy than North Jersey. It would be a nice area to chill in without too much distraction for someone who is looking for that kind of environment.

    Jean sitting outside the engineering building while wearing a tan sweatshirt.

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

    I like going into Pitman. It’s a quaint area with some cafes and restaurants to eat at. I would also recommend going into Philly, of course.

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

    Rowan was the most affordable option for me. I also had a bad impression of other in-state schools.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Photography by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major

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

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Computing and Informatics Major Richard Shinnick

    Richard poses on the steps in front of Dawn to Dusk Cafe.

    Today we speak to Richard Shinnick, a senior transfer student from Ramapo College of New Jersey who majors in Computing and Informatics. Richard is an on-campus resident originally from Allendale, NJ (Bergen County).

    Richard poses in front of a black fence.

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

    My professional goals include making websites and apps that will impact our society.

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

    Computers affect everyone. I would like to develop websites/apps.

    Richard poses on a hill in the Glassboro Town Square.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    I love computers, which inspired me to choose my major.

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

    A family member, who is an alum of Rowan, recommended Rowan to me.

    Richard walks down Rowan Boulevard.

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

    My trip “home” to North jersey is two hours.

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

    A benefit to living farther from home is gaining a greater sense of independence.

    Richard looks at a pair of sunglasses inside Barnes and Noble.

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

    People say pork roll instead of Taylor ham, and it bothers me.

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

    Atlantic City is close by, and I like to visit sometimes.

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

    They have a great computer science program, and a great computing and informatics program.

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

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

    7 History Majors Share How Their Degree Supports Their Professional Goals

    Raymond standing outside.

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

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Future High School Teacher Gianna Venturini

    Stock photo of sunflowers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What inspired you to choose your major?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

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

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, Senior music industry major

    Header photo courtesy of: Unsplash 

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

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Radio/TV/Film Major Paul Romeo

    A Rowan student uses a DSLR camera to capture a moment.

    Today, we speak to transfer student Paul Romeo! Paul is a Radio/TV/Film major from Cedar Grove, NJ (Essex County) who transferred from Southern New Hampshire University. He shares with us why he chose Rowan and gives advice to out-of-state students.

    Paul smiling and posing in front of a stream.

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

    My professional goals are to work toward being a filmographer or cinematographer for a major TV or movie production company. Rowan has provided me with resources to work towards this — of course the pandemic has made this difficult and caused many issues in pursuing this.

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

    My field impacts the world in many ways, both steering and being steered by culture of the world around us. We are able to provide entertainment and also highlight issues in the world in a way that can not be silenced. We are able to bring light to the darkness and bring forth the newest important things.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    Honestly it was just a lot of realizing myself and understanding that I do not enjoy majors that are not creative. The major I had before was a programming major, and I did not succeed in it at all.

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

    I looked at it originally before I decided on my previous university. My friend attended and told me how much he enjoyed it so I decided to give it a try. When I did, I finally fell in love with a campus, for the first time I’ve ever felt at home somewhere.

    Paul taking a selfie in the mirror while wearing a Rowan shirt.

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

    My drive is about two hours up to home.

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

    My parents aren’t able to show up when they randomly want to, haha. It’s nice to be able to feel like I have to be there for myself. If I don’t cook, I don’t eat, if I don’t shower, no one is going to tell me to, so it forces me to be more independent.

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

    Delsea Drive-In is something that’s really cool! Also just the open space and flatness of South Jersey is so nice compared to North Jersey, biking is great in the area.

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

    The food around campus is great, there are so many unique and interesting places to eat at.

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

    It felt right. That’s it, there was a feeling I had that both terrified me and made me feel like it would challenge me to be a new person, and I’d say it’s done a good job at that.

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

    Seniors Share: Women’s Club Lacrosse [VIDEO]

    View of the intramural field through the fence.

    Seniors Paige Ryan (white jersey), and Jeannie Corcione (grey shirt) share the positive impact that the Women’s Club Lacrosse team had on their college experience. Paige, captain of the team, is a double major in Biology and Psychology from Sparta, NJ (Sussex County). Jeannie is social chair of the team and is a Psychology major […]

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Future History Teacher Kaan Aktas

    Exterior shot of walkway by Bunce Hall.

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

    Kaan poses in front of some greenery.

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

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

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

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

    What inspired you to choose your major?

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

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

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

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

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

    Kaan poses in front of some colored lights.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

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

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

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

    Header photo by:
    Anthony Raisley, senior history major

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

    7 Economics Majors Share Their Professional Goals

    Photo of a one dollar bill.

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

    Carolyn smiles in a wooded area.
    Carolyn Cover

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

    Headshot of Ryan Brubeck against a neutral background.
    Ryan Brubeck

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

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

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

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

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

    Portrait of Amir Ross against a gray backdrop.
    Amir Ross

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

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

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

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

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

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Graphic Designer Jessica Potash

    Abstract circles stock photo.

    Today we speak to Jessica Potash, a senior transfer student from Kean University majoring in Studio Art with a concentration in Graphic Design and a minor in Art History from Cranford, NJ (Union County).

    Studio Art major Jessica poses outside.

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

    My goal is to become a graphic designer in New York, and one day I want to become an art director. The faculty in the Rowan Art Department have always been supportive of my goals and they are always ready to help. They have pushed me to develop my creative voice, gain confidence in my work, and experience leadership positions.

    The professors at Westby have infinite amounts of industry experience and they give us so many resources in order to succeed. Because of them and the program they created, I feel confident that I will excel after graduation.

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

    Design is everywhere. It is the logo on your hoodie, the poster of your favorite movie, it is the website you’re reading this on, and so much more! Graphic design doesn’t just make things pretty, it tells a story and gives visual meaning to abstract ideas. I think the greatest impact I could have in my field would be to have my work directly inspire another person to create.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    In high school, I took an intro to graphic design class and I thought it was amazing. I’ve always gravitated towards the arts, but before that, I never knew I could make a career out of it. After I explored some of the endless possibilities a person could do in graphic design, I knew that that was what I wanted to do.

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

    When I was a junior in high school and still college hunting, I visited the Rowan with a family friend who is an alumnus. I ended up going to a different school my first year of college, but I never forgot the vibe of Rowan’s campus. I found myself always comparing that school to the feeling that Rowan had given me on that tour, and I realized it was time to transfer. It was the best decision I could have ever made.

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

    My hometown is an hour and a half drive from campus.

    Studio Art major Jessica poses indoors.

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

    The distance from home gives me so much freedom. This will seem cliché, but the distance gave me the freedom to learn more about myself. I was forced out of my comfort zone and I was given the opportunity to try new things like sign up for clubs and leadership roles that I might not have tried if I were in my same hometown environment.

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

    I’ve lived in New Jersey, more specifically North Jersey, for my entire life. When I moved to South Jersey for school, I didn’t realize how windy it could get! The first winter I spent at Rowan was the first time I experienced a wind that actually took my breath away. Also, I didn’t realize how many amazing start-up bands are around the Rowan area. There are a lot of opportunities to go to house shows, listen to new music, and meet new people.

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

    There is an axe throwing place called Primitive Axe on Delsea Drive and that is so fun! It’s super close to campus so you don’t need to worry if you don’t have a car. Axe throwing is a great Friday night activity to do with a few friends. It’s also great because Samurai sushi is in the same lot so you can get dinner too!

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

    Rowan is one of two universities in the state that offers an accredited BFA program for graphic design. When I met with the department chair of the graphic design program, Jan Conradi, and she talked to me about the program, I was sold. From my first portfolio review, I immediately felt like I had a place here and that the staff cared about my success — I still find this to be true.

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

    Photos submitted by:
    Jessica Potash, senior studio art major

    Header photo by:
    Pixabay

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

    Alumni Success: Student-Athlete, Trailblazer Brad K. Leak

    Today, we feature alumnus Brad K. Leak ’94, who earned a bachelor of science degree in Business with a specialization in Accounting. He also led the men’s Track & Field team as captain from 1991-94. As a three-time all-American champion, Brad wisely balanced the many responsibilities of being a student, an athlete and a leader.

    Brad posing with a friend outside the track field while wearing a Glassboro State Track sweatshirt.

    Where do you currently work? 

    “I am the Associate Managing Director of Financial Aid at Kean University, but I still love my school [as Brad proudly shows he’s wearing Glassboro State College apparel]. Although it was awkward for me, accepting a job at one of my school’s rivals, my wife and I were excited at the opportunity for my kids to attend college for free. I’m also going to run the EOF program for Kean University! I was equally blessed that my fraternity brother is the first African American president of Kean University. He was putting together a diverse team [to lead Kean]; my name came to his mind as someone who would not only relate to the students of today but also knew how to go about understanding federal compliance as it relates to financial aid and helping students to graduate. Just three weeks previous, I was offered to be the first African American Director of Finance of Union Township, but the local politicians wanted to ensure they put all options of the table for the betterment of my career. I could not turn down the opportunity to assist in molding the future minds of society.” 

    What was your experience as an undergrad? 

    “I received a bachelor of science in business with a specialization in accounting. As an only child, my mother said I always [pretended] to have a business office and clients. I also excelled in mathematics in school. [Although] I wasn’t interested in the complicated formulas, numbers had always interested me. In the church, anytime the offering was going to be taken, I wanted to help manage the finances of the church.” 

    Eventually, somebody pointed Brad toward accounting. In high school, he took an accounting class, learning the concepts of debits and credits. From a young age, Brad “knew [he] wanted to study accounting, become an accountant, and build a whole career as an accountant.”

    Brad’s favorite class was Accounting 102 with Dr. Diane Hughes, one of the few African American teachers he met in his entire educational experience. Brad later became the president of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) at Rowan from 1993-94. Brad earned the position by impressing IMA’s advisor at the time, Dr. George Romeo, through class and one-to-one basketball sessions. 

    Coming through the EOF program, built solid friendships and learned more about the campus environment. Brad credits his start in EOF in helping him make it through college because it was a major adjustment from his hometown in North Jersey. Living only six minutes from the Newark airport and 20 minutes from New York (on a good day), he remembers being surprised Glassboro only had one Wawa in the area.

    Brad posing for a group photo with his wife and daughter on a track field.
    Here Brad stands with his daughter Akayla (center) at her high school graduation, alongside his wife Kim.

    Can you tell me more about your extracurricular activities? 

    “I specialized in the 800-meter race and ran the anchor leg in the 4×400 relay. The anchor leg was tough, especially at nationals where everybody gets excited. I [also] ran run cross country because as a middle-distance runner, you have to be fast and strong. 

    “I am a member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. I pledged in the spring of 1990, and that network has led me to have a fraternity brother who is the president of a major university in the state of New Jersey. The model of our fraternity is focused on service for humanity. Phi Beta Sigma recruited you so that you could become a leader of the community. It was less about yourself and more about what you could do for other people. There’s a difference between aspiring to be a leader, and already being a leader who wants to serve people. I stayed active through the alumni ranks.

    “As one of the historically Black fraternities and sororities, the alumni portion of [Phi Beta Sigma] is as strong if not stronger than the collegiate ranks. [As an alumni], it’s less about college parties and more about community service, networking, and conferences; and, because of that, we’ve become an intellectual thinktank.” 

    Brad remembers being a social butterfly and recruiting members for Phi Beta Sigma, starting off with five to six members and gaining up to 25 new recruits. This experience helped shape Brad into the leader he is now. He believes that intentionally creating positive situations will lead to positive results and that “iron sharpens iron.” 

    Could you share with us a little bit about racial inclusion and the student culture while you attended Rowan? 

    “In my day, the only diversity that came through the campus was from the EOF/MAP programs. In 1992, the Rodney King verdict was released, and we marched down 322 onto the football field during a game. We tried to stop the game. After that, we immediately went to the President’s house [Hollybush Mansion] and camped out. I also went to NAACP events in Clayton and Camden as well as Black Cultural League once a month.” 

    Coming from North Jersey, Brad remembers driving back home and about 35% of the time he drove up the highway home, he was pulled over by NJ state troopers. It happened so often with one state trooper, he eventually remembered Brad as “the college kid.” 

    Brad posing with the Shady Rest Clubhouse sign and pointing to the name 'John Matthe Shippen'.
    Brad plays golf at the first African American-owned golf course in the world. John Shippen is the first African American golf pro recognized by the USGA.

    What advice would you give to students, especially Black students?

    “Always understand that you want to be the change that you want to see. The blessing is, with [the culture] today, I can comfortably speak about the Black Lives Matter Movement. Where in my day, you didn’t want to be so radical. We were being trained to assimilate to corporate America. You didn’t see a lot of African American CEOs or presidents of major corporations, you only really ever saw us in sports and entertainment. Now, we have had an African American president [and now a Vice President] of the United States. So, I would tell those students — especially the males — to understand that if Black Lives Matter then Black education MUST matter. I want them to value their education first and foremost.

    “Education is more than just the process of going to class and going back to your dorm and playing the PS5 or whatever kids are playing with today. Education means you have to join a professional organization. Make sure you not only do sports but also participate in academia and build a relationship with your professors. Ask them about their professional experiences. 

    “I challenge them, [especially] African American males, to set the example and change ‘perception.’ Make sure you’re holistically involved in the campus, be involved in the ENTIRE process of being a college student. You’re only going to be able to do that for four or five years. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would do it all over again. I would do a couple of things differently and I could make my career that much greater just by the basis of my college education and experience at Rowan University.” 

    Brad has always appreciated the power of education, especially being the second person in his immediate family to attend college. His aunt, Dr. Violet Martin, was the first to go to college and also calls Rowan her alma mater. Brad and Dr. Martin now have six other collegiate-level students or graduates in their family. 

    Brad proudly stands with his son Kyndell, who graduated from college.
    Brad proudly stands with his son Kyndell, who graduated from college.

    What was your journey like after college? 

    “When I graduated from college, I had applied to a lot of the Big Six accounting firms. I wasn’t getting the opportunities I really wanted. Because, at that time, if you didn’t go to one of the Ivy League schools where the Big Six recruited on those campuses and where they have associations set up, they did not look at you. Being the president of IMA, I got sent to a three-day weekend at UPenn. [Even] being one of the most outgoing people in the organization and having a down-to-earth attitude (coming from Rowan), the only kids they were recruiting from were from UPenn, Drexel, or Villanova. I didn’t let it bother me. Long story short, I found out I have a second cousin, Walter Frye, who owns a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) firm. Walter brought me into his firm, and I’ve continuously worked with him for 25 years at the same time as my other jobs. The firm had a contract with KPMG to audit New York City. We made sure to send diverse accountants because the people auditing the city should look like the public. I received training by KPMG in Denver, Colorado. This opportunity set up my whole career. I became a top executive for Atlantic City Housing Authority. I began my own firm and worked with housing authorities all over America, traveling 80% of the time. I would not have believed a small kid from North Jersey would become a key figure in the housing authority. Now, I’ve pivoted back to college and higher education.” 

    What do you hope to see in the future of Rowan? 

    Brad appreciates the fact that the minority base at Rowan is growing. He hopes that everyone feels accepted at Rowan and that diversity will not be treated as just a statistic. He also hopes to see the faculty one day look like the people they are teaching.

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

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    Black History Facts All Students Should Know

    "Black History Month" written in colorful letters.

    Today we speak to Rowan students from three different colleges who share insight on key moments in Black history and suggest books and movies to learn more. 

    “Black History Month originally began as Negro History Week, created by Carter G. Woodson in 1926. It only became Black History Month in 1976 when President Gerald Ford called for the public to ‘seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.’ The month of February also coincided with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.” 

    Gregory Williams, a freshman Dance major from South River, NJ (Middlesex County) is a resident on campus at Magnolia Hall. Gregory says he learned about Black history mostly through social media and his own research online. He recommends students read “Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi or view the movies “Selma,” “13th” and “Harriet” to educate themselves about Black history. 

    Gregory poses outside the student center in a Rowan sweatshirt.
    Gregory Williams

    “Jack Johnson became the first African American to be a world heavyweight champion.”

    Latiesha Small, a freshman Biological Sciences and Mathematics double major from Matawan, NJ (Monmouth County), is a resident on campus at Evergreen Hall. Latiesha says she learned about Black history from her family. 

    Latiesha poses at a table.
    Latiesha Small

    “Before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, there was a young girl named Claudette Colvin who refused first.”

    Jamar Green, a junior Law & Justice Studies major with an Africana Studies minor, is from Linden, NJ (Union County). Jamar transferred to Rowan from Union County College and is a resident on campus at 230 Victoria. He is a first-generation college student. Jamar says he learned about Black history by researching. “I was always told by my grandfather if you want to know your history you have to learn it for yourself, so I read articles, books and watched videos, documentaries and movies.” A book that he recommends for students to educate themselves about Black history is “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglass.

    Jamar Green sits and smiles, wearing a red vest.
    Jamar Green

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

    Photo of Latiesha provided by:
    Latiesha Small, freshman biological Sciences and mathematics double major

    Photo of Jamar provided by:
    Jamar Green, junior law and justice studies major

    Header photo courtesy of:
    Pixabay

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

    Drone shot view of Campbell Library and Savitz Hall.

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

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

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

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

    Jamar Green sits and smiles, wearing a red vest.

    How did you find your friend group here at Rowan?

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

    Are you involved with Black Rowan?

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

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

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

    What are your professional goals?

    I want to become a criminal defense attorney.

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

    Rowan Global History Graduate Student is Teaching and Learning with a “New Set of Rules”

    Diamonnique stands inside James Hall.

    Meet Diamonnique M., a Rowan Global student from Essex County who began her master’s degree in history pursuit in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s going back to school at the same time as she navigates her first year teaching social studies and English language arts (ELA) at the elementary school level. Here, Diammonnique shares her thoughts on the power of education and dispels myths about studying history.

    When I first started pursuing my associate degree, I thought that was just pretty much my stopping point. I’ll just get that associate degree, this will be it, and I’ll move forward with my life and hopefully find a job that’s better paying than the job I had at that particular time.

    And I realized that no, Diamonnique, you need to pursue, continue forward, pursue the next step. And it just kind of became like an addiction, pursuing education. And I kind of started thinking to myself, well, you’re pursuing these degrees, what is it that you’re going to end up doing? 

    Diammonnique sitting in James Hall.

    Because I already had a background in education as far as caregiving within the daycare system, and then moving forward to serve as a paraprofessional, I said, OK, this is ideally what my my track seems to be, my path seems to be to serve as an educator, teaching what it is that I have and imparting that knowledge to younger students who are up and coming to be scholars and change agents. 

    I teach social studies and ELA to on a second and third grade level. Prior to earning a full-time teaching position, I served as a paraprofessional and a substitute educator. It’s been a tremendous task for me to adapt to a different learning style, and make sure that I’m doing my best to keep students engaged, virtually opposed to being in person where I can use other tactics and different techniques.

    It’s a new system, it’s a new set of rules that I am doing my best to implement, making sure that I’m keeping the students engaged, but at the same time, imparting all the knowledge that I need to impart within a certain amount of time. 

    I have a variety of students: learners who learn easily, learners who have a different way of learning, such as the visual learners, and so forth. I really do my best to make sure that I’m incorporating all learning styles in my presentation daily, so that I can make sure these students are not lacking in anything. And yes, we can easily use not being in person to learn and to teach as an excuse. But that won’t be an excuse that I am interested in making use of. 

    Diamonnique stands in James Hall.

    I take education very seriously: for my students, anyone that I encounter, even with my own children. Education is very big in our household. My son is 5 years old reading on a higher level. This is very important to me. And I hope that when my students progress to the next grade, they can constantly be praised for their efforts and the knowledge that they are sharing with the educator and other students that they come into contact with.

    The impact that I hope to have on the next generation of historians is to really just tackle all of your goals fearlessly pursuing them in a manner in which you have a mentality that you are unstoppable, you are capable of doing anything and everything. Despite all of these different voices, all of these different obstacles, you get back, you fall down, you get back up, that’s just the sense of being that I wish others to have when listening to me knowing my story. 

    What’s so interesting is that when people learn about the history program being available, there’s … this negative connotation. And the negative connotation is pretty much: What can you do with a history degree? Are you sure? Don’t you want to reconsider? 

    I hope this thought process can shift as far as the negative connotation that’s associated with history in itself, and that it can shift to being something that is of more of an essence, it’s valuable, and it’s seen as necessary. 

    There are so many things that you can do utilizing a history degree. Clearly, predominantly, a lot of the participants of the history program pursue teaching. But there are other things that you can do, such as engaging in the political arena, engaging in areas that you can serve somehow, in a museum field, the list can continue. 

    Diamonnique sits on a ledge in James Hall.

    That’s what I love about Rowan University. It’s very diverse, you have so many different areas of focus, such as global studies, gender studies, Africana studies … everything is just really tailored to what it is that you want to do as far as going out into the world and utilizing your degrees. And I’m really thankful that they had that when I first came in. I know that I don’t want to be confined to one particular area of content.

    And I honestly promise you, it is not nearly as boring as people perhaps consider it to be. I feel like with the right educator, and the manner of delivery and the different visuals that are combined, in reference to the teaching skill, it can be only as exciting as the educator makes it be and only as exciting as you condition your mind to believe it is.

    With that being said, even though the workload this recent semester was extremely heavy, I learned so much. And I enjoyed every little little bit of it.

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    3 Environment and Sustainability Studies Majors Share What Excites Them About Their Major

    Photo of trees.

    Today, we speak to three Environment and Sustainability Studies majors from Rowan’s School of Earth and Environment about what gets them excited about their major.

    Selfie of Joanna.

    “I want to say that I am making a difference or at least attempting to. I am an environmental and sustainability major and there are a lot of issues revolving around that topic. I do want to make the world a better place,” says Joanna Janowski, a junior from Livingston, NJ (Essex County) who transferred to Rowan from Montclair State University. 

    Selfie of Madison.

    “The fact that there are all these ways to be sustainable in the world and we can all contribute to living in a sustainable world excites me. Also, how we can change the world to apply to all walks of life,” says Madison Kerr, a junior with a minor in Sustainable Built Environments from Marlton, NJ (Burlington County) and transfer student from Rowan College of Burlington County. 

    Headshot of Gabby Davis.

    “How incredibly relevant it always will be. Cities are constantly growing, changing and evolving. They are living things that need constant attention. Knowing that I have to keep educating myself and can never be complacent in my field of study is exciting,” says Gabby Davis, a senior double major in ESS and Community and Environmental Planning with a CUGS in Food Systems Planning. Gabby, who transferred from from Montclair State University, lives in Manahawkin, NJ (Ocean County).

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, Senior, Music Industry major

    Header image courtesy of:
    Unsplash

    Lifting Black Creative Voices

    Desi smiles outside on campus.

    Today we are highlighting Black students who major in creative fields at Rowan University. Each share insight on being a Black student in a major/field where there is not strong representation and tell us where they are headed in their professional careers.

    Jabreeah smiling and wearing a grey Rowan sweatshirt with a burnt orange jacket.

    “I really didn’t have an insight being a Black student coming from a predominantly white high school; however, when I got to college I was able to express myself about my views. In terms of my professional goals, I want to work behind the scenes in movies.” – Jabreeah Holmes, senior Radio/TV/Film major, Camden, NJ

    Check out some of Jabreeah’s work on her YouTube channel.

    An artistic photo of Giovanna with a halo over her head.

    “Since Black women artists are not predominant in the art field nor get the representation that they deserve, it motivates me to stand out and make work that’s unique or different. Also, to make work that responds to Black issues and beauty. For my professional goals, I’m still debating about that. Right now, I’m considering a career in the museum field like a museum archivist, a curator or a crime scene technician in the forensic/ law and justice field.” – Giovanna Eley, senior Art major with a minor in Law and Justice and CUGS: Forensic Studies, transfer student from Rutgers Camden,  Plainfield, NJ (Union County)

    Check out Giovanna’s portfolio here: https://giovannaeley.com

    Sabrea posing for a photo on the beach.

    “It feels really good to be who I am and be a part of this field that I think is also teaching me more and more of who I am. I was mainly the only Black person in my writing courses, there were maybe one to two more if that. My professional goals are to just write, to be happy in doing so, I hope to maybe get a book published of a selection of pieces I have written! Maybe even submitting a script to a production company!” – Sabrea Bishop of Newark, NJ (Essex County), junior, first-generation college student, Writing Arts (Creative Writing) major, transfer from Albright College, PA 

    Check out Sabrea’s work here

    Daija posing outside the student center while wearing a furry black coat.

    “It gets a bit lonely, especially walking into a class and being able to count the Black students in the room on one hand. But with that it mind, it keeps me determined to make sure other Black creatives feel comfortable enough to be in the room in the first place. I feel as though creative fields aren’t taken as seriously, but people are always enjoying new books and shows and pieces of art. So, I feel as though by being confident in myself in my creative life, I can be an inspiration for others to actually go for their creative craft, instead of pushing it away because of fear. My professional goals are to write movies, books, and possibly television shows for people to enjoy. I also want to create different forms of art like paintings and sculptures and have my work displayed in galleries all over.” – Daija McNeil, junior, first generation college student, Studio Art major with a minor in Creative Writing, Willingboro, NJ (Burlington County)

    See Daija’s artwork here.

    Read Daija’s written piece, “A Love Letter To Black Women,” here.

    Desi sitting outside the student center holding her book.

    “It’s definitely difficult, when I come to class I am either the only Black student or it may be me or maybe two others, never more than five. In any field you want to see a model to follow and it’s hard when you have to be your own model. In terms of professional goals, I have so many; however, the one related to this field would be to start my own production company.”  – Desi Jones, junior Radio/TV/Film major, transfer from Camden County College, Camden County, NJ

    Check out and purchase Desi’s book “Daily Dose of Desi, A Year of Light, Love, and Inspiration” here

    Bryce outside the Campbell library wearing a yellow and black jacket.

    “The writing industry is no stranger at all to minorities, but Blacks are rarely highlighted in that field. I think a part of that is due to both the immutable nature of the industry and Blacks being unaware of how much they can benefit from having a career in creative fields. I feel that Black students are the perfect participants for writing arts by the simple fact that we don’t go through the same experiences as everyone (even ourselves) and have a different view on life than most others. While I’m currently a freelance writer for an online publication (Screen Rant), I plan to expand my writing to an even greater professional level with my ultimate goal of working on a TV series or film.” – Bryce Morris, junior Writing Arts major, Trenton, NJ (Mercer County)

    Read one of Bryce’s published pieces here

    A selfie of Mya.

    “I feel like there’s a different type of pressure. I personally feel like I have to be better and focus more in order to do what. One reason I wasn’t interested in doing broadcasting was my hair. I didn’t want to have to wear it straight or certain way to look “professional.” I find it difficult on how to be myself yet also “professional” because the second you might sound rude you have an “attitude” or maybe you talk “too loud” and now you’re considered the loud Black girl with an attitude. For my professional goals, I hope to become a magazine writer, focusing on music!” – Mya Calderon, junior, first-generation college student, Journalism major with a minor in Psychology from Hanley Falls, Minnesota

    A selfie of Khadijah.

    “For my professional goals, I want to be a freelance concept artist for a video game one day. But I also want to make and direct on my projects and hopefully be financially stable. Some advice for Black high school students going into creative majors: Make sure you build your portfolio and be aware that traditional pieces are a must have when trying to get into the art program. Make sure you bring at least two traditional art pieces for your review! This was a hard pill for me to swallow when I first did an art portfolio review, and I only drew cute anime-inspired chibis. But trust me, your hard work will pay off! Cartoony/semi-realism stuff is okay to add too! If you do digital, I recommend coming in with a time-lapse of your workflow process on a tablet/laptop to show! Also, don’t listen to cynical individuals saying you drawing anime and character art, won’t get you a job. Sure, the market is competitive but there are plenty of art jobs out there looking for different art styles of all sorts! Anime included! Make sure you do your research!” – Khadijah Owens of Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County), junior Art major working toward a dual major in Art Education, transfer from Rowan College at Gloucester County.

    Check out some of Khadijah’s work here.  

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior Music Industry major

    Photography not submitted by: Jabreeah Holmes, senior Radio/TV/Film major and Joe Gentempo, senior Art major

    Black STEM Majors Share Advice for Black High School Students Interested in STEM

    Ylanda sits outside campus near Campbell Library.

    Today, we’re highlighting Black STEM majors as they share some advice on where to start when looking into STEM.

    Ylanda wearing a Rowan shirt and posing outside the Campbell Library.

    “Attend as many events as you can to meet new people that has the same interests as you and to also carry out with your interests,” says Ylanda Souffrant, a sophomore, first-generation college student and Math Education major from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County)

    Josephine wearing a lab coat and posing in the Science building.

    “It’s alright if you know you’re interested in STEM, but you don’t know what you want to do with it in life. Carefully choose the school/program you join because that is how you will position yourself and expose yourself to experiences and individuals that will guide you along your journey,” says Josephine Babatunde, a senior Biochemistry major and transfer student from Union County College (Union County, NJ).

    Dévon sitting and posing for a photo while wearing a dotted dress shirt and blue dress pants.

    “One major key of advice I would give for high school STEM students is to not give up. I know this sounds a bit cliché, but you’re going to run into many obstacles and people who try to hold you down or stop your progress, but you can’t let nothing stand in your way. The road is going to be rough and tough but like my family always used to preach to me, ‘If someone already did it, you can too,'” says DéVon Malloy, a junior, first-generation college student and Biomedical Engineering major from Hillside, NJ (Union County)

    Briana sitting and posing on the fountain stature outside Campbell Library.

    “Hold your head up high! The courses may seem rigorous and tedious, but you are more than capable. You are just as competitive as anyone else around you; don’t give up! Ask for help if you need it, take advantage of programs that cater to your major whether it is directly or indirectly correlated with the unrepresented, be sure to make connections any chance you get, and try to get some some volunteer experience in the field if possible.” — Briana Davy, junior, first-generation college student and Biological Sciences major (planning on receiving a CUGS in Spanish), Honors Concentration, transfer from RCSJ Cumberland, Vineland, NJ (Cumberland County)

    Akil leaning against the bridge and smiling outside Engineering Hall.

    “Start early. Time flies really fast and you never know what the next day will bring you. Get involved in programs, especially offered by the schools you go to, because it not only looks fantastic on your resumé but also the skills and knowledge you acquire from it goes a long way. Get involved early too, don’t be afraid of clubs and participating, and don’t be afraid to reach out to people in college now and ask questions.” — Akil DeBruhl, junior Biological Sciences major with a minor in Psychology, South Orange, NJ (Essex County)

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior Music Industry major

    Photography by: Stephanie Batista, sophomore Music Industry major and Joe Gentempo, Senior Art major

    Beyond the Classroom: PR/Advertising Double Major Steven Saxon on How Volunteerism Ties into His Major

    Steven poses outside by the Rec Center at Rowan.

    Today we speak to senior Public Relations and Advertising double major and avid volunteer Steven Saxon. Steven is living off-campus in Glassboro, but he is from Haworth, NJ (Bergen County). 

    Steven poses in front of the Rowan Prof Owl statue.

    What got you interested in your intended field?

    As a kid, both my parents were involved in business, particularly public relations. My dad was a PR representative, and my mom was an account manager. I saw that both of my parents dealt with people for their job, a lot. There was a lot of person-to-person interaction, not a lot of sitting behind a desk, and, more specifically, when you have interactions like that in the working world, it opens up a lot more opportunities than behind a desk.

    I believe that the most praise you can get for doing desk work is doing an outstanding job. When you’re talking to someone, there’s so many different ways and things that can open up in a conversation that just help you, benefit you, or interest you, that don’t even relate to business. I want to do exactly what my dad does.

    How did you get into volunteering?

    Every single person, if you are given free time, you have to stay productive. It’s just kind of innate as humans. You can’t wake up every day and sit in your living room and look for a new TV show or just scroll through social media. It’ll bring you into a hole, and then by the time it’s time to be productive again whether you got your job or school, it becomes three times as hard now that you’re so used to doing nothing.

    During school … I’m the Vice President of Public Relations for Sigma Alpha Lambda, which is the Leadership Honor Society. I’m in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). I’m very involved at school when it is in session. So when it’s not in session, I know sometimes people look for a job, but I’m not looking at the money at the moment; I’m looking to build my resume my connections, things like that. I could get a job and I have in the past for like three months over a break. But I think there are a lot more substantial things I could do than make some money over there because I mean money’s not really a huge issue for me right now, as long as I focus on my academics. 

    Steven poses outside at Rowan.

    How does your volunteer work tie in with your majors?

    Volunteer work ties in with my majors for multiple reasons. First, by getting to meet these people and beginning the volunteer process, I get to know them and establish a relationship with them. After that, I can talk to them in the future and maybe get a recommendation, a new volunteering opportunity or job offers from them. Also, my major has helped me because I know that communication and public relations is key. For my current volunteer position at The Kitchen of Hope, I was applying and I was told that people call to see if they can volunteer there all the time, and I think that my knowledge of communication helped me get the position, and she didn’t even know too much about me. I’m sure she got an a three-minute phone call with everyone else, I got a five-minute phone call with her, and I finally landed the volunteer opportunity. 

    How did you find these volunteer opportunities?

    For my volunteer position when I worked with Veterans of Foreign Wars, I looked up “social service,” and that is what led me to them. I also volunteered with Claws, a cat adoption and rescue center, and I got that opportunity by calling them. I was told to email them, so I communicated with them through email. I made sure to present myself as someone who loves animals. I secured my current position at Kitchen of Hope by talking with the people that work there for a few weeks. 

    Steven poses on a bench.

    What has been the most meaningful experience that you’ve had while volunteering?

    While I was volunteering with Veterans of Foreign Wars, I was assigned different veterans to work with and help them with their duties. The veterans ran a restaurant and worked in an office. One of the guys I was assigned to was Sherman. Sherman was a quiet guy. I like to talk when things get awkward, and I talked to Sherman often. He loved it when I came in to volunteer, and I noticed that he became more comfortable with me. He went from mumbling orders at me to telling me stories about his time in the military.

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

    I have learned to be more tolerant. I have also been exposed to different types of people and I met a lot of people I would not have met otherwise.

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

    International Studies Majors: My Professional Goals

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

    #PROFSpective: Civil and Environmental Engineering Major Muhammad Akhtar

    Muhammad standing in front of a pond.

    Today we feature first-generation college student Muhammad Akhtar, a senior Civil and Environmental Engineering major. Muhammad is involved in the Rowan American Society of Civil Engineers (Mentorship Chair), Rowan Muslim Student Association (Secretary), Rowan Racquetball (Active Member) and outside of school works as a Structural Engineering intern at HNTB and is a Big Brother with […]

    Black Lives Matter Poem by Peterson Dossous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Shakira taking a selfie.
    Shakira Harris

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

    Josh wearing a police uniform.
    Josh Abbott

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

    Carl taking a selfie.
    Carl Watkins

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

    Teressa taking a selfie.
    Teressa Stringfield

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

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

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

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, Senior, Music Industry major

    Molecular & Cellular Biology Majors: Professional Goals

    Today we hear from three Molecular and Cellular Biology majors about their professional goals. They talk about both their short- and long-term goals, as well as how Rowan prepares them to achieve those goals. “My short-term professional goals include securing an internship as a research assistant and going to a graduate school with an accredited […]

    First Year Voices: Exploratory Studies Major Kevin Duffy

    Kevin stands in front of a tree.

    Today we speak with freshman Kevin Duffy from Wayne, NJ (Passaic County) who is currently undecided on what major he wants to pursue. 

    How do you like living in Chestnut Hall?

    It’s fun, you get the real college feel when you’re living in Chestnut Hall.

    Kevin stands in front of Chestnut Hall.

    Are your classes remote or hybrid, and how has that adjustment been?

    They’re all remote, and I think it’s been a pretty smooth adjustment. I haven’t really had any issues. 

    What are you looking forward to for the rest of this semester?

    Meeting new people trying out new things — that’s really it. 

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    Story by:
    Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

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

    #PROFspective: Mathematics Major Alisa Patel

    Alisa standing outside of Robinson Hall.

    Today we feature Alisa Patel, a junior Mathematics major with a Statistics of Operations Research and Data Analysis minor. Alisa is a first-generation college student from Cedar Grove, NJ (Essex County). Alisa is a tutor through tutoring services, a resident assistant (RA) through Residential Learning & University Housing and a mentor with Dr. Harley E. […]

    5 Geology Majors Share Their Short-Term Professional Goals

    Kelsey and her friend talking about a fossil.

    We spoke to five Geology majors about their short-term professional goals and plans.

    A portrait photo of Kelsey.

    “I am currently working on applying for summer internships. The internships I am looking into are research-based and field-based, but all revolve around Paleontology. I am set to graduate with my BA in Geology in the fall of 2021, and will be off to the graduate school I finally decide on in the fall of 2022.” – junior Kelsey Barker, a Geology major working toward a Certificate in Paleontology Foundations and transfer student from Rowan College of South Jersey (Gloucester Campus) from Hackettstown, NJ (Warren County)

    Justin wearing a Jurassic Park t-shirt.

    “In the short term, I would like to get into the Ph.D. program for Paleontology.” – junior Justin Vieira, a Geology major from Beachwood, NJ (Ocean County)

    Mallory sitting and wearing a brown coat.

    “I think this major at Rowan is really helpful in achieving my goals and will play such a huge role. We’re such a small major and we’re able to really be on good terms and close with all of our professors, which ends up leading us to great opportunities through their connections in the career field!” – first-generation college junior Mallory Osmun, a Geology major and transfer from Rowan College at Burlington County whose hometown is Mount Laurel, NJ (Burlington County)

    A selfie of Cooper.

    “My short-term goal is finishing my research project I’m doing for Rowan. I’m using mass spectrometry to figure out if 2 bone beds in Wyoming are the same. I’m looking at turtle, Hadrosaur, and Triceratops bones.” – sophomore Cooper Caputo, a Geology major with a concentration in Paleontology from Washington, DC

    Zachary smiling and wearing tan outdoors gear.

    “Currently, I’m only taking classes on Geology and, soon, Paleontology. Before the summer I plan on looking for internships that might help me. I am a member of the Delaware Valley Paleontological Society. I do have two family friends who are retired paleontologists whose advice I’ve taken.” – junior Zachary Armstrong, a Geology major with a concentration in Paleontology from Sewell, NJ (Gloucester County)

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    How to Adapt To Being Away From Home: Advice From Sophomore Jordan Perkins

    Jordan poses outside.

    Today’s story is written by sophomore Advertising major Jordan Perkins. Jordan is from Mount Olive, NJ (Morris County), and lives on campus at 114 Victoria Street. Jordan is a first-generation college student.

    August is coming to an end and it hits you that you are moving away from home in just a couple of days. You are worried about all the possibilities, being alone, not knowing where to go and how to feel comfortable away from home. Although you may think you are the only one feeling this way, just know you aren’t because so is everyone else whether they say it or not! Below I will be listing 5 important tips to help you adjust to the college lifestyle and to help get rid of homesickness.

    Jordan poses, sitting in front of a building.

    Know Your Resources

    It is important to learn and have an understanding of the resources around you. Rowan University offers a Wellness Center on campus where you can go online and easily make an appointment. If a student is dealing with any sort of mental health issues, Rowan has counselors on hand ready to talk to you when you need it. A library, computer rooms, study rooms, lounges, and tutoring are also available all year round to help you stay on top of your work.

    Explore Campus

    One easy way to become comfortable with where you are living is to understand and know everything around you. Taking a walk around campus, signing up for events, reaching out to your dorm neighbors, and connecting with your professors are great ways to help you feel more at home while being away. Rowan offers many clubs and activities all year around campus and either joining a club or attending activities allows you to personally connect with campus.

    Jordan poses outside.


    Stay On Top of Work

    Getting into the hang of a study routine and making sure you lineup your responsibilities are very important.  Although there is the idea that college is all about going out, parties, and staying out all night, there are times you need to give that up to study for a test. Many students struggle with managing their time and finding the time in their day to sit down and complete homework but you should make a set schedule for when you need to do so. It is the student’s own responsibility to figure out what they need to prioritize. Finding a quiet place, such as the library, or setting up a homework group can help you a ton with adjusting to the college environment.

    Take Care of Yourself

    While making sure all your work is completed and handed in, it’s also important to make sure you make time to take care of yourself. Balance is very important when coming into college since stress and work can become overwhelming so take some time to sit back and recharge or even meet up with some friends. Rowan University has many sports games so on a Friday night if you need to get out of your same old boring room, maybe think about attending a football game with a group of people!

    Jordan poses in front of a building.

    Make Friends and Stay in Touch

    Creating new friendships can be hard when you are pushed into an unknown setting. You are not sure how to find people, how to form a bond, or how to even come about starting a conversation. What helps the most is joining a club because you automatically meet new people right off the bat. Another way is knocking on your dorm neighbors’ door and getting to know them. Every freshman around you is feeling the same way about making friends so everyone you talk to will be more than happy to get your number, text you and hang out with you throughout the week. Creating these friendships helps keep your mind off the fact that you are far from home and away from the people you grew up with, and the relationships you form in college are super important and make campus feel like home. Remember to also keep in touch and update your friends and family back in your home town but keep in mind it’s best if you don’t make frequent trips home and stay on campus for one to two months straight before you decide to take a trip home.

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    Story by:
    Jordan Perkins, sophomore advertising major

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

    Kudos To Professors Who Made An Impact

    Exterior shot of the side of Campbell Library.

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

    Reppin’ North Jersey: Transfer Student Jean Han

    Jean Han standing outside.

    Today we speak to senior Chemical Engineering major Jean Han from Fort Lee, NJ (Bergen County). Jean, who also minors in Math, transferred from Bergen Community College and is a part of AIChE. What do you like to do off campus for fun? I like to go into Philadelphia. I also enjoy riding my bike […]

    First Year Voices: Exploratory Studies Major Christopher Maestoso

    Christopher standing in front of Chestnut Hall. There is green and white shrubbery around him. Trees with green and orange leaves.

    Today we feature Chris Maestoso, who has adjusted well so far with living away from home as well as learning remotely. Chris is from Fairfield, NJ (Essex County) and currently residing in Chestnut Hall.

    Chris poses in front of Chestnut Hall wearing a blue mask. Green and white shrubbery around him. Tree branch above him.

    How do you like living in Chestnut?

    It’s been good so far. The beginning was tough because it was really hot but now the temperature cooled down.

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

    I have been looking at fraternities but I haven’t looked at any other groups or organizations on campus. 

    Are your classes remote or hybrid, and how has that adjustment been?

    All my classes are remote right now [for fall 2020] and the adjustment really hasn’t been that bad, still getting used to it a little bit.

    Chris poses in front of green and orange trees while holding mask.

    What are you looking forward to for the rest of this semester?

    The cold weather coming up. 

    Any advice to other freshmen?

    You should submit your homework early. 

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    Story by:
    Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

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