Leadership, Passion & Purpose Through Vietnamese Student Association

Cindy stands next to the Science Hall sign.

A Highlight of Student Life at Rowan University Meet Cindy Nguyen, a rising senior biochemistry major, with minors in neuroscience and psychology. She is a commuter from Voorhees, New Jersey, and is here to discuss her role as president in the Vietnamese Student Association. Can you describe the goals of the Vietnamese Student Association? “With VSA, […]

Seasons of Life by Suzie Tse

Suzie sitting on a bench on a fall day.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @rowanuwellness on social. This story is by Suzie Tse, a graduate student in the MA Higher Education: Academic Advising. Here at Rowan, we experience a temperate climate. We witness seasonal changes […]

Rowan University NAACP President on Cultivating a Caring Community for Students of Color

This Black History Month we hear from Esther Lendore, president of Rowan NAACP, on her journey as a Rowan student and her passion for creating a sense of community for students of color.  A double major in political science and law & justice studies, senior Esther Lendore, from Far Rockaway, NY, holds a variety of […]

Rowan University Wellness Center Intern Shares How College Students Can Break the Procrastination Cycle

Dabany poses in front of the wellness center.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @rowanuwellness on social. This story is by Dabany Garris, senior psychology major with a concentration in child behavioral services. Procrastination. Take a minute and think about some of the things that […]

How to stop being the “Problem Solver”

A campus photo of Laurel Hall during Spring.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @rowanuwellness on social. This story is by Kathleen Ramos, senior nutrition major. As college students, we all have our own personal problems. It could be about that one professor that […]

Homebodies Unite!

Jocelyn wearing a red dress standing under a red gazebo.

Embracing the Art of Homebound Bliss at Rowan University This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @rowanuwellness on social. This story is by Jocelyn Reuben, a senior athletic training major. Rhythmic Japanese plays in the […]

Why Civil Engineers Build Concrete Canoes & How it Benefits Them

A close up of the side of the Rowan concrete canoe.

Civil Engineering Majors Learn, Network & Race in ASCE Competition In the annual concrete canoe competition, Rowan University Civil Engineering students and the American Society of Civil Engineers, alongside engineering students from other schools in the area, compete. Each engineering team must determine what kind and mixture of lighter materials they should combine with the […]

Ways To Improve Your Mental Health

Alexia poses for a portrait surrounded by trees on campus.

College life is fun and exciting but it can also be stressful for many students. Mental health can affect individuals physically, mentally, and socially. On a college campus, students can get stressed from various things like relationships, internships, workload, financial struggles, extracurricular activities, and much more. There are many ways students can receive the support […]

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

Neurodiversity Student Government Representative Advocates for Autism Awareness and Education

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

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

Finding My Home Away from Home at Rowan University Through the Student Organization Fair

Students walking around the Rowan clubs fair event featuring different clubs and organizations on campus.

Nicholas Wright, a junior health science communication and communication studies double major, from Gloucester County, NJ shares this first-person perspective on how he found a home away from home on Rowan campus.

As a freshman at Rowan University, I was nervous about the transition from high school to college. I had heard stories from friends and family members about how difficult it can be to adjust to a new environment, but I was determined to make the most of my college experience.

One of my biggest concerns was finding my place on campus. I wanted to get involved in activities and clubs, but I didn’t know where to start. Luckily, during my first week at Rowan, I stumbled upon the student activities fair.

The student activities fair is an event where all the clubs and organizations on campus set up tables to showcase their group and recruit new members. I was amazed at the variety of groups available, from academic clubs to sports teams to service organizations. As I walked around the fair, I was struck by the passion and enthusiasm of the students involved in each group.

A Rowan student walking around the Student Activities fair event featuring different clubs and organizations.

After talking to a few club representatives, I decided to join the International Student Association. As an international student myself, I was excited to meet other students who shared my background and interests. Joining the club was one of the best decisions I made during my freshman year. I was able to make friends, learn about different cultures, and participate in fun events and activities throughout the year.

In addition to the International Student Association, I also joined the Rowan Ambassadors program. The Rowan Ambassadors serve as official hosts and representatives of the university at events such as open houses and campus tours. Through the program, I was able to develop my leadership skills, meet other students who were passionate about representing Rowan, and gain valuable experience in event planning and public speaking.

Aside from the clubs and activities, I also found a sense of community through my professors and academic advisors. Whenever I needed guidance or support, they were always there to offer their expertise and advice. They helped me navigate the transition to college and provided me with the resources and support I needed to succeed in my classes.

Looking back on my freshman year, I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences that Rowan University has provided me with. From joining clubs to building relationships with professors, I have found a home away from home on this campus. If you’re a future college student or parent, I encourage you to explore all that Rowan has to offer. It may seem daunting at first, but with an open mind and a willingness to try new things, you can find your place on this campus too.

Read this story for another perspective of the student organization fair from upperclassmen involved on campus. 

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Written by: Nicholas Wright, junior health science communication and communication studies double major

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

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

A street sign with many different countries on it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discovering My Passion: Taking A New Class Changed My College Experience

Two students playing the piano.

Alaina Lieze, a junior music and advertising double major from Swedesboro, NJ (Gloucester County) shares this first-person perspective on how joining Rowan Choir helped her rediscover her passion for music, improve her academic performance and feel a sense of belonging on campus.

As a freshman transfer student at Rowan University, I was initially unsure about how to get involved on campus. With so many clubs and activities available, I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. However, I decided to take a chance and join the music program. Rowan Concert Choir is open to all majors and is a one-credit course that helps to satisfy the Rowan Core educational requirements for artistic literacy. Many students choose to take Concert Choir three times, so that they earn three credits to finish the Rowan Core requirement – and without any textbooks or tests!

Although I was nervous about auditioning for the choir, I was quickly put at ease by the welcoming and supportive members. Through my participation in the Rowan Choirs, I rediscovered my love for making music. I had enjoyed singing in various choirs in the past, but this experience was different. The choir explored various genres of music and performed pieces with social justice themes, such as songs related to The Black Lives Matter Movement and African American spirituals. Singing with this group allowed me to see the world in a new way, and I was grateful to have found a community of people who shared my passion.

The Rowan University Concert Choir and University Chorus rehearsing in Pfleeger Concert Hall.

Joining the choir also helped me feel a sense of belonging on campus. As a commuter student, it was easy to feel disconnected from the university community. It was also difficult to join a college community a semester late as a transfer student. However, being a part of the Concert Choir gave me a reason to come to campus on weekends and meet new people.

But, the benefits of joining a new ensemble didn’t stop there. As I became more involved in the choir, I noticed improvements in my academic performance. I was more motivated to attend class and complete assignments because I had something to look forward to outside of my coursework.

Pictured: The Rowan University Concert Choir Singing in their final performance of the spring 2023 semester.

Looking back on my college experience so far, joining the Rowan Concert Choir was one of the best decisions I ever made. It allowed me to discover my passion, make meaningful connections, and develop important skills that will serve me well in my future career.

If you’re a current or future college student, I encourage you to take a chance and join a club or activity that interests you. It could be photography, dance, politics, or anything in between. College is the perfect time to explore your interests and find your passion, and joining a club is a great way to start.

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Written by: Alaina Lieze, junior music and advertising double major

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

What Lies Ahead?

Alexa sitting outside of Wilson Hall.

Belle, M. A., Antwi, C. O., Ntim, S. Y., Affum-Osei, E., & Ren, J. (2022). Am I Gonna Get a Job? Graduating Students’ Psychological Capital, Coping Styles, and Employment Anxiety. Journal of Career Development, 49(5), 1122–1136. https://doi.org/10.1177/08948453211020124 Story by:Alexa Delgado, Law & Justice Studies major Edited by: Jordyn Dauter, junior dance & elementary education double […]

The Life of a Full-Time Student Army National Guard Service Member

Three military students walking and talking outside the Business Hall.

Nicholas Wright, a rising junior advertising major from Mercer County, NJ shares this first-person perspective on his life as a full-time student who is in the Army National Guard.

My name is Nicholas Wright and I am a full time student here at Rowan University. While being a full time student I am also In the Army National Guard. While balancing both can be hard at times you quickly learn to balance your workload and make time for yourself as well. I have been in the National Guard for three years now and as soon as I got done training I enrolled into Rowan.

This transition was easy and probably the best thing I have ever done. I have saved so much money with the Tuition Aid Grant, which is a grant all National Guard service members get here at Rowan for 100% free tuition. This has saved me so much money and the Military Services office here makes everything so much easier. Although I do have to leave from time to time to do my National Guard duties, my professors are very understanding and support my work.

Two military students sitting outside the Business hall talking to each other.

My typical drill week while being a full time student consists of 4 days of class and typically 3-4 drill days. During class days they are both online and in person. In between classes I like to go to the gym, hang out with my friends, and get on top of my studies.

Drill weeks are usually once a month and one of my busier weeks because I like to try and get ahead of my work and finish before I leave for drill. If I can’t get my work done during these weeks my professors are always understanding and give me time to make up assignments when I come back. A drill weekend starts on a Thursday or Friday depending on the month. The day before is prep day. Prep day consists of gear layout, packing, looking at the timeline for the weekend and re-checking my packing. The day of drill is a 3 am wake up, breakfast, a Wawa stop, and about an hour drive to our armory for first formation. From there we will get our gear and weapons and get transported over to Fort Dix. There we do anything from team, squad, or company training. This training can be learning new weapon systems, battle drills and tactics, or going to the range for target practice. I have been a 240 gunner on our plattoons weapon squad for all three years and I love it. I am in the infantry and I have had the opportunity to work with medics, combat engineers, and other MOS’s in our military.

Two military students walking outside with their black backpacks.

Being in the military wasn’t my first choice but it is by far my best. I couldn’t imagine where I would be if I hadn’t gone this route. Not only am I getting my degree for free, going to school close to home, and learning new traits, I have also made so many connections to help set up my future for my dream occupation. I honestly recommend this route for anyone who either doesn’t know what they want to do after college or wants to get a head start on their future.

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Written by: Nicholas Wright, a rising junior advertising major
Story edited by: Valentina Giannattasio, junior dance and marketing double major

Making the Most of Student Leadership: Admissions Ambassador, President of National Honor Fraternity, and Student Government Association Member Reflects

Mark wears his graduation gown for a close up portrait.

What is your favorite part of the program? My favorite part of the program is the connections that I have made with people. I have made some of my best friends, but also so many connections with the professional staff at Rowan. I know so many people on this campus, and a lot of it […]

How Autism PATH Program & College Compass Supported One Student’s Transition to College

Julie sits in front of Science Hall with yellow flowers in front of her.

Why did you choose Rowan University to study for your undergraduate degree? The two main reasons why I chose Rowan were that the engineering program seemed very good, but the biggest reason was Rowan’s support. They have an accessibility office on campus, and everyone in that office genuinely cares about the students and was very […]

From Seeds to 75 Pounds of Donated Produce to the On Campus Food Pantry, Introducing the Community Garden

Mariana the garden chair stands with two volunteers.

When you see a garden bursting with beautiful flowers and fresh produce, many stand to admire and indulge in the product. However, while eating these foods, commonly you don’t see the face that nourished these plants before they came into your possession. Mariana Cardenas is one of the faces behind the seeds. A master’s student […]

Building a Community: Raymond Wos Jr’s Undergraduate Experience

Raymond standing in front of Bunce Hall with the pride lights shining onto the building in the distance behind him.

Rising senior Raymond Wos Jr. (he/him/his) from Gloucester County, NJ, is a subject-matter history major and double minor in both international studies and political science, and he’s also heavily involved with the inner workings of campus as a leader of change. Today he will share with us his personal journey and contributions to the University community. 

At what point did you become comfortable with your sexuality and disability both with yourself and expressing it to other people?

For my disability, I was diagnosed at the age of 6 and then that was with my Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Then I came out as bisexual, being comfortable with it and couldn’t hold it in to myself around my second year in community college so I was probably 18 or 19 years old at the time. I was thinking I feel comfortable with myself and realizing that I needed to be comfortable with these identities regardless and there’s nothing wrong or imperfect about me, it’s just that I know I am the best version I can possibly be and I can be proud of my identities without any criticism or any backlash from these issues.

What has Rowan done to make you feel accepted as part of the LGBQTIA+ community on campus and what gave you the courage to give back to the Rowan community?

As an individual, realizing how much empowerment and power I have on this campus, I realized as someone who’s a part of it but also realizing there’s so many more identities that need to be represented through SGA (Student Government Association) and many other facets I’m involved with. It’s just shown the amount this institution will give, but there’s always room for improvement regardless. However, there’s times where I’m in these roles to make change and I was able to help create legislation throughout the year. One of them, this past spring, I had written a piece of a resolution for transgender rights, acknowledgement, and more condensed stuff on our campus through the wellness center and many other facets of the community. With everything that’s happened within the trans community today outside of Rowan, it just shows that we need to pay more attention to these issues. Since we are not really, this is the first to take a course of action that I’ve done with PRISM and so forth to make this thing happen and it did pass. We’re now working together collaboratively with several offices in particular. Right now at the moment, with the Wellness Center we’re making sure they have fantastic resources for our trans community on this campus. 

What drew you to get involved with Rowan’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and can you share what you have accomplished in your role as AVP?

My time in the role as Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, I have completed a lot during my time. I’ve written at least 3 to 4 different resolutions that’s helped many facets of the Disabled community, mental health, and LGBTQIA+ community this past year and made sure there was an emphasis on the importance that these communities need to be represented on this campus and making sure of it. I’ve helped write responses to things that have happened within our community through the backlash that’s happened at Holly Point and even on Twitter where people posted derogatory terms. My well known accomplishment that I’m really proud of is getting a Rowan Announcer created for Judy Heumann, who’s an internationally recognized Disability Rights advocate and leader throughout this nation. She recently passed in March and I got that settled by writing articles and blogs that were published in the campus newspaper, The Whit and DEI blog about it so there’s a lot of work I’ve gotten done.

There are a lot of accomplishments that have happened throughout the academic year. However, I’ve also attended a lot of cultural events, I’ve worked with The BSU (Black Student Union) and NAACP to try and support the local community around me within these facets, within the Division of DEI. But most importantly I do work in the office of Social Justice, Inclusion, and Conflict Resolution office with Tara Ferrucci and Dominique Pierson who are in charge of the facilities over there. They’re absolutely amazing people. Just gaining more knowledge for their office and working collaboratively with them, even super close with them. Besides that I’m involved within the facet of the Division of DEI, I’m involved in 8 committees they have on campus related to DEI. I’m so embedded into it I understand where the Division is leading to but also how I can help them and give the student perspective as much as possible. I’m proud that I’m able to give that and have faculty, staff, students, and many other supporters understand what I do and how much I care from the student body perspective and how much change I want to see, but also for future generations to realize it’s a lot to consider. But it needed to be done for us. 

Raymond smiles big relaxing in a yellow chair at night with Bunce Hall behind him.

What moments at Rowan gave you the confidence to up such a large role in representing the LGBQTIA+ community?

The reason why is because it’s not for me personally, it’s not represented as a big facet that I was hoping for. Since I had my predecessor, Alex Butler, they were a part of the LGBTQIA+ community as well. I felt a motivation– a very high interest in making a change, but also being a part of a community and realizing I do have a voice as well as seeing the facets of the community, realizing as a person in the community and as an ally, there are so many problems and issues that are not being mentioned in and out of our institution and how we’re going to fix them. I realized I can make a change, not just within the LGBTQIA+ community, but so many other communities that I am not a part of but also within my own disabled identities as well because I feel like they’re left out of the conversation. In addition, neurodiversity is a part of it as well that is missing in these conversations. I just don’t see these issues through my queer and disabled perspective. All these lenses of identities have different facets and need to be represented on campus. The role has gotten bigger and the perception of it has gotten bigger and people may not realize it. 

What challenges have you had to navigate through your time here as an undergraduate student here that other students might not have had to?

For me personally, I have navigated here at Rowan through different challenges. I was a transfer and commuter student here on this campus and it was a very different environment. I transferred the semester that COVID happened and I was here probably two and half to three months in person then COVID hit, then schools shutdown, spring break was two weeks that got extended. From there I learned online and everything else. We went to a universal design type of platform like Zoom and WebEx and learning that way was very different in the beginning, but now it’s a tool that utilizes a lot more than I was expecting to use– I’m grateful I was able to use it. But it’s always been a challenge, also being a student who doesn’t share a lot sometimes. Also, now becoming more comfortable and being empowered, I was able to represent myself on this campus being a transfer from a community college and a commuter. The other facets of my identity I represent on this campus, I have decided to make myself a powerful voice and I think a lot of people have seen that within the last year and a half through every facet of this University.

Are there certain goals that you have set out to achieve whether it’s spreading acceptance or reforming previously held views at the university level that you have achieved?

Some of the things that I personally have achieved during my time here, I can definitely tell you one of my goals is intersectionality which is something that is so important in realizing that we do have a sense of community. It’s also that we need to realize our individuality and we do have a sense of purpose, but also we’re able to have different identities but can relate to each other through this intersectionality. We realize we can share the same experiences but some of us might have it easier than others as expected. I think that’s a philosophy the position needs to have and realize, yes, I can be a person who is a cis white man that is bisexual and disabled and realize I face challenges within two identities, but being a cis white man isn’t a challenge because there’s so many benefits I get from society. But the other identities that I can’t because of how things are structured and how things are happening in our society.

Another one was mental health within DEI. I have passed a legislation resolution to get mental health resources to our campus student website, Canvas, hopefully that’s being implemented soon. Another legislation resolution that I’ve passed again that I have mentioned previously was the transgender awareness legislation and getting the Wellness Center to be more accepting and being open and having it be more accessible.

Another thing I was trying to hit upon was writing opinion pieces and stuff like that within other communities like BIPOC, Neurodiversity, within Disabled, within LGBTQIA+ and I felt like we have gotten there by expanding with our Rowan DEI blog which is absolutely amazing. I highly encourage everyone to check it out, it’s very nice.

A new goal that I was about to start on this campus and it might transition to our next AVP of DEI will be creating a Disability Student Union. From all the conversations and what I’ve been seeing, the empowerment from other communities being seen on campus has been absolutely empowering. It gave power to those who had a voice and gave it and became a force that was not to be reckoned with and being able to make an important change on this campus. But now, since seeing that having an organization called a Disability Student Union in the near future will be a huge benefit to this institution to make change. I think that is something we should look forward to and hopefully will be seeing in the near future. Those are some of my initiatives but there are many more besides that.

Are there specific moments that stand out to you that show the growth within the community at Rowan?

Seeing people becoming more of a family and realizing we’re coming and growing as individuals, but also as people within our society. Also within our clubs and organizations a lot of them are becoming more closely knit and trying to work on my collaboration ideas and working together– it’s a start. Plus we’ve been out of the pandemic and been fully back into school, full fledged with all these activities and everything else for about a year or two now. We’re still rebuilding that stage up again. I think we’ll need a few more years to do it, but I think the communities, the sense of belonging, and what we’re trying to bring to Rowan, seeing the potential next year is gonna be really good. We’re going in the right direction.

Are you satisfied with the changes you’ve helped create at Rowan and what would you like the next crop of students to do to carry on your work here?

For the legacy I left is definitely having empathy for others, but also having empathy that happened on this campus where we need to have a shared responsibility to care for one another and also empower each other. To give each other the power to make change and evolve as a whole and work collaboratively with SGA, with all these various organizations to really make change and challenge the administration to do better, but also to make them more knowledgeable on issues that we’re facing at this time. For the next crop of students, I want them to realize that empathy will go far and wide, showing kindness to others will take a great deal of responsibility for these roles and of these executives for what we’re trying to do for the future. Students should realize just overall empathy, love, and kindness will always take you far in what you do in these careers.

Can you talk about your next steps after you graduate?

After I graduate I want to become a high school history teacher, somewhere locally or somewhere within the state of New Jersey to work with students in history. To show them what the potential of history is, but also destigmatizing history, showing there is so much more potential in history, what is undiscovered, and showing what we learn in the classroom is not always true. We have to challenge what writers have perceived and what has been written by the victors. We need to do better and realize there’s other historical information out there, many more historians have better writing and so forth like that. In the near future, after I’m done teaching for a few years, I want to come back to Rowan and do a double master’s of arts program in Special Education and the Diversity and Inclusion program as well. Having those two facets of programs combined together and working on it, I will have the potential to grow as a self-advocate, an advocate, and an activist, and something bigger within the state or locally. That’s my goal for the future.

After your experience with Rowan, after your experience with community college, how has your education experience impacted how you will teach?

What I have learned during my time here and my time at community college is that if you have something you have your mind to and you put it to it and as someone who’s going into a teaching career, you’re gonna be able to have the same determination and the same energy you want to bring into the classroom. You want to make an impact on these students to be engaged and learn the material you’re teaching them, but go beyond that and have more of a special interest in topics in history. But even more, realizing the importance of having humanities and history in our society to still exist. Where today it’s falling apart in some of the different states, we’re losing humanities, music, and sports throughout public education. We need to refocus our energy throughout the nation to make sure we bring back humanities and I want people to realize they’re equally as important as the STEM fields.

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

Caffeine Consumption in College Students

Suzie is standing in a pavilion and smiling at the camera.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanUWellness on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Caffeine seems to have become an inseparable part of being a college student. The most common ways to consume it are through coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and, yes, even chocolate. Whether students consume it for the mental boost, taste, or to enjoy the social aspects, it seems to be the trendy thing to do. For all the joy and help caffeine provides to us, can it be hindering our performance and health?

Ruzie is leaning on a tree and smiling profoundly.

From the moment we wake up, the chemical adenosine builds up in our brains and accumulates throughout our day. It is what makes us feel tired by inhibiting wakefulness and promoting the sleepiness areas of our brain. What caffeine does to our body is block the adenosine from binding to the adenosine receptors making our brain unable to recognize how long we’ve been awake. However, caffeine doesn’t make adenosine disappear, only sleep does which is the reason why some people experience caffeine crashes. Caffeine does not replace good sleep and its effects have been known to interfere with sleep quality and patterns. So what can we do to maximize the benefits and minimize the risk?

 First, we need to understand our own bodies because everyone reacts to caffeine differently. If someone suffers from generalized anxiety or depression, caffeine may worsen the symptoms. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases the circulation of adrenaline in our body which increases our fight-or-flight response. Students may experience a more severe drop in mood once the effects wear off caused by caffeine withdrawal. For those individuals, it is recommended to find caffeine substitutes. Some ways to stay awake without caffeine include a quick 5-minute exercise, getting some sunlight, and staying hydrated with water. Dehydration can make us feel sluggish and aromatherapy is also an effective way to stay awake.

Suzie is leaning on a tree and smiling profoundly.

Otherwise, it is recommended to stop consuming caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime to allow for better sleep. Medical researchers also suggest waiting one hour after waking up to consume anything caffeinated. That is because cortisol, also known as the alert hormone, is at one of its daily peaks of production within an hour of waking up. Consuming caffeine first thing in the morning lowers cortisol production, making us less alert throughout our day. By taking advantage of the cortisol produced in our body and delaying caffeine consumption, we can be more alert and lower the chances of experiencing caffeine crashes in the afternoon.

In fact, if the environment permits, it might be best to take a coffee nap. Our body needs time to absorb caffeine for it to take effect and depending on the beverage the effects can kick in between 10-30 minutes. Take a 20-30 minute nap immediately after consuming caffeine. Most people find this to be more effective than drinking caffeine or taking a power nap alone.

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Story by:
Suzie Tse, Higher education graduate student, Wellness Center intern

Edited by:
Lucas Taylor, English education graduate student



Graduate Student Sarah Salazar Shares Advice For Future Engineering Majors

Sarah working in an engineering lab.

Today we feature graduate student Sarah Salazar from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County), who earned her Rowan bachelor’s in chemical engineering and is continuing her time with a master’s in chemical engineering. She shares her advice for incoming engineering students. Learn more about Sarah’s research.

A portrait of Sarah in an engineering lab.How did you discover that engineering was right for you?

So in high school I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew that I loved all my science classes, loved my math classes, and both were things that I was actually really good at. So I kind of just took that and did some quick research and saw chemical engineering and I said to myself, “Okay, I’m gonna roll with this and see what comes out of this. If I don’t like it, it’s not the end of the world, I could always switch out of my major.’” That’s how I fell into this program. 

Choosing engineering was a rollercoaster of emotion – but not in a negative way. At first, it was very overwhelming. I couldn’t help but think, ‘why did I choose this major? Why do I want to study this much?’ 

During orientation one of my major fears about being an engineer was that I wouldn’t have any social life. I confidently said to myself that I’m choosing this major, but I’m freaking out too because I’m scared that I’m not going to have any friends or not going to have any time to go out and experience college life. 

This many years in, I can say I was completely wrong. I honestly knew that from even the first day that I got here. What really made the experience amazing is the people in our engineering community. 

When I finished my bachelor’s here, I didn’t have to choose Rowan for my graduate program. I had actually applied to a couple different places, but I really wanted to stay in a lab that I was familiar with and continue learning from the graduate students and from my advisors. Dr. Joe Stanzione advised me with a few options, but I ended up choosing here because that’s where I felt most comfortable and I ultimately was excited to continue my education here.

A wide shot of Holly Pointe Commons.Where did you live on campus?

I started off in the Engineering Learning Community (ELC) as a first-year student in Holly Pointe Commons. I lived in this pod section that was only engineers. This is where I had met a few of my best friends who I still hang out with today. It’s nice because your program also starts off with first-year and sophomore engineering clinic. In those classes there would be so many familiar faces because we’d all see each other frequently in Holly Pointe.

By junior year I was in only engineering classes and I became really close with my graduating class. This tight knit group of about 50 or so people would always just be hanging out and studying together – because we were in this together. I would say that’s what really got me through the entire education. We’re putting in so many hours a week studying for exams and doing homework together. The camaraderie, being genuinely good friends, making each other laugh during tough times, made this program so worthwhile. 

Sarah working in the engineering lab.Are you involved in any clubs?

I was involved in Engineers Without Borders, which was my favorite club that serves local and international communities. I would go to all the meetings and ended up getting positions on the executive board. The cool thing about Engineers Without Borders is that it’s a nonprofit club and because of that, any student from any discipline can join – not just engineers. There are a lot of mechanical engineers, civil engineers, chemical engineers, biomedical engineers, so it’s helpful to have variety so each person can put their knowledge together to come up with simple solutions.

When I was involved, we had this one project for a Camden community garden that ran sustainably. There was a modified bike that pumped water throughout the garden if you rode it. So small things like that are rewarding because you are helping out these local communities, and it’s something to put on your resume.

There are a lot of good opportunities. I even attended my first conference. The group went across the country to San Francisco to network with other students who, too, are in Engineering Without Borders. So I would definitely recommend the club for personal and professional development.

Any last advice?

The biggest piece of advice I have is to get involved and maintain a work-life balance. Before, I was really scared to go into engineering because I was nervous about not getting the college experience. But honestly, everybody’s scared going into college. It’s such a big change being on your own! Not having your parents there to cook and give you the support they have given you all your life is initially really intimidating. Find your space. For me, being in the engineering community really helped with that. Creating my own family and support system at Rowan got me through the hard times and ultimately gave me the best experience I could ask for. 

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Co-Founder of Interdisciplinary Learning Lab for Creatives and Entrepreneurs Shares Her Experience

Isabella Shainline posing in a work space.

Today, we hear from Isabella Shainline, a junior English Education major, Photography minor, and John H. Martinson Honors College student from Pitman, NJ (Gloucester County). Isabella co-founded Business Hall’s Creatives 230, which is an interdisciplinary learning lab for creatives and entrepreneurial students. “Last year, my photography professor Jenny Drumgoole and I went over to Business […]

Humans of Rowan: Finding Her Place in Wrestling, Volunteerism & Student Leadership

Sapjah can be seen at Bunce Hall throwing a fist into the air.

With a sneak peek originally on @HumansofRowan on Instagram, today we learn more about Psychology major Sapjah Zapotitla of Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County). Sapjah is involved on campus as the president of the Sociology and Anthropology Club and a member of intramural wrestling on campus.

What’s your Rowan experience been like as the first woman to join the Wrestling Club? 

It was a bit intimidating at first because of how there was no other females there. There’s men there, but it’s very different from how it was in high school. From my experience in high school, there was a lot more variety in the people that would come to practices in terms of size. 

But with the club, it’s like stepping into a jungle. I was really excited when I first started. I was exhilarated to just try my best and show all of the members that I can prove myself and show that I’m a lot stronger than people expect; because, I am pretty small. It’s been so far so good. In high school, it was a bit more of a hostile environment because I was a girl, but with here at the club, I felt welcomed and accepted. They knew that I wanted to come to the Wrestling Club to have fun. 

Sapjah is wearing a red dress standing next to a tree with her hands on her hips outside of Bunce Hal..

What’s your history with wrestling? 

This is a funny story. I used to be very shy and didn’t really think much of myself. But going into high school my freshman year, I knew I wanted to try something new. So I asked people what sports were available at Cherry Hill East. My peers would go on to say all of the generic different sports that might be offered, but they had also mentioned wrestling.

When I had asked about the sport they went on and said, “Yeah, but that’s only for boys.” At that moment I realized I wanted to go out and try out for that sport. 

I was still really shy for the first few months, but after a while I started to speak up and converse with more people. During my time in high school I had even tried to start the girls’ wrestling team. I knew that even if I didn’t have a place I was ready to go out and make one for myself and others who might be interested in similar things. I want to be the change. I want people to know that they’re being welcomed, especially females in a male-dominated sport. It’s been a really fun experience, to say the least. 

How was that transition like going from high school to Rowan? 

At first, I was just so grateful. It’s an environment that I didn’t know existed. That kind of environment where they’re like “you belong.” It has been amazing to find that here. 

Sapjah is standing in front of Bunce flexing her arms.

How’s your experience been so far here at Rowan? 

I was super nervous getting into Rowan because of financial issues. I’m a first-generation student, and I didn’t have role models to follow suit. I had to figure everything out by myself and I’ll be honest, I felt that pressure.

But, I was determined. If I was going to go to college, I was going to do it the way that I wanted to do it.

I’m currently taking 18 credits, which is six courses. My first two weeks into Rowan I became the president of the Sociology and Anthropology Club. I’ve even gone on to get interviews for future positions as well as getting a job here on campus at the Student Success Center as a secretary. It’s been pretty enthralling! 

What’s it like being the president of the Sociology and Anthropology Club? 

For myself, I’ve always been the type of person who likes to jump in and seize opportunities. For example, like being the first girl wrestler. I just want to be there and participate and do what I can to better myself.

With the Rowan Sociology and Anthropology Club, it was in the process of being rebuilt. When I first got there, no one was showing up. I came up with solutions, working with social media to attempt to recruit new members. I’m all for trying. 

Sapjah is standing in front of Bunce and staring into the distance.

Are there any other clubs that you’re involved in? 

I’m also a part of “Get Fit” here at Rowan. I’m a volunteer there. Last semester I volunteered around 20 hours, and I absolutely loved it. I felt like I belonged there, just helping people with disabilities work out helps me just as much as it helps them. I’m now technically a session manager for Get Fit. 

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Story by:
Lucas Taylor, English education graduate student

From High School to Showbiz and Back Again: Rowan Alum Janine Edmonds Tells All on Her Career as a Guidance Counselor

Janine poses in front of a mural.

Today we feature Janine Edmonds, a graduate of Rowan University’s class of 2001 with a degree in Radio/Television/Film and a 2006 graduate of Rowan’s M.A. In Counseling Educational Settings program. Here, Edmonds tells us about her path returning to higher education and her experience as a guidance counselor for Oakcrest High School. Did you always […]

First Year Voices: A Conversation with Molecular & Cellular Biology Major Laynie Sheppard

Laynie Sheppard is posing inside of Discovery Hall, wearing a white Rowan University t-shirt.

What are some ways you’ve made friends this year? “I’ve made a ton of new friends through my experience in Cru, as well as in my classes. Being there has taught me to be more outgoing.” What is one thing about Rowan that you liked and that encouraged you to enroll? “I loved how small […]

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

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

#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

#PROFspective: Getting to Know Health and Science Communication Major Sedrick Golden

Sedrick Golden is a junior student here at Rowan University originally from Pleasantville, NJ (Atlantic County). Sedrick is a Health and Science Communication major with a minor in Public Health and Wellness. Sedrick is breaking down barriers as a first-generation college student commuting to Rowan after transferring from Atlantic Cape Community College. On campus, he […]

#PROFspective: Civil Engineering Student and Clubs Enthusiast Kayla King

In this edition of #PROFspective, we learn more of Kayla King of Burlington County. Kayla is currently a senior and majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering and in this excerpt we learn more of how Rowan provided opportunities to further her career as well as enriched her experience as a college student. 

What is civil engineering?

Civil engineering, to me, is the ability to design, build and construct all types of bridges, buildings, any type of infrastructure. Civil engineering also deals with maintaining all of that aforementioned infrastructure When you’re on a job site you’ll see that it’s not just all the construction workers that you see building things. It’s also all the design teams, consulting teams, the land surveying teams, there’s a bunch that goes into all of the different infrastructure that we see today.

Rowan University Civil Engineering major Kayla works on a project inside the concrete lab in Engineering Hall.

What made you choose engineering and more specifically civil engineering?

I’ve always known that I wanted to be an engineer; my father was actually in the construction industry growing up. My father was an ironworker, to put it into perspective, those are people that you see climbing all the high rises, putting up all that steel. Later in his career he switched into becoming an operating engineer with Local 825. I’ve always had a background in construction, which has influenced my decision, but I’ve also always loved math and science.

I was always a problem solver, I love to answer questions and come up with solutions with intricate questions or challenges. I’ve also really enjoyed engineering diving, that is something that I’ve learned all the way back in eighth grade. I would say that  because of my upbringing and just familiarity in the construction industry I’ve gotten some inner niche details within the industry. So I’ve just kind of always known that I wanted to do civil engineering.

What goes into civil engineer diving? 

They’re basically commercial divers, they do not have typical scuba equipment but you do have something similar to the whole helmet. There are a lot of intricate differences such as how you don’t have the air tank on your back it’s fed into a line to you. Throughout the dive, you have a tagline throughout. With civil engineer divers, these people are the ones that kind of will go in anything that has water. They’re certified to be able to go underground, and they end up taking special care into noticing how things are down below and then report that information to the people up above. That’s how they’re able to do underwater inspections on timber piles on bridges or foundations. So it’s really nice. It’s an interesting thing that a lot of people don’t know about.

Civil engineering major Kayla (left) and another student work on a project in the concrete lab in Engineering Hall.

What made you choose Rowan initially?

Rowan is close to home, but not too close. I’ve also been very fortunate to get a lot of scholarships to go here. Rowan has an incredible engineering program. In my opinion, it’s got to the point where you cannot even argue that it isn’t. I believe we’re 15th in the nation for the last year for our civil engineering program. So I’m very proud to consider myself to soon be a Rowan graduate.

Describe your experience here.

So I’ve been involved in everything since the start of my freshman year. I have been a Chamberlain Student Center building manager and before I did that I had a position working at the Information Service Desk.

Outside of work-related aspects, I’ve been involved in the Wrestling Club, which is something a lot of people wouldn’t think of. I had met a friend freshman year and we became really close. I kind of pinned him in his freshman dorm room and I’ve been going to the club ever since.

I’ve also been involved in various other clubs throughout my time on campus. I am ASCE president and have been for the past two years. Before getting that position, I was the senator of the club. I’m also involved with women’s engineering. I used to hold the workshop chair position as well as the senate chair position for that club as well.

What does ASCE stand for, and what does it represent? 

ASCE is the American Society of Civil Engineers and it is a worldwide organization. The ASCE national has different student chapter branches where we are able to compete in various different competitions with other regions of schools. So for example, we are hosting the ASCE Region One metropolitan symposium from April 21 to the 23rd this upcoming year. There is a lot of excitement around it because of how so many different students can get involved in it. The competition has a bunch of different challenges and tasks such as making things like concrete canoes with surveying competitions. It’s a whole bunch of things to help facilitate fun and learning at the same time.

Could you provide some insight on what went into Women in Engineering? 

WE (Women in Engineering) was definitely a club that I enjoyed being a part of. I wasn’t as involved as I have been in comparison with ASCE just because ASCE is more directly geared towards my major, so I decided to give more time towards that. But WE was definitely a great thing because it was under the I triple E which is the electrical engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering major club. And I just like WE slightly better than SWE (Society of Women Engineers) throughout my time here because I feel like the individuals that WE had were more personable while SWE was definitely more professional. So it kind of depends upon what you were looking for at the time. In my case,I decided to go the latter route because I wanted to make more friends. They also had really good baked ziti at the time. 

Profile picture of Rowan University Civil engineering major Kayla.

What is it like being a woman in the engineering field? How would you say your experience has been so far?

I love being a woman in STEM. I like the fact that I’m constantly expected to do less, because then I always do more and there’s always an element of surprise. I’ve grown accustomed to hearing things such as “What the heck? Where’d this come from?” I like to be able to prove myself and my worth.

So, talk to me about your most influential professor here.

So the most influential professor for me would definitely be Dr. Douglas Cleary. He’s a great teacher. You get an introduction to him in your freshman or sophomore year. Dr. Cleary has courses where you deal with statistics, which is a really fundamental civil civil engineering course. Right from the start, you definitely understand that he’s a professor who’s looking out for your best interest. As time went on, I got more involved with ASCE and I spent more time with Dr. Cleary and I definitely can say he is one of the best professors here.

The camera is panned in and zoomed in on what Kayla is working on.

What are some of the clubs that you’ve been involved with like? 

I’ve been a part of a  slew of different clubs. One of the ones that I’ve been involved in throughout my time here is ASCE, WE and SWE, but there are a million other different ones like Tau Beta Pi, which is an honor-based introductory society. For Tau Beta Pi, it’s invitation only, which is really cool. I’ve also been a part of the Rowan Environmental Action League, which is something where if kids are interested in the environmentally friendly side of civil engineering, it’s definitely a way to give back to the community and participate in a lot of campus cleanups.

We also have EWB, which is Engineers Without Borders, which is a club where a lot of the students can have opportunities to go out of the country and be able to work on small different tasks to help the communities there. Another club is 3D PC. So this one’s not technically engineering-based, but it is something to keep an eye on, because a lot of civil engineers might have some like niche interests. So say if they want to build something themselves, 3D PC allows you to print your own personal designs. You also have NSBE, which is the National Society of Black Engineers, or SAME which is the Society of American Engineers.

When you’re here at Rowan in my opinion I think you should try and give every club that you might be interested in the chance. In my experience, a lot of my peers were doing the same thing and it gives you the chance to separate yourself from others, they’re gonna be the things that get your name out there.

Being a part of different clubs and associations is gonna be the way that professors know you. And professors obviously have had their own life, their own network. So it’s really important to make sure that you are involved in the clubs, because it’ll set you apart from everyone else.

Kayla (pictured in center) and a group of her classmates are listening to the directions of a professor.

What are your goals for the future?

I would love to end up becoming an engineer diver. If that falls through I’d also be open to the idea of becoming a construction project manager, I don’t necessarily have a direct path right now. I’m in a place where I have a great amount of internship experience. I’ve done an excellent amount of work during my time at Rowan. So it’s kind of just kind of where life takes me so far.

What impact do you wish to have on the world?

I would love to be the “know it all” answer for everyone. That’s what I kind of did at Rowan, just being involved in everything. That’s what I really like to do is just being a leader and  being able to help anyone, no matter what it is. Even if I don’t know the answer, I would love to find out and help you with that. So that’s why I’ve always enjoyed being a part of all the clubs because of all the different mentoring opportunities that they include, there is definitely a great way to foster more relationships, and therefore more networking opportunities for a better job in the future.

What’s one piece of advice you would give an incoming freshman?

I would say don’t give up and keep your head high. You know yourself best. So if it is something that you want to do in regards to a club, Greek life, or if it’s something that you’re not sure about and you say you want a friend to go with, that’s ok. You don’t need a friend. Do it by yourself. You have the confidence. 

See our video with Kayla 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, […]

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

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

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

All About Accounting with Senior Jacob Rodriguez

Jacob reads from a laptop, seated in Business Hall.

Today we feature Jacob Rodriguez, a senior Accounting major from Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County). Jacob is a first-generation college student who transferred here from Rowan College of South Jersey in Gloucester County. We featured Jacob in a previous story as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, which you can read here. Could you […]

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

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

Exploring the Community and Environmental Planning Major with Senior Jon Hansel

Jon smiles outside in on Glassboro Town Square.

Today we feature senior Jonathan Hansel (he/him) from Burlington County. Jon is majoring in Community and Environmental Planning and pursuing a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning through Rowan’s 4+1 program. Here, he discusses the importance of planning, his personal aspirations, and the opportunities he’s found in the program. Could you tell us a little […]

Beyond the Classroom: Marketing Major Josh Echandia Talks Sales Internship with CobbleStone Software

Today we speak with Josh Echandia, a senior Marketing major from West Creek, NJ (Ocean County). Josh switched from an Education major to Marketing at the end of his sophomore year. Within the last semester, Josh worked as a Marketing Intern for CobbleStone Software, a contract management software company. He also works full-time as a sales representative for Best Buy. He discusses his decision to switch majors, his internship experience and how working in the field cultivated a love of marketing and sales. 

Why did you choose Rowan to study Marketing?  

I originally came to Rowan to be an Education major focusing on the Math Education route. That just ended up not working out for me because I did not really enjoy it. After about a year, I switched to Physical Education and then after another semester, I switched to Marketing. I had already been working at Best Buy for a couple years prior to going to Rowan, so I was already in the sales field a little bit; I thought marketing would be a good fit. I loved Rowan as a whole, so I didn’t really care what my major was. As long as I was still a student here, I knew I was going to be happy. 

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

After gaining some experience in the business field, I discovered that I really liked the sales aspect of things. Whether that is business-to-business or business-to-consumer sales, I would love to try at all. I’m really not set on one specific job title or position. 

Marketing is a big part of sales. Within the field, you must be able to advertise what you’re selling and target what market you’re striving for. That all plays a massive role in the sales world. I know that I want to incorporate what I’ve learned in marketing and couple it with sales.

Josh Echandia.
Josh Echandia

How did you seek out the internship opportunity for Cobblestone Software? 

I went to networking events at Rowan. They were so cool. I loved talking to all the different companies there and learning about the various opportunities you could have. The first internship that I actually applied for was CobbleStone Software. They stood out to me because they were in the technology field. So I decided to apply, and it worked out well.

What did you learn from interning at CobbleStone Software? Can you talk about the pros and cons for working hybrid?

I’ve been working full-time on top of being a student since I got into college, but going from regular retail work to an internship was a change of pace. Working for CobbleStone Software made me slow down and think about applying what I’ve learned in class to what I’m doing in a real-life professional setting.

Being in a hybrid setting helped because when I started the internship, I was in the office three days a week, and on two of those days, I had class right after work. So I felt like I was always running from work to class. Once I adjusted to the hybrid setting, it made my life much easier because I could work from home comfortably. I already had a desktop setup, so it just worked out perfectly.

After transitioning to a hybrid schedule, I was able to get to class on time, and I was able to eat in between. I was truly able to structure my day around my work and school obligations.

What was your role at this internship, and what did you do on a daily basis? 

As a sales and marketing intern, we were responsible for making pre-calls for our sales advisors. Essentially, we were calling to see if they were interested or open to the market for the software we provided, just contract management, sorting contracts and auto-billing contracts. We were trying to sell our service and our software to other companies.

It was very interesting. And there were a lot of companies that I never would’ve thought they were working with, like [a local grocery story chain], for example. So it was interesting to see how real-life applications work in these settings.

What were some of your biggest challenges that you faced as a Cobblestone Software?

CobbleStone Software was very helpful in the whole process of becoming an intern and going through my day-to-day. My biggest struggle was adjusting to an office setting rather than making in-person sales connections.

Because I’m very personable, I think one of my most significant assets includes communicating with people in person. So being over the phone was a little challenging to get used to. Beyond that, everything was easy to adapt to, and CobbleStone made it very easy to adjust. So I would say the biggest struggle for me was just the change of pace and change of setting.

What was your biggest takeaway from Cobblestone Software? What was the best thing you think you’ve learned that you will be able to utilize in your future endeavors?

This response is more general, but internships teach you what real-life business is about and whether you want to be in specific fields or not. Without being so broad, I realized that CobbleStone taught me about employee engagement and employee appreciation.

Our software is not an easy thing to learn. And it was tough for a lot of us when we first onboarded to pick it up. However, the leadership team and all the people above us made the transition much more manageable. And through that, they gave us a lot of employee appreciation and were extremely curious about taking feedback from us. They made it apparent that we were at the forefront of many of their decisions. It made me feel appreciated and heard.

Do you have any advice for sticking out during the application and interview process of applying for internships?

One thing that I never really paid attention to until I started my junior year was the resources that Rowan offers their students. Especially within the College of Business, there are so many resources for you to be successful, and the only way to get those resources to the full extent is to apply yourself to them. Make sure you attend networking events, even if it’s not a class requirement, because you may find your next potential boss. Networking is key.

You may find some of the best friends through these networking events, too. It is essential to take advantage of what the school is providing you. Not only is it making the most of your tuition cost, but it’s also making the most out of your experience. Being engaged with your professors and being involved with the clubs associated with your major are ways to make the most out of your college experience and prepare you for your future.

Josh smiles whiles walking down a stairwell inside Business Hall.

How has your experience working at Best Buy and being active at Rowan in various social and athletic clubs helped prepare you and develop your skills for your professional endeavors?

My experiences within Best Buy and the social and athletic clubs at Rowan all help me develop skills and qualities that will only benefit me in my professional life. For example, being the President of the Wrestling Club opened my eyes to being a leader in general. With Best Buy, I was in management; this gave me a little bit of retail management experience.

Being the president of a club kind of opens you up to many different things, like the structure of leadership, balancing tasks, and even time management. For example, I have to delegate to my e-board certain things that must be done within the club. Everything I have learned from my job at Best Buy and my experiences made available by Rowan can efficiently be utilized in my future.

Did you experience any unexpected parts associated with your major? 

So I started to piece together many connections between education and marketing. It was kind of weird because when I went into marketing, I went in with a sales-person mindset. And for me, education was just another form of selling; instead of selling products and services, it is like you are selling information.

I didn’t know how much depth and development there was in marketing — targeting different markets and being able to adapt to various market changes like that. So I never really thought about it. And that was not only interesting for me to see, it [showed] how I wanted to learn through marketing and what I could do with it afterward.

Josh sits holding two business textbooks and smiling inside Business Hall.

What was your favorite part of your major so far? 

Honestly, my favorite part was being able to learn and now utilize Canva. Canva is an application like an Instagram editor or a video editor, and it is pretty cool to make custom logos through. It’s pretty much a design portfolio that you can use online. And we were taught to use it for different projects and assignments and marketing principles, and it is a tool I have been using ever since I started learning about it. I utilize it for the Wrestling Club, my accounts and professionally. 

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major

Photos by: 
Ashley Craven, junior radio/TV/film major

Beyond the Classroom: How Two Students Blend Art and Science

Naman and Terry are sitting on the stairs of Bunce Hall.

In this edition of Beyond the Classroom, we discuss the founding of the ArtSci Symposium with Terry Nyugen, who recently graduated from the Biomedical Art and Visualization program, and Naman Srivisvatra, who recently graduated from the Biological Sciences program. While at Rowan, Terry was president of the Neurodiversity Club; Rowan Blog featured her in this interview. In our discussion with Terry and Naman, we learn of their ambition to blend the lines between art and science in order to create a more inclusive and understandable message within research exhibits.

What drew you to Biological Sciences? How do you think your program helped you transition to Biomedical Art and Visualization? 

Naman: For me at least, I picked biology mainly because I had an interest in it for such a long time. I mainly picked biology because it serves as an intersection point between a lot of different fields. I was mainly interested in the ecological and environmental side of it. At some point, I had chosen to pursue medicine but at the same time keep the same interest in environmental and ecological sciences.

With the medicinal aspect, there are parts of it that involve a lot of complex molecular biology along with other aspects that deal with organic chemistry and various other “hardcore” sciences. The Biological Sciences major presented the opportunity for me to get both of those things without having to compromise schedule or taking multiple majors.

The reason I ventured into Biomedical Art and Visualization was because of Terry. Terry had introduced me to the program back in our freshman year. I always had an interest in visual arts, so to me it seemed like a perfect fit where I get to practice science while also working in visual arts and communicating science. At the time I had thought this to be such a unique opportunity that I would not get anywhere else. 

How did you two meet? 

Terry: We met each other freshman year and quickly became friends. Naman just so happened to be in a practice room in Wilson Hall, and I just so happened to be getting ready for a concert that day. We started to introduce ourselves and we found out that we were both pre-med students and an untold bond was formed! That’s how we just got to know each other.

I didn’t really have a lot of pre-med friends at the time and I was looking for them. Naman and I got acquainted and we started signing up for classes together. From there our friendship just kept growing as we started involving each other more in each other’s lives. 

Terry is sitting on the ledge of a nearby building with flowers all around her.
Terry Nyugen, of Burlington County, is a recent graduate of the Biomedical Art and Visualization program.

How did you introduce Biomedical Art and Visualization to Naman? 

Naman: The way that I had found out about the program was the day we met when I was in the practice room. I did a lot of musical work as well, I was heavily involved with the Jazz Studies program and Terry was in Classical Piano. The day of that concert I was looking over the program booklet of the concert. In that booklet, it showed all the different names of the students that were involved in the concert as well as the major that they are affiliated with. When I saw Terry’s name and the major next to it, Biomedical Art, I had thought to myself, “I’ve never heard of that, especially at Rowan”. I started to do some research on my own and I found out that it was an entire major. I proceeded to ask Terry about the major and the different types of stuff that are involved with Biomedical Art and Visualization. I found an interest in it and then that following Fall semester I started taking those classes. 

How did you (Terry) and Naman get involved with Biomedical Art and Visualization? 

Terry: In high school I had a lot of different learning issues and curves that I had to overcome. For me, learning visually was a way for me to get the information and ingrain it into my brain. The reason why I specifically chose Biomedical Art was because deep down, I wanted to pursue medicine in high school but I didn’t have stellar performances. I still wanted to stick with science but not commit to it. My strengths were in art and I found ways, especially towards my senior year, to combine the two ideas.

My parents were the ones who found the Biomedical Art and Visualization program. My parents saw my efforts and wanted to find the environment that would put me in the best position to succeed. Even when I took AP Studio Art in high school, my portfolio was based around this idea of combining science and art. It wasn’t until I actually decided to commit to Biomedical Art that I found out it was much broader than I had previously anticipated. It deals with educating and creating different avenues of communication and not just creating beautiful illustrations.

Essentially, I chose Biomedical Art to help teach myself scientific information without outright saying “I go to medical school!” Eventually, once I feel more confident, I’ll say that. I had a love for art but also didn’t want to give up on the rigors of science classes.  

What clubs/projects are you two directly involved in right now? 

Naman: In the past, I was a founder of the American Physician Scientist Association, which was one of the main components of the ArtSci Symposium. Our goal was to help incorporate more vigorous research into medicine. A lot of the time with students that are going through the process of applying to medical school, they really do not have any scientific research experience. It’s not a prerequisite, but it is nice to have.

A lot of my friends, especially during the Covid period, were struggling to find space at labs and weren’t able to get the experience they needed for applying to medical school. And so, I had started working on setting out on an organization on campus that was dedicated towards getting students into research. For a lot of the time, what we figured out what was happening was that it was the students who did not feel comfortable directly reaching out to figures such as research supervisors. With getting into labs, it more than likely comes from word of mouth. It’s direct communication.

Especially since the pandemic hit, research took a huge blow. The pandemic created almost a vacuum, there were students who were actively looking for labs to participate in and you also had students who were leaving; there was no bridge between the two to get students into the labs.

I wanted to create an organization that was dedicated to helping students obtain the research experience that they needed, whether it was for medical school or just if they wanted to pursue science on a deeper level. That was one of the big initiatives that I had here at Rowan. 

Naman is standing profoundly in front of a brick wall with his blazer draped on his shoulder.
Naman Srivastava of Gloucester County, is a recent graduate of the Biological Sciences program.

Naman: Another one was my protein work over at MIT. Although it doesn’t directly involve Rowan, I still did a majority of the work on that here at Rowan as well as using a lot of the skills that I had learned at Rowan as well. What we did was look for new ways to communicate science. In this process called protein solidification, it was becoming more and more popularized by scientists and faculty members at MIT. I took an interest in it immediately.

As someone who has a music and science background, I thought that my perspective would bring an interesting way to communicate molecular biology. What we did was, it was me, Terry and a couple other of my buddies who were actual music majors and we sat down and looked at the different sequences of protein. Proteins are built out of these tiny pieces called amino acids and there are 20 of them total. We were able to categorize all of these different amino acids into musical notes. Each of them correlates to a different note and what we did was string all of the different notes together into a musical composition.

There’s a level of artistic literacy that is needed to get this to work because of the sheer amount of musician skills needed. I will say it was extremely complex mainly because you get a random string of notes and it was our job to make a cohesive composition out of it and make it sound coherent. We did a lot of work on that, the first time we started on it was back in 2020.

That was for the American Society of Microbiology. The society was doing a bit of an art contest. They had expanded the different forms of submissions that they would accept and so my friends and I saw this as our chance. We sat down and wrote up a composition and even filmed a music video for it. We did not win, but we did manage to get into the finalists category; which, I’ll take! After we were done that one, the following year we saw that MIT was hosting a conference that was built around biological communication and new ventures into science. We sat back down and decided to start back from scratch. We went back at it and selected a new protein, solidified it, and got all of the musical data to start writing our piece for submission. We were planning on actually driving up to Boston, but with covid that really put our plans in awry. It was held virtually but it was a really good experience to be able to talk to so many different people from that area and get an idea of their thoughts when it comes to different projects and ideas. I’m planning on going back again this year. Our group really wants to keep our ideas fresh so we’ve been thinking of integrating new ideas with the project like animation or even being able to communicate how our thought process worked. 

Naman and Terry are sternly looking directly into the camera while sitting next to each other.
Terry and Naman cofounded the ArtSci Symposium.

Could you tell us about the initiative, ArtSci, that you two co-founded?

Terry: It started off when we were having lunch outside the student center. I had approached the idea to Naman and said, “What if, and hear me out, we have a symposium where we revolutionize how research posters are presented?” We wanted to figure out a way to change the way in which research posters had been incorporated up to this point because at the time we were learning about having creative outlets for communicating certain things.

With research posters, we wanted to change the foundation of it and have them more focused on communicating the desired message in a more effective manner within the mathematical and graphic design portion of posters. For myself, I remember looking at the examples in classes versus the things that I see in the Science Hall.

I would just wonder what happened if you know, the traditional signs were posted? This mindset was an idea that came up before but it wasn’t as developed as we would have liked it. When I approached Naman with the idea I remember saying, “I really think you can do this.” I knew of Naman’s strengths and I knew that we both had skill sets that would complement each other as well compensate for our own weaknesses. After that lunch we decided to work together from then on. 

Naman: The original idea was something that was proposed a year or two back. We wanted to hold our own research symposium. But at the same time, because we cater to such a broad range of research, we were very self aware and questioned as to how we can make this interesting or something new. The main research symposium that was held on campus had been canceled for the past two years due to Covid, and the person that ran it, Dr. Gregory Hecht, had retired. So there was this vacancy and we saw that kind of as an opportunity to capitalize on.

Naman and Terry pose with campus greenery in the background.

Naman: During our discussions of the research symposium we knew that we wanted to make it unique in some way because a lot of the supervisions that are held on campus are a one-and-done type of ordeal where you make your poster, present and then you’re done. For both Terry and I, we wanted to put some sort of spin on it, something that would help people actually understand the message of what is trying to be conveyed.

If you go to a standard research symposium it has a lot of texts, a lot of diagrams and a lot of graphs. You’ll be standing there and trying to absorb all that information from somebody who’s not from that specific field which only makes it increasingly more difficult in such an arduous environment. If you’re looking at multiple research posters in the same day, that’s a lot of information for anybody to take in; so, we wanted to distill that process down and make it easier for anybody and make it more accessible for people from all backgrounds to understand the work that’s being put forth by the researchers and the artists.

Our rationale for this idea was to pair together scientists and labs with artists and graphic designers so that two to come can come together and sort of create posters and presentations that effectively communicate the type of work that the researchers are doing in a cohesive and synthesized manner. We sat on that idea for a long time. Before we could get to the point where we wanted to be we had to do a lot of pre-planning. Any idea after thinking critically on it is exceptional in theory, but the nuts and bolts of the idea is extremely intensive. For us, we had to think of ideas such as “Where is it going to be held and when is it going to be held? How much is our budget going to be? Where are we going to spend the money? How are we going to spend the money? How can we get other organizations at fault to potentially either help out, either on the artistic or the scientific aspects? What are additional sources of funding? What are other concerns?”

As most Rowan students know, the university is continuing to get larger within the most immediate sense as well as its general presence. We saw this as a potential joining of the Rowan University students and Glassboro community where people of all backgrounds regardless of circumstances can come and appreciate the work that other researchers have done in an accessible manner. For us, we wanted to make it so that anybody can walk in.  Our whole goal was to make it so that even someone as young as a  sixth grader can walk in and understand everything that’s being presented. This is a very unique opportunity for us to get engaged within the local community, specifically Glassboro and the different communities around it.

There was a lot of planning that we did and there were a lot of people that helped us out along the way. The team ended up being close to around 15 people. We had divvied up the work where there were volunteers who were strictly involved with just the planning committee. Thankfully, our head of volunteers, David Lee, did a lot of work in organizing potential volunteers who were there for both setup and teardown. David and his group helped with reaching out to different departments and finding different sorts of researchers, as well as people who can sort of help us out in this heavy endeavor. We did a lot of work in just [getting] the word [out] on our project and letting both communities know that the symposium was happening. 

Naman and Terry are standing on the Bunce Hall stairs.

You previously stated that accessibility is one of your core values. What made you come to this realization that the current standard of art and scientific diagrams are not as accessible as it should be?

Terry: I think one of the core motivators for us that I forgot to mention was this whole thing sort of was born out of the tension that was between health care and politics that sort of arose from the pandemic. With some people, they shared their own opinions such as not wanting to get vaccinated or not wanting to wear masks for several reasons, such as personal values and beliefs. Although people are allowed to think what they wish, there’s also a degree of not really understanding the scientific aspect of why it’s so important to have this certain action be done as a community.

There are some people you won’t be able to convince no matter what, but there are some who are willing to listen, as long as they understand what you’re trying to communicate. There is an abundance of research that’s being done and a lot of times, you don’t hear about it. Because for instance, you either don’t understand the ideas that are being argued or the information just isn’t accessible. For us and ArtSci, we want to sort of have a centralized place where the research was going to be presented in a way that people could easily understand it with no exclusions. 

You two provide an interesting perspective with Biomedical Art, what made you think of incorporating art into your studies? 

Terry: For me, it’s always been about how easily you can communicate things. If you think of an art museum, or even like a location such as the Natural Science Museum, everything that you see there, you’re not going to see paragraphs and paragraphs of texts. Instead, you’re going to see vibrant exhibits, diagrams and models which are all presented to help visually communicate what the researcher is attempting to argue or convey. At these sorts of spots, you’re not going there to read articles on whatever it is that they are presenting, instead it is presented in a physical concept. A lot of these creative disciplines are very linked to the way we think and the way we talk and the way we communicate with each other. If I say the word apple, you’re not going to think of the word apple; you would think of the actual physical object associated with the word.

Things like that are very important. Just in the way that we communicate as people, presenting things in a way that’s like all very technically correct, in terms of, you know, lots of text, lots of figures, diagrams, and statistics, it doesn’t always immediately click in terms of like, what’s actually being presented and it being completely understood. For myself, I’ve had experiences like this happen such as when I was sitting in a lab meeting, and I was being shown tons of graphs and charts. At the time, I was listening to my lab mates discuss the research that they were doing and I zoned out completely. I had no idea what they were talking about, even though everything was written I had retained none of the information. This is something that I face on a day-to-day basis, but with creative disciplines, it delineates from this monistic way of thought.

Naman and Terry are leaning against a railing standing side by side.

How do you feel as if you’re going to adapt and integrate new ideas into the art side? What is the vision like for that right now?

Naman: That’s a great question for our future team. They are very much interested in expanding our original vision. I will say our first plan was a little bit delusional and a little bit naive. We were thoughtful in our planning, but we were overshooting the hell out of it. But I think the new team realizes the mistakes that we made because the people who were on the new team also worked on the old team.

The new team was there to watch which steps we took in order to actualize our original vision. For example, the new team is already aware of hiring more people to help out with communication, because there are plenty of scientists and researchers at the University, but there’s not enough people to actually sit down and communicate the ideas. So being able to have a more diverse group of people to communicate that research to me, is very important. 

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Story by:
Lucas Taylor, graduate English education 

Photography by:
Ashley Craven, sports and communication major

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

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

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

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

Top of Bunce Hall with a blue sky background.

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

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: Public Relations Major Justin C. Sabio

    A photo of the College of Communication and Creative Arts building on Rowan's campus.

    Today, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, we feature Junior Justin C. Sabio (he/him), from Vineland, NJ (Cumberland County). Justin is a first generation college student majoring in Public Relations, having transferred to Rowan University from Rowan College of South Jersey. He tells us about his experience as a Rowan student, his […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Meet Transfer Profs: College of Education Student Emilie Pretto

    A photo of Rowan University's education building, James Hall.

    Today we feature incoming transfer student Emilie Pretto (she/her) from Ocean County. Emilie tells us about her major, why she’s excited to start classes at Rowan, and gives advice to future transfer students. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward to at Rowan University? I’m looking forward to […]

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

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

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

    Meet Transfer Profs: 3 Marketing Majors from the Rohrer College of Business

    An aerial photo of Rowan's business building.

    Today we feature Marketing majors and transfer students Grace Massengale (she/her), Halle Lemanowicz (she/her), and Irany Cano from Gloucester County, Camden County, and Cumberland County respectively. The three tell us about their majors, why they’re excited to start classes at Rowan, and give advice to future transfer students. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with […]

    Community Garden: Fighting Food Insecurity From Home

    Mariana Cardenas (she/her/ella) of the Rowan Environmental Action League (REAL) discusses how Rowan University’s Community Garden helps fight food insecurity on campus. Mariana is a Rowan Global student in the M.A. in Diversity and Inclusion program. She earned her degree here at Rowan in Psychology with a Sociology minor and a Certificate of Undergraduate Study […]

    Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective: Sports Communication Major Spencer Reyes on Inclusion at Rowan and “Never Losing” His Heritage

    Rowan University's Bozorth Hall.

    Today, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, we feature senior Spencer Reyes. Spencer is majoring in Sports Communication and Media with a concentration in Radio/TV/Film and minoring in Communication Studies. He is from Old Bridge, NJ (Middlesex County) a first generation college student, and a transfer student from Middlesex College. 

    What is your student experience here at Rowan? Do you feel included? Supported? How so? Could you highlight an example or two?

    At Rowan I most definitely feel included and supported by my peers. At first it was difficult to mesh in with others because I was a transfer student; however, it became a lot easier when I started to join clubs and organizations and some friends took me under their wings.

    How did you find your friend group here at Rowan?

    I found my friends through clubs and organizations.

    Are you involved on campus? How so?

    I’m one of the two sports producers at Rowan Television Network, produce games for Rowan Radio, I am an Admissions Ambassador, an active member of Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society, I play Club Hockey, and I work for Rowan’s Athletic Communications Department.

    Spencer Reyes pointing up at the scoreboard, standing next to an ice hockey rink.
    Spencer Reyes pointing up at the scoreboard after working as a studio host personality and graphics operator for the Danbury Hat Tricks, a member of the Federal Prospects Hockey League.

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

    An experience that was very inclusive to me was when I helped RTN cover WrestleMania last year in the Pit. Prior to the event, I had limited experience on camera and production, but had watched wrestling growing up. Our Special Events Producer at the time taught me how to succeed at each position and the event was super fun, and I was awarded member of the week for my work.

    Do you have a role model or mentor here at Rowan? Who are they and how have they supported your growth?

    A mentor of mine at Rowan would have to be the Director of the Center for Sports Communication and Social Impact, Neil Hartman. He commended my work in the sports industry prior to transferring to Rowan, and allows for me to contact and meet with him frequently [to talk] about how I can progress my sports career.

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

    I would tell them that you don’t need to feel lonely or excluded as a Hispanic/Latinx student at Rowan, especially in the Sports Communication & Media major. Everybody gets along very well and invites new students with open arms.

    Spencer Reyes sits with headphones on, speaking into a microphone.
    Spencer Reyes as a studio host and producer of RTN Overtime, the official sports podcast of Rowan Television Network.

    What are your professional goals?

    My professional goal is to become a professional sports broadcaster for baseball and hockey.

    If you are open to it, could you share a little about your Hispanic or Latinx heritage?

    I like to think of myself as a Caribbean blend, I’m half-Dominican (from my mom’s side), a quarter Puerto Rican and a quarter Cuban (both from my dad). Although I grew up in an Italian based neighborhood in Central Jersey with pizzerias on every corner, I never lost my heritage. I still eat rice and beans on a daily basis, cook my favorite Spanish foods and desserts, visit Elizabeth and Newark, and even my family in Westchester County in Miami, FL, which I highly recommend visiting if you want some authentic Cuban dishes without leaving the country.

    Spencer Reyes listening to earpiece as the on field host for the Trenton Thunder, a member of the MLB Draft League on Halloween Night.
    Spencer Reyes as the on field host for the Trenton Thunder, a member of the MLB Draft League on Halloween Night.

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major

    Photos courtesy of: 
    Spencer Reyes

    Beyond the Classroom: Sports Communication, Journalism Major Larry Diehlman Writes for South Jersey Magazine

    Larry holds a notebook outside on an athletic field.

    Meet Larry Diehlman, a senior Sports Communication and Media and Journalism double major with a German minor and Esports CUGS. Larry is a commuter student from Gloucester County, NJ and a columnist for The Whit campus newspaper. Here, Larry tells us about his summer internship with South Jersey Magazine and offers advice for future journalists. 

    How did you discover your internship?

    I actually found it in an email from Professor Kathryn Quigley [chair of the Journalism Department]. She was sending all these emails about internships. I was looking through the emails, and I found the South Jersey Magazine internship. I saw the requirements, and I thought, “Ok, this could be good.” I feel like the work I do there is pretty good. I am so glad I got it. 

    Larry leans against a fence inside Wackar Stadium.

    What does your day-to-day look like at South Jersey Magazine?

    It honestly depends on what the assistant editor of the magazine needs me to do. A lot of times I’m doing events and calendars. Sometimes I go online, and find events or whittle down articles or press releases she gives me, so we can put them in the magazine. Sometimes they’ll give me mini projects to do. Last week, she gave me an assignment. I had to go back and look at all the covers from 2016 to the present of one of our branches. For South Jersey Biz, I had a look back at the covers, and if they had a person or people on them, I had to write who it was and who they were for. We’re avoiding repeats so we can have fresh covers as much as we can. I know Dr. Houshmand was on there a few times. That’s the day-to-day. Projects, events, calendars and whatever they need me to do.

    Have you learned anything new in this internship?

    Yes. I’ve learned the power of editing, such as trimming down articles, what’s important in a story and what’s maybe not, at least for that excerpt. I’ve learned about using the power of research, looking up events, and seeing what’s relevant and what’s not.

    I always work in a timely manner, and I always make sure I hit deadlines, but deadlines are always another great thing to practice. But I’ve learned a lot of good skills so far. I haven’t done too much of being given something to write about and going to write it. But I’ve been honing skills I’ve learned from journalism classes or The Whit. Those are what I’ve learned so far.

    Larry writes in a notebook inside Wackar Stadium.

    Has your experience helped you inside and outside of school?

    I’m trying to learn things outside of the classroom. I got to a point where I feel I get it already in the classroom. I want to actually apply my knowledge to the outside world. With one semester left in college, I can finally take that next step into the real world, not worry about a book assignment due in a week. It feels so liberating to be outside of the classroom.

    Why did you choose Rowan University?

    Rowan was the first choice I had. It had the major I wanted. I knew some of my friends would be there. It was honestly close by. It was just everything I wanted, and the tuition wasn’t ridiculously expensive. If you go to other colleges, one semester over there might be the same price as two or three semesters at Rowan. All those factors were good. I got accepted to other schools, but I tossed the other two aside. I said, “I’m at Rowan.”

    Why did you choose your Sports Communication and Media major, and then your Journalism major?

    I’ve always wanted to do something in sports. I came into Rowan with a passion for broadcasting, but I guess over time, I realized maybe I didn’t have the broadcasting voice, so I pushed my way to the writing side. I know COVID took away certain opportunities, and there are only so many spots available, so I decided writing is more my strong suit.

    Larry stands at the 50 yard line inside Wackar Stadium.

    Can you tell us about your column with The Whit?

    I do a weekly NBA column called “Diehlman at Halftime.” I know it’s pretty popular on the site and in the column section. I talked about a variety of NBA teams, and I know that some of the other columns and articles that people do focus a lot on Philadelphia area sports, but I go through the whole rotation of the NBA. I praise some teams, and I mock teams. Sometimes I go a little harder on others, but I tried to throw some humor in there a lot. But I try to divide it into an introduction and then highlight low light and a random stat. It’s more my commentary, but I have statistics. 

    Did your work with this weekly column prepare you for your current internship?

    Oh, yeah, definitely. We had to email the editor at South Jersey Magazine or wherever we were applying for a resume cover letter and writing samples. I think I had to submit either three or five. The samples I sent were from my columns. I noticed they were impressed. I think it definitely helped.

    What are your future goals and career goals?

    Before I started at Rowan, I said, “I want to be a sports broadcaster. I’m going to be the next Monday Night Football guy.” That dream plummeted, realizing that few people get that job, even those with the experience. Some people who actually played the sport don’t even get that job. I decided it would not work. I had to come to the writing side, and I’m like, “Well, I could cover a team, I could cover a league, the NFL and NBA are where I’m at.”

    With The Whit, I have some NBA experience already. Now the traveling part, I don’t, but it will give me a starting point to show an employer I can turn things in on a weekly basis. I can also make fresh content, not just saying the same five things over again. That’s my ambition. But Neil Hartman has always told us, “You’re not going to get the ESPN job on day one.”

    Larry sits near a laptop inside Wackar Stadium.

    What is your advice for future students on internships?

    I would say try to get involved as early as you can. There are some opportunities that you can’t get early on. For example, you had to be a sophomore to get this internship. So you might not get certain opportunities as a freshman, but in sophomore year and above, try to get as much experience as you can. If you’re getting emails about internships, don’t just delete them, actually open them and see what they’re about.

    When you’re at the internships, just try to soak in as much as you can. Obviously, take nothing for granted. Be on time and do your work. Complain as little as you can. Just try to use everything you can, and maybe apply it back to the classroom. For example, if it’s a summer internship, I’ll take everything I’m learning right now. Then, I’ll go into the fall semester and say, “Okay, this is what I learned” and tie it in with what the professors teach us. Now, I’ll take that, and I’ll reapply it at my next opportunity. Then it’s just this one continuing cycle until you get a full-time job, and you’re working many hours a week. So definitely soak in as much knowledge as you can.

    Final thoughts?

    I guess it’s been a weird experience going through COVID during college and studying journalism. I was fortunate enough to graduate high school right before COVID, so my high school experience was untouched. In my second semester of college, COVID said, “Here is my time now,” so I had one real semester of college and then everything went south, having those two semesters that we’ll never get back in person. Now that we’ve made a comeback here on campus, it’s been an experience just learning to adapt to this major.

    Journalism is certainly a major that was affected by COVID, especially with sports. But always learn how to adapt. No matter what major you’re in, and if you have to adapt and learn quickly, and also pace yourself as well. 

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

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

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

    Storytellers Camp students receive a tour of Rowan Radio.

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

    Summer Session: Painting Campus Landmarks with Art Education Major Brooke Bryant

    Brooke talks to professor Alicia Finger while working on a painting in class.

    Brooke Bryant (she/her), a senior Art Education major from Cumberland County, guides us through a summer session of an Introduction to Watercolor class with Professor Alicia Finger. Brooke talks to us about why she likes the class, the strengths of Rowan’s Art Education program, and some of the work she’s done in the class. What […]

    A Champion and Voice for Graduate Students: Amit Dhundi, President of the Graduate Student Government Association

    Amit Dhundi, a Rowan Global Ph.D. in Engineering student with a concentration in Chemical Engineering from Pitman, NJ (Gloucester County), shares his continuous work and contributions to Rowan as a graduate student and President of the Graduate Student Government Association.

    Emerging from a family of academics, Amit is well-versed in the realm of scholastic success.

    Amit came to Rowan as an international student from India in 2018, in which he graduated with a master’s in Chemical Engineering in 2020. Shortly thereafter, he joined Rowan’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Institute (AMMI) as a project manager before returning as a PhD student.

    Amit posing for a portrait in engineering hall.

    “That was a tough time to graduate because of the lockdown and companies were not hiring,” he explains. “I worked for a year as the project manager at [AMMI] and I later joined at the same lab as a Ph.D. student in the summer of 2021. So I became a student, an employee, and then went back as a student. Apart from that, I was also a student worker at the Chemical Engineering department when I was pursuing my master’s.”

    As of now, Amit engages in research that is funded by the U.S. Army.

    “My research involves the development of a new polymer formulation and fabricating 3D printed parts, which are really great properties for the Army. Specifically, my work involves synthesizing these different formulations in the lab, so this requires knowledge of chemistry.”

    Aside from his ongoing investigations, Amit is also the President of the Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA). Ultimately, the mission of the organization is to serve as the official voice and representation for Rowan University Glassboro graduate students at a university level. The GSGA is also a tool for graduate students as they navigate their educational careers. 

    “GSGA brings all of these graduate students from different colleges, institutions, and centers to a common place. It is a place for everything like graduate student concerns, needs, professional development, and also advocacy when it comes to some issues that they are facing,” Amit says. “Any graduate student from the Glassboro and South Jersey campuses are welcomed to be a part of this organization, regardless of their major.”

    Amit on campus via his scooter.

    As an advocate for community, the GSGA championed Amit’s vision of collective ambition. 

    “I have been at Rowan for four years and I was always seeking a place for graduate students to gather and get to know each other — especially from different disciplines, backgrounds and colleges. I think it’s really great that we have so many different colleges. Rowan has such a vast campus where the students can come together and learn from each other through different experiences, backgrounds, mindsets and views on a situation. This was what I was seeking, which is what brought me to this organization.”

    Due to the demanding schedules of graduate students, the GSGA holds virtual meetings every Monday at 4:30 p.m. to accommodate their members. 

    “Each meeting lasts at most half an hour. This is the best way to ensure that most of the graduate students can come together. I am always open to changing it based on people’s needs,” Amit shares. “It starts with something as simple as greeting each other and getting to know any developments about the student life here or their experiences they have had as a student or in the college. Also, if there are any issues or anything that they would want to be a part of the graduate community at Rowan, we see how the GSGA could help them.”

    Amit studies at a desk in an academic building on campus.

    As President of the association, the catalyst that led to Amit’s role was roused through multiple agents. 

    “I have been in both roles at Rowan as a graduate student and as an employee, so I feel as if I have seen both sides. It’s important to me that I use this experience in order to chart out a better path that works for both groups. I think it’s important to be proactive and understand the concerns of others in order to come up with a solution. That’s one thing that I thought I could impact on the graduate community across the university.”

    Amit working in an lab on campus.

    “Another thing is, I come from a family of academicians. My dad was a mechanical engineering professor in India and he was the Dean of the Federal Level Engineering Institute,” Amit shares. “My mom has a master’s degree in art and a degree in education. She was a teacher. I wanted to put to use the experiences that I had growing up and the experiences here for the betterment of the graduate student community.”

    “This association is also relatively new, so while I’m here I will do my best. Also, I will be around for three years so I thought that I could give much more. I don’t have that deadline nearing me for graduation,” he says. 

    Since the organization is relatively new, Amit’s responsibilities as President include raising awareness of the GSGA to the graduate student community. His other duties include communicating with the university and administration about any issues, concerns, or developments that the community might be facing or want to see. 

    Amit’s commitment to the GSGA has yielded a multifaceted appreciation for the organization. Since graduate students spend more time collaborating with university staff because of the nature of their academic work, the GSGA aids in raising funds as well as increased recognition for the university. Additionally, the recent addition of the organization has incited a need for more involvement through a platform that allows for effective and professional communication. Amit views this demonstration for growth as the driving force for success. 

    Amit posing on a spiral staircase in engineering hall.“I think being a part of this process and development is like being a catalyst. I’ve learned many things about myself and it’s a great opportunity to communicate with so many people across the administration hierarchy and the graduate community. This helps me and will help other graduate students in their professional lives. It gives me an opportunity to come out of the Rowan College of Engineering and get to know people.”

    When asked about his goals and aspirations for the future of the GSGA, Amit responds: “One of my goals is having more events in order to see a part of a larger community. The second thing is for the graduate community to come out of the shell of their respective colleges and departments to present an academically diverse group which can work together for the benefit of graduate students. Once the GSGA is active across the university, I think that would be the right time to reach out to the university administration for funding because we don’t have as much funding right now. This funding would be used for social events in order to come together and raise awareness about the association. This would just be the beginning of a long journey.”

    To spur recognition for the organization, Amit strives to increase acknowledgement of Rowan’s graduate programs in ranks such as the U.S. News. This platform is recognized as a leader in college and grad school rankings. 

      Amit standing in front of the College of Engineering banner.

    “U.S. News is used by everyone who goes to university. For example, international students use this as a tool to see if a university is legitimate. Even students in the U.S. start the decision-making process about universities based on U.S. News,” Amit explains. “I know engineering graduate programs have been recognized, but as an association we would like all graduate degree programs at Rowan to be mentioned or listed in U.S. News. I believe this will not only help the incoming graduate students, but Rowan University will also benefit because its programs would get more recognition.” 

    A development in the awareness of graduate programs such as the GSGA would also suggest graduate student admittance into campus events. Throughout the year, Rowan University holds signature events and traditions such as the Hollybash. Started in the spring of 2016, this event is a full afternoon outdoor festival that features rides, lawn games, performances, food trucks, novelties and more. Hollybash also sponsors a large concert, which has seen guests such as Andy Grammar (2018) and Mike Poser (2017). Customarily, undergraduate students are the predominant attendees of this event. 

    Amit posing with his electric scooter.“What struck me earlier this year is there is this thing called a Hollybash that we have on the campus each year and there were some graduate students, including myself, who wanted to attend it, but we were told that it was only for undergrads,” Amit shares. “I understood because undergrads pay fees for these activities and the graduate students don’t pay that much towards such events. I think the undergrads get two tickets, but I wondered what if graduate students were made available to a facility where we could buy those tickets at a discounted price because it’s a university event.” 

    Amit adds, “It would be so much fun for us to attend it as well and be a part of that university celebration. And then I realized that there may be other similar events. I think that if graduate students were expected to pay a certain amount to get in, I’m sure there are so many students who would want to be a part by buying these tickets in order to be active in the student life at Rowan University. Making this facility available is something I would like to bring up to the administration.”

    In a dialogue about Rowan’s current focus, Amit advocates for an integration in which graduate programs are examined alongside the university’s undergraduate programs. 

    “I somehow want to be involved in making that infusion in which graduate programs are also considered. This is important because the university higher administration has said that we have really good plans and ambitions as a university,” Amit shares. “We started as an R3 university, which is a category for primarily teaching. We have now come to the R2 category, which is impressive, and which means that we are doing research and teaching. We are actually aiming for the R1 category, which is majorly a research university with some teaching. When you talk about research, you of course need graduate students because they are an important part.”

    Amit working on research in a lab.
    Amit working on research in a mechanical engineering lab.

    He adds, “I feel like it is high time for the university to make that infusion on its approach to communication. I think that graduate students make a big impact and we need to start making that change now.”

    When asked what Amit would like others to take away from GSGA, he responds: “I would really like the graduate community to reach out. In the past the GSGA had one meet-up event, and I understand that it was a small event, but still it was a good occasion for graduate students from different disciplines to come together to get to know each other. We would like to have similar events in the future. I want to stress that we really value students from different disciplines and backgrounds. Especially because this is a new organization, we are looking for graduate students to join and come onboard with this association.”

    If you are interested in joining the Graduate Student Government Association or would like more information, you can contact the organization at gsga@rowan.edu.

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

    Beyond the Classroom: Biomedical Engineering Major Ashleigh Jankowski Interns for Biotech Startup

    Today we feature Ashleigh Jankowski, a senior Biomedical Engineering major and Chemistry minor and a Manufacturing Engineer Intern for the startup biotech company Vectech. Ashleigh serves as Service Chair for Society of Women Engineers and President of the Biomedical Engineering Society and is a member of the Food Insecurity Committee and Rowan Unified Sports. Since […]

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

    Fey Talabi, a Rowan Global student from Baltimore, Maryland, shares how she manages her roles as a resident director and a student in the MBA program. 

    Fey’s journey at Rowan University began at her undergraduate institution. Her supervisor, a proud Rowan alumni, recommended that she go to graduate school and pursue her degree here.

    “I majored in Health Administration for my undergraduate degree and really enjoyed it. I knew I wanted to stay in healthcare, but I wanted to do so on the business side of things,” Fey says. “Rowan University’s program really stuck out to me because it is one of the only institutions that offer a concentration in Management. Now, I am pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management.” 

    Fey headshot
    Fey Talabi

    Wrapping up her first year in the program, Fey has enjoyed her experience in the MBA program thus far.

    “Graduate school has taught me some really valuable lessons. I feel like I am learning information that is practical and applicable to the workforce. In my Leadership Theory class, I am learning how to be an effective manager and how to rally employees toward a common goal. My Corporate Entrepreneurship class has given me the opportunity to format real business proposals. The program is very concentrated and focused, which I like.” 

    Along with academics, Fey is working as a resident director of Chestnut Hall.

    “I learned about the resident director position from my former supervisor as well. I interviewed for the position through MAPC, which is a conference for employers to interview potential employees for work opportunities. I ended up getting the position and began training in August,” she says.

    Fey and Chestnut hall RA staff
    Fey and her staff of resident assistants in Chestnut Hall

    Fey’s favorite part of the position is her staff of resident assistants.

    “This is my first time supervising a staff this large. I am taking management classes for my program, so it’s great to get to apply what I am learning in class to my assistantship. I really get to put my skills to work. Aside from my staff, Rowan University has a diverse culture and I have loved getting to interact with different members of the residential community,” Fey explains.

    Managing classes and a graduate assistantship is no easy task, but Fey makes it look that way.

    “It is all about time management. I am lucky because my job allows me to structure specific office hours, so I am able to base my schedule around that. I also have a supervisor that really values me as a person and student. She is adamant that I make time for schoolwork.” 

    Fey and Chestnut RA staff
    Fey and her staff of resident assistants posing on Bunce Green

    In the future, Fey hopes to work in the healthcare industry. “I would love to work within the pharmaceutical sector as a business manager. Financial management really interests me, and I am excited to use my skills to better the healthcare industry one day.”

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

    Photos courtesy of:
    Fey Talabi

    Beyond the Classroom: Finance Major Annabella Halbruner’s Summer Internship “Everything I Could Have Asked for to Prepare for Future Career”

    Annabella is standing in front of the Rohrer College of Business.

    Internships provide a glimpse of what to expect out of the specific field one might be interested in as well as providing a hands-on experience that wouldn’t be possible anywhere else. For senior Finance major Annabella Halbruner from Cape May, NJ, we discussed her experience so far as an intern at HFM Financial Advising as well as how her direct involvement has shifted her perspective with her career. 

    I see that you’re a transfer student, how was your transition from your previous school? 

    It was very smooth even though it was during Covid. I transferred after my freshman year ended in 2020. So coming in, there was no one on campus.  Rowan was pretty much all online. But I got a federal work study on campus and that integrated me really well. I was really able to see how many resources Rowan has to offer, which ultimately led me to choosing my major and deciding what I wanted to do.

    I chose Rowan because of it not being too far from home, the price being right, and it still being a decent-sized school. When I came into Rowan, I still wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do, but Rowan provided me with a plethora of different opportunities to choose from.

    What made you decide to transfer to Rowan? 

    I honestly think the student body really affected my choice. I have a close friend who had been going to Rowan for a while, so I had been on campus quite a bit already. The student body is probably my number one reason. Just seeing the diversity and knowing that you can be friends with people that are so different from you is really inspiring. There are so many different opportunities to meet all of these different people that you really just have to give it a chance.

    Annabella is leaning on the Business Hall sign and smiling.

    What’s been your experience like at Rowan?

    I’ve seen that there are a lot of different opportunities. I’ve said this already, but it’s something that I really harp on for Rowan. At Rowan, there’s always going to be something that you’re going to be interested in as long as you open your eyes and look for it. For example, if you take a look there are a lot of adjunct professors that share similar sentiments where they might be totally different things than what they originally majored in for school. There are so many different unique perspectives and stories at Rowan it’s very telling that not everything is what you expect. 

    I’m also a part of the Rowan Real Estate Group; that group of students has been great for me. The students have been so helpful with just reaching out and trying to get more people involved on a daily basis. I feel like being a part of that club has really helped me branch out and meet new people. It’s great to hear you’re doing a great job from professors, but getting to hear it from another student is something else entirely.

    I’m also a part of the Rowan Equestrian Team. I think that a lot of my confidence has come from that team just because it really is such a supportive group of people. It’s a club sports team, so we’re all competing on a daily basis. It’s not just a group of friends hanging out — we do have our moments of just having a good time, but at the end of the day we always have each other’s back. The sport itself, horseback riding, is also just tough and hard on your heart. You have to accept the days where you’re not doing your best. Eventually though, all of the hard work pays off.  

    Annabella is turning her body towards the camera and smiling.

    What drew you to finance? 

    I transferred into Rowan not really knowing what I wanted to do. Even with that, I still had an idea and knew that the business world would be a good safety net with the many different avenues that it has. In my opinion, I think that business is in every industry in a sense. I started off in pre-business and worked my way from there. I started exploring the different classes that were offered that I would be intrigued in. I started to narrow into Finance because of how interesting it was. I’ve always been good with money, and I thoroughly enjoy math. Accounting was also an option I was thinking of pursuing. For the Finance major you have to take a course called Statistics 2. I had a professor that I had in another class that was great for me and if I was able to take the course with her, Mrs. Catherine Dickinson, I figured it was meant to be. I’m really glad I went through with it.

    I’ve been able to attend the Finance and Accounting Expo that happens every fall. I was able to talk to employers to see what the world was like. The department that I’m a part of right now is responsible for helping people achieve their financial goals and find satisfaction in life. I really like helping people, especially with money, because of how many people don’t know what it means to manage wealth.

    Why did you select your current internship? 

    The final thing that really drew me in was that they had a woman as the head of financial advisors. They also had a bit of a younger crowd; my direct supervisor is only 24 years old. We have two other full time employees who are both 22. Both of them are graduates from Rowan. There is also another intern who came shortly after me who is 20. From there we have a bit of a diverse crowd from 30 to 60 years old. I think that is what drew me in the most; it’s not just going to be people who have been in the industry for 30-40 years and then me. It was definitely a good balance for learning.

    Can you describe in detail what your internship entails? 

    It’s a smaller company so the day-to-day does change a little bit. A typical day means to come in and catch up with how everyone is doing personally and work wise. For me, I do a lot of the background work for clients so we’ll have a client come in that day for a review meeting and I have to do all of the prep work. So ahead of time, I’ll go through notes from previous meetings to see if there was anything left open and that we should bring up during the meeting. We’ll also see if there are any documents that we need to request ahead of time, so I’ll send an email around a week or two in advance of the meeting. For example, I’ll send an email inquiring about a document that deals with taxes for the year.

    All of this prep work is done so that hopefully, if they send all that stuff, I can bring it all to the financial advisor before the meeting to see if there is anything else left to do. We show them how investments are doing and keep them heavily involved through the entirety of the process. We always make sure to ask them if they have any questions or need any help with understanding what is going on, which I really appreciate, it’s a very confusing subject but making sure everyone is on the same page is something you won’t find at most places. 

    Annabella is in front of the Rohrer College of Business giving a slight smile at the camera.
    Annabella Halbruner is a senior Finance major from Cape May, New Jersey.

    I also do a ton of recapping and follow up afterwards. So a lot of the time clients will come in with inquiries like “I’m thinking of buying a house, what is feasible for that?” or even “We just had a kid, do we need life insurance now?” Whatever it may be, I do the research on what they might want to do and then present it to the financial advisor. I then draft up the follow up email and if they approve of it, I can send it out. We also do a lot of retirement funds and 401ks. It deals with answering questions and presenting all of the different options that they have.

    With being so heavily involved even as just an intern, it makes me feel extremely excited, and I appreciate the company so much for it. A lot of internships wouldn’t get you facing clients as quickly as mine did. I’ve learned a lot and I think that they do it because you can learn from watching and paying attention in those meetings and doing all the follow ups. You’re going to have a ton of questions mainly because you don’t know everything. 

    What have you taken away so far from your experience as a financial advisor intern?

    The biggest thing is that you’re always going to be learning. You do not know everything and you will not know everything. It’s ok to say that to a client; they appreciate honesty more than you would expect. For example, “I’m not 100% sure off the top of my head, I know a couple of things but let me do a bit more research before I give you a final answer”. It’s completely appropriate and not even just for clients, to your bosses or anyone. It’s okay to be wrong or admit that you don’t know everything but still have the motivation to do the necessary research. HFM (HFM Financial Advising) is such an empathetic and understanding company, and I’m so grateful that I’m in an environment like this. 

    Annabella has her head down and studiously writing.

    How do you think this internship will help you prepare for your future career? 

    I think it’s absolutely everything that I could have asked for to prepare for my future career. I do want to go into financial advising, so I plan on taking the CFP exam after graduation. There are a couple of courses I want to take for it as well but Rowan doesn’t necessarily have it. At HFM, there are three or four advisors that have already passed it and gone through it, so I’m really relishing the idea of picking their brains about it. Getting the knowledge that I’ve learned while doing the career so far has been great.

    What words of advice would you give to another student looking for an internship and the expectations that come along with it? 

    My biggest advice for coming into an internship is to not only be on ProfJobs, Indeed or LinkedIn. You can actually go around locally and make phone calls to smaller businesses that you’d be interested in learning about. You can still pick their brain even if an internship doesn’t fall through. You’re allowed to ask questions from people about their career and take advice that might resonate with you. Networking is an essential part of any career in my opinion, but sometimes you have to get off the beaten path of applying.

    Annabella is leaning on the railing at the Rohrer College of Business,

    Being proactive with your search and creating the opportunity is such a big thing with internships. A lot of the time these companies don’t even realize how big of a help having an intern on the team does. Once you’re starting, my biggest advice is to have a notebook and digest everything that is going around you. You might think you’ll remember what’s going on at the moment, but everything is complicated. Write down everything now because it’ll help separate you from others.

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    Story by:
    Lucas Taylor, graduate English education major 

    Photography by:
    Ashley Craven, sports communication and media major

    Meet #Rowan2026: Incoming Students Look Forward to Clubs, Sports Teams, New Friends

    Rowan University drone footage from above.

    Today we feature incoming Exploratory Studies first year students Kelly Hector and Olivia Szumloz (she/her). Kelly is from Watchung, NJ (Somerset County) and will be living on campus. Olivia is from Hamilton, NJ (Mercer County) and will also be living on campus.  Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking […]

    Beyond the Classroom: Advertising Major Olivia Covington Discusses Her Internship with Global Agency R/GA

    Exterior shot of 301 High St.

    Olivia Covington (she/her) is a senior Advertising major with minors in Strategic Communication, Professional/Technical Writing, and International Studies and commuter student from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County). Here, Olivia share details she is interning with marketing company R/GA as a remote copywriting intern. Can you tell me about your internship and the responsibilities you have […]

    Meet #Rowan2026: Incoming Rohrer College of Business Students

    Picture of Business Hall.

    Today we feature incoming first year students Hunter Sharp (she/her) and Jake Larocca. Hunter is from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County) and will be commuting to campus as an Accounting major in the Rohrer College of Business. Jake is from Brick, NJ (Ocean County) and will be living on campus as an aspiring business major. […]

    Meet #Rowan2026: Incoming Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts Students

    College of Communication & Creative Arts.

    Today we feature incoming first year students Samantha Szumloz, Kyle Sheridan, Morgan Van Holtz and Donato Bazemore (he/him). Samantha is from Hamilton Township, NJ (Mercer County) and will be living on campus as a Writing Arts major. Kyle is from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County) and will be living on campus as a Sports Communication and […]

    Rowan Vocals Provides Students A Support System While Producing Beautiful A Capella [VIDEO]

    “We dance, we sing and yeah, we’re a nice big family and we like to have fun,” says Christopher Scire, the vice-president and music director of Rowan Vocals. Rowan Vocals prides itself on its interweaving community providing connections, lasting bonds, and an escape of the daily grind from people of various different majors.

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

    Eric Uhorchuk holds a stack of Writing Arts materials outside on campus.

    The 4+1 BA/MA in Writing Arts program allows students to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years. Students Tara Grier, Scott MacLean and Eric Uhorchuk give us great insight into the benefits of the program and why it is helping to support their goals. 

    On discovering the program

    Scott MacLean, a first-generation college student from Wenonah, NJ (Gloucester County), recently graduated from the program this spring. He originally learned about the program through a professor. “Professor Rachael Shapiro was the first person to tell me about the program. We met when I took Intro to Writing Arts, and I really thrived in her class. At a later time, I ran into her in the hallway, and we chatted about the opportunity. When I looked into the program I saw that they offered classes focused on aspects of the publishing industry as well as internship opportunities. I knew I had to apply!” 

    Eric Uhorchuk, a third-year student in the program from Mullica Hill, NJ (Gloucester County), found out about the 4+1 program through professors and classmates. What ultimately lead him to apply were “how many career opportunities and internships the program offered.” So far, Eric has seen the benefit of taking the challenge. “I’ve been working on research for my master’s project, and with luck, it’ll be something I can actually publish. With Rowan University’s program specifically, the degrees can help me see what local presses or businesses are looking for employees, and actually allow me to interact with them.”

    Tara Grier, in her third year of the program from Newark, Delaware, learned about the opportunity as a first year student. She ultimately chose Rowan University because it was one of the few schools that offered Writing Arts as an actual major. 

    Tara Grier outside on campus.
    Tara Grier of Delaware has served as Managing Editor for Rowan’s pop culture online magazine Halftone and as an intern for Singularity Press, the university’s publishing start-up.

    Benefits of the 4+1 program

    Tara explains: “The program is great because it allows you to begin your M.A. degree as an undergrad while still paying undergrad tuition. Not only does it save time and money, but it’s a unique experience that allows you to explore a graduate program as a senior.” She adds, “Taking graduate-level courses was initially very intimidating, but I’ve learned so much from them already and I feel they’ve even given me new skills that have improved my quality of work in my undergraduate courses too. Another benefit is that you get to know more people in the program!” 

    Scott is happy about the time and money he is saving while being enrolled in the 4+1 program. “When I was at RCGC I got into the ISP (Internship Scholarship Program), which allowed me to work in Gloucester County Social Services as an intern in exchange for tuition. Since I finished half of my master’s degree while still in my senior year thanks to the 4+1 program, I managed to save a lot of money. It also just saves me time in the long run. Rather than spending two or three years on my master’s, I am only spending one.” 

    Eric identifies faculty and classes that have enriched his experience at Rowan University so far. “Megan Atwood’s Writing the YA novel and Genre Fiction classes helped me learn what major mistakes I make while writing and how to best improve them. Heather Lanier’s Writing Creative Nonfiction course helped me understand that my life is important and that I can use writing to express my personal experiences, and her Creative Writing II course gave me the concept for my current MA project. At the same time, Lisa Jahn-Clough’s Writing Stories for Children and Young Adults is helping me understand which audience I’d be most comfortable writing for, and giving me a special environment to work in.

    “All of my professors have made a huge impact on how I write, why I want to write, and how I want to grow while doing it.”

    Headshot of Eric wearing a Writing Arts T-shirt.
    Eric Uhorchuk says he always knew Rowan University would be home. “I’ve been looking at Rowan University for my whole life. It’s close to home, filled with so many amazing people, and I’ve spent many summer camps, school trips, and even dance recitals here. The fact that it offered a Writing Arts program was the icing on the cake.”

    Experiences outside the classroom

    Along with classes, Tara is involved in extracurricular activities that have made her experience well-rounded and meaningful thus far.

    “I have been an intern and volunteer for Singularity Press since Spring of 2020, a start-up self-publishing service that will help authors edit and promote their work, create cover art, and other services when they self-publish, which is launching this semester. I have loved all the work I’ve done for Singularity Press, from social media management to graphic design, administrative tasks, and all of the creative work that goes into it too. Last semester, I also worked as Managing Editor of Halftone, a new pop culture magazine on campus, which was a great experience. As a freshman, I interned for the Writing Arts department, which allowed me to gain skills that have helped me gain other opportunities and internships.” 

    Scott has also gotten valuable experiences outside of the classroom.

    “I was an intern for Glassworks Magazine, working under Katie Budris in Fall 2021. Through that internship, I was able to gain experience as an editor for a literary magazine! I learned more about social media management, newsletter writing, website development, and how to best represent Glassworks and the Writing Arts program in general. I was responsible for reviewing and voting on submissions for the magazine and participating in packet meetings where we discuss which pieces we’d like to accept. I also was charged with helping the people taking the Editing the Literary Journal class at the time, editing their editorial content that would be going on the website (book reviews, op-eds, and author interviews). I think one of the main reasons I feel confident graduating from Rowan and entering the workforce is because of my time with Glassworks.”

    Scott MacLean at graduation
    Scott MacLean at his undergraduate graduation. Scott is a recent graduate of the 4+1 program with plans to join the publishing industry in an agent or editor role.

    Currently, Scott serves as an intern for the Singularity Press. “Through this internship, I’ve been able to do more social media management. My favorite part of the internship has been the public events. We went to the AWP conference and I was able to represent both Glassworks and Singularity Press. Lastly, I’ve been able to read and evaluate manuscripts for an agent who is associated with the press. All of these experiences have helped me feel better prepared for the future. I’ve come to realize that I am more capable than I once thought I was, and I’ve managed to push myself out of my comfort zone and thrive in new environments.”

    Along with the coursework, Eric is also involved in extracurricular activities. “I worked as an intern for Singularity Press when it was first being conceptualized, where I helped organize events and social media posts and helped out with the website. Currently, I’m working as an associate editor at Glassworks, where I read, and vote on submissions, interact with social media, proofread and edit accepted works, create newsletters, as well as participate in events that the publication runs.”

    Future goals

    In the future, Tara hopes to have her books published. “I’ve been writing a Fantasy novel for several years, and would love to see it published and successful someday. While I was always aware of my passion for storytelling, my experiences at Rowan also helped me discover a passion for helping others tell their stories. This is why I’d like to pursue an editing career as well.” 

    Scott’s ultimate goal is to make the world of literature more inclusive and represent people of all identities in his work. “In high school, I read constantly but I rarely ever found gay characters in the genres I loved. Then I stumbled across I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, the first book with a gay character that didn’t involve the character dying/suffering greatly/being gay-bashed. Reading that book made me realize how little representation was present in literature. That has changed a lot these days, but it’s still very hard to find gay characters at the forefront of genre fiction: fantasy, thrillers, etc. and I plan on changing that. Along with this, I would like to either become a literary agent, or an acquiring editor in the publishing industry.” 

    Looking ahead, Eric’s dream goal is to be a published author. “I’m also thinking of possibly going into the editing field, specifically for novel writing or becoming a Writing Arts professor at a university, so I can help others grow and hone their craft. I’ve always wanted to teach, so why not teach the thing I love?

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

    Select photos courtesy of:
    Tara Grier (credit: Christian Browne) and Scott MacLean

    Passing the Torch: International Studies Grad Griffin Lallier Looks Ahead

    Griffin poses next to a flower bush with his diploma.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    He shares his favorite moment of being involved on campus.

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

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

    Griffin describes his major as interesting and interdisciplinary.

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

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

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

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

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

    Passing the Torch: Outgoing RA Loredonna Fiore Reflects On Her Experiences

    Loredonna throws her cap up in the air in front of the Rowan arch.

    Loredonna Fiore is a recent graduate who majored in Public Relations and Advertising with a minor in Communication Studies from Elk Township, NJ (Gloucester County).

    Loredonna poses with a diploma.

    As a Resident Assistant in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments, most recently, Loredonna had an outstanding experience. Loredonna even attributes her closest friendships to being an RA.

    “I was a commuter my first year on campus, and it was honestly hard for me to feel like I had like a place on campus. It wasn’t until I got involved and put myself out there that I started making my true friends, and I always say that becoming an RA helped me find my place and home on campus.”

    Loredonna’s favorite memory as an RA was always summer training. 

    All the RAs from all different areas all have to be in the same room, and it’s a really long process during the summer. My favorite part is always training because we’re all together as a staff, getting closer and bonding. This year, we did a lip-sync battle, and it was just so much fun. That’s definitely a favorite memory of mine,” she says.

    Loredonna poses next to a tree.

    Looking back, Loredonna says her high school senior self needed advice on friendship.

    I would say I would tell my high school self that it’s definitely a matter of quality over quantity when it comes to your friendships. Often, society tells you if you don’t have all these friends and these big girl groups that you’re failing in your friendships. I would give my younger self the advice that true friends really click with you and they know your heart and they know you as a person. It’s ok if that’s only like one or two really true good friends.”

    Aside from being an RA, Loredonna was active on campus in other roles. 

    I have an elevated leadership role in Resident Life as an Assistant Resident Director. I’m also a Digital Content Contributor for Rowan Blog, so I get to meet many student leaders on campus, interview them and hear their stories.” 

    In the fall, Loredonna is pursuing her master’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Georgia. She is also starting a Graduate Assistantship as a Resident Director upon graduation.

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

    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: Passionate First-Generation College Student Shirley Celi-Landeo

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

    Shirley poses in a garden.

    Shirley looks back at how she made friends on campus.

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

    Shirley advises her high school self to take risks.

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

    Shirley poses outside of Bunce Hall.

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

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

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

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

    Shirley poses in front of the Rowan arch.

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

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

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

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

    Passing the Torch: Outgoing Student Government Vice President Sarah McClure

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

    Sarah poses under the Rowan archway.

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

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

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

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

    Sarah stands in a garden in her cap and gown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    See our video with Samantha here.

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    Story By: 
    Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major

    Men’s Track and Field Student-Athletes on Their Winning 4×400 Relay Season

    Athletes celebrate win.

    Today we are featuring Jah’mere Beasley, Nana Agyemang, and Amara Conte, three of the four Men’s Track and Field members who secured the national championship title in the 4×400 relay in their indoor season [editor’s note: the team would later finish second in the outdoor national finals]. 

    Jah’mere is a junior Sports Communication and Media major from Camden, NJ (Camden County) and ran third leg for the 4×400 relay. Nana is a sophomore Exercise Science major from Parsippany, NJ (Morris County) and ran second leg for the 4×400 relay. Amara is a sophomore Accounting major from Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County) and ran anchor for the 4×400 relay. All three share their stories on leadership, camaraderie, and express how competing in Men’s Track and Field National Championship has shaped their university experience. 

    How has your team’s camaraderie propelled you to success? What makes your team different from those around you?

    Amara Conte: Our team camaraderie is what makes us a great team, our bond and trust in each other’s ability to perform when it matters most helped us to focus on our own individual part of the relay and perform to the best of our abilities. What makes our team different from other teams is that we are more than a team, we are family, we are brothers, and we always have each other back. Knowing this makes up for our individual flaws and makes us a strong team. 

    Nana Agyemang: The team is like one big family. We go through so much pain and suffering at practice that it only makes us stronger and makes us care for each other even more. We keep each other accountable whether that’s making sure we are on time for practice or hitting the correct times for practice we just want to see everyone maximize their full potential. I think the difference from our team to other teams is that we’re really hungry and never satisfied. We always know we can improve on something so when we do good we smile, and celebrate it for the weekend but on Monday it’s back to work like we didn’t so we can always get better and moving forward. 

    Going into the race, what emotions were you feeling? Were you guys considered to be an underdog or favored within the 4×400 relay at the meet?

    Jah’mere Beasley: Going into the race everyone was laser focused and locked in. I had just taken third place in the 200m, so I brought that energy over to the other guys. We had been ranked #1 in the country all year, and we knew we had the chance to win it all. I would say we were the favorite to win, but there were a lot of other great teams who had solid chances as well.  

    Nana Agyemang: I was excited going into the race because of what was at stake. We knew what we had to do and how we were the team to beat from being the National Champion in outdoor so I was thrilled and excited to just get the race underway. We had the #1 time going into nationals but going into finals we were ranked third so most teams probably thought they had us beat because we were running three new people who weren’t on the outdoor national championship (me, Marquise and Jah’mere). In my head it felt like we were the underdogs, but we also knew that we were still the team to beat so we had to go out there and rise up to the occasion. 

    Teammates hand off the baton.

    What are your team’s biggest strengths? What are your team’s biggest weakness?

    Amara Conte: Our team’s biggest strength is the bond we have and our undying love for the sport of Track & Field. Our greatest weakness is that since we have such a diverse group when it comes to individual events, it becomes hard for us to put our all on the relay event, but we somehow make it work and compete at our best when we matter.

    How do you prepare for an event like this before race day? 

    Jah’mere Beasley: The day before a big race like this I try to stay off my feet as much as possible. I always make sure I eat a great dinner and snack the evening before. I take an ice bath and hot shower to help my legs feel rested. I roll out and stretch really well before bed. I always try to make sure I get 7-8 hours of sleep before a big race day. 

    Nana Agyemang: How I prepare for meet day is I usually wake up and instantly play some gospel music because I am a big believer in God so when I wake up I just wanna praise him. Then I go head and brush my teeth and shower and I usually have talks with myself to get my mind right because you are only as strong as your mind. Then I made my breakfast which is usually brown sugar oatmeal, eggs, a water and a granola bar. When I hop on the bus I do a little meditation to get my full body right. Then as we head on the bus approaching to the meet I’ll switch my playlist, attitude, and focus to a more serious tone and lock in on the task ahead.

    Beasley runs one leg of the race.

    How do you prepare for an event like this on race day? Do you have any race day traditions, meals, or specific actions you swear by? 

    Amara Conte: Once we get to the track on the day of the meet, I do my usual warm up while listening to my pre-made playlist that I have prepared just for track meet to help me stay focused and locked in. I don’t eat much on meet days because I run fast on an empty stomach. 

    How does winning the [indoor] national championship for the 4×400 meter relay shape your experience at Rowan? How are your track experience in general shaped your college experience? 

    Amara Conte: Winning the national championship in 4×400 meter twice now has made my experience at Rowan more pleasurable and has enhanced my experience in ways that I could only imagine. My track experience in general has taught me many life skills, for example: time management, networking, and discipline. Due to my experience as a track athlete, I’ve grown in more ways than I can possibly fathom and with more years these skills and experience will only sharpen and improve before I enter the real world. 

    Jah’mere Beasley: Winning the national championship in the 4×400 has made my time here that much more special. This is one of the closest teams I have ever been a part of, and winning that national title brought everyone closer together. Having a brotherhood like this is unmatched. I always cherish the moments I have on the track and that national title is something I will always remember. Those moments always motivate me to get faster and better than I was before. My track experience has shaped my college experience in a big way. Track has helped me make lots of new friends here at Rowan. Most of the the friends I have made are people that play other sports. Track is helping me stay focused in the classroom as well. It motivates to keep my grades up and give max effort with each assignment. 

    Nana Agyemang: It’s been cool seeing my friends repost it, having teachers come up and congratulate me has been a great feeling. It’s just made my Rowan experience better and more enjoyable. Track had taught me valuable lessons like when things don’t go your way you can either come back the next day and try again or quit. It has also taught me that life will get hard, like workouts, but if you keep going there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It might look dark while you’re going through but sooner or later you will reach the end of the tunnel and be happy you did. We have had plenty of workouts that we feel like we aren’t gonna make it but we just gotta keep going and you gotta tell yourself your stronger than that you think.  

    Conte runs one leg of the race.

    Do you participate in both winter and spring track? What are the biggest disparities between the two? What the biggest challenges between the two different seasons? 

    Jah’mere Beasley: I run both winter and spring track. The biggest disparity between the two are the size of the tracks. The winter track is 200m and the spring track is 400m. During the 4×400 in winter track, each person runs two laps, as compared to spring track where each person runs 1 lap. Events like the 4×100 and javelin are only during spring track. The biggest challenge is running on the indoor tracks. The lanes are smaller and the turns are tighter. It take a lot of getting used to during the season. 

    Read our earlier interview with Jah’mere here.

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major 

    Photos courtesy of: 
    David Dermer/Rowan Athletics

    20 Minute Radius: Centerton Golf Club

    Centerton header photo

    Centerton Golf Club is a local 18-hole golf course that is affordable, close to campus, and open seven days a week, making it a great nearby spot to visit. 

    Located in Pittsgrove, NJ, Centerton Golf Club is a 20 minute drive from campus and is worth the effort to visit and take part in. Whether you’re a first-time golfer or a seasoned veteran, this 18-hole course is a great way to spend the afternoon with nature. 

    Centerton Golf carts are all lined up getting ready to header to the course.

    When you check in, you’ll enter the pro shop where golf balls, tees, towels, and other merchandise you might need are sold. If you don’t have a golf club set of your own, there are also clubs available for rent. 

    Hole at Centerton Golf Club

    Although golf is predisposed as the main attraction, it isn’t the only thing Centerton has to offer. There is an outside concession area that sells hot dogs, hot sausages and cold drinks to get on the turn. If you’re hungry or thirsty while playing, Centerton has a beverage cart attendant that drives around the course to serve food and drinks so you don’t have to stop playing and keep yourself refreshed.

    Hole at Centerton Golf Club

    Visiting Centerton Golf Club is a great way to support a local business, exercise, and get outdoors.

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

    Senior Reflects: Ella Emmer on Being PRISM President

    Exterior shot of Bunce Hall lit in Pride colors.

    Ella Emmer, a senior Psychology major with a minor in German from Somerset County, NJ, reflects on her experience as the PRISM club president and the legacy she hopes to leave on the organization.  

    Ella has made her mark on Rowan University’s community. Her impact can be attributed to her efforts as PRISM president, an LGBTQ+ organization on campus.

    “PRISM provides a safe space for members of the LQBTQ+ community to socialize, form friendships and be their true selves,” she says.

    Ella stumbled across PRISM… literally.

    “I got lost going to a study abroad meeting and I wandered into JoAnna Murphy’s office in the SJICR office. After we got to talking, she introduced me to PRISM. The meeting times fit with my schedule, so I started going to meetings regularly. I became really close with members of the e-board and passionate about activism, so I decided to run as secretary my sophomore year. After serving as secretary, I ran for president and have served in that role ever since,” Ella explains.

    As president of PRISM, Ella manages a lot of events for the organization. “So much goes into planning and executing events for the club. I have to pick a venue, contract any guest speakers or entertainers that come out, and spearhead any fundraising necessary for the event.” 

    Ella Emmer headshot in front of a PRIDE flag.

    Ella was especially proud of PRISM’s role in the university’s Lavender Graduation ceremony, which recognizes and celebrates LGBTQ+ students and allies ahead of their respective college commencement ceremonies. 

    “Lavender Graduation is very special to me. Since legal names have to be put on your diploma for graduation, it can oftentimes not reflect a person’s true identity. PRISM helps host a graduation that uses the person’s preferred name — their real name, to be recognized and honored for graduating as their true selves. I am speaking at the event and I could not be more proud to be a part of it.” 

    Ella at the Lavender Graduation ceremony.
    Ella (third from left) at the Lavender Graduation ceremony (credit: Desire Forman)

    Along with hosting events, Ella leads e-board meetings as PRISM President. “During meetings, aside from preparing for events or upcoming fundraisers, we have an educational portion about LGBTQ+ history. Since LGBTQ+ history is not taught in schools, it is so important to learn about our history and all of the activists who got us here today,” she says.

    As she reflects on her experience in the club, Ella looks back fondly on the memories she has made.

    “I am really happy I got to be involved in an organization that makes a difference. Since I have been in PRISM, we have raised over $2,500 for LGBTQ+ organizations. This money has gone to not only big organizations, like The Trevor Project, but smaller organizations that aren’t as popular or advertised as well,” she says. “Aside from fundraising, I also worked with JoAnna Murphy with the SJICR to create a map for gender-neutral bathrooms on campus. This was a really important project to help others feel more comfortable on campus.”

    Ella hopes the club continues to advance and do great things after she graduates.

    “I hope the future of PRISM is bright and continues to make a positive impact for people in the community. Now that Covid is slowing down, I hope the new e-board can hold more events and partner with other organizations in the surrounding area for our members.” 

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    Story by:
    Loredonna Fiore, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos courtesy of:
    Ella Emmer
    Desire Forman

    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 […]

    International Student Dalsha Douglas on Her Rowan University Experience

    Dalsha looks off to the side outside Business Hall.

    Dalsha Douglas, an international student from Dominica, shares her experience as a senior Accounting major at Rowan University. 

    Dalsha always knew she wanted to go to college and get her education. “Rowan University provided me with a lot of scholarship assistance, so it made the decision to come here really easy.” Now, Dalsha is wrapping up her senior year as an Accounting major, all while juggling extra-curricular activities. 

    On campus, Dalsha joined a variety of clubs to make Rowan University feel like home.

    International Club is a place where all international students can come together and have fun,” she says. “In the club, we spend time playing games and developing relationships with people who are all in the same situation. It’s a great community for international students to feel more at home and connected to others.” 

    Dalsha at engineering pond.

    Along with the International Club, Dalsha was involved in the American Sign Language Club. “There were spots open on the e-board, so I ran for senator and ended up earning the position. On top of learning sign language, as the senator of the club, I got to attend SGA meetings each week and report back to members of the club about what was discussed and decisions that were made.” 

    As an extended commitment to her academics, Dalsha joined the Accounting Society. “Accounting Society has been so influential,” she says. “Representatives from different businesses come to talk about their experiences in the field. Getting out of the classroom and hearing from others has really helped me narrow down the paths I want to take in the future. I would definitely recommend this club to all accounting majors.” 

    Dalsha outside of Business Hall.

    Dalsha has also created valuable relationships with her professors.

    “My Principals of Marketing Professor Dr. Pontes really made an impact on me. He was an international student as well, so he really understood my experiences. He helped reach out to other departments at Rowan University so that I could get experience internally. That effort and care really meant a lot to me.” 

    In the future, Dalsha hopes to use her skills and experiences to work with the Freidman Accounting Agency, a company she was introduced to through the Accounting Society.

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

    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: 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 […]