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, […]

#PROFspective: How Devon Coulter Overcomes Adversity Living with an Invisible Disability

Devon Coulter posing by the trees near Bunce Hall

Would you mind sharing your experience with your disability? “I have a rare invisible disability called Idiopathic Hypersomnia. The best way I can describe it to someone is that it’s a sister to Narcolepsy. It is an unknown origin, so they don’t know what causes it, and I tend to sleep for really long periods […]

From Bulldog to Prof: How John Maldonado Found His New Home Across The Street

Dramatically colored sunset over the Rowan athletic field where John played football.

From across the street to across the goal line, John Maldonado’s journey from Glassboro High School to Rowan University proves that a great college experience might be in one’s own backyard. “I definitely think that Glassboro High School students overlook Rowan just because it’s across the street,” says John, but his own Rowan experience has proven otherwise. A recent graduate of Rowan University, John earned his bachelor’s degree in finance within the Rohrer College of Business. As a student-athlete he played wide receiver on the football team for all four years of his college career, where he received prestigious accolades such as being named to the All-NJAC First Team Offense in both 2021 and 2022. He has also been honored for his work in the classroom, and was named to both the College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Team and the PhillySIDA Academic All-Area Team during his career. Rowan football player John Maldonado poses for a portrait wearing a practice football jersey and holding a football.

Born and raised in Glassboro, along with his two older brothers, John was always a talented athlete. A three-sport athlete at Glassboro High School, playing football, basketball, and baseball, he found success in all three sports, winning multiple Glassboro Bulldog awards. He was even named to the All-Conference first team for football. Like most three-sport athletes who want to continue at the next level, choosing that one sport you love can be tough. “I originally thought I was going to be a college baseball player, you know baseball was bigger than football in high school for me, but it turned out to be football.”

Rowan football player John Maldonado in action during a game, running with the football against another university.
Photo courtesy of Nick Feldman

Picking a sport to continue throughout college would end up guiding John in his decision to attend Rowan University. Like most seniors out of high school, it’s tough to know exactly what you want to do with life at that point. As John faced the pivotal moment of choosing where to continue his football career, Rowan stood out to him. “I wasn’t 100% ready I guess to move an hour or two away and live on my own so I was like if I’m going to go to an NJAC school or D3 to play football, why not just stay right here.”

John recognized there is a less-than-great perception among Glassboro High students about attending Rowan. Despite the proximity of Rowan to Glassboro High School, John believes that many students disregard the university as a potential option, failing to realize the abundance of opportunities and resources it has to offer.

Rowan football player John Maldonado catches a touchdown pass while being blocked.
Photo courtesy of Nick Feldman

Reflecting on his time at Rowan, John is filled with gratitude for the endless opportunities and resources that helped shape his college experience. “My best advice would be to use the resources,” he emphasizes, “because there’s a ton. There’s a million different things going on at one time with a bunch of people that are trying to help you.” John’s academic advisors played a crucial role in his success off the field. Student-athletes sometimes need additional supports to balance their academic responsibilities with their athletic goals, to maintain their work-life balance and their academic performance. With the support of his academic advisors, John was able to stay on track and ultimately decide on a major in finance after entering as an undecided major (exploratory studies)

John continued his studies at Rowan, now pursuing a master’s in finance, while he simultaneously trains in hopes of making a professional football career a reality. John’s story is a testament to the university’s ability to offer a one of a kind college experience, even for those who already live in Glassboro.Rowan football player John Maldonado poses for a portrait wearing a practice football jersey and holding a football.

He recognizes the challenges that lie ahead of him. “The windows are short with this type of stuff, trying next-level football.” With the resources and opportunities available at Rowan, John is poised to make the most of every opportunity, both on and off the field.

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Story by:
Sean Humphrey, senior public relations major

Photos by:
Valentina Giannattasio, sophomore dance and marketing double major

Rowan University Biological Sciences Major Mia Shute Shares Her Aspirations for the Future

Rowan University Biological Sciences major Mia Shute writes on a whiteboard in the lab.

Today we feature sophomore commuter-student Mia Shute from Mullica Hill, NJ (Gloucester County). Mia is working towards her bachelor of science degree in Biological Sciences, as well as an Honors Concentration within the John H. Martinson Honors College. Mia is here to tell us about her college experience and aspirations within the Biological Science field. […]

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 […]

First Year Voices: Carmine Petronglo on Finding Community in Classes and Activities

Mechanical Engineering major Carmine works on his laptop inside Engineering Hall.

Meet Carmine Petronglo, a first-year Mechanical Engineering major and member of the Martinson Honors College who commutes to campus from Gloucester County, NJ. I am a member of the Honors College. I attend a weekly Honors BLAST group meeting with sophomore mentors in the Honors College. I went to the Honors priority registration breakfast and […]

The Power of Connecting with Others: Miral Rawy’s Story

Biomedical Engineering major Miral walks down Rowan Boulevard with two friends.

Today we feature first-year student Miral Rawy, a Biomedical Engineering major who commutes to campus from Burlington County, NJ. Could you share a few on-campus activities, clubs, sports or events that you’ve attended so far? What was your favorite, and why? I have attended some RAHs [Rowan After Hours], which were a lot of fun, […]

Beyond the Classroom: Rowan Graduate Stephanie Ciecierski Pursues M.A. in Writing and Internship with The Rug Truck

Stephanie writes in her notebook on a bench on campus.

Stephanie Ciecierski (she/her) is a first-generation Rowan University 2016 graduate who majored in English and Subject-Matter Education. She was a transfer student from RCBC in 2013, and then commuted to Rowan from Medford, NJ (Burlington County). Now, after five years of being a high school special education teacher, Ciecierski is pursuing the second year of […]

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

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

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

Meet Transfer Profs: Featuring Students from the Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts

Photo of 301 High Street on Rowan's Glassboro campus.

Today we feature two incoming transfer students: Karis Brady (she/her) and Meredith Deferro (she/her) from Gloucester County and Camden County respectively. 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 one thing you are […]

Meet Transfer Profs: College of Science and Mathematics Students Dante and Daniel

An image of Rowan's Science Hall.

Today we feature incoming transfer students Dante P. (they/them) and Daniel from Gloucester County and Cumberland County, respectively. Both give insights into 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 one thing you are looking forward to at […]

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 […]

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 […]

Passing the Torch: Theatre Educator Nick Flagg

Nick poses in front of some flowers

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

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

Nick poses with a diploma.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#PROFspective: Noor Baig and Her Journey in Graphic Design

Noor and a classmate review film.

In our conversation with Noor Baig, a junior commuter from Cherry Hill (Camden County), we learn of her own career path in graphic design. Noor shares insights on her Studio Art major and details some of the expectations in the various classes offered. 

Why did you pick Rowan? 

For the most part, I had picked Rowan because it was nearby and commuting is really important for me since I have an older parent. Besides that, as an art major, I had gone through their website and viewed student work which was definitely super interesting for me, along with the fact that Jan, the (now retired) head of Rowan’s Graphic Design department was emailing me through high school during my application and interview process and was incredibly helpful, friendly and personable. I had really felt that Rowan would give me the best chance to become a better student and artist.

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

Rowan was super welcoming from the start as I had met and communicated with multiple professors before my acceptance. The professors really accepted me and believed in my potential to become a better artist. I was able to build a really great rapport with a lot of my professors as well which makes the learning environment super friendly and helps to build a great community within the studio.

When I started attending classes, which usually for any studio courses are relatively small with 10-20 people maximum, I noticed how the professors are really open to learning about your artistic processes. The professors don’t just talk at you and expect you to just work, they really pull the best out of you and try to inspire you. 

Noor is reaching for an item to help with her developing some film.

What have been your favorite moments so far on campus?

There are so many cool things to go and explore on campus. You’re coming out of high school, you’re a kid who was probably driven around everywhere and everything is really close by. With coming to Rowan and everything being so big you kind of realize you’re on your own now. I think that having that realization was cool but I think a lot of my favorite moments were the smaller ones. When you build up such a rapport with your professors and peers the class becomes more personable. You look forward to going to these different classes every week.

Seeing people of similar interests and working together with them builds inspiration within the class. The camaraderie that I had with my classmates is something that I always look back fondly on. It’s really nice to have such a community and have it reinforced with everyone involved.

Noor and a classmate review photo negatives.

What drew you to Studio Art?

Since I was young, most likely 11 or 12, I’ve been infatuated with art. Even now at home I have art in every room in my house, it’s kind of like an impromptu art gallery from the art that I’ve collected over the years. When I was in high school around my junior or senior year I had some friends who were also getting into the art scene, probably because they had a couple other art friends and we were all influencing one another. I had a couple of friends ask me if I would be interested in buying some of my art or set up commissions for creating art. I started to get into it. I’ve always been passionate about little details like fonts or calligraphy so I started getting routine commissions that dealt with painting or cards. I would advertise locally to my friends and teachers. Selling art was definitely a big thing for me.

Before, I hadn’t even thought I was going to go to college because of finances and other reasons. But selling art and seeing how art brings people together and its impact was a huge game changer for myself. I started to realize how much I liked it; the entire process of creating something with other people. It just made me want to continue doing more and more. I had found out more about graphic design and what Rowan had to offer. I started to realize that this possibility was within my reach and it inspired me to keep going.

However, art is always a hard thing. There’s always anxiety with job security but with graphic design, an applied art, it relieves that tension. Finding out about the opportunities that graphic design could give me and my own personal passions with the process of creating and discussing art pushed me forward to major in Studio Arts. The major is so welcoming. I knew that if I went to art school and had professors that were experienced enough, I would learn more efficiently than I would if I tried to manage it all by myself. Getting my degree would diversify my own abilities and make me better prepared to meet the goals I set out for myself. 

Since the beginning, I always had my foot in every door that I could. I never really stuck directly to one thing. As cool as that was to experience, it prevents you from sticking onto one path. You have half-finished and half-learned skills. By going to college, it gave me the goal that I could run without having to stray from that path. Even that goal, the way that Rowan structures studio art, it’s very generalized, it forces you to try a little bit of everything. I feel a lot more confident in different things in comparison to before.

Noor is standing in a doorway cupping a camera.
Noor, a sophomore commuter from Cherry Hill, (Camden County) has recently developed an interest in photography from a class she took this spring semester.

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

I think that art is so critical to culture, especially across time. People left different marks thousands of years ago that let us know so much now. I think that art is a hallmark of specific cultures, communities and people. The art that you make as an artist ultimately defines you. Your own art allows for others to try and peer into the type of vision that you have, what you see or are attempting to see, it marks you and defines you. By being an artist, specifically a graphic designer, I’ve always had this desire to help people out the best way I can. With graphic design, a lot of it has to do with solving problems. We solve visual problems and we help to express different ideas. We push ideas forward and help to conceptualize it and bring people together. Art as a whole is very communal, it bridges different gaps and illustrates solutions.

What classes have left the biggest impression on you? 

There’s one class that comes to mind. There’s an Expressive Drawing class with Dr. Appelson, we affectionately call him Doc, it’s like an art bootcamp. Usually, you take it in the spring semester of your freshman year and it’s quite a class. Dr. Appleson has you do a lot of work every single week and he’s teaching you so much as well. It’s stressful in the moment but you realize that it’s never just busy work. Everything that is assigned has you trying or learning something new. Dr. Appleson expects you to put your best foot forward.

It’s tough, but you learn so much in the class. I really came into myself surrounding my style and everything. Funny enough, Doc has this saying where it’s one thing to see what’s on the paper or canvas, but it’s another when trying to figure out what’s going on in an artist’s head while you’re making the drawing. Doc is helping us to connect the art with the artist. While he’s tough in the class, he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. He’s the unofficial mascot for Westby Hall. He always gave me so much great advice in the class and I made a lot of great work for my portfolio. It’s hard, but it’s so worth it for developing your skill set.

Noor is preparing some film.

What are some of the different expectations in your classes? 

Graphic design especially is really big on expectations. Specifically, the way that the curriculum is structured and organized. Eventually the last thing that you do in Graphic Design is called Portfolio. This is a class where you work together with students and plan the group exhibit. Every senior who is in the Art major has to have their own exhibit but in graphic design it’s more of a collective.

Everything that you do in graphic design is about organizing yourself and building up your final portfolio. The portfolio is super important for artists because it shows exactly what you’re bringing to the table. You’re showing yourself to your employer. Everything that is in it shows how diverse you’ve become since you’ve started, it shows packaging, typography, infographics, publications and things of that matter. It’s super organized and every little thing almost builds off of one another. 

Out of all the classes you’ve taken so far with your major, what’s worked the best for you in learning the material? 

I take a lot of studio classes, it’s more of a work time to try and explore everything. I love a good studio class; it’s super relaxing. I get into a very specific type of energy and just start powering through. It’s very liberating. Of course, professors are around for guidance if you ever need anything but I like to just keep going. Because of my own work ethic, I do have that sense of responsibility when it comes to assignments. So just being able to be on my own and knowing I have someone in my corner is super reassuring. I’m also a big fan of group critiques because of how everyone gets to voice their opinions. You get a lot of different perspectives that you may have not seen. There’s different ways of conducting critiquing but I think that working in a group and getting that extra feedback helps even my own outlook.

Noor is holding her camera and is looking off.

Are there any professors that you’ve had that stood out to you? Why?

I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to build such a rapport with a lot of my professors that it’s kind of hard to pick just one out. They all have their own unique outlook which reflects in the class. I really appreciate a lot of my professors who create such a cohesive work environment. Everyone is so respectful of one another and keeps it all so casual. For example, I had a class called Color Theory with Professor Alicia Finger and everybody was in such deep contact with each other. Prof. Finger is a great communicator and it resonated with the class. It’s casual, but such a friendly work environment. As for teaching style, again Prof. Finger was great. We were able to talk out some of the different theories in class. Being in college, there’s a lot of freedom to come into yourself and discover one’s own interests. The professors understand this in the art sector and allow us to try and explore our own self. With my professors’ help I was able to commit to myself and find my own style.

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Story by:
Lucas Taylor, Graduate Education Major

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

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

What inspired you to choose your major?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gianna Moyer posing outside Richard Wackar Stadium.

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

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

Do you hold any jobs on or off-campus?

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

Gianna Moyer at Richard Wackar Stadium.

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Story by: 
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

First Year Voices: History Major Abbigail Ealer

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

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

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

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

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

What are the three classes you have that day? 

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

What have you enjoyed most about BLAST?

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

Abby leaning against Science Hall.

How are your mentors? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Story By: 
Bianca Gray, English graduate

Photos By:
Nick Flagg, senior theater and advertising major 

#PROFspective: Senior Psychology Major Kya Riley

Kya smiles and sits in the lobby of Campbell Library.

Today we talk to senior Psychology major Kya Riley, a commuter from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). Kya discusses her experience at Rowan the past four years and her future plans within the psychology field. 

Why did you choose to study psychology? Have you always wanted to pursue a career in psych?

I chose to study psychology because I am really big on mental health and understanding mental health and how it can vary by individual. I am someone that has struggled with depression and still do. My personal experience with mental health is what really got me interested in psychology and mental well-being to begin with. In the psychology field, I am interested in becoming a counselor for kids and teenagers within a school environment.   

Why did you choose Rowan to study psychology?

I chose Rowan when I was in my college search mainly because I wanted to be close to home. 

Most memorable experience at Rowan so far?

My most memorable experience was probably when I lived on campus freshman year and experienced more school life as a campus resident. I remember going to one of the events where the sororities join together at the event fairs and informational sessions.

Kya Riley smiling inside the library.

What would your dream job be as a psychology major?

I do want to start off at first in school counseling. However, my dream job within this field would definitely be opening up and running my own practice and give counseling to kids and teenagers.

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

A difficult class for me was definitely Psychology of Scientific Thinking. Another class that was difficult for me was Intro to Sculpture. A class that was interesting to me was Human Exceptionality. 

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

I have learned a lot over the years from my experience at Rowan that I can utilize in my future endeavors and in my future work life. The most important thing that I have learned as someone who will be entering the human services profession is that you must have an open mind and learn to alter your thinking. It is a profession that you need to be understanding of everyone and everything. 

Kya Riley in Rowan Campbell Library.

What is something interesting that you have learned this semester within a specific class?

I am in a classed called Psychology of Women and Cultural Experience. In the class we learn about gender stereotypes and I thought it was very interesting and informative. 

What does a typical day for you look like? 

My schedule really changes day by day depending on my work schedule. In a typical day, I wake up in the morning, head to campus for class, and then I go off campus and head to work. After work I head home to relax for a little before I head back to campus for my night classes. Before heading home for the night I either spend time with friends or hang out with my boyfriend.

Portrait of Kya Riley inside Campbell Library.

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

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

#PROFspective: Life Behind the Camera with Sports Communication and Media Major Ashley Craven

Ashley holds a DSLR camera with a long lens inside Business Hall.

In this edition of #PROFspective we learn of junior Sports Communication and Media major Ashley Craven. Ashley is a transfer student from Camden County College who commutes from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). Showing great tenacity, Ashley is a single mother rising up to achieve her degree. Recently, Ashley was hired for Rowan Blog and exhibits a passion for photography. In this dialogue, we learn of Ashley’s own journey through academia as well as an inside look at her unique Rowan experience.

What drew you to your major? 

Being an athlete, I wanted a job in the sports industry. I was actually going to nursing school and when I got in, I realized it wasn’t for me; so, sports came to mind.

I recently discovered my passion for photography. I thought of connecting the two. Now, I am taking on more cinematography and production assignments for the Rowan Blog. It just feels right.

Ashley works on a laptop with her camera at her side inside Business Hall.

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

Combining photography and cinematography is like conveying a story in silence, which I think is pretty powerful. It allows athletes to showcase their talents and emotions. Whether they’re winning a championship or so forth, I really want to emphasize the talents of other athletes. It is a form of storytelling, so those who weren’t at these events can see bit by bit.

On the professional side, I want to get a job with the NFL or WWE. I’d feel a big sense of accomplishment if I got to do that because I would see my photos being out there around the world. I want to be an asset to a company and provide them with quality pictures to benefit them as well. It’s cool to think that photos are one of the only ways you can actually look back at the past. 

Ashley sits and holds her knees on a bench inside Business Hall.

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

I have Neil Hartman to thank, without a doubt. I even kept in close contact with him even when I was still at Camden County College. It took me a year and a half to come here, and I still keep in touch with him. He has just been so influential. Neil Hartman provides all the students networking opportunities, keeps up to date with upcoming events and job fairs. He definitely wants me to succeed because he saw how passionate I was. He even reached out to ask me to do a lacrosse tournament just because he knew I was willing to do anything to succeed in the world of photography. He is definitely great with guidance and he is going to be the one I thank at my graduation speech.

What’s your fondest moment here at Rowan that involves your major?

The best would have to be when Brianna McCay, who is involved in The Whit, asked me to photograph the Brian Dawkins interview. Because of her, I was able to take some awesome photos of an icon. Two of my pictures made it into the newspaper, and I realized that I wanted to keep doing it.

I think photographing with the newspaper and seeing my photos published for the first time was one of the greatest moments. That was just an opening door to my future success. It’s still a new hobby of mine but it’s already got me here.

Ashley is smiling with her two kids around her.

Any words you want to give to someone interested in your major?

Really, when you talk about the sports industry it’s all about who you know. You have to network, you have to promote yourself, you have to preserve. Every no will lead to a better yes. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything, it is the preview to life’s coming attractions.” That really resonates with me. What you put out into the universe is what’s going to attract to you.

How would you describe your academic journey so far? 

So I absolutely love school now. I actually did not complete high school. Then, about eight years later, it kind of just came to me that I wanted to go back to school again. I wanted to better my life my kids and for myself, so I got my GED. I have worked relentlessly ever since. I wanted to get the degree, and I’ve just been so motivated.

With my kids, it’s hard to get work done but I’ve always believed in self discipline and I think it’s huge. So I set up times where I wake up at five or six in the morning when they’re still sleeping just to get an assignment done. Or I’ll even get them to bed by 9:30 and stay up until midnight to do my work. It’s very challenging for sure.

Because of them and how I want to better myself as an individual, it encourages me to stay on top of my assignments, get things done and get good grades. I value that, especially from someone who originally hated school.

Ashley stands with her hand on her hip inside Business Hall.

Is there any specific club or organization that has helped welcome you here at Rowan? 

Pizza with the Pros, there you feel the togetherness. It’s just awesome the people that you get to meet. Everyone just wants to help — whether it’s a student, a professional in the industry or in my case, Neil Hartman. Those events are all about networking and hearing perspectives of people in the industry. The all give great advice. Those events really just make me feel welcomed and supported. 

What has been the biggest challenge in transitioning to Rowan? 

Learning where all of the buildings are located! I just think being new is the most challenging. Other than that, everything has been pretty easy to navigate, especially with Canvas. 

Any final words you would like to give? 

You’re never too old, and it’s never too late. Prioritize what’s most important to you and put self-discipline first. I’m huge on being mindful. I would also suggest writing everything down. It’s really important to write down all your thoughts and ideas just to reflect on them after. Don’t forget to date them as well!

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Story by:
Lucas Taylor, senior English education major

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

Women in Leadership #PROFspective: Riya Bhatt, the AVP of University Advancement

Today we feature Riya Bhatt, the AVP of University Advancement for Student Government. Riya is a sophomore Biological Sciences major who also minors in Public Health and Wellness. Riya discusses her involvement in SGA (Student Government Association) and her future plans as a biological sciences major.

Finding My Path and Passion with an English Degree

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

Meet guest Rowan Blog contributor Nicole Tota of Marlton, NJ (Burlington County), who recently earned her degree in English from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She now pursues her master’s degree in Higher Education: Advising at Rowan Global. Here, Nicole candidly shares her degree brought more career questions than answers until she ultimately […]

#PROFspective: Chemistry Major, Rowan After Hours Programming Coordinator Jon Marcolongo

Exterior shot of the Chamberlain Student Center.

Today we speak with Jon Marcolongo, a senior Chemistry major and commuter from Mullica Hill, NJ (Gloucester County). Jon is a programming coordinator for Rowan After Hours (RAH). He will share insight on studying chemistry and his involvement in his student worker position. 

Why Rowan?

I knew I wanted to pursue chemistry ever since junior year of high school. Rowan stuck out to me because it is local as I am a commuter from Mullica Hill, and because my sister went here. Prior to making my college decision I was very familiar with the campus and it quickly became one of my first choices in my college search. 

Why did you choose to study Chemistry?

During my time in high school, I was always interested in science. It wasn’t until junior year that I took chemistry and realized it was the route I wanted to explore while in college. I had an amazing teacher for chemistry who inspired me to choose this type of science as my major.

Although being a chemistry major is difficult and a lot of work, the professors are there to help you. Put in the time to complete your work and ask for help when you need it because you professors truly do want to see you succeed!

Jon Marcolongo.
Jon Marcolongo

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

Eventually I do want to work in a laboratory setting, preferably involving research. Right now I am planning on graduating and hopefully working for a chemical manufacturing company. 

What is it like being a commuter on campus? What advice do you have for fellow commuters when trying to get involved around campus and meet new people? 

The one difficult and stressful part about being a commuter is finding parking. However, it has pleasantly not been too difficult to find a spot this year yet.

My advice for fellow commuters is to go to any clubs or activities that you are interested in. I would definitely recommend seeing if Rowan offers the clubs or activities that you were a part of in high school. There are so many options and ways to get involved around campus.

Most importantly, go to events. This is the best way to meet new people and find others with similar interests. 

What inspired you to get involved on campus?

Back in high school I was more of an introverted than extroverted person. I decided that in college I wanted to make a conscious effort to break out of my shell. I started going to different activities and events on campus especially through Rowan After Hours and I quickly realized that RAH was simply an enjoyable experience. This is how I ended up applying for RAH in the first place. 

What is your typical day like at Rowan?

Typical day starts with breakfast before driving to Rowan for the day. During my free time I usually go to the student center to relax between classes or to get work done. I then attend any classes I have for the day and head back to the student center for RAH. 

Rowan After Hours science night in 2019 where attendees made lava lamps.
A Rowan After Hours (RAH) Science Night where attendees made lava lamps

What is the best part about being a part of RAH?

The best part is definitely all the experiences you’re going to have. During my time as a member of RAH I have met so many amazing people whether it was co-workers or students attending our events. I even met my girlfriend while being a member of RAH. This experience has also led me to express myself and has taught me to put myself out there especially while being the introverted person I am.

What makes Rowan feel like home?

The people here. All the people that I have gotten to know over the years have made this campus feel like home for me. 

What are some of the activities that Rowan After Hours provides? 

Our most popular events are our bingo events. We always give great prizes out to the winners of our bingo events and I am actually in charge of the bingo events. We just gave out a 32 inch TV to the winner of the event.

We also do some cultural appreciation nights. We brainstorm a variety of different events and are always looking for ways to attract more people and different interests. 

When can students participate in RAH activities? Is there a calendar event list?

Our calendar event list is located on the Rowan After Hours ProfLink website. This provides all events for RAH and SUP (Student University Programmers.) The typical RAH events take place between Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to midnight. 

If anyone is interested in joining RAH there is an opportunity to interview for a position next semester. More information is available on the RAH website as follows: https://sites.rowan.edu/scca/RAH/index.html

Jon Marcolongo working as an RAH coordinator at Saturday Night Lights football game on September 4th, 2021.
RAH Coordinator Jon Marcolongo at a Saturday Night Lights football game

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos provided by:
Jon Marcolongo

First Year Voices: Fall Edition

Campus beauty autumnal photo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Story by:
Nene Diallo, senior, public relations major

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

Header Photo by: 
Missy Pavorsky, junior advertising major





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

Rachel sits at the Wilson amphitheater.

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

How did you discover the Music Therapy program?

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

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

Rachel sits near Wilson Hall.

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

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

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

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

How are you meeting people as a commuter?

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

How do you like Rowan so far?

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

What are you looking forward to?

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

Rachel sits near Wilson Hall.

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

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

Why Rowan?

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

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Photos by:
Nick Flagg, senior advertising and theatre major

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

Einstein Bagels storefront in Engineering Hall.

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

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

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

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

Nick poses in front of some trees.
Nick Kreuz

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

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

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

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

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

Ashleigh poses in front of Rowan Hall.
Ashleigh Jankowski

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

Philadelphia photo courtesy of:
Pixabay

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

Chloe holds her decorated cap inside a gazebo on campus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chloe stands in front of the Owl Statue

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

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

Who are your favorite Irish poets/writers?

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

What inspired your initial interest in literature? 

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

Why did you choose Rowan to pursue your passion? 

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

Who was your favorite professor to work with overall? 

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

What was your favorite course? 

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

Chloe standing in front of city skyline at night.

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

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

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

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

Where do you see yourself in the future? 

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

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Story by:
Bianca Gray, senior English major 

Photos courtesy of:
Chloe Senatore 

Related posts:

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

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

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

Behind the Camera with Recent Radio/TV/Film Grad Adam Clark

Today we feature December 2020 graduate Adam Clark. Adam graduated with a degree in Radio/Television/Film. He also commuted from Bridgeton, NJ (Cumberland County). He tells us about his work since graduation and his upcoming plans. What have you been up to? Before I graduated I started working on this film that continued long after I […]

#PROFspective: Brian Seay, Double Major and Rowan Admissions Twitch Streamer

Headshot of Brian Seay against a black backdrop.

Today we feature Brian Seay, a double major in Radio/Television/Film and Sports Communication and Media from Cumberland County. Brian also has a certificate in undergrad study (CUGS) in Esports. We interview Brian as he touches upon his involvement with the Rowan Admissions Twitch streaming account through his job as a Digital Content Contributor for Rowan’s Marketing and Enrollment Management team. 

Why did you decide to get a certificate in undergrad study (CUGS) in Esports?

“I love video games. My friends and I play very frequently, and during quarantine I got interested in competitive 2k (basketball video game). When I was looking at my Sports Communication and Media major and the credits I needed for it, I came across the CUGS for Esports. I quickly realized that obtaining a CUGS in Esports was only one more course in addition to all my courses I have already taken for my major in Sports Communication and Media, so I thought why not?”

What is Twitch?

“Twitch is simply just a place where you can stream something live — it does not necessarily have to be video games. It started off as ‘Justin TV’ where this guy named Justin just basically streamed his everyday life on this website that he created. It has now turned into a place where content creators can stream videos; Twitch is primarily used for videogames but can be used for anything.” 

Headshot of Brian Seay.
Brian Seay

What do you do for Rowan as a content contributor?

“My primary task is to create videos and to help Rowan’s Marketing team to draw students in. One of the projects we did a few weeks ago was that we went in a filmed some of the residence halls so we can create a video on all the different resident and housing options Rowan offers. These videos are our most popular because they appeal to a big population of students, while club videos and certain sport videos are geared to a smaller target audience.”

What do you do to prepare for each Twitch stream?

“Setting up for my streams takes a decent amount of time. I stream on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. so I usually start setting up at 5 p.m. This allows me enough time to make sure all my equipment and software is running smoothly before I go live. Set up consists of sound checks, microphone checks, controller checks and more.”

Brian Seay playing a video game.
Brian Seay playing a video game

How does your CUGS in Esports help with your job for Rowan as a Twitch streamer?

“As I stated previously, I only needed one class to obtain a CUGS in Esports because of all the classes I have already taken for my major in Sports Communication and Media. With that being said, my Intro to Esports class not only equipped me with a lot of knowledge on Esports but made me very interested in playing Esports.”

What is your favorite part of streaming on Twitch?

“As stated previously, I just love video games, so this job is honestly not looked at as work for me. I am doing something I enjoy, and it makes my streaming sessions go by so quickly.”

Brian Seay.
Brian Seay

What is your favorite Esport game to play for Rowan Twitch?

“First off, it is important to note that I have to play games that are educationally appropriate. However, I like to play games that are popular in Esport streaming. Therefore, I enjoy playing Rocket League as it is a very popular Esport game.”

What is your favorite game to play on your free time?

“I have to say, my favorite game of all time has to be Minecraft. I am very creative and I love how the game caters to what your needs are. I think it is so cool how you can spend weeks and months on a world and you create your own environment and atmosphere and I think it is really cool how you can truly make it your own.”

Brian Seay's game controller.
Brian Seay’s game controller

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Story By:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos courtesy of:
Brian Seay

Senior Reflects: RTF Major Riel Dioquino on Finding True Friends

Riel makes a funny face while sitting in the Bozorth Hall Auditorium.

Today we speak with Riel Marc Dioquino (he/him) who recently graduated with a degree in Radio/Television/Film (RTF) and a concentration in Production. Riel hails from Burlington Township and is a first-generation college student. He also participated in Cinema Workshop and earned recognition for this short documentary, Beyond His Closet, in the Edelman College of Communications & Creative Arts Student Showcase. Beyond His Closet follows Adam Kowalski in his journey after coming out. Riel also earned recognition for his narrative film, Lost & Found, at the 7th Annual RTF Media Festival.

What was your favorite social memory? 

I did a photoshoot the other week with my Ate [meaning older sister in Tagalog] Rizza on the [Glassboro] campus. I was feeling very nostalgic because walking around there for the last time reminded me of my first year at Rowan. In my first semester, I was only friends with Kyle Foor and Sam LaFlamme. It was just the three of us at the time because we knew each other from RCBC (Rowan College of Burlington County) and we transferred at the same time.  

In between classes, we had 3-hour long breaks before he had to go to our next class together. We would hang out by this big tree on Bunce Green. Kyle and I would climb in the tree and just chill there while Sam sat in the huge yellow Rowan beach chair next to us.  

I don’t mean to sound all emo but it was just nice and cool because it kind of hit me that, “Wow, I have friends.” Back in high school, I had one best friend Vishali Patel who I’m still very close to today. I had, still have, really bad social anxiety and I thought I would never have friends, especially going into college. I never really had that experience of, “I’m going to go hang out or get an iced coffee with my friends before class.” I think that’s what makes the best of my college experience. Once I allowed myself to let people in my life and be myself, I was able to find people that I can truly be comfortable with.

Riel sits contently in the lawn of Bunce Hall while wearing a graduation cap and gown.

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

I love Jenny Drumgoole! I had her for Video Art. It was one of the first classes where I was able to express myself and do whatever I wanted for all of my projects. She’s very unfiltered and open about anything. She pushes us to be comfortable with being uncomfortable because it helps a lot with discovering our self-identity. It’s more about exploring the possibilities of how you can express yourself. I think she helped me and my classmates with that.

Usually, when we have classes, I don’t talk to a lot of people because of my social anxiety. Jenny helped me to let loose in the projects that I wanted to make and share them with the class. They were very accepting of me. Jenny Drumgoole is an amazing person overall.

Riel looks contemplatively into the golden sunset with his hand on his face.

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

Shout out to Sam LaFlamme, my best friend, because we’ve been through a lot together these last few years. I met her sophomore year of college at RCBC through a documentary class where we had to produce the film together. Our group won a few awards and had screenings in a few film festivals such as New York, Florida, Australia and more. We got closer because we happened to share classes every semester until my senior year.  We then worked at this internship together later that year and transferred to Rowan at the same time! We talked about everything in our lives the closer we got and that was that. I always say I couldn’t imagine going through college without her because we’ve gone through so much together.

Riel stands on the lawn of Business Hall while wearing graduation regalia.

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

Coming from my experience, it sounds very simple, but don’t be too scared. This applies to everything that your anxiety tells you to be anxious about. You can’t control anything that you can’t control. Everything is going to be ok. Everything will fall into place as long as you follow your gut feeling on how you want your future to look. My mindset was that I’m just there to take my classes and get my college degree. Then I can start my life and do whatever I want after. 

Yes, you can start planning for the long term, but also take care of yourself mentally and physically because it’s going to be a wild ride for the next four years. 

Also having your friends and your family close will help you through it mentally and physically. Keeping that drive and motivation in your gut aflame will help push you to be whatever you want to be in the future. Also, don’t forget to drink lots of water and take care of yourself because some people like me would forget to do the most simplest yet important thing in the world!

Check out more of Riel’s work at:

Instagram – @rmarc99

Portfolio Website – https://rieldioquino.myportfolio.com/work

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Story by: 
Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos by:
Riel Dioquino, radio television film graduate

#PROFspective: English Major Bianca Gray Shares Her Rowan Experience

Bianca poses in front of some greenery.

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

Bianca poses next to the prof statue.

Do you commute or live on campus?

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

What are some likes and dislikes of your major?

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

 Why did you transfer to Rowan?

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

Bianca gets some work done at the writing center.

What has your experience at Rowan been like so far? 

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

What do you like to do for fun?

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

Do you have any jobs on campus?

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

Bianca poses in front of some trees on a bridge.

What do you look forward to after graduation?

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

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

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

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Story by:
Nene Diallo, senior public relations major

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



Meet #Rowan2025: Accounting and Finance Major Christopher Lechuga

Interior shot of Business Hall lobby as seen from stairs.

Meet incoming first year Christopher Lechuga, an aspiring Accounting and Finance major from Camden, NJ (Camden County). He tells us more about what he’s looking forward to at Rowan!

A photo of Christopher as seen at his school.

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

I’m looking forward to the college experience as well as learning a lot about finance.

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

I was the Treasurer of Student Government.

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

Hopefully grow new skills.

What majors are you considering and why?

Accounting and Finance because I want to potentially own some businesses of my own and I want to know how to run it and do all the finances myself.

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

Look for the best option financially.

Where are you going to live next year?

Commute from home.

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

Rowan from my experience has heart, is competitive, and shows that they want you in their school.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

Meet Transfer Profs: Nursing Student Brandi Hunter

An exterior photo of nursing textbooks.

Meet incoming transfer student Brandi Hunter! Brandi is an aspiring Nursing student from Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County) who transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County. She tells us more about what she’s looking forward to at Rowan University.

A selfie of Brandi wearing glasses and blue scrubs.

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

Academic growth in the nursing field.

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

I actually like fishing.

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

I want to just continue my nursing career and be able to have professional growth.

What majors are you considering and why?

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). RN to BSN.

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

I didn’t tour Rowan because I have already been to campus!

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

Stay on top of your dreams and emails.

Where are you going to live next year?

Commute from home.

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

The community atmosphere with the restaurants and people.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

#PROFPRIDE: Filmmaker Riel Dioquino on “Beyond His Closet”

Riel wears his graduation regalia and squats by a tree.

Today we speak with Riel Marc Dioquino (he/him), who recently graduated with a degree in Radio/Television/Film (RTF) and a concentration in Production. Riel hails from Burlington Township and is a first-generation college student. He also participated in Cinema Workshop and earned recognition for this short documentary, Beyond His Closet, in the Edelman College of Communications & Creative Arts Student Showcase. Beyond His Closet follows Adam Kowalski in his journey after coming out. Riel also earned recognition for his narrative film, Lost & Found, at the 7th Annual RTF Media Festival.

Why is this a relevant story to share? 

Anyone that’s in the LGBTQ+ community, we hear a lot of stories of people coming out, but little do we hear stories of what happens after. There are a lot of inner demons you still have to work with maybe your whole life you’ve closeted yourself and you’ve hidden your identity for so long. That affects your way of living and you have to find a way to find yourself again.

This goes back to the concept of coming in, which is what Adam talks about [in the documentary]. The concept of coming out is that you tell everyone, your friends and your family that you’re gay or bi, or whoever you are. Coming in is just as important because it means you’re coming into yourself. You’re starting to explore the good and bad sides of yourself and become more comfortable in your own skin. That’s what this whole story of Adam and this documentary focuses on, not just the process of coming out, but going through life afterward and finding yourself again. 

Is there anything else you want viewers to realize or feel after watching the film? 

Coming from my personal struggles, I think from what Adam says at the end to keep going through life and keep moving forward, I think that makes us stronger. 

I just hope anyone that watches this feels the hopefulness and the strength Adam shows. I think Adam is a really strong person, and having that film in mind kind of helped me mentally prepare for my surgery [Riel currently has a broken arm that required surgery]. I feel like we should just appreciate life as it is, not take life too seriously and just continue on regardless of whatever you’re are going through, I think that’s what’s going to make your life the fullest.

Adam, wearing glasses and a black t-shirt, plays the guitar on his porch.

How did you prepare Adam to be your documentary subject? 

I did a pre-interview with Adam before we started shooting for the film. We met up and talked about his life for a few hours that first day. After I knew a little bit about him, I had my questions lined up so that he could talk about: his childhood, his process of coming out, what happened after he came out and then a wrap-up of what he thinks about his life.

How long did it take to film the documentary? 

On all phases of production, it took a whole semester. This film was for my TV Documentary Field Production class. I had Professor Jonathan Olshefski and I chose to do it independently, which was a tough job to carry but it wasn’t too bad. Thankfully, I had Prof. Olshefski to guide me. 

Surprisingly, it took four days to film the documentary. Before and during those film days throughout the semester, I had to find a subject, pre-plan the shoot, plan all the equipment, then commute to get all of the equipment from the RTF room. Once production was done, I edited everything at home. 

Beyond His Closet film cover photo showing Adam playing the guitar while barefoot.

In the future, what kind of films do you want to make? 

I’ve honestly never really thought of that because I’m always thinking about what’s the next job to do. I just graduated and I always get asked, “What’s your plan? Do you have any jobs lined up?” It’s the pressure of “What is next?” or “You have to keep going even though you have no idea where to go” that kind of scares me.

I always thought about maybe doing freelancing or production assistant jobs. Personally, I never thought of making a documentary or a huge film because it’s not usually my thing. But, if anyone asked me to join their project, I would!  

For my Instagram posts, I play around with a lot of lighting and smoke on concepts for my photo/video shoots. Recently, I’ve been wanting to get out of my basement to do more photo/video shoots in nature for a change. The way I work with projects on Instagram or non-jobs is more about expressing myself, what I feel in the moment, and what I need to get out of my chest into visuals. Then I’m onto my next project. 

I used to make a lot of dark, emo, Billie-Eilish-inspired projects where I’m in this dark void, but recently I want to make more projects where I feel free with the use of outside nature. 

Going back to the making of my documentary, it can be hard for filmmakers to create a documentary if you don’t understand the energy of the person. That’s what brings life to it, showing compassion and deep feelings about it. Not just the way people talked in the interview but the way you edit it, the way you shoot b-roll, and how you use lighting. Everything influences how you want to portray this person’s life on screen.

Riel looks contemplatively into the golden sunset with his hand on his face.

Is there anything else you want to share about the film? 

I just thought it was cool how I was able to be comfortable enough to dive deep in this subject of being a part of the LGBTQ+ community and exploring someone’s life through that. I definitely would give credit to my production classes especially my Video Art class because I was able to express myself and be open about being gay through projects where I was given the freedom to make whatever I want. From that, I felt open to doing the documentary on Adam which I am very grateful for.

What’s your message to people during Pride Month or are you keeping anything in mind during Pride Month? I feel like I’m a newbie at being openly gay because this is the first year where I’m actively expressing my identity through projects where I’m able to tell people my struggles with being gay. 

I have social anxiety, I’m very introverted, and I’m Asian. My advice for people is that there’s always going to be a group for you even if you think there’s not. 

Keeping that fire or spark alive is so important. Do what makes you happy. When I grow up, I don’t want to regret not doing the things I wanted to do. I don’t want to have an unfulfilled life when my time comes. Having that mindset helps me move forward and blocks out all the negativity. Letting go of all the tension in your chest and just doing whatever you want helps bring a lot more meaning to your life. I know it won’t be easy but I think it’d be worth the shot if you tried.

Check out more of Riel’s work at:

Instagram – @rmarc99

Portfolio Website – https://rieldioquino.myportfolio.com/work 

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Story by: 
Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos by:
Riel Dioquino, radio television film graduate

Meet Transfer Profs: Taylor Loiacono

Exterior mockup of Business Hall.

Today we feature incoming transfer and first-generation college student Taylor Loiacono from Camden County College. Taylor will be commuting from Cherry Hill, NJ and studying Marketing. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward at Rowan University? Being back in a classroom! What is one hobby, activity, sport or […]

Meet Transfer Profs: Biology Major Stephanie Berdugo-Hernandez

Today we feature incoming transfer and first-generation college student Stephanie Berdugo-Hernandez from Rowan College at Burlington County. Stephanie will be commuting from Eastampton, NJ (Burlington County) and studying Biological Sciences. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward at Rowan University? I am looking forward to continuing my education […]

Meet #Rowan2025: Exploratory Studies Major Maria Celeste Lopez Vasquez

Photo of Science Hall and flowers in the foreground.

Today we feature incoming first year and first-generation college student Maria Celeste Lopez Vasquez. Maria will major in Exploratory Studies and commute from Camden, NJ (Camden County). Maria attended Camden Academy Charter High School. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college? In college, I’m looking forward […]

My Favorite Class: Earth, People, and the Environment

Ross sitting outside on steps

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

Ross Billig is a senior Geography major with a Planning minor. He is from Marlton, NJ (Burlington County) and transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County.

What was the name of your favorite class at Rowan? 

Earth, People, and the Environment

What department was the class in?

Department of Geography, Planning, and Sustainability (GPS)

Who taught the class when you took it? 

Prof. Richard Federman

Joe sits and smiles inside Engineering Hall.

Tell us a little about what the class is.

This course revolves around the broader spectrum of geography both with the physical environment as well as social issues facing the world today.

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

I liked this class a lot because it’s a microcosm of what geography is. It includes earth science, sociology, regional issues, and so much more. If someone is considering Geography as a major, this is the class for you.

What makes this professor great? 

I took this class online, and the fact that Professor Federman can make an online course so engaging and so relatable is a huge testament to his teaching abilities. He has great lectures with very good visual aids and finds ways to make everything easy to understand.

Joe smiles and sits outside the Engineering pond.

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

This was the course that let me know that I had truly selected the right major, and it was the catalyst for the rest of my undergrad experience.

What are your professional goals? 

After Rowan, I’m looking forward to attending grad school, initially for my master’s and possibly a Ph.D. program after that. My goal is to help protect the environment by better educating the public about how valuable and fragile our planet is.

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

Photos by:
Joe Gentempo, senior art major

Meet #Rowan2025: Elementary Education Major Madison Jacobs

Madison wears a cheerleading uniform.

Today we speak to Madison Jacobs, an incoming first-year Elementary Education major from Franklinville, NJ (Gloucester County). Madison tells us what she’s looking forward to at Rowan.

Madison poses in front of a lake.

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

I am looking forward to meeting new people and getting involved in different clubs/activities.

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

I am involved in my school’s FEA Club and also am a state ambassador for NJFEA. I am looking into continuing my involvement with these types of clubs while in college.

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

I am looking to expand my involvement throughout campus.

What majors are you considering and why?

I am majoring in Elementary Education because making a change in a child’s life has always been my biggest dream.

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

I have toured Rowan and have also attended a future teachers’ convention. Rowan felt like home from the very first time I went there, and I’m super excited to spend my next four years there!

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

My advice for a senior who hasn’t committed to a school yet is to simply follow your heart. You know what’s best for you, and the place that feels like home the most is the place you are meant to be!

Where are you going to live next year?

Commute from home.

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

One thing about Rowan itself that I liked is the family oriented relationship between everybody on campus.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

Meet #Rowan2025: Writing Arts Major, Author Vaniece Washington

Today we feature incoming first year and first-generation college student Vaniece Washington from Woodlynne, NJ (Camden County). Vaniece will be studying Writing Arts and commuting from home. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college? Meeting people with my same interests. What is one hobby, activity, sport […]

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

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

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

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

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

What are your career aspirations? 

I aim to be a public defender.

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

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

Sarah James poses with her daughter in matching shirts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Aspiring College Professor Holly Zurenda

Holly stands against a brick wall.

Today we speak to Holly Zurenda, a senior Computer Science and Mathematics double major. A Rapid City, South Dakota native, Holly attended Black Hills State University and South Dakota School of Mines & Technology before transferring to Rowan University ten years later. Holly commutes from Egg Harbor Township, NJ (Atlantic County). Holly is set to graduate in December 2021. 

Holly poses next to the sign for Science Hall.

How was your transition into Rowan?

The process was amazingly simple. I had originally applied to be in the Combined Advanced Degree Program (CADP) in Subject Matter Education for Math and Science majors. Then, somebody had mentioned Computer Science and told me to try that degree program instead to see if I would like that more. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I thought I would teach, but I liked math more, so I ended up in the Computer Science program.

Could you share a moment when you felt that Rowan was the right place for you?

I think most of all, it’s the professors. I feel like every professor is always willing to help. They help within office hours. They’ll schedule meetings with you outside of office hours if you need help. I think definitely it was the professors who have made this experience the best that it can be for me.

What are you most excited about when Rowan returns to face-to-face learning?

I think I’ll be most excited to work as a team with people in person, rather than on group calls. It is a little more difficult to work in a group online, especially when it’s computer science. Everybody has something up on their screen and we can’t all share our screens at once. I’m definitely most excited to do a group project in a true group fashion.

What are your plans for after you graduate from Rowan?

I think I will get a master’s degree in Computer Science. Then, I will get a Ph.D. in Computer Science. I want to teach Computer Science at a college level. 

What are you passionate about in your majors?

I wouldn’t say that my passion is truly for computers, science or math. My passion is actually teaching people. I seem to have a knack for it, and computer science is a high-need area. Most people don’t understand math and therefore they don’t understand computer science or vice versa, so I just figured it would be an excellent subject that I could actually help people learn about.

Holly poses in front of Science Hall.

How was transferring to Rowan the right choice for you?

I think that overall, it comes down to flexibility. A lot of colleges put a cap on how far you can commute, and I could commute from an hour away to Rowan. Also price-wise, it was better for me than other colleges. Overall, I just think Rowan is a pretty standup school. 

Do you have any advice for someone else who is returning to college after a long hiatus?

It’s definitely going to be difficult at first, but don’t give up. You will get back into the swing of things so quickly if you just keep trying.

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

Meet Transfer Profs: Public Health & Wellness Major Heather Doerr

A photo of Heather outside at the beach wearing sunglasses.

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

A selfie of Heather wearing glasses.

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

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

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

I recently joined the Public Health Club.

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

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

What majors are you considering and why?

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

Heather standing on the beach with her dog.

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

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

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

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

Where are you going to live next year?

Commute from home.

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

The abundance of resources to help achieve success.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Meet Transfer Profs: Psychology Major Rosetta Briscoe

An outdoor shot of Rosetta smiling and wearing reflective sunglasses.

Meet incoming transfer Prof Rosetta Briscoe. Rosetta is a Psychology major from Pemberton, NJ who transferred from Rowan College of Burlington County. She shares how she chose Rowan University and what she’s looking forward to!

Rosetta posing for a photo in a hot pink sun dress and reflective sunglasses.

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

I’m looking forward to everything the school has to offer. I’m excited for the academic and personal growth that is to come.

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

I’m not active in any clubs, but I do have a hobby of jewelry making and singing. I would love to be a part of any club that inspires me to be creative and help individuals.

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

I would like to explore my options and join clubs, be active, and perhaps try a new skill. I love learning something new and being able to apply the knowledge toward my degree.

What majors are you considering and why?

Psychology so I can help counsel, and perhaps business, so that I can have my own practice.

Rosetta wearing a black sequined mask.

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

I attended a virtual event for Psychology, it was informative and wonderful. I would recommend it to students.

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

Do your research, then see which schools are the best fit for you. Think about the financial requirements, your academics, and what would be best for you.

Where are you going to live next year?

Commute from home.

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

I like that so far I have experienced people working together as a team to make sure students are able to succeed.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photos courtesy of:
Rosetta Briscoe

Meet Transfer Profs: Psychology Major Sara Brooks

Outdoor photo of Sara smiling in a pumpkin patch.

Meet incoming transfer Prof Sara Brooks. Sara is a Psychology major originally from Orlando, Florida who transferred from Rowan College of Burlington County. She shares why she chose Rowan and what she’s looking forward to!

A selfie of Sara wearing a brown hat.

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

I am looking forward to completing my bachelor’s degree in Psychology at a school that has progressive outlook on mental health and mindfulness.

If you are from out of state, why did you choose a university not in your home state? Why Rowan?

I grew up in Florida, and when I moved to New Jersey after getting married, I was lucky enough to find RCBC and enroll in their 3+1 program, which has given me the opportunity to transfer into Rowan University for my senior year and complete my bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

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

One [activity] that I look forward to becoming a part of is Rowan Thrive, especially in their Emotional Well-Being program. Stress and anxiety is something that all students face, and having resources that can help in learning how to navigate these emotions is important for everyone to discover their best self.

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

I am really looking forward to exploring more in Student Services and learning how I can be of service to more transfer students like myself who are coming into a new university and the opportunities that are available.

Sara laughing and sitting in a pumpkin patch.

What majors are you considering and why?

I am a senior psychology major due to my natural interest in learning about why people are the way that they are. I currently work as a Behavioral Health Technician at an alcohol and drug treatment center working toward completing a certification as a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor. Being able to complete my bachelor’s degree at Rowan and continue on to a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology is my goal, where I will focus more on dual diagnosis aspect of addiction.

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

Due to COVID being very present in my time of transferring to a university, I have only been able to attend virtual events and I have really enjoyed them. Being able to schedule Zoom advising sessions and talk with an advisor one-on-one has been so helpful in planning my future goals.

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

Not to focus too much on where you want to transfer schools to but why. Look into schools that offer programs that you could see yourself being a part of after graduation and that have programs that you could see yourself being a part of.

Where are you going to live next year?

Commute from home.

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

I really liked that they offer so many courses in Psychology that focus on research and the study of behavior, especially mindfulness, and that they offer a Philosophy track as well.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photos courtesy of
Sara Brooks

Meet Transfer Profs: Business Management Major Brett Fleming

Brett smiles, stands in front of a shaded window on campus.

Meet incoming transfer Brett Fleming. Brett is a Business Management major who calls Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County) home. He transferred from Rowan College of South Jersey. He shares why he chose Rowan University and what he’s looking forward to!

Brett sitting inside the Business building while wearing a suit and tie.

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

I am looking forward to attending in-person classes again. I have always enjoyed direct instruction from my professors and interesting interactions with my classmates. I appreciate when a professor relays his or her expertise while also sharing real-life experiences with us.

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

Although I was involved in many extracurricular activities in high school such as varsity basketball, acting groups, choir and school musicals, my current school and work responsibilities have since consumed my time. I am now a RCSJ ISP [Intern Scholarship Program] Business Administration and Marketing intern, a bank CSA [Customer Service Associate], a committed gym goer, and an attendee at a college-age Bible study.

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

Now that I have completed most of my general education classes at RCSJ, I look forward to digging deeper into the field of business. I hope to acquire applicable knowledge and wisdom in classes such Consumer Behavior, Operations Management, Principle of Training and Management, and the Business Management Simulation. Also, if time permits, I would love to have the opportunity to act or to play basketball again.

What majors are you considering and why?

I am enrolled as a Business Management major, and I also am minoring in Marketing. Since I was young, I have always loved working with both numbers and people. I am a reader, researcher and communicator. I have grown up playing sports and performing for others. I have been a camp counselor in multiple venues, and I was also an after-school child care provider in an elementary work setting.

Every day, I manage my time, resources, workload, employment and social life. I am always planning, scheduling and troubleshooting. I am constantly making phone calls, sending emails and texts, and ideally, connecting with others in person to develop relationships. While doing this, I strive to be genuinely caring and professional. Hopefully, that’s good management.

Brett sitting by the window of the Business building wearing a suit and tie.

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

Although I have not toured Rowan’s academic buildings or attended any virtual events yet, I am familiar with the campus because some of my friends are Rowan students. Additionally, I have already made fun memories at Rowan’s surrounding restaurants and shops.

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

My advice would be to commit to Rowan University, which has a great reputation all across the country. Rowan is practically in my backyard, offers me a solid education at an affordable price, and allows me to conveniently commute. It is a win-win in my book.

Where are you going to live next year?

Commute from home.

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

Even though I am transferring as a junior, I am already connected to Rowan University. I remember going to both the Escape Room and the Virtual Reality Center with my friends. I’ve also been to one of Rowan’s basketball games. I can recall the electricity of the crowd as they cheered on our home team. All in all, I have developed a built-in affinity to Rowan.

Also, I love how my foundational learning at RCSJ seamlessly transfers to Rowan. Because of this uncomplicated process, I can easily continue my undergraduate education.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior, music industry major

Photos by:
Joe Gentempo, senior art major

Meet #Rowan2025: Computer Science Major Elijah Emmanuel, Woodstown, NJ

Coding software on a laptop screen.

Meet first year student Elijah Emmanuel, who is interested in Computer Science and will commute from Woodstown, NJ Salem County). He attends Abraham Lincoln High School. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college? Looking forward to see the different experiences Rowan can bring to me. Also, […]

Leadership #PROFspective: Photography Club President Jill Taylor

Jill poses with three cameras next to a fountain.

Today we speak to Jill Taylor, president of the Photography Club. Jill is a junior Biological Sciences major with a concentration in Environmental Sciences and minors in Environmental Engineering and Chemistry. Jill is a first-generation college student and commutes to campus from Fortescue, NJ (Cumberland County).

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

Jill poses next to a fountain at the Engineering Pond on campus.

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

I am the president and founding member of Rowan’s Photography Club, which you can join by joining our Discord. You can also find us on Instagram @rowanphotoclub. I do a little bit of everything. I do a lot of the planning and delegating between Eboard members, general members and SGA, taking notes and planning future things, trying to see what the club can do in the future. The biggest thing I do is trying to encourage people to join or participate in the club.

Photography is so universal and is for everyone. We want to cultivate the photography and model and visual arts type of scene at Rowan because there is such an interest. We didn’t want to limit the club to just photographers, we also wanted to include models and graphic designers. At general meetings, we view and vote on photos submitted for the themed photography contests we have each week. Whoever won the previous contest picks the theme for the next contest. Sometimes we critique the photos and tell the photographers what they might do better next time. We have also been trying to integrate Kahoot and Jeopardy into our meetings so that our members can learn more about photography.

We have many beginners in our club, and we try to teach them as much as we can, help them figure out what they want to do and also be as inclusive as possible. One day, we will be able to all practice photography together. 

What have you learned in your role as a leader?

I have learned that assuming responsibility is not always what you think it is. We have this idea of what a leader should be, which is someone who is in charge and tells us what to do dominantly. I think leadership requires a different approach, where you say what has to be done, but also are more flexible and empathetic, especially to be an outstanding leader that someone should look up to. I’ve seen too many more male people in positions of power with no emotional aspect of leadership and have toxic masculinity and sexism. Empathy is the most important thing, you can have all the power in the world if you don’t care about the people around you, it’s not worth it. 

Jill adjusts her camera settings.

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

Starting the Photography Club and finding people who are just as passionate as I am is a great memory. There are people who trust me, even though I think I don’t know what I’m doing. The vibe is totally different.

Who inspires you and why? 

I draw a lot of inspiration from many people and a lot of literature, but if I had to pick one person, it would be Barbara Dunkelman. She is a social media personality actor and model who pushes for empathy and a deeper understanding of each other and being a better person. She gives advice, and none of it is too serious. She discusses very serious topics, but she can throw in a terrible dad joke or keep it lighthearted. 

Jill looks off into the distance while sitting on Bunce Hall's steps.

What’s the most significant barrier to women today? 

I think it’s the idea of what a woman should be. Women are often expected to be very effeminate and nurturing, and we can empower them until it comes to taking charge and having leadership roles. The characterization of women is very one-dimensional, especially in media and day-to-day conversations.

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

I think you should be as compromising as you can until there is a topic where you don’t think you can yield and don’t be as open and as forthcoming with new ideas and advice from others. If there is something you refuse to budge on, don’t. Don’t put up with it. If it’s your belief, dig your heels into the ground and stand up for what you believe in, unless it has the potential to hurt other people. Hold up your boundaries, but also don’t be so closed off where you are hindering your own ideas. 

Jill takes a photo in the woods.

As long as people are not waiting for the next person to just do something and they just do something themselves. Don’t put something off when you can do it and take charge, which is a scary leap of faith and a big jump. But if it’s something you want, just take it. 

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

Photography by: 
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

 

Leadership #PROFspective: Vanessa Livingstone, President of PRSSA

Vanessa kneeling outside near Bunce.

Today we feature Vanessa Livingstone, a leader at Rowan University. Vanessa is the president of the Anthony J. Fulginiti Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). She is a senior, first-generation college student from Palmyra, NJ (Burlington County) who double majors in Public Relations and Advertising. This story is part of a […]

Meet #Rowan2025: Communication Studies and RTF Major Jared Mattio

RTF students work on a group project.

Meet #Rowan2025 student Jared Mattio! Jared is an incoming freshman Communication Studies and Radio/TV/Film major from Laurel Springs, NJ (Camden County). He shares what he’s looking forward to coming to college and why he chose Rowan.

Jared poses for a picture while wearing a blue suit and tie.

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

Meeting new people with the same interests.

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

Live-streaming school events!

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

Getting involved with the Rowan Television Network.

What majors are you considering and why?

I’m interested in being a Communication Studies major.

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

My in-person tour was canceled in 2020. I looked at stuff online. I’m going to set up an in-person tour for this spring.

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

See if your schools are offering in-person tours yet. Look at what types of activities the school has to offer in addition to academics.

Where are you going to live next year?

I’m commuting from home!

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

I really like the commute, and it offers a degree in the area I’m interested in — Communications. I can study Radio/TV/Film.

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Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Meet #Rowan2025: Shawn Lorenzo Sanders Seeks to Stay Active on Campus

Exterior shot of Business Hall front entrance.

Meet #Rowan2025 student Shawn Lorenzo Sanders! Shawn is an incoming freshman, first-generation college student from Voorhees, NJ (Camden County). He shares what he’s thinking of pursuing and what he’s looking forward to at Rowan.

Shawn wearing a blue, red, white and black sweat suit and matching shoes.

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

Getting a great education!

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

Bodybuilding, getting into a Hispanic fraternity, and starting a business club.

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

I would want to join a fraternity, expand my social circle, and join a health, fitness and nutrition club.

What majors are you considering? 

Business Management, Physical Therapy, Marketing or Psychology.

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

I visited Rowan and knew it was perfect for me.

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

Go take a tour in person! It makes all the difference.

Where are you going to live next year?

I’ll commute from home.

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

The modern buildings, the suburban campus, high-tech labs and the small community feel.

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Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Senior Computing and Informatics Major Abraham Reyes

Abraham poses in front of Science Hall.

Today we speak to Abraham Reyes, a senior, first-generation college student who transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County. Abraham majors in Computing and Informatics, minors in Business Administration and has a CUGS in Management Information Systems Certification. He is a commuter student from Camden, NJ (Camden County).

Abraham sits on a wall by the Student Center.

What is a typical Rowan day for you?

My typical Rowan day, since classes became primarily virtual, starts with breakfast and checking emails and the early news. I sign into my classes, which are all on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and start my day. After morning classes are through, I usually drive to the Rowan campus to grab lunch.

Being on campus is like a second home for me and I miss the environment, so I treat myself twice a week by driving to campus for lunch. I was fortunate enough to have my 2020 summer internship at Lockheed Martin extended through the entire fall semester, so I work virtually from my home on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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

At Rowan, I decided to major in Computing & Informatics, as well as minor in Business Administration. When I took Applied Database Technologies with Professor Arafat Qureshi during my first semester at Rowan, I immediately wanted to know more about coding, the organization and analysis of large quantities of data, and how it all applied to the business world. As I continued to take additional classes in my major, I felt confident that Computing & Informatics was the right major for me, and it definitely opened the door for me to my internship.

Abraham poses in front of Science Hall.

Could you tell us a little bit about your transition into Rowan as an incoming student?

I began my college career at Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC). I knew I wanted to transfer to Rowan University because I wanted to explore a larger campus environment and join the Rowan University community. RCBC has a wonderful partnership with Rowan University, with many opportunities, and the transition from RCBC to Rowan was pretty smooth. I was really nervous and excited to transition from community college to a four-year college. It took me a while to get used to the larger campus, but now I’m very comfortable there and the Glassboro campus is like a second home to me.

What are your professional goals?

My professional goal is to land a full-time position at Lockheed Martin since I’ve been so happy with my ongoing internship, and I now better understand all the opportunities available for someone with a Computing & Informatics degree. I hope to work in the future with good, talented people to solve complex real-world problems.

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

Rowan University has helped me so much with almost everything. My advisors were very supportive and gave me the best recommendations for choosing classes. All my professors have challenged me and helped prepare me for the unexpected in the workforce.

The Office of Career Advancement at Rowan has also helped me so much with networking, mock interviews and tips on nailing an interview. I feel like I made the best decision to attend Rowan University and call this school a second home. I’m currently working at Lockheed Martin as a Data Analysis/Project Management intern supporting the Global Supply Chain Competitive Intelligence Team. My internship has been extended four times, and I will now be transitioning to new tasks that will assist in developing additional skillsets. I would not be where I am today without the education and support I have received from Rowan University and many members of the faculty and staff.

I have enjoyed so many of my classes, such as Management Information Systems with Dr. Berrin Guner, and Organizational Behavior with Dr. Richard Jonsen. I would like to give a special “thank you” to Professor Bridget Temme-Soifer for helping me with Statistical Analysis and giving me the tools to see how data works in the real world. 

I also want to give a special “thank you” to Chiara, my Academic Success Advisor from the Academic Success Center, for helping me so much throughout my college experience. Finally, I’d like to thank my mother for always believing in me and for all the sacrifices she made over the years to help me become the person I am today. Overall, I feel that I made the best decision in choosing my major and minor, so now I feel confident about my future.

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

Photos by:
Jabreeah Holmes, senior radio, television and film major

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

Meet #Rowan2025: Incoming Chemical Engineering Major Zachary Kazelskis

Rowan Hall in the College of Engineering at night, with fountains in the front.

Today we speak to Zachary Kazelskis, an incoming Chemical Engineering major from Mickleton, NJ (Gloucester County). Zachary plans on commuting from home next semester.

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

I am looking forward to meeting new people and enjoying campus life proper in Rowan! I am looking forward to enjoying all of the new clubs, meeting many new friends and exploring all of my options to have the best time possible on campus.

Headshot of Zachary.

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

Some sort of band. I’ve been a part of the Marching Band and Concert Band for many years now, and that is something I would very much like to continue at Rowan.

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

I want to dive deeper into the musical side of me at college. I hope to pick up a new instrument or two and interact with new people that influence me to embrace the musical part of me.

Zachary poses with a snowman.

What major are you considering and why?

Mainly Chemical Engineering … the best possible route to what I want to do, [to] help further optimize and improve food creation and delivery.

Did you tour Rowan or attend any virtual events?

I did not. I’ve walked around Rowan many times, but I have never officially toured the school.

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

Explore all of your options. Truly consider what you want and what would be best for you, and look at all of the schools everywhere to find what’s best for you. It’s fine to take a long time or even a gap year to figure yourself out. Not knowing right now is also okay. These things take time.

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

Photos submitted by:
Zachary Kazelskis, incoming freshman chemical engineering major

7 Economics Majors Share Their Professional Goals

Photo of a one dollar bill.

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

Carolyn smiles in a wooded area.
Carolyn Cover

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

Headshot of Ryan Brubeck against a neutral background.
Ryan Brubeck

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

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

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

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

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

Portrait of Amir Ross against a gray backdrop.
Amir Ross

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

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

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

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

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

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Meet #Rowan2025: Undeclared Turned Business Major Bailey Livezey

Home photo of Bailey.

Today, we meet #Rowan2025 student Bailey Livezey! Bailey, an incoming freshman from Mullica Hill, NJ (Gloucester County), was originally undeclared; she then decided a Business degree would be the right fit for her. She shares what clubs she wants to continue pursuing in her college career and offers some advice to other incoming freshmen.

A portrait photo of Bailey in her high school graduation cap and gown.

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

I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life and perhaps learning something about myself that I didn’t know before.

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

I have done Key Club and love the aspects about it! Doing community service and helping those in need brings me happiness. I would love to continue to this in college.

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

I do not have a specific career that I want to do, so I am hoping to figure out what I am passionate about and expand on that.

What majors are you considering and why?

I applied undecided, but I am going to declare as a [College of Business] major. Business includes such a wide variety of careers, which is very exciting to me. I have hope I will fall in love with one of them!

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

I attended a virtual event of Rowan that explained the basics about the campus and what Rowan is about. Not knowing what I want to do as a career, this event assured me that I will figure out my future at Rowan.

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

Don’t take everything in at once! If you look at it all, it will only overwhelm you. Enjoy the process and take it one step at a time.

Where are you going to live next year?

I’m commuting from home!

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

The campus is definitely one of my favorite things about Rowan. The Rowan campus is always expanding. I have seen it grow since I live very close by. With the campus consistently evolving, the opportunities that lie on this campus do as well.

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Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

My Favorite Class: Cheyenne Smith, Introduction to American Studies

Cheyenne holds a pennant on campus.

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

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

Cheyenne poses outside of James Hall.

What was the name of your favorite class at Rowan?

Introduction to American Studies is my favorite class.

What department was the class in?

The class is in the American Studies Department

Who taught the class when you took it?

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

Tell us a little about what the class is.

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

Cheyenne poses on a bench.

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

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

Is there anything else that made this class impactful?

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

What makes this professor great?

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

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

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

What are your professional goals?

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

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Jennifer McGraw, Finding a Fit in Public Relations

Jennifer sits at a table at a bookstore.

Today we speak to junior Public Relations major Jennifer McGraw, who has a minor in Sports Communication and Media and an Honors Concentration. From Deepwater, NJ (Salem County), Jennifer is a transfer student from Salem Community College. She is a commuter student and a first-generation college student, and is involved with the Honors Murder Mysteries, the student newspaper The Whit, and she is the Honor’s College’s senator.

Jennifer poses with the Eagles mascot.

What inspired you to choose your major?

When I was transferring I originally wasn’t thinking about public relations at all or any kind of writing major, I was thinking of music production or the music business major. But that fell through because there was a portfolio that I had to submit for the application, and my portfolio wasn’t as strong as I thought the program would prefer. I wanted to major in something that I could fall back on that was still relatively similar to what I wanted to get into. But I found that as I started to try the public relations classes and the public relations major, I learned that I really liked it. I found something that I want to get into and was more passionate about than I did with the music business major. 

Has there been a faculty or staff member that’s helped you to connect what the next step is for your career?

The first person that comes to mind is Dr. Kristen diNovi. She is the Assistant Dean of the Honors College and she’s helped me branch out and gain as much experience as I can on campus that could be transferable into my career path. She has been a huge help.

Jennifer poses indoors.

What was your transition to Rowan like?

My transition happened in the middle of the pandemic. It was a little rough, but not on Rowan’s part. Rowan did everything they could to help make the transition smooth, especially under the current circumstances. Luckily, I have taken school trips to see the campus before so I didn’t not necessarily not know the campus. In the last few months of the process, I didn’t really have a whole lot of help with the transition into Rowan. So it was a lot of me finding out things and having to communicate with the different departments at Rowan. And it’s kind of challenging, but once the flow of things started, and everything gets started. Basically,  I found it was a lot easier. 

Why did you choose Rowan?

I wanted to pick a college that was close, and given the pandemic, I wanted to go to a school where something where I could commute and still feel safe. Also, for financial reasons, I wanted to choose someplace cheaper. It’s a perfect distance from Philadelphia and New York and all the major cities. So if I ever wanted to get an internship, the location is perfect.

Jennifer poses at a book signing at a book store.

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

Public Relations is broad in a good way. It gives you an overview of the different career paths you can go into. There are so many different fields you can go into. Public Relations is a major where you can pick a minor or concentration and make it fit into what field you want to go into specifically. Also, if you like writing, the major is a perfect fit. 

Are there any times that you doubted that you were in the right major for you?

I would say that in the very beginning, I doubted my major. After all, I first picked it because I just wanted to get a degree and then move on, which is kind of terrible to think. I didn’t really have any interest in a minor or concentration, but after I got into writing, and got into the different things that Rowan has to offer, I realized that public relations is a good major for me. Like I said at the very beginning, I was kind of doubtful because I didn’t know if I would really like this, but I wound up liking it. 

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

Photos provided by:
Jennifer McGraw, junior public relations major

#PROFspective: Senior Chemical Engineering Major and Transfer Student Bob Patterson

Bob poses on the stairs by the Engineering building.

Today we speak to Bob Patterson, a senior Chemical Engineering major and transfer student from Drexel University. Bob commutes to campus from Philadelphia, PA. 

Bob poses outdoors by the Engineering Pond.

What is a typical Rowan day for you?

On a typical day for me at Rowan pre-COVID, I would spend a lot of time finding parking. Then, I would attend all my classes. In the Chemical Engineering department at Rowan, many classes are structured to emphasize group work, so many times after class you’ll find me with a group in a study room and working on homework, projects, and exam preparation at night.

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

It happens all the time! Every time that I’m in class and I learn new chemical engineering concepts, I am reminded that I’m doing something really cool that I love. Rowan affords me those moments daily, from professors and staff who have built something great here.

Transferring from Drexel University (top 40 nationally in Engineering), I can say that the program at Rowan is just as good. Here at Rowan, there are cutting-edge and ample undergraduate research opportunities with a real focus on undergrads. There are many industry partnerships, and the program here at Rowan College of Engineering has been established for a long time.

Every junior and senior chemical engineering class here at Rowan is just as good as what is offered at Drexel, and at less than half the price! Even out of state, my tuition is less than half I was paying at Drexel. If you’re looking for a great engineering education that compares to the expensive private schools, Rowan gives a comparable option at a fraction of the price. The facilities are new, they upgraded the existing building and built another brand-new engineering building a few years ago. Newness matters.

I feel like it won’t be long for Rowan to become a prestigious option as well, they are on the fast track with their curriculum and investments. Take it from someone who was 18, didn’t know any better, and accumulated student loans well over $100k. I’m 31 years old now, and how much debt you accumulate over your 4-year bachelor’s degree matters. Rowan affords you the opportunity to have your cake and eat it, too (great degree and less debt).

Bob sits outside Engineering Hall.

Could you tell us a little bit about your transition into Rowan as an incoming student?

A little nervous, but that’s ok! I’m very simple though, no-frills necessary for my transition. I just got a plan together, signed up for the courses I needed, and I’ll be graduating this summer!

What are your professional goals?

My professional goal is to really make a difference somewhere. A chemical engineering degree opens so many doors that I didn’t have while I took gap years and couldn’t work where I wanted. Eventually, I want to get my Ph.D. and have my own research lab. Like I mentioned earlier, I have a lot of student debt, so I’ll go into the industry, get a high-paying job, cut down on that debt and who knows next from there! With the degree, my future is looking bright!

Bob sits outside Engineering Hall.

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

Rowan Engineering has prepared me to go into whatever profession I want. I have learned so much about so many aspects of science, applied physics, cutting edge research, chemical processing, the list goes on. I’m so happy with the opportunity that was given to me here, and I am grateful for how the amazing education has prepared me for what’s ahead.

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

Black #PROFspective: Senior Art Major Ugonna Ugorji

Ugonna poses on the sidewalk in front of Westby Hall.

Today we speak to Ugonna Ugorji, a senior Art major and commuter from Willingboro, NJ (Burlington County). Ugonna is a transfer student from Mercer County Community College.

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

Ugonna poses in front of a brick wall.

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

My experience at this school has been pretty exciting. You may say that Rowan is a “PWI,” but in my opinion, it has just the right amount of diversity in an institution. Being a Black art major and having a series of professors left and right, they have all pushed me to be the best that I can and to hone my “still developing” artistic talents.

How did you find your friend group here at Rowan?

Well, I’ve interacted with people who have the same or even similar interests I have.

Ugonna holds up two of his drawings.

Are you involved with Black Rowan?

I’m not that involved with Black Rowan unfortunately, but I would love to do more!

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

I would say being a part of the Expressive Drawing class that is run by Dr. Appelson. That man wants all his students to be the best at what they can do, and he will not hesitate to harshly critique your work. Instead of [letting] that make me feel insecure about my art, it made me realize that everyone has their own way of expressing themselves. Some may not like what you do or understand it, but that shouldn’t stop you from being you.

Ugonna holds up a piece of his art work.

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

If you’re an aspiring artist like myself and if you take Expressive Drawing with Dr. Appelson, don’t take it personally if he roasts certain assignments of yours. He knows you can do better, [you] just gotta push yourself.

What are your professional goals?

My professional goals are to become a full-fledged graphic designer/game designer. At my last institution, my major was Game Design, so I learned a few things here and there. I was disappointed when Rowan didn’t have a Game Design major so I initially went into Computer Science, thinking it was the same thing. I quickly changed my major to Art for the second semester. I feel I have a knack for character designs, in my own style, of course, so I can combine my graphic arts skills and create video game characters. That’ll be pretty cool.

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

Photos by:
Joe Gentempo, senior art major

Black #PROFspective: Senior Economics Major Tamora Hill

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

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

Tamora poses with braids in her hair.

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

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

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

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

Tamora poses in a graduation cap with a Rowan banner.

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

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

What are your professional goals?

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

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

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

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

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

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Senior Writing Arts Major Marissa Stanko

A stack of books and an open notepad with a pen.

Today we feature Marissa Stanko, a senior Writing Arts major with a dual concentration in Creative Writing and Publishing and Writing for the Public, from Quinton, NJ (Salem County). Marissa is a transfer student from Salem Community College, a commuter student, and a first-generation college student. 

Marissa poses outside.

What is your inspiration?

I’ve always been a creative person. I’ve always been somebody who makes up stories in my head, from the time that I was a kid playing with my toys, up to now. And I, I take a lot of inspiration from books that I enjoy reading as well as kind of intertwining it with my own experiences with people, a lot of what I do is often character-based. So I kind of draw that from different people that I’ve met and experienced.

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

Rowan’s Writing Arts is a very unique degree program. It’s a very unique field. It’s the only degree labeled writing arts in the United States, I believe. And the way it’s set up is really great because each student can basically customize the major to what they want to do, they can add as many concentrations or as few as they want so that they can get a lot of experience in different areas of writing. And writing itself is a very basic skill that can also become a very complex skill, the more you develop it. So it has applications and a lot of different areas. So it’s a really great unique and very rounded major.

Marissa poses in front of a dark background.

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

Absolutely. I can definitely pinpoint one moment when I was in my first creative writing class, creative writing one, and I workshopped my very first short story. Everyone just gave me so much positive feedback so that workshop was when I realized “Hey, I can write and I can do it well and people will enjoy what I write.”

Can you tell us a bit about your transition from community college to Rowan? 

I completed my associate degree at my community college in 2019, and I applied to Rowan in February of 2019 when the fall applications opened. Transitioning to Rowan was really great. Rowan was great about the whole process. I was able to follow through with my application and see what I needed to submit. I got some scholarships coming in, which was really helpful for me in covering my tuition. And Rowan has 20,000 students overall. So I thought, “Oh my goodness, it’s going to be such a big place,” but in reality, the classes themselves are about the same size as they were at my community college, and I was able to form a community and feel more at home.

Marissa poses against a pink background.

Are there any professors that you feel especially helped you get where you are today?

I have a lot of professors that have helped me in the department. I love all of my professors. But definitely, the two professors that have been most influential for me are Professor Keri Mikulski, who was the professor of the creative writing class that made me realize how much I love writing, and Professor Amanda Haruch, who was my internship mentor. Professor Mikulski is a wonderful writer in her own right and she’s somebody who not only encourages you to realize that you can write if you keep working on it, she pushes you to go beyond what you already know. The way Professor Mikulski teaches is not so much a focus on grades as so much, how much you try and how much you can improve by the end of the semester. So what I learned from her is to tap into the ways that I write and to develop and to learn how I can better myself as a writer and to practice more and to try new things, even though they’re scary. 

Why Rowan?

Well, I chose Rowan for multiple reasons. One, it’s local and tuition is less expensive, and I hate traveling, so I wanted to go to a college that was close. I didn’t want to move halfway across the country. And I also ended up choosing Rowan specifically, out of my local colleges, because they had the Writing Arts program. I had a teacher at my community college who attended the Writing Arts program as well, and she recommended it to me.

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

Photos provided by:
Marissa Stanko, senior writing arts major

Header photo courtesy of:
Pixabay

#PROFspective: Geology Major James Milward

James standing outside.

Today we feature James Milward, a junior Geology major with minors in Geographic Information Science and Geography from Pitman, NJ (Gloucester County). James is a first-generation college student and has a passion for climate change. Has there been a club or group that made you feel like Rowan was home? My freshman year I played […]

Beyond the Classroom: Ad Major Discusses Discord Recognition

Joseph poses next to some trees.

Today we speak to senior Advertising major and Marketing minor Joseph Laggy. Joseph is a first-generation college student from Marlton, NJ (Burlington County). He is a commuter student who graduated this semester.

Joseph poses by Business Hall.

Since 2018 I have been partnered with Discord, which is a platform dedicated to gaming communities. Through that, I have developed some of the largest online gaming communities dedicated to some of the world’s most popular video games. It is one of the most fun things I have ever done in my life. I have gotten recognition from Microsoft, and so many of the communities on there I have participated in. There’s just so much you can do through helping them grow their numbers. I have a website in development right now for people all over the world. The website is for Nintendo oriented discussion. Xbox’s social media manager will come in and hang out with us and a lot of the influential figures from Xbox’s marketing team come and hang out with us. I love all video games, every console, every game I’m just obsessed. It’s a lot of fun to be able to do stuff like that.  

I knew that I wanted to do something in marketing and advertising since I was about 14. I always had the ability to connect with people through social media, and I’ve always developed social media accounts throughout many platforms. I always developed them to have a lot of followers and to make an impact. However, I retired that a bit to focus solely on Discord and Reddit now. But that is only because those have been the most beneficial and fruitful. I would say every month or so there is a new game developer reaching out to me to promote their game and its so much fun to be able to do that not just with in house marketers, but with public relations agencies all across the world, just to have them reach out to me is so cool. My major has helped me with those things because it really shows you how to connect with people and target your audience, and how to make an impact. 

My advice for anyone who wants to get into the field would be that before one chooses a major like advertising and marketing, need to know where they want to work in the industry. You can pursue that, and there are a million routes you can take, but by specializing in a specific area, you will put yourself much further. Me in particular, while I was doing everything with Discord, I interned in healthcare. I didn’t particularly think I would work with newborn babies, I knew nothing about that. But I learned quickly, and I wanted to feel out everything, but people in this major definitely need to decide what they want to do in the future, and more importantly, think about what they themselves like. You enter the marketing field, and you’re doing marketing for something you aren’t interested in, it’s not gonna be a fun job because you won’t know how to sell it or interact with people if you don’t know much about it or care about it.

Joseph Laggy stands for a portrait while wearing a blue collared shirt and a black mask for covid. There are a few industries that I wouldn’t mind working in, but I already have had some game developers reach out to me, which is so cool to know that you play these games as a child, and 10 years later they recognize you on the internet. I never thought that would happen, but, that’s a testament that you can do anything. Don’t underestimate the power of social media. And a lot of these companies are online and looking at places like Reddit and Discord that help develop communities. They are looking at these places to say “this is what these people think”. Platforms are up and coming and all of these companies are looking to get involved. It’s easy for students to start getting involved with that, and next thing you know some of Microsoft’s most influential people are talking to you. It’s so cool what you can do. I have been doing this since 2017, and it has been very fruitful. 

Joseph poses by some trees.

Rowan has taught me through its marketing courses how to connect companies with their customers. Rowan has also shown me how fast things can change in just a short amount of time— and how I, businesses, and others can adapt to these changes. Over these past few years as I have developed communities with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, I have been able to understand people on a deeper, more personal level, which is important— and Rowan has taught me how to do just that.

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

First Year Voices: Commuter, PROFFAMILY Member Jada Jenkins

Jada standing outside of Bunce Hall.

Today we speak with freshman Jada Jenkins, a Psychology major and commuter from Blackwood, NJ (Camden County). She tells us about her experience so far at Rowan. Jada is part of PROFFAMILY, a newly-formed freshmen group focused on inclusion and fun. Why did you choose Rowan? Rowan was one of my top two schools and they […]

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Communication Studies Major Sarah Marshall

Sarah sitting outside on a stone.

Today we feature junior Sarah Marshall who majors in Communication Studies. Sarah is from Atco, NJ (Camden County) and this past fall was her first semester at Rowan. She is involved in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the student-led firm PRaction. Why Rowan? My mother was a graduate of Rowan and […]

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Double Major Robert Pallante

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

What wakes you up in the morning? 

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

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

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

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

Robert close up in front of Owl statue.

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

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

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

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

How was transferring to Rowan the right choice for you?

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

Robert in front of Science Hall.

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

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

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Double Major International Student Elona Noka

Elena photographed outside campus wearing a blue blazer.

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

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Computer Science Major Enkee Davaadolgor

Enkee standing in front of brick wall.

Today we feature first-generation senior Enkee Davaadolgor, who majors in Computer Science along with a concentration in Cybersecurity. He is a commuter from Ewing, NJ (Mercer County) who transferred from Mercer County Community College. What wakes you up in the morning? My motivation to wake up each and every morning is definitely my family and […]

#PROFspective: Senior Psychology Major and Africana Studies Minor Cheyenne Uhuru

Today we feature Cheyenne Uhuru, a senior Psychology major and Africana Studies minor from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). Cheyenne is a commuter to campus. She is a member of PsiChi, a Psychology Honors Society, and the  Africana Studies Club. Can’t find her on campus? Meet Cheyenne at work at H&M in the Deptford Mall.

Cheyenne poses in front of water statue.

Why did you choose your major?

I’ve always really like giving advice to people, and I figured out over time that I can help people with what they are going through. I like helping with whatever issues are in their lives, especially African American adolescents. I feel like my experience can provide them the information they need to succeed in life and to get through what they need to get through.

What would you share with a future student interested in your major?Cheyenne poses for a portrait.

I would say that psychology offers a lot of insight into yourself as well as the people around you. It allows you to have a better understanding and have more empathy for people who may act a certain way towards you. It gives you a better understanding of why people are the way they are — also, insight into yourself and the way you act and the root of how you go about your daily life.

How does your field impact the world? 

Psychology impacts the world in a very large way. All of our actions and the way we move about in the world really come back to our mind state and our environment growing up. The impact I would like to have on the world is giving African American people a better sense of belonging and understanding of themselves in this world because it does get hard. I would like to provide them with a sense of motivation and inspiration to let them know they will get through what they are going through no matter what their circumstances are. They have the ability to succeed.

How are you involved on campus? 

Being a part of PsiChi Honor Society has given me a push because I am applying to grad school, so I think showing that I am dedicated to my major will help. It is helping me succeed for the future and my future career. Being a part of the Africana Studies Club also supports me in my pursuit of where I want to work with African American adolescents. The combination of the two helps me to succeed in my career and give me necessary tools.

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

Professor Chelsea Young was very connected to us as a class. She used pop culture references to help us understand the concepts we were learning about. I just really appreciate the time I had in her class, it was a really good experience.

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Story by:
Camryn Hadley, senior public relations and advertising double major

Photography by:
Quintin Stinney, sophomore Radio/TV/Film major

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

Julia sitting and smiling wearing a Rowan sweatshirt.

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

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

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

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

Prof. Kathy Balin on campus.
Prof. Kathy Balin

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

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

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

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

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

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, music industry major

Header photo by:
Anthony Raisley

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

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

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

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

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

Marlo sits outside up against a black fence

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

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

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

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

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

Marlo sits outside with a laptop and talks to another student

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

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

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

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

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

Marlo sits outside next to a tree

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Beyond the Classroom: Katelyn Rapp’s PR, Foreign Language Skills Help Her Give Back to Her Community

Torch image in the lobby of Campbell Library.

Today, we feature Public Relations major and senior Katelyn Rapp, a commuter from Pennsville, NJ (Salem County) and first-generation college student. Katelyn recently started interning for the nonprofit organization Miracle for Mateo. She’s also on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using her Spanish translation skills, Katelyn helps out her area’s testing site. Here, she tells us a little more about her experiences and how she’s helping her community.

Katelyn poses in her scrubs with a sign that says "A Hero Lives Here".

Tell us more about your public relations internship.Katelyn sitting at her dining table doing work for Miracle for Mateo on her computer.

I am currently working with Miracle for Mateo, a nonprofit that I have been familiar with since they started up 10 years ago. I actually got involved with them during this past semester because I was doing a couple PR and nonprofit related classwork.

Miracle for Mateo provides financial support for families with dependent children who: have complex congenital heart disease or life-threatening illness and are struggling through a lengthy hospitalization, waiting for an organ transplant, or living at home on hospice care.

I realized during a rhetorical analysis of their website that it was quite outdated and gave the impression that they were no longer a functioning NPO. I knew one of the board members personally, and I reached out to her to see if she would be open to some changes.

Before COVID started, I went to her house and we talked about all the changes needed. After some approval from the board I was able to rewrite all the body copy for the website, choose updated photos, recreate some graphics with InDesign and now we are about two weeks away from the new website going live!

Was there any Rowan affiliation?

As far as I know there is no affiliation with Rowan, but I actually think it could be a great idea to create some type of affiliation. They have some small projects that impact people on a great scale (of course I may be a bit biased). Can tab collections and food drives that benefit the families who are by their child’s side in the hospital are two of their longest-running projects that require a bit less ‘in person work’ but make a huge difference for the organization and their families.

How did you find the opportunity?

I found the opportunity by reaching out to one of the board members I knew personally. I grew up with her kids, and seeing if the organization would consider letting me help. In my ADV/PR Writing course I had to choose an organization to ‘write for’ throughout the semester, and I thought it would be a personal challenge to write for a NPO since all of my internship experience is in oil refineries and transportation. I also decided to analyze their website in my Writing for the NonProfit class since I was already writing a pretend backgrounder and had so much information on the organization. I found the website was outdated and generally needed some work, and although I know I am nowhere near an expert, I thought I might be able to help. 

How did you get involved in your county’s COVID-19 response?

My mom works for the Salem County Department of Health, and so naturally when COVID hit, she and her coworkers became the response team for my county. Soon enough, my county opened up a COVID testing site, and it became apparent that my county’s Hispanic population was getting hit harder than others. My mom and her coworkers had become contact tracers/COVID test site nurses and were trying to speak what little Spanish they could to communicate. I wrote up a little speech for my mom to use when she called someone to speak with them about results or the test site and they only spoke Spanish. When she came home, she told me the whole department was using it! She also told me that her boss was interested in seeing if I would volunteer at the test site as a translator. The next week I did my fit test, and the day after I went to the test site.

Tell us more about your skills as a translator and how that’s helped in your county’s COVID response.Katelyn posing outside wearing scrubs and holding a healthcare heroes sign alongside her two cats.

My skills as a translator allowed me to check in patients at the drive-up clinic, give them instructions on what to expect in the barns (testing area/hot zone), and if they had not signed up for testing before that day give them information on how and where to be screened before coming to the test site for a COVID test. I was also able to help the nurses/contact tracers by writing up some helpful Spanish phrases and a small script, which would allow them to explain who they were and that they would call back with a translator.

What are you looking forward to this semester or in the future?

I think I am looking forward to the same things as most students now, I would love to see a safe return to campus to continue my classes. This upcoming semester I am also starting the 4+1 (CAPD Program) Public Relations/Strategic Communication program, so I will start working towards my master’s while finishing my bachelor’s. Personally, I am really looking forward to traveling internationally again. I was planning on a couple of trips this year, but unfortunately traveling isn’t an option right now.”

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photos provided by:
Katelyn Rapp

Meet #Rowan2024: Shahadah Samuels, Setting a Career Path for Change

Photo of Shahadah, incoming law and justice major

Meet Law and Justice major Shahadah Samuels from Camden, NJ (Camden County). She is excited to get involved on campus during her first semester as a commuter. 

What is something you’re looking forward to at Rowan?
Photo of Shahadah.
I’m looking forward to trying new things and meeting new people. I also cannot wait to get involved in activities and/or sports. 

What is one activity, club, sport or hobby that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan?
While attending Rowan, I would love to participate in a step and/or dance team. I didn’t participate in this activity in high school, but I would love to for college. 

How or why did you choose your major?
My major has been determined by my life. I’ve been through things that have a lot to do with justice, and I figured that the only way I can change the ways of things that have happened is to join the criminal justice field and not make the same mistakes that people have made in the past.

How did you get to know the campus? 
Unfortunately, I did not get to tour the school and I have learned everything about the school online because of COVID-19. However, I cannot wait until the pandemic is over so I can finally get a tour and the full experience. 

What music do you like?
My favorite music is Hip-Hop and R&B.

Night owl or morning person?
I am a night owl; however I love to do things in the morning so that way I can get things done and over with.

Why Rowan?
I’ve chosen Rowan because after research, I decided that Rowan is the right school for me and very convenient for me.

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Story by:
Melanie Sbaraglio, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos contributed by:
Shahadah Samuels

#PROFspective: Combined Advanced Degree Program (CADP) in Subject Matter Education: English Major Dominique DiGiacomo

Dominique poses in front of a stream.

Today we feature Dominique DiGiacomo, a rising senior in the Combined Advanced Degree Program (CADP) in Subject Matter Education: English program, minors in International Studies and Asian Studies, and a Certificate of Undergraduate Studies in Japanese.  Dominique is a commuter student this coming year from Atco, NJ (Camden County).

Dominique poses in her Rowan attire.

On your busiest day, what academic, non-academic, and social responsibilities are you juggling?

On my busiest day, I am juggling two to three classes along with an opening shift (6:30-11 a.m.) for work as a building manager at the student center, an hour workout at the gym/kickboxing, an hour meeting for my second job, and a club meeting in which I am the vice president. 

Did you ever have a moment of uncertainty within your major? How did you get through the challenge?

Yes, I have experienced a moment of uncertainty within my major. There was a time in which I was not enjoying my education classes as much as my classes that were going towards my international studies minor. In order to get through this challenge, I talked to my teachers as well as those who I trusted to confide in them and ask for their opinions. This moment helped me to rediscover my passion for education and it also helped me to combine both my passion for education and international studies into one. 

Dominique poses with some friends in front of a "Rowan University" banner.

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

After my freshman year, I had the opportunity to work as a PROS (Peer Referral and Orientation Staff) member for Rowan orientations, as well as an SCCA staff member in the game room. The moment I started these two jobs was the moment I felt I really belonged at Rowan University. Through these jobs, I not only met new friends, but I also formed new families within the Rowan community. Working for Rowan really helped me to feel at home within the university.

Tell us about your transition into college and how you pushed through any challenges

Transitioning into college was definitely a nerve-racking situation. It was my first time living away from home, as well as the first time I had so much freedom in my life. These nerves, however, only lasted for the first week of school. Overcoming these nerves proved to be a lot easier than I had expected. I made sure to be social, interact with my roommate and my classmates and joined a few clubs. I also realized that every freshman in college was in the same boat; they were all nervous and looking to make friends. After realizing this, my transition to college became a whole lot easier. 

Dominique poses with some friends in the ballroom.

What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a college?

Don’t feel pressured by your friends to choose a certain school. Go on tours, interact with students, and get excited about going to college. Choose the place you feel most at home because college truly does become your second home. 

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

Photos contributed by:
Dominique DiGiacomo

#PROFspective: Biology Major Kait Fox on the Perks of College Close to Home

Drone shot of Science Hall

Today, we speak to Kait Fox, a Biology major with a minor in Psychology from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County). Kait, who transferred from Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ), commutes to campus. She tells us more about why she chose Rowan and what a typical day at Rowan looks like for her.

Kait smiling for a selfie.

Why did you choose your major?

I chose to be a Biology major because I was already on track with the course load previously completed from RCSJ. I am interested in the medical field and thought that a degree in biology would cover all of the bases for graduate school.

Why did you choose Rowan?

I chose Rowan because it is close to home so I am able to make the commute to and from school, not having to worry about dorms or missing my family.

Another important factor is how affordable Rowan is, and that all of my credits from RCSJ are transferable to Rowan, so I transferred in as a third-year student.

Kait taking a selfie with her friend.

Take us through a typical Rowan day for you.

A typical day for me usually starts mid morning (I try my best to avoid the 8 a.m. classes). I arrive at Rowan around 10:30 for my 11 a.m. classes. I like to be a little early instead of late, so I’ll relax in the lobby of whichever building my class is in. I have about three classes a day and usually one lab.

When I make my schedule I try to make my classes back to back, or at least have a minimum 1-hour gap between so I’m not waiting around all day for my classes. If I do have a gap, I’ll meet up with a few friends and sit with them and chit chat, check my email, update schedules, work on assignments, maybe snack a little and “rest my eyes.”

After my classes are complete for the day, I’ll eat lunch wherever I’m at for classes and then I leave Rowan for my internship at the health department. 

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photos contributed by:
Kait Fox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Header photo courtesy of:
Rowan Theatre Department Flickr

Meet #Rowan2024: Accounting Major Lily Fuchs

Lily stands in front of Business Hall.

Meet incoming freshman Accounting major Lily Fuchs. Lily will commute to Rowan from Mullica Hill, NJ (Gloucester County). Today, she tells us a little more about herself and why she chose Rowan University.

What is something you’re looking forward to next year at Rowan?

When I get to campus, I am looking forward to making new friends and building connections within the Rowan community, as well as getting involved in clubs and activities!

Lily stands in front of Bunce Hall green

What is one activity, club, sport or hobby that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan? (Or, something new you’d like to try?)

In high school, I was part of my school’s tennis team, and I would really like to continue playing tennis when I come to Rowan!

How or why did you choose your major?​

I chose accounting as my major because I have always loved working with numbers and I feel like it would be a good fit for my personality as someone who is very organized and detail-oriented.

How did you get to know campus?

I live close to campus, so I have already been somewhat familiar with it, but to get to know it better, I attended a tour, an admitted students’ day and virtual sessions.

What kind of music do you like?

I listen to all different types of music, but mostly pop.

Night owl or morning person?

I am definitely more of a morning person, as I am excited to start each day!

Why Rowan?

I chose Rowan because I have seen it change over the years and I am very impressed with how it has grown. It’s in the perfect location and is the right size for me. I cannot wait to start in the fall!

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

#PROFspective: Rising Senior Psychology Major Tiara Gbeintor

Tiana poses outside in front of a tree.

Today we feature rising senior Psychology major Tiara Gbeintor. Tiara is a commuter student from Beverly, NJ (Burlington County). 

Why did you choose your major? I choose my major of psychology because this major has always been interesting to me. I knew with this major I could make an impact, considering my future goals in higher education.

Tiara poses next to a tree.

Why did you choose Rowan? I chose Rowan University because it was truly my number one school. Many of my friends are alumni of Rowan University, and I felt at home. Rowan was a great choice for my bachelor’s degree. It has been an experience with no regrets.

Tiara poses with some friends.

Take us through a typical Rowan day for you. When I first transferred to Rowan University, I was an on-campus student. I would go to class from Monday to Thursday. After class, my friends and I would get lunch and finish up any projects or homework before I would head to work. I enjoyed my professors. I would have loved to join clubs but my hectic school and work schedule would not allow me. Hopefully this semester I will be able to join some clubs. My class schedule is a little lighter, and I will do my best to be in a lot more activities. Also, there are many awesome restaurants on campus that I can’t wait to try.

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

Junior Major Moments: Bio Major Michael Camacho on His Favorite Class and Rowan Clubs

Rowan Biological Sciences major Michael Camacho (seen at right) with friends

Today we feature Michael Camacho, a Biological Sciences major with a minor in Psychology. He is a first-generation college student who commutes from his home in Pine Hill, NJ (Camden County).

What is your favorite moment with a faculty member or favorite experience in one of your classes? Outdoor photo of Michael Camacho in front of wooded area

My favorite part was going to my Microbiology class and learning from Dr. Elizabeth Brooks. She taught her lectures in such a manner that not only excited me to learn, but also intrigued me. She has over 30 years of experience in her field and still has this spark of passion in her that is truly remarkable and inspiring to me. One day I hope to walk in her footsteps and become the passionate, caring, professional, and inspiring person that she is.

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

I’d say the most amazing and interesting thing I’ve learned in my major is that the human body truly is amazing in that the physiology protects us every day.

What pre-professional experiences are helping to support your growth? Group photo of the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity.  

Some of my pre-professional experiences include the Minority Association of Premedical Students (MAPS) and Rowan’s Biology Club. Though, the one organization that has truly supported my growth is Alpha Phi Omega (APO).

We are an organization that strives by our principles of being a leader, being a friend, and being of service. Being surrounded by these individuals has truly made it feel like a second home and seeing the passion in each of us to be of service to our community is one of the many reasons why I enjoy APO so much.

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

stock image of a trumpet player against a red background

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rowan let me learn from these students.

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

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

Mike Massaro sitting with a trumpet

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

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

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

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Rowan Commuters: Kayla Santiago [VIDEO]

Welcome to our new “Rowan Commuter” series, where we take an inside look at the lives and experiences of Rowan University commuters and how their overall college experience is without living on campus.

In this video, Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts double-major Kayla Santiago talks about how she balances a busy schedule with being a commuter student here at Rowan. 

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Video by:
Tom Copsetta, radio/TV/film graduate

Rowan Commuters: James Milward [VIDEO]

James Milward sits on the green next to Wilson Hall

Welcome to our new “Rowan Commuter” series, where we take an inside look at the lives and experiences of Rowan University commuters and how their overall college experience is without living on campus.

In this video, Geology major James Milward talks about how he balances Rock Climbing Club and spending time with his group of Geology majors with being a commuter student here at Rowan. 

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Video by:
Tom Copsetta, radio/TV/film graduate

Passing the Torch: Psychology Major, Academic Coach Shares Her Parting Tips for Success

Chelsey Fitton stands in her cap and gown outside of Bunce Hall

“Take advantage of every opportunity in the Psychology department. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed, too,” says Chelsey Fitton from Woodstown, NJ (Salem County), who recently earned her Psychology degree. 

“I found the faculty and staff to be super helpful within the (Psychology) department. And it’s a family. The professors don’t really see you as a number, they know you by name. When I’d go in, they’d say, ‘Hi, Chelsey, how are you doing?’ That’s important, too,” she explains.  

Chelsey holds up her decorated sunflower cap in front of Bunce Hall

Chelsey, who transferred from Rowan College of South Jersey and commuted to campus, says to “stay involved as much as possible.” She was part of the honors society Delta Alpha Pi, for individuals with learning disabilities, and worked on campus as an academic coach with the Academic Success Center. Chelsey knows her future path will involve helping others.

“I really enjoy working with people,” she says. “And even during this COVID situation, I’m finding I’m not a fan of isolating. I have to be around people.”

Ready to move forward, Chelsey couldn’t forget a few people who helped her along the way. 

Chelsey stands with her parents in front of Bunce Hall

“I’d like to thank my professors and my family for all their support because I definitely wouldn’t be where I am with a degree without them.” 

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Passing the Torch: Psychology Major, Prospective Grad Student Shares Tips For Success

Sarah Transue holds her decorated cap in front of Bunce Hall

“Get involved in clubs and really make it worthwhile being a Prof,” says Sarah Transue, a recent graduate with a degree in Psychology and minor in neuroscience who commuted to campus from Mickleton, NJ (Gloucester County). 

Her advice for fellow commuters? “Get here super early before classes.”

Portrait of Sarah Transue in cap and gown in front of Bunce Hall

Sarah, who transferred to Rowan, counts Perception as well as Psychology as a Profession and Practice among her favorite courses. She also enjoyed classes with Dr. Davis-LaMastro. “She really illuminated how each field of psychology is really different,” Sarah says. 

She plans to return to campus in 2021 as a graduate student to pursue a master’s degree in mental health counseling. 

Sarah Transue stands in her graduation gown holding her cap in the air in front of Bunce Hall

“I want to be a counselor in marriage and family therapy. It’s really fascinating how that whole system works,” Sarah says. “I hope to start in fall 2021. I’m very excited.” 

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Sophomore Reflects: Tips from Computer Science Major Frank Ziegler

Photo of Frank Ziegler wearing a hooded sweatshirt sitting in a graffiti-covered room

Meet Frank Ziegler, sophomore computer science major, who commutes from Gibbsboro, NJ (Camden County). Frank reflects on his years at Rowan and shares what he has learned.

When I first started school at Rowan, I didn’t understand how the online system (i.e. Blackboard, Self-Service, Starfish) worked. It took me some time to figure out the flow of things. For incoming freshmen, I’d suggest to look over these platforms before the semester starts or ask someone for help. Usually 9 times out of 10, they’re happy to help if you ask politely.

From my experience, people in the Rowan community are generally friendly and helpful. I’ve actually created friendships here by asking for help whether for an assignment or lesson I was struggling with. 

Photo of Frank Ziegler wearing a hooded sweatshirt sitting in a graffiti-covered room

Choosing a major for me was hard. My passion is making music, but I also really enjoy solving code. For me it was a decision of how to balance my passion with my career or turning my passion my career. For someone dealing with the same problem, I would suggest to consider what you enjoy and see yourself doing in the future. I’m happy with my major and hope you will be too.

If possible, I definitely would recommend living on-campus to fully immerse yourself in the culture, especially if you’re more of an introvert. Commuting hindered my social life, but I joined some clubs and found like-minded people I enjoy hanging out with.

Join Rowan Vocals if you can sing. Seriously. That’s how I made friends. I’ve never felt more comfortable with a group than I do with them. They are such great people. And if you can’t sing, join a group that fits your interests. It’s the best thing I did for my college experience. 

Frank with his friends from Rowan Vocals group

My biggest piece of advice is to understand that going to college is a lifestyle change. I had a really hard time at first because I was dealing with mental health issues and lacked motivation. I wish I had more time to prepare and understand how to best manage my time. I work part-time, commute and do a lot of music production work, so every semester I adapt to the workload and class schedule.

College is in no way like high school, it’s like a full-time job. You need to fully commit to it and and learn how to manage your time to make the best of it. The faster, the better.

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Story by:
Frank Ziegler, sophomore computer science major

Photos courtesy of:
Frank Ziegler

Junior Major Moments: Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Major Connor Crafton-Tempel

Exterior shot of Rowan EMS building

Today we feature Disaster Preparedness and Management major Connor Crafton-Tempel from Freehold, NJ (Monmouth County). Connor is a transfer student and commutes to campus. 

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

Outdoor selfie of Connor wearing reflective sunglasses

Professor Carty, who taught my Disaster Planning, Mitigation, and Recovery course at our Camden campus, was a really big influence on me. When I first came into the program, I knew I wanted to work for the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (OEM), but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with the OEM.

Then, Professor Carty was teaching us about threat and risk assessments, just before the COVID-19 outbreak turned into a pandemic. It was during her class that I realized I wanted to go into disaster planning and specially work on disease-related disasters (mainly epidemics and pandemics). 

What is the most amazing or interesting ​thing you’ve learned in your major this year? Close up photo of Connor.

I think that the most interesting thing I learned this year was how to perform a threat assessment. This is becoming really helpful, since my parish has asked me to help with the reopening. 

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

I’d have to say my honor society (Epsilon Pi Phi, the DPEM honor society) and Rowan University EMS. Rowan EMS is helping me gain new skills as an EMT, and the honor society is beneficial for getting connections within the industry.

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#MeetRowan2024: Multi-talented Marketing Major Megan Steckler

Photo of Megan outside in a wooded area

Today we feature future freshman and Marketing major Megan Steckler from Mullica Hill, NJ (Gloucester County). Megan is excited to be commuting to Rowan in the fall. 

What is something you’re looking forward to next year at Rowan?

Although this may sound cliche, I am looking forward to taking classes, meeting new people and experiencing the college life.

What is one activity, club, sport or hobby that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan?

In high school, I played field hockey, lacrosse, and I swam. Hopefully, I will continue to play lacrosse. I also want to continue participating in Key Club, or another volunteer-oriented club, and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) at Rowan.

How or why did you choose your major?​

In high school, I was part of a specialized program called the Business Leadership Academy (BLA). It is a business-oriented curriculum that I found challenging and a lot of fun!

I like business because it is such a versatile subject. One of my favorite classes in the BLA at Kingsway High School was my marketing class. I love the creative side of business, and I want to continue to explore that part specifically in college.

How did you get to know campus?

I live close to Rowan, I attended Rowan’s Think Like an Entrepreneur camp last summer, and my older sister attends Rowan now. So, even though I have never received an “official” tour, I am already very familiar with the campus.

What music do you like?

I love pop, rock and alternative music. 

Night owl or morning person?

I am definitely a night owl!

Why Rowan?​​

Rowan is a really good school, it is close to home, and I was fortunate to receive a Merit Scholarship. Also, the school is still growing, the campus is expanding, and I can’t wait to get started! I am excited about all of the opportunities at Rowan! Go Profs!

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Story by: 
Melanie Sbaraglio, public relations and advertising graduate

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

Brianna poses for a photo outside Business Hall.

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

What academic and social clubs are you a part of?

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

Do you have any on-campus jobs?

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

Why did you choose a university close to home?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?

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

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

Volunteering with the Get Fit program.

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

3 Ways I Make College More Affordable

Christian walks down Rowan Boulevard with two other students

Today we feature junior Communication Studies major and Journalism minor Christian A. Browne, who commutes to Rowan from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County) and is originally from Philadelphia. Christian transferred to Rowan from Camden County College. Let’s be honest, college is a huge financial decision. With food, textbooks and parking, there are a bunch of expenses […]

Senior Reflects: Biological Sciences Major Brenden Finley on the Outdoors Club, Fossils and His Future

Photo of Brenden and friends.

Today we feature Brenden Finley from Glassboro, NJ (Gloucester County) who recently graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences. Here, Brenden shares his favorite Rowan memories and his plans for the future. 

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

A favorite moment of mine happened in the course Edelman Fossil Park Experience with Dr. Voegele. Having the opportunity to uncover fossils in the research pit was incredible. I’ll never forget the first fossil I unearthed. It was especially memorable when I was able to record and map my finds in the log book.

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

I couldn’t pick just one moment at Rowan, so I have to say sitting around the campfire on every camping trip with the Rowan Outdoors Club. Serving on the e-board of the outdoors club has been a favorite part of my Rowan experience by far. Giving Rowan students a chance to escape and enjoy nature is incredibly rewarding. The friends I’ve met through the club will surely be lifelong.

Outdoors Club Franklin Parker Preserve Day Hike

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

I plan on becoming a surgical technician first, then going to physician’s assistant school. Dr. Supplee and Dr. Grinias helped me when I was having second thoughts about my original plan and helped me see that plans can change. This allowed me to rethink and make a new plan about my future. 

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

I want to thank my family and friends for always supporting my decisions and for keeping me grounded, Katie Huber and Kristin Henderson at the Rec Center for always being there to help and listen, and Dr. Grinias and Dr. Jonnalagadda for inspiring me to continue when I felt like giving up.

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Header photo: Brenden Finley (left) with friends

#Rowan2020 Instagram Contest Winner Jodi Heady

Jodi holding her decorated Graduation cap that says, "It takes a big step to shape little minds."

Meet #Rowan2020 Instagram Contest winner and recent graduate, Jodi Heady! Jodi graduated in Literacy Studies under Subject-matter Education with two minors in Education and Psychology. Jodi commuted to Rowan during her last semester from her home in Mantua, NJ (Gloucester County). She’s a first-generation college student who transferred to Rowan University from Rowan College of South Jersey. She reflects on her time at Rowan and tells us where she’s headed next.

How does it feel to be an official college graduate?

It feels great! I am a first-generation college student, so to be able to have this accomplishment for not only myself but for my family as well is a great achievement. I worked very hard to graduate, and although I loved my time at Rowan, I am excited to see what is next for me.

What was your most memorable experience at Rowan?

My most memorable experiences at Rowan are the times I was able to work with the amazing students and staff in the Reading Clinic and the Rowan University Early Childhood Demonstration Center. The Reading Clinic is where I had my classes School Reading Problems and Supervised Clinical Practice in Reading. In those classes, I was able to tutor children with reading comprehension, fluency, writing and word study. I loved seeing how much the children’s literacy skills grew by the end of each semester.

In this class, I worked with amazing people who guided me in my journey to become a teacher. Those people include my classmates, Kelly the secretary, and my professor the amazing Dr. Valarie Lee. I also loved my time at the Rowan University Early Childhood Demonstration Center. The children and staff there were all so sweet, and it was the best way to either start or end my school day! I loved seeing how creative the children could be. And I loved having little dance parties with the children. I do not think I ever had a day there where I was not laughing or smiling.

What are the things you will miss the most about Rowan?

I will definitely miss the staff and students at Rowan University Early Childhood Demonstration Center. I will also miss my advisor (April Ellerbe), and my professors I had throughout my years here at Rowan. I will also miss HollyBash, it was always something I looked forward to during the Spring semester.

What’s next for you?

I have been applying to many daycares to become a teacher lead, and I am just waiting to hear back from them. I heard back from one daycare, and they told me when they are open again they will get in touch with me!

Any advice for those who are graduating next year?

Be proud of this accomplishment no matter how long it took you. I am graduating with my bachelor’s in Literacy Studies after six years of college, and I am very proud of myself. No matter if you graduate in four years or six years or more than that, what you have done is amazing and I want you to celebrate this milestone. You deserve it!

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Behind the Scenes with #Rowan2020 Contest Winner Edgar Aquino Huerta, Creator of the Viral Graduation Video

Meet recent graduate and #Rowan2020 Social Media contest winner, Edgar Aquino HuertaEdgar, from Bridgeton, NJ (Cumberland County), earned a bachelor’s degree in Radio/TV/Film. His virtual commencement video became a viral sensation and caught the attention of national media outlets. Read more about Edgar and his plans after Rowan. 

Edgar Aquino Huerta wants to be famous for creating videos and films, but he never expected popularity to come so soon.

His 15-second video has racked up over 600,000 views on TikTok, over 34,000 views on Instagram, and over 3,500 views on Facebook.

Edgar working inside Lucas Greenhouse, where he shot the viral graduation video

Edgar’s video features him celebrating his graduation at the farm where he works. In it, he watches Rowan’s “virtual commencement,” and then walks down the center aisle of a greenhouse as his coworkers applaud. This is set to the tune of Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood,” a song that makes Edgar think of the Golden Age of Hollywood — fitting, since he dreams of making it big as a screenwriter and director.

When Rowan announced a social media contest, Edgar started brainstorming. The best five posts from graduating Profs would win $100 Target gift cards, and Edgar thought that “sounded good.” At first, he struggled to come up with an original idea. Then, his boss made a joke about holding commencement at the farm.

Edgar ran with that idea and drew up storyboards. He says, “Although my video was 15 seconds, I still wanted to use my skills to make it cinematic.” He learned a lot as a Radio/TV/Film major at Rowan, and wanted to make the best contest entry possible.

Edgar says that two of his coworkers, Maria and Jose, were especially important to the video’s production. Maria helped organize everyone by telling the other workers where to stand. Jose assumed the role of cameraman — despite having never used an iPhone before! Edgar taught him on the fly and was impressed with how quickly Jose caught on.

At first, Edgar says his coworkers didn’t understand the video they were making. He says, “It wasn’t until they saw the final picture that they understood the purpose of the video.” That said, they were always enthusiastic to help celebrate his achievement. And later on, some coworkers “even made their kids download TikTok so they could show their families.”

Edgar in the greenhouse in the graduation filmEdgar also received support from his mother, who has been in Mexico for the past 10 years. She got “sentimental because she couldn’t be with [him] during that little ceremony.” The image on Edgar’s cap is actually a picture he drew of his mother. He included that as a way to recognize all she’s done for him over the years.

Edgar’s video got very popular overnight, and only got more buzz from there. He says, “The next morning, I noticed the video was going viral.” His phone was going off constantly with notifications. It wasn’t before long that news stations caught wind of the sensation. He has now been featured on several platforms, including Good Morning America, Un Nuevo Dia (Telemundo), and Despierta America (Univision). Edgar says, “I was making headlines for one week straight, and getting to talk to people I never thought I would meet.” He was even contacted about a few work opportunities in Los Angeles.

Edgar in a scene from the viral graduation videoEdgar attributes the video’s viral success to a couple different factors. For one, it was uploaded at just the right time. With the COVID-19 pandemic ruining gatherings of all kinds, these are unprecedented times. Edgar’s uniquely safe way of celebrating acts as a much-needed ray of hope. Edgar says, “I turned a bad situation into something great.” Additionally, the video encourages pride in underappreciated workers. Greenhouses are places of hard manual labor, but Edgar chose to celebrate its beauty instead. Edgar says, “I was aiming at inspiring my community into being proud of where they come from, and to never feel ashamed of our own people.”

In the future, Edgar plans to move to Los Angeles and write screenplays. He credits Rowan’s Professor Keir Politz with helping him decide to pursue this path. Edgar wants to expose his “audience to these worlds that are being ignored.” For now, Edgar and his friends are working on projects to show appreciation for farm workers in their community. They do this though organizing caravans and collecting donations to meet the workers’ needs. Edgar wants everyone to know that farm workers are essential.

You can hear about Edgar’s immigration story in this audio documentary from Rowan Radio.

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Story by: 
Adam Clark, senior radio/television/film major

#PROFspective: Pre-Med Junior Andrea Owens on the Biological Sciences Major, Making Change in Healthcare

Selfie of Andrea.

Today we feature Andrea Owens, a junior Biological Sciences major with a Chemistry minor and concentration in pre-medicine. Andrea is a transfer and a first-generation college student. She commuted from home before COVID-19 shut down campus. Andrea will share with us her #PROFspective on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.

On campus Andrea is a member of the Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS), The Tau Sigma National Honor Society, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated (AKA). Off campus she works in retail at New York & Company. Andrea representing her sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha.

What inspired you to choose your major?

Since I was 5 years old, I always knew that I wanted to become a doctor. So, once I got to high school, I mastered biology and chemistry and decided to major and minor in them.

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

My first advice to any transfer students who are majoring in Biology is to make friends who are within your major. The beginning of my first semester at Rowan, I did not have any friends in my major. I studied alone for everything, which caused a lot of stress. Once I made friends with people in my major, we formed many study groups and I found the biggest support system. The friends I have made are truly amazing, and I could not thank them enough.

Andrea pictured in in a medical lab coat.

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

The importance of the healthcare field is that the conditions of life are always changing, and as long as there are health care providers who are specifically trained in medicine, there will always be help. An impact that I would love to have in my field is to make minorities feel heard and important. In the medical field, there are thousands of stories on how African Americans do not feel as though they are getting the proper treatment when they are being treated or examined by health care professionals. I am going to make that change.

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

Dr. Kristen Barrett was my professor for Organic Chemistry I and II. She is a young African-American woman in her field, and she provided superb detail in everything she did while I took her courses. Her path of excellence inspires all her students, including me. 

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Story by: 
Melanie Sbaraglio, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos courtesy of:
Andrea Owens

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

Travis on stage playing in a band.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Meet #Rowan 2024: Computer Science Major Dean Julien Joins Freshmen Class From Haiti

Dean and friends.

Today we feature Dean Julien, a Computer Science major from Montrouis Le Maire, Haiti and a first-generation college student.Computer science major Dean Julien in his native Haiti

What are a few things you are looking forward to next year at Rowan?

I am looking forward to meeting a lot of people, seeing old friends, and being the proudest basketball player on the Rowan team

How or why did you choose your major? 

I chose computer science because I love messing with my computer and I want to learn more out of it.

What is one activity, club, sport, or hobby that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan?

I loved playing basketball in high school and I would like to continue playing at Rowan.

Dean Julien and friends in his native Haiti.

Why Rowan? 

Because from what I heard it’s a good college and it’s close to where I am going to be staying. 

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Story by: 
Melanie Sbaraglio, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos courtesy of:
Dean Julien

#PROFspective: Junior Physics Major Reinaldo Vázquez Jr.

Today we feature Reinaldo Vázquez Jr., a junior Physics major and Mathematics minor from Paulsboro, NJ (Gloucester County) who has an off-campus rental. 

What clubs are you a part of on campus? I am the Vice President/Treasurer of Queer People of Color (QPOC).

Reinaldo with the Queer People of Color club.Tell us about one club, organization, or group of friends that make you feel like Rowan is home. Queer People of Color, or QPOC, is a multicultural and LGBTQ+ support group on campus. I spent the last two semesters as Treasurer and Vice President with the goal of making QPOC a diverse community free of ignorance and judgment. I know every meeting that all of our members are going to feel safe expressing themselves and speaking what’s on their minds.

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you? When I came to Rowan almost two years ago, I was with a different major. I worked in the department, but it wasn’t a good fit for me. I felt disconnected and isolated, and I carried that feeling with me for my entire first semester anytime I entered the building. It wasn’t until I met my best friend, partner, and the President-to-be of QPOC, Jahnaya, at the start of the spring semester that I started to feel welcome at Rowan. Naya helped create an environment where I could feel comfortable, and proud, of who I am and does the same for everyone she meets.

Reinaldo at a Queer People of Color event.
Jahnaya and Reinaldo hosting a bake sale table for QPOC at the Student Center

What’s your favorite thing about your typical Monday at Rowan? QPOC meetings were always the best way to unwind at the end of a long day. Since the meetings were on my “off day,” I would do homework all day and then spend a couple of hours catching up with everyone else.

Reinaldo in nature.What is one thing about Rowan that was a happy surprise for you? As a native of South Jersey, I had the opportunity to see Rowan University as it grew over the years. I can remember when the Nexus Apartments were home to Glassboro residents and Holly Pointe Commons and Rowan Boulevard were still just expansion plans for a small-town college. I came to Rowan primarily out of convenience but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is still growing every year, both in students and new projects like the one happening right now on 322. And despite this rapid growth, Rowan has managed to keep students closely engaged with campus life.

Describe for us an experience you’ve shared with a professor or staff member in which you felt like they truly cared about your wellbeing. My Physics professor Dr. Carol Guess is hands-down my favorite professor thus far. Whenever I needed help, whether it was for her class or just guidance during a difficult time, her office door was open. When I wanted to change my major from Engineering, it was thanks to her help in class that I knew Physics would be a better fit for me, and it was thanks to her guidance outside of class that I was able to make the change.

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