Community College to a 4 Year University

Three students walking around Rowan College of South Jersey campus.

Kaleigh Bonitatibus, a senior communication studies major from Washington Township (Gloucester County) shares this first-person perspective on their experience transitioning from Rowan College of South Jersey to Rowan University.

Graduating in 2020 at the peak of the pandemic not only ruined the best part of my senior year but also affected my college decision. I dreamed of going away for all four years to live the “college experience.” However, due to the persistent stay-at-home mandate, I knew it was pointless to leave the state for school if my first year was bound to be all on Zoom anyway. I put away my fantasy of going to a university and decide to begin my higher education at the community college RCSJ. It was more affordable and realistic during the pandemic. However, I always knew that I wanted to transfer to a four-year university to pursue my bachelor’s degree. Rowan University was affordable, close to home, and the easiest to transfer credits to because RCSJ is affiliated with Rowan.

Two students sitting outside the Rowan College of South Jersey entrance.

Transitioning from a community college to a university can be challenging. I was nervous about entering a larger campus, navigating my way to different classes, and meeting new people. Nonetheless, my time at Rowan University has been very successful.

One of the things that helped me with my transition was attending Rowan’s Transfer Student Orientation. It provided me with all the information I needed to know about the university. This especially eased my anxiety about getting around campus and the location of all the different academic buildings.

Another thing that helped me adjust to university was my proximity to campus. Rowan is only a 15 minute drive from my home, so I commute to campus. However, being so close to home means a lot of my high school friends attend Rowan. My friend Spencer, who I went to all of grade school and high school with, also attends Rowan and lives in an off-campus home. Spencer has been a big part of me meeting new people at school because he invited me to several social events where I was able to meet so many more people and even gain some valuable friendships. Joining clubs has also eased my adjustment to Rowan. Currently, I am on the Commission of Community Standards. Being a part of this commission allows me to solve issues that clubs are having and help them grow.

Two students talking in front of a Rowan College of South Jersey flag.

Academically, the transition was challenging but manageable. The courses at Rowan are more rigorous than those at RCSJ, but as I have always prioritized my education I found that I was able to keep up with the workload. Most of my courses at RCSJ were online, and adjusting to in-person classes was slightly taxing since I had to further manage and adjust my work schedule so it could fit in with classes.

Overall, my experience transitioning from RCSJ to Rowan University a was positive one. If you’re considering transferring to a four-year university, my advice would be to attend transfer orientation, get involved on campus, and utilize the resources available to you. It can be anxiety-filling at first, but eventually, it will be worth it and you’ll enjoy your experience at Rowan.

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Written by Kaleigh Bonitatibus, a communication studies major

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

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

A street sign with many different countries on it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet Some of Rowan’s New Transfer Profs

Pink sunset above the iconic roof of Bunce Hall.

Today we’re excited to feature more incoming transfer Rowan Profs. Ella Haulenbeek will transfer from Rowan College at Burlington County; Tanisha Sharma will transfer in from Stockton University; and Leah DeLuca is joining us from Camden County College. 

Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward to at Rowan University? (Personally, academically, anything!)

Ella Haulenbeek: I’m looking forward to making long lasting friendships and becoming more immersed in my psychology career!

Tanisha Sharma: I am looking forward to seeing what classes I would take, what research I could join and where I could find leadership opportunities.

Leah DeLuca: I am looking forward to meeting and collaborating with other education majors.

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

Ella Haulenbeek: I’m hoping to continue my choir experience after not having participated in it since high school.

Leah DeLuca: I am involved in [honor society] Kappa Delta Pi at Camden County College and would like to continue my work with Rowan’s Kappa Delta Pi.

Lea DeLuca with her family on a dock.
Welcome to Rowan, Leah!

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? Learn a language? Be a part of?

Tanisha Sharma: I would love to further explore my leadership skills, along with my perseverance. The latter because my desired path requires a lot of work and consistency therefore, my academics will greatly test the amount of perseverance that I contain.

Please share an interest, hobby or like that you have! (Gaming, cartoons, your pets, music, painting, working out, etc.)

Ella Haulenbeek: I love gaming, makeup, and shopping!

Tanisha Sharma:  I love listening to music, especially while driving or cleaning.

Leah DeLuca: I enjoy traveling with my husband, kids and Irish doodle pup! We have set out to see every lighthouse along the Eastern Seaboard.

A selfie of Tanisha Sharma next to a body of water.
Welcome to Rowan, Tanisha!

What major are you pursuing and why?

Ella Haulenbeek: I’m pursuing a psychology major so I can provide therapy and counseling services to those who need it.

Tanisha Sharma: I am pursing biochemistry. I am pursuing this because I intent to apply to a medical school (hopefully Cooper Medical School) after my undergraduate and this major will take care of all of my academic prerequisites.

Leah DeLuca: Health and physical education. All children can find joy in healthy and active lifestyles regardless of physical ability. I want to help children find that joy and encourage them to try new activities.

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

Ella Haulenbeek: Don’t feel pressured to go somewhere based off of the opinions of others, go somewhere that’ll make you happy.

Tanisha Sharma: I would recommend to them to see which school best suits their needs regarding housing or being a commuter or regarding the professional field in which they would like to pursue a career.

Leah DeLuca: Transferring from a community college to Rowan was an easy process.

Where are you going to live this upcoming year?

Ella Haulenbeek: On campus

Tanisha Sharma: Not sure

Leah DeLuca: Commute from home

Ella Haulenbeek after graduating.
Welcome to Rowan, Ella!

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked, that encouraged you to commit?

Ella Haulenbeek: My brother went to Rowan and he was treated very well, it seems like a welcoming environment!

Tanisha Sharma: The thing that attracted me to Rowan was its concentration in the medical field. The research that Rowan conducts is huge attraction for me as I would like to pursue plenty of hours in research.

Leah DeLuca: Proximity to my home.

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Story by:

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

Welcoming Two Raritan Valley Community College Transfer Students

Freshmen students tour the outside of Holly Pointe Commons residence hall.

Meet our newest transfer Profs Shannon Russo and Angelina Zeppieri. Both Shannon and Angelina recently graduated from Raritan Valley Community College and will begin at Rowan University this fall. 

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

Shannon Russo: I am looking forward to being on my own for the first time in my life.

Angelina Zeppieri: At Rowan University I’m looking forward to applying for internships and dipping my feet into the international business world.

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

Shannon Russo: Softball is a sport I would like to continue. It can be for the university team or the club team. I just want to play.

Angelina stands in front of farm animals wearing a black gown.
Angelina Zeppieri

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

Shannon Russo: I am hoping to expand my social skills and make more out of my social life.

Please share an interest, hobby or like that you have!

Shannon Russo: I play softball and I love to paint. 

Angelina Zeppieri: I love painting in my free time, playing on my Nintendo Switch, and hanging out with my boyfriend and friends.

What major are you pursuing and why?

Shannon Russo: History Education because I love History and I like kids. Plus all of my favorite teachers were my history teachers.

Angelina Zeppieri: I’m majoring in International Business so one day I can work abroad in a successful company, while also learning about the culture of the country I’m in.

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

Shannon Russo: You will know that you are at the right college when you feel excited to go to that college. Don’t stress yourself out over the fact that you have to choose. The choice can be fairly easy.

Angelina Zeppieri: Some advice I have for other transfer students who haven’t committed to a school yet is to find a school which is the right fit for you, academically and socially. Commit to somewhere that you know you’ll thrive there, and work on completing your goals.

Shannon Russo poses with her hand on her hip, in front of a water sunset.
Shannon Russo

Where are you going to live this upcoming year?

Shannon Russo: On campus.

Angelina Zeppieri: On campus.

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked, that encouraged you to commit?

Shannon Russo: The social aspect around the campus. There is always something to do.

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Story by:

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

Spotlight Welcome on Incoming Transfer Paige Britt

Paige stands in the sun with flowers behind her.

“While I’m really excited to be going to Rowan, my biggest concerns when choosing a school were the financial aspects. It was really important to me that all of my credits transferred and that I could truly afford the school I was going to. Rowan made that happen for me.” Written by Jordyn Dauter, sophomore […]

#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 […]

#PROFspective: Student Athlete Kristiina Castagnola on Her Record-Breaking Season and Graduate Assistantship

Kristiina Castagnola poses in front of James Hall.

Today we feature Rowan Global graduate student and student athlete Kristiina Castagnola (she/her) from Voorhees, NJ (Camden County). Off the field, Kristiina is a commuter studying for an MA in Higher Education and works as a graduate assistant for the College of Education. On the field, she has become one of Rowan’s most decorated student […]

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

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

Connecting with Kids: An Elementary Education and Literacy Studies Student’s Story

Rowan College of Education student Isabella stands next to the Reading Clinic room inside James Hall.

Today we feature Isabella Muchler, a junior in Rowan University’s College of Education. Isabella, a dual major in Elementary Education and Literacy Studies, hails from Franklinville, NJ (Gloucester County). She enrolled as a transfer student, having attended Rowan College of South Jersey at Gloucester. Could you share a few on-campus activities, clubs, or pre-professional activities […]

Beyond The Classroom: Senior Supply Chain and Logistics Major Alivia DiNorscio’s Internship with Cape Resorts

An image of Congress Hall where Alivia interned.

Today we feature senior Alivia DiNorscio (she/her) from Bridgewater, NJ (Somerset County). Alivia is an on-campus resident and first-generation college student majoring in Supply Chain and Logistics, having transferred to Rowan University from Raritan Valley Community College. She discusses the major with us here along with the internship she recently completed with Cape Resorts in […]

All About Accounting with Senior Jacob Rodriguez

Jacob reads from a laptop, seated in Business Hall.

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

What Hispanic Heritage Month Means for Jeremy Arias

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was the transition like transferring into Rowan? 

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

Why did you choose to major in Finance? 

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

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

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

What have you enjoyed the most about Rowan so far? 

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

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

Could you tell us a bit more about your Fraternity? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremy is throwing peace signs and smiling at the camera.

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

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

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

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

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

Could you tell us a bit about your hispanic heritage?

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

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

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

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

What does being Hispanic mean to you? 

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

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

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

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

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

What are your favorite parts about your Hispanic heritage? 

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

How has your heritage influenced your identity as a person? 

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

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

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

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

    Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective: History and International Studies Double Major Kyle I.

    Rowan arch with a cloudy blue background.

    Today, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, we feature Senior Kyle I. (he/him) from Woodlynne, NJ (Camden County). Kyle is double majoring in History and International Studies, having transferred to Rowan University from Camden County College. He discusses his experience at Rowan, professional aspirations, and gives advice to future students. What is […]

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

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

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

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

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

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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    Today we feature Zachary Rouhas, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environment and Sustainability Studies and a master’s degree in Sustainable Business. through an accelerated 4+1 program — the first of its kind in the state. Zachary, a veteran of the U.S. Army, discusses his journey to becoming a student within the accelerated program, his future […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What made you decide to transfer to Rowan? 

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

    Annabella is leaning on the Business Hall sign and smiling.

    What’s been your experience like at Rowan?

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

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

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

    Annabella is turning her body towards the camera and smiling.

    What drew you to finance? 

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

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

    Why did you select your current internship? 

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

    Can you describe in detail what your internship entails? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Annabella has her head down and studiously writing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Story by:
    Lucas Taylor, graduate English education major 

    Photography by:
    Ashley Craven, sports communication and media major

    Beyond the Classroom: Sarah Forsman, Achieving the Impossible

    Sarah smiles with green shrubs in the background.

    Sarah Forsman, a Marketing and Psychology student from Gloucester County, is an advocate for those who have Alpha-Mannosidosis and Craniosynostosis. Her experience with the following conditions have provided Sarah with a renewed perspective — one that influences her outreach and prospective goals. In today’s article, Sarah discusses her story, her involvement across organizations, and her use of writing as a platform to champion others. 

    Why did you choose to study marketing and psychology?

    I came to Rowan after I went to Rowan College of South Jersey. I got my associate degree in business administration, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I chose marketing because it’s versatile.

    When I entered my senior year, I realized that I didn’t like marketing, but I had all of these credits. I prayed and thought about it until I came to the conclusion of psychology. This is something that I am interested in learning more about and potentially doing in the future because it has helped me. I chose psychology so if I potentially got a master’s in this area, I would have all the core classes.

    What internship are you involved in and what are some responsibilities in this position?

    Currently, I am interning for Craniofacial Connection. They are a brand new organization. I’ve been in the craniofacial world for some time now because I was diagnosed with Craniosynostosis and I had surgery when I was a year and a half. The person that I am interning for, she worked for the children’s hospital when I had my surgery. She was starting this new organization and she needed help with marketing. Right now, we’re focusing on starting social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We are also working to develop a newsletter as well as updating her website. 

    Sarah stands and smiles at her home.

    Can you share your story about Alpha-Mannosidosis and Craniosynostosis?

    I was born with Alpha-Mannosidosis. It’s a rare genetic disease that affects every single cell in the body. My body was missing one enzyme and that was the alpha-mannosidase enzyme. By missing that enzyme, it really affects every single part of the body. It affects my bones, brain, and muscles. If you think of something, it’s probably most likely affected by this rare disease. I’ve had a lot of challenges when I was younger. I had moderate hearing loss so I had hearing aids. My muscles were very weak so I had trouble walking. I had ataxia or balance issues. I had a lot of cognitive issues and processing issues. I also have issues with my memory so I don’t remember anything from when I was younger. Even things that were two or three years ago are hard for me to remember, so I always say that I have a blank slate for everything!

    With Alpha-Mannosidosis, I do have a treatment option, but it’s not technically a cure. I had a bone marrow transplant when I was four and a half. Transplants are very risky because of the chemo drugs that are used. The surgery really helped my life because if I didn’t have that bone marrow transplant, I would be here in a wheelchair, barely communicating, and having so many issues because it is a degenerative disease.

    What are some of the challenges that followed after your bone marrow transplant?

    I don’t really have a lot of challenges that were from the actual transplant. We’ve watched a lot of the different aspects that it can affect, and everything is looking pretty good right now. The bone marrow transplant stops the disease from progressing at that stage so anything that happened is thought to have stopped where it was. I still have challenges with my memory, cognitive issues, and brain issues in general. I have a lot of good muscles now and after the bone marrow transplant my hearing came back. I don’t have hearing aids now, which is super cool!

    The biggest thing is probably my brain because it really affects everyday life. My life doesn’t look the same as a typical person that is my age because of what I’m experiencing with my brain challenges. That means I don’t have a job, I don’t drive, I go to school part-time, and I’m doing neurofeedback therapy three times a week. My schedule looks a lot different, but I’m always just trying to remind myself to stay in the moment and be ok with where I am because of the things that I’ve gone through.

    Sarah sits and smiles at her home.

    How do you advocate for others who may be experiencing similar challenges?

    I’m involved with a lot of different things because I don’t have a job, so it can help me be in all of these different areas. A lot of what I do, I do on social media. Parents who have kids that are being diagnosed with Alpha-Mannosidosis are reaching out to me because they see that I have Alpha-Mannosidosis on my social media pages. It’s so cool because they’re reaching out to me and we’re getting on a Zoom call to talk. We’re connecting with families that are across the world like Brazil and Serbia. The one girl that we connected with recently had a bone marrow transplant to stop the disease from progressing. A lot of my advocating happens on social media because there’s not that many people that have this rare disease alone in the United States.

    As a board member of International Society for Mannosidosis and Related Diseases (ISMRD), what is the mission of the organization and your responsibilities?

    ISMRD is the International Society for Mannosidosis and Related Diseases. It’s a family support for all of the different rare diseases that are within this organization. We’re researching a lot because we work with scientists who are looking for cures for these nine glycoprotein rare diseases. We’re on a mission to really try and get the patients connected with the scientists, doctors, and similar networks. I have been on the board for a little under a year. I am working on sending emails to the family to update them on things that are happening within the organization or any opportunities that are happening in the rare disease world. I am also going to be helping them with their social media presence on Instagram because they don’t have Instagram. The board is made up of parents of these kids who have these rare diseases, so there’s not many younger people on the board.

    How do you use your interest in writing as an outlet and a platform for your goals?

    I absolutely love writing! It’s funny because when I was in elementary school, I always wanted to be a writer one day. My mom told me to go for it, even though I had challenges in the writing classes because that was one of the challenges I had with what I was born with. Writing was not my strong suit whatsoever, so I love that I am able to write and share my journey. I write in a way that feels like I’m talking to you and that’s really what I want it to be like. I want to have a conversation with someone because we live in a world that is so fast-paced and no one is sitting down and having a conversation about what they are going through or what is happening in their life. I just want to help to inspire people, even if it’s just one person that reads my blog. I just want to share some hope, joy, and peace in their life.

    Sarah stands and smiles at her home.

    What is the idea behind the title of your blog, Achieve the Impossible Today?

    I am a Christian, and in the Bible it says in Mark 10:27 by Jesus: “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” I grew up Catholic, but I stopped going to church. I knew God when I was younger, but it wasn’t like I know him now. In the past four years of knowing God and diving into my relationship with Jesus, he’s just shown me that anything is possible. The whole thing is I just want to share stories of doing the impossible because everything that I’m doing today is considered impossible.

    Who do you hope to reach with your blog?

    Anyone — I would love for anyone who’s going through a hard season to read my blog and find that hope that they will get through this. It’s also for parents who are just finding out that their kid has Alpha-Mannosidosis because there’s not much out there. I just want to raise awareness of the disease.

    What are your goals for the blog and your future?

    The main theme that I wish to go after is just to inspire people in whatever it may be that I’m doing.

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

    Photos by:
    Harley Sarmiento, senior sports communication and media major

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

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

    Why did you pick Rowan? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What drew you to your major?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What have been your favorite moments so far on campus? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Story by:
    Lucas Taylor, English Education major

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

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    My Most Interesting Class: United States History to 1865

    Ahmad looks to the side while leaning against a railing in Business Hall.

    While senior Ahmad Conteh has pursued his degree in Finance through the Rohrer College of Business, one course he took from outside his major quickly became one of his favorites. Read on as Ahmad, a transfer student from Mercer County College, shares details on a class that took him centuries back in our nation’s past. […]

    From TikTok Dreams to Reality: A Summer to Remember in Lake Powell, Arizona

    Sofia DiCastelnuovo, a senior Biological Sciences major with a minor in Sustainability Science, shares how she went from scrolling on TikTok in New Jersey to spending a full summer in Lake Powell, Arizona. 

    If you are looking for a sign to travel: this story is for you. Sofia DiCastelnuovo is a transfer student from another four-year university that was not the right fit for her. She declared a Biological Sciences major right away because she knew she loved science and the environment. She came to Rowan for the opportunity for a fresh start and guidance on how to combine her passion with a career. 

    Zion National Park, Utah - Angel’s Landing Hike
    Zion National Park, Utah – Angel’s Landing Hike

    Unfortunately, Sofia did not get a traditional experience her first semester here as everyone was sent home due to Covid-19.

    “After getting sent home and having time to really think about things, I was feeling really stuck in place. Covid made me realize that I wanted to strive to do more in the future. I really started thinking about what my next steps were after quarantine and how I could combine my passion with my coursework,” Sofia says.

    Like many of us, Sofia spent a lot of time on TikTok during isolation. Her “For You” page wasn’t filled with viral dances or whipped coffee recipes, though. She realized that her algorithm was sending her a sign she needed to receive. 

    “I was scrolling scrolling on TikTok and saw all of these travel videos of people at national parks or these beautiful remote locations. I found this website called ‘Coolworks’ through those videos, which is a database that displays seasonal work opportunities in all different places around the country,” Sofia explains.

    Arches national park
    Arches National Park, Utah

    This got Sofia thinking: maybe traveling and seeing new places could give her clarity on what she wanted to do in the future as a career. She says, “I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my biology major, but I thought traveling would allow me to immerse myself in a different environment while also learning new things.” 

    Rather than dreaming about traveling or working in a new place, Sofia started taking the steps to do it. “I started applying everywhere. I had no place in mind, I just cast my net wide and hoped for the best,” she says.

    Luckily for Sofia, a company from Lake Powell, Arizona called her within a few weeks for a phone interview. They offered Sofia a position at the end of that phone call.

    Sofia at Zion National Park.
    Sofia at Zion National Park

    “I never thought I’d go to the desert of all places. It was completely out of my comfort zone, so I took some time to think about it, but ultimately accepted the offer a few days later.”

    Sofia accepted a position at Wahweap Rental Marina, where she helped visitors rent houseboats, kayaks, jet skis and other small boats on Lake Powell. 

    “I worked as a rental agent in the office, which was my first time doing anything like that,” she says. “I got to meet different people traveling from all over the world every single day. They provided employees with housing where we could cook, eat, and even exercise at the fitness center. Any time we weren’t working was our time to explore.”

    Lake Powell
    Lake Powell, Utah

    “I got to visit five national parks, but Zion National Park was my favorite. It was beautiful. I hiked Angels Landing and the Narrows, which were places on my bucket list from TikTok. It was cool to hike places that I had only ever seen through a phone screen. The videos didn’t do them justice.” 

    Sofia came back to New Jersey at summer’s end with a new mindset. “The trip made me realize everyone has their own path. I always questioned what my future held and put so much pressure on myself. I met so many people doing seasonal work (high schoolers, college students, retired people etc.) who were doing the exact same thing as me. Not only am I able to put this valuable experience on my resume, I was able to learn a lesson I really needed to: it’s ok to figure it out as you go.”

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

    Photos courtesy of:
    Sofia DiCastelnuovo, senior biological sciences major

    Header photo courtesy of:
    Pixabay

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    Beyond The Classroom: Entrepreneurship Major, Owner of Showtime Sneaker Boutiques, Christian Giannola

    Today we feature Entrepreneurship major Christian Giannola. Christian, a senior, transferred freshman year from Monmouth University to increase his knowledge in business and entrepreneurship to assist him in running his full-time sneaker boutique business. Christian shares information on Showtime Sneaker Boutique and its two locations, how he started this business, and how Rowan helped him […]

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

    Jamar smiles while looking to his left side.

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

    My First Year as a Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Major

    A Rowan SOM Vaccine Site

    Meet De’Chyna King, a junior transfer student from Cumberland County who is double majoring in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and Law and Justice.

    I’ve always liked humanitarian-type services and helping people. During high school I found myself in a lot of helping environments like working with the Red Cross. That was my first introduction to disaster preparedness, because I didn’t even know what the field was called.

    De'Chyna poses for a portrait.It made me think, “What is that major anyway?” So I did my research and fell into it. This is such a new field that not many people know about it, but there’s so much opportunity.

    When I came to Rowan I didn’t realize they were one of the only schools that teach this program in person. There’s such a variety of teachers on campus and after working with them and learning about what they do, I’ve realized this is really what I’m interested in. 

    I want to help people and direct people through national disasters, whether it be through food drive, blood drives, relocating people or through more of a director role.

    This is my first year at Rowan, and I’ve found that there are a lot of opportunities. Especially with COVID-19, there’s a lot of internships at Rowan’s mega-site.

    De'Chyna stands in front of Westby Hall.This pandemic was a new experience. Nobody was prepared to know how to handle it — exactly what Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management majors do. As an intern you could be involved from directing people, assisting with checking cards, organizing lines, checking allergies, even working with the military. It was a great experience with all these professional people. Working with first responders was a lot to experience my first semester here.

    All of my teachers are very hands on, as far as internships and involvement. Everything from internships and resumes to jobs after college. Especially on the East coast, there’s so many federal jobs with the White House and Homeland Security.

    If you know you like helping people, not even in a direct way, this could be great option for you. Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness is such an umbrella of things. You can be working with logistics if you’re good with numbers. You can be working with directors for hands-on leadership skills. You can work with mapping, there’s geographical, there’s environmental sciences.

    This such a broad major that you can apply yourself wherever — you’re never out of a job, and you’re always needed. So it’s something that everyone can enjoy if they find the right space for themselves.

    If you do your own research and you enjoy logistics and humanitarianism, this is absolutely a great fit for you. This major is so broad that work-wise [it will] always be needed.

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    Sports CaM Major, Navy Reservist and Mother Harley Sarmiento Shares Her Story

    Today we feature Harley Sarmiento, a junior Sports Communication and Media major with a concentration in Sports Journalism from Gibbstown, NJ (Gloucester County). Harley is a member of the Navy Reserve and mother to her 1-year-old son. Harley goes into detail on her experience within the military and as a transfer student at Rowan.

    Why did you choose to study Sports Communication and Media?

    I was an athlete growing up. During high school I competed in two different varsity sports and then I managed a varsity sport in the winter. Because of this, I always had a personal connection to sports. My family was also heavily involved in our sports programs back in my home town. Once I started journalism in the military, I decided I wanted to pursue it on the sports side while working on the civilian side. 

    Harley Sarmiento smiles near a tree-lined path on campus.
    Harley Sarmiento

    Why did you choose Rowan to study Sports Communication and Media?

    I am a transfer student from University of California San Diego. I was stationed there for four years, and I just moved back to New Jersey in May.

    Once I moved back to New Jersey and I was looking at schools, I found that Rowan was the best fit for me location wise and in regards to my academic goals. 

    How has Rowan supported you in being a mother, active in the navy and being a student?

    This fall semester is my first semester here at Rowan. The professors that I have had this semester have been extremely supportive. I have been taking both online and in person classes this semester and the professors have really been flexible with my schedule. For the most part, I have had really good relationships with all my professors to where if something comes up with my son, they were super easy to communicate with and understand that being a mother comes first.

    At my previous university, I did not have the support, understanding or flexibility from my professors. Rowan has been extremely helpful, especially during my first semester here as a transfer student. 

    Harley holds up her son Easton in front of autumn foliage.
    Harley with her son, Easton

    Can you talk a little bit about why you joined the Navy? What was your motivation to join?

    My grandfather and my uncle were both in the Navy. Because of this, I always heard about the military growing up. The year before I joined the Navy, my cousin, who was my best friend throughout my childhood, joined the Marine Corps. My cousin seemed to have a very positive experience and  this led me to deciding to join the Navy. I also did not want to give my parents the burden of paying for college. After weighing my options, I decided to join the Navy, travel the world for a time period, and then come back and finish my degree. 

    Can you talk a little bit about where you have been deployed to and your experience on duty? What is the longest time you have been away from home? Are you going to be deployed anytime soon?

    When you are active in the Navy, you know a timeframe of when you will be deployed. For instance, I knew a couple months ahead that I was going to be deployed because they are scheduled. However, now that I am on the reserve side, I kind of get to pick and choose if I want to go or if I want to stay home — unless something huge happens and they need me to go serve. My current title is Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class, Surface Warfare/Air Warfare. 

    When I was on the active side, I deployed to many different places. In 2018, I deployed for 10.5 months on the USNS Mercy. This was a hospital humanitarian ship where we provided medical care for many different countries. Some of the countries that I have been to were Japan, Indonesia, Guam, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and some smaller islands owned by the bigger countries mentioned. I was a photographer journalist, so my job was basically to document everything we did for these countries while on these deployments. 

    Harley walking with her son on a walking path along Rowan Boulevard.

    Do you plan on having a future professional career in Sports Communication and Media or do you hope to stay involved with the naval academy and/or military in some way?

    My goal overall is to eventually separate from the Navy to pursue a more civilian career in Sports Communications. As much as I loved the military, it was not heavily family oriented. I want to see my son grow up and be available to attend all his events, and this is unlikely while being active in the Navy. 

    How do you manage to balance your education with your involvement in the Navy while also being a mother? 

    Coming back to New Jersey and my hometown has been extremely beneficial for my son and my family. My parents still live locally, my cousins, aunts, uncles and siblings all chip in and help, [my] boyfriend’s family helps, and everyone in my circle is willing to help whenever we need anything. I am really lucky that I have such a big support system. 

    Harley reading to her son at Rowan Barnes and Noble.

    What is your favorite part of being a mother?

    I think providing my child with everything I ever wanted is one of my favorite parts of being a mother. For instance, my son just turned 1 year old in August, and we took him to Disney with my family for his birthday. I think seeing his excitement everyday is so rewarding. The little things that make him happy like the Christmas tree and the lights are so rewarding. It is like I get to see the world through a kid’s eyes again. 

    What are your goals after you graduate?

    I am hoping that it works out that I can be a stay-at-home mom for a little bit since my boyfriend has a stable job [who is in the Army]. Once my son starts school, I plan on hopefully working for a local newspaper and cover the high school sports of the area. My boyfriend is 28 and I am 23 and we enjoy attending and watching the sporting events locally, so I think it would be interesting to cover those events for a newspaper. 

    Harley smiling while sitting on a bench on campus.

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    Story By:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    #PROFspective: Junior Electrical and Computer Engineering Major Omar Bedewy

    Omar stands in front of the banner at Rowan Hall.

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

    Omar poses in a wooded area.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

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

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

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

    Omar poses in front of Rowan Hall.

    Take us through one typical Rowan day for you.

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

    Omar poses in a wooded area.

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

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

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major 

    Valentina Giannattasio, freshman dance and marketing double major

    Music Industry Major Pharaoh Freer’s Big Break

    Pharaoh sits on a bench near James Hall.

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

    Can you tell us a little about yourself?

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

    Pharoah smiles in front of Wilson Hall.

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

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

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

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

    Pharaoh walks on a path near James Hall.

    Would you ever do something like that again?

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

    Did you go to the premiere? 

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

    Pharaoh looks ahead near James and Wilson Halls.

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

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

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

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

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

    Pharaoh sits and smiles with Wilson Hall in the background.

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    Story By:
    Bianca Gray, senior English major

    Photos By:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major 

    Transfer to Transformed: Five Students Share

    Exterior shot of a walkway near Wilson Hall.

    Rowan Blog celebrates National Transfer Student Week and partners with the Office of Student Success Programs in spotlighting five students who have found their new college home at Rowan University. Victoria (Tore) Butler, Elementary Education and Literacy Studies major who transferred from The University of Scranton in fall 2019 Why did you select to transfer […]

    Transfer Story: La’Tonia Carnegie [VIDEO]

    Exterior shot of 301 High St. and Art Gallery entrance.

    Originally from Jamaica, La’Tonia Carnegie transferred to Rowan to pursue a career in public relations. “Because of Rowan, I just launched my business,” La’Tonia says. “Rowan definitely elevated and gave me that push I needed to pursue my career.”

    La’Tonia is just one of the thousands of students who choose to transfer to Rowan each year.

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    Video by:
    Max Morgan, Radio/TV/Film graduate

    Beyond the Classroom: Legislative Intern, Scholarship Winner Nick Feldman

    Nick smiles, stands in front of Bunce Hall.

    Today we feature Nick Feldman, a junior Political Science major with Certificates of Undergraduate Study (CUGS) in Public Policy and Russian. An on-campus resident from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County), Nick transferred to Rowan from Rosemont College. He works as a photographer for Rowan Athletics and as a Multimedia Editor for The Whit. Nick interned at NJ State Assemblywoman Patricia Lampitt’s office (District 6) and NJ State Assemblyman William Spearman (District 5), and is one of eight recipients of the Dr. Bruce Caswell Scholars Fund. 

    Nick poses on the side of Bunce Hall.

    Could you share some backstory about yourself?

    When I first came to Rowan, in Fall 2020, we were in the middle of the pandemic. I went to campus reluctantly. At first, I thought there wouldn’t be a lot of opportunities, but as I got involved, I realized that there were. I’m really, really excited about this semester. I know there’s going to be so many more opportunities. 

    What got you interested in political science?

    I’ve always liked history. At Rosemont College, the college I transferred from, my major was history education. I was studying to be a high school history teacher. However, I’ve always been very interested in politics.

    During the 2020 election, I obsessed over the campaigns, the candidates, the policies, everything. So, I thought it was a logical choice to switch my major over to the political science, which is something that I’ve always really liked. I have always thought about how I can make a difference in the world. Well, if I major in Political Science, and I’m able to intern with the people who represent me, I get to know the ins and outs of the process. Then, hopefully, when I graduate college and go into the professional world, I can make a positive impact on the world. Therefore, it was a natural choice. 

    Nick holds a DSLR camera in front of Bunce Hall.

    How did you find out about the Caswell Scholarship?

    I received an email from the Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship (RIPPAC) about the Caswell Scholarship and other scholarships. The scholarship was enticing. I worked on two unpaid political internships this summer. I thought I might as well just apply for any of the scholarships in the email, in order to cover my expenses. I ended up getting the Caswell Scholarship, which is huge. The Caswell Scholarship helped with even just gas money to get from my house to the internships. 

    Can you tell me about your two internships?

    One of my internships was with Assemblywoman Patricia Lampitt, an assemblywoman in the sixth legislative district, where I live. This internship was remote, and more policy and analysis focused. I was given bills as long as 20 pages, and I read through them and categorized where money was being spent. While some people might find this kind of work boring, I found it fun.

    My other internship was in the fifth legislative district office in Woodbury with Assemblyman William Spearman. My internship with Assemblyman Spearman was in person. I enjoyed being in person and getting to talk with my co-workers face to face and learning from their experiences. Most of my responsibilities were focused on constituent services, such as answering the phone, transferring calls, and entering callers into our call system. Our call system keeps track of the reason for their call, so we can keep track of their concerns and their contact information. Unfortunately, many people are calling about unemployment, but we were able to track that and help them. I really liked this internship. 

    Nick poses in front of a tree.

    What are some policies that you worked on specifically?

    Many of the policies I worked on at my internship with Assemblywoman Lampitt were K-12 education based, since the Assemblywoman is the Chair of the New Jersey General Assembly Committee on Education. Something I worked on was keeping track of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, which is the state agency for rebuilding and upgrading our schools and public school system. One project was looking through their massive portfolio and seeing where their money is being spent, and what it is being spent on.

    Also, the Assemblywoman did a lot of work regarding childhood poverty. I remember she had me looking at legislative proposals that worked to diminish the effects of childhood poverty in our state. New Jersey, unfortunately, has a high cost of living, so the cost to live here is a lot more than the federal guidelines say it should cost to live. Unfortunately, there are many people in New Jersey who are technically in poverty, but to the federal government, they are not, because the federal government’s guidelines are so low. So she’s working to see if there are any remedies to that so that people who need help can actually get instead of being frozen out of the system.

    How has the Caswell Scholarship impacted you?

    To be chosen for the Caswell Scholarship felt like validation of everything that I’ve been trying to achieve over these last few years. I hold it in the same regard as making Dean’s list. The scholarship feels like affirmation of those times where I’ve had trouble. I have ADHD, so I have had a really hard time with organization and whatnot. Getting these two internships was a huge moment for me, because it was wonderful to be out in the outside world working. It required great organizational skills so that I could have two different positions. The scholarship made me feel like all the work that I’ve been putting in has come to fruition. Feeling recognized makes me feel really good, not just about what I’ve achieved, but about myself. It makes me feel that even though I have this thing that makes me different and is pretty difficult sometimes with daily tasks, I can accomplish what I want to accomplish.

    Nick poses in front of a tree and the American flag.

    Could you describe your professional goals?

    I really, really want to be in [Washington] DC. DC is the place to be, but I would really love to be on a staff in the federal government, so that I can work on laws and legislation. State and local governments are important, but the federal government is a whole different animal. I would love to be down there, not only working, but continuing to advocate for the causes that I believe in, progressive education policy and progressive health care policies. Then who knows. Maybe one day, I would love to run for office, but that would be in the future. 

    What advice do you have for other students seeking political science college internships? 

    I would say don’t be scared and don’t be intimidated. That’s how I felt applying for a lot of these internships. I got rejected by a couple and that got me down; but overall, I was fine in the long run. Don’t get intimidated by the process. It might seem intimidating that someone who’s part of a staff is going to interview you for an internship. However, once you get in contact with these people, you’ll realize that they’re normal people just like you. The staff wants to hire somebody who works hard. They want to bring somebody in who’s affable, who will not be a negative presence in the office. They want somebody who’s going to be a hard worker and will do what is needed to help. If I had to do the process over again, that’s exactly what I would try to emphasize.

    Also, don’t be afraid to work at the state and local level. The federal government is cool and all. However, if you think about it, your local government takes care of daily things such as sewage. Your state government provides unemployment. So don’t knock working in the state or local government. It’s very important.

    Nick stands on the side of Bunce Hall.

    Final thoughts?

    I really wish that I had come to Rowan from the start. I love my experiences here, the people I’ve met, and just how welcoming the entire campus has been. I went to a smaller school to start out. There were probably 300 people at my previous school. I like that Rowan is bigger and feels more like a university. One of the best decisions of my life was transferring to Rowan. 

    I am also thankful for Dr. Dworkin and the entire RIPPAC team. When I first came to Rowan, I didn’t think there was anything for me to do. I got these emails from Dr. Dworkin saying, if you’re interested in Political Science, come on, come out. I thought, “I’ll just go, I have nothing better to do.” It was a brilliant decision for me to get involved with RIPPAC and get involved on campus.

    RIPPAC’s been great. They made me feel welcome. They have improved not only my professional development, but they’re also teaching me. Besides just the ins and outs of policy and legislation, they also have been having these great leadership seminars too. They’ve also been an extremely big help for me, and they’ve helped me grow not just in terms of my experience and what I can do, but also in terms of who I am. They’ve been a positive influence.

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

    Photos by:
    Nick Flagg, senior theatre and advertising major

    Frequently Asked Questions About the Rowan Writing Center Answered With Tutor Bianca Gray

    Today, Rowan Blog contributor and Writing Center tutor Bianca Gray answers questions people often ask her about the Rowan Writing Center. Bianca, a senior English major with a concentration in Shakespeare Studies, notes: “Spoiler alert! Don’t be surprised by how much I say RWC.” 

    What is the RWC?

    The Rowan Writing Center (often abbreviated as RWC) is the place on campus to go if you need help with any form of writing and is also a nice place to study. It’s open Sunday-Friday and operates throughout the entire school year as well as the summer. Currently, it’s fully virtual, but there are hopes that it will be open for the 2021-22 academic school year (check the RWC site for up-to-date hours of operation). 

    Bianca stands next to a sign in The Writing Center.

    Where is the RWC?

    The RWC is located on the first floor of the Campbell Library.

    How did you get hired with the RWC?

    Buckle up ’cause it’s a long story: The worst part about being a transfer student was everything I had built for myself at my previous institution being torn down. Before coming to Rowan, I spent the majority of my [first] year at my previous school making a name for myself around campus, specifically with the Writing Arts department. I had won the Freshman essay contest and had snagged an internship working with the Writing Center at that campus before I had to leave the school due to an unforeseen change in my finances.

    I came to Rowan because I saw how well the Writing Arts department was and hoped to make the same foothold at this institution as I had at my previous one. My academic advisor placed me in a class called ‘Tutoring For Writing’ where I met one of the nicest professors on campus, Dr. Leslie Allison. I told Dr. Allison about my situation and how I wanted to be involved with the writing department on this campus and, while she couldn’t just give me a job, she helped me strengthen my tutoring skills to make me properly prepared to apply to work at the Writing Center when the time came. Thanks to Dr. Allison’s help as well as my newly strengthened skills, I was able to get a job with the RWC. 

    Will the hiring process be as dramatic for me?

    No, I’m just dramatic by nature. The hiring process is pretty straightforward. Applications go out in the spring, then there’s interviews, then you’ll know if you got the job relatively quickly.

    Bianca works on a computer at The Writing Center.

    What does your job consist of?

    Students from all over the university (both undergraduate and graduate) make appointments with my co-workers and I in order to get feedback on any given writing assignment. We don’t just look over English or writing major papers; we look and give feedback on papers that span across many different majors.

    The RWC hires people of many different majors so that we’re better equipped at helping all students. We even have Engineering and Biology major tutors in order for them to help students who need help with lab reports.

    On top of that, tutors also work closely with first year writing classes and hold weekly hour-long sessions in order to help first year students with their home/classwork as well going over things they may have been struggling with in class.

    So if I go to the RWC for help with a paper, will they edit it for me? 

    No, RWC tutors are not editors. Editing a paper does nothing to help a student grow. It’s like when a teacher just X’s something you wrote out and writes wrong next to it. If you don’t know what the problem is then how can you be expected to solve it? RWC tutors, however, will go through your paper and mark areas where they see repeated problems and discuss those problems with you so that you can better understand the issue and learn not to make those same mishaps again.

    What I do is this: If I see a repeated problem in a paper, I correct it the first time and mark it the next two times but don’t correct it. After that, I don’t correct or mark the problem at all. I discuss the issue with the student and expect for them to go back through the paper and find places where they see the problem and correct it themselves. Editing a paper doesn’t help a student to become a better writer. 

    What’s the best part about working there?

    Definitely my co-workers and supervisors. Celeste, Donna and Cate are some of the coolest people I’ve ever met since being in college. I remember taking Shakespeare my first semester of working at the Writing Center and Cate always taking the time out of her day to better help me understand my work for the class, something she was under no obligation to do. It’s little stuff like that that makes me really appreciate them. My coworkers are cool as well. They’re a very boisterous group of people (more boisterous than you’d expect a group of tutors to be), but they all mean well. I remember my coworker, Nia, going out of her way to make me feel included and help me out when I first started. Having such a positive work environment with friendly faces makes the job so much easier. 

    Bianca checks her laptop at The Writing Center.

    What’s your advice to anybody nervous to come to the RWC in fear of their paper being judged or criticized harshly?

    The RWC is a no-judgement zone. No tutor wants to read a paper and rip it apart. Everything we say is meant to be constructive and help to make your paper the best it can possibly be. If a tutor does or says something that makes a student feel upset or uncomfortable, report it immediately and it will be handled by the supervisors. 

    What are some other cool things about the RWC?

    They host so many different events throughout the academic year. In a COVID-free school year, the RWC hosts multiple events including movie nights, trivia nights and holiday parties. If you’re ever free, don’t be afraid to come! 

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    Story By:
    Bianca Gray, senior English major

    Beyond the Classroom: On the Campaign Trail with Political Science Major Stephen Scheuren

    Stephen with candidates and volunteers from the campaign.

    Today we feature Stephen Scheuren of Marlton, NJ (Burlington County). Stephen has served in the Army National Guard for nearly six years as a Signal Support Systems Specialist and was on active duty in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria. He transferred to Rowan University in spring 2021 from Rowan College at Burlington County. A Political Science major, Stephen works as an intern on a state senate and assembly campaign in Atlantic County’s second legislative district. He earned a Rick Rosenberg, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, which offsets the costs to take an unpaid internship. Here, Stephen describes his internship experience and his plans for the future. 

    Have you had time to join any clubs on campus?

    I’m very involved in RIPPAC (Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship). I’ve gone to almost every event they’ve scheduled with Dr. [Benjamin] Dworkin. I also joined the Pre-Law Society so I’ve been going to their events as well, and Phi Alpha Delta with their LSAT studying. It’s a law fraternity [for] people who want to go to law school and people who are in law school. I would like to look at what other clubs are at Rowan, but I think due to COVID, you couldn’t really do that.

    How did you find out about RIPPAC? 

    Exactly how, why and where I’m at is because of Dr. Dworkin. ­­­I was talking to him, and he asked me, “What do you want to do in life?” I said, “I want to be a prosecutor.” He was asking me why. And then he started giving me advice: “Okay, here’s what you need to do. You need to do an internship now. You have three semesters left, go now. Now, now, now.” And he said, “Join my class, New Jersey Politics.” And I did, I took his class, took his advice and this is where I’m at, because of Dr. Dworkin, and so I attribute it to him, and RIPPAC is why I’m at where I’m at. RIPPAC is a very successful organization. It’s young, and it’s really hit the ground running.

    Stephen (left) with Assemblyman Jon Brambick.
    Stephen (left) with New Jersey Assemblyman Jon Bramnick.

    What got you interested in political science?

    I just honestly like the functions of government, and not only that, along the lines of foreign policy and domestic issues as well. The justice system is something that especially interests me. And partly economics and international relations, it’s kind of a mix of everything that interests me. I guess one word to sum it up is just government. Just government. 

    How did you find out about the Rosenberg Memorial Scholarship? 

    Yes, same answer through Dr. Dworkin, because I’m conservative. I’m interning with the Republican Party out of Atlantic City and their ticket. Well, Atlantic County, second legislative district. He told me, “You should apply for this, you should definitely apply for this.” And because I was new at Rowan, I couldn’t apply to it right away. And so the semester was over, because I had to have the generated GPA. And Dr. Dworkin would say, “Did you apply yet, did you apply yet?” I just finally did, because my GPA came in. And I was shocked when I received that … it was one of the first scholarships I got. It was great, I was very happy about it. 

    Tell me about your internship. 

    Stephen had originally interned for another campaign; but when the candidate resigned, the campaign manager connected him with his current campaign under a new manager named Brett Barbin.

    I started doing the same thing for him, opposition research, public things, and then I started working more directly with him and the candidates. And I would go with Brett as an aide for Brett when he was aiding the candidates who are Don Guardian, Claire Swift and Vince Polistina.

    And so, as more time went on, I was more direct with the candidates. And because my intention with going and interning here, I specifically sought the second legislative district because they looked like they had the highest chance of winning for a Republican nomination.

    We had specific lists for people we’d reach out to to volunteer, and I would contact those people as well. And honestly, whatever Brett asked me, I was just jumping on. I wasn’t a volunteer, I was more of an intern because I was working with the candidates themselves. 

    Whenever I’m at Rowan, and I’m still a representative of that campaign. Anywhere I go, I am a representative of that campaign. We’re still campaigning; I mean, my car is literally filled with literature for the campaign.

    You’re right in the thick of it. There is no coffee grabbing for you for sure.

    Yeah, actually, it’s funny you say that, because when we were door knocking, it was over 90 degrees. And so what I did was, I said to myself, alright, it’s going to be insanely hot. So what I did was I put in my backpack, like, six large tallboy waters. And then I put ice packs in between them. And I would walk around, I would just say to the candidate, “Don,” and I would just turn around, and he would [go to] my bag and just pull out a water, he would he would say to me, “Steve, you’re moving up in the world. You got water all ready for us.” And then I would have the candidates running over to my bag and just grabbing water out of my bag.

    Stephen (at right) has water bottles and campaign materials at the ready while door knocking with the candidates.
    Stephen (at right) has water bottles and campaign materials at the ready while door knocking with the candidates.

    It would help get us through the day. Because when we were at the end, I mean, everyone was just, it was like we were in a rainstorm. We were all soaked. It was great because you kind of learn when you’re door knocking with them, you get the experience of how they’re trying to get someone to come to our side and vote. 

    How has the Rosenberg Scholarship impacted your internship experience?

    It impacted it significantly. I won the Rosenberg Scholarship and [was] very happy about it. But I was able to get the opportunity to introduce Assembly Minority Leader, Jon Bramnick, for the Republican Party, at RIPPAC’s political intern summit MAPIS [Mid-Atlantic Political Intern Summit]. And that helped me talk about the campaign from a public aspect and be a representative of the campaign for and talk to Jon Bramnick.

    With the Rosenberg Scholarship it gave me more recognition and solidified that I’m a representative here in Atlantic County and outside of Atlantic County, because of the speech I was able to give and deliver with introducing Assemblyman Bramnick.

    Stephen (at right) introduces Assemblyman Bramnick at the Mid-Atlantic Political Intern Summit.
    Stephen (at right) introduces Assemblyman Bramnick at the Mid-Atlantic Political Intern Summit.

    What are your professional goals?

    This year that’s passing and next year are just all structured around going to law school.

    And for anyone that wants to go to law school, I would highly recommend they have at least one campaign trail. Even if you don’t politically identify with anyone, just go with someone. I mean, it is technically a form of public service, in my opinion; I mean, you’re helping people having governments. It’s about following Dr. Dworkin’s advice and get your internships in; that way, I have a better law school resume. Same thing with the Army National Guard, helps me with my law school resume.

    And well, doing prosecution, because that’s the one area I want to practice. And if I fall out of prosecution, I will look into whatever I would like to do for private practice.

    What advice do you have for other students seeking out college internships, specifically, political science internships?

    This is going to be kind of specific, it depends on where you want your career to be. So you kind of have to tailor it. I tailored mine. And, again, Dr. Dworkin helped me tailor it. I tailored mine to law school, and to help me have someone look at my resume and go, I want to interview him.

    I would go through RIPPAC, and you can always ask Dr. Dworkin because he is a New Jersey guru on how the state works. And that’s how I went. But once you get in there, it’s a whole different ballgame. You’ve got to be reliable. I live an hour away from where the offices for our campaign and where we’re campaigning, but I’m always there. Whenever they asked me. Always there ready to go.

    And I would say flexible would be another good word. But also, I think you should get a an idea, if you’re a Political Science major, where you want to work. You should really have that in your mind. And that will help you tailor to what internships you’re looking for. It’s kind of like a two-step process: tailor it and then just always say yes to what they need every single time.

    Stephen (second from left) at a event for the state senate and assembly campaign he's representing in a political science internship.
    Stephen (second from left) at a event for the state senate and assembly campaign he’s representing in a political science internship.

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    Photos courtesy of:
    Stephen Scheuren

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

    Rachel sits at the Wilson amphitheater.

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

    How did you discover the Music Therapy program?

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

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

    Rachel sits near Wilson Hall.

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

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

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

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

    How are you meeting people as a commuter?

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

    How do you like Rowan so far?

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

    What are you looking forward to?

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

    Rachel sits near Wilson Hall.

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

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

    Why Rowan?

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

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    Photos by:
    Nick Flagg, senior advertising and theatre major

    In Case You Missed It: Favorite Classes At Rowan

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

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

    Einstein Bagels storefront in Engineering Hall.

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

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

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

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

    Nick poses in front of some trees.
    Nick Kreuz

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

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

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

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

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

    Ashleigh poses in front of Rowan Hall.
    Ashleigh Jankowski

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

    Philadelphia photo courtesy of:
    Pixabay

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

    Someone measures a line on a piece of wood.

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

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

    Why did you come to Rowan?

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

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

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

    Michael in class.
    Michael Landolfi

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

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

    What made you change your major?

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

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

    What is your favorite class so far?

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


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

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

    What made you want to change your major?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    See more from the Stagecraft Fundamentals class in this video. 

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    Story By:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    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



    Alumni Success: Sena Pottackal Launches PR Career, Seeks to “Improve Inclusion Within the Consumer Experience”

    Campbell Library from the grass

    Today we feature Sena Pottackal, a 2015 Rowan graduate who has persevered through personal adversity. Sena majored in Public Relations and minored in Advertising and Communications Studies while at Rowan. She participated in activities such as PRSSA and PRaction and was a member of several societies, including Lambda Pi Eta and Delta Alpha Pi

    Do you mind talking about when and how you lost your sight and what that transition involved for you?

    I became legally blind when I was 15 due to a genetic disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. The disease is progressive, and I lose vision every few months. Over the years I had to learn how to use assistive technology, such as a screen reader, which has enabled me to complete school work and work professionally. 

    Sena Pottackal on Red Carpet at 2019 NYWICI Matrix Awards.
    Sena Pottackal on the red carpet for the 2019 NYWICI Matrix Awards, where she received its IPG scholarship and internship at Weber Shandwick.

    Why did you choose to study Public Relations at Rowan? 

    I went to community college for undergrad. During my time there I took basically every communications course they had to offer. Public Relations resonated with me the most because it gave me great opportunity to pursue my passions in writing and business while utilizing my analytical skills. When I was looking to transfer to a four-year school, my teacher who taught my Public Relations course recommended Rowan. 

    Sena Pottackal before 2020 Virtual Graduate Convocation where she was a student speaker.
    Sena Pottackal before her 2020 virtual graduate convocation, where she was a student speaker.

    How do you believe Rowan has prepared you for your future professions and endeavors?

    Rowan has given me the skills to be successful in Public Relations and in particular, writing. Professor John Moscatelli was my Advanced Public Relations Writing teacher, and he really helped me to develop my writing skills and confidence in my writing. 

    How did you and how do you continue to persevere through adversity?  What advice would you give to other individuals trying to seek a job while having a disability?

    Something that was helpful for me was having mentors. Networking makes a huge difference. I was unable to get an internship while at Rowan, which inspired me to pursue grad school. Fortunately, I was involved with NY Women in Communications and I went to their annual student conference and I found out they have a scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students. Then I proceeded to win the NY Women’s in Communication Scholarship, which is how I broke into the industry. This scholarship also came with an internship to work at one of the IPG agencies. If I did not network and try to be part of different clubs, I would not have found out about many internship and job opportunities.

    Sena Pottackal
    Sena Pottackal speaking at 2019 Public Relations Council Critical Issues of the Modern Workforce Forum at Carnegie Hall.

    How did you manage to balance academics, social responsibilities with clubs, and your involvement with your community? Do you have tips for students who may be struggling with creating a balance?

    Outlining when meetings were and when assignments were due was important for me to stay on task and up to date with my work. I also had to be honest with myself and the people I was working with about my time constraints. Professor Cristin Kastner Farney was very helpful. She taught me in Journalistic Writing. There was a book I needed for my advertising and account planning class. The book was not available through any platform that offered accessible textbooks. So she scheduled an hour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week to read me the textbook so I could take the class. Teachers like Professor Cristin Kastner Farney got me through because they invested in my future.

    2018 Bronx Zoo trip with NYU PRCC classmates.
    Sena Pottackal (second from right) on a 2018 Bronx Zoo trip with NYU Public Relations and Corporate Communications (PRCC) classmates.

    What lessons have you learned from your disability?

    Everyone is different. We all have our own struggles, and this disability taught me to approach people with compassion. You never know what someone can be dealing with, and I can attest to the fact that some days can be harder than others. Being kind and compassionate can go a long way.

    What were your initial visions for pursuing a career in public relations? Do you believe you are working in and/or toward your dream job?

    When I graduated from Rowan, I was truly just looking for any job in communications. Back then I was aware that employment for people with disabilities was very low. After graduating Rowan I attended a blind training session while taking a year off. This is where I realized that by practicing PR, I could do more than just write. I could use this field to promote awareness about the capabilities of the disabled community and to overall improve inclusion within the consumer experience and the workforce. 

    Sena Pottackal on NYU 2018 SPS Spring Cruise with colleagues from NYU SPS Community Service Committee.
    Sena Pottackal (in middle) on NYU 2018 SPS Spring Cruise with colleagues from NYU SPS Community Service Committee.

    What is your role/what do you do as working as a Junior Associate at Current Global?

    Right now I am presenting research that my company just did about the lived experience of consuming content as a person with a disability. So I have been presenting that research in webinars. I also have helped write accessible communications guidelines.

    What is your life motto that keeps you striving for more?

    Be kind to yourself and give yourself the time and the room to grow into the person you were meant to be.

    Sena Pottackal and partner in Jamaica for Sena's 30th birthday in June 2019.
    Sena Pottackal and partner Karl Hogans in Jamaica for Sena’s 30th birthday in June 2019.

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos courtesy of:
    Sena Pottackal

    Related posts:

    Cory Monroe: Graduating Public Relations Major and Mother

    #PROFspective: A Chat with Public Relations Major Nene Diallo

    Public Relations Major Lands Full-Time Job After Internship

    My Favorite Class: Fundamentals of Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

    Khrissy inside Engineering building

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

    Khrissy Seay is a recent graduate and first-generation college student. While at Rowan, she was a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) major with minors in Geography and Planning. She is from Mays Landing (Atlantic County) and transferred from Atlantic Cape Community College.

    What was the name of your favorite class at Rowan? 

    This is not an easy question. I really like my major and narrowing it down to just one is very difficult. However, by a very small margin, Fundamentals of GIS.

    What department was the class in? 

    Department of Geography, Planning, and Sustainability (GPS)

    Who taught the class when you took it?

    Dr. Ashley York

    Khrissy standing next to a tree outside on campus.

    Tell us a little about what the class is.

    Fundamentals is the next step up from the introductory course. This class allows the student a little more freedom to explore new tools and apply them to topics of choice.

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

    I bonded with the professor and the students really well. I also worked on one of my favorite mapping projects during my time at Rowan.

    What makes this professor great? 

    Dr. York is very knowledgeable and she is always willing to help. I told her my idea for the project, and she helped me develop that idea. I also worked with her during my Senior Seminar project (taught by Dr. Meenar) because she is somewhat of an expert in the topic — sea ice/glaciers.

    Khrissy inside the Engineering bridge.

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

    I learned a lot about myself and the topics that are really important to me. I also felt well prepared for the next class in the sequence – Applications of GIS.

    What are your professional goals? 

    I have recently secured a job as a GIS Analyst. I also want to pursue a master’s degree in Geography.

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

    Photos by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    #PROFspective: Biomedical Engineering Major Danny Tepper Reflects on College

    Engineering Hall with flowers out of focus.

    Today we speak with Danny Tepper of Atlantic County, who recently earned his degree in Biomedical Engineering. Danny transferred to Rowan his sophomore year from Atlantic County Community College and will be going onto his master’s in engineering at Rowan next year. He is an off-campus resident. Danny was homeschooled until he attended ACCC at 17 years old.

    What has been your favorite class at Rowan? 

    That’s hard to pick! I’ve taken a few interesting ones, mostly technical ones. One of my favorite ones that were different from the rest was a class on regulatory practices of the FDA. For example, learning the details about how to get through the FDA approval process of new drugs. This is a topic in some engineering and medical courses that is not covered very well. It’s not a required class but it should be. Dr. Erik Brewer, a BME professor, taught this class. I took this course last fall. 

    Danny and his teammates pose at a conference.
    Danny (at right)

    What excites you about your major? 

    The idea of being at the front of research really excites me and sort of creating the future to some extent and really helping people. I’ve always had some interest in medicine, but I’ve also never wanted to be a nurse or doctor working with people like that. I like the concept of being on the back end and making the things that doctors use. Also, both my parents have master’s degrees in engineering. It’s only appropriate that I go into something within engineering. My brother also has a bachelor’s in engineering! 

    If there was anything you wish you knew beforehand about your major, what would you share? 

    It is a lot of work, but it is even more than I expected. There were some weeks where you had absolutely no social life if you wanted to get any of your homework done. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. You learn a lot though.

    Danny stands in front of the Rowan sign.

    Do you have any internships or clubs you are involved in? 

    I have not had any internships, but I’m involved in some club sports here. I’m on the frisbee team. I’m also on the e-board of the Rowan University College Republican Club

    What did your activities add to your college experience? 

    The sports club definitely added a lot to my friendships. I met my first friend group as a first-year in intramural frisbee. One of those friends became my best friend and we still hang out together a lot. I still talk to all of them periodically. 

    What’s the last song you listened to? 

    “All the Way Up” by David Guetta

    What are you looking forward to this summer? 

    Graduating, for one thing, and being back in Wildwood. Hopefully, with fewer restrictions than last year. I’ve been in Wildwood the past five summers working at a waterpark. Last summer, I turned 21 but everything was closed. Hopefully, we don’t have that again.

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    Story by:
    Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

    My Favorite Class: Animation

    Kevin in front of Bunce Arch

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

    Today we speak with Kevin Clee, a recent Computer Science graduate from Voorhees, NJ (Camden County) who shares with us some of his favorite classes within the Computer Science department.

    What was your favorite class at Rowan?

    I took Animation, just for fun. It was a lot of math, which I didn’t expect. I took it because I thought it would be cool, but I had no idea it was under Computer Science, which worked out for me. 

    Kevin smiling on Bunce Green.

    Who taught the course when you took it?

    Dr. Bo Sun

    Could you tell us a little bit about the course?

    The first half of the semester is using Java to give motion to shapes. The second half of the semester we used Blendr, which is a 3D modeling and animating software. We’d make animals and make them move around and walk. 

    What was the coolest thing you’ve made in that class?

    There was one project that dealt with programming. We’d make a UFO with a beam going down, and when it went over certain objects, they’d go up into the UFO.

    Kevin in front of greenery with Bunce Hall in the background.

    Was there anything about this class that made it impactful to you?

    I always wanted to know how to use Blendr, so I learned that software. 

    Was the professor outstanding or did the professor make the class great?

    Yes, the professor is very friendly. I [had] her again for another class. It’s called Data Visualization, it’s like a cross between business and computer science.

    Kevin wearing sunglasses outside near Bunce Green.

    What are your professional goals?

    I will be working as a software developer associate at ASRC Federal. I was very lucky because I worked with them in my sophomore engineering class. The way the class was set up, it was almost an internship. They had a project in mind and what they specifically wanted and tasked us to create it and check in and give us pointers about it during the process. At the end of the semester, they had said to keep in touch and when I emailed them they really pulled through and I was able to get a job. But I’d like to do something with data analytics in the future, since that’s my focus.

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

    Meet Transfer Profs: Computer Science Major Gregory Zacharko

    Gregory with his brothers and Congressmen Andy Kim.

    Today we speak with and welcome to Rowan first-generation college student and new transfer, Gregory Zacharko from Cinnaminson, NJ (Burlington County). Gregory is transferring from Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) with an associate degree in Computer Science. While at Rowan University, he will be continuing as a Computer Science major with the ambition of becoming a software engineer or video game programmer.

    Why did you choose to continue your education with Rowan?

    It’s close to home, and the partnership Rowan has with RCBC helps me transfer over my credits with no problems and move forward with my education. I also saw a great value at Rowan; the tuition is affordable compared to other four-year universities. Seeing that Rowan’s Computer Science program is a top contender in the nation at a low cost and affordability is my number one priority. Plus, going to Rowan allows me to continue with my NJ STARS II scholarship, as well as any possible EOF scholarships or grants that I may receive. 

    Headshot of Gregory

    Have you visited the campus? What was your favorite aspect of it?

    I haven’t visited the campus yet, but I have talked with someone at RCBC who told me a lot about what Rowan campus has to offer. I’ve heard about the student center and the gym that’s available to Rowan students. I’m most interested in the student lounge, the game room especially because I’m a big gamer. At RCBC, I was a part of the gaming and Super Smash Bros Club and we even held a big tournament for students. I hope that I’ll get a similar experience at Rowan, because that’s where I made a lot of my friends. 

    Will you be living on or off-campus? 

    I will be commuting. 

    Have you set any goals for yourself during your time at Rowan?

    To learn more about other people, what they like, to make friends, to get different perspectives, to learn about different cultures so I have a greater understanding of the world around me that I can apply to Software Development, which is what I want to get into post-college. 

    Gregory at graduation

    How did you become interested in Computer Science?

    Back in 2007 when I was about seven years old, I got my first gaming console for Christmas, a Nintendo DS lite. That’s when I realized I wanted to make games and I wanted to make people happy through those games. I wanted to give people similar experiences that I had when playing video games. 

    What was your favorite game on your Nintendo DS?

    There were two. One, New Super Mario Bros. The other one was FIFA Soccer ‘08. I’m a big sports fan and a big sports gamer so that was one I really wanted and enjoyed. 

    Gregory (left) with his brothers at graduation.

    Early on, Gregory was diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger’s, anxiety and depression. Later on in his life, he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. He survived a family house fire and was also put into Special Education classes up until intermediate school. Through everything he has undergone, Gregory persevered. He worked his way up to taking honors and AP courses in high school and graduated from RCBC with a 4.0 GPA and was elected co-valedictorian of the EOF program’s graduating class along with his brothers. We can’t wait to see Gregory and all he will accomplish this 2021-2022 school year back on campus.

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    Story by:
    Caitlyn Dickinson, public relations and advertising graduate 

    Photos courtesy of:
    Gregory Zacharko

    Header photo: Gregory (second from right) and his brothers pose with Congressman Andy Kim at the Zacharko’s graduation from Rowan College at Burlington County.

    Alumni Success: Michael A. Wilson Jr., Marketing Operations Specialist for SHI International Corp.

    Side angle shot of the Rowan welcome arch.

    What have you learned by working as a Marketing Operations Specialist for SHI International Corp.? What were your initial visions for pursuing an undergrad in Public Relations and then a graduate degree in Data Marketing Communications? I would say SHI has been my saving grace. I have been at this company since I have graduated […]

    Beyond The Classroom: RTF and Sports CAM Double Major Jade Iannace on Interning for Disney and The Philadelphia Eagles

    Jade and Jovani Reyes on All Access with the Profs

    Jade Iannace is a senior Radio/Television/Film and Sports Communication and Media double major. She’s from Washington Township (Gloucester County) and transferred to Rowan her second semester freshman year. Jade has packed her college experience with memorable internship opportunities in sports and entertainment, including the Philadelphia Eagles, NFL Alumni Association, The Delaware Blue Coats and the Disney College Program.

    How did you hear about your internship with the Philadelphia Eagles?

    I actually had a friend from high school who worked there as a videographer. He had told me about them needing an intern for PR and he was able to get me an interview. I was actually one of the youngest interns there, I got that when I was a freshman and I was there for two seasons.

    Could you share with us your responsibilities there?

    I was logging and editing a lot of their game pictures and going through the archives of their older images and videos. 

    Jade at Lincoln Financial Field.

    Out of all your internship experiences, which one has been your favorite?

    The sports ones I’ve had have been really cool, but I did do the Disney College Program, which I thought was amazing. It ended early because of COVID, but the two months I was there was probably one of the coolest experiences. It was my first time living so far from home. I was living in Florida by myself, but I got to meet people from all over the world, which was awesome. Working for a big company like that was unreal. 

    What got you interested in sports communications?

    I picked up my sports communication major my junior year. My internship with the Eagles is what pushed me to pick up that major. I was always leaning toward the film side of my major like film production and directing, but once I saw live production of sports, I thought it was amazing. I also play sports and enjoy sports myself, so I thought it would be a really cool mix of two things I love.

    Jade with NFL Alumni Association sign.

    What is your ambition for the future?

    I love traveling. I think being with a sports team or a company like that would give me a really good chance to not only pursue videography, but give me the chance to travel, see the country, and meet new people. That’s my main goal right now. I would love to produce, director, or be on camera, so I don’t have a set job in mind just yet. 

    Do you feel Rowan prepared you for your work experiences? 

    Definitely. Joining Rowan Television Network (RTN) was one of the best decisions I could make, along with pursuing the RTF and Sports CAM programs. RTN definitely prepares people with real life experience. I do “All Access with the Profs,” which is a sports talk show at Rowan. We also film events throughout Rowan, like this past year we filmed commencement, which was really big for us.

    And also the professors are so awesome. Neil Hartman is one of the heads of Sports CAM, and he is so willing to help everyone get internships and make those connections, which is really helpful. I know a lot of other schools don’t really have professors and classes that will prepare you as much as Rowan does. 

    Jade and Chelsea Valcourt film on campus.
    Jade (left) and colleague Chelsea Valcourt film on campus.

    What advice do you have for other students looking for internships during college?

    Get involved. Obviously getting a degree is super important, but especially in this field I think making connections is one of the most important things. If you don’t have connections it’s going to be hard to get your foot in the door somewhere. Even through RTN you make connections with other students, which is important because you never know who you’ll be working with in the future. Definitely get involved, join as many clubs as possible to make as many connections as you can.

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    Story by:
    Caitlyn Dickinson, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos courtesy of:
    Jade Iannace

    Header photo:
    Jade (right) and Jovani Reyes host a Rowan Television Network episode of “All Access with the Profs”

    My Favorite Class: Integrated Marketing Communication

    Caitlyn stands near a gazebo on campus.

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

    Today we feature Caitlyn Dickinson, a recent Public Relations and Advertising graduate from Toms River, NJ (Ocean County). Caitlyn is a first-generation college student and transfer student.

    Caitlyn outside of Bunce Hall.

    What was the name of your favorite class at Rowan?

    Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)

    What department was the class in?

    Advertising

    Who taught the class when you took it?

    Professor Rodolico

    Tell us a little about what the class is

    IMC goes over all the parts to an integrated marketing communications plan, such as advertising, public relations, direct marketing, digital/internet marketing, sales promotion and personal selling. You really get to work a lot of different muscles within the communications industry.

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

    In this class, I was put into a group where we were tasked to create an IMC plan for a sustainable company. We created a situational analysis including a competitive analysis, SWOT analysis and storytelling summary. We wrote objectives and strategies for our plan, and we also wrote up a creative brief regarding our vision for the campaign based on research which would be used when making the creatives for the campaign. We featured billboards, print ads, a radio script, social media posts, app icon design, email blasts, interstitials and a news release.

    Caitlyn smiles and stands on the steps of Bunce Hall.

    Is there anything else that made this class impactful?

    This class was so impactful because it allowed me to use the knowledge I have learned from previous classes and put it all together in one IMC plan. I learned how to write news releases from Basic PR Writing, how to write radio scripts and create print ads from Ad Copywriting, and use basic design elements I learned from Publication Layout and Design.

    What makes this professor great?

    Professor Rodolico is one the best professors within the advertising department. He presents information in a way that’s easy for students to grasp and understand and also in a way that’s interesting. He grabs your attention with humor and creates an environment within the physical classroom and over Zoom that is comfortable. You’re never afraid to ask questions or speak up and comment on something. Since I’d had him for Ad Copywriting, I tried to take as many classes with him as I could.

    Caitlyn stands near Bunce Green on campus.

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

    This class exposes you to a lot of different aspects within the communications industry. You leave the class at the end of the semester with a strong grounding of each part of an IMC plan. A lot of what was covered in the class was review and the opportunity to put what you’ve learned to the test. While some material I learned was brand new that I was able to try out and add to my knowledge.

    What are your professional goals?

    Rowan has offered me so much knowledge about my industry that I feel like I have so many options with what I could get into post-graduation. Being an advertising and public relations double major, I’ve learned a lot and have done a lot of work in both respective fields that allows me to choose where I want to take my degree. I’d like to end up in either content creation or event planning. I like to be creative and use my skills in a way I find exciting and fun. 

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

    Photos:
    Joe Gentempo, art 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

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

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

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

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

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

    Jocelyn standing on steps.

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

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

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

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

    Jocelyn smiling outside.

    What is a misconception about competing in pageants?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Jocelyn laughing up close.

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    Beyond the Classroom: Idea Challenge Winner, Steminist Squad Founder Talia Tomarchio

    The Steminist Squad leader and volunteers pose in front of Business Hall.

    Today we speak to Talia Tomarchio, a recent graduate with a degree in computer science, a minor in neuroscience and an honors concentration. Talia is a transfer student from Rowan College at Burlington County and a first-generation college student. Talia founded the Steminist Squad, an online community for women in STEM industries. Her business won first place at both Rowan’s 2020 Idea Challenge and the 2021 Rohrer New Venture Competition and was a semi-finalist in KPMG’s Ideation Challenge. 

    Talia poses on the bridge behind Wilson Hall.

    What kinds of career-related opportunities have you had beyond the classroom? 

    I performed research with Dr. Anthony Breitzman (from the Dept. of Computer Science) this semester on analyzing Myers–Briggs personality types through Twitter tweets. I was planning on getting an internship last summer, which would be my first summer at Rowan. I applied for research for undergraduates (REUS) through the National Science Foundation, but because of COVID-19, all the opportunities I applied to got canceled. I reached out to Dr. Breitzman, and he allowed me to do research with him! We started our research over the summer, and we continued it through the fall. I also founded an online community for girls in STEM called Steminist Squad. 

    Can you tell me more about the community? 

    It started out as an online chat server on Discord where girls can talk about their major, post internships they found, share resources and help each other with homework. It has now grown into a professional development resource and supportive community of like-minded individuals. We also have an inspirational social media presence and a podcast that is coming soon. 

    The Steminist Squad walks to Business Hall.

    How did you come up with Steminist Squad? 

    After coronavirus broke out and closed campus last spring, I was taking a few courses in the summer and realized the impact that online learning had on me as a student. I felt disconnected and missed the campus environment, and I’m sure that I wasn’t alone. That feeling inspired me to create a community to connect women from different colleges and communities, and that was the start of the journey to what is now Steminist Squad! 

    What was your experience like entering the Squad in idea challenges and competitions? 

    It boosted my confidence by practicing my pitch so many times! I met so many new people and learned a lot from the mentors and teachers. I also gained valuable insight on how to pivot the business direction to reach more women and help them. 

    What knowledge or skills have you developed through The Idea Challenge and New Venture Competition that you will take with you for future endeavors? 

    There are a few major takeaways that I learned from these experiences. I learned the basics of entrepreneurship, like business models, customer discovery and financials. I developed teamwork skills by leading a team of volunteers for two semesters, and my presentation skills have [dramatically] improved. 

    The Steminist Squad sits in Business Hall.

    Has there been anyone from Rowan that helped you start and keep this community going?

    Jessica Vankawala, a junior Biomedical Engineering major in a PreMed program with Cooper Medical School, and Kayleigh Ostberg, a junior Bioinformatics major, have been essential volunteers from the Bantivoglio Honors College. Kadie Davis, a Biomedical Engineering major with a Chemistry minor, also volunteered in the Spring 2021 semester. 

    Tapan Soni, once my cybersecurity teaching assistant and now a professional cybersecurity analyst, is an active and vital member of our online server. With the support of Dr. Kristen diNovi and Dr. Susana Santos [featured here], and guidance from Dr. Eric Liguroi [featured here] and Brandon Graham [featured here], I was able to transform this from an idea to reality. 

    How do you feel you are helping others with the Steminist Squad? 

    Being a first-generation student, I often think about the other girls who don’t have the support or confidence in themselves to be successful in school or in life. So, I feel like a part of me understands what they are going through and wants to give them a way to feel included and supported. If it doesn’t get any bigger than this and I end up helping one girl gain confidence in what she is capable of, I will be happy. 

    The Steminist Squad sits in front of Business Hall.
    Talia (second from left) with Squad members Jessica Vankawala, Kayleigh Ostberg and Kadie Davis.

    What are your future plans for the Steminist Squad, now that you have graduated?

    I am planning on taking this summer to grow Steminist Squad. I was accepted into the Rowan Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summer Accelerator program, also known as StartupRU, where I will further develop my startup with the help of mentors and resources. I hope to have a fully functioning model by the end of the summer so I can start recruiting more Squad members for next semester!

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    Story by:
    Rachel Rumsby, junior communication studies and public relations double major, and Talia Tomarchio, computer science graduate

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

    Header photo:
    Talia (second from left) with Steminist Squad members Jessica Vankawala, Kayleigh Ostberg and Kadie Davis

    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 […]

    My Favorite Class: Gender, Sexuality, and Literature

    Field of flowers near Wilson hall.

    Today we feature recent graduate Amanda Carlin. Amanda earned her degree in English with a minor in Psychology and is from Bridgewater, NJ (Somerset County) where she transferred from Raritan Valley Community College. Amanda’s favorite class is Gender, Sexuality, and Literature in the English department, which was taught by Dr. Yvonne Hammond. Tell us a […]

    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 […]

    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 Transfer Profs: Incoming Marketing Major Mallory Harris

    Today we feature incoming transfer student Mallory Harris. Mallory will be living on campus and studying Marketing. She is from Havre de Grace, MD and transferring from Harford Community College. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward at Rowan University? I am most looking forward to meeting new […]

    Meet Transfer Profs: Future History Teacher Joseph Leonard

    Stock photo of books.

    Meet incoming transfer student Joseph Leonard! Joseph is an aspiring History Education major from Gibbsboro, NJ (Camden County) who transferred from Camden County College. He shares more about what he’s looking forward to at Rowan University and he gives advice to other transfer students.

    A selfie of Joseph smiling while in the car.

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

    I’m looking forward to getting back to in-person learning and being able to meet new people again.

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

    Bowling!

    A picture of Joseph holding a bowling ball.

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

    I’m looking to get involved more in clubs and activities outside of my academics. School comes first, but I want to be able to have fun as well.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    History education. I want to be a teacher because the excitement I get from teaching others about subjects I’m passionate about and history is a subject I’m very passionate about. I love studying the past, learning about the world’s history and also my own.

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

    No I haven’t. I’ve been to Rowan once before for my brother’s graduation, but that’s it.

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

    Always know there is a college for you. You don’t have to be forced into picking any one college. Pick one that makes you happy and excited to continue your education.

    Where are you going to live next year?

    Commute from home.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    I very much like the diversity of the classes offered and how grand the campus appears to be. It also granted me to come in with a head start on my degree.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Header photo courtesy of:
    Unsplash

    Meet Transfer Profs: Dual Major Stephanie Maszera

    Exterior shot of Stephanie smiling.

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

    Stephanie smiles outside wearing a yellow dress.

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

    Being able to fulfill my dream career for real.

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

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

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

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

    What majors are you considering and why?

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

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

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

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

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

    Where are you going to live next year?

    On campus!

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    The environment and the beautiful campus.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Senior Reflects: 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: Psychology Major Joshua Olumakin Shares Insight On His Major

    Joshua poses outside of Bunce Hall.

    Joshua Olumakin, senior Psychology major and transfer student from Rowan College of South Jersey, talks with us about his experience in his major here at Rowan.

    Joshua holds his camera on Bunce Green.

    Joshua became interested in psychology after watching and listening to his mother’s online psychology courses she took in pursuing her master’s degree.

    Along with studying psychology, Joshua is a photographer; he uses what he knows from his courses to enhance his photos.

    “I want to pursue photography more after graduation. It’s one of my passions, and my major supports that by understanding others and myself as I grow,” he says.

    Joshua realized he was in the right major from talking with other people about psychology. What excites him most about psychology is the people. “I really enjoy interacting with people, it excites me and it’s what gets me more interested in this major,” he adds.

    Joshua sits on the steps of Bunce Hall.

    When asked to share one cool thing about his major, Joshua says, “Reading people. You tend to pick up on habits of people and how they are. It’s amazing the way you expect things to be and then see them exceed your expectations. It’s strange.” 

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry 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

    Cory Monroe: Graduating Public Relations Major and Mother

    Cory sits with her son on the Rowan Proud chair.

    Today we speak to Cory Monroe, a graduating Public Relations major and mom from Medford, NJ (Burlington County). Cory transferred to Rowan from Rowan College at Burlington College. Corey is a first-generation college student.  

    Cory poses in front of trees on campus.

    If you could paint a picture of your time here at Rowan, what would that look like?

    It would look like it’s come full circle, I suppose. I graduated from Rowan College at Burlington County and transferred to Rowan University in 2014. I was finishing up one semester and then the next semester would have been my final year at Rowan, but my mom got sick and was hospitalized the week of finals. I couldn’t even finish taking my finals because she was diagnosed with cancer. It was a chaotic time for me. She passed away quickly the next month. It took me a very long time to come back to school. I would say that I just feel like my time at Rowan, though chaotic, has come full circle.

    What are some challenges you faced, being a student and a mother?

    I would say that I experienced mom guilt sometimes. Sometimes I need to ask my husband, “Hey, I didn’t get everything done that I had to get done. During naptime or bedtime, I need a few hours to study or to write this paper,” and I feel bad. My husband is very supportive. I still feel bad segmenting off that time, even though it’s for the better. It’s for the best that I finish my degree. I would just say time management has become really important, and conquering mom guilt is very important.

    Cory poses with her husband and son.

    How has Rowan helped you achieve your goals?

    I would say that Lori Brucker, the advisor for the Public Relations and Advertising department, has been very helpful. There were a few times I was going to come back to school, but then it just didn’t pan out. I was suffering with some depression prior to having my son, and the people at Rowan were really patient. They didn’t say, “Oh my gosh, this is like your third time talking about coming back to school, get your life together.” They were really patient and believed that I could graduate. Each time that I would come back and ask “Okay, what do I have to do?” and then I didn’t go through with it, they were always just very supportive of me finishing my degree and telling me what I had to do to get there. I appreciated that.

    What was your inspiration for coming back to finish your degree?

    My son, 100 %. Eventually, when he’s a little older, I want to go back to school for nursing in an accelerated bachelor’s program, and you have to have your bachelor’s degree to be in the program. I want to complete what I started and make my mom proud of me for finishing it, even though it wasn’t easy. 

    How do you best balance school, life, and being a mom?

    I take advantage of nap time. Luckily, my son still naps. During his nap time, I set a goal of getting something finished, and that’s when I do it. I actually find that I’m more proactive with deadlines now as a mom than I was before. I used to wait until the last minute and say that I don’t have any time, but now I finish assignments two weeks in advance. I try to get things done, so it’s off of my shoulders.

    Cory looks on as her husband holds her son in the air.

    What advice do you have for other mothers that are thinking about coming back to school or that are already here trying to finish their degree?

    I would say that if it makes you happy, come back to school and complete your degree. You’re definitely going to be inspiring your son or daughter. They’ll be able to see that you made sacrifices and that you work towards an end goal that wasn’t easy. They’ll see that as an adult, it’s difficult to come back to school to finish a degree, or begin and finish a degree while having a child.

    What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

    I love absolutely everything about being a mom right now. I’m a stay-at-home mom. I love being a stay-at-home mom. My son is always happy to see me. As soon as he wakes up in the morning, he’s always so happy to see me. He is just full of like endless love and limitless fun. He’s my heart.

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

    Interview by:
    Kayla Tucker, junior public relations major

    Photos by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    Meet Transfer Profs: 3+1 Psychology Student and Mother Victoria Hable

    Victoria sits with her son, Rowen.

    Today we speak to Victoria Hable, a first-generation college student and mom from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Victoria transferred from Harrisburg Area Community College to Rowan College at Burlington College. She will transfer to Rowan University in the fall as part of the 3+1 program. Victoria is majoring in Psychology and will graduate next spring.  

    Victoria sits on stones in front of greenery on Rowan Boulevard.

    Can you tell me a little about the 3+1 program that you’re currently enrolled in?

    I’m in the 3+1 program for Psychology. The 3+1 program is going to Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) for three years and transferring to Rowan and finishing a bachelor’s degree there for one year. I was a Music Business major at Harrisburg Area Community College. When I transferred to RCBC, I changed my major to Psychology. I had a lot of credits from the Music Business program that my 3+1 advisor Diana helped me work in as some extra electives so it wouldn’t delay my graduation date. From there, I created a plan to complete my last two years of my bachelor’s degree at RCBC and Rowan.

    How did you hear about Rowan and what made you want to come here? 

    I moved to the area two years ago for a change of scenery. I was able to live with family and babysit for them. I started at RCBC in 2018 to finish up community college, and I found out about the 3+1 program while I was there. I started the program when I was a year into my time at RCBC, and that is how I found out about Rowan.

    Victoria sits and hugs her son on Rowan Boulevard.

    What is it like to balance being a mother with being a student?

    It’s difficult. It’s definitely a lot. My son was born with Down Syndrome, so he has a lot of therapies and appointments. Balancing his appointments, my appointments and schoolwork is a lot. I’m not working, so it gives me a little more leeway in my schedule, but my job right now is to take care of him and finish school.

    How has Rowan supported you in being a mother and a student?

    It was two weeks into the spring semester, last January when I went to Diana, my advisor. I told her I had just found out I was four months pregnant, and I didn’t know what to do with my 3+1 plan. She helped me rearrange my plan to accommodate my being out for six weeks. I was out over the summer, so it only put me behind by two classes. It did not move my graduation date back at all. Instead of encouraging me to take a semester off because I found out I was pregnant, my advisor encouraged me to keep going. Diana was very dedicated to helping me figure out a new plan and stay in college like I wanted. The professors I have had so far are also willing to work with me.

    Victoria and Rowen sit on the grass in the Glassboro Town Square.

    How does your son motivate you to continue to pursue your career?

    I had some prenatal testing that was done about five months into my pregnancy, but I didn’t know until my son was actually born that he was 100% going to have Down Syndrome. Last May, I saw that the first student with Down Syndrome graduated from Rowan University last year. That was really cool for me to see, and that gave me more motivation to keep pushing to pursue my career and more motivation that my son might be able to go to college. Seeing that student graduate is also the reason why I decided to name my son Rowen. Rowen is in therapy twice a week, we’re working with him constantly. Seeing his resilience to everything and how he adapts to his environment is a big motivator for me, especially me being a psychology major. Watching him grow and learn new things is so fun, and it just makes me want to learn more about him and more about neuro-psychology.

    Do you have any advice for any current or incoming Rowan students that are also moms?

    Since COVID has happened, I have met online classmates who are moms as well. But as for advice, if you have a support system, take advantage of it. The school is 100% percent behind you to help. But I think the biggest thing is just to stick with it. Even if it gets a little heavy sometimes.

    What are your goals after you graduate?

    When I switched my major to Psychology originally, I wanted to pursue my master’s in Psychology. I wanted to apply for the FBI and work in forensics. But since I’m a Mom now, I had to change my path a bit. Now, I eventually want to get into trauma psychology and maybe criminal justice reform.

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

    Meet Transfer Profs: Liberal Studies Major Erin Finter

    Photo of future Prof Erin taken outdoors.

    Meet incoming transfer student and first-generation college student Erin Finter! Erin is an aspiring Liberal Studies major from Medford, NJ (Burlington County) who transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County. She shares more about what she’s looking forward to at Rowan University and she gives advice to other transfer students.

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

    New professors!

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

    I’m currently the VP of the criminal justice club … I’d love the chance to continue that!

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I’ve chosen liberal studies with a focus in law.

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

    The 3+1 info event. It was well put together and full of great information!

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

    Figure out what you want to do after graduating and pick a school bed equipped to help you achieve it!

    Where are you going to live next year?

    Renting off campus!

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry 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

    Music Majors Share Music to Listen to While Studying

    Photo of a student studying.

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

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

    Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

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

    The "3am Talk" by Icemann album cover.

    3Am Talk – Icemann

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

    Lisa holding a clarinet outside by the Rowan Hall pond.

    Nocturnes (all 21) – Chopin

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

    Melissa wearing a Rowan sweatshirt while walking on the beach.

    Etude No.2 – Phillip Glass

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

    Liz sitting on a bench.

    Rêverie – Claude Debussy (or really anything by Debussy)

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

    Sunshine holding a guitar while smiling outside.

     The Brain Dance – Animals as Leaders

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

    The "Viberations" by Iman Omari album cover.

    L.A. Vibes – Iman Omari 

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

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

    The "We the Kings" album cover.

    Check Yes Juliet – We The Kings

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

    Emileigh smiling for a photo.

    Imagine Paris – Daniel Paterok

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

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major 

    Header photo courtesy of:
    Unsplash

    Meet 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 Transfer Profs: Human Services & Psychology Major NyEsha Cintron

    An outdoor photo of a branded chair on campus.
    A selfie of NyEsha in a botanical garden.

    Meet incoming transfer student NyEsha Cintron. NyEsha is a first-generation Human Services and Psychology major from Maple Shade, NJ (Burlington County) who transferred from Rowan College of Burlington County. She shares how she ended up at Rowan and what she’s looking forward to!

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

    I am looking forward to meeting new people, the ability to foster lasting relationships and grow in experience with my area of study. I am excited to see how school will impact my life as well as how I will impact the lives of others.

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

    I’d like to get involved in the Human Services Club or a language 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 will be taking a Spanish class, and I’d like to see my knowledge increase in this language to speak it fluently.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I am a Human Services and Psychology major through and through. I love learning how to better understand people in efforts to better serve them. These majors are very organic to how I am wired, and I feel that I can be my best by furthering my education in these areas of studies.

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

    I haven’t had the time to do so, but am awaiting orientation for transfer students, can’t wait!

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

    Do it and get started!

    Where are you going to live next year?

    Commute from home.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    I like that Rowan participated with community colleges to ensure continuity of learning to a accredited university.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Beyond the Classroom: Junior Ad Major Madelaine Mayfield and Her Passion for Nonprofits

    Madelaine poses against a wall next to a pond.

    Today we feature Madelaine Mayfield, a junior Advertising major and recent transfer student from the Rowan College of South Jersey, Cumberland Campus. Madelaine hails from Millville, NJ (Cumberland County) and currently interns for the Bullock Garden Project in Glassboro, NJ.

    Madelaine stands in front of the Engineering Pond.

    Can you tell us more about the Bullock Garden Project? 

    The Bullock Garden Project (BGP) is a nonprofit that aims to empower and educate families to grow their own food. They’re especially focused on helping with food insecurity in marginalized communities as well as informing people about the overall benefits of gardening. 

    For one of our many projects, I attended a Zoom meeting about helping schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania [by providing gardening] supplies and showing them how to garden. We have about 10 schools involved in this project including the Glassboro Child Development Center, Tewksbury Elementary and Secaucus High School.

    The Rowan grant-funded project consists of free webinars called Get Up and Grow with the founder, Sonya Harris. Attendees can ask her any questions, and Sonya gives them valuable advice. She also will send them supplies! We have kids, grown-ups and college students attending. We usually have about 20 to 25 people attend.

    Sonya worked at a school [as a special education teacher] and she made a garden one day at her school. Then, she reached out to a TV show about improving gardens. They came out and helped her. She realized that she wanted to help other schools have the same opportunity. 

    A child wears a Rowan shirt while gardening.
    Ten schools participate in the Glassboro-based Bullock Garden Project.

    How did you come across this position and what motivated you to join?

    This job position was posted on ProfLink under Content Creation and Social Media. What motivated me was the fact that it was a nonprofit. I want to use my skills and what I’m learning for a good cause and a greater purpose. I was really excited because I love nonprofits. It motivates me more, knowing that [my work is] for a good cause. I know that if more people join and donate, then it’s helping the future. 

    Could you tell us a little bit about other BGP projects?

    I came up with the Kind Acts Initiative as BGP’s Christmas campaign, where each member of our staff did at least one kind act. I did another campaign recently, where I share quick environmental facts. Before the pandemic, BGP would go to school and help them with supplies and gardening. 

    Madelaine poses in front of a wooded background.

    What classroom skills are you practicing in your internship?

    The most influential class has been Advertising Copywriting. I practice copywriting in social media posts, captions and graphics. I’ve learned so much about how to get audiences engaged, how to create better content, and how important social media is (especially with BGP). Social media has helped BGP to grow and gain a lot of recognition.

    What was the most rewarding part about working with BGP? 

    The most rewarding part about working with BGP is the amazing staff who are truly so encouraging, uplifting and want to see me grow. I feel very appreciated, and I know that they all care about me. Also, knowing that I’m doing work for an organization that is changing the world, school by school. They always encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone. They’re [supportive] of everything I do. I haven’t had that in any other job in my past. It’s so refreshing. I don’t feel embarrassed or scared in any way when I [share my work].

    What skills and knowledge did you develop from working with BGP? 

    Definitely communication because I have to do meetings and social media. I know how to communicate my ideas and convince [the team] that it will work. I got my video editing skills from my YouTube channel I started in high school. I’m also really thankful for the graphic design skills I learned from Prof. Nancy Reighn-Garron in Publication Layout & Design. She was so helpful and always went out of her way to help me. I record the Zoom meetings and edit them into an Instagram video. I really like making videos because they are more engaging than photos. 

    Madelaine poses against a wall next to water.

    What made you decide to switch majors from Radio/TV/Film to Advertising? 

    I chose Advertising because I want to help amazing small businesses, nonprofits and other organizations get the recognition they deserve. I love creating content, being creative and engaging with others online. 

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

    Get involved, especially with internships, and do as many as you can so that you can gain experience. Figure out what you want to do. Working for BGP, I figured out so many things. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do advertising, but now I know I want to work in social media. Doing it outside of class definitely helps you. You can use the skills that you learned in class, outside of class.

    Advertising impacts the world in a way that spreads the word about brands, companies and organizations. Advertising is a huge factor in what the public consumes. As an advertising major, I want to make sure there are positive things being shared for a good cause. 

    I would like to bring attention to what matters most. Working for non-profits, I would like to encourage others to help and get involved in some of the global issues.

    Check out the Bullock Garden Project at https://www.bullockgardenproject.org/.

    View more of Madelaine’s work on 

    Instagram: @bullockgarden 

    YouTube: Bullock Garden Project, Inc.

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

    Photography by: 
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

    Meet Transfer Profs: Advertising Major Paul Coppola

    Stock image of brightly lit advertising on a wall.
    Paul wearing a suit and posing with someone at a wedding.

    Meet incoming transfer student Paul Coppola! Paul is an aspiring Advertising major from Riverton, NJ (Burlington County) who transferred from Bucks County Community College. He shares more about what he’s looking to discover at Rowan and offers some advice to other transfers.

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

    I’m looking forward to the general experience of going to school that isn’t a community college. The experience to me sounds like an enjoyable one and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

    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’ve recently become interested in writing. I had joined a Philadelphia Eagles blog and honed my skills there but I wish to increase those during my time at Rowan.

    Paul wearing a Phillies mask.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I will be majoring in Advertising because I enjoy the creative aspect behind it and that world in general just fascinates me.

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

    I attended a virtual orientation. I enjoyed the process a lot. They had made it sound like a much easier transition than I had originally thought it was going to be.

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

    Just breathe. You’ll find the school of your dreams. It may not happen immediately but you’ll get that acceptance letter and feel a sense of relief.

    Where are you going to live next year?

    Commute from home.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    The environment!

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior, Music Industry major

    Meet Transfer Profs: Future History Educator Kendra Hahn

    Exterior shot of Hollybush.

    Meet incoming transfer student Kendra Hahn! Kendra plans on majoring in History Education (BA/MST) Program and is from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). She transferred from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Kendra shares with us why she chose Rowan and what she’s looking forward to.

    A close up selfie of Kendra.

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

    Here at Rowan I am really looking forward to making new friendships and gaining new experiences, but then also being able to successfully pursue my passion.

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

    In high school I was always involved with student council/government and it definitely made me into the person I am today, so I would love to continue that here at Rowan! I also would love to join the Student History Association and even possibly the History Honor Society since I was in History Club and National Honor Society back in high school.

    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?

    At Rowan I definitely want to join a sorority. I believe joining a sorority will provide me with a lot of learning opportunities and help me gain important skills, such as leadership and communication skills. In addition, I think joining a sorority will help me make connections on campus, meet a diverse amount of new people, and give me long-lasting friendships!

    What majors are you considering and why?

    This fall I will be in the History Education (BA/MST) Program. Ever since I was a young child, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Teachers have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their students, and I even believe they hold the key to secure our future. This is something I long to be a part of. Additionally, I have always had a passion for learning about history, so I have a desire to pass this knowledge on to others in as well as outside the classroom.

    A selfie of Kendra smiling.

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

    I have toured Rowan a few times when I was in high school, and I also recently just did the virtual guided tour where you walk around campus yourself with a guide on your phone. I enjoyed it a lot, and it made me very excited to be on campus in the fall!

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

    I know that transferring to a college can be scary and stressful, but just try and stay as positive as possible! The first couple weeks I realized I wanted to transfer, I won’t lie — I felt overwhelmed and not sure where to begin. However, I took my time and made sure to get as much information as possible so I could make a decision that would help me reach every one of my goals.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    I love how many opportunities Rowan has for its students as well as their class sizes. I believe that smaller class sizes will give the professor the opportunity to know me as an individual and not just a student, which I find very important. Also, I am really excited that they offer a master’s program for the history education program that I am in!

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Student photos courtesy of:
    Kendra Hahn

    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 Transfer Profs: Advertising Major Jess Battistelli

    Drone shot of campus.

    Meet incoming transfer student and Advertising major Jess Battistelli from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County). Jess is a transfer from Rowan College of South Jersey and is a first-generation college student. She shares more about what she’s looking forward to at Rowan and what she wants to get involved in on campus.

    Jess smiling while taking a selfie.

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

    I’m looking forward to getting involved with finding internships and meeting other people in the advertising and marketing industry.

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

    I’m currently in NSLS [National Society of Leadership and Success] and Phi Theta Kappa that I will continue to work hard for and utilize through college!

    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’m hoping to narrow down the exact job I want in life in the advertising field, since it is so broad. I’d like to gain more information on the topics and take classes that relate to my field in hope to find what interests me most.

    What major(s) are you considering and why?

    Advertising and possibly a minor in marketing. This field is on the rise especially for social media, and I like the idea of change and different topics and people everyday rather then an office desk.

    Jess sitting on a bench while wearing a black dress.

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

    Not yet, but I am planning to attend orientation in June!

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

    Choose what makes you happiest and what is best for you in the long run!

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    I like how involved they are in each field and how they have so many different options for helping decide what is best and the atmosphere of the campus.

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

    #PROFspective: Public Relations and Advertising Major Madison Sweet

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

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

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

    What is a typical Rowan day for you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What are your professional goals?

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

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

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

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Photography by: Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    Meet Transfer Profs: Fabrizio A. Galindo of Whiting, NJ

    Sideways look at the glass side of windows of a building.
    A selfie of Fabrizio on a beach.

    Meet incoming transfer Fabrizio Galindo, who will live on campus in the fall. Fabrizio is a first generation college student and an aspiring Biological Sciences major from Whiting, NJ (Ocean County) transferring from Stockton University. 

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

    I look forward to growing as a person while achieving my academic goals and succeeding at all the dreams I set my mind to.

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

    Most of my time I spend studying online. I think I would like to try an Honor society and develop my hobbies with them. I found that to be a lot more ideal.

    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 found out that Rowan’s science department is among the best ones in NJ. I feel that involving myself in Physics and Math clubs would be a set of new skills I will like to grow.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    Biology, Biophysics and physics. I have always wanted to study sciences and these are the best sciences to take if you like particles.

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

    I have not done so due to Covid. I would like to go to Rowan’s Church and the science building I’m also curious about the Engineering building, I heard they have a pretty good signal.

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

    Please look at all of your opportunities, you have no idea what you are going to miss on if you don’t check Rowan out.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    Other than Dr. Ali A. Houshmand having graduated in mathematics, I liked the University’s private scholarships and the Honors concentration.

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior, music industry major

    Meet Transfer Profs: Future Marine Biologist Malin Barnes

    Exterior shot of Science Hall.
    A selfie of Malin.

    Meet incoming transfer student and Biological Sciences major Malin Barnes. Malin is a transfer from Eastern New Mexico University and is originally from Abilene, Texas. He shares more about what he’s looking forward to and why he chose Rowan.

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

    Advancing my academic career and exploring the music culture on campus.

    Why Rowan?

    I was stationed in New Jersey from Texas. Rowan seemed to be the best fit for transferring my credits to, and the programs seems very credible and comprehensive.

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

    Symphonic band/pep band and Greek life.

    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?

    If possible, I’d like to explore more marine-based skills and explore all the benefits of living in a coastal state.

    What major are you considering and why?

    Biological Science. I want to work towards a master’s of marine biology to pursue a career in coral reef conservation and restoration.

    Malin taking a selfie in his Coast Guard uniform.

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

    I did do a private guided tour of the campus. It was very comprehensive and informative. Although a lot of the tour was focused on freshmen rather than a transferring student, it was fun to explore the campus as a new student would.

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

    If you want to focus on your career and not have a huge amount of your campus life spent on sports, Rowan is the place to go. It’s modern and up to date, and isn’t overburdened with a focus on high-level sports.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    The lack of a football focus. Back home it’s all about college sports, but Rowan feels more like a school focused on education.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

    Meet Transfer Profs: Athletic Training Major Autumn Britton

    Autumn smiles, wears a hat at the beach.
    Autumn posing for a selfie while showing off her Rowan sweatshirt.

    Meet incoming transfer student Autumn Britton! Autumn, from Swedesboro, NJ (Gloucester County), is an aspiring Athletic Training major who transferred from Ellsworth Community College in Iowa. She shares more about what she’s looking forward to at Rowan and what she wants to get involved in on campus.

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

    I am coming from a community college in Iowa, so I am personally excited to come back for the food! I am also beyond excited to finally be able to just go to a university especially one so close to home!

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

    I am excited to join the Athletic Training Club as an AT major and meet everyone and hear stories.

    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’m hoping that I will discover that I will be a better student than I think I currently am. I am a little stressed about going from a small school with easy classes to a university, so I’m hoping I can discover new forms of study habits for myself.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    Athletic training. I have changed my major three times, and I truly feel like this one will stick. I did not know I had an interest in athletic training until I had surgery this past summer. I had to do physical therapy and fell in love with that but knew I strictly wanted to work with athletes, so it just fit.

    Autumn posing on top of a pipe on the beach.

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

    I attended the transfer student online orientation and I plan to attend a tour at the beginning of April just to learn the campus a little more.

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

    Know exactly what you want in a school and do not settle.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    The community and a lot of people from my high school attend Rowan so I’m hoping to see some familiar faces!

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

    Junior Giavana DiDonato Shares Insight on Electrical & Computer Engineering

    Giavana sitting on a stone near the engineering building with trees behind her.

    Today we feature first-generation college student Giavana DiDonato, a junior Electrical and Computer Engineering major from Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County). Gi transfered here from Rowan College of Gloucester County after getting her associate degree. She tells us about being a woman in her field and her experience in the engineering classes at Rowan. Tell […]

    Meet Transfer Profs: Aspiring Law & Justice Studies Major Emerlyn Anderson

    An exterior shot of the top of Bunce Hall.

    Meet incoming Transfer student Emerlyn Anderson. Emerlyn is an aspiring Law & Justice Studies major from Willingboro, NJ (Burlington County) who transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County. She shares more about what she’s looking forward to at Rowan.

    A close up selfie of Emerlyn.

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

    I look forward to furthering my education and meeting amazing people.

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

    The EOF program.

    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 learn more about my education on a professional level.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    Criminal justice, because I have always wanted to be part of the justice system and help people on a different level.

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

    This is your life and education, do what makes you happy! Don’t stress yourself out either. Everything will work out for the better.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    It was an easy transfer from my two-year college.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Student photo provided by:
    Emerlyn Anderson

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

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Psychology Major, HR Management Minor John Tully

    John stands outside Bunce Hall.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What inspired you to choose your major?

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

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

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

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

    Around two hours.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

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

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

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

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

    Stock image Mountain View.

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

    Jacob taking a selfie of himself while climbing a mountain.

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

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

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

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

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

    What inspired you to choose your major?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

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

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Header photo courtesy of:
    Unsplash

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

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Chemical Engineering Major Jean Han

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

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

    A portrait photo of Jean.

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

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

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

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

    What inspired you to choose your major?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

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

    Like what you see?

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Photography by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major

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