Bangladeshi Graduate Student Finds Opportunity & Community at Rowan University Pursuing a Master’s in Computer Science

A portait of Tilpa outdoors.

This story is one within a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories.  What is your long-term professional goal or dream career? “I see myself as a cloud engineer; it’s my dream career.” Are you involved in internships, clubs, networking, etc. here […]

One Rowan University Indian Graduate Student Reflects on His Journey at Rowan University, Computer Science Education and International Community

Somyaranjan Rout sits behind business hall.

This story is one within a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories.  What is your long-term professional goal or dream career? “My long-term professional goal is to become an expert in cloud architecture and full stack development. I aspire to architect […]

One Rowan University Pharmaceutical Science Graduate Student’s Professional Goals & Career Aspirations

Pintu stands outside an academic building.

This story is one within a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories.  What Rowan professors or Rowan classes have been most helpful and enlightening to you, and how? “To begin with, the majority of the professors at Rowan University exhibit a […]

Empowering Dreams: Meet Sreypich Heng, A Rowan University International Computer Science Senior Pursuing a Career in UX/UI Design

A close up of Sreypich with Bunce behind her.

This story is the first in a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories.  What is your long-term professional goal or dream career? “My long-term professional goal, or dream career, is to become a skilled UX/UI designer. I wouldn’t have thought that […]

Hispanic Heritage Month: A Story of Compassion for Those in Need

A close up portrait of Jeanette smiling, wearing a white collared business shirt.

An adult learner graduating next year with a degree in communication studies, Jeanette Alvarez talks about her upbringing and the ways in which she has learned from it, to give back to her community. Jeanette Alvarez’s story is one of kindness, caring, and generosity, all stemming from her memories of the place she calls home: […]

‘MIS’sion International: International Student on Management Information Systems Major [VIDEO]

Osvaldo smiles at the camera while outside wearing a bright yellow Rowan shirt.

Osvaldo Rosi, an international student from the Dominican Republic, gives his insight on Rowan’s international program and his experience as a management information systems major. 

Osvaldo Rosi, originally from the Dominican Republic, is a senior management information systems major with a minor in business analytics and a certificate in cybersecurity. He originally moved to America in 2020 with his family, seeing it as a land of opportunity to further his career outside of his home country. 

He says his Rowan experience was amazing from the start: “I applied to around 20 universities in the area and was accepted to all of them, but to me Rowan was a big campus but with everything concentrated in one place. When I visited Rowan I felt at home, everything from Rowan Boulevard to the academic buildings just felt right. The energy in the student center and other places around campus is something that really inspired me to be here.”

Osvaldo talks with his friends outside on a bench.

Osvaldo feels like he made the best choice with Rowan, especially with the international student program: “I think that Rowan really offers opportunities to all international students with the program that they have. They give us the opportunity to be involved with American culture and its students. Everything is networking, so being able to be involved with different cultures and see different points of view, it really helps to open your mind. Rowan gave me all the resources I needed to be successful here.” In fact, Osvaldo currently serves as the vice president of the International Club, where he helps fellow international students get adjusted to their Rowan experience: “My job is to help international students around campus and help introduce them to the resources Rowan has to offer. Our job as a club is to help students get involved around campus, with their advisors, and other things to help them through the process.”

Osvaldo and his friends look at something on a tablet while sitting together outside.Touching a bit more specifically on his major, Osvaldo explains: “Management information systems is the science that studies people, organizations, technology, and companies. We are like the bridge between technology and people. We try to take all of the data and create ways for companies to make better decisions with the implementation of technology in their companies.” Osvaldo also elaborates on the importance of management information systems, especially in the modern-day surge of workplace technology: “The best part about this major is that you can be involved in any area of the company. You can be in finance, you can be in marketing, you can be in human resources, because in the end we try to implement technology into all the functions that any company has.”

As far as his advice to incoming Profs goes, Osvaldo had a simple message to send: “Live every day. Enjoy your time. Take advantage of all the resources that Rowan can offer to you. You can get jobs, you can be involved with campus activities, you can be involved with clubs. In the end, the big word for me is networking. If you can make connections here, they are connections you’ll take with you all your life. Be open to learning, and be open to new experiences.”

More specifically to any students considering the management information systems program, Osvaldo has this to say: “The world is changing every day, because we have technology. My major offers you the opportunity to always be in stride with technology. If you change with the technology, you will always be involved and job secure. MIS offers you those kinds of opportunities.”

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Story by Connor Bicknell, senior communication studies major

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

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

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

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

Amit posing for a portrait in engineering hall.

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

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

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

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

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

Amit on campus via his scooter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amit working in an lab on campus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Amit standing in front of the College of Engineering banner.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#PROFspective: Computer Science Major, Basketball Player, International Student Marko Pantovic

Outdoor shot of Marko wearing a coat and backpack.

Today we speak to Marko Pantovic, a senior Computer Science major and basketball student-athlete from Belgrade, Serbia. Marko transferred to Rowan University from Maryville University in Missouri. Marko tells us about the chance experience that led him to Rowan and shares his advice for future international students. 

Marko standings holding the Serbia flag.

How did you end up transferring to Rowan?

In the summer of 2018, my brother was just getting married. He had been dating his girlfriend for eight years. They both met at Drexel. They had a wedding in Philly that summer. My family and I decided to look at schools around the area because they lived in Mullica Hill, NJ. I decided to look at Rowan. The school looked great, and they had the major I wanted to do. The D3 level doesn’t matter. Basketball doesn’t matter. Joe Crispin, the Rowan Men’s Basketball coach, set up a tour for me right after I email him. I did the tour, and then I committed right on the spot. I loved everything about Rowan. It was also great to be near my brother for the first time in years.

How did moving closer to your brother affect your college career?

My brother became more of a father figure towards me, which I didn’t expect. I really appreciated him because he’s been pushing me to be my best, not just in school, but also on the court and with everything else. He’s shown me how it looks like living life here. I loved every second I’ve been here.

Marko poses with his brother and his brother's wife after a basketball game.
Marko poses with his brother and his brother’s wife after a basketball game.

What was it like, transitioning to life in the United States?

Well, I know some people from back home who felt so homesick they had to go back home. I have never felt that way, but I think it was because my older siblings came to the United States as well. I did a prep year before going to college, and there were three or four Serbs there, as well as other international students. The next year, I felt by myself. The holidays and winter break were especially lonely. Winter break felt like it would never end. That was a big reason I wanted to transfer to Rowan. Now that I am living with my brother, his wife and my two little nephews, I feel at home. I don’t get as homesick as I did before. 

Do you have any advice for future international students on how to make yourself at home?

My brother was not the only person who made me feel at home here. I also give credit to Nick and Rob, two of the other seniors on the basketball team. They accepted me as soon as I came here. I would say finding a group of friends is important. You can find one on your team, in your major, or through other international students at the International Center.

The International Center here is great. They have banquets, meet-and-greets, and other events. They were especially helpful my first semester here when I was trying to see if there was anyone else from my country here. 

Marko is introduced before a game.

How did you choose your major?

Computer science is really vast. Cybersecurity, everything we do on our phones and computers, is all computer science. A cash register at a store is computer science. The vastness attracted me, and I wanted to explore it. My dad works at an IT company, so I have been exposed to it. Ever since I was a kid, I have always loved computers and loved working with them. I had never experienced software and programming, so I have been learning a lot in my courses. I learned how much I like computer science, and how vast it is.

What is your favorite part of computer science?

I’ve had a lot of software development classes the last two semesters, which have been amazing and I’ve had so much fun with them. I’d like to focus on software development, but I’m not sure if I want to do it in web apps or mobile apps.

Marko stands next to a sign with many countries on it outdoors.

Do you have a favorite moment with your basketball team?

In Serbia, we take basketball really seriously. The fans are passionate; they chant and support their team, and they yell at the other team. I love that kind of environment. We had a setting like that in Jersey City, and we won the game. It was awesome, and I’ll never forget it. 

What made you feel that you made the right decision, coming to Rowan?

The whole Rowan experience, I’m really thankful for it. I didn’t think school would be this great. I always knew I was going to stick through it. I always knew I would finish school with a degree in something. When I was here, I literally had a feeling I didn’t want to leave. Rowan has become a second home for me, and I’m really thankful for it.

See our video with Marko here: 

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

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

Family photo submitted by:
Marko Pantovic

International Student Dalsha Douglas on Her Rowan University Experience

Dalsha looks off to the side outside Business Hall.

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

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

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

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

Dalsha at engineering pond.

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

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

Dalsha outside of Business Hall.

Dalsha has also created valuable relationships with her professors.

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

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

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

ICYMI: Rowan University Dance Team Ranked Fifth in Nation

Group photo of Rowan Dance Team at Nationals.

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

What makes the Rowan Dance team different? 

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

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

Rowan Dance Team outside at the Florida competition.

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

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

Dance team outside

What is your most memorable memory with the team?

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

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

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

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

A member of the Rowan Dance Team smiles at Nationals.

How was your experience at Nationals 2022?

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

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

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

Dance team performing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Header photo courtesy of:
Rowan University Dance Team ProfLink



The Perspective and Path of International Student, Sarah Atai

Sarah is smiling at the camera while being outside.

With today’s feature, we highlight Sarah Atai, an international student from Uganda studying at the Rohrer College of Business. Sarah is in the works of completing her certificate of graduate study (COGS) for the business school and has aspirations of pursuing her MBA in the fall semester. In this discussion, we learn of Sarah’s non-profit work in her native country of Uganda, which formed her decision as to why she selected Rowan, as well as what the College of Business means to her.

I understand that with you being an international student you must have had a wide variety of choices as to where to spend your higher education, what aspects here at Rowan helped you make your decision?

So I originally wanted to do my MBA, but while I was looking at all the different schools of course there’s so many factors that hindered my going there, but I liked the fact that Rowan had this particular business certificate and according to them just from just reading the website they clearly put it out there that the certificate would give you an insight on the MBA/MS would entail. I think to me that is what I was looking for because as much as I wanted to enroll for the MBA, I was quite hesitant as to what I wanted to focus and major in. So I thought this would give me time to play around and grab a hold of myself to understand and make sure of what I really wanted to do. So, I thought the certificate would be the best alternative at the moment and that is why I enrolled. From the time I enrolled I was very grateful for the decision because of how great the professors have been and how informative the classes are.

Sarah is sitting down and smiling directly at the camera.

When did you realize that you had an interest in business?

It was after working with the ministry that I got to fully realize that I think my passion for business is something that I can use later and to actually help out with non-profits. That is what pushed me to go back to school again because I really wanted to help out different ministries. I wanted to go out and be a part of the solution instead of waiting for it to come.

In what ways has the College of Business prepared you for the next step in your professional career?

Just sitting through the classes has really opened up my mind into the actual business world. I like the way that all of the classes that I’ve attended relate to the day-to-day world, like the actual career path. Of course there’s a point in time where we learn of the different elements of business but compared to learning and gaining some of the knowledge and relating that to current events, it has helped me realize and fully understand as to where business is actually made. I chose to opt for the certificate because I didn’t want to get into the MBA and get frustrated. But I think the certificate was the best blend for me to get the confidence to get the actual MBA.

Sarah, with the sun at her back, is smiling at the camera.

How was your experience with your non-profit in Uganda? 

So the ministry that I used to work for, the Children Alive Ministry, is a non-profit and it is a part of one of the communities in Uganda. We work with children and run school programs. The afterschool model was based off of one of the organizations in the United States called Avenue Promise from somewhere here in New Jersey. We borrowed that model and tried to edit and integrate it into our own culture and see how it could fit for the community that we work in. Just choosing to work with these children was great to see how happy they were just going to school. We wanted to empower the parents through us looking after the children and have them create their own small businesses while we are giving their children different avenues of opportunity.

What is your fondest memory here at Rowan?

My fondest memory I would say would be my time that I have spent here with the business state programs. So the past semester the department had held different networking opportunities for the college of business. I think I would say that I loved each and everyone of them that I got to attend or had the opportunity to attend. I mean it’s unfortunate that I didn’t get to attend all due to the schedule or if something came up but I would say that I loved each and every networking event even when it was online. I appreciated talking to the different analysts or the guest speakers that came who spoke of their wisdom and experiences.

For me, it is something that I could never have and was more than I could have asked for. Especially the people that were brought in for the panels; these were people who had really done so well with their lives as far as careers are concerned and just getting to hear from them was great. I would say that to me, it has been the most memorable just attending all of the different events and getting more wisdom and insight into what I really want to do. Hopefully, if I continue the MBA I hope to learn from the different people that are involved.

Sarah is standing behind a wall with an intricate design.

What words could you offer to other international students that are thinking of choosing Rowan for their higher education?

I would say if anybody was confused and did not know what to do, I think that if they gave Rowan the chance that they would never regret it. Rowan has a great support system. I’ve looked at the different organizations and clubs and haven’t had the opportunity to look at them all but looked at the different websites and was amazed at all of the information and how they reached out. I’ll say that Rowan has great resources, the professors are very supportive and willing to work with individuals regardless of their situation.

In my experience, my professors have been extremely open with communication and how they reached out to find an understanding of my perspective. From the very first class I loved how the professors had stressed how communicative and willing they were to help or listen to me. To me, this handling of these highly accomplished people to just talk and share insight to help us students move forward is something that I had not experienced before. The different resources and all the stuff to understand who and what you are is always available. It just depends on yourself to take the keys and start up the ignition and give Rowan a chance.

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Story by:
Lucas Taylor, English education major

Photography by:
Valentina Giannattasio, dance and marketing double major 

My First Semester As An International Student

Valentina poses on the #RowanProud chair near Bunce Hall.

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

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

Valentina poses in front of the Prof statue.

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

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

Valentina poses in front of Bunce Hall.

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

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

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

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

International Student Shares Why Rowan

Femme in front of Bunce Hall

Oluwafemi Sonubi is a senior international student from Nigeria majoring in Computer Science who became interested in Rowan for swimming.

How did you hear about Rowan’s swim team? 

A recruiter from Nigeria was helping me look at schools. I was going to either go to England, Canada or here. I applied to about 30 different schools. Rowan was the second offer I received, and after that I started traveling and looking at all the schools.

I was bullied a lot in high school and so England was out of the question for me because that’s where all my bullies were. I wanted to start fresh, and Rowan has given me the tranquility that I wanted and needed to focus. 

How do you like New Jersey?

New Jersey has been an experience. Meeting [my friend] Josh and everyone around me, the culture, the music. The different diversities and generations of history, it’s beautiful. I actually went to the Glass Museum, and it was so fun. World history never used to excite me, but history of regular things does.

Oluwafemi posing in front of Bunce Hall

What are your plans after graduation? Are you graduating now?

No, I’m staying an extra year because I want to add on a business minor. My dad convinced me to because I’m a big numbers person. After graduation I plan on focusing on my music more. Music has been my escape, whether I’m happy or sad or emotional I’ve put it all out through music or art. I produce, draw and DJ. 

Do you plan on staying in New Jersey?

I want to stay in New Jersey for a while. 

How have you felt supported on campus? How did you acclimate to being in a new country?

The first thing was the African Student Association on campus. That was the first place I found people who understood my background and culture and helped me acclimate out of it and how to get adjusted and be myself.

Willow giving paw to Oluwafemi on Bunce Green

How did you end up with Willow?

My roommate actually. He wanted to get a dog and so one day there was a dog in the house. Because he works so much, I take care of her more. I plan on buying her from him at the end of the year. She runs about 2-3 miles a day.

What’s the worst food you’ve had in New Jersey?

That’s an interesting question because I do go out to eat a lot. I don’t think I’ve had bad food. The best food, I tried the cheesecake milkshake at Wawa. That was an experience for me because I’ve never had it before.

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

Photography by: 
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

6 Economics Majors Share What They Wish They Knew About Their Major

Economics major Sarah stands outside

“Economics is a social science which is focused on governments, individuals, companies, the environment, and every factor which affects each of these. Economics is not similar to a business or finance major and students will receive a broad education about the world rather than a specific education to prepare one to trade stocks or such.” […]

7 Biomedical Engineering Majors Share One Cool Thing About Their Major

Biomedical engineering student in the lab.

Application, research and … a games competition? Upperclassmen from Rowan’s Biomedical Engineering program share what they’ve discovered in their major.

Lauren sitting outside on campus.

“The coolest thing about Rowan’s biomedical engineering department is the annual BMES [Biomedical Engineering Society] Games Competition! This outdoor sports competition is hosted annually during the fall semester, and it gives students and professors the ability to bond outside of the classroom.” – Lauren Repmann, junior, Biomedical Engineering with a Chemistry minor, Laurence Harbor, NJ (Middlesex County)

AJ studying on his laptop in a study room.

“One cool thing about my major is that there are different tracks you can follow as a BME to help guide what upper-level BME classes to take. But at the same time, the Rowan BME department understands that everyone is different and has different goals. If none of those tracks lines up with what you what you’re looking to do as a career, the advising staff at Rowan is always flexible in helping you figure out what the right path is for you.” – AJ Pingol, senior, Biomedical Engineering major (Pre-Med), Sewell, NJ (Gloucester County)

Hannah posing for a selfie.

“All of the microbiology and how it interacts with medicines and implants. You tend to only think of things on the big scale, so I thought it was interesting to learn how things work on the cellular level. It has definitely made me more curious, and I have started reading how medications work on the cellular level every time I learn about a new one.” – Hannah Doyle, Biomedical Engineering major, senior, Seaford, Delaware

Gatha smiling for a picture while wearing a Rowan Proud shirt.

“Biomedical Engineering has so much to offer including applications in tissue engineering, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, pharmaceutical engineering and therapeutic delivery, orthopedic engineering, and bio mechanics.” – Gatha Adhikari, senior, Biomedical Engineering major, first-generation college student, Begnastal, Nepal

Brandon posing for a picture while wearing his Rowan University PROS shirt.

“One cool thing is that we normally have a very small graduating class. Since there are so few of us, the faculty and staff develop a great personal relationship with each and every student.” – Brandon Hickson, junior, Biomedical Engineering major, Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County)

Katie sitting on a bench with foliage in the background.

“One cool thing I’ve learned is how ears transduce sound. I was actually reading the wrong chapter in the textbook for a homework assignment and I was confused because we had been working on the muscular system and I wasn’t sure what hearing had to do with that but it was so interesting I finished the whole section. I definitely recommend doing some research about it because it is super complicated but really interesting.” – Katie Driscoll, junior, Biomedical Engineering major with minors in Chemistry, History, and Arabic and concentrations in Honors College and Global Health, Durango, Colorado

Danny posing with a friend in the rec center.

“That research can come from anyone, including undergrads.” – Danny Tepper (seen at left), senior, Biomedical Engineering major, transfer from Atlantic Cape Community College, Glassboro, NJ (Gloucester County)

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Double Major International Student Elona Noka

Elena photographed outside campus wearing a blue blazer.

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

First Year Voices: English Language Program Student Steve Ngo

An aerial view of Rowan University's campus.

Today we speak to Steve Ngo, who recently completed his freshman year in the English Language Program. He lives in Egg Harbor Township (Atlantic County). Before the university closed due to COVID-19, Steve lived on campus at Holly Pointe Commons. Steve is a first-generation college student.

Bunce Hall, a building that dates back to Rowan's origins.

What is one way you made friends this year? 

I met my friends when I stayed in my dorm and when I started my first classes at Rowan.

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

Next year, I want to make more new friends and have more experiences.

The Rowan owl statue outside of Robinson Hall.

What would you tell a future student who is interested in coming to Rowan? 

Find a mentor who can lead you to the field you are interested in. Set a target for your path, then do it step by step and you’ll reach what you want!

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

Meet #Rowan 2024: Computer Science Major Dean Julien Joins Freshmen Class From Haiti

Dean and friends.

Today we feature Dean Julien, a Computer Science major from Montrouis Le Maire, Haiti and a first-generation college student.Computer science major Dean Julien in his native Haiti

What are a few things you are looking forward to next year at Rowan?

I am looking forward to meeting a lot of people, seeing old friends, and being the proudest basketball player on the Rowan team

How or why did you choose your major? 

I chose computer science because I love messing with my computer and I want to learn more out of it.

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

I loved playing basketball in high school and I would like to continue playing at Rowan.

Dean Julien and friends in his native Haiti.

Why Rowan? 

Because from what I heard it’s a good college and it’s close to where I am going to be staying. 

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Story by: 
Melanie Sbaraglio, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos courtesy of:
Dean Julien

Meet #Rowan2024: Biochemistry Major from Nigeria, Damilola Bukola Babalola

Stock image of biology test tubes

Today we feature Damilola Bukola Babalola, a Biochemistry major from Nigeria, Africa. 

Selfie of Damilola Bukola Babalola.

What are a few things you are looking forward to next year at Rowan?

I look forward to greatness, more knowledge, achieving my goals, socializing, and much more.

How or why did you choose your major?

I chose my major because my goal has always been to help and save lives and to understand living organisms at the smallest unit.

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

Movie acting. 

Why Rowan?

With my comparison to other universities of my options, I noticed Rowan University is among the top best universities in the US. It will also groom me more academically and help achieve my life goals. 

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Pandemic Profs: Isolating On Campus

Marko looks to the horizon.

Welcome to our series to give you a glimpse into Rowan University, our campus culture, and the lives of our students, while we’re practicing social distancing to protect society from the spread of COVID-19. Today’s story is from international student Marko Minic, a senior sports communication and media major isolating while living on campus. Photos included in this story were taken before COVID-19.

Marko crouches in front of tall grass, holding a basketball.

My name is Marko Minic and I am an international student from Belgrade, Serbia. During these unpredicted times, I was unable to travel back home and I am actually one of the few students staying on campus during this pandemic crisis.

The whole Rowan campus is currently a ghost town. I live in Mimosa Hall which is in the center of campus, and apart from seeing someone pass by every now and then, it has pretty much been empty to its last inch. Serving as a Resident Assistant (RA) in Mimosa, I have personally seen every last soul move out of the building, with just me and my Resident Director remaining.

The good news which I was very happy to hear was that the food services, although limited, remained open for the few of us still here. I am able to go to the Student Center (SC) and choose from our Breakfast & Co. Freshens, and Pizza Crust stations as well as get some additional food and supplies from The SHOP. With the rotation of these stations in the SC, I am able to have three well-balanced meals a day while getting some snacks in between from The SHOP. Overall, while the things are not ideal right now, I am very grateful for the resources and support that I have from the Rowan community and having them be there for me during these rough times.

Marko stands behind the Business Hall.Although my spring break (and the rest of the semester) is not what I have expected, I am trying my best to stay productive and not fall into a routine of slacking back. I have made a promise to myself that I will come out of this better, stronger (both mentally and physically), and more improved. Because I am normally jammed with three on-campus jobs and taking 18 credits in school during the academic year, my usual week is pretty hectic and my days can be overwhelming.

I am taking advantage of this unique situation by having more “me time” and focusing on improving myself in as many areas as I can. With more free time on my hands, I am also on the phone with my family and friends back home more often. Being a first generation student in my family who came to study in America certainly comes with its challenges and benefits. While it is hard being on my own and far away from home, the constant support and love I get from my closest ones keeps me going. As a first gen. here, I am trying to pave the way for the rest of my family to succeed and give them a better life they deserve. 

Marko stands holding a basketball, looking to the horizon.As I will be graduating in about a month or so and will soon be out in the real world, I am using this time to prepare myself for a life after college; devoting my time to work on improving certain hard skills that employees look for, and searching for jobs that will help me get settled for a life in the U.S. upon the end of my college career.

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#PROFspective: International Student Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang

Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang stands outside Science Hall

Today, we speak with Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang, a junior Nutrition major from Đà Nẵng, Việt Nam who commutes from Cape May. Nam Phuong will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.

Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang poses outside in front of the Rowan owl statueYour name: Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang

Your major(s): Nutrition

Are you a first-generation college student? No

Your year: Junior

Transfer student: Yes. I transferred my credits from Atlantic Cape Community College.

Hometown: Đà Nẵng, Việt Nam

Where do you live? Cape May, NJ (Cape May County)

Commuter: Yes, this [fall] semester I [commuted] 5 days a week from Cape May.

Academic clubs you are a part of:  Nutrition Care Club, student member of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Social clubs you are a part of: Volunteer for the Community Foodbank of New Jersey, Social Media Volunteer for Clinical Nutrition Management Dietetic Practice Group.

Share an “aha!” moment you’ve had within your major that made you feel passionate about your intended field.

This is my first semester at Rowan as a Dietetics student. I have to say that the Department of Health Sciences keeps me excited every week with weekly emails about different opportunities for internship/jobs/volunteer experiences for Rowan students in our field. Recently, I received an email about an internship for students who are interested in attending the Health Promotion Conference in South Carolina. The chapter will cover the transportation and hotel fee for the accepted interns, and the conference fee is waived for interns. How cool is that!

Nam Phuong’s laptop stickers are Keith Haring designs. “His work just speaks to me and makes me happy!” she says.

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

I really enjoy my Intro to Nutrition Profession class with Dr. [Christina] Riccardo. In this class, we are encouraged to develop our professional philosophies, making connections, identify both professional and personal future goals, as well as build positive growth mindset. As we are still in the preparation for the program, I think it is very important for each of us to reflect and know what we really want to do in the future, as we don’t want to enter the program and realize it’s not what we thought it to be, right?  

Describe for us an on-campus experience (academic or non-academic) in which you felt that your future goals are supported.

The Office of Career Advancement (OCA) in Savitz Hall is very helpful and valuable for me as well as anyone who is a current Rowan student. Most of the time a good GPA is not enough to get the job that we want; it is also about how we present ourselves in person and on paper. It is sometimes quite intimidating for many students to create a professional resume, prepare for an interview or search for job opportunities. The OCA helps students learn how to write a proper cover letter, résumé, do mock interviews and find jobs and internships. I think this service is absolutely amazing. I received a lot of help and I am very grateful for all the feedback and suggestions from the faculty in this office.

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you?

Rowan has a diverse college environment where people with different backgrounds, personalities and perspectives come together. The diversity is a great opportunity for students to learn and grow from each other. In the midst of diversity, there are associations for students with particular interests, and that made me feel like I belong. The second week at Rowan, at the Fall Festival, I met the Vietnamese Student Association. That made me feel so happy when there is diversity and ethnic integrity.  

Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang listens to podcasts on her commute to Rowan's campus
“I listen to podcasts that explain topics that I find particularly challenging in my classes.”

Why did you choose Rowan?

I want to be a Registered Dietitian and the first thing to do to become one is to get my education at an accredited institution. I did my research and found that Rowan is one of the 62 accredited colleges in America that offers the program I am pursuing, which I think is so awesome. I had a chance to talk to my current academic advisor, Ms. Dwyer, a year before I applied to Rowan. She helped me with what I should expect and what I should do to prepare for the program. As I learn more about the program, I am so excited to see Rowan expanding the opportunities for Dietetics students.

What’s your favorite thing about your typical Monday at Rowan?

I am taking 17 credits this semester, plus 15 hours commuting per week, so currently my favorite thing to do during the week is enjoy my coffee and podcast as I drive to campus. Some days I listen to Spotify, and other days I listen to podcasts. One of my favorite things about my days at Rowan is my studying time at the Campbell Library between classes. The staff is very friendly, and there are a lot of quiet study spaces for individual use as well as group use. Also, the printers at Rowan are awesome. 

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Story by:

Nam Phuong Nguyen Hoang, junior nutrition major

Photography by:
Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major

#PROFspective: International Engineering Student Thai Nghiem

Thai Nghiem stands on the steps inside the Engineering Hall lobby

Name: Thai Nghiem

Major: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Minor: Computer Science

Year: Senior

Are you a first-generation college student? No

Hometown and county: Hanoi, Vietnam

Commuter: Yes. I’m commuting from Franklinville, NJ (Gloucester County)

Academic clubs you are a part of: Bantivoglio Honors Concentration, Tau Beta Pi – Engineering Honor Society

Social clubs you are a part of: Rowan Cru – Secretary

Thai sits in a round orange chair in the bridge connecting the two engineering buildings at Rowan University.Do you work on campus? I worked in the library as a Technology Desk Specialist for a year.

Share an “aha!” moment you’ve had within your major that made you feel passionate about your intended field. I was always good at math and physics in high school, and since Rowan offered an outstanding engineering program, I did not hesitate to choose engineering as my major. 

Describe an on-campus experience (academic or non-academic) in which you felt that your future goals are supported. I found the Career Fair on-campus very helpful, as I landed many interviews and two internships. The two engineering internships were with Ellenby Technologies and American Water. Both of them offered me competitive pay and treated me as a regular employee; they trusted and assigned me with great responsibilities. I had a great time interning with them and gained a great deal of practical knowledge and industrial experience. I would recommend everybody of all majors attend the Rowan Career Fair. 

Thai is pictured behind a handrail as he walks up the steps holding a red and black toolbox .
On a typical day, Thai brings his toolbox with him to work on projects in Engineering Hall.

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you? My freshman year (2015), Rowan Cru held a Halloween party at the International House, where I used to live. As an international student, I did not have a lot of friends back then, especially those who are American. The event was a great deal to me, as I got to meet and talk to new people who were very friendly and helpful. Since it’s hard for an international student to get a car and a driving licence, many of them offered me rides to ShopRite whenever I needed. Furthermore, they invited me to be a part of their club — Rowan Cru, where I continued to make new wonderful relationships and great memories.

Why did you choose Rowan? Actually, Rowan found and chose me. I uploaded my resume on a merit-aid website, and Rowan officials contacted me. Due to the generous international scholarship, I was able to attend Henry Rowan College of Engineering. 

Thai works on a project in the Engineering Hall lobby between classes.

On your busiest day, what academic, non-academic and social responsibilities are you juggling? On my busiest day, I am juggling between exams, my part-time job at the library, and leading a Bible study session at Rowan Cru. There are tough times, but those are what make us a better person. My friends in Cru, as well as my classmates, help each other through stressful times. I really appreciate these people and always enjoy spending time with them. 

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Story by:
Thai Nghiem, senior electrical and computer engineering major

Photography by:
Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major

#PROFspective: International Student & Marketing Major Marko Minic

Today, we speak with Marko Minic, a senior Marketing major and Sports Communication and Media minor from Belgrade, Serbia who lives on-campus. Marko will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how he’s getting the most out of his college experience as a Rowan Prof.

Name: Marko Minic
Major: Marketing
Minor: Sports Communication & Media
Year: Senior
Transfer Student: Yes, I transferred to Rowan from the University of Rio Grande.
Hometown: Belgrade, Serbia
On-Campus Resident: Yes, I am an RA in Mimosa Hall.
Academic club: Secretary, Sports Communication and Media Club
Athletic club: Basketball Club
Social club: Treasurer, International Club

Do you work on campus? If so, where/what do you do? Yes, I am a Resident Assistant, an Admissions Ambassador and I work at the Rec Center.

Describe an experience you’ve shared with a professor in which you felt like you were working with a visionary in your field. There are a handful of professors at Rowan who I have had meaningful conversations with. Professor Kate Harman made a big impact on me when I took her Intro to Sports Communications class. She was always a great mentor and I am still in contact with her through the Sports CAM club. One thing that made her stand out was her high energy and her ability to see the big picture.

Describe for us an on-campus experience in which you felt that your future goals are supported. Every week, as a part of the Sports CAM club, I attend the “Pizza with the Pros” session where outside employers in the sports industry come and talk to us about their careers. It’s a great networking opportunity and is helping me a lot with my employment opportunities and career goals.

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you?Meeting Charles Barkley, a retired NBA player, through Pizza with the Pros, and having a private reception with him. 

On your busiest day, what academic, non-academic and social responsibilities are you juggling? Monday is a packed day from me. I have classes back to back from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. I always go for a workout before my busy day starts at 7 a.m. After that I usually go either to the admissions office or the Rec Center to do some work before our weekly meeting at 6 p.m. Finally, I come back to my room in Mimosa Hall, usually around 8 p.m, and see how things are going with my residents. Sometimes, as a part of my RA job, I am on duty for the building or assisting residents. If not, I use some time to catch up on some homework or just relax.

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Story and photography by:
Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major

Best of Both Worlds: International Student Merges Love of Marketing & Basketball at Internship

Rowan international student and marketing major Marko Minic outside Business Hall

For senior international student Marko Minic, a Marketing major from Serbia, (basket)ball is life! He came to the United States in 2016 to pursue an education in business and to continue playing the sport he loves. 

“It’s business-oriented in America, and I felt that I could prosper here with an education in some sort of business, but I didn’t know what I wanted to study specifically,” he says. “I came to the conclusion that marketing was a good fit for me because I enjoy communicating and interacting with new people. I don’t just want to do the behind the scenes work; I want to be in the field of action.”

Marko spins a basketball while standing in the grass outside the Rec CenterMarko decided to look into the Sports Communication and Media minor, which was brand new at the time, to combine his passion for sports and his knowledge in marketing. Dr. John Giannini, founding director of Rowan University’s Center for Sports Communication and Social Impact, was a mentor of sorts to Marko throughout his first year in the program, guiding him to find his niche in the industry.

“I got to know Dr. Giannini through my involvement in the Sports Communication Club, and he introduced me to an organization called Hoop Group. We decided it would be a great fit for an internship for me because of my interests. He connected me to the group and encouraged me to reach out for an opportunity he knew of, and the rest is history.”

This past summer, Marko accepted an offer as a marketing intern for Hoop Group, a renowned basketball training camp located in Pennsylvania. He spent his days capturing all that Hoop Group has to offer through its prestigious programs — photographing training sessions, managing the company social media accounts and staying in touch with camp alumni. He conducted player interviews each week for spotlights on the company blog, dabbled in Lightroom and Photoshop and weighed in on web design decisions.

Rowan marketing major Marko Minic studies outside by the Rohrer College of Business.
When the weather allows, Marko studies outside by the Rohrer College of Business.

But for Marko, the best part of the internship was the hands-on involvement with both basketball and marketing. “Being able to watch the games and be part of the action in an environment that I’ve grown up around, and being able to provide valuable materials to the company was the most rewarding part for me,” he says. “I learned a lot about editing and content design and had a nice mixture of both behind-the-scenes work in the office and being out in the action, photographing players and getting to know people. To see things from the other perspective, being on the production side of things, was pretty cool for me, since I had never thought about the detailed work that goes into events like this.” 

As Marko enters his senior year, his schedule is brimming with a combination of academic and athletic commitments: “Nowadays, I have less time to dedicate solely to sports, so luckily Rowan has so many options to still play on club or intramural teams while balancing everything else in life.”

Marketing major Marko Minic stands outside the Esbjornson (Esby) GymnasiumThe “everything else in life” just happens to consist of more great opportunities for Marko, such as an internship this semester with the Rowan Recreation Center and with Rowan Athletics next semester!

“I’ve learned that my professors are really here to support my career. That small positive word of mouth really put me on top and helped me stand out among the rest of the applicants [for Hoop Group],” he reflects. “Everything I’m doing is pretty exciting and rewarding right now, so I’m looking forward to the future.”

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Story and photography by:
Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major

Passing the Torch: Political Science Major from Honduras Shares Tips for Success

Edwin, in his cap and gown, stands next to his four family members outside Savitz Hall

“The best way to connect with internships is through email and on-campus job fairs,” says political science graduate Edwin Benavides from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County), who is originally from Honduras. He suggests that incoming students, “take advantage of all assistance programs provided by the University.”

The advice he’d give to high school students is to, “take honors and advanced courses” to get ahead in college, says the College of Humanities & Social Sciences graduate who transferred to Rowan. 

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Passing the Torch: Music Industry, First-Generation Student Gives Advice

Three Rowan graduates standing together outside Robinson Hall

“The best way to connect with internships and job opportunities was through the Rowan Music Group and speaking to your professors,” says first-generation college student Emilio Del Hierro, an international student from Ecuador and a recent music industry graduate from the College of Performing Arts. Emilio rented an off-campus apartment and commuted to Rowan. 

To manage your time effectively, make sure to “write everything down and keep an agenda!” 

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Story by:
Chad Wittman, rising senior journalism major

Photography by:
DeanPowers, rising sophomore radio/TV/film major

Passing the Torch: International Student Gives Advice

Ahmad Kindawi stands with his family at Rowan University graduation

Ahmad Kindawi jots notes after graduation with family looking on holding a bouquet of flowers at Rowan University“Participating in social activities is the best way to make friends,” says Ahmad Kindawi, a first-generation college student (now graduate!) from Syria, who rents a house off-campus, within walking distance of campus. Ahmad graduated with a master’s degree in history from the College of Humanities & Social Sciences

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#PROFspective: International Student Gatha Adhikari

Today, we speak with Gatha Adhikari, a sophomore biomedical engineering major from Begnas Tal, Pokhara (Nepal), who lives at Holly Pointe Commons as a Resident Assistant. Gatha will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be an international Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.

How is Rowan welcoming to you? During the Flying First Symposium by Rowan’s Flying First Task Force for first generation college students, I was invited to speak on the panel to Gatha Adhikari posing in front of her Resident Assistant sign in Holly Pointe Commons.share my journey. To see the first generation alums and get their support made me feel welcomed and a sense of belonging.

Could you tell us a little bit about being a first generation college student? My family is back home in a small village in Nepal and were supportive to let me come here for my studies. Being first-gen is a point of pride in itself, but is also a big struggle. As a first-gen student, I am able to accomplish the dreams of my parents and inspire my community. I affirm for the young ones that they can live their dreams and achieve immense opportunities. Gatha Adhikari mixing a solution in the Science Hall.

Tell us a little bit about the sacrifice that you and your family has made in order to make college a reality for you.  My family and community have made a big emotional sacrifice to let me come to this foreign land and study while my other friends got married without finishing their education. While my family could have kept me home to assist them with their agriculture, they decided to let me fly away and be independent, which means a lot to me. I have left behind my friends and family who are very close to my heart, my traditions and festivities behind and work days and nights to make college a reality.

How do you feel your family will feel when they watch you walkGatha Adhikari posing in the first floor in Engineering Hall. across that graduation stage? I can imagine the tears of joy in the eyes of both my parents and brother when I finish my degree and graduate. They have dedicated their love and sacrificed so much to make it happen. My parents’ goal in life will be fulfilled when they see my accomplishments. My graduation ceremony will mean a lot.

What organization is most meaningful to you on campus? I work as a Resident Assistant (RA) for the Residential Learning and University Housing which means a lot to me. As a team, we strive to build communities within Rowan’s campus to provide the best possible residential life experience to Rowan students so they can find a home away from home here. The residents I lead are a part of an engineering learning community in Holly Pointe Commons

Gatha Adhikari handing a beaker to her professor in Science Hall.

Tell us about your transition into college and how you pushed through any challenges. Leaving everyone I knew and my home country behind when coming to Rowan has been a challenging journey. I have faced numerous obstacles along the way including financial difficulty, as I don’t get any financial aid for being an international student and it is hard to find scholarships I am eligible to apply for. I still have this problem, but I work hard, work on-campus and apply to every scholarship I can.

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

#PROFspective: Ph.D. in Education Candidate Sanaz Shahi

close up of business woman with brick building in the background

Today, we speak with Sanaz Shahi, a Ph.D. candidate in Education from Iran-Tehran, who lives off campus. Sanaz will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University international student and how she got the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof. Year: Ph.D Candidate. (expected year of graduation: […]

#PROFspective: Strategic Communications & Public Relations Master’s Student MST Aysha Siddika

Aysha outside College of Communication and Creative Arts sign

Today, we speak with Aysha Siddika, a graduate student in strategic communications and public relations from Bangladesh who lives off campus. Aysha will share her#PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof. Name: MST Aysha Siddika […]

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Pascale Molina

Pascale

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

International #PROFspective: Radio/TV/Film Major Frank A. Villarreal

Rowan RTF Student Frank Villarreal poses next to the antique canon camera

Today we speak with Frank A. Villarreal, a freshman Radio/TV/Film major originally from Venezuela, who lives on campus in Edgewood Apartments. Frank, who loves the craft of making movies and is passionate about becoming an actor, will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University international student and how […]

#PROFspective: Biomedical Engineering Major Shanna Davidson

Student stands in front of dorms

Today we speak with Shanna Davidson, a junior biomedical engineering major from Pretoria, South Africa, who lives on campus in residence hall Laurel Hall. Shanna will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan […]