Running The Funny Farm Rescue is Serious Business for this Rowan Grad [VIDEO]

A view of Laurie's back as she walks through her farm, wearing her signature bright pink hat and bright pink boots.

“Life happens when you’re busy making other plans,” says art alumna Laurie Zaleski, who never intended to run a farm. Meet Laurie Zaleski, the owner and founder of the Funny Farm Rescue and Sanctuary in Mays Landing, NJ (Atlantic County). Laurie also owns Artsy Graphics, which is a graphic design and photography company. She graduated […]

#PROFspective: First-Year Student Talks Exploratory Studies & Accepted Students Day

Close up of a smiling Kayla.

What is Exploratory Studies? “Exploratory studies means that you do not have a set major; you’re exploring what you want to do. You have the opportunity to take classes that you are interested in. I took a Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management course because it caught my interest. From there, if I decide that this […]

Graduate Student Sarah Salazar Shares Advice For Future Engineering Majors

Sarah working in an engineering lab.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any last advice?

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

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Sedrick is playing Uno with friends and is smiling at the camera.

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

More times than not, whenever we’re experiencing a personal hardship of some kind we tend to retreat into our shells like a turtle and let the issue continue to persist rather than making a stand and finally addressing it.

The topic of self-advocacy is especially compelling considering that it can be applied to many different facets, whether it be mental or physical health, periods of stress, as well in situations of anxiety and depression.

The core aspect of self-advocacy is in its prefix, “self.” Only you can speak on account for the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that you’re currently experiencing; you’re the one who is able to tell how these emotions impact you in a positive or negative way.

Sedrick is with friends and is walking around on campus.

The textbook definition of self-advocacy is “the action of representing oneself or one’s views or interests.” Once a student enters college, self-advocacy can be seen as a training ground for students to begin to speak on their own behalf after half a lifetime spent having their parents and guardians advocating for them on behalf of their well-being (Rogers, 2022)

One form of self-advocacy that we see at the start of each and every semester, even if it’s usually glossed over really quickly, are the accommodations that are ingrained in every professor’s syllabus.

While it may not seem like it, making your professor(s) aware of the accommodations that you need in order to ensure your success in the class is a form of self-advocacy that not many students take advantage of. Accommodations don’t have to be specific to resources or materials, sometimes it’s taking one “mental health day.”

Sedrick is with friends, sitting on one of the lawn chairs on campus.

Life gets extremely arduous at times. Sometimes missing one class during the semester allows one the chance to recuperate your mental stamina, especially if it’s the week before an exam or quiz that you’re feeling especially stressed about. You can spend this mental health day just letting all the tension you’ve had building up over the semester finally ease a bit before throwing yourself back into your studies.

Putting yourself first has remarkable results, it gives you the chance to finally take a breath of fresh air for yourself and get back on track. 

Sedrick is getting ready to play Uno.

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Story by:
Sedrick Golden, junior health and science communication major, Wellness Center intern

Edited by:
Lucas Taylor, English education graduate student


Rogers, L. T. A. (2022, September 22). Self-advocacy: A tool for Success. CollegiateParent. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from,this%20is%20not%20the%20case.

#PROFspective: Student Leader Fadi Khan Says “This is Only the Beginning”

Biological Sciences major Fadi Khan wears sunglasses against a nighttime sky at Holly Pointe Commons.

Today we feature student leader Fadi Khan (he/him) of Pleasantville, NJ (Atlantic County). Fadi is a senior Biological Sciences major and lives on campus in Holly Pointe Commons, where he is also a Community Assistant. A first-generation college student, Fadi shares with us his perspectives on life, his major, and getting the most out of […]

#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 […]

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 […]

First Year Voices: Donovan Cruz Finds Rowan Classes Have “So Much to Offer”

Today, we feature Donovan Cruz, a first-year student from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County), whose major is currently undecided. He looks forward to becoming more involved as he becomes more settled into this new chapter of life in Glassboro. When asked why he made the choice to change his major from Radio/Television/Film, Donovan explained he had […]

Engineering Entrepreneurship: Senior Daniel Nachtigall Shares All About Major

Dan works on a project inside Business Hall.

Today we speak with Dan Nachtigall, a recent graduate who majored in Engineering Entrepreneurship from Atlantic County, NJ. Dan explains the importance of his major in the engineering field, learning how to collaborate, and his final project while offering insight for others thinking about pursuing the path.

What is Engineering Entrepreneurship? 

Engineering Entrepreneurship is equitable to other engineering majors such as Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering. The only difference is that the Engineering Entrepreneurship major incorporates more business-based classes where the other majors focus more on the deeper-based sciences. My major has about 90% of the same classes as the other engineering majors except for the higher level courses, which are substituted with business and entrepreneurship classes that will help me when I step out into my career path. 

What are some of the business classes that you take in your major? 

We go through classes like Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Product Development, Business Management, Finance, and other things of that nature. These classes help us learn to balance both the creative and management side of engineering. 

Can you tell us more about your final project?

My final project is for the New Product Development course. In that course, there’s more of a focus on requests for proposal contracts. In the engineering field, everything will involve some sort of contract or a request for a proposal to bid to get a contract. It’s really important for engineers to have the ability to prepare, write and communicate about documents that they need to make with their company or their own businesses in order to reach the consumer. 

Daniel explaining his powerpoint
Daniel practices presenting his final project!

What’s the importance of having that education?

It is really important for an engineer to not just be skilled in simply working in design. It’s important that they understand the industry as a whole. They need to know how to communicate with not only their fellow engineers but with the staff they will be working with as well. As much It’s important to be the designer and the one who’s leading the innovation, it’s also important to be able to support the people aiding you in bringing your ideas to life. 

How does this program tailor to a different type of engineer, an engineer who isn’t straight mechanical or biomedical or anything else along those lines?

The reason this program stood out to me was that it appeals to all different types of engineers like technical engineers, operations engineers, or sales engineers. It’s not just someone doing data analysts. I don’t want to be the highest level engineer doing the calculations. I want to be one of the supporting engineers who’s on the shop floor of the business, doing more work with my hands. 

How do collaborations work between you and your classmates? 

In our major, we have a clinic class each semester. The clinic classes are designed to encourage teamwork and collaboration. Most of the work assigned is group projects and team exercise. During my first clinic freshman year, one of the things they had us for first was the spaghetti and marshmallow tower challenge. We had to use raw spaghetti to balance a marshmallow as high as we could. It was fun but it really emphasized the importance of teamwork, communication, and planning, all things are major values and prides itself on. It’s not just all about sitting behind a desk. 

Daniel writing something down while in the Collaboration Room
“Collaboration is a big component of the field,” Daniel shares.

What’s your advice for students looking to get into engineering and may be interested in pursuing engineering entrepreneurship?

I know there’s a lot of students looking to get into engineering but believe it to be really daunting. It was daunting for me, but this program takes away some of the more daunting elements of engineering. Think about the type of engineer you want to be, the job you want to end up in, the type of engineering you enjoy as a hobby, and determine which branch of engineering you could see yourself going down. Take your time, find what’s good for you, and who knows? You might learn that entrepreneurship engineering is the route for you.

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Story By: 
Bianca Gray, English graduate

Alumni Success: “What’s Good” with Isaiah Showell ‘15, Multimedia Journalist and Local Storyteller

Isaiah interviews a subject for What's Good.

Isaiah Showell of Atlantic County has hosted and produced more than 100 videos spotlighting the people, places and programs of South Jersey communities for the series “What’s Good,” which he founded in 2017. Isaiah, who graduated with a Journalism degree from the Ric Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts, shares his own South Jersey […]

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

College of Communication & Creative Arts.

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

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

Alondra stands in front of Bunce Hall.

Alondra Martinez’s coursework and on-campus position both align with her passion to see more students like her, from underrepresented backgrounds, “achieve anything they want.” Alondra, a Rowan Global student in the M.A. in Higher Education program, works as a graduate coordinator with the Social Justice, Inclusion, and Conflict Resolution (SJICR) office. Alondra is a first […]

Alumni Success: How Strategic Communication Grad Nadya Ramos Inspires Us All!

Rowan University has a network of alumni thriving in many different fields and professions all around the world. Today, we got a chance to sit down with one of these successful individuals — Nadya Ramos, a 2020 graduate of Rowan Global’s Strategic Communication program.

A young girl sits atop a green chair in her kitchen, her feet dangling off the edge. She’s too young to understand anything it says, and the adults around her are getting more entertainment watching her than she gets out of reading it, but there she sits day after day trying to make sense of the words on the page. There’s something special about that little girl even though she doesn’t know yet. Something unique that’ll come to inspire many other women and girls. 

This young girl went from pretending to read newspapers to becoming a wife, mother and the CEO of her own small business.

Rowan alumna Nadya Ramos is the founder of Modern Millennial Mom, a blog to express her own reality and experience being a mother in the modern age as well as a businesswoman and has grown to allow her to create content for others. Modern Millennial Mom has allowed her to reach many other women who are experiencing being mothers in this modern age while simultaneously juggling the whirlwind of this world around them. 

An Atlantic City native, Nadya currently lives in Arizona working as content creator, marketing consultant, business owner and full-time mom creating content for companies like Walmart and Office Depot, but life wasn’t always like that for her. When asked about her past, Nadya shared not only her experience being a first generation young Hispanic girl but also explained the multifaceted layers of the word “first.”

She explains: “I was the first person to get a bachelor’s degree, I was the first person to get a master’s degree, the first to start a business. All of these opportunities and ‘firsts’ come with a lot of struggles and challenges. I didn’t have someone to go to in my family to say I needed help or to even ask. It’s a double-edge sword. You dream bigger when you’re the first, but with it comes many challenges.” 

Many who can’t relate to the experience of being the first would then ask, “How do you do it?” If Nadya were to respond with the advice given to her by her mother it would be: “Work hard and go to school,” a mantra many of us may know from our own parents. But Nadya felt as though there was more to life than just working hard, going to school and building enough to get by stating: “When my mom came to this country, a single mother of five children, it was all about survival. For me, I wanted to build more than just enough to get by.”  

Nadya did face her own set of obstacles and challenges, but instead of treating them like adversaries, she used them as stepping stones to get to where she is today. For starters, Nadya had initially had plans of attending Rowan for her undergraduate degree but was not accepted. Taking the setback in stride, she chose to instead go to school locally working as a blackjack dealer on nights and weekends as well as interning for $10 an hour (and sometimes for free) to put herself through school.

She would eventually enroll into Rowan’s graduate program for Strategic Communication and, while would receive her degree in August 2020, there still came numerous setbacks. 

Nadya strikes a pose in front of brick wall

“It took me longer than expected,” she explains. “I got married in the process. I had a baby. I moved. I took a break from work and was a stay-at-home mom for some months. But, looking back now, I can see that everything happens for a reason, and I understand now why it took me longer than expected. I actually ended up writing my master’s thesis after influencer marketing blew up, and so I was able to switch my topic and write about something I was really passionate about after initially choosing something I wasn’t all that interested in. Now, I do this for a living. I work with many influencers. I do brand collaborations. I do influencer marketing campaigns. And now I myself get to work with other brands doing those collaborations.” 

On the launch of her own small business, Modern Millennial Mom, Nadya lets us know that it didn’t just fall in her lap and was the result of yet another setback: “I launched my marketing consulting business because I was let go from my job last year. There were things about the workforce that didn’t align with my goals now that I’m a mom with a family to raise. I wanted more freedom. More flexibility. I just didn’t want uncertainty. I want to regain control of my life. Be the CEO of my life. Now, I teach other women how to gain the confidence to market themselves and their business better.”

As a woman of color in a field that is predominantly not filled with faces that look like hers, Nadya has had to deal with her share of misogynoir. For those unaware of what misogynoir is, it is defined as the culmination of racism and misogyny, and it’s something that many women of color are all too familiar with. Nadya was very candid about her experience with misogynoir, holding no punches. 

“I’ve definitely experienced misogynoir,” she shares. “I didn’t know how real it was until it was me who was experiencing it. I came home one day and sat in the kitchen talking to my husband and mother-in-law about how this is not something that’s in my head. You know how people say, ‘Maybe that’s just in your head’ or ‘Maybe you’re overthinking it.’ Well, when it’s you on the receiving end, it’s hard to justify it or explain to yourself what just happened.

“Not very long ago, in my last job in the field, I experienced, myself and other women, microaggressions in the workplace. Other women and I started to notice a lot patterns that just didn’t make sense and it felt very targeted. It just didn’t make sense and it felt very targeted. I feel it’s important to give voices to women who own businesses and women of color so they can get out there and create more opportunities. But it’s also important to provide these same women with the resources to be able to do so.” 

Close up on Nadya in front of wall

One of the ways Nadya helps to provide these resources is through her series, Growth Through Conversation. The show, which started out as a Facebook Live series, has now expanded to pre-recorded conversations that are posted to YouTube. Nadya describes the show as: “A conversation you might have with somebody in your living room or at a networking event.” 

When asked about how it feels to be able to use her platform to elevate the voices of women, specifically Latina women, Nadya gave an answer this writer wasn’t quite expecting. While she took the time to praise the women who have been able to achieve great success in their field, she reflected more admirably on the women who are still working day in and day out to achieve their end goals. 

“So we read these books,” she starts, “about how this person made it or how that person made it and they’re inspiring, but the thing about that is that we’re looking at somebody who is already on the other side. I’m not going to say it’s easy, but it’s a different point of view when you’re looking back. You can say now: ‘I made this mistake but thank God I did because it led me to X, Y or Z.’ And, while there is value in that, I think I find myself more inspired by other women who I either know personally or who I have connected with that are just living life.”

It can be easy for a person dealing with multiple responsibilities to sometimes lose track of them all and just feel beyond overwhelmed. In order to prevent this feeling, Nadya understands that in order to be her best self to everyone around her, she needs to take time for herself, by herself.

She says: “Through therapy, I learned that I can’t be my best self if I don’t take care of myself. I see self care as building time into your day to get out and move. For me, I go on power walks and listen to a podcast or a DIY video about a new skill that I want to learn and master. I listen to that when I first start my walk but then, on the way back, I unplug. I take out the headphones and allow myself to rest. I allow my mind to rest. Overconsumption is very overwhelming to someone like me. I battled with anxiety and depression so I have to build in these moments where I can unplug.” 

From the little girl reading the newspaper to the accomplished woman she is today, Nadya doesn’t serve as an inspiration to us because she’s a woman who can juggle it all and has just achieved so much. Nadya is an inspiration because she showed strength and persistence in the face of adversity and has never backed down when it arises. 

“That’s who I’ve always been,” Nadya smiles happily as reflects back on the rollercoaster ride life has been. “It took me too long to realize I was special and I am special! And so are you! And so is the person reading this. And if I can say anything to that little girl in that chair, reading that newspaper, I would say: Thank you for being you!” 

Nadya and her son Noah together and happy

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Story By: 
Bianca Gray, senior English major

Photos courtesy of:
Nadya Ramos

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 […]

Alumni Success: Mitch McDaniels on Finding Your “WHY”

Mitch poses at the Holly Pointe Commons sign.

Today we speak with Mitch McDaniels, who graduated from the Honors Concentration with a degree in Biochemistry in 2020. Mitch also minored in German Studies throughout his time at Rowan University. He grew up in Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County) but now lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Mitch was a Resident Assistant (RA) for three years and lived on campus for all four years. He was also actively involved in the Honors College, B.L.A.S.T. Mentoring, the Keck Behavioral Lab at Cooper Medical Schoolthe Academic Associate Program at Cooper University Hospital, Rho Alpha Sigma, and Alpha Epsilon Delta. He was also a volunteer at the Kitchen of Hope Food Bank (Glassboro), and a Chemistry Learning Assistant for four semesters.

What did being an RA and Assistant Resident Director (ARD) mean to you?

Res Life [meaning RLUH or working for Residential Learning and University Housing as an RA, ARD, graduate role, or professional role] is such a unique field and it’s such a diverse and unique group of people that come together to do so much more than just run a building. I absolutely loved it throughout my time at Rowan — the opportunity to be a part of flourishing communities of residents in their first year of college, and hopefully being that go-to guy for my residents for the good, bad and everything in between.

My experience through Res Life has definitely been one of my favorite memories at Rowan because I met so many new, and now lifelong, friends through it. I love when my residents come back and tell me how much fun they had their freshman year or a favorite memory they had from their year in our pod. A few even went on to go into Res Life themselves; it makes me so happy to hear that!

For me, it was really special to see the ways in which my communities grew together, and the ways they found to make a difference together. 

Mitch poses under the "Pork Chopper" statue in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Mitch poses by the “When Pigs Fly, Pork Chopper” Statue which is part of the Sculpture Walk in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

What advice do you have for current students?

I think every first year student should take a little bit of time to find what it is they want to do at Rowan, until they really find their “why,” both on campus and off. I’m still learning exactly what that is for me, honestly. No matter what you do, who you hang out with, or the classes you take, I’ve learned that it’s best to keep an open mind because those moments came when I was least expecting them.

My first year, I was really quite quiet, but I thought that being an RA would be a really unique way to meet people and be part of a community. Lots of people become hyper-focused on the free housing and food, which is pretty sweet, to be honest, but I also wanted to find a place to help in building that welcoming environment I found on campus. I often forget that I had a meal plan and free housing as an RA because I just enjoyed getting to meet everyone and get connected and involved in a way that was different from any other role on campus because their home also becomes yours. 

No matter what you do at Rowan, you really have to take the time to find your “why” [your purpose] at Rowan. There’s this proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I really believe that Rowan’s spirit comes from that small-campus community, where friends, colleagues, and professors all have your back.

My best advice would be to enjoy college for the people and experiences you’re surrounded by — go together, not alone. I’ve found that the best way for me to get things done is when I’m passionate about it and that I want to see it through to the end, together. For me, the Res Life community was that “thing.”

Now stepping into the real world and getting off of the college campus, finding your “why” comes with the territory for everything you do.

Mitch poses confidently in front of a Sioux Falls sign.

Where do you work now?

Now, I work as a Clinical Research Coordinator at Sanford Health, a big hospital system in the Midwest, but mostly in the Dakotas and Minnesota. I’m on a team of four coordinators that are working on a portfolio of COVID studies. We have two different studies that we are mainly working on for the moment. One is for different treatments that focus on outpatient settings, where patients actively have COVID and are sick, but they’re not sick enough to be hospitalized. This study, sponsored by the National Institute of Health, is an Adaptive Platform Study, which means that we are evaluating multiple investigative treatments that can change from time to time, to quickly and safely identify medications that could significantly improve a patient’s COVID-19 diagnosis.

We’re also doing inpatient work with people who are in the ICU on ventilators, high flow oxygen or other life-saving measures to support them throughout their battle with COVID-19. It’s another adaptive platform study evaluating various medications for people suffering more severe COVID, and who have received advanced life-saving therapeutics or interventions to keep them alive or better support them.

I was always asking myself “why” because I wanted to pour all that I could into any activity I was doing. I didn’t want anything to be just a checkbox for my resume. It really needed to be something that I cared about and believed in.

Part of my “why” for medicine is that I want to be a resource for people wherever I go. That’s something I saw in my family with my father being an FBI agent. I want to be able to carry my skills into underserved areas at some point in my career and make a difference within those communities.  

Mitch wears a light blue shirt and stands in front of a waterfall.
Mitch loves the famous Falls Park in his new hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

What do you hope to do in the medical field?

It really hit when I had the chance to really immerse myself in the Camden community through Cooper, first as a student at MEDacademy at Cooper Medical School, and later as an Academic Associate at Cooper University Hospital. I really began to see that a physician doesn’t work in a bubble, they are someone who’s active and embedded within the community that they are trusted to serve. Ever since, I saw medicine as an opportunity to expand upon the skills, mindset and joy that Res Life has brought me, to help better build a community.

Of course, Rowan has always supported and nourished my curiosity for science and the human body; it’s also helped me to find my voice in leadership. But what my time at Rowan and Cooper has gifted me with has been the opportunity to think, grow excited and imagine how I wanted to give back to the community at the intersection of science, leadership, education, research and policy. 

Part of my “why” for medicine is that I want to be a resource for all people wherever I may go. That’s something I saw, and valued, in my family with my father being a Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I hope to be able to carry my skills into communities (especially those underserved) throughout southern New Jersey, our nation, and the world throughout my career and in hopes of making a difference within those communities by empowering the people of those communities through all I learn from them. No matter what field of medicine I pursue, there’s nothing more important to me than to help these communities I hope to serve to thrive and grow.

A gorgeous blue and orange sunset shines above a majestic waterfall in Minnesota.
Mitch captured the beauty of Falls Park with just his phone.

Tell me about your favorite memory from Res Life? 

My favorite moments were those that were unscripted where I would just hang out with my residents on a random Tuesday night in a hallway or lounge of Holly Pointe. We would have the best conversations! I would always leave my door open because I wanted people to be able to walk in and just sit down. I wanted them to know my room was theirs too, and that it was a safe space where they could unwind, have fun, or talk anything over. The most organic moments were the times when I felt true friendship forming between myself and my residents, and it was not any longer just me “supervising” their freshman experience.

One of my favorite memories in these communities as an RA and an ARD was bringing my residents to the food pantry. I really loved the idea of getting into the Glassboro Community and all of us volunteering together and seeing the ripple our pod could make in the greater community. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the awesome staffs I worked with throughout my three years in Res Life. I couldn’t think of a better group of people to program with, spend time with, or occasionally deal with those 3 a.m. fire alarms. Those unscripted moments, with my residents and RAs alike, made every moment worth it. I owe it to them for helping me to find my why throughout undergrad. 

Waterfalls and tower in Sioux Falls, Minnesota
Another gorgeous sunset by the Queen Bee Mill in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Like what you see?


Story by: 
Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos courtesy of:
Mitch McDaniels, biochemistry graduate

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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

#PROFspective: JT Kurtz, Inspiring ARD & Genuine Friend

JT stands confidently in front of Bunce Hall.

Today we speak with JT Kurtz, a recent Computer Science graduate from Egg Harbor Township (Atlantic County). JT is a first-generation college student and worked as an Assistant Resident Director (ARD) on campus, most recently at 223 Nexus.

How did you like living on campus? 

I loved it! I was a Resident Assistant (RA) in Chestnut Hall last year and Magnolia Hall the year before. It’s a complete 180 from working in traditional living to living in new apartments. I remember as a freshman, those apartments were not even there. 

In your three years of being the go-to person as an RA and ARD, what is your advice for people who are living in dorms?  

My advice is to not be afraid to make connections. Being the RA/ARD, I’m the middle person to connect people with programs or on-campus resources. We’re there for people when they ask, “Hey, what should I do?” Whether they’re stressed out, bored, or if they need help, RAs and ARDs know it all. For anybody — whether you’re new, a transfer, or have been here for two years — RAs and ARDs will always be there for you. We will definitely guide you to somebody that can help you. For me, being in that department, I have met so many of my closest friends who have helped him with making connections (from talking to people in the PR department to the admissions department). 

What does being an RA mean to you? 

In my eyes, the RA position isn’t so much about following the rules. I know a lot of people tend to put a label on RAs as “rule-enforcers” but that’s not the case. We’re here to make sure you’re safe and that you’re having a good time at the same time. There are rules made for a reason, not just to ruin the fun. We understand that we’re in a college atmosphere. We empathize with a lot of people.

JT leans against a tree reminiscing on Bunce Green.

The way we shift that empathy is by encouraging them and saying, “Hey, here’s a safer, smarter alternative way to approach something.” Whether that’s academics, [social life] or mental health. For example, if somebody’s stressed out they may not go to class. I’ll go to them and say, “Let’s get to the root of this and make a plan of action and then turn it around.” Rather than just saying, “Hey go over here” [and leave them to figure it alone]. We try to connect with them at a deeper level. We have rules, but we have them for a reason, making sure that everyone is having fun and staying safe at the same time. 

What are some of your favorite memories from being an RA? 

Some of my favorite memories (prior to Covid) are the times I’ve been able to hang out with all of my staff members. Whether it’s just getting food, pinging ideas off each other, or just doing homework, or duty nights and handling incidents. The big theme of this experience was that you’re never alone. Even in a virtual setting, we still managed to find ways to really be connected. Sometimes we would just hop on a Zoom call and have a conversation.

What is the difference between being an RA and an ARD? 

Now, I’m like a team captain of the RAs. I had to figure out how to keep my staff engaged and doing their responsibilities. At the same time, I’m recognizing that my staff are still people at heart and still need to balance their lives. My thing is music, I made a Spotify playlist that everyone can contribute to and everyone loves it. They can see all of their diverse backgrounds. There are so many stories I can go on about being an RA.

I’ve met so many influential people, from my supervisors to staff members and my residents. My residents last year always went to me, even for the most random things. At the same time, my residents had no problem referring themselves and their friends to me. I’m there for them.

JT poses on Bunce Hall green in a Rowan sweater.

How do you handle that responsibility as a fellow undergraduate student? 

I handle the responsibility of taking care of fellow students through time management, balancing classes, time for myself, and time for others. The department has so many people you can lean on, your staff or supervisors. If you don’t know what to do or if you need more time on something, communication is absolutely a pinnacle skill for this kind of role because that will help you succeed.

How did you become an RA? 

In my first year, I lived in Holly Pointe. My RA at the time, Mitch McDaniels, who graduated last year, was a fantastic person. He was really engaged with the residents. He kept it down to earth. He didn’t come off as a policy enforcer but we all respected him. He inspired me.

I had personal roommate issues (I roomed with my best friend). Mitch managed to smooth it out and now my best friend and I are still best friends. From that moment, I knew that [being an RA] was a leadership position. If I could help one person a day, that makes it so worth it.

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Story by:
Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

My Favorite Class: Foundations of Music Education

Luis stands with his trumpet outside on campus.

Today we feature first-generation college senior Luis Ozoria. Luis’s favorite class was Foundations of Music Education in the Music department taught by Dr. Adrian Barnes. Luis recently graduated with a bachelor’s of music in Jazz Studies and is from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County). Tell us a little about what the class is… The class gives […]

My Favorite Class: Instrumental Conducting 2

Rowan music performance in Wilson Hall.

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

Abby Bernhardt is a first-generation college student and a recent graduate with a degree in Instrumental Music Education from Egg Harbor City (Atlantic County). Her favorite class was Instrumental Conducting 2 in the Music department taught by Dr. Joe Higgins.  

Abby standing with French horn in hands.

Tell us a little about what the class is.

This class is a continuation of Conducting 1, and in this class you learn skills regarding how to conduct a band. We also focused a lot on things to do to make us better educators, and how to select repertoire that represents wide groups of people.

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

I loved this class because it made me realize what I want to do with my future. I learned so many things that I had been waiting for since high school, and I plan on using all of them in my career.

Is there anything else that made this class impactful?

Dr. Higgins is a wonderful teacher and role model, and I am so grateful to have been able to have had this time spent learning from him.

Abby smiling with French horn in front of Christmas tree.

What makes this professor great? 

Dr. Higgins not only is an amazing educator himself, but he is very good at teaching others how to be their own type of great teacher also. He also is always around for a chat or some advice.

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

This class helped me solidify that I want to be a music teacher. I was always excited to go to class and learn new things that will help me immensely in my future. This class also gave me a lot of motivation to do well in school.

What are your professional goals? 

I plan on being a music teacher for a bit and then getting my master’s and going into administration as an arts administrator or vice principal. This way I will be able to support my students in the classroom and then help to support them from above, and hopefully help others to see the importance of arts education.

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Story by:
Caitlyn Dickinson, public relations and advertising graduate

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

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:

Meet #Rowan2025: Isaiah Hymans Strives To Improve Instrumental Skills

Sheet music in a book.

Meet incoming first year student Isaiah Hymans. Isaiah is a first-generation college student who will commute from Egg Harbor (Atlantic County, NJ) and currently attends Cedar Creek High School. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college? I am looking forward to having the ability to teach […]

Leadership #PROFspective: Arielle Gedeon, Leader of the People Who Serves from Her Heart

Arielle poses next to a pillar at Bunce Hall.

Today we speak with Arielle Gedeon, a leader at Rowan University. Arielle has served as Student Government Association (SGA) president for two consecutive years. Arielle, a senior Radio/Television/Film (RTF) major, also serves as the president of the Lambda Rho Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She calls Galloway, NJ in Atlantic County, her hometown. In addition to being a first-generation college student, Arielle also made history as the first Black female to become the SGA President.

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

Arielle poses in front of Bunce Hall.

What is your role in your organization? 

As president of the Student Government Association (SGA), I serve as the face of the student body. I oversee the overall operation of SGA and maintain the accountability of the executive board. SGA serves as the voice for the student body and presents any student concerns to Rowan administrators. SGA works closely with Rowan administrators, providing advocacy and support for students. Every student pays a student government fee, which is allocated to 160+ clubs or organizations on campus to fund their budgets.

What have you learned in your role as a leader?

I have learned that serving people is a privilege. My colleagues tell me I have a “servant’s heart.” It means a lot to me because I truly find joy in serving people. I love helping people because I know what it was like to be in a place where you really need help and someone to advocate for you. Being in SGA and serving as a leader is truly a privilege. I never want to take that for granted.

Arielle sits on the steps of Bunce Hall.

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

I have so many! When I was first elected as SGA president, I was so overcome with emotion because I was elected as the first Black female student body president. When I think about the unfortunate prejudices that Black women face in America, even in the classroom, we have to fight to be [seen] as leaders without being perceived as “bossy.” We can be assertive without being intimidating.

One of my favorite memories was getting the Rowan Wellness Fee passed and working with the Rowan administrators. Mental health is so important. As someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety throughout their life, I could finally take advantage of those resources last year. I’m really grateful for everyone who has put in the work to make the Rowan Wellness Fee possible so that students like myself can receive the help they need.

I’m in such a great place in my life by going to therapy and other initiatives offered by the Wellness Center. I know that there is a taboo in talking about it, but I am very open because it has changed my life. I remember working with Scott Woodside, Director for the Wellness Center, who was very open and available to hearing student concerns. Seeing how the student body came together showed how strong the Rowan community is.

Arielle poses on the stairs in front of a brick building with windows.

Who inspires you and why?

My faith is really important to me as a Christian woman. I put that above anything else I do. I let it guide my steps. I find so much peace within it.

What’s the most significant barrier to women today?

Besides the institutional and systemic barriers, your mindset [can be a significant barrier.] We’re going to face a lot of barriers. It’s so easy to step down, to think small, to make ourselves “smaller,” or to make other people comfortable (especially men). I want us to think beyond that. Don’t make yourself smaller. Don’t worry about how you’re being perceived. Don’t worry about being “intimidating” or “bossy.” Don’t let your mindset keep you from achieving something great. It’s so easy to think negatively.

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

You are nothing without your team. I know it sounds controversial, but it’s true. People, unfortunately, only see how it benefits themselves and say “I’m doing everything.” But it really is a team effort and you need to see beyond yourself. You have to see how other people bring so many great skillsets and ideas to the table. You should encourage your team. Be mindful of your team. It’s not just about you.

Arielle sits on a gazebo.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Honestly, I do not know right now. Even though I’m not 100% certain about where I’ll be in the future, I can put my trust in God’s will and I find so much comfort in that. Even though there’s so much uncertainty about tomorrow, I find so much peace in God’s will and plan for my life.

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

Leadership #PROFspective: Shivani Shah, Cofounder Of South Asian Students Association (SASA)

Shivani sits in an academic building on campus.

Today we feature Shivani Shah, a leader at Rowan University. Shivani is cofounder of South Asian Students Association (SASA) and currently serves as its copresident. Shivani is a junior, first-generation college student from Egg Harbor Township, NJ (Atlantic County). She majors in Biochemistry and has a minor in Psychology. This story is part of a […]

7 Economics Majors Share Their Professional Goals

Photo of a one dollar bill.

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

Carolyn smiles in a wooded area.
Carolyn Cover

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

Headshot of Ryan Brubeck against a neutral background.
Ryan Brubeck

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

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

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

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

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

Portrait of Amir Ross against a gray backdrop.
Amir Ross

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

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

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

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

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

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

#PROFspective: Jazz Studies Major Luis Ozoria

Luis standing outside of WiIlson hall with his trumpet.

Today we feature first-generation college student Luis Ozoria, a senior Jazz studies major from Galloway (Atlantic County).  Luis has been a part of the jazz band, wind ensemble, some time in the orchestra, small jazz ensembles, Rowan brass band and the choir. Why did you choose your major? I always knew I wanted to go […]

Molecular & Cellular Biology Majors: Professional Goals

Today we hear from three Molecular and Cellular Biology majors about their professional goals. They talk about both their short- and long-term goals, as well as how Rowan prepares them to achieve those goals. “My short-term professional goals include securing an internship as a research assistant and going to a graduate school with an accredited […]

3 Geographical Information Systems Majors Share Their WOW Moment

USGS map courtesy of Unsplash.

Today, we speak to three Geographical Information Systems (GIS) majors and seniors from Rowan’s School of Earth and Environment about when they knew this was the right major for them.

Elly leaning against a railing overlooking a city scenery.

“I like [this] department as a whole because of the sense of community that it provides. Because we are a small department I have gotten to know my professors well throughout my time here at Rowan and thus they have made the learning experience fun and engaging. Because of the size of the department the professors get to know students and their interests and in my experience have been able to adapt their classes accordingly so that the learning is relevant to what the classes interests are.” – Elly Thomas, senior, GIS major with minors in Environmental and Sustainability Studies, Community and Environmental Planning, Geography CUGS: Adventure Education, Spanish, Food Systems Planning, from Monroeville, NJ (Gloucester County)

Khrissy taking a selfie.

“I very much enjoyed creating my final project for my Intro to GIS class. I would come home feeling happy about all the new things I was learning.”  – Khrissy Seay, senior, GIS major with minors in Geography and Planning, transfer student from Atlantic Cape Community College, Mays Landing, NJ (Atlantic County)

Taryn smiling for a portrait photo.

“When I transferred to Rowan, I initially went in as an Environmental and Sustainability Studies major and was minoring in GIS. After two semesters, I realized I was more interested in GIS. It was something new and different. I ended up switching my major to GIS and my minor to Planning. I’ve always been a fan of art, the environment, technology and science in general. I feel like GIS is a perfect blend of all of these. I knew GIS was right for me when I didn’t have to force myself to learn or concentrate. I was genuinely interested in the material being taught. It also came fairly easily to me as well.” – Taryn Brickner, senior, GIS major with a minor in Planning, transfer student from Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC), Medford, NJ (Burlington County)

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major 

Header photo courtesy of:

Brighter Days Ahead: What Rowan Students Are Looking Forward to with Longer Days

Tree branch covered with snow.

We ask Rowan students what they’re looking forward to after the Winter Solstice!

“I’m looking forward to my bedroom having natural light longer into the day as I find myself more productive with my curtains open and having the sun illuminate my room.” – Tommy Bell, senior, Music Industry major, Brigantine, NJ (Atlantic County)

Keianna taking a selfie.

“I look forward to spending my longer days working and getting in tune with myself. There will include many self-care days, which I highly recommend everyone do. I also plan on spending my days with family and friends that are close to me. This year has been a roller coaster but what I have learned was to appreciate and spend time with the people you love the most, tomorrow is not promised.” Keianna Williams, sophomore, Law & Justice & Political Science major, first-generation college student, Essex County, NJ

Ashley smiling and posing for a picture wearing a pink sweater.

“With longer days ahead, I am looking forward to having more sunlight. It not only means spring is slowly approaching, but it also symbolizes a new beginning and offers a strand of hope. As we gain a little bit of sun each day, surely the levels of productivity and positivity will also increase.” Ashley Chan, sophomore, Communication Studies major, West Windsor, NJ (Mercer County)

Sheridan smiling for a selfie.

“I am looking forward to longer days so I can be more productive and be outside more. Longer days means it is starting to be warmer out, which is my favorite time of the year. ” – Sheridan Kapuscinski, senior, Elementary Education and Liberal Studies dual major, Andover, NJ (Sussex County)

Angelica sitting on the giant chair on Rowans Bunce field while wearing a yellow shirt to match.

“What I’m looking forward to with longer days ahead is being able to take a break from school and relaxing with family and friends. This fall semester has been very difficult and stressful, even more so with the pandemic, so it’s nice to be able to take time for myself and focus on bettering my mental health. I’m excited for the holidays that are coming up and being able to spend quality time with my family. I’m looking forward to sleeping in and having my schedule open to doing anything I want.” – Angelica Petroche, sophomore, Advertising major with a Strategic Communication minor, Maplewood, NJ (Essex County)

“I look forward to being around family and friends who support me and push to succeed at my highest potential. ” – Keshawn Porter, sophomore, Law and Justice major with a Psychology minor, first generation college student, Newark, NJ (Essex County)

Teresa posing for a portrait shot outside the Engineering building.

“I’m looking forward to catching up on some sleep and spending more time with my family.” Teresa Sroczynski, sophomore, Civil Engineering, Bel Air, MD

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Shop Local? Shop Rowan Grad

Rowan Boulevard and the Glassblower statue.

Shop Rowan Grad this winter! Today we feature Rowan alumni who have started their own businesses. Wider Awake Alumna Courtney Stevenson graduated from Rowan in 2008 with a B.A. in Printmaking & Illustration. She and her husband Justin, also a Rowan alum, own a printmaking company called Wider Awake. | Instagram @widerawakeprint “I learned […]

9 Elementary Education Majors Share What Excites Them About Their Major

Elementary education student poses outside on campus.

Just what excites Rowan’s Elementary Education majors about their program? Today, 9 majors from five counties reveal their answers for Rowan Blog. 

Sandra posing with her graduation cap that says "Ms.Dominguez".

“The thing that excites me the most about my 2 CUGS is being able to create a welcoming and supportive environment for my students. It makes me happy to know that I will be able to value their culture and language in a way that they might have not experienced before. I also enjoy teaching others about the value of emergent bilinguals and how to better support them in all types of settings.” – Sandra Dominguez, senior, Elementary Education major with dual majors in English & Writing Arts, CUGS in Bilingual Education and ESL, Transfer from RCBC, Willingboro, NJ (Burlington County)

TJ sitting on a bench outside on campus.

“What excites me most is being able to go back and teach in my hometown in Camden.” – TJ Jones, senior, Elementary Education and Liberal Studies Major and Writing Arts and American Studies minor, transfer from Camden County College, Camden, NJ (Camden County)

Sara sitting with her family on the steps of Bunce Hall.

“Being able to inspire others to reach their goals, just as I have. I am a first-generation student who was considered an “at risk” student. My parents were immigrants from Mexico who had no education and worked as field workers trying to survive and support their family of ten. I was an emergent bilingual learner and struggled with my academics and had no support at home. School was challenging for me, and I now know how to help other students who share the same background as I did. I want to support them in their journey in school and help them set high goals and achieve them.” – Sara Giron, senior, first-generation, transfer from Cumberland County College, Elementary Education and Literacy Studies major, Bilingual CUGS, Vineland, NJ (Cumberland County)

Tyler sitting outside Wilson Hall.

“Field Experience. There is nothing I love more than being in a classroom and working with students. It is a great change of scenery from a typical college class and I get to learn directly from my experiences.” – Tyler Davis, senior, First-generation, Elementary Education major with a minor in American Studies, Marlton, NJ (Burlington County)

Catherine posing for a picture on a boat dock.

“I love feeling like I have all of the knowledge to support and understand the people I am surrounded by. This CUGS program gives me the tools to actually be able to support future emergent bilingual students with real, substantial tools and suggestions instead of just basic “support” that doesn’t always help as much as it could be.” – Catherine Klinger, sophomore, Elementary Education and Literacy Studies major, Moorestown, NJ (Camden County)

Michael posing for a photo outside on campus.

“I’m excited to take courses pertaining to instruction, specifically, my choice of CUGS, which is ESL education. To gain the knowledge to teach ESL students excites me!” – Michael Keser, junior, first-generation, Elementary Education major, transfer from RCSJ at Cumberland Campus, Vineland, NJ (Cumberland County)

Cameron posing for a photo outside on campus.

“The idea of meeting both students and their families and being one of the biggest factors in the beginning stages of their lives. There are many challenges that are presented to kids during the course of their educational careers, but for some, it is more diverse and harder than others. Some have special needs and special experiences in which they can bring valuable perspective to the table. I was one of the kids. I have Auditory Processing Disorder, so I know the ins and outs of both the 504 and IEP experiences. I know where especially these kids are, and their challenges that both they and their parents may be still trying to explore together. I have been in their shoes, and I can easily relate to them and derive strategies that can work for everyone.” – Cameron Dubrow, senior, first-generation, transfer from Camden County College, Elementary Education and Writing Arts major from Voorhees, NJ (Camden County)

Ashley posing for a photo outside on campus.

“The incredible sense of community! I formed a Rowan family of preservice teachers once I completed my general education courses and moved into core classes. We’ve been able to lean on each other through coursework, Praxis test prep, and the student teaching process. Education is truly a major that will make you feel at home.” – Ashley Mosley, junior, Elementary Education and Literacy Studies (Salem County)

Cait posing for a photo at the Sugar Factory restaurant.

“I’m most excited about being able to teach and also helping kids grow.” – Cait Braun, Sophomore, Elementary Inclusive Education with a minor in Psychology, Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County)

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photography, if not provided, taken by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

Beyond the Classroom: Fresh For All Coordinator William Hendrixson Reflects on Giving Back

Will sits among pine trees on campus.

Today we speak with William Hendrixson, a fifth-year senior from Egg Harbor Township (Atlantic County) who is currently on track to complete a dual major in Management Information Systems and Computing and Informatics. He also has a leadership role with the volunteer program Fresh For All. Learn more about William and his strong passion for helping the community.

Will stands in front of tree and ornamental grass on campus.

William Hendrixson is the top coordinator in charge of Fresh For All, a food distribution program on campus with the goal of getting fresh produce to the campus and surrounding communities. 

Will explains: “Fresh For All is a program where we work with a couple of different organizations to get fresh vegetables, fruit and sometimes dairy, to students and local community members who need it.” 

The program is set up every Friday from 10-11 a.m. in parking lot D by the Engineering building. The food comes from an outside organization called Philabundance, which goes out to farmer’s markets and grocery stores seeking donations. 

When asked who is eligible for free food, he says anyone at all. “You don’t need ID, you don’t need proof of need, or anything. We distribute every Friday, year round,” he adds.

According to Will, Fresh for All serves on average 150 families a week.

“Our highest is around 170,” he says.

In terms of the ratio of students to families, he explains, “It’s definitely more families. More from the local communities. I would say it can be up to about a quarter students, but the majority is definitely locals [who] need it.”

Will sits on a stone in front of trees on campus.

Will works with the Office of Volunteerism at Rowan, which put him in charge of the Fresh for All program. He says his individual responsibility on Fridays during distribution is to “make sure the event goes smoothly.” 

Fresh For All has given William the opportunity to to go out and help people. Even though it has nothing to do with his majors or career, he still just enjoys the feeling of putting a smile on someone’s face. 

When asked if this was something that he sees in his future, William responds: “Not necessarily as a career, because as I mentioned I’m kind of more from a tech background. But I want to be successful enough where I can give back to the community.” 

Will stands in front of textured wall on campus.

Will’s favorite thing about Fresh For All is the genuine difference that it makes. He says, “You can kind of see on people’s faces that it really helps and that’s definitely it, just knowing that you’re making a difference in someone’s week.”

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Story and photography by:
Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

Betzy Miranda: Soldier, Student, Nurse

Betzy looks at a distance holding her military helmet.

Meet Betzy Miranda, a graduate student in Rowan Global’s M.S. in Nursing program, Nurse Practitioner concentration who is completing her degree while working as both a nurse and a case manager in the United States military. Learn more about she balances her responsibilities and why she is furthering her education at Rowan. 

Betzy Miranda is a triple threat. She is a member of the U.S. military, a student and the only Spanish-speaking nurse in her program. Her story can’t seem to get more awe-inspiring, but the work she does in each of these roles is even more impressive. 

Her work with the U.S. military was inspired by her ex-husband, who experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after his service with the Navy. Currently, Betzy is an Army Nurse Case Manager for the Medical Management unit. She works with soldiers suffering from anxiety, PTSD and TBI. 

Along with her military duties, Betzy is advancing her practice further by attending Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. She is grateful that she gets a chance to do both, even if it isn’t easy at times.

“Dr. Kasper has been such an ace. When I come back from my military responsibilities, I have a limited amount of time to get back to my school work. He has been flexible with deadlines and that has made things a lot easier on me. I am a soldier first, and he understands that,” Betzy says.

With her degree, Betzy plans on working in the operating room or with interventional radiology with a focus in cardiology. “I always want to be challenged. I always want to advance my knowledge,” she says. “I always want to do more for the patient. That is why I came back to school at this point in my life.”

Currently, Betzy is the only Spanish-speaking nurse in her program. She loves being an advocate for the Latino community and helping break the language barrier so her patients can have the best care possible. 

Betzy attributes her passion for care to her grandmother. “She always wanted to care for people, heal people, even cook for people. I feel like I’m the same way. Even on my day off, I’ll reach out to a friend and ask if they’re doing okay. I just want to help others.”  

Betzy is originally from Union City, New Jersey. After high school, Betzy moved to Florida, where she attended Florida Community College on a full-ride scholarship. She moved on to graduate from Norfolk State University and obtained a second degree from Drexel University’s accelerated program.

Betzy holds her military helmet.

Betzy has been a nurse for five years and is clearly ready to take on the world. “I still can’t believe that I’m little Betzy from Union City High School. I have come so far to be where I am now. I really count these blessings.” 

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

9 Biomedical Art & Visualization Majors Tell Us Why Their Major Excites Them

Biomedical Art and Visualization student draws for a project.

From new mediums to emerging technologies, 9 Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts students in the Biomedical Art & Visualization program share why they are passionate about their major. 

Isaiah holding a dog in the middle of a flower field.

“Learning new techniques and nuances of drawing and illustration that I was entirely unaware of prior. That and the steady and consistent addition of new mediums to explore and develop skills with.” – Isaiah Reese, senior, first-generation college student, Biomedical Art and Visualization major with a Biology minor from Newton, NJ (Sussex County)

Rose sitting at a table filled with Rowan souvenirs.

“I love that I’m getting a great education in the sciences and methods of educating others, while also still be held to the esteem of a studio artist. Though I’m not a studio art major, I’ve still been taught all of the same skills you would expect a studio art major to have. This way I can make beautiful anatomical and scientific drawings as well as traditional fine art.” – Rose Price, senior, first-generation college student and Biomedical Art Visualization major with a minor in Biology, Sicklerville NJ (Gloucester County)

Terry posing in a portrait photo.

“The BMAV program is much more diverse than you would expect. Students are able to choose their topic of choice to research and to build their portfolio. There might be a student who enjoys studying scientific processes next to you and another student who likes exploring prosthetics on your other side. A student sitting across from you might like studying animals and another likes examining medical conditions. I am never bored in class because there is always something interesting to learn and do. Everyday is exciting and worthwhile.” – Terry Nguyen, junior, majors in Biomedical Art and Visualization and Music, Pre-medical minor from Moorestown, NJ (Burlington County)

Mariele smiling outside wearing a drawstring backpack.

“The atmosphere in our major is what excites me most. We are a small family, so we support each other. We all have our different interests and learn from each other as well.” – Mariele Ford, junior Biomedical Art Visualization major with a minor in Biology, Brigantine, NJ (Atlantic County)

Hannah holding a her associate degree diploma.

The future of my possibilities [is] in the arts.” – Hannah Knight, senior, transfer, first-generation college student and Biomedical Art and Visualization major with a minor in Art History and an associate degree in Biology from Medford, NJ (Burlington County)

Sofia sitting and smiling wearing glasses and earphones.

“The thing that excites me the most about my major is the ability to portray what I want while it’s still very informational and well-researched. Creating infographics about animals or plants is definitely what captivates me the most. But not only that, but the ability to also use newer technologies such as 3D modeling and even a chance to experiment with VR excite me to no end!” – Sofia Monaco, junior Biomedical Art and Visualization, CUGS in Game Media Design from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County)

Diana posing for a selfie wearing glasses and a pink sweatshirt.

“All the possible choices I will have for jobs in the near future and the fact that you build your own way.” – Diana Lahr, sophomore, first-generation college student and Biomedical Art and Visualization major from Elmer, NJ (Salem County)

Harley sitting outside and smiling.

“I am excited to learn more about the anatomy of humans as well as plants and animals along with how to properly illustrate and explain them. I am also excited to be able to communicate these aspects of life with others.” – Harley Modestowicz, sophomore Biomedical Art and Visualization major, Franklinville, NJ (Gloucester County)

Veronica posing and smiling on a stair case.

“What excites me most about Biomedical Art is how much I realize I’m being prepared for my future. I feel as if all my classes are geared toward strengthening my talents as an artist and creating artwork just as I would when dealing with clients in the future.” – Veronica Cava, junior Biomedical Art and Visualization major, Marlton, NJ (Burlington County)

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Beyond The Classroom: Musical Theatre, RTF Double Major Shows Support For the Filipinx Community by Organizing a Talent Showcase For Charity

Stock image of a microphone
Faith sitting and posing on the edge of a fountain.

Today, we speak to Faith Lynn Diccion, a junior Musical Theatre and Radio/ TV/ Film double major from Egg Harbor Township, NJ (Atlantic County). She currently lives on campus in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments. She tells us more about her work this past summer with the nonprofit organization EmbraceRace and how she put together a Filipinx talent showcase for charity.

First, how did you find Rowan?

I found Rowan after being scouted at the NJ Thespian Festival by one of the theatre professors my senior year of high school. I had never really thought about Rowan as a theatre school, but I was instantly captivated by the faculty and campus. So, I was eager to come and audition at the school.

Why did you choose your major?

Growing up, I loved participating in theatre productions and singing. I just found it natural to pursue what I loved as a kid in college. Watching Disney movies when I was younger also left a big impression on me and gave me a push toward a career in performance and art creation.

What is EmbraceRace? How did you get involved?

EmbraceRace is a nonprofit organization that provides resources to parents, teachers and all in order to help raise children in a community based on acceptance, understanding and equity. From March 2016-2020, EmbraceRace has published 170+ articles from many storytellers, 34 Talking Kids & Race webinars with over 9K registrants per session, 30K+ email subscribers and 90K+ Facebook fans, and partnerships with well-known organizations such as The American Psychological Association and The Prejudice and Intergroup Relations Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I happened to stumble upon EmbraceRace’s website while researching for organizations to donate to for my final project with the DIAL National Fellowship with Metro Arts Nashville under Americans for the Arts.

At the time, I was brainstorming ideas for what causes I was most interested in supporting. In light of the surge in BLM protests and rallies, I wanted to show my support as well. Also, the slogan for EmbraceRace is “Raising a Brave Generation.” It really resonated within me and further strengthened my resolve to donate.

I organized this showcase to show support not only for my Filipinx community and heritage, but also for the BLM movement that paved the way for all of the following minorities to come to America.

How did you go about finding the talent for the showcase?

Finding the talent was super fun. All I had to do was reach out to my network of friends and acquaintances to see who would be interested in participating, and it all just happened to work out somehow. Some of the talents I know very well, and some of them I had never even met before. Still, we are all connected to each other. So it was really uplifting to be able to reach out to these wonderful performers and ask them to share their talents for a special cause.

A social media flyer for the Filipinx Talent Showcase.
Featured performers from the Sa Bahay (“At Home”) musical showcase.

What was a typical day like working with EmbraceRace?

Because this was an individual project under my Fellowship, I did not work exclusively with EmbraceRace to accomplish this. When the fundraising timeframe ends, I will personally send the money raised as a one-time donation on the EmbraceRace website. As of [early September], our goal of $500 has been met. But because we are still accepting donations, we are still receiving donations and have exceeded our goal by a substantial amount.

Any advice to students looking to get involved with EmbraceRace or advice in general?

Browsing their official website is a great place to start. They even have volunteer opportunities available for people looking for more active roles in the organization. Also, their donation button has options to either donate as an individual or set-up up a fundraiser. The individual donation option fit the best with my showcase’s structure, so I opted out of creating a fundraiser directly though the organization. All in all, EmbraceRace is a wonderful nonprofit with useful resources and a great community open to discussion, so I highly recommend checking them out!

Like what you see? 


Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photos provided by:
Faith Lynn Diccion, musical theatre and RTF double major

Header photo courtesy of:

Rowan Student Leaders Alexa Bassano, Sydney Ramos and JT Kurtz Share Their Insights

Read firsthand accounts from three Rowan students who talk about the benefits of their on-campus leadership positions. 

First up is Alexa Bassano, a junior Biological Science major from Brick Township, NJ (Monmouth County). Alexa is a Resident Assistant at Mimosa Hall, a member of Rowan Emergency Medical Services and the Director of Collegiate Alumnae Engagement of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority. She explains: “Each role has benefited me in a different way. Now more than ever, people are thanking me for my service with EMS. As an RA, my residents tell me how much they appreciate me referring them to resources or just showing them where a building is. To me, those little things are just me doing my job, but that gratification reminds me I am a part of something bigger. Being involved and helping people just makes me so happy, whether it comes with a ‘thank you’ or not.”    

Lexi in front of library columns
Lexi Bassano

Next, Sydney Ramos is a junior Human Services major from East Brunswick, NJ (Middlesex County). When talking about her role as a student leader, she shared her experience from the very beginning. “Overall, I have to thank Res Life for making me the leader I am today. As a freshman, I really kept to myself and didn’t explore what options were out there for me. But as soon as I found RLUH, I knew I was where I needed to be: in a family atmosphere with amazing people I really respect.” Sydney is a Resident Assistant at Mimosa Hall and a new member of the United Latinos Association

Sydney on bridge
Sydney Ramos

JT Kurtz, a senior Computer Science major from Egg Harbor Township, NJ (Atlantic County), is also heavily involved on campus. He is the Assistant Resident Director of Nexus Properties, a learning assistant for the Computer Science department, a researcher in the Psychology department, and a member of the Filipino Club. “In all of my roles, I want to be a valuable resource for the people around me,” he says. “I want to push people to be the best they can be and get them to success. By coming up with innovative ways to work and help others, I get to learn and grow every day.”

JT with tree in the back
JT Kurtz

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

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

#PROFspective: Feeling Like a Member of the Student Body Through the Online Learning Experience

Exterior image of Rowan Welcome Center as seen from Rowan Boulevard

Meet Liberal Studies major Krystal Mannering from Atlantic County, NJ. Krystal, a first-generation college student, works full-time while running a business, providing for her household and taking care of a toddler. Read her perspective on how Rowan has made her feel “accepted and welcomed” as an online student. 

Selfie of Krystal Mannering

Being an online student for most of my educational career, the need for a connection with a physical campus might seem like a translucent goal. Common speculation is online students aren’t receiving “the college experience” that an in-person student receives.

For many online colleges and educational facilities, this statement is true. I’ve attended two other online colleges throughout my career, and Rowan University is the first online program where I’ve felt like an actual member of the student body.

From the moment I called Rowan, I felt accepted and welcomed. My heart had just been broken by my current school at the time, and as I was sobbing uncontrollably, I began calling multiple schools and explained my situation. The first Rowan advisor I spoke to was faced with the challenge of my vulnerability but ensured me that even as an online student, my role had a place.

I work a full-time job, have a home to provide for, a business, and a toddler to take care of, so online schooling is my only option. Two other schools stated they couldn’t help me, and another didn’t answer the phone. The advisors at Rowan greeted me with a cheerful attitude and helped me every step of the way. Even though I live an hour away, the Rowan staff took the necessary time I needed to feel comfortable with my decision.

Rowan student orientation outside Wilson Hall
A 2019 Rowan student orientation session

As I entered my first semester, I was armed with eagerness and fear. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wasn’t sure that I was going to feel the acceptance that I craved. I joined Rowan’s social media platforms and I was quickly comforted by fellow Rowan students. One student suggested that I attend the campus orientation and I signed up for the next available event (highly recommended!).

Walking through the Rowan campus reassured my decision to attend Rowan as an online student. It felt right to walk through the halls, dorms and college grounds. Each orientation leader was extremely informative to the incoming freshman students, and each demonstration I attended that day began to further confirm my choice.

The orientation leaders expressed that online students are offered the same accommodations as in-person students. My friend (and now fellow classmate) and I walked through the streets of the campus, and we were presented with cheerful little shops, wonderful eateries, statues and artifacts plastered throughout the campus.

Drone shot of Richard Wacker Stadium
Richard Wacker Stadium

As the event concluded, my friend and I decided to make our way out to Richard Wacker Stadium, the stadium that I will graduate in. Being eligible to attend a physical graduation as an online student is very important to me and is one of the many perks of studying online with Rowan University. As we stepped foot onto the track that surrounds the beautiful stadium, the reality of my choice to attend Rowan began to set in.

Overwhelmed with emotion, I was so thankful to have found Rowan University. The online classes are more organized than other schools that I’ve attended. The professors are extremely involved, and helpful if you maintain a consistent work ethic. The alumni at Rowan reassured me that my needs weren’t burdensome. Class sizes are manageable, and classmates are a welcoming wealth of knowledge. Each day, I continue to be thankful for my choice to attend Rowan University as an online student. My future is clear now that I’m a PROF!

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Story by:
Krystal Mannering, liberal studies major

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!

Like what you see? 


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

Public Relations and Advertising Double Major Olivia Clinkscale Shares Her Perspective on the Black Lives Matter Movement

Today we feature Olivia Clinkscale, a Public Relations and Advertising double major with a minor in Sports Communication and Media from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County). Olivia is an on-campus resident. 

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

The most interesting thing I’ve learned in public relations and advertising is that it branches out in so many different ways. I learned that PR can be media relations, government relations, investor relations, and used in crisis communication. Basically, the skills that I use in everyday life. Also learning what type of impact advertisements have on people and how the world perceives something has been interesting.

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

I would share that in the public relations/advertising field you will learn about all different things. It’s not just about PR, because this connects with plenty of other majors. You will learn about how to define the story and then make the story compelling to a broader audience. Learning along the way life skills that are useful not just for public relations.

Olivia poses for a selfie.

How have you gotten involved at Rowan? How has your involvement impacted your Rowan experience?

Being a volleyball player here at Rowan has really gotten me involved on campus. It has ultimately given me an outlet and a break from the stresses of schoolwork. Volleyball also keeps me active and keeps me informed on other activities Rowan provides. This involvement in sports has definitely made my time here at Rowan more enjoyable!    

What does the Black Lives Matter movement mean to you?

The Black Lives Matter movement is people stepping up and fighting against racial injustice. People are waking up and seeing problems that need to be fixed, such as police reform and systemic racism. 

Have you attended any Black Lives Matter rallies, protests or vigils?

I attended one in Egg Harbor Township. It was more of a rally, but there was also a protest. The rally was filled with people citing poems, stating facts and speaking about what we are fighting for. The rally was organized by four moms. There were also some little boys that spoke. I am also planning to go to the one in Glassboro on Juneteenth. 

Do you think that the demonstrations are effective?

Yes, I think the recent demonstrations are effective. There are bigger audiences than before, so they cannot be ignored. We have support from all around the world, which helps a lot. 

Olivia poses in her volleyball uniform.

What do you think that Rowan can do to better serve the BLM movement?

Rowan should educate everyone. There should be more of a class to inform students. We have Africana Studies, but … [W]e should have a course that reflects the fact that racism is still an issue today.

Is there anything you want your fellow Rowan students to know?

It all starts with our generation. We need to educate ourselves in order to educate our children and their children and also the people around us. We need to do better so that the world can change. 

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

Photos courtesy of:
Olivia Clinkscale

#Rowan2020 Instagram Contest Winner Enzo Ronchi

Enzo stands against a brick building on campus
Enzo in his cap and gown sitting on a chair outside a house. He is holding a dog who is wearing a matching cap and gown.

Meet recent graduate and #Rowan2020 Instagram Contest winner, Enzo Ronchi! Enzo graduated with a degree in Public Relations and is originally from Ventnor, NJ (Atlantic County). He transferred from Atlantic Cape Community College and has spent the past two years at Rowan University. He reflects on the past two years of his Rowan University journey!

Tell us about your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes.

One of my favorite moments during my time at Rowan was with a faculty member was taking Ad Copywriting with Professor Rodolico. We had to do various PowerPoint presentations, and he makes every student feel very comfortable and confident during a presentation and gives great constructive criticism. I took this class fall 2019. I also really enjoyed my experience in Intro to PR with Cristin Farney! She made me feel super at home when I first transferred here. That was during fall 2018.

What was your favorite or most meaningful personal moment at Rowan?

My most meaningful and personal moments were performing at Rowan Alt Music’s and 4333 Collective shows with my band Transfer Post. Ever since quarantine started, the one thing I miss the most is playing and attending live music shows go any kind.

What are your career aspirations, and how did the people or programs at Rowan help to support you with those aspirations?

I think my career aspirations lie within PR/social media in the music industry. That would be my ideal career after college. But working with any form of social media marketing management would be great! I can say almost all of my classes I took between 2018 and 2020 really shaped me and gave me the resources to make myself a better student of PR. This past semester, I interned at 4333 Collective as its social media marketing manager, and I had an amazing experience doing that.

Shout outs:

My family, my friends, The Hamilton House, 4333, Rowan Alt, Jersey Mike’s Italian Subs, Transfer Post, RowanBlog, RoBo, Wilson Hall Studio 1, Pizza Hut, 301 High Street, Rowan PRSSAPRaction, Rodolico, Farney, Schoenstein, Novak, Fitzgerald.

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Meet #Rowan2024: Exploratory Studies Major DJ Hickman

Portrait of incoming freshman DJ Hickman

Today we feature Exploratory Studies major DJ Hickman from Northfield, NJ (Atlantic County). 

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

I’m very much looking forward to meeting the people who will soon become my friends for my lifetime. Selfie of DJ.

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

I did musical theatre, vocal, and marching band in high school. I would love to join the school’s musical and band! 

How or why did you choose your major?​

I chose my major because I’m still very conflicted on what I want to do as a career, so leaving it open with this major is very helpful. Photo of DJ with an ice cream cone.

How did you get to know campus?

I went to a couple of campus tours and did MARCAs [Mid-Atlantic Regional College Theatre and Dance Auditions] there for musical theatre. My brother, Jesse Hickman, is also a student at Rowan, so I’ve hung out with him during the year. 

What music do you like?

I really like indie, alternative and rock music. Musicians including Beabadoobee, 1975 and more. 

Night owl or morning person?

It depends! I’m usually a morning person but ever since this pandemic I haven’t gone to sleep until 3 a.m.

Why Rowan?​​

It’s the one college that I felt comfortable and safe in, which is my deal breaker. It feels like a second home to me. 

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Junior Major Moments: Law and Justice Major, Student-Athlete Johnathan Nguyen

Johnathan hurdle jumping for Rowan Track and Field.

Today we feature Johnathan Nguyen, a Law & Justice major from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County) and a member of Rowan’s Track and Field team. He is a first-generation college student who transferred to Rowan and commuted until COVID-19 shut down campus. 

What is one of your favorite moments with a faculty/staff member or a favorite experience in one of your classes?

One of my favorite moments with a faculty or staff member would have to be meeting Coach Dimit. He introduced me to the school and team and made me feel like family the moment I stepped on Rowan’s campus. 

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

The most interesting thing I learned about this year would have to be in my class “Treatment of the Offender.” You learn so much different material and it wouldn’t be the same without my professor Joel Friedman. 

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

The internship I will be applying to in spring 2021 is helping me grow as a person and help guide me to be a better person in school. There are guidelines to make for the internship so I would have to keep my GPA up and make sure I have enough credits every semester. 

Group photo of Johnathan (center left) with other track and field members.
Johnathan (second from left) with a few of his track and field teammates.

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Story by:
Melanie Sbaraglio, public relations and advertising graduate

First Year Voices: Shahir Mollah Talks Cars & Mechanical Engineering

Shahir poses with his motorbike.

Today’s (FRESH)man Voices features Shahir Mollah, a mechanical engineering from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County) who lived in Mullica Hall until COVID-19 shut down the campus. 

Shahir Mollah stands outside of the Campbell Library.

What inspired you to choose your major? I’ve always been a big car guy. Junior year of high school I wanted to build a car, which inspired my decision to become a mechanical engineer and add an automotive engineering concentration.

How does your involvement with SAE/Motorsports help you professionally? In SAE/Motorsports, we get hands-on experience Shahir poses with his motorbike.designing a motorsport vehicle, then travel to compete the car in a bunch of races. This process prepares me for my future in automotive engineering and allows me to meet like-minded people.

Dream car company you’d work for? Mazda or Ferrari!

What’s the best decision you’ve made since you got to college? Applying for a specialization in automotive engineering because my senior year I’ll be able to take courses specifically about how to engineer and manufacture cars. 

What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a college? Choose an affordable and quality program that best fits your major.

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Senior Reflects: Changing Majors to Find Passion

Stock image of black ink cursive on tepia colored paper.

A close-up photo of Genna posing and smiling in front of a busy street in New York City.

Meet Genna Gaskill, a first-generation college student and Elementary Education and Liberal Studies Dual Major with sequences in Writing Arts and English. She is from Egg Harbor Township, NJ (Atlantic County). In her time at Rowan she spent half of her time living on campus and the other half in a house off-campus. She reflects on her time at Rowan and tells us some of her favorite experiences and where she’s headed to next!

What are your career aspirations and how did the people or programs at Rowan help to support you with those aspirations?

I had some trouble when I first came to Rowan figuring out what I wanted to be. I started off as a Civil Engineering major, then I went into Music Education, and eventually Elementary Education and Liberal Studies. It took me a while, but through taking all of these different classes, I was able to realize my passion for education. I want to be an elementary school teacher and, one day, an administrator in a public school district.

The first professor who helped me realize this passion of mine was Dr. Adrian Barnes in my Music Education classes. He showed me a passion for education that I learned from and took with me in my future education classes and I will forever be grateful for his teachings. My other professors in my Education classes, such as Nancy Pagliughi, Arlene Stampa, and Gary Dentino, are who took that passion I had for teaching and shaped me into a real teacher. I will always remember their teachings when I have a classroom of my own. I would be remiss if I did not also mention my Writing Arts and English professors who helped me realize my talent for writing and showed me how to use that to make me into a better teacher. My professors Keri Mikulski, Dr. Jennifer Courtney, Amanda Haruch, and Dr. Yvonne Hammond, all saw my potential and shaped me into the writer and educator I am today. I have had so many amazing professors at Rowan that have given me knowledge and skills that I will be forever grateful for!”

What was your favorite or most meaningful personal moment at Rowan?

My most meaningful moments at Rowan were when I was President of my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha. I met so many of my greatest friends there and almost every one of my good memories comes from them. Going to Greek Week, volunteering at the Special Olympics, and recruitment are just a few things that I will always remember and treasure from my time with ASA. My roommates, Rachael, Sara, and Nicole, were with me through three years of being at Rowan and they were the reason I called Rowan my home. Looking back at my time in college in the future, I know I will fondly remember the times I spent with them the most.”

Genna Gaskill hikes in the red mountain region - here she is sitting on a rock with mountains behind her.

Tell us about your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes: 

One memory I have of my experience in the College of Education that I think I will always remember was being in Professor Gary Dentino’s class. Almost every single day, he would email us a whole letter telling us how proud he was of us and how we will change the world. He took the time out of his day to handwrite personal letters to us as a class almost daily. Even when my classes were getting tough and I felt like I was falling behind, I would read his daily email and feel like I truly had someone in my corner. His dedication to forming a positive and uplifting relationship with his students is something I hope to carry with me when I become a teacher someday.”

Shout outs:

“I’d like to give a special shoutout to my best friends in the entire world: Sara Riegel, Nicole Traeger, and Rachael Kolmins. Thank you for always being there for me through it all. Another special shoutout to all of my ladies at Alpha Sigma Alpha, especially my big Rosie Nanfara and my little Emily Fishman. Keep on joyously living each day to its ultimate good! Shoutouts to other amazing people I met at Rowan like Hersh and Fraidy Loschak from Chabad at Rowan, Celeste DelRusso and Donna Mehalchick-Opal from the Rowan Writing Center, and all of my fellow Edgewood RAs. Thank you for making a difference in my life! One more shoutout goes to my boyfriend, Mark Kozak, for being my rock throughout my years at Rowan. My biggest thanks will go to my parents, who are the reason that I am where I am. Thank you Mom and Dad for everything, I love you!”

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Senior #PROFspective: Serving Others & Finding Self

Justin posing on campus.Today we feature Justin Roldan, a graduating biochemistry major from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County), who is a first generation college student. Justin lived on campus, as a resident assistant at Rowan Boulevard Apartments.

On-campus Clubs: Alpha Phi Omega (APO) and Rowan University Philippine American Coalition (RUPAC)

Could you share with one happy moment you had with friends, professors or other members of the Rowan community that made you realize Rowan felt like “home”? Alpha Phi Omega is one organization that helped me turn Rowan into a house from a home. As a co-ed service fraternity, I joined for the service, but I stayed for the people. I became a brother in Spring ’17, and I can truly say every experience through the organization has been transformative. Every brother I met became a friendly face that I had the pleasure of getting to know, and these same brothers I met inspired me to hold two Vice President positions, and eventually become President. Completing service projects and being selfless for others releases all those feel-good hormones in your body, but completing them with people you care about truly spikes your serotonin levels.

Justin posing with pumpkins.Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you? As transformative as APO has been for me, it was RUPAC that first showed me how welcoming the Rowan community can be. Just like any freshman looking to get involved, I reflected on interests and hobbies I hold close to my identity. Luckily, I came across a flyer in Science Hall advertising RUPAC’s first general body meeting; as a Filipino-American that hasn’t ventured too deep into his Filipino identity, this was a perfect opportunity to do just that.

When I arrived at the meeting, I was met with a room full of people that looked just like me, exuding bundles of energy and warm welcomings. They had just met me, but they showed genuine interest in getting to know me almost instantly. Thanks to them, I found a pamilya (family) that I can rely on for just about anything.

What is your favorite thing to do on a typical Thursday? Before the pandemic ensued, my absolute favorite thing to do on my typical Thursday was volunteering through Rowan’s Get FIT program. As a pre-Occupational Therapy student, this program helped get my feet wet for the profession. This program brings in young adults with cognitive and physical disabilities seeking to enhance their physical well-being through exercise. The young adults can even work out with their family members as well. During my short time in the program, I had the pleasure of being paired with a nonverbal client that brought joy to my face whenever we met. Seeing him smile from exercises I taught him brought me happiness, and helped reassure me that I was making the right career choice for future.

What is one thing about Rowan that was a happy surprise for you? Coming to Rowan, one happy surprise was realizing how close the campus is to Philly. It was an even better surprise when I learned that Rowan has a free shuttle to Philly every Friday. This allowed me to venture into the city just about every other weekend, learning about different neighborhoods and people of the city. Through different networking opportunities offered by RUPAC, I met incredible people from the Filipino clubs of Philly schools. Ultimately, it was these networking opportunities that helped me decide on attending University of the Sciences in Philadelphia to earn my master’s in Occupational Therapy this upcoming May.

Justin in the city.

Describe for us an experience you’ve shared with a professor or staff member in which you felt like they truly cared about your wellbeing. In my third and final year on staff with ResLife, my Resident Director, Bri Vogel, made me feel as though someone truly cared about my wellbeing. As RAs, we have biweekly one-on-one meetings with our Resident Director. These meetings turned into free therapy sessions between Bri and I; she fostered an environment in which we were comfortable sharing personal details about our lives both in and outside of ResLife. Bri was an integral part of my journey in coming to terms with my suffering mental health, and I can’t thank her enough for encouraging me to start counseling through the Wellness Center. When people say that some of the biggest lessons you learn from college come from outside of the classroom, I feel like this small snippet of my four years at Rowan is a true testament to that.

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Story by:
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major

Senior Reflects: Computer Science Major Looks Forward To Her Career in Cyber Forensics

Computer science major Monica and her three friends outside Bunce Hall.

Meet Monica Mahon, a graduating senior from Northfield, NJ Computer science major Monica posing in graduation attire.(Atlantic County) who majored in computer science and plans to continue her studies at Rowan with a master’s in computer science. Monica lived on campus since sophomore year, and Glassboro has been a home to her family before as her father attended Rowan University when it was Glassboro State.

Favorite moment with a faculty member: There are so many moments that stood out in my computer science classes, but one of my most memorable classroom experiences happened during my freshman year in Biology 1. My professor brought her two pet birds, a parrot and a pigeon, to class on the last day. The pigeon wore a diaper, and they flew around the classroom the whole time. It was a great last day of class. 

How you met your closest friends: I met my best friend, Michael, in one of my classes my freshman year. We didn’t know each other, but we

Computer science major Monica and her 3 friends in front of Bunce Hall.
Monica, second from left. Michael, third from left.

just picked seats next to each other anyway. We became best friends. One of my favorite memories was waiting in the rain for Hollybash last year. It was pouring, and Michael and a bunch of our friends were all huddled together under a tent waiting for the free cheesesteaks that we ordered to be finished. The absurdity of 20-ish college kids huddled together under a 10×10 tent for free food in a thunderstorm makes this stick out. 

Career Aspirations: My ultimate goal is to become a cyber forensics investigator in law enforcement. They’re the people who investigate criminals’ computers for digital evidence. My next step is an internship with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency as an Information Technology Specialist, and then completing my master’s in computer science here at Rowan next May. 

Shout Outs: I want to shout out all of the computer science professors and advisors; they’ve all helped me along my journey and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their guidance. I also want to shout out my parents for being my #1 supporters throughout college. 

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First Year Voices: Football & Friendship

A candid photo of four male freshmen laughing together.

“We’ve been playing football together since we were 6,” says freshman Jared Armitage, a business management major from Estell Manor, NJ (Atlantic County) of his Magnolia Hall roommate, Chris Doughty of Buena, NJ (Atlantic County). 

Four freshmen males goofing off, with one trying to get the others to pick him up.
From left: Jeron “Smooth”, Pavneet, Chris and Jared.

“We both played for Rowan this year,” Jared continues. It was fun living with someone he’s known since childhood, he says. “It was never boring. We just goof around with everyone in the dorm, playing poker. My favorite memory from this year is goofing off in the dorms. Our whole floor in Magnolia – and someone brought water guns. We started spraying each other, and getting water bottles and throwing them at each other. (We cleaned it up, of course.)”

At orientation, Jared’s randomly assigned roommate was Pavneet Singh, a freshman entrepreneurship major  from Carteret, NJ (Middlesex County.) 

Jared shares, “We didn’t really talk much to each other at first. But, then we were both sitting there bored at 1:00 in the morning and said, ‘Hey, do you want to do something funny?’ and we ran around the hallways.”

Along the way, the friends met Jeron, known as Smooth (on left). Jared says, “Chris met him here, but he lives close to us at home. Pretty sure we played football against him in school, but we didn’t know it. “

Next year Jared and Chris will commute from home, instead of living on campus. “I’m going to carpool with Chris,” says Jared, “because I’ll drive past Chris to get to school.”

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Rowan Women in Leadership: Arielle Gedeon

Arielle sitting in the Student Government Association office.

Along with being Student Government Association (SGA) president, Arielle Gedeon is a junior Radio/TV/Film (RTF) major with double minors in political science and new media. The Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County) native lives on campus and, in addition to her role as SGA president, serves as president of the Lambda Rho Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha […]

First Year Voices: Dance Major Sabrina Vargas

Sabrina is dancing in front of a window in the dance studio in Memorial Hall.

Meet Sabrina Vargas, a freshman dance major from Atlantic County who lives on campus in Evergreen Hall. Sabrina joined Rowan through the Pre-College Institute Program and is involved with many clubs on campus.

Name: Sabrina VargasSabrina poses in front of a white wall
Year: Freshman
Major: Dance
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Mays Landing, NJ (Atlantic County)
Where do you live? On campus, Evergreen Hall
First-generation college student? Yes

Academic and Social Clubs: I am the Student Government Association representative for the Atomik Legacy Dance Crew, and I am involved with MOCA, which is the Men of Color Alliance.

Sabrina is dancing in her modern dance class with classmates.

What inspired you to choose your major? Senior year of high school I applied to Rowan through the Common App. I had no clue what I wanted to do as a major. I looked through my options and saw that dance was an option for a major. I talked to my dance teacher, and my dance teacher said go for it. You should audition. So I did and I love going to school for what I love.

How does your field impact the world? What impact would you like to have on the world in your field? Not a lot of us dancers can truly express ourselves through words. We express ourselves through our body art. A lot of people can relate to not speaking on certain things. A dancer can give her entire life story through a show. For me, dance is my peace. Everyone in the world should find their peace in some way, and dancers give people the courage to do so. Dance is physically and emotionally draining, and we go for it every day.

Sabrina is dancing in her modern dance class with one of her classmates.

What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a college? It’s OK to stay close to home because you make your own life at college. You can make your home wherever you are. I’m 45 minutes away from home and I barely go home because my home is at Rowan.

Tell us about your transition into college and how you pushed through any challenges. I automatically connected to everyone at Pre-College Institute (PCI). I was nervous, but I knew everyone from PCI had my back. I knew I had mentors there and that I could ask for help if I needed it. In the mix of doing the hard academic bootcamp at PCI, you get a family. I live in Evergreen with my PCI family. I walk into the ASCEND office and I feel at home. I can’t imagine my college experience without it. We did a lot of self growth activities and it taught me how to be a good student.

I took an Elements of Dance class with Paule Turner, the theatre and dance department chair, during PCI, which helped me transition into the dance department at Rowan. Paule said that him having me as a student in the summer proved to him and showed him that I deserved to be here as a dance major. I knew the department and Paule so I felt a step ahead from the other freshmen dance majors when college started. 

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

    #PROFspective: DJ and Resident Assistant JT Kurtz

    JT poses in front of Chestnut Hall.

    Name: JT Kurtz,JT poses in front of Chestnut Hall with his laptop and headphones.
    Year: Junior
    Major: Computer Science
    Hometown: Egg Harbor Township, NJ (Atlantic County)
    On campus resident or commuter: I am a resident assistant in Chestnut Hall

    First-generation college student? Yes

    Academic or social clubs you are a part of: I am a part of Rowan University Philippine American Coalition (RUPAC), I do research for the psychology department and College of Business, I am a learning assistant for Introduction to Computer Science, and I oversee the computer science learning community.

    What inspired you to choose your major? I aspire to be a full-stack developer, which is a person who has the ability to design and develop both the front-end and back-end of a software program.

    What would you share with a future student interested in your major?
    Persevere. Going into computer science is challenging, but very rewarding. When you see results, you will recognize the work you put in, and it is a lot of work. Rowan’s Computer Science department has so many opportunities. There are so many internships, jobs and co-op program opportunities. Also, be independent, but don’t be afraid to ask people for help.

    Did you ever have a moment of uncertainty within your major? How did you get through the challenge? I can’t pinpoint a certain moment, but there come times where you really can’t figure things out and it gets tough. I got through it by having my RA staff around and being honest with them. JT and his friend are working on homework.They were motivational. Listening to music and getting in the zone helps. I learned to not be afraid to ask for help from some of my computer science major friends, then that translated into feeling comfortable asking for help from professors. 

    Tell us about one moment that made you feel like Rowan was the right fit for you. When I first stepped on campus, I felt at home. Rowan isn’t too big, or too small. It felt just right. During orientation, Professor Jack Myers really hyped up computer science, which motivated and influenced me to pursue my degree. He got me excited about the major and made me feel like computer science was what I wanted to do with my life. I also knew Rowan had the tools to help me go far.

    How has DJing impacted your experience at Rowan and vice versa? I love to DJ. I DJ for on campus events, formals, and I also outsource to otherJT is DJing at an event. universities. When I outsource to other universities and in the outside world, I am representing Rowan. Being an RA has made me more confident and comfortable, as well as increases my interpersonal skills. These qualities are transferrable to my DJing. Both jobs have also taught me how to be adaptable and make people feel welcome. Also, DJing has helped me make many connections, and being an RA people reach out to me to DJ their events. 

    How will being a DJ and an RA affect your future career? Both jobs go back to the fact that I love technology and helping others. My goal to be a full-stack developer is to help people, and both jobs allow me to help others in different ways. For example, as an RA, I was able to redesign the duty system for housing. The system made scheduling a lot easier for everyone. Being a DJ, if a party or event is dying and starting to become slow, I rescue it and bring the event back to a party level. 

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    Story and photography by:

    Rachel Rumsby, freshman communication studies and public relations double major
    Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major

    Home Away From Home: Arielle Gedeon [VIDEO]

    Arielle holds the student government association gavel.–0I

    Arielle Gedeon, junior Radio/TV/Film major from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County) feels most at home when she’s involved with the Student Government Association (SGA.) As president of SGA for the 2019-2020 school year — and recently re-elected for the 2020-2021 school year — Arielle leads the student body, providing a student a voice to administration and implementing new initiatives focused on student well-being.

    Video by: John Horton Jr., junior Radio/TV/Film major
    Edited by: Peter Planamente, senior journalism major

    Pandemic Profs: Music Industry Major’s Advice to Help Musicians [Spotify Playlist]

    Jen Green stands in the Rowan University bookstore, looking toward her phone with the Badflower album cover OK I'm Sick

    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 Tommy Bell, a junior isolating from his home in Atlantic County, NJ, during spring break. Tommy is a music industry major who normally lives in Triad Apartments.

    With concerts and tours being canceled or postponed because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, musicians have already felt big monetary losses. For smaller artists, the impact is huge and immediate. 

    Soraia on stage in the middle of a show.
    Philadelphia-area band Soraia had their East Coast tour cut short due to coronavirus. Singer ZouZou and drummer Brianna live in Pitman, the town next to Rowan. (Photo courtesy of Soraia. Photo credit: Jen Green.)

    Not only are musicians not getting paid for playing shows and not able to sell merchandise at shows, but they are also missing networking opportunities. Smaller bands thrive off of networking at their shows. Meeting new people and getting to know them is what helps a band grow. 

    But all hope isn’t lost, there are still a few ways that you can support local artists from your house.

    Here is what I’m doing – and how you can help local artists. 

    1. Add smaller artists’ songs to your playlists. Streaming platforms pay attention to this, and will suggest artists to new listeners based on related artists from playlists they’re on. 
    2. Even though streaming doesn’t provide much of an income to most artists, listening to and sharing their music could lead to them making it onto a major Spotify playlist which is great exposure. 
    3. Go to artists’ websites and buy merch. If they don’t have a website contact them on social media to buy. Most artists are still able and willing to send out merch to fans. 
    4. Follow artists’ social media pages and have your friends follow them. 
    5. Stream music in the background while you’re home. 
    6. Some artists are hosting virtual shows to watch and listen online. Buy tickets for this alternative type of show. 

    I created a Spotify playlist of my favorite local bands to listen to. It includes a lot of Rowan student bands (Pastelephone, Upon Knee Hill, Aftyn, and Sanity Falls) and local bands such as Soraia, The Underground Thieves, Deal Casino and a few others. So go and stream while you’re stuck at home and support local artists!

    Pastelephone singer kicks in the air during Battle of the Bands.
    Rowan music industry students make up Pastelephone, shown here during a Battle of the Bands on campus. (Photo courtesy of Pastelephone.)


    Story by: Tommy Bell, junior music industry major

    Learn How This Transfer Student Graduated Debt Free

    The top of Bunce Hall on a sunny day.

    Rowan alumna and transfer student Natalia P. graduated debt free.Meet Natalia Panfilova, a 2017 graduate from the Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts. Natalia earned her bachelor’s in Public Relations without paying a single dollar for her degree.

    According to Marketplace, roughly 70% of American students end up taking out loans to go to college. It was estimated that the average student leaves school with around $30,000 in debt. Not Natalia, though, and today she will share with us how this transfer student managed to graduate debt free.

    Community College

    Before coming to Rowan, Natalia went to Camden County College. She chose to attend community college because she knew she would save up more money that way. According to Saving for College, “Students can save as much as $30,000 or more by attending a community college instead of a private four-year college.” During community college, Natalia worked in full-time jobs that were taking care of her tuition payments. Also, during community college, one of Natalia’s friends told her to work with her at one of the Wyndham hotel chains in Atlantic City because the hotel chain would cover a part of her tuition. This opportunity was one of the reasons she managed to graduate debt free.

    Tuition Reimbursement Jobs

    Wyndham is one of many organizations that offer tuition reimbursements. Tuition reimbursement is when a company agrees to help pay for an employee to further his or her education. “All you have to do is prove that you can somehow apply your career skills to your job,” Natalia says. Natalia also received financial aid, but whatever was not covered by her job took care of it. “They would cover up my books and they would cover up to $4,000 per year. So, I actually didn’t pay anything out of pocket. I got to keep my salary, because I was a commuter,” Natalia says.

    Natalia in front of the ccca sign.Commuter

    When Natalia was at Rowan, she chose not to stay on campus and decided to commute from Brigantine, NJ (Atlantic County). She commuted an hour each day, but because she commuted and was able to schedule her classes in two days, she was able to work full time at the hotel.

    She recommends students learn about finances: “Educate yourself in all things financial, the more you know the better. Just in life in general, if you know how debt works, how banks work, your life is going to be so much easier.”  

    What is Natalia Doing Now?

    Rowan alum Natalia visiting a friend in Minsk, Belarus.
    Natalia visiting a friend in Minsk, Belarus

    Natalia recently moved to New York City for her new position as a program marketing manager for WebMD. By being savvy with her spending, she was able to graduate debt free and become a homeowner. Graduating debt free allowed Natalia to travel worry-free and so far, she has visited 13 countries.

    Like what you see? Learn more about becoming a Rowan transfer student!


    Story by:
    Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

    Photos courtesy of:
    Natalia Panfilova

    Iridian Shares 3 Ways She’s Gotten Involved as a Transfer

    After completing two years at Atlantic Cape Community College, I decided to transfer over to Rowan University to get my bachelor’s in Journalism. Transferring over to a new school can be both exciting and intimidating. You’ll get to create new memories, meet new people and experience new opportunities.Student portrait of Journalism major Iridian outside on Rowan's campus

    At community college I was involved in many extracurricular activities, like being part of the communication club and assistant editor for the Atlantic Cape Review. For me, getting involved has always been important. It improves leadership and interpersonal skills, but most importantly, it gives students practical experience.

    When I first transferred to Rowan, I did not know anyone, but I immediately felt welcomed by all my professors and classmates. I knew I wanted to get involved and create new memories, just like I did at my community college.

    I started asking other students what they were involved in, and I checked Rowan’s Student Organization Services page, where I found clubs and organizations that caught my attention. There are many ways to get involved — you’ve just got to be open to new experiences and opportunities.

    Here are three ways I’ve gotten involved as a transfer student and commuter.Copies of The Whit, Rowan's student newspaper where Journalism major Iridian works as a copy editor

    1. Joined The Whit,The Campus Newspaper: As mentioned earlier, I am majoring in Journalism; for me, getting outside the classroom experience is extremely important. By joining The Whit, I got to meet the most amazing group of people. I created new friendships that I know will last forever and help each other out even after college. Aside from making friends, this past fall I got elected to become one of the copy editors for the paper. It’s all about being open to new opportunities.A screenshot of Rowan Blog's main page featuring one of Journalism major Iridian's stories
    2. Became a content writer for Rowan’s blog: By becoming a writer and working for the Admissions office, I have gotten the chance not only to work on my craft, but meet so many people, from students, to faculty and alumni. Now I walk through campus seeing familiar faces all the time, from interviewing so many people, and that feels amazing.
    3. Attended campus events: One thing I really like about Rowan is that there are always events going on. I like to say that there is an event for everyone here at Rowan. If you are interested in art there are events at the Art Gallery in 301 High St. There are many lectures you can attend, and many special guests are brought in as well. One way I check to see for upcoming events is by checking an email announcer we all get in the morning.

    Journalism major Iridian sits outside on Rowan's campusThese are just three ways how I have gotten involved here at Rowan, but there are so many other ways to get involved. It’s all about being open to new experiences and being OK with getting out of your comfort zone.

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    Story by:
    Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

    Public Relations Major Lands Full-Time Job After Internship

    Ciara Sikking stands in front of Rowan Art Gallery at 301 High St.

    Meet Ciara Sikking, senior Public Relations and Mathematics double major, from Buena, NJ (Atlantic County). She shares how her summer internship at Holman turned into a full-time position post-graduation.

    Ciara Sikking posing in the Glassboro Town Center.In October of last year I sat down with my public relations advisor, Lori Block, to discuss class registration. I did not expect this very routine meeting to land me a full-time job.

    In the PR department, the word “internship” is a huge deal, so it did not surprise me when Lori asked if I was looking for one. She suggested that I apply for the Holman Enterprises summer internship program, one I hadn’t even considered applying to due to its notoriously competitive selection.

    Three months later I landed an interview and two months after that received one of the 50 positions out of over 500 applicants.

    During my time at Holman, I worked in the client relations department and assisted with projects for the company’s most profitable clients including United Rentals and FedEx. Within the first four weeks I conceptualized, programmed and presented a tracker to organize information for United Rentals. Speaking in front of the upper management team was nerve-wracking, but it gave me the chance to utilize the presentation skills I have learned in many of my PR classes.

    Aside from my client relations projects, I worked with a team of interns to research and create start-up recommendations for Holman Auto’s mobile Ciara Sikking sitting outside Barnes and Noble.service initiative. My team and I delivered an exciting presentation to a roomful of company leaders and, as a result, the company decided to move forward with the ideas we presented in our project. It is thrilling to know that the executives loved all of our hard work, especially Mindy Holman, granddaughter of the company’s founder.

    Interning at Holman helped me grow in every way possible. It allowed me to mature professionally, gave me the confidence to tackle real-world problems and provided me with impressive projects to add to my portfolio. To add icing on the cake, I recently received a full-time position in the client relations department for after graduation.

    I know that I could not have gotten this far without Lori Block and the strong education that I have received over my last three years at Rowan University. I encourage every student thinking about an internship to be bold and never sell yourself short. You can accomplish fantastic things if you just take a chance.

    Ciara Sikking posing with her Holman Enterprises T-shirt.

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    Story by:
    Ciara Sikking, senior public relations and mathematics double major

    Photography by:
    Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Music Industry Major Nikola Berardo

    Rowan transfer student and Music Industry major Nikola Berardo photographed outside Engineering Hall

    This is Nikola Berardo, a junior Music Industry major with a concentration in Music Technology from Absecon, NJ (Atlantic County). Today, he will share his experiences on his first month at Rowan University. 

    Rowan transfer student and Music Industry major Nikola Berardo photographed outside Engineering HallName: Nikola Berardo

    Major: Music Industry with a Music Technology concentration

    Year: Junior

    Hometown and County: Absecon, NJ (Atlantic County)

    Off-campus resident? Yes

    First-generation college student? No

    Tell us about your transition into Rowan. Were you nervous? 

    “I was not nervous initially, but as the first day approached, I grew a little jittery. But the first day went really well! I had a great time and transitioning was fine. Pretty straightforward.”

    Why did you choose Rowan?

    “It was the cheapest option, and it was pretty close to my hometown. I looked into Stevens Institute of Technology and The University of the Arts as well.”

    Rowan transfer student and Music Industry major Nikola Berardo photographed outside Engineering Hall

    Why did you want to major in Music Industry?

    “Because I’m a musician, I play in various bands, I play various instruments and I’m a huge fan of music.”

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    Story and photography by:
    Enzo Ronchi, senior public relations major 

    First Year Voices: Joining Her Cousins at Rowan

    Krishna stands at Rowan University posed with the owl mascot's wings behind her

    After hearing good things about Rowan’s engineering program and with two cousins already here, Rowan was a natural choice for incoming freshman Krishna Barot. 

    Krishna sits on a bright pink chair with PCI friends

    Meeting people and forming the beginnings of lifelong friendships has been the highlight of Krishna’s summer at Rowan University. The first generation college student, from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County), spent six weeks on campus as a part of the Pre-College Institute (PCI), an academic/residential program to better prepare freshmen for college. 

    When Krishna returns to campus in September, she’ll have already earned three college credits through PCI, will have a core group of friends she’ll be reunited with and will already have a familiarity with campus. A civil engineering major, Krishna will live in Evergreen Hall

    In September, Krishna says, “I’m most looking forward to learning about the different clubs and activities to join.”

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    Engineering Alumnus and Entrepreneur Finds His Dream Job

    Peter DAmico at his Rowan graduation in 2013

    Meet Peter D’Amico, a 2013 Rowan alumnus from Mays Landing, NJ (Atlantic County). Today he shares his experience in the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering and how far his time at Rowan has taken him. 

    “Rowan taught me how to talk to people, be social and gave me the ability to get the job I want.” 

    Rowan engineering alumnus Peter D'Amico working for the FAA

    After struggling to choose a college, Peter decided to attend Rowan University for its smaller class sizes and more intimate learning experience. Before going away to college, he wasn’t fully set on a career path. The one thing he knew for sure is that he loved to “break things down and figure out how they worked.” 

    Eventually, he decided to pursue Electrical and Computer Engineering. Peter noted that he is forever grateful for the College of Engineering, especially Professor John Schmalzel. He recalls spending time in Professor Schmalzel’s office, where they talked about everything under the sun. 

    After leaving Rowan, Peter began his career with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), where he worked as an electrical/computer/mechanical engineer. His job was to travel around the country to collect pavement data for the National Airport Pavement Testing Facility. After two years of working as a contractor, he was promoted to a computer engineer position. Now within the test and evaluation branch, he became the first member of the storyboarding team, where his job is to “communicate the complexities of the National Airspace System (NAS).”

    Rowan College of Engineering alumnus Peter D'Amico (pictured at right)

    “I work directly with the engineers, programmers and human factors experts to tell the story of the NAS. I love the fact that I am on the front lines communicating these elaborate programs to people all over the country,” he said.

    Along with being a successful engineer upon graduating, Peter is also a businessman and entrepreneur. A year after graduation, he purchased his first rental property in Glassboro. He has since bought two other properties and provides affordable housing to a number of current Rowan students.

    Rowan alumnus Peter D'Amico wearing a T-shirt with his business namePeter also started a YouTube Channel, The Sundae Drive, where he and a fellow Rowan alumnus perform DIY car maintenance tips. This channel currently has more than 5,000 subscribers. On top of all of this, he launched a supplement company, PWR Supplements, with another Rowan alumnus. 

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    Story by:
    Chad Wittmann, senior journalism major

    Photos courtesy of:
    Peter D’Amico 

    The Ed.D. Program Showed Christina Just How Strong She Truly Is

    Family of four strolling down a side walk on the main street of a town

    Meet Christina DiDonato Dillon, mother of two (Luke, one year old and Filomena, 10 months old) and wife to Drew. Christina earned her undergraduate degree in early childhood education and sociology from Rowan University in 2011, graduated in 2016 with her M.A. in school administration, and is currently working toward earning her Ed.D. in educational leadership. Christina lives in Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County) with her beautiful family while working as a real estate agent and assisting her parents with the family business, KMD Constructions. This is truly one woman who can do it all!

    A woman in a pink top and white pants with her hand on her hip posing on a busy town street sidewalkChristina, a lifelong Prof, found her love for teaching at an early age and knew Rowan University would be the school to help her achieve this dream. “I knew Rowan was the choice for me,” said Christina. “I was most impressed with the devotion its faculty and staff have towards education and truly teaching it like a calling.” During her time within the College of Education, Christina has had the opportunity to learn from inspiring professors. Creating connections that helped her find her first teaching position in the Deptford Township School District. Christina has had seven years within the public schooling system teaching pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and second grade.

    Now, working toward her Ed.D in educational leadership, Christina looks back and reflects on the accomplishments she’s already achieved and the dedication she’s put into the program. When entering the Ed.D program you can expect to conduct heavy research into a topic you choose and must get approval for by faculty within the program. You will grow your understanding of qualitative and quantitative data, build more on courses from previous graduate and undergraduate programs, and eventually A family of four with a son and daughter sitting at a coffee shop table happily talking to each othercomplete a dissertation. “The coursework is incredibly reflective,” Christina explained, referring to the educational leadership program. “It’s something that helps you to better understand ‘who am I,’ allowing you to apply the concepts in real-world situations.”

    Through this program, Christina learned about the strength she’s always had within her and discovered what she was capable of accomplishing. “The program is so motivating and also difficult, but it brings you to a point of ‘what kind of person am I as a leader, as a teacher, and as a person in a family?” Christina revealed, referring to juggling all her responsibilities. The program, though challenging, benefits its students in ways one might not expect. As Christina has shown, you may learn more about yourself through A woman wearing a pink shirt holding a baby girl in front of a decorative chalkboardworking towards an Ed.D while still gaining that higher education.

    “Leadership influences change toward a shared vision through empowerment and built relationships. The concept that leadership is an influential process is the thought and definition I endorse. When thought of as an influential process, we can combine the ideas that leadership is complete as a trait, ability, skill, behavior and relationship.” An excerpt from Christina’s dissertation, which is titled Organizational Culture, Partnerships, and Placemaking — Social Emotional Learning via the Perspectives of School Leaders and Parents in an Early Childhood Setting: An Ethnographic Case Study.

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    Story and photography by:
    Alexander Belli, new graduate with a B.A. in public relations and advertising

    #PROFspective: Transfer Student Iridian Gonzalez

    Iridian Gonzalez sits on a bench outside of Bunce Hall

    Today we speak with Iridian Gonzalez, a senior commuter from Somers Point, NJ (Atlantic County) who majors in journalism. Iridian will share her #PROFspective with us about transferring from community college and how she gets the most of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.

    Name: Iridian Gonzalez
    Major: Journalism
    Minor: Strategic Communication
    Year: Senior
    Transfer Student?: Yes! I just completed my second semester here at Rowan. I transferred from Atlantic Cape Community College in Mays Landing, NJ.
    Where do you live?: Somers Point, NJ (Atlantic County)
    Commuter?: Yes, I travel approximately an hour and ten minutes to campus

    Iridian sits on a rock wall at Rowan University, holding a camera to take a picture Iridian laughs, head turned to the side, at Rowan University

    Academic or social clubs: I work for The Whit, Rowan’s newspaper, as a copyeditor.

    Do you work on campus?: I am one of the summer interns for the Rowan Student Affairs blog! The internship primarily takes place in the Office of Admissions in Savitz Hall.

    Why did you choose Rowan?: I chose Rowan University because of our phenomenal journalism program and I knew the schools closer to where I live couldn’t provide me with the experience I was looking for.

    On your busiest day, what academic, non-academic and social responsibilities are you juggling?: Apart from being a full-time student, I am taking phone calls, drafting contracts, and going on site to evaluate the work that needs to be done. My family and I own a landscaping company, on top of my school work I am constantly booked and busy with my family’s company.

    Did you ever have a moment of uncertainty within your major? How did you get through the challenge?: Journalism is so broad, I had no idea until I transferred here. I felt so lost and confused with all new information being thrown at me. However, I knew I had to stay positive and keep my goals in mind. The Rowan staff was so accommodating and helpful, it made it almost impossible to fall behind.

    Tell us about one moment that made you feel like Rowan was the right fit for you: Coming here I knew immediately this was the place for me. Everyone was so welcoming and driven. They really want to see you succeed.

    Iridian sits on stone ledge at Rowan University, legs cross while holding a camera for Rowan Blog

    Tell us about your transition into college and how you pushed through any challenges: My transition was very hard. Going from high school to community college was a breeze, but the real challenge was transferring from a community college to a university. Especially transferring into a program as a junior, I knew I was going to face some difficulties. The biggest challenge of them all though, the parking. I did what I had to do though. I buckled down and studied hard and made sure I left a little early to find a parking spot!

    What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a college?: There is nothing wrong with going to a community college and transferring to a larger university. And look for the school with the best opportunities for you, fortunately for me that was Rowan.

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    Story and photography by:
    Chad Wittmann, senior journalism major

    A Student’s Mission to Making the World Better

    Young male student leaning against bridge with stone building in the background

    Joseph Salvo, a native of Italy, came to the United States six years ago without being able to fluently speak English. Now, living in Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County), Joseph is a graduating college senior who leads a personal research project exploring the potential correlation between community health and cancer diagnosis. Learn more about what this political science and economics double major is doing to make the world better.

    Joseph came to the United States during his junior year of high school when his family decided to make a fresh start here. He knew he wanted to go to college, but wasn’t sure where he wanted to attend. Rowan University for him became a prime choice for its location and known Young male student inside a white gazebo leaning against the railingaffordability. Although, once here Joseph quickly realized that the professors were another strength Rowan held. “The professors are all extremely accessible,” Joseph continues, “and they make themselves available beyond what I would consider their duty.”

    Political science was a perfect fit for Joseph because of his desire to better understand the intricacies of government and because of his interest in law. Rowan’s department pushed him early on during his freshman year to research and receive an internship – better preparing him for the potential roles he could fill after college. Joseph attributes his current internship at New Jersey’s Superior Courts located in Atlantic City to the resources provided to him through College of Humanities & Social Sciences, which houses the political science and economics department. Joseph works in the Children’s Court Unit – associated with Family Court – and helps handle Young male student grabbing a library book off the shelfcases involving children at risk of abuse or being cared for by unfit parents. “Through working here I have the opportunity to see the behind the scenes action; being a part of the process that most people aren’t witnesses to.” Joseph explains, “Gaining this experience further prepared me for more intense and involved work.” Through Joseph’s hard work and assistance from his professors at Rowan he gets to be a real help to children who aren’t in the best situations.

    Young male student working on a desktop computer with maps on the screen
    Joseph conducting data analysis of his research in Robinson Hall.

    Further into his college career, Joseph’s professors encouraged him to create and develop his own research project as a goal to demonstrate his ability and growth gained during his time at Rowan. “I was interested in how cancer plays a role in people’s lives – there’s already demographics with disadvantages and I wanted to see if cancer further attributes to any inability these demographics have,” Joseph revealed. Currently, Joseph has already reviewed lifestyles and genetic markers that attribute to cancer. Having discovered prostate cancer being passed down in families; while breast cancer can better be associated with lifestyles such as eating habits and living environments.

    The second phase of Joseph’s research that he plans to continue with will be assessing areas with high cancer diagnosis and attempting to discover any environmental similarities among these regions. His end goal is to produce a cost-benefit analysis to highlight the current cost of health care Young male student sitting at a table studying and writing notesassociated with cancer treatments and compare them to the cost of transitioning to more environmental-friendly methods. Overall, Joseph clearly has a mindset a strong ambition to make the world a better place for everyone to live in.

    “I did not expect Rowan to be so fulfilling, I walked in with lower expectations. However, Rowan met all my needs and then some. People both in academic resources and professors have always gone above and beyond to help me. I really appreciate this and am thankful for choosing Rowan.” Joseph stated. And Rowan is thankful to have such a dedicated and hard-working student who’s already making positive changes to the world. What goals do you have in your life that Rowan can help you achieve?

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    Story and photography by: Alexander Belli
    Senior, public relations and advertising double major

    Computer Science Major Kick-Starts her Career with Co-Op Experience

    Monica Mahon, a rising senior from Mays Landing, NJ (Atlantic County), is one of the lucky kind of students who knew what she wanted to study before even coming to college. “I took a computer science class in high school and had a really great teacher that introduced me to it. It was something I really liked and could see myself doing,” she says, in regards to her Rowan career in the computer science major.

    During her first computer science course on campus, Monica learned the ins and outs of the industry, as well as coding and communication skills that she would use later on. Her first professor in the field, Professor Chia Chien, “has been a huge help throughout my college experience. She really encouraged me and opened my eyes to great opportunities.” Professor Chien even introduced her to her current resume-builder, as a co-op worker for the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC). Through the AFMS (ASRC Federal Mission Solutions) program with the Rowan computer science department, students can partake in a real-life work environment and contribute to meaningful projects that improve their skills.  “The program allows students to immerse themselves in a real job, full time, with the option to take classes part time, at night or online,” Monica explains. “You partner with industry companies and really learn how they function and how your knowledge can contribute.”

    In the program’s second year, Monica is already making a major positive impact. She works with a software development company through the Department of Defense, to maintain ongoing company projects, and develop software solutions for the Navy. And while this may sound overwhelming for a college student, she explains that the ASRC pairs each new student employee with a mentor that is experienced and willing to guide their mentee through the experience, and help troubleshoot any challenge that may arise.

    Monica and two friends smile as they look on at the computer, where Monica is working on HTML coding.
    Monica receives advice from her classmates on a Comp Sci project.

    “Being quickly introduced to this opportunity and having work assigned to me right away, I learned how to work closely with other employees. They didn’t treat me like an intern,” Monica says. “Learning the workflow of an office environment and seeing the whole process in my specific field – from writing to testing to identifying software issues and engineering solutions, and building the final product – it’s helpful to be part of it and really see how it all works.”

    Monica’s on-campus experience has helped her tremendously when it comes to being knowledgeable and prepared for this important role. “Rowan’s computer science program prepares you to work full-time. I felt like I could handle the job going into it, because we learned how to use different operating systems and programming skills right off the bat. Working efficiently in a team is something that is really emphasized here.” As a learning assistant within the department, she works alongside her professors, addressing student questions during class and tackling any issues they may need help with. She notes that having to communicate concepts to students has translated directly to her AFMS experience, where she must communicate her ideas to colleagues.

    Monica and her friends stand outside of Robinson Hall, petting a dog.
    Monica makes a friend outside of Robinson Hall!

     “For me, choosing computer science as a major was a risk,” Monica says, “I was intimidated at first to enroll knowing that I would feel like a minority as a woman in the STEM industry, but I found a bunch of great friends that really support me and make me feel part of the community. Being a woman in STEM here has felt empowering, instead of limiting.”

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    Photo by: Nicole Cier, rising senior writing arts major

    Roommates Reflect: Enzo Ronchi & Adam Goskowsky [VIDEO]

    two roommates inside playing chess

    Meet roommates Enzo Ronchi, junior public relations major from Ventnor, NJ (Atlantic County) and Adam Goskowsky, sophomore advertising major from Brick, NJ (Ocean County.) Get a look into the Rowan Boulevard Apartments …

    Video by: Bianca Torres, sophomore music industry major & Edris Forde, junior radio, TV, film major
    Music by: Bianca Torres, sophomore music industry major

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    What Profs Are Listening To: Liz Cicali

    Enzo, Rowan student, playing guitar at a show near Rowan

    “The 4333 shows are always really fun! There’s a lot of people there and everyone’s always having a great time. Transfer Post is a fairly new band and they’re performing in shows all around Rowan. I love listening to them,” Liz Cicali, sophomore music education major from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County)

    Band photos taken at two recent shows at 4333 Collective & Artheads Anonymous, by Julia Conner and William Shaw. 

    Transfer Post consists of four Rowan transfer students:
    Jeff Maul – lead guitar 
    Enzo Ronchi – rhythm guitar 
    Alex Bierman – drums 

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    Story and photography by:
    Vanessa Vause, senior public relations and theatre major

    drummer of Transfer Post playing a show inside
    singer and guitar player of Transfer Post playing in a show near Rowan inside

    Prof Style: Gwyneth Sanchez

    Gwen out front in the snow standing in front of brick with snow
    Gwen out front in the snow standing in front of brick with snow

    “My style changes and I always go for trendy stuff. I describe my style as modern streetwear in a way, it’s always different but, I usually go towards neutral tones and you never see me in bright colors.”

    Transfer student Gwyneth Sanchez, junior, advertising major, from Pleasantville (Atlantic County), New Jersey

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    Story and photography by:
    Edris Forde, junior radio/TV/film major

    Compare/Contrast Freshman Housing

    Scott Timko is a resident assistant in Mullica Hall, wearing a yellow sweatshirt that says Glassboro State

    Chatting with Rowan University on campus residents on a frigid, hectic morning just before finals (seriously, is it really spring yet?!), one thing was clear: the sense of community within their residence halls is what they love most. However, what “community” means in each residence hall is different. I learned that Evergreen is known for […]

    What I Wish I Knew: Students Share Their Experiences [VIDEO]

    rowan boulevard showing off the hotel and whitney center

    Vanessa Vause (senior, public relations), Natalia Panfilova (B.A. Public Relations 2017 graduate) and Alexander Belli (senior double major, advertising and public relations) talk about what they wish they had known before starting at Rowan University. Listen to see how what they experienced could help you be more prepared your transition into “Rowan Life.” Like what […]

    Goal Setting Advice from a Senior

    aerial view of Robinson Circle

    “Most of you say you wanna be successful, but you don’t want it bad—you just kinda want it.” -Dr. Eric Thomas, motivational speaker Sorry, guys. But Dr. Thomas is right. The running stereotype about us millennials: We’re entitled and aren’t willing to earn our stake. That disgusts me. Visualizing and mapping goals allowed me to transition […]

    #PROFspective: Computer Science Major Damen Tomassi

    student sits outside rec center

    Today we speak with Damen Tomassi, a senior computer science major from Longport, Atlantic County, who lives on campus at 220 Rowan Blvd. He 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: Damen Tomassi Major: 5 Year […]

    #PROFspective: Communications Studies Major
    Hamish James Silva

    students in True Color club meeting

    Today we speak with Hamish James Silva, a junior communications studies major from Hammonton, Atlantic County, who lives off campus with friends. He 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: Hamish James Silva Major: […]

    A Non-Traditional Student Shares:
    8 Things My Parents Were Right About

    Rowan mascot on stage in front of Bunce to welcome students, surrounded by students

    Spoiler Alert: They knew EVERYTHING. A few-years-of-angst ago I agreed with that as much as I did the idea that the world was flat. It took a few years and a lot of mistakes. As a late bloomer who started college at age 20, today at 23 I can now confirm that my parents (almost) always knew […]

    Gender Inclusive Living: A Positive Experience at Holly Pointe

    exterior of Holly Pointe Commons, orange, white and gray modern

    My roommate and I chose Holly Pointe Commons knowing that it was going to be the fresh and new housing on campus. Little did we know, at the time of choosing, that Holly Pointe promoted the growing concept and reality of all gender living. This gender inclusive lifestyle encompasses co-ed rooming and bathrooms, acknowledging the […]