Unlocking Magical Career Opportunities: One Rowan University Student’s Path with the Disney College Program

Discover the Benefits of the Disney College Program: Real-World Experience, Networking, and Lifelong Memories Meet Sydney Cella, a business management major, entrepreneurship minor, and John H. Martinson Honors College student from Washington Township (Gloucester County), New Jersey. Sydney will graduate in about a year and half from now, and participated in the Disney College Program. […]

Meet Jenna Grace: the Triple Major Making a Difference in Environmental Conservation

Jenna Grace is posing inside of the Scotland Run Nature Center, wearing a gray sweater, looking into a tank

“It’s just like the normal workload. All three of my majors are in the same department, so the classes overlap quite a bit. They all kind of blend together in the way that we talk about, like how humans are affecting the planet and ways that we can solve that.” What got you into studying […]

Your Travel Guide to Visiting Glassboro

A drone view of Rowan Boulevard.

Whether you’re coming from up the road, Central Jersey, or out-of-state, find a way to make the most of your visit to the place we call home. Rowan University is in Glassboro (Gloucester County) and is conveniently located just 30 minutes from Philadelphia, 45 minutes from Jersey beaches, and a train ride from New York City.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn what there is to see, do, eat and experience in Glassboro, this is our favorites’ guide for you.

A Glassboro event at the end of Rowan Boulevard.

    Sit Down Meals on Rowan Boulevard

    • La Scala’s: This higher end Italian American restaurant offers wood fired pizza and unique Italian cuisines. It’s a rolling kitchen so you get your food as it’s ready and bring your own bottle.
    • Dusk to Dawn Cafe: Dine in and get a taste of fresh, all day breakfast and La Columbe coffee. On a nice summer day, sit outside and enjoy the Glassboro sunshine. 
    • Oishii: If you’re looking to support a local business owned by a recent Rowan graduate and grab some great ramen, this is your place. This Rowan alumnus’ biggest inspiration for the restaurant was to bring a different culture and cuisine to the Rowan and Gloucester County communities.

    Three Rowan students at Oishii Ramen.

    Favorite Bites

    • Einstein Bagels: Looking to grab a quick bite while touring our campus? This shop in Engineering Hall serves fresh bagels, sandwiches and hot coffee.
    • Kung Fu Tea: The best boba tea in our area, located on Rowan Boulevard. Customize your tea selecting every detail from sweetness to the number of bubbles, and take it on the go.
    • Playa Bowls: If you’re seeking a quick, healthy meal, Playa Bowls is your spot. Located at the beginning of Rowan Boulevard, it offers fresh fruit bowls, smoothies and treats.

    Two happy students eating at playa bowls.

    For the Family

    • Glassboro Heritage Museum: Ever wonder how Glassboro acquired its name?  The Heritage Glass Museum preserves and displays antique glasswork made in Glassboro and surrounding South Jersey towns over the past 200 years. The best part – it’s free admission! 
    • Town Square: Enjoy the day with your family at our Town Square. Located at the end of Rowan Boulevard is a community place with art, adirondack chairs, and a fountain display. Throughout the year, Glassboro hosts many seasonal events in this space, including the annual tree lighting and Summer Fest.
    • Edelman Planetarium: Explore the skies through live stargazing or immersive 360-degree video in our Planetarium, located on campus in Science Hall. All shows are one hour long, with new shows featured every month. 
    A drone view of the town center.
    Glassboro’s Town Square located at the end of Rowan Boulevard.

    For the Parents

    • Axe and Arrow: Located on Rowan Boulevard, this microbrewery and taproom offers a wide variety of craft beer styles. Bring your own food!
    • Chickie’s & Pete’s: A Philadelphia staple is located right on our campus. Come in to watch the game or get a sweet taste of some Crabfries®.

    A mom and her daughter on Rowan Boulevard.

    Around the Corner

    • Uptown Pitman is just a short drive away and is a hot spot for locals and visitors alike. Enjoy quaint shops, historic landmarks and family-owned restaurants.

    Three smiling students by the bookstore.


    • Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Glassboro: Located on Rowan Boulevard, the four-story, 129-room hotel features a heated indoor pool and spa, outdoor courtyard and fire pit, and is just a short walk to our campus. 

    Like what you see?


    Student by Day, “Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins” by Night

    Nick Flagg as Buddy the Elf in Elf the Musical.

    Nick Flagg is a senior double major studying both Advertising and Theatre, concentrating in Theatre Education, Acting/Directing and Musical Theatre. After his undergraduate graduation in the spring of 2022, he will continue as a Rowan CADP student working toward a Master of Science degree in Theatre Education. Nick will be certified to teach K-12 theatre in May 2023. In addition to being a student, he looks to engage his surrounding communities as a working actor, director and teaching artist with several theatre companies across South Jersey.

    Balancing work and class as a college student is never something that comes easy. But really, when does anything rewarding come easy?

    I find that the way to make it all happen is by staying focused on the positive. I adopted this mindset my sophomore year in Acting I, taught by Michael Dean Morgan. He encouraged us to approach scene work with the intention of progressing what we want to happen next. He said we should look to build off of our scene partners and work with them, never against them.

    After a while, I started to realize how this should translate to everyday life when we consider how we will achieve our goals and fulfill our passions. Good theatre will always be a collaborative art, just like a life should always be a communal experience. In short, life is best spent with others. This has stuck with me, and the ideals of “togetherness” felt very present during my time working on a holiday show such as Elf the Musical.

    Nick as Buddy the Elf in a performance of Elf the Musical.

    I have done quite a few productions while enrolled as a student at Rowan, both on the mainstage and with outside theatre companies. Getting to play Buddy in Elf the Musical has been like no other process. It took the most commitment, but has been one of the most rewarding experiences.

    The production took place at The Levoy Theatre in Millville, NJ, where they have one of the most beautiful spaces. On a whim, I went to audition for this company that I have never worked with before. It was not too nerve-wracking, because I was with some fellow Profs 𑁋 Lauren Coffey and Natalie Donisi. At callbacks, the three of us found ourselves finding other Rowan students, including Kerry O’Connor and Ben Helbert. Next thing you know, the five of us were all cast in the show together, taking turns on who would drive the carpool, and bringing all that we learned in class to the process. With the intention to work positively, it was also easy to take on this show with so many friends by my side.

    In addition to the already established friendships, it was a pleasure to leave with so many new bonds and connections for future projects. There is nothing like getting to do a show with friends, who then become family, let alone a Christmas show during the beginning of the holiday season.

    A collage of Nick with castmates, including fellow Rowan students and Admissions Ambassadors, performing in Elf the Musical.
    In the bottom right picture from left to right is Ben Helbert (Sophomore Theatre & Dance major), Natalie Donisi (Senior Theatre & Psychology major; CADP/MST Theatre Ed. student), Nick Flagg (Senior Theatre & Advertising major; CADP/MST Theatre Ed. student), Lauren Coffey (Junior History & Education major), and Kerry O’Connor (Freshman Theatre major, Dance minor). Top right picture features the cast and crew. From left to right in the left picture is Nick Flagg as Buddy the Elf, Darryl Thompson as Santa Claus, and Natalie Donisi as Mrs. Claus.

    The production ran Nov. 12-21, and all but two shows completely sold out for a theater with almost 800 seats.

    When you walked in, you were met with a lobby decked out in holiday decor, featuring trees, lights, hot cocoa and holiday beverages, and even some snow. Typically, a cast’s headshots are featured on a board, but our marketing team brilliantly decided to showcase our headshots in Christmas ball ornaments on a decorated tree. The Christmas spirit was present from the moment you stepped into the building, and surely stayed with you long after.

    Nick as Buddy the Elf in a performance of Elf the Musical.

    The Mezzanine lobby was where my now good friend Darryl Thompson and I went after the show for a Santa and Buddy meet and greet with many kids … and many adults believe it or not! I loved hearing the crowd’s enjoyment during the show, but nothing beats seeing each kid come up to meet us with excitement.

    Christmas never reigned as the top holiday for me … I mean aren’t most theatre people Halloween fanatics? But this year was different. I specifically remember so many sweet kids coming up. Darryl would ask them, “What would you like for Christmas?” and some would say things like “For my family to have a good Christmas” or “To be with my family.” It was incredible to see so many people were so moved by our show and full of the holiday spirit, even at such a young age. I was thankful to see so many friends and family came, along with some of my coworkers in Admissions and my incredible boss Cristin.

    Nick as Buddy the Elf sings a solo during a performance of Elf the Musical.

    Elf the Musical was a popular choice for so many theater companies this season. In South Jersey, there were at least three productions all going on at the same time. I bring this up because it has been nothing but nonstop support from everyone involved in these productions. We would all send our broken leg wishes on social media, along with wishing a happy opening or closing show to one another. It is important for that mentality to exist in a business like theatre that can get so competitive.

    Being a part of moments such as these are reminders of the true meaning of the holidays, and how much care we should all show to one another. The holidays are not always happy for everyone, but actions such as these are what carry us through. Getting to bring the holiday spirit to so many people in such an iconic role was something I will always cherish. I loved getting to hear the roaring applause for my cast after each hilarious bit and touching moment on stage. Community, especially in theatre, has been so important to me, and this experience only enhanced that. And if working in communities full of this hope and respect is how I get to spend the rest of my life, I am in. And getting paid for it isn’t so bad either. 

    Nick makes a surprised expression as Buddy the Elf in a performance of Elf the Musical.

    Next up you can find me working on Matilda the Musical, where I will be playing Michael Wormwood at The Broadway Theatre of Pitman from Jan. 14 – Feb. 6. Very soon after, I will be teaching acting classes and assistant directing a production of Evita at my home theater, The Grand Theatre: Home of the Road Company. 

    Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Joyous Kwanzaa, a Blessed Yule and a Happy New Year!  

    The cast of Elf the Musical wave goodbye to Santa Claus.

    Like what you see?


    Production Photos by:
    Valerie Neuber

    Story by:
    Nick Flagg, senior theatre and advertising double major 

    Genesis Roman, Management Information Systems Major and Intern for Arizona IT Firm

    View from above a Business Hall room.

    Today we feature Genesis Roman, a senior Management Information Systems major from Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County). Genesis also has a Certificate of Undergraduate Studies (CUGS) in Cyber Security and has previously worked on campus for Classroom Support. She discusses her experiences with her major and details her recent internship for Insight Enterprises Incorporated, based in Arizona.

    Why did you choose Rowan to study Management Information Systems?

    My English teacher in high school told us to broaden our horizons and to further our education in a different area than our home town. I personally believe staying in your hometown for college limits your perspective on life. There is so much more to see and learn outside of your comfort zone, so I wanted to go somewhere not too far from home but far enough to where I could learn in a new environment and meet new people.

    Rowan put me out of my comfort zone in the best way possible. 

    Genesis Roman.
    Genesis Roman

    Why did you choose to study Management Information Systems? 

    I have always been very fascinated with technology. I have had so many experiences growing up that made me realize this major was something I would be very interested in. For instance, when I was younger, I had a PlayStation 2 and I completely broke it down just to put it all back together. Also, when Tumblr came out,  I was so interested in coding my personal page so I could customize it to my own liking. This is how I started learning HTML and coding.

    In the grand scheme of things, I really enjoy how challenging it is to fix things, and I also enjoy helping others. Management Information Systems is a major that combines both of these passions of mine.

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

    I am still trying to figure out what my dream profession is. This is a big reason why I decided to apply and take on the internship opportunity at Insight Enterprises. Currently, I am interning for Insight Enterprises and doing something completely different compared to the responsibilities I had for this company in the summer. From my experience in the past few months, I think I am developing a great interest in being a Solutions Architect. I really enjoy supporting clients and deciphering what the best solutions are for them and their particular needs. 

    Exterior shot of Business Hall.

    How did you seek out the internship opportunity for Insight Enterprises?

    One day I received an email from Professor Jennifer Nicholson regarding the internship, sent out to all MIS majors; the position was described as a Systems and Database Administrator. At the time, I was unsure of what this position entailed; however, I thought it was a great opportunity to try something new and to branch out from New Jersey. When I applied for this position I was applying to relocate to Tempe, Arizona. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the internship was switched to a remote position, however, I hope I can one day see the Insight Enterprises Headquarters in person and potentially relocate there for an in-person position.

    What were the commitments and responsibilities of this internship? 

    This position was a 10-week internship where I worked eight hours everyday starting at 7 a.m. Insight Enterprises is a technology company that provides smart and innovative solutions for their clients. Within the company, I worked within the Cloud and Data Center Transformation branch during the past summer. This is where I worked on several different projects a week and collaborated with several different teams. This got confusing at times, but it taught me how to be good at multitasking and productive in a busy work environment.

    The company also provided workshops for us interns where we learned how to transition from college education to being able to utilize our skills everyday in the workplace. This experience mentally prepared me for the tasks I would face as an intern.

    Exterior shot of Business Hall.

    What were some of the biggest challenges you faced as an Insight Enterprises intern? 

    One of the biggest challenges I faced was being able to stay mentally focused while working remotely. It was difficult at times to try and be in work mode when I am surrounded by my family and in my household environment. I found it was also difficult at times to not only learn all this new information as an intern, but know how to solve problems and utilize the skills I learned while working remotely. I quickly realized that it is easy to be hard on yourself when your fellow employers have more experience than you; however, with time and consistency, you will not only learn so much but be able to apply your new knowledge to your work.

    What have you learned from being an intern for Insight Enterprises?

    This internship has led me to believe that this is a profession that I want to be working in. I also learned how to successfully work from home and in a remote environment. Sophomore year of college I would continuously tell my friends that I wanted a remote job because of my aspirations to travel and work simultaneously. Now, I am halfway there and already have a feel of what working remotely is like.

    Like what you see?


    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Studio Art Majors Taylor Brown and Abby Leitinger Featured in Philadelphia Art Show

    Philadelphia skyline.

    Today we feature Taylor Brown and Abby Leitinger, two Studio Art majors who recently displayed their work in the Rittenhouse Art Show in Philadelphia. We interviewed Taylor and Abby on their experiences as young artists at the show and on how they developed their interests in creating art. 

    Taylor Brown, junior Studio Art major from Perry Hill, Maryland

    Why did you choose to study Studio Art?

    In high school I went to a magnet school in Maryland, which is a high school completely dedicated to the arts. They have classes focused on dance, acting, and the arts like painting. While I was at school there I focused on art so I developed a passion for creating artwork throughout those four years. Studio art was a great option for me because I did not fully know what I wanted to do, and studio art gives room for exploring your interests through a variety of classes. 

    Taylor Brown's setup at the art show.
    Taylor Brown’s display at the 2021 Rittenhouse Art Show.

    How did you first get interested in art? 

    In middle school I felt like I started excelling in art. I overall genuinely enjoyed attending art class and it was something I looked forward to on a daily basis. This is when I decided to go to high school at the magnet school and focus on art throughout my high school career. 

    What mediums do you like to work with when producing your art?

    I really like sculpture, graphite and oil painting. 

    Taylor Brown's 22 x 30 inch graphite drawing of a lion.
    Taylor Brown’s 22 x 30 inch graphite drawing of a lion.

    Do you follow any themes when producing your art? Do you like to paint or illustrate landscapes? People? Still life? 

    I like to create a mixture of everything. I love working with different mediums and get my inspiration from anywhere. Instead of thinking about creating art as a project or as “work,” I like to think I am creating something because I enjoy the process. My pieces are never the same, and it makes the process very interesting for me.

    How did you find out about the Rittenhouse Art Show in Philadelphia? How did you get involved? 

    I basically received an email in my student email sent to all art majors explaining there was an art show if I was interested. I immediately thought it could be a cool experience, so I made an application and submitted some art work. I then received an email that I was accepted and that’s how it all started!

    What is your favorite part of producing art?

    I really enjoy the process of producing art. 

    Taylor Brown's 14 x 14 in canvas oil painting of a plant.
    Taylor Brown’s 14 x 14 inch canvas oil painting of a plant sold at the art show.

    How was your experience as an artist featured in the Rittenhouse Art Show in Philadelphia? Will you continue to seek out art shows in the future?

    It was such an amazing experience. I got to speak to other artists where they gave me feedback on how I could grow and what I could work on. It was the first time I had my artwork in a show where attendees could buy my work. I sold six pieces and I think it is so cool how someone has my artwork in their house somewhere. I will definitely seek out future art show opportunities. 

    Taylor Brown's 22 x 30 inch canvas oil painting of a car.
    Taylor Brown’s 22 x 30 inch canvas oil painting of a car sold at the art show.

    Abby Leitinger, sophomore Studio Art major from Mount Laurel, NJ (Burlington County)

    Why did you choose Rowan to study Studio Art?

    I toured a bunch of schools junior year of high school. Rowan was actually the last school I toured because I did not have serious intentions of going there. I ended up touring Rowan because it was local and I have friends that went there. It wasn’t until I went on my tour that I realized Rowan was where I needed to be. My tour guide happened to be a Biomedical Art and Visualization Major, which I thought was very interesting. But Rowan was one the only school that thoroughly discussed art on my tour. I felt instantly that art was important and prominent on campus. 

    Why did you choose to study Studio Art?

    My advisor placed me in this major. I was informed that this major was a basic art major that would let me explore my options. I picked this major so I could eventually find what I love to do and select a concentration that best fits that.

    Abby Leitinger in her booth, engaging with a few customers inquiring about commissions at the Rittenhouse Art Show.
    Abby Leitinger engaging with a few customers inquiring about commissions at the Rittenhouse Art Show.

    How did you first get interested in art? 

    From a young age I was always interested in art. I was constantly drawing and I always had a box of Crayola crayons at an easy reach. I never thought of majoring in art until senior year of high school. I always thought I had to pursue art as a pastime on the side. My art teacher was the person that encouraged me to pursue art. She simply cared so much about art. She was the first person that looked at my art and then decided to put it in an art contest. She told me art is everywhere and I can be involved in so many different professions while being an artist. 

    What mediums do you like to work with when producing your art?

    I really like to use pen and ink. However, I do like to explore different mediums and I find myself using watercolor, acrylic, and charcoal as well. 

    Abby Leitinger's Great Dane", a pen and ink drawing part of her pets series.
    Abby Leitinger’s “Great Dane,” a pen and ink drawing, part of her pets series.

    Do you follow any themes when producing your art? Do you like to paint or illustrate landscapes? People? Still life?

    I am an exploratory artist. I love trying different things and alternating between different subjects. I think I would get bored if I only created the same types of pieces. I like to keep ideas fresh.

    How did you find out about the Rittenhouse Art Show in Philadelphia? How did you get involved? 

    I received an email that I believe was distributed to all art majors. I am extremely grateful that I saw this email because this led me to this amazing experience. This is another reason of why I believe Rowan was the place I was meant to be — because of opportunities like this that are offered through Rowan. 

    I ended up submitting a portfolio for this process, which was looked over and judged. I later got notification that I was approved for the spot. 

    Abby Leitinger's "Cranes", a white colored pencil drawing on black paper.
    Abby Leitinger’s “Cranes,” a white colored pencil drawing on black paper.

    What is your favorite part of producing art?

    I love looking at the final result. I can be a perfectionist at times, so when I get to the final process of looking at what I accomplished and thoroughly enjoying it, it is really rewarding.

    How was your experience as an artist featured in the Rittenhouse Art Show in Philadelphia? Will you continue to seek out Art Shows in the future?

    It was stressful leading up to the show because of the constant preparation. I had to price my pieces out which was shockingly challenging. When I actually got to the show and got to just sit and observe, I began to relax and appreciate the moment. I ended up selling a lot of pieces which is more than I could have asked for. It is really cool to think about a person having my artwork in their house right now. 

    Abby Leitinger's booth at the Rittenhouse Art Show featuring her boyfriend and his little brother.
    Abby Leitinger’s booth at the Rittenhouse Art Show featuring her boyfriend and his little brother.

    Like what you see?


    Story By:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos provided by:
    Taylor Brown and Abby Leitinger

    Related posts:

    Inside the Studio Art Major and Apprenticeship Program with Hannah Healy

    Beyond the Classroom: How Two Students Blend Art and Science

    Alumni Success: Felicia Brown Talks Career, Future Goals and Her M.A. in Arts Administration

    Music Industry Major Pharaoh Freer’s Big Break

    Pharaoh sits on a bench near James Hall.

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

    Can you tell us a little about yourself?

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

    Pharoah smiles in front of Wilson Hall.

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

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

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

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

    Pharaoh walks on a path near James Hall.

    Would you ever do something like that again?

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

    Did you go to the premiere? 

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

    Pharaoh looks ahead near James and Wilson Halls.

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

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

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

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

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

    Pharaoh sits and smiles with Wilson Hall in the background.

    Like what you see?


    Story By:
    Bianca Gray, senior English major

    Photos By:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major 

    Beyond the Classroom: Senior Business Major Kevin Baker’s Internship with Ohio-Based Company The DiJulius Group

    Kevin poses outside Business Hall.

    Related posts:Beyond the Classroom: Rowan Graduate Stephanie Ciecierski Pursues M.A. in Writing and Internship with The Rug TruckBeyond the Classroom: Finance Major Annabella Halbruner’s Summer Internship “Everything I Could Have Asked for to Prepare for Future Career”Beyond the Classroom: Jack Campanella Takes Club Leadership, Engineering Skills to Internship with Robotics Company

    Studying Abroad in Japan: The Best Decision I Have Ever Made

    Dominique attending an event in Japan.

    Meet Dominique DiGiacomo, a Rowan Global student pursuing her master’s in education. She graduated from Rowan with her bachelor’s in English last spring. Dominique had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Japan during her fall semester of junior year.

    I lived in the city of Machida, a suburban area located just 45 minutes outside of center city Tokyo. My typical days abroad consisted of a delicious breakfast (either homemade or from a convenience store), classes anywhere from 9am-5pm (three completely taught in Japanese and two in English), a workout at the on-campus gym, study sessions with my friends, and a night out in the city with my friends! My time abroad helped me to realize that I was indeed in the right major.

    Dominique and two friends overseas in Japan.

    As an international student at JF Oberlin University I had the opportunity to apply for a job at their Brown Bag Cafe, an area in which Japanese students could go in order to learn and practice English. It was there that I confirmed my love for teaching English as a second language, loving every moment as I had the opportunity to talk to my Japanese classmates and help them break down the language barrier. This opportunity confirmed for me that I was on the right path and that my future dream of teaching English in Japan could become a reality. 

    Rowan has set me up for my professional goal of teaching English abroad by giving me the experience of student teaching and education classes that have helped me to study to become a better teacher. My experience abroad has helped me to work toward my goal of teaching abroad, especially since I received the opportunity while I was there to teach English to non-native speakers. I am hoping that my combination of skills I have learned from Rowan as well as abroad will help me in my endeavors to get a job teaching English abroad in Japan. 

    Dominique and her friends in front of a futuristic statue in Japan.

    My time in Japan is one that I will cherish in my memories for years to come. Studying abroad in Japan was such an amazing experience and despite my slight nerves of living all on my own in a country half way across the world, I absolutely loved every moment I was there and am already counting down the days until I can hopefully return. The transition I had from going to college in Japan instead of America was honestly seamless, the only difficulty being adjusting to the time difference which was something my body eventually just got used to.

    Besides my three years of study beforehand of the Japanese language and my experience traveling there once before, I still had some nerves when it came to studying abroad on my own so the on-site staff were super helpful during my transition. There was staff at the airport to pick us up and bring us to our housing, staff constantly on duty throughout the building to help us with anything we needed, and staff throughout campus helping to direct us when we were lost or confused.

    Studying abroad in Japan was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and it opened up so many doors for me both academically and professionally. I encourage anyone who is interested in studying abroad to take the leap and go for it! It will be an amazing experience that you will never forget! 

    Like what you see?


    Photos courtesy of:
    Dominique DiGiacomo

    Beyond the Classroom: Legislative Intern, Scholarship Winner Nick Feldman

    Nick smiles, stands in front of Bunce Hall.

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

    Nick poses on the side of Bunce Hall.

    Could you share some backstory about yourself?

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

    What got you interested in political science?

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

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

    Nick holds a DSLR camera in front of Bunce Hall.

    How did you find out about the Caswell Scholarship?

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

    Can you tell me about your two internships?

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

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

    Nick poses in front of a tree.

    What are some policies that you worked on specifically?

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

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

    How has the Caswell Scholarship impacted you?

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

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

    Could you describe your professional goals?

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

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

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

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

    Nick stands on the side of Bunce Hall.

    Final thoughts?

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

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

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

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

    Photos by:
    Nick Flagg, senior theatre and advertising major

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

    Stephen with candidates and volunteers from the campaign.

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

    Have you had time to join any clubs on campus?

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

    How did you find out about RIPPAC? 

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

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

    What got you interested in political science?

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

    How did you find out about the Rosenberg Memorial Scholarship? 

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

    Tell me about your internship. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    How has the Rosenberg Scholarship impacted your internship experience?

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

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

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

    What are your professional goals?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Photos courtesy of:
    Stephen Scheuren

    Lexi Jubin Shares Her Experience as an Intern with Spencer’s and Spirit Halloween

    Lexi sits on a campus bench and looks over her shoulder.

    Lexi Jubin, a Management and Marketing major with a Certificate of Undergraduate Study in Entrepreneurial and Independent Media, spent her summer learning the ins and outs of e-commerce with national retailers Spencer’s and Spirit Halloween. Here, she shares her experience and how she interned through a pandemic. 

    What are your responsibilities as an intern with Spencer’s? 

    As the e-commerce intern with Spencer’s and Spirit Halloween, I did a lot of pulling data and work on different spreadsheets. In the e-commerce marketing department, I learned about paid search, SEO, affiliate marketing, and even worked closely with individuals in merchandising, copywriting and email marketing. I reported directly to the Senior Manager of E-commerce and got to know many people in the department very fondly. 

    When I first started, two full-time positions were vacant, so I got to have a hand in some of what those positions usually take care of, as well as gain so much brand-new insight and growth for the department during my internship experience as two new awesome individuals joined the team. Regarding my day by day, my mornings usually started off with a paid search report pulling from different analytics platforms. This was something I was super excited to learn about because I never would have thought I enjoyed paid search and going through the data that came with it so much and the only way to know was to try it.

    Selfie of Lexi in the car

    For the SEO side of things, I also did a weekly data pull for our dashboard, which was super cool to learn as well. When I wasn’t pulling numbers for our regular reports, I created a new format for tracking information on our current and new affiliates, and did some individual products and data pulls for specific ideas or problems we had to solve. I attended regular meetings each week, going over different data and getting a feel for the company, as well as going through training for all different facets of e-comm.

    Overall, I was completely immersed in the department. My supervisor, Greg, was absolutely amazing at teaching me piece by piece how to do different things. He ran through different platforms with me, taught me how he did the analysis for different daily reports, and was super patient when I didn’t know something. The paid search and SEO managers, which were brought on during my internship, were also so patient, helpful and kind when I had questions. Not only did I have my own responsibilities and tasks day by day, but the people I worked with really took the time to teach me and leave me with some valuable knowledge.

    Lexi at color run

    Do you feel like Rowan prepared you for the work you’re doing with the company?

    Rowan definitely prepared me in every way they could for this type of work. I think the part of my coursework that helped me the most were the classes that were required for my certificate of undergraduate study in Entrepreneurial and Independent Media. Two classes in particular “Entrepreneurial Media” and “Media Metrics and Analytics” were probably the closest to what I was doing. For my marketing degree, my statistics-based courses also definitely played a role. I did a lot with conversion rates, impressions and other different KPI’s [key performance indicators], so it was important that I knew what they were when I started the internship, and I definitely wouldn’t have without these classes. While Rowan killed it at teaching me the concepts, I learned so much from the hands-on work that I got to do with the company.

    Talk about your experience working during COVID.

    My internship was sort of hybrid, though the office was technically not fully open during my time there. The first time I got to go to the office was to pick up my company-issued laptop. From there, I generally worked from home most days and went in about once a week. Though I wasn’t there a lot, I really loved the vibe and look of the corporate office, so it was exciting when I did get the chance to go in. I also had the opportunity to help our team out at one of the Spirit stores before it opened, which was insanely exciting, as well as a nice opportunity to meet some of my coworkers in person. 

    Though I didn’t get to see everyone in person all the time, I still was welcomed to the team with open arms. We had plenty of virtual and in-person meetings, so I still got to meet everyone. Greg also scheduled some time for me to come into the office specifically so I could meet the team, and he was intentional about introducing me to people so I felt like I was included in things. Additionally, when all of the interns first started, we did some meet and greets with everyone in our department.

    Outside of normal tech problems you would see anywhere, I felt like Spencer’s did a great job of dealing with the circumstances they were presented with for their internship program, and it was still a super rewarding experience.

    Lexi standing outside

    What was your favorite part about being on the Spencer’s team?

    My favorite part about working for Spencer’s was honestly every single meeting I got to attend, especially the in person ones. We did some small team meetings, a few “Fun Fridays,” individual meetings, and even some department wide. I loved the team I worked with so much, and those meetings were so helpful for me to learn about the company, my job, what I wanted to do with my life, and about so many people I admire. Those meetings allowed me to see the human side of a larger company, and really feel secure in the path I was taking with my career.

    The content we were dealing with was stimulating and exciting, but also challenging in all of the right ways. I grew so passionate about the company and the work I was doing over the summer, and gained so much confidence in myself. While I always really loved Spencer’s and Spirit Halloween, the internship experience started out mainly as something to help me gain experience; but the day-to-day work, meetings, and absolutely amazing individuals left me with a career defining experience I’ll never forget.

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    Select photos courtesy of:
    Lexi Jubin

    Why Psychology Major Leah Boyle Chose to Study Close to Home

    Leah stands in front of a tree on Bunce Green.

    Today we speak with Leah Boyle, who recently graduated with a degree in Psychology. Leah comes from Haddonfield, NJ in Camden County and is a first-generation college student. She had been an on-campus resident all four years and worked as an RA (Resident Assistant) for the LGBTQIA+ Learning Community in Holly Pointe for the last two years.

    Why did you choose a university close to home? 

    My sister went [to Rowan]. She’s a year older than me and she graduated last year. We are very, very close and when she went to Rowan, I knew that they had a great psychology program. We were roommates in Holly Pointe my freshman year. We had an apartment together with our friends. She’s one of my best friends. That was why I chose [Rowan] and it ended up being a great opportunity. Everything about it has been awesome. It was more for family. 

    How do you carve out an identity for yourself if you are with a sibling in the same place? 

    Shannon, my older sister, specifically was an Art major. She was working on that, and I became interested in the Social Justice office. [I] started working at the office of Social Justice Inclusion and Conflict Resolution (SJICR). I worked on their programming and it got me thinking about what we do for our queer students, which got me to becoming an RA. She ended up making a club for women in our arts programs (Women of Westby, W.O.W). I was able to get my residence to come to W.O.W. events and she was able to bring the arts to my residence. So we were able to connect a lot [that way]. She was really successful in her art. I was doing my psychology and social justice stuff. We started out the same but went in different directions.

    Leah wears glasses and a Rowan t-shirt smiling in front of Bunce Hall.

    Did you ever feel overshadowed by having a sibling here? 

    Well, I’m not an artist! I didn’t really know much about how Shannon is such a good artist until I would meet with her in the art building. [We’d] go get food together, see her stuff and [witness] people talk about her and her art. She is an incredible oil painter. So I didn’t [feel] overshadowed because I don’t do a lot in the arts. I took an oil painting class last semester on Zoom and had to call her every day to get tips. We had our own things that we specialized in. It was good to see her grow in her art. She got a lot of involvement in social justice too.  

    What was it like to live with your sister in a university location after living together for your whole life? 

    It was much messier because we had bigger rooms now. We’ve shared a room since I was seven. I say everything that is hers is mine. She lives in Maryland now. It’s a lot more arguments about where things should be put, but it was great. My sophomore year we had an apartment with four other friends in university housing. It was really great because there’s no one you could be more honest with than your sister. I could say, “I can’t be around you right now.” I can be honest with my roommate because she is my sister.

    Rowan was really accommodating to [me] living with a sophomore my freshman year. They had no problems and they were so happy for us. I’m happy we were able to do it because now she’s doing her own thing. I’m moving after this. I’m going to grad school at Montclair State University.

    Leah chats with her friend Kevin on Bunce Green.

    Do you have any other majors, minors or CUGs? 

    I took Child Life courses at University of California Santa Barbara, where I study hospitalization. I’m going to Montclair State for Child Psychology. 

    What is it like not living with your sister? 

    In the beginning, it was kind of a bummer. I’m happy I didn’t have to go live with someone who wasn’t her. I got used to it. It’s a little far (I’m up near New York) so we make weekends to see each other. She calls me and I call her probably a little too much. It’s not so bad, we’re [still] in constant contact.

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    Story by: 
    Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    Rowan Emergency Medical Services: Student Leadership [VIDEO]

    Exterior shot of Rowan EMS headquarters.

    “Anyone is able to join Rowan EMS, you don’t have to be a specific year. Just anyone that has interest we will get you in,” says Luke Heisler, the captain at Rowan EMS, and a Biological Sciences major. Catch a glimpse into the life of Luke who works in the field with Rowan EMS.

    Learn more about clubs and activities at Rowan here

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    Video by:
    Joshua Hedum, Radio/TV/Film graduate

    Beyond the Classroom: Kevin McCarthy and His Time with SGA

    Kevin smiles wearing a gray Rowan t-shirt with Bunce Hall in the distance.

    Today we speak with Kevin P. McCarthy, a recent graduate from Cranford, NJ (Union County) with degrees in Political Science and Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management. He was an RA (Resident Assistant) for three years in Holly Pointe, Chestnut Hall and Triad Apartments. Kevin was also heavily involved in the Student Government Association (SGA) as well as Rowan EMS.

    How did you get involved with SGA? 

    At the federal work-study career fair, SGA had a table looking for student workers. They hired me but I also had an offer from IRT doing something that was a little bit more in [tune with] my major. But, I decided to go with SGA. I ran for the senator-at-large position. It was a mid-semester election. I served one semester as the senator-at-large. Then I ran for vice president of government relations. I’ve been there for three years. 

    What have you gotten out of being part of SGA personally and professionally? 

    I helped pass the Student Wellness Fee my sophomore year. It was introduced as a $50 fee and it wasn’t well-discussed in e-board, so it failed miserably at the Senate. 

    We had our CFO at the time rally against it. It lost by 125 to 10. I spent the rest of the year working with Arielle Gedeon, who [later became] President. At the time, she was the Recording Secretary. I worked with her and a couple of other e-board members in order to get the fee reshuffled and changed. Eventually, we put it up during the series 2 elections for a $30 fee to support Rowan EMS and the Wellness Center in hiring more counselors and physical health providers as well as providing free medications and other free [items] for students. During the series 1 elections, it tied exactly at 250 to 250. So, we put it in front of the Senate. Arielle and I talked for 45 minutes, then we were discussing and debating the bill.

    Kevin and Leah sit on the marble steps of Bunce Hall wearing Rowan t-shirts and glasses.

    It provided so many critical things like vehicle replacement for Rowan EMS. People spoke out against the Wellness Center charging per visit [preventing students from reaching out for help]. They were planning on charging Insurance in charging a copay. I have good insurance; my mom works for a hospital up north. However, it is one of those in-network kinds where if [the treatment] was connected to the hospital it cost $5, but if it’s not connected in any way it cost $100. So a Wellness Center bill for me would cost over $100. I really advocated for the bill and eventually, it passed. 

    I also did a couple other things in SGA. I attended the Conference on Student Government Associations in Texas. We actually went right before the pandemic, like March 10. A week later, we were sent home. I went with the Dean of Students, the next SGA Vice President Sarah McClure, the current AVP of Facilities & Operations Liam Cutri-French, and one senator. We thought Covid was not going to be a real thing and would be over in two weeks. But here we are now! 

    From that, I got the inspiration to start the New Jersey Conference of Student Government Associations NJSGA. We had the first one in 2019 around Thanksgiving. 

    We had it in the Business Hall. Rutgers New Brunswick and TCNJ came as well as William (Bill) Moen, who’s actually a Rowan alumnus and a current assemblyman from Camden County. He came to do the keynote speech. We took a little hiatus, but last weekend we hosted the second conference of NJSGA. Rutgers New Brunswick, Rutgers Newark, TCNJ, Ramapo, and Drew attended as well. We [aim to] raise fruitful discussion about supporting students and how SGAs should operate.

    Kevin stands confidently in front of Bunce Hall.

    Luckily, Rowan does really great with shared governance. For example, Arielle has a meeting with President Houshmand every month. The AVP of Academic Affairs meets monthly with the Provost. The AVP of Student Affairs meets with advisor Kevin Koett. We really have very involved faculty that want to know what the students want.

    It’s super important to get involved with SGA. We always have openings for our Class Senators and Academic Senators. Every class has four senators, there are four at-large Senators, and every single college has its own Senator. 

    With everything that you’ve experienced, what has been your most to use what is 

    Definitely “Rowan Well,”  just having the mental health resources available to students is a really big thing. Obviously, it’s taken a long time to see that change, but there were at least two counselors hired, there are more resources available, and they got rid of a waitlist.

    After the Rowan Well bill passed, they expanded counseling services to include Victoria St. and in different academic buildings. Rowan EMS also got a new truck. I think they get $3 out of the $30 every semester from every undergraduate student. It really helps a lot. 

    Is there anything else you’d like to share about your SGA experience? 

    Applications are open for Senator positions. We have every position open except for the College of Science & Math. If you go on ProfLink and look into forms, you can find them. Applications close in September which allows people going through any incoming student orientation to get involved.

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    Story by: 
    Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

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

    Jade and Jovani Reyes on All Access with the Profs

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

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

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

    Could you share with us your responsibilities there?

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

    Jade at Lincoln Financial Field.

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

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

    What got you interested in sports communications?

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

    Jade with NFL Alumni Association sign.

    What is your ambition for the future?

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

    Do you feel Rowan prepared you for your work experiences? 

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

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

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

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

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

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    Story by:
    Caitlyn Dickinson, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos courtesy of:
    Jade Iannace

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

    Beyond the Classroom: Rowan Global Wellness and Lifestyle Management Major Discovers Passion for Research

    Jenna stands by the entrance sign for the Williamstown Organic Community Garden.

    Meet Jenna Bottiglieri, who graduated from Rowan with a degree in Exercise Science and is now pursuing her master’s degree in Wellness and Lifestyle Management through Rowan GlobalLearn more about Jenna and how her work with two health research and grant programs helped her zero in on her career goals.

    Seeing a new installation of wheelchair-accessible raised beds for the first time while visiting the Williamstown Organic Community Garden, Jenna Bottiglieri witnessed part of her research come to fruition. 

    Jenna, a student in the M.A. in Wellness and Lifestyle Management program, serves as project coordinator for Inclusive Healthy Communities, a grant-funded initiative that works with South Jersey towns on projects that make spaces more welcoming for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

    Jenna talks with the Borgersen family by the raised garden beds.
    Jenna (second from right) checks out one of the new, accessible raised beds in the Williamstown Organic Community Garden with the Borgersen family, clients whom she worked with from both Rowan’s Get FIT program and the Inclusive Healthy Communities project. Standing, from left: Kim and Brenda. Seated, from left: Charlotte and Nathan.

    She also coordinates the Shop Fresh Foods Rx program, a research study combining nutrition outreach and education for South Jersey residents who are pre-diabetic and food insecure. 

    Jenna’s work on these research projects has altered her academic career trajectory; she now wants to pursue another advanced degree in public health policy either at the master’s or doctoral level.

    “I think that it’s so interesting being involved in research. And that’s definitely something I would like to continue, in my next degree, and after that, and actually, in my career … continuing some kind of research,” Jenna says. 

    A chance discussion set Jenna on a continued path at Rowan in graduate studies and sparked her passion for health research. As an undergraduate Exercise Science major, Jenna headed into her last two semesters unsure of where to go next. One of the highlights of her college career had been volunteering and then working for Get FIT, a Rowan fitness and nutrition program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

    She describes the program as “fitness oriented but also very socially oriented.” Rowan students and volunteer staff work one-on-one with each client. “They’re able to exercise together, they talk together. And it’s really just a great program for everyone,” she says.

    Jenna at the Williamstown Organic Community Garden.
    “I definitely see myself leading a nonprofit organization or working for a state Department of Health,” Jenna says.

    Jenna worked all the way up to program coordinator for Get FIT, run by Dr. Leslie Spencer, professor of Health Promotion and Wellness Management. She and Jenna were to conduct a study on the social impact of Get FIT on clients and caregivers before the Covid-19 pandemic paused both their research and the in-person client sessions. At the height of the pandemic, Jenna then organized a virtual Get FIT program

    When Jenna shared her uncertainty about her future with Dr. Spencer, the professor suggested Jenna look into the Wellness and Lifestyle Management master’s program through Rowan Global. Here, Jenna says she could expand her health and wellness knowledge beyond the anatomy and kinesiology-based training she received as an undergraduate. She also appreciated the online format that allows her to craft a flexible schedule around her research.

    “That was really helpful, because I wasn’t really ready for that commitment of going back onto campus right after I graduated. So this ended up being perfect from not only just the criteria that I’m learning in the curriculum, but also the structure of the courses definitely just aligned with my schedule,” Jenna says.  

    She now works with Dr. Spencer on the Inclusive Healthy Communities project, a grant from the Division of Disability Services, NJ Department of Human Services. Jenna explains the university’s work has three main components. A Rowan team, working with master gardeners, has partnered with seven area community gardens, reviewing each and making changes such as reducing sensory stimuli, adding Braille and images to signage and designing paths and beds that are more accessible. 

    Jenna poses with the Borgersen family, Backyard Gardens LLC and the Sustainable Monroe Township.
    Jenna (fourth from left) with the Borgersen family, Patrick McDevitt of Sustainable Monroe Township (center) and Alex Seidel and Brian Pearsall (standing, left) of Backyard Gardens, LLC, who designed and built the garden’s accessible raised beds.

    Jenna says the second and third parts of the project include a collaboration with five area group homes; the Rowan team has subcontracted area master gardeners to build garden spaces and organized cooking classes for its residents. 

    “The goal is to hopefully use what they grow in the garden,” Jenna adds.

    Her work with Dr. Nicole Vaughn, assistant professor of Community Health, on the Shop Fresh Foods Rx program analyzes data collected throughout a four-month period with 20 participants, whom Jenna recruited throughout South Jersey. Participants receive groceries and dietician-created recipes, then attend sessions on food, fitness, nutrition and managing stress. For the last four weeks of the program, Jenna says participants will shop for their own healthy groceries using the skills they learned from the program. 

    “The goal is to see if this lifestyle change will prevent their onset of type 2 diabetes,” she explains. 

    Jenna speaks highly of her faculty, recalling: “My friend Brianna … we work together in Dr. Vaughn’s lab, and we met working together on Shop Fresh Foods Rx. We had been discussing a topic like nutrition knowledge and social media, because we go on social media, [and] there’s so many things that are just not true. And we actually ended up presenting this to two professors in our department (Dr. Dara LoBuono and Dr. Dylan Klein). 

    Jenna chats with the Borgersen family.

    “And they were extremely happy to hear us out there even though it sounded very ambitious, they were all very supportive. The professors are so helpful at Rowan, they really want you to succeed and get involved within the research.”

    She adds, “I just wish other students would get involved in research because it really is a really great experience, especially at Rowan. There’s so many opportunities.”

    See Jenna’s work with the Inclusive Gardens project in this video: 

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    Related posts:

    Rowan Global Student Makes History as First to Earn Diversity and Inclusion Certificate of Graduate Study

    Inside the M.S. in Biomedical Engineering Program with Rowan Global Student Brennen Covely

    Rowan Global Student Shay Williams: Earning a Master’s in Diversity and Inclusion

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

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

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

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

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

    Jocelyn standing on steps.

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

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

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

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

    Jocelyn smiling outside.

    What is a misconception about competing in pageants?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Jocelyn laughing up close.

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

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

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

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

    Talia poses on the bridge behind Wilson Hall.

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

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

    Can you tell me more about the community? 

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

    The Steminist Squad walks to Business Hall.

    How did you come up with Steminist Squad? 

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

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

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

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

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

    The Steminist Squad sits in Business Hall.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Beyond the Classroom: Fiona Hughes, CFO for SGA [VIDEO]

    Exterior shot of Chamberlain Student Center.

    As Chief Financial Officer for Rowan’s Student Government Association, Finance major Fiona Hughes oversees all finances, monitoring all clubs and resolving any issues that may arise.

    “I’ve learned a lot more with my position in SGA, relating to my major, than I would have if I were just … attending classes,” she says.

    “I think my role in SGA has helped me learn how to be a better leader as a woman in a male-dominated field.”

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    Video by:
    Joshua Hedum, radio/TV/film graduate

    Beyond the Classroom: Cultural Clubs and Landing Internships with JT Kurtz

    JT leans against a tree on Bunce green, wearing a Rowan sweater with hands in his pockets.

    Today we speak with JT Kurtz, a first-generation college student from Egg Harbor Township (Atlantic County). JT will be graduating this year with a degree in Computer Science and currently works as an ARD (Assistant Resident Director) on campus. He is also active in RUPAC (the Rowan University Philippine American Coalition) and is a Human Factors Researcher for the Psychology department. 

    What clubs have you been a part of? 

    I am part of the Rowan University Philippine American Coalition (RUPAC – the Filipino club). I am half-Filipino and half-Italian! 

    I’m also a Human Factors Researcher for the Psychology department. Human Factors looks at processes (not just technical, anything with how a team operates or any technologies they work with). We try to find the most efficient way to make it better or redesign it so that it’s much easier for everyone.

    When I was in the Honors College, my Comp II professor (Professor Flocco) was the coordinator for the Honors B.L.A.S.T. Mentor Program. I told her about my passion for computer science. I really like taking something, being innovative or redesigning it, and making sure it’s the best for someone to visually see and understand. That’s considered User Interface or User Experience Design (UI or UED). That segued into “Oh, she knows somebody at UPenn. Speak with them and see what opportunities you can get from there.” So, I went all the way to Philly, had a 30-minute conversation and that person was like “Hey, I know somebody that’s here at Rowan.” I came back and had an interview with my advisor, Dr. Tremoulet. She is fantastic without a doubt. She said “I’m going to bring you on board with my team. So I’ve been in her lab for about a year and a half now. We actually just published one of her researches. It was super awesome.”

    JT smiles and points at the camera on Bunce green.

    Tell me more about RUPAC!

    I’ve been a part of that since my sophomore year. I went out my freshman year to the Org Fair, that was always an awesome opportunity. My friend and I went to high school together. He’s been in it since freshman year and was like “Hey, you should check it out.” I met some really great people and being part of that org has helped me start my DJ career because they always needed a DJ for any of their on-campus events. And from there, I was able to build my network because RUPAC is affiliated with major regional and national Filipino conferences [all under the organization called “Filipino International Networking Dialogue” (FIND) spanning colleges from Massachusetts down to Florida]. 

    I believe it was last year, prior to COVID, I went to TCNJ. They hosted a big conference called “Dialogue” where all of these other Filipino organizations come together. They talk about what it’s like to be Asian American and how we can better our communities from all different kinds of perspectives. It was really cool, it’s always fun! You play games, share stories, and then you make new friends. With that, I was actually able to segue into being the DJ for their regional formal dance (hosting students from 7 out of the 8 regions in FIND). With RUPAC, it’s been really great to be on campus. I know they’re still working their best now even with the pandemic. 

    JT stands in front of the Rowan University archway near Bunce Hall.

    Are you part of any other clubs? 

    I feel like I always do too much (everyone always describes me like that). Aside from that, nothing else on campus. I have my off-campus internship as a software developer for General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT).

    Where are they located? 

    They have a lot of different branches and offices. They’re a government contracting agency, similar to Lockheed Martin. I interned with them over the summer and I will continue interning with them throughout the school year. Thankfully, I just accepted a full-time job with them. 

    When do you start working for them full-time? 

    I believe I start with them in June. I have to smooth things out, fill out some paperwork with the manager. I’m super excited. The game plan from there is to work with them and hopefully, I would like to pursue my master’s in Computer Science. 

    How did you find that internship? 

    Every year since freshman year, I went to the Career Fair and that’s how I found GDIT. 

    JT leans against a tree, looking solemnly across Bunce green.

    Do you have any thoughts on what’s happening with Asian hate? 

    We definitely live in a world where there’s hatred all throughout. It’s a shame that there are different groups that are being targeted. I think a lot of people try to work together to make things better. I know recently we had a march around campus [protesting Asian hate]. I encourage any group that has [been targeted] to come together and speak on how we can make our society better. We can acknowledge that things are happening in our world that is definitely wrong. At the same time, we need to work together and come up with solutions to prevent that from happening. 

    Have you ever experienced any Asian hate on campus? 

    Personally no, that’s actually an interesting topic now. I think about how when you walk around campus and how people can tell if you’re of a certain race. I don’t think that’s fair because you don’t fully know their background. You probably didn’t know I was Filipino because I don’t portray the common characteristics of a Filipino. I think that contributes to why I don’t experience much of that perspective. At the same time, I can still resonate with my friends, my family, and my culture. I’m sure there are other people in that same situation. Maybe they don’t contribute to the hate but they don’t understand it. I will definitely support this movement as much as possible with as much as I can. 

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

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

    Madelaine poses against a wall next to a pond.

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

    Madelaine stands in front of the Engineering Pond.

    Can you tell us more about the Bullock Garden Project? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Madelaine poses in front of a wooded background.

    What classroom skills are you practicing in your internship?

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

    What was the most rewarding part about working with BGP? 

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

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

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

    Madelaine poses against a wall next to water.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    View more of Madelaine’s work on 

    Instagram: @bullockgarden 

    YouTube: Bullock Garden Project, Inc.

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

    Photography by: 
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

    History Major Finds Her Passion for Archiving During Internship

    books aligned on a book case.

    Julianne at the library

    Julianne reading a book at the library

    Before COVID-19 social distancing, through her internship with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania this semester Julianne Tarrant was able to figure out what career path she wants to take after graduating in May. The history major from Nutley, NJ (Essex County) also minors in political science and international studies

    Julianne at the library choosing a bookJulianne has always liked history, more specifically presidential history. “Their personal lives is the better part, because you learn so much about what they did in class but then you get to know more about them as people and that kind of makes a bigger picture.”

    After a tour at Rowan University Julianne really liked the university, as did her mom. “My mom really pushed me to come here and I am really thankful she did that.”

    Julianne started off as a history education major, but then decided to drop education and focus on history. “It was really the faculty from the history department that showed me that there was so much more I could do with history aside from teaching, which I never knew before. The faculty opened my eyes, there is so much I can do.”

    Dr. Jennifer Janofsky, a professor who teaches public history courses has become one of Julianne’s mentors. Dr. Janofsky was the one who told Julianne about the Historical Society of Pennsylvania internship. “She kind of knew what I wanted to do and what my experiences were already with different internships and she was like ‘you should try the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.’”

    When Julianne applied, she did not think she would get the internship Julianne reading a book at the librarybecause she though that other students from other colleges in Pennsylvania had a better chance due to them being closer. To Julianne’s surprise, after her interview within an hour she was already signing papers to start interning there. “I wouldn’t have heard about it if it wasn’t for Dr. Janofsky, I am very thankful.”  

    Julianne is currently working on the Philadelphia Orphan Society collection, where she transcribes lots of documents into Excel sheets, to then use that information for the genealogy research that the Historical Society of Pennsylvania performs. Through this internship she has learned to read other people’s cursive writing much better. “It was really hard at first and now I’m starting to get the hang of it.”

    Thanks to this internship Julianne said she learned that she really likes archiving and hopes to one day work at one of the presidential library museums.“There are 13 of them in the country, different presidents and just based around them. So, I definitely want to work in museums, preferably ones that relate to presidents.”

    Julianne’s advice for future history majors and current history majors is to read all assigned readings. It may seem tedious reading about World War II over and over again, but it is worth it.

    “And don’t just study one area of history, try to take it all in because we have a really diverse history staff so take as many classes as you can.”

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    Story by:
    Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major 

    A First-Gen Radio/TV/Film Major Starts Up Company, Joins Town Government

    Jamal sitting in the library with a green beanie on.

    Meet Jamal McPherson from Swedesboro, NJ (Gloucester County), a junior majoring in Radio/TV/ Film (RTF) at the Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts. Jamal is a first-generation college student who loves to get involved in the community and try new things. Last year, he was appointed to the town board committee in Swedesboro. Today, he will share with us his journey to getting appointed and his experience so far at Rowan University.

    Before coming to Rowan, Jamal first attended Salisbury University in Maryland, where he was a political science major and football player. Jamal has always had a passion for video production, so at Salisbury he joined their sports media production team, but eventually decided to transfer.

    RTF student sitting outside the library “What I was looking for was not at Salisbury, Maryland. Don’t get me wrong — I had a great time, but sometimes having a great time doesn’t mean you’re being productive,” Jamal says.

    When Jamal decided to transfer to Rowan, he also switched majors. “My dad used to wrestle professionally in his day, that is why I’ve always had an interest in sports entertainment,” he adds.

    While being back in his hometown, he saw a few vacancies in the board committee. He decided to apply, and he got the job. He is currently a member of the Parks & Recreation Committee and Economic Development Committee.

    “I looked at the requirements and I emailed them saying I had great ideas. I joined last year, and I took an oath of office … They are a great group of mentors and they understand that school is first.”

    Being a part of the committee is a four-year commitment; after Jamal’s contract is over, he isn’t sure if he will continue pursuing government committee positions. He recently started his own company called Aniville, where he plans concerts and festivals.Getting ready for the show

    “Right now, I do concerts for my company Aniville, that’s what I’ve been working on lately.  I had a show in the Pfleeger Concert Hall in October, called ‘Aniville Jam’ and I had a show in Philadelphia over the summer too, it went pretty well. After the show it opened a few doors for me.”        

    Jamal thinks Rowan does a great job in making sure everyone brings their A-game wherever they go, and he thinks the staff at Rowan University are exceptional.

    “I love Rowan,” Jamal says.

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    Story by:
    Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

    Beyond The Classroom: What It’s Like Being A Mummer

    Rowan student TJ Ferry and members of his Mummers band

    Meet TJ Ferry, a senior Computing and Informatics major and Rowan University Social Media team member from Gloucester County. Here, TJ shares how being part of the iconic Mummers tradition has changed his life for the better. 

    Most people ring in the New Year at midnight with a few choruses of “Auld Lang Syne” and toasting the promise of new beginnings and a new year. That is, unless you are a Mummer. We ring in the New Year with hundreds of thousands of plumes, feathers and instruments.

    The Philadelphia Mummers Parade is a culmination of a year’s worth of imagination, hard work and practice that dates back to 1901. No one in the parade is a professional musician, but all take their craft very seriously. Participants in the parade range from eight years old up to 98.

    It is a spectacle that entertains many, but to my family and me, it is much more; it represents tradition. The Mummers are so much more than what happens on New Year’s Day.

    Rowan student TJ Ferry in Mummers costumeI was born into this unique hobby thanks to my grandfather. He was not only a musician, but for 32 years he served the needs of the Ferko String Band in a multitude of various positions including President, member of the Board of Directors, and as Ferko’s Delegate to the String Band Association. The String Band Judging Booth has been named in his honor since 2016.

    As a tribute to him, I decided that it was my calling to play the banjo as he did. Fast forward to today and I am currently a member of the Quaker City String Band, where my grandfather began his Mummer career.

    Early on Jan. 2, 2019, my cousin Joe Ferry was one of the three killed in an automobile accident. This tragic event shook the Mummers community to the core; however, it also showed that we are truly a community. In the honor of the individuals who passed away in this tragic event, a foundation was created to provide scholarships and funds to help those who are suffering in the Mummers community. The Mummers helped the Palandro, Ferry and Wiesley families cope with this event and make it through the tough times.

    The Thomas J. Ferry Memorial Judging Booth honors TJ's late grandfather.
    The Thomas J. Ferry Memorial Judging Booth honors TJ’s late grandfather.

    In Joe’s honor, the Joe Ferry Christmas String Band was created. This band is comprised of members from the Quaker City, Fralinger, Polish American and South Philadelphia String Bands. I was honored to be a part of this band on Dec. 14, 2019, when we spent the day bringing holiday cheer to various hospitals in Philadelphia. To me, this is what Mummery is truly about — spreading cheer and entertaining people, seeing people on the sidelines smiling while you are in a parade or someone dancing and clapping along in their seats while you are playing a concert makes it all worth it.

    When I started this hobby, I truly did not expect to take it where it has taken me. Sure, it has educated me musically, but it has taught me social skills, public speaking, social media skills, marketing, you name it.

    I continue to learn more every day from the leaders of the hobby. Mummery has brought me out of my shell. I went from being a shy 16-year-old to when I started this hobby to a well-rounded 22-year-old soon-to-be Rowan University graduate at the time of writing this article. I have met my best friends from this hobby, and no matter what, we are all family. Like a family, we don’t always agree on things, we fight sometimes, even drama goes on. We also laugh like family and kid like brothers and sisters.

    For almost my entire college career, I have been a part of Rowan University’s Social Media team. This would have never happened without this hobby. I started working for the Ferko String Band social media department in a hand-me-down situation and was not really sure where to begin. Two years later, I created a successful YouTube channel and drove engagement to the band’s social media higher than it ever was before. This helped me land my job at Rowan.

    Rowan student TJ Ferry (third from left) with members of his Mummers team.
    TJ Ferry (top row, third from left) with fellow members of the Quaker City String Band

    I have also worked on web projects in different capacities for string bands due to my skills through my studies at Rowan. For the past few years, I have been co-operating a database that provides the history of the String Band division. This has taught me to work in a team and helped ease into my courses Applied Database Technologies and Intro To Web Development. Just recently, I was honored to receive Quaker City’s Class – Pride – Commitment award in 2019.

    Story by:
    TJ Ferry, Computing and Informatics major
    Rowan University Social Media student team member

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    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

    Rowan Sessions – Baby, It’s Cold Outside feat. Gabe Georges, Rocco Fiorentino, Rachel Martin [VIDEO]

    rowan students making music in the studio

    Music Industry major and guitarist Gabe Georges, brings vocalist Rachel Martin and pianist Rocco Fiorentino into Rowan’s studio to record a cover of Baby, It’s Cold Outside for the holiday season. 

    Like what you see? Learn more about the College of Performing Arts.


    Video by:
    Noel Waldron, senior public relations major
    Dean Powers, sophomore radio/TV/film major

    Future Chemical Engineer Shares Her Research Experience with ExxonMobil

    “In high school, I was extremely interested in chemistry and Rowan Chemical Engineering major Casey Wagner sits outside Engineering Hall.pharmaceuticals. I thought about first going to pharmacy school, but I was more interested in how drugs were actually made rather than the dispensing of drugs to patients,” shares Casey Wagner, senior Chemical Engineering major from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County).

    Four years later, she’s conducting research for ExxonMobil.

    While working as a research assistant at Rowan over the summer, Casey bumped into her past professor, Dr. C. Stewart Slater. He encouraged her to join his fall clinic team to help ExxonMobil with a project involving the flushing operations of its lubrication plant. Casey explains, “It seemed like an awesome opportunity as a student who wants to go into industry.”

    She continues, “The project is still in the beginning stages of development. So far our team is researching how we can relate other industries to the oil industry. Being able to visit the lubrication plant in Paulsboro, NJ and see Rowan Chemical Engineering major Casey Wagner works in an engineering lab.how the operations are completed was an awesome experience. Being able to contact engineers and operators who are working at this plant to ask them questions and learn from their experiences has been a great experience for my future.

    “Overall, I’ve been very happy with the professional experience I’m gaining from being a part of this project. I’m extremely happy with the way the communication is between the students and ExxonMobil workers. I feel like we are slowly narrowing our focus as a unit and getting closer to finding plausible options for the plant.

    “I have gained some very valuable research experience from being a part of this project. Obviously, as engineers, we have to create unique ideas for our own experiments all the time. Reading about previously done work in contrasting industries and finding correlations between those different industries within the oil industry is very important for this project. This procedure is important no matter where I work in the future.

    “Also, working with different groups of people whether it be within the same company or at a different company has given me valuable professional experience. Learning different terms and expressions used by other engineers and chemists has been helpful.”Rowan Chemical Engineering major Casey Wagner works in an engineering lab.

    Casey feels Rowan best prepared her for this opportunity through the engineering clinics. Every semester, all engineering majors are enrolled in clinics, which provide students with an opportunity to join projects they are interested in. She continues, “It definitely prepared me for work after college and for deciding whether I want to continue my education or move on to working in the industry.”

    She knows if she ever has any questions, Dr. Slater or Dr. [Mariano] Savelski will always answer them. She shares, “Dr. Slater this past year has been a guiding hand for me and is someone who I know I can always go to for help with future careers.”

    Like what you see, learn more about chemical engineering!


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

    Marketing and Supply Chain & Logistics Major Erin DeBiasse Shares Her Passionate Work Ethic

    Headshot of Supply Chain & Logistical Systems Major Erin DeBiasse

    Erin DeBiasse, a sophomore Marketing and Supply Chain & Logistics major and Spanish minor from Denville, NJ (Morris County), is highly passionate about her field. When she was growing up, she always went to work with her dad at Snap-on Tools, which saw her traveling a lot, inspiring her to develop a hard work ethic. “I wanted to do something where you put so much work into it that you get something out of it,” Erin says.

    Erin DeBiasse, a Marketing and Supply Chain and Logistics major, stands in front of a sunny backdropComing into Rowan University, her intro business courses were super general and informative, which allowed her to explore marketing and supply chain logistics in a more in-depth manner. This helped her decide where she wanted to be within those fields. Currently, she works at Rowan University’s Business Hall. This past summer, she worked in a recruiting agency in Parsippany, NJ, which she found through ProfJobs. She plans on working in a supply chain and logistics internship next summer, which she found through her marketing professor.

    Erin pointed out Kelly Young, her academic advisor, as a role model and mentor who supported and motivated her to push her boundaries to their fullest potential. She was extremely helpful in navigating her schedule and in helping her decide what she wanted to do.

    Marketing and Supply Chain & Logistics major Erin DeBiasse works on a computerErin is a part of University Innovation Fellows, a Stanford University run program where students are recommended by their university business or engineering professors to get involved in. She was one of the four students chosen from Rowan to join the program. The four students are tasked to find a problem with the university and attempt to fix it by getting funding. Erin chose to focus on solving the hunger problem at Rowan. She devised a plan in which students can donate their meal swipes to other students in need. This is in its beginning stages, and if it passes, the group will be sent out to Stanford in the spring and go to Google’s Headquarters to present.

    Erin’s time at Rowan has only been very brief so far, but she already has highly enjoyed her time here. She looks forward to her next two years at Rowan and advises others to take risks. “Identity which risk to take and go 100% with it,” she says. 

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    Story by Enzo Ronchi, junior public relations major
    Photography by Adam Goskowsky, junior advertising major

    Beyond the Classroom: Ryan Clare and Ian Nielsen Canvassing for Bernie Sanders

    Meet the partners and leaders of Rowan for Bernie at Rowan University — President Ryan Clare, a junior in Music Composition from Jackson (Ocean County), and Vice President Ian Nielsen, a senior with a major in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Allentown (Monmouth County).

    Rowan for Bernie is a group dedicated to canvassing and talking to individuals around campus about their political ideals on Bernie Sanders and to help upcoming voters build their opinions leading to the upcoming election. Their mission is to network with as many people as they can to persuade and educate them in the hope to get votes for Bernie Sanders.

    Ryan and Ian first met at a Bernie Sanders networking program, which helped students start groups and organizations in their colleges and provided the support and tools to help students understand canvassing. Through this meeting, Rowan for Bernie was created.

    They were able to support a decent following on-campus with around 20 dedicated members going to club meetings as of now, and they look to further expand the organization.     

    Ryan Clare, junior in music compositionRyan explains his passion for his position: “Bernie Sanders has inspired me to really get involved with the political process, and I feel like he is our one chance to get somebody into the White House that has been this consistent for his entire political career…

    Ryan further adds, “…he has motivated me, and I feel like I have to fight as hard as I can to get this man elected.” 

    Ian also shares why he wanted to get involved: “I wasn’t really super political, [but] I always was somewhat into politics all throughout my high school years.

    Ian also explains his viewpoint: “I just really believe that it’s our responsibility as citizens to participate in the democratic process and make sure that people are taken care of. Bernie has Ian Nielsen, senior with a major in Electrical Computer Engineeringbeen consistent over the decades, whether it comes to talking about healthcare he’s been pushing for Medicare for all these years. He was on the right side of civil rights, which is something we can not say for other candidates. He has been pushing for $15 an hour wage, that’s something he has been pushing for years … He is not only pushing for these things in Congress but he is actually doing them right now.” 

    One of their upcoming goals is to become a chartered organization at Rowan. As of now they have a petition with 200 signatures and are looking to propose their organization to the Student Government Association for further advancements.

    With all the time put into the organization, they truly share a passion and work hard toward creating a bigger following and sharing some amazing experiences in the field. Ryan adds: “I’ve just really enjoyed canvassing and talking to new people, we openly will discuss ideas to people from very different political backgrounds … just really enjoyed sharing my views and backing them up with facts as opposed to just how I feel about things.” Ian further adds his most favorite experiences so far, “Just hearing people’s personal stories is just really moving and it really inspires me to keep pushing and try and make things better for everyone.”      

    For now, they look to further expand their club and to help people understand the importance to participate in the election and to have fun doing it! 

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    Story and photography by:
    Adam Goskowsky, junior advertising major

    A Leader in Rowan’s First-Year Connection: Volunteerism Program

    Amanda Yannarella, a Biomedical Engineering major, was a student leader this summer in the First-Year Connection: Volunteerism Program.

    Amanda Yannarella, a Biomedical Engineering major, was a student leader this summer in the First-Year Connection: Volunteerism Program.

    Meet Amanda Yannarella, a sophomore majoring in Biomedical Engineering from Burlington Township, NJ (Burlington County). This summer, Amanda became a student leader for this year’s Rowan’s First-Year Connection: Volunteerism Program. Today she will share with us her experience in the program and what she’s learned from being a student leader.

    Why did you decide to join Rowan’s First-Year Connection program?

    “Last year as a freshman, I wanted to get acclimated to campus and wanted to start of my year well by volunteering.Amanda Yannarella, a Biomedical Engineering major, was a student leader this summer in the First-Year Connection: Volunteerism Program. I volunteered a lot in high school, too. I was in Key Club, so I did a lot of volunteering then and I wanted to continue here. I was a leader this year because I loved it so much my freshman year. I wanted to do it again and have a positive impact on the incoming first-year students, because that was really important to me.”

    What kind of activities did you do?

    “We went to the Food Bank of South Jersey and we helped sort all the donations they had into proteins, soups and grains. Two people went into the bakery to bake muffins, so that was really cool. We also helped with the Saint Bernard’s [disaster relief] Project, which is similar to Habitat for Humanity, in which I am also involved in. We went to someone’s house that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy and we helped fix up their house. We did flooring, drywall, spackling and hurricane clips, which is supposed to help the roof stay on with strong winds.

    “Then we helped with the Little Owls Preschool at Rowan. We were cleaning their classrooms to prepare for the school year. It took us about two hours, which would have taken all the Little Owl teachers all day. Then we did SAIL Bowling Night; they do activities for adults on the autism spectrum. We had a great time bowling with them and making conversations — just hanging out and having fun, but it was important because I feel like we were making everyone’s day better. I’m not good at bowling, but still had a good time.”

    Amanda Yannarella, a Biomedical Engineering major, was a student leader this summer in the First-Year Connection: Volunteerism Program. What was your favorite activity?

    “The Saint Bernard’s Project was my favorite because you learn skills that I feel you can transfer to your own house. Now I know how to put in hardwood flooring, and that’s pretty cool.”

    What knowledge or skills have you developed through this program?

    “When we went to the food bank [someone] told us the amount of food we sorted, which was a lot, was between 2,000 to 5,000 pounds. The guy was like, ‘Congratulations guys, you really helped us out, but there are still families going to bed hungry tonight. And even though we worked so hard there is still a lot of work to be done.’ Then you’re like, ‘Wait what? I just did this whole work and you’re telling me that there’s more?’ It’s kind of eye opening. That is why I like doing stuff like that because you get impacted and it’s good to get reminded with that kind of stuff. And as a leader I learned leadership skills, like learning to communicate. I use to hate talking. I was so quiet when I was younger, but this actually helped me get more comfortable talking to bigger groups of people.”

    What did being a leader for Rowan’s First-Year Connection program mean to you?

    “I liked being able to have an impact on incoming students and setting them off into a positive way. We were focusing on the volunteering stuff all week and the importance of that, but we were also getting them ready for campus. And it just meant a lot to get that kind of leadership experience under my belt.”

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    Story by:
    Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

    Beyond the Classroom: Interning in Israel

    Junior Biochemistry major Alyssa Salera, who interned in Isreal in summer 2019, is photographed outside of the Barnes and Noble

    Meet Alyssa Salera, a junior from East Greenwich, NJ (Gloucester County) majoring in Biochemistry from the College of Science & Mathematics. This summer, Alyssa interned in Israel at a rehabilitation hospital, where she worked closely with physical therapists and patients. Today, she will share with us her experience abroad.

    Where did you intern this summer?

    Rowan Biochemistry major Alyssa Salera (bottom row, second from right) in the Israel clinic
    Alyssa (bottom row, second from right) at her internship this summer at the Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem, Israel.

    “The hospital is called Herzog Hospital and it’s in Jerusalem, Israel. It’s a rehabilitation hospital.”

    How did you hear about this internship?

    “I went to Israel last summer on a trip called ‘Birthright.’ I was at Barnes and Noble getting coffee with the on-campus Rebbetzin [a rabbi’s wife or a teacher], and we talked about ways on how I could go back to Israel. I told her that I want to go to PA (physician’s assistant) school or med school one day, and she told me about this program that would get me back to Israel and they would set me up with an internship where I could be in a hospital and get both things that I wanted.”

    What’s the name of the program, and how was it structured?

    “The program is called ‘Onward IsraeLinks,’ and it is a mixture of an internship component and also with that a learning portion. We had a Rabbi and Rebbetzin on the trip with us, who were from Georgia and who taught us in the first 10 days. We talked about what you’re supposed to believe as a Jew and how that translates to life now and modern society. And the last six weeks was just straight internship.”

    What kind of things did you do at the rehabilitation hospital?

    Rowan Biochemistry major Alyssa Salera taking a selfie with another intern at Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem
    Alyssa Salera (at left) with another intern at Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem.

    “I worked with a lot of chiropractic patients, who had just had strokes, and I worked with a lot of kids who were in the ICU. With the chiropractic patients, we worked on getting  them started to being able to sit up on their own, to stand up and to walk with our assistance.

    There were a few patients, but one in particular, she could barely open her eyes on her own when I first got there; by the end we were able to have her walking on her own with a walker. There was another patient I worked really closely with and he again on my first day in the hospital could barely lift his legs. I worked with him and the physical therapist to have him standing. And on my own we did our own stretches together and exercises. I got to choose pretty much what I wanted to do with him and by the end of the summer he got his red dot, meaning that he can walk on his own with his walker unassisted. So, I was just an extra set of hands, I would get to help them with different sections.”

    What did you learn or gain from your internship in Israel?

    “It Is really hard to communicate with people who don’t speak the same language as you, and I know very little Hebrew, so it really helped me gain a greater appreciation for working with people who come from all diverse backgrounds and who don’t have the same story as I do. And it just really taught me a lot about confidence in what I’m doing and in that this is what I want to do with my life.”

    What’s one memory you will always remember from interning at the hospital?

    “That one patient who got his red dot saying that he could walk. I was the one to give him his red dot, because I worked with him every single day over the summer and just watching him barely being able to move his legs and then being able to walk on his own, that was incredible.”

    Alyssa in Israel standing in front of a waterfall with a friend
    Alyssa standing in front of an Israeli waterfall with a friend.

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    Story by:
    Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

    Beyond the Classroom: a Biophysics Lab Experience

    Gaspare Carollo, a biophysics major from Marlton, NJ, conducts research at his summer research internship at Rowan.

    Meet Gaspare Carollo, a senior from Marlton, NJ (Burlington County) majoring in Biophysics from the College of Science & Mathematics. This summer, he was able to partake in an research internship at Rowan. Today, he will share with us his experience working at the lab and some of the projects he worked on.

    Gaspare Carollo, a biophysics major from Marlton, NJ, conducts research at his summer research internship at Rowan. Gaspare is a transfer student from Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC). He earned his associate degree in Chemical Engineering and now plans to get his bachelor’s in Biophysics.

    “Biophysics is a combination of many sciences — biology and physics for the majority. It looks at things on a molecular level. And it takes the physics on what’s going on, why is it happening and you kind of figure out why and how things work,” Gaspare said.

    After talking to Dr. Nathaniel Nucci, assistant professor from the departments of Biomedical & Translational Sciences and Physics & Astronomy about the different summer programs he was looking into, Dr. Nucci told him about the summer internship offered at Rowan.Gaspare Carollo, a biophysics major from Marlton, NJ, works at his summer research internship at Rowan.

    “I told him I was a senior and hopefully going into the workforce soon. I was just trying to get my foot in the door and get hands-on experience because you can get all the A’s and B’s you want and have a 3.3 or 3.6 GPA, but without the hands-on experience you’re going to go onto the working field lacking,” he explained.

    This summer, Gaspare got the chance to work on two projects. The first project had to do with purifying proteins, which Gaspare explained it as:

    “One of the things about the protein purification that we’ve done is that they fluoresce. It’s one of those things we do for bioimaging. If we want to know where this medicine is going or where this disease or tumor is located, you inject the patient with a particular protein that we know fluoresces at a certain wavelength or fluoresces at a certain light. Basically, the thing you want to see will glow, and that is the whole point of the proteins we are looking at. There are many other reasons for purifying proteins, but that’s the one we were looking into.” 

    The second project Gaspare worked on had to do with quantum dots. Quantum dots are used in a lot of electronics and medical issues. “What we are trying to do is find a better, more feasible way to find quantum dots,” Gaspare said. “They are made in high pressure and high temperatures, which is very expensive and dangerous, and we’re trying to find a way to make them in room temperature and atmospheric pressures.”

    Gaspare Carollo, a biophysics major from Marlton, NJ, works at his summer research internship at Rowan. Gaspare is doing his work under a hood at regular temperature and regular pressure, because it’s much safer and financially achievable for most labs.

    “If we can perfect and control the size of quantum dots then we can control what kind light it fluoresces and from there fabrications are all over the place,” he said.

    Gaspare would like to do research and development after he graduates. He would love to be part of a team that would eventually come up with something to make a difference in the way people are medically treated. He says, “What if we can do chemo where it doesn’t hurt the individual, what if we can do chemo where it only hurts the tumor and doesn’t make them sick? To be a part of something like that and make a difference would be amazing and to be a part of that would be a dream.”

    Gaspare’s advice for anyone wanting to major in Biophysics is to not expect an easy ride, but if you are willing to put in the time and the effort then the outcome and final result will all be worth it.

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    Story by:
    Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

    Enzo Ronchi Discusses Organ Donor Day

    young male student leaning over a railing with a contemplating look on his face

    Organ Donor Day is meant to promote and encourage more people to become organ donors and acts as a social event that encourages the community, students, and faculty to come together. The event is designed to be family-friendly with carnival-like games, free food and beverages. There’s an opportunity to mingle and get any information you may […]

    First Generation College Student, Aspiring Doctor, Plans to Serve Camden

    Luis Acevedo posing on the bridge behind the Engineering building at Rowan University.Luis Acevedo, sophomore dual biology and chemistry major from Camden, NJ, originally entered Rowan as an education major. Luis wanted to teach the people in his community about mobilization – something that is a challenge for many from the city. After a semester into his education career, Luis kept his promise to educate his community, but felt he would be able to make a bigger impact educating them on physical health. He rediscovered his passion for the field of medicine, and is eager to apply his passion at home.

    Luis speaking at the First-Generation Student Symposium on Feb. 13, 2019 at Rowan University.
    Luis speaking at the First Generation Student Symposium on Feb. 13, 2019 at Rowan University. Photo by Nicole Cier.

    Luis explains, “The general knowledge of health is not known. Not all members of Camden have access to healthcare or are able to communicate their physical aches and pains to doctors. If people aren’t able to describe their pain, they won’t receive proper care to fix their problem.” Luis wants to provide people with the help they deserve, but aren’t receiving yet. Everyone should have the opportunity to a healthy life and adequate medical attention. His degree and skills sets will allow him to properly attend to the members of his community who desperately need it.

    Luis appreciates his family members’ encouragement throughout his Luis Acevedo posing inside the main entrance of the science building at Rowan University.education career and the mentors who’ve built a family full of support at school. After an interview with Dr. Mateo for Rowan’s ASCEND program, Luis felt Rowan was a good choice. Luis’ judgement was right. He explains, “The Camden Campus is a small family. Everyone is welcoming and all are happy to be there. If I ever need help, any one is happy to help me. They are my nest.” Luis, being in the Flying First program, is introduced through the program to professionals and other first-generation college students on campus who advance his academic success. Dr. Mateo, known as “mama bird” to most ASCEND members, meets with Luis regularly to ensure he’s on the right path and connects him to other resources on campus – one of them being the Peer Referral and Orientation Staff (PROS), where he joined as a member of the orientation staff the summer after his freshman year. 

    After finding PROS, Luis created a tremendous amount of connections on campus. PROS introduced Luis to faculty and students with different backgrounds, and knows learning to communicate with diverse cultures will help him in his future career.

    Luis is setting a positive example for the people of Camden. His hometownLuis Acevedo posing outside the science building at Rowan University. holds a negative stereotype for fostering an adverse community. “A lot of people think we’re not prepared for college. The fact that people ask questions about the type of education I had is unreal. It’s important to inform people that we’re all the same and we were all accepted to the same university.” Luis takes advantage of his resources at Rowan, knowing these connections will prepare him to be a successful doctor.

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

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