Accelerating Graduation and Building Stronger Connections Through Rowan’s Summer Classes

Richard Ricks touches a tree.

Today, we meet Richard Ricks, a senior biological sciences major on a pre-vet track, from Burlington, NJ (Burlington County), here to talk about his experience with taking summer classes at Rowan and how it’s been beneficial to him.   This summer Richard completed Organic Chemistry, Physics II, (both online) and Plant Diversity (in person) summer […]

Impact of Growing Up in Mumbai on Desire to Major in Environmental Science

Kriish poses for an outdoor portrait in front of a tree while wearing a bright orange shirt.

Can you describe the environmental science program? “There are both environmental studies and environmental science majors. What is unique about the environmental science program is that we are able to understand the underlying science behind the environment, while combining biology, geology, and other components. We use this technology to better map, restore, assess, and understand […]

#PROFspective: Biological Sciences Major Aryana Marquez on Her Undergraduate Research with Anti-Cancer Drugs

Rowan Biological Sciences major Aryana M. works in a lab.

Today we highlight Aryana Marquez, a third-year Biological Sciences major with a minor in Chemistry. Marquez discusses her research with organic synthesis of cancer-treating pharmaceuticals, medical school goals, and being a woman of color in STEM.  Why did you choose Rowan? I applied to 11 schools; I think I got into about seven of them, […]

Meet #Rowan2025: Biological Sciences Major Lauren Kliniewski

A Rowan student works in a lab.

Meet incoming first year student Lauren Kliniewski! Lauren is a first-generation college student and aspiring Biological Sciences major from Sewell, NJ (Gloucester County). She tells us more about what she’s looking forward to at Rowan! Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college? Furthering my education and […]

Senior Reflects: 4+1 Student Mia Fondacaro

Mia stands in front of Bunce Hall.

Mia Fondacaro recently graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences through the Combined Advanced Degree 4+1 program (CADP) along with minors in Sustainable Studies and Psychology. She is now working toward her master’s degree in STEM education. She reflects on her time at Rowan and offers some advice to incoming students.

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

Not sure if this counts but I had this one professor who was super connected with her students. If you missed a class but did not inform you, she would check in on you to make sure you’re ok. She was/is a great professor, and her class was always really fun.

Mia smiles on the steps of Bunce Hall.

Could you please share your favorite social memory?

My favorite moment as a student has to be my junior year Homecoming. This is where I really went out of my comfort zone and met a lot of new people.

What are your career aspirations?

Finish my +1 year, work in a high-need school, get my doctorate, work in higher ed.

Mia stands in front of a white spring flowering shrub on campus.

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

My program is unique. For your three years as an undergrad you are only taking classes for your subject matter (for me it is biology) then in your fourth and +1 year you are taking graduate courses for education. With this set up I feel like it makes getting certified being a teacher easy because I do not have to double major in my subject matter and then education, here it is a program that is already set up.

Also with this accelerated program, yes I graduate a year later than my peers, but I graduate with a MA, which will have me entering the job market with higher income. To employers I think I will look like a valuable employee based on this program and my education from Rowan.

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

Dr. Courtney Richmond, Intro to Marine Biology, connected with her students, really knew how to teach, and was well educated in the subject.

Mia stands inside a gazebo on campus.

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

With me being a senior and having Covid take away my last year at Rowan, I’m thinking back to all the amazing memories I had at Rowan and wish I could have been able to make more this year with my friends and professors.

To the incoming students at Rowan, please make the most out of your time here. Join clubs, go to events, live in a resident hall, eat on campus, sit in the student center pit, sunbathe at Bunce Green, go to the REC center. Be an active student on campus because you never know when it is all going to be taken away. What seems like a normal day on campus might end up being your last, so appreciate every moment here.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

Photos by:
Brian Seay, junior sports communication and media major

Meet Transfer Profs: Biology Major Stephanie Berdugo-Hernandez

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

Senior Reflects: Biomedical Art & Visualization Major Hannah Knight

Hannah poses outside.

Today, we speak to graduating senior Hannah Knight. Hannah is a Biomedical Art and Visualization major with minors in Art History and Biology from Shamong, NJ (Burlington County). She transferred from Rowan College of Burlington County and currently lives off campus. She shares more about her experience at Rowan and gives advice to incoming students.

A picture of Hannah taking a selfie while on a hike.

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

Being in and working thoughout the night in Westby Hall, specifically painting in the studio after mourning a death.

Could you share your favorite social memory?

Going to bingo or The Pit for events. Walking down the Boulevard and to the High Street Gallery.

What are your career aspirations?

Help the future of health care and science via biomedical arts.

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

I work with professionals in the field who can give me real-world advice.

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

To Doc for keeping me in high spirits, Ryan Berardi for always understanding, and Amanda Almon for starting BMAV here at Rowan.

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

Nancy Ohana. She teaches figure drawing and constantly reinforced freedom, diligence and the process of art.

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

Take an art class that you’ll actually enjoy, not just the “easy” ones. Go to RAH events because they’re pretty cool most times, and be kind to everyone.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Meet Transfer Profs: Future Marine Biologist Malin Barnes

Exterior shot of Science Hall.
A selfie of Malin.

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

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

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

Why Rowan?

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

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

Symphonic band/pep band and Greek life.

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

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

What major are you considering and why?

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

Malin taking a selfie in his Coast Guard uniform.

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

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

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

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

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

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

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

Leadership #PROFspective: Photography Club President Jill Taylor

Jill poses with three cameras next to a fountain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What have you learned in your role as a leader?

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

Jill adjusts her camera settings.

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

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

Who inspires you and why? 

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

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

What’s the most significant barrier to women today? 

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

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

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

Jill takes a photo in the woods.

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

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

Photography by: 
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

 

#PROFspective: Senior Biomedical Art and Visualization Major Amanda Rosa

Amanda sits in front of Science Hall.

Amanda Rosa, a senior Biomedical Art and Visualization major and Dance/Biology minor from Freehold, NJ (Monmouth County), sums up her Rowan experience. 

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

On my busiest days, I juggle at least three classes, rehearsal or practice with my ballroom partner, sorority obligations with Theta Phi Alpha and looking for my future job! 

Amanda stands by a tree on campus.

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

I did have a moment of uncertainty with my first two majors, and then I switched to my current major, which is Biomedical Art and Visualization. This major is challenging, and sometimes I questioned if I was good enough to finish and continue it. I got through it by talking to my teachers, asking them what they thought and going to them for continual guidance.

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

I chose Rowan because it was close to home and I needed a place where I could drive home if needed. It was just far enough away that I could stay on campus, but close enough at home was in striking distance. I really felt at home at Rowan during my sophomore year when I found my current major because not many schools offer it.

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

My transition into college wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. In high school, I was in a college-prep program where we took many AP classes. The humanities program at Howell night prepared me well for college. My biggest challenge was finding the right major for me. It took two tries but eventually, after a lot of research, I found the right one.

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

Come in open-minded. I was positive that I wanted to go to school out of state, but I’m glad I gave Rowan University the chance. Think about what’s gonna be best for you, and your family. Now I’m lucky enough to have my brother joining the Rowan family in the spring. You may not always end up going to the college that was your first choice but don’t worry: you’ll find the good in wherever you end up.

Amanda sitting on a red chair and table set.

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

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

First Year Voices: Spanish Major Jenna Rech and Biology Major Maria Mousa

Roommates pose together outside on campus.

Today, we speak to freshmen roommates Jenna Rech and Maria Mousa! Jenna is a Spanish major from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County) and Maria is a pre-med Biology major. They live on campus in Magnolia Hall. They tell us more about their experience at Rowan so far and what they’re looking forward to in the future.

Maria and Jenna posing together while wearing masks.
Maria (left) hanging out with roommate Jenna (right)

How do you like Rowan?

Jenna: I like it! It’s actually really fun. They’re offering more stuff than I thought they were going to. We went to some of the activities right here on the intramural field.

Maria: I love that they’re still doing activities for everyone here. I also feel like they’re taking a lot of precautions, and it makes me feel a lot safer.

How are you meeting new people and making friends?

Jenna: I met most of my friends from people on our floor. There are only eight of us on the floor, but we all have each other and our group-chat so we all hang out with each other! 

How do you like living in a dorm?

Maria: I love living in a dorm. It’s actually a lot of fun. I was nervous at first, to have the responsibility of living on my own, but I’m actually having a lot of fun. 

What are you looking forward to at Rowan?

Jenna: I’m looking forward to actually having in-person classes and meeting our professors.

Maria: I’m looking forward to having more in-person classes and meeting my classmates!

Maria and Jenna smiling together.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

First Year Voices: Biology Major Analiz Santana and Exercise Science Major Mia Guerra

Today, we speak with freshmen Analiz Santana and Mia Guerra. Analiz is a Biology major from Pennsauken, NJ (Camden County) who is currently residing in Mimosa and Mia is an Exercise Science major currently residing in Holly Pointe from Hasbrouck Heights, NJ (Bergen County). They tell us more about why they chose Rowan and how it is being a freshmen in college during a pandemic.

Analiz and Mia hanging out on campus.
Analiz (left) and Mia (right) hanging out outside!

How did you two meet each other?

Mia: They were just walking by one of my friend’s dorms and we had the door open and they just said “Hi,” and that’s how we met.

Why did you choose Rowan?

Analiz: My sister goes here too! She’s a sophomore. Last year, she would always invite me onto campus last year and she’s also a basketball player and I would always go to her games. I had to choose between here and TCNJ, and I chose here because I ended up really loving it here.

Analiz and Mia talking outside on campus.

Mia: I’m on the cross-country track team. I like the program here. I like the campus in general in comparison to other colleges as well. I was supposed to choose a campus in Indiana, but I ended up choosing here!

How has it been being freshmen at college during pandemic?

Analiz: It was helpful having that first week where we didn’t have to worry about classes. It was good to actually figure out where we need to put our masks on and figure out the rules around here. It was actually really helpful.

Mia: Just learning the campus in general, too. Walking around and learning where our classes are and stuff was helpful, too!

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista sophomore music industry major

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

Biomedical Art and Visualization student draws for a project.

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

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

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

Rose sitting at a table filled with Rowan souvenirs.

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

Terry posing in a portrait photo.

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

Mariele smiling outside wearing a drawstring backpack.

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

Hannah holding a her associate degree diploma.

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

Sofia sitting and smiling wearing glasses and earphones.

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

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

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

Harley sitting outside and smiling.

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

Veronica posing and smiling on a stair case.

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

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

Drone shot of Science Hall

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

Kait smiling for a selfie.

Why did you choose your major?

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

Why did you choose Rowan?

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

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

Kait taking a selfie with her friend.

Take us through a typical Rowan day for you.

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

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

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

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photos contributed by:
Kait Fox

Prof Style: Mask Up!

An assortment of masks made by a Rowan engineering student

“This mask is better than other brands. I found it in Walmart for a decent price. It’s very fitting, does not suffocate and its re-washable.” — Max Husar, Junior, Civil Engineering major and on-campus resident from Middletown, NJ “My mom runs a health store in Berlin, NJ. She gets shipments with masks in a variety […]

Senior Reflects: Bio Major Aaron Krivchenia Prepares for a Career in Ecology

Aaron standing outside science hall

Today we feature recent Biological Sciences graduate Aaron Krivchenia. Aaron is from Aaron poses for a portrait.Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County) and shares his research experience during his time at Rowan.

Are you involved in any academic or social clubs?

I am a Brother of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. We do not have many brothers who study biology, but they are always there to extend a helping hand and aid in networking. I’ve done plenty of mock presentations in front of them, which helped me prepare for conferences I’ve attended. 

What got you interested in your intended field?

I’ve always been interested in ecology. I grew up in the woods and would always search for stream beds. It grew my passion. 

What is your favorite accomplishment?

When I presented a poster at the ESA International Conference in Kentucky summer of 2019. The poster covered a high-resolution spatial survey of cyanobacterial indicators: phycocyanin and chlorophyll in a small reservoir, Dow Lake, in Athens, Ohio. The data was from Dr. Ruhl’s dissertation, so old data but new questions. For ESA, about seven of us presented and for AAAS it was just me and Dr. Ruhl in attendance. For these, I mostly went to panels where people discussed their research. I’m more interested in the science being done. I wish I tried doing some more professional development, but now I have a better idea of what to do for next time. 

Aaron poses outside by Science Hall.What did your research beyond the classroom entail?

I worked in environmental conservation, which I started in second semester sophomore year. Professor Dr. Richmond of Bio 4: Intro to Ecology promoted the position and I immediately showed interest. My work at the lab includes seasonal sampling of small polymictic reservoirs for: seasonal zooplankton community composition, environmental tests, water quality tests, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, ph level, nitrogen, and phosphorus. For seasonal sampling, we went out weekly during the summer, typically on Mondays, to five reservoirs in South Jersey: Malaga, Elmer, Palantine, Parvin, and Rainbow, of which the latter four are in a series meaning they are a part of the same watershed, kind of like Russian nesting dolls. At each site we would toss buckets into the damn and outfall, collecting the data using a variety of probes and chemicals. We also ran 10L of water from each site through a mesh strainer to collect zooplankton for subsequent taxonomic identification in the lab.

Aaron poses by a gazebo.We have a variety of projects being done with the data we collect. My specific project involved conducting a study with an ultimate goal of creating a predictive model for cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (cHABs) across South Jersey. I surveyed 26 small reservoirs collecting data for various environmental variables and photo indicators phycocyanin and chlorophyll. We also took raw water samples back to Science Hall and with the help of Dr. Carone, developed a qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) to account for cyanobacterial cell densities. This was also done for the weekly sampling which gave us temporal data — how the cyanobacterial composition varies across the season. 

What knowledge or skills have you developed through this opportunity that you will take with you for future endeavors?

Everything I’ve done is applicable to my future in ecology. I learned GIS, analysis software, and my writing and public speaking abilities have improved. I’m more confident talking about science and my work in a way people outside of my industry can understand. I’ve also learned how to conduct good science, be diligent about methods and materials I’m working with. 

What are your next steps or goals?

Right now, I’m searching for jobs in wildlife, private entries and eventually will attend graduate school.

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#PROFspective: Pre-Med Junior Andrea Owens on the Biological Sciences Major, Making Change in Healthcare

Selfie of Andrea.

Today we feature Andrea Owens, a junior Biological Sciences major with a Chemistry minor and concentration in pre-medicine. Andrea is a transfer and a first-generation college student. She commuted from home before COVID-19 shut down campus. Andrea will share with us her #PROFspective on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.

On campus Andrea is a member of the Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS), The Tau Sigma National Honor Society, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated (AKA). Off campus she works in retail at New York & Company. Andrea representing her sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha.

What inspired you to choose your major?

Since I was 5 years old, I always knew that I wanted to become a doctor. So, once I got to high school, I mastered biology and chemistry and decided to major and minor in them.

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

My first advice to any transfer students who are majoring in Biology is to make friends who are within your major. The beginning of my first semester at Rowan, I did not have any friends in my major. I studied alone for everything, which caused a lot of stress. Once I made friends with people in my major, we formed many study groups and I found the biggest support system. The friends I have made are truly amazing, and I could not thank them enough.

Andrea pictured in in a medical lab coat.

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

The importance of the healthcare field is that the conditions of life are always changing, and as long as there are health care providers who are specifically trained in medicine, there will always be help. An impact that I would love to have in my field is to make minorities feel heard and important. In the medical field, there are thousands of stories on how African Americans do not feel as though they are getting the proper treatment when they are being treated or examined by health care professionals. I am going to make that change.

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

Dr. Kristen Barrett was my professor for Organic Chemistry I and II. She is a young African-American woman in her field, and she provided superb detail in everything she did while I took her courses. Her path of excellence inspires all her students, including me. 

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Story by: 
Melanie Sbaraglio, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos courtesy of:
Andrea Owens

Meet #Rowan2024: Wisconsin’s Emerson Harman Majors in Biomedical Art & Visualization

Emerson in front of the Prof statue visiting Rowan.

Today we feature incoming freshman Emerson Harman from Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Emerson is a Biomedical Art and Visualization major with minors in Biology and Technical/Professional Writing. 

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

Emerson playing the cello.

I am really looking forward to joining Rowan’s fencing team!!! I’ve never fenced before but I’ve always wanted to. For something I’m continuing, I’m looking forward to participating in some of the music ensembles.

How or why did you choose your major?

I chose Biomedical Art and Visualization because it perfectly combines my passion for both art and science by allowing me to visualize scientific topics.

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

I am really looking forward to both the academic and social aspect of college. I’m very excited to be educated in something I’m passionate about, but I’m also looking forward to joining organizations and ensembles, and everything else that college has to offer. College is a time where I’ll have the most freedom and resources to help me out, and I am excited to utilize those.

Selfie of Emerson. Why did you choose a university that is out-of-state or out-of-country for you?

Initially, I chose Rowan purely because it has my major, Biomedical Art. There are about three colleges in the country that have this, and I when I visited it felt the most like home.

Why Rowan?

Recently,  I’ve really gotten to know the campus and appreciate everything that Rowan does for its students.

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Meet #Rowan2024: Maria Mousa Has Pre-Med Aspirations

Stock photo of a hand covered with a blue medical glove holding a plastic container.

Today we feature Maria Mousa, an incoming freshman from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County) who will be a biology major and live on campus. 

How or why did you choose your major?
I chose my major because I have always wanted to go into medicine and I have always been really interested in science so Biology felt like the perfect choice for me. Rowan is also very well known for preparing students for going into medical school.

What is one activity, club, sport or hobby that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan? (Or a new one you’d like to try?)
I played field hockey throughout high school so I am thinking about looking into playing club. I would also like to do student government because I did that in high school and I would love to continue that. I am also looking forward to joining other clubs. Maria stands in front of a statue of Henry Rowan at Rowan University.

Why Rowan?
Rowan is a perfect school. The campus is the perfect size and there is a good amount of people. They have amazing pre-med programs and their own medical school which makes it even better. 

What are a few things you are looking forward to next year at Rowan?
I am looking forward to moving into my dorm room and meeting new people, I am also excited to join new clubs.

Why did you choose a university that is close to home?
I wanted to be able to move out and get that college dorm experience but at the same time I wanted to be able to come home whenever possible.

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Volunteer for Your Well-being

Roxy Urso poses for a photo outside of the Student Center.

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

Roxy Urso poses for a photo outside of the Student Center.Meet Roxy Urso, junior Biology major from Barnegat, NJ (Ocean County). Roxy felt inspired by her love of volunteering to write this article. She shares: “There is more to it than just getting hours for school or to look good on applications. It can be very beneficial for a person’s mental health as well. I hope this article will involve more people in the programs Rowan has to offer that are centered around volunteering after they see the value it can have.”

Giving a small piece of a day to help someone — whether it is a friend or someone new — can make a huge difference in how people view themselves. There is something about giving time to others that gives a sense of love and appreciation that is hard to find through any other means.

Being college students, we often get lost in the dizzying cycle of school, friends, and oftentimes work. It feels like there is often not much else out there besides the college campus we reside in, however there is a huge community of people surrounding the local campus, as well as the area.

A great way college students can refocus their sense of purpose and learn more about who they are is through volunteering. By volunteering with true intentions to genuinely help someone, studies have shown that people who chose to volunteer have less stress and anxiety, helps fight depressions, and stay more physically healthy (Segal 2019).

Rowan students volunteer as part of the First Year Connection: Volunteerism program.
Rowan students volunteer for a disaster relief organization through the First Year Connection: Volunteerism program.

Volunteering allows people to make meaningful connections with people, either bonding while volunteering, or making connections with the people being helped. There has even been multiple studies to show that volunteering will help lower blood pressure as people age (Segal 2019).

There are so many resources to find volunteering sites, on campus and in the community. A great resource is the Office of Volunteerism, Community Engagement and Commuter Services. They offer multiple trips and events weekly that can allow a student to volunteer, even if it’s just for an hour during the week.

Any opportunity to volunteer will prove tremendous benefits for mental, as well as physical, health. There are multiple opportunities around campus, as well as in the community, that will help reap those benefits.

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Story by:
Roxy Urso, junior biology major, Wellness Center intern

Photography by:
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major

References

Segal, J., & Robinson, L. (2019, November 26). Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits.

Body Positivity: A Beginner’s Guide

Rowan Healthy Campus Initiatives contributor My’yonna Boyd on Rowan Boulevard

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

Rowan Healthy Campus Initiatives contributor My’yonna Boyd on Rowan BoulevardMeet My’yonna Boyd, freshmen Biology major from Camden, NJ. My’yonna hopes, “Students will become aware you can make positive changes in your life and learn to accept themselves for who they are as a person. With a little a motivation and research, a body-positive lifestyle can be suitable for anyone.”  

Body positivity has become a movement in our society. For those who are unfamiliar with the newly-coined termed, it means to help individuals embrace their image and learn to love the parts of themselves that makes one unique. Many concerned people have begun pushing the agenda that advertising companies need to be more inclusive, but still it does not seem our voices are being heard. 

However, since we can’t go protest every company that doesn’t have someone who looks like us, we can set up steps that will help us achieve our own body positivity goals. Remember the end goal is to be more mindful how we perceive ourselves and gaining confidence in our appearance. The steps listed below will give an idea of where to start and do not have to be followed in any specific order.

Step one: Consider a social media detox. We consume so much in one day, and sometimes we do not notice how impactful it is in our lives. Yes, social media helps us explore the world around us, but it also leaves us in a pool of pity when we begin comparing ourselves to others. Start with getting off the phone by a certain hour. This gives time to reflect the day and increases productivity, which makes us feel good. 

Step two: Set up SMART goals. “SMART is an effective tool that provides the clarity, focus and motivation you need to achieve your goals” (MindTools 2020). SMART is an acronym that stands for: Specific (simple), Measurable (motivating), Achievable (attainable), Relevant or Responsible (result-based) and Time-bound (time/cost limit). Ensuring your goal fits the criteria will allow it to be more effective.

Follow this example to structure your own goals.

Specific: I want to have more positive thoughts about myself than negative ones.
Measurable: I will compliment myself more frequently throughout the day.
Achievable: I will say two positive things about myself for each bad thought I had.
Responsible: I will acknowledge when I am being too negative and reevaluate.
Time-Based: I will have weekly journals to record my journey to being more positive and kinder to myself.

Being more body positive is definitely a journey, and the steps listed above can give guidance in the right direction. Each step we take is progress, so celebrate your small victories and note that we are all on the path to love ourselves more each day. 

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Story by:
My’yonna Boyd, freshmen biology major, Wellness Center intern

Photography by:
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major

References: 

Michele, et al. “SMART Goals: – How to Make Your Goals Achievable.” Mind Tools, 4 Feb. 2020, www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm.

Well-being

Biology major Roxy Urso sitting on a campus bench

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

Roxy Urso sits outside of Wilson Hall.Meet Roxy Urso, senior Biology major, who wrote this article with the inspiration of the Rowan Thrive campaign that has been around campus this semester. Roxy shares: “Oftentimes, people get caught up in the idea of mental health and the awareness of it, and while it is extremely important, mental health has many other factors that play into it to make a total person. As college students, our lives are always crazy, so by taking a step back and working on different aspects of wellness on a small scale, we will have a greater impact on our mental health and ourselves overall.” 

Over and over again it has been stressed to college students to practice good mental health, to have a strong mindset in the chaos that is the world of academia. Topics of a person’s wellness and well-being are constantly thrown in with these ideas to make it sound like these topics are no more than mental health. However, people often forget that a strong mental well-being is hard to achieve without all elements of well-being having their own presence.

Well-being is an encapsulation of a person through all aspects of their life, as they work together to create an individual, no matter the mindset. However, the more positive each area is on their own, the more likely the individual will have an overall positive well-being. These eight areas of well-being include: emotional, financial, social, spiritual/purpose, occupational, physical, intellectual and environmental. Understanding that well-being is not just a mental state, but the state of a person that is developed by each of these eight areas, can allow a person to work on each one, ultimately working on all, to better themselves as a whole.

For example, by setting a goal to study everyday for a class, a person would be working not only on their intellectual well-being, but their sense of purpose by preparing more for school to be able to graduate, and their occupational because they are most likely trying to graduate to find a job.

Although the idea of working on eight areas of a person’s life may seem overwhelming, it only takes small steps towards each to reach a state that not only betters their mental state, but their person as a whole.

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Story by:
Roxy Urso, senior biology major, Wellness Center intern

Photography by:
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major

References

Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. (n.d.). Eight Dimensions of Wellness. Retrieved from https://cpr.bu.edu/living-well/eight-dimensions-of-wellness/

#PROFspective: Vietnamese Student Association President Brianna Nghiem

Brianna Nghiem and members of the Vietnamese Student Association hang out on Rowan Boulevard

Today, we speak with Brianna Nghiem, a junior Biological Sciences major from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County) who lives on-campus. Brianna will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.

Name: Brianna Nghiem
Major: Biological Sciences (3+4 BS/DO Program)
Minors and concentrations: Bantivoglio Honors Concentration in the Honors College
Year: Junior
Hometown and County: Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County)
Resident: Yes, I live in 220 Rowan Boulevard
Academic clubs: Bantivoglio Leadership and Service Training Program (Mentor)
Social clubs you are a part of: Vietnamese Student Association (President)

Biological Sciences major Brianna Nghiem sits on a bench outside of Barnes & Noble

Share an “aha!” moment you’ve had within your major that made you feel passionate about your intended field. One moment in my major that made me feel passionate about my intended field was in my Intro to Cellular Biology class with Dr. [Gregory] Eaton. Learning about the different cellular processes in life and its complexity was an extraordinary experience. Although I have always known that I wanted to go to medical school, this class truly furthered my love for medicine.

Describe an experience you’ve shared with a professor in which you felt like you were working with a visionary in your field. When I was a freshman, I had a biology professor who I was very intimidated by on the first day of college. However, upon getting to know him during class and visits to office hours, it was apparent that he truly cared for his students and genuinely wanted us to all succeed academically and personally. Over the semester, he helped me develop proper study habits, manage my stress and ease my transition to college. He really helped to shape me into the student I am today. I have nothing but appreciation to have had him as a professor.

Biological Sciences major Brianna Nghiem sits with members of the VSA at Kung Fu Tea on Rowan Boulevard
“I try to encourage friendships by having our meetings in fun spots,” Brianna (second from right) says.

Describe an on-campus experience (academic or non-academic) in which you felt that your future goals are supported.  When I was in high school, I was the President of my school’s Vietnamese Culture Club, where I developed passions for my culture as a Vietnamese American. During Summer 2017, as I was about to enter college, I always aspired to start a Vietnamese organization at Rowan with similar values to my high school club. The mission was to have an organization where interested students can unite and appreciate the beauty of the Vietnamese culture and traditions.

By fall 2018, three other students (Catherine Nguyen, Jessica Do, Jessica Liu) and I worked together to form the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA). Dr. Thanh Nguyen, our advisor, has been incredibly supportive with this journey and with all of VSA’s goals. I am so blessed to have met such amazing individuals who are my biggest supporters and who constantly push me to become a better person of myself. As a result, VSA has made me realize my true potential and capabilities as a leader, as well as becoming my platform to connect with and provide support to others. 

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you? Through the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA), I was able to meet a family of unique yet compatible individuals, each of whom I am so grateful for. VSA embodies empowerment, inclusivity and cultural advocacy. Over this past year, VSA has become an outlet and safe space for not only my creativity, but also for my growth as an individual. The people I have met through VSA have helped mold me into the person I am today. I’m so privileged and honored to go through this journey in celebrating such a beautiful culture with them. Everyone in VSA has made me feel at home at Rowan.

Why did you choose Rowan? While I was applying to colleges, I had a close friend who was completing his education at Rowan. He shared with me his experiences and all of the wonderful opportunities he received through Rowan. As I researched more, I found that Rowan would provide me the best college experience in preparing me for medical school. The 3+4 BS/DO Program with Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine allows me to receive my bachelor’s degree and medical degree in seven years. Being here, I have met a community who is incredibly supportive of my dream and passion in becoming a physician. Deciding to come to Rowan was one of the best decisions I could have ever made.

Biological Sciences major Brianna Nghiem holds up a T-shirt with the Vietnamese Student Association logo on it.What’s your favorite thing about your typical Monday at Rowan? My favorite thing about a typical Monday at Rowan are the Executive Board meetings for the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA). Normally, our E-board meets on Monday mornings and everyone brings their favorite breakfast foods. At the meeting, we eat together, plan for upcoming events and bond with each other. My goals during these E-board meetings are not just to plan for events, but also to have time to connect and support each other on a personal level. VSA is more than a just club, it is family!

On your busiest day, what academic, non-academic and social responsibilities are you juggling? Along with a full course load, I am currently studying for the MCAT, which I plan on taking in January. On a typical day, after doing MCAT practice, I usually take time in preparing for Vietnamese Student Association events, where each task varies depending on the upcoming meeting. In addition, I am a mentor for the Bantivoglio Leadership and Service Training (BLAST) Program, where I have the privilege of mentoring first-year students in the Honors College. My hope is not only guide them, but also to encourage and support them in the best way I can. Lastly, as a Music Director of the South Jersey Vietnamese Alliance Church, I spend a portion of my day coordinating plans in preparation for the next weeks.

Interested in joining the Vietnamese Student Association? Follow them on Instagram to get connected!

Seven friends and members of the VSA eboard stand together at Kung Fu Tea on Rowan Boulevard

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

#PROFspective: Biology Major Sarah Sosa

Rowan biology major Sarah Sosa outside Rowan Boulevard Apartments

Name: Sarah Sosa

Major: Biology

Minors or concentration: Environmental Studies and Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Year: Junior

Hometown and County: Elizabeth, NJ (Union County)

Resident: Rowan Boulevard Apartments

Academic Clubs: Pre-Vet Club, REAL Club

Tell us about your travel home up to North Jersey and how you get there using public transportation: 

The first time I had to go home from Rowan to Elizabeth, I think it was just to see some friends. I didn’t have a car so I didn’t know what to do. We always talked about “How am I supposed to go home?” Nobody knew and nobody was going to volunteer to come pick me up and take me all the way home. So I went to the front office of the Student Center and I asked them about the route to go home. They showed me the route and what to do. They had bus schedules and maps that I could take a look at … but I also did my own research too.Rowan biology major Sarah Sosa sits outside Rowan Boulevard

I downloaded the NJ Transit app (this was before I knew about the Rowan-Camden shuttle), but for my first entire year I would take the NJ Transit bus that stops at Campbell Library to Camden. Using the public bus does take a little longer than the shuttle. However, I didn’t find that out until the end of the semester when I had missed the bus and finally used the Rowan shuttle.

From Camden, I take another bus from the Camden-Walter Rand Transportation Center to the Trenton train station, which is about an hour. From there you take the Northeast Corridor line which goes all the way to New York City, but I take it to get to the second-to-last stop, Elizabeth.

I always let people know about my commute and let them know that it does take about three hours, but I’m so used to it already it doesn’t bother me that much! I usually go by myself, but recently I bumped into a friend who was going home too, so we ended up leaving together. It’s nice to have a buddy to go with you for the long ride.

Why did you choose Rowan?

I chose Rowan because I liked being someplace not too close but not too far away from home. There’s a good amount of distance. I also felt like Rowan was the only school really reaching out to me. There was a program called the Rowan Select Program, which helped students get more of a push into college life. I liked that Rowan had a program like that and that my Rowan Select orientation was two nights and three days so we could get more assimilated. During that orientation we actually started listening to lectures and during the summer we took a two-credit online class, which was a good head start. I liked that Rowan was doing something different. 

Why did you choose Environmental Studies?Rowan biology major Sarah Sosa outside Rowan Boulevard Apartments

I have always been into the environment — green everything, conservation biology, animal extinction and the reasons why they’re going extinct. I’ve also just been interested on how pollution and climate change are affecting us.

What advice would you give to your high school self about choosing the right school? 

Just relax! It’s not the end of the world. I can’t remember how many times I stressed out about deciding before May about what I wanted to choose! I thought I had to choose an entirely different lifestyle for the rest of my life. You have options! Be confident about your decisions, and don’t be afraid to do whatever you want to do. 

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Story and photography by:
Bianca Torres, junior Music Industry major

First Year Voices: Biological Sciences Major Jace Robinson

Biological Sciences major Jace Robinson

Biological Sciences major Jace Robinson

“I’m hoping to become a veterinarian, so I’m excited to get to work in a lab and start my career.” — Jace Robinson, an incoming Biological Sciences major from Bridgeton, NJ (Cumberland County). 

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Story and photography by:
Chad Wittmann, senior Journalism major

Beyond the Classroom: Pre-Vet Club Makes the Trip to Africa

Fiona and Nicolette giving a dewormer injection to a buffalo

Meet Fiona Yueng, a Mount Laurel (Burlington County) resident and first-generation student who became one of four undergraduate students from Rowan University who got to experience the opportunity of a lifetime at the conclusion of the spring semester. Fiona Yeung, Kim Zullo, Emily Beardsley and Nicolette Madonna spent the first three weeks of their summer vacation in the town of Louis Trichardt in South Africa, shadowing professional veterinarians in the field. 

Biological sciences major Fiona Yeung poses with a lion in South Africa

Fiona has been an animal lover since a very young age. She spent her days reading countless books on animals, only because her parents’ allergies prevented her from having any animals of her own.

As she got older, Fiona turned her passion for animals into volunteerism. For the past couple of years, she has volunteered at the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford, where she’s helped diagnose and treat indigenous species.

Fiona is now a rising senior in the Biology department and also a part of the Pre-Vet Club on campus, along with the three other students who attended the trip. These four students took it upon themselves to see real world veterinary care with their own eyes. With the help from the Financial Aid office, and donations from Rowan SGA and the Biology Club, their dream became a reality.

In late May, the four of them boarded a plane and headed to Louis Trichardt, South Africa. The first two weeks of their trip was spent shadowing veterinarians in their field and participating in the processes of veterinary medicine.

The students recalled that, “not only did these vets care for indigenous African species, but they also had the knowledge to care for farm animals as well.” These veterinarians were not confined to a specific area of veterinary medicine. They were fully trained and equipped to care for an array of species. While on this journey, they had the opportunity to see a number of extravagant wildlife, such as giraffes, lions, zebras, antelope, elephants and more.  

Rowan Pre-Vet Club members Fiona Yueng (left) and Emily Beardsley

“You see them in picture books, but it’s nothing compared to seeing them in real life,” Fiona (left) said.  


Rowan Pre-Vet Club members posing next to a buffalo

Their trip concluded with a five-day stay at Care for Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary. Here, they cared for orphaned rhinos, who lost their parents due to poaching or natural means. 

In late June, the students returned home safely with memories and knowledge that they can take with them in their future careers.

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​​Story by:
Chad Wittmann, senior journalism major
Photos courtest of:
Fiona Yueng

#PROFspective: Translational Biomedical Science Major Zachary Padron

Your Name: Zachary PadronYour Major: Translation Biomedical ScienceYour Minors: Bantivoglio Honors Concentration in the Honors College, Pre-Medical Minor, Neuroscience Minor, and Ethics Certificate of Undergraduate StudyYour Year: JuniorHometown and County: Hamilton, NJ (Mercer County)Resident: Yes, I live as a Resident Assistant in the Townhouse ComplexAcademic Organizations: American Physician Scientist Association (Research Chair Executive Board Member)Social Clubs: President of Colleges Against Cancer and Chi Alpha Christian FellowshipOn-Campus Employment: Resident Assistant for the Townhouse ComplexOff-Campus Employment: Research Assistant in the Neuroscience Research Lab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia […]

What Profs Are Listening To: John Alviar

a close up shot of headphones
A vertical close-up portrait of a student listening to music on his phone.

“I have been listening to a mixed playlist consisting of classic rock, modern psychedelic, indie, 80s-90s pop/alternative/indie, modern hip hop, and old rap my favorite artist, or should I say duo King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.

My favorite song is in a complete different category — a rap song by Travis Scott ; NO BYSTANDERS. Also my favorite album at the moment is a classic album, ‘Bleach’ by Nirvana.” John Alviar, senior biology major from Stratford, NJ (Camden County).

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Photography by:
Jelani James senior journalism major

Inspiring Change Through Biology and Africana Studies

“Sophomore year, I took an introductory course to Africana Studies as an elective and fell in love with it. It opened my eyes to so many things — politics, race, issues in society. I decided, ‘I have to add this minor!’” she says. Her involvement from there snowballed as she acquired leadership positions in the […]

Hajah’s Home Away From Home: Willow Hall [VIDEO]

Hajah and four friends stand in the underpass at Willow Hall.
https://youtu.be/SYx9byqFLQQ

Hajah Carpenter, a freshman biology major from Somerdale, NJ (Camden County), feels most at home with her “Willow Squad” friends in Willow Hall.

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Video by: Nicole Cier, junior writing arts major and Edris Forde, junior radio/TV/film major
Music by: Louis Testa, sophomore music composition major

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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Enter for a chance to win a Rowan t-shirt! Email RowanBlog [at] rowan.edu with the date and time of your upcoming campus tour … we may just email you that we’re going to surprise you while you’re visiting!

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

#PROFspective: Biological Sciences Graduate Arash GhasemiNejad

student scientist inside science hall at Rowan

Today, we speak with Arash GhasemiNejad, a recent graduate with a biological sciences bachelor’s degree from Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County) who now lives in Voorhees, NJ. Arash will share his #PROFspective with us on what it was like to be a Rowan University student and how he got the most out of his college […]

#PROFspective: English and Biological Sciences Major Kasey DiSessa

Today, we speak with Kasey DiSessa, a junior English and Biological Sciences major from Hackettstown (Warren County), NJ, who lives on campus in the Whitney Center. Kasey will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as […]

#PROFspective: Biology Major Kevin Jacome

student works in lab

Today we speak with Kevin Jacome, a senior biology, pre-med major from Mt. Laurel, Burlington County, who rents a house off campus with friends. Kevin will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how he’s getting the most out of his college experience as a Rowan Prof.  Name: Kevin […]

#PROFspective: Athletic Training Major Cassie Dennis

athletic training major works on a student's ankle

Today we talk with Cassie Dennis, a senior athletic training major from Edison, Middlesex County, who lives on campus at Whitney Center. Cassie will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof. Name: Cassie […]

4 Rowan Scholarship Awardees Share Their Stories

Back in November I had a pleasure to meet with Steven C. Farney, Ed.D., senior director of administration from the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM), who shared information every Rowan student needs to know when applying for scholarships. If you had a chance to read that post, then you should be an expert in […]

#PROFspective: Biology Pre-Medicine Major Emeli Valdez

student works on club website

Today we speak with Emeli Valdez, a sophomore biology major on a pre-med track, from Cherry Hill, Camden County, who lives on campus in Edgewood Apartments. Emeli will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a […]

#PROFspective: Biochemistry and Biology Major Kelso Borrell

biochemistry major stands near chemistry equipment

Today we speak with Kelso Borrell, a senior biochemistry and biology double major from Old Bridge, Middlesex County, who rents a house off campus. Kelso will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.  […]