Rowan University Entrepreneurship Majors Share Their Professional Goals

A student stands in front of a wall with the word "Idea" behind him, with his arms crossed across his chest.

What internships, clubs, networking, etc. are you involved in and how do they support your goals? “I currently sell cars at a local Ford dealership, which helps with developing a stronger understanding of how the business industry works.” – Brendan Liebenow “Networking with other students and professors at Rowan has helped me realize how much […]

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

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

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

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

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

Osvaldo talks with his friends outside on a bench.

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

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

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

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

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Story by Connor Bicknell, senior communication studies major

Veterinary Innovation Gives Fortunato the Goat a New Lease on Life [VIDEO]

Fortunato on a work table getting measurements done with a student and vet tech with a Studio 231 sign in the background.

An interdisciplinary, collaborative space, Studio 231 within the School of Innovation & Entrepreneurship helps to bring the best ideas to life – including, this time, giving a new lease on life to a baby goat who was unable to walk.

The story of Fortunato the goat highlights the ingenuity – not to mention the impact – of leveraging this student-led and student-run experiential learning lab and makerspace within the Rowan community. A hub for collaboration, ideation, rapid prototyping and research, the newly created Schreiber School of Veterinary Medicine partnered with Studio 231 to create working legs for this Nigerian Dwarf goat with septic arthritis in his hind feet, which caused him to lose the feet. 

Dr. Matthew Edson, founding dean of the veterinary school, had previously toured Studio 231 and knew that this resource would be valuable for their work, opening up the possibility of printing 3D models for the vet school.

Fortunato’s owners were told he should be euthanized. Dr. Edson had a different recommendation. 

With an email entitled “Goat Legs” Dr. Edson reached out to the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering, asking to partner with Studio 231 to create new working legs for Fortunato. That email found its way to Addison Deckert, a sophomore mechanical engineer major from Gannett Park, MD, and Vincent Gallo, a junior mechanical engineering major from Cinnaminson, NJ, who then worked on the project. 

Fortunato getting measurements with vet tech and Addison done.

Even with a team put together and the drive to create a perfect model, a series of obstacles remained in the way. How would they build legs that would expand as Fortunato grew? How could Addison and Vincent, who rarely worked the same shifts, best collaborate? Which approach, which idea, was the right one to pursue?

The emotional attachment to Fortunato, the intensity of working toward saving a life, and working with a deadline certainly brought out the best in all involved. Several questions needed to be answered for success to be achieved. Vincent shed some light on some of them, “What should we keep in mind? What part of the leg should we try and stay away from? So that’s not like a big pressure point when the goat is walking; how much support does it really need?”

The shape of Fortunato’s body created an interesting challenge that needed to be addressed. Addison revealed, “One of the hardest things we had with designing was figuring out how to keep the boot on because sometimes just like a friction fit and wrapping it real tight isn’t the best solution. And he actually has a tendon running along the upper part of his leg, so we couldn’t attach anything to it. So we went through a lot of different designs.”

Another element of the challenge the project posed was what materials could and could not be used, as they had to be animal friendly. After looking at several different options that combine plastic and 3D printing materials, they opted for TPU, a material that would hold up in the sun, in water, and still remain comfortable for Fortunato. 

After switching the material for the laces to a thinner material, Fortunato was ready to test out the design. Because his leg hindered him from going outside, he was hesitant to touch the world outside, but on a beautiful day, dreams came true. Fortunato came to life running around and hopping on his new prosthetic – the design worked.

The joy for the team was moving, even though Vincent missed the moment due to having to take a test; Addison had this to say about the moment, “Actually being able to see a prototype that I made on Fortunato and working and actually giving him something he didn’t have before is indescribable.” The collaboration not only saved a life but opened the door on saving more down the line. Both students and the rest of the team were showered with praise from the new dean, “We couldn’t be happier with the whole team that worked on this. We came in the first day to a back of a goat’s leg drawn on the board. They had researched the anatomy. They had already come up with a couple of different models that they planned to use. They were really well prepared, but I think they were also able to be creative and entrepreneurial in their approach and adjust to the challenges and come up with a really nice finished project.”

Addison taking notes.

In terms of what comes next, different answers were given. The success of creating a prosthetic certainly opens up opportunities for students to work with the new school, Dean Edson says, “This is the sort of project that we want to do. We want to think outside of the box, involve other departments, other agencies, and all come together to solve problems like this for the betterment of both animal health and human health. And again, this was a perfect example of how we want to do that.”

This project certainly captured the mind of Addison and what she thought was possible, even expressing an interest in working ducks for similar projects in the future. Accomplishing the ability to help aid an animal to walk extends the reality of what is deemed achievable and with students such as Vincent and Addison leading the way in innovation, no project is too big to dream about at Rowan. 

None of this would have been possible without not only Dean Edson, Vincent and Addison but several professors, faculty, and others who helped guide the project along. Working as a team to achieve a goal for something greater than an individual’s ambition helps kindle the wonder in students. This is summed up through Addison, ““It was really amazing and it makes me really want to do engineering because sometimes you doubt it after doing 15 hours of homework and three all-nighters and failing a test and all those types of things, it really makes you doubt. But do I want to actually design something new and build something that actually helps people? Yes. I think Rowan’s really trying to push that mindset.”

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Story by:

Thomas Ubelhoer, sophomore political science and international studies double major 

Bridging the Gap Between the Art and Business Worlds

Isabella smiles in front of the Creatives 230 sign

Today we feature a first-person perspective from Isabella Shainline, a rising senior English Education major, photography minor, and John H. Martinson Honors College student from Pitman, NJ (Gloucester County). Isabella co-founded Business Hall’s Creatives 230, which is an interdisciplinary learning lab for creatives and entrepreneurial students.

Creatives 230 started as a pipe dream. In my Intermediate Photography Class, almost no hands were raised when my professor, Jenny Drumgoole, asked who had spent time in the Business Hall. Westby Hall and the Business Hall are located right next to each other. Since that day, Professor Drumgoole and a handful of students, including myself, have made it a mission to bridge the gap between the art and the business world.

A headshot of Isabella Shainline in a green top with a necklace

On January 7th, 2023, after running a month of test trials behind the scenes, Creatives 230 officially opened their doors to the public. Our space offers photography, graphic design, copy & creative writing, videography, and website design to entrepreneurs in the Rowan community. Our goal is to foster new relationships between creatives and entrepreneurs, because one cannot exist without the other.

Why is this important? To me, Creatives 230 represents the idea that things that are perceived as distinctly different, such as the business world and the art world, can actually exist together beautifully. The running of this space has introduced me to positions in the real world, such as being a content creator, a video script writer, and a creative director. These careers are all things I didn’t have knowledge of beforehand. Working in this space has reminded me that the world is truly my oyster.

Isabella Shainline is sitting at a desk typing on a computer.

More than anything, Creatives 230 is a passionate, inspiring, and loving community. We make it a priority to serve those that we feel we can make the most difference for, and those who we feel a connection too. Our doors are open Monday through Friday in Business Hall Room 230. Stop in, meet the team, and find your people!

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Co-Founder of Interdisciplinary Learning Lab for Creatives and Entrepreneurs Shares Her Experience

Isabella Shainline posing in a work space.

Today, we hear from Isabella Shainline, a junior English Education major, Photography minor, and John H. Martinson Honors College student from Pitman, NJ (Gloucester County). Isabella co-founded Business Hall’s Creatives 230, which is an interdisciplinary learning lab for creatives and entrepreneurial students. “Last year, my photography professor Jenny Drumgoole and I went over to Business […]

From Bulldog to Prof: How John Maldonado Found His New Home Across The Street

Dramatically colored sunset over the Rowan athletic field where John played football.

From across the street to across the goal line, John Maldonado’s journey from Glassboro High School to Rowan University proves that a great college experience might be in one’s own backyard. “I definitely think that Glassboro High School students overlook Rowan just because it’s across the street,” says John, but his own Rowan experience has proven otherwise. A recent graduate of Rowan University, John earned his bachelor’s degree in finance within the Rohrer College of Business. As a student-athlete he played wide receiver on the football team for all four years of his college career, where he received prestigious accolades such as being named to the All-NJAC First Team Offense in both 2021 and 2022. He has also been honored for his work in the classroom, and was named to both the College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Team and the PhillySIDA Academic All-Area Team during his career. Rowan football player John Maldonado poses for a portrait wearing a practice football jersey and holding a football.

Born and raised in Glassboro, along with his two older brothers, John was always a talented athlete. A three-sport athlete at Glassboro High School, playing football, basketball, and baseball, he found success in all three sports, winning multiple Glassboro Bulldog awards. He was even named to the All-Conference first team for football. Like most three-sport athletes who want to continue at the next level, choosing that one sport you love can be tough. “I originally thought I was going to be a college baseball player, you know baseball was bigger than football in high school for me, but it turned out to be football.”

Rowan football player John Maldonado in action during a game, running with the football against another university.
Photo courtesy of Nick Feldman

Picking a sport to continue throughout college would end up guiding John in his decision to attend Rowan University. Like most seniors out of high school, it’s tough to know exactly what you want to do with life at that point. As John faced the pivotal moment of choosing where to continue his football career, Rowan stood out to him. “I wasn’t 100% ready I guess to move an hour or two away and live on my own so I was like if I’m going to go to an NJAC school or D3 to play football, why not just stay right here.”

John recognized there is a less-than-great perception among Glassboro High students about attending Rowan. Despite the proximity of Rowan to Glassboro High School, John believes that many students disregard the university as a potential option, failing to realize the abundance of opportunities and resources it has to offer.

Rowan football player John Maldonado catches a touchdown pass while being blocked.
Photo courtesy of Nick Feldman

Reflecting on his time at Rowan, John is filled with gratitude for the endless opportunities and resources that helped shape his college experience. “My best advice would be to use the resources,” he emphasizes, “because there’s a ton. There’s a million different things going on at one time with a bunch of people that are trying to help you.” John’s academic advisors played a crucial role in his success off the field. Student-athletes sometimes need additional supports to balance their academic responsibilities with their athletic goals, to maintain their work-life balance and their academic performance. With the support of his academic advisors, John was able to stay on track and ultimately decide on a major in finance after entering as an undecided major (exploratory studies)

John continued his studies at Rowan, now pursuing a master’s in finance, while he simultaneously trains in hopes of making a professional football career a reality. John’s story is a testament to the university’s ability to offer a one of a kind college experience, even for those who already live in Glassboro.Rowan football player John Maldonado poses for a portrait wearing a practice football jersey and holding a football.

He recognizes the challenges that lie ahead of him. “The windows are short with this type of stuff, trying next-level football.” With the resources and opportunities available at Rowan, John is poised to make the most of every opportunity, both on and off the field.

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Story by:
Sean Humphrey, senior public relations major

Photos by:
Valentina Giannattasio, sophomore dance and marketing double major

From the Classroom to Competition: World Ninja League Founder Takes His Skills to the Next Level [VIDEO]

Chris Wilczewski is a Rowan University 2015 alumnus who majored in Marketing. Chris is the founder and chief operating officer for the World Ninja League, “home of the world’s leading obstacle course organization.” He discusses how he founded the company, his involvement in ninja competitions, his origin story and experiences throughout his educational and professional […]

Beyond the Classroom: Accounting Major Jade Kenny on Her Internship with Subaru

Jade stands in front of a tree, smiling.

Why was Rowan right for you? Jade explains when she was applying to Rowan, her original path drew her to elementary education. For Jade, choosing Rowan was the best of both worlds since it allowed her to study what she believed to be her passion at the time while respecting her parents’ wishes for her […]

How Lanasia Melvins is Making the Most of Her First Year as a Marketing Major

Lanasia stands outside the Rohrer College of Business building.

Meet Lanasia Melvins, a first-year student in the Marketing program within the Rohrer College of Business. Lanasia is an on-campus resident from Camden County, NJ.  Could you share a few on-campus activities, clubs, sports or events that you’ve attended so far? What was your favorite, and why? I’ve attended Meet the Greeks, Rohrer Fest, and […]

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

An image of Congress Hall where Alivia interned.

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

Beyond the Classroom: Marketing Major Josh Echandia Talks Sales Internship with CobbleStone Software

Today we speak with Josh Echandia, a senior Marketing major from West Creek, NJ (Ocean County). Josh switched from an Education major to Marketing at the end of his sophomore year. Within the last semester, Josh worked as a Marketing Intern for CobbleStone Software, a contract management software company. He also works full-time as a sales representative for Best Buy. He discusses his decision to switch majors, his internship experience and how working in the field cultivated a love of marketing and sales. 

Why did you choose Rowan to study Marketing?  

I originally came to Rowan to be an Education major focusing on the Math Education route. That just ended up not working out for me because I did not really enjoy it. After about a year, I switched to Physical Education and then after another semester, I switched to Marketing. I had already been working at Best Buy for a couple years prior to going to Rowan, so I was already in the sales field a little bit; I thought marketing would be a good fit. I loved Rowan as a whole, so I didn’t really care what my major was. As long as I was still a student here, I knew I was going to be happy. 

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

After gaining some experience in the business field, I discovered that I really liked the sales aspect of things. Whether that is business-to-business or business-to-consumer sales, I would love to try at all. I’m really not set on one specific job title or position. 

Marketing is a big part of sales. Within the field, you must be able to advertise what you’re selling and target what market you’re striving for. That all plays a massive role in the sales world. I know that I want to incorporate what I’ve learned in marketing and couple it with sales.

Josh Echandia.
Josh Echandia

How did you seek out the internship opportunity for Cobblestone Software? 

I went to networking events at Rowan. They were so cool. I loved talking to all the different companies there and learning about the various opportunities you could have. The first internship that I actually applied for was CobbleStone Software. They stood out to me because they were in the technology field. So I decided to apply, and it worked out well.

What did you learn from interning at CobbleStone Software? Can you talk about the pros and cons for working hybrid?

I’ve been working full-time on top of being a student since I got into college, but going from regular retail work to an internship was a change of pace. Working for CobbleStone Software made me slow down and think about applying what I’ve learned in class to what I’m doing in a real-life professional setting.

Being in a hybrid setting helped because when I started the internship, I was in the office three days a week, and on two of those days, I had class right after work. So I felt like I was always running from work to class. Once I adjusted to the hybrid setting, it made my life much easier because I could work from home comfortably. I already had a desktop setup, so it just worked out perfectly.

After transitioning to a hybrid schedule, I was able to get to class on time, and I was able to eat in between. I was truly able to structure my day around my work and school obligations.

What was your role at this internship, and what did you do on a daily basis? 

As a sales and marketing intern, we were responsible for making pre-calls for our sales advisors. Essentially, we were calling to see if they were interested or open to the market for the software we provided, just contract management, sorting contracts and auto-billing contracts. We were trying to sell our service and our software to other companies.

It was very interesting. And there were a lot of companies that I never would’ve thought they were working with, like [a local grocery story chain], for example. So it was interesting to see how real-life applications work in these settings.

What were some of your biggest challenges that you faced as a Cobblestone Software?

CobbleStone Software was very helpful in the whole process of becoming an intern and going through my day-to-day. My biggest struggle was adjusting to an office setting rather than making in-person sales connections.

Because I’m very personable, I think one of my most significant assets includes communicating with people in person. So being over the phone was a little challenging to get used to. Beyond that, everything was easy to adapt to, and CobbleStone made it very easy to adjust. So I would say the biggest struggle for me was just the change of pace and change of setting.

What was your biggest takeaway from Cobblestone Software? What was the best thing you think you’ve learned that you will be able to utilize in your future endeavors?

This response is more general, but internships teach you what real-life business is about and whether you want to be in specific fields or not. Without being so broad, I realized that CobbleStone taught me about employee engagement and employee appreciation.

Our software is not an easy thing to learn. And it was tough for a lot of us when we first onboarded to pick it up. However, the leadership team and all the people above us made the transition much more manageable. And through that, they gave us a lot of employee appreciation and were extremely curious about taking feedback from us. They made it apparent that we were at the forefront of many of their decisions. It made me feel appreciated and heard.

Do you have any advice for sticking out during the application and interview process of applying for internships?

One thing that I never really paid attention to until I started my junior year was the resources that Rowan offers their students. Especially within the College of Business, there are so many resources for you to be successful, and the only way to get those resources to the full extent is to apply yourself to them. Make sure you attend networking events, even if it’s not a class requirement, because you may find your next potential boss. Networking is key.

You may find some of the best friends through these networking events, too. It is essential to take advantage of what the school is providing you. Not only is it making the most of your tuition cost, but it’s also making the most out of your experience. Being engaged with your professors and being involved with the clubs associated with your major are ways to make the most out of your college experience and prepare you for your future.

Josh smiles whiles walking down a stairwell inside Business Hall.

How has your experience working at Best Buy and being active at Rowan in various social and athletic clubs helped prepare you and develop your skills for your professional endeavors?

My experiences within Best Buy and the social and athletic clubs at Rowan all help me develop skills and qualities that will only benefit me in my professional life. For example, being the President of the Wrestling Club opened my eyes to being a leader in general. With Best Buy, I was in management; this gave me a little bit of retail management experience.

Being the president of a club kind of opens you up to many different things, like the structure of leadership, balancing tasks, and even time management. For example, I have to delegate to my e-board certain things that must be done within the club. Everything I have learned from my job at Best Buy and my experiences made available by Rowan can efficiently be utilized in my future.

Did you experience any unexpected parts associated with your major? 

So I started to piece together many connections between education and marketing. It was kind of weird because when I went into marketing, I went in with a sales-person mindset. And for me, education was just another form of selling; instead of selling products and services, it is like you are selling information.

I didn’t know how much depth and development there was in marketing — targeting different markets and being able to adapt to various market changes like that. So I never really thought about it. And that was not only interesting for me to see, it [showed] how I wanted to learn through marketing and what I could do with it afterward.

Josh sits holding two business textbooks and smiling inside Business Hall.

What was your favorite part of your major so far? 

Honestly, my favorite part was being able to learn and now utilize Canva. Canva is an application like an Instagram editor or a video editor, and it is pretty cool to make custom logos through. It’s pretty much a design portfolio that you can use online. And we were taught to use it for different projects and assignments and marketing principles, and it is a tool I have been using ever since I started learning about it. I utilize it for the Wrestling Club, my accounts and professionally. 

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major

Photos by: 
Ashley Craven, junior radio/TV/film major

How Rowan University’s Accelerated MBA/MSF Program Fits One Student’s Fast-Paced Life

MBA/MSF accelerated student Kristin Carlson works with another student inside Business Hall.

Rowan University’s Rohrer College of Business offers an MBA/MS in Finance accelerated program that grants two graduate degrees in less time at a lower cost. That pathway appealed to Kristin Carlson, whose time is limited with raising and homeschooling four children. It may also place her closer to her own long-term career goals. Read on […]

What Hispanic Heritage Month Means for Jeremy Arias

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was the transition like transferring into Rowan? 

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

Why did you choose to major in Finance? 

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

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

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

What have you enjoyed the most about Rowan so far? 

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

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

Could you tell us a bit more about your Fraternity? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremy is throwing peace signs and smiling at the camera.

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

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

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

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

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

Could you tell us a bit about your hispanic heritage?

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

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

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

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

What does being Hispanic mean to you? 

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

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

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

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

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

What are your favorite parts about your Hispanic heritage? 

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

How has your heritage influenced your identity as a person? 

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

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

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

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

    Meet Transfer Profs: 3 Marketing Majors from the Rohrer College of Business

    An aerial photo of Rowan's business building.

    Today we feature Marketing majors and transfer students Grace Massengale (she/her), Halle Lemanowicz (she/her), and Irany Cano from Gloucester County, Camden County, and Cumberland County respectively. The three tell us about their majors, why they’re excited to start classes at Rowan, and give advice to future transfer students. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with […]

    Rowan University Student Zachary Rouhas on the Joint Degree Program That Pairs Environmental Studies with an MBA

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

    Beyond the Classroom: Marketing Major, Consulting Firm Intern and Rowan Social Media Student Team Member Zara Capone

    Zara poses outside on campus.

    Today we speak to Zara Capone, a Marketing major from Flemington, NJ (Hunterdon County). Zara finds value in attaining hands-on experience as a Rowan social media team member and Slalom intern. In the following article, Zara shares experiences within her university studies, internships and advice for incoming marketing majors. 

    What is your major and what inspired you to pursue it?

    I am a marketing major. I chose a business major because there are many opportunities for full-time jobs after college and you can use the degree in so many different industries. I chose marketing, specifically, because I enjoy the creative aspect of it.

    What are your career goals?

    As of now, my career goal is to land a job out of college and to continue to build my skills in marketing. I don’t know exactly what industry I want to work in, but I always thought that working in the media and entertainment industry has always seemed exciting to me.

    Portrait of Zara outside.

    How do you think Rowan has prepared you for achieving these career goals?

    Rowan has prepared me well for my career goals. The Rohrer Center for Professional Development has a lot of resources that students can utilize to assist them through their job search such as resume reviews, career fairs, and mock interviews. Rowan also provides students the opportunity for on campus jobs in the field that they’re looking to get into, which is great. 

    Why did you choose to study at Rowan?

    I chose Rowan because I thought that they had a great business program and I really liked the campus. They also have a lot of opportunities for professional development.

    Are you involved in any clubs or organizations?

    Yes, I am in Alpha Sigma Alpha, a sorority.

    How did you get started on Rowan’s social media team? What are your responsibilities as an intern?

    I was hired to be on the social media team in June of 2021. I saw a post on the Rowan University Instagram page saying that they were looking for student workers to join the team, so I applied and got the position. My responsibilities include monitoring Rowan’s social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. During these shifts, I respond to mentions, comments, and messages. I also create weekly content for Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok.

    Are you currently involved in any summer internships? If so, what is it and what are your responsibilities?

    I am currently working for Slalom, which is a consulting company. I am working as a marketing intern. I work with the marketing team in the New York City office. Right now, I am developing a social media strategy for them and I’m also assisting in the preparation of partner events. The marketing team hosts a lot of events so I’m helping them create the materials that they need.

    Zara poses outside on campus.

    How are these experiences contributing to your development?

    I am gaining a lot of hands-on experience, which is great. Also, having these experiences have allowed me to see what aspects of marketing I’m strong in and enjoy. I am also meeting a lot of new people and building connections, which is really important.

    What do you believe is an important trait for those pursuing marketing? Do you have any advice for people who want to go into the field?

    Marketing can be broad since there are many different skills that go into marketing. Finding skills that you enjoy or are good at can help you tremendously when figuring out what type of jobs you want. Gaining as much experience as possible throughout college gives you the opportunity to do that. Another piece of advice is making connections and building a network. Having a network is extremely important for people trying to get into the field and can open so many doors for you. 

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

    Photos courtesy of:
    Zara Capone

    Beyond the Classroom: Business Double Major Bryan Emery Interns for L’Oréal

    Today we speak to Bryan Emery, a senior Marketing and Management double major from Hamilton, NJ (Mercer County). He recently spoke with Rowan Blog on his internship with the the Rohrer Center for Professional Development. This summer, Bryan is interning at L’Oréal’s Jersey City and New York City offices. Bryan shares his experiences marketing in the beauty industry.

    Can you give me an overview of your role?

    I’m interning at L’Oréal. I am a Marketing Operations Intern, and I have a focus on digital. I’m currently working on the It Cosmetics brand. I’m in the eye and brow division of the team, so I work on eyeshadow, and mascara is my big thing.

    Bryan smiles at his internship location.

    The internship is split into a big project and daily tasks. My big project is mainly optimizing the targeting strategy for one of the 2023 launches, which is very exciting, and then my day-to-day consists of mostly competitive analysis. I also did some holiday-related work with their product display pages and then just a lot of just helping here and there, with other small projects.

    My work is a lot of looking at data of what customers are saying, quantifying that, and then reporting that to top management. I never thought that I’d use Excel this much in my life. I’m happy that I took some classes that helped me with Excel.

    Bryan sits in the Business Hall lobby stairwell.

    The internship is on a hybrid platform. I’m required to be in the office for three days, and then I work from home for two days. IT Cosmetics has a satellite office in Jersey City, but our headquarters is in New York City. For all the intern-specific events, I have to go to the New York office, but I am mainly in Jersey city.

    How were you able to get this opportunity?

    I applied for the internship on their corporate website. From there was the first round in September, and the second round was in late September, and then I got my offer end of November. It was really quick, which was surprising, but I was also happy to have an offer so early. 

    How did Rowan help to prepare you for the internship application process?

    All the business events helped me learn to network within my cohort of student interns, but also with professionals. Specifically, at the Rohrer Center for Professional Development, the mock interviews and resume reviews have definitely helped me. Also, I don’t think I would have applied or been in the position to apply to this without the support of the faculty.

    Bryan works in Business Hall.

    Have any of your experiences at Rowan helped you so far in your internship?

    Yes. I work for Rowan’s Rohrer Center for Professional Development, which is at the Rohrer College of Business, and that has been dramatically beneficial. I think it’s helped with presenting myself, but I also did some analytic work for the events that we did. Having prior experience working with excel and just being in the business environment definitely helps with my transition. Specifically, using Microsoft Office in the position was helpful. As students, we use Google or Canvas, so having Microsoft Office definitely helps because I would not have even known how to open an email.

    As a marketing major, have any of your classroom experiences helped you in your role?

    I’m learning a lot hands-on, but I think some classes built the base knowledge that was needed for me to understand what is happening at my internship. I took a digital marketing class at Rowan. A lot of the assignments that we had in class, such as creating a fake product display page and writing the copy, are tasks I am working on for actual products at a real company. That definitely helped me tremendously, because when people would use certain references, I’d be like, “Oh, like, I know what that means.” I think my Foundations of Analytics course and other marketing courses have allowed me to know what key performance indicators (KPIs) to look for and how to test with them, whether it’s statistically, or just using Excel. I think they definitely helped form a baseline from which I can get more in-depth experience and knowledge with an internship.

    Bryan wears a branded L'Oreal t-shirt.

    What is one thing you’ve taken away from your internship so far?

    I have so many things I’ve taken away, but I think the biggest thing is adapting to new tasks and environments. You have to have some sort of agility when it comes to working in the business field, specifically in marketing. Everything changes so quickly. We students don’t really think of the environment and how, if one consumer stops doing X, Y and Z, how much influence that could have on the total market. I’m finding that it’s important to understand how small impacts can make a big change and how you have to react to them strategically.

    How is this internship helping to push you toward your future career goals?

    L’Oréal has an MT program, which is a management training program. Essentially, it’s an accelerated one-year duration, where I would transition from MT to assistant manager, depending on how that goes. My end goal is hopefully to get a full-time offer. Down the line, maybe a C-suite level position, Chief Marketing Officer, or maybe I’ll be CEO of my own marketing consulting firm, but I think I am going to stay in the beauty industry for a little longer. Time will tell.

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, senior business management major 
    Bryan Emery

    Woman in Business: Fey Talabi Reflects on Her First Year in the MBA Program

    Fey Talabi, a Rowan Global student from Baltimore, Maryland, shares how she manages her roles as a resident director and a student in the MBA program. 

    Fey’s journey at Rowan University began at her undergraduate institution. Her supervisor, a proud Rowan alumni, recommended that she go to graduate school and pursue her degree here.

    “I majored in Health Administration for my undergraduate degree and really enjoyed it. I knew I wanted to stay in healthcare, but I wanted to do so on the business side of things,” Fey says. “Rowan University’s program really stuck out to me because it is one of the only institutions that offer a concentration in Management. Now, I am pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management.” 

    Fey headshot
    Fey Talabi

    Wrapping up her first year in the program, Fey has enjoyed her experience in the MBA program thus far.

    “Graduate school has taught me some really valuable lessons. I feel like I am learning information that is practical and applicable to the workforce. In my Leadership Theory class, I am learning how to be an effective manager and how to rally employees toward a common goal. My Corporate Entrepreneurship class has given me the opportunity to format real business proposals. The program is very concentrated and focused, which I like.” 

    Along with academics, Fey is working as a resident director of Chestnut Hall.

    “I learned about the resident director position from my former supervisor as well. I interviewed for the position through MAPC, which is a conference for employers to interview potential employees for work opportunities. I ended up getting the position and began training in August,” she says.

    Fey and Chestnut hall RA staff
    Fey and her staff of resident assistants in Chestnut Hall

    Fey’s favorite part of the position is her staff of resident assistants.

    “This is my first time supervising a staff this large. I am taking management classes for my program, so it’s great to get to apply what I am learning in class to my assistantship. I really get to put my skills to work. Aside from my staff, Rowan University has a diverse culture and I have loved getting to interact with different members of the residential community,” Fey explains.

    Managing classes and a graduate assistantship is no easy task, but Fey makes it look that way.

    “It is all about time management. I am lucky because my job allows me to structure specific office hours, so I am able to base my schedule around that. I also have a supervisor that really values me as a person and student. She is adamant that I make time for schoolwork.” 

    Fey and Chestnut RA staff
    Fey and her staff of resident assistants posing on Bunce Green

    In the future, Fey hopes to work in the healthcare industry. “I would love to work within the pharmaceutical sector as a business manager. Financial management really interests me, and I am excited to use my skills to better the healthcare industry one day.”

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

    Photos courtesy of:
    Fey Talabi

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What made you decide to transfer to Rowan? 

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

    Annabella is leaning on the Business Hall sign and smiling.

    What’s been your experience like at Rowan?

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

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

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

    Annabella is turning her body towards the camera and smiling.

    What drew you to finance? 

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

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

    Why did you select your current internship? 

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

    Can you describe in detail what your internship entails? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Annabella has her head down and studiously writing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Story by:
    Lucas Taylor, graduate English education major 

    Photography by:
    Ashley Craven, sports communication and media major

    Rowan Innovation Venture Fund Winners, Alumni Mike Lombardo and Kayvon Jahanbakhsh Share Their Story

    Halfday Tonics product

    Rohrer College of Business graduates Mike Lombardo and Kayvon Jahanbakhsh turned their journey to better health into a lucrative iced tea business: Halfday Tonics, with the help of the Rowan Innovation Venture Fund

    Every great business starts with an idea, and Rowan University alumni Mike Lombardo and Kayvon Jahanbakhsh were inspired for their healthy iced tea early on.

    “Years ago I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis,” Kayvon says. “For those who don’t know, ulcerative colitis is a very debilitating digestive disease. I was training to be an Olympic swimmer, so this diagnosis really set back my progress. Part of dealing with that diagnosis was giving up a lot of sugary products that I really liked because sugar is not good for gut health. Mike was here at Rowan and embarking on his own health journey at the time as well. He was trying to lose weight and get in shape because, in college, it’s pretty easy to not be the healthiest. Essentially, we were both pushing each other to be more healthy. We used the idea of a healthy iced tea for a school project, so it all started from a health journey.” 

    Mike and Kayvon in Business Hall
    Rowan Innovation Venture Fund winners Mike Lombardo (left) and Kayvon Jahanbakhsh

    Co-founder Mike Lombardo says Halfday Tonics “is the iced tea revamp that we’ve all been waiting for. We make classic iced tea flavors with a fraction of the sugar, around 90% less than those classics that we all grew up with. Halfday Tonics also contains prebiotic fibers, which is good for gut health.” 

    That journey to a healthier lifestyle turned into something much bigger with help from investors. Kayvon talks about how the pair got introduced to the Rowan Innovation Venture Fund

    “When Mike and I first took our entrepreneurship class in 2018, we had Dr. Dominic, and he had told us about the Rowan Innovation Venture Fund, which helps fund students that have their own startup ideas.”

    Mike explained that when the time came, the duo was ready to show their stuff. “It took us months to prepare for the pitch deck for Halfday Tonics. It was a lot of going over the numbers, understanding what the market share was, and developing our financial model, which all took a long time. We wanted to make sure everything was buttoned up before presenting to the Rowan Innovation Venture Fund because it is a really seasoned program. We had already been pitching and fundraising with other investors, so we were able to jump in and were ready to go.” 

    Mike and Kayvon are posing confidently behind their product.

    Their hard work paid off and Halfday Tonics reaped the benefits. Kayvon explains the impact the Rowan Innovation Venture Fund had on their business.

    “We had raised 425,000 prior to the Rowan Innovation Venture Fund. Rowan came in at the end and gave us $75,000. This gave us a lot of validation within the investment community. It was nice to have an institution come into the round at such an early stage of the company and back us. That funding made us more legitimate to other investors in the community. The money itself helped us with stocking inventory and marketing materials.”

    Although the pair faced rejection along the way, they never gave up hope or let it deter them. Kayvon says, “You’d be amazed at the number of emails that we sent. At least 100, 200, 300 emails were sent, and a lot of the responses were no’s.”

    What helped Kayvon and Mike persevere through the rejection was using their connections. “There is a lot that can be done with a well-worded email or even a cold outreach on LinkedIn. Tapping into those connections is important because even if it doesn’t work out, you got more practice with pitching,” Mike says. 

    Mike and Kyvon with Halfday Tonics product
    Mike (left) and Kayvon with products from their Halfday Tonics line.

    Both Kayvon and Mike were successful in garnering the funds needed to finance their idea, but just as any journey, it was not without its disturbances. However, the pair was able to learn from these different business issues and experience what it’s like to start up their brand. When asked of the different ordeals that they faced, Kayvon recalled instances that challenged them, but ultimately prepared them for their future endeavors.

    Kayvon says, “Starting a business out of college, I think, is one of the most difficult things you could do. It works to your advantage because you have the naivety and you don’t necessarily perceive the risks as gravely as maybe someone that worked in the industry, but you don’t get the ability to understand the industry from a very fundamental level as if you worked at a beverage company before.”

    Even with their growing pains as a newly-started brand, both Kayvon and Mike did not let challenges cloud their vision. Instead, any hurdles provided the duo with some much-needed perspective in regards to how far they’ve come and what they can do to keep what they have going. On this self reflection, Mike believes that “the highs are high and the lows are low. That’s the truest thing that I ever heard. And it still holds true today.”

    Mike and Kayvon drinking Halfday Tonics product

    Looking ahead, the duo wants to see Halfday Tonics in all convenience stores near you.

    See our video with Mike and Kayvon here:

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    Story by:
    Loredonna Fiore, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, senior business management major

    Beyond the Classroom: Sarah Forsman, Achieving the Impossible

    Sarah smiles with green shrubs in the background.

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

    Why did you choose to study marketing and psychology?

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

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

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

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

    Sarah stands and smiles at her home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sarah sits and smiles at her home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sarah stands and smiles at her home.

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

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

    Who do you hope to reach with your blog?

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

    What are your goals for the blog and your future?

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

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

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

    Meet #Rowan2026: Incoming Rohrer College of Business Students

    Picture of Business Hall.

    Today we feature incoming first year students Hunter Sharp (she/her) and Jake Larocca. Hunter is from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County) and will be commuting to campus as an Accounting major in the Rohrer College of Business. Jake is from Brick, NJ (Ocean County) and will be living on campus as an aspiring business major. […]

    Men’s Track and Field Student-Athletes on Their Winning 4×400 Relay Season

    Athletes celebrate win.

    Today we are featuring Jah’mere Beasley, Nana Agyemang, and Amara Conte, three of the four Men’s Track and Field members who secured the national championship title in the 4×400 relay in their indoor season [editor’s note: the team would later finish second in the outdoor national finals]. 

    Jah’mere is a junior Sports Communication and Media major from Camden, NJ (Camden County) and ran third leg for the 4×400 relay. Nana is a sophomore Exercise Science major from Parsippany, NJ (Morris County) and ran second leg for the 4×400 relay. Amara is a sophomore Accounting major from Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County) and ran anchor for the 4×400 relay. All three share their stories on leadership, camaraderie, and express how competing in Men’s Track and Field National Championship has shaped their university experience. 

    How has your team’s camaraderie propelled you to success? What makes your team different from those around you?

    Amara Conte: Our team camaraderie is what makes us a great team, our bond and trust in each other’s ability to perform when it matters most helped us to focus on our own individual part of the relay and perform to the best of our abilities. What makes our team different from other teams is that we are more than a team, we are family, we are brothers, and we always have each other back. Knowing this makes up for our individual flaws and makes us a strong team. 

    Nana Agyemang: The team is like one big family. We go through so much pain and suffering at practice that it only makes us stronger and makes us care for each other even more. We keep each other accountable whether that’s making sure we are on time for practice or hitting the correct times for practice we just want to see everyone maximize their full potential. I think the difference from our team to other teams is that we’re really hungry and never satisfied. We always know we can improve on something so when we do good we smile, and celebrate it for the weekend but on Monday it’s back to work like we didn’t so we can always get better and moving forward. 

    Going into the race, what emotions were you feeling? Were you guys considered to be an underdog or favored within the 4×400 relay at the meet?

    Jah’mere Beasley: Going into the race everyone was laser focused and locked in. I had just taken third place in the 200m, so I brought that energy over to the other guys. We had been ranked #1 in the country all year, and we knew we had the chance to win it all. I would say we were the favorite to win, but there were a lot of other great teams who had solid chances as well.  

    Nana Agyemang: I was excited going into the race because of what was at stake. We knew what we had to do and how we were the team to beat from being the National Champion in outdoor so I was thrilled and excited to just get the race underway. We had the #1 time going into nationals but going into finals we were ranked third so most teams probably thought they had us beat because we were running three new people who weren’t on the outdoor national championship (me, Marquise and Jah’mere). In my head it felt like we were the underdogs, but we also knew that we were still the team to beat so we had to go out there and rise up to the occasion. 

    Teammates hand off the baton.

    What are your team’s biggest strengths? What are your team’s biggest weakness?

    Amara Conte: Our team’s biggest strength is the bond we have and our undying love for the sport of Track & Field. Our greatest weakness is that since we have such a diverse group when it comes to individual events, it becomes hard for us to put our all on the relay event, but we somehow make it work and compete at our best when we matter.

    How do you prepare for an event like this before race day? 

    Jah’mere Beasley: The day before a big race like this I try to stay off my feet as much as possible. I always make sure I eat a great dinner and snack the evening before. I take an ice bath and hot shower to help my legs feel rested. I roll out and stretch really well before bed. I always try to make sure I get 7-8 hours of sleep before a big race day. 

    Nana Agyemang: How I prepare for meet day is I usually wake up and instantly play some gospel music because I am a big believer in God so when I wake up I just wanna praise him. Then I go head and brush my teeth and shower and I usually have talks with myself to get my mind right because you are only as strong as your mind. Then I made my breakfast which is usually brown sugar oatmeal, eggs, a water and a granola bar. When I hop on the bus I do a little meditation to get my full body right. Then as we head on the bus approaching to the meet I’ll switch my playlist, attitude, and focus to a more serious tone and lock in on the task ahead.

    Beasley runs one leg of the race.

    How do you prepare for an event like this on race day? Do you have any race day traditions, meals, or specific actions you swear by? 

    Amara Conte: Once we get to the track on the day of the meet, I do my usual warm up while listening to my pre-made playlist that I have prepared just for track meet to help me stay focused and locked in. I don’t eat much on meet days because I run fast on an empty stomach. 

    How does winning the [indoor] national championship for the 4×400 meter relay shape your experience at Rowan? How are your track experience in general shaped your college experience? 

    Amara Conte: Winning the national championship in 4×400 meter twice now has made my experience at Rowan more pleasurable and has enhanced my experience in ways that I could only imagine. My track experience in general has taught me many life skills, for example: time management, networking, and discipline. Due to my experience as a track athlete, I’ve grown in more ways than I can possibly fathom and with more years these skills and experience will only sharpen and improve before I enter the real world. 

    Jah’mere Beasley: Winning the national championship in the 4×400 has made my time here that much more special. This is one of the closest teams I have ever been a part of, and winning that national title brought everyone closer together. Having a brotherhood like this is unmatched. I always cherish the moments I have on the track and that national title is something I will always remember. Those moments always motivate me to get faster and better than I was before. My track experience has shaped my college experience in a big way. Track has helped me make lots of new friends here at Rowan. Most of the the friends I have made are people that play other sports. Track is helping me stay focused in the classroom as well. It motivates to keep my grades up and give max effort with each assignment. 

    Nana Agyemang: It’s been cool seeing my friends repost it, having teachers come up and congratulate me has been a great feeling. It’s just made my Rowan experience better and more enjoyable. Track had taught me valuable lessons like when things don’t go your way you can either come back the next day and try again or quit. It has also taught me that life will get hard, like workouts, but if you keep going there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It might look dark while you’re going through but sooner or later you will reach the end of the tunnel and be happy you did. We have had plenty of workouts that we feel like we aren’t gonna make it but we just gotta keep going and you gotta tell yourself your stronger than that you think.  

    Conte runs one leg of the race.

    Do you participate in both winter and spring track? What are the biggest disparities between the two? What the biggest challenges between the two different seasons? 

    Jah’mere Beasley: I run both winter and spring track. The biggest disparity between the two are the size of the tracks. The winter track is 200m and the spring track is 400m. During the 4×400 in winter track, each person runs two laps, as compared to spring track where each person runs 1 lap. Events like the 4×100 and javelin are only during spring track. The biggest challenge is running on the indoor tracks. The lanes are smaller and the turns are tighter. It take a lot of getting used to during the season. 

    Read our earlier interview with Jah’mere here.

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major 

    Photos courtesy of: 
    David Dermer/Rowan Athletics

    International Student Dalsha Douglas on Her Rowan University Experience

    Dalsha looks off to the side outside Business Hall.

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

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

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

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

    Dalsha at engineering pond.

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

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

    Dalsha outside of Business Hall.

    Dalsha has also created valuable relationships with her professors.

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

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

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

    Senior Reflects: Finance Major, Soccer Team Captain Bethany Sansone on Leadership and Mentorship

    Today we speak with Bethany Sansone, who recently graduated with a degree in Finance and a minor in Marketing. Bethany is from Roxbury, NJ (Morris County) and is involved around campus as a member of the Women in Business Club, member of Rowan Athletics’ OWL (Outstanding Women Leaders) Group and as captain of the Women’s Soccer Team. She discusses her experiences within her major, her career aspirations, and she shares details on the job she will be starting this fall.

    Why did you choose to study Finance? Have you always wanted to pursue a career in this field?

    The reason why I choose to major in Finance is because it’s challenging, fast-paced and exciting! I’ve always loved and excelled in working with numbers and math in general. Finance seemed to be the perfect fit for me. My parents are both in the accounting and finance field, so from high school I’ve always known I would be going into the business field in some way. 

    Why did you choose Rowan to study Finance? How did Rowan stand out to you in your college search?

    I ultimately chose to go to Rowan to play soccer. Luckily enough, Rowan happened to be a great school for business and my academic aspirations! Rowan’s campus and atmosphere also stood out to me compared to all of my other college visits. 

    Who was your favorite professor and what class did you take with them?

    Professor Singkamanand is my favorite professor at Rowan. I [took] Advanced Excel Applications with him. He truly cares about all of his students and wants them all to do well in school and at their workplace upon graduation.  

    Bethany Sansone after graduation.
    Bethany Sansone after graduation.

    What advice would you give to incoming first year students and transfers about making the most out of their college experience? 

    Advice I would give to incoming first year students is to go out and experience everything! Rowan has so many different events where you can truly discover what you’re passionate about. Not only that, but at these events you can meet new people, form new connections, and explore different things about yourself. Overall, Rowan offers so many clubs and activities that you should take advantage of and can lead to a whirlwind of opportunities — whether it’s a job connection, a new passion, new friendships, etc. 

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

    I’ve had many great experiences in all of my classes at Rowan, but a time that truly took a turn for the better was when we were able to go back to in-person class opposed to learning remotely over the computer. All of my professors were amazing during the pandemic, but nothing compares to being able to learn face-to-face in a classroom with your peers. 

    What are your career aspirations? How do you think Rowan has prepared you for your future endeavors?

    I aspire to become a CFA or CPA in the future. One way Rowan really prepared me for my future is with the Finance Mentorship program it provided. I am so thankful for this program, as I believe it was the best thing to help prepare me for my career post graduation. My mentor helped guide me through everything I needed; through resume help, interview prep, to choosing what industry in finance fit me the best. 

    Can you talk about being a female in a predominantly male field of study? What are some challenges you have faced? What do you believe your biggest strengths are as a student within this major?

    Being a female student in a predominantly male field of study definitely had its challenges. First and foremost, I questioned whether this field was a fit for me personally and professionally and how I was viewed by my peers especially when working in group projects since I was typically the only female in the group. This definitely made me introverted and shy at first.

    As I grew as a person over the years, I became more comfortable and confident in myself. One of my biggest strengths as a student is that I am always on top of my work; I make sure the quality of my work is high and I make sure that I have everything done before the deadline. 

    Bethany Sansone pictured with her cap and gown.

    Why is finance the best suitable major for the goals you would like to accomplish in your future?

    Finance is the best suitable role for me because I enjoy problem solving in creative ways. My goal is to help the company that I work with in planning how to grow their revenue and maintain profitability. 

    Can you talk about the position you have accepted post graduation? Can you talk about the process of applying and then accepting this position?

    I accepted a full-time offer as an Analyst with WithumSmith+Brown upon graduation. My process for applying to this position started with a referral from a friend; from there I attended the career fairs that the firm was going to, and had multiple interviews with different people from the firm to then be able to accept the position.

    Do you have advice or tips, in particular for females, that are trying to stand out within the job search and interview process? What do you believe were your biggest attributes to obtaining this position?

    My advice for the interview process is to be yourself and don’t let your nerves get to you! Along with that, I suggest that you do a good amount of research on the company and to prepare questions to ask at the end of it. Additionally, make sure to mention your strengths and share previous professional experiences like internships. For me, I think I stood out in the interview process by highlighting my leadership roles in college, like being captain of the Rowan Women’s Soccer Team, along with sharing the clubs I am a part of. I also think my previous internship experience helped showcase my skills and knowledge. 

    Is there anything else you would like to look back on and reflect on regarding your time at Rowan?

    I am so thankful to have had a great college experience at Rowan. I gained so much knowledge, met so many great people, and explored many different interests. Rowan gave me all the tools and resources to be successful while in school and preparing for the real world post graduation. 

    Bethany Sansone posing on Bunce Hall steps after graduation.

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    Story by: 
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos courtesy of:
    Bethany Sansone

    Beyond the Classroom: Bryan Emery, Intern for Rowan’s Rohrer Center for Professional Development

    Bryan poses in front of Business Hall.

    Today we speak to Bryan Emery, a junior Marketing and Management double major from Hamilton, NJ (Mercer County). Bryan is an Event Management and Marketing Intern with Rowan’s Rohrer Center for Professional Development. Read on as he tells us about his majors and what he’s learning from his internship experience. Why did you decide to […]

    Beyond the Classroom: How Dawn Lombardi Gave a Senior Cat a Forever Home

    Close up shot of Reginald the cat wearing a bowtie.

    Dawn Lombardi, a double major in Nutrition and Business Management, shares her experience of working with Rowan’s Office of Accessibility Services to give her new cat his forever home. 

    Dawn was juggling her responsibilities as a resident assistant and student all by herself. This year, she decided she was ready for a companion that she could take care of. “I felt like I had a lot of love to give and wanted to direct my energy into something good,” she says. “That’s why I adopted Reggie.”

    Dawn and cat
    Dawn with Reginald

    Reginald, Dawn’s cat, is a 12-year-old senior adoptee from Homeward Bound Animal shelter.

    “I wanted to adopt a senior cat because they are often overlooked by other families,” Dawn explains. “Usually, people who adopt want a young animal, so senior pets have trouble finding their forever home. I wanted an older cat so I could make its older years the best it’s ever had.” 

    Before adopting Reginald, Dawn had to go through a thorough ESA (emotional support animal) approval process.

    “I looked up the Rowan ESA policy, saw that I qualified, filled out the necessary paperwork, and turned it into the Academic Success Center [now called the Office of Accessibility Services]. The people were very helpful. I worked closely with [staff members] during my process, and [they were] awesome.” 

    John Woodruff, director of the Office of Accessibility Services, talks about this process in a bit more detail.

    “There is an online registration form on our website that students must complete. They are then responsible for working with their healthcare provider to fill out a three-page application form to request an accommodation for an ESA. A dog, cat, lizard, or rabbit are all animals that can be an ESA. After the application is complete, our office shares a link with the student that connects them to a portal where they can upload any documentation necessary (a formal diagnosis, an emergency contact for the desired animal, the breed/name of the animal, etc.),” he says. 

    Now that he is approved, Reginald is living lavishly in Dawn’s Rowan Boulevard Apartment. “I think the Rowan Boulevard Apartments are really suitable for an ESA. My apartment is a great size and has multiple rooms that he can walk around in.”

    Reggie- Dawn's cat

    Aside from being adorable, Reginald has helped Dawn become a better student. “Reggie wakes me up for breakfast in the morning, so it helps me to get out of bed and get my day started nice and early. With him, I have a reason to get up and be productive,” she says.

    Reginald has helped Dawn in more ways than one.

    “When I feel overwhelmed with school or anything really, he comes and sits next to me. Just having him there gives me so much comfort. I joke and say that he is an ESA to everyone, too. My friends or residents that come and pay him a visit love him. He makes everyone’s day better.” 

    Reginald relaxes at his new home.

    “I am really grateful Rowan gives us the option to have an ESA. It makes me feel very supported and valued as a student who is juggling a lot.”

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

    Photos courtesy of:
    Dawn Lombardi 

    The Perspective and Path of International Student, Sarah Atai

    Sarah is smiling at the camera while being outside.

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

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

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

    Sarah is sitting down and smiling directly at the camera.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What is your fondest memory here at Rowan?

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

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

    Sarah is standing behind a wall with an intricate design.

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

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

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

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    Story by:
    Lucas Taylor, English education major

    Photography by:
    Valentina Giannattasio, dance and marketing double major 

    Amelia Gonzalez: Member of the New Jersey Army National Guard, MBA Student and Mother

    Today we feature Amelia Gonzalez of Cumberland County, a Rowan Global student in the MBA program. Amelia works as a Recruiting and Retention noncommissioned officer (NCO) for the New Jersey Army National Guard. She shares how she and her husband James, who also works for the New Jersey Army National Guard, got involved with the military. 

    Amelia Gonzalez is not afraid of the hard work or challenge that comes with being a non-traditional student. 

    Within her professional life, Amelia is currently in the military as a recruiter for the New Jersey Army National Guard (NJARNG). Amelia expressed that even though she always wanted to pursue her graduate degree, being in the military made the decision to pursue her master’s degree less financially stressful. The military provides Amelia with the opportunity to obtain her MBA while being able to raise her family of six with her husband. 

    Amelia Gonzalez outside of Rohrer College of Business.
    Amelia Gonzalez outside of Business Hall

    Amelia earned her undergraduate degree from Hofstra University in 2007 and married her husband, James, in 2012. At the time, Amelia worked as a wedding coordinator at a local hotel, while her husband was a general manager at a restaurant (both being private, family-owned businesses). The cost of healthcare while working for a smaller business at the time compelled Amelia and her husband to look into other career paths. 

    After researching different options that would be best suitable for their family, of four at the time, Amelia and James came across the New Jersey Army National Guard. They realized the NJARNG could provide them with great financial relief. This is when Amelia and James first decided to become part-time soldiers and began their military careers. 

    They were part-time soldiers for the first 3-4 years of their military careers. While being members of the military, they were still working in the hospitality industry. When they decided that they wanted to expand their family and continue to have more children, Amelia started to rethink her professional career path. After having her third child, Owen, she resigned from her position. During this time, she ended up being a substitute teacher to figure out what she truly wanted to explore professionally.

    Amelia expressed, “I was in between deciding what I wanted to do, and this full-time opportunity came to my attention [by recommendation] to work at the National Guard at our headquarters with our Education Services Office, and I took it. This is where I first started my full-time career with the National Guard.” Amelia shared that this opportunity was one that just seemed to fall in her lap at the right time. It came with so many benefits that not only supported her personal life, but her aspirations for her academic career as well.

    Amelia Gonzalez in her military attire outside of Rohrer College of Business.
    Amelia Gonzalez in her military attire

    Amelia’s current title is Recruiting and Retention NCO [noncommissioned officer]. She works out of Cumberland County, NJ where she holds several responsibilities. Amelia enlists new soldiers into the New Jersey Army National Guard, oversees the process of enlisting them, and gets them ready to go to training. 

    Earlier this year, Amelia began a new position as a Marketing NCO, working within the Recruiting and Retention headquarters.

    While working in the NJ Army National Guard, Amelia is also pursuing an MBA and is on track to graduate in Spring 2023.

    She shares how her career in the military has supported her academic endeavors and aspirations: “By having a career in the military, I am granted with a full college tuition waiver and a stipend, which helps pay for books and other college necessities. I always knew I wanted to get my MBA, so it’s amazing I can focus on school and class and never have to worry about a financial hardship.”

    Once Amelia earns her MBA, she aspires to stay in higher education, launching a new career as a college professor. However, she still plans to be involved with the military as a volunteer with The American Legion, a nonprofit for U.S. war veterans.

    “The military has done nothing but help me, so I will definitely always work for them or give back in some way,” she says.

    Amelia Gonzalez smiling outside of Rohrer College of Business.

    Amelia now has a family of six shared with her husband, James, who also works for the New Jersey Army National Guard. She explains: “Now, with my husband and I both having careers in the military, our life is so much better. We have dinner every night as a family, we have good quality jobs, and we simply have a quality of life that we did not think we would have ever had in the other industry that we were in.” The main reason why they first looked into the military was health insurance, but after many years of working within the military, it is easy to say that the opportunities and benefits that this career path has provided Amelia and her family is way more than assistance on just that regard. 

    She has learned to balance her commitments to the military, academics and her professional life by time management. Navigating these different roles is definitely not easy; however, she gets by with the help of her husband and her family’s support. With the help of a daily calendar, Amelia organizes her life down to the hour, constantly making sure she is managing her time efficiently — work, school, football practice with the kids.

    When times get tough, Amelia thinks of wise words from her mother: “Dishes will always be dirty and laundry will never be done, but your family has to come first. Prioritize your family over all of the work.”

    Whether Amelia is focusing her efforts on her professional career within the NJARNG, her academic career by obtaining her MBA, or cleaning up after her four boys at home with her husband, she chooses to appreciate the little things in life and always puts her family first.

    Amelia Gonzalez sitting outside of Rohrer College of Business.

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

    Related posts:

    Air Force Veteran, Strategic Communication M.A. Student Alex Walpole on His Road to Rowan

    Veteran Transfer Student Asks: Am I Too Old?

    Woman in Business: Fey Talabi Reflects on Her First Year in the MBA Program

    My Most Interesting Class: United States History to 1865

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

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

    Sana Farhat Revives the Muslim Student Association

    Sana Farhat, a senior Supply Chain and Logistics major with a pre-med minor, shares how she revived the Muslim Student Association in her role as president. 

    When Sana Farhat got to campus her first year, she noticed there was something missing. She wanted to make friends who shared her religious beliefs and create a community surrounding the religion of Islam. After noticing that the Muslim Student Association was not active, she decided to change that. 

    Sana poses outside Business Hall.
    Sana Farhat

    Sana went to work by gathering students to participate in the club and attend events.

    “I wanted to make religion fun, interesting, and create a friendly environment for my peers to practice. To do that, I started hosting both religious and social events for the club. After hosting some events and getting the club up and running, we now have about 80 members in the club and get 35-40 people to attend our events,” she explains.

    Sana and members of the Muslim Student Association.

    But that’s not all. Sana noticed another area of growth for the Muslim Student Association.

    “The prayer room we had at first was very small. Only four people were allowed in at a time. I wanted to secure a big enough space for people to be comfortable to come and pray. I worked with the SJICR [Rowan’s Social Justice, Inclusion and Conflict Resolution office] to secure a bigger room in Savitz Hall. That was one of my biggest accomplishments as president,” Sana says.

    With more room to pray and practice, Sana has been able to organize some great events for the organization.

    “We celebrate Ramadan, which is a month where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan is about spiritual growth and feeling blessed for what you have. To celebrate, we break our fast together by sharing a meal.” 

    Members of the Muslim Student Association.

    Sana is proud of how the club has grown these past few years. “By the end of their college career, I want the members of the club to look to back and be grateful they had a space to practice their religion and make friends.”

    See our 2021 video with Sana and the Muslim Student Association here: 

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

    Photos provided by:
    Sana Farhat

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

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

    #PROFspective: A Support for Students, Paige Bathurst

    Paige sits on Bunce Hall steps.

    Today we feature Paige Bathurst, who has a passion for leadership and helping people. Paige is a double major in both Supply Chain and Logistics from the Rohrer College of Business and Leadership and Social Innovation in the College of Education with a minor in Management Information Systems. She is a sophomore from Mantua, NJ […]

    Calysta Laurente’s European Study Abroad Experience

    Today we speak with Calysta Laurente, a junior Management and Marketing major who is also minoring in International Studies. Calysta took the fall 2021 semester abroad to Europe. She discusses her experiences abroad and reflects upon her time studying in France and visiting different countries.

    What made you decide to study abroad? Was it always your intention to study abroad?

    Studying abroad was something that I knew I wanted to do even before I chose Rowan as my university. I love to travel and it is something I hope to continue to do for a very long time. I grew up in a family that also loves to travel, always going on summer vacations and long roadtrips. Growing up traveling to different places and learning about different cultures was always something that I loved to do.

    Although I was a little indecisive of where I wanted to go because I had so many great options, I chose Paris, France. This is because I knew I wanted to be in Europe and I also have close family that live in Paris. This way, I was more comfortable going abroad knowing that I had family close by which I was especially thankful for when it came to the transition from America to France. 

    Picture of Calysta in front of the Eiffel Tower at night.
    Calysta in front of the Eiffel Tower at night.

    What program are you a part of: provider programs, exchange programs or faculty-led programs? 

    The program that I chose through Rowan is the American Institute of Foreign Studies (AIFS), an exchange student program. My study abroad advisor actually helped me choose my program since Rowan offers so many. She suggested AIFS because she had a really good experience abroad with the program when she had gone. 

    Calysta (left) with friend (Naomi) swimming during a boat tour from the Amalfi Coast to Capri in southern Italy.
    Calysta (left) with friend (Naomi) swimming during a boat tour from the Amalfi coast to Capri in southern Italy.

    How has studying abroad been beneficial to you and the major you are studying? 

    One of the factors that I was worried about when choosing to study abroad was if I was still going to graduate on time. Thankfully, through AIFS I had gotten to choose the university I wanted to apply to when coming to France.

    This fall I attended The American Business School of Paris. This is an international university located right in the heart of Paris. Choosing this school was very beneficial for me because I was able to take all the business courses I needed to stay on track to graduate. Also, all of my classes were in English, so there was no language barrier. Lastly, because it is an international university, most students were exchange students for the semester and came from all over the world which made the social aspect really fun because I had the chance to meet so many great people. 

    Can you talk about the different places you have visited while being abroad? Have you stayed in France the entire time or have you traveled elsewhere?

    While living in Europe it was fairly easy to travel to different countries. I was lucky enough to have traveled to Switzerland, Italy, England, Portugal and the Netherlands. I have also traveled to other cities within France. Thankfully, it was easy to travel within Europe; but unfortunately with Covid, the restrictions were different in each country.

    Planning a trip, I had to go through researching the different restriction rules for that specific country beforehand. But going through that process was always worth it for the visit. Each country I was able to see I loved. Getting to learn about the culture in each country was an unforgettable experience for me. 

    A picture of Calysta (left) with friend (Nadia) in front of Musée à Versailles in France.
    Calysta (left) with friend (Nadia) in front of Musée à Versailles in France.

    What has been your favorite part of studying abroad? 

    I love everything about what I had gotten to experience studying abroad. But what I loved the most about traveling is definitely the people I have met. I am so thankful that with my housing situation I was able to live with two other American students that I had gotten so close with in such a short period of time. Through the AIFS program, I was able to be a part of a close knit group of students from all over the U.S. whom I am lucky enough to call some of my best friends.

    Going to the American Business School, I had the opportunity to meet students from all over the world, which was really fascinating to me. Even just the little conversations I had with people during class, hostel stays in different countries, and walking down the streets of France had made such a big impact on my experience abroad.

    I am just so grateful to be able to say that I have friends who live in so many different countries around the world. 

    Was it hard to adjust to being abroad? Was it difficult to be in a different country where a different language was spoken? 

    Personally, it is not very often when I get homesick. At home, I live on campus and during the summers I work alot down the shore, not seeing my family too often. One of the biggest adjustments was living in my homestay. It was really nerve-racking not only knowing that I was moving  into someone else’s home, but also not knowing my roommates beforehand.

    I was completely blind about my living situation until that first day I arrived in France. My homestay family was an older French couple who spoke almost no English so it was very difficult to communicate with them most of the time. I had come to France knowing no French at all and not even having the comfort of your native language was hard to adjust to at first. Although, I was able to get through it. Even though it was hard to communicate with my homestay family, I always did my best. I have been taking a French course as well as studying the language on my own time and those little conversations I had shared with them and I know made them happy. 

    Picture Calysta took of the Louvre Museum.
    A photo by Calysta of the Louvre Museum in Paris.

    Can you talk about where you stayed while abroad and take us through a typical day in your life abroad?

    While abroad, I stayed with a host family – an older French couple with two other roommates who were also 20-year-old American girls (one from South Carolina and the other from Texas). My typical school day started with my first class at 8:30 a.m. Although I either had one or two classes a day, the school day was fairly long because the classes were three hours long. I would wake up around 7 a.m. to get ready for class and give myself time to get to the Metro because public transportation is the most convenient way to get around Paris.

    In between classes depending on how long my break was that day, I would grab food with friends (or alone), trying different cafes and different food places where I can get a quick meal for (hopefully) a reasonable price. I also enjoyed cafes to just socialize with friends or get work done. After my school day, I would take the Metro back home and if I was not having dinner with my host family, or going out with friends, I would be cooking my own meal at home.

    What advice would you give to students preparing to go abroad? Is there anything you wish you knew before you left? 

    The best advice I would give students who are preparing to go abroad would be to step out of your comfort zone and to say yes to doing things you may not be so comfortable with. Obviously, don’t say yes to things you absolutely don’t want to do. But try being social and participate in as much as possible because you are only going to get what you put into the experience abroad.

    Be the first person to start a conversation with someone you may not know, ask questions, try new food, visit as many places as you can — because the time you have abroad goes by so so fast. You are there to complete your courses, but a big part of the education abroad is being independent and figuring things out on your own.

    Something that I wish I knew before I left was how to pack. There were so many times where I felt that I didn’t have the right clothing for certain situations. Make sure to do research on what the weather will be like for the time you are abroad and how the people who live there may dress. I definitely under-packed for my trip. 

    Picture Calysta took of people sitting outside of a Cafe facing the Seine, a 777-kilometre-long river that flows through northern France.
    A photo by Calysta took of a cafe facing the Seine.

    How has studying abroad impacted your educational experience? What has the experience taught you that you may not have been able to learn from staying at Rowan University in the states? 

    I learned so much while living abroad. It was such a great learning experience for not only my field of study, but I was also able to learn so much about myself as well. I was able to learn so much about different cultures and what life is like for those who live in different countries. I felt so connected with so many people I met and it is crazy to think that you live a similar life to someone who lives on the other side of the world. I learned what it really means to be American, and through conversations with others learned their point of view of America which was very interesting. Everything that I have learned about different cultures, religions, and the history of our country and the world, really came to life when I was abroad which was such a surreal experience for me. 

    I always considered myself to be very independent but living on my own in a foreign country, knowing no one, not even the language was such a drastic change for me and there were times where I really had to depend on myself. At Rowan I am constantly surrounded by so many people. Going from living in a house off campus with so many of my closest friends, and my campus being such a short drive away from home — moving to France was quite the change. These are the kinds of things I may not have been able to learn from staying at Rowan. 

    What is your overall impression on this experience? What was the most challenging part of being abroad? What was the most rewarding part? Any other emotions?

    My overall experience of choosing to go abroad was one that I will cherish forever. I am so thankful for my family encouraging me to go to France, Rowan for helping me with the process, and AIFS for making me feel so comfortable abroad.

    Personally, the most challenging part going abroad for me was physically leaving to go to France. I had such a good summer with my family and friends, and by the time the fall semester came around and it was almost time for me to leave, I was having many second thoughts about my decision to leave for the semester. I really enjoy Rowan and watching all my best friends get ready for the semester made me scared that I would miss out. There were definitely hard days abroad where I had felt alone and missed friends and family but that was inevitable. 

    The most rewarding part about being abroad was the fact that I made the decision to come to France alone. Not knowing anyone coming abroad had really forced me to step out of my comfort zone and really get to know myself and those who I had met. I’m lucky enough that I was even getting this experience with the pandemic. It’s rewarding knowing that I am coming back to the U.S. open minded, with a new view on life, and have learned so much about our world. 

    Calysta (left) with friend (Naomi) during a tour of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii in Campania, Italy.
    Calysta (left) with friend (Naomi) during a tour of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii in Campania, Italy.

    What were some culture shocks you experienced while being a student abroad?

    There were many culture shocks I was unprepared for when I came abroad. Most of it had to do with the eating culture in France. To start, the portion sizes are way smaller in France than in America. My eating habits definitely changed abroad — I had found myself eating little portions throughout the day rather than huge meals. Another culture shock having to do with food is the eating times. I learned that in most parts of Europe, restaurants will tend to close during the day, around 3-7 p.m. and then re-open up for dinner, around 8 p.m (everything closed on Sundays). This is because the French people tend to follow a set schedule for when it is time for lunch/dinner. This was difficult at times for my friends and I, especially after long hours of class and found almost nothing to be open. There are other culture shocks I have experienced, but situations with food are what I found to be some of the biggest transitions, especially coming from America. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add or discuss for the article?

    If you have the chance to go abroad for a semester, do it!!!! It seriously changed my life!! Especially with the effect Covid had on my mental health, I realized how much I needed these past 3 ½ months. Going abroad completely alone was one of the bravest things I have ever done and the fear of traveling alone shouldn’t be a reason for a person not to go. I am so thankful for Rowan’s Study Abroad department, AIFS, my supportive family and friends, all of the beautiful places I had experienced, and the amazing people I had met throughout my journey. 

    Calysta in front of the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben in London, England.
    Calysta in front of the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben in London, England.

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    Story by: 
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos provided by:
    Calysta Laurente

    Header Photo courtesy of:
    Pexels

    Related posts:

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

    We’re Not in Glassboro Anymore: Nadine El Maalem Shares Her Study Abroad Experience in Morocco

    Rowan Abroad: Rana Sarwatejas Shares His Experience Studying in Great Britain!

    My First Semester As An International Student

    Valentina poses on the #RowanProud chair near Bunce Hall.

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

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

    Valentina poses in front of the Prof statue.

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

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

    Valentina poses in front of Bunce Hall.

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

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

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

    The Rowan Blog Team’s Favorite Posts of 2021

    Drone shot over Wackar Stadium at sunset.

    This year, Rowan Blog published more than 500 posts spotlighting the people and places that make Rowan University our home away from home. Here, members of our team revisit a few of these stories and select those that stayed with us as we bid farewell to 2021. 

    Jars of Beekeeping Club honey packaged for sale.

    Rowan Beekeeping Club Launches: A Q & A with President Michael Hoban

    Read the full story here

    “I loved learning about the Beekeeping Club by Michael. He was so passionate about this club and saving the bees. He informed me on so much information about bee pollination and extracting the honey. I was never educated on this information prior to interviewing him.” – Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major


    Nicole smiles in the fiction stacks of Rowan Barnes and Noble.

    Finding My Path and Passion with an English Degree

    Read the full story here

    “I believe [Nicole] shows that although she was not sure about what to do with her major at first, she ended up finding a job she loves and enjoys. I personally love this quote: ‘Here was a career path that let me balance my desire to help others with the analytical skills I’d developed as an English major.’” – Valentina Giannattasio, first year dance and marketing double major


    Ayanna smiles at the New York City Pride Parade.

    Ayanna Johnson Reflects on New York City Pride Parade

    Read the full story here

    “I love Ayanna — amazing personality, very vocal!” – Nene Diallo, senior public relations major


    One of the pieces of artwork sold by Taylor at the Philadelphia Art Show.

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

    Read the full story here

    “I thought this piece was so interesting. I loved learning about these two artists on the rise and the differences they hold while creating their pieces. It was interesting to see the art they produced and how they use different mediums.” – Natalie DePersia


    Sarah and Madeline McClure hug at the Rowan Prof statue.

    Sisters on SGA: Madeline and Sarah McClure

    Read the full story here

    “I was really happy with the way my photographs turned out, and I especially loved getting to meet and know Sarah and Madeline McClure. They were the absolute sweetest and such a joy to work with!” – Missy Pavorsky, junior advertising major


    Victoria kisses her son Rowen on Rowan Boulevard.

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

    Read the full story here

    “Victoria’s story is an impactful one. Any story of a person being a parent and going to college is amazing, and I’m proud of all of them. However, Victoria’s story shows that even if there is an unexpected change during your college career, Rowan will help you get to the finish line.” – Rachel Rumsby, junior communication studies and public relations double major


    Dr. Santos smiles inside Business Hall.

    Faculty PROFile: Journey into the Entrepreneurial Mindset with Dr. Susana C. Santos, Rohrer College of Business

    Read the full story here

    “I first learned of Dr. Santos when she won the Excellence in Online Learning award from Rowan Global Learning and Partnerships (she has since won this award again, the first faculty member to do so). I was really impressed with the creativity and care she imbues into her instruction, especially when she couldn’t interact with students face-to-face. We also share a mutual love of the ‘How I Built This’ podcast, which Dr. Santos uses in her coursework.” – Christina Lynn, digital content strategist


    A photo of Chloe as she graduated from Rowan at the Prof statue.

    Rowan Abroad: Recent Graduate, Chloe Senatore, Talks Acceptance into Trinity College in Dublin

    Read the full story here

    “It showcases how amazing the Rowan English Department by highlighting the accomplishments of one of its students.” – Bianca Gray, senior English major

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    Header photo: One of our favorite campus photos of the year, taken at sunset in Sept. 2021

    Sisters on SGA: Sarah and Madeline McClure

    Sarah and Madeline pose together in front of the owl statue.

    Today we speak to Rowan siblings Sarah and Madeline McClure. Sarah McClure, the Executive Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA), is a senior International Studies and Political Science double major. Madeline McClure, the Assistant Vice President of Public Relations of the Student Government Association, is a junior Marketing major. They are from Rockaway, NJ (Morris County), and they live together in an on-campus apartment. Sarah and Madeline tell us about their positions in SGA and their experiences as being sisters at Rowan and in SGA together.

    Madeline and Sarah pose together at a white table.
    Madeline, left, and Sarah, right.

    Can you tell me a bit about your positions in SGA?

    Sarah: I am the Executive Vice President of SGA. I am in charge of club development. That means I oversee all the about 170 clubs on campus, as well as field new clubs.

    Madeline: I am the Assistant Vice President of Public Relations. I run all of SGA’s social media. I focus on Instagram the most. I make any promotional materials, and I write press releases. In the spring, I will run Back to the Boro, which is a community service event where we give back to the residents of Glassboro. My job is to make sure that people view SGA in a positive way. 

    Why did both of you choose to go to Rowan?

    Sarah: All of our cousins are much older. The youngest is about seven years older than me. When I was touring schools, one of them told me not to look at Rowan because it was just a bunch of buildings in the middle of nowhere. When she looked at Rowan, many of the buildings that are here now weren’t. But, I came, and I toured anyway because one of our mom’s coworkers works in admissions and she recommended I tour. So, we toured, we spoke to someone in admissions, and I just had a great feeling about Rowan. I went to an accepted student’s day, and I heard Richard Jones speak, who was the Dean of Students at the time. He spoke about the community here and how all the professors really care about their students, and that resonated with me in a way that no other college had. 

    Madeline: I had never heard of Rowan until Sarah began her college search. When we toured for Sarah, I immediately loved the campus and was interested in Rowan. However, when Sarah applied, I didn’t want to come here anymore because I didn’t want to go to college with my sister. But, I ended up here anyway. Now, we live in an apartment together, and we’re on SGA together. 

    Another big part of us both choosing Rowan was the financial aspect. We both wanted to make a good financial choice with our education. We both wanted in-state tuition, and there is a scholarship you can apply for if you have a family member that also goes here.

    Madeline and Sarah talk outside the SGA office in the Student Center.

    What’s it like being on SGA together?

    Madeline: Sarah is actually the reason I ran for this position in SGA. My whole idea of SGA, before I started, revolved around Sarah’s involvement in SGA. It’s amazing to be a part of SGA and be in this position. But, working with Sarah, she’s just another member of the board. Well, she’s so important, and I think she’s a genius, but it doesn’t feel like I’m working with my sister. I’m glad I get to experience this with her. 

    But being on SGA is really fun, but it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot more work than I initially expected. It’s very rewarding when you finish the work, especially because I didn’t think I could handle all of it.

    Sarah: Like Madeline said, it’s less like working with my sister, and more like a team member relationship with the added background of knowing each other for 20 years. Since I was involved in SGA last year too, sometimes people come up to me and ask me if Madeline is my sister. I was worried in the beginning that Madeline might feel out of place, but she proved to me quickly that I didn’t need to feel that way. She fit right in. She’s doing a great job. I’m proud of her.

    Sarah and Madeline hug outside Robinson Hall.

    How has going to college with your sister affected your college experience?

    Madeline: When I first started at Rowan, I wasn’t looking for a super involved college experience. I was expecting to get the degree, and that’s all. But, being here with Sarah has pushed me to be more involved, be a better student, and achieve so much more than I thought I would. Sarah is so smart and takes so much on her plate. I never would have joined something like SGA if I weren’t here with Sarah. It would have gone so differently if we had gone to different schools.

    Sarah: To add to that, it’s just nice to have someone who knows me on campus. I try my best, but in doing so much on campus, it can be hard to maintain a steady social life. To be able to go back to the apartment and have my sister there to crack jokes and hang out with is special. It makes it feel more like home in the apartment. 

    Madeline and Sarah pose in front of the SGA bulletin board in the Student Center.

    Do you have any advice for incoming students who are hesitant about going to college with their sibling?

    Madeline: I was definitely hesitant at first. As kids and teenagers, we had a lot of arguments. I was worried about that continuing if we went to college together, but in a short period of time you mature and you realize you aren’t so different and you have the same goals. Even if we get into little arguments in the apartment, we forget about it the next day. 

    Also, there’s no rule that you have to live together like Sarah and I. For the first two years I was here, Sarah and I barely saw each other. The campus can be so big. You do not have to be intertwined at all. Being at college with your sibling doesn’t have to define your experience.

    Sarah: To go off of that, Madeline and I are in two different majors and two different years. I maybe saw Madeline walking down the street once or twice and waved, but that’s all. It’s like going to the same college as someone random in your high school. You aren’t going to see them all the time, especially if you are taking different classes and are involved in different things. I used to get so excited to see her and walk past her, since we didn’t see each other that much. While you’re looking for independence, it’s nice to have someone to come to or fall back on, and it’s someone who has known you your entire life. I can be goofy with her like nobody else. I never expected to have this good of an experience with my sister. We were different as kids and teens, but now we are adults and we are much closer.

    For anyone who is contemplating going to the same school as their sibling, give it a chance. Think about how you feel about the campus, if you like the program, and if you feel the school is a good fit for you. Don’t let the fact that you may already have a sibling going to that school influence your decision. Chances are, your sibling probably won’t play much of a factor in your experience while you are there. 

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

    Photos by:
    Missy Pavorsky, junior advertising 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.

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations 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

    #PROFspective: Finance Major, Management Information Systems Minor Sasmita Prabu

    Today we feature Sasmita Prabu, a junior Finance major who is also minoring in Management Information Systems. Sasmita works for the Office of Volunteerism as a Blood Services Coordinator and is also the secretary of the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in Business Club. She discusses her major and goes into detail about her involvement in several clubs around campus.

    Why did you choose Rowan to study finance?

    I chose Rowan because it quickly became my happy medium. It was a school that not only met my expectations in regards to academic opportunity, it also fit my desired needs for professor-to-student ratio. When deciding on a university to further my education, it was important to me to be able to learn in an environment where my professors could dedicate more time to engage with their students.

    I also believe that it is important to be located near a major city. The location of Rowan is a short drive to Philadelphia, where I have endless opportunities for internships and future jobs.

    Sasmita Prabu outside College of Business.

    Why did you choose to study finance?

    I wanted to study a major that utilizes my analytical and communication skills.

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

    Currently, I am exploring my options for the future through hands-on internship experiences. Last summer I interned for AT&T’s Billing Operations department.

    This summer I am seeking an internship opportunity that will allow me to expand on my skill sets further and utilize them in my future endeavors. 

    Sasmita Prabu.

    What does your role as Undergraduate Coordinator of Blood Services for the Office of Volunteerism entail? How did you get involved with this?

    My role as Undergraduate Coordinator of Blood Services includes working closely with colleagues of the Office of Volunteerism team to help organize bi-monthly on-campus blood drives with the support of the American Red Cross.

    My freshman year I attended a series of volunteering events where I heard about this opportunity. However, my initial interest in volunteering and working with blood drives started in high school. While in high school, I was the president of my Red Cross club where I also helped facilitate blood drives. These opportunities have been a great way to give back to the community and build leadership skills while doing so.

    What does the day of a blood drive look like?

    There is so much preparation involved before the day of a blood drive. The work realistically begins many weeks prior with advertising the drive, contacting donors, and recruiting student volunteers. We have immense support from student organizations, clubs and faculty that make our bi-monthly blood drives not only possible but successful. I am organizing these blood drives, but I do have an entire family of colleagues and student organizations supporting and assisting me.

    Sasmita Prabu wearing red cross hat.

    Can you tell us more about the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in Business Club? What are your responsibilities as secretary of this club? How did you get involved with this?

    This is a newly founded student organization embracing diversity and promoting inclusion and belonging in the workplace. This club provides a sense of community and inclusive professional development resources to all majors. It is important to note that DIBB is not focused on just business majors.

    My responsibilities as secretary of this club includes communicating with our members and maintaining club records. I also assist our club Community Outreach Chair in event planning by scheduling guest speakers. Additionally, I look forward to taking on more responsibilities this semester as I was recently promoted to club Vice President.

    What is your advice for other women as finance majors that are simply trying to compete in a field that is male dominant? 

    I think it is important to have confidence in yourself and your questions. There will be times where you may be unsure of yourself, and asking questions and seeking help will only aid you.

    Sasmita Prabu outside of College of Business.

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    Story by: 
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    Jake McFarland: A Rowan Alumnus with an MBA Fellowship in Data, Technology and Analytics

    Jake McFarland earned his bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems at Rowan’s Rohrer College of Business and has returned to pursue his master’s degree in business administration (MBA) through Rowan Global. Jake, an MBA Fellow in Data, Technology and Analytics, shares his journey to the master’s program and his online student experience. 

    Currently, Jake is an IT project manager at Energy Management Systems. His current project for the company is to retire a legacy billing system to adopt a more modern infrastructure and provide better customer service/easier processes for employees.

    In the past, Jake has worked as a full stack developer and saved the company $5.5 million in the first quarter he worked there.

    Jake hiking with his spouse.

    Jake felt like he had hit a personal development ceiling, which inspired him to pursue a master’s degree.

    “I knew a master’s degree would make me a more competitive applicant and would open up more opportunities in the workplace,” he says. “Being in a fellowship program is great to get my work and brand out there while also singing the praises of colleagues and the amazing research happening.” 

    Currently, Jake is enrolled in managerial accounting. “It’s been a decade since I’ve been a student, so I forgot what it was like to be in college. In managerial accounting, I am learning how to read financial statements, and it’s making me more appreciative of learning broader topics in the field that I haven’t gotten through just work experience.”

    Jake at an event with his spouse.

    Jake speaks candidly of the balancing act he manages since starting the program as a full-time employee, spouse and father who does not live near the Rowan University campus. 

    “It is difficult to juggle all of the responsibilities, but early on I spoke to an inaugural fellow who gave me great advice. They explained that the program wasn’t supposed to be another full-time job. Rowan makes it so easy for us to benefit from the program while doing it at a manageable pace.”

    Jake adds, “It is also extremely helpful that the program is online since I do not live locally. Rowan has made it easy to integrate myself into the current student population and alumni network.”

    Jake holding his child.

    Ultimately, Jake chose Rowan to pursue his graduate degree because of the preliminary research he did on other programs.

    “Rowan’s cost is reasonable compared to other schools and just made everything so accessible and easy to apply. I wanted to have the flexibility of an online program but also get a good degree — Rowan gives me this option.”  

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

    Photos courtesy of:
    Jake McFarland

    Moods: Where To Go On Campus When You Feel A Certain Way

    Rowan Boulevard and the Glassblower statue.

    Rowan students and alumni reveal popular spots to eat, hang out and socialize on campus.

    Where to go on campus when you want to socialize with friends

    “When I want to socialize with my friends on campus, I like to go downtown to different restaurants like Playa Bowls and LaScala’s Fire.” – junior Supply Chain & Logistics and Marketing major Jenna Scarpa

    “When I am on campus, I love going to sporting events and the Student Center to get together and socialize with my friends!” – senior Psychology major Lucille Villani

    Richard Wackar Stadium where football, lacrosse, field hockey, and track events take place.
    Richard Wackar Stadium, where football, lacrosse, field hockey, and track and field events take place

    “I enjoy going to Holly Pointe Cafe to socialize with friends because the atmosphere gives off very welcoming vibes through the music and staff. Plus who doesn’t love to get something to eat while they are chatting?” – senior Math Education major CJ Barrett

    As you can see above, Rowan offers many different places to socialize with your friends. From sporting events and walkable restaurants to Holly Pointe Commons Cafe, there are so many communal spaces to sit back and enjoy quality time with friends. 

    Holly Pointe Cafe.
    Glassworks Cafe located in Holly Pointe Commons

    Where to go on campus when you want to study/sit in a quiet space

    “Whenever I need a place to study or somewhere quiet, I love going to the Campbell Library on campus or Barnes and Noble. It helps me focus and I find that I get a lot more work done when I’m there!” – sophomore Athletic Training major Hannah Lombardo

    Outside of Barnes and Noble on Rowan Boulevard.
    Barnes and Noble on Rowan Boulevard

    “Being a commuter, I would sit in my car and study in between classes. The best lot is by Bunce Hall because it’s small, less traffic, and there’s a nice view while working.” – senior Theatre and Advertising major Nick Flagg 

    “If I have a lot of work to get done or need to study for a test, I usually go to Campbell Library or a study pod in the Science [Hall] building. I work really productively in places that are quiet and aren’t that busy!” – junior Biological Sciences major Harley Rosenzweig 

    Study areas available in the Rowan Campbell Library.
    Study areas available in the Rowan Campbell Library

    Rowan has many options when seeking out a quiet place to study or have some alone time. Many students enjoy the library or Barnes and Noble downtown to tackle some work, and students can even find a good spot to relax on the lawn chairs in front of Robinson Hall and next to Wilson Hall. 

    Where to go on campus when you want to grab a bite to eat

    “Freshens was always a go to spot. Being able to customize a healthy option along with the convenience of being able to order on my phone made it a staple.” – alumnus and Liberal Studies major Daniel Corvo

    Student Center Cafeteria.
    Student Center Cafe

    “Freshens in the Student Center is my go-to place for food in between classes or after practice! The food is SO good and filling!! LaScala’s on Rowan Boulevard is also really good.” – senior Elementary Education and Biological Sciences major Johanna Diehl

    Lascala's Fire on Rowan Boulevard.
    Lascala’s Fire on Rowan Boulevard.

    “Whenever I need a healthier option I love going to Fresh off the Grill [Grill Nation] and ordering grilled chicken sandwiches. They have a ton of topping options so you can really make it yours.” – alumnus and Mechanical Engineering graduate Frank Cianciotta

    “The Boulevard has so many options of different restaurants to choose from! There’s such a great range of different kinds of food, no matter what I’m in the mood for they have it!” – senior Finance major Bethany Sansone

    Dawn to Dusk on Rowan Boulevard.
    Dawn to Dusk on Rowan Boulevard, a local favorite for breakfast, lunch and dinner

    There are many options available when students are looking for a bite to eat. Students can use a meal swipe at Glassworks Dining Hall located in Holly Pointe Commons, the Student Center, or Rowan Boulevard to restaurants like LaScala’s Fire, Dawn to Dusk, El Mariachi and more. 

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    Story By:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Select photos by:
    RJ Wentzell, senior exercise science major

    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

    40 Ways to Get the Most out of Your College Experience

    The Rowan welcome gate.

    Rowan Blog contributors share their personal tips on getting the most out of your college experience at Rowan University. 2. Participate in recreational sports Participating in recreational sports can lead you to meeting new people with similar interests and fuel your competitive edge without the stress of competing in a division III NJAC conference sport. […]

    Back-to-School Bucket List of Rowan Juniors and Seniors

    Writing a list of goals

    We’re so close to the beginning of the new semester, let’s kick it off with a college bucket list by sharing some students’ ambitions.

    “I’m looking forward to everyone moving in and meeting more new people since my freshman year got cut short. One of my must do’s when I get back on campus this fall is to attend more basketball and football games. Also I can’t wait to go to the engineering building and go to the pond, I find it very relaxing.” – Anais Holguin, junior Marketing major from Perth Amboy, NJ (Middlesex County) 

    Anais Holguin sits near the Engineering pond.
    Anais Holguin

    “My friend and I are on a mission to find the best lunch specials for $15 or under around campus. So far Alaura Kitchen or Family Mediterranean (both located in Pitman) are the winners! There are so many different places to explore around campus and it is so much fun to do it with friends. Also thrifting is a hoot. The lunch spot I’m excited to visit again is Au Bon Pain, it’s opening back up and I NEED their croissants.” – Meena Young, senior Biological Sciences major from Sickerville, NJ (Camden County) 

    Exterior shot of Au Bon Pain.
    Au Bon Pain

    “I am extremely excited to be student teaching this year and to finally have in-person classes again. I miss interacting with my peers and being on campus. I miss studying at James Hall, the education building and the library and those are spots I look forward to visiting again.” – London Raikes, senior Inclusive and Elementary Education major from Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County) 

    London leans against a sign of James Hall.
    London Raikes

    “I am involved in quite a few organizations on campus. I’m most looking forward to continuing my role as the Blood Services Undergraduate Coordinator for the Office of Volunteerism. There are many things on my bucket list this year and that includes living in an on-campus apartment, seeing my South Jersey friends, walking near Town Square, taking most of my core Finance and MIS courses and exploring campus with my friends.” Sasmita Prabu, junior Finance major from Somerset County, NJ

    Drone shot of Glassboro Town Square.
    Town Square

    I’m looking forward to finally being in person again. Looking at a screen for 18 months has been really sad, it feels like so much of the college experience was lost. At least I’ll be less tempted to fall asleep during class. I am going to be an RA this year, so I am excited to meet new people and help others have a great return to Rowan. I have many things on my bucket list and that includes: going to the Fitness Center and working out with my friends, having movie nights with my friends in their apartments, going to Cookie Munchers and eating more calories in 10 minutes than you’re supposed to eat in two days, riding the shuttles to the movie theater, having an advisor meeting in person, taking free electives to pursue other passions rather than fulfilling requirements, plus eating at Smoked again.” – RJ Wentzell, senior Exercise Science major of Pilesgrove, NJ (Salem County)

    RJ Wentzell smiling outside of James Hall
    RJ Wentzell

    “A couple of things I look forward to this school year are my campus event Emo Night, planning concerts, writing music and finishing my junior year. I haven’t seen Dennis Diblasio [since before COVID], I’m looking forward to seeing him. – junior Malachi Prillerman of Palmyra, NJ (Burlington County), Music Industry major and transfer student from Hampton University

    Music industry major Malachi Prillerman
    Malachi Prillerman

    “This year, I hope to get accepted as a transfer ambassador. A must do is to visit a restaurant during a social hour. Academically, I look forward to receiving high grades, building connections with my professors and receiving a letter of recommendation.” – De’Ja Morris of Woodbury, NJ (Gloucester County), senior Finance major and transfer student from Salem Community College

    De'ja stands on the bridge near Business Hall.
    De’ja Morris

    “This September, I look forward to going back to regular class, walking around and seeing new faces. A few things I would like to do again this semester are seeing all my friends from freshman year, visiting the Rec Center, eating at the Student Center and playing sports.” – Hualsy Paredes, junior Construction Management major from Fort Lee, NJ (Bergen County) and transfer student from Utica College

    Exterior shot of campus Rec Center.
    Rec Center

    I am really excited to graduate. I’ve been working really hard since COVID to maintain my grades just for this moment. I really like the club fair every fall. I’m excited for that! I’m also really excited to study in the library again. I am most looking forward to in-person classes.” – Alexa Wentworth, senior Psychology major from West Windsor, NJ (Mercer County)

    Alexa smiles inside James Hall.
    Alexa Wentworth

    “Being able to go to clubs, meeting up at the Student Center and getting food together, being able to see my professors in person, and visiting Science Hall again.” – Andrew Pinto, junior Physics major from Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County)

    Exterior shot of Science Hall from Route 322.
    Science Hall

    “I came into Rowan as a transfer so I haven’t tried anything yet. I’m sad because I lost a year so I want to be as involved as possible. This year, I’m looking forward to seeing my fellow peers, raising my GPA and attending football games.” – senior Tara Preston of Camden County, NJ, Economics major and transfer student from Delaware County Community College

    Rowan's football team enters the stadium.
    Rowan Football

    “A must do with my friends is going to RoBo and getting pizza. Academically, I look forward to staying busy with classes and making new friends in class.” Maria Espejo, junior Psychology major from River Edge, NJ (Bergen County)

    Rowan Boulevard featuring LaScala's Fire.
    Rowan Boulevard

    “I’m most looking forward to seeing Discovery Hall this year and to go to football, basketball and hockey games with my friends.” – Lauren Blaze of Branchburg, NJ (Somerset County), senior Civil and Environmental Engineering major

    Lauren smiles and stands in front of Discovery Hall.
    Lauren Blaze

    “Being able to socialize with new classmates and professors! I haven’t seen   Dr. Bhatia in person since before COVID, I am very much looking forward to seeing him on campus this fall. Looking forward to social events, clubs and  projects.” – senior Hayley Lomas of Woodbury, NJ (Gloucester County), a Mechanical Engineering major with a CUG in Aerospace Engineering and transfer student from Rowan College of South Jersey

    Exterior shot of the Campbell Library entrance.
    Hayley looks forward to going to Campbell Library again this fall.

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    Story by:
    Nene Diallo, senior public relations major

    Photos by:
    Reshaun Timmons, Stephanie Batista, RJ Wentzell and Anthony Raisley

    Rowan Football photo courtesy of:
    University Publications

    Melody Wozunk Named Student CEO of Saxbys New Campus Cafe

    Saxbys Student CEO Melody Wozunk.

    Today we feature Melody Wozunk, a senior Management major from Vineland, NJ (Cumberland County). Melody is the inaugural Student Cafe Executive Officer for the new student-run Saxbys cafe at Rowan’s Rohrer College of Business. 

    Saxbys is a Certified B Corporation and coffee company in over 10 different locations. Saxbys’ mission statement is “Make Life Better.” With their mission statement and the up-and-coming workforce in mind, Saxbys created the Saxbys Experiential Learning Platform. Within the Experiential Learning Platform, one undergraduate student will be the student CEO of the campus cafe for a semester. 

    Melody Wozunk is the new Student CEO for the Rowan University Saxbys campus cafe located in the Rohrer College of Business. Melody goes into detail about the Experiential Learning Platform, discusses how she found out about this opportunity, and shares future plans. 

    Melody Wozunk.
    Melody Wozunk

    I understand that Saxbys has partnered with Rowan University in an all new student-run café starting this fall, and you are the new SCEO. How did you get involved? 

    I was in a career planning and development class back in Spring 2021, and my professor encouraged me to attend an online career fair. I went ahead and went on and scrolled through the employer list. This is when I came across Saxbys, a company I was vaguely familiar with. Originally, I was just looking for a summer internship. It just so happened that this opportunity turned into something so much greater and way beyond just that. I am so grateful that I logged onto the career fair that day because I was instantly informed of this Student CEO position and it has been a dream come true.

    What are your feelings as the first Student CEO of Rowan’s Saxbys Experiential Learning Platform?

    Melody Wozunk, Student CEO at Saxbys Rowan University (right) with Rachel Lefurge, Student CEO at Saxbys Penn State (left.)
    Melody Wozunk, Student CEO at Saxbys Rowan University (right) with Rachel Lefurge, Student CEO at Saxbys Penn State (left)

    I feel a mixture of emotions when I think about this opportunity. I feel extremely excited, blessed, honored, challenged, and simply just so happy to be here and part of this experience of the Experiential Learning Platform. I know I am going to learn so much and will be able to utilize the skills I learn in my future endeavors.

    From your understanding, what are your roles and responsibilities as the SCEO of the campus cafe?

    Saxbys breaks it down into what they call the three pillars. The pillars include financial management, community leadership and team development. I have a lot of different responsibilities as the SCEO, but they all fall into the three pillars. For example, for financial management, I will constantly be tracking costs of goods sold in the cafe and evaluating revenue. For team development, I will be working a lot on the floor as a “team lead,” which is viewed as a management position. For community leadership, I will focus on getting Rowan involved and interested in this new cafe. 

    What are your professional plans post graduation? Do you plan on working for a company like Saxbys long term?

    It is hard to say what the future holds for me. I am still going to be a student and I obviously will not be going into the full-blown workforce until after I graduate; however, I would be honored to work for Saxbys long term. I have loved working with Saxbys so far, and just their mission statement alone of “Make Life Better” truly resonates with me. 

    Lovely Tejano, Student CEO at Saxbys Bowie (middle), Josh Ruminski, Student CEO at Saxbys JCU (left) and Danny Fisher, Student CEO (right.)
    Lovely Tejano, Student CEO at Saxbys Bowie (middle), Josh Ruminski, Student CEO at Saxbys JCU (right) and Danny Fisher, Student CEO (left)

    What personal goals do you have for working as the SCEO for the Rowan Saxbys campus cafe?

    I really want to provide an awesome experience for guests that are coming in: the Rowan community. Our goal at Saxbys, as stated previously, is to “Make Life Better.” However, I can accomplish that through my team, for the community is really important to me. I also am looking forward to developing my team. Starting up as a brand new cafe is an exciting experience; however, it can also be a little intimidating. Therefore, a personal goal for me is to spread confidence, create a fun working environment and a motivating atmosphere. 

    Personally, I am looking to improve my time management skills, professional communication skills, and my overall drive and focus as a professional who is practically starting their first full-time job. 

    The grand opening of Rowan’s Saxbys campus cafe was held on Sept. 21. The cafe is looking for outgoing, detail-oriented, disciplined and passionate workers. 

    To find out more information on the Saxbys Experiential Learning Platform, you can click the website linked below. For information on how to apply and join the team you can click the following;

    https://www.saxbyscoffee.com/how-to-apply/ 

    Melody Wozunk.
    Melody Wozunk

    Learn more about the Saxby’s SCEO program here:

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    Story By:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos courtesy of:
    Saxbys

    Related posts:

    Freshmen, Don’t Freak! It’s Easy to Eat

    Community Garden: Fighting Food Insecurity From Home

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

    Lauren Kirk: A Mother, Career Woman and MBA Student

    Lauren, her husband, and her 3 kids pose for a family photo.

    Lauren Kirk is a Rowan Global student earning her Master of Business Administration. She also serves on the Rohrer Graduate Student and Alumni Advisory Board (RGSAAB), which aims to enhance the student and alumni experience through networking, seminars and industry nights. Here, Lauren shares her story about being a career woman, a mother and a student all at the same time. 

    Although Lauren is already working as a Credit Portfolio Manager at TD Bank, she is in pursuit of continuing her education and growing professionally. Her motivation comes from her goals within her career.

    “In a male-dominated industry, I want to be a competitive counterpart. I have many years of professional experience, but an MBA will set me apart from others,” she says.

    A portrait of Lauren against a blue background.

    Working toward this goal isn’t always easy, as one can imagine. Lauren faces some unique challenges, being a mother and a businesswoman.

    “I work over 40 hours a week at my job with TD Bank while also keeping up with classes. Since I take 8-week classes, the coursework is really fast-paced. If I don’t do schoolwork every day, I risk falling behind. It’s also really difficult to take time for myself and create boundaries. Work and school are very demanding so I’m always worried about devoting enough time to my kids, but I know I’m doing it all for them and our family,” she explains.

    Lauren talked about why she chose to earn her MBA at Rowan. “Rowan has such a positive repertoire, especially in South Jersey. I work with people who went to Rowan and had positive experiences. It was a cost-competitive program, which was also important to me.”

    She adds, “What really set Rowan apart was how fast and easy it was to talk to someone. Rather than getting an email, I got a phone call; this showed me I wasn’t a number, I was a person. Jason Salvatore, the Program Coordinator of Graduate Studies, has been so helpful with my situation as a career woman and mother.” 

    A photo of Lauren with two of her kids on her lap.

    Currently, Lauren is using her professional work experience to help her complete coursework. “My work experience has actually helped me with school assignments. Since I’m currently working in the corporate world, I use those experiences. As a Credit Portfolio Manager, I deal with commercial lending. This can be anything from businesses needing loans to real-estate loans, municipality, educational loans, and other complex deals. With that being said, an MBA would help me get to my goal position of Head of Credit Management or a Commercial Credit Manager.”

    Lauren offers some advice to other adult learners like herself. “I want a woman like me, that feels like they can’t earn a degree while working and being a mother, to know that they can. It may not happen overnight, but don’t let anything stop you because a school like Rowan will help you through — they understand and support non-traditional learners.”

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

    Photos courtesy of:
    Lauren Kirk

    Related posts:

    Finding My Place at Rowan as an Adult Learner

    Rowan University Student Zachary Rouhas on the Joint Degree Program That Pairs Environmental Studies with an MBA

    M.A. in Criminal Justice Student Says it’s “Never Too Late” to Earn a Master’s Degree

    My Interesting Student Worker Job as the Rowan University Mascot

    Rowan mascot jumps for joy outside of Savitz Hall at Rowan University

    Today we feature Sean Scott, a Rowan alumnus who studied Finance and graduated in May 2020. Sean touches upon his experience as being the university mascot, Whoo RU

    How did you end up being the mascot for Rowan? Did someone reach out to you or did you seek the opportunity yourself?

    To start off, I was the school mascot for my high school. Fast forward a few years and I worked for the admissions office as an admissions ambassador for Rowan. The summer between my sophomore and junior I was informed by my boss in admissions that they were looking for people to try out for ‘the mascot.’ In a nutshell, I thought, ‘I go to the sporting events anyways, I might as well go to these games dressed in a mascot costume, have some more fun at these events, and make a little money while doing so.’

    Sean Scott headshot.
    Sean Scott

    What kinds of events did you attend for being the Rowan mascot? Was it just sporting events or was it all kinds of events?

    The experience of being a mascot was really cool because of the wide range of events I attended. I went to a lot of men’s and women’s basketball games, many football games, and other sporting events. However, I also did events like Hollybash, St. Baldrick’s Day, SUP events, open houses, and accepted students receptions. This experience made me well versed with student life around me.

    Sean pictured with his girlfriend Caroline Murphy.
    Sean pictured with his girlfriend Caroline Murphy.

    How long were you the mascot for Rowan?

    I was the mascot from August 2018 up until March of 2020.

    Sean in front of the Prof Statue.

    What are pros and cons about the experience?

    There were definitely more pros than cons during this whole experience. For sporting events, obviously you attend to watch the players compete. It was really cool for these events to be on the court or field alongside the players and coaches. As a mascot I was able to experience these events differently than just a normal fan in the stands. Another positive was simply knowing what was going on around the university. By working as the mascot I was always up to date on upcoming events and involved with them.

    The only downside to working as the mascot is how hot it is inside of the costume. However, I did burn a tremendous amount of calories when working as the mascot that I like to think made up for it.

    Sean at graduation with parents Maureen and Stacy.
    Sean at graduation with parents Stacy (left) and Maureen (right).

    Did you tell people you were the mascot or did you keep yourself incognito?

    Yes my friends, family and fellow coworkers in admissions knew I was the mascot. Other than that, no one really knew who was inside the mascot costume, which was pretty cool. I am a pretty extroverted person, but I definitely could not bring out the dance moves I did as the Prof without my costume on. I was free to express myself without anyone putting a face to me. The experience I had as the Rowan mascot was extremely fulfilling and one I will never forget.

    Sean in mascot costume with mom.
    Sean dressed as mascot with his mom Maureen Scott.

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos courtesy of:
    Sean Scott

    Related posts:

    5 Interesting On-Campus Jobs

    Job Hunting 101: Career and Graduate School Fair

    Rowan at Home: Glassboro Native Builds Sports Career in Her “Own Backyard”

    Meet #Rowan2025: Accounting and Finance Major Christopher Lechuga

    Interior shot of Business Hall lobby as seen from stairs.

    Meet incoming first year Christopher Lechuga, an aspiring Accounting and Finance major from Camden, NJ (Camden County). He tells us more about what he’s looking forward to at Rowan!

    A photo of Christopher as seen at his school.

    Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college? 

    I’m looking forward to the college experience as well as learning a lot about finance.

    What is one hobby, activity, sport or club you were a part of in high school that you’d like to continue in college?

    I was the Treasurer of Student Government.

    Is there anything you’re hoping to discover about yourself in college? 

    Hopefully grow new skills.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    Accounting and Finance because I want to potentially own some businesses of my own and I want to know how to run it and do all the finances myself.

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

    Look for the best option financially.

    Where are you going to live next year?

    Commute from home.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    Rowan from my experience has heart, is competitive, and shows that they want you in their school.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

    In Case You Missed It: Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts This School Year!

    Today, we will share our top 10 most popular stories from the blog for the 2020-21 school year. If you missed any of these great stories, be sure to check them out! 

    1. Alumni Success: New Jersey State Police Sergeant Danyel Barnes

    Headshot of Danyel in uniform wearing a mask.

    “Danyel Barnes, a 1994 alumnus, shares his Rowan story and how it shaped his life today as a Sergeant with the New Jersey State Police.”

    2. How to Apply for Scholarships at Rowan University

    Wide exterior shot of Bunce Hall.

    “Admissions counselor Amanda Kuster explains how scholarships work at Rowan and shares how prospective students can earn more money for college. “

    3. TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Future Chemistry Teacher Trevor Jones

    Trevor smiles outside of Science Hall wearing a white T-shirt.

    “In this story, we feature Trevor Jones, a senior first-generation college student majoring in chemistry education. Trevor transferred his junior year and is from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County). He is a resident assistant at the Nexus apartments and is involved with various clubs such as rugby, Men of Color Alliance (MOCA), and Student Organization for Caribbean Awareness.”

    4. Alumni Success: Teacher and Soror Kathleen Gordy-Mathis

    Kathleen smiles wearing a black leather jacket outside her home.

    “Kathleen Gordy-Mathis, an alumna and current preschool teacher, tells us about her amazing experiences since graduating. Kathleen graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in Communications with a specialization in Public Relations in 1990.”

    5. TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Studio Art Major Christine Stewart

    Christine smiles while seated outside on campus.

    “In this story, we welcome Christine Stewart, a transfer student from Cumberland County College. They are a junior majoring in Studio Art with a specialization in Graphic Design from Pennsauken, NJ (Camden County). They are also involved in Prism, Queer People of Color (QPOC), and Women of Westby.”

    6. Faculty PROFile: Journey into the Entrepreneurial Mindset with Dr. Susana C. Santos, Rohrer College of Business

    Dr. Susana stands by a railing inside Business Hall.

    “Meet Dr. Susana C. Santos, assistant professor of Management and Entrepreneurship within the Rohrer College of Business. Rowan Global Learning and Partnerships awarded Dr. Santos its Excellence in Online Learning faculty award last year. Learn more about Dr. Santos, her teaching, and how she created an inventive, daily exercise to build online engagement with her students.”

    7. Alumni Success: Student-Athlete, Trailblazer Brad K. Leak

    Rowan alumnus Brad Leak poses by the Shady Rest Clubhouse sign.

    “In this story, we feature alumnus Brad K. Leak ’94, who earned a bachelor of science degree in Business with a specialization in Accounting. He also led the men’s Track & Field team as captain from 1991 to 94. As a three-time all-American champion, Brad wisely balanced the many responsibilities of being a student, an athlete, and a leader.”

    8. The Importance of Unstructured Time

    Landyn posing outside Bunce Hall while wearing a Rowan jacket.

    “This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Healthy Campus Initiatives. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options.” Landyn Bacanskas, a Biomedical Engineering major, wrote this piece on the power of a “mental recess break.”

    9. 7 Dance Majors Share How Their Degree Supports Their Dreams and Goals 

    Grace dancing in a dance studio in Memorial Hall.

    “Seven Dance majors share how they’re dreaming big and how their degree is going to get them there.”

    10.  Leadership #PROFspective: Yashaswi Parikh, Uplifting Leader, Cofounder, and Copresident of Rowan SASA

    Yashaswi sitting on a Gazebo outside near Bunce.

    “In this article, we speak with Yashaswi Parikh, cofounder, and co-president of the Rowan South Asian Students Association as well as sunshine chair of Alpha Phi Omega (APO). As sunshine chair, she works to bring joy and happiness to the organization! Yashaswi is a senior Biological Sciences major and Spanish minor who is part of the 3+4 BS/DO program and the Bantivoglio Honors Concentration. She calls Monroe Township in Middlesex County her hometown.”

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    Stories and Photos by: 
    Various Digital Content Contributors from the Rowan Blog

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

    #PROFspective: A Talk with Business Marketing Major Reshaun Timmons

    Reshaun smiles and stands in front of the entrance to Business Hall.

    Today we feature senior Reshaun Timmons, a Marketing student living in Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). Reshaun discusses the ins and outs of his major, photography, and plans on using what he learned at Rowan to one day run his own business.

    What inspired you to choose your major? 

    All my life, I felt as though I wanted to make money, and the one way I feel as though I can do that is through business. The reason I chose business marketing specifically is due to the rise of social media and the increased need for businesses to expand their marketing teams. In the next 10 years, working in marketing will probably be the most common job. 

    What impact would you like to have in the marketing field? 

    I already have my own marketing team where we go around to small businesses and offer to run their social media. I hope in the next five to 10 years it expands into a bigger company and that I’m able to provide different people with job opportunities and experience in the field. 

    How would you describe the faculty within your major and talk about a time where one of your professors made a major impact on you? 

    I went to [Rowan College of South Jersey] through the Rowan Choice program for two years. There, I had one of the most unorthodox professors I ever had when it came to teaching. His version of teaching can be explained through this example: If McDonald’s was the best fast food restaurant, then they would get an A. But, just because Burger King isn’t making as much money as McDonald’s, it doesn’t discredit Burger King as a restaurant and doesn’t mean it’s not good, so Burger King would get an A as well. His grading scale was based off the highest grade. If the highest grade in the class was a 50 out of a 100, then that 50 would still be an A, a 40 would be a B, and so on. 

    Reshaun sits on atop the concrete divider behind Business Hall.

    How was your transition from RCSJ to Rowan? 

    Since I went to RCSJ through the Rowan Choice program, my transition to Rowan wasn’t that difficult since I was already living on campus and spent most of my time at Rowan University anyway.

    What’s your relationship with photography? 

    I started doing photography my junior year of high school and it just stuck. I do both photography and videography and anything else that has to do with being creative. I like doing things where I can put my own spin on it.

    My end goal with photography is to start my own photography business. Right now, I have my own business called Timeless where we focus on timeless things. We have a message called C.M.I.T: Capturing moments in time. Taking pictures are good memories, and I hold memories dear to myself. They’re one of the few things we can take everywhere with us in life. That’s why I like pictures so much. They’re visible memories. It’s inspirational and moving. 

    Where do you see Timeless in the future?

    I hope that I’ve turned it into a modeling agency. This summer, I’m going to Paris, London and Belgium. Those countries are very big on photography, modeling and other stuff like that. I hope to go there and build connections with different people in the field there. I just want it to be a name that a lot of people know.

    Reshaun crouches for a photo in front of the Rowan University sign near the Townhomes.

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    Story By:
    Bianca Gray, senior English major

    Photos By:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    RJ Wentzell, senior exercise science major

    Meet #Rowan2025: Aspiring Business Major Brooke Woodworth

    Drone shot of Business Hall.

    Meet incoming first-year Brooke Woodworth, a first generation college student and aspiring Business Management major from Freehold, NJ (Monmouth County). Brooke tells us more about what she’s looking forward to at Rowan.

    Brooke posing for a photo on the side of a main street.

    Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college?

    One thing I am looking forward to in college is meeting new people. College is a whole new experience where you could meet new people and make friendships that last a lifetime. I have already met so many new friends, and I can’t wait for school to start.

    What is one hobby, activity, sport or club you were a part of in high school that you’d like to continue in college?

    One sport that I was a part of in high school was cheerleading. I did high school cheer for three years and I have done all-star cheerleading for eight years. I would like to continue to do cheerleading in college because I do not want to give up what I love.

    Is there anything you’re hoping to discover about yourself in college?

    One thing that I would like to discover about myself in college is my independence. College is something that you have to take upon yourself and be independent about. You have to learn to do things on your own. I am excited to see what I can do. 

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I am majoring in business. The reason why I chose a business major is because I want to one day be CEO of my own company. I hope one day I have my own company and it becomes very popular throughout the country and or one day the world.

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

    I took a live tour of Rowan. I thought the campus was beautiful, and I loved how close everything was.

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

    One piece of advice that I have for other high school seniors who haven’t committed to school yet is choose a school that best fits you. Don’t go to school because it is the most popular or all of your friends are going. Choose a school that you will love for all four years and make great memories out of it.

    Where are you going to live next year?

    On campus.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    One thing I loved about Rowan is how close the town was. Everything is walking distance, and the campus just seems like such a happy place.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

    Rowan Sorority Sisters Share How Greek Life Brings Women Together

    Bunce Hall behind trees

    Six of Rowan’s sorority members talk with us about how Greek life brings women together and how they’ve positively changed as individuals. 

    What is it like being in a sorority?

    Lesley Esteves, junior Accounting and Finance double major, and president of Rowan’s Delta Phi Epsilon chapter, says being in a sorority is very impactful. “Personally, I’ve definitely grown so much as an individual. I have a better understanding of people and understanding that not everyone is raised the same way. I’ve definitely become more confident in myself. Being in a sorority has given back to me so much more than even what I’ve put into it. I’ve become more organized, independent, and professional. It’s given me more than I can even explain.”

    Lesley smiles while wearing her Greek letters.
    Lesley Esteves

    How do you think Greek life brings women together?

    Kristin Jennings, a recent Public Relations and Advertising graduate and member of Rowan’s Alpha Sigma Alpha chapter, says Greek life helps to bring all of the people in your organization together. “Because you meet every single girl that you’re part of the sorority with, it helps you make friends with way more people than you’d probably ever be friends with otherwise. It’s so much togetherness because of all the events and bonding. It creates a sense of comfort within the sorority and brings us together that way.”

    Kristin smiling at home.
    Kristin Jennings

    How important is sisterhood to you?

    Lauren Marini, junior Finance major and member of Rowan’s Alpha Sigma Tau chapter, says sisterhood is really important. “Sisterhood is really important, especially within my close friend group, but it’s also nice to have that sense of sisterhood with girls I’m not as close with because no matter, if you need something there is always someone there for you and we all always have each other’s back.” Lauren also adds that sisterhood is supporting one another and that it’s a sense of bonding. 

    Lauren smiling at the beach.
    Lauren Marini

    How does Greek life inspire you?

    Jennifer Probert, a recent Public Relations and Advertising graduate and former president of Rowan’s Alpha Sigma Alpha chapter, says Greek life is inspiring because of the tradition that it holds. “Even with other ASA chapters throughout the country, we all hold the same values and it’s cool because sisters that I don’t even know still reach out and refer to me as a sister. It’s inspiring that one mutual thing bonds us and shows how much we respect that bond and each other.”

    Jen smiling outside of Bunce Hall.
    Jennifer Probert

    What’s your favorite aspect of your organization?

    Shanell Mighty, junior Law and Justice Studies major and Mu Sigma Upsilon sister, says her favorite aspect is the support within the organization. “Regardless of anything, all of us are always here for each other. It doesn’t matter what happens, someone is always going to be there for you in our chapter. It’s like a home away from home.”

    Shanell Mighty poses with two of her sisters.
    Shane Mighty (right)

    Do you have any advice for other students looking to rush next year?

    Maura Jackson, senior Accounting major and president of Rowan’s Mu Sigma Upsilon chapter, advises students to remember why they wanted to rush in the first place. “I think the best way to find out what organization you like is to first, before you even pick an organization is to form what we like to call ‘the why you’re joining Greek life.’ Then, figure out what organization lines up with your whys. A lot of people do this backwards, which isn’t bad but you don’t want to form yourself to an organization, you want your organization to form to you.”

    Maura with sisters on the beach.
    Maura Jackson (seen at left)

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

    Photos courtesy of:
    Lesley Esteves, Kristin Jennings, Lauren Marini and Maura Jackson

    Photo of Jennifer Probert by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    Rowan Global Student Kaitlyn Anthony: A Career Woman Earning a Master’s in Business Administration

    Kaitlyn in front of Business Hall.

    Kaitlyn Anthony, a recent Rowan alumna, shares her journey of pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at Rowan University. 

    Being a career woman did not stop Kaitlyn from pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in management.

    Currently, Kaitlyn is in the field working for Sesame Street under the large corporation of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. Even though she is already working, Kaitlyn said she wanted to get her MBA because “in order to grow, I wanted to stand apart from other applicants. The business and hospitality industry is growing and changing every day, so I wanted to not only grow as a leader but constantly educate myself on how to grow as a business professional. I would also love to teach and be a professor in the future, so getting this degree would help me reach that goal.”

    Kailyn sitting at a table outside Business Hall.

    Working and earning a 4.0 GPA in Rowan’s MBA program comes with challenges, but Kaitlyn is working hard to face them.

    “The biggest challenge is being the best I can be in both roles as a student and as a professional. I never want the quality of my work to hinder on either side. I always strive to put my best effort forward and be as organized and professional as possible,” she says.

    Kaitlyn talks about why she chose Rowan to get her MBA. She explains: “After earning my undergraduate degree at Rowan and having such an amazing experience, I knew I would be in good hands to take the next step in her professional career. The professors at Rowan are so motivating and really help their students. They have not only helped me in the world of business but have helped me grow as a person and as a well-rounded leader.”

    Kaitlyn works on her laptop in Business Hall.

    Kaitlyn is not only a career woman and student but is extremely involved in extracurricular activities. “During my first semester of my master’s program, I was offered the Robert D. Lynch scholarship for my leadership background and academic excellence. Within that scholarship, I was inducted into the Rowan Graduate Student and Alumni Advisory Board (RGSAAB). This organization is about building a community and networking opportunities for students within Rowan, specifically for the MBA program.”

    She explains, “After conducting research, we found that there were not as many opportunities to network as we do for the undergraduate program. So RGSAAB holds workshops and meetings to enhance the MBA experience by building a community for current students and alumni.”

    When asked to offer advice for potential MBA students, Kaitlyn says: “I’ll be short and sweet: do it. It will give you the opportunity to enhance your experience as a professional. Remember your goals and keep them in mind along the way. Be confident in yourself and your abilities.”

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

    Photography by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major 

     

    Meet Transfer Profs: Taylor Loiacono

    Exterior mockup of Business Hall.

    Today we feature incoming transfer and first-generation college student Taylor Loiacono from Camden County College. Taylor will be commuting from Cherry Hill, NJ and studying Marketing. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward at Rowan University? Being back in a classroom! What is one hobby, activity, sport or […]

    Queer Voices: Business Major Ian McClellan

    An exterior shot of Bunce Hall is illuminated in rainbow colors for Pride Month.

    This interview was originally featured on the Queer Voices Instagram page @queer_voices. 

    Biomedical Art and Visualization major Emerson Harman created the Queer Voices Project, which is working “to amplify LGBTQ+ student, faculty, and alumni voices at Rowan University through portraits and interviews.” You can also find more of their content here.

    Name, pronouns, and identity?

    My name is Ian McClellan, my pronouns are he/him/his, and I am gay.

    What is your year in school and your major?
    I am currently a junior here at Rowan University majoring in local Supply Chain Management and Logistics, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship.

    Ian leaning against a bridge overlooking a lake.
    When did you come out as LGBTQ+, and why then?

    I officially came out when transitioning between high school and college. For me it was just an easier transition, because I didn’t have to keep up any sort of façade. Everyone who was going to be at my school wouldn’t know me, so it was an easier time to be open instead of trying to hide it.

    Has being LGBTQ impacted or influenced your education?

    For the most part, there isn’t a noticeable impact. My teachers have never quite cared, and most of them probably don’t know. I’m not super forthcoming about being gay, it’s more of a fun fact or piece of trivia that you figure out if you figure it out, so I guess there’s been no profound impact.

    Has LGBTQ culture and acceptance changed throughout your time at Rowan?
    I’d say the change is minor, but I noticed it through the LGBTQ clubs on campus. When I first started attending Rowan my [first] year, the LGBTQ clubs and organizations were more of a social gathering where you could go and meet other LGBTQ people in the community, but today it’s more focused on activism and social change. That has come around due to leadership changes in the clubs, so activism is a bit bigger on campus than it once was. Social interaction still occurs through the activism of those clubs, but it’s not quite what it was. The culture hasn’t changed too much, but just changed what the focus is about.

    How has attending Rowan helped you in finding an inclusive community?

    Rowan has allowed me the opportunity to meet other members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are of a similar age. This has allowed me to feel more comfortable and to physically see others thriving and believe that I can thrive myself.

    Were there any faculty that you particularly enjoyed, inspired you and/or made you feel you had a safe space?

    The residential learning professional team at Rowan made me feel more comfortable in my time as both a resident and a resident assistant. They not only encourage diverse perspectives but celebrate them. Everyone has something to bring to the table.

    Is there anything you would want to see changed at Rowan in regards to LGBTQ+ life?

    I know a lot of people at Rowan struggle at the moment with their identity. College, for a lot of people, is a time to get away from the pressures of home and feeling like you have to achieve certain things, so I know a lot of students have the opportunity to explore their sexuality. A lot of people are quiet or hushed about it, though, because they feel that there’s some kind of stigma or stereotype about experimenting with your sexuality, like it’s something you can be made fun of, especially if you’re a male. You seem to have to want to experiment, because if you experiment, people think you automatically are [LGBTQ] and there’s no going back, so a lot of people go on apps to explore sexuality and use fake names or don’t put up photos, so overall there’s a lot of insecurity about it, which could be worked to be decreased.

    Anything else you want to discuss?

    There’s a living-learning community in Holly Pointe Commons for LGBTQ+ people. I know that RLUH (Residential Learning and University Housing) is really pushing to create more learning communities to allow people to express their interests, so people who want to be involved in the LGBTQ community have a place where for the first time in college they can come out and meet people in the community. They get the opportunity to feel an aura of comfort, because other people in their community don’t judge them for who they are.

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    Meet #Rowan2025: Advertising and Management Major Emily Gizzi

    Meet incoming first year student Emily Gizzi! Emily is an aspiring Advertising and Management dual major from North East, Maryland. 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? (Personally, academically, anything!)

    I’m really looking forward having a dorm. I can’t wait to meet a roommate and decorate the dorm!

    What is one hobby, activity, sport or club you were a part of in high school that you’d like to continue in college?

    Future Business Leaders of America.

    Is there anything you’re hoping to discover about yourself in college? 

    I’m excited to find a deeper independence but also a more social side of myself.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    Advertising and management because I have a very creative mind and I enjoy being a leader, so I’d like to learn about how a bit more.

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

    I toured the campus and I love the Boulevard!

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

    Go with your heart and let the rest fall in line. Pick a place that feels the most like home.

    Where are you going to live next year?

    On campus!

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    The campus feel.

    Emily stands on the #RowanProud chair on campus.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

    4 Out-Of-State First Year Students Share Why They Chose Rowan

    Today we speak with four out-of-state first year students about why they chose a university further from home and their experiences here at Rowan. Abby Riley, a first-generation student and Exercise Science major from Elkton, Maryland, shares the value of attending an out-of-state university. Abby says, “I considered and chose an out-of-state university because I […]

    Meet Transfer Profs: Incoming Marketing Major Mallory Harris

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

    Meet #Rowan2025: Incoming Business Major Maddie Angradi

    Exterior shot of Rowan Boulevard at night.

    Today we welcome incoming first year student Maddie Angradi. Maddie plans on studying business and living on campus. Maddie is from Lumberton, NJ (Burlington County) and attended Rancocas Valley Regional High School (RVRHS). Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college? I’m looking forward to experiencing life […]

    Senior Reflects: Marketing Major Jessica Russo Aspires to Work in the Fashion Industry

    Business Hall shines under the sun.

    Today we speak with Jessica Russo, a senior Marketing major and Economics minor from Westwood, NJ. Jessica is a first-generation college student and an off-campus resident.

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

    My favorite memory is when Professor Pontes told me that in the past two years he has had over 180 students and I have been the first to have completed the Salesforce Assignment so early. He praised me for my abilities and that being a “pre-crastinator” is a great quality to have.

    Could you please share your favorite social memory?

    My favorite social memory is being the Treasurer of the American Marketing Association as we meet every Friday at 12 pm.

    What are your career aspirations?

    I want to go into the fashion industry where I would be conducting B2B activities on a global scale as I would be purchasing products from different brands to distribute to consumers at the company I would work for. 

    Jessica Russo stands outside in the sun snapping a selfie.

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

    By developing personal relationships with my professors, they were more inclined to recommend me for opportunities presented by Rowan alumni. They have taught me important key characteristics for job interviews and how to professionally present myself.

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

    Shout out to the lovely ladies on West High Street! 

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

    My favorite professor is Dr. Nina Krey, who I had for Advanced Marketing Research Methods, since she has real-world experience. She was able to teach me skills that I can bring into the professional world. She is a great person to go to if you need advice as she is very honest and helpful. 

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

    Get involved in extracurricular activities! It’s always a great idea to increase your network!

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

    Marguerite Miller Hodges: MBA Student, Mother and Entrepreneur

    Marguerite Miller Hodges shares her inspiring story of being a nontraditional student. She is a mother and runs an essential business all while pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Rowan University’s Rohrer College of Business.  

    Marguerite smiles and stands inside Business Hall.

    With Marguerite’s résumé, it is clear she isn’t afraid of a challenge.

    Currently, Marguerite juggles motherhood and an essential business. “I run a daycare for children who are 6 weeks old to the age of 12. The daycare supports local school district children before and after school,” she says.

    These commitments did not stop her from advancing her education, though. Marguerite talks about what motivated her to go back to school.

    “Getting my MBA was something I always wanted to do. I had children and a lot of things got postponed but nonetheless, my career inspired me to pursue that degree so I could excel in my area of business,” she explains.

    Marguerite's family outside her daycare business.
    Marguerite, her mother, Linda Miller (left), and children Mackenzie and André at the front entrance of her Burlington County-based childcare business, LIFE Four Corners Daycare.


    Marguerite faces some unique challenges being a nontraditional student. “A major challenge is being a mom and student while running a business. Since I am in such a leadership role as an entrepreneur, I am forced to jump in and deal with challenges head-on.

    “I was finding my groove and then the pandemic hit. Now I’m learning how to pivot and abide by the CDC’s guidelines for my business. Rowan’s flexible schedule has allowed me so many options to earn my degree even though I’m juggling so many things,” she says.

    Inside Marguerite's daycare business.

    Marguerite talks about why Rowan was the best fit for her. “I checked out other MBA programs, but they weren’t convenient for my lifestyle as a mother and career woman,” she says. “Rowan was always right there by my side the whole time. My classmates and professors have been so helpful through the whole process.

    She continues: “I chose Rowan to get my MBA because I had visited the campus when I attended the South Jersey Chamber of Commerce with South Jersey Summer Institute. There, I met professors and developed a close relationship with them. At the time I was a teacher, so they invited me back to tour the business building Think Tank Lab with my students. I got to see what the school was like and how dedicated the faculty was, and that’s what inspired me to pursue my degree at Rowan. I hadn’t been in school since my undergraduate institution in 2005, so I was nervous getting back into it being a career woman and mother, but Rowan was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.” 

    Marguerite sits with her children at a playground.

    Marguerite offers advice to other nontraditional students like herself who may want to pursue their MBA. She says, “Find passion and inspiration to get started. Once you figure out if the timing is right for you, I’d strongly encourage you to consider Rowan. Rowan’s community is flexible, hands-on and available to its students.”

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

    Meet #Rowan2025: Incoming First-Year Student Dara Donahue

    Close up of top of Bunce Hall.

    Today we speak to Dara Donahue, an incoming first-year Marketing major from Wantage, NJ (Sussex County). Dara hopes to live on campus next semester.

    Dara stands in the parking garage wearing a Rowan sweatshirt.

    Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward to in college?

    I am really looking forward to living on campus and getting to make friends!

    What is one hobby, activity, sport, or club you were a part of in high school that you’d like to continue in college?

    I was a part of DECA, a club that builds business and leadership skills, and I hope to join a similar club in college as well. 

    Dara poses by a car and a fence.

    Is there anything you’re hoping to discover about yourself in college?

    I hope to better my education in marketing and business in general.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I am considering a career in either marketing or becoming a lobbyist.

    Did you tour Rowan or attend any virtual events?

    I toured Rowan my junior year before COVID hit and loved it right away. I have attended some virtual events as well.

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

    My advice is cheesy, but just listen to your gut and see how you feel at each college you tour.

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

    Beyond the Classroom: Tanvi Koduru, 3D Confectionery CEO

    Tanvi Koduru is a senior Entrepreneurship major and hails from Somerset, NJ. She founded the Rowan Period Movement organization on campus and also leads the Rowan Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO). Period Movement aims to bring free and easily-accessible period products to all students in need on campus. Tanvi began her own business, 3D Confectionery, her […]

    Meet Transfer Profs: Business Management Major Brett Fleming

    Brett smiles, stands in front of a shaded window on campus.

    Meet incoming transfer Brett Fleming. Brett is a Business Management major who calls Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County) home. He transferred from Rowan College of South Jersey. He shares why he chose Rowan University and what he’s looking forward to!

    Brett sitting inside the Business building while wearing a suit and tie.

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

    I am looking forward to attending in-person classes again. I have always enjoyed direct instruction from my professors and interesting interactions with my classmates. I appreciate when a professor relays his or her expertise while also sharing real-life experiences with us.

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

    Although I was involved in many extracurricular activities in high school such as varsity basketball, acting groups, choir and school musicals, my current school and work responsibilities have since consumed my time. I am now a RCSJ ISP [Intern Scholarship Program] Business Administration and Marketing intern, a bank CSA [Customer Service Associate], a committed gym goer, and an attendee at a college-age Bible study.

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

    Now that I have completed most of my general education classes at RCSJ, I look forward to digging deeper into the field of business. I hope to acquire applicable knowledge and wisdom in classes such Consumer Behavior, Operations Management, Principle of Training and Management, and the Business Management Simulation. Also, if time permits, I would love to have the opportunity to act or to play basketball again.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I am enrolled as a Business Management major, and I also am minoring in Marketing. Since I was young, I have always loved working with both numbers and people. I am a reader, researcher and communicator. I have grown up playing sports and performing for others. I have been a camp counselor in multiple venues, and I was also an after-school child care provider in an elementary work setting.

    Every day, I manage my time, resources, workload, employment and social life. I am always planning, scheduling and troubleshooting. I am constantly making phone calls, sending emails and texts, and ideally, connecting with others in person to develop relationships. While doing this, I strive to be genuinely caring and professional. Hopefully, that’s good management.

    Brett sitting by the window of the Business building wearing a suit and tie.

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

    Although I have not toured Rowan’s academic buildings or attended any virtual events yet, I am familiar with the campus because some of my friends are Rowan students. Additionally, I have already made fun memories at Rowan’s surrounding restaurants and shops.

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

    My advice would be to commit to Rowan University, which has a great reputation all across the country. Rowan is practically in my backyard, offers me a solid education at an affordable price, and allows me to conveniently commute. It is a win-win in my book.

    Where are you going to live next year?

    Commute from home.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    Even though I am transferring as a junior, I am already connected to Rowan University. I remember going to both the Escape Room and the Virtual Reality Center with my friends. I’ve also been to one of Rowan’s basketball games. I can recall the electricity of the crowd as they cheered on our home team. All in all, I have developed a built-in affinity to Rowan.

    Also, I love how my foundational learning at RCSJ seamlessly transfers to Rowan. Because of this uncomplicated process, I can easily continue my undergraduate education.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior, music industry major

    Photos by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    Leading Innovation: Rowan Engineering, MBA Grad Brandon Graham Launches Startup Venture, Mentors Future Entrepreneurs

    Brandon poses inside Business Hall.

    Today we feature Brandon Graham, a recent graduate of Rowan Global’s Master of Business Administration program. Brandon co-founded the company Arke Aeronautics while still an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student at Rowan. Learn more about Brandon, his business and his contributions to the Rowan community. Brandon Graham defined his own education at Rowan. Now, as a […]

    Meet Transfer Profs: Advertising Major Jess Battistelli

    Drone shot of campus.

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

    Jess smiling while taking a selfie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What major(s) are you considering and why?

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

    Jess sitting on a bench while wearing a black dress.

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

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

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

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

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

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

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

    #PROFspective: Junior Marketing Major Jake Mayer

    Jake poses in a wooded area.

    Today we speak to Jake Mayer, a junior Marketing major with a Management Information Systems minor. Jake is a first-generation student from Stratford, NJ (Camden County), and a Resident Assistant. Jake is co-president of Rowan Club Baseball and a member of both the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Rowan Economics Society.

    Jake poses in front of Business Hall.

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

    On my busiest day, I would be balancing my schoolwork, being a Resident Assistant (RA) and the responsibilities that come with that, having two other jobs at Trifecta Therapeutics and Pro Image Sports, while also going on a daily Zoom call with my family members at night.

    What are your professional goals?

    My short-term professional goals are to apply and get accepted as a second-year Resident Assistant (RA) or Assistant Resident Director (ARD) for the 2021-22 school year, as well as get an internship for the summer to hopefully turn that experience into a career. My long-term professional goals are to graduate from Rowan University and get a job in the marketing, business world to begin my career.

    How are you involved on campus?

    On-campus, I am a Resident Assistant (RA) in 230 Victoria, the co-president of Rowan University’s club baseball team, and a member of the American Marketing Association (AMA). Being involved in these allow me to be involved and network with fellow Profs of different majors, ages and backgrounds. The most supportive of my future goals is AMA, where I interact with fellow marketing majors and network with marketing professionals. Hopefully, by interacting with fellow marketing majors and networking with professionals, I will make connections that will help me get into my future career field.

    Jake poses in a wooded area on campus.

    Could you share with us one moment that made you feel inspired or confident that you’re in the right field for you?

    I felt really inspired in my Entrepreneurship class during the final project of the class when my groupmates were looking towards me to lead the project in the marketing aspects. It was a fictional company and product idea that we came up with and I put a lot of effort into the project and we got an A. It may not sound like a lot, but leading this project in the marketing aspect of our project really inspired me and made me feel confident about my chosen major.

    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.

    One professor who I really enjoy talking to and one who makes me feel supported in my goals is Dr. Michael Milovich, professor of MIS. He is extremely supportive of students’ goals and guiding them to reach them in realistic ways. In his lectures and discussions, he always relates class material to the real world and how we can use tips and tricks that he provides to us to succeed in future situations that we will all experience, such as a job interview or how to move up the ladder of a company. I love him as a professor and would highly recommend that any student take his class if they have the chance.

    What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a major, campus involvement, or choosing a college/university?

    If I were in high school, I would tell myself to choose a major that I really enjoy and can envision myself working in for the rest of my adult life. As far as finding the perfect college or university, do more research and look around at other schools. Choosing the right place is important so that there isn’t the chance of transferring and going back to square one.

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

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

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Psychology Major, HR Management Minor John Tully

    John stands outside Bunce Hall.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What inspired you to choose your major?

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

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

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

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

    Around two hours.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

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

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

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

    Beyond The Classroom: Business Major Joe Sansone Secures Virtual Internship

    Joe Sansone stands outside the entrance to Business Hall.

    Joe Sansone, a senior Business Management and Marketing double major from Monmouth County, shares his experience at his virtual internship with Clearbridge Branding Agency and how he manages his busy schedule. 

    Joe Sansone leans against a railing outside of Business Hall.

    Do you feel that Rowan provided you with the necessary skills and education to help secure your internship?

    I feel like with business majors there is an emphasis on networking and marketing yourself and your resume and just putting yourself out there. We do a lot of group projects so I think that prepares you, too. Communicating with other people who are different from you and working together, I definitely felt prepared with my education. 

    How did you secure your internship?

    I had a pretty tough time finding an internship, so I was applying to a bunch of different ones. Even though I’m not a Communications major, they have a match program for internships [through Profs Jobs], so I talked to someone in the Communications department and they set me up on this interview with [Clearbridge] and I ended up getting it. 

    Joe Sansone reads a book inside Business Hall.


    What do you love the most about your internship? 

    I like how they are very flexible around my schedule. I think they’re very respectful to me in the way they communicate with me. My boss is very attentive, polite and respectful yet still laid back and casual at the same time. 

    How did you become interested in business?

    Going into college I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I thought about doing social science, law and justice, or emergency preparedness but I kind of thought about what I was good at. I think for my life and in high school I loved being involved in the school through different clubs and I noticed I liked the leadership position in these clubs. I think Business Management is similar to that. 

    Is there anyone in your industry that you admire or inspire you?

    A lot of my professors have been sources of inspiration for me. They have been industry professionals and bring a lot of experience and examples into the classroom. I think going into college everyone told me, “Oh, your professors are going to be so hard on you, you can’t do what you did in high school.” I think it’s the complete opposite. I think that there’s a level of respect that they have for us and we have for them. I’m motivated and excited to learn because of how nice they are and how informative they are to us. 

    Joe Sansone stands outside the entrance to Business Hall.

    What do you think is the most important to skill to have in your industry?

    Willingness to learn. You can’t go into it thinking that you’re going to know everything, going into it open to challenge yourself and willing to be wrong and learning from that is really important. 

    How do you handle your time in and out of the classroom?

    I just write things down and cross them off as I go. I have a really good memory too, I just know what I need to do in my head. It’s a lot of discipline between my time here. I think every year prepares you for the next. It’s being able to know that I don’t always need to hangout with my friends if I have something to get done but I also can let an assignment wait a little and go out and get my mind off things too. It’s just being responsible and having an end goal in sight. 

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    Story by:
    Caitlyn Dickinson, senior public relations major

    Photos by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    Leadership #PROFspective: Debate Team President and Sophomore Allison Gould

    Allison poses in a wooded area.

    Today we speak to Allison Gould, president of the Law and Justice Debate Team. Allison is a sophomore Finance and Accounting double major from Whippany, NJ (Morris County) and lives on campus. Besides being the president of the Debate Team, Allison is also involved with the Financial Management Association and the Accounting Society.

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

    Allison poses in front of the Prof Owl statue.

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

    I am president of the debate team, so I am in charge of a lot of things. I didn’t get a chance to learn from the seniors before, because of COVID, so I had to figure out the role on my own. Lately, we have been having meetings about current events, having mock debates and working on public speaking.

    Why did you join the Debate Team? What made you want to become president?

    I participated in my high school’s debate team all four years of high school. We used a different debate-style called Lincoln Douglas, which is where you go up against your opponent one on one. Rowan does public forum, which is two people going up against each other. I knew I wanted to join the debate team in college because I like it. Winning isn’t the point for me. Even if I don’t win, the point is to better myself and get better at public speaking. 

    It was hard to find the club. I remember I was walking to the academic buildings and there was a table set up on the way there [for the debate team]. I heard somebody say debate, and I had to walk back through to sign up.

    As for why I became president, it was more or less because nobody else wanted to step up to the plate. My parents encouraged me to be independent. Leadership is reinforced by whatever environment you grew up in.

    Allison leans against a railing by a wooded section of campus.

    What have you learned in your role as a leader?

    I have learned that most leaders don’t know what they’re doing, but they know how to work through it and weave their team. I’ve learned how to not get overwhelmed with everything.

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

    My favorite memory was being able to do a mock debate for the first time. We were kind of dying a club and we didn’t have that many members, so we weren’t able to do a mock debate. Then, we had more people join, and we were able to. 

    I feel that a lot of people think they have to win in debates, but you learn more when you lose. Debate is a great skill to have. It teaches you how to persuade people and put arguments together. You also have to learn how to see topics from the other person’s point of view.

    Allison smiles and stands in front of the Owl statue.

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

    Don’t give up. If you want something enough, you can do 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

    Photos by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    Faculty PROFile: Journey into the Entrepreneurial Mindset with Dr. Susana C. Santos, Rohrer College of Business

    Dr. Susana Santos stands outside Business Hall.

    Meet Dr. Susana C. Santos, assistant professor of Management and Entrepreneurship within the Rohrer College of Business. Rowan Global Learning and Partnerships awarded Dr. Santos its Excellence in Online Learning faculty award last year. Learn more about Dr. Santos, her teaching and how she created an inventive, daily exercise to build online engagement with her students. 

    Dr. Susana C. Santos is teaching her students chasing business dreams the skills to leverage those ideas into real ventures, to improve their lives and, perhaps, to make the world “a little bit better.” 

    An assistant professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Santos joined the Rohrer College of Business faculty in 2018.

    Dr. Susana Santos stands inside Business Hall.

    Santos’ family lay the foundation for her future career in entrepreneurial research and scholarship. 

    She was drawn to teaching by her parents, both of whom were educators. 

    Growing up in her native Portugal, she was actively involved in her extended family’s ceramics business, which, like many at the time, was affected by the economic crisis of the late 2000s. This shift, according to Dr. Santos, showed people they couldn’t wait for someone else to develop, generate and launch their own businesses. 

    “To have your own job, to be self-employed, was becoming very important,” she notes. 

    Observing this movement through the lens of her family’s business shaped her research and study in entrepreneurship. 

    “I realized how it could be important to teach our students these … comprehensive mindsets and skills of how they can be self-employed, how they can be launching their own companies,” she says. 

    Dr. Santos teaches Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a course she describes as hands-on, experiential and one that thrives on experimentation. As she quickly converted her sections from in-person to online delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her research into entrepreneurship handed her a distinct advantage. She explains: “The online environment really asked me as a teacher to be entrepreneurial in thinking about how I could adapt and change my own exercises that we used to have in the classroom and how we can change it.”

    She believes entrepreneurship is a life skill, and with COVID-19, students needed this know-how more than ever before. In her course, “we define entrepreneurship as a way of thinking, acting and being that combines the ability to find and develop new opportunities and the will to act upon them. This mindset is something you do daily,” she says. 

    Dr. Susana stands by a railing inside Business Hall.

    Inspired by the work of Dr. Heidi Neck from Babson College, Dr. Santos developed a mindset exercise. She sent her students what she calls a “a daily mindset vitamin” and launched an accompanying classroom chat via the What’s App application. Her “vitamins” took the forms of questions such as “What is the difference between learning and failure?” or an action item prompt like “Today, smile a lot more than usual.” 

    “I didn’t expect anyone to actually answer them, they weren’t required to answer. But guess what — they actually did!” Dr. Santos says. “People started chatting every day about whatever it was I was sharing with them. I wanted to send this daily mindset vitamin to be absorbed and to be connected in such challenging times.”

    She adds, “I believe this was a unique way to build connections between students themselves and also with me during online classes.” 

    This isn’t the first time Dr. Santos has used technology to engage with students. 

    She also sources YouTube and podcasts to extract the most up-to-the moment resources for her courses, which simply cannot be replicated in textbooks.

    One such source is the NPR podcast “How I Built This,” which deep-dives into businesses launched by entrepreneurs from Chipotle to Instagram. A self-described fan of the program, Dr. Santos connects these real-world stories of successes and struggles with key concepts or theories in her courses. 

    She also collaborates with Rowan’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, with whom she is a faculty partner. The Center supports budding entrepreneurs throughout the university by hosting guest speakers and offering competitions, events and workshops. Without missing a beat, RCIE has delivered its programming online since the pandemic. Dr. Santos connects her course content to the people and workshops offered by RCIE.

    Dr. Susana Santos smiles by a railing in Business Hall.

    Dr. Santos’ infusion of tech with daily doses of engagement prompted colleagues from the College of Business to nominate her for Rowan Global Learning and Partnerships’ second annual Excellence in Online Learning award. She says will extend her “vitamins” to her upcoming summer course and continue her teaching and research on the entrepreneurial mindset, which she says is more universal than most assume: 

    “When I do research in so many different fields, it’s thinking about how people can use this mindset in different contexts. One of my research [interests] is on low-income people. They have few resources, they live in a very complicated world. But they find a way to turn around, they leverage the resources they have and the courage to act on those opportunities. So in offering my research I make an effort to understand better how this entrepreneurial mindset can be really relevant in many others rather than just having your own company.”

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    Beyond the Classroom: Woman in Business, Management and Marketing Major Lexi Jubin

    Lexi standing in a wooded area near Rowan Hall on campus.

    Junior Lexi Jubin from Monroe Township in Middlesex County, NJ shares her experience about being a woman in business. She is a Management and Marketing major with a certificate of undergraduate study in Entrepreneurial and Independent Media.

    Lexi Jubin’s calendar is filled with office hours, events and leadership meetings. Her extracurricular involvement is extensive, as she is a Resident Assistant in Mimosa Hall, the Marketing Director of Student University Programmers (SUP), a part of the American Marketing Association, the Society for Advancement of Management, and has an outside internship at Soccer Therapy NYC. It’s safe to say that Lexi is taking advantage of the opportunities provided at Rowan. 

    Lexi outside on campus.

    When Lexi was asked about her experience being a woman in a predominantly male field, she shared her honest feedback. “Most of my classes have male students, so the women are usually outnumbered. I definitely notice a difference when we are in virtual breakout rooms. I feel like sometimes I have to stand my ground and talk over people, but I always make sure my voice is heard. That’s one of the reasons I am so involved; I try to let my knowledge and experience speak for itself so I don’t need to prove anything to anyone.”

    Lexi stands in front of the entrance to Business Hall.

    Lexi talks fondly about one of her favorite professors, Dr. Guner, who is the head of the marketing department at Rowan. “Dr. Guner is an example of another strong woman in business. She can easily hold the attention of the class because she’s so outspoken and interesting and carries herself so well. She is such a role model for me. 

    As you could’ve probably guessed, Lexi has some big goals after graduation. “My ultimate goal is to work in marketing for national aquariums or to have my own small businesses. I would also love to help other small businesses compete by doing their digital marketing for them,” Lexi says.

    She adds that Rowan has given her the tools to achieve those goals. “My experiences as a student employee have helped me so much. I’ve learned communication skills, flexibility, time management, and most importantly: confidence. Given the opportunity to head the marketing for Student University Programmers (SUP) shows me I have the ability to lead a team as well as demonstrate marketing practices.”

    Her coursework has also given her some great opportunities. “In the Rohrer College of Business, we are required to attend networking events. This allows me to expand my connections and gives me a chance to update my LinkedIn profile.” 

    Lexi stands on the steps in the Business Hall lobby.

    Lexi shares some powerful advice to other women who want to enter the field of business. She says “you deserve respect, you deserve to be heard, and you deserve to be there.” 

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

    Photography by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

    Michelle Martinez: Rowan MBA Fellow for Innovation and Impact, Change Agent for the Financial Industry

    Michelle folds her arms on a railing inside Business Hall.

    Today we feature Michelle Martinez, a Rowan Global student pursuing her master’s degree in business administration (MBA). Michelle is the inaugural Rohrer College of Business MBA Fellow in Innovation and Impact. In this selective role, she’ll leverage her professional experience to normalize financial literacy and advocate for greater diversity and inclusion in the finance industry. 

    Learn more about Michelle, her experience as an MBA Fellow thus far and what responsible leadership means to her. 

    From a very young age Michelle has always been determined to change a corner of the world in some meaningful way. Initially, she wanted to explore new underwater worlds as a marine biologist. Over the years, her interest evolved; however, she never lost her interest in math. During her last semester in high school she took a personal finance course and an advanced placement course in macroeconomics. From there, she was inspired to affect the world through the lens of finance. 

    Michelle stands outside Business Hall.

    Like many millennials, Michelle’s professional journey began at the onset of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. In the aftermath of the recession, she channeled her efforts into helping people interpret and overcome their financial challenges. At the time, Michelle worked for Cherry Hill, NJ-based Commerce Bank. 

    “Commerce Bank was a place where customer service and attention to detail was highly important. During that time I saw a lot of people struggling to meet their financial needs. I floated around to different branches in different positions consulting clients on basic financial concepts such as budgeting and building savings, managing debt and using credit. The individuals whose stories stick with me the most are the ones I couldn’t help. These were the people who came to me trying to try and figure a way out of their expensive payday loans. I wanted to be able to do more for them, but I couldn’t,” Michelle says.

    After graduating from La Salle University with dual degrees in Marketing and Management Leadership, Michelle went on to work as an investment specialist for one of the world’s largest mutual fund distributors, Vanguard Marketing Corp. There she helped clients with investment operations, portfolio management, financial planning and advisory services. She later went on to work at Morgan Stanley, where she helped direct and lead client/advisor support activities for a team of financial advisors handling several million dollars in assets under management. 

    It was soon after her experience working with ultra-high net worth clients that Michelle began to witness firsthand the widening financial capabilities that marked her experiences as a financial professional. 

    Michelle leans against a wall inside Business Hall.

    “As I progressed professionally, I had begun to more clearly understand the role financial institutions played in easing the economic conditions that perpetuated the growing wealth divide. What I come to realize is that one of the many critical components of building wealth is guaranteeing access to certain resources in a self-sustaining manner. It’s not about guaranteeing specific outcomes,” Michelle says.

    “Many people fail to grasp how dependent our financial systems are to one another. A vibrant economy is one that works for everyone. When certain pockets of people are excluded from these systems, we create a room for scarcity and codependency. 

    “Not everyone gets a grand for Christmas from grandpa. Not every kid gets a car for their 16th birthday. Not having to choose between getting an education or holding down a job is a privilege. The idea that people should pull themselves up by their bootstraps completely ignores the fact that wealth is not built alone. It takes an orchestra of events,” Michelle adds. 

    Michelle stresses that financial institutions must proactively seek out ways to leverage cross-sector relationships in order to help solve growing social issues.

    “With the ushering in of a more democratized financial services sector, there is an overwhelming opportunity to reorient wealth management to be more inclusive of the burgeoning potential of outcome-driven, minority-owned enterprises. This goes beyond philanthropy. Too often, portfolio managers lend their success to the securitization of distressed assets in already at-risk communities. 

    “The collateral consequences of these traditional investing models perpetuate a long legacy of racism and redlining,” she explains.

    Michelle stands in the lobby of Business Hall.

    As a Rohrer MBA Fellow in Innovation and Impact, Michelle is on a mission to help disrupt this process. Innovations and Impact Fellows are committed to enhancing both firm and industry performance through the development and implementation of practices that maximize opportunity while minimizing the negative impacts operations have on the environment, people and economic systems.

    The MBA Fellowship in Innovation and Impact offers three major areas of focus: Advocacy, Engagement and Research. Fellows will further participate in on-campus initiatives that further shared community connections and shape the culture in which students thrive. 

    During her time as a fellow, Michelle will focus on conducting advocacy and engagement as it relates to financial literacy and helping to advocate for greater financial inclusion within the finance industry through community development. 

    Michelle adds: “If there’s anything we have to take away from the last year dealing with the fallout of COVID-19 and the impact on vulnerable communities; it’s that healing is not linear. We take the momentum of incredible strides in history and we think our work is done. Except, atrophy starts to set in immediately after. And so, our work must continue.   

    Michelle smiles outside Business Hall.

    “Organizations have to start digging deeper to find shared values and work towards practices that strengthen our ecosystems as a whole. Guaranteeing opportunities is not the same as guaranteeing outcomes! 

    “It’s about creating an enabling environment for all individuals to work hard, pursue life and exercise their civic duties. Is that not the American dream?” she says. “This is what responsible leadership means to me.”

    In lending her experience to this growing social challenge, Michelle says she’s optimistic we can advance the equity and economic prospects of low-income Americans. 

    Michelle resides in South Jersey and is the proud wife, mother and dog mom of two active goldendoodles. Follow Michelle’s journey on LinkedIn!

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    Story by:
    Michelle Martinez, Rowan Global MBA student

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Senior Computing and Informatics Major Abraham Reyes

    Abraham poses in front of Science Hall.

    Today we speak to Abraham Reyes, a senior, first-generation college student who transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County. Abraham majors in Computing and Informatics, minors in Business Administration and has a CUGS in Management Information Systems Certification. He is a commuter student from Camden, NJ (Camden County).

    Abraham sits on a wall by the Student Center.

    What is a typical Rowan day for you?

    My typical Rowan day, since classes became primarily virtual, starts with breakfast and checking emails and the early news. I sign into my classes, which are all on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and start my day. After morning classes are through, I usually drive to the Rowan campus to grab lunch.

    Being on campus is like a second home for me and I miss the environment, so I treat myself twice a week by driving to campus for lunch. I was fortunate enough to have my 2020 summer internship at Lockheed Martin extended through the entire fall semester, so I work virtually from my home on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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

    At Rowan, I decided to major in Computing & Informatics, as well as minor in Business Administration. When I took Applied Database Technologies with Professor Arafat Qureshi during my first semester at Rowan, I immediately wanted to know more about coding, the organization and analysis of large quantities of data, and how it all applied to the business world. As I continued to take additional classes in my major, I felt confident that Computing & Informatics was the right major for me, and it definitely opened the door for me to my internship.

    Abraham poses in front of Science Hall.

    Could you tell us a little bit about your transition into Rowan as an incoming student?

    I began my college career at Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC). I knew I wanted to transfer to Rowan University because I wanted to explore a larger campus environment and join the Rowan University community. RCBC has a wonderful partnership with Rowan University, with many opportunities, and the transition from RCBC to Rowan was pretty smooth. I was really nervous and excited to transition from community college to a four-year college. It took me a while to get used to the larger campus, but now I’m very comfortable there and the Glassboro campus is like a second home to me.

    What are your professional goals?

    My professional goal is to land a full-time position at Lockheed Martin since I’ve been so happy with my ongoing internship, and I now better understand all the opportunities available for someone with a Computing & Informatics degree. I hope to work in the future with good, talented people to solve complex real-world problems.

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

    Rowan University has helped me so much with almost everything. My advisors were very supportive and gave me the best recommendations for choosing classes. All my professors have challenged me and helped prepare me for the unexpected in the workforce.

    The Office of Career Advancement at Rowan has also helped me so much with networking, mock interviews and tips on nailing an interview. I feel like I made the best decision to attend Rowan University and call this school a second home. I’m currently working at Lockheed Martin as a Data Analysis/Project Management intern supporting the Global Supply Chain Competitive Intelligence Team. My internship has been extended four times, and I will now be transitioning to new tasks that will assist in developing additional skillsets. I would not be where I am today without the education and support I have received from Rowan University and many members of the faculty and staff.

    I have enjoyed so many of my classes, such as Management Information Systems with Dr. Berrin Guner, and Organizational Behavior with Dr. Richard Jonsen. I would like to give a special “thank you” to Professor Bridget Temme-Soifer for helping me with Statistical Analysis and giving me the tools to see how data works in the real world. 

    I also want to give a special “thank you” to Chiara, my Academic Success Advisor from the Academic Success Center, for helping me so much throughout my college experience. Finally, I’d like to thank my mother for always believing in me and for all the sacrifices she made over the years to help me become the person I am today. Overall, I feel that I made the best decision in choosing my major and minor, so now I feel confident about my future.

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

    Photos by:
    Jabreeah Holmes, senior radio, television and film major

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

    One Semester Down: 6 First Years Share

    Group of Rowan freshmen friends outside.

    Six students share their thoughts on their experiences so far at Rowan and what advice they would share with future freshmen. “I am most looking forward to meeting new people and making friendships for life at Rowan. But also the opportunities that Rowan gives to further my career. In the future I would like to […]

    Alumni Success: Student-Athlete, Trailblazer Brad K. Leak

    Today, we feature alumnus Brad K. Leak ’94, who earned a bachelor of science degree in Business with a specialization in Accounting. He also led the men’s Track & Field team as captain from 1991-94. As a three-time all-American champion, Brad wisely balanced the many responsibilities of being a student, an athlete and a leader.

    Brad posing with a friend outside the track field while wearing a Glassboro State Track sweatshirt.

    Where do you currently work? 

    “I am the Associate Managing Director of Financial Aid at Kean University, but I still love my school [as Brad proudly shows he’s wearing Glassboro State College apparel]. Although it was awkward for me, accepting a job at one of my school’s rivals, my wife and I were excited at the opportunity for my kids to attend college for free. I’m also going to run the EOF program for Kean University! I was equally blessed that my fraternity brother is the first African American president of Kean University. He was putting together a diverse team [to lead Kean]; my name came to his mind as someone who would not only relate to the students of today but also knew how to go about understanding federal compliance as it relates to financial aid and helping students to graduate. Just three weeks previous, I was offered to be the first African American Director of Finance of Union Township, but the local politicians wanted to ensure they put all options of the table for the betterment of my career. I could not turn down the opportunity to assist in molding the future minds of society.” 

    What was your experience as an undergrad? 

    “I received a bachelor of science in business with a specialization in accounting. As an only child, my mother said I always [pretended] to have a business office and clients. I also excelled in mathematics in school. [Although] I wasn’t interested in the complicated formulas, numbers had always interested me. In the church, anytime the offering was going to be taken, I wanted to help manage the finances of the church.” 

    Eventually, somebody pointed Brad toward accounting. In high school, he took an accounting class, learning the concepts of debits and credits. From a young age, Brad “knew [he] wanted to study accounting, become an accountant, and build a whole career as an accountant.”

    Brad’s favorite class was Accounting 102 with Dr. Diane Hughes, one of the few African American teachers he met in his entire educational experience. Brad later became the president of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) at Rowan from 1993-94. Brad earned the position by impressing IMA’s advisor at the time, Dr. George Romeo, through class and one-to-one basketball sessions. 

    Coming through the EOF program, built solid friendships and learned more about the campus environment. Brad credits his start in EOF in helping him make it through college because it was a major adjustment from his hometown in North Jersey. Living only six minutes from the Newark airport and 20 minutes from New York (on a good day), he remembers being surprised Glassboro only had one Wawa in the area.

    Brad posing for a group photo with his wife and daughter on a track field.
    Here Brad stands with his daughter Akayla (center) at her high school graduation, alongside his wife Kim.

    Can you tell me more about your extracurricular activities? 

    “I specialized in the 800-meter race and ran the anchor leg in the 4×400 relay. The anchor leg was tough, especially at nationals where everybody gets excited. I [also] ran run cross country because as a middle-distance runner, you have to be fast and strong. 

    “I am a member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. I pledged in the spring of 1990, and that network has led me to have a fraternity brother who is the president of a major university in the state of New Jersey. The model of our fraternity is focused on service for humanity. Phi Beta Sigma recruited you so that you could become a leader of the community. It was less about yourself and more about what you could do for other people. There’s a difference between aspiring to be a leader, and already being a leader who wants to serve people. I stayed active through the alumni ranks.

    “As one of the historically Black fraternities and sororities, the alumni portion of [Phi Beta Sigma] is as strong if not stronger than the collegiate ranks. [As an alumni], it’s less about college parties and more about community service, networking, and conferences; and, because of that, we’ve become an intellectual thinktank.” 

    Brad remembers being a social butterfly and recruiting members for Phi Beta Sigma, starting off with five to six members and gaining up to 25 new recruits. This experience helped shape Brad into the leader he is now. He believes that intentionally creating positive situations will lead to positive results and that “iron sharpens iron.” 

    Could you share with us a little bit about racial inclusion and the student culture while you attended Rowan? 

    “In my day, the only diversity that came through the campus was from the EOF/MAP programs. In 1992, the Rodney King verdict was released, and we marched down 322 onto the football field during a game. We tried to stop the game. After that, we immediately went to the President’s house [Hollybush Mansion] and camped out. I also went to NAACP events in Clayton and Camden as well as Black Cultural League once a month.” 

    Coming from North Jersey, Brad remembers driving back home and about 35% of the time he drove up the highway home, he was pulled over by NJ state troopers. It happened so often with one state trooper, he eventually remembered Brad as “the college kid.” 

    Brad posing with the Shady Rest Clubhouse sign and pointing to the name 'John Matthe Shippen'.
    Brad plays golf at the first African American-owned golf course in the world. John Shippen is the first African American golf pro recognized by the USGA.

    What advice would you give to students, especially Black students?

    “Always understand that you want to be the change that you want to see. The blessing is, with [the culture] today, I can comfortably speak about the Black Lives Matter Movement. Where in my day, you didn’t want to be so radical. We were being trained to assimilate to corporate America. You didn’t see a lot of African American CEOs or presidents of major corporations, you only really ever saw us in sports and entertainment. Now, we have had an African American president [and now a Vice President] of the United States. So, I would tell those students — especially the males — to understand that if Black Lives Matter then Black education MUST matter. I want them to value their education first and foremost.

    “Education is more than just the process of going to class and going back to your dorm and playing the PS5 or whatever kids are playing with today. Education means you have to join a professional organization. Make sure you not only do sports but also participate in academia and build a relationship with your professors. Ask them about their professional experiences. 

    “I challenge them, [especially] African American males, to set the example and change ‘perception.’ Make sure you’re holistically involved in the campus, be involved in the ENTIRE process of being a college student. You’re only going to be able to do that for four or five years. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would do it all over again. I would do a couple of things differently and I could make my career that much greater just by the basis of my college education and experience at Rowan University.” 

    Brad has always appreciated the power of education, especially being the second person in his immediate family to attend college. His aunt, Dr. Violet Martin, was the first to go to college and also calls Rowan her alma mater. Brad and Dr. Martin now have six other collegiate-level students or graduates in their family. 

    Brad proudly stands with his son Kyndell, who graduated from college.
    Brad proudly stands with his son Kyndell, who graduated from college.

    What was your journey like after college? 

    “When I graduated from college, I had applied to a lot of the Big Six accounting firms. I wasn’t getting the opportunities I really wanted. Because, at that time, if you didn’t go to one of the Ivy League schools where the Big Six recruited on those campuses and where they have associations set up, they did not look at you. Being the president of IMA, I got sent to a three-day weekend at UPenn. [Even] being one of the most outgoing people in the organization and having a down-to-earth attitude (coming from Rowan), the only kids they were recruiting from were from UPenn, Drexel, or Villanova. I didn’t let it bother me. Long story short, I found out I have a second cousin, Walter Frye, who owns a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) firm. Walter brought me into his firm, and I’ve continuously worked with him for 25 years at the same time as my other jobs. The firm had a contract with KPMG to audit New York City. We made sure to send diverse accountants because the people auditing the city should look like the public. I received training by KPMG in Denver, Colorado. This opportunity set up my whole career. I became a top executive for Atlantic City Housing Authority. I began my own firm and worked with housing authorities all over America, traveling 80% of the time. I would not have believed a small kid from North Jersey would become a key figure in the housing authority. Now, I’ve pivoted back to college and higher education.” 

    What do you hope to see in the future of Rowan? 

    Brad appreciates the fact that the minority base at Rowan is growing. He hopes that everyone feels accepted at Rowan and that diversity will not be treated as just a statistic. He also hopes to see the faculty one day look like the people they are teaching.

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

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    Meet #Rowan2025: Undeclared Turned Business Major Bailey Livezey

    Home photo of Bailey.

    Today, we meet #Rowan2025 student Bailey Livezey! Bailey, an incoming freshman from Mullica Hill, NJ (Gloucester County), was originally undeclared; she then decided a Business degree would be the right fit for her. She shares what clubs she wants to continue pursuing in her college career and offers some advice to other incoming freshmen.

    A portrait photo of Bailey in her high school graduation cap and gown.

    Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college?

    I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life and perhaps learning something about myself that I didn’t know before.

    What is one hobby, activity, sport or club you were a part of in high school that you’d like to continue in college?

    I have done Key Club and love the aspects about it! Doing community service and helping those in need brings me happiness. I would love to continue to this in college.

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

    I do not have a specific career that I want to do, so I am hoping to figure out what I am passionate about and expand on that.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I applied undecided, but I am going to declare as a [College of Business] major. Business includes such a wide variety of careers, which is very exciting to me. I have hope I will fall in love with one of them!

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

    I attended a virtual event of Rowan that explained the basics about the campus and what Rowan is about. Not knowing what I want to do as a career, this event assured me that I will figure out my future at Rowan.

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

    Don’t take everything in at once! If you look at it all, it will only overwhelm you. Enjoy the process and take it one step at a time.

    Where are you going to live next year?

    I’m commuting from home!

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    The campus is definitely one of my favorite things about Rowan. The Rowan campus is always expanding. I have seen it grow since I live very close by. With the campus consistently evolving, the opportunities that lie on this campus do as well.

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Meet #Rowan2025: Philadelphia Native Bella Guerriero

    Exterior shot of the side of Business Hall.

    Meet #Rowan2025 freshman Bella Guerriero! Bella is a first-generation college student and incoming College of Business student from Philadelphia, PA. She shares with us what she hopes to discover in college and where she sees herself after she gets her degree.

    A selfie of Bella wearing a Rowan sweatshirt.

    Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college?

    One thing I am looking forward to in college is meeting new people and trying new things that I am unfamiliar of.

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

    Something I’m hoping to discover about myself in college is what my purpose is in life.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I am considering majoring in business because I hope to own my own daycare one day.

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

    If I had to give any advice to other high school seniors who haven’t committed yet it would be to weigh the pros and cons of the options available to you. It’s your future, your career, make sure you love your choice no matter what.

    Where are you going to live next year?

    On campus!

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    One thing I really like about Rowan is that they have so much to offer to all of their students.

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, Senior Music Industry major

    Meet #Rowan2025: Entrepreneurship Major Richard Betz

    Richard wears a hat and stands next to a car in a supplied photo.

    Meet #Rowan2025 student Richard Betz! Richard is an Entrepreneurship major from Laurel Springs, NJ (Camden County) and a graduate from Camden County Technical Schools – Gloucester Township Campus. He shares what he hopes to learn during his time at Rowan and why he chose Rowan. 

    Richard smiling and wearing a tan suit jacket.

    Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college?

    I am looking very forward to studying Entrepreneurship and being exposed to young, aspiring business figures much like myself.

    What is one hobby, activity, sport or club you were a part of in high school that you’d like to continue in college?

    I was a part of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) during high school. I would like to carry on the tradition in college, if possible.

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

    I’m hoping to see how flexible and how good of a multi-tasker I am in college. I plan on starting and building up my career as a real estate agent while in college.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    Entrepreneurship and Political Science are two topics that are very special to me. I have always had a legitimate interest in both business and American politics. I would like to establish myself as a prominent businessman and possibly run for local office one day.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    I just like the area Rowan is located. I am very familiar with the Glassboro area and like the suburban/rural scenery.

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    7 Students Share Why They Like Magnolia and Chestnut

    Exterior shot of Chestnut Hall.

    Two of Rowan’s on-campus residence halls, Magnolia and Chestnut, have a lot to offer. We spoke to a few of the residents to see what they like about living there. 

    Leena Nesby, a freshman resident at Chestnut, says: “I like Chestnut because the lake is just outside my window, so I like my view. I like that it is really close to Holly [Pointe Commons], which is where my friends and I go to eat a lot of the time. I do like the courtyard, the benches and all the bike racks night there.” Leena is a Nutrition major from Tabernacle, NJ (Burlington County).

    A selfie of Leena.

    Griffin Roughgarden, a freshman Entrepreneurship major from Caldwell, NJ (Essex County), says that Chestnut is a quiet place to sleep, study and live.

    Griffin poses in front of Chestnut.

    Christopher Maestoso, a freshman Exploratory Studies major from Fairfield, NJ (Essex County), says that Chestnut is the perfect temperature once the heat of summer passes.  

    Christopher poses in front of Chestnut.

    Amanda Holzlein, a junior Human Resource Management major from Jackson, NJ (Ocean County) and a Resident Assistant at Chestnut, says that it feels like home. 

    Amanda poses in front of Chestnut.

    Bryce McMaster, a freshman Explorartory Studies major from Southampton, NJ (Burlington County) and a resident of Magnolia, says that he likes that he only has to share his bathroom with three other residents and that he has his own room, which he really likes. 

    Bryce poses in front of Magnolia.

    Andrew Mercurio, a freshman Music Education – Instrumental from Kendall Park, NJ (Middlesex County) and a resident at Magnolia Hall, says he likes that it sits right in the middle of where all his classes are and Rowan Boulevard. He likes that convenience.

    Andrew poses in front of Magnolia Hall.

    Samuel Poku, a freshman Music Industry major from Old Bridge, NJ (Middlesex County), says: “The main reasons why I do like living at Chestnut are because it is a very cozy environment and quiet. Even though it is an older dorm it still has a great the environment with the people in and around it. I like the location, too, because it is between everything and easy to find everything. The Resident Assistants also do a very good job and make sure students are safe.”

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    Story and photography by:
    Rachel Rumsby, sophomore communication studies and public relations double major and Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

    First student photo courtesy of Lena Nesby

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Marketing Major Harmanjot Kahlon

    Harmanjot standing outside of Business Hall.

    Today we feature first-generation college senior Harmanjot Kahlon, a Marketing major from Florence, NJ (Burlington County). Harmanjot is a transfer student from Rowan College at Burlington County. She tells us about her time here at Rowan. Tell us a little bit about your favorite class at Rowan so far. My favorite class at Rowan was […]

    #PROFspective: Accounting Major David Nicolas

    David stands outside of Savitz.

    Today we feature first-generation college senior David Nicolas, an Accounting major from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County). David is a part of the Accounting Society and NABA – National Association of Black Acountants. What are your career aspirations? One of my aspirations is to get my Series 6 license. I am in the process of doing that […]

    #PROFspective: Senior Theatre/Marketing Double Major Says “Try New Things … You’re Only Young Once”

    Erik during an acting class monologue.

    Today we speak with Erik Kattermann, a senior theatre and marketing double major with concentrations in Acting and Honors from Montville, NJ (Morris County). Erik is a Resident Assistant and lives on-campus at 114 Victoria Street. He serves as the vice president of the Fishing Club.

    Erik poses against a gray backdrop.

    What inspired you to be passionate about your major?

    I’ve taken classes with Professor Michael Dean Morgan, a theatre professor, since sophomore year, and he’s had a huge impact on me. He really showed me theatre and he showed me that anyone can be an actor, the work that has to be put in. When Professor Morgan showed me what theatre was about, it opened doors for me and motivated me. I truly love going to every theatre class I have, no doubt about it. I love going to class and watching my classmates, who are super talented and super hard-working, perform. I love getting the opportunity to perform and be in the environment of the Rowan Theatre Department. I’m so grateful. I always take steps back and realize how blessed I am just to have this opportunity to learn about something that I really am passionate about. Rowan also helped me find that passion. In high school, I had nothing to do with the arts or theatre, or acting. Professors, classmates, and friends at Rowan helped open that door to me, and I really love it. 

    What would you say to a future student interested in a major?

    Definitely don’t be afraid to try. Try new things and put yourself outside of your comfort zone. I can say from personal experience that if I never put myself outside of my comfort zone that I would not be where I am today with the goals that I have today. Something like acting or theatre or performing or even just talking in front of a group of people is something where, years ago, I would have never thought I would be doing, let alone enjoy doing, and it’s all because I put myself out of my comfort zone. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get nervous at first. I still get nervous sometimes. But you’re at a time in your life when you’re young and we’re only doing this once. So just try new things, and every day, challenge yourself to do one thing that’s outside of your comfort zone. You’re going to have so much personal growth and find so many new passions and so many new journeys that you’re going to want to go on.

    Erik poses in a Rowan shirt.

    What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned this year in one of your classes?

    I took a dialect class where we learn accents. This whole semester I got the opportunity to work on an Australian accent. Everybody gets to choose their own accent. I got to work on an Australian accent, which is by no means mastered. But it’s pretty good. And we also got to talk in a New York accent. And I got to listen to all my classmates do their own accents. Some people worked on French, British, Irish, and Scottish accents, among others. So that was definitely something cool I got to learn this year.

    What’s one moment that made you feel like Rowan was the right fit for you?

    I knew Rowan was right for me the second my parents dropped me off freshman year. I just had this overwhelming feeling of comfortability and knowledge that I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted. There is a feeling at Rowan of everyone wanting you to succeed. I immediately felt that, and I have felt it every day on and off-campus, for as long as I have been a Prof.

    Eric during one of his acting class monologues.
    Eric during one of his acting class monologues.

    Could you share one moment that you felt that Rowan was a welcoming environment for you?

    There definitely was a specific moment. I was originally just a marketing major, but then I took a theatre class. The theatre major is like nothing else. It is such a unique and diverse and connected family. Everyone knows everyone and supports everyone. Everyone makes such a big effort to get to know you as a person and to get to know your goals and make sure you feel supported and comfortable. That sense of community and family is what made me want to audition for the theatre department and become a double major. 

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

    Photos provided by:
    Erik Kattermann, senior theatre and marketing double major

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Passionate About Inspiring Women in Male-Dominated Field, Talia Tomarchio

    Talia poses against a dark background.

    Today we speak to Talia Tomarchio, a senior Computer Science major with a minor in neuroscience and an honors concentration. A Burlington County native, Talia is a transfer student from Rowan College at Burlington County, and a first-generation college student who lives off-campus in an apartment. Before COVID-19, she was a tutoring monitor for the computer science department and a front desk assistant. She is also a part of the Association of Computing Machinery’s Committee on Women, and Rowan’s Equestrian Team. Talia is also a winner of Rowan’s 2020 Idea Challenge.

    Talia poses against a black backdrop.

    What wakes you up in the morning?

    Two things. One would be helping others. I really want to inspire women to be comfortable in a male-dominated industry. My other passion would probably be neuroscience, the subject I’m studying for my minor. I want to eventually get a job to take artificial intelligence or machine learning and integrate it with neuroscience and help the world that way. It’s a stretch, but my goal is to find a way to positively help people’s mental health through computer science. I would love to do that. That is my ultimate goal in life. Maybe I could analyze behavior patterns or create an app to help mental health. I am not sure exactly what I would do, but that is what I want to contribute to society.

    How would you tell a fellow student interested in your major that they’re choosing a worthwhile field?

    I think Computer Science is growing to be one of the largest majors at Rowan. We’re also accredited by the Computing Accreditation Committee of ABET. I really like the computer science department at Rowan because you know all your professors, so you don’t feel uncomfortable going to them. I think that computer science is a worthwhile degree to earn because there are so many options for fields to go into. For example, there are fields such as cybersecurity, data science, and artificial intelligence. There are many paths a computer science graduate can go down, and the degree is always going to be valuable.

    What inspired you to know that you were in the right major for you?

    I’ve always wanted to go into computer science, even as a little kid. I have always been good with computers. I wasn’t pushed toward the field, I just enjoy it. Nobody in my family ever had a technical background either.  I always wished I could learn how to program or code or become a software engineer, but I never had the confidence to do it. I traveled for a little while after my first year of college, and then I decided to “go for it” after I returned. I think that the support from the computer science department faculty at Rowan really helped me build my confidence. 

    Talia poses against a black backdrop.

    Has there been a faculty or staff member that’s really helped you to connect with the next step for your career?

    The first one would be Dr. Anthony Breitzman, the Data Science Coordinator for the Computer Science Department. I performed research with him this semester on analyzing Myers-Briggs personality types through Twitter tweets. When you do research, you usually are a graduate student. I was a little intimidated because I was an undergrad, but Dr. Breitzman reassured me contrary to my perfectionist mentality, that I don’t have to know everything right now and that I will always be learning even after I graduate. I also asked him for career advice, on what kind of career path options I could go down.  Working with him really helped build my confidence. 

    The second person would be Dr. Kristen diNovi, the Assistant Dean of the Honor’s College. She has been so supportive of me for all of my endeavors, and so helpful every time I asked her for advice. She connected me with Dr. Susana Santos and the Entrepreneurship Department in the Rohrer College of Business. They helped me grow Steminist Squad, my nonprofit organization that won the 2020 Rowan Idea Challenge. 

    How was your transition into Rowan?

    My first time going to college, I went to Rutgers out of high school. Then, I took some time off and I traveled the country. I lived in Florida and on the West Coast for a bit, and then I came back and decided to finish school. I am a bit older than the average undergraduate student, but I feel that it made me take my studies more seriously.  The transition to Rowan was really great. At first, I was a bit overwhelmed because I wanted to be involved in everything. I tried to take on more clubs and activities and classes than I could handle, but I overcame it with the support of the Computer Science Department faculty and staff. Micheal Schillo, my advisor, and Dr. Jennifer Kay, a professor in the department, told me it is okay to slow down. With their support, I was able to realize that I did not need to be involved in every single club and activity. From that experience, my advice to other students that feel overwhelmed is to seek support and utilize your resources, because they are there at Rowan, and know that it’s OK if you are not perfect.

    Why Rowan?

    I think it goes back to the fact that everyone knows everyone here. At first, I wanted to go to a big school, but I felt like I was just a number there. Rowan’s faculty to student ratio is perfect for me. I can get personalized help or tutoring or raise my hand in class at Rowan. I like the small school feeling at Rowan, even though Rowan isn’t small.

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

    Photos provided by:
    Talia Tomarchio, senior computer science major

    International Studies Majors: My Professional Goals

    Today we speak with five International Studies majors. They tell us about their short- and long-term goals, how Rowan has prepared them for their field and how it all relates to their goals and dreams. “After graduation in the spring, I plan to go to law school. My long-term professional dream goal is to have […]