Out-of-State Students’ Returning to Rowan Bucket List

Einstein Bagels storefront in Engineering Hall.

Many out-of-state students are coming to campus for the first time since COVID, while some were able to come to campus last year. Here are some things that out-of-state students are looking forward to when campus opens up a bit more this semester. 

Magdelyn Kelly is a senior Musical Theatre and Theatre Education major from Inwood, West Virginia. Magdelyn transferred to Rowan from Blue Ridge Community College. Magdelyn is a first-generation college student and an off-campus renter. She says she’s most looking forward to seeing all her peers and learning face to face again. When asked if there was someone she hasn’t seen in person since before Covid who she is very much looking forward to seeing on campus this fall, Magdelyn replied, “My voice teacher!” Magdelyn is involved with Campus Players and Rowan Lab Theatre, and she adds that Rowan Lab Theatre will be putting on some great shows this year. Magdelyn can’t wait to take part in Rowan After Hours (RAH) and Student University Programmers (SUP) events again, such as Bingo. She can’t wait to take senior pictures with her friends and hang out on campus on Bunce Green.

People hanging out on Bunce Green, as Magdelyn looks forward to.
Students hanging out on Bunce Green, as Magdelyn looks forward to.

Nick Kreuz, a senior Electrical and Computer Engineering major from Quakertown, Pennsylvania, is looking forward to working back in the labs with other students. Nick says, “I am looking forward most to going back to a campus that feels alive,” and he notes being on campus last year felt less warm and welcoming than it has been in the past. Some campus must-dos for him include activities put on by the Rec Center (where he will work as a Building Manager) and shows returning to the Planetarium. Nick is also looking forward to visiting Einstein’s Bagels in the mornings for coffee.

Nick poses in front of some trees.
Nick Kreuz

Petro Skrypnyk has never been to campus before, and he is excited to see the place he has been studying at for a year. Petro is a senior Computer Science major and commutes from his home in Philadelphia. Before attending Rowan, Petro transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County. Petro wants to get involved with Rowan’s Association for Computing Machinery and the Volleyball team. Petro is excited to earn his bachelor’s degree and meet up with people in between classes.

Philadelphia, where Petro is from.
Petro, of Philadelphia, is looking forward to the on-campus experience this semester.

Samuel Jolade, senior Computing and Informatics major from Deer Park, New York, is excited to come back to the Rowan campus after nearly two years. He can’t wait to get back into Gaming Club and visit the Game Room in the Student Center. Samuel hasn’t seen his friend Max and a few other friends since before COVID, and he is excited to see them. 

Samuel looks forward to hanging out in the game room like these guys are.
Samuel (not pictured) looks forward to hanging out in the Student Center’s Game Room.

Ashleigh Jankowski is a junior Biomedical Engineering major with a Chemistry minor from Catonsville, Maryland. Ashleigh is living off campus this semester. Ashleigh says while “virtual learning was a great way to proceed in learning while continuing to be socially distanced, nothing can replace the friendly, bustling campus atmosphere.” She is looking forward to taking classes that are major specific this year, and because most of them are engineering labs, hopefully having them in person! She is looking forward to Outdoors Club getting started again, as she is hoping to go on a few trips with them this semester. She’s also looking forward to RAH events like Bingo and SUP activities like Outdoor Movie Night. Ashleigh also can’t wait to hang out at Einstein’s Bagels again. 

Ashleigh poses in front of Rowan Hall.
Ashleigh Jankowski

Like what you see?


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

Philadelphia photo courtesy of:

My Favorite Class: Fahed Shakil’s Junior/Senior Engineering Clinic

Exterior shot of bridge connecting Engineering and Rowan Halls.

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

Today we feature Fahed Shakil, a senior Computing and Informatics, Psychology and Liberal Studies triple major. Fahed has concentrations in Cyber SecuritySociology and Applied Computing, and he earned CUGS in Management Information Systems and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Fahed is a first-generation college student and commutes to Rowan from Gloucester City, NJ (Camden County). 

What was the name of your favorite class at Rowan?

My favorite class at Rowan is my Junior/Senior Engineering Clinic.

What department was the class in?

The class is in the Engineering Department

Fahed poses in a suit with his cords.

Who taught the class when you took it?

Professors Karl Dyer and Mario Leone were my professors for my Junior/Senior Engineering Clinic.

Tell us a little about what the class is.

The class provided students the opportunity to gain and apply knowledge regarding human-centric product development utilizing industry-standard practices. Students were taught how to communicate with clients, understand their vision, needs, and wants, manage expectations, develop/maintain comprehensive documentation, and create a product with the main focus being to ensure client satisfaction.

As a Computing and Informatics, Psychology and Liberal Studies triple major, how did you get into a Junior/Senior Engineering Clinic?

I am not an engineering major, nor do I have any prior formal education in any field of engineering, nor would I satisfy the requirements needed to gain admission into Rowan’s engineering program, let alone be a part of a junior/senior level course. However, over the past four years, I have worked alongside a wide variety of engineering students and observed their world as a member of the Apprentice Engineering Team at Rowan, aka the A-Team, who Mr. Leone and Mr. Dyer manage together to efficiently support various initiatives and operations within the College of Engineering.

I was trying to figure out what to do during my 2019 summer vacation and then I remembered that Mr. Leone and Mr. Dyer were going to be teaching a summer course about project management, human-centric design, and providing students the opportunity to work on projects pitched by clients with the similar expectations as students would experience in a job setting. This sparked my interest out of sheer curiosity of wanting to learn things outside my comfort zone and academic discipline.

About 30 minutes before the start of the first day of the course, I went to Mr. Leone’s office, and luckily Mr. Dyer was present as well. At that moment I asked Mr. Leone and Mr. Dyer if I could sit in on the course throughout the summer and just observe the discussions that were going to take place and try to learn some of the content they were teaching. They allowed me to sit in on the course, and throughout the summer I had a wonderful experience.

Materials in an ECE lab.

Part of what made the experience that made it so memorable was that the ever-looming stress of getting a good grade for the class was non-existent as I was not being graded. The learning was purposeful, applicable to various aspects of life, and downright fun. I was exposed to various software I had never used before, engaged in eye-opening group discussions, and was able to observe the process engineers go through in making an idea into a reality while focusing on a human-centric design.

Share with us a few details on why this class was interesting.

This is a course that you cannot describe the experience you have in words that would fairly justify it. It is something unique, and the real value of the learning that takes place is really evident if you are a part of the A-Team. Based on the description of the class, it seems pretty simple, but there is more to the class than what meets the eye. This class was interesting because the professors stripped away the “status quo” style of teaching. Instead, they opted for a more free-flow style of self-directed learning, similar to the environment that students would be in when they enter the workforce, while still having support from the professors as needed.

It was always a new and exciting day full of learning when you were in this class. One day we could be having an energetic and deep group discussion on a thought-provoking Ted Talk for a while. Another day we could be analyzing human behavior and conducting a group design review of different teams working on various projects.

Is there anything else that made this class impactful?

I’ve never been happy when I was forced to learn in a traditional academic setting as I didn’t like the structure of it. It was akin to squeezing a square cube into a round hole. If you push hard enough you may make it fit, but you’re gonna damage the cube in the process. Eventually, I just began to mildly accept the dismal reality that learning can’t be fun and this is how things just are.

Fast forward to my experiences on The A-Team and the Jr/Sr clinic, that all changed.

After reflecting on a story that exemplifies the idea of never settling for the status quo and the learning that took place within the Clinic, I decided to try something new in one of my classes after observing how students were able to learn through a hands-on experience in the classroom rather than just listening to lectures and doing assignments afterward.

During the Fall 2019 semester, I had to take a class for my Computing & Informatics major, called Introduction to Web Development. I didn’t want to go back to the traditional style of learning in a college class after observing how the learning was done in the Clinic course, so I went to my professor’s, Mr. Darren Provine, office after class and asked him what content he had to teach us by the end of the semester. Professor Provine responded that he had to teach us, HTML, CSS, and Javascript or PHP. After explaining to him that I wanted to try to learn differently by doing a semester-long project in place of what he had already planned on doing, he supported my idea. 

Materials in an ECE clinic lab.

So from that day I engaged myself in a self-directed learning style and worked on my personal project. While everyone else in the class was following the standard routine for the course, I was curiously learning at my own pace. I still attended the professor’s class, but the entire time I’d be working on my project while the professor was teaching. At times when I would hit a roadblock in my project that I couldn’t find a solution to, I’d ask my peers on the A-Team and Professor Provine for advice. Additionally, from time to time, I’d check in with Professor Provine to keep him up to date regarding my progress. At the conclusion of the semester, I presented my project and Professor Provine gave me an “A” as my project had included all the requirements he asked for, as well as, extra concepts that had not been covered in the course. Little did I know, the extra concepts that I had learned and applied in the project were supposed to be taught and applied in my Senior Capstone course in the following semester. 

Thanks to the A-Team and the clinic course, for one of the first times in my life, I was finally happy and excited to learn, as I had finally been exposed to an alternative style of learning which engaged my curiosity and made learning the central focus rather than getting good and meaningless test scores. Additionally, I was able to free up my time that would have otherwise been occupied by the course, learn at my own pace with no stress, and collaborate with my A-Team peers on additional projects that we were working on which enabled us to further our learning that semester.

What makes the professors great?

Professors Dyer & Leone are able to clearly break down and articulate concepts in various ways so nobody is left confused if one explanation didn’t work for everyone. They created a fun and engaging learning environment that made me excited to go back the following day, even though I wasn’t enrolled in the class or an engineer. The professors sparked curiosity in the students who were enrolled in the class and would provide resources and food for thought to help students find answers to their questions rather than just giving them an answer. They were always present and genuinely cared about the work and learning that was being accomplished, as well as, the wellbeing of their students.

What are your professional goals?

At the moment I don’t have any as I am still working on figuring them out. Although, a lifetime goal I have is to keep trying to put a smile on people’s faces.

Like what you see?


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

Student photo provided by:
Fahed Shakil, senior computing and informatics, psychology, and liberal studies triple major

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Computing and Informatics Major Richard Shinnick

Richard poses on the steps in front of Dawn to Dusk Cafe.

Today we speak to Richard Shinnick, a senior transfer student from Ramapo College of New Jersey who majors in Computing and Informatics. Richard is an on-campus resident originally from Allendale, NJ (Bergen County).

Richard poses in front of a black fence.

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

My professional goals include making websites and apps that will impact our society.

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

Computers affect everyone. I would like to develop websites/apps.

Richard poses on a hill in the Glassboro Town Square.

What inspired you to choose your major?

I love computers, which inspired me to choose my major.

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

A family member, who is an alum of Rowan, recommended Rowan to me.

Richard walks down Rowan Boulevard.

How long is your trip/drive “home” to North Jersey?

My trip “home” to North jersey is two hours.

What are some of the benefits for you, living this distance from home?

A benefit to living farther from home is gaining a greater sense of independence.

Richard looks at a pair of sunglasses inside Barnes and Noble.

What are a few interesting or new things about Rowan’s South Jersey area that you would share with future students that are not from the area?

People say pork roll instead of Taylor ham, and it bothers me.

What off-campus, local fun places do you recommend students check out?

Atlantic City is close by, and I like to visit sometimes.

Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

They have a great computer science program, and a great computing and informatics program.

Like what you see?


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

Staying Involved Virtually

Gurkirat stands and smiles inside Science Hall.

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

Gurkirat posing with his arms crossed while wearing a dress shirt and tie outside the observatory in the stem building.

Virtual learning has effectively flipped the college experience head first.

In this new environment, many hurdles exist for students in terms of getting involved. The connected nature of a college campus often gets lost in translation remotely; procrastination, distractions, work and idleness deter students from participating in virtual activities. However, maintaining a mindset open to new ideas and learning effectively keeps students involved regardless of the setting. Online club activities, campus events, and hangouts represent a few effective ways to stay connected. 

Hangouts, group chats and virtual meeting rooms provide excellent opportunities to interact with classmates and peers. “Connecting with other students should be a top priority for online students” (Wilson). Different platforms like Webex, Zoom and Google Hangouts allow users to host personal rooms to invite friends, colleagues, instructors and more.

Students have the ability to discuss, work on projects/assignments and arrange study sessions easily through virtual rooms. It has never been easier to pop into a quick conversation with a friend during a break! 

Gurkirat posing while wearing a dress shirt with a tie inside the stem building

In addition to meeting rooms, virtual campus and club events allow students to involve themselves in fun and meaningful experiences. If a student is interested in history, they can attend a virtual lecture on the Nuremberg Trials or the Electoral College. If a student enjoys watching anime, they can attend Anime Club meetings!

Students should remember that events exist for them to forge connections and learn. “Along with the many resulting challenges” from online learning, interaction through club meetings, campus events and meeting rooms assist in defeating academic isolation and nurturing meaningful involvement (Villasenor).

Like what you see?


Story by: 
Gurkirat Dhillon, junior computing and informatics major, Wellness Center intern

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


Villasenor, John. “Online College Classes Are Here to Stay. What Does That Mean for Higher Education?” Brookings, Brookings, 4 June 2020. 

www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2020/06/01/online-college-classes-are-here-to-stay-wh at-does-that-mean-for-higher-education/. 

Wilson, Jamise. “Staying Connected as an Online Student.” Affordable Colleges Online, Affordable Colleges Online, 7 Jan. 2021. 

www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/staying-connected-as-an-onlin e-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.

Like what you see?


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.

#PROFspective: Chemistry Major Conducting COVID Research, Phillip Lakernick

Phillip standing outside.

Today we feature senior Phillip Lakernick, a double major in Chemistry and Computing and Informatics from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County). What opportunities has Rowan been able to give you? I have been doing research this semester with COVID and researching drugs that’ll help out in some way. It is all electronic for me, I […]

#PROFspective: Computing and Informatics Major Niyati Patel

Niyati standing outside.

Today we feature Niyati Patel, a junior Computing and Informatics major with a Computer Science minor and concentration in Data Analysis. Niyati is a first-generation college student from Burlington, NJ (Burlington County). She is also involved with Beta Alpha Psi honor society. What inspired you to choose your major? “I have an interest in technologies, […]

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

Will sits among pine trees on campus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Our highest is around 170,” he says.

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

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

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

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

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

Will stands in front of textured wall on campus.

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

Like what you see?


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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

#PROFspective: English and Computing & Informatics Double Major Chris Finnegan

Chris Finnegan and friend walk down campus

Today, we speak to rising senior Chris Finnegan. Chris is a double major in English and Computing and Informatics and is an on-campus resident. He’s also an admissions ambassador for Rowan University! Chris tells us more about why he chose Rowan and what a typical on-campus day is like for him. 

Chris smiling and posing with a friend outside the wellness center.
Chris Finnegan (left) on campus in early spring.

Why did you choose your major?

Indecision. My advisors worked with me to find a path for me to pursue all of my personal and academic interests when I couldn’t bring myself to choose just one, which led to me landing a double major in English and Computing & Informatics.

Why did you choose Rowan?

Rowan was the third school that I visited, and as soon as I toured campus I could truly just see myself there. Rowan grants its students nearly full independence from the first day they move in and provides numerous avenues to pursue social and academic extracurriculars at your own pace.

I chose to go to Rowan because I knew they provided the flexibility that I needed to explore many different interests.

A group picture of the Rowan Club Rugby Team.
Chris plays for the Rowan Club Rugby Team.

Take us through a typical Rowan day for you!

Every day starts with lots of coffee, but if I’m not giving a daily tour at 11 a.m., you would probably find me getting a breakfast sandwich meal swipe from Peet’s Coffee in the student center. I try to take all my classes in the afternoon so that I can work and study in the morning, and go to Rugby practice and do my homework in the evening. If possible, I will try and eat every meal with friends, classmates, teammates or coworkers.

Like what you see?


Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photo provided by:
Chris Finnegan, senior English and computing and informatics major

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Computing and Informatics Major Saad Khalid

Exterior shot of Robinson Hall

Today’s TRANSFERmation Tuesday features Saad Khalid, a computing and informatics major. He commutes from his home in Gloucester County. He transferred to Rowan from the Rowan College of South Jersey, Gloucester Campus.

What is one moment that made you feel inspired or confident that you’re in the right field for you?

Honestly, it would have to be my interest in technology. I enjoy learning new things, and my program makes me feel inspired and confident.

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

Networking. It’s interesting to see what really happens behind the scenes!

A selfie of Khalid, crouching while resting his arm on his knee.

Why did you choose Rowan?

I chose Rowan because it is close to my house, and it seemed like an amazing place to go to school.

What are you most looking forward to at Rowan next year?

I am looking forward to taking new classes and learning from new professors!

Like what you see?


Meet #Rowan2024: Computing and Informatics Major Fahima Kashem

Fahima against a white background.

Today we speak to Fahima Kashem, an incoming freshman from Camden County. Fahima will major in Computing and Informatics and plans to commute. Fahima is a first generation college student.

Fahima sitting by the ocean.

Why did you choose a university that was close to home? I choose Rowan because I started to visit Rowan and attend Rowan events way before I started college since all my friends go to Rowan. My senior year I visited few more colleges but I knew Rowan was the one, it felt like home! 

Could you share with us one moment you’ve had with a club or a group of friends that made you feel like Rowan is “home”? This semester I took a class with my best friend and it’s probably the best thing we decided to do and that really felt like I was just hanging out with her at home.

What is one thing about Rowan that was a happy surprise for you? Everyone at Rowan is very welcoming and beautiful inside and out.

Like what you see? 


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

#PROFspective: Computing & Informatics Major Robert Brown

Robert Brown poses with Freshens rice bowl on campus.

Today’s #PROFspective features Robert Brown, a junior computing and informatics major from Bridgeton, NJ (Cumberland County), who lived in the Triad apartments until COVID-19 shut down the campus. He’s looking forward to being a resident assistant in Magnolia Hall when returning in the fall.

Robert Brown smiles for a portrait on campus.Why did you choose a university close to home? I actually commuted my first two years, which was best when it came down to cost. But now being on campus, I have the opportunity and flexibility to go home on weekends.

How do you get that “away” feeling while still being close to home? My involvement on campus has me more involved and focused on what’s going on here, so being close to home isn’t a factor when I’m busy. I make sure I’m out and exploring and discovering new things on campus when I’m here.

Where’s your favorite place to eat on campus? It’s hard to choose because everything in the Student Center is great but Freshens is always a go-to.

Robert Brown poses with a Freshens rice bowl on campus.What advice do you have for incoming freshmen or transfers? Talk to your resident assistant (RA), even if it seems intimidating. It’s their job to let you know what’s going on and how you can get involved on campus.I’d also encourage them to check out all of the Rowan After Hours events. I didn’t take advantage of them until sophomore year and wish I went from the beginning. The midnight hot bar is worth the trip. For transfers, I would suggest to reconnect with people you know already know to get a better understanding of the ins and outs of campus.

What’s the best decision you’ve made since you got to college? I don’t think I have just one. There hasn’t been just one decision that I thought was “it.” That changed everything. So many decisions have equal value that made me who I am and brought me to where I am now. They’re all important, even if it doesn’t seem that way. 

Like what you see?


Jeff, President of Chestnut Hall Council, Shares What He Loves About Chestnut Hall

Jeff is sitting in the Chestnut lounge.

Meet Jeff Wheeler, a freshman double major in Radio, Television and Film within the Ric Edelman College of Communication and Creative Jeff sits on a chair in a lounge.Arts, and Computing and Informatics within the College of Science & Mathematics – School of Health Professions. He has minors in Computer Science, Math, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. Jeff is a first-generation college student from Matawan, New Jersey (Monmouth County). He feels that Chestnut Hall is his home away from home. Today, he will share with us two things he loves about about living in Chestnut Hall, as well as his experience being President of Chestnut Hall’s Hall Council through the Residence Hall Association (RHA)

A drone view of Chestnut Hall which shows the capital C shape.
Chestnut Hall

His floor community within Chestnut.  Jeff thinks that Chestnut has a great community, especially within each floor. “Moving into Chestnut was scary for me, I didn’t know anyone. However, my RA brought our floor together as a family and they turned into my major friend group. “His floor has become his best friends, and he thinks that being in the Computer Science Living-Learning Community helped group him with people that think similarly to him. He has been coding websites since 7th grade and became a freelancer in 9th grade, so computer science is his passion. 

A row of baby geese follow their mother outside the gazebo.
The gazebo is right outside of Chestnut, near Chestnut pond.

The Chestnut Community as a whole. “Talking to the presidents of the other halls made me realize how lucky Chestnut is with our close community. I feel like everyone knows everyone and they’re always looking out for each other.” Every time he walks around, he sees someone he knows and he is greeted with a smile. It makes him happy to know there is such a great Chestnut community. He says that everyone is respectful and kind towards the Resident Assistants and their fellow residents. 

“Being President of Chestnut was a big game changer for me.” Jeff says that programming events has been a lot of fun. He had the opportunity to network with a ton of great people involved in housing and created some mentor relationships that made his freshman year memorable. His role as Hall Council President of Chestnut involves event programming and discussing issues around the hall that the council can fix, such as social issues or study issues.

Like what you see? Learn more about housing!


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

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

Rowan student TJ Ferry and members of his Mummers band

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like what you see, come visit us!


How One Student Uses Skills Learned at Rowan to Fight Crime

Young lady leaning against hand rail looking off into the distance thinking of all the possibilities the world offers in white button down shirt

Do you think you have what it takes to work at a prosecutor’s office? Well check out senior computing and informatics major Diane Nealon’s perspective on interning at the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office (OCPO), where she assists the High Technology Crime Unit in providing law enforcement agencies in the county with tools to assist with investigating […]