From North Jersey, What These Students Love About South Jersey’s Rowan University

Two students peer into a giant telescope in the planetarium.

This story is a part of Rowan’s centennial series to celebrate 100 years of Rowan University. Rowan Blog contributor Jordyn Dauter, a junior from Quakertown, PA, double majoring in elementary education and dance, collected these insights from fellow students. 

There’s a lot of different activities to participate in Rowan. You can always keep yourself busy and meet new people. There are a lot of different ways South Jersey is different from the North. One of the more obvious ways is the sports teams each side represents. In North Jersey, it’s all Giants, Knicks and Devils. In South Jersey, it’s Philly-based sports like the Eagles, Phillies and Flyers. Another way they are different is the population. There are more densely populated towns and cities in North Jersey than South. More people are out and about in places like Hoboken and Newark.” – Nick Carney, senior biomedical engineering major from Flemington, NJ (Hunterdon County)

The commitment shown by teachers toward students. Any student that wants to learn could easily thrive at Rowan University. I enjoy the daily life pace of South Jersey. North Jersey is a lot more on-the-go, and South Jersey is a lot more relaxed.” – Brian Osterlof, senior public relations major from Oakland, NJ (Bergen County)

Brian Osterlof sitting outside at a table.
Brian Osterlof

I love the university and the diversity of things around the campus. One of the two favorite things about campus are the classes and the student-to-teacher ratio. Great opportunity for us students to interact in class and gain connections with our professors. The Student Center is my other favorite place on campus. We get to meet a lot of different people there and it’s a great place to socialize and make friends.” – Aaliyah Owens, junior law & justice major from East Orange, NJ (Essex County)

“Some things I love about Rowan are living in a dorm, being close to my friends, taking interesting classes in my major, small class sizes, and the professors in my major really care about teaching.” – Alianna Bronstein, senior environmental science major from Franklin, New Jersey (Sussex County)

Alianna Bronstein sitting outside, with the Rowan Prof statue in the background.
Alianna Bronstein

“Some of my favorite spots on campus include my freshman dorm Willow Hall. Also, the scholarship I have is the parent plus loan and the PEL grant. My favorite club I’m a part of is rugby, and I love my teammates. My favorite spot is Discovery Hall green and the woods trails behind Engineering Hall!” – Hunter Kupersmith, senior health & exercise Science major from Cresskill, NJ (Bergen County)

I love the opportunities and friendships I’ve been able to obtain through Rowan. There is a chillness and quietness to South Jersey that I love.” – Natalia Peralta, a master’s student in the strategic communication program from Belleville, NJ (Essex County)

Natalia Peralta and John Hunter peer into a giant telescope at the planetarium.

I am forever indebted to Rowan University for the amazing people I’ve met and befriended in my time here. In addition, I’ve been able to work with incredibly intelligent professors that I will soon be able to call colleagues.” – Taylor Bailey, senior vocal music education major from Roxbury, NJ (Morris County)

“Rowan has brought me complete independence and the ability to make my own choices and learn to live with them. I love its proximity to Philadelphia.” – Daniel Myers, senior finance major from Phillipsburg, NJ (Warren County)

I love how the faculty is invested in the future of each of their students and makes themselves available for each student’s individual needs. I also love meeting up with my friends from my program after class at Mexican Mariachi or Chickie’s and Pete’s.” – Rachel Rumsby, a master’s student in the strategic communication program from River Edge, NJ (Bergen County)

Rachel Rumsby outside on Rowan Boulevard
Rachel Rumsby

“I love the feeling of being on campus. The rush of meeting new people daily and having thousands of stories pass you as you walk through halls. I love the relationships Rowan has brought me.” – Juliana Elliffe, senior radio television & film major from Ridgefield Park, NJ (Bergen County)

“My favorite parts about Rowan are the Outdoors Club and the cheesesteaks around campus.” – Richard Russo, senior civil engineering major from Fredon, NJ (Sussex County)

Richard Russo walking outside of the Henry M Rowan College of Engineering
Richard Russo

I love being part of Social Justice, Inclusion & Conflict Resolution (SJICR) as a front desk worker and as a Harley E. Flack Mentor. South Jersey is a little more suburban than North Jersey where there are way more buildings and not much greenery.” – Monica Torres, senior computer science major from Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County)

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How Law and Justice Major Keshawn Porter Stepped out of His Comfort Zone

Rowan University Law and Justice major Keshawn Porter stands in front of the Rowan arch.

Today we feature Keshawn Porter, a Law and Justice major from Essex County, who shares how joining on-campus clubs and organizations changed his Rowan experience for the better. Could you tell us a few on-campus activities, clubs, sports or events that you’ve attended? What was your favorite, and why? I am part of the Black […]

Meet #Rowan2026: Incoming College of Engineering Students From Near and Far

College of Engineering building.

Today we feature incoming first year students Pedro Geraldes (he/him), Ella Pennington (she/her), and Alex Ballou. Pedro is from Newark, NJ (Essex County) and will be living on campus as a Chemical Engineering major. Ella is from Elkton, MD and will be living on campus as a Biomedical Engineering major. Alex is from Mililani, HI […]

Passing the Torch: Passionate First-Generation College Student Shirley Celi-Landeo

A proud first-generation college student from Newark, NJ (Essex County), Shirley Celi-Landeo is an Anthropology and Modern Language and Linguistics double major. She has concentrations in medical and forensic anthropology, and concentrations in Spanish, German, and Arabic. Shirley is minoring in Latin American Studies and has three certificates of undergraduate studies in Spanish, German, and Forensic Studies.

Shirley poses in a garden.

Shirley looks back at how she made friends on campus.

“I made friends in the Educational Opportunity Fund through the Pre-College Institute and through all the clubs that I’m involved in, especially in Greek life. I just became a sister in the Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated. With that involvement, I was able to make more bonds on-campus, make more friends, and do a lot more.”

Shirley advises her high school self to take risks.

“Don’t be scared. Take risks, even if it seems kind of cringey and scary, especially coming into a PWI and not having the family support. Do whatever is offered to gain the opportunity to gain the experience. I’m grateful for coming to school across the state.”

Shirley poses outside of Bunce Hall.

A mentor in the Dr. Harley E. Flack mentorship program, Shirley reminisces about her favorite moments being a mentor. 

“My partner and I had to create an event or program for our mentees using a resource on campus. We paired up with the Flying First Task Force because a lot of our mentees are first-generation students. We were able to show them the resources on campus not only to them but open to the public. I was able to really get to know my partner as well as like getting to know my mentee a little more. I also developed a really good relationship with my supervisor.”

Shirley hopes to use her platform as a college graduate to help pave the way for others in her community and family.

I am a minority coming from the city of Newark where the stereotype is that you don’t graduate high school, let alone go to college and graduate college and go to grad school. I am not only the very first college graduate in my family, but I have younger siblings. My goddaughter looks up to me. The babies from my church from back home, I’ll be able to help them navigate when it comes to their time for college.”

Shirley poses in front of the Rowan arch.

Shirley advises current and incoming students to find what they love on-campus, join Greek life, and more.

“Greek life has been a huge thing in my life, and I just became a sister last semester. Also, don’t be scared when you change your major like 20 times like I did. I don’t regret any moments of changing my major. Don’t be scared, do what you gotta do. If you’re the first, be the first and pave the way for your family. Take the risk, and inspire more people.”

In the fall, Shirley will finish up her degree while applying to Rowan’s M.A. in Diversity and Inclusion program. Shirley hopes to go to law school in the future. 

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

First Year Voices: Radio/Television/Film Major Sincere Silvera

Sincere poses on the stairs in the back of Bunce Hall.

Today we talk to first-year student and on-campus resident Sincere Silvera. Sincere is a Radio/Television/Film (RTF) major from East Orange, NJ (Essex County). Sincere is a first-generation and EOF student. 

Sincere poses in front of Robinson Hall.

What do you like about living on campus?

Well, I live in a single room. It’s pretty good, you know, I can just do whatever I want in my room. I don’t have to ask permission for nothing, nothing like that. I don’t have to ask somebody, “Can I have a person over?” I can have somebody over whenever I want.

How are you enjoying your classes so far? Are you taking RTF classes or just general education classes?

I am [taking RTF classes]. One is Foundations and Media and that one you explore the technological side of it, like this is what a camera angle is, this is what a shot is, this is what a frame is, this is the science behind audio waves and you know, frequencies and stuff. And then I have [Applied Media Aesthetics: Sight, Sound And Story] and you know, all that good jazz. So it’s like, how do these things create emotion? How does this camera angle make you feel and things of that nature? So I’m loving that and then all the rest of the classes, they cute, you know, I’m just trying to get through. 

Sincere poses in front of Wilson Hall.

What about what expectations did you have for Rowan before you got here?

Well, that’s a good question. I expected it to be a social environment where I could meet new people and have lots of different conversations, conversations I probably never would have thought I would ever have. I expected to make connections and learn some things as it relates to what I want to do moving forward with my life.

Have you been able to be social and meet new people? 

I definitely have. There are many opportunities, especially on ProfLink, where you find out the different events going on like karaoke — so you know Imma show up to the karaoke, I’m gonna show out. Cooking classes, movie nights, different little interesting things. 

Sincere poses on the Prof statue.

What was your favorite event that you’ve been to so far?

I’m gonna say karaoke [Prof’s Spotlight] because I really enjoyed myself. I had a really good time at karaoke. I could express myself on a stage and show my little performance side a little bit. That was good. I’m not just in the audience. I’m gonna be on the stage with a microphone over my mouth going off. I last did Nicki Minaj’s “The Night is Still Young.” It was an amazing experience. 

Was there an experience or a moment at Rowan that made you feel like this is home?

I actually want to say no, but in a good way. Because at home … there’s not as many fun things and events or opportunities to do things like that. And here there is. So I’d like to say that this is very different from home, and I’m having a lot more fun here.

Sincere poses in front of some leafy green plants.

Were you nervous to start at Rowan?

Yes. I could say there were nerves in certain areas. I wasn’t nervous, like, in the sense of, “Oh, I’m like, so scared to like, you know, go out there. I’m not going to do nothing.” That wasn’t me. I was like, “Ok, I’m excited.” I turned any nerves into excitement if there were any nerves. So I was more excited than anything else. But if I was nervous about anything, I probably was a little nervous about whether I chose the right major for what I want to do with my future, because that’s like, what’s most important to me?

Final thoughts?

Even though I feel like it might be easy as a freshman, or a first-generation student or whatever, just going into college and experiencing that whole like situation with so many people, the events, the organizations, the clubs and everything might throw a person off. I think that at the end of the day, even though you do want to experience and you do want to have fun, and I’m all about it, at the same time, I think it’s important to manage that. Yes, I can be a very social person. I can have friends and things of that nature. But I cannot let that take over my life. I cannot be thinking about that 24/7. I have to also keep in mind my passion, what I want to do, the type of education that I want, as an individual. So sometimes, you know, not everybody’s gonna like you so you don’t want to think about, “Oh, what friends am I gonna make? How am I gonna make them?” every day. Sometimes it’s like, “ok, maybe I don’t need any friends.” Maybe I’m gonna just go to this event and sit down because I want to be there, or maybe I’m going to get up on the stage not because I want to impress people, but because I want to get on stage and express myself and have a good time. I feel like that if there’s anything that I want to say about being a first-year student, it’d be that.

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

Interview and photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major 

Senior Reflects: Anderson Chumpitaz on Mentorship and His Rowan Legacy

Anderson posing near a tree outside wearing a blue suit.

Today we feature first-generation college student Anderson Chumpitaz, who will graduate this summer. Anderson majors in Health Promotion and Wellness Management and is from Newark, NJ (Essex County). He gives advice and tells us about his involvement on campus. Do you have any advice for people who are moving to campus for the first time […]

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: From North Jersey To Utah, Chemical Engineering Major Jacob Molinaro

Stock image Mountain View.

Meet Jacob Molinaro, a Chemical Engineering major with minors in both Math and Chemistry who transferred from the County College of Morris and is originally from Essex County, NJ. He is taking remote classes at Rowan from his current residence in Utah. He shares more about his decision in choosing Rowan and what he loves about South Jersey.

Jacob taking a selfie of himself while climbing a mountain.

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

My goal is to get my Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and lead research in the field of renewable energy and energy storage. My time at Rowan has provided me with the educational background and experience to be competitive as I apply to my graduate programs and indirectly inspired me to follow this career path.

As a sophomore, my department head sent me an email encouraging me to apply to an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program in Ohio. Following his advice, I applied and was admitted to the program and discovered my passions for both research and the field of electrochemistry.

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

The field of chemical engineering is extremely diverse, incorporating manufacturing, research and development and process design. Without chemical engineering, we would find many of the everyday products we use would be unavailable. I specifically would like to work in the growing field of renewable energy and energy storage, which is becoming increasingly important as we strive for more sustainable and ecologically friendly alternatives to fossil fuels.

What inspired you to choose your major?

Excellent chemistry teachers in high school (for both Honors Chemistry in 10th grade and AP Chemistry in 11th) fostered my interest for the subject, but I have always been more interested in applying chemistry to real-world problems rather than understanding the technicalities of it. Hence, I went into chemical engineering (applied chemistry).

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

At the time I applied, there were five strong chemical engineering programs in the state of New Jersey that my community college made me aware of. I applied to all of them, and upon being accepted to Rowan, I came to visit and loved it!

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

This is an amusing question. As the question is intended to be answered, it is two hours up the NJ Turnpike/Garden State Parkway to where I lived in Essex County from my apartment in Marlton. To go visit my parents in Pennsylvania is about three hours.

However, at the moment my wife and I are living in Orem, Utah while I do all of my classes remotely. My wife, Kaitlin, is a travel nurse and is supporting a hospital here in Utah. Back to New Jersey from HERE is about 35 hours of driving.

Jacob posing with his wife for a wedding photo.
Jacob and his wife, Kaitlin, at their wedding.

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

When I’m back in NJ it is nice to be close enough to my parents to go visit over the weekend and help out around the house, but far enough away that we’re not getting unexpected dinner guests every other evening while I need to be studying for an exam or my wife is getting home from a long shift at the hospital.

Here in Utah, the largest benefits are by far the accessibility of my favorite hobbies. I’m a runner, climber, mountaineer and skier; the whole Salt Lake City area is absolutely amazing for these activities. In the past two weeks I’ve been to the climbing gym, two different ski resorts, been up two mountains, and been able to run and hike in between classes.

Between my own personal travels and moving around with Kaitlin’s travel nursing, I’ve been to 49 of the 50 states, and Utah is probably tied for second with Montana among my favorite states (only second to Wyoming!). Utah residents are also doing a great job with social distancing and mask-wearing, so COVID-19 cases are low here and places like the ski resorts and climbing gyms are able to stay open and operate at reduced capacity.

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?

After living in the “sixth borough on NYC” in Essex County, I’ve really appreciated that South Jersey is much more rural. If it hasn’t come across yet, I’m not at all a city person and really appreciate some good nature. The accessibility to different parks and preserves throughout the Pine Barrens has been really special. There’s also a great running community, some really awesome little towns (I work as a barista in Haddonfield and love it there, for example), and a bit more of a laid back feel than you’d be used to in North Jersey.

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

Parallel to 322 and off of Delsea Drive there’s a really awesome bike path that runs about seven and a half miles to Sewell. That’s a fun ride/run, and I would definitely recommend students check it out. Duffield’s Farm Market in Sewell is a great place to visit in the fall for pumpkin picking and year-round for affordable fresh produce. It’s a bit of a drive, but I love the Black Run Preserve a bit north in Evesham Township.

Closer to campus, Pitman is always worth a visit for great restaurants and a fun main street. Overall, I’d encourage any new students to just drive around and get to know both Glassboro and the surrounding towns. There’s a lot of neat stuff to be seen, regardless of whether you’re interested in getting outdoors or visiting a town.

Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

Of the three schools I was accepted for transfer to, Rowan was the most affordable (by a long shot!) and the most rural. I had spent two years at that point living in the extremely urban sections of northern New Jersey and was ready for a little farmland nearby!

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Header photo courtesy of:

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

Leadership #PROFspective: Eliya Bravo, Inspiring Community Action and Change

Bravo speaking into a horn.

Today we feature first-generation college student Eliya Bravo, a leader at Rowan University. Bravo is the founder and president of the Women of Color Alliance and vice president for both the Students For Caribbean Awareness and Rowan Universities Club Swim Team. Bravo is also the public relations rep for the United Latinos Association and a […]

7 History Majors Share How Their Degree Supports Their Professional Goals

Raymond standing outside.

“This major supports my professional goal of being a teacher and continuing to give back to my community and my country. I am excited to see where my dual major takes me,” says junior Frank Gurcsik, a History and Education major from Gloucester County. “My major has been helping me to prepare and become an educator […]

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Radio/TV/Film Major Paul Romeo

A Rowan student uses a DSLR camera to capture a moment.

Today, we speak to transfer student Paul Romeo! Paul is a Radio/TV/Film major from Cedar Grove, NJ (Essex County) who transferred from Southern New Hampshire University. He shares with us why he chose Rowan and gives advice to out-of-state students.

Paul smiling and posing in front of a stream.

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

My professional goals are to work toward being a filmographer or cinematographer for a major TV or movie production company. Rowan has provided me with resources to work towards this — of course the pandemic has made this difficult and caused many issues in pursuing this.

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

My field impacts the world in many ways, both steering and being steered by culture of the world around us. We are able to provide entertainment and also highlight issues in the world in a way that can not be silenced. We are able to bring light to the darkness and bring forth the newest important things.

What inspired you to choose your major?

Honestly it was just a lot of realizing myself and understanding that I do not enjoy majors that are not creative. The major I had before was a programming major, and I did not succeed in it at all.

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

I looked at it originally before I decided on my previous university. My friend attended and told me how much he enjoyed it so I decided to give it a try. When I did, I finally fell in love with a campus, for the first time I’ve ever felt at home somewhere.

Paul taking a selfie in the mirror while wearing a Rowan shirt.

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

My drive is about two hours up to home.

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

My parents aren’t able to show up when they randomly want to, haha. It’s nice to be able to feel like I have to be there for myself. If I don’t cook, I don’t eat, if I don’t shower, no one is going to tell me to, so it forces me to be more independent.

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?

Delsea Drive-In is something that’s really cool! Also just the open space and flatness of South Jersey is so nice compared to North Jersey, biking is great in the area.

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

The food around campus is great, there are so many unique and interesting places to eat at.

Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

It felt right. That’s it, there was a feeling I had that both terrified me and made me feel like it would challenge me to be a new person, and I’d say it’s done a good job at that.

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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.

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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Rowan Global History Graduate Student is Teaching and Learning with a “New Set of Rules”

Diamonnique stands inside James Hall.

Meet Diamonnique M., a Rowan Global student from Essex County who began her master’s degree in history pursuit in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s going back to school at the same time as she navigates her first year teaching social studies and English language arts (ELA) at the elementary school level. Here, Diammonnique shares her thoughts on the power of education and dispels myths about studying history.

When I first started pursuing my associate degree, I thought that was just pretty much my stopping point. I’ll just get that associate degree, this will be it, and I’ll move forward with my life and hopefully find a job that’s better paying than the job I had at that particular time.

And I realized that no, Diamonnique, you need to pursue, continue forward, pursue the next step. And it just kind of became like an addiction, pursuing education. And I kind of started thinking to myself, well, you’re pursuing these degrees, what is it that you’re going to end up doing? 

Diammonnique sitting in James Hall.

Because I already had a background in education as far as caregiving within the daycare system, and then moving forward to serve as a paraprofessional, I said, OK, this is ideally what my my track seems to be, my path seems to be to serve as an educator, teaching what it is that I have and imparting that knowledge to younger students who are up and coming to be scholars and change agents. 

I teach social studies and ELA to on a second and third grade level. Prior to earning a full-time teaching position, I served as a paraprofessional and a substitute educator. It’s been a tremendous task for me to adapt to a different learning style, and make sure that I’m doing my best to keep students engaged, virtually opposed to being in person where I can use other tactics and different techniques.

It’s a new system, it’s a new set of rules that I am doing my best to implement, making sure that I’m keeping the students engaged, but at the same time, imparting all the knowledge that I need to impart within a certain amount of time. 

I have a variety of students: learners who learn easily, learners who have a different way of learning, such as the visual learners, and so forth. I really do my best to make sure that I’m incorporating all learning styles in my presentation daily, so that I can make sure these students are not lacking in anything. And yes, we can easily use not being in person to learn and to teach as an excuse. But that won’t be an excuse that I am interested in making use of. 

Diamonnique stands in James Hall.

I take education very seriously: for my students, anyone that I encounter, even with my own children. Education is very big in our household. My son is 5 years old reading on a higher level. This is very important to me. And I hope that when my students progress to the next grade, they can constantly be praised for their efforts and the knowledge that they are sharing with the educator and other students that they come into contact with.

The impact that I hope to have on the next generation of historians is to really just tackle all of your goals fearlessly pursuing them in a manner in which you have a mentality that you are unstoppable, you are capable of doing anything and everything. Despite all of these different voices, all of these different obstacles, you get back, you fall down, you get back up, that’s just the sense of being that I wish others to have when listening to me knowing my story. 

What’s so interesting is that when people learn about the history program being available, there’s … this negative connotation. And the negative connotation is pretty much: What can you do with a history degree? Are you sure? Don’t you want to reconsider? 

I hope this thought process can shift as far as the negative connotation that’s associated with history in itself, and that it can shift to being something that is of more of an essence, it’s valuable, and it’s seen as necessary. 

There are so many things that you can do utilizing a history degree. Clearly, predominantly, a lot of the participants of the history program pursue teaching. But there are other things that you can do, such as engaging in the political arena, engaging in areas that you can serve somehow, in a museum field, the list can continue. 

Diamonnique sits on a ledge in James Hall.

That’s what I love about Rowan University. It’s very diverse, you have so many different areas of focus, such as global studies, gender studies, Africana studies … everything is just really tailored to what it is that you want to do as far as going out into the world and utilizing your degrees. And I’m really thankful that they had that when I first came in. I know that I don’t want to be confined to one particular area of content.

And I honestly promise you, it is not nearly as boring as people perhaps consider it to be. I feel like with the right educator, and the manner of delivery and the different visuals that are combined, in reference to the teaching skill, it can be only as exciting as the educator makes it be and only as exciting as you condition your mind to believe it is.

With that being said, even though the workload this recent semester was extremely heavy, I learned so much. And I enjoyed every little little bit of it.

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3 Environment and Sustainability Studies Majors Share What Excites Them About Their Major

Photo of trees.

Today, we speak to three Environment and Sustainability Studies majors from Rowan’s School of Earth and Environment about what gets them excited about their major.

Selfie of Joanna.

“I want to say that I am making a difference or at least attempting to. I am an environmental and sustainability major and there are a lot of issues revolving around that topic. I do want to make the world a better place,” says Joanna Janowski, a junior from Livingston, NJ (Essex County) who transferred to Rowan from Montclair State University. 

Selfie of Madison.

“The fact that there are all these ways to be sustainable in the world and we can all contribute to living in a sustainable world excites me. Also, how we can change the world to apply to all walks of life,” says Madison Kerr, a junior with a minor in Sustainable Built Environments from Marlton, NJ (Burlington County) and transfer student from Rowan College of Burlington County. 

Headshot of Gabby Davis.

“How incredibly relevant it always will be. Cities are constantly growing, changing and evolving. They are living things that need constant attention. Knowing that I have to keep educating myself and can never be complacent in my field of study is exciting,” says Gabby Davis, a senior double major in ESS and Community and Environmental Planning with a CUGS in Food Systems Planning. Gabby, who transferred from from Montclair State University, lives in Manahawkin, NJ (Ocean County).

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Story by: Bianca Torres, Senior, Music Industry major

Header image courtesy of:

Lifting Black Creative Voices

Desi smiles outside on campus.

Today we are highlighting Black students who major in creative fields at Rowan University. Each share insight on being a Black student in a major/field where there is not strong representation and tell us where they are headed in their professional careers.

Jabreeah smiling and wearing a grey Rowan sweatshirt with a burnt orange jacket.

“I really didn’t have an insight being a Black student coming from a predominantly white high school; however, when I got to college I was able to express myself about my views. In terms of my professional goals, I want to work behind the scenes in movies.” – Jabreeah Holmes, senior Radio/TV/Film major, Camden, NJ

Check out some of Jabreeah’s work on her YouTube channel.

An artistic photo of Giovanna with a halo over her head.

“Since Black women artists are not predominant in the art field nor get the representation that they deserve, it motivates me to stand out and make work that’s unique or different. Also, to make work that responds to Black issues and beauty. For my professional goals, I’m still debating about that. Right now, I’m considering a career in the museum field like a museum archivist, a curator or a crime scene technician in the forensic/ law and justice field.” – Giovanna Eley, senior Art major with a minor in Law and Justice and CUGS: Forensic Studies, transfer student from Rutgers Camden,  Plainfield, NJ (Union County)

Check out Giovanna’s portfolio here:

Sabrea posing for a photo on the beach.

“It feels really good to be who I am and be a part of this field that I think is also teaching me more and more of who I am. I was mainly the only Black person in my writing courses, there were maybe one to two more if that. My professional goals are to just write, to be happy in doing so, I hope to maybe get a book published of a selection of pieces I have written! Maybe even submitting a script to a production company!” – Sabrea Bishop of Newark, NJ (Essex County), junior, first-generation college student, Writing Arts (Creative Writing) major, transfer from Albright College, PA 

Check out Sabrea’s work here

Daija posing outside the student center while wearing a furry black coat.

“It gets a bit lonely, especially walking into a class and being able to count the Black students in the room on one hand. But with that it mind, it keeps me determined to make sure other Black creatives feel comfortable enough to be in the room in the first place. I feel as though creative fields aren’t taken as seriously, but people are always enjoying new books and shows and pieces of art. So, I feel as though by being confident in myself in my creative life, I can be an inspiration for others to actually go for their creative craft, instead of pushing it away because of fear. My professional goals are to write movies, books, and possibly television shows for people to enjoy. I also want to create different forms of art like paintings and sculptures and have my work displayed in galleries all over.” – Daija McNeil, junior, first generation college student, Studio Art major with a minor in Creative Writing, Willingboro, NJ (Burlington County)

See Daija’s artwork here.

Read Daija’s written piece, “A Love Letter To Black Women,” here.

Desi sitting outside the student center holding her book.

“It’s definitely difficult, when I come to class I am either the only Black student or it may be me or maybe two others, never more than five. In any field you want to see a model to follow and it’s hard when you have to be your own model. In terms of professional goals, I have so many; however, the one related to this field would be to start my own production company.”  – Desi Jones, junior Radio/TV/Film major, transfer from Camden County College, Camden County, NJ

Check out and purchase Desi’s book “Daily Dose of Desi, A Year of Light, Love, and Inspiration” here

Bryce outside the Campbell library wearing a yellow and black jacket.

“The writing industry is no stranger at all to minorities, but Blacks are rarely highlighted in that field. I think a part of that is due to both the immutable nature of the industry and Blacks being unaware of how much they can benefit from having a career in creative fields. I feel that Black students are the perfect participants for writing arts by the simple fact that we don’t go through the same experiences as everyone (even ourselves) and have a different view on life than most others. While I’m currently a freelance writer for an online publication (Screen Rant), I plan to expand my writing to an even greater professional level with my ultimate goal of working on a TV series or film.” – Bryce Morris, junior Writing Arts major, Trenton, NJ (Mercer County)

Read one of Bryce’s published pieces here

A selfie of Mya.

“I feel like there’s a different type of pressure. I personally feel like I have to be better and focus more in order to do what. One reason I wasn’t interested in doing broadcasting was my hair. I didn’t want to have to wear it straight or certain way to look “professional.” I find it difficult on how to be myself yet also “professional” because the second you might sound rude you have an “attitude” or maybe you talk “too loud” and now you’re considered the loud Black girl with an attitude. For my professional goals, I hope to become a magazine writer, focusing on music!” – Mya Calderon, junior, first-generation college student, Journalism major with a minor in Psychology from Hanley Falls, Minnesota

A selfie of Khadijah.

“For my professional goals, I want to be a freelance concept artist for a video game one day. But I also want to make and direct on my projects and hopefully be financially stable. Some advice for Black high school students going into creative majors: Make sure you build your portfolio and be aware that traditional pieces are a must have when trying to get into the art program. Make sure you bring at least two traditional art pieces for your review! This was a hard pill for me to swallow when I first did an art portfolio review, and I only drew cute anime-inspired chibis. But trust me, your hard work will pay off! Cartoony/semi-realism stuff is okay to add too! If you do digital, I recommend coming in with a time-lapse of your workflow process on a tablet/laptop to show! Also, don’t listen to cynical individuals saying you drawing anime and character art, won’t get you a job. Sure, the market is competitive but there are plenty of art jobs out there looking for different art styles of all sorts! Anime included! Make sure you do your research!” – Khadijah Owens of Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County), junior Art major working toward a dual major in Art Education, transfer from Rowan College at Gloucester County.

Check out some of Khadijah’s work here.  

Like what you see?


Story by: Bianca Torres, senior Music Industry major

Photography not submitted by: Jabreeah Holmes, senior Radio/TV/Film major and Joe Gentempo, senior Art 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.”

Like what you see? 


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

Black STEM Majors Share Advice for Black High School Students Interested in STEM

Ylanda sits outside campus near Campbell Library.

Today, we’re highlighting Black STEM majors as they share some advice on where to start when looking into STEM.

Ylanda wearing a Rowan shirt and posing outside the Campbell Library.

“Attend as many events as you can to meet new people that has the same interests as you and to also carry out with your interests,” says Ylanda Souffrant, a sophomore, first-generation college student and Math Education major from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County)

Josephine wearing a lab coat and posing in the Science building.

“It’s alright if you know you’re interested in STEM, but you don’t know what you want to do with it in life. Carefully choose the school/program you join because that is how you will position yourself and expose yourself to experiences and individuals that will guide you along your journey,” says Josephine Babatunde, a senior Biochemistry major and transfer student from Union County College (Union County, NJ).

Dévon sitting and posing for a photo while wearing a dotted dress shirt and blue dress pants.

“One major key of advice I would give for high school STEM students is to not give up. I know this sounds a bit cliché, but you’re going to run into many obstacles and people who try to hold you down or stop your progress, but you can’t let nothing stand in your way. The road is going to be rough and tough but like my family always used to preach to me, ‘If someone already did it, you can too,'” says DéVon Malloy, a junior, first-generation college student and Biomedical Engineering major from Hillside, NJ (Union County)

Briana sitting and posing on the fountain stature outside Campbell Library.

“Hold your head up high! The courses may seem rigorous and tedious, but you are more than capable. You are just as competitive as anyone else around you; don’t give up! Ask for help if you need it, take advantage of programs that cater to your major whether it is directly or indirectly correlated with the unrepresented, be sure to make connections any chance you get, and try to get some some volunteer experience in the field if possible.” — Briana Davy, junior, first-generation college student and Biological Sciences major (planning on receiving a CUGS in Spanish), Honors Concentration, transfer from RCSJ Cumberland, Vineland, NJ (Cumberland County)

Akil leaning against the bridge and smiling outside Engineering Hall.

“Start early. Time flies really fast and you never know what the next day will bring you. Get involved in programs, especially offered by the schools you go to, because it not only looks fantastic on your resumé but also the skills and knowledge you acquire from it goes a long way. Get involved early too, don’t be afraid of clubs and participating, and don’t be afraid to reach out to people in college now and ask questions.” — Akil DeBruhl, junior Biological Sciences major with a minor in Psychology, South Orange, NJ (Essex County)

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Story by: Bianca Torres, senior Music Industry major

Photography by: Stephanie Batista, sophomore Music Industry major and Joe Gentempo, Senior Art major

#PROFspective: Mathematics Major Alisa Patel

Alisa standing outside of Robinson Hall.

Today we feature Alisa Patel, a junior Mathematics major with a Statistics of Operations Research and Data Analysis minor. Alisa is a first-generation college student from Cedar Grove, NJ (Essex County). Alisa is a tutor through tutoring services, a resident assistant (RA) through Residential Learning & University Housing and a mentor with Dr. Harley E. […]

First Year Voices: Exploratory Studies Major Christopher Maestoso

Christopher standing in front of Chestnut Hall. There is green and white shrubbery around him. Trees with green and orange leaves.

Today we feature Chris Maestoso, who has adjusted well so far with living away from home as well as learning remotely. Chris is from Fairfield, NJ (Essex County) and currently residing in Chestnut Hall.

Chris poses in front of Chestnut Hall wearing a blue mask. Green and white shrubbery around him. Tree branch above him.

How do you like living in Chestnut?

It’s been good so far. The beginning was tough because it was really hot but now the temperature cooled down.

Have you thought about joining any clubs or organizations on campus?

I have been looking at fraternities but I haven’t looked at any other groups or organizations on campus. 

Are your classes remote or hybrid, and how has that adjustment been?

All my classes are remote right now [for fall 2020] and the adjustment really hasn’t been that bad, still getting used to it a little bit.

Chris poses in front of green and orange trees while holding mask.

What are you looking forward to for the rest of this semester?

The cold weather coming up. 

Any advice to other freshmen?

You should submit your homework early. 

Like what you see? 


Story by:
Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

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

First Year Voices: Chestnut Hall, Adjusting to College – Griffin Roughgarden

Griffin poses in a backwards hat in front of orange and green trees.

Today we feature freshman and Chestnut resident Griffin Roughgarden. Griffin is a Business Entrepreneurship major from West Caldwell, NJ (Essex County.)

How do you like living in Chestnut?
It’s really good, actually. It’s pretty quiet, it’s not really a loud place, there’s lots of amenities. It’s kind of the perfect location on campus. 

Have you thought about joining any clubs or organizations on campus
Yeah I plan on joining a fraternity and maybe some clubs but the club fair I don’t think happened this year because of COVID. So hopefully next year I’ll look into a lot of those things.

Griffin gives a thumbs up with a backwards hat in front of Chestnut.

Are your classes remote or hybrid and how has that adjustment been?They’re hybrid. I like the fact that I can choose whether or not I go in or if I’m tired one day I don’t have to go in. It’s kind of nice being able to do it remote if I want to go home.

Griffin gives a double thumbs up wearing a black mask and a black backwards hat. Chestnut hall is in the background.

What are you looking forward to for the rest of this year?
I’m still just meeting new people, creating my schedule for next year, figuring out who I’m living with, stuff like that. 

Any advice to other freshmen?
It was stressful coming into college but don’t stress about it. It’s nothing crazy, it’s like doing high school just not at home. 

Like what you see? 


Story by:
Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

Photos by:
Rachel Rumsby, sophomore public relations major

PROFFAMILY: An Inclusive & Welcoming Group Of First Years

PROFFAMILY members stand amongst the trees during fall foliage.

Story header photo, from left: Tara Long, Brandon Sagbo, Jada Johnson, Poku, Aaron Brown, Dianna Schreidl, Jayshalie Jennings Today we speak with PROFFAMILY. Freshman founder Poku and first members of the group share how it began and how it has helped them transition into being college students. Creator and visionary, freshman Samuel Poku (who prefers […]

5 Juniors Share Why They Changed Their Majors

These students recognized their majors weren’t the right fit and took the time and energy (which isn’t much) to make the switch. If you don’t absolutely love what you’re studying, it might be good idea to make a switch to improve your college experience!

Selfie of Bria Riley.

“I was exploring a couple different paths such as addiction counselor, teacher and community health educator, but I realized they weren’t for me. Then what really drove me to add world religions was just my own personal experiences with spirituality, and I realized that I really value critical thinking and multicultural competency … everyone having peace with one another and getting along.” – Bria Riley, junior Psychology major (previously Writing Arts) from Washington Township (Gloucester County)

Outside headshot of Michaela Navarro.

“I wanted a place where I could do music business and not have to deal with the recording and playing an instrument. My ex-boyfriend took me to see ‘Wicked’ and that was the deciding factor for me. I wanted to do theatre and I wanted to make amazing theatre like ‘Wicked.’ I just always really loved the technical aspect of everything. I do live sound, so I mix musicals here and I do lighting.” – Michaela Navarro, junior Musical Theatre-Design/Technical major (previously Music Industry) from Howell, NJ (Monmouth County)

Jackie Carlton sits on a purple chair outside.

“I was a Mechanical Engineering major up until the fall of my sophomore year. I wasn’t really enjoying the classes that were more specific to it, I was trying to go to the clubs to figure out more what to do. But all the career stuff wasn’t really stuff I wanted to do. I want to get as much diverse experience as I can, I’m not really sure what I specifically want to get into, but I kind of want to learn a little bit of each field.” – Jackie Charlton, junior Civil & Environmental Engineering major (previously Mechanical Engineering) from Boonton, NJ (Morris County)

Shirley stands in front of a tree and a nearby academic building.

“I changed a bunch of times. I came to Rowan as a Biochem major, then I switched to Psychology, then I was undecided for like two seconds, then I was Physiological Sciences, and I became an Anthropology major and I recently doubled majored in Modern Language & Linguistics. Spring semester [sophomore year] I had to take an Anthropology class and I was given Natives of South America with Dr. Maria Rosado, and she changed my perspective on everything. Coincidentally, the major just became a major that same semester, if I’m not mistaken. – Shirley Celi-Landeo, junior Anthropology / Modern Language & Linguistics dual major (previously Biochemistry) from Newark, NJ (Essex County)

Like what you see?


Story by:
Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

Photos not submitted taken by: 
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major
Quintin Stinney, sophomore Radio/TV/Film major

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

Tree branch covered with snow.

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

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

Keianna taking a selfie.

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

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

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

Sheridan smiling for a selfie.

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

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

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

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

Teresa posing for a portrait shot outside the Engineering building.

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

Like what you see?


Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

First Year Voices: Chemistry Major Spencer Feldman

Spencer wearing a hat and standing outside on campus.

Today, we speak to freshman Chemistry major Spencer Feldman from Livingston, NJ (Essex County). Spencer is currently residing on campus in Holly Pointe Commons. He tells us a little more about why he chose Rowan and what he likes to do on campus.

Spencer outside Mimosa Hall.

Why Rowan?

I chose Rowan because of the location. Also, when I came here I felt that this was a true college campus. It felt easy and simple here. It’s not a huge campus, it’s not a small campus. It’s just enough!

What do you like to do on campus?

Whenever the courts are open, I run around and play basketball. If Holly Pointe To-Go is open, I’ll get food or I’ll go get food at Grill Nation. Other than that, I hang out with my friends outside, walk around campus and go to the Gazebo. We’re always hanging outside because of [Covid-19], we can’t really go indoors together too often. We also go to [Rowan] Boulevard and there’s outdoor dining so there’s a lot to do!

Spencer outside Mimosa Hall.

How’s living in Holly Pointe?

It’s nice living on the first floor. The ceilings are higher and the food is really close too, so that’s always nice!

What do you like about Rowan so far?

I actually like how it’s still alive on campus right now. There’s a lot of other colleges that are kind of empty right now. At Rowan, there’s still a lot of things happening, and we can still get the college experience.

Like what you see?


Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

Advice For Living With Roommates

Five Rowan students posing and smiling outside on campus

Today’s story is from Melanie Sbaraglio, a recent Public Relations and Advertising graduate from Nutley, NJ (Essex County). Melanie joined the Rowan Blog team to wrap up her remaining internship hours, after her internship with Ace Screen Printing in Glassboro was cut short due to COVID-19 affecting business. 

Since I’ve lived with roommates for all four years of college, I feel like I experienced a lot. There are going to be times when you feel like it’s the greatest thing in the world and then other times when you want to pull your hair out. However, I am lucky enough that I am best friends with my roommates, so even when conflict arises it is usually something we eventually laugh about. 

One of my first tips is to be prepared for a lot of sharing. Especially if you’re the roommate who has the best clothes. In my case I am that roommate. I didn’t think I would be the one that everyone wants to borrow from but my closet gets raided by at least two roommates whenever we are getting ready to go out. The important thing to remember here is to have patience and to keep track of who takes what.

My roommates and I outside of our house together.
Melanie (lower left) lived off campus with roommates her senior year.

Next, make sure that everyone does their part when it comes to cleaning up after themselves. My roommates and I developed a weekly chore list and everyone gets a task for the week. For example, taking out the trash, cleaning the floors or cleaning the bathrooms. Although we still argue at times when the kitchen is left a mess or the drain gets clogged this where more patience comes in because with six people in one house messes are for sure going to pile up. 

Another pro tip is to have house meetings. With six girls living together who are all very vocal with their opinions it is important to get everything out in the open at one time. No one likes having conflict in their house especially when it’s the place you come home to after a long day of classes or other activities.  

My last tip is something that I have realized over the years. Don’t sweat the small stuff because this is a time of life where you’re supposed to be having fun and enjoying your time with the people around you. Sometimes my roommates will walk downstairs with my clothes on and say, “Oh by the way I’m gonna borrow this.” Other times we argue over things like who left all the lights on or who let their garbage pile up without taking it outside. In reality these things are small issues that can be easily talked out.

Melanie poses with her roommates

I have become the type of person who lets a lot of things slide without saying anything because I think about whether it’s really something that bothers me in the long run and usually the answer is no. I think this can be good to an extent but if something is really getting on your nerves don’t let it keep happening; otherwise, you’re going to let it all build up and just explode one day. Talk things out, keep yourself grounded and remember the important thing is to enjoy your time living with your best friends while you can. 

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Story by: 
Melanie Sbaraglio, senior public relations and advertising graduate 

Senior Reflects: Professional Skills Through Greek Life

Group photo of Alpha Sigma Tau.

Today’s story is from Melanie Sbaraglio, a senior public relations and advertising double major social-distancing from her house in Nutley, NJ (Essex County). Melanie joined the Rowan Blog team to wrap up her remaining internship hours, after her internship with Ace Screen Printing in Glassboro was cut short due to COVID-19 affecting business. 

Many people recognize Greek life for its social aspects however, coming from experience there is a lot more to it. Gaining professional skills is a very valuable thing that Greek life provides. For instance, having a position within your sorority or fraternity, such as being on the executive board, can teach you a lot. There are also a lot of positions across the organization that are very important.A few Alpha Sigma Tau sisters at a recruitment event this past spring.

I was the merchandise chair for my sorority, Alpha Sigma Tau, this semester. My role was to design and place orders for apparel that represented our sorority during events. This position taught me a lot because I was able to practice time management, staying organized, and working with other people. A lot of the positions within Greek life relate back to your major as well. Someone interested in accounting could become the financial chair and keep track of the budget. There is also a public relations chair who runs our sorority’s social media. Any of these positions can be great to put on a resume in the future to show a potential employer you have experience.

Pink Alpha Sigma Tau recruitment shirt.
Pictured above is one of our Alpha Sigma Tau spring recruitments shirts that I designed this year.

Even if you don’t have a position within your organization you are still learning skills just by participating in events and meetings. Weekly chapter meetings are basically business meetings to discuss and plan for future events.

Sorority recruitment also taught me a lot because I experienced both sides of it, as a recipient and as an organizer. It teaches you networking skills and gives you the confidence to be able to go into a room and start up a conversation with anyone. Gaining that kind of confidence will help you in the future with things like job interviews and working with new people.

I would recommend Greek life to anyone because it is definitely something great to be a part of while also getting the benefits of learning professional skills along the way.

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Story and photographs by: 
Melanie Sbaraglio, senior public relations and advertising major

Senior Reflects: Friendship & Greek Life

One of my favorite memories of my friends and I on stage after I won the Miss Tau Delta Phi Pageant.

Today’s story is from Melanie Sbaraglio, a senior public relations and advertising major social-distancing from her house in Nutley, NJ (Essex County). Melanie joined the Rowan Blog team to wrap up her remaining internship hours, after her internship with Ace Screen Printing in Glassboro was cut short due to COVID-19 affecting business. 

I have made a lot of memories throughout my four years here at Rowan. My experiences have shaped me into the person that I am today in so many ways.

When I think back to the first day that I moved into my freshman dorm, I had no idea what the next few years would have in store. Now as a senior who is almost reaching the point of graduation, I want to share some of my favorite moments from the past four years.

This photo os from freshman year of my roommate and I.
A throwback to freshman year with my roommate and me (at left).

The first memory I have is moving into my freshman dorm and meeting my first friend at Rowan, Emily. Emily and I have experienced everything together at Rowan because we have been roommates since freshman year. We even ended up both joining the same sorority during our sophomore year, Alpha Sigma Tau. Joining my sorority brought me to so many amazing friends that I continue to make memories with all the time.

Moving into 114 Victoria junior year was definitely one of the best times. My roommates and I were all just starting to meet new people since joining Greek Life. I’d have to say this was my favorite year of college. It was when everything started to finally fall into place for me, and I realized that I loved this school.

My roommates and I junior year in our 114 apartment.
This picture is from junior year with my roommates in our 114 apartment.

I came out of my shell a lot junior year and did things that I never thought I would do. From participating in Greek Life pageants to dancing on stage with my sorority for lip sync during Homecoming and Greek Week, I was finally having the college experience I’d always hoped for. I gained so much confidence after joining a  sorority because it got me involved on campus   and recruitment pushed me out of my comfort zone. Finally finding the friends/roommates who I still live with this year also gave me so much  confidence because I finally felt like I belonged here. 

The start to senior year will also always remain one of the best times of my life. My five roommates and I moved into our off-campus house together, which was another new and exciting experience. Although senior year was unfortunately cut short, I will always have the best memories from Rowan. I will always have the friends that I made along the way as well and will continue to keep making amazing memories with them.

The time spent at this school brought so much good into my life, and I would not change a thing about how it all came together.

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Story and photos by: 
Melanie Sbaraglio, senior public relations and advertising major 

Coping with Grief as a College Student

Allison Niemiec poses for a photo on the Bunce Green.

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.

Allison Niemiec poses in a gazebo on campus.Meet Allison Niemiec, a first year graduate student in the Higher Education Administrative Track program, from Cedar Grove, NJ (Essex County). She shares, “I wanted to write about coping with grief in response to a lot of the current events that surround mental health in higher education. There was a lot of conversation about these topics in my graduate classes, and I was able to see the impact that these events have on college students.” 

Death is a sensitive topic and unexpected event that can cause an individual to experience a variety of different emotions and reactions. The emotions or reactions an individual has in response to loss is often referred to as grief (Thai and Moore, 2018). In college, students already deal with multiple stresses such as with academics, finances, friendships, adjusting to campus, and many more, which can be amplified when dealing with loss and grief. 

A Residential Assistant named Meghan Auer (2019) explains her experience of coping with grief after receiving the shocking news of the death of a dormitory resident that she used to work with. Meghan provides some insight as to what potential steps are toward coping with grief as a college student and student leader. For one, Meghan discusses the importance of processing and taking time to breathe immediately after hearing the news about death (Auer, 2019). She suggests that at this moment an individual will be faced with a variety of emotions at once such as frustration, denial, or feeling overwhelmed. Taking deep breaths helps to clear your mind from feeling these emotions as intensely and calling a close friend can provide positive support (Auer, 2019).

Second, it will be important to let employers or professors know about your loss so that they are aware of the situation and can provide accommodations (Auer, 2019). For example, informing a professor about your loss may be important in the event that you need to travel for services or need an extension on an assignment.

Third, the most important part of the healing process is engaging in self-care. Self-care can appear in a variety of different ways, but can include activities such as creating a routine that provides structure to your day, surrounding yourself with positive people, participating in hobbies that bring forth joy, exercising, and many more (Auer, 2019). In some cases, wellness resources such as group or individual counseling can also help an individual have another environment to talk about their experience with loss and learn more tips on how to cope with grief (Auer, 2019).

Overall, dealing with loss can cause a range of different emotions and reactions in an individual and is most commonly referred to as grief. As a college student the feeling of grief can seem overwhelming especially when dealing with other stressors such as finances, relationships, academics, and getting used to the college environment. Giving yourself time to process the news of the death, informing professors and employers about your loss, and participating in self-care are all beneficial steps towards coping with grief as a college student. 

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Story by:
Allison Niemiec, first year graduate student in the Higher Education Administrative Track program, Wellness Center intern

Photography by:
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major


Auer, M. (2019, November 8). Coping with Grief and Loss as a College Student. Retrieved from

Thai, C. L., & Moore, J. F. (2018). Grief and bereavement in young adult college students: A review of the literature and implications for practice and research. Communication Research Trends, 37(4), 4-29. Retrieved from

Pandemic Profs: Relax with Drawing

Sketches of a human heart and a crystal ball side by side.

Today’s story is from Melanie Sbaraglio, a senior public relations and advertising major social-distancing from her house in Nutley, NJ (Essex County). Melanie joined the Rowan Blog team to wrap up her remaining internship hours, after her internship with Ace Screen Printing in Glassboro was cut short due to COVID-19 affecting business. 

If you are looking for something to do while sitting at home, it’s always a good time to pick up a pencil and a blank piece of paper.

I find that sometimes sitting down, clearing my head, and just sketching the first thing that comes to mind can be a great way to pass the time.

Over the years drawing has become one of my favorite hobbies. It doesn’t matter if you’re artistic or not because anyone can do it. I have also found that the less you focus on trying to make something look perfect, the better it comes out. So don’t stress because eventually you will start to notice yourself getting better over time — practice can only improve your skills.  Sketch of human skull with a butterfly on it.

Turning on some music and sitting down with a pencil and a sketch pad is a great way to turn off your brain and tune out everything that is going on in the world. Even for just 45 minutes a day I find that drawing is a great way to relax.

In the past my friends also asked me to draw things for them, and my one friend even asked me to draw him a tattoo that he wants to get in the future. You might surprise yourself and end up creating a few tattoos along the way as well.

Compass sketch. Drawing can also be a good way to calm your mind before going to sleep at night. Instead of going on your phone or watching TV before bed, try lighting a candle, playing some music, and just letting yourself be creative.

Even if you aren’t someone who considers themselves to be artistic you might just enjoy the feeling of being able relax your mind for a while. 

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Story and images by: 
Melanie Sbaraglio, senior public relations and advertising major 

Pandemic Profs: Yoga at Home

Yoga outside on my back deck.

Today’s story is from Melanie Sbaraglio, a senior public relations and advertising major social-distancing from her house in Nutley, NJ (Essex County). Melanie joined the Rowan Blog team to wrap up her remaining internship hours, after her internship with Ace Screen Printing in Glassboro was cut short due to COVID-19 affecting business. 

Stuck inside, gyms are closed, and looking for some kind of physical activity that will also relieve stress and anxiety? I had the idea to get into yoga when I wanted to focus on something new during this unusual time in life.

I went in thinking about how it was something I never used to have an interest in even though I tried it a few times in the past. For a beginner like myself I recommend starting with an easy stretch routine.Melanie does a demonstration of cobra pose from a stretch yoga routine. I have been liking one by a social media fitness instructor named Maddie Lymburner. Her YouTube handle is MadFit and the video that I started out with is her 20-minute Yoga For Stress and Anxiety. This routine is 20 minutes of Stretch Yoga, which also focuses on breathing. It can be a great way to start or end the day because it is quick and relaxing.

Once I did this beginner routine I realized that even though I am not an expert on yoga by any means, it is a great way to release stress and any tension from the body. Throughout the video, the instructor wants you to focus on breathing and letting any tension go from the neck and shoulders through different positions.

Melanie does a demonstration of airplane pose.

After doing a stretch routine for a few days to ease yourself into it, there are many other forms of yoga to try that are beneficial in different ways. If you are interested in working up a sweat and getting a good workout through yoga, try out Power Vinyasa Flow Yoga. This became another favorite of mine after following along with a video from a YouTube channel called YogiApproved. Power Vinyasa Flow is more intense and requires you to move from one pose to the next all in one motion. I noticed that this kind of yoga is more of a full-body workout because it is fast paced and tests your strength.

So far I have only tried out these two forms of yoga myself, but there are tons of videos on YouTube for any kind of yoga that interests you. I have never had a real interest in yoga or its benefits until these past few weeks of being home and needing to find something to occupy my time. It’s something anyone can try and do in the comfort of their own home for free.

Now is as good of a time as any to challenge yourself to something new so give it a try and get to stretching! 

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Story and photos by:
Melanie Sbaraglio, senior public relations and advertising major

History Major Finds Her Passion for Archiving During Internship

books aligned on a book case.

Julianne at the library

Julianne reading a book at the library

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Story by:
Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major 

#PROFspective: Women’s Ice Hockey Vice President Emily Render

Emily stands in front of the women's ice hockey trophy.

Name: Emily RenderEmily poses in front of a white background.
Year: Junior
Major: Radio/Television/Film within the Ric Edeleman College of Communication and Creative Arts

Hometown and county: Nutley, Essex County

On campus resident or commuter: I live in 114 Victoria, on campus.

Academic or social clubs:  Women’s Ice Hockey Club Team

Why did you choose Rowan? I met one of the Women’s Ice Hockey coaches at a game. The coach reached out to me and told me to look into Rowan. I came for a visit and I really liked the Radio/Television/Film program.

Group photo of the Women's Ice Hockey Team.
Emily, pictured front left.

What inspired you to get involved on campus? I Wanted to make more friends, and I knew if I got involved on campus, I would find people with similar interests to me, such as art, hockey, and Radio/Television/Film.

What made you want to join Women’s Ice Hockey? The coach was dedicated, there was a promising future for the team, and it seemed like a good environment. I also grew up playing hockey and wanted to continue.

Emily is wearing her ice hockey uniform, standing in front of the goal net.What would you share with a future student interested in joining Women’s Ice Hockey? Joining is definitely worth it. The team is like a family. Everyone is collaborative with putting in effort, the coaches are great and helpful, and every teammate has your back on and off the ice.

How has being on the Women’s Ice Hockey team impacted your Rowan experience? Being on the team helps me stay active and relieves stress. Being on a successful team has definitely had a positive impact on my college career. Also, I have a great group of friends with similar interests as me, and I enjoy the sport.

What are some good memories that you’ve had with the Women’s Ice Hockey team? We played really well freshmen year with 6 skaters. It felt great to prove that we can accomplish a lot with a small team because we worked so hard. Also, my sophomore year, we won the championships in overtime to get a seat in Nationals, and it was an amazing experience to be able to go to Nationals.

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

4 Juniors Who Are Reppin’ North Jersey

We spoke with juniors Shirley Celi-Landeo, Jackie Charlton, Julia Majerscak and Liz Kenlan about making the change from living in North to South Jersey. Their answers varied slightly except for one collective opinion: it’s different here in Gloucester County!

Shirley Celi-Landeo poses wearing a denim jacket while smiling on a yellow bench.
“I’ve never seen a lot of farmland until I came here. North Jersey and South Jersey are really, really different. I didn’t really expect to be 20 minutes away from farm lands and a lot of vineyards. And then the accents, too.” – Shirley Celi-Landeo, junior, first-generation college student and dual major in Anthropology / Modern Language & Linguistics from Newark, NJ (Essex County)

Jackie Charlton smiles standing in front of the prof statue.
“It’s very spread out. I don’t know a lot about South Jersey, but it’s a little more quiet out here. I don’t go home that much just because it’s so hard to focus on school work when I’m home and it’s just kind of a separation of work.” – Jackie Charlton, junior Civil Engineering major from Boonton, NJ (Morris County)

Julia smiles while wearing black in front of some green trees.
I didn’t think there would be this much emptiness, it’s so spread out here unlike North Jersey. [At home] we’re literally like 20 minutes from New York City. Even though Philly’s so close, the vibe here is just so different. I feel like it’s so important to get a sense of change, that’s when you can figure out what’s good for you and maybe what doesn’t work for you. I think it’s nice to get away from home. Obviously it works for some people and doesn’t work for others, but it’s important to be able to adapt to change. – Julia Majerscak, junior Theatre & Dance major from Montville, NJ (Morris County)

Liz Kenlan poses on a cement bench in front of some green trees.
“I think the culture of South Jersey is really cool and I think that’s because Philly is right there. It is so much fun to be able to explore the city life there and also come back. It feels like a completely separate state. I feel like they have their own culture down here. It’s got a little bit of a southern twist to it [with] the beach towns down here and the Philly culture on the side.” – Liz Kenlan, junior Studio Art major from Verona, NJ (Essex County)

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Story by:
Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

Photos by: 

Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

Quintin Stinney, sophomore Radio/TV/Film major

“First Class” Graduate Howard Beder

Rowan alumnus Howard Beder Howard (center) with actor Federico Castelluccio from "The Sopranos" and actor/comedian Jeff Pirrami
Rowan alumnus Howard Beder with KISS Demon
Rowan alumnus Howard Beder with KISS Demon

Meet Howard Beder, a 1988 Rowan alumnus from the College of Communication and Creative Arts and past president (1986) of the Alpha Phi Delta fraternity. Today, he shares how his experience as a Communication major helped him achieve his goals.

Howard chose Rowan University (then Glassboro State College) because it was merely two hours away from his hometown of Maplewood (Essex County). He admired the environment offered at Rowan and decided to attend.

 He believes that communications courses offered at Rowan enhanced his ability to convey information effectively both verbally and in written form. According to Howard, “interacting with people is paramount.” Although unsure of his major at first, he understood that a degree in communications can apply to any line of work.

“Ultimately in the end, no matter what your expertise, no matter how great your grades are, a lot of your success and achievements will depend on how you deal with people,” Howard said.

Alumnus Howard Beder with actor Wesley Eure from the "Land of the Lost" TV series.
Howard with actor Wesley Eure from the “Land of the Lost” TV series

Now, Howard is the CEO and president of First Class Entertainment Inc., an entertainment booking agency founded in 1990 in New Jersey that represents performing artists from all over the globe from the worlds of stage, television and film. Within the agency there are branch offices in California, France and Canada. The company books entertainment for a number of international cruise lines, performing art centers, theaters and casinos. Over the years, First Class Entertainment Inc. has grown to become one of the main specialty agencies that books headline entertainment for the cruise industry worldwide. They even represent Steven Seagal and his blues band Thunderbox, Jack Wagner, and The Platters®, among many other internationally renowned artists, and have worked over the years with numerous A-list celebrities.

Howard is also CEO and president of Howard Beder Productions, a division of First Class Entertainment Inc., representing legendary and accomplished show producers and their entire catalog of shows, as well as to create and produce large scale production shows independently. Also serving as Executive Producer, Howard represents theatrical stage shows for Broadway and other venues, as well as feature film and television projects in an effort to raise capital.

Rowan alumnus Howard Beder is president and CEO of First Class Entertainment
Howard is president and CEO of First Class Entertainment, a booking agency that represents clients from all over the globe.

Howard is additionally involved as a partner and executive producer in a philanthropy project called Tomorrow’s Child. He hopes to organize an Olympic-scale globally broadcast epic fundraising concert that features artists from every country and a child from their respective country. The event will culminate with one artist and one child from every country performing the song, “Tomorrow’s Child,” co-written by partner, executive producer, and internationally acclaimed songwriter Alan Roy Scott and Oscar and Grammy-winning songwriter Will Jennings (“My Heart Will Go On”/Titanic, etc.), accompanied by an all-star “house band,” Philharmonic Orchestra, and the renowned World’s Children Choir. This finale will show the world for a few brief moments that we are all united through the universal language of music, and our love of our children on this small planet we share.

No country will have a larger representation based on size, political power or other factors that would upset the balance. Every country’s child and artist representatives will have the same weight as all others in this moment. The proceeds of the event, through the channels of the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies along with UNICEF, will go to help children in need of food, clothing, medical aid, clean water, housing and more.

He believes that the key to success is always giving back — which is what Howard hopes to do on a large scale with Tomorrow’s Child. Fundraising efforts continue toward the $20 million goal necessary in order to execute this globally broadcast charity event. 

Rowan alumnus Howard Beder with wife Irena Beder
Rowan alumnus Howard Beder with wife Irena Beder

Howard wanted to give a few pieces of advice to Rowan students about achieving success:

  1. Learning is continual. Apply what you’ve learned but never have a big ego. Treat everyone with respect: your partners, secretary and your janitor. You never know who will teach you a valuable lesson.

  2. You must evolve. Learn to be adaptable. Always keep an open mind and think about where tomorrow is headed.

  3. Leadership and activity are key. Take advantage of activities, clubs and organizations that are present. Be involved because interacting with people helps you learn social dynamics and leadership skills, which are valuable for the future.




Header photo: Howard (center) with actor Federico Castelluccio from “The Sopranos” and actor/comedian Jeff Pirrami

Like what you see? Come visit us!


Story by:
Dean Powers, sophomore radio/television/film major
Photos courtesy of:
Howard Beder 

Sean’s Home Away From Home: Kappa Delta Pi

Sean Lowry, a senior elementary education major with a dual major in geography from Caldwell, NJ (Essex County), feels most at home within the education honor society at Rowan, Kappa Delta Pi. A transfer student from the County College of Morris, this year Sean is president of Kappa Delta Pi and lives on campus in 220 Rowan Boulevard Apartments.

Like what you see? Come visit us!


Video by: Alexander Belli, senior public relations and advertising major
Edited by: Nicole Cier, junior writing arts major
Music by: Don Dewitt, junior music industry major

PR Student Follows Passion with Two Start-Ups on Campus

As a PR and Advertising double major with minors in Mandarin and Strategic Communications, junior Brittany Eng of West Orange, NJ (Essex County) always knew that writing would play a huge role in her future endeavors. She enjoyed creative writing throughout high school and into college, and writing has always been her strongest skill. How […]

Joshua’s Home Away From Home: Wilson Practice Rooms [VIDEO]

Young, white male student with yellow Rowan University standing in foreground with brick building blurred out in background

An environmental studies freshman from Nutley, NJ (Essex County), Joshua Masucci has continued with his love for playing music and has found a welcoming home away from home within the College of Performing Arts’ Wilson Hall’s practice rooms. Like what you see? Come visit us! VISIT CAMPUS​ Produced by: Alexander Belli, senior public relations and advertising […]

#PROFspective: Environmental Studies Major Joshua Masucci

Today, we speak with Joshua Masucci, a freshman aspiring geographic information science major who lives on campus in Evergreen Hall. Joshua will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how he’s getting the most out of his college experience as a Rowan Prof. Name: Joshua MasucciMajor: Currently […]

Amber’s Study Abroad in Spain

Africana Studies senior and transfer student Amber Brown-Kelly of Newark, NJ (Essex County) shares her experience: This study abroad experience in Valencia, Spain was round two for me. My first round took place in the United Kingdom for six months full of studying and traveling with friends and classmates who mostly spoke English. Two months full […]

Students Unify Rowan through Unified Sports

Kaitlee and Joseph sit on a bench together

 Co-presidents of Unified Sports, seniors Kaitlee Francisco, an elementary education and mathematics major from Washington Township (Gloucester County) and Joseph Egan, a mechanical engineering major from Fairfield (Essex County) contribute to the Rowan and South Jersey communities in ways that go far beyond the classroom.  On Nov. 3, Kaitlee and Joseph were elated to see […]

Something Fun for Everyone at the Student Organization Fair at Rowan University

Rowan University Rugby during a match, in action defending a ball from the other team.

Student Government Association (SGA) hosts its annual welcome-back-to-school organization fair in early September in the center of campus, behind the Student Center. With over 200 student clubs, intramural sports and club sports on campus, this is always an afternoon of excitement for students of all years and majors. We suggest expanding your horizons and remembering […]

#PROFspective PROS Edition: Philosophy Major Donald C Roberts III

rowan pros member giving tour

Today, we speak with Donald C Roberts III, a junior philosophy major from Irvington, NJ, who lives on campus in Edgewood Park Apartments. Donald will give us insight on his career as being a member of Rowan PROS and will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student […]

#PROFspective: Communications Studies Major Troi Foster

student ra room

Today we speak with Troi Foster, a senior communications studies major from East Orange, Essex County, who lives on campus as a resident assistant in Mimosa Hall. Troi will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.  Name: […]