Rowan University Anthropology Majors Share Their Professional Goals

A close up of Mexican communication on a stone from an ancient civilization.

Anthropology is the scientific and humanistic approach understanding human origins, and biological and cultural diversity. Potential career paths can include becoming an anthropologist, archeologist, forensic science technician, curator, medical scientist, museum technician and conservator or geographer. What internships, clubs, networking, etc. are you involved in and how do they support your goals? “I am currently […]

Bangladeshi Graduate Student Finds Opportunity & Community at Rowan University Pursuing a Master’s in Computer Science

A portait of Tilpa outdoors.

This story is one within a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories.  What is your long-term professional goal or dream career? “I see myself as a cloud engineer; it’s my dream career.” Are you involved in internships, clubs, networking, etc. here […]

How Physics Took Nicholas Kurth to Switzerland To Work With CERN

Nicholas stands outside the science building wearing a lab coat.

A Dive Into the Physics Major at Rowan University With a Graduating Senior Tell us more about your CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) experience. “I knew about this opportunity at CERN for over a year before I applied because when I was applying to LSU to go do research work for them, I saw […]

National Book Month: Writing Arts & Journalism Students, Faculty Share Favorite Reads

A female student browses a bookshelf at the bookstore.

The month of October is known as a time centered around witches, pumpkins, and candy of course. However, as werewolves howl at the moon and that first October moon rises, National Book Month also begins! With only 31 days to celebrate Rowan students and faculty weigh on their favorite current and past reads on their […]

How Political Science Majors Can Grow Through Research and Internships: A Conversation with Professor Markowitz

The student government association president sits at his desk for a interview.

Like most political science majors, Professor Lawrence Markowitz was originally set on entering law school after he had completed his undergraduate degree. However, after a brief internship in law that exposed him to what big law was like, some time off and a tour of Western Europe exposed him to the alluring complexities of international relations. He has since then become an expert on and published work on a variety of topics from political violence to state building with a focus on post-Soviet Eurasia and is the current chair of the political science department at Rowan University.

Transitioning from one field of study to another presented new opportunities to learn not only in the classroom but by working as well, “I interned for human rights on international affairs, then decided that I wanted to go into the field, but knew I needed a little bit more of a regional focus and a little bit more language skills.” The 1990s changed the landscape of international politics as the Soviet Union fell, providing Professor Markowitz with an opportunity that most people for close to 70 years only could dream about. As he waited to see which university would be his home for his master’s degree, he says, “While my applications were being reviewed, the year before I started my master’s, I went overseas to Moscow and did a study abroad language study for about five months in Moscow.” Even after starting his master’s degree in the fall of 1995, trips to Armenia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Russia again all helped add to his depth of knowledge–something that can be seen and heard when sitting in his class. 

Professor Markowitz stands in front of a slide labed "The Politics of Multiculturalism" with his hand pointing to some of the bullet points such as "Why is multiculturalism important?" and "How does multiculturalism matter?". There is a student in the foreground taking notes.

What Professor Markowitz does for students extends outside the classroom setting, helping to guide students through their academic career. The vision he has for his department has been carefully put together to maximize the potential of students, “In political science, the faculty spends a good amount of time talking about and thinking about putting together a curriculum that builds multiple skills and helps broaden students in a variety of ways. Obviously on the most superficial level, we want you to cover the basic topics, themes, and theories and to know the material in political science. That’s the obvious. Underlying that, we’re developing a lot of the skills and less tangible abilities that will serve you over the long term.” The benefits of the skills you learn exceed being able to think more analytically or write better, “For example, how to impose and support an argument through compelling logic and evidence. If you go into law, that is obviously relevant, but in any field you’re going to be able to do that. You want to ask for a raise? That’s a good tool to have–the ability to craft an argument and to think through how to support it.”

Even when diving into the specifics of what you learn, Professor Markowitz ensures that students leave class with a better understanding of the world around them. The experiences he’s had in his own studies, research, and travels are all passed onto the students to provide a well-rounded approach to the topics covered in class. Helping students craft well thought out opinions on the world comes from taking a look at the world around them and analyzing the pros and cons in the differences, “If you just look at your experience in the U.S. and you look at the U.S. and try to interpret the U.S. American politics and the world around you and the economy, without having that broader perspective, you only have a limited view. In comparative politics and in the Russian politics class I teach we talk about themes, such as in the comparative politics class I teach, one day we do welfare states, we look at social programs, we look at Germany’s pensions and version of social security and its health care.” As much as Professor Markowitz seeks to help develop his students ability to learn and think critically outside the classroom, opportunities outside the classroom are equally as important. 

While many students think primarily of internships, there are other opportunities that are available to students as well. Research opportunities are also available to students, an opportunity that helps a student branch out, “Students in their undergrad years, if they can work with a professor on a research paper project or conduct research for their classes, that is a big opportunity and advantage. In other words, they’re working on a paper and have a wide range of themes, but develop over time where your interests are.”  Traditional internships are always available to students. The benefits to those are clear, “But also: not just research, but doing work within organizations or on campaigns, getting involved in various ways in politics;  there’s a lot of opportunities for that.” There was also an emphasis on how lucky students are to have three major cities (New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia) all within relative proximity to campus for tangible hands-on experience. Opportunities are boundless to those who look for them, with the staff helping students find positions for them to not only grow in, but find success as well. With both the Rowan Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship (RIPPAC) offering internship opportunities and the College of Humanities & Social Sciences offering a wide variety of internships, the possibilities available are varied.  Rowan’s study abroad program also adds a layer of depth to the chances that students can create for themselves by immersing themselves in the cultures they’ve spent time studying in the classroom. 

As much as Professor Markowtiz sees opportunities for students’ growth within their own fields of study, he also believes that students should expand their horizons by taking classes outside of what their area of focus is. Undergraduate studies provide students with the opportunities to explore a variety of interests, “First of all, even before selecting, but also after selecting a major, they should take a wide range of classes and explore. We’re one of the few countries on the planet, historically one of the few countries where you have a liberal arts education and you can take a range of classes and just take something in art or biology just because you want to learn about biology.” But when picking classes, students should not just choose randomly, but pick based on how it could relate to future careers, “If they go into law, then political science is a good major, but then the question is, ‘What kind of law might they be interested in?’ They don’t have to decide for sure, but if they are randomly thinking they might want to go into corporate law, then doing a minor or CUGS (Certificates in Undergraduate Studies) in something in finance or business makes sense. If they want to go into family law, then maybe doing a minor in psychology makes sense.” Finding a balance to broadening your horizons and narrowing down what a student is key to academic success. 

Professor Markowitz is standing in front of the board with his hand out stretched lecturing to his students.

Rowan’s political science department gives students the tools they need to succeed through lessons taught in the classroom, to the doors that lead to the professional world. When asked about what makes this university produce graduates who are so competitive, Professor Markowitz was quick to give credit to his colleagues, “We have a lot of faculty, especially in our College of Humanities & Social Sciences, who research within these fields. Most of them are at the high levels in their particular sub-field; they’re specialized. They are experts and they’re among the top experts in the broader fields that they’re in.” The staff aims not just to research for their own benefit, but to also help students stay on the cutting edge of information, to help them stay competitive in their fields of study. Professor Markowitz is not wrong when he says, “They’re not someone who is never interacting with undergrads and they don’t know how to talk about their research topic in everyday terms. We have that great mix, we have a dozen people or so in every discipline that have that kind of specialization and expertise. For the price tag, it’s a pretty good deal.”

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Story by:

Thomas Ubelhoer, sophomore political science and international studies double major

#PROFspective: Student Leader Arianna Granda Talks Clubs, Music Education & Faith

Arianna Granda lays on the grass with musical scores surrounding her.

Today we feature Arianna Granda from Morris County, NJ. She is a rising senior studying Music Education with a vocal concentration and pursuing a CUGS in Jazz Performance. She currently serves as the president of both Rowan’s NAfME (National Association for Music Education) chapter and Profecy A Cappella group, as well as a leader of […]

From Political Science Student to Political Operative

Connor talks to two people.

Originally intent on a completely different major, that changed after Connor attended Dr. Lawrence Markowitz’s talk on Russian collusion in American elections. Although he quickly changed majors to political science, he did not want to lose other areas of interest that had been a big part of his life growing up, causing him to pick […]

#PROFspective: How Senior Jasmine Hull is Working Toward a Better Future in Healthcare

Rowan University Public Health and Wellness major Jasmine stands outside Rowan's Business Hall.

Today we feature senior Public Health and Wellness major Jasmine Hull (she/her) from Mercer County, NJ. Jasmine is living on-campus after transferring to Rowan from Stockton and is a first-generation college student. Here, she gives us some insights into her major and favorite experiences at Rowan. Why did you choose Rowan? Larger sum of transfer […]

Be Prepared for the Unexpected: Rowan University’s Wilderness First Responder Course

Rowan Health and Physical Education major Gabriel Sherry treats another student in a scenario in Rowan's Wilderness First Responder course.

Today we take you outdoors with the Wilderness First Responder class, led by Dr. Shari Willis, within the School of Nursing & Health Professions. In a simulated training sequence for the Rowan University course Wilderness First Responder, a wooded area on campus serves as an isolated, high-altitude patch of the Colorado mountains. Here, students must […]

Chem E Major Shares: Challenging the World for a Sustainable Future Through Material Science

Sarah S in a lab coat doing chemical engineering research.

Rowan Global graduate student Sarah Salazar is completing a master’s degree in chemical engineering, working with others to challenge the future of plastic.  “Chemical engineering really is everything. Everything that we touch in our lives has been impacted in some way by a chemical engineer,” Sarah says. “What I love about it is that here […]

Alumni Success: Shaun Pierson ‘19 Talks MFA Candidate at Yale and Personal Photography Projects

Shaun Pierson in front of a mirror with his camera.

Shaun Pierson (he/him) is a Rowan University 2019 graduate who majored in Radio/TV/Film. He currently lives in New Haven, Connecticut, but during his time at Rowan, lived on campus as an RA. His work has been featured at the Midwest Center for Photography, the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, the Foley Gallery (NYC), Vogue Italia, […]

Rowan Engineering Major Benjamin Busler Achieves Dream of Interning for NASA [VIDEO]

Electrical and Computer Engineering major Benjamin Busler is representing Rowan University this semester as a Pathways Intern with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Benjamin, a junior from Somerset County, is among a select group of students nationwide in NASA’s Pathways program, which offers internships and a direct avenue to future employment with the […]

Exploring the Community and Environmental Planning Major with Senior Jon Hansel

Jon smiles outside in on Glassboro Town Square.

Today we feature senior Jonathan Hansel (he/him) from Burlington County. Jon is majoring in Community and Environmental Planning and pursuing a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning through Rowan’s 4+1 program. Here, he discusses the importance of planning, his personal aspirations, and the opportunities he’s found in the program. Could you tell us a little […]

Faculty PROFile: Dr. Adrian Barnes on Music Education through a Social Justice Lens

Music Education Assistant Professor Dr. Adrian Barnes sits outside Wilson Hall.

Today we feature Assistant Professor Dr. Adrian Barnes, coordinator of Rowan University’s Bachelor of Music Education and a key architect behind the school’s new Master of Music Education program, which launched this fall. Here, Dr. Barnes details his research and teaching, shares more information on the new graduate program and explains why he believes education […]

In Foraging Course, Wild Foods Abound on Rowan University’s Campus

Today, we join Rowan University’s Foraging for Edible Plants class, led by School of Earth & Environment Assistant Professor and course founder Dr. Daniel Duran. Just steps outside their classroom on the side of the newly opened Discovery Hall building, Dr. Daniel Duran shows his students a juneberry shrub, one of dozens of edible plants […]

Rowan Alumnus and Band Director Mike Massaro on Music Education

Music education alumnus Mike Massaro plays the trumpet wearing a red polo shirt.

Today we feature a Q and A with 2020 Rowan Music Education graduate Mike Massaro, the middle school band director at Kingsway Regional Middle School and coach for the Rowan Youth Jazz Orchestra. Music is a passion of Mike’s, and it all started for him at an early age. He talks about the journey he has been on with the art, his teaching position and the importance of learning music.

Where did your passion for music stem from?

I can think back through my life of how I got progressively more involved with music, but it all started back when I was a little kid. When my grandmother would be driving me in her car, I’d be in the backseat. And she put in this cassette tape. The first track on it was “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, and I would sing along in the back and I’d hum along.

I always knew that I liked music a lot. As I got older, eventually I joined band when I was in elementary school, got in the jazz band when I was in middle school.

But it was really when I got into the high school jazz band and my high school band director believed in me a lot, that I knew that this was something that I wanted to spend a life in.

What was the exact moment that you were like, this is what I want to do for my life?

The moment that I realized I wanted to go into music was actually the moment that music had gotten taken away from me. When I was a sophomore in high school, I always used to come right home from school, and I’d go up to my room and I’d practice trumpet right away.

One time that winter break, I was hanging out with a bunch of my friends and we were just being silly sophomores in high school, throwing stuff around the basement. I got hit in the face by a toy and my lip busted, which is not good for trumpet players. I couldn’t play trumpet for about a month or two. So, I would come home and in that time where I previously used to practice, I would just go up and sit, and just keep an icepack on my face, and not do anything. And it was boring. It wasn’t fun, it was depressing.

I realized, if this is what my life is without music, why would I go into anything but music?

Mike is sitting down and looking off to the left.
Mike Massaro (above) wrote a piece for Rowan Blog while a student; read that here.

Why did you choose Rowan for music?

There were a lot of factors that went into me choosing Rowan for music, but ultimately what it came down to was the professors that I knew I would be studying under, and the individual attention that I knew I’d be receiving.

I can tell, looking at Rowan, that every single professor truly cares about every single student that is involved in their program. Through my time learning with all these professors, I was able to get to know them all so personally, and so closely. Looking at myself now as a teacher, I’m able to look at anything I do and pick apart almost sort of where I got that from, which professor kind of instilled that in me and how it’s grown ever since that.

You knew that you wanted to continue with music, but when did you decide that you wanted to teach it?

So for me, I realized I wanted to go into music in a very finite moment. However, realizing that I wanted to teach music was more of a progressive thing.

It was probably around my junior year in high school, I had gotten a lot more opportunities to teach other students. I was running sectionals, I was just getting to work with a lot of younger students, and I started to really like that feeling of knowing that somebody was getting better at music because of something that I was able to share with them.

I started to fall in love with that feeling so much. I realized it was really what was keeping me going. It was my big spark in life and I knew that I wanted to live with that for the rest of my life.

Mike is sitting in a tree playing the saxophone.

Can you talk a little bit more about the relationships that you have with the students and the inspiration that their growth brings?

Sure. I believe in all of my students, I believe any one of them can truly achieve what they want to, especially in music. I can look at all of them and see so much of my past self and see so much of my past friends from when I was in their shoes. But I can also see so much new in all of them. There’s so many new ideas that they all bring to the table, so many new things that they want to try, and new things that they’re able to accomplish.

Every student is at a different level. I don’t expect all of my students to achieve the same things. We all start at different levels and we all end at different levels. But ultimately, what my relationship with my students is based off of is progress, and seeing that we’re all able to grow together at the same time.

Music education seems to be one of the first programs that always gets cut. Why do you believe music education is vital to help students build on their skill set?

To anybody that’s asking why music should be in schools, why is music education important? I ask the question, what would your life be without music? it’s something that surrounds us everywhere that we go. We’re in the car, we’re in the store, we go to concerts, we can hear these birds around me right now. Any sound can be considered music.

I think establishing a relationship with that art is one of the most important things that any young student can experience, because it truly exposes them to the world that is around them in a more personal and connected way than, in my opinion, any other field that is out there.

Mike is sitting and looking off to the right with a slight smile.

Can you kind of talk about how music can additionally teach kids math and language?

I definitely believe that music is a universal language. It encompasses so many of the other fundamental skills that we see. Math, rhythms are all math. Everyday pitches are all math, and in that same realm of math, it’s all science. Everything that we do is based around physics, It’s all based around acoustics.

In terms of language arts, English, literature and any other language you could possibly dream of, everything that we do is storytelling. It’s all based and structured around the same types of forms that we see in literature and stories. And, I mean if we’re talking history music has such a diverse and extensive and beautiful history throughout all of mankind. It truly does bring every single subject into play all at once, and you can take moments to isolate down and work with those specific subjects.

A side profile picture of Mike sitting and talking.

Whenever it comes to like the band, the orchestra, the jazz band, everybody has to be on the same page or the music fails. How is each individual person important, no matter if they’re the first chair with a big solo, or they’re the last chair?

Ultimately, our job as musicians in an ensemble has to pay respect to the original work that was written, that was composed. That composer wrote that work for a very specific purpose, for a very specific reason. Every single member of our team matters when it comes to making sure that reason can come to life. Whether it’s some situation where there’s one student on a part, like there is in a jazz ensemble, or there’s many students on a part, like there is in a wind ensemble. Every student matters, because again, we’re trying to pay respect to these words.

Ultimately, the melody doesn’t mean anything without the harmony. The harmony doesn’t mean anything without the melody. The drumbeat doesn’t mean anything without the melody and the harmony. It takes every single student to really create the story that we are trying to tell in there. And if you look at an activity like marching band, there’s nowhere to hide on the field. Every single student has a role. There is no bench, all of our students are on 100% of the time.

As a music education teacher, how do you keep everybody engaged evenly?

When it comes to keeping all of the students in the room engaged all the time, I’m constantly asking myself what their skill set is in three different perspectives. I’m looking at the individual skill sets, the skill sets of their sections. Like the trumpets, the alto sax is the percussion section, and then the skill set of the full ensemble.

I think the hardest part about being a band director is finding the balance between managing those three skill sets increasing all at once. ‘m constantly asking myself, is this challenge enough for this student? Is it too much? I want to push the bar for everybody individually, just how I can at the right pace.

The same goes for their sections, they grow together through their sections and ultimately ensemble goes together. So, I’m constantly listening and assessing their growth on those three levels. 

Mike is smiling and holding his saxophone.

What do you feel is the importance of having somebody to guide the students? What was the importance for you to have professors that show you the way and sparks your love for music?

I tell my students all the time, the most important thing that I could ever teach them is how to teach themselves. I always want to be there to give them the material that they need when they are ready for it. And when they are ready to take those next steps, I will push them to do it. But ultimately, I’m not the one playing the instruments. That’s them. I’m not the one sitting in the group playing that is that is them.

I want to constantly be giving them the skills that they need to take any inspiration in any musical knowledge that they can, and use it to make themselves be the best version of themselves that they can.

You touched on this earlier, but could you dive deeper on the overall experience that you’ve got with your professors and how they’ve shaped you as a musician?

One of the most important interactions that I had with a professor when I was at Rowan, was with one of my professors who was actually a middle school band director at a local middle school. This was the day that I realized I wanted to teach middle school.

I went out there on one of my practicums, which was through the ED major, and I saw what he was doing with his students and the level that they were performing. I was completely unaware that middle schoolers can perform at that level. That was the moment where I said, I want to be able to do this.

I was able to talk with this professor for a while afterwards and he talked to me about being a musician, being a teacher, and how important it is to teach to my own musicianship. Everything that I learned in my ensembles, at Rowan, whether it was in jazz band with Denis [DiBlasio], wind ensemble with Dr. Higgins, or my trumpet lessons with with Brian [Appleby-Wineberg], no matter what it was that I learned, these were all things that built my musicianship up.

Ultimately, as a teacher, I’m constantly teaching to what I know. As a musician, I’m constantly pulling from those experiences. So, how did my experiences at Rowan shape myself as a teacher? They built my musicianship. They made me who I was, as a musician. They exposed me to so many different situations and types of music and opportunities, that I was able to take all these things, and now share them with my students who can now evolve on them themselves, teaching to my musicianship.

Another shot of Mike playing the saxophone in the same location.

What is the importance of being able to teach music for grades K-12?

Like I said earlier, music is universal. I think in music, having experience teaching every single grade level can only be beneficial for you. One of the time periods of my most intense growth was during my student teaching, when I was actually teaching kindergarten. I taught K through five general music and it was so much fun. I learned so much more about the teaching process in that time period, through working with kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders. Seeing how they received information and seeing how important structure was.

Music is cool in the fact that from the time we’re young, when we first experience it, and we’re in our music classes in kindergarten, second grade, and all that stuff, we’re working on what is essentially the same set of fundamentals from then all the way up to the professional level. The only thing that changes is the amount of it that we’re able to receive. And of course, yes, concepts become more and more advanced as you get older, but I perceive that as the amount of information that we’re able to receive. Being able to teach at the younger levels and at the older levels is incredibly beneficial, because seeing how people learn and how they receive this information really helps establish what comes next.

Mike is smiling while holding his saxophone

What is your role in youth jazz? How did you get involved?

I am the coach for the Rowan Youth Jazz Orchestra. This is a brand new program that is being offered through the Rowan Community Music School, to middle school and high school aged students. I got involved through this shortly after I graduated, I got a call from my former student teaching supervisor who had become the head of the Rowan Community Music School, the director of the school. She called me asking if I would want to hop on board with this new group. I said, Absolutely. We did a semester through Zoom and then we just finished our first full year of in person ensemble rehearsals and performances this year. It’s so fun being able to work alongside Skip Spratt, who is just an absolute amazing educator and musician overall, learning so much from it. I’m glad that I’m able to learn and teach these things at the same time.

How do you find a balance between your teaching and your musicianship?

Finding the balance between the teacher side of things, and the musician side of things can be very difficult at times. But again, I always do everything I can to not compromise the music and exchange for the things that come on the teacher side of things such as, the procedures, the logistics, the discipline.

I make sure that my students know my expectations as early and as upfront as possible, so that we can get right into the music as quickly and as efficiently as we possibly can. The more that side of things is running, the easier it can be for all of us to just experience what we want to get out of the music that is in front of us.

Mike is sitting and looking off right.

We know that middle schoolers obviously have a shorter attention span. How do you kind of deal with the different environment of middle school compared to college, where you are just coming from?

In college, the music that we’re performing and practicing and playing is consistently at the highest level that is available. In middle school, for most of the students, that is their first time really getting to experience music in this capacity. I often have to take a step back a lot of times and remind myself that it is the first time for the students going through this and that they can’t be expected to know all of these high-level concepts, or even sometimes, just know what to do in any given situation.

That is my job as an educator, to teach them what to do in these situations. So for me, I have to go back to square one and ask myself if I was in their chair, what would the next thing I would need to accomplish be? And then from there, I step into teacher mode and say, how can I help these students accomplish this next step?

Being there for their sort of first interaction with music, have you had that opportunity where you see a spark for the love of music in a student’s eyes? If you have what does that feel like?

Yeah. So for most schools, our pay days on the 15th, and the 30th. That’s cool and all, but for me, the real pay day is when students have those moments of those big realizations. Those, oh that’s it type of moments when they really get something and it’s clear that it locks in, and they actually understand it. That is my pay day. That is when I really understand and that’s when I really feel the reward of what I’m working for. When the students get to experience and when they take that next step, and when they really love what they’re doing. 

Mike is leaning on a tree while smiling and holding his saxophone to his chest.

How do you describe Rowan for someone to come here to further their music education?

The beautiful thing about majoring in Music Education at Rowan is that you’re going to be constantly surrounded by professors who care about you. Like I was talking about earlier, every single professor that I had believed in me and was patient with me through my learning process, and gave me the tools that I needed to figure it out and to succeed on my own. I had such a different college experience than a lot of my friends. We were all looking for different things. But whatever it was that we were looking for, our professors were able to help us achieve that and find that and live that.

So for any student that is looking into Rowan, no matter what it is that you want to accomplish with your time in college, these professors in this department is there for you to make sure that can happen.

Watch our video feature of Mike here:

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Story by:
Jada Johnson, political science major

Photography by:
Brian Seay, senior sports communication and media, radio/TV/film major

Alumnus Dominic Whitener on Using His Passion for Exercise Science to Help Others

Dom is working on cast mold in the lab.

Can you explain what Exercise Sciences is? Exercise Science is essentially looking at exercise from a more quantitative and qualitative background. So it’s more taking apart the exercise, looking at what happens in the body physiologically, anatomically, and really breaking down all of that to really get the most efficient form of exercise and apply […]

Beyond the Classroom: Emerson Harman, Graphic Design Intern at Stantec

Emerson standing in Westby Hall.

Today we spoke to Emerson Harman, a junior Biomedical Art and Visualization major with minors in Biology and Technical and Professional Writing, a concentration in Honors, and a certificate of undergraduate study (CUGS) in Paleo-Art and Visualization. They are an on-campus resident from Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Emerson tells us about their internship, how Rowan helped prepare them for the internship, and where they see themselves in a future career.

Emerson posing for a portrait outside under a tree.

Tell me about your internship. What was your day-to-day like?

I interned for the summer at Stantec, an architecture, design, engineering, and environmental science design and consulting firm. The company is based in Canada. The company had 23,000 employees across 23 countries. I was the graphic design intern for the summer, and it was an 8-week program. I worked 40-hour weeks.

I worked on a few different projects both within the Philadelphia office and with interns from across North America. I worked on two projects with two elementary schools in Philadelphia that are getting renovated and added to. One has an existing mural through the MuralArts program of Philadelphia, and I made designs for the new main entrance and cafeteria based on their existing mural. That school is in the very initial design phase and once they get further in with the client, they will present my designs to the client as possible design options for the space. I made designs based on murals that already exist in the other school, as well. On the second to last day of my internship, the people working on this project with me presented my designs to that client, and they actually went forward with my designs, which is pretty exciting.

I did a few smaller graphic projects for different proposals for different projects that people were working on and the intern-wide project. There were 91 interns from across North America on ten teams this summer, and we got paired with an organization in North Carolina that is creating a farmstead summer camp for people with learning disabilities, particularly teens and adults with autism. Five teams worked on each half of the property. As the only graphic design intern, I helped create the presentations and the final booklets that were given to the client and created renderings and animations of the final architectural plans. At the end of the internship, all 10 groups presented our work both internally to the broader Stantec community, and to the client. Throughout this internship, we also had groups and seminars on a variety of topics just for the summer interns, including a counter transition from school to the workplace or innovative technologies and urban planning and climate change adaptation and how they structure sustainability into such a large global company.

Emerson's design on a wall that was approved.
Emerson’s final design that was approved to be used by a Philadelphia elementary school.

Can you tell us a bit about Stantec as a company?

Stantec has many offices that work independently of each other, but sometimes they collaborate. They do architecture, so just like any other architecture firm, they do large and small-scale projects, and then they have design and interior design areas where they work on architectural projects and individual consulting-type projects.

The Philadelphia office where I work didn’t have any environmental scientists, but some offices have environmental scientists that worked with the construction crews or different building projects such as making sure that they’re not getting rid of habitat for endangered species, working near wastewater treatments, or doing anything damaging to the environment. There are many kinds of people working in one company. It’s an all-inclusive firm for these different areas. 

How did you find and secure this internship?

I first applied for Stantec’s Equity and Diversity scholarship last year, without really knowing who Stantec was or what they did. I ended up receiving the scholarship, and from there, they invited me to interview for an internship position. Stantec gives about 22 scholarships and from there they select some interns for the summer. During the interview, I met with the Senior Vice President of Design and Innovation of Stantec, the Director of the Office of the CEO, and one of the Principal Architects of the Philadelphia office, who ended up being my supervisor. I received the internship offer, and after school was out, I moved to Philadelphia for the summer.

How does this internship tie in with your major?

My major isn’t directly correlated with the architecture and design industry, but I found that a lot of the skills transferred into this internship as a graphic design intern. I worked a lot in software like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign, all design software that I use in my classes. Often having to learn new software in my major helped me with learning AutoDesk, Revit, and Enscape that I used a lot during and needed for the internship. Having an outside look at a lot of the design problems my supervisors gave me brought a unique perspective someone trained in architecture might not have. 

Do you have any mentors at Rowan that helped you with this internship?

There are a lot of professors and faculty on campus that I definitely have close connections with, but the two that come to mind are initially Professor Amanda Almon, who is the head of the Biomedical Art and Visualization department, and Professor Jenny Drumgoole of the Photography department. I know I can go to them with questions I have. They’re helpful and supportive and help me with applications and just creating a professional profile for myself. When I’m applying for these opportunities, they can help me along the way. Professor Almon, and Professor Drumgoole, having people like them push you to develop your skills and encourage you to apply for internships, and find new opportunities that you might have otherwise missed is important. The most important thing you can do is to connect with those professors. They’re the start of your network, and from there they can help you with so much more. 

A screenshot of an interior design rendering
An interior design, created by Emerson.

How will this internship help you achieve your career goals?

I might apply for a master’s program in scientific illustration. Many people in this field wait and do their master’s after some years of experience in the workforce. Ideally, I want to work in infographic design and scientific illustration. I definitely lean more towards the natural science side, rather than the medical side of the biomedical art program, whether that’s working for a museum, a publishing company magazine, like National Geographic or Nature, or something along those lines. 

Through this internship, I gained a ton of new connections, met a lot of amazing people, and learned a lot. I went from living in a small town in Wisconsin to living in Philadelphia, which was a very good experience, and significantly different. Now I know I can feel comfortable living anywhere. I also learned new programs and new techniques that I might not have learned if I hadn’t taken the internship. I also learned how to communicate and talk to new people on all levels. 

Emerson is working on a project on their computer.

Do you have any advice for Rowan students that are looking for internships?

I would first reach out to professors who work in the areas that interest you and see if they know of any campus or external internships they would recommend applying to. Beyond that, look up companies and organizations in your field and see if they advertise internships on their website. If not, it’s worth emailing them to ask! Make sure you have an up-to-date resumé, and just keep applying. It’s discouraging to be turned down, but the more you apply, the more chances you have of being selected.

Now that you have completed this internship, what’s next?

I just received an offer for a nine-month internship (the duration of the school year) with the U.S. Forest Service. I will create illustrations and graphic design for a visual field guide to endangered species and communications about old-growth forests. It’s through the Virtual Student Federal Service program, so it’s a virtual internship.

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

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

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

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

History, Anthropology Graduate Kathryn Seu Pursues M.A. in Holocaust and Genocide Education

Kathryn holds a textbook. in inside

Today we speak with Kathryn Seu, a recent Rowan University graduate with degrees in History and Anthropology. She will continue her studies by pursuing her master’s degree in Holocaust and Genocide Education, the first program of its kind, through Rowan Global. Kathryn is from West Berlin, NJ (Camden County) and is student association president of the Rowan Center for the Study of Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights (RCHGHR). In this article, she discusses her experience within her studies at Rowan, her goals and her responsibilities as within RCHGHR. 

Why did you choose to pursue a master’s?

For my career goals, it feels like the natural next steps. I would like to pursue [a degree] higher than a master’s eventually, so it seems like for what I want to do and with research, it helps to have more of an advanced degree — especially with a specialized field. It definitely helps more to have academic experience.

Kathryn reads from a text inside James Hall.

Why did you choose to study Holocaust and Genocide Education?

Rowan is the only university to offer Holocaust and Genocide Education. You can get degrees in Holocaust and Genocide Studies or Conflict Studies, but Rowan is the only one that has the education aspect. I think it’s really important, especially with so much negativity and hate speech that we see almost everywhere, that we encourage accessible education to these subjects.

Most states don’t require Holocaust education in public school curriculum, so some people don’t even get that education. I think it’s really important to emphasize that and make it accessible for as many people as possible.

Are there any notable differences between the undergraduate program versus the graduate program?

Mostly the course load is different. It’s also interesting because you have a different relationship with your professors. It’s more professional rather than superior and inferior. Rowan already has small class sizes and the master’s or higher education classes are much smaller, so you have more time to have more in depth conversations because you’re not in a classroom with 25 people, it’s more like 10 people. Pretty much everyone knows each other. It’s easier to have a tighter community. 

What are your career goals?

I would like to pursue an even higher education and apply for some Ph.D. programs this summer. I would like to go into some sort of research position or public advocacy. I think it’s really important and I love doing research. There’s just so much that we can learn and you can draw connections from the past to the present. I think it’s really important to spread that information to everyone.

What is Rowan Center for the Study of Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights (RCHGHR)?

This is a center on campus for interdisciplinary studies to help grow the next generation of educators. The center is run by the professors, but the student association focuses on student-led events on campus like International Holocaust Rememberance Day in January and student-led discussions.

Kathryn holds a candle at International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Kathryn at Rowan’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day event

Some of our more popular discussion events were “Antisemitic Tropes in Media” and “Rights on the Reservation,” which was about indigenous rights in America. The main goal is to get students and faculty alike more involved with talking about the Holocaust Genocide and human rights.   

What was your role or involvement with the RCHGHR?

For the student association, I am the president, and one of the big responsibilities was planning International Holocaust Remembrance Day. That was at the beginning of January, and I would only have a couple of weeks to work it out because we weren’t a charter, so we didn’t have our own budget. It was really nice to have other organizations coordinate to help bring food, candles and lighters.

We have meetings every other week, and I would work on a presentation or a discussion topic. For example, the one that we had before the end of the semester was about The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and why it’s not a good book. Meetings are around discussion topics like this to get more people involved.

Why did you choose to be involved with the RCHGHR?

I took a Historical Methods class with Professor Manning and at that time I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with history and anthropology. I thought I was going to be an Egyptologist for a while, but after I took that class I thought that this might be it. Professor Manning told me about the student association and recommended that I joined so I did. I did that for a semester and at that time the President was graduating and thought that I should take on that role after he left.

Are you currently involved in any other activities or clubs at Rowan?

For the past two semesters I was involved with the Mixed Martial Arts Club as a recreational activity. I was also involved with Phi Alpha Theta, which is the National History Honor Society and Lambda Alpha, which is the Anthropology Honor Society.

What is your most memorable experience at Rowan?

My situation was unique because I did my undergrad in three years and I started in Fall of 2019 and then we immediately went online next semester. I really only had three semesters in person, but even still, the whole experience was very memorable. Probably the most memorable experience was getting to speak at graduation, which was a pretty big deal to me.

Kathryn speaks at commencement.
Kathryn speaks at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences commencement ceremony.

What class during your studies in Holocaust and Genocide Education do you find most memorable? Why?

I just got back from a study abroad trip for the class, Nazi Germany & the Holocaust. It was 13 days and we were in Germany, Poland, Czechia and Austria. We got to see and do so much. We went to so many museums that I can’t even begin to list how many. It was really impactful because the furthest I had gone was Florida. This trip was the most memorable and the most enriching for my education because I had never been to a concentration camp before. I had never seen all these sights that we talked about.

It was really powerful to be there because we read about this all the time, but going to all these museums, talking to the locals, and seeing all these places and memorials in real life was really impactful.

Kathryn holds a textbook inside Campbell Library.

How do you think Rowan has prepared you for your future endeavors?

My education at Rowan has been incredibly interdisciplinary. I feel like I’ve gotten so much out of my two majors and undergraduate programs than what I’ll get in graduate school. With Holocaust and Genocide Education, the principles that you learn can be applied to other areas of history. You’ll sometimes hear it referred to as the “hard histories,” like the Holocaust and slavery. The same principles of education can be applied to different areas, and I think that has been the main thing that Rowan has been able to do for me, and I’m very grateful for it.

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

Photos by:
Tyler Allen-Williams, radio/TV/film major
Kathryn Seu
University Publications

Future Students Explore Creative Arts, Career Possibilities at Rowan’s Inaugural Storytellers Camp

Storytellers Camp students receive a tour of Rowan Radio.

What is Storytellers Camp?  Storytellers Camp is a creative media arts camp where students learn how we tell stories in all walks of life.  When we think about storytelling, often we think of a book, but it’s not limited to books. The commercials that you watch that tell a story about a parent and a […]

Summer Session: Painting Campus Landmarks with Art Education Major Brooke Bryant

Brooke talks to professor Alicia Finger while working on a painting in class.

Brooke Bryant (she/her), a senior Art Education major from Cumberland County, guides us through a summer session of an Introduction to Watercolor class with Professor Alicia Finger. Brooke talks to us about why she likes the class, the strengths of Rowan’s Art Education program, and some of the work she’s done in the class. What […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

What made you decide to transfer to Rowan? 

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

Annabella is leaning on the Business Hall sign and smiling.

What’s been your experience like at Rowan?

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

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

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

Annabella is turning her body towards the camera and smiling.

What drew you to finance? 

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

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

Why did you select your current internship? 

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

Can you describe in detail what your internship entails? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Annabella has her head down and studiously writing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Story by:
Lucas Taylor, graduate English education major 

Photography by:
Ashley Craven, sports communication and media major

Alumni Success: “What’s Good” with Isaiah Showell ‘15, Multimedia Journalist and Local Storyteller

Isaiah interviews a subject for What's Good.

Isaiah Showell of Atlantic County has hosted and produced more than 100 videos spotlighting the people, places and programs of South Jersey communities for the series “What’s Good,” which he founded in 2017. Isaiah, who graduated with a Journalism degree from the Ric Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts, shares his own South Jersey […]

The Rowan Writing Arts 4+1 Program: Students Share Their Experiences

Eric Uhorchuk holds a stack of Writing Arts materials outside on campus.

The 4+1 BA/MA in Writing Arts program allows students to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years. Students Tara Grier, Scott MacLean and Eric Uhorchuk give us great insight into the benefits of the program and why it is helping to support their goals. 

On discovering the program

Scott MacLean, a first-generation college student from Wenonah, NJ (Gloucester County), recently graduated from the program this spring. He originally learned about the program through a professor. “Professor Rachael Shapiro was the first person to tell me about the program. We met when I took Intro to Writing Arts, and I really thrived in her class. At a later time, I ran into her in the hallway, and we chatted about the opportunity. When I looked into the program I saw that they offered classes focused on aspects of the publishing industry as well as internship opportunities. I knew I had to apply!” 

Eric Uhorchuk, a third-year student in the program from Mullica Hill, NJ (Gloucester County), found out about the 4+1 program through professors and classmates. What ultimately lead him to apply were “how many career opportunities and internships the program offered.” So far, Eric has seen the benefit of taking the challenge. “I’ve been working on research for my master’s project, and with luck, it’ll be something I can actually publish. With Rowan University’s program specifically, the degrees can help me see what local presses or businesses are looking for employees, and actually allow me to interact with them.”

Tara Grier, in her third year of the program from Newark, Delaware, learned about the opportunity as a first year student. She ultimately chose Rowan University because it was one of the few schools that offered Writing Arts as an actual major. 

Tara Grier outside on campus.
Tara Grier of Delaware has served as Managing Editor for Rowan’s pop culture online magazine Halftone and as an intern for Singularity Press, the university’s publishing start-up.

Benefits of the 4+1 program

Tara explains: “The program is great because it allows you to begin your M.A. degree as an undergrad while still paying undergrad tuition. Not only does it save time and money, but it’s a unique experience that allows you to explore a graduate program as a senior.” She adds, “Taking graduate-level courses was initially very intimidating, but I’ve learned so much from them already and I feel they’ve even given me new skills that have improved my quality of work in my undergraduate courses too. Another benefit is that you get to know more people in the program!” 

Scott is happy about the time and money he is saving while being enrolled in the 4+1 program. “When I was at RCGC I got into the ISP (Internship Scholarship Program), which allowed me to work in Gloucester County Social Services as an intern in exchange for tuition. Since I finished half of my master’s degree while still in my senior year thanks to the 4+1 program, I managed to save a lot of money. It also just saves me time in the long run. Rather than spending two or three years on my master’s, I am only spending one.” 

Eric identifies faculty and classes that have enriched his experience at Rowan University so far. “Megan Atwood’s Writing the YA novel and Genre Fiction classes helped me learn what major mistakes I make while writing and how to best improve them. Heather Lanier’s Writing Creative Nonfiction course helped me understand that my life is important and that I can use writing to express my personal experiences, and her Creative Writing II course gave me the concept for my current MA project. At the same time, Lisa Jahn-Clough’s Writing Stories for Children and Young Adults is helping me understand which audience I’d be most comfortable writing for, and giving me a special environment to work in.

“All of my professors have made a huge impact on how I write, why I want to write, and how I want to grow while doing it.”

Headshot of Eric wearing a Writing Arts T-shirt.
Eric Uhorchuk says he always knew Rowan University would be home. “I’ve been looking at Rowan University for my whole life. It’s close to home, filled with so many amazing people, and I’ve spent many summer camps, school trips, and even dance recitals here. The fact that it offered a Writing Arts program was the icing on the cake.”

Experiences outside the classroom

Along with classes, Tara is involved in extracurricular activities that have made her experience well-rounded and meaningful thus far.

“I have been an intern and volunteer for Singularity Press since Spring of 2020, a start-up self-publishing service that will help authors edit and promote their work, create cover art, and other services when they self-publish, which is launching this semester. I have loved all the work I’ve done for Singularity Press, from social media management to graphic design, administrative tasks, and all of the creative work that goes into it too. Last semester, I also worked as Managing Editor of Halftone, a new pop culture magazine on campus, which was a great experience. As a freshman, I interned for the Writing Arts department, which allowed me to gain skills that have helped me gain other opportunities and internships.” 

Scott has also gotten valuable experiences outside of the classroom.

“I was an intern for Glassworks Magazine, working under Katie Budris in Fall 2021. Through that internship, I was able to gain experience as an editor for a literary magazine! I learned more about social media management, newsletter writing, website development, and how to best represent Glassworks and the Writing Arts program in general. I was responsible for reviewing and voting on submissions for the magazine and participating in packet meetings where we discuss which pieces we’d like to accept. I also was charged with helping the people taking the Editing the Literary Journal class at the time, editing their editorial content that would be going on the website (book reviews, op-eds, and author interviews). I think one of the main reasons I feel confident graduating from Rowan and entering the workforce is because of my time with Glassworks.”

Scott MacLean at graduation
Scott MacLean at his undergraduate graduation. Scott is a recent graduate of the 4+1 program with plans to join the publishing industry in an agent or editor role.

Currently, Scott serves as an intern for the Singularity Press. “Through this internship, I’ve been able to do more social media management. My favorite part of the internship has been the public events. We went to the AWP conference and I was able to represent both Glassworks and Singularity Press. Lastly, I’ve been able to read and evaluate manuscripts for an agent who is associated with the press. All of these experiences have helped me feel better prepared for the future. I’ve come to realize that I am more capable than I once thought I was, and I’ve managed to push myself out of my comfort zone and thrive in new environments.”

Along with the coursework, Eric is also involved in extracurricular activities. “I worked as an intern for Singularity Press when it was first being conceptualized, where I helped organize events and social media posts and helped out with the website. Currently, I’m working as an associate editor at Glassworks, where I read, and vote on submissions, interact with social media, proofread and edit accepted works, create newsletters, as well as participate in events that the publication runs.”

Future goals

In the future, Tara hopes to have her books published. “I’ve been writing a Fantasy novel for several years, and would love to see it published and successful someday. While I was always aware of my passion for storytelling, my experiences at Rowan also helped me discover a passion for helping others tell their stories. This is why I’d like to pursue an editing career as well.” 

Scott’s ultimate goal is to make the world of literature more inclusive and represent people of all identities in his work. “In high school, I read constantly but I rarely ever found gay characters in the genres I loved. Then I stumbled across I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, the first book with a gay character that didn’t involve the character dying/suffering greatly/being gay-bashed. Reading that book made me realize how little representation was present in literature. That has changed a lot these days, but it’s still very hard to find gay characters at the forefront of genre fiction: fantasy, thrillers, etc. and I plan on changing that. Along with this, I would like to either become a literary agent, or an acquiring editor in the publishing industry.” 

Looking ahead, Eric’s dream goal is to be a published author. “I’m also thinking of possibly going into the editing field, specifically for novel writing or becoming a Writing Arts professor at a university, so I can help others grow and hone their craft. I’ve always wanted to teach, so why not teach the thing I love?

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

Select photos courtesy of:
Tara Grier (credit: Christian Browne) and Scott MacLean

Passing the Torch: Future Public Health Educator Keyanna Meade

After transferring from Monmouth University, Nutrition major Keyanna Meade from Marlton, NJ (Burlington County) found many opportunities at Rowan. 

Keyanna poses under the Rowan arch.

Keyanna enjoyed getting out into the community to do research.

“I joined Dr. Vaughn’s lab in my junior year in the fall semester, and I absolutely loved it. It is a little independent and a little teamwork-based. We meet weekly,” she said. “I think getting involved with research in the community is something different. Everybody knows about research within the lab, but it was nice to do research within the community and for the community. “

Beyond research opportunities at Rowan, Keyanna made connections and found an internship.

“I interned with New Jersey Food Democracy Collaborative (NJFDC) over the school year. I just got signed on to a project where we’re going to do a food audit for Atlantic City. Dr. Vaughn reached out to a colleague of hers and recommended me to work with them.

Keyanna walks in her graduation outfit.

Keyanna recommends that other students get involved with research where they can.

“If you can do research, definitely do research. Doctor Vaughn is always looking for people to help. Definitely surround yourself with opportunities like internships or a work-study that’s focusing on your majors so that it helps you in the future.”

Keyanna advises her high school senior self to be more involved.

Make sure you get involved. Make sure you speak to your counselors about different things that you’re interested in. Look at other opportunities that you’re interested in, and even if it’s just like an idea or a little thing, just see where it can take you because you never know what your interest is. It might take you into college and you never know if you might switch your major or decide that you no longer want to do that major. Definitely take advantage of internships and other opportunities.”

In the future, Keyanna would like to be a public health educator.

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

Alumni Success: Catherine Chambers ‘16, Where My Music Education Degree Has Taken Me

Catherine smiles and poses inside an academic building on campus.

What made you choose Rowan? What made you choose music? When I first started exploring colleges as a senior in high school, I really wanted to move far away from New Jersey and find my own way. I was set on not going to a state school, but I humored my mother and decided to […]

Mic Worthy: Earning a M.A. in Writing While Inspiring Students

Mic Worthy, a Rowan Global student in the M.A. in Writing program, delves into his master’s experience and his love for teaching college students the craft of writing. 

After working in the television industry for a few years, Mic decided to come back to Rowan University to pursue his master’s degree in Writing.

“After I graduated from Rowan University with a degree in Radio/Television/Film, I got a job hosting and editing for public access television with a community college TV studio. After doing that for a bit, I got my teaching certificate and started substituting. I decided to come back to school because I wanted to make writing a career,” Mic explains. 

Mic Worthy is sitting at a desk with his laptop.

Now, Mic is on the road to doing just that.

“I chose Rowan University because it was local and still had an abundance of opportunities,” he says. “My advisor Ron Block recommended me for the Teaching Experience Program.” 

The Teaching Experience Program (TEP) allows students in the M.A. in Writing program to teach as adjunct professors in either College Composition I or College Composition II classes.

“Now, I teach College Composition I, things are working out pretty well for me.” 

“As soon as I came into the department, everyone was so supportive and helpful. I previously taught at a community college and I worked with a lot of students that didn’t know how to write an outline or structure a paper, so I needed to adjust my expectations being at a four-year university. Now, I feel like I am in a place where I can really help my students grow and succeed as writers and as people. I want them to know they aren’t just an ID number; they are human beings who matter,” Mic says.

Along with his teaching experience, Mic has enjoyed being challenged in his classes.

In the Writing program, Core II really made me a better writer. Professor Drew Kopp and I spent a lot of time on Zoom working together on improving my writing. Having that commitment from a professor really meant a lot to me.” 

Mic Worthy is standing in front of a wall with his hands crossed.

Now that his career as a graduate student is coming to an end, Mic looks ahead to his future with high hopes.

“My dream is to write for television, film, video games and even web series programming. I pitch story ideas to my students, and they absolutely love them. I would also love to continue teaching. I want to show students that writing is a powerful tool and a form of creative expression.” 

As a final word, Mic says: “I was always told to never let any grass grow under my feet. Stay busy. Keep moving forward. Do what you’re supposed to do. Get yourself squared away. Have humility; be humble. Remain teachable. Go out there every day with a winning attitude, and most importantly, aspire to make yourself a better person.”

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

Photos by:
Valentina Giannattasio, freshman dance and marketing major

#PROFspective: Noor Baig and Her Journey in Graphic Design

Noor and a classmate review film.

In our conversation with Noor Baig, a junior commuter from Cherry Hill (Camden County), we learn of her own career path in graphic design. Noor shares insights on her Studio Art major and details some of the expectations in the various classes offered. 

Why did you pick Rowan? 

For the most part, I had picked Rowan because it was nearby and commuting is really important for me since I have an older parent. Besides that, as an art major, I had gone through their website and viewed student work which was definitely super interesting for me, along with the fact that Jan, the (now retired) head of Rowan’s Graphic Design department was emailing me through high school during my application and interview process and was incredibly helpful, friendly and personable. I had really felt that Rowan would give me the best chance to become a better student and artist.

What aspects here at Rowan made you know that this was the place you wanted to be?

Rowan was super welcoming from the start as I had met and communicated with multiple professors before my acceptance. The professors really accepted me and believed in my potential to become a better artist. I was able to build a really great rapport with a lot of my professors as well which makes the learning environment super friendly and helps to build a great community within the studio.

When I started attending classes, which usually for any studio courses are relatively small with 10-20 people maximum, I noticed how the professors are really open to learning about your artistic processes. The professors don’t just talk at you and expect you to just work, they really pull the best out of you and try to inspire you. 

Noor is reaching for an item to help with her developing some film.

What have been your favorite moments so far on campus?

There are so many cool things to go and explore on campus. You’re coming out of high school, you’re a kid who was probably driven around everywhere and everything is really close by. With coming to Rowan and everything being so big you kind of realize you’re on your own now. I think that having that realization was cool but I think a lot of my favorite moments were the smaller ones. When you build up such a rapport with your professors and peers the class becomes more personable. You look forward to going to these different classes every week.

Seeing people of similar interests and working together with them builds inspiration within the class. The camaraderie that I had with my classmates is something that I always look back fondly on. It’s really nice to have such a community and have it reinforced with everyone involved.

Noor and a classmate review photo negatives.

What drew you to Studio Art?

Since I was young, most likely 11 or 12, I’ve been infatuated with art. Even now at home I have art in every room in my house, it’s kind of like an impromptu art gallery from the art that I’ve collected over the years. When I was in high school around my junior or senior year I had some friends who were also getting into the art scene, probably because they had a couple other art friends and we were all influencing one another. I had a couple of friends ask me if I would be interested in buying some of my art or set up commissions for creating art. I started to get into it. I’ve always been passionate about little details like fonts or calligraphy so I started getting routine commissions that dealt with painting or cards. I would advertise locally to my friends and teachers. Selling art was definitely a big thing for me.

Before, I hadn’t even thought I was going to go to college because of finances and other reasons. But selling art and seeing how art brings people together and its impact was a huge game changer for myself. I started to realize how much I liked it; the entire process of creating something with other people. It just made me want to continue doing more and more. I had found out more about graphic design and what Rowan had to offer. I started to realize that this possibility was within my reach and it inspired me to keep going.

However, art is always a hard thing. There’s always anxiety with job security but with graphic design, an applied art, it relieves that tension. Finding out about the opportunities that graphic design could give me and my own personal passions with the process of creating and discussing art pushed me forward to major in Studio Arts. The major is so welcoming. I knew that if I went to art school and had professors that were experienced enough, I would learn more efficiently than I would if I tried to manage it all by myself. Getting my degree would diversify my own abilities and make me better prepared to meet the goals I set out for myself. 

Since the beginning, I always had my foot in every door that I could. I never really stuck directly to one thing. As cool as that was to experience, it prevents you from sticking onto one path. You have half-finished and half-learned skills. By going to college, it gave me the goal that I could run without having to stray from that path. Even that goal, the way that Rowan structures studio art, it’s very generalized, it forces you to try a little bit of everything. I feel a lot more confident in different things in comparison to before.

Noor is standing in a doorway cupping a camera.
Noor, a sophomore commuter from Cherry Hill, (Camden County) has recently developed an interest in photography from a class she took this spring semester.

How do you view your major making a difference for others? 

I think that art is so critical to culture, especially across time. People left different marks thousands of years ago that let us know so much now. I think that art is a hallmark of specific cultures, communities and people. The art that you make as an artist ultimately defines you. Your own art allows for others to try and peer into the type of vision that you have, what you see or are attempting to see, it marks you and defines you. By being an artist, specifically a graphic designer, I’ve always had this desire to help people out the best way I can. With graphic design, a lot of it has to do with solving problems. We solve visual problems and we help to express different ideas. We push ideas forward and help to conceptualize it and bring people together. Art as a whole is very communal, it bridges different gaps and illustrates solutions.

What classes have left the biggest impression on you? 

There’s one class that comes to mind. There’s an Expressive Drawing class with Dr. Appelson, we affectionately call him Doc, it’s like an art bootcamp. Usually, you take it in the spring semester of your freshman year and it’s quite a class. Dr. Appleson has you do a lot of work every single week and he’s teaching you so much as well. It’s stressful in the moment but you realize that it’s never just busy work. Everything that is assigned has you trying or learning something new. Dr. Appleson expects you to put your best foot forward.

It’s tough, but you learn so much in the class. I really came into myself surrounding my style and everything. Funny enough, Doc has this saying where it’s one thing to see what’s on the paper or canvas, but it’s another when trying to figure out what’s going on in an artist’s head while you’re making the drawing. Doc is helping us to connect the art with the artist. While he’s tough in the class, he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. He’s the unofficial mascot for Westby Hall. He always gave me so much great advice in the class and I made a lot of great work for my portfolio. It’s hard, but it’s so worth it for developing your skill set.

Noor is preparing some film.

What are some of the different expectations in your classes? 

Graphic design especially is really big on expectations. Specifically, the way that the curriculum is structured and organized. Eventually the last thing that you do in Graphic Design is called Portfolio. This is a class where you work together with students and plan the group exhibit. Every senior who is in the Art major has to have their own exhibit but in graphic design it’s more of a collective.

Everything that you do in graphic design is about organizing yourself and building up your final portfolio. The portfolio is super important for artists because it shows exactly what you’re bringing to the table. You’re showing yourself to your employer. Everything that is in it shows how diverse you’ve become since you’ve started, it shows packaging, typography, infographics, publications and things of that matter. It’s super organized and every little thing almost builds off of one another. 

Out of all the classes you’ve taken so far with your major, what’s worked the best for you in learning the material? 

I take a lot of studio classes, it’s more of a work time to try and explore everything. I love a good studio class; it’s super relaxing. I get into a very specific type of energy and just start powering through. It’s very liberating. Of course, professors are around for guidance if you ever need anything but I like to just keep going. Because of my own work ethic, I do have that sense of responsibility when it comes to assignments. So just being able to be on my own and knowing I have someone in my corner is super reassuring. I’m also a big fan of group critiques because of how everyone gets to voice their opinions. You get a lot of different perspectives that you may have not seen. There’s different ways of conducting critiquing but I think that working in a group and getting that extra feedback helps even my own outlook.

Noor is holding her camera and is looking off.

Are there any professors that you’ve had that stood out to you? Why?

I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to build such a rapport with a lot of my professors that it’s kind of hard to pick just one out. They all have their own unique outlook which reflects in the class. I really appreciate a lot of my professors who create such a cohesive work environment. Everyone is so respectful of one another and keeps it all so casual. For example, I had a class called Color Theory with Professor Alicia Finger and everybody was in such deep contact with each other. Prof. Finger is a great communicator and it resonated with the class. It’s casual, but such a friendly work environment. As for teaching style, again Prof. Finger was great. We were able to talk out some of the different theories in class. Being in college, there’s a lot of freedom to come into yourself and discover one’s own interests. The professors understand this in the art sector and allow us to try and explore our own self. With my professors’ help I was able to commit to myself and find my own style.

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Story by:
Lucas Taylor, Graduate Education Major

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bethany Sansone after graduation.
Bethany Sansone after graduation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bethany Sansone pictured with her cap and gown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bethany Sansone posing on Bunce Hall steps after graduation.

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Story by: 
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos courtesy of:
Bethany Sansone

Enlighten, Engage, Entertain: The Mission of M.A. in Writing Graduate Leo Kirschner

Leo stands inside Rowan Radio offices.

Leo Kirschner is a champion of radio and sound. On air, he serves as assistant manager of the award-winning Rowan Radio station. On campus, he teaches for the department of Radio/TV/Film. He incorporated sound theory into a capstone project for his master’s degree in writing through Rowan Global. Read on to learn more about Leo’s research and graduate school journey.

Write the book that you want to read. A book to help others like you. 

That was the goal of Leo Kirshner as he set out to complete his capstone project to earn his M.A. in Writing, but that was easier said than done.

A lover of all things fantasy, the goal would have been easier to complete if books like “Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter” were available to choose. Though, as much as we love to dream that schools like Hogwarts or places like Middle Earth exist, they are only works of fiction. For Leo’s assignment, he needed to choose a work of nonfiction that aligned with his research interests of radio broadcasting as well as his mission statement: Enlighten, Engage and Entertain. 

Long before he was given this daunting task (and before Henry Rowan made his generous donation), Leo Kirshner was another student at Glassboro State College wondering what his next steps in life would be. While working to receive his undergraduate degree, Leo developed an interest in Radio and Television Broadcasting that he would pursue as a career after graduating. 

“I was working professionally in commercial broadcasting,” he shares. “I was writing and creating content, focusing on journalism and covering local stories for the news or for radio. I also worked as an advertising copywriter for car commercials, restaurants, and other stuff along those lines. Along with that, I did voiceover work for different commercials as well as producing.” 

He continued down this career path for the next 20 years before an opportunity to work at his alma mater would arise.

“My professor, Frank Hogan, who ran WGLS, was retiring, and they were bringing in a new team and wanted to know if I was interested in helping the department. I really wanted to give back to the community that helped me find success in my career.” 

Leo helps guides a student at Rowan Radio
Rowan Radio airs 24 hours a day with a broadcast signal that covers all of South Jersey as well as areas of Philadelphia and Delaware. It’s Leo’s pride and joy!

Leo would give back to the Rowan community by helping to run the Rowan Radio station and, though he enjoyed it, wanted to further lend a helping hand by diving into the world of academia. Since the school didn’t offer a master’s program in his initial career path, Leo decided to apply for the M.A. in Writing program through Rowan Global, something that greatly interested him. He was accepted based in large part on his portfolio filled with radio advertising, professional writing and creative writing that he writes on the side. 

“I started the program in the fall of 2016 and took it one semester at a time,” he says. “It’s like all other programs. You have your prerequisites, your core classes, your seminars and your electives. It was all in person prior to COVID. They were the double session classes, usually from 6:30 until 9:15. There were two semesters where I taught my broadcasting class from 3:30 to 6:15 and the grad program was the same day starting at 6:30. I was working full time, 40 hours a week in my job plus teaching, plus being a family man.” 

Managing it all wasn’t a simple task. During this time period, Leo experienced a health scare that made him step away from the program for almost a year and tried to make up for it by taking two classes a semester, something he describes as “the hardest thing I ever did.” 

In one semester between the two classes, Leo had completed 57 writing projects that he had done in the span of 16 weeks while simultaneously working 40 hours a week at Rowan, running the radio station and teaching his course on broadcasting. Not to mention, he still had a family to take care of and support.

“It probably would have been easier if I was younger or didn’t have as much responsibility, but I wanted to do the best just to see if I could do it, you know, and yeah, thankfully, I did.”

Leo on the air at the Rowan Radio Station
Did you know Rowan Radio first aired in 1964? Rowan Radio studios are currently located in the College of Communications and Creative Arts and Leo, seen here with Station Manager Derek Jones (left), is always nearby to lend a helping hand.

Despite all of this hardship, Leo’s greatest test would come in the form of the capstone project, the final project/thesis requirement for completion of the program. “It’s essentially the first or second draft of your proposed book that you’re going to eventually publish.”

For his capstone project, Leo would decide to write a nonfiction piece centered around the concept of acousmatics in the style of a textbook mixed with a memoir. Acousmatics can be defined as the influence that sounds have over people. It’s the podcast you listen to on your drive home or the music you play while you workout. How does it make you feel? What does it inspire you to think? 

Acousmatics comes to us from the Greek philosopher Pythagoras (yes, that Pythagoras), known for his favorite high school math equation as well as teaching his students behind a partition so that he was not visible. His students only heard his voice. It is this method of teaching that was the basis for Leo’s work. 

“You listen to the DJ,” Leo explains, “You listen to the commercial to my car, because it’s this worldly voice that makes you think it’s the voice of God, an otherworldly being trying to educate you, to inspire you. The goal of you being on the air is to engage, enlighten and entertain.”

Leo lending a helping hand to a student at Rowan Radio.
Much like Leo said, teaching is more than just sitting down with a textbook. It’s doing everything in your power to enlighten, engage and entertain your student.

Leo presented his project to his peers and professors at a week-long symposium held by the department. Students present their projects in a fashion similar to TED Talks with presentations lasting anywhere between 20-45 minutes. Due to the pandemic, Leo’s class was regulated to presenting their findings via Zoom, but the presentation wasn’t any less impactful. 

According to Leo, it was actually, “More fun!”

As for the project itself, it still remains unfinished. 

“The book is not done,” he shares. “I think I’m only halfway through it, I had my outline. But the project is going to be at least 30,000 words.”

As for who he hopes readers will be, the answer is obvious. It is those he hopes to enlighten, engage and entertain the most: his students.

[Learning and research] doesn’t have to be you sitting with a 500-page textbook,” he says, “It’s just you taking in an experience and learning from it.”

And we couldn’t agree more! For any student hoping go follow the same path as Leo and pursue their MA with the Rowan family, he offers the following words of wisdom:

“What I would tell any prospective M.A. student is that getting a master’s degree is everything you’d expect and nothing you’d expect. Yes, it’s going to take hard work. Yes, it’s going to be stressful. Yes, it’s going to give you self-doubt. But it also will offer you unique opportunities and perhaps change the direction of your life.”

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Story By: 
Bianca Gray, English graduate

Senior Reflects: Engineering Major Danielly DeMiranda Ribeiro on the Campus Opportunities that Shaped her Rowan Experience

Danielly celebrates commencement with her family.

Peer Tutor. Women in Engineering Club Treasurer. AIChE student chapter class representative. Chemical Engineering major Danielly DeMiranda Ribeiro stayed active on campus and online as Covid-19 surged through her college career. Now, with her degree in hand and a position with the pharmaceutical company Merck, Daneilly shares her best Rowan memories and her words of […]

Randy Bushman: A Rowan Global Student Starting a Career in Computer Science

Randy bushman header photo

Randy Bushman, a Rowan University alumnus who graduated with a degree in Computer Science, decided his alma mater would be a great fit to pursue his master’s degree. Now, this Rowan Global student is poised to begin his career at a world-renowned research institution just a few hours from campus. Read on to learn how Randy’s education and internships prepared him for his next chapter.

Randy gained a lot of valuable research experience while earning his undergraduate degree. Along with his coursework, he developed relationships with his professors that turned into opportunities.

“The computer science department has a collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb, a pharmaceutical industrial company,” he explains. “A professor recommended me for an open research position during my undergrad, and I got a position designing software analysis for nuclear chemistry.” 

His momentum did not stop there. Randy learned of a scholarship opportunity called SFS: Scholarship for Service.

Randy sitting outside Rowan Hall.

“Basically, SFS is a program that offers tuition remission in exchange for employment with the government. My professor recommended me for the scholarship, I interviewed for the position, and I landed it. I was actually able to start taking graduate-level courses my senior year of undergrad and got them paid for.” 

This summer, Randy fulfilled his part of the deal and worked for ACE (Advance Course Engineering). ACE is a military-oriented internship that focuses heavily on cybersecurity, cyber warfare, teamwork and leadership.

“Through ACE, I got to work with people in the Air Force. I learned a lot about cybersecurity and cyber defense. I was able to apply a lot of what I learned in class throughout that experience,” he says. Now, Randy is pursuing his master’s in Computer Science, completely funded by the SFS.

Randy standing outside Rowan Hall.

“Grad school is definitely challenging. The major difference is that there is a lot less work, but it is a lot more difficult. I really try to keep on top of studying all of the material to make sure I don’t get off-track,” he says.

Although the program is challenging, Randy spoke about how supported he felt by professors in the department. “The faculty here are just great. They introduced me to so many opportunities that I didn’t know existed,” he says. “What I learned in class also really prepared me and gave me a solid foundation that I applied to each internship.” 

Looking ahead, Randy already has a job lined up after he graduates this spring.

Randy sitting on steps inside Rowan Hall.

“I got a job offer at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab doing cyber defense. I am so happy to start this new chapter with so much experience that I gained from Rowan University and my prior internship opportunities.” 

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

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

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The Perspective and Path of International Student, Sarah Atai

Sarah is smiling at the camera while being outside.

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

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

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

Sarah is sitting down and smiling directly at the camera.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is your fondest memory here at Rowan?

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

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

Sarah is standing behind a wall with an intricate design.

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

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

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

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Story by:
Lucas Taylor, English education major

Photography by:
Valentina Giannattasio, dance and marketing double major 

#PROFspective: A Dialogue with English Education Major Lucas Taylor

Lucas is smiling and staring away from the camera. There is a large blue sky behind him.

With Rowan Blog’s latest release of #PROFspective, we converse with Lucas Taylor, a commuting senior English education major from West Deptford (Gloucester County). In our discussion with Lucas, we learn of his unique Rowan experience with his new job as a producer for Rowan Blog as well as his own motivation for pursuing higher education in English.

What inspired you to choose your major?

I originally didn’t want to be an English major; I didn’t really find it all too interesting until my senior year of high school. I was always good at writing and analyzing texts but never really took an interest in it until my teacher at the time had seen how proficient I was at it. She saw through me being lazy, and I suppose in a sense, that resonated with me. I wanted to do well to make her proud and at the end of the year I kind of realized that teaching was something I could spend my life doing. I owe a lot of my college career to that teacher and hope she’s doing well with her own life.

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

I think teaching is a very admirable occupation. My mother is an art teacher herself, and I learned all of the different tribulations that she goes through with teaching almost hundreds of kids a year. Yet, she’s always so happy and proud to teach all of them. Mainly, I want to be able to reach out to kids like me who really didn’t have an ideal path for the future and show them the different paths that they could take.

Lucas is walking towards the camera and smiling.

How are you involved on campus?

I’m a newly hired producer for Rowan Blog and I have to say it’s pretty exciting. With Covid indirectly wiping out 2-3 years of my college career, I really haven’t spent all that much time on campus. I’m a commuter so I don’t really get around to traveling so much around campus. So far, this job has had me go into buildings that I’ve never even seen and meet with people. It almost makes you feel like a first year all over again.

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you?

Coming into Rowan, I already knew that I had a lot of really close friends that were also going to be attending. I wouldn’t say that there is a specific moment but I guess you could call it a collection of experiences. Whether it was my buddies and myself going to grab a pizza and goofing off in one of the buildings at Holly Pointe or just meeting different people with every new class I take, it’s a different ordeal every time which I find pretty fascinating.

Lucas is sitting down and smiling at the camera.

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

Honestly, there was this one moment where I had just bought a new car to start off my first year here at Rowan. If I remember right, it was like a 1998 Camaro and I had thought it was the coolest thing, especially since it had that retro looking t-roof. I was going to pick up my friends and grab something to eat as a first trip with the car and it didn’t start for some reason. While I was calmly freaking out I was surprised over the amount of students that actually were coming up and asking me if everything with the car was alright. It was a very humbling experience but something that made me feel really included with the entire population.

Lucas is holding a notebook that he was writing in and looks off in the distance.

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

You really have to appreciate the different classes that are offered in the major. There are so many different welcoming professors such as Professors Falck, Meadowsong and Tucker that really make you invested in what you’re learning. I think with English there’s always something new to learn or even just interpret based on what you think a source is trying to convey which makes it almost tailored to however you want to believe. All in all, I would just say to keep up with reading and not to slack off too much.

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Story and Photography: by Ashley Craven, junior sports communication and media major

Produced by: Lucas Taylor, senior English Education major



#PROFspective: Life Behind the Camera with Sports Communication and Media Major Ashley Craven

Ashley holds a DSLR camera with a long lens inside Business Hall.

In this edition of #PROFspective we learn of junior Sports Communication and Media major Ashley Craven. Ashley is a transfer student from Camden County College who commutes from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). Showing great tenacity, Ashley is a single mother rising up to achieve her degree. Recently, Ashley was hired for Rowan Blog and exhibits a passion for photography. In this dialogue, we learn of Ashley’s own journey through academia as well as an inside look at her unique Rowan experience.

What drew you to your major? 

Being an athlete, I wanted a job in the sports industry. I was actually going to nursing school and when I got in, I realized it wasn’t for me; so, sports came to mind.

I recently discovered my passion for photography. I thought of connecting the two. Now, I am taking on more cinematography and production assignments for the Rowan Blog. It just feels right.

Ashley works on a laptop with her camera at her side inside Business Hall.

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

Combining photography and cinematography is like conveying a story in silence, which I think is pretty powerful. It allows athletes to showcase their talents and emotions. Whether they’re winning a championship or so forth, I really want to emphasize the talents of other athletes. It is a form of storytelling, so those who weren’t at these events can see bit by bit.

On the professional side, I want to get a job with the NFL or WWE. I’d feel a big sense of accomplishment if I got to do that because I would see my photos being out there around the world. I want to be an asset to a company and provide them with quality pictures to benefit them as well. It’s cool to think that photos are one of the only ways you can actually look back at the past. 

Ashley sits and holds her knees on a bench inside Business Hall.

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

I have Neil Hartman to thank, without a doubt. I even kept in close contact with him even when I was still at Camden County College. It took me a year and a half to come here, and I still keep in touch with him. He has just been so influential. Neil Hartman provides all the students networking opportunities, keeps up to date with upcoming events and job fairs. He definitely wants me to succeed because he saw how passionate I was. He even reached out to ask me to do a lacrosse tournament just because he knew I was willing to do anything to succeed in the world of photography. He is definitely great with guidance and he is going to be the one I thank at my graduation speech.

What’s your fondest moment here at Rowan that involves your major?

The best would have to be when Brianna McCay, who is involved in The Whit, asked me to photograph the Brian Dawkins interview. Because of her, I was able to take some awesome photos of an icon. Two of my pictures made it into the newspaper, and I realized that I wanted to keep doing it.

I think photographing with the newspaper and seeing my photos published for the first time was one of the greatest moments. That was just an opening door to my future success. It’s still a new hobby of mine but it’s already got me here.

Ashley is smiling with her two kids around her.

Any words you want to give to someone interested in your major?

Really, when you talk about the sports industry it’s all about who you know. You have to network, you have to promote yourself, you have to preserve. Every no will lead to a better yes. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything, it is the preview to life’s coming attractions.” That really resonates with me. What you put out into the universe is what’s going to attract to you.

How would you describe your academic journey so far? 

So I absolutely love school now. I actually did not complete high school. Then, about eight years later, it kind of just came to me that I wanted to go back to school again. I wanted to better my life my kids and for myself, so I got my GED. I have worked relentlessly ever since. I wanted to get the degree, and I’ve just been so motivated.

With my kids, it’s hard to get work done but I’ve always believed in self discipline and I think it’s huge. So I set up times where I wake up at five or six in the morning when they’re still sleeping just to get an assignment done. Or I’ll even get them to bed by 9:30 and stay up until midnight to do my work. It’s very challenging for sure.

Because of them and how I want to better myself as an individual, it encourages me to stay on top of my assignments, get things done and get good grades. I value that, especially from someone who originally hated school.

Ashley stands with her hand on her hip inside Business Hall.

Is there any specific club or organization that has helped welcome you here at Rowan? 

Pizza with the Pros, there you feel the togetherness. It’s just awesome the people that you get to meet. Everyone just wants to help — whether it’s a student, a professional in the industry or in my case, Neil Hartman. Those events are all about networking and hearing perspectives of people in the industry. The all give great advice. Those events really just make me feel welcomed and supported. 

What has been the biggest challenge in transitioning to Rowan? 

Learning where all of the buildings are located! I just think being new is the most challenging. Other than that, everything has been pretty easy to navigate, especially with Canvas. 

Any final words you would like to give? 

You’re never too old, and it’s never too late. Prioritize what’s most important to you and put self-discipline first. I’m huge on being mindful. I would also suggest writing everything down. It’s really important to write down all your thoughts and ideas just to reflect on them after. Don’t forget to date them as well!

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Story by:
Lucas Taylor, senior English education major

Photography by:
Valentina Giannattasio, first year dance and marketing double major

Women in Leadership #PROFspective: Riya Bhatt, the AVP of University Advancement

Today we feature Riya Bhatt, the AVP of University Advancement for Student Government. Riya is a sophomore Biological Sciences major who also minors in Public Health and Wellness. Riya discusses her involvement in SGA (Student Government Association) and her future plans as a biological sciences major.

My Most Interesting Class: United States History to 1865

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

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

Faculty #PROFile: Insight on the Perspective of Dr. Alicia Monroe

Dr. Monroe has a thought provoking look on her face and is looking off.

During her time here at Rowan University as both an instructor for the Africana Studies department and assistant director at the Office of Career Advancement, Dr. Alicia Monroe can be seen as a beacon for students who are facing uncertainty in their own careers and futures. In her perspective, Dr. Monroe wants to let students know that she understands the trials and tribulations that they might be facing and wants to create a safe space for students to be able to flesh out their own ideas in a safe environment.

In this Faculty #PROFile we learn more of Dr. Monroe’s thinking on her self-created course around Black Lives Matter as well as her own thoughts on academia for students.

Dr. Monroe is in a conversation with another person. Using her hands to emphasize her points.

For Dr. Monroe, education is a pivotal part of the academic journey. By being able to comprehend and understand the perspectives of others, Dr. Monroe would argue is just as important. The effervescence of this idea inevitably gave foundation to Monroe’s Black Lives Matter course here at Rowan University, where it explores different dimensions of society that is often overlooked due to it being controversial or tucked underneath the carpet. However, the current state of the Black Lives Matter course came through not only the preserving of Dr. Monroe, but also through the request of the student body. 

Originally, the course was a part of a coordinating project used to supplement and help students in poor areas. Although many of the different aspects of the project had drastically helped enrich the education of the students involved, Dr. Monroe wanted to give these students opportunities to gain college credits that would help them further along their academic journey. 

“[W]e really wanted these students to have opportunities to earn college credits. So, I was asked, ‘Dr. Monroe, you’re the educational guru, you’re the educational wizard, can you develop this course?.’ I already had a lot on my plate but I replied that I would consider it. I was told that I needed the course in two weeks. You don’t develop curriculum in two weeks, especially not a credit-bearing course curriculum. However, I had been doing extensive research on Black Lives Matter, such as the backdrop of Trayvon Martin and all of the unfortunate killings that had increased from there. I noticed that it was finally starting to gain traction and the media attention that it deserved.”

Dr. Monroe is posing and smiling directly at the camera.

In Dr. Monroe’s perspective, she had wanted this course to not only be be just subjected to the Black Lives Matter cause but for it to apply to aspects that affected a wider population. Although the course may be titled “Black Lives Matter,” Dr. Monroe reassures students that the class affects the entirety and not just a selected group. This can be seen in the various amount of students and their different backgrounds attending each of her classes as they range from white, hispanic, Black and many other minority groups.

The course covers a wide range of different subjects that Dr. Monroe considers important to bring up through class discussion such as climate change, the recent rise of the AAPI (Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate) or even giving more context to cases such as Ahmaud Aubrey’s that wouldn’t be presented on television. 

“When there were attacks on the AAPI community, we spoke about that. We don’t only focus on a specific race, we focus on the movement and what it is directed on. We had conversations on climate change. I argue that social media has skewed the overall appearance of the movement but if you look at the content it’s so much bigger. Although the core element is Black and brown lives, it’s so much bigger than that,” she explains.

In Dr. Monroe’s eyes, she looks at the bigger picture, the ability to have conversations with others and ultimately reach an understanding. This premise of respectability and the ability to have these difficult conversations is something that is primarily not taught in classes. For her, she wants to normalize these conversations and allow her students to be able to format their own thoughts and opinions on core events throughout the country. 

“When I had offered this idea of the course, I had told the coordinators that the course was going to be focused on the research that I have discovered as well as focus on the constructs of race, class and culture. This is what it was all about, the respect of diverse world views, the respect that everyone has a voice, the respect of what is truly fair and just,” Dr. Monroe says. “We can have that level of conversation and it can develop into a credit bearing course.”

From her exhaustive research on the subject matter, Dr. Monroe was able to successfully undergo teaching the course in the summer semester of 2016. However, it was not green lit to continue for the upcoming fall semester. As a result, the course was shelved for multiple years until students expressed their desire to have a course that catered to their own feelings in 2019. In her recollection of the moment, Dr. Monroe states: “Dr. Chanelle Rose had approached me with the sentiment of her students. Dr. Rose had said, ‘I need a course, students are asking for a course that really reflects some of the contemporary issues that they are grappling with. They need a space to release but also be guided into the right formats of collective action.’ I replied, ‘There is a Black Lives Matter course that I developed two to three years ago.'”

Dr. Monroe is having a conversation with another woman across a table.
Dr. Alicia Monroe works with colleague Altonia Bryant (right) in the Office of Career Advancement

Dr. Monroe’s harbored no hard feelings as to why her course ultimately was placed on the back burner for some time; instead, she saw it as a reflection of the status of the country and University at the time. During this lapse, Dr. Monroe kept up with her research with most current events that were applicable to the Black Lives Matter movement and bided her time; she says she knew eventually that it was going to be needed to further the conversation on injustice for those that didn’t have the ability to use their voice. 

It’s with these students that motivated Dr. Monroe to keep upholding her teaching values and instill confidence in students and let them understand their own value and worth. Whether it’s through the classes that she is heading or even students that come to her for advice on their own future, Dr. Monroe places a great amount of emphasis for these students and how they come to mold her own futures through her guidance.

The education process can be seen as an ever moving and fluid system. Each stage of this system makes up an intricate cog of modern day academia. For Dr. Monroe, she’s played a vital role in almost every phase of learning; she states she is a “Pre-K through 20 educator.” Her experience is invaluable information for any student facing their own academic issues. Instead of treating each unit in the process of learning, Dr. Monroe’s motivation in progressing has been fueled by gaining an entire understanding of the developmental process. 

“I’ve spent a number of years in pre-k through 12, starting off from the classroom and moving up to every level from department supervisor, assistant principal to a middle school, a principal to a high school as well as becoming an assistant superintendent. I had moved up deliberately because I wanted to identify each role in this whole hierarchy of learning,” she says.

Dr. Monroe is laughing and pointing her finger.

As a result of her dedication to her work and her students, Dr. Monroe has exemplified the characteristics of a model educator. Whether it’s through her own spread of her research and rhetoric or through her own unique framework through the educational process, she’s committed herself to create an effect on her students that goes beyond teaching and guidance. 

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Story by
Lucas Taylor, Senior English education major

Photography by
Valentina Giannattasio, first year dance and marketing major

Related posts:

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Beyond the Classroom: Meet Africana Studies Club President Nafisat Olapade

Ingredients for a Great Career: The Office of Career Advancement Gives Students the Recipe for Success

#PROFspective: Senior Communications Studies Major, Sorority President Kate Palozzola

Kate leans against a brick wall and stares off in a different direction.

What inspired you to choose your major? I chose to be a Communication Studies major at Rowan University considering this field of study is an intersection of various social sciences, flexible in the creative process, and because of my passion for reading and writing. I came into Rowan as a Psychology major, which I also […]

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

LaWana works on her laptop inside Savitz Hall.

LaWana Boone of Gloucester County, NJ chose Rowan’s Diversity and Inclusion Certificate of Graduate Study for its rigorous curriculum, classes both online and close to home, and opportunities to get involved on campus. This fall, she earned her graduate certificate — the first to do so — and plans to leverage her knowledge to help […]

Rowan Dance Major Gabrielle Langevine, Front and Center

Gabrielle dances with two spotlights shining on her from either side.

Dancing since she was 10 years old, sophomore Gabrielle Langevine of Middlesex County continues to study her craft at Rowan University’s College of Performing Arts. She is part of the Dance Extensions group and the university’s NAACP chapter. As a Black artist, she hopes to encourage future dancers of color not to “shrink themselves” but […]

How the Africana Studies Major Changed the Course of Jamar Green’s Studies, Leadership and Future

Jamar smiles while looking to his left side.

Senior Jamar Green is passionate about both his majors: Law and Justice and Africana Studies. But it’s the latter major, which he added further into his Rowan career, that Jamar calls “eye-opening,” strengthening his student leadership at the university and altering his career plans. A first-generation college student and transfer from Union County College, Jamar […]

Removing Deficit from Disability: Rowan Minds Reframe College Success for Autistic Students in New Book

John Woodruff and Dr. Amy Accardo seated together with a copy of their book.

The steady increase of autistic students entering higher education coincides with schools creating programs and services to meet this growing need. But are these supports working? Autism researchers at Rowan University set out to learn more, and they’ve published their findings in a new book. Read more about their research, recommendations for college success and […]

DEI Spring 2022 Book Study Recommendations

Stock image of a person's hands holding a hardcover book.

Monika Williams Shealey, Ph.D. (she/her/hers), Professor of Special Education and Senior Vice President of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, shares details on Rowan’s community-wide book study initiative with essential reads as we celebrate Black History Month.  The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) launched in 2019 with a listening tour which included […]

Student Leader Lauren Repmann on Biomedical Engineering Major, 3D Printing Club Success

Lauren sits on a bench next to a white, sphere sculpture.

Today we speak to Lauren Repmann, a senior Biomedical Engineering major with a minor in Chemistry. Lauren is an on-campus resident from Laurence Harbor, NJ (Middlesex County). She is the 3D Printing Club founder and co-president, president of the Women in Engineering Club, and a student mentor for the Engineering Learning Community. Lauren works off campus at Tranquility Path Investment Advisors as an Administrative Assistant, and on campus at the Office of Admissions as an Admissions Ambassador.

Lauren poses in the woods.

What inspired you to choose your major?

My mom works as an engineer at AT&T, and I always knew that I wanted to follow in her footsteps. When it came time for me to choose my college major, I wanted to pursue a field that combined engineering with medicine, and Biomedical Engineering was the perfect choice.

As I look back on this decision, I see that there are so many other benefits of choosing Biomedical Engineering that I wasn’t aware of. I’ve developed a genuine understanding of how to approach problems and sticky situations from a logical perspective, and this skill will be useful for all aspects of my life. I’ve also gained confidence in my technical abilities, so much so that I founded a 3D Printing Club at Rowan University.

Most importantly, I’ve recognized the importance of using engineering to set an example for younger female generations. Engineering is known to be a male-dominated field, and reaching out to elementary, middle and high school girls about a potential career in engineering can help to reduce this stigma.

Lauren poses in front of a fountain.

Tell us something interesting thing that you’ve learned in a class this semester.

It’s my last semester as a Rowan student, and I wanted to take a fun class to celebrate! I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures, so I chose to enroll in Honors Digital Photography with Jenny Drumgoole. The coolest thing I’ve learned so far is how to take long-exposure photos. This type of photography is great for taking night-time photos because the camera shutter stays open for a long period of time to record the light. Even if the area where the photo is being taken seems dark, the long exposure photography style will allow light to creep in from peripheral areas. I’ve made lots of awesome photos with this technique, and I’ll definitely continue to use this skill after this course.

Lauren poses in a clearing.

Take us through one typical Rowan day for you.

My typical day at Rowan starts at Engineering Hall. I serve as the co-president of Rowan’s 3D Printing Club, so I’m always in the 3D printing lab to make sure everything is running smoothly. While I’m in the lab, I usually make finishing touches on my homework assignments and get ready for my classes. After about two hours in the lab, I leave for my 11 a.m. classes. My biomedical engineering course load this semester is very heavy, but I’m thankful to have my friends who always want to collaborate on homework and assignments! I usually spend some time with them after my classes are over at 2 pm.

After that, I run back to Engineering Hall to make progress on my engineering clinic project. I work in Dr. Staehle’s Systems Biology and Neuroregeneration laboratory, and my project focuses on assessing the toxicity of exogenous chemicals, including DEHP and BP-3, on planarian flatworms. After catching up on my experiments, I run down the hall to one of the engineering clinic classrooms to teach my Engineering Learning Community seminar. I currently have 18 freshmen engineering students as my mentees, and we have done lots of fun and productive activities together. My favorite has been the icebreaker bingo tournament. It really helped me to get to know my mentees! Once my seminar ends at 5 p.m/, I run down to the first floor of Engineering Hall to close the 3D Printing Lab, then my day is over! Finally getting back to my apartment after each long day is rewarding! I change into my comfy clothes, eat dinner and ice cream, call my parents, do some homework, then start all over again the next day!

Tell us about one club, organization or group of friends that makes you feel like Rowan is home.

Whenever I step foot in Rowan’s 3D Printing Lab at Engineering Hall, I feel like Rowan is home. When I was a sophomore, I became very interested in 3D printing. The ability to take an idea and turn it into an object that I could hold intrigued me. I taught myself how to use OnShape, a popular CAD software, and I produced lots of cool models that I wanted to 3D print! When I approach one of Rowan’s 3D printing labs to ask about printing my models, I was told that the printers are primarily used for academic purposes. I knew I was not the only student who wanted to print personal models, and I also knew that Rowan University’s 3D printing lab had the resources to offer a personal printing service.

With that knowledge, I worked with a friend to draft a 3D printing plan to present to the technicians at the Engineering Hall 3D printing lab. The technicians were completely on board with our idea, and we then began the club petitioning process through the Student Government Association. On October 12, 2020, we officially became a Rowan club, and in January 2021, we received funding to purchase filament and supplies.

Since then, Rowan’s 3D Printing Club has grown at an exponential rate. We have 75 members who consistently attend our meetings and events, and we even won Rowan’s Outstanding Student Organization Award for the Spring 2021 semester. I’ve always felt that home is a feeling that you have the power to create. Through this club, I’ve not only created the feeling of home for myself, but also for all the other Rowan students who want to become more engaged in 3D printing. There is a genuine sense of community and passion that one can sense immediately upon walking into the room during one of our general meetings or workshops, and that is my Rowan “home” feeling that I will cherish for my entire life.

See Lauren and learn more about the 3D Printing Club in this video. 

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major 

Related posts:

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

Beyond the Classroom: Jack Campanella Takes Club Leadership, Engineering Skills to Internship with Robotics Company

Volunteering with the Glassboro Food Bank

Just a stone’s throw away from Rowan University sits the Samaritan Center, a shining pillar of light in the community. Rowan Blog contributor Bianca Gray shares: “As a Rowan student, many of us are volunteering in many different places around the state, but maybe we should take the time to learn more about how we can volunteer our time to the community we all call home.”

The Samaritan Center, also known as the Glassboro Food Bank, is a nonprofit organization located on 123A East High Street. For years, they have been dedicated to providing food and clothes for the low income residents of Glassboro, and Rowan students are starting to get involved in a major way. The Samaritan Center is happy to accept help and donations from any Rowan student looking to make a difference; here are some ways that you can get involved. 

Inside the Glassboro Food Bank, shelves stocked with cans and bags stuffed with food
A look inside the Samaritan Center

Volunteering is a must for any Rowan student. It’s a great way to get involved around the community and help a good cause at the same time. Students looking to volunteer with the organization could be given a couple of different tasks. They could help with distributing and packaging food, organizing food and clothing within the center, or help to maintain the center’s garden. Senior Writing Arts and Marketing major Melanie Kosick volunteered with the organization during the fall Thanksgiving Turkey Drive. 

“We mainly just packaged bags with cranberry sauce, stuffing mix and other Thanksgiving foods for families, handing out a turkey and a gallon of milk with each bag,” Melanie tells us. “Honestly, I really enjoyed the entire experience. Not only did I enjoy working with the staff, but it was a nice way to give back for the holidays.” 

Ingres Simpson stocking the shelves of the Glassboro Food bank
Ingres restocking the shelves!

Melanie’s not the only Prof lending a helping hand though. The organization’s president, Ingres Simpson, is an adjunct professor at Rowan in the Elementary Education program. Simpson first joined the organization back into 2014 after retiring from her previous job as a Supervisor of Instruction at a local public school. She works alongside other retirees to help achieve the Samaritan Center’s primary goal: providing food and clothing to Glassboro residents in need. 

“I am totally committed to our work at the Samaritan Center,” Simpson shares. “It is especially rewarding to be able to help people within my community who struggle to feed themselves and their families.” 

Along with helping those in need feed their families, the Samaritan Center also provides clothing through their Clothing Closet. The clothing is priced anywhere from 25 cents to $3.00. As stated earlier, volunteers could be asked to help organize the clothing, but for those who don’t have the time to spare and would still like to give back, the organization is always accepting clothing donations. 

The Samaritan Center's Clothing Closet
The Clothing Closet

The Samaritan Center is open from Monday – Thursday from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. On Mondays and Wednesdays, volunteers may help with distributing government-issued food to families and individuals who meet the federal guidelines for low income status. From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Center provides gently used clothing for men, women, and children, which is especially necessary this time of year.

Anyone interested in working with the Samaritan Center should visit the Center’s website where they can not only express their interest in volunteering with the organization but donate anything they have to offer. 

A picture of the Samaritan Center
The Samaritan Center is located at 123A East High Street in Glassboro.

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Story By:
Bianca Gray, senior English major

Photos By:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

The Rowan Blog Team’s Favorite Posts of 2021

Drone shot over Wackar Stadium at sunset.

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

Jars of Beekeeping Club honey packaged for sale.

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

Read the full story here

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


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

Finding My Path and Passion with an English Degree

Read the full story here

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


Ayanna smiles at the New York City Pride Parade.

Ayanna Johnson Reflects on New York City Pride Parade

Read the full story here

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


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

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

Read the full story here

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


Sarah and Madeline McClure hug at the Rowan Prof statue.

Sisters on SGA: Madeline and Sarah McClure

Read the full story here

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


Victoria kisses her son Rowen on Rowan Boulevard.

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

Read the full story here

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


Dr. Santos smiles inside Business Hall.

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

Read the full story here

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


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

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

Read the full story here

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

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

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

Nick Flagg as Buddy the Elf in Elf the Musical.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Production Photos by:
Valerie Neuber

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

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

Today we introduce the newly-founded Beekeeping Club. We talk to Biological Sciences major Michael Hoban, club president, as he discusses what the Beekeeping Club is, what members will do on a daily basis and his personal responsibilities within the club. 

What is the Beekeeping Club? What is the goal of this club? What will members of this club do on a regular basis?

The Beekeeping Club is a club that values and encourages anyone and everyone to join! Members can be individuals who either know nothing about beekeeping or have heard about it and are interested in learning the practice of it.

Because winter is the off-season for beekeeping, the winter semester will be focused more so on learning about the practice and the importance of beekeeping. Within the spring semester, members will be able to actually go out to the bee hives and collect honey. The sole purpose of this club is education and being able to apply what you’ve learned to hands-on experience. 

Honey collected by students in the Social Insect Lab.
Honey collected by students in the Social Insect Lab

What is your personal role and responsibilities associated with the Beekeeping Club? How did you get involved with this?

Dr. Kruse created this club with the help of team members from her Social Insect Lab. During the summer, Dr. Kruse sat down with her student researchers and basically asked us if we would be interested in creating this Beekeeping Club. Because we have hives on campus, she thought it would be a good idea to introduce beekeeping to the entire Rowan community. 

Within this club I am the President; however, it is important to note that all members of this club have equally important roles. Instead of taking the lead, I love working with all the other members to collaborate and make decisions.

Students from the Social Insect Lab working with the honey extraction machine.
Students from the Social Insect Lab working with the electric honey extractor

What do you think your favorite part of this club will be? 

I am just excited to see everyone’s reaction when we actually step outside to the hives in our suits. A lot of individuals tend to be scared of bees, especially bees in big volume. However, I am excited to see the reactions of members when seeing a hive open for the first time right before their eyes.

Close up of the electric honey extractor machine.
A close-up view of the electric honey extractor machine

How can students, professors, and peers purchase the extracted honey collected by the Social Insect Lab? 

Right now we sell the honey at any club fairs we attend. However, we hope to have more fundraising events to sell our honey as this is our main source of profit which allows us to purchase more hives and build the club.

Honey available for purchase from the Social Insect Lab bee hives.
Honey available for purchase from the Social Insect Lab

What are your goals and aspirations for the future for this club? Do you have a passion for saving the bees? Do you aspire to spread awareness on saving the bees? 

I hope every member learns the importance of a honey bee. Yes, it is fun to do all of this and extract our own honey and work closely with hives, however, I hope if members learn anything, they learn why we created this club and how important bee conservation is. I also hope members help educate other members of the community that may not be in the club. It would be awesome if members teach others what they learn.

Students and members of Social Insect Lab displaying collaborative effort of extracting honey.
Students and members of Social Insect Lab display the collaborative effort of extracting honey.

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Story By:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos courtesy of: 
Michael Hoban and the Beekeeping Club

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Faculty PROFile: Molecular Biophysicist Dr. Nathaniel Nucci

Learn more about Dr. Nathaniel Nucci, associate professor and Biophysics coordinator within the Physics department at Rowan’s College of Science and Mathematics.

How long have you worked at Rowan?

I’ve worked at Rowan for seven years. This is my eighth year as a faculty member.

What is your area of expertise?

I’m a molecular biophysicist. That basically means that I study the physics of biological molecules. My main area of expertise is focused on understanding how the structures of proteins and the changes to those structures influence how proteins function. This is important because understanding how protein structures relate to function allows us to understand how living systems work, and by “work,” I mean that in the true physical sense.

Proteins are the molecules that do most of the work in our bodies, from moving our muscles to digesting our food to dictating how our tissues develop as we grow. Understanding how structure-function relationships can sometimes go wrong due to mutations or other factors is key to understanding the sources of most diseases. 

Dr. Nucci smiles inside his researvh lab.

What inspires you to continue teaching?

I LOVE the process of discovery that students go through in my classes. Helping them grow and broaden their worldview is incredibly fulfilling. Every one of my students leaves at the end of a semester with a different perspective than they had at the beginning of the semester, and with that expansion of knowledge and understanding comes power! Power to affect change in the world and power to pursue career paths that will help them be happy and fulfilled. At least, that’s what I aim for! 

What advice would you have for someone who is considering biophysics, but maybe doesn’t quite understand the field or what you can with the degree?

I came to Biophysics as a discipline because I was interested in living things. I thought they were fascinating (and still do!), and I wanted to understand how they work. While my biology and biochemistry/molecular biology courses helped me understand the parts and how they fit together, it wasn’t until I took a Biophysics course and saw the way the math helps quantitatively explain how life works that I found the level of understanding I was searching for.

So, to those considering the Biophysics major, I’d say … if you want to understand biological systems, living things (human or otherwise), or health-related problems and you like math, then the Biophysics major is the best of the bio-related majors at Rowan for you.

Dr. Nucci working in lab.

Share an “aha!” moment you’ve had within your discipline that made you feel passionate about your field. 

This is challenging because I’ve had so many! The first was when I read a book as an undergraduate called “Cells, Gels, and the Engines of Life.” It got me thinking about all of the components of cells, especially the ones that most scientists ignore.

But the biggest moment of amazement for me, I think, was when I saw a talk by Dr. Klaus Schulten at a Biophysical Society meeting about 10 years ago. In his talk, he presented computer simulations of an entire cell where the workings of all the molecules were visualized. This was an amazing achievement that required the efforts not only of his group but of the entire biophysics community because without the hundreds of researchers in the room having learned so much over the previous decades, the simulations would never have been possible.

That moment made me feel like our work was a part of a greater, and incredibly awesome, whole.  

What is one thing you wish people knew about your academic discipline or your research focus? 

It’s not at hard or as complicated as it sounds! When I tell people that I’m a biophysicist, they usually say something like “wow,” but my training is no different than anyone else’s. The work we do and our field in general is approachable and fun! It’s interdisciplinary, so we get to do lots of different things and focus on the problems we are interested in. It’s like an intellectual playground!

Dr. Nucci examines equipment in his lab.

Is there anything that I didn’t ask you about the Biophysics program that you’d like to share with incoming students?

I think it’s important for students to understand that our Biophysics majors get to bridge communities at Rowan. They are integrated in to the Physics department community, but they also get to build relationships with students and faculty in other majors across the college. That’s pretty unique, and it usually helps them have a pretty strong network by the time they graduate.  

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Rowan Global Student, SJICR Grad Coordinator Alondra Martinez on Bringing More Students of Color into Higher Education Spaces

Alondra stands in front of Bunce Hall.

Alondra Martinez’s coursework and on-campus position both align with her passion to see more students like her, from underrepresented backgrounds, “achieve anything they want.” Alondra, a Rowan Global student in the M.A. in Higher Education program, works as a graduate coordinator with the Social Justice, Inclusion, and Conflict Resolution (SJICR) office. Alondra is a first […]

How Communicating With Professors is Different Than Communicating With Your High School Teachers

Rowan Blog contributor Nick Flagg shares:Despite being a high school student only four years ago, it feels like a different lifetime. The world of academia opens up when you move on to college, especially when talking about how you both work and communicate with your teachers. And being both a Theatre and Advertising major, I feel as though I can speak on a range of experiences with various professors.”

I have noticed that the biggest difference between college and high school is that high school teachers tend to do a constant check-in with all their students, while professors expect you to reel them in as needed. The transition from high school to college takes maturing in communication skills. If you need help, you need to communicate that more to a college professor than you would to a high school teacher.

Going to college is much more of an individualized experience. It is not that the resources are more limited compared to high school; in fact, there might be even more. Moreover, there is an expectation for you to speak up when you need something. I believe high school is an experience catered to all, whereas college is what you make of it.

Though college is still a place for growth and trying things out, it is rewarding when you know what you want and set up a game plan to reach your goals. The student-to-professor relationship should be nothing less than professional, but nothing short of believing that these people are here to help you succeed. They are here to help you meet those goals and land a job after you graduate.

A faculty member speaks with a student.

I have found myself engaging more in conversation with my professors than I did with high school teachers. Hearing about their personal journey is what makes me want to focus on creating my own.

I think I speak for many college students when I say that high school feels like a general educational experience compared to college. Don’t get me wrong, I believe high school is a wonderful educational experience that everyone needs. But here I am as a Theatre and Advertising major, still waiting for the day when I will need to know that the Mitochondrion is the powerhouse of the cell.

All jokes aside, high school allows you to see into many different courses and extracurriculars that should propel you to decide what you want to do after high school. College is where the lens focuses in on your future career, and plops you into a community of people interested in the same work as you.

When I am talking with faculty and students in my college, I feel more at home. When talking with my college professors, I am hearing many first-person experiences that set me up to figure out my own path. Getting to talk to the people who are “doing the thing” is what makes your career goals feel like a reality.

When I talk with my theatre professors, I am talking with people who have done professional work in performance. When I am talking with my advertising professors, I am talking with people who have done professional work with advertising agencies. And in most cases, aside from teaching, they are still working in their given industries. Asking your professor questions shows you are engaged and lets them know you are interested in professional opportunities beyond the classroom.

In my sophomore year at Rowan, I was fortunate enough to be a part of a research project with my Acting and Speech professor, Michael Dean Morgan. I got to work with other students to facilitate interviews with Broadway actors in New York City. Because I was able to communicate with my professor and show that I was interested in getting experience in the field work, I was able to directly hear more about the industry of my work and gain networking tools.

Pictured from left to right is Professor Michael Dean Morgan and students Nick Flagg and Maggie O'Connor from their trip to NYC in 2019.
Pictured from left to right is Professor Michael Dean Morgan, author Nick Flagg and Maggie O’Connor from their trip to NYC in 2019.

Reaching out to your professors is crucial in college. Always checking in and asking for help is beneficial for all students. We cannot do this alone. Talking with professors forms a connection that potentially brings you closer to a job in your industry. 

The first step is always showing up. And each day you show up, treat your attendance like you would treat an interview. Ask questions, engage yourself, and maybe shoot an email or two. High school is where your teachers help you figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life. College professors are here to offer the resources to help you get there. 

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Story by: 
Nick Flagg, senior theatre and advertising major

Senior Reflects: RTF Major Riel Dioquino on Finding True Friends

Riel makes a funny face while sitting in the Bozorth Hall Auditorium.

Today we speak with Riel Marc Dioquino (he/him) who recently graduated with a degree in Radio/Television/Film (RTF) and a concentration in Production. Riel hails from Burlington Township and is a first-generation college student. He also participated in Cinema Workshop and earned recognition for this short documentary, Beyond His Closet, in the Edelman College of Communications & Creative Arts Student Showcase. Beyond His Closet follows Adam Kowalski in his journey after coming out. Riel also earned recognition for his narrative film, Lost & Found, at the 7th Annual RTF Media Festival.

What was your favorite social memory? 

I did a photoshoot the other week with my Ate [meaning older sister in Tagalog] Rizza on the [Glassboro] campus. I was feeling very nostalgic because walking around there for the last time reminded me of my first year at Rowan. In my first semester, I was only friends with Kyle Foor and Sam LaFlamme. It was just the three of us at the time because we knew each other from RCBC (Rowan College of Burlington County) and we transferred at the same time.  

In between classes, we had 3-hour long breaks before he had to go to our next class together. We would hang out by this big tree on Bunce Green. Kyle and I would climb in the tree and just chill there while Sam sat in the huge yellow Rowan beach chair next to us.  

I don’t mean to sound all emo but it was just nice and cool because it kind of hit me that, “Wow, I have friends.” Back in high school, I had one best friend Vishali Patel who I’m still very close to today. I had, still have, really bad social anxiety and I thought I would never have friends, especially going into college. I never really had that experience of, “I’m going to go hang out or get an iced coffee with my friends before class.” I think that’s what makes the best of my college experience. Once I allowed myself to let people in my life and be myself, I was able to find people that I can truly be comfortable with.

Riel sits contently in the lawn of Bunce Hall while wearing a graduation cap and gown.

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

I love Jenny Drumgoole! I had her for Video Art. It was one of the first classes where I was able to express myself and do whatever I wanted for all of my projects. She’s very unfiltered and open about anything. She pushes us to be comfortable with being uncomfortable because it helps a lot with discovering our self-identity. It’s more about exploring the possibilities of how you can express yourself. I think she helped me and my classmates with that.

Usually, when we have classes, I don’t talk to a lot of people because of my social anxiety. Jenny helped me to let loose in the projects that I wanted to make and share them with the class. They were very accepting of me. Jenny Drumgoole is an amazing person overall.

Riel looks contemplatively into the golden sunset with his hand on his face.

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

Shout out to Sam LaFlamme, my best friend, because we’ve been through a lot together these last few years. I met her sophomore year of college at RCBC through a documentary class where we had to produce the film together. Our group won a few awards and had screenings in a few film festivals such as New York, Florida, Australia and more. We got closer because we happened to share classes every semester until my senior year.  We then worked at this internship together later that year and transferred to Rowan at the same time! We talked about everything in our lives the closer we got and that was that. I always say I couldn’t imagine going through college without her because we’ve gone through so much together.

Riel stands on the lawn of Business Hall while wearing graduation regalia.

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

Coming from my experience, it sounds very simple, but don’t be too scared. This applies to everything that your anxiety tells you to be anxious about. You can’t control anything that you can’t control. Everything is going to be ok. Everything will fall into place as long as you follow your gut feeling on how you want your future to look. My mindset was that I’m just there to take my classes and get my college degree. Then I can start my life and do whatever I want after. 

Yes, you can start planning for the long term, but also take care of yourself mentally and physically because it’s going to be a wild ride for the next four years. 

Also having your friends and your family close will help you through it mentally and physically. Keeping that drive and motivation in your gut aflame will help push you to be whatever you want to be in the future. Also, don’t forget to drink lots of water and take care of yourself because some people like me would forget to do the most simplest yet important thing in the world!

Check out more of Riel’s work at:

Instagram – @rmarc99

Portfolio Website – https://rieldioquino.myportfolio.com/work

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Story by: 
Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos by:
Riel Dioquino, radio television film graduate

Senior Reflects: Recent Writing Arts Graduate Kassidy Tirelli Heads to Law School

Kassidy stands in front of Bunce Hall with her cap and gown.

Today we speak to Kassidy Tirelli, a recent Writing Arts graduate with concentrations in Creative Writing and Publishing and Writing for the Public. Kassidy is a first-generation student from Pittsgrove, NJ (Salem County). 

Kassidy poses with her graduation cap in front of some trees.

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

My favorite experience in one of my classes was in a Self-Publishing course I took during the Fall of 2019 with Professor Jason Luther. He’s the coolest professor ever. One of our assignments was to create a zine, which we then produced and sold at the Collingswood Book Festival! It was such an awesome experience!

Could you share your favorite social memory?

My favorite social memories were Hollybash and RoGlow during my freshman year! The Chamberlain Student Center and Campus Activities put on both programs. 

What are your career aspirations?

I will start school at Rutgers Law School this fall. I hope to work as a family law attorney after graduating from law school, particularly in the realm of divorce and custody disputes.

Kassidy poses in front of the Rowan arch.

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

Absolutely! I can’t thank my parents enough for everything they’ve done for me not just in the last four years, but throughout my life. Their support absolutely made it possible for me to earn my degree!

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

My favorite professor was Professor Jade Jones. I took her for Creative Writing I. She’s my favorite because she was one of the kindest and most supportive people I’ve ever met. She was also such an incredible professor and truly went above and beyond for her students!

Kassidy poses with her cap and gown in front of Bunce Hall.

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

The advice I would offer is that it’s absolutely fine and probably even normal to not know what you want to do after graduation when you start college. I changed my major three times during my freshman year before finding something that I loved. Other than that, just enjoy your college experience and get involved in everything you can. It really goes by incredibly fast, and you’ll be graduating before you know it!

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

#PROFspective: Theatre and Advertising Major Nick Flagg

Nick sits in a director's chair on Bunce Green.

Today, we speak to Theatre & Advertising double major Nick Flagg from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County). Nick has a concentration in Theatre Ed, Acting/Directing & Musical Theatre, and will graduate next spring. He shares with us why he heavily enjoys studying his majors and the endless opportunities Rowan has offered and equipped him with.  Why […]

My Favorite Class: Animation

Kevin in front of Bunce Arch

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

Today we speak with Kevin Clee, a recent Computer Science graduate from Voorhees, NJ (Camden County) who shares with us some of his favorite classes within the Computer Science department.

What was your favorite class at Rowan?

I took Animation, just for fun. It was a lot of math, which I didn’t expect. I took it because I thought it would be cool, but I had no idea it was under Computer Science, which worked out for me. 

Kevin smiling on Bunce Green.

Who taught the course when you took it?

Dr. Bo Sun

Could you tell us a little bit about the course?

The first half of the semester is using Java to give motion to shapes. The second half of the semester we used Blendr, which is a 3D modeling and animating software. We’d make animals and make them move around and walk. 

What was the coolest thing you’ve made in that class?

There was one project that dealt with programming. We’d make a UFO with a beam going down, and when it went over certain objects, they’d go up into the UFO.

Kevin in front of greenery with Bunce Hall in the background.

Was there anything about this class that made it impactful to you?

I always wanted to know how to use Blendr, so I learned that software. 

Was the professor outstanding or did the professor make the class great?

Yes, the professor is very friendly. I [had] her again for another class. It’s called Data Visualization, it’s like a cross between business and computer science.

Kevin wearing sunglasses outside near Bunce Green.

What are your professional goals?

I will be working as a software developer associate at ASRC Federal. I was very lucky because I worked with them in my sophomore engineering class. The way the class was set up, it was almost an internship. They had a project in mind and what they specifically wanted and tasked us to create it and check in and give us pointers about it during the process. At the end of the semester, they had said to keep in touch and when I emailed them they really pulled through and I was able to get a job. But I’d like to do something with data analytics in the future, since that’s my focus.

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

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

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

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

Headshot of Danyel in uniform wearing a mask.

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

2. How to Apply for Scholarships at Rowan University

Wide exterior shot of Bunce Hall.

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

3. TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Future Chemistry Teacher Trevor Jones

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

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

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

Kathleen smiles wearing a black leather jacket outside her home.

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

5. TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Studio Art Major Christine Stewart

Christine smiles while seated outside on campus.

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

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

Dr. Susana stands by a railing inside Business Hall.

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

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

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

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

8. The Importance of Unstructured Time

Landyn posing outside Bunce Hall while wearing a Rowan jacket.

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

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

Grace dancing in a dance studio in Memorial Hall.

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

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

Yashaswi sitting on a Gazebo outside near Bunce.

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

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

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

My Favorite Class: Systems and Control

Alexandra sits and talks with friends on campus.

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

Today we feature Alex Jackson, a recent graduate who majored in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Alex, from Marlton, NJ (Burlington County), is now pursuing her master’s and doctoral degrees at Rowan. 

Alex smiles and wears a RAH shirt while standing inside the Student Center.

What was the name of your favorite class at Rowan?

Systems and Control

What department was the class in?

ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Who taught the class when you took it?

Dr. Jie Li

Tell us a little about what the class is

It involves mathematical techniques to determine various properties of electrical systems for analysis which is necessary to the success of said systems.

Share with us a few details on why this class was interesting or special to you.

I absolutely loved the content of this class. I’m a big fan of tedious math and mathematical theory, and I loved seeing how this all connected to the ECE field. The labs were also fun and weren’t extremely difficult, though they taught me a lot about MatLab and its importance in the field.

What makes this professor great?

Dr. Li was fantastic and one of the best professors in the ECE department by far. She took time to answer questions, she was great at explaining difficult concepts, she was engaged with the students, and was clearly passionate about what she was teaching. Everything was clear and concise, and she would take time to review throughout the lectures.

How did this class help to support your academic or personal growth, or your professional goals?

I struggled with my choice of major a lot during my sophomore year, but after this class I felt like I belonged there with everyone else. It helped me gain a further appreciation for teaching and how important it is to be a teacher that can truly communicate with their students. It lead me to where I am today in pursuing academia.

Alex smiles and stands outside with James Hall in the background.

What are your professional goals?

I am currently enrolled at Rowan in the Ph.D. program for engineering with a specialization in engineering education and a master’s in BME. I want to broaden my understanding of engineering as much as possible and perform research that ultimately improves the way we teach future engineers. I hope to work in academia performing research and teaching various topics in engineering such as math, statistics and design.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

Faculty PROFile: College of Education Adjunct Professor Sherry Knight

Sherry Knight is an adjunct professor for the College of Education in the Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education department. She received her bachelor’s degree at Mississippi State University and her M.A. at Cheyney University. 

Share an “aha!” moment that you’ve had within your discipline that made you feel passionate about your field. 

My “aha” moment that makes me feel passionate is when students state that my storytelling about real educational experience is eye opening and sheds light on what their future may look like.

Sherry Knight outside James Hall entrance

Share with us one aspect of student engagement that you enjoy most, and why?

Listening to their apprehensions. I enjoy sharing with them how to overcome them and how important the job of a teacher is. I reiterate the impact they make in the life of their students and I encourage them to build relationships with the students.

What is your area of expertise?

My area of expertise is Early Childhood/Elementary Instructional practices.

Sherry sitting inside James Hall.

What is one thing you wish people knew about your academic discipline or your research focus?

The one thing I wish people knew is that I have a passion for perpetuating high-level practitioners to foster engaging learning experiences. When I start my doctoral program at Rowan University, my research towards my dissertation will be on active engagement and relationships.

When are you starting your doctoral program at Rowan? 

I am planning to start my doctorate in the fall 2021.

 Why did you choose to complete your doctorate at Rowan?

I chose Rowan because of the stellar doctoral programs in Educational Leadership that will enhance my skills and pedagogy. This program will also give me the opportunity to be a better professor for our future teachers providing them with research and data to drive instructional practices. 

Sherry Knight inside James Hall.

What made you become interested in pursuing a career in education, both primary and higher?

I pursued a career in education because I wanted to make a difference in the world. I believe that teachers are the catalyst to all professions and I wanted to be one who educated the future lawyers, doctors, and/or other educators.

Do you have a favorite lesson or topic you teach your students? If so, why is it your favorite?

My favorite lesson to teach is a lesson on how to build an amazing lesson plan using a menu. It’s m​y favorite because it teacher the students the key elements to develop a solid lesson plan with components of an effective lesson.  

 Is there anything else you’d like to add?

It is a pleasure to teach higher ed to future teachers. I prepare them for the next level of getting a job and being a master teacher. 

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Story by:
Caitlyn Dickinson, public relations and advertising graduate

Related posts:

5 Early Childhood Education Majors Share How Their Major Interests Them

Faculty PROFile: Dr. Hannah Kye, Teaching Tomorrow’s Teachers

Faculty PROFile: Experiential Engineering Education Department’s Dr. Kaitlin Mallouk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jenna chats with the Borgersen family.

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

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

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

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Related posts:

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

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

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

Queer Voices: VP of Student Life Drew Tinnin

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

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

Drew posing outside the Chamberlain Student Center with a red mask on.

Name, pronouns, and identity?

I am Drew Tinnin, I use he/him/his pronouns, and I identify as a gay male.

What is your position at Rowan, and when did you start?

I am currently the Associate Vice President for Student Life here, so I work a lot with campus involvement such as the Student Center and Rec Center, orientation, student leadership, and clubs and organizations. I started in 2010 working with orientation and student leadership programs. 

When did you come out as LGBTQ, and why then?

I’m from a fairly small, conservative town in middle-of-nowhere Missouri that had about 8,000 people and 160 people in my high school class. I went to college at a school very similar to Rowan there in Missouri, and came out during college because it was really an environment that was more conducive to me. I met many accepting faculty and staff I interacted with that supported me throughout my coming out process in college. 

Has being LGBTQ+ impacted or influenced your career, and if so, how?

Education in general is fairly accepting and so that has probably contributed to my career choice. I originally was planning to be a high school speech and theater teacher, which is what I was going for in my undergrad. I really got involved in college, was an RA and a member of student government, and by working with the different staff I learned that higher education is a thing too, which is why I decided to pursue my career in higher ed. I went to grad school right after undergrad for higher ed at Bowling Green in Ohio, which is actually where I met my then-future husband as a grad student. My career choice has definitely been part of my coming out and identity development.

How has LGBTQ culture and acceptance changed throughout your time here at Rowan?

Even in 10 years here at Rowan, I’ve definitely seen a lot of changes. When I started, we only had one [LGBTQ+] student organization, the Gay-Straight Alliance. Over time I have seem the Gay-Straight Alliance morph into what is now Prism, and we now have many more queer student organizations. I was the first advisor for True Colors, which started because some trans students didn’t feel that they had the type of space that they wanted in Prism, so they started their own organization. Now we also have Queer People of Color, Out in STEM, and a variety of other opportunities for students, which is something that has definitely increased over the years.

There have also been some campus policies and things that we’ve tried to do to support students that I’m proud to be a part of. We were one of the first schools in the state to implement preferred name policies for students. We’ve also done a lot of work with single-user restrooms that are more accessible on campus, as well as some more inclusive housing options where students can choose roommates without consideration for sex or gender identity. When we built Holly Pointe, the gender neutral bathrooms were certainly something we wanted to make sure were included. 

What would you say to a student or youth who’s struggling with their identity, either personally or with others?

I definitely think it’s a process that’s different for a lot of people, but I hope students are able to find the support and resources that they need here. I’ve found a lot of students and faculty are accepting and welcoming, and both wanting to learn more about others while also being supportive. I know it can be super scary to talk about identity, especially if you are questioning or just coming out, but in my experience, it really helped when I started talking about my identity with others.

For new students, I would just encourage them to get involved and explore their new community! We have many LGBTQIA+ student organizations and resources, and they should not hesitate to check them out no matter how they identify.

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Queer Representation In the Media: Mandi Devers’ “Flip The Script”

“Flip the Script,” by Rowan alumna Mandi Devers, is an award-winning audio documentary on queer representation in the media. Mandi’s doc covers how much representation is out there, how characters in media are being represented, and the ways in which queer representation still needs to improve. Mandi graduated from Rowan in May 2020 with a Radio/Television/Film degree and Audio Recording minor, which she completed in three years.

How did you become involved with Rowan Radio?

“I went to a vocational high school and I was part of the video/audio editing program. When I got to college I wanted to do as much as I could with that because I had a lot of fun doing it in high school, but I started late. I didn’t want to miss out again, so in my first semester I signed up for Rowan Radio and I was there the entirety of my college career.”

How would you describe your experience with Rowan Radio?

“It was a very fun place to hang out. Even when we were doing serious work it was still fun work to do, and the amount of things I have learned from there, I don’t know if I could have gotten that anywhere else.”

Rowan Radio is a licensed radio station and club opportunity for students. Anyone can join and undergo training to learn the necessary skills and knowledge about radio and production. “At that time it was the closest I would get to how an actual radio station runs and it needed to be treated as such, which is why training is so necessary,” says Mandi.

Mandi outside Bozorth Hall with Rowan Radio sign.

What was the process of the documentary like and how long did it take?

“It took a couple of months. It started off as a semester-long project for a class. Some of the process included figuring out what topic I wanted to do, how I wanted to explain it, and what I wanted to say. Also, I had to find people to interview and then come up with questions to ask them. I gathered examples I wanted to include and then it was another month of editing. It got tricky at times, for example, it took an entire day to select the outro music because nothing felt right. The professor of that class was the Assistant Station Manager for Rowan Radio. He selected a couple of documentaries from the class to play on air, mine being one of them.”

Mandi shared that she grew up having a lot of queer friends and she found herself wanting to educate others on the topic. Even in high school and all through college, Mandi took every opportunity she had for a class project to talk about the LGBTQ+ community. “I want people to know about these things so they’re less stigmatized and less misunderstood.”

Since releasing “Flip The Script,” do you feel Hollywood and the media have improved queer representation in TV and film? 

“A bit. I think there is still a way to go, but I think it’s becoming more mainstream. A big step is media, TV, film, and books having queer protoganists and characters without making the story about that. Making queer just another characteristic like hair color or eye color.”

What are some ways you think the media could do better in regards to queer representation?

“Just expanding on the types of representation that are out there and the identities being represented. There is a lot of representation for lesbians, gays, and we’re seeing more transgender roles, but there are many more identities that are often left out. It’s important to show these, because the more they’re shown, the more normalized they become to the audience and the closer they become to ending the stigma surrounding these identities.”

What do you think is a good, diverse example of queer representation in TV or Film?

“In the documentary, I talked about [the TV show] ‘One Day At A Time,’ and I think that’s a really good one because it has one of the main characters written as a lesbian and when she finds a partner, the partner is nonbinary and so the show includes pronouns as well. It was really refreshing since I had never seen a nonbinary character on TV.”

Mandi earned three awards for the documentary, including third place under the Radio Feature category in the 2020 Garden State Journalism Association Memorial Journalism Awards, first place for the Society of Professional Journalists (Region 1) and a Hermes Creative Platinum Award. 

Mandi in cap and gown.

I see your radio documentary received three awards, could you expand a little on what these awards mean to you?

“All of these awards proved to myself that I made quality work because I was more stressed about the quality and the editing of my work, than making it. I was very concerned with making it the best product I could put out or making it the best story in the most efficient way.”

How did you come about submitting your documentary? 

“A lot of the submitting was through the professors and advisors who allowed me to do so. Leo Kirschner and Derek Jones, who work at the radio station, helped put my submission through to the organizations to be nominated, judged and awarded.”

Mandi hopes her listeners will understand that these identities are normal and are prevalent in our society today. “In order to accept that we need to show it being accepted. And the more we show it’s accepted, the more accepted it already will be. With all the media that we consume, I think that’s one of the best ways to do so,” she says.

For more information and to listen to “Flip The Script,” visit here.

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Story by:
Caitlyn Dickinson, public relations and advertising graduate 

Photos courtesy of:
Mandi Devers

Faculty PROFile: Passionate Communicator Lisa Handt Fagan

Lisa Fagan and her students walk in the crosswalk in Abbey Road fashion.

Today we speak to Lisa Handt Fagan, an instructor of Advertising & Public Relations within the Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts. Prof. Fagan holds a B.A. in Communication – Mass Media & Writing, and an M.A. in Professional Communication (now called Strategic Communication). You can find her on LinkedIn here.

Professor Lisa Fagan, an instructor in the Public Relations and Advertising Department at Rowan.
Prof. Lisa Fagan, an instructor in the Public Relations and Advertising Department at Rowan.

Share an “aha!” moment that you’ve had within your discipline that made you feel passionate about your field. 

There are a million moments in a year in this field that bring me tremendous satisfaction, both professionally and personally. Overall, I love the daily collaboration with my colleagues inside and outside of my department.

I think the most pivotal moment that led me to Rowan University happened in 2005 when I was preparing a summary of our marketing successes for the owners and operation department heads of our business who did not wholeheartedly support marketing. They thought advertising, public relations and events consisted of frivolous work. (They worked 80+ hours a week in the heat with millions of visitors, and we added to their workload!)

I prepared an hour-long presentation for my boss. He was an impressive speaker — once the media spokesperson for a presidential candidate! As I prepped him on the slides moments before our meeting, he told me I was going to present. I had done many presentations but had never been comfortable with public speaking, especially with an unfriendly audience. Nonetheless, I took on the challenge, and in that meeting saw the power in what we do, the power of public speaking, and my ability to one day lead a classroom.

As the meeting began, the room of over 20 people entered, exhausted, disinterested, and disengaged. They sat back, slouched in their chairs. As we went through each of our accomplishments in advertising, public relations, events and research, they started to pay attention, sit up and ask questions. When the presentation was over, we had an overwhelming engagement and could not end the meeting! We were inundated with smiles, congratulations, feedback, ideas and respect.

Share with us one aspect of student engagement that you enjoy most, and why?

I am a people person by nature, but nothing gives me more enjoyment in teaching than working directly with students. I love hearing their opinions, discovering their hidden talents, and watching them blossom with ideas! To be honest, I am just as interested in watching their development as humans as I am as communicators.

For example, this year, one student told me she loved my class, but was more grateful that as a shy transfer student —online during Covid — that she could make friends in our class and find roommates for on campus next year. A 2021 graduate student made connections with my LinkedIn connections across the country and is well on his way to his dream job. Likewise, I connected a student who held back her quirky, creative side into a job as Marketing Director one week before she earned her B.A.

It isn’t all about grades; it is about people.

Professor Fagan collaborates with her students.

What is your area of expertise?

Advertising is my area of expertise. I have branded and rebranded company brands. I have led strategy and creativity. I have bought and placed media. I have managed and conducted market research. You name it; I have done it and love doing it!

What is one thing you wish people knew about your academic discipline or your research focus?

There is no perfect, fail-safe way to do this work. You have to try and try again. Failure is part of the process and is actually even more important than success. You learn the most when you fail.

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

#PROFPRIDE: Faculty Shares Advice

Dr. Stephen Fleming is Assistant Dean for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. He offers his perspective and resources for incoming or current LGBTQIA+ students.

Stephen Fleming standing outside of Bunce Hall while wearing a blue suit and tie.

1. You are not alone. 

College is a very common time for students to question their sexuality and/or gender identity. You are not alone, and there are resources available on campus to help you through the process.

2. It is OK to not know. 

We live in a world of labels and many of us strive to fit into one of them. Understandably, students can feel pressure to quickly commit to knowing who they are and who they like. But, it’s OK to not know and to take your time in exploring these aspects of your identity.  

3. Get involved.

There is so much value in getting involved with peers and educators who have similar interests as you. Whether it be a club, sport, campus employment or something else, these involvement opportunities can help you feel a sense of belonging at Rowan. Even better — you can meet new friends and build your resume in the process!

4. Assert your Name.

Rowan has a preferred name policy as part of our effort to ensuring all feel valued and welcome. If you are not being called by the preferred name that you listed on Banner, don’t be afraid to respectfully address it with your faculty, peers, etc. Almost always, the mistake is not intentional and folks are happy to do all they can to do better.

5. RU a LGBTQIA+ ally?

There are spaces for you on campus also! Don’t miss your opportunity to show your support for LGBTQIA+ members of the campus community. It is noticed and it means a lot.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

Photo of Dr. Fleming courtesy of Queer Voices Project

Senior Reflects: 4+1 Student Mia Fondacaro

Mia stands in front of Bunce Hall.

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

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

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

Mia smiles on the steps of Bunce Hall.

Could you please share your favorite social memory?

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

What are your career aspirations?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mia stands inside a gazebo on campus.

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

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

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

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

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

My Favorite Class: Instrumental Conducting 2

Rowan music performance in Wilson Hall.

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

Abby Bernhardt is a first-generation college student and a recent graduate with a degree in Instrumental Music Education from Egg Harbor City (Atlantic County). Her favorite class was Instrumental Conducting 2 in the Music department taught by Dr. Joe Higgins.  

Abby standing with French horn in hands.

Tell us a little about what the class is.

This class is a continuation of Conducting 1, and in this class you learn skills regarding how to conduct a band. We also focused a lot on things to do to make us better educators, and how to select repertoire that represents wide groups of people.

Share with us a few details on why this class was interesting or special to you. 

I loved this class because it made me realize what I want to do with my future. I learned so many things that I had been waiting for since high school, and I plan on using all of them in my career.

Is there anything else that made this class impactful?

Dr. Higgins is a wonderful teacher and role model, and I am so grateful to have been able to have had this time spent learning from him.

Abby smiling with French horn in front of Christmas tree.

What makes this professor great? 

Dr. Higgins not only is an amazing educator himself, but he is very good at teaching others how to be their own type of great teacher also. He also is always around for a chat or some advice.

How did this class help to support your academic or personal growth, or your professional goals? 

This class helped me solidify that I want to be a music teacher. I was always excited to go to class and learn new things that will help me immensely in my future. This class also gave me a lot of motivation to do well in school.

What are your professional goals? 

I plan on being a music teacher for a bit and then getting my master’s and going into administration as an arts administrator or vice principal. This way I will be able to support my students in the classroom and then help to support them from above, and hopefully help others to see the importance of arts education.

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Caitlyn Dickinson, public relations and advertising graduate

Faculty PROFile: Joseph L. Coulombe

Joe Coulombe sits in front of a stack of bookcases.

Meet Dr. Joe Coulombe, an English professor who has been teaching at Rowan University for 20 years.

An outdoor portrait of Joseph L. Coulombe a professor in the english department at Rowan University.
What is your area of expertise?

I’m a generalist in U.S. literature, but I’ve used that broad framework to develop research specializations in three areas: Mark Twain and the American West; contemporary Native American fiction; and the function of humor in literature.

What inspires you to continue teaching?
Two things: literature is endless, and my students are wonderful.

I’ve always been fascinated by the ideas and artistry of literature, specifically the ways that literary narratives shape our nation and its cultures. Literature involves so much – history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, etc. – that you can never reach the end! There are always new intersections and insights.

Second, I love talking with students about how literature informs our past and present. Rowan students bring such an exciting energy to the classroom, and they share unique and sometimes generational ways of thinking about issues and ideas. The classroom dynamic – that is, students’ interests and backgrounds – directs our discussion.  It’s always new!

How would you describe your teaching style?
My goal is to create a collaborative classroom that invites students to voice their own responses about assigned poems, plays, and novels. While I provide interpretive frameworks for our discussions, I adapt my approach to students’ interests. They often alert me to themes and questions that I hadn’t fully anticipated, and I use those moments to redirect our collective focus to how the text addresses their concerns. Ideally, my teaching style is one of informed versatility and structured exploration.

Joseph L. Coulombe sitting in a classroom in Bunce Hall.

Share an “aha!” moment you’ve had within your discipline that made you feel passionate about your field. 
My students and I were talking about a collection of very engaging and funny short stories by Sherman Alexie, and we noticed that the narrator repeatedly and explicitly stated when characters laughed. This seemingly minor detail led us to think about how humor can function in varied ways: as a signal of creativity and intelligence, or as an insulting put-down, or as method of fostering a connection between ostensibly different people.

We increasingly focused on this last possibility, theorizing that humor can create a sort of shared space for people to occupy together. Then we related these moments within the text to the reading experience itself, arguing that Alexie’s fiction builds bridges between groups that have historically been divided. These organic moments of realization and discover are very exciting.

What is one thing you wish people knew about your academic discipline or your research focus?
Majoring in English isn’t simply about learning correct grammar and punctuation. Sometimes the most expressive statements break the rules.  Vernacular language is rarely correct, but it can be engaging and insightful.

Second, literary texts don’t “mean anything we want them to.” We support our claims using textual evidence. If we can’t defend our interpretations with evidence, then they are unconvincing at best and wrong at worst.

Our English program prepares students for a variety of career trajectories, not only teaching. Our students learn to work and think independently; they develop their oral and written communication skills; and they build a broad yet detailed understanding of language and culture that facilitates their individual success.

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Alumni Success: Ryan Geiger, Creative Media Business Owner and Accomplished Filmmaker

Ryan types at his a work table on his laptop.

Today we speak with Ryan Geiger, who attended Rowan from 2004 to 2008. He was an RTF major and advertising minor. He now owns his own media studio called Pinch located in North Jersey. Ryan also is an independent filmmaker and has won awards in several film festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival.

Can you tell us more about where you currently work? 

Ryan Geiger recently opened his own media studio called Pinch. With 15 years of experience in the creative industry, Ryan created a strong network with many creative professionals. Ryan previously worked at Bingley Digital in Connecticut as the Creative Director. Bingley was bought by one of their clients, and the owner of Bingley trusted Ryan with its remaining clients.

He strongly encourages students to forge strong connections as early as possible and opportunities like this can be in their future. 

Ryan remembers his first job immediately after college, proving the power of connections. Through one of his connections, Ryan went to work as an Assistant Director for Center City Film & Video (CCFV) in Philadelphia, which films commercials. Ryan enjoyed the feeling of being on a stage set with actors and how it felt so professional. Ryan shared the news about opening Pinch studio with his network and received a request from CCFV to work with that same client he worked with at CCFV. 

“You never know when someone from your past is going to come to you for more work!”

Starting your own business is way harder than it looks. You see people on Instagram; they sell cookies and go viral because [a] celebrity posts about their [product]. In all life, you [either] get lucky or you work, grind, hustle, and you make a name for yourself.” 

Ryan poses confidently wearing blue plaid.

What does your day-to-day work look like? 

“When you start your own business, a lot of it is me reaching out to previous clients and new clients trying to get work. Then, it’s directing all the current workload. Working with the clients to direct digital ads, web design, a video series, or social media videos. 

It’s navigating when things are due, how things get done, and who needs to work on them. I still have my hand in a lot of it. I was editing up until the minute I took this call. I’m always working on something. We [creatives] are always working, always tormented. We’re always trying to do better things. We are obsessed with looking at what other people are making and learning how they made it. It’s not an easy job.”

Can you tell me about your experience as an undergrad?

“I had a wonderful four years and that was partially due to the fact that I engrossed myself in everything. I dabbled in Rowan Radio (89.7 WGLS-FM) and had a morning radio show. I had a  television show on RTN called The Rowan Update. I shot 22 episodes and it was a spin-off of “The Daily Show,” a comedy show that reports on the news. I was a Student Ambassador and I ended up becoming the Ambassador Coordinator my senior year being the leader of all of the tour guides. I could walk around campus blindfolded! I knew everything about every single building! Landmark was my local watering hole as an undergrad.”

Ryan attends The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival in a suit.

Did you have a favorite class or professor? 

As a freshman, Ryan took a philosophy class and fondly remembers the professor treating every student as an adult. The professor’s honesty, seriousness and curtness left such an impression on Ryan.  

“He was the classic idea of a professor who comes in barreling through the door, yells at everybody, and writes things on the wall. It really opened my eye to philosophy, to the phrasing of sentences, and to the thought process of decision-making.”

Ryan’s favorite professor was Prof. Sheri Chinen Bieson, who wrote a book about film noir called “Blackout: World War II and the Origins of Film Noir.” Her contagious passion and giddiness about film made the class more engaging and exciting.

What was one thing about Rowan that was a happy surprise for you? 

“I think the Student University Programmers really did an amazing job in finding a lot of really funny things to do and keeping people engaged. I remember a lot of my fun memories are going to all the comedian shows. They had Bob Saget to Zach Galifianakis. They had a ton of bus trips to go to Philly and to Broadway shows. All the tickets were so cheap! Coming from a guy who grew up in North Jersey, there were a lot of really funny things that I never experienced before. I hope it’s still being funded and that they are still doing awesome stuff because they really did some great programming.”

Ryan sits at his desk at work, typing on his laptop.

What was your journey like after Rowan? 

“My journey after Rowan has been nothing but completely tumultuous, challenging and exciting times. I graduated in 2008, during the collapse of the economy and the housing market crash. It was a real psychological struggle to realize that it wasn’t as simple as I thought it was going to be.” 

Ryan hustled and worked on a few TV shows and movies, but never got the breakthrough he was looking for. He continued to chase his passions in 2009, making his first feature film called “Stealing God’s Money.” It went on to win Best Feature at the Garden State Film Festival

“It was such an encouraging and amazing thing. I was at the awards ceremony and sitting at a table with production companies that spent $100,000 on their film. One guy leaned over and he asked, ‘What was your film budget?’ I said, ‘A thousand bucks. What was yours?’ He said, ‘A hundred thousand.’” 

Ryan continues: “You can do it on a scrappy budget. I made some more movies and that went on to also win film festivals and awards. Most notably, my film ‘Town Red screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. That was a massive moment for me to go there, walk the red carpet, be in the same building as Leonardo DiCaprio (who was showing ‘The Great Gatsby’ that year). I even got an interview on NBC about Town Red. But, the phone doesn’t just ring because you get an interview. You still have to hustle and work hard. I didn’t let that discourage me and I still kept going down the creative direction.”

….

Although Ryan loves Rowan, the journey after was not the easiest. Rowan taught him so many things but most importantly to never give up. As an alumnus, Ryan would like to help current students get involved in more real-world productions. He also hopes to offer his mentorship through the Alumni Association, offering a valuable connection to students now and in the future. 

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

Senior Reflects: Dyone Payne, PR Major, Reflects on the Joys of College

Dee poses ecstatically in a pink dress and glasses, with her hands up in the air.

Today we speak with Dyone Payne, who will be graduating this May with a degree in Public Relations and two minors in Journalism and Strategic Communication. Dyone is from Glassboro, NJ (Gloucester County) and is part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority. 

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

My favorite class memory was with Dr. Schoenstein during IMC. Every week we would give a presentation about a product or company we created. From start to finish, we created the logos, company brand, position statement, and most importantly the presentation. She actually wanted us to be prepared for the real world. She wanted us to be able to present a brand in a short amount of time. 

Could you share your favorite social memory?

Meet the Greeks is one of my favorites. To see all of the organizations come together, perform, have a good time, and most importantly inform students about who they are. 

What are your career aspirations?

I aspire to work in the marketing and advertising space. I would love to contribute to storytelling, especially in this environment.

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

The EOF program is how I got admitted into Rowan. They have been a major support system to and for me throughout the past four years! Shout out to everyone in that office. 

Dyone poses by a pile of lemons and hanging plants at the Philadelphia Garden Convention, wearing a lovely baby blue dress.

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

Shout out to my advisors and professors, Mr. Morton, Ms. Brucker, Mrs. Mummert, Prof. Farney, and Prof. Rodolico. From beginning to end, all of you have pushed me to grow beyond boundaries, ask questions, and go beyond what is expected of a student, person, and most importantly, a professional. I value each lesson I learned from every one of you.

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

Professor Royek! I believe I took Composition Writing I or II with him my freshman year. Professor Royek taught me so many lessons, but most importantly he taught me to always ask questions, be patient, and learn something from what others have to offer. I’ll never forget he helped me with my paper and as we did the mock interview he taught me how to be conversational rather than sticking to the script. 

I then applied that to my life by always having a plan and if the plan fails, improvise! Want to learn from people. Want to be friendly. And most importantly take your time!!

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

Incoming freshmen, take your time. Whatever you want to do, do it and don’t let anyone stop you! You’ll learn so many things once you just live life outside the classroom. At the end of the day, JUST DO YOU!

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

Senior Reflects: Sarah Dixon, Law & Justice Studies Major Thanks Outstanding Professors

Photo taken by a drone of Bunce Hall with students sitting on the marble steps.

Today we speak with Sarah Dixon, a graduating senior Law & Justice Studies major from Philadelphia. Sarah is a commuter who transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC).

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

In my Public Speaking class, the professor was 9 months pregnant. Each class, she would tell stories at the beginning of class about her life. She had four kids already, and the way she told the stories was so funny and real! I loved her class!

What are your career aspirations? 

I aim to be a public defender.

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

The Law & Justice Studies program really helped shape me in the way I think and view things now.

Sarah James poses with her daughter in matching shirts.

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

I wanna give a huge shout out to Professor Buie who teachers Law Seminar because he is the best professor on earth! 

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

My favorite professor is Buie. I have him for Law Seminar. He is the most intelligent, down-to-earth professor I ever had!

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

Be yourself and follow your own path! Everything happens for a reason and as long as you choose good over evil you will succeed in college and in life!

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

Faculty PROFile: Dr. Lisa Abrams’ Innovative and Inclusive Efforts Break Down Barriers to Education

Dr. Lisa Abrams sits in Robinson Hall.

Dr. Lisa Abrams, assistant professor of Psychology, joined the Rowan faculty in 2014. Dr. Abrams recently earned the Excellence in Online Learning Award from Rowan Global Learning and Partnerships for her work.

Dr. Lisa Abrams stands near a board for the Psychology department in Robinson Hall.

Dr. Lisa Abrams went above and beyond to assist students in transitioning to a “new normal.” 

Rowan Global’s Excellence in Online Learning Award primarily highlighted two of her courses, Statistics in Psychology and Research Methods in Psychology. Well before Covid-19, these courses were offered both in-person and online when created four years ago to accommodate the fully-online Psychology program here at Rowan. Dr. Abrams coordinated and developed these classes herself. 

Course materials within these classes are free thanks to the Textbook Alternative Program (TAP) grant provided by the university. After receiving the grant for both courses, Dr. Abrams and a colleague searched for free resources for students. She felt confident they would find a proper alternative to save students money. 

She found an open-source textbook that also had permissions to allow students to download the free textbook as a PDF. “For the rest of the course, there is nothing else [the students] have to pay for,” she says. Even the statistical software options, Jamovi and SPSS, used in the statistics course were free to the students. 

“Early on, I recognized that the textbook prices were a bit like a barrier for my students,” Abrams says. “And it’d be a month into the class, because they couldn’t get it. So it definitely takes away that issue.”

She also designed a one-credit course called Navigating Psychology for students who are new to the major. This course provides faculty with benchmarks to later measure students’ learning outcomes in the program. For the roughly 500 students who take the class each year, professors incorporate an introduction to the program into the course material, explaining who’s who within the psychology department, how students can meet with their college advisors, school policies, Rowan’s academic integrity policy and more. 

Many students have attested the most important takeaway they received from the course was simply knowing essential, practical and timely information about psychology and the resources available to them at Rowan. The course serves as a roadmap to succeeding in Rowan’s psychology program and the university community in general. 

Dr. Abrams strategically considered what it must be like for students to take on “the mental load of existing in a pandemic” as well as having to switch to a remote or hybrid college experience. In doing so, Dr. Abrams had to choose the most meaningful assignments to keep in the course. 

Dr. Lisa Abrams sits inside Robinson Hall.

Since creating her statistics course four years ago, Dr. Abrams redeveloped parts of it last spring. She made the quizzes as access gates to the next module to make sure students would not skip ahead and rather learn on schedule. The quizzes were designed more so as a practice test that would only accept a certain grade to move on, but can be taken as many times as needed to learn the material. Each quiz is different because the questions are chosen from a pool of questions that are given to different students and narrowed down. 

She made this major change because she realized the importance of formative assessments. She aimed to make assignments that tested students’ knowledge without making them overly intimidating. Then the students will receive feedback immediately to quickly understand what they can improve on. This can guide the students to alter their study habits and remain on track with Dr. Abrams’ course goals. By doing multiple quizzes within a chapter, the students can find their level of understanding easily and at multiple points in the course. 

Dr. Abrams’ favorite part of student engagement focuses less on the actual course material and more on developing positive relationships with the students. She enjoys being able to guide students in their learning process as well as making the teaching process easier — building trust between students and the professor can help students ask more questions. 

She misses one-to-one interactions with students outside of class, which she still experiences now through Zoom or phone calls. Dr. Abrams continues to make time for students outside of class, which is invaluable for students, especially during the pandemic. 

Her current research focuses on the topic of teaching, with multiple projects in the works at different stages. Dr. Abrams shares: “I tested if team-based learning is effective in teaching statistics in psychology. I have a project that is in big data collection right now about inclusive teaching practices and what students and faculty think about them and how much [the faculty] are using these types of strategies.”

Dr. Lisa Abrams smiles outside on Rowan's campus.

Dr. Abrams wishes people knew that psychology is a science. She explains that psychology uses the same scientific method used in other “hard sciences” to test all theories and in every field within psychology. She knows that many people misconceive this science because it deals with humans, making it appear “softer in a way.” She appreciates the fact that Rowan placed psychology under the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM), which did not match Dr. Abrams’ experiences at other colleges.

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Story by: Marian Suganob, public relations major



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

Dr. Susana Santos stands outside Business Hall.

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

Dr. Susana C. Santos is teaching her students chasing business dreams the skills to leverage those ideas into real ventures, to improve their lives and, perhaps, to make the world “a little bit better.” 

An assistant professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Santos joined the Rohrer College of Business faculty in 2018.

Dr. Susana Santos stands inside Business Hall.

Santos’ family lay the foundation for her future career in entrepreneurial research and scholarship. 

She was drawn to teaching by her parents, both of whom were educators. 

Growing up in her native Portugal, she was actively involved in her extended family’s ceramics business, which, like many at the time, was affected by the economic crisis of the late 2000s. This shift, according to Dr. Santos, showed people they couldn’t wait for someone else to develop, generate and launch their own businesses. 

“To have your own job, to be self-employed, was becoming very important,” she notes. 

Observing this movement through the lens of her family’s business shaped her research and study in entrepreneurship. 

“I realized how it could be important to teach our students these … comprehensive mindsets and skills of how they can be self-employed, how they can be launching their own companies,” she says. 

Dr. Santos teaches Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a course she describes as hands-on, experiential and one that thrives on experimentation. As she quickly converted her sections from in-person to online delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her research into entrepreneurship handed her a distinct advantage. She explains: “The online environment really asked me as a teacher to be entrepreneurial in thinking about how I could adapt and change my own exercises that we used to have in the classroom and how we can change it.”

She believes entrepreneurship is a life skill, and with COVID-19, students needed this know-how more than ever before. In her course, “we define entrepreneurship as a way of thinking, acting and being that combines the ability to find and develop new opportunities and the will to act upon them. This mindset is something you do daily,” she says. 

Dr. Susana stands by a railing inside Business Hall.

Inspired by the work of Dr. Heidi Neck from Babson College, Dr. Santos developed a mindset exercise. She sent her students what she calls a “a daily mindset vitamin” and launched an accompanying classroom chat via the What’s App application. Her “vitamins” took the forms of questions such as “What is the difference between learning and failure?” or an action item prompt like “Today, smile a lot more than usual.” 

“I didn’t expect anyone to actually answer them, they weren’t required to answer. But guess what — they actually did!” Dr. Santos says. “People started chatting every day about whatever it was I was sharing with them. I wanted to send this daily mindset vitamin to be absorbed and to be connected in such challenging times.”

She adds, “I believe this was a unique way to build connections between students themselves and also with me during online classes.” 

This isn’t the first time Dr. Santos has used technology to engage with students. 

She also sources YouTube and podcasts to extract the most up-to-the moment resources for her courses, which simply cannot be replicated in textbooks.

One such source is the NPR podcast “How I Built This,” which deep-dives into businesses launched by entrepreneurs from Chipotle to Instagram. A self-described fan of the program, Dr. Santos connects these real-world stories of successes and struggles with key concepts or theories in her courses. 

She also collaborates with Rowan’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, with whom she is a faculty partner. The Center supports budding entrepreneurs throughout the university by hosting guest speakers and offering competitions, events and workshops. Without missing a beat, RCIE has delivered its programming online since the pandemic. Dr. Santos connects her course content to the people and workshops offered by RCIE.

Dr. Susana Santos smiles by a railing in Business Hall.

Dr. Santos’ infusion of tech with daily doses of engagement prompted colleagues from the College of Business to nominate her for Rowan Global Learning and Partnerships’ second annual Excellence in Online Learning award. She says will extend her “vitamins” to her upcoming summer course and continue her teaching and research on the entrepreneurial mindset, which she says is more universal than most assume: 

“When I do research in so many different fields, it’s thinking about how people can use this mindset in different contexts. One of my research [interests] is on low-income people. They have few resources, they live in a very complicated world. But they find a way to turn around, they leverage the resources they have and the courage to act on those opportunities. So in offering my research I make an effort to understand better how this entrepreneurial mindset can be really relevant in many others rather than just having your own company.”

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Eduardo Saba Shares Insight On Being A Geography Major

Eduardo standing outside.

Today we feature first-generation college senior Eduardo Saba, a Geography major with a minor in Environmental and Urban Planning. Eduardo is from the Dominican Republic and is a transfer student from Atlantic Cape Community College. How did you become interested in this major? I believe that the Dr. Zachary Christman, and Harold Thompson, played a […]

Faculty PROFile: Adjunct Professor and Esports Manager Gidd Sasser

Stock photo of an Esports competition.

Meet Gidd Sasser, an adjunct professor in the Ric Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts with a concentration in Esports. When he’s not teaching, he is the general manager of Simplicity Esports, an organization whose mission is “to increase gamer and fan involvement at a grassroots level.” Learn more about Prof. Sasser, his teaching and his thoughts on the Esports industry.  

A selfie of Gidd wearing a black shirt and grey cardigan.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Laid back. I prefer to teach through conversation and short lectures. Being online only unfortunately takes some of the interaction out of the experience.

Can you share a decision that made a tremendous impact on your career path?

Years ago I took a leap of faith by leaving my IT job to pursue a career full-time in Esports. I am now working in academia and with Simplicity Esports, the first NA publicly-traded gaming company.
 

For those who don’t know, what is Esports and how did you get involved?

It’s a p
rofessional competition held using video games — most commonly seen in the form of organized, competitive, multiplayer, team-based video game events played by professional players (salaried, sponsored, contracted) to crown a single victor. 

A promotional banner of an Esports competition with Gidd.

My first run through college, I studied simulations and development (made video games). After working a bit, I returned to a university. I became involved with the Esports program there, going on to several playoff & undefeated seasons. Followed that with some time coaching for the Detroit Renegades and then moved on to Simplicity/Flamengo and academia.
The rest is history.

What is the most challenging aspect of the Esports field?

I think some would say it’s proving to people that Esports is more than just playing video games. For me, making time for yourself is the challenging part. Chances are, you will work with people across the globe, different time zones, and with very small time windows to get things done. Make that time to unwind, it’s essential.
 

How do you ensure your continued growth as a leader in your field?

The industry changes every single day. I’m a believer of keeping an open mind, learning from the past (coaches, players, traditional sports) and adapting it to push the industry in a positive direction.
Non-stop learning, reading, and then putting newfound information/knowledge into practice. 

What is one thing you wish people knew about your academic discipline or your research focus?

This is a billion-dollar industry. It’s going nowhere but up.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photography provided by:
Gidd Sasser

Header photo courtesy of:
Unsplash

Faculty PROFile: Rowan Global Senior Lecturer, Nurse Practitioner Dr. Matthew Kaspar

Matthew works in the facility where he cares for senior patients.

Meet Dr. Matthew Kaspar, who has earned many titles to his name: RN, DNP, MED, MSN, APN and FNP-C. His students know him as senior lecturer and coordinator of Rowan Global’s nurse practitioner programs. His patients know him for his homebound geriatric healthcare practice, which he has run with a physician partner since 2011. Learn more about Dr. Kaspar and how he manages his teaching and nursing positions.

How long have you worked at Rowan?

I started in 2014. 

What do you teach in the nursing program?

I teach the nurse practitioner courses: epidemiology, role of the nurse practitioner and the concentration courses. I generally teach four courses, but I’m a nurse practitioner, I have to practice so many hours per year in order to keep my certification and license, so I get credit for my practice. I get credits also for coordinating the three nurse practitioner programs as well. 

Matthew Kaspar in a facility where he cares for senior patients.

What is your role as nurse practitioner coordinator? 

I arrange student placements [for clinical practice], contracts, background checks, fingerprinting. I vet their preceptors to make sure that they don’t have any marks against their licenses and coordinate affiliation agreements with the clinical sites. 

Is it safe to say nursing at Rowan is a rapidly growing program?

Yes. When we started, we had two master’s concentrations: gerontology acute care nurse practitioner track and family nurse practitioner track. Now we have, in addition to those two, primary mental health nurse practitioner — so now there are three tracks for nurse practitioner — and nurse educator. We’ve grown a lot, and we’ve got a lot still in the pipeline. 

Can you tell us about your students?

Our typical students are seasoned. They already have their bachelor’s degrees in nursing. They’ve been practicing nurses for about three years. They generally work full-time, so the benefit of our program is that it’s predominantly all online, and it allows students to have that family work-life balance where they can work full-time as a registered nurse and then attend classes when it’s convenient for them since most of the classes are online … they can take them when they want to. 

We have students throughout the entire state. We have two or three students who are in North Jersey. They’re all over the place. It’s a real plus for them because they don’t have to spend the hour, two hours driving to campus, they can really just attend class when it’s more convenient for them. 

Can you tell us more about your homebound practice? 

I’ve been doing house calls since 2011. A physician and I started the practice. We generally see older patients, people who can’t get out of the house, we provide primary care services for them. We specialize in bringing services to their house, such as EKGs, labs, ultrasounds, X-rays, so we can do a lot of those primary care-type services for those patients who can’t get out. Somebody’s homebound status could be due to a physical, mental or respiratory disability. My patients generally range from 50s to, my oldest is 104. The practice has grown quite a bit. 

Matthew works inside the senior facility where he cares for patients.

What areas does your practice serve?

Our practice covers Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, parts of Atlantic and possibly parts of Salem and Mercer counties.

How many patients do you have, on average?

I manage about 300 patients. 

Is this you and a team of nurses? Or just you individually?

We manage our own patients regardless of if you’re a physician or a nurse practitioner provider. Just like if you go to your primary care provider, and that’s who you generally see. We do the same thing for our homebound patients. We assign them a provider and you follow that provider. We have our own caseloads. Most providers have a MA, or medical assistant, that goes with them, to help with charting and call box and patient care. I’m the only provider in the practice who doesn’t have one. I generally take students with me from our program … and serve as their preceptor. 

Do Rowan students need that clinical practice as part of their program completion? 

Yes, they’re required to get 600 clinical hours of direct patient time. Their clinical experience has to be done in the advanced practice role, working under either a physician or another nurse practitioner. I don’t know everything, so I like [students] to get exposure from other providers so their teaching instruction is not just done by one person.

I love taking students because not only does it allow me to give back to the community, and give back to nursing, it keeps me sharp, too, because you get some really good questions sometimes. It’s a great way to keep up with evidence-based nursing. 

Matthew smiles outside the senior facility where he cares for patients.

What is one thing you wish people knew about your academic discipline?

Nurses are lifelong learners. I always use the expression that the day you stop learning something is the day you retire. Nursing is constantly evolving and changing, and that’s our only constant is that [things] change so frequently. 

What inspires you to continue teaching?

My first career, I was a middle school science teacher, my first career choice was nursing. I didn’t have the grades to get into nursing, unfortunately. So I taught middle school science for a few years, went back and got my master’s in education, and I kind of focused more on academics, and once I figured out I could do it, I decided to go back to nursing. And after I graduated nursing, it was part of the calling. Nursing does a lot in education in terms of clinical practice. I always wanted to get back into education. And now it’s perfect for me because now I’ve got clinical and I also teach, and I love that marrying of the two disciplines together. 

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My Favorite Class: Bre’Anna Kidd-Smith, Plant Diversity

A stock image of house plants and books.

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

Today we speak to senior Biological Studies major and Africana Studies minor Bre’Anna Kidd-Smith. Bre’Anna is from Gloucester County, NJ. Here, she shares details on her favorite class at Rowan. 

Bre'Anna poses outside.

What was the name of your favorite class at Rowan?

My favorite class at Rowan is Plant Diversity. 

What department was the class in?

Plant Diversity is a class in the Biological Sciences Department.

Who taught the class when you took it?

Dr. Sara Wright was the professor of my section of Plant Diversity.

Tell us a little bit about the class.

This class focuses on the study of numerous plants in regards to their morphology, ecology, physiology, and evolution in addition to the role that human and nonhuman factors have on the diversity of plants.

Bre'Anna poses indoors.

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

This class was interesting because I was able to learn about the evolutionary relationships between the major groups of plants in addition to their characteristics. I also found this class interesting because Dr. Wright, my professor, gave the class a photo journal project that we were able to complete throughout the semester. This assignment gave me an opportunity to not only learn about different plants but also document their characteristics and the environmental factors that they encounter in their daily lives.

What makes this professor great?

Dr. Wright is extremely thorough when talking about plants and provides a lot of visual aids to go along with her lectures. She takes the time to not only create videos that provide students with information on the current topic being taught in class but also incorporate supplemental readings that will explain things even more.

How did this class help to support your academic or personal growth or your professional goals?

This class helped to support my personal growth because I was able to get back in touch with nature by taking time out of each day to get some fresh air. In addition, I now have a fresh perspective and appreciation for life. After taking this class, I’ve also become more compelled to step out of my comfort zone in regards to certain goals that I would like to achieve.

Bre'Anna poses outdoors.

What are your professional goals?

My professional goals are to establish a personal brand within the cosmetic industry and become a business owner.

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

Photos provided by:
Bre’Anna Kidd-Smith, senior biological studies major

My Favorite Class: Cheyenne Smith, Introduction to American Studies

Cheyenne holds a pennant on campus.

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

Today we speak to Cheyenne Smith, a senior Early Childhood Education major with a dual minor in American Studies & Africana Studies from Somerdale, NJ (Camden County). Cheyenne is a transfer student from Camden County College and commutes to campus.

Cheyenne poses outside of James Hall.

What was the name of your favorite class at Rowan?

Introduction to American Studies is my favorite class.

What department was the class in?

The class is in the American Studies Department

Who taught the class when you took it?

Professor Brian Dashefsky was my professor for Introduction to American Studies. 

Tell us a little about what the class is.

In Intro to American studies, we learned about history, but in a new light. This course was an introduction to the history, the people, and the culture of America, and to encourage critical thinking and writing. In addition to this, we learned about the Vietnam war and WWII through different perspectives, in the form of a story from a different point of view and forces you to think critically and change your perspective on it. We learned about how pop culture was developed and who runs pop culture. We looked at ads from the 1950s and old commercials and compared them to today and saw not much change in the approach.

Cheyenne poses on a bench.

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

I loved the material we talked about in class. It was a lot of critical thinking and using the critical eye to observe and reflect. You learn about pop culture and how it was born, view world history in a new light than your typical classes in the past to expand and broaden your perspective.

Is there anything else that made this class impactful?

The project that you have to do at the end of the semester is amazing! I had so much fun doing this. It was incorporating pop culture of today with what we learned over the semester and present it to the class in about a seven-minute presentation. I volunteered to go first because I was that confident in the material I was equipped with to present my project.

What makes this professor great?

Professor Dashefsky is the best professor! Has a great sense of humor, easy-going guy, has easy grades. He may give a pop quiz ONLY if the class is not participating. He likes conversation and equal participation in the class. His approach to the content of the class was unforgettable and made it easy to learn and feel great learning. It almost felt like we weren’t in a lecture but a general educated conversation for three hours! Time flies when you’re having fun with Professor Dashefsky!

How did this class help to support your academic or personal growth or your professional goals?

This class helped me realize that what I’m always taught is not always right and that there are other people in this world who also have feelings. The content and material in the class forced us to change our point of view and place ourselves in other’s shoes.

What are your professional goals?

I want to be a teacher in a public school and hopefully, eventually, work my way up to being the principal, and then get on the board of education to improve and make a change in the world one child at a time.

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Passionate About Inspiring Women in Male-Dominated Field, Talia Tomarchio

Talia poses against a dark background.

Today we speak to Talia Tomarchio, a senior Computer Science major with a minor in neuroscience and an honors concentration. A Burlington County native, Talia is a transfer student from Rowan College at Burlington County, and a first-generation college student who lives off-campus in an apartment. Before COVID-19, she was a tutoring monitor for the computer science department and a front desk assistant. She is also a part of the Association of Computing Machinery’s Committee on Women, and Rowan’s Equestrian Team. Talia is also a winner of Rowan’s 2020 Idea Challenge.

Talia poses against a black backdrop.

What wakes you up in the morning?

Two things. One would be helping others. I really want to inspire women to be comfortable in a male-dominated industry. My other passion would probably be neuroscience, the subject I’m studying for my minor. I want to eventually get a job to take artificial intelligence or machine learning and integrate it with neuroscience and help the world that way. It’s a stretch, but my goal is to find a way to positively help people’s mental health through computer science. I would love to do that. That is my ultimate goal in life. Maybe I could analyze behavior patterns or create an app to help mental health. I am not sure exactly what I would do, but that is what I want to contribute to society.

How would you tell a fellow student interested in your major that they’re choosing a worthwhile field?

I think Computer Science is growing to be one of the largest majors at Rowan. We’re also accredited by the Computing Accreditation Committee of ABET. I really like the computer science department at Rowan because you know all your professors, so you don’t feel uncomfortable going to them. I think that computer science is a worthwhile degree to earn because there are so many options for fields to go into. For example, there are fields such as cybersecurity, data science, and artificial intelligence. There are many paths a computer science graduate can go down, and the degree is always going to be valuable.

What inspired you to know that you were in the right major for you?

I’ve always wanted to go into computer science, even as a little kid. I have always been good with computers. I wasn’t pushed toward the field, I just enjoy it. Nobody in my family ever had a technical background either.  I always wished I could learn how to program or code or become a software engineer, but I never had the confidence to do it. I traveled for a little while after my first year of college, and then I decided to “go for it” after I returned. I think that the support from the computer science department faculty at Rowan really helped me build my confidence. 

Talia poses against a black backdrop.

Has there been a faculty or staff member that’s really helped you to connect with the next step for your career?

The first one would be Dr. Anthony Breitzman, the Data Science Coordinator for the Computer Science Department. I performed research with him this semester on analyzing Myers-Briggs personality types through Twitter tweets. When you do research, you usually are a graduate student. I was a little intimidated because I was an undergrad, but Dr. Breitzman reassured me contrary to my perfectionist mentality, that I don’t have to know everything right now and that I will always be learning even after I graduate. I also asked him for career advice, on what kind of career path options I could go down.  Working with him really helped build my confidence. 

The second person would be Dr. Kristen diNovi, the Assistant Dean of the Honor’s College. She has been so supportive of me for all of my endeavors, and so helpful every time I asked her for advice. She connected me with Dr. Susana Santos and the Entrepreneurship Department in the Rohrer College of Business. They helped me grow Steminist Squad, my nonprofit organization that won the 2020 Rowan Idea Challenge. 

How was your transition into Rowan?

My first time going to college, I went to Rutgers out of high school. Then, I took some time off and I traveled the country. I lived in Florida and on the West Coast for a bit, and then I came back and decided to finish school. I am a bit older than the average undergraduate student, but I feel that it made me take my studies more seriously.  The transition to Rowan was really great. At first, I was a bit overwhelmed because I wanted to be involved in everything. I tried to take on more clubs and activities and classes than I could handle, but I overcame it with the support of the Computer Science Department faculty and staff. Micheal Schillo, my advisor, and Dr. Jennifer Kay, a professor in the department, told me it is okay to slow down. With their support, I was able to realize that I did not need to be involved in every single club and activity. From that experience, my advice to other students that feel overwhelmed is to seek support and utilize your resources, because they are there at Rowan, and know that it’s OK if you are not perfect.

Why Rowan?

I think it goes back to the fact that everyone knows everyone here. At first, I wanted to go to a big school, but I felt like I was just a number there. Rowan’s faculty to student ratio is perfect for me. I can get personalized help or tutoring or raise my hand in class at Rowan. I like the small school feeling at Rowan, even though Rowan isn’t small.

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

Photos provided by:
Talia Tomarchio, senior computer science major

#PROFspective: Chemistry Major Conducting COVID Research, Phillip Lakernick

Phillip standing outside.

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

#PROFspective: Jazz Studies Major Luis Ozoria

Luis standing outside of WiIlson hall with his trumpet.

Today we feature first-generation college student Luis Ozoria, a senior Jazz studies major from Galloway (Atlantic County).  Luis has been a part of the jazz band, wind ensemble, some time in the orchestra, small jazz ensembles, Rowan brass band and the choir. Why did you choose your major? I always knew I wanted to go […]

#PROFSpective: Civil and Environmental Engineering Major Muhammad Akhtar

Muhammad standing in front of a pond.

Today we feature first-generation college student Muhammad Akhtar, a senior Civil and Environmental Engineering major. Muhammad is involved in the Rowan American Society of Civil Engineers (Mentorship Chair), Rowan Muslim Student Association (Secretary), Rowan Racquetball (Active Member) and outside of school works as a Structural Engineering intern at HNTB and is a Big Brother with […]

#PROFspective: NASA Grant Recipient Emilio Vega

Emilio standing outside of the Science building.

Today we feature Emilio Vega, a senior Physics major with a minor in math and a certificate of undergraduate study in health physics from Monroe, NJ (Middlesex County). Emilio talks about his research and his time here at Rowan. Why did you choose your major? I first fell in love with physics when I was […]

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Psychology Major Caitlin Morales

Caitlin standing outside of the library.

Today we speak to Psychology major Caitlin Morales, who also minors in Human Resources Management. Caitlin is from Chesterfield, NJ (Burlington County) and transferred from Kean University. She shares with us her experience in her major and why she enjoys being a student at Rowan. How would you tell a fellow student interested in your […]

#PROFspective: Brett Mayer, An EMT At Rowan EMS

Brett poses next to a tree.

Today we speak with senior Law & Justice Studies and Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management double major Brett Mayer. Brett is an EMT at Rowan EMS. He also lives on campus and works as a resident assistant in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments. Brett is from Manalapan, NJ (Monmouth County). 

Brett poses next to some trees.

Are there any professors you feel are a visionary in your field? 

Definitely. Dr. Stanley Yeldell in the Law and Justice Studies department, and Dr. Demond Miller in the Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management department. They both send their students job opportunities, and, especially senior year, it is important to look at all the opportunities and try to line up jobs. They have both been big helpers with my internship. They also both gave me a lot of help along the way with helping me decide what courses I should take, and helping me maximize my education. 

What career field do you see yourself in after graduation?

As of now, I am still deciding, but I am thinking of going into the Law and Justice field and becoming a police officer, or something in emergency management. 

Brett poses in front of the student center and sits at a table.

Why did you choose your majors?

I chose my majors because of being an EMT. I knew I wanted to be in the emergency response field, whether that’s the police or EMS. I figured, I love it so much, why not study something in that field? I had an interest in it, and I was already working in the field, so I thought I might as well study it.

How do you feel that your field impacts the world? 

Especially today, a lot is going on in the world. Especially in the Law and Justice and police area specifically. The Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management side definitely impacts the world, because disasters happen all the time, and the emergency managers are the people who handle those disasters. Someone is needed to run operations when there is a disaster or big storm, and these events are always going to happen. There is not only job security, but the field has a great impact on the world. 

Brett poses against the wall of the student center.

What would you share with a future student that was interested in one of your majors? 

Get involved within the major. Law and Justice has a few clubs, one that I know of is the Criminal Justice Preparation Club. In clubs related to your major, you can meet other people in your major, discuss job opportunities. It is a great way to meet other people in your major, as well as get ready for your future. 

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

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Michael Grabowy “You Put Heart into This School, You Get Heart Back”

Michael sitting on a stone outside.

Today we feature senior Michael Grabowy, an adult learner double major in Physical Education and Health Studies from Vineland, NJ (Cumberland County). Michael transferred to Rowan from Cumberland County College.  Tell me about your experience at Rowan. I love Rowan. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be here. All of the students and faculty here. With […]

History Majors, Professors Suggest Historical Sights to Visit Over Winter Break

Building at Arlington National Cemetery.

Today we feature History majors and their professors, who suggest historical sites to visit over winter break. 

The statue of liberty.
Statue of Liberty

Kaan Aktas, a senior education and history double major from Fairview, NJ (Bergen County), is a transfer student from Bergen County Community College and a first-generation college student. He recommends that Rowan students visit the Statue of Liberty, or Ellis Island, because “Ellis Island has the Immigration Museum, which is also indoors and can get pretty empty during the wintertime. The Statue of Liberty is very beautiful and breathtaking. It shows the relationship between France and the U.S., and also the importance of immigration to our country.”

Anthony poses against a backdrop, wearing a suit and tie
Anthony Raisley

Anthony Raisley, a senior history major with minors in international studies, entrepreneurship, and new media studies and a CUGS in Italian, is from Middletown, NJ (Monmouth County). He also recommends that Rowan students visit Ellis Island, as well as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Transit Museum, American Museum of Natural History. He says “Much of what’s at these museums I feel that even if you are not a history major you can relate to and learn.” He also tells us about his favorite museum or historical site. “Ellis Island is my favorite. All of my great grandparents came to the United States from Italy through Ellis Island. It was very impactful to see the sight first hand and what other immigrants coming to the United States went through, and how immigration has enriched New York City, and the U.S. today.”

Jen poses in front of a mirror.
Jen Gruberg

Jen Gruberg, a senior history major with minors in education and international studies is from West Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County). She recommends visiting the James and Ann Whitall House Museum and Red Bank Battlefield. She says “The Whitall House sits on the side of the Delaware River and was a private plantation since 1748. It was used as a field hospital in 1777 during the American Revolution. It’s now a museum and park in Red Bank, NJ. My favorite part about the park is the artifacts left in the trenches and in the house itself. There are cannons, cannonballs, anchors, and medical equipment, but unfortunately due to COVID, you can only see things that are outside of the house.” She also tells us about her favorite museum or historical site. “It’s so hard to pick a favorite, but my favorite museum or historical site I’ve visited would be the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I’ve been there a handful of times and I’m always in shock of the sheer beauty of the place.”

A photo from the Morris Arboretum.
The Morris Arboretum

Connor Hoagland, a senior history major with a minor in French from Mount Holly, NJ (Burlington County), is a transfer student from Rowan College at Burlington County. They recommend visiting the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, or the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. They say: “Both of these places are primarily outdoors. I like the arboretum since it’s one of the last of its kind remaining, and I’ve been there a few times when I was younger. The Grounds for Sculpture has some really impressive works of art and it’s fun to just explore.” They also tell us about their favorite museum or historical site. “My favorite historical site would have to be Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The free tour and the knowledge that the country was literally founded in that building was pretty nice. History has always been my strongest subject, and I’ve always had an interest in the revolution, especially since it pretty much happened in my own backyard.”

Bobby poses next to a cannon at the Museum of the American Revolution.

Bobby Scott a senior secondary education major with history subject matter, is from Elk Township, NJ (Gloucester County). He recommends students visit the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, or the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. He says “Each of these museums or locations show true insight into what life was truly like for people who have through trying times of history, or pay remembrance to the sacrifices that others have made in service to their nation in the hopes of bringing freedom to others.” He also tells us about his favorite museum or historical site. “Pearl Harbor was perhaps the most significant sight I have ever visited, however, it is quite a distance from Rowan University and sadly out of reach for many college students. Arlington holds an even more impactful memory upon me, as seeing the thousands of graves of those who selflessly gave their lives for their friends and their country. Pictures cannot capture the emotions, and words are difficult to choose that convey the emotion and overwhelming presence of such a place. The Holocaust Museum, which is only a short distance from Arlington, gives a truly personal account of the horrors that Jews and other minorities were forced to endure during some of the darkest days of the twentieth century. Many who walk out of there are often in tears, as they finally come face to face with the odds that men, women, and children had to go up against. Each of these locations can often take even those who find history a dull and boring affair, and can turn it into a life-altering experience.”

Dr. Kelly Duke Bryant, history professor, recommends that students visit The Newark Museum of Art. She says “I teach African history, and this museum has a wonderful collection of African art. They are currently featuring the “Arts of Global Africa” in a special exhibition. Even if you can’t go in person due to distance or the pandemic, the online exhibition is worth a look. ” She also tells us about her favorite museum or historical site. “The National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian) is my favorite museum. I visited this museum a number of years ago, shortly after it opened, and was impressed by the range of historical artifacts on display and the complexity (and honesty) of the historical narrative presented. The building itself is gorgeous, too.”

George Washington's house in Philadelphia as shared by Dr. Emily Blanck.
George Washington’s house in Philadelphia.

Dr. Emily Blanck, history professor, recommends that students visit the Harleigh Cemetery in Camden/Collingswood (Camden County), Historic Germantown (Philadelphia), and Washington’s House (Philadelphia). She says “These two off-the-beaten-path destinations have interesting aspects. I love Walt Whitman, and in the COVID environment, it is good to stay outdoors. Bundle up and go visit Walt Whitman and many other souls in Harleigh Cemetery in Camden. It is one of the oldest with lots of prominent folks with interesting headstones. Historic Germantown is great because they have worked to engage with the past of slavery as well as feature important elite homes. There are many small and medium historical sites here, and they’re not well-trod, so the chance that you’ll be in a crowded indoor space is slim. The Johnson House is especially a gem, but there are a couple of small museums dedicated to understanding and remembering the black experience too. Another COVID-friendly outdoor spot is Washington’s House near Liberty Pavillon in Philadelphia. It is just the frame of the house and it focuses on the interpretation of George Washington’s slaves when he was President. Great stories and it’s really accessible. ” She also tells us about her favorite museum or historical site. “I can go on the Independence Hall tour over and over. I don’t know why. I like hearing the different interpretations from the rangers and hearing the outlandish stories folks have about America’s founding.”

Dr. Hague poses at a book signing for his first book.
Dr. Hague at a book signing for his first book that he wrote. One of the sites he recommends, the Stenton Historic House, is featured extensively throughout the book.

Dr. Steven Hague, history professor, recommends that students visit The Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA; the Wharton Esherick Museum in Malvern, PA, and Stenton historic house in Philadelphia. He says “As a former museum director I would suggest three great and very cool hidden gem museums in the Delaware Valley: The Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA; the Wharton Esherick Museum in Malvern, PA, and the Stenton Historic House in Philadelphia. Imagine a giant concrete castle built as a museum filled with objects from the early time of America, everything from a whaleboat hanging from the ceiling to a gallows. Chock-a-block filled with great stuff. That is the Mercer Museum. Wharton Esherick was an American artist who worked in wood and built his own house. Quirky, fun, and absolutely worth the visit. Call ahead. The Stenton Historic House is one of the best-preserved 18th-century historic sites anywhere. Off the beaten path with remarkable collections and history. And a Rowan grad runs their award-winning educational programs!” He also tells us about his favorite museum or historical site. “There are so many (in addition to the regional ones mentioned above): Art Museum: The Louvre in Paris – stunning – with a close honorable mention for the Met in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is world-class. Historic site: two houses – Beauport, a rambling house filled with amazing collections, in Gloucester, MA. Similarly, Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. Both were put together by quirky, eccentric individuals with lots of flair.”

Dr. Dack poses outdoors.

Dr. Mikkel Dack, history professor, recommends students visit The German Resistance Memorial Center. He says “The memorial’s (virtual) permanent exhibition provides extensive documentation of the motives, aims, and forms of the fight against the Nazi Dictatorship. This is an important topic of German and WWII history that most students are unfamiliar with.” 

Denis Long, a senior history major with a minor in American Studies, is from Point Pleasant, NJ (Ocean County). They recommend that Rowan students visit the Monmouth Battlefield in Freehold, New Jersey. They say “While I’m not sure if its Visitors Center will be open, Monmouth Battlefield in Freehold, New Jersey is a beautiful, scenic location filled with historical significance to the American Revolution. Since its Visitors Center is likely closed, I recommend reading up on the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse beforehand, it’s a really wonderful piece of American history!  I’ve been going there most 4th of Julys ever since I was young. I have many great memories there of traversing the fields and Comb’s Hill with my family, taking in the history. I also did research on the battle that I presented for an undergraduate research workshop at Penn early this year and to be able to spread my love for this event makes it even dearer to my heart.” They also tells us about their favorite museum or historical site. “Besides from Monmouth Battlefield, Ellis Island struck a chord when I visited it last summer. It was a beautiful museum packed with information and stories about immigration to the United States that helped show the importance of immigrants and diversity to this nation. People of all races, ethnicities, and other walks of life were there and to see people come together to learn about all of this honestly made me emotional.”

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

Photos of Morris Arboretum and the Statue of Liberty and header photo courtesy of:
Unsplash

5 Things I’ve Learned as a Radio/Television/Film Major

Today we spotlight Max M. Morgan, a senior Radio/Television/Film (RTF) major from Marlton, NJ. Max reflects on 5 game-changing skills he’s developed while at Rowan University.

Max wears a Rowan t-shirt and holds a yellow guitar.
Author Max M. Morgan
  1. How to write a script.

As a senior looking back, the screenwriting courses really stood out to me, and helped me develop an initial method to approach any type of production and maximize the value. Also, the in-class discussions and critiques helped me fine-tune my vision and develop new perspectives, which instilled in me the importance of listening to other voices.   

  1. How to capture any subject on camera.

Another course of great importance to me was Film Production, in which learning the process of how professional video production works is invaluable. I had no idea how much is involved before I enrolled at Rowan, like the different types of camera lenses, how to stylize an image to give a certain look and feel, color correcting, and the different types of microphones. All of this enabled me to showcase my work and add to my personal portfolio. 

RTF students film outside Bozorth Hall.
RTF students film outside Bozorth Hall (spring 2018).

  1. How to edit/score a production.

Any one of these software programs are really intimidating to a first-time user, but with Rowan’s access to free Adobe Creative Cloud programs for students, it gives hands-on experience with today’s cutting-edge technology. The most common software programs I’ve mastered here are Adobe Premiere, Adobe Photoshop and Logic Pro X. 

A RTF student edits video.
A RTF student edits video.
  1. How to create custom graphics in Photoshop.

Intro to New Media and Foundations of Media are courses that have given me useful experience in Photoshop, creating unique graphics, lower thirds, etc., in a very easy-to-understand, digestible way. Photoshop is an invaluable tool in my arsenal; being able to turn average photos into amazing ones, extracting precise elements from an image, being able to piece together and make something new and exciting!                    

  1. How to develop a voice.

Podcasting and Media Performance Techniques classes have really helped me develop my voice and communication skills that translate in everyday life, and have given me the confidence I wish I had years ago. The voice is the most practical thing I’ve developed here at Rowan, and I am using what I have learned everyday already.  

Author Max wears a Rowan shirt and holds a yellow guitar.

I feel that Rowan has helped me grow so much, not only in my field, but as a young adult, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a Prof!! Furthermore, I’d like to give a shout-out to some extraordinary instructors who shared their own talents and experiences to enrich my own learning. Thank you!

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Story and author photos by:
Max M. Morgan, senior Radio/Television/Film major











Julia’s Corner: How to Connect with your Professors

a photo of julia sitting outside the Rec Center

Headshot of Julia, who is smiling and has long blond hair.Recent grad Julia McAleavey shares guidance through this advice column for incoming students. A student with well-rounded experience, Julia earned a bachelor’s in advertising this spring. She transferred to Rowan her sophomore year, after another school wasn’t a great fit. While at Rowan she started as an exploratory studies major, unsure of what to major in. She’s lived both on campus and off campus, held student worker jobs and internships, and participated in clubs and sports.

College professors. Some are great, some are not so great. Your relationship with professors will likely be different than it was with teachers growing up. Think of it this way, have you ever texted any of your teachers from high school? My guess is probably not. Believe it or not, texting professors, among other things, are pretty normal in a college environment. Some connections you build with your professors might last you a lifetime, and might get you that connection that lands you a job. Here are some ways to connect with the professors that you will have in college. student and professor

Speak up in class: As you likely already know, hiding in the back of the class, not saying a word the entire time, is not going to get you noticed by anybody. Participating in class is the first step to getting noticed by a professor. The good thing about Rowan is that since classes are somewhat small, professors will learn your name quickly. However, you have to speak up, or they will forget all about you. 

Ask for advice: This could be before or after class, or during their office hours (which I highly recommend taking advantage of). If you have questions on the lecture or an assignment, seeing the professor on extra hours is a given. However, you may even have questions about how to fix your resume, or how you should dress for a networking event. These are all things professors want to help you with, and ultimately, this is how you will build that relationship with them. Faculty and student laugh together.

Go to extra events they may have: Whether it be extra study sessions or club meetings they’re in charge of, they are more than likely to have some kind of extra meeting throughout the semester. Going to these events will help you to get to know the professor on a more professional level, rather than just as a student. You may learn about some real-world connections they have that might interest you. Plus, it is something to help build your resume up. Student puts his hand on his professor's shoulder.

College is a time where all kinds of connections and relationships are made. However, having a good relationship with a professor can go a long way. They might be the one to write you that letter of recommendation that lands you your dream job. Getting close with professors is definitely worth it, and Rowan makes it easy with smaller class sizes. Don’t be shy if you have a question about something. Staying after to talk to the professor might just be the start of that professional relationship. 

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Story by
Julia McAleavey, advertising graduate

#PROFspective: Junior Physics Major Reinaldo Vázquez Jr.

Today we feature Reinaldo Vázquez Jr., a junior Physics major and Mathematics minor from Paulsboro, NJ (Gloucester County) who has an off-campus rental. 

What clubs are you a part of on campus? I am the Vice President/Treasurer of Queer People of Color (QPOC).

Reinaldo with the Queer People of Color club.Tell us about one club, organization, or group of friends that make you feel like Rowan is home. Queer People of Color, or QPOC, is a multicultural and LGBTQ+ support group on campus. I spent the last two semesters as Treasurer and Vice President with the goal of making QPOC a diverse community free of ignorance and judgment. I know every meeting that all of our members are going to feel safe expressing themselves and speaking what’s on their minds.

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you? When I came to Rowan almost two years ago, I was with a different major. I worked in the department, but it wasn’t a good fit for me. I felt disconnected and isolated, and I carried that feeling with me for my entire first semester anytime I entered the building. It wasn’t until I met my best friend, partner, and the President-to-be of QPOC, Jahnaya, at the start of the spring semester that I started to feel welcome at Rowan. Naya helped create an environment where I could feel comfortable, and proud, of who I am and does the same for everyone she meets.

Reinaldo at a Queer People of Color event.
Jahnaya and Reinaldo hosting a bake sale table for QPOC at the Student Center

What’s your favorite thing about your typical Monday at Rowan? QPOC meetings were always the best way to unwind at the end of a long day. Since the meetings were on my “off day,” I would do homework all day and then spend a couple of hours catching up with everyone else.

Reinaldo in nature.What is one thing about Rowan that was a happy surprise for you? As a native of South Jersey, I had the opportunity to see Rowan University as it grew over the years. I can remember when the Nexus Apartments were home to Glassboro residents and Holly Pointe Commons and Rowan Boulevard were still just expansion plans for a small-town college. I came to Rowan primarily out of convenience but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is still growing every year, both in students and new projects like the one happening right now on 322. And despite this rapid growth, Rowan has managed to keep students closely engaged with campus life.

Describe for us an experience you’ve shared with a professor or staff member in which you felt like they truly cared about your wellbeing. My Physics professor Dr. Carol Guess is hands-down my favorite professor thus far. Whenever I needed help, whether it was for her class or just guidance during a difficult time, her office door was open. When I wanted to change my major from Engineering, it was thanks to her help in class that I knew Physics would be a better fit for me, and it was thanks to her guidance outside of class that I was able to make the change.

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