#PROFspective: A Closer Look At PULLA Tracker and its Founder Siena Rampulla

Rowan University Psychology major Siena stands underneath the art installation Time Sweeps by Discovery Hall.

Siena Rampulla is a senior student here at Rowan University, originally from Holmdel, NJ (Monmouth County). Siena is a Psychology major, with an honors concentration and a minor in Journalism.  When asked to share more about her major, Siena explained she originally planned to go on the pre-med track, which was a long-term dream of […]

Second-Generation Rowan Engineering Student Lives Her Legacy

Abigail Cassino sits in a daffodil patch.

September 1996: long before Abigail Cassino was even a thought in her parents’ minds, the foundation was laid for her future legacy. Her parents, Theresa (Gouker) and Chris, met as first-year students at Rowan, part of the first engineering class. Theresa lived in Evergreen Hall; Chris in Mimosa Hall. They met, fell in love, studied alongside one another and graduated with degrees in chemical engineering (Theresa) and civil engineering (Chris). 

September 2023: Abigail stepped on campus as a first-year student majoring in mechanical engineering, embarking on her legacy as only the second Rowan University second-generation engineering student.

Neither she, nor her parents, knew of Abigail’s unique distinction at that time. Abigail Cassino leans against a wall with a reflection of herself bouncing off the wall.

Almost one year ago, Abigail and her parents first toured Rowan, visiting from their home in Maryland. Her parents were wowed by the changes, namely the presence of Rowan Boulevard and the second engineering building, Rowan Hall. Neither existed when they graduated in 2000.

Rowan University was the clear choice for Abigail. “When we toured the engineering building my parents saw several professors they still knew, and the professors still remembered them. They said ‘see that’s what you get here, professors who actually know you for you and who care about your success.'”

Theresa and Abigail Cassino smile in front of a #RowanPROUD sign at Homecoming.
Abigail (right) and her mom, Theresa, being #RowanPROUD at Homecoming.

Though Abigail did not originally set out to major in engineering, having a mom who is your best friend – and also a Ph.D. chemical engineer – has a way of influencing you. “My mom is the one who started it all,” Abigail says. “She is my greatest role model. She is the one who said to give it a shot and apply. And I really do like it.”

Over Abigail’s childhood, she witnessed her parents’ careers grow and blossom from their Rowan roots. The family moved as Theresa and Chris pursued new opportunities. “It was hugely influential,” says Abigail. “I saw them go through tough times, and good times, and how to roll with those changes.”Abigail Cassino sniffs a daffodil in a field.

Being a woman studying in a field heavily dominated by men, Abigail understands it can be challenging for women starting out in STEM. “Women bring something to the table. We have a lot to say,” says Abigail. “Honestly, having more women in this environment makes it a little less intimidating. We really have to work to make our voices heard, which takes effort considering you’re outnumbered.” 

Abigail found that Rowan’s commitment to diversity and inclusion was also evident outside of the classroom. “There are a lot of groups centered around underrepresented groups in STEM,” she says. “I am in the Society of Women Engineers. It’s a good opportunity to talk with other people in the field and learn from them.” 

Abigail has found resources on campus that have helped her succeed. “My advisor in engineering has been amazing,” she says. “As well as being in the engineering learning community [in Holly Pointe Commons.] The engineering department in general is really good with providing resources if you’re having trouble with mental health or school. There is a really big support network here.”Abigail Cassino casually leans on stair railing while smiling.

As she wraps up her first year, Abigail is eager about what’s to come. This semester she joined her mother’s sorority, Theta Phi Alpha, continuing her Rowan legacy in a non-academic fashion. “There’s so much I am excited for,” she says. “I would like to study abroad and I’m really looking forward to my new position as co-sponsorship coordinator with Rowan After Hours (RAH).”

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Story by: Sean Humphrey, senior public relations major
Adeline McDonald

Photos by: Valentina Giannattasio

From High School to Showbiz and Back Again: Rowan Alum Janine Edmonds Tells All on Her Career as a Guidance Counselor

Janine poses in front of a mural.

Today we feature Janine Edmonds, a graduate of Rowan University’s class of 2001 with a degree in Radio/Television/Film and a 2006 graduate of Rowan’s M.A. In Counseling Educational Settings program. Here, Edmonds tells us about her path returning to higher education and her experience as a guidance counselor for Oakcrest High School. Did you always […]

#PROFspective: Student Leader Fadi Khan Says “This is Only the Beginning”

Biological Sciences major Fadi Khan wears sunglasses against a nighttime sky at Holly Pointe Commons.

Today we feature student leader Fadi Khan (he/him) of Pleasantville, NJ (Atlantic County). Fadi is a senior Biological Sciences major and lives on campus in Holly Pointe Commons, where he is also a Community Assistant. A first-generation college student, Fadi shares with us his perspectives on life, his major, and getting the most out of […]

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

Lanasia stands outside the Rohrer College of Business building.

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

#PROFspective: An Introduction to Tammy Nguyen, Leadership and Social Innovation Major

Rowan Leadership and Social Innovation major Tammy stands in front of James Hall.

Today we feature Tammy Nguyen, a junior in Rowan University’s College of Education. Tammy, of Camden County, NJ, majors in Leadership and Social Innovation and is also pursuing a Certificate of Undergraduate Study (CUGS) in Access, Success, & Equity for Educational Innovation. Please share an “aha!” moment you’ve had within your major that made you […]

Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective: Law & Justice, Psychology Double Major Katerine A. on Not Hiding Her “Personality, Culture or Heritage”

Top of Bunce Hall with a blue sky background.

Today, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, we feature Junior Katerine A. (she/her) from Bronx County, New York. Katerine is double majoring in Law & Justice Studies and Psychology. She discusses her Rowan experience, staying true to herself, and gives advice to future students. What is your student experience here at Rowan? […]

What Hispanic Heritage Month Means for Jeremy Arias

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was the transition like transferring into Rowan? 

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

Why did you choose to major in Finance? 

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

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

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

What have you enjoyed the most about Rowan so far? 

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

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

Could you tell us a bit more about your Fraternity? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremy is throwing peace signs and smiling at the camera.

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

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

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

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

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

Could you tell us a bit about your hispanic heritage?

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

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

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

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

What does being Hispanic mean to you? 

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

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

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

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

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

What are your favorite parts about your Hispanic heritage? 

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

How has your heritage influenced your identity as a person? 

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

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

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

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

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

    Zara poses outside on campus.

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

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

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

    What are your career goals?

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

    Portrait of Zara outside.

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

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

    Why did you choose to study at Rowan?

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

    Are you involved in any clubs or organizations?

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

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

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

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

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

    Zara poses outside on campus.

    How are these experiences contributing to your development?

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

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

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

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

    Photos courtesy of:
    Zara Capone

    Meet #Rowan2026: Incoming Profs from the Colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences, Education

    Image of prof statue near Robinson and James Halls.

    Today we welcome incoming first year students from the College of Education and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Rowan University. Haley Hill (she/they) is from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County) and will be living on campus as an Education and History major. Gianna Burgio (she/her) is also from Williamstown, NJ and will be […]

    Passing the Torch: How Tiana Howard Made the Most of Her Time at Rowan

    Tiana poses in the garden.

    Looking back at these past four years, first-generation college student Tiana Howard from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County) is grateful for her time at Rowan.

    Tiana throws her cap in front of the Rowan arch.

    I want to say that Rowan has shaped not only my four years since I’ve been here, but the rest of my life. I think it was a great experience as a whole,” she says.

    Tiana looks back at who she was as a high school senior and advises her to love herself. She ended up as a Communication Studies major with concentrations in honors and rhetorical criticism.

    “I felt that coming into Rowan, I had to change who I was and create a personality for myself that was different from who I was. I switched my major five times, trying to fit into what society tells us we’re supposed to do after we graduate. But, I ended up majoring in Communication Studies and finding something that I loved when I was true to myself. So, I would just tell her to love herself and be content with who she is.”

    She reflects on the best way she found to make friends. 

    “The summer before my freshman year, I met many friends at the Pre-College Institute through the ASCEND program. While at Rowan, I found that meeting friends was easier when I was in a club or at an on-campus activity.”

    Tiana shows off her graduation cords and stoles in a garden.

    Although she had to say goodbye to her clubs, Tiana enjoyed the festivities that came with it. 

    “My favorite moment of being involved on campus is probably at the end of my senior year when every single club or organization that you’re a part of gives out the stoles or cords and you get mini graduation ceremonies. Even though saying goodbye is sad, it’s really great to just be in a community with all the people that you’ve been with for four years. They wish you well for the future.”

    Tiana was involved with many clubs and organizations on campus, including being part of Strong Tower Family, president of Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Incorporated, and being an Admissions Ambassador

    Tiana is looking forward to her internship over the summer with the ASCEND Office as an Interpersonal Counselor. She is hoping to start a dual master’s degree program in social work and public health in the fall.

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

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

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

    Shirley poses in a garden.

    Shirley looks back at how she made friends on campus.

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

    Shirley advises her high school self to take risks.

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

    Shirley poses outside of Bunce Hall.

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

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

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

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

    Shirley poses in front of the Rowan arch.

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

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

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

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

    #PROFspective: Senior Health and Physical Education Major, Cheerleader Gianna Moyer

    Today we feature Gianna Moyer, a senior Health and Physical Education major. Gianna is from Glendora, NJ (Camden County) and a first generation college studentShe discusses her major and goes into detail about her involvement in cheerleading and other extracurriculars around campus.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    I am a Health and Physical Education major. That being said, I was inspired to choose this major because I grew up loving sports, dancing and cheerleading. That made me develop a love for exercise. Being a college cheerleader, it has inspired me to have a passion for coaching, which is also a big part of my major.

    What is something interesting thing that you’ve learned in a class this semester?

    In class this semester, something I personally learned in Teaching Concepts of Secondary PE II is how physical education is taught in three different domains. These domains are Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor. Teaching in the Cognitive domain is the knowledge the student should know and understand during the when the lesson is being taught. The Affective Domain describes the student’s feelings, perceptions and attitude while teaching. Lastly, teaching in the Psychomotor Domain is how the students are moving or the movement of the body.

    Gianna Moyer standing in front of the Rowan Athletics Team House.
    Gianna Moyer outside the Rowan Athletics Team House

    What does a typical day in the life look like for you?

    A typical Wednesday for me consists of waking up around 9 a.m. and going to the gym. I have to go to the gym twice a week for cheerleading, so I get in 20 minutes of cardio and a good amount of weightlifting. Next I come home around 10:30 and eat breakfast, which is normally a breakfast burrito, which is my favorite. Then I shower and get ready to do some school work around noon. Then I do some homework from 12-2 and eat a quick snack after. Then I drive to school around 2:45 to get to my 3:30 class. I then spend 3:30-4:45 in my Clinical Observation class, which is a class that observes teaching. Next I have a 15 minute break and then I go to another class, which is K-12 Health and Physical Education Curriculum and Instruction from 5-6:15. After this class I have about 45 minutes to go grab a snack and then I come back to campus for practice. I then have cheerleading practice from 7:30-9:30 p.m. After practice I am finally able to go home, eat dinner, shower and go to sleep for the night.

    Is there a certain club or organization that you are involved with at that makes Rowan feel like home?

    A club where I feel at home is Cheerleading. Although Cheerleading is a club sport, my team treats it like we are athletics. We are doing stuff all year long to try and make our team successful such as team bonding, practices, community service, fundraising, cheering basketball games, cheering football games, and lastly competing together.

    This club feels like home because of the amount of friendships and experiences I have gained. I am so lucky to be the President and Captain for this season.

    Gianna Moyer posing outside Richard Wackar Stadium.

    What are some academic clubs, social clubs and extracurriculars that you are involved in?

    I am involved with a few different things around campus. I am part of the Cheerleading Club, Health and Physical Education Club, and the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority.

    Do you hold any jobs on or off-campus?

    Off-campus I work at the Scotland Run Golf Club as a snack-shop attendant and a beverage cart girl. 

    Gianna Moyer at Richard Wackar Stadium.

    Like what you see?


    Story by: 
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    #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 […]

    #PROFspective: Psychology Major, Psi Sigma Phi Multicultural Fraternity Member Zyaire Harkins

    Zyaire stands outside James Hall.

    Today we speak to junior Psychology major Zyaire Harkins of Willingboro, NJ (Burlington County). Zyaire shares his PROFspective on campus activities, service opportunities in Greek life and his future professional goals. What inspired you to choose your major? I chose psychology during high school. I feel that the mental health field is very undervalued, and […]

    A Day in the Life of Communication Studies Major, Admissions Ambassador Coordinator Tiana Howard

    Tiana poses in front of a wooded area.

    Today we speak to Tiana Howard, a senior Communication Studies major with concentrations in Rhetorical Criticism and Honors. A first-generation college student from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County), Tiana is president of her sorority, Mu Sigma Upsilon, and a member of Rowan’s EOF program. Tiana works as an Ambassador Coordinator for Rowan Admissions, and she also […]

    Alumni Success: Byron Bustos Tells It All!

    Byron holds a Rowan University flag.

    Today we feature Byron Bustos, a 1999 graduate of Rowan’s Political Science program. Originally from North Jersey, Byron details his journey to Rowan, how he joined his fraternity and how it led him down a path he didn’t know he’d be taking.

    When did you graduate from Rowan and what clubs, organizations or activities were you a part of?

    I graduated from Rowan University in spring of 1999. I graduated as SGA [Student Government Association] President. I was also a resident assistant, and I worked with the Admissions Office as an Ambassador. I was in the United Latino Association, a member of my fraternity Lambda Theta Phi, BOCO which was the Borough of Cultural Organizations, the student activities board, the Political Science Association, Rowan Christian Fellowship, and Greek Council. I’m sure I was involved in other things throughout the years, but that’s what I can remember. 

    What have you been up to since graduating from Rowan?

    Right from Rowan, I went straight to grad school at Seton Hall University to get my master’s in Public Administration. I got my undergraduate degree in Political Science so I knew I wanted to work in the government but I didn’t know which aspect of it. I was also contemplating becoming a guidance counselor since I got my certification in Secondary Education at Rowan as well. After Seton Hall, I was offered a job in DC with the Office of the Inspector General for postal service. I did 19 years with that agency. This past January, I was promoted to the Director for the General Service Administration of the Office of the Inspector General (GSAOIG) .

    Byron holds a Rowan flag while sitting on a flight of stairs.
    Byron Bustos

    I became the national president for my fraternity. I then became the executive director for my fraternity. I was elected to be the President of the school board in my hometown of Passaic, New Jersey. I’ve been involved with different cultural and political organizations as well. I started the New Jersey Young Professionals Organization. Then I moved to Maryland about five years ago, and I’m just as busy here. I’m currently the president of the Homeowners Association.

    I also started the Urbana Latino Festival after feeling like I needed to do something cultural in my community. We just had our fifth celebration recently. Other than that, I got married, had two kids, a dog and a few houses.

    Did you always have plans on attending graduate school after college or was it just something that you happened upon?

    I didn’t know I was going to be going to grad school until I was a senior and that was exposed to me. Mind you, I was the first person in my family to go to college, so college was all new to me. I didn’t have anyone to show me the ropes.

    Senior year, I knew graduation was coming and yet I was uncertain about what I was going to do. I wanted to be a guidance counselor, but back then, it was required that you had to become a teacher first. So I got my certification to teach. But, just like everything else in life, there was a crossroad. An opportunity arose for me to go to Seton Hall. Going to grad school gave me more time to think about what I wanted to do with my life. 

    What was it like being a first generation college student? 

    In my family, no one went to college. In high school, I didn’t even know if I was going to college. I didn’t have the mindset of: “I’m going to college, I know my next steps, and I’m going to become XYZ.” I just kind of fell into it because I was so involved in high school and exposed to different things. The doors were presented. I just had to walk through them.

    The only reason why I went to Rowan was because, back then, Rowan sent buses to North Jersey to communities like mine that would bring high school students down to Rowan to expose us to something that we otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to. We were able to apply right on the spot. Without that, I would have never been exposed to Rowan since the only colleges and universities I knew were the ones around me in North Jersey. 

    Were you always super involved as a child?

    I always had inklings that I wanted to do things, but it really took off in 8th grade. I found my area of things that I wanted to do, which was community-oriented public service advocacy.  Just trying to inspire people to do things. I did things in high school, but I really blossomed in college. 

    Were there any classes you took or professors you met that you felt helped you achieve your success?

    I can’t pinpoint to one specific professor, but in my last semester at Rowan I did student teaching. Although I never fully taught a classroom after I left Rowan, I still had my certification in teaching, which helped me when I became elected to the school board. I had perspectives on [questions like:] What are pedagogies? What is it to teach the curriculum? What is it like to go through the training and be able to have students in front of you? Those things were all crucial to know. 

    How do you feel being a member of Lambda Theta Phi and the United Latino Association impacted you?

    If I didn’t have the United Latino Association while at Rowan, my years would not have been as fruitful or as fulfilling. If I didn’t have Lambda Theta Phi, I don’t know what friends I would have carried on from college. I don’t know what my future would have been like if I wasn’t so involved in my fraternity. I was able to build a great network with both of the organizations. They really shaped a lot of who I am and I helped to shape them as well, so it was a two-way street. I’m glad I had them. 

    Did you have plans of joining Lambda Theta Phi or was it just something that happened? 

    When I was a freshman, my family’s attitude was very much: “No, you’re not joining a fraternity,” which, at the time, I didn’t care much about anyways since I didn’t know much about fraternities. However, my sophomore year is when my perspective started changing and I became more open minded. I went to a meeting, heard about it, learned about it, and did my own research. 

    I learned what the members were doing and how they were giving back to the community and what they were doing for the university, which really propelled me to say, “This can be a way for me to do more of what I want to do, which is advocacy, motivation and trying to get others to change things.” What better than joining a cohort of like-minded individuals? 

    A young Byron Bustos
    Byron at Rowan University

    What was it like going from just a member of Lambda Theta Phi to becoming the National President, then the Executive Director? 

    It didn’t happen overnight, but I was heavily involved during my undergrad, which propelled me to going to the regional meetings. After that, I would go to the national conferences, which exposed me to the organizations and the leadership, which allowed me to join the alumni board. Getting so involved just propelled me further and further in the organization.

    With the fraternity, I wasn’t in favor of a few things and thought things could be improved. So I decided to run for national president to be able to create change from the top down. I didn’t go through the normal process to become the head person, but that’s just the way I am.

    Do you feel like fraternities and Greek life in general get a bad rap which deters people from joining?

    Definitely. Fraternities and sororities provide more good than what they get credit for. Many times, the media focuses on the incidents that occur rather than the greater benefits that Greek life provides to the campus and the community overall. It’s a disservice to the legacy of those organizations, some that have been here for hundreds of years, to have that legacy erased in a moment. 

    How do we get minority students more involved in Greek life and make them aware of the fraternities and sororities that are made for them and by them like Lambda Theta Phi? 

    It’s a catch-22 sometimes. I don’t know if the university needs to shove in people’s faces per se but I think it just depends on the student and what the student wants to be involved in. All the university can really do is make sure that these organizations are available. 

    Going back to something we discussed earlier, do you care to tell us a little bit more about the Urbana Latino Festival?

    When we moved down here to Maryland, we quickly realized that there was a need for a little bit of music and more diverse events. My wife and I decided to put the event together and, within a day, the RSVP was sold out which no one expected. Five years later, we moved it to a different location and had over 600 people attend.

    There’s vendors and different food trucks. It just has really blossomed into a beautiful thing. We’ve added more diversity and exposure to what it means to be Latino and everything that comes with it.

    Like what you see?


    Story By: Bianca Gray, senior English major

    Photos and video courtesy of:
    Byron Bustos

    #PROFspective: Public Relations Major, Strategic Communication Minor Kayla Tucker

    Today we speak with Kayla Tucker, a senior Public Relations major with a  Strategic Communications minor and a concentration in Public Relations in the News. Kayla, from Burlington County, is the Vice President of the Black Cultural League and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. 

    Have you always wanted to study your major? At what point in time did you realize the major you decided to pursue was the one most adequate for your future goals?

    “When I came to Rowan my original major was Marketing. I quickly realized that marketing did not align with my strongest assets. After deciphering my strengths, knowing I love writing, public speaking and everything involving communications; and knowing that Rowan’s Public Relations program is nationally ranked, I realized Public Relations was the major I wanted to study.”

    Kayla Tucker standing and smiling in front of Bunce Hall.
    Kayla Tucker

    What is your dream profession?

    “Working in an in-house public relations firm.”

    How has Rowan prepared you for your future? What professors have impacted you the most as a student at Rowan?

    “Ms. Cristin Kastner Farney is a professor that immediately stands out to me. I had her as a professor in Intro to PR and I truly enjoyed everything that class offered me. That class taught me interviewing skills and just the basics of PR and she presented all material in an amusing yet educational way. Cristin was also super helpful in terms of career development and assisting me in finding available internships.”

    Kayla Tucker smiling up close.

    What is the Black Cultural League?

    “The goal of this club is to have conversations and discussions on issues concerning African-American studies outside of of the classroom.”

    What advice would you give to your first-year self?

    “My best advice would be to get involved early. Rowan offers countless amounts of club ranging from sports clubs, community and service clubs, clubs that promote diversity and inclusion, and many more. Getting involved around campus led me to meeting so many amazing different people.”

    Kayla Tucker smiling in front of Gazebo.

    What do you like to do in your spare time?

    “I like to cook, listen to music, and spend time with family and friends. This year I also started a small business on campus named K. Kooks where I make and sell food to students.”

    What makes you unique from others?

    “Probably the fact that I love public speaking. I know many people that dread giving speeches or speaking in public, but I love everything about speaking in front of large audiences. It honestly is a big contributor to why I chose public relations as my major.”

    Kayla Tucker smiling on Bunce Green.

    Like what you see?


    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior 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.”

    Like what you see?


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

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

    Alumni Success: Michael A. Wilson Jr., Marketing Operations Specialist for SHI International Corp.

    Side angle shot of the Rowan welcome arch.

    What have you learned by working as a Marketing Operations Specialist for SHI International Corp.? What were your initial visions for pursuing an undergrad in Public Relations and then a graduate degree in Data Marketing Communications? I would say SHI has been my saving grace. I have been at this company since I have graduated […]

    Rowan Sorority Sisters Share How Greek Life Brings Women Together

    Bunce Hall behind trees

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

    What is it like being in a sorority?

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

    Lesley smiles while wearing her Greek letters.
    Lesley Esteves

    How do you think Greek life brings women together?

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

    Kristin smiling at home.
    Kristin Jennings

    How important is sisterhood to you?

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

    Lauren smiling at the beach.
    Lauren Marini

    How does Greek life inspire you?

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

    Jen smiling outside of Bunce Hall.
    Jennifer Probert

    What’s your favorite aspect of your organization?

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

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

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

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

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

    Like what you see?


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

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

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

    Senior Reflects: Anderson Chumpitaz on Mentorship and His Rowan Legacy

    Anderson posing near a tree outside wearing a blue suit.

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

    Meet #Rowan2025: Writing Arts Major, Author Vaniece Washington

    Today we feature incoming first year and first-generation college student Vaniece Washington from Woodlynne, NJ (Camden County). Vaniece will be studying Writing Arts and commuting from home. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college? Meeting people with my same interests. What is one hobby, activity, sport […]

    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!

    Like what you see?


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

    Meet Transfer Profs: Future History Educator Kendra Hahn

    Exterior shot of Hollybush.

    Meet incoming transfer student Kendra Hahn! Kendra plans on majoring in History Education (BA/MST) Program and is from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). She transferred from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Kendra shares with us why she chose Rowan and what she’s looking forward to.

    A close up selfie of Kendra.

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

    Here at Rowan I am really looking forward to making new friendships and gaining new experiences, but then also being able to successfully pursue my passion.

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

    In high school I was always involved with student council/government and it definitely made me into the person I am today, so I would love to continue that here at Rowan! I also would love to join the Student History Association and even possibly the History Honor Society since I was in History Club and National Honor Society back in high school.

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

    At Rowan I definitely want to join a sorority. I believe joining a sorority will provide me with a lot of learning opportunities and help me gain important skills, such as leadership and communication skills. In addition, I think joining a sorority will help me make connections on campus, meet a diverse amount of new people, and give me long-lasting friendships!

    What majors are you considering and why?

    This fall I will be in the History Education (BA/MST) Program. Ever since I was a young child, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Teachers have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their students, and I even believe they hold the key to secure our future. This is something I long to be a part of. Additionally, I have always had a passion for learning about history, so I have a desire to pass this knowledge on to others in as well as outside the classroom.

    A selfie of Kendra smiling.

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

    I have toured Rowan a few times when I was in high school, and I also recently just did the virtual guided tour where you walk around campus yourself with a guide on your phone. I enjoyed it a lot, and it made me very excited to be on campus in the fall!

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

    I know that transferring to a college can be scary and stressful, but just try and stay as positive as possible! The first couple weeks I realized I wanted to transfer, I won’t lie — I felt overwhelmed and not sure where to begin. However, I took my time and made sure to get as much information as possible so I could make a decision that would help me reach every one of my goals.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    I love how many opportunities Rowan has for its students as well as their class sizes. I believe that smaller class sizes will give the professor the opportunity to know me as an individual and not just a student, which I find very important. Also, I am really excited that they offer a master’s program for the history education program that I am in!

    Like what you see?


    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Student photos courtesy of:
    Kendra Hahn

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

    #PROFspective: Public Relations and Advertising Major Madison Sweet

    A headshot of Madison Sweet outside on Rowan's campus.

    Today, we speak to Public Relations & Advertising double major Madison Sweet! Madison is a transfer student from Raritan Valley Community College and is from Bridgewater, NJ (Somerset County). She shares with us what a typical day at is like for her and how she transitioned into Rowan.

    A portrait photo of Madison outside on Rowan's campus.

    What is a typical Rowan day for you?

    I work at Financial Aid in the mornings and afternoons and then I return home to join my Zoom classes. After that, I cook myself dinner or I will treat myself and order out (sushi always). After my work load is done, I love spending quality time with my friends, my boyfriend, and my Big in my sorority. Some nights, I like to go out to Landmark or Chickie’s & Pete’s for a drink with my friends as well (following COVID procedures, of course).

    Could you share with us one moment during your time at Rowan that made you feel inspired or confident that you’re in the right major for you?

    The relations that I have built with my professors have made me love my major even more. I am super comfortable with them and love doing my work. The moment I knew I was in the right major was my accomplishment in making the Dean’s List back to back. I struggled with school growing up, and now I have a 3.7 GPA that I am super proud of, it would have not been possible without the Communication Profs.

    Could you tell us a little bit about your transition into Rowan as an incoming student? Were you nervous? Excited? Stressed? What people, programs or things helped to make your transition smooth?

    I felt all the nerves. Since I was in community college before, I was super eager to start a new chapter of my life away from home to learn who I am as a person on my own. I was super excited to start my classes but worried I wouldn’t make any friends. But Rowan’s students and profs are the nicest people I have ever met. Class was never boring. Joining my sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi, also had a huge impact on my social life. Without this org, I wouldn’t have all of the friends that I do, today.

    Madison posing with her four friends outside the Engineering building.
    Madison hanging out with friends outside the Engineering building.

    What are your professional goals?

    Currently I am not sure what I want to do for a job after college. I would love to work in the social media field for a big company if possible.

    How has Rowan helped to support you with your professional goals?

    My profs have always been very supportive toward me, they are very understanding and are always willing to help if you need it, which was very nice and comforting. If I was ever confused they would help me with an assignment if needed. My sorority has always encouraged us to prioritize school work first to make sure that we stayed on top of our grades. My profs and advisor always let us know about potential Internships as well.

    Like what you see?


    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Photography by: Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    Meet Transfer Profs: Future Marine Biologist Malin Barnes

    Exterior shot of Science Hall.
    A selfie of Malin.

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

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

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

    Why Rowan?

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

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

    Symphonic band/pep band and Greek life.

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

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

    What major are you considering and why?

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

    Malin taking a selfie in his Coast Guard uniform.

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

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

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

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

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

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

    Like what you see?


    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

    Leadership #PROFspective: Alana Brown of Orientation & Student Leadership Programs

    Alana Brown sits outside on campus.

    Today we feature Alana Brown, a leader at Rowan University. Alana Brown is a Rowan Global student pursuing her master’s degree in Higher Education with an Academic Advising track. She calls Paterson, NJ in Passaic County her hometown. 

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

    What is your role in your organization? 

    As the graduate coordinator of the Orientation & Student Leadership Programs (OSLP) department, I work with data and administration for OSLP as well as for the Office of Greek Affairs. I help students with program initiatives on campus and serve as one of their advisors. I also work with the Leadership Rowan Program. For this program, I coordinate the Mentor and Mentee Matching Program and also serve as one of the facilitators for the Leadership Seminars. I am also coordinating the Celebrating Leadership awards this year. 

    OSLP hosts the orientation events that all new students first attend when they come to campus. We host all of the summer orientations and a few in the winter. We also do some transfer orientations as well. Everything the Leadership Rowan Program and the Office of Greek Affairs do is under the OSLP department. 

    Alana sits at the amphitheater on campus.

    What have you learned in your role as a leader?

    I’ve learned that it is something I should be a part of. I know that I should contribute to higher education. I know how important my role is for the students and how I can be a liaison between students and staff. I think it is very important to advocate for students because some may feel like their voice is [unheard]. Knowing that I have that bridge, I know that I have a voice and that my voice should be heard. I’m going to advocate for my students. It’s very important to at least have students come to me and feel comfortable enough to express how they may feel about campus and life. Students will remember you for a lifetime if you make an impact. 

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

    My favorite memory was connecting with Chase Campbell and Mike Nash. They came to me about an event they wanted to host on campus. The conversation organically flowed and we built a strong advisor and student relationship. Connecting with those two students has made such an impact on how I want to be [helpful] for other students at my next institution. That moment is when I realized that this [path] is definitely for me.

    When you’re in grad student as a student and a staff member, you have this scale. You always wonder if you’re a student or a staff member. It always puts me in a place where [I realize], “Wow, I’m making an impact but I’m still learning how to make that impact.” It’s so important for me to be in this role. Without it, I would not have realized what I want in the future. 

    Where do you see yourself in the future? 

    I see myself still working in education, but also have my own nonprofit. I want to have a program that provides a space for Black and brown people to create art, especially if they cannot afford to create art [my program] is there to support them. I have always wanted something of my own to pass on to my community and others. I see myself owning my own business and also still advocating for students. There are limited spaces for Black and brown people; it’s okay to chase your passion. You don’t have to just go to school, sit in a classroom for four years and just learn a skill because you need to make money. It’s ok to want to be an artist. Your art and your passion will bring you clientele. Art keeps me going. 

    Who inspires you and why?

    My mom is very supportive of my dreams. As many times as she wanted to give up, she always found a way to get it done. My mom has sacrificed a lot for me and my brother. There are not enough “Thank You’s” in the world I can say to her. She’s the best.

    Alana sits inside James Hall.

    What’s the most significant barrier to women today? 

    That’s a hard question because there are so many. We still are not allowed to have a voice. We are told to “let things be how they are.” You step into spaces that may not be diverse. Many times, I’ve been the only Black woman in the room. If I were to speak up, I would be pictured as the “loud, angry Black woman.” I still struggle with this. I want to use my voice, but when I speak people say “she may be angry.” I’m not angry, I’m passionate.

    Showing up as your whole self is key. It’s hard being a Black woman. I have to show up in spaces and sometimes keep my mouth shut because I don’t want to be perceived as angry or upset. I don’t regret anything that I have to say. That just makes me, me. I am a bold, Black woman and that’s never going to change. 

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

    Always own yourself, [your voice]. Always advocate for what you know is right. Be the change that you want to see. If you don’t like something, speak your voice. That voice should never be silent. Anything that you’re passionate about, your voice should never be silent. 

    Like what you see?


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

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

    Leadership #PROFspective: Arielle Gedeon, Leader of the People Who Serves from Her Heart

    Arielle poses next to a pillar at Bunce Hall.

    Today we speak with Arielle Gedeon, a leader at Rowan University. Arielle has served as Student Government Association (SGA) president for two consecutive years. Arielle, a senior Radio/Television/Film (RTF) major, also serves as the president of the Lambda Rho Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She calls Galloway, NJ in Atlantic County, her hometown. In addition to being a first-generation college student, Arielle also made history as the first Black female to become the SGA President.

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

    Arielle poses in front of Bunce Hall.

    What is your role in your organization? 

    As president of the Student Government Association (SGA), I serve as the face of the student body. I oversee the overall operation of SGA and maintain the accountability of the executive board. SGA serves as the voice for the student body and presents any student concerns to Rowan administrators. SGA works closely with Rowan administrators, providing advocacy and support for students. Every student pays a student government fee, which is allocated to 160+ clubs or organizations on campus to fund their budgets.

    What have you learned in your role as a leader?

    I have learned that serving people is a privilege. My colleagues tell me I have a “servant’s heart.” It means a lot to me because I truly find joy in serving people. I love helping people because I know what it was like to be in a place where you really need help and someone to advocate for you. Being in SGA and serving as a leader is truly a privilege. I never want to take that for granted.

    Arielle sits on the steps of Bunce Hall.

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

    I have so many! When I was first elected as SGA president, I was so overcome with emotion because I was elected as the first Black female student body president. When I think about the unfortunate prejudices that Black women face in America, even in the classroom, we have to fight to be [seen] as leaders without being perceived as “bossy.” We can be assertive without being intimidating.

    One of my favorite memories was getting the Rowan Wellness Fee passed and working with the Rowan administrators. Mental health is so important. As someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety throughout their life, I could finally take advantage of those resources last year. I’m really grateful for everyone who has put in the work to make the Rowan Wellness Fee possible so that students like myself can receive the help they need.

    I’m in such a great place in my life by going to therapy and other initiatives offered by the Wellness Center. I know that there is a taboo in talking about it, but I am very open because it has changed my life. I remember working with Scott Woodside, Director for the Wellness Center, who was very open and available to hearing student concerns. Seeing how the student body came together showed how strong the Rowan community is.

    Arielle poses on the stairs in front of a brick building with windows.

    Who inspires you and why?

    My faith is really important to me as a Christian woman. I put that above anything else I do. I let it guide my steps. I find so much peace within it.

    What’s the most significant barrier to women today?

    Besides the institutional and systemic barriers, your mindset [can be a significant barrier.] We’re going to face a lot of barriers. It’s so easy to step down, to think small, to make ourselves “smaller,” or to make other people comfortable (especially men). I want us to think beyond that. Don’t make yourself smaller. Don’t worry about how you’re being perceived. Don’t worry about being “intimidating” or “bossy.” Don’t let your mindset keep you from achieving something great. It’s so easy to think negatively.

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

    You are nothing without your team. I know it sounds controversial, but it’s true. People, unfortunately, only see how it benefits themselves and say “I’m doing everything.” But it really is a team effort and you need to see beyond yourself. You have to see how other people bring so many great skillsets and ideas to the table. You should encourage your team. Be mindful of your team. It’s not just about you.

    Arielle sits on a gazebo.

    Where do you see yourself in the future?

    Honestly, I do not know right now. Even though I’m not 100% certain about where I’ll be in the future, I can put my trust in God’s will and I find so much comfort in that. Even though there’s so much uncertainty about tomorrow, I find so much peace in God’s will and plan for my life.

    Like what you see?


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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

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

    Yashawhi standing behind Bunce Hall.

    Today we speak with Yashaswi Parikh, cofounder and copresident 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 […]

    Lambda Theta Phi Fraternity, Inc.’s Community Service Efforts

    Chris Acevedo poses in a wooded, snowy area.

    Today we speak to Chris Acevedo, president of Rowan’s Omicron Chapter of the Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. Chris is a sophomore Management Information Systems major from Winslow, NJ (Camden County). Chris lives off-campus and is a first-generation college student. Chris is also a student veteran. Chris tells us about Lambda Theta Phi’s community service work they have done recently.

    Chris poses inside Business Hall.

    Can you tell me about the community service Lambda Theta Phi is doing?

    Since Rowan is located in Glassboro, we like to focus a lot of our community service on either Camden or Atlantic City, because those cities need help. There are many people who need help in those cities, and we want to help as many people as we can. We collaborate with other chapters such as the chapters at Rutgers – Camden, Temple and Stockton. S

    Some of the community services we have done include feeding and giving away items to homeless people in Philadelphia, Camden, and Atlantic City. Sometimes we do smaller engagements such as clean-ups of towns and people’s backyards, but we try to do big events serving 150 families or more. We try to help as many people as we can. Recently we have held four community outreach events. Near Thanksgiving, we gave away Thanksgiving baskets that consisted of items such as turkey, cornbread, cranberry sauce, and other traditional Thanksgiving foods. We were able to drive food to some families as well.

    Near the holidays, we had a holiday-themed event that helped around 300 families. We had a brother dress up as Santa Claus and we gave away toys donated by the Heart of Camden and Total Turf, as well as hats, coats, and gloves. We did a similar event in January, handing out hats, coats, gloves, scarves, and toys. We have also done an event where we walked around Walter Rand in Camden, giving away hand warmers, gloves, and other winter items. 

    Chris and some of his brothers from other South Jersey and Pennsylvania chapters pose at a community service event they put on together.
    Chris (second from left) and some of his brothers from other South Jersey and Pennsylvania chapters pose at a community service event they put on together.

    Why is the Lambda Theta Phi Fraternity so focused on community service?

    The root of our organization is based on service. Our principles and ideals emphasize catering to the communities that many of us come from. As we progress in our endeavors as individuals and as a collective, we always aim to uplift the very community that has raised us.

    What would you say the benefits of being involved in Greek life are? 

    Greek life advances networking. There are many reasons that people pursue Greek life; i.e. a sense of family/belonging, making friends. But the biggest positive is networking. You meet people from all walks of life and all different ages. Sometimes you’re able to meet people who have similar interests and can offer guidance, or you can meet someone that’s gone down a different path and offers different perspectives on life. Whatever your reason for joining a Greek organization, you are always going to meet someone new. 

    Chris poses outdoors in a snowy, wooded area.

    What else does the Lambda Theta Phi Fraternity focus on besides community service?

    Lambda Theta Phi is big on community service but it isn’t our only task. We are big on the connection / social aspect. We enjoy the presence of our brothers making a lot of bonding events, whether it’s our chapter here at Rowan or any other schools. Connecting with other Greek organizations makes your networking bigger and more relationships that last forever.

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

    Community service photo submitted by:
    Chris Acevedo, sophomore management information systems major

    Meet #Rowan2025: Shawn Lorenzo Sanders Seeks to Stay Active on Campus

    Exterior shot of Business Hall front entrance.

    Meet #Rowan2025 student Shawn Lorenzo Sanders! Shawn is an incoming freshman, first-generation college student from Voorhees, NJ (Camden County). He shares what he’s thinking of pursuing and what he’s looking forward to at Rowan.

    Shawn wearing a blue, red, white and black sweat suit and matching shoes.

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

    Getting a great education!

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

    Bodybuilding, getting into a Hispanic fraternity, and starting a business club.

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

    I would want to join a fraternity, expand my social circle, and join a health, fitness and nutrition club.

    What majors are you considering? 

    Business Management, Physical Therapy, Marketing or Psychology.

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

    I visited Rowan and knew it was perfect for me.

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

    Go take a tour in person! It makes all the difference.

    Where are you going to live next year?

    I’ll commute from home.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    The modern buildings, the suburban campus, high-tech labs and the small community feel.

    Like what you see? 


    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

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

    Brad posing with a friend outside the track field while wearing a Glassboro State Track sweatshirt.

    Where do you currently work? 

    “I am the Associate Managing Director of Financial Aid at Kean University, but I still love my school [as Brad proudly shows he’s wearing Glassboro State College apparel]. Although it was awkward for me, accepting a job at one of my school’s rivals, my wife and I were excited at the opportunity for my kids to attend college for free. I’m also going to run the EOF program for Kean University! I was equally blessed that my fraternity brother is the first African American president of Kean University. He was putting together a diverse team [to lead Kean]; my name came to his mind as someone who would not only relate to the students of today but also knew how to go about understanding federal compliance as it relates to financial aid and helping students to graduate. Just three weeks previous, I was offered to be the first African American Director of Finance of Union Township, but the local politicians wanted to ensure they put all options of the table for the betterment of my career. I could not turn down the opportunity to assist in molding the future minds of society.” 

    What was your experience as an undergrad? 

    “I received a bachelor of science in business with a specialization in accounting. As an only child, my mother said I always [pretended] to have a business office and clients. I also excelled in mathematics in school. [Although] I wasn’t interested in the complicated formulas, numbers had always interested me. In the church, anytime the offering was going to be taken, I wanted to help manage the finances of the church.” 

    Eventually, somebody pointed Brad toward accounting. In high school, he took an accounting class, learning the concepts of debits and credits. From a young age, Brad “knew [he] wanted to study accounting, become an accountant, and build a whole career as an accountant.”

    Brad’s favorite class was Accounting 102 with Dr. Diane Hughes, one of the few African American teachers he met in his entire educational experience. Brad later became the president of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) at Rowan from 1993-94. Brad earned the position by impressing IMA’s advisor at the time, Dr. George Romeo, through class and one-to-one basketball sessions. 

    Coming through the EOF program, built solid friendships and learned more about the campus environment. Brad credits his start in EOF in helping him make it through college because it was a major adjustment from his hometown in North Jersey. Living only six minutes from the Newark airport and 20 minutes from New York (on a good day), he remembers being surprised Glassboro only had one Wawa in the area.

    Brad posing for a group photo with his wife and daughter on a track field.
    Here Brad stands with his daughter Akayla (center) at her high school graduation, alongside his wife Kim.

    Can you tell me more about your extracurricular activities? 

    “I specialized in the 800-meter race and ran the anchor leg in the 4×400 relay. The anchor leg was tough, especially at nationals where everybody gets excited. I [also] ran run cross country because as a middle-distance runner, you have to be fast and strong. 

    “I am a member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. I pledged in the spring of 1990, and that network has led me to have a fraternity brother who is the president of a major university in the state of New Jersey. The model of our fraternity is focused on service for humanity. Phi Beta Sigma recruited you so that you could become a leader of the community. It was less about yourself and more about what you could do for other people. There’s a difference between aspiring to be a leader, and already being a leader who wants to serve people. I stayed active through the alumni ranks.

    “As one of the historically Black fraternities and sororities, the alumni portion of [Phi Beta Sigma] is as strong if not stronger than the collegiate ranks. [As an alumni], it’s less about college parties and more about community service, networking, and conferences; and, because of that, we’ve become an intellectual thinktank.” 

    Brad remembers being a social butterfly and recruiting members for Phi Beta Sigma, starting off with five to six members and gaining up to 25 new recruits. This experience helped shape Brad into the leader he is now. He believes that intentionally creating positive situations will lead to positive results and that “iron sharpens iron.” 

    Could you share with us a little bit about racial inclusion and the student culture while you attended Rowan? 

    “In my day, the only diversity that came through the campus was from the EOF/MAP programs. In 1992, the Rodney King verdict was released, and we marched down 322 onto the football field during a game. We tried to stop the game. After that, we immediately went to the President’s house [Hollybush Mansion] and camped out. I also went to NAACP events in Clayton and Camden as well as Black Cultural League once a month.” 

    Coming from North Jersey, Brad remembers driving back home and about 35% of the time he drove up the highway home, he was pulled over by NJ state troopers. It happened so often with one state trooper, he eventually remembered Brad as “the college kid.” 

    Brad posing with the Shady Rest Clubhouse sign and pointing to the name 'John Matthe Shippen'.
    Brad plays golf at the first African American-owned golf course in the world. John Shippen is the first African American golf pro recognized by the USGA.

    What advice would you give to students, especially Black students?

    “Always understand that you want to be the change that you want to see. The blessing is, with [the culture] today, I can comfortably speak about the Black Lives Matter Movement. Where in my day, you didn’t want to be so radical. We were being trained to assimilate to corporate America. You didn’t see a lot of African American CEOs or presidents of major corporations, you only really ever saw us in sports and entertainment. Now, we have had an African American president [and now a Vice President] of the United States. So, I would tell those students — especially the males — to understand that if Black Lives Matter then Black education MUST matter. I want them to value their education first and foremost.

    “Education is more than just the process of going to class and going back to your dorm and playing the PS5 or whatever kids are playing with today. Education means you have to join a professional organization. Make sure you not only do sports but also participate in academia and build a relationship with your professors. Ask them about their professional experiences. 

    “I challenge them, [especially] African American males, to set the example and change ‘perception.’ Make sure you’re holistically involved in the campus, be involved in the ENTIRE process of being a college student. You’re only going to be able to do that for four or five years. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would do it all over again. I would do a couple of things differently and I could make my career that much greater just by the basis of my college education and experience at Rowan University.” 

    Brad has always appreciated the power of education, especially being the second person in his immediate family to attend college. His aunt, Dr. Violet Martin, was the first to go to college and also calls Rowan her alma mater. Brad and Dr. Martin now have six other collegiate-level students or graduates in their family. 

    Brad proudly stands with his son Kyndell, who graduated from college.
    Brad proudly stands with his son Kyndell, who graduated from college.

    What was your journey like after college? 

    “When I graduated from college, I had applied to a lot of the Big Six accounting firms. I wasn’t getting the opportunities I really wanted. Because, at that time, if you didn’t go to one of the Ivy League schools where the Big Six recruited on those campuses and where they have associations set up, they did not look at you. Being the president of IMA, I got sent to a three-day weekend at UPenn. [Even] being one of the most outgoing people in the organization and having a down-to-earth attitude (coming from Rowan), the only kids they were recruiting from were from UPenn, Drexel, or Villanova. I didn’t let it bother me. Long story short, I found out I have a second cousin, Walter Frye, who owns a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) firm. Walter brought me into his firm, and I’ve continuously worked with him for 25 years at the same time as my other jobs. The firm had a contract with KPMG to audit New York City. We made sure to send diverse accountants because the people auditing the city should look like the public. I received training by KPMG in Denver, Colorado. This opportunity set up my whole career. I became a top executive for Atlantic City Housing Authority. I began my own firm and worked with housing authorities all over America, traveling 80% of the time. I would not have believed a small kid from North Jersey would become a key figure in the housing authority. Now, I’ve pivoted back to college and higher education.” 

    What do you hope to see in the future of Rowan? 

    Brad appreciates the fact that the minority base at Rowan is growing. He hopes that everyone feels accepted at Rowan and that diversity will not be treated as just a statistic. He also hopes to see the faculty one day look like the people they are teaching.

    Like what you see?


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

    Related posts:

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

    Alumni Success: Michael A. Wilson Jr., Marketing Operations Specialist for SHI International Corp.

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

    Alumni Success: New Jersey State Police Sergeant Danyel Barnes

    Sgt. Barnes stands in front of a bank of windows.

    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.

    Danyel’s college journey is an amazing story in and of itself.

    In high school, Danyel considered joining the military and was being recruited by the Army and Air Force. A guidance counselor at Camden High School, Ms. Sanders, encouraged him to apply to college. After getting into Rowan (then Glassboro State College), he told his grandmother that he got accepted but didn’t have the money for school, so he’d have to choose the military. That same day, his grandmother wrote him a check and told him to go to college. 

    As you can tell, education was very important in the Barnes’ family. Danyel comes from three generations of college, so he was happy to keep the legacy going. 

    Danyel standing by window

    When Danyel got to campus, he had an awesome experience. He lived in Chestnut Hall his freshman year and got involved in Greek life early on. Being in a fraternity was one of Danyel’s “musts” going into college, so his second-semester freshman year he pledged Phi Beta Sigma. Danyel speaks about the strength of this brotherhood. “Our kids call each other aunties and uncles. We all keep in touch and are close to this day,” he says.

    When asked about any influential people at Rowan, Danyel easily recited a whole list. One of the people mentioned was a former Rowan president. “Herman James was always on the ground with students — we would see him every day in the Student Center just walking around and talking to people, he had a quiet calm about him,” he says. “I learned a lot from the way he carried himself. Professors and staff at Rowan really taught me how to be a benevolent leader.”

    Headshot of Sgt. Barnes wearing a state police mask.

    Danyel, who majored in Sociology, also mentioned a really influential Women’s and Gender studies course. “Dr. Gallant taught me all about real feminism. I was the only boy who didn’t drop the class because I really wanted to learn.” 

    Currently, Danyel serves as a Sergeant for New Jersey State Police. He got into law enforcement from inspiration from his brother and recruiters who visited Rowan’s campus. Danyel got information from the recruiters, passed a written exam, and went to the New Jersey Department of Corrections to start his career. Danyel felt that Rowan prepared him for his career by giving him a strong foundation in writing. He also learned a lot about human behaviors from being a sociology major and taking courses like anthropology. 

    Sgt. Barnes stands in front of a bank of windows.

    When asked what his advice to graduating Rowan students would be, Danyel says, “Everything you do isn’t about you, it’s about everyone else — you have to give back.” 

    Like what you see?


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

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

    Related posts:

    How One Student Uses Skills Learned at Rowan to Fight Crime

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

    Alumni Success: Dr. Janelle Alexander, Director of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging at Washington Township Public Schools

    Alumni Success: Teacher and Soror Kathleen Gordy-Mathis

    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. 

    Kathleen smiling and wearing her sorority jacket.

    What was your experience like as an undergraduate at Glassboro State College?

    “As an undergrad, my experience was absolutely awesome. It was a bit of a culture shock for me because it was rural and something I wasn’t accustomed to. Deer and rabbits were basically escorting you across [Route] 322 to get to the Student Center.

    Originally, I’m from Atlantic City and though there are casinos, to me [Atlantic City] is still a small town with big city money. To go from that to Glassboro, was very different. To me, there were enough students but there weren’t too many. It wasn’t overwhelming. 

    I chose communications because I like to talk and I love to write. Glassboro was known for being one of the best communications schools out there. [I chose Glassboro] because it was far enough away but yet close enough to go back home. 

    I learned, as a freshman, not to take 8 a.m. classes and to opt for 9:30 a.m. classes instead! It was an interesting experience trying to get up every morning and get myself to class. I learned to enjoy the moment and not to put too much pressure on myself. Though school was very serious [to me], I didn’t stress out about it to the point where I would make myself anxious or nervous. I truly enjoyed my experience at Glassboro.”

    Can you tell us about your journey from graduation to now?

    “In my senior year, I took the PRAXIS or the National Teachers’ Exam and I passed it on my first go-around. Right out of college, I was a substitute high school teacher for one year. Then, I worked for a nonprofit. Then, I went on to work for Computer Sciences Corporation as a corporate trainer, contracted with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). [I realized my passion for teaching in] becoming a corporate trainer, where you get to interact, facilitate and answer questions. You get the opportunity to see people’s thought patterns and mindsets. You have the opportunity to provide [others] with the tools to navigate anything.

    I left the corporate sector to become a full-time teacher. I am currently a preschool teacher in Atlantic City. I love working in pre-K because they are willing to learn anything you teach them! They are so hungry for knowledge!”

    Working with the FAA, Kathleen trained people in interpersonal skills, navigating change, proactive listening and teamwork dynamics. As a corporate trainer, she discovered her passion for teaching and became a full-time teacher in 2003. Kathleen has taught first and second grade, but loves pre-K the best.

    Kathleen smiling while wearing sunglasses and her sorority jacket.

    What do you remember the most about Glassboro State? 

    “Black History with Dr. Gary Hunter was very informative and his style caused you to reflect upon what was presented to you and what you had gained before going into his class.” 

    Kathleen’s memories of Dr. Hunter’s popular class on black history was also enriched by her experiences of pledging to Alpha Kappa Alpha in the same semester. For Kathleen, the most significant lesson she learned from Dr. Hunter was how to be a continuous learner.

    “The motto I try to mold my life after is: you cease to learn, you cease to grow.”

    What was your experience like in the sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA)?

    “I pledged as a freshman. So for the most part, my entire career at Glassboro, I was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha. It was an awesome, life-changing experience. It gave me the opportunity to, not only network with sorors but also with other people in the greek family. They are lifetime bonds. [That experience] was truly worth it.” 

    Kathleen served as president of AKA and has been an active member of AKA for 33 and a half years (34 years in May)! She fondly remembers practicing for step performances in the kitchen of an Evergreen apartment. Kathleen’s solid sorority connections have continued to bring her skill-strengthening opportunities, such as mentoring Kathleen in her first permanent teaching job. She has had sorority sisters working by her side and cheering on her success. 

    Another fond memory Kathleen shares with her sorority sisters is the absolute elation they felt when Kamala Harris was elected Vice President of the United States. 

    Kathleen smiling while wearing sunglasses and her sorority jacket.
    Kathleen is a local minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church. She earned her master’s degree in teaching from Montclair State University in 2016.

    Could you share a little bit about racial inclusion and the student culture while you were a student?

    “We kind of stuck to ourselves, as far as like-minded people and groups that we were ‘a member of.’ We didn’t really venture outside of that dynamic. It definitely was not as diverse as it is now.” 

    Kathleen remembers being inspired by Herman James, the first African American president of Rowan, saying “he always went out of his way to make you feel welcomed.” Kathleen remembers protesting with AKA against Coca Cola’s involvement in South Africa regarding apartheid and against other social issues, whether local, national, or international. AKA made themselves known.

    Kathleen’s time with the Black Cultural League helped share valuable information focused on the African American experience ranging from the nuances of college life or life post-graduation. Kathleen continues to be involved in the Rowan community, including Homecoming and the Rowan University Black Alumni Network (RUBAN) panel discussions which span the 80’s to the 00’s. She enjoys annual Homecoming tailgate parties and celebrating with lifelong friends.

    Kathleen remains excited about the future of Rowan, knowing that Dr. Penny McPherson-Myers, her fellow soror and the Vice President of Rowan’s Division of Equity and Inclusion, works to make sure that the efforts in working with the student population are balanced and focused on providing the tools students need to be successful. 

    “[I hope] to see a continued level of diversity and also, what is needed to sustain it. As our general population changes, I feel that Rowan also has to adapt in order to properly serve those who come through its doors.”

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

    Alumni Success: Attorney Jennifer Webb-McRae

    Rowan alumna Jennifer Webb-McRae shares how impactful her college experience was to her current career as an attorney.

    Jennifer admits that Rowan (Glassboro State College at the time) was not her first choice going into college. Growing up in Vineland, she didn’t think she could possibly have her ideal college experience living 30 minutes away from campus.

    Sure enough, Jennifer ended up exactly where she was meant to be and made Rowan her home. “I stayed on campus, I rarely went home, and was a part of a phenomenal little community.” 

    Headshot of Jennifer in front of flag

    On campus, Jennifer was a Resident Assistant her junior and senior years, a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and was part of the Gamma Tau Sigma law and justice society of Rowan University. 

    Coming into college, Jennifer knew she wanted to be a lawyer and felt that way all her life. “My parents would tease me and say I would argue every point, so I had that idea since I was a little girl,” she says.

    During her time at Rowan, Jennifer made impactful connections that helped catapult her to that goal. “My advisor Dr. Douglass from the Law & Justice department really helped me get into law school by preparing me and guiding me through the process. He steered me in the right direction and gave me advice on taking the appropriate classes and getting good grades so I would be a competitive applicant to get into law school.”

    Jennifer got accepted and attended Rutgers Law School after graduating from Rowan. 

    Jennifer in front of county prosecutor crest.

    Jennifer says her education from Rowan really helped her transition to law school. “I was definitely prepared for law school. It was really the mentors I had at Rowan that pushed me, supported me, and made me feel like I could do it.” Jennifer says she still keeps in touch with those people to this day. 

    Jennifer serves as Cumberland County prosecutor, the first female and first African American appointed to this role.

    She also teaches classes at Rowan for the Law & Justice Studies department. During our interview, Jennifer personally offered herself as a resource to this contributor and any other Rowan student. “I was very fortunate to have mentors in my life at every step of my career, and that starts in college,” she says. 

    Jennifer in front of child advocacy office.

    Jennifer’s advice for graduating Rowan students would be “go for it, plan for it, and take advantage of opportunities college has to offer you.”

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

    Header photo by:
    Anthony Raisley, senior history major

    #PROFspective: Biochemistry Major Erin Gray

    Erin sitting outside of the Science Hall.

    Today we feature senior Erin Gray, a Biochemistry major from Mickleton, NJ (Gloucester County). Erin is involved on campus with sorority Theta Phi Alpha, employed as a student worker as an Admissions Ambassador, and participates in the Rowans Honors College. She talks about how she has made friends and her experience being on campus. Tell […]

    What it Means to Rowan’s Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority That One of Their Sisters, Kamala Harris, Will Be the First Female U.S. Vice President

    Top of Bunce Hall with a rose in the foreground.

    Lambda Rho chapter Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated at Rowan has a huge reason to celebrate because starting on Jan. 20 one of their own will be working as the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history.

    When Kamala Harris swears into the White House in January, she will make history by becoming the first woman to be United States Vice President as well as the first person of color to hold that position.

    This is especially exciting for Rowan’s members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Lambda Rho chapter because Kamala Harris is a sister.

    Harris joined the sorority back when she attended Howard University in the 1980s. We spoke with the president of Rowan’s Alpha Kappa Alpha, Arielle Gedeon, as well as sister Dyone Payne, about what it means for one of their sorority sisters to win the vice presidency.

    When asked how it feels to have a member of her sorority win the White House, Arielle responded, “Kamala Harris to serve as the madam vice president is very exciting. One thing that is evident is that we want to support her and we are very proud of her accomplishments.” Dyone added that the news left her “speechless.”

    Arielle poses next to a Rowan campaign backdrop in her Alpha Kappa Alpha attire.
    Arielle poses in her Alpha Kappa Alpha attire.

    Arielle saw the Biden/Harris victory as something bigger than what it appeared to be. We asked if she feels a sense of pride that Kamala Harris will be not only the first woman but the first person of color to be vice president. Her response was, “Yes, it’s such a great accomplishment and one of the things that comes to mind is how many little girls around the United States that she’s inspiring by her accomplishments.” 

    Dyone had very similar feelings about this victory for Black Americans and the level of inspiration generated from it. She explained, “Over time she has done the work, made the connections and projected hope onto other Black girls by displaying that you can be anyone you want to be. No job or task is too big or too small for you to obtain or uphold.”

    When the news of the projected Biden/Harris victory first broke, it was celebration time for Alpha Kappa Alpha. When asked about the reaction of her and her sisters to the news, Arielle recalled, “My sister, she was calling my name from the living room. She [was] watching on TV and she told me about the addition of the electoral votes that put Joe Biden ahead and it was very exciting!” 

    Dyone was certainly not alone with that feeling in the Black community. She went as far as to say when she heard the news, “My heart dropped because it felt like a weight was lifted off of my own shoulders.” 

    Dyone poses at an unrelated event.
    Dyone poses in front of the Student Center.

    “This moment feels surreal because not only is a woman [elected] but a Black woman, a woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated,” Dyone added. 

    It would be ignorant to blindly support a candidate based on a connection like Greek life, but Arielle made sure she knew exactly what she was supporting and what issues this new administration will likely give attention to.

    When asked in what way she thought there will be tangible change in America with this new administration, Arielle’s response was: “The area of education is a really big deal. I know for a fact that President-elect Joe Biden will place solid people in his cabinet, especially thinking about the secretary of education. That’s a big deal and when you think about New Jersey, we have a new secretary of higher education and I hope that person will work closely with whomever is appointed as the new secretary of education for Joe Biden’s cabinet.”

    Sisters Ayala Gedeon, Dyone Payne, and Arielle Gedeon (from left to right) pose at an Alpha Kappa Alpha event.
    Sisters Ayala Gedeon, Dyone Payne, and Arielle Gedeon (from left to right) stand together at an Alpha Kappa Alpha event.

    This victory is not only huge for Alpha Kappa Alpha, but for women all over the world who have a passion for leadership. 

    Like what you see? 


    Story by:
    Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

    Photos submitted by:
    Arielle Gedeon, Ayala Gedeon and Dyone Payne

    Senior Reflects: Subject Matter Education And English Major Christina Bharda

    Christina standing outside.

    Today, we speak to senior Subject Matter Education and English dual major Christina Bharda from Middletown, NJ (Monmouth County). She tells us more about her Greek life involvement and what she looks forward to doing with her degree.

    Christina smiling outside on Rowan Boulevard wearing a white shirt.

    Are you in any campus involvement or clubs?

    I’m in a sorority! I’m the vice president of programming and ritual for Alpha Sigma Alpha.

    What do you want to do with your degree once you graduate?

    I want to teach middle school or high school English. Eventually, I want to teach students with learning disabilities.

    What favorite class experience or professor have you had so far?

    I would say Dr. Glazer is the most amazing Education professor. I’m also student teaching right now, too so that’s pretty cool! I’m teaching at Millville Memorial High School.

    Christina posing with a friend.

    How would you rate your Rowan experience as a whole?

    Ten out of 10. It has been the best. I definitely picked the right place!

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Photography by:
    Rachel Rumbsy, sophomore communication studies and public relations double major

    Cuddle Up, Profs, for National Cuddle Up Day!

    To celebrate National Cuddle Up Day, we’re featuring some Profs who are spreading the love and snuggling up with their friends, family and pets!

    Matthew Knox hugging his girlfriend while sitting outside on the grass.
    Matthew Knox snuggling up with his girlfriend, Gina Mazurkiewicz!
    Justice holding a small black and white puppy in front of a Fraternity insignia.
    Justice Lateef holding a puppy named Malibu!
    Sarah Giron with her family on the Bunce Hall steps.
    Sarah Giron with her family on the Bunce Hall steps.
    Helaina and her boyfriend holding each other.
    Helaina Parejo giving her boyfriend a hug!
    Artaisha holding her daughter, Sage, and smiling.
    Artaisha Diggs holding her daughter, Sage!
    Two roommates forming a heart with their hands together.
    Roommates, Gatha Adhikari and Himani Bhakta, showing some love!
    Sarah kissing her dog, Slinky the minitiature Dauschund.
    Sarah Prosser giving her dog Slinky some kisses!
    Karen hangs out with her friends.
    Karen getting comfortable and laying across her pals!
    Chris Finnegan hangs out with a friend by Winans Hall.
    Chris Finnegan hanging out with his friend.
    Alex sitting and hugging with her boyfriend.
    Alex snuggling up with her boyfriend!

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Photography by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Connor Crafton-Tempel

    Connor stands in front of the student center.

    Today we speak to Connor Crafton-Tempel, a senior Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management major with a minor in Sociology. Connor is involved in Rowan University EMS, Rowan Progressives, Tau Sigma (National Transfer Student Honor Society) and Epsilon Pi Phi (DPEM Honor Society). Connor is from Freehold Township, NJ (Monmouth County) and transferred from Holy Family […]

    #PROFspective: Bio Major Alyssa Putiri Talks Campus Life, Diversity of Clubs

    Alyssa standing outside.

    Today we feature Alyssa Putiri, a senior Biological Sciences major with a Pre-Med concentration from Mount Laurel, NJ (Burlington County). She is a part of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS), Pre-Health Society, Leadership Rowan (LR) and Residential Learning and University Housing (RLUH). Tell us about one club, organization or group of friends that […]

    #PROFspective: Senior Biomedical Art and Visualization Major Amanda Rosa

    Amanda sits in front of Science Hall.

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

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

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

    Amanda stands by a tree on campus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Amanda sitting on a red chair and table set.

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

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

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Double Major International Student Elona Noka

    Elena photographed outside campus wearing a blue blazer.

    Today we feature first-generation college student Elona Noka from Albania studying Economics and Political Science. Elona is a senior who transferred from Tirana University in Albania. She is a part of Women in Business and Phi Sigma Pi. She currently commutes from Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County). What wakes you up in the morning? What wakes […]

    #PROFspective: Learning by Doing with Engineering Major Nicholas Kreuz

    Nick stands outside in front of green tree foliage.

    Nicholas Kreuz working on electronics in an engineering lab.

    Today we speak to junior Nicholas Kreuz, an Electrical and Computer Engineering major from Pennsylvania. Here, Nick shares his Rowan experience through his work in Engineering Clinics, including creating a quadcopter drone and a rocket, which he will enter into a competition in New Mexico. 

    Nicholas Kreuz of Quakertown, Pennsylvania is the epitome of “involved” at Rowan. He has an on-campus job as a building manager for Campus Recreation while also being a part of Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity.

    Nick is on track to get his bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His goal with this degree is to work in the field of aerospace engineering. Nick said he “would love to work for a company like Boeing or Lockheed Martin” when he is finished at Rowan. 

    Nick grew an interest in engineering at an early age due to his desire to be very “hands-on and technically oriented.” He said throughout middle school and high school he knew he would want to pursue something involving engineering, but it wasn’t until he arrived at Rowan that he became interested in the electrical and computer engineering aspect to it.

    “When I came to this college in particular I really liked how they combined the two majors into one and really had a hands-on focus to their curriculum, especially the clinical classes through the engineering building,” Nick says.

    Engineering student Nicholas Kreuz poses sitting down with his hands on top of one another.

    Engineering Clinics are the signature aspect of Rowan’s engineering programs. For all four years, engineering students participate in these clinic classes, which involve various hands-on projects. With the guidance of a credentialed engineer, students in groups have the opportunity to learn by doing. 

    One of the things that Nick has accomplished in a clinic class involved “constructing and testing a fully submersible Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (UROV).” Kreuz explains the concept of the project and what was asked of him and his group:

    “We had to simulate a task that a UROV in the field would have to do. For example, work on an oil rig and go to the seafloor to examine something. So we had this obstacle course set up and had a basic system of motors and a receiver that we could use that would be the actual operation of the vehicle but as far as constructing the vehicle and designing it to complete all its tasks was completely up to us.”

    One semester later, Nick was tasked with creating a “Quadcopter Drone,” which unfortunately he was not able to finish once all students were sent home for Covid-19. He says this project’s objective was a similar concept to the UROV because there was a certain task that the drone had to perform. Like his last project, this too was going to be tested on an obstacle course that was meant to simulate a real-life situation. 

    Perhaps the most impressive part of Kreuz’s college career so far is his most recent endeavor. Nick is a part of a team with nine other students and one professor to build a rocket and compete in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition in New Mexico. 

    Nick Kreuz poses and smiles outdoors.

    This is a yearly competition that hosts around 40-50 schools in a desert in New Mexico. Anyone who is a part of a college or university is allowed to enter the competition. Teams at the competitions will test their rockets in front of a group of judges. 

    “The way it works is they judge us on our documentation, our predictions, and our calculations, and the second half of the competition comes from how well our rocket actually performs,” Nick says.

    Projects in the engineering clinics can be so involved and advanced that they can last as long as five years. Nick will work on this one through this entire school year, and the competition in New Mexico will take place after next semester. 

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    Story by:
    Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

    #PROFspective: Music Education Major Austin Kurbansade

    Austin sitting outside on stairs.

    Today we feature Austin Kurbansade, a sophomore Vocal Music Education major from Roxbury Township, NJ (Morris County). He is an on-campus resident and is involved in the National Association of Music Education, American Choral Directors Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He tells us today about his student experience and how connected he has felt at Rowan. […]

    Senior Marketing Major Byron P. Campbell Jr. Reflects On The Black Lives Matter Movement

    Today we speak to Byron P. Campbell Jr., a senior Marketing major from Neptune, NJ (Monmouth County). He lived on campus for three years and lives off-campus this year. Byron is a first-generation college student.

    Byron poses outside in a parking lot.
    How have you gotten involved at Rowan?
    I joined Greek life and I was a Resident Assistant for three years. I have gone to ASPIRE Leadership retreats, and I have been to Multicultural Men’s Retreats for the Social Justice, Inclusion, and Conflict Resolution (SJICR) office. I have also spoken on a panel about leadership at Rowan. 

    What does the Black Lives Matter movement mean to you? 
    BLM is an awareness of what’s been happening since the beginning. We want to be equal like everyone else. It’s always been one step forward, one step back. The protests get attention, and they get people to see what’s been happening since the beginning. 

    Headshot of Byron in his graduation cap and gown.

    What do you think that Rowan can do to better serve the BLM movement?
    Rowan has made great strides, but there should be more free spaces to speak. There is SJICR, where people usually talk. There needs to be more spaces to talk about it. People feel a divide, and they need an opportunity to talk. There are lots of meetings, events and resources are out there, but for some reason it hasn’t translated to the students participating more. Understanding how other people feel is important. You need to understand how others feel.

    What does inclusivity mean to you?
    A space to talk. Some people will put you down and say all lives matter, but having your voice heard is important.

    Byron sits with others at an event.

    Do you feel Rowan is an inclusive environment? 
    It will take a while to be more inclusive. Rowan is reactive and not preventative. Nobody speaks up and tells the right people when there is a problem, but always [does] something after the fact.

    Could you share a little bit about your relationship with Vice President Richard Jones?
    He has been one of the most supportive people on campus for me. I met him at my freshman orientation, when he was a speaker. I asked him my freshman year if he could take me under his wing, and he’s helped me through college. Richard Jones has been a mentor to me.

    What is one of your favorite moments with a faculty/staff member or a favorite experience in one of your classes?

    One favorite experience in my Intro to Marketing class with Professor Puckett was learning how marketing is used all the time, whether selling a product or service or even selling yourself for a job. That really made me want to switch my major to marketing. At the time I was an accounting major, and it was Professor Puckett who shared with me that he thought marketing would be a good fit for me. 

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

    One amazing thing I learned in my major this year is all the paths I can take with a marketing major. I can be in all types of fields in the job force.

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

    Photos courtesy of:
    Byron P. Campbell Jr., senior marketing major

    First Year Voices: Physical Education Major Jalen Baptiste

    Today, we speak to Jalen Baptiste, a freshman Physical Education major currently residing on-campus in Chestnut Hall from Hackettstown, NJ (Warren County). Jalen tells us about living on campus and more about his first year so far.

    Jalen sitting and smiling on the edge of Mimosa hall.

    How do you like on-campus housing?

    I’m living in Chestnut. Chestnut’s not bad, though, because I live by myself in a double.

    Are your classes completely online or hybrid?

    Right now, all my classes are online, but I think some of my classes will switch to in-person hybrid hopefully soon!

    Jaylen posing while wearing his mask.

    Thinking about joining any clubs?

    I’m thinking about joining a fraternity in the spring.

    Any advice to incoming freshmen?

    If you do come to Rowan, try to get into Holly Pointe! It’s really nice there.

    Like what you see? 


    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

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

    Rowan Student Leaders Alexa Bassano, Sydney Ramos and JT Kurtz Share Their Insights

    Read firsthand accounts from three Rowan students who talk about the benefits of their on-campus leadership positions. 

    First up is Alexa Bassano, a junior Biological Science major from Brick Township, NJ (Monmouth County). Alexa is a Resident Assistant at Mimosa Hall, a member of Rowan Emergency Medical Services and the Director of Collegiate Alumnae Engagement of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority. She explains: “Each role has benefited me in a different way. Now more than ever, people are thanking me for my service with EMS. As an RA, my residents tell me how much they appreciate me referring them to resources or just showing them where a building is. To me, those little things are just me doing my job, but that gratification reminds me I am a part of something bigger. Being involved and helping people just makes me so happy, whether it comes with a ‘thank you’ or not.”    

    Lexi in front of library columns
    Lexi Bassano

    Next, Sydney Ramos is a junior Human Services major from East Brunswick, NJ (Middlesex County). When talking about her role as a student leader, she shared her experience from the very beginning. “Overall, I have to thank Res Life for making me the leader I am today. As a freshman, I really kept to myself and didn’t explore what options were out there for me. But as soon as I found RLUH, I knew I was where I needed to be: in a family atmosphere with amazing people I really respect.” Sydney is a Resident Assistant at Mimosa Hall and a new member of the United Latinos Association

    Sydney on bridge
    Sydney Ramos

    JT Kurtz, a senior Computer Science major from Egg Harbor Township, NJ (Atlantic County), is also heavily involved on campus. He is the Assistant Resident Director of Nexus Properties, a learning assistant for the Computer Science department, a researcher in the Psychology department, and a member of the Filipino Club. “In all of my roles, I want to be a valuable resource for the people around me,” he says. “I want to push people to be the best they can be and get them to success. By coming up with innovative ways to work and help others, I get to learn and grow every day.”

    JT with tree in the back
    JT Kurtz

    Like what you see?


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

    Photography by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

    Julia’s Corner: How to Get the Most Out of College

    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 might just be some of the best four years of your life. You’re living on your own for the first time, you’re not stuck in one building for several hours, and your best friends are within walking distance from where you live.

    Like anything, though, college is what you make of it. All of these great things aren’t just going to knock on your door. You have to put yourself out there and get them yourself. Here are some things you should do to make your experience at Rowan the absolute best it can be. 

    Marketing professor with students in classroom.

    Get to know the people in your classes: This goes for other students as well as professors. Even if you’re undecided at first (which I recommend), getting to know your classmates is important. You might just meet your best friend by doing so. One of the reasons why Rowan is so great is because of the small-to-medium class sizes, allowing you to get to know your classmates and professors. It is not uncommon for Rowan professors to know your name.

    Professor leads a dance class.

    I’ve had classes that have been like family, and professors that I look up to as role models. Plus, the professor with whom you make an effort to get to know may write you a letter of recommendation one day. Also, don’t be shy in the classroom. College is about coming out of your comfort zone. You’re probably not the only one to speak up in class, so why not take the first step?

    Student speaks with a career representative in the student center.

    Go to career fairs: Rowan offers several career fairs. There is one each semester for all majors, and usually each school holds one once per year. Even if you’re a freshman, it doesn’t hurt to put yourself out there. Often, professors give you extra credit for attending, which never hurts. This is how I went to my first one as a sophomore. It motivated me to go, and it was good practice and experience for interviews and networking events I attended as an upperclassman. You might make a great connection, so it’s definitely worth going. 

    Member of the Equestrian Team.
    Rowan Equestrian Club

    Get Involved: I cannot say this enough! Obviously, you are at Rowan to get a degree, but that is not all college is about. In order to get the full experience, you have to get involved in something. Sitting in your room doing homework and going home every weekend is not making the most of it. Whether it’s an academic club for your major, a club sport, an on-campus job or Greek life, getting involved in something on campus will change your life. Between becoming an officer for the Swim Team and working in aquatics at the Rec Center, I not only kept myself busy at Rowan, but made some amazing friendships that will last a lifetime. Look out for dates for all of the organization and activities fairs held at the beginning of the semester. 

    Rowan Motorsports team
    Rowan Motorsports Club

    It is no lie that getting good grades is a vital part of the college experience. However, although they’ll look at GPA, a future employer is not going to care about the A+ you got in English 101. Trust me, you don’t want to look back on college full of regret. That is one of the reasons why I transferred to Rowan, and I am so grateful that I did.

    College of Business New Venture Expo.

    Making connections with professors, other students and people at career fairs is an important part of the college experience. You might discover you have something in common with someone, like if you both played the same sport or were in the same fraternity or sorority. These things are part of what will make your experience at Rowan memorable. 

    Like what you see?


    Story by:
    Julia McAleavey, advertising graduate

    Junior Major Moments: Law and Justice Major Nicolette Salzano

    Exterior shot of the Owl statue and the back of Campbell Library.

    Today we feature Law and Justice major and Psychology minor Nicolette Salzano. Nicolette is a transfer student living off-campus this fall. 

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

    As a Law and Justice major, I have had numerous classes with Professor Houser. She is a great teacher, motivator and friend. She makes our classes engaging and interesting for each student and has worked closely with me to help me achieve success in the field. 

    Law and Justice major Nicolette at a formal event.

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

    The most interesting thing I have learned in my major this year is how many vast options of work are available to me. Being a Law and Justice major, the opportunities are endless in the field. It is great to know I will always have something interesting going on in my everyday work life. 

    What pre-professional experiences are helping to support your growth? 

    I am a member of the Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority, Phi Kappa chapter here at Rowan. This chapter has expanded my horizons in so many different ways, such as making so many new and extraordinary friendships and always keeping busy with community and campus work. 

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    Story by: 
    Melanie Sbaraglio, public relations and advertising graduate

    Header photo by:
    Anthony Raisley

    #PROFspective: Meet Electrical and Computer Engineering Major Bhavik Malkani

    Bhavik sits on the steps of Engineering Hall wearing a mask.

    Meet Bhavik Malkani, a junior Electrical and Computer Engineering major with a minor in Systems Engineering and an Honors Concentration at Rowan University. Bhavik is a first-generation college student from Voorhees, NJ (Camden County). Bhavik is a part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Phi Kappa Psi and Honors College. Here, he shares his experience as a Prof thus far. 

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

    One of the biggest organizations that made me feel like Rowan is my home is Residential Life and University Housing or RLUH. Ever since becoming a Resident Assistant (RA), I have felt like I truly have a home here. Everyone within RLUH has made me feel like family, and it was definitely one of the best decisions I have made so far in my college career.

    Bhavik smiling on Engineering Hall steps.

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

    I think Rowan being a welcoming environment started with orientation, along with the PROS and other orientation staff who made that experience possible. I met people who immediately made me feel welcome and am still friends with today.

    What’s your favorite thing about one typical day at Rowan for you?

    My favorite thing about one typical day at Rowan is being able to see my friends.

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

    One thing about Rowan that was a happy surprise for me was how active campus was along with how many events are put on throughout the semesters.

    Describe for us an experience you’ve shared with a professor or staff member in which you felt like they truly cared about your well-being.

    I was a sophomore and concerned about my academic success as well as my choice of major. I talked to a couple professors together after class for a few weeks, and they gave me many study suggestions as well as encouraged me to stick with my current major. They showed me that I could earn my degree and be successful.

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

    Photography by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

    #PROFspective: Nutrition and Exercise Science Major Caroline Lippincott

    Outdoor photo of Rowan Boulevard

    Today’s #PROFspective features Caroline Lippincott, a senior majoring in Nutrition and Exercise Science from Columbus, NJ (Burlington County). Caroline, a first-generation college student who lives off campus, transferred to Rowan from Stockton University. How have you gotten involved on campus? I’m proudly a part of organizations such as Theta Phi Alpha and Inter Greek Council […]

    Junior Major Moments: Bio Major Michael Camacho on His Favorite Class and Rowan Clubs

    Rowan Biological Sciences major Michael Camacho (seen at right) with friends

    Today we feature Michael Camacho, a Biological Sciences major with a minor in Psychology. He is a first-generation college student who commutes from his home in Pine Hill, NJ (Camden County).

    What is your favorite moment with a faculty member or favorite experience in one of your classes? Outdoor photo of Michael Camacho in front of wooded area

    My favorite part was going to my Microbiology class and learning from Dr. Elizabeth Brooks. She taught her lectures in such a manner that not only excited me to learn, but also intrigued me. She has over 30 years of experience in her field and still has this spark of passion in her that is truly remarkable and inspiring to me. One day I hope to walk in her footsteps and become the passionate, caring, professional, and inspiring person that she is.

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

    I’d say the most amazing and interesting thing I’ve learned in my major is that the human body truly is amazing in that the physiology protects us every day.

    What pre-professional experiences are helping to support your growth? Group photo of the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity.  

    Some of my pre-professional experiences include the Minority Association of Premedical Students (MAPS) and Rowan’s Biology Club. Though, the one organization that has truly supported my growth is Alpha Phi Omega (APO).

    We are an organization that strives by our principles of being a leader, being a friend, and being of service. Being surrounded by these individuals has truly made it feel like a second home and seeing the passion in each of us to be of service to our community is one of the many reasons why I enjoy APO so much.

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

    Aaron standing outside science hall

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

    Are you involved in any academic or social clubs?

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

    What got you interested in your intended field?

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

    What is your favorite accomplishment?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What are your next steps or goals?

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

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    How I Made Friends at Rowan

    Today’s story is from Devon Graf, a recent Communications Studies graduate from Camden County, NJ. Devon joined the Rowan Blog team to wrap up her remaining internship hours, after her internship with Enchanted Celebrations was cut short prematurely due to COVID-19 affecting business.

    Some incoming college students may wonder: How am I going to make friends? It’s one of the highest worries around. Incoming students may be used to having all of their home town friends that they went to school with for many years, and now everyone is splitting up to go away to different universities.

    My incoming freshman year I joined a Rowan Students Facebook group. I think that was my best decision. After going to Rowan’s open house and being put into groups that we did activities with, I met a couple of students, and we switched telephone numbers. After that, they added me to this Facebook group that had hundreds of incoming freshman. By reaching out and posting in this page and connecting on different social media platforms, I was able to get into touch and build relationships even before the semester started.

    Devon (second from left) and friends participated in a community-wide clean-up event.
    Devon (second from left) and friends participated in a community-wide clean-up event.

    Well, it didn’t end there! Once the semester progressed I joined a lot of clubs. Rowan offers a numerous amount of clubs where you can team bond, socialize and participate in different activities. My favorite club I joined was Volunteer Club. With doing this, I ended up being a tutor at South Woods State Prison and met a couple of friends I still have close friendships with today. 

    Rowan After Hours was also a great opportunity to make friends. The wonderful thing about that would be going with the friends I had, and meeting new ones! So the group friendship expanded. RAH would hold fun nights such as BINGO night or movie night. So my college experience didn’t always have to be about going out to parties every night and trying to socialize that way. 

    Although, going out was also a fun way to make friends. Rush sorority events were a great way to socialize, meet new people and personalities. I remember meeting girls from towns over, and states over. I met my roommates from doing this. 

    Whether you’re worried about meeting friends, or nervous to go out and socialize, don’t be. You’re not the only one in the same boat. I was nervous myself, and so were the girls I’m best friends with today. It just takes a little courage and a positive attitude.

    Be yourself! Join groups and clubs, participate in activities at Rowan, and you will have a great time meeting your friend group. 

    Devon (left) with friends (and one furry friend)
    Devon (left) with friends (and one furry friend)

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    Story and photos by:
    Devon Graf, communication studies graduate

    Junior Major Moments: Modern Languages and Linguistics Major Charisse N. Watts

    Photo of Charisse.

    Today we feature Modern Languages and Linguistics major Charisse N. Watts from Plainfield, NJ (Union County). Charisse is a transfer student and lived on-campus in 220 Rowan Blvd. before COVID-19 shut down campus. 

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

    Summit in Washington D.C. for the Model African Union course meeting with Political Officer, Ms. Seraphine Manirambona from the African Union Mission.
    Charisse (second from right) attends a meeting in Washington D.C. with political officer Ms. Seraphine Manirambona.

    One of my fondest memories was attending a summit in Washington D.C. for the weekend for my Model African Union course led by Professor Lauren Anderson.

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

    Make sure you ask the right questions of your advisors when choosing your major so you make sure everything is lined up properly for the next four years.

    What pre-professional experiences are helping to support your growth?

    Some of the members of The Fearless Freyja Chapter of Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Incorporated at Rowan University.
    Members of the Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Incorporated.

    Thanks to the help of Professor Benjamin Dworkin and Rowan Institute for Public Policy Citizenship (RIPPAC), I was able to land three internship opportunities. I interned for the Office of Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson (14th Legislative District, Hamilton), The New Jersey State League of Municipalities and the Camden County Democratic Committee.

    Ever since joining Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Incorporated I was able to connect with sisters and mentors who continue to help learn more about different backgrounds and cultures, which I believe is essential to know before entering the workforce.

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    Story by: 
    Melanie Sbaraglio, public relations and advertising graduate

    Meet Rowan #2024: Theatre Major Looks Forward to Acting and Dancing on Campus

    students dancing in a bright room with windows.

    Today we feature Shayla Moon, an incoming theatre major with a concentration in acting and a minor in communication studies, from Pennington, NJ (Mercer County).

    Shayla stands in a grassy field wearing a gray Rowan t-shirt.What is one activity, club, sport or hobby that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan?

    “I did dance, and I would love to continue that at Rowan. I’m possibly looking into trying out for the dance team and taking dance classes.”

    How and why did you choose your major?

    “I chose acting because I have always had a passion for theatre, and I know that that is what I want to do with my life, whether it’s teaching, being onstage or being a part of a company.”

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

    “I am looking forward to meeting new friends and experiencing college life in general. I also hope to join clubs and possibly rush!”

    Why did you choose Rowan?

    “I chose Rowan because I loved the theatre program and the school in general. I came for an open house and just fell in love with the vibe at Rowan!”

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    #PROFspective: Leadership & Social Innovation Major Sarah Niles

    A Student University Programmers (SUP) banner

    Today we feature Sarah Niles, a Leadership & Social Innovation major wrapping up her junior year. Sarah rents off campus, and calls Haddonfield, NJ (Camden County) home. 

    Sarah in the Chamberlain Student Center wearing a red SUP shirt.On Campus Employment: Peer Referral and Orientation Staff (PROS), Admissions Ambassadors, and Information Desk at the Student Center 

    Academic or Social Clubs: SUP (Student University Programmers) Secretary and incoming Director of Live Events, member of Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity, and member of the Student Alumni Association (SAA)

    Describe for us your typical day as a Rowan student.

    On my busiest day, I am juggling 2-3 in person classes and two online classes, a shift or two at the Student Center Information Desk, office hours for SUP, might be giving a tour for Admissions, probably do some volunteering with my fraternity. Depending on the day I probably will need to go to a bunch of meetings, taking time for homework and other work that needs my immediate attention, and try to find time to eat through all of this!

    What is one of your favorite memories from your Rowan experience so far?

    The fall of my freshman year I joined the Student Center and Campus Activities Homecoming team and thought it might be something fun to do because I was already so involved with that office. My favorite part of that week had to have been the Lip Sync Competition (which I coincidentally get to program and oversee next year!). Our dance was so fun, I met a ton of new people, and we ended up winning first place! Any time I’m asked what my favorite Rowan memory is or when I knew Rowan was for me, I think back to that event. 

    A headshot of Sarah with a pink headband and yellow Rowan Admissions shirt.How did you manage the transition to Rowan as a freshman in college?

    My transition to Rowan was fairly easy. I went on the Freshman Connection Adventure Trip with the Student Center & Campus Activities (which, unfortunately, no longer runs) the week before classes started. It was a great way for me to meet people before the semester even started and the leader of the trip ended up being one of my best mentors and helped my transition be a little bit better. I am a pretty independent person though, so I didn’t have much trouble living by myself or taking on more adult tasks. Whenever I got a little bit homesick, my family would come down to see me and it made me feel better!

    What would you tell your high school self about college? Any advice for incoming freshmen?

    I would tell my high school self not to be scared or worried about transitioning to college. Yes, it’s a big change, but it’s also a really fun change and you might end up doing things that you love that you never thought you would be doing or would have never done if you didn’t go to college. 

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    Story by: 
    Nicole Cier, writing arts graduate

    Senior Reflects: Professional Skills Through Greek Life

    Group photo of Alpha Sigma Tau.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Senior Reflects: Health Promotion and Wellness Management Major Eric Chen

    Health promotion and wellness management major Eric Chen posing on the Rowan Proud yellow chair.

    Meet Eric Chen, a first-generation graduating senior from Cape May, Health promotion and wellness management major Eric Chen posing in front of Bunce Hall.NJ (Cape May County) who majored in Health Promotion and Wellness Management

    Favorite Class: My favorite class experience was my Public Speaking class with Mr. Paul Viggiano, he always made class interesting and he made that class very comfortable. The best moments were when he would split the class into different teams and we would have little competitions.

    Experience with Alpha Chi Rho- Iota Chi Phi Chapter: Over the past couple years, I have been fundraiser, bursar, and postulant educator. My proudest experience was being able to do “Alpha Chi Rhoses,” a yearly fundraiser in which people around the Rowan community can purchase flowers and send notes to each other. The proceeds have gone to the American Cancer Society and to our local chapter of Camp Kesem.

    Career Aspirations: My career goal is to become a nurse and to work in cardiac rehab.

    Shout outs: Thank you to my brothers in Alpha Chi Rho and to thank you to the professional staff and student staff at Rowan Rec Center. Thank you for believing in me!!!!

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    Senior Reflects: Changing Majors to Find Passion

    Stock image of black ink cursive on tepia colored paper.

    A close-up photo of Genna posing and smiling in front of a busy street in New York City.

    Meet Genna Gaskill, a first-generation college student and Elementary Education and Liberal Studies Dual Major with sequences in Writing Arts and English. She is from Egg Harbor Township, NJ (Atlantic County). In her time at Rowan she spent half of her time living on campus and the other half in a house off-campus. She reflects on her time at Rowan and tells us some of her favorite experiences and where she’s headed to next!

    What are your career aspirations and how did the people or programs at Rowan help to support you with those aspirations?

    I had some trouble when I first came to Rowan figuring out what I wanted to be. I started off as a Civil Engineering major, then I went into Music Education, and eventually Elementary Education and Liberal Studies. It took me a while, but through taking all of these different classes, I was able to realize my passion for education. I want to be an elementary school teacher and, one day, an administrator in a public school district.

    The first professor who helped me realize this passion of mine was Dr. Adrian Barnes in my Music Education classes. He showed me a passion for education that I learned from and took with me in my future education classes and I will forever be grateful for his teachings. My other professors in my Education classes, such as Nancy Pagliughi, Arlene Stampa, and Gary Dentino, are who took that passion I had for teaching and shaped me into a real teacher. I will always remember their teachings when I have a classroom of my own. I would be remiss if I did not also mention my Writing Arts and English professors who helped me realize my talent for writing and showed me how to use that to make me into a better teacher. My professors Keri Mikulski, Dr. Jennifer Courtney, Amanda Haruch, and Dr. Yvonne Hammond, all saw my potential and shaped me into the writer and educator I am today. I have had so many amazing professors at Rowan that have given me knowledge and skills that I will be forever grateful for!”

    What was your favorite or most meaningful personal moment at Rowan?

    My most meaningful moments at Rowan were when I was President of my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha. I met so many of my greatest friends there and almost every one of my good memories comes from them. Going to Greek Week, volunteering at the Special Olympics, and recruitment are just a few things that I will always remember and treasure from my time with ASA. My roommates, Rachael, Sara, and Nicole, were with me through three years of being at Rowan and they were the reason I called Rowan my home. Looking back at my time in college in the future, I know I will fondly remember the times I spent with them the most.”

    Genna Gaskill hikes in the red mountain region - here she is sitting on a rock with mountains behind her.

    Tell us about your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes: 

    One memory I have of my experience in the College of Education that I think I will always remember was being in Professor Gary Dentino’s class. Almost every single day, he would email us a whole letter telling us how proud he was of us and how we will change the world. He took the time out of his day to handwrite personal letters to us as a class almost daily. Even when my classes were getting tough and I felt like I was falling behind, I would read his daily email and feel like I truly had someone in my corner. His dedication to forming a positive and uplifting relationship with his students is something I hope to carry with me when I become a teacher someday.”

    Shout outs:

    “I’d like to give a special shoutout to my best friends in the entire world: Sara Riegel, Nicole Traeger, and Rachael Kolmins. Thank you for always being there for me through it all. Another special shoutout to all of my ladies at Alpha Sigma Alpha, especially my big Rosie Nanfara and my little Emily Fishman. Keep on joyously living each day to its ultimate good! Shoutouts to other amazing people I met at Rowan like Hersh and Fraidy Loschak from Chabad at Rowan, Celeste DelRusso and Donna Mehalchick-Opal from the Rowan Writing Center, and all of my fellow Edgewood RAs. Thank you for making a difference in my life! One more shoutout goes to my boyfriend, Mark Kozak, for being my rock throughout my years at Rowan. My biggest thanks will go to my parents, who are the reason that I am where I am. Thank you Mom and Dad for everything, I love you!”

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    Senior Reflects: Studio Art Major Carlo Martines

    The Rowan University Art Gallery

    Today we feature Carlo Martines, a Studio Art graduating senior from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County). Carlo transferred to Rowan from Chestnut Hill College, and before social distancing, he commuted to campus. 

    Could you please share your favorite social memory? My favorite socialPortrait of Carlo. memory was becoming acquainted with all peers from Cross Country/Track and Field. Another funny one (before I was even officially a Prof) was going to a summer party/kick-back and asking an AEPhi girl if she was in DPhiE. My buddy, who had brought me to this social event, thought it was hysterical.

    Could you please share your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes? My favorite moment with a faculty member was answering a handful of questions correctly in a row for a final review for Macro-economics. I wasn’t sure why I was so strong in that class but I received a B and that was my best mark all semester.

    Carlo poses for a selfie.What advice would you give to incoming freshmen or transfers about making the most out of their college experience while choosing a university close to home? Stay grounded by doing your best academically. Social life will come no matter what. But if you are doing poorly in class it will affect all aspects of your life as a Prof.

    Do you want to give a thank you shout out to your family, friends, advisors or mentors? Shout-out to André Baldarrago, Paulo Nascimento, Kenny Stetser, Joe Paolini, Jan Conradi, Herr Schmidt, Joe Finoochiaro, Eric Dubois, Coach Dimit, Nick Neville, Jenna Pumphrey, Tyler Kline, Adam Lovitz, Rowan Club Soccer, Stephen Kümmer, Michael Schillo, David Vaccaro, Joey Baldarrago, and Zach Bruno, as well as my family, all of my professors from my time at Rowan, and all Profs involved with extra-curricular activities. 

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    Senior Reflects: Aspiring Elementary Ed Teacher Shares Her Story

    casey and three friends posing for a grad pic.

    Meet Casey Urion, a graduating senior from Pilesgrove, NJ (Salem Casey standing in front of the owl statue.County) who double majored in elementary education and literacy studies. Casey looks forward to a career as a second grade teacher and thanks her mentors and friends for years of support. 

    Favorite moment with a faculty member: I can’t think of a favorite moment or experience but I do know that one of my favorite professors and classes taken at Rowan was Principles and Pedagogies with Corine Brown. Through this course, I was able to explore different topics centered around multicultural education and student diversity within the classroom. Corine Brown was always welcoming and engaging and her approach to teaching the material was eye-opening. I left that class with a greater appreciation for student diversity and more knowledge on how to create and develop an inclusive, safe, and nurturing learning environment for all students. 

    How did you meet your closest friends at Rowan? I actually met my two best friends, Julia Barr and Karlyn Harlow, prior to attending Rowan through a program called RUTA (Rowan Urban Teacher Academy). We attended this program the summer of our junior year in high school and I was lucky enough to come back the following summer, along with Karlyn, to be mentors for the program. Before coming into my freshman year at Rowan University, I signed up for the Freshman Connection Adventure program in order to meet new people and make my transition a little easier. Before official move-in day, the Freshman Connection groups held a picnic and that is where I reunited with Julia as she was in the Leadership program. I was so surprised but happy to see a familiar face and we hung out for the rest of the day. When school started, I bumped into Karlyn on campus and asked her to hang out with Julia and I and from that day forward, we grew to become best friends, roommates for 3 years, and sisters in Theta Phi Alpha. They are a huge part of what made my college experience so memorable and I’m so lucky to have them in my life.

    Career aspirations: Casey and a friend in front of the rowan owlMy career aspirations are to become an elementary school teacher (preferably second grade) and go back to school to receive my master’s in education. I hope to get involved as much as possible within the school community and eventually become a dean of students at an elementary school. 

    Shout outs! I want to give a special shoutout to my grandparents, Earl and Eileen Urion, for supporting me all these years and giving me the opportunity to achieve my dream in becoming a future educator. I want to thank all of my Rowan professors and advisors, Achieving the Dream Program, and the LLSC Department for the guidance and support. I want to thank Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity for the opportunity to grow as an individual and the amazing people and friendships I’ve made through this organization. I want to thank my cooperating teacher, Elizabeth Schneider, for being so welcoming, kind, and willing to help me succeed in every way possible. I appreciate all of your feedback and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you. Thanks to my best friends, Dana Terry and Sarah McGoldrick, for always sticking by my side and being my biggest fans since we were in Elementary School. Without you two, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I want to thank my other best friends, Julia Barr and Karlyn Harlow, for being my rocks throughout college. You are both so inspiring and I am so lucky to have you in my life. Last but not least, I want to thank my amazing, hard-working, and caring boyfriend, Brandon Bedilion. You have given me endless amount of support in everything I do and you push me to be a better person. I wouldn’t want to continue on this journey with anyone else by my side. 

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    Senior Reflects: Friendship & Greek Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Meet #Rowan2024: Aspiring Athletic Trainer

    Stock image of a person's ankle going into a cast.

    Today we feature Bridget Richards, an athletic training major from Brick, NJ (Ocean County) who attended St. Rose High School in Belmar, NJ. Bridget will live on campus. 

    How or why did you choose your major?
    I’m an athletic training major and I was inspired by my cousin who is an athletic trainer in Michigan.

    Bridget tugs on her t-shirt to proudly show that it's a Rowan t-shirt.

    Why did you choose a university relatively close to home?
    Rowan is about an hour and a half away from where I live now, so it’s close but not super close! I also plan to live in NJ when I am older so going to a college in state just made more sense. 

    What are some things you’re looking forward to at Rowan next year?
    I’m extremely excited to meet new people and make fun college memories next year. I plan on rushing a sorority in the spring of my freshman year!

    Why Rowan?
    Personally attending Rowan just made the most sense. I fell in love with the campus and everything it has to offer!!

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    Rowan Women in Leadership: Arielle Gedeon

    Arielle sitting in the Student Government Association office.

    Along with being Student Government Association (SGA) president, Arielle Gedeon is a junior Radio/TV/Film (RTF) major with double minors in political science and new media. The Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County) native lives on campus and, in addition to her role as SGA president, serves as president of the Lambda Rho Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha […]

    Pandemic Profs: Serving as the First Mental Health Chair for My Sorority

    Welcome to our series to give you a glimpse into Rowan University, our campus culture, and the lives of our students, while we’re practicing social distancing to protect society from the spread of COVID-19. Today’s story is from Elizabeth Madden, a junior isolating in her house in Monmouth County, NJ. Elizabeth is an early childhood education major with a focus on literacy studies. She who normally lives off campus during the school year, in a house with her sorority sisters.

    A close up of Elizabeth Madden.When I heard that my sorority was creating a new position called mental health chair, I knew immediately that it was something I would like to be a part of. The executive board created this position to really highlight the importance of mental health in college and promoting resources that are available to us currently and beyond our college experience to ensure that we get the most of those.

    Personally I wanted this position because I have struggled myself with mental health and have seen those around me struggle and get lost in the “college world” and wanted to help them out while also navigating the same struggles together. My goals for this new position are to raise awareness on campus and within our own sisterhood to help everyone get more informed on mental health and to stop some of the stigma that comes along with those words.

    Elizabeth (on right) holds wooden painted Greek letters with a friend, the Greek letters fro Sigma Delta Tau.
    We painted these letters for our sorority, Sigma Delta Tau.

    Some of the activities I had planned were unfortunately not able to happen due to the coronavirus outbreak. I had wanted my sorority to get involved with the Out of the Darkness walk on campus through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I have gone to this walk since I was a freshman at Rowan, and noticed that Greek life was not heavily involved and thought that should change. I planned to host tables and fundraising events for this and also have our chapter go to the walk.

    Self care isn't selfish sign.Next I planned to hold peer support groups in which I planned to schedule a library room before our chapter meeting and just hold an open one hour space where my sisters could come and talk about stressors in their life or their current anxieties they were having. I thought this would be a good idea because talking it out sometimes helps and makes you realize you’re not alone and a lot of people surrounding you are having these same feelings as you. This would give hope and an outlet.

    I also planned to host a speaker, my mom, who is in the mental health field. She was going to come talk to the chapter and inform us on mental health and some of her healthy coping mechanisms she uses and teaches to her clients.

    Lastly I was going to give away once a month or so, a mental health basket. In this basket was going to be coloring books and pens, an essential oil diffuser, stress putty and just simple de-stressors that can help calm them and refocus them in a time of uncertainty.

    I hope that I can implement these next semester and come up with even more ideas on how to help my chapter and even the campus. 

    Like what you see, come visit us!


    Related posts:

    Managing Your Stress in an Ever-Changing Environment

    Prioritizing Wellness Days

    Julia’s Corner: Taking Advantage of On-Campus Resources

    From ‘Sister of Justice’ to Court Service Supervisor

    concrete facade of Mercer County Court House with flag in background

    The daughter of a welder/steamfitter father and a mother who did a little bit of everything, Kristen Cunningham knew she wanted to continue her education after high school, but wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. She also wanted to make her parents proud and be the first person in her family to go to college. Initially drawn to education and journalism, she shied away from those options when her hearing began to deteriorate as a young adult and she felt her hearing loss may hinder her in those areas. 

    She completed her associate degree at Mercer County College, while working full-time as a cook in a restaurant. Her colleague there, Cheryl Buono, a waitress, told her about then-Glassboro State College and said, “You’ve got to come to this awesome school with me.” Kristen checked out a few options, including other state schools and an art school, but ultimately decided, “If Cheryl’s there, sure. That will make the transition to campus life much easier. I didn’t want to risk not getting a degree.”

    Kristen Cunningham smiles outdoors, wearing a purple shirt while leaning against a concrete building.Once at Rowan, something just clicked with Kristen with criminology. “It blew my mind. I could still do the writing and the research that I enjoyed, but also focus on justice.” The law and justice studies alumna graduated in 1998, saying that the advice of her professors “saved” her. “I had one professor, Salerno, who asked me, ‘What do you want to do?’ We talked about it for a bit and he said, ‘I can see with your personality you’d be better at this, you’d be better at that.’ And he was right. He definitely geared me toward something that was a fit for me. He cared.”

    Another professor taught her the importance of observation. “People never look up and that’s what criminals take advantage of. There’s a lot happening outside of your eyesight. To this day, when I’m walking down the street I always have eyes up. Those little nuggets, those were real-life experiences in that department. It was amazing and I loved it. We had people with years of experience in the field, being investigators, police officers and they were teaching these classes.”

    Kristen also considers her involvement in Greek life to be paramount to her success at Rowan. “You went to classes and learned, but after class it was like family. Greek life made me feel like a part of the school.” Kristen affectionately earned the nickname “Sister of Justice” (something she is still sometimes called to this day) and led her sorority, Alpha Delta Epsilon, as president. 

    Kristen Cunningham stands outside the concrete building of the Mercer County Courthouse on a sunny dayToday, Kristen is a 20-year employee of the judiciary within Mercer County. She started as an investigator, moving up to a probation officer after a year. She was voted Probation Worker of the Year in 2003. Two years later she was promoted to supervisor, a position she still holds today. As a court service supervisor in Probation/Child Support, she manages a team of six probation officers. “You get a lot of complaints. But as a civil servant you take the good with the bad. It’s rewarding because once in awhile I’ll get a letter that says that their lives changed for the better. That’s better than a bonus, when you hear that someone’s life has been bettered by an action you did – you go to bed that night feeling pretty good about yourself.”

    As for her friend and waitress Cheryl? Successful in her own right as a leader in the marketing industry, she and Kristen are still dear friends 20+ years later.


    “First Class” Graduate Howard Beder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    WEBSITE for FIRST CLASS ENTERTAINMENT INC.:  www.gotofirstclass.com

    FACEBOOK PAGE for FIRST CLASS ENTERTAINMENT INC.:  www.facebook.com/FirstClassEntertainmentInc/

    PHOTO GALLERY for FIRST CLASS ENTERTAINMENT INC.:  www.gotofirstclass.com/about/photogallery.htm  

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

    Like what you see? Come visit us!


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

    Alumni Success Story: CEO Steve McKeon

    Steve McKeon working on his desktop computer in his home office

    An entrepreneurial mindset paired with an interest to solve problems prepared Steve McKeon, a first-generation college student, for a future in the technology business. As CEO of MacGuyver Media, Steve discusses how Rowan University taught him the networking skills and technical foundation that led to the success he finds today leading a software development company from his home office.

    “I’m hoping that in five to 10 years MacGuyver Media will be a $50 million company with 300 employees. I hope that many of them come from Rowan University,” he said. 

    Steve McKeon posing for a portrait photo on his porch.

    As an Engineering major turned Computer Science major, Steve knew that problem solving would be his biggest asset in information technology and that his degree would support him. Because technology is always changing, he found it important to emphasize learning how things work so he could always stay ahead of the technology curve.

    “Computer science taught me how to learn and comprehend things quickly. It’s important that I’m continuously learning and reading new things to stay on the cutting edge of technology,” says Steve. “I see what people are looking for and I always try to be a little ahead of the trend. I’m always making sure I’m not just following them, I’m leading them.”

    In 2015, Steve launched MacGuyver Media, a software development company dedicated to being on the forefront of technology. To be a leader in his field, he’s immersed himself in all things technology since he wrapped up his degree in 1998.

    A benefit to being a business owner is having an in-home office that allows Steve to enjoy the flexibility working from home. With his dog Lola by his side, he supports his family and business.

    Steve and Lola the Dalmatian sitting on a grey couch.

    Most of Steve’s day-to-day work is based on problem solving. A business may call and need a process or software streamlined, and it’s up to Steve to reverse engineer it to find a tech savvy solution, fast.

    It’s most important to him that he and his team can provide value to their clients. From custom web applications that cover accounting, inventory management and reporting, to web redesigns, Steve’s team does it all.

    Alumnus Steve McKeon working in his at-home officeBeing a business owner requires Steve to constantly meet other like-minded colleagues at networking events to grow professionally and personally.

    “My position as social chairman in Alpha Phi Delta at Rowan helped me immensely as a business owner. In my position, I was in charge of publicity, event planning and Greek relations, which taught me how to work with all different personalities,” says Steve. “I can now confidently find value in people quickly and come up objectives and goals much quicker because of my experiences in Greek Life when I was younger.”

    With now 20 years of experience in the software industry and the CEO of his own company under his belt, Steve looks to the next generation of Rowan University Computer Science majors to help support his business.

    Like what you see, come visit us!


    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Psychology Major Greg Joyce

    Psychology major and transfer student Greg Joyce

    Today we speak with senior Psychology major Gregory Joyce from Alloway (Salem County). Joyce will share his experience in his first year here at Rowan. 

    Greg Joyce standing in front of his off-campus residence

    Name: Gregory Joyce

    Major: Psychology

    Year: Senior

    Transfer Student: Yes, from Coastal Carolina

    Hometown and County: Alloway Township, Salem County

    Off-Campus resident?: Yes, I live in a house off-campus

    Academic clubs: Applied Behavioral Analysis Club

    Social clubs: Tau Delta Phi Fraternity

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

    “I had a Child Psychology professor who would conduct simple child behavior tests on her own son, which made me notice how seriously she took her job and how much she cared about the course.” 

    Why did you choose Rowan?

    “It was close to home and I was familiar with the area. I also heard that the Psych program is highly recommended.” 

    Greg Joyce pointing at the bumper sticker from the school he transferred from

    What’s your favorite thing about your typical Monday at Rowan? 

    “I enjoy plugging in my earbuds and listening to my favorite music on my way to class.” 

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

    “On my busiest days, I am working, doing homework, studying and helping organize social events for my fraternity.” 

    Like what you see, come visit us!


    Story and photography by:
    Chad Wittmann, senior journalism major

    Alumni Success Story: Lauren O’Donnell from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

    Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where Rowan alumna Lauren O'Donnell works

    Rowan alumna Lauren O'Donnell from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)Today we are speaking with Lauren O’Donnell, a Psychology alumna from the 2000 class. Originally from Chatham (Morris County), O’Donnell now lives in South Jersey and works as a Reward and Recognition Program Lead for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 

    “What really caught me when I first visited Rowan was how beautiful and comfortable the campus is, it just felt right.

    “Rowan really gave me a strong foundation — one class in particular was Organizational Behavior. It really was not at all what I expected it to be, but it was the best class and really confirmed that I wanted to pursue the business world instead of the clinical side of my degree (Psychology).”

    How did Rowan help you achieve your goals?

    “Rowan always had amazing opportunities to get involved with the university, lots of clubs, events, there was always something going on. I was involved in Greek Life and because of that I met a lot of great friends, who helped me a lot. I also learned a lot of leadership skills and how to work well in group settings.”

    How did Rowan help you with any job opportunities?

    “The Career Advancement Center was great and helped me set up some of my first interviews. Not only did they help but all of the other connections I made through networking, my World Religion professor wrote me a letter of recommendation.”

    What is your favorite accomplishment at your current job?

    “I currently am working my dream job and absolutely love it, but my biggest accomplishment would be the event we held at the Philadelphia Zoo and over 11,000 employees were in attendance.”

    What is some advice you would give to future graduates?

    “Be proactive, ask questions and don’t be uncomfortable with making the initial contact with the job you want.”

    Like what you see? Come visit us!


    Story by:
    Justin Borelli, senior advertising major

    Exploratory Studies Leads to Perfect Match in Public Relations

    Shaylin Heller, public relations major at Rowan University, walks past the book store holding her laptop and wearing sunglasses

    Shaylin Heller, a rising senior public relations and advertising double major from Frenchtown, NJ (Hunterdon County), has so much passion for what she does, you would never guess she came into her freshman year overwhelmed with the thought of choosing a major. “In high school, what I thought I wanted to study changed every other week!” she says. Through a summer program, she started her freshman experience weeks before the fall semester started. “It was basically a Rowan 101 class, but more intimate because it was over the summer with a smaller group of students, so we were really able to get the know the campus and its programs before anyone else,” she recalls. Shaylin wears a denim jacket and holds her laptop outside of Barnes & Noble.

    Initially, Shaylin enrolled as an Exploratory Studies major, unsure of what exactly she wanted to pursue a career in. “The advisors in the program would reach out to me and give advice as I was trying to figure out my major and career goals,” she recalls. Her schedule was created for her through the program’s academic advisors, based on introductory classes that pertained to her general interests. Of the classes chosen for her, including sociology and music, her favorite class by far was Introduction to Public Relations. “I loved that class. My best friend freshman year was a PR major, and I noticed how passionate and driven she was about it. It influenced me to get more involved, because I saw how happy she was in the program,” she says.

    One of the assignments in the introductory class was to interview somebody within Public Relations, so Shaylin drove to meet the CEO of the Little Words Project, which she was familiar with through a project with her sorority. She was an ambassador for the company, which allows you to pass on confidence and inspiration by sharing a bracelet with others who may need a reminder of their strength. “Talking to the CEO was inspiring, and it was so interesting to see what her life and career looked like. It made me think, ‘I can really picture myself doing this in the future,’” Shaylin says.

    Shaylin walks in front of the entrance to Barnes & Noble. “I always knew I wanted to do something more on the creative side,” Shaylin reflects. “I’m a visual learner and I like talking to people, so I wanted to do something where I’d be in a fast pace environment and constantly meeting new people.” Becoming a member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority confirmed her love of public relations, because of their philanthropic work and involvement with nonprofits. “Public relations is at the base of a lot of nonprofits, so getting involved with them really narrowed it down for me, that this is what I want to pursue.”

    Flash forward to the end of her junior year, and Shaylin is currently searching for her dream internship, where she can apply everything she has learned the past three years. Her dream is to live in Philadelphia and work in the PR and advertising field. “Sometimes it can be hard to figure out which companies are real and authentic and will help you grow,” she says, “It can get a bit overwhelming, but it’s definitely helped me to come out of my comfort zone and narrow down my ideal job.”

    “I loved having the opportunity to explore all the different fields – including ones I hadn’t even heard of before college – and being able to choose what I liked. It was less pressure, because a lot of people have the impression that you have to have a set major before even getting to college, so it reassured me that I didn’t have to know exactly what I was doing right away. Exploratory studies eased the pressure of not having that decision made yet.”

    Like what you see? Come visit us!


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

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Austin Gilliss

    Austin out front of the Rec center holding frisbees up outside

    Meet Austin Gilliss, a junior health and physical education major from Merchantville, NJ (Camden County) who is a Blackwood Eagle Scout & Alpha Phi Delta fraternity brother who transferred from Camden County College.

    Austin out front of the Rec center holding up frisbees

    “Transferring from a community college to a university can be challenging. You’re trying to figure out where you fit in and how to fit in. I am a brother of a new fraternity here on campus, Alpha Phi Delta, and I’m starting up a frisbee golf club with a bunch of guys who share similar interests with me,” says Austin.

    “We’re working together to form a frisbee golf team that will launch this coming fall semester. Come out and see what we’re about! It’s great that I have the opportunity to propose a new club to the Rec Center here at Rowan. Everyone is welcome to join, contact me if you’re interested!”

    Like what you see? 

    Story and photography by:
    Vanessa Vause, senior public relations and theatre major

    #PROFspective: Civil Engineering Major Joseph Cerasi

    Today, we speak with Joseph Cerasi, a junior civil engineering major who rents a house off campus. Joseph will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how he’s getting the most out of his college experience as a Rowan Prof. Name: Joseph Cerasi Major: Civil Engineering Year: Junior […]

    #PROFspective: Biological Sciences Major Max von Suskil

    Today, we speak with Max von Suskil, a junior biological sciences major from Wall Township, NJ (Monmouth County), who lives in a house off campus. Max will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how he’s getting the most out of his college experience as a […]

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

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

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

    Small Town Pennsylvania Transfer Feels at Home at Rowan University

    Molly, a transfer student, standing in a gazebo near Bunce.

    After having an awful freshman year, I decided to transfer to a different college. I completely changed my major from dental hygiene to public relations and began searching from there. While choosing which college to transfer to, I made a list of things to consider since I know what I didn’t like from my previous […]

    Student Leadership: New Fraternity Alpha Phi Delta

    three APD brothers stand with arms around each other in front of Rowan banner

    Last semester I had the honor of starting a Greek organization on campus, a reactivated colony of Alpha Phi Delta. Over the course of the semester, our tight-knit group went from friends to brothers. As a sophomore, I have the opportunity to take on leadership opportunities within the organization. This semester I am pledgemaster, meaning […]

    #PROFspective: Health & Exercise Science Major Nikayla Pascual

    Nikki stationed with physical therapy equipment

    Today, we speak with Nikayla Pascual, a senior health and exercise science major from Cranford (Union County), NJ, who lives on campus in 220 Rowan Boulevard. Nikki will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as […]

    Top 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before College

    academic advisor at Rowan University sits with a student to review her schedule

    1. Know that it’s not like high school You’re now responsible for the coursework, and it’s easy to delay assignments in favor of more fun opportunities. In high school, everything was set at a certain schedule. When you get to college, your life is already consumed by other responsibilities, and now, classes which could be […]

    #PROFspective PROS Edition: Chemical Engineering Major Steven Schwartz

    hands up in front of Holly Pointe

    Today, we speak with Steven Schwartz, a senior chemical engineering major from Manahawkin, NJ, who resides on campus in Holly Pointe Commons as a resident assistant. Steven will give us insight on his career as being a member of Rowan PROS and will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University […]

    #PROFspective Elementary Education and Mathematics Major Kaitlee Francisco

    student in education building

    Today we speak with Kaitlee Francisco, a sophomore elementary education and mathematics  major from Washington Township, Gloucester County, who lines on campus in the Townhouses. She will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof. Name: […]

    #PROFspective: Chemical Engineering Major Nick Testa

    student inside whitney center

    Today we speak with Nick Testa, a sophomore chemical engineering major from Hainesport, Burlington County, who lives on campus in Whitney Center. Nick will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how he’s getting the most out of his college experience as a Rowan Prof. Name: Nick Testa Major: Chemical […]