Senior Reflects: Esther Dede, Health Promotion and Wellness Management Major

Esther wears her graduation gown and stands in front of campus greenery.

Today we speak with Esther Dede, a graduating senior Health Promotion and Wellness Management (HPWM) major from the island of St. Maarten. Esther transferred from Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) at Gloucester County and is a first-generation college student.

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

My favorite moment with a faculty member was when I told her that I planned to take three summer courses as prerequisites for dental school, and she looked at me and said that I was very ambitious and that it’ll take me far in life, and that she was happy for me and to continue being great.

Esther smiles and stands in front of a campus gazebo.

Could you please share your favorite social memory?

S.O.C.A. (Students Organization for Caribbean Awareness), which I was a part of, held a SOCA gala, which was amazing. We had amazing food, music and art where different cultures were showcased. It was so fun to dance to different Caribbean music and overall have a great time.

What are your career aspirations?

My goal is to become a dentist and specialize in either orthodontics or cosmetics.

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

They motivated me to keep on excelling in life. After having events with S.O.C.A. and doing community service work such as Back to the Boro, they made me realize that I can do so much to give back to the community, especially in my career.

Esther stands and smiles in front of an entrance door at Bunce Hall.

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

Dr. Robert Weaver (Practicum in HPWM) and Dr. Leslie Spencer (Foundations of HPWM) are my favorite professors because they always remind me how great I can be in life. This really helps me because sometimes I can be so hard on myself, and the fact that they always remind me that due to my ambition I can go far in life is really helpful. Also, they show me that they truly care for my future, and make time to meet with me when I need it.

Esther smiles wearing her graduation gown with Bunce Hall in the background.

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

To create a list of goals they’d like to accomplish and to be willing to make sacrifices to accomplish those goals. Also, remember to always be kind to others and themselves.

Like what you see?


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

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

Junior Major Moments: Health Promotion & Wellness Management Major Krishna Mansukhani

Krishna flexing his muscles outside 232 Victoria St.

Today we feature junior Krishna Mansukhani, a Health Promotion & Wellness Management major with a minor in Psychology of Sports and Exercise from Sayreville, NJ (Middlesex County). Krishna transferred to Rowan from Middlesex Community College in fall 2017.

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

If I could pick one moment in my college career based upon an interesting class experience I would say it would be with Dr. Spencer. She is someone I respect in my field and was also my professor for my intro class in my major. She does so much for the health and fitness field like teaching us students or even running a health program called Get Fit, where students help mentally challenged people become active by working out or doing any kind of physical activity they enjoy. Dr. Spencer has taught me so much about my field and what I’m getting into, which makes what I do today and every day so much more important.

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

The most interesting thing I learned in my major if I can only choose one it would be learning why we do this. I learned a new perspective on the satisfaction of helping someone achieve their goals and feel more confident in themselves. It could have been with all the certifications I got this past year. I don’t know what it is, but this year I learned how to take my coaching business to the next level.

Krishna working out at the Fitness Center.

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

I personally run an online coaching business and post vlog-like videos, a full day of eating, and workout tips on YouTube and Instagram. I was the VP of the Nutrition Care Club during my sophomore year and still take part in activities. But the number one thing that helps me grow is the satisfaction I get from helping my followers, clients or people messaging me questions about college or fitness. 

Like what you see? 


Story by:
Alyssa Bauer, public relations graduate

#PROFspective: Nutrition, Exercise Science Major and Aspiring Business Owner Tyler Weiss

Tyler Weiss sits outside of Business Hall.

Today we feature Tyler Weiss, a Nutrition major with a specialization in Exercise Science. Tyler, a junior from Winfield Park, NJ (Union County), lives on campus. 

Tyler Weiss sits outside of Business Hall wearing a blue sweatshirt

Why did you choose Rowan?

I chose Rowan because of its size. I felt the community wasn’t too small, so I’d have a lot of opportunities to meet new people, but I wasn’t too big.

How did you know Rowan was the right choice for you?

It was a mix of things. I always knew I wanted to be a personal trainer and eventually own a gym. My friends would always ask me for fitness advice. In high school, I talked to my gym teacher about my passion for fitness and she suggested her alma mater, Rowan University.

What clubs and activities are you involved in on campus?

I work as a personal trainer for the Rec Center. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to train anyone [right now], but typically, I’d be working with a client 2-3 times per week. I’ve also conducted body scans, gym tours, and routine obligations.

Tyler sitting reading a book in front of Business Hall

What is a topic you learned in class that you applied in your industry?

An important lesson we learn in the program is communicating with clients. Students are used to anatomy and physiology terms, but most people aren’t. I’ve learned methods to explain certain exercises in a way they’ll understand.

How are you keeping in touch with your Rowan friends while at home?

Since being at home, my Rowan friends and I keep in touch by texting.

Like what you see, come visit us!


Story by:
Alyssa Bauer, public relations graduate

Biology Alum Thanks Professors for Guiding Him Toward Medical School

Today we speak with Nick San Juan, a former transfer student and biological sciences major who graduated in 2019. Nick commuted to Rowan for his undergraduate studies from his home in Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County), and is working his way toward medical school to continue his education.

You mentioned you were a transfer student and a commuter. Where did you transfer from, and why did you choose Rowan?

I went to Rowan College at Gloucester County originally, then transferred to Rutgers New Brunswick for a year and realized that it didn’t fit me personally. I wanted a school closer to home in South Jersey that was smaller and more personal, and so that’s why I chose Rowan.

My first class at Rowan was with Dr. Gregory Eaton. On the first day of classes, most professors like to get to know students, so we did one of those ice breaker activities. I told the class that I was a transfer and this was my first day at Rowan and that I was a little nervous. He took the time to ask me questions about where I transferred from. He shared that he also transferred to Rowan from RCGC, and said that if I had any questions about campus or the biology department to ask him. I really appreciate the time he took to make me feel comfortable.

Nick leans against the bridge by the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering.How did you meet new people and stay involved on campus as a commuter? 

I went to several club meetings and tried my hand in a few different clubs I was interested in. Because Rowan is a smaller campus, you get to see certain faces regularly and recognize them, and eventually build relationships with some of these people.

Do you have any advice for future transfer students or commuters?

I definitely recommend going to events and trying to be more involved. It can be lonely as a commuter and a transfer student because you don’t really know too many people right away and don’t stay on campus, so you have the mindset that you’re just here for class and not to make friends. But I think that’s a negative outlook, and I’d recommend getting out of your comfort zone and building up the courage to make new friends. College is a unique experience for everyone, and the way to get the most out of that experience is to meet new and different kinds of people.

How did you get involved in your major?

I didn’t have a linear path to biology or a conventional desire to pursue it out of high school. I initially studied math and engineering, until I realized that particular branch of science wasn’t for me. I decided to take a look into biology, and once I considered the potential careers [I could pursue], I decided that this was the major for me. 

What has your career path looked like since you finished your undergrad? 

I am applying to medical school this summer. I will be pursuing medicine, and aim to become a physician at some point. It’s still up in the air for me, which branch of medicine I want to practice, but I know I’ll have plenty of time to explore the different branches of medicine. The two institutions I’m primarily considering are Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.

[On the day these photos were captured], I [am] actually on campus to ask Dr. Gregory Hecht for a letter of recommendation. He’s very approachable and personable. My experience in his class was very positive. I’d go to his office hours every week and ask him questions. I think we definitely built a relationship to the point that I felt I could approach him to ask for a recommendation, because we got to know each other over the course of the semester I was in his class, and I think he was someone who took note of my work ethic. 

What are your goals for the future? How do you feel that Rowan has prepared you?

I really enjoyed my time in the science courses at Rowan. My professors really developed me professionally and taught the material in ways that just made sense. Almost everything I was able to learn really stuck with me, and I think I can use that background and the things I have learned here in the medical education I will be fortunate enough to receive in the future.

photo of Nick on the bridge

Like what you see?


Story by:
Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Haddonfield Native Marybeth Coyne

Marybeth Coyne- Senior exercise science major

Today we speak with Marybeth Coyne, a senior Exercise Science major from Haddonfield, NJ (Camden County) who rents off campus. She transferred from Stockton University her junior year. 

How did you end up at Rowan?

“I attended Stockton for my first two years of college, and I wasn’t getting the college experience that I had originally hoped for. My three older brothers all attended Rowan and had great experiences, so my mom really encouraged to transfer. I couldn’t be happier with my decision.”

Marybeth Coyne in the pool for swim meet warmups

What made Rowan feel like home?

“When I first transferred to Rowan, I knew that the best way to be successful and to meet people was to get involved. I was a swimmer my whole life, so I joined the Swim Club and made a bunch of friends there.” 

This photo was taken at last year's homecoming football game. Marybeth was on the winning battleship team for the swim club and is featured holding the trophy.
This photo was taken at last year’s Homecoming football game. Marybeth was on the winning Battleship team for the Swim Club and is featured holding the trophy.

How has Rowan helped your professional development?

“I am the treasurer of the Exercise is Medicine Club. This position has given me leadership skills and other learning experiences for me to be successful in my field. I have also attended many conferences needed for professional development hours that have taught me a lot along the way.”

You are about to graduate. Do you have plans for after graduation?

“I want to be a physical therapist and am currently applying to physical therapy schools in the Philadelphia area.”

Like what you see?


Story by:
Julia McAleavey, senior advertising major

#PROFspective: Dietetics Major Hannah Holzhauer

Hannah smiles, wearing a gray Rowan sweatshirt.
Hannah lays on the ground with colorful fruit and vegetables surrounding her head like a halo.

Meet Hannah Holzhauer, a sophomore dietetics major from Sussex County, NJ who lives on-campus in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments. Hannah is on track for a 5 year master’s program to support her future career in nutrition.

Name: Hannah Holzhauer
Year: Sophomore
Major: Dietetics major (5 year master’s program)
Hometown: Green Township, NJ (Sussex County)
On campus resident or commuter: On-Campus resident in Rowan Boulevard Apartments
Academic or social clubs you are a part of: I am a member of the Exercise is Medicine Club, Nutrition Care Club, and the Culture in Green Club. I am also in the National Honor Society fraternity Phi Sigma Pi as the scholarship chair.

Why did you choose Rowan University?

“I chose Rowan because it is the perfect fit for me. It is the right distance away from my home; far but not too far. It has a big campus with lots going on, but at the same time, it feels safe and inviting. It is reasonably priced for in-staters like me. The biggest deciding factor, however, was that it offers the field I so badly wanted to study … Nutrition.”

Hannah smiling and posing in front of a yellow shed with a purple door wearing a Rowan University hoodie.

What inspired you to choose your major?

“I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at 7 years old. For most of my life, my body had been at war with itself. I was tired of being a victim to my condition and accepting that my pain, frustration and sadness were inevitable. I knew there had to be some way that I could help myself, but never did I imagine ending up where I am today. After doing extensive research on the impact diet has over disease, I decided to try it out myself. I changed my diet overnight and stuck with it out of hope and pure desperation that it would do some good. It not only did some good, it put me in full remission. This is something no pill, injection, or procedure has ever been able to do for me. I knew from this point on that I had found my purpose; to help others heal their bodies and regain control of their lives.”

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

“The field of nutrition is ever-expanding, with new discoveries and research coming out every single day. I am living proof that food is medicine and that what you put into your body matters. If we shift our perception and start treating food more like fuel, we have the potential to improve the wellbeing of our nation and change the way health care is looked at for good.”Hannah sits criss cross apple sauce surrounded by colorful fruits and vegetables while holding a pineapple.

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

“One of the best people I have had the pleasure of knowing at Rowan has to be Dr. Leslie Spencer. She teaches the Health Behavior Theory and Counseling class that I am in this semester. Never have I met an educator so dedicated to her work, her students, and the university as her. She is incredibly smart and passionate about health and wellness, which makes being in class with her such a joy. The life skills and personal growth I have attained from her class has turned me into a better human being with a greater understanding of those around me. I have no doubt that the things I have learned from Dr. Spencer will stay with me forever and benefit me in my professional career. I honestly believe that everyone, regardless of what you are studying, should take this course with her. She has so much to teach you.”

Any advice for students interested in Dietetics or any advice in general?

“Nutrition is an exciting field to study with endless career opportunities. The biggest thing when choosing a career path, whether it be Dietetics or something else, is to establish your “why”. If you can’t effortlessly answer why you are studying what you are, then maybe you are not where you are meant to be. Find your why.”

Like what you see?


Story by: Bianca Torres, junior Music Industry major

Future Pediatrician Shares Her Summer Lab Experience At Rowan

Alyssa Sanders a tbs major in lab room

Translational biomedical science major Alyssa Sanders in her summer lab experience internship

Meet Alyssa Sanders, a rising junior from Pitman (Gloucester County) majoring in Translational Biomedical Science (TBS) from the College of Science & Mathematics. This summer, she was able to take an internship offered at Rowan where she got the chance to do research on many projects, one of which was called The Drug Delivery Project.

“Some people put [TBS] as an advanced biology degree. So, you’re basically taking what you learn in the classrooms and then applying it to research,” Alyssa said.

According to Alyssa, a TBS major needs to take 12 credits of research hours to be able to graduate. With a bachelor’s in TBS there are many things a person can do. “We can go on to getting our Ph.D., go to med school or go right into the working field and become a research assistant,” she said.

Translational biomedical science major Alyssa Sanders in her summer lab experience internshipAlyssa will become the first doctor in her family; both her parents chose different careers outside of the medical field. “I really want to become a doctor, so I liked how it [the TBS major] kind of had a built-in premed track. I want to be a pediatrician,” she said.

This summer, Alyssa worked alongside Dr. Nathaniel Nucci, assistant professor from the departments of Biomedical & Translational Sciences and Physics & Astronomy. “What I did mainly over the summer was purified proteins,” Alyssa said. “So, we purified red fluorescent proteins (RFP), that way we can use it during the school year since purifying protein is very time consuming.”

The Drug Delivery Project was one of the many projects Sanders did research for this summer. For this project, purifying RFP was the goal. “For The Drug Delivery Project, we are trying to find out a new way to deliver drugs to the body. Sometimes proteins are too big, or they are hydrophilic and they really can’t cross your blood brain barrier, or your body ceases them and signals them out because they are too big, even though they are trying to help you get better but the body will destroy them,” Alyssa explained.

“So, we are trying to use a mechanism like a bubble to engulf the proteins to disguise them, so the body won’t send signals out to destroy them. And then it can go to different parts to your body and actually be delivered to the body,” she said.

Alyssa started to do work in the lab last spring because that is when she had to start getting credits for her major. Dr. Nucci saw that she was working hard and doing an excellent job, so he offered her the summer internship.Translational biomedical science major Alyssa Sanders and a biophysics major in lab room

“Nucci would definitely be like a mentor that is coming to my life through this opportunity because he knows so much. He’s a biophysics professor, but he knows everything. He knows stuff about chemistry, organic chemistry and he knows stuff about any field of science basically,” she said.

If there is one thing that Alyssa has learned through her internship this summer is, “that science does not go according to plan and as Nucci says, ‘A lot is research for a reason. You can’t just search at once, you gotta keep doing it over and over again.’”

Her advice for anyone interested in her major: “It’s very hard. It’s not something that you can be like, ‘oh yeah this will be fun or easy.’ It’s not an easy major, but it’s worth it. If you want to go to medical school or get your Ph.D. it is definitely a major that is going to prepare you for that, because you have to take your harder classes like organic chemistry, biophysics and advanced classes that will prepare you.”

Like what you see, come visit us!


Story by:
Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

First Year Voices: Kyleigh Bell

Kyleigh Bell (right) with other Pre-College Institute (PCI) students after their Elements of Dance class

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” says Kyleigh Bell (pictured at right), a freshman Athletic Training major and Pre-College Institute (PCI) student from Waretown, NJ (Ocean County). Kyleigh will live in Holly Pointe Commons her freshman year and is a first generation college student. 

Like what you see? Come visit us!


Story and photography by:
Justin Borelli, advertising senior

My Favorite Class: Elements of Dance

Three students by the ballet bar in a session of Elements of Dance

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

Rowan student Giovanni Rodriguez striking a dance pose in the dance studio

Meet Giovanni Rodriguez, an Athletic Training major from Woodbury, NJ (Gloucester County).

Giovanni is seen here in Elements of Dance, one of the courses he’s taking as part of the Pre-College Institute (PCI), a summer orientation program designed to prepare students for their transition to Rowan in the fall. 

“[Elements of Dance] is one of my favorite classes that the PCI program offers. I love everything about it, and our professor Paule Turner is very open, kind and patient,” says Giovanni. “I’m happy that I’m living in Mullica Hall and that it’s so close to the dance studio in Memorial Hall.”

Like what you see? Come visit us!

The 3+1 Program that Creates a Balanced Lifestyle

Susan Hacker talking with her mentor at Virtua

Meet Susan Hacker, a mother and first-generation college student from Burlington, NJ (Burlington County) currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Today she shares her experience on how convenient Rowan’s RN to BSN program through Rowan Global has been for her.

“Returning to school at middle age and becoming a registered licensed nurse provides a sense of pride,” said Hacker.

Susan posing in front of the donor wall at Virtua
Hacker, a registered nurse for Virtua Health System, will earn her bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree in spring 2020.

Hacker, a registered nurse for Virtua Health System, decided to further her education at Rowan for a few reasons. The 3+1 program offers partnerships between Rowan and local community colleges — making the transfer process easier and faster. “Rowan allows one to obtain a university degree at a well-known research school while simultaneously limiting costs and the prospect of long-term college debt,” said Hacker.

For Hacker, finding a work/life balance was important, and the 3+1 program has given her that balanced opportunity. “College is considered higher level learning, as is life. Much like life requires development and growth, through self-management of experiences, Rowan Global does the same. The online learning environment allows for self-management of study time through the limited log-in requirements,” said Hacker.

Attending Rowan has not only impacted her life in a positive way but her children’s lives too. Her children get to see her achieve each educational goal she sets, and for her, that is important.

Susan and Anne in the nurse station
Hacker (right) reviews a patient’s record with Anne Bertino-Lapinsky (left), advanced nurse clinician for Virtua Health System.

“Rowan has allowed me to develop professionally as well as personally, and [that] has not only changed my life but also the course of my children’s lives,” said Hacker. “Witnessing my passion to never give up as well as for learning and educational development later in life, Rowan has enabled me to instill the importance of education and the prospect that anything is possible in the eyes of my children.”

Hacker recommends anyone who is thinking in getting their degree through Rowan Global to do it. She said “it’s a convenient learning experience” while concurrently developing growth and maintaining a healthy balance between school, work and life.

“Every further step in education is an opportunity for new beginnings,” said Hacker.

Like what you see, come visit us!


Story by:
Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

MBA Alumnus and Medical Student Nathan Carroll

Lab coat of Nathan Carroll labeled "Rowan University: School of Osteopathic Medicine"

This is Nathan Carroll, a 38-year-old recent Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate from Washington, NJ (Warren County). Carroll is a prime example of using Rowan’s MBA program to its fullest potential. 

Nathan Carroll standing outside of the Business Hall on Rowan's main campusAfter studying counseling and graduating from Rutgers University, Carroll worked for the Department of Child Protection and Permanency for nearly a decade. He then decided he wanted to have a greater impact on the medical field. In order to do so, he needed to study medicine. After extensive research on the medical schools in New Jersey, he fell in love with the one offered right here at Rowan University. On top of a medical degree, Carroll believed it was in his best interest to take on the Master of Business Administration as well. Although it was traditionally unconventional to pair an MBA with a medical degree, he knew it would be easier to understand the healthcare system. The MBA program looks at business systems and examines them from all disciplines of business — accounting, finance, marketing, management and statistical analysis. The business degree gives him a new perspective on the financial implications.

“Medicine is an Art, but Healthcare is a Business” 

Rowan MBA alumnus and medical student Nathan Carroll inside Business Hall.

According to Carroll, “The better you know how to use business as a tool, the better you’re able to serve your patients. The better you’re able to understand the financial implications in the decisions that you’re making, the better you can serve your patients.”

Luckily, through Rowan’s accommodating facilities, Carroll was able to get Rowan MBA alumnus and medical student Nathan Carroll outside Business Hallhis MBA at an accelerated rate and complete it within a year. In between attending classes at Rowan, he used his free time to start up businesses and charities in the medical field. The classes that had the most impact on Carroll’s career moving forward were Organizational Theory, International Business in Society, Statistical Methods and Marketing. Dr. Dominik, a Rowan professor, gave Carroll a worldly perspective and kept him engaged throughout his time at Rowan. 

In the future, Carroll wants to go into psychiatry and start his own practice. With this MBA and medical degree he hopes to increase access of care to populations who might not be getting the mental health care they need, due to financial reasons. 

Rowan MBA alumnus and medical student Nathan Carroll outside the entrance of Business Hall

He is currently in his third year of medical school and hopes to graduate in the next year. 

Not only should you work for the program, you have to make the program work for you! Follow in Carroll’s footsteps and see just how far the Rowan MBA can do for you! 

Like what you see? Come visit us!

Story and photography by:
Chad Wittmann, senior journalism major

#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 […]