International Student College Juniors Reflect on Their Journeys and Goals at Rowan University

A campus beauty photo showing bright autumn colors on Rowan University's campus.

This story is one within a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories.  Meet rising seniors Aayush Kapri from Nepal, Doménica Gusqui Gavidia from Quito, Ecuador, and Abigail Jones from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  What is your long-term professional goal […]

Rowan University NAACP President on Cultivating a Caring Community for Students of Color

This Black History Month we hear from Esther Lendore, president of Rowan NAACP, on her journey as a Rowan student and her passion for creating a sense of community for students of color.  A double major in political science and law & justice studies, senior Esther Lendore, from Far Rockaway, NY, holds a variety of […]

Human Services, Leading & Impacting Lives [VIDEO]

Dimirra working alongside three other children.

Human Service professionals work with diverse populations providing a wide variety of social, personal and health services depending on need. Potential career paths include becoming a case worker, social advocate, welfare service professional, child welfare professional or law enforcement. “The sky is the limit. We need more activists. We need more listening learners. We need […]

Rowan University Anthropology Majors Share Their Professional Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Story by:

Thomas Ubelhoer, sophomore political science and international studies double major

My Home Away from Home, The United Latino Association

Student clubs and organizations fair.

Julianna Wells, a junior political science major from Oak Ridge, NJ (Passaic/Morris Counties), shares this first-person perspective on how joining the The United Latino Association at Rowan University helped her rewrite her experience and find a home away from home. In addition to her major, Julianna will earn certificates of undergraduate study (known as CUGS) in Spanish, public policy and public relations and the news. 

Julianna poses for a beautiful portrait in front of the owl statue on campus, with her hair curled, wearing a white shirt and blank pants.

For the entirety of my life prior to attending Rowan University, I lived in a predominantly white town. As a Latina, this experience came with its own challenges. I never saw anyone who shared my own culture, my own language, or even looked like me. Needless to say, it was a very sheltering experience. At times, I even experienced harassment due to my own ethnicity. I would receive anonymous messages telling me I would end up selling drugs and mowing lawns in my future. I was even told to go back over the border. Yet, besides the harassment, all I ever wanted was to feel less alone. So many people value having at least some friendships and connections that share the same culture and backgrounds. With that being the thing I craved all those years, I was looking forward to starting my life on a college campus and meeting a whole new world of people. 

United Latino Association board members with Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students board members & Pre-Law Society board members.
Julianna (back row, third from left) with United Latino Association board members and Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students board members & Pre-Law Society board members.

Once I finally left my hometown and came to the Rowan University campus, I was determined to rewrite my experience. It was at the student organization fair where I met my home. The United Latino Association caught my eye as it was the only Latine organization I saw as I combed through the rows of tables. I wrote my name and email on their sign-up sheet immediately. From there, I attended a handful of events and made the decision to run for their electoral board.

Julianna and a friend look at each other candidly in the Student Center with lights behind them.

As a result, I was the new treasurer for the last academic year and couldn’t have been more grateful for that opportunity. Throughout the year, the friends I made in this organization were no longer just friends, but family. From meeting those who share the same cultural background, to learning how to dance to Latin music better, to even bettering my own second language, my life on campus and in general had been forever changed. Due to how sheltered I felt in high school, I didn’t have too many friends but this was no longer the case at ULA. For every event I attended, I felt l a bit closer to home. 

Julianna stands with a friend in front of the iconic owl statue on campus, with yellow balloons by her side and a classic "first day of school" blackboard with chalkboard for the date September 5, 2023.

What’s more is that with being on the board, I was able to help this organization grow and prosper, myself included. I saw our family go from just 30 members to around 160 members. I think my favorite memory with all of the members was when we all came together for a dance night to learn salsa, bachata, cumbia, and other dances that people wanted to share. I have loved my time being a part of this organization and board so much that I decided to run for president for the upcoming academic year, and I won! The shy, alone Latina I once was prior to university was now a figment of my imagination. It has been practically mind-boggling to reflect on the difference between my experience from high school to my experience at Rowan University all because I was able to join just one organization. Needless to say, ULA has become my home away from home. 

ULA Valentine’s Day Speed Friending Event.
ULA at last Valentine’s Day speed friending event.

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Written by: Julianna Wells, junior political science major

Story edited by: Valentina Giannattasio, junior dance and marketing double major

Neurodiversity Student Government Representative Advocates for Autism Awareness and Education

A close up of Heather as she sits smiling at Robinson Circle on Rowan University's campus.

One Rowan University Student Breaks Down Barriers All Year Round, Not Just During Awareness Months In 1997, sociologist Judy Singer introduced a new terminology to the world of science/medical world called neurodiversity, which is a concept that helps those to understand that there are varied ways that each person’s brain processes information, functions, and presents […]

Studying Abroad in Colombia as a First-Generation and Transfer Student

A street sign with many different countries on it.

Bonnie Williams, a senior international studies major from Downe Township, NJ (Cumberland County) shares her personal experience with us about the study abroad program she is participating in.

As a first-generation, transfer student, Bonnie is proud that she is about to be the first Williams (of her direct family) to receive her bachelor’s degree, and possibly continue her education to aim for a graduate degree. She shares that her family has seen how hard she works for school and they’ve never underestimated her efforts. Although she occasionally has feelings of guilt because she recognizes that her parents didn’t have the opportunity to earn a college degree, she knows that they work hard to support her and that they are beyond proud of her. 

Bonnie standing in front of a brick wall (James Hall).

This semester, Bonnie is studying abroad in Colombia, with the goal of gaining volunteering and service experience. She’s looking forward to learning more about the culture and environment of Barranquilla, Colombia, specifically its people, music, food, everyday life, and the university- “Universidad del Norte”. After spending a few weeks there she is already in love with Colombia’s culture. Bonnie stated that “being there feels like living a different life than [she] could ever have imagined for [herself], and that it has made [her] feel an array of emotions, from excitement, scared, homesick, but most of all it has felt like a nonstop adventure that [she] is thoroughly enjoying.”

Bonnie’s long-term professional dream goal is to become a professor in Spain and/or Latin America. She has always admired other countries, their cultures, and their people. Bonnie mentioned that her main inspiration for pursuing an international studies degree was because of a cultural geography course she took at Camden County College, where she analyzed various countries, cultures, traditions, religions, etc. Bonnie said that this course “opened [her] eyes to the varieties of the world’s different cultures and sparked [her] passion for learning about the world and its many different people”. Bonnie believes that earning her degree at Rowan will allow her to broaden her knowledge of the world’s people by studying different countries, cultures, etc. She supports the idea that her degree “will open the door to expanding [her] degree or starting [her] professional journey right after graduation.”

Bonnie holding two flags in her hands (Dominican Republic and Colombia).

Bonnie is proud of her courage and the experience she has gained so far. If Bonnie has one piece of advice for transfer students, it’s “if you’re interested in studying abroad, do it! Apply for scholarships, grants, and believe in yourself! All of your hard work will pay off, and you will find answers to yourself that you never even knew you had when you put yourself out there and challenge yourself to live in another part of the world.” 

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Written by: Valentina Giannattasio, junior dance and marketing double major

Making the Most of Student Leadership: Admissions Ambassador, President of National Honor Fraternity, and Student Government Association Member Reflects

Mark wears his graduation gown for a close up portrait.

What is your favorite part of the program? My favorite part of the program is the connections that I have made with people. I have made some of my best friends, but also so many connections with the professional staff at Rowan. I know so many people on this campus, and a lot of it […]

Master In Public Policy: What Students Can Expect and Look Forward To

Professor Zundl listening to a student.

Rowan University recently launched a new Master in Public Policy program. Professor Elaine Zundl is one of the professors involved in creating the program and shares with us what students can expect. 

How did you become involved with the creation of this program?

My colleagues, including Dr. Lawrence Markowitz, Dr. Katharine Javian, and Dr. Danielle Gougon, worked on the program before I arrived on the scene, spending, probably, two years, maybe more, putting together the curriculum. I think there were many other people at Rowan who supported the development of this program and realized that this was a degree we needed but didn’t have. It’s an innovative program because it is relevant for students who are in environmental science or engineering or other social science majors like sociology. The program is useful to anyone who’s interested in how their work in another discipline can be important for influencing policy development and government stakeholders. Public policy crosses a lot of different domains. That’s the reasoning behind the program.

Faculty from political science, economics, and public policy, as well as members of the New Jersey public policy community lead the courses and discussions. 

Professor Zundl laughing at something said in class.
Professor Zundl leads discussion in a Master in Public Policy course.

What goals should students set for themselves coming into this program?

Prospective students should have a sense of the policy area on which they would like to focus. They may change their mind over the course of the program but a strong interest in policy and policymaking is key.

When thinking about using a political science degree, many people jump immediately to the idea of law school. What alternative career paths does a Master in Public Policy (MPP) offer?

There are a lot of jobs in the policy world that don’t require you to go to law school. If there’s an issue you are passionate about, you might find yourself being the executive director of a nonprofit, being a policy analyst at a think tank, or working for a lobbyist who’s passionate about changing policy for an organization you care about. Recently our department hosted a panel event with stakeholders who are advocating for making the cannabis industry in New Jersey more equitable. That’s something that anyone could get involved with: writing briefs, influencing how that policy unfolds, organizing community groups. Careers in policy are more diverse than most people realize.  Students tend to think, “Well. I’ll work at a government agency or I’ll go to law school,” but there are so many organizations that need someone who understands policy.

Adult learner works from her home office, looking seriously at the camera.

What is the importance of being able to understand the nuances of public policy?

The average person might have taken a college course in government or might remember back to high school when they learned how a bill becomes a law and the checks and balances of our government. But in reality, there are a lot of other things you have to consider when you are trying to change policy or create programs for the public. We call that the policy process. If you really want to be successful, if you want your vision for changing the world to get attention, you need an advanced understanding of how issues get onto the agenda and implemented. We cover research techniques for understanding the impact of a policy, we cover how certain issues end up in front of the public or on the government agenda for a particular session.

What should students entering the program look forward to?

The best part of being in an MPP program is that there are a lot of seminar courses where you get to learn by discussing issues with your peers. In the public policy classroom, it’s not just political science folks, it’s people who study economics, it’s people who are from sociology or diversity & inclusion or work in education. So, discussing one issue or the significance of one policy becomes very exciting because there are so many different viewpoints that you hear and that allows us to learn collaboratively. I think that’s one of the most exciting things about graduate school overall. The students have formed a very tight cohort and they are comfortable reaching out to each other. Most of our students are working professionals with a mix of incoming students who have recently completed their undergraduate degree. They have families or they have other things going on in their lives, but we are a tight community. We all reach out to each other to check in with each other and support each other.

Adult learners dressed in business clothes cross a bridge on campus as they walk together.

Are there opportunities that will be open to students at the master’s level that may not be available at the undergrad level? If so, what are they?

Internships and research opportunities for MPP students are separate from those offered at the undergraduate level. Typically, these opportunities require students to have more advanced skills than would be expected of undergraduate students. We work with employers and think tanks and legislators to cultivate internship experiences for our masters’ students. Students might also have a chance to work on a faculty member’s ongoing research project. There are also professional development opportunities for students. We hosted the New Jersey Political Science Association Conference at Rowan in Spring 2023 and some of our students attended the membership meeting.

What differences should students be aware of when jumping from an undergrad political science program, or something similar, to a Master of Public Policy?

I would say the most important thing to realize is that undergraduate studies are more directed and closely supervised. You are given assignments and prompts by faculty members, you have smaller assignments and you check in more often with your professor. When you are doing graduate level work, you participate in discussions at seminars and choose the topics for your projects, and you need to take more responsibility for asking for help and checking in with your professor. Sometimes students struggle with that transition, about being more self-directed because it can be a little intimidating. It’s not that we won’t be here to support students; faculty are always helpful, but ultimately you get from the program what you bring to it. You are expected to know what kind of policies you want to study and your faculty member works as a facilitator, in that sense, to help guide you.

One thing that I love about Rowan is that students can take MPP courses in their senior year using “senior privilege.” If students are not sure about a public policy degree or graduate school, this program is a great way to find out. If someone told me I could take a graduate course as a senior and pay undergraduate tuition and get a taste of graduate level work, I would have done it. Even if you decide to go on to do something else, you understand what to expect– it demystifies the whole experience for students. I want to break down barriers for students who might not think of themselves as graduate students.

What can students do to prepare themselves for a more rigorous curriculum?

You can always reach out to faculty who teach the courses and ask to see the syllabus or ask to meet with them to discuss the class to see whether the program will meet your goals. I think that’s an excellent first step. A lot of folks come to me and say, “Should I do an MPP? I don’t like what I’m doing now, and this seems interesting.” I try to emphasize that getting a graduate degree is a big commitment, it’s a lot of work. You should be pretty sure that this is something you want to pursue for at least the next 5-10 years. If you don’t have a sense of the policy area or issues you want to focus on, it might make more sense for you to take a few courses in the program before you commit. If students are not ready to enroll in the MPP, our department offers a Certificate of Graduate Study in Public Policy.

There are two ways you can enroll in the MPP program. The first is the CADP, the Combined Advanced Degree Program. That’s where if you’re currently an undergrad at Rowan, you can enroll in this program and take 12 credits in the MPP program while you’re still an undergrad and save money because you’re not paying graduate tuition for those 12 credits. Or you go the traditional route, where you finish your bachelor’s first and then enroll in the MPP program.

Is there anything else you want to highlight for people to know about the program?

There are many ways to get in touch with us and learn about the program. The best way for people to find out more about the MPP, learn about our current students, and stay up to date on our events, is to follow our Linkedin page. I personally host Master of Public Policy info sessions throughout the year for prospective students. Many of the info sessions are held over Zoom but we tend to have one or two in person as well.

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Story by:

Thomas Ubelhoer, rising junior political science and international studies double major

Building a Community: Raymond Wos Jr’s Undergraduate Experience

Raymond standing in front of Bunce Hall with the pride lights shining onto the building in the distance behind him.

Rising senior Raymond Wos Jr. (he/him/his) from Gloucester County, NJ, is a subject-matter history major and double minor in both international studies and political science, and he’s also heavily involved with the inner workings of campus as a leader of change. Today he will share with us his personal journey and contributions to the University community. 

At what point did you become comfortable with your sexuality and disability both with yourself and expressing it to other people?

For my disability, I was diagnosed at the age of 6 and then that was with my Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Then I came out as bisexual, being comfortable with it and couldn’t hold it in to myself around my second year in community college so I was probably 18 or 19 years old at the time. I was thinking I feel comfortable with myself and realizing that I needed to be comfortable with these identities regardless and there’s nothing wrong or imperfect about me, it’s just that I know I am the best version I can possibly be and I can be proud of my identities without any criticism or any backlash from these issues.

What has Rowan done to make you feel accepted as part of the LGBQTIA+ community on campus and what gave you the courage to give back to the Rowan community?

As an individual, realizing how much empowerment and power I have on this campus, I realized as someone who’s a part of it but also realizing there’s so many more identities that need to be represented through SGA (Student Government Association) and many other facets I’m involved with. It’s just shown the amount this institution will give, but there’s always room for improvement regardless. However, there’s times where I’m in these roles to make change and I was able to help create legislation throughout the year. One of them, this past spring, I had written a piece of a resolution for transgender rights, acknowledgement, and more condensed stuff on our campus through the wellness center and many other facets of the community. With everything that’s happened within the trans community today outside of Rowan, it just shows that we need to pay more attention to these issues. Since we are not really, this is the first to take a course of action that I’ve done with PRISM and so forth to make this thing happen and it did pass. We’re now working together collaboratively with several offices in particular. Right now at the moment, with the Wellness Center we’re making sure they have fantastic resources for our trans community on this campus. 

What drew you to get involved with Rowan’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and can you share what you have accomplished in your role as AVP?

My time in the role as Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, I have completed a lot during my time. I’ve written at least 3 to 4 different resolutions that’s helped many facets of the Disabled community, mental health, and LGBTQIA+ community this past year and made sure there was an emphasis on the importance that these communities need to be represented on this campus and making sure of it. I’ve helped write responses to things that have happened within our community through the backlash that’s happened at Holly Point and even on Twitter where people posted derogatory terms. My well known accomplishment that I’m really proud of is getting a Rowan Announcer created for Judy Heumann, who’s an internationally recognized Disability Rights advocate and leader throughout this nation. She recently passed in March and I got that settled by writing articles and blogs that were published in the campus newspaper, The Whit and DEI blog about it so there’s a lot of work I’ve gotten done.

There are a lot of accomplishments that have happened throughout the academic year. However, I’ve also attended a lot of cultural events, I’ve worked with The BSU (Black Student Union) and NAACP to try and support the local community around me within these facets, within the Division of DEI. But most importantly I do work in the office of Social Justice, Inclusion, and Conflict Resolution office with Tara Ferrucci and Dominique Pierson who are in charge of the facilities over there. They’re absolutely amazing people. Just gaining more knowledge for their office and working collaboratively with them, even super close with them. Besides that I’m involved within the facet of the Division of DEI, I’m involved in 8 committees they have on campus related to DEI. I’m so embedded into it I understand where the Division is leading to but also how I can help them and give the student perspective as much as possible. I’m proud that I’m able to give that and have faculty, staff, students, and many other supporters understand what I do and how much I care from the student body perspective and how much change I want to see, but also for future generations to realize it’s a lot to consider. But it needed to be done for us. 

Raymond smiles big relaxing in a yellow chair at night with Bunce Hall behind him.

What moments at Rowan gave you the confidence to up such a large role in representing the LGBQTIA+ community?

The reason why is because it’s not for me personally, it’s not represented as a big facet that I was hoping for. Since I had my predecessor, Alex Butler, they were a part of the LGBTQIA+ community as well. I felt a motivation– a very high interest in making a change, but also being a part of a community and realizing I do have a voice as well as seeing the facets of the community, realizing as a person in the community and as an ally, there are so many problems and issues that are not being mentioned in and out of our institution and how we’re going to fix them. I realized I can make a change, not just within the LGBTQIA+ community, but so many other communities that I am not a part of but also within my own disabled identities as well because I feel like they’re left out of the conversation. In addition, neurodiversity is a part of it as well that is missing in these conversations. I just don’t see these issues through my queer and disabled perspective. All these lenses of identities have different facets and need to be represented on campus. The role has gotten bigger and the perception of it has gotten bigger and people may not realize it. 

What challenges have you had to navigate through your time here as an undergraduate student here that other students might not have had to?

For me personally, I have navigated here at Rowan through different challenges. I was a transfer and commuter student here on this campus and it was a very different environment. I transferred the semester that COVID happened and I was here probably two and half to three months in person then COVID hit, then schools shutdown, spring break was two weeks that got extended. From there I learned online and everything else. We went to a universal design type of platform like Zoom and WebEx and learning that way was very different in the beginning, but now it’s a tool that utilizes a lot more than I was expecting to use– I’m grateful I was able to use it. But it’s always been a challenge, also being a student who doesn’t share a lot sometimes. Also, now becoming more comfortable and being empowered, I was able to represent myself on this campus being a transfer from a community college and a commuter. The other facets of my identity I represent on this campus, I have decided to make myself a powerful voice and I think a lot of people have seen that within the last year and a half through every facet of this University.

Are there certain goals that you have set out to achieve whether it’s spreading acceptance or reforming previously held views at the university level that you have achieved?

Some of the things that I personally have achieved during my time here, I can definitely tell you one of my goals is intersectionality which is something that is so important in realizing that we do have a sense of community. It’s also that we need to realize our individuality and we do have a sense of purpose, but also we’re able to have different identities but can relate to each other through this intersectionality. We realize we can share the same experiences but some of us might have it easier than others as expected. I think that’s a philosophy the position needs to have and realize, yes, I can be a person who is a cis white man that is bisexual and disabled and realize I face challenges within two identities, but being a cis white man isn’t a challenge because there’s so many benefits I get from society. But the other identities that I can’t because of how things are structured and how things are happening in our society.

Another one was mental health within DEI. I have passed a legislation resolution to get mental health resources to our campus student website, Canvas, hopefully that’s being implemented soon. Another legislation resolution that I’ve passed again that I have mentioned previously was the transgender awareness legislation and getting the Wellness Center to be more accepting and being open and having it be more accessible.

Another thing I was trying to hit upon was writing opinion pieces and stuff like that within other communities like BIPOC, Neurodiversity, within Disabled, within LGBTQIA+ and I felt like we have gotten there by expanding with our Rowan DEI blog which is absolutely amazing. I highly encourage everyone to check it out, it’s very nice.

A new goal that I was about to start on this campus and it might transition to our next AVP of DEI will be creating a Disability Student Union. From all the conversations and what I’ve been seeing, the empowerment from other communities being seen on campus has been absolutely empowering. It gave power to those who had a voice and gave it and became a force that was not to be reckoned with and being able to make an important change on this campus. But now, since seeing that having an organization called a Disability Student Union in the near future will be a huge benefit to this institution to make change. I think that is something we should look forward to and hopefully will be seeing in the near future. Those are some of my initiatives but there are many more besides that.

Are there specific moments that stand out to you that show the growth within the community at Rowan?

Seeing people becoming more of a family and realizing we’re coming and growing as individuals, but also as people within our society. Also within our clubs and organizations a lot of them are becoming more closely knit and trying to work on my collaboration ideas and working together– it’s a start. Plus we’ve been out of the pandemic and been fully back into school, full fledged with all these activities and everything else for about a year or two now. We’re still rebuilding that stage up again. I think we’ll need a few more years to do it, but I think the communities, the sense of belonging, and what we’re trying to bring to Rowan, seeing the potential next year is gonna be really good. We’re going in the right direction.

Are you satisfied with the changes you’ve helped create at Rowan and what would you like the next crop of students to do to carry on your work here?

For the legacy I left is definitely having empathy for others, but also having empathy that happened on this campus where we need to have a shared responsibility to care for one another and also empower each other. To give each other the power to make change and evolve as a whole and work collaboratively with SGA, with all these various organizations to really make change and challenge the administration to do better, but also to make them more knowledgeable on issues that we’re facing at this time. For the next crop of students, I want them to realize that empathy will go far and wide, showing kindness to others will take a great deal of responsibility for these roles and of these executives for what we’re trying to do for the future. Students should realize just overall empathy, love, and kindness will always take you far in what you do in these careers.

Can you talk about your next steps after you graduate?

After I graduate I want to become a high school history teacher, somewhere locally or somewhere within the state of New Jersey to work with students in history. To show them what the potential of history is, but also destigmatizing history, showing there is so much more potential in history, what is undiscovered, and showing what we learn in the classroom is not always true. We have to challenge what writers have perceived and what has been written by the victors. We need to do better and realize there’s other historical information out there, many more historians have better writing and so forth like that. In the near future, after I’m done teaching for a few years, I want to come back to Rowan and do a double master’s of arts program in Special Education and the Diversity and Inclusion program as well. Having those two facets of programs combined together and working on it, I will have the potential to grow as a self-advocate, an advocate, and an activist, and something bigger within the state or locally. That’s my goal for the future.

After your experience with Rowan, after your experience with community college, how has your education experience impacted how you will teach?

What I have learned during my time here and my time at community college is that if you have something you have your mind to and you put it to it and as someone who’s going into a teaching career, you’re gonna be able to have the same determination and the same energy you want to bring into the classroom. You want to make an impact on these students to be engaged and learn the material you’re teaching them, but go beyond that and have more of a special interest in topics in history. But even more, realizing the importance of having humanities and history in our society to still exist. Where today it’s falling apart in some of the different states, we’re losing humanities, music, and sports throughout public education. We need to refocus our energy throughout the nation to make sure we bring back humanities and I want people to realize they’re equally as important as the STEM fields.

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Written by Thomas Ubelhoer, rising junior political science and international studies double major

#PROFspective: First-Year Student Talks Exploratory Studies & Accepted Students Day

Close up of a smiling Kayla.

What is Exploratory Studies? “Exploratory studies means that you do not have a set major; you’re exploring what you want to do. You have the opportunity to take classes that you are interested in. I took a Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management course because it caught my interest. From there, if I decide that this […]

From Political Science Student to Political Operative

Connor talks to two people.

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

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

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

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

Breaking Barriers: How Perseverance and Family Found Kayla College Success

Rowan University Law and Justice major Kayla stands outside on campus near Hollybush Mansion.

Meet Kayla Molinaro, a junior Law and Justice major with minors in and Sociology and Psychology from Rockaway, NJ (Morris County). Kayla is a member of the first class of Rowan’s National Honor Society for First Generation College Students, and her sister now joins her studying at Rowan. Kayla shares what it’s like to be […]

#PROFspective: Liberal Studies, Languages and Law with Junior Alexzia Lyons

Today we feature Alexzia Lyons, a junior Liberal Studies major. Alexzia is from Durham, North Carolina and previously went to North Carolina Central University, where she dual enrolled as a high school and college student. She discusses how she decided to come to Rowan, her experiences and involvement around campus, and advice to other students […]

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? […]

Beyond the Classroom: Writing Arts and English Major Skyla Everwine Interns for Project Little Warriors

Skyla holds a Rowan University pennant against a wooded backdrop.

Senior Rowan Blog contributor and Writing Arts and English major Skyla Everwine shares her experience working as a Grant Writing Intern for Project Little Warriors, a non-profit that practices yoga with kids in underfunded schools. As the spring semester was wrapping up, I decided that I wanted to find a summer internship closer related to […]

Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective: History and International Studies Double Major Kyle I.

Rowan arch with a cloudy blue background.

Today, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, we feature Senior Kyle I. (he/him) from Woodlynne, NJ (Camden County). Kyle is double majoring in History and International Studies, having transferred to Rowan University from Camden County College. He discusses his experience at Rowan, professional aspirations, and gives advice to future students. What is […]

Meet Transfer Profs: Welcoming Students from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Bunce Hall on Rowan's Glassboro Campus behind some foliage.

Today we feature incoming transfer students April Casey (she/her), an English major from Gloucester County and Emma Rodriguez (she/her), an Anthropology major from Ocean County. The two tell us about their majors, why they’re excited to start classes at Rowan, and give advice to future transfer students. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us […]

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

Kathryn holds a textbook. in inside

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

Why did you choose to pursue a master’s?

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

Kathryn reads from a text inside James Hall.

Why did you choose to study Holocaust and Genocide Education?

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

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

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

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

What are your career goals?

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

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

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

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

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

What was your role or involvement with the RCHGHR?

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

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

Why did you choose to be involved with the RCHGHR?

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

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

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

What is your most memorable experience at Rowan?

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

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

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

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

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

Kathryn holds a textbook inside Campbell Library.

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

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

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

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

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: International Studies Grad Griffin Lallier Looks Ahead

Griffin poses next to a flower bush with his diploma.

Griffin Lallier, an International Studies major with minors in Political science and Geography and a CUGS in sustainable urbanism, is a commuter student from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County).

Griffin looks off into the distance in front of Bunce Hall.

As a commuter, Griffin could still make many friends. He shares the best ways he found to make friends at Rowan. 

“Go to any of the social events that have been on campus, such as events held by RAH or SUP. Also, go to any of the events that professors talk about in class or any events the department is holding. It’s fun to hang out with fellow students. Being a part of clubs and activities has been a great way for me to meet a bunch of different people from so many walks of life,” he says.

Griffin talks about the clubs and organizations he was involved in where he made friends.

I’m involved in a couple of different things. While it’s not really a club, I am an Admissions Ambassador. I’ve been an Admissions Ambassador for just a little under two years now and we’re the people that give tours around campus and be the faces of campus. Aside from that, I’ve been heavily involved in RIPPAC, which is the Rowan Institute of Public Policy and Citizenship. We’re an organization that prepares students for dealing with matters of public policy and legalities. We get to meet a lot of really great high-end people in politics in New Jersey. I am also in the Spanish Student Association,” Griffin explains.

He shares his favorite moment of being involved on campus.

“Aside from just hanging out with people on campus and being in the Admissions Ambassadors, there was a moment last spring. One of our graduating seniors, Allison Mosley, was a Biomedical Art and Visualization major. She had an art show for her final, and so she invited all the Admissions Ambassadors to go. All of us got dressed. We treated it like a Met Gala sort of thing and it was so much fun. We all had pizza there and we all just hung out with one another. It was such a great night because not only did we get to celebrate her academic accomplishments, but we also got to have that fun, carefree atmosphere that anybody in college is always looking forward to. I think that’s probably my favorite memory that I’ve ever had.”

Griffin jumps and throws his graduation cap in the air in front of the Rowan arch.

Griffin describes his major as interesting and interdisciplinary.

“Being an International Studies major, it is very interdisciplinary. You learn a lot about so many things in terms of political science, anthropology, economics and all that. But with that, you also have to be prepared to do the research. It might sound intimidating, but when you do the research, your professors are always there to help you, so it’s a great balancing act. If you do a little of this, your professors will go a mile to help. So really, just get the chance to do the research and then get the chance to get to know your professors. That is the best way to succeed in this major.”

Griffin looks back and advises his high school senior self on making it through college.

“There are two things. Stop procrastinating. You need to get it together, dude. But also go easy on yourself. College is hard for everybody. Thinking that you need to have everything in your life figured out freshman year is completely unrealistic. It’s not sustainable for your own academic career or your mental health. Honestly, taking things as they go and proactively working on what’s going on at your current moment is the best way to make a successful college career.”

This summer, Griffin is interning with Welcome America, a company that partners with Wawa, in their marketing department. After the internship, Griffin hopes to take a year to work and then start applying for master’s in environmental policy programs.

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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

Passing the Torch: Outgoing Student Government Vice President Sarah McClure

As a graduating senior, Sarah McClure reflects on her time as a Rowan student. Sarah was an International Studies and Political Science double major and on-campus resident from Rockaway, NJ (Morris County). 

Sarah poses under the Rowan archway.

Sarah held positions on the Student Government Association and Honors Student Organization executive boards. 

“My executive boards, through the Honors Student Organization and the Student Government Association, especially this year, left me with lifelong friends. These are people I’m going to come back and visit next year and check-in with. I’m really lucky to be blessed with such amazing people I was able to work alongside that I could eventually call my friends.”

Sarah is passing her Executive Vice President (EVP) position on SGA to one of her newfound lifelong friends.

“I’m so thrilled with my successor that was elected, Emily Lowe. She was on the board with me this year and she was the Vice President of Student Affairs. She is so lovely, so nice, and I’m really confident that she’s going to do a really good job.”

Sarah stands in a garden in her cap and gown.

Although she is thrilled with her successor, Sarah will miss being in the Executive Vice President role.

“I really loved the position of EVP. I enjoy engaging with all the clubs and getting to see what they all do on campus. When clubs did really cool things, I celebrated their successes with them, whether it was like a really awesome event or a great fundraiser. It’s hard saying goodbye, but I know Emily will do great things. SGA is something I will really miss,” she says.

Sarah reflects on her Rowan experiences and leaves a piece of advice for incoming students. 

“I just got a letter from my freshman year self through a mentorship program I did through the Honors College and the end of the letter said, ‘I hope you become someone that we can be proud of.’ It really moved me reading that because I think I have become someone that I would have been proud of because I got involved and that was something that I didn’t do freshman year.”

She adds, “I think one of my biggest regrets in college is not getting the jump on that sooner and looking at clubs and organizations during my first year of college. I would say to put yourself out there and don’t let your past experiences define who you’re going to become in college.”

Sarah is looking forward to starting her M.A. in Political Science in the fall through Rutgers University’s United Nations and Global Policy Studies program.

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

Why Liliana Ferrara Chose Rowan for her Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration

Liliana wears her graduation cap and gown.

Liliana Ferrara, a Rowan Global student in the MA in Higher Education: Administration program from Parsippany, NJ (Morris County), shares why she chose Rowan to pursue her graduate degree. 

Liliana is no stranger to Rowan University’s campus. As a proud Rowan alumna, Liliana graduated with a degree in Psychology and two minors in Sociology and Italian Studies. In fact, Liliana was the first person in Rowan’s history to graduate with an Italian Studies minor. During her undergraduate degree, Liliana also served as a resident assistant in Mimosa Hall and Nexus Apartments. 

Liliana grad photo
Liliana graduated from Rowan University with a degree in Psychology.

Knowing that she wanted to continue working in residential life, Liliana looked for programs that not only had a higher education program, but a graduate assistantship that would meet her needs.

“I interviewed at a few other schools through the MAPC conference and even got offered a few other positions. Rowan’s package and program was one I could not pass up,” Liliana says. “I loved Rowan so much during my undergraduate experience so it made the decision to come back so easy.” 

Now that she’s back on campus, Liliana talks about her adjustment into graduate level courses.

“My first semester was a nice introduction into the MA in Higher Education: Administration program. My professors really helped with the adjustment and made me feel comfortable,” Liliana says. “Now that I am in the second semester, it is definitely starting to feel more real. We are starting to talk about our research projects for next year and preparing for that.” 

Liliana and staff

So far, Liliana has enjoyed her time in the program and has connected with her professors. “Dr. Dale, who I had for Higher Education in America last semester, was really great. She gave me so much encouragement and support throughout the semester. I really valued that she was able to share so much of her experience in residential life because that is what I am passionate about. I was really able to connect with her on that level and hope to take her classes again next semester.”

Along with her coursework, Liliana has her hands full being a resident director of Rowan Boulevard Apartments.

“Although it is challenging to manage being a student and an RD, I have had such an amazing experience so far. I love getting to work with the RA’s on my staff and across campus. I wanted this job to help students and develop a close connection with them past the supervisory role. As an RD, I get to do just that,” she explains.

Liliana and staff pointing at her
Liliana (center) poses with members of the resident assistant staff.

Liliana can’t imagine being an RD anywhere else, either. “Being an RD at Rowan specifically gives you such a holistic experience in higher education. This assistantship stuck out to me because we get to do so much as graduate students. Whether it is working with the housing assignments team, supervising a staff, or serving in a duty rotation, this assistantship is so hands on. We really get to put the theory we learn in class into practice,” she says.

When asked to give advice to students who want to pursue a career in higher education, Liliana replies: “You really have to think about the work-life balance you want to achieve. In a field like residential life, it is so easy to get burnt out because there is a stigma that you have to work after hours to be great. I think it is really important to set boundaries so you can be successful in your work life and your personal life.” 

After graduation, Liliana wants to continue to work in residential life and maintain the work-life balance that is so important to her. 

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

Photos courtesy of:
Liliana Ferrara and Residential Learning and University Housing Department 

Related posts:

Higher Education Master’s Program Sounds Like Sweet Success For Rowan Music Alum Ben Wilner

Rowan Global Student Brittany Passano: Paving the Way for Latina Women in Higher Education

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

First Year Voices: History Major Abbigail Ealer

Today, we feature Abbigail Ealer, a first year History major from Washington Township, NJ. Abby is in the Honors program and a mentee of the Bantivoglio Leadership and Service Training (BLAST) peer mentoring program, which pairs upperclassmen with incoming Honors students to help guide them through their first semester in Honors and at Rowan. Abby speaks with us about her experience in the program and her first year of college. 

What was the transition to college like for you? How did you push through any challenges? 

I was definitely nervous. This was the first time where I’m going to school with people I don’t know. I’ve gone to Catholic school my whole life, so from grade school to high school I’ve known everybody. It was very weird going to classes like American Government where most of the students were upperclassmen and I didn’t know anyone. 

On your busiest day, what responsibilities do you find yourself juggling? 

Wednesdays are definitely my busiest day of the week. I have three classes and I have BLAST at night. As a commuter, I drive all the way to campus for my classes during the day, then have to drive back home at night. My BLAST group gets out around 7:30 p.m., so I don’t get back home until late. It’s really hard to get any work done that day. 

What are the three classes you have that day? 

I have Western Civilization at 9:30 a.m., American Government at 12:30 p.m., then Honors Comp II with Prof. Flocco at 2:00 p.m. I have a break in the middle of the day between classes and BLAST and I usually spend that time with my sister (who is also a Rowan student) or with my friends. 

What have you enjoyed most about BLAST?

Honestly, friendships are the most valuable things. The mentors give us really great and helpful advice, but I’ve made some really great friends that have been super supportive and helpful. I’ve talked to them regularly outside of our group after finding out that we have classes together. They’ll even walk me to my car after our meetings. They always invite me to come with them to different events on campus, which is really sweet and inclusive. 

Abby leaning against Science Hall.

How are your mentors? 

Our mentors are great and they are also becoming my really good friends. I think it’s helpful to have friends who are upperclassmen because they can serve as a guide to us younger students. 

Tell us about a moment that made you feel like Rowan was a good fit for you?

There was this Honors event that I went to where we were able to meet the deans of our college. I’m a history major, so my college is the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. I met this girl at the event who was in the same college. She overheard me talking about how I was interested in Museum Studies, which happened to be an area of interest for her as well. She said to me, “I’m doing the same thing! Let me get your number,” and she spent thirty minutes just giving me all the information she could about the program and typed it all up in a google document.  That moment made me realize that this university isn’t just a school. It’s a community. People want me here, they want to help me succeed. Not just faculty but the students as well. It was just a really wonderful moment and made me feel like I belonged. 

What advice would you give to a high school student about choosing the right college?

Go with your gut. That’s what I did. I almost went to community college to save money, but I just felt like that wasn’t the path for me, so I came to Rowan. I don’t think if I went down any other path that I would be as happy as I am now. 

Abby holds the Hoot, spreading his wings
Abby’s friend, Hoot, steals the show!

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Story By: 
Bianca Gray, English graduate

Photos By:
Nick Flagg, senior theater and advertising major 

#PROFspective: A Dialogue with English Education Major Lucas Taylor

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

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

What inspired you to choose your major?

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

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

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

Lucas is walking towards the camera and smiling.

How are you involved on campus?

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

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

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

Lucas is sitting down and smiling at the camera.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Produced by: Lucas Taylor, senior English Education major



My Most Interesting Class: United States History to 1865

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Monroe is laughing and pointing her finger.

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

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Story by
Lucas Taylor, Senior English education major

Photography by
Valentina Giannattasio, first year dance and marketing major

Related posts:

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

Beyond the Classroom: Meet Africana Studies Club President Nafisat Olapade

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

Rec Center Confessions: Student Workers Share

Rec Center student worker checks on gym equipment in one of the fitness rooms.

The gym can be an intimidating place. Lucky for the students of Rowan, student workers at Campus Recreation are doing everything they can to make staying active an enjoyable experience for everyone!

Campus Recreation, better known to students as the Rec Center, offers a safe and welcoming facility for students to maintain happy and healthy active lifestyles.

Built on the foundations of inclusivity and skill development, the Rec Center is the perfect place for anyone to work on being their best self. Don’t believe us? Let’s ask the students who spend more time there than anyone else on campus: The student workers!

Stevie Payne, a Building Manager and senior Health and Wellness Promotion major, and Katie Baker, the Lead Building Manager and senior History major, have both been with the Rec Center since the beginning of their Rowan journeys.

Katie Baker lifting weights
“I’m a part of a lot of different activities in the Rec Center like Women in Rec and the student advisory council. These activities benefit different groups of people and really work to make the Rec center better and more inclusive. It’s one of my favorite parts of working here.” – Katie Baker

“At first,” Stevie shares, “the Rec Center was a job, but after being here since freshman year I’ve slowly realized it was more than that. It’s a community.” 

“Yeah,” Katie agrees, “I understand why people were telling me to work here because it’s just such a good environment. There’s so many good people who come in.” 

Many other student workers share the same sentiments. To them, the Rec Center isn’t just a place to workout or even just where they work. It’s a place that feels like a second home and the professional staff work hard to maintain that feeling for their workers. 

Stevie fixing a weight at the bench
“The professional staff aren’t just good at being bosses. They help us grow into better students and people. They’ve helped me with envisioning my life after Rowan and planning my future goals.” -Stevie Payne

Chris Mapitigama, a sophomore Biochemistry major who doubles in helping the facility and working as lifeguard, expresses similar feelings about the professional staff stating, “They’re super chill. If you ever need to talk about anything work related or even personally, they’re always there to listen.”

For Chris, his transition into life at Rowan wasn’t an easy adjustment. Starting his college career off at the height of the pandemic, Chris was not only looking for an on campus job but for people to call friends. 

“I was lonely when I first got here,” he tells us, “I was holed up in Holly Pointe alone most of the time as most of my classmates had switched to online learning due to the pandemic. When I started working here, I began to build relationships and make friends very quickly. I almost instantly formed connections with my coworkers and I know everyone that works here!”

Chris on lifeguard duty by the pool
“I like being in the building regardless of the job. The people here are the best. My favorite place in the building is the weight room. I definitely spend the most time there.” – Chris Mapitigama

Chris’s experience isn’t uncommon at the Rec Center. Many student workers share about how something in the air just seems to make friendships form quicker. Jessica Rodriguez, a sophomore Public Relations major who works at the Center front desk, describes the environment as welcoming, stating, “The first time I came here, I felt like I had already known everyone for months.” 

Jessica has been a huge part of spreading positivity to all students who come to the Rec. As the first face you see when you walk in, greeting people, helping with their memberships, answering phone calls, and other things of that nature. “If people have questions, they come to me.”

Jessica gets ready to check out a basketball to student at the front desk
“My favorite part of Rowan is my job. This is where I work out. I’m actually the President of the Girls Basketball Club so I’m here all the time.” – Jessica Rodriguez

It’s difficult for many college students to stay active while dealing with the pressures of higher education. It’s important to have student workers like Katie, Jessica, Stevie and Chris who work to create and maintain an environment that helps to inspire students to get involved while not feeling pressured or judged.

Are you a Rowan student who wants to be a part of Campus Rec? Congratulations! By being a Rowan student, you already are. So come down to Campus Rec. We can’t wait to see you there!  

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Story by:
Bianca Gray, recent English graduate

Photos By:
Nick Flagg, senior theatre and advertising major 

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

Jamar smiles while looking to his left side.

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

We’re Not in Glassboro Anymore: Nadine El Maalem Shares Her Study Abroad Experience in Morocco

Sunset horizon shot in Morocco.

Nadine El Maalem, a senior Communication Studies major with minors in Arabic Studies and International Studies, is far away from our Glassboro campus. As a Global Ambassador at International Studies Abroad, Nadine is embarking on a non-traditional experience by studying abroad in Morocco.

Nadine learned about the opportunity to study abroad during her Rowan 101 class, a course offered to first year students that highlights a wide range of information on the Rowan experience.

Nadine was inspired to learn more about the program and found a perfect fit: an Arabic program in Morocco. “I thought this would be an amazing opportunity to connect with my own culture. I did the paperwork, and the next semester I was on a plane. That was in 2019. Now it’s 2021, and I’m doing the program a second time because it’s just that good,” she says.

Nadine and a former professor
Nadine and her former Intermediate Arabic professor, Dr. Zakaryae Arsalane, in Meknes, Morocco

Now, Nadine is in Morocco doing an academic and service learning program. This entails four traditional classes and 90 hours of service learning at an organization for class credit. Nadine works at Association Al Amal for her service learning course. “The organization is dedicated to helping women complete/continue their education by teaching them computer literacy skills, offering embroidery courses to make traditional Moroccan clothing, and cooking courses. The organization also partners with local schools to teach students ages 5-16 English,” she explains.

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco
Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

Nadine is getting a much different experience abroad. “I live with a host family and two other student roommates. My host mom is the best. She makes us Moroccan and French food daily. I really feel like I can connect with the culture because I’m totally immersed in it,” she says.

That’s one of the reasons Nadine wanted to go to Morocco again. “I love interacting with the locals and other students. I’m an extrovert, so I find myself chatting with the person who works at the local shops that is selling me cookies. Studying abroad is such a great piece to tack on your resume and is such an amazing experience; “it’s a win-win.” 

Fes, Morocco, posing in front of the doors of the King's Fes palace.
Nadine and her classmates in Fes, Morocco, posing in front of the doors of the King’s Fes palace

Back at Rowan, Nadine is a student ambassador with Rowan’s Education Abroad Office. There, she works with the Education Abroad Advisor, Laura Kahler, as well as other student ambassadors at Rowan to promote the different education abroad opportunities available to Rowan students, as well as to provide one-on-one advising, application help, and information about scholarships and funding for study abroad.

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

Photos provided by:
Nadine El Maalem

Alumni Success: Matt Ruiz ’10 Builds Career Thanks To ROTC Scholarship [VIDEO]

Matt smiles outdoors in front of fall foliage on Rowan's campus.

Matt Ruiz, a CPT Exercise Planning Officer, used his Armed Services Assistance ROTC Scholarship to earn a liberal studies degree, which helped him build life skills that he now uses as an office in the United States Army. “I would say that the biggest thing, getting the scholarship and doing the ROTC program here, it […]

The Rowan Blog Team’s Favorite Posts of 2021

Drone shot over Wackar Stadium at sunset.

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

Jars of Beekeeping Club honey packaged for sale.

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

Read the full story here

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


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

Finding My Path and Passion with an English Degree

Read the full story here

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


Ayanna smiles at the New York City Pride Parade.

Ayanna Johnson Reflects on New York City Pride Parade

Read the full story here

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


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

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

Read the full story here

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


Sarah and Madeline McClure hug at the Rowan Prof statue.

Sisters on SGA: Madeline and Sarah McClure

Read the full story here

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


Victoria kisses her son Rowen on Rowan Boulevard.

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

Read the full story here

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


Dr. Santos smiles inside Business Hall.

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

Read the full story here

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


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

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

Read the full story here

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

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

M.A. in Criminal Justice Student Says it’s “Never Too Late” to Earn a Master’s Degree

Angela sits under a tree with Bunce Hall in the background.

Meet Rowan Blog guest contributor Angela Damiano, a student in the M.A. in Criminal Justice Online program through Rowan Global. After earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology, Angela set off into the workforce. Here, she shares her hesitation at going back to school, the differences she feels between being […]

My First Year as a Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Major

A Rowan SOM Vaccine Site

Meet De’Chyna King, a junior transfer student from Cumberland County who is double majoring in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and Law and Justice.

I’ve always liked humanitarian-type services and helping people. During high school I found myself in a lot of helping environments like working with the Red Cross. That was my first introduction to disaster preparedness, because I didn’t even know what the field was called.

De'Chyna poses for a portrait.It made me think, “What is that major anyway?” So I did my research and fell into it. This is such a new field that not many people know about it, but there’s so much opportunity.

When I came to Rowan I didn’t realize they were one of the only schools that teach this program in person. There’s such a variety of teachers on campus and after working with them and learning about what they do, I’ve realized this is really what I’m interested in. 

I want to help people and direct people through national disasters, whether it be through food drive, blood drives, relocating people or through more of a director role.

This is my first year at Rowan, and I’ve found that there are a lot of opportunities. Especially with COVID-19, there’s a lot of internships at Rowan’s mega-site.

De'Chyna stands in front of Westby Hall.This pandemic was a new experience. Nobody was prepared to know how to handle it — exactly what Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management majors do. As an intern you could be involved from directing people, assisting with checking cards, organizing lines, checking allergies, even working with the military. It was a great experience with all these professional people. Working with first responders was a lot to experience my first semester here.

All of my teachers are very hands on, as far as internships and involvement. Everything from internships and resumes to jobs after college. Especially on the East coast, there’s so many federal jobs with the White House and Homeland Security.

If you know you like helping people, not even in a direct way, this could be great option for you. Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness is such an umbrella of things. You can be working with logistics if you’re good with numbers. You can be working with directors for hands-on leadership skills. You can work with mapping, there’s geographical, there’s environmental sciences.

This such a broad major that you can apply yourself wherever — you’re never out of a job, and you’re always needed. So it’s something that everyone can enjoy if they find the right space for themselves.

If you do your own research and you enjoy logistics and humanitarianism, this is absolutely a great fit for you. This major is so broad that work-wise [it will] always be needed.

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Sisters on SGA: Sarah and Madeline McClure

Sarah and Madeline pose together in front of the owl statue.

Today we speak to Rowan siblings Sarah and Madeline McClure. Sarah McClure, the Executive Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA), is a senior International Studies and Political Science double major. Madeline McClure, the Assistant Vice President of Public Relations of the Student Government Association, is a junior Marketing major. They are from Rockaway, NJ (Morris County), and they live together in an on-campus apartment. Sarah and Madeline tell us about their positions in SGA and their experiences as being sisters at Rowan and in SGA together.

Madeline and Sarah pose together at a white table.
Madeline, left, and Sarah, right.

Can you tell me a bit about your positions in SGA?

Sarah: I am the Executive Vice President of SGA. I am in charge of club development. That means I oversee all the about 170 clubs on campus, as well as field new clubs.

Madeline: I am the Assistant Vice President of Public Relations. I run all of SGA’s social media. I focus on Instagram the most. I make any promotional materials, and I write press releases. In the spring, I will run Back to the Boro, which is a community service event where we give back to the residents of Glassboro. My job is to make sure that people view SGA in a positive way. 

Why did both of you choose to go to Rowan?

Sarah: All of our cousins are much older. The youngest is about seven years older than me. When I was touring schools, one of them told me not to look at Rowan because it was just a bunch of buildings in the middle of nowhere. When she looked at Rowan, many of the buildings that are here now weren’t. But, I came, and I toured anyway because one of our mom’s coworkers works in admissions and she recommended I tour. So, we toured, we spoke to someone in admissions, and I just had a great feeling about Rowan. I went to an accepted student’s day, and I heard Richard Jones speak, who was the Dean of Students at the time. He spoke about the community here and how all the professors really care about their students, and that resonated with me in a way that no other college had. 

Madeline: I had never heard of Rowan until Sarah began her college search. When we toured for Sarah, I immediately loved the campus and was interested in Rowan. However, when Sarah applied, I didn’t want to come here anymore because I didn’t want to go to college with my sister. But, I ended up here anyway. Now, we live in an apartment together, and we’re on SGA together. 

Another big part of us both choosing Rowan was the financial aspect. We both wanted to make a good financial choice with our education. We both wanted in-state tuition, and there is a scholarship you can apply for if you have a family member that also goes here.

Madeline and Sarah talk outside the SGA office in the Student Center.

What’s it like being on SGA together?

Madeline: Sarah is actually the reason I ran for this position in SGA. My whole idea of SGA, before I started, revolved around Sarah’s involvement in SGA. It’s amazing to be a part of SGA and be in this position. But, working with Sarah, she’s just another member of the board. Well, she’s so important, and I think she’s a genius, but it doesn’t feel like I’m working with my sister. I’m glad I get to experience this with her. 

But being on SGA is really fun, but it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot more work than I initially expected. It’s very rewarding when you finish the work, especially because I didn’t think I could handle all of it.

Sarah: Like Madeline said, it’s less like working with my sister, and more like a team member relationship with the added background of knowing each other for 20 years. Since I was involved in SGA last year too, sometimes people come up to me and ask me if Madeline is my sister. I was worried in the beginning that Madeline might feel out of place, but she proved to me quickly that I didn’t need to feel that way. She fit right in. She’s doing a great job. I’m proud of her.

Sarah and Madeline hug outside Robinson Hall.

How has going to college with your sister affected your college experience?

Madeline: When I first started at Rowan, I wasn’t looking for a super involved college experience. I was expecting to get the degree, and that’s all. But, being here with Sarah has pushed me to be more involved, be a better student, and achieve so much more than I thought I would. Sarah is so smart and takes so much on her plate. I never would have joined something like SGA if I weren’t here with Sarah. It would have gone so differently if we had gone to different schools.

Sarah: To add to that, it’s just nice to have someone who knows me on campus. I try my best, but in doing so much on campus, it can be hard to maintain a steady social life. To be able to go back to the apartment and have my sister there to crack jokes and hang out with is special. It makes it feel more like home in the apartment. 

Madeline and Sarah pose in front of the SGA bulletin board in the Student Center.

Do you have any advice for incoming students who are hesitant about going to college with their sibling?

Madeline: I was definitely hesitant at first. As kids and teenagers, we had a lot of arguments. I was worried about that continuing if we went to college together, but in a short period of time you mature and you realize you aren’t so different and you have the same goals. Even if we get into little arguments in the apartment, we forget about it the next day. 

Also, there’s no rule that you have to live together like Sarah and I. For the first two years I was here, Sarah and I barely saw each other. The campus can be so big. You do not have to be intertwined at all. Being at college with your sibling doesn’t have to define your experience.

Sarah: To go off of that, Madeline and I are in two different majors and two different years. I maybe saw Madeline walking down the street once or twice and waved, but that’s all. It’s like going to the same college as someone random in your high school. You aren’t going to see them all the time, especially if you are taking different classes and are involved in different things. I used to get so excited to see her and walk past her, since we didn’t see each other that much. While you’re looking for independence, it’s nice to have someone to come to or fall back on, and it’s someone who has known you your entire life. I can be goofy with her like nobody else. I never expected to have this good of an experience with my sister. We were different as kids and teens, but now we are adults and we are much closer.

For anyone who is contemplating going to the same school as their sibling, give it a chance. Think about how you feel about the campus, if you like the program, and if you feel the school is a good fit for you. Don’t let the fact that you may already have a sibling going to that school influence your decision. Chances are, your sibling probably won’t play much of a factor in your experience while you are there. 

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

Photos by:
Missy Pavorsky, junior advertising major 

Finding My Path and Passion with an English Degree

Rowan English graduate Nicole sits in front of fall foliage on campus.

Meet guest Rowan Blog contributor Nicole Tota of Marlton, NJ (Burlington County), who recently earned her degree in English from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She now pursues her master’s degree in Higher Education: Advising at Rowan Global. Here, Nicole candidly shares her degree brought more career questions than answers until she ultimately […]

Retired Marine Corps Veteran Morgan Kelley Challenged and Changed by Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Program

Morgan looks at an award inside Bunce Hall.

After multiple tours to Iraq, one to the western Pacific and more than 20 years in service to his country, Staff Sergeant Morgan Kelley had planned to enjoy some quiet time and look for government employment after he retired from the United States Marine Corps. But when his family moved close to the Rowan University […]

Cyreelle Cruz, RIPPAC Member and Scholarship Recipient, Shares Her Story

Exterior shot of the top of Bunce Hall.

Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship (RIPPAC) member and recent scholarship recipient Cyreelle Cruz, a junior History major from Camden County, shares how the connections she has made with Rowan faculty have taken her to the next level. 

What got you interested in your major?

Since I was a freshman in high school, I was always really good at history. Everyone else dreaded history classes, but I always felt cool knowing I did well in the classes. Since I had a really good AP history test score, I was able to bypass a college course.

I started as a Computer Science major because that’s what I thought I wanted to do, but when it came down to it, I decided to change it to something I knew I loved and I was good at.

How did you find out about the RIPPAC internship scholarships? [editor’s note: these scholarships help offset the costs of taking on an unpaid internship]

I was lucky enough to have Professor Dworkin in class, who happens to be the head of RIPPAC. He talked non-stop in the class about the scholarship and how to apply for it. I was hesitant at first because I work two jobs and didn’t know if I could take on another commitment. But after hearing about all of the benefits of the opportunity, I started to ask myself, “What if this would be more beneficial to my future than working two jobs?”

After thinking about it for a while, I decided to apply for the James P. Fox Memorial Fund. 

Cyreelle sitting while looking at her phone.

Describe your internship and the work you do.

I intern with the Addiego, Natale and Eckel campaign for State Senate and Assembly. The people are really great and I never feel overwhelmed or pressured with the workload. We do a lot of event research and will even start to attend events in the future. We are in the process of recruiting more members and making lots of phone calls. It’s been an awesome experience so far!

What is your advice for other students who want to apply for internships?

I would say it’s so important to utilize the connections with professors. I don’t know how I would have done it without the guidance and encouragement from Professor Dworkin. I remember I would try to find internships/jobs on Indeed and other external websites, but it would never work out. But your professors are there to help you and get you the opportunities you want, so don’t be afraid to ask for that help.

A selfie of Cyreelle

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

Header photo by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

Other photos courtesy of:
Cyreelle Cruz

Studying Abroad in Japan: The Best Decision I Have Ever Made

Dominique attending an event in Japan.

Meet Dominique DiGiacomo, a Rowan Global student pursuing her master’s in education. She graduated from Rowan with her bachelor’s in English last spring. Dominique had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Japan during her fall semester of junior year.

I lived in the city of Machida, a suburban area located just 45 minutes outside of center city Tokyo. My typical days abroad consisted of a delicious breakfast (either homemade or from a convenience store), classes anywhere from 9am-5pm (three completely taught in Japanese and two in English), a workout at the on-campus gym, study sessions with my friends, and a night out in the city with my friends! My time abroad helped me to realize that I was indeed in the right major.

Dominique and two friends overseas in Japan.

As an international student at JF Oberlin University I had the opportunity to apply for a job at their Brown Bag Cafe, an area in which Japanese students could go in order to learn and practice English. It was there that I confirmed my love for teaching English as a second language, loving every moment as I had the opportunity to talk to my Japanese classmates and help them break down the language barrier. This opportunity confirmed for me that I was on the right path and that my future dream of teaching English in Japan could become a reality. 

Rowan has set me up for my professional goal of teaching English abroad by giving me the experience of student teaching and education classes that have helped me to study to become a better teacher. My experience abroad has helped me to work toward my goal of teaching abroad, especially since I received the opportunity while I was there to teach English to non-native speakers. I am hoping that my combination of skills I have learned from Rowan as well as abroad will help me in my endeavors to get a job teaching English abroad in Japan. 

Dominique and her friends in front of a futuristic statue in Japan.

My time in Japan is one that I will cherish in my memories for years to come. Studying abroad in Japan was such an amazing experience and despite my slight nerves of living all on my own in a country half way across the world, I absolutely loved every moment I was there and am already counting down the days until I can hopefully return. The transition I had from going to college in Japan instead of America was honestly seamless, the only difficulty being adjusting to the time difference which was something my body eventually just got used to.

Besides my three years of study beforehand of the Japanese language and my experience traveling there once before, I still had some nerves when it came to studying abroad on my own so the on-site staff were super helpful during my transition. There was staff at the airport to pick us up and bring us to our housing, staff constantly on duty throughout the building to help us with anything we needed, and staff throughout campus helping to direct us when we were lost or confused.

Studying abroad in Japan was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and it opened up so many doors for me both academically and professionally. I encourage anyone who is interested in studying abroad to take the leap and go for it! It will be an amazing experience that you will never forget! 

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Photos courtesy of:
Dominique DiGiacomo

Transfer to Transformed: Five Students Share

Exterior shot of a walkway near Wilson Hall.

Rowan Blog celebrates National Transfer Student Week and partners with the Office of Student Success Programs in spotlighting five students who have found their new college home at Rowan University. Victoria (Tore) Butler, Elementary Education and Literacy Studies major who transferred from The University of Scranton in fall 2019 Why did you select to transfer […]

Andrew Slowinski, 2021 Rick Rosenberg Jr. Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Exterior shot of Robinson Hall.

Today we feature Andrew Slowinski, a junior Political Science major. Andrew also minors in Economics and is from Toms River, NJ (Ocean County). Andrew shares his internship experience this past summer as a recipient of the 2021 Rick Rosenberg Jr. Memorial Scholarship.  

According to the Rowan Institute of Public Policy and Citizenship (RIPPAC), the scholarship awards $2,500 for a student to take an unpaid summer internship “and aspire to pursue a future political career like the late Rick Rosenberg, Jr., the Republican political operative.”

    What got you interested in political science?

    Back in my junior year of high school I took a class called Political and Legal Education because the class I originally wanted to take was not available. I decided to take this class after having a few options to choose from. I quickly realized that I really liked learning about the political science field and I thoroughly enjoyed taking the class.

    During the class there was a legal chapter where we had to do a mock trial, which I thought was very fun. After that class I decided to make a career out of it.

    Andrew Slowinski.
    Andrew Slowinski

    How did you find out about the Rosenberg scholarship?

    Professor Dworkin introduced me to this scholarship and internship opportunity. I met Professor Dworkin through a club I am part of called the Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship (RIPPAC). He told me to check out the RIPPAC internship scholarships available, and that is how I found the Rick Rosenberg, Jr. Memorial Scholarship.

    What are your responsibilities in your internship?

    I interned at the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, and I had several responsibilities for the summer. First off, my supervisor would send me documents, court reports and testimonies to look over and prepare for upcoming court that we had. I would outline key sections that would be of value to us, write questions for cross-examination and write memos. An example of a memo I have written was a memo for reconsideration and I would apply it to a case we currently have because the judge ruled it not the way we hoped … therefore we ask for reconsideration.

    The internship took place over the whole summer, and we had court at least five times a week.

    Andrew (left)with friends Brandon, Tyler, and Joey at Joey's sisters wedding.
    Andrew (left) with friends Brandon, Tyler, and Joey at Joey’s sister’s wedding.

    What are your professional goals?

    After undergrad I will be attending law school; I am not sure on where I want to get my law degree from yet. From there I am still deciding on whether I want to become a lawyer or a judge for my future profession. 

    What advice do you have for other students seeking political science internships?

    Networking is imperative when it comes to seeking out any internship or scholarship opportunities. I reached out to Professor Dworkin, and he helped me build a well-written resume. In high school I interned for a U.S. congressman because my mom’s friend is a supervisor and she assisted in helping me get that internship at such an early age.

    Networking and reaching out to friends or family that may work in your area of interest is huge when starting out. 

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos courtesy of:
    Andrew Slowinski

    Header photo courtesy of:
    University Publications

    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.

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    Story By: Bianca Gray, senior English major

    Photos and video courtesy of:
    Byron Bustos

    Beyond the Classroom: Legislative Intern, Scholarship Winner Nick Feldman

    Nick smiles, stands in front of Bunce Hall.

    Today we feature Nick Feldman, a junior Political Science major with Certificates of Undergraduate Study (CUGS) in Public Policy and Russian. An on-campus resident from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County), Nick transferred to Rowan from Rosemont College. He works as a photographer for Rowan Athletics and as a Multimedia Editor for The Whit. Nick interned at NJ State Assemblywoman Patricia Lampitt’s office (District 6) and NJ State Assemblyman William Spearman (District 5), and is one of eight recipients of the Dr. Bruce Caswell Scholars Fund. 

    Nick poses on the side of Bunce Hall.

    Could you share some backstory about yourself?

    When I first came to Rowan, in Fall 2020, we were in the middle of the pandemic. I went to campus reluctantly. At first, I thought there wouldn’t be a lot of opportunities, but as I got involved, I realized that there were. I’m really, really excited about this semester. I know there’s going to be so many more opportunities. 

    What got you interested in political science?

    I’ve always liked history. At Rosemont College, the college I transferred from, my major was history education. I was studying to be a high school history teacher. However, I’ve always been very interested in politics.

    During the 2020 election, I obsessed over the campaigns, the candidates, the policies, everything. So, I thought it was a logical choice to switch my major over to the political science, which is something that I’ve always really liked. I have always thought about how I can make a difference in the world. Well, if I major in Political Science, and I’m able to intern with the people who represent me, I get to know the ins and outs of the process. Then, hopefully, when I graduate college and go into the professional world, I can make a positive impact on the world. Therefore, it was a natural choice. 

    Nick holds a DSLR camera in front of Bunce Hall.

    How did you find out about the Caswell Scholarship?

    I received an email from the Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship (RIPPAC) about the Caswell Scholarship and other scholarships. The scholarship was enticing. I worked on two unpaid political internships this summer. I thought I might as well just apply for any of the scholarships in the email, in order to cover my expenses. I ended up getting the Caswell Scholarship, which is huge. The Caswell Scholarship helped with even just gas money to get from my house to the internships. 

    Can you tell me about your two internships?

    One of my internships was with Assemblywoman Patricia Lampitt, an assemblywoman in the sixth legislative district, where I live. This internship was remote, and more policy and analysis focused. I was given bills as long as 20 pages, and I read through them and categorized where money was being spent. While some people might find this kind of work boring, I found it fun.

    My other internship was in the fifth legislative district office in Woodbury with Assemblyman William Spearman. My internship with Assemblyman Spearman was in person. I enjoyed being in person and getting to talk with my co-workers face to face and learning from their experiences. Most of my responsibilities were focused on constituent services, such as answering the phone, transferring calls, and entering callers into our call system. Our call system keeps track of the reason for their call, so we can keep track of their concerns and their contact information. Unfortunately, many people are calling about unemployment, but we were able to track that and help them. I really liked this internship. 

    Nick poses in front of a tree.

    What are some policies that you worked on specifically?

    Many of the policies I worked on at my internship with Assemblywoman Lampitt were K-12 education based, since the Assemblywoman is the Chair of the New Jersey General Assembly Committee on Education. Something I worked on was keeping track of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, which is the state agency for rebuilding and upgrading our schools and public school system. One project was looking through their massive portfolio and seeing where their money is being spent, and what it is being spent on.

    Also, the Assemblywoman did a lot of work regarding childhood poverty. I remember she had me looking at legislative proposals that worked to diminish the effects of childhood poverty in our state. New Jersey, unfortunately, has a high cost of living, so the cost to live here is a lot more than the federal guidelines say it should cost to live. Unfortunately, there are many people in New Jersey who are technically in poverty, but to the federal government, they are not, because the federal government’s guidelines are so low. So she’s working to see if there are any remedies to that so that people who need help can actually get instead of being frozen out of the system.

    How has the Caswell Scholarship impacted you?

    To be chosen for the Caswell Scholarship felt like validation of everything that I’ve been trying to achieve over these last few years. I hold it in the same regard as making Dean’s list. The scholarship feels like affirmation of those times where I’ve had trouble. I have ADHD, so I have had a really hard time with organization and whatnot. Getting these two internships was a huge moment for me, because it was wonderful to be out in the outside world working. It required great organizational skills so that I could have two different positions. The scholarship made me feel like all the work that I’ve been putting in has come to fruition. Feeling recognized makes me feel really good, not just about what I’ve achieved, but about myself. It makes me feel that even though I have this thing that makes me different and is pretty difficult sometimes with daily tasks, I can accomplish what I want to accomplish.

    Nick poses in front of a tree and the American flag.

    Could you describe your professional goals?

    I really, really want to be in [Washington] DC. DC is the place to be, but I would really love to be on a staff in the federal government, so that I can work on laws and legislation. State and local governments are important, but the federal government is a whole different animal. I would love to be down there, not only working, but continuing to advocate for the causes that I believe in, progressive education policy and progressive health care policies. Then who knows. Maybe one day, I would love to run for office, but that would be in the future. 

    What advice do you have for other students seeking political science college internships? 

    I would say don’t be scared and don’t be intimidated. That’s how I felt applying for a lot of these internships. I got rejected by a couple and that got me down; but overall, I was fine in the long run. Don’t get intimidated by the process. It might seem intimidating that someone who’s part of a staff is going to interview you for an internship. However, once you get in contact with these people, you’ll realize that they’re normal people just like you. The staff wants to hire somebody who works hard. They want to bring somebody in who’s affable, who will not be a negative presence in the office. They want somebody who’s going to be a hard worker and will do what is needed to help. If I had to do the process over again, that’s exactly what I would try to emphasize.

    Also, don’t be afraid to work at the state and local level. The federal government is cool and all. However, if you think about it, your local government takes care of daily things such as sewage. Your state government provides unemployment. So don’t knock working in the state or local government. It’s very important.

    Nick stands on the side of Bunce Hall.

    Final thoughts?

    I really wish that I had come to Rowan from the start. I love my experiences here, the people I’ve met, and just how welcoming the entire campus has been. I went to a smaller school to start out. There were probably 300 people at my previous school. I like that Rowan is bigger and feels more like a university. One of the best decisions of my life was transferring to Rowan. 

    I am also thankful for Dr. Dworkin and the entire RIPPAC team. When I first came to Rowan, I didn’t think there was anything for me to do. I got these emails from Dr. Dworkin saying, if you’re interested in Political Science, come on, come out. I thought, “I’ll just go, I have nothing better to do.” It was a brilliant decision for me to get involved with RIPPAC and get involved on campus.

    RIPPAC’s been great. They made me feel welcome. They have improved not only my professional development, but they’re also teaching me. Besides just the ins and outs of policy and legislation, they also have been having these great leadership seminars too. They’ve also been an extremely big help for me, and they’ve helped me grow not just in terms of my experience and what I can do, but also in terms of who I am. They’ve been a positive influence.

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

    Photos by:
    Nick Flagg, senior theatre and advertising major

    Frequently Asked Questions About the Rowan Writing Center Answered With Tutor Bianca Gray

    Today, Rowan Blog contributor and Writing Center tutor Bianca Gray answers questions people often ask her about the Rowan Writing Center. Bianca, a senior English major with a concentration in Shakespeare Studies, notes: “Spoiler alert! Don’t be surprised by how much I say RWC.” 

    What is the RWC?

    The Rowan Writing Center (often abbreviated as RWC) is the place on campus to go if you need help with any form of writing and is also a nice place to study. It’s open Sunday-Friday and operates throughout the entire school year as well as the summer. Currently, it’s fully virtual, but there are hopes that it will be open for the 2021-22 academic school year (check the RWC site for up-to-date hours of operation). 

    Bianca stands next to a sign in The Writing Center.

    Where is the RWC?

    The RWC is located on the first floor of the Campbell Library.

    How did you get hired with the RWC?

    Buckle up ’cause it’s a long story: The worst part about being a transfer student was everything I had built for myself at my previous institution being torn down. Before coming to Rowan, I spent the majority of my [first] year at my previous school making a name for myself around campus, specifically with the Writing Arts department. I had won the Freshman essay contest and had snagged an internship working with the Writing Center at that campus before I had to leave the school due to an unforeseen change in my finances.

    I came to Rowan because I saw how well the Writing Arts department was and hoped to make the same foothold at this institution as I had at my previous one. My academic advisor placed me in a class called ‘Tutoring For Writing’ where I met one of the nicest professors on campus, Dr. Leslie Allison. I told Dr. Allison about my situation and how I wanted to be involved with the writing department on this campus and, while she couldn’t just give me a job, she helped me strengthen my tutoring skills to make me properly prepared to apply to work at the Writing Center when the time came. Thanks to Dr. Allison’s help as well as my newly strengthened skills, I was able to get a job with the RWC. 

    Will the hiring process be as dramatic for me?

    No, I’m just dramatic by nature. The hiring process is pretty straightforward. Applications go out in the spring, then there’s interviews, then you’ll know if you got the job relatively quickly.

    Bianca works on a computer at The Writing Center.

    What does your job consist of?

    Students from all over the university (both undergraduate and graduate) make appointments with my co-workers and I in order to get feedback on any given writing assignment. We don’t just look over English or writing major papers; we look and give feedback on papers that span across many different majors.

    The RWC hires people of many different majors so that we’re better equipped at helping all students. We even have Engineering and Biology major tutors in order for them to help students who need help with lab reports.

    On top of that, tutors also work closely with first year writing classes and hold weekly hour-long sessions in order to help first year students with their home/classwork as well going over things they may have been struggling with in class.

    So if I go to the RWC for help with a paper, will they edit it for me? 

    No, RWC tutors are not editors. Editing a paper does nothing to help a student grow. It’s like when a teacher just X’s something you wrote out and writes wrong next to it. If you don’t know what the problem is then how can you be expected to solve it? RWC tutors, however, will go through your paper and mark areas where they see repeated problems and discuss those problems with you so that you can better understand the issue and learn not to make those same mishaps again.

    What I do is this: If I see a repeated problem in a paper, I correct it the first time and mark it the next two times but don’t correct it. After that, I don’t correct or mark the problem at all. I discuss the issue with the student and expect for them to go back through the paper and find places where they see the problem and correct it themselves. Editing a paper doesn’t help a student to become a better writer. 

    What’s the best part about working there?

    Definitely my co-workers and supervisors. Celeste, Donna and Cate are some of the coolest people I’ve ever met since being in college. I remember taking Shakespeare my first semester of working at the Writing Center and Cate always taking the time out of her day to better help me understand my work for the class, something she was under no obligation to do. It’s little stuff like that that makes me really appreciate them. My coworkers are cool as well. They’re a very boisterous group of people (more boisterous than you’d expect a group of tutors to be), but they all mean well. I remember my coworker, Nia, going out of her way to make me feel included and help me out when I first started. Having such a positive work environment with friendly faces makes the job so much easier. 

    Bianca checks her laptop at The Writing Center.

    What’s your advice to anybody nervous to come to the RWC in fear of their paper being judged or criticized harshly?

    The RWC is a no-judgement zone. No tutor wants to read a paper and rip it apart. Everything we say is meant to be constructive and help to make your paper the best it can possibly be. If a tutor does or says something that makes a student feel upset or uncomfortable, report it immediately and it will be handled by the supervisors. 

    What are some other cool things about the RWC?

    They host so many different events throughout the academic year. In a COVID-free school year, the RWC hosts multiple events including movie nights, trivia nights and holiday parties. If you’re ever free, don’t be afraid to come! 

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    Story By:
    Bianca Gray, senior English major

    Beyond the Classroom: On the Campaign Trail with Political Science Major Stephen Scheuren

    Stephen with candidates and volunteers from the campaign.

    Today we feature Stephen Scheuren of Marlton, NJ (Burlington County). Stephen has served in the Army National Guard for nearly six years as a Signal Support Systems Specialist and was on active duty in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria. He transferred to Rowan University in spring 2021 from Rowan College at Burlington County. A Political Science major, Stephen works as an intern on a state senate and assembly campaign in Atlantic County’s second legislative district. He earned a Rick Rosenberg, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, which offsets the costs to take an unpaid internship. Here, Stephen describes his internship experience and his plans for the future. 

    Have you had time to join any clubs on campus?

    I’m very involved in RIPPAC (Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship). I’ve gone to almost every event they’ve scheduled with Dr. [Benjamin] Dworkin. I also joined the Pre-Law Society so I’ve been going to their events as well, and Phi Alpha Delta with their LSAT studying. It’s a law fraternity [for] people who want to go to law school and people who are in law school. I would like to look at what other clubs are at Rowan, but I think due to COVID, you couldn’t really do that.

    How did you find out about RIPPAC? 

    Exactly how, why and where I’m at is because of Dr. Dworkin. ­­­I was talking to him, and he asked me, “What do you want to do in life?” I said, “I want to be a prosecutor.” He was asking me why. And then he started giving me advice: “Okay, here’s what you need to do. You need to do an internship now. You have three semesters left, go now. Now, now, now.” And he said, “Join my class, New Jersey Politics.” And I did, I took his class, took his advice and this is where I’m at, because of Dr. Dworkin, and so I attribute it to him, and RIPPAC is why I’m at where I’m at. RIPPAC is a very successful organization. It’s young, and it’s really hit the ground running.

    Stephen (left) with Assemblyman Jon Brambick.
    Stephen (left) with New Jersey Assemblyman Jon Bramnick.

    What got you interested in political science?

    I just honestly like the functions of government, and not only that, along the lines of foreign policy and domestic issues as well. The justice system is something that especially interests me. And partly economics and international relations, it’s kind of a mix of everything that interests me. I guess one word to sum it up is just government. Just government. 

    How did you find out about the Rosenberg Memorial Scholarship? 

    Yes, same answer through Dr. Dworkin, because I’m conservative. I’m interning with the Republican Party out of Atlantic City and their ticket. Well, Atlantic County, second legislative district. He told me, “You should apply for this, you should definitely apply for this.” And because I was new at Rowan, I couldn’t apply to it right away. And so the semester was over, because I had to have the generated GPA. And Dr. Dworkin would say, “Did you apply yet, did you apply yet?” I just finally did, because my GPA came in. And I was shocked when I received that … it was one of the first scholarships I got. It was great, I was very happy about it. 

    Tell me about your internship. 

    Stephen had originally interned for another campaign; but when the candidate resigned, the campaign manager connected him with his current campaign under a new manager named Brett Barbin.

    I started doing the same thing for him, opposition research, public things, and then I started working more directly with him and the candidates. And I would go with Brett as an aide for Brett when he was aiding the candidates who are Don Guardian, Claire Swift and Vince Polistina.

    And so, as more time went on, I was more direct with the candidates. And because my intention with going and interning here, I specifically sought the second legislative district because they looked like they had the highest chance of winning for a Republican nomination.

    We had specific lists for people we’d reach out to to volunteer, and I would contact those people as well. And honestly, whatever Brett asked me, I was just jumping on. I wasn’t a volunteer, I was more of an intern because I was working with the candidates themselves. 

    Whenever I’m at Rowan, and I’m still a representative of that campaign. Anywhere I go, I am a representative of that campaign. We’re still campaigning; I mean, my car is literally filled with literature for the campaign.

    You’re right in the thick of it. There is no coffee grabbing for you for sure.

    Yeah, actually, it’s funny you say that, because when we were door knocking, it was over 90 degrees. And so what I did was, I said to myself, alright, it’s going to be insanely hot. So what I did was I put in my backpack, like, six large tallboy waters. And then I put ice packs in between them. And I would walk around, I would just say to the candidate, “Don,” and I would just turn around, and he would [go to] my bag and just pull out a water, he would he would say to me, “Steve, you’re moving up in the world. You got water all ready for us.” And then I would have the candidates running over to my bag and just grabbing water out of my bag.

    Stephen (at right) has water bottles and campaign materials at the ready while door knocking with the candidates.
    Stephen (at right) has water bottles and campaign materials at the ready while door knocking with the candidates.

    It would help get us through the day. Because when we were at the end, I mean, everyone was just, it was like we were in a rainstorm. We were all soaked. It was great because you kind of learn when you’re door knocking with them, you get the experience of how they’re trying to get someone to come to our side and vote. 

    How has the Rosenberg Scholarship impacted your internship experience?

    It impacted it significantly. I won the Rosenberg Scholarship and [was] very happy about it. But I was able to get the opportunity to introduce Assembly Minority Leader, Jon Bramnick, for the Republican Party, at RIPPAC’s political intern summit MAPIS [Mid-Atlantic Political Intern Summit]. And that helped me talk about the campaign from a public aspect and be a representative of the campaign for and talk to Jon Bramnick.

    With the Rosenberg Scholarship it gave me more recognition and solidified that I’m a representative here in Atlantic County and outside of Atlantic County, because of the speech I was able to give and deliver with introducing Assemblyman Bramnick.

    Stephen (at right) introduces Assemblyman Bramnick at the Mid-Atlantic Political Intern Summit.
    Stephen (at right) introduces Assemblyman Bramnick at the Mid-Atlantic Political Intern Summit.

    What are your professional goals?

    This year that’s passing and next year are just all structured around going to law school.

    And for anyone that wants to go to law school, I would highly recommend they have at least one campaign trail. Even if you don’t politically identify with anyone, just go with someone. I mean, it is technically a form of public service, in my opinion; I mean, you’re helping people having governments. It’s about following Dr. Dworkin’s advice and get your internships in; that way, I have a better law school resume. Same thing with the Army National Guard, helps me with my law school resume.

    And well, doing prosecution, because that’s the one area I want to practice. And if I fall out of prosecution, I will look into whatever I would like to do for private practice.

    What advice do you have for other students seeking out college internships, specifically, political science internships?

    This is going to be kind of specific, it depends on where you want your career to be. So you kind of have to tailor it. I tailored mine. And, again, Dr. Dworkin helped me tailor it. I tailored mine to law school, and to help me have someone look at my resume and go, I want to interview him.

    I would go through RIPPAC, and you can always ask Dr. Dworkin because he is a New Jersey guru on how the state works. And that’s how I went. But once you get in there, it’s a whole different ballgame. You’ve got to be reliable. I live an hour away from where the offices for our campaign and where we’re campaigning, but I’m always there. Whenever they asked me. Always there ready to go.

    And I would say flexible would be another good word. But also, I think you should get a an idea, if you’re a Political Science major, where you want to work. You should really have that in your mind. And that will help you tailor to what internships you’re looking for. It’s kind of like a two-step process: tailor it and then just always say yes to what they need every single time.

    Stephen (second from left) at a event for the state senate and assembly campaign he's representing in a political science internship.
    Stephen (second from left) at a event for the state senate and assembly campaign he’s representing in a political science internship.

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    Photos courtesy of:
    Stephen Scheuren

    In Case You Missed It: Favorite Classes At Rowan

    Tell us a little about what the class is. IMC goes over all the parts to an integrated marketing communications plan, such as advertising, public relations, direct marketing, digital/internet marketing, sales promotion and personal selling. You really get to work a lot of different muscles within the communications industry. Is there anything else that made […]

    #PROFspective: Emergency Management with Kevin McCarthy

    Kevin stands in front of the Rowan arch in a Rowan t-shirt.

    Today we speak with Kevin P. McCarthy, a recent graduate from Cranford, NJ (Union County) who earned degrees in Political Science and Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management. He was an RA (Resident Assistant) for three years in Holly Pointe, Chestnut Hall, and Triad Apartments. Kevin was also heavily involved in the SGA as well as Rowan EMS.

    What advice do you have for incoming students? 

    Get involved, especially with hall council your freshman year. Also SGA, that’s how I got my start in leadership on campus. Finding what organizations are good for your major. I’m on Rowan EMS. I got a lot of my connections and experiences through SGA and Rowan EMS. 

    Now the Disaster Preparedness Major, I remember the last two years of that major were intended to be in Camden, correct? 

    I’ve actually been taking major-related courses my entire four years. So, I’ve been going to Camden almost every semester. 

    Kevin and Leah sit on the Bunce Hall marble steps both wearing Rowan t-shirts.

    Has that moved to online format because of Covid?

    Yes, everything is online. 

    So you haven’t been able to go to Camden very much? 

    Yes, not much this [past] semester. I’m also in the master’s program. I was accepted for next year. We’re seeing what’s gonna happen. If I get a full-time job or if I continue with my master’s or not, I have been taking master’s classes for senior privilege through that. 

    What have been some of the advantages of going to the Rowan Camden campus for classes (even in a COVID world)?

    It’s a really gorgeous building. It’s an old bank! There’s a student lounge in the basement that used to be the old safety deposit room. The area is nice and the shuttle drops you off right there. I also have a friend that goes to Rutgers Camden and it’s only two blocks away. I would go over and meet her in their Student Center every so often. It’s a very nice building.

    Kevin and Leah study on their laptops sitting on Bunce Green.

    What is the professional direction you would like to go?

    I would like to go into emergency management in some capacity, whether that be for the government or the private sector. I’m keeping my options open. 

    For those who are not familiar with this emerging major, what does that mean to a layperson? Is it like working for FEMA? 

    My professor, Dr. Len Clark, said that it’s like being a general without an army. You’re making the plans and you’re in charge during the emergency, the police, the firemen, the EMS. You’re working with their respective leads and coordinating an “all-hazards” approach. If there’s a hurricane coming, you have to work with DPW, EMS, the fire department, the police department evacuating people, and preparing the town with sandbags. 

    Is a lot of your work preventative? A town would bring you in to develop a plan for them and then you would move on?   

    Yes, you can! There are some people who do subcontract. You’ll develop a plan for a town or a business and then leave. Or you can continue to work for that town or business, as an internal [contractor]. You would develop plans, run drills, and serve as a liaison.

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    Story by: 
    Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    Moods: Where To Go On Campus When You Feel A Certain Way

    Rowan Boulevard and the Glassblower statue.

    Rowan students and alumni reveal popular spots to eat, hang out and socialize on campus.

    Where to go on campus when you want to socialize with friends

    “When I want to socialize with my friends on campus, I like to go downtown to different restaurants like Playa Bowls and LaScala’s Fire.” – junior Supply Chain & Logistics and Marketing major Jenna Scarpa

    “When I am on campus, I love going to sporting events and the Student Center to get together and socialize with my friends!” – senior Psychology major Lucille Villani

    Richard Wackar Stadium where football, lacrosse, field hockey, and track events take place.
    Richard Wackar Stadium, where football, lacrosse, field hockey, and track and field events take place

    “I enjoy going to Holly Pointe Cafe to socialize with friends because the atmosphere gives off very welcoming vibes through the music and staff. Plus who doesn’t love to get something to eat while they are chatting?” – senior Math Education major CJ Barrett

    As you can see above, Rowan offers many different places to socialize with your friends. From sporting events and walkable restaurants to Holly Pointe Commons Cafe, there are so many communal spaces to sit back and enjoy quality time with friends. 

    Holly Pointe Cafe.
    Glassworks Cafe located in Holly Pointe Commons

    Where to go on campus when you want to study/sit in a quiet space

    “Whenever I need a place to study or somewhere quiet, I love going to the Campbell Library on campus or Barnes and Noble. It helps me focus and I find that I get a lot more work done when I’m there!” – sophomore Athletic Training major Hannah Lombardo

    Outside of Barnes and Noble on Rowan Boulevard.
    Barnes and Noble on Rowan Boulevard

    “Being a commuter, I would sit in my car and study in between classes. The best lot is by Bunce Hall because it’s small, less traffic, and there’s a nice view while working.” – senior Theatre and Advertising major Nick Flagg 

    “If I have a lot of work to get done or need to study for a test, I usually go to Campbell Library or a study pod in the Science [Hall] building. I work really productively in places that are quiet and aren’t that busy!” – junior Biological Sciences major Harley Rosenzweig 

    Study areas available in the Rowan Campbell Library.
    Study areas available in the Rowan Campbell Library

    Rowan has many options when seeking out a quiet place to study or have some alone time. Many students enjoy the library or Barnes and Noble downtown to tackle some work, and students can even find a good spot to relax on the lawn chairs in front of Robinson Hall and next to Wilson Hall. 

    Where to go on campus when you want to grab a bite to eat

    “Freshens was always a go to spot. Being able to customize a healthy option along with the convenience of being able to order on my phone made it a staple.” – alumnus and Liberal Studies major Daniel Corvo

    Student Center Cafeteria.
    Student Center Cafe

    “Freshens in the Student Center is my go-to place for food in between classes or after practice! The food is SO good and filling!! LaScala’s on Rowan Boulevard is also really good.” – senior Elementary Education and Biological Sciences major Johanna Diehl

    Lascala's Fire on Rowan Boulevard.
    Lascala’s Fire on Rowan Boulevard.

    “Whenever I need a healthier option I love going to Fresh off the Grill [Grill Nation] and ordering grilled chicken sandwiches. They have a ton of topping options so you can really make it yours.” – alumnus and Mechanical Engineering graduate Frank Cianciotta

    “The Boulevard has so many options of different restaurants to choose from! There’s such a great range of different kinds of food, no matter what I’m in the mood for they have it!” – senior Finance major Bethany Sansone

    Dawn to Dusk on Rowan Boulevard.
    Dawn to Dusk on Rowan Boulevard, a local favorite for breakfast, lunch and dinner

    There are many options available when students are looking for a bite to eat. Students can use a meal swipe at Glassworks Dining Hall located in Holly Pointe Commons, the Student Center, or Rowan Boulevard to restaurants like LaScala’s Fire, Dawn to Dusk, El Mariachi and more. 

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    Story By:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Select photos by:
    RJ Wentzell, senior exercise science major

    Back-to-School Bucket List of Rowan Juniors and Seniors

    Writing a list of goals

    We’re so close to the beginning of the new semester, let’s kick it off with a college bucket list by sharing some students’ ambitions.

    “I’m looking forward to everyone moving in and meeting more new people since my freshman year got cut short. One of my must do’s when I get back on campus this fall is to attend more basketball and football games. Also I can’t wait to go to the engineering building and go to the pond, I find it very relaxing.” – Anais Holguin, junior Marketing major from Perth Amboy, NJ (Middlesex County) 

    Anais Holguin sits near the Engineering pond.
    Anais Holguin

    “My friend and I are on a mission to find the best lunch specials for $15 or under around campus. So far Alaura Kitchen or Family Mediterranean (both located in Pitman) are the winners! There are so many different places to explore around campus and it is so much fun to do it with friends. Also thrifting is a hoot. The lunch spot I’m excited to visit again is Au Bon Pain, it’s opening back up and I NEED their croissants.” – Meena Young, senior Biological Sciences major from Sickerville, NJ (Camden County) 

    Exterior shot of Au Bon Pain.
    Au Bon Pain

    “I am extremely excited to be student teaching this year and to finally have in-person classes again. I miss interacting with my peers and being on campus. I miss studying at James Hall, the education building and the library and those are spots I look forward to visiting again.” – London Raikes, senior Inclusive and Elementary Education major from Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County) 

    London leans against a sign of James Hall.
    London Raikes

    “I am involved in quite a few organizations on campus. I’m most looking forward to continuing my role as the Blood Services Undergraduate Coordinator for the Office of Volunteerism. There are many things on my bucket list this year and that includes living in an on-campus apartment, seeing my South Jersey friends, walking near Town Square, taking most of my core Finance and MIS courses and exploring campus with my friends.” Sasmita Prabu, junior Finance major from Somerset County, NJ

    Drone shot of Glassboro Town Square.
    Town Square

    I’m looking forward to finally being in person again. Looking at a screen for 18 months has been really sad, it feels like so much of the college experience was lost. At least I’ll be less tempted to fall asleep during class. I am going to be an RA this year, so I am excited to meet new people and help others have a great return to Rowan. I have many things on my bucket list and that includes: going to the Fitness Center and working out with my friends, having movie nights with my friends in their apartments, going to Cookie Munchers and eating more calories in 10 minutes than you’re supposed to eat in two days, riding the shuttles to the movie theater, having an advisor meeting in person, taking free electives to pursue other passions rather than fulfilling requirements, plus eating at Smoked again.” – RJ Wentzell, senior Exercise Science major of Pilesgrove, NJ (Salem County)

    RJ Wentzell smiling outside of James Hall
    RJ Wentzell

    “A couple of things I look forward to this school year are my campus event Emo Night, planning concerts, writing music and finishing my junior year. I haven’t seen Dennis Diblasio [since before COVID], I’m looking forward to seeing him. – junior Malachi Prillerman of Palmyra, NJ (Burlington County), Music Industry major and transfer student from Hampton University

    Music industry major Malachi Prillerman
    Malachi Prillerman

    “This year, I hope to get accepted as a transfer ambassador. A must do is to visit a restaurant during a social hour. Academically, I look forward to receiving high grades, building connections with my professors and receiving a letter of recommendation.” – De’Ja Morris of Woodbury, NJ (Gloucester County), senior Finance major and transfer student from Salem Community College

    De'ja stands on the bridge near Business Hall.
    De’ja Morris

    “This September, I look forward to going back to regular class, walking around and seeing new faces. A few things I would like to do again this semester are seeing all my friends from freshman year, visiting the Rec Center, eating at the Student Center and playing sports.” – Hualsy Paredes, junior Construction Management major from Fort Lee, NJ (Bergen County) and transfer student from Utica College

    Exterior shot of campus Rec Center.
    Rec Center

    I am really excited to graduate. I’ve been working really hard since COVID to maintain my grades just for this moment. I really like the club fair every fall. I’m excited for that! I’m also really excited to study in the library again. I am most looking forward to in-person classes.” – Alexa Wentworth, senior Psychology major from West Windsor, NJ (Mercer County)

    Alexa smiles inside James Hall.
    Alexa Wentworth

    “Being able to go to clubs, meeting up at the Student Center and getting food together, being able to see my professors in person, and visiting Science Hall again.” – Andrew Pinto, junior Physics major from Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County)

    Exterior shot of Science Hall from Route 322.
    Science Hall

    “I came into Rowan as a transfer so I haven’t tried anything yet. I’m sad because I lost a year so I want to be as involved as possible. This year, I’m looking forward to seeing my fellow peers, raising my GPA and attending football games.” – senior Tara Preston of Camden County, NJ, Economics major and transfer student from Delaware County Community College

    Rowan's football team enters the stadium.
    Rowan Football

    “A must do with my friends is going to RoBo and getting pizza. Academically, I look forward to staying busy with classes and making new friends in class.” Maria Espejo, junior Psychology major from River Edge, NJ (Bergen County)

    Rowan Boulevard featuring LaScala's Fire.
    Rowan Boulevard

    “I’m most looking forward to seeing Discovery Hall this year and to go to football, basketball and hockey games with my friends.” – Lauren Blaze of Branchburg, NJ (Somerset County), senior Civil and Environmental Engineering major

    Lauren smiles and stands in front of Discovery Hall.
    Lauren Blaze

    “Being able to socialize with new classmates and professors! I haven’t seen   Dr. Bhatia in person since before COVID, I am very much looking forward to seeing him on campus this fall. Looking forward to social events, clubs and  projects.” – senior Hayley Lomas of Woodbury, NJ (Gloucester County), a Mechanical Engineering major with a CUG in Aerospace Engineering and transfer student from Rowan College of South Jersey

    Exterior shot of the Campbell Library entrance.
    Hayley looks forward to going to Campbell Library again this fall.

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    Story by:
    Nene Diallo, senior public relations major

    Photos by:
    Reshaun Timmons, Stephanie Batista, RJ Wentzell and Anthony Raisley

    Rowan Football photo courtesy of:
    University Publications

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

    Chloe holds her decorated cap inside a gazebo on campus.

    English major and Rowan Blog contributor Bianca Gray sat down with fellow English major and recent graduate, Chloe Senatore, to talk about her acceptance into Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Chloe not only discusses the journey that led her to Trinity College but how the English Department at Rowan helped her along the way. 

    Can you tell us a little bit about your graduate program and what you’ll be studying? 

    I’m studying Irish writers. I’ll be focusing on Irish literature and Irish writing at Trinity College in Dublin where many of those writers went to school. It’s a one-year program but it’s going to be really cool and I’m really excited. I definitely feel as though the classes I’ve taken at Rowan and the professors I’ve worked with have prepared me to do something like this. 

    Was it always your intention to study abroad for graduate school? 

    No, actually. I wasn’t even fully planning on going to graduate school. I just wanted to apply to this one singular program to see if I could get in. It’s a difficult program to get into but I knew if I didn’t apply then I would never know and spend the rest of my life sad about it. I didn’t apply to any other programs. If I didn’t get into Trinity then I was just going to enter the workforce but, lo and behold, I actually did get accepted and that’s what I’m doing. 

    Why did you choose Irish Writing to be your field of study?

    That’s very personal to me. I’m Irish. I have a big mane of red hair. You’ve seen me. I have Irish heritage on both sides of my family. Irish literature often gets lumped into British literature but Irish literature is its own separate thing, and I really wanted to dive into it more. I chose Trinity specifically to learn more about this field. I literally have a quote by W.B Yates tattooed on my body.

    I’m very into not only Irish poetry but the Irish experience in general. I dove into the history of Ireland when I was supposed to go abroad through a program Rowan was hosting before everything happened with COVID. The program was a law class called International Terrorism and, though it wasn’t something affiliated with my major, I was going to take it as a free elective. Since COVID shut down the trip, I’ve just been yearning to go and experience the culture and history of the country. 

    Chloe stands in front of the Owl Statue

    Can you tell me any specifics about the program you’re enrolled in at Trinity?

    It’s a small program. It only accepts around 20 students a year. It’s not a traditional English program. There are multiple different paths I could take, and I could choose to study one specific author. The general structure is that the first semester is just studying all of Irish literature in general, and the second semester is going to be spent with me writing a dissertation on whichever path of Irish literature I choose to study. 

    Who are your favorite Irish poets/writers?

    Seamus Heaney and W.B Yates. They’re just the best. 

    What inspired your initial interest in literature? 

    Oh gosh, that takes me back to being a kid and reading Harry Potter. I’ve always been a book nerd. I love to read, and I think it’s something I’ve just always naturally gravitated towards. It’s just been my thing for as long as I can remember. 

    Why did you choose Rowan to pursue your passion? 

    I actually transferred to Rowan. I did my first two years of college at a different university but I didn’t like it there. I ended up transferring to Rowan because it was closer to where I lived and I could easily commute to school. My decision to transfer was one of the best decisions I ever made. Rowan’s English department is just so superior to the English department at my other school. I just think that it’s really awesome that I got to be a part of the Rowan English program. The professors are just so cool and knowledgeable. They push you to improve. 

    Who was your favorite professor to work with overall? 

    I loved so many of the professors, but I’d have to pick Dr. Falck. She’s just amazing and phenomenal. She’s one of the best teachers I ever had. The feedback she gave and the way she taught was just incredible. I learned so much from her. She even wrote one of my recommendation letters to go to Trinity. 

    What was your favorite course? 

    Probably Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S. It opened my eyes to see that American literature isn’t just Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. There’s so many people of different ethnicities that wrote some great works that should be more heavily acknowledged in the canon. 

    Chloe standing in front of city skyline at night.

    How do you feel the Rowan English Department prepared you for graduate school? 

    They couldn’t have prepared me any better to handle my academic career moving forward. The professors at Rowan don’t just give you an A or a B. They genuinely see you and see your writing and they help you to improve. They aren’t just going off a rubric. They’re genuinely interested in helping people improve on an individual level. There was a time or two where I had a professor give me a B on an essay when I knew for a fact that I did better than some people in the class who got the same or better grades than me. I would voice my opinions to the professor and they would just tell me that I got the grade I got because they knew I could do better. 

    What advice would you give to a student thinking about pursuing an English career at Rowan? 

    Whatever you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it. I can admit that I’m a try hard, but what I put into it was what I got out of it. I put a lot of hard work into essays and things like that so I got a lot out of it. My professors gave to me what I gave to them. 

    Where do you see yourself in the future? 

    After this next year of grad school, I’ll have a bit of a beefier resume. My goal is to work for a publishing company or work as an editor. I’m not really sure where I’ll be led but I like the idea of reading and editing books for a living.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Gray, senior English major 

    Photos courtesy of:
    Chloe Senatore 

    Related posts:

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

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

    Beyond the Classroom: Writing Arts and English Major Skyla Everwine Interns for Project Little Warriors

    My Favorite Class: American Material Culture

    Anthony stands with Bunce Hall far in the distance.

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

    Today we speak with recent graduate Anthony Raisley. He earned a degree in History with a concentration in U.S. History and multiple minors in Entrepreneurship, New Media, International Studies as well as a CUGS (Certificate of Undergraduate Studies) in Italian! Anthony comes from Middletown, NJ in Monmouth County and lived on campus all four years of college. 

    Tell me about your favorite class at Rowan.

    There are a few! I have a favorite class for [each of my concentrations]. As far as History courses, one of my favorite classes was the U.S. Since 1945. We studied recent history. That’s my favorite period of American history, post-World War II and on to the present. Even now, I’m taking a class with Dr. Jennifer Janofsky called American Material Culture, it’s an aspect of history that a lot of people don’t realize — for example, the music, decor, and clothes.

    A lot of people think of History majors and history in general as date-oriented or event-oriented, but there’s so much more to it. The development of different things is also part of history. I find that class very interesting because it’s basically from the Civil War and on.

    Can you share why history is relevant to people who are not History majors? 

    For example, we can look at technology and how much of a role it has played in our lives, and its development. Fifty to 60 years ago, the refrigerator, oven or microwave were just starting to develop. Now we obviously see with our computers or phones just how that has certainly changed over time. The computers were massive, and now we basically have a computer in our pocket.

    I think it’s important for non-history majors to realize that we live in history, and we’re living through it now (obviously with Covid). It’s certainly all around us. Even in car culture, there’s so much technology now within cars, the role of cars, and how that has changed in the development of our neighborhoods. [There is] so much around us that a lot of people don’t realize is history.

    Anthony stands under a tree wearing a pastel yellow shirt.

    Do you ponder on the sociological impact of technology in history? 

    The first [TVs were in] black and white, now we have color TVs. Now the TVs are even smaller, thinner and bigger. Just the channels and the content you can watch [now] have expanded over time. There used to be only six or seven channels 40 years ago; now we have over 500. There are so [many] things out there for people to see and learn.

    What makes the professor of this class so wonderful?

    She’s been teaching this class for a while so she’s very knowledgeable. This is her area of expertise. She really connects it to the present as well. It all ties back to the present. We actually just did a class discussion on the Coney Island Amusement Park. Over a hundred years ago when Coney Island first opened up, it was a totally new concept. Now we [have] places like Six Flags. A hundred years ago that would have been a totally foreign thing.

    Anthony gazes into the sun in front of Bunce Hall wearing all light colors.

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

    I really like public history because of this class. I had never taken too many courses focusing on public history, especially on material culture. I think that definitely prepares me for my master’s degree next year. It’s a great foundation and will help prepare me going forward.

    Where do you see yourself in the future? 

    I hope to work in communications for either a private company or for public officials in the government. I see myself working in media, [although] I’m not entirely sure [on the specifics] yet, but I [have] a general idea. Most likely for a public official doing communication or research for them. I think that’s something that I see myself doing since I’m going to be down in DC.

    Anthony skate boards underneath the Rowan arch.

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    Story by: 
    Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

    How College Classes are Different than High School Classes

    A professor lectures a class.

    Rowan Blog contributor Bianca Gray is a senior English major with a concentration in Shakespeare Studies who transferred to Rowan from a private college. She shares her advice on what first-year students can expect when taking college classes. 

    The transition from high school to college can be nerve-racking in more ways than one. Traditional first year college students are thrown from a lake to an ocean with no firm understanding of how different high school is from college with only secondhand accounts to go off of. However, these secondhand accounts can be used as points of reference when navigating your first steps of adulthood.

    Today, let me help you to better understand the differences between high school and college classes to better prepare you for your college experience.

    For starters, the size of a college class can greatly differ from that of a high school class. Key word: can. Dispel the widely perceived misconception that all college classes take place in huge amphitheaters with 100 other students and a professor who doesn’t know your name and never will. While this is the case at larger institutions, it is not true to all colleges and universities.

    Many universities hold classes that are only 30 students max, relatively similar to high school classes. For example, Rowan University currently has nearly 20,000 students enrolled at their school now and averages about 20 students to a class. This is the norm for many different schools. Not to mention, the more you progress in your major, the smaller these classes usually become. And, if you choose to go to a small or private institution, the average class size would probably be 15 students. 

    An instructor speaks with a student inside James Hall.

    Moving onto how the classes themselves differ, let’s talk about the differences between the instructors. Of course, there will always be the professors who are tough graders, sticklers for rules, and maybe a little boring. That’s inevitable. But trust me, the positive experiences with professors will greatly outweigh the negative. Most of them are super understanding of how difficult students’ lives can be and are always willing to make accommodations within reason. Some professors don’t even ask to be called by their official title of ‘professor’ or ‘doctor’ and actually prefer to be called by their first names. That isn’t to say that high school teachers can’t be laid back. In my experience, I find them to be more by the rules of the school, whereas college professors have the freedom to run their classrooms by their own set of rules. 

    A college class usually runs about 15 minutes longer than a high school class. However, you don’t really notice the time difference because you most likely won’t be having your classes back-to-back like you do in high school. On any given day, a college student can have four classes to no classes depending on their major and how they make their schedules. Not a fan of Mondays? Well, you can schedule your classes for Tuesdays and Thursdays. College allows for students to have control of their schedules in a way that high school doesn’t. 

    A student explains his assignment to his professor.

    The most similarities these two types of classes have to each other is usually through their grading systems, but there are still differences present there as well. Speaking from personal experience, the grading system at my college is more relaxed than it was at my high school. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are higher expectations in college class and the work is more challenging which is probably the reason for the differences in grading. 

    Just like high school, attendance is important and a major determinant factor for your grade. While a college professor won’t hound you as much about your attendance as a high school teacher, a lack of attendance at class can show your professor that there may be something going on in your personal life or that you aren’t taking the course seriously. In either case, the professor is going to reach out once the absences become excessive. However, if it’s a one-off thing, a professor isn’t going to care if you oversleep and miss your morning class with them but attend your afternoon class that same day. They put trust in you as an adult and that you’re aware of what’s expected of you and that there are consequences to your actions.

    These are just a few of the differences that I noted between college and high school classes, but keep in mind that your experience may be different from mine. Every college experience is unique in some way and that’s the great thing about it. I just hope that my words can make your transition from high school to college a bit easier.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Gray, senior English major

    #PROFspective: English Major Bianca Gray Shares Her Rowan Experience

    Bianca poses in front of some greenery.

    Today we feature senior Bianca Gray, an English major with a concentration in Shakespeare Studies. Bianca is a commuter student from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). Bianca shares her experience at Rowan after transferring from a private college in Spring 2019. 

    Bianca poses next to the prof statue.

    Do you commute or live on campus?

    “I used to live on campus, but because of personal reasons, I will commute next school year.”

    What are some likes and dislikes of your major?

    “I enjoy reading, writing, and studying English. The professors in the English department aren’t only supportive in class, but they also help students get jobs in the department. One of my professors recommended me to the Academic Integrity Board after I showed my interest. I got the position instantly, and that wasn’t something she had to do. She placed me in a position where I can interact with higher ups from Rowan and have better recommendations when I apply to grad school. So far, I don’t have any dislikes about my major.”

     Why did you transfer to Rowan?

    “I transferred from a private college in New York. The school was very expensive, I had complications with the staff and the problem with small colleges is they run it like a boarding school. The college felt just like high school and I didn’t really like that you could be labeled for something you did your [first] year. Rowan is the opposite, it’s a public university, I feel free here, and it’s been very convenient for me.”

    Bianca gets some work done at the writing center.

    What has your experience at Rowan been like so far? 

    “At first, Rowan seemed culture shocked because it didn’t feel as diverse as I imagined it for a public university. As for friendship, I reached back to high school friends and most could connect since they live close to campus. Overall, I am having a good experience. People at Rowan show they care about the Rowan community, especially my RA.”

    What do you like to do for fun?

    “I enjoy writing short stories and hanging out with friends. I also like watching old TV shows such as ‘Gossip Girl’ or ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ The older TV shows are just blunt, whereas newer TV shows show faux diversity.”

    Do you have any jobs on campus?

    “I work at the Writing Center, assist professors with writing, and I intern at the Rowan Blog as a Digital Content Contributor.”

    Bianca poses in front of some trees on a bridge.

    What do you look forward to after graduation?

    “My goal is to attend graduate school. There’s a competitive program that offers not just your master’s but your doctorate as well. After that, I would like to work in the higher education field. I would like to become a resident director, vice president or even a dean. I also want to be involved in academia, self publish, and hopefully write novels.”

    What is one piece of life advice for current Rowan students?

    “Honestly, live your life to the fullest. Do what makes you happy.”

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    Story by:
    Nene Diallo, senior public relations major

    Photography by: RJ Wentzell, senior exercise science major, and Stephanie Batista, junior, music industry major



    #PROFPRIDE: Faculty Shares Advice

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

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

    1. You are not alone. 

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

    2. It is OK to not know. 

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

    3. Get involved.

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

    4. Assert your Name.

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

    5. RU a LGBTQIA+ ally?

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

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

    Photo of Dr. Fleming courtesy of Queer Voices Project

    Passing the Torch: International Studies, Modern Languages Dual Major on Taking Advantage of Every Rowan Opportunity

    Ashley walks down Bunce Green in her cap and gown.

    If there’s one member of the class of 2021 who truly knows the ins and outs of Rowan University, it’s Ashley Hermansen.

    The Gloucester County native and dual major in International Studies and Modern Languages and Linguistics works as an Admissions Ambassador coordinator. In this student leadership role, she has recruited and trained dozens of students to connect prospective Profs and their families with Rowan’s history, culture and campus.

    Portrait of Ashley in front of Bunce Hall.

    As a sophomore, Ashley led the Spanish Studies Association as its president. She’s also been involved with the Arabic Club and Model UN, contributed articles to Her Campus, coordinated opportunities for the Office of Volunteerism and studied abroad

    “The more you talk to people and the more you take advantage of all the opportunities you have, the more you’re going to feel like you got out of it. And so I feel like I’ve exhausted all my opportunities” at Rowan, Ashley says.

    “I’ve done everything. And I’m ready to pass the torch on to the next incoming [first year] class because there are so many things for them to take advantage of. And I know I did, and I know they could totally do the same thing and have just as great and even a better experience, too.”

    Her favorite experiences — and people — extend to the classroom as well.

    Ashley smiles and stands on Bunce Green.

    “My advisor, Christine Larsen-Britt, she’s my favorite person on this planet. She has helped get me from point A to point B in college, and I could not have done it without her. She’s the best.”

    She adds, “My favorite class was with Dr. Schrader. He was absolutely awesome. He’s turned my research from high school level to academic and professional level. I’ve had experiences with all the Modern Language professors, Dr. Hernandez, Mousa, mainly all of them.”

    Ashley hopes when she enters graduate school, it will even compare to the level of connection and care she has had with her Rowan professors. 

    “They care about you so much. They just want to see you succeed. They’re so happy when you do succeed, they all support you really well,” she says.

    Ashley photographed from behind in front of Bunce Hall.

    Ashley will head to Washington, DC this fall to begin her master’s program in International Development Studies at The George Washington University.

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    My Favorite Class: Gender, Sexuality, and Literature

    Field of flowers near Wilson hall.

    Today we feature recent graduate Amanda Carlin. Amanda earned her degree in English with a minor in Psychology and is from Bridgewater, NJ (Somerset County) where she transferred from Raritan Valley Community College. Amanda’s favorite class is Gender, Sexuality, and Literature in the English department, which was taught by Dr. Yvonne Hammond. Tell us a […]

    Faculty PROFile: Joseph L. Coulombe

    Joe Coulombe sits in front of a stack of bookcases.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Learn more about the English program at Rowan University.

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    Meet #Rowan2025: Exploratory Studies Major Maria Celeste Lopez Vasquez

    Photo of Science Hall and flowers in the foreground.

    Today we feature incoming first year and first-generation college student Maria Celeste Lopez Vasquez. Maria will major in Exploratory Studies and commute from Camden, NJ (Camden County). Maria attended Camden Academy Charter High School. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward in college? In college, I’m looking forward […]

    My Favorite Class: Philosophy of Science

    Madison inside Business Building

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

    Madison Dautle is a junior Bioinformatics major. She is from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County) and transferred from Stockton University.

    What was the name of your favorite class at Rowan? 

    Philosophy of Science

    What department was the class in? 

    Philosophy (PHIL)

    Who taught the class when you took it? 

    Dr. Nathan Bauer

    Madison outside on the bridge

    Tell us a little about what the class is.

    Most people assume that science is constantly progressing to explain the true nature of the universe. To explain what it is we see. This class teaches you that isn’t necessarily true. It opens up your eyes to assumptions you hold as a scientist that you probably didn’t even know you were assuming.

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

    This class finally made me think. Sure, I’m good at explaining chemistry and biology, but that doesn’t make you think, or at least not in the same way. That class made me think in ways I never had to before, and it was exciting!

    It’s funny to be able to believe something yet not have a fully thought out reasoning for why. Like one hypothesis referred to as the Grue hypothesis. This idea states that all emeralds are green until a certain date when they all suddenly turn blue. Seems silly, right? That can’t possibly be true, but until the date passes, it can’t be proved false. Yet we all believe that the emeralds will stay green when that hypothesis has a 0% chance of occuring. Look it up. It’s really interesting. My brain hates it but also loves it because I want to know why we believe that.

    Madison outside Business Building

    Is there anything else that made this class impactful?

    The way Professor Bauer ran the class. He really made it easy to follow while still making us think. He asked for student input and gave us the opportunity at the end of the semester to present one of our own ideas as a group. I still think about that class daily, and it’s been a while since I’ve taken it.

    What makes this professor great? 

    He’s engaging. Quirky. Kind of what you’d expect from a philosophy professor, but you can tell he loves it. Sometimes you’ll ask a question and he’ll become confused because he didn’t think of that, but he just tells you to go write it down because it’s a good idea. He supports a learning environment and gives adequate room to grow.

    Madison sitting on a rock

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

    To be honest, I thought I would hate this class. Turns out it was the best possible thing that could have happened to me. I finally have something to really THINK about. I am thinking about things that can’t be reconciled by a Google search or even a bit of heavier research. The answers for these questions aren’t written down because no one has truly figured them out yet. Academically and professionally, it can help just broaden my horizons. But personally, it entertained my brain.

    I’m lucky that I don’t struggle with understanding most teachable concepts, but with this class, the more he taught, the more questions I had. A really amazing class.

    What are your professional goals? 

    I would like to perform genomics research using bioinformatics. Currently, I am interested in long-term memory — what genes, and in what concentrations, are expressed during memory recall and consolidation.

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

    Photos by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    Senior Reflects: Sarah Dixon, Law & Justice Studies Major Thanks Outstanding Professors

    Photo taken by a drone of Bunce Hall with students sitting on the marble steps.

    Today we speak with Sarah Dixon, a graduating senior Law & Justice Studies major from Philadelphia. Sarah is a commuter who transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC).

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

    In my Public Speaking class, the professor was 9 months pregnant. Each class, she would tell stories at the beginning of class about her life. She had four kids already, and the way she told the stories was so funny and real! I loved her class!

    What are your career aspirations? 

    I aim to be a public defender.

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

    The Law & Justice Studies program really helped shape me in the way I think and view things now.

    Sarah James poses with her daughter in matching shirts.

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

    I wanna give a huge shout out to Professor Buie who teachers Law Seminar because he is the best professor on earth! 

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

    My favorite professor is Buie. I have him for Law Seminar. He is the most intelligent, down-to-earth professor I ever had!

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

    Be yourself and follow your own path! Everything happens for a reason and as long as you choose good over evil you will succeed in college and in life!

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

    Meet Transfer Profs: Liberal Studies Major Erin Finter

    Photo of future Prof Erin taken outdoors.

    Meet incoming transfer student and first-generation college student Erin Finter! Erin is an aspiring Liberal Studies major from Medford, NJ (Burlington County) who transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County. She shares more about what she’s looking forward to at Rowan University and she gives advice to other transfer students.

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

    New professors!

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

    I’m currently the VP of the criminal justice club … I’d love the chance to continue that!

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I’ve chosen liberal studies with a focus in law.

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

    The 3+1 info event. It was well put together and full of great information!

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

    Figure out what you want to do after graduating and pick a school bed equipped to help you achieve it!

    Where are you going to live next year?

    Renting off campus!

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    History Graduate Student Shares: Teaching Online and Supporting Distant Students [VIDEO]

    Rowan Global student Steven Anderson shares how his history degree prepared him as a high school social studies teacher during COVID-19. Steven recently earned the James Madison Fellowship as an outstanding educator of the U.S. Constitution. This prestigious award is granted to only two history teachers yearly.

     

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    Video by:
    Adam Clark, senior Radio/TV/Film major
    Max Morgan, senior Radio/TV/Film major
    Brian Seay, sophomore sports communication and media major

    Meet Transfer Profs: Human Services & Psychology Major NyEsha Cintron

    An outdoor photo of a branded chair on campus.
    A selfie of NyEsha in a botanical garden.

    Meet incoming transfer student NyEsha Cintron. NyEsha is a first-generation Human Services and Psychology major from Maple Shade, NJ (Burlington County) who transferred from Rowan College of Burlington County. She shares how she ended up at Rowan and what she’s looking forward to!

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

    I am looking forward to meeting new people, the ability to foster lasting relationships and grow in experience with my area of study. I am excited to see how school will impact my life as well as how I will impact the lives of others.

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

    I’d like to get involved in the Human Services Club or a language club.

    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?

    I will be taking a Spanish class, and I’d like to see my knowledge increase in this language to speak it fluently.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I am a Human Services and Psychology major through and through. I love learning how to better understand people in efforts to better serve them. These majors are very organic to how I am wired, and I feel that I can be my best by furthering my education in these areas of studies.

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

    I haven’t had the time to do so, but am awaiting orientation for transfer students, can’t wait!

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

    Do it and get started!

    Where are you going to live next year?

    Commute from home.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    I like that Rowan participated with community colleges to ensure continuity of learning to a accredited university.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    From Past to Present: History Shares A Lesson [VIDEO]

    “It’s a cliché to say, but you understand history so you don’t repeat it,” says Timothy Dewysockie, a Rowan Global M.A. in History student. Graduates with a master’s degree in history have the opportunity to position themselves in roles across a variety of fields, including educators, museum curators or archivists.

    Meet Transfer Profs: Aspiring Law & Justice Studies Major Emerlyn Anderson

    An exterior shot of the top of Bunce Hall.

    Meet incoming Transfer student Emerlyn Anderson. Emerlyn is an aspiring Law & Justice Studies major from Willingboro, NJ (Burlington County) who transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County. She shares more about what she’s looking forward to at Rowan.

    A close up selfie of Emerlyn.

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

    I look forward to furthering my education and meeting amazing people.

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

    The EOF program.

    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?

    I would like to learn more about my education on a professional level.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    Criminal justice, because I have always wanted to be part of the justice system and help people on a different level.

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

    This is your life and education, do what makes you happy! Don’t stress yourself out either. Everything will work out for the better.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    It was an easy transfer from my two-year college.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Student photo provided by:
    Emerlyn Anderson

    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: Debate Team President and Sophomore Allison Gould

    Allison poses in a wooded area.

    Today we speak to Allison Gould, president of the Law and Justice Debate Team. Allison is a sophomore Finance and Accounting double major from Whippany, NJ (Morris County) and lives on campus. Besides being the president of the Debate Team, Allison is also involved with the Financial Management Association and the Accounting Society.

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

    Allison poses in front of the Prof Owl statue.

    What is your role in your organization? Briefly describe what your organization does.

    I am president of the debate team, so I am in charge of a lot of things. I didn’t get a chance to learn from the seniors before, because of COVID, so I had to figure out the role on my own. Lately, we have been having meetings about current events, having mock debates and working on public speaking.

    Why did you join the Debate Team? What made you want to become president?

    I participated in my high school’s debate team all four years of high school. We used a different debate-style called Lincoln Douglas, which is where you go up against your opponent one on one. Rowan does public forum, which is two people going up against each other. I knew I wanted to join the debate team in college because I like it. Winning isn’t the point for me. Even if I don’t win, the point is to better myself and get better at public speaking. 

    It was hard to find the club. I remember I was walking to the academic buildings and there was a table set up on the way there [for the debate team]. I heard somebody say debate, and I had to walk back through to sign up.

    As for why I became president, it was more or less because nobody else wanted to step up to the plate. My parents encouraged me to be independent. Leadership is reinforced by whatever environment you grew up in.

    Allison leans against a railing by a wooded section of campus.

    What have you learned in your role as a leader?

    I have learned that most leaders don’t know what they’re doing, but they know how to work through it and weave their team. I’ve learned how to not get overwhelmed with everything.

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

    My favorite memory was being able to do a mock debate for the first time. We were kind of dying a club and we didn’t have that many members, so we weren’t able to do a mock debate. Then, we had more people join, and we were able to. 

    I feel that a lot of people think they have to win in debates, but you learn more when you lose. Debate is a great skill to have. It teaches you how to persuade people and put arguments together. You also have to learn how to see topics from the other person’s point of view.

    Allison smiles and stands in front of the Owl statue.

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

    Don’t give up. If you want something enough, you can do it. 

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    Story by:
    Marian Suganob, senior public relations and advertising double major and Rachel Rumsby, sophomore communication studies, and public relations double major

    Photos by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    Leadership #PROFspective: Kalie VanDewater, Editor-in-Chief of the Whit

    Kalie sits and smiles outside on campus.

    Today we feature Kalie VanDewater, a leader at Rowan University. Kalie is Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of Rowan’s newspaper, The Whit. She is a senior Journalism and Modern Languages and Linguistics double major with a minor in International Studies from Mount Holly, NJ (Burlington County). Kalie is also involved in the Rowan Environmental Action League and ASL Club

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

    Kalie stands on a walkway on campus.

    What is your role in your organization?

    As EIC of the Whit, I have a managerial role. I do a lot of coordination with the printer we work with, advertisers, and I usually write the editorial every week, and make sure all the other editors and writers know what they’re doing and answer any questions they might have. 

    Kalie also adds that when she first started working for the Whit her sophomore year, the staff was mostly male. In her three years there, she’s seen a trend in more diversity with race, gender and majors. 

    Can you briefly describe what your organization does?

    We’re basically the independent student newspaper on campus, so that means we are the source of news on campus. We cover events that are happening and general university happenings. We get to dictate what content we put out. We’re student-run, so we don’t have faculty influence aside from our advisor who is there to make sure things are running smoothly. 

    Kalie sits and smiles outside on campus.

    What have you learned in your role as a leader?

    I’ve learned to trust the people that I’m leading with their capabilities. I tend to be very particular about what I want to do. I started last year as our features editor, I would have an image in my head about what I thought an article should turn out like, but I’m not writing the article, someone else is. I had to get used to trusting my staff. It’s been a lot of learning when to step in and when to take a step back and let everyone do their own thing. You can be a leader without having control all the time. 

    What’s the most significant barrier to women today?

    It’s that we don’t say what we feel. I feel like it’s kind of been internalized to just accept what is happening. It’s that feeling of if I don’t do what everyone else wants, I won’t be accepted. I think because of that, ideas and feelings that are completely valid may not be brought to light. 

    Kalie sits at a bistro table on campus.

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

    Be confident in yourself and confident in your abilities. Specifically for leading, be confident in the people that you are leading. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your team. It’s important to know.

    Check out Kalie’s work at The Whit here.  

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

    Photos by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major



    7 History Majors Share How Their Degree Supports Their Professional Goals

    Raymond standing outside.

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

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Future High School Teacher Gianna Venturini

    Stock photo of sunflowers.

    Meet Gianna Venturini, a Secondary Education and History major and Psychology minor. Gianna is a transfer student from Monmouth University but is originally from Rockaway, NJ (Morris County). She shares with us why she chose her major and why she chose Rowan!

    A selfie of Gianna holding a sunflower in a sunflower patch.

    What are your professional goals? And how is Rowan (your program, faculty, etc.) helping to support you in those goals?

    I am currently a senior in the College of Education studying to become a high school teacher. The COE has provided me with so many opportunities to be hands-on in real classrooms, and has continued to support me as I do my clinical practice this semester!

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

    I truly believe that becoming a teacher is one of the most important and impactful career fields that a person can get into. As teachers, we are responsible for educating and cultivating the next generation of thinkers and leaders. There is nothing I want more than to inspire and encourage my students to pursue their passions and be there to support them during such an important phase of their lives.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher; I was one of the few kids who always loved going to school and had a true love for learning. When I got to high school, I had a really difficult time struggling with mental health issues and I never felt like I had a true support system in a teacher or counselor at the school.

    Once I graduated, I knew that I wanted to become the teacher I had needed at such a difficult point in my life, and that is my number one priority as a future educator.

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

    Many people from my high school had gone to Rowan or were planning to after graduation! I also have a family member who attended Rowan.

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

    The trip home takes me about two hours — a very long, straight and boring drive up the NJ Turnpike!

    A portrait photo of Gianna wearing her high school cap and gown while holding a Rowan flag.

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

    I think that two hours is the perfect distance because it’s far enough away that I feel like I am living my own life, but close enough and still in NJ so that I can visit my friends and family for the weekend when I want to go home!

    What are a few interesting or new things (to you) about Rowan’s South Jersey area that you would share with future out-of-state students?

    Prior to coming to Rowan, I had never been to Philadelphia and I had no idea how close it was to campus! Back home, we always refer to New York as “the city” but when I transferred, I had to get used to people calling Philly “the city.” My best friend and I are actually planning on living in Philly after graduation!

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

    As I said before, I love how close Rowan is to Philadelphia, and my friends and I often like to visit the city. As a history major, I love exploring the rich culture and historical significance that Philadelphia holds! There are also so many amazing restaurants and bars to check out, as well as fun shops and public park spaces.

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

    The first time I visited and toured Rowan’s campus, I instantly felt at home and knew I wanted to spend the rest of my college career here. I had such a terrible freshman year, and I was desperately in need of a fresh start. That’s exactly the opportunity I saw at Rowan!

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, Senior music industry major

    Header photo courtesy of: Unsplash 

    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.

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Future History Teacher Kaan Aktas

    Exterior shot of walkway by Bunce Hall.

    Today we speak with Kaan Aktas, a senior transfer student from Bergen Community College who majors in History and Subject Matter Education. Kaan, a remote student from Fairview, NJ (Bergen County), is a first-generation college student.

    Kaan poses in front of some greenery.

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

    My professional goals are to be the instructor of a history classroom. Rowan, especially my advisor, has done a great job in setting me up for my goals by creating benchmarks for my classes and exams where I can keep track of and complete.

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

    My field impacts the world by educating the future. I strongly believe that our students are the future of not just our country, but the future of the world. The work and effort you put into a classroom can completely benefit and alter the student’s way of learning for the future.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    My passion for history has always been present. Since elementary and middle school I would find the subject interesting. History isn’t just about memorizing dates and people, but how those dates and people have impacted our current society and so forth.

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

    I became aware of Rowan by doing some online research of the top best colleges in New Jersey. I initially fell in love with Rowan while on a tour of the school. The scenery is beautiful, and class sizes are perfectly arranged.

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

    My trip “home” to North jersey is approximately an hour and a half.

    Kaan poses in front of some colored lights.

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

    The benefit of living far from home is the college experience you could not have gotten anywhere else. Also, the friendships I have built and experiences I have had are one of a kind.

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

    In every corner, there are lots of spots to eat on campus! The wide variety of food, not just located inside of the dining hall, gives students lots of choices for some grub!

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

    Some attractions just off campus include many parks where you can take a stroll, or even study!

    Why did you choose to transfer to Rowan University?

    I transferred to Rowan University because of many factors. The professors are truly great! They work with you with your classes. Class sizes were also an important factor in why I chose to enroll. Unlike other universities in New Jersey, you are not put into a big lecture hall with a hundred other students where the professor has a lot more to manage.

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

    Photos submitted by:
    Kaan Aktas, senior history and subject matter education double major

    Header photo by:
    Anthony Raisley, senior history major

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

    #PROFspective: Junior Athletic Training Major Jocelyn Reuben

    Drone shot of Route 322 portion of campus.

    Jocelyn Reuben, a junior transfer student from Burlington Township, is an Athletic Training major with a minor in Spanish. She is very involved on campus and is a part of Improfs, Black Cultural League, and the Athletic Training Club. Here is a little bit about her Rowan experience thus far! 

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

    My friends Keyanna Meade, Keianna Williams, Alex Brown, Rob Brown, Reena Patel and Liam O’Brien have made me feel like Rowan has been home since the day I step foot on campus. Keyanna Meade is my childhood best friend who transferred here; meanwhile, I met my other friends through being an RA and Rowan’s ASPIRE Leadership Development Program. They all inspire me to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. Furthermore, their dedication to education makes me work harder so we can thrive together. They have each been a part of the reason I’m glad I came to Rowan.

    Jocelyn smiles, stands by a staircase inside an academic building.

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

    Last year, during Black History Month, Black Cultural League hosted a Speakeasy Night with [Rowan After Hours]. It was the most amazing event I had ever been to on campus. The Pit transformed into the well-known “Cotton Club” and even required a password to get in. Once inside, host, Treasure Cary was dressed perfectly to fit the 1920s theme and she looked amazing. The event had an open mic, a live jazz band, card games, and a raffle. It was nice to see Black talent showcased and celebrated.

    I was debating going on stage because I was nervous and my phone battery was on 5% (all my poems were on my phone). This girl next to me gave me her charger without asking questions and once I had at least 20% I mustered up the courage to perform an original poem of mine and was met with so much love and support from the audience and the people who organized the event. I gave her the charger right back and thanked her. She said it was no problem and even complimented my poem. I had only wished I dressed up for the occasion.

    A candid photo of of Jocelyn.

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

    Every day at Rowan you can meet someone or learn something new. There is always an opportunity on campus to network with other students and even faculty, and I learn new things in and out of the classroom setting at Rowan.

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

    A happy surprise for me was definitely the Student Mental Health Conference. Mental Health is such an important issue/topic, it’s good of Rowan to allow students to share their stories and talk about them openly in a safe environment. I especially like that it was mostly student-led. “For students by students.” I had the pleasure of presenting at the conference two years in a row.

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

    Mrs. Laurie Dwyer, my academic advisor, is amazing! She’s definitely cared about me and my well-being on numerous occasions. When I transferred to Rowan she made the process easy and painless. Although I was a transfer, she helped me get right on track with all the requirements and classes I had to complete to even be eligible to apply to the Athletic Training Program.

    She has always pushed me to be better academically and encourages me when I would get insecure about taking some of the harder classes in my major. I know she is the advisor for hundreds of students so for her to always show so much patience and care for me … I appreciate her for always having my best interest at heart. Even when I told her that I wanted to do a Spanish minor and it seemed like there was no room in my schedule to do so, she came up with a plan that allowed me to finish it right on time before it would possibly interfere with my Athletic Training classes. In short, I would not be as focused and prepared without her.

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

    Meet #Rowan2025: Political Science Major and Future Congressman Vincent Giasullo

    Photo of a building on Rowan's campus.

    Meet #Rowan2025 incoming freshman Vincent Giasullo! Vincent is an incoming freshman and first-generation college student, Political Science major from Old Bridge, NJ (Middlesex County). He shares why he chose Rowan and where he wants his degree to take him after he graduates.

    Vincent looking at and holding a purple flower.

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

    I am looking forward to new experiences in my life and participating in on-campus activities that are relevant to my major.

    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 plan to expand my knowledge about politics and life in general.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    I am going to major in Political Science because I want to know what policies were made that were a result of all the good and bad things that are going on in the world and what I can do to fix them by running to be a member of Congress.

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

    I did tour Rowan, and I thought it was excellent. I felt like I had a special connection with my tour guide because we are both in the same major and I could have conversations with her that I could not have in high school.

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

    When you look at a school, look at the following things: The environment of the area, the cost of the school and how much the school has to offer concerning the major that you want to go into.

    Where are you going to live next year?

    On campus!

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    The environment of the school and how some parts of the school are in some parts city-like and in others suburb-like. For example, I had gotten the view of all of the dining areas and stops at Rowan, and the environment was comparable to an urban area in my opinion.

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    7 Economics Majors Share Their Professional Goals

    Photo of a one dollar bill.

    Seven students in the Economics program share with us how they’re dreaming big and where their major will take them in their professional goals.

    Carolyn smiles in a wooded area.
    Carolyn Cover

    “My long-term professional dream goal is to be able to apply my knowledge of economics and business alongside my personal interests to find a career path best fitting for me,” says junior Carolyn Cover, a Rowan College at Burlington County transfer student and Economics major pursuing a minor in Business Administration from Mount Laurel, NJ (Burlington County).

    Headshot of Ryan Brubeck against a neutral background.
    Ryan Brubeck

    “In the short term, I plan to finish independent research essays on different Blockchain topics, which I can disperse through online platforms such as LinkedIn and Medium. Additionally, I am learning programming languages to supplement my education from university classes. Within the next two years, I will be working for an internship or entry-level job in addition to helping grow the Rowan Blockchain Club,” says junior Ryan Brubeck, an Economics major with a Mathematics minor from Westwood, NJ (Bergen County).

    Dayne pets animals outside with clouds in the background.
    Dayne Costa

    Dayne Costa plans to go to graduate school and become a professor or a dean in the future. “I will use my economics degree to help teach others the wonders of economics,” he says. Dayne, from Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County), also holds a Certificate of Undergraduate Studies in Public Policy and is a transfer from West Virginia University.

    Portrait of Rachel Ricci with a plant in the background.
    Rachel Ricci

    “My short-term goal is to find a great entry-level job after I graduate that opens the door for promotions and growth,” says junior Rachel Ricci, an Economics major with a minor in Business Administration and Rowan College of South Jersey transfer student from Millville, NJ (Cumberland County).

    Portrait of Amir Ross against a gray backdrop.
    Amir Ross

    “In the long term, I would like to be a Certified Accountant and professional farmer,” says senior Amir Ross, an Economics and Accounting major and Rowan College at Burlington County and transfer student from Palmyra, NJ (Burlington County).

    Nick Scheurer wears a Rowan sweatshirt outside with woods in the background.
    Nick Scheurer

    “My dream is to be financially stable while still being able to challenge myself and grow in my field as my career advances. I want to feel secure but never stuck, bored or uninspired,” says first-generation senior Nick Scheurer, an Economics major with a minor in Business Administration and Certificate of Undergraduate Studies in Management Information Systems from Flemington, NJ (Hunterdon County).

    Tamora smiles outside with an academic building in the background.
    Tamora Hill

    A transfer from Cumberland County College, senior Tamora Hill wants to work with personal finance, activism work, global economics and inequality. A first-generation college student and commuter, Tamora plans to attend graduate school. Her long-term goal is to start an economics firm and children’s book series.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Beyond the Classroom: Senior Emergency Medical Technician Maribeth Novsak

    Maribeth stands in front of an EMT vehicle.

    Maribeth Novsak, a senior Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management major from Cape May Courthouse, NJ (Cape May County), talks about her experience as an EMT with Rowan’s Emergency Medical Services squad. Maribeth shared her #PROFspective with Rowan Blog in an earlier post; read that story here

    What got you interested in becoming an EMT?

    Growing up, my dad was a law enforcement officer and I watched him throughout his career. He actually got an injury in the line of duty. Through that whole experience, I saw how much he appreciated the help of the EMTs who responded. This really inspired me to want to be in public service. I always wanted to be in the medical field as well, so when I found out Rowan had an EMS squad, I took a shot and applied. I ended up getting hired and they paid for me to go to EMT school. 

    Maribeth in front of a Rowan EMS vehicle.

    Was there an influential person who has helped you throughout your experience as an EMT?

    Chief Vern is really here for all of us. At some point, he has given us all advice along the way. There have also been a few upperclassmen who have moved on and graduated but were so helpful, too. Rowan EMS is a family and once you’re in, we all look out for each other. 

    What has been the most meaningful experience you’ve had at your position so far?

    In this job, you are really seeing students on their worst day. It’s meaningful to try to make them laugh or smile and try to make the situation even a little better for them.

    Maribeth at the EMS station.

    What is your favorite accomplishment as an EMT thus far?

    In June 2019, one of the crews I was working with was rewarded with a life-saving award from the New Jersey College and University Public Safety Association for a call we responded to in February 2019. We had a life-threatening call and had no advanced life-support available, but the actions we took were able to keep the patient out of critical care and the patient was discharged from the emergency room just a few hours later. In that moment we thought it was just another crazy call and had no idea we would be recognized. When we got that email that we were invited to an award ceremony to be recognized for our work, it was a really great accomplishment. 

    Maribeth in uniform on campus.

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

    I have definitely developed great communication skills and have learned to communicate with different types of people. This job has also taught me to have empathy, time management. Another big skill is time management, we’re all balancing a 15-credit course load plus putting in a ton of hours to EMS each week.

    Maribeth plans on working as a full-time EMT in Wildwood Crest after graduating from Rowan in hopes to get a position in the Emergency Management department there. 

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

    Photography by: Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    One Semester Down: 6 First Years Share

    Group of Rowan freshmen friends outside.

    Six students share their thoughts on their experiences so far at Rowan and what advice they would share with future freshmen. “I am most looking forward to meeting new people and making friendships for life at Rowan. But also the opportunities that Rowan gives to further my career. In the future I would like to […]

    Black History Facts All Students Should Know

    "Black History Month" written in colorful letters.

    Today we speak to Rowan students from three different colleges who share insight on key moments in Black history and suggest books and movies to learn more. 

    “Black History Month originally began as Negro History Week, created by Carter G. Woodson in 1926. It only became Black History Month in 1976 when President Gerald Ford called for the public to ‘seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.’ The month of February also coincided with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.” 

    Gregory Williams, a freshman Dance major from South River, NJ (Middlesex County) is a resident on campus at Magnolia Hall. Gregory says he learned about Black history mostly through social media and his own research online. He recommends students read “Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi or view the movies “Selma,” “13th” and “Harriet” to educate themselves about Black history. 

    Gregory poses outside the student center in a Rowan sweatshirt.
    Gregory Williams

    “Jack Johnson became the first African American to be a world heavyweight champion.”

    Latiesha Small, a freshman Biological Sciences and Mathematics double major from Matawan, NJ (Monmouth County), is a resident on campus at Evergreen Hall. Latiesha says she learned about Black history from her family. 

    Latiesha poses at a table.
    Latiesha Small

    “Before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, there was a young girl named Claudette Colvin who refused first.”

    Jamar Green, a junior Law & Justice Studies major with an Africana Studies minor, is from Linden, NJ (Union County). Jamar transferred to Rowan from Union County College and is a resident on campus at 230 Victoria. He is a first-generation college student. Jamar says he learned about Black history by researching. “I was always told by my grandfather if you want to know your history you have to learn it for yourself, so I read articles, books and watched videos, documentaries and movies.” A book that he recommends for students to educate themselves about Black history is “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglass.

    Jamar Green sits and smiles, wearing a red vest.
    Jamar Green

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

    Photo of Latiesha provided by:
    Latiesha Small, freshman biological Sciences and mathematics double major

    Photo of Jamar provided by:
    Jamar Green, junior law and justice studies major

    Header photo courtesy of:
    Pixabay

    Black #PROFspective: Junior Law and Justice Studies and Africana Studies Double Major Jamar Green

    Drone shot view of Campbell Library and Savitz Hall.

    Today we speak with Jamar Green, a junior double major in Law and Justice Studies and Africana Studies from Linden, NJ (Union County). Jamar, who transferred to Rowan from Union County College, is a first-generation college student. Jamar lives on-campus at 230 Victoria.

    Thank you to Tatianna Addison, senior communications studies major from Browns Mills, NJ (Burlington County), for this series idea to honor Black students during Black History Month. 

    What is your student experience here at Rowan like, as a Black student at a PWI (Predominantly White Institution)?

    I feel that going to a PWI will better benefit me. The experience I have had so far at Rowan had been on the positive side. I do feel included at Rowan. In both of my majors, I feel like they support Black students well.

    Jamar Green sits and smiles, wearing a red vest.

    How did you find your friend group here at Rowan?

    The way I found my friend group at Rowan was by joining clubs and a transfer group chat when I first attended.

    Are you involved with Black Rowan?

    Yes, I am. I am on the executive board for the African Student Association and the NAACP chapter.

    What advice would you give to a Black high school student considering your major here at Rowan?

    Be ready to work hard and don’t give up no matter what anyone says. It’s not a field they want to see us in, but a field they’re going to need us in if they want to see change.

    What are your professional goals?

    I want to become a criminal defense attorney.

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

    My Favorite Class: Shakespeare I

    Taryn poses outside the library.

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

    Today we speak to Taryn Guettler, a senior English major with minors in Women and Gender Studies and Writing Arts and concentrations in Honors and Shakespeare Studies from Succasunna, NJ (Morris County). Taryn is an on-campus resident at Whitney Center

    Taryn poses outside the Campbell Library.

    What is your favorite class at Rowan?

    My favorite class at Rowan is Honors Shakespeare I. The class is in the English department, and Dr. Claire Falck was my professor.

    Tell us a little about what the class is.

    Shakespeare I is a required course for all English majors. Throughout the semester, students study six of Shakespeare’s plays (my section read: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Othello,” “Julius Caesar,” “Hamlet,” “Twelfth Night” and “The Tempest”).

    Shakespeare I focuses on some of the more well-known plays, while Shakespeare II (an elective course) features those that are less often studied. Class discussion in Shakespeare I often focused on key moments of the plays, different interpretations of scenes or dialogue, and the history surrounding each play. We also watched one full production of each play, some being very true to script while others took a more out-of-the-box approach, which added a new perspective to studying Shakespeare.

    Taryn poses in front of the Campbell Library.

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

    One of the main reasons that this course was interesting for me was because it went beyond just reading Shakespeare’s plays. We were able to watch productions (including one live performance from Rowan’s Theatre department), which gave us an understanding of the impact of different interpretations of the script on the characters, themes, and play as a whole. We even were able to try our hands at acting out a scene ourselves for our final project; both groups chose scenes from the same play but portrayed them with very different tones and moods.

    Another reason that this course was interesting was because of the small class size. There were only a handful of students in my section, which allowed us to get to know one another better, and made the final group project much easier and much more enjoyable. Plus the group being more close-knit encouraged more participation in our daily discussions.

    Is there anything else that made this class impactful?

    I enjoyed getting to read a mix of plays — some that I was familiar with and others that I was not. It demonstrated the range that can be found in Shakespeare’s works. I went on to add a concentration in Shakespeare Studies, which I think speaks for itself in showing how much the course impacted me.

    Taryn poses in front of vines.

    What makes this professor great?

    Dr. Falck is clearly very passionate about the subject. When a professor can share their enjoyment of the course material, it makes the course feel much more engaging and interesting. I have been lucky to have many professors in the English department who really enjoy what they teach, and that enjoyment shows throughout the course. Dr. Falck also went beyond to provide additional enriching experiences for the course, like an acting workshop, that made this course stand out from others that I have taken.

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

    Honors Shakespeare I certainly improved my writing skills by pushing me to be more critical of my own work and expand my thinking. I would definitely say that I am a better writer for having taken this course, which has been a great benefit as I continue with my English major courses. It also helped me to develop my critical reading skills, which have been useful in other courses and I think will continue to be useful as I enter the professional field. The class also introduced me to a subject area that I might one day be interested in studying further.

    Taryn poses in front of Campbell Library.

    What are your professional goals?

    Currently, my short-term professional goal is to begin working in the publishing industry and work towards becoming an editor, preferably for children’s and young adult books. I think the writing and reading skills Shakespeare I helped me to develop will be key in this field. In the long-term, I want to earn a master’s degree, which will likely lead me to encounter Shakespeare once again. In this case, Shakespeare I will have provided me with a strong base of knowledge that I can use in furthering my education.

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

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Sociology Major LaDaysha White

    LaDaysha standing outside near a bridge.

    Today we feature LaDaysha White, a first-generation senior Sociology major from Florence, NJ (Burlington County). She also has a Certificate of Undergraduate study in Public Policy. LaDaysha is a transfer student from Ramapo College of New Jersey, and she tells us about her Rowan experience. Tell us a little bit about your favorite class at […]

    Meet #Rowan2025: Entrepreneurship Major Richard Betz

    Richard wears a hat and stands next to a car in a supplied photo.

    Meet #Rowan2025 student Richard Betz! Richard is an Entrepreneurship major from Laurel Springs, NJ (Camden County) and a graduate from Camden County Technical Schools – Gloucester Township Campus. He shares what he hopes to learn during his time at Rowan and why he chose Rowan. 

    Richard smiling and wearing a tan suit jacket.

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

    I am looking very forward to studying Entrepreneurship and being exposed to young, aspiring business figures much like myself.

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

    I was a part of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) during high school. I would like to carry on the tradition in college, if possible.

    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’m hoping to see how flexible and how good of a multi-tasker I am in college. I plan on starting and building up my career as a real estate agent while in college.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    Entrepreneurship and Political Science are two topics that are very special to me. I have always had a legitimate interest in both business and American politics. I would like to establish myself as a prominent businessman and possibly run for local office one day.

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    I just like the area Rowan is located. I am very familiar with the Glassboro area and like the suburban/rural scenery.

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    The Path to Finding My Major: Junior Kayla Tucker

    Today’s story is by Kayla Tucker, a junior Public Relations major from Bordentown, NJ (Burlington County). She lives on campus at 220 Rowan Boulevard. Kayla writes about her experience picking a major at Rowan. 

    When it was time for me to come to Rowan, I thought I had everything figured out as far as my major was concerned, but boy was I wrong. In my first semester, I started out as a marketing major. It did not take very long for me to figure out that a major pretty heavily based on mathematics was not going to be a good fit for someone like me. So, I began my journey to find my happily ever after. 

    Kayla poses at an event.

    Something that I feel like most high school students could use help with is finding a major during their search for colleges. At the high school I attended, we had very little assistance when it came to finding a major and or a career path. Most of the heavy lifting fell on the students. This being the case, I started to look for jobs and careers that typically make a lot of money, and at the very least, I knew I wanted to be in the business field. I thought I had found a career that played to my strengths when I had discovered marketing but did not do enough research on the courses required for the degree. 

    Kayla poses outside of the student center.

    I have always been interested in the creative side of things and struggled with anything numeric. When I got to campus as a marketing major and looked at the classes provided by my advisor, I was hopeful that my semester would go well. I knew taking classes such a micro-economics and other required math courses, I was going to be in for a wild ride. By the end of the semester, I knew that marketing just wasn’t the major for me and switched to exploratory studies. Making that switch was by far one of the best decisions I made my freshman year.

    By making that change, I was able to take the proper time to work on completing my Rowan Core classes, all while taking additional classes that piqued my interest, which lead to me finding public relations. Rowan has so many different majors out there to explore for students to find what fits them best. For me, it was public relations. After declaring PR as my new major, I began to see myself flourish academically and even socially. 

    Kayla poses in a dress.

    The best advice that I have to offer incoming students or even students who have declared a major that they feel unsure about is to major in exploratory studies. Coming to college is scary enough and then having the additional pressure to pick a major that will one day lead to your career is heavy stuff. There is nothing wrong with taking the time to find your perfect fit for a major because taking your time might be what leads you to your happily ever after.

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    Story and photos provided by:
    Kayla Tucker, junior public relations major