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

Tiana poses in the garden.

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

Tiana throws her cap in front of the Rowan arch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

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

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

Shirley poses in a garden.

Shirley looks back at how she made friends on campus.

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

Shirley advises her high school self to take risks.

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

Shirley poses outside of Bunce Hall.

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

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

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

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

Shirley poses in front of the Rowan arch.

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

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

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

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

Sophomore Reflects: Monica Torres Shares Her Freshman Experience and Advice

Today we feature rising sophomore Monica A. Torres. Monica is a Computer Science major with a concentration in Software Engineering from Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County). Monica is an on-campus resident. She lived in Evergreen Hall during her freshman year, and now will be living in the Edgewood Park Apartments for her sophomore year. Monica is a first-generation college student. 

Monica poses near the Engineering Pond at Pre-College Institute.

What did you most enjoy during your freshman year at Rowan?

The thing I enjoyed the most was getting a feel for everything. There are a lot of activities set up for freshmen not only for them to have fun, but for them to get a feel for the campus. One, for example, is Welcome Week, where many students from all grades come together to enjoy each other’s company and welcome the freshman and new transfer students to campus. I enjoyed meeting new people and seeing that Rowan is very diverse. 

Could you share a happy moment you had with friends, professors, or other members of the Rowan community that made you realize Rowan felt like home?

One of my favorite memories was getting to know my roommate. We were familiar with each other through PCI (Pre-College Institute), aka EOF (Educational Opportunity Fund), over the summer, but we didn’t really talk. However, once I got to know her, we had a lot in common, and exploring campus with her was fun. I’m from Jersey City, so to have someone who is from South Jersey as a close friend is great, because we get to compare North Jersey and South Jersey.

Monica poses at move-in for Pre-College Institute.
What advice do you have for future freshmen looking at colleges right now?

My advice to future freshmen is that it isn’t about getting a good grade, it’s about understanding the material for your major. In addition, it’s okay to not know what you wanna study right off the bat because that is what advisors are for. They are there to help you explore and find a major that suits you.

Monica poses at the Pre-College Institute leadership event.

What are you most looking forward to next year at Rowan?

I can’t wait for some of my friends from home to come to Rowan. I can show them around and help them get around. Plus, it means the friend group on campus gets bigger. It will be nice to have a few familiar faces from home on campus, to be honest, because I won’t be as homesick.

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

Public Relations and Advertising Double Major Olivia Clinkscale Shares Her Perspective on the Black Lives Matter Movement

Today we feature Olivia Clinkscale, a Public Relations and Advertising double major with a minor in Sports Communication and Media from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County). Olivia is an on-campus resident. 

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

The most interesting thing I’ve learned in public relations and advertising is that it branches out in so many different ways. I learned that PR can be media relations, government relations, investor relations, and used in crisis communication. Basically, the skills that I use in everyday life. Also learning what type of impact advertisements have on people and how the world perceives something has been interesting.

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

I would share that in the public relations/advertising field you will learn about all different things. It’s not just about PR, because this connects with plenty of other majors. You will learn about how to define the story and then make the story compelling to a broader audience. Learning along the way life skills that are useful not just for public relations.

Olivia poses for a selfie.

How have you gotten involved at Rowan? How has your involvement impacted your Rowan experience?

Being a volleyball player here at Rowan has really gotten me involved on campus. It has ultimately given me an outlet and a break from the stresses of schoolwork. Volleyball also keeps me active and keeps me informed on other activities Rowan provides. This involvement in sports has definitely made my time here at Rowan more enjoyable!    

What does the Black Lives Matter movement mean to you?

The Black Lives Matter movement is people stepping up and fighting against racial injustice. People are waking up and seeing problems that need to be fixed, such as police reform and systemic racism. 

Have you attended any Black Lives Matter rallies, protests or vigils?

I attended one in Egg Harbor Township. It was more of a rally, but there was also a protest. The rally was filled with people citing poems, stating facts and speaking about what we are fighting for. The rally was organized by four moms. There were also some little boys that spoke. I am also planning to go to the one in Glassboro on Juneteenth. 

Do you think that the demonstrations are effective?

Yes, I think the recent demonstrations are effective. There are bigger audiences than before, so they cannot be ignored. We have support from all around the world, which helps a lot. 

Olivia poses in her volleyball uniform.

What do you think that Rowan can do to better serve the BLM movement?

Rowan should educate everyone. There should be more of a class to inform students. We have Africana Studies, but … [W]e should have a course that reflects the fact that racism is still an issue today.

Is there anything you want your fellow Rowan students to know?

It all starts with our generation. We need to educate ourselves in order to educate our children and their children and also the people around us. We need to do better so that the world can change. 

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

Photos courtesy of:
Olivia Clinkscale

First Year Voices: Biochemistry Major Malique Prescott

Malique chilling on a porch.

Freshman Malique Prescott, a Biochemistry major from Bridgeton, NJ (Cumberland County) who lived in Evergreen Hall until campus closed due to COVID-19, reflects on his first year as a Rowan student. 

What was one way you met friends this year? One way I met my college family was through the ASCEND program (PCI) and my peers in my dorm. Then I relinked with some people I had met during orientation. Now I’m just meeting people by networking through those I already know.

Biochemistry major Malique Prescott posing next to a brick wall. What is something you’re looking forward to at Rowan next year? Next semester I plan on finishing it completely without the help of a virus. I also plan on getting more involved with the campus community and making a presence for myself and possibly joining a few organizations. 

What would you tell a future student who is interested in Rowan? As for advice to a future student, I would tell them to not be too shy and worry about it. You can put yourself out there because everyone on campus is loving and accepting. And to also have fun, you are only a freshman in college once.

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

First Year Voices: Anjeliah Chiodo

Close up shot of Anjeliah

Our spotlight (FRESH)man Voices this week is Anjeliah Chiodo. I had the wonderful opportunity to write a story about her. She is an iconic Instagram influencer with 25.1k followers.

Anjeliah Chiodo portrait while she is wearing an orange sweater and jeans.This first-generation college student let us have the amazing chance to get some insight on herself, her lifestyle and her opinions on some topics. Her major is Entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur is person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. So cool, what a great goal!

Her hometown is Pine Hill, NJ (Camden County) … which is not too far from Glassboro! Anjeliah is also 18 years old.

She chose to live on campus. She lived in Evergreen Hall before they shut the campus down due to coronavirus. 

A portrait of Angeliah with her hand running through her hair while she's wearing a baby doll dress and thigh-high boots.Sometimes freshmen have a hard time transitioning into college, but not Anjeliah! She went through a six-week program in the summer before starting her first fall semester called the Pre-College Institute (PCI), a program to help students financially and academically. In this program, a student can be considered an EOF student or a RISE student, and she was considered a RISE student. She stated how this program gave her a lot of structure, it taught her how to prioritize, manage her time with a full schedule (with classes, study sessions, meals, meetings, extra activities), how to become organized, and also helped her get used to the campus life. She also met a lot of people — people who she is still friends with to this day and also very important people that helped build her network … how awesome? During these six weeks, they took everyone’s phones, which many students were mad about, but she didn’t mind at all because it forced her to talk to other people (which built genuine relationships without the social media). This brought her out of her shell, and helped her look elsewhere for fun activities rather than social media! 

Anjeliah’s goal is to be a successful serial entrepreneur, she wants to own several different businesses, like a coffee shop, tattoo shop, nail salon, restaurant, and most importantly a retail store (clothing brand), while also modeling for her very own clothing brand. She has decided to take a step forward, start small by taking baby steps, and start her own lip gloss line, called Anjel Allure, (right now it is under construction). So please, stay tuned!!! I’d love to try it myself. For her short term goals, right now she is working as a bank teller at TD Bank, and she also hope to get promoted as much as possible before she started her own future business. 

Anjeliah has many hobbies such as shopping, having photoshoots, exercising/lifting, eating, taking pictures to post on Instagram/promoting brands as an ambassador, making lip gloss, coming up with creative ideas for a future business, drawing self portraits with charcoal and chalk, playing the piano, saxophone, and clarinet, working on hair/skin care, playing tennis. Talk about well rounded!!! A successful student, and someone who loves her hobbies. Anjeliah wears a puffy brown coat framing her face with her hands.

Rowan was always her third choice when picking where to go for college, but it turned out to be the best decision she’s ever made because of the great people that she’s met, the opportunities she has come across, and the events that she has got involved in that exposed me to a lot of publicity. The reason she came to Rowan was because they offered her more money than the other universities, especially when she became a RISE student. At first, she was told that she was not eligible to be an EOF student (when grants are given to low-income students, and their grades are high enough, so they can attend school), she realized that because of that, she won’t be able to afford to go to Rowan…and she felt lost, like the only other option she had was community college. However, ONE very important person at Rowan went above and beyond to help her become a RISE student (when a scholarship is given to students whose household income is too low, but too high to meet the requirements of an EOF student, and their grades are superior and exceptional). Therefore, she made it into the ASCEND program for the summer, and was able to afford to go to Rowan. This showed her how one person can make a great impact on her life, and it showed her how much they cared for her to do that. How wonderful! 

She is also involved in the Beauty in Distress Club, CEO Club: Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization, Society for the Advancement of Management club, Student University Programmers, MOCA: Men of Color Alliance Organization, Keep the Code Organization (she is the Event Coordinator), Harley Flack Mentoring Program, and the Bronze Leadership Program. These clubs are definitely something for any one at Rowan looking to gain some more opportunities with campus.

I also wanted to ask Anjeliah about her opinions on this pandemic going on in the world right now. She honestly feels like people want to get sick because no one is staying home. Working at TD Bank, she is constantly being exposed to people all time, and it is not helping when people like to be out of their homes and endanger their health & safety and her own. She also believes that people should take advantage of this time of staying at home and pick up a hobby, eat healthy, exercise, start a new routine, read a book, etc. People can be doing anything else besides leaving their home. They do not realize that this virus spreads fast, and by being out, they are also threatening the health & safety of others. And for the people that are sick, she is sorry for their struggles and for their pain, and she hopes they are fighting with all of their strength to stay strong. As far as for the people who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19, she is very sorry for their loss and she cannot imagine what they are going through. And for the people that are still living healthy, she hopes they are appreciating that, she wishes for them to recognize that they are helping prevent the virus by staying home, and that we are all alone in this together. #alonetogether

Anjeliah, you are amazing! Keep up with your hard work and dedication to success. You have given us a story that holds leadership, dedication, talent and enterprise. For all you readers, check out Anjeliah’s Instagram and give her a follow. 

Anjeliah Chiodo Instagram page

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Story organized by:
Devon Graf, senior Communication Studies major

Photography and story contributed by: Anjeliah Chiodo

First Year Voices: Dance Major Sabrina Vargas

Sabrina is dancing in front of a window in the dance studio in Memorial Hall.

Meet Sabrina Vargas, a freshman dance major from Atlantic County who lives on campus in Evergreen Hall. Sabrina joined Rowan through the Pre-College Institute Program and is involved with many clubs on campus.

Name: Sabrina VargasSabrina poses in front of a white wall
Year: Freshman
Major: Dance
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Mays Landing, NJ (Atlantic County)
Where do you live? On campus, Evergreen Hall
First-generation college student? Yes

Academic and Social Clubs: I am the Student Government Association representative for the Atomik Legacy Dance Crew, and I am involved with MOCA, which is the Men of Color Alliance.

Sabrina is dancing in her modern dance class with classmates.

What inspired you to choose your major? Senior year of high school I applied to Rowan through the Common App. I had no clue what I wanted to do as a major. I looked through my options and saw that dance was an option for a major. I talked to my dance teacher, and my dance teacher said go for it. You should audition. So I did and I love going to school for what I love.

How does your field impact the world? What impact would you like to have on the world in your field? Not a lot of us dancers can truly express ourselves through words. We express ourselves through our body art. A lot of people can relate to not speaking on certain things. A dancer can give her entire life story through a show. For me, dance is my peace. Everyone in the world should find their peace in some way, and dancers give people the courage to do so. Dance is physically and emotionally draining, and we go for it every day.

Sabrina is dancing in her modern dance class with one of her classmates.

What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a college? It’s OK to stay close to home because you make your own life at college. You can make your home wherever you are. I’m 45 minutes away from home and I barely go home because my home is at Rowan.

Tell us about your transition into college and how you pushed through any challenges. I automatically connected to everyone at Pre-College Institute (PCI). I was nervous, but I knew everyone from PCI had my back. I knew I had mentors there and that I could ask for help if I needed it. In the mix of doing the hard academic bootcamp at PCI, you get a family. I live in Evergreen with my PCI family. I walk into the ASCEND office and I feel at home. I can’t imagine my college experience without it. We did a lot of self growth activities and it taught me how to be a good student.

I took an Elements of Dance class with Paule Turner, the theatre and dance department chair, during PCI, which helped me transition into the dance department at Rowan. Paule said that him having me as a student in the summer proved to him and showed him that I deserved to be here as a dance major. I knew the department and Paule so I felt a step ahead from the other freshmen dance majors when college started. 

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

    First Year Voices: An Entrepreneurship Major Prepares to Launch a Lip Gloss Line

    Exterior shot of the Rohrer College of Business

    student portraitMeet Anjeliah Williams, a freshman majoring in Entrepreneurship, who also attended the Pre-College Institute (PCI) this summer. Anjeliah is from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County), and she’s about to launch her own lip gloss line called “Anjel Allure.”

    Anjeliah decided to major in entrepreneurship because growing up she did not know what she wanted to do but knew she did not like to work for others. 

    “I realized I wanted be my own boss and I thought entrepreneurship was a great major,” she says.

    Anjeliah plans on opening other businesses in the future. “Later on in life, I want to own other small businesses like a coffee shop, a tattoo shop and a nail salon,” she adds.

    Student Portrait“Don’t listen to people who are trying to put your idea down,” Anjeliah says. “They might say that it’s a horrible idea or it’s too much money, but If you keep a growth mindset and not a fixed mindset, then you can literally do anything.”

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    Story by:
    Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major 

    First Year Voices: Computer Science Major Monica Torres

    Future Rowan freshman and PCI student Monica Torres

    Meet Monica Torres, a Jersey City (Hudson County) native and Computer Science major who attended the Pre-College Institute (PCI) this summer. 

    What are one or two takeaways you got from the PCI program? “I think I’ve learned a lot more about time management. I’m usually a morning person. I’ve learned to juggle my free time wisely, like when it comes to studying for a test or when I need to rest … every little break I get, I use it wisely. 

    “PCI seems stressful, but it’s actually pretty fun, especially when you get to know your classmates. I made a bunch of great friends here.”

    Future Rowan freshman and PCI student Monica TorresWhat are you looking most forward to coming into your freshman year? “I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on computers! Not only am I Hispanic but the fact that I’m one of only a few girls in the major … I want to show people that it doesn’t matter what gender you are, you can follow your dreams.”

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    First Year Voices: Joining Her Cousins at Rowan

    Krishna stands at Rowan University posed with the owl mascot's wings behind her

    After hearing good things about Rowan’s engineering program and with two cousins already here, Rowan was a natural choice for incoming freshman Krishna Barot. 

    Krishna sits on a bright pink chair with PCI friends

    Meeting people and forming the beginnings of lifelong friendships has been the highlight of Krishna’s summer at Rowan University. The first generation college student, from Galloway, NJ (Atlantic County), spent six weeks on campus as a part of the Pre-College Institute (PCI), an academic/residential program to better prepare freshmen for college. 

    When Krishna returns to campus in September, she’ll have already earned three college credits through PCI, will have a core group of friends she’ll be reunited with and will already have a familiarity with campus. A civil engineering major, Krishna will live in Evergreen Hall

    In September, Krishna says, “I’m most looking forward to learning about the different clubs and activities to join.”

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    First Year Voices: A 4-Year Dream Begins to Launch

    Alexis Benitez smiles, sits on a green bench with his bookbag by his side

    Incoming freshman Alexis Pacheco Benitez of Bridgeton, NJ (Cumberland County) has waited patiently four years to finally begin his education toward his dream career. “When I was a freshman in high school we had this seminar to find out what you want to do, and ever since then I’ve known that I want to go […]

    Where is She Now? PCI Alumna and PR Grad Troi Barnes

    PCI alumna Troi Barnes attended the Student Leadership Conference in the Chamberlain Student CenterMeet Pre-College Institute (PCI) alumna Troi Barnes, a 2017 graduate from the department of Public Relations and Advertising. She is from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County). Today, Troi will share with us what she’s up to now and how PCI helped her prepare for Rowan.

    What are you currently doing? “I am a public relations account coordinator at Skai Blue Media, located in Philadelphia. I lead accounts such as The African American Museum in Philadelphia, I handle all their communications. I work with [teen activist and author] Marley Dias, I lead her account for #1000BlackGirlBooks. I also work with [author and producer] Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, who does a one-woman show called “One Drop of Love.” She is also a consultant for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck for Pearl Street Films. So, I secure their accounts for speaking engagements and different social media partnerships.”

    PCI alumna Troi Barnes attended the Student Leadership Conference in the Chamberlain Student CenterHow did PCI help you prepare for college? “It helped me a lot. My mother is Dr. Penny McPherson Myers [from the Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Rowan]. So, I was 12 when I started coming to the PCI summer program. It helped me to get to know people prior to even before coming to Rowan. And when I was actually in the program in 2013, I met so many lifelong friends. It also prepared me for college with being able to take courses that would eliminate me taking them in the school year, building up my GPA and just having a family going into the school year and college life in general.”

    Were there any classes that stood out for you during the summer program? “I took a writing class that really helped me strengthen my writing before I entered college. I wasn’t that strong [in writing], and that helped me to eventually get where I am now, where I am writing press releases and media alerts.”

    Any advice you would give to PCI students? “Give your all. As much as you give is as much as you get from the program. So, if you engage with everyone, you will become family. If you put effort to become friends with the people you are here with for six weeks, then you will definitely get a lot out from the program.”

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    Story by:
    Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

    First Year Voices: Growing Up With Rowan

    Silas sits in the driver's seat of a Rowan golf cart with one hand on the wheel, looking off camera

    As Silas Alston grew up, he watched Rowan University grow up, too. 

    “I remember campus before half these buildings were here,” the incoming freshman says. “Whitney, Holly Pointe, Rowan Boulevard, Barnes & Noble — I remember all of them coming up.”

    With many family connections to Rowan, Silas spent much of his childhood visiting campus. Now, as an incoming freshman, he’s beginning to see Rowan through fresh eyes. 

    Silas sits with three friends on brightly colored Adirondack chairs on a lawn at Rowan University

    This summer Silas earned three college credits through Rowan’s Pre-College Institute (PCI), a six-week academic/residential program to better prepare freshmen for college. 

    The New Castle, DE, resident will live on campus in Mullica Hall his freshman year. An exploratory studies major, Silas is looking forward to finding a major and a career he’s interested in. “I’m considering some type of engineering or athletic training,” he says. 

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    Pre-College Institute Holds Elements of Dance Finale [VIDEO]

    wide shot of students in their Elements of Dance class

    This summer students earned three college credits through Rowan’s Pre-College Institute (PCI), a six-week academic/residential program to better prepare freshmen for college. Here, we showcase their Elements of Dance class finale, where students performed in a recital organized by Professor Paule Turner of the Dance department within the College of Performing Arts

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    Story and video by: Dean Powers, sophomore radio/TV/film major
    Music provided by: JoySpace

    Pre-College Institute Alumna Shares Her Story

    PCI alumna Yaniris Patton-Cintron in Chamberlain Student Center

    Yaniris Patton-Cintron (right) with a group of PCI alumni at the Chamberlain Student Centerin
    Yaniris Patton-Cintron (right) reunited with fellow PCI alumni at the Ascend Pre-College Institute Student Leadership Conference in July 2019.

    Meet Pre-College Institute (PCI) alumna Yaniris Patton-Cintron, a 2016 graduate from The Department of Health and Exercise Science. She is from Mullica Hill, NJ (Gloucester County) and works for Inspira. Today, she will share with us how PCI helped shape her Rowan experience.

    What inspired you to choose your major? “I have always been in health care, so I came to Rowan wanting to do Physical Therapy (PT), but Rowan did not have the program. So, I switched and stayed with Psychology. After my first semester, I went into Athletic Training. Then I was like ‘No, I don’t want do just [work with] athletes, I want [to work with] special populations, so then — health and wellness.”

    What do you do at Inspira?
    “I’m a patient engagement specialist for Population Health, where I facilitate transition care from emergency room visit follow-ups to preventative care outreach. Inspira likes to make sure that our patients are not left behind or alone with their next steps in health care.” 

    Samantha Noguera (left) and Yaniris Patton-Cintron at the Chamberlain Student Center
    Samantha Noguera (left), a 2013 graduate in psychology, mentored Yaniris during her PCI experience.

    How did the PCI program help you prepare for the Rowan experience? “They do a lot of outreach with their students. I’m almost considered a first-generation college student, and I still wanted to do something that was not too broad. I wanted to work with special populations. Health care in my family was a little bit different, so I felt, well, ‘What special populations can I reach out to?’ And that is what Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) did.”

    How did EOF help you? “I’m a William Myers scholarship recipient through EOF, [which] had a lot of specialized things. They had a lot of workshops that were tailored to what you wanted to do and honed in on what your skills are. EOF allowed you to be your own person. A lot of programs have a set thing they want you to follow and they mold you into something, while EOF allowed you to mold yourself with their resources.”Rowan PCI alumna Yaniris Patton-Cintron at the Chamberlain Student Center

    What advice would you give for today’s future freshmen? Keep going. I’m actually still in college, I’m in nursing school. I finished my bachelor of science and now I’m tackling [my nursing degree] at Rowan College of South Jersey. One good thing is that Rowan is diverse, so there are a lot of things you can do. You’re not [restricted] to one major or one program.”

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    Story by:
    Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

    Pre-College Institute Alumnus Shares His Story

    PCI alumnus Minelson Louis-Baptiste

    Rowan and PCI alumnus Minelson Louis-Baptiste in the Chamberlain Student Center

    Meet Pre-College Institute (PCI) alumnus Minelson Louis-Baptiste, a first-generation student and 2016 graduate from the College of Science & Mathematics. Baptiste lives in Lindenwold, NJ (Camden County) and is currently pursuing two master degrees. Today, he will share with us how PCI helped shape him and his Rowan experience.

    Major: Biological Sciences; now studying Biomedical Sciences at Rowan Global 

    First-generation college student? YesRowan alumnus Minelson Louis-Baptiste with fellow PCI graduates at the Student Leadership Conference

    What inspired you to choose your major? “I always wanted to go into the health field. I love science, I love questioning and figuring out things. Biology was one of my strongest subjects in high school. I really wanted to learn more about biology, so I decided to go into biology.”

    What are you currently doing? “Right now, I’m working on my second master’s in public health and looking out for job options.”

    How did PCI help shape you and your Rowan experience? “Well, I always look back at my high school self. I was not very outgoing and was afraid to speak in front of people. PCI helped shape me and showed me there’s way more out there and to be open. This is a very lively campus with a lot of things going on. I used to be in my own world, so going into the six-week process, Rowan and PCI alumnus Minelson Louis-Baptistelearning how to talk to people and networking that put me out there and opened my eyes.

    I still have some close relationships with some of my PCI sisters and brothers. I thank them all the time because when I’m feeling down, I reach out to them and when they’re feeling down, they reach out to me. I would say my counselor from PCI, Mr. [Israel] Laguer, has been one of my rocks. He’s one person I can go to and talk to. He knows me and knows what I’ve been going through in my personal life and school life as well. He’s always been there for me.”

    Any advice for future freshmen? “Make sure you take every opportunity seriously and make the best use of it, because you never know where a connection might come from or where you might get your next opportunity.”

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    Story by:
    Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

    First Year Voices: Kyleigh Bell

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

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

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    Story and photography by:
    Justin Borelli, advertising senior

    My Favorite Class: Elements of Dance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Where is He Now? A First-Generation PCI Alumnus

    Meet Pre-College Institute (PCI) alumnus Ishraqul Wara, a first-generation student and 2018 graduate from the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering. Wara lives in Clementon, NJ (Camden County) and works as a manufacturing engineer for Omega Engineering. Ishraqul will share with us how PCI helped shape his Rowan experience and where he is today.

    What inspired you to choose your major? “My grandfather inspired me to be an engineer, so I got it started. [But] my first year here, I was not an engineering major. I got introduced to the engineering [program] and I became friends with many from the department. I started going into the rotation and I just applied. They accepted me, and that was the transition from PCI to an engineering major.”

    How did the PCI program help you prepare for Rowan? “Many ways, I don’t think I can count all the things I learned from PCI and all the things it did for me — especially all the relationships it helped me build. It definitely helped me in my studies. [There are] so many ways they supported me throughout my four years here.”

    What was it like being a first-generation student in PCI? “I think half ofIshmaqel a mechanical engineer in a navy blue suit us in PCI were first-generation students. So, I didn’t feel alone because we were on the same page. We understood the situation we were in. It was a mixture [in our] group, and that is why PCI is so great, it builds relationships and gives support out for people who need it.”

    What are you doing currently? “I’m working at Omega Engineering as a manufacturing engineer.”

    What advice would you give to our future freshmen? “Make connections.”

    Like what you see, come visit us!


    Story by:
    Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

    #PROFspective: Physics Major Nabil Jamhour

    Nabil walks down the stairs in James Hall at Rowan University

    Today, we speak with Nabil Jamhour, a junior physics major from Clifton (Passaic County), NJ, who lives on campus in Mimosa Hall. Nabil will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how he’s getting the most out of his college experience as a Rowan Prof. Name: Nabil […]

    #PROFspective PROS Edition: Philosophy Major Donald C Roberts III

    rowan pros member giving tour

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