Alumni Success: Special Education Teacher Creates Special Needs Sports Organization [VIDEO]

A view of Spectrum Sports with people working out.

A glimpse into a former special education teacher’s career pivot After graduating and launching his special education career in 2011 and teaching for 10 years, alumnus Dan Minko noticed a gap in available recreation and athletic opportunities for people who are a part of the special needs community. To fill the gap and serve the […]

Meet #Rowan2027 First Year Students

A student riding a skateboard outside Holly Point.

With Rowan celebrating its centennial year, we hear from several incoming first year students who share their stories, interests, and goals for their upcoming years at Rowan University.

Students are eager to step foot on Rowan’s campus and are looking forward to meeting new friends, all while making memories that will last a lifetime. They can’t wait to be more independent and start a new path toward their future goals, and gain new experiences throughout their college years. Most freshmen anxiously await networking in college and being introduced to people in their field of study that may provide them with new opportunities down the road. For most of them, college means a change in scenery that provides a better environment to help them succeed academically. One of the most exciting things about college is that students can dedicate their time to learning about something they are truly passionate about, while also having the opportunity to get involved in clubs, sports, and other events that Rowan offers.

Four friends with purple and pink paint on their bodies hugging eachother.

Committing to college is not an easy task, and a big decision for most. Some incoming freshmen stated that they choose Rowan because it has a beautiful and colorful campus that provides a welcoming atmosphere. As one student mentioned, “Everyone I met seems to genuinely care about your future success as a person.” Rowan also offers a diverse and friendly environment for all of its students and faculty. Students have also pointed out that even though Rowan is a large school with lots of options, it’s very personal, with small class sizes and committed faculty and staff. Not only that but Rowan’s broad offerings of activities, clubs, sports, events, etc were also aspects that encouraged incoming freshmen to commit to Rowan.

Three friends woth a laptop looking at each other and smiling.

Getting involved around campus is a huge part of the college experience many students look for. Many freshman students are excited to join different sports such as swimming, softball, volleyball, weight lifting, track, football, and basketball, among many other teams. Others are looking forward to joining a wide range of clubs, like the marching band, gaming, art, business clubs, etc. 

A group of friends playing soccer.

Some advice that Fall 2023 incoming students would give to high school seniors:

  • “Choose wisely and follow your heart.” (Fran Lacap)
  • “Do not give up yet. We didn’t come all this way from kindergarten to senior just to drop out, we are almost there. Have patience.” (Adjoa)
  • “Make sure to decide on a college that you can see yourself at and has potential for your career.” (Emily Andryca)
  • “Do research before deciding where you want to go, your top schools may change.” (Aidyn C)
  • “Go where you feel most comfortable, and even if you think you make the wrong choice, you still have the time to fix it.” (Jordan Violante)
  • “Follow your heart, not the trend, not figures.” (Chimnecherem Obiadazie)
  • “Write out a pros and cons list. This really helped me ultimately decide what is the best choice for me!” (Hailey Sacco)

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Written by: Valentina Giannattasio, junior dance and marketing 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 […]

#PROFspective: Senior Lauren Cooper Says “Opportunities for Molecular and Cellular Biology Majors are Endless”

Rowan University Molecular and Cellular Biology major Lauren conducts research inside Discovery Hall.

Lauren Cooper is a senior here at Rowan University, from Sussex County, NJ. Lauren is majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) along with her minors in pre-medical and chemistry.  Why did you choose Rowan? I chose Rowan because it felt like home when I stepped on campus. I loved the size of the school, […]

Beyond the Classroom: Marketing Major Josh Echandia Talks Sales Internship with CobbleStone Software

Today we speak with Josh Echandia, a senior Marketing major from West Creek, NJ (Ocean County). Josh switched from an Education major to Marketing at the end of his sophomore year. Within the last semester, Josh worked as a Marketing Intern for CobbleStone Software, a contract management software company. He also works full-time as a sales representative for Best Buy. He discusses his decision to switch majors, his internship experience and how working in the field cultivated a love of marketing and sales. 

Why did you choose Rowan to study Marketing?  

I originally came to Rowan to be an Education major focusing on the Math Education route. That just ended up not working out for me because I did not really enjoy it. After about a year, I switched to Physical Education and then after another semester, I switched to Marketing. I had already been working at Best Buy for a couple years prior to going to Rowan, so I was already in the sales field a little bit; I thought marketing would be a good fit. I loved Rowan as a whole, so I didn’t really care what my major was. As long as I was still a student here, I knew I was going to be happy. 

What are your future plans and what is your dream job for working as a marketing major?

After gaining some experience in the business field, I discovered that I really liked the sales aspect of things. Whether that is business-to-business or business-to-consumer sales, I would love to try at all. I’m really not set on one specific job title or position. 

Marketing is a big part of sales. Within the field, you must be able to advertise what you’re selling and target what market you’re striving for. That all plays a massive role in the sales world. I know that I want to incorporate what I’ve learned in marketing and couple it with sales.

Josh Echandia.
Josh Echandia

How did you seek out the internship opportunity for Cobblestone Software? 

I went to networking events at Rowan. They were so cool. I loved talking to all the different companies there and learning about the various opportunities you could have. The first internship that I actually applied for was CobbleStone Software. They stood out to me because they were in the technology field. So I decided to apply, and it worked out well.

What did you learn from interning at CobbleStone Software? Can you talk about the pros and cons for working hybrid?

I’ve been working full-time on top of being a student since I got into college, but going from regular retail work to an internship was a change of pace. Working for CobbleStone Software made me slow down and think about applying what I’ve learned in class to what I’m doing in a real-life professional setting.

Being in a hybrid setting helped because when I started the internship, I was in the office three days a week, and on two of those days, I had class right after work. So I felt like I was always running from work to class. Once I adjusted to the hybrid setting, it made my life much easier because I could work from home comfortably. I already had a desktop setup, so it just worked out perfectly.

After transitioning to a hybrid schedule, I was able to get to class on time, and I was able to eat in between. I was truly able to structure my day around my work and school obligations.

What was your role at this internship, and what did you do on a daily basis? 

As a sales and marketing intern, we were responsible for making pre-calls for our sales advisors. Essentially, we were calling to see if they were interested or open to the market for the software we provided, just contract management, sorting contracts and auto-billing contracts. We were trying to sell our service and our software to other companies.

It was very interesting. And there were a lot of companies that I never would’ve thought they were working with, like [a local grocery story chain], for example. So it was interesting to see how real-life applications work in these settings.

What were some of your biggest challenges that you faced as a Cobblestone Software?

CobbleStone Software was very helpful in the whole process of becoming an intern and going through my day-to-day. My biggest struggle was adjusting to an office setting rather than making in-person sales connections.

Because I’m very personable, I think one of my most significant assets includes communicating with people in person. So being over the phone was a little challenging to get used to. Beyond that, everything was easy to adapt to, and CobbleStone made it very easy to adjust. So I would say the biggest struggle for me was just the change of pace and change of setting.

What was your biggest takeaway from Cobblestone Software? What was the best thing you think you’ve learned that you will be able to utilize in your future endeavors?

This response is more general, but internships teach you what real-life business is about and whether you want to be in specific fields or not. Without being so broad, I realized that CobbleStone taught me about employee engagement and employee appreciation.

Our software is not an easy thing to learn. And it was tough for a lot of us when we first onboarded to pick it up. However, the leadership team and all the people above us made the transition much more manageable. And through that, they gave us a lot of employee appreciation and were extremely curious about taking feedback from us. They made it apparent that we were at the forefront of many of their decisions. It made me feel appreciated and heard.

Do you have any advice for sticking out during the application and interview process of applying for internships?

One thing that I never really paid attention to until I started my junior year was the resources that Rowan offers their students. Especially within the College of Business, there are so many resources for you to be successful, and the only way to get those resources to the full extent is to apply yourself to them. Make sure you attend networking events, even if it’s not a class requirement, because you may find your next potential boss. Networking is key.

You may find some of the best friends through these networking events, too. It is essential to take advantage of what the school is providing you. Not only is it making the most of your tuition cost, but it’s also making the most out of your experience. Being engaged with your professors and being involved with the clubs associated with your major are ways to make the most out of your college experience and prepare you for your future.

Josh smiles whiles walking down a stairwell inside Business Hall.

How has your experience working at Best Buy and being active at Rowan in various social and athletic clubs helped prepare you and develop your skills for your professional endeavors?

My experiences within Best Buy and the social and athletic clubs at Rowan all help me develop skills and qualities that will only benefit me in my professional life. For example, being the President of the Wrestling Club opened my eyes to being a leader in general. With Best Buy, I was in management; this gave me a little bit of retail management experience.

Being the president of a club kind of opens you up to many different things, like the structure of leadership, balancing tasks, and even time management. For example, I have to delegate to my e-board certain things that must be done within the club. Everything I have learned from my job at Best Buy and my experiences made available by Rowan can efficiently be utilized in my future.

Did you experience any unexpected parts associated with your major? 

So I started to piece together many connections between education and marketing. It was kind of weird because when I went into marketing, I went in with a sales-person mindset. And for me, education was just another form of selling; instead of selling products and services, it is like you are selling information.

I didn’t know how much depth and development there was in marketing — targeting different markets and being able to adapt to various market changes like that. So I never really thought about it. And that was not only interesting for me to see, it [showed] how I wanted to learn through marketing and what I could do with it afterward.

Josh sits holding two business textbooks and smiling inside Business Hall.

What was your favorite part of your major so far? 

Honestly, my favorite part was being able to learn and now utilize Canva. Canva is an application like an Instagram editor or a video editor, and it is pretty cool to make custom logos through. It’s pretty much a design portfolio that you can use online. And we were taught to use it for different projects and assignments and marketing principles, and it is a tool I have been using ever since I started learning about it. I utilize it for the Wrestling Club, my accounts and professionally. 

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major

Photos by: 
Ashley Craven, junior radio/TV/film major

How One First Year Student’s Classes, Friends and New Experiences Gave Her Purpose

Exterior shot of Holly Pointe Commons with yellow and red mums in the foreground.

Like many new college students, I began my freshman year unsure of what to do with myself. I was unsure if I had chosen the right major and was questioning what I could see myself doing after graduation. I decided to start by getting some required classes out of the way and see how things […]

Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective: Sports Communication Major Spencer Reyes on Inclusion at Rowan and “Never Losing” His Heritage

Rowan University's Bozorth Hall.

Today, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, we feature senior Spencer Reyes. Spencer is majoring in Sports Communication and Media with a concentration in Radio/TV/Film and minoring in Communication Studies. He is from Old Bridge, NJ (Middlesex County) a first generation college student, and a transfer student from Middlesex College. 

What is your student experience here at Rowan? Do you feel included? Supported? How so? Could you highlight an example or two?

At Rowan I most definitely feel included and supported by my peers. At first it was difficult to mesh in with others because I was a transfer student; however, it became a lot easier when I started to join clubs and organizations and some friends took me under their wings.

How did you find your friend group here at Rowan?

I found my friends through clubs and organizations.

Are you involved on campus? How so?

I’m one of the two sports producers at Rowan Television Network, produce games for Rowan Radio, I am an Admissions Ambassador, an active member of Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society, I play Club Hockey, and I work for Rowan’s Athletic Communications Department.

Spencer Reyes pointing up at the scoreboard, standing next to an ice hockey rink.
Spencer Reyes pointing up at the scoreboard after working as a studio host personality and graphics operator for the Danbury Hat Tricks, a member of the Federal Prospects Hockey League.

Could you highlight a Rowan classroom or campus experience that was inclusive and made an impact on you?

An experience that was very inclusive to me was when I helped RTN cover WrestleMania last year in the Pit. Prior to the event, I had limited experience on camera and production, but had watched wrestling growing up. Our Special Events Producer at the time taught me how to succeed at each position and the event was super fun, and I was awarded member of the week for my work.

Do you have a role model or mentor here at Rowan? Who are they and how have they supported your growth?

A mentor of mine at Rowan would have to be the Director of the Center for Sports Communication and Social Impact, Neil Hartman. He commended my work in the sports industry prior to transferring to Rowan, and allows for me to contact and meet with him frequently [to talk] about how I can progress my sports career.

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

I would tell them that you don’t need to feel lonely or excluded as a Hispanic/Latinx student at Rowan, especially in the Sports Communication & Media major. Everybody gets along very well and invites new students with open arms.

Spencer Reyes sits with headphones on, speaking into a microphone.
Spencer Reyes as a studio host and producer of RTN Overtime, the official sports podcast of Rowan Television Network.

What are your professional goals?

My professional goal is to become a professional sports broadcaster for baseball and hockey.

If you are open to it, could you share a little about your Hispanic or Latinx heritage?

I like to think of myself as a Caribbean blend, I’m half-Dominican (from my mom’s side), a quarter Puerto Rican and a quarter Cuban (both from my dad). Although I grew up in an Italian based neighborhood in Central Jersey with pizzerias on every corner, I never lost my heritage. I still eat rice and beans on a daily basis, cook my favorite Spanish foods and desserts, visit Elizabeth and Newark, and even my family in Westchester County in Miami, FL, which I highly recommend visiting if you want some authentic Cuban dishes without leaving the country.

Spencer Reyes listening to earpiece as the on field host for the Trenton Thunder, a member of the MLB Draft League on Halloween Night.
Spencer Reyes as the on field host for the Trenton Thunder, a member of the MLB Draft League on Halloween Night.

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major

Photos courtesy of: 
Spencer Reyes

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

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

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

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

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

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

What made you decide to transfer to Rowan? 

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

Annabella is leaning on the Business Hall sign and smiling.

What’s been your experience like at Rowan?

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

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

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

Annabella is turning her body towards the camera and smiling.

What drew you to finance? 

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

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

Why did you select your current internship? 

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

Can you describe in detail what your internship entails? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Annabella has her head down and studiously writing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Story by:
Lucas Taylor, graduate English education major 

Photography by:
Ashley Craven, sports communication and media major

The Value In Fighting: My Experience With Rowan MMA

Today we hear from Rowan Blog guest contributor Demetri Moutis, a junior Sports Communication and Media major, who recounts the powerful effects of joining Rowan’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Club. Demetri, of Roselle Park, NJ (Union County), is a transfer student from Ocean County College. After discovering Rowan MMA, I found myself doing things that […]

Rowan Fencing Club [VIDEO]

Two people fencing in full equipment.

Open to all skill levels, Fencing Club offers instruction for all three weapons: foil, épée and sabre, with two experienced coaches in the sport. Neither equipment nor prior knowledge about fencing is needed to join.

Learn more about student organizations at Rowan here.

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Video by:
John Hunter, junior Radio/TV/Film major
Brian Seay, junior sports communication and media major

Header photo courtesy of:
Pexels

40 Ways to Get the Most out of Your College Experience

The Rowan welcome gate.

Rowan Blog contributors share their personal tips on getting the most out of your college experience at Rowan University. 2. Participate in recreational sports Participating in recreational sports can lead you to meeting new people with similar interests and fuel your competitive edge without the stress of competing in a division III NJAC conference sport. […]

#PROFspective: ESS Major, Athlete and Activist Ayanna Johnson

Today we speak with Ayanna Johnson, a junior Environmental & Sustainability Studies (ESS) major under the School of Earth and Environment. She comes from Ewing, NJ in Mercer County and is the captain of the Women’s Basketball Team. She also participates in We Are One Team, Social Justice Action, and OWL (Outstanding Women Leaders) Group.

Ayanna smiles and leans against a tree outside on campus.

Why did you choose ESS? 

When I was a senior, I went on a trip to the Bahamas and studied at the Island School. I focused on environmental science and marine biology. We saw the coral reefs that were dying and how the Bahamas is being disproportionately impacted by global warming. It made me feel that this is a really important field more people need to study. 

What has been your favorite ESS class?  

My favorite ESS class was called Earth, People, and The Environment taught by Professor Richard Federman. I learned about the interconnectedness of people and their environment. 

What do you want to do in the future? 

Every company needs an Environmental Sustainability Specialist to make sure they’re following the rules and regulations from like the EPA. I want to do that in the future. 

Do you have a mentor on-campus? 

My mentor is Mandy Jiang, the former assistant coach of the Women’s Basketball Team. She helps me with school, studying, basketball and basically anything! 

Can you tell me more about the We Are One Team panel that happened in October 2020?  

The We Are One Team panel was an opportunity for me to speak on my personal experiences and also listen to different people from diverse backgrounds speak on social justice issues. We also discussed how we’ve been working to improve our communities by helping people become more educated and understanding about issues that are going on in modern-day America.

I was able to connect with other people that cared about these issues and also wanted to learn more. I made good friends with people who are dedicated to making a difference and speaking out. We bounce ideas off of each other about how we can do more to get our message across.

Ayanna smiles while sitting and leaning on a bench on campus.

What’s it like being the captain of the basketball team? 

It’s not much different than being a regular player. Everyone on my team is so awesome, and we all work together. It’s more about the responsibility of leadership. It pushes me to be more confident when speaking up and in my ability to lead. I never really looked at myself as capable of this, but it’s forcing me to face my insecurities and just do it. 

What advice would you give to newer college students? 

Appreciate the moment and enjoy it. Don’t keep thinking about the next thing. You’re going to waste your whole life thinking about the next step. You have to be in the present and enjoy the current moment. Appreciate life when you are happy because it’s not going to always last. 

If you spend your whole time stressing and not experiencing college, you’re going to regret it. You’re not going to be in your 20s forever. 

Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself because it’s a hard time for everyone. We don’t validate our own emotions or acknowledge things that we’re feeling inside. Everybody should take time to look inside yourself. 

What social justice issues are you most passionate about? 

I’m most passionate about educating people. A lot of what perpetuates injustice is people being ignorant to it. People not understanding how the small things are actually big things which allow for injustice to continue. 

On your busiest day, what academic, non-academic and social responsibilities do you juggle? 

I have practice, academics and work. I also juggle about 15 credits per semester along with basketball. This gives athletes room to stay above the 12-credit minimum and drop a class if necessary. 

How do you balance all of it?

I’m actually not very good at balancing or time management. I try my best to get organized and refocus. I try to make sure that I’m taking care of myself first because I can get caught up with so many different things. I’m not going to be able to do my best like mentally and physically if I don’t take care of myself.

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

Photos by:
Joe Gentempo, senior art major

#PROFspective: Junior Marketing Major Jake Mayer

Jake poses in a wooded area.

Today we speak to Jake Mayer, a junior Marketing major with a Management Information Systems minor. Jake is a first-generation student from Stratford, NJ (Camden County), and a Resident Assistant. Jake is co-president of Rowan Club Baseball and a member of both the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Rowan Economics Society.

Jake poses in front of Business Hall.

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

On my busiest day, I would be balancing my schoolwork, being a Resident Assistant (RA) and the responsibilities that come with that, having two other jobs at Trifecta Therapeutics and Pro Image Sports, while also going on a daily Zoom call with my family members at night.

What are your professional goals?

My short-term professional goals are to apply and get accepted as a second-year Resident Assistant (RA) or Assistant Resident Director (ARD) for the 2021-22 school year, as well as get an internship for the summer to hopefully turn that experience into a career. My long-term professional goals are to graduate from Rowan University and get a job in the marketing, business world to begin my career.

How are you involved on campus?

On-campus, I am a Resident Assistant (RA) in 230 Victoria, the co-president of Rowan University’s club baseball team, and a member of the American Marketing Association (AMA). Being involved in these allow me to be involved and network with fellow Profs of different majors, ages and backgrounds. The most supportive of my future goals is AMA, where I interact with fellow marketing majors and network with marketing professionals. Hopefully, by interacting with fellow marketing majors and networking with professionals, I will make connections that will help me get into my future career field.

Jake poses in a wooded area on campus.

Could you share with us one moment that made you feel inspired or confident that you’re in the right field for you?

I felt really inspired in my Entrepreneurship class during the final project of the class when my groupmates were looking towards me to lead the project in the marketing aspects. It was a fictional company and product idea that we came up with and I put a lot of effort into the project and we got an A. It may not sound like a lot, but leading this project in the marketing aspect of our project really inspired me and made me feel confident about my chosen major.

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

One professor who I really enjoy talking to and one who makes me feel supported in my goals is Dr. Michael Milovich, professor of MIS. He is extremely supportive of students’ goals and guiding them to reach them in realistic ways. In his lectures and discussions, he always relates class material to the real world and how we can use tips and tricks that he provides to us to succeed in future situations that we will all experience, such as a job interview or how to move up the ladder of a company. I love him as a professor and would highly recommend that any student take his class if they have the chance.

What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a major, campus involvement, or choosing a college/university?

If I were in high school, I would tell myself to choose a major that I really enjoy and can envision myself working in for the rest of my adult life. As far as finding the perfect college or university, do more research and look around at other schools. Choosing the right place is important so that there isn’t the chance of transferring and going back to square one.

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

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

Leadership #PROFspective: Eliya Bravo, Inspiring Community Action and Change

Bravo speaking into a horn.

Today we feature first-generation college student Eliya Bravo, a leader at Rowan University. Bravo is the founder and president of the Women of Color Alliance and vice president for both the Students For Caribbean Awareness and Rowan Universities Club Swim Team. Bravo is also the public relations rep for the United Latinos Association and a […]

Leadership #PROFspective: Ayanna Johnson on Speaking Up as a Woman in Sports

Ayanna sits down and leans against a bench on campus.
Ayanna wearing a yellow dress while posing against a tree.

Today, we speak with Ayanna Johnson, captain of the Women’s Basketball Team and an active member of We Are One Team, Social Justice Action Committee, and Rowan Athletics’ OWL (Outstanding Women Leaders) Group. Ayanna is an Environmental & Sustainability Studies (ESS) major from Ewing, NJ (Mercer County). 

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

What is your role in your organizations? What do your organizations do? 

We are One Team gives a voice to those in sports who are not always recognized and uses the power of sports to unify people. What’s special about sports is it unites people who all come from different backgrounds and walks of life and they have the same love for the game. It really represents who we are. We are activists, we care about social justice. We’re more than just athletes. I’m an athlete representative for the club. I speak for panels that they want to have an athlete representative for. I’m very involved in my team and the club!

(OWL) Group is Outstanding Women Leaders. It’s really about empowering women in sports and shedding light on women’s sports because it’s so underrepresented and under-publicized. It’s about leadership in women’s sports and how to be good to other women as a woman. I really love that club because it sheds light on issues that need to be brought to light. As athletes, we’re already in a man’s world.

I’m also a member of Social Justice Action. I’m not on the e-board, but you don’t always have to be the one out there and organizing things. As long as you can be there and have your voice heard, there’s a lot of value in that.

    Ayanna wearing a Rowan Basketball shirt.

    What have you learned in your role as a leader? 

    I’ve learned that your impact on people is way bigger than you realize. When you talk to that [first-year student], they will probably remember that conversation for the entirety of their college career. Just doing small things can change people’s lives more than you know.

    I need to realize how small acts of kindness can make a difference in people’s lives and just speaking up. If everybody felt like their voice didn’t matter, that’s what the people who want to keep you silent want you to feel like. Once you have knowledge and education about things, that’s power.

    Knowledge is power. When you’re educated about something, you can recognize when something isn’t right. When you’re used to being ignorant about things, you want even recognize injustice. So, I take every opportunity to educate myself on history. 

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

    Hands down, winning the NJAC (NJ Athletic Conference) championships! In 2019-2020, we beat Montclair who has won the conference for the past 10 years. We came back from being down and we won. I ended being the defensive player of the year and broke two records that year! 

    Who inspires you and why? 

    A lot of people inspire me. My little sister inspires me a lot because she’s one of those kids that is good at everything, and she looks up to me a lot. I have to do what I can to be a good role model for her. I know my little sister will root for me, just being able to see her blossom. I just love her so much. How she views me as a good big sister, makes me want to be that. I struggle a lot with self-confidence but I love both of my sisters so much. Your siblings see your whole life. You go through all the ups and downs with your siblings!

    Ayanna wearing a yellow dress while sitting on a bench and smiling.

    What’s the most significant barrier to women today? 

    Knowing that there’s a problem. In 2021, a lot of people are complacent with the way things are. There’s still discrimination and things we need to fight for. If we’re not educated about that, and still don’t see there’s still a problem, then we won’t fight it. If you think racism and sexism is a thing of the past, you’re never going to realize what you’re facing is injustice. 

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

    Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to have your own opinions. Just because the majority feels this way doesn’t mean you do. If you feel like you should speak up about something, speak up about it! There   are probably other people who are hiding and feel the same way. If you’re brave, you’re probably being brave for so many other people who didn’t have the courage to say the thing you said. 

    Is there anything else you would like to share?

    Take care of your mental health. It impacts your whole life. It’s something I struggle with, it impacts sports a lot. It impacts everything. Just because you’re physically healthy doesn’t mean you’re mentally healthy. There’s a lot of stigma around it, and it’s something I’m really passionate about.

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

    Photos by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    Seniors Share: Women’s Club Lacrosse [VIDEO]

    View of the intramural field through the fence.

    Seniors Paige Ryan (white jersey), and Jeannie Corcione (grey shirt) share the positive impact that the Women’s Club Lacrosse team had on their college experience. Paige, captain of the team, is a double major in Biology and Psychology from Sparta, NJ (Sussex County). Jeannie is social chair of the team and is a Psychology major […]

    Leadership #PROFspective: Alayna Harrison, VP Of WOCA And Women’s Field Hockey Club

    Alayna holding a megaphone.

    Today we feature Alayna Harrison, a leader at Rowan University. Alayna is the Vice President of Women of Color Alliance and the Women’s Field Hockey Club. She’s a senior, first-generation college student from Lindenwold, NJ (Camden County). Alayna majors in Writing Arts with a specialization in creative writing and a minor in Elementary Education. She […]

    Meet #Rowan2025: Nutrition Major and Future Field Hockey Player Kate O’Boyle

    Kate wears Rowan gear.

    Meet #Rowan2025 student Kate O’Boyle! Kate is an incoming freshman Nutrition major from Manahawkin, NJ (Ocean County). Kate is excited to come to campus next semester and will be joining the Rowan field hockey team.

    Kate smiling and lifting her leg for a photo while walking on a trail.

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

    I am most excited for a new chapter in my life! I can’t wait to branch out, meet new people and have more freedom and responsibilities.

    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 have been part of the Southern Regional field hockey team since middle school, as well as several club teams. I will be playing on the Rowan field hockey team in fall 2021.

    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 am interested to see how well I can do on my own while being a part of Rowan’s nutrition program and field hockey team.

    Kate signs with Rowan University wearing a Rowan shirt.

    What majors are you considering and why?

    Nutrition because I have always been interested in how one’s diet and activity level will affect their body.

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

    I visited Rowan in February of 2020. Coach Andre brought me about campus, and I immediately loved it and knew it was the perfect college for me.

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

    I would say that it is most important to listen to your gut and if you really like the campus and what the college can provide to you, then it is a perfect fit for you!

    Where are you going to live next year?

    On campus!

    What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked?

    I loved that as I visited, I felt a sense of comfort.

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    Story by: Bianca Torres, Senior, Music Industry major

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Future Chemistry Teacher Trevor Jones

    Trevor outside.

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

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Marketing Major and Rugby Player Chase Shebey

    Chase poses on the intramural field at Rowan.

    Today we feature junior Marketing major and rugby player Chase Shebey. Chase is an off-campus resident from Glen Gardner, NJ (Hunterdon County). Chase transferred to Rowan from New England College. 

    Chase poses on the intramural field with a rugby ball.

    How has a faculty or staff member here helped to connect you with the next step for your career? My advisor was very helpful in getting me on the right track for my major. A lot of opportunities after college have opened up through Alumni on the Rugby Team.

    Tell us about your transition into Rowan. Before transferring, I was nervous if I made the right choice to come to Rowan. I didn’t like my old school and wanted to make sure I got it right this time. After reaching out to friends that I knew went here, they reassured me that Rowan was definitely the right choice.

    Chase poses on the intramural field with a rugby ball.

    Could you tell us about pre-professional opportunities that you’ve become aware of (or involved in) that will help you to be better prepared to go into your field? Through playing rugby, I was given the opportunity to study abroad in New Zealand to not only get another schools’ perspective on my marketing major but to also play rugby for their school team as well. That will allow me to have a more diversified understanding of marketing, especially on an international scale.

    Chase poses with his Rugby teammates.

    How was transferring to Rowan the right choice for you? Rowan allows me to have a good balance of having fun with my friends and playing a sport, while still putting my education above all.

    Chase and his Rugby teammates pass around a rugby ball.

    How have you been able to make friends and have fun at Rowan? When I’m not in class or studying, before quarantine a lot of my free time was spent playing rugby. Now, my roommates and I spend most of our time playing backyard games or working out while enjoying the weather.

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

    What It’s Like to Go to the Same College as Your Siblings

    Julia McAleavey and her brother that attends Rowan with her.

    Today’s story comes from frequent Rowan Blog contributor Julia McAleavey of Monmouth County, NJ. She recently graduated with a bachelor’s in advertising. Julia transferred to Rowan her sophomore year, from Eastern University in Pennsylvania. 

    College is a time where, usually, you live away from your family. You get freedom from your parents, and of course, your brothers and sisters if you have them. Your siblings might be older and left for college before you, or maybe you’re the first one to leave the nest. Either way, I’m sure you’re thinking that being at the same school as them would be a complete nightmare. They would always be bothering you and finding ways to embarrass you in front of your friends. They’d be ratting to you on your parents about stupid stuff. It’s easy to think this way; however, it might not My brother and I at Rowan.be as bad as you’d think.

    My brother and I are 15 months apart in age, and we both attended Rowan. Even though I’m older, he actually started at Rowan before me. I was at another four-year university that I didn’t like. I decided to transfer at the beginning of my sophomore year, and my mother persuaded me to look at Rowan because of how much my brother loved it. At first, I was hesitant. I thought it would be annoying to go to school with him, and I didn’t want to steal his life, but I went to an open house against my will. I ended up loving it and transferred in the spring. 

    My brother and I when we were little.
    When this photo was taken, we never would’ve thought that we’d end up at the same college.

    Naturally, as a new Rowan student, I didn’t have a whole lot of friends at the beginning. I was glad I had my brother to hang out with and show me the ropes. I knew I never was alone, whether it was to go eat, walk to Walgreens or go work out. We swam competitively our whole lives, so he helped me join the Swim Club and introduced me to all of my best friends. Sometimes, I felt like a burden to him, but he didn’t mind at all.

    Additionally, since we didn’t have cars on campus at first, it made it much easier for our parents to pick us up to go home on weekends and for breaks. They were very thankful to not have to drive in two completely different directions like many other parents do.

    Once I got settled and began to make a life for myself at Rowan, my brother and I barely saw each other at all. We had our own friends, school work and activities that we were involved in separately. There were times where I’d even forget that we went to the same school. Rowan is not exactly small, so I wouldn’t just see him on my way to class. Even though we were busy, however, we still saw each other at swim practice and would usually get dinner once a week. 

    My brother and I at a swim meet for the Rowan club team.
    My brother and I at a swim meet for the Rowan Club Team

    Going to the same college as your siblings may sound like a drag, but it really isn’t a bad gig. You may think you’re always going to see them and that they’re going to be up in your business, but that really isn’t the case at all. It’s like the best of both worlds: You don’t have to live in the same building as your sibling, but you can still easily hang out a few times a week without getting sick of each other. Our younger cousin ended up joining us at Rowan [my senior] year as well, so it became a whole family affair!

    Headshot of Julia, who is smiling and has long blond hair.At the end of the day, when you go to college with your sibling, you’ll have a piece of home away from home right there with you. 

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    Story and photos by:
    Julia McAleavey, recent advertising graduate

    Related posts:

    Siblings At Rowan: Madison and Sophia Agostini

    Sisters on SGA: Sarah and Madeline McClure

    #PROFspective: English and Computing & Informatics Double Major Chris Finnegan

    Chris Finnegan and friend walk down campus

    Today, we speak to rising senior Chris Finnegan. Chris is a double major in English and Computing and Informatics and is an on-campus resident. He’s also an admissions ambassador for Rowan University! Chris tells us more about why he chose Rowan and what a typical on-campus day is like for him. 

    Chris smiling and posing with a friend outside the wellness center.
    Chris Finnegan (left) on campus in early spring.

    Why did you choose your major?

    Indecision. My advisors worked with me to find a path for me to pursue all of my personal and academic interests when I couldn’t bring myself to choose just one, which led to me landing a double major in English and Computing & Informatics.

    Why did you choose Rowan?

    Rowan was the third school that I visited, and as soon as I toured campus I could truly just see myself there. Rowan grants its students nearly full independence from the first day they move in and provides numerous avenues to pursue social and academic extracurriculars at your own pace.

    I chose to go to Rowan because I knew they provided the flexibility that I needed to explore many different interests.

    A group picture of the Rowan Club Rugby Team.
    Chris plays for the Rowan Club Rugby Team.

    Take us through a typical Rowan day for you!

    Every day starts with lots of coffee, but if I’m not giving a daily tour at 11 a.m., you would probably find me getting a breakfast sandwich meal swipe from Peet’s Coffee in the student center. I try to take all my classes in the afternoon so that I can work and study in the morning, and go to Rugby practice and do my homework in the evening. If possible, I will try and eat every meal with friends, classmates, teammates or coworkers.

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    Story by:
    Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

    Photo provided by:
    Chris Finnegan, senior English and computing and informatics major

    How I Made Friends At Rowan, Bianca’s Experience

    Bianca and friends happily greet a friend on Rowan Boulevard.

    Hi! My name is Bianca Torres. I’m a senior Music Industry major with a minor in Marketing from Morris County, NJ who has lived on campus all four years. Going to college has helped me get out of my comfort zone and has helped me become a much more well-rounded individual! I know that adjusting to college can be tough – especially when it comes to meeting new people. 

    Going to Rowan was an easy decision for me. My sister had gone here before me so I already knew a lot about the school. It’s about two hours away from where I live so it was the perfect distance for me, and Rowan has a really great Music Industry program. So I was pretty confident in my decision to go there.

    The one thing that I was a little nervous about: meeting new people. I was excited about being independent and on my own for the first time in college. However, it was hard for me at first to find people who I really enjoyed being with. I quickly realized that I was going to have to put myself out there more. Here’s what I did to make some new friends.

    Reached Out to People I Already Knew.

    My first friend in college is actually someone I went to high school with! Although we never talked in high school, I figured it would be a good start to talk to someone I related with at least a little bit! I came up to him one day in the Holly Pointe dining hall and we started eating together almost every day! We instantly became friends. Then he introduced me to Racquetball Club.

    Joined Clubs and Sports Teams.

    Through Racquetball Club, I’ve found a sport that I’ve never tried but ended up really liking and found some of my best friends! Being a part of a team is a great way to meet people with the same interests and makes you feel like you are a part of something. Without Racquetball, I would have never found my friends.

    Marcella and I at my surprise 21st birthday party


    Talked to My Classmates.

    One of my best friends is someone who was sitting right next to me in class. The first day of classes is nerve wracking enough for a lot of us and finding the right seat is crucial. When I first walked in, I found a seat that I thought would be a good spot in the classroom. I never thought I would have ended up sitting next to my now best friend and roommate! We started doing class projects together, and I realized that we liked the same things and had the same sense of humor. Finally, I decided to ask if she wanted to get lunch with me one day. The rest is history. 

    Got To Know My Co-Workers.

    I made some great friends through my on-campus job for the Rowan Blog! The great thing about on-campus jobs is that your co-workers are also usually students too. From going on shoots together, talking in the office, and getting lunch in between, it’s almost hard to not know a lot about the people I work with! I’m so grateful for the Rowan Blog and for all the great friends that I’ve made from the blog too. 

    There are so many ways to get involved on campus and to put yourself out there. It’s difficult adjusting to an entirely new environment and situation but one of the best things about going to a university is meeting all kinds of different and exciting people! Luckily, I found my people at Rowan!

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    Story and Photos by:
    Bianca Torres senior music industry major

    Julia’s Corner: How Athletic Involvement Helped Me

    a photo of julia sitting outside the Rec Center

    Headshot of Julia, who is smiling and has long blond hair.Recent grad Julia McAleavey shares guidance through this advice column for incoming students. A student with well-rounded experience, Julia earned a bachelor’s in advertising this spring. She transferred to Rowan her sophomore year, after another school wasn’t a great fit. While at Rowan she started as an exploratory studies major, unsure of what to major in. She’s lived both on campus and off campus, held student worker jobs and internships, and participated in clubs and sports.

    Okay, I understand that athletics are not for everyone. As someone who originally started college as a varsity athlete, I completely understand that. When I transferred to Rowan, I knew that the NCAA was not for me, but I still wanted some kind of sport in my life. They are a great option for those who are interested, but as other options Rowan also has many club sports and intramural sports for students to choose from. I had been a competitive swimmer for my whole life, so I decided to try out the club swim team. Joining the team was one the best decisions I have ever made, and there are several reasons as to why that is. 

    Me getting ready to race backstroke.It kept me busy: Having practice twice a week at night was the perfect way to occupy my time. It was a good amount of practice to still have time for school and a job, and it kept me moving and socializing instead of just laying in bed by myself. It was also the perfect workout before bed, I would always fall right asleep. Additionally, on weekends we had meets, it gave me something to do for that entire day. As a senior, I became an officer for the club. Fulfilling my duties kept me busy, and it also helped with my professional development. It may not seem like it now, but you will have times in college where you are bored. Joining a club or intramural sport will definitely solve that problem. 

    Kept me active: I was always an athlete growing up. Fitness and athletics have always had a huge impact on my life. Even though I didn’t want the full commitment of the NCAA, I still wanted some kind of fit, competitive lifestyle. After attending the first practice, I knew club swim would help with that no problem. Even though it is a club sport, we still compete and practice hard, and almost always get in a good workout. Most other club sports have the same type of dynamic. Intramurals, even though they are seasonal and only compete at Rowan, also helps to keep students active. 

    Gave me friends: My favorite part of course! In my eyes, a good social environment in club swim was just as important as the athletic aspect.

    Me (right) with some club swim friends
    Me (right) with some club swim friends.

    Although many varsity athletes make lifelong friendships on their teams, the social interaction is the main reason why many students join sports clubs and intramurals to begin with. I have made some of my forever friends from club swim, and I know many other athletes that have done the same. It is one of the best ways to make friends. 

    Like I said, athletics aren’t everyone’s thing, but getting involved in any kind of sport on campus is a positive thing. Rowan has several NCAA teams if you’re interested in competing on that level. You can explore these teams. A lot of people have great experiences on these teams, but if you don’t want that commitment, club sports and intramurals are great options. They are the perfect thing to keep you busy, active, and of course, give you some of the best friends you’ll ever have. 

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    Meet #Rowan2024: Law and Justice Major Haley Flores “Super Excited to Start New Beginnings”

    Photo of Haley (left) and a friend.

    Today we feature Law and Justice major Haley Flores from Sussex, NJ (Sussex County). 

    What is one activity, club, sport or hobby that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan?

    A couple activities I would like to continue at Rowan are joining the softball and volleyball clubs.Portrait of Haley Flores looking down with sun casting in the frame

    How or why did you choose your major?

    I chose Law and Justice as my major because I’ve always been interested in being a police officer. When I was younger I lived on two military bases. The military police officers were always around making sure we were safe while we played outside. I want to continue to keep communities safe.

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

    I’m really looking forward to meeting many people at Rowan. Along with that I’m super excited to start new beginnings and begin learning more about my major.

    Have you noticed any differences yet between northern New Jersey and southern New Jersey?

    What I noticed the most is that in Northern Jersey we say “Taylor ham” but in Southern Jersey many say “pork roll.” Everyone gets very political about a piece of meat.

    Why Rowan?

    I chose Rowan because when I first toured the school I absolutely loved everything about it and I felt like it was the best choice for me. It’s not too far away from home and Rowan has a small town felling to it. All of the staff members already are super understanding and helpful with everything and Rowan provides  great programs so I can further my education quicker by enrolling in the Degree in 3 program.

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    Julia’s Corner: Finding Friends

    a photo of julia sitting outside the Rec Center

    Headshot of Julia, who is smiling and has long blond hair.Recent grad Julia McAleavey shares guidance through this advice column for incoming students. A student with well-rounded experience, Julia earned a bachelor’s in advertising. She transferred to Rowan her sophomore year, after another school wasn’t a great fit. While at Rowan she started as an exploratory studies major, unsure of what to major in. She’s lived both on campus and off campus, held student worker jobs and internships, and participated in clubs and sports.

    There are a lot of things about starting college that can be absolutely terrifying. One of those things is worrying about finding friends. I’ve got some good news for you: you are not the only person anxious about this. Every college first year or new transfer is worried about not making any friends. Here are some ways to help you come out of your comfort zone and break that fear of never finding friends.

    Get out of your room.

    When first moving in, you might not know what to really do with yourself besides sit in your room and watch television. Or, if you commute, you might just drive to campus and back home after class. I know this is a crazy time for you and it’s so easy to get stuck inside, but do not do this! Friends are not just going to magically appear at your door. Sure, you might have been friends with your roommate already, but you both need other friends so you do not get sick of living with each other.

    A good start would be to go to the events that your resident assistant sets up at the beginning of the semester, or make a point to go to the September organization fair, where there are tons of tables of people representing their clubs and organizations. This way, you get out of your room (or car), and get to know some of the people. 

    Students on Bunce Green.
    Go to first-year student events.

    At the beginning of the semester, there will be some events to attend for new students to get to know each other. Rowan After Hours (RAH) has a lot of fun, late-night events to get students to interact with one another. They might sound lame at first, but don’t let that keep you from going. You might even meet your best friends there. Plus, there is usually free food of some kind, and it’s hard to say no to that, right? 

    First year students outside Holly Pointe.

    Two words: Get. Involved.

    This is HUGE! Many first year and new transfers go into college not wanting to get involved because they are afraid they will fall behind on school work or won’t fit in. Yes, it is true you are at Rowan for a degree, but getting involved in something will help you to make friends and professional connections. I joined the Swim Club and it introduced me to my best friends. 

    There are a lot of activity fairs at the beginning of each semester to share information about different clubs and organizations. Look out for these dates so you can find the perfect fit for you.

    I’m going to be completely honest with you — college can sometimes feel like a lonely place. You might feel sad and overwhelmed and might even just want to go home. But once you find a great group of friends everything will fall into place. 

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    Story by:
    Julia McAleavey, advertising graduate

    Meet #Rowan2024: Music Industry Major Ryan Whitworth

    Exterior photo of Wilson Hall on Rowan's campus

    Today, we speak to incoming Freshman Ryan Whitworth, a Music Industry major from Clifton, NJ (Passaic County). He will be an on-campus resident and is looking forward to starting his college experience at Rowan University and spending time on campus.

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

    I can’t wait to live on campus and begin the full college experience!”

    How or why did you choose your major??

    “I am a Music Industry major. I’m passionate about music and plan to become a music producer one day.”

    Why did you choose a university relatively close to home?

    Even though Rowan is “in state” it actually feels out-of-state to me. I live 11 miles west of New York City, and Rowan feels completely different from where I grew up. I’m excited to live in a part of New Jersey I have never been to before.”

    What is one activity, club, sport or hobby that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan? (Or a new one you’d like to try?)

    I was always a competitive swimmer so I would like to join some sort of club swimming or at least keep swimming as a form of physical fitness.  I’m open to trying anything new that sparks my interest once I start college life.”

    Why Rowan?

    I spent my last summer at Rowan in a Music Industry program and was so impressed with the professors and students. I also love how the campus is enclosed and mapped out. Rowan feels like a classic college campus with a close knit community. I can’t wait to start my college journey at Rowan!”

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    Meet #Rowan2024: Early Childhood Education Major Casey Tettemer

    Today, we talk to incoming freshman Casey Tettemer, an Early Childhood Education major from Hunterdon County, NJ. She will be an on-campus resident and is looking forward to starting her college experience at Rowan University and spending time on campus.

    Casey posing with Rowan University's mascot owl, Whoo R U.

    What are a few things you are looking forward to next year at Rowan?
    I am looking forward to being in a new environment as well as making new friends.”

    How or why did you choose your major?
    I chose my major because I love to teach. Ever since I was little I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I love to teach and I love working with young children.”

    What is one activity, club, sport or hobby that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan? (Or a new one you’d like to try?)
    I played Field Hockey in high school and I would like to continue playing for the Rowan Club Field Hockey team.”

    Why Rowan?
    I chose Rowan because when I first stepped on campus it felt like home. I feel comfortable at Rowan and it’s not too far away from home, but also just far enough.”

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    Photos courtesy of:
    Casey Tettemer
    Unsplash

    Senior Reflects: Future Elementary School Teacher Kimberly Hanson

    Kimberly poses with her daughter.

    Today we feature Elementary Education and History dual major and recent graduate Kimberly Hanson. Before campus closed due to COVID-19, she commuted from her home in Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County). Kimberly transferred to Rowan from Camden County College. 

    What is your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes? My favorite moments are when I Kimberly poses for a selfie in sunglasses and a baseball cap.spent one-on-one time with my professors. It gave me the chance to ask questions that I didn’t feel comfortable asking in class. I’ve had some pretty amazing professors!

    What was your favorite or most meaningful personal moment at Rowan? I’m a full-time mom and live off campus, but a while back I had joined club swimming. I had left because it didn’t fit my schedule anymore. But while I was there, it was a great experience! It was great to get back into the sport and to meet some new people!

    What are your career aspirations and how did the people or programs at Rowan help to support you with those aspirations? My overall aspiration is to become an elementary teacher. All my professors have been helpful but my advisor, April Ellerbe, has been so helpful will my class choices and giving me all the tools I need to succeed! 

    Kimberly Hanson poses for a photo with her boyfriend.

    Do you want to give a thank you shout out to your family, friends, advisors or mentors? Thank you to my family and friends for supporting me through this, but a huge thanks to my boyfriend who has been a huge support system for me. He has been so understanding and helpful when it comes to school, work and our daughter.

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    Senior Reflects: My Favorite Memories at Rowan

    a photo of julia sitting outside the Rec Center

    Today’s story features Julia McAleavey, a senior from Monmouth County, NJ, graduating with a bachelor’s in advertising. Julia transferred to Rowan her sophomore year, from Eastern University in Pennsylvania. 

    My time as a Rowan student is coming to a close. I will be finished with my degree as of the spring semester and it just doesn’t feel real. I am sad to leave, but I am so grateful for all of the friends memories I made along the way. 

    I transferred into Rowan as a spring semester sophomore. I remember moving into my Rowan Boulevard apartment, pleasantly surprised that I had a kitchen and my own bedroom. The university I attended beforehand wasn’t a good fit, so I was nervous and excited to see what Rowan had to offer for me. 

    Julia McAleavey- Senior advertising majorBefore attending Rowan, I had not declared a major. All I knew was that I wanted a career where I could be creative. I then found out that Rowan offered a major in advertising, and after some meetings and taking my Introduction to Advertising class, I knew it was the perfect fit for me. I have made so many memories in my advertising classes and met so many great students and professors.

    I did not have a job at my old school and I knew I wanted one here to make some extra money. Being that I am a certified lifeguard and swim instructor, I walked over to the Student Recreation Center where we have our campus pools. I got an interview and excitedly accepted the job. Upon being hired, I knew that I would be in a better state financially, but what I didn’t know was how awesome everyone was on the aquatics staff. They made me feel welcome as a new transfer, and I consider many of them to be good friends today. 

    Me and my rec center lifeguard coworkers
    Me *far right third row from the bottom* and my lifeguard coworkers at the Rowan Rec Center

    I think my all-time favorite memory from Rowan is being part of the club swim team. I swam competitively my whole life, but stopped at my old school. I figured joining the club at Rowan would help me to build

    Me (right) with some club swim friends
    Me (right) with some club swim friends at a meet.

    friendships and stay active. It was so much fun having water polo practices and competing at meets, and of course the team meals after the meets. I even got to be a leader and build my professional development as the team secretary and social media chair. My favorite part of club swim, however, was the friendships I made that will last a lifetime. We get together regularly outside of practice and I still see friends that graduated almost every week. This is how I know that this bond we have is lifelong. Me getting ready to race backstroke.

    In short, I could not have asked for a better experience at Rowan. I made some many great memories and friends, and also really grew and developed as an individual.

    I’d like to thank all of my friends, advisors, and professors that made this journey so special. To all future and returning Profs: get involved and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! You might change your life in the process. 

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    Story by:
    Julia McAleavey, senior advertising major

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Marketing Major Sarah Forsman

    Today’s TRANSFERmation Tuesday features Sarah Forsman, a junior transfer from Rowan College of South Jersey, Gloucester Campus. Sarah is a Marketing major and commutes to Rowan from Sewell, NJ (Gloucester County) — and sometimes with her mom!

    Sarah wears a black beanie and gray cardigan and smiles under a gazebo.
    How would you tell a fellow student interested in your major that they’re choosing a worthwhile field?
    I chose to be marketing major because I feel that you are opening up many opportunities. You will be able to go into different fields and market whatever it is. Currently, I am working on building a startup called Uncovering Joy to help middle and high school students learn how to manage stress. With the skills I learned through my major, I am able to share new and exciting ways to market Uncovering Joy.

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

    In my major this year, I have been able to learn how to create and implements a marketing plan. I am also learning about market research and how research can help campaigns. Both of these courses are helping me in the process of creating Uncovering Joy.

    Why did you choose Rowan?

    I chose Rowan because it is close to home and I didn’t want to stay on campus. My mom is also a Rowan student and sometimes we commute together. We will be graduating at the same time and will be able to walk together since we went to the same University! She is a finance major!
    What are you most looking forward to at Rowan next year?​
    There is a lot that I am looking forward to at Rowan next year! I am a very active student. I am going to be involved with Chi Alpha, and I founded Rowan’s Bowling Club. This semester was our first, and we had to stop due to Covid-19, but I look forward to continuing it next semester.

    I am also looking forward to developing Uncovering Joy, a nonprofit I am building through various programs in the Rohrer College of Business. I was a participant in the 2019 Idea Challenge and 2020 New Venture Competition.

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    Story by:
    Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major

    Meet #Rowan2024: Biological Sciences & Ice Hockey, George Genzel

    A close up of George wearing an ice hockey uniform, standing close to a young woman.

    Today we feature incoming freshman George Genzel of Clementon, NJ (Camden County), who will live on campus. George will be a biological sciences major and is interested in Rowan Ice Hockey. 

    What is one activity, club, sport or hobby that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan? (Or one new thing you’d like to try?)
    One activity I am planning on continuing at Rowan is ice hockey. I have been playing all my life and hope to contribute as much as I can to the program. Also I am open to joining clubs and meeting new people on campus.George stands wearing his ice hockey uniform, holding skates, with his arm around a young woman.

    Why did you choose a university close to home?

    I chose a University close to home because of the activities in the area. Rowan is a short drive from many popular places like Philadelphia or Ocean City so there will always be plenty to do besides school work.A close up of Genzel's face with friends.

    How or why did you choose your major?
    I plan on majoring in biological sciences. I chose this major because in high school my sciences classes were more interesting to me than any other subject. Whether it was anatomy or chemistry I always took a liking to these classes.

    Why Rowan?
    I chose Rowan because of the exciting atmosphere on campus and the many activities students can be a part of. Being able to pursue a degree while attending a university where there is always something new and exciting to do is important to me and I believe Rowan offers this better than many other colleges.

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    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Haddonfield Native Marybeth Coyne

    Marybeth Coyne- Senior exercise science major

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

    How did you end up at Rowan?

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

    Marybeth Coyne in the pool for swim meet warmups

    What made Rowan feel like home?

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

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

    How has Rowan helped your professional development?

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

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

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

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    Story by:
    Julia McAleavey, senior advertising major