Student by Day, “Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins” by Night

Nick Flagg as Buddy the Elf in Elf the Musical.

Nick Flagg is a senior double major studying both Advertising and Theatre, concentrating in Theatre Education, Acting/Directing and Musical Theatre. After his undergraduate graduation in the spring of 2022, he will continue as a Rowan CADP student working toward a Master of Science degree in Theatre Education. Nick will be certified to teach K-12 theatre in May 2023. In addition to being a student, he looks to engage his surrounding communities as a working actor, director and teaching artist with several theatre companies across South Jersey.

Balancing work and class as a college student is never something that comes easy. But really, when does anything rewarding come easy?

I find that the way to make it all happen is by staying focused on the positive. I adopted this mindset my sophomore year in Acting I, taught by Michael Dean Morgan. He encouraged us to approach scene work with the intention of progressing what we want to happen next. He said we should look to build off of our scene partners and work with them, never against them.

After a while, I started to realize how this should translate to everyday life when we consider how we will achieve our goals and fulfill our passions. Good theatre will always be a collaborative art, just like a life should always be a communal experience. In short, life is best spent with others. This has stuck with me, and the ideals of “togetherness” felt very present during my time working on a holiday show such as Elf the Musical.

Nick as Buddy the Elf in a performance of Elf the Musical.

I have done quite a few productions while enrolled as a student at Rowan, both on the mainstage and with outside theatre companies. Getting to play Buddy in Elf the Musical has been like no other process. It took the most commitment, but has been one of the most rewarding experiences.

The production took place at The Levoy Theatre in Millville, NJ, where they have one of the most beautiful spaces. On a whim, I went to audition for this company that I have never worked with before. It was not too nerve-wracking, because I was with some fellow Profs 𑁋 Lauren Coffey and Natalie Donisi. At callbacks, the three of us found ourselves finding other Rowan students, including Kerry O’Connor and Ben Helbert. Next thing you know, the five of us were all cast in the show together, taking turns on who would drive the carpool, and bringing all that we learned in class to the process. With the intention to work positively, it was also easy to take on this show with so many friends by my side.

In addition to the already established friendships, it was a pleasure to leave with so many new bonds and connections for future projects. There is nothing like getting to do a show with friends, who then become family, let alone a Christmas show during the beginning of the holiday season.

A collage of Nick with castmates, including fellow Rowan students and Admissions Ambassadors, performing in Elf the Musical.
In the bottom right picture from left to right is Ben Helbert (Sophomore Theatre & Dance major), Natalie Donisi (Senior Theatre & Psychology major; CADP/MST Theatre Ed. student), Nick Flagg (Senior Theatre & Advertising major; CADP/MST Theatre Ed. student), Lauren Coffey (Junior History & Education major), and Kerry O’Connor (Freshman Theatre major, Dance minor). Top right picture features the cast and crew. From left to right in the left picture is Nick Flagg as Buddy the Elf, Darryl Thompson as Santa Claus, and Natalie Donisi as Mrs. Claus.

The production ran Nov. 12-21, and all but two shows completely sold out for a theater with almost 800 seats.

When you walked in, you were met with a lobby decked out in holiday decor, featuring trees, lights, hot cocoa and holiday beverages, and even some snow. Typically, a cast’s headshots are featured on a board, but our marketing team brilliantly decided to showcase our headshots in Christmas ball ornaments on a decorated tree. The Christmas spirit was present from the moment you stepped into the building, and surely stayed with you long after.

Nick as Buddy the Elf in a performance of Elf the Musical.

The Mezzanine lobby was where my now good friend Darryl Thompson and I went after the show for a Santa and Buddy meet and greet with many kids … and many adults believe it or not! I loved hearing the crowd’s enjoyment during the show, but nothing beats seeing each kid come up to meet us with excitement.

Christmas never reigned as the top holiday for me … I mean aren’t most theatre people Halloween fanatics? But this year was different. I specifically remember so many sweet kids coming up. Darryl would ask them, “What would you like for Christmas?” and some would say things like “For my family to have a good Christmas” or “To be with my family.” It was incredible to see so many people were so moved by our show and full of the holiday spirit, even at such a young age. I was thankful to see so many friends and family came, along with some of my coworkers in Admissions and my incredible boss Cristin.

Nick as Buddy the Elf sings a solo during a performance of Elf the Musical.

Elf the Musical was a popular choice for so many theater companies this season. In South Jersey, there were at least three productions all going on at the same time. I bring this up because it has been nothing but nonstop support from everyone involved in these productions. We would all send our broken leg wishes on social media, along with wishing a happy opening or closing show to one another. It is important for that mentality to exist in a business like theatre that can get so competitive.

Being a part of moments such as these are reminders of the true meaning of the holidays, and how much care we should all show to one another. The holidays are not always happy for everyone, but actions such as these are what carry us through. Getting to bring the holiday spirit to so many people in such an iconic role was something I will always cherish. I loved getting to hear the roaring applause for my cast after each hilarious bit and touching moment on stage. Community, especially in theatre, has been so important to me, and this experience only enhanced that. And if working in communities full of this hope and respect is how I get to spend the rest of my life, I am in. And getting paid for it isn’t so bad either. 

Nick makes a surprised expression as Buddy the Elf in a performance of Elf the Musical.

Next up you can find me working on Matilda the Musical, where I will be playing Michael Wormwood at The Broadway Theatre of Pitman from Jan. 14 – Feb. 6. Very soon after, I will be teaching acting classes and assistant directing a production of Evita at my home theater, The Grand Theatre: Home of the Road Company. 

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Joyous Kwanzaa, a Blessed Yule and a Happy New Year!  

The cast of Elf the Musical wave goodbye to Santa Claus.

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Production Photos by:
Valerie Neuber

Story by:
Nick Flagg, senior theatre and advertising double major 

Transfer to Transformed: Five Students Share

Exterior shot of a walkway near Wilson Hall.

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

How to Apply for Scholarships at Rowan University

Admissions counselor Amanda Marcks explains how scholarships work at Rowan and shares how prospective students can earn more money for college. Are you a continuing Rowan student? Check out our other story on scholarships for current students here

Reviewed for accuracy and updated October 2023. 

You’re probably asking yourself, “Why can’t I find a scholarship application for Rowan?!” At Rowan, we do not have a separate scholarship application. 

If you apply to Rowan before January 31, you will be reviewed for both admission and for a potential scholarship at the same time. We are test optional, meaning we are not going to be using SAT or ACT to determine merit scholarship eligibility. Instead, we will be taking a close look at your high school transcript and evaluating courses taken, grades received for those courses, and your overall GPA to determine if you are eligible for a merit scholarship.

A student works on his laptop in the Student Center.

Our merit scholarships range from $3,500 to $9,000, and they are annual as long as you maintain a 2.5 GPA while here at Rowan. When reviewing different packages from other colleges and universities, you always want to read the fine print to see if a scholarship is annual or a one-time transaction. 

Along with merit scholarships, we are also on RaiseMe, which is a microscholarship platform that awards students for their achievements. If you are a high school freshman, sophomore or junior, I encourage you to check the site out and put a profile together! By doing the things you’re already doing, you can earn scholarship money for taking an honors course, getting an A in a college prep class, volunteering, visiting Rowan, and many more. 

Two students walk on campus.

Merit scholarships and RaiseMe scholarships are not stackable; it is one or the other. At Rowan, we will always award you the most amount of money. So, if you earned a $9,000 merit scholarship, and you are getting $5,000 from RaiseMe, you will not get a total of $14,000, you will get $9,000 since that is the highest amount. 

Scholarships are a great way to help reduce the cost of attending Rowan. Read more about the scholarships and awards we offer here. If you have any questions regarding scholarships, please feel free to contact our office at

Headshot of Amanda Marcks.
Author Amanda Marcks, Assistant Director of Admissions

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Story by:
Amanda Marcks, Assistant Director of Admissions

Header photo by:
Anthony Raisley, senior history major

Related posts:

Rowan University Application Timeline

College Admissions Glossary

I’m Not Sure What to Major in, is That Normal?

Fear of Failure and How to Move On

Jennifer stands outside by a wooded area of campus.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanUWellness on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Jennifer leaning against the trail bridge on campus.
Author Jennifer Necsutu.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Of course, failure to accomplish a certain goal in our life is a common fear that we all experience. Some say fear can be so paralyzing for certain individuals that they “freeze” instead of “fighting” in response to the anxiety and stress of completing that specific goal. In other words, fear of failure can evolve into an obstacle in our lives and sometimes prevents us from becoming successful. 

According to neuropsychologist Dr. Theo Tsaousides (2017), there are several reasons why people are generally afraid to try to fulfill their goals, which include a setback to one’s self-worth, emotions of shame, loss of social connections, disappointing important people in one’s life and the dread of an uncertain future.

Moreover, fear of failure could potentially impact our mental and physical health should we allow ourselves to be consumed by it. Typically, those who are afraid of attaining a goal can eventually suffer from fatigue, emotional exhaustion, hopelessness, and/or chronic worry as well as become more unhappy with their lives and perform worse in their particular fields (Tsaousides, 2017). 

Jennifer sitting and smiling.

Despite these possible reasons and consequences for being scared to fail, it is crucial for us to realize that failure is what makes us human and is an essential part of our lives. Ultimately, nobody is perfect; we all make mistakes and fail endlessly. Failure does not make us a loser or any less successful than we were before. Rather, it gives us an opportunity to learn new challenges and build our confidence when we bounce back from a difficult situation.

Overall, just as the entrepreneur Courtney Johnson emphasized in his TedTalk (2018), we shouldn’t let the fear of failure prevent us from pursuing our goals, desires and dreams; it is the fear of not trying that we should be afraid of instead. Additionally, we should keep in mind that we are all strong in our own ways and can overcome our individual fears of failing to reach our full potential. Because, in the end, anything is possible if we continue to take our journey of discovering ourselves.

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Story by:
Jennifer Necsutu, junior biochemistry major, Wellness Center intern

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major


Johnson, C. (2018, October). Failure is necessary [Video]. TED.

Tsaousides, T. (2017, December 27). Why Fear of Failure Can Keep You Stuck. Psychology Today.

Beyond The Classroom: an “Enchanted” PR and Marketing Internship

Stock photo of an outdoor wedding ceremony

Enchanted Celebrations logoToday’s story is from Devon Graf, a senior communications studies major self-distancing from her house in Camden County, NJ. Devon joined the Rowan Blog team to wrap up her remaining internship hours, after her internship with Enchanted Celebrations was cut short prematurely due to COVID-19 affecting business. 

I had absolutely no idea where or what I wanted to do for an internship. Luckily, I found Enchanted Celebrations. This company is a photo and video wedding service located in West Creek, NJ. My main focus when applying to this internship was that I noticed I would be doing a lot of public relations and marketing work — perfect for me! I am a Communication Studies major with an Advertising minor. Enchanted Celebrations photo of bride and groom holding hands on a dock with water behind them.

I went full throttle into this internship, I was able to provide my team with innovative ideas and complete all of the tasks that I was given. One thing I take out of this internship is that I became super successful in multi-tasking, stepping out of my comfort zone, and handling each task I was given with a positive attitude. Not only was the work I was given super fun and exciting, but my team members were absolutely incredible! I didn’t go one day not having a great time in the office. 

All semester, I completed various projects relating to event planning and marketing within the wedding industry. For marketing, I contribute to daily blog posts that were shared with numerous clients and marketed across various social media platforms and wedding publications. I became proficient in using their system called CRM, SEO, and various forms of social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Hootsuite, etc. In addition to this, I also got to assist the events team in coordinating event logistics and prepping for weekend staff and weddings! Enchanted Celebrations photo of a bride cutting wedding cake.

Below are some of the amazing works of photography I have worked with. Enchanted Celebrations has a numerous amount of extremely talented photographers and videographers. 

Enchanted Celebrations photo of a bride and groom dancing.

I found this internship through! Indeed is a website agency for job positions. I recommend creating an account if you are looking for your next position somewhere! I was at a standpoint at one moment in time and was clueless where to even start searching. I simply filtered out internship positions near my area and selected public relations and communication fields. Next thing I knew, I had an interview!

I got to show my skill set and gained a whole new one. I was able to be creative and show my passion for public relations and marketing all while learning and being in a wonderful environment.

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Story by:
Devon Graf, senior communication studies major

Header photo courtesy of:

History Major Finds Her Passion for Archiving During Internship

books aligned on a book case.

Julianne at the library

Julianne reading a book at the library

Before COVID-19 social distancing, through her internship with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania this semester Julianne Tarrant was able to figure out what career path she wants to take after graduating in May. The history major from Nutley, NJ (Essex County) also minors in political science and international studies

Julianne at the library choosing a bookJulianne has always liked history, more specifically presidential history. “Their personal lives is the better part, because you learn so much about what they did in class but then you get to know more about them as people and that kind of makes a bigger picture.”

After a tour at Rowan University Julianne really liked the university, as did her mom. “My mom really pushed me to come here and I am really thankful she did that.”

Julianne started off as a history education major, but then decided to drop education and focus on history. “It was really the faculty from the history department that showed me that there was so much more I could do with history aside from teaching, which I never knew before. The faculty opened my eyes, there is so much I can do.”

Dr. Jennifer Janofsky, a professor who teaches public history courses has become one of Julianne’s mentors. Dr. Janofsky was the one who told Julianne about the Historical Society of Pennsylvania internship. “She kind of knew what I wanted to do and what my experiences were already with different internships and she was like ‘you should try the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.’”

When Julianne applied, she did not think she would get the internship Julianne reading a book at the librarybecause she though that other students from other colleges in Pennsylvania had a better chance due to them being closer. To Julianne’s surprise, after her interview within an hour she was already signing papers to start interning there. “I wouldn’t have heard about it if it wasn’t for Dr. Janofsky, I am very thankful.”  

Julianne is currently working on the Philadelphia Orphan Society collection, where she transcribes lots of documents into Excel sheets, to then use that information for the genealogy research that the Historical Society of Pennsylvania performs. Through this internship she has learned to read other people’s cursive writing much better. “It was really hard at first and now I’m starting to get the hang of it.”

Thanks to this internship Julianne said she learned that she really likes archiving and hopes to one day work at one of the presidential library museums.“There are 13 of them in the country, different presidents and just based around them. So, I definitely want to work in museums, preferably ones that relate to presidents.”

Julianne’s advice for future history majors and current history majors is to read all assigned readings. It may seem tedious reading about World War II over and over again, but it is worth it.

“And don’t just study one area of history, try to take it all in because we have a really diverse history staff so take as many classes as you can.”

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Story by:
Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major 

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.”

Like what you see, come visit us!


Story by:
Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

Where Is He Now? Rowan Chemical Engineering Alumnus Theodore Cohen

Engineering Hall at Rowan University

Rowan alumnus Theodore Cohen at his office at IPS

Today we feature chemical engineering alumnus Theodore Maxwell Cohen, originally from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County). Now residing in Gladwyne, PA, he works as a project engineer on the design of pharmaceutical facilities at Integrated Project Services, LLC (IPS). Cohen shares with us how Rowan University helped him figure out what he was truly passionate about.

Before getting his bachelor’s in 2009 and his master’s in 2016 from Rowan, Cohen had to choose what university he wanted to attend. 

“I applied to nine schools and got into all nine of them. I eliminated five of them that were pretty far away. Both of my sisters had gone to college far away, and I saw that it wasn’t all that fun. I filtered it down to Rowan, Rutgers and Udel (University of Delaware),” said Cohen.

After eliminating Rutgers from his list due to the immense campus Rutgers has, it was down to the University of Delaware and Rowan. Cohen visited the University of Delaware and asked, “How are you going to help me succeed?” Cohen said the University of Delaware responded, “We take about 100 chemical engineering majors (ChE’s) every year. We graduate 50 of them as chemical engineers, and the rest we find something for them to do.” He thought, “Huh, those aren’t terribly great odds.”

Cohen then visited Rowan and met with Dr. C. Stewart Slater, professor and founding chair of the chemical engineering department. He asked the same question, and Dr. Slater said: “Well, we take about 30 ChE’s and we graduate around 23 of them as chemical engineers. But if you are willing to work hard, we will help you be successful.”

“At the end of the day, that and my scholarship is why I chose Rowan,” said Profile picture of Rowan alumnus Theodore CohenCohen.

The program has since doubled both its enrollment and full-time faculty, yet still maintains a small faculty-to-student ratio.  

During his time at Rowan, Cohen mentioned that he met some incredible faculty mentors, who really made a positive influence on him.

“I had a couple of great mentors that impacted my life. One of them was Chuck Clerecuzio. He was an adjunct professor who taught a senior level course in biopharmaceutical facility design,” said Cohen. “It was the course that I took that made me realize what I wanted to do in my life. Chuck was my mentor for many years. Unfortunately, Chuck passed away recently.”

Another great mentor who helped Cohen was Dr. Brian Lefebvre. Dr. Lefebvre was a chemical engineering professor at Rowan University from 2004-2008. While completing research for Dr. Lefebvre, Cohen was able to get a paper published as the primary author.

“His specialty was bio process, which is what I really loved. I did three and a half years’ worth of lab work and research for him learning the basics of upstream and downstream bioprocessing. He helped me get a paper published while I was an undergraduate on anion-exchange chromatography,” said Cohen. “We became friends while I was a student, and continued that friendship with him long after I graduated. Brian helped me get my first job out of school at DuPont working on a similar project to his.”

Cohen is currently working at IPS as a project engineer for the design of pharmaceutical facilities. His role is to ensure that the design of the facility is cohesive and meets all of the numerous requirements from both the client perspective as well as regulatory.

His advice for Rowan students is: “Work hard. Try to learn as much as you can. Don’t be so wrapped up in your grades, they’re important but not that important. Learn the information and try to figure out what you love because you will spend the next 40 years working. Do something you enjoy.”

Cohen is thankful for figuring out what he loves. “Brian and Chuck helped me figure out what I was passionate about,” said Cohen.

Like what you see, come visit us!


Story and photography by: 
Iridian Gonzalez,
 senior journalism major 

Rowan University Application Timeline

Two young women stand under a brown and gold school colors balloon arch at Rowan University at Accepted Students Day.

Today we feature insight from admissions counselor Amanda Marcks, who has been an assistant director of admissions at Rowan since 2017. She reviews first-year applications (formerly known as freshmen applications), and was previously an admissions representative at Ocean County College. Amanda was a transfer student to Rowan University and graduated in 2015 with a bachelor of arts in communication studies. 

Story reviewed for accuracy October 2023; first published 2019. 

At Rowan University, we review applications on a rolling basis. What that means is once I receive all the required documents needed in an application, I will review the complete application and send out a decision. Since we review applications this way, we do not have Early Action or Early Decision.

Below is a timeline of the Rowan application and when your student should expect a decision from the university!

Amanda Marcks smiles in outdoor sunshine under a gazebo on the Rowan University campus.


The application is available to all students interested in applying to Rowan. Students have the option to apply via Common App, Coalition App, or through our Rowan University application. There is no preference when it comes to the application and each application asks the same questions. Students don’t necessarily have to submit their application as soon as it becomes available, but it is a good idea to start looking it over and thinking about the essay prompts for their college essay.

A mother and son smile happily under a brown and gold school color balloon arch at Rowan University accepted students day.


Start having your student ask people to write their letter of recommendations! At Rowan, we require at least one letter of recommendation, and we accept up to five. Keep in mind, teachers and school counselors write A LOT of letters of recommendation, so you want to make sure they have plenty of time to write a well-written letter. Please note, home schooled applicants choosing to apply test optional will be required to submit two letters of recommendation.

Your student should also be drafting their college essay and having their teachers help revise and make edits.  

A drone view of the Rowan athletic field, with the mascot of the Prof in the middle on the grass.


At this point, your student should have their letters of recommendation written, their college essay ready to go, and the application complete and ready to be submitted. October is a great time to hit the “submit” button on the application and start sending test scores (if you choose to send them), letters of recs and high school transcripts.

We are a test optional school; we will consider your test scores should you submit them. There are some exceptions where test scores are required; see our Test Optional page for more information. If you are sending test scores, they must be sent to Rowan University through College Board or ACT directly. 

Your student will also need to see their high school counselor and request their high school transcript be sent to Rowan.

If you are going to be applying for financial aid, be aware the FAFSA becomes available on Oct. 1. I always tell students to sit down with their parents/guardians in early October to complete that. The sooner you get the FAFSA submitted, the sooner you will get your financial aid package.

After submitting the application, your student will receive a link to their Admissions Status Page. This page will list all received materials and show which materials have not been received yet. It will also identify the student’s admission counselor and it will include their phone number and email. If you have any questions about the application process, we encourage you to connect with us!

Once a decision is made on your student’s application, the status page will reflect their decision letter; and if a FAFSA is submitted, you will be able to view the College Financing Plan. There will also be a section for your student to reply to their offer of admission, and it will show their next enrollment steps if they choose to call Rowan University home. 

Water fountains spray water upward on Rowan Boulevard.


If your student submitted all their required documents in October, November may be a waiting game. This is a great time to go re-visit some of the schools your student applied to and meet with faculty members from the department/area of interest your student applied to.

A golden hued campus beauty photo showing golden decorative grasses and trees about to change color.


By December, your student should receive their decision if they applied in early October. Keep in mind, this can fluctuate depending on volume. When your student does receive their decision, they will also receive information regarding merit scholarships, and they will receive financial aid information a few weeks following.

Snow covered HollyBush Mansion at Rowan University.


Continue to visit colleges that your student has been admitted to and attend Accepted Student Days. This will allow your student to see a school through the eyes of an admitted student, instead of a prospective student.

This is also a great time to compare financial aid awards and start thinking about which school is the right fit for you.

A drone view of the town of Glassboro, with the water tower in the distance and top of Bunce tower in the foreground.


Time to make your decision! When you are ready to confirm your enrollment to Rowan University, your student can visit their Admissions Status Page to reply to the offer of admission. Once your student confirms their enrollment, the status page will list all of their next enrollment steps (orientation, housing, testing, etc.).

A happy family of five hold #RowanPROUD signs under a brown and gold school color balloon arch at Accepted Students Day.

Like what you see? 

Story by:
Amanda Marcks, Assistant Director of Admissions

Related Posts:

Things I Wish I Knew Before College

Interesting Clubs To Check Out At Rowan University

How To Handle Homesickness: An RA’s Perspective

Danielle’s Journey from the Ed.D. Program to Overseer of $20 Million

Woman sitting in pink lawn chair laughing while the sun shines down

Meet Dr. Danielle B. Jubanyik, a Rowan alumna and Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County) native with her Ed.D. in educational leadership. Danielle is currently working at the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development as the State Director for Adult Education & Literacy Services. She is responsible for $20 million worth of funds that are used to help New Jersey adults attain a stronger education and hopefully lead to a brighter future. Learn how Rowan’s Ed.D. program helped prepare her for making a powerful impact in the New Jersey community.Professional business woman smiling at the camera

Danielle started her Rowan University journey 20 years ago, finishing her undergrad with a B.A. in English with a secondary education certification in 2003. Five years later, she earned her M.Ed. in teacher leadership with a writing arts concentration, and then completed her Ed.D. in 2013.

“Education has always been a passion of mine,” said Danielle. “One of my fondest memories is playing school as a child over summer breaks.” Danielle’s passion for education was easily matched at Rowan — a fact she knew early on as her mom attended the school when it was known as Glassboro State College. It became a “no-brainer” for her to attend, pairing the school’s positive reputation with its affordability.

“The rigor for this doctorate was intense, the amount of research requirements helped me to become a stronger writer and speaker, and the cohort portion allowed me to grow from others with different perspectives,” Danielle revealed. The cohort allows students to build off one another in the program, providing an experience with diversity and multiple facets for students to grow from.

At the beginning of the program you conduct research into a topic of your choosing associated with education, leading you to write the research portion (Chapter 1) of what will become a dissertation. Once this portion is completed, it must be presented to a dissertation chair (chosen by the student) for review and approval. “Presenting to the dissertation chair allows them to judge whether you can read, write, research, synthesize information and demonstrate your dedication,” Danielle explained.

Following this initial check-point you continue with the required coursework, with each class acting as a different puzzle piece for the dissertation. “You may begin to meet folks in-person and may be doing surveys or phone interviews,” said Danielle, referring to the bulk of the program. “In another class you’ll learn about social justice — potentially writing a chapter about why it’s important to learn about the perceptions and professional development people are receiving to produce a well-versed teacher.”

Once you’re finished writing the dissertation, you present a Rowan-formatted package to a dissertation committee (a group of individuals selected by the student to review and critique the work). After passing their approval, you schedule the dissertation symposium. This openWoman leaning against a wall while the sun shines through a window behind her event allows the student to present all findings while arguing their research to a committee that will judge whether you’re ready to receive the title of doctor.

The experiences Danielle had throughout her time in the Ed.D. program prepared her for her current role as the State Director for Adult Education & Literacy Services. As a representative for the state of New Jersey in Washington, D.C. she needs to hold strong communication skills that allow her to defend her views and argue for her opinions. “All of these pieces of the Ed.D. program: multitudes of research, the rigor, the accountability, speaking components all factor into my job,” said Danielle. Rowan’s Ed.D. program provides students all of these opportunities for an impactful career that can help change lives for the better.

Like what you see? Come visit us!


Story and photography by:
Alexander Belli, new graduate with a B.A. in public relations and advertising

MBA Alumnus and Medical Student Nathan Carroll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Story and photography by:
Chad Wittmann, senior journalism major

Scholarships 101: Why Your Freshman Should Apply for Continuing Scholarships at Rowan

Three Rowan students jumping in front of the Chamberlain Student Center

Once the celebratory clapping has drifted away at the high school senior awards ceremony, you might be thinking, “How am I going to make up the difference once this freshman-year only scholarship from our community disappears?”

Once your son or daughter is a Rowan University student, they are eligible to apply for Rowan University Foundation and Continuing Student Scholarships

Applications generally open in the beginning of the fall semester and close in mid-December, around final exam time. 

Screech to a halt. Sear that in your brain. Yes — once you kiss your darling freshman goodbye as they head out the door to live on campus or commute, it’s around that time of year that you need to plan for the upcoming year of scholarships. 

Mom and Dad, we know your student is an adult, but my advice is to be on top of this. New adults are still fine-tuning their time management skills — throw into the mix getting used to college, making new friends and having a whole new routine, and something is bound to slip through the cracks. Do NOT let it be your student’s scholarship opportunity. 

More than 200 scholarships are available, all funded through private donations (not tuition). To get these scholarships, students need to … apply! You would be surprised at how many students do not! Last year over $2 million in support was awarded. Get a piece of that!

Rowan student looking at form

Check in with your student to make sure they are setting the time aside to complete the application. It requires three letters of recommendation and, yes, it can be super awkward to ask someone for a letter of recommendation — especially a new teacher or academic advisor who you recently met. Reassure your student that this happens all the time. Literally, all the time. Tell them they can’t push off asking for letters — the people they are approaching may not say it, but I will: “A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”

Encourage your student to develop a relationship with faculty and advisors. They are people too! Visit during scheduled office hours or schedule an appointment, stand out in class by participating in group discussions and … for many faculty and advisors, December is a busy month. It’s simply not possible to say yes to a scholarship applicant looking for a letter of recommendation with a deadline of tomorrow. 

Rowan's Brandi Blanton standing near Savitz Hall
             Brandi Blanton

One last helpful hint: encourage your student to get involved on campus. Community service and school involvement weren’t just to bolster their chances at getting into college. In addition the social, emotional and health benefits, many scholarships consider campus leadership and participation in on-campus and community activities.

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Story By: Brandi Blanton, financial literacy expert

Who to Ask for Letters of Recommendation?

Rowan admissions officer Amanda Kuster working at her desk in Savitz Hall

Letters of recommendation are a vital piece of a student’s application. In addition to the application, college essay, high school transcripts and test scores, letters of recommendation give an admissions counselor insight as to who the student is beyond what is seen on the other supporting documents.

Rowan students working at a table At Rowan University, we require at least one letter of recommendation and we accept up to five. So, who should be writing your student’s letter of recommendation?!

  1.        A High School Teacher

A high school teacher is a really great person to ask for a letter of recommendation! They can speak to your student’s academic success, struggles that they have overcome and about their character.

  1.       School Counselor

A high school counselor meets with the student throughout the year and is a crucial part of a student’s journey to life after high school. School counselors typically get swamped with writing letters of recommendations, so be sure to have your student ask for a letter of recommendation as early on in the year as possible.

  1.       Employer

An employer can really highlight a student’s life and work ethic outside of the classroom. Most student’s applications give admissions counselors an idea of who they are in the classroom, so it is always nice to read letters from people who know your student outside of academia. An employer can also highlight a student’s work ethic and strengths.

  1.       Coach/Youth Group Leader/Club Advisor

If your student does not work because of sports, academics, etc., a coach, youth group leader, troop leader or club advisor could be a great person to ask! Just like an employer, these people can really highlight a student’s leadership and teamwork skills.

Rowan staff posing with the Rowan Prof

Make sure your student gives the person who is writing their letter of recommendation enough time to write a thoughtful piece. It is also a good idea to have your student provide the person who is writing the letter a copy of their resume and some information about the school they are applying for, including their intended major!

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Story by:
Amanda Marcks, Assistant Direct of Admissions 

Related posts:

I’m Not Sure What to Major in, is That Normal?

Rowan Foundation Scholarships: Which Ones To Apply To and Where To Find Them

Rowan University Application Timeline

A Student’s Mission to Making the World Better

Young male student leaning against bridge with stone building in the background

Joseph Salvo, a native of Italy, came to the United States six years ago without being able to fluently speak English. Now, living in Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County), Joseph is a graduating college senior who leads a personal research project exploring the potential correlation between community health and cancer diagnosis. Learn more about what this political science and economics double major is doing to make the world better.

Joseph came to the United States during his junior year of high school when his family decided to make a fresh start here. He knew he wanted to go to college, but wasn’t sure where he wanted to attend. Rowan University for him became a prime choice for its location and known Young male student inside a white gazebo leaning against the railingaffordability. Although, once here Joseph quickly realized that the professors were another strength Rowan held. “The professors are all extremely accessible,” Joseph continues, “and they make themselves available beyond what I would consider their duty.”

Political science was a perfect fit for Joseph because of his desire to better understand the intricacies of government and because of his interest in law. Rowan’s department pushed him early on during his freshman year to research and receive an internship – better preparing him for the potential roles he could fill after college. Joseph attributes his current internship at New Jersey’s Superior Courts located in Atlantic City to the resources provided to him through College of Humanities & Social Sciences, which houses the political science and economics department. Joseph works in the Children’s Court Unit – associated with Family Court – and helps handle Young male student grabbing a library book off the shelfcases involving children at risk of abuse or being cared for by unfit parents. “Through working here I have the opportunity to see the behind the scenes action; being a part of the process that most people aren’t witnesses to.” Joseph explains, “Gaining this experience further prepared me for more intense and involved work.” Through Joseph’s hard work and assistance from his professors at Rowan he gets to be a real help to children who aren’t in the best situations.

Young male student working on a desktop computer with maps on the screen
Joseph conducting data analysis of his research in Robinson Hall.

Further into his college career, Joseph’s professors encouraged him to create and develop his own research project as a goal to demonstrate his ability and growth gained during his time at Rowan. “I was interested in how cancer plays a role in people’s lives – there’s already demographics with disadvantages and I wanted to see if cancer further attributes to any inability these demographics have,” Joseph revealed. Currently, Joseph has already reviewed lifestyles and genetic markers that attribute to cancer. Having discovered prostate cancer being passed down in families; while breast cancer can better be associated with lifestyles such as eating habits and living environments.

The second phase of Joseph’s research that he plans to continue with will be assessing areas with high cancer diagnosis and attempting to discover any environmental similarities among these regions. His end goal is to produce a cost-benefit analysis to highlight the current cost of health care Young male student sitting at a table studying and writing notesassociated with cancer treatments and compare them to the cost of transitioning to more environmental-friendly methods. Overall, Joseph clearly has a mindset a strong ambition to make the world a better place for everyone to live in.

“I did not expect Rowan to be so fulfilling, I walked in with lower expectations. However, Rowan met all my needs and then some. People both in academic resources and professors have always gone above and beyond to help me. I really appreciate this and am thankful for choosing Rowan.” Joseph stated. And Rowan is thankful to have such a dedicated and hard-working student who’s already making positive changes to the world. What goals do you have in your life that Rowan can help you achieve?

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Story and photography by: Alexander Belli
Senior, public relations and advertising double major