Unlocking Magical Career Opportunities: One Rowan University Student’s Path with the Disney College Program

Discover the Benefits of the Disney College Program: Real-World Experience, Networking, and Lifelong Memories Meet Sydney Cella, a business management major, entrepreneurship minor, and John H. Martinson Honors College student from Washington Township (Gloucester County), New Jersey. Sydney will graduate in about a year and half from now, and participated in the Disney College Program. […]

75 Things Out-Of-State Students Love About Rowan University

A student wearing a Rowan yellow dress and Rowan brown graduation gown tosses her graduation cap in the air in front of the Rowan University arch sign.

This story is a part of Rowan’s centennial series to celebrate 100 years of Rowan University. Rowan Blog contributor Jordyn Dauter, a junior from Quakertown, PA, double majoring in elementary education and dance, collected these insights from fellow students.  David Martinek, a graduate student in the MS Teaching: Theatre program from Glen Burnie, Maryland:“I like […]

Rowan University Social Media Seeks Student Workers

Student stands holding a DSLR camera, taking a photo.

Award-Winning Social Team Seeks Students For Experiential Learning Opportunities On Rowan’s Glassboro Campus Be creative. Be dynamic. Be a part of Rowan University’s social media team. With paid student worker positions available within both content creation and social media community monitoring, gain the experience you need to propel your post-graduation career forward with a well-rounded […]

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

Mark wears his graduation gown for a close up portrait.

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

Past Student Government President’s Mom Shares Insight on Transitioning to Parenting a College Student

Paige and her mom walking down Rowan Boulevard.

Today we hear from Lori Bathurst, a Rowan mom from Gloucester County, NJ. Lori’s daughter Paige will enter her senior year this fall as a supply chain and logistics major through the Rohrer College of Business, and holds the distinction of being a past president of Student Government Association (SGA). 

As an experienced Rowan parent, Lori shares her thoughts and insight to help new Rowan University parents as they navigate the transition from parenting a child at home to parenting a young adult embarking on their college experience. 

Paige sits formally on a rock ledge with pink flowers around her.
Paige, as a pre-first year student, visiting campus.

What are some first year essentials parents should know about what to bring, if their student is living on campus?

As a result of the pandemic, Paige moved on to campus as a sophomore and lived in an apartment her first year. Some items she utilized that were helpful was a foam mattress topper to help make her bed extra comfortable, along with a variety of pillows since dorm beds are beds and sofas depending on the time of the day. I think clever storage containers to help stay organized are extremely helpful. A drying rack for extra space for towels was something she needed once she was used to living on campus. Ikea was a great place for shopping. Target and Amazon were both very useful. If a student is staying in an apartment, it would be wise to start with basic kitchen items before shopping, instead of shopping as if the students will be cooking gourmet meals. Once they are settled in their apartment, they’ll discover if they need additional kitchen items depending on how much they actually cook.

How involved were you in facilitating a relationship between your student and their roommate, if at all? How involved were you in the decorating process?

I was not involved in facilitating identifying a roommate or determining a decorating process. That’s best left to the Rowan student as they discover themself.

Paige and her mom stand on Rowan Blvd.

How did you adjust to an ’empty nest’? How did you manage the emotions of drop off/move in?

Paige has younger twin brothers so we didn’t have to adjust to an ’empty nest’. Rowan was the perfect fit for Paige because she is close to her brothers and us, along with our extended family who all live in Gloucester County. She was able to live on campus and do her college thing, while connecting with her family when there was a special occasion or holiday. Her brothers were freshmen when she was a senior in high school so they experienced Spring 2020 together. She supported them through their high school careers and always made it a point to attend a marching band competition, fall play or spring musical performance, or tennis match at some point during the year to cheer them on like they had cheered her on during high school. As Paige’s parents, we are grateful that Rowan allows her to explore so many different avenues while still being able to easily connect with home when she was able. We also loved that we could attend events on campus when asked because she was nearby.

What is your stance on home visits? Do you limit them, to nudge your student toward making the most of the on campus experience?

We didn’t need to limit them because Paige wasn’t interest in staying at our house for entire weekends when she moved onto campus. She makes the most of her on campus experience by getting involved in a variety of activities so her schedule is always pretty filled outside of her class meetings. I think if my child was leaning toward coming home for entire weekends frequently in the beginning, I would encourage my child to try to commit to staying on campus during the weekends. The way I would do this would be to support them in finding out which activities are sponsored for the weekend. The first way a parent can do this is by encouraging them to check out Rowan After Hours (RAH) which sponsors activities at the Student Center on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 pm-1 am. The activities are student-centered, change daily, and are designed to be no pressure and fun. Your student could invite another student they met in a class, in their dorm, or in a club to go to a RAH event and see how they like it. There are also special events at Wilson Hall, plenty of athletic programs, the Recreation Center, and annual events like Homecoming and Hollybash. These are all good reasons to stay on campus more often during the school year. There are so many ways to get involved and make connections. If a student goes home too often, they might not get to fully experience these events, which will really help them balance their challenging coursework with a the reward of developing relationships with others and getting involved with their community.

Paige stands confidently with her arm on the rail behind Business Hall.

How did you support your student through homesickness?

Our family lives close enough to campus that it was probably hard to imagine our student feeling “homesick.” If that did happen, however, I would probably use some of the following strategies – send encouraging texts at different times during the day, have a set time or times to check in during the week with different formats – maybe a phone call, FaceTime, or Zoom. I would do this a couple times a week if needed, but I would work with my student to set a schedule ahead of time that meets his or her needs. It would be beneficial to not be having check-ins every day, but instead to help them be able to stretch them out. Maybe once a day, if they are struggling at first, and then move to every other day, then to every three days , and so on to help them become more independent. If they are living on Rowan’s campus, approaching their Community Assistant would be a great step because the Community Assistant can share some strategies for coping with homesickness and share some activity ideas to help them get more involved and feel more connected with campus activities. There are a lot of volunteer opportunities on campus and that’s always a great way to meet new people and to do something that helps you feel good and stay busy resulting in less homesickness.

How did you support your student through illness and/or mental health needs?

Teach your child that the Health Center and Counseling Center are their resources that are there to help them. When they are ill, they can visit the Health Center before urgent care or the emergency room depending on the severity of their illness and the hour of the day. The counseling center provides a variety of services and the counselors are interacting with many other students who are experiencing similar challenges. The counselors are specially trained to help them. Students should follow their gut, and reach out for help when that’s needed – to a friend, professor, community assistant, doctor at the health center or counselor at the counseling center, etc. Let them know that you will always be there to support them and that you always hope for open, transparent communication so they don’t have to be afraid of letting you know if they are struggling. Make sure they know about the 988 Crisis & Suicide Hotline that operates nationally. Additionally, there is a pet therapy facility on campus. There are spirituality and religious services available on campus. There are multiple religious affiliations in Glassboro and surrounding towns eager to support Rowan students. No matter the physical illness or mental health need, there are services available. Always reach out when help is needed.

An over the shoulder shot of Paige and her mom.

How do you balance fostering independence vs. safety concerns – aka, do you require check-ins with parents? What’s your stance on Life360?

We don’t have Life360 on our phones. We can track through our phones to see where a phone is, but we recognize it’s possible for young people to disable that feature. We have talked to our daughter via text, phone, or FaceTime a couple times a week throughout her time at Rowan. She also attends special events with us because we live so near to the campus. I personally think it’s healthy to give more freedom and independence to our young people. Thinking back to when we were kids, our parents couldn’t track us, check our grades online, etc. They trusted us to be responsible and tell the truth. For the most part, young people do that. It’s natural that they might be leaving “a small part” out of the story as they grow and mature. Parents know their students best and should follow the students lead to a certain degree. Determine where the happy place is for your relationship between safety and independence. Have the conversations early and often and make sure you are on the same page. Regular, clear communication early and often can help prevent a feeling of being caught off guard later on.

How do you approach spending money – is your student 100% on their own for ‘fun money’? Did you nudge your student to get a job locally or on campus? Did you prepare your student for budgeting?

Our student has a job on campus for spending money. That money is her budget to use for things that she wants or thinks she needs. She has worked really hard obtaining scholarships and works as a community assistant to cover her room and board. My husband and I gave her a car, pay for its insurance, and maintenance. We pay for medical insurance and cover all medical costs. We help toward the cost of travel, some purchases, and some things that are unexpected. When she is with us meals are covered, tickets to events, etc. If she is going out with friends to events, she typically covers those costs herself. Occasionally, I look over her spending to make sure it’s reasonable. She has a savings account and an account for her bank card. It’s good to obtain a credit card in the latter half of college to begin to establish credit.

Paige sits on Bunce Hall's marble steps.

What is your stance on grades – do you ask your student to show you their grades, or do you log into their Canvas yourself for updates? Why does your approach work for you?

We verbally check in with our student about grades a couple times a semester. She usually shows her grades to us after semesters, but we haven’t always been formal about that step. We have never logged onto Canvas ourselves to check her grades. Again, when I was a student at Rowan, our grades came in the mail. I would open the envelope and share my grades with my parents because I was proud of my hard work not because I had to. My parents gave me a thousand dollars toward college, but other than that I paid for my college education by working throughout the four years and choosing to commute. I never could have done it by myself if my parents didn’t allow me to live at home rent free and help me out if I had an emergency with an unexpected cost. Our goal for our children is that they will do the right thing due to their internal motivation, not fully as a result of their external motivation centered on me.

What conversations did you have around safety and socializing before your student started college?

We have talked about our hopes and expectations surrounding drugs and alcohol. We discuss sexual relationships and safety on campus. Sadly, gun violence prevention and response is a conversation that parents have to have with their young person. Students should review the safety resources with their community assistants and ask additional questions when they have them. Parents can sign up for a texting service to let you know if a safety or security concern has occurred on campus. Mental health discussions should also be part of the conversations you have this summer before arriving on campus. If your child responds that they are fine and don’t need the information when you bring it up this summer, tell them it’s okay, you still want to talk because it might be something they remember in the future when they need some help and might be a conversation they can refer back to when they are trying to help another person.

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Next Stop: Becoming a People Person in a Post-COVID World

An Admissions Ambassador gives an outdoor tour of Rowan Campus to prospective students and their families.

Connor Bicknell, a rising senior communication studies major from Piscataway, NJ (Middlesex County) shares this first-person perspective on how being an admissions ambassador helped him step out of his comfort zone after COVID-19.

Connor Bicknell, in a Rowan sweatshirt, sitting and smiling at the camera.

In March 2020, and for the seemingly blurry amount of time after, the world was in a constant state of suspense, fear, and anxiety. The result of lockdowns on our social cognition was apparent, and it was clear that returning to the level of social activity that we once achieved as young students would take some time to regain. Especially for me.

Being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at birth, my people skills were at a significant disadvantage from the get-go, fluctuating greatly over time. That didn’t help when COVID kept me home for months, especially at a significant time like my high school graduation, where I took my diploma from a latex-gloved hand into the passenger seat of my mom’s car. From there, I was now supposed to go to college? Go from living at home for months on end to living on my own in a welcoming but yet still unfamiliar environment? This would be a challenge. However, during the unique experience that was my freshman year, I would see campus tours throughout the day, and after enough times of seeing this, the idea sparked. I was going to take charge of my social anxiety and push it further than it has ever gone. I was going to be an admissions ambassador. I was going to lead campus tours for interested students.

An Admissions Ambassador prospective students and their families outside Rowan University Welcome Center.

By the end of that year, I had successfully interviewed and been hired for the job beginning the next semester. After learning the route, the stops, the information, and of course, incorporating my signature corny jokes, I was ready to be a student leader on campus. Being responsible for relaying information as it relates to academic programs, recreational activities, student life, and more was a pretty daunting task at first, but now, nearly two years later, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. I find it almost freeing, in a sense. While I was nervous for the first tour or two, every one after that just got better and better as the information flowed out more naturally. I have enjoyed so much of my time interacting with students and families, who come from all over New Jersey and even the country. And even better, I find that my social anxiety has dwindled.

I am no longer afraid of speaking in public, or showing my more humorous personality to people I am unfamiliar with. I have made many incredible friends and connections working in this program as well, who have all made my Rowan experience infinitely better. The job also brings a lot of unique opportunities, like having the opportunity to work directly with the Office of Admissions and other departments on campus and helping facilitate large events like Open Houses and Accepted Students Day.

Even recently, at our annual Accepted Students Day admissions event, two families approached me and told me that they remembered me giving their tour. That was when it hit me. I have put forth such an impactful and positive effort that I stood out to these families who are in the midst of making one of the biggest decisions of their lives. 

To me, this isn’t just a job on campus. This is a way for me to not only connect with others, but with myself in my own way. It’s like being a friend, business partner, life counselor, and stand-up comedian all at the same time, and it feels just as rewarding as each of those combined. Being an admissions ambassador at Rowan has helped me step out of my comfort zone, and so I hope to reflect that as much as possible in the tours I give, to inspire prospective students to step out of their comfort zones, and inspire them to call Rowan their home. 

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Written by: Connor Bicknell, rising senior communication studies major

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

Co-Founder of Interdisciplinary Learning Lab for Creatives and Entrepreneurs Shares Her Experience

Isabella Shainline posing in a work space.

Today, we hear from Isabella Shainline, a junior English Education major, Photography minor, and John H. Martinson Honors College student from Pitman, NJ (Gloucester County). Isabella co-founded Business Hall’s Creatives 230, which is an interdisciplinary learning lab for creatives and entrepreneurial students. “Last year, my photography professor Jenny Drumgoole and I went over to Business […]

From Jersey City to Future Jersey Teacher, Jonathan Dale Shares What Fuels Him

Jonathan is sitting in a chair looking off in the distance.

In this edition of #PROFspective, we discuss with Jonathan Dale, an elementary education major, his intrinsic desire to go into education as well as the different motivations that have fueled him to go into the schooling system. Jonathan, a sophomore from Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County) also serves as marketing coordinator for Rowan After Hours (RAH).

So what was high school like for you in Jersey City?

I’m a product of the Jersey City public school system and I’m proud to be able to say that. There’s about seven public high schools in Jersey City. Where I went to school it was specifically for performing arts. Even though students were separated based on what they wanted to do, everyone still knew everyone. 

As a Black man, how often did you see teachers like yourself? 

All four years of high school; I can’t really complain. I think I only had one or two teachers that I couldn’t relate myself to. I think that because of that, it was one of the reasons as to why I knew that teaching was something that I could do. With me seeing other people being able to put themselves in such a position it helped me envision myself in the same spot. I was able to pick up so many different teacher mentors from my school experience. I think every year I had a teacher who was Hispanic, Black or even international, such as from India. My school did a pretty good job at making sure I could see myself as a teacher. 

Jonathan is standing in front of James Hall with his arms crossed.

How has your time been here so far at Rowan?

My experience has been good. I think now I’m getting more of the behind the scenes view. As I’m working through the school now I feel as if it’s become a lot better because of the friendships I’ve started to create with people. I’ve only been here a year, but I really do feel the appreciation and support here. I was just telling my coworkers about this, but just the other day it was my birthday and I had around 20 people text me and tell me “happy birthday!” I can’t remember how we met but just knowing that connection is there feels so gratifying. 

For yourself, you’re in the process of becoming a future educator.  What do you think is necessary for someone who’s thinking about going into the education field?

I think that at a certain point,  you feel like it’s something that you know you can accomplish. You have those understandings where you can kind of sit back and reflect on things like “I’m actually inspiring other people, what else can I do?” Of course, there are a plethora of different things that you can go into within the education field like becoming a counselor. I was fortunate enough to have teachers who were minorities, it helped me see myself in a similar career and know I’m not alone. I know that there are situations where a lot of people don’t have that same experience. However, I also think this brings out a great opportunity. You might not see people like yourself in school, if that’s the case do it yourself. Make a name for yourself. Instead of waiting for something to happen, start the next big trend of your city and start trailblazing different paths for young people. 

Jonathan is in James Hall sitting in a chair.

How did you come into RAH (Rowan After Hours)? How did that type of dynamic come to be?

I have a funny story about that. A while ago I was on the phone with my mom and remembered asking her for money. I still remember, my mom had told me “You need to find a job.” When she had told me that I remember I had looked down and I had an immediate response. I replied back to her and said “I think this is our lucky day”, the floor tiles were advertising for Rowan After Hours. It was probably one of the best moments that could have happened to me. I’ve made so many meaningful connections with RAH and it’s really helped me develop as a person and leader as the marketing coordinator. 

What drew you towards elementary education?

Going back to high school, I was a part of a mentorship program. They have students from my school go to other diverse schools around the area. I remember doing that my freshman year of high school. Another thing about Jersey City is that the school system is not that good. To put it lightly, we do have our rough places. But I remember going to one of the roughest schools in the district, at least in terms of trouble and behavior with students. I would go there and teach these students about different aspects that mean a lot to myself, such as bullying. You know, I’ve had family members that were personally affected by bullying and I would tell the students of the different experiences that go on. For the students, I think they knew I wasn’t just coming up with some generic story, they knew that I was being sincerely genuine. Because of my work with that, I think that was the beginning of when people, specifically kids that I talked to from before, would start coming up to me and telling me how my interactions had mattered to them. Kids come up to me all the time with things like “Jon, I remember you. Do you remember coming to my school? You taught me about bullying, drugs etc.” There’s something about that, I believe it to be the most gratifying part of imparting knowledge on people. Teachers will always say that they’re in it for the long run. With elementary education, I think this is the part of kids’ lives where they’re starting to make choices for themselves and you can really make a difference for them. 

What do you think of the lack of male teachers in the education field? 

At first, it was a bit shocking to me. I remember specifically last semester where I was one of the only guys in my class. I had thought it was a bit odd and I do feel as if there could be more males in the field. For most people, their male teachers are usually centered on physical education; but it doesn’t have to be like that. I just think that really constraining yourself into one field that you might not feel passionate about really isn’t the most optimal way to try and live your life. I’m actually apart of a project which is solely focused on increasing male practitioners and classroom teachers. It’s a program centered around men of color and enrolled students where they are paired off with a mentor. It’s not just like a very usual conversation with your mentor, it’s always extremely deep and eloquent in terms of context. Personally, I talk to my mentor just about every week. We discuss the different ways that we ourselves can improve ourselves and our mentors also help different parts of the education process that isn’t necessarily discussed enough; like finding clinical practices, data, networking with different school districts. I do believe that men are moving in the right direction and we’re starting to see more diversity in the field. 

Jonathan is looking off in the distance wearing a Rowan hat.

What drew you to Rowan? 

It’s such a funny thing. When it comes to me and my mom, almost everything that we do could be a coincidence. Covid had occurred during my junior year and I recall being with my mom and looking at all of the different college shows. At the time, virtual tours were especially big just because of how no one could get to any of the campuses. I remember doing research with her and something had caught my eye. I had known barely anything about the school but I was extremely perplexed over it. I remember seeing Rowan and asking myself how I never had heard of this university before. It was hitting all of my check marks at the time. In Jersey? Two hours away? I was extremely interested and was ready to sit through those three-hour virtual campus tours. I was mulling over a few other options like Moorehouse but after I had got to around the three-hour mark with the video, I was sold on the dream.

What attributes of Rowan made you know that was going to be your spot? 

One of the most important aspects that I was looking for with colleges was the emphasis on location and traveling. Knock on wood, but if anything were to happen, I think one of the biggest things that I need is the security of knowing I’m not too far from my family. When I was looking at different colleges the ones that I was really interested in unfortunately were in different states or many hours away. During this process of figuring out where I wanted home to be the next four years I figured that I had wanted to stay home in New Jersey. There’s something about it; I know that it’s somewhere I can build a life in and be successful for years after college. 

In regards to my parents, I didn’t want to make things difficult for them. Of course, I don’t want them to drive two hours to see me, but I think that it’s far enough and also close enough. If I ever get that feeling where I want to go and see my mom I’m fortunate enough to be able to get in my car and still do so. It’s really reassuring knowing I have that security. 

How do you envision yourself as a teacher? We talked about how you’ve been able to connect with all these kids. How do you envision yourself as a teacher? What do you hope to accomplish once you do become an educator? 

I always envisioned myself being that teacher where students could come to and know that everything is going to be okay. I want to be the teacher where I can hear things like “Mr. Dale I’m having a bad day. Can I stay in your room?” I want to create and cultivate a safe space for my students where they know they can come and see and we can come up with a solution together. That’s always been one of the biggest aspects of my life. I think that all my values are increasing for the hope that kids can get taught irregardless of what’s going on. I’m a teacher. It genuinely makes me really happy just to say things like that.

Jonathan is standing and smiling with his arms crossed.

How did your family react when you told them of your plans of pursuing education?

It’s funny because I feel like I was often told “your mom’s a teacher, therefore you want to be a teacher.” When we actually sat down and started discussing my future we had been going over a bunch of different career paths that might interest me, but never actually had a solidified route. I remember her saying “we have to figure out something you like.” I think that at the time we both knew that we couldn’t envision myself really enjoying anything outside of education. For my mother, she was just really happy that I had a sense of direction. I still remember when I had first told her that I wanted to go into education, she had just looked at me rather plainly and said “Yeah, it’s something that I thought you would do.” Mothers really do know best. 

Jonathan is smiling with his arms crossed.

What do you hope your lasting legacy will be as an educator? 

I want to be a contributor; I wouldn’t say change because change comes with time, but I want to improve the system as a whole. When I say I want to improve my school system, I want it to be specific. I want there to be more people of color in my position. I want the students to be able to envision themselves in the field and not feel disoriented. How can I make the students more comfortable? How can I improve the system? It’s these types of questions that I ask myself that fuel my mindset toward education. 

What words could you give to somebody who’s on the fence with majoring in education? What could you say to get them on board? 

Just go for it. Take advantage of all the resources and opportunities that your school provides. If you can go back and reflect on your own high school experience and still be able to name five teachers that had an impact on you, take a second and try to envision yourself in the same circumstances. Could I do something like that for someone else? It takes a lot of introspection and self awareness; this isn’t the field that you’re going in just for the money it’s a lot that you’re undergoing. If it’s something that you know you feel passionate about, I do think that education has a place for everybody. 

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Story by Lucas Taylor, Graduate English Education 









Rowan Engineering Major Benjamin Busler Achieves Dream of Interning for NASA [VIDEO]

Electrical and Computer Engineering major Benjamin Busler is representing Rowan University this semester as a Pathways Intern with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Benjamin, a junior from Somerset County, is among a select group of students nationwide in NASA’s Pathways program, which offers internships and a direct avenue to future employment with the […]

Alumni Success: Joseph Albanese and Where Computer Science Can Take You

Joseph Albanese of Gloucester County, NJ is a 2021 Rowan University alumnus who majored in Computer Science. Joseph works for the company Freefly Systems as a software engineer for the organization’s Alta X drone technology. Whether that be through dealing with maintenance on the front and backend of coding on drones, Joseph Albanese is a diligent worker and proud graduate of the Rowan College of Science and Mathematics.

What is computer science?

Computer science is the study of computers and software. Rowan’s program particularly focuses on the software end of things. There’s a lot of different subcategories that you can get into within the major such as artificial intelligence and robotics, which also has a focus on low level code running on boards. You could also get into applications programming where you’re running codes on applications that you use everyday such as social media.

There are a lot of other categories within this encompassing field that all relate to computers and the software that runs them.

Joseph Albanese wears an Alta X t-shirt.
Rowan University alumnus Joseph Albanese

What are the different avenues like within the field?

Computer science is used in just about everything you can think of now. For instance, your car has a small computer that controls the electronics like the air-to-fuel ratio and a ton of other little things that you don’t even think about in your day-to-day life. Your phone runs an entire operating system that has computer programs running on it. You can go into fields like robotics or drones where you’re focusing on those low-level bits and manage flight dynamics.

You could also go into more high-level things such as writing the software that you use to interact with other pieces of software or devices. You could go into cloud programming or web development where you develop a net of servers and develop all of the different actions that the servers are performing. There’s a huge breadth of things that you can do with computer science in general.

What are some positions that you can find in computer science?

You can be an embedded software engineer where you’re specifically focusing on the development of software that runs on boards. You can think about dominos, where you’re taking these pins that have input and output signals and you have to do an operation in between. You take the input and do some form of an operation between sending out outputs.

With robotics there’s a huge application for that. You can work in an automotive field, you can work with developing cameras that even you guys [editor’s note: our camera crew] are using right now. You could also be a web developer, which has two different subsections with the frontend and backend of things.

For the frontend of things, you can work on the user interface and how buttons appear on the screen and how the user is going to interact and act with that sort of thing. On the backend, you’re managing how data is transmitted from a user, how it’s stored, as well as the operations that you perform on it. There’s a lot of different avenues that you can go about doing.

A lot of what I did at Rowan was lower level application development. I focused quite a bit on writing Linux applications at Rowan University like what was in my capstone classes. Our senior project had us contracted by ASRC to build an application that they were going to use. 

Joe is diligently working on his laptop while his drone is right next to him.

What was the coolest application that you developed at Rowan?

The two coolest things that I did at Rowan were that ASRC project where we wrote a messaging system to send text messages back and forth between servers. The coolest thing about that was that it was decentralized. There was no central server keeping track of the messages, the messages would go directly from one computer to another computer and only to the user that was supposed to be receiving it. If any of the other computers had gone down you could still communicate with all the other ones. If you brought it back up it would automatically be joined back up into the network and communicate again.

Another cool project that I did at Rowan was building a Spotify recommendation website. If you connect to the website or link your own Spotify account with our website it would give you the option to like songs. The website would then take all of the different characteristics of the songs that you had selected such as the keys, the speed of the song, the different notes that would play, and it would compile all that together to craft a playlist for the specific user.

What do you enjoy the most about the field?

There’s a huge variety in what you can do. There’s a lot of interesting jobs that you can get in computer science but I would say that the thing that I like the most about computer science and engineering in general is getting problems and solving them. I get a lot of satisfaction from it. When I get a problem that I have no idea how to approach, getting to know about it and cracking the code and figuring out what I need to do is fun.

Joe is working with a partner and has a drone flying.

What is Freefly Systems?

Freefly Systems is a company that started out doing cinema drones and other robotics. We build cameras, but I primarily focus on the Alta X, which is our large heavy lift drone that is used in many different movies. We’re also getting into the industrial space with land surveying. We’re also looking into breaking into drone delivery. We sell this drone to different companies that are already doing really cool things with their own equipment or provide different services for them.

Generally, Freefly develops drones, cameras and gimbals. Companies that specialize in filming these triple A movies would look into our company and our Alta X to put their camera and equipment together. They use our platform to carry out their tasks. There’s so many different types of markets with drones. There are people who want small drones for shows, but generally for our type of customer, payload and weight capacity is one of our highest concerns. The openness of the platform and the ability to integrate whatever you want with it allows you to take care of whatever you need at the highest level.

What are your responsibilities like at Freefly?

I am a software engineer for the Alta X Team here. Generally, I take care of multiple different tasks ranging from the programming of the boards inside the drones to managing how the different boards communicate with one another as well as writing scripts to do qualitative insurance. I’ve done some work with changing some of the different codes that provide the front end to control the drone.

There’s a whole wide range of tasks that I do as a software engineer. Rowan University definitely provided me with a lot of basic tools that I now need to understand general programming concepts and how to write quality code. From there I was able to leverage those skills and learn how to apply it to drone technology.

Joseph smiles as he programs the Alta X drone for flight.

Are there any opportunities for Rowan students and alumni at Freefly?

Here at Freefly we’re constantly looking for new talent. If you’re an alumni or just recently graduated, you should definitely apply as we’re always looking for new software engineers. If you’re a current student, we’d love to have you as an intern and show you the ropes of what drone software engineering is like.

What is the best piece of advice that every computer science student should live by?

I would say that the best thing that I had heard when I was in school was to not just focus on your course work and making it the only thing that you’re doing. If you have side projects and things that you’re working outside of what you’re being taught, not only does it reinforce things that you’re learning but it also shows that you’re passionate about what you’re doing while applying for jobs. It gives you a leg up in experience but also having something to show what you’re doing.

If you apply what you learn outside of the academic environment and take it one step further, you start to push the boundaries of what you learn in class. You’ll have a much easier time transitioning into an actual workplace. While school provides a great foundation and a bit of depth to things, going outside and like I said earlier, pushing it that one step further, will really help you get a leg up on things.

See our video with Joseph here:

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Story produced by:
Lucas Taylor, English education graduate student

Beyond the Classroom: Jack Campanella Takes Club Leadership, Engineering Skills to Internship with Robotics Company

ECE major Jack Campanella sits with robots from the Rowan club from which he is president.

Today we feature Jack Campanella, a senior Electrical and Computer Engineering major with a minor in Computer Science and a concentration in Honors. Jack is a lab assistant and peer tutor, and he also serves as president of Rowan’s Robotics and Automation Society (RAS). He hails from Monmouth County, NJ. Here, Jack shares more details […]

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: Marketing Major, Consulting Firm Intern and Rowan Social Media Student Team Member Zara Capone

Zara poses outside on campus.

Today we speak to Zara Capone, a Marketing major from Flemington, NJ (Hunterdon County). Zara finds value in attaining hands-on experience as a Rowan social media team member and Slalom intern. In the following article, Zara shares experiences within her university studies, internships and advice for incoming marketing majors. 

What is your major and what inspired you to pursue it?

I am a marketing major. I chose a business major because there are many opportunities for full-time jobs after college and you can use the degree in so many different industries. I chose marketing, specifically, because I enjoy the creative aspect of it.

What are your career goals?

As of now, my career goal is to land a job out of college and to continue to build my skills in marketing. I don’t know exactly what industry I want to work in, but I always thought that working in the media and entertainment industry has always seemed exciting to me.

Portrait of Zara outside.

How do you think Rowan has prepared you for achieving these career goals?

Rowan has prepared me well for my career goals. The Rohrer Center for Professional Development has a lot of resources that students can utilize to assist them through their job search such as resume reviews, career fairs, and mock interviews. Rowan also provides students the opportunity for on campus jobs in the field that they’re looking to get into, which is great. 

Why did you choose to study at Rowan?

I chose Rowan because I thought that they had a great business program and I really liked the campus. They also have a lot of opportunities for professional development.

Are you involved in any clubs or organizations?

Yes, I am in Alpha Sigma Alpha, a sorority.

How did you get started on Rowan’s social media team? What are your responsibilities as an intern?

I was hired to be on the social media team in June of 2021. I saw a post on the Rowan University Instagram page saying that they were looking for student workers to join the team, so I applied and got the position. My responsibilities include monitoring Rowan’s social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. During these shifts, I respond to mentions, comments, and messages. I also create weekly content for Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok.

Are you currently involved in any summer internships? If so, what is it and what are your responsibilities?

I am currently working for Slalom, which is a consulting company. I am working as a marketing intern. I work with the marketing team in the New York City office. Right now, I am developing a social media strategy for them and I’m also assisting in the preparation of partner events. The marketing team hosts a lot of events so I’m helping them create the materials that they need.

Zara poses outside on campus.

How are these experiences contributing to your development?

I am gaining a lot of hands-on experience, which is great. Also, having these experiences have allowed me to see what aspects of marketing I’m strong in and enjoy. I am also meeting a lot of new people and building connections, which is really important.

What do you believe is an important trait for those pursuing marketing? Do you have any advice for people who want to go into the field?

Marketing can be broad since there are many different skills that go into marketing. Finding skills that you enjoy or are good at can help you tremendously when figuring out what type of jobs you want. Gaining as much experience as possible throughout college gives you the opportunity to do that. Another piece of advice is making connections and building a network. Having a network is extremely important for people trying to get into the field and can open so many doors for you. 

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

Photos courtesy of:
Zara Capone

Beyond the Classroom: Biomedical Engineering Major Ashleigh Jankowski Interns for Biotech Startup

Today we feature Ashleigh Jankowski, a senior Biomedical Engineering major and Chemistry minor and a Manufacturing Engineer Intern for the startup biotech company Vectech. Ashleigh serves as Service Chair for Society of Women Engineers and President of the Biomedical Engineering Society and is a member of the Food Insecurity Committee and Rowan Unified Sports. Since […]

Passing the Torch: Outgoing RA Loredonna Fiore Reflects On Her Experiences

Loredonna throws her cap up in the air in front of the Rowan arch.

Loredonna Fiore is a recent graduate who majored in Public Relations and Advertising with a minor in Communication Studies from Elk Township, NJ (Gloucester County).

Loredonna poses with a diploma.

As a Resident Assistant in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments, most recently, Loredonna had an outstanding experience. Loredonna even attributes her closest friendships to being an RA.

“I was a commuter my first year on campus, and it was honestly hard for me to feel like I had like a place on campus. It wasn’t until I got involved and put myself out there that I started making my true friends, and I always say that becoming an RA helped me find my place and home on campus.”

Loredonna’s favorite memory as an RA was always summer training. 

All the RAs from all different areas all have to be in the same room, and it’s a really long process during the summer. My favorite part is always training because we’re all together as a staff, getting closer and bonding. This year, we did a lip-sync battle, and it was just so much fun. That’s definitely a favorite memory of mine,” she says.

Loredonna poses next to a tree.

Looking back, Loredonna says her high school senior self needed advice on friendship.

I would say I would tell my high school self that it’s definitely a matter of quality over quantity when it comes to your friendships. Often, society tells you if you don’t have all these friends and these big girl groups that you’re failing in your friendships. I would give my younger self the advice that true friends really click with you and they know your heart and they know you as a person. It’s ok if that’s only like one or two really true good friends.”

Aside from being an RA, Loredonna was active on campus in other roles. 

I have an elevated leadership role in Resident Life as an Assistant Resident Director. I’m also a Digital Content Contributor for Rowan Blog, so I get to meet many student leaders on campus, interview them and hear their stories.” 

In the fall, Loredonna is pursuing her master’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Georgia. She is also starting a Graduate Assistantship as a Resident Director upon graduation.

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

Passing the Torch: Athletic Training Graduate Marlon Carvajal

Marlon poses in front of a greenhouse in his graduation attire.

After five years, Marlon Carvajal of Weehawken, NJ (Hudson County) is graduating from Rowan’s Athletic Training program. Rowan’s athletic training program includes a bachelor’s in the pre-athletic training program and a professional graduate program resulting in a Master’s of Science in Athletic Training. Marlon tells us about the program, his work at Campus Recreation and more. 

Marlon poses in front of the Rowan arch.

“My program was a 2 + 3 grad program. The first two were undergraduate and then the last three were technically graduate, but we called it the professional phase. During the professional phase, I went out to multiple clinical rotations. I went to a couple of high schools and doctor’s offices. I was both here at Rowan and at Stockton University for a semester, and I was just doing athletic training work. I was doing evaluations for injuries, rehabilitation, practice, and game coverages, taping the athletes to get them ready for the game, and just overall improving their health so they can return to their sport,” he explains.

Marlon tells us a bit about the difference between his time as an undergraduate student and in the professional phase.

“For my program at least, I feel like it’s a lot less classroom work, and more hands-on. All my undergrad classes were in person, and they gave us many assignments throughout the semesters. My program was accelerated, and the graduate portion was, I don’t want to say it was laid back because I still did a lot, but it was only my fellowship and my research project. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but definitely less intense because I’m only focusing on two things instead of five different classes.”

The curriculum that Marlon went through is a little different from the curriculum for incoming students.

“Now it’s a 3+2 program, so three years of undergraduate and two years of graduate school, which is the professional phase now. So the classes are set up a little different, and the material is just a little different.”

Marlon poses in front of some greenery.

For high schoolers who think they might be interested in athletic training, Marlon offers some advice.

“If you want to do something before coming into the program, I’d say reach out to your high school athletic trainer just to see if you can shadow them after school or at games. That way, you can see what actually goes on before you come into the profession here.”

Marlon made many friends throughout his time at Rowan, especially working at Campus Recreation.

“I started off as a general employee and then I worked my way up to manager and I have met so many great people throughout the years.”

He recalls a special moment during his time at the Rec.

“The first banquet for the Rec I had attended was before COVID. It was the first year I worked a full school year at the Rec Center, so I got to know many people and I got a promotion that year. Many people were receiving awards, and it was just a great time. I got to see all the seniors back then graduate, so it was nice.”

Marlon is currently working on getting his paperwork done for his license and fielding offers for jobs.

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

Senior Reflects: Engineering Major Danielly DeMiranda Ribeiro on the Campus Opportunities that Shaped her Rowan Experience

Danielly celebrates commencement with her family.

Peer Tutor. Women in Engineering Club Treasurer. AIChE student chapter class representative. Chemical Engineering major Danielly DeMiranda Ribeiro stayed active on campus and online as Covid-19 surged through her college career. Now, with her degree in hand and a position with the pharmaceutical company Merck, Daneilly shares her best Rowan memories and her words of […]

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

Liliana wears her graduation cap and gown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liliana and staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related posts:

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

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

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

Beyond the Classroom: How Dawn Lombardi Gave a Senior Cat a Forever Home

Close up shot of Reginald the cat wearing a bowtie.

Dawn Lombardi, a double major in Nutrition and Business Management, shares her experience of working with Rowan’s Office of Accessibility Services to give her new cat his forever home. 

Dawn was juggling her responsibilities as a resident assistant and student all by herself. This year, she decided she was ready for a companion that she could take care of. “I felt like I had a lot of love to give and wanted to direct my energy into something good,” she says. “That’s why I adopted Reggie.”

Dawn and cat
Dawn with Reginald

Reginald, Dawn’s cat, is a 12-year-old senior adoptee from Homeward Bound Animal shelter.

“I wanted to adopt a senior cat because they are often overlooked by other families,” Dawn explains. “Usually, people who adopt want a young animal, so senior pets have trouble finding their forever home. I wanted an older cat so I could make its older years the best it’s ever had.” 

Before adopting Reginald, Dawn had to go through a thorough ESA (emotional support animal) approval process.

“I looked up the Rowan ESA policy, saw that I qualified, filled out the necessary paperwork, and turned it into the Academic Success Center [now called the Office of Accessibility Services]. The people were very helpful. I worked closely with [staff members] during my process, and [they were] awesome.” 

John Woodruff, director of the Office of Accessibility Services, talks about this process in a bit more detail.

“There is an online registration form on our website that students must complete. They are then responsible for working with their healthcare provider to fill out a three-page application form to request an accommodation for an ESA. A dog, cat, lizard, or rabbit are all animals that can be an ESA. After the application is complete, our office shares a link with the student that connects them to a portal where they can upload any documentation necessary (a formal diagnosis, an emergency contact for the desired animal, the breed/name of the animal, etc.),” he says. 

Now that he is approved, Reginald is living lavishly in Dawn’s Rowan Boulevard Apartment. “I think the Rowan Boulevard Apartments are really suitable for an ESA. My apartment is a great size and has multiple rooms that he can walk around in.”

Reggie- Dawn's cat

Aside from being adorable, Reginald has helped Dawn become a better student. “Reggie wakes me up for breakfast in the morning, so it helps me to get out of bed and get my day started nice and early. With him, I have a reason to get up and be productive,” she says.

Reginald has helped Dawn in more ways than one.

“When I feel overwhelmed with school or anything really, he comes and sits next to me. Just having him there gives me so much comfort. I joke and say that he is an ESA to everyone, too. My friends or residents that come and pay him a visit love him. He makes everyone’s day better.” 

Reginald relaxes at his new home.

“I am really grateful Rowan gives us the option to have an ESA. It makes me feel very supported and valued as a student who is juggling a lot.”

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

Photos courtesy of:
Dawn Lombardi 

#PROFspective: Senior Theatre Major Kayla Bowe

Today we highlight Kayla Bowe, a senior Theatre major from Swedesboro, NJ (Gloucester County). Kayla is also minoring in Psychology, has concentrations in Acting and Pre-Teaching, and has a certificate of undergraduate study (CUGS) in Shakespeare Studies. She discusses her major and goes into detail about her involvement in several clubs around campus.

Why did you choose to study Theatre? 

I went to a technical high school, and you pick a concentration. I chose theatre. Even though I was passionate about theatre, I was unsure of what major I wanted to pursue in college. I talked to my theatre teacher and she told me I could teach and study English. She explained I could be a theatre educator. This instantly sparked my interest. She then informed me on the colleges that had programs that fit both of those interests of mine. My professor went to Rowan and expressed that Rowan would also be a great school for my interests. 

Is that why you came to Rowan?

Yes and no. When I looked in the colleges with 4+1 programs, I learned that  Rowan was one of the very few schools that offers theatre education. But I was originally committed to another university. The summer before my first semester of college in June, the university reached out to me and said they had no more housing. They expressed that I needed to commute or find off campus housing. I instantly started panicking and I called Rowan’s Office of Admissions. I explained my situation and how I could not attend the university I intended to; I asked if I could enroll to Rowan since I was already accepted into the university. Admissions said yes, and within that short timeframe I was enrolled as a Rowan student.  

And I was so thankful and kind of blessed that that happened because I think I’m way happier here than I would have been at the other university.

Kayla Bowe poses inside Tohill Theatre.
Kayla Bowe

What’s your favorite moment or happiest memory here? 

I have had the privilege of being in a lot of very fun shows here. I was in a show called “Failure: A Love Story.” From this experience I got to like being a professional swimmer and swim on a rolling stool. This was the first time I had the opportunity to be something so abstract and surrealistic. It was one of my favorite roles to this day. The show was also a student-run production directed by Maddie Roberts. It was a super awesome experience. 

What’s your typical day like at Rowan?

I am a TA for one of the theatre professors in their Intro to Performance course. So I usually go to that in the morning and assist Melanie Stewart. During this I help lead theatre games. I also am a federal work study student. So sometimes I work in the associate dean’s office in the College of Performing Arts or I work in the box office of Pfleeger Hall. Finally, I go to either On Camera Acting with Michael Dean Morgan, or I do Shakespeare I with Dr. Falck (which is one of my favorite classes I’ve taken here.)

Kayla Bowe in Tohill Theatre in Bunce Hall.

What is your favorite class?

I loved all my psychology courses, which was I chose to minor in psychology. But having a CUGS in Shakespeare was the best decision I ever made mainly because of Dr. Falck. I believe she is an amazing educator and simply a genius in the theatre world. She’s so smart when it comes to like dissecting Shakespeare pieces, and the dramaturgy behind them. I learned so much just by having a CUGS in Shakespeare.

What’s your favorite Shakespeare piece? 

That’s tough. I’ve discovered so many new ones I’ve come to love. I found a new appreciation for “Othello,” despite the controversy behind it. For those who don’t know Othello, it’s about a Black man who was a head general and he ended up marrying a white woman. Throughout the show he’s just slandered and heavily criticized, and because of this he ends up going crazy. But I think now with production of Othello, it’s about reclaiming the Black point of view of Othello and making it personable, real, and not just some blackface character that would have been done hundreds of years ago.

On a lighter note, I enjoy the comedy show titled “Twelfth Night.”

Kayla Bowe posing in Tohill Theatre in Bunce Hall.

Is there anything you want to mention or highlight about your time here at Rowan? 

The most important thing, I think, for me, was just getting involved because I couldn’t imagine what my years of college would have been like if I wasn’t involved in all the clubs that I’m in and the programs I’ve done. These extracurriculars take up all of my time and without them my college lifestyle would be very uneventful. I am part of a lot.

I’m president of Campus Players, which is a theatre-based organization. Within this we do workshops and a senior showcase for the senior theatre students. And we also do the banquet of theatre and dance artists, which is basically just an end of year celebration for theatre students and the professors. I’m also vice president of Alpha Psi Omega, which is the theatre honor society on campus. Anybody can be a part of it, you don’t have to be a theatre major, you just have to have a year of experience of theatre. And that’s always fun. 

And I also am a part of the Chamberlain Student Center Advisory Board, which they started during COVID. It’s interesting to hear what all the other colleges are doing and their opinions on the changes that are trying to be made in the student center and within student life on campus.

Final thoughts?

You don’t have to be in the theatre department to be involved in what we do. Our mainstage season is open to anybody. Our student-run Lab Theatre productions are also open to anyone. Any student can also take theatre classes. If you want to be involved just reach out, we’re friendly. We don’t bite!

Kayla Bowe smiling.

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

Related posts:

Passing the Torch: Theatre Educator Nick Flagg

Queer Voices: Theatre Major Tyler “TJ” Jacobs

Alumni Success: Rowan Graduates Take Over the Eagle Theatre

#PROFspective: A Dialogue with English Education Major Lucas Taylor

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

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

What inspired you to choose your major?

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

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

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

Lucas is walking towards the camera and smiling.

How are you involved on campus?

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

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

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

Lucas is sitting down and smiling at the camera.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Produced by: Lucas Taylor, senior English Education major



#PROFspective: Life Behind the Camera with Sports Communication and Media Major Ashley Craven

Ashley holds a DSLR camera with a long lens inside Business Hall.

In this edition of #PROFspective we learn of junior Sports Communication and Media major Ashley Craven. Ashley is a transfer student from Camden County College who commutes from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). Showing great tenacity, Ashley is a single mother rising up to achieve her degree. Recently, Ashley was hired for Rowan Blog and exhibits a passion for photography. In this dialogue, we learn of Ashley’s own journey through academia as well as an inside look at her unique Rowan experience.

What drew you to your major? 

Being an athlete, I wanted a job in the sports industry. I was actually going to nursing school and when I got in, I realized it wasn’t for me; so, sports came to mind.

I recently discovered my passion for photography. I thought of connecting the two. Now, I am taking on more cinematography and production assignments for the Rowan Blog. It just feels right.

Ashley works on a laptop with her camera at her side inside Business Hall.

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

Combining photography and cinematography is like conveying a story in silence, which I think is pretty powerful. It allows athletes to showcase their talents and emotions. Whether they’re winning a championship or so forth, I really want to emphasize the talents of other athletes. It is a form of storytelling, so those who weren’t at these events can see bit by bit.

On the professional side, I want to get a job with the NFL or WWE. I’d feel a big sense of accomplishment if I got to do that because I would see my photos being out there around the world. I want to be an asset to a company and provide them with quality pictures to benefit them as well. It’s cool to think that photos are one of the only ways you can actually look back at the past. 

Ashley sits and holds her knees on a bench inside Business Hall.

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. 

I have Neil Hartman to thank, without a doubt. I even kept in close contact with him even when I was still at Camden County College. It took me a year and a half to come here, and I still keep in touch with him. He has just been so influential. Neil Hartman provides all the students networking opportunities, keeps up to date with upcoming events and job fairs. He definitely wants me to succeed because he saw how passionate I was. He even reached out to ask me to do a lacrosse tournament just because he knew I was willing to do anything to succeed in the world of photography. He is definitely great with guidance and he is going to be the one I thank at my graduation speech.

What’s your fondest moment here at Rowan that involves your major?

The best would have to be when Brianna McCay, who is involved in The Whit, asked me to photograph the Brian Dawkins interview. Because of her, I was able to take some awesome photos of an icon. Two of my pictures made it into the newspaper, and I realized that I wanted to keep doing it.

I think photographing with the newspaper and seeing my photos published for the first time was one of the greatest moments. That was just an opening door to my future success. It’s still a new hobby of mine but it’s already got me here.

Ashley is smiling with her two kids around her.

Any words you want to give to someone interested in your major?

Really, when you talk about the sports industry it’s all about who you know. You have to network, you have to promote yourself, you have to preserve. Every no will lead to a better yes. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything, it is the preview to life’s coming attractions.” That really resonates with me. What you put out into the universe is what’s going to attract to you.

How would you describe your academic journey so far? 

So I absolutely love school now. I actually did not complete high school. Then, about eight years later, it kind of just came to me that I wanted to go back to school again. I wanted to better my life my kids and for myself, so I got my GED. I have worked relentlessly ever since. I wanted to get the degree, and I’ve just been so motivated.

With my kids, it’s hard to get work done but I’ve always believed in self discipline and I think it’s huge. So I set up times where I wake up at five or six in the morning when they’re still sleeping just to get an assignment done. Or I’ll even get them to bed by 9:30 and stay up until midnight to do my work. It’s very challenging for sure.

Because of them and how I want to better myself as an individual, it encourages me to stay on top of my assignments, get things done and get good grades. I value that, especially from someone who originally hated school.

Ashley stands with her hand on her hip inside Business Hall.

Is there any specific club or organization that has helped welcome you here at Rowan? 

Pizza with the Pros, there you feel the togetherness. It’s just awesome the people that you get to meet. Everyone just wants to help — whether it’s a student, a professional in the industry or in my case, Neil Hartman. Those events are all about networking and hearing perspectives of people in the industry. The all give great advice. Those events really just make me feel welcomed and supported. 

What has been the biggest challenge in transitioning to Rowan? 

Learning where all of the buildings are located! I just think being new is the most challenging. Other than that, everything has been pretty easy to navigate, especially with Canvas. 

Any final words you would like to give? 

You’re never too old, and it’s never too late. Prioritize what’s most important to you and put self-discipline first. I’m huge on being mindful. I would also suggest writing everything down. It’s really important to write down all your thoughts and ideas just to reflect on them after. Don’t forget to date them as well!

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Story by:
Lucas Taylor, senior English education major

Photography by:
Valentina Giannattasio, first year dance and marketing double major

Rec Center Confessions: Student Workers Share

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Story by:
Bianca Gray, recent English graduate

Photos By:
Nick Flagg, senior theatre and advertising major 

Black #PROFspective: Radio/TV/Film and Journalism Dual Major Kariyah Bennett

Today we feature Kariyah Bennett, a Radio/Television/Film and Journalism double major. Kariyah is from Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County) and is a senior graduating this spring. Kariyah spends her free time as a member of Rowan Radio and the Rowan Television Network. She also works at the Rowan Recreation Center. Kariyah shares her experience as […]

#PROFspective: A Support for Students, Paige Bathurst

Paige sits on Bunce Hall steps.

Today we feature Paige Bathurst, who has a passion for leadership and helping people. Paige is a double major in both Supply Chain and Logistics from the Rohrer College of Business and Leadership and Social Innovation in the College of Education with a minor in Management Information Systems. She is a sophomore from Mantua, NJ […]

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

Sunset horizon shot in Morocco.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos provided by:
Nadine El Maalem

#PROFspective: Kaya Snow, Combining Passion with Academics

Senior Kaya Snow, a Dance and Theatre Arts major from Morris County with a concentration in Acting and Musical Theatre, shares her #PROFspective as a Rowan student. 

What inspired you to choose your major?

I was inspired to choose my major because I did not want to give up the things that I loved. I’ve been singing and dancing my whole life, so pursuing Theatre Arts and Dance have allowed me to continue with my passions.

Dance and theatre major Kaya leaps in front of Bunce Hall.

Tell us something interesting that you’ve learned in a class this semester. 

I am currently taking a seminar called “Acting for the Camera” that is really interesting. I have learned so much about what goes into creating anything on film. We have done both acting and filming which helps give a perspective of what the people around us would be doing on set. So far it has been a really worthwhile experience.

Dance and theatre major Kaya does a heel stretch on the steps of front of Bunce Hall.

Take us through one typical Rowan day for you.

Every day is different for me, but Wednesdays are probably my most exciting day. I wake up and eat breakfast with my roommates and then get ready for my singing lesson. After my singing lesson is over I go back home to eat lunch and watch some Netflix. Then I drive back to campus for Dance Theatre Workshop and Acting II. Both take a lot of creative energy and are very interesting. After that I take a dance class to keep motivated and strengthen my skills. I then go home for dinner with my  roommates and do some homework before I go to practice for the Dance Team. When I get home from practice I shower and go to bed so I can be ready for another day!

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

Dance Extensions has really made Rowan feel like home for me. I met so many of my close friends by joining freshman year and now have the honor of being President the last two years. I have been able to watch our club and members grow so much, and it has brought me so much joy.

Dance and theatre major Kaya leaps in the air near an entrance of Bunce Hall.

Could you share any academic clubs, social clubs and/or sports you are involved in?

I am a member and president of Dance Extensions, the Rowan University Dance Team and Campus Players, as well as a member and Social Chair of Alpha Psi Omega.

Could you share any jobs, either on campus or off campus, that you hold?

I am currently doing federal work study with the Theatre department!

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

#PROFspective: Junior Advertising Major Missy Pavorsky

Missy works on her laptop computer.

Today we feature Missy Pavorsky, a junior Advertising major from Voorhees, NJ (Camden County). Missy is a photographer for Rowan Blog and speaks with us today about why she chose her major, her on-campus activities and more!

What made you choose your major?

I was originally an RTF major because I love movies, but going into the spring semester of my freshman year, it just wasn’t for me. My roommate said I should try advertising, so I did and I’ve been enjoying the program ever since.

Are you in any clubs? 

I work for Rowan’s enrollment management and marketing as a digital content contributor with a specialization in photography. I work with writers to take pictures of students, staff as well as campus. 

What’s your favorite thing to do around campus?

I love going to the basketball games. My roommates and I have a tradition where we go to every home game that we can.

Missy poses for a portrait against a white backdrop.

Do you have any hobbies or something that you like to do in your spare time?

I like doing editorial style photography such as freelance and fashion. I also love taking photos of my friends.

What type of music do you like to listen to?

I like most 80s style music, like Earth Wind and Fire, also K-pop, I like it mainly for its uniqueness and high production value. Also, my favorite band is Bombay Bicycle Club.

What’s your favorite memory while you’ve been a student here?

The basketball games with my old roommate, but mainly this whole semester, I’m no longer stuck in my house which has been a huge plus. Also, I get to spend time with my wonderful current roommates.

Missy poses for a photo as she sits in her dorm working on her laptop
Missy smiles for the camera, taking a break from her schoolwork!

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Story and photos by:
Jack Maisonneuve, senior communications major

Student Leader Lauren Repmann on Biomedical Engineering Major, 3D Printing Club Success

Lauren sits on a bench next to a white, sphere sculpture.

Today we speak to Lauren Repmann, a senior Biomedical Engineering major with a minor in Chemistry. Lauren is an on-campus resident from Laurence Harbor, NJ (Middlesex County). She is the 3D Printing Club founder and co-president, president of the Women in Engineering Club, and a student mentor for the Engineering Learning Community. Lauren works off campus at Tranquility Path Investment Advisors as an Administrative Assistant, and on campus at the Office of Admissions as an Admissions Ambassador.

Lauren poses in the woods.

What inspired you to choose your major?

My mom works as an engineer at AT&T, and I always knew that I wanted to follow in her footsteps. When it came time for me to choose my college major, I wanted to pursue a field that combined engineering with medicine, and Biomedical Engineering was the perfect choice.

As I look back on this decision, I see that there are so many other benefits of choosing Biomedical Engineering that I wasn’t aware of. I’ve developed a genuine understanding of how to approach problems and sticky situations from a logical perspective, and this skill will be useful for all aspects of my life. I’ve also gained confidence in my technical abilities, so much so that I founded a 3D Printing Club at Rowan University.

Most importantly, I’ve recognized the importance of using engineering to set an example for younger female generations. Engineering is known to be a male-dominated field, and reaching out to elementary, middle and high school girls about a potential career in engineering can help to reduce this stigma.

Lauren poses in front of a fountain.

Tell us something interesting thing that you’ve learned in a class this semester.

It’s my last semester as a Rowan student, and I wanted to take a fun class to celebrate! I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures, so I chose to enroll in Honors Digital Photography with Jenny Drumgoole. The coolest thing I’ve learned so far is how to take long-exposure photos. This type of photography is great for taking night-time photos because the camera shutter stays open for a long period of time to record the light. Even if the area where the photo is being taken seems dark, the long exposure photography style will allow light to creep in from peripheral areas. I’ve made lots of awesome photos with this technique, and I’ll definitely continue to use this skill after this course.

Lauren poses in a clearing.

Take us through one typical Rowan day for you.

My typical day at Rowan starts at Engineering Hall. I serve as the co-president of Rowan’s 3D Printing Club, so I’m always in the 3D printing lab to make sure everything is running smoothly. While I’m in the lab, I usually make finishing touches on my homework assignments and get ready for my classes. After about two hours in the lab, I leave for my 11 a.m. classes. My biomedical engineering course load this semester is very heavy, but I’m thankful to have my friends who always want to collaborate on homework and assignments! I usually spend some time with them after my classes are over at 2 pm.

After that, I run back to Engineering Hall to make progress on my engineering clinic project. I work in Dr. Staehle’s Systems Biology and Neuroregeneration laboratory, and my project focuses on assessing the toxicity of exogenous chemicals, including DEHP and BP-3, on planarian flatworms. After catching up on my experiments, I run down the hall to one of the engineering clinic classrooms to teach my Engineering Learning Community seminar. I currently have 18 freshmen engineering students as my mentees, and we have done lots of fun and productive activities together. My favorite has been the icebreaker bingo tournament. It really helped me to get to know my mentees! Once my seminar ends at 5 p.m/, I run down to the first floor of Engineering Hall to close the 3D Printing Lab, then my day is over! Finally getting back to my apartment after each long day is rewarding! I change into my comfy clothes, eat dinner and ice cream, call my parents, do some homework, then start all over again the next day!

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

Whenever I step foot in Rowan’s 3D Printing Lab at Engineering Hall, I feel like Rowan is home. When I was a sophomore, I became very interested in 3D printing. The ability to take an idea and turn it into an object that I could hold intrigued me. I taught myself how to use OnShape, a popular CAD software, and I produced lots of cool models that I wanted to 3D print! When I approach one of Rowan’s 3D printing labs to ask about printing my models, I was told that the printers are primarily used for academic purposes. I knew I was not the only student who wanted to print personal models, and I also knew that Rowan University’s 3D printing lab had the resources to offer a personal printing service.

With that knowledge, I worked with a friend to draft a 3D printing plan to present to the technicians at the Engineering Hall 3D printing lab. The technicians were completely on board with our idea, and we then began the club petitioning process through the Student Government Association. On October 12, 2020, we officially became a Rowan club, and in January 2021, we received funding to purchase filament and supplies.

Since then, Rowan’s 3D Printing Club has grown at an exponential rate. We have 75 members who consistently attend our meetings and events, and we even won Rowan’s Outstanding Student Organization Award for the Spring 2021 semester. I’ve always felt that home is a feeling that you have the power to create. Through this club, I’ve not only created the feeling of home for myself, but also for all the other Rowan students who want to become more engaged in 3D printing. There is a genuine sense of community and passion that one can sense immediately upon walking into the room during one of our general meetings or workshops, and that is my Rowan “home” feeling that I will cherish for my entire life.

See Lauren and learn more about the 3D Printing Club in this video. 

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

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major 

Related posts:

Beyond the Classroom: Biomedical Engineering Major Ashleigh Jankowski Interns for Biotech Startup

Inside the M.S. in Biomedical Engineering Program with Rowan Global Student Brennen Covely

Beyond the Classroom: Jack Campanella Takes Club Leadership, Engineering Skills to Internship with Robotics Company

#PROFspective: Theatre Major, Texas Native and Longboarder Maria Dixon

Maria sits with her longboard in front of a brick building on campus.

Today we feature Maria Dixon, a sophomore Theatre major with a concentration in acting from Wylie, Texas. Maria is also the Senator for Rowan’s chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honors society, an Admissions Ambassador, and a Theatre department student advisory board member. She discusses her major and goes into detail about her experience at Rowan.

Why did you choose Rowan to study Theatre?

It was really important for me to go to a college near Philadelphia and New York, given my interests in theatre, and because those two cities are the main hubs of stage theatre.

Rowan’s Theatre and Dance program is well known in the community, and the program is great at marketing and recruiting. I also learned very quickly that Rowan valued movement in theatre and acting and did not just value script and straight play-acting. The program emphasizes using your body as an instrument when you perform, and I really appreciated that. I truly appreciate how Rowan valued certain aspects of theatre. 

Maria sitting outside on lawn chair.
Maria holding her one of her paint-by-numbers landscape pieces. 

Why did you choose to study Theatre?

I come from a very musical background and was involved in different theatrical and musical arts growing up. In high school I did a bunch of different activities and extracurriculars like band and color guard and track.

Initially, theatre was just for fun. I started theatre two years after playing music and I had awful stage fright. For plays and productions I was always in the ensemble. Senior year came around and it was common from where I live Texas to audition for a bunch of different opportunities and schools and just see what scholarships are accessible to you. In this process, I went to a mass audition, and Rowan was one of the first schools to call me back and offer me a scholarship. I quickly decided I liked to do theatre and wanted to explore it more throughout my collegiate journey. 

What are your future plans and what is your dream profession for working as a Theatre major?

I am used to being behind the scenes within theatre rather than the star actor or performer. However, in the fall play this year, I was the star and throughout this experience I realized that I love working behind the scenes and would prefer stage management. I am looking to pursue an M.A. in arts administration here, and my dream job could involve managing a venue to schedule tours and events. 

Maria posing next to her longboard in front of Wilson Hall.

What professor has stood out to you in preparing you for your future?

I took Professor Ross Beschlur’s Intro to Acting class last spring over Zoom. His class focused a lot on breathwork, and it was the first class that educated me on using my body and movement as an instrument in theatre. This class set the foundation for me in my theatre studies. 

What class at Rowan have you found most challenging, interesting, difficult?  

One of the more challenging classes that I have taken has been my Script Analysis class. This class challenges me to look at script in new ways. Our professor teaches us different terminologies to use when analyzing script. 

Maria sits outside Business Hall.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a pretty avid longboarder. I skate to class around campus, and I am always trying to improve my skating skills. I will say that gravity is not my friend … and I do fall occasionally; however, I do love longboarding. I have recently started enjoying paint-by-numbers. 

What is your favorite part about your major?

My major is very fun. It is challenging in completely different ways that other majors are challenging. I think my major and the courses I need to take are all interesting to learn about. I also appreciate I think it is so cool that there is a mental side of acting … It sometimes feels like I have a psychology minor.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

I have most of my classes on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. Therefore, on Monday and Wednesday, I usually have some free time to meet my work and hour requirements for my Admissions Ambassador job. In the rest of my time I either usually have rehearsal for theatre or I am participating in events for Alpha Psi Omega. 

Maria smiling on one of the steps at Bunce Hall.

See our video with Maria here. 

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Story by: 
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos by:
Jack Maisonneuve, senior communication studies major

A Day in the Life of Communication Studies Major, Admissions Ambassador Coordinator Tiana Howard

Tiana poses in front of a wooded area.

Today we speak to Tiana Howard, a senior Communication Studies major with concentrations in Rhetorical Criticism and Honors. A first-generation college student from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County), Tiana is president of her sorority, Mu Sigma Upsilon, and a member of Rowan’s EOF program. Tiana works as an Ambassador Coordinator for Rowan Admissions, and she also […]

Rowan Abroad: Rana Sarwatejas Shares His Experience Studying in Great Britain!

Public art display of city names on campus.

Rana Sarwatejas is a senior Biochemistry major here at Rowan University. Today, he tells us what his experience has been like studying abroad at the University of Birmingham in the U.K.

Would you mind introducing yourself? 

My name is Rana. I’m a senior Biochemistry major at Rowan University but I’m currently studying abroad at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. I’m originally from Nepal. That’s where Mount Everest is for anyone wondering. I went to an English Boarding school in India so when I learned English I learned British English, which is why I have this wonderful British accent. I decided to go to America for my undergraduate degree, which is how I ended up at Rowan. 

What was it like when you first came to Rowan? 

It was a little intimidating. I was a young Nepalese boy who had never been to America before and didn’t really know anything about it. Everything was quite the opposite. I had a bit of a cultural shock but, after a month, I loved every bit of it [being in America]. I made amazing friends. I got to travel. I’m a huge travelholic by the way. I also met my friends from the University of Birmingham at Rowan University when they were completing their study abroad program. 

Rana looking out over the hillside
Rana looks out over the hillside in deep thought.

Why did you choose to study abroad in England at the University of Birmingham?

I always wanted to study abroad, especially in the U.K. Like I said before, I did study at an English boarding school but it was in India. Still, there was a large British influence over me. However, I never got to experience British culture fully and I had in my head for a long time that I would. I’m probably going to do my master’s degree here in England so studying abroad here was just a way of testing the water. I get to learn what the education system is like, how the professors are, and how the universities function. I also needed to answer the question of whether or not it would be too much of a culture shock.

On top of all of this, I met someone during my sophomore year named Dan who came from the University of Birmingham to Rowan for his study abroad program. I also met another study abroad student that year named Laura who was from Germany. With them, I traveled everywhere around the country; Miami, Orlando, Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Vegas, L.A., everywhere! I really enjoyed it and we formed a very tight bond. They showed me all of the things that study abroad had to offer. Studying abroad isn’t just something to put on your resume. It’s a way to make memories.

How did you adapt to your new school and environment? 

It was quite easy because I already studied in a similar environment previously at the boarding school. The only difference was how the country itself worked. I had to get registered with a general practitioner, which was something I wasn’t familiar with previously. I had to learn about the payment system. Rather than paying per semester, you have to pay per week for your accommodations. They really don’t have meal plans at the university unless it’s a particular accommodation. Stuff like that was completely new. 

Rana looks out at the shore, the sun beaming down in the background
Rana stands proud atop a rocky shore.

How did you go about making friends?

One bad thing that happened to me were some issues with my visa. I wasn’t able to come over as early as I would have liked and I missed the orientation. Luckily, I bonded very quickly with my flatmates and they already had friends of their own of whom they would often invite over so I was able to befriend them as well.

Attending classes also helped me to meet new people. There’s weekly international nights that they have here and I’ve gone out and met different people there too. While at Rowan, I worked with RAH [Rowan After Hours], as I’m a total nightowl, and working with them helped me to improve my communication skills. That job forces you to socialize and that helped me to go on and make friends at Birmingham. 

How have classes been?

My classes have been quite fun. I’ve already completed a lot of my course requirements so I had the ability to choose from different classes outside of my major. I’m taking American Literature right now and you’re probably wondering: Why are you taking American literature when you’re in Britain? Well, I had to take a literature course as a graduation requirement but any type of literature is new for me as I’m a biochemistry student. They’ve been teaching me about “The Great Gatsby,” which is something I never bother to read before coming here. I’m taking political science, a course called Debates in World Politics. It really encapsulates everything that is happening in the world, what’s happened in the past, and how that’s all affecting the government systems in different countries. I love political science, so that course has just been going great.  

What would you say to students who are interested in studying abroad at some point during their academic journey? 

Studying abroad can be intimidating when you think about it for the first time but the amount of knowledge that you gain from traveling is just extraordinary.

I’ve been traveling since I was a kid. Like I said earlier, I was sent to a boarding school in another country when I was just 10 years old. I’ve got a good grasp about how much traveling can teach you. If you really want to learn about life, academic knowledge is one thing, but collecting and garnering life experiences actually makes who you are. That’s why I can’t recommend studying abroad more. It’s so amazing!

Rana poses for a picture in a busy market place.
Rana poses for a candid headshot in a crowded marketplace.

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Story by:
Bianca Gray, senior English major

Photos provided by: 
Rana Sarwatejas, senior biochemistry major

#PROFspective: Senior Communications Studies Major Jack Maisonneuve

Jack works on his laptop computer.

Today we feature Jack Maisonneuve, a senior Communications Studies major from Asbury Park, NJ (Monmouth County). Jack is a photographer for Rowan Blog and speaks with us today about his love for photography and his experience within his major.

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major because I figured it would be broad enough where I could continue pursuing my photography career, while also exploring other aspects that I found interesting that Rowan had to offer.

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

When I joined my club that I’ve been a part of for four years now (Rowan Alternative), it made me find crowds that I enjoyed being with, as well as help me find some of my lifelong friends.

Did you ever have a moment of uncertainty within your major? How did you get through the challenge?

I was uncertain that communications would be for me, and well actually I’m still pretty uncertain of it. But communications helped me find that I’m interested in aspects of research and communications in itself, and that’s what made me stick with it.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

Moving out! No, but getting to experience the professional world and finding my career.

Are you involved in any clubs/organizations on or off campus?

I’m involved in Rowan Alternative as well as being a founding consultant for Rowan Photo Club.

Jack playing the drums in his room.

How did you get into photography?

One of the classes I took here during my sophomore year! I had [Prof.] Jenny Drumgoole … for photos, and she inspired me to want to become a photographer.

If you could have a photoshoot with someone famous, who would it be and why?

Henry Rollins from Black Flag. He’s my number one hero; I aspire to be like him when I grow up. I think he’s a very worldly person, and he has a lot of interesting things to say.

Who or what inspires you to create? 

What inspires me to create and shoot are the people I get to work with, and my surroundings.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself working for a music magazine company of some sort, and getting to do what I love most, which is concert photography.

Jack smiling in front of a gray background.

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Story and photos by:
Missy Pavorsky, junior advertising major

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 

#PROFspective: Chemistry Major, Rowan After Hours Programming Coordinator Jon Marcolongo

Exterior shot of the Chamberlain Student Center.

Today we speak with Jon Marcolongo, a senior Chemistry major and commuter from Mullica Hill, NJ (Gloucester County). Jon is a programming coordinator for Rowan After Hours (RAH). He will share insight on studying chemistry and his involvement in his student worker position. 

Why Rowan?

I knew I wanted to pursue chemistry ever since junior year of high school. Rowan stuck out to me because it is local as I am a commuter from Mullica Hill, and because my sister went here. Prior to making my college decision I was very familiar with the campus and it quickly became one of my first choices in my college search. 

Why did you choose to study Chemistry?

During my time in high school, I was always interested in science. It wasn’t until junior year that I took chemistry and realized it was the route I wanted to explore while in college. I had an amazing teacher for chemistry who inspired me to choose this type of science as my major.

Although being a chemistry major is difficult and a lot of work, the professors are there to help you. Put in the time to complete your work and ask for help when you need it because you professors truly do want to see you succeed!

Jon Marcolongo.
Jon Marcolongo

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

Eventually I do want to work in a laboratory setting, preferably involving research. Right now I am planning on graduating and hopefully working for a chemical manufacturing company. 

What is it like being a commuter on campus? What advice do you have for fellow commuters when trying to get involved around campus and meet new people? 

The one difficult and stressful part about being a commuter is finding parking. However, it has pleasantly not been too difficult to find a spot this year yet.

My advice for fellow commuters is to go to any clubs or activities that you are interested in. I would definitely recommend seeing if Rowan offers the clubs or activities that you were a part of in high school. There are so many options and ways to get involved around campus.

Most importantly, go to events. This is the best way to meet new people and find others with similar interests. 

What inspired you to get involved on campus?

Back in high school I was more of an introverted than extroverted person. I decided that in college I wanted to make a conscious effort to break out of my shell. I started going to different activities and events on campus especially through Rowan After Hours and I quickly realized that RAH was simply an enjoyable experience. This is how I ended up applying for RAH in the first place. 

What is your typical day like at Rowan?

Typical day starts with breakfast before driving to Rowan for the day. During my free time I usually go to the student center to relax between classes or to get work done. I then attend any classes I have for the day and head back to the student center for RAH. 

Rowan After Hours science night in 2019 where attendees made lava lamps.
A Rowan After Hours (RAH) Science Night where attendees made lava lamps

What is the best part about being a part of RAH?

The best part is definitely all the experiences you’re going to have. During my time as a member of RAH I have met so many amazing people whether it was co-workers or students attending our events. I even met my girlfriend while being a member of RAH. This experience has also led me to express myself and has taught me to put myself out there especially while being the introverted person I am.

What makes Rowan feel like home?

The people here. All the people that I have gotten to know over the years have made this campus feel like home for me. 

What are some of the activities that Rowan After Hours provides? 

Our most popular events are our bingo events. We always give great prizes out to the winners of our bingo events and I am actually in charge of the bingo events. We just gave out a 32 inch TV to the winner of the event.

We also do some cultural appreciation nights. We brainstorm a variety of different events and are always looking for ways to attract more people and different interests. 

When can students participate in RAH activities? Is there a calendar event list?

Our calendar event list is located on the Rowan After Hours ProfLink website. This provides all events for RAH and SUP (Student University Programmers.) The typical RAH events take place between Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to midnight. 

If anyone is interested in joining RAH there is an opportunity to interview for a position next semester. More information is available on the RAH website as follows: https://sites.rowan.edu/scca/RAH/index.html

Jon Marcolongo working as an RAH coordinator at Saturday Night Lights football game on September 4th, 2021.
RAH Coordinator Jon Marcolongo at a Saturday Night Lights football game

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos provided by:
Jon Marcolongo

Genesis Roman, Management Information Systems Major and Intern for Arizona IT Firm

View from above a Business Hall room.

Today we feature Genesis Roman, a senior Management Information Systems major from Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County). Genesis also has a Certificate of Undergraduate Studies (CUGS) in Cyber Security and has previously worked on campus for Classroom Support. She discusses her experiences with her major and details her recent internship for Insight Enterprises Incorporated, based in Arizona.

Why did you choose Rowan to study Management Information Systems?

My English teacher in high school told us to broaden our horizons and to further our education in a different area than our home town. I personally believe staying in your hometown for college limits your perspective on life. There is so much more to see and learn outside of your comfort zone, so I wanted to go somewhere not too far from home but far enough to where I could learn in a new environment and meet new people.

Rowan put me out of my comfort zone in the best way possible. 

Genesis Roman.
Genesis Roman

Why did you choose to study Management Information Systems? 

I have always been very fascinated with technology. I have had so many experiences growing up that made me realize this major was something I would be very interested in. For instance, when I was younger, I had a PlayStation 2 and I completely broke it down just to put it all back together. Also, when Tumblr came out,  I was so interested in coding my personal page so I could customize it to my own liking. This is how I started learning HTML and coding.

In the grand scheme of things, I really enjoy how challenging it is to fix things, and I also enjoy helping others. Management Information Systems is a major that combines both of these passions of mine.

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

I am still trying to figure out what my dream profession is. This is a big reason why I decided to apply and take on the internship opportunity at Insight Enterprises. Currently, I am interning for Insight Enterprises and doing something completely different compared to the responsibilities I had for this company in the summer. From my experience in the past few months, I think I am developing a great interest in being a Solutions Architect. I really enjoy supporting clients and deciphering what the best solutions are for them and their particular needs. 

Exterior shot of Business Hall.

How did you seek out the internship opportunity for Insight Enterprises?

One day I received an email from Professor Jennifer Nicholson regarding the internship, sent out to all MIS majors; the position was described as a Systems and Database Administrator. At the time, I was unsure of what this position entailed; however, I thought it was a great opportunity to try something new and to branch out from New Jersey. When I applied for this position I was applying to relocate to Tempe, Arizona. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the internship was switched to a remote position, however, I hope I can one day see the Insight Enterprises Headquarters in person and potentially relocate there for an in-person position.

What were the commitments and responsibilities of this internship? 

This position was a 10-week internship where I worked eight hours everyday starting at 7 a.m. Insight Enterprises is a technology company that provides smart and innovative solutions for their clients. Within the company, I worked within the Cloud and Data Center Transformation branch during the past summer. This is where I worked on several different projects a week and collaborated with several different teams. This got confusing at times, but it taught me how to be good at multitasking and productive in a busy work environment.

The company also provided workshops for us interns where we learned how to transition from college education to being able to utilize our skills everyday in the workplace. This experience mentally prepared me for the tasks I would face as an intern.

Exterior shot of Business Hall.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced as an Insight Enterprises intern? 

One of the biggest challenges I faced was being able to stay mentally focused while working remotely. It was difficult at times to try and be in work mode when I am surrounded by my family and in my household environment. I found it was also difficult at times to not only learn all this new information as an intern, but know how to solve problems and utilize the skills I learned while working remotely. I quickly realized that it is easy to be hard on yourself when your fellow employers have more experience than you; however, with time and consistency, you will not only learn so much but be able to apply your new knowledge to your work.

What have you learned from being an intern for Insight Enterprises?

This internship has led me to believe that this is a profession that I want to be working in. I also learned how to successfully work from home and in a remote environment. Sophomore year of college I would continuously tell my friends that I wanted a remote job because of my aspirations to travel and work simultaneously. Now, I am halfway there and already have a feel of what working remotely is like.

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

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

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

What is the RWC?

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

Bianca stands next to a sign in The Writing Center.

Where is the RWC?

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

How did you get hired with the RWC?

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

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

Will the hiring process be as dramatic for me?

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

Bianca works on a computer at The Writing Center.

What does your job consist of?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s the best part about working there?

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

Bianca checks her laptop at The Writing Center.

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

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

What are some other cool things about the RWC?

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

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Story By:
Bianca Gray, senior English major

#PROFspective: Emergency Management with Kevin McCarthy

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

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

What advice do you have for incoming students? 

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

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

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

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

Has that moved to online format because of Covid?

Yes, everything is online. 

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

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

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

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

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

What is the professional direction you would like to go?

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

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

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

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

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

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Story by: 
Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

Looking Back on What I Learned My First Year of College

Natalie sits with her coworker Reshaun on campus.

Rowan Blog contributor, Public Relations major and student athlete Natalie DePersia shares her take on the first-year experience.

What I learned first year year of college was to take one deep breath in, one deep breath out, and to take a look around.

My first year, just two short years ago … seems like a different universe to the current world we live in. Reflecting back on my past two years as a Rowan student, I have came up with a list of things I learned from my first year of college; what I have learned from starting a normal first year to having it be cut short by a global pandemic.

As a rising junior, so much much has happened in what feels like such a short amount of time. Approaching your first year can be nerve-wracking, exciting, and can come with a mixture of emotions. A way to ease any anxiety or uneasiness is to get involved in some way around campus.

Natalie standing in front of Gazebo.
Natalie DePersia

Join college clubs, extracurricular activities, and get involved around campus

Getting involved around campus is imperative to finding new friends and taking a break from your academic course load. I play on the Women’s Lacrosse Team at Rowan, and from this experience I have developed friendships that will last a lifetime. College clubs, extracurriculars and even sports are a great way to find others with the same interests of you. 

Rowan Women Lacrosse Team and Alumni.
Rowan Women’s Lacrosse team and alumni after the annual alumni game in 2019.

Staying organized is the key to my success

Being a first-year student in college can be stressful. The adjustment from high school to college can be a very different experience depending on who you ask. Personally, the adjustment had its easy moments and its hard moments. In high school I did homework based off of memory. This worked most of the time. However, I did experience the occasional “Oh no I forgot to do an assignment … let me finish it quickly 10 minutes before the class starts.”

Having a planner and a system to organize myself has been my saving grace as a busy college student. Between lacrosse practice, in-person meetings, classes online or in person, to internship hours and assignments … having a planner is essential to my success and punctuality academically, athletically and professionally. 

Be grateful for what you have when you have it

I wonder how I am approaching my junior year as I remember first-year orientation like it was yesterday. Time goes by so quickly and I feel as if I did not truly appreciate what my first year was because I assumed I had three more years just like it. Having a normal college experience the most of my first year to going into lockdown by a global pandemic my entire sophomore year only made me realize that I need to appreciate what I have when I have it. I was taught by Covid-19 to expect the unexpected and to make the most of every moment given.

Natalie and lacrosse teammate Reilly before home game.
My lacrosse teammate, Reilly, and I before our last home lacrosse game before our season was cut short by Covid-19 in Spring 2020.

Apply yourself because you owe it to yourself

This one is my favorite. I was a decent student in high school. I did what I needed to do, and I was ok with receiving any grade from A to B range. When I got to Rowan I realized I was not striving for my maximum potential and I needed to start working harder if I wanted to accomplish the goals I set aside for myself. I can happily say that I am now a 4.0 student successfully balancing academic course work of a major in Public Relations and a double minor in Sports Communication and Psychology, athletic responsibilities of playing on a women’s collegiate lacrosse team, and professional efforts of working two jobs. It took me a little time to realize, but anything is truly possible if you set your mind to it and put in the work.

Networking is imperative

Networking has so many positive outcomes. Networking can bring you internship or job opportunities, introduce you to new friends or a new hobby and more. I found an internship by reaching out to one of my favorite professors, Cristin Kastner Farney. You never know what opportunities can arise if you talk with others and are simply a friendly face. Being kind can go a long way in your academic and professional career. 

Natalie with fellow employee and friend Reshaun.
My fellow employee and friend Reshaun and I sitting outside of Bunce Hall.

If you gather anything from this piece I hope you learn to take one deep breath in, one deep breath out, and to take a look around. College and life in general go by fast. Do not let the little things stress you out, everything has a way of working itself out. Be present in the moment because sooner than later you will be entering your junior year writing a reflection piece and wondering where the time has gone.

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos courtesy of Natalie DePersia and by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

Out-of-State Students’ Returning to Rowan Bucket List

Einstein Bagels storefront in Engineering Hall.

Many out-of-state students are coming to campus for the first time since COVID, while some were able to come to campus last year. Here are some things that out-of-state students are looking forward to when campus opens up a bit more this semester. 

Magdelyn Kelly is a senior Musical Theatre and Theatre Education major from Inwood, West Virginia. Magdelyn transferred to Rowan from Blue Ridge Community College. Magdelyn is a first-generation college student and an off-campus renter. She says she’s most looking forward to seeing all her peers and learning face to face again. When asked if there was someone she hasn’t seen in person since before Covid who she is very much looking forward to seeing on campus this fall, Magdelyn replied, “My voice teacher!” Magdelyn is involved with Campus Players and Rowan Lab Theatre, and she adds that Rowan Lab Theatre will be putting on some great shows this year. Magdelyn can’t wait to take part in Rowan After Hours (RAH) and Student University Programmers (SUP) events again, such as Bingo. She can’t wait to take senior pictures with her friends and hang out on campus on Bunce Green.

People hanging out on Bunce Green, as Magdelyn looks forward to.
Students hanging out on Bunce Green, as Magdelyn looks forward to.

Nick Kreuz, a senior Electrical and Computer Engineering major from Quakertown, Pennsylvania, is looking forward to working back in the labs with other students. Nick says, “I am looking forward most to going back to a campus that feels alive,” and he notes being on campus last year felt less warm and welcoming than it has been in the past. Some campus must-dos for him include activities put on by the Rec Center (where he will work as a Building Manager) and shows returning to the Planetarium. Nick is also looking forward to visiting Einstein’s Bagels in the mornings for coffee.

Nick poses in front of some trees.
Nick Kreuz

Petro Skrypnyk has never been to campus before, and he is excited to see the place he has been studying at for a year. Petro is a senior Computer Science major and commutes from his home in Philadelphia. Before attending Rowan, Petro transferred from Rowan College at Burlington County. Petro wants to get involved with Rowan’s Association for Computing Machinery and the Volleyball team. Petro is excited to earn his bachelor’s degree and meet up with people in between classes.

Philadelphia, where Petro is from.
Petro, of Philadelphia, is looking forward to the on-campus experience this semester.

Samuel Jolade, senior Computing and Informatics major from Deer Park, New York, is excited to come back to the Rowan campus after nearly two years. He can’t wait to get back into Gaming Club and visit the Game Room in the Student Center. Samuel hasn’t seen his friend Max and a few other friends since before COVID, and he is excited to see them. 

Samuel looks forward to hanging out in the game room like these guys are.
Samuel (not pictured) looks forward to hanging out in the Student Center’s Game Room.

Ashleigh Jankowski is a junior Biomedical Engineering major with a Chemistry minor from Catonsville, Maryland. Ashleigh is living off campus this semester. Ashleigh says while “virtual learning was a great way to proceed in learning while continuing to be socially distanced, nothing can replace the friendly, bustling campus atmosphere.” She is looking forward to taking classes that are major specific this year, and because most of them are engineering labs, hopefully having them in person! She is looking forward to Outdoors Club getting started again, as she is hoping to go on a few trips with them this semester. She’s also looking forward to RAH events like Bingo and SUP activities like Outdoor Movie Night. Ashleigh also can’t wait to hang out at Einstein’s Bagels again. 

Ashleigh poses in front of Rowan Hall.
Ashleigh Jankowski

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

Philadelphia photo courtesy of:
Pixabay

#PROFspective: Brian Seay, Double Major and Rowan Admissions Twitch Streamer

Headshot of Brian Seay against a black backdrop.

Today we feature Brian Seay, a double major in Radio/Television/Film and Sports Communication and Media from Cumberland County. Brian also has a certificate in undergrad study (CUGS) in Esports. We interview Brian as he touches upon his involvement with the Rowan Admissions Twitch streaming account through his job as a Digital Content Contributor for Rowan’s Marketing and Enrollment Management team. 

Why did you decide to get a certificate in undergrad study (CUGS) in Esports?

“I love video games. My friends and I play very frequently, and during quarantine I got interested in competitive 2k (basketball video game). When I was looking at my Sports Communication and Media major and the credits I needed for it, I came across the CUGS for Esports. I quickly realized that obtaining a CUGS in Esports was only one more course in addition to all my courses I have already taken for my major in Sports Communication and Media, so I thought why not?”

What is Twitch?

“Twitch is simply just a place where you can stream something live — it does not necessarily have to be video games. It started off as ‘Justin TV’ where this guy named Justin just basically streamed his everyday life on this website that he created. It has now turned into a place where content creators can stream videos; Twitch is primarily used for videogames but can be used for anything.” 

Headshot of Brian Seay.
Brian Seay

What do you do for Rowan as a content contributor?

“My primary task is to create videos and to help Rowan’s Marketing team to draw students in. One of the projects we did a few weeks ago was that we went in a filmed some of the residence halls so we can create a video on all the different resident and housing options Rowan offers. These videos are our most popular because they appeal to a big population of students, while club videos and certain sport videos are geared to a smaller target audience.”

What do you do to prepare for each Twitch stream?

“Setting up for my streams takes a decent amount of time. I stream on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. so I usually start setting up at 5 p.m. This allows me enough time to make sure all my equipment and software is running smoothly before I go live. Set up consists of sound checks, microphone checks, controller checks and more.”

Brian Seay playing a video game.
Brian Seay playing a video game

How does your CUGS in Esports help with your job for Rowan as a Twitch streamer?

“As I stated previously, I only needed one class to obtain a CUGS in Esports because of all the classes I have already taken for my major in Sports Communication and Media. With that being said, my Intro to Esports class not only equipped me with a lot of knowledge on Esports but made me very interested in playing Esports.”

What is your favorite part of streaming on Twitch?

“As stated previously, I just love video games, so this job is honestly not looked at as work for me. I am doing something I enjoy, and it makes my streaming sessions go by so quickly.”

Brian Seay.
Brian Seay

What is your favorite Esport game to play for Rowan Twitch?

“First off, it is important to note that I have to play games that are educationally appropriate. However, I like to play games that are popular in Esport streaming. Therefore, I enjoy playing Rocket League as it is a very popular Esport game.”

What is your favorite game to play on your free time?

“I have to say, my favorite game of all time has to be Minecraft. I am very creative and I love how the game caters to what your needs are. I think it is so cool how you can spend weeks and months on a world and you create your own environment and atmosphere and I think it is really cool how you can truly make it your own.”

Brian Seay's game controller.
Brian Seay’s game controller

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Story By:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos courtesy of:
Brian Seay

#PROFspective: A Chat with Public Relations Major Nene Diallo

Nene smiles in front of a tree on campus.

Today we feature senior Nene Diallo, a Public Relations student with a minor in International Relations who is originally from Guinea, West Africa but currently resides in Sicklerville, New Jersey (Camden County). Nene discusses with us the perks of her major and plans for her future after graduating. 

Why did you choose your major? 

I love interacting with different people, and that is basically the public relations major. I feel like I can learn alot about different mindsets and ideas. I like the environment. It’s creative and not a one-track thing. There are a lot of opportunities in the field and various paths for interaction. This is also why I added on the International Relations minor. I get to interact with different people who are outside of my country and culture. 

Nene leans against a part of Science Hall.

Why did you choose Rowan? 

Well, Rowan’s close to home. My guidance counselor actually recommended it to me. Most of my teachers from high school graduated from Rowan and they told me how good the school was so I said, “Ok, I’ll give it a try.” Plus, its location allows me to easily go to school and work at the same time. 

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

So I’m usually doing schoolwork, going to work, and/or doing chores around the house. I wake up around 9 a.m., eat breakfast and clean up the house before heading off to school. I have work around 3 p.m. and my shifts can last either six to eight hours and I’m on my feet the majority of the time. Then I have to find a time between work and school to figure out when to do my homework, but I usually end up doing it when I get home from work around midnight. Then, I go to sleep and wake up to do the same thing over again. 

Nene stands on the bridge by the student center.

Did you ever have a moment of uncertainty within your major? How did you get through the challenge?

I once got this assignment from this professor that was super frustrating. I usually don’t like not completing my schoolwork but when I’m frustrated I sometimes give up on it. There was a 10-page essay that needed to be done that required citations from the course textbook, but I forgot to buy the textbook. I was debating whether or not I should complete the assignment. I really care about my grade but I was so frustrated, which caused me to wait until the last minute to complete the assignment even though it was given a month before. I still didn’t have the book to do the citation after putting off buying it to the point of forgetting about it entirely. I wasn’t sure what to do. But, eventually, I decided anything was better than a zero, did the assignment, and ended up with a C. That was like the final project of the class and worth most points. Getting a lower grade on it dropped my grade from an A to a C. It was really bad, but I got through it. 

Nene sitting at outdoor table on campus.

What’s something people wouldn’t expect to know about you?

I’m not gonna lie, despite being a Public Relations major I can also be anti-social. Just because I enjoy interacting with different people doesn’t mean I want to do it 24/7. I have a social battery. I’m pretty sure a lot of people do. It’s like I can talk to people for a certain amount of time and genuinely enjoy it, but then I want to go home and just be in my room. 

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

I would definitely say  to seek help especially from your professor and upperclassmen. Doing that really helped me and allowed me to get different opportunities at Rowan that I wouldn’t have known anything about.  Asking questions can lead you somewhere that you didn’t know you needed to go. Nobody’s perfect. We’re humans. Sometimes, we need help from other people in our field. Don’t feel like you need to figure things out on your own. Also, get involved in different clubs and activities. Like I said, I’m a pretty busy person, but I still find the time to be involved on campus. It helps you make connections. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself as someone who is in the Public Relations field … like coordinator or manager. I can start out small. That’s perfectly fine with me, but I definitely see myself being a part of an organization that is a comfortable environment to work in that I’m hopefully happy to work in. I see myself financially stable and surrounded with lots of love and happiness. I know it’s not going to be a fairytale and that there’ll be problems and issues, but I hope that I’ll be able to face any challenge that is thrown at me. 

Nene stands behind the back of Science Hall.

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Story by:
Bianca Gray, English major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

My Interesting Student Worker Job as the Rowan University Mascot

Rowan mascot jumps for joy outside of Savitz Hall at Rowan University

Today we feature Sean Scott, a Rowan alumnus who studied Finance and graduated in May 2020. Sean touches upon his experience as being the university mascot, Whoo RU

How did you end up being the mascot for Rowan? Did someone reach out to you or did you seek the opportunity yourself?

To start off, I was the school mascot for my high school. Fast forward a few years and I worked for the admissions office as an admissions ambassador for Rowan. The summer between my sophomore and junior I was informed by my boss in admissions that they were looking for people to try out for ‘the mascot.’ In a nutshell, I thought, ‘I go to the sporting events anyways, I might as well go to these games dressed in a mascot costume, have some more fun at these events, and make a little money while doing so.’

Sean Scott headshot.
Sean Scott

What kinds of events did you attend for being the Rowan mascot? Was it just sporting events or was it all kinds of events?

The experience of being a mascot was really cool because of the wide range of events I attended. I went to a lot of men’s and women’s basketball games, many football games, and other sporting events. However, I also did events like Hollybash, St. Baldrick’s Day, SUP events, open houses, and accepted students receptions. This experience made me well versed with student life around me.

Sean pictured with his girlfriend Caroline Murphy.
Sean pictured with his girlfriend Caroline Murphy.

How long were you the mascot for Rowan?

I was the mascot from August 2018 up until March of 2020.

Sean in front of the Prof Statue.

What are pros and cons about the experience?

There were definitely more pros than cons during this whole experience. For sporting events, obviously you attend to watch the players compete. It was really cool for these events to be on the court or field alongside the players and coaches. As a mascot I was able to experience these events differently than just a normal fan in the stands. Another positive was simply knowing what was going on around the university. By working as the mascot I was always up to date on upcoming events and involved with them.

The only downside to working as the mascot is how hot it is inside of the costume. However, I did burn a tremendous amount of calories when working as the mascot that I like to think made up for it.

Sean at graduation with parents Maureen and Stacy.
Sean at graduation with parents Stacy (left) and Maureen (right).

Did you tell people you were the mascot or did you keep yourself incognito?

Yes my friends, family and fellow coworkers in admissions knew I was the mascot. Other than that, no one really knew who was inside the mascot costume, which was pretty cool. I am a pretty extroverted person, but I definitely could not bring out the dance moves I did as the Prof without my costume on. I was free to express myself without anyone putting a face to me. The experience I had as the Rowan mascot was extremely fulfilling and one I will never forget.

Sean in mascot costume with mom.
Sean dressed as mascot with his mom Maureen Scott.

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos courtesy of:
Sean Scott

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#PROFspective: English Major Bianca Gray Shares Her Rowan Experience

Bianca poses in front of some greenery.

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

Bianca poses next to the prof statue.

Do you commute or live on campus?

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

What are some likes and dislikes of your major?

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

 Why did you transfer to Rowan?

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

Bianca gets some work done at the writing center.

What has your experience at Rowan been like so far? 

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

What do you like to do for fun?

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

Do you have any jobs on campus?

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

Bianca poses in front of some trees on a bridge.

What do you look forward to after graduation?

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

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

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

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Story by:
Nene Diallo, senior public relations major

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



5 Interesting On-Campus Jobs

Rowan Blog student worker Bianca on the job at a photo shoot.

Finding the right on-campus job can change your whole college experience, leading you to important connections, helping you discover your career goals or letting you find the right school/work/life balance. Five students share their experiences in some of the most interesting, beneficial and well-paid jobs on campus!

Summer Conference Assistant – Chase Campbell

Chase Campbell smiles for his portrait in front of Bunce Hall.

Advertising major Chase Campbell of Burlington County worked as a Summer Conference Assistant for the Office of Conference & Event Services in 2019. As part of a staff of eight students, Chase worked and lived with his teammates! This job offers a stipend and free summer housing. He found this job through the Rowan Announcer and attended an informational session.  

Some of the responsibilities in this job included helping people check into the conferences, preparing residential and event spaces and taking turns being the 24/7 customer service representative for the events. Chase learned the importance of being himself rather than just being the “perfect customer service representative.” He enjoyed speaking with clients and helping them feel welcome to the university with kindness. Look out for this job if you enjoy working on a team and assisting people! 

Academic Success Coach – Alee Rebillon

Alee works on her laptop and chats with a friend.

Alee Rebillon, a senior Psychology major from Mercer County, worked as an Academic Success Coach her junior year for one semester. She found this opportunity through an email listing Federal Work-Study (FWS) options. She also spoke to their department staff at the on-campus Fall Job Fair. As a psych major, Alee felt this would give her great experience in working with people one-to-one. Although, Academic Success Coaches come from all different majors and walks of life! 

Alee worked with fellow students who needed guidance in lots of different areas! Such as, who to speak to if they want to change majors, where to find a student organization, or even how to make a schedule for themselves. She learned so much about herself, other students, and the university from this job. She has helped people receive supports through the Wellness Center and Tutoring Services; she also walked students through how to use The Shop or Prof Jobs. If you want to help other students by being a relatable source of guidance, this job is for you! 

Picking Peppers with President Houshmand – Dyone Payne

Dyone holds a bucket of peppers fresh from the farm.

Public Relations major Dyone Payne, a senior from Gloucester County, worked for Dr. Houshmand, Rowan University’s president, on his local farm picking peppers and several other vegetables. They use the peppers to create the famous Houshmand’s Hazardous Hot Sauce, which is processed in a factory (by professionals) in Bridgeton. All proceeds from the Hot Sauce go towards the Student Scholarship Fund. The amazing part of this job is that they work to support students on all levels of operation in the making of this hot sauce. A team of students, Houshmand, and his staff go out to the West Campus farm throughout the spring and summer to begin the process. 

Dyone remembers enjoying the hands-on experience and learning so much about the different kinds of peppers and sauces. The ghost peppers went into the hottest flavor, the mushroom peppers were the mildest peppers, and jalapeno peppers also went into the mildest sauce. She also shared how kind the staff was, always making sure the students were hydrated and offering transportation to and from the farm. Another responsibility of this role was selling the Hot Sauce (and Hot Sauce merch) at university football games, basketball games, and university holiday parties. She enjoyed being able to connect with the university staff and see that they truly understand the students’ struggles. 

Dyone found this job through Rowan emails and contacted the president’s staff. She learned important life skills such as the importance of patience and taking your time. She also appreciates the president’s mission, even more, knowing that he is genuinely kind and interested in caring for Rowan students. Dyone also recalls the students having to leave their phones (because the pepper residue may get to your eyes and face through your phone). This helped the students to connect with each other and forge strong friendships. She absolutely adores plants and keeps a lovely mini garden oasis in her room now!

Engineering Intern – Jed Vergara 

Students working in the RU Sustainable Facilities Center with faculty.

Students working in the RU Sustainable Facilities Center with faculty (Jed Vergara not pictured).

RU Sustainable Facilities Center – Rowan University + NJARNG (NJ Army National Guard) Building Information Modeling (BIM) Intern

Jed Vergara worked as a Building Information Modeling (BIM) Intern for more than two years as a Rowan undergraduate. This internship was under Rowan’s Sustainable Facilities Center in contract with the NJ Army National Guard (NJARNG). It’s offered as both a part-time job as well as an engineering clinic on campus. He first discovered this role at the beginning of his sophomore year after a professor shared the opportunity because of Jed’s stellar grades. 

The internship also offers different roles in the operation. Some interns would inspect recruitment centers across NJ for the Army National Guard, and others like Jed worked on building information modeling (BIM). BIM is basically cataloging several parts of a building such as spatial measurements, construction materials, HVAC, electrical or plumbing. In the 50 years the buildings have been around, there have been so many refurbishments added that no single catalog of the buildings records all of the changes. Rowan was contracted to change this and catalog every NJARNG recruitment center in the South Jersey area. 

Jed was able to work with a 3D laser scanner and connect individual room scans into a large model of the building on a program called Revvit. The basic three-step process of his internship was to scan the building, consolidate all of the scans, and finally add the details. He greatly appreciates this internship experience because he works with images of building scans as a Structural Engineer. He also found that his experiences with different computer programs proved to be very valuable in his career. Many times, Jed had to quickly learn how to use a program and help others learn how to use it as well. Another valuable lesson he learned was how to plan effectively and efficiently. This internship is open to civil engineering majors, electrical & computer engineering majors (ECE) and mechanical engineering majors. This department is located within Rowan Hall (the original Engineering building).

Rowan Blog Digital Content Contributor – Bianca Torres

Bianca stands confidently in front of a brick building on Rowan Boulevard.

Lastly, we speak with Bianca Torres, a Music Industry major and senior from Morris County, who works as a fellow Digital Content Contributor for Rowan Blog. Bianca helps the blog run smoothly in so many different ways! She not only creates content for the Admissions page, but she also contributes to the Humans of Rowan Instagram and other Rowan social media platforms. Bianca finds ways to market the school to incoming first year and transfer students. She loves sharing the vibrancy of campus life through stories. She started off creating music for the background of Rowan’s YouTube videos. She has since branched out into photography, writing articles, interviewing leads and strategy (planning stories and Google Ads). Bianca appreciates how much knowledge she has learned about journalism and marketing in this role. 

She really enjoys working with fellow college students and diving into the campus culture (which helps her with networking). The schedule is super flexible and was perfect for working during the pandemic because it can be remote and you can work whenever you choose. She enjoys how much freedom she has gotten in this job, being able to pitch stories and share so many unique perspectives at Rowan. This real-world experience has taught her how to market effectively to different target audiences. Knowing that the skills she uses every day, such as blogging and creating graphics for social media, she feels confident in her career goals. Without this job, Bianca would not have known that she wants to do digital marketing for the music industry.  

Bianca found this job through an email from the program director of the music industry program. She advises students looking for student jobs to start looking as soon as possible and ask their professors if they know of any openings! Many professors have side gigs and know other connections on campus. She also says to check if you qualify for Federal Work-Study (FWS). If you enjoy connecting with people and making creative content, working for Rowan Blog is for you.

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

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#PROFspective: Natalie DePersia, Public Relations Major and Lacrosse Athlete

Natalie poses on the bridge in front of Mimosa Hall.

Today, we feature junior Natalie DePersia, a Public Relations major with minors in Psychology and Sports Communication and Media. Natalie shares her experience at Rowan as a student and lacrosse athlete.

Do you live on campus, or do you commute? 

“I live off campus in a house across from the football field.”

What are some likes and dislikes of your major?

“I was originally a Communication Studies major, but it was too broad for me. I enjoy writing because it forces me to come out of my shell. Since I just started in this field, I don’t have any dislikes yet.”

Natalie poses next to some greenery.

How is your experience at Rowan so far?

“All of my professors, especially Professor Cristin Kastner Farney, Professor Sherry Hicks and my coaches are genuinely caring and are very helpful. As a student-athlete, I started off as a defender even though I wanted to be a midfielder. Because of Covid, I could not play from September to February. Eventually, I progressed my way back to playing lacrosse, but it’s been inconsistent and challenging. I hope to start back up in fall 2021. Overall, I have had a good experience at Rowan so far.”

Why Rowan?

“I first looked into Rowan because my brother attended the school as a basketball athlete. I live pretty close, which makes it convenient as well. In my junior year of high school, I played lacrosse and wanted to play it at Rowan. Everything Rowan offered was convenient. I ended up liking the school after visiting.”

Do you have a job? 

“I’m a server at PJ Whelihan’s in Medford, and so far the job’s been cool.”

What do you like to do for fun? 

“I enjoy hanging out with friends, spending time with my dog, playing lacrosse and working out. I also like writing and singing my own songs, just not in front of people.”

Natalie sits in a gazebo near Bunce Hall.

What is one interesting fact about yourself?

“I have a twin brother, but we don’t share the same birthdays. I was born at midnight and he was born the hour before. I also have two older twin brothers.”

What is your dream job?

“My dream job is to travel, meet people, hear and write their stories.”

Do you have any life advice for Rowan students?

“You are capable of more than you think you are. Challenge yourself.”

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Story by: Nene Diallo, senior public relations major

Photography by: Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major, and Reshaun Timmons, senior business major

                               

Alumni Success: Mitch McDaniels on Finding Your “WHY”

Mitch poses at the Holly Pointe Commons sign.

Today we speak with Mitch McDaniels, who graduated from the Honors Concentration with a degree in Biochemistry in 2020. Mitch also minored in German Studies throughout his time at Rowan University. He grew up in Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County) but now lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Mitch was a Resident Assistant (RA) for three years and lived on campus for all four years. He was also actively involved in the Honors College, B.L.A.S.T. Mentoring, the Keck Behavioral Lab at Cooper Medical Schoolthe Academic Associate Program at Cooper University Hospital, Rho Alpha Sigma, and Alpha Epsilon Delta. He was also a volunteer at the Kitchen of Hope Food Bank (Glassboro), and a Chemistry Learning Assistant for four semesters.

What did being an RA and Assistant Resident Director (ARD) mean to you?

Res Life [meaning RLUH or working for Residential Learning and University Housing as an RA, ARD, graduate role, or professional role] is such a unique field and it’s such a diverse and unique group of people that come together to do so much more than just run a building. I absolutely loved it throughout my time at Rowan — the opportunity to be a part of flourishing communities of residents in their first year of college, and hopefully being that go-to guy for my residents for the good, bad and everything in between.

My experience through Res Life has definitely been one of my favorite memories at Rowan because I met so many new, and now lifelong, friends through it. I love when my residents come back and tell me how much fun they had their freshman year or a favorite memory they had from their year in our pod. A few even went on to go into Res Life themselves; it makes me so happy to hear that!

For me, it was really special to see the ways in which my communities grew together, and the ways they found to make a difference together. 

Mitch poses under the "Pork Chopper" statue in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Mitch poses by the “When Pigs Fly, Pork Chopper” Statue which is part of the Sculpture Walk in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

What advice do you have for current students?

I think every first year student should take a little bit of time to find what it is they want to do at Rowan, until they really find their “why,” both on campus and off. I’m still learning exactly what that is for me, honestly. No matter what you do, who you hang out with, or the classes you take, I’ve learned that it’s best to keep an open mind because those moments came when I was least expecting them.

My first year, I was really quite quiet, but I thought that being an RA would be a really unique way to meet people and be part of a community. Lots of people become hyper-focused on the free housing and food, which is pretty sweet, to be honest, but I also wanted to find a place to help in building that welcoming environment I found on campus. I often forget that I had a meal plan and free housing as an RA because I just enjoyed getting to meet everyone and get connected and involved in a way that was different from any other role on campus because their home also becomes yours. 

No matter what you do at Rowan, you really have to take the time to find your “why” [your purpose] at Rowan. There’s this proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I really believe that Rowan’s spirit comes from that small-campus community, where friends, colleagues, and professors all have your back.

My best advice would be to enjoy college for the people and experiences you’re surrounded by — go together, not alone. I’ve found that the best way for me to get things done is when I’m passionate about it and that I want to see it through to the end, together. For me, the Res Life community was that “thing.”

Now stepping into the real world and getting off of the college campus, finding your “why” comes with the territory for everything you do.

Mitch poses confidently in front of a Sioux Falls sign.

Where do you work now?

Now, I work as a Clinical Research Coordinator at Sanford Health, a big hospital system in the Midwest, but mostly in the Dakotas and Minnesota. I’m on a team of four coordinators that are working on a portfolio of COVID studies. We have two different studies that we are mainly working on for the moment. One is for different treatments that focus on outpatient settings, where patients actively have COVID and are sick, but they’re not sick enough to be hospitalized. This study, sponsored by the National Institute of Health, is an Adaptive Platform Study, which means that we are evaluating multiple investigative treatments that can change from time to time, to quickly and safely identify medications that could significantly improve a patient’s COVID-19 diagnosis.

We’re also doing inpatient work with people who are in the ICU on ventilators, high flow oxygen or other life-saving measures to support them throughout their battle with COVID-19. It’s another adaptive platform study evaluating various medications for people suffering more severe COVID, and who have received advanced life-saving therapeutics or interventions to keep them alive or better support them.

I was always asking myself “why” because I wanted to pour all that I could into any activity I was doing. I didn’t want anything to be just a checkbox for my resume. It really needed to be something that I cared about and believed in.

Part of my “why” for medicine is that I want to be a resource for people wherever I go. That’s something I saw in my family with my father being an FBI agent. I want to be able to carry my skills into underserved areas at some point in my career and make a difference within those communities.  

Mitch wears a light blue shirt and stands in front of a waterfall.
Mitch loves the famous Falls Park in his new hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

What do you hope to do in the medical field?

It really hit when I had the chance to really immerse myself in the Camden community through Cooper, first as a student at MEDacademy at Cooper Medical School, and later as an Academic Associate at Cooper University Hospital. I really began to see that a physician doesn’t work in a bubble, they are someone who’s active and embedded within the community that they are trusted to serve. Ever since, I saw medicine as an opportunity to expand upon the skills, mindset and joy that Res Life has brought me, to help better build a community.

Of course, Rowan has always supported and nourished my curiosity for science and the human body; it’s also helped me to find my voice in leadership. But what my time at Rowan and Cooper has gifted me with has been the opportunity to think, grow excited and imagine how I wanted to give back to the community at the intersection of science, leadership, education, research and policy. 

Part of my “why” for medicine is that I want to be a resource for all people wherever I may go. That’s something I saw, and valued, in my family with my father being a Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I hope to be able to carry my skills into communities (especially those underserved) throughout southern New Jersey, our nation, and the world throughout my career and in hopes of making a difference within those communities by empowering the people of those communities through all I learn from them. No matter what field of medicine I pursue, there’s nothing more important to me than to help these communities I hope to serve to thrive and grow.

A gorgeous blue and orange sunset shines above a majestic waterfall in Minnesota.
Mitch captured the beauty of Falls Park with just his phone.

Tell me about your favorite memory from Res Life? 

My favorite moments were those that were unscripted where I would just hang out with my residents on a random Tuesday night in a hallway or lounge of Holly Pointe. We would have the best conversations! I would always leave my door open because I wanted people to be able to walk in and just sit down. I wanted them to know my room was theirs too, and that it was a safe space where they could unwind, have fun, or talk anything over. The most organic moments were the times when I felt true friendship forming between myself and my residents, and it was not any longer just me “supervising” their freshman experience.

One of my favorite memories in these communities as an RA and an ARD was bringing my residents to the food pantry. I really loved the idea of getting into the Glassboro Community and all of us volunteering together and seeing the ripple our pod could make in the greater community. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the awesome staffs I worked with throughout my three years in Res Life. I couldn’t think of a better group of people to program with, spend time with, or occasionally deal with those 3 a.m. fire alarms. Those unscripted moments, with my residents and RAs alike, made every moment worth it. I owe it to them for helping me to find my why throughout undergrad. 

Waterfalls and tower in Sioux Falls, Minnesota
Another gorgeous sunset by the Queen Bee Mill in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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Story by: 
Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos courtesy of:
Mitch McDaniels, biochemistry graduate

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Beyond the Classroom: Kevin McCarthy and His Time with SGA

Kevin smiles wearing a gray Rowan t-shirt with Bunce Hall in the distance.

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

How did you get involved with SGA? 

At the federal work-study career fair, SGA had a table looking for student workers. They hired me but I also had an offer from IRT doing something that was a little bit more in [tune with] my major. But, I decided to go with SGA. I ran for the senator-at-large position. It was a mid-semester election. I served one semester as the senator-at-large. Then I ran for vice president of government relations. I’ve been there for three years. 

What have you gotten out of being part of SGA personally and professionally? 

I helped pass the Student Wellness Fee my sophomore year. It was introduced as a $50 fee and it wasn’t well-discussed in e-board, so it failed miserably at the Senate. 

We had our CFO at the time rally against it. It lost by 125 to 10. I spent the rest of the year working with Arielle Gedeon, who [later became] President. At the time, she was the Recording Secretary. I worked with her and a couple of other e-board members in order to get the fee reshuffled and changed. Eventually, we put it up during the series 2 elections for a $30 fee to support Rowan EMS and the Wellness Center in hiring more counselors and physical health providers as well as providing free medications and other free [items] for students. During the series 1 elections, it tied exactly at 250 to 250. So, we put it in front of the Senate. Arielle and I talked for 45 minutes, then we were discussing and debating the bill.

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

It provided so many critical things like vehicle replacement for Rowan EMS. People spoke out against the Wellness Center charging per visit [preventing students from reaching out for help]. They were planning on charging Insurance in charging a copay. I have good insurance; my mom works for a hospital up north. However, it is one of those in-network kinds where if [the treatment] was connected to the hospital it cost $5, but if it’s not connected in any way it cost $100. So a Wellness Center bill for me would cost over $100. I really advocated for the bill and eventually, it passed. 

I also did a couple other things in SGA. I attended the Conference on Student Government Associations in Texas. We actually went right before the pandemic, like March 10. A week later, we were sent home. I went with the Dean of Students, the next SGA Vice President Sarah McClure, the current AVP of Facilities & Operations Liam Cutri-French, and one senator. We thought Covid was not going to be a real thing and would be over in two weeks. But here we are now! 

From that, I got the inspiration to start the New Jersey Conference of Student Government Associations NJSGA. We had the first one in 2019 around Thanksgiving. 

We had it in the Business Hall. Rutgers New Brunswick and TCNJ came as well as William (Bill) Moen, who’s actually a Rowan alumnus and a current assemblyman from Camden County. He came to do the keynote speech. We took a little hiatus, but last weekend we hosted the second conference of NJSGA. Rutgers New Brunswick, Rutgers Newark, TCNJ, Ramapo, and Drew attended as well. We [aim to] raise fruitful discussion about supporting students and how SGAs should operate.

Kevin stands confidently in front of Bunce Hall.

Luckily, Rowan does really great with shared governance. For example, Arielle has a meeting with President Houshmand every month. The AVP of Academic Affairs meets monthly with the Provost. The AVP of Student Affairs meets with advisor Kevin Koett. We really have very involved faculty that want to know what the students want.

It’s super important to get involved with SGA. We always have openings for our Class Senators and Academic Senators. Every class has four senators, there are four at-large Senators, and every single college has its own Senator. 

With everything that you’ve experienced, what has been your most to use what is 

Definitely “Rowan Well,”  just having the mental health resources available to students is a really big thing. Obviously, it’s taken a long time to see that change, but there were at least two counselors hired, there are more resources available, and they got rid of a waitlist.

After the Rowan Well bill passed, they expanded counseling services to include Victoria St. and in different academic buildings. Rowan EMS also got a new truck. I think they get $3 out of the $30 every semester from every undergraduate student. It really helps a lot. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your SGA experience? 

Applications are open for Senator positions. We have every position open except for the College of Science & Math. If you go on ProfLink and look into forms, you can find them. Applications close in September which allows people going through any incoming student orientation to get involved.

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Story by: 
Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

#PROFspective: A Talk with Business Marketing Major Reshaun Timmons

Reshaun smiles and stands in front of the entrance to Business Hall.

Today we feature senior Reshaun Timmons, a Marketing student living in Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). Reshaun discusses the ins and outs of his major, photography, and plans on using what he learned at Rowan to one day run his own business.

What inspired you to choose your major? 

All my life, I felt as though I wanted to make money, and the one way I feel as though I can do that is through business. The reason I chose business marketing specifically is due to the rise of social media and the increased need for businesses to expand their marketing teams. In the next 10 years, working in marketing will probably be the most common job. 

What impact would you like to have in the marketing field? 

I already have my own marketing team where we go around to small businesses and offer to run their social media. I hope in the next five to 10 years it expands into a bigger company and that I’m able to provide different people with job opportunities and experience in the field. 

How would you describe the faculty within your major and talk about a time where one of your professors made a major impact on you? 

I went to [Rowan College of South Jersey] through the Rowan Choice program for two years. There, I had one of the most unorthodox professors I ever had when it came to teaching. His version of teaching can be explained through this example: If McDonald’s was the best fast food restaurant, then they would get an A. But, just because Burger King isn’t making as much money as McDonald’s, it doesn’t discredit Burger King as a restaurant and doesn’t mean it’s not good, so Burger King would get an A as well. His grading scale was based off the highest grade. If the highest grade in the class was a 50 out of a 100, then that 50 would still be an A, a 40 would be a B, and so on. 

Reshaun sits on atop the concrete divider behind Business Hall.

How was your transition from RCSJ to Rowan? 

Since I went to RCSJ through the Rowan Choice program, my transition to Rowan wasn’t that difficult since I was already living on campus and spent most of my time at Rowan University anyway.

What’s your relationship with photography? 

I started doing photography my junior year of high school and it just stuck. I do both photography and videography and anything else that has to do with being creative. I like doing things where I can put my own spin on it.

My end goal with photography is to start my own photography business. Right now, I have my own business called Timeless where we focus on timeless things. We have a message called C.M.I.T: Capturing moments in time. Taking pictures are good memories, and I hold memories dear to myself. They’re one of the few things we can take everywhere with us in life. That’s why I like pictures so much. They’re visible memories. It’s inspirational and moving. 

Where do you see Timeless in the future?

I hope that I’ve turned it into a modeling agency. This summer, I’m going to Paris, London and Belgium. Those countries are very big on photography, modeling and other stuff like that. I hope to go there and build connections with different people in the field there. I just want it to be a name that a lot of people know.

Reshaun crouches for a photo in front of the Rowan University sign near the Townhomes.

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Story By:
Bianca Gray, senior English major

Photos By:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

RJ Wentzell, senior exercise science major

#PROFspective: JT Kurtz, Inspiring ARD & Genuine Friend

JT stands confidently in front of Bunce Hall.

Today we speak with JT Kurtz, a recent Computer Science graduate from Egg Harbor Township (Atlantic County). JT is a first-generation college student and worked as an Assistant Resident Director (ARD) on campus, most recently at 223 Nexus.

How did you like living on campus? 

I loved it! I was a Resident Assistant (RA) in Chestnut Hall last year and Magnolia Hall the year before. It’s a complete 180 from working in traditional living to living in new apartments. I remember as a freshman, those apartments were not even there. 

In your three years of being the go-to person as an RA and ARD, what is your advice for people who are living in dorms?  

My advice is to not be afraid to make connections. Being the RA/ARD, I’m the middle person to connect people with programs or on-campus resources. We’re there for people when they ask, “Hey, what should I do?” Whether they’re stressed out, bored, or if they need help, RAs and ARDs know it all. For anybody — whether you’re new, a transfer, or have been here for two years — RAs and ARDs will always be there for you. We will definitely guide you to somebody that can help you. For me, being in that department, I have met so many of my closest friends who have helped him with making connections (from talking to people in the PR department to the admissions department). 

What does being an RA mean to you? 

In my eyes, the RA position isn’t so much about following the rules. I know a lot of people tend to put a label on RAs as “rule-enforcers” but that’s not the case. We’re here to make sure you’re safe and that you’re having a good time at the same time. There are rules made for a reason, not just to ruin the fun. We understand that we’re in a college atmosphere. We empathize with a lot of people.

JT leans against a tree reminiscing on Bunce Green.

The way we shift that empathy is by encouraging them and saying, “Hey, here’s a safer, smarter alternative way to approach something.” Whether that’s academics, [social life] or mental health. For example, if somebody’s stressed out they may not go to class. I’ll go to them and say, “Let’s get to the root of this and make a plan of action and then turn it around.” Rather than just saying, “Hey go over here” [and leave them to figure it alone]. We try to connect with them at a deeper level. We have rules, but we have them for a reason, making sure that everyone is having fun and staying safe at the same time. 

What are some of your favorite memories from being an RA? 

Some of my favorite memories (prior to Covid) are the times I’ve been able to hang out with all of my staff members. Whether it’s just getting food, pinging ideas off each other, or just doing homework, or duty nights and handling incidents. The big theme of this experience was that you’re never alone. Even in a virtual setting, we still managed to find ways to really be connected. Sometimes we would just hop on a Zoom call and have a conversation.

What is the difference between being an RA and an ARD? 

Now, I’m like a team captain of the RAs. I had to figure out how to keep my staff engaged and doing their responsibilities. At the same time, I’m recognizing that my staff are still people at heart and still need to balance their lives. My thing is music, I made a Spotify playlist that everyone can contribute to and everyone loves it. They can see all of their diverse backgrounds. There are so many stories I can go on about being an RA.

I’ve met so many influential people, from my supervisors to staff members and my residents. My residents last year always went to me, even for the most random things. At the same time, my residents had no problem referring themselves and their friends to me. I’m there for them.

JT poses on Bunce Hall green in a Rowan sweater.

How do you handle that responsibility as a fellow undergraduate student? 

I handle the responsibility of taking care of fellow students through time management, balancing classes, time for myself, and time for others. The department has so many people you can lean on, your staff or supervisors. If you don’t know what to do or if you need more time on something, communication is absolutely a pinnacle skill for this kind of role because that will help you succeed.

How did you become an RA? 

In my first year, I lived in Holly Pointe. My RA at the time, Mitch McDaniels, who graduated last year, was a fantastic person. He was really engaged with the residents. He kept it down to earth. He didn’t come off as a policy enforcer but we all respected him. He inspired me.

I had personal roommate issues (I roomed with my best friend). Mitch managed to smooth it out and now my best friend and I are still best friends. From that moment, I knew that [being an RA] was a leadership position. If I could help one person a day, that makes it so worth it.

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Story by:
Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

#PROFspective: History Major Anthony Raisley on Living On Campus

Anthony sits on the grass in front of Bunce Hall wearing a yellow shirt.

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

Advice for incoming transfers or freshmen who want to live on campus?

It’s very exciting to see all the facilities Rowan has to offer and the new things that Rowan is developing. There’s great housing and great options for everybody. I’d definitely say to live on campus if you can because the experiences you get are certainly unique to being an on-campus resident. I very much enjoyed my time living on campus all four years.

What are some of the advantages of living on campus? 

It’s much easier to walk to class and to visit friends in other residence halls. Also if I have to meet up with other classmates to work on projects, it’s easy to meet in one of the academic buildings or in one of the resident lounges.

Anthony stands confidently in front of the Rowan arch.

What about practical tips for packing? Tips on what to leave at home?

Each year you get better and better with picking and knowing what you need to bring. To be honest, I never bring enough (lol). There are things where I’m like, “Oh, you really don’t need this.” But you can never have too many sweatshirts if it gets chilly on certain days. Don’t forget the rain boots or rain jacket. Those are things you forget because it’s a beautiful August day when you move onto campus and then you realize once it’s October: “Oh yeah, I need my boots and rain jacket!” Definitely prepare for all of the elements, but it’s great to see the campus change through all of the seasons!

How did you make friends as a resident? 

My freshman year, when I moved in, I started off running cross country and track. I was able to move in early. I met the guys on the team. Everyone from Rowan Athletics is fantastic, makes you feel welcome, and helps you with your transition from moving from home into college. My sophomore year I was still running. I [also] started working in admissions as an ambassador. Being able to meet a lot of my fellow ambassadors as a sophomore, junior, and senior, you get a great idea of what Rowan represents as far as all of the different backgrounds and different majors. It’s a great way to meet people that way. It’s a great environment to work in. In my junior year, I started working for the social media team, another great way to meet people and professional staff as well.

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

How did you get connected with Rowan Social Media? 

I saw an email or announcement online. Immediately, I was interested in it because on the side I take photos. Being able to be part of this environment, taking photos of campus, and getting to meet so many people has been fantastic.

What do you want to do professionally after graduation? 

After graduation, I’m actually going to Georgetown for grad school. I’m moving to Washington, D.C. because the program I got into was the Master of Arts in Communication, Culture, and Technology. It’s exactly what I love, all those subject areas even with the minors that I have here and also my major. It all fits together. I’m so glad I’m able to pursue that next year. It’s nice because you can pick what you want to focus on. That’s what’s in store for me this fall.

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Story by: 
Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

Senior Reflects: Public Relations and Advertising Double Major Marian Suganob

Marian poses in front of a bush with her graduation regalia.

Today we speak to recent graduate Marian Suganob, a Public Relations and Advertising double major with a minor in theatre. Marian, a first-generation college student from Mantua, NJ (Gloucester County), lived on campus all four years of her college career.

Marian poses next to the Rowan University sign.

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

I didn’t come to Rowan as a theater minor. I took Intro to Acting to fill a Rowan Core requirement. The adjunct professor that was teaching the course, Professor Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez, saw that I had a creative mind. She could see that the major that I had declared at the time wasn’t the right one for me. She recommended I sign up to be a theatre major or minor. That experience really helped me feel welcome at Rowan. She didn’t just treat me like I was one of the thousands of students that she taught. She saw me and made the effort to talk to me during class and after class. That was definitely one class that made me feel I was at the right school.

Could you share your favorite social memory?

A lot of my memories come from my time with the Rowan University Philippine American Coalition (RUPAC), the Filipino club on campus, and also being an RA.

I’m a bit of an introvert, so I’m not always hanging out with people, but the only way I could survive being an RA and also do well in school was by sticking together with the other RAs. Often, the other RAs and I would study together, while we were on duty we’d study from 8 p.m. until around 2 a.m. It was really fun. We also bonded over having crazy experiences being RAs. 

When I joined RUPAC my freshman year, I felt welcome at Rowan. We performed a play that was run, created, written and directed by students. It was an adaptation of Mulan. I got to play the lead role, and that was really, really fun. It broke me out of my shell and I met a lot of friends because of it. The experience was great for me. 

Marian stands on a big yellow chair that says #Rowan2021.

What are your career aspirations?

Right now I would like to find what I am passionate about. However, I would really like to go into advertising one day. 

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

Being at Rowan helped me build my work ethic. Rowan has also helped me explore my career aspirations by letting me ask questions and be curious. The people at Rowan helped me open my mind to more creative fields. All of my relatives are in some part of the medical field, so nobody in my family has ever gone into the creative field. Rowan supported me in my exploration to find my career aspirations. 

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

Thank you to RUPAC for giving me a home on-campus. Thank you to my professors and advisors for helping me grow and helping me enjoy my education, even though it was challenging. Thank you to the Office of Events and Conferences for the many professional opportunities they have given me. The Office of Events and Conferences led me to my current job at the Rowan Blog. Thank you to those who created and passed the Student Health fee my sophomore year. You saved my life and countless others. Please continue to advocate for these issues and fight for change. Thank you to my boyfriend for being my study partner and my best friend. Thank you to my parents for supporting me throughout college. 

Marian's decorated graduation cap, as seen from above.

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

I loved taking Public Opinion with Dr. Novak, and I also really enjoyed taking PR Practicum with Professor Shoenstein.

Public Opinion helped me understand why PR and Advertising are so important. It’s not just about promoting a business or promoting your own efforts. Your work helps create social change. PR and advertising are grounded in actual psychology. Also, understanding your audience is really powerful. 

In PR Practicum, I was able to practice my skills in social media and graphic creation. I mostly used those skills for clubs on the side, or for myself, but to practice with a team and a professor for a good cause was really fun.

What advice would you give to incoming first-year students or transfer students about making the most out of their college experience?

Try to find a balance between exploring your career aspirations and keeping mentally healthy. I wish I had done more internships and explored more, but it was good for my mental health to limit myself to one per year.

Marian poses in her graduation regalia.

Is there anything else you would like to look back on and reflect on regarding your time at Rowan?

College helped me grow as a person, especially in public speaking. At the beginning of college, I absolutely hated public speaking. I never wanted to volunteer, I never thought I was good at it. But after the countless presentations I have given for classes, and papers I have had to write, I am a better communicator. I would have never thought that I’d actually like presenting and that I would want to present with my team at the end of my senior year. Thank you, Rowan, for helping me become better and changing me. 

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

Photography by:
Joe Gentempo, art graduate

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

Ashley walks down Bunce Green in her cap and gown.

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

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

Portrait of Ashley in front of Bunce Hall.

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

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

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

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

Ashley smiles and stands on Bunce Green.

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

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

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

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

Ashley photographed from behind in front of Bunce Hall.

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

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Senior Reflects: Leadership and Social Innovation Major Sarah Niles

Sarah outside under a blooming tree

Sarah Niles is a senior Leadership and Social Innovation major, with a Dance minor and a CUGS in Adventure Education Leadership, from Haddonfield, NJ.

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

My favorite class experience was in my Wilderness First Responder class when we went out into the woods behind Rowan Hall and pretended we were injured or sick and had to fake rescue our classmates using what we learned in class. We learned how to make tents out of sticks and leaves, how to administer emergency first aid, and how to survive in the elements. It was the most fun I’ve ever had in a class!

Could you please share your favorite social memory?

My favorite memory is my freshman year Homecoming Lip Sync competition! I was on the Student Center and Campus Activities team and we ended up winning first place! That’s where I truly felt like I found a home at Rowan and with the SCCA. That’s also where I met some of my closest friends. Full circle, I actually oversaw that event in Fall 2020 as the student director!

Sarah with Prof Statue.

What are your career aspirations?

I hope to become a professional in Student Affairs in a higher education setting. I want to oversee college students that have a passion for being involved in student activities and being campus leaders. I’ll be attending University of South Florida for the M.Ed College Student Affairs program and will be the new graduate assistant for Student Support Services there.

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

My mentor, Megan McHugh, guided me to be as involved as I am today, as well as my best friend, Mia Nardone, who basically made me join clubs with her so I would be involved. Through my work with the names above, as well as the SCCA, the Orientation team, and Admissions, I have found my love for student affairs in higher education and I’m determined to continue to do this in my future. 

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

Shout-out to my dad, who is my best friend and does everything he can to support me. I got my work ethic and drive from him and hope someday I can be as amazing as him. Also, I’d like to shout-out Maria Arbizo, Melissa Ulmer, Megan McHugh, Serafina Genise, Mia Nardone, Dylan Regan, Ayala Gedeon and Arielle Gedeon for supporting me and loving me unconditionally. 

Sarah sitting down outside.

Who is your favorite professor and what class did you take them for? 

My favorite professor is Shari Willis, who I completed my Adventure Education Leadership CUGS with. She is my favorite because she cares about her students as both people and students and is willing to help you do anything to accomplish your goals. 

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

I would say get involved! Don’t sit in your dorm all day long, get an on-campus job. Get the most out of the money you’re paying for student activities fees. Go to events and get free food and t-shirts (you’ll want to make a t-shirt blanket when you graduate).

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

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

Alumni Success: Nah’Ja Washington Shares How Rowan Helped Her Succeed In The Advertising Industry

Rowan arch near Bunce Hall.

What are some of your responsibilities at DDB? I have a lot of different responsibilities. One of them is being aware of different trends and what’s going on in the market and creating a newsletter with my manager to keep her up to date on those things. I also, as the junior strategist, essentially do […]

#PROFspective: Public Relations and Advertising Major Madison Sweet

A headshot of Madison Sweet outside on Rowan's campus.

Today, we speak to Public Relations & Advertising double major Madison Sweet! Madison is a transfer student from Raritan Valley Community College and is from Bridgewater, NJ (Somerset County). She shares with us what a typical day at is like for her and how she transitioned into Rowan.

A portrait photo of Madison outside on Rowan's campus.

What is a typical Rowan day for you?

I work at Financial Aid in the mornings and afternoons and then I return home to join my Zoom classes. After that, I cook myself dinner or I will treat myself and order out (sushi always). After my work load is done, I love spending quality time with my friends, my boyfriend, and my Big in my sorority. Some nights, I like to go out to Landmark or Chickie’s & Pete’s for a drink with my friends as well (following COVID procedures, of course).

Could you share with us one moment during your time at Rowan that made you feel inspired or confident that you’re in the right major for you?

The relations that I have built with my professors have made me love my major even more. I am super comfortable with them and love doing my work. The moment I knew I was in the right major was my accomplishment in making the Dean’s List back to back. I struggled with school growing up, and now I have a 3.7 GPA that I am super proud of, it would have not been possible without the Communication Profs.

Could you tell us a little bit about your transition into Rowan as an incoming student? Were you nervous? Excited? Stressed? What people, programs or things helped to make your transition smooth?

I felt all the nerves. Since I was in community college before, I was super eager to start a new chapter of my life away from home to learn who I am as a person on my own. I was super excited to start my classes but worried I wouldn’t make any friends. But Rowan’s students and profs are the nicest people I have ever met. Class was never boring. Joining my sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi, also had a huge impact on my social life. Without this org, I wouldn’t have all of the friends that I do, today.

Madison posing with her four friends outside the Engineering building.
Madison hanging out with friends outside the Engineering building.

What are your professional goals?

Currently I am not sure what I want to do for a job after college. I would love to work in the social media field for a big company if possible.

How has Rowan helped to support you with your professional goals?

My profs have always been very supportive toward me, they are very understanding and are always willing to help if you need it, which was very nice and comforting. If I was ever confused they would help me with an assignment if needed. My sorority has always encouraged us to prioritize school work first to make sure that we stayed on top of our grades. My profs and advisor always let us know about potential Internships as well.

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Story by: Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photography by: Joe Gentempo, senior art major

Beyond the Classroom: Woman in Business, Management and Marketing Major Lexi Jubin

Lexi standing in a wooded area near Rowan Hall on campus.

Junior Lexi Jubin from Monroe Township in Middlesex County, NJ shares her experience about being a woman in business. She is a Management and Marketing major with a certificate of undergraduate study in Entrepreneurial and Independent Media.

Lexi Jubin’s calendar is filled with office hours, events and leadership meetings. Her extracurricular involvement is extensive, as she is a Resident Assistant in Mimosa Hall, the Marketing Director of Student University Programmers (SUP), a part of the American Marketing Association, the Society for Advancement of Management, and has an outside internship at Soccer Therapy NYC. It’s safe to say that Lexi is taking advantage of the opportunities provided at Rowan. 

Lexi outside on campus.

When Lexi was asked about her experience being a woman in a predominantly male field, she shared her honest feedback. “Most of my classes have male students, so the women are usually outnumbered. I definitely notice a difference when we are in virtual breakout rooms. I feel like sometimes I have to stand my ground and talk over people, but I always make sure my voice is heard. That’s one of the reasons I am so involved; I try to let my knowledge and experience speak for itself so I don’t need to prove anything to anyone.”

Lexi stands in front of the entrance to Business Hall.

Lexi talks fondly about one of her favorite professors, Dr. Guner, who is the head of the marketing department at Rowan. “Dr. Guner is an example of another strong woman in business. She can easily hold the attention of the class because she’s so outspoken and interesting and carries herself so well. She is such a role model for me. 

As you could’ve probably guessed, Lexi has some big goals after graduation. “My ultimate goal is to work in marketing for national aquariums or to have my own small businesses. I would also love to help other small businesses compete by doing their digital marketing for them,” Lexi says.

She adds that Rowan has given her the tools to achieve those goals. “My experiences as a student employee have helped me so much. I’ve learned communication skills, flexibility, time management, and most importantly: confidence. Given the opportunity to head the marketing for Student University Programmers (SUP) shows me I have the ability to lead a team as well as demonstrate marketing practices.”

Her coursework has also given her some great opportunities. “In the Rohrer College of Business, we are required to attend networking events. This allows me to expand my connections and gives me a chance to update my LinkedIn profile.” 

Lexi stands on the steps in the Business Hall lobby.

Lexi shares some powerful advice to other women who want to enter the field of business. She says “you deserve respect, you deserve to be heard, and you deserve to be there.” 

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

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

#PROFspective: Senior Theatre/Marketing Double Major Says “Try New Things … You’re Only Young Once”

Erik during an acting class monologue.

Today we speak with Erik Kattermann, a senior theatre and marketing double major with concentrations in Acting and Honors from Montville, NJ (Morris County). Erik is a Resident Assistant and lives on-campus at 114 Victoria Street. He serves as the vice president of the Fishing Club.

Erik poses against a gray backdrop.

What inspired you to be passionate about your major?

I’ve taken classes with Professor Michael Dean Morgan, a theatre professor, since sophomore year, and he’s had a huge impact on me. He really showed me theatre and he showed me that anyone can be an actor, the work that has to be put in. When Professor Morgan showed me what theatre was about, it opened doors for me and motivated me. I truly love going to every theatre class I have, no doubt about it. I love going to class and watching my classmates, who are super talented and super hard-working, perform. I love getting the opportunity to perform and be in the environment of the Rowan Theatre Department. I’m so grateful. I always take steps back and realize how blessed I am just to have this opportunity to learn about something that I really am passionate about. Rowan also helped me find that passion. In high school, I had nothing to do with the arts or theatre, or acting. Professors, classmates, and friends at Rowan helped open that door to me, and I really love it. 

What would you say to a future student interested in a major?

Definitely don’t be afraid to try. Try new things and put yourself outside of your comfort zone. I can say from personal experience that if I never put myself outside of my comfort zone that I would not be where I am today with the goals that I have today. Something like acting or theatre or performing or even just talking in front of a group of people is something where, years ago, I would have never thought I would be doing, let alone enjoy doing, and it’s all because I put myself out of my comfort zone. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get nervous at first. I still get nervous sometimes. But you’re at a time in your life when you’re young and we’re only doing this once. So just try new things, and every day, challenge yourself to do one thing that’s outside of your comfort zone. You’re going to have so much personal growth and find so many new passions and so many new journeys that you’re going to want to go on.

Erik poses in a Rowan shirt.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned this year in one of your classes?

I took a dialect class where we learn accents. This whole semester I got the opportunity to work on an Australian accent. Everybody gets to choose their own accent. I got to work on an Australian accent, which is by no means mastered. But it’s pretty good. And we also got to talk in a New York accent. And I got to listen to all my classmates do their own accents. Some people worked on French, British, Irish, and Scottish accents, among others. So that was definitely something cool I got to learn this year.

What’s one moment that made you feel like Rowan was the right fit for you?

I knew Rowan was right for me the second my parents dropped me off freshman year. I just had this overwhelming feeling of comfortability and knowledge that I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted. There is a feeling at Rowan of everyone wanting you to succeed. I immediately felt that, and I have felt it every day on and off-campus, for as long as I have been a Prof.

Eric during one of his acting class monologues.
Eric during one of his acting class monologues.

Could you share one moment that you felt that Rowan was a welcoming environment for you?

There definitely was a specific moment. I was originally just a marketing major, but then I took a theatre class. The theatre major is like nothing else. It is such a unique and diverse and connected family. Everyone knows everyone and supports everyone. Everyone makes such a big effort to get to know you as a person and to get to know your goals and make sure you feel supported and comfortable. That sense of community and family is what made me want to audition for the theatre department and become a double major. 

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

Photos provided by:
Erik Kattermann, senior theatre and marketing double major

#PROFspective: Electrical & Computer Engineering, Rowan After Hours and More

Alex standing outside James Hall in the background.

Today we feature Alexandra Jackson, a senior Electrical and Computer Engineering major who minors in Mathematics, from Marlton, NJ (Burlington County). She lives on campus and is a Resident Assistant, the treasurer of the College Diabetes Network, is involved in Out in STEM (oSTEM) and Catholic Campus Ministry. Tell us about one club, organization or […]

#PROFspective: Biochemistry Major Erin Gray

Erin sitting outside of the Science Hall.

Today we feature senior Erin Gray, a Biochemistry major from Mickleton, NJ (Gloucester County). Erin is involved on campus with sorority Theta Phi Alpha, employed as a student worker as an Admissions Ambassador, and participates in the Rowans Honors College. She talks about how she has made friends and her experience being on campus. Tell […]

Student Leadership with Volunteerism: Fresh For All [VIDEO]

Will, the student leader of Fresh For All poses on Rowan's campus.

Rowan University students share their volunteer and leadership experience with Fresh For All, an on-campus initiative spearheaded by Philabundance that brings free, fresh fruits and vegetables to campus every week.

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Student Created:
Adam Clark, senior Radio/TV/Film major
Louis Testa III, senior music composition major

My First Semester as a Transfer: The Adjustment

Today we feature Stephanie Batista, a sophomore Music Industry major from Toms River, NJ (Ocean County). Stephanie is a first-generation college student who transferred from Ramapo College of New Jersey this semester. She is a digital content contributor for Rowan Blog and is passionate about photography. Why did you choose Rowan? I chose Rowan because […]

#PROFspective: Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Major Maribeth Novsak

Marybeth sits outside on campus.

Maribeth Novsak, a senior Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management major from Cape May Court House, NJ (Cape May County), shares some highlights of her Rowan experience. 

What inspired you to choose your major?

I actually started as an Athletic Training student here at Rowan. After my sophomore year, I realized I wasn’t happy in the classroom but I was happy working as an EMT and learning about mass casualty and shelter operations, that’s what really drew me to switch my major to Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, as well as a great group of friends and family.

How are you involved on campus? How does it fulfill you or support your future goals?

I currently volunteer with Rowan EMS as well as hold one of their two student worker positions. When I am there as a student worker I coordinate non-emergency transports for students to doctors’ offices. When I am there in a volunteer capacity, I answer 911 calls, assist in the training of EMTs as well as help with the driver training program. I’m usually at the squad about 48 hours a week.

Marybeth stands outside 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?

Every interaction that I have with my classmates and professors as well as every time I hand in a quality paper or project shows me that this is where I am meant to be and I made the right choice in changing my 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.

All of our professors in our program are great. There is one professor in particular that I have connected with, and she has become a great mentor to me. Not only have I had her for multiple classes she has helped me with career advising and has let me talk through all of the different scenarios with her.

The thing with my field is, I feel like learning the curriculum is important but learning the networking and building capital for yourself is even more important because one day you are going to need to use it.

maribeth in front of prof statue

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

Photography by:
Quintin Stinney, radio/television/film major 

20 Questions With Autumn [VIDEO]

Autumn stands in the Student Center.

Psychology major Autumn Vilchez-Cruz shares what it’s really like to be a Prof, while answering 20 quick questions. As we walk through campus to the Wellness Center, Autumn answers questions about her major, on-campus jobs, and leadership positions.

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Video by:
Adam Clark, senior Radio/TV/Film major
Max Morgan, senior Radio/TV/Film major

#PROFspective: Learning by Doing with Engineering Major Nicholas Kreuz

Nick stands outside in front of green tree foliage.

Nicholas Kreuz working on electronics in an engineering lab.

Today we speak to junior Nicholas Kreuz, an Electrical and Computer Engineering major from Pennsylvania. Here, Nick shares his Rowan experience through his work in Engineering Clinics, including creating a quadcopter drone and a rocket, which he will enter into a competition in New Mexico. 

Nicholas Kreuz of Quakertown, Pennsylvania is the epitome of “involved” at Rowan. He has an on-campus job as a building manager for Campus Recreation while also being a part of Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity.

Nick is on track to get his bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His goal with this degree is to work in the field of aerospace engineering. Nick said he “would love to work for a company like Boeing or Lockheed Martin” when he is finished at Rowan. 

Nick grew an interest in engineering at an early age due to his desire to be very “hands-on and technically oriented.” He said throughout middle school and high school he knew he would want to pursue something involving engineering, but it wasn’t until he arrived at Rowan that he became interested in the electrical and computer engineering aspect to it.

“When I came to this college in particular I really liked how they combined the two majors into one and really had a hands-on focus to their curriculum, especially the clinical classes through the engineering building,” Nick says.

Engineering student Nicholas Kreuz poses sitting down with his hands on top of one another.

Engineering Clinics are the signature aspect of Rowan’s engineering programs. For all four years, engineering students participate in these clinic classes, which involve various hands-on projects. With the guidance of a credentialed engineer, students in groups have the opportunity to learn by doing. 

One of the things that Nick has accomplished in a clinic class involved “constructing and testing a fully submersible Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (UROV).” Kreuz explains the concept of the project and what was asked of him and his group:

“We had to simulate a task that a UROV in the field would have to do. For example, work on an oil rig and go to the seafloor to examine something. So we had this obstacle course set up and had a basic system of motors and a receiver that we could use that would be the actual operation of the vehicle but as far as constructing the vehicle and designing it to complete all its tasks was completely up to us.”

One semester later, Nick was tasked with creating a “Quadcopter Drone,” which unfortunately he was not able to finish once all students were sent home for Covid-19. He says this project’s objective was a similar concept to the UROV because there was a certain task that the drone had to perform. Like his last project, this too was going to be tested on an obstacle course that was meant to simulate a real-life situation. 

Perhaps the most impressive part of Kreuz’s college career so far is his most recent endeavor. Nick is a part of a team with nine other students and one professor to build a rocket and compete in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition in New Mexico. 

Nick Kreuz poses and smiles outdoors.

This is a yearly competition that hosts around 40-50 schools in a desert in New Mexico. Anyone who is a part of a college or university is allowed to enter the competition. Teams at the competitions will test their rockets in front of a group of judges. 

“The way it works is they judge us on our documentation, our predictions, and our calculations, and the second half of the competition comes from how well our rocket actually performs,” Nick says.

Projects in the engineering clinics can be so involved and advanced that they can last as long as five years. Nick will work on this one through this entire school year, and the competition in New Mexico will take place after next semester. 

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Story by:
Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

Seniors Share How They Have Grown From Their Freshman Year Mistakes

Rowan Prof outside of Savitz Hall

Rowan seniors Stephania Bocanegra, Alexander Brown and Aaron Lee reveal how their freshmen year mistakes helped them grow into the student leaders they are today.  

Stephania Bocanegra, a Civil and Environmental Engineering major from Cape May, NJ (Cape May County), currently lives on campus as a Resident Assistant at Victoria Apartments. Stephania started off at a community college and transferred to Rowan.

“I wish I kept the work ethic I had as an honors student in high school to my first year of college,” she says. “By the time I transferred, I didn’t feel as prepared because I slacked off a bit in community college. My grades were good, but I didn’t need to work as hard. When I got to Rowan, I needed to start working harder because the classes were very different.”

Stephania quickly got into a groove at Rowan and began to flourish in the college environment. She is the Student Government Association officer for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the United Latinos Association.

Stephania poses with flowers in background.
Stephania Bocanegra

Alexander Brown is a Music Industry Business Major with minors in  Africana Studies, Music, and a Vocal Concentration. He is originally from Montego Bay, Jamaica and currently lives on campus as a Resident Assistant in Chestnut Hall. He shared that as a freshman, he didn’t take advantage of all of the extracurricular options that are available at Rowan. “I was more focused on adjusting myself to college life, so I was nervous to try too many new things. As I continued to grow, I tried to join organizations and clubs to put myself out there and get involved to meet new people,” he says.

As a senior, Alex is now the President of Profecy Acapella Club and the Treasurer of music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha.

Alexander Brown stands near Wilson Hall.
Alexander Brown

Aaron Lee is a Chemistry and Public Relations double major from Portsmouth, Virginia. “A mistake I made my freshman year was not tapping into the resources around me,” he says. “Coming out of high school, I thought I had everything figured out, so I didn’t take advantage of a lot of things. Whether that was the tutoring services or even just sitting in the library to do my work instead of my room, I assumed that I could handle things the same way I always did. But college is very different. As I got older, I grew a lot by using what’s available on campus.” 

Aaron is now the Assistant Resident Director of Evergreen and Magnolia Halls, an Orientation Leader and the President of both the Anime and Improv Clubs.

Aaron Lee in front of library columns.
Aaron Lee

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

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

5 Ways I’ve Gotten Involved on Campus

Loredonna on bridge.

College isn’t complete without getting involved to make campus feel like home. Here are 5 ways Loredonna Fiore, a junior Public Relations and Advertising major, did it.

1. Joining Residential Learning and University Housing (RLUH).

As a commuter during my freshman year, I didn’t know how to feel more connected to campus. A friend of mine who was an RA asked me to go to an information session to look further into the position. I applied, interviewed and thankfully got the RA position. As a sophomore, I found where I belonged on campus. I got to work with amazing student leaders, supportive professional staff and got to connect with wonderful freshman residents (shoutout to Chestnut Hall Class of 2023). I am now the Assistant Resident Director of Mimosa Hall, and I am learning and growing in this new role alongside my awesome team. RLUH has taught me the power of impact and how each of us can make a difference, big or small. 

Loredonna stands outside on campus.

2. Being an admissions ambassador. 

When I applied to be an admissions ambassador, I learned so many things about Rowan that made me love it even more. Getting to learn about Rowan’s history, all of the resources we offer and working with the professional staff was an awesome experience. I loved helping prospective students and giving them a glimpse of Rowan.  

3. Becoming an Orientation Leader. 

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, I wasn’t able to put all that I learned in PROS training to the test. I am looking forward to doing so next summer (hopefully). From what I did get to experience, I know that I am excited to go back to it. During training, I enjoyed learning about my staff and how we would operate as a team. I can’t wait to get to work with and help freshmen students. 

4. Interning with Rowan Blog. 

I was able to apply for my internship because of my Introduction to Public Relations professor. Professor Farney would always talk about real-life examples from her work with Rowan Admissions. I reached out to her in the summer to see if there were spaces available on her team, and she welcomed me with open arms. This is an awesome way to get involved on campus — using the connections you form in your classes and seeing them through to opportunities. Now, I get to meet so many great students and faculty members and expand my portfolio every week. Take advantage of these opportunities. 

5. Attending Events. 

Throughout my college experience so far, I have been able to attend events that make Rown feel like home. I love watching Rowan men’s soccer games and attending the live shows at the Bunce Black Box theatre. I also love going to the events put on by Rowan After Hours and the Student University Programmers. Some of my favorites are the Tuesday movie nights, $10,000 bingo and the food truck festival. You can meet people and have fun with your friend at these free Rowan events.

Loredonna stands outside on campus.

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

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

Psychology Major, Admissions Student Worker Latifah Tilus Tells Us About Work-Life Balance

Latifa sitting in the admissions office.

Today, we speak with Latifah Tilus, a sophomore Psychology major from Hamilton, NJ (Mercer County). She’s an on-campus resident who lives in 220 Rowan Boulevard Apartments and works as an admissions assistant in Rowan’s Admissions office. She tells us more about how she started working for Admissions and how she maintains a work-life balance.

“I like everything about this job! I really love it,” Latifah says. “I enjoy helping people when they’re applying or helping people when they come to the desk. Even though a lot of people aren’t coming in right now because of COVID and everything, I really like helping people out.” 

Latifah has worked in the Admissions office for a year. She says she heard about the position from her professor in her Rowan 101 course and decided to apply. Luckily, she got the job and has loved it ever since.

Latifa sitting in the admissions office wearing a mask that says "Profs" on it.

“I feel like this is a great job to have because I’m learning a lot of clerical [skills], and I get experience for any other jobs I would want in the future. I’ve never had a job before this, so I think this is a great first job to get!” Latifah says. 

When she’s not greeting people at the desk or helping out students with their applications, Latifah answers questions through the chat box on the Admissions site and assists with Rowan’s text system.

When asked about the best part of the job, Latifah says: “It’s a pretty easy position to have, as long as you do what you’re supposed to and show up on time! I also really like my coworkers. I don’t see them much because we all have different hours right now, but I really enjoy seeing them.” 

Latifah hopes to become a therapist in her post-grad future so she can continue to help others. “I want to help people with their mental health. I’ve been through some stuff, and I want to help people get through things too,” she says. 

Latifah left us with some words of advice and why she finds it helpful to have a job while being a student. 

“It’s really beneficial to have money while you’re in school. I’m paying off my interest while I’m in school! That’s where my money goes to.”

Latifa sitting at the front desk of the admissions office.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

Advice from the Joes of Rowan

Exterior shot of Joe in a black hoodie

Ten Joes of different majors and eight counties share their advice for incoming and current Rowan students. 

“Study more than you sleep, sleep more than you have fun, and have as much fun as possible.” – Joe Gummere, senior Mechanical Engineering major from Vernon, NJ (Sussex County, pictured above)

Joe Frascella standing outside in front of trees.
Joe Frascella

“You’re going to fall down. College is humbling for many people, you just have to be willing to accept the lessons you gain and learn from them.” – Joe Frascella, senior Communication Studies major from Hightstown, NJ (Mercer County)

Joe Gentempo sitting under an umbrella with a drink.
Joe Gentempo

“Don’t over stress but don’t under stress. Take it easy and just get assignments done on time. It also helps immensely to befriend your professor[s].” – Joe Gentempo, senior Art major from Middletown, NJ (Monmouth County)

Joe D'Intino playing ultimate frisbee.
Joe D’Intino playing ultimate frisbee.

“Put yourself out there, try something new. I know going in I was really quiet and shy. Then I found the best on-campus job (Rec Center), became a part of a sport club (Ultimate Frisbee) and now I’m president of the organization.” – First-generation college student, Joe D’Intino, junior Chemical Engineering student from Medford, NJ (Burlington County)

Headshot of Joe Kayal
Joe Kayal

“Be open to making new friends at any time and in any place, this will lead you to try new things and join new clubs.” – sophomore Joe Kayal, Civil Engineering major from Mahwah, NJ (Bergen County)

Joe Sansone standing next to a woman holding pink raffle tickets.
Joe Sansone

“My advice would be to never compare yourself to anyone and never be discouraged by a missed opportunity. Take your life in college day by day, set goals and never be afraid to lean on your peers/professors for support.” – Joe Sansone, senior Business Management and Marketing major from Howell, NJ (Monmouth County) 

Joseph Breymeier standing in sunlight looking down at his phone.
Joseph Breymeier

“Making friends is scary for EVERYONE. Don’t be afraid to ask to sit with strangers. You may just get a best friend out of it! The advisors at Rowan are invaluable resources. Ask them for information on clubs the campus offers and show up. The busier you are, the better your college experience.” – Joseph Breymeier, MBA student from Mount Laurel, NJ (Burlington County)

Joe Carriero is playing Hockey.
Joe Carriero

“The best thing that you can do is get involved! In spite of the current situation, Rowan is still offering plenty of clubs and activities that are easy to join and give you a great way to meet new friends and feel more comfortable with taking this big step in your life. I was nervous about going to Rowan and not knowing many people, but once I joined the Roller Hockey Club, I felt right at home!” – Joe Carriero, sophomore Finance major from Swedesboro, NJ (Gloucester County)

Joe Hunt taking a selfie.
Joe Hunt

“Don’t play it safe with choosing your major. I used to be a Bio major because it was the ‘safe’ option. The only problem with that was … I hate biology. I love movies, writing and storytelling. So I picked a major that reflects my passions. When I enter my career field, I’ll get a job that I enjoy, and not just make money at; and if you enjoy your job you’re not really ‘working,’ are you? Do what you love, and good luck, class of 2024.” – First-generation college student Joe Hunt, senior Radio/TV/Film (RTF) major from Audubon, NJ (Camden County)

Joe Hammer standing with two friends.
Joe Hammer (right)

“Be outgoing and make friends in your major! You will be in the same classes a lot and getting to know them will help with homework, studying and making your classes enjoyable. A friend that I met on my first day at Rowan ended up being my roommate senior year. Maintain a balanced workload by taking an easy or fun class each semester. If you think you are overdoing it, it’s okay to drop a class; summer classes helped me stay on pace.” – M.S. in Computer Science major Joe Hammer from Toms River, NJ (Ocean County)

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Header photo: Joe Gummere, senior mechanical engineering major

Story by: 
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

#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

#PROFspective: Combined Advanced Degree Program (CADP) in Subject Matter Education: English Major Dominique DiGiacomo

Dominique poses in front of a stream.

Today we feature Dominique DiGiacomo, a rising senior in the Combined Advanced Degree Program (CADP) in Subject Matter Education: English program, minors in International Studies and Asian Studies, and a Certificate of Undergraduate Studies in Japanese.  Dominique is a commuter student this coming year from Atco, NJ (Camden County).

Dominique poses in her Rowan attire.

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

On my busiest day, I am juggling two to three classes along with an opening shift (6:30-11 a.m.) for work as a building manager at the student center, an hour workout at the gym/kickboxing, an hour meeting for my second job, and a club meeting in which I am the vice president. 

Did you ever have a moment of uncertainty within your major? How did you get through the challenge?

Yes, I have experienced a moment of uncertainty within my major. There was a time in which I was not enjoying my education classes as much as my classes that were going towards my international studies minor. In order to get through this challenge, I talked to my teachers as well as those who I trusted to confide in them and ask for their opinions. This moment helped me to rediscover my passion for education and it also helped me to combine both my passion for education and international studies into one. 

Dominique poses with some friends in front of a "Rowan University" banner.

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

After my freshman year, I had the opportunity to work as a PROS (Peer Referral and Orientation Staff) member for Rowan orientations, as well as an SCCA staff member in the game room. The moment I started these two jobs was the moment I felt I really belonged at Rowan University. Through these jobs, I not only met new friends, but I also formed new families within the Rowan community. Working for Rowan really helped me to feel at home within the university.

Tell us about your transition into college and how you pushed through any challenges

Transitioning into college was definitely a nerve-racking situation. It was my first time living away from home, as well as the first time I had so much freedom in my life. These nerves, however, only lasted for the first week of school. Overcoming these nerves proved to be a lot easier than I had expected. I made sure to be social, interact with my roommate and my classmates and joined a few clubs. I also realized that every freshman in college was in the same boat; they were all nervous and looking to make friends. After realizing this, my transition to college became a whole lot easier. 

Dominique poses with some friends in the ballroom.

What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a college?

Don’t feel pressured by your friends to choose a certain school. Go on tours, interact with students, and get excited about going to college. Choose the place you feel most at home because college truly does become your second home. 

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

Photos contributed by:
Dominique DiGiacomo

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

Advice From An RA

Exterior drone photo of Chestnut Hall.

Meet Loredonna Fiore, junior Public Relations and Advertising double major with a minor in Communication Studies from Elk Township, NJ (Gloucester County). Loredonna was a Resident Assistant (RA) for Chestnut Hall this past year until COVID-19 shut down campus. She looks forward to being the Assistant Resident Director (ARD) of Mimosa Hall in the fall and shares how RA’s help students comfortably transition into college life.

Loredonna poses with a Rowan RA.
Loredonna (left) with a fellow Rowan RA.

New room, new roommate, new classes, new life! These are the paramount changes that people living on Rowan’s campus undergo when transitioning through college.

To help with life in a residence hall, your resident assistant can be a major resource for you.

To begin, resident assistants are required to host at least 5 events that residents can attend on various campus locations. The first event type is a community builder. Community building programs happen within the residence hall and are meant to unify the members of a floor/residence hall as a whole. Whether it is a gaming tournament, a self-care night, or a DIY craft party, community builders are designed to be social and fun for members of the hall.

The other event type is the Campus Community Connection programs. These programs are made in an effort to unify the students with the greater Rowan community by exposing them to Rowan-run activities or resources around campus. These include meditation classes, career fairs or even a 10,000 bingo night. 

Loredonna with other Rowan RA's.Along with programming, resident assistants are available for the students they serve on a deeper level. Once a semester, resident assistants conduct a one-on-one meeting with students. During these meetings, students will be able to discuss academics, involvement, the environment in the residence halls, overall emotional/mental health, and any other concerns the student may have. Resident assistants have a list of resources available to help direct students not only during one-on-one meetings, but at any point throughout the semester as well. 

Community meetings will also be hosted throughout the year to stimulate an ongoing conversation among residents to ensure their health, happiness, and safety. During these meetings, there will be discussions about residence hall policy, fun happenings around Rowan (programs, athletic events, live shows), and different suggestions about how students can live in harmony in a residence hall. 

Your resident assistant is basically a built-in support system and friend that Rowan gives each student. They are trained for weeks in the summer to effectively handle all different situations and to advocate for the needs of all residents. During move-in week, stop by to see your RA and begin to develop a relationship with them. As an RA, I can promise they will be delighted to meet you and get to know you throughout the school year. 

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

Julia’s Corner: The Benefits of Working On Campus

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.

Let’s be real, college is expensive. Whether you are paying your own tuition or just have other expenses, you will likely run out of money at some point during the year. You might’ve tried to find a job, but the hours were too much to handle and you fell behind in school. It may sound like there is no solution to this problem, but there most certainly is one.

rec center employee

When I first transferred to Rowan as a second semester sophomore, I was broke because I didn’t have a job at my other school. However, since I am a certified lifeguard and swim instructor, I decided to apply to the Recreation Center, one of the largest on-campus employers of student workers. I was hired right away and was getting money in every other week. Having an on-campus job saved me, and it can do the same for you. Here are some benefits of working on campus. 

Convenience: No car, no problem! Having an on-campus job means you can walk to work in minutes. If you’re scheduled for an early opening shift, you can wake up 20 minutes before your shift starts and still be on time. If you have class right after work, you can make it on time without having to worry about traffic. Plus, your money doesn’t have to go toward gas since you aren’t driving anywhere. 

Flexibility: When you work on campus, your supervisor understands that you and all of your coworkers are students. At the beginning of each semester, my supervisor had us all send us our class schedules to her so we wouldn’t have work during class. All departments in the recreation center, as well as all other on campus jobs, have this same policy. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about having to prioritize work over school.Alejandra works in Enterprise Center on a desktop computer.

Short shifts and hours: Rowan has a policy that students who work on campus can not work more than 20 hours per week during the school year. Most shifts only last around two to four hours also, so your job wouldn’t take up too much of your time. You would still have plenty of time to focus on school, enjoy your college experience, and still make a decent amount of cash without having to work around the clock. 

More friends! I have made some great friendships working in aquatics at the recreation center. I know people who work in other departments, at the student center, in admissions, etc, who have developed tons of great relationships as well. It is a great way to get out of your room and talk to people. Additionally, you can make professional connections with supervisors and get letters of recommendation for the future. student center employees

Money is a stressful subject, but working on campus makes dealing with it a little bit easier. You are set up with a walking commute and flexible schedule with light hours and still making enough money to get by. What more can you ask for? If interested, you can apply even before moving in!

Check out Prof Jobs for some on-campus employment opportunities. 

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Graduating College at 19

Tom Copsetta on the riverfront

Earning a college degree at 19, and earning an associate degree while still in high school, is not something we hear about very often. I asked Tom Copsetta, a 2020 graduate of the radio/TV/film program at Rowan, and previously ambassador for the High School Option Program (HSOP), a few questions about his experience.

Tom earned his associate degree in radio/TV/film from Rowan College of Gloucester County (now RCSJ) before even graduating high school.  

Radio/TV/film major Tom Copsetta stands in front of a river and cityscape

When I asked Tom about what it was like to balance high school and college work, he said it was most difficult to maintain a healthy mental state. There was no break from school during the process; even his high school summer and winter breaks were filled with college work. He went on to say that his high school career consisted of challenging honors courses, so “stacking college on top of it was really rough at times.” On the bright side, he said the college work consisted mostly of general education courses, which he found not to be so difficult.

Although the workload was stressful, Tom said that it taught him how not to crack under pressure. “Many people would say I was crazy for doing this, which I probably am, but I tend to just be an all-around workaholic,” he added. 

I asked Tom if he had any advice for students thinking of getting into the program and he said, “Try your best to manage your time and get things done so you can sleep at night.” Honest advice like that is what some students need to hear when thinking about entering a program that can be so time consuming.

He recommends taking all online classes because they can be done at your own pace. However, if you are not one that can handle online courses, HSOP will be a tough challenge. Tom also says to take advantage of CLEP tests. These are exams that you pay to take instead of taking the actual college course. By taking these exams he was able to pass English 101 and 102 as well as math 101 and 102. He saved thousands of dollars and earned 12 credits.

He says the spotlight that he gained from HSOP is now great because it is a great resume builder and a way to “quickly build an impressive image” of himself to new people. However, the spotlight back when everything first took off was definitely overwhelming. It felt great to have his hard work recognized, but also overbearing at times because it was a lot of attention he didn’t ask for. The main reason why he gained so much attention is because he made a video promoting the program that took off, making him an ambassador for two years. 

I asked what got him interested in radio/TV/film as a major and he said, “This is just the closest major I could find to what I love, which is video production as a whole including motion design, visual effects, cinematography and more.”

Radio/TV/film major Tom Copsetta stands in front of a river and cityscape

Tom began making videos with his friends at just 9 years old and always loved cameras and capturing moments. Marty Bouchard, who started the Washington Township High School television production course 34 years ago, was and still is a big inspiration to him.

“Marty is an absolute legend,” says Tom. “He was the man who solidified my interest in the field, and taught me many techniques in making professional content.” Tom said that Marty made the classroom a fun and enjoyable experience for all of his students because he cared about their progress. 

The most important thing Tom learned through this whole experience is to push yourself. Although it can be hard to get going and make progress, it will lead you to success and many other great opportunities. Experiencing stress and the side effects of it and learning how to deal with it is a very important thing to go through as well. Tom says that even though the program showed him how important time management is, he is still convinced that he “holds the world record for most assignments submitted at 11:59 p.m.” 

Radio/TV/film major Tom Copsetta stands in front of a river and cityscape

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Story by:
Melanie Sbaraglio, public relations and advertising graduate 

Photos courtesy of:
Tom Copsetta

Junior Communication Studies Major: How I’m Gaining Lifelong Skills at Rowan

Christian walks with a group of students down Rowan Boulevard

Today we feature junior Communication Studies major and Journalism minor Christian A. Browne, who commutes to Rowan from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County) and is originally from Philadelphia. Christian transferred to Rowan from Camden County College. Going to Rowan has been one of the best experiences of my life. Through the university newspaper The Whit, Rowan […]

Senior Reflects: PR Grad Jasmine Dennis Shares Her Favorite Rowan Memories

Exterior shot of Holly Pointe Commons, where Jasmine Dennis was a resident assistant

Today we feature Jasmine Dennis, a 2020 graduate who earned her degree in Public Relations with minors in Communication Studies and Strategic Communication. Jasmine is from Sayreville, NJ (Middlesex County), and lived on campus all four years.

The experiences and memories I’ve made at Rowan will last a lifetime. To begin a new life in an unknown place felt overwhelming at first, but looking back now I’m truly grateful I attended an amazing university that helped me to evolve as a person. Rowan became my home away from home.

I want to thank my parents and sister because they’ve been an incredible support through this whole process. Next, thank you to all of my friends for the endless support and memories. Lastly, thank you to everyone else who’s supported me along the way, it means the world.

Exterior shot of public relations major Jasmine Dennis

I’m proud to say I have achieved many of my goals in a such a short period of time here. To name a few, my junior year I was selected for the Resident Assistant position at Holly Pointe Commons. Later in my junior year, I was awarded the Silver Certification Leadership award. My favorite part about being in a leadership position was serving as a role model and helping others.

Next, the fall of my senior year, I attended the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Conference trip to San Diego, California with the Rowan PRSSA chapter. This was my first real business trip, and I made great connections, gaining helpful insight about the real world. By the end of the fall of my senior year I was sworn into Rowan’s PRSSA chapter. Finally, in the fall of my senior year, I landed two on-campus jobs and completed an internship at a PR firm located in Marlton, NJ.

Exterior shot of Jasmine Dennis at home.

I loved being active at Rowan, and it was truly the best thing I could have done. Each opportunity built on and prepared me for the next one. Rowan helped me to step outside my comfort zone and gain exposure to a large variety of rewarding experiences.

One of my favorite things about Rowan was its ability to provide what feels like an endless number of social events. Rowan goes above and beyond to offer a variety of opportunities and engaging, hands-on activities.

Thank you, Rowan, for an incredible journey. I’m looking forward to the next chapter that awaits. Congrats to all of the class of 2020, and best of luck to everyone! The world is yours.

Group photo of Jasmine Dennis with her family.

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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

5 Financial Tips to Help You Graduate Debt Free

Scattered dollar bills.

This spring, I will graduate with no college loan debt, but I was kind of dealt the financial aid jackpot when I applied for college. I live with a single mom who had two other kids in college. Due to my situation, I was eligible for multiple grants and scholarships at any college I picked.

Public relations major Maria Mancini at her Glassboro home
Public relations major Maria Mancini will graduate this spring debt free.

Although I got a lot of help through financial aid, here are some tips for high school and college students for saving money and graduating debt free. 

  • Take advantage of high school classes that can earn you college credits.

In high school I was able to take advanced placement (AP) courses such as AP calculus AB and BC. At the end of the marking period, I then took AP tests to earn college credit for those classes. Taking advantage of these classes allowed me to graduate with a whole semester worth of college credits.

There was also a course called High School Option. This meant you had a period or two free, but you attended a college course at your local community college. Both of these options allow high school students to receive college credits at low costs. Now, there are even more opportunities for high school students to receive college credits. My cousin attended GCIT, where she graduated with almost a full year of college finished. 

  • Apply for grants and scholarships and don’t miss the deadlines.

Another way to lessen your student debt is to apply to all grants and scholarships that are available to you. Local businesses and organizations in my town gave out scholarships to high school students. I was able to take advantage of these and although it may not have been tens of thousands of dollars, I was able to use that scholarship money and pay for books for two years of college.

Each state also gives out grants and financial aid, but there are deadlines for both of these. It is very important that you do not miss these deadlines. Missing these deadlines can result in you not getting the full financial aid you are eligible for. 

  • Consider going to your community college for 2 years. 

While you may not get the full college experience, going to community college allows you to finish your first 2 years of college at a third of the cost, possibly even less. Going to a community college cuts down the cost because you only pay for the classes that you are taking. You don’t have to pay for room and board, a meal plan or all the additional expenses that a 4-year college charges you. Attending a community college also allows you to work part time or possibly full time. This can help you pay out of pocket for your classes you are taking or it will give you an income to help save money for when you transfer to a 4-year college. Either way, attending a community college will help you cut expenses and college costs in the long run.  

  • Create a budget and stick to it!

The first step to creating a budget is calculating all of your monthly expenses. This means going through your bank statements and receipts and figuring out how much you spend and what you spend it on each month. Next, calculate your monthly income. Once this is all determined, you can figure out how much money you are left with each month. In order to save or pay off debt, you must create a budget. It can be to save $100 every week or $200 a month. Whatever you determine your budget will be, it is important to stick to it!

  • Apply for a work-study or to be an RA.

Another option for college students is applying for a work-study on campus or applying to become a resident assistant (RA). Work studies are a great way to gain experience with on-campus jobs and can also connect you with a lot of resourceful connections for after you graduate. R.A’s get free housing, but also a lot of responsibility that may leave you not gaining the full college experience, if that is what you are looking for. Both of these options allow college students to lessen the cost of college or allow you to make money while attending college. 

Using these 5 tips can help you towards graduating with little to no debt. 

Public relations senior Maria Mancini at her home

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Story by:
Maria Mancini, senior public relations major

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Pandemic Profs: Being Productive When Working from Home

view from Don's desk at home

Welcome to our new series to give you a glimpse into Rowan University, our campus culture, and the lives of our students, while practicing social distancing to protect society from the spread of coronavirus. Today’s story is from Don DeWitt, a senior isolating from his house in Gloucester County, NJ. Don, a Music Industry major, lives off campus. 

With the official stay-at-home order from Governor Murphy, all Rowan students are adjusting to online class instruction and the unique challenges that come with it. Additionally, some students who have never worked from home before are continuing jobs and internships at home.

Suddenly working from home is the new standard for many Rowan students and staff alike, and some members of the Rowan community may be quickly realizing the challenges of working entirely from home. I am one of those students who finds myself not only taking all my courses online, but also working two jobs remotely. It is also likely for many Rowan students and staff that their family members are either working or taking classes online from home as well.

Because of this unprecedented time, I made the following guide of simple tips and advice for staying productive, focused and sane when transitioning to working from home. Please be aware that these tips come from my own experience working from home with my family in the past few weeks and may not work for everyone; however, if you are having difficulty taking care of business at home, then this advice is worth a shot!

  • Get dressed. Yes, I mean what we have all been fearing the most after this is all over with: Put on pants! If you have trouble focusing and working as efficiently as you would in the classroom or office, try putting on some jeans and a T-shirt in the morning (or whatever your normal, everyday, going out in public outfit is). This could put you in a more awake, alert, ready-to-get-things-done mood.
  • Keep a schedule. Try to make a schedule that keeps you on track to take care of your responsibilities and meet the goals you had before the lockdown as closely as possible. I get up at 8 a.m. on weekdays to start working for my remote IT job at 8. I don’t prefer eating breakfast as soon as I wake up, so a benefit of working from home is having access to my kitchen around 10 when my stomach realizes I am actually hungry! The flexibility of working from home allows us to set times to take care of specific responsibilities while also doing things on our own time. After I stop working at noon I work through my list of responsibilities and make sure I have time to do everything that needs to be done during the day. It is also important to go sleep around the same time every night so your body gets used to waking up at the same time in the morning.
  • Make lists. Lists can be used to organize and prioritize your goals, assignments and projects, while making it easy to keep track of what you have already completed and what still needs to be done. Lists are flexible and can be as specific or general as you want. Every few days I make a list of what assignments, projects and chores I have for the days ahead. I combine my responsibilities for work, school and home all on the same list because it helps me see what is more important to work on and where I can fit each responsibility into my schedule. Before the lockdown, my lists were more separate and only pertained to specific topics like work or school, but my schedule has become more fluid except for planned Zoom and WebEx meetings. I use old-fashioned pen-and-paper, but you could use an app to keep track of your lists. It is all about what best helps keep track of the ever-growing pile of responsibilities during this chaotic time in our lives.
A cement walkway on Rowan's campus with lamp posts, green grass, and trees during sunset.
Going for a walk while practicing social distancing is a safe way to take a break from the computer screen.
  • Take breaks. With almost all work being done on a computer, it is important to step away from the screen once in a while. If you find yourself clicking through tabs in circles (the modern-day equivalent to reading the same paragraph in a book three times), it may be time for a quick 5 to 15 minute break. During this short break you can go on a walk (social distance!), eat a snack or have a conversation or phone call with friends or family (again, social distance!). You will come back to the computer screen with a refreshed mind, ready to get things done.
  • Have fun! Working at home can be just as stressful as working in a classroom or office but now we have the freedom to do the things we like to do while we work without bothering others, like listening to music. Put on the radio or make a playlist of your favorite uplifting tunes. If you are looking for a motivating work song I recommend Taking Care of Business by Bachmann Turner Overdrive. Additionally you can make your video conferences just a bit more fun using a cool program called ChromaCam. ChromaCam takes your video during web calls and replaces the background with any image you want. You can also use this to hide a messy room with a faux office to appear more professional!

Hopefully you will find some of the ideas in this article useful and can adapt them to your routine. If you have any useful ideas for being productive while working at home please share them in a comment. We will get through the lockdown by coming together while in isolation.

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Story by:
Don DeWitt, music industry senior

Alumni Success: Psychology Major Natalie Torres

A headshot of Natalie Torres.

Today, we speak to Natalie Torres, from Morris County, NJ, who is a Rowan alumna. She graduated with a Psychology undergraduate degree in May 2016 and then earned her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in August 2018.

We speak to Natalie about why she originally chose Rowan and how Rowan has prepared her for her success as a child psychologist and her current pursuit in becoming a board-certified behavior analyst. 

“I originally chose Rowan because I felt like I would not be just another number. The size of campus and the size of the classes were perfect for me. I didn’t have to take a packed bus to different locations just to get to class, and everything was close by.”

Natalie also had heard that Rowan had a great Psychology program. She instantly knew that with the distance, size, affordability and the great reputation, that this was the school for her. 

“I always knew from a young age that I had wanted to go into psychology. So many people would come up to me asking me for advice, I enjoyed helping them and working through their problems. I find psychology to be extremely fascinating and helpful! When it came time to start thinking about college and what route I wanted to take, I discussed the possibilities with a teacher of mine. I told her I wanted to go into psychology but more specifically, I wanted to work with children who have autism.” 

Natalie feels passionate about helping the education, growth and development of children with disabilities and behavioral disorders. 

“Autism hits close to home for me and my family. So when she told me that Rowan had an applied behavior analysis concentration and a master’s program as well, I knew that Rowan was where I needed to be!” 

When Natalie wasn’t studying Psychology in her classes, she was pushing her education even further with her on-campus job. 

“I first worked for the payroll services at Rowan, then the Rowan mailroom for two more years after that. Then, I finally began working as a research assistant for my professors in the ABA program. During my master’s, I worked for the ABA center as well.” 

However, Natalie admits, she has had her fair share of obstacles during her time as a college student.

“The biggest thing I had to overcome was my time management skills. Once I knew that I had successfully gotten into the master’s program, I knew that I had to juggle doing hours of research, staying on top of my classes and doing my assignments on time. Time management was essential for me!”

Natalie has achieved so much during her time at Rowan, so we had to ask, did the future seem bright? 

“Throughout my time at Rowan, I was fortunate enough to have amazing professors who were willing to help me at any time. My professors were extremely credible and well-known in the field, so that gave my classmates and I the advantage of receiving great advice and mentoring. I not only felt prepared, but extremely confident that I would succeed!” 

Natalie was not only successful in finding a great education at Rowan, but she also made an amazing connection and relationship too. 

Gene sitting on the living room couch with his dog, Carsen sitting in-between his legs.
Gene and their dog, Carsen.

“I believe Rowan has not only prepared me, but also my boyfriend of seven years, Gene.”

Natalie’s boyfriend, Gene Maier, is also a Rowan alumnus with two degrees in accounting and finance. He now works for the accounting firm Baker Tilly in Philadelphia.

Natalie shares: “Rowan has really helped us both in building our careers. Currently, I’m working for a specialized school for children with disabilities in their autism campus. There, I work with children from various locations ranging from toddlers to adolescents. We bought our first house a year and a half ago here in Cherry Hill. We also got our first dog together too, Carsen!” 

While Natalie has so much success around her currently, we still wanted to know what she has planned for the future.

“I’m currently working on taking the test to get my BCBA certification. Once I become a board-certified behavioral analyst, I can continue to help and support so many more families and children.” 

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Story and photography by:
Bianca Torres, junior music industry major



Pandemic Profs: Isolating On Campus

Marko looks to the horizon.

Welcome to our series to give you a glimpse into Rowan University, our campus culture, and the lives of our students, while we’re practicing social distancing to protect society from the spread of COVID-19. Today’s story is from international student Marko Minic, a senior sports communication and media major isolating while living on campus. Photos included in this story were taken before COVID-19.

Marko crouches in front of tall grass, holding a basketball.

My name is Marko Minic and I am an international student from Belgrade, Serbia. During these unpredicted times, I was unable to travel back home and I am actually one of the few students staying on campus during this pandemic crisis.

The whole Rowan campus is currently a ghost town. I live in Mimosa Hall which is in the center of campus, and apart from seeing someone pass by every now and then, it has pretty much been empty to its last inch. Serving as a Resident Assistant (RA) in Mimosa, I have personally seen every last soul move out of the building, with just me and my Resident Director remaining.

The good news which I was very happy to hear was that the food services, although limited, remained open for the few of us still here. I am able to go to the Student Center (SC) and choose from our Breakfast & Co. Freshens, and Pizza Crust stations as well as get some additional food and supplies from The SHOP. With the rotation of these stations in the SC, I am able to have three well-balanced meals a day while getting some snacks in between from The SHOP. Overall, while the things are not ideal right now, I am very grateful for the resources and support that I have from the Rowan community and having them be there for me during these rough times.

Marko stands behind the Business Hall.Although my spring break (and the rest of the semester) is not what I have expected, I am trying my best to stay productive and not fall into a routine of slacking back. I have made a promise to myself that I will come out of this better, stronger (both mentally and physically), and more improved. Because I am normally jammed with three on-campus jobs and taking 18 credits in school during the academic year, my usual week is pretty hectic and my days can be overwhelming.

I am taking advantage of this unique situation by having more “me time” and focusing on improving myself in as many areas as I can. With more free time on my hands, I am also on the phone with my family and friends back home more often. Being a first generation student in my family who came to study in America certainly comes with its challenges and benefits. While it is hard being on my own and far away from home, the constant support and love I get from my closest ones keeps me going. As a first gen. here, I am trying to pave the way for the rest of my family to succeed and give them a better life they deserve. 

Marko stands holding a basketball, looking to the horizon.As I will be graduating in about a month or so and will soon be out in the real world, I am using this time to prepare myself for a life after college; devoting my time to work on improving certain hard skills that employees look for, and searching for jobs that will help me get settled for a life in the U.S. upon the end of my college career.

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Degree in Three: Taylor Jachts, Law and Justice Major

Drone view of brick and white columns of Bunce Hall.

Why did you choose Rowan University?  “I actually chose Rowan University because of the Bantivoglio Honors Program and the Degree in Three Program. They are both things that look great on a resume!” What made you choose your major? “I chose to be a Law & Justice major because I wanted to go to law school. There are […]

Learn How This Transfer Student Graduated Debt Free

The top of Bunce Hall on a sunny day.

Rowan alumna and transfer student Natalia P. graduated debt free.Meet Natalia Panfilova, a 2017 graduate from the Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts. Natalia earned her bachelor’s in Public Relations without paying a single dollar for her degree.

According to Marketplace, roughly 70% of American students end up taking out loans to go to college. It was estimated that the average student leaves school with around $30,000 in debt. Not Natalia, though, and today she will share with us how this transfer student managed to graduate debt free.

Community College

Before coming to Rowan, Natalia went to Camden County College. She chose to attend community college because she knew she would save up more money that way. According to Saving for College, “Students can save as much as $30,000 or more by attending a community college instead of a private four-year college.” During community college, Natalia worked in full-time jobs that were taking care of her tuition payments. Also, during community college, one of Natalia’s friends told her to work with her at one of the Wyndham hotel chains in Atlantic City because the hotel chain would cover a part of her tuition. This opportunity was one of the reasons she managed to graduate debt free.

Tuition Reimbursement Jobs

Wyndham is one of many organizations that offer tuition reimbursements. Tuition reimbursement is when a company agrees to help pay for an employee to further his or her education. “All you have to do is prove that you can somehow apply your career skills to your job,” Natalia says. Natalia also received financial aid, but whatever was not covered by her job took care of it. “They would cover up my books and they would cover up to $4,000 per year. So, I actually didn’t pay anything out of pocket. I got to keep my salary, because I was a commuter,” Natalia says.

Natalia in front of the ccca sign.Commuter

When Natalia was at Rowan, she chose not to stay on campus and decided to commute from Brigantine, NJ (Atlantic County). She commuted an hour each day, but because she commuted and was able to schedule her classes in two days, she was able to work full time at the hotel.

She recommends students learn about finances: “Educate yourself in all things financial, the more you know the better. Just in life in general, if you know how debt works, how banks work, your life is going to be so much easier.”  

What is Natalia Doing Now?

Rowan alum Natalia visiting a friend in Minsk, Belarus.
Natalia visiting a friend in Minsk, Belarus

Natalia recently moved to New York City for her new position as a program marketing manager for WebMD. By being savvy with her spending, she was able to graduate debt free and become a homeowner. Graduating debt free allowed Natalia to travel worry-free and so far, she has visited 13 countries.

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Story by:
Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

Photos courtesy of:
Natalia Panfilova

#PROFspective: Graduate Education Student Donn Matthew Garby

Name: Donn Matthew GarbyDonn Garby stands outside of Hawthorne Hall.
Major: Ph.D. in Education
Concentrations: Higher Education
Year: Second year Ph.D. student
Hometown and County: Naples, FL 
Resident or commuter: Resident
Academic clubs: Founder and Council Member of Education Student Association (ESA), Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA)
Do you work on campus?: Yes, I am a Graduate Coordinator for the Interfaith and Spiritual Exploration Center & Adjunct for the College of Education

Tell us about your transition into the graduate program. My transition was not too bad. I came directly from my master’s program, so I was still in that “student mindset.” The largest transition was coming from a large R1 university, in a large city, to a smaller institution in a [more] rural town. Saying that, though, the benefits of Rowan, and the faculty interactions make it so that I feel home in the College of Education.

Why did you choose Rowan’s graduate program? I chose Rowan’s graduate program because it offered me the opportunity to connect with faculty on a one-on-one level, provided me resources to conduct my Rowan PhD student Donn Garby working at his cubicle in Hawthorne Hall.research, and allowed me the space to explore different career and research paths. In addition, with it being a new program, it allowed me to help make a difference and work to shape the program for the benefit of future students.

What is one thing you wish people knew about your academic discipline or research focus? One thing I wish people knew about my academic discipline is that we are people outside of our research. A lot of times, people, and students specifically, see us as a researcher or faculty member. But we have lives, we have hobbies, and although our research is a large aspect of who we are, that is not all that we are.

What is one thing this field has allowed you to do, that you either dreamed of doing or thought you’d never get to do? One thing this field has allowed me to do is turn my research into practice. It has been so rewarding to see that happen, and I am so grateful.

On your busiest day, what academic, non-academic and social responsibilities are you juggling? On my busiest day, I am juggling two classes, a meeting for my program and Senate meetings.

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Story and photography by:
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Communication Studies Major Ashley Davis

Communication Studies major Ashley Davis stands in front of Victoria Hall

Today, we hear from Ashley Davis, a junior Communication Studies major from Gloucester County, NJ. Ashley transferred to Rowan her sophomore year and shares the importance of involving yourself on campus.

My spring semester of my freshman year of college, I found myself scrollCommunication Studies major Ashley Davis sits outside campusing through Twitter, like most students, waiting for class to start. I saw a post from Rowan University about the transfer deadline and cruised to the main website. I found a big transfer button and thought, “Why not give it a shot?” Rowan was the only school I applied to transfer to, so this was all or nothing for me.

Once accepted, I hoped Rowan would be different than my first year of college. I wanted to be more involved and feel more comfortable with how I spend my time in college. I was already feeling nervous transferring to a new school, especially with a whole new major. 

My first day here, I looked on social media and ProfLink for events that either had free giveaways or free food because 1.) Who doesn’t love a free shirt? and 2.) Commuter life somehow always has me hungry, so free lunch is always a plus — especially Commuter Club Waffle Wednesday. 

I joined a few organizations such as the Leadership Program, Student Alumni Association, Tau Sigma, Student Government Association and Commuters Club. I also work on campus for the Office of Alumni Communication Studies major Ashley Davis stands next to a Rowan OSLP sign Engagement. Each of these helped me finally step out of my comfort zone and talk to new people. Since Rowan was a new school and I didn’t know many people, going out and creating connections was a big step for me. 

Being involved and actually going to events on campus helps me feel like I have a purpose at Rowan and in college. I have gotten to meet so many new people who help and motivate me everyday in different ways. I never thought I would actually want to stay on campus when I didn’t have to be, but now I find myself wishing I had more hours in the day to go to all the events around campus. 

Rowan has changed my life forever and made it easy for me to feel like this is a place I finally fit in. I know the people here actually care. My whole experience as a transfer student so far has been such a privilege because I actually take advantage of the resources offered. I am much happier here and encourage other transfer students to get involved. Instead of eating lunch in your car or sitting alone in between classes, go to an event that has free stuff. Maybe I’ll see you there!

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Story by:
Ashley Davis, junior communication studies major

Photos by:
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major, and courtesy of Ashley Davis

Beyond The Classroom: What It’s Like Being A Mummer

Rowan student TJ Ferry and members of his Mummers band

Meet TJ Ferry, a senior Computing and Informatics major and Rowan University Social Media team member from Gloucester County. Here, TJ shares how being part of the iconic Mummers tradition has changed his life for the better. 

Most people ring in the New Year at midnight with a few choruses of “Auld Lang Syne” and toasting the promise of new beginnings and a new year. That is, unless you are a Mummer. We ring in the New Year with hundreds of thousands of plumes, feathers and instruments.

The Philadelphia Mummers Parade is a culmination of a year’s worth of imagination, hard work and practice that dates back to 1901. No one in the parade is a professional musician, but all take their craft very seriously. Participants in the parade range from eight years old up to 98.

It is a spectacle that entertains many, but to my family and me, it is much more; it represents tradition. The Mummers are so much more than what happens on New Year’s Day.

Rowan student TJ Ferry in Mummers costumeI was born into this unique hobby thanks to my grandfather. He was not only a musician, but for 32 years he served the needs of the Ferko String Band in a multitude of various positions including President, member of the Board of Directors, and as Ferko’s Delegate to the String Band Association. The String Band Judging Booth has been named in his honor since 2016.

As a tribute to him, I decided that it was my calling to play the banjo as he did. Fast forward to today and I am currently a member of the Quaker City String Band, where my grandfather began his Mummer career.

Early on Jan. 2, 2019, my cousin Joe Ferry was one of the three killed in an automobile accident. This tragic event shook the Mummers community to the core; however, it also showed that we are truly a community. In the honor of the individuals who passed away in this tragic event, a foundation was created to provide scholarships and funds to help those who are suffering in the Mummers community. The Mummers helped the Palandro, Ferry and Wiesley families cope with this event and make it through the tough times.

The Thomas J. Ferry Memorial Judging Booth honors TJ's late grandfather.
The Thomas J. Ferry Memorial Judging Booth honors TJ’s late grandfather.

In Joe’s honor, the Joe Ferry Christmas String Band was created. This band is comprised of members from the Quaker City, Fralinger, Polish American and South Philadelphia String Bands. I was honored to be a part of this band on Dec. 14, 2019, when we spent the day bringing holiday cheer to various hospitals in Philadelphia. To me, this is what Mummery is truly about — spreading cheer and entertaining people, seeing people on the sidelines smiling while you are in a parade or someone dancing and clapping along in their seats while you are playing a concert makes it all worth it.

When I started this hobby, I truly did not expect to take it where it has taken me. Sure, it has educated me musically, but it has taught me social skills, public speaking, social media skills, marketing, you name it.

I continue to learn more every day from the leaders of the hobby. Mummery has brought me out of my shell. I went from being a shy 16-year-old to when I started this hobby to a well-rounded 22-year-old soon-to-be Rowan University graduate at the time of writing this article. I have met my best friends from this hobby, and no matter what, we are all family. Like a family, we don’t always agree on things, we fight sometimes, even drama goes on. We also laugh like family and kid like brothers and sisters.

For almost my entire college career, I have been a part of Rowan University’s Social Media team. This would have never happened without this hobby. I started working for the Ferko String Band social media department in a hand-me-down situation and was not really sure where to begin. Two years later, I created a successful YouTube channel and drove engagement to the band’s social media higher than it ever was before. This helped me land my job at Rowan.

Rowan student TJ Ferry (third from left) with members of his Mummers team.
TJ Ferry (top row, third from left) with fellow members of the Quaker City String Band

I have also worked on web projects in different capacities for string bands due to my skills through my studies at Rowan. For the past few years, I have been co-operating a database that provides the history of the String Band division. This has taught me to work in a team and helped ease into my courses Applied Database Technologies and Intro To Web Development. Just recently, I was honored to receive Quaker City’s Class – Pride – Commitment award in 2019.

Story by:
TJ Ferry, Computing and Informatics major
Rowan University Social Media student team member

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Three Things I Love About My Student Worker Job

Nicole Cier with two of our coworkers at her student worker job with Rowan Blog

Hi there! I’m Nicole, a senior Writing Arts major from East Brunswick, NJ (Middlesex County). I am a student worker for the Rowan Blog through the Division of Student Affairs, and I love my job!

As a freshman newly enrolled in the Writing Arts major, I was eagerly looking for ways to get involved on campus, especially related to writing and communication. One day I came across a message in the daily student email that the Rowan Blog was looking for volunteer writers, and this seemed like a sign. I started writing stories that semester on a volunteer basis, and was asked to officially join the team that spring of my freshman year! I’ve been working for the blog throughout my four years at Rowan, and it’s been an amazing experience. 

1. Every day is different and exciting

Dean sits in the front seat of a golf cart, while Alyssa stands on the back bumper.
I snapped this behind-the-scenes photo of my coworkers, Dean and Alyssa, during the photo shoot we assisted with last semester.

As a student worker, I have something different to look forward to each day — with every new assignment comes a new experience. One day I’m writing a blog post on why I love my job (hello!), the next day I’m filming the women’s ice hockey team at their practice, and the week after I’m photographing the equestrian team and their horses. I’ve even gone to the Salem County Humane Society to play with kittens and produce a video on student volunteerism! No two assignments are the same, and because of that, I get to learn so much about my peers on campus and all of the diverse interests and activities they are a part of. I’ve met student entrepreneurs, learned about the Vietnamese Student Association, attended informational workshops, and have been a part of a professional photo shoot with a marketing agency!

I also enjoy how much I get to learn about Rowan University through these experiences. In my first semester, I quickly became familiar with all of the buildings on campus and so many of the organizations and activities available to students. Knowing all of this has helped me get my friends involved as well, introducing them to clubs I think they’d enjoy and people with similar interests.

Edris and Nicole stand with their heads together, looking at the screen of Nicole's camera.
My coworker, Edris, and I comparing our photos.

2. I’ve added great skills and accomplishments to my resume

I  have always had an interest in taking photos, but never had the chance to pick up a real camera and figure it out before working for the Rowan Blog. For each blog article I write, I have to photograph the students or faculty featured to produce images that really capture the story. Through endless practice I’ve become comfortable using DSLR cameras and editing my photos with Adobe programs, and I love it! I have also started to get more involved in the video production side of the blog, filming and editing videos for YouTube. Though I am certainly a beginner in making videos, my coworkers and peers are always willing to help each other out, since we each have our own strengths.

Focusing on photography has paved the way for me to become a part of many exciting projects through the Division of Student Affairs. The photos that my peers and I have taken are featured on the Rowan Admissions website and in admissions packages that go out to accepted incoming students, which is awesome! I’ve even become more involved with the social media department, and a couple of my photos have been featured on Rowan’s Instagram. It’s so rewarding to see my work improve each semester, and the excitement we all feel when we see our photos throughout campus makes the hard work more than worth it.

3. I’ve made new friends, mentors and connections along the way

Alex, Nicole, and Vanessa stand together holding their cameras and a disco ball.
My coworkers, Alex and Vanessa (right), graduated last year, but we formed a strong friendship through the Rowan Blog. I still see them from time to time to catch up!

With each new lead for an assignment comes a new potential friendship or connection. Most of the time, the leads I am assigned to write about are students I have never met before, so I love having the chance to meet new people I might see around campus. I get to learn about their cool internships, clubs and experiences at Rowan, and can usually find something in common with each lead to form a strong bond! Every lead becomes either a new friend, a LinkedIn connection, or at the very least, another smiling face to see on the way to class.

Through the stories I produce, I’m able to form connections with faculty and staff, too, which has helped me learn about new programs and events on campus. The faculty I’ve met specifically within the College of Communication and Creative Arts and the Rohrer College of Business have played an important role in my education and career path. A few of them have become mentors to me, trustworthy and seasoned professionals that I can always look to for advice.

Working for the Rowan Blog has changed the way I write, work and interact with others. It’s made me a stronger communicator and even sparked my interest to pick up two minors — Marketing and Strategic Communication. Being part of such a talented, passionate team of workers makes me #RowanPROUD, and the experiences I’ve had through the Rowan Blog are memories that I’ll cherish long after I graduate this spring!

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Story and photography by:
Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major

Rowan PROS Share Their Six Favorite Things at Rowan [VIDEO]

Matt Ortiz being interviewed about his experience working for the Rowan PROS
https://youtu.be/UhZqV7a9iuA

The Rowan PROS (Peer Referral and Orientation Staff) share their favorite things about our campus and tips for starting out at Rowan. From socializing tips to where to eat on campus, the PROS have it all.

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Video by:
Dean Powers, sophomore radio/TV/film major

#PROFspective: Music Industry Major Jeff McConnell

Music Industry major Jeff McConnell stands outside Wilson Hall

Jeff McConnell posing in the SUP office.Name: Jeff McConnell 

Major: Music Industry  

Year: Senior 

Hometown and County: Marmora, NJ (Cape May County)

Commuter: Off-campus 

Social clubs you are a part of: E-board member for Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship 

Do you work on campus? Director of Live Events for the Student University Programmers (SUP) and Building Manager at Rowan Rec Center

Jeff playing the piano in Wilson Hall.Share an “aha!” moment you’ve had within your major that made you feel passionate about your intended field. The first class I took for my major was Business of Music 1, and as soon as the class started and we got into the course material I knew I had made the right choice.

We started learning about the “ins and outs” of the music industry, and all of my professors experiences while working in the music industry with some of the biggest names in music. Once this class started in addition to the other classes I was taking once I transferred into this major, nothing felt like homework anymore and I just wanted to know more about everything we were learning. Ever since then, I have loved every class I have taken and each one has made me more excited to get a job and start doing everything my professors have been telling me about the past three years. 

Describe an on-campus experience (academic or non-academic) in which you felt that your future goals are supported. I think getting my job as the Director of Live Events for the Student University Programmers really helped support my goals. I’ve had the opportunity to plan and execute events, concerts, comedy events and committee meetings. 

Jeff McConnell (left) discussing future SUP plans with his coworkers.
Jeff McConnell (left) discussing future SUP plans with his coworkers.

In addition to that, I’ve been able to work with so many graduate students and professional staff members who have helped me so much on my path with encouragement and insight. Lastly, this position has afforded me the opportunity to work with outside companies for my events and I have made so many good on-campus and off-campus connections that I will definitely keep up, even after graduation.

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you? Honestly, as cliché as it may sound, I think I have always felt welcome and as if Rowan was a home for me. With being involved in so many clubs in my time here, as well as working many different jobs on campus, I feel like I have always had a space to feel at home and a group of people that I know Music Industry major Jeff McConnell stands in front of a hallway displayare always going to be there for me. I think one club that has really done this for me above any other has been Chi Alpha. I have been a part of Chi Alpha for the past four years and it has given me so many lifelong friends and amazing memories and experiences. I will be forever grateful for the people that are in my life now that I met through my undergraduate time in Chi Alpha. 

And lastly, why Rowan? My freshman orientation leaders were the ones who told me that college was going to be what you make of it: “You will get out what you put in,” they told me. Since then, I took that and ran with it, working in three different offices in my undergraduate time, as well as being a part of about 10 clubs. Rowan had so much to offer and I really think I took advantage of it.

As a senior headed into my last semester, I look back so fondly on my time at Rowan and am so grateful for a school that has so much to offer. I have loved my time here and made so many friendships with students and professional staff members and it makes me sad to think about leaving. But I am so grateful for everything I have learned and truly feel as though Rowan has prepared me well to be successful in whatever I decide to pursue post graduation.

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Story and photography by:
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major

#PROFspective: International Student & Marketing Major Marko Minic

Today, we speak with Marko Minic, a senior Marketing major and Sports Communication and Media minor from Belgrade, Serbia who lives on-campus. Marko will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how he’s getting the most out of his college experience as a Rowan Prof.

Name: Marko Minic
Major: Marketing
Minor: Sports Communication & Media
Year: Senior
Transfer Student: Yes, I transferred to Rowan from the University of Rio Grande.
Hometown: Belgrade, Serbia
On-Campus Resident: Yes, I am an RA in Mimosa Hall.
Academic club: Secretary, Sports Communication and Media Club
Athletic club: Basketball Club
Social club: Treasurer, International Club

Do you work on campus? If so, where/what do you do? Yes, I am a Resident Assistant, an Admissions Ambassador and I work at the Rec Center.

Describe an experience you’ve shared with a professor in which you felt like you were working with a visionary in your field. There are a handful of professors at Rowan who I have had meaningful conversations with. Professor Kate Harman made a big impact on me when I took her Intro to Sports Communications class. She was always a great mentor and I am still in contact with her through the Sports CAM club. One thing that made her stand out was her high energy and her ability to see the big picture.

Describe for us an on-campus experience in which you felt that your future goals are supported. Every week, as a part of the Sports CAM club, I attend the “Pizza with the Pros” session where outside employers in the sports industry come and talk to us about their careers. It’s a great networking opportunity and is helping me a lot with my employment opportunities and career goals.

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you?Meeting Charles Barkley, a retired NBA player, through Pizza with the Pros, and having a private reception with him. 

On your busiest day, what academic, non-academic and social responsibilities are you juggling? Monday is a packed day from me. I have classes back to back from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. I always go for a workout before my busy day starts at 7 a.m. After that I usually go either to the admissions office or the Rec Center to do some work before our weekly meeting at 6 p.m. Finally, I come back to my room in Mimosa Hall, usually around 8 p.m, and see how things are going with my residents. Sometimes, as a part of my RA job, I am on duty for the building or assisting residents. If not, I use some time to catch up on some homework or just relax.

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Story and photography by:
Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major

#PROFspective: Rowan After Hours Programming Coordinator Joseph Scafiro

Rowan After Hours Programming Coordinator Joseph Scafiro outside Robinson Hall

Today we speak with Joseph Scafiro, a senior History major from Cinnaminson, NJ (Burlington County) and programming coordinator for Rowan After Hours (RAH). Joseph will share his #PROFspective with us about what his job entails and why you should get involved each weekend. Name: Joseph Scafiro Major: History Minor: None Year: Senior Where do you […]