Transfer Nutrition & Dietetics Majors Share Their Professional Goals

A stock image from Pexels showing a close up of a variety of densely packed fruits and vegetables.

What internships, clubs, networking, etc. are you involved in and how do they support your goals? “Wellness Center Intern, Vice President at Nutrition Care Club, Success Coach with Rowan Student Success Program, Apart of Cohort 7 in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.” – Kathleen Ramos, senior transfer student from Brookdale Community College “I don’t participate much […]

A Look Inside Geo Information Systems With Jackie Ganter & Danielle Miller

Four members of Geo Lab discuss a project while outside holding equipment.

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) majors and graduating seniors, Danielle Miller and Jackie Ganter, give insight into what the GIS major entails and its impact. What is GIS? According to Danielle, “geographic information science, it’s the analysis of data sets, the creation of maps, and other imagery.” She went on to give her point of view […]

Empowering Dreams: Meet Sreypich Heng, A Rowan University International Computer Science Senior Pursuing a Career in UX/UI Design

A close up of Sreypich with Bunce behind her.

This story is the first in a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories.  What is your long-term professional goal or dream career? “My long-term professional goal, or dream career, is to become a skilled UX/UI designer. I wouldn’t have thought that […]

Biological Sciences Major On Academic Opportunities, Campus Life

Nathaneal studies his experiment with a serious face.

Nathanael Alicea is a senior commuting transfer student (from Rowan College of South Jersey) here at Rowan University originally from Lindenwold, New Jersey (Camden County) pursuing a BS in biological sciences; with minors in Pre-Health and Chemistry. When asked what inspired him to choose his major Nathanael shared, “I would like to get to medical […]

Q&A With a Senior Public Health and Wellness Major & Rowan Choice Student

Theresa Bennett stands outside her internship at Inspira Health Network with their logo behind her.

Public Health & Wellness Major Discusses Her Passion for Public Health & Wellness, her internship and professional goals Senior Theresa Bennett, from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County) joined Rowan through the Rowan Choice program, a partnership with community college RCSJ that allows students to live on Rowan University’s campus while taking 24-30 community college credits, which […]

Community College to a 4 Year University

Three students walking around Rowan College of South Jersey campus.

Kaleigh Bonitatibus, a senior communication studies major from Washington Township (Gloucester County) shares this first-person perspective on their experience transitioning from Rowan College of South Jersey to Rowan University.

Graduating in 2020 at the peak of the pandemic not only ruined the best part of my senior year but also affected my college decision. I dreamed of going away for all four years to live the “college experience.” However, due to the persistent stay-at-home mandate, I knew it was pointless to leave the state for school if my first year was bound to be all on Zoom anyway. I put away my fantasy of going to a university and decide to begin my higher education at the community college RCSJ. It was more affordable and realistic during the pandemic. However, I always knew that I wanted to transfer to a four-year university to pursue my bachelor’s degree. Rowan University was affordable, close to home, and the easiest to transfer credits to because RCSJ is affiliated with Rowan.

Two students sitting outside the Rowan College of South Jersey entrance.

Transitioning from a community college to a university can be challenging. I was nervous about entering a larger campus, navigating my way to different classes, and meeting new people. Nonetheless, my time at Rowan University has been very successful.

One of the things that helped me with my transition was attending Rowan’s Transfer Student Orientation. It provided me with all the information I needed to know about the university. This especially eased my anxiety about getting around campus and the location of all the different academic buildings.

Another thing that helped me adjust to university was my proximity to campus. Rowan is only a 15 minute drive from my home, so I commute to campus. However, being so close to home means a lot of my high school friends attend Rowan. My friend Spencer, who I went to all of grade school and high school with, also attends Rowan and lives in an off-campus home. Spencer has been a big part of me meeting new people at school because he invited me to several social events where I was able to meet so many more people and even gain some valuable friendships. Joining clubs has also eased my adjustment to Rowan. Currently, I am on the Commission of Community Standards. Being a part of this commission allows me to solve issues that clubs are having and help them grow.

Two students talking in front of a Rowan College of South Jersey flag.

Academically, the transition was challenging but manageable. The courses at Rowan are more rigorous than those at RCSJ, but as I have always prioritized my education I found that I was able to keep up with the workload. Most of my courses at RCSJ were online, and adjusting to in-person classes was slightly taxing since I had to further manage and adjust my work schedule so it could fit in with classes.

Overall, my experience transitioning from RCSJ to Rowan University a was positive one. If you’re considering transferring to a four-year university, my advice would be to attend transfer orientation, get involved on campus, and utilize the resources available to you. It can be anxiety-filling at first, but eventually, it will be worth it and you’ll enjoy your experience at Rowan.

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Written by Kaleigh Bonitatibus, a communication studies major

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

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

A street sign with many different countries on it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q&A With Master in Teaching Graduate Student On Her Studies & Student Teaching

Madelynn smiles at the camera.

Today we feature Master in Teaching graduate student Madelyn Olszewski from Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County) who recently completed her studies. Madelyn pursued her master’s degree immediately following her undergraduate studies. What’s been the defining points of your academic career here, anything at all that stands out to you in particular? Well, my academics, like […]

Discovering My Passion: Taking A New Class Changed My College Experience

Two students playing the piano.

Alaina Lieze, a junior music and advertising double major from Swedesboro, NJ (Gloucester County) shares this first-person perspective on how joining Rowan Choir helped her rediscover her passion for music, improve her academic performance and feel a sense of belonging on campus.

As a freshman transfer student at Rowan University, I was initially unsure about how to get involved on campus. With so many clubs and activities available, I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. However, I decided to take a chance and join the music program. Rowan Concert Choir is open to all majors and is a one-credit course that helps to satisfy the Rowan Core educational requirements for artistic literacy. Many students choose to take Concert Choir three times, so that they earn three credits to finish the Rowan Core requirement – and without any textbooks or tests!

Although I was nervous about auditioning for the choir, I was quickly put at ease by the welcoming and supportive members. Through my participation in the Rowan Choirs, I rediscovered my love for making music. I had enjoyed singing in various choirs in the past, but this experience was different. The choir explored various genres of music and performed pieces with social justice themes, such as songs related to The Black Lives Matter Movement and African American spirituals. Singing with this group allowed me to see the world in a new way, and I was grateful to have found a community of people who shared my passion.

The Rowan University Concert Choir and University Chorus rehearsing in Pfleeger Concert Hall.

Joining the choir also helped me feel a sense of belonging on campus. As a commuter student, it was easy to feel disconnected from the university community. It was also difficult to join a college community a semester late as a transfer student. However, being a part of the Concert Choir gave me a reason to come to campus on weekends and meet new people.

But, the benefits of joining a new ensemble didn’t stop there. As I became more involved in the choir, I noticed improvements in my academic performance. I was more motivated to attend class and complete assignments because I had something to look forward to outside of my coursework.

Pictured: The Rowan University Concert Choir Singing in their final performance of the spring 2023 semester.

Looking back on my college experience so far, joining the Rowan Concert Choir was one of the best decisions I ever made. It allowed me to discover my passion, make meaningful connections, and develop important skills that will serve me well in my future career.

If you’re a current or future college student, I encourage you to take a chance and join a club or activity that interests you. It could be photography, dance, politics, or anything in between. College is the perfect time to explore your interests and find your passion, and joining a club is a great way to start.

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Written by: Alaina Lieze, junior music and advertising double major

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

Compassion Outside the Classroom

Dramatic sunrise at Rowan University.

Starr Barker, a rising advertising major from Vineland, NJ (Cumberland County) shares this deeply personal first-person perspective on how a Rowan professor went above and beyond to help her face a challenging time in her life. Due to the subject matter, the editors have chosen to include campus photos instead of people photos in this story. 

A glimpse of Bunce's tower through flowers in bloom.

I transferred to Rowan University last spring. Transferring comes with many challenges, like making new friends, figuring out the campus layout, and connecting with professors. People face many challenges when coming to a new university, and I have had my share of them. Facing these challenges can become overwhelming, and suffocating, and can make you feel isolated. I was lucky enough to have a professor with who I connected with who helped me through the most challenging time of my life.

This semester for me was already challenging enough between six courses, commuting to campus, and changing my major. During the middle of the semester my life took a turn for the worse.

My stepmother was diagnosed with kidney cancer and everything changed.

I had to take on a new role in my household, helping my stepmother and father in any way that I could. This meant going to hospital visits, running errands, taking care of the home, and taking care of the pets. While all this was happening around me, I still had the responsibility of attending my classes and getting all of my work done. During this time I connected with one of my professors. She understood how hard things were becoming at home and in school. My professor understood the seriousness of my situation and understood that some things are more important than attending a lecture. I was able to communicate with her and not feel so isolated in my situation.

Purple flowers in bloom on campus.

Toward the end of March, only weeks after my stepmom’s diagnosis, my stepmother passed away from her cancer. I took a week off from school to try to come to terms with my new life without her. When I came back to classes, that same professor knew by looking at me that I was not okay. Because of the bond we had created during this hard time, I was able to talk to her about my personal life even more. I was able to open up to her and even literally cry in her arms, and she shed tears too. We shared our experiences with situations like these with each other and I found not only one of my favorite professors, but a new friend. Because of her, I didn’t feel so alone. I didn’t feel like the world around me was closing in so much. I was able to talk about my experience and feelings with ease. I am lucky to have a professor like her, one who cares about her students and shows it. 

Through this experience I learned so much about myself, the people around me, what it
means to listen, and how you can be there for someone in any way possible. I learned that
some professors are here for more than just giving us lectures and homework; some actually
care and are here to help us outside of the classroom. I was lucky enough to be placed in her
class and find a professor that goes above and beyond for her students. My professor didn’t
have to reach out, but I’m thankful she did.

Editor note: Our hearts go out to the Barker family. Please know that the Wellness Center is available for Rowan students in need of counseling, which includes grief counseling. Rest in peace, Mrs. Barker. 

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Written by: Starr Barker, rising senior advertising major
Story edited by: Valentina Giannattasio, rising junior dance and marketing double major

Top 14 Must-Have Dorm Essentials for Rowan University First-Year Students: A Parent’s Guide to Starting Strong

As the last beach breezes begin to blow, college move-in creeps up closer and closer. Many students are returning to their own stomping grounds here at Rowan University. However, much of the student body comprises first-year students heading into the unknown as they begin their higher education careers. Outside of books and other stationery, there […]

Promoting a Pastime: Sports Communication & Media Major’s Journey to the Big Leagues

A student standing in front of a Major League Baseball work desk.

Coby O’Brien, a sports communication and media major from Toms River, NJ (Ocean County) who will graduate this fall, details his incredible experience as a social media coordinator for Major League Baseball.

As a sports communication and media major (Called sports CAM), Coby hones interests that span the fields of radio, television, and film (RTF) production, public relations, and advertising. Currently, he works at Major League Baseball (MLB) as a social media coordinator. Describing his day-to-day work experience, Coby says, “What we do is scour the internet and try to create graphics or videos to hype up games, and intrigue people to learn about the players more. It’s a lot of player promotion, but the core of what we do in the social editorial department is watching baseball games and posting highlights.”

In his short time being there, only a few months, he already is very happy and proud of his work. “My proudest accomplishment was I had a couple posts go viral. My first one was a post at the end of spring training, I got over 500,000 likes on that one.”

Coby’s path to success had started at a different school, in a different program. “I still can’t believe it when I think about it. But freshman year, I was like, I’m going to be a doctor of physical therapy. Then I realized I can’t do math. So I was like, I’m going to write about sports. I want to be a broadcaster. And the school I transferred from didn’t have that stuff. So, at the start of my junior year I transferred to Rowan and joined our sports CAM program.” As a transfer student, Coby had to adjust to a new school and a new environment. However, he was able to quickly make friends, join clubs, and make the important connections he needed to be able to advance his career.A student standing in front of a mlb work desk.

Like plenty of successful Profs, Coby attributes just about all of his success and his opportunities to Rowan and the options that the curriculum offered. Additionally, he gives some insight on just how deeply the Rowan connection runs: “Everything I have is because of Rowan. I can’t really say it any other way. Like of course I did the work, but none of my opportunities would even be close to what I have now without them, it feels like I’d have no chance in my career if it wasn’t for Rowan. My first boss at my first internship was a Rowan grad. My second internship was with Rowan Athletics. My third was through Rowan because Rowan has a partnership with Delaware Bluecoats or the G-league team, the Sixers,  and now my boss is a Rowan grad as well. So every step along the way, I was lucky to have Rowan.” This, Coby says, is important to remember when getting involved. You never know when a fellow Prof can help you out in the future, so making connections, as Coby did, is of the utmost importance.

In closing, Coby has a very simple piece of advice for any new Profs coming in who are just starting their Rowan experience and looking to branch out: “Get involved. And then once you have the experience on campus, apply everywhere. For an internship, no place is too small for you. And no place is too big for you. Apply everywhere.”

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Story by Connor Bicknell, senior communication studies major

Meet Some of Rowan’s New Transfer Profs

Pink sunset above the iconic roof of Bunce Hall.

Today we’re excited to feature more incoming transfer Rowan Profs. Ella Haulenbeek will transfer from Rowan College at Burlington County; Tanisha Sharma will transfer in from Stockton University; and Leah DeLuca is joining us from Camden County College. 

Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward to at Rowan University? (Personally, academically, anything!)

Ella Haulenbeek: I’m looking forward to making long lasting friendships and becoming more immersed in my psychology career!

Tanisha Sharma: I am looking forward to seeing what classes I would take, what research I could join and where I could find leadership opportunities.

Leah DeLuca: I am looking forward to meeting and collaborating with other education majors.

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

Ella Haulenbeek: I’m hoping to continue my choir experience after not having participated in it since high school.

Leah DeLuca: I am involved in [honor society] Kappa Delta Pi at Camden County College and would like to continue my work with Rowan’s Kappa Delta Pi.

Lea DeLuca with her family on a dock.
Welcome to Rowan, Leah!

Is there anything you’re hoping to discover about yourself at Rowan? Grow a new skill? Try a new interest? Starting a new activity, sport or club? Learn a language? Be a part of?

Tanisha Sharma: I would love to further explore my leadership skills, along with my perseverance. The latter because my desired path requires a lot of work and consistency therefore, my academics will greatly test the amount of perseverance that I contain.

Please share an interest, hobby or like that you have! (Gaming, cartoons, your pets, music, painting, working out, etc.)

Ella Haulenbeek: I love gaming, makeup, and shopping!

Tanisha Sharma:  I love listening to music, especially while driving or cleaning.

Leah DeLuca: I enjoy traveling with my husband, kids and Irish doodle pup! We have set out to see every lighthouse along the Eastern Seaboard.

A selfie of Tanisha Sharma next to a body of water.
Welcome to Rowan, Tanisha!

What major are you pursuing and why?

Ella Haulenbeek: I’m pursuing a psychology major so I can provide therapy and counseling services to those who need it.

Tanisha Sharma: I am pursing biochemistry. I am pursuing this because I intent to apply to a medical school (hopefully Cooper Medical School) after my undergraduate and this major will take care of all of my academic prerequisites.

Leah DeLuca: Health and physical education. All children can find joy in healthy and active lifestyles regardless of physical ability. I want to help children find that joy and encourage them to try new activities.

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

Ella Haulenbeek: Don’t feel pressured to go somewhere based off of the opinions of others, go somewhere that’ll make you happy.

Tanisha Sharma: I would recommend to them to see which school best suits their needs regarding housing or being a commuter or regarding the professional field in which they would like to pursue a career.

Leah DeLuca: Transferring from a community college to Rowan was an easy process.

Where are you going to live this upcoming year?

Ella Haulenbeek: On campus

Tanisha Sharma: Not sure

Leah DeLuca: Commute from home

Ella Haulenbeek after graduating.
Welcome to Rowan, Ella!

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked, that encouraged you to commit?

Ella Haulenbeek: My brother went to Rowan and he was treated very well, it seems like a welcoming environment!

Tanisha Sharma: The thing that attracted me to Rowan was its concentration in the medical field. The research that Rowan conducts is huge attraction for me as I would like to pursue plenty of hours in research.

Leah DeLuca: Proximity to my home.

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Story by:

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

Building a Community: Raymond Wos Jr’s Undergraduate Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can you talk about your next steps after you graduate?

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

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

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

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

Welcoming Two Raritan Valley Community College Transfer Students

Freshmen students tour the outside of Holly Pointe Commons residence hall.

Meet our newest transfer Profs Shannon Russo and Angelina Zeppieri. Both Shannon and Angelina recently graduated from Raritan Valley Community College and will begin at Rowan University this fall. 

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

Shannon Russo: I am looking forward to being on my own for the first time in my life.

Angelina Zeppieri: At Rowan University I’m looking forward to applying for internships and dipping my feet into the international business world.

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

Shannon Russo: Softball is a sport I would like to continue. It can be for the university team or the club team. I just want to play.

Angelina stands in front of farm animals wearing a black gown.
Angelina Zeppieri

Is there anything you’re hoping to discover about yourself at Rowan? 

Shannon Russo: I am hoping to expand my social skills and make more out of my social life.

Please share an interest, hobby or like that you have!

Shannon Russo: I play softball and I love to paint. 

Angelina Zeppieri: I love painting in my free time, playing on my Nintendo Switch, and hanging out with my boyfriend and friends.

What major are you pursuing and why?

Shannon Russo: History Education because I love History and I like kids. Plus all of my favorite teachers were my history teachers.

Angelina Zeppieri: I’m majoring in International Business so one day I can work abroad in a successful company, while also learning about the culture of the country I’m in.

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

Shannon Russo: You will know that you are at the right college when you feel excited to go to that college. Don’t stress yourself out over the fact that you have to choose. The choice can be fairly easy.

Angelina Zeppieri: Some advice I have for other transfer students who haven’t committed to a school yet is to find a school which is the right fit for you, academically and socially. Commit to somewhere that you know you’ll thrive there, and work on completing your goals.

Shannon Russo poses with her hand on her hip, in front of a water sunset.
Shannon Russo

Where are you going to live this upcoming year?

Shannon Russo: On campus.

Angelina Zeppieri: On campus.

What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked, that encouraged you to commit?

Shannon Russo: The social aspect around the campus. There is always something to do.

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Story by:

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

Alumni Success: 2019 Studio Art Grad and Current Tattoo Artist, Paige Buza [VIDEO]

Rowan University studio art graduate Paige Buza works in her tattoo shop.

Today we feature Paige Buza, a 2019 graduate from Pennsville, NJ (Salem County) who earned her degree in Studio Art. Here, Paige tells us about her journey to becoming a tattoo artist, how her passion for art stemmed, and how Rowan prepared her for her profession. Browse Paige’s work on Instagram or visit her at […]

Impact of Growing Up in Mumbai on Desire to Major in Environmental Science

Kriish poses for an outdoor portrait in front of a tree while wearing a bright orange shirt.

Can you describe the environmental science program? “There are both environmental studies and environmental science majors. What is unique about the environmental science program is that we are able to understand the underlying science behind the environment, while combining biology, geology, and other components. We use this technology to better map, restore, assess, and understand […]

Spotlight Welcome on Incoming Transfer Paige Britt

Paige stands in the sun with flowers behind her.

“While I’m really excited to be going to Rowan, my biggest concerns when choosing a school were the financial aspects. It was really important to me that all of my credits transferred and that I could truly afford the school I was going to. Rowan made that happen for me.” Written by Jordyn Dauter, sophomore […]

From Salem Community College to Rowan University: Meet Transfer Prof Charmaine Harris

Charmaine Harris outside with her children

At Salem Community College, Charmaine was on the Dean’s List every semester, and has plans to continue to strive for that goal. She is excited to continue her education and gain more insight to share with her peers and family. To stay involved around campus, Charmaine has an interest in the Educational Opportunity Fund Club, […]

#PROFspective: How Devon Coulter Overcomes Adversity Living with an Invisible Disability

Devon Coulter posing by the trees near Bunce Hall

Would you mind sharing your experience with your disability? “I have a rare invisible disability called Idiopathic Hypersomnia. The best way I can describe it to someone is that it’s a sister to Narcolepsy. It is an unknown origin, so they don’t know what causes it, and I tend to sleep for really long periods […]

#PROFspective: A Closer Look at Music Education and Jazz with Jovan Rivera

Rowan University student Jovan Rivera posing inside of Wilson Hall with a saxophone sitting in front of a piano.

Today, we are hearing from Jovan Rivera, a junior Music Education and Jazz Performance major and transfer student from Trenton, NJ (Mercer County). Could you share a few on-campus activities, clubs, sports, or events that you’ve attended so far? What was your favorite, and why? I am a part of the Photography Club, Esports Club, […]

#PROFspective: How Senior Jasmine Hull is Working Toward a Better Future in Healthcare

Rowan University Public Health and Wellness major Jasmine stands outside Rowan's Business Hall.

Today we feature senior Public Health and Wellness major Jasmine Hull (she/her) from Mercer County, NJ. Jasmine is living on-campus after transferring to Rowan from Stockton and is a first-generation college student. Here, she gives us some insights into her major and favorite experiences at Rowan. Why did you choose Rowan? Larger sum of transfer […]

#PROFspective: Student Athlete Kristiina Castagnola on Her Record-Breaking Season and Graduate Assistantship

Kristiina Castagnola poses in front of James Hall.

Today we feature Rowan Global graduate student and student athlete Kristiina Castagnola (she/her) from Voorhees, NJ (Camden County). Off the field, Kristiina is a commuter studying for an MA in Higher Education and works as a graduate assistant for the College of Education. On the field, she has become one of Rowan’s most decorated student […]

#PROFspective: Getting to Know Health and Science Communication Major Sedrick Golden

Sedrick Golden is a junior student here at Rowan University originally from Pleasantville, NJ (Atlantic County). Sedrick is a Health and Science Communication major with a minor in Public Health and Wellness. Sedrick is breaking down barriers as a first-generation college student commuting to Rowan after transferring from Atlantic Cape Community College. On campus, he […]

Connecting with Kids: An Elementary Education and Literacy Studies Student’s Story

Rowan College of Education student Isabella stands next to the Reading Clinic room inside James Hall.

Today we feature Isabella Muchler, a junior in Rowan University’s College of Education. Isabella, a dual major in Elementary Education and Literacy Studies, hails from Franklinville, NJ (Gloucester County). She enrolled as a transfer student, having attended Rowan College of South Jersey at Gloucester. Could you share a few on-campus activities, clubs, or pre-professional activities […]

Beyond The Classroom: Senior Supply Chain and Logistics Major Alivia DiNorscio’s Internship with Cape Resorts

An image of Congress Hall where Alivia interned.

Today we feature senior Alivia DiNorscio (she/her) from Bridgewater, NJ (Somerset County). Alivia is an on-campus resident and first-generation college student majoring in Supply Chain and Logistics, having transferred to Rowan University from Raritan Valley Community College. She discusses the major with us here along with the internship she recently completed with Cape Resorts in […]

All About Accounting with Senior Jacob Rodriguez

Jacob reads from a laptop, seated in Business Hall.

Today we feature Jacob Rodriguez, a senior Accounting major from Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County). Jacob is a first-generation college student who transferred here from Rowan College of South Jersey in Gloucester County. We featured Jacob in a previous story as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, which you can read here. Could you […]

Beyond the Classroom: Rowan Graduate Stephanie Ciecierski Pursues M.A. in Writing and Internship with The Rug Truck

Stephanie writes in her notebook on a bench on campus.

Stephanie Ciecierski (she/her) is a first-generation Rowan University 2016 graduate who majored in English and Subject-Matter Education. She was a transfer student from RCBC in 2013, and then commuted to Rowan from Medford, NJ (Burlington County). Now, after five years of being a high school special education teacher, Ciecierski is pursuing the second year of […]

What Hispanic Heritage Month Means for Jeremy Arias

Jeremy is sporting a sweatshirt with his fraternity letters on it and is sitting down in some greenery with his arms spread open.

From Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, Hispanic Heritage Month is not only a celebration, but is also a time of recognition for the many people in the United States and beyond. In our conversation with Jeremy Arias, a junior majoring in Finance from North Bergen, NJ, we learned more of his own unique Rowan experience. In our dialogue with Jeremy we learned more of his leadership qualities as the president of a fraternity on campus (Alpha Phi Delta) as well as what his own Hispanic heritage means for himself. 

What aspects here at Rowan motivated your decision to spend your higher education here? 

The main thing was the environment. All my life I had been going to school with people I know. For example, the same kids I went to elementary school with were also in my high school. I think that’s why most people choose colleges that are so far away.

In my case, I transferred all the way from Indiana. I wanted to be away from home and meet new people. I think that going to Rowan, I was still home in New Jersey but I was still far enough from home where I could be around new people instead of surrounding myself with people I already knew. I still got the best of both worlds here at Rowan University.

Jeremy Arias is leaning against the Rowan Barnes and Noble with his fraternity letters on him.

What was the transition like transferring into Rowan? 

I can definitely say it was a decently difficult transition. When I transferred I did end up missing the spring orientation. At this time, Covid was especially prevalent too so I was put into the transfer floor of Holly Pointe on the 7th floor. There was nobody living there except for my one neighbor. I didn’t even have a roommate, I was living in a double room by myself. Even when I went to all the programs like RAH (Rowan After Hours), they would have bingo or other activities but it was still all online so you really couldn’t meet people in the usual way. It was hard to get in touch with people because of everything being online, but it was an experience nonetheless.

Why did you choose to major in Finance? 

The reason that I wanted to get into finance was because I grew up in a town that was across the water from New York. You see a city like that and you see how it’s run all by money, like Wall Street for example. It’s a big corporate town, but I knew that I wanted to be a part of something bigger like that one day. I wanted to be one of those people that have the distinction, the titles and of course, the wealth as well.

I feel like part of the reason that I wanted to be a part of an environment like that was because I’ve always wanted to be a part of a higher purpose. I’ve always wanted to be in places of greater importance and opportunity.

Jeremy can be seen hanging around the boulevard talking with friends.

What have you enjoyed the most about Rowan so far? 

What I’ve enjoyed the most about Rowan has to be the community. It’s not a big school but it feels so big because of the people. For me, it doesn’t matter how large or small a school is as long as the people there are large in personality or attitude. You always feel at home. There’s so many different people out there and they make the world larger than it is. Between the school programs and the boulevards and all the other opportunities that Rowan has to offer, it definitely is a close knit community.

The people here are larger than life itself. They want to involve you so much within the community. Even though you might feel isolated at times, you’ll always find a home in the community. 

Could you tell us a bit more about your Fraternity? 

I’m currently in the fraternity Alpha Phi Delta, which is an Italian heritage fraternity that was founded on Nov. 5, 1914. We chartered here at Rowan University in the 1970s. We were deactivated and then reinstated in 2017. While we may be one of the few fraternities that have been here for so long, we’re still building. As of now, we’re five years strong and excited for the future.

Even though we might not have as many brothers as other fraternities on campus there’s a beauty in it. All of the brothers are so close knit and really know each other. It’s just like a big family.

I definitely think it’s been quite a ride; I came in knowing nothing and then you come out and become a brother and you know everything about everyone. It’s like a circle of life. You have to learn everything about the brothers but eventually they become your best friends. As a new person comes in, you almost feel old. You were in the same spot as them only a few years ago. You become almost like the old wise guy. On another note, rush Alpha Phi Delta. 

Jeremy is holding up a soccer jersey and smiling at the camera.

How did you come into your leadership position within your fraternity? 

During elections, there were a couple of us running but I think that most people felt the most confident in me and my vision for the future. I ended up winning by only one vote but I had all the confidence in the world in myself that I had a shot at it but I understand why people were skeptical. I had just recently become a brother but I had a plan with how I wanted to steer the fraternity. A lot of the guys who had been in the fraternity at the time were involved during Covid, we were just getting out of it and there were certain things that unfortunately couldn’t work anymore.

But I knew the direction that I wanted to take everyone. I won the election by one vote and told everyone of my plans and really won them all over. I was one of the youngest presidents in the fraternity’s history. There’s definitely a learning curve and there is a much needed adjustment period. You think the whole presidency thing is all fun and dandy but there are so many different responsibilities. People depend on you. It’s still fun, but it was an awakening. I knew I wanted to be president. I wanted to shoot for the top. It’s everything I wanted out of it.

Jeremy is throwing peace signs and smiling at the camera.

How has your experience as President of your fraternity changed your framework of mind? 

I definitely feel like my leadership has steered the fraternity in the right way internally. There is a lot more work to be done, especially in the upcoming semester, but there’s a lot of things that we’re all really excited about.

My leadership is built upon a lot of values that I really believe in. I think that with hard work it gives you a sense of satisfaction. You work hard and when the job gets done you can sit down, reflect and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

What motivated you to take up a leadership position in your fraternity? 

My mentor in the fraternity was the previous president of the fraternity. I saw all the work that he had done and all the leadership qualities that he exhibited. At one point, he told me that he had “picked me because he thought that I was worthy of this.” It resonated with me. I always want to be a part of a higher purpose and that was my calling. It was great for my confidence and I knew I had people who knew that I had potential.

Could you tell us a bit about your hispanic heritage?

My mother is Venezulean, she grew up in Caracas. My dad is Colombian, he was born in Bogota. He moved with my Aunt and Uncle to Venezuela where he eventually met my mother. Together from there they made their way to the United States.

Jeremy is holding up a book and pointing to his families home country of Venezuela.

How has your family incorporated aspects of your hispanic heritage into your life? 

In every aspect of my life. The language, the values, the prevalence of family. Of course, especially the food as well. I’m a huge fan. I think everything really when it comes down to ethics and values. I attribute a lot of my drive and hard work to that type of upbringing. Everything they taught me was all I’ve ever known my entire life.

What does being Hispanic mean to you? 

To me, it means being a part and representing an ethnicity that is filled with culture and life. There are so many colorful things that go with being Hispanic, the culture especially. My parents came here with nothing and worked for everything that they have. It’s kind of a representation for the entirety of the Hispanic culture. Some of us have come from nothing. A lot of work, so hard for everything that we have.

That’s the Hispanic way. It’s a hardworking and yet such a loving, family-oriented community.

How do you involve your Hispanic heritage into your daily life? 

I think that I involve it in every way possible. For example, every morning I make a Hispanic breakfast. When I’m in class, I’m working as hard as I can so that eventually I can go home and show my parents, “Look at my grades, this is all for you guys.” The way that I’m around people, I treat them all like family. I love being around people, it’s amazing what happens when you treat people the way that you want to be treated.

Jeremy can be seen in the Rowan Barnes and Noble holding up books that discuss about different countries flags.

What are your favorite parts about your Hispanic heritage? 

It has to be the food, the language and the people. What I love the most about the Hispanic culture is that there is no such thing as one “Hispanic.” Even with dialect as well, Colombian Spanish isn’t the same as Venezuelan Spanish or even Ecuadorian, Dominican and Puerto Rican. They are all so different but at the end of the day there is one root for it all. There’s still enough similarities where you can understand what the other person is attempting to convey. We’re all so different but we’re also all the same.

How has your heritage influenced your identity as a person? 

I think that the part of my Hispanic heritage that has influenced my identity the most is probably the family aspects. It’s such a loving community, like I said earlier, I’m a people person, I treat everyone like family. That’s just how I am. The discipline and the hard work has ingrained itself into me. In my opinion, every Hispanic has had that ambition and drive at one point in their life. I feel like that’s something that makes up my identity. I’m always striving for better because I always want more out of life. I want that not just out of me, but also everyone around me.

I gotta say though, the Hispanic food has definitely made up a large portion of my identity. It’s my favorite! Lastly, I think the idea of always making someone proud has made up a huge chunk of my own self. With my parents, they continue to work hard and give me everything that I have to help me in life. They still are guiding me down this path for as much as they can. I just want to be in a position of success where I can say “Hey Mom and Dad, I did this for you and I hope you’re proud of me.”

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Story by:
Lucas Taylor, Rowan Global student in Graduate English Education program

Photos by:
Ashley Craven, junior sports communication and media major

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

    Rowan arch with a cloudy blue background.

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

    Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective: Public Relations Major Justin C. Sabio

    A photo of the College of Communication and Creative Arts building on Rowan's campus.

    Today, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, we feature Junior Justin C. Sabio (he/him), from Vineland, NJ (Cumberland County). Justin is a first generation college student majoring in Public Relations, having transferred to Rowan University from Rowan College of South Jersey. He tells us about his experience as a Rowan student, his […]

    Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective: Law & Justice Major Kathleen has “Dreamed Big”

    Close up of the top of Bunce Hall with a blue sky in the background.

    Today, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, we feature senior Kathleen (she/her) from Perth Amboy, NJ (Middlesex County). Kathleen is majoring in Law & Justice Studies, having transferred to Rowan University from Rowan College of South Jersey. She discusses her experience at Rowan, professional aspirations, and gives advice to future students. What […]

    Meet Transfer Profs: College of Education Student Emilie Pretto

    A photo of Rowan University's education building, James Hall.

    Today we feature incoming transfer student Emilie Pretto (she/her) from Ocean County. Emilie tells us about her major, why she’s excited to start classes at Rowan, and gives advice to future transfer students. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward to at Rowan University? I’m looking forward to […]

    Meet Transfer Profs: Marleigh Davis from the School of Nursing and Health Professions

    A photo of James Hall behind flowers and an art installation.

    Today we feature incoming transfer student Marleigh Davis (she/her) from Gloucester County. Marleigh tells us about majoring in Nutrition, gives advice to future transfer students, and discusses why she chose to attend Rowan University. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward to at Rowan University? I am looking […]

    Meet Transfer Profs: Featuring Students from the Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts

    Photo of 301 High Street on Rowan's Glassboro campus.

    Today we feature two incoming transfer students: Karis Brady (she/her) and Meredith Deferro (she/her) from Gloucester County and Camden County respectively. The two tell us about their majors, why they’re excited to start classes at Rowan, and give advice to future transfer students. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are […]

    Meet Transfer Profs: College of Science and Mathematics Students Dante and Daniel

    An image of Rowan's Science Hall.

    Today we feature incoming transfer students Dante P. (they/them) and Daniel from Gloucester County and Cumberland County, respectively. Both give insights into their majors, why they’re excited to start classes at Rowan, and give advice to future transfer students. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward to at […]

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

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

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

    Meet Transfer Profs: 3 Marketing Majors from the Rohrer College of Business

    An aerial photo of Rowan's business building.

    Today we feature Marketing majors and transfer students Grace Massengale (she/her), Halle Lemanowicz (she/her), and Irany Cano from Gloucester County, Camden County, and Cumberland County respectively. The three tell us about their majors, why they’re excited to start classes at Rowan, and give advice to future transfer students. Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with […]

    Rowan University Student Zachary Rouhas on the Joint Degree Program That Pairs Environmental Studies with an MBA

    Today we feature Zachary Rouhas, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environment and Sustainability Studies and a master’s degree in Sustainable Business. through an accelerated 4+1 program — the first of its kind in the state. Zachary, a veteran of the U.S. Army, discusses his journey to becoming a student within the accelerated program, his future […]

    Summer Session: Painting Campus Landmarks with Art Education Major Brooke Bryant

    Brooke talks to professor Alicia Finger while working on a painting in class.

    Brooke Bryant (she/her), a senior Art Education major from Cumberland County, guides us through a summer session of an Introduction to Watercolor class with Professor Alicia Finger. Brooke talks to us about why she likes the class, the strengths of Rowan’s Art Education program, and some of the work she’s done in the class. What […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What made you decide to transfer to Rowan? 

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

    Annabella is leaning on the Business Hall sign and smiling.

    What’s been your experience like at Rowan?

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

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

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

    Annabella is turning her body towards the camera and smiling.

    What drew you to finance? 

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

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

    Why did you select your current internship? 

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

    Can you describe in detail what your internship entails? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Annabella has her head down and studiously writing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Story by:
    Lucas Taylor, graduate English education major 

    Photography by:
    Ashley Craven, sports communication and media major

    Beyond the Classroom: Sarah Forsman, Achieving the Impossible

    Sarah smiles with green shrubs in the background.

    Sarah Forsman, a Marketing and Psychology student from Gloucester County, is an advocate for those who have Alpha-Mannosidosis and Craniosynostosis. Her experience with the following conditions have provided Sarah with a renewed perspective — one that influences her outreach and prospective goals. In today’s article, Sarah discusses her story, her involvement across organizations, and her use of writing as a platform to champion others. 

    Why did you choose to study marketing and psychology?

    I came to Rowan after I went to Rowan College of South Jersey. I got my associate degree in business administration, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I chose marketing because it’s versatile.

    When I entered my senior year, I realized that I didn’t like marketing, but I had all of these credits. I prayed and thought about it until I came to the conclusion of psychology. This is something that I am interested in learning more about and potentially doing in the future because it has helped me. I chose psychology so if I potentially got a master’s in this area, I would have all the core classes.

    What internship are you involved in and what are some responsibilities in this position?

    Currently, I am interning for Craniofacial Connection. They are a brand new organization. I’ve been in the craniofacial world for some time now because I was diagnosed with Craniosynostosis and I had surgery when I was a year and a half. The person that I am interning for, she worked for the children’s hospital when I had my surgery. She was starting this new organization and she needed help with marketing. Right now, we’re focusing on starting social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We are also working to develop a newsletter as well as updating her website. 

    Sarah stands and smiles at her home.

    Can you share your story about Alpha-Mannosidosis and Craniosynostosis?

    I was born with Alpha-Mannosidosis. It’s a rare genetic disease that affects every single cell in the body. My body was missing one enzyme and that was the alpha-mannosidase enzyme. By missing that enzyme, it really affects every single part of the body. It affects my bones, brain, and muscles. If you think of something, it’s probably most likely affected by this rare disease. I’ve had a lot of challenges when I was younger. I had moderate hearing loss so I had hearing aids. My muscles were very weak so I had trouble walking. I had ataxia or balance issues. I had a lot of cognitive issues and processing issues. I also have issues with my memory so I don’t remember anything from when I was younger. Even things that were two or three years ago are hard for me to remember, so I always say that I have a blank slate for everything!

    With Alpha-Mannosidosis, I do have a treatment option, but it’s not technically a cure. I had a bone marrow transplant when I was four and a half. Transplants are very risky because of the chemo drugs that are used. The surgery really helped my life because if I didn’t have that bone marrow transplant, I would be here in a wheelchair, barely communicating, and having so many issues because it is a degenerative disease.

    What are some of the challenges that followed after your bone marrow transplant?

    I don’t really have a lot of challenges that were from the actual transplant. We’ve watched a lot of the different aspects that it can affect, and everything is looking pretty good right now. The bone marrow transplant stops the disease from progressing at that stage so anything that happened is thought to have stopped where it was. I still have challenges with my memory, cognitive issues, and brain issues in general. I have a lot of good muscles now and after the bone marrow transplant my hearing came back. I don’t have hearing aids now, which is super cool!

    The biggest thing is probably my brain because it really affects everyday life. My life doesn’t look the same as a typical person that is my age because of what I’m experiencing with my brain challenges. That means I don’t have a job, I don’t drive, I go to school part-time, and I’m doing neurofeedback therapy three times a week. My schedule looks a lot different, but I’m always just trying to remind myself to stay in the moment and be ok with where I am because of the things that I’ve gone through.

    Sarah sits and smiles at her home.

    How do you advocate for others who may be experiencing similar challenges?

    I’m involved with a lot of different things because I don’t have a job, so it can help me be in all of these different areas. A lot of what I do, I do on social media. Parents who have kids that are being diagnosed with Alpha-Mannosidosis are reaching out to me because they see that I have Alpha-Mannosidosis on my social media pages. It’s so cool because they’re reaching out to me and we’re getting on a Zoom call to talk. We’re connecting with families that are across the world like Brazil and Serbia. The one girl that we connected with recently had a bone marrow transplant to stop the disease from progressing. A lot of my advocating happens on social media because there’s not that many people that have this rare disease alone in the United States.

    As a board member of International Society for Mannosidosis and Related Diseases (ISMRD), what is the mission of the organization and your responsibilities?

    ISMRD is the International Society for Mannosidosis and Related Diseases. It’s a family support for all of the different rare diseases that are within this organization. We’re researching a lot because we work with scientists who are looking for cures for these nine glycoprotein rare diseases. We’re on a mission to really try and get the patients connected with the scientists, doctors, and similar networks. I have been on the board for a little under a year. I am working on sending emails to the family to update them on things that are happening within the organization or any opportunities that are happening in the rare disease world. I am also going to be helping them with their social media presence on Instagram because they don’t have Instagram. The board is made up of parents of these kids who have these rare diseases, so there’s not many younger people on the board.

    How do you use your interest in writing as an outlet and a platform for your goals?

    I absolutely love writing! It’s funny because when I was in elementary school, I always wanted to be a writer one day. My mom told me to go for it, even though I had challenges in the writing classes because that was one of the challenges I had with what I was born with. Writing was not my strong suit whatsoever, so I love that I am able to write and share my journey. I write in a way that feels like I’m talking to you and that’s really what I want it to be like. I want to have a conversation with someone because we live in a world that is so fast-paced and no one is sitting down and having a conversation about what they are going through or what is happening in their life. I just want to help to inspire people, even if it’s just one person that reads my blog. I just want to share some hope, joy, and peace in their life.

    Sarah stands and smiles at her home.

    What is the idea behind the title of your blog, Achieve the Impossible Today?

    I am a Christian, and in the Bible it says in Mark 10:27 by Jesus: “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” I grew up Catholic, but I stopped going to church. I knew God when I was younger, but it wasn’t like I know him now. In the past four years of knowing God and diving into my relationship with Jesus, he’s just shown me that anything is possible. The whole thing is I just want to share stories of doing the impossible because everything that I’m doing today is considered impossible.

    Who do you hope to reach with your blog?

    Anyone — I would love for anyone who’s going through a hard season to read my blog and find that hope that they will get through this. It’s also for parents who are just finding out that their kid has Alpha-Mannosidosis because there’s not much out there. I just want to raise awareness of the disease.

    What are your goals for the blog and your future?

    The main theme that I wish to go after is just to inspire people in whatever it may be that I’m doing.

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

    Photos by:
    Harley Sarmiento, senior sports communication and media major

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

    Eric Uhorchuk holds a stack of Writing Arts materials outside on campus.

    The 4+1 BA/MA in Writing Arts program allows students to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years. Students Tara Grier, Scott MacLean and Eric Uhorchuk give us great insight into the benefits of the program and why it is helping to support their goals. 

    On discovering the program

    Scott MacLean, a first-generation college student from Wenonah, NJ (Gloucester County), recently graduated from the program this spring. He originally learned about the program through a professor. “Professor Rachael Shapiro was the first person to tell me about the program. We met when I took Intro to Writing Arts, and I really thrived in her class. At a later time, I ran into her in the hallway, and we chatted about the opportunity. When I looked into the program I saw that they offered classes focused on aspects of the publishing industry as well as internship opportunities. I knew I had to apply!” 

    Eric Uhorchuk, a third-year student in the program from Mullica Hill, NJ (Gloucester County), found out about the 4+1 program through professors and classmates. What ultimately lead him to apply were “how many career opportunities and internships the program offered.” So far, Eric has seen the benefit of taking the challenge. “I’ve been working on research for my master’s project, and with luck, it’ll be something I can actually publish. With Rowan University’s program specifically, the degrees can help me see what local presses or businesses are looking for employees, and actually allow me to interact with them.”

    Tara Grier, in her third year of the program from Newark, Delaware, learned about the opportunity as a first year student. She ultimately chose Rowan University because it was one of the few schools that offered Writing Arts as an actual major. 

    Tara Grier outside on campus.
    Tara Grier of Delaware has served as Managing Editor for Rowan’s pop culture online magazine Halftone and as an intern for Singularity Press, the university’s publishing start-up.

    Benefits of the 4+1 program

    Tara explains: “The program is great because it allows you to begin your M.A. degree as an undergrad while still paying undergrad tuition. Not only does it save time and money, but it’s a unique experience that allows you to explore a graduate program as a senior.” She adds, “Taking graduate-level courses was initially very intimidating, but I’ve learned so much from them already and I feel they’ve even given me new skills that have improved my quality of work in my undergraduate courses too. Another benefit is that you get to know more people in the program!” 

    Scott is happy about the time and money he is saving while being enrolled in the 4+1 program. “When I was at RCGC I got into the ISP (Internship Scholarship Program), which allowed me to work in Gloucester County Social Services as an intern in exchange for tuition. Since I finished half of my master’s degree while still in my senior year thanks to the 4+1 program, I managed to save a lot of money. It also just saves me time in the long run. Rather than spending two or three years on my master’s, I am only spending one.” 

    Eric identifies faculty and classes that have enriched his experience at Rowan University so far. “Megan Atwood’s Writing the YA novel and Genre Fiction classes helped me learn what major mistakes I make while writing and how to best improve them. Heather Lanier’s Writing Creative Nonfiction course helped me understand that my life is important and that I can use writing to express my personal experiences, and her Creative Writing II course gave me the concept for my current MA project. At the same time, Lisa Jahn-Clough’s Writing Stories for Children and Young Adults is helping me understand which audience I’d be most comfortable writing for, and giving me a special environment to work in.

    “All of my professors have made a huge impact on how I write, why I want to write, and how I want to grow while doing it.”

    Headshot of Eric wearing a Writing Arts T-shirt.
    Eric Uhorchuk says he always knew Rowan University would be home. “I’ve been looking at Rowan University for my whole life. It’s close to home, filled with so many amazing people, and I’ve spent many summer camps, school trips, and even dance recitals here. The fact that it offered a Writing Arts program was the icing on the cake.”

    Experiences outside the classroom

    Along with classes, Tara is involved in extracurricular activities that have made her experience well-rounded and meaningful thus far.

    “I have been an intern and volunteer for Singularity Press since Spring of 2020, a start-up self-publishing service that will help authors edit and promote their work, create cover art, and other services when they self-publish, which is launching this semester. I have loved all the work I’ve done for Singularity Press, from social media management to graphic design, administrative tasks, and all of the creative work that goes into it too. Last semester, I also worked as Managing Editor of Halftone, a new pop culture magazine on campus, which was a great experience. As a freshman, I interned for the Writing Arts department, which allowed me to gain skills that have helped me gain other opportunities and internships.” 

    Scott has also gotten valuable experiences outside of the classroom.

    “I was an intern for Glassworks Magazine, working under Katie Budris in Fall 2021. Through that internship, I was able to gain experience as an editor for a literary magazine! I learned more about social media management, newsletter writing, website development, and how to best represent Glassworks and the Writing Arts program in general. I was responsible for reviewing and voting on submissions for the magazine and participating in packet meetings where we discuss which pieces we’d like to accept. I also was charged with helping the people taking the Editing the Literary Journal class at the time, editing their editorial content that would be going on the website (book reviews, op-eds, and author interviews). I think one of the main reasons I feel confident graduating from Rowan and entering the workforce is because of my time with Glassworks.”

    Scott MacLean at graduation
    Scott MacLean at his undergraduate graduation. Scott is a recent graduate of the 4+1 program with plans to join the publishing industry in an agent or editor role.

    Currently, Scott serves as an intern for the Singularity Press. “Through this internship, I’ve been able to do more social media management. My favorite part of the internship has been the public events. We went to the AWP conference and I was able to represent both Glassworks and Singularity Press. Lastly, I’ve been able to read and evaluate manuscripts for an agent who is associated with the press. All of these experiences have helped me feel better prepared for the future. I’ve come to realize that I am more capable than I once thought I was, and I’ve managed to push myself out of my comfort zone and thrive in new environments.”

    Along with the coursework, Eric is also involved in extracurricular activities. “I worked as an intern for Singularity Press when it was first being conceptualized, where I helped organize events and social media posts and helped out with the website. Currently, I’m working as an associate editor at Glassworks, where I read, and vote on submissions, interact with social media, proofread and edit accepted works, create newsletters, as well as participate in events that the publication runs.”

    Future goals

    In the future, Tara hopes to have her books published. “I’ve been writing a Fantasy novel for several years, and would love to see it published and successful someday. While I was always aware of my passion for storytelling, my experiences at Rowan also helped me discover a passion for helping others tell their stories. This is why I’d like to pursue an editing career as well.” 

    Scott’s ultimate goal is to make the world of literature more inclusive and represent people of all identities in his work. “In high school, I read constantly but I rarely ever found gay characters in the genres I loved. Then I stumbled across I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, the first book with a gay character that didn’t involve the character dying/suffering greatly/being gay-bashed. Reading that book made me realize how little representation was present in literature. That has changed a lot these days, but it’s still very hard to find gay characters at the forefront of genre fiction: fantasy, thrillers, etc. and I plan on changing that. Along with this, I would like to either become a literary agent, or an acquiring editor in the publishing industry.” 

    Looking ahead, Eric’s dream goal is to be a published author. “I’m also thinking of possibly going into the editing field, specifically for novel writing or becoming a Writing Arts professor at a university, so I can help others grow and hone their craft. I’ve always wanted to teach, so why not teach the thing I love?

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

    Select photos courtesy of:
    Tara Grier (credit: Christian Browne) and Scott MacLean

    Passing the Torch: Future Public Health Educator Keyanna Meade

    After transferring from Monmouth University, Nutrition major Keyanna Meade from Marlton, NJ (Burlington County) found many opportunities at Rowan. 

    Keyanna poses under the Rowan arch.

    Keyanna enjoyed getting out into the community to do research.

    “I joined Dr. Vaughn’s lab in my junior year in the fall semester, and I absolutely loved it. It is a little independent and a little teamwork-based. We meet weekly,” she said. “I think getting involved with research in the community is something different. Everybody knows about research within the lab, but it was nice to do research within the community and for the community. “

    Beyond research opportunities at Rowan, Keyanna made connections and found an internship.

    “I interned with New Jersey Food Democracy Collaborative (NJFDC) over the school year. I just got signed on to a project where we’re going to do a food audit for Atlantic City. Dr. Vaughn reached out to a colleague of hers and recommended me to work with them.

    Keyanna walks in her graduation outfit.

    Keyanna recommends that other students get involved with research where they can.

    “If you can do research, definitely do research. Doctor Vaughn is always looking for people to help. Definitely surround yourself with opportunities like internships or a work-study that’s focusing on your majors so that it helps you in the future.”

    Keyanna advises her high school senior self to be more involved.

    Make sure you get involved. Make sure you speak to your counselors about different things that you’re interested in. Look at other opportunities that you’re interested in, and even if it’s just like an idea or a little thing, just see where it can take you because you never know what your interest is. It might take you into college and you never know if you might switch your major or decide that you no longer want to do that major. Definitely take advantage of internships and other opportunities.”

    In the future, Keyanna would like to be a public health educator.

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

    Q and A with Award-Winning Athletic Training Graduate Student Samantha Santos

    Samantha stretches out an athlete's arm in the training room.

    Today we feature Samantha Santos, a recent Rowan Global graduate of the M.S. in Athletic Training program. Samantha won the 2022 Athletic Training Medallion Award for her commitment to her major and passion for the athletic training field. She talks about her experience as an athletic training major, her experiences with her professors, and how working in the Rowan University Athletic Training Program has prepared her for her future endeavors.

    How would you generally describe the athletic training major?
    The easiest way to describe athletic training is that we are the sports medicine professionals who assist athletes in injury rehabilitation. We all specialize in the prevention and emergency care — we do a lot of paperwork — but we are the guys you see on the sideline of a football game. I feel like that’s the most of the easiest way to put it.

    Samantha Santos going through medical bag in athletic training room.
    Samantha Santos going through medical bag in the athletic training room.

    Can you talk about what you do on a day-to-day basis?
    When people think about athletic training, they instantly think of taping ankles or a specific body part before players attend a practice or play in games. We do tape ankles, and we tape a lot of everything, honestly, but what we do is way more than that.

    Athletes come in to see us, and they may tell us that they don’t feel great today, and I don’t feel that well. We come in and assess their symptoms for general medical concerns like sicknesses or allergies for a doctor to then come and officially diagnose. There are also moments where players come in, and it’s related to their mental well-being. Sometimes we have to sit down and have a conversation with them. We want athletes to know that we are here for them in other ways other than just rehabbing their hamstring or ankle. The field setup and game coverage are the best part of the job and why I was drawn to the profession; but honestly, I think my favorite part of it is seeing an athlete that got hurt and went to rehab with your return to play and get back out on the field.

    Why did you choose to major in athletic training? What made the field stand out to you?
    I first got interested in athletic training in high school. We didn’t have an athletic trainer at my high school because I went to a small private school. So when I found out about the profession, I was like, wait a second…this seems like something that would fit me perfectly.

    I love how the role athletic trainers play in the lives of the athletes they work with is continuous. I like to be there every step of the way. It’s not a job where I’m in an office all day. With this job, we are involved with initial symptoms and injury prevention and recovery, return to play, and the mental and physical components of being a player who came back from injury. I remember my junior year here when I started my clinical assignment; on my first day in the facility, I worked with women’s basketball and men’s and women’s swimming and diving and helped out with football because they were beginning preseason. I remember thinking that there were so many football players, and it was overwhelming.

    I am not going to sugarcoat it, you do get thrown into the fire, but it was the best way to learn and be comfortable in this field.

    Samantha Santos using an ultrasound machine on a baseball player's arm for active physical therapy.
    Samantha Santos using an ultrasound machine on a baseball player’s arm for active physical therapy.

    How was being an athletic trainer major different post-Covid-19 lockdown? After returning from lockdown, how do you handle the fast-paced, athletic training environment?
    It is crazy how much has changed over the years. The other day, I was talking to Colleen, the head athletic trainer, about how we had to do temperature checks on every athlete and person who walked into the training room. We had to set scheduled time slots for teams and athletes to come into the training room to eliminate many people being in all at once. It is controlled chaos in the athletic training room. We would continuously keep up with patients via email and online too.

    In Spring 2021, I was at Delsea High School, and when I was there, there were still some Covid-19 protocols and enforcements to follow, like wearing masks. But as time went on, it started to feel more and more normal. This past fall, it was the first time I thought we were genuinely seeing normalcy in the training rooms. We still were encouraged to wear masks; however, athletics in high school and college had no more restrictions. The most significant adjustment was definitely from Spring 2020 to Spring 2021. I saw a substantial change in regulations and accessibility from Spring 2021 to Fall 2021 and even Spring 2022.

    Samantha Santos in athletic training room adjusting an athlete's shoe.
    Samantha Santos in athletic training room adjusting an athlete’s shoe.

    What is the best part of pursuing this major at Rowan?
    The hands-on experience is the best part of the program. We learn so much in this program in and out of the classroom. For example, in my sophomore year here at Rowan, we learned so much anatomy about injuries, pathologies, rehabilitation, case patterns, how to reach a diagnosis, and so much more. I remember feeling like my brain was overloaded because we had obtained so much information. I was overwhelmed the summer before my first clinical because I was thinking, how will I apply everything I learned into actual practice on patients and athletes? But obtaining this clinical experience while being a student was unique and an excellent opportunity for learning and applying knowledge in real-life settings.

    As previously stated, I have completed hours with Rowan University Women’s Basketball, Swim and Dive, Football, and Baseball teams which made my experience special. The opportunities that we get as athletic training majors regarding working with athletes in high schools are also fantastic for obtaining experience in the field. I got to work and complete hours at Woodstown and Delsea Regional High Schools.

    Samantha Santos stretching out a baseball player's shoulder.
    Samantha Santos stretching out a baseball player’s shoulder.

    Can you talk about how working with professors and professionals like Head Athletic Trainer Colleen Grugan and Assistant Athletic Trainers Chris Pantellere and Steve Schultz have helped prepare you for your future endeavors?

    Our professors are great. I worked with Dr. Sterner, Dr. Mann, and Dr. Pledger. My professors impacted my academic, professional, and even personal life in so many different ways. Classes were never easy. We were always learning a lot of material, and it became very overwhelming at times, and I was constantly studying. I had worked over 1,600 clinical hours, and I probably put equally the same amount of time just into studying. The work was non-stop, and it felt at the time that it was never going to end. But it always ended up being worth it. Thankfully, I did well in my classes, and it truly helped me clinically to be able to practice what I have learned. My professors made it easy because if I needed help, all I had to do was ask. My professors would go over anything ranging from quizzes, exams, material taught in class, and more.

    I have had the same experience working with Head Athletic Trainer Colleen Grugan and Assistant Athletic Trainers Chris Pantellere and Steve Schultz. I have never hesitated to ask them questions on anything I was unsure of or wanted more guidance on. In my first semester, Chris was my preceptor. It was just one of those things where you are just thrown into the fire.

    I remember it being the third week in August that we started, and we were covering the men’s soccer tournament. There was an emergency, and my partner and I just had to do what we were taught to do, and Chris was coaching us through it. We handled the situation exactly how we were taught to handle it in class; however, Chris guided us the whole time and really established for me that we are never alone. It was nice having Chris there because we calmly handled the situation quickly and efficiently. Colleen is so easy to talk to and one of my favorite people to work with. She taught two of my lab classes, and I instantly remember thinking that Colleen was a boss and an excellent person to be mentored by. She is knowledgeable, loves teaching, and truly wants us to learn from experience. Colleen, Chris and Steve all put us in situations where we are forced to figure it out, and I have learned to love expanding my knowledge within the field this way.

    Colleen Grugan, Head Athletic Trainer (left), assisting Samantha Santos (right) with using an ultrasound machine on an athlete's hamstring.
    Colleen Grugan, Head Athletic Trainer (left), assisting Samantha Santos (right) with using an ultrasound machine on an athlete’s hamstring.

    What advice would you give to someone pursuing the athletic training major at Rowan?
    Stay on top of studying because it is easy to fall behind in this field. Go to the library for an hour or two every day to familiarize yourself with the material. I felt like I lived in the library most of college because I was always studying or trying to obtain new material in a quiet space. It is essential to find people in your classes with whom you work well. These people can be great study partners and can help with collaborating ideas.

    Can you sum up your experience at Rowan? Why was Rowan the best fit for you?
    Rowan was my first and kind of only choice, to be honest with you, when I was in my college search. I was in a community college. I went there for two years and got my associate in Biomedical Science. I remember looking up athletic training programs one day, and I saw that Rowan had a top program, and I grew up in Vineland, so it was convenient for me. I knew coming into it that it would be difficult, but I knew that if I wanted to be successful, this was the route that I had to take. So when I started, I didn’t realize that it would be as difficult as it was, but I genuinely feel that I am now ready for work post-graduation and am confident that I will be fine.

    But Rowan was definitely my number one choice for that reason, and I just knew that I just felt right, and it was so close to home, and then the program itself resonated with me. So Rowan was the right fit for me; there was no question about that.

    Close-up of Samantha Santos using an ultrasound machine on a baseball player's arm for active physical therapy.
    Close-up of Samantha Santos using an ultrasound machine on a baseball player’s arm for active physical therapy.

    What are your plans post-graduation?
    So as far as the job hunt goes, I have seen plenty of jobs up in North Jersey, which is fine. However, I don’t think I could do more than an hour commute, and I can’t move just yet, so I’m going to try to say more in the South Jersey area.

    I would love to work in the college atmosphere. However, my dream job would be to work as a trainer in professional baseball. Right now, I am going to search for jobs in college or high school. I want my first job to be a huge learning experience to continue to build and grow. So I’m kind of open to whatever opportunities I find.

    Rowan is excellent because you form these connections with professors and fellow students, and sometimes they know people that are hiring or are good referrals for job applications. I feel like people are always helping each other in some capacity, and it is nice.

    Samantha Santos stretching out a Rowan baseball player's arm.
    Samantha Santos stretching out a Rowan baseball player’s arm.

    See our video with Samantha here.

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    Story By: 
    Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major

    #PROFspective: Computer Science Major, Basketball Player, International Student Marko Pantovic

    Outdoor shot of Marko wearing a coat and backpack.

    Today we speak to Marko Pantovic, a senior Computer Science major and basketball student-athlete from Belgrade, Serbia. Marko transferred to Rowan University from Maryville University in Missouri. Marko tells us about the chance experience that led him to Rowan and shares his advice for future international students. 

    Marko standings holding the Serbia flag.

    How did you end up transferring to Rowan?

    In the summer of 2018, my brother was just getting married. He had been dating his girlfriend for eight years. They both met at Drexel. They had a wedding in Philly that summer. My family and I decided to look at schools around the area because they lived in Mullica Hill, NJ. I decided to look at Rowan. The school looked great, and they had the major I wanted to do. The D3 level doesn’t matter. Basketball doesn’t matter. Joe Crispin, the Rowan Men’s Basketball coach, set up a tour for me right after I email him. I did the tour, and then I committed right on the spot. I loved everything about Rowan. It was also great to be near my brother for the first time in years.

    How did moving closer to your brother affect your college career?

    My brother became more of a father figure towards me, which I didn’t expect. I really appreciated him because he’s been pushing me to be my best, not just in school, but also on the court and with everything else. He’s shown me how it looks like living life here. I loved every second I’ve been here.

    Marko poses with his brother and his brother's wife after a basketball game.
    Marko poses with his brother and his brother’s wife after a basketball game.

    What was it like, transitioning to life in the United States?

    Well, I know some people from back home who felt so homesick they had to go back home. I have never felt that way, but I think it was because my older siblings came to the United States as well. I did a prep year before going to college, and there were three or four Serbs there, as well as other international students. The next year, I felt by myself. The holidays and winter break were especially lonely. Winter break felt like it would never end. That was a big reason I wanted to transfer to Rowan. Now that I am living with my brother, his wife and my two little nephews, I feel at home. I don’t get as homesick as I did before. 

    Do you have any advice for future international students on how to make yourself at home?

    My brother was not the only person who made me feel at home here. I also give credit to Nick and Rob, two of the other seniors on the basketball team. They accepted me as soon as I came here. I would say finding a group of friends is important. You can find one on your team, in your major, or through other international students at the International Center.

    The International Center here is great. They have banquets, meet-and-greets, and other events. They were especially helpful my first semester here when I was trying to see if there was anyone else from my country here. 

    Marko is introduced before a game.

    How did you choose your major?

    Computer science is really vast. Cybersecurity, everything we do on our phones and computers, is all computer science. A cash register at a store is computer science. The vastness attracted me, and I wanted to explore it. My dad works at an IT company, so I have been exposed to it. Ever since I was a kid, I have always loved computers and loved working with them. I had never experienced software and programming, so I have been learning a lot in my courses. I learned how much I like computer science, and how vast it is.

    What is your favorite part of computer science?

    I’ve had a lot of software development classes the last two semesters, which have been amazing and I’ve had so much fun with them. I’d like to focus on software development, but I’m not sure if I want to do it in web apps or mobile apps.

    Marko stands next to a sign with many countries on it outdoors.

    Do you have a favorite moment with your basketball team?

    In Serbia, we take basketball really seriously. The fans are passionate; they chant and support their team, and they yell at the other team. I love that kind of environment. We had a setting like that in Jersey City, and we won the game. It was awesome, and I’ll never forget it. 

    What made you feel that you made the right decision, coming to Rowan?

    The whole Rowan experience, I’m really thankful for it. I didn’t think school would be this great. I always knew I was going to stick through it. I always knew I would finish school with a degree in something. When I was here, I literally had a feeling I didn’t want to leave. Rowan has become a second home for me, and I’m really thankful for it.

    See our video with Marko here: 

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

    Photos by:
    Valentina Giannattasio, first year dance and marketing double major
    Rowan Athletics

    Family photo submitted by:
    Marko Pantovic

    The Value In Fighting: My Experience With Rowan MMA

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

    What Rowan Offers: Accepted Students Day

    A family is posing in front of the Accepted Students Day setup and is smiling.

    From this past Accepted Students Day, Rowan University welcomed hundreds of future students to experience what the campus has to offer with a vast array of different events, information on clubs and student life, and opportunities to meet other potential students. In our interviews with these prospective students, we uncovered their reasons for why Rowan could be their future four-year university and what college means for them. 

    The next generation of Rowan students brings an exciting perspective eager to take on new challenges. Whether they are freshly graduated high school students or transfers, many of these students are still pondering their own choices as to where to head for their higher education; but in our conversations, we learned of their own dreams and aspirations. 

    An array of accepted students are posing in different positions.

    For some of the students when asked “Why Rowan?” or “Why college?,” they had an immediate response in regards to their future careers. In the case of future international transfer student, Sophie O., she was drawn to Rowan’s Psychology program. Transferring from Delaware County and originally from Nigeria, Sophie is fueled to help others and future teenagers who do not have the resources to cope with their own mental health issues. 

    Sophie is posing on Bunce Green with her Rowan goodie bag in hand.
    Sophie O., is an international transfer student from Delaware County and Nigeria who is planning on majoring into Psychology at Rowan.

    Already, students are preparing their own core values for their future career and are motivated by empathy in creating a better environment for all. 

    In another conversation with Vivianne N., an accepted student who was drawn to the university due to her family’s own heritage with the school, we learned of Vivianne being unsure as to what to expect for the future. But as she says in her own advice to students, she believes that “students should make a stable plan and live accordingly to it.” Vivianne is a future Rowan student who is entering the Graphic Design program. 

    Vivianne is giving a peace sign and smiling on Bunce Green.
    Vivianne N. is a future Rowan student who is planning on enrolling into the Graphic Design program.

    Outside of thinking of their careers, many students are ready to embrace the college lifestyle and eagerly awaiting the different opportunities that can be found in extracurriculars. For accepted students Stephen L. of Collingswood, NJ (Camden County) and Skyler G. of Wayne, NJ (Passaic County), both are anticipating exploring the different intramural and club sports that the campus offers such as tennis and field hockey. 

    In our conversation with future Engineering student Colvin A. and and Physics major Victor A., we learned of their shared excitement in finding out about the different activities that Rowan has. Specifically, Colvin and Victor are especially looking forward to seeing the Robotics Club and possibly joining an intramural sport. 

    Victor Aretegra (pictured on the left) and his friend Colvin Abdaulkander (pictured on the right) are enrolling in the Physics and Engineering program respectfully.
    Victor A. (pictured on the left) and his friend Colvin A. (pictured on the right) are enrolling in the Physics and Engineering programs, respectfully.

    Outside of these factors, many students are also paying close attention to the financial portion of college. Many students are choosing Rowan due to it being close to home as well as the price of tuition. These components bring out difficult conversations, but many students are ecstatic over the various opportunities that Rowan has to ease the financial burden that comes with college such as in grants and scholarships. 

    For Dylan S. of Pittsgrove, NJ (Salem County), our interview with the future Education major with a concentration in Mathematics provided insight as to his own viewpoint on what scholarships mean for himself. We learned of his welcoming of these different chances of scholarships and treating more as challenges for himself. 

    An accepted student is posing with her mother in front of the balloon archway.

    During the Accepted Students Day fair, there was a reoccurring sense of pride in all of the students and parents attending. Even if Rowan won’t be their home for university, students and parents were enjoying themselves, happily checking out all of the different booths and venues at Bunce Hall. Students and parents were, and are, welcomed with open arms by Rowan University, allowing them all to enjoy an afternoon on campus and experience Rowan even for only one day. 

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    Story by:
    Lucas Taylor, Graduate Education Student
    Loredonna Fiore, public relations graduate

    Produced by:
    Lucas Taylor, Graduate Education Student

    #TRANSFERmation Tuesday: A Conversation with Music Industry Major Emileigh Zane

    In this edition of #TRANSFERmation Tuesday, we learn more of Music Industry major Emileigh Zane of Penns Grove, NJ (Salem County). In this exchange, we learn more of her own experience as a transfer student as well as what motivated her to pursue a career inside the music industry. 

    Why did you pick Rowan? 

    I mostly picked Rowan for their music industry program. There are not that many schools that do have a music industry program. I know that in the state of New Jersey, only [two other schools] have one. So because Rowan is so close to me, I went through with it. I only live 40 minutes away from here, so I liked that aspect here that was somewhat close to home but still far enough away where I’m not too tempted to go home all the time (sorry Mom and Dad!). I really liked the program and what they were offering. I know a lot of people who have gone to school here and I’ve heard a lot of great things about it, so that kind of pushed me to go forward with that direction.

    Could you describe the journey it took you to get to Rowan? 

    The transfer process was actually super simple because I went to Rowan College of South Jersey, which is the school that Rowan is associated with. The transfer process was super easy, I just had to apply to Rowan. I’m pretty sure all of my credits transferred over because of that affiliation between those two schools. It was super simple and I didn’t have any problems.

    Emileigh is looking at a computer while typing on a keyboard.

    What aspects here at Rowan made you know that this was the place you wanted to be? 

    I like how many opportunities there are for involvement at Rowan. There are hundreds of clubs and Rowan After Hours. I’ve always been the type of person who’s been super involved at school, especially at high school. I was the girl that was in every club. I went to a very small high school so it was okay that I was involved in a lot, it was like a sense of community with everyone. I was a part of clubs that were focused on the arts, athletics and even academic-oriented ones. Looking back, I can say that I was really involved over there.

    When I got to community college I knew that I still wanted to be involved. So, at RCSJ (Rowan College of South Jersey), I was on the track team and it took up most of my time there. It was really fun, I met a lot of great people there. 

    When I got to Rowan University, I knew that I wanted this type of place where I can be involved and meet a lot of new people from it. I also really like Rowan’s campus. It’s a great medium-sized campus; it’s not too big and not too small. The fact that there are a lot of good food places nearby is great too!

    With being a transfer student, how included do you feel with the different events/clubs here on campus? 

    I feel super included, I’ve never really felt different as a transfer student. The only real disadvantage was that people have had more time to explore on campus than I have. Sometimes it takes me longer to discover new things on campus, but for the most part I feel like the school does a pretty good job about advertising all of the opportunities for students. I had an easy time just coming right in and finding clubs and groups that I wanted to be a part of on campus.

    Emileigh is sitting down on some gross with her legs crossed and smiling at the camera.

    What drew you to your major?

    I would say the big event that drew me to my major was when I was at Warped Tour in 2018. I was with my cousin and her girlfriend and they had entered this raffle to win backstage passes for one of the performers. They ended up winning the drawing so all three of us got to go backstage at Warped Tour and I got to see what happens behind the scenes, like the walkthrough location or the area where everybody is eating. During the tour, our guide showed us where even the green rooms were at and then we got to be backstage while 3oh!3 performed.

    Just seeing the environment with everybody working backstage like the lighting crew, the audio crew, the guitar technicians, just seeing it all from that perspective and seeing them perform with the crowd had captivated me. I knew that I wanted to do this and this was what I wanted to do with my life.

    Emileigh is standing out front of a sign at Warped Tour.
    After her experience with Warped Tour, Emileigh Zane became aware of how a career in the musical industry field could be her calling.

    How do you view your major making a difference for others?

    I think my major is very helpful, especially to people that are already trying to pursue it. If they are an artist themselves, you really get to see all of the behind the scenes things that really aren’t talked about. It’s not the fun stuff so it’s not what people are usually talking about. The music industry is a very traditional type of business. It’s really easy to get screwed over in the industry and make mistakes such as in the case of ambiguous contracts or labels. It’s started to change a little bit but just knowing how it works and learning how to take advantage will really boost your career with which I consider as super helpful. For example, there’s this one class called Music Publishing and it has to do with ownership of a song and how licensing and rights work with your song.

    I think that my major teaches you a lot of things that you would have to learn the hard way if you didn’t take the college route. You can take the proper precautions for starting your career or even if you just want to work on the business side of things, the teachings that we learn all deal with preventing common mistakes and setting ourselves up for future success. Just learning how to get the most money possible for yourself and your artist is great, but also learning without the whole trial and error experience is even better.

    Emileigh is standing in front of a brick background smiling at the camera.

    What has Rowan done to prepare you for the future, aka, post-academia? 

    I think that my major in particular has done a great job of giving me a lot of hands-on, relevant experience. I’m currently in a touring and concert promoting class, and it teaches us what it actually takes to put on a show. But then the other part of that class, and what I think is most helpful, is that we get to put on two shows as a part of that class as a part of our grade. 

    For our capstone projects, we have the freedom to do a lot of different things, whatever you’re interested you can do for the most part. For example, a lot of artists that I’m friends with do an EP (Extended Play) or album and other people have started artist management companies. For my capstone project, I’ve decided to do a one-day music festival called Better Now Music Festival. Currently, I’m looking for a local venue to book the show at as well as looking at many different local and semi-local artists. There’s still a lot to plan, but I also really like the idea of having a lot of activities, food trucks and some tables with helpful resources. It’s like my own little homage to Warped Tour in a way, I guess.

    What have been your favorite moments so far on campus? 

    My house shows with Rowan Alt (@rowanalternativemusic) are the most fun and enjoyable thing that I do on campus. I also went to see the Rowan jazz concert that they have every winter and spring. I went to one in the winter and it was really good. I was really surprised, I didn’t realize that the students were as good as they were. That jazz festival was really fun. Just getting to be involved with Rowan Music Group, that was really cool by itself too. If I could describe it, It’s like the Rowan record label that a lot of people don’t really know that we have, but we have. I have a lot of fun just hanging out with my roommate too, we’ll just be hanging around at our apartment.

    Emileigh is leaning on a railing and smiling directly at the camera with the sunset at her back.

    What’s the most interesting thing that you had learned during the transfer process?

    Most things that you may need help with are a simple ask away. I feel like a lot of people don’t realize that there are people out there willing to help you. Knowing how to ask for help in a nice way can get you pretty far.

    With everything that you know now, what advice would you give to your high school self in regards to college?  

    To just stay organized. I’m already a very organized person, but I think staying organized is really important because there are so many things that you’re trying to juggle between school, taking care of yourself and being involved. Just make sure that you are aware of all of the opportunities and that you take advantage of them. It’s very important to the entirety of the college experience.

    Story by:
    Lucas Taylor, English Education major

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

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    #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

    My Most Interesting Class: United States History to 1865

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

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

    From TikTok Dreams to Reality: A Summer to Remember in Lake Powell, Arizona

    Sofia DiCastelnuovo, a senior Biological Sciences major with a minor in Sustainability Science, shares how she went from scrolling on TikTok in New Jersey to spending a full summer in Lake Powell, Arizona. 

    If you are looking for a sign to travel: this story is for you. Sofia DiCastelnuovo is a transfer student from another four-year university that was not the right fit for her. She declared a Biological Sciences major right away because she knew she loved science and the environment. She came to Rowan for the opportunity for a fresh start and guidance on how to combine her passion with a career. 

    Zion National Park, Utah - Angel’s Landing Hike
    Zion National Park, Utah – Angel’s Landing Hike

    Unfortunately, Sofia did not get a traditional experience her first semester here as everyone was sent home due to Covid-19.

    “After getting sent home and having time to really think about things, I was feeling really stuck in place. Covid made me realize that I wanted to strive to do more in the future. I really started thinking about what my next steps were after quarantine and how I could combine my passion with my coursework,” Sofia says.

    Like many of us, Sofia spent a lot of time on TikTok during isolation. Her “For You” page wasn’t filled with viral dances or whipped coffee recipes, though. She realized that her algorithm was sending her a sign she needed to receive. 

    “I was scrolling scrolling on TikTok and saw all of these travel videos of people at national parks or these beautiful remote locations. I found this website called ‘Coolworks’ through those videos, which is a database that displays seasonal work opportunities in all different places around the country,” Sofia explains.

    Arches national park
    Arches National Park, Utah

    This got Sofia thinking: maybe traveling and seeing new places could give her clarity on what she wanted to do in the future as a career. She says, “I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my biology major, but I thought traveling would allow me to immerse myself in a different environment while also learning new things.” 

    Rather than dreaming about traveling or working in a new place, Sofia started taking the steps to do it. “I started applying everywhere. I had no place in mind, I just cast my net wide and hoped for the best,” she says.

    Luckily for Sofia, a company from Lake Powell, Arizona called her within a few weeks for a phone interview. They offered Sofia a position at the end of that phone call.

    Sofia at Zion National Park.
    Sofia at Zion National Park

    “I never thought I’d go to the desert of all places. It was completely out of my comfort zone, so I took some time to think about it, but ultimately accepted the offer a few days later.”

    Sofia accepted a position at Wahweap Rental Marina, where she helped visitors rent houseboats, kayaks, jet skis and other small boats on Lake Powell. 

    “I worked as a rental agent in the office, which was my first time doing anything like that,” she says. “I got to meet different people traveling from all over the world every single day. They provided employees with housing where we could cook, eat, and even exercise at the fitness center. Any time we weren’t working was our time to explore.”

    Lake Powell
    Lake Powell, Utah

    “I got to visit five national parks, but Zion National Park was my favorite. It was beautiful. I hiked Angels Landing and the Narrows, which were places on my bucket list from TikTok. It was cool to hike places that I had only ever seen through a phone screen. The videos didn’t do them justice.” 

    Sofia came back to New Jersey at summer’s end with a new mindset. “The trip made me realize everyone has their own path. I always questioned what my future held and put so much pressure on myself. I met so many people doing seasonal work (high schoolers, college students, retired people etc.) who were doing the exact same thing as me. Not only am I able to put this valuable experience on my resume, I was able to learn a lesson I really needed to: it’s ok to figure it out as you go.”

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

    Photos courtesy of:
    Sofia DiCastelnuovo, senior biological sciences major

    Header photo courtesy of:
    Pixabay

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    Beyond The Classroom: Entrepreneurship Major, Owner of Showtime Sneaker Boutiques, Christian Giannola

    Today we feature Entrepreneurship major Christian Giannola. Christian, a senior, transferred freshman year from Monmouth University to increase his knowledge in business and entrepreneurship to assist him in running his full-time sneaker boutique business. Christian shares information on Showtime Sneaker Boutique and its two locations, how he started this business, and how Rowan helped him […]

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

    Jamar smiles while looking to his left side.

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

    #PROFspective: Civil/Environmental Engineering Major, Rowan CHAARG Ambassador Trinity Good

    Trinity sits on a rock in front of trees.

    Today, transfer student Trinity Good shares her #PROFspective of being a junior Civil/Environmental Engineering major from Upper Township, NJ (Cape May County). Trinity is the Rowan Ambassador for CHAARG, a college health and fitness community. She works as a cook at Kirk’s Pizza in Upper Township, as well as serving at Brown’s in Ocean City. […]

    The Rowan Blog Team’s Favorite Posts of 2021

    Drone shot over Wackar Stadium at sunset.

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

    Jars of Beekeeping Club honey packaged for sale.

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

    Read the full story here

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


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

    Finding My Path and Passion with an English Degree

    Read the full story here

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


    Ayanna smiles at the New York City Pride Parade.

    Ayanna Johnson Reflects on New York City Pride Parade

    Read the full story here

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


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

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

    Read the full story here

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


    Sarah and Madeline McClure hug at the Rowan Prof statue.

    Sisters on SGA: Madeline and Sarah McClure

    Read the full story here

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


    Victoria kisses her son Rowen on Rowan Boulevard.

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

    Read the full story here

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


    Dr. Santos smiles inside Business Hall.

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

    Read the full story here

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


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

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

    Read the full story here

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

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

    My First Year as a Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Major

    A Rowan SOM Vaccine Site

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Sports CaM Major, Navy Reservist and Mother Harley Sarmiento Shares Her Story

    Today we feature Harley Sarmiento, a junior Sports Communication and Media major with a concentration in Sports Journalism from Gibbstown, NJ (Gloucester County). Harley is a member of the Navy Reserve and mother to her 1-year-old son. Harley goes into detail on her experience within the military and as a transfer student at Rowan.

    Why did you choose to study Sports Communication and Media?

    I was an athlete growing up. During high school I competed in two different varsity sports and then I managed a varsity sport in the winter. Because of this, I always had a personal connection to sports. My family was also heavily involved in our sports programs back in my home town. Once I started journalism in the military, I decided I wanted to pursue it on the sports side while working on the civilian side. 

    Harley Sarmiento smiles near a tree-lined path on campus.
    Harley Sarmiento

    Why did you choose Rowan to study Sports Communication and Media?

    I am a transfer student from University of California San Diego. I was stationed there for four years, and I just moved back to New Jersey in May.

    Once I moved back to New Jersey and I was looking at schools, I found that Rowan was the best fit for me location wise and in regards to my academic goals. 

    How has Rowan supported you in being a mother, active in the navy and being a student?

    This fall semester is my first semester here at Rowan. The professors that I have had this semester have been extremely supportive. I have been taking both online and in person classes this semester and the professors have really been flexible with my schedule. For the most part, I have had really good relationships with all my professors to where if something comes up with my son, they were super easy to communicate with and understand that being a mother comes first.

    At my previous university, I did not have the support, understanding or flexibility from my professors. Rowan has been extremely helpful, especially during my first semester here as a transfer student. 

    Harley holds up her son Easton in front of autumn foliage.
    Harley with her son, Easton

    Can you talk a little bit about why you joined the Navy? What was your motivation to join?

    My grandfather and my uncle were both in the Navy. Because of this, I always heard about the military growing up. The year before I joined the Navy, my cousin, who was my best friend throughout my childhood, joined the Marine Corps. My cousin seemed to have a very positive experience and  this led me to deciding to join the Navy. I also did not want to give my parents the burden of paying for college. After weighing my options, I decided to join the Navy, travel the world for a time period, and then come back and finish my degree. 

    Can you talk a little bit about where you have been deployed to and your experience on duty? What is the longest time you have been away from home? Are you going to be deployed anytime soon?

    When you are active in the Navy, you know a timeframe of when you will be deployed. For instance, I knew a couple months ahead that I was going to be deployed because they are scheduled. However, now that I am on the reserve side, I kind of get to pick and choose if I want to go or if I want to stay home — unless something huge happens and they need me to go serve. My current title is Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class, Surface Warfare/Air Warfare. 

    When I was on the active side, I deployed to many different places. In 2018, I deployed for 10.5 months on the USNS Mercy. This was a hospital humanitarian ship where we provided medical care for many different countries. Some of the countries that I have been to were Japan, Indonesia, Guam, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and some smaller islands owned by the bigger countries mentioned. I was a photographer journalist, so my job was basically to document everything we did for these countries while on these deployments. 

    Harley walking with her son on a walking path along Rowan Boulevard.

    Do you plan on having a future professional career in Sports Communication and Media or do you hope to stay involved with the naval academy and/or military in some way?

    My goal overall is to eventually separate from the Navy to pursue a more civilian career in Sports Communications. As much as I loved the military, it was not heavily family oriented. I want to see my son grow up and be available to attend all his events, and this is unlikely while being active in the Navy. 

    How do you manage to balance your education with your involvement in the Navy while also being a mother? 

    Coming back to New Jersey and my hometown has been extremely beneficial for my son and my family. My parents still live locally, my cousins, aunts, uncles and siblings all chip in and help, [my] boyfriend’s family helps, and everyone in my circle is willing to help whenever we need anything. I am really lucky that I have such a big support system. 

    Harley reading to her son at Rowan Barnes and Noble.

    What is your favorite part of being a mother?

    I think providing my child with everything I ever wanted is one of my favorite parts of being a mother. For instance, my son just turned 1 year old in August, and we took him to Disney with my family for his birthday. I think seeing his excitement everyday is so rewarding. The little things that make him happy like the Christmas tree and the lights are so rewarding. It is like I get to see the world through a kid’s eyes again. 

    What are your goals after you graduate?

    I am hoping that it works out that I can be a stay-at-home mom for a little bit since my boyfriend has a stable job [who is in the Army]. Once my son starts school, I plan on hopefully working for a local newspaper and cover the high school sports of the area. My boyfriend is 28 and I am 23 and we enjoy attending and watching the sporting events locally, so I think it would be interesting to cover those events for a newspaper. 

    Harley smiling while sitting on a bench on campus.

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    Story By:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    #PROFspective: Junior Electrical and Computer Engineering Major Omar Bedewy

    Omar stands in front of the banner at Rowan Hall.

    Today we speak to Omar Bedewy, a junior Electrical and Computer Engineering major with a minor in Business. Omar is an off-campus renter from Paterson, NJ (Passaic County). He transferred to Rowan from Union County College.

    Omar poses in a wooded area.

    What inspired you to choose your major?

    Life is changing around us. Before I was an Electrical and Computer Engineering major, I was hoping to be a petroleum engineer. I switched to studying electrical and computer engineering because I believe this field will have a big impact on the future.

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

    I am taking a class on electromagnetics. I found out that electromagnets are in everything, and I am really interested in the science behind it.

    Omar poses in front of Rowan Hall.

    Take us through one typical Rowan day for you.

    Wednesdays are usually my busiest days. I come to Rowan at eight in the morning. I have some coffee and check my email. After that, I head out to my first class at 9 a.m. I have a lab right after, but I have 15 minutes in between. During that time, I talk and chill with my friend. After the lab, I go for some tutoring and study for a bit. Then, I have another class. After this class, I go to the cafeteria for my lunch. I have one more class at 5, and then I go home.

    Omar poses in a wooded area.

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

    I really enjoy going to tutoring at Rowan. The people there make me feel like Rowan is home.

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major 

    Valentina Giannattasio, freshman dance and marketing double major

    Music Industry Major Pharaoh Freer’s Big Break

    Pharaoh sits on a bench near James Hall.

    Today we feature Pharaoh Freer, a sophomore Music Industry major from Jamesburg, NJ (Middlesex County). Over the summer, Pharaoh had the opportunity to work on a movie set as an extra! Pharaoh shares his experience on set with us and how it has impacted his life. 

    Can you tell us a little about yourself?

    My name is Pharaoh Freer, and I’m a sophomore Music Industry major. I went to a school in Philly before I came to Rowan. Before going there I didn’t really know what I was doing when it came to school. That school was my chance to show myself and others that I can do school. Prior to that, I didn’t really think I would end up at Rowan. I’m still living in the “Wow, I’m really here!” Other than that, I’m an artist and a rapper. My goal for right now is to make my mark on Rowan.

    Pharoah smiles in front of Wilson Hall.

    You were recently in a movie! What was the experience like for you?

    My aunt works for Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta. Somebody she knew was a movie director and he let her know that they needed a few extras. My parents flew me out the next week. It was so fast. The movie was filmed at my aunt’s house. You had to see it! Her house is so big and modern, which is why they asked to film there.

    I get there and all the movie stuff is set up: microphones, cameras, all of it. I’m just thinking, “Wow, this is really a movie.” All the stuff behind the scenes was almost like a movie itself.

    The scene they needed me for was a church scene. I had to wear certain attire and I needed a haircut. But I was doing more than just my scene. I was helping the director, I was taking COVID temperatures, and doing other stuff like that. It was super crazy!

    Pharaoh walks on a path near James Hall.

    Would you ever do something like that again?

    I definitely would! I’m already a musician. Music, acting, fashion, all of that comes hand in hand. After my experience in Atlanta, all I thought about when I got back to New Jersey was, “I want to make a movie! I need to direct my own movie!” I’m the type of person where if I see something and I feel like I can accomplish it then I want to do it! 

    Did you go to the premiere? 

    Yes! There were two premieres. One in Atlanta that I went to see and a premiere in Michigan. There weren’t a ton of people but enough people to show that the director really had a lot of support. It’s not a crazy big movie, but seeing the community really come out in support made me want to move to Atlanta. 

    Pharaoh looks ahead near James and Wilson Halls.

    Tell us a little bit about “Broken Covenant: The Movie.” 

    I’ll sum it up in a nutshell. It’s basically all about family, love and trust. I’m telling you, the movie is crazy! 

    Has the experience made you want to get more involved in the film industry?

    I want to do it all! One thing about me is I try to do everything I set my mind to. I want to do movies, music, fashion, everything! After my first experience in Atlanta I told myself, “The next time I come out here to do a movie, I’m going to have a bigger role.” I’ve always loved acting and I’ve started to take becoming an actor more seriously along with my music. 

    Read Pharoah’s first-person take on the lessons he’s learned on his journey to becoming a Rowan Prof here

    Pharaoh sits and smiles with Wilson Hall in the background.

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    Story By:
    Bianca Gray, senior English major

    Photos By:
    Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major 

    Transfer to Transformed: Five Students Share

    Exterior shot of a walkway near Wilson Hall.

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

    Transfer Story: La’Tonia Carnegie [VIDEO]

    Exterior shot of 301 High St. and Art Gallery entrance.

    Originally from Jamaica, La’Tonia Carnegie transferred to Rowan to pursue a career in public relations. “Because of Rowan, I just launched my business,” La’Tonia says. “Rowan definitely elevated and gave me that push I needed to pursue my career.”

    La’Tonia is just one of the thousands of students who choose to transfer to Rowan each year.

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    Video by:
    Max Morgan, Radio/TV/Film graduate

    Beyond the Classroom: Legislative Intern, Scholarship Winner Nick Feldman

    Nick smiles, stands in front of Bunce Hall.

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

    Nick poses on the side of Bunce Hall.

    Could you share some backstory about yourself?

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

    What got you interested in political science?

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

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

    Nick holds a DSLR camera in front of Bunce Hall.

    How did you find out about the Caswell Scholarship?

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

    Can you tell me about your two internships?

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

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

    Nick poses in front of a tree.

    What are some policies that you worked on specifically?

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

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

    How has the Caswell Scholarship impacted you?

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

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

    Could you describe your professional goals?

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

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

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

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

    Nick stands on the side of Bunce Hall.

    Final thoughts?

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

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

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

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

    Photos by:
    Nick Flagg, senior theatre and advertising major

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

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

    What is the RWC?

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

    Bianca stands next to a sign in The Writing Center.

    Where is the RWC?

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

    How did you get hired with the RWC?

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

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

    Will the hiring process be as dramatic for me?

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

    Bianca works on a computer at The Writing Center.

    What does your job consist of?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What’s the best part about working there?

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

    Bianca checks her laptop at The Writing Center.

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

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

    What are some other cool things about the RWC?

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

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    Story By:
    Bianca Gray, senior English major

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

    Stephen with candidates and volunteers from the campaign.

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

    Have you had time to join any clubs on campus?

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

    How did you find out about RIPPAC? 

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

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

    What got you interested in political science?

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

    How did you find out about the Rosenberg Memorial Scholarship? 

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

    Tell me about your internship. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    How has the Rosenberg Scholarship impacted your internship experience?

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

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

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

    What are your professional goals?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Photos courtesy of:
    Stephen Scheuren

    TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Double Major Rachel Ricci Uses Her Voice for Theatre and Therapy

    Rachel sits at the Wilson amphitheater.

    Today we feature junior Rachel Ricci of Moorestown, NJ (Burlington County), who transferred from Rowan College of South Jersey. Rachel, trained in classical voice, is a double major in Musical Theatre and Music Therapy within the College of Performing Arts. She shares how she first learned of the Music Therapy program and her first impressions of Rowan life.

    How did you discover the Music Therapy program?

    I had been interested in it because I just heard about it through people for a while. But it was actually Morgan, a friend of mine who … was in the program, and we got to talking about it. She just was telling me about her classes, how much she loved all her professors. And I got even more interested in it from hearing that.

    I started looking into music therapy as a general concept, a lot more online research. I spoke to [Professor] Andrea Hunt, I had an interview with her. And they were all super helpful to give you a lot of information about it, hearing about the internships that come afterwards, and all that sort of stuff.

    Rachel sits near Wilson Hall.

    What got you interested in music therapy as a career option?

    I really love the combination of areas that it is. It’s all the things that I’ve been really passionate about and really interested in, from psychology to music, and just the different demographics of people that you get to work with. I love working with children. I’ve also spent a lot of times in assisted living facilities, and I love working with older people. And I just like that you have the option to go into a lot of different areas with it.

    What is your favorite part so far of being part of this program?

    For me, I mean, I’m very brand new to it all. But I love how much I get to do voice with it. Because my instrument … everyone has a different instrument for the program. And mine is classical voice, which I love studying. So I’m very excited about all the voice classes and the choirs, studio days and all that.

    How are you meeting people as a commuter?

    Actually everyone’s really welcoming. Just last night, I was at a meet-and-greet for my [musical theatre major] and people were very warm. And there’s a lot of clubs on campus and stuff. So it’s not hard to get to know people even as a commuter.

    How do you like Rowan so far?

    Oh, I love it. A really nice environment. I love the campus. And it’s fun because I’m around here so I have a lot of friends that I knew since before college who go here, so it’s nice to already have kind of a community.

    What are you looking forward to?

    Just the whole experience because I’ve only done community college so far. I’m very excited to be at a university. I get to spend time with the friends I already have here and to make new friends when I start taking classes here.

    Rachel sits near Wilson Hall.

    Have you thought about joining any clubs or organizations on campus?

    It’s hard as a commuter sometimes because you’re going back and forth so much, but I’ve been hearing about a lot of great ones and I definitely want to start looking into to get involved.

    Why Rowan?

    I really loved the school as soon as I when I was touring campus a few years ago. As soon as I was here, I liked the environment. I really liked it. It’s a medium-size school, you know, so you get the experience of being a bigger-feeling school without feeling too massive. I liked the community. I like the commute from where I live …  just a lot about it that was a really good fit for me. 

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    Photos by:
    Nick Flagg, senior advertising and theatre major

    In Case You Missed It: Favorite Classes At Rowan

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

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

    Writing a list of goals

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

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

    Anais Holguin sits near the Engineering pond.
    Anais Holguin

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

    Exterior shot of Au Bon Pain.
    Au Bon Pain

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

    London leans against a sign of James Hall.
    London Raikes

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

    Drone shot of Glassboro Town Square.
    Town Square

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

    RJ Wentzell smiling outside of James Hall
    RJ Wentzell

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

    Music industry major Malachi Prillerman
    Malachi Prillerman

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

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

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

    Exterior shot of campus Rec Center.
    Rec Center

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

    Alexa smiles inside James Hall.
    Alexa Wentworth

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

    Exterior shot of Science Hall from Route 322.
    Science Hall

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

    Rowan's football team enters the stadium.
    Rowan Football

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

    Rowan Boulevard featuring LaScala's Fire.
    Rowan Boulevard

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

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

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

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

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    Story by:
    Nene Diallo, senior public relations major

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

    Rowan Football photo courtesy of:
    University Publications

    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

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

    Chloe holds her decorated cap inside a gazebo on campus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Chloe stands in front of the Owl Statue

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

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

    Who are your favorite Irish poets/writers?

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

    What inspired your initial interest in literature? 

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

    Why did you choose Rowan to pursue your passion? 

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

    Who was your favorite professor to work with overall? 

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

    What was your favorite course? 

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

    Chloe standing in front of city skyline at night.

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

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

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

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

    Where do you see yourself in the future? 

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

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    Story by:
    Bianca Gray, senior English major 

    Photos courtesy of:
    Chloe Senatore 

    Related posts:

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

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

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

    Sneak Peak into the Theatre – Design/Technical Program and its Stagecraft Class

    Someone measures a line on a piece of wood.

    Today we share moments from our conversation with College of Performing Arts students Michael Landolfi and Jenna Hope during a session of their Stagecraft Fundamentals class. We asked them about their favorite parts of their majors and the course itself.

    Michael Landolfi is a sophomore Theatre major with a concentration in Theatre – Design/Technical

    Why did you come to Rowan?

    “I recently just transferred from the Music Industry program so it was actually the major that made me want to come to Rowan. I also like that it is fairly close to home but not too close. It was important to me to be close enough to home where I could see family but still be able to explore a new area.”

    In the Stagecraft Fundamentals course, have you found anything you are particularly passionate about that you did not think you would like? 

    “I definitely have taken an interest in woodwork and carpentry more than I thought I would have.”

    Michael in class.
    Michael Landolfi

    Can you tell me about the relationships you have between the staff here? 

    “Especially the staff in the theatre department and the staff in the music program … [t]hey all have been pretty open with communication. Several professors have helped me figure out what trajectory I am taking in terms of what I am learning here and what I want to do in the future.” 

    What made you change your major?

    “I personally did not like taking business classes … [t]here were quite a few of those classes I had to take. Also I have also always loved live sound, and that is mainly what I am trying to get a career in because those jobs are more secure than trying to land a job as a music producer or a performer in general.” 

    A student working in Stagecraft Fundamentals.
    A student working in Stagecraft Fundamentals

    What is your favorite class so far?

    “Stagecraft Fundamentals is pretty great. Starting to get involved in the theatre department and stuff has been a really good experience. I also enjoy a Social Problems class I have taken that is completely not related to my major. I just needed to take it for credits, but I heavily enjoyed it.”


    Stagecraft Fundamentals student, Jenna Hope, using power tools in class.
    Stagecraft Fundamentals student, Jenna Hope, using power tools in class.

    Jenna Hope is a transfer junior Musical Theatre major; however, she will be switching to the Theatre – Design/Techical major. 

    What made you want to change your major?

    “What made me change my major was the fact that I felt like I was not able to use my hands as much, and getting to take classes like Stagecraft Fundamentals in my first year was something that really made me realize that design and tech is something that makes me really excited. Things like carpentry and costuming are so interesting and also simply fun for me.”

    A picture of a power saw used in Stage Craft Fundamentals.

    Out of all the elements in design and tech, what would you say your favorite is?

    “Out of all of them I would say carpentry, but I really have a soft spot for costuming even though I have not gotten to do it yet.”

    Can you tell me about some things that you have made in your Stagecraft Fundamentals class?

    “We made a couple of different things … sadly most of the things we make in class are for productions we are holding in the semester, but with Covid we were unable to put on the amount of productions that we would have liked to so we did not have that many sets or props to make. With that being said, we have been making birdhouses this semester as a little project for everybody.”

    What advice would you give to a person who is interested in the major but unsure of design and tech?

    “I think they should just take Stagecraft because it gives total insight to the major. Asking for help is also so important. Just because you need assistance or help does not mean you cannot partake in something you enjoy.”

    Stage Craft Fundamentals students using a power saw.
    Associate Professor Tom Fusco (left) works with Jenna (center) and another student using a power saw.

    See more from the Stagecraft Fundamentals class in this video. 

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    Story By:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Senior Reflects: RTF Major Riel Dioquino on Finding True Friends

    Riel makes a funny face while sitting in the Bozorth Hall Auditorium.

    Today we speak with Riel Marc Dioquino (he/him) who recently graduated with a degree in Radio/Television/Film (RTF) and a concentration in Production. Riel hails from Burlington Township and is a first-generation college student. He also participated in Cinema Workshop and earned recognition for this short documentary, Beyond His Closet, in the Edelman College of Communications & Creative Arts Student Showcase. Beyond His Closet follows Adam Kowalski in his journey after coming out. Riel also earned recognition for his narrative film, Lost & Found, at the 7th Annual RTF Media Festival.

    What was your favorite social memory? 

    I did a photoshoot the other week with my Ate [meaning older sister in Tagalog] Rizza on the [Glassboro] campus. I was feeling very nostalgic because walking around there for the last time reminded me of my first year at Rowan. In my first semester, I was only friends with Kyle Foor and Sam LaFlamme. It was just the three of us at the time because we knew each other from RCBC (Rowan College of Burlington County) and we transferred at the same time.  

    In between classes, we had 3-hour long breaks before he had to go to our next class together. We would hang out by this big tree on Bunce Green. Kyle and I would climb in the tree and just chill there while Sam sat in the huge yellow Rowan beach chair next to us.  

    I don’t mean to sound all emo but it was just nice and cool because it kind of hit me that, “Wow, I have friends.” Back in high school, I had one best friend Vishali Patel who I’m still very close to today. I had, still have, really bad social anxiety and I thought I would never have friends, especially going into college. I never really had that experience of, “I’m going to go hang out or get an iced coffee with my friends before class.” I think that’s what makes the best of my college experience. Once I allowed myself to let people in my life and be myself, I was able to find people that I can truly be comfortable with.

    Riel sits contently in the lawn of Bunce Hall while wearing a graduation cap and gown.

    Who was your favorite professor and what class did you take with them?  

    I love Jenny Drumgoole! I had her for Video Art. It was one of the first classes where I was able to express myself and do whatever I wanted for all of my projects. She’s very unfiltered and open about anything. She pushes us to be comfortable with being uncomfortable because it helps a lot with discovering our self-identity. It’s more about exploring the possibilities of how you can express yourself. I think she helped me and my classmates with that.

    Usually, when we have classes, I don’t talk to a lot of people because of my social anxiety. Jenny helped me to let loose in the projects that I wanted to make and share them with the class. They were very accepting of me. Jenny Drumgoole is an amazing person overall.

    Riel looks contemplatively into the golden sunset with his hand on his face.

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

    Shout out to Sam LaFlamme, my best friend, because we’ve been through a lot together these last few years. I met her sophomore year of college at RCBC through a documentary class where we had to produce the film together. Our group won a few awards and had screenings in a few film festivals such as New York, Florida, Australia and more. We got closer because we happened to share classes every semester until my senior year.  We then worked at this internship together later that year and transferred to Rowan at the same time! We talked about everything in our lives the closer we got and that was that. I always say I couldn’t imagine going through college without her because we’ve gone through so much together.

    Riel stands on the lawn of Business Hall while wearing graduation regalia.

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

    Coming from my experience, it sounds very simple, but don’t be too scared. This applies to everything that your anxiety tells you to be anxious about. You can’t control anything that you can’t control. Everything is going to be ok. Everything will fall into place as long as you follow your gut feeling on how you want your future to look. My mindset was that I’m just there to take my classes and get my college degree. Then I can start my life and do whatever I want after. 

    Yes, you can start planning for the long term, but also take care of yourself mentally and physically because it’s going to be a wild ride for the next four years. 

    Also having your friends and your family close will help you through it mentally and physically. Keeping that drive and motivation in your gut aflame will help push you to be whatever you want to be in the future. Also, don’t forget to drink lots of water and take care of yourself because some people like me would forget to do the most simplest yet important thing in the world!

    Check out more of Riel’s work at:

    Instagram – @rmarc99

    Portfolio Website – https://rieldioquino.myportfolio.com/work

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    Story by: 
    Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos by:
    Riel Dioquino, radio television film graduate

    How College Classes are Different than High School Classes

    A professor lectures a class.

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

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

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

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

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

    An instructor speaks with a student inside James Hall.

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

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

    A student explains his assignment to his professor.

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

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

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

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    Story by:
    Bianca Gray, senior English major

    #PROFspective: English Major Bianca Gray Shares Her Rowan Experience

    Bianca poses in front of some greenery.

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

    Bianca poses next to the prof statue.

    Do you commute or live on campus?

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

    What are some likes and dislikes of your major?

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

     Why did you transfer to Rowan?

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

    Bianca gets some work done at the writing center.

    What has your experience at Rowan been like so far? 

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

    What do you like to do for fun?

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

    Do you have any jobs on campus?

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

    Bianca poses in front of some trees on a bridge.

    What do you look forward to after graduation?

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

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

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

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    Story by:
    Nene Diallo, senior public relations major

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



    Alumni Success: Sena Pottackal Launches PR Career, Seeks to “Improve Inclusion Within the Consumer Experience”

    Campbell Library from the grass

    Today we feature Sena Pottackal, a 2015 Rowan graduate who has persevered through personal adversity. Sena majored in Public Relations and minored in Advertising and Communications Studies while at Rowan. She participated in activities such as PRSSA and PRaction and was a member of several societies, including Lambda Pi Eta and Delta Alpha Pi

    Do you mind talking about when and how you lost your sight and what that transition involved for you?

    I became legally blind when I was 15 due to a genetic disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. The disease is progressive, and I lose vision every few months. Over the years I had to learn how to use assistive technology, such as a screen reader, which has enabled me to complete school work and work professionally. 

    Sena Pottackal on Red Carpet at 2019 NYWICI Matrix Awards.
    Sena Pottackal on the red carpet for the 2019 NYWICI Matrix Awards, where she received its IPG scholarship and internship at Weber Shandwick.

    Why did you choose to study Public Relations at Rowan? 

    I went to community college for undergrad. During my time there I took basically every communications course they had to offer. Public Relations resonated with me the most because it gave me great opportunity to pursue my passions in writing and business while utilizing my analytical skills. When I was looking to transfer to a four-year school, my teacher who taught my Public Relations course recommended Rowan. 

    Sena Pottackal before 2020 Virtual Graduate Convocation where she was a student speaker.
    Sena Pottackal before her 2020 virtual graduate convocation, where she was a student speaker.

    How do you believe Rowan has prepared you for your future professions and endeavors?

    Rowan has given me the skills to be successful in Public Relations and in particular, writing. Professor John Moscatelli was my Advanced Public Relations Writing teacher, and he really helped me to develop my writing skills and confidence in my writing. 

    How did you and how do you continue to persevere through adversity?  What advice would you give to other individuals trying to seek a job while having a disability?

    Something that was helpful for me was having mentors. Networking makes a huge difference. I was unable to get an internship while at Rowan, which inspired me to pursue grad school. Fortunately, I was involved with NY Women in Communications and I went to their annual student conference and I found out they have a scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students. Then I proceeded to win the NY Women’s in Communication Scholarship, which is how I broke into the industry. This scholarship also came with an internship to work at one of the IPG agencies. If I did not network and try to be part of different clubs, I would not have found out about many internship and job opportunities.

    Sena Pottackal
    Sena Pottackal speaking at 2019 Public Relations Council Critical Issues of the Modern Workforce Forum at Carnegie Hall.

    How did you manage to balance academics, social responsibilities with clubs, and your involvement with your community? Do you have tips for students who may be struggling with creating a balance?

    Outlining when meetings were and when assignments were due was important for me to stay on task and up to date with my work. I also had to be honest with myself and the people I was working with about my time constraints. Professor Cristin Kastner Farney was very helpful. She taught me in Journalistic Writing. There was a book I needed for my advertising and account planning class. The book was not available through any platform that offered accessible textbooks. So she scheduled an hour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week to read me the textbook so I could take the class. Teachers like Professor Cristin Kastner Farney got me through because they invested in my future.

    2018 Bronx Zoo trip with NYU PRCC classmates.
    Sena Pottackal (second from right) on a 2018 Bronx Zoo trip with NYU Public Relations and Corporate Communications (PRCC) classmates.

    What lessons have you learned from your disability?

    Everyone is different. We all have our own struggles, and this disability taught me to approach people with compassion. You never know what someone can be dealing with, and I can attest to the fact that some days can be harder than others. Being kind and compassionate can go a long way.

    What were your initial visions for pursuing a career in public relations? Do you believe you are working in and/or toward your dream job?

    When I graduated from Rowan, I was truly just looking for any job in communications. Back then I was aware that employment for people with disabilities was very low. After graduating Rowan I attended a blind training session while taking a year off. This is where I realized that by practicing PR, I could do more than just write. I could use this field to promote awareness about the capabilities of the disabled community and to overall improve inclusion within the consumer experience and the workforce. 

    Sena Pottackal on NYU 2018 SPS Spring Cruise with colleagues from NYU SPS Community Service Committee.
    Sena Pottackal (in middle) on NYU 2018 SPS Spring Cruise with colleagues from NYU SPS Community Service Committee.

    What is your role/what do you do as working as a Junior Associate at Current Global?

    Right now I am presenting research that my company just did about the lived experience of consuming content as a person with a disability. So I have been presenting that research in webinars. I also have helped write accessible communications guidelines.

    What is your life motto that keeps you striving for more?

    Be kind to yourself and give yourself the time and the room to grow into the person you were meant to be.

    Sena Pottackal and partner in Jamaica for Sena's 30th birthday in June 2019.
    Sena Pottackal and partner Karl Hogans in Jamaica for Sena’s 30th birthday in June 2019.

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    Story by:
    Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

    Photos courtesy of:
    Sena Pottackal

    Related posts:

    Cory Monroe: Graduating Public Relations Major and Mother

    #PROFspective: A Chat with Public Relations Major Nene Diallo

    Public Relations Major Lands Full-Time Job After Internship

    My Favorite Class: Fundamentals of Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

    Khrissy inside Engineering building

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

    Khrissy Seay is a recent graduate and first-generation college student. While at Rowan, she was a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) major with minors in Geography and Planning. She is from Mays Landing (Atlantic County) and transferred from Atlantic Cape Community College.

    What was the name of your favorite class at Rowan? 

    This is not an easy question. I really like my major and narrowing it down to just one is very difficult. However, by a very small margin, Fundamentals of GIS.

    What department was the class in? 

    Department of Geography, Planning, and Sustainability (GPS)

    Who taught the class when you took it?

    Dr. Ashley York

    Khrissy standing next to a tree outside on campus.

    Tell us a little about what the class is.

    Fundamentals is the next step up from the introductory course. This class allows the student a little more freedom to explore new tools and apply them to topics of choice.

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

    I bonded with the professor and the students really well. I also worked on one of my favorite mapping projects during my time at Rowan.

    What makes this professor great? 

    Dr. York is very knowledgeable and she is always willing to help. I told her my idea for the project, and she helped me develop that idea. I also worked with her during my Senior Seminar project (taught by Dr. Meenar) because she is somewhat of an expert in the topic — sea ice/glaciers.

    Khrissy inside the Engineering bridge.

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

    I learned a lot about myself and the topics that are really important to me. I also felt well prepared for the next class in the sequence – Applications of GIS.

    What are your professional goals? 

    I have recently secured a job as a GIS Analyst. I also want to pursue a master’s degree in Geography.

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

    Photos by:
    Joe Gentempo, senior art major

    #PROFspective: Biomedical Engineering Major Danny Tepper Reflects on College

    Engineering Hall with flowers out of focus.

    Today we speak with Danny Tepper of Atlantic County, who recently earned his degree in Biomedical Engineering. Danny transferred to Rowan his sophomore year from Atlantic County Community College and will be going onto his master’s in engineering at Rowan next year. He is an off-campus resident. Danny was homeschooled until he attended ACCC at 17 years old.

    What has been your favorite class at Rowan? 

    That’s hard to pick! I’ve taken a few interesting ones, mostly technical ones. One of my favorite ones that were different from the rest was a class on regulatory practices of the FDA. For example, learning the details about how to get through the FDA approval process of new drugs. This is a topic in some engineering and medical courses that is not covered very well. It’s not a required class but it should be. Dr. Erik Brewer, a BME professor, taught this class. I took this course last fall. 

    Danny and his teammates pose at a conference.
    Danny (at right)

    What excites you about your major? 

    The idea of being at the front of research really excites me and sort of creating the future to some extent and really helping people. I’ve always had some interest in medicine, but I’ve also never wanted to be a nurse or doctor working with people like that. I like the concept of being on the back end and making the things that doctors use. Also, both my parents have master’s degrees in engineering. It’s only appropriate that I go into something within engineering. My brother also has a bachelor’s in engineering! 

    If there was anything you wish you knew beforehand about your major, what would you share? 

    It is a lot of work, but it is even more than I expected. There were some weeks where you had absolutely no social life if you wanted to get any of your homework done. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. You learn a lot though.

    Danny stands in front of the Rowan sign.

    Do you have any internships or clubs you are involved in? 

    I have not had any internships, but I’m involved in some club sports here. I’m on the frisbee team. I’m also on the e-board of the Rowan University College Republican Club

    What did your activities add to your college experience? 

    The sports club definitely added a lot to my friendships. I met my first friend group as a first-year in intramural frisbee. One of those friends became my best friend and we still hang out together a lot. I still talk to all of them periodically. 

    What’s the last song you listened to? 

    “All the Way Up” by David Guetta

    What are you looking forward to this summer? 

    Graduating, for one thing, and being back in Wildwood. Hopefully, with fewer restrictions than last year. I’ve been in Wildwood the past five summers working at a waterpark. Last summer, I turned 21 but everything was closed. Hopefully, we don’t have that again.

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    Story by:
    Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

    My Favorite Class: Animation

    Kevin in front of Bunce Arch

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

    Today we speak with Kevin Clee, a recent Computer Science graduate from Voorhees, NJ (Camden County) who shares with us some of his favorite classes within the Computer Science department.

    What was your favorite class at Rowan?

    I took Animation, just for fun. It was a lot of math, which I didn’t expect. I took it because I thought it would be cool, but I had no idea it was under Computer Science, which worked out for me. 

    Kevin smiling on Bunce Green.

    Who taught the course when you took it?

    Dr. Bo Sun

    Could you tell us a little bit about the course?

    The first half of the semester is using Java to give motion to shapes. The second half of the semester we used Blendr, which is a 3D modeling and animating software. We’d make animals and make them move around and walk. 

    What was the coolest thing you’ve made in that class?

    There was one project that dealt with programming. We’d make a UFO with a beam going down, and when it went over certain objects, they’d go up into the UFO.

    Kevin in front of greenery with Bunce Hall in the background.

    Was there anything about this class that made it impactful to you?

    I always wanted to know how to use Blendr, so I learned that software. 

    Was the professor outstanding or did the professor make the class great?

    Yes, the professor is very friendly. I [had] her again for another class. It’s called Data Visualization, it’s like a cross between business and computer science.

    Kevin wearing sunglasses outside near Bunce Green.

    What are your professional goals?

    I will be working as a software developer associate at ASRC Federal. I was very lucky because I worked with them in my sophomore engineering class. The way the class was set up, it was almost an internship. They had a project in mind and what they specifically wanted and tasked us to create it and check in and give us pointers about it during the process. At the end of the semester, they had said to keep in touch and when I emailed them they really pulled through and I was able to get a job. But I’d like to do something with data analytics in the future, since that’s my focus.

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

    Photos by:
    Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

    Meet Transfer Profs: Computer Science Major Gregory Zacharko

    Gregory with his brothers and Congressmen Andy Kim.

    Today we speak with and welcome to Rowan first-generation college student and new transfer, Gregory Zacharko from Cinnaminson, NJ (Burlington County). Gregory is transferring from Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) with an associate degree in Computer Science. While at Rowan University, he will be continuing as a Computer Science major with the ambition of becoming a software engineer or video game programmer.

    Why did you choose to continue your education with Rowan?

    It’s close to home, and the partnership Rowan has with RCBC helps me transfer over my credits with no problems and move forward with my education. I also saw a great value at Rowan; the tuition is affordable compared to other four-year universities. Seeing that Rowan’s Computer Science program is a top contender in the nation at a low cost and affordability is my number one priority. Plus, going to Rowan allows me to continue with my NJ STARS II scholarship, as well as any possible EOF scholarships or grants that I may receive. 

    Headshot of Gregory

    Have you visited the campus? What was your favorite aspect of it?

    I haven’t visited the campus yet, but I have talked with someone at RCBC who told me a lot about what Rowan campus has to offer. I’ve heard about the student center and the gym that’s available to Rowan students. I’m most interested in the student lounge, the game room especially because I’m a big gamer. At RCBC, I was a part of the gaming and Super Smash Bros Club and we even held a big tournament for students. I hope that I’ll get a similar experience at Rowan, because that’s where I made a lot of my friends. 

    Will you be living on or off-campus? 

    I will be commuting. 

    Have you set any goals for yourself during your time at Rowan?

    To learn more about other people, what they like, to make friends, to get different perspectives, to learn about different cultures so I have a greater understanding of the world around me that I can apply to Software Development, which is what I want to get into post-college. 

    Gregory at graduation

    How did you become interested in Computer Science?

    Back in 2007 when I was about seven years old, I got my first gaming console for Christmas, a Nintendo DS lite. That’s when I realized I wanted to make games and I wanted to make people happy through those games. I wanted to give people similar experiences that I had when playing video games. 

    What was your favorite game on your Nintendo DS?

    There were two. One, New Super Mario Bros. The other one was FIFA Soccer ‘08. I’m a big sports fan and a big sports gamer so that was one I really wanted and enjoyed. 

    Gregory (left) with his brothers at graduation.

    Early on, Gregory was diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger’s, anxiety and depression. Later on in his life, he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. He survived a family house fire and was also put into Special Education classes up until intermediate school. Through everything he has undergone, Gregory persevered. He worked his way up to taking honors and AP courses in high school and graduated from RCBC with a 4.0 GPA and was elected co-valedictorian of the EOF program’s graduating class along with his brothers. We can’t wait to see Gregory and all he will accomplish this 2021-2022 school year back on campus.

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    Story by:
    Caitlyn Dickinson, public relations and advertising graduate 

    Photos courtesy of:
    Gregory Zacharko

    Header photo: Gregory (second from right) and his brothers pose with Congressman Andy Kim at the Zacharko’s graduation from Rowan College at Burlington County.

    In Case You Missed It: Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts This School Year!

    Today, we will share our top 10 most popular stories from the blog for the 2020-21 school year. If you missed any of these great stories, be sure to check them out! 

    1. Alumni Success: New Jersey State Police Sergeant Danyel Barnes

    Headshot of Danyel in uniform wearing a mask.

    “Danyel Barnes, a 1994 alumnus, shares his Rowan story and how it shaped his life today as a Sergeant with the New Jersey State Police.”

    2. How to Apply for Scholarships at Rowan University

    Wide exterior shot of Bunce Hall.

    “Admissions counselor Amanda Kuster explains how scholarships work at Rowan and shares how prospective students can earn more money for college. “

    3. TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Future Chemistry Teacher Trevor Jones

    Trevor smiles outside of Science Hall wearing a white T-shirt.

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

    4. Alumni Success: Teacher and Soror Kathleen Gordy-Mathis

    Kathleen smiles wearing a black leather jacket outside her home.

    “Kathleen Gordy-Mathis, an alumna and current preschool teacher, tells us about her amazing experiences since graduating. Kathleen graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in Communications with a specialization in Public Relations in 1990.”

    5. TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Studio Art Major Christine Stewart

    Christine smiles while seated outside on campus.

    “In this story, we welcome Christine Stewart, a transfer student from Cumberland County College. They are a junior majoring in Studio Art with a specialization in Graphic Design from Pennsauken, NJ (Camden County). They are also involved in Prism, Queer People of Color (QPOC), and Women of Westby.”

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

    Dr. Susana stands by a railing inside Business Hall.

    “Meet Dr. Susana C. Santos, assistant professor of Management and Entrepreneurship within the Rohrer College of Business. Rowan Global Learning and Partnerships awarded Dr. Santos its Excellence in Online Learning faculty award last year. Learn more about Dr. Santos, her teaching, and how she created an inventive, daily exercise to build online engagement with her students.”

    7. Alumni Success: Student-Athlete, Trailblazer Brad K. Leak

    Rowan alumnus Brad Leak poses by the Shady Rest Clubhouse sign.

    “In this story, we feature alumnus Brad K. Leak ’94, who earned a bachelor of science degree in Business with a specialization in Accounting. He also led the men’s Track & Field team as captain from 1991 to 94. As a three-time all-American champion, Brad wisely balanced the many responsibilities of being a student, an athlete, and a leader.”

    8. The Importance of Unstructured Time

    Landyn posing outside Bunce Hall while wearing a Rowan jacket.

    “This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Healthy Campus Initiatives. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options.” Landyn Bacanskas, a Biomedical Engineering major, wrote this piece on the power of a “mental recess break.”

    9. 7 Dance Majors Share How Their Degree Supports Their Dreams and Goals 

    Grace dancing in a dance studio in Memorial Hall.

    “Seven Dance majors share how they’re dreaming big and how their degree is going to get them there.”

    10.  Leadership #PROFspective: Yashaswi Parikh, Uplifting Leader, Cofounder, and Copresident of Rowan SASA

    Yashaswi sitting on a Gazebo outside near Bunce.

    “In this article, we speak with Yashaswi Parikh, cofounder, and co-president of the Rowan South Asian Students Association as well as sunshine chair of Alpha Phi Omega (APO). As sunshine chair, she works to bring joy and happiness to the organization! Yashaswi is a senior Biological Sciences major and Spanish minor who is part of the 3+4 BS/DO program and the Bantivoglio Honors Concentration. She calls Monroe Township in Middlesex County her hometown.”

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    Stories and Photos by: 
    Various Digital Content Contributors from the Rowan Blog

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

    Alumni Success: Michael A. Wilson Jr., Marketing Operations Specialist for SHI International Corp.

    Side angle shot of the Rowan welcome arch.

    What have you learned by working as a Marketing Operations Specialist for SHI International Corp.? What were your initial visions for pursuing an undergrad in Public Relations and then a graduate degree in Data Marketing Communications? I would say SHI has been my saving grace. I have been at this company since I have graduated […]

    Beyond The Classroom: RTF and Sports CAM Double Major Jade Iannace on Interning for Disney and The Philadelphia Eagles

    Jade and Jovani Reyes on All Access with the Profs

    Jade Iannace is a senior Radio/Television/Film and Sports Communication and Media double major. She’s from Washington Township (Gloucester County) and transferred to Rowan her second semester freshman year. Jade has packed her college experience with memorable internship opportunities in sports and entertainment, including the Philadelphia Eagles, NFL Alumni Association, The Delaware Blue Coats and the Disney College Program.

    How did you hear about your internship with the Philadelphia Eagles?

    I actually had a friend from high school who worked there as a videographer. He had told me about them needing an intern for PR and he was able to get me an interview. I was actually one of the youngest interns there, I got that when I was a freshman and I was there for two seasons.

    Could you share with us your responsibilities there?

    I was logging and editing a lot of their game pictures and going through the archives of their older images and videos. 

    Jade at Lincoln Financial Field.

    Out of all your internship experiences, which one has been your favorite?

    The sports ones I’ve had have been really cool, but I did do the Disney College Program, which I thought was amazing. It ended early because of COVID, but the two months I was there was probably one of the coolest experiences. It was my first time living so far from home. I was living in Florida by myself, but I got to meet people from all over the world, which was awesome. Working for a big company like that was unreal. 

    What got you interested in sports communications?

    I picked up my sports communication major my junior year. My internship with the Eagles is what pushed me to pick up that major. I was always leaning toward the film side of my major like film production and directing, but once I saw live production of sports, I thought it was amazing. I also play sports and enjoy sports myself, so I thought it would be a really cool mix of two things I love.

    Jade with NFL Alumni Association sign.

    What is your ambition for the future?

    I love traveling. I think being with a sports team or a company like that would give me a really good chance to not only pursue videography, but give me the chance to travel, see the country, and meet new people. That’s my main goal right now. I would love to produce, director, or be on camera, so I don’t have a set job in mind just yet. 

    Do you feel Rowan prepared you for your work experiences? 

    Definitely. Joining Rowan Television Network (RTN) was one of the best decisions I could make, along with pursuing the RTF and Sports CAM programs. RTN definitely prepares people with real life experience. I do “All Access with the Profs,” which is a sports talk show at Rowan. We also film events throughout Rowan, like this past year we filmed commencement, which was really big for us.

    And also the professors are so awesome. Neil Hartman is one of the heads of Sports CAM, and he is so willing to help everyone get internships and make those connections, which is really helpful. I know a lot of other schools don’t really have professors and classes that will prepare you as much as Rowan does. 

    Jade and Chelsea Valcourt film on campus.
    Jade (left) and colleague Chelsea Valcourt film on campus.

    What advice do you have for other students looking for internships during college?

    Get involved. Obviously getting a degree is super important, but especially in this field I think making connections is one of the most important things. If you don’t have connections it’s going to be hard to get your foot in the door somewhere. Even through RTN you make connections with other students, which is important because you never know who you’ll be working with in the future. Definitely get involved, join as many clubs as possible to make as many connections as you can.

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    Story by:
    Caitlyn Dickinson, public relations and advertising graduate

    Photos courtesy of:
    Jade Iannace

    Header photo:
    Jade (right) and Jovani Reyes host a Rowan Television Network episode of “All Access with the Profs”