Today we speak with Falisha Lormejuste, a sophomore psychological science and Africana studies double major from Rahway, Union County, who lives in residence hall Mimosa. Falisha will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.
Hometown and County: Rahway, NJ (Union County)
SGA Senator for Psychology Alliance
Do you work on campus?
Yes, I am an admissions ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions as well as a resident assistant for University Housing. I also work as a mentor for the Dr. Harley E. Flack Student Mentoring Program and a Psychology peer advisor.
Why did you choose your major?
I chose to major in psychology (bachelor of science) because I’ve always loved the idea of conducting research, especially on people and the ways in which they interact with one another. Despite the fact that the major itself receives a bad rap as not being a “true” science, it is that and much more. Psychology has very realistic applications, perhaps the most important: human interaction. It examines and reveals truths that we all are afraid to admit is true, and it exposes the nature of who we are as humans and sometimes even presents ideas which make us question the morality of our own behavior. In all, psych has taught me about the importance of perspectives: being able to think from different point of views other than one’s own.
I also chose to major in Africana studies because the study of African American people, their ancestors and the African Diaspora is not something that many people are encouraged to pay attention to. As a person that loves to seek truths, I wanted to learn of the true history behind my ancestors and not the biased, Eurocentric and selected narratives that I received all throughout my schooling. I wanted to learn of their contributions and the true impact that they left on the world. In all, this major, so far, has taught me more about the true history of the world than any other history book I read in high school.
One reason why you chose Rowan?
One reason why I chose Rowan was because of its environment. Out of all of the 11 schools that I applied to, some very prestigious, Rowan felt more like home.
My Typical Day as a Rowan Student:
As a sophomore here at Rowan University, I never foresaw my schedule being so hectic. My day-to-day schedule greatly varies: each day with personalized tasks. My favorite day by far is Thursday since it incorporates all aspects of my college life. My day typically begins at exactly 6:05 a.m. I enjoy waking up early in the morning to run across campus while listening to lectures on psychology and sometimes to classical music. Exercise for me is absolutely crucial, as it keeps me motivated when classes and days become stressful. After my hour run, I grab a light snack and I prepare for my 8 a.m. class. After my 8 a.m. class, I have an hour and 45 minutes before my next class. I utilize this time to complete homework for the next week’s classes and if I have additional time left before class, I reply to my morning emails. Around 10:45 a.m., I walk to from Mimosa to Bunce Hall for my French class: the most unique course I have taken so far at Rowan. Dr. Sonia Spencer incorporates many aspects of the French language that many people ignore; she encourages us to learn the colloquial terms along with the phonetics of the language. It is one my most challenging classes.
When class is finished at 12:15 p.m., I head to the Student Center for a meal at the marketplace. Immediately after, around 1:30 p.m., I meet with my resident director, who is my supervisor for my resident assistant job, for our bi-weekly meeting. Our meetings are usually very informal, the topics range from how I am balancing the RA position along with classes, life and other campus activities. We also discuss any personal or academic issues that I might have: my resident director likes to ensure that I am not only succeeding an RA but also as a student and a young adult. This is undoubtedly is my favorite part of being an RA; the fact that it not only encompasses transferrable job skills such conflict resolution, cultural competency, mentoring, referring but also raises the importance of self-care: being mentally, physically and spiritually balanced. As well as receiving support from supervisors and other RAs, they are more than just colleagues: they are family.
Shortly after my meeting, around 2 p.m., I walk to my research lab at Science Hall. I conduct research as a volunteer on the effects of age on spatial memory in pigeons. This is the highlight of the day; wearing a lab coat, booties, and surgical masks. Not only does wearing the lab attire make me feel legit but doing research in something that has life-changing world applications is quite amazing. If the pigeon brains are found to have similar structures to that of humans’, then the effects of aging on pigeons’ spatial memory would be similar in humans – all of which has applications in Alzheimer’s research.
Immediately after lab, I head to the psychology department for my usual Psychology Alliance executive board meeting. As the SGA Senator, I usually report on the topics discussed during the SGA Senate. Following, we discuss several upcoming events and plan out the events for the next month. After the E-board meeting, I head to the Admissions office and help out with paperwork and if all of it is completed, I meet up with my mentee and we discuss how our week went and plan fun events for the weekend.
After both my meetings, I head back to my room and respond to afternoon emails and work on homework. In addition to doing homework or emailing, I also complete paperwork for programs or important documents until 6:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. I head to James Hall for my last class of the day, Research Methods, my favorite class. We spend the class time discussing different research designs, which approach is more ideal for the type of study, which is more reliable or valid. Since it is the field a that I would love to go into, I find the topics very engaging as well as stimulating. The class really focuses on the fundamentals of how to compose research as well as the ethics and codes behind it, it really reinforces my passion for continuing into that field of science.
After I’ve finished with assignments, homework, and meetings, I typically relax by reading articles on curiosity or by having dinner with some friends. I sometimes question why I am so involved on campus and then I realize that being so busy has actually taught me a lot about responsibility, self-discipline as well as the importance of challenges. All of the activities at some point in this semester have played integral roles in my development as an individual. Overall, I’m very glad that I attended Rowan, being part of the change and experiencing it right as it happens, is a huge metaphor of how, us, as college students are also evolving as we progress through the years.
We are #RowanPROUD and we are Rowan Profs! Not exactly sure what a Prof is? It’s our owl mascot, Whoo RU. Read about him here.
Story organized by: Jen Green and Natalia Panfilova