Today we speak with Nicole Wyglendowski, a senior elementary education and English dual major from Washington Township, Warren County, who rents a house off campus. Nicole 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.
Name: Nicole Wyglendowski
Major(s): Dual major in Elementary Education and English within the College of Education and the College of Humanities & Social Sciences
Minors or concentrations: Special Education and Middle School Education
Hometown and County: Washington Township, NJ (Warren County)
Off-Campus resident: Yes, I rent a house with my friends.
Academic clubs: President of education honor society Kappa Delta Pi, president of Rowan at S.A.I.L. (Student Academic Initiative for Learning Committee funding committee), mentor Dr. Harley E. Flack Peer Mentorship Program
Athletic clubs: Women’s Club Lacrosse team
Do you work on campus?
Yes, I am the supervisor of the fitness area at the Rec Center. I also teach a group fitness class at the Rec Center called PiYo.
Do you have an off-campus job?
I babysit for a local family about fifteen hours a week. I’m also a substitute teacher for the State of New Jersey.
Why did you choose your major?
I chose to be a teacher because I have always had a passion for education and changing lives through knowledge. I believe that a good education can take people anywhere they want to go; education is the most important step toward success and happiness.
One reason why you chose Rowan?
I chose Rowan because of its friendly campus and great education program. I knew I could make a home here and I was absolutely right!
My Typical Day as a Rowan Student
Wednesdays seem to be the longest days for me. I work on campus at the Rec Center, so most of my days begin there. I am a supervisor of about 20 student staff and a group fitness class instructor. Every Wednesday, I wake up around 6:15 a.m. grab my pre-made breakfast from last night and go to my 7 a.m. PiYo (Pilates and Yoga) class that I teach. Then I shower in the locker rooms, and right after I start my supervisor hours until around 10:45 a.m.
At the Rec Center’s gym I am responsible for keeping everyone safe and making sure everyone is being safe. We also do a lot of cleaning and up keeping to make sure that our equipment is good and functional. I love my job at the Rec Center because of the great community of people I’ve met over the years.
After that, I go across the campus to Bunce Hall for my Wednesday class, Shakespeare I. I’ve been reading Shakespeare since 7th grade, and I really enjoy studying his work in-depth. However, my favorite class this semester was Children’s Literature: Texts And Contexts class with Dr. Kate Slater. We read different children’s books from all over the world from different time periods: anything from the Grimm Brothers in the 1800s to modern day stories. The main purpose of the class is for us to understand what the society thinks about children in a certain time period. It is an English class that relates to both of my majors and that’s why I think it was the most interesting class this fall semester.
Anyhow, my class finishes at 12:15 and I can finally go and get some lunch. My favorite place is the Green Zebra, which is on the first floor of the Student Center. I’m a recent vegetarian, so it is the perfect place for my new endeavor. I especially like it for having walnuts and sesame ginger dressing. I definitely try to eat healthy, but in college it’s not always possible (I’ve never said no to my roommates getting pizza late at night).
After class I come back to the Rec Center and do more office hours. To finish my day, I either attend an e-board meeting for my Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) club (I normally try to schedule them on Wednesday evenings) or I babysit for a family in Pitman, which is a short drive from Rowan. I’m a president of Rowan’s Eta Psi chapter of the international honor society in education KDP. Our e-board has 12 people, and my co-president and I make sure everything is coordinated correctly with many fundraisers that we organize. Most of the work that we do is centered around the two of our biggest events: Pajama Party and Literacy Alive. Pajama Party is our chapter’s unique initiative that we held on Dec. 9 this year. And this upcoming spring, each KDP chapter will host a “Literacy Alive” event imparting the love for reading in children. Right now my team is working on organizing pajama and coat drive for local families in need. There is always something going on at KDP!
While Wednesdays seem to be my longest days, they are not necessarily my busiest ones. Two nights a week, around 9 or 10 p.m., I practice at the Women’s Club Lacrosse team, and play games on weekends. I played on the club all through high school and middle school. It’s really fun to be able to continue playing for the same club at Rowan and meeting my new teammates. Plus, the club is a great stress relief activity for me.
For the third year in a row, I’ve been volunteering as a peer mentor for Dr. Harley E. Flack Peer Mentoring program. I meet with my mentee over the lunch once a week and make sure she is on track with every aspect of her college life. She is a freshman, and every freshman needs a mentor. Our meetings are informal, but I enjoy them a lot because being a mentor is really rewarding: I watch my mentees grow from a college newbie to a Rowan Prof.
Aside from Rowan, this winter break I’ll be teaching at the Washington Township elementary school that I went to. I live about two hours away from Rowan, up in North Jersey, and substitute teach when I’m at home. I started in my sophomore year and it’s been great ever since. Managing kids alone in my own classroom without another teacher has been a great experience for me. And I can’t wait to go back home for the holidays and then teach children over the winter break!
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: Natalia Panfilova
Photos by: Jen Green