Today we speak with Damen Tomassi, a senior computer science major from Longport, Atlantic County, who lives on campus at 220 Rowan Blvd. He will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how he’s getting the most out of his college experience as a Rowan Prof.
Name: Damen Tomassi
Major: 5 Year Accelerated MS/BS in Computer Science in the College of Science & Mathematics
On Campus Resident: Yes, 220 Rowan Blvd.
Hometown and County: Longport, Atlantic County
Academic clubs: Upsilon Pi Epsilon computing and information disciplines honor society, President
Athletic clubs: Club Swimming, President
Do you work on campus? Yes, Admissions Ambassador
Why did you choose your major? High earning potential
One reason why you chose Rowan? I get asked this question every single day at my job, so I’ve had a lot of time to think about it! There are so many reasons why I chose Rowan, but I think the one that stands out in my mind the most is the small class sizes!
My Typical Day as a Rowan Student
8:00 A.M. Rise N’ Grind: “Alexa stop.” The first words out of my mouth each and every morning … I yell them across my room for my digital assistant Alexa to turn off the alarm. It has been six hours since I’ve shut my eyes, the perfect amount of time to sleep long enough to feel energized, but most importantly maximize my time awake. I either queue up some music or listen to a motivational speaker to get the day off on the right foot – today I feel like listening to Arnold Schwarzenegger and his “6 Rules to Success.” With Arnold reminding me it’s impossible to climb the ladder of success with my hands in my pocket, I get ready to start my day.
8:30 A.M. Breakfast: On the way to Glassworks Eatery, I stop by the front desk of my building to grab the Wall Street Journal and see what is going on in the world today and maybe pick up a stock tip or two… I see Snapchat is having an IPO soon … Snapchat … let’s see what my friends were up to last night. I open the app and fire off a few messages to some friends, before checking out what I have scheduled for the day. I live and die by my phone schedule – it tells me where I need to be, and when I need to be there. On my busiest days I even schedule in times for meals. Today is not that busy of a day – I find a 2 hour block of time and pencil in the gym. I always make time for the gym – I think our health should come before all else.
9:15 A.M. Savitz Hall: I head over to Savitz Hall and sit in the atrium and make a few phone calls. I call my father and let him know about the Snapchat IPO, he tells me he already knows, but he doesn’t understand … what exactly Snapchat is. He says he downloaded it but can’t figure out how it works. I laugh as I try to explain about the photos that disappear … he just got his first smart phone about 2 months ago, so I didn’t expect him to be on Snap yet. After I hang up with him, I call the company printing the new swim suits for club swimming – we were supposed to take delivery last week, yet no package arrived. The printer assures me the suits will arrive by our swim meet Saturday. I’ve used this printer before, what he lacks in speed he makes up for in quality – I take his word on it and wish him a happy rest of his day.
9:30 A.M. Tour Time: Finishing with my phone calls earlier than expected, I clock in early for work. I’m an Admissions Ambassador for Rowan, and it’s one of my favorite jobs I’ve ever had. Every day I get to show people our BEAUTIFUL campus, and talk with students about why I love Rowan. I take my position by the door ready to greet happy families, as they come in preparation of the 11:00 a.m. tour. We have a decent crowd today, we are going to split it into two groups, along with one family that previously requested a private tour. I volunteer to take the private tour out, as I love getting to learn peoples “story”, and getting to share my own with them. It’s a father and his daughter – all the way from Idaho. The father is a Boeing 747 Pilot for UPS, and his daughter just wants to get as far away from home as possible. She loved Rowan and can’t wait to apply next year. I hope she gets accepted.
2:00 P.M. UPE Meeting: I grab a bite to eat, and head over to my UPE executive board meeting. We are holding a meeting soon and I have a few details I’d like to smooth out with the rest of the e-Board. No more details on this – as President of the Rowan Chapter of the Secret Society, I don’t know if its in my best interest to divulge any more information. ;D
2:30 P.M. Gym Time: I do a quick costume change and head over to the Rec Center. I’m following a workout plan from the legendary Jim Stoppani. Stoppani builds in 3-4 minute rests between sets, so the workout takes forever – but I don’t mind because this is time for me to relax, browse social media, and check up on my Stocks. The DOW is up today.
4:30 P.M. Class Time: I hustle back to my apartment and get ready to run to my Computers and Society Class that starts at 5:00 p.m. This is one of my favorite classes this semester. It explores a new side of computer science that none of my classes ever have before: the ethics of computing. There is so much to explore on this topic and this is an exciting time. With autonomous cars 2-3 years away, real world decisions are being made around the world today that will impact all of us. How should the cars behave in case of an emergency? For the first time in history, the outcome of car accidents will be determined before they ever happen. Should the car do everything it can to protect its occupants including harming other people? Or should the car always attempt to save the most lives, even if it means killing some of the occupants?
6:30 P.M. Senior Project Meeting: After class I head over to the cafe to grab a bite to eat with some friends from class. After finishing up, I head back to my apartment and have a meeting with most of my senior project group. Thankfully we’re actually way ahead of our schedule so we agree to make quick work of our design document so we can get to the bulk of the project – where we will likely run into the most problems. The implementation phase – or actually doing the programming. After the meeting, I’m supposed to work on some homework, but I get distracted and end up checking out flight prices. I check prices every day – I’m always looking for a cheap enough flight to justify a quick trip to Orlando. I love rollercoasters, and when it is winter in NJ, I need to get my fix somehow!
8:30 P.M. Club Swimming: I head over to the Rec Center a bit earlier than our 9:00 p.m. practice time. I meet with Evan, my co-President for club swimming and we go over the workout for the night. I talk to Eric, the treasurer, about planning some fundraisers, and Lan, the Secretary – about some announcements to make. Lan asks about the swim suits, I tell her they aren’t here yet, but she’ll be the first to know when they are. When practice time rolls around, I go over the announcements and try to get everyone excited for our first meet next week.
10:45 P.M. Homework: After practice is over, I ask Evan for a ride back to my apartment. I head up to my room and fire out a few quick emails. before settling in to do my homework around 11:30. I keep working until about 1:30 a.m. when I get ready for bed. “Alexa turn on the 8:00 A.M. alarm.”
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 and photography by:
Jen Green, senior public relations major