Joseph Salvo, a native of Italy, came to the United States six years ago without being able to fluently speak English. Now, living in Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County), Joseph is a graduating college senior who leads a personal research project exploring the potential correlation between community health and cancer diagnosis. Learn more about what this political science and economics double major is doing to make the world better.
Joseph came to the United States during his junior year of high school when his family decided to make a fresh start here. He knew he wanted to go to college, but wasn’t sure where he wanted to attend. Rowan University for him became a prime choice for its location and known affordability. Although, once here Joseph quickly realized that the professors were another strength Rowan held. “The professors are all extremely accessible,” Joseph continues, “and they make themselves available beyond what I would consider their duty.”
Political science was a perfect fit for Joseph because of his desire to better understand the intricacies of government and because of his interest in law. Rowan’s department pushed him early on during his freshman year to research and receive an internship – better preparing him for the potential roles he could fill after college. Joseph attributes his current internship at New Jersey’s Superior Courts located in Atlantic City to the resources provided to him through College of Humanities & Social Sciences, which houses the political science and economics department. Joseph works in the Children’s Court Unit – associated with Family Court – and helps handle cases involving children at risk of abuse or being cared for by unfit parents. “Through working here I have the opportunity to see the behind the scenes action; being a part of the process that most people aren’t witnesses to.” Joseph explains, “Gaining this experience further prepared me for more intense and involved work.” Through Joseph’s hard work and assistance from his professors at Rowan he gets to be a real help to children who aren’t in the best situations.
Further into his college career, Joseph’s professors encouraged him to create and develop his own research project as a goal to demonstrate his ability and growth gained during his time at Rowan. “I was interested in how cancer plays a role in people’s lives – there’s already demographics with disadvantages and I wanted to see if cancer further attributes to any inability these demographics have,” Joseph revealed. Currently, Joseph has already reviewed lifestyles and genetic markers that attribute to cancer. Having discovered prostate cancer being passed down in families; while breast cancer can better be associated with lifestyles such as eating habits and living environments.
The second phase of Joseph’s research that he plans to continue with will be assessing areas with high cancer diagnosis and attempting to discover any environmental similarities among these regions. His end goal is to produce a cost-benefit analysis to highlight the current cost of health care associated with cancer treatments and compare them to the cost of transitioning to more environmental-friendly methods. Overall, Joseph clearly has a mindset a strong ambition to make the world a better place for everyone to live in.
“I did not expect Rowan to be so fulfilling, I walked in with lower expectations. However, Rowan met all my needs and then some. People both in academic resources and professors have always gone above and beyond to help me. I really appreciate this and am thankful for choosing Rowan.” Joseph stated. And Rowan is thankful to have such a dedicated and hard-working student who’s already making positive changes to the world. What goals do you have in your life that Rowan can help you achieve?
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Story and photography by: Alexander Belli
Senior, public relations and advertising double major