Senior Reflects: Chemistry Major Mia Meola

Photo of Science Hall.

Today we feature senior Mia Meola, a chemistry major from Hackettstown, New Jersey (Warren County) who lived on campus in Whitney Center. She plans to further her education at Rowan next spring. 

Photo of chemistry major Mia in her cap and gown.Please tell us about your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes? The faculty at Rowan University is incredible. One of the greatest people I have had the pleasure of knowing at Rowan is Philosophy and World Religions Professor Dr. Whitney Cox. I have been able to take classes with Dr. Cox for the last three consecutive semesters. I have learned so much from Dr. Cox and had a lot of fun in her classes. Her office door was always open, and she was willing to listen and provide guidance no matter what it was about. She would never rush us or show any sort of disinterest in our thoughts or ideas. Even if I came to her office to vent for an hour about my life being a mess, she was there to listen, give snacks, and let me hang out with her dogs.

There was not a day I left her class or office without a smile on my face and a huge sense of fulfillment. She helped me in so many ways and fostered my passion for World Religions (I added it as a minor this year!). Dr. Cox is not only an amazing educator, but an amazing person. She truly cares about her students and it was refreshing to feel so validated. I have grown so much in my time at Rowan University, and Dr. Cox played a key part in that.

What was your favorite or most meaningful personal moment at Rowan? I had the privilege of being involved in Women Inspiring a New Generation of Scientists (W.I.N.G.S.) since my freshman year, serving as an e-board member the last two years. We had the opportunity to go to different schools around Glassboro to teach lessons and conduct experiments with students. We also held events for the local Girl Scouts. My favorite personal moments at Rowan are when I have gotten to work with these children and young adults. I will never forget the times that I have seen an interest or love for S.T.E.M. be born firsthand. Getting to play a role in this and being able to show young girls that they can be scientists too, has been so meaningful.

Chemistry major Mia posing in her cap and gown outside of Science Hall.What are your career aspirations and how did the people or programs at Rowan help to support you with those aspirations? After finishing this degree, I plan to continue my graduate studies at Rowan. I will be pursuing a master’s in S.T.E.M. Education starting next spring. My goal is to become a high school chemistry teacher. The people and programs at Rowan have been crucial to helping with these goals and aspirations. From being an e-board member, a learning assistant for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, working as an undergraduate research assistant, and to every class, club and event in between. Rowan has afforded me so many incredible opportunities to pursue my passions. There is nowhere in the world I would rather continue my education!

Do you want to give a thank you shout out to your family, friends, advisors or mentors? I would have never made it to this day without all the amazing people in my life. I’d like to thank my family, who have never stopped supporting me for a second. Every time I fell, they were right there to pick me back up again. And they have always celebrated even the little victories. I would also like to thank every professor, advisor, and faculty member I have had the chance to cross paths with at Rowan University. These people have pushed and inspired me in ways I never thought possible. I am forever grateful for every person, memory, and opportunity Rowan has blessed me with.

A huge shout out to the College of Science and Mathematics and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, (especially Dr. Gregory Caputo, Dr. Timothy Vaden, The Vaden Lab, Dr. Matthew Pilarz, and the ladies of W.I.N.G.S.). Lastly, to all the friends I have made along the way. You all have made me the person I am today. You have become my family and made Rowan my second home. Thank you for all the memories! The last four years have been a rollercoaster, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Congrats to the rest of the Class of 2020. Things might not have turned out the way we pictured it, but we did it.

Chemistry major Mia and her friends.

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