Today we feature Francis Terry, a Law and Justice Studies major from Laurel Springs, NJ (Camden County) who recently completed his junior year at Rowan. Francis, a first-generation college student, is a transfer student from Neumann University and lives off-campus.
Could you share your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes?
My favorite moment with a faculty member was with my coaches on March 15, 2018 in Birmingham, Alabama at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. I finished 5th in the nation and earned my first All-American accolade. When they called my name I stepped on the podium and looked at the cameras, the crowd and my teammates cheering for me. My assistant coach, Coach Tate, handed me the medal. I remember hugging Coach Tate thanking him for everything he’s done for me.
We took our picture and I had to get my pants and jacket back on and cool down because I had another race in about 2 hours. The 4×400 was the last event of the day and we finished 3rd in the 4×400. That placement would place us 3rd in the nation as a team. So after I hugged my teammates and congratulated the other teams I got back on the podium. When I got off the podium I saw my Head Coach, Coach Dimit, crying tears of joy so we hugged. We were all so excited to be ranked 3rd in the nation as a team. No, we didn’t win the National Championship, but we were all still proud of every single one of our teammates.
Is there anyone who is a visionary in your field who inspires you and goes above and beyond for you? I wouldn’t say he’s a visionary in my field, but someone who has impacted me tremendously at Rowan University is Eddy. He’s one of the janitors at Rowan University in Esby Gym [editor’s note: this staff member was identified as Edward Garrison, senior maintenance worker for both Esby Gym and The John Green Team House]. Eddy is one of the loudest, but also down-to-earth men I have ever met. Every time I walk into Esby Gym I can just feel his presence. He always screams “Yo Francis,” then shakes my hand and asks how my day is going. Some days we just stand in the hall and talk about sports, life, or anything on our minds that day.
No matter what, Eddy always makes time to say “Hi” to someone. He’s one of the hardest-working guys I know, and his attitude is always upbeat no matter what. I may not want to be a janitor in my lifetime, but I want to mimic the way he looks at life — his demeanor, work ethic, attitude and just his everyday life of bringing happiness to others. Eddy is one most influential people I’ve encountered throughout my life. Every day I’m blessed to have met a man like Eddy and have him to help shape me for the future.
What is the most amazing or interesting thing you’ve learned in your major this year? The most amazing thing I’ve learned in my major this year was in my Law Seminar Class with Professor Stone. Even though the majority of the class was taught online due to COVID, this class really opened my eyes. During the course of the semester, we had to use an Excel spreadsheet and take our 40 questions and ask every student who was enrolled in that class questions about their family life. We then had to compare all of our work and compare it to our thesis. We wrote about a 10-page paper on our thesis and results that we calculated throughout the semester. It was an awesome experience working with classmates and developing our own short theory.
What pre-professional experiences are helping to support your growth? Due to COVID, I had one internship canceled, but two pre-professional experiences I have had would be being a Team Captain for the Men’s Track and Field team and working on the Board for S.A.A.C (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee). Being one of the Captains in the team I’ve definitely had to look at myself differently. Over the past 4 years at Neumann and Rowan, I’ve had many people to look up to and follow. Jeffery Tucker was one of the Captains in 2018, and he’s played a huge role in my life on and off the track.
Being a captain you’re held to a higher standard. As a captain, I’ve been in difficult situations with my own teammates but we’ve worked past them together. I always try and make myself available for my teammates or even other student-athletes. We all have stuff going on in our lives and every day I’ve learned something new from being around other student-athletes. When you’re around 70+ teammates and being one of the leaders of the team it gets very stressful. Being a captain doesn’t make me higher than anyone else, we are all still on the same team representing the same school and athletic department. I strive to represent myself in the best way possible in the classroom, on the track and even within the community. I hope that I can impact someone’s life for the better the way Jeff did for me.
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Rachel Rumsby, rising sophomore communication studies and public relations double major