Today we speak to Connor Crafton-Tempel, a senior Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management major with a minor in Sociology. Connor is involved in Rowan University EMS, Rowan Progressives, Tau Sigma (National Transfer Student Honor Society) and Epsilon Pi Phi (DPEM Honor Society). Connor is from Freehold Township, NJ (Monmouth County) and transferred from Holy Family University.
How did you know that your major was the right choice for you?
When I was a freshman and sophomore in high school, I knew I wanted to go into disaster preparedness and emergency management. However, I had a really hard time finding an undergraduate program at a brick and mortar school, where I could live on campus. So, I decided to go with my backup plan of nursing. I went to Holy Family University, in Torresdale, Philadelphia. I realized at the end of my freshman year that nursing isn’t the right choice for me right now.
So, in the summer of 2018, I went down to Rowan to meet with Dr. DeMond Miller, our program director. Within the first five minutes of the meeting, I knew that both Rowan and the DPEM major were the right choice for me. Interestingly, I had toured Rowan when I was in high school, but they don’t have the right type of nursing program (I needed a BSN program that would give me the RN).
When I toured, Rowan Boulevard was still under construction, but I knew that I liked that Rowan had both a large and small campus feeling. The student-to-faculty ratio is was just right for me (I knew I wanted a smaller school), but also has enough to do on and around campus, so that I won’t get bored on weekends or in between classes.
Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you?
It’ll either have to be when I joined Rowan University EMS or when I saw the students counter-protesting that hate group in Spring 2019. I started here in Spring 2019, and I know a few people who started here as freshmen. However, I didn’t know anyone in my degree program. Joining RUEMS helped me meet other peers in the DPEM major as well as upperclassmen. My previous school is run by an order of nuns called the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, and the order is on the conservative end of the political spectrum. I was more or less an outlier for my political and religious beliefs, which are much more liberal. When I saw a bunch of students protesting the hate group on campus told me that there are other people like me here, and that I don’t have to hide who I am anymore.
Could you tell us about pre-professional opportunities or social opportunities that you’ve become aware of that have made you feel like Rowan is a good fit for you?
We’ve got an honor society called Epsilon Pi Phi, which is the emergency management honor society. It allows us to be able to connect with other people in this major, and folks in the field.
However, the biggest pre-professional opportunity, in my opinion, is that most of professors actually have day jobs in this, and then come and teach us at night. I feel that this is extremely beneficial to us, since they keep up to date with industry standards.
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Story and photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major