Senior Reflects: Leadership and Social Innovation Major Sarah Niles

Sarah outside under a blooming tree

Sarah Niles is a senior Leadership and Social Innovation major, with a Dance minor and a CUGS in Adventure Education Leadership, from Haddonfield, NJ.

Could you please share your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes?

My favorite class experience was in my Wilderness First Responder class when we went out into the woods behind Rowan Hall and pretended we were injured or sick and had to fake rescue our classmates using what we learned in class. We learned how to make tents out of sticks and leaves, how to administer emergency first aid, and how to survive in the elements. It was the most fun I’ve ever had in a class!

Could you please share your favorite social memory?

My favorite memory is my freshman year Homecoming Lip Sync competition! I was on the Student Center and Campus Activities team and we ended up winning first place! That’s where I truly felt like I found a home at Rowan and with the SCCA. That’s also where I met some of my closest friends. Full circle, I actually oversaw that event in Fall 2020 as the student director!

Sarah with Prof Statue.

What are your career aspirations?

I hope to become a professional in Student Affairs in a higher education setting. I want to oversee college students that have a passion for being involved in student activities and being campus leaders. I’ll be attending University of South Florida for the M.Ed College Student Affairs program and will be the new graduate assistant for Student Support Services there.

How did the people or programs at Rowan help or support you with your professional growth or career aspirations?

My mentor, Megan McHugh, guided me to be as involved as I am today, as well as my best friend, Mia Nardone, who basically made me join clubs with her so I would be involved. Through my work with the names above, as well as the SCCA, the Orientation team, and Admissions, I have found my love for student affairs in higher education and I’m determined to continue to do this in my future. 

Do you want to give a thank you or shout out to your family, friends, advisors or mentors?

Shout-out to my dad, who is my best friend and does everything he can to support me. I got my work ethic and drive from him and hope someday I can be as amazing as him. Also, I’d like to shout-out Maria Arbizo, Melissa Ulmer, Megan McHugh, Serafina Genise, Mia Nardone, Dylan Regan, Ayala Gedeon and Arielle Gedeon for supporting me and loving me unconditionally. 

Sarah sitting down outside.

Who is your favorite professor and what class did you take them for? 

My favorite professor is Shari Willis, who I completed my Adventure Education Leadership CUGS with. She is my favorite because she cares about her students as both people and students and is willing to help you do anything to accomplish your goals. 

What advice would you give to incoming freshman or transfers about making the most out of their college experience?

I would say get involved! Don’t sit in your dorm all day long, get an on-campus job. Get the most out of the money you’re paying for student activities fees. Go to events and get free food and t-shirts (you’ll want to make a t-shirt blanket when you graduate).

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Story by:
Caitlyn Dickinson, senior public relations and advertising major

Photos by:
Brian Seay, sophomore sports communication and media major

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