#PROFspective: International Student Gatha Adhikari

Today, we speak with Gatha Adhikari, a sophomore biomedical engineering major from Begnas Tal, Pokhara (Nepal), who lives at Holly Pointe Commons as a Resident Assistant. Gatha will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be an international Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.

How is Rowan welcoming to you? During the Flying First Symposium by Rowan’s Flying First Task Force for first generation college students, I was invited to speak on the panel to Gatha Adhikari posing in front of her Resident Assistant sign in Holly Pointe Commons.share my journey. To see the first generation alums and get their support made me feel welcomed and a sense of belonging.

Could you tell us a little bit about being a first generation college student? My family is back home in a small village in Nepal and were supportive to let me come here for my studies. Being first-gen is a point of pride in itself, but is also a big struggle. As a first-gen student, I am able to accomplish the dreams of my parents and inspire my community. I affirm for the young ones that they can live their dreams and achieve immense opportunities. Gatha Adhikari mixing a solution in the Science Hall.

Tell us a little bit about the sacrifice that you and your family has made in order to make college a reality for you.  My family and community have made a big emotional sacrifice to let me come to this foreign land and study while my other friends got married without finishing their education. While my family could have kept me home to assist them with their agriculture, they decided to let me fly away and be independent, which means a lot to me. I have left behind my friends and family who are very close to my heart, my traditions and festivities behind and work days and nights to make college a reality.

How do you feel your family will feel when they watch you walkGatha Adhikari posing in the first floor in Engineering Hall. across that graduation stage? I can imagine the tears of joy in the eyes of both my parents and brother when I finish my degree and graduate. They have dedicated their love and sacrificed so much to make it happen. My parents’ goal in life will be fulfilled when they see my accomplishments. My graduation ceremony will mean a lot.

What organization is most meaningful to you on campus? I work as a Resident Assistant (RA) for the Residential Learning and University Housing which means a lot to me. As a team, we strive to build communities within Rowan’s campus to provide the best possible residential life experience to Rowan students so they can find a home away from home here. The residents I lead are a part of an engineering learning community in Holly Pointe Commons

Gatha Adhikari handing a beaker to her professor in Science Hall.

Tell us about your transition into college and how you pushed through any challenges. Leaving everyone I knew and my home country behind when coming to Rowan has been a challenging journey. I have faced numerous obstacles along the way including financial difficulty, as I don’t get any financial aid for being an international student and it is hard to find scholarships I am eligible to apply for. I still have this problem, but I work hard, work on-campus and apply to every scholarship I can.

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Story and photography by: Alyssa Bauer, junior public relations major

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Francis Terry

Francis Terry stands in front of a tree for a portrait, wearing a black Rowan zip up

Meet Francis Terry, a law and justice junior who commutes from Laurel Springs, NJ (Camden County) and is captain of the track and field team. Francis is a first generation college student and transferred to Rowan last fall from Neumann University in Aston, PA. 

Francis Terry stands in front of a tree for a portrait, wearing a black Rowan zip up

“Just knowing that I’m one of the first in my family to go to college and pursue my dreams of getting a degree is what gets me out of bed. The work that I have put in and my family that are now looking up to me telling me that they’re proud of me. It just gives me the confidence I need to get up in to morning and do what I have to do. 

“I chose Rowan because of how familiar I was with it. I just knew coming back home to Rowan was the best choice for me. I also chose Rowan because of how dominant our sports teams are. Being able to do what I love, while being able to be around great individuals all around campus, just makes the decision I made to come to Rowan even better.”

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Story and photography by:
Jelani James, senior journalism major

Tatiyana’s Home Away From Home: Science Hall [VIDEO]

Tatiyana sitting inside the science hall in front of planetarium

First generation college student Tatiyana Stubbs, a sophomore bioinformatics and community health double major who commutes from Millville, NJ (Cumberland County) feels most home at Science Hall studying or working on assignments in a lab.

Video by: Edris Forde, junior radio, TV & film major and Vanessa Vause, senior public relations and theatre double major
Music by: Louis Testa, sophomore music composition major

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First Generation College Student, Aspiring Doctor, Plans to Serve Camden

Luis Acevedo posing on the bridge behind the Engineering building at Rowan University.Luis Acevedo, sophomore dual biology and chemistry major from Camden, NJ, originally entered Rowan as an education major. Luis wanted to teach the people in his community about mobilization – something that is a challenge for many from the city. After a semester into his education career, Luis kept his promise to educate his community, but felt he would be able to make a bigger impact educating them on physical health. He rediscovered his passion for the field of medicine, and is eager to apply his passion at home.

Luis speaking at the First-Generation Student Symposium on Feb. 13, 2019 at Rowan University.
Luis speaking at the First Generation Student Symposium on Feb. 13, 2019 at Rowan University. Photo by Nicole Cier.

Luis explains, “The general knowledge of health is not known. Not all members of Camden have access to healthcare or are able to communicate their physical aches and pains to doctors. If people aren’t able to describe their pain, they won’t receive proper care to fix their problem.” Luis wants to provide people with the help they deserve, but aren’t receiving yet. Everyone should have the opportunity to a healthy life and adequate medical attention. His degree and skills sets will allow him to properly attend to the members of his community who desperately need it.

Luis appreciates his family members’ encouragement throughout his Luis Acevedo posing inside the main entrance of the science building at Rowan University.education career and the mentors who’ve built a family full of support at school. After an interview with Dr. Mateo for Rowan’s ASCEND program, Luis felt Rowan was a good choice. Luis’ judgement was right. He explains, “The Camden Campus is a small family. Everyone is welcoming and all are happy to be there. If I ever need help, any one is happy to help me. They are my nest.” Luis, being in the Flying First program, is introduced through the program to professionals and other first-generation college students on campus who advance his academic success. Dr. Mateo, known as “mama bird” to most ASCEND members, meets with Luis regularly to ensure he’s on the right path and connects him to other resources on campus – one of them being the Peer Referral and Orientation Staff (PROS), where he joined as a member of the orientation staff the summer after his freshman year. 

After finding PROS, Luis created a tremendous amount of connections on campus. PROS introduced Luis to faculty and students with different backgrounds, and knows learning to communicate with diverse cultures will help him in his future career.

Luis is setting a positive example for the people of Camden. His hometownLuis Acevedo posing outside the science building at Rowan University. holds a negative stereotype for fostering an adverse community. “A lot of people think we’re not prepared for college. The fact that people ask questions about the type of education I had is unreal. It’s important to inform people that we’re all the same and we were all accepted to the same university.” Luis takes advantage of his resources at Rowan, knowing these connections will prepare him to be a successful doctor.

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Enter for a chance to win a Rowan t-shirt! Email RowanBlog [at] rowan.edu with the date and time of your upcoming campus tour … we may just email you that we’re going to surprise you while you’re visiting!

Story and photography by: Alyssa Bauer, junior public relations major

TRANSFERmation Tuesday: Katherine Villacis

Katherine Villacis sitting in the bridge connecting Rowan's Engineering building.

Meet transfer student Katherine Villacis, a junior civil engineering major  from Beverly, NJ (Burlington County) who is a resident assistant here on campus. Katherine recently served as a student panelist on Rowan’s first generation college student symposium, hosted by Flying First

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you?

“One of my first experiences since I transferred was just taking the leap and getting involved. Being an RA helps me know what’s going on around campus and connect me to resources. I’ve met returning and professional staff who want to see me succeed. Flying First, Rowan’s support program for first generation college students, is also welcoming environment. We recently had a symposium that was open to other schools, with student panelists discussing their first generation experience.”

Why did you choose Rowan?

“I chose Rowan because of convenience. I went to Rowan College at Burlington County and the programs here made it easier for me to transfer. I didn’t know at first where I wanted to go, but heard great things about the engineering program and knew this was something that could work out.”

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Story and photography by:
Alyssa Bauer, junior public relations major

(FRESH)man Voices: Salma Elwy

Salma sitting at the piano inside Bunce
Salma sitting at the piano in the practice room in Bunce

“I’m very lucky to be studying acting at Rowan because the sense of community here is so strong. In just one semester, I’ve made friends who I already feel so comfortable around and professors who are so willing to help me grow in my field. The small class sizes make it easy to learn and to make friends without the intimidation of a huge lecture class. I’m so excited to see what the next three and a half years have in store for me!” Salma Elwy, freshmen theatre major and Arabic minor from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). (First generation American college student).

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Enter for a chance to win a Rowan t-shirt! Email RowanBlog [at] rowan.edu with the date and time of your upcoming campus tour … we may just email you that we’re going to surprise you while you’re visiting!

Photography by: Vanessa Vause, senior public relations, advertising and theatre major

From Rowan RTF to CBS

Brandon inside the Rowan Radio studio

Brandon Ward, Radio/TV/Film major, landed the internship of a lifetime with a company he admires dearly. From traveling around the city of Philadelphia and seeking #trends online to watching breaking news happen live, Brandon got a dose of the action-packed new station career. Last summer, Brandon, from Oaklyn, NJ (Camden County) conducted a news internship […]

What Profs are Listening To: Jen Green

Jen Green stands in the Rowan University bookstore, looking toward her phone with the Badflower album cover OK I'm Sick
A student in the Rowan University bookstore holds up the new Badflower album OK, I'm Sick.

“At midnight Badflower dropped their new album, OK I’m Sick, and I’m listening as I work. You should check it out! Gritty rock from a younger band out of LA. I’ve seen them live a few times now in Philly, Asbury Park and Lancaster, but I can tell that this is the album that’s going to make them huge.” 

Jen Green, a graduate student in the master’s in strategic communication within the College of Communication & Creative Arts, who commutes from Pitman, NJ (Gloucester County) and is a first generation college student. 

Like what you see? Come visit us!

VISIT CAMPUS​​

Enter for a chance to win a Rowan t-shirt! Email RowanBlog [at] rowan.edu with the date and time of your upcoming campus tour … we may just email you that we’re going to surprise you while you’re visiting!

Story and photography by:
Adeline MacDonald

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