Passing the Torch: Law & Justice Grad Gives Advice

Christian stands with two friends, wearing his graduation gown from Rowan University

“On campus I’ve worked with Tutoring, Housing, and as a Public Safety intern. Networking is everything!” says law and justice graduate Christian Grund, from Verona, NJ (Essex County.) He says that having a job while going to school makes college more fun and manageable.

His best advice to freshmen on time management is, “Do it early or suffer later. Don’t procrastinate – just do it!” 

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Exploratory Studies Student Finds His Passion: Political Science

Jason, wearing a Rising Rowan shirt, standing outside Bunce Hall

Rising junior political science major Jason Brooks, from Monroe Township, NJ (Middlesex County) shares his journey with us on how Rowan’s exploratory studies major helped to connect him with the right major for him: political science. The on-campus resident, who recently wrapped up his sophomore year, lived in one of our newest residence halls on Rowan Boulevard, 114 Victoria. 

I always knew when I was visiting other schools that Rowan was the place I ultimately wanted to call home. When I was accepted to Rowan, I came in as an Exploratory Studies student, and was wrestling between becoming a student in the Rohrer College of Business or becoming a political science major within the College of Humanities & Social Sciences. I always had a knack for politics, but was unsure if that was what I wanted to make my living off of it.

After discussions with my advisor, and attending workshops for both Jason, wearing a Rowan Rising shirt, standing in front of a flagprograms, courtesy of the Exploratory Studies program, I decided to pursue a political science degree. In addition to declaring my major, I also applied for the honors program, and was accepted into that program. As a political science student at Rowan, I have accomplished so much in my two years here. I was selected to be a member of the Student Alumni Association where I have engaged with proud Profs from all generations. From there, I was awarded a job in the admissions office as an Admissions Ambassador, giving campus tours to prospective students.

I have also gotten involved with student government, and this past fall I was elected as a Senator At Large, and was recently elected as Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs for the 2019-2020 school year. In addition, Rowan has afforded me the opportunity to work in the political field as well. I have been fortunate enough to hold two internships during our last summer recess and the fall semester respectively.

I am also looking forward to starting my new internship this summer in the New Jersey State House. These internships would have not been possible without the help of the great faculty I have been surrounded with here at Rowan. Specifically, I would not be where I’m at without the help of Dr. Ben Dworkin and his program with the Rowan Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship (RIPPAC).

Overall, Rowan has afforded me with so many opportunities to expand my network and professional experiences. In the future, I am planning on using my Rowan degree to make an impact on our government and political landscape. But for now, I am looking forward to what the rest of my Rowan experience has in store!

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Aspiring Counselor Started As Exploratory Studies Major

Autumn sits on a bench outside of Savitz Hall at Rowan University

Sophomore Autumn Vilches-Cruz, who commutes from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County) shares her insight with prospective students every day in her role as an Admissions Ambassador who gives tours of campus. Today she shares one snippet of insight, as a former exploratory studies major (commonly known as an undeclared or undecided major.)

Autumn stands in front of Savitz Hall at Rowan University, with her hands clasped in front of her.Coming in as an exploratory studies major really helped me to solidify what I wanted to do as a career.

When I was a freshman, my Rowan 101 seminar required me to attend at least two information sessions about different majors provided at Rowan. I have always had a fascination with people and why we do the things that we do, and think the things that we think. I came in knowing that psychology was the major for me, and once I was finally declared a psychology major, I could not have been happier!

I’m aspiring to become a counselor, and I’m actually thinking about working at Rowan’s Wellness Center when I’m done with my schooling.

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Exploratory Studies Student: Allison Cespedes

student Allison outside of cherry blossom tree in Rowan hoodie

Meet Allison Cespedes who started off her Rowan experience as an exploratory studies major and discovered her interest in pre-med.

Allison sitting outside in a Rowan hoodie

“Hello! I’m Allison Cespedes, a first generation college student who is a senior psychology major on a pre-med track with an honors concentration. I am from Bridgewater, NJ (Somerset County) and have lived on campus all four years.

I’ve been a resident assistant and a student admissions ambassador for the past two years now and currently I am a resident assistant for the Whitney Center. I began my college career as an exploratory studies major after I took a career course during the summer, before coming into the fall semester. Starting off as this major gave me a good idea as to what I wanted to study for the rest of my time at Rowan.”

Allison wearing Rowan hoodie sitting on bench outside of Bunce

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

Jasmin Brown’s Home Away From Home: Rowan’s Rec Center [VIDEO]

Woman leaning on counter inside with multiple gym machines in the background

Jasmin Brown, a senior radio, television, and film major feels most at home on campus at her student worker job with Rowan’s Rec Center. The Roselle Park, NJ (Union County) native rents an apartment just off campus, making her school and work “commute” an easy one. Jasmin assists Rec Center patrons by making sure everyone’s properly using all the equipment and all weights are returned. Take a peak at a typical day for Jasmin.

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Video production by: Alexander Belli, senior public relations and advertising major
Music by: Don Dewitt, junior music industry major

#PROFspective: Translational Biomedical Science Major Zachary Padron

Your Name: Zachary PadronYour Major: Translation Biomedical ScienceYour Minors: Bantivoglio Honors Concentration in the Honors College, Pre-Medical Minor, Neuroscience Minor, and Ethics Certificate of Undergraduate StudyYour Year: JuniorHometown and County: Hamilton, NJ (Mercer County)Resident: Yes, I live as a Resident Assistant in the Townhouse ComplexAcademic Organizations: American Physician Scientist Association (Research Chair Executive Board Member)Social Clubs: President of Colleges Against Cancer and Chi Alpha Christian FellowshipOn-Campus Employment: Resident Assistant for the Townhouse ComplexOff-Campus Employment: Research Assistant in the Neuroscience Research Lab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia […]

#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

#PROFspective: Mechanical Engineering Major Morgan Dean

Today, we speak with Morgan Dean, a senior mechanical engineering major who rents a house off campus with friends. Morgan will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.

Name: Morgan DeanMorgan Dean sitting in Rowan's Engineering building.
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Minors or concentrations: Writing Arts, Mathematics; Bantivoglio Honors College
Year: Senior
Hometown and County: Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County)
Off-Campus resident: Yes, I live in a house on University Boulevard with my five roommates!
Do you work on campus? If so, where/what do you do? I work as a tutor in the Rowan University Writing Center (in Campbell Library)

Morgan Dean sitting in front of the Engineering auditorium. What wakes you up in the morning? The thrill of getting to do and/or learn something new. Also, I love to have my morning coffee while reading!

What is one thing you wish people knew about your academic discipline or research focus? I find that being a girl in engineering, especially one of the five or six in the MechE undergraduate program, is more advantageous than most realize. Additionally, although mechanical engineering tends to be associated with cars/engines/etc., the possibilities of post-undergraduate work are endless. You’re in no way tied down to any one field of work.

What is one thing this field has allowed you to do, that you either Morgan Dean showing Rowan student something on her laptop.dreamed of doing or thought you’d never get to do? Through its interdisciplinary program, mechanical engineering sparked my interest in biomedical engineering. Although I once said I would never take another biology class again, I am now set to be a PhD Biomedical Engineering student come Fall 2019.

Could you share a moment you’ve experienced in which you have felt that Rowan is a welcoming environment for you? The Rowan Writing Center has provided me with a sense of belonging ever since I began working there. The staff took me in immediately as family and I always feel a sense of peace while in the space.

Morgam Dean posing in front of the pond in back of the Engineering building.Why Rowan?  I have made some incredible student-professor relationships here which have shaped my future by unlocking my potential. Professors Dr. Staehle, and Dr. Merrill and Writing Center Director Celeste DelRusso have exposed me to new areas of research through the engineering clinic curriculum, summer programs, and professional development conferences. Additionally, I would never have been accepted to graduate school if it weren’t for these valuable connections I made.

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

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