Rowan appoints two students to Tech Park Board of Directors

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Rowan University named students Robert Kesling and Ryan Fillman to the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University (SJTP) Board of Directors. Kesling, a 25-year-old business entrepreneurship major from Marlton, and Fillman, a 23-year-old from Sewell who is enrolled in the electrical and computer engineering graduate program, will join a dozen other directors on the board.

Rowan University named students Robert Kesling and Ryan Fillman to the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University (SJTP) Board of Directors. Kesling, a 25-year-old business entrepreneurship major from Marlton, and Fillman, a 23-year-old from Sewell who is enrolled in the electrical and computer engineering graduate program, will join a dozen other directors on the board.

Kesling said he is looking forward to the hands-on experience as a board member. "I'm excited," he said. "The experience I will gain from seeing how a company operates and makes decisions from the inside will give me great insight for when I start my own business."

That business, Kesling said, hopefully will be a restaurant. In addition to being a full-time student, Kesling is also a sushi chef. He said he plans one day to open up his own restaurant, and as a board member he now is in a better position to understand the mechanics of the business world.

"Rowan is fusing real-life companies into the learning experience at the Tech Park," he said, "and this provides a great benefit for students. The community and Rowan seem to be merging into a single entity focused on giving students the best education and experience possible."

As a graduate student, Fillman emphasized the significance of students serving on the SJTP Board of Directors. "The students' opinions are very important," he said. "There are a number of decisions that the board of directors makes that affect the students' quality of living, their working environment and ultimately their ability to perform research."

Fillman, who plans to work in the electrical engineering field while earning his Ph.D. after graduating, also emphasized the importance of students interacting with the businesses at the Tech Park.

"It is a win-win situation for all groups involved in the work," he said. "It will help create a solid technology industry in southern New Jersey that will increase the quality of living in the area."

Fillman said his ultimate responsibility as a board member­-and as a student-is to voice his opinion and represent the best interests of the students conducting research in the Tech Park. "The graduate students' voice is very important on the SJTP board since we currently reside in the first Tech Park building and have the opportunity to experience the SJTP first hand."

SJTP, located off Rt. 322 at the Rt. 55 interchange in Mantua Township, is a non-profit corporation funded through state and private grants. The goal of SJTP is to lead the economic revitalization of southern New Jersey through an integrated program of science and technology initiatives. SJTP's master plan provides for a 200-acre mixed research and academic technology park campus and is an integral part of the proposed 580-acre Rowan University West Campus.

The recently completed 45,000-square-foot Samuel H. Jones Innovation Center, the first of 25 planned buildings at SJTP, opened in October. A mixed-use facility, the Innovation Center includes laboratories and laboratory/office space for private organizations and for the University's College of Engineering sponsored research and clinics. In addition, the building is the home of the Rohrer College of Business' Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Business Incubator.

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