Seniors use studies, campus involvement to springboard to Ivy League


Campus leaders Liz Palmer, Jessica Prach and Kristen Brozina have used their involvment in activities and academic excellence to gain admission to the graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania.

Campus involvement matters.

Nobody knows that better than Liz Palmer, Jessica Prach and Kristen Brozina.

The three women each excelled academically in their respective studies at Rowan University. But then each of them took their Rowan experience to extraordinary levels by also being über involved in a host of campus activities.

The result? Palmer, Prach and Brozina, three campus leaders who will earn their bachelor's degrees from Rowan on Friday, May 14, each have gained admission to the graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania.

A political science major from Newton with a concentration in women's and gender studies, Palmer will pursue her master's degree in social policy from Penn's School of Social Policy and Practice in the fall.

Prach, of Chester, a psychology major with concentrations in African-American Studies and leadership studies (College of Education), has been accepted to Penn's Graduate School of Education, where she'll pursue her master's degree in higher education administration in September.

Brozina, an English major and theater minor from Millville with concentrations in women's and gender studies and African-American Studies, was accepted to Penn's Master of Liberal Arts Program. But Brozina will postpone graduate work for a year as she writes a book about the remarkable 3,218-night reading streak she shared with her father. Brozina has secured a literary agent and a publisher for the work, which is slated for a Father's Day release next year.

All three accomplished young women agree their campus involvement has been tantamount to their success...and to their development as leaders--and people.

"Getting involved during my time as an undergraduate at Rowan was the best decision I have ever made," says Palmer, current president of Rowan's Student Government Association (SGA). "I have seen myself grow both personally and professionally. I believe that all of my leadership positions have served as unique opportunities to serve the campus and local community, while also bettering myself and my future."

Palmer was the student representative on the University's Board of Trustees for two years, served on the Rowan Foundation Board of Directors, and was a resident assistant in Laurel Hall. She received the "Finer Woman of the Year Award" from Zeta Phi Beta sorority and served on numerous university committees-from the president's advisory board to the master plan committee. She also received both the Distinguished Senior Medallion and the Political Science Medallion from the Department of Political Science.

"Through several of my undergraduate experiences, I've had the opportunity to see first hand how law and policy directly affect the lives of citizens in every community," adds Palmer, who wants to pursue a career as a public servant serving as an advocate for women in a national level.

An Admissions Ambassador at Rowan for four years, Prach served as coordinator of the program for two, managing and overseeing 70 students who give tours to prospective students and their families. She has been recording secretary for the SGA, coordinator of the Freshman Officer Interest Program, an academic senator for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and president of the HELP Hotline, which provides psychological assistance to students in need.

After Penn, she envisions a career in student services at a university and, perhaps, down the road, a doctorate.

"I was really, really shy when I came to Rowan--painfully shy," says Prach. "But freshman year, I kind of tried everything. I've had a great experience here.

"As an Ambassador, I really enjoy being able to talk to families and to see their excitement about Rowan. I value trying to make students' college experience better, helping students to be engaged at the college level."

Also a resident assistant in Laurel Hall, Brozina was named "Resident Assistant of the Year" after only six months in the position. Senior editor for Avant, Rowan's student literary magazine, and Venue, the alternative press magazine, she also directed the cast of a student production of "The Vagina Monologues" for three straight years. Last year, Brozina became certified as a SERV (Services Empowering Rights of Women) counselor to assist women who have been victims of sexual assault.

"Rowan is the perfect size when you're trying to make an impact. It's so easy," says Brozina, who will publish her book with Grand Central Publishing of New York City.

After graduate school at Penn, her career plans include working with women and children in non-profit community arts organizations.

"I want to work with the arts in some form--with children, women, the community--and then jumble that all together," says Brozina, recipient of the English Department's Richard Mitchell Scholarship.