Additional stories from the Class of 2010
Many of the 2,311 undergraduate students who are earning their bachelor's degrees from Rowan University on Friday, May 14, have interesting stories to share. Here are a few of them:
From PRSSA presidency to the NHL?
Even the most seasoned public relations professional would love to have Rebecca Timms' resume. She's that accomplished.
National president of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), Timms, of Haddon Township, has had internships with the Campbell Soup Company, Cornerstone Bank, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau and Thomas/Boyd Communications, where, as a freshman, she worked on an "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" shoot. But her most recent internship--with the Philadelphia Flyers--has helped her decide on a career path.
"The long hours, little sleep and fast-paced environment can be challenging," Timms says, "but when you go through all that and still love your job, you know you've found your niche. That's what ice hockey is for me."
So, while the Flyers are in hot pursuit of a Stanley Cup, Timms, the fourth Rowan student ever to serve as national president of PRSSA, is working to land a job in media relations with the NHL.
All in the (Rowan) Family
For Army vet, a different kind of ‘boot camp'
Apparently, pursuing an engineering degree at Rowan isn't much different from boot camp. At least Christopher Tilley thinks so.
"The Rowan electrical and computer engineering program is rigorous," says Tilley, of Sicklerville, an Army veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, who is earning his bachelor's degree before moving on to the graduate program in electrical and computer engineering at Rowan in the fall. "Although the class sizes are small, the workload expected in the project-based program comes as a shock to many students.
"The eight-semester Engineering Clinic, the hallmark of the program, is multi-disciplinary, team-based and consists of research, design and development projects. This course is unlike anything taught at most engineering schools. The diversity of life experiences I acquired--and the maturity I developed in the Army--led me to excel in the Engineering Clinic program."
Tilley, who completed his Army service in 2005, had the chance to land an athletic scholarship right out of Washington Township High School. But, he says, he wasn't mature enough to appreciate the opportunity. His Army experience changed that.
"Now, I can now fully appreciate the importance of higher education and the difference it is making in my life," he says.
Seeking sweet success in the business world
Chelsea Freedman is banking on sweet success after graduation.
The management and marketing major from Sicklerville won the $5,000 grand prize in the Business Plan Competition presented by the Rohrer College of Business earlier this spring.
Freedman's business plan is for Sweet Alternatives, an eco-friendly company specializing in creating fresh, all-natural nutritious alternatives to dessert. Freedman, who hopes to attend graduate school in the next few years, is determined to make Sweet Alternatives a viable company. The idea for Sweet Alternatives grew out of Freedman's love of chocolate and her desire to live a healthy lifestyle.
"My goal is to one day make Sweet Alternatives a reality and open my own business," she says. "The company will offer satisfying, guilt-free treats, including all-natural frozen yogurt and homemade baked goods. With Sweet Alternatives, you can have brownies that are packed with veggies, and frozen yogurt made with healthy supplements.
"Without the Business Plan Competition, I don't believe I would have started the business plan so soon," adds Freedman, who is graduating summa cum laude.
Juggling four kids, studies and organ recitals
When Misty Fiske, 32, enrolled at Rowan, she was pregnant with her fourth child. The music/education/organ major, who is separated, somehow maintained her studies--and a job as a church organist--while still meeting the school bus every day after school.
"After graduation, I plan to sleep," jokes the Port Norris resident. "My experiences at Rowan changed my perspective, enhanced my world and have given me many opportunities that I did not think were possible."
Fiske currently serves as the organist/music director at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Vineland. As she looks to land a teaching job, she'll spend the summer running music programs for children and adults out of her local library.
Next on the dream to-do list: Studying immigration law
If you're a betting person, bet on Vanessa Betanco to continue to achieve her dreams.
Betanco, of Camden, believes in making your own path to success. How else do you explain how Betanco--a teenage mother at age 16--is graduating, just a decade after entering the U.S. as an immigrant from Nicaragua, with so many of her dreams already fulfilled? Betanco is the proud 24-year-old single mother of two healthy children. She holds a full-time job. She's a homeowner. And she's receiving her bachelor's degree from Rowan in law and justice studies.
"My parents never imagined that having my daughter so young would make me even more determined to continue with my education," says Betanco. "Graduating from college is fulfilling my biggest dream yet."
But Betanco has another goal.
"My next dream is to become an immigration lawyer," she says. "I now know that I can do anything I put my mind to, and that's good for both me and my children."