Class of 2013 makes its mark!
Caps. Gowns. Pomp. Circumstance. Achievements. Cheers. Tears. Goodbyes. Hellos.
Rowan University's Undergraduate Commencement 2013 will be held on Friday, May 17, at 10 a.m. on the Bunce Green. The Graduate Commencement ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 16, at 5:30 p.m. in the Richard Wackar Stadium. Each graduate, each new degree holder, each new alumnus has a story to tell. Here is a selection of some of those stories, a look at some of the students who “are” Rowan University.
Congratulations, Class of 2013.
She had it on the table. A $68,000 job offer during a still-struggling economy, a position at a major corporation she could jump into fresh out of college, newly minted chemical engineering degree in hand. Instead, Rowan University’s Kelly Barb, 21, is heading to Guinea in West Africa on July 1 to teach high school-level math for 27 months as one of the newest members of the Peace Corps. She had her sights set on volunteering with the prominent non-profit organization since her first year at Rowan.
April Lee planned on attending a graduation ceremony this year. She expected to sit in the audience with her husband, Alfred II, and youngest son Aran, watching with pride as oldest son Alfred William Lee III (Will) crossed the stage at Williamstown High School to receive his high school diploma. Instead, she will be attending her own commencement ceremony at Rowan University on May 16 earning her second master’s degree. Her husband and Aran will be in the bleachers cheering her. Her son Will will be there in sprit.
As the Rowan community celebrates more than 2,300 graduates in 2013, two represent an especially big milestone – the first in Rowan at Camden’s inaugural doctoral cohort to successfully defend their dissertations. Career educators Denise Jones and Jacqueline Flemmings were among 26 students who began the doctoral in educational leadership in 2009, a program geared toward improving education in urban school districts.
This one’s kind of a fairy tale. Brooke Golden and Lewis Bivona love Rowan. And they love each other. So they’re getting married on campus after Commencement because it was here that their happiness really came into full bloom. Lewis and Brooke, who dated in high school at Cherry Hill West and grew ever closer after coming to Rowan, will celebrate Commencement May 17 and wed outside Hollybush one week later. The couple, graduating with four majors, three minors and two concentrations between them, will honeymoon at Bonnaroo, a four-day music festival in Tennessee, then relocate to Portland, Ore., where Lewis will start graduate school in the fall and Brooke found a position with an international aid organization.
Jeffrey Ritter knows he’s on the right track, but don’t expect him to brag about it. After all, the accounting major is graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, his professor calls him “possibly his best accounting student ever,” he’s sitting for the Certified Public Accountant exam this summer and then he’s off to the University of Notre Dame on a graduate assistantship.
Lauren Wederich is an experienced traveler. As an undergraduate, Wederich studied abroad in Florence, Italy, hiked part of the Appalachian Trail, and visited Cancun and Hawaii. But her next trip will be WAY different. Wederich, a psychology major graduating with a nearly perfect 3.86 grade point average, has been accepted into the prestigious and notoriously choosy Fulbright program and will spend nine months starting this fall in Malaysia, a Southeast Asian monarchy.
The Vegas odds wouldn’t have been good on this. Two friends from the Rowan College of Engineering, Sarah Bauer and Sara Davis, have been accepted into the Ph.D. program at the University of Virginia. Not only have they been accepted, but both will begin fully funded doctoral programs and they’ll room together when they settle down in Charlottesville later this summer.
Cancer survivor turns dream into reality
Shannon Hartey, of Mays Landing, was unhappy after walking by her old playroom at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) at the age of 16. It had been eight years the soon-to-be-minted Rowan University public relations graduate spent her days calling the hospital her home away from home, and everything about the playroom was exactly the same.