Leading the class

Leading the class

From Medical School to Whitney Center, lots new at Rowan for 2011-12.

At some schools, the construction of a Medical School alone would be enough to cause dancing in the streets.

But at Rowan, rapid construction of our new Medical School is but one of many changes greeting new and returning students for the 2011-12 academic year.

Others include a brand new food court and entertainment area in the Chamberlain Student Center, the opening of the Whitney Center on Rowan Boulevard, new walkways and lighting around campus, and a redesigned student advising and career counseling center.

Call me a doctor


Among the most dramatic changes this year is the fast-evolving Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Scheduled for a summer 2012 opening, the Medical School building is rising fast over the streets of Camden.

“The steel is up and the concrete is poured,” said Dr. Paul Katz, founding dean of CMSRU.

Among many features, the 200,000 square-foot facility will include 25 active learning rooms, an auditorium with seating for 250, a large multipurpose room with seating for 140, and a learning commons and satellite medical library.

As the fall semester begins, the site is awash with activity on all six floors.

“Some of the most complex work now underway is the auditorium, a tiered, high-tech space which we’ll use for teaching as well as special events,” Dr. Katz said.

Associate Dean Dr. Valerie Weil said the entire structure will be wired for the digital age.

“The whole building will be interconnected,” Dr. Weil said. “If, for example, we have something of interest in the auditorium, we can broadcast it to the active learning rooms, to Rowan’s Glassboro or Camden campuses, or anywhere else in the world via live video streaming.”

Doctors Katz and Weil said CMSRU, which received accreditation in June, will feature a forward-thinking curriculum to match its building’s modern design.

“At most other schools, medical education hasn’t changed a lot in the last hundred years,” Dr. Katz said. “The curriculum we’ve designed allows for much less of the traditional lecture-heavy instruction. A much bigger focus will be on case studies, self-directed learning and problem solving.”

Added Dr. Weil: “We wanted to do something new not just because it’s new but to fit the paradigm of healthcare as it is today and will be in the future.”

CMSRU will accept 50 students into its inaugural class and is projected to accept up to 100 students per year over time for a peak-projected enrollment of 400 students. Interviews for the first class begin this fall.

Dine in, have fun

Also new for 2011-12 is a food court and entertainment center on the first floor of the Chamberlain Student Center featuring dozens of dining options and a state-of-the-art gaming and entertainment area. Food options include Mexican, BBQ, fried chicken and wings, salads, sandwiches and more.

Following a $750,000 makeover that began last February, the food court, a large L-shaped space, features new flooring, lighting and seating and a wide array of entertainment options including video game stations, shuffleboard, ping-pong and pinball.

“It’s an entirely new environment,” said Vincent Surace, facilities operations coordinator for the Student Center. “Our students work hard. The idea here was to build a place to get away and just have fun in.”

The new food court compliments Prof’s Place, a bistro/lounge space and late-night dining spot down the hall, and the Marketplace, Rowan’s main food service area in the Student Center.

“I’m really happy with it,” said Janay Hair, a senior music education major from Millville. “I like the atmosphere – the lighting in the ceiling, the new flooring, the gaming systems. I think it’s beneficial and I think a lot of students will take advantage of it.”

Walk this way

It’s not the Yellow Brick Road but if the way to Oz was paved in red it might look something like this. Three hundred feet of brick-paved walkway installed this summer now snakes through the shady turf along Route 322. The new walkways lead from Memorial Hall to Route 322 and from the Townhouses to Winans Hall.

The walkways, which match brick paths aross 322 near Savitz Hall, complement the college-red brick of many campus buildings, particularly on the south side of campus.

In addition to the walkways, 15 new lights were installed along Carpenter Street this summer and 27 more, from the railroad tracks along Route 322 to Winans, will be installed this autumn.

In addition, more than 125 trees were planted across campus this summer as part of the university’s reforestation plan. The tree planting program will continue around the athletic fields and residence halls on Rowan’s northern side this fall.

Along the Boulevard: Whitney Center opening

Rowan Boulevard, the $300 million private-public partnership that is redrawing the face of Glassboro, took a huge step toward completion this summer with work in the final stages of the sprawling Whitney Center.

A mixed-use structure at the corner of Rowan Boulevard and Redmond Avenue - diagonally across from the Barnes & Noble Collegiate Superstore – the Whitney Center will contain 22,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and housing for students from the Thomas N. Bantivoglio Honors Concentration in a separate, secure wing.

Students began moving into the Whitney Center in late August and a grand opening is planned for later this month.

Carol Thompson, interim coordinator for the honors concentration, said designated housing for honors students will help build a sense of community within the program.

“Students who feel they are a part of a community tend to be more engaged in their studies and this new home will certainly help build that sense of community,” Thompson said.


CAP Center becomes CMC and CAAdE

Rowan’s Career and Academic Planning Center in Savitz Hall, long a great resource for students changing majors or plotting their career (as well as for alumni), this summer became the Career Management Center and the Center for Academic Advising & Exploration.

CMC and CAAdE staff said separating the CAP Center makes the most of resources and will simplify guidance for both students and alumni.

Kristen diNovi, director of the CAAdE, explainted that the center's mission is twofold – assisting a set of majors (including the Exploratory Studies population) in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Rowan’s largest college, as well as students from across the university who are considering a change of major.

Dr. diNovi said as many as 50% of all college students change majors at least once and many need guidance in choosing the one that’s right for them.

“Whether you’re in a declared major or not, students should keep their options open to other possibilities, as college exposes students to subjects they previously haven’t experienced,” Dr. diNovi said.

Lizziel Sullivan Williams, director of the CMC, said once students find a major that’s right for them they need to start building experience.

She said internships and other experience builders are essential and that the CMC makes connections with employers and hosts a variety of career fairs.

The center also helps job seekers develop strong resumes as well as strategies for a successful job search.

“Our name has changed but our mission hasn’t,” Sullivan Williams said. “We help develop experience and employability.”