PROFessional of the Month

PROFessional of the Month

PROFessional of the Month

The PROFessional of the Month program has been established by the SPC to recognize, on a monthly basis, exemplary Rowan faculty and staff as nominated by fellow members of the University community.

The program is for faculty and staff at any level across all University campuses. The monthly recipient, chosen by the Strategic Priorities Council’s Employee Recognition Committee, will receive a special visit by the committee’s Prof Patrol, a merry band of professionals dedicated to recognizing—and celebrating—outstanding work by Rowan employees. Nominations are solicited each month via Rowan Daily Mail.


May 2019: Office of Clinical Experiences, College of Education

Congratulations to the Office of Clinical Experiences, Rowan University’s PROFessionals of the Month!

A team of dedicated professionals, the Office of Clinical Experiences--placement coordinator Karen Opar, placement specialist Lauren Mohlin, and placement assistants Connie Raffa, Lisa Wisniewski and Kate Doherty--provides critical support and services for every educator preparation program in the College of Education.

The team collaborates with students, advisers, faculty, staff and representatives from schools throughout the state, country and even abroad to secure 3,000 field placements for students each academic year, according to a colleague.

“OCE meets every challenge head on with the utmost professionalism, dedication, and determination balanced with compassion and a great sense of humor,” a colleague says. “Without OCE, the programs within the College of Education would be unable to function.”

Congratulations, OCE team members, for your hard work on behalf of Rowan University and our future teachers.


 College of Ed - Office of Clinical Experiences,  PROF of the Month May 2019


April 2019: Harold Thompson, Academic Adviser, University Advising Services

Congratulations to Harold Thompson, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month!

With professionalism, friendliness and a keen knowledge of the University and its services for students, Harold is a valued adviser to the School of Earth & Environment and the Department of Political Science & Economics, colleagues and students say.

“If he doesn’t have an answer, he knows who does,” a faculty member says. “He listens carefully to students so that his advisement is always perfectly tailored to student interests and skills while fulfilling departmental and University requirements. He’s a caring and diligent colleague who elevates the academic experience of our Department and the University.”

“Without Harold’s excellent advising, deep expertise and devoted work ethic, our programs would not be able to thrive as they now do,” another colleague says.

Adds a student advisee: “He is personable and professional and knows how to navigate the details of the academic system with insights that might escape the undergraduate…as is can be intimidating to even the most diligent student.”

Congratulations, Harold. Thank you for all of your hard work advising our students!


Harold Thompson - PROF of the Month April 2019


March 2019: John Lyden, Network Engineer, Information Resources & Technology

Congratulations to John Lyden, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month!

With unyielding dedication to students, faculty and staff, John is a leader on a team that is responsible for designing and supporting the University’s network infrastructure.

His on-the-front-lines work ensures that the University community has access to the internet, surveillance, telephone and storage services.

“John always goes above and beyond to do what he can to support the University and the surrounding community,” a colleague says. “His tireless dedication to the students, faculty and staff at Rowan is deserving of recognition.”

Thank you, John, for all that you do! Congratulations.


John Lyden PROF of the Month March 2019


February 2019: Melissa Vadino, Assistant Supervisor, Academic Scheduling

Congratulations to Melissa Vadino, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month!

In her role in University Scheduling, Melissa reviews hundreds of requests for the use of academic space and works seamlessly to coordinate all requests efficiently and effectively, a colleague says.

“She works tirelessly, day in and day out, to provide customer service that supports the entire campus, including faculty, staff and students,” a colleague says. “If a last-minute situation arises, Melissa jumps in to help, regularly going above and beyond her responsibilities in find solutions to problems that others couldn’t solve. She’s an outside-the-box crucial thinker who dedicates herself to making Rowan a better place.”

Congratulations, Melissa. We appreciate all that you do.


Melissa Vadino PROF of the Month February 2019


January 2019: Maria Arbizo, Assistant Director, and the PROS (Peer Referral Orientation Staff), Orientation and Leadership Programs

Congratulations to Maria Arbizo and members of the PROS, Rowan University’s PROFessionals of the Month!

Every June and July, Maria and PROS team members welcome new students to campus during overnight orientations. But during the month of January, Maria and the PROS also welcomed more than 700 first-year and transfer students to Rowan “through engaging and thoughtful orientation programs that took advantage of some of the best practices observed nationally,” a colleague says.

“Maria works to engage the entire campus community in Orientation, making sure students can meet with academic advisers, financial aid representatives and housing staff to connect students with resources and alleviate the mountain of stress that usually comes with starting a new university.

“Rowan is better served because we have Maria and the PROS at our welcome mat.”

Well done, Maria and PROS members. You make us Rowan PROUD!


Maria Arbizo and the PROS, PROF of the Month January 2019


December 2018: Vinnie Surace, Administrator, RowanCard Services

Congratulations to Vinnie Surace, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month!

A Rowan employee for 14 years, Vinnie moved into the RowanCard Services office in April and made an immediate, positive impact, a colleague says.

“He hit the ground running,” the colleague says. “His customer service skills are impeccable and he treats every person who calls or comes into the office with a positive attitude and a smile. He does not hesitate to jump right in with any new tasks.”

Surace’s technological skills have been an asset to the department and he has become a valuable mentor to student workers, the colleague says.

“His commitment and dedication to the University are top notch.”

Congratulations, Vinnie. Thank you for your outstanding contributions to Rowan University!

 Vinnie Surace December 2018 PROFessional of the Month


November 2018: Technology Support Center Team, Information Resources & Technology.

Congratulations to the members of the Technology Support Center Team, Rowan University’s PROFessionals of the Month!

The first line of defense for technological issues, the Technology Support Center team “answers each call and every email professionally and as quickly as possible to ensure our Rowan community is a success,” a colleague says.

“They are the first line of defense for any issues that occur for faculty, staff and students and they also are the team that fields all switchboard calls and routes them to the correct department. I’m proud to be their colleague.”

Congratulations to all members of the Technology Support Center Team. Thank you for all that you do!

IRT PROFessionals of the Month November 2018


October 2018: Ruben Britt Jr., Assistant Director, Office of Career Advancement

Congratulations to Ruben Britt Jr., Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for October!

A 20-year veteran of higher education in the areas of academic advisement and career counseling, Ruben is a go-to source for his colleagues in the Office of Career Advancement and for scores of his fellow employees across the University, his co-workers say. He shines as a career counselor and is a valued mentor, they add.

“Every aspect of the Office of Career Advancement has had his personal signature, such as prior career initiatives, mentoring programs, career fairs, industry events, resume writing workshops, and mock interviews, a colleague says. “And he mentored 95 percent of the Office of Career Advancement interns who developed into higher education professionals.”

A prolific writer of books and articles and a frequent presenter at national conferences, Ruben “always shows up to help students, alumni and staff. I admire him,” a co-worker adds.

Thank you, Ruben, for your terrific longtime contributions to Rowan University!

 Rubin Britt October PROFessional of the Month


September 2018: Christopher Fields, Supervisor of Academic Scheduling, Division of Student Affairs

Congratulations to Christopher Fields, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for September!

Lightning fast with his responses to colleagues with scheduling requests, Chris is an “exemplar of professionalism” whose work ensured a smooth start to the academic year, colleagues say.

Working behind the scenes, Chris epitomizes custom service, student-centeredness, and teamwork. He does it outside the limelight and without the praise he deserves. His attention to detail and commitment to problem solving ensure that the Rowan community is able to access the facilities they need. On top of that, he is always generous, patient, and kind. His helping, can-do attitude is infectious,” a colleague says.

“He is dedicated and goes above and beyond,” adds another colleague. “If the department has an issue with scheduling, he is always friendly and willing to help out.”

Congratulations, Chris, and thank you for all that you do!

Chris Fields September 2018 PROFessional of the Month 


August 2018: Donald Bland, Senior building maintenance worker (Posthumous honor)

The only thing that sparkled more than James Hall was Donald Bland’s smile, his co-workers said.

Donald, who passed away suddenly from complications from surgery over the summer, was nominated for PROFessional of the Month by many colleagues who appreciated his extraordinary work ethic—and great attitude—in keeping James Hall clean on a daily basis. He was honored posthumously for the honor.

“You will not find anyone in this university who made more of an impact on my attitude and happiness while working here at Rowan, a colleague says. “He had a warm, friendly greeting for every single person in the building and he handily managed what easily could be the work of two or three.”

Adds another colleague: “He embodied everything we value at Rowan – hard work, competence, helpfulness and caring for others.  I am really feeling the loss of seeing him each day.  It is fitting that we remember Donald in a significant way.”

In 2017, Donald received the University-wide Customer Service Award during the annual Celebrating Excellence Awards ceremony (photo below).

We are thankful for all of Donald’s contributions toward making Rowan—and, especially, James Hall--a wonderful place to work.

 Donald Bland August 2018 PROFessional of the Month


July 2018: Anna Frisone, Administrative Assistant, College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Congratulations to Anna Frisone, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for July!

In the bustling Department of Law & Justice Studies, Anna Frisone is the anchor, her colleagues say. That’s saying something considering that the department--the largest in CHSS and one of the largest at Rowan--boasts 900 majors, 17 faculty, and three professional advisers.

To better serve students, Anna devised a sophisticated check-in system for advising appointments, one that was replicated by other University departments. She created a similar system to accommodate appointments for students applying for internships, a colleague says.

“Anna’s strategies and assistance have helped us serve students more efficiently,” a colleague says. “She is valued in a way that makes her critical to the department.”

Adds another: “Her warm demeanor and full understanding of the department make her a go-to person. We have experienced significant growth over the last few years. Her work remains exemplary.”

Congratulations, Anna. Thank you for all that you do for Rowan University!

Anna Frisone - July 2018 PROFessional of the Month


June 2018: Nadia Rahin, Professional Adviser, College of Education

Congratulations to Nadia Rahin, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for June!

Professional, proactive and positive, Nadia Rahin always keeps students’ needs at the forefront of her work, her colleagues in the College of Education say.

“Nadia continually ensures that students in our education program get the resources they need to be successful,” a colleague says. “She has the largest caseload of advisers in the college and has extensive knowledge of degree requirements and of students’ diverse needs.”

Nadia, the colleague adds, “has taken initiative and has served as a leader in the College during a time of significant transition for our program and students. She does whatever she can to help students when they have an issue. We are fortunate to have her as a colleague.”

Thank you, Nadia, for all that you do. Congratulations!

Nadia Rahin - June 2018 PROFessional of the Month


May 2018: Rory Grossman, User Experience Designer, Office of Strategic Planning and Enrollment

Congratulations to Rory Grossman, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for May!

Hard-working, compassionate and exceptionally talented, Rory brings a can-do attitude to his work that’s infectious, his colleagues say.

“He is a significant asset to our organization. He is open to new ideas and encourages innovative approaches,” a colleague says. “Rory is committed to doing what it takes to get the job done right even when confronted with what seems to be impossible deadlines.”

Colleagues add that Rory always is the first to volunteer on a divisional or University-wide project and has contributed exceptionally to the University’s ADA and Media Accessibility Committee. 

Kudos to you, Rory, and thank you for all that you do!

May 2018 PROFessional of the Month - Rory Grossman


April 2018  (Individual award): Dawn Green, Receptionist, Rowan Global

Congratulations to Dawn Green, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for April!

Helpful, upbeat and dedicated to serving students, Dawn “goes above and beyond to serve all students and customers she comes in contact with,” says a colleague.

“She is always pleasant, greeting everyone she meets with a smile and a willingness to help,” the colleague adds, noting that Dawn willingly goes the extra mile to provide extraordinary customer service.

Thank you, Dawn, for all that you do!

 Dawn Green April PROFessional of the Month


April 2018 (Team award): Christina Simmons, Dan Dantinne and Brenda Harkins, Department of Psychology

Congratulations to Christina Simmons, Dan Dantinne, Brenda Harkins, Rowan University’s PROFessionals of the Month for April!

Christina, Dan and Brenda are exceptionally supportive of students—and student-led initiatives such as club meetings and fund raisers—within the Department of Psychology, their student nominator says. Christina is an assistant professor. Dan is assistant to the department chair and Brenda is secretary to the department. The trio is the first team recognized as PROFessionals of the Month by the selection committee.

“All of them have impacted my life as a student in a positive way and made my University experience a better one,” the student nominator says, praising Christina for being a strong role model, Dan for his support of student club fundraisers, and Brenda for her extraordinary service to students.

You make us #RowanPROUD, Christina, Dan and Brenda. Thank you!

April Team Psychology PROFessional of the Month


March 2018: Marianne McCulley, Administrative Assistant, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Congratulations to Marianne McCulley, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for March!

With more than four decades of service to the University, Marianne stands out for her wealth of knowledge, her student-centeredness, her resourcefulness, her problem solving skills, and her cheerful attitude, her colleagues say.

“Marianne exceeds expectations in serving our department and our students,” a colleague says.

As an administrative assistant and office manager, she demonstrates superb communication skills and remains in contact with each and every member of our department. She is constantly dealing with all members to keep us up-to-date on what the department needs to comply with so that everything runs smoothly.”

Thank you, Marianne, for everything you do.

 March 2018 PROF of the Month Marianne McCulley


February 2018: Ryan Barrett, Multimedia Specialist, Rowan Athletics

Congratulations to Ryan Barrett, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for February!

With creativity, positive energy and a caring attitude, Ryan promotes Rowan’s athletic teams through video and social media. Through his work, the Profs’ social media accounts are among the best in the nation in Division III. The Rowan Athletics Instagram and Twitter accounts are ranked first in the New Jersey Athletic Conference and also are ranked nationally, as is the Profs’ Facebook presence. Ryan has worked diligently to ensure that every sports team at Rowan has its own engaging—and fun—social media presence, according to his colleagues.

Ryan can be found at practices and games as he works to support the athletic programs in a way that unites students, faculty/staff, alumni and community members, his co-workers say.

“I have no doubt that Ryan’s commitment to his craft and to the student-athletes makes their experience at Rowan that much better,” a colleague says. “He truly cares about Rowan athletics and the University as a whole. He will go above and beyond in everything he does to ensure the institution is seen in a positive light.”

Thank you, Ryan, for all that you do!

 Ryan Barrett PROFessional of the month Feb 2018


January 2018: Jim Hassett, Facilities, Rowan University Camden Academic Building

Congratulations to Jim Hassett, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for January!

Every day, Jim works to make sure that the historic Camden Academic Building is in tip top shape. And he does so with a great, can-do attitude and exceptional Rowan pride, his colleagues say.

Jim is responsible for cleaning and maintaining all five floors of the building, which houses Rowan Global, academic classes and pre-college programs that bring middle school and high school students to campus on a regular basis.

“I am always impressed with Jim’s workmanship, his extra care, dedication, responsible and respectful attitude toward all, and his meticulous performance,” a colleague says.

Adds another: “He is a Rowan treasure.”

Thank you, Jim, for all that you do!

Jim Hassett PROFessional of the Month January 2018 


December 2017: Betty-Jo Sorbello, Secretary, Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education, College of Education

Congratulations to Betty-Jo Sorbello, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for December!

A Rowan employee for two decades, Betty-Jo performs her work in the College of Education with a helpful attitude and an exceedingly kind demeanor. Organized and thorough, she adeptly assists everyone in her department…from faculty to adjuncts to professional staff to students, a colleague says.

“She can help with just about everything and, if not, she knows who can,” a colleague says. “She is a great asset to the College of Education.”

Thank you, Betty-Jo, for all that you do!

 Betty-Jo Sorbello PROFessional of the Month December 2017


November 2017: June Ragone, Operations Research Analyst, IRT-Analytics, Systems & Applications

Congratulations to June Ragone, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for November!

June worked with the Student Hunger on Campus (SHOC) Research Team to design and deliver a survey on food insecurity on campus to the entire population of Rowan undergraduate students. Her diligent work, exceptional attention to detail, advisement, reliability and timeliness resulted in a survey that gave the SHOC team valuable insights into the issue of student hunger on campus.

“June is the consummate professional, always willing to help her fellow colleagues,” a colleague says.

Adds another: “Not only did her expertise and collegiality elevate the quality of our work, it will, most importantly, serve those Rowan University students who need it most. We are extremely grateful for her hard work.”

Thank you, June, for all that you do!

June Ragone PROFessional of the Month November 2017


October 2017: Rita Piccioni, Director of Accounting, Accounting Services

Congratulations to Rita Piccioni, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for October!

Even with several key departures in the accounting department, Rita Piccioni and her staff have continued to provide excellent service and support to the University’s external auditors to ensure that Rowan’s annual financial statement audits were completed and delivered on time to the State of New Jersey, a colleague notes. “Through the experience, opportunities to improve the year-end process were identified and implemented.  Rita also continually assists as a team player always willing to lend a helping hand when it is needed,” her colleague says.

Thank you, Rita, for all that you do!

Rita Piccioni PROFessional of the Month October 2017


September 2017: Lynne Yarnell, Assistant Manager of Marketing, Rowan SOM

Congratulations to Lynne Yarnell, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for September!

Over the past 18 months, Lynne has been instrumental in a transformation of Rowan SOM Marketing that doubled the department’s productivigy and greatly increased access to marketing opportunities for SOM departments and student organizations. “Lynne’s creativity and experience also has breathed new life into the marketing of Rowan Medicine,” says a colleague. Furthermore, Yarnell oversees “a robust social media outreach” that has more than tripled Rowan Medicine’s Facebook followers this year, her colleague adds.

Thank you, Lynne, for all that you do!

Lynne Yarnell PROFessional of the Month September 2017 


August 2017: Amy Barraclough, Director, Edelman Planetarium

Congratulations to Amy Barraclough, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for August!

As director of the Edelman Planetarium, Amy organized, hosted and worked to publicize the Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on campus on August 21. More than 10,000 people crowded onto campus to view the eclipse. “Amy did an excellent job ensuring there were activities for all, creating a wonderful community event for the South Jersey region,” a colleague says. “She created a team of volunteers and worked with public safety and Rowan EMS to ensure the event was a safe and successful one.”

Thank you, Amy, for all that you do!

Amy Baraclough PROFessional of the Month August 2017 and members of CSM


July 2017: Clarissa Shoemaker, Administrative Assistant, Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Congratulations to Clarissa Shoemaker, Rowan University’s PROFessional of the Month for July!

In her work with the Faculty Center, Clarissa stands out or her diligence, attention, to detail—and her ever-positive attitude, her colleagues say. “In our quiet office in James Hall, you can find Clarissa always working ahead of schedule for our big projects, while, at the same time, managing the day-to-day tasks with efficiency and ease,” a colleague says. “She also volunteers her time to assist with other events across campus, such as Commencement. And she does all of this with a happy face. She is committed to Rowan and takes pride in her work.”

Thank you, Clarissa, for all that you do!

July 2017 PROFessional of the Month Clarissa Shoemaker with her team