Professionals of the Month

Professionals of the Month

PROFessionals of the Month

The focus of the PROFessionals of the Month program is to recognize, on a monthly basis, exemplary Rowan employees as nominated by fellow members of the University community.

The program is for faculty, staff, or employee groups at any level across all University campuses. The monthly recipient(s), chosen by the Employee Recognition Committee, will receive a special visit by the committee’s Prof Patrol, a group of professionals dedicated to recognizing—and celebrating—outstanding work by Rowan employees.

Nominations can be submitted for individual employees, work groups or project teams. The ideal candidate will have played a major role in a recent, exceptional accomplishment, preferably in the month they have been nominated for (Examples: Completion of a high impact task or project, successful organization of an event, receipt of an award for an outstanding accomplishment, etc.).  

To nominate faculty, staff, or a team of professionals for the PROFessional(s) of the Month, send an email, in 200 words or less, explaining why your nominee(s) should be recognized to by the end of the month. Feel free to re-submit nominations that were previously submitted!

Which Rowan professional or team of professionals has gone above and beyond the call of duty in serving the University community? Who in the past month exhibited terrific student engagement, customer service, and teamwork, exemplifying all that is terrific about Rowan professionals?  

In short, who should be Rowan’s PROFessional(s) of the Month?




March, 2021        

Rowan Athletic Training Staff

Steve Schultz, Colleen Grugan, and Chris Pantellere 

    POM March 2021 pic 1.jpg POM March 2021 pic 2.jpg

 Congratulations to the Rowan Athletic Training Staff for being selected as the March PROFessionals of the Month!

 In an unprecedented year in the world, let alone our Athletics Department, the athletic training staff of Colleen Grugan, Steven Schultz and Christopher Pantellere have stood strong, worked tirelessly, and have been our first call at all times. They have made significant contributions over the past year assisting our coaches and student athletes in coping with the pandemic and those efforts have really been magnified recently as athletics has returned to competition. They take care of over 650 student athletes and 18 athletic programs that all have different training needs. They were exceptional with steering us through the NCAA mandates of testing and new protocols, all while maintaining safety, providing great health care, and top of the line support.  

Like most other areas, this staff has had to reinvent how to safely operate during these times. The difference is that they had to find ways to do so while allowing athletes to practice and compete as well as treating athletic injuries and recoveries. They were instrumental in establishing and coordinating contact tracing within teams, as well as testing protocols to allow for competition to resume. The team also provided significant input on best practices for holding contests while social distancing. Additionally, the group continued to mentor athletic training students and give them practical experiences for their professional development. 

Most importantly, student athletes have an established comfort level and strong relationships with the athletic training, providing an additional outlet for those students. The training staff could then direct the students to seek help through the proper channels if need be. They have been a literal safety net for the student athletes, athletic training students, and staff of the Athletic Department from a wellness stand point. 

These individuals have consistently been diligent in caring for all of the members of the Athletic Department as well as others in the Rowan community. Those traits have had to expand exponentially in these times and they have risen to the task admirably. 

This month we have been able to return to spring sports competition, a major hurdle for us in returning to some form of normalcy. The athletic training staff helped put us in the position to be able to do so safely. They are most deserving of recognition in a normal year, in a normal month, let alone now when we would be lost without them. Because of this team’s commitment to the University, and extraordinary efforts during a challenging time, we honor this group as the March PROFessionals of the Month. Great job, team!! 

February, 2021       

Robert Thorpe and the Rowan Entertainment Technology 3-D Print Team


    Robert Thorpe                   Dirk Durossette              Thomas Fusco      Alex Dossantos               



      Stephen Minder                    Andrew Robinson                    Gregg Carter

Congratulations to Robert Thorpe and the Rowan Entertainment Technology 3-D Print Team for being selected as the February PROFessionals of the Month!

In March, 2020, Rowan had just released plans for a Re-useable 3D-Printed Face mask. Around the same time, Robert Thorpe (Lighting Designer for the Dept. of Theatre and Dance) was researching new technologies to share with his students upon their return for the Fall semester. He believed that 3D Printing was a technology worth pursuing so he purchased a 3D printer to learn and use.

He used the machine to print a mask and thought that others might like to have one. So, he decided to use his government stimulus money to purchase three more machines so plenty of masks could be printed over the summer. Robert then decided to form a team called the: Rowan Entertainment Technology 3-D Print Team.

Robert talked to his colleagues and supplied Professor Tom Fusco (Theatre Technical Director), Dirk Durossette (Scenic Designer) and Alex Dossantos (Theatre Graduate and former Lighting Assistant) with the additional three machines once they arrived. He contacted lighting student Stephen Minder and Technical Theatre Graduates Gregg Carter and Andrew Robinson who already owned 3D printers. Each of the team members committed to printing at least 25 of the masks at their homes before the Fall semester would start.

By September, the team had printed over 150 masks and filter holders. The masks were distributed to all of the students in the Department of Theatre and Dance as kits including the mask, the filter holder, two pieces of gauze and elastic straps. Students taking classes remotely or living off campus had mask kits shipped to them so they would be part of the project.

The group then created a Practicum project called the COVID-19 Halloween Mask Decorating Project. The students were asked to create and decorate using their wildest imaginations. Photos of the students in the Practicum classes uploaded a picture of themselves wearing their mask to the Theatre/Dance Instagram and Facebook pages. The project became a contest with the top 3 winners receiving prizes for the most artistic/cool/fun/crazy/wild/artsy/exciting mask (the prizes were paid for by a donation from Professor Fusco).



Our ultimate goal of the Mask Decorating Project was to give every single one of our Theatre and Dance students the opportunity to join a project they could all be involved in to connect with and interact with their fellow students by creating something fun and artistic. It was one way we could think of to bring our entire student body together to join in as a team during this strange and difficult time.

January, 2021       

Campbell Library Access Services Team 

Congratulations to the Campbell Library Access Services Team for being selected as the January PROFessionals of the Month!

Throughout this past semester, Campbell Library remained open seven days a week, which was a challenge for the staff members who make up the library’s Access Services Team. They understood that teamwork is essential to dealing with difficult circumstances. The staff readily volunteered to cover shifts for colleagues who were quarantined, allowing the group to continue to run the Information Desk on the first floor and maintain the building. Behind the scenes they also provided Inter-Library Loan services that are essential for researchers, faculty, and students. They are also responsible to shelve returned books and repair heavily used print materials. 

Under the leadership of Nancy Demaris, the team consistently provided outstanding customer service as they continued to welcome students to the building, check out materials and assist with printing issues. For remote students, they scanned materials and ordered electronic resources from partner libraries. Throughout the day, team members monitored the library chat service, answering questions related to hours and resources. 

Their tireless work to keep the Campbell Library open to the Rowan community during the pandemic was inspiring. The Campbell Library is the heart of the Rowan campus and the Access Services staff did an outstanding job staying open, providing high quality services and keeping the Rowan intellectual community alive and thriving. The intellectual output of Rowan is not possible without the Campbell Library and the amazing work done by the Access Services staff. 

The Access Services Team includes: Dan Pugh, Cyndy Holland, Elaine Gatton, Rochelle Mead-Wroniuk, Judith Kinkade, Chante Dingle, Marryam Naqvi, Brian Praetzel, and Serena Powell. Because of this team’s commitment to the University, and extraordinary efforts during a challenging time, we honor this group as the January PROFessionals of the Month. Great job, team!! 

December, 2020        

Louis Evangelista, Sr. Director of Administration and Operations

Rowan Integrated Special Needs Center (RISN)

Congratulations to Louis Evangelista for being selected as the December PROF of the Month!

If you think finding hand sanitizer was difficult early in the pandemic, imagine trying to find sanitizer, gloves, N95 surgical masks, face shields and personal protective equipment for hundreds of health care workers who never stopped interacting with patients every day throughout the pandemic.

Louis Evangelista did more than help lead the Stratford campus’ pandemic response. He arranged signage that alerted patients and staff to the school’s safety protocols and voluntarily assisted with coronavirus screening of hundreds of individuals who entered the Rowan Medicine Building each day. In the summer, Louis was again at the forefront, helping to design the plans, and the implementation of those plans, for the safe assimilation of students, faculty and staff who returned to the campus in July.  

As if that wasn’t enough, Louis was also simultaneously working with contractors to oversee everything from logistics to lighting of the new, 55,000 square-foot Rowan Medicine-Sewell building that will open to patients in March 2021.

For decades to come, frontline health care workers will deservedly be celebrated for their commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each is a hero whom we cannot thank enough for the lives they saved and the care they provided. But, it is also people like Louis Evangelista, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to be sure that the capacity to deliver that heroic and compassionate care was there when we needed it most. 

November, 2020        

Joe Wicklund, Associate Controller, Accounting Services


Congratulations to Joe Wicklund for being selected as the November PROF of the Month!

In addition to Joe working long hours on the University’s external Audit, he went above and beyond in order to meet the October 1st deadline to file the $12.1 million CARES funding application to the State of New Jersey. Joe was instrumental in coordinating and collecting information and detailing all eligible costs. The application process entailed going through the requirements of the grant to determine recoverable costs, completing additional research, and gathering historical and projected financial information across the University as well as assembling the information in a format that is easy to follow both internally and by the state. The application work was performed in addition to managing the University’s annual external audit which is being done virtually due to COVID-19. Because of Joe’s commitment to the University, and exceptional efforts while producing high quality work, Joe has been awarded the November PROF of the Month. Great job, Joe!! 

October, 2020        

The Virtual Homecoming Team

Congratulations to the following individuals for their efforts in running an amazing virtual homecoming week:

Jessica Kanady, Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement

Carly Samuels, Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement

Chris D’Angelo, Director of Alumni Engagement

Megan Kiger, Advancement Communications Specialist

Marie Polk, Events and Special Projects Manager, University Advancement

Dana Alcavage, Design and Digital Media Specialist, University Advancement

Melissa Ulmer, Assistant Director, Marketing & Student Programs

Serafina Genise, Graduate Coordinator, Student University Programmers 

Kiniece Williams, Head Clerk, Office of Alumni Engagement

Homecoming 2020 looked a lot different this year, but from behind the scenes, the Alumni Engagement, University Advancement, and Student Activities team worked to ensure that students, alumni, faculty and staff still felt the spirit of Rowan Pride throughout the week of Homecoming@Home.

Amid the global pandemic, this team used their creativity and innovation to plan an entire week of events for the Rowan family to still engage and feel connected with the University. Ranging from in-person, socially distant student events, to virtual networking events to speaking engagements with notable faces like Ric Edelman, Dr. Ed Streb, and Dr. Ken Lacovara, this homecoming planning team brought special people, places and pieces of the ’Boro into the homes of numerous members of the Rowan family.

Delivering a homecoming like no other, this team deserves all the praise and recognition for the time, effort and passion they put into serving the Rowan community. Job well done – you are the October PROFessionals of the Month!

March, 2020        

Matthew Vanek and Thomas Boyle, Environmental Health & Safety Dept.

Matthew Vanek:


  • Matt is always willing to chip in and makes himself available to get things done that are needed.  This was evidenced by all the hard work he completed in response to COVID-19 planning and concerns that were brought to the attention of the University and EHS.  Examples of some of things he has done and continues to do is:
    • Provided Respirator fit testing for over 40 EMS, and Wellness Center staff employees (P. Safety may need future testing); also coordinated documentation of needed medical evaluations through the wellness center
    • Conducted training for approx.. 100 Housekeeping personnel  (Facilities and Residence Life); covered COVID 19, provided answers to questions/concerns and went over proper disinfection procedures on campus
    • Conducted PEOSH or OSHA training for over 40 EMS, and Wellness Center staff employees
  • Although Matt has only been on the job for less than a year, due to his well versed EHS and emergency management experience, he was recommended by Brian Ewan, AVP to be considered as the Resource Annex manager for Facilities and EHS.
    • When Matt was asked if he would be interested in this he jumped at the opportunity to serve with our other emergency planners
    • He has a result of the COVID 19 is actively involved as needed with Rowan’s emergency team and calls with the county
  • After Matt was given the resource annex of the Rowan’s emergency plan, he immediately offered revisions and submitted them without delay.
  • Public Safety had Matt work with GCOEM, Who granted permissions to the state's E-Team tool to make resource request for Rowan University.  Before he ever had an opportunity to learn the system, Rowan was launched into the Covid-19 response.  Matt, without hesitation learned the system on his own.  
    • Matt has been keeping a daily activity logs in E-Team to ensure Rowan remains engaged with the State.
    • This will serve Rowan in the event that we need County or State resources, or help in any grant applications in the future.
  • He's been a valuable EHS and Emergency Response team member, who hit the group running, with little time or exposure to the internal workings of Rowan's emergency preparedness and has been an asset to our University and staff.


Thomas Boyle:  


  • As a result of needed COVID-19 and EHS requests, Tom worked to help all of SOM or Rowan Medicine address health and safety issues and continues to work with personnel to ensure their health and safety is protected.  Evidence of some of his actions were:
    • Respirator testing and training provided as needed
    • Worked with SOM Management team to come up with an employee/staff health screening protocol which established marked six-foot intervals with lines employees needed to wait in
    • Worked with Research and Vivarium personnel to address health and Safety concerns and contingency plans to respond to COVID19
    • Acted as consult for EHS response and procedures with regard to lab spaces and personnel
    • Developed and EHS document or guide for working at home and ergonomics (in response to numerous employees working at home); his idea or initiative
  • He is readily available and responsive to the needs of the University community whenever asked. While this seems like a small task, see the below list of some of the main responsibilities Tom has:
    • Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) for all 3 campuses
    • Biological Safety Officer for all campuses
    • Main EHS contact for SOM, CMSRU where he helps ensure compliance in labs. Research and Facilities areas
    • PI and Researcher Training or Retraining
    • IATA Trainer
    • Facilities EHS Training
    • CITI EHS Contact
    • EHS Risk Management main contact (accidents and incident follow up)
    • Glassboro lab and research EHS contact
    • EHS Vivarium contact
    • Glassboro X-Ray or related equipment inspection/regulatory contact
    • Rowan Medicine Satellite Location EHS contact
    • Manages all medical and hazardous waste at CMSRU and at SOM
  • He is extremely knowledgeable of all environmental health and medical school safety or EHS issues (some of his knowledge or areas are outlined above in the 2nd bullet)
  • He is readily available and responsive to the needs of the SOM community whenever asked 
  • He possesses a great degree of integrity and is a real asset to Rowan University


February, 2020        

Colette McLean, Wellness Ctr. 


This month I had the pleasure to sit on a search committee along with Collette. I hadn’t met her before that committee, and I’m glad I did. Collette consistently acted with integrity & decorum through the entire process. It’s clear Collette is a talented counselor, and additionally, a dedicated, hardworking, passionate member of the Rowan professional community. Collette took care to balance her own viewpoint with the viewpoint of the committee. Collette was fair & professional when it came to understanding the pressures & nuances of the counseling role at the university. What really struck me was Collette’s commitment to inclusion & making sure, in small ways, that the Rowan community holds to that value. While I haven’t had Collette as a counselor, I would imagine she’s extraordinarily effective at listening & truly hearing her clients. Collette deserves to be recognized as a PROFessional of the Month!

January, 2020        

Brittany Mitchell, RowanSOM – Student Affairs and Alumni Engagement  


Brittany Mitchell has been with the RowanSOM Office of Student Affairs and Alumni Engagement for just over one year.  She was hired to fill an open position to complete special projects and in particular, develop new student wellness programs. Brittany is incredibly hard working, organized and creative. She is extremely dedicated to our students and brings a positive attitude to our team on a daily basis. In the past year, our wellness offerings for students have doubled and Brittany was instrumental in driving that initiative. She also significantly expanded our wellness communications across our campus and through social media. She is an amazing employee who is most worthy of this recognition. Thank you for all of your efforts, Brittany and congratulations on being the January PROFessional of the Month!