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?




November, 2021

Gabe Aquino, Wellness Ctr.

pom nov 2021      pom nov 202a

Congratulations to Gabe Aquino for being selected as the November PROFessional of the Month!

Gabe not only has the most wonderful personal attributes – kind, empathetic, attentive, to name a few, but he is also such a supportive and hardworking coworker. Gabe is a crisis counselor in the Wellness Center, and works tirelessly for our students. He has done countless consultations with students who walk in while in a crisis during this BUSY, stressful semester without complaint, all the while making every individual feel heard and supported while in their presence. Gabe has astute clinical abilities to top it off, and deserves a gold star for his skillful efforts in managing mental health crises over these past couple of hectic months. Gabe is an all-around awesome human being and I feel so lucky to work alongside him.

Gabe, because of your dedication and exceptional efforts for so many students and employees, we honor you as the November PROFessional of the Month. Great job!!


October, 2021        

The Student Center and Campus Activities team


Congratulations to the Student Center and Campus Activities team for being selected as the October PROFessionals of the Month!

Recently, while attempting to cross busy Route 322 near the Chamberlain Student Center, a student riding a bicycle collided with a car. The student was  thrown from his bicycle. 

A member of the Student Center & Campus Activities team saw the accident from her office window and immediately called for Joe Lizza, Director of the Chamberlain Student Center and Campus Activities. Lizza, a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Hammonton, and Lauren Kuski, Associate Director of SCCA, immediately ran outside and attended to the student, keeping him calm and safe until police and EMTs arrived. Lizza and Kuski had to deal not only with foot traffic but, also, cars on Route 322. They acted with true professionalism, care and kindness while tending to the student’s needs. 

Additionally, this wasn’t the first time this semester Lizza’s lifesaving skills were required to help a student. During a staff training for SCCA student workers, a student began choking on some food. Lizza applied the Heimlich maneuver and helped dislodge the food from the student’s airway. 

Through their work, these SCCA professionals always demonstrate extraordinary commitment to our students. But this month, they kicked that service up a notch, going above and beyond their usual duties to assist a student in genuine distress. 

In addition to the great work by Joe Lizza and Lauren Kuski, the entire SCCA team deserves accolades for its commitment to our students. Their work—and they work exceedingly hard – contributes magnificently to the lifeblood of our institution and has a direct, positive impact on the lives of our students. 

Whether it’s producing extraordinary late-night programming for students, keeping the Chamberlain Student Center (likely the most busy building on campus) humming, managing both student events or high profile university-level events, or hosting vaccination and early voting sites, the team has a true can-do attitude. Their teamwork and professionalism make our university shine at every turn. 

A case in point: Recently, Rowan hosted Homecoming, which was co-chaired by Melissa Ulmer and two of her graduate students. The team produced six straight days of student events (including the very labor intensive Lip Sync Competition) and culminated with the Homecoming tailgate. Ulmer and her graduate students made Homecoming a tremendous week for students and alumni. Their commitment to (and love of) Rowan is just extraordinary.

 The SCCA team includes:

  • Joe Lizza (SCCA Director)
  • Lauren Kuski (Associate Director, Programing and Administrative Operations)
  • Melissa Ulmer (Assistant Director, Marketing and Student Programs)
  • Matt Hird (Assistant Director, Event and Information Services)
  • Jay Patel (Assistant Director, Rowan After Hours and Student Recognition)
  • Dan Hartman (Assistant Director, Building Operations)
  • Susan Chard and Ruth Bappert (Administrative Assistants)
  • Their graduate student team 

Because of your dedication and outstanding efforts for students and the University as a whole, we honor you as the October PROFessionals of the Month. Great job!!


September, 2021

Heather Glenn, Department of Psychiatry, SOM

pom september          Prof of the Month September

Congratulations to Heather Glenn for being selected as the September PROFessional of the Month!

I am thrilled to nominate our department’s Education Coordinator, Heather Glenn, for PROfessional of the Month. In my opinion, there is no one more deserving of this honor. 

Heather is responsible for managing the educational outflow from our department, which includes the first year Brain and Behavior and second-year Human Sexuality blocks, the third-year psychiatry clerkship, which requires coordination with over ten hub sites, and the psychiatry residency, which has a full complement of 16 residents for the first time. 

She is available 24/7, never failing to respond in less than 20 minutes. She provides support, guidance, and reassurance to our students and residents, always making them feel better or rooting their comments in reality. She is looked to as a dependable, responsible, and skilled colleague. She never misses a deadline, of which she has MANY, and she is always prepared. She is tech savvy, smart, flexible, and remains cool under pressure. I look to her every day to reflect and discuss ideas, and her opinions are highly valued and influential on our department’s mission and initiatives.​ 

Because of your dedication and outstanding efforts for your department and the University as a whole, we honor you as the September PROFessional of the Month. Great job!!

August, 2021

The Campus Recreation Team
 POM August 2021

Congratulations to the Campus Recreation Team for being selected as the August PROFessionals of the Month!

The Campus Recreation team was tasked with the challenge of kicking off the Strategic Planning Summit by facilitating some teambuilding/icebreaker activities on August 9th. The Campus Recreation team was able to collaborate with University Events, the Student Center, and the Campus Activities team to successfully plan the program and make it a valuable component to start the summit. The Campus Recreation department staff led multiple activities starting with a Rock, Paper, Scissors competition, then a Cooperative Maze Challenge, and finally, an activity of Object Reconstruction. The facilitators provided guidance for the activities, debriefed on the purpose and outcomes of the exercise, and provided prizes to the fastest teams in the maze or best replicated structure. The staff excelled in leading the Rowan University leadership team with confidence and they appreciated the level of energy and participation of the individual attendees. 

 Here are the facilitating team members:

Kevin George – Director of Campus Recreation

Andrew Havrisko – Assistant Director of Intramural Sports & Special Events

Alexis Gross - Graduate Coordinator of Facilities

Emily Ohlson - Graduate Coordinator of Sport Clubs & Student Development

Julie Mengle - Graduate Coordinator of Fitness/Wellness

I-Yun Lee – Graduate Coordinator of Marketing

Val Russo – Graduate Coordinator of Member Services

Nyindu Kabangu - Graduate Coordinator of Intramural Sports & Special Events 

Because of your dedication and outstanding efforts for your department and the University as a whole, we honor you as the August PROFessionals of the Month. Great job!!

July, 2021

Sahana Varadaraju, Information Resources & Technology

Prof of the month July 2021

Congratulations to Sahana Varadaraju (certificate in hand) for being selected as the July PROFessional of the Month! 

Sahana is an absolute star of Information Resources & Technology (IRT) and Rowan University as a whole! She has helped multiple departments with streamlining their manual processes towards automation, including taking days-long pandemic-related class coding issues and reducing it to a user-submitted job that runs in ten minutes. But not only is she amazingly skilled, she’s also a wonderful colleague – she’s worked WITH us on so many problems, collaborating to make the best outcome. She listens to our needs, our ideas and suggestions, and really works to incorporate them to help make the best overall product. 

As if all that wasn’t enough, she is one of the main reasons behind this recently posted Daily Mail article: 

University Scheduling Automation Success 

The 300 hours of staff time saved? She played a big part in that endeavor! 

I can’t think of someone more deserving to be honored for the PROF of the Month. She is kind, competent, collaborative, effective, efficient, and all around awesome. 

Sahana, because of your dedication and outstanding efforts for so many employees and University departments and divisions, we honor you as the July PROFessional of the Month. Great job!!

June, 2021

Courtney Cifaloglio, The Office of Human Resources

POM June 2021

Congratulations to Courtney Cifaloglio (2nd from left) from the Office of Human Resources for being selected as the June PROFessional of the Month!

Courtney Cifaloglio began her career at Rowan University as a member of the Human Resources team in 2015. Throughout her time here, Courtney has consistently delivered outstanding customer service. She is very knowledgeable about so many topics and, like many, has had to work under tremendous pressure with the impact of COVID. Despite the pressure, Courtney reliably answers questions promptly and never gives you a short answer. Instead, she takes the time to provide specific details as it may impact or apply to your unique situation. 

Knowing that Rowan employees have Courtney as such a dependable resource is a tremendous asset to this University. She is undoubtedly worthy of being honored as a PROFessional of the Month!


May, 2021

Emily Bowman, Honors College

 POM May 2021


Congratulations to Emily Bowman (center) from the Honors College for being selected as the May PROFessional of the Month!

Emily Bowman began working in the Honors College in September of 2019. During her short time at Rowan, she has already distinguished herself with an exemplary work ethic, excellent relationships with staff and students, and superb technical work. Specifically, she has overseen the successful transformation of the Honors’ admissions process to SLATE, by working closely and collaborating with the Admissions team. This change has made rating applications so much better for our office team and the faculty members. Additionally, during the pandemic she also moved our course evaluation system to Qualtrics, cutting out tiresome and time-consuming transcription work. She is an innovative team player and a tremendous asset to Rowan University. She is certainly worthy of being honored as a PROFessional of the Month! 

Because of your commitment and extraordinary efforts for your department and the University, we honor you as the May PROFessional of the Month. Great job!!


April, 2021        

Anne Tomasello, Family Medicine, SOM 

POM April 2021 a   POM April 2021 b                                                                                                                                                                

 Congratulations to Anne Tomasello from the Dept. of Family Medicine for being selected as the April PROFessional of the Month!

Anne Tomasello, Administrative Coordinator in the Department of Family Medicine at SOM, was appointed to a very tall task as the Project Manager for the Rowan Medicine Vaccination Center.  

Anne exceeded expectations by working tirelessly around the clock to manage every detail of the clinic – from volunteer management, to scheduling, to patient management – Anne was always there to ensure the quality & safety of the clinic.  Anne’s positive outlook, kind demeanor and attention to detail are unparalleled. She was known to consistently offer to help others, even when she was busy running various aspects of the daily tasks of our operations. She was hands on – jumping in to greet patients, prep clipboards and lend a hand in our monitoring area when volunteer counts were light.  

Additionally, Anne led the planning of the pop-up J&J clinic in Glassboro, leading to a successful single-day distribution of 2,000 vaccines to the Rowan University student population and Glassboro community. Our clinic has been recognized by the State for accuracy, safety and quality – none of which would be possible without Anne’s tremendous leadership. She did all of this while still managing to complete her regular job duties as an Administrative Coordinator for Family Medicine. I, for one, am so grateful to have worked with Anne on this project and to have learned from her leadership style.   

Anne absolutely deserves to be the Professional of the Month. 

Because of your extraordinary efforts and commitment to your department and the University as a whole, we honor you as the April PROFessional of the Month. Exceptional job!! 


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!!