PROFessionals of the Week

PROFessionals of the Week

PROFessionals of the Week

We would like to recognize the exceptional efforts of these dedicated employees during these days of constant change and new challenges.

We are highlighting here just some of the many outstanding efforts going on during this unique time. These employees, work groups, and project teams have been demonstrating outstanding leadership, innovation, effort, and teamwork since the COVID-19 crisis began.

In short, they are Rowan’s PROFessionals of the Week!!



October 12th

Beth Sosnoski and Connie Van Pelt – Military Services
Beth and Connie provide excellent service and support to almost 600 students registered with Military Services. In addition to welcoming students and families and being cheerleaders for them every step of the way, this team’s expertise ensures that students stay in compliance with regulations for benefits. In addition, their student-centeredness and concern for affordability led them to propose changes to the scholarship process for Rowan’s military-affiliated students. The Military Appreciation scholarship now has streamlined eligibility criteria and was awarded this fall to over 400 students. This fall, this team also launched a Military Affinity Group for faculty and staff that are retired, active, reservist, and National Guard members. Thank you to our wonderful Military Services office for supporting our students and employees!
Lindsay Rosato – University Advising Services
From her seat in the University Advising Center, Lindsay sees just about every experience and problem that affects students’ success. Her expertise in Rowan policies and processes coupled with her high level of empathy and caring lead her to be a strong supporter for students and families. In addition, advisors, faculty, and many other Rowan employees can depend on her for fast solutions that keep students on track. Lindsay has both technical as well as people skills, professionalism as well as a warm sense of humor. As an instructor for Rowan 101 and as a volunteer success coach, Lindsay has expended beyond her official role to apply her background in education and counseling to help students in depth. Lindsay is dedicated each day to the success of Rowan University and Rowan students.
Marren Magee – University Advising Services
In her 5 years as an advisor at Rowan, Marren has developed a special niche within the University Advising Center. Marren replies to all inquiries submitted to and through that experience has become the UAC go-to teammate for the answer to random, infrequently asked questions. During the pandemic, these email inquiries have skyrocketed as students struggled to understand and make decisions about their academic options. She frequently takes on special projects, such as a recent one on transfer credits, and meets with prospective students referred by the Admissions office. Marren volunteers to fill in whenever and where-ever needed, covering at the front, meeting with students who walk in with an emergency situation or taking appointments for an advisor who had to call out for the day. She’s a great advisor and teammate.

Francesca Pugh-Opher, Michelle Mignot, and Katie Trefsgar

The Office of Advising and Student Information Services (OASIS)


From Left to Right: Francesca, Michelle, and Katie

I'd like to nominate the part-time advisors on my team, in recognition of their extraordinary commitment to their students and to Rowan -- especially during this challenging time. ​

A number of opportunities exist to acknowledge and support the work of Rowan’s full-time employees -- but I believe that our part-time employees are truly Rowan’s “secret sauce” and also deserve to be recognized.

This is especially true in Rowan Global’s Office of Advising and Student Information Services (OASIS). The OASIS staff is an extraordinarily dedicated and enthusiastic team, but our ability to navigate the pandemic and support students successfully during this particularly challenging time is due in large part to the extraordinary work of our part-time advisors:  Francesca Pugh-Opher, Michelle Mignot, and Katie Trefsgar. 

Francesca advises for online and RCSJ 3+1 students in the BA in Law and Justice program, as well as online BA in Liberal Studies majors. In addition, she is a member of the DEI Council, a DEI SPC subcommittee co-chair, a RowanNEXT subcommittee co-chair, and the advisor to the Muslim student group at Rowan. She is also teaching Intro to Africana Studies this semester. A deeply passionate advocate for the needs of online and returning adult learners, Francesca is dedicated to fostering a welcoming climate for all students, faculty, and staff at Rowan, but especially persons of color and religious minorities.

Michelle is that team member who consistently spots a job that needs to be done and simply goes about doing it, instead of waiting to be asked. With a fierce commitment to student success and a gift for taming technology, Michelle advises post-traditional students across six RCBC 3+1 majors and also teaches Career Planning and Development. Michelle is the creator of the 3+1 website, and most recently, she designed the Starfish training modules in Canvas that were recently rolled out to all Rowan advisors and faculty.  

Rowan’s post-baccalaureate Education programs comprise nearly ¾ of Rowan’s graduate degree and certificate portfolio. Katie supports the students and faculty in these programs tirelessly and with relentless cheer. Her outrageously extensive institutional knowledge, technical prowess, and supreme dedication to creating a seamless experience for both faculty and staff garner consistently enthusiastic praise from students and colleagues alike. Katie truly exemplifies the expression, “Do what you love – love what you do.”

To a person, the OASIS team is exceptional, but our part-time advisors -- through their passion, energy, and commitment to outstanding service to students and to the entire Rowan community – set the standard for our team, and truly make Rowan a better place for all of us.    


Employees from Alumni Engagement, University Advancement, and Student Activities


I would like to nominate the following individuals for their efforts in running an amazing virtual homecoming week:


Kiniece Williams, Head Clerk, Office of Alumni Engagement

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


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.

Rowan University Success Coaching team
I would like to nominate the Rowan University Success Coaching team and their tremendous work this year in supporting Rowan students. Erin Hannah-Associate Director, Student Support Services  and Aly Baker-Student Support Coordinator oversee the Success Coaching team which consists of a dedicated group of 26 Success Coaches. Dr. Leslie Spencer – Professor and Program Coordinator, Department of Health and Exercise Science is a critical part of this team as the creator of the Success Coach Training Program which includes extensive training on Motivational Interviewing techniques. Using the Rowan Thrive Framework, the Success Coaches support students with navigating their academic needs, as well as their well-being necessary to be successful at Rowan and in life. Using motivational interviewing principles, coaching sessions help students adjust to the rigors of higher education, gain a better understanding of campus resources, and develop plans for academic, and social development. This Success Coaching team is truly making a difference! Click here to view the bios and photos of a number of the exceptional coaches listed below:
Nomination for:
  • Erin Hannah - Associate Director, Student Support Services
  • Allison Baker – Student Support Coordinator
  • Dr. Leslie Spencer – Professor and Program Coordinator, Department of Health of Health and Exercise Science 
  • Success Coaches:
Allison Baker
Arianna Iannacone
Ava-Kathleen Rybicki
Benedicta Sarpong
Bitika Talukder
Caitlyn Braun
Chinwendu Achebe
Emily Colon
Erica Iraheta
Erica Conway
Erin Hannah
Frances Saulino
Irshadul Yasin
Jordan Jiosi
Joshua DiPrima
Julia Versace
Katherine Gonzalez-Camacho
Lea Donaghy
Mackenzie Holroyd
Matt Corsi
Megan Cartier
Osariemen Notemwanta
Patrice Henry-Thatcher
Preet Patel
Sarah Esser
Tiara Gbeintor
Tiffany Nistico
Valerie Davis-LaMastro
Victoria Munzing

College of Education Advising Center 

It is with the utmost appreciation that I am nominating the College of Education Advising Center (CEAC) for the PROF Office of the Week.
Led by Dorothy Abruzzo-Klumpp, Director of CEAC, this team provides outstanding advising services to Education majors as through their college career.
The CEAC team includes Keyona Gonzalez-Walker, Heather Dolbow, April Ellerbe, Alexandria Funkhouser, Nadia Rahin, DeLithea Davis, Melvin Pinckney, and Michalina Zelazny.
CEAC advisors are responsible for program advisement in eight concentrations:
·       Elementary Education
·       Early Childhood Education
·       Subject Matter (Art, Mathematics, Music, Sciences)
·       Subject Matter (English, History, World Languages)
·       Subject Matter (Health & Physical Education)
·       Special Education Endorsement
·       Reading Endorsement
·       Minor in education 
CEAC’s team approach has created a supportive, collaborative and inclusive environment for students during their advising appointments. For example, when scheduling appointments CEAC advisors routinely welcome members of a student's support team such as a parent or representative from Disability Resources to participate in the session.
As part of CEAC’s mission, “The center is focused on providing accurate and timely information to assist students who are working toward a degree and/or licensure in a number of professional education careers.” Specifically, passing Praxis exams to be eligible for certification. In this critical role, CEAC advisors are proactive in ongoing communications with their students related to benchmarks, program requirements, etc.
Kudos to the College of Education Advising Center for going above and beyond in providing students a supportive and nurturing advising experience in preparation for their future careers as educators representing Rowan University.

Chiara Latimer – Office of Career Advancement and Disability Resources

Chiara leads the PATH program, connecting neurodivergent students and alumni with internships and full-time employment. By providing opportunities to develop career readiness and to network with faculty, professionals in the field, and their peers, Chiara’s work helps students to maximize their potential and make a smooth transition from classroom to career. She is also a champion for developing understanding of and resources for neurodiversity, both on campus and in the professional community. She seamlessly combines expertise from the career development world with her deep experience working with individuals with autism and their families. From engaging with employers, to conducting conference presentations, to collaborating with students and colleagues right here at Rowan, our community is fortunate to have Chiara Latimer on the Rowan team.


October 5th

Lisa Toman, Art Department


I wish to nominate Lisa Toman as Prof of the week. 

Lisa is the queen bee of the department. Nothing here happens without her organization, assistance, and leadership. She has the responsibilities of any other departmental admin “clerk” plus the onerous task of working for the Art department. There are a myriad of additional tasks that Lisa completes to assist us. For example, in art, we order special supply kits for students. We order supplies and consumables for our studios/labs. We have multiple federal work study students whom work in the studio/labs and countless hires of adjuncts and models for figure drawing.

In this challenging time of the pandemic, the Art department has specific challenges related to our area of study. For example, half of our classes are physical presence required. So we needed to take time to prep our building and create processes so that both faculty and students would be safe. With the budget being released at the last minute, we needed to order all of our kits within two weeks of the beginning of the semester when we normally have 6 weeks. When student art kits arrived, they were 3 weeks late and Lisa immediately worked to get them unpacked from pallets to go right to faculty to hand out to students.

As IRT has been severely shorthanded and couldn’t help the Art department with technology carts for our classrooms, Lisa rounded up all of the carts and tested all of them to ensure they were functional.

Lisa goes out of her way to recognize everyone’s birthdays and holidays and she knows everyone’s kids and grandkids. She puts up with all of our drama and grumbling. Lisa transcends mere titles by her talents that are not formally recognized often enough. She is a confidant, friend, and sister to all. She is a vital member of our family here in the Art department and we wish we could line her pockets with gold to match her heart!

Joe Wicklund, Accounting Service/Finance 

We would like to nominate Joe Wicklund for the PROFessional of the Week. Joe has put in long hours on the University’s external Audit, but over the last few weeks he has gone above and beyond in order to meet the October 1st deadline to file the $12.1 million CARES funding application to the State. Joe was instrumental in coordinating and collecting information and detailing all eligible costs. This entailed reviewing the requirements of this 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. This 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 above and beyond effort while producing high quality work, we would like to nominate Joe for PROFessional of the Week. Outstanding work, Joe! 

Dr. Cori Brown, College of Education

I write this email with great pride to acknowledge Dr. Cori Brown from The College of Education at Rowan. Dr. Brown has been a guiding light for not just myself, but for countless others. Even prior to the COVID 19 pandemic situation, Dr. Brown has been a consistent breath of fresh air that was oh, so needed and necessary. I have watched her previously and presently go above and beyond not just for myself, a Ph. D. candidate, but also and especially for those I teach whenever one of the undergraduate students in my class is facing challenges. She understands the extra level of challenges that students are facing and it is important to have someone not only as a professor, but also one who holds an administrator position understand and advocate for us.

It is with sincere love and appreciation that I submit this entry. I truly hope that she is recognized as she has been a strong glue and best kept secret that has kept many from being unglued.


September 28th

Dan Destro, IRT

I would like to nominate Dan Destro, manager of Database Administrators for ASA, for PROFessional of the Week. 

Dan is one of the most consistently reliable coworkers I have had the pleasure of working with. As many of our code deployment strategies changed over the last two years, Dan was instrumental in transitioning his team over to using these new strategies. He is incredibly patient, and has never hesitated to help troubleshoot deployment issues/bugs, even on projects/tasks that he wasn't originally involved with. He is deeply knowledgeable regarding his field, and he is an invaluable member of the ASA team. 

Christopher Hamer, Manager, Academic Applications, Web Development and Data Analytics – SOM

I would like to nominate my Assessment team member, Christopher Hamer, as the Professional of the week.

It is not difficult to come up with a description of what it means to be a good team player, we have all encountered them (hopefully others describe us as them). Qualities of a good team player are numerous and varied, but an excellent team player usually knows how and when to be supportive and plays an integral role in contributing to their team and its success. Christopher Hamer is the model of what an excellent team player looks like. Pre COVID-19 Chris excelled in his role as Manager, Academic Applications, Web Development and Data Analytics, and working remotely has not dulled the effort and detail he puts into his work, nor the patience and kindness with which he interacts with his team and all of his colleagues. Chris has a special gift for being able to take on your problem as if it is his own and he always looks for opportunities to support others in their endeavors, both large and small. Those of you that know Chris know that he is incredibly productive, innovative, willing to teach those that are way less tech savvy than he is, and humble (we’ve probably embarrassed him by deciding to submit this entry). For all of these reasons and more, Christopher Hamer should be the PROFessional of the Week.


September 21st

Michael Benson, Digital Scholarship Center, Campbell Library

We are writing to nominate Michael T. Benson of the Digital Scholarship Center at Campbell Library for PROFessional of the Week. He has been an invaluable resource as we have been preparing our remote instruction courses. 

Over the summer months, Michael worked tirelessly helping us to navigate Canvas, the online learning platform that replaced Blackboard. Through his efforts, expertise, and patience, we have been able to upload quality video lectures as PowerPoints enhanced by newly recorded and inserted audio discussions.  It is vitally important for our students to see clear and crisp imagery in these presentations. Mike willingly offered to convert our PowerPoints into video format for uploading onto Canvas. He assisted in compressing these extremely large files into manageable form with excellent visual definition.  At times we spent hours on the telephone, on Facetime, and in WebEx sessions to present our course content materials so they are easily accessible by students. On several occasions, he even worked during weekends to resolve specific problems. Recently, his instructive tutorials have addressed the key points that now allow us to do this process more independently.  

We can honestly say that if we had not had his assistance, we do not think we would have been able to start this semester. Mike also helped to organize the modules of our courses. The presentation of our content material reflects his selflessness in working with us. Through his efforts, we are able to provide vital curriculum materials to approximately 165 students in our remote classes on Canvas.

Recognition and appreciation of his contributions are long overdue. Without reservation, we praise all that Michael Benson does that is above and beyond his typical responsibilities. Many other colleagues will also agree with our remarks. We are truly grateful for his service and what he has been doing to provide technical guidance that supports and bolsters our teaching. 


September 14th

Robert Thorpe, David Cimetta, and Thomas Fusco, Department of Theatre and Dance



Left to right: Thomas Fusco, David Cimetta, and Robert Thorpe

I nominate Robert A. Thorpe, David A. Cimetta and Thomas A. Fusco from the Department of Theatre and Dance. They have created an inspiring and uplifting photo project they call “PROJECTIONS FOR HOPE – 2020”.  The three team members wanted to do something to support and say “Thank You” to the heroes who have been working day and night to get us through the pandemic.  Working on their own time over a seven night period in May and June, they combined their theatrical talents to create a series of projected images on numerous Rowan University buildings throughout the Glassboro campus. The completed project was released to the University to use the images and this week the project was featured in the weekly ROWAN IN THE NEWS.​ You can read the article here –


Christine Noon & the Card Services Office


My Lock of the Week Prof of the Week is Christine Noon and Card Services. Every time you walk into a Rowan University building, you should thank Christine Noon and Card Services. Every time you swipe your Boro Bucks, you should thank Christine Noon and Card Services. Every time you swipe into your office, you should thank Christine Noon and Card Services. Every time you swipe into your dorm room, you should thank Christine Noon and Card Services. Every time you swipe into an event, the Rec Center or a lab, you should thank Christine Noon and Card Services.

Christine Noon—working morning, Noon and night on all the ins and outs of Rowan University.

September 7th

Dr. Lisa Vernon-Dotson 

Dr. Lisa Vernon-Dotson should be recognized for PROFessional of the Week each and every week as she effectively chairs the largest department on campus (Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education) with compassion, integrity, and steadfast leadership. For example, in the final weeks leading up to the Fall semester, Dr. Vernon-Dotson has tackled arising issues surrounding hundreds of teacher candidate field placements, staffing, and scheduling while remaining committed to the advancement of our programs and students, and the well-being of her faculty and staff. While leading the Department of Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education through constant COVID related changes, she is supporting and providing instructional materials to our Rowan College partners who will begin offering professional courses in the 3+1 B.A. in Inclusive Education program this semester. All of this is in addition to continuing to serving as Principal Investigator to two (2) multi-million dollar grants including the LRC-South and Unified Champions Schools & Special Olympics of New Jersey​ as they have moved to virtual operation. With Dr. Vernon-Dotson at the helm, IIE is poised to not only persevere through a semester like no other, but to flourish in productivity, innovation, and student-centered approaches. 

Scott Woodside (Director, Wellness Ctr.) and Amy Hoch (Associate Director, Wellness Ctr.) 


Scott Woodside

I’d like to nominate Scott Woodside, Wellness Center Director, for the PROF of the Week (really for the PROF of the year, if that’s an option).

Scott’s leadership over the past few semesters has been incredible. He’s helped to navigate the campus through many crises, all while being supportive of the Wellness Center staff and our students. Scott takes a breath before making decisions, and considers all viewpoints. His sense of humor has been grounding in the Wellness Center, and we all appreciate his support as we all navigate through difficult times.


Amy Hoch

I’d like to strongly nominate the indefatigable Amy Hoch, PsyD, Associate Director of the Wellness Center. She has been the rock and emotional heart of Counseling & Psychological Services, supporting and guiding us through rough, unchartered waters, including transitioning our clinical work to telehealth on a moment’s notice (no easy feat, especially given HIPAA and electronic health record considerations!). You will not find a more tireless and passionate advocate of students on this campus, and I strongly nominate her for PROFessional of the Week!


Chris Fields and Melissa Vadino, University Scheduling

I would like to nominate Chris Fields and Melissa Vadino, who comprise the University Scheduling Department, for Prof of the Week. Chris and Melissa are consistently responsive and collaborative with any needs that arise. However, during COVID, their expertise and incredibly hard work was even more impactful. With a very short timeframe, the entire fall course schedule needed to be rebuilt due to course delivery changes. Not only were they key partners in designing the system for communicating course delivery modes to students, their incredibly fast implementation of changes to many thousands of course sections enabled the University to get information out to students in a timely manner to reduce their anxiety and keep them enrolled for fall. They have deep institutional knowledge and strong partnerships across the University that make them even more effective in their important roles. Truly, the changes in place for fall – that no one would have even dreamed about 6 months ago – are ready thanks in large part to Chris and Melissa.


David Manley, Dean’s Office, College of Science and Math

I would like to nominate David Manley for Rowan’s PROFessional of the Week. David works in the Dean’s Office, College of Science and Math as a Professional Services Specialist. I am going to try to state in a paragraph why I feel David is so deserving of this nomination even though I do not think a paragraph is enough words to express how deserving he is to receive this nomination.

The College of Science and Math is made up of many departments with various needs and within those departments we have admin support such as myself. Since the pandemic not all the admin staff were up-to-date on using a lot of the programs that Rowan offers and David met with us on a weekly basis so that we could ALL stay connected. He provided us with step-by-step instructions with pictures on how to access the cloud, WebEx and so much more and was always there if we had any problems. Prior to the pandemic, he always thought about how he can make some of our tedious tasks easier. He went on to meet with a lot of us within our College and some of the things he developed make our jobs easier and more efficient. His patience and easy going manner consistently made it easy for any of us in the College to go to him with any issues we were having. His calm and welcoming approach always eased the tension/frustration that we were having and he always helped solve some of our problems. A lot of the admin would apologize for bothering him and his answer was always “No apology necessary. I am more than happy to help. We will get through this together and if I can help I am here.” and he always was!! 

In summary, this individual who is quiet and makes such a big difference behind the scenes, deserves recognition not only for doing his own job on a daily basis, but for always thinking about us and being willing to lend a hand whether you were faculty or staff. We as a whole are so grateful that we have David in our College. He is truly an asset. 


Rob McClernan, Chemical Engineering

I would like to nominate Rob McClernan, Process Technician from the Chemical Engineering department for the PROFessional of the Week.

Rob has gone above and beyond his departmental duties by providing support college wide while we transition back to learning and working on campus. Rob has been diligent in getting us ready to return with procuring and distributing cleaning supplies, masks and anything else needed. With many of us still working partially remote, Rob often fills the various physical voids, like making sure our packages get delivered if there’s no one else there to receive them. Most of all, his enthusiasm to help others makes you feel ready to take on the new semester!


August 31st

Charissa Burgos


Charissa works at the Office of Admissions as an Admissions Counselor. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, she has worked tirelessly to support her Office/Team and even stepped in to take on other duties within the office during furloughs and leaves of absence. She is the go-to person for other offices to set up their "virtual events" that are hosted daily. Charissa works above and beyond the call of duty. I think others would agree that Charissa is worthy of being recognized. Outstanding job, Charissa!


Eileen Stutzbach, LMS Support Specialist (IRT)

I would like to nominate Eileen Stutzbach for PROF of the Week. She has worked so very hard to help all of the faculty in our department make the transition from Blackboard to Canvas. Eileen has been extremely responsive to our email requests and figured out the solutions to our problems. She responds all hours of the day and evening, including weekends. Eileen has also met with several of our faculty one-on-one in virtual sessions to help them learn how to use Canvas and the webinar tools available to us. She is consistently very patient with us. Thank you for considering her for this recognition. I believe she is highly deserving of it.


Application Database Administrators (DBA) Team and several other IRT members

I would like to nominate the Application Database Administrators (DBA) Team and some employees from IRT for the prof of the week. There was a major Banner server upgrade that happened on the weekend of August 15th. The entire DBA team worked throughout the weekend, day and night to make the upgrade seamless. They addressed most of the issues during the weekend to avoid outages and tickets during the following week. They did such a great job during the weekend and because of that, we faced very limited issues during the week. The DBA team has put a lot of effort into testing this upgrade for the past two months by creating backups and clones needed for the upgrade, which also helped to make it a smooth process. Here are the members of the team that deserves kudos:        


Left to right: Daniel Destro, Joseph Bruno, Elizabeth Mitchell-Brown, and Marcelino Pingol

Special mention to the employees below who also worked during the weekend along with the DBAs, fixing servers and applications that were affected because of this upgrade:


Left to right: Redmond English, Leonard Nelson, Josh Grochowski, and John Lyden

Joe Scully and the Finance Division

Since the pandemic crisis began,  the Division of Finance has closed out one fiscal year & opened a new fiscal year while working remotely, which isn’t an easy task since it is a very busy time of year for our division. It was essential that our critical tasks and projects continued to be completed, despite the challenging work situation. We process invoices, checks, put in new budgets, put through requisitions, handle the students’ accounts for tuition, reconcile accounts,  process salary vouchers, and make sure everyone is paid (just to name some of the responsibilities). I believe we have demonstrated outstanding leadership and team effort. We work hard to make sure everything is done in a professional and timely manner. We are Rowan Strong!


Leah Walker, Chickie Rodgers, and the Early Childhood Demonstration Center (ECDC) staff


Left to right: Leah Walker, Charlotte (Chickie) Rodgers

With great admiration, I am writing to nominate Leah Walker, Chickie Rodgers, and the Early Childhood Demonstration Center (ECDC) staff. During the pandemic, they have gone above and beyond to provide on-campus summer child care which allowed students, faculty, and staff to continue their work. 

Leah, Chickie, and the Rowan preschool staff have made outstanding efforts toward the University's mission and values. As just a few examples:


  • First, as the Director of the ECDC, Leah swiftly connected student-parents with child care tuition subsidies through the Rowan CCAMPIS Program to ensure access and affordability. This showed her commitment to meeting the unique needs of student-parents, who face barriers to graduation that were compounded by the health crisis.
  • Second, the preschool team was agile in incorporating new COVID regulations in their classrooms, which showed their dedication to the well-being of the Rowan community. 
  • Third, the ECDC team enriched the quality of university life: Leah provided daily virtual read-alouds for Rowan families when campus closed in the Spring; she referred student-parents to vital community resources; she continued hiring, training, and mentoring work study students; and over the past year, the ECDC partnered with 21 professors from various programs to provide specialized learning experiences for children and Rowan students. 


This week, Leah, Chickie, and the preschool staff take on the immense task of concluding the summer program and immediately transitioning into the Academic Year with new classes of Little Owls. ​Throughout this summer and always, they have shown exceptional service and genuine care for Rowan University families. Please join me in thanking them and supporting their efforts during this challenging time. To the Rowan Preschool team, your work is truly appreciated!


Rowan Online Instructional Design team

I would like to nominate the Rowan Online Instructional Design team for the PROFessionals of the Week. They have been tremendous with all of the work they are doing to help with online and hyflex course delivery as we get ready to start the Fall, 2020 Semester. The team includes designers from Rowan Global and IRT, and a large group of other staff and faculty who are sharing their time to help us in this giant effort. Here is the list of folks involved that have provided outstanding efforts throughout:

Rowan Online Team: 

  • Michael Sunderhauf
  • Jen Sedlock
  • Shaun Holland
  • Stephanie Mosher
  • Eileen Stutzbach
  • Carla Sbrana
  • Gina Sewter
  • William McCool
  • Brent McCool
  • Kostas Eleftheriou

Staff Going Above and Beyond to Help Rowan Online:

  • Kate Stewart  (CMSRU)
  • Donna Dobie (SOM)
  • David Ireland (SOM)
  • Bob Monahan (SOM)
  • Tara Askin (SOM)
  • Jennifer Savage (IRT Training)
  • Melissa Meireles (IRT Training)
  • Sheena Pierce (IRT Training)
  • Carl Hausman (Faculty in Journalism)
  • Alison Novak (Faculty in Public Relations & Advertising)
  • Tiffany Tillman (Faculty in Law/Justice Studies)
  • Keith Aksel (Faculty in History)


August 17th

Jessica Baker, Budget & Operations Specialist, IRT and Rob Yufer, Buyer, Office of Contracting & Procurement


I would like to nominate two people who have worked together and played a major role with helping keep strategic projects on track during these difficult times – Jessica Baker from IRT and Rob Yufer form Purchasing. Jessica manages the IRT budgets and the process to submit request for purchase orders. Rob manages the request through the purchase order and contract process. They have worked as a team through the challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Working in tandem ensured the order process moved forward so required projects for remote learning and system enhancements supporting the IT Infrastructure were not delayed. They have been relentless with keeping the process moving, making a commitment of time and effort to the various projects. Despite the challenges of furloughed time and the adjustments to keep the balance of home and work life, Jessica and Rob’s dedication, positive attitude and willingness to work outside of the box has allowed IRT to move forward without delays on several critical projects. They are truly appreciated for all the work they do supporting IRT projects. Great job!


Walter Roth, Unified Communications Administrator, IRT and the other supporting members of IRT


 I would like to nominate Walter Roth and the supporting members of the IRT department for the PROFessionals of the Week.

The Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship (RIPPAC) held its 3rd annual Mid-Atlantic Political Intern Summit (MAPIS2020) on Thursday, August 6, 2020. We had 274 students from 67 different schools registered. 

In the 48 hours preceding the event, we switched from using Zoom to using Webex. IRT helped drive this change and Walt in particular was instrumental to our successful transition over those 48 hours and then during the day-long event itself. We appreciate the responsiveness and dedication to customer service that we experienced from Walt and IRT and certainly couldn’t have done it without them.


August 3rd

Dr. Jim Haugh, Dept. of Psychology

Dr. Jim Haugh, in the Dept. of Psychology, has been a “guiding light” this year as the Director of Clinical Training (DCT) for Rowan’s Clinical Psychology PhD program. A staunch ally and determined advocate for our doctoral students, Dr. Haugh brings his signature strengths of deep listening, consensus building, measured perspective taking, and wise action to his leadership position. These core attributes are critically important not only for the training and professional development of our PhD students, but they also ensure everyone feels seen, heard, and supported, especially in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, which interrupted classes, clinical training, and research alike. With his keen sense of transparency, knack for inclusivity and community-building, humility, and self-deprecating sense of humor, Dr. Haugh has poured his “heart & soul" into our program, working tirelessly, communicating regularly, and problem-solving effectively.

As a long-standing Rowan professor, this was his first year in the DCT position, and based on Jim’s experience, demeanor, and “can-do” attitude, we have all been inspired and follow his lead. Taken together, Dr. Haugh’s concrete strategic changes and practical improvements to our program, his unfaltering commitment to our students’ success, his genuine sensitivity to all the issues involved with COVID-19 and social justice, and his open, inclusive style of leadership have made a HUGE, POSITIVE IMPACT on us, each and every day. Dr. Haugh is a quintessential PROFessional of the Week! 

Laurie Baker and the Office of Advising and Student Information Services (OASIS)

Many student support services foster the growth and development of traditional college students. However, there are several students at Rowan Global who are non-traditional/adult online learners. Online learning can be very challenging without the reliance of an academic advisor who is experienced in online advising. Under the leadership of Ms. Laurie Baker, the Office of Advising and Student Information Services (OASIS) advisors and student support specialist have mastered appreciative and holistic advising to hundreds of students who require distinct attention that differs from the on-campus, traditional learner. OASIS provides academic advising, personal coaching, career counseling, and other student support services to students who maintain little to no in-person contact with their advisor. However, through phone contacts and virtual appointments (even pre-COVID), the team maintains a positive and personal connection with our students. All in all, the team has provided our students with excellent PROFound service and academic guidance to help them accomplish their educational goals and career aspirations. 


July 27th 

The Commencement volunteers


Left to right: Casey Holcombe, Barbara Adams, Derek Jones, Deniz Dennery,


Left to right: Dan Drutz, Dan Reigel, Ryan Duca, and Dan Murphy 

We would like to honor the efforts of over 150 commencement volunteers who really stepped up to ensure a well-organized, joyful celebration for our graduates. A normal commencement is planned all year long, but because of COVID-19, so many changes had to be implemented within a short time period. The volunteer efforts helped ensure that the event was well-paced, fully staffed and very safe. The graduates and their guests were so happy and excited that they could celebrate this important life milestone together.

Specifically, we’d like to recognize the following individuals who volunteered as lead coordinators:

  • Casey Holcombe (RTF) and his RTN student crew – managed the video and live streaming of the events
  • Barbara Adams (Performing Arts) – managed the audio for all ceremonies
  • Derek Jones (RTF) – read the names of each student as they crossed the stage at 11 ceremonies
  • Deniz Dennery (Career Advancement) – for the 2nd year in a row, gave of her time to assist and manage the staff at all ceremonies
  • Dan Drutz (Engineering) – managed the baseball field, which was the graduates and guests first impression of commencement
  • Dan Reigel (Admissions) – jumped in anywhere and everywhere needed during the planning and execution of events
  • Ryan Duca (Student Affairs) – jumped in anywhere and everywhere needed during the planning and execution of events
  • Dan Murphy (Publications) – created and managed the signage placements around the campus for commencement 

Office of Career Advancement (OCA)


It is without hesitation that I am nominating the Office of Career Advancement (OCA) for the PROFessionals of the Week.

Led by Robert Bullard, Director of OCA, this team continues to provide quality programming to students, alumni and parents throughout spring and summer.

OCA did not miss a beat with the onset of COVID-19. In fact, the OCA team developed new workshops specific to career readiness topics ranging from navigating the job search/internship in a COVID-19 landscape to professional skills and resume review. 

OCA’s team approach in the delivery of virtual workshops was truly impressive. As evidenced by OCA's recent collaboration with the Center for Professional Success (College of Humanities & Social Sciences) to deliver virtual career workshops for all students.

As equally impressive is OCA's ongoing collaboration with key departments and resources across campus including: Autism PATH, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Rowan Global, Student Success, the Student Center and Campus Activities and Rowan Thrive. 

Kudos to Rowan University's Office of Career Advancement for leading the way in the delivery of impactful and meaningful programming to Rowan University students and alum.


July 20th 

The Staff of the Registrar’s Office


I would like to nominate the staff of the Registrar’s office for Professionals of the Week. The team has been working remotely full-time since we left the office, fielding hundreds of emails and phone calls a day with a remarkable turnaround time and exceptional customer service. This time of year brings manual registration of 2,500 new freshman, awarding of 3,400 graduates and evaluation of transcripts of all incoming transfers. With the additional stress of 12 out of 15 staff having to furlough, their response has been amazing. They have responded creatively and collaboratively with their main concern being that the students get served!  I’m so grateful for this team and proud of their work ethic.


Robin Belz, Marty O’Connor, Program Coordinators, Clinical Education, Rowan SOM

(submitted by: Marilou Jean-Louis)


I would like to nominate both Robin Belz and Marty O’Connor for Professionals of the Week. Clinical Education at RowanSOM is busy year-round, but the pandemic has changed our work dynamics dramatically. Regardless of the myriad of changes our office continues to face, and there are many, Robin and Marty remain driven, student-centered, and truly enjoy what they do. They are two of the most team-oriented and dedicated people I know. Both Robin and Marty have sacrificed personal time to keep our students’ education moving forward. They have helped me with my workload more times than I can count, and words cannot express my appreciation. I value their opinions, and I admire their work ethic. I am thankful for the guidance and support they continue to provide our team on an ongoing basis.  I think I can speak for our students, staff and Deans when I say Robin and Marty deserve to be the PROFessionals of the Week! 


July 13th  

Technology Support Center (IRT)


I would like to nominate the Technology Support Center for the Prof of the Week. This team provides customer service for all three campuses at Rowan University. The past several months have brought on a whole new type of issues with remote learning, teaching and working. Through it all, this team has remained strong. Most recently, they were impacted by the furloughs which reduced the team by half. This occurred right when 18k alumni accounts were being removed and numerous employees lost access to their accounts due to the change in fiscal year and the forms needed to carry accounts into the new fiscal year.

This team remains strong and works through each call and each email with professionalism and provides exceptional customer service to the University.


Tom Dinzeo, Interim Head, Department of Psychology

Dr. Dinzeo is the epitome of a level-headed, ethical, trustworthy and principled leader. He stepped into a one-year commitment as Interim Department Head, not knowing what was ahead with the world being flipped upside down with the pandemic. Juggling multiple roles, without complaint, Dr. Dinzeo was a grounded leader in helping the Psychology Department navigate through the ever-changing and uncertain circumstances. Never seen to sweat, Dr. Dinzeo assisted in organizing the Department with patience and hard work, traits he has exemplified for years since coming to Rowan. Most importantly, as a strong leader, he always gives the credit to others for successes.


Briget Nunn, Program Coordinator, Department of Psychology

Briget began her first full academic year leading the Master's and Certificate Programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Not only did Ms. Nunn transition into her new role with ease and a quick learning curve, she was also a steadfast leader through such uncertain times with the pandemic. Ms. Nunn was readily-available to students and faculty to provide support and guidance through uncharted waters. Most notably, she is a tenacious advocate for social reform and injustice and made certain that her programs were having the difficult, but very necessary, conversations in light of the current events. 

Kate Bakalenko, Rowan Global, Eric Brennan, Admissions, and Ryan Duca, Administration & Operations
I would like to nominate the following individuals for Professional(s) of the week: Kate Bakalenko, Eric Brennan and Ryan Duca. These three individuals contributed countless hours of time as project team members to prepare and launch Rowan’s Graduate Instance of Slate (the University’s newest Admissions CRM System) on July 1st, 2020. Despite very limited resources, the group worked together to customize the system specific to the needs of the adult student population with the goal of continuing to provide better efficiency for faculty, staff and students. Kate, Eric and Ryan’s organizational skills, collaboration, time management and dedication should be applauded. I appreciate their hard work and wanted to make sure that they are aware that it did not go unnoticed.


July 6th  

Karen Baines, Department of Molecular Biology, SOM

I am writing to nominate Karen M Baines, who is a wonderful administrator in the Dept. of Molecular Biology, Rowan University-SOM, for Rowan’s PROFessional of the Week. During this challenging pandemic time, she worked through both the remote network and in-person to keep the whole department of research running smoothly. Whatever we asked for, she was very happy to assist us in any way that she could. One PhD student commented that she has been a superhero during this unprecedented time. Her outstanding leadership and exceptional efforts have demonstrated that she deserves to be Rowan’s PROFessional of the Week.


June 29th

University Advising Services
It is with great pleasure that we submit this nomination for University Advising Services as PROFessionals of the Week. This incredible team of nearly 60 academic advisors have gone well above and beyond the call of duty to support our undergraduate students during the COVID-19 crisis. During spring break, plans were made to move to remote advising. Advisors have been working from home since mid-March, many creatively functioning with new approaches to advising. Throughout it all, UAS advisors have been working non-stop to provide additional outreach and support to our students during this pandemic crisis. It is without hesitation that we nominate our team for such an award as this incredibly dedicated and passionate team has remained a constant source of support during very inconsistent times.
Dorothy Abruzzo-Klumpp, Associate Director for the College of Education Advising Center
Jay Dukenski, Associate Director, University Advising Services
Carol Eigenbrot, Associate Director for the University Advising Center
Erin Hannah, Associate Director, Student Support Services
Beth Rey, Associate Director, University Advising Services
Amy Ruymann, Director, University Advising Services
Frontline Admins Across Our Campuses
I would like to nominate all staff on the front lines who are answering phones and interacting with parents and students.
During this uncertain time, when anxiety is high and information changing by the minute, we have been talking the Rowan Family through this crisis. We have been consoling, advising, and listening. Students and parents alike have called our respective offices looking for answers and assurance, and we have been picking up the phone. Some are actually on campus, most are at home, but all are helping those on the other line to process what we are all still coming to terms with.
We never know who or what is going to be on the other line. Sometimes it is a parent who has lost a job and has no idea how they are going to pay for groceries let alone tuition. Sometimes it is a student who has lost a family member and they don’t know how they are going to move forward in their education. In order to do our jobs, we need to know not only everything about our department, but have foundational information about others as well, so that we can quickly and competently help that fellow Prof. We strive to demonstrate compassion and connect them with the right person who can help, or provide them with the information to access resources.
During these challenging days, when everything has been turned upside down, we have been there for the Rowan Community. So, on behalf of admins across the campus, I nominate …. Us!!

June 15th

Dana Galligani, Kathleen Locklear, and Mike Mowery, Rowan SOM Dept. of Family Medicine

It is a privilege to nominate from the RowanSOM Department of Family Medicine Team: Dana Galligani, Practice Manager, Kathleen Locklear, Manager of Clinical and Academic Operations and Mike Mowery, Admin. Analyst for Prof of the Week!  

This team’s exceptional efforts have enabled Family Medicine to maintain patient access, via Telemedicine, to quality care during this pandemic. In addition, we have been able to continue to provide educational experiences to our medical students and residents, bringing a level of education to them that had not previously been available. We have also continued our very important grant work.

All of this has taken tremendous work; days, nights and evenings. No job has been too big or too small for this team. Each has scoped up, down and across to ensure that we maintained our core goals of keeping faculty/staff/patients safe, maintaining and increasing quality care and educating the next generation of Family Medicine physicians.

Each of these three have shown tremendous leadership in a most challenging, scary time. Their hard work, leadership, teamwork and core values have enabled Family Medicine to continue our mission. Thank you for all of your exceptional efforts!



Samyukta Alapati, Senior Data Analyst, Office of Analytics, Systems & Applications

I am nominating Samyukta Alapati (Senior Data Analyst) for her transformative work since March 2020 on a project that has significantly changed the process for creating Freshman student schedules. Samyukta was critical in automating a time consuming annual process in which Fall courses are assigned for up to 2,700 freshman. Samyukta’s work improved the efficiency and accuracy of this registration process and freed up advisors to have more time to focus on the important work of supporting students. Samyukta collaborated with Rowan’s Data Analytics team as well as University Advising Services and Testing Services to connect a variety of databases and information sources to accurately map all the freshman courses for approximately 112 different undergraduate majors. Samyukta dedicated over 100 hours to this project from development to testing. Samyukta’s responsiveness was exceptional allowing us to move rapidly from the discussion phase to testing and implementation. Samyukta was excellent at assessing the needs of the end user (university advisors) and understanding the complexities of mapping courses for over 112 different undergraduate majors. It was a pleasure to work with Samyukta though out this process. This project positively impacts the important work of onboarding new first Freshman to Rowan University.

Additionally, this project was completed predominately during our time of teleworking. Despite the unique challenges of the COVID circumstances,  Samyukta provide stellar responsiveness and support that allowed this project to move forward smoothly and quickly.


Katelynn Huff, Office of Research Compliance, Division of University Research

It is with great pleasure that I nominate Mrs. Katelynn Huff, for the PROFessional of the week. Katelynn is the Compliance Coordinator in the Office of Research Compliance, Division of University Research.

The research continuity at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic was critical to the continued growth of Rowan’s research enterprise. Katelynn’s title and job description does not accurately describe her actual contribution during this crisis. Working remotely, she stayed on top of all of the ongoing and new research projects that could be best conducted remotely. She stayed on top of all consulting projects and training classes and coordinated the steps in their planning, implementation, and development of visual aids. She was also instrumental in the implementation of a brand new software that was critical for managing our animal welfare program. 

Katelynn is an efficient and effective contributor to our department's success. She enthusiastically takes responsibilities when presented to her and performs with passion and professionalism.

While I am fully aware that first responders deserve full recognition at this time of crisis, academic and research, institutions have their own crisis and staff must ensure that research enterprise is not compromised. You need individuals like Katelynn who understand the needs of the institution now and contribute towards continuity of research, research processes, and be ready when research revamping occurs.

I am very happy to have someone like Katelynn working in our office. I enthusiastically submit this recommendation to nominate Katelynn as the PROFessional of the week.


June 1st

Laura Repsher

I’d like to nominate Laura Repsher, Tutoring Coordinator, as the PROFessional of the week. Just last week the decision was made to offer tutoring over the summer after multiple years of not having it. Since Laura had already transitioned all tutoring to remote tutoring after spring break, the ability to keep this going throughout the summer became a possibility. In less than a week, Laura was able to contact all returning tutors to see who was available to continue throughout the summer. She was in touch with different departments on campus to ensure that the needs of students are being met. In just the last week, Laura was able to bring 27 tutors on board, serving 142 unique courses. Offering summer tutoring will benefit all the students taking courses at Rowan this summer. Laura’s exceptional efforts are very much appreciated – thanks Laura!


May 18th

Karen at our Accepted Student’s Day in March. She is in teal.

Karen DiCiano, Rowan SOM Admissions

I would like to nominate Karen DiCiano from Rowan SOM Admissions in Stratford. Karen has been an integral part of our staff since she started in the summer of 2018, but she has been a true superstar since switching to off campus working. Right now SOM Admissions has some class movement, so it is all hands on deck. Karen is responsible for taking the student out of the class and updating after being notified of a withdraw. After the next student is offered the seat, she updates the status and then prepares the acceptance letter and packet to send off. This is a very detailed process that needs to be updated quickly and accurately. During this time there could be multiple movements in a day, but Karen keeps it error-free. Dean Watkins and I can go to her and ask what the class looks like and she is able to provide the information at a moment’s notice. This can be a stressful time for Admissions, but Karen has a positive attitude and is always glad to help. Her attention to detail and responsiveness helps the team work successfully. Karen is a pleasure to work with and a true PROFessional.



From left to right: Donna Grasso, Kathy Kupiec, Diane McCarthy, and Victoria Rivers

The staff of the NeuroMusculoskeletal Institute (NMI) at SOM

I am proud to nominate the staff of the NeuroMusculoskeletal Institute of the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine as PROFessionals of the week!

Two months ago as the COVID-19 crisis began we converted our busy clinical practice to telemedicine practically overnight. Our staff, many of whom have been with the University for many years, were given a brand new (to them) technology to learn to deal with our urgent clinical care issues. Patient appointments needed to be rescheduled immediately, medications needed to be dispensed, and our population, many of whom are elderly or not technologically proficient, had to be taught how to use Web Ex.

Initially the processes changed almost daily and our staff just kept on going – working from home, re-doing work, taking care of our patients with great compassion and keeping them calm and comfortable in these uncertain times. They have also helped us bring in the medical students and worked with them to continue the rotation through telemedicine.

A couple of examples of the team’s exceptional work: 

  • One of our staff members, Tonia Anderson, coordinated FIT testing for N95 masks of both staff and students in our department.
  • Our staff has served as medical screeners for the Rowan Medicine building and through countless hours of administrative work, helped us coordinate the return of medical students to rotations through telemedicine.

Since most of our staff is now remote, we couldn’t submit a picture of the whole team right now. Here are the names of the other remarkable NMI staff members not pictured: Tonia Anderson, Candace Gomes, Rachel Stech, Patricia Devine, Chrissie Lugo, Barbara Thompson, Lauren Norris, Chelsea Kilmer, Les Taylor, and Jill Lewellen.

All in all, they continue to shine as an invaluable human resource that often goes underappreciated.

They truly are representative of Rowan PROFessionals of the week! 

Dana Adams, Administrator, SOM Dept. of Medicine

I would like to nominate Dana Adams, Administrator for the Rowan SOM Department of Medicine as Professional of the Week (even though it wouldn't be amiss to say "of the year”.)

Dana works tirelessly for the benefit of everyone inside and outside of the department – physicians, staff, and patients alike. She has the kind of work ethic that drives her to follow through on everything she does, whether it's the department's finances and operations, or coordinating the development of plans to expand and renovate the department to provide greater access for our patients. She never utters the words "it's not my job" – that's not her nature. She takes the weight of every project on her shoulders to achieve the most positive outcomes possible.

Dana Adams is a true "PROfessional" and deserving of this recognition.


May 4th


Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management Team

 I would like to nominate the entire Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management team as Prof of the Week recipients. These dedicated staff members have been involved at the start of this pandemic in emergency operations planning and in continuing to keep the University safe and secure during this most challenging time. As essential employees, they have come to work and done their duty, at times risking their own health and safety. From our leadership team to the officers on the line, they have done their duty and served all of us well. They deserve our thanks and appreciation for their dedication and service to the entire Rowan University Community. 

Patricia Coughlan, Lecturer, Communication Studies Dept.

Patti is a Lecturer and also a retired educator in the NJ school system. Patti has served as a port in the storm through our time at home for her students. She is the consummate educator and she seamlessly transferred into online instruction. While she does teach online on a regular basis, we all know that moving from seated to online mid-semester doesn't always go smoothly. In addition to her teaching, she also volunteered to serve as a trainer for Blackboard. She helped me personally but she also helped others as well on more than one occasion. One of the shining qualities of Patti is that she commits to everything she does 100%. It is at the core of her being. When she took on the voluntary position as a trainer, she met with people one on one spending as much time as necessary. In addition, when the next set of questions popped up, she spent additional time one on one. I experienced this myself when I got the hang of the first level of Blackboard (I'm a Canvas devotee :) ) and then needed to jump to the next level. Overall Patti is the type of person that you can rely on day and night and she is a tremendous asset to Rowan University. 

Pamela Marshall, Instructor, Communication Studies Dept.

Pam is an Instructor and also the Director for our Public Speaking courses. ​She moved 30+ sections of Public Speaking - a core course of the University – online in two weeks’ time. She arranged for all of the adjunct faculty to move seamlessly into an online format in a coordinated fashion. It was a monumental task and Pam moved mountains to make it happen. Coordinating 30+ sections in a regular semester is not for the faint of heart. There are several cogs in the wheel that is Public Speaking and Pam works tirelessly to make every last detail play out in the best way possible for our students. In this unprecedented case, Pam made an incredible effort to move the already established classes online, connecting with all 30+ instructors and creating tools and materials to help them make the transition. It was a monumental effort and I believe that she deserves recognition. Pam was determined to make the move as smooth as possible and she was able to accomplish so much for the benefit of our students. Her actions and efforts for this unusual transition reached far and wide to help well over 500 students finish out the semester successfully. There are many folks that have helped our students succeed in this unusual semester, but the fact that she was able to help over 500 students really stands out. 

Glenn Bingham, Adjunct Faculty, Communication Studies Dept.

I would like to nominate an adjunct by the name of Glenn Bingham. Glenn is a Blackboard guru and helped me (Pamela Marshall) get all of our public speaking classes (close to 55 sections) remote for this semester. He has been an absolute blessing to us with his help, but has also helped so many others in the entire University, simply out of the goodness of his heart. Please consider recognizing the amazing help that Glenn has provided during these challenging days!   

April 27th   


Chief Vern Howery and the EMS Staff

We would like to nominate Chief Vern Howery and his entire EMS staff for the PROFessionals of the Week.

Chief Howery and his EMS crew members reached out to the Department of Public Safety and volunteered their time and equipment to sanitize and disinfect all of our department’s vehicles during the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, they also provided reusable cloth face coverings to all of our staff on the Stratford campus. They continually go above and beyond to ensure the health and safety of others during this crisis. Chief Howery and his staff's commitment to the Rowan and local community are perfect examples of what makes them true assets to the PROF family.


Michael Ciocco, Director of Rowan Online

The Remote Instruction Task Force 

The Remote Instruction Task Force, led by Mike Ciocco, Director of Rowan Online, has been meeting since mid-March. The members have been taking steps to ensure that faculty members are guided in their transition from face-to-face classes to remote instruction.
The Task Force includes Mariano Savelski, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Lorraine Ricchezza, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, who check in with the Provost. Mike Sunderhauf, Shaun Holland and William McCool from Rowan Global bring their knowledge of online teaching. Bonnie Angelone, Natalie Kautz, and Carla Sbrana from the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning have created documents and dispersed information. Information Resources and Technology, including Eileen Stutzbach, Marybeth Hegel, Robin Kincaid, Shalanda Gray, and Stephanie Mosher have created training materials and assisted with technology.
A number of faculty members volunteered to train others and offer one-on-one assistance. Faculty members who needed help could sign-up for a session in Picktime and could go through a new "Transition to Temporary Remote Instruction" Blackboard training course. Faculty members have done a great job transitioning to their new normal. 

April 20th


Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

I’d like to nominate the team of individuals from the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning for their exceptional efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. 

As members of the Remote Instruction Task Force, Director Bonnie Angelone and Assistant Director Natalie Kautz have met with key individuals on campus to find ways to support faculty members during their transition to remote instruction. Resources have been collected and organized and information from multiple places is being distributed in short bulletins through the Faculty Center Announcements. 

Staff from the Faculty Center have volunteered to individually help faculty members move their face-to-face courses online, and also participate in the Continuity Q and A sessions for faculty members on Webex.

Educational Technologist Carla Sbrana teaches Rowan’s Online Teaching Basics course, and her knowledge of best practices has been invaluable. She has been attending multiple workshops about the quick transition to online instruction as a result of COVID-19, then sharing the information on both our Faculty Center website and Facebook page

The Faculty Center had an Instructional Continuity Plan in place long before the pandemic hit. In fact, the front page of the website has links to it – Considerations when Preparing Exams, Test, and Quizzes, a Model Honor Code for Students, the link to enroll in the Transition Training Course, and more. 



  • Serafina Genise (left), a graduate coordinator within our office who is handling the university call center/switchboard remotely from their on-campus apartment. Serafina is one of eight graduate coordinators assisting with this essential service.
  • Diane Ramsey and Steve Shaw (middle), two of our ten maintenance staff who are ensuring the facility remains clean and disinfected for those who are utilizing it during the pandemic.
  • Will McMillan, (right), a graduate coordinator within our office who is serving as a building manager. The Student Center is staffed by a Building Manager at all times when it is open.

The Student Center & Campus Activities (SCCA)

The Student Center & Campus Activities (SCCA) team led by Director, Dr. Joe Lizza, has been operating the Chamberlain Student Center seven days a week since the pandemic started providing essential programs and services to the university community. These services include building oversight and maintenance, access to dining services, laundry, and mail services as well as a variety of other university led initiatives such as the on-site distribution of technology (Coordinated by the Dean of Students Office) for those students who are in need of equipment to be successful in an online/remote environment. 

Additionally, this team with the unwavering support of their graduate coordinators, have continued to operate the university call center/switchboard without interruption throughout this crisis. On top of facility operations and support services, the office has worked closely with other university partners in developing a comprehensive virtual programming calendar, some of the SCCA signature virtual programs include trivia, BINGO, game tournaments, and even online talent showcases which mirror the traditional on-campus Prof-Spotlight. It’s truly a team effort made up of professional staff, support staff, maintenance professionals, graduate coordinators, as well as student leaders and student employees who are volunteering their time to enhance campus life and community building.



Left to right: Amanda Ciavarella, Michele Gallagher, Carol Primas-Young, and Rory Grossman

Ally Network SWAT Team

I would like to nominate the Ally Network SWAT Team for PROF of the Month recognition. The SWAT Team, which includes Amanda Ciavarella, Michele Gallagher, Rory Grossman, and Carol Primas-Young, was responsible for working with leadership to plan, execute, and coordinate the Ally Network initiative. The Ally Network was designed to reach across departmental and divisional lines, bringing together a community of Rowan staff to support students during the pandemic. Because of the SWAT team’s efforts, we were able to share resources and increase our capacity for supporting students virtually in the areas of retention, recruitment, services, and well-being. Amanda, Michele, Rory, and Carol went above and beyond their regular duties, during a stressful, hectic time. They continue to offer up their flexibility and positive attitudes to support the entire Student Affairs division whenever needed. I am proud to nominate them for PROF of the Week, in recognition of their admirable work ethic and unwavering commitment to our community.



CARES Institute

We would like to recognize CARES Institute members who have collectively worked as a dynamic team to serve the needs of children impacted by abuse, neglect, violence and other traumatic experiences at this extremely challenging time. This team is always appreciated, but they have individually and collectively gone above and beyond our expectations to create and support a retooled operation to serve the State of New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families. Under difficult circumstances at home, administrative staff members have endured the exceptional stress of assisting in triaging and responding to critically important calls to support our medical and mental health clinicians.

The demands on our medical, mental health and training teams have also been extraordinary and as we had expected they have been exceptionally responsive as individuals and as teams. Before this COVID crisis, we knew we had outstanding colleagues that support one another in ensuring that we provide sensitive and effective clinical services to all families and offer training and research programs that are highly regarded and operate smoothly as well. We believe that our entire CARES team has demonstrated exceptional dedication to their work, compassion for those that they interact with and professionalism in representing CARES and the University during this unprecedented time​. We believe they have earned the recognition to be PROFessionals of the Week!


April 13th 

Residential Learning and University Housing – Housekeeping Staff

Residential Learning and University Housing has a group of Housekeeping staff, led by supervisors Charles White and Darryl Cook, who responded to the need to clean recently vacated apartments in one of our campus buildings, Triad Hall. This process began on Thursday, April 2nd. It was necessary work because the Governor, as he has done with many public institutions, has requested to use this facility in the near future to potentially house medical professionals who are regionally responding to the crisis.

While most of our campus employees have been permitted to work from home, this essential and uneasy task could obviously not be done virtually. To respond to what was being treated as an emergency, our staff were asked to work every day on campus until all vacant apartments in Triad were cleaned, while still maintaining the sanitizing efforts of other partially occupied residence halls. We requested, and received a few days later, assistance from custodial employees from other departments to expedite the work, but our RLUH team immediately paused their newly initiated flex schedule, meaning they worked their full shifts every day to efficiently get started on the task. Within just 3 ½ work days, the collective group successfully cleaned 45 newly vacated apartments, totaling 72 bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens that can now be used at a moment’s notice. This was not an easy thing to ask of them, but it was most assuredly more difficult for them to do given the circumstances, and I would love it for the Rowan Community to recognize them for it.

To everyone who worked in Triad to get apartments ready for emergency use, but most especially those members of the RLUH Housekeeping staff, we say THANK YOU! In addition to Charles and Darryl, RLUH staff included (in no particular order) Betzaida Aponte Rios, Assata Shakur, Craig Lopez, Mike Manganaro, Tanya King, Jose Gordils, Zachary Lee, Milagros Torres Garcia, Cynthia Russell, Vince Zardus, and Tomas Moya.

Office of Grants and Contracts Accounting (Division of Research)

On behalf of the Division of Research, Beena Sukumaran and Sarah Piddington would like to recognize the exceptional efforts of the Office of Grants and Contracts Accounting. Under the leadership of Rita Piccioni, the team seamlessly transitioned to remote working. Additionally, the team has operated more effectively and efficiently since the transition and start of the crisis which is an accomplishment in and of itself. Rita has taken the lead to offer support and collaboration with other administrative departments as they transitioned to a remote working environment, including giving tips and guidance to other managers for supervising staff remotely and sharing the burden of developing processes and handling overflow volume for other departments. She has been proactive in working to mitigate any cash flow concerns before being asked to do so by the Division of Finance. We are incredibly proud of Rita and her entire team in the way that they have not only transitioned their work, but have supported others on campus. Below is an acknowledgment from Rita, sharing the work and efforts of her team to work effectively, efficiently, cooperatively and remain positive and upbeat. They are truly an inspiration.

Every member has contributed by using their strengths:

  • Beth Santini, Lacey Murphy and Jose Garcia-Cruz prepared and submitted the federal cost reimbursements in record time. In fact, Rowan is already being reimbursed! They continue to bill our sponsors in addition to supporting their researchers.
  • Sheila Lewis is preparing the interim EOF reports remotely with the PI. The deadlines remain the same and I have no doubt we will meet the deadline with Sheila’s efforts!
  • Marcus Smith is working on closeouts. We have identified over 600 funds and Marcus is working on gathering the documentation. 

I am proud to see how our team is supporting each other via Google Chat – whether it’s sharing a best practice or a beautiful picture of the sunrise at the Jersey shore. 

Dr. Alison Novak

I nominate Dr. Alison Novak of the Public Relations/Advertising Department, Edelman College of Communication and Visual Arts, as PROFessional of the Week. Dr. Alison has been an invaluable resource to her colleagues as we prepared for converting to online courses. Those, like myself, an adjunct with little to no experience in conducting online courses, benefitted greatly from Dr. Novak’s expertise and faultless guidance. In addition to sharing her knowledge freely, Dr. Novak was patience personified as she walked me through the various steps. Upbeat and encouraging throughout, I could hear the smile in Alison’s voice as she helped me persevere. It was only with her help that I was able to translate my courses to an online version and meet my students’ needs. Whether or not Dr. Novak is named employee of the week, she’s the employee of the year in my book.

Matthew Vanek

   Matt performing respirator fit testing for an EMS employee recently

  • 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 the things he has done and continues to do as an Industrial Hygienist in the Environmental Health & Safety Department are:

    • Provided Respirator fit testing for over 40 EMS, and Wellness Center staff employees (Public 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 been a Rowan employee 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, he jumped at the opportunity to serve with our other emergency planners
    • He is actively involved as needed with Rowan’s emergency team and calls with the county (for COVID-19)
    • 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 maintaining 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 ground 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.

April 6th

Working on Ergonomic Sheet        
for working at home.

Tom was a part of the team that set up social distancing measures at the Rowan Medicine building in Stratford

Performing Geiger Mueller survey on the SOM Campus

Thomas Boyle 

  • As a result of needed COVID-19 and Environmental Health & Safety requests, Tom (Associate Director – EHS) worked to help Rowan Medicine and SOM in general 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 an EHS document or guide for working at home and ergonomics (in response to numerous employees working at home); he took the initiative to create and finalize the guide
  • Tom is extremely knowledgeable of all environmental health and medical school safety or EHS issues. 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.



Jay Accorsi, Penny Kempf, and John Giannini

When football coach Jay Accorsi heard from one of his former players that a few Glassboro families were very much in need of meals, he knew how to help. Accorsi called on Associate Athletic Director Penny Kempf, and with the support of athletic director Dr. John Giannini, they rallied their colleagues in the Athletic Department to help these families put food on their tables.

Accorsi and Kempf set up “Rowan Athletics Cares” in which the staff quickly made donations over the course of the weekend to aid the cause. Groceries were then purchased for the families and those donations, along with the generous cooperation of Athletics sponsor Nick’s Pizza, are now providing meals to be delivered a few times a week. True North Church has added its support, joining with Rowan Athletics to help these families in need. We thank Jay, Penny and Rowan’s coaches and athletic staff for all they do!

John Davis (left) and Derrick Fullard (right)

John Davis and Derrick Fullard

The past few weeks have been difficult to navigate for most of us, as we are learning how to telework and continue to provide support to the ever changing needs of the University. Operations have been exceptionally challenging, as these employees cannot simply take their work home to complete.

John Davis and Derrick Fullard had a tremendous task of securing supplies before they ran out, including enough sanitizer for all the students and employees while everyone was still on campus. They were also faced with calming and training those employees, who became our front line defenders against the virus. Their professionalism and understanding of research provided by Health Officials allowed for our continual disinfection of occupied spaces that continues to this day. They have spent countless extra hours across three shifts a day on campus to be with their staff to answer and provide guidance for continual questions regarding employees’ personal safety. While most Custodians go unnoticed during normal operations, especially those who work through the night, while we are all safe in our houses, it is important to give them the recognition they deserve.

March 30th

George Lecakes


George Lecakes, Director of the Virtual Reality Center at Rowan University, leapt into action when he was tasked to design a mask to protect our first responders in South Jersey and print them using the 3-D printers in the Virtual Reality lab. Working tirelessly day and night, he collaborated with groups of students from the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and the College of Science and Mathematics to quickly develop a mask design that could be rapidly printed, assembled and tested in ER facilities at Cooper and Inspira hospitals over the weekend. 

George went above and beyond his regular duties supporting research projects and Engineering Clinics in the VR lab, during this time of unprecedented crisis. His efforts have caught the imagination of our students, our alums and the local community who have volunteered in droves to help print masks for protecting our first responders. He is a worthy honoree for PROF of the week. Thank you for all you do, George!!


IRT Training & Instructional Support


In recent weeks the IRT Training and Instructional Support team have dedicated themselves to the yeoman’s task of assisting the faculty to convert all the in-person classes to remote classes. Besides resolving the high level of support tickets from faculty and students, each person on the team has volunteered for days, nights and weekend one-on-one instructor training, updated Knowledge Articles and contributed to the remote working websites. Additionally, in an effort to enhance their ability to assist, they joined webinars and did research to learn more about Blackboard, WebEx and Kaltura and participated as panelists on the IRT FAQ daily presentations.

Training and Instructional Support includes the Blackboard customer support team of Eileen Stutzbach, Stephanie Mosher and Sheena Pierce, media expert Karlton Hughes,  the training team of Jennifer Savage, Melissa Meireles, Erica King, Marybeth Hegel and student worker Madison Jenkins. Thank you for all you do!!