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!!


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!!