Middlesex County Residents Make An Early Connection To Rowan

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MIDDLESEX COUNTY — Six Middlesex County residents reported to Rowan University a week before the rest of their fellow freshmen to participate in Freshman Connection 2011, an opportunity to do service work, learn leadership skills or even enjoy a little adventure as they began their collegiate careers.

The students participated in a week-long array of activities based on the type of connection they wanted to build.


Three students traveled to West Virginia through “Connect through Adventure,” where they zip lined through the mountains, enjoyed white water rafting, and shared family-style meals with their classmates.

The students included: Brendan McLaughlin of East Brunswick, a law and justice major; Ashley Payne of Monroe Township, a secondary education and mathematics major; and Mark VanZevenbergen of Plainsboro, a radio/television/film major.

Old Bridge residents Matthew Reinhardt, Jennifer Fox, and Venus Ranieri, worked on their leadership skills through “Connect through Leadership,” held at Camp Haluwasa in Hammonton. They participated team building activities, communication, and goal-setting workshops. Reinhardt is a biochemistry and Honors major, while Fox is a law and justice and psychology major. Ranieri is majoring in public relations and advertising.

Students who wanted to give back to the local community participated in “Connect Through Volunteerism,” which included working with Habitat for Humanity and The Gift of Life Donor Program in Philadelphia, among other projects.

“Freshman Connection gives our students the opportunity to participate in experiences and interact with new people as they begin their academic careers. It also helps them connect with current Rowan students who serve as leaders in each track,” says Andrew Tinnin, director of Orientation and Student Leadership Programs.

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