Math Student Spotlight

Math Student Spotlight

Rowan University's Math Student Spotlight


Lucas LaValva, Class of 22

I chose this university because I was excited about the small class sizes and the room for extracurricular academic involvement, and was not disappointed by my decision. Before I was a sophomore, professors from each of my majors had helped me to get involved with departmental activities. I will be graduating from Rowan with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, as well as a minor in Sociology. Machine learning research with Hieu Nguyen and the Mathematics department was an excellent learning experience for me, and the learning assistant and tutoring program in the Computer Science department helped me to sharpen my programming skills by helping others. The University facilitated a large amount of growth, and I was able to see my name on two publications through Dr. Nguyen's research before I joined a research team with Bristol-Myers Squibb through the Computer Science department. After I graduate I'll be heading to San Jose to work as a software engineer, developing the Marko.js framework with an extremely talented group of engineers at eBay. I am grateful for my experience at Rowan and excited for what's to come in my future. 


Rachel Roche, Class of 23

I’m from Mantua, NJ a town very close to Rowan University Main Campus. I am 20 years old and currently a Junior pursuing Math Education. I am enrolled in the 5+1 CADP Program at Rowan University, where I will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Masters in STEM Education by 2024. I am also pursuing a minor in Business Administration and a Bantivoglio Honors Concentration. I am heavily involved in student life at Rowan. I’m a part of different organizations on campus like Alpha Phi Omega, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Reformed University Fellowship as well as the Ballroom Dancing Club.  I come from a family of 5 where I am the first member to attend a university. My main career goal after graduation is to pursue a career in Math Education. I plan on teaching high school or even college level math.  I also plan on being very involved in the school system and would love to even pursue math curriculum writing or a career in administration. This is exactly why my college education at Rowan is so important to me. Receiving the John Sooy scholarship is such an honor to me and I am so grateful for it. This is the first scholarship outside of the Rowan Scholars that I have ever received, so it really does mean a lot to me. To me, it feels like a reward for all of the hard work I have done so far in my education, but more so a reminder and a push to continue to work hard and to do well in my studies. 


Rachel Bruno, Class of 24

While I was a sophomore in high school, I toured Rowan for the first time with my older brother. I immediately fell in love with the campus buildings and all Rowan had to offer. What really caught my attention was the math department and the 4 + 1 mathematics and education program that was offered. After four years of being an undergraduate I will graduate in the spring of 2024 with a B.A. in Mathematics and, after my fifth year, I will graduate in the summer of 2025 with a M.A. in STEM Education. During my four years at Rowan, I have developed many valuable relationships with professors as well as some really great friendships with peers. I am a student worker for the Mathematics Department, the treasurer for the Math Team, a member of the Association of Women in Mathematics, a member of the Pi Mu Epsilon, and I have participated on an intramural basketball team for the past three years. While working in the Mathematics Department, I have been given the opportunity to help out at many of our events. Last year, I attended many lunches with potential candidates for a position in the department. I helped set up for the Pi Mu Epsilon induction ceremony and even got to hand my roommate her honor cord! I helped out at Rowan’s Accepted Students Day and got to talk to potential mathematics majors about our department and classes. On top of all this, I have a minor in physics as well as statistics and operations research in addition to the 4 + 1 mathematics and education program. I have just started taking my graduate level classes and finally started to go into the field to begin observing a teacher at a middle school. At the end of my five years here, I hope to be a middle school or high school teacher up in North Jersey where I am from!