PEOPLE - Alumni Stories
Reflection by Giavanni Rizzo
I began my career at Rowan University as an Exploratory Studies major. After I took the course Earth, People, and the Environment, taught by an inspirational and passionate geography professor, I decided that I was destined to be a part of the School of Earth and Environment. I switched my major to Environmental & Sustainability Studies and eventually added an additional major of Community and Environmental Planning during my junior year. Being a part of the School of Earth and Environment was instrumental in getting me to where I am today. My professors consistently challenged students to perform to their greatest potential, and applied real world examples at every opportunity. This provided me with an understanding of how my college education and training was preparing me for experiences in the working world. I graduated in May of 2019, receiving the Dean’s Senior of Distinction Award.
Working at the Community Planning + Visualization Lab
I began working at the Community Planning + Visualization Lab as a Research Assistant during my junior year at Rowan in September 2018. I continued working with the Lab up until my graduation. Afterwards, I transitioned to a part time employee to assist with final preparations for a Green Stormwater Infrastructure plan targeted at the Waterfront South neighborhood in Camden, New Jersey. A great deal of tasks I had to complete involved working independently. These tasks improved my abilities to work efficiently and accurately. The rest of my tasks involved interacting with residents of the Waterfront South neighborhood and stormwater management professionals. This enhanced my skills with group management and communicating complicated information. The skills I learned and experiences I had while working in the Lab assisted in my acquisition of a full-time position as an Environmental Services Trainee at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) Division of Air Quality Compliance and Enforcement Program based in Camden, New Jersey. I will be responding to complaints related to air as well as inspecting facilities that emit any form of air pollution to ensure proper and safe emissions standards are being met.
In the future, I see myself continuing my work in the NJDEP’s Division of Air Quality Compliance and Enforcement Program. Due to the room for growth at the NJDEP, I plan to continue my career moving up the chain of command in the Division of Air Quality Compliance and Enforcement Program.
I am an avid gamer who has been gaming my whole life. I also play tennis and table tennis recreationally and was in a club for these during my time at Rowan University. I love to watch television with friends and family in addition to spending my time outdoors enjoying local parks and nature trails.