Rowan staff and students mourn loss of chemistry professor Timothy Sheehan


Adjunct and three-quarter time Rowan professor Timothy Sheehan died on Feb. 13, according to a Rowan Announcer Extra Edition email sent to faculty Tuesday evening.

Sheehan was a professor in the chemistry and biochemistry department and worked at Rowan since spring 2009, according to Gregory Caputo, chemistry and biochemistry department chair.

According to Caputo, Sheehan taught two general chemistry courses as well as an advanced college chemistry series.

“One thing that always stood out about Tim was that he was always really positive and really upbeat and energetic and really brought that into the classroom,” Caputo said in a phone interview. “[His passing] came as a real shock to all of us.”

According to his obituary from, Sheehan was a father, husband and grandfather from Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. He died age 66 from natural causes.

Assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry Tim Vaden was similarly shocked and saddened by the news of Sheehan’s death.

“Up until last week, he seemed healthy and normal,” Vaden said. “He was very positive and never complained about anything at all.”

Vaden admires Sheehan for his reliability, saying, “Whether it was 8 a.m. or evening classes, he was always open to whatever we needed him to do, with a smile on his face.”

Along with the faculty, Rowan students shared positive remembrances about Sheehan as an individual.

Sophomore biology major Jenn Hopkins, who had Sheehan for Chemistry 2, appreciated his frequent anecdotes.

“He shared a lot of stories and experiences about his work in chemistry throughout the class, which made it really interesting to learn from him,” she said.

Freshman biochemistry major Justin Roldan respected Sheehan’s affability and clarity.

“He was always friendly, like a grandpa figure to the class,” Roldan said. “Even if the lessons would get confusing, professor Sheehan would take time to make the lessons more relatable and talk about his past experiences in pharmaceutical companies.”

Roldan added that two grieving counselors were available for his class during lecture period.

Freshman biochemistry major Edward Taggart, paralleled the comments expressed by others, touching on Sheehan’s helpful nature, extensive experience and the feelings of grief that have come as a result of his death.

“He was a kind man with a lot of personality, and it came as a great shock to me and the entire class the morning after he passed. I’m just more at a loss for words, and hoping the rest of the semester proceeds as he would have wanted,” he said.

Additional reporting by Justin Decker.

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