“Zoe the Clam” is Rowan College of South Jersey Assistant Professor, Carthornia Kouroupos’ first published literary work and brings attention to bullying.
Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) is the home of a plethora of talented students, faculty, administrators, and staff, who have been blessed to be able to share their gifts to our community and the world.
We have students who have launched
successful, thought-provoking podcasts, and have defeated U.S. Chess Masters to attain the level of a
top-ranked chess champion. We have a staff member who was crowned Miss Atlantic Shores 2023 and is competing in
Miss New Jersey contests, administrators who have published musical compositions, and faculty whose illuminating artwork has graced the cover of
We can now add Carthornia Kouroupos, assistant professor, English, to an ever-expanding list of members of the RCSJ family whose expertise are on display for the masses.
Kouroupos recently published her first literary work, a children's book titled, “Zoe the Clam." According to the assistant professor, “'Zoe the Clam' is the aquatic story of Zoe, a shy clam who is bullied for being unlike the other fish of the sea." After being ridiculed by the roughest, toughest fish in the ocean, Zoe shows everyone her extraordinary gifts.
“My purpose for writing 'Zoe the Clam' was to bring attention to bullying as well as to inspire children to have a positive self-image despite being bullied for their uniqueness," Kouroupos, an avid gardener and theater buff, explained.
“Zoe represents every child who has been bullied for being different," she continued. “As far as the bully symbols, they too represent the bullies we all faced at one time or another during our childhoods."
Kouroupos radiated an energy of gratitude when asked how it felt to be a first-time author. “I feel excited and humbled to be able to share such an important message," she said.
The assistant professor also revealed that “Zoe the Clam Goes to School," the second book of the “Zoe" series, will be released later this year.
Kouroupos – who has been employed by RCSJ for the last eight years – was also thrilled to experience her first book signing event, held at the Gloucester campus on April 18. “It felt surreal because I never imagined myself experiencing that moment. Nevertheless, I was so excited about my very own book signing."
A couple of RCSJ students, Paige Britt and Daniel Duvinski, both of whom are taking a Children's Literature class at the College, attended the event and had glowing words to say about “Zoe the Clam."
“I thought the story was so cute," said Britt. “It has an important message for kids and the illustrations look really good, too."
“It's a really empowering story," Duvinski added. “Zoe turns the sand into a pearl. She took that negativity, made it positive, and grew because of that."
Kouroupos was appreciative to her colleagues for organizing the book signing.
“It was definitely a highpoint in my life and I'm so grateful for all who made it happen and everyone who came to support me and the event," she shared. “It was a wonderful and memorable feeling. I'm still floating around somewhere above the ground."
Kouroupos, who also teaches Oral Communications and African American Literature, has enjoyed her experience at RCSJ and is thankful she has an opportunity to impart positive messages to her students in her role as professor.
“It has been and still is a wonderful journey helping my students reach their highest potential," she said. “My greatest joy is encouraging students to always remain open to learning new ways to look at the world and themselves."
For more information about “Zoe the Clam," or to purchase the book, you can visit
zoetheclam.com. For more information about Rowan College of South Jersey's English programs, visit