Former Al Roker intern makes his mark in meteorology and modeling at Rutgers


Jeremy Lewan is graduating this spring after a coveted internship with NBC News

Just before Al Roker gave the daily weather forecast on NBC Todayhe receives a briefing at 4:30 a.m. on the latest temperature records, hurricanes or snowstorms from his weather producers on the show.

Last summer, one of the voices giving him those weather updates via FaceTime belonged to Jeremy Lewan, a meteorology student at Rutgers graduating this spring who landed a coveted internship with NBC News and worked daily with Roker.

“Sometimes Al would say to me, ‘Hey Jeremy, how was the temperature in Las Vegas yesterday?'” says Lewan, who was connected to Roker’s earpiece throughout the show. “And I would have to look him up quickly and tell him within 15 seconds and say, ‘Hey Al, it was actually 116 degrees yesterday and tomorrow it will be 117.'”

Lewan, who often worked from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m., also produced the maps used by Roker during his forecasts and researched and wrote weather stories for the network’s website. “Jeremy was one of the best, if not the best, interns I’ve ever worked with, simply because of his willingness to learn,” says Kathryn Prociv, senior meteorologist and producer in NBC News’ climate unit. “He never complained, and we put him to the test here.”

Forecasting on-air weather is a skill Lewan honed on campus as a member of the Rutgers University WeatherWatchers Club. Since her first semester, Lewan has been broadcasting the weather once a week, based on her own analysis of multiple weather patterns, from a studio in Perry Hall on the GH Cook campus.

Throughout the spring, Rutgers Today will highlight the achievements of the Class of 2022 and share stories about the difference our graduates are making in college and beyond.

Growing up in Bayonne, Lewan decided he wanted to become a meteorologist at the age of 5, when he started giving daily weather forecasts in kindergarten. He and his parents lived in a high-rise apartment building where he could watch the storms move in from the west over Newark Bay.

“My mom always says she got the perfect apartment for a weatherman because we live high enough to see everything,” Lewan says.

Although he attended summer weather camp at Penn State University in high school, Lewan had Rutgers in mind because it’s the only college in New Jersey that offers a degree in meteorology. He was accepted into Rutgers-New Brunswick Honors College, became an ambassador for prospective students, and participated in a specialized study abroad program in Yucatán, Mexico, where he explored Mayan history and the biodiversity of the region.

Although his activities at Rutgers revolved around weather and climate change, Lewan also joined a club he never expected when a student handed him a flyer at a bus stop – the Modeling Squad. Rutgers FACE. Two years later, the club, which holds a fashion show every two years, asked Lewan to be its walking coach.

Jeremey Lewan at NBC with Al Roker
Jeremy Lewan completed a coveted internship at NBC News last summer, working with Al Roker.

Although he never thought of himself as a role model, he took the job and, working with former coaches, he learned that the skill models used apply to broadcast work as well. “Being a role model helps increase your on-screen poise and stance and builds your confidence in front of the camera,” he says.

Other clubs he joined reflected his multiracial background, including the Rutgers Fusion Club for Multicultural and Biracial Students and the Active Allyship for Racial Justice Living-Learning Community.

“I wanted to join this community to promote racial justice and be a true racial justice warrior with other like-minded students,” he says. “After the racial reckoning we had in 2020, it became even more important for me to be involved on that front.”

Lewan’s passion for meteorology and his excellent academic record catapulted him to win the 2021 American Meteorological Society Orville Family Endowed Scholarship – and the first prize of $10,000 awarded to a student throughout the country. Along with completing a range of on-campus activities, from mentoring high school students in a climate change advocacy group to writing for two Rutgers magazines, Lewan earned a 4.0 each semester.

“We’ve had students come close to a 4.0, but no student my 15 years old has ever gotten a 4.0,” says Steven Decker, associate professor and director of the undergraduate meteorology program. “It’s a tough program.

Lewan is now applying for broadcast jobs across the country and hopes a TV station will give him the chance to fulfill his dream of becoming a TV weatherman. He believes the experience he gained at Rutgers will help him stand out in this competitive field.

“Rutgers has really been everything I wanted and more,” he says. “It was always my dream school and it still is my dream school. I’ve grown so much here and I’m not the same person I was when I first set foot on Rutgers that I am now. And I don’t think I could have had any of those experiences anywhere else.

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