When Courtney P. Rosser ’16 arrived on campus from Amsterdam, a small city in New York’s Montgomery County, she chose to major in bioengineering. She changed her major to biology, then added neuroscience. Rather than becoming a doctor or a researcher, Rosser drew on her experience in the Neuroscience ILM (integrated learning major) to prepare for a career in healthcare communications.
The changes in academic focus and shift to a career that combines her interests reflects Rosser’s philosophy at Syracuse University: Be open to change and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. She keeps busy on campus with volunteer and Greek activities, and enjoys exploring Central New York. “It’s never too late to get involved on or off campus,” she says. “Syracuse has so much to offer, and it would be a waste to spend four years here without enjoying the opportunities handed to you.”
We are pleased to feature Courtney in our Student Spotlight series.
Tell us a little bit about life before Syracuse University.
I’ve always been motivated to be involved and help others. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was vice president of National Honor Society, vice president of Key Club, and president of Student Government. Since I came from a small high school, it was easy to get involved and set the groundwork for my interests.
Why did you choose Syracuse University?
Syracuse had it all. Not only were there excellent academic programs, but there was so much opportunity to grow. Since I came from an extremely small town, it was the first time that I was able to meet people from different cultures and religions. Besides having everything that I wanted, Syracuse University’s scholarships made it possible for me to afford a great education.
What’s your favorite thing about attending Syracuse University?
Even though it’s a big campus, it still feels like home. When I first got here, I only knew the students who lived on the third floor in Sadler Hall. After four years here, I can’t walk to class without seeing at least three people I know. All the organizations, clubs, and sports here made it easy to find things I was passionate about and get involved.
Is there a member of the faculty that has had a significant influence on your academic trajectory?
Dr. Sandra Hewett has helped me so much. She gave me a chance as a sophomore to do stroke and epilepsy research in her lab. It’s definitely one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had at Syracuse. I’m currently writing my thesis on the stroke research I worked on.
Dr. Hewett has gone above and beyond in order to help me succeed. She has been a mentor, academic advisor, and professor, and I couldn’t be more thankful to have her continuously pushing me to do my best.
What’s the best way to spend free time as a SU student?
Try something new with great friends. Upstate New York has a lot to offer: apple picking, hiking, an SU basketball game, eating at the All Night Eggplant or visiting the New York State Fair. You can always find something fun to do.
In what extracurricular activities do you currently participate?
I am an active member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, a social organization on campus that has allowed me to meet so many great people and get involved in even greater things. We support Reading Is Fundamental, which is a charity that promotes childhood literacy. I also had the honor of being selected to participate in the Dulye Leadership Experience 2015. This is a full scholarship that acts as a professional and personal development conference. I also am an active member of both the TriBeta Biological Honor Society and the Order of Omega.
What are some of the activities you like around CNY that aren’t Syracuse University affiliated?
Since Syracuse is a city where many people need help, I think some of the best activities are those that are fun, but also allow you to help someone else. On multiple occasions I’ve helped make sandwiches and blankets for the homeless. I also love going off campus to try new restaurants with my friends. There are some hidden gems if you really explore the area.
Where is your favorite place on campus to study?
My favorite place to study on campus is Carnegie Library. Last finals week, I practically lived there just because the tables have a lot of space and it’s completely silent. I’m definitely the most productive when I go there.
How is Syracuse University helping you achieve your goals?
Syracuse alums really mean it when they say that they bleed orange and will go the extra mile to make sure that they can help you. It didn’t make sense to me until I was a junior, but the alumni network is one of the best resources at Syracuse. Alumni have continuously answered my questions and connected me to people that will help me meet my goals.