“Why I Remain Close to Lehigh” is a collection of feature stories about Lehigh University alumni volunteers and their motivation to stay involved with their alma mater. The group of alumni were interviewed by Klaudia Jazwinska ’18 and Carina Bonasera ’19.
“When I think back on my time at Lehigh, even though it wasn’t too long ago, there’s not one particular moment that shines above the rest; rather, I just feel a smile spread across my face thinking about Lehigh as a whole,” reflected Rosie Roessel ’13 ’14G.
It makes sense that Roessel would have too many memories to choose a favorite. Before graduating with a B.A. in mathematics in 2013 and a master’s in energy systems engineering in 2014, she was what one could call a super-student, getting involved in a range of groups from athletics to academic honors clubs.
As an undergraduate, Roessel was on the softball team, on the student athlete council, a student athlete mentor, the Class of 2013 vice president of giving, the senior class gift committee chair, treasurer of the Pi Mu Epsilon Math Honor Society, a member of the running club, and on the debate team. She continued her high level of involvement as a graduate student, running on the cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams, and working as an admissions tour guide and a Gryphon. Roessel credits her success to the skills she learned from these activities.
“My Lehigh education is about so much more than math equations…I learned how to problem-solve. No amount of coursework could have prepared me for my “real world” job, but I’ve found that I’ve been able to hit the ground running because of the way I learned to think at Lehigh,” Roessel said. She noted that her experience with athletics taught her to be more confident and self-aware, helping her to become successful as an engineer at Lockheed Martin.
As an alumna, Roessel has continued to stay involved, volunteering with the Fall Phonathon and the Lehigh Lafayette Telecast.
“I think that it’s important to give back to what matters to you and what’s shaped your life. I volunteer for Lehigh because I had an amazing experience and I want others to have the same,” she said. She noted that the annual Adopt-a-Family event, in which Lehigh organizations raise money, shop, wrap presents, and host a dinner for underprivileged families in Bethlehem, has been one of the most rewarding experiences for her.
Roessel also enjoys returning to Lehigh for Reunion each year. She said that the Reunion of 2013, in which her class was invited to their adoptive Class of 1963’s 50th anniversary dinner, was her favorite.
“I really enjoy getting to see all different class years come together to celebrate their time at Lehigh. Even though we may be decades apart, we have similar memories and experiences,” she said.