As a freshman, Rosanna Bello hated chemistry and thought she wasn’t good at it. So, you may be surprised to find the Bridgewater State University biology major graduating this month with minors in chemistry and biochemistry.
During her time as a Bear, Rosanna passed a challenging organic chemistry class and realized that with effort she could succeed at subjects she once deemed too difficult.
“I learned to push myself here. That’s something I really value about this school,” the Brockton High School graduate said. “They give you opportunities and, if there’s no opportunity, you can always create one.”
That’s what Rosanna did for her classmates when she realized students in the Bartlett College of Science and Mathematics didn’t often interact across different majors. Figuring they’ll need to know how to collaborate with other disciplines in the workforce, Rosanna helped start STEM Olympics to bring students together.
She’s also not afraid to speak to Dean Kristen Porter-Utley about ways to improve the college. That confidence is another lesson from BSU.
“The freshman me versus the senior me has grown tremendously,” Rosanna said. “I definitely feel more comfortable speaking to new people.”
Sydné Marrow, director of the Center for Multicultural Affairs, recalled Rosanna’s transformation from timid to self-confident.
“She was never more animated than when she came in to tell me about her opportunity to shadow a doctor in the Dominican Republic this summer, and how this experience was helping her to realize her dream of medical school and all of the possibilities that she didn’t, that she couldn’t see, when she first arrived here at BSU,” Marrow said.
Rosanna, a first-generation college student, was initially hesitant to attend Bridgewater. Now, she’s glad she became a Bear.
“I feel like here it’s a family environment. It’s very caring. The teachers actually know my name when I pass by,” she said. At other schools, “I just would have been a number.”
In addition to the internship in the Dominican Republic (where her parents are from), Rosanna will take summer classes at BSU as she prepares for medical school. She hopes to work in research to gain more experience beforehand.
Rosanna wants to become an infectious diseases physician, career aspirations inspired by a friend who contracted Lyme disease. Her goal highlights one more BSU lesson: the importance of serving others.
“People are always sick from something,” she said. “It’s a field where I can always help pinpoint what it is and just be there for the patient, for the family, and for the community.”
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