Student Spotlight: Maria Rosero C’21

Maria Rosero C’21                               

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Costa Rica but raised in NJ after my parents and I immigrated to the United States.

What attracted you to Drew?

I first fell in love with the campus when I came for a visit during my Senior year of high school, walking around in awe of the multitude of colors in the trees in Fall. I talked to current History students who told me all about the classes that the History department had to offer and that only excited me more. When my mom and I sat at the end of our visit in Peet’s coffee with some drinks and snacks with books all around us, I knew I could see myself going to school at Drew for the next 4 years.

Why did you choose History and Spanish as majors and Law, Justice & Society as a minor?

When I started at Drew, I knew I wanted to major in History and the classes that I took during my first semester, further confirmed my interest. However, I didn’t know I would eventually declare an additional major in Spanish and a minor in Law, Justice, and Society. As the first in my family to attend undergraduate studies in the United States, I didn’t originally know that multiple majors and a minor would be feasible. However, my Professors made sure to push me towards the right direction, answering any questions when I began to look into another major and minor.

I have always loved history but felt as though I only knew certain aspects of American history. I wanted the opportunity to learn more about histories that I was unaware about and I did that with the range of classes that were offered.

I was uncertain about declaring a second major, despite my desire to continue my Spanish studies but Dr. Raul Rosales from the Spanish Department quickly encouraged me to move forward with the decision and I immensely learned more about my native language. In addition, he helped me every semester to ensure that I would graduate on time.

With Law, Justice, and Society, I declared this minor partly due to the fact that I felt very strongly about the many important issues discussed in class relating to the present and the future.

Have you done any internships?

I interned during the fall semester of my Senior year with the Latin American News Digest. Under virtual settings, I was able to partake in weekly aggregates for the newspaper organization and contributed to my own research and publication at the end of the internship.

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

With both majors and minor, there are professors in each field that have supported me throughout these  last few years. As one of the Professors who taught me during my first semester at Drew, Spanish Professor Dr. Raul Rosales gave me so much confidence in my abilities and related to my own experiences in Latin American immigrant households. His support and constant reassurance was present in every meeting with him as my academic advisor and I know he’s always there to listen to me rant about my day.

Professors Dr. Jinee Lokaneeta and Dr. Sangay Mishra of the Political Science Department largely fueled my interests in Political Science and challenged me to think critically about what I already know and what I would like to learn about. I would specifically look for the classes that they would teach each semester and I’m forever grateful for expanding the way I used to think. Their guidance throughout my journey with the Law, Justice, and Society minor allowed me to confirm what I would like to do for the rest of my life.

In the History Department, Professors Dr. Jonathan Rose, Dr. Wyatt Evans, and Dr. Ed Baring all taught me immense amounts of history that I only had the slightest clue about. Their passion for history evident, I walked into every class excited. Professor Rose motivated me to feel confident in my research and writing abilities for my History Capstone on Mexican Repatriation.

Have you studied abroad? Done any short, long, or nycTREC?

In the Summer of 2019, I studied abroad in the Spanish Language and Culture in Barcelona shortTREC where I stayed with two other roommates in the home of an elderly woman. Each day, we kept her company while she would tell us all about her life in Spain while answering any questions we had. We visited museums, archeological sites, took a cooking class, and made a ceramic piece. I took Spanish classes with people from all over the world and enjoyed every interaction with new knowledge from different cultures. Enamored with the beauty of the city, I wish to go back soon and retrace my steps that I took years prior.

What are a few of your favorite memories of Drew? 

  • Walking to class in the early chilly mornings, saying hi to my friends on the path
  • Planning ARIEL Events with my friends on the Executive Board
  • Watching my friends play in club soccer while giving it a try myself
  • Chisme with Professor Rosales
  • Catching up on work at Peet’s or the tables in front of the EC or Brother’s College
  • Playing Club Volleyball for fun
  • Junior/Senior Dance, Holiday Ball, and Spring Weekend

How have your identities in the First-Generation, Commuter, and Ethnic/Racial Heritage Communities affected your journey at Drew?

With Ethnic Heritage, I knew I wanted to connect more with a side of me that was missing throughout my years in predominantly white neighborhoods and schools. Taking the Spanish major, I took classes and met lifelong friends who were also heritage speakers from different Latin American countries who continue to teach me every day.

With First Gen, I was unsure of the steps I had to take and relied heavily on older friends who were also first generation. As the first in my family to pursue an undergraduate degree in the U.S, this identity has motivated me to ask as many questions as possible.

What advice would you give students who are just starting out that you wish you had when you started?

Join anything that Drew has to offer if you have even the slightest bit of interest. You would meet new people and learn something new each day. As a result, you might end up with new friends and lifelong passions and interests. But also pay mind to how much you can take on and realize that it is okay to say ‘no’. This gives you space to relax and put full effort into what is most important to you.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

I hope to eventually become a lawyer. In 5 years, I hope to continue to make my younger self proud in all the decisions I follow through with since leaving high school and college. I hope to continue to be happy, challenging myself with any new goal, and always making time for family and hopefully, a better cook in the kitchen so I can stop burning everything I attempt to make.

Are there any fun facts you would like to share?

  • I became a U.S citizen in January of 2020 after 18 years of being in the United States.
  • I recently accepted a full time job offer a few weeks before the end of Senior year.
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