University at Albany
Rose Avellino and her father Greg at Rockefeller College's Annual Alumni Dinner & Awards Ceremony at the New York State Museum, May 16, 2014


Rose Avellino, BA/MPA Class of 2016
Major: Public Policy
Hometown: Fayetteville, NY

Rockefeller College student Rose Avellino is already making a difference. And she's just getting started!

Rose, an undergraduate studying public policy, was recently accepted into Rockefeller's Bachelor of Arts/Master of Public Administration program (BA/MPA) and will spend next spring making her mark on the nation's capital while taking part in the College's Semester in Washington program. In the meantime, she continues to give back to our local community in a myriad of ways, most notably through her involvement with the University at Albany Student Association, where she served as the community engagement and outreach director, the founder and president of UA ALIVE, a university-based group dedicated to suicide awareness, which has raised over $10,000 since 2012 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and as the chair of UA ALIVE's Out of Darkness Walk, which raises awareness for AFSP's mission. In addition, Rose was recently inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society. She currently serves on the board as the circle treasurer.

Rose came to the University at Albany already deeply committed to public service. In high school, she traveled to the Dominican Republic to volunteer in orphanages and schools. "That trip really changed me," says Rose. "It served as a springboard for my continued interest and involvement in community service. When I came to Albany, I really liked that I could continue to take part in community service activities. Giving back makes me feel proud—proud that I am able to make a difference, to really see the impact of something I've done with other students turn into something bigger."

Because of her unfaltering commitment to service, Rose was named the recipient of the Rockefeller College Public Service Scholarship Award in both 2013 and 2014. "To be recog- nized for my achievements by Rockefeller College really makes me feel proud to be a student here," says Rose. The award also eased a tremendous financial burden for Rose. "Coupled with what I am able to save from my summer job, the scholarship has made it so that I do not have to work while I am in school," she says. "I'm able to focus on my studies yet still have time to devote to extracurricular activities and volunteering on campus and in the surrounding community."

Upon graduation, Rose plans to focus her career on health policy and emergency preparedness. After Hurricane Irene, she volunteered at the Schoharie cleanup to help victims of the storm. She also saw firsthand the effect Hurricane Sandy had on Staten Island, where she has family. In both instances, Rose was inspired by the work being done by the Red Cross. "I saw the great potential that individuals and groups can have when they pool their resources and work together," says Rose. "As a student at UAlbany I am able to have an impact on my community. I hope to be able to continue to do so as I begin my career. My public policy classes have given me a solid background and the confidence and skills that I need to be a leader, and I know the MPA program will allow me to continue to hone those skills."

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2014 Rockefeller College News Magazine.

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