Changing the world

Many students enter college with hopes and dreams of changing the world someday. Rosie Richards has already started.

Rosie Richards is focused on social justice, something her advisor, Jeff Hale, convinced her could be a big part of her future. (photo: Jim Folts)

Rosie Richards is focused on social justice, something her advisor, Jeff Hale, convinced her could be a big part of her future. (photo: Jim Folts)

In 2007, Richards was one of three recipients of the College of Liberal Arts’ Leadership in Social Change Award. The award includes an opportunity to complete an internship abroad with a nonprofit organization. That summer, Richards worked for Long Way Home in Guatemala, where she helped to build a school for a Mayan community.

“Interning has taught me a lot about myself and what I can do,” Richards says. “It taught me how to problem solve and how to communicate.”

Richards credits Jeff Hale — both as a teacher and an adviser — with helping her see a career in social justice and explaining the opportunities in nonprofits and public policy. For his part, Hale believes his role is to help identify a student’s passion, and then to fuel that passion.

“There is a commitment involved in these relationships that goes beyond regular student and faculty,” Hale says. “Students need to be committed to learn and give feedback, and a mentor can fine tune their aspirations, helping them to move forward.”

Richards graduated from OSU with honors degrees in History and International Studies and a minor in Spanish. She is currently attending the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. In the future, she hopes to work with nonprofit organizations, particularly those that deal with social justice issues.

~ Tara Pistorese

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