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Alumni Spotlight

Getting to Know You - with Rosie Neville

Rosie NevilleWhy did you decide to major in biology?

There were a couple reasons for why I eventually decided to major in biology. I had a great biology teacher in high school who challenged his students and made me appreciate the parts of biology that we could see around us and what we couldn’t see with the naked eye. When I was making that particular decision, I had also taken Principles of Cell Science with Dr. Gard and loved it. It was the first class that kept me up late, but it was because I was so interested in the material and not (usually) due to procrastination.

What do you like so much about biology?

I think the best part about biology is how interrelated it is to other disciplines. No organism stands alone, just like we do not stand alone. How it all works is so fascinating and the more we know about how things work, the better off we are. I believe that science can fix things, make things better, and explain things more clearly.

Have you taken part in community outreach?

I have volunteered with the ACCESS program throughout my time at the University of Utah since it is the program I first got involved in. I was also fortunate enough to get involved with an ACCESS mentoring program where current college students assist the new ACCESS class throughout the summer and the rest of the year. I’ve also always loved volunteering for Science Day at the U. Every year has been a lot of fun, especially as I’ve grown as a student and learned more about what I want to do in the future. I also spent last year volunteering weekly at the Fourth Street Clinic.

What is the most interesting thing you've learned while being at the U?

I’ve learned that my life and career are still going to be a journey with its own twist and turns even after I graduate. It doesn’t necessarily become easier, but I will have many more opportunities because of my time here. I will also have the tools necessary to make well-informed decision about my lifestyle as well as my career and that has been greatly appreciated.

How will biology help you in your future plans?

Biology was great because it helped me challenge my future plans. When I started college, I was pretty much convinced that I was going to go to medical school. But my classes convinced me that it could be possible to do research and continue to work in basic science. While I’ve also learned that basic research is not the sole part of my career that I want to focus on, I want to continue to do research in some form or another.

What has been one of your favorite memories at the U?

That is a tough question. I’ve had a lot of great times at the U. One that will always stand out, though, was the ACCESS program. It was my first introduction to the campus as a student, although I grew up going to various camps here. I learned a lot and had a more excellent summer learning about science and meeting fellow students who would become some of my best friends.

Why did you decide to go to the University of Utah?

Ever since I was a kid I went to camps and programs at the University of Utah. I looked up to the students and athletes like they were my own peers. I couldn’t wait to participate in the Muss or attend classes in the large lecture halls. Participating in the Honors Program and ACCESS program for women in mathematics and science only sweetened the deal. It has really been an honor to attend this institution, and I couldn’t imagine my experience anywhere else.

Our latest Alumni Spotlight features Dr. Judy Vu, an ACCESS alumna and doctor.


Judy Vu (HBS `06, MD `10) entered the University of Utah as a student in the ACCESS Program for Women in Science and Mathematics.  After graduating cum laude, she received her MD from the University of Utah School of Medicine.  Today, she serves as an inspiration to young women with a passion for the sciences, and truly deserves our inaugural Alumni Spotlight!

Last Updated: 1/14/19