Vignette: Lydia Rose

Ellie Dundics

Lydia Rose recognized the importance of knowing your worth, finding balance in life and helping others at a very young age.

Rose grew up in Bellflower, California where she was active in Girl Scouts throughout high school. While learning many life skills as a scout, one pivotal lesson Rose remembers is being one of the first troops to earn a substantial trip to Hawaii by raising money and working hard.

“That trip, my mom reminded me, was that no matter what you want to do, you can do it,” Rose said. “As long as you have a plan, you work hard towards it, and not to quit until you have accomplished it.”

Rose earned her Ph.D through Purdue University in sociology that guided her to study inequality in different perspectives. She is now an associate professor of sociology, director of the Social Science Research Lab, interdisciplinary research leader—all at Kent State East Liverpool—and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow, program provides the nation’s most comprehensive learning experience at the nexus of health, science, and policy in Washington, D.C according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation website.

The desire to help out communities that are somewhat at a disadvantage and helping the community was always important to Rose so she jumped on the opportunity in 2010 to give a helping hand to the East Liverpool campus. Rose works hard to motivate and inspire her students. She has taken part in numerous community service events with her students such as a community health and wellness rally and a Veteran’s event where veterans and their families come to celebrate their service and education.

Most recently, she attended and planned a committee for the Environmental Justice Conference to bring awareness to the pollution industry coming to the East Liverpool community.

Setting aside her life as a career woman, Rose is most proud to be a mother. She implements her family in her career when it comes to research questions or community service acts. Rose thinks of her daughter, a KSU sophomore in fashion design, and how she can create a pathway of success like her mother did for her when she was younger.

When it comes to being a woman in her career, Rose said she has faced many disadvantages—like being the only woman in a meeting or getting pushed aside because a man seemed more deserving. Through it all, Rose said that she stood strong to make it hard for others to degrade her worth.

“When you are faced with discriminatory behavior, it’s hard to know whether it’s because you’re a woman or a minority or because you don’t have the skills,” Rose said. “We question those things because you don’t know what the absolute truth is, you only know what you are capable are doing and you have to embrace your own gifts and your own skills.”