Noreen Rossi, M.D. '74
Chair, College of Engineering & Science Advisory Board
For the past 11 years, Noreen Rossi, M.D. ’74, has served as chair of the College of Engineering & Science Advisory Board. She first joined the board in 1993, but through the years, her involvement has increased as she witnessed firsthand the board’s valuable input.
“Mentoring, advising on curriculum and programs, offering cooperative job opportunities to students and relating current trends in the industry are among the key functions of the Advisory Board,” says Rossi. “We’re not as involved in planning activities as we are in providing academic and professional resources to the University.”
The board consists of approximately 25 members, most of whom are alumni. The entire board meets twice each year with two additional meetings each for those in the engineering field and science field.
One of these all-board meetings is scheduled to coincide with the annual Slide Rule Dinner, held in late spring. At this event, awards are presented to students and faculty for their individual accomplishments and to two outstanding alumni, who are recognized for their contributions to their profession and community.
On an individual basis, board members may host a day-on-the-job experience or serve as a one-on-one mentor for current students. They also are available to speak to parents of prospective students who have questions about the College, its academic offerings or future careers.
In addition, Rossi credits the board with encouraging programs that generate more women students, identifying a broad spectrum of career opportunities and supporting international exchange programs. For several years, the College of Engineering & Science (E&S) has had a student exchange study program with a school in Mexico and is hoping to expand to a university in China.
“When I was a student, there was only one other woman in my E&S classes,” says Rossi. “I’m happy to see an increase in women students and in students preparing for medical careers.”
Rossi earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from University of Detroit and her M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine. Her area of specialty is nephrology, which is the treatment of kidney disease including dialysis and transplantation. She is currently a professor and the assistant dean for Clinical Research at Wayne State University School of Medicine. She is affiliated with the Detroit Medical Center and the John D. Dingell Veteran’s Hospital in Detroit.
Despite a demanding professional life, Rossi is committed to the E&S Advisory Board because she wants to ensure that students have the same opportunity that she had as a student—to ask questions, engage in critical thinking and be exposed to Jesuit and Mercy traditions.
“My four years at U of D were among the best in my life. I received an excellent education, but more importantly, I was encouraged to explore beliefs and question teachings in an open and non-judgmental environment,” says Rossi. “I had wonderful interaction with and encouragement from my teachers that led to a solid body of knowledge in my field of study, as well as a deepening of my understanding of my faith and my community.
“I know how important it is to maintain an open, supportive and personalized educational atmosphere. I stay involved because I want UDM to continue to offer a more personal, more individualized education, while, at the same time, keeping up with changing times and rapidly advancing technology.”
In looking ahead, Rossi reports that the next Advisory Board meeting is scheduled for October. She encourages alumni to get involved, either as mentors or board participants. The most difficult task has been keeping track of alumni, so she asks that interested alumni contact the College.
“It is most fulfilling to contribute to the future development of an E&S education and to see the many accomplishments of today’s students,” Rossi comments. “Being involved is rewarding in itself.”