Rose GreenFebruary 7, 2011
Rose Green self-designed her major, Nonprofit Organizational and Economic Development, and is the president of the Pomona Student Union, which offers discussions and debates on hot topics with views from all sides.
Senior Rose Green is the president of the Pomona Student Union (PSU) and a member of the Distinguished Speakers committee. A native of Denver, Rose says she did an “absurd” amount of research about the college she wanted to attend. It had to be academically rigorous without being overly competitive, have amazing professors and, as she describes it, be “a small school with big-school resources.” Thanks to generous financial aid, which made it possible for her to attend, she says she’s found all those things at Pomona.
Designing a Major
Before coming to Pomona, I took a gap year. I worked and volunteered and considered starting my own nonprofit. And then I started thinking about all the organizations already out there and that maybe I could have more of an impact working on ways to make them more effective, sustainable and efficient. I wanted a major at Pomona that focused on nonprofits and worked with four professors to design one. It was a good process because it helped me think through how to organize all the disciplines into something that made sense and was cohesive and had depth and breadth.
Hope through Housing in Rancho Cucamonga deals directly with low-income communities, providing after-school programs and services and senior and family programs. I was in the philanthropy department researching funding opportunities and potential donors and writing grant proposals. Doing an internship has been great, and being able to work full time in the summer really gave me a chance to see how nonprofits function and to learn about the financial side.
Listening to All Sides
The role PSU plays is integral to the liberal arts because it’s about bringing in multiple perspectives, without advocating a point of view. When you’re on a campus that seems very liberal, which is often the majority perspective, it’s important to say, here is what other people think. PSU keeps me sharp. At every event, a speaker presents a perspective I hadn’t taken into account. The other thing I love about PSU is that our board gets more diverse every year. We started out with more politics and econ majors. Now have majors in other disciplines and are putting on events with sociologists and neuroscientists, and people in the arts.
It Doesn't Happen in a Vacuum
I have a friend who told me that some of the things he reads are written by Pomona professors. When I asked which one was his favorite, he said Eleanor Brown ’75. I told him, that’s my advisor; I talk to her on a weekly basis. I’ve always appreciated Professor Brown. She is an amazing professor and person and really helps me think through my ideas in a way I couldn’t do by myself. And she’s sweet and funny.