Author: Gigi Speer, sophomore
The Senior Spotlight Series is an opportunity for Rose Hill Honors students to interview their peers in the Program and share the conversations with the broader community.
For this article, Gigi Speer, a current sophomore in the Program, interviewed graduating senior, Rosemarie (“Rosie”) McCormack. Rosie is an International Political Economy (IPE) major with a double minor in English and Peace and Social Justice. Rose is a senior in the Honors Program and is currently a Strategic Planning & Policy intern at the New York County District Attorney’s Office. She was interviewed by Gigi Speer (Honors sophomore) for this post.
Gigi: What has been your favorite Honors memory?
Rosie: I was in Gabelli [Business School] during my first year, so I joined Honors as a sophomore. My favorite memory is from Early Modern History when Professor Myers jumped up on the table and sang every single verse of Ghost Riders in the Sky by Johnny Cash. Devin D’Agostino, dressed in an inflatable T-Rex costume, jumped up and joined him for the last chorus (it was Halloween).
A less silly favorite memory is when Dustin Partridge took the Honors Science I students to the green roof of the Javits Center – it was a cool thing to see.
Gigi: Which Honors professor has made the most impact on you?
Rosie: Susan Greenfield is probably my favorite professor at Fordham. I had her for Early Modern Literature, and I loved her teaching style. She reminds me a lot of my favorite English teacher from high school, and she’s one of the few teachers I’ve had who I felt really pushed my writing to be better. I took her Homelessness service-learning class last spring, and it was my favorite class in the past 4 years (take it!). She’s on sabbatical this year, and I’m so excited to be working as her research assistant while she’s working on other projects.
Gigi: What has been your best internship or volunteer experience while at Fordham?
Rosie: My favorite internship is the one I have right now, as a Strategic Planning & Policy intern at the New York County District Attorney’s Office. A few years ago, New York County received criminal forfeiture funds from some foreign banks on Wall Street, and DA Vance decided to use the funds to start the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII), which increases community and alternative-to-incarceration programs in New York to help keep people out of the criminal system. The SPP office runs that initiative. I spend a lot of time researching the progress of current programs (like the progress states have made on testing their rape kit backlogs) and writing literature reviews to help develop future programs (like a program to support sex-trafficked NYC youth). It’s really cool to work for the government but be a part of trying to reform the system, rather than just being a cog in the machine of prosecution.
I’m involved in a lot of areas on & off-campus! My main activities at Fordham include serving as Vice President of the Humanitarian Student Union and co-founding and leading the Our Story program, which is a student storytelling event. I also do work-study in Fr. McShane’s office and have been an Urban Plunge Leader throughout my time at Fordham.
Gigi: Do you have any favorite authors?
Rosie: Some of my favorite authors are Barbara Kingsolver and Anne Lamott! I also really like Abraham Verghese, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, John Boyne, although I admit I’ve only read one of each of their books…
Gigi: Anything you still want to try/change in the Honors Program, Fordham, or New York City in general?
Rosie: I wish I could have been a part of the new, justice-based Honors curriculum! Learning more about social justice has been a huge part of my Fordham experience, and I think it’s so cool that Honors has taken up that banner in a substantial way. I hope Fordham will always educate students to think critically about systems of oppression and work as an institution to better the New York City community.
Gigi: What will you miss most about Honors?
Rosie: I will miss being around other students who are motivated. In some non-Honors classes, I feel like there are only one or two students who you could count on to be present and participate, and in Honors almost everyone had something they wanted to contribute.