Surgeon Laura Rosenberger kicks off spring Suter Science Lectures with talk about residency experiences

A decade and a half ago, Laura Rosenberger set records as a national champion pole vaulter for Eastern Mennonite University (EMU). These days, though, it’s her medical career that’s soaring. This past July, she began work as a surgical breast oncology fellow at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Rosenberger will be back at EMU on Friday, Feb. 5, to present “Goiters, Gunshots and Gastroschisis: Tales from a Surgical Residency” for a Suter Science Seminar. The seminar will begin at 4 p.m. in Suter Science Center Room 106, but guests are invited to come 15 minutes earlier for refreshments and to greet Rosenberger.

Her presentation will cover a broad spectrum of general surgery experiences, from the basic to the complex, including some of her own most memorable cases. She will also examine her journey through the field, looking at the compassion and commitment required and the rewards she finds in her work.

Roman Miller, director of EMU’s MA in Biomedicine program, says he is looking forward to hearing Rosenberger “share her experiences and challenges.”

“From a faculty perspective, it is delightful to see a gifted student continuing to demonstrate excellence and proficiency in her work as a surgeon,” Miller says.

After graduating from EMU with a biology degree in 2003, Rosenberger went on to medical school at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and residency at the University of Virginia.

Originally from State College, Pa., Rosenberger has kept her Anabaptist values at the heart of her work. In January 2015 she provided a Grand Rounds lecture to colleagues at the UVA Medical Center titled “Mennonites in Medicine: Missionaries to the Dean of Harvard.” She highlighted Mennonite contributions to health care around the globe and noted the Mennonite conscientious objectors during World War II who served in mental hospitals through Civilian Public Service.

Rosenberger has made some sacrifices of her own to pursue her work in health care, too. After winning all six possible conference titles in indoor and outdoor pole vaulting and four national titles during her first three years at EMU, she gave up sports during her senior year so that she could focus on academics and her preparation for medical school. She was inducted into the EMU Athletics Hall of Honor in 2013.

The seminar, co-sponsored by EMU’s MA in Biomedicine program and the Office of Development, is open to the public.