age: 22 | Graduate Teaching Assistant/ Researcher | University of Central Arkansas
Texarkana native Mason Rostollan epitomizes the adage “think global, act local.” Currently a student at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Mason volunteers weekly at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock and serves as a scholarship advisor for Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity at UCA. But while his hands work in Arkansas, his head is 8,000 miles away, as he thinks about his current research project.
“I am currently researching environmental health risks in a small village in Rwanda,” he explained. “I am analyzing the residents’ air and water quality as well as their personal statements to help improve their livelihood and health in the long-term. I hold this project important to myself for its potential to help not just one person, but an entire village to have healthier, longer, and more enjoyable lives. When I visit, I listen to the adults of the village who tell of the struggles they face daily, but also the children who will inherit these burdens if interventions are not made.”
Best advice you’ve ever received:
“SET YOUR GOALS AND DON’T LET ANYONE DETRACT YOU, AND REMEMBER: IF IT WERE EASY, EVERYONE WOULD DO IT.” – MASON’S GRANDPARENTS, CAROL AND GARRY HODGSON
A Texarkana Troop 19 Eagle Scout, Mason exemplifies the values he learned in Scouts every day, as he devotes his time and energy to solving health crises that will never affect him personally. Academia has time and again acknowledged his leadership: he was named the Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year for 2017-2018, for having gone above and beyond in teaching anatomy and physiology labs at UCA. And, just this month, he is attending a by-invitation conference in Vienna, Austria, where he is presenting his research.
Upon completing his formal education, Mason plans to return to Texarkana as a physician.
Name something about you that very few people know:
“I was a tap and ballet dropout by age 5!”