Jackpot! Lilian De La Rosa takes on sociology and SPB


Photo by Kate Nuelle

Jackpot is a series in which we highlight a variety of students and their interesting lives. Every story highlights a different student, who we’ve selected at random. This week, we talked to Lilian De La Rosa, a junior sociology major who hopes to become a teacher after graduation.

Junior Lilian De La Rosa’s self-described passion in life is working with people, a passion that drove her to major in sociology with a minor in teaching. De La Rosa attributes her interest in interpersonal relationships to a psychology class in her senior year of high school.

“I really liked the social psychology part of my [high school class],” De La Rosa said. “So my teacher said, ‘You should look into it.’”

De La Rosa took Introduction to Sociology with Benjamin Sosnaud, assistant professor of sociology, in her first semester at Trinity. She was won over by the enthusiasm that she saw in his lectures.

“That was [Sosnaud’s] first semester teaching, and he seemed super passionate about what he was talking about. I wanted to be like him. Just getting to learn about types of social groups and how people are wired and how society works was interesting to me,” De La Rosa said.

De La Rosa is also currently the assistant director of Student Programming Board (SPB), a position which oversees the different teams on the board and plays a significant role in the behind-the-scenes processes. De La Rosa had been a part of SPB since her first year at Trinity, starting as the assistant entertainment chair before an unexpected promotion to entertainment chair in her sophomore year.

“The reason I got bumped up to the entertainment chair was that the current chair withdrew and didn’t let us know. On the day of an event, she wasn’t there,” De La Rosa said. “Everything was already planned and ready to go, but obviously, you need the event planner there [to figure out] where they need you and what they need you to do. So our adviser and I had to navigate that last minute.”

According to De La Rosa, working in SPB brought many benefits, such as a confidence boost and close relationships with the members. De La Rosa cited Shannon Twumasi, coordinator for Student Programs, as a supporting figure on campus.

“Shannon’s been there since my first year, and she’s always been the one to push me and encourage me,” De La Rosa said.

One of De La Rosa’s proudest moments working in SPB was the Halloween event her sophomore year, where SPB coordinated free tickets and transportation for Trinity students to the 13th Floor Haunted House.

“We were able to get about 75 tickets to the haunted house, and we advertised to students to just sign up for a ticket, completely free,” De La Rosa said. “It involved getting in touch with the bus company because we were providing transportation and reaching out to graphic designers for flyers, doing all that stuff on a timeline to where it all worked out.”

Despite all of the responsibilities that come with her position, De La Rosa could not be happier about being in SPB.

“Having an open mind [and working in a] board of 20 executive members and 30 general board members, you get to meet and talk to so many different people, so many different mindsets and backgrounds.” De La Rosa said. “I’ve enjoyed getting to do that.”

Not only is De La Rosa a part of SPB, she is also a resident assistant (RA) in the first-year area.

“I always say that I got fortunate to have the residents I have my first year [as an RA]. I have a pretty small hall of 13 people, so I’ve been able to really get that personal relationship as a mentor and a friend to them,” De La Rosa said.

De La Rosa’s future plans center on her dream of teaching in a high school setting. For the past two summers, De La Rosa had done a teaching fellowship for Breakthrough Houston, which is a program that provides low-income and high achieving middle school students with an educational program for high school and college success. It also serves as an internship and introduction to teaching for undergraduate students like De La Rosa.

“One of my college counselors would regularly send out internship opportunities, and [Breakthrough Houston] was one of them. I actually applied the day before the deadline because I didn’t know if I [wanted] to do it.” De La Rosa said. “But it ended up being one of the best summers of my life.”

The program not only had an academic aspect but also served as a summer camp. De La Rosa taught a class of 15 children and got to connect with her students and other teaching fellows during social activities.

“These are people from all over the country. It was really cool getting to know them and the students, and I still keep in touch with some of them to this day,” De La Rosa said.

Rocio Delgado, associate professor of education, is another one of De La Rosa’s mentors. De La Rosa met Delgado in her sophomore year when she took her class. De La Rosa took another class with Delgado last semester and got closer to her.

“[Delgado] is just an amazing woman who does so much and is super helpful,” De La Rosa said. “I told her last week when I was talking to her, ‘You remind me of my mom.’”

After graduation, De La Rosa is considering some options for her master of arts in teaching (MAT). She is considering both Trinity’s MAT program and Relay Graduate School of Education in New York City. Regardless of where De La Rosa decides to go for graduate school, a career in education remains a steadfast goal.

“I like to work with people,” De La Rosa said. “That’s the reason why I do SPB, why I’m an RA, and why I want to go into teaching. I like to build those relationships.”