Rose Leopold ’17
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My Story

Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Rose came to Northeastern University as an undergraduate student to study political science. By her final year, her transformative coursework had fostered a deep interest in resiliency and climate change, inspiring her to pursue her Master of Science in Security and Resilience Studies through the Security and Resilience Studies program.

Here’s Rose’s Northeastern story…

After an accomplished undergraduate tenure—which included co-ops working as the press and legislative intern for U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren in Washington, D.C. and at the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in Quito, Ecuador—Rose chose to pursue a Master of Science degree in Security and Resilience Studies starting in the Fall of 2016.

“I loved my experience as an undergrad and especially the connections I made with faculty, who have been on the front lines of their fields—whether it’s security studies, counter-terrorism, or working on the resilience of people—their expertise is truly fascinating to learn from in the classroom.”

My Path

Why Security and Resilience Studies?

Rose chose Northeastern’s Security and Resilience Studies Program because she wanted to help shape policy related to climate change and the resiliency of coastal cities, especially those in the developing world.

With a full-time job and other professional interests and commitments, Rose found that the accessibility of the program worked well for her schedule. Like many of Northeastern’s graduate programs, Security and Resilience Studies is a hybrid model and offers core classes that are taught half online and half on campus.

Transformative Coursework
  • POLS 7704 Critical Infrastructure Resilience

Rose attributes her interest in resiliency and climate change to coursework taken under Dr. Auroop Ganguly while studying abroad in India as an undergraduate.

One of the required courses, “Critical Infrastructure Resilience” (POLS 7704) is co-taught by Dr. Ganguly and Dr. Stephen Flynn. This course had a deep impact on her desire to enter the security and resilience studies program.

2016 State of the University, Northeastern University/ Matthew Modoono
Coursework in Action

The course’s final project allowed Rose and her classmates to examine the resiliency of Boston’s Logan Airport.

They presented their recommendations to senior officials at Massachusetts Port Authority, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Northeastern University
Civic Engagement in Boston

Rose wanted to give back to the Boston community, and in 2015 joined Big Sister of Greater Boston as a Big Sister to a nine-year-old Little Sister.

She loves getting to know her Little Sister, who lets her see life in Boston through the eyes of a young girl.

Next Steps

As a cutting-edge field and one that is gaining more and more attention nationwide, security and resilience studies puts its students on the front lines of policy research and creation. From her experience at Northeastern as an undergraduate and graduate student, and through her professional work, Rose now has experience on the local, state, national, and international levels of government. She works in the public sector, building policy that strengthens the resiliency of coastal cities in the developing world to the hazards of climate change.


“Climate change is the biggest issue that our generation faces, and I want to be a part of solving the problem by working to make cities and people more secure and resilient in the face of the real challenges they face, including extreme weather and sea level rise.”

Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University
This was Rose’s Pathway... Where will yours lead?