Rohana Meyerson is in pursuit of a geology degree at Lafayette, while also being the department’s secretary. She is in charge of budgets, preparing for brown bag seminars, making sure food is delivered and anything else that may need to be done.
Meanwhile, she has taken eight classes in the geology department since 2014, and been at the college since 2003.
Growing up in Singapore, Meyerson said she always knew she wanted to be in an academic setting.
“It’s what I dreamt of, to be in this kind of environment, and here I am, I love the Lafayette community and the environment,” said Meyerson. “[Lafayette] is a place of learning. You never stop learning, as a matter of fact I’m taking classes too.”
Meyerson explained that she originally planned to major in languages and took beginner Spanish and Mandarin courses here at the college. After a few classes she took a break, and soon transitioned to the geology department in her current role.
“The main thing [emphasized] when I was hired is…that I must take care of the students,” said Meyerson. “The students come first so I have to be a mother to them. That’s my main role.”
“They can come and talk to me anytime. My office is always open for them to come and sit down and chat,” she added. “If students have difficulty, what I do is I sometimes take them out for lunch. I don’t want them to feel neglected.”
Kristen Ingraham ’19, has known Meyerson since freshman year and explained that students refer to her as the “geo-mom.”
“She always greets students with a warm smile, and frequently checks in on students doing work around Van Wickle,” Ingraham said in an email. “Recently, a group of us were doing work in Room 106, and she came through the door carrying a plate of fruit she cut up for us, suspecting a healthy snack would be a good stress reliever. She’s a friendly face to run into and a lovely person to chat with. A true gem within the Geology Department.”
AJ Traub ’20, is a geology major that is currently in a class with Meyerson.
“[Meyerson] has referred to me by name since day one. We are always happy when she says hi during our labs and reliably brings us a basket of candy,” said Traub. “She is hosting a geology barbecue and she is urging students to go because she loves them.”
Meyerson is also involved in the International Student’s Association at Lafayette College, and mentioned that she makes efforts to care for the international students.
“[I] welcome them because most of [the international students with whom I interact] come from Asia like myself. [In order that] they don’t miss home, I cook Asian dishes, sometimes I invite them and pick them up and have them over,” Meyerson said.
While students refer to her as their “mom,” Meyerson is also their peer in an academic setting.
Meyerson said she particularly enjoys learning about geology in the Pennsylvania area.
“Singapore is quite a flat area. But here, you have all the beautiful landscapes. You have the meandering rivers, you have the deltas, you have the mountains, and you have so much historical geology,” Meyerson explained. “I am surrounded by all the best people that know this stuff so it would be a shame not to learn from them.”
Meyerson shared her fondness for both students and professors on campus.
“The professors treat me very well and many of my colleagues are envious they are understanding, caring, also. They give me this sense of respect and a sense of belonging,” said Meyerson.
Traub explained that the field trips are a lot of fun and he loves having her in class with him, and many students in the department feel similarly.
“Ana is such a wonderful addition to the department. The whole geology department feels like a family, but [Meyerson] is definitely the geo-mom,” said geology student Julia Owens ’20. “She organizes the best ice cream socials, always gets snacks ready for field trips, and makes sure to check up on all her geo kids whenever she runs into us. She’s my favorite person to have a conversation with.”
AJ Traub is the assistant sports editor of The Lafayette.