A graduate of Union College, Rose has taught at his alma mater since 2010. In that time, he led teams of students in original research, served as the primary advisor for pre-med students, and launched a new degree designed specifically for students who plan to attend graduate school in the medical field and become physicians, dentists, physical therapists, PAs, etc.
Union College concluded the search for a new vice president for Academic Administration this week by naming Dr. Frankie Rose, currently an associate professor of biology at Union. Rose will assume the new role—which provides leadership for all things academic at Union—when Malcolm Russell retires this summer from the position he held for 13 years.
“We are blessed to have Dr. Rose lead our academic program,” said Vinita Sauder, president of Union College. “His energy, his experience as a teacher and leader, and his deep history with Union will help him effectively guide our professors and programs as we continue to grow and give our students the best educational experience possible.”
A favorite of students, Rose has taught a variety of biology and PA classes, and was named “Teacher of the Year” by the Union College Associated Student Body in 2013. He also led a team of students in original research projects, including a study in which his team created a simple and affordable way to map DNA, which resulted in a 2015 article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Biological Education.
“Dr. Rose has been a key influence in developing me as a researcher and future physician,” said Brad Carlson, a senior biology major who worked on two of Rose’s research teams. “He has inspired me in the classroom with riveting stories and explanations of physiology and anatomy questions and has taught me to think critically in the research lab. As I begin medical school this fall, I know I will be a step ahead because of Dr. Rose’s impact on me.”
As a member of the Union’s faculty, Rose served as chair of faculty senate in the 2013-14 school year, which included sitting on Union’s President’s Council and the college Board of Trustees. He also played an integral role in the planning of the new Krueger Center for Science and Mathematics, and has led out in developing and implementing new teaching technology in the Krueger Center and across campus.
Coming full circle
Rose left his first stint at Union College in 2002 with an undergraduate biology degree in hand and a dream to become a physician. But after a year and a half of medical school and a one year research fellowship, he fell in love with medical research and transferred to the University of Missouri, where he completed a Ph.D. in human molecular genetics in 2009—specifically focusing on spinal muscular atrophy research.
He ultimately returned to Union because he believes his undergraduate experience had a lasting positive impact on his life. “I can confidently say my investment of time and money as a student at Union was worth it,” he said. “I made a lot of great friends and I met my wife here. But I also received an excellent science education, and that preparation allowed me to excel in graduate school.”
Now his goal is to share that value with a new generation of students. “I have a personal goal to maximize the number of students who have that same kind of experience,” he said. “I want them to look back at their time at Union and believe they made a good investment.”
Rose understands firsthand the influence of Union’s people. “I formed some of my deepest-held values while at Union through interactions with faculty and staff,” he explained as he pointed to three specific examples in his own life. “Physics professor David Show wouldn’t tolerate inaccurate reasoning—even in casual conversation. In his own kind and quiet way, he taught me how to reason with precision and question my assumptions. And Charles Freidline, a chemistry professor at Union for more than 20 years, taught me by his example what it means to not only teach with excellence, but to truly love the students you teach.”
But he also learned important lessons in non-science courses, including those of English teacher, Chris Blake. “He instilled in me the ‘so that’ principle: the reason we exist is so that we can love others,” Rose said. “That’s the fundamental truth that should drive everything we do.”
Rose and his wife, Ellen, have three children: Emma, four; Ethan, two; and another son due in mid-February. Ellen graduated from Union in 2002 with a degree in nursing and has taught in Union’s nursing program since 2012.
By Ryan Teller, director of public relations