Let Nothing Stand in the Way

Corey Roach ’13 overcame obstacles at home to excel as a researcher at Rider, and is now pointed toward a Ph.D. in neurobiology.
Thursday, May 9, 2013

It has been a challenging journey for Corey Roach ’13 of Southampton, N.J., from poverty and an unstable home life to admission to Rider as an Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) student, and now a fully funded spot in the Fisk-Vanderbilt “Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program.” The behavioral neuroscience major will complete the Bridge Program with a master’s degree in Neurobiology at Fisk University in Nashville before earning a Ph.D. at nearby Vanderbilt. His goal is to be a college professor or do research for government-funded industrial laboratories.

A Baccalaureate Honors Program Scholar and a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Scholar, Roach says, “The McNair program has given me opportunities to prepare for graduate level work that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

Cognizant of the educational opportunity he has received, Roach explains: “I have an edge going into graduate school because I began research in my sophomore year and had professors who helped me develop research skills while allowing me the independence to choose projects and direct my own research.”

Roach was a research assistant in the Biology department under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Karp, chair of the department, and completed internships with Milestones, an outpatient day hospital in Trenton, N.J., and the Willingboro Veterinary Clinic in Willingboro, N.J. Currently, he interns as an operator and training instructor for Contact of Mercer County, a suicide and crisis hotline.

Roach is a member of the Chi Alpha Epsilon EOP Honor Society, Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. He has also received the Eileen Cater Memorial Scholarship, the Alfred and Barbara Sikorski Scholarship for the Sciences, the EOP Book Award for Academic Excellence and, most recently, the President’s Award.

Roach credits his family with encouraging him to succeed. “Despite problems at home, my mom and grandparents always said, ‘If you do well in school you can do what you want and get out of this situation.’ That philosophy has impacted my choices since kindergarten.”

Also devoted to community service, Roach is a senior mentor, tutor, and treasurer for the Science Learning Community (SLC), guiding freshman through their first semester at the College, and president and chief editor for Circle K, the college affiliate of Kiwanis International, from which he received the Outstanding Circle K President’s Award.

“Rider provides its fledgling students with the resources to pursue their goals,” Roach said. “The University has helped me develop into a person who can continue on the road to becoming an independent scientist.”

Corey Roach ’13