Bronco Spotlight: Sam Roodbar


Photo of Sam Roodbar

Master of Science in geography, 2018

PhD student and Graduate Student Researcher at the University of California, Davis 

Describe your current job:

I am part of the Environment, Land, and Food Systems lab at UC Davis. There are 4 or 5 projects that are ongoing in the lab, and I am involved in one that is focused on examining a new community development framework based on the idea of Rogusity (taken from biology). At the moment, my job is to create data sets, and performing statistical analyses. 

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

Most rewarding would be to work with extremely talented individuals and learning from them.  The most difficult part of this position is the fact that UC Davis operates on a quarter system. Everything happens quicker, there is no room for relaxing in the middle of the quarter and every day of the week has to be accounted for. Adjusting to the fast pace system is proving to be more difficult than I imagined. 

What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career?

Getting involved with other schools is a great resource in my opinion. During my time at WMU, regardless of my field of study, I developed a great relationship with the Multimedia Arts community and I managed to be on some of their projects. I was a stage hand during some very big events on campus and off campus. In short, having a passion, outside your field of study and pursuing it while studying is a great way to see the world from a different perspective and more doors will open. If you are interested in anything, chances are there is a project somewhere on campus dedicated to that or close to it. 

What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?

My advice to people is grad school is a lot of work but it's rewarding at the end. You get to read about your area of interest and immerse yourself in the advancements in that field. During no other part of your life, you get to read as much as in grad school and get paid for it (if you get funding). Also, you get exposed to people from different backgrounds, which will make you a more well-rounded person.

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