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Rose Tisdale: Life on Mission

05.01.2017 // Marketing and Communication

Rose Tisdale

Last fall, as Rose Tisdale prepared for her senior year at Charleston Southern University, she began exploring her options for life after college. “Everyone said I should go to grad school, be a doctor, but it just didn’t feel right to me,” said Tisdale, a biology major. “I kept coming back to this idea of serving other people.”

Knowing her passion for learning and serving other people, Tisdale said her mom encouraged her to pursue an opportunity with the Peace Corps.

So, she began exploring the idea of life on mission. A quick Google search of Peace Corps led her to a two-year teaching and serving opportunity a world away in Tanzania, Africa.

According to the Peace Corps website, there are more than 220 volunteers in Tanzania working with their communities on projects in agriculture, education and health. The videos, photos and words jumped off the page and into her heart. “I saw unity,” she said. “I saw helping and caring. I love serving people. It makes me really happy.”

The opportunity would allow Tisdale to teach (biology and physics), learn (she would be trained to speak Swahili) and serve the community. So, she prayed for discernment. “I had this overwhelming sense of peace,” said Tisdale. “This is going to be out of this world, and crazy, and different, and I don’t know if I can handle it, but it felt right.”

Tisdale, a native of Early Branch, South Carolina, officially applied last fall. She was one of 17,000 applicants and one of 4,000 accepted.

“Getting accepted is one step, and you accepting it is another,” she said. “They give you this little box that says, ‘when you check this box you are committing to these people, and they are expecting you, so if you tell us you can’t come, shame on you.’ Essentially.”

The next chapter of her journey will begin in July, when Tisdale will board a plane for the first time in her life.

Destination: Tanzania, Africa.

“I am worried about the small things, like packing, and that’s helping me not freak out about the big things,” said Tisdale. “I can’t control that. It’s going to be an adjustment no matter what my attitude is. It’s going to be hard, but that’s OK.”

In the meantime, she is preparing for final exams and a celebratory walk across the stage in two weeks.

Charleston Southern University's 2017 Commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 6 at 10:00 a.m. in the North Charleston Coliseum.

Joan Berry-Robinson, Vice President and General Manager for Boeing South Carolina, will deliver the keynote message to this year's graduating class.

Charleston Business magazine recently recognized Berry-Robinson as one of the 50 most-influential people in Charleston. She also received the Woman of Distinction and Accomplishment award from Washington State African American Achievement Awards team and the Most Powerful Women in Business by Black Enterprise.

Berry said her passion is “aspiring future generations to love STEAM careers. I love to inspire children to be smart, talented, innovative engineers, technologist, mathematicians and scientist for the future of our nation and the world.”

A native of Hollywood, California, Berry earned her Bachelor of Science degree from California State Polytechnic University and a Master of Science in Engineering Management and Business from University of California.

The CSU Class of 2017 will include 657 students. The most popular degree programs from the Class of 2017 are: 

  • Business
  • Nursing
  • Kinesiology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Elementary and early childhood education
  • Psychology
  • Biology

Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is a private, four-year liberal arts college. CSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The university's vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.