Outstanding Young Alum: Laura Rosenberger

By Emily Wade Will | May 31st, 2017

Laura Rosenberger '03

Laura Rosenberger ’03 (Photo courtesy Duke University)

Laura Rosenberger ’03 was either 4 or 5 when she bounced out of her pediatrician’s office one day exclaiming, “I want to be just like Dr. Kopp when I grow up.” Rosenberger didn’t recall the incident but it became family lore as the years passed and she never wavered in her desire to become a physician.

Her family and the pediatrician both belonged to University Mennonite Church in State College, Pennsylvania, where Rosenberger grew up. Although State College is home to Penn State, Rosenberger said EMU was “the natural place for me to go.” Parents James Landis Rosenberger ’68 and Gloria Horst ’70 Rosenberger studied there, as did her brothers Grant ’99 and Kurt ’06, her sister-in-law Laura Dell’Olio ’99 and extended family.

More than family tradition, though, Rosenberger was attracted by EMU’s premed program. “Historically, EMU has a high acceptance rate into medical schools,” she said, “a combination of top-notch small classes and excellent faculty who are engaged with their students and concerned about their development.”

In addition to her academic studies, Rosenberger won four consecutive national titles in the pole vault. Then, in 2002, high school friend Kevin Dare died in a vaulting accident during the Big Ten track and field championships. Because of this, she stopped vaulting her senior year, dedicating herself to a heavy course load and an evening MCAT exam preparation class.

After graduating in 2003 from EMU, Rosenberger trained for the 2004 Olympics Trials. She then earned a medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, master’s degree in clinical research and surgical residency at the University of Virginia, and a breast surgical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Rosenberger is now an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.

Rosenberger met her husband, David Mauro, now an interventional radiologist, during her general surgery residency at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. They attend Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship with their 2-year-old daughter, Ziva Rosenberger Mauro.