Growing up in Myanmar, historically known as Burma, where education wasn’t accessible to all, Rose Gaw developed a passion for education at an early age...
While Rose Gaw joined the CBE in 2014, her motivation for educating can be traced back to her early roots.
Rose was born and raised in Myanmar, historically known as Burma, a country where education unfortunately was not accessible to all citizens due to the government suppressing and closing universities until the people of the country adopted the government-sponsored curricula.
Dr. Maya Angelou once said, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” This is one of Rose’s favorite quotes – and fittingly so. Not only did she rise above these circumstances, Rose discovered her passion to create a better world through education.
Since moving to America and navigating California’s public educational system, “I have been granted the opportunity to learn, discover, and apply theory to practice. Like Aung San Suu Kyi, activist and political leader from Burma, I too believe in equality, human rights, and the freedom for all people to obtain a formal education.”
Eager to pay it forward, Rose’s “decision to become a professor was influenced by my drive to create change, give back to my community, and collaborate with future generations to create opportunities to better the world we live in.”
Cal State LA professors Dr. Martin Brodwin and Dr. Frances Siu inspired Rose to pursue a career in higher education working with underserved populations and providing access and reasonable accommodations for students to thrive in higher educational and vocational settings. Rose credits Economics Professor, Dr. Edward Hsieh, with influencing her to join the CBE.
“I truly believe that compassionate and caring professors in my life have made a huge impact in shaping the person I am today. Therefore, I am following in their footsteps.”
She continues, “Through their leadership and mentorship, I have learned that the most important function as a professor is not only to provide every student with the same experience, but also to consider equity by looking through the lens of each individual student and consider how issues of privilege, power, and lack of resources play a role in the barriers to students’ educational experiences.” For Rose, that is what she finds most rewarding about being a professor.
“As a proud alumna of the Cal State University system, I recognize the importance of students seeing a reflection of themselves in the faculty and other positions of leadership. There is a great need for people of color to serve in leadership roles, to set examples of triumph and of perseverance, and I am humbled to be a part of the CBE in doing so.”
When she isn’t busy making a difference in the world full-time, “There is never a dull moment in my life,” Rose tells us.
“I make time, especially when I am not teaching, to take adventurous trips and partake in thrilling activities such as snowboarding, ziplining, mountain-biking, open-water swimming, and kayaking.”
When she has a chance to unwind from the aforementioned adrenaline rush, she loves to spend time with her family. Together, they find new recipes and create new memories in the kitchen. Her two greatest joys in her life are her nephews Skyler and Solar.
During COVID and winter break, however, she mostly spent her leisure time indulging in her guilty pleasure: binge-watching reality, home-makeover, and cooking competition shows from Friends to Bridgerton, to Girlfriends and The Mindy Project, to 90 Day Fiancé and Upload.
Should you have any questions about signing up for her classes, or TV show recommendations, please feel free to contact her.