Roza Azene '18


Thank you so much Joan, for giving me this opportunity to speak. And thank you everyone for being here today. I feel very honored and happy to be receiving this award.  My name is Roza Azene, a senior majoring in Economics and mathematics.

I knew that I would be an Economics major before I came to Brandeis which made my life a lot easier. Since freshman year, I have been taking Econ classes and I was given several opportunities in the department to work with our wonderful faculty and staff. All in all, the department has been my comfort zone and it has helped me grow in several ways. Thus, serving as a UDR has definitely been a great opportunity to give back to the department.

Throughout the past two years, I, along with my fellow UDRs, have mostly worked to strengthen the existing popular events such as Life after Brandeis and meet the majors but also introducing new projects like an Essay contest and collaborating with other departments and programs such as organizing the meet the double majors event with the business department.

I have two main advices to new and continuing UDRs. First, if you reflect on what you wish you knew or what you wish your department did, then you could come up with an idea to coordinate with your team and make it happen. You will be pleased to know that most people in the department and also the UDR program are very supportive of that. Even if I knew for sure I wanted to do econ, I didn’t declare the major until the end of my sophomore year; which made me miss out on opportunities from what our wonderful Leslie sends to the listserv. I had a student in a similar situation a year later that I advised to declare the major asap and he ended up emailing me about getting an internship through one of the department emails. And that was one of my fondest memories as a UDR. Advising students with class schedules and seeing them succeed is the best part of this experience.

My second advice especially to those who don’t know where to start is to take inspiration from any class or experience or activity. For instance, I took a math class my junior year that inspired me to start the first ever essay contest in the department which is going to be a yearly event to promote more writing in the department.

Lastly, I strongly suggest you collaborate with other UDRs, with Roosevelt fellows or even the kindness team or other club activities to promote your department and to help students make the best out of their experiences in the respective majors and at Brandeis in general.

Once again, a big thank you to Leslie – Econ department administrator, to my fellow UDRS - Darhan and Emily, and to all of you for being here and listening. And my heartfelt congratulations to my fellow graduating seniors. I hope you all continue to shine and succeed at Brandeis and beyond!