Robert Ross spent seven years training to be a minister and 10 years serving congregants. He loved helping people, but along the way, he discovered that the ministry was not how he wanted to make his contribution in the long term.
Computer science seemed a better way to harness his passion for helping humanity, and he decided to make a mid-career change.
Drexel University's College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) was one of the few places willing to consider this dad-of-three as a full-time undergraduate student. Ross was welcomed as a STAR Scholar (Students Tackling Advanced Research), a donor-supported, University-wide program that puts high-achieving students in the thick of faculty-mentored research the summer after their first year at Drexel.
“At Drexel, I found people who are smart, who are pushing the boundaries, who are passionate, hard working, thinking about what their future is going to be like. And I said, that's what I want to be. I want to be technically skilled, imaginative. I want to do things that make the world better.”
The opportunity to dive into research so early and intensively helped Ross develop vital skills. Combined with his three co-ops, the STAR research experience opened Ross' eyes to the optimal computer science career path for him.
Immediately after graduation, Ross headed to a job as a machine-learning research scientist, where he'll be "developing machine-learning solutions" for applications in defense and health care.