Michael Rosscoe did not come to the Erickson School in the usual fashion, as an incoming freshman or transfer student. Rather, Michael began attending UMBC pursuing a second bachelor’s degree after completing a B.A. in Theatre from The University of Maryland College Park. When asked about his decision to return to school for another degree, Rosscoe said “while I was able to work as an actor for a brief time in Washington D.C., I realized the employment opportunities in the theatre were limited and I needed a more ‘practical’ degree.” Rosscoe signed on to the chemical engineering program here at UMBC, and, in an effort to round out a full-time schedule, he arbitrarily chose Aging 100 as his final course during his first semester. “I immediately saw the opportunities within aging services,” says Rosscoe, “and was very interested when Professor Madjaroff offered me the opportunity to conduct research through an independent study course for a new research project in aging and technology.”
Signing on to the MAgS program as a minor, Rosscoe began working on a touch-screen projector project with Ms. Madjaroff along with fellow UMBC undergraduate student Uvonne Andoh, a Management of Aging Services alongside pre-physical therapy major. The actual technology for the touch-screen projector, called Bonfire, had already been developed by a graduate student at UMBC and Michael, along with Uvonne and Ms. Madjaroff, have been researching its applicability to the aging population. Currently, Rosscoe and the undergraduate research team are working on taking it to a focus group of seniors at Charlestown Retirement Community to conduct research and development as to the perceived use of the technology by the end-users, actual older adults. From there, the team will determine what use they will pursue for Bonfire as it pertains to assistive technology for older adults.
Despite his passion for theater, Rosscoe always had a “liking” for science and is very glad he decided to return to school and pursue a second degree at UMBC. Although he found out about The Erickson School and Management of Aging Services program through happenstance at his advising appointment, he sees himself working in aging services in the future. “I can already see the impact the Baby Boomers are having on consumerism in the United States,” adds Rosscoe, “and I would highly recommend the class Aging 100 to every undergraduate student at UMBC.”