Pitzer Spotlights

2003-2004 Spotlight Archives

Susie Roley '04 Draws on Strength to Keep Her Balance

Susie RoleySusie Roley '04, dreamed of becoming She-Ra as a kid. Cartoon superheroine strength has been necessary for Roley. Her daily life during her four years at Pitzer has included the Pomona-Pitzer track and field and cross-country teams, a minor in dance and a major in human biology. Even now, as she prepares to graduate, Roley shrugs at how easy it has been to balance her life.

"My parents told me it would be hard to juggle two sports and dance with academics but I could not do just one," she said. "I love everything I do and feel more complete when I can do it all."

She has wanted to be a dancer since she was 2 ½ and a runner since age 10. Roley said her interest in these activities, along with a sports injury in high school, have pushed her to pursue a career as a sports physical therapist.

"Going to a physical therapist when I was hurt in high school made me realize that was what I wanted to do," she said. "It was really interesting to see how the body worked and how it healed."

Since then, Roley has volunteered at a physical therapy center in her hometown of Mill Creek, Washington. During her summer and winter school breaks, she works at Super Jock and Jill, an athletics store that specializes in running shoes.

"I like working there because we help runners find the right pair of shoes by watching the bio-mechanics of their gait as they run," Roley said. "It really gives me a chance to help people in a very unique way while learning and gaining experience."

Roley said she has broadened more than just her knowledge of science and dance while at Pitzer.

"I never did go study abroad but I feel as if I have learned a lot about other cultures," she said. "By taking classes like Indian and West African dance, biological anthropology, and sociology of health and medicine, I have been able to understand the world more. I feel more wise."

Roley said she remembers how friendly Pitzer felt when she toured the campus in high school. She said she has been able to make friends with a variety of people and feels as if Pitzer is "her place."

"I feel so lucky that I chose a school that offers so much," she said. "I have used almost every resource available. I get my science from Keck, dance from Pomona and Scripps, psychology and sociology from Pitzer and sports from Pomona and Pitzer."

Reflecting on her fascination with She-Ra, Roley said she liked how the Princess of Power could do things people didn't think she could do.

"She-Ra was cool because she was a hero a 5-year-old girl could want to be," she said. "She was strong and powerful and I liked her for that."

After graduation Roley said she is going to take a year off to work at Super Jock and Jill, prepare for the GRE and apply to grad schools for physical therapy.