Life Experiences Lead NOVA Student to a Profession of Helping Others 

March 10, 2023

Rose Lockerby has a special heart and a true passion to care for others. The good she does and will continue to do is the result of a difficult and emotionally challenging experience she lived through while growing up. 


Rose is a courageous and inspiring NOVA student.  

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background: 
I live in Falls Church, but I’m from Missouri. I moved here last year. My granddad lives here, so I moved here to care for him because he’s getting up there in age. It’s very sweet; he keeps telling me to stop working as much and just come and hang out with him. 

I’ve grown up taking care of my brother, who was in an accident when he was two months old. With his many brain problems, I’ve seen therapies my entire life. 

I grew up being homeschooled and I like to read a lot. I grew up reading books from authors such as Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. That was a big part of my learning process and it’s a great source of knowledge and information. And I like to draw. 

What brought you to NOVA?  
I just looked up community colleges and this was really highly rated, and it was very affordable. It seemed like a really good choice, and it had the program I was looking for--occupational therapy assistant--so it seemed like the obvious choice. So, I was ready to go. I moved here last August and started NOVA last fall. 

What are you studying at NOVA?  
I'm going to get my associates degree in occupational therapy assistant and then, from there, transfer to a bridge program toward my master's. 

I appreciate how affordable this college is. I'd be going into a lot of debt, since I have to pay for everything. But NOVA makes it a lot easier to do.  

Tell Us About Your Experience at NOVA, i.e., professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met.  
My anatomy and physiology teacher is amazing, biology 141 and 142. Professor Samira Topchubashova is so helpful, and if you have any problems, you can go and talk to her. She’s just very, very nice; a very warm person. 

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA? I would tell them totalk to the career counselors and advisors and make sure they get help at the tutoring center, if they need it. Everyone’s just really nice. And don’t be afraid to ask anybody any questions or to ask for help. The teachers definitely want to help. They all do. 

Where do you see yourself after NOVA or what career pursuits are you exploring?  
I should be starting next fall if I get into the Occupational Therapy Assistant program in the Medical Education Campus in Springfield. 

I think it should take a couple years, then I’ll be out. I should be able to start next fall. I’m finishing up my prerequisites for the program and then, once I start, it should be two years. 

Then I should be ready to get a job as an OTA in schools or hospitals. While doing that, I'll be trying to get into the Shenandoah University bridge program to become an occupational therapist and get my master's. I'm still figuring out where I'll go from there, but probably geriatrics. 

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