July 8, 2022 -- Roxboro Middle School’s Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) advisors Anna Gregory and Shanisha Austin are always trying to expose their students to examples of black excellence. So when they learned that the grandfather of one of their students was a world-renowned surgeon and inventor, they jumped at the opportunity to connect with him.
Dr. James “Butch” Rosser, who’s authored books and developed new surgical techniques, met with the group remotely via Google Meets from his home in New Mexico at the MSAN end-of-the-year celebration. Dr. Rosser is an internationally-recognized leader in minimally invasive surgery and has given more than 350 invited lectures around the world, written over 50 peer reviewed articles, more than 16 chapters in medical books, and authored 11 digital books.
But what the kids related to most was the fact that some of his unique surgical techniques were gleaned from playing video games. “The kids were mesmerized,” said Ms. Gregory. “They could really relate to him.”
She reports that the students were also shocked to learn that Dr. Rosser had been offered a full scholarship to college to play football, but opted instead to focus on his studies and pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. Having grown up in Mississippi and seeing few if any doctors who looked like him served as his lifelong inspiration.
“It was really a powerful lesson to the children about building a foundation for their futures,” said Ms. Gregory.