Coming from Houston to Upstate New York for college was a profound change for Allison May Rosen, a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi. Joining AEPhi at Syracuse University was a game-changer. “Being a part of a community like AEPhi helped me to feel welcomed. And, to have a leadership position meant a great deal to me,” she says. Her mom Linda Katz May is also a member of AEPhi.
Allison first served the Iota chapter of AEPhi as house manager, a job, she jokes, probably no one else wanted. She went on to serve as chapter president. She recalls Lynna Taylor Klaidman, who was then serving as AEPhi’s vice president of collegiate chapters, nominated her for the Blanche Zweig Greenberger Award, which recognizes the most outstanding undergraduate member, during her senior year.
She moved to Washington, D.C., for an internship following graduation from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. “That was the start of my career in communications and public policy,” she says.
When Ann Richards was elected governor of Texas, Allison got her first “real job” working in the Texas Office of State-Federal Relations in D.C. “We were like the embassy of the State of Texas,” Allison explains. “We had representatives from the different state agencies, like the health department. And each had a representative that worked in the office.” Her job was supporting the political appointee who ran the office, tracking issues, responding to constituent mail and organizing schedules. “It was an exciting time, but too short, ” she recalls. Governor Richards lost her reelection campaign and the office transitioned to staff working with the newly elected governor, George W. Bush.
Allison moved next to work in federal government in an international affairs agency in the Clinton administration where she served as press secretary. “It was a unique opportunity. Here was a girl from Texas supporting U.S. investment in places like the former Soviet Union, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East,” she says. She eventually went into the consulting business and began focusing on health care as a communications strategist. “Today, I work a lot with developers of medicine or medical devices as they are trying to move their innovations through the regulatory approval process. Basically, we help clinicians and scientists take very, very complicated data and science and boil it down to clear and meaningful communications,” she explains.
Allison and her husband, Dean, have two children, a daughter who is a rising senior studying theater and math at Washington University in St. Louis and a son, an aspiring college ice hockey player, who is a rising senior in high school. Allison is involved with local youth groups and at her temple. She served as president and is a board member of Congregation Hill Havurah on Capitol Hill.