Rosalind Schuessler died just before sunrise on Tuesday, December 11th as a result of injuries sustained in an auto accident.

“Roz,” as she was affectionately known, grew up in the Bronx and spent the first 50 years of her life in New York, before relocating to Seattle. She leaves behind a family who deeply loved her and treasured her humor, her devotion to the people around her, and her fierce belief in a better world. Her family includes her husband, Bob Schuessler, her companion, friend and love; her two children, Amie Newman and Evan Derkacz, her proudest achievement; her grandchildren, Elijah Newman, Aliyah Newman, and Leo Derkacz (she was born to be a grandmother); her son-in-law and daughter-in-law, David Newman and Jacqueline Waters; her niece, Jill LaManna, and Jill’s children, Eve and A.J; and her mother-in-law Evelyn Schuessler.

Roz was the first person in her nuclear family to graduate from college. After attending William Howard Taft High School in the Bronx, New York, Roz attended Hunter College for a time. Years later, after establishing a successful career in advertising in New York City, Roz went back to school and completed her Bachelor of Arts degree, as well as a Master in Communications degree from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) while working at the school. At NYIT, Roz uncovered her talent and true love for guiding and encouraging college students that would become a lifelong endeavor. While there, she developed an innovative, experiential advertising degree program which connected students with businesses and nonprofits to create advertising and marketing campaigns.

After moving to Seattle, Roz eventually landed at her professional home as the first program manager for the University of Washington’s Community, Environment, and Planning (CEP) program. Roz showered every student who came through her door with love and kindness and, as a beautiful tribute to Roz from the program shared, she was truly “the mother of the CEP family,” always happiest working directly with students.

Simply put, Roz wouldn’t be Roz without the extended family of friends, former students, colleagues, and others she inspired (and was inspired by) over the years, on a daily basis.

What’s important to know about Roz is that “extended family” isn’t a figure of speech. She could and did connect with people wherever she went—and they often stayed connected. The world can be a difficult place to navigate but Roz managed to break down the boundaries and barriers that often keep us separate and alone. Roz bridged these gaps with her boundless love, sharing her guidance, support and generosity with anyone who had the good fortune to enter her orbit.

It’s ironic if not painfully appropriate that it was her heart that gave out; no matter who you were Roz’s love was her gift to you.

A celebration of her life will take place on January 19th, 2019 at 3pm in Gould Hall at the University of Washington. We invite all who knew and loved Roz to attend, share a memory, and feel comforted by being with one another as we honor her life.

For more information, and to RSVP, please visit the Facebook event page, here.

If you have any questions, please email

Saturday, January 19, 2019
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Gould Hall

CEP Open House: Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Attention all prospective CEP students! Join us for a fun and informative Open House to learn more about the CEP major, and meet the students who make it happen. Join us at 4:00 p.m. sharp for an application workshop hosted by current students. If you have any questions, please email

Tuesday, January 29, 2019
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. CEP Application Workshop
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. CEP Open House
HUB 214