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Wanderings Benefit Notre Dame Biochemist, New Students
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Wanderings Benefit Notre Dame Biochemist, New Students

A Notre Dame College biochemist welcomed more than 400 first-year students to campus by advising them to wander in wonder.

During the College's 2013 Fall Convocation, David Orosz, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry, suggested the new cohort consider his favorite quote from J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy–and the saying on a sentimental T-shirt he received as a Father's Day gift –as a way to succeed in college: "Not all who wander are lost."

Orosz explained that he loves to daydream during the four- to five-mile jogs he takes most mornings because these physical wanderings lead to mental wanderings. While he runs, the recipient of the College's 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award said he works through scientific research problems, considers ideas for opinion columns, devises strategies to enhance his teaching skills and plans ways to better serve his college and country.

"While I am engaged in these physical and mental wanderings, I am also provided time to be creative, to allow new ideas and creative ideas to surface in my thoughts, to develop and to not be drowned out in the noise of everyday life," he said

He shared with the incoming class that their making time for physical and mental exploration–a walk, a run, a hike–especially if they feel overwhelmed by college courses, extracurriculars or job experiences, can help them find answers, too.

"You might gain a new perspective for which to solve a difficult problem, which was seemingly impossible. You might find yourself stumbling on the words that have been elusive to finish a term paper, or, maybe, you may simply come to remember the dreams you have for yourself, for what you hope to accomplish by taking four years to attend college and earn a degree," Orosz told the first-year students.

"Let yourself wander, without any particular plan, other than to find what lies within you," he said.

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Orosz also wandered before joining Notre Dame in 2000. After earning his doctorate in medical sciences from the department of pharmacology and therapeutics at the Medical College Of Ohio in Toledo, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, conducting research first in the department of physiology and biophysics and then in the pediatric pulmonary division. He also has a bachelor's degree in chemistry and science from Hiram College.