Rockwell moved to Wheat Ridge in 1976 with her young family and to Evergreen in 1982. She has a long history of civic activism, primarily regarding land use and politics. In 1993, she was instrumental in founding the Mountain Area Land Trust, a nonprofit that works through public/private partnerships to preserve unique properties in and near Evergreen.
She served as chair of the Jefferson County Democratic Party from 1993-1997 and has remained active in local races, running herself for Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder in 2006.
From 2000-2004, Rockwell taught English as a Second Language to immigrant families at the Learning Source in Lakewood, and served on the Jefferson County Public Schools Strategic Planning Advisory Committee from 2005-2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the Pennsylvania State University.