Not many college professors would say they’re addicted to their students’ success and providing positive, real world experiences for them. For Desila Rosetti, a faculty member for Calumet College of St. Joseph, that’s exactly why she’s been with them for 13 years and counting.
Rosetti’s passion and focus has been on creating experiential learning opportunities for her students. This means a wealth of community-driven projects and experiences for those who enter her classes.
“In talking with the students, so many of them want so much for themselves,” Rosetti said. “I think the push right now is experiential learning and going beyond the textbook. People who have gone through college understand it’s not the end anymore, it’s the beginning.”
One of Rosetti’s initiatives, dubbed Chat with the Chief, brings students face to face with a C-suite executive. During these visits, the students receive a facility tour and spend an hour talking to a CEO, COO, or other executive without any formal presentations. Previous visits have included Rick Urschel of Urschel Laboratories, Michael Schrage of Centier Bank, Scott Albanese of Albanese Confectionery, and Violet Sistovaris of NIPSCO.
“I wanted them [my students] to meet first of all, the great leaders we have in Northwest Indiana,” Rosetti said. “I wanted them to see the opportunities there were for employment in areas they’d never thought about before. It’s truly been a joy.”
This breadth of opportunities is important to Rosetti. Giving students a chance to see different sectors of business, both nonprofit and for profit, allows the students more chances to find their niche.
“I want my students to develop a kind of passion for the workplace, wherever they work,” Rosetti said. “They say if you’re happy in your job, you’re going to be more productive. So why wouldn’t we want that for the students that we’re teaching?”
The opportunities she offers students are valuable, but often difficult and demanding. A recent project included an audit for the local Boys & Girls Clubs and featured 18 focus groups over a seven week period. The project culminated in multiple reports that the organization could make decisions based off of.
“I think for the students who have participated, it’s grueling. I always relate that class to child birth,” Rosetti laughed. “The labor is not so good, but the outcome is really great.”
As a faculty member, Rosetti is a valuable asset who makes Calumet College of St. Joseph and its programs shine. As a teacher, she’s providing eye-opening projects and experiences for students.
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