NIU School of Nursing Professor Jeanette Rossetti said she hopes her students would say, “She really cares about us, she wants us to succeed, she is passionate about psychiatric nursing and she loves teaching.”
And that is exactly what they say.
“Dr. Rossetti’s humility shows in that she truly wants to hear students’ thoughts and ideas, and have an open conversation about them,” said Tahanie Omar (’16), one of the students who traveled to Ireland with Rossetti.
Rossetti was named a 2017 Presidential Teaching Professor. In at least one way, she was destined to earn the honor. When she pursued her doctor of education degree here at NIU, her dissertation was on the factors that led to outstanding teaching and a connection to inspiration. And her test subjects – 35 previous NIU Presidential Teaching Professors.
"I analyzed the winners' teaching philosophy and goal statements and came up with themes regarding outstanding teaching. I tried to keep those themes at the forefront of my teaching," Rossetti said.
She became a nurse in 1984 working in the mental health field.
When she was a full-time nurse, she recalls enjoying mentoring the student nurses who would visit her unit.
“I always loved working with students and sharing what nursing care on a psychiatric unit was all about,” she said. Rossetti decided she wanted to teach. She completed NIU's doctoral program in education and has been a nursing instructor at NIU for 17 years.
Today, Rossetti believes great instructors strive to help students find their own path, identifying their strengths and encouraging their interests.
Her work takes her beyond the classroom. She is an advisor for Health House – a residence hall community for health-related majors. She also has traveled with students nationally and internationally to present findings from collaborative research. She also directs a study abroad program in Ireland “Exploring Ireland’s Healthcare System.”
Students who have taken this study abroad course report a transformative and inspirational experience, and speak highly of Rossetti's ability to incorporate different perspectives in their education.
For Rossetti, inspiration is a two-way street.
"It's not just about being inspirational," she said. "What I've learned is students have to be ready to be inspired also. When that happens it's pretty dynamic.”