Professor is ready to travel and get to know students on a personal level
By HALEY SEVERSON
CSU Public Relations Intern
Besides her classroom, College of Business Professor Kris Rosacker is ready to travel halfway around the globe to know students on a personal level.
“My biggest regret as a college student was I didn’t do a trip,” said Kris, a tax professor at Minnesota State Mankato. She’s made up for lost time by traveling with students to Europe and, most recently, on a January study tour to New York City. “I know some of the students didn’t necessarily have a best friend with and so I tried to reach out to those students in particular.” That willingness to engage is part of a teaching philosophy that values students by making time to know them – not just by name, but also by their interests and hobbies.
According to Kris, a perfect teaching day involves talking to her students, whether it’s in the classroom, during a meeting or even by email.
“I wasn’t involved as a student and so I try to connect with students and make sure everyone has someone to talk to,” she said.
That special trait is continually self-examined. Every year she reflects on her approach to teaching and sets goals to be better than the year before.
“I don’t compare myself to other people,” Kris said. “I compare myself to where I was a year ago.”
While such goal setting motivates her, she uses her own life to help demonstrate how unplanned things shape the greatest life experiences. Case in point – her spontaneous trip to India and the Taj Mahal: “It literally glowed in the sun. It took my breath away.”
On a simpler note, life outside the classroom includes walks with her husband and their two Biewer Terriers, Mocha and Cocoa, and spending quality time with her three children.
For someone who believes everyone should be comfortable being themselves, Kris added that “me time” may be spent listening to her favorite singers, Lady Gaga and Adele. “I like them because this is who they are, take me or leave me.”
‘Education is not something that happens to you, it is something that you do for yourself.’ – Kris Rosacker
For Kris, helping students find that balance of individuality and interaction makes being an educator – and education itself – special. “Education is not something that happens to you, it is something that you do for yourself.”
Learn what Kris’s biggest fear is and more!
- Who is your hero? My husband of 27 years is my hero. Bob is intelligent, compassionate, genuine, a great friend to many and a wonderful father to our three adult children.
- If you could live anywhere, where would it be? I was born and raised near Hastings, MN. After graduating from Minnesota State Mankato, I lived throughout the Midwest (OH, SD, NE, and WI) for 25 years before returning to MN. There is no place like home which is MN for me.
- What is your biggest fear? Failure.
- What is your teaching philosophy? The primary purpose of a university education is to prepare students to think on their own rather than to merely memorize and restate. Often this idea is simply stated as encouraging a life-long learning mentality. Furthermore, I take considerable efforts to learn the name and some personal background information (e.g., hometown, activities they enjoy, career goals) about each of my students. This serves to encourage a more personal relationship.
- What would you sing at Karaoke night? No, my voice is not intended for singing.
- If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to? I live in the present and plan for the future. If I traveled back in time I would miss out on what is going on today.
- How would your friends describe you? Nice.
- What are your hobbies? Walking has have been my primary hobby throughout life. In my opinion, the best way to learn about a new location (city, park, etc.) is to spend the day walking around without a real plan or destination in mind.
- If you could share a meal with any 3 individuals, living or dead, who would they be? My three children David (26), Tyler (23) and Sarah (20) as they are adults and live out of town. My husband and I cherish each moment we share with them.
- What is your favorite childhood memory? Holiday meals with my eight siblings, parents and grandparents—I am the sixth of nine children.
- What’s your favorite movie? “Mean Girls”, I have watched the movie many times with my daughter.
- Which of the five senses would you say is your strongest? I’m old, none of them are very strong anymore.
- What was your first job? My first full-time position was as an Enterprise System’s Instructor with the University of South Dakota.