As someone who has always had a passion for helping others, associate communication professor Kelly Rossetto has tried to find a balance between her love for communication and counseling. With her new role as faculty director for the Gradwell program, she has found just that.
Gradwell is a program for graduate students with a strong focus on mental wellness education and mental health counseling services. Matt Niece is the director of counseling services and discusses the focal point of Gradwell.
“Gradwell is a wellness initiative that is targeted specifically for graduate students at Boise State,” Niece said. “The majority of the universities across the country have wellness programs for undergrad and very few have them specifically for graduate students. It’s important to identify that graduate students have been shown in the research to experience unique stressors. In fact, they’re six times more likely to experience debilitating depression and, or anxiety.”
One of the main goals of Gradwell this year is to increase faculty involvement. Along with continuing her teaching role, Rossetto will take on many new tasks with Gradwell. “Within my role is to think creatively about how we can engage faculty in this idea, in this process of creating a healthier culture for our graduate students,” Rossetto said.
Rossetto has been an inspiration to many of her students, helping them with various questions and concerns and giving them advice throughout their college careers. Michelle Jimenez graduated in Spring 2019 with her masters in interpersonal and organizational communication and worked closely with Rossetto throughout her time in college.
“I don’t think I would have made it through grad school without her,” Jimenez said, “She was not only my academic advisor but became my life advisor as well. She cared about me as a student and as an individual. Knowing that she cares about my success in every facet of my life really helped me trust that she was there to push me to be the best version of myself both inside and outside the classroom.”
That passion for working with students is a key component in her role, meaning she will not have to give it up and continue to do the jobs that she loves most.
“I love working with students, I like being around young people who are eager to learn and to provide them with the knowledge and skills and let them provide me with the knowledge and skills to kind of to, in my case, improves relationships improve communication, because that’s what I teach,” Rossetto said.
Rossetto aims to speak about Gradwell and spread it across universities, showing how programs like these are needed and can be beneficial to graduate students as well as the faculty helping them.
“What I love about this role is that it really does provide a connection between my research and my teaching. I study coping [and]resilience support,” Rossetto said. “I’m hoping that, from here, I can actually take some of the things I’m learning in my research and teach them to other faculty, implement them, provide strategies and workshopping and those kinds of things, so that they get used, rather than, you know, thrown in a journal that a few students read.”
Jimenez can easily understand why Rossetto took on the role as faculty director for Gradwell. She understands the amount of stress students can experience and also wants her students to succeed in anything they set their minds to.
“Kelly is such a good fit for her role as faculty director because she is very good at remembering what it was like to be a grad student,” Jimenez wrote in an email. “She lives a life that promotes everything the Gradwell program represents: work-life balance and physical/mental health. She wants her students to succeed because she cares so deeply about them, but also recognizes the importance of a school & work-life balance. That’s something I didn’t receive from any other professors before Kelly, and I am so grateful for it.”
For more information about the Gradwell program visit https://www.boisestate.edu/healthservices/gradwell/.