Rose Audretsch: Thirty Years Of Service To Students

Sarah Sampe

Dedication to the service of students is essential to being a successful Learning Specialist. Dr. Martin Luther King reminds us of this through the words, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Fortunately, for the SALT Center, Rose Audretsch served the past 30 years answering this question through her dedicated work as a Learning Specialist. During her tenure, Rose saw the center grow from having a small staff of six to eight people sharing offices in the basement of Old Main to the current thirty-five-person professional team housed in the state-of-the-art Patricia A. Bartlett Building.

Rose Audretsch, marked the end of her career with the SALT Center in June 2019, as she transitioned into retirement. Before her departure, I sat down with Rose to reflect on her career and the impact she has had on others and how others have impacted her.

QUESTION: What would you say is most memorable from your time at the SALT Center?

My favorite events have been the graduation events. After you have worked with a student for four or more years, it is just the culmination of seeing what they have achieved. I think that is the most exciting! I also liked anytime that I have been able to be involved with a student getting an award or being recognized in some way. That is also really exciting! I love when I have formed such a strong bond with a student that they still want to stay in touch with me.

QUESTION: You are the longest tenured staff member here at the SALT Center. How did you do it? What do you believe has kept you dedicated to this role for 30 years?

I was really looking for a way to connect with students but in a more meaningful or rich way and I think I found that in SALT. I started in admissions at the SALT Center, as a transfer from UA Undergraduate Admissions. I liked that Admissions, but I would form this little relationship with the students and then they were gone, moved on to somebody else. When I started as a Specialist at the SALT Center, I worked with juniors and seniors only. The model changed and we went from freshmen to senior and I really like the gamut of all the different growth and development that you can see from 18-22 years old.

There have been changes with SALT over the years but I think I did my best to stay focused on the students and hone in on that. That is the reason I am here.

QUESTION: How has your work here impacted you?

I think the biggest thing that this work has done for me is to [teach me to] look at my own children very individually. It is important to accept their strengths and limitations and believe in them. I think I am very good at letting them figure things out and I have worked hard to avoid becoming an over-involved parent. Probably some of the best feedback I have gotten on that throughout the years has been from school administrators where my children have gone who have said things like, “You are the first parent that let your child have a consequence”; or “You are the first parent that didn’t make an excuse”. So that always made me feel like I was learning a lot about how to be a better Learning Specialist and how to be a better parent.

Rose Audretsch

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Pinsonneault