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PhD in Bio to a Passion for Students – An Interview with our Campus Director

By October 21, 2022January 18th, 2024No Comments
Anderson College Windsor

Anderson College could not have a better match for our new Campus Director in Windsor. Although new to this particular position, Rosa-Maria Ferraiulo has been encouraging and empowering students for years at this college, has an amazing rapport with her colleagues and a keen focus on how this unique and dynamic campus can evolve.

Rosa-Maria’s background is impressive and vast, from obtaining a PhD in biological sciences, two post doctorates from both the University of Windsor and Wayne State University in Michigan to her involvement in cancer research. Her expertise was sought after by then Westervelt College, (now Anderson College) to teach human anatomy and physiology portions of programs such as Medical Office Administrator and Massage Therapy. It didn’t take long for the team to recognize her greater value and she was offered the position of education manager in 2021.

“It was a natural progression. I started as an instructor, and then moved to education manager. I had a variety of responsibilities, from taking care of the students, teachers and files to putting policies in place that were necessary for compliance. From there, after about a year, our campus director stepped down. I decided to put myself out there and tell Anderson College that I was interested because I have a terrific rapport with everybody at the campus. Realizing I already knew the ins and outs of every department, I felt I could powerfully support our campus, team and students in the transition to Anderson. It’s been a perfect fit.”

Rosa-Maria is an inspiring leader who not only oversees the campuses’ day-to-day operations, ensures that the teachers have the materials and tools they need for the classroom and students for optimal learning, but she holds the bigger vision for future growth. She works diligently to determine what programs are best for the campus and what the community, of business leaders and students, are really looking for. She is also the go-to person for concerns, feedback or input and the key liaison to Anderson’s senior team, should a student need further support.

But really, her favourite part is …
“… meeting all the new students. I take care of orientation, so I have the opportunity to meet the students the first time that they come here. Before they begin their program, I want them to get the behind-the-scenes feel for who we are and let them know what they can look forward to. I really do enjoy this time with them because I get to ask them, ‘Why did you choose Anderson College? Why did you select the program you did?’. This allows me to get a sense of who they are and what they’re excited about. This way I can make sure we meet their expectations.”

So, what can students expect; what makes the Windsor campus unique?
“To me, everything about it is unique.” (Good answer Rosa-Maria .)
“But really, our Personal Support Worker (PSW) program is in high demand, so we just keep adding classes. This speaks to our demographic, and we work hard to respond to what is needed in the community. We have a very caring student body, both older and right out of high school. They can use this program as a steppingstone to nursing. This is terrific as we have St. Clair College nearby too. We also keep adding long-term care facilities to our relationship development which makes a terrific association for the students and leads to job opportunities. Our students are getting hired quickly. I think right now we’re sitting at upwards of 80% of our students getting hired after graduating, which is a fantastic percentage to realize. The energy of our campus, the solid community connections we have and the fact that we have an amazing careers department to support students – all this makes us unique and a fantastic place to attend, to learn and to grow.”

“And beyond this, our Windsor location is the only Anderson campus to run the Film and Video Production program. It started in September of last year, and we’ve run two different cohorts so far. Students learn how to write scripts, produce videos and do interviews, for social media, companies, and for television. They learn a ton in one year’s time and wrap up with an internship for two weeks. They’ve even done like little things for our college, like short commercials, and attending and filming graduation and putting together a montage for students, so we can play this when people are touring the campus. I think this is one of the really cool programs here that sets us apart.”

Students at our Windsor campus also appreciate …
“…the fact that we’re, pretty much, fully in person. Students like that they get to come to the campus and the class sizes aren’t massive. They get close attention from the instructor, basically one-on-one, because the class sizes are small enough for that. They also appreciate that their instructors have the work experience to support what they’re teaching. They can trust that their guidance, answers to questions and instruction are flowing from their expertise.”

We asked Rosa-Maria to share a story of significance with us, and it truly demonstrates the powerful difference she obviously makes in the lives of her students.

“Often older adults make up our student population. A lot of them have families, and many of them have extra challenges outside of school. When I was the education manager, they would come to me when they needed help to continue with their program. One day a student, Pat, came to me to let me know she was having a difficult time at home. Unfortunately, it was affecting her and her academics, and I had to withdraw her. But I also had a conversation with her.

I said, ‘What I want you to do is to take the next couple of months, and work on yourself. I want you to get better, and to do this you will need to make the necessary changes to help yourself. As soon as that happens, I want you to come back to me, and we’ll try to restart you in the same PSW program.’

And she did just that. When she came back, she excelled, she flourished. She did a fantastic job at her placement, and within two days of being on placement, she got hired.

She actually follow up with us to thank me and everybody else for the support and care and for giving her the opportunity to come back so she could achieve her goals and dream. Sometimes we really do just need to focus on ourselves, to take that step back, to heal.”

Rosa-Maria gave Pat this license and her handling of this situation truly represents what we hope to encourage in our team and instructors, to consider the student first to determine the best course of action and route to success, for them, in the long run.

Rosa-Maria’s parting advice for students

For current students … Communicate.

“So much of a student’s success depends on communication. I always tell students, ‘Whenever you’re down on your luck, or struggling with your academics, if you communicate with us, we can help you. If you don’t communicate with us, then we don’t know what’s happening and can’t assist with what you need to turn things around.”

For future students … Come See for Yourself.
“When people want to know what we do, what it might be like, we say, ‘Well, why don’t you come in for a day, see what it’s like, see what the teachers are like and see if you would enjoy it. And then you can make your decision from there’. If, as a student, you don’t want to go through all the steps to enroll, line up financing, etcetera, because you’re unsure, the best thing to do is to audit a class, speak to the instructor and some of the students enrolled, and then you can determine if Anderson College and the program you’ve chosen is the right fit for you!”

Ready to connect, to book that opportunity to audit a class at our Windsor campus or one of our other locations in Ontario? If so, or you’re looking to explore any of our 30+ programs, book a virtual appointment to speak with an admissions advisor.

If you’re still determining what program may align your interests with your career, you can take the “Anderson College Career Training Readiness Quiz” and then contact us as soon as you’re ready to take the leap. We’re here to help every step of the way.

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