Hidden Figures of Lawrence: Rose Wasielewski

Photo by David Baldwin.

In the daily hustle and bustle from classes to organizations, sometimes students can get lost. Assistant Dean of Students for Campus Life Rose Wasielewski, can help students get back on track.

Wasielewski’s day-to-day responsibilities include working with the Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC) committee chairs, housing, hall directors and training and recruitment for Residence Life Advisors (RLAs) and Residence Life Managers (RLMs). She is currently in her ninth year at Lawrence, but was a hall director for five years. This is her first full-time professional position. Wasielewski enjoys interacting with students. If students go on a trip, she helps decide what they want to do. Mostly she works with behavior issues. Wasielewski finds general advising is the most rewarding when she can help a student work out an issue or a concern.

As an undergrad, Wasielewski was a theatre major, but decided that was not what she wanted to do with her life. As a graduate she studied Liberal Studies and completed an assistantship in housing. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wasielewski was a Campus Security officer as a student, which prepared her for housing and administrative work. She immediately fell in love with Lawrence.

Outside of Lawrence, Wasielewski is president of a local women’s choir and loves to sing. Wasielewski enjoys theatre and musicals and frequents the Performing Arts Center (PAC) in downtown Appleton. She enjoys playing board games, hanging out with friends and family and taking walks (though not in the winter). She also enjoys cooking and baking in the fall and winter. Wasielewski loves to travel, and has been all over the U.S. Her goal is to travel to Europe in the next two years. She has been to New York, Portland, St. Louis, Florida and Pittsburgh to name a few. New Orleans is her favorite place to visit. On her travels she goes to concerts and shows, hangs out with friends and tries new foods.

At Lawrence, Wasielewski is starting a chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to help women and girls around education. Lawrence has recently received funding to start a local Appleton chapter. The chapter will focus on advocacy work and educating people on campus. Wasielewski is passionate about women having a voice because she has personally dealt with being a woman in an administrative role. One issue Wasielewisk has focused on since college has been unequal pay between men and women. Wasielewski believes women in power should continue to fight and deserve to be who they want to be in a traditionally-male dominated field.

“If I can be a part of that, I would really like to make a difference. My parents raised me to think independently and do what I wanted to do and being who I wanted to be,” Wasielewski added. She believes young girls should be educated and to have that mindset as well. “We need something like AAUW on campus because over the past few years we haven’t had an organization that promotes women’s advocacy and the issues they face in general.”

The AAUW chapter at Lawrence is partnering with the All Is One! Empowering Young Women of Color (AIO) student group on campus. The main goal to be inclusive and representative, which means bringing in a full demographic of women.

‘The Lawrence Difference’ according to Wasielewski is meeting students who are multifaceted. “There are students with so many interests and are passionate about what they are doing, sometimes to a detriment by being over-involved. Every student that I have met is completely different, and that is exciting.”

When asked about her inspiration, Wasielewski responded, “My inspiration comes from both my parents. They encouraged me to think outside the box, be myself and treat everyone with kindness and respect.” She also attributes her success to her supervisors. “All my supervisors, Dean of Students Curt Lauderdale, Associate Dean of Students for Campus Life Amy Uecke, and Special Assistant to the President Nancy Truesdell have shaped who I am professionally and have shown me how to continue to push forward even on hard days and crisis situations.”

Wasielewski’s main philosophy is to help students decide where they are and leading them into the direction of who they want to become. She is the hidden compass that will guide students on the right path whichever direction they choose.