Member Spotlight: Rosanne

Member Spotlight,

Meet Rosanne Mistretta!

rosanneRosanne(she/her/hers) has lived in Philadelphia, PA for many years and now lives in Upstate NY. She is the Assistant Director of the New York State Master Teacher Program at State University of New York (SUNY).  

Tell us a bit about what you do at your organization. 
The New York State Master Teacher/Counselor Program is a selective program that consists of more than 1600 outstanding K-12 STEM teachers and school counselors who share a passion for learning and collaborating with colleagues to inspire the next generation of leaders. As Assistant Director of the program, I work with Regional Directors to help facilitate robust programs for teachers in the program and beyond. We admit teachers and counselors each year, and they are in the program for four years and receive a significant stipend for being a part of the program. I get to work with amazing teachers across the State of New York! 
Tell us more about yourself! 
My career path was certainly not linear! After graduating from college, I worked leading canoe expeditions and worked for a bit at Minnesota Outward Bound School. I then went to law school to study environmental law and ended up working as a Senior Assistant Regional Counsel for the US Environmental Protection Agency for 11 years. After having 2 children, I went back to school for a Master's in Environmental Education and ended up working at Abington Friends School for 22 years teaching science and directing their environmental and experiential learning programs. I love how my current job ties all of my former experiences together and makes for a terrific capstone to my career. I have two wonderful adult children and their spouses, an incredibly supportive husband, and a wonderful rescue border collie mix named Jasper.
What excites you when you think about the future of Experiential Education?
I love the way that experiential education is becoming more expansive. Educators are not just seeing it as a tool used in outdoor or adventure education, but as something that enhances education across the board. I love seeing language arts, math, art, and science teachers all using experiential education as a tool to bring vibrant lessons to their students.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by women adventurers and try to read about them every chance I get. I am also inspired by being in nature and find that writing about and taking photos of nature grounds me and inspires me more than anything else.
In your free time, we can probably find you:
In my free time I love hiking and nature photography and recently created a book of my photos and nature essays. As a first-generation Italian American and daughter of a chef, I also love Italian cooking and am frequently making big meals for friends and family. I also love traveling as much as possible and am looking forward to trips to France and Scotland soon.
How long have you been involved with AEE?
I started coming to AEE as part of my role as Director of the Center for Experiential Learning at Abington Friends School. I loved the people and the ideas and wanted to get involved right away. That led me to serve on the Board of Directors for the last few years and also participate in the Social Justice Task Force. I have been to a few conferences, which are the best conferences I have ever attended!
What is the most rewarding part about being a Member of AEE?
The people and the programming! I have found the community to be one of the most warm, welcoming communities I have ever been a part of. All of the programming I have attended has been high quality and enhances what I do personally and professionally. I've made life-long friends and many professional colleagues.
Any specific moments at AEE that have impacted you?
I would have to say that working with the Social Justice Task Force has been a highlight. All of our discussions are so thought-provoking and significant, and I feel that being a part of that group has led to my growth both personally and professionally.

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