The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Encouraging Growth through Inspiration

Photo+courtesy+of+Dr.+Ro

Photo courtesy of Dr. Ro

Dr. Annisa M.P Rochadiat, best known by her students as Dr. Ro, is a professor in the Communications department at Stanislaus State. As a female faculty of color and a Muslim who grew up in Indonesia, Ro has helped her students grow through her warm nature.
Ro practices the religion of Islam and is frequently seen wearing a headscarf. Growing up, she did not wear a headscarf, but she always practiced the religion. 
Ro said she decided after high school that she wanted to wear a headscarf. 
“I started to want to learn more about my religion, I wanted to know exactly why we are doing the things we are doing as far as religious practice and beliefs go,” she said.
This alarmed her parents, explained Ro, who said her mother always associated the headscarf with a certain understanding of people being backwards, or conservative and traditional.
“She was worried that it would hamper my opportunities in terms of my career,” Ro explained, but said they supported her and her choice regardless. 
While pursuing her MA in the Netherlands a year after the September 11th attack, she felt it was a detrimental experience and she was “othered” by her peers. As she spoke of this time in her life, emotions overtook her briefly, showing the impact that experience had on here and how hurtful it was. 
Ro wasn’t alone in feeling the discrimination after 9/11. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC, 2003) reported a 250 percent increase in workplace discrimination claims after following the September 11 attacks.
Ro explained what happened in the Netherlands; specifically in her Global Security course following the attacks.  
“They would look at me every time they talked about Arabs, talked about terrorism, and I don’t think they were aware of that, but I was very much uncomfortable,” she said. 
Through this experience, Ro said she started to want to learn more about her religion. 
“I wanted to know exactly why we are doing the things we are doing,” she said, adding that prior to the Netherlands, she had always had positive experiences with her peers and continued having positive experiences after leaving the country.
Her journey at Stan State started right as the pandemic had begun, and she battled the difficulties of teaching students online while navigating the coronavirus.
Jose Mota, a former student of Ro, said she was one of his favorite professors at Stan State. 
“I constantly recommend her to my peers,” he said. 
Upon accepting her position at Stan State, she was excited to explore a community that is a federally-designated Hispanic-Serving Institution. Once she began teaching at Stan State, she felt comfortable with her students and was genuinely conversing with them. She enjoys the interactions with students that open her eyes and enrich her working with a significantly diverse student population. 
Mota added that he was comfortable with Ro upon his very first experience with her.
“You could tell she was down to earth and really cared about everyone in her class,” Mota said.  
Ro likes the term of being called a “learning facilitator” rather than an “educator” because in this term both parties accept the duties of learning from each other. This is what Ro does with her students by taking her time to make sure that everyone is engaged and understands the material she is lecturing. 
To help first generation college students at Stan State, Ro advised, “Be confident and everyone has what it takes, you all can make it,” she said, before adding with a smile, “Si Se Puede!” 
Behind her exterior, Ro is a huge foodie, she enjoys muay thai and also hopes to explore the outdoors once her husband is able to join her in Sacramento, where she resides now.
When Ro moved to Sacramento, she became a proud plant mom, she said. She was inspired to replicate how her upbringing was in the tropics, being surrounded by all types of plants. It motivated her even more living only a few blocks away from a plant shop. She created a beautiful balcony garden that is her adored space.
She has grown Calamansi, Yuzu, and Kaffir Lime, just a few of the exotic herbs and citrus plants she was used to back home in Indonesia. She has a large variety of herbs for cooking and she also has her indoor plants such as pothos (neon, golden, satin), split-leaf monstera, peace lily, pilea, and bird of paradise.
As far as it goes, Dr. Ro has a green thumb when it comes to being a plant mom but she also grows confident, inspired students.

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Encouraging Growth through Inspiration