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Faculty Spotlight: Rachel Dobrich Ruffetti

Rachel Dobrich Ruffetti is an Academic Advisor at the Academic Center of Excellence, commonly known around campus as ACE. Dobrich Ruffetti joined the team at the start of this school year and her main focus is bridging the gap for incoming first year and transfer students. Prior to being an academic advisor she spent the last seven years teaching a variety of subjects at the middle school level.

Ruffetti enjoys being an academic advisor because it allows her to connect with students on a more personalized level.

“I love getting to know each person individually, learning about their backgrounds and interests.” Ruffetti said. “I believe teachers can learn just as much from their students as the students can learn from their teachers.”

Dobrich Ruffetti always felt like she had a calling to teach and advise. Prior to starting her career, Ruffetti graduated from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelors of Science in Speech and Hearing Science. She then went on to get her Masters in Education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“I always knew I wanted to work in the field of education, I just never knew what my role would be,” Ruffetti said. “I love academic advising so far and I'm excited to become an active participant in our university community.”

Ruffetti has a very helpful and welcoming personality. She encourages the students she advises to come see her for anything that they may need, including helping themselves to the fruit snacks and stickers she keeps heaps of in her office. She enjoys being able to help others and her passion for academic advising stems mostly from her experience teaching middle school.

“I have always had a passion for helping others,” Ruffetti said. “That definitely guided my search towards the position of academic advising. As an advisor, I strive to help students have the best possible learning experience here at the University of St. Francis.”

With this being her first year on campus, Dobrich Ruffetti is looking forward to all of the events that are held on campus. She is interested in the different events held for different awareness weeks, such as the mental health awareness week that recently passed. She has already attended her first University of St. Francis Homecoming Tailgate!

“I had a great time at the recent Homecoming Tailgate, and I loved the events during Mental Health Awareness Week,” Ruffetti said. “I am excited to see the holiday decorations and the tree lighting ceremony in the quad this winter.”

In her free time, Ruffetti is known for being a world traveler. Growing up in Illinois, she followed her husband to Alaska during his deployment where she completed her Masters degree and became fascinated with learning about different cultures.

After traveling to a variety of different countries, a few of her favorites have been Iceland, Croatia, Thailand, Mauritius and the Dominican Republic.

“I’m hoping to one day explore Machu Picchu in Peru,” Ruffetti said, “and visit the Lord of the Rings sites in New Zealand.”

In addition to her world travel status, Dobrich Ruffetti fosters rescue cats with NAWS Humane Society in Mokena. She started this journey roughly two years ago and her number of pets have slowly increased since then because of the love she holds for the cats she brings in. Along with all of her cats, she and her husband have twin rescue dogs, Betty and Lucy.

“I love spending time with my husband and our pets.”

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