People of Point Park: Rosanna Perotti, '82; Journalism and Politics Do Mix Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Degrees Earned: B.A. in Journalism and Communication, B.A. in Political Science
Class Year: 1982
Current Occupation: Chair and Associate Professor of Political Science
Employer: Hofstra University
Graduate Degree: Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Pennsylvania
As an associate professor of political science at Hofstra University, an expert on American politics and a former daily journalist covering politics in New Jersey's capital, Rosanna Perotti, Ph.D., '82, provides her students with a unique connection between the theories and ideas discussed in the classroom to the real-life events of our current political landscape.
The REAL Reason She Went to Point Park
Point Park was not originally her first choice of college. When considering higher education, most of her siblings chose to attend schools closer to their Bucks County home. Point Park College's legendary journalism professor, Vincent LaBarbera, had different plans for Rosanna.
During her college search, LaBarbera's personal outreach to the Perotti family made all the difference. Despite the fact that neither of Rosanna's parents attended college, they greatly valued the prospect of higher education for their six children and LaBarbera helped them see how Point Park was the right place for their daughter.
He continued to serve as both an instructor and mentor to Rosanna throughout her education and beyond. "From the point of view of students, he was just beloved. He was that link for me. Not every student has a Vin LaBarbera. I feel indebted to him."
To this day, Rosanna keeps a picture of LaBarbera in her university office as a daily reminder of the valuable lessons he imparted to her.
Democracy Requires Participation
As the chair of the political science department at Hofstra University, Rosanna is always looking for ways to improve and expand the minds of her students. The forum of live political debate has provided a unique avenue for showcasing American democracy in action. Rosanna has helped to organize and host myriad political debates for local, regional and national candidates at the university. Her political science students had the opportunity to witness two presidential debates in 2008 and 2012.
"I'm just excited about the level of information that citizens have today and the potential that it gives them to participate in this democracy," she said.
Many of Rosanna's students, like her, are pursuing degrees in journalism and public relations in the hopes that they will one day change the world by participating in their government. It doesn't take much to see why she feels a special connection to these aspiring journalists turned political scientists.
Who Controls Your Academic Destiny?
"I always tell students the way to benefit the most from their education, especially if you are going to a small, private school, is to take advantage of every single opportunity," Rosanna shared. "Don't let anything go by - an internship, a speaker, a special opportunity, a job, a one-day volunteer thing."
"You do not have to go to an Ivy League school in order to get a first-rate education. You simply have to create that yourself."