Teaching a New Language with Technology with Dr. Katherine Rosselot

Katherine Anderson Rosselot, Ph.D. contends that one of the essential elements in developing nursing knowledge and critical thinking skills is today’s educational technologies. Dr. Rosselot is passionate about the integration of technologies into nursing education. As a nursing professor and online nursing tutor/editor,  education technologies are her primary tools for helping nursing students of all levels succeed in their educational pursuits. Dr. Rosselot created basic medical terminology adjunctive education for assisting nursing students in improving their academic performance.

Dr. Rosselot is driven to leverage her experience in nursing, nurse education, and extensive training in educational technology to mentor, inspire, and help develop the critical thinking skills of nursing students and future nursing educators. Her teaching philosophy is student-centered, facilitates the achievement of advanced education, instills a culture of lifelong learning, and promotes the practice of professional nursing.

As a survivor of multiple life circumstances, Dr. Rosselot always remembers to appreciate little things in life, but her two teenage children and their activities often require her to remember to just breathe! 



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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • From doing to teaching, when you have to go looking for your calling
  • Escaping into your dissertation…the value of self-care
  • Three dissertation chairs, two-ish dissertations
  • Learning to speak like a doctor… or nurse
  • PSA: Don’t do a mixed-methods dissertation

In this episode…

When life hands you lemons, sometimes you have to suck it up and just keep going!

In this episode of An Unconventional Life, Dr. Katherine Rosselot and Dr. Russell Strickland talk life, loss, and to how to outlast the challenges that come your way. Dr. Rosselot’s doctoral journey began in response to an aggressive cancer that robbed her of a career she was passionate about. The journey was punctuated with suicidal ideations (not hers), a recurrence of cancer, and the loss of her husband. Dealing with this issues could bring anyone’s life to a screeching halt or send it careening off a cliff. But Dr. Rosselot managed to maintain her focus on her goals while shepherding her family through the tumult.

Dr. Rosselot’s dissertation research ultimately led her to help nursing students make the extraordinarily difficult task of mastering medical jargon more accessible. She has gone on to teach, write, and currently serves as peer-reviewer for articles in her area of expertise. Happy endings for those who persevere!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Dissertation Done, America’s #1 authority in dissertation completion for working professionals.

Founded by Dr. Russell Strickland, Dissertation Done serves people in two ways:

  1. If you’re struggling with your dissertation, getting ready to start your dissertation, or just plain wanting to get your dissertation done as soon as possible, go to www.dissertationdone.com/done and Let’s Get Your Dissertation Done
  2. If you’re busy living your Unconventional Life and have a message that you want to share, maybe you should join our Expand Your Authority Program to become a published author. Go to www.dissertationdone.com/book and let me know that you’d like to talk about Expanding Your Authority.

Visit www.dissertationdone.com to learn more about our other services and leave a message or call them at 888-80-DR-NOW (888-803-7669) to schedule your free 30 to 45-minute phone consultation.

Episode Transcript

Disclaimer: This transcript is here for your reading convenience. It was created by machines and may (a-hem) contain some errors. If you email us about these errors, the machines will undoubtedly find out. I hope they won’t get angry.


Intro [00:00:03] Welcome to An Unconventional Life, a podcast where we share stories about the crazy one percent out there who earned their doctoral degrees and then went on to use them in crazy, cool, unique and unconventional ways. Here’s your host, astrophysicist tturned teacher, author, dissertation coach, and more, Dr. Russell Strickland.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:00:28] Hello and welcome to an unconventional life. I am your host, Dr. Russell Strickland. I’m the founder and CEO of Dissertation Done. And today I have with me Dr. Katherine Rosselot. Dr. Rosselot is a nurse, educator, mom, and she’s going to share with you her story. That’s going to be inspirational for any of you guys who think you’re having trouble getting through the dissertation process. I’m here to tell you that there are no excuses and and you can do it. Can’t wait to share Dr. Rosselot story with you. So welcome today. Katherine, how are you doing?


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:01:03] Thank you very much. I’m fine.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:01:05] Awesome. I’d like to let everybody know that today’s episode is brought to you by Dissertation Done. We help adult doctoral students through the dissertation process. So whether you are approaching the dissertation and you know that the best way to get through a new situation is with some coaching, some advice and some direction. Reach out to us for that, or if you are working on your dissertation and you feel like things are going a little bit slower than you want to, your you maybe feel like you’re stuck or just plain stalled out on the dissertation, reach out to us and we’ll help you with that. You can reach out to us at DissertationDone.com/done again. That’s DissertationDone.com/done and we’ll see if you’re a good fit for our Fast-Track Your Dissertation coaching program where we help students to graduate and usually about a year or less and definitely years less than they went on their own. And if by any chance you’ve already graduated, you’ve got your doctoral degree and you’re working in that professional expert space as maybe a coach, consultant, counselor, public speaker, anything like that, the best way to up your credibility, in addition to having the first name doctor, is to be a published author. And with our Expand Your Authority program, we actually help folks become expert published authors. It it allows you to say, not only is my first name doctor, but I literally wrote the book in my area of expertise and you become the the no-doubt-about-it, obvious go-to when someone’s looking for your help. So find out more about that by going to DissertationDone.com/book that’s DissertationDone.com/book, and we’ll take you from the blank page to being a published author in less time than you thought possible. So that’s the commercial. I’m excited that now we get to talk. Katherine, we have worked together in the past and and I am so proud of the journey that you’ve taken. But let’s take everybody back to the beginning. It’s a crazy thing to go out and pursue a doctoral degree, we’ve talked about this on the show before, one percent of folks earns the doctoral degree in their lifetime in this country and and not very many more than that try. It’s about two percent try a one percent succeed. So what made you decide to take that plunge and and pursue your doctoral degree?


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:03:25] Well, what happened was, is I had I had been working in the operating room and from the time I was 19 until and I was in my. Mid 40s.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:03:42] So you were a surgical nurse. Right?


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:03:46] And I I have a previous master’s in health care administration, so I’ve done everything from mop the floors to running the place. So there really hadn’t been anything I hadn’t done in that realm. And it was it was my love. It was my true passion at the time. And then unfortunately, I was diagnosed with a pituitary adenoma, which is the type of brain tumor. And I was fortunate from the standpoint that they were going to be able to go in and actually remove the tumor itself. And so they did. But unfortunately, I had some minor complications that are that are permanent that actually made it physically impossible for me to continue working in my specialty. Now, I wasn’t disabled. So the the big question for my life at that time was, you know what? What am I going to do? What what direction am I going to go? Because I really. That the thought of just going back to a staff position on the floor, I mean, was a possibility. It’s just it just wasn’t. The right direction for me and the other thing was, is because I had already been in administration, hospital administration just wasn’t as appealing anymore.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:05:23] It’s not for everyone, but,.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:05:25] Yeah, it definitely is not for everyone.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:05:27] You have to follow your calling. And I think it’s so inspirational that you take this gut shot of, you know, not only is my life at risk and I face this this huge existential uncertainty, but I got past that. And then I face the certainty of I can’t do the thing that I really love to do anymore. And very specific. It was like, oh, yeah, I can do anything else. Just not that.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:05:56] Yeah. And it was definitely a gut punch. And but with the the support and encouragement by family and friends, they all kept saying, oh, you, you always explain the nursing piece so easily to everybody. And you you’re you’re great about being able to draw pictures and really putting it in a way that everybody can understand. And several of my friends had actually been nurses who I had presented in the actual operating room they had transferred in. And so I ended up being their their preceptor for about a year, you know, kind of helped them get acclimated to the whole thing. And they were like, yeah, you got to teach this stuff. You definitely have to to get back into this.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:06:48] And to find that out and then to say, I’m not not only am I not going to let this defeat me, I’m not even going to take a step back. I’m taking a step forward is just amazing.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:06:59] Yeah, yeah, yeah. And and the the the more I looked into to trying to teach nursing, the more I realized that if I was going to have. Any opportunity to to teach at the baccalaureate level or higher? I was going to have to get a Ph.D..


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:07:20] That’s true. Yeah, so. So, OK, so there’s the inspiration, right, and it’s necessity meets inspiration. And there you go. You’re moving forward now. I’ll tell you folks, Katherine sitting here, story ends very, very well. But there are there are bumps in the road. All right. So you like to start off. You want to do you want to become a nurse educator now as your as your full time pursuit? Now, how did things go when you start your doctoral program?


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:07:57] Well, once I got started taking my courses, unfortunately, my daughter came to me and said that she was middle school at the time and she said she wanted to kill herself. And it was because of some absolute horrendous bullying that she had been through at the school and apparently had been going on for a long time. And so she ended up obviously having a short inpatient stay and lots and lots of therapy after that. And I’m very, very proud of the progress she’s made. She’s an outstanding young woman. Now she’s 18 and going to college and definitely knows who she is and and how to manage life.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:08:46] That’s such a critical time. And I know for four girls in particular, that time seems like boys will be a little bit more. I don’t care what you get for me. They do, but but they can they can handle that a little bit. I don’t know if I want to say better differently. Just really take it to heart. I know I’ve got a girl that’s in middle school right now and. And it’s amazing that you can continue to put one foot in front of the other when you’re hit with something that’s really tough, but like you said, she came out much stronger on the other side. So that’s the good news there.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:09:24] And and the good news for me was actually during that time frame. Like I said, I was I was taking a lot of my courses coursework and I found my coursework as actually kind of a refuge in terms of being able to have my own little world to escape into and completely immerge myself into it. So it really kind of helped me with my own sanity during that time frame.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:09:54] And that’s something that you’re quite a bit that folks that face the loss of a spouse or a parent or something along those lines. It’s a devastating moment. There’s grief and the stress and all of these other things. And to be able to put that on mute for just a little while and do something really for yourself, it’s not selfish. It’s a way that you can recharge and and and focus, do something productive, feel proud of yourself, and come out that much stronger when you’re helping your family and all of the other things that you have to do. So when you’re back in the fray, doing this actually makes you stronger and helps you to help those other people that are so important to you.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:10:35] And and it was actually the first time that I realized taking care of myself was as important as taking care of my family, so yes, I was always very eye opening.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:10:50] Yeah, I mean, so many people think about that and and that’s specifically why I said it. People think I’m being selfish to get a coach to help me through this. Why don’t I just tough it out? Well, if you’ve got more help and you feel better and stronger. You’re helping your family. You’re helping those people, you’re better employee at work, you’re a better mom. You’re a better wife, you’re a better husband, you’re better whatever, because you have that that sense of strength and an area where you’re you’re doing well. It is therapeutic for you and taking care of yourself. I mean, that’s why the airplane little placard says, put your oxygen mask on first. We don’t want you choking to death while you’re putting the oxygen mask on the kid who wants you to be able to breathe and concentrate on getting the oxygen mask on the kid.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:11:38] Absolutely. And then as I got to the end of my coursework, obviously, I was in the process of trying to put together my topic and go through IAB and get my my my research plan approved, et cetera. And unfortunately, at that same time and try to find a research site. Unfortunately, my brain tumor grew back. Now, they had they had forewarned me back when they first took it out that there was a very high likelihood of it coming back. But they said it would be like five to seven years. Well, when when we hit the seven year mark, my husband and I actually threw a party because it’s like we made it without it. But then it was two years later that it it it showed back up on and on a routine MRI is I get those obviously frequently.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:12:42] And most people don’t know what a routine MRI is.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:12:48] Well, unfortunately I do. So I have to I have to go in at that. At that point, I was going in every two years to to just do a follow up.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:12:59] And so now you were telling me part of this story earlier. This actually upsets me again, happy endings, everybody that they’re coming, but only. So you so you found out about this devastating moment for you, for your family. You’re being responsible and letting the folks at school know what’s going on. And how did that go?


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:13:21] OK. I had just been assigned my chair.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:13:28] Your dissertation chair, the person who’s supposed to help you get through the dissertation process and to graduation. This is the person.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:13:36] This is the person I reached out to her. We hadn’t really had a lot of communication prior to that. But but like I said, I arranged for a time to really talk to her. And as we’re talking and I’m telling her about my my situation, she basically reiterated to me that she was only an adjunct faculty at the school. She had a full time job at another school and that I was not her priority.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:14:12] So, again, we were talking about this before. First of all, you’re going to do a job, do the job. They, for my dissertation chair, be my dissertation here. But second of all, so sad when. You have you’re trying to talk to a person and you just can’t have someone relate to you as a person.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:14:32] Yeah, and and so I reached out to disability or. Yeah. To disability services that at the school. And so what happened after that was I as I’m talking to disability services and I told them what had happened with this particular person and asked him and together we decided that I needed a new chair. Right. So so we reached out and found a new chair. And during the course of. Of the process after that, towards the end of the dissertation, she had a very bad car accident and messed up her leg pretty bad…my chair. And so because of the rehab and and the surgeries that she was going to have to have, et cetera, she left the school. Yeah. So I had to get a third chair. And shortly after that, we discovered, ah, my chair discovered that there were quite a few holes in my my dissertation that the format had changed along the way for the school. And my second chair had failed to tell me about the changes. And so as a result, a significant part of my dissertation had to be completely reworked and. It it felt like I was starting over on the writing part, and so it was like I said, so it was very, very distressed to go through a third chair when I was so close or I thought I was so close to finishing.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:16:28] And then a lot of universities they do grandfather in when they make changes, you you’re you’re starting on version know 3.0 of the of the dissertation. They moved to three point five. You don’t have to move to three point five. Just the new students coming in would make that change so.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:16:48] Well, unfortunately, the school required everybody to there was no grandfathering in. So at that particular point, I, I don’t know if the school has changed their policy since, but I just know that, you know, that that’s what happened.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:17:04] That’s what happened.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:17:04] So for my situation and the other thing that happened is I’m getting this new chair. I’m finding out that I have to basically rewrite my entire dissertation. And I’ve and I’ve hired a statistician to go through my stats to make sure that I had calculated everything correctly, my husband was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer called inter hepatic cholangiocarcinoma. And unfortunately, it’s only found when it is stage four. And he went through an aggressive chemotherapy. And from the time he was diagnosed to the time he passed away, it was only six months. And so, once again, I’m I’m faced with trying to manage everything, and my children at the time were only 14 and 16.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:18:11] Horrible, horrible set of circumstances to deal with. You’re you’re going through all of this at one the other.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:18:18] The other thing that made it very difficult for me was that when I made when I asked my husband to go back to school, he never even blinked. It was like, yeah, that’s fine, but I think it’s great. So he was he was incredibly supportive of me doing it. But the other thing is, is that he was my editor. I mean, from day one, he edited all my major papers and he had a masters. He had a bachelors in aerospace engineering and a master’s in operations research. And he was very, very active in the Allied Pilots Association. He was a pilot for American Airlines. And he he was wonderful about taking the time to to work with me on this stuff. And and it was and it was really a good thing that he wasn’t in health care, because if he could understand it, then obviously it flowed well then and I was getting my points across. And so that was that was really nice. And oh, the other side benefit was he got. I think he was actually better at APA than I was.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:19:34] That’s one of those skills that I tell many of our students just rent that. Rent that skill. If you don’t if it’s not your particular thing and you’re not going to be writing research papers for the rest of your life, which most of our students don’t do, that they’re not wanting to be right. Researchers, then you’re just going to have to get this dissertation done, get some you know, learn how to write in proper academic tone and voice so that your committee will be able to tolerate your dissertation as you go. But all those little dots and dashes, PS and Qs, just to get somebody to take that paper from you for a week and and clean it up because it’s.

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.