After two years of teaching at Texas Wesleyan University Sarah Elise Roche, assistant professor of marketing, will be joining her fiancé in Austin.

Her decision to teach at Wesleyan was influenced by her own experience at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Roche said.  

“They’re [St. Mary’s University] a little bit bigger than here [Texas Wesleyan University], maybe twice this size,” Roche said. “But, you know in the world of universities that’s still pretty small.”

During her time at St. Mary’s marketing professor Dr. Mathew Joseph took her under his wing. He encouraged her to begin her first research project, which was later published and helped her into a Ph. D program, Roche said.

“He was the one who gave me the confidence that I could do it and it would all be okay and to take that direction,” she said.

From her own experience at a small university she hoped to be able to influence her students just like her professor had influenced her, Roche said.

“That is why I picked a small school because it allows [me] to really get to know my students, have that more personal touch, and have a lot more innovative class activities,” she said. “I’m not limited by the fact that there’s 150 people in the room.”

She loves that she gets to see her students on campus, attend their sport activities, and encourages them to do internships.

Currently, most of her free time is consumed by wedding planning and spending time with her family and fiancé, Brennan Mittal, Roche said.

“I’m getting married in August and right now that takes up most of my free time,” she said. “The wedding planning is like its own part job it seems.”

Now that she is about to embark on a new journey, it only makes sense for her to move on and live in Austin with Mittal, Roche said.

She hopes that in the two years she has spent with her students she has taught them to love learning and creativity.

“I hope that my passion for learning, teaching them, and creativity gets transferred to my students,” Roche said. “I hope that how to creatively think and learn are the things they take way from my classes.”

After her departure, the Wesleyan community is what she is going to miss the most, Roche said.

“I found that the community here is really special, very supportive,” Roche said. “Everyone is just very understanding and takes initiative to reach out, so the relationships [are] the biggest thing I’ll take away from Texas Wesleyan.”

Roche and Dr. Sua Jeon, assistant professor of marketing, both joined Wesleyan’s faculty in the fall of 2015. Jeon believed their time together would last longer, but she is happy for Roche’s future.

“We’ve only been working [together] for two years, so I thought we would have more time to build up a better and vast relationship as colleagues and as friends,” Jeon said. “But, I know that for her it’s a big decision, another chapter in life. I’m very happy for her future.”

Treasure Lynn Ford, a senior marketing major, appreciates Roche as a professor and plans to remain in touch with her.

“We have a great relationship,” Ford said. “She approached me about doing this independent study [focusing on collectivist cultures versus independent cultures and re-gifting] and I think she sees something in me, just like I see something in her. I kind of always thought that she would be here if I ever needed her.”

In the end, her student wishes only happiness in Roche’s future.  

“I want her to be happy, that’s what I would want above anything else,” Ford said.

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April Suarez Olvera

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