February 9, 2023

What students say

I’m a Midwesterner.

I find it excruciatingly difficult to take a compliment.

However, I’ve been told that it is common to have a spot for student feedback on teaching websites. Therefore, please read ahead to see what my students have to say about me as an advisor and teacher.

As for me, I’m cringing already so I’m going to see myself out.

– Dustin


“As I reflect on my time in education, I think often about the teachers and mentors who helped guide me along the way. There is something incredibly powerful about the student growth that takes place in this setting. And it is due to incredible educators and staff that this growth is often astronomical. People like Dustin Petty empower students to achieve beyond their expectations. Dustin taught me how to not only believe in my strengths, but how to use them for good. He taught me that even the simplest act of kindness can turn someone‚Äôs bad day into a good one. A small act, that when added together, can create positive change.

He helps his students understand the world around them. He encourages productive conversations, even if they may be tough at times. As a college student, very rarely do we feel we can confide in someone with our hopes and goals. However, Dustin is quick create a space in his office and classroom that welcomes all ideas. He creates this space and is an advocate for all students. His transparency and honesty is something I look up to greatly. Dustin leads by example and encourages his students to engage. It is very clear to me that he cares a tremendous amount about his role as both an advisor and a mentor.

– Emma A. / Spring 2020 MSU Graduate


“I looked to Dustin at the beginning of the semester so that he could provide some clarity and point us in a direction headed for success. When he looked at me and shrugged, I was angry. I wanted my convener, who I knew had the answer, to share with the class. By the time I left my capstone class, I was beyond grateful that Dustin did not give me the answer right away. Rather than telling us what to do and how to do it, he posed questions that made us think through things more clearly. He asked us if this was really how we wanted to make a change in the community. Dustin pushed us to work with each other through the fights and the tears and the frustration. He pushed us to the point of becoming more than just a class, we became a family.

“I think sometimes it is hard to take a step back and let students do the figuring out on their own, but I think that is what makes the best teachers great.  As an education major myself, I have been taught that I am a tool for facilitating learning within my students, not that I should give answers. Learning that is extremely hard when there are not always teachers in the field enacting that. I am one of the lucky ones because I got to see that in Dustin. I had a prime example of the type of teacher I want to be, a teacher that pushes students to figure out and encourages them every step of the way.”

– Mallory W. / Spring 2020 MSU Graduate


The following comments come from the MSU SIRS ratings for classes I taught over the last five years:

“With everything that happened over the summer; COVID-19, protests on racial justice etc the class became a safe space to not only share our thoughts but challenged us to think of ways we can do better.” (ANR 311 – US20)

“This is by far one of my favourite classes that I’ve taken my entire MSU career. It was refreshing to be able to learn things outside my regular/usual Finance course material. I also feel that the instructor and conveners successfully created an environment where we all got to interact, and get to know each other. It was so much fun, I learned a lot!” (ANR 210 – SS20)

“I think this course was well organized, we were able to have a fruitful experience with our MI Period.” (ANR 410 – SS19)

“ANR 210 was such a challenging and incredible course that encouraged growth. The instructors were incredible!” (ANR 210 – SS18)

“It was the best class I’ve ever taken. I woke up excited on Monday morning for class to start.” (ANR 210 – SS16)

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