YAIR RODRIGUEZ is an alumnus of UIC, where he obtained his undergraduate degree in Communications, French, and International Studies. He took full advantage of opportunities available that would further his passion for languages and culture by studying abroad in South Korea, Brazil, and France. By the end of his undergraduate experience, he was a polyglot and had visited over 20 different countries. Undeniably, these experiences aid him in his work as academic coordinator for the CHANCE Program, where he helps the University with its missions to recruit, retain, and graduate underrepresented students. Aside from providing student support, Rodriguez also does community outreach, event planning, program evaluation, strategic planning, and manages all virtual communication efforts for the program. No small task. However, this bright and energetic AP is up for the challenge!
HE DESCRIBES himself as a “very goal-oriented person.” And, what he finds most fulfilling about his job is “getting the opportunity to see students flourish whom you have worked with to reach good academic standing, find a career path, or simply become leaders.” Furthermore, he says that he appreciates the confidence that his director has in allowing him “to pursue new projects, partnerships, and duties.”
RODRIGUEZ DECIDED to get involved with APAC because while he works with students on campus and with professionals off campus, he does not have the opportunity to work with other professionals here on-campus as much. He saw APAC as a good opportunity to meet other APs and a great way to "fill that void." Last semester, he began attending APAC meetings and attended several APAC Town Hall events as well. Rodriguez became an official committee member as of January 2011, and chair of the Building Community/Education Subcommittee. He is very excited about the possibilities. In the short time he has been involved with APAC, Rodriguez says he is very proud of the quality programming that is held, despite APAC currently having a smaller group of committee members than in the past. Furthermore, he thinks the “events are great, the online newsletter is very popular, and the listserv distributes very useful and AP-pertinent information.”
WHILE RODRIGUEZ is new to APAC and still becoming acquainted with the history behind APAC programming efforts and initiatives, he considers what potential achievements might entail. “I think three things that would be beneficial to APAC this year would be an increased number of APs that come out to the monthly meetings, more frequent ‘networking’ events, and a campus-wide APAC community service project initiative,” he said.
RODRIGUEZ IS currently working on a Master’s in Public Administration with a double concentration in Public and Financial Management. “I think the combination of my work history and my schooling is preparing me to be an efficient and knowledgeable administrator within academia,” he said. Outside work and school, Rodriguez has several hobbies that he enjoys, including exercise. During the summer he plays soccer, tennis, and volleyball, among other sports. In the winter you can catch Rodriguez at the gym or snowboarding. His love of travel did not end with his undergraduate career, so when he finds the time he likes visiting places where he can hike or surf.
GET TO know Rodriguez and other APAC members by attending the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 9, at 12:30 p.m. in Room 2750 of University Hall.