Rodriguez Hired as Multicultural Student Services Director

Elizabeth Worthington, Staff Writer

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Rosalie Rodriguez was recently hired to be the new Director of Multicultural Student Services. A search committee comprised of staff, faculty, and students was organized to find the best individual to fill the position. It was headed by Director of Residential Education Josh Hartman and overseen by Dean of Students Amy Badal.

“[The committee] reviewed applications, conducted phone interviews and then invited a number of candidates to campus. Rosalie was selected based on her strong leadership skills, dedication to students, good humor, and many years of experience working within the diversity and inclusion area. I am so pleased that Rosalie joined our community and look forward to the many contributions she will make to the University, Badal said.

Rodriguez earned her Bachelor’s degree in biology, eventually translating this knowledge into focusing on the area of social justice.

I am still passionate about biology, but I look at it through a social justice lens now—through environmental justice and social determinants of health,” Rodriguez said.

According to Rodriguez, most people who get involved in social justice work do it because it is a passion that they are driven to pursue.

“I am one of those people. This is important to me because this is my life. It’s not something that I can turn off when I come home at night. It’s a part of me,” Rodriguez said. 

Prior to being hired at the University, Rodriguez was the Special Assistant to the President for Diversity & Inclusion at Juniata College for 13 years.

In addition to teaching two classes centered around the theme of race and culture, her job also entailed being “the point person for all diversity related initiatives across campus including strategic planning, student affairs/programming, hiring practices, professional development and paraprofessional training,” Rodriguez said.

While many initiatives of her previous job are similar to those she will be tackling at the University, Rodriguez is looking forward to how her new position at the University will allow her to work more closely with students, stating that her focus will be “to really listen to students’ concerns and try to meet the needs they are expressing.”

“I see my role as an advocate for students as well as a resource to help them develop the skills necessary to be empowered to deal with issues of oppression beyond Bucknell’s walls. This will hopefully manifest itself through some programs that already exist like TEAM Mentoring and the Civil Rights Spring Break trip, but I also hope to work together to develop new initiatives that will invigorate students interests and maybe bring new voices into the conversation,” Rodriguez said.

On Nov. 30, an open house was held as an opportunity for Rodriguez to be introduced to the University community.

I thought it went well. I really love talking with students and since everyone was on break last week when I started, it was a great opportunity to meet many people at once,” Rodriguez said.

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