I Am West Georgia
Name: Yolanda Rodriguez
Job title: Manager of News Services.
What I really do: I look for stories for the different West Georgia outlets and then I look for ways to get UWG stories out to the rest of the world.
Years at UWG: I just got here.
Before UWG, I: Was a freelance writer; a reporter, most recently for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and a Spanish interpreter in the New York State courts.
I came to UWG because: It seemed like a place where I could learn another way to tell stories. The health benefits are good too.
One thing I would change about UWG: I don’t know yet, but a landscaped pedestrian pathway to the Square would be nice.
I was born in: New York City.
Family members are: It’s just me and my 18-pound Manx, Jolin.
People describe me as: Funny, friendly, goofy, demanding and pathologically punctual.
Most colleagues don’t know that: I am trying desperately to get a butterfly garden going. The first year a wasp came; the second year, it was bees. This year I had my first butterfly. I’ve seen only one, so far.
Favorite things to do: Listen to Mexican music: the rancheras, corridos and nortenas. I love the sound of the accordion, to me it sounds like a heart breaking. I couldn’t live in a world without music.
Favorite quote: Get ‘er done.
Proudest accomplishment so far: Just being here. I was born in a fifth-floor tenement apartment in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. Sometimes it was colder inside the apartment than it was outside. My parents didn’t speak English and had elementary school educations. But they kept pushing us and pushing us until we stood on our own.
Pet peeve: When people do things halfway.
Best advice ever received: From my mom, Lolita: “Get a good education and you’ll never be dependent.”
Best advice for new faculty and staff: Send me your story ideas, please. Feel free to call or e-mail to discuss story possibilities.
What I most want to contribute to students: Tell their stories.
The book everyone should read: Only one book?
The movie everyone should watch: The Godfather I & II.
The person, dead or alive, I’d most like to meet: My maternal grandmother, Ramona Figueroa, born and died in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. A long line of strong women came from her.
The place I’d love to travel to where I haven’t been yet: Rome, Italy.
Although you didn’t ask, I’d like to tell you anyway: I volunteer with the Georgia Legal Services Program. I translated an eviction brochure into Spanish for them. The last thing I did: played the role of six witnesses in a mock trial designed to train young lawyers.
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