Meet Darlene Rodriguez '17

Where do you live?Darlene Rodriguez

Ithaca, NY

What do you do for work currently?

Volunteer Communications Program Assistant

What did you learn at IC that helped you get to where you are today (personally or professionally)?

I learned that in order to continue growing, I needed to accept the knowledge and experiences of others as well as myself. I never pictured myself attending college, much less a private institution like Ithaca College. As a HEOP student, having that dedicated space for students who looked and talked like me was important. My IC experience helped me recognize my passion for higher education and helping students navigate their college experience.

How did you get involved with IC after graduating (did you volunteer? Did you speak in a classroom? Attend events?)

After graduating, I’ve spoken at the First Gen Alumni Panel as well as share some stories with the current HEOP students over the Office of State Grants. Of course, I can’t forget alumni weekend or ICUnity BBQs!

Why do you LOVE IC?

I love IC because it allowed me to explore the different possibilities of who I can become without judgement. I was able to create lasting bonds, not just with my peers but with faculty as well. Whenever I return to IC, it’s like visiting an old friend and it holds a special place in my heart.

Anything else interesting/pertinent that you’d like to include: (Are you close with other alumni? A professor you loved? Student orgs you were involved with?)

During my time at IC, I co-founded the First Gen student organization. The purpose of this organization is to aid first generation students in their transition to Ithaca College.