Dr. Katrina Rodriguez is Saint Cloud State Universities new Vice President. Photo Courtesy The Vice President’s Office.
Article Written by Emma Bast.
St. Cloud State welcomes Dr. Katrina Rodriguez, as the new Vice President of Student Affairs, the University Chronicle was able to sit down and learn a little about her and her plans at the University.
Q1. Where did you attend school?
A: Dr. Rodriguez earned her bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and her master’s in Counseling, Human Relations and College Student Personal at Northern Arizona University. She also earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education & Student Affairs Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado.
Q2. What did you do before coming to St. Cloud?
A: I was most recently also the Vice President for Student Affairs, a similar role. I was at the University of Northern Colorado where I got my Ph.D. I had been there for 23 years.
Q3. How are you enjoying it here?
A: I love it here! What I love is I find the people to be so friendly. Everybody has been very welcoming, and students have been very easy to get to know. They are also very engaging and friendly. I think what I have found is sometimes when you go someplace new, you’re not quite sure how maybe you feel like you will fit in and for me coming to Saint Cloud State [feels] like I’m at home. I feel like I have landed in in such a great place and it feels very comfortable. People have just been so welcoming and so easy to work with, so that’s just been great.
Q4. Do you have a favorite thing about St. Cloud?
A: A friend let us borrow their cabin up north. It was just a fun experience to get to be on the lake. That was very different for us. That is my favorite experience so far, I know my favorite thing so far is being around so many different people.
Q5. Do you have any plans you would like to put in place at St. Cloud? How do you plan to do those?
A: I want [to do] is [sic] work closely with the Student Life and Development (SLD) to continue to build on all of the great work that’s already happened here. There’s so much great work with student engagement, getting students involved, understanding student needs and how to remove barriers for students so they can be successful. [We’re also] about student learning in our division. For me, it’s about just continuing to build on that and making it a great experience for students. That is what we are all about, the student experience.
Dr. Rodriquez works with each department to help with their individual plans as well as putting those plans together to tailor them to St. Cloud States ‘It’s Time’ initiative, a plan to move everything forward for the university. Everything that Dr. Rodriguez and SLD do is in line with the ‘It’s Time’ structure.
Q6. Is there any strange or interesting hobbies or activities you like to do?
A: Sure, I really like gardening, especially flowers are a passion. You know, just planting flowers and plants and things. I also really enjoy traveling, I have loved getting around to different places in Minnesota so far. We’ve been to Itasca State Park, and we’ve been to the headwaters where the Mississippi begins, which is so cool I think it’s amazing, that’s so cool that we can see that. I’ve been to Duluth which has been really interesting. Of course, to the cities.
Dr. Rodriguez has already seen a Vikings Game. She is also looking forward to watching the SCSU Husky play hockey since she is a big hockey fan.
I would say those are some of the favorites. I also like science fiction. That’s maybe something people look at me and think, ‘really’? It is mostly movies, I both love Star Trek and Star Wars, so I understand some people sort of pick one or the other. I also like a lot of the Marvel, a favorite I think is probably Wonder Woman. I probably like the female superheroes.
Q7. What do you enjoy doing outside of your work here?
A: I would say just getting to meet new people. It’s been really fun having a chance to learn about some of my colleagues here, some friends that we’ve met since being here. I think that’s been really fun. Kind of like students, you like to get to know people that you’re around, you get to meet friends and that kind of thing. That’s kind of similar in a way, you come to a new place and you’re making connections I suppose. I like [meeting] with students and getting to know them as well. I work with student government really closely. So, it’s fun for me to get to sit down with students as much as I can.
I am loving being a Husky! I think it is so much fun and I feel really connected to SCSU. Go Huskies!