Undergraduate Student Spotlight: Daniel Rodriguez

Daniel RodriguezDaniel Rodriguez, a fourth-year honors student, Communication Analysis & Practice (CAP) major with a minor in Theatre, has not flown under the radar in his four years as a Buckeye. Rodriguez excelled as a leader of multiple student organizations, took advantage of the school’s many opportunities and even became a published author.

“Communication is my calling,” Rodriguez said. “Having grown up in a bilingual household, within a culture that places such a great emphasis on the importance of storytelling, it soon became clear that the School of Communication was where I was meant to be.”

In his time at Ohio State , Rodriguez served as the head mentor and co-curriculum developer for the Latino Leadership Development Institute, became the youngest president of the Speech and Debate team in university history and is a three-time president in the class honorary system. He is also a founding member of the Student Philanthropy Council, a member of the 2016 Homecoming Court and a recipient of the university’s Outstanding Senior Award. Rodriguez was also recently awarded the Susan M. Hartmann Mentoring and Leadership Award. He is the first male recipient of the award and only the second student, undergraduate or graduate, to receive it.

Daniel Rodriguez homecoming court

Publishing a book comprised of poems and short stories was a goal Rodriguez worked toward since he was very young. Using his grandfather’s published book of children’s stories as inspiration, Rodriguez vowed that he would one day publish a book with his name on the cover. The people and programs at Ohio State helped drive this endeavor.

The publishing process took three years, from September 2013 to September 2016, and was possible through the funding from his involvement in the Second-year Transformational Experience Program (STEP).

“As I would go through my day or interact with different people, sparks of inspiration would start flying,” Rodriguez said. “Once I became involved with STEP, I felt it in my bones that this was a golden opportunity to do something bigger than myself, and thus my book was born – ‘the peregrine muse: an anthology.’”

Daniel Rodriguez at TEDx

However, Rodriguez’s interests do not lie solely in the world of communications. He is minoring in theatre, with a specialization in acting, and has recently become involved with voiceover projects. In March, he co-hosted TEDxOhioStateUniversity: Precipice. The Theatre Department and the Automotive Research Department led him to this opportunity as well as one with Honda Motor Company, where Rodriguez helped develop a curriculum and record a program to help teach English to their factory workers.

For Rodriguez, the transition from his small hometown to the melting pot that is Ohio State was something that he desired to gain from his college experience. The people he met and the friendships he made at Ohio State made the journey worthwhile.

“Each time that I met a new friend or attended a football game or spent the night in a library surrounded by frenzied students cramming for finals, there was an anecdote to be made, to be stored away and cherished,” Rodriguez said. “Ohio State is daunting in its size, yes, but greater still in its uncanny ability to bring vastly different people together. It is magic, really, and the intrigue will never die. My hope is to never let it fade. These unforgettable people, in this unforgettable place, have undoubtedly changed me for the better.”

Article written by student Erin Burnett