By Chelsea Galvez |Staff Writer|
CSUSB associate professor of Education, Louie Rodriguez, has been recognized as an emerging leader by the Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) international organization.
PDK is a prestigious professional organization that recognizes and brings educators together with the intention of collaborating and inspiring each other.
“I have always been engaged in grounded, community-oriented work that aims to make a difference in the lives of students, educators, leaders, and community stakeholders,” said Rodriguez.
“To receive this kind of recognition is certainly an honor.”
Rodriguez, who has published research in the field of education, was selected among a competitive pool of applicants who also had several outstanding professional achievements.
“Recognizing the achievements and commitment of these young leaders is vital to PDK’s vision of cultivating tomorrow’s great educators,” said William J. Bushaw, PDK International’s chief executive officer.
“These inspiring individuals will provide a very bright future for the field of education.”
Rodriquez has been invited to Washington, D.C in December to network and collaborate with others in the same profession who have also been selected.
Being selected as an emerging leader by PDK allows Rodriguez to publish work with PDK, gain access to international travel scholarships, invitations, various PDK initiatives, and extensive networking opportunities.
“I believe excellence exists in every classroom, school, and community,” Rodriguez told PDK.
“I take every opportunity to engage students, teachers, leaders, and community stakeholders in conversation[s] about what excellence means at the local level, how we can celebrate it, how we can learn from it, and how we can sustain it to create more equitable opportunities for all.”
Rodriguez’s undergraduate career is familiar to many CSUSB students as he grew up in Colton, California, receiving an associates degree from San Bernardino Valley College and a bachelors degree in Psychology from CSUSB.
in 1998 as a McNair Scholar (a scholarship program granted to students to pursue research at a graduate level), Rodriguez went a step further and obtained a research position at Harvard, where he was able to earn a doctorate degree in administration, planning and social policy.
In 2009, Rodriguez returned to CSUSB as an associate professor of educational leadership.
“It was important to come back to CSUSB. I had an opportunity to go elsewhere but I selected CSUSB because it is my home and the institution serves the community where I was born and raised,” said Rodriguez.
“I am passionate about improving and educational opportunities for Inland Empire youth.”
Rodriguez believes that he understands the challenges that most students face, because he faced many of the same.
“I was a transfer student. I was a first-generation college student. I didn’t have parents who could write me a check to attend college. I worked nearly 40 hours a week while in college. I had many questions and little guidance,” said Rodriquez.
“But like many of our students, I was determined, focused, and committed to my goals. I will be forever grateful for programs like the McNair Scholars Program that truly changed my life pathway and created opportunities that I would have never imagined. Now it’s my turn to give back,” continued Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has made it his goal to continue the work he has been doing over the last 10-15 years and remains committed to principles of equity, excellence, and community engagement.