Jr. Faculty Focus: Patricia Rodriguez
Assistant professor Patricia Rodriguez has taught in the Department of Politics since fall 2007. She received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Notre Dame.
What do you enjoy most about Ithaca College students?
I particularly enjoy the ability to have one-on-one time with students. The atmosphere of collegiality and bond between students and faculty that is present at Ithaca College is a solid ground on which to make an impact and to get students engaged in learning more about situations in other countries and parts of the world.
Tell us about your approach to teaching politics.
Teaching politics, in my view, entails raising awareness that there are a variety of ways in which political situations can be perceived, and that it is important to be aware of these other perspectives, regardless of the position that students may take in the end. That is one reason I have appreciated having support here at IC to bring in speakers and to organize lectures and events, all with the goal of trying to give students exposure to diverse socio-political issues beyond their immediate realities. I encourage my students to take part in these events; many times, these are the most eye-opening experiences for them, the ones that mark and move them, and that make them passionate about issues.
What is your area of research?
My work centers on peasant and indigenous movements that struggle for land redistribution in Latin America; in my dissertation, I focused particularly on Ecuador, Chile, and Brazil. I have also recently begun to research the influence of NGOs and grassroots movements on United States policy toward Latin American countries. As part of that research project, I collaborated with politics major Chris Wilson ’09 on a paper analyzing the legislative advocacy of several U.S.-based NGOs specializing in U.S.–Latin America foreign policy.