Scarlett Rodriguez graduating from SIU
Scarlett Rodriguez graduating from SIU

Rodriguez continues work in PR education in Dominican Republic

Communication Studies MA graduate Scarlett Rodriguez (’21) has taken what she learned in the Comm Studies program and applied it to her work in the Dominican Republic. Scarlett currently serves as a Public Relations lecturer at Pontifica Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), as well as an Individual Fundraising Consultant at UNICEF Dominican Republic. She uses her teaching as an opportunity to combine theory and practice, in addition to starting a local chapter of the Public Relations Student Society.

The Dominican Republic’s US Embassy recently featured Scarlett on their social media. During her time at SIU, Scarlett was supported by the Fulbright METCYT program, which comes out of the Dominican Republic. In addition to taking courses, she served as the graduate assistant for the Public Relations Student Society of America and completed a master’s research project titled “Challenging the Dominant Representation of Immigrant Latinas in the United States: A Qualitative Analysis of the Personal Stories of Latina Pioneers from the 1950-1970s.”

Nilanjana Bardhan, Scarlett’s MA advisor, says that she was “a joy to get to know and advise. Her master’s research report demonstrates her intellectual drive and passion for working with and across cultures. She brought great energy to her leadership position with the International Student Council. She was far away from her family and friends at a time when our world was in turmoil due to Covid, but she did not let that stop her from doing what she loves to do – that is, make a positive difference in whatever she does. We miss her.”

Scarlett sees her experience at SIU as being crucial for her professional reintegration once she returned to the Dominican Republic. She cites the support and motivation of the Communication Studies faculty as being key. Scarlett remarks that she “enjoyed the cultural diversity, meeting people with different worldviews, the quality of the academic program. . . a lot of learning and unlearning.”

“Scarlett was great as a GA working with PRSSA,” comments Justin Young, faculty member in the School of Communication Studies at SIU, and coordinator of the Public Relations Program. “She really wanted to help our students get started in their careers. So, I think her ending up in teaching feels like a perfect fit.”

We’re very proud to call Scarlett a Saluki and wish her all the best as she grows in her career!

US Embassy in Dominican Republic's post featuring Scarlett.
US Embassy in Dominican Republic’s post featuring Scarlett.
Rough translation via Google Translate
“The Fulbright experience helped me to develop my professional profile and new lasting connections outside my home country. During my time in the United States, many doors were opened, and I had access to many opportunities that enriched my experience as an international student. These experiences, upon returning to the Dominican Republic, they translate into my access to new job opportunities and the transfer of new knowledge to the local community.”

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