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Frank Rodriquez - CLS Undergraduate Program Director
My job is incredibly diverse. I do everything from providing customer service to program planning, admissions counseling, course management – basically everything that relates to program management for an undergraduate degree at OU.
I grew up in Henryetta, Oklahoma, a small town in the eastern part of the state, as one of six children. I graduated from Henryetta High School – where NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman is from – in 1977 and worked for a couple of years before I went to college. Before coming to OU, I spent three years in journalism as managing editor of the Pauls Valley Daily Democrat, and I was managing editor of the Chickasha Express for a few months before going to work for the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma which also is in Chickasha. I was there for three years, went back to journalism, and then came to OU in 1992. I began as a recruiter for the College of Liberal Studies before moving into my current role.
I graduated as a nontraditional student from East Central University in 1985. I earned my Master of Liberal Studies degree while working here at OU, studying American religious history in our self-designed study option. I am currently in a doctoral program at Oklahoma State University, studying education leadership with a minor in adult learning. I have completed all but my dissertation. My dissertation research topic is transformative learning in online courses.
What I love to study and think about are religion and religious issues. With everything that has happened in the world today, and with the serious situations our nation currently faces, I feel that I have prepared for this era because I’ve studied everything that’s involved. The confluence between politics and religion, the radicalism and religious fundamentalism, I studied all of that during my master’s program.
I’m also passionate about helping people – seeing people change and grow as they come through our college. I’m not just talking about the students, but also the staff. Watching them come in and mature, and seize the opportunities available to them is what keeps me going. I’m very proud of the fact that most of our staff members are working hard to continue their own education, pursuing both graduate and undergraduate degrees. We are a college that really practices what we preach – the powerful and transformative influence of higher education.