Emmanuel “Manny” Rodriguez ’15 is spending 10 weeks in New York as part of the Columbia Summer Public Health Scholars Program.
The program is designed to increase undergraduate students’ interest in and knowledge of public health and biomedical science careers.
“Being accepted into the summer program means that someone was willing to invest time and energy in my academic and professional career,” says Rodriguez, an exercise science major from Toppenish, Wash.
“This program will broaden my vocabulary, introduce me to medical concepts, provide me with seasoned guidance and open doors for collaboration in research studies that pertain to my areas of interest.”
Through the program, Rodriguez will engage in hands-on field work in an economically disadvantaged urban environment. He also will attend seminars and lectures with public health leaders.
Hoping to help run an occupational therapy practice one day, Rodriguez says he’s had few opportunities to learn about a health-based career — until now.
“I am constantly seeking to become more in touch with my environment and to identify ways in which science and my passion for occupational therapy can lead to noble tasks and discoveries,” Rodriguez says.
“I believe involvement in this program would offer me a new perspective; I believe it can recreate my vision for my career.”
In addition to this program, Rodriguez was selected as an Ohana leader for the 2013-14 school year to help multi-cultural students transition to life at Willamette.
He is vice president of Alianza, a student group that promotes Latino culture on campus, and he serves as an international peer coach for American Studies Program students. He also works as a research assistant for sociology professor Brianne Dávila and as a student outreach ambassador for the Office of Admissions.