Professional Women's Chamber 2016 Woman of the Year
Currently a Springfield resident, Dr. Arlene Rodriguez grew up in New York City, spending each of her summers in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, a rural mountain town where her parents' roots grow deep. Life in New York taught her an appreciation for an expansive, fast-paced city life with all peoples, cultures, and languages, while Aibonito showed her the importance of family, neighbors, and their stories.
Born in The Bronx to parents who never finished high school, Dr. Rodriguez, the youngest of four, learned to read by reading articles aloud from the newspaper to her mother as she cooked breakfast every morning. At a young age she developed a love for the written word devouring everything from newspapers to magazines and classic literature.
Dr. Rodriguez speaks English and Spanish, and longs to add Italian to that list. Her love of literature led her to earn three degrees in English, including her undergraduate one from Fordham University, a master's from Lehigh University, and her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Dr. Rodriguez has been a journalist and a short-fiction writer. For over 10 years, she taught English at Springfield Technical Community College. She has served as the college's dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences from 2005-2015, when she was then promoted to Vice President of Academic Affairs, the first Latina to serve in that position.
She volunteers her time by serving on several local boards and committees, among them the YWCA Board of Directors; Springfield's Rosa Parks Day Organizing Committee which featured an array of nationally known figures associated with the civil rights struggles of the 1960s and contemporary human rights campaigns; Ward 7 Democratic Springfield City Committee; the Springfield Armory Council, as well as the Board of Tribunes and Latino Advisory Board for WBGY, Springfield's public television station.
Please join us as we honor this remarkable woman.
|Date:||Tuesday, May 24, 2016|
|Place:||The Carriage House at Storrowton Tavern|
|1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield, MA|
|Cost:||$55 per person|