Camille Rodriguez ’23, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Camille Rodriguez reflects on her time at UConn

Portrait of Camille Rodriguez

Portrait of Camille Rodriguez, taken March 29, 2023. (Sydney Herdle/UConn Photo)

After arriving at UConn, Camille Rodriguez had one of the best experiences any college student can have: she discovered a passionate interest in a subject she hadn’t originally intended to pursue. Pursing a major in Latino and Latin American Studies as a student also helped her become a leader and mentor in student organizations like METAS, Distinguished and Motivated Academic Scholars, and Paws and Claws. As she weighs graduate school acceptance offers, Rodriguez will always have an unbreakable bond with UConn, in the form of the friends she made.


Why did you choose to go to UConn? 

I chose UConn because it was the best fit. Financially, I received various scholarships and grants, which helped tremendously. Another positive aspect is that it’s only a little over an hour away from home!

What drew you to your field of study? 

I originally came to UConn as an art history major in the School of Fine Arts. During my first semester, I took Introduction to Latino Studies and fell in love with the material. As a Latina, I was never exposed to learning about Latino history in an academic setting. I found myself taking Latino and Latin American Studies classes solely out of interest, and by the time I declared the major, I had completed most of the plan of study.

Did you have a favorite class? 

My favorite class was EPSY 2810 – Creativity: Debunking Myths and Enhancing Innovation. As someone who’s creative, learning about the science behind creativity was extremely interesting. Also, being able to challenge myself as an artist and share that side of me with my class was a rewarding experience.

What activities were you involved in as a student? 

I have been involved in various activities on campus. I’m a part of Mentoring, Education, and Transforming to Achieve Success (METAS), which is the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center’s (PRLACC) mentoring program. I started out as a mentee, returned as a mentor, and ultimately, became a program coordinator. This past year, I was on Team PRLACC for homecoming where we won lip-sync and parade in our categories!

Currently, I am social media chair for Distinguished and Motivated Academic Scholars. This club aids the professional and academic development of Latinas and other women of color on campus. In the past, I was a member of Paws and Claws and eventually joined the executive board for two years as public relations chair.

What’s one thing that surprised you about UConn? 

One thing that surprised me about UConn is all the resources that are available. A lot of times, students aren’t aware of what the University can offer them until they speak with someone. During my freshman year, I had an unexpected expense that I could not afford. Through the help of my advisor, I received a donation from the Students First Fund which covered its entirety.

What are your plans after graduation? 

After graduation, I will be pursuing a master’s degree in higher education. I am still deciding where, but I have been accepted into various programs!

How has UConn prepared you for the next chapter in life? 

UConn has prepared me for my next chapter by providing me with countless experiences. Academically, I feel ready to pursue my master’s degree. Professionally, I’ve held multiple jobs on campus in various student affairs departments that have prepared me to work in higher education.

Any advice for incoming students? 

I would say to take advantage of every opportunity — not to the point where you are overworked — but take on what is within your capacity. You never know what doors can open for you or what will result from a certain experience. I always had a difficult time getting out of my comfort zone, but when I did, I was able to grow in the most amazing way possible. I’m extremely proud of the person I’ve become.

What’s one thing everyone should do during their time at UConn? 

Everyone should go to Horsebarn Hill with their friends. Whether you have a picnic, run around, or go watch the sunset, it feels so peaceful and liberating. I have my own core memory!

What will always make you think of UConn? 

My friends will always make me think of UConn. This is the family we created. The University is the place we call home, but I know that it will extend beyond campus borders. Any husky I pass or person I see playing basketball will always remind me of UConn. When I become a professional within higher education, I will remember that UConn is the place that set the foundation for my career and provided me with experiences that have been pivotal in my journey.

How has being a student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences impacted your UConn experience?  

Being a part of CLAS has allowed me to explore fields I didn’t know I’d like or even existed. Learning about my major early on determined the rest of my time at UConn and opened many doors for me that I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.