Dr. Rodriguez is a master teacher for the UTeach program and has supported multiple courses including Step 1, Classroom Interactions, and Student Teaching. Dr. Rodriguez is also the director of UTeach Maker, a micro-credentialing program that helps UTeach students bring innovative, project-based maker practices into their STEM classrooms or makerspace environments. Additionally, Dr. Rodriguez helps to coordinate the UTeach Noyce scholars program and serves as the Internship Coordinator for the UTeach program. In each of her roles, Dr. Rodriguez supports beginning and pre-service teachers and works to develop partnerships between the community, school district, and the UTeach program.
Before joining UTeach, Dr. Rodriguez was a science teacher with 12 years of secondary science teaching experience and certified by The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Her science interests center on field-based ecology and she has experience as both an undergraduate and science teacher engaged in field-based scientific research. She has a wide array of field experience from studying mating preference of tropical frogs at the Smithsonian Institute in Panama to working with scientists at the University of California-Davis on undergraduate research projects for minority students. In 2012, Dr. Rodriguez was awarded The Outstanding Paper Award from the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) for the paper titled: ‘Enhancing Teacher Knowledge and Pedagogical Reasoning: A case study of cooperating science teachers that mentor preservice teachers’. Her current research interests include maker education, play, mentoring, and teacher professional development. Dr. Rodriguez received her Ph.D. in Science Education in 2013.
Dr. Rodriguez’s hobbies include yoga, cooking, bird watching, and hanging out with her Beagle. She wanted to be Jane Goodall when she grew up – and she still does.
Favorite quotes: “Good teaching starts with relationship” “Making brings, play, possibility, risk and inspiration to learning.” “Play is the greatest natural resource in a creative economy”