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Natascha Rodriguez

Winter Quarter 2009

I am nominating: Natascha Rodriguez

Years of Service at Cal Poly: 4

Department: Disability Resource Center

Position: Assistant to the Director


Why are you nominating this person:  Reflective, insightful, curious, compassion for others and a love for learning are words that come to mind when I think of Natascha Rodriguez.  She embraces and models the Division Values.  For these reasons, I believe Natascha is a STAR that shines brightly in our Division.


Student-Centered Philosophy: Natascha cares about students and is committed to doing what she can to see them succeed.  For example, when a student was nervous about a new opportunity to write an article for a newsletter, Natascha viewed this as a learning opportunity for the student.  She discussed ideas with the student, provided examples, encouraged the student to draft an article and then provided feedback for the final version.  The student gained confidence in his writing abilities as a result of Natascha’s guidance.


Integrity:  Natascha models honest and honorable actions with students and colleagues alike.  She is a trustworthy person, believes in teamwork and is one of the first in the department to contribute to a project or assist another person.  She has a sense of responsibility about putting students first and will set aside tasks in order to assist students and faculty in the front during busy time periods.


Interconnectedness:  In her role as the Assistant to the Director, Natascha embodies the notion of interconnectedness.  She plays a critical role in collaborating with others to keep the processes of the department flowing smoothly.  Coordinating payroll for over 40 full-time and hourly staff, and student assistants, Natascha effectively communicates and demonstrates flexibility and patience with nuances while coordinating efforts with other leads.


Passion:  Natascha is passionate about learning – for herself and others. She seeks out information and resources to enhance her knowledge base and grow as a person.  Passionate about students succeeding, Natascha listens to students’ needs and provides guidance to empower students to achieve their goals through individual interactions, as the editor of the department’s newsletter and as support for the Professor of the Quarter Student Committee.


Quality:  Natascha prides herself on producing quality work, and completing work ahead of deadlines.  Creativity and attention to accessibility are some of Natascha’s qualities that come together to produce a quality quarterly newsletter.


Richness of Diversity:  Natascha demonstrates sensitivity to and the ability to effectively work with others from various cultural backgrounds, including ethnic, socio-economic and abilities.   She has developed an understanding of various types of cognitive, learning and physical disabilities and continually seeks to learn strategies and approaches to effectively interact with students.  Natascha utilize basic counseling skills and techniques to calm down or guide a student who comes to the department frustrated or anxious.  She repeatedly demonstrates the ability to assess the situation and determine the appropriate level of assistance or referral to a counselor in the department.


In what ways does this person enhance or contribute to the Cal Poly Pomona campus community: Natascha contributes to the daily functioning of the department, oftentimes behind the scenes.  Her positive and optimistic outlook, passion for working with others and qualities described above speak to how Natascha touches many students, staff and faculty at Cal Poly Pomona.