OLLU's 'Hidden Treasure' -- Adrienne Rodriguez, Associate Athletic Director and Campus Recreation Director
OLLU - Thu, Apr. 21, 2011
Special feature article by COMMUNICATION ARTS STUDENT Julia San Miguel.
Our Lady of the Lake University has a hidden treasure deep in the heart of the University Wellness and Activities Center (UWAC). That treasure is Director of Campus Recreation and Associate Athletic Director Adrienne Rodriguez.
Adrienne has been with OLLU since 2000, and she does almost everything from behind the scenes including cleaning up to running the fitness facility weight room to ensuring that opposing teams are welcomed when visiting OLLU.
"I have a staff of 15 to 20 students and I make sure everything runs smoothly," said Adrienne.
Adrienne has been teaching for more than 25 years, and she currently teaches numerous kinesiology courses at OLLU. "I teach cardio kickboxing, yoga, weight training, Pilates and running. You name it and I've taught it. I also practice what I preach and I work out. I love to run, ride my bike and lift weights."
Another part of Adrienne's job is overseeing club teams, the dance team, the cheerleaders and the bowling team (she is pictured at far right with the bowling team). She also attends multiple meetings throughout the week. Her job revolves around the students schedule, which means her day of interacting with students starts at 3 p.m. and ends whenever the students are ready to go home.
Adrienne really loves her job, especially since she is able to work closely with her students. "The thing I like the most about my job is the students. I have the opportunity to work with them day in and day out, 24/7. They inspire me, and it's fun to see their energy. One of the best moments is when I teach them fitness or nutrition training, and at the end of the semester, they have to teach me. It's real exciting for me to know that they listened and adapted things that work for them. I try to teach health and wellness as a part of life not so much that you have to be an athlete to do it.
Anybody can do it, as long as you find what you like and decide what works for you. You need to take it and embrace it and go with it."
Another important part of Adrienne's job is advisory mentoring. " I help students build their leadership and empower them to find their leadership skills; that's the best part of my job," said Adrienne.
An example of building leadership skills in students is the Champions of Character program that is geared toward the OLLU athletes. Adrienne teaches this program, as she is shown at left, to all of the OLLU athletes at the beginning of the semester, and she is very proud of it. "This program teaches our athletes core values like respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship. I am proud of the participation from the student athletes, coaches and OLLU administration." Since the university began competing in intercollegiate athletics in 2007, OLLU has been named a Champions of Character Institution. And, last year, OLLU was the recipient of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Five-Star Conference Award.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Adrienne is the youngest of three sisters and was raised near Jefferson High School. She attended Catholic school all her life, including Little Flower School for eight years, Providence High School for one year and then graduating from the Ursuline Academy.
"The only public institution I went to was San Antonio College for two years. I have two degrees from OLLU and I'm finishing my PhD from the University of the Incarnate Word. I was raised in a Catholic family and that is the center of who we are. My parents are retired social workers who worked very hard to put my sisters and me through school."
Adrienne is also a mother of three children, Allegra, Gabriel and Jacob. All three of her children attend Catholic school just like she did and all of them like fitness such as dance, running and sports. Adrienne and her children love music and attend concerts frequently, the most recent being the South by Southwest event in Austin. "Music is important to my family; it's a big part of our connection."
One goal that Adrienne has made is to run four marathons, one for each of her children and one for herself. So far she has participated in two marathons.
Adrienne is a multi-tasking woman on a mission who believes that small changes become lifelong changes. "Through the grace of God I find the time to raise three kids, finish my PhD and do my job." If Adrienne could leave a legacy to the community of OLLU it would be to always find it within themselves to whatever they set their mind to do and for people to empower themselves to be the best leader they can be.
Adrienne is a perfect example of an empowered person, and she loves to empower others.