Scholar Stories: Dra. Sanjuana Rodriguez

How do you use writing or art in your life?

Writing is a way of life for me. Writing is the way that I get to share the work that I am doing with teachers and other researchers. I also write for personal reasons. Writing allows me to process what I am thinking about and also to document what is happening in my life. I have always seen myself as a writer.

What lessons/teachings from your family, home and/or community do you draw on in your teaching and/or scholarship?

In my work and in my teaching, I strive to honor students’ lives. I was born in Zacatecas, Mexico. My parents made the difficult decision to leave their own families so that my siblings and I could have the opportunity to pursue our own dreams- That was done in love. That experience of moving to a different country and learning a new language as a child shapes everything that I do in teaching and scholarship.    

What would you tell your younger self?

I would tell myself to be proud of who I am- my country, language, family in every space. I would tell myself not to be afraid to use my voice. I would also tell myself to always look for those who are willing to help and guide you. 

Advice for new scholars and/or teachers:

My advice for scholars and teachers is to remember to honor the students’ lives and experiences  in the work that we do. 

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