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Navigating through tough conversations is one of the skills Alicia Rodriguez learned at Caldwell University. As a lacrosse student-athlete and an Admissions Department student ambassador, she interacted with professors, potential employers, teammates, parents and prospective students. What sometimes seemed “difficult or awkward” as a younger college student  became smoother as time went on, “because I got the practice I needed,” said Rodriguez who received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management on May 17.  “You grow more as a person through the years you are here.”

Rodriguez is the first in her family to earn a university degree. She is proud to have represented the university in positions interacting with the public by providing tours to prospective students and parents. “Caldwell has modeled me into the young woman I am today.”     She gave her “hard work, tears, athletic ability and dedication” to her university and in return she gained “a future, family, friends, and teammates” and most importantly, she says, “a better outlook on life and reality.” Rodriguez also took advantage of what was offered including becoming a member of the Sport Management Club and going on a short-term study abroad trip her sophomore year with her academic department to learn about the sport management business in Italy. 

Although the coronavirus pandemic abruptly ended her time as a college lacrosse player, she has applied what she has learned to understand  the bigger picture.  “I learned to take each day, day by day and to appreciate that my loved ones are still well and healthy and that we can all get through this pandemic together.” It is wisdom she will draw on as she pursues a career in game day operations and perhaps goes on to study law.

As she looks back at her four years, Rodriguez is grateful for what she learned through academics, athletics, clubs, campus work and even those “awkward conversations”.  Now she is proud to be a Caldwell University alumna.  “It is not just about getting a degree but also the experiences that come with it that you will cherish forever.”