Mike Rodriguez headshot

WOUB Employee Spotlight: Student Professional Development and Production Services Manager Michael Rodriguez

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Rodriguez has been working at WOUB for 20 years

ATHENS, OH – This time of year is normally when WOUB Student Professional Development and Production Services Manager Michael Rodriguez feels like he is running around with his hair on fire. But things are a little different this year. Rodriguez oversees Ohio University students each fall during the production of WOUB’s Friday night high school football program, Gridiron Glory, as well as many other productions. Due to the continuing Coronavirus pandemic, Gridiron Glory is not on the air this year, and students are not working in-person at WOUB.

“Pandemic times at Ohio University have significantly curtailed the interpersonal communication and feedback process amongst our student volunteers and staff,” said Rodriguez. “I valued checking on the daily progress of student volunteers in all capacities, providing tours for new students or those deciding Ohio University is their destination, and generally, ‘minding the shop’ – studio, control room functions, field equipment, file sharing, facilitating spaces for meetings and problem solving.”

Rodriguez has been working at WOUB Public Media since 2000. He came to Athens by way of the Desert Southwest.

“My hometown is Grants, New Mexico, about 70 miles west of Albuquerque, situated on the famous US Route 66,” said Rodriguez. “My mom introduced me to a radio station owner whom she knew from the local Chamber of Commerce.  He hired me as a weekend intern, and I quickly learned the ropes of transmitter readings, cueing up records, weather reports and reading public service announcements. That experience helped me to secure scholarships for the Journalism & Mass Communications program at New Mexico State University.”

Once Rodriguez graduated, his first commercial job was as a videographer/editor at a Univision channel in El Paso, TX. After a couple of other positions, he was eventually hired as a studio supervisor at the PBS/NPR station, KRWG-TV.

“My main role for five years was to teach, mentor and assist students networking in the region. I partnered with staff producers to shoot, edit, set up on location production units for numerous TV series, music history documentaries, regional cooking, news department specials, band competitions and more.”

In his 20 years at WOUB, Rodriguez says he has built special relationships and former students have become part of his family.

“Homecoming is an exciting time.  I really like keeping in contact with Ohio University alumni,” said Rodriguez. “Nothing boosts my day more than seeing and celebrating other people’s successes and encountering how families of former students are growing.”

“With over 25 year of public service, I continue to be excited about the intersections of quality, integrity, higher education, and how it affects the human condition.”