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Josie Rodriguez '88 MA

1: What have you been up to since graduation?
Since graduation in 1988 from USD I worked for 12 years as a clinical chaplain at Scripps Mercy Hospital in all units of the hospital including Labor and Delivery, emergency and intensive care. I also worked for four years at San Diego Hospice as a Pediatric chaplain. I have always loved writing poetry and it was during those years of working as a clinical chaplain that I began writing poems about my experiences with patients and families. It was my way of caring for self as I witnessed many intense moments. When I retired I published my book, Waiting Rooms of the Heart.
Creativity has always been a part of my life and so it was natural for me to turn to art. Mixed media collage was my favorite medium  until I discovered encaustic, a 2000 year old art medium that means to "heat or to burn."  Beeswax mixed with damar creates a medium that is painted on wood panels and heated again and again as pigments are added. I love the transparent, tactile quality and the collaboration between science and art. I have submitted my work to many exhibitions and shows throughout the country and represented by Front Porch Gallery in Carlsbad. Currently, I am very proud to have a solo show at the San Diego International Airport, Terminal Two East, called Luminous Layers, a contemporary look at the art of encaustic. The show will be exhibited September 2011 through March 2012.

2: What is your fondest memory of USD?
My fondest memory of USD is walking for graduation and receiving my Master's degree seeing my friends and family present. Two years of intense study brought me to that point and that was one of my proudest moments.

3. What is your favorite place on campus, why?
The entire campus is a favorite of mine. Having been born and raised in San Diego I saw USD being built and continued to see it develop and grow as a student. What I see now is phenomenal.

4. Who was your favorite USD professor or class?
My favorite professor was Fr. Ron Pachance,  Practical Theology.

5: How have you remained involved with USD since graduation?
I have attended many events at USD, speakers, conferences and even conducted a few workshops myself on subjects like Grief and Loss; and Spirituality.

6: If you could offer a current USD student advice, what would it be?
First of all find what you are really good at, what your passion is and follow it. Be persistent. Put one foot in front of the other and get to where you need and want to go. I had three small sons when I went back to graduate school. To this day I don't know how I did it. I am sure it was pure motivation and desire to get to where I wanted to be. Don't ever give up.

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