Inside USD

Student’s Work Ethic Earns Achievement Award

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Geico-photoDiana Rodriguez-Agiss’ Thursday afternoon routine this spring semester has been attendance in Professor Miriam Rothman’s Management 300 class in Olin Hall. It’s a required class for the sophomore, who majors in accounting and political science while still maintaining an extracurricular schedule that’s equal to a 40-hours-a-week job.

For Rodriguez-Agiss, though, going to class, getting good grades and actively engaging both on and off campus is, simply, “getting the most out of my education at USD.”

Last Thursday, minutes before walking into Rothman’s classroom, a very special representative from GEICO Insurance — one standing nearly 6 feet tall, wearing a mostly green costume and drawing stares from other students passing by — rewarded Rodriguez-Agiss, a multi-talented student and multi-tasker.

The GEICO gecko was on hand, along with company representative and USD alumna Rocio Rodriguez, to present Rodriguez-Agiss with a “big check” version of a $1,000 achievement award.

“They called me a week before to tell me I was a finalist, but the way they presented this award to me, I never imagined I’d get it this way,” she said. “It was really cool. I walked around school with the big check. People came up and congratulated me. I felt like a celebrity.”

Rocio Rodriguez, a hiring manager in the San Diego regional office, said Rodriguez-Agiss (pictured, left, with Rocio Rodriguez) was an ideal recipient. “Our regional committee reviews all candidates and we look for academic achievement, leadership and community involvement on and off campus.”

Rodriguez-Agiss, a bilingual honors student with a 3.69 grade-point average, was one of seven students from local colleges and universities to receive a $1,000 check.

Rodriguez-Agiss juggles many extracurricular pursuits. She serves as a programmer for the United Front Multicultural Center  and is a UFMC leadership council representative for MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantii Chicano de Aztlan) and AChA (Association of Chicana Activists). She’s chairperson for the Chicano/a Latino/a Graduation Committee, which is putting together a celebration ceremony and dinner on May 22. She is president of the Beta Omicron pledge class and a member of USD’s Mortar Board. Rodriguez-Agiss is founder and president of CLE Club, comprised of commuter, Lead@USD and Education Opportunity Program students. She’s been an office assistant in USD’s Center for Student Success since September 2008. Away from USD, she been a local ambassador for the National Hispanic Entrepreneurs’ Organization since January of this year and regularly volunteers at local schools.

Trying to fit all of this into a 24-hour day seems nearly impossible, but Rodriguez-Agiss makes it work. In the fall she will add a newly created senate position within USD Associated Students. It’s another way she can fulfill one of her main goals as a USD student. “I want to make sure every student’s voice is being heard on campus.”

Her decision to double major in accounting and political science — a somewhat uncommon combination — also embraces this idea. “It enables me to work with students from both schools,” she said. “I knew when I came to USD that I wanted to be a student in the business school and in College of Arts and Sciences. I’m able to get different points of view. I plan to go to law school after I graduate so I think this is a great combination for me.”

— Ryan T. Blystone

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