Christine Rodriguez 1

Growing up in a military family, Christine Rodriguez didn’t think about joining the service. But once she came to UT and joined ROTC, she found a way to connect her education in social work to her patriotism. After graduation, she’ll join the Air Force as an officer, going active duty for at least four years. She plans to use her social work degree to work with Airmen and foster an open and safe environment.

“As Air Force officers we’re in charge of enlisted Airmen and completing the mission,” Christine says. “This sometimes means helping your Airmen with any problems they have at hand. In the ROTC program, I’ve learned to apply my social work skills to help others. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re doing — helping others.”

Though the early-morning physical training twice a week seems rough for some, Christine says she likes the structure and discipline of ROTC. Meanwhile, she served as a volunteer at the Veteran Affairs Outpatient Clinic and did field work at a rehabilitation center for traumatic brain injury, a topic of interest for her in the military.

Her advice for incoming students: find a way to connect your interests with career possibilities. “Find what motivates you. I’ve always been interested in a mental-health career path and veteran affairs,” Christine says. “And I continue to seek out opportunities in those areas.”

Find out more stories about the Class of 2015.

Posted May 20, 2015. By Nicholas Persac