Title: Director, Hispanic Outreach and Leadership Program Armstrong Atlantic University
As the director of the Hispanic Outreach and Leadership at Armstrong program at Armstrong, Melody Rodríguez has secured critical grant funding for scholarships to help attract and retain Hispanic students. Under her leadership, Armstrong has increased its Hispanic/Latino overall population by 41 percent and secured grants from organizations like the City of Savannah, the Georgia Council for the Arts and the U.S. Census to sponsor cultural and educational programs focusing on underserved Latino populations. Over the past eight years, the Goizueta Foundation has awarded Armstrong nearly $2 million in scholarship funding as a result of Rodríguez’s leadership and passion for Latino students. A Venezuela native, she also organizes Hispanic Week at Armstrong.
Rodríguez’s most recent grant award from the Lumina Foundation awarded Armstrong $600,000 to lead a collaborative impact effort in Southeast Georgia that will increase the percentage of Latino students enrolling in the area’s three public colleges/universities from 3.2 percent to 6.4 percent by 2015. She was also instrumental in creating the College Access Mentoring Information and Outreach program, which has brought together a partnership of organizations working to achieve Latino Student Success in the region and align resources to achieve a common goal.
Rodríguez is an adviser for many organizations and non-profits that serve Hispanic/Latino communities and continues to advocate for Georgia on issues like educational access and equity, immigration reform and minority business entrepreneurship.