Newcomer as kindred spirit

Newcomer as kindred spirit

Oct 10
James Evans, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Communications

Professor Lulu Rodriguez may be a newcomer on campus this fall as new head of the Agricultural Communications Program. However, in my mind she has long been a kindred spirit in the fundamentals of this unique dual program of the College of ACES and College of Media.

How can that be?  In part, maybe it’s because for decades I have known and respected her skills and contributions as a communications teacher and scholar. Maybe it traces back to the 1980s when my international work permitted me to get acquainted with her first academic home, the development communication program of the University of the Philippines at Los Baños.   Maybe it’s because, from her childhood, she understands the work, challenges and aspirations of people on the land, those who feed and support us all in so many ways. Maybe it’s because she cares about students and learning, likes to think and act creatively, and enjoys relating to others. Maybe it’s because she brings perspectives that are both domestic and global. Maybe it’s because the spirit of the land grant mission – teaching, research and service – means much to her, through her experiences with three respected land grant universities. 

Whatever the possible explanations, I am delighted to help welcome Professor Rodriguez to the University of Illinois as a kindred spirit. I know she will add much to students and others through her leadership of the Agricultural Communications Program.   


Lulu Rodriguez and Ellen Reeder
Dr. Rodriguez and Ellen Reeder prepare for their upcoming trip to Kansas City with the Ag Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) chapter.