Eric Rodriguez-CHCI Alumnus November 2008
Deputy Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation, NCLR
Internship 1992: Office of Senator Edward Kennedy
Fellowship 1993-1994: 1st Placement: Office of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez 2nd Placement: National Council of La Raza
What have you been doing since you finished the CHCI program(s)?
Following the Fellowship, NCLR hired me as a Research Assistant in its Latino Poverty Project. I have been with NCLR ever since, and currently help to oversee the institution’s public policy department.
What impact did your CHCI experience have on your career and development as a leader?
CHCI provided an opportunity and ability for me to work in Congress and with a leading national Hispanic-serving organization; exposure and experience that I needed to better understand the type of contribution to public service I wanted to make. The program opened doorways that were previously unknown to me. What’s more, CHCI brought together young, smart, and inspired individuals from across the country that had different life experiences and ideas from me. I learned much that year just from my interactions with the Fellows, all of whom I respect and many who remain my friends today.
How have you stayed engaged in community service?
NCLR is an institution that allows you to be an advocate for the Latino community every day and in so many different ways. Making a contribution to the development of the Hispanic community is made easy when you can do the type of work you love doing while working along side committed and talented individuals who share your mission.
What advice would you give current and future CHCI participants?
Over the last fourteen years, I’ve had the opportunity to supervise and work with CHCI Fellows as well as with many other young Latino professionals that were new to Washington. What I’ve learned is that the Fellowship can be an opportunity to discover what you’re good at and enjoy doing, within the realm of public service. Fellows would do well to focus their time and energy in finding placements that fit their skills and interests rather than ones that are simply high profile and provide a lot of outward recognition or shallow prestige. The latter tend to be experiences that promise more than they can deliver and often lead to disappointment as well as frustration.
Fellows should also try to focus on the mission of their work, whatever that may be, and seek to do good work regardless of the assignment. Individuals that are self-serving, self-promoting, overly ambitious, and vapid are often very easy to distinguish from those that are mission driven, take responsibility for their decisions, and focused on doing good work. Fellows can choose how they ascend professionally and will be recognized for their style and approach.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
Hopefully keeping a lower profile than this piece allows me, while continuing to do meaningful work.
Past Alumni of the Month
Mariana Kihuen - December 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Henry Fernandez - November 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Ricardo Zavala - September 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Miryam Catherine Granthon-Gerdine - August 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Angelica Reza Wind - July 2014 Alumna of the Month
Ray Mateo - June 2014 Alumni of the Month
Hayde Calderon - May 2014 Alumni of the Month
Arnoldo Avalos - April 2014 Alumni of the Month
Elizabeth Cedillo - March 2014 Alumni of the Month
Marvin Figueroa - February 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Cris Garza - January 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Jaden Felix - December 2013 Alumni of the Month
2013 Distinguished Alumni - October/November 2013 Alumni of the Month
Fabiola Carrion - September 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Juan C. Otero- August 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Norma Dominguez - July 2013 Alumni of the Month
Francisco Heredia - June 2013 - Alumnus of the Month
Raymond Rico - May 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Alejandra Castillo - April 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Yara Lorenzo - March 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Antonio E. Sandoval & Milagros “Mimi” Aledo-Sandoval - Alumni Couple of the Month
Abel Herrero - January 2013
Jessie Mosqueda - December 2012
Kenia Seoane Lopez - CHCI Alumnus November 2012
Hon. Liza Rodriguez - 2012 Distinguished Alumnus & October 2012 Alumnus
Melissa Chabran - CHCI Alumnus June 2012
Jessie Ulibarri - CHCI Alumnus May 2012
Congressional Staff-CHCI Alumni April 2012
Anthony Alcoser-CHCI Alumnus March 2012
Diana Mendoza-CHCI Alumnus February 2012
Betsaida Alcantara-CHCI Alumnus December 2011
Orson Aguilar - CHCI 2011 Distinguished Alumnus & September 2011 Alumnus
Cynthia T. Cruz-CHCI Alumnus August 2011
Miguel Lopez - CHCI Alumnus July 2011
Alejandro Becerra - CHCI Alumnus June 2011
Staff Members for the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy - CHCI Alumnus May 2011
Happy 30th Anniversary CHCI Fellowship Program!
Raul Magdaleno - CHCI Alumnus March 2011
Carlos Elizondo -- CHCI Alumnus December 2010
Ana M. Polanco -- CHCI Alumnus April 2010
Sami Hamed -- CHCI Alumnus March 2010
Couple Edition -- CHCI Alumnus February 2010
CHCI Alumni Association Chapters' Special Edition - October 2009
Edith Rocío Robles -- CHCI Alumnus August 2009
Silvia Inéz Salazar--CHCI Alumnus July 2009
Francisco J. Uribe CHCI Alumnus June 2009
Heidy Servin-Baez CHCI Alumnus April 2009
March 2009: White House Edition
William (Bill) Arce CHCI Alumnus February 2009
Stephanie Valencia CHCI Alumnus January 2009
Miguel Ayala CHCI Alumnus December 2008
Eric Rodriguez-CHCI Alumnus November 2008
Sonia Ramirez CHCI Alumnus October 2008
Mildred Otero CHCI Alumnus September 2008
Juan Ciscomani CHCI Alumus August 2008
Leo Prieto CHCI Alumnus July 2008
Octavio Saenz CHCI Alumnus June 2008