SE junior to make difference in people’s lives


By University Communications

Yoselin Rodriguez-Diaz poses in front of the Biology Building where she spends most of her time working towards a career as a physician’s assistant

University Communications, Contributor

DURANT, Okla. – Yoselin Rodriguez-Diaz appreciates the sacrifices her family has made to enable her to pursue her dream of a higher education. And while that dream may not be achieved for a few more years, she already has a clear purpose in mind.

“I’ve always liked helping people,’’ the Southeastern Oklahoma State University junior said recently. “And I want to give back to my community.’’

Rodriguez-Diaz was born in Mexico, but moved to the United States when she was just two months old. She grew up in small-town Broken Bow, Okla. where she recalls learning to speak English by watching cartoons on television.

Today, Rodriguez-Diaz  is in pre-professional studies, majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry. Her career goal is to be a physician’s assistant, which requires an advanced degree beyond the bachelor’s.

As far as helping her community, she would like to eventually return to Broken Bow to open her own practice.

Rodriguez-Diaz gets emotional when talking about her parents, who have worked tirelessly, while encouraging their three daughters to pursue their goals.

“My parents always told us that they were going to pay for our education, but then we were on our own,’’ she said. “They may have not always been able to be at all of our basketball games or other activities, but that was because they were working so that we could have a better life.’’

Like many other students, Rodriguez-Diaz credits SE’s “small-knit community” and smaller class sizes as being keys to her academic success. She has also been involved on campus with the President’s Leadership Class, Student Government Association, the Alumni Legacy Leaders and was a participant in the Newman Civic Fellowship program.

In addition, she has assisted in SE’s recruiting efforts by serving as a volunteer translator at area high school events for prospective students.

“One of the first people I met on campus was Dr. Dixon [Chair/Professor, Biological Sciences],’’ Rodriguez-Diaz revealed. “As my academic advisor, she has helped me stay on track. Vice President McCraw has also impacted me greatly. Overall, it has been an awesome experience for me here. Southeastern is a place where you make friends easily, and if you need any help with anything, you just ask. It’s like a family away from home.’’

Why did Rodriguez-Diaz choose the field of healthcare?

“Most of my family still lives in Mexico, and we go back twice a year to visit them,’’ she explained. “When you go there, you immediately see the need for better health care services. And rural Oklahoma also needs additional health care services as well. I want to do something that can make a difference in people’s lives.’’

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