A familiar face has returned to the Iowa State University (ISU) campus. Dr. Lulu Rodriguez, who previously served as professor of journalism and mass communication with the Greenlee School for 20 years, is now the Global Programs Leader at the Seed Science Center (SSC). She returns to ISU after six years as director of the Agricultural Communications Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“I always enjoy the benefits of living in a community anchored by an internationally recognized research university,” Rodriguez said. “Besides, how can one pass up the opportunity to be part of the Seed Science Center? SSC’s world-renowned expertise in seed testing, research and outreach, its collaborative dynamic, and its trademark global orientation are authentic draws.”
Rodriguez, who grew up in Laguna, Philippines did undergrad training in development communication at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños before completing her master's in communication at Cornell University. After that, she pursued her doctorate in mass communication, with emphasis in agricultural journalism, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Manjit Misra, SSC Director, is excited to have Rodriguez on board and says she is exceptionally qualified for the Global Programs Leader position.
“Dr. Rodriguez led the communication component of the ISU-SSC Agriculture Technology Transfer project in northern Ghana and has been involved in research and outreach projects in South and Southeast Asia,” Misra said. “She will bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, resources, and reputation to bear on our global programs.”
In international assignments that took her to farmers’ fields in the developing world, Rodriguez has observed the dire need for good quality seeds, which curbs agricultural production. Most of the growth in food demand, she says, will come from developing countries where the greatest production capacity lies. The SSC’s role is crucial in making sure that farmers around the globe have access to quality seeds, whether they be for food, feed or fuel, she adds.
“I am excited to be part of Iowa State’s, especially the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ initiatives to engage the world,” Rodriguez said. “I have come to know that those in this community are here not necessarily because they have a reputation to keep, but because they understand that they have a world to serve.”