About De Anza

Office of Instruction

Meet Eugene Rodriguez, a Distinguished Educator


Eugene Rodriguez Eugene Rodriguez says that when he started teaching, he had a very different approach from his current teaching style. "When I first started here I was largely using what I learned from graduate school," he recalls, "lots of information but not really that in tune with where the students were coming from." But art and times change, and Rodriguez has adapted well. "I have met some amazing people who have helped me grow into my own regarding pedagogy and methodology," he says.

Rodriguez puts particular emphasis on hard work and practical application. "Since we live in a more globally connected era," he says, "in which diversity, in all its manifestations, is the norm, I try to balance the arts training with real world situations in the work assigned."

Before he received his master of fine arts from Mills College, Rodriguez originally worked as a fashion designer for 12 years in Los Angeles. He first taught as a substitute, as a favor to a friend, but found he immediately enjoyed the possibilities provided by the classroom. "Being of use in the world is important to me," he says. "Neither of my parents attended college but they instilled in me how important it is to help those coming after you."

Rodriguez has taught as a Creative Arts professor at De Anza for 11 years, during which time he has served on the Arts on Campus Committee, the Academic Senate and has acted as mentor for the Puente Program. He also takes an active role in the developing artistic curriculum and community on campus, designing and teaching courses to help artists prepare for careers and connect with their communities.
"What I enjoy most about teaching," says Rodriguez, "is seeing the moment when the light goes on for my studentsŠthe moment when they actually make the connection between the theoretical and the practice, the moment when education no longer is abstract but something they will actually use for the rest of their life's journey."



Office of Instruction
Building: ADM 128

Contact: Olga Evert
Phone: 408.864.8940

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Last Updated: 9/30/08