Program of the Month Q&A: English Student Rodshaleek Pino

Senior and first-generation college student Rodshaleek Pino has dedicated herself to making the most out of her experience at Medaille. As a Say Yes Scholarship recipient from the City of Buffalo, she was drawn to the College because of its campus and its small, intimate feel. Pino was also intrigued by the ability to build relationships with professors who know their students by name. She started out as a liberal studies major in order to see what areas of study she enjoys, and she ended up loving her English courses. She chose English as a major during her sophomore year, and decided to minor in developmental psychology. Pino is a Medaille Medal recipient, a Pathways peer mentor, and a participant in the TRiO Program. This year, she will be mentoring and tutoring high school students in English and writing through the Upward Bound Program and Medaille’s recent partnership with Buffalo’s Math, Science & Technology Preparatory School (MST). 


Describe your experience in the English program. What stands out? 

I’ve really enjoyed my overall experience at Medaille. The dinners for English majors are some of the most enjoyable things that we do in the program. We get to meet and mingle with English faculty, our mentors and authors from the Write Thing Reading Series. I’ve learned a lot from and gotten close to my mentor, Erika Hamann.


What types of things have you learned by helping to produce Medaille’s yearly campus literary magazine, Prelude?

I am serving as president of Prelude this year, and from my years of experience working on the publication, I have learned a lot about editing, formatting, and the layout of books and magazines. We have given thought to distribution channels and expanding our audience, and this year, plan to publish an online edition. I also really enjoyed learning from our field trips to the printer facilities. Furthermore, I have grown in my own creative writing skills, and have had some of my short stories, poetry and photography published in recent Prelude issues.


What is the best advice you have received from an English faculty member?

To utilize all of the English faculty at Medaille, as they all have unique backgrounds and specialties. In addition, I received good advice and encouragement from Dr. Terri Borchers about my poetry writing in her Poetry Workshop class. 


What would you like to do with your degree after you graduate?

Right now, I am considering a variety of career paths. I did an internship at a grant writing and fundraising firm, and I found that I enjoy that type of work. I also enjoy working with kids and with students in general, so I have thought about positions in higher education. I’ve considered journalism and counseling fields, as well. I feel that my English courses have prepared me for a variety of careers, because I have developed creative problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills. Plus, I have learned how to conduct better analysis and research.


What advice would you give to current high school students or those trying to decide on a major?

Do whatever sparks your interest, because that is a real and rewarding career. Don’t just chase money, or you will end up unhappy. If you are unsure of what you like, start as a liberal studies major and take a variety of courses.


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