Irina Rodriguez has loved languages since her youth in the Soviet Union. She felt that knowledge of foreign languages gave her the key to other cultures and to opening up the world. Her dream came true when she won a competitive scholarship to study in the United States. The year she spent at the University of Kansas changed her life: she gained an invaluable study abroad experience, made friends from all around the world and met her future husband. Meeting people from different cultures motivated her further in the study of languages. Besides the English and French that she already knew, she started studying Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese and is now fluent in these languages.
Back in her native Ukraine, Irina completed her Master’s degree in Philology and Foreign Languages, and she also earned an M.S. in Journalism from the University of Kansas while she taught Italian there. For several years, she worked in international marketing, a position that gave her the opportunity to travel to many countries including Spain, Argentina, Mexico, France, Italy, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Australia and others. She also has extensive experience in interpreting, and published a Russian-Portuguese conversation book in Ukraine. At present, Irina is even happier to teach and share her language skills and international knowledge with UD students as part of the Modern Languages Department.
Irina is also living her international dream at home. She is married to an Argentinean-American who teaches Political Science at Texas A&M University – Commerce and shares her passion for traveling. They have two children who speak English, Russian and Spanish and have been traveling since they were born.