As CSUDH embarks on a groundbreaking initiative to inspire and train the next generation of STEM leaders, alumni and faculty consider the importance of science and math education, and discuss in their own words how STEM at CSUDH sets students on the path to success.
Dr. Victor Rodriguez
Class of 1992 Alum, highly acclaimed heart Surgeon, Professor, UC Davis
Dr. Victor Rodriguez, class of 1992, is a triple-boarded surgeon in General, Vascular and Cardiothoracic surgery, a Marine Corps veteran, and the Director of the Aortic Center and a clinical professor of Cardiac and Vascular Surgery at the University of California, Davis.
“I liked biology when I was a kid and I was really good at math, but every time I went to my high school counselor she said, ‘Victor, I have this great class for you — diesel engine mechanics.’ The next year it was fuel injection; the following semester it was body shop. Even though I had interests in math and science, as a minority student, I was being groomed to be a blue-collar worker. I wanted to go to medical school, but I didn’t know how to get there. So the next logical step for me was going to the Marine Corps. After that, I was fortunate enough to attend Dominguez Hills. I liked that it’s a relatively small campus compared to other Cal State schools or other large universities.
The campus has always been able to accommodate a lot of different students, and I believe that these students have much more to offer to a university than just a GPA.
The professors were very hands on. Their doors were always open. I got strong letters of recommendation, and I attribute a lot of my success in becoming a physician to the Biology Department at Dominguez Hills.”