Scholar Spotlight: Nina Rodgers ’16
Nina Rodgers, one of the 2015-16 Remembrance Scholars, applied to college with the idea of becoming a sports physician. But when she was rejected from some of her top schools for pre-med, she indulged her passion for journalism and applied to Syracuse in order to attend Newhouse. She has never looked back. “The day I moved into Lawrinson Hall was the first day I saw the campus, and from that moment on, I knew I was led to the place I needed to be,” she says.
What is special to you about Syracuse University?
What is so special to me about Syracuse University is the number of people here who are always willing to lend a helping hand in some way. In my almost four years here, I’ve never had a moment where I truly felt alone. Orange spirit to me is a spirit that is always willing to give back. Whether it’s alumni looking out for talented students in their respective fields, or student groups working to support incoming students or other needs/interests of their peers, someone always has your back.
What is most meaningful to you about being named a Remembrance Scholar?
It’s knowing that I am part of preserving a piece of history that is not only important to SU, but to the entire world. It is the most humbling award I have ever received in my life, and something I will carry with me forever. Each of the 35 scholars is paired with a student victim aboard the flight, and I was chosen to represent Kesha Weedon. Kesha was in the School of Social Work at SU, and was also part of the same choir as me on campus, the Black Celestial Choral Ensemble. To hold so much in common with Kesha and to ensure that her legacy lives on for the rest of my life is something I don’t take lightly. I get emotional learning more about her and everyone aboard Pan Am 103, but I am encouraged knowing that their memory will never fade because I have a supportive group of fellow scholars who help their memory to live on.
What other activities are you involved in on campus?
I am president of the Kappa Lambda Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and vice president of the National Pan Hellenic Council. My chapter means the world to me because it has helped me grow into the woman I am today. I’m more confident, more wise, more sharp and a much more balanced individual because of the experiences Delta has given me. The bonds I have within my chapter and members of the Greek community at large are some I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I am also an Orientation Leader, which is one of the most fun and exciting experiences I have ever had. Coming back for Welcome Week each and every year is what has made me so SU-spirited.
I’m also a member of the Black Celestial Choral Ensemble, where I have served as business manager. I recently joined the Black Voice, a news publication that was recently brought back to campus after being dormant for a few years, as managing editor. I’m excited to start working there and put my journalistic skills to use as an editor. I’ve been part of other things on campus such as Black Reign Step Team, the Student African American Society, the Daily Orange and U100.
As a dual major in broadcast and digital journalism and sociology, what do you hope to do after receiving your degree next May?
My ultimate goal would be to have my own show where I can report on social justice issues and more human interest stories through the eyes of both everyday and famous people. I believe working as a student reporter in Syracuse, in addition to having the opportunity to sit down and interview celebrities such as Wade Davis, Mara Brock Akil and Taraji P. Henson has helped me to see the interconnectedness all human beings have regardless of their status. Moreover, I hope to become a powerful and trusted voice in the media.
In terms of my immediate plans after graduation, I am preparing to get my master’s in education from a university either in Chicago, Washington, D.C., or New York City. I chose education—specifically with a focus in educational policy/leadership—because I want to hone my leadership skills even more. In addition to being in school, more than anything I want to fulfill my dream of working on a show at a cable news network or notable show on a network news station.