Rodricka Blanks will graduate on Dec. 19 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communication with an emphasis in mass media. She considers herself a “super-transfer student” because of her college journey.
Tell us a little bit about your transfer journey in college?
I was born and raised in Magnolia, Arkansas, and graduated high school in May 2014. At Magnolia High School, I got certified in their certified nursing assistant (CNA) program. I attended my first year of college at Southern Arkansas University where I was studying to become a nurse. Then I transferred to the University of Central Arkansas to study speech pathology. After one and a half years, I decided to move to Little Rock because my mom had just moved here from Magnolia.
I started taking classes at Pulaski Technical College and looked at their Metro 2+2 Degree program. That’s where I discovered mass communication at UA Little Rock. I’ve always been a creative person who likes to write and make videos. That’s what inspired me to change my major from nursing to journalism. I looked at Philander Smith, but UA Little Rock was more affordable. I checked out the campus and really liked it.
What were some of your ups and downs of your transfer journey?
Surprisingly, transferring credits wasn’t that hard because I was probably used to it.
Professor Carlton “Sonny” Rhodes, my advisor at UA Little Rock, was the best advisor I had ever had during my college experience. The mass communication teachers were top-notch as well. Last week, one of my professors helped me solve a complex problem I was having entirely over the phone!
Did you participate in any extracurricular activities?
I wrote articles for UA Little Rock’s student newspaper, The Forum.
Who were your mentors at UA Little Rock?
My advisor and professor Sonny Rhodes was a huge influence. Professor Jamie Byrne-McCollum also had a big impact on me. She was very good, but also strict.
What were some of your favorite classes?
Photojournalism, web design, digital animation, and graphics.
What advice would you give to transferring students?
If you are a transfer student, don’t get discouraged. Just know that your accomplishment will be at the end, so don’t give up.
How are you going to celebrate graduation?
I recently bought some balloons that spell “congratulations graduate.” I’m going to blow them up in my apartment, buy some wine and cake, and throw myself a party.
What are your plans for the future?
I’ve accepted a job as a production assistant at a local news station, so I have that to celebrate as well.
This commencement story was compiled by Toni Boyer-Stewart.