The University of Texas at Austin
  • You must have JavaScript enabled and the Flash 8 plugin installed to view this content.

    Get Adobe Flash Player
    Consult your browser's help file for instructions to enable JavaScript.

    Campus & Community

    In good hands with Santos Rodriguez

    By csmurrey
    Published: May 7, 2010

    Santos Rodriguez likes working with his hands: tearing things apart and putting them back together.

    As a senior landscape technician with Facilities Services doing small engine repairs on lawn mowers, weed eaters and the like, Rodriguez said “it’s pretty unique that I am able to do this.”

    At about age 11, Rodriguez was diagnosed with Behcet’s syndrome affecting the use of his legs and resulting in the loss of his vision.

    “I had to show a lot of people that I was able to do [mechanic work], despite being blind,” he said. Now for more than 32 years, Rodriguez has been fixing, repairing and working with campus landscaping crews to make sure their equipment is in top working condition.

    Read a transcript of the interview (PDF).

    With the motto “UT works because staff work,” Staff Appreciation Week is an opportunity for members of the university community to show appreciation for the hard work and commitment of university staff.

    View more audio slideshows featuring university staff:
    Searching the stars with Lara Eakins
    Hitting the high notes with Charles Ball
    Inspiring change with Choquette Hamilton
    Cutting keys with the Lock Shop

    • Quote 2
      Jim Lewis, Portland Oregon Landscaping said on Nov. 11, 2010 at 11:39 p.m.
      Wow. What an inspiration. I have a brother who is blind and has gone on to do some extremely amazing things back in the India (he moved back to the country we adopted him from). He was the first blind person in India to ever get an M.B.A. and is now on a special Presidential commission to raise awareness for the blind in that country. In addition, my father was extremely disabled since the age of 8, having survived polio and further deterioration to his nerves and body the rest of his life, finally dying early do the the complications of that disease. And yet he worked his entire adult life at jobs a lot of people said he'd never be able to do. It's the level of determination that determines the success or failure of a man - and that's all. As a landscaper, I appreciate this story even more. Jim Lewis, Owner - Lewis Landscape Services, Inc.
    • Quote 2
      Celeste Mendoza said on May 14, 2010 at 11:04 a.m.
      What a fabulous story! One of the best I've read in a long time. Que VIVA SANTOS!
    • Digg
    • StumbleUpon
    • Facebook
    • Google Bookmarks
    • LinkedIn
    • Twitter
    • Print
    • email

    Related Topics

    , , , , , ,

  • Top Slideshows

    • ...
    Reflections on MLK’s “I Have a Dream”
    Reflections on MLK’s “I Have a Dream”
    To mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic speech, scholars,...
    The language of photography
    The language of photography
    Explore selections from the Harry Ransom Center's Gernsheim Collection, which features...
    Tracking historical trends in Congress
    Tracking historical trends in Congress
    Political scientists and information technology leaders at the university have developed...
    The spirit of giving is contagious
    The spirit of giving is contagious
    Long-time University of Texas Police Department officer George Glaeser has been giving...
    Study break doodles
    Study break doodles
    During finals week, students blow off steam in fits of both visual and rhetorical...
    Songs of the Season: Experience the sights and sounds
    Songs of the Season: Experience the sights and sounds
    Get in the spirit with this audio slideshow from the traditional holiday sing-along,...
    Student teaches and inspires children in Peru
    Student teaches and inspires children in Peru
    Sophomore Armando Vera used an Undergraduate Studies grant to teach Peruvian children...
    MLK Jr. Day march and festival returns
    MLK Jr. Day march and festival returns
    The 17th Annual MLK March and Festival is on Monday, Jan. 17 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and...