Aaron Rodriguez

Why FSU?

I was interested in applying programs that specialized in digital humanities and graphic narratives, so I was planning on applying to the University of Florida. I casually mentioned this plan to a professor at Wichita State University, Dr. Fran Connor, and he encouraged me to check out FSU. As soon as I read about the History of Text Technologies Program and learned more about the faculty in the English Department, I knew the program would be a perfect fit.

Motivation to pursue a graduate degree

I love to read, so getting my PhD allows me to do the thing I love while improving my ability to do the thing I love. It is a win-win situation. Looking back, I don’t think I really knew how to read until I got to graduate school.

Importance and impact of research

Currently, I am working on a methodology to create accessible and enjoyable translations of graphic narratives for blind and low vision readers. The creation of accessible translations of multimodal material is especially important as visual modes of communication become more significant and alter traditional written and verbal forms of communication.

Advice for anyone considering graduate school

Take care of your mental health. Find a good mentor. Think about problems and imagine solutions. Ask questions and find answers. Be kind to others.

Accomplishments during academic career

My graphic narrative accessibility project that I am working on with Dr. Darren DeFrain (WSU) was recently awarded an NEH Digital Humanities Advancement Grant. Previously, the project was awarded a John A. See Grant.

Career aspirations

After I graduate, I hope to continue reading, researching, and making graphic narratives accessible for blind and low vision readers!

GradImpact Profile