Global Cultural Studies Alumna Teresa Rodgers Seeks to Make Hunger 'A Thing of the Past' Alumni Profile
Meet Teresa Rodgers '20
- Job Title & Employer
- Program Assistant, JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, Jewish Family and Community Services
- Global Cultural Studies
- Mass Communication
- College Activities
- President of the Humanities and Social Studies Association
- Homestead, Pa.; Propel Andrew Street High School
- Now Living In
- Homestead, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
Learning about other backgrounds, cultures and religions, community outreach and advocacy
"The best thing about the Global Cultural Studies program is that it showed me the real-world perspective. It is mind-opening and answers questions you never thought you could have theorized. It makes you think and truly look at nations, institutions, news and people through different lenses."
Describe your role with Jewish Family and Community Services and how you landed the position.
In my role at the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, I conduct community outreach in Pittsburgh and its surrounding communities and advocate for hunger-related causes like extending SNAP benefits, promoting anti-hunger bills and pushing local senators and legislators to allocate more funding to help those experiencing food insecurity. I also administer community engagement events to teach nutrition education. There is nothing better than being educated and educating others in the same job. I work with people from all backgrounds and cultures. I get to put my projects to the test and help make hunger a thing of the past.
Prior to this role, I worked for a local Jewish school for six months as an office manager, and I worked with State Rep. Jake Wheatley as an intern. I truly believe my love for nonprofits and care for our communities is why I am in this position.
What are some of the initiatives you've really enjoyed being a part of at JFCS?
One benefit to being a part of JFCS is being able to advocate for college students’ rights for food. I was honored to be a part of the movement with Swipe Hunger, Challah for Hunger and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to push the Hunger-Free College Campuses Act. We held a virtual visit with State Sen. Lindsey M. Williams’ staff Legislative Director Cheryl Kleiman and Chief of Staff Megan Winters to discuss Williams' co-sponsorship of the bill. Our team presented stories about students entering the pantry in need of food and how the issue of students and hunger is in need of a solution. With the help of everyone, Williams agreed to co-sponsor the bill.
How did your degree in Global Cultural Studies help prepare you for this role?
I took several classes where faculty explained how there are different perspectives in the world from other religions, lands, histories and cultures. I also learned organizational skills, how to communicate with others for projects, various software programs and I improved my writing.
The best thing about the Global Cultural Studies program is that it showed me the real-world perspective. It is mind-opening and answers questions you never thought you could have theorized. It makes you think and truly look at nations, institutions, news and people through different lenses. The program has changed me as a person and made me more active in the community more than I ever imagined I would be. It was not easy to change my thought process, but I'm glad the program helped me to do so because I've grown from it.
Why would you recommend Point Park to a prospective student?
Unlike other universities, you do not leave real life. You are still in the active, everyday citizen routine. The school is in the middle of Downtown Pittsburgh. You have access to everything Pittsburgh has to offer. By the time you graduate, you know the city and the people way more than when you first came to campus. The University also has really knowledgeable professors with nontraditional approaches, which was ideal for me because I'm not a traditional person.