by Cherryl F. Cercado
When people describe senior Shane Rodrigues, they all say the same thing: responsible, dedicated, honest. When Rodrigues describes himself, he says: happy, casual, friendly. But no matter who is describing him, all agree that he will be successful.
Rodrigues, a broadcasting major with an emphasis in television, came to ULV from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. A former high school classmate was attending ULV while Rodrigues was at Maui Community College. By the time Rodrigues entered the University of Hawaii, his friend had left La Verne for the same university. As they saw each other in passing, she told him about La Verne and the television program.
He then sent for a brochure and saw that alumnus Rob Fukuzaki, also from Hawaii, was working as a sports writer and anchor at the ABC affiliate in Honolulu. Rodrigues then called Fukuzaki and asked about ULV. After a positive conversation with Fukuzaki, Rodrigues wrote a letter to La Verne.
“Mike Laponis [associate professor of communications] got the letter, he wrote back telling me how wonderful the school is and how wonderful this department is,” said Rodrigues. “Mike told me about this school, Rob Fukuzaki told me about this school and also my friend who went to this school told me about this school. So all those things played a factor in me coming here.”
Rodrigues’ interest in video and television stems back to his days in Hawaii. It was at his church, the First Assembly of God, where Rodrigues got his start, videotaping pastors and ministers. In the eighth grade, he was involved in videotaping school plays.
When he was in the ninth grade, Rodrigues initiated a video club as well as a video class. Whenever he returns home to Hawaii, he still goes back to his high school.
“I still keep in touch with high school,” said Rodrigues. “Every year since I’ve graduated, I’ve produced and directed the graduation video.
“I go back and teach the students what I’ve learned and pass them on to give them an edge on what they can expect when they go to college,” he said.
Currently, Rodrigues is a paid employee of LVTV as a video specialist, helping put the “La Verne Report” show together. He is finishing his last semester at ULV taking senior seminar, two units of upper division and an internship.
He interns twice a week for the No. 1 rated daytime soap opera, “The Young and the Restless.” He assists in the pre-production of upcoming episodes, types production breakdowns, delivers scripts, casting schedules and cast call sheets to actors, producers and directors, as well as answering phones.
“At times, we get to watch on stage, watch in the booth, watch the directors, watch the producers, the audio people or whoever sits in the booth,” he said.
“It’s a long drive from here to Hollywood,” said Rodrigues. “It takes me about an hour and a half to maybe two hours sometimes, but it’s worth it.”
Many honors have been bestowed upon Rodrigues, including the Gold Award for the Hawaii State Student Film and Video Association for his “Maui Vice” when he was in the ninth grade.
“I wrote it when “Miami Vice” was big,” he says with a laugh. “It was an undercover-cocaine-drug theme.
“I look back at it and laugh,” said Rodrigues. “I can see the progress I’ve done. That was my first major project and the things I’m doing now, which is really different than the way I’m doing it now.”
Still waiting for the results, Rodrigues is one of the five finalists in the National Association of College Broadcasting awards for his radio aircheck.
“I’m surprised and shocked that I was a finalist,” he says with a smile. “I was proud of it because it was one of the best airchecks that I’ve done thus far.”
His other awards include being a finalist for directing “Holiday Festival” for LVTV in the Alliance Community Media competition for the far-west region. He has won best TV news story and first place for best produced announcement for a KULV promo in the Communications Department.
His goals are to work on a top rated show whether it is a soap opera, sporting event or sitcom, learn to be a good director and win an Emmy.
“I want to try to win an Emmy,” he says. “I don’t think it’ll hurt. I’ll spend my whole lifetime trying to win.”