Marina Rodriguez graduated from Big Bend High School in Terlingua, TX in 2007 and
then moved to Midland to obtain a job.
“Midland just seemed like a good place to live,” Rodriguez explained. “I am certainly
glad I chose Midland.”
Rodriguez found employment in Midland and married her husband Jose Galindo. She worked
at a call center for six years before the center closed in 2014.
“In the summer of 2016, I decided that I should probably take some college courses
in order to have a better chance of getting another job, so I took one class at Midland
College—Art Appreciation”, Rodriguez said. “At the time, Jose and I had two small
sons, and I wasn’t sure if I could juggle family responsibilities and going to school.
As it turned out, I got an ‘A’ in the class, so in the fall, I decided to take more
classes and major in Business Systems.”
In addition, Marina also landed a temporary job at the Midland College Petroleum Professional
Development Center (PPDC), a division of Midland College offering continuing education
for the Permian Basin energy industries.
“By working at the PPDC, I was able to use a lot of the skills that I was learning
in my classes, such as creating handouts, reviewing PowerPoint presentations for the
instructors and creating invoice forms, purchase requisitions, evaluation forms and
seminar booklets,” Rodriguez said. “Although the temporary assignment was only for
eight months, six months later I was hired as a work study student for two months
and then hired as an assistant program coordinator.”
Rodriguez said that she continued taking classes, usually taking three or four each
“I learned how to be a very good time manager,” she said. “It wasn’t easy juggling
family, school and a full-time job, but it was worth it. I took as many classes as
I could online, so that I could study and get projects done after my boys went to
sleep in the evenings. My favorite class, however, was an in-person class, Administrative
Project Solutions, taught by Sylvia Brown. This class provided us with a simulated
work environment. We had to make judgments on how to perform certain tasks and get
the work accomplished on a deadline. I think it really helped to develop my critical
In May 2020, Rodriguez graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business
Systems and was then promoted to program coordinator at the Midland College PPDC.
As such, Rodriguez is part of a three-person administrative team responsible for
providing high-quality, timely and pertinent educational opportunities to meet the
professional development needs of those working in the regional energy industry. Rodriguez
and her fellow coordinator Laurie Lindsey are responsible for marketing classes, arranging
seminars and symposiums, preparing curriculum material, enrolling students and taking
care of the day-to-day administrative operations.
“Laurie and I complement each other really well,” Rodriguez said. “We have different
skills and talents, and we just divide the work load accordingly. I like the variety
of work that my job offers. There’s always something new at the PPDC.”
The busy department is managed by Director Erin Van Evera-Welch who oversees programming
and serves as Midland College’s liaison with the West Texas oil and gas industry.
Marina Rodriguez and her husband Jose have now had a third son. The family consists
of Jorge, age 13; Adryan, age 10; and baby Liam who is 7 months. The family enjoys
spending time together and traveling throughout Texas. Their two favorite places
are San Antonio and Galveston. They are also looking forward to going back to the
Big Bend area and hiking in Santa Elena Canyon.
Her sister, Marissa, has been a role model for her two sisters to attend college.
She is also a Midland College graduate and received a degree in Respiratory Care.
Her youngest sister Mariela is currently taking prerequisite courses for Midland
College’s Sonography program.
“Now that I have my degree, I plan to continue to take courses so that I can expand
my knowledge of the energy industry,” Rodriguez explained. “I don’t have work experience
in the industry, but the PPDC offers some great continuing education courses for people
who don’t have any formal oil and gas education but find themselves working in the
industry. I have already taken Introduction to Oilfield Operations and plan to one
day take Oilfield Terminology. Just because I have a degree doesn’t mean I have to
Photo: Marina Rodriguez on The River Road between Presidio and Lajitas, Texas, near
her hometown of Terlingua.