Raquel (her friends call her Rocky) Pardo-Pfeiffer is an SIUE student with passions as diverse as her heritage. Her mother is American and her father is Spanish, and Rocky grew up splitting her time between St. Louis and Madrid, Spain, speaking both English and Spanish fluently. As a junior at SIUE, Rocky is working diligently toward degrees in two completely separate areas of study: psychology and studio art.
Rocky’s areas of interest are certainly distinct, but to call her education a dichotomy would not be accurate. For her, psychology and art are not separate, but instead work together and influence each other positively.
“I can’t separate the two,” said Rocky. “I am constantly using things I learn in my psychology courses to enrich the art I create. Both are my passion.”
In the art department, Rocky studies metalsmithing, where she creates sculptures, vessels, jewelry and more. She expresses a special affection for jewelry making, which she calls her “essence.“ She hopes to someday sell her pieces in a gallery.
When it comes to psychology, Rocky is uncertain where exactly her path will lead, but she is thankful that she has had the opportunity at SIUE to merge her two passions.
“The faculty and staff at SIUE have shown me that if you work hard, you can absolutely do anything you want,” Rocky said. “I've never felt something was unattainable while I’ve been here.”
It’s difficult to express through writing the excitement in Rocky’s voice when she talks about SIUE. You can almost hear her smile as she raves about the campus.
“I was instantly head over heels for SIUE. Campus looks and feels like a park, and everyone is so friendly. It feels like home.”
Rocky calls SIUE “the best kept secret of Illinois,” and when asked about her most rewarding experience here, she simply said, “Every day.”
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