Courtesy of UCR Magazine

Marcela Ramirez, the 42nd student regent for the University of California Board of Regents, will soon end her term for the year of 2016-2017 this upcoming July. Her successor for the 2017-2018 term is Paul Monge, a graduate law student at UC Berkeley.

Ramirez earned her bachelor’s degree from the California State University, Fullerton in French and economics. She subsequently earned her master’s degree in counseling with an emphasis in student development and higher education from the California State University, Long Beach. As of now, Ramirez is expected to receive her Ph.D. in higher education and policy from the UC Riverside Graduate School of Education in June of this year.

Her involvement with student representation is not limited to her role as UC student regent. In addition to being the graduate student representative of the UC Office of the President’s LGBT Advisory Committee, she holds two positions at UC Riverside as founding director of the Middle Eastern Student Center and diversity initiatives coordinator in the Deans of Students Office. Ramirez is also a member of UC Riverside’s Undocumented Students Task Force.

As student regent, Ramirez attended the bimonthly meetings of the UC Board of Regents and its committee members. Her tuition and fees are waived while any expenses that she may incur are reimbursed during her meetings with the board and committee.

Ramirez’s esteemed position as the student advocate for the 10 UC schools has given her multiple opportunities to voice the concerns of the many students in the entire system as she “must stay in touch with the student body and be the collective voice for UC undergraduate, graduate, and professional students on the Board of Regents,” Ramirez shared via email.

In addition to voicing the concerns of the students to the board, Ramirez oversaw and created numerous projects as part of her position. As student regent, she delayed her own personal project while completing her predecessor’s project, as most projects usually take longer than one term. Succeeding regents must continue this responsibility, according to Ramirez.

“The next Student Regent must continue to guard and honor the legacy of Student Regents who came before them,” shared Ramirez. She also emphasized that, in order to maintain existing projects into the next term, a smooth transition between successor and incumbent is essential.

“They must complete what was already in motion and start a project of their own,” states Ramirez.

Ramirez points to the process for recruiting the Student Advisor as well as projects such as holding conversations on the Graduate Student Experience, Graduate Wellness, Graduate Concerns and “establishing pipelines that prepare undergraduates for graduate school” as a few that need to be maintained moving forward.

Ramirez notes that Monge “will have to continue those discussions and begin his own initiatives.”