California State University, Fullerton

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Alumna Gains Capitol Experience

Eliza Ramirez Takes Part in Congressional Program

Oct. 10, 2012

Cal State Fullerton alumna Eliza M. Ramirez is working in the Washington, D.C., office of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) as a Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) fellow this semester.

As part of her fellowship, the Class of 2012 graduate who majored in political science and women’s studies, is taking two American politics courses at George Washington University and will begin working for Comcast later this month. The leadership institute underwrites her room and board and provides a $2,500 stipend.

Once she completes the program in December, Ramirez said she plans to sign up as a volunteer in an AmeriCorp program and pursue graduate school.

“My ultimate goal is to go to law school and specialize in international law,” Ramirez said. “This fellowship is helping me get there. Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen is the chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, so through her, I'm able to attend interesting Congressional hearings on foreign affairs, which is what I’m interested in. I’ve met important leaders, including Hillary Clinton, Newt Gingrinch and Nancy Pelosi, and I’m making great connections.”

As an undergrad at CSUF, Ramirez was named the campus’ 2011 California State University Hearst Scholar for her work with battered and abused women and her commitment to helping them.

When she won the award, one of her mentors, Valerie O'Regan, associate professor of political science, called her an “excellent” student.

“Eliza is one of those students who realizes that getting good grades is not the only way to educate oneself; it is also important for her to be active in her university and to give back to her community,” O'Regan noted. “Her ability to motivate herself to get things done in the best way possible tells me that she will succeed in her endeavors.”

Founded in 2003, CHLI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering a broad awareness of the diversity of thought, heritage, interests and views of Americans of Hispanic and Portuguese descent. The agency was founded by members of Congress to advance the Hispanic community’s economic progress with a focus on social responsibility and global competitiveness. More information on CHLI fellowships is available online.

By: Mimi Ko Cruz, 657-278-7586

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