Matt Garcia-Ramirez

Matt Garcia-Ramirez, a senior social policy and public service major, has been named the 2023-24 Elena B. and William R. Schonfeld Scholarship recipient. The award annually recognizes the School of Social Sciences’ outstanding undergraduate in the next to graduating class who combines excellence in scholarship with dedication to the university community and the highest level of achievement in other fields.

Garcia-Ramirez is an active Anteater who is fully invested in social justice, leadership, and service. He’s completed three quarters of field studies/internships in the community and is volunteering 160 hours over two quarters in a local high school where he’s providing student support and mentorship. Currently, he’s creating a campus representative program and running a poetry club. Invested in the role of art and self-expression, he’s also conducting a one-year qualitative study on the role of art curriculum on college aspirations. He serves as a role model, educational coach, and mentor.

At UCI, Garcia-Ramirez is involved in various organizations and student centers. Specifically, he is an orientation coordinator for the Center for Student Leadership, a UCI hub that coordinates student programs and opportunities to enhance leadership skills. 

“A summer orientation coordinator, resident advisor, and artist, he is a stellar student with a solid academic portfolio,” says Jeanett Castellanos, UCI social sciences undergraduate studies associate dean and professor of teaching. “Along with being fully involved, he has conducted research and will join the honors program this coming year. A Chicano, queer, first-generation student coming from humble roots, he is invested in the community, social justice, equity, and education.”

Garcia-Ramirez’s long-term goal is to attain a Ph.D. in education to address inequity and make social change. In high school, he worked alongside Create CA as a student voice leader and advocated for Prop 28 - an initiative to provide funding for arts and music in the schools.

“Matt reflects the best of UCI, the kind of student Willie loves!” says Castellanos. “Moreover, he combines excellence in scholarship and has demonstrated a strong dedication to community with highest achievements.”

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