SLS Awards 2020 - Outstanding Graduate Student
Pedro Ramos MA ’20 is the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student Award in recognition for his exemplary leadership and service work this school year. A student staff member from the Student Leadership and Service office caught up with him recently to learn more about his work.
SLS: What are your roles at LC? (What are you studying, what year are you, GA position/responsibilities, etc)
Pedro: Currently, I am wrapping up my second year in the Student Affairs Administration graduate program and simultaneously I am the current Graduate Assistant for Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement. My main focus has been creating inclusive leadership opportunities for our students but also assist our affinity groups with their organizational development. I also help out with the Great Expecations (GE) retreat each year! I helped out in the College Advising Center in the Fall and Spring of last year as well!
SLS: What does service and leadership mean to you?
Pedro: I view leadership through a more contemporary lens and acknowledging that certain barriers have been implemented that have limited how students of color and other underserved student populations have not been able to partake in leadership positions. However, it remains imperative that we engage in issues that impacts our communities and ignite the need to create meaningful, conscious change. What is the goal in mind? How do we get there?
SLS: Could you tell me about the way service and leadership have been incorporated in your life, both with L&C and beyond? (Is it actively a part of your goals, is it part of larger ones, what keeps you motivated and passionate?)
Pedro: As a queer person of color myself I want to pave the path forward for other queer folx of color as they navigate their own institutions. It’s been less of me “doing” and more engaging in critical conversation to allow others to develop their own leadership potential. I’ve invested myself in helping plan PSU’s Queer Students of Color Conference, as I know that healing and community building can be significant to how we create change in the future. All in all, my goal is to collaborate with historically underrepresented groups and support them through their academic journeys.
SLS: How does Lewis & Clark provide opportunities for leadership or service? Is there anything you hope for in terms of increasing these opportunities for others at L&C?
Pedro: I think that L&C students have the unique ability to find solutions and ideas to address issues our campus is facing. Students don’t need to be a part of an organization to be a leader, but by simply engaging in critical and difficult conversations. I’ve seen this serve our communities well in the long run. Hopefully more students find themselves taking that leap of courage in saying, “this has been impacting our campus in a negative way, and we should do something about it”.
SLS: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time, and/or what have you been up to during quarantine?
Pedro: Lately I’ve found myself reading and writing poetry that reflects my experiences as a queer person of color. Check out Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color. Definitely a good read! I also moved out to Colorado to be closer to my family during this quarantine!