CalTeach Student Services Manager
School of Education
May 1, 2008
Jose Ramirez Models Commitment to Educational Equity
As the eldest of three and the first in my immediate family to experience education in the United States, my interest in the field started at a very young age. As a first grader in the Long Beach Unified School District, I began to wonder why we had different reading books and different groups that we were placed in. Why weren’t we all reading the same books? As I got older, I started to wonder why some teachers had different expectations for some of their students or classes. Why weren’t they constant? What type(s) of relationship(s) were these educators creating with the leaders of tomorrow?
It wasn’t until I had begun my academic journey at UC Berkeley in 1994 that I started to find answers to more of my questions. Tracking, Diversity, Bilingual Education, (In)Equality in Education, Standardized Tests…these topics of interest led me to work-study jobs that gave me the chance to supplement my academics with practical experience. I worked with the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program as an after-school tutor and a Summer Academy Teaching Assistant. I took part in AmeriCorps and ran an after-school tutoring center for English Language Learners. Through these programs I observed different educators and their teaching and advising styles. I began to pay close attention to the ways in which students were responding to these educators.
I received my BA from Berkeley in Social Welfare with a Concentration in Psychology and wanted to continue in the field of education. I began working with a Talent Search program, the LULAC National Educational Service Center in San Francisco, and conducted outreach with high school students and parents throughout the peninsula. I then moved back to the Cal campus and the MESA program where I served as Coordinator for the Berkeley Schools and ran their Summer Academy. Most recently, I worked for the Cal Corps Public Service Center (part of Campus Life and Leadership) and the Center for Educational Partnerships. Through Cal Corps I ran an after-school literacy program for youth in Berkeley and Oakland, while also managing a summer literacy program in collaboration with the City of Berkeley Mayor’s Office. Through the Center for Educational Partnerships I was charged with recruitment and training of undergraduates in the Destination: College AmeriCorps program, a program aimed at introducing a college-going culture through partner agencies, schools and students.
I am excited to be part of the UC Irvine family as the Manager of Student Services for the UCI Cal Teach Science-Math Initiative. I am glad to be a part of a fantastic Cal Teach team that includes Carlos Santana, Terry Shanahan, Karajean Hyde, and Sue Marshall. As a collective, we will be able to enhance the experience of our Cal Teach students by offering academic coursework, fieldwork experiences, advising and other support services. We are seeking to create a community of life-long learners and educators that understand the important role they will be playing in the lives of youth. I consider myself fortunate to have had really great role models in the form of my parents, teachers, advisors, friends, supervisors, and students. I hope to offer students in Cal Teach, and others on the UCI campus, at least a sliver of what my role models have been able to impart on me.