University of California, Riverside

School of Public Policy



Student Ambassadors


Current Student Ambassadors

Dean's Student Ambassadors

The UCR School of Public Policy Dean's Student Ambassador Program features highly motivated public policy students who display academic excellence, leadership, and excellent communication skills. These future policy leaders serve as the student face of the SPP. They serve as role models and peer mentors for their classmates, and serve as professional representatives of the Dean at School of Public Policy events.

We invite public policy students to get in touch with ambassadors as secondary contacts after academic advisors in regards to questions about the UCR School of Public Policy and any of its programs. You may email the ambassadors via spp.mentors@ucr.edu.

2017-2018 Student Ambassadors

David AngelDAVID ANGEL (Peer Mentorship Chair)

David Angel is a second-year Public Policy major and Economics minor with an emphasis on health policy and policy institutions and processes. He interned for California State Senator Ed Hernandez in 2013, as well as Congresswoman Norma Torres in the Summer of 2016. His experiences interning with elected officials have motivated him to strive for leadership positions in the government where he can effectively create and influence policy that will help communities gain access to comprehensive health care and financial stability in the Inland Empire and the state of California. David was elected to represent CA Assembly District 52 as an Assembly District Delegate at the 2017 & 2018 CA Democratic Conventions.

Lizzette CapulLIZZETTE CAPUL

Lizzette Capul is a third-year public policy student with an emphasis on health/population and social/cultural policies. She is also a Riverside native. Before transferring to UCR in Fall 2016, she earned several associate degrees in Admin & Information Systems, Kinesiology, Health & Wellness, Social & Behavioral Studies, and Math & Sciences from Riverside City College. During her time at Riverside City College, Lizzette was actively involved with campus organizations and the local community. Her extra-curricular involvement encouraged students to be more involved in the community through service projects and to do well academically. With her involvement in the community and interest to better understand health and social policies, she pursued an internship in the Mayor’s Office for the City of Riverside. Currently, she assists with health-related initiatives in the Mayor’s Office. In the Mayor’s Office, Lizzette chairs the Purple City Alliance Task Force, a group focused on a city-wide initiative that encourages Riverside to be a more dementia friendly city. 

Daniel CastanedaDANIEL CASTANEDA

Daniel Castaneda is a first-year public policy and history double major. Because of his background in multiple parks and recreation departments, he has developed a passion for affecting change through local government and community development. In the City of Riverside’s Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department, he is currently developing a volunteer program to allow local teenagers to gain professional, social, and life skills. Concentrating on the economic and urban studies policy tracks, he hopes to gain a wide array of knowledge regarding municipal matters and intends to apply it to city management in the future. Daniel’s goal is to be able to educate and encourage people about the benefits of community development and inspiring change at home to ultimately influence change beyond.

Edgar CastelanEDGAR CASTELAN

Edgar Castelan is in his first year of the Master’s in Public Policy. He graduated from UCR, with a B.A. in Political Science/Administrative Studies in 2015. As an undergraduate intern with Assemblymember Jose Medina, he became closely attuned with the many issues facing our local region, but noticed the incredible potential and role it plays locally and globally. He is interested in the intersection of water distribution and race, and the impact those two factors will play in the future of the Inland Empire. He wants to examine the way in which other countries or regions have directly tackled this issue so that he can bring that knowledge and expertise and apply it locally. His goal is to work at the state-legislative level to implement sound policy that will address resource conservation while promoting social equity among marginalized groups. 

Samantha FongSAMANTHA FONG (Secretary)

Samantha Fong is currently a second-year Public Policy and Sustainability Studies Double Major with concentrations in Urban/Environmental Policy, Health/Population Policy, and Sustainable Science, Health, and Technology. Her deep interest in the interconnectedness of sustainability and policy stems from an internship she held under Project Pull at the San Francisco Police Department. She is particularly interested in water resources, waste management, and how she can bring sustainable policy solutions to underserved areas. Currently, Samantha works at the Academic Resource Center as a Writing Support Tutor, serves as the Historian Officer for the Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, and is beginning research under the University Honors Program. Samantha has accepted a position with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission for the Summer of 2017 as an intern for the Department of External Affairs - Policy and Government.

Janine GharghouryJANINE GHARGHOURY (Community Service Chair)

Janine Gharghoury is a second-year Public Policy major with a focus on Healthcare Policy. She served as a Legislative Intern for Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. during 2016, working both in his Palm Desert district office and Capitol Hill office. Hailing from the Coachella Valley, Janine is interested in mitigating the impact of income inequality on healthcare outcomes for both Inland Empire and Coachella Valley residents by increasing the number and quality of healthcare resources in each area. Currently, Janine serves as a Research Fellow for Congressman Ruiz and intends to pursue a career in Medicine and Healthcare Policy upon graduation.

Jacquelyn GonzalezJACQUELYN GONZALEZ

Jacquelyn Gonzalez is currently a Master of Public Policy student concentrating on education and social/immigration policy at the School of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). Jacquelyn's career in public policy began with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) where she served in the Office of Congresswoman Grace Napolitano in Washington, D.C. During her time in D.C., she served in the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. House of Representatives. In her tenure on Capitol Hill, Jacquelyn served her home district on as a Legislative Assistant for the Office of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46). She oversaw the Congresswoman's domestic policy portfolio handling issues such as education, health care, transportation, labor, water/energy and instituted a robust higher education agenda for Congresswoman Sanchez. Additionally, she lead communications for the Member on all Spanish outreach and media. Jacquelyn is a first-generation graduate student and proud alumna of California State University, Fullerton.

Thomas KuhlmeierTHOMAS KUHLMEIER (Chief Student Ambassador)

Thomas Kuhlmeier is a second-year public policy student, focusing on international/foreign policy and health/population policy at UCR. After leading a community-wide health project run by his high school, he seeks to further his research on dietary trends of the San Bernardino County community and compare it to his previous studies of the San Fernando Valley community. Within public policy, he is most interested in international policy and how it relates to foreign diplomacy. He believes that the key to understanding a foreign nation’s government is by acknowledging the communal issues addressed in their local government legislations. He strives to understand foreign affairs through the majors of public policy and history. Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree in June 2019, Thomas plans to pursue a dual master’s degree in international affairs and law. Thomas also plans to bring with him all the lessons learned at UCR through the School of Public Policy in his further education endeavors.

Chase RamosCHASE RAMOS

Chase Ramos is a second year with a focus in institutional processes and health policy. He was drawn to the discipline of policy at the end of his first year when he took Intro to Public Policy. It was then he realized just how impactful policy decisions are in all facets of life. More importantly, he then realized the need for informed policy decisions that are quantifiably beneficial. It is for these reasons that he is enthusiastically pursuing his degree and a position as an Ambassador. As an ambassador part of his personal mission will be to inform others of the importance of policy as well as the fascinating nature of the discipline itself. He believes sound policy is a necessity for a better future and it is up to us to achieve it.

Maria RazoMARIA RAZO

Maria Razo is a third-year student completing her double major in Public Policy and Political Science, with an emphasis in International Relations and policy construction/implementation. After completing her undergraduate studies, she will pursue her Master’s and Ph.D. in Public Policy. While attending UCR, she has interned at the County of Riverside Executive Office where she acquired her interest in economic insecurity. She gained a passion for international relations after studying and interning in Ireland, her experience abroad has led her to pursue a career in an international organization that combines economic development and human rights policies. Maria will continue to gain international experience, she hopes to understand the different factors that influence policy within countries. Maria believes that the key to solving worldwide problems is to understand how the issue is viewed from a local level.

Dalila RenteriaDALILA RENTERIA

Dalila Valdez Renteria is in her first year as a graduate student for the School of Public Policy at UCR. She attended UCR for undergrad and graduated with a degree in Plant Biology. During that time, she became an volunteer for RESULTs, a policy organization focused on ending extreme poverty, where she gained an interest in policy and how policy is developed. She was also involved with P.O.D.E.R. and the Undocumented Student Programs in helping to advocate for undocumented students at UCR. Currently, she has continued to give back to the riverside community by working at the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center as a Community Education Presenter. Through her work, she serves as an advocate for survivors of sexual assault and facilitates multiple young women groups through a rape prevention program under the California Department of Public Health. Her policy focus is on social policy with a special interest in immigration policy. After completing the Masters program, Dalila plans to continue her education by obtaining a law degree and eventually seeking a judgeship in order to make sure that the voices of immigrants and survivors are being heard. Her favorite things to do on her days off is to travel, go to six flags, act in with her church’s drama ministry and to spend time with her family. Dalila Valdez is in her first year as a graduate student for the School of Public Policy at UCR. She attended UCR for undergrad and graduated with a degree in Plant Biology. During that time, she became an volunteer for RESULTs, a policy organization focused on ending extreme poverty, where she gained an interest in policy and how policy is developed. She was also involved with P.O.D.E.R. and the Undocumented Student Programs in helping to advocate for undocumented students at UCR. Currently, she has continued to give back to the riverside community by working at the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center as a Community Education Presenter. Through her work, she serves as an advocate for survivors of sexual assault and facilitates multiple young women groups through a rape prevention program under the California Department of Public Health. Her policy focus is on social policy with a special interest in immigration policy. After completing the Masters program, Dalila plans to continue her education by obtaining a law degree and eventually seeking a judgeship in order to make sure that the voices of immigrants and survivors are being heard. Her favorite things to do on her days off is to travel, go to six flags, act in with her church’s drama ministry and to spend time with her family.

Muhammad SohailMUHAMMAD OMER SOHAIL (Outreach Chair)

Muhammad Omer Sohail is a rising Undergraduate studying Public Policy at UC Riverside. He's had both practical and classroom experience, first starting at the Riverside County Department of Health, then on staff with the Randall Lewis Health Policy Fellowship and most recently with the Office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, as a Matsui Congressional Fellow. He is also a Board Member for the UC Student Association and Vice Chair for the California Young Democrats--Muslim Caucus. Omer is very interested in bridging the gap between formal and informal political engagement in marginalized communities and hopes to one day work on these issues as a professional. He values social, economic and political justice and is always working to improve society through policy, activism and education. 

Xuan TongXUAN TONG

Xuan Tong is a third year Sociology and Public Policy double major. She is interested in empowering the Asian-American and the low-income communities through reforming educational policy. Xuan furthered her political experience with the non-profit, Center for Asian-Americans for Self-Empowerment as a Community Engagement Advocate and Leadership Academy Intern to learn about the needs of each individual Asian-American community and how to advocate for their representation. Xuan also interned for LAUSD Boardmember Schmerelson where she spoke to professionals on where LAUSD is heading. Xuan hopes to start the conversation around debunking the “model minority myth” and continuing the mentoring pipeline to have real community needs reflected in policy.

Eileen TovarEILEEN TOVAR (Social Chair)

Eileen Tovar is a third-year public policy student concentrating in environmental and urban policy. She has always been passionate about protecting the environment and hopes to pursue a career within the Environmental Protection Agency. On campus, she is involved with multiple organizations, such as ASUCR, the Well, Chicano Student Programs, the Guardian Ambassador Program, and Counseling and Psychological Services. She continually works to change the negative stigma around mental health, bring awareness to sexual violence and prevention, and fight against food and housing insecurity. In her spare time, she dances competitively with UCR Dancesport, goes on Disneyland trips, and travels.

Iman UsmanIMAN USMAN

Iman Usman is a third year public policy major. She is also a transfer student from a community college in San Diego. She is Indian and Pakistani and identifies as a part of the queer/LGBTQ+ community. She has participated in LGBTQ+ student organizations, panels, and is a member of the Community OUTReach Program through the LGBT Resource center on campus. Activism is very important to her, especially in regards to minorities and queer folks. Aside from academics, music is one of her passions. She plays the guitar and cello and writes songs.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

School of Public Policy
Anil B. Deolalikar
Founding Dean
Professor of Economics

Student Affairs
Tel: (951) 827-2334
E-mail: jolene.sedita@ucr.edu

Dean’s Office
4133 CHASS Interdisciplinary South
Tel: (951) 827-5564
E-mail: spp-dean@ucr.edu

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