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Transfer Spotlight: Marcelo Marco Ramirez

Name: Marcelo Marco Ramirez
Studies: Latin American & Caribbean Studies; Human Rights Minor
Previous institution: Seattle Central College & The University of Central Florida
Year/Qtr transferred: Fall 2015
Hometown: Ocala, Florida
Favorite quote: "The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope." —44th President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama

How did you choose UW?

I fell in love with UW and the Pacific Northwest region when I was 12. As a son of a truck driver, I was fortunate enough to tag along with my father three summers in a row from 2004-2006. When I first saw the "sail-gating" from the 520 bridge, I was mesmerized at how unique this place was off the bat. Later, I found out this university had an incredible academic reputation built on a foundation of perseverance which engrains itself within the culture of its alumni. Years later, life moved me from working for the Democratic National Committee= and both Obama campaigns to my favorite city in the Union. Having regained my scholastic confidence at Seattle Central, I felt compelled to succumb to the challenge of belonging to this special and determined community. In total, I've lived in Seattle for five years and I'll especially cherish these last two at UDub.

How did you select your major?

After an immense amount of time soul searching for my true passion. Like most transfer students, my academic career was very unorthodox. I didn't let the gaps in my learning process define who I am. Rather, I embraced the lessons learned outside the classroom and grew from that knowledge in the workforce. The reason I chose my major was to connect with my roots while establishing a professional future in the law. The University of Washington has provided some of the best opportunities through my personally confirmed major such as taking on the role of interpreter at the many citizen workshops hosted by the City of Seattle's Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. Only through the intrigue cultivated in the classroom was I able to venture into truly discovering my life's purpose.  

What is your favorite thing about being at UW? 

It would definitely have to be the people here. Without a doubt. From the cleaning crew and service workers all the way to the donors of Meany Hall's Center for the Performing Arts and the best faculty in the country. Everyone here has a story to tell and we as fellow listeners and learners only benefit from such a dynamic perspective. The reading materials are only half as enjoyable if it isn't accompanied by the exciting discourse each professor facilitates according to their unique but ever engaging style of teaching. This obviously extends into the out of the class banter that usually takes place after the bell. I promise you, you will always learn something knew here the more you engage with the people. Our non-violent protest events are something to be very proud of as well. The Black Lives Matter movement has profoundly made an impact on bringing to light the harsh truth of what goes on in our country when it comes to the treatment of all people of color. The undocumented activists here will force you out of your comfort zone so that you realize that with great privilege comes great responsibility in the age of an unknown future where facts are becoming rare commodities. It is the people here who will greatly contribute to your learning experience and personal growth; trust me when I tell you never to take it for granted or merely walk by in silence. 

What has made you feel like a Husky?

Easy, the routine of being able to work hard and play hard. Yes, our workloads are arguably arduous at best but once we complete the tasks at hand we know how to come together and support our student athlete community. Coming from The South and traditionally being exposed to the SEC, I can tell you it's a real treat and perk to know our teams are as good if not better in the classrooms as they are in a game. Going to the Stanford football matchup at home this year was so memorable because you can see the pride in the countless faces lining up the greatest setting in college football once we came out victorious. 

What is something that surprised you about the transfer experience?

How valuable we can be to invigorating the learning experience in the classroom. Time and time again I've been personally told by professors just how much they enjoy transfer students overwhelmingly compared to traditional students. As I mentioned before, everyone has a special story and the hunger to learn is what sets us apart in the classroom. Use it as the motivation to excel and finish strong.

Advice to prospective transfer students?

Embrace who you are first before you start worrying with planning your everyday moves for the rest of your life. This place works on living and learning in the moment so that you enjoy the lessons' impact beyond your time here. Don't take the beautiful architecture for granted and do visit a different part of campus each week until you know all of it like the back of your hand. Trust in your advisors and truly take the time to practice taking constructive criticism. Starve your ego and feed your humility, it'll ultimately help you discover the purpose of your education at the UDub. Question everything all the time and don't contribute to the silence in class discussion. Above all, stay in touch with the network you build here. Huskies never hunt alone.

What will you do after graduation?

Right now, I'm waiting to hear back from five law schools. This institution has given me the confidence to pursue my next academic challenge and continue to excel armed with the kowledge gained here. For any fellow Star Wars nerd Husky, treat this place like your personal Dagobah.