Dr. Keith Curry, CEO of Compton Community College District and School of Education Alumnus, has established an undergraduate award to honor a undergraduate who is demonstrating significant growth in academic achievement and unusual perseverance – qualities that Dr. Curry believes characterized his journey toward his doctorate.
The 2018 recipient of the Keith Curry Undergraduate Award is Walter Ramirez.
Growing up in a single-parent household, Walter faced many challenges balancing his family responsibilities and work obligations with his studies, all while navigating the mazelike world of higher education. Today, Walter is a high-achieving Dean’s Honor List student, a motivated and accomplished researcher, and an involved member of the UCI and Orange County communities.
In addition to his personal and academic accomplishments, Walter has shown a dedication to giving back to the community. As a student coordinator in the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) at UC Irvine, Walter mentors and provides valuable information on college admissions to low-income, first generation, and undocumented high school students in the Anaheim Unified School District. Walter is also currently participating in research with Dean Arum, with a focus on school discipline policies and how the law has negatively affected the education outcomes of students of color in underperforming schools.
This summer, Walter will be participating in the UCDC internship program, then studying international politics in Berlin through the UC Education Abroad Program in the fall. After graduating from UCI, Walter plans to pursue both his Master’s degree in Education, as well as a law degree, in order to improve factors that impact access to higher education for first generation Latino students.
Dr. Keith Curry, Walter Ramirez, Dean Richard Arum