University of California, Riverside

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Assemblymember Jose Medina ’74, ’84, is Presented with the UCR School of Business 2017 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award

Assemblymember Jose Medina ’74, ’84, visited UCR on October 5th, 2017, to speak with business students in Professor Singh’s Organizational Behavior class. Detailing his professional journey from university to becoming Chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, Mr. Medina continued with the advice to persevere and follow your passion.

Yunzeng Wang, Dean of the UCR School of Business, presented Jose Medina with the UCR School of Business 2017 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award.

Assemblymember Medina represents the 61st Assembly District as a Democrat in the California State Assembly. He is beginning his third term in the Assembly, continuing his appointment as chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education. Eagerness to assist students beyond the classroom motivated him to pursue public office. He served as a school board member on the Jurupa Unified School District Board of Education and completed three successful terms on the Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees.

L-R: Assistant Dean Undergraduate Business Program, Kazi Mamun, Dean Yunzeng Wang, Assemblymember Jose Medina, Professor Raj Singh, Associate Dean Graduate Programs, Barry Mishra

Mr. Medina’s advice to students was to never give up, drawing on personal experience about how he made three attempts before being elected to the Assembly. He also reflected on how education had changed since he attended UCR, when student fees were just $270 a quarter.

Upon graduation from UCR, Mr. Medina admitted to not knowing what he wanted to do and enlisted in the Peace Corps. He taught adolescent boys in a prison in Columbia, where he saw poverty the likes of which he'd never seen. On his way home, he would have to walk around bodies of young boys sleeping on the streets because their parents had kicked them out. Many would end up in prison for stealing to survive. It was these experiences that motivated him to pursue a career path that would allow him to make a difference.

Jose Medina stressed how the decisions made in Sacramento are very important to higher education. He encouraged everyone to get involved and contact their congressmen and assemblymen about programs and initiatives they are passionate about. The class applauded.

Mr. Medina leads by example, emphasized Dean Wang, by returning to the university that started his career in order to give back. Addressing the class of business undergraduates, Dean Wang mentioned how they were the future of UCR Business, and "from where I stand right here, right now, that future looks very very bright."


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