Hello, my name is Aaron Walter, and I am a fourth-year UCR Psychology: Law & Society and Public Policy major, with my Public Policy tracks being International/Foreign Relations and Institutions/Processes. On-campus I am affiliated with several departments. In ASUCR, UCR's student government body, I serve as Judicial General Advocate. As General Advocate, I serve as a liaison between the Judicial Branch and the rest of ASUCR as well as the public representative of Judicial. Within the Psychology Department, I work as a research assistant in the Life Events Lab, studying coping strategies and emotions within uncertain waiting periods. I am also a Dean's Brand Ambassador to the UCR School of Public Policy. As a student ambassador, I serve as a brand advocate, outreach marketer, and event staffer. I also work as a student assistant for both the Center for Social Innovation and the UCR Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. In these roles, I work on various projects and tasks related to event planning and support, office maintenance, and data collection. My passion for being involved and serving my campus community is rooted in my family, with my mother being a role model in my life.
My mother immigrated to the United States from Nicaragua in the 1980s when she was 12 years old. Fleeing the civil war, my mother and her family would come to this country with nothing, only speaking Spanish. Despite a language barrier and economic hardship, my mother would begin working at age 15 and later put herself through college, attaining both her bachelor's and master's degrees. With that, my mother has worked for Orange County Social Services for almost 30 years as a policy writer and analyst. Inspired by my mother's achievements, government work, and dedication to public service, I interned at Orange County Social Services for two summers. Having worked on cases and interacted with individuals in need of assistance, I decided early on I wanted to advocate for and serve my community. My path would lead me to UCR, where I believe I am not only contributing to making an effective difference to better my campus, but am actively learning from my community. With the experiences I’ve gained at UCR through my various commitments, I plan to translate what I’ve learned to one day work in the public sector, in a public administrative and public policy capacity. For this reason, I am excited to work at CSI as a student assistant.
My overall role at CSI is to provide administrative support and serve as a resource person for staff. In working with the SoCal Policy Forum, I have collected reports and data from various research centers within Southern California, in order to compile and present research for greater public access and viewing. I have also worked on centralizing our Center’s contacts and mailing lists and aided in creating marketing materials in advertising for the Center’s Nonprofit Fellowship and Census 2020 campaign. As a recruiter, I have assisted in the Center’s advertising and candidate evaluation of a Student Videographer position. As CSI hosts events and report releases, I have provided support with event execution by doing things such as ordering catering and securing parking. With this, I have served as an event staffer mingling with community partners.
As a resource person and event staffer, I have been able to work with various community partners and gain a greater understanding of the issues facing the Inland Empire. Witnessing their unwavering dedication to the public and tireless effort to advocate and inform serves as an inspiration. In uncertain times such as these, their ability to transition operations and services has demonstrated their steadfast pursuit to aid and continue to serve this community, regardless of the circumstances. Whether it is a report release or Census 2020 trainings and advertising, working with passion for various causes, our community partners continue to generate meaningful action and knowledge distillation. Their efforts to advocate for the community while maintaining access and transparency fosters community inspiration and engagement.