From the president

Melissa Ramirez, a junior at Montana State University (MSU), is a passionate champion for first-generation college students at MSU. Since being elected to serve on the Associate Students of Montana State University (ASMSU) she has become more involved in developing resources for first-generation students after noticing a lack of them as a first-generation student herself. She serves as the First-Generation Student Affairs Program Coordinator for ASMSU and is one of the students that sits on the administrative Frist-Generation Committee at the university. Melissa is proud to be a part of organizing formal recognition and support for first-generation students on campus and is hoping to pursue a career in higher education where she can continue to create a more inclusive environment for students.

Waded Cruzado Ph.D.


Montana State University


Personal Statement

Leadership and involvement in my community have always been an essential part of my life and identity. The passion to work on projects more significant than myself led me directly into the hands of the Office of Student Engagement at Montana State University. More specifically, the Associated Students of Montana State University student government. Being elected as a student senator for two years has been my most enlightening leadership experience. It has taught me the value of representative leadership and making space for people who don’t know their place. As both a first-generation college student and American, I have seen first-hand the struggles and obstacles students with this circumstance face. When I began researching resources that first-gen students had at MSU, I discovered there definitely needed development by adding more resources. We have developed a student-based committee that works in tandem with the administrative committee to allocate funds, assistance, and recognition for first-generation students. I hope to continue the development of first-generation programming with MSU’s administration to eventually open a center for students who need guidance in their college journey. It has been incredible to be a part of something much bigger than me as a leader or person.

Melissa Ramirez

Political Science and Global Studies

Montana State University