Meet Josh Ray
Major: Double Majors of International Relations and Spanish
Transfer Goal: I am applying to a number of schools, any of which I will be stoked to be accepted by such as Brown, Georgetown and NYU.
How are you involved at Mesa College? I am actively involved with the Student Veterans Union and am a Senator in Associated Students. I have previously held the position of President of the Honors Club and sit on several shared governance committees.
How long have you attended Mesa College? Since last summer.
Why did you choose Mesa College? I have several good friends who had taken classes here before and they had positive things to say about Mesa so I based my decision largely on that.
What have you enjoyed most about your Mesa College experience? Definitely the quality of the faculty which has far exceeded my expectations both in qualification and in their ability to convey information that is digestible. Taking classes from professors like Ron Israel has changed my perspective on the process of the educational experience and the potency of an involved and engaged classroom.
How is Mesa College preparing you to achieve your academic goals? When I completed my time in the service I wasn't initially sure how to go about getting a degree. Mesa provided a starting point for me. Over the past few semesters I have increasingly gained confidence in my academic abilities, and my professors have really taken a vested interest in my growth as a student. The Honors Program has been an incredible asset in pushing me to really invest in my classes and dig deeper into the subject matter. Mesa provides a means of which to access opportunities, even when you are starting from basically scratch.
What resources/services have supported you through your Mesa College experience? Naomi Grisham in the Transfer Center has been amazingly supportive and in addition to providing some excellent guidance, has influenced me to raise my ambitions and standards of performance. After 6 years out of school, I have to say the Math Tutoring Lab was crucial as well.
How would you describe student life at Mesa College? Mesa students come from very diverse backgrounds and represent a wide spectrum of age groups. There are a number of student organizations on campus that are definitely worth getting involved with. Surrounding yourself with other students who share similar goals only serves to help promote positive peer pressure. The students I have met along the way are extraordinary people. In Associated Student Government for instance, I am continually impressed by the caliber of many of the students involved, and am confident they are destined to accomplish great things in the near future.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Ideally I would like to be in a Spanish speaking country working in the non-profit sector, or at one of our embassies. Hopefully by that time I will have my law degree, doctorate or both. I have a feeling I will be going to school intermittently for the rest of my life.
What excites you most about your work with Mesa College's Student Veterans Union? Since we founded it last semester, it has been growing pretty steadily and the students I have met through it have been incredible people and have become good friends.
It is nice just seeing someone get help with a problem from another student. Veteran and active duty students face similar issues and circumstances, so many times it is just a matter of passing word back and letting people know how to avoid the more common pitfalls associated with being a returning student. I have been on both sides of that transaction and it seems only right to continue to pass that information on to those who follow us. The Student Veterans Union provides the structure and framework to make that possible.