Coe College is proud to announce Angelina Ramirez ’22 has been named a 2021 Truman Scholarship finalist. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards a $30,000 graduate fellowship to distinguished college students pursuing careers in public service. Nearly 845 students across the nation completed the rigorous application process that includes seven essays and a detailed policy proposal. Ramirez is among 193 students shortlisted as a finalist for the prestigious award.
“I’m feeling very excited. I want to make communities of color proud, Cedar Rapids proud and Coe proud. I know many great candidates at Coe didn’t make it to the next round, and I hope to be a Truman Scholar in their honor. It’s a humbling and truly exciting opportunity,” Ramirez said.
She is a political science and social and criminal justice double major with a minor in religion who has a passion for advocating for equality and empowering marginalized communities. Ramirez plans to go to law school to study civil and human rights law with the goal of working for the American Civil Liberties Union and eventually running for Congress.
Ramirez is president and co-founder of CoeVotes, a nonpartisan club engaging students in local and presidential elections. She previously served as student coordinator of civic engagement at Coe, interned for the Linn County Board of Supervisors and was a field representative for Progressive Turnout Project. Ramirez is a recipient of the United Way Young Leaders Society Board Orientation and Leadership Development training scholarship. She currently serves as an intern for Advocates for Social Justice, a project fellow for West Wind Education Policy Inc. and is the legislative aid for Iowa State Sen. Rob Hogg.
“I think the work I’ve done is largely impacted by the support and guidance I was given at Coe. The courses and faculty helped me think critically and really got me involved with Linn County politics. My family lives halfway across the country, so having such a strong support system at Coe was vital to my success. Coe staff and faculty presented me with opportunities and connected me to things I’m passionate about. I feel very blessed and lucky,” she said.
Her work in public service was recognized with the Waypoint Services Women of Achievement Award and the 2020 Newman Civic Fellowship. Ramirez is a member of the Cedar Rapids NAACP Council, and was a panel speaker at the Iowa Campus Compact 2020 Civic Action Academy and the 2020 Harvard Alumni of Color Conference. She has done volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity, Catherine McAuley Center, Green Square Meals and derecho relief through Advocates for Social Justice.
National Fellowship Advisor and Henry and Margaret Haegg Associate Professor of English Amber Shaw was a guide for Ramirez through the complex application process. With the assistance of other faculty on campus, Shaw supports Coe students applying for competitive awards such as the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Rhodes Scholarship and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
"Angelina’s actions set her apart from other applicants. She believes it is her duty to fight for racial and socioeconomic inequities and leads with her heart. She is a role model to young activists and those seeking change. I’m honored to help students like Angelina pursue opportunities like this that launch their dreams into reality," Shaw said.
Ramirez joins Kohawks Larissa Alire ’20, Kelly May ’19 and Briana Gipson ’19 as one of four Coe finalists in the last three years. Alire and May both were awarded a Truman Scholarship.
The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was created by Congress in 1975 to be a living memorial to President Harry S. Truman. Finalists will be interviewed in March and recipients will be announced in April.
Coe College offers superb academics and exciting co-curricular activities in a thriving urban setting that promotes student growth and success. Established in 1851, Coe has a national reputation for academic excellence enhanced by a student-centered, highly supportive campus environment. Coe’s vibrant Cedar Rapids location provides an abundance of internships for students and career opportunities for graduates.