Ramos-Vega headshot

Emerson Fellow

Denise Ramos-Vega

30th Class, 2023-2024

[email protected]

Denise Ramos-Vega was born and raised in small, predominately Latinx community in Fullerton, California, and is daughter of working-class Mexican immigrants. Denise graduated from UCLA in June 2023 with degrees in Geography and Chicano/a/x Studies with a minor in Education. As someone who has been impacted by systemic inequity throughout her life, Denise aims to uplift those who the system leaves behind. As an undergraduate student, Denise focused much of her efforts on learning about the intersections between geography, structural racism, and food (in)security longing to alleviate the issue within our nation.

Field placement: UCI Basic Needs Center

Irvine, California

Denise is working at the University of California Irvine's Basic Needs Center in Southern California. Her work aims to address food insecurity on campus by increasing awareness and access to the CalFresh (SNAP) program amongst UCI students. Denise is providing an in-depth analysis of previously collected data which will aid in the development of more effective outreach efforts thus resulting in a boost of student enrollment in CalFresh. Additionally, Denise is analyzing the effects of budget cuts faced by the UCI Basic Needs Center and elevating the stories behind the numbers.

Policy placement: Bread for the World

Washington, D.C.

Denise Ramos-Vega is working alongside Bread for the World Institute to set up a tracking method via Tableau to track the U.S. government’s progress in implementing the hunger- and nutrition-related portions of the White House National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The launch of the National Strategy was an important moment in our country’s struggle against food insecurity and malnutrition. Yet, no organization is comprehensively tracking progress in the implementation of the strategy. Therefore, advocates don’t have the evidence they need to hold the U.S. government accountable to the commitments made in the National Strategy. With this tracking platform, Bread will have—and provide its partners—the evidence and data needed to ensure progress is being made on the National Strategy’s anti-hunger sections.