Roxy is a former member of the ACE program and served in the Student Faculty Partnership Program for the Lucas Center for Faculty Development. She is a member of the Lutgert College of Business majoring in Economics and currently works for the Florida Rural Legal Services Low Income Tax Clinic. A first-generation Cuban American woman from San Carlos, she is an aspiring lawyer who wants to help her community through economic and legal policy.
Roxana Ruiz is the first recipient of the newly established Office of Competitive Fellowships at FGCU, she was selected from a pool of over 200 applicants for the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) service weekend program at Georgetown University.
How did your mentor encourage and foster your research and academic trajectory?
From the moment I started working with David Steckler at the Abuse Counseling and Treatment Center has believed in my capabilities as a student and an intern. He has taken part in almost every award that I have applied and received throughout my journey with the Office of Competitive Fellowships. It was thanks to his reference, along with some others, that I was able to receive some of these awards, like the PPIA Public Service Weekend at Georgetown University. He connected me with the director of the Florida Rural Legal Services Tax Clinic, which is where I am currently interning. When I went on a volunteer trip to Thailand, Professor Steckler would be the first person to ask to see pictures from the trip and has encouraged me to pursue my passions in travel. For everything I have accomplished, Professor Steckler has been there to cheer me on.
What does the OCF mean to you?
The Office of Competitive Fellowships is where I can make my aspirations become a reality. This past year, I applied for five different awards and was astonished at how many more there are available. Working with the Office of Competitive Fellowships has been kind of like a path to my future, because it has made me realize some of the things I want to pursue and what I do not. In the past year, I would say the OCF has been one of my most useful resources as a student at FGCU, and any other individuals would be fortunate to work with an office that strives to lift students to success. Also, if any student wants to work on their time management skills – I have learned – the OCF is that place to go.
What is the PPIA Service Program?
The Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) service weekend program at Georgetown University introduces more students to the broad range of opportunities available in the field of public service. PPIA’s mission and overall focus are to increase the participation and inclusion of traditionally underrepresented groups at the highest level of public sector leadership.