By Darci Leonard
Dr. Marie Ramos brings a passion for learning and her local community into her classroom.
“Being a professor, I get to encourage young people to achieve their dreams. It doesn’t have to be in art –– whether its engineering or in the sciences –– as long as they do what they love,” said Ramos, a La Mesa resident.
As the Art Department Chair at Cuyamaca College, Ramos encourages not only her students but her fellow faculty to “just go for it” when making their art pieces. At Cuyamaca College, the hallways of the Art Center are covered in various pieces of art created by the faculty for this year’s annual Faculty Art Show. Among the colorful paintings and drawings, Ramos displays some of her own works.
“Art is how I express myself,” she said.
Ramos’ passion for art and expression prompted her to participate in the California Senate’s 2015-2016 Californian Contemporary Art Collection Contest. State Senator Joel Anderson acknowledged Ramos for her beautiful submission and thanked her for her contribution to the art community in his district.
“Dr. Ramos shares her talent with students and the East County community to encourage everyone to follow their passion,” he said. “It has been wonderful to get to know her art and her students are lucky to have an enthusiastic mentor like [her].”
While Ramos understands that not every student who steps into her classroom is an artist, she still believes that they can develop an appreciation for art and be able to do a little of their own. Her biggest goal in educating college students is for them “to be positive and be sure of who they are and what they are doing. Anything can be accomplished if they put their heart and mind to it.”
As the first in her family to go to college and earn a degree, Ramos has a special vision for encouraging students to persevere and work hard to achieve a higher education.
With a vision for growing the art community in East County, Ramos is also passionate about the college’s Annual Spring Garden Festival where local artists have the opportunity to share their contributions with the community.
In fall of 2016, Cuyamaca College will be putting on its first East County Community Art Exhibition and the art department is looking forward to watching more local artists participate in community events with the help of generous partners like the Friends of East County Arts, Inc.
Whether it’s through festivals, contests, art shows or her classroom, Ramos continues to encourage the students that she teaches to work hard to achieve their dreams.
––Darci Leonard is a legislative intern for Senator Joel Anderson and student at San Diego Christian College.