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This episode focuses on Michael Ramos, a current sophomore at Duke University studying Public Policy and International Comparative Studies with a concentration in Latin America and the Caribbean. We talked about his educational trajectory to Duke. Michael takes us through his journey, which starts in Los Angeles, then to San Diego, the Midwest, and finally down south to Duke.  We discuss what it means to Michael to have “made it out” from his hometown and how attending Duke has opened his horizons. The conversation took some interesting turns to address topics like Latino identity, misconceptions about attending school in the South, and merit scholarships at Duke. 

Listen to Episode 1


  • Michael Ramos (T’26), A.B. Duke Merit Scholar  

  • Michael is a native of San Diego, California. Having grown up along the southern U. S. border, Michael is interested in issues related to migration. Additionally, being a first-generation and low income student, Michael has taken a keen interest in educational disparities. With his interest in mind, Michael is attempting to look at the intersections between both immigration and education disparities. He continues his advocacy of immigrants through the Migration Advocacy Group, Define America. He also works with bilingual preschool children through Duke Jumpstart. And as many first-generation low-income students, he also has a part time job on campus with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies as a student assistant. Outside of academics, Michael enjoys running, basketball, Spanish slang, whimsical dances, and journaling.  



  • Sachelle Ford, Jenny Wood Crowley, and Nanii Ellis from the Office of Undergraduate Education- Intellectual Community division, for supporting this project from the start 

  • Catherine Angst provides the licensed music, sounds, and communications support for the podcast  

  • Samantha Paw designed the podcast logo 

  • Duke student Camila Jimenez put together the graphic template for each episode this season