Editor’s note: As part of CSUSB’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the university is showcasing a number of earlier stories highlighting Hispanic and Latino students, alumni, faculty and staff.

This article was originally published on Jan. 27, 2021.

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Graciela Moran, a first-generation college student majoring in global studies, talks about her growth as a student at Cal State San Bernardino, overcoming shyness, battling and surviving cancer and how that changed her academic plans from majoring in social work to pursuing a bachelor’s degree in global studies, with a minor in political science.

“There’s something about the faculty here that’s really special,” she says. “They understand our students. We’ve faced a lot of adversities, and the faculty here value you as a person. They say, ‘OK, what’s going on in your life? How can I help you be where you want to be?’”

Moran, currently the university’s ASI president, advocates for students on a local, state and federal level making sure the community is heard. She is a governing member at the California State Student Association and the Southern Regions Civic Engagement Officer. She is also a recipient of the Minerva Scholarship established by WICL, members of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.

Moran is an international and national award-winning member of CSUSB’s Model United Nations program. She also is a researcher for CSUSB’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, and independently works on research regarding women in politics in the CSU system. She was also one of the community’s young people honored at the fourth annual 30 Under 30 Awards Ceremony held by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes, (D-San Bernardino) on Oct. 3, 2020. The award honors 30 individuals under the age of 30 who exemplify dedication, innovation and service in the community, and live, volunteer or work in in the 47th Assembly District, which includes all or portions of Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Rialto and San Bernardino, as well as the unincorporated communities of Bloomington and Muscoy.

Although these are a few of her accomplishments, she began her work advocating for women’s rights and survivors of sexual assault because she believes that the work is not done yet.

“Because of CSUSB, I truly do see that I can have a future and not struggle,” Moran says.”