Juan Gonzalez Wins CLAS Outstanding Undergraduate

Published: April 24, 2024
Juan Gonzalez

Juan Gonzalez, Senior Advisor for the Student Government Association and Alpha Psu Lambda chapter President is a passionate leader at the University of Colorado Denver who emphasizes student advocacy and community engagement. 

Politics, rooted in Gonazlez's Mexican ancestry, has been a constant presence in his life, a topic of discussion that has been expressed through family fathering and generations. However, it was the seismic events of 2020--the global epidemic and the return of racial equality through the Black Lives Matter movement- that confirmed his determination to delve deeper into the complexities of government and power dynamics. 

The decision to study Police Science amidst the chaos of 2020 was not purely educational; it was a deliberate decision to address the complex nature of political institutions and their enormous effect on society. Gonzalez saw the field as a tool for understanding and participating with the world, motivated by a strong desire to affect significant change and advocate for justice and equality on a global scale.

Gonzalez's experiences in the Political Science department have been marked by a commitment to experimental learning and a dedication to addressing current social challenges. One notable example is his enrollment in courses such as "Gentrification and Social Equity", which brought theoretical frameworks to life through field trips, community interviews, and site visits. These experiences gave Gonzalez an in-depth understanding of the implications of human development strategies, which rooted his studies in the lived reality of marginalized groups.  

Several of the Political Science classes Gonzalez encountered impressed out for their depth of knowledge and relevance to contemporary global issues "United Nations World Affairs", led by Dr. Betcy Jose, gave Gonazles an analysis of international relations and the complexities of multilateral diplomacy. Through models of diplomatic conversations and interesting discussions, he developed a thorough appreciation of the United Nations in dealing with global concerns. 

"Similarly, "Women and the Law" presented by Karen Breslin, goes into the relationships of gender, law, and social justice, fueling Gonzalez's passion for pushing for gender equality. By critically analyzing legal frameworks and landmark decisions, Gonzalez gained a deeper awareness of women's rights advocates challenges while also finding encouragement to champion their cause. 

Furthermore, "Gentrification and Social Equity" led by Professor Tony Robsin, extended Gonzalez's POV on urban politics and social justice. Immersed in the realities of gentrification through community engagement programs, he questioned the ethics; and impacts of urban growth, and investigated alternate approaches to building equitable communities.