Meet MFP Spring Fellow, Randy Villegas of The University of California, Santa Cruz

The APSA Minority Fellows Program, established in 1969, aims to increase diversity in the discipline of political science. The Spring MFP supports students from underrepresented backgrounds who are currently enrolled in the first or second year of a political science PhD program. Awards will range between $500 and $1500, depending on availability funds. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the APSA Minority Fellowship Program.

Meet Randy Villegas, 2019 APSA Minority Fellowship Program Recipient

Randy Villegas is a PhD student in the politics department at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he is also pursuing a designated emphasis in Latin American and Latino studies. Villegas’s research interests are rooted in the experiences and communities he comes from: Latino politics, immigration, civic engagement, and poverty in California’s central valley. His teaching areas include California politics, American politics, and immigration. Before beginning graduate school, Villegas worked as a journalist and an organizer in Bakersfield, CA. Villegas has written many reported pieces as well as opinion editorials in publications like The Los Angeles Times, The Bakersfield Californian, South Kern Sol, and El Popular. He is currently featured in the California State Capitol Museum, in their newest ‘Unity’ exhibit for his work around social justice issues in Kern County. Villegas is a recipient of the APSA Fund for Latino Scholarship, a UC Cota Robles Fellowship, and the Wonderful Public service Fellowship. After completing his PhD, he hopes to return to his community in Kern, or a similar under-served area in the Central Valley to inspire other young scholars and make a difference in people’s lives.