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Dean of Students Award for Outstanding Leadership

Awarded annually, this recognition is for a senior undergraduate student who has demonstrated outstanding academic and service accomplishments during their time at Cal State San Marcos.

Award Criteria:

  • Completion of degree/credential in Spring 2023
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and good standing with the University
  • Outstanding academic, leadership and service accomplishments

The Dean of Students Office works in conjunction with colleagues in Student Affairs to select the student who receives this honor. The student selected is then considered for the President's Outstanding Graduate Award, the highest award bestowed on a student graduating from the university.

2023 Recipient:


Ilianna Gabriella Ramirez

I am pleased to select Ilianna Gabriella Ramirez as the 2023 Dean of Students Leadership Award recipient. Ilianna will graduate this May with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychological Sciences.

Ilianna has made lasting contributions to student life at Cal State San Marcos through her many involvements: the ASI Board of Directors, President of the American Indian Student Alliance, Arts & Lectures, and her work with the Anti-Racism, Anti-Colonialism, Social Justice Committee. Additionally, Ilianna has returned to her community college to student teach two courses in Psychology. Ilianna shared that her faculty at the community college had such an impact on her that she wanted to repay it to future generations.

Ilianna’s impact on our students and campus community is evident by her impressive portfolio and, in the words of one of her nominators, “As a student, Ilianna impressed me as possessing focus, maturity, and social consciousness. While maintaining a full course load and a role in student government, Ilianna also took on other student leadership roles across campus. She is always willing to step into a conversation to give her perspective or to offer support for other students.”

Ilianna reflects on her role in creating a sense of belonging at CSUSM: "As American Indian Student Alliance President, I have the responsibility of empowering this particular group of students to feel valid in their sense of belonging on this campus. I utilize my ability to empathize with others who have experiences different from my own to create connections not only within our organization but also with other student life areas.”

Her journey to Cal State San Marcos came through two other institutions. At CSUSM, she found a home and her voice within ASI, AISA, and through many committees. Ilianna took her experience one step further through an internship as a student teacher at her former community college.  Through this internship, Ilianna is giving back to her community college, creating a pathway for others, and laying the foundation for her future career as a college professor.

It is a pleasure to recognize Ilianna Gabriela Ramirez as the 2023 Dean of Students Leadership Award selection for being an outstanding role model for CSUSM students by actively seeking intentional ways to integrate her passions, student life experiences, and dedication to her education. While at CSUSM & Grossmont College, she truly transformed the lives of our students, positively impacted our campus community, and served as a change agent of our university by empowering students for the greater good.

Please join me in congratulating Ilianna as the 2023 Dean of Students Leadership Award recipient.