Political Science Undergraduate Council

Mission Statement

Our mission is to help the UCLA Political Science department address the needs of undergraduate students, build community, and enhance the intellectual life of undergraduates in the department. As part of that mission, we seek to promote inclusivity and to create more avenues for the interests of our diverse student body to be heard. We also strive to help our fellow students succeed in the major and beyond. The Council serves as a bridge between students, faculty, and staff so that we can work together to build our department and our community.

Peer Advising Appointments

Feeling particularly stuck in political science? The council members of the PSUC are here to lend a hand. We understand that connecting with other students can be challenging and impersonal. So, our peer advisors are happy to talk to you about classes, requirements, professors, careers, homework, or even if you just want the chance to chat with another Political Science Undergrad. We can’t promise that we will have all the answers, but we can promise that we will offer our advice, knowledge, expertise, or point you in the direction of other organizations/people/resources that can help as well.

Please fill out this Google Form if you are interested in meeting with one of our peer advisors from the PSUC:
https://forms.gle/gd8BZ8iXTLXF7uoGA

THE COUNCIL

Tamara Nogueira-Ramirez

Tamara Nogueira-Ramirez

I am a third year undergraduate Political Science major and Mexican Studies minor. I am concentrating in Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. My identity as a first-generation Mexican-American from San Diego has inspired me to pursue immigration law after getting my bachelors from UCLA. Besides being a three year member of the PSUC, I am involved in the USAC Office of the External Vice President and Project SPELL. In my free time I enjoy playing volleyball, practicing yoga, and finding cute coffee shops.

Riddhi Patel

Riddhi Patel

I am a Fourth-year student from Los Angeles studying Political Science with a concentration in American Politics. After graduation, I hope to attend law school and become a practicing attorney. During my free time, I enjoy rewatching the Harry Potter series, finding new food spots with my friends, and playing board games with my family.

John Cloninger

John Cloninger

I am a Junior year transfer majoring in Political Science. After graduating, I plan on attending law school, and then serving my community by working in government at the state or federal level. Previously, I spent approximately one year interning in a US Congressional district office. During this time I helped constituents interact with federal agencies, and I contributed to the US response to the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan. In my personal time, I enjoy running, surfing, and spending time in nature.

David Gjerde

David Gjerde

I‘m a third year political science transfer student with a concentration in international relations. After UCLA, I plan on attending law school. This year, I’m excited to be a part of the conversations about issues affecting political science students at UCLA! In my free time, you can find me swimming with club swim or trying to find a good place to get ramen.

Beleh Toma

Beleh Toma

I am a second-year student from San Diego studying Political Science with a concentration in American Politics. I also intend to double major in History. I am also a first-generation immigrant who came to this country at the age of three. I have had a passion for public service and politics ever since I first became an intern for my state senator at the age of 15. I have grown to love public service and hope to pursue law in the hopes of becoming an immigration attorney. In addition to serving on this council, I am also the Social Director for Bruin Democrats, where I work with outreach and plan events for our club. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, cooking, and watching sports (I’m a huge Chargers and Lakers fan!).

Aya Almasri

Aya Almasri

Aya Almasri
Hi! I am a second-year political science and public affairs double major. My concentration in poli sci is race, ethnicity, and politics. I am Syrian American and I am from the Central Valley (Fresno specifically). In the future, I want to attend law school to pursue prosecution and civil rights law. So far, I have interned in the reproductive justice policy field, foreign affairs, and personal injury law. I am passionate about using my voice to create social change which I hope to continue in my future career. At UCLA, I am involved in She’s the First which raises money for women’s education in developing countries, and Ignite which is fighting to make rape test kits available on campus. For fun, I love thrifting, picnics, and hot girl walks. I am excited to engage with and represent poli sci undergrads, so feel free to reach out to me @_aya.almasri_ !

Cristopher Espino

Cristopher Espino

I am a first-year studying political science and education studies. After college, I plan on attending law school. Last year, I served as the primary student board member for the Tustin Unified School District. This year, I serve as the On-Campus Housing Council Representative for Rieber Hall, the Community Development Intern for the Public Service and Sustainability living learning communities, and as a senator on the committee of library and scholarly communications. I hope that through collaboration and tenacity, I am able to help my fellow peers achieve greatness. During my leisure time, I enjoy learning new words, cooking, dancing, learning arbitrary facts, and watching movies or shows.

Angel Araque

Angel Araque

I am a third year transfer student with a major in Political Science with an international relations concentration and a minor in Global Studies. I am a first generation college student from a Latino background. I have had a passion for politics and overall I like to help individuals and see others succeed. In my free time, I Like to travel, watch soccer, explore new places, try new foods, and overall continue to explore my Mexican and Honduran culture.

Mika Villavert

Mika Villavert

I am a third year transfer student majoring in Political Science and plan on concentrating in Comparative Politics. Since high school, I have been passionate about serving my community and hope to become a lawyer or work for the government after graduation. This year, I am excited to learn more about my major and work with the members of the council to represent the Political Science students of UCLA. In my free time, I enjoy trying new foods, watching romantic movies, and spending time with my family.

Chloe Millar (She/They)

Chloe Millar (She/They)

I am a third year student majoring in political science and minoring in anthropology. I am a first year transfer student and first generation college student. My professional passions include climate change solutions with a concentration in composting methods, increasing neurodiversity awareness and acceptance in academia, and better understanding policy as it affects society. Outside of school, I enjoy reading Stephen King novels, watching squirrels, and spending time with friends, family, and my parrot Bree. I look forward to working with the Political Science Undergraduate Council to ensure that student voices are heard and acknowledged at UCLA. After I graduate I plan to continue my studies in a Ph.D program to broaden my knowledge pertaining to social systems, politics, and equitable mental health care.

Winston Li

Winston Li

I‘m a first year student intending to major in political science and minor in social data science. I’ve always been passionate about political organizing because it‘s been my outlet to fight for the values and issues I believe in. Most of my experience has been with campaigns, local governments, and nonprofits; for instance, I was appointed to the Biden campaign’s Student Leadership Council during the 2020 election, and currently serve as the Southern California Youth Organizing Director at Swing Left. In my free time, I enjoy playing video games, binge watching TV shows, and traveling. I’m excited to work with others on the council to make our department more responsive to the needs of students!

Can Ustertuna

Can Ustertuna

I’m a second year student from Istanbul, Turkey and am majoring in both political science and economics. I’ve always been infatuated with the idea of helping prevent an inequality of opportunity in my local community, and although my community has changed, I am still aspiring to pursue the same goal here at UCLA. My previous experience has entailed organizing voluntary economics classes, organizing workshops in the fields of political science and philosophy, and an excessive amount of participation and leadership opportunities at Model UN. I will be actively participating in the Political Science Undergraduate Council for the improvement of the Political Science major, Feel free to reach out for any related issues, as well as questions about being an international student!

Monika Gerges

Monika Gerges

I am a third year student majoring in Political Science with a concentration in American Politics. I am also a first year transfer student and a first generation immigrant. I came to the United States when I was 7 years old. After graduating from UCLA, I plan to go to law school and pursue a career in intellectual property or entertainment law. Besides PSUC, I am also in the USAC Office of the External Vice President Fall Fellowship. I hope to gain more experience in advocacy in both the fellowship and in my role in the Political Science Undergraduate Student Council. In my free time, I enjoy going to coffee shops and reading.

Benjamin Blevins

Benjamin Blevins

I am a third year, first-year transfer, student majoring in Political Science with a focus in American Politics. Prior to UCLA, I served on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board for two-terms as their Student Trustee. I now serve in the External Vice President’s Office as their Director of Federal Relations and as an intern for State Senator Benjamin Allen. After UCLA, I plan to attend law school, and hopefully grad school at the same time, to receive my JD/MPP. My focus as a councilmember this year is to improve cross collaboration between the departments as well as expanding the departments presence within the student body.

Erik Movsessian

Erik Movsessian

I am a second-year undergraduate Political Science major and History minor. I plan to concentrate in American politics and pursue a career in law or politics. I have spent much time working on various Los Angeles elections and law offices. I am a second-generation Armenian-American, driving my passion to represent Armenians in the council. My hobbies include watching basketball and soccer, playing video games, and traveling with my friends and family.

Adam G. Bass

Adam G. Bass

I am a third-year, first-year transfer student. I am a non-traditional student, and I’m very excited to be back in school. I first attended the University of Utah after high school, but during my first quarter there, I was elected as the youngest-person ever to serve on the Riverton, Utah City Council. I’ve had a nearly two-decade long career in politics, primarily in municipal government. I most recently served in senior roles at LA City Hall and a member of the West Hollywood City Planning Commission. After graduation, it’s my intention to go to law school. I live in West Hollywood with my partner JC, and my two rescue dogs Franklin & Abby.

Heeya Firdaus

Heeya Firdaus

I’m a second year majoring in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. I am also an international student and I plan to double major in Communications. I’m super passionate about diplomacy, foreign policy, and conflict resolution and I hope to do research in that field! Outside of PSUC, I am involved in the Internal Vice President’s Office (USAC), Ignite, and the Roosevelt Network. I am really excited to serve on the council this year and help connect students to more opportunities through the department !

Lina Zaki

Lina Zaki

I am a second-year Political Science student, with a concentration in American Politics. I grew up in the Inland Empire and love going home to see friends and family. Outside of PSUC, I am involved in New Student Academic Programs and Residential Life at UCLA.

Tatiana Ojeda

Tatiana Ojeda

I am a third-year Political Science student with a concentration in International Relations. I am also double majoring in Communications and minoring in Entrepreneurship. I am extremely passionate about law, government, and politics and plan to attend law school after graduation. Outside of the PSUC, I am involved in local Los Angeles elections and the bail system. I am a second-generation Cuban American, and my hobbies include working out, going to concerts, attending music festivals, and traveling with my friends and family.

Ezra Han

Ezra Han

I am a first-year student majoring in Political Science from Irvine, CA with the intent to double major in Public Affairs and minor in Social Data Science. My passion for the implications of politics and policy in helping others has driven me to get involved with organizations such as the Roosevelt Network, student government, and my local school district’s youth advocacy team. After graduation, I hope to either attend law school or pursue a career in public policy. During my free time, I am an avid soccer player/fan and love going on spontaneous adventures with friends.