Former Marine Corps sergeant reflects on receiving political science scholarship

Portrait of ASU student Ronaldo Moreno.

Ronaldo Moreno


For Ronaldo Moreno, receiving the Calvin M. Holman Political Science Scholarship meant his diligent work toward earning his degree was paying off. 

“When I was preparing my application for the scholarship, I read about how Mr. Holman passed away,” said Moreno, a student in Arizona State University’s School of Politics and Global Studies.  

“It was one of those moments that forces you to put your life into context and appreciate everything you have. I thought about all the things I had accomplished up to that point and the things I had not done. It gave me strength.” 

Moreno was motivated to obtain his BA in political science since his early upbringing.  

Both of Moreno’s parents were undocumented immigrants, so because of their legal status, politics always mattered in his household.

Moreno refers to religion and politics as his family's “bread and butter” at social gatherings. 

“We loved arguing about immigration, foreign policy and local politics,” Moreno said. 

“I think it’s a beautiful thing when people who are certain the other is wrong are convinced otherwise or even just re-evaluate their point of view. It is not an easy thing to do. I think that’s why I love it so much.” 

Prior to his ASU education, Moreno served as sergeant in the United States Marine Corps while stationed in Japan. 

Moreno said he cherished this experience and occasionally misses it. The skills of team management, leadership mentoring and foreign languages continue to serve him off-duty. 

Such expertise provided Moreno with a solid foundation for the completion of his degree. 

“It was a different type of tough that I had not experienced in the Marine Corps,” Moreno said, referring to his experience as a Junior Research Fellow

Moreno spent the majority of his time during his fellowship reviewing case studies and coding Latino nonprofits within the U.S. Leaving the program, he felt a sense of appreciation for researchers and is indebted to Angie Bautista-Chavez, assistant professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies, for her mentorship. 

Moreno’s end goal is to work toward a greener and more sustainable future. 

“Not only is it a way to ensure a world for future generations, but it is also a chance to create opportunities for people outside of the United States and prevent potential harms that would result in climate migration,” Moreno said. 

As he approaches graduation, Moreno sees himself continuing his education as a law student or obtaining his master's degree in environmental policy. 

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