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Staff Spotlight: Miguel Lopez

staff Miguel Lopez 

Miguel Lopez joined the OCED team in June of 2019 as Project Manager.  He comes to us from UC Merced where he served as the Community Relations Representative for the university starting in 2014.  He was raised in San Joaquin, CA and attended Tranquillity High School.  Miguel attended UC Merced and graduated in 2012 with a B.A. in Political Science.  He served as president of the Associated Students at UC Merced in his last year.  Miguel was accepted within the Capital Fellows Program in 2012 and placed within the Executive Office of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.  Upon completion of the program, Miguel was hired as a budget analyst within the California Department of Food and Agriculture.  Miguel currently serves on the Merced City School District Board of Trustees and the UC Merced Alumni Association Board.


Who inspires you?

My Grandfather and Mother were my biggest inspirations growing up.  They were the people in my life that always encouraged me to press on with my studies and made sacrifices for me to get to where I am today. 


What was the best concert you've ever attended?

 Paul McCartney. 


What are you passionate about?

I’m very passionate about rural communities.  I grew up in a rural community and experienced many of the challenges and hardships that they face.  I strongly believe that equity and equal opportunities are fundamental in ensuring a free society.   


What are you currently watching on Netflix?

 Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Chef Show. 


What's your favorite local meal?

 It’s hard to go wrong with a slice of Me-n-Ed’s pizza.


Do you have a secret talent?

I can play guitar, bass, bajo sexto, tenor sax, drums, and I also sing.


Have you ever met anyone famous?

Quite a few.  I have met Michelle Obama, Chasten Buttigieg, Janet Napolitano, Willie Brown, Edward James Olmos, John Quiñones, Cain Velasquez, Jorge “El Maromero” Paez, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ezequiel Peña, MC Hammer, and Daniel Stern.


What’s something you want to do in the next year that you’ve never done before?

Travel abroad.  Most likely to Europe. 


What’s a skill you learned when you were young that you still use today?

Cooking and baking.  I started with smaller dishes as a kid, but I advanced to more complicated meals over time.  I also like to bake polvorones on special occasions.  The recipe is one that was passed on from my great aunt.