Carmen Ramirez

Honorary Degrees

California State University Channel Islands

The late Carmen Ramirez, who passed away in August 2022, dedicated her career to positively impacting Ventura County through her service as a regional leader—most recently representing District 5 as a member of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. She was a champion for the environment, a role model for Latinas and is one of the reasons California State University Channel Islands exists today.

Before the university was built, Ms. Ramirez advocated in Sacramento for the creation of Ventura County's only public university including calling legislators to gain funding for the effort. At the time, Ms. Ramirez was a member of the CSU Channel Islands' President's Advisory Board while also working as an attorney in the region. She participated in the opening ceremony for the campus saying, “We strengthen our society when education is available to all of us."

Ms. Ramirez continually advocated on behalf of underserved communities and elevated the voices of many, often as an unpaid volunteer. She was an advocate for environmental justice and sustainable development of Ventura County, supporting community cleanups and serving on the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District and Oxnard City-Wide Enhancement Program Committee. She also helped lead the Oxnard City Council to join the Clean Power Alliance to purchase clean, renewable energy— helping to increase renewable energy jobs and lower energy costs for all Ventura County residents.

Her career in Ventura County spanned five decades. She received her undergraduate degree  from California State University, Los Angeles and her law degree from Loyola Law School. Her devotion to service is exemplified through the many accolades she had received, including: Woman of the Year award twice in her career, the Recognition for Women's Leadership Award through Multicultural Programs of CSU Channel Islands, the Exemplary Service in the Promotion of Literacy Award, the Ventura County Council of the International Reading Association Award and the Ventura Community Service Award from El Concilio del Condado.

Ms. Ramirez served on the university's Site Authority Board and was involved actively in events and volunteer opportunities with faculty and staff. She helped support the creation of the Chicana/o Studies program at CSU Channel Islands, advocating for support of the developing program as it was created. She attended many open houses, exhibits, lectures and ceremonies in support of the Chicana/o Program.

In recognition for her advocacy for women and the environment, commitment to the university, and decades-long work in Ventura County, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University Channel Islands are proud to confer upon Carmen Ramirez the posthumous honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.