Alumni making their mark in the nation's capital

Photo of Kalwis Lo and other students with President Obama in the Oval Office.

Kalwis Lo, left, watched as President Obama signed historic legislation tying student loan interest rates to financial market indices.

One of the perks of being chancellor is getting surprise visits from alumni. Kalwis Lo dropped by recently to update me on his work in Washington, D.C., where he has served as legislative director for the United States Student Association (USSA) and is now advocating on behalf of small farmers.

Kalwis (Stevenson, politics and education, '11) was part of the team that advocated for federal legislation that cut student loan interest rates, and he was in the Oval Office when President Obama signed the historic bill.

As a student, Kalwis served as chair of the Student Union Assembly and credits UCSC with helping him develop strong leadership skills. He was also active in Engaging Education, one of several student-initiated outreach programs that encourage underrepresented high school students to come to UCSC.

Kalwis is a really good guy, and like so many of our graduates, he is keeping in touch and eager to give back to the campus. Earlier this spring, he attended a reception for newly admitted students in the Washington area. I cannot imagine a better ambassador for us.

Kalwis worked in the offices of several members of Congress before joining USSA, which is the largest student-run organization focused on advocating for students in the United States. He isn't the only UCSC alum advocating for students in Washington. Tiffany Dena Loftin (Oakes, American studies and politics, '11) served as president of the USSA before Obama appointed her to the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

With commencement around the corner, I hope this class will follow in Kalwis and Tiffany's footsteps and keep in touch. Nothing speaks to the value of a UCSC education like the success of our graduates—and nothing makes me more proud than hearing from alumni.

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