College of Communication & Education

Staff Spotlight: Marielva Medrano

 woman stands in front of welcome table

Marielva Medrano is the Administrative Support Coordinator for CME’s Media Arts, Design, and Technology department, and recently took on the responsibilities of ASC for the Journalism and Public Relations department as well. She is known for working hard and being a team player who values the community, her culture, and helping others succeed. 

After studying at Butte College, she pursued a degree in Political Science at Chico State. Post-graduation, she engaged in various roles related to her major, then she decided to pivot and is now in a position where she aims to help students find their own career path. 

Medrano is always actively looking for ways to give back and support the community. During the 2023 Spring semester, she helped plan and promote Chico State’s sixth Annual Multicultural & International Community Festival. Medrano’s participation in the festival was an opportunity to serve, but also an opportunity to show pride in her Mexican heritage. We asked her thoughts on her current role, what inclusivity and celebrating culture means to her, and what her plans are for the future. 

Can you tell us a little about yourself? What are some of your hobbies or interests? 

I’m a proud first-generation graduate, who loves to learn, laugh, and share experiences. For me, it is important to keep exploring the wonders this world has to offer.

I really enjoy reading. I just finished Jennette McCurdy’s “I'm Glad My Mom Died.” It’s a story of a Hollywood child star looking back on living with a manipulative and abusive mother. Reading that made me so much more grateful for my parents and family.

I also do Latin dancing. One of my favorite dances is called zapateado, which looks like you're stomping on cockroaches, but it's really fun to me.

You also seem really involved in community events. Tell us about the Multicultural festival.

I found out about it through a faculty meeting when professor Nan Hee Kim mentioned that she was a part of it. So I just kind of reached out to her and asked if there was something that I could do. That’s how I became the lead for the Committee of Outreach for the event— trying to get donations and other people that would like to volunteer. 

Where does your own passion for celebrating culture come from?

I think it comes from feeling excluded growing up in terms of my education— not my family— but my education. (In school) we were told we couldn't speak Spanish. I've always hated that and don't want someone else to feel that way. I want people to shine. I want them to know that they are valued in this world and that they are important.

What do you wish people knew about your culture?

I wish that people didn't believe the way that Mexicans are portrayed, mainly in Hollywood, as people who are drug dealers, criminals, or people who don't want to strive to better themselves or can't be educated. Because the reality is, a lot of us do want to learn and a lot of us want to contribute to our community. 

Diversity is what makes this world amazing, in my opinion, and adds color and light to everything. So the fact that we are just portrayed as maids or criminals is very sad, because we're much more than that. 

What are some ways you hope to encourage more inclusivity and diversity on campus?

My goal is to help people feel seen, heard, understood, and included. One way I can help is by continuing to take training regarding supporting others. Trainings such as, DREAMER Ally and I CAN HELP. I also try to gather recourse information. Currently, I am helping create an emergency reference guide for those who communicate in ASL. Whether or not people will use or look at it, I am not sure. However, I will be happy just knowing it has been made.  

What other plans do you have for the future? 

I am realizing that I want to pursue a Master of Arts in Social Science. I have always been fascinated by people's behaviors, perspectives, and reasoning for doing things. This is going to take some time, but I believe it is worth it. 

How does your role ASC fit into your life journey?

I like being able to help in promoting the students' work. That is my big takeaway from being in this position. I want them to shine, and I want them to feel that they are heard and included in the university overall. Sometimes, they might not feel that way, so that's my goal. 

Is there any advice you’d offer to students?

Life is ever changing. Sometimes what we think we really want is not what we need. In this short time of one's existence, growth happens when one learns to walk in a different path than previously planned. Though this may be hard and scary, it is important to look at the bigger picture. If at the end one doesn't see happiness in the current path one is taking, then change the direction or start a new one.