Ian Ruddell

Major:  Multicultural and Gender Studies
Hometown:  Atascadero, CA
Class:  Junior

As a freshman, Ian interned at the AS Women’s Center as part of a multicultural and gender studies course. He discovered that the AS Women’s Center was the perfect place for him to continue his high school activism. The center provided a community of like minded people interested in promoting awareness of sexuality and equity issues, and advocating for the rights of all genders. During his year-long internship he organized the first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Leadership Conference.

Eager to continue his impact, Ian applied to be the director of the center and landed the position as a sophomore, the youngest director in the center’s history. Currently Ian is a junior serving his second year as the director where he continues to hone his skills in supervision, event planning, budget oversight, and time management. According to Ian, an extra bonus of this job is “this is the only position (that I have found) that truly supports and encourages the director to sport a mohawk! At the Women’s Center we celebrate diversity and realize the true beauty of individuality.”

However, Ian’s greatest contribution may come from an effort he began last summer. Thanks to a stipend from the University Honors Program, Ian spent his summer developing a proposal to establish a Gender and Sexuality Equity Center (GSEC) on campus. He has identified the need and defined the scope of the center, and is actively garnering support from faculty, staff and students to turn his vision into a reality. Ian is passionate about laying a strong foundation for the GSEC before he heads to graduate school. “Chico State is one of the few CSU campuses that doesn’t already have such a center, and it is long overdue. This would greatly benefit our students and be a progressive move for our University.” Ultimately Ian hopes to be a professor in sex and gender studies, but first he’d like to be an activist for a non-profit organization which supports gender equity and trans-rights.

Earlier this fall, Ian was a double award winner. He received the Rawlins Merit Award for the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences as well as the William R. Hearst/CSU Trustee’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. The Hearst award provides financial support to students who show superior academic performance, community service and personal accomplishments.

In Ian’s words:
“The door of consciousness swings only one way. You have to fight for social change, and to do that you must be educated.”