Monica Ramirez Ibarra

Monica Ramirez Ibarra


Degree:  Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) and M.S in Civil Engineering with a focus in Transportation Systems Engineering

Graduation: June 2018

Home town: Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico

Why did you choose the School of Social Ecology? And the MURP program specifically?

I was looking for a program that would allow me to incorporate urban planning and engineering. When I found the concurrent degree program at UCI, I immediately became very excited about the interdisciplinary opportunities offered within the MURP program.

How did you grow interested in your current field of study?

While my background is in civil engineering, my interests in social equity and environmental justice led me to read about transportation studies. The transportation field has given me the opportunity to seamlessly incorporate the valuable knowledge of both programs.

What has been your most memorable or significant experience so far at UCI?

My most significant experience, was during the spring 2017 quarter when I took Dr. Doug Houston’s seminar in transportation and environmental health. Through one of the class assignments, I became involved in the I-710 Corridor Project. That class bolstered my interest in the field, and ultimately, an environmental justice assessment of the I-710 Corridor Project became my Master Thesis.

How do you envision your degree from UCI opening doors for you or benefitting your career?

Right after receiving a letter of admission from UCI, doors started to open for me. I started looking for transportation internship opportunities for the summer. I was able to work as a Transit Intern for HDR not only during the summer but during my first year at UCI. Since then, I have been able to make great connections through UCI and outside events. Currently, I am a member of the Woman in Transportation Seminar (WTS).

Photo: Patricia DeVoe