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A few minutes with Miss Latina Ruby Lopez

May 12, 2004

Waiting in the student center for Ruby Lopez to finish microwaving her leftovers, most students don't realize that they are standing next to a beauty queen with a black belt in tae kwon do. As winner of the 2003 Ms. Latina USA pageant, the 23-year-old heads to Las Vegas in July to represent the United States in this year's Ms. Latina World competition. Lopez, who lives in Livermore with her parents, three brothers and three female cousins, is a junior who plans to graduate in broadcast journalism in spring 2005. She also wants to land a TV news internship this semester. The humble beauty stands 5 feet 4 inches tall and draws inspiration from her parents who have shown her how determination and dedication can help you achieve your dreams.

Who is your favorite faculty member?

This semester it's BECA Professor Dinah Ibrahim. She knows her stuff. She's young, has been everywhere and has done so much. Her parents are from Saudi Arabia. She grew up in London and worked in Egypt for the BBC where she was the only woman on staff.

Who are your heroes?

My parents. My dad, Ismael Lopez. His mother abandoned him and went to the U.S. leaving him homeless on the streets of Tijuana. He watched his little brother get killed by a bus. He slept in boxes and ate orange peels from the garbage... as a teenager he came to the U.S. and eventually landed a job with the U.S. Post Office where he still works. He also opened his own business in Hayward called Party Time which sells floral arrangements, balloon arches, decorations and things for parties.

My mom, too. Luz "Lucy" Maria Michel was born in Mexico into a family of eight children. When her father was robbed and killed, the family lost everything including the winery. The tragedy and financial ruin forced my grandmother and mother to leave Mexico to join an aunt in Hayward.

What was your first job?

Selling lemonade, cotton candy and "Squishies" at the Oakland Coliseum. I was 16. I loved that job. A Squishy is like a Slurpy, but you scoop it into cups. I got to watch the A's and the Raiders.

What are your long-term goals?

To produce a TV show that helps high school students prepare for college. Like the academic version of "High School Sports Focus." I would call it "Ticket to Success" or something like that and it would have segments on SAT prep classes, tours of colleges and also feature bands. I also want to own a house in the Bay Area.

Favorite musician?

John Mayer. He's very intelligent with clever words and cool metaphors. The titles of his songs show this, like "Six Feet Small" and "Room for Squares."

Guilty pleasures?

Junk food. I love chocolate, Doritos, Snickers, and lime and chili Fritos.

Most important issue facing college students?

The budget cuts. We're stuck here. We can't get out because we can't get the classes we need for graduation. Students are getting turned away from required classes because seniors have priority and even they are getting turned away. I want to tell the governor that the most important thing of all is education.

What the one thing about SFSU you would change?

Put more microwaves in the cafeteria. There are only two now and you have to wait at least 15 minutes to use them.

NOTE: Lopez will be featured on KPIX-TV's "Evening Magazine" at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 13. She will also be featured later in the month in an "Outdo Malou" segment where she competes with Evening Magazine co-host (and SF State alumna) Malou Nubla to see who can use tae kwon do to break the most boards.

-- Susan Arthur


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Last modified October 11, 2007 by University Communications