Office of Graduate Studies and Research

Ethan Quaranta (ENSTU alumnus)

Student smiling wearing glasses

Ethan Quaranta

December 7, 2022

By Jianshan Chen Khalsa

“Learning by doing is a substantial part of the CSUMB experience...”

Ethan Quaranta graduated in May 2022 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies (ENSTU), winning the President’s Award for Exemplary Student Achievement. At CSUMB, he devoted himself to service in multiple capacities, including Association Students (AS) and Cal State Student Association (CSU student government). He plans to get a Master’s in Public Administration in hopes of running for office in the future. We recently contacted Ethan to learn more about his journey after graduation.

What are you currently working on?

I have a few career goals. First, being an aide in the State Legislature focused on environmental policy. I also see myself being an elected official later in the future. I am currently job searching. Besides this I have been involved with Sierra Club Ventana Chapter (Santa Cruz and Monterey counties) since the start of 2022. I am a member of the Executive Committee, Political Committee Chair, Energy Committee Chair, and a Chapter Delegate to Sierra Club California Conservation Committee. As Political Committee Chair, I lead chapter relations with elected officials, oversee endorsements, and act as a liaison to endorsed candidates and measures to aid on their campaigns. This involves engaging with politicians from municipal level to federal level and everything in between.

Serving as a Chapter Delegate to the Sierra Club means I get to be part of policymaking at the state level. For instance, Sierra Club California recently came out in opposition to artificial turf. I am hoping to develop a policy with regards to recruitment and empowerment of Environmental Justice community members statewide for Sierra Club.

Why did you choose CSUMB?

I chose CSUMB for many reasons. I have long enjoyed coastal California, so location was a plus. I also liked CSUMB’s size as I felt I would get to make meaningful relationships with peers and professors. I also appreciated the mission of CSUMB having students in the community to make a positive difference throughout the entire four-year experience.

How was the bond between you and the faculty at the school?

Except for one or two professors I got to know them all quite well and was/am on a first-name basis with them. The faculty are truly passionate about engaging with students. Small class sizes and institutional support for them to focus on teaching makes this all easier for them to do.

How did CSUMB prepare you for your career?

CSUMB has helped prepare me for my career by giving me an education outside of theory and the typical classroom. Learning by doing is a substantial part of the CSUMB experience which can easily make you a standout applicant for grad school or jobs. The educational experience is more difficult though due to this.

How has participated in community service and/or extracurricular activities changed your perception of the role of the individual in the community?

Participating in the community has greatly shaped my perception of the great significance and insignificance of the individual in the community. Individuals are important to motivating change. However, given the scope of the issues facing the community, individual change means little when the system is rotten at its core and doesn’t allow swaths of individuals to do the good that they know needs to be done. For instance, the vast majority of the American populace understands the threat that climate change brings. The uber wealthy who disproportionately control finance in this country are not adequately investing in the future that most Americans know we need, such as distributed renewable energy, transit, etc.

What suggestions would you give to the students at CSUMB?

Get involved. A degree is not a secure ticket to a career. Get to know professors and staff too, as they are all doing much more than meets the eye. Through this they can help you get involved as most have expansive networks.