The University of California Board of Regents has appointed University of California, Berkeley School of Law student Marlene Blas Pedral as the 48th student regent.

Blas Pedral’s ties to the UC system run deep — aside from being a rising second-year law student at UC Berkeley law, Blas Pedral also received a bachelor’s degree in global studies from UC Santa Barbara, was a career counselor at UC Riverside and served as associate director of the school’s Center for Social Innovation.

During her time at UC Riverside, she founded the UC Riverside Career Closet and the Butterfly Project, two programs providing students with professional attire and matching undocumented students with internships and professional development opportunities.

She hopes to continue her focus on affordable and accessible education while leveraging her deep knowledge of UC campuses.

“As a student and former professional staff member in the UC system, I hope to be able to bring my perspective and be an effective advocate for the UC community,” Blas Pedral said. “The pandemic has presented many challenges for students, and I hope to be an effective listener, a strong advocate and a trusted regent as we transition to in-person instruction.”

A first-generation student, Blas Pedral was born in the Otomi indigenous community in Mexico and raised in Southern California. After completing her bachelor’s degree at UC Santa Barbara, she pursued a master’s of higher education and administration from the University of Vermont and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Brazil.

Blas Pedral was nominated out of a pool of 93 applicants by a special committee of the regents. She will be able to participate in all Board of Regents deliberations for the next year before beginning her one-year term as student regent in July 2022, at which point she will have voting privileges.