Celebrating Over 50 Years of Community and Campus Service


Hannah Croft
Student Writer, CHASS Marketing and Communications

"Your net worth is your network," Political Science Professor Ronald Loveridge often remarks to his students. In an office surrounded by high-profile photos with Loveridge standing next to President Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and other high-powered politicians, it’s hard for students to disagree. Loveridge offers unique, anecdotal advice to all of his students, and has welcomed many into his office over his last 53 years of teaching.

“If anyone were to get the chance, they should sit down and have a conversation with him to talk about what he’s done and who he is as a person,” said Natalia Garcia, a political science major. “He’s truly incredible, and I am very fortunate to have met him and continue to work under him.”

Loveridge’s Summer Fellowship Program gives UCR undergraduate students a chance to spend ten weeks interning in political offices primarily in Sacramento, preparing speeches, attending meetings and drafting legislature. The program  emphasizes importance of California’s state politics on a national level, and shines a light on what goes on behind the scenes for students interested in pursuing a career in politics.

“Intern programs have many benefits,” Loveridge said. “Some of it’s this question of who gets what, when and how. Some of it’s developing a network. And some of it’s building confidence in one’s abilities, which is sometimes hard to find in a classroom.”

Loveridge is known for many exemplary political achievements, including his Summer Fellowship Program, 14 years as a city councilman, and 18 years as mayor of Riverside. This year, he is celebrating 53 years within UC Riverside’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Professor Loveridge is still active in Riverside politics and campus events as director of UCR’s Center for Sustainable Suburban Development, which works with the city and UCR’s School of Public Policy on issues surrounding sustainability. He has also placed close to 2,000 interns through the internship class he offers for undergraduate students, which partners with offices in the Riverside area.

“You find out at an internship what you’re good at, and it’s an opportunity for people to develop a passion for careers,” Loveridge said. “It’s hard to know what a career is from the outside, so internships move you to the inside.”

The course begins with individual interviews between Loveridge and his students to determine the location of the internship, and constructive criticism is provided for the student at the end of the interview. The class meets once a week to provide resources, go over assigned readings, turn in course work and discuss general housekeeping. At the end of the quarter, students are split into three groups that each attend a dinner at Loveridge’s house, where speeches, projects and final interviews are presented. During dinner, students talk about their experiences, environments and political processes with each other and Loveridge.

By placing students in political offices compatible with their interests and skills, students are able to take the concepts learned in class and apply them to real-world experiences and field work. His influence has positively impacted students and Riverside residents for years, with many of his previous students reaching out to him with life and career updates.

“It’s a course that, after you graduate some years later, you still remember!” Loveridge said. “Internships now are a fundamental part of what students do on most campuses, and provide a much needed experience for students in polisci and through other majors in CHASS.”

“It’s a very insightful class,” said Natalia Garcia, a political science major. “You gain so many new experiences and you’re open to so many opportunities, and Professor Loveridge has brought in so many resources and made them readily available to students.” 

Loveridge has been honored with two lifetime achievement awards, served as President of the National League of Cities, and was appointed South Coast Air Quality Management District Representative by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in hopes of improving the state’s air quality regulations.

“I worked very hard to connect students off campus,” Loveridge said. “And, in working hard to connect students, I might have also connected myself.”


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