Nicole Mendoza

Major: Political Science; Minor Public Policy
Job title: 
Class of 2020
2020 William K. (Sandy) Muir, Jr. Leadership Award Recipient

Nicole Mendoza is a Los Angeles native graduating in May 2020 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Public Policy. She is passionate about advocating for progressive policies to advance gender and racial equity. In her free time, she enjoys biking, baking, and listening to music.

During her time at Cal, she led a new advocacy program at the YWCA Berkeley/Oakland, teaching students about grassroots organizing and lobbying. The team conducted original research on Berkeley housing and presented new data to city legislators to promote more affordable housing and protections for students. Nicole currently works at the Berkeley Law Center for Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law, which studies equality law from around the globe. She has conducted research on global sexual violence, and is now building a Pay Equity Working Group within the Center to study how to achieve fair pay practices for all workers.

Outside of Berkeley, Nicole interned at Giffords in Washington D.C., researching gun violence prevention policies and their lifesaving impacts. This experience inspired her senior honors thesis about Florida’s recent passage of extreme risk protection orders; she hopes to continue fighting for change on this important issue. 

After graduation, Nicole plans to move back to D.C. and work as a policy researcher or advocate. She is interested in later returning to school to achieve a law degree or a Masters in Public Policy. Nicole is humbled and excited to receive the Muir Leadership Award, and thanks the Political Science Department for this honor.