Ramon Resa, MD – Subject of “RAMON RISING”
Dr. Ramon Resa was abandoned by his single mother as a toddler. He was put to work as a child migrant farm laborer picking cotton, oranges, and grapes in California’s Central Valley from the age of three. Ramon worked in the fields his entire childhood and was able to overcome these nearly insurmountable odds to become a pediatrician.
Dr. Resa self published his memoir “Out of the Fields: My Journey from Farmworker Boy to Pediatrician”. For 30 years, Dr. Resa has practiced pediatrics in the Central Valley where he grew up. He serves as a role model for children of migrant farm working families, caring for their minds and spirits as well as their bodies. Dr. Resa is a highly sought after motivational speaker, telling his story before a variety of audiences including at-risk students, educators, teachers, doctors, prominent celebrities, world leaders and famous authors. Ramon is a member of Rotary and dedicated to serving the community outside of his practice.
Diane Wagner – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Diane grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Diane graduated from Claremont McKenna College, where she received her BA in economics. After college, she did graduate work at the University of California at Irvine, earning her M.B.A. in marketing and finance. Diane leverages extensive sales, marketing, finance and project management experience in her work as Executive Producer.
Ken Boyd – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Ken Boyd has served as one of the 17 Directors of Rotary International worldwide. Ken believes that one individual, such as Dr. Ramon Resa, can have a meaningful impact on the lives of many. Ken takes pride in knowing that the Rotarians he has recruited and mentored have gone on to provide millions of hours of humanitarian service during their years in the organization.
Jesse Gift – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER | WRITER, DIRECTOR, EDITOR
Jesse Gift is Primetime Emmy® Award recipient and Multiple Emmy® Award nominee. Jesse began his journalism and filmmaking career in the 1980s producing, directing, shooting, and editing independent documentaries in Europe, the Caribbean and Central America. Jesse moved into national network news in the 1990s. He edited and produced national morning and evening news segments, primetime news magazine segments, bio documentaries, and television specials watched by tens of millions of viewers on high profile shows broadcast on ABC, NBC, CBS, A&E and more.
Dan Lowenstein, MD – Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost at UCSF, Professor and Vice Chairman in the UCSF Department of Neurology, and Director of the UCSF Epilepsy Center | UCSF CONSULTANT
Dr. Daniel Lowenstein is the film’s consultant on UCSF. The central theme of Dr. Resa’s life story resonates with Dr. Lowenstein:
Dr. Resa’s remarkable life path exemplifies all the qualities that we at UCSF aspire to as a community: a laser-focused commitment to lessening the suffering in the world, persistence, drive and the ability to work incredibly hard, the power of imagination and creativity to solve seemingly impossible problems, and humility in recognizing the roots of our good fortune and the needs of others.
Charles P. Vega, MD – Director, UC Irvine Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC), Associate Dean Diversity and Inclusion, Family Medicine | UC Irvine School of Medicine Clinical Professor | Latino Community Medical Education CONSULTANT
Dr. Vega is the film’s consultant on medical education for the Latino community in California. He is the recipient of a National Hispanic Medical Association California Leadership Fellowship Award and has maintained a clinical practice in a community health center in Santa Ana for 20 years. He helped to start the PRIME-LC program at UC Irvine’s School of Medicine 12 years ago. Its mission is to recruit students to the medical school from underserved Latino communities in the state and help them return to those same communities as medical professionals. Dr. Vega passionately believes in Ramon’s story because it proves the enormous value that programs like PRIME-LC aim to provide:
30 years ago, Ramon paved the way for the establishment of the PRIME-LC program. Long before its existence, and when Latinos represented only a handful of medical school students in the entire University of California system, he graduated from UCI’s Medical School and then returned to his Central Valley community to care for kids as a pediatrician. We have made Ramon an honorary graduate of the PRIME-LC program here because he exemplifies every goal we set out for this important program.
John K. Roth – Edward J. Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, Founding Director of CMC’s Mgrublian Center for Human Rights | HUMAN RIGHTS CONSULTANT
John Roth taught from 1966 – 2006 at CMC, during which time RAMON RISING executive producer Diane Wagner attended the college and took his classes. He served on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and the editorial board for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Roth published hundreds of articles and authored/co-authored/edited over 40 books on these subjects. Roth’s Holocaust-related research appointments have included a 2004 / 2005 appointment as the Ina Levine Invitational Scholar at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
Ramon’s story is really a human rights story. It’s about the right to have a quality education, the right to equality, the right to have access to the American Dream.
John J. Pitney Jr. – Roy P. Crocker Professor of American Politics at Claremont McKenna College | POLITICAL SCIENCE CONSULTANT
Professor Jack Pitney is the film’s political science and history consultant. He earned his Ph.D. in political science at Yale, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. Prior to joining the CMC faculty in 1986, he worked in the New York State Senate, as a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and for Senator Alfonse D’Amato of New York. He has written articles for The Washington Post, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times, among others. His scholarly works include The Art of Political Warfare, The Politics of Autism, and American Government and Politics: Deliberation, Democracy, and Citizenship.
At a time when social mobility is very much in doubt, Dr. Resa’s story reminds us that we all benefit when people can rise to their potential.