Friday, December 9, 2016

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Commencement ceremonies will run from May 15 to 18. Commencement ceremonies will run from May 15 to 18.

Class of 2014 Featured Grads

SDSU’s 2014 featured graduates have successful futures, but they will always be Aztecs.

The San Diego State University graduating class of 2014 includes future scientists, public relations gurus, design experts and academics. With nearly 9,300 degree candidates, these are just some of the students whose transformational time at SDSU have led them on the road to successful career paths.

College of Arts and Letters
College of Business Administration
College of Education
College of Engineering
College of Health and Human Services
College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts
College of Sciences
Imperial Valley Campus


Emily March, 21, double major, B.A., political science and French

Emily March

In high school, Emily March knew that she was fascinated by political science, but it was a program at SDSU that sparked her interest in diplomatic and humanitarian causes. The student organization, V-Day SDSU, is a chapter of the national V-Day movement started by the author of the Vagina Monologues.

March joined the group during her sophomore year and has since been a Vagina Monologues cast member, marketing leader and director.  This year, March helped raise $14,000 which was donated to the national V-Day campaign and a San Diego Youth Services program that helps young women who have been exploited and sexually trafficked.

“V-Day has been an empowering and enlightening experience for me,” March said. “To speak out against violence and to raise money to help women recover is inspiring and rewarding.”  

After graduation, March will move to the South of France to teach English. This opportunity will provide her with experience working abroad, which she hopes will be useful in her future career in the field of international humanitarianism.

Khaleefah Alsabah, 22, B.A., international business, emphasis in Middle East and Arabic language

Khaleefah Alsabah

“SDSU has given me a glimpse of what real life is all about,” said Khaleefah Alsabah, an international student from Kuwait.

Alsabah moved across the world for SDSU’s top-ranked international business program. His passion for traveling fueled his interest in San Diego and the opportunities available in America.

During his time at SDSU, Alsabah has been involved with Associated Students, Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity and Mortar Board Honor Society. He credits SDSU for invaluable life experience that will propel his future in international business.

Alsabah is planning on relocating to the east coast after graduation and eventually pursuing an MBA from one of the top business schools in the country. Once he completes his education, Alsabah will move back to Kuwait where he would like to lead a financial investment company.

Colby Smith, 28, B.A., international security and conflict resolution, veteran

Colby Smith

Colby Smith’s military experience taught him respect, discipline and values that have helped him succeed at SDSU. As president of the Student Veteran Organization, Smith has worked diligently to serve his fellow veterans and was even selected as a member of the 2013 Homecoming Court.

Smith already had a natural interest in solving conflict before he came to SDSU. However, the international security and conflict resolution program provided him the opportunity to focus on a unique and specialized area of study. Smith credits his academic success to perseverance and would encourage future students to do the same.

Smith is most thankful for the members and staff of the Joan and Art Barron Veteran’s Center and the friends he has made through SVO.

“I think I’ll miss the nights where I hung out with my fellow students at 4.0 Deli,” Smith said. “I’ll miss that camaraderie the most.”

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David Duwe, 27, MBA, specialization in entrepreneurship and finance

David Duwe

David Duwe came from Germany two years ago to pursue his master’s degree in business with a specialization in entrepreneurship. Although English is Duwe’s second language, the language barrier has not stopped him from becoming an exceptional student or from getting involved on campus.

During the two years that he has been here, Duwe has been an integral member of the Venture Capital Investments Competition, the ACG Cup Competition, worked as a peer adviser in the Graduate Business Programs Office and as a teaching assistant for the Bloomberg Financial Markets Laboratory. He has also served as a student representative on the College of Business’ Strategic Vision Committee, and as a member of the Entrepreneurship Society.

Duwe has a passion for his coursework and SDSU. His passion has led him to receive the Dean and President’s Awards at the Student Research Symposium. 

Jordan Harrison, 22, B.S. business marketing, social psychology minor

Jordan Harrison

Jordan Harrison, who is receiving a bachelor’s degree in business marketing, has spent his four years at SDSU involved in campus leadership positions.

Harrison has served as president of Pi Sigma Epsilon and Black Business Society — both of which he founded — and of the Christian Youth United for the Advancement of the Gospel. He also served as a board member for University Affairs, Aztec Shops and Educational Opportunity Program student advisory boards. Harrison was voted the "Best of the Best" speaker for the inaugural Toastmasters Certificate course offered by the College of Business Administration in 2013.

In 2013, Harrison was honored as  SDSU’s Homecoming King and is a recipient of a Quest for the Best award, which honors outstanding Aztecs and their dedication to the university.

Along with his leadership accomplishments, Harrison has held two internships, which have led to him receiving several job offers.

Daniella Vargas, 22, B.S., business marketing, specialization in integrated marketing communications, minor in management


Daniella Vargas transferred to SDSU in 2012 and has earned leadership, cultural competency and Toastmasters certificates. She has also studied abroad, participated as a research assistant and supported the College of Business Administration as a Transfer Mentor and a speaker at Explore SDSU and Transfer Orientations.

Vargas has grown as a leader serving the campus community through Associated Students and as the president of the Associated Business Student Council. During this past year, she has created innovative programs and activities, but her most significant contribution was the overhaul of the annual awards program, now called the Business Achievement Awards. The awards now include all students within the College of Business Administration.

Vargas has big plans for the future.

“I want to become a leader in the advertising industry and I see myself in a big city where I am a leading account manager helping brands and products capture consumer loyalty and hearts,” Vargas said.

Kelly Lindley, 24, MBA, specializing in supply chain management

Kelly Lindley

Kelly Lindley is a MBA student from Houston. Being far from home, she immediately involved herself on campus and within the College of Business Administration.

Lindley was a college athlete in her undergraduate years where she learned the importance of working hard and being part of a team. The drive she had as an athlete followed her to SDSU as a graduate student.

She is the two-time captain of the American Production and Inventory Control Society West Coast Case Competition; participated in the pilot Toastmasters class; joined the downtown San Diego Rotaract organization; volunteered for the LGBT Pride Parade; coached students for the undergraduate APICS team at SDSU; and served as moderator for the College of Business career fair in 2013. 

“I want a position where I will have massive impact on whatever corporation I am working for,” Lindley said.

Lindley has accepted a full time position at HD Supply in their merchandising department.

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Michael L. Goodbody III, 33, M.A., educational leadership pre-K-12

Michael L. Goodbody III

Michael L. Goodbody III is earning a master’s degree in educational leadership. He hopes to become an educator who fosters an inclusive, achievement-focused educational environment that values and respects all individuals.

SDSU’s Educational Leadership Program challenges students to analyze school site data and create a plan of action to address issues. As a result of his site research, Goodbody was promoted to a technology specialist position in the program. This led to his planning and implementation of a development program for teachers at his school site.

Additionally, Goodbody was selected as San Diego Unified School District’s teacher representative and liaison to Qualcomm. This role added to his appreciation of community partners in education.

“When schools and industry partner in education, students get a glimpse of what the world of work looks like and an insight into the perks a quality education can provide,” Goodbody said. He hopes his master’s degree will help him effectively and uniquely contribute to the success of his students.

Jose Luis Espinosa Jr., 23, teaching credential, bilingual and single subject mathematics

Jose Luis Espinosa Jr

Jose Luis Espinosa Jr.’s inspiration to pursue education came from his experience with the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement Program (MESA) during his freshman year.

Originally a computer engineering major, Espinosa was accepted into Maximum Engineering Potential (MEP), a division of the MESA program. It was through his participation and learning experience in the program’s workshops that led him to become a workshop leader the next year.

Workshop leaders are undergraduate students who teach an average of 15 students. After Espinosa noticed that the students he was teaching were getting exam grades 50 percent higher than their previous scores, he was inspired to switch his major to education.

Espinosa’s interactions with and the growth he has witnessed in his students will stick with him as he graduates to the next step in his career.

“My most memorable moments during my journey as an Aztec has been walking through the halls every day and having the students that I’ve taught tell me they are grateful for what I did,” Espinosa said.

He lives by the motto “things happen for a reason” because it was the obstacles that he tackled in his life and the encouraging people he worked with that led him to discover his passion for teaching.

“Those obstacles have made me become more intelligent, more mature and more qualified to be successful in the content I’m teaching and want to teach,” Espinosa said.

Espinosa hopes to receive his doctorate degree in mathematics and teach at a university level.

Luz Maria Placencia, 31, teaching credential, bilingual elementary (multiple subjects) and mild/moderate special education

Luz Maria Placencia

Luz Maria Placencia experienced a reality-check during a shift as a bartender on her 30th birthday that led her to decide to pursue a career in education.

“At this point, I’d been walking into the same building and had been making the same margaritas for the same clients every weekend for the past five years. I approached a fork in the road. I was in search of a sign to guide me to my career,” Placencia said.

She took a chance and became a substitute teacher for the South Bay Union School District and took any assignment she was offered. Placencia endured the stresses of substitute teaching and came to enjoy every minute she spent with students.

During an assignment to a moderate-severe education class, Placencia witnessed the teacher’s assistants verbally abusing a child who was not able to verbally communicate. Instead of taking action, Placencia stood in silence.
It was this experience that illuminated the pathway to her passion for education.

“That very night I applied to go back to school. I vowed to never allow a child to be abused in my presence. Never again will I stand in silence,” Placencia said.

Placencia plans to use her degree to work in a special education classroom and give children the opportunity to learn in a stress-free environment.

Alaina Beaudette, 30, B.S., child and family development, minor in Chinese, Marine veteran

Alaina Beaudette

Alaina Beaudette had a moment of clarity when she lost her job in 2010 and spent three months with her parents in the Netherlands volunteering as a teacher’s assistant at the elementary school they both worked at.

“I finally learned what I wanted to go to school for — teaching! I came back to the States in March 2011 and started taking summer classes,” Beaudette said.

She started at SDSU in spring 2013 and completed her first semester of liberal studies classes. She became fascinated with the developing child, especially because she had just had her son in July 2012. In summer 2013, Beaudette decided to switch her major to child and family development.

“I find my major very fascinating because I have been able to immediately put into practice what I learn in the classrooms. I also feel like I am a better parent and caregiver. It is quite rewarding to be able to immediately and repeatedly implement what is learned in class to everyday events,” Beaudette said.

She took as many classes as the system would allow her to for three straight semesters and as a result, she will be graduating this month. She credits her training with the Marines for keeping her on track.

“The military helped instill in me the desire to do well, the discipline to remain focused and the integrity needed to succeed,” Beaudette said.

Beaudette will be taking her next step in her career by pursuing a 12-month master’s/credential intensive program at University of San Diego.

“Thanks to the help and support of the members in the Veteran’s office, my teachers and my family, I have gained knowledge and experiences I would have otherwise never had.”

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Jeromey Suko, 28, B.S., aerospace engineering

Jeromey Suko

In 2005, Jeromey Suko enlisted in the military as an avionics technician. He worked on military aircraft until 2009 when he decided to go to college in pursuit of a degree in aerospace engineering.

While at SDSU, Suko has taken a special interest in the Design Build Fly team. Each year, the team of engineers creates an aircraft for an international competition. Last year, Suko served as the team’s project manager.

“More than 80 teams competed including more than a dozen international teams,” Suko said. “Some of them were from the top engineering schools in existence.”

Suko and his team took second place in the competition; the highest SDSU has placed in ten years.

Suko will take his talents to Colorado after graduation for a job with United Launch Alliance. He will be working as a guidance, navigation and control engineer and will be programming a rocket to fly in space.

Sumedha Weerasuriya, 23, B.S., mechanical engineering

Sumedha Weerasuriya

Originally from Sri Lanka, Sumedha Weerasuriya came to the United States for the opportunity to get a diverse education.

During his time at SDSU, Weerasuriya established himself in the field of mechanical engineering through his research and academic achievements.

As an undergraduate researcher, Weerasuriya has invented and patented nano component manufacturing technology. He is also the second engineering student in the history of SDSU to receive the Henry L. Janssen Honors Council award for having earned admission into all five of SDSU’s university-wide honor societies.

After graduation, Weerasuriya plans to pursue a career in the field of bionics because it combines his love for engineering and his curiosity for biology. He is also excited by the recent advancements that have been made in the field.

“Right now is an exciting time to be involved with bionics,” Weerasuriya said. “It is helpful and it bridges the gap between technology and humans; a relationship that needs improvement.”

Jennifer Wood, 21, B.S., aerospace engineering

Jennifer Wood

A love for science and a fascination with space made aerospace engineering an obvious choice for Jennifer Wood. The engineering program’s hands-on approach to learning combined with student engagement opportunities on campus inspired Wood to become an Aztec.

During her time at SDSU, Wood has been involved with Ambassadors, the Rocket Project and the Zahn Innovation Center. As vice project manager of the Rocket Project, Wood helped successfully launch two rockets and bring the group from 5 members to 25.

However, her future has been built in the Zahn Innovation Center through her own company, A3D Labs. Along with two of her fellow classmates, Wood started the company with the dream of helping people build whatever they imagine using 3D printers. After graduation, Wood plans on continuing to build the company to create a sustainable business that will become her life’s work.

“I saw two options for my future: I can be hired to build someone else’s dreams, or I can build my dreams for myself,” Wood said. “I’ve chosen to build my own dreams.”

Henok Tadesse, 22, B.S., computer engineering

Henok Tadesse

For Henok Tadesse, being an Aztec runs in the family. Two of his uncles and his older brother are SDSU alumni, which made Tadesse’s decision to come to SDSU a natural choice.

Tadesse enrolled as an electrical engineering major, hoping that one day he would be able to help with electrical issues in his father’s shoe making factory in Ethiopia. However, once he immersed himself in the coursework, Tadesse fell in love with computer programming.

Entrepreneurship has also played a large part in Tadesse’s collegiate experience. As a member of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, Tadesse has learned what it takes to combine business and engineering.

“The program has had a huge impact on me and how I want to lead my life in the future,” Tadesse said. “I plan to eventually join a start-up company or try and make something on my own.”

After he graduates, Tadesse will work in software development in the research department of Qualcomm. He is confident that this real-world experience will lead him on the path to becoming an entrepreneur.

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Allie Cristina Raimondo, 22, B.S., health sciences – public health, minor in personality and social psychology

During her freshman year, Allie Raimondo became very ill, which resulted in a hospital stay and a lot of missed school.

Allie Cristina Raimondo

From this experience, Raimondo learned first-hand that things in life that are worth having do not come easy. She carried that lesson with her for the duration of her academic career.

Her love for science and an interest in the preventative side of medicine steered Raimondo to study public health at SDSU in fall 2009. She took her involvement in her college to the next level when, in 2012, she decided to run for the Associated Students’ HHS representative for the Health and Human Services College Council. 

In 2013, Raimondo became council president and has utilized the role as a way to encourage team effort.

“I have probably gotten way more out of working with all of them than they have working with me! As president I've just really tried to impress upon my council one thing: There are only so many days in a semester, what are you going to do with them?” Raimondo said.

Under her leadership, the council participated in Homecoming for the first time and won the Aztec’s Rock Hunger campus-wide competion, collecting more than 11,000 pounds of food.

“I like the concept of making the most of what you have instead of focusing on what others have or what may be missing,” Raimondo said about her favorite quote. “The grass is greener where you water it.”

Rosemarie Saldana, 25, M.P.H., health promotion and behavioral science

Rosemarie Saldana

Rosemarie Saldana’s dedication and love for public health make her a true standout in the College of Health and Human Services. She fell in love with the major after taking her first public health course.

In 2012, Saldana graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health science with an emphasis in public health. She has continued her journey as an Aztec by pursuing a master’s degree in the field.

As an undergraduate student, Saldana was heavily involved in student organizations, serving as the vice president of the Students for Public Health Organization as well as the secretary for the College of Health and Human Services College Council. As a commuter student, Saldana took on leadership roles in order to maintain a connection with the campus community.

Throughout her educational career, Saldana has been most thankful for the continuous support she has received from her academic mentors, peers, family and friends. As a graduate student, Saldana continued her involvement in the public health community by becoming a graduate assistant and providing undergraduate public health students with academic advising.

“Being able to help undergraduate students has been very rewarding,” she said.

Carl Barnes, 23, B.S., food and nutrition

Carl Barnes

Carl Barnes knew he wanted to be a dietitian long before he began studying nutrition at SDSU.

“I’ve known my career path since I was young, when I was about 10 to 12 years old, so it was easy to choose my major,” Barnes said.

Originally from Vacaville, in Northern California, Barnes’ interest in food began with a fascination with food labels that eventually grew into an interest in how food interacts with the body.

Upon his acceptance into SDSU’s Nutrition Program, Barnes got involved in the Student Nutrition Organization and served as the organization’s president during his final year at SDSU.

“My role in leading the Student Nutrition Organization this year made for one of the best years I’ve had as an Aztec,” Barnes said.

With Barnes leading the way, the organization tripled its membership this year.

“I am most thankful for the opportunity to step up as the leader of the organization. The club has been around for 35 years. It has a long history and the support from the staff is great not only for me, but the entire major,” Barnes said.

Barnes’ ultimate goal is to become an Army dietitian. He is well on his way, too. He has been accepted to the Army Graduate program of nutrition, a direct commission program accredited by Baylor University.

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Nadir Bouhmouch, 23, double major, B.A. television and new media and international security and conflict resolution

Nadir Bouhmouch

Nadir Bouhmouch is an award-winning Moroccan filmmaker, human rights activist and feminist. In 2011, Nadir became active in Morocco's pro-democracy February 20 movement. His film, “My Makhzen & Me,” addressed issues no other Moroccan filmmaker dared touch.  Bouhmouch became the first Moroccan filmmaker to document a Moroccan social justice movement, earning him the title of 'bete noire' of Moroccan film directors by Slate Afrique Magazine.

His second film, “475” covered Morocco’s rape-to-marry law and the Amina Filali affair and was nominated by Reporters Without Borders' and the Deutsche Welle's "The Bobs" awards for Best Social Activism.

At SDSU, Bouhmouch has been involved with clubs including Students for Justice in Palestine, Amnesty International, Afrikan Student Union, International Security and Conflict Resolution Student Society and Associated Students. He was also on the dean’s list in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and a Charles Hostler Institute of World Affairs Fellow. 

“SDSU has provided me with a space to meet a variety of individuals who have helped form my perspective on the world,” Bouhmouch said.

Kylie Corwin, 22, B.S., hospitality and tourism management

Kylie Corwin
Kylie Corwin is an honors student majoring in hospitality and tourism management.

Corwin was a board member of many organizations including the University Honors Program Student Society, PSFA College Council and the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality. She worked as a Hyatt Campus Ambassador and mentored younger students.

“I hope to have left a legacy of hard work, dedication and caring,” Corwin said. “I hope the students I have helped will pass on the importance of mentorship and teaching.”

In 2013, she completed a Hyatt Corporate Internship at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, Maryland as a banquets supervisor. She was also the recipient of the Ralph and Neva Smith Global Engagement Scholarship, which allowed Corwin to study cross-cultural tourism in Nicaragua.

After graduation, Corwin will move to New Orleans where she will work at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans as a corporate management trainee in the catering department.

Ryan Grossheim, 27, MFA, theatre design and technology emphasis in scenic design

Ryan Grossheim

Ryan Grossheim received his bachelor's in 2009 from Northwestern University, where he graduated Cum Laude in theater and participated in study abroad programs at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and the Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy, studying theater for social change and studio art respectively.

In 2014, Ryan led a team of SDSU graduate students to the finals of the Walt Disney Imagineering Imaginations Design Competition. Their project entitled “Hidden History: Railway to the Past” created an interactive experience in an abandoned New York subway stations and placed them in the top six of 230 entries nationwide.

“SDSU has been a great place to focus on growing as an artist and collaborator,” Grossheim said. “I have learned technical skills here that will allow me to easily transition into entertainment design.”

Grossheim was a member of the first place entry in the creative and performing arts category of the 2014 SDSU Student Research Symposium and received the Rosebrand Scholarship, a national competition recognizing the most promising young theater designers.

This summer Grossheim will participate in a production design internship with Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA. He hopes to pursue a career in entertainment design in Los Angeles within the film, television or themed entertainment industries.

Tiffany Lindemann, 26, B.A., journalism with an emphasis in public relations, minor in political science, Air Force veteran

Tiffany Lindemann

Tiffany Lindemann is from Texas and came to San Diego after getting out of the Air Force.

Lindemann joined the Air Force when she was 20 years old. She was a weapons mechanic on fighter jets where she loaded bombs and worked on F-16 weapons system. After being in the Air Force and traveling, she decided to apply to SDSU.

As a senior in the public relations program, Lindemann had the opportunity to build on her professional career as an account executive for the Arrow Media Group, a student-run media agency in the School of Journalism and Media Studies. She helped the Children’s Center on campus raise almost $9,000 and helped a local architecture firm with media relations. Lindemann was also a marketing intern at Hotel Del Coronado where she built the entire online store for their new website.

“SDSU’s public relations program is amazing, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” Lindemann said.  “I was willing to do whatever it took to get in and the faculty really does care about their students, which made a huge difference in my education.”

After graduation, Lindemann will be heading off to Fort Meade, Maryland for five months of military photojournalism training, then she'll be back to San Diego to launch her public relations career.

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Linda Honaker, 23, B.S., chemistry, emphasis in biochemistry

When she arrived at SDSU, Linda Honaker had every intention of becoming a pastry chef. However, she knew that getting a bachelor’s degree should be her first priority, so she enrolled as a nutrition major.

Linda Honaker

Honaker took the mandatory introductory chemistry course during her freshman year and discovered her true passion. The professor of that class, Tom Huxford, told Honaker one day, “You think like a chemist!” From that point on, Honaker became fascinated with the unseen world of molecules.

Honaker is part of the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program which has given her the academic and financial support necessary to devote her time to research. As a MARC scholar, Honaker, along with nine other students, works in a lab where she is encouraged to find the scientific arena she is most passionate about.

This fall, Honaker will enroll in the chemical and structural biology track of the molecules, cells and organisms Ph.D. program at Harvard University. She plans to contribute to the research available about how life works at a molecular level.

Vigya Lnu, 29, M.S., computer science

Vigya Lnu

Vigya Lnu discovered her passion for computer science somewhat accidentally. Originally from India, the school system she was brought up in essentially decided for her that computer science was a perfect fit.

“In India, after tenth grade you are supposed to choose a side stream topic to study,” Lnu said. “The top 10 percent of students would automatically get computer science.”

Her love for math translated well into computer science and she decided to pursue her master’s degree once she arrived in San Diego.  Through her coursework, Lnu learned that her main interest is in computer vision image processing. She is currently finishing up her thesis on following figures in a crowd using infrared and vision sensors.

After she graduates, Lnu said she will miss most the support she receives from her professors and fellow classmates. She hopes to work in a leadership role within the field of computer science.

Darius Koohmarey, 20, B.S., computer science

Darius Koohmarey

During his freshman year at SDSU, Darius Koohmarey lived in the Honors Residential College among like-minded students with high academic goals. Along with his interdisciplinary honors classes, this experience propelled Koohmarey to become interested in student leadership and involvement.

Koohmarey re-founded SDSU’s chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity and helped institute Aztecs for Awareness, a student organization against sexual assault. In addition, he has been actively involved in Fraternity Men Against Negative Environments and Rape Situations, also known as FRATMANERS.

“By giving FRATMANERS presentations to the community and by helping start an organization to address such manners, I have helped bring a social issue to the forefront of society,” Koohmarey said.

In his spare time, Koohmarey has been captain for his fraternity’s soccer team and created a popular “SDSU Memes” Facebook page.

Koohmarey was able to graduate in three years and now intends to pursue an MBA. He hopes to gain the skills and knowledge that will help him become a successful program manager.

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Cyndi Garcia, 27, B.S., psychology

Cyndi Garcia

Cyndi Garcia is a transfer student at the SDSU Imperial Valley Campus.

Since Garcia’s arrival, she has fully immersed herself becoming involved on campus and earning several academic achievements.

Garcia has served on Associated Students council, holding positions as vice president, senator, ambassador and events commissioner. 

She has been on Associated Students council committees on both the main SDSU campus council and the Imperial Valley campus council. She is founder and president of the Transfer Students Club, winner of the 2014 SDSU Student Research Symposium Provost Award and has been on the dean’s list in spring and fall of 2013.

“Since I enrolled at the university as a transfer student, I have been able to grow on a personal and academic level as well as gain self-confidence, life skills and personal experience," Garcia said.

She plans to continue her education and earn a Ph.D. in industrial organizational psychology.

Alysa Yran Teran, 22, B.A., liberal studies with an emphasis in human development

Alysa Yran Teran

Alysa Yran Teran has had great academic success in college.

She has received the Joe and Dororthy Rodney Endowment scholarship, the Alicia Mendoza scholarship and the Associated Students Honor Grant scholarship in both 2012 and 2014. Teran has been on the dean’s list in both 2012 and 2013.

Her leadership activities include being an Imperial Valley Campus ambassador, senator, vice president and president. Teran attended SDSU’s Leadership Summit in 2012, 2013 and 2014 where she learned how to be a more effective leader both on and off campus.

Teran is not only a model student, but has provided countless hours to the community as well. In 2012, she volunteered at Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Calexico, where she tutored students. In 2013, she was the “Red Shoe” coordinator for the Ronald McDonald House in Calexico.

Abigail Campos, 26, M.A., public administration

Abigail Campos

Abigail Campos is completing her master’s in public administration at the SDSU IV campus, where she also earned her B.S. in criminal justice in 2011.

It was after working and volunteering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hispanic Serving Institutions that Campos decided to pursue her master’s degree.

“I spent time volunteering with the organization where I assisted with a variety of campus events, a field trip to the Cleveland National Forest — Descanso Ranger District in Alpine — and an international experience with the AgroBaja trade show in Mexicali, B.C., México,” Campos said. “These opportunities sparked my interest in working for the public sector and furthering my education.”

Since working with the USDA-HSI, Campos was selected as a summer intern with the department of Veteran Affairs and Veteran Benefits Administration in Washington, D.C. She was a senior project analyst and worked closely with the administration under secretary of benefits where she learned about current issues, policies and politics within the department and agency.

Campos plans to seek employment within the USDA and to obtain her Ph.D.