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Members of the Honors College will have a special graduation ceremony on May 17. Members of the Honors College will have a special graduation ceremony on May 17.
 


Graduating with Honors

The University Honors Program celebrates the success of its standout students.
By Alyson Faucett
 

The University Honors Program is designed to cultivate intellectual curiosity, creative and critical thinking and a willingness to craft a deliberate future. This year, the Honors Program will hold its annual graduation reception from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 17 at Hardy Tower.

Estefania Castaneda Perez, Vivian Adame and Alexis Kelley are three graduates who exemplify what it is to be an honors student at SDSU.

Estefania Castaneda Perez, 23, B.A., political science, minor in honors interdisciplinary studies

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Estefania Castaneda Perez

Estafania Castaneda Perez was initially drawn to SDSU because of its study abroad opportunities. As a first-generation college student, Perez needed the support that the university offered to help fulfill her dreams. With the help of a President’s Diversity Scholarship, Perez chose to come to SDSU as a member of the Honors Program.

Curious by nature, Perez taught herself how to speak Japanese in high school. In college, she was able to study abroad for nine months in Japan, which helped her realize her desire to work in international relations. Specifically, Perez plans to continue her research on cross-border commuters.

Perez credits much of her success and happiness at SDSU to the staff and faculty members who have helped her along her journey.

“Every year I have had someone challenging me to exceed my own expectations,” Perez said. “Everybody has believed in me.”

Perez has been awarded a Fullbright Scholarship which will take her to Madrid after graduation. She will teach English in a bilingual school and spearhead their Model United Nations program. She plans to earn her Ph.D. and enter the world of academia upon her return.

Vivian Adame, 20, B.A., communication, minor in honors interdisciplinary studies

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Vivian Adame

SDSU offered Vivian Adame the chance to thrive academically while also getting involved on campus. Adame was sold on SDSU when she attended the Honors reception and realized that she would receive all of the support she needed to build her future.

“The Honors Program opened my eyes to getting involved in other organizations on campus,” said Adame, who is an SDSU Ambassador and a member of Kappa Delta Sorority.

Adame is not only a member of extra-curricular organizations, but she makes them a priority.  She has taken on leadership roles within Kappa Delta, trained incoming ambassadors and represented the Honors Program at prestigious events.

Adame has completed her degree in three years and will move on to law school at the University of San Diego in the fall. In the future, Adame would like to work as a sports agent for female athletes and hopes to change the face of the sports industry.

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Alexis Kelley

Alexis Kelley, 21, B.S., psychology, minor in honors interdisciplinary studies

Alexis Kelley is a psychology student who has used her time at SDSU as an opportunity to explore ways of helping the community. She has worked as a resident advisor for three years and as a peer educator in counseling and psychological services.

Last fall, Kelley was chosen for the congressional internship at the Panetta Institute for Public Policy. This internship is reserved for one representative per year from each California State University. Kelley worked for almost three months on Capitol Hill and came to the realization that she wanted to spend her career working directly with people in disadvantaged communities.

Kelley will continue her education at the University of California, Los Angeles where she will work toward a master’s degree in social welfare. Ultimately, she hopes to become a licensed clinical therapist.

“I’ve been provided the tools to go to graduate school and not just be with the game, but be ahead of the game,” Kelley said. “SDSU has given me the opportunity to write my own story and hopefully make the world a better place.”