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Saturday, September 30, 2023

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The Aztec Leadership Network has launched as part of SDSU Month.

Leadership Starts Here

The grand prize for the SDSU Month Video Contest is a trip for two to the University of Washington football game.
By Greg Block

San Diego State has long been an institution from which leaders have emerged. From entrepreneurs to CEOs, from scientists to volunteers who make the world a better place, SDSU is a university that teaches, encourages and inspires leadership.

And this year, SDSU Month celebrates that fact, starting with two highlights: the debut of the Aztec Leadership Network, and the "I Believe" Video Contest.

Aztec Leadership Network

So many of the 260,000 living SDSU alumni are leaders of businesses and organizations. They are CEOs, presidents, founders and partners. Aztecs run biotech companies, accounting firms, restaurant chains and hospitals.

SDSU has begun putting all those organizations in one place — the Aztec Leadership Network. This map demonstrates the reach and impact SDSU alumni have in all walks of life. And it is a way to encourage people to support and patronize Aztec-led businesses.

“SDSU has an incredible network of people who run businesses in virtually every industry you can think of,” said Jim Herrick, director of the SDSU Alumni Association. “The more we, as Aztecs, can support our fellow alumni, the more it strengthens our own network and the value of the education we received at SDSU. We want to encourage Aztecs to hire fellow Aztecs, and to use SDSU alumni-owned businesses. The Aztec Leadership Network will be the foundation for that.”

The Aztec Leadership Network is a continual work in progress that will grow as new leaders emerge from SDSU and as others identify themselves. Business leaders who wish to be included on the map, can fill out an online form at the Leadership Starts Here website at

I Believe video contest

SDSU’s current television commercial features several prominent Aztecs doing the now famous “I Believe” chant. The idea behind the spot is to show the passion of SDSU’s students and alumni, while at the same time, bringing to life the Aztec Leadership Network.

For SDSU Month, the university is challenging students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to create their own unique version of this video to express why they “believe” leadership starts at SDSU.

The grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to the SDSU football game at the University of Washington on Sept. 1, courtesy of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians., the top source for SDSU athletics recruiting news and information, will give five complimentary six-month subscriptions to winners. Other prizes will be given to select video entries courtesy of the SDSU Bookstore and SDSU Dining Services.

The submission and public comment period for the video contest is from 10 a.m., Feb. 15, to 10 a.m., March 15.

The judging period is March 15 to March 19. Videos will be judged by a panel of students and staff from SDSU who will look for the “I Believe” theme and connection to university, originality and vision, and a depiction of the “Leadership Starts Here” theme. Entrants will be encouraged to promote their own videos, as comments and the number of “likes” will be considered in the judging process. Winners will be announced on March 20.

Read the official rules and learn how to enter a video here.

SDSU Month

SDSU Month is an annual celebration of San Diego State’s outstanding people and programs and features 31 days of artistic, academic and athletic events, and a partner-supported media campaign.

Other events and activities during SDSU Month include:

  • Explore SDSU, March 17: a free all-campus event featuring an information fair, academic program workshops, tours and open houses
  • Student Research Symposium, March 9-10: a showcase of students’ original research, scholarship, or creative activities
  • Venture Challenge, March 15-17: an international MBA business plan competition
  • Albert W. Johnson Lecture, March 16: a public lecture by biologist Sandy Bernstein

Visit the Leadership Starts Here website to learn more and stay informed.

SDSU Month sponsors and media partners include:

  • Associated Students
  • Clear Channel Radio
  • Cox Media
  • The Daily Aztec
  • KPBS
  • Pepsi
  • NBC San Diego
  • SDSU Bookstore
  • SDSU Dining Services
  • SDSU Research Foundation
  • Telemundo 33
  • Univision San Diego
  • Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians
  • Univision Radio