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Sunday, February 5, 2023

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Carmel Alon is an international security and conflict resolution major involved in several student organizations on campus. (Photo: Kelly Smiley/The Daily Aztec) Carmel Alon is an international security and conflict resolution major involved in several student organizations on campus. (Photo: Kelly Smiley/The Daily Aztec)

Carmel Alon’s Aztec Experience

Carmel Alon was recently elected Associated Students vice president of external relations.
By SDSU News Team

Name: Carmel Alon
Major (and minor): International security and conflict resolution
Campus affiliations: Alpha Chi Omega sorority, Associated Students External Relations Board, College of Arts and Letters Council, Rotaract of SDSU, Language Acquisition Resource Center - Southern Area International Language Network, ISCOR Society

1. Why did you choose to attend San Diego State University?

I remember coming to SDSU for Explore SDSU. I really didn’t know much about this university or anything it had to offer besides exceptional weather. However, when I attended Explore SDSU, I knew this was the school for me. I saw all the different departments and organizations that the university had to offer and knew that I could find something for me. I also noticed how passionate SDSU students were about their campus and organizations. I wanted to surround myself with equally driven and motivated students. It was Explore SDSU that helped me realize SDSU was the university that would give me that.

2. What inspired you to declare your major?

Being an immigrant, I always had the news on at my house. Every day, I learned the importance of keeping abreast of current affairs because I came from a country where one day there was peace and the next there was war. The constant fear of not knowing what will appear on the nightly news created a drive in me to understand what caused conflicts to spark and wars to begin. International security and conflict resolution has given me a space to understand the fundamental issues that lead to conflicts. I also credit ISCOR with teaching me that when a conflict is diminished to a one-sided opinion, there must be more to the story. My major is constantly teaching me how to gather the information within a situation and how to best resolve that conflict.

3. What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

The best piece of advice I have received is even if you don’t see the improvements you want right away, that does not mean you aren’t making a change. I think a lot of times people get discouraged because they hope to improve on something instantly, but if they don’t see an immediate change, they assume their work wasn’t successful or important. Sometimes change takes a while to occur. I have learned that laying the path down for future generations to create change is just as crucial as actually seeing the difference.

4. Which SDSU faculty or staff member has been the most influential throughout your SDSU journey?

The most influential person I have met throughout my SDSU experience has been Jennifer Esquivel-Parker. I am able to turn to her for any advice, and the amount of passion and devotion that she puts into every single person she meets is a quality I have not seen in anyone else. Her door is always open to students and you are able to speak to her about any issue, whether it’s school, work or personal. She is there to be a helping hand and wants all her students to succeed.

5. What does student success mean to you?

In terms of life post-college, student success is about having more than the qualifications on paper but having the social and leadership skills to excel in the workplace. I also think student success is about your ability to grow. The amount I have grown as individual in the past three years at SDSU is more I could have ever imagined. You don’t need 4.0 to achieve student success. I think you just need to be open to change and letting yourself grow as a person because once you figure out who you are, you can be successful in whatever you set your mind to.

6. What has been your proudest achievement while at SDSU?

Being elected as an Associated Students executive officer along with my amazing team was a surreal moment. The number of students who rallied behind us and supported us throughout the whole campaign process was the most incredible thing to see. These students believe in our goals and ideas for the university, and I know we are excited to get those plans started. This team has become my second family, and I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them and continue to grow with them throughout my senior year.

7. What inspired you to run in the A.S. Election?

I love seeing how much students truly care about issues that affect them politically. Their drive and passion is exciting and makes this campus special. I realized that we are all working toward something bigger than ourselves. I ran because I want to empower students with resources they need to advocate for issues they care about. I see SDSU as more than a place to learn; it is a place to advance yourself personally and professionally, engage with your community, and learn what you are passionate about. I ran in the A.S. election to help more students utilize all these aspects during their time in college.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I hope to find myself attending law school. Through all of my involvements I have found that I am happiest with myself when I am giving my peers the tools to be successful. With a law degree, I hope to continue to lift those around me and plant the seed for future generations to excel. Some people need to be in front of the camera to feel accomplished; I need to be the one creating the stepping stones to get that person to the podium to feel successful.

9. What’s your favorite thing about being an Aztec?

My favorite thing is the experience and pride of being an SDSU student. I hope to inspire future students in the same way that past students leaders of SDSU have influenced me. And I know upon graduating I am truly the culmination of my SDSU experiences.