Undergraduate Honors Convocation 2016

Undergraduate Honors Convocation 2016


[ Pomp and Circumstance Playing ]>>Good evening everyone. I am Dr. Les Wong,
President of San Francisco State University. Those of you in academic regalia may remove
your caps if you so choose. And also for everyone’s convenience we ask that you please turn off
your cellphones. Thank you. As President of San Francisco State University it gives me
great pleasure to welcome all of you to our 2016 Honors Convocation. I am fortunate to
lead San Francisco State. And I have great pride in what accomplish at this university.
More than 100 of our finest accomplishments are sitting behind me on the stage this evening. [ Applause ] All of these students have met the highest
standards during their years here, rising to the challenges put to them by our outstanding
faculty. They have enriched our lives, for education is a distinctly two-way process.
And we must trust that we have enriched their lives as well. We want our honor students
to know that their achievements have been recognized, and so we have gathered here this
evening, at the end of the academic year to applaud them for their fine work and to wish
them well as they prepare to graduate. We trust that they are leaving with an education
that has prepared them to inquire freely, to think and analyze independently, and as
they have heard from me very, very often to own their own mind. And we trust that they
are leaving with that distinctive feature of a San Francisco State education that we
cherish dearly. The ability to apply their knowledge in ways that will better the world
around them. Representatives of the University community are here to join with us in this
convocation and you will meet many of them as the evening proceeds, but I would like
to introduce others of them now. So I would ask that the following individuals please
stand as I introduce you. Dr. Luoluo Hong, Vice President for Student Affairs. Dr. Jennifer
Summit, Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Deborah Masters, University Librarian. Lilly Gee,
President of the University Women’s Association, whose members are this evening official convocation
greeters, and the host of our reception at the Student Center later tonight. Our two
marshals, Dr. John-Carlos Perea, Assistant Professor of American Indian studies. And
William Christmas, Professor of English Language and Literature. I would also like to recognize
our two faculty marshals, Connie Ulasewicz, Professor of Apparel Design and Merchandising
and Dorothy Tsuruta, Professor of Africana Studies. [ Applause ] Business and community leaders often ask me
what is the key ingredient to the educational magic that happens at San Francisco State
and my answer is well-rehearsed, because I often say, talent. As this audience knows
well, we attract some of the most talented students in the world, then we introduce these
talented students to one of the world’s finest teaching faculties who have come to San Francisco
State out of a desire to make a real difference in the lives of students. That intersection
between student and faculty talent is what makes magic happen here. To acknowledge that
relationship, each year, we ask the Chief Representative of the Faculty, the Chair of
the Academic Senate to address our honorees and our guests. Dr. Troi Carleton joined San
Francisco State as a faculty member in 1996 and is a professor of Linguistics in the English
Department. She has led the faculty of San Francisco State this year as chair of the
Academic Senate. For two decades, Dr. Carleton has served San Francisco State as a highly
respected teacher, and an accomplished scholar. In addition to her work as a faculty member,
she has been committed to the preservation and documentation of endangered languages
around the world. Dr. Carleton’s academic career has been centered on the notion that
community members are stakeholders in the documentation and presentation of their linguistic
tradition. In the Mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, her work has concentrated on creating and
building an archive of the community’s oral history in Zapotecan for their municipal museum
in international digital archives. Student joined her to work on the archives for three
weeks each summer. Dr. Carleton is a first-grade teacher and scholar, but she also lends her
talents to making the community around her a better place. In short, she is a great citizen
of this University. I am now please to present Dr. Troi Carleton. [ Applause ]>>Thank you President Wong. [Speaking in
foreign language]. Congratulations to all of you. It is such an honor to be here to
celebrate all of the hard work, perseverance, and impressive accomplishments, represented
by our new graduates here at San Francisco State. You are here with your family and your
friends because you have not only reached the level of achievement in this institution
that merits special recognition, you have also demonstrated high potential for great
achievements in the future. Your achievements in the future, however, go beyond your quantifiable
GPAs and any salaries that lay ahead. Your achievements will be tied to your character
and your vision of what is a humane and just world. It will tap into your intrinsic qualities
as human beings and as citizens of our global and local community. I’d like to begin with
a story that has nothing to do with convocation, or really any of you. But it will tie in hopefully
as we move forward. So my husband’s from Mexico City. We’ve been married for 19 years, yeah.
And for 19 years my in-laws from Mexico City call on birthdays, they call on graduation,
school awards ceremonies that they miss, talent show performances they can’t attend. Basically
anything we celebrate, they call. Begin every conversation with me on all these occasions
with [foreign word]. It’s puzzled me for years, I didn’t turn five why are you congratulating
me? I didn’t graduate from eighth grade, why are you congratulating me? I didn’t just get
accepted into college, why are you congratulating me? In fact, from my perspective, it never
really actually mattered who did what, I was going to get congratulated for it. That’s
cool. I just chalked it up to something quirky that Mexico City people do when they call
long distance. It was fine. Then it dawned on me at an embarrassingly late stage in the
game, my kid didn’t just turn five. She was nurtured and loved, and supported for five
years of her life, and now we were all celebrating it together, just as we celebrated graduating
from eighth grade, and just as we celebrated her getting into college. In other words,
she didn’t just happen, people invested in her. And not just family. A best friend, a
middle school history teacher. A teenage math tutor who lived across the street. A next
door neighbor. It’s taken a team of folks to get my kid where she is today. And this
gets at the heart of what we all understand community to be. Community means connecting,
engaging and investing. Community means supporting one another without the expectation of quid
pro co. So really congratulations, or [foreign word] is in fact the appropriate offering
for friends, family, teachers, mentors who have been a part of supporting these newly
minted graduates and the awesome achievements that they have made. We have invested in you,
2016 San Francisco State graduates, because we believe in you. And we are confident that
you will make a difference out there. But it’s a funny type of investment. It’s not
on the we expect direct payback on. Instead you might say we paid it forward. The concept
of paying it forward actually dates back a millennia. It was first introduced in 317
BC by the award-winning, great play write Menander. Paying it forward describes an event
where the beneficiary of good deed repays it to others instead of the original benefactor.
The ancient concept is simple, but the consequences can be quite profound. When we engage in civility
and kindness. When we show compassion and generosity, when we invest in promoting social
justice and equity without the slightest expectation of being repaid directly, we make the world
a better place. That’s just a fact. Benjamin Franklin was the first to dust off this concept
in 1784 in a letter to a friend. He wrote “I do not pretend to give such a deed, I only
lend it to you. When you meet with another honest man in similar distress, you must pay
me by lending this sum to him and joining him to discharge the debt by like operation
when he shall be able and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it makes us go
through many hands before it meets with the nave that will stop its progress.” A hundred
years later in 1874, Ralph Waldo Emerson picked up on this thread and famously wrote, “In
the order of nature we cannot render benefits to those from whom we receive them, or only
seldom, but the benefit we receive must be rendered again. Line by line, deed for deed,
cent for cent to somebody.” Well then finally another hundred years later, in the 20th century
another favorite, Ray Bradbury’s book “Dandelion Wine” he wrote “How do I thank Mr. Jonas,
he wondered, for what he’s done. How do I thank him? How do I pay him back? No way,
no way at all. You just can’t pay. What then? What? Pass it on to someone else, he thought.
Pass it on. Keep the chain moving. Look around, find somebody, and pass it on. That’s the
only way. Throughout life we are all both benefactors and recipients of good deeds,
support, and mentoring. And while I get great joy from mentoring my own students, I still,
even at my age, have my mentors. That’s how it works. That’s how we connect. That’s what
we mean by tapping into intrinsic qualities of humanity and character. It is a simple
social contract. A contract that requires faith, and the goodness of human kind, and
the belief that with each good deed, with each act of kindness or support, with each
civil dialogue that we engage in we are contributing to making a humane and just world. There are
so many ways that we can pay it forward, an easy place to start is a simple acts of kindness,
the ripple effect caused by these simple acts can be profound. I’d like to conclude with
a story that’s very meaningful to me and I think it simplifies both the ripple effect
of kindness, as well as the profound consequences of paying it forward with a story that has
guided my life. It’s about my dad. My dad was an amazing man in my mind. And he was
larger than life and he was my hero, no question about it. He was an idealist, he believed
in the principles of democracy and good citizenship. He was a guy who would quote the Federalist
Papers at the dinner table, which was super fun when you were 10. He was opinionated,
wickedly intelligent, which meant in many cases you either loved him or hated him. But
above all he was a kind and just man, which made him very wise. He came from a humble
background. His parents were barely literate. He grew up in a blue collar neighborhood in
Hayward during the ’40s and ’50s and early on he knew what was right and what was wrong
and had a moral fortitude and courage that I’ve admired my whole life. I’ve personally
never known a man who embodied such generosity and an innate sense of social justice. He
used to always give my sister and me the same advice. One, all honest work is good work.
So do your best regardless. Two, don’t sweat the small stuff, it will kill you. And three,
always, always err on the side of kindness and generosity. He didn’t tell us much about
his childhood, but there were a few stories that he shared with us. One time he told us
about this kid in high school who he sort of took under his wing and befriended. The
kid was an awkward kid, he was prone to bullying, and my dad, as you can imagine, had no patience
for bullies whatsoever. And I remember him telling us, you know he was a nice kid. I
didn’t get it. He’d be off in the corner by himself and so ostracized. So I invited him
to come and hang out with us. My dad was his sort of unofficial body guard and always looking
out for him. My dad also refused to go to his own high school dances because he said,
and I’m just saying it euphemistically, he said they were mean. He used other words.
So he would date girls from other high schools and go to their dances and always get a date
for this kid. At any rate, these two graduate from high school, my dad goes off San Jose
State to study political science. He doesn’t really think about high school and this kid
again, he’s got his life going on. Now fast forward to 1969, it’s the height of the Vietnam
War. My dad’s lottery number comes up for the draft, and he goes in. There are lots
of long lines that he has to choose from, he gets in one line, and when he finally gets
up to the front, who’s sitting on the other side of the table, but this kid that he had
looked out for in high school. This kid was now in the Army, and literally in a position
to decide my dad’s fate. He takes one look at my dad, immediately recognizes him, smiles,
the chat for a moment, and finally the guy says, say Willy? You like to cook right? My
dad said, sure yeah. And that moment, my dad’s immediate future was decided. Instead of sending
him to the front line, this kid who my dad looked out for all those years earlier, sent
my dad to Kentucky to be a cook in the Reserves for the remainder of the war. Is this the
ripple effect of kindness, or the profound consequence of paying it forward? Who knows
but I like to think so. So class of ’16 remember community is what you make of it and the world
is yours to improve upon. Go out there, work hard, don’t sweat the small stuff, err on
the side of kindness and generosity, and pay it forward [foreign word]. [ Applause ]>>Hello, I’m Sue Rosser, the Provost and
Vice President for Academic Affairs. Thank you Senate Chair Carleton for your heartfelt
remakes on the investment we make as a community in the future of our students we celebrate
tonight. A future we all agree should always value and promote the importance of kindness
and generosity. Moreover, thank you for reminding all of us about the value of hard, honest
work, not sweating the small stuff, and honoring that investment by passing it on to benefit
others in the community. Tonight, we’re honoring students for their outstanding achievements
at San Francisco State University. First, we will honor those students who were inducted
as members of Phi Beta Kappa. Next, we will honor 107 undergraduate students who are graduating
in the top one and one-half percent of the students from their academic colleges. Most
of them will graduate Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude. I’m very impressed. I’m sure you
are too. The third group, includes 57 undergraduates, who have been selected by their academic departments
and programs to receive special recognition for excellence in a particular field. The
final group includes 6 students who have been singled out to represent all of the graduating
seniors in their respective colleges. Each of the six colleges, along with the special
major’s program, is invited to select one outstanding student to represent all the others
at the Honors Convocation here tonight and also at commencement tomorrow. They are selected
because of their outstanding academic achievements and other significant accomplishments that
you won’t hear about throughout this evening. These six students, seated here in the front
row, will receive the symbolic investiture of the hood at commencement ceremonies tomorrow.
Phi Beta Kappa. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first instillation of our Phi Beta
Kappa Chapter Members at San Francisco State University. The President of the University
Chapter is Dr. Masahiko Minami, who is in the audience tonight. Dr. Minami, will you
please stand. [ Applause ] Ours is a university that stresses the liberal
arts as the basis for all instruction. Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest honorary society in
the United States, founded the same year as our country, recognizes those students who
have successfully demonstrated breadth and depth in the study of the sciences, the humanities,
and the behavioral and social sciences. The National Society of Phi Beta Kappa established
Omicron of California at San Francisco State University 40 years ago, in 1976. Since then
only 912 San Francisco State University students have met the requirement the requirements
to be elected to Phi Beta Kappa out of a pool of more than 182,000 graduating students.
As you can see it’s election process is quite rigorous. I am proud to introduce the Phi
Beta Kappa members who are able to join us tonight, who have been initiated into the
Omicron of California Chapter. I ask that each member please stand as I call your name,
and remain standing until all members are named. They are Rebecca Blandino, Andy Chan,
Cody Kho, Estevan Francisco Lopez, Kayla Tolentino. Please join me in congratulating these students
for their outstanding academic achievements. [ Applause ] You may be seated now. I would now like to
introduce the Dean of the College of Business, Linda Oubre, who will present the faculty
representatives and students accorded high academic honors from the College of Business.>>Thank you Provost Rosser. I would now like
to introduce the faculty from the College of Business. I’d like to remind the audience
to please hold your applause until all the names are announced. Jean Wong, Accounting,
I’m sorry please stand. Oh, there you are Jean, I’m sorry. Robert Saltzman, Decision
Sciences. Zuzana Janko, Economics. Yuli Su, Finance. Susan Roe, Hospitality and Tourism
Management. David Chao, Information Systems. Roblyn Simeon, International Business. Antoaneta
Petkova, Management. And Judi Strebel, Marketing. [ Applause ] Thank you. You may now be seated. As I introduce
the honor students from the College of Business, I would ask that each student please stand
and remain standing until all of the students from the category have been presented. Please
hold your applause until all the students have been called. Students graduated in the
top 1.5% for the college of business in order of their majors are, in accounting, Hung Suko
[assumed spelling], Jonathan Lu [assumed spelling], Janine Raez [assumed spelling], Johannes Sai
[assumed spelling]. In Decision Sciences, Danh Nguyen a double major in Information
Systems. In Finance Saja Alhussain, Brielle Black, Phillip Chang, Cody Kho, Randy Lloyd,
Mohammad Naqvi, Nini Tien, and Mark Patrick Weller. In Hospitality and Tourism Management
Carolin Maier. In Information Systems, Bryan McCaffery and Danh Nguyen, again. In Management,
Nhi Truong. And in Marketing Kyle Hunter Clark. Please join me in congratulating the honorees. [ Applause ] You may now be seated. I would now like to
present those students who have been selected by their departments for special recognition.
Jonathan Lu, Accounting. Danh Nguyen, Decisions Sciences. Estevan Francisco Lopez, Economics.
Randy Lloyd, Finance. Fion Hu, Hospitality and Tourism Management. Ron Gwong Wong [assumed
spelling] Information Systems. Nana Okuyama, International Business. Michelle Flores Pulido,
Labor and Employment Studies. Elena Marie Roldan, Management. And Olivia Dippon, Marketing.
Please join me in congratulating them. [ Applause ] You may now be seated. As Provost Rosser mentioned,
each of the colleges select one student to receive the hood tonight on behalf of all
of its graduates. I’m very pleased to introduce this year’s hood recipient from the College
of Business, Danh Nguyen, a double major in Decisions Sciences and Information Systems. [ Applause ] Mr. Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam where
his father was a prisoner of war. He then immigrated to the United States with his family
as participants in the Orderly Departure Program at age 7. Even at that young age, Mr. Nguyen
was aware of the large differences between the two cultures and he worked hard to overcome
difficulties in school, including the language barrier, bullying, racism, and violence in
order to fulfill his dream of higher education. Mr. Nguyen considers knowledge and awareness
to be the keys to success, which he delivers as the level of internal happiness the person
achieves. I’m sorry, which he defines as the level of internal happiness the person achieves.
Consequently, he volunteers for two non-profit organizations in Oakland, the Vietnamese American
Community Center of the East Bay, and the Wong Vietnamese Language school, where he
serves as lion dancer, vice principal, English as a second language teacher, and counselor.
Mr. Nguyen chose to study at San Francisco State because the values, courage, like of
a mind, equity, community, and resilience closely align with his own. Over the past
year he has helped many of his fellow students by serving as a tutor for the challenging
Decisions Science 412 Operations Management Course. And I have to say, I used to think
he lived on the third floor of the business building where the tutoring center is. Mr.
Nguyen hopes his education will allow him to give back to the community. He chose to
major in Decision Sciences in order to learn the quantitative skills that can support major
business decisions, which in turn greatly impact stakeholders, locally and abroad. Congratulations,
Danh, on all you’ve achieved, we wish you all the best in the future. [ Applause ] It is now my pleasure to introduce Dean Judith
Munter who will present the faculty representative and the student from the Graduate College
of Education.>>Thank you very much Dean Oubre. The Graduate
College of Education is the only college at San Francisco State University that is primarily
a graduate school preparing students who already have their Baccalaureate degrees as they become
professional educators and service providers. The Graduate College of Education offers one
undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders, within the Department
of Special Education. Representing the faculty from the Graduate College of Education’s undergraduate
program tonight is Dr. Betty Yu. Please stand, Dr. Yu. [ Applause ] Thank you. The following students from the
Department of Special Education majoring in Communicative Disorders is among those who
are graduating with high academic honors. Lisandra Gutierrez, Aimee Paredez. Congratulations. [ Applause ] Now, I would like to present the student who
has been selected as our college’s department honoree, Shauna Reem [assumed spelling], Special
Education. [ Applause ] Congratulations. I am proud to introduce Taylor
Freeman, the undergraduate hood recipient for the Graduate College of Education. [ Applause ] She is graduating from the Communicative Disorders
Program with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Ms. Freeman exemplifies the very best that her
future profession of speech language pathology has to offer. She has consistently excelled,
both in her academics, and in her service to the community. As the elected president
of the San Francisco State University Chapter of the National Student Speech, Language,
Hearing Association, Taylor has been a visionary leader, and a high effective organizer. Ms.
Freeman’s passion for becoming a speech language pathologist began when she worked in her grandmother’s
special day classroom located in a low socioeconomic area along the Sacramento Delta. She watched
many specialists come into the classroom, but she was most fascinated by the speech
language pathologist. She says she did not know it then, but her career choice was blossoming.
During her first year, here in our college in the Communicative Disorders Program, Ms.
Freeman was elected to be the President of the National Student Speech Language Hearing
Association. And she has been a truly outstanding leader to her peers. Her numerous volunteer
experiences have exposed her to people with communication difficulties and other challenges.
And her outstanding performance in the rigorous communicative disorders courses has trained
her to be a well-rounded individual and an outstanding future clinician. This year alone
she has lead weekly mentoring sessions and cabinet meetings, planned two highly successful
conferences, and facilitative two communicative disorders program student orientations. Ms.
Freeman has been truly essential to the Communicative Disorders Program’s capacity to provide high
quality experiences for our students. Even so, she has maintained a high grade point
average and also developed many professional relationships. We are delighted to know that
she will continue her educational journey here at San Francisco State in the Communicative
Disorder Master’s program beginning in fall of 2016. Congratulations, Taylor. [ Applause ] [ Applause ] I am now please to introduce my colleague
Dean Ken Monteiro, Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies who will present the faculty
representatives and honors students from the College of Ethnic Studies. Dean Monteiro.>>Thank you Dean Munter. The Department Chairs
and faculty from the College of Ethnic Studies in attendance tonight, Serie McDougal, Africana
Studies, if you’d stand. Andrew Jolivette, American Indian Studies. Eric Pido, Asian
American Studies. Dorothy Tsuruta, Africana Studies. I’d like to thank these very, very
dedicated faculty. [ Applause ] Thank you. The following students from the
College of Ethnic Studies are among those graduating with high honors. Fern Echevarria,
Latino Latino studies. Please stand. Yeah. Asian American Studies, David Ka Wai Pan.
If we could congratulate those two. [ Applause ] Thank you. Departmental honors for the College
of Ethnic Studies go to Richard Leonard Polote, Africana Studies. Lisa Gersher Hurr [assumed
spelling], Asian American Studies. [ Applause ] [ Applause ] And Fern Echevarria, Latino Latino studies. [ Applause ] You may now be seated. It is truly my honor
tonight to introduce this year’s hood recipient for the College of Ethnic Studies, Richard
Leonard Polote, who is graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Africana Studies. [ Applause ] A decorated US Air Force Veteran, Mr. Richard
Polote is a dedicated young Africana Studies Scholar. We would like to recognize Mr. Polote
in particular for his academic excellence and social responsibility. He represents the
highest standards of commitment to scholastic merit in Africana Studies, in addition to
maintaining excellent grades, Mr. Polote also serves as an ambassador between our campus
and our local community. Among his career goals of teaching middle and high school students
both African and African American history. Mr. Polote has dedicated his life to community
service. He served as a youth mentor with the Youth Justice Center in San Francisco.
He’s currently a youth development coordinator responsible for planning, coordinating and
carrying out educational and mentorship programs. He consistently emerges as a group leader,
and is among the highest scoring students in his classes. For instance, in professor
Dawn-Elissa Fischer’s Anthropology of Blackness course, Mr. Polote led a unit focused on linguistic
research and theory. Mr. Polote guided his peers through challenging terminology and
course concepts using accessible models and modes of communication. In Professor Serie
McDougal’s Research Methods class, Mr. Polote led his team in conducting an empirical, quantitative
study on the relationships between racial identity and academic achievement. Mr. Polote
engaged in a range of arts while studying at San Francisco State. Notably he was cast
as a voice actor for Dr. Trevor Getz’s animated version of the graphic novel “Abina and the
Important Men.” Mr. Polote exemplifies the founding philosophies of our discipline as
well as those of our university. I want us to appreciate Mr. Polote. [ Applause ] I’d like to introduce my colleague, Dean Alvin
Alverez who will present the faculty representatives and honor students for the College of Health
and Social Sciences. [ Applause ]>>Thank you Dean Montero. The Department
Chairs and faculty representatives here tonight from the College of Health and Social Sciences,
and please stand as I call your name, are Alison Baroody, Child and Adolescent Development.
Connie Ulasewicz, Consumer and Family Studies, Dietetics. Jose Ramon Fernandez-Pena, Health
Education. Marie Veri, Kinesiology. Elaine Mussleman School of Nursing. Carlos Davidson,
Public Affairs and Civic Engagement. Eric Rosegard, Chair, Recreation Parks and Tourism.
Jerald Shapiro School of Social Work. And Trudie Coker, Sociology and Sexuality Studies.
Can you join me in congratulating our colleagues. [ Applause ] Thank you. The following students from the
College of Health and Social Sciences are among those graduating with high academic
honors. In Child and Adolescent Development Alyssa Lauren Ross. Please stand. In Nursing,
Helena Duhavits [assumed spelling]. Also in Nursing Briana Anne Fineberg. Kathleen McFaul,
Helen Lorenzen, and Julia Meinhold. In Consumer Family Studies and Dietetics, Kathryn Von
Romenger [assumed spelling]. Could you join me in congratulating these students? [ Applause ] Thank you. Our students here tonight who are
given special recognition by their department are, and please stand as I call your name.
Alyssa Lauren Ross, Child and Adolescent Development. Colin Wong, Consumer and Family Studies, Dietetics.
Kayla Tolentino, Health Education. Lenka Fejt, Kinesiology. Kathleen McFaul, School of Nursing.
Patrick Su, Recreations Parks and Tourism. Latonia Williams, Social Work. And Rosela
Delgado, Sociology and Sexuality Studies. Please join me in applauding them. [ Applause ] Thank you. I’m both delighted and honored
to introduce this year’s hood recipient for the College of Health and Social Sciences,
Colin Wong. Colin, would you please stand. [ Applause ] Colin is a distinguished undergraduate student
from the Consumer Family Studies and Dietetics Department. He’s also double majoring in family
and consumer sciences and liberal studies, and graduating in an amazing three years.
Four years ago, Colin lost his vision. He wrote the transition from being able to see
completely to nothing at all was devastating, heartbreaking, humbling, and yet a priceless
learning opportunity for me to grow as a person. At age 17 I had to learn to walk again, learn
how to read, learn how to be a new person. And it was hard. I realized I’m not the only
person going through life like this, my disability is only an obstacle if I made it an obstacle,
and it gave me a new view on life. Active both on and off campus, he was a peer counselor
in the SAFE place, which stands for Sexual Abuse Free Environment on campus. He worked
with guide dogs for the blind for the past two years, and has spoken to over 120 students
across five different public schools about guide dogs. As you’ll see by his side, his
golden lab, named Wednesday, is his sweet and constant companion on campus. He’s also
an athletic coach with Kids Enjoy Exercise Now, KEEN, a nonprofit organization providing
opportunities to youth with disabilities to foster independence and self-esteem through
sports and recreation. Colin’s heart’s desire is to teach children who struggle with their
disability. To recognize that it doesn’t have to stop them from achieving their goals. He
not only models this value, but his genuine care, compassion and desire for continued
growth ensures that children encounter this meaningful message as well. After graduation,
Colin will be entering Louisiana Tech, the top program in the country, to pursue a degree
in industrial and organizational psychology with a concentration in orientation and mobility.
Please join me in congratulating Colin and wishing him the best. [ Applause ] I am now please to introduce my dear colleague,
Sophie Clavier, the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts, who
will present the faculty representatives and honor students from the college [applause].>>Thank you Dean Alvarez. I would like first
to introduce the department chairs and faculty members representing the academic departments
and programs for the College of Liberal and Creative Arts. And please hold your applause
until they are all standing. And they are Christina Ruotolo, in American Studies Program.
Mario LaPlante, Art. Joseph McBride, Cinema. Alexander Pappas, Classics. Christina Sabee,
Communication Studies. Shirin Khanmohamadi, Comparative and World Literature. Roy Conboy,
Creative Writing. Neil Lindeman, English Language and Literature. Eva Sheppard Wolf in History.
Carel Bertram in Humanities. Kim Komenich in Journalism. Marianna Ferreira in Liberal
Studies. Bradley Stirling Hogarth in Music, saw him earlier. James Martel in Political
Science. Todd Roehrman, Theater and Dance. And Deb Cohler, Women and Gender Studies.
Please help me thank our dedicated faculty. [ Applause ] And be seated. And now those students accorded
high academic honors from the College of Liberal and Creative Arts. And let’s hold our applause
until they’re all standing. In Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, Julianne Herrera.
In Cinema, Sara Gonzalez. In Communication Studies, Jakob Ohrner [cheering]. In creative
writing, Nicholas John Anthony Urbonas and Anna Meier. In Design and Industry, Remdell
Quiambao. In English Language and Literature, Nina Mollard and Nicole Walker. In Modern
Languages and literature, Rebecca Beardsley and Daniel Sullivan. In Humanities, Margaret
Andretich. In International Relations, Noora Larson. In Music, Dalton McLaughlin. In Political
Science, Trinity Faith Orman. In Technical and Professional Writing, Jessica Morley.
And in Theater and Dance, Liam Blaney and [cheering] and Isabella Tui Gadsby-Connick.
Please join me in congratulating our great students. [ Applause ] The following students have been selected
by their departments and programs to receive special recognition for excellence in their
respective field. Again, kindly withhold your applause until I name all the students in
that category. And they are, Paige Nichol Thornton, American Studies Program. Timothy
Campbell in Anthropology. Lance Kramer, Art. Julianne Herrera, Broadcast and Electronic
Communication Arts. Kevin Lee Hunter in Classics. Aliyah Khadijah Shaheed, Communication Studies.
Jessica Mejia, Comparative and World Literature. Malia Gabriel, Creative Writing. Ricardo Baltazar,
Design and Industry. Jessica Morley in English Language and Literature. Erik Nobel in History.
Margaret Andretich in Humanities. Emma Marie Chiang in Journalism. Jamie Pannozzo Liberal
Studies. Delton McLaughlin, Music. Nichole Chang, Philosophy. Trinity Faith Orman, Political
Science. Liam Blaney, Theater and Dance. And finally, [inaudible] Women and Gender Studies. [ Applause ] Please sit down. And now I’m really honored
and humbled to introduce the undergraduate hood recipient for the College of Liberal
and Creative Arts, Aliyah Khadijah Shaheed. [ Applause ] Graduating today with BA in Communication
Studies and a minor in African Studies, Aliyah Khadijah Shaheed is an impressive and inspiring
representative of her undergraduate class at SFSU. Not only is Aliyah an excellent student,
but also she works tirelessly to promote social justice by her words and in her deeds. This
past year, Aliyah joined the debate team for the first time as a novice competitor, and
yet she and her debate partner competed at the open level throughout the year, and they
defeated, you know, Harvard A-tem at a high-profile national tournament. [ Applause ] They then went on to win first place at the
District 1 Regional Competition. Aliyah won third place at the National Debate Tournament.
And she and her partner have made waves in the debate community by challenging the normative
framework that controls debate rules in order to highlight how those rules reproduce structures
of power. As such, she really embodies the SFSU spirit of true advocacy and she inspires
many. She continues to push for people to consider various identities, various standpoints,
and perspectives, and is considered to be a fierce, but also a compassionate participant
in all competitions and discussions. In addition to her coursework, Aliyah makes a difference
in the community, working for the past three years with high school students, in order
to prepare them to be first-generation college students. She also recent went with President
Wong to Washington DC to advocate for Project Rebound, a program that supports former incarcerated
individuals in the pursuit of a CSU education [applause]. We’re very happy to see that Aliyah
will start an MA in Communication here at SF State in the fall. She aspires to go to
law school and to become a criminal defense attorney. And finally, she asked me to mention
how much she loves her family and how grateful she is for their support. So I, and we wish
them, as well as Aliyah, the very, very best. [ Applause ] And now to present the faculty representatives
and to honor outstanding students from the College of Science and Engineering and Special
Programs, I yield the podium to Dean Keith Bowman. [ Applause ] Thank you Dr. Clavier. So the chairs and the
faculty of the College of Science and Engineering here tonight are Carmen Domingo from Biology.
Jane Dewitt from Chemistry and Biochemistry. William Hsu from Computer Science. Mary Leech
from Earth and Climate Sciences. Tom Holton from Engineering. Barbara Holzman from Geography
and Environment. David Ellis from Mathematics. Stephen Kane from Physics and Astronomy. And
Margaret Lynch from Psychology. Please give these faculty your applause. [ Applause ] So now I have the privilege to recognize students
receiving high academic honors from the college of Science and Engineering. In Biochemistry,
Adriana Garcia. Sima Rantisi. In biology, Minore Mon and Roxana Aghili. In Biology with
a concentration in cell and molecular biology, Christopher Joseph Black. In biology with
a concentration of physiology, Sarah Semaan. In Biology with a concentration in zoology,
Shawn Lucas Denarie. In Computer Engineering, Roseanne Damasco. In Geology, Claire Christine
Zurkowski. In Mathematics, Justin Fong. In Physics Andy Chan [assumed spelling]. And
in Psychology, Jennifer Chao, Anna Theresa Galloway, and Jackie Ip [assumed spelling].
Please give these students your applause. [ Applause ] Please be seated. The following students have
been selected for special recognition as departmental honorees. Rebecca Blandino from Biology. Adriana
Garcia from Chemistry and Biochemistry, Marisa Abril from Computer Science. Roseanne Damasco
from Engineering. Claire Christine Zurkowski from Geology. Elizabeth Gasoigne from Geography
and Environment. Justin Fong from Mathematics. Colin Orion Chandler from Physics and Astronomy.
And Abby Ardo [assumed spelling], Special Programs, Scientific Knowledge Applies to
Healing [cheering]. Please give these students your applause. [ Applause ] Please be seated. So no I have the privilege
to introduce and make her stand up again, Adriana Garcia. She an undergraduate, hood
recipient for the College of Science and Engineering. She’s receiving her Bachelor of Science Degree
in Biochemistry. She’ll receive this degree with the honor of Summa Cum Laude. She’s a
native of central California. She initially studied graphic design in the Art Institute
of San Francisco, however, she sought greater intellectual challenges, so she enrolled in
science courses at the City College of San Francisco. There she excelled in biology and
chemistry, and she also qualified for participation in an NIH Bridges summer internship. A program
jointly operated by the City College of San Francisco, and San Francisco State. She admits
her first semester of research was intimidating, but she drew upon her inner courage to continue.
Initially she studied embryotic deformities in zebra fish that resulted from exposure
to common drugs, such as Benadryl and Sudafed. Later, she teamed up with Chemistry professor
Raymond Esquerra to study the structural interactions in binding of nitrates to important proteins,
such as hemoglobin and myoglobin. These studies will help in the design of nitrate-based drugs
to be used for cardiovascular disease. Her journey has taken her from the study of art,
to the art of applying advanced analytical techniques, such as the application of magnetic
circular dichroism to examine biologically important proteins. She will use these skills,
and knowledge as she starts her doctoral studies this summer at Stamford University [cheering].
Congratulations Adriana. [ Applause ]>>It is now my pleasure to welcome President
Wong back to the podium for his closing remarks. [ Applause ]>>Wow. Tonight, we have seen what makes this
such an extraordinary university. We are a public heritage university where individuals
establish a higher education legacy for their families and generations to follow, and where
developing the skills and talents of our citizens builds a legacy of success for our state,
our nation and our world. Our students are as talented and as exciting a group as you
will find anywhere, and their varied backgrounds, cultures and experiences make this a far richer
university. I see in this honors convocation an exceptional opportunity to make a large
university a little bit smaller and a little more personal. We’ve heard a handful of individual
stories tonight as our hood recipients were introduced. If we had the same opportunity
to learn about each student on this stage, we would be awed by their courage, their intellectual
breadth, their accomplishments, and their perseverance we would see in all of them.
This has been an evening of celebration and shared delight for the friends and family
of our students. I hope that you got a glimpse of how we make magic happen here at San Francisco
State. Let me ask you once again to celebrate these outstanding students, soon to be graduates,
who have made this such an inspiring evening. [ Applause ] I’m going to make them remain standing for
a bit longer. I had a reason for asking these student to stand, that reason is you. The
friends and relatives, family members, children, and parents who are here tonight. As you have
heard, many of our honor students would not have been successful without your steadfast
support, therefore it seems only appropriate for all of us here on stage, our honor students
and our faculty seated in the audience to salute you. The families and friends who have
guided and encouraged these students throughout the years. So will our honorees and faculties
please join me in a round of applause for our audience. [ Applause ] Now you can sit down. This evening’s celebration
does not end with this ceremony. Thanks to the University Women’s Association, which
sponsored our first Honor’s Convocation 36 years ago, and has participated in every year
since, we are all invited to a reception at Jack Adams Hall at the Caesar Chavez Student
Center. I look forward to seeing all of you there. I now ask that our guests remain seated
until our honor students and faculty have left the theater. Students are reminded to
stop by Knuth Hall to pick up their awards certificate before going to the reception.
Our 2016 Honors Convocation has come to a close. As you, our honored graduates as soon
as you leave us, know that you go with our love and certainly our confidence. May tonight
be just a first taste of joys and honors to come. So will the members of the platform
party, the honorees and our university faculty please rise, and will the platform party please
join me in exiting the stage. [ Applause ]

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