2013 Alumni Association Deans' Scholarship Recipients

College of Applied Sciences and Arts

ThanhThuy LuuThanhThuy Luu

"The scholarship is meaningful to me in several ways. First it is great financial support for me to pursue higher education. Second, it is an invaluable motivation because it proves that all of my efforts, academic achievement, and community contribution have been recognized. It is my honor to be granted this scholarship. It makes me feel accepted in the community of scholars, as I came to the U.S. only five years ago and faced some challenges in completing my Bachelor's degree. I am grateful to have this recognition as I embark on my Master's degree."

ThanhThuy is graduating this spring with a degree in nutritional science. She plans to pursue her MPH and become a health educator. ThanhThuy is very involved in her community and often volunteers at various charity and public health organizations. She also enjoys photography and hiking in the Bay Area. Daily, she lives by the following inspiration: "Failure is a status, not a nature."

Lauren Wickman 

Lauren Wickman"I am so incredibly humbled and honored to be receiving the Alumni Association Dean's Scholarship. Words cannot express my gratitude. This scholarship will enable me to finish my last semester at SJSU without worrying about the financial means to do so. In addition, this money will now allow me the opportunity to continue my education in a SJSU's Masters program, which never seemed possible prior to receiving this award."

Lauren is currently majoring in health science with a concentration in health services administration. She is also minoring in nutrition and food science, and hopes to pursue a Master of Public Policy or Social Work. Lauren's a member of Eta Sigma Gamma Health Science Honors Society and Sigma Alpha Lambda Honor Society. For over two years, Lauren has interned at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in the patient access department administering health care programs for local residents without health insurance. She plans to continue working for the county after graduation, serving low-income populations. Outside of school, Lauren mentors middle-school students, serves as a camp counselor, and organizes health and cultural events. She also served as the past editor and chief of L.A. in the Bay, and is the owner of Style by L, a personal shopping and style business.

Donald and Sally Lucas College and Graduate School of Business

Klarence OuYang

Klarence OuYang

"As an independent student, I've supported myself through community college and university. I wouldn't have been able to come as far as I have without your aid. Thank you for awarding me this scholarship, it will greatly lighten my financial burden and allow me to concentrate on my coursework and staying active on campus. One day I hope to be able to contribute to the next generation of students."  

Klarence is an undergraduate student studying business administration with a concentration in management information systems. Born in New York, Klarence lived and studied in Sweden where he became fluent in Swedish. He earned an Associate Degree in Web Design from MiraCosta College in San Diego. Klarence works zealously to support and improve user experience on the Internet, and is a strong advocate for net neutrality. He is a student web developer at the SJSU Career Center and is interning at Cisco as an IT analyst. As a student in the Gary J. Sbona Honors Program, Klarence and his team worked on implementing a
CRM system and creating an IT roadmap for the CIO Scholarship Fund, a local non-profit organization. He's also the the treasurer for Spartans Toastmasters. Last year, Klarence was the VP of communications for AIESEC, and he helped AlE­ SEC win the Organization of the Year award from Associated Students by help­ing facilitate the foreign exchange.

Natasha Morales

natasha morales

"As a student studying abroad this fall, I was concerned and anxious about the cost of my trip and how I would pay for it. Budgeting my summer spending, and working extra hard to make anything for the trip were constantly on my mind. Upon reading the letter, a rush of relief and happiness filled my face as I realized that my hard work proved I could study abroad."

Natasha  is a seniomajoring in business administration with a concentration in marketing and a minor in Spanish. She is part of the Gary J. Sbona Honors Program, and is studying abroad this fall in Pamplona, Spain at the Universidad Publica deNavarra. Natasha works as a resident adviser for University Housing Ser­vices and greatly values her experience with freshmen. She teaches her students to be proud of SJSU'diversity. Natasha is also the team captain of Spartan Mambo, SJSU'salsa performance team, which won first place at the College SalsCongress in 2011. Her career goal is to attend graduate school and work in venture capital.

Connie L. Lurie College of Education 

Jose Calderon

jose calderon

Hal Riddle Memorial Scholarship

"This scholarship will help me become a stronger person and more resourceful to the community. It is scholarships like these that enable students like me to be able to go to school with less pressure and more certainty.  The scholarship means to me hope for the future." 

Jose is a first-year graduate student in counselor education, and received his B.A. from SJSU in Behavioral Science with a minor in justice studies. Since Jose was young, he has always desired to help others and serve his country. He proudly served in the U.S. Navy for six years as a military police officer. Currently, he is the vice president of the SJSU Veteran Student Organization, and student vice president of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Jose works as a veteran peer advisor intern at the Career Center, and assisted with SJSU's Burdick Room Library Project. He also volunteers with children of migrant workers through TOUCCH (Tutor Outreach Uniting Communities for Change). Jose looks forward to working with at-risk youth in meaningful and life-altering ways.

Nicole Gomez

nicole gomez

Pat Porter Memorial Scholarship

"As the end of my undergraduate career approaches, I find myself becoming increasingly nervous about the looming debt I will soon be repaying. This scholarship will allow me to continue working only part-time, giving me the time I need for my own children, and the children at the San Jose Family Shelter, where I volunteer in the child care center."

A child and adolescent development major, Nicole's career goal is to work with young children in crisis. She desires to create mobile child care centers that can travel on a moment's notice to emergency shelters, such as the ones recently used during Superstorm Sandy. Currently, Nicole volunteers in the child care center of the San Jose Family Shelter, assisting with caring for homeless children. Additionally, she teaches early childhood music classes, something she has been doing
since 2007, and is a volunteer facilitator of the Art in Action program at Lorna Prieta Elementary. Nicole is a President's Scholar, Santa Clara Cultural Society scholarship recipient and completed the Provost's Honors Seminar.

Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering 

Nergal Issaie

“I truly appreciate the providers of the Alumni Association Scholarship. The scholarship will help me reach my academic goal at SJSU. I will keep working hard towards obtaining my degree to show my best appreciation to the providers of the scholarship. Thank you and God bless you.” 

Nergal is working toward his B.S. in Software Engineering. He is a currently a research assistant at Foothill De Anza Community College. Nergal sees the field of engineering as a way to solve problems when faced with limited resources anbelieves engineering can be a tool to solve many complex difficulties. He hopes to build a better life for his family through his work. Nergal enjoys researching and exploring new technologies associated with computer programs. He also enjoys playing the piano, a favorite hobby for more than 15 years.

Quang Le

quang le

"Receiving this award provides additional motivation to succeed academically and professionally."

Quang is a civil engineering major with a passion for construction management. Quang's interest in construction developed through his internship with The CORE Group. For over a year, he learned the ropes about bid drawings and served as lead estimator on a Washington Hospital project. Also, Quang interned at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he assisted in the research of the Visible transmittance (VT) of tubular daylighting devices and completed modifications and fabrications to the integrating sphere. As much as Quang is passionate about construction, he also desires to help other students reach their academic and career goals. He hopes to mentor students who will impact their communities with innovative ideas for a sustainable future. He was recently elected president of SJSU's chapter of Associated General Contractors of California.

College of Humanities and the Arts 

Annie Blaylock

annie blaylock

Steve Silver Memorial Scholarship

"This scholarship is so monumental to my education! I cannot begin to explain the value this scholarship has for me. My financial strains are greatly alleviated, as I pay for half of my tuition myself. Also, it has shown me that complete strangers have faith in me based on my accomplishments, validating my work." 

Annie is an English major, with a concentration in career writing, and a business administration minor. Her career goal is to be a grant writer for a non-profit organization and publish a novel. Annie is part of SJSU's selective Humanities Honors Program and is a Freshman Orientation Leader, working with hundreds of new Spartans and their families. She's also a proud member of Alpha Phi, where she is involved with a number of philanthropic efforts. Annie volunteers her time with Strive for College, through the Cesar Chavez Community Action Center, mentoring at risk students in the college application process. She also is a head lifeguard and swimming instructor at the YMCA.

Jessica Nguyen

jessica nguyen

"This scholarship will help me tour Europe with the Choraliers, the most advanced choral ensemble at SJSU. I have never been to Europe before, and this dream is finally coming true with the Alumni Association's help. I am so thankful for this opportunity to go to Europe and do what I love the most - performing choral music and spreading and teaching a love and appreciation of music. It will also help fund my passions as a music educator, allowing me to focus on my schoolwork and doing the best I can. This is all thanks to the efforts of the SJSU Alumni Association!"  

Jessica is a music education major who hopes to teach all ages how learning music can transfer to anything. Her goal is to pursue a Master of Education or Conducting after teaching publicly for a few years. She is a member of a variety of ensembles, including Concert Choir, Choraliers, Women's Chorus, SJSU Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble. In addition, Jessica runs an independent study class, the Music Educator's Workshop Ensemble, where she completely designed the coursework and literature. Currently, Jessica serves as president of Mu Phi Epsilon, the academic/honor music fraternity, and is the treasurer for the American Choral Directors Association. She is also a board member of the National Association for Music Education collegiate chapter, which promotes music education in the community.

College of Science 

Terri McBride

terri bella

"As a rising senior planning to matriculate to either a MD-PhD or PhD graduate program, I will be encountering many costs this Fall and Spring associated with the application process. I recently exhausted my main source of income last semester (the GI Bill) and have been saving in preparation for this. This scholarship will provide for me financially, so that I can continue to focus on my academic goals and research goals, without getting distracted by financial burdens. I feel blessed to be given this award and I am looking forward to the day when I too can bless others and help them achieve their dreams and true potential, as you all are doing for me." 

As a molecular biology major and chemistry minor, Terri is well on her way to becoming a physician scientist, specializing in oncology and epigenetics. She aspires to be a mover and shaker in both biomedical research and healthcare, and has a passion to serve the underprivileged and close opportunity gaps. She volunteers at free clinics and Doctors Without Borders. During the summer she interned in the Sweet-Cordero Lab at Stanford University and had a previous
internship at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute. Terri served 10 years in the United States Coast Guard and continues as a drilling reservist.

Jacqueline Schwartzsteinjacqueline schwartzstein

"This scholarship will allow my husband and I to start out our new lives together with significantly less education-related debt.  As a graduate student, I thank you for this generous support and the opportunity to focus on my research."

Jacqueline is a graduate student in marine science, and conducts research in Dr. Jim Harvey's Vertebrate Ecology Lab at Moss Landing Marine Laboratory. Growing up in the Arizona desert, the diversity and strange beauty of the desert ecosystem sparked her initial interest in biology. After a few family trips to aquariums in California and Washington, she knew at an early age she belonged in the field of marine science. As an undergraduate student, Jacqueline was involved in a study on the foraging ecology of gray whales off the coast of Washington State. Her current thesis work at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories is centered on gray whales. She is a volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and is co-president of Moss Landing Marine Labs Study Body. She looks forward to a rewarding career as a marine ecologist working with marine birds, turtles and mammals. 

College of Social Sciences 

Mariah Van Buskirk

mariah van buskirk

"I take the utmost pride in my schoolwork and place it as one of my top priorities. Receiving this scholarship validates my efforts and hard work, and gives me the confidence to pursue my dream career in Psychology without having such a great financial burden."

As a sophomore, Mariah's standard of excellence is clear. She is a President's Scholar and has a perfect GPA of 4.0 in Psychology. She already shows dedication to her field. Mariah has worked with children as a volunteer at the Resurrection Lutheran Child Development Program and the Sunset Christian School. She has also volunteered with Veggielution Community Farm and Kaiser Permanente. She is a member of Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity, and participates in raising awareness about autism through Autism Speaks. Mariah plans to pursue a Master's degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Nora Cata

nora cata

"The generosity of your association will help me to continue researching tribal renewable energy and complete my thesis this year. Being awarded one of the Dean’s Scholarships means so much to me in terms of validating my academic efforts over the past few years. It’s been a grueling journey, but because of your support, I know I am that much closer to receiving an M.S. in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University."

Nora is pursuing a Master's degree in Environmental Studies. As a second year student, Nora is maintaining a 3.95 GPA and interned this summer in Washington D.C. through the Udall Foundation's Native American Congressional Internship Program. She is a proud member of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma and also part Comanche and Ohkay-Owingeh Pueblo. Last summer, Nora was a Tribal Energy Program intern with Sandia National Laboratories and published a Government Document titled, "Sustainable Rural Electrification: Residential Solar Energy on the Navajo Nation." During the internship she volunteered with the Dream Catcher Science Program to promote scientific literacy among youth. Nora's first position as a graduate student was at WattzOn, a local business that promotes residential energy efficiency, assisting in marketing projects and community outreach. In 2013, Nora was hired as a environmental program assistant by the City of Menlo Park and helped roll out the city's Reusable Bag Ordinance.