2014-15 Alumni Association Deans' Scholarship Recipients

College of Applied Sciences and Arts

Michelle MussettMichelle Mussett

A graduate student in social work, Michelle has interned with the Record Clearance Project at SJSU and is a volunteer with the library advising clients in a free weekly program. She has extensive experience in public health outreach and has been recognized for her problem-solving skills. Prior to starting her graduate degree, Michelle served in the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa, where she developed training materials and education programs to address gender and health issues. She is currently interning as a therapist at the CSU Monterey Bay Campus Health Center.

"I'm so excited about receiving the Alumni Association Deans Scholarship, because it will allow me to concentrate on my passion-- my upcoming internship work as a therapist at the California State University Monterey Bay campus health center. The internship requires a three day a week commitment, and my full time classes require another two. This scholarship makes it possible for me to pursue my academic and professional goals without having to also take part-time work to cover living expenses. This is crucial at this time in my study, as my final year also includes a year-long thesis project. This scholarship makes it possible for me to put my best work into my final year internship and academics, allowing me to absorb as much as I can from these incredible opportunities." 

David Elliott

David elliott photograph

David is majoring in Social Work at SJSU and hopes to continue his studies in the Master of Social Work program. He has extensive experience in crisis intervention and facility management. At Foothill College, he supported students working in the Pass The Torch program, serving recruitment and orientation programs. His upcoming internship will be with Unity Care, providing services to foster youth with behavioral and emotional problems.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be selected to receive the Alumni Association Deans' Scholarship. Maintaining a balance between school, work and family can be challenging. I can be certain now that I will continue my education by working towards a MSW at SJSU. My wife, Theresa, and I have recently been gifted with a beautiful son, and financially we are working very hard to provide for our family. This scholarship has renewed my excitement about working towards an advanced degree. We are grateful and will continue our personal efforts to serve our community." 

Donald and Sally Lucas College and Graduate School of Business

Lona King

Lona King

A second year MBA student, Lona has immersed herself in activities around her academic program. Last spring, Lona represented SJSU as the CFO of her team in the highly visible International Collegiate Strategy Business Competition and served as the VP of finance for the Graduate Business Student Association. She was also selected as a finalist for the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge and presented a non-profit business plan to judges, professors, peers and industry professionals.

Away from campus, Lona serves as a business manager for TheatreWorks in Menlo Park and plans to complete her degree in May 2015. The scholarship supported a study abroad trip to Hong Kong over the summer.

"I am honored and extremely grateful to receive the Alumni Association Dean's Scholarship. This scholarship will enable me to study abroad in Hong Kong this summer and complete my second year of the MBA program at SJSU.  Education has always been incredibly important to me and I am so appreciative of the Alumni Association's support in helping me reach my educational goals."   

Marisela Rodriguez

Marisela Rodriguez

After completing her undergraduate degree in business, Marisela aspires to continue her studies in an MBA program and eventually be a business owner and active community volunteer. She came to SJSU from San Jose City College and Santa Clara High School and has extensive volunteer experience with SIREN, Young Adults for Christ, local food banks and MEChA.

"This scholarship means the world to me because it will help me achieve my goal of receiving my bachelor’s degree. It will help me to focus on what really matters to me: learning without having to worry about how am I going to pay for tuition and books. I’m so thankful for this opportunity and I hope in the future to contribute back to SJSU just like SJSU is contributing to my education." 

Connie L. Lurie College of Education 

 Terrie Morris

Terrie Morris

Hal Riddle Memorial Scholarship

A graduate student in Communication Disorders and Sciences, Terrie’s career goal is to work in a hospital as a speech-language pathologist, eventually specializing in brain injury rehabilitation. She also has interest in working in early intervention with young children and their families. Before beginning her studies at SJSU, Terrie taught high school literature and writing and worked in the Peace Corps in China, where she founded a Women’s Club to mentor young women on issues such as body image, abuse and their place as women in their society.

Terrie is an active volunteer supporting literacy programs in Santa Cruz and has gained speech-language pathology experience at Dominican Hospital.

"I am truly honored to receive one of the 2014-2015 Alumni Association Deans’ Scholarships. As I enter my final year at SJSU which consists of full-time internships, this award will ease my financial burden, allowing me to reduce my work hours to focus on reaching my academic goals. The depth of my gratitude for receiving this award is matched only by my relief as I no longer have to worry as much about financially supporting my decision to return to graduate school."  

Onette Morales-Alcazar

Onette Morales-Alcazar

Pat Porter Memorial Scholarship

Onette plans on becoming an English teacher and then an English Language Development (for English learners) teacher at a local public high school. Once an ESL student herself, she hopes to work in the community to promote equal opportunities and better education for students learning English as a second language.

A 2013 graduate in English education, Onette is currently completing her teaching credential in English and has worked at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale as a student teacher and bilingual paraeducator. She has also volunteered as a reading tutor at Vargas Elementary School in Sunnyvale.

"This scholarship will make financing my teaching credential program easier. I have been working all throughout my undergraduate and post-graduate career—this is no easy balance to maintain. With this scholarship, I can focus more time on my classes and student teaching without worrying about how I will pay for it all. I am overwhelmingly honored for being chosen by the SJSU Alumni Association for this scholarship, and I will proudly speak about this honor with my friends, family, students, and fellow Spartans." 

Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering 

 Joshua Cruz

Joshua Cruz

As computer engineering major, Joshua hopes to utilize his passion for innovation and leadership to empower the lives of those around him through technology. He has served as a resident adviser and orientation leader at SJSU as well as a student instructional assistant in the Davidson College of Engineering. Joshua’s other volunteer experience on campus includes the Engineering Ambassador Program, serving as vice president of the National Residence Hall Honorary. He was also a member of the Spartan Marching Band.

This year he is working as a resident adviser for the engineering-themed community, nurturing a community of first-year engineering students to aid them in a smooth transition to SJSU.

“This scholarship has came in perfect timing in my career at SJSU. It is a true validation that my involvements inside and outside of the classroom have an impact on my campus community. With this award, I will continue my endeavor to complete my degree in Computer Engineering, and I will take the inspiration coming from those who have supported me through this scholarship to reach my scholastic goals.”  

 Jose Roberto Montenegro

Jose Roberto Montenegro

Jose is a chemical engineering major who came to SJSU from City College of San Francisco. He balances active involvement at SJSU with work and family commitments. Last spring, he was a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Chem-E Car design team, assembling a lab-scaled alternative fuel vehicle using thermoelectric generators. He has also been involved with Student Advocates for Higher Education, MESA and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at SJSU.

"I can't say thanks enough to all the generous contributors that will allow me not only to continue this wonderful journey to fulfill my goals academically and professionally, but to allow me to provide a brighter future to my family. I am honored on receiving this award and I promise to make the best use of it by continuing working toward my career" 

College of Humanities and the Arts 

Mary Okin

Mary Okin

Steve Silver Memorial Scholarship

A 2011 SJSU graduate, Mary is now completing a graduate degree in art history and visual culture, conducting research on the art of Arthur Frank Mathews as a case study in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century California art. She has also been selected as a 2014-2015 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar, which will enable her to pursue a doctoral degree with the support of the CSU Chancellor's Office and SJSU faculty.

Mary was a Salzburg Scholar and initiated the SJSU Cultural Showcase last spring. She is committed to supporting the showcase again this year with the hope it will become a sustainable institution that will continue to celebrate and highlight SJSU’s multicultural and global campus identity.

"I feel very honored to be selected as a SJSU Alumni Association Dean's Scholar! I am incredibly grateful to the scholarship committee for their recognition of my academic promise, leadership, and service to San Jose State University. I always strive to work hard in pursuit of my dreams, to form community, and to help others along the way. As a graduate student, SJSU Salzburg Scholar, and an alumna of SJSU, I am driven to pursue excellence on campus and I intend to continue my commitment to service and the promotion of global citizenship during the 2014-2015 school year. Thanks to this amazing scholarship, I will have more free time to devote to the Second Annual SJSU Cultural Showcase which I helped to found with a group of Salzburg Scholars this past academic year. As it is a huge undertaking, I plan to help with next year's showcase, also to ensure that it becomes a sustainable institution at SJSU that will continue to celebrate and highlight our multicultural and global campus identity after I graduate. Having a cushion of financial support is a huge blessing. I could not devote more time to service in the fall without it. Thank you so much for your support of my work and my dreams! I promise that this investment will pay off. In addition to becoming a SJSU Alumni Association Dean's Scholar, I was deeply humbled to learn that I have been selected as a 2014-2015 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar, which will help me to pursue a doctoral degree with the support of the CSU Chancellor's Office and SJSU faculty. I look forward to the day when I have finished my Ph.D., am teaching full-time, and have the resources to contribute financially to scholarship programs such as this. In an ideal world, I would like to return to SJSU as a faculty member so that I can help students reach for their academic dreams, and like many of my professors, help to make those dreams a reality."  

 Scotty Gorham

scott gorham

Scotty is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Spatial Art and Digital Media Art at San José State University with plans to use his degree to teach in the United States and abroad, while continuing his career as a professional artist. Active in a number of student organizations, Scotty organized Gallery Wars, an annual sculpture competition. His research area is device-mediated experience and the relationships between digital and physical space. This is illustrated in Scotty's current body of work, which uses device mediation to explore the new semiotics of object in an increasingly image based culture.  This includes technologies like augmented reality and QR codes are paired with sculptural “stand-ins” and built environments to investigate (and sometimes invert) the relationships between portals and destinations.

In addition to his academic pursuits and student involvement, he is a teaching associate in a number of courses and has served as a student assistant in the Art and Art History department.

"Winning the Alumni Association Deans’ Scholarship is really an awesome honor.  This award will help me financially, but having your recognition and support for my research in the fields of Spatial and Digital Media Art is invaluable.  Thank you!"   

College of Science 

Tristan Pulliam

tristan pulliam

Tristan aspires to go to medical school after completing his degree at SJSU, possibly focusing on endocrinology. At SJSU, he has been an active member of Pi Kappa Alpha and is a coordinator of peer advisers in the College of Science Advising Center. In this role, he leads training programs, hosts events for the college, creates academic workshops and develops outreach between students and faculty. Tristan has also been a member of the Associated Students programming board, which sponsors large scale events for students. 

"I am humbled to receive the Alumni Association Dean’s Scholarship from San Jose State University, a school that has already given me so much. To me, a scholarship is not solely a financial gift given to a student to reward their hard work; a scholarship is an investment in a student’s future. I am greatly honored to be considered worthy of such an investment. This scholarship removes the heavy burden that is academic debt and enables me to focus on strengthening my leadership skills and building knowledge in preparation for my future in the field of medicine. In return, I hope to one day reciprocate this investment by investing in the lives of future SJSU students."  

Margarita RangelMargarita Rangel

A President’s Scholar and biological sciences major, Margarita is active in many aspects of student life at SJSU. This summer, she participated in the Summer Research Opportunities at Harvard program and has been an academic excellence workshop facilitator in biology classes. She has been president of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Undergraduate Affiliate Network at SJSU and is a Reading Partners volunteer. Margarita says the scholarship will help her to continue devoting time to helping other students reach their potential.

"I am honored to be receiving the 2014-2015 Alumni Association Dean’s Scholarship. The scholarship will allow me to continue conducting research and presenting my work while attending school with fewer financial constraints. This will help me better prepare for applying to graduate school this fall. Not only will this scholarship help me reach my goals, but it will also help me to continue devoting time to helping other students reach their potential, as I enjoy volunteering in ways such as tutoring young disadvantaged students who are far below their expected literacy level. It is gratifying to be recognized for my achievements and I am continuously grateful for the support and motivation." 

College of Social Sciences 

Anna Santana

Anna Santana

Anna is a Dean’s Scholar and a dedicated volunteer for HomeFirst (previously EHC LifeBuilders), MLK Library’s Homework Club and the East Side Union High
School District. She is member of the Black Masque Honor Society, Phi Sigma Iota and is one of two students serving on the President’s Commission on Diversity. Her studies include Spanish and sociology and she hopes to graduate in the spring of 2016.

"A few hours before submitting the Federal Direct Stafford Loan forms, I was notified that I was selected to receive this phenomenal scholarship. Immediately, I ripped the loan forms in half with a smile on my face. There are no words to describe my gratitude. I feel extremely humbled to be an awardee. Thank you for believing in my academic and personal achievements, and I promise that in a few years, I will pay it forward."

Angelina Loyola

Angela Loyola

A sociologist, Angelina has become aware of how and why social structures function. A Chicana, she has become aware of the importance of her role as a scholar-activist. With these lessons, she hopes to teach at the high school or community college level so that others may be empowered by education and knowledge that will inevitably enable them to make social change for the good of all people. Angelina earned her undergraduate degree in sociology at SJSU and is nearing completion of her master’s degree in Mexican-American studies.

"My academic journey has been tough both mentally and financially. The will to give my all has paid off both as a scholar and as a member of my community. If it were not for scholarship opportunities such as this, I’m not sure if I would have been able to pursue this degree. For this, I am truly grateful. This scholarship allows me the opportunity to focus on my degree without the financial burden. It is my responsibility to pay it forward. In the near future I will be able to take with me all that I have learned and gained from this degree and give it back to my community. I hold steadfast to the words of the late Maya Angelou, “When you get, give. When you learn, teach." Thank you for acknowledging me as a scholar, and an individual that will take with her into this world the teachings from some of the greatest teachers I’ve encountered. For this I am truly thankful."

Previous Recipients