Member of the Month
Our alumni are powering Silicon Valley and their communities worldwide! Each month we feature a member of the Alumni Association and provide a glimpse into why graduates are proud Spartans. Learn more about where their SJSU degrees have taken them and read about their favorite memories while at San José State!
Barbara Jo Navarro
Role: System Engineer, Blackboard Inc.
Major: B.S., Computer Science, '13
Why are you proud to be a Spartan? I am proud to be a Spartan because I believe that our university brings students many incredible opportunities that are unattainable in any other community. The potential for development and networking at SJSU is enormous.
Favorite SJSU memory: I really enjoyed my time serving as the Associated Students President. I really felt I hit my full stride as a student and gave back to my community in the fullest way I could.
What activities/organizations were you involved in as a student? I was on the Board of Directors for Associated Students for 3 years. I was an Orientation Leader assisting Freshman register for classes and become acquainted with the University. I was an involved member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon for 4 years.
Which SJSU professor/staff had the greatest impact on you and why? I would have to give kudos to the incredibly supportive staff in Student Involvement. They always gave me a space to talk, vent, and share my vision and ideas. It was through many of their programs that I grew into a leader and a mentor. I especially want to thank Rich Kelley, the Directory of Student Involvement, for advising me through my time in Associated Students.
What influenced your success in getting a job after college? I was inspired by SJSU's trials in educational technology. It blew my mind that using EdX and the Flipped Classroom, we massive reduced failure rates in an Electrical Engineering Course from over 40% failing to under 9%. That was incredible, I knew that I wanted to help contribute to these technologies.
What is one of your memorable career accomplishments? I've only just started my career, so I hope to have much more to share with you in 5 years. Currently I would say that my most memorable accomplishment is being able to be a lead on a major project within our team and delivering ahead of time. While at the same time being able to develop new friendships and mentor high school students through the Spark Program in San Francisco.
Advice to current SJSU students: My best advice I can give is to take advantage of every opportunity. If there is a meetup or networking opportunity, take advantage of that. If your friends randomly decide to have a beach bonfire in Santa Cruz, GO! These are the times you will learn and grow the most, so seize every opportunity each day brings.