Jeff Picaman

Jeff Picaman

President's Scholar

College of Social Sciences
Social Sciences

I chose to study psychology, specifically Industrial and Organizational psych, because it allows me combine my work experience as a general manager with my absolute love of the subject of psychology. After taking an intro psych course at Foothill College I knew that psychology was my calling.

This award means a great deal to me. A few years back I experienced a rather dramatic failure at CSU Chico and was actually academically disqualified from the school. To come back from that to maintain a 4.0 gpa here at SJSU is evidence of new direction I found after that failure.

There are far too many people that have contributed to my academic success to name. There are many professors at SJSU that I have developed relationships with, and those individuals all gave me the support to achieve my success.

My best advice to other students would be to take your education seriously. By committing my time and energy fully to my academic career, and by never losing sight of my goals, I was able to maintain a very high level of performance throughout my SJSU attendance. I will be attending NYU in the fall in their I/O psychology masters program.


A few words from his nominating professor:

“At the age of 25, Jeff entered Foothill Community College.  He transferred to SJSU in Fall of 2008, and chose to major in Psychology.  He maintained a 4.0 his entire time at SJSU.  He worked in area coffee shops, in which he quickly moved to managerial positions.  He has given presentations on his experiences to several of my Psychology classes at SJSU as well as to his classes at CSU East Bay.  He has also spoken in many high schools throughout the Bay area, and volunteered his time every week mentoring youth in a rehabilitation facility in Redwood City.

He has applied to graduate programs throughout the country in Industrial Organization Psychology, and has already been accepted into one of his choice.  He intends to focus his graduate work in the area of communication within the workplace.  He strongly believes that by helping employees have a voice in their organization, that they will experience less alienation; thus the workplace will have a healthier environment, which will improve their overall quality of life both within and outside the workplace.

In terms of interests outside of college and work, Jeff enjoys endurance running with friends, playing guitar and composing music.  He feels very grateful that, with the support of others, he has overcome his earlier challenges, and is enjoying a life that is healthy, happy and full of purpose.”

- Professor Joanna Fanos