Family Advisory Board

The Family Advisory Board is an 18 member group of volunteer San Jose State University parents and supporters, established in 2016 to work with the Department of Student Affairs to enhance student success. FAB members volunteer at SJSU events and assist the University in its outreach efforts, as well as network and conduct parent/family surveys that help us focus on the most important issues for students and their families. Representative Liaisons work with individual departments within the University to help the Board make informed recommendations from the unique perspective of family supporters.

How can I join FAB?

We are currently accepting Family Advisory Board (FAB) Member applications for the 2020-21 academic year.

Complete this form to apply to be a member of our Family Advisory Board.
Complete this form to learn about other volunteer opportunities.

If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about the board, please email us at


The Family Advisory Board will:

  1. Provide advice and counsel in long-range planning for the University and Department activities, programs, and services.
  2. Solicit and provide immediate feedback to the University regarding programs and student activities to enhance and improve the student experience.
  3. Aid in the formulation and promotion of goals and objectives for the Department which will be communicated to Parents and Supporters.
  4. Encourage and support maximum parent and supporter involvement in the activities of the Department and other University events.
  5. Guide and provide feedback on communication between the University and Parents and Supporters
  6. Assist the University in identifying and cultivating Parents, Supporters, and others to support the mission of the University. 

FAB News logo

2020 Board Members Logo

Chair: Lisa Ball (2016- Present)

Lisa BallLisa Ball grew up in San Jose and graduated from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. After 20 years of creating business graphics for Silicon Valley companies, she moved to Sunol, CA to raise a family in a rural community. She was very involved with the local k-8 public school for the 14 years her children attended. Her son, a 2020 graduate in Software Engineering, chose SJSU because it's in the heart of Silicon Valley.  Her daughter is a Theatre Arts major expecting to graduate in 2024.

Vice-Chair: Mariana Garcia Serrato (2018- Present)

Mariana Garcia SerratoBorn and raised in Mexico City, Mariana graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from Universidad La Salle, and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for several years before moving to California. After being a full-time parent to her two children for a while, and volunteering in their classrooms, she decided that she could best effect change in the educational system by becoming a teacher herself and obtained a teaching credential from SJSU in 2010. She currently teaches middle school science in San Jose and finds joy in making her content available to her students in a variety of ways. Mariana’s two children attend SJSU. Her son is pursuing a degree in History, aiming to graduate in 2022, and continuing on to the teacher credentialing program. Her daughter is pursuing a degree in animation and is expected to graduate in 2023.

Secretary: Rumi Varma (2018 - Present)

Rumi Varma

Rumi has a post-grad in business management from the N.M.I.M.S school in Mumbai, India, her home country. After over 10 years in corporate sales and event management, Rumi swapped her career to become a full-time parent. She enjoys supporting her community through various channels and has served on the board of elementary and middle school PTAs, high school PTSA and Council PTA. Rumi is currently serving on the executive board of San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs. She is also an active volunteer for several local non-profits such as San Ramon Culture in the Community Celebration, San Ramon Valley Education Foundation, Discovery Counseling Center, San Ramon Valley Diversity Coalition and the SRVUSD (Facilities Oversight & Advisory Committee). 

Her daughter is majoring in Molecular Biology at San Jose State University. In 2018, Rumi joined the SJSU Family Advisory Board to support the university’s efforts in championing student success and improving student experience.

Mia Costa (2018- Present)

Mia CostaShe is senior level marketing executive with over 20 years of experience working in consumer electronics, tech and lifestyle industries running marketing teams in the U.S. and Europe. She is currently working for a health and wellness company and is also an advisor for a start-ups. Mia earned her B.A. in business from Loyola Marymount University;  attended Durham University (economics and international marketing) and USC (digital media and tech management). She has previously served on two boards as Treasurer at her son's high school aquatics team and as a board member/marketing chair for Impact Giving, a women’s collective. Her son, Luca, is in the School of Global Innovation and Leadership with a concentration in entrepreneurship.

Linda Jackson (2020 - Present)

Spartan headLinda is a Sales Executive for a major national residential lender had his been in the industry for over 20 years.  She grew up in Michigan and attended college at Oakland University, also in Michigan.  In her spare time she enjoys home design, reading, traveling and painting.  Outside of working full time Linda is also the president of her local Silhouette Chapter, which is an auxiliary organization of the San Fernando, Santa Clarita Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.  Linda is a wife and mother of three beautiful adult children.  The youngest is her daughter Kennedy who is a Sociology major with an emphasis in Race and Ethnic Studies. Kennedy is also a very talent musician who sings and plays multiple musical instruments.  

Monica Malhotra (2019- Present)

Monica MalhotraMonica is an MBA from Santa Clara University. She spent over 20 years in Corporate Finance and Accounting in tech firms across the valley before starting her own company in 2019. She provides accounting and strategic financial services to early stage startups. Her daughter is a Psychology student at San Jose State University’s Class of 2023. Monica is excited to be part of FAB and be a champion of new students and families and working with the University to make their years at San Jose State a memorable and positive experience.

Lan Nguyen (2018- Present)

Lan NguyenLan is a school board member on the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education. He came to the U.S. as a refugee, graduated from high school, earned his BA in Political Science from U.C. Riverside and Juris Doctor Degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1990. He is also an attorney practicing law in Westminster, California. He’s well known in the Vietnamese American community for advocating for refugee, legal and political rights and political empowerment.  His son is attending SJSU, Class of 2022 and majoring in History.

Michael O'Connell (2020 - Present)

Michael OConnell

Michael works for the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), in the Engineering and Construction Management department as a Product Manager, overseeing IT (Information Technology) Capital projects. Michael is a graduate from UCSC, where he studied Computer Science and Business Management Economics. His spare time is spent on home remodeling projects, gardening, reading, learning, and fitness activities.

His son Sean is an Environmental Studies major and is also leaning towards a minor in either Philosophy or Communications, graduating in Spring 2023. He is living on campus, enjoys performing, (singing, dancing, jazz/blues piano, gymnastics), public speaking, fitness related activities, photography, videography, and especially being with his new friends and the vibe of SJSU. His love of hiking, surfing, and nature brings him home to Santa Cruz often.

Christine Palmieri-Bumgarner (Crispy)(2018- Present)

Christine BumgarnerCrispy is an entrepreneur, comedian, and filmmaker who grew up in Brooklyn, New York and earned a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University. In her 20+ year computer software career she worked as the Director of Technology and Production for Disney’,,, and as a Senior Software Engineering Project Manager for the worldwide e-commerce presence for Apple, Inc. As co-president of the Women at Apple group, she created programs and mentored women in technology. As President of her son’s High School PTA she created a monthly newsletter for parents, got the ball rolling on a mindfulness program, and created a fund for school trips. Her son Roger is a Environmental Studies major at SJSU. He is a commuter student who enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons, hiking, and nature photographer.

George Papazian (2020-Present)

Spartan HeadGeorge is the founder and CEO of Naviscent ( a market/usability research consulting company working with the worlds most recognized brands.  Originally from New York City, George has a degree in Finance/Management from NYU and moved to Silicon Valley, the center of the technology universe in 1991.  George has been on several volunteer and non-profit boards including Red Cross, Silicon Valley where he was chair of the development committee for 4 years.   He also served as a member of the board of directors of the Oracle Usability Advisory Board for many years.  He joined the SJSU Family Advisory Board to help work on issues affecting students and parents and especially to make sure students have the opportunity to graduate in four years and have solid internship opportunities along that path and career opportunities upon graduation.  His daughter Aline is studying Marketing as part of the class of 2023.

Sajal Sahay (2020- Present)

Terry Ramos

Sajal is the proud father of a third year SJSU student, majoring in Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering. He has previous University Board level experience, serving on the Global Alumni Board of the University of Chicago. Sajal’s passion is helping students maximize their student life during their college years, and upon graduation, and looks forwarding to contributing in this capacity on the SJSU FAB. Sajal is currently Co-founder/CEO of Oodles Corporation, a software start-up in the Bay Area. He has worked in leadership roles at well-known organizations such as Fairchild Semiconductor, Hewlett-Packard, Philips, Bausch & Lomb, Arthur Andersen & IBM. He has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago, and an MBA in Marketing & General Management from IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. He is also a graduate of the d.School Design school at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Terry Ramos (2017- Present)

Terry RamosTerry is a graduate of Mission College. She is an Accountant II employed by the Santa Clara County Housing Authority since 1985. Living one mile away from SJSU, she is the treasurer of her neighborhood association (SKNA-Spartan Keyes Neighborhood Association) and involved in organizing the annual National Night Out event and neighborhood Sock Drive for the Homeless. Terry is the proud mother of a current SJSU student and mother, mother-in-law, and sister of SJSU alumni. She is also the proud daughter of a Spartan Shops Food Services retiree. Her daughter, Aimée is pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Aimée is a member of the SJSU Women's Club Sport Rugby Team. Terry, bilingual in Spanish/English, is honored to be serving on the Family Advisory Board (FAB) and looks forward to meeting new students and their parents at one of the numerous events that the New Student and Family Programs Division of Student Affairs has planned this year.