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 2021-2022 academic year.
If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about the board, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Family Advisory Board will:
- Provide advice and counsel in long-range planning for the University and Department activities, programs, and services.
- Solicit and provide immediate feedback to the University regarding programs and student activities to enhance and improve the student experience.
- Aid in the formulation and promotion of goals and objectives for the Department which will be communicated to Parents and Supporters.
- Encourage and support maximum parent and supporter involvement in the activities of the Department and other University events.
- Guide and provide feedback on communication between the University and Parents and Supporters
- Assist the University in identifying and cultivating Parents, Supporters, and others to support the mission of the University.
- "FAB Fall 2020 Surveys: Thank you. November. 2020" [pdf]
- "2020 Fall Surveys by the SJSU Family Advisory Board." October. 2020 [pdf]
- "2020-2021 Board Meeting Dates." September. 2020 [pdf]
- "2019-2020 Survey: Thank You" September. 2020 [pdf]
- "Black Lives Matter: A Statement from the SJSU Family Advisory Board" June. 2020 [pdf]
Chair: Lisa Ball (2016- Present)
Lisa 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)
Born 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 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.
Terry Ramos (2017- Present)
Terry 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.
Mia Costa (2018- Present)
She 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.
Lan Nguyen (2018- Present)
Lan 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.
Christine Palmieri-Bumgarner (Crispy)(2018- Present)
Crispy 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’sabc.com,oscars.com, andoprah.com, 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.
Monica Malhotra (2019- Present)
Monica 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.
George Papazian (2019-Present)
George is the founder and CEO of Naviscent (naviscent.com) 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.
Linda Jackson (2020 - Present)
Linda 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.
Michael O'Connell (2020 - Present)
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.
Sajal Sahay (2020- Present)
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.
Tonya Anthony (2020- Present)
Tonya Anthony is from Los Angeles, CA and graduated with a Master’s in Social Work from California State University, Long Beach. After working as a volunteer in social work for over 15 years providing a summer camp experience for at-risk youth within the child welfare system while working from home running a children’s publication company, Tonya began a professional career in social work in Los Angeles County in 2015 in the area of investigations. Her only child is a Communication and Film major expected to graduate in 2024.
Seth Finn (2020- Present)
Seth Finn has a background in non-profit having worked in East LA for the Boyle Heights
College Institute, as well as a Community Relations Director for the Seattle SuperSonics
(now the Oklahoma City Thunder). While working for the Sonics, Seth created and managed
a technology program offered to Seattle Public School’s 50,000 students. Seth also
served in the enviable role of stay-at-home part of his son’s elementary education.
During this time he was elected to school site governance in addition to other roles
at Roosevelt Elementary School in Santa Monica. As a Co-Founder of Digital Dragon,
also in Santa Monica, CA, Seth has been part of an amazing team that has built a company
over the course of seven years that helps students find their technology passions.
Ramiz Ballou (2020- Present)
Ramiz is a technologist, business owner, and community servant! He spent over 25 yr in the tech world in the bay area developing world class products, then went on to start family business providing Tutoring and Childcare services (collegenannies.com/218); along with providing technical consulting services for startups. He is also active with community activities for Boy Scout of America as well religious organization. He has a BS and MS degree, in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science (respectively) from the Missouri University of Science and Technology (aka Univ. of Missouri-Rolla). He joined FAB to help students identify career path after graduation and focus their study to toward their career goals. Our daughter Lana, with lots of leadership skills, joined SJSU in Fall ’20 to study science. She is working very hard to identify college experience and learn from others!
Nanette Hamilton (2020- Present)
Nanette is a long-time Bay Area resident having moved here in 1986. She has strong ties to the community serving in a number of positions in Parent Teacher Association (PTA) for her sons’ schools as well as many years serving on the board of local youth sports organizations. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from the University of Oregon. After moving to San Jose, she met and married her husband; a San Jose State alum. Ever since then she has split her collegiate allegiances between the Spartans and the Ducks. Now, her son is a Spartan in the Computer Science program and class of 2024. She looks forward to serving the SJSU community and supporting our students and families through FAB. In her free time she continues to support local youth sports organizations and enjoys traveling, hiking,reading and crafting.
Joanne Marchione (2020- Present)
As the inaugural international representative on the Family Advisory Board, Joanne was born, raised and lives in Melbourne, Australia. She graduated from RMIT University in Medical Radiations and further post graduate studies in Ultrasonography. After 10 years in her chosen career, she stepped away to become a ‘stay-at-home’ mum. Joanne took on various volunteer positions during her children’s schooling, from Pre-School President to fundraising coordinator for Jesuit Missions. Joanne was an avid executive member of multiple parent associations. Her son, Nick, is an international student athlete on the Water polo team at SJSU, majoring in Anthropology.
Michael Mc Adoo (2020- Present)
Michael was born in Detroit and grew up in the Washington, DC and Columbia, MD areas. He graduated from Howard University with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Gerontology. He graduated post grad from Antioch University, Los Angeles with a MA in Clinical Psychology. He has worked with at risk youth and adults diagnosed with mild to severe mental illness for over 40years. He has served on the board of Healthy Babies Alameda County, Starlight Homes of San Francisco and New Direction Group Home in Washington, DC. In addition to working in Social Services, Michael has worked in the shipping industry for over 20 years. He was appointed to the Contra Costa County Aviation Advisory Board by Supervisor Federal Glover. Michael is a proud father of Charles Mc Adoo a freshman Baseball recruit at San Jose State University. Charles is majoring in Communications and is currently living on campus. Charles is a member of the class of 2024. Michael is a new FAB member, looking forward to helping students find their path and supporting the university in its goal of improving the students experience and success.