Lucas College and Graduate School of Business
Why did you choose your major?
I decided to major in business because I was very fascinated with the subject, especially living in the Silicon Valley. When I started out at San Jose State, I really wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go (career-wise) and thought that having knowledge in business would be a valuable skill in any career I decided to pursue. I decided to emphasize in management because I have always been drawn towards leadership positions, and being captain of the gymnastics team allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom to my real life.
What does receiving this particular award mean to you?
It means the world to me to be recognized for all the hard work and long hours I have spent on my studies. It also serves as a reminder to me of how fortunate I am for all of the help and support I have received throughout my years here. I would not have been able to achieve this award without the help of so many advisors, professors, coaches, teammates, friends, and family.
Who has had the greatest influence or impact on your life? In addition, tell us about a SJSU faculty member who contributed to your academic success.
It is hard to say who has had the greatest impact on my life because I feel that so many people have played such an important role and who I am today. One person I would especially like to thank if my grandfather, Roy McKay, who passed away last year. He was an incredible role model to me and I am thankful to him every day for setting such a great example. In addition, I have so many faculty members who have made significant contributions to my academic success including Dr. Stross, Dr. Lester, Dr. Mullen, and my head coach Joanne Bowers. All of these faculty members pushed me beyond what I knew I was capable of and supported me throughout my years at SJSU.
Describe an experience that has shaped who you are today.
I am a member of SJSU’s Division I gymnastics team. My freshman year I got injured and needed to get a major knee surgery. I was unable to compete that season and remember feeling so helpless and useless to my team. I wanted to contribute to my team in any way that I could, so I started volunteering for every community service opportunity I could find and spent long hours in the library so I could help our team G.P.A. This experience taught me how to work hard, be resilient, and overcome adversity with a positive attitude. It also taught me to be thankful for everything I have and not to take the simple things for granted. Although I wish I could have competed that year, I think I learned more from sitting on the sidelines than I ever could have competing out on the floor.
What would you say to other students to encourage or inspire them to attain academic excellence?
I would encourage students to ask for help and take advantage of all of the resources that SJSU offers its students.
What makes you a Spartan?
Something I admire about SJSU is the sense of community and support the students and faculty have created. I believe what makes me a Spartan is giving back to that community and helping others in every way that I can.
Nominated by Professor Elizabeth Mullen
"Stephanie Relova truly excelled in the classroom while also captaining the SJSU gymnastics team. She juggled her incredibly demanding athletic and academic commitments with considerable grace. A proven leader, I expect her to continue to accomplish great things in the future."
Nominated by Professor Gretchen Lester
"Stephanie is quiet by steady. Her active listening skills are a great asset, and she is a calm influence on teams. She expected and received excellent work from her teammates through a quiet motivation throughout the semester."