Dustin Delzell

Dustin Delzell

Dean's Scholar

Major: Global Studies
College of Social Sciences

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my Major because I wanted to expand my view of the world. Until the time I started college I was in the employ of Uncle Sam and it wasn’t part of our job to worry about the world at large but instead we needed to be purely focused on our jobs and our fellow soldiers around us. So, needless to say Global Studies was a wonderful, scary and refreshing major to be a part of!

What does receiving this particular award mean to you?

When I was first told about this award I had no idea what it was and once I was informed it was for academic excellence I was surprised and pretty proud of myself considering my initial goal for college was just to make it through not academic excellence.

Who has had the greatest influence of impact on your life? In addition, tell us about a SJSU faculty member who contributed to your academic success.

The answer to both of these questions is Dr. Kathryn Davis who is not only my major advisor but my veteran mentor as well. If it wasn’t for her being accepting and understanding of my situation and the struggles I was having in college I wouldn’t have made it to the end of my education as effectively, successfully or as seamlessly as I have. Doc Davis isn’t just a professor and a mentor but she is my friend, a friend I know I will have for the rest of my life.

Describe an experience that has shaped who you are today.

My last year in the military I was given my own section which means that I was responsible for six other human beings, everything from their health and welfare to finances and mental states. I wasn’t their friend, I was their leader and as their leader I had to set the example, I had to create that special balance of mentorship and yelling and screaming while disciplining them. Don’t get me wrong, I made plenty of my own mistakes but it was all a learning experience and that experience led to me being an effective and better student and leader among my fellow classmates. Although I did have to adapt a slightly different style of leadership among my classmates it has worked out to the best and I love my fellow Global Studies students.

What would you say to other students to encourage or inspire them to attain academic excellence?

I would tell them that in today’s age education is very important and will only help you in achieving your life goals. As far as academic excellence I think that has to be a self-inspiration there is nothing I can say to you that is going to make you want to do better in school unless you truly want to. Excellence in any aspect of life comes from within, not from others around you.

What makes you a Spartan?

I don’t know, is there an official definition or is it just a state of being or a particular set of traits that one expresses? I guess, I would say that I am not the typical Spartan due to the fact that I came to college much later in life and have never lived on campus and fully experienced the “College Life” but as far as contributing in classes and to my fellow students I have Spartan’d the you know what out of that. Before I came to SJSU I was a different type of Spartan, more Leonidas, and less school and homework. It was an interesting and terrifying transition but I am totally happy that I made it and look forward to where being an educated Spartan will take me.


Nominated by Kathryn Davis

"Today he is loved and respected by his classmates and instructors alike. He works in groups and takes on a leadership role. He has completed two study abroad trips and will be making a third this summer. These are experiences that require students to live and work in close quarters."