Author Archives: kvelarde

new and improved catalog hits shelves

Catalog CoverThe new SDSU 2010-2011 catalog has just been released. It may not sound like the biggest news of the century, but this tool is possibly the most important part of planning student education at SDSU, and this year’s catalog was done a little differently.

New Design

The new catalog sports a fresh new design, complementing recent updates to other sites like the Prospective Student Web page and printed recruitment materials like ViewBooks and San Diego State posters. The new design was created with students in mind, pulling opinions from current students to create the most eye-catching material.

New Outlook

In creating this year’s catalog, SDSU also found out how much this reference is being used by students and staff. Feedback found that counselors and advisers utilize this tool on a more regular basis than the average student.

As of now, each new student receives a full copy of the SDSU catalog at New Student Orientation. But following SDSU’s other efforts to go green, the campus is considering an option to forgo passing out catalogs to every new student to avoid waste. The complete catalog is available online so printing books for every student is becoming unnecessary. This paperless access gives students and staff the flexibility to reference the catalog from anywhere and print only specific pages that are needed.

The 2010-2011 catalog is just one example of how SDSU embraces innovation and adaptation. The university is always looking for new ways to improve student education, protect the environment, and keep ahead of technology trends.

~ Desiree Roughton, Communications Student Assistant, Enrollment Services


Filed under Admissions, College Community, Prospective Students, Uncategorized, University News

honorary degree ceremony puts it all in perspective

Earlier this week, nearly 70 years after an executive order called for the unjust relocation of coastal Japanese Americans, San Diego State held the first Nisei Honorary Degree Ceremony to honor those students whose higher education was interrupted by Executive Order 9006.

Bob H. Suzuki, a formerly-interned Japanese American and President Emeritus of Cal Poly Pomona, offered a poem that put the entire event in perspective and made me realize why this ceremony doesn’t just impact Japanese Americans, citizens caught up in the war, or families of relocated students; it impacts all of us.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Catholics
and I did not speak out because I was not a Catholic.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

-Pastor Martin Niemöller, 1946

We still live in a world where discrimination rules certain groups and sitting back until we’re the victim is no way to make a change in the world. The degree ceremony represents a step forward to offer retribution to this group of students and honor their accomplishments. Projects such as this provide hope that a voice can be found for persecuted groups who deserve honor and respect for what they have gone through.

Although their time at SDSU was interrupted, a majority of the students persevered, earned their college degrees, and went on to create thriving businesses, raise healthy families, and pursue their dreams. Today students fall back on excuses – such as not being able to get classes, paying higher fees, and sitting in old facilities – that hinder our educational goals. But imagine the passion and drive it took these students to overcome such an undeserved obstacle and break through barriers to move on and not let anything stop them.

Congratulations Nisei Honorary Degree recipients! It’s a long time deserved.

~ Desiree Roughton, Communications Student Assistant, Enrollment Services

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Filed under Admissions, Alumni, College Community, Events, Greater Good, Prospective Students, Uncategorized, University News

Paying for College

The 2010 California College Guide (released from the publishers of Los Angeles Magazine) highlights 62 California colleges and offers great insight for prospective students. Their article “Paying for College 101” caught our eye, so we’re sharing the best tips with you.

There are many options for paying for college aside from grants and loans; it’s all a matter of planning ahead and taking advantage of the systems in place.

Tax Credits

Tax credits are one area many parents and students overlook when paying for college. Most tax credits have higher income cutoffs than other forms of financial aid, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t qualify for certain loans or grants. California currently offers three tax break programs for students. The Lifetime Learning credit covers 20% of family tuition costs up to $10,000. Recently the IRS added the American Opportunity tax credit, offering up to $2500 per student. The third credit is a more restrictive version of the American Opportunity credit, called the Hope credit, and awards up to $3600 per student.


Scholarships are possibly the most underutilized suggestion for paying for college. Community organizations often offer scholarships to graduating seniors, utilize your career center or college counselor to tap into these under applied for awards. Your application essay can often be used for multiple awards so stretch the limit. Apply even if you don’t completely fit the applicant description. There are tons of stories about males getting awards where preference goes to women or a slightly lower GPA making the cut. Certain awards receive very few applications so taking a chance could pay off big.


On-campus jobs, found on your own or through the Federal Work Study program, are one of the easiest ways to offset college costs. At SDSU, students are employed in every sector of college business. Dining Services is the largest employer of college students in San Diego and many students land assistant positions in various departments or campus service areas. Associated Students also employs students each semester in various types of positions. Working on campus not only gives you money for school, but offers flexible schedules and a convenient commute to fit into your schedule.

Filling out the FAFSA is the first step to receiving any type of financial aid. Visit SDSU’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to start earning college money today.

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the top 10 reasons to choose sdsu – here’s 1-5

We’ve narrowed down the countless reasons you should choose SDSU to ten solid points that show how great it is to be an Aztec. Here are reasons 1-5.

1. I want hands-on experience.

Learning at SDSU happens as much outside of the classroom as it does in it. Political science students collect food for the homeless to learn about political fundraising while other programs, like the WebCompass internship, bring together students from multiple majors to learn skills and give back to the community.

2. I want the best programs at the best price.

At SDSU there is a program for every interest. Check out these video clips of current students who found the perfect fit in their major.

3. I want to see the world.

Study abroad is a big deal at SDSU. With the help of SDSU’s advisers you are sure to find a program that fits your major, desired destination, and budget. Whether it’s an alternative spring break, 6-week summer trip, or semester long experience, time abroad gives you a chance to see the world and gain an edge in your future job search.

4. I want to make things happen.

Students were the first to take action on the SDSU Green Love initiative, which has led to the creation of an annual Earth Day celebration and a weekly Farmer’s Market on campus. The Entrepreneur Management Center recently hosted SDSU’s first-ever Entrepreneur Day that gave students a chance to showcase their businesses on campus.

5. I want to continue a legacy.

There is a good reason that SDSU alumni are so active on campus: they know it’s always a great day to be an Aztec. Aztec connections run deep to local businesses and community leaders who get you involved with internships, job opportunities, and scholarships in every area of study. With all SDSU has to offer, it’s no wonder everyone wants to be an Aztec for life.

Check back early next week for reasons 6-10 to choose SDSU. Admitted students – don’t forget that your Intent to Enroll is due by May 1! You’re spot is waiting for you, what will you do with it?

~ Desiree Roughton, Communications Student Assistant, Enrollment Services

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EMC Opens the Door for Aztec Businesses

Last Wednesday was SDSU’s first-ever Entrepreneur Day. Students and alumni set up booths along Centennial Walkway to network and showcase their products. Among the participants were some familiar companies started by Aztec alumni including Costco, Rubio’s, and Volcom. The event was planned by SDSU’s Entrepreneurial Management Center (EMC) which equips students with skills and opportunities to create their own business.

Coming up next week, we’ll be posting video clips on Twitter from some of our student entrepreneurs. Here are a few of their stories to get things started:

Tim King Photography

Tim King Photography at Entrepreneur Day

Tim King Photography at Entrepreneur Day. Click photo to see a video.

Tim King is an international business major at SDSU. He started his own business as a photographer, specializing in pictures of people.

Tim is an active part of the EMC and says that Entrepreneur Day has given him a sense of business in the real world that he couldn’t get in any class.

Click here to see video of Tim King Photography

Aztec Deals

Aztec Deals at Entrepreneur Day

Aztec Deals at Entrepreneur Day. Click photo to see a video.

Aztec Deals is a student coupon book started by an SDSU communications student. With help from the EMC, Sennett Devermoney networks with local companies to bring students the best deals and give exposure to local restaurants and shops.

He has also teamed up with The Daily Save, which brings San Diegans one huge coupon every day.

Click here to see video of Aztec Deals

Dr. Comp SD

Dr. Comp SD at Entrepreneur Day

Dr. Comp SD at Entrepreneur Day. Click photo to see a video.

If you’ve ever accidently sat on your iPhone or dropped your laptop you know the heart wrenching feeling of realizing your fumble has ruined your gadget’s screen. Dr. Comp SD is just what the doctor ordered to get all your computer problems fixed.

The company was started by an SDSU student in the College of Business who later teamed up with a Computer Science major to fix your Mac or PC.

Click here to see video of Dr. Comp SD

The EMC places a big emphasis on bringing together students from different majors and programs to create dynamic companies with the right blend of skill and creativity. Their Lavin VentureStart Program requires teams to have representation from multiple colleges and encourages collaboration about students from various areas of study.

Follow the EMC on Twitter and keep up with what the center has to offer.

~ Desiree Roughton, Communications Student Assistant, Enrollment Services

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alternative spring break in Buenos Aires, Argentina

This spring break I, along with 14 other SDSU students, had the opportunity to spend a week studying business in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Fifteen students from different backgrounds, class levels, and majors brought together in a country none of us had ever visited. This is the first study abroad program of its kind at SDSU, and all of us agreed it was a great success.

It’s hard to capture an experience like this in a few simple paragraphs. There was a lot of laughter, a lot of pictures, a lot of inside jokes, and a lot of memories. We had the opportunity to explore another side of the hemisphere while learning about more than just the tourist attractions of the city.

Monday, March 29

Group at Ketchum Argentina

Our group at Ketchum Argentina. (I'm on the far left.)

Today was our first official day of programming in Buenos Aires. First we heard from the CEO of Ketchum Argentina, a sector of one of the world’s most successful public relations firms. Public relations serves the same purpose in every country, making your company look good, but how you go about doing that all depends on the culture and people you are serving.

A representative from the American Chamber reiterated this theme by teaching us about business differences between Argentina and the United States, and we learned about some failing attempts certain U.S. companies had when trying to infiltrate the Latin American market. Our last stop of the day was at Norton Winery (they sell their unique Malbec wine at Costco), where we heard about the changing wine market, exporting globally, and then played games and toured the facility.

At night, a few of us headed to La Bomba, a drum show where many of the locals gather to hang out. It was definitely the best part of the trip so far. The intense energy and vibe of the music pumped us all up as we were immersed in the Argentinean culture. Each of us got an idea of what locals our age would normally do with friends. Here are a couple videos of the La Bomba show:

La Bomba Video #1 –

La Bomba Video #2 –

Tuesday, March 30

This morning we got the opportunity to tour Ford Argentina. We watched a car being built from start to finish and met some of the factory workers on the line. No doubt, it was probably the only time any of us will get to see the process up close.

We all ate together at the normal 10 p.m. Argentine dinner time. Steak in Argentina is ridiculously good and ridiculously reasonably priced, which is a pleasant escape from our normal college student food choices.

Wednesday, March 31

Group at Bimbo Bakery

Our group at the Bimbo bakery.

Today we visited another factory, Bimbo bakery. Once again we got a tour of the factory and saw the product from start to finish. Our tour guide gave us some insight into advertising for Bimbo.

In Argentina, kids don’t eat cereal or Pop Tarts for breakfast; they have toast, so Bimbo’s cuddly bear icon is the perfect tool to help with their family-oriented marketing. They loaded our tables with muffins, crackers, and other products to try, then sent each of us home with a bag of more food. Free food for college students…definitely a win.

Later we visited one of Argentina’s premiere business schools and heard a lecture from a marketing professor. Many of the foundational business practices were complemented by Argentina’s unique styles and customs.

Thursday, April 1

Group volunteering with kids

Visiting a local home for low-income kids.

Today was by far the best experience of the trip. We visted a local home where over 300 low-income children come to eat every week.

We played games, made snacks, and spent a few hours getting to know the kids. Seeing the joy of these kids who had so little inspired all of us. Having the opportunity to wrap up a week of business-style meetings by getting our hands dirty and hanging out with kids was a priceless experience.

Even though only a few people in our group spoke Spanish, we had no trouble interacting despite the language barrier. The kids were happy to have someone to talk to, whether we knew what they were saying or not.

Group at Tango lessons

Our group at the Tango lesson.

Later on we headed to a local Tango show and received dance lessons. The Tango is Argentina’s claim to fame. The passion and energy of the dance is representative of the whole culture.

We weren’t the most talented group they’d seen, but hey, we gave it a try and learned a little something to bring back to the states. Check out my Tango video to see what it was like:

Tango Video –

Friday, April 2

Our final excursion was a visit to Tigre, an area just outside of the city on a delta that connects over 500 small islands. Boat taxis and buses help people get around to shopping, school, and home. We kayaked down the river to one of the islands. Let’s just say it was an experience…some of us fell in, some ran into stuff, some ran into more stuff, but in the end we all had a pretty good time.

~Desiree Roughton, Communications Student Assistant, Enrollment Services


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Make SDSU Part of Your Spring Break

For students here at SDSU, spring break is just around the corner, so everyone is getting excited about filling up all that free time. For some of you, that long awaited break may have already come and gone, but here are some cool activities that will help jazz up your break or upcoming weekend. With these suggestions you’ll be able to make San Diego part of your break no matter where you are.

If you are in San Diego…

Between the hustle of classes, scheduling extra–curricular activities, and hanging out with friends, it’s easy to forget we live in one of the most beautiful and tourist driven cities in the world. If you are a prospective student living in the area or a current student at SDSU, take some time to explore your city. Go to the beach and ride the famous Giant Dipper roller coaster at Mission Beach, or grab some friends and take a day trip to see the Carlsbad Flower Fields. Most students pick SDSU for its great location. Don’t let another school year pass before you realize you haven’t checked out the city!

If you know you’ll be here soon…

For the many students who were just admitted to SDSU (Congrats!), it feels like August couldn’t be farther away. Keep yourself pumped up for the move to San Diego State by exploring what the campus and surrounding city has to offer. Take a look at a few of the more than 200 student organizations and contact a couple by e-mail about getting on their mailing list so you’ll be plugged in before you even get here. Scour Twitter for the latest San Diego venues and events. Following local businesses, bloggers, and of course SDSU will keep you in the loop regarding interesting, and often budget-friendly, activities you’ll be able to enjoy in just a few months. Do a quick San Diego search and start following!

If you are thinking about SDSU…

If you still aren’t sure about coming to SDSU, take some time to explore all that the university has to offer. Check out our News Center for some more insight on what being an Aztec for Life really means, get on YouTube to hear from students about why SDSU is the place to be, or get a feel for campus culture by researching clubs and organizations on campus. Spring break is a great time to sit down, clear your head, and weigh your college decision.

~ Desiree Roughton, Communications Student Assistant, Enrollment Services

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