Category Archives: Events

An Aztec Adventure


I took a trip to a place I had never been, with people I had never met, and did an activity I had never tried.

One of 208874_10151596587354750_139447072_nthe best decisions I have ever made.

This past month, I went on an “Aztec Adventure” and if you’re not familiar with what that is, simply:  it’s an experience of a lifetime.

Organized by SDSU’s Aztec Recreation Center, an Aztec Adventure is an outdoor trip that allows its participants to break away and engulf themselves with nature.

I found myself in Arizona. Canoeing upstream in the Colorado River.

For me the trip was a way to take a break. A way to feel the stresses that had built up from my work and school routine, slowly drift away with every stroke into Arizona’s Black Canyon.

And although I didn’t anticipate it, I met some amazing people in the process.544151_10151596589039750_1684071593_n

There were 14 of us.  We battled currents upstream, relaxed in natural hot springs, hiked in pitch black caves, gave each other mud facials and slept under the stars. We  did all of it, together.

These complete strangers became my friends, and now we’re all tied together with these lasting memories of this amazing trip.

I must say to be out in the wild and turn off your phone saying goodbye to email and twitter  for four days was a little nerve racking. But hey, what’s life without a little risk… a little adventure.

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Rock the Vote


As several political races begin to heat up, 2011-12 Associated Students Vice President of External Affairs Krista Parker, who will receive her bachelor’s degree in political science this Friday, blogs about the importance of students voting in June and November.

After many visits to local, state and federal legislators’ offices over the past three years at SDSU, I have heard one common message: students don’t vote. After awhile, I really got sick of hearing that and when I took office in May 2011, one of my main initiatives was registering students to vote.

Rock the Vote at SDSU is a campaign that really encompasses the importance of the youth vote. Students have been known not to vote in the past simply because they don’t know why their vote matters. The campaign really focuses on the issues that directly impact students and educates them on the candidates running for office.

With June 5 and Nov. 6 elections quickly approaching, the importance of registering to vote is increasing. It really is easy! Go online to Rockthevote.com, head over to the Associated Students Government Affairs Office in the Alumni Center or visit the San Diego County Registrar of Voters to fill out a form to register (in San Diego, voters must register at least 15 days in advance of an election).

However, the most important part is to make sure and vote. There’s even a polling place on campus to make it easy Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view, download Adobe Acrobat Reader. (7 a.m. to 8 p.m., June 5, Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center)!

So back to the original question: why vote? First, let’s prove those legislators wrong and show that students do vote and, second — and most importantly — this is the perfect way to begin the process of getting your opinions heard!

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Commencement Stories


Commencement is finally (almost) here for a number of students.  Nearly 10,000 students have toiled over the last few years to earn their degree and approval to walk in their respective commencement ceremonies.  I was asked to learn some of their stories so we could show the local community — and places farther out —what our graduates have accomplished and where they are headed.

So, to that end, I’ve worked over the last two weeks compiling information on a number of graduates to write short biographies for SDSU News Center. Wow. From working to help stroke victims and kids suffering from cerebral palsy, to fighting against the bullying epidemic in schools, and the sincere hope from many of them to give back to their communities in a number of ways.

And that’s just their character, without even mentioning the intelligence that these students have to be on the Dean’s List continuously, being named Outstanding Graduates for their respective colleges and a number of other honors and accolades.

And these are just a handful of the many who are going on to do great things.

Congratulations to all our graduates!

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Celebrating Spring with GreenFest


No matter when you attended San Diego State, in recent years, one of the highlights of the spring semester is the annual festival put on by Associated Students. When I was an undergraduate student, it was called Spring Fiesta and AzFest.

Fast-forward to 2012 and that festival has morphed into GreenFest, a week of events celebrating sustainability — a core value of Associated Students — and Aztec pride. Associated Students has worked hard to green its facilities and promote programs that espouse an eco-friendly lifestyle in recent years, and GreenFest is no exception.

This year’s GreenFest — which takes place April 22 – 28 — will host several events, including:

  • Earth Day 5k and Kids’ Fun Run
  • E-waste Drive
  • SDSU Takes Over the Ballpark
  • GreenFest Festival

To learn more about Associated Students’ sustainability efforts, visit as.sdsu.edu/thinkgreen or the GreenFest website, “like” Green Love and GreenFest on Facebook or follow GreenFest on Twitter.

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Our basketball season is over … now what?


Did your bracket come crashing down — and your season come screaching to an end — when the Aztecs lost to North Carolina State in the 2nd round of the NCAATournament last week? Are you already itching for next season to start? Are you thinking to yourself ‘Now what? What will I do with my Tuesday and Saturday nights, if not watching college basketball at the Madhouse on the Mesa?’

Well, you’re in luck, because, as I learned a few years ago, life does go on after the basketball season and, at SDSU, there are actually plenty of other things to do outside of Viejas Arena.

For instance, a former United States Ambassador to Israel is on campus today, speaking about the Middle East.  If Peace in the Middle East is a little too political for your taste, the School of Music and Dance is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and has something fun and entertaining going on all the time.

And the Farmer’s Market … ohhhh the Farmer’s Market.

But if you just must get your sports fix, there are still lots of spring sports going on, like baseball, softball, golf and tennis.

I guess the point is, sometimes we take for granted all the activities we have going on right under our noses here on campus. Take a minute and check out the events calendar and try an event you’ve never done before. The upcoming Jazz Ensemble at Smith Recital Hall isn’t the same as The Show. But it’ll be a good show none the less.

 

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Filed under Alumni, Athletics, Events

Behind the Scenes


Jim Herrick is Director of the SDSU Alumni Association. This post originally appeared in his blog Directly Speaking.

I had heard it was the 75th anniversary of San Diego State’s School of Music and Dance, so I thought I would take a walk over to the arty part of campus and check it out. It was Friday afternoon, kind of late but there was definitely some activity. I happen to know via osmosis that we have great programs in the performing arts. The students are immensely talented and destined for glory and stardom so I urge you strongly to go to a concert, opera or dance performance. The big thing currently is “The Magic Flute” and you can click here to get tickets.

On this day I found some sort of ensemble practicing in the Music Building. Take a listen:

> Ensemble Music

Then I checked out one of my favorite places—the costume shop. Here is the director, Teri, who is typically teaching a group of earnest designers sewing away:

Her colleague, Peter, took me over to the dressing room where two students were actually practicing applying the make-up that would be on two of the cast members in “The Magic Flute.” They had charts and brushes and paints and wigs. It was very cool. This is Gina:

And this is Kimberly:

Then I sneaked back stage of the Don Powell Theatre. I must admit I peek in here somewhat regularly. I get a kick out of seeing the building of sets. It seems to be far more related to construction management and engineering, but it is art.

And while we are really taking off here at San Diego State with right brain-oriented curricula, it is good to know that we have plenty of talented singers and musicians and dancers and artists, too. Without the left-brainers life just wouldn’t be as fulfilling.

Plus, for those of you who are not yet lifetime Alumni Association Members, we have a sweet deal on how to see some of these terrific shows, so check it out here:

And here is a picture of some upcoming concerts and a link to the shows. I promise you that you will have a great evening when you go.

Congratulations to the students, faculty and staff of the School of Music and Dance. Happy 75th anniversary and thanks for giving us all yet another reason to be proud of SDSU!

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Commencement is Here!


Commencement ceremonies may not happen until May, but for me they’re right now.

Let me explain.  I’m currently building a new commencement website.  There is a great deal of information to organize and communicate and I am neck-deep in it all.

Commencement is the most important thing we do.

Much of the information is geared toward students, but families and friends are also included. Schedules and other critical instructions are sorted by college.

This student graduated from SDSU in 2011

Commencement captures a feeling of momentous achievement for many graduates, illustrated by this SDSU graduate from 2011.

Believe it or not – if you have a twenty-something college student for a child, my guess is you believe it – some students don’t know their college.

That’s right.  After four-plus years and all those classes in the Arts and Letters Building, some literature major will email commencement organizers to ask, “What’s my college?”

This prompted me to include on the site a list of majors and departments by college.  I’m sure we’ll still get those emails.

Cynicism aside, commencement is the most important thing we do.  More important than the novel discoveries, innovative programs and community service, graduating students defines the value of San Diego State University.

I’m reviewing hundreds of photos from last year’s commencement and I’m struck by the emotions captured in each snapshot – a mix of elation, pride, satisfaction.

A few knowing students look afraid, perhaps about entering the real world.

But most look happy.  They leave campus with terrific memories, hard-earned achievements and the initiative to take on their next challenge.

To the class of 2012, I offer a hearty, “Congratulations!”

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Filed under Alumni, Commencement, Events, Greater Good, Students, Uncategorized