Tag Archives: college

Taking a sip from SDSU’s World Cup

Every four years, my summer gets a little more interesting, thanks to the World Cup.

Part of the fun is watching the games with others (unless they are blowing a vuvuzela right next to you, in which case, not so much). Lorena and I sometimes stop by East Commons to watch a match during our lunch break, and we’re always joined by a large  group of students and staff.  It’s here that I’m reminded of why I love the World Cup and SDSU.

Looking around the room, I see familiar faces: the usual suspects who check out each game, no matter who’s playing. Seated between them are new faces, usually supporters of a specific country that is playing that day. But there’s always a diverse group of spectators.

So far, I’ve heard Portuguese, Arabic, English, Spanish and Korean—and that’s just from the people seated directly next to me. That’s what the World Cup and SDSU have in common: they both bring together groups of people from all over the world. That and man-bands (headbands worn by men)—we’ve seen those on and off the screen.

This diverse group comes as no surprise to me as SDSU was recently ranked No. 11 in the nation for bachelor’s degrees awarded to minorities (up from No. 16 last year), according to Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Diversity is something we value at SDSU, not just in our campus community, but as an important lesson to teach our students.

Channel 10 recently did a story on SDSU’s emphasis on international academic experience. They interviewed one of our students who had just come back from a two-week service-learning trip to Tanzania to help improve a local elementary school library.

They also spoke with Provost Marlin, who made a great point about going abroad. While you learn so much about other countries and cultures, you also learn a surprising amount about yourself. As you explain your culture and customs to someone, you really start to think about the things that have become so routine in your life.

Of course, not all of us can study abroad or volunteer in Tanzania, but we can still enjoy our own international experience here on campus. Check out East Commons during your next lunch break. Don’t worry, man-bands are not required.


Filed under College Community, 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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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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College Week Live spring fair

College Week Live Online College Fair

The spring College Week Live online college fair is coming up next week. If you haven’t already registered, you can register online. The online college fair will take place Wednesday and Thursday, March 24 and 25. Be sure to log in to get a virtual look at San Diego State. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, you can check out our booth and attend online workshops that will help your college search and transition.

The SDSU booth has a new look and some new content including an Aztec for Life video and other tools to keep you connected. You can plan your fair using the College Week Live agenda, which includes guidance on test preparation, applications, college decisions, and much more.

The fair serves as an information session for students who cannot get to a live college fair or visit the SDSU campus in person. Students from all over the country can get some insight into San Diego State via our virtual booth. Of course nothing can beat a visit to San Diego, so if you can make it out, schedule a campus tour today.

SDSU booth at College Week Live

SDSU's booth at the College Week Live online college fair.

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Aztec Nights welcomes students old and new

Aztec Nights attendees broke the world's record for dodgeball

Aztec Nights attendees broke the world's record for dodgeball

We’re nearly three weeks into the fall semester and SDSU has wasted no time getting things into full swing. Energy is high and spirits are up. The Aztec Nights tradition is a great welcome for new students, yet still carries an allure for those of us who’ve been here a bit longer – something that is not always easy for a university to accomplish.

Aztec Nights offers free nighttime activities right on campus and what’s even better, it’s stuff we actually want to do! Within the last couple weeks, Aztec Nights has turned the campus into a carnival that, for one night, made SDSU look more like a county fair then a venue for classes. Students also gathered to break a world record in Dodgeball – more or less the coolest sport known to man – and to attend a comedy show featuring some of today’s most talented comedians.

Still to come this semester is a free concert featuring the reggae-rock band, Pepper; a charity dance marathon; and continued late night bowling at the on campus alley most Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Aztec Nights – which the U.S. Department of Education just promoted as a “model program” in Higher Education Alcohol and Other Drug Programs – gives students laid back venues to meet fellow Aztecs and just have a good time, making San Diego State one of the best places to be a student. Check out Aztec Nights on Twitter or Facebook.

~ Desiree Roughton, Communications Student Assistant, Enrollment Services

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The Bridge Never Built…

The Bridge Never Built

billboard close-up

A lone figure stands on a precipice.  He overlooks a dangerous 100-foot deep chasm, unable to cross to the safe plateau on the other side.

The striking image will catch the eye of drivers and pedestrians alike who pass near the billboard on College Avenue just north of Montezuma Road.

The billboard image was installed this week as part of critical new campaign called Fuel Potential that aims to increase scholarships for SDSU students.

For bright, promising students, a college education is a bridge to a better life.  And once that bridge is crossed, they are closer to making their dreams come true.

Fuel Potential billboard

billboard street view

But the legacy of deep cuts to higher education comes at the cost of those dreams.  Many SDSU students, eager to embark on or continue their educational journey, have found that the promise of a college degree is no longer within their grasp.

Without the resources to attend San Diego State, their hopes for their future will never be realized.  Their creativity will remain unsparked, their ingenuity untapped and their talents wasted.

And we will all be the worse for it.

Our students need your support – now more than ever.

Find out more at sdsu.edu/fuelpotential.

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Kids these days

A few weeks ago I heard a presentation about how Humbolt State University was using the social networking site Ning to engage new students and enhance their impending college career. Ning differs from Facebook in that rather than focus on a giant “community” of friends, it creates communities that are very specific to a group, club or other like minded people. HSU had great success creating a Class of 2013 Ning group that became very active and basically took over the group from the university’s administration, which was the intention.

SDSU Class of 2013 Facebook Page

SDSU Class of 2013 Facebook Page

SDSU, I learned, hadn’t done something similar using Ning, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a Class of 2013 group in Facebook. It was started by a member of the Class of 2013 and it is, currently, the most active of all the groups in which I am a member. That tells me these new Aztecs are excited about starting their collegiate career. Discussion threads on the page include everything from dorm assignments, to classes to ID cards. They are getting to know each other before ever getting to campus. They are sharing their experience already in a real, meaningful way.

And we, the university, didn’t have to help them do it. While not terribly surprising because this generation was raised using these kinds of technologies, it is amazing to me that such a form of early socialization can happen, organically and in such a robust way. Early socialization is critically important to the success of college students. And so these students, I believe, already have a leg up on past generations.

The group currently has more than 700 members and is growing by the day. It’ll be interesting to watch this group over the course of the next year to see how it evolves and if it becomes even more, or less active as these new students meet in person and become real friends, as opposed to virtual friends.

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