Greg Tomlinson Inspiring the Next Generation of History Graduates

photo of greg tomlinson

“I wanted to be some form of history educator the moment I realized that that was something I could do with my life.” – Tomlinson

From a young age, Greg Tomlinson thought of nothing else than to become a history educator. We recently had the opportunity to chat with him about his passion for history, his time at San José State University (SJSU) as both an undergraduate and graduate student, and his Ph.D research.

Tomlinson says he has a personal reason for making history his career pathway, “[I was] influenced by geography and family history.” In Boston, he grew up surrounded by early American and revolutionary era history and took numerous trips to the Museum of Fine Arts. “Those trips were formative events in [my] life, and what distilled [my] deep fascination with history,” he reflected.

He was drawn to German history, specifically, because of his family history. His maternal grandparents were German-Jews who immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1936 to escape Nazi persecution. “My interest in German and intellectual history made a MA concentration in modern European history a natural fit,” said Tomlinson.

How SJSU Paved the Way to a Ph.D.

Of his graduate experience at SJSU, Tommlinson says, “I received a high-quality education at SJSU. My professors taught informative and engrossing courses on a variety of topics. The history writing, methodology, and historiography classes offered at SJSU, perhaps more so than any of the other great classes I took there, best prepared me for the Ph.D. process and my subsequent scholarly endeavors.”

After completing his Master’s at SJSU, Tomlinson was accepted into Louisiana State University’s history program. He told us that what attracted him to the program was the opportunity to further study Germany and to work alongside Suzanne Marchand, an intellectual historian who focuses on modern Germany.

For his research topic, he chose to study land in nineteenth century Bavaria. “Nineteenth Century Bavaria is largely under-examined, especially in English language scholarship,” noted Tomlinson.


When we asked Tomlinson how SJSU was formative for his education, he said, “The faculty in the history department, especially intellectual and modern European historian Mary Pickering, Civil War American historian Libra Hilde, and American historian Stanley Underdal, were my favorite professors and I took as many of their classes as I could. I found their course content fascinating and edifying. Most importantly, their office doors were always open, and they never hesitated to offer constructive feedback, a word of encouragement, and further reading suggestions.”

Now, Tomlinson is back home at SJSU as an Adjunct Lecturer in the history department and is planning on publishing a journal article based on his research. Tomlinson’s time at SJSU as an undergraduate and graduate student were instrumental in propelling his history educator career forward–and we are certain other historians will follow in his footsteps.

From the President’s Blog: “Our Growing Reputation As Silicon Valley’s Public Graduate School”

Did you see us in President Papazian’s blog post yesterday? CGS may be just a few years old, but we’ve been busy building support, programming, and resources for our 8,000+ graduate students and counting.

Visit this link to read more about recent highlights from the College of Graduate Studies and see what we’re doing to build our reputation as Silicon Valley’s public graduate school.

SJSU Launches New Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees

We’re excited to see the new Spartan Accelerated Graduate Education (SAGE) programs getting recognition from the SJSU Newsroom!

SAGE programs allow students to pursue two degrees simultaneously by earning graduate credit while in their junior and/or senior year. Visit the article to hear more from our CGS leadership on the significance of these programs.

Alumni Update: Sameer Saran Leads ParkStash to Success Amidst Pandemic

Since his 2018 graduation, computer engineering alumnus Sameer Saran has kept busy growing his company, ParkStash: “the AirBnb of parking.” You may have seen Saran on virtual alumni panels last year, where he shared his best advice for engaging with campus and the Silicon Valley resources available to most graduate students. We caught up with Saran recently to hear about his business.

Sameer Saran headshot

Sameer Saran, ’18 MS Computer Engineering

“COVID did hit us badly (as it did a lot of organizations and people), but we have kept on going and building over the last 18 months both in terms of adapting our business model and making lots of innovative pivots in our product,” Saran says.

“One of the big updates is that we have signed a contract and are now the Official Parking App for Woodward Dream Cruise – presented by Ford, this is one of the world’s largest one-day automotive events, drawing 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe. We have published a detailed article regarding this partnership. We also locked another partnership with Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) – Southeast Michigan’s only regional public transportation, to offer a seamless park and ride experience for visitors of Woodward Dream Cruise. You can read about our partnership with SMART in this article.

“By understanding the change in market due to COVID better over the last 18 months and building new modules in our application, we are now engaging in communications with cities, towns and municipalities. Some of the new modules that we have developed include: 

  • Enterprise Dashboard – Provides one platform for transporting and parking departments to keep track of revenue, make data driven decisions, improve operational efficiency and provides sleek analytics solutions;
  • E-permits – Ability to assign and reserve residential, visitor, employee, business parking permits – used by entities like cities, universities and apartment complexes;
  • Interactive Citation Map – Provides detailed citation analytics to managers on [a] dashboard;
  • EV – Pay, park and charge your EV via ParkStash. Provides charge % to enforcement officers utilizing EV’s, enabling notification of when the vehicle is ready to pick up.”

Saran says that ParkStash is getting ready to make another large announcement about a new city partnership. We can’t wait to see what more is around the corner for this SJSU alumnus who exemplifies the outstanding entrepreneurship qualities of many graduate student Spartans. Congratulations, Sameer Saran!

New Article Highlights Graduate Student Applications of Data Analytics to Community Resource Allocation

We are thrilled to see this new story from the SJSU Newsroom, “SJSU Students Use Data to Help Serve City’s Most Vulnerable Communities.” Congratulations to Saritha Podali, ’22 MS Data Analytics, and Fengling Zhou, ’22 MS Data Analytics, on their innovative work using data to illuminate resource needs across communities.