Student Spotlight: Aayush Sharma

Aayush Sharma

Aayush is one of our IT student assistants and you may see him running around the CPGE building helping everyone so make sure to say hi!


Major: MS Engineering Management

Hometown: Jabalpur, India

What is your dream job?

Technical Program Manager

What types of activities are you involved in at SJSU or in the community?

Student Assistant IT Services CPGE

What is something that you want others to know about your hometown, home country or culture?

Jabalpur is famous for its Marble Rocks and scenic charms. It serves usefully as a launchpad for Madhya Pradesh’s famous tiger parks: Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Pench. Snooker had been invented by Britishers in Jabalpur in 1875.

What do you enjoy most about SJSU?

SJSU is always adapting and it has the proximity to many of the companies located in Silicon Valley.

Where is your favorite spot on our campus and why?

The top most floor of the SJSU King library is my favorite place as I can sit and do my work enjoying the view of the city.

What do you wish you would have known sooner about life in the U.S. or being at SJSU?

Having a car is really important 🙂 Jokes apart –

I wish I had known how hard the workload is for an engineering student. I wish I had known a bit more about resumes, industry-related preparations, interview tips, internships, and major advising.

What message do you have for our Global Spartan community?

You are doing the best. We enjoy all the events organized by you. Keep going with the same spirit. Go Spartans


2022 SJSU Homecoming Explained

The Cambridge Dictionary defines homecoming as “a celebration at school or college, usually including a dance and a football game, when people who were students there at an earlier time can return to visit” ( This is particularly true of American high school and university culture. Homecoming events at American universities are centered around a special football game that has been designated as the “homecoming game.” It’s a time when many alumni return to campus to watch the game and to join current students in showing their school pride.  Curious about American homecoming traditions? View our previous blog to learn more!

SJSU traditions explained

SJSU follows many American homecoming traditions, but there are certain traditions unique to our campus. We encourage you to get into the Spartan Spirit and participate in the many fun homecoming events. You can view the full list of Homecoming events here.

Block Party

Generally speaking, a Block Party is a social gathering for people who live on a certain block or neighborhood. Oftentimes, streets are closed off so that people can walk freely and socialize with their neighbors. The term now loosely refers to a large social gathering to build a sense of community. During homecoming, SJSU hosts a Block Party on 7th St. Plaza with free food, giveaways, music, and fun activities.

2021 Block Party

Golf Cart Parade & Pep Rally

One unique feature of homecoming at SJSU is the Golf Cart Parade. SJSU departments and student organizations decorate golf carts in Spartan blue and gold, and then parade around campus to get everyone excited about homecoming. Typically, the parade ends near 7th Street Plaza in a Pep Rally to cheer on our Spartan athletes.

2021 Golf Cart Parade

Fire on the Fountain

Another unique event to SJSU homecoming week is Fire on the Fountain on Tower Lawn. Traditionally, this event takes place on Thursday evening of homecoming week, and is also the same night the SJSU Alumni Association hosts their Alumni reception. This event features food, games and activities, and a show! A stage is set up near the fountain on Tower Lawn, and many student groups perform. True to its name, the show ends with an exciting fire dance–something that you don’t want to miss!

Game Day Tailgate Party & Spartan Squad Charge

See our blog post to learn more about what tailgating means.

At SJSU, there is a designated tailgate area, near the corner of Humboldt Street and 9th Street (see map below). Tailgating happens immediately before each home football game, but the homecoming tailgate party is always extra big with a DJ, Spartan swag, games, and sometimes free food. Fans are allowed to bring in their own food and beverages, so long as they follow the tailgating rules.

Right before the game, students from the tailgate party participate in the Spartan Squad Charge, a newer SJSU tradition that happens at every home football game. Around 30-minutes before kick off, students “charge the field” from the north gate, run down the ramp and across the field before heading to the Spartan Squad Student Section on the south end of the stadium.

2021 Spartan Squad Charge

So you want to go to the homecoming football game?

Here are things you should know…

  • Students get in FREE with your Tower ID (don’t forget to bring it!)
  • There’s usually a giveaway item at each home football game (limited supplies, so go early if you want to get one)
  • Free Shuttle Service is available to and from the stadium on game days, starting 3 hours before kick off. Shuttle pick up is at San Salvador and 9th Street.
  • Clear bag policy: Backpacks and purses are NOT allowed. We encourage you to carry with you only what you need. A clear bag policy is a typical requirement at American sporting events; be sure to review what you can and cannot take with you.

Don’t know anything about American Football?

That’s okay! Not all Americans do either! The important thing is to experience the excitement and energy of being at CEFCU stadium cheering on our football team alongside fellow SJSU students and fans. If you get bored, you can always leave the game early and catch the shuttle back to campus, but this is a great opportunity to experience a piece of American culture.

Want to learn more about the sport? Here are some resources:

Scholar Spotlight: Masuma Mohammadi

Masuma Mohammadi is a visiting Scholar from Equality Social and Cultural Organization and Equality News Agency in the Human Rights Institute Read more to learn about Masuma!

What is your role here at SJSU? What do you hope to accomplish during your time here?

I am collaborating with the program on women, gender, and sexuality studies in the department of sociology and interdisciplinary social science. I will have the opportunity to work with SJSU faculty, staff and students at campus Centers. The SJSU HRI is coordinating faculty mentors in departments including journalism and mass communication, justice studies, and women, gender and sexuality studies to organize and facilitate research activities at SJSU.

Major activities will be working with HRI to establish a research agenda, producing collaborative research products, developing on campus and public facing programming for purposes cultural exchange, education and oral history projects and participating in academic conference and workshop on human Right reporting and contribute to the emergent SJSU HRI Archival Collections at documenting the narrative history of Afghans.


I worked on research about the persecution of the Hazara ethnic minority in Afghanistan under the Taliban control.  This report will be released at the end of September.


I hope to be able to do other research that focuses on Afghan women, because I think we need to research and report about women’s lives in Afghanistan in the current situation. I also hope to get to know more about human rights and academic institutions and to be able to carry out future activities in the field of research and reporting in a more professional and effective manner.


What do you enjoy most about SJSU or your time here in the U.S.?

Working with San Jose State University is Incredible experience for me, it’s the beginning of a new and good chapter in my life. SJSU is an amazing university with diversity like I’ve never seen before.


The professionalism of the SJSU and Human Rights Institute is a very notable characteristic. HRI team were welcoming and aspiring people. They are really helpful and they really do care about research scholars. Every person I have encountered has acted in a way which indicates they are here to help us as much as possible. I really appreciate the help they have given me.


There are so many resources available for upcoming research and human rights activities and I always take advantage of these resources. I get to learn so many things .There are many opportunities to get involved for me as an Afghan women rights activist and research scholar.


I hope that by gaining work experience at SJSU, I will be able to continue my work in the field of human rights research and reporting in the future in order to reflect the voice of Afghan people specially Afghan women and take part in advocacy for their rights.


What message do you have for our Global Spartan community?

Please don’t forget the people of Afghanistan, especially Afghan women and girls, support them to access their rights. Your support and providing such opportunities has not only brought a positive change in the lives of people like me, but has also saved our lives.

I wish that such opportunities will be provided to more Afghan men and women so that we can raise the voice of our generation

What is something you want others to know about your hometown, home country, or culture?

I am an Afghan women’s rights activist and journalist. I founded the Equality Cultural and Social Organization (ESCO ) in 2011, which was active in supporting women journalists and strengthening their presence and media activities. I was also the owner and chief editor of Equality News Agency, based in Kabul Afghanistan. We managed to train more than 200 women journalists in Afghanistan. Our team produced hundreds of reports and published them on the Equality news agency website, Facebook page and other Afghan media outlets.


August 15,2021, marks the day of the fall of Kabul and the start of Taliban control. My life and that of many other Afghan women changed forever. . My colleagues and I were in our office until we heard that the Taliban were coming. No one expected this to happen .We left the office immediately and were only able to take our laptops with us..

My journey from Afghanistan to here was extremely emotional and complicated. I rushed home and took my children and moved to the house of one of our relatives because we couldn’t stay at our home. It was hard for us to leave the house we had built with years of hard work and hope. We had to leave Afghanistan to save our lives


 Under Taliban rule,millions of women and girls in Afghanistan have been denied the rights to education, work and political participation and are required to cover their faces when they go out. This opportunity at SJSU is therefore even more meaningful.I’m profoundly grateful for this opportunity which comes at a very important time both in my personal life and my country, Afghanistan.

I will do everything in my capacity to make the most of this opportunity not only for myself, but for the millions of Afghan women and girls.


Scholar Spotlight: Kevin-Christian Garzon Galindo

Kevin-Christian Garzon Galindo is a visiting Scholar from Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden) in the Department of Psychology. Read more to learn about Kevin!Kevin
What is your role here at SJSU? What do you hope to accomplish during your time here?
I’m employed through SJSURF working at NASA Ames for the Airspace Operations Laboratory conducting research on futuristic autonomous Air Transportation Systems. Specifically I’m involved in researching safety systems to integrate future Supersonic and Hypersonic vehicles into the Airspace. I wanted to go the US for mainly two reasons. The first being that I have most of my mother-side of the family in this country that emigrated from Colombia. Growing up in Europe I did not have much of a chance to get to know them well and most of them not at all up until I moved here. While some are in California, a lot are scattered across the US, so in the past 3 years I managed to visit mostly everyone so far. That alone has already been an unforgettable experience so far and one I will always be thankful. The second reason was that I wanted to have a change of scenery for a while. My love for aviation stems from the fact that my mother took me on a plane at the age of 2 months across the Atlantic and from then on every year to either the US or Colombia to visit family. This parenting-induced travel addiction may explain why I felt the need to pursue something outside of Europe to finish off my degree. I started in October 2019 as an intern. As part of my combined-degree program my university required me to do an internship and two thesis of 3 month and 5 month duration for which I had to travel to Germany and present in person. The Covid-19 pandemic delayed this and put some additional challenges on top of that with travel restrictions in place. At first I just came with the intention to finish my degree program but I fell in love with the bay area, being so close to the ocean and all the other places California offers to explore. So I’m happy that I can now continue my research after graduation and look forward to learning much more of the Aerospace industry in all its facets.
What do you enjoy most about SJSU or your time here in the U.S.?
I do enjoy the hospitality of people. Everyone I’ve met has been very nice which has contributed to making me feel comfortable and at home immediately. Speaking for the Bay Area, I love the much more international environment with people from all around the world which adds to the already new experience of exploring a foreign country, a bonus to have people around with different views on different matters and things in every-day life. As a half-Latin American I enjoy to be around more Spanish-speaking people and as an avid lover of Mexican food, California offers much more options than Europe on that front. For an ambitious and hard-working person it is nice to see, work and connect with other people that are inspired, motivated and knowledge-hungry in pursuant of their vision. Further, California (and the pandemic) also helped me re-explore the outdoor person that I have apparently always been by spending a lot of weekends out camping and hiking and doing roadtrips to national parks.
What is something you want others to know about your hometown, home country, or culture?
I come from a small town in the most western part of Austria called Rankweil, a few minutes away from the swiss and lichtenstein border and also not far from the german border. It is a very beautiful and calm place to grow up. Basically, a bit like Silicon Valley, a lot of towns and villages lining up next to each other, barely noticeable when one has transitioned from one place to the next, with the difference that it is much much smaller. While in Austria we speak german (with a slight touch of some Austrian peculiarities in the language), in the state of Vorarlberg we speak a very strong dialect, closely related to swiss-german which has the fine characteristic that neither germans nor the rest of austria can really understand what we are saying, except swiss. Other than that, Austria is famous for its classical music (Mozart!), especially sweet main course food such as Kaiserschmarrn and Buchteln but also savoury dishes such as Käsknöpfle which is made with strong cheese I learned that not everyone in the US will necessarily like. Further, Austria is home to a tremendous amount of history scattered all around the country dating back to the roman empire, the middle ages, the monarchy it used to be and so on, which makes itself visible by old buildings and remains or city-names that originated from there for which the latter have slightly changed over the past 2000 years. The capital of Vienna of course being the accumulation of all of these epoches, mostly visible in the beautiful first district of the city and the palaces and castles around.
What do you wish you would have known sooner about life in the U.S. or SJSU?
Through visiting family I already learned a lot about the US but also through movies, history and geography classes in school I had a first glance and an idea. Definitely what I would have wished before, was how to make new friends in a new country and environment. In Germany or the Netherlands where I studied abroad, student councils always organized events to connect with other people. However, in this case there was no such networking opportunity, also since I organized this internship and exchange myself, which made it difficult to meet other people around the same age and interests. Something that took me a little time to master and discover other ways and avenues that helped me meet people here.
What message do you have for our Global Spartan community?
As a very recent graduated student and my experience over the past 8 years I can give four advises: Never stop learning and explore things outside your area, networking is imperative, challenge yourself to new things (like moving to a country and place you have never been) and enjoying what you do professionally is also key to happiness and success in my opinion.

Diwali 2022

Diwali is the Indian festival of lights, celebrated in the Lunisolar month of Kartika (between mid-October and mid-November) according to the Hindu calendar. It is hailed as the victory of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. On this day people decorate their homes with diyas (or deepas) to celebrate light and create a spiritual environment. The place’s ambiance is uplifted by marigold confetti, which fills it with a peaceful aroma and brings happiness.

Diwali is cherished with sweets, varying from one culture to another. They are a gesture of goodwill and a way to welcome guests. Another thing that Diwali celebrates is Indian cuisine, people make the best of their food from their region or culture.  

On the day of Diwali, people visit the temple early morning to pray, this is done to have an auspicious start to the day.  The rest of the day is spent in preparing for the night, when the festival is celebrated with friend and family. At night, all the members of a family sit together to do a pooja(ceremony) which is followed by the celebration of the event. 

We hope that this Diwali brings happiness and prosperity to your life.


To know more about Diwali, join us in front of Student Health Center, 7th Street plaza on Oct 19th 3-4pm!