Congratulations to the Class of Fall 2023

by | Dec 11, 2023 | Awards and Achievements, Featured

San José State President Cynthia Teniente-Matson will preside over five fall commencement ceremonies on December 18 and 19. Photo of spring 2023 commencement by Jim Gensheimer.

This fall, thousands of San José State students will accept their diplomas at the Provident Union Credit Center at San José State University as part of the fall 2023 commencement ceremonies. Approximately 4,000 Spartans will be recognized for completing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degrees in the summer or fall semesters.

Five ceremonies will be held in person on December 18 and 19 at the Event Center and via livestream for those who are unable to attend in person. President Cynthia Teniente-Matson, Provost Vincent Del Casino, Jr., college deans and other university administrators will preside over the events.

Among those in this year’s graduating class are 11 members of the second cohort from SJSU Online, the university’s fully online degree completion program.  

Below are quotes from outstanding Spartans about how their time at Silicon Valley’s public university transformed their lives.

Kaelyn Howard, ’23 Music Education 

Kaelyn Howard

Kaelyn Howard

“In December, I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree of music in music education with a minor in African American studies. I transferred to SJSU from Riverside City College in Southern California. It feels like my time at San José State happened in a whirlwind; the past two years have been incredibly transformative for myself as a musician, educator and person overall.

“I started my educational journey with the intention of educating myself and others through music. However, my time here has directed me to a path to learn about myself and others in the world’s greater cultural context. Recently, I submitted applications for master’s programs in ethnomusicology to study and learn more about Filipino traditional music and the African American spiritual tradition. In the future I hope to educate and inspire others as an ethnomusicologist, researcher and music educator.”

Jackson Le, ’23 Business Administration 

Jackson Le

Jackson Le

“I am the first-generation Vietnamese American in my family and a Marine Corps veteran. I am proud to announce that I will graduate with a business administration degree with a concentration in marketing from San José State University.

“I am grateful for all the resources and help I received during my time here at San José State. The Veterans Resource Center was a significant help in pointing me in the right direction and connecting me to the resources I need to be successful. All of my professors in my business department are incredible; they are well-knowledgeable in their craft and understanding of their students. 

“I am currently in the process of pursuing my MBA and awaiting a status update by January 2024. In the meantime, I am in the process of interviewing for some jobs within Santa Clara county and the federal government. Once again, thank you to all the VRC faculty members and all the professors who took the time to help me grow and get to where I am today. Go Spartans!” 

Marco Diaz, ’23 Business Administration 

Marco Diaz

Marco Diaz

“I’m pursuing a degree in business administration and entrepreneurship. Committed to excellence, I joined the Army ROTC program during my time at SJSU, envisioning a future as an army aviation officer, as I previously served in the military working in operations and logistics. Despite this dedication, my aspirations extend to the corporate realm, and post-graduation, I aspire to blend my military background with my career at Apple Inc.

“Notably, I thrived in entrepreneurship, winning prize funds for my startup in different competitions like the Silicon Valley Business Plan Competition and the Innovation Challenge. San José State is all about opportunity and growth, which has motivated me to further my career in business given my diverse background. I am thankful for the amazing professors and faculty we have on campus, especially the Veterans Resource Center! Go Spartans.”

Chris Padua, ’23 Interdisciplinary Studies 

Chris Padua

Chris Padua

“The very best teachers, counselors, therapists, and directors do the wonderfully improbable. They inspire others to become just like them. The truth is that we all want someone who can see the makings of greatness in all of us and help get to see that light in us. Educators do put the stars within reach and they remind us of our why. I wholeheartedly believe that you all have this power, too. Somewhere along the way someone showed you the potential in yourself to help others, and you haven’t stopped since.

“Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” So go where you are needed! Make a difference in countless hearts and minds, just like your teachers did for you all those years ago. They understood the importance of meeting us students where we are and cheering us on as we made our goals. Please value the time you have teaching, counseling, directing, in addition, to the time being present with your loved ones. You can balance being mindful of those you will help and yourself. Our existence as blossoming mentors is an answer. Our learning and actions are parts of the ongoing solution.”

Padua will be delivering the commencement address for the Connie L. Lurie College of Education on Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m.

Learn more about fall 2023 commencement ceremonies.