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Overcoming Odds to Earn His Degree

Jordan Gonzales

Jordan Gonzales, 2013-14 Trustee William Hauck Scholar (Christina Olivas photo)

For many years, Jordan Anthony Gonzales was having such a tough time battling dysautonomia, a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system, that he couldn’t leave home to go to school.

Now an SJSU student, Gonzales has received the California State University system’s highest honor for students who overcome incredible odds to attend college.

Gonzales has been named the 2013-14 Trustee William Hauck Scholar, one of 23 CSU Trustees Awards for Outstanding Achievement. He flew to the chancellor’s office in Long Beach on Sept. 24 to pick up the award and meet the other recipients.

While their commitment, drive and perseverance are extraordinary, these students are not unlike the thousands of students who look to the CSU each year for high-quality, accessible, affordable educational opportunities.

An art major minoring in psychology, Gonzales’ long-term plans include earning a master’s in art therapy so he can help people use artistic expression as a way to deal with grief and loss.

“Combining art with psychology allows me to share my experiences and reach out to others,” he said.

Gonzales also helps raise funds for the Make-a-Wish Foundation and he has served two terms on the Youth Commission for the city of Sacramento.

William Hauck, who graduated from SJSU in 1963 with a bachelor’s in social studies, endowed the scholarship in 2010. The endowment now provides $3,000 annually.

Hauck has served as deputy chief of staff to Governor Pete Wilson and chief of staff to Assembly speakers Bob Morretti and Willie L. Brown, Jr. At SJSU, Hauck was student body president.