From Mo’s desk

President Mo Qayomi

Photo: Thomas Sanders

According to American academic E. Gordon Gee, “True creativity requires the elimination of the boundaries and assumptions we impose on ourselves. Big, bold ideas come only to thinkers who are unfettered by the past, nimble in the present and driven toward the future.”

San Jose State has a long history of the kind of creativity that Gee describes. Our alumni, students and faculty members not only eliminate boundaries, they also create dynamic connections. And it is through these connections that we, as individuals and as a community, become agents of change.

This issue of Washington Square weaves together the stories of Spartans who reach beyond themselves and work toward the greater good. Read about recent sociology grads Marisela Castro, Leila McCabe and Elisha St. Laurent, who led the 2012 campaign that raised the minimum wage in San Jose from $8 to $10 per hour, and about our justice studies students who are uncovering second chances for ex-offenders through the Record Clearance Project. You, our alumni, are doing incredible work that, I’m certain, will inspire others to do the same. For example, Michael Bayne is reinventing wheelchairs, Sharon Castellanos is building awareness about organ and tissue donation and Aimi Duong is empowering artisan women in developing countries.

As Spartans, we don’t let real or imagined boundaries hold us back. Embracing what connects us is at the heart of our creativity and the big, bold ideas that drive us—and our fine university—forward.

Mo Qayoumi
San Jose State University

I encourage you to share your thoughts about the university with me. I look forward to hearing from you!

Jody Ulate

Jody Ulate, '05 MA English, is editor of the Washington Square blog and printed alumni magazine.

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