What Makes You a Spartan?

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    Photos: Thomas Sanders, '14 MFA Photography
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    Kristine Ecal, ’14 Behavioral Science
  • 121514_spartans_slide_03
    Maritza Valencia, ’18 Recreational Therapy
  • 121514_spartans_slide_04
    Daan Giron, ’11 Health Science
  • 121514_spartans_slide_05
    Mercedes Rodriguez, ’18
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    Evan Suarez, ’15 BFA Graphic Design
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    SJSU men’s basketball captain, Isaac Thornton (#20)
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    Thomas Sanders, '14 MFA Photography

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We asked alumni and students who posed for our cover collage: What makes you a Spartan? Here are their responses:

“I am a Spartan through my ambition to be the best. This school is historical; it’s the first state university in California and ranking among the best schools. This school just makes me feel like a winner.”

—Kristine Ecal, ’14 Behavioral Science

“Being involved at SJSU and making a difference in the community.”

—Maritza Valencia, ’18 Recreational Therapy

“The dedication to success and ability to adapt.”

—Daan Giron, ’11 Health Science

“My involvement and passion for the university and the experiences I have here.”

—Mercedes Rodriguez, ’18

“Challenging myself to learn everyday, to care for others, to be honest with myself and the people around me and to be open to new and interesting people, places and things. That’s what makes me a Spartan!”

—Evan Suarez, ’15 BFA Graphic Design

“I am because we are.”

—SJSU men’s basketball captain, Isaac Thornton (#20)

To have the opportunity to have taught two photography classes at SJSU, I have found that I am inspired by and learn from students on a daily basis who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have worked exceptionally hard to overcome great challenges. I have found a greater sense of purpose in my teaching by helping these students find their potential, express their creativity and pursue their passion.

—Thomas Sanders, ’14 MFA Photography


More Spartans

(not shown in the collage)

“I am a third-generation San Jose State student looking to find a way to help others and the people I love.”

—Amanda Aufdermauer, ’16 Nutritional Science/Dietetics

“Through the education I receive at SJSU and my ambitions, I’m going to change the world and give back to my community.”

—Brittany Bicomong, ’16 Business Administration

“My mother, brothers and I are all alumni. I had my choice of colleges and chose SJSU because I knew I’d get a world-class education without putting my parents in the poorhouse! And I did! Now I work in UA to secure resources for the university.”

—Beth Colbert, ’86 RTV Broadcasting, ’89 Mass Communications

“Having a positive attitude and an open mind to reach my highest potential.”

—Melissa Fletes, ’15 Business Administration

“I have a passion for knowledge and an overwhelming desire to pursue a life my family would be proud of.”

—Jennifer A. Gonzales, ’16 Journalism/English

“I am a first-generation college student who hopes to take all that I have learned and continue to learn to make a difference for others like me.”

—Valerie Gonzales, ’04 Sociology, ’13 MA Communication Studies

“Working hard to change the world.”

—Elizabeth Isaacson, ’17 Business Management

“Striving to achieve my goals.”

—Valerie Maxey, ’16 Anthropology

“I’m here because I want to make a difference in the lives of students. I was given the opportunity to achieve my dreams here and I want to do the same for others.”

—Felicia McKee, ’09 MA Counselor Education

“I chose SJSU because it was close to home. I’m a first-generation college graduate and my daughter is already telling the world she’s is going to SJSU like her mom.”

—Marisela Mercado, ’06 Business Administration

“I was the first in my family to go to college and many have followed in my footsteps.”

—Veronica Patlan Murphy, ’84 Advertising

“I am the first person in my family to go to college.”

—Stephanie Puente, ’14 Health Science

“My love for the university and creating lifelong memories and experiences.”

—Kassandra Tablan, ’16 Recreational Therapy

“Being involved at SJSU and making a difference in the community.”

—Maritza Valencia, ’18 Recreational Therapy

“Making my dreams come true.”

—Brittney Varela, ’17 Communications

“Being able to build a future for myself while making lasting memories.”

—Brittany Ward, ’16 Behavioral Science

Tell or show us what makes you a Spartan

Write or photograph what makes you a Spartan and share it with #SJSU or send it by email.

Jody Ulate

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

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