From Mo’s Desk

Photo: Robert C. Bain

Photo: Robert C. Bain

“If you want to do something extraordinary, you have to know who you are,” said John Amaechi at a campus event this fall. The human rights advocate, psychologist, best-selling author and former NBA player spoke at Morris Dailey Auditorium about shaping the future for ourselves and for our communities.

Now more than ever, being a member of a community is vital. Instantaneous communications are redefining the way we live, learn and work on a global level. Globalization also pulls us in many directions, blurring boundaries while creating opportunities to come together, even at great distances. To survive, we need to be connected; to thrive we have to be hyper-connected.

This issue highlights alumni, students and faculty members whose work not only illustrates their character, but also demonstrates how Spartans are making a difference across time and distance. In “Center of the Storm,” three Ukrainian alumni are ensuring that the world hears their country’s true story, rather than propaganda. African-American Studies Professor Steven Millner traces his ancestry to emancipated slaves—and beyond. And our University Police Department, along with volunteers, has been brightening the holiday season for two decades with a toy drive that reaches children and families right here in SJSU’s neighborhood.

In many of the stories, you’ll read about SJSU’s fine faculty members, who help students discover who they want to be—that important step, as Amaechi said, toward doing something extraordinary. I hope you’ll reflect on your time at San José State and consider nominating a faculty member who helped you as your “Very Inspirational Person.”

As a campus at the heart of Silicon Valley, San José State is shaping communities near and far. I am proud of our alumni, students and faculty members who make that possible. It is evident that we know who we are. We are Spartans.

Mo Qayoumi

Share your Spartan stories and your thoughts about San José State 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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