Message from President Papazian

President Mary A. Papazian.

Photo: Josie Lepe, ’03 BFA Photography.

First, I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

There has been a lot going on at San José State and, indeed, around the country these past few months. As you might imagine, I have received a lot of feedback and questions on the activities we have undertaken as we work to fulfill our mission in the midst of a global pandemic, an economic crisis and civic unrest.

This has been a time of both learning and action. What I have been learning, over and over again, is how much there is to learn as we consider taking meaningful action on the challenges we face. This digital edition of Washington Square reflects some of the ways we in the SJSU community are learning from each other.

A top priority for SJSU has been our planning efforts around the fall semester. I invite you to visit our SJSU Adapt plan website, which outlines the steps we are taking. In my feature essay, I share how San José State is rethinking the ways we serve students and deliver education. In addition, we are committed to supporting researchers such Kim Blisniuk, earthquake geologist, and Yue “Wilson” Yuan, who study victimization in immigrant communities.

At the same time, we and many other institutions around the country are focusing our attention on examining and addressing systemic racism. I have written several blog posts and have a forthcoming video message about our efforts to take meaningful action on this issue. And I hope you will follow along as we make progress on our campus—progress I think will result in positive, long-term changes with regard to individual, institutional and systemic racism.

Among our alumni are champions of inclusion, such as Meta Mereday, who lifts up veterans through advocacy and coaching, and author Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, who illuminated the inexpressible experience of Japanese-American internment in Farewell to Manzanar.

Joining SJSU’s 280,000 inspiring alumni are members of our spring 2020 graduating class, who will go down in SJSU history for its resilience and ability to accept adversity and change. The strength of each of our graduates that emerges from this challenging time will lead to a generation of thinkers and doers ready to engage with and find solutions to the problems of our times.

I encourage you to share your ideas for shaping the future of your alma mater. What we learn together now will benefit us all when we’re able to welcome everyone back to campus.

Be well, Spartans.


Mary A. Papazian, Ph.D.

Please share your thoughts by emailing me or on Twitter at @PrezPapazian. You may also subscribe to my blog and watch my video series, At Home with President Papazian.


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