77 Scholars Shine at Fall 2016 Scholarship Recognition Luncheon

Scholarship Luncheon
A record number of scholarship recipients pose with Dean Ping Hsu before mingling and conversing with donors at lunch

Every day within the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, scores of scholars are benefiting from the largesse of many private and corporate donors who support and believe in them. This year student scholarship recipients – 77 in all – were in the spotlight at the recent Scholarship Recognition Luncheon. The annual celebration provides a unique opportunity for SJSU scholars to thank donors for making these scholarships possible. Each year we invite donors, recipients, faculty and staff to come together to enjoy this celebration of philanthropy and achievement.

In his welcome remarks, Interim Dean Ping Hsu thanked the donors and praised them for supporting the dreams and aspirations of these inspiring students while at the same time helping make engineering education first rate at San José State University.

"Your generosity helps to support our mission: to prepare engineering students to be ready and able to fully contribute to the innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership of Silicon Valley and beyond," he said. "We truly appreciate your commitment."

Sponsor Speaker

Indira Joshi, Samsung’s Director of Datacenter Storage and Memory Architecture, delivered an inspiring speech about the value of lessons she had learned from her own graduate studies. "I found that some of my best classes, my favorite classes, where I learned the most -- were not always the classes I got the best grades in," she said. "And that lesson has been valuable at work as well. Sometimes we launch projects that are very valuable, but maybe they fail. We have to ask ourselves, what are the lessons I want to take away from this?"

She also spoke about the virtues of perseverance, whether pulling an all-nighter in school or sticking to a work project until it is complete, even if it takes months or years.

Samsung donated $50,000 in three scholarships, all of which begin this academic year.

Scholarship Recipient Speakers

Alyssa Ruiz (Mechanical Engineering ‘17), a Parisi scholar, reflected on her time spent with the Global Technology Initiative, which funds a group of students to travel to Taiwan for three weeks of the summer to participate in an engineering or business based project. This opportunity was created by the College of Engineering to help its students gain a better understanding of different cultures. "That experience left me with connections from all around the world, and a desire for travel forever instilled within me," she said.

She also spoke about being considered a member of a minority group: "I am viewed as being a part of the minority in several ways: I am a woman, half Mexican, from lower economic standing, and the first of my immediate family to go to college in the states. But these attributes, although seemingly limiting, have only opened doors for me to become a part of a different minority. I am in the minority asked to join engineering honor societies, I am part of a small number of students who will have had multiple internships before graduation, part of a minority that will graduate in four years, and lastly I am part of the minority who has a job waiting for them when they graduate." That last minority, Alyssa said, is one in whose membership she is extremely proud to be.

Kelli Sum (Industrial Systems and Engineering ‘17), a National Science Foundation Engineering Leadership Pathway scholar, began by saying, "I never thought that I would become an engineer when I graduated high school." She then went on to describe her journey that took her to Industrial Systems and Engineering and "human factors, which tries to understand the interactions between humans and their job and design it in a way that optimizes their well-being and performance. We learned about examples of the placement of surgeon’s tools to make surgery more efficient and minimize mistakes or how to make soldier’s gear more compact and lighter to be more agile on the battlefield. It was that "light bulb" moment where I knew that this was the career I want to pursue."

She concluded by sharing four steps that were extremely important to her: "One, believe you can do it. Two, find many mentors that can help you. Three, put in the hard work for opportunities that interest you. Finally, four, give back by helping others in a similar way."

Learn more about the scholarship recipients.

Special thanks to our scholarship sponsors.