SF State News {University Communications}

Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus

Exceptional graduating students profiled

May 20, 2008 -- One outstanding student from each academic college and from Liberal Studies/Special Majors and Graduate Studies will be honored at SF State's 107th Commencement Saturday, May 24. They receive the symbolic investiture of the hood on behalf of their fellow students. In addition, Andrew Hines, hood recipient for the College of Business, will be this year's student speaker. SF State News is pleased to introduce these students to the campus community and friends of SF State:

Behavioral and Social Sciences | Business | Creative Arts | Education | Ethnic Studies | Health and Human Services | Humanities | Science and Engineering | Liberal Studies/Special Majors | Graduate Studies


College of Behavioral and Social Sciences: Katherine Kramer
Katherine Kramer wants to use economics to help businesses and consumers make environmentally healthy choices. Photograph of Katherine Kramer. After spending several years at an Ivy League school, Kramer took time out from studying and moved to San Francisco.

Working in the city's hotel industry prompted her to find out about responsible business practices. She returned to college life and has excelled in her studies, taking graduate classes alongside her undergraduate courses.

"I got the second chance I needed when I joined SF State," Kramer said. In the fall, she will pursue a master's degree in economics at SF State.


College of Business: Andrew Hines (Commencement speaker)

At 17, Andrew Hines was on the cutting edge, running his own company that used computer aided design technology to manufacture surfboards. By 19, he was out of work and looking to return to school. The Santa Cruz native enrolled at SF State to pursue a degree in business with a concentration in decision sciences and an additional major in statistics. Photograph of Andrew Hines.

At SF State, Hines excelled, routinely taking 20 or more credit hours per semester so that he could graduate early -- something the business major noted would also save him money.

"I learned there's a much richer experience you can get in academics," Hines said. "The intellectual discovery and exploration was really neat. The teachers here really fostered a climate that allowed me to explore.”

Hines, the College of Business hood recipient and student Commencement speaker, will begin a doctoral program in management science and engineering next fall at Stanford University, where he hopes to learn ways to solve global problems.


College of Creative Arts: David Silverman
From an early age, David Silverman seemed destined to be an artist and educator. The youngest of nine siblings born to an artist and teacher in Michigan, David learned the power of art and expression and found his passion in drama. Photograph of David Silverman. David headed to California where he worked extensively as a stage actor, performing in television, radio and films alongside such actors as Holly Hunter, Eddie Murphy, Will Smith and Sigourney Weaver.

At SF State, the art major established himself as a gifted painter and collaborator in and out of the classroom. "I've learned that education isn’t a quantitative set of tangible things," Silverman said. "It’s about thinking and grouping ideas I wouldn’t normally put together. I’m trying to re-contextualize that experience and discover how I can define and put this new language to use through painting or sculpture."

He established his own studio in San Francisco 18 months ago and plans to pursue dual careers as an artist and educator.


College of Education: Marie Held
Graduating with a degree in communicative disorders, Marie Held brings to her academic experience nine years of working with people with special needs. Photograph of Marie Held.

Marie has served as an aide in SF State's speech and language disorders clinic and has volunteered at a Sonoma County kindergarten where she assisted a Down syndrome pupil in using word and picture cards to communicate.

"After high school I thought I would choose an art degree but the joy I found in working with people with special needs won me over," said Held, who lives on a 40-acre horse ranch near Sebastopol. Marie will return to SF State in the fall to pursue a master's in communicative disorders enabling her to become a speech-language pathologist.


College of Ethnic Studies: Morrigan Yaayaginaxíx Shaw
Shaw, a member of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, is the first student to be awarded SF State's new B.A. in American Indian Studies. With an emphasis in anthropology and biology, Shaw's studies reflect her passion for cultural preservation and revitalization that were sparked by her great grandmother, Marie Orsen, a founder of the Alaska Native Brotherhood. Photograph of Morrigan Yaayaginaxix Shaw.

Shaw reactivated the SF State chapter of First Nation Hawks, a student group that addresses political and legal issues confronting indigenous peoples. As president of the group, she has represented their concerns at hearings by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. Shaw was named to the Native American Advisory Council for the de Young Museum in San Francisco where she lectured at a Native American Art exhibit

Shaw will pursue a graduate degree in American Indian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. "The more American Indian Studies classes I take, the more passionate I feel about the subject," Shaw said. "It is my ultimate goal to work on issues of tribal repatriation."


College of Health and Human Services: Nicole Greaves
Greaves found her calling and inspiration in her mother's strength and courage to battle a devastating illness while raising three children. Greaves, who has a reputation as an exceptional student who Photograph of Nicole Greaves.challenges her instructors' thinking as much as they hope to challenge her, is passionate about helping people with disease or disability realize their potential. Now assisting in research that will help impaired older persons lead independent lives, she will pursue a master’s degree in kinesiology at SF State. She plans to advance to a doctoral degree in kinesiology.

"I am not sure what my dream job is, but if I can do what I am passionate about while helping people, I would be a very lucky person," Greaves said. "I want to find new strategies to help older adults reclaim their abilities despite physical setbacks or impairment."

Greaves will receive a B.S. in kinesiology.


College of Humanities: Lisa Rau
As a member of the University's Speech and Debate Team, Lisa Rau's performances bring wit and insight to controversial topics. Photograph of Lisa Rau. This year, Rau was named an All-American at the American Forensics Association (AFA) National Individual Events Tournament, and for two consecutive years she has been named Platform Speaker of the Year by the Northern California Forensics Association. Rau has achieved first place in a string of competitive events including Communication Analysis and Informative Speaking.

"I fell in love with speech as soon as I got involved in my sophomore year," Rau said. "I have enjoyed fostering new talent on the team, making sure that each of us gives the best performance possible."

Rau is receiving dual degrees in communication studies and creative writing. Over the next year, Rau plans to travel to her mother's native Colombia where she hopes to perfect her native Spanish.


College of Science and Engineering: Batbileg Bor
Batbileg Bor is passionate about his work and future in cellular or molecular biology. It was his articulation of this passion that allowed him to stay in the United States, despite immigration laws that required him to return to his native Mongolia. Photograph of Batbileg Bor.

Having learned English after arriving here in 2000, Bor made an ardent plea to the court.  "I told the immigration judge that I had worked hard for my education and would continue to work just as hard," Bor said. "It's also what I tell my younger brother, 'work hard and never give up.'"

The judge approved his request to stay in the U.S., and Bor has since earned a prestigious internship at Genentech in addition to placing top of his class in biochemistry. 

Bor's winning attitude carried over in athletic achievement. Named to the California Collegiate Athletic Association's first team and this year's captain of the SF State Cross Country running team, he was the first Gator to cross the finish line in every one of his races.

Bor plans to pursue a doctoral degree at University of California, Los Angeles.


Liberal Studies/Special Majors: Courtney Good
Courtney Good loves science and nature, but a communication studies class helped her discover her passion for storytelling. Photograph of Courtney Good.

She began to dream about telling stories about science. "My professors opened my eyes and helped me believe that it is possible to put science and performance together," Good said.

Good works part-time at a Montessori school where she teaches children about science through stories and art projects. She performs her stories publicly at the Storytelling Association of Alta California.

"My professors allowed me to think beyond subject boundaries," she said. 

In the fall, Good will attend seminary in Seattle where she wants to explore how science, performance, and spirituality connect.


Graduate Studies: Ravindran K. Subramanian
Ravi Subramanian graduates with a master's in public administration which he gained in just three semesters while working full-time as a senior officer at the Santa Clara County Superior Court. He is known equally for his outstanding academic record and for his unselfish service to his fellow students. Ravi established a paid internship program at his office so that his classmates could earn valuable work experience to complement their academic record.


-- Denize Springer, Michael Bruntz, Elaine Bible


Share this story:



SF State Home