San Francisco State UniversityWeb A-ZFind it FastCalendarNeed help?News

SFSU's top grads to rehearse for Commencement on Friday afternoon



Matt Itelson
SFSU Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 338-1743
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


Top grads include melanoma survivor and aspiring speech-language pathologist, Chinese immigrant already publishing chemistry research in academic journals, future teacher who tutors children in math and science, and African American community activist; Friday's rehearsal prepares for Saturday's Commencement, where they represent nearly 8,000 graduates

San Francisco State University's hood recipients, the top graduates chosen to represent the 7,832 students in the class of 2005, will rehearse for Saturday's Commencement ceremonies, where a crowd of 20,000 is expected.

3 p.m., Friday, May 27

Cox Stadium, behind the SFSU Gymnasium, 1600 Holloway Ave. (at 19th Avenue), San Francisco.

Each hood recipient is an outstanding student with a unique story and an ambitious plan for the future. Here are several of their stories:

  • Simone Kytle, College of Education hood recipient, combined outstanding academic performance with community work while getting her bachelor's in communicative disorders -- even though she had to battle melanoma along the way. The Palo Alto native worked with young children with communicative disorders at California Pacific Medical Center and tutored fellow undergrads struggling with psychology courses. Inspired by her work caring for an autistic boy, she grew interested in neuro-linguistic disorders. She plans to become a speech-language pathologist.
  • Lisa Yong Wu's advanced research into enzymes that may be connected to prostate cancer belies the fact that she is just completing the first step in her scientific studies. After immigrating to the United States from China a few years ago, the College of Science and Engineering hood recipient was the first in her farming family to complete high school. Despite the fact that she has helped to rear two younger siblings, she has also managed to volunteer in her community with organizations including the Red Cross, Leukemia Society, San Francisco Public Library, Mandarin Elementary School, Asian Art Museum and Asian Women's Shelter. Already the coauthor of two professional journal papers, Wu plans to earn a Ph.D. and teach chemistry.
  • Lisa Duque is an aspiring teacher who leads an after-school class in cooking and baking in San Francisco's Portola District. As she helps students whip up foods from an international menu, the Liberal Studies hood recipient not only exposes them to new cultures, but also gives hands-on lessons in math and science. A recipient of a National Hispanic Scholarship, Duque is proud of her family's Central American roots in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Colombia and proud to be a second-generation San Franciscan. She wants to teach third grade specifically because its coursework focuses on exploring the local community. After four years in SFSU's Liberal Studies Integrated Teacher Education Program, which enables students to earn both their bachelor's degree and teaching credential in just four years, Duque plans to teach full time or enroll in a master's program in education.
  • Oakland resident Shawnna Vel Demmons, a black studies major and the College of Ethnic Studies hood recipient, balanced her undergraduate studies with a full-time career as a clinical case manager in San Francisco's Tenderloin District, helping underserved people of color who have multiple diagnoses. In addition, she was a writer and co-editor of the College's Black Studies Journal. Raised in Los Angeles, she spent a decade counseling teen youth with HIV and worked with queer youth of color. Demmons is the first in her family to earn a bachelor's degree. After a year off she plans to pursue a degree in law, social services or public health with the eventual goal of making a difference in the black community. "Employment and education are the issues in the African-American community," she said. "The violence is residual."



San Francisco State University Home     Search     Need Help?    

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132  415/338-1111
Last modified April 20, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications