FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SFSU Office of Public Affairs & Publications
Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs
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
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."