Family Advisory Board
The Family Advisory Board (FAB) is an 18 member group of volunteer San Jose State University parents and supporters, established in 2016 to work with the Department of Student Affairs to enhance student success. FAB members volunteer at SJSU events and assist the University in its outreach efforts, as well as network and conduct parent/family surveys that help us focus on the most important issues for students and their families. Representative Liaisons work with individual departments within the University to help the Board make informed recommendations from the unique perspective of family supporters.
How can I join FAB?
We are currently accepting Family Advisory Board (FAB) Member applications for the 2021-2022 academic year.
If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about the board, please email us at email@example.com.
The Family Advisory Board will:
- Provide advice and counsel in long-range planning for the University and Department activities, programs, and services.
- Solicit and provide immediate feedback to the University regarding programs and student activities to enhance and improve the student experience.
- Aid in the formulation and promotion of goals and objectives for the Department which will be communicated to Parents and Supporters.
- Encourage and support maximum parent and supporter involvement in the activities of the Department and other University events.
- Guide and provide feedback on communication between the University and Parents and Supporters
- Assist the University in identifying and cultivating Parents, Supporters, and others to support the mission of the University.
- "FAB Fall 2020 Surveys: Thank you. November. 2020" [pdf]
- "2020 Fall Surveys by the SJSU Family Advisory Board." October. 2020 [pdf]
- "2020-2021 Board Meeting Dates." September. 2020 [pdf]
- "2019-2020 Survey: Thank You" September. 2020 [pdf]
- "Black Lives Matter: A Statement from the SJSU Family Advisory Board" June. 2020 [pdf]
2021 Family Advisory Board Members
Chair: Michael O'Connell (2020-Present)
Michael works for the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), in the Engineering and Construction Management department as a Product Manager, overseeing IT (Information Technology) Capital projects. Michael is a graduate from UCSC, where he studied Computer Science and Business Management Economics. His spare time is spent on home remodeling projects, gardening, reading, learning, and fitness activities. His son Sean is an Environmental Studies major and is also leaning towards a minor in either Philosophy or Communications, graduating in Spring 2023. He is living on campus, enjoys performing, (singing, dancing, jazz/blues piano, gymnastics), public speaking, fitness related activities, photography, videography, and especially being with his new friends and the vibe of SJSU. His love of hiking, surfing, and nature brings him home to Santa Cruz often.
Vice-Chair: Nanette Hamilton (2020-Present)
Nanette is a long-time Bay Area resident having moved here in 1986. She has strong ties to the community serving in a number of positions in Parent Teacher Association (PTA) for her sons’ schools as well as many years serving on the board of local youth sports organizations. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from the University of Oregon. After moving to San Jose, she met and married her husband; a San Jose State alum. Ever since then she has split her collegiate allegiances between the Spartans and the Ducks. Now, her son is a Spartan in the Computer Science program and class of 2024. She looks forward to serving the SJSU community and supporting our students and families through FAB. In her free time she continues to support local youth sports organizations and enjoys traveling, hiking,reading and crafting.
Lisa Ball (2016-Present)
Lisa Ball grew up in San Jose and graduated from the Academy of Art College in San
Francisco. After 20 years of creating business graphics for Silicon Valley companies,
she moved to Sunol, CA to raise a family in a rural community. She was very involved
with the local k-8 public school for the 14 years her children attended. Her son,
a 2020 graduate in Software Engineering, chose SJSU because it's in the heart of Silicon
Valley. Her daughter is a Theatre Arts major expecting to graduate in 2024.
Terry Ramos (2017-Present)
Terry is a graduate of Mission College. She is an Accountant II employed by the Santa Clara County Housing Authority since 1985. Living one mile away from SJSU, she is the treasurer of her neighborhood association (SKNA-Spartan Keyes Neighborhood Association) and involved in organizing the annual National Night Out event and neighborhood Sock Drive for the Homeless. Terry is the proud mother of a current SJSU student and mother, mother-in-law, and sister of SJSU alumni. She is also the proud daughter of a Spartan Shops Food Services retiree. Her daughter, Aimée is pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Aimée is a member of the SJSU Women's Club Sport Rugby Team. Terry, bilingual in Spanish/English, is honored to be serving on the Family Advisory Board (FAB) and looks forward to meeting new students and their parents at one of the numerous events that the New Student and Family Programs Division of Student Affairs has planned this year.
Mariana Garcia Serrato (2018-Present)
Born and raised in Mexico City, Mariana graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from Universidad La Salle, and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for several years before moving to California. After being a full-time parent to her two children for a while, and volunteering in their classrooms, she decided that she could best effect change in the educational system by becoming a teacher herself and obtained a teaching credential from SJSU in 2010. She currently teaches middle school science in San Jose and finds joy in making her content available to her students in a variety of ways. Mariana’s two children attend SJSU. Her son is pursuing a degree in History, aiming to graduate in 2022, and continuing on to the teacher credentialing program. Her daughter is pursuing a degree in animation and is expected to graduate in 2023.
Lan Nguyen (2018-Present)
Lan is a school board member on the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education. He came to the U.S. as a refugee, graduated from high school, earned his BA in Political Science from U.C. Riverside and Juris Doctor Degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1990. He is also an attorney practicing law in Westminster, California. He’s well known in the Vietnamese American community for advocating for refugee, legal and political rights and political empowerment. His son is attending SJSU, Class of 2022 and majoring in History.
George Papazian (2019-Present)
George is the founder and CEO of Naviscent (naviscent.com) a market/usability research consulting company working with the worlds most recognized brands. Originally from New York City, George has a degree in Finance/Management from NYU and moved to Silicon Valley, the center of the technology universe in 1991. George has been on several volunteer and non-profit boards including Red Cross, Silicon Valley where he was chair of the development committee for 4 years. He also served as a member of the board of directors of the Oracle Usability Advisory Board for many years. He joined the SJSU Family Advisory Board to help work on issues affecting students and parents and especially to make sure students have the opportunity to graduate in four years and have solid internship opportunities along that path and career opportunities upon graduation. His daughter Aline is studying Marketing as part of the class of 2023.
Monica Malhotra (2019-Present)
Monica is an MBA from Santa Clara University. She spent over 20 years in Corporate Finance and Accounting in tech firms across the valley before starting her own company in 2019. She provides accounting and strategic financial services to early stage startups. Her daughter is a Psychology student at San Jose State University’s Class of 2023. Monica is excited to be part of FAB and be a champion of new students and families and working with the University to make their years at San Jose State a memorable and positive experience.
Sajal Sahay (2020-Present)
Sajal is the proud father of a third year SJSU student, majoring in Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering. He has previous University Board level experience, serving on the Global Alumni Board of the University of Chicago. Sajal’s passion is helping students maximize their student life during their college years, and upon graduation, and looks forwarding to contributing in this capacity on the SJSU FAB. Sajal is currently Co-founder/CEO of Oodles Corporation, a software start-up in the Bay Area. He has worked in leadership roles at well-known organizations such as Fairchild Semiconductor, Hewlett-Packard, Philips, Bausch & Lomb, Arthur Andersen & IBM. He has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago, and an MBA in Marketing & General Management from IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. He is also a graduate of the d.School Design school at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Michael Mc Adoo (2020-Present)
Michael was born in Detroit and grew up in the Washington, DC and Columbia, MD areas. He graduated from Howard University with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Gerontology. He graduated post grad from Antioch University, Los Angeles with a MA in Clinical Psychology. He has worked with at risk youth and adults diagnosed with mild to severe mental illness for over 40years. He has served on the board of Healthy Babies Alameda County, Starlight Homes of San Francisco and New Direction Group Home in Washington, DC. In addition to working in Social Services, Michael has worked in the shipping industry for over 20 years. He was appointed to the Contra Costa County Aviation Advisory Board by Supervisor Federal Glover. Michael is a proud father of Charles Mc Adoo a freshman Baseball recruit at San Jose State University. Charles is majoring in Communications and is currently living on campus. Charles is a member of the class of 2024. Michael is a new FAB member, looking forward to helping students find their path and supporting the university in its goal of improving the students experience and success.
Joanne Marchione (2020-Present)
As the inaugural international representative on the Family Advisory Board, Joanne was born, raised and lives in Melbourne, Australia. She graduated from RMIT University in Medical Radiations and further post graduate studies in Ultrasonography. After 10 years in her chosen career, she stepped away to become a ‘stay-at-home’ mum. Joanne took on various volunteer positions during her children’s schooling, from Pre-School President to fundraising coordinator for Jesuit Missions. Joanne was an avid executive member of multiple parent associations. Her son, Nick, is an international student athlete on the Water polo team at SJSU, majoring in Anthropology.
Sheran Honneyman (2021-Present)
Sheran was born and raised on the east coast. Sheran lived in Pennsylvania, Delaware, South Carolina, and Georgia prior to moving to California in 1983, where she graduated from college. She accepted a management position with a national chain store which she left to run the family business. She holds a Real Estate license in two states, California and Pennsylvania. She also has experience in International sales of properties in Mexico. Sheran’s professional networking ranges from the local to national as well as international. Her daughter is pursuing a degree in advertising and is expected to graduate in 2024.
Almetria (Metra) Vaba (2021 - Present)
Metra has worked for many years in media production, education, and strategic partnerships. She began her career in the California University system teaching at Cal State Northridge. Metra is the mother of Kai (International Business ’25) and first became involved at his cooperative preschool. She has regularly volunteered in classrooms, held leadership roles on the PTA, and served as lead of the Canyon Middle School African American Alliance Network. She also served as parent education chair at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland. “A school is a community comprising students, school staff, and their families. The success of each student is dependent on the strength and connectedness of that community. I see participating on the Family Advisor Board as an opportunity to actively support the San Jose State community by applying my skills and experiences towards that community connectedness.
Padma Uppalapati (2021 - Present)
Padma is an engineering team leader, building software solutions for service providers in 5G networks. She Is a passionate problem-solver and a people person in both her professional and volunteering roles. She is dedicated to driving various enrichment education programs in STEM for both neurodiverse and neurotypical students. Over the years she has held various volunteer leadership positions promoting programs including Challenge Based Learning through Destination Imagination competition, Computational Thinking, and Girl Scouts. Additionally, she is mentoring several college students to succeed in their college studies, career exploration and early careers. Her daughter Sriya is a freshman as a business major in the class of 2025.
Avani Solanki (2021 - Present)
Avani has done Master’s in Clinical Psychology and is currently working as a Behaviour Interventionist with the Evergreen School District. Avani loves dancing, so she started her own dance academy to share her love and passion for dance with others. She has a son, who is a Freshman in SJSU and wants to major in BioMedical Engineering. Avani is excited to be part of FAB and work with the University to make the students and families years at San Jose State a positive experience and a memorable one.
Annie Kwong (2021 - Present)
Annie is grateful to have the opportunity to serve on the FAB. Her unbridled enthusiasm for community, and ensuring that the voices of those members are heard are what bring her here. Event coordination, project management, and relationship building are what she enjoys most. Prior to joining FAB, she dedicated her energy to creating and supporting programs at her 4 kids’ schools (Eastin, IVCMS & JLHS), and their competition teams (TruDance, JLHS Choir, UCALL). As a former collegiate adviser and regional officer for Alpha Phi for 15 years, she has a special affinity for clubs and organizations, and Associated Students, both of which will be her focus as a FAB member. Annie’s Spartan is Kaili, English ‘25. She is also mom to Ryan, Kiana, and Melody, and has been married to her college sweetheart, Stan, for over 20 years. She holds a B.A. in Mass Communications from Cal State University Hayward (now East Bay) and works for Genentech, where she is also involved in community activities and diversity labs. In what spare time she has, she enjoys concerts, musical theatre, and watching her kids' performances.
Slaten R. Van Saun (2021 - Present)
Slaten is a seasoned IT professional with 30+ years of experience in the Information Technology field. After Graduating from Washington State University, he began his career working for Boston University and then Harvard University at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. From there, Slaten worked for a variety of companies which led him to his current position as the Global Director of Information Technology at Gulftech International, a privately held company based in Denver Colorado with subsidiary offices located around the world. Slaten enjoys music, quality time with family and friends and is very passionate about his fitness. He’s run the Boston Marathon and a 50-mile Ultra Marathon. He has also completed four full Ironman Triathlons including the 2010 Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii. Slaten has served on the Board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central California. He was also an Assistant Scout Master while his son Auckland progressed through the ranks ultimately earning his Eagle Scout. Auckland is now a Freshman at SJSU hoping to pursue a degree in Computer Science. Slaten is a new FAB Board Member with a strong interest on improving the connection with SJSU and incoming parents and students.