Collage of photos from Spartans.

What Does It Mean to Be the Most Transformative University in the Nation?

It means discovering what you’re capable of. It means finding out who you are. It means understanding how you can change the world. We believe that everyone at SJSU has the power to transform not only themselves but the world around them. Every Spartan has a story of transformation. Live yours.

Share Your Story

President Mary A. Papazian speaking with students.

“Though rankings come and go, our values-driven culture leaves us poised to continue, now and into the future, educating the next generation of creative, dynamic and resilient leaders here at SJSU.”

—Dr. Mary A. Papazian, SJSU President

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Testimonials of Transformation

Nadya Carlson-Bowen.

Nadya Carlson-Bowen

‘21 Child and Adolescent Development

“I started at West Valley College a few years ago. However things changed and my twin sister passed away at age 26 years old with colon cancer. But with obstacles that life threw at me with the hardships I faced, I finally graduated with my AA there. I’ve always been a goal-getter, a problem solver and have always wanted to chase my dreams. I applied and got into SJSU for Fall 2017 and I am finally there. I will be graduating from SJSU this May, spring 2021, with the coming of my teaching credential shortly.”

Carl Henderson.

Carl Henderson

‘04 African American Studies

“My time at SJSU was a great transformation. As a transfer student from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, I arrived in San José deflated and depressed. I found positivity and inspiration within the Xi Gamma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. After graduation I pursued coaching...with the life mission of ‘encouraging students to have a dream and admonishing them to have courage through adversity.’ My time at SJSU, though full of trials and tribulations, was the greatest time of my life.”

Sharon Martinez.

Sharon Martinez

‘20 Sociology

“Before graduating high school I applied to SJSU and my application unfortunately got withdrawn. I didn’t let that stop me though. I applied once more and a couple months later I was so excited that I had received my admission offer! I built strong friendships with my peers and strong relationships with my professors. SJSU transformed me in more ways than one, but I am glad I never gave up on myself. SJSU fostered a passion and purpose within me to help others. I will always be thankful for my life and experiences at San José State.”

Isra Ahmad.

Isra Ahmad

‘13 Health Science

“SJSU allowed me to make mistakes, learn from my experiences and expanded my own understanding of my horizons. My passions to serve communities who would have otherwise been unheard, silenced or ostracized were also cemented through the service learning opportunities granted at SJSU. I am forever grateful for the time that I spent at SJSU! Go Spartans!”

Tara Caughlan.

Tara Caughlan

‘16 MA Environmental Studies

“I met so many amazing students and staff at SJSU. In the environmental studies program, I was surrounded by people who wanted to make the world a better place. I now work at the San Francisco Zoo, which is dedicated to conservation, both local and distant. My studies at SJSU helped me see the plight of animals in a much larger context. Thank you, SJSU!”

Nikki Haider.

Nikki Haider

‘20 Finance

“I was able to find a part time position a couple months after graduation. After that, they offered me a full-time position due to my knowledge and personal skills I learned throughout my time at SJSU.”

Laura Guio.

Laura Guio

‘86 Engineering and ‘86 Marketing

“SJSU helped me by being the university I needed at that point in my life. I got married and had my first child while at SJSU. SJSU gave me a real foundation for what was needed in the working world.  Many of my professors were from the working world and brought a perspective on what was needed once I graduated.”

Alexandra Salazar.

Alexandra Salazar

‘20 Molecular Biology

“Coming to SJSU introduced me to the mentors that would see my potential and help transform me into the scientist I am becoming. Thanks to the resources and guidance I received at SJSU, I will begin pursuing my PhD in neuroscience at the Scripps Research Institute starting fall 2021.”

David Ngô.

David Ngô

‘19 Public Relations

“SJSU instilled the confidence in me that a career through writing was possible. It was within reach. Coming from the East Side San José where access to resources are sometimes harder to come by — I became immersed into a different world on campus. The professors from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications worked tirelessly to help me graduate and saw the potential before I even did.”