Students Add Shine to Community
past 55 years, more than 150,000 students have chosen Sac State as their
higher education destination. Their creativity, idealism and energy have
transformed the Capital Region.
like their predecessors, Sac States current crop of nearly 27,000
students are heavily involved in the surrounding community. They use the
area as a laboratory, gaining real-world experience while putting into
practice theories learned in the classroom. Businesses, arts organizations,
nonprofit groups and state government all draw on their talents.
Nearly three-quarters of Sac State students work. Fully 40 percent give
time as volunteers. About 1,000 can be found in local schools every year
working as student-teachers. Another 600 earn academic credit while working
for various employers in the states largest cooperative education
program, while hundreds earn practical experience working with elected
officials or government agencies.
Numbers and statistics, of course, dont tell the whole story. So
wed like you to meet a few current students who are touching our
Helping Others Is a Way of Life
Cacho has accomplished much for himself, but the criminal justice graduate
student continues to lift others. He lives by a motto his parents taught
him which, translated from his native Spanish, goes In this lifetime,
we have to help each other. Extend your hand to the one at the bottom,
and he or she will do the same for another. This society is all about
helping others. As you have helped me, one day I will help another.
Cachos hand has been mentoring students in danger of
dropping out. Hes spent countless hours with students from Sacramento
High School and from Sacramento City College. His bilingual skills have
Im a person who, when I help someone and I know someone has
accomplished something, it makes me feel good, Cacho says. He tells
those he mentors, Its not where you come from, its where
you end up that counts. Its not whats on you, but inside you
that counts. In the end it is really all about heart.
This summer he was honored for his work by the California State University
system with a Hearst/CSU Trustees Scholarship. The award is given in part
for outstanding community service.
When Cacho earned a bachelors degree in criminal justice last year,
he became the first member of his family to graduate from a university.
And he did it with straight As. He is now pursing a masters
degree in criminal justice at Sac State, and eventually plans to continue
helping others as a lawyer specializing in immigration law. He would also
like to be a professor someday.
Cacho credits much of his success to strong encouragement from his parents.
Im doing it as a goal for me, but also as a dream for them,
Called to the Classroom
Sheila Coleman wants to be at the front of a classroom, and she wants
to be there soon.
The 22-year-old senior is graduating in December with a degree in social
science and a minor in dance. Shes also already enrolled in the
Sac State teacher credential program, getting the first semester of that
program out of the way while finishing her undergraduate degree. Thats
meant taking eight classes this fall, even as she carries out duties with
the U.S. Army Reserves and dances with the Universitys Sacramento
Black Art of Dance group. But she says it is well worth it.
I realize how important knowledge is in shaping a healthy society,
she says. And I want to be a part of shaping the next generation.
Coleman plans to teach high school social science as well as dance and
When she completes her teaching credential next fall, shell join
the more than 600 other new teachers that Sac State turns out each year.
Coleman has known she was going to be a teacher since she was in high
school. In fact, theres already a job waiting with Sacramentos
San Juan Unified School District.
The district recruited her before she was in college, giving her a hiring
bonus of half her tuition every year. In exchange, Coleman agreed to take
a job as a high school teacher in the district for at least two years.
Almost 30 Sac State students have benefited from similar arrangements
with the district.
Coleman has also been helped along by the Sac State College of Educations
Mel Rapton Honda Scholarship and a scholarship that came with being named
Miss Black Sacramento in 1999.
Learning is Malls Best Deal
Sac State business student Zeyad Elsayed spent the past four years hanging
out at the malland received national recognition for it.
Elsayed directs the CSUS Learning Resource Center at Florin Mall. The
center, better known as Mall Hall, is a free computer and Internet learning
facility staffed by Sac State students. Founded in 1996, it is open seven
days a week.
This June, he was honored as one of six recipients of the national Howard
R. Swearer Student Humanitarian Award at the Points of Lights Foundation
Mall Hall has affected me in so many ways, Elsayed says. I
have learned that the most rewarding moments in life are those that take
place when people tell you that they got the job of their dreams just
because of the computer skills they learned in our programs.
The Swearer award is presented annually by Campus Compact, a national
coalition of more than 750 college and university presidents committed
to making community service a part of undergraduate education.
Each award includes a $1,500 contribution to the students community
service project, just the most recent funds Elsayed has brought to Mall
Hall. In the past year he also helped raise money to double the number
of computer workstations to 24.
Elsayed has also established morning sessions, moving beyond the centers
original focus on middle and high school students to better serve those
in welfare-to-work training programs and senior citizens.
Big-time Experience, Campus Comfort
Suzanne Huynh never worked at Hewlett-Packard. Sure, she helped develop
a software program for them, met with their management, cashed their paychecks.
But she did so from the cozy confines of Sac State.
As project leader in a campus-based virtual co-op with the
computer heavyweight, Huynh, along with three other computer science majors,
spent last semester writing web page design software for use on the companys
website. A fifth team member, an English major, served as technical writer.
Hewlett-Packard provided the equipment, feedback and salary and the University
provided the workspace. H-P told us what they wanted and we wrote
the software for it, Huynh says.
The virtual co-op is the latest addition to the Universitys cooperative
education program, which is the largest program of its kind in the state.
Through co-op, students receive academic credit for paid, career-related
In addition to writing the code, Huynhs team developed a product
overview, a users manual and even gave a demonstration of their
finished product to Hewlett-Packard management. At first we were
nervous, but it was a good experience, she says.
One of the challenges, and benefits, of the arrangement was the need to
learn a new computer language. To ensure compatibility with the current
web page, the team had to teach themselves a scripting language known
Huynh is now pursuing a masters degree in computer science. After
graduation she hopes to get a job writing software, possibly involving
networks and databases. She says working in the co-op was a great way
to gain the experience shell need. It used to be easier to
get a software job, but now theres more
competition, she says.
Because of my work with the co-op, I am more knowledgeable of different
types of software the industry is using. I also know how to work with