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SDSU Imperial Valley Commencement Celebrated Academic Triumphs


It was the end of the journey for San Diego State University students who walked to get their diplomas as they graduated from the university to the delight and pride of their family and friends present. The commencement ceremony took place on May 8 at the SDSU campus in Calexico. 

Dean Guillermina Gina Núñez-Mchiri highlighted the achievements and milestones of the past academic year. Núñez reflected on the unique characteristics of the student body, noting that last fall, 9 out of every 10 students enrolled in courses from 4 pm to 10 pm. “Our students embody resilience and determination,” she said, emphasizing the challenges many face, including balancing work, family, and academic responsibilities.

Highlighting the diverse backgrounds of SDSU Imperial Valley students, Dean Núñez revealed that 23% of those surveyed indicated they had children, while approximately two-thirds transferred from Imperial Valley College and one-third came from local high schools. 

“The majority of our students work and go to school to support themselves and their families,” she added, underscoring the significance of earning a four-year degree, often as the first in their families.

Celebrating a significant milestone, Dean Núñez announced the graduation of the first cohort of pre-licensure BS in Nursing students at SDSU IV. She expressed gratitude to donors Cliff and Carolyn Colwell for their generous gift, which enabled the expansion of the nursing program into Brawley.

Graduate Christian Jimenez was honored as the first recipient of the prestigious APACIE Fellowship. The event marked not only a personal triumph for Jimenez but also a testament to his dedication to education and his remarkable journey thus far. Jimenez’s educational journey began at San Diego State University, where he embarked on a path filled with challenges and triumphs. From earning his Bachelor’s degree to completing the rigorous teaching credential program, Jimenez’s tenure at SDSU was characterized by a deep commitment to his craft and an unwavering passion for learning.

The teaching credential program provided him with invaluable hands-on experience and mentorship. Through student teaching, he honed his pedagogical skills, designed innovative lesson plans, and embraced the complexities of classroom management. Jimenez’s dedication was palpable as he immersed himself in every aspect of the program, determined to excel and make a meaningful impact.

“This isn’t the end of the journey, but the beginning of a new chapter in my career. I look forward to this next stage of my career with huge excitement. I will use my education to have a positive impact on my future students,“ Jimenez said. 

Javier Velara, a Spanish major, was born and raised in Mexicali and is the first of his family to have a bachelor’s degree. 

“My journey here has been amazing. I have been able to meet a lot of people and be part of many organizations and initiatives,” Velara said. “I applied for a master’s degree in education counseling.” 

Victoria Lara, a fourth-year criminal justice major with a minor in public administration, said SDSU allowed her to be involved with several student organizations. 

“Being here has taught me the power of community and the power of giving back, teamwork, and working for one another,” Lara said. 

SDSU President Adela De La Torre spoke about what SDSU Imperial Valley accomplished in the last year such as the STEM Building in Brawley that will help with lithium development and said that this campus will become an example for the border community. 

“San Diego State University will be the defining university on the US-Mexico border and we will defy the rhetoric that being on the border is a risk,” De La Torre said. 

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