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Pioneer Stories

Read about some of our most noteworthy alumni and be inspired to recommend a Pioneer for a Pioneer Story.

Asehli Howe

(BA ‘16, International Studies and Spanish)

Asehli Howe

Meet Asehli Howe (BA ‘16, International Studies and Spanish), a Cal State East Bay alumna, who co-founded Survivor Alliance, a non-profit organization that works with survivors of sexual violence.

Asehli is a social justice educator and entrepreneur on a mission to create supportive communities that end cycles of trauma. With Survivor Alliance, Asehli organizes multiple events each month for survivors of sexual assault and allies to learn, connect, and heal. She also provides workshops regarding how to support survivors of sexual violence.

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Marissa Marshall

(BA ‘19, Strategic Communications)

Marissa Marshall

Meet Marissa Marshall, a newly minted Cal State East Bay alumna, who will begin her career with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in New York City.

Her passions are rooted in the business realm of the sports world, but more importantly women in sports. She plans to change the narrative for female athletes and heighten the likes of representation, leading to more than just equality—but equity.

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Jericho Apo

(BA ‘17, Sociology)

Jericho Apo 1

Meet Jericho Apo, a Cal State East Bay alumnus, who works for Story of Stuff as a Digital Strategist and was a featured panelist for the FB Live event: Land Your First Job.

Story of Stuff is a nonprofit based in Berkeley, CA where they produce videos and launch campaigns around environmental and social issues.

Jericho is focused on writing scripts, directing shoots and producing videos. Then he takes the videos they make and gets it out into the world through social media and strategic partners. He analyzes their content's performance and uses that data to test experiments and adapt their strategy.

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Myra Nawabi

(BA ‘02 & MS '04, Liberal Studies & Educational Leadership)


Meet Myra Nawabi, a Cal State East Bay alumna, who works for Lockheed Martin Space as a Senior Project Engineer and was a featured speaker for EBx–a TED-style event for the East Bay Community.

By day, Myra is a Senior Project Engineer, literally working with rocket scientists to develop next-generation space equipment. In a former life, she was an educator and she still lives and breathes the belief that education has the power to change the world.

In her spare time, Myra consults with mobile app start-ups, volunteers to teach women and girls how to get the most from technology. As if this were not enough, Myra is of an ancient Afghan royal lineage (really!) She
and her family lived through the horrors of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan finally escaping and finding asylum in the United States in 1987.

Myra has been recognized as Business Leader of the Year by Women in IT Awards 2018, Silicon Valley Business Journal's Women of Influence 2016, and The Forty Women To Watch Over 40 in 2016.

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Shanthi Gonzales

(BA ‘01, Political Science)

Shanthi Gonzales

Meet Shanthi Gonzales, a Cal State East Bay alumna, who works for Oakland Unified School District and was a featured speaker for Women on the Rise: Pioneers Transforming Politics.

Shanthi served as a student journalist and then editor of The Pioneer which greatly improved her writing and communication skills and has been a major strength in her career. It also taught her more about working as part of a team. Through her work with The Pioneer, she got her first job, which started as an internship with Alameda County. And finally, her first elected office was as part of the Associated Student Body at CSUEB, launching her career as an elected official.

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Martin Hoang

(BFA '16, Art)


Meet Martin Hoang (BFA '16, Art), a Cal State East Bay young alumnus, who is a content designer for Adobe Spark. Alongside his team, Martin creates roughly 100 new templates every week for the Adobe Spark Post App. Some may wonder how Martin managed to land a coveted job at Adobe. Simple– networking.
Martin was a finalist for the Adobe Design Achievement Awards (ADAA) and was given the opportunity to attend Adobe Max for the award ceremony. While there, he was able to meet the Adobe staff that ran the competition. One of them would turn out to be Martin's future boss, who hired him 2 weeks after he graduated at Adobe because he brought a copy of “Revival” magazine (Student-run publication that can be seen at the University Gallery), and had a Behance portfolio set up to show them his work. As if being a content designer for Adobe Spark isn't enough, Martin still manages to find time to create pins to illustrate his creativity and hone his practice. Check out his creation in the photo above–he is sporting his pin on his blazer.
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Terri Mead

(BS '92 & MBA '97, Business Administration)




Meet Terri Mead (BS '92 & MBA '97, Business Administration), a Cal State East Bay alumna advocating for equal voices and representation especially for female entrepreneurs. Mead is a consultant, podcaster, blogger, startup adviser, investor, wife, and mom. It's safe to say she doesn't get much sleep. Mead is passionate about advocating for female founders and looking for ways to get more investors to shift their funding.

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