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Pioneer Stories

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

Thriving in the Medical Field

Janelle Minter

BS '09, Biological Science

Janelle Minter is a Castro Valley native and a physician for Kaiser Permanente and was recently selected as one of the 344 outstanding physicians in the Greater Sacramento Area. Minter spends her time navigating between two departments: palliative medicine and hospital medicine. She has been a physician for a little over a year at Kaiser, and while it is a challenging job that requires long days, it is incredibly satisfying and fulfilling for her. "I feel I am making a difference in the lives of my patients, and I feel that this is the only job for me," said Minter.

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Richard Leo Enos

Retiring as a Golden Grad

Richard Leo Enos

BA ‘69, Speech & Drama

Meet Richard Leo Enos who recently retired from Texas Christian University as a Lillian Radford Chair of Rhetoric and Composition. 

He will miss the teaching, but teaching takes enormous energy, time, and commitment. That said, he looks forward to staying active, meeting students informally, and continuing to work with them on research projects. He still has ongoing research projects and plans to continue to make research trips to Italy, Greece, and Turkey.

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Julian Medina

From Intern to Engineer

Julian Medina

BS ‘16, Computer Science

Meet Julian Medina, a Junior Engineer for BART, Bay Area Rapid Transit. 

As an Engineer in Train Control Engineering at BART, Medina is required to shadow maintenance during graveyard shifts (when the majority of work at BART gets completed) so he can learn more about the system. The tasks on graveyard shifts can vary greatly. You might be working on the track inspecting equipment, up in the cab of a train working with a Train Operator to test new software, or working in an equipment room. Medina's current assignment includes expanding BART to Milpitas and Berryessa/North San José.

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Allen Kwan

Taking the Helm

Allen Kwan

BA ‘04, Mass Communication

Meet Allen Kwan the Senior Vice President, Head of West Region Sales for Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. Kwan is the new Cal State East Bay Alumni Association Board President.

Kwan has been described as a “natural leader” by his colleagues, and his prowess for relationship-building and passion for inclusion is why he is a founding member of two networking groups: the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation and the San Francisco Chapter of Emerging Insurance Professionals.

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Asehli Howe

Educator & Entrepreneur

Asehli Howe

BA '16, International Studies and Spanish

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

Reaching New Heights

Marissa Marshall

BA ‘19, Strategic Communications

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

The Story of Jericho

Jericho Apo

BA ‘17, Sociology

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

The Alchemy of Resilience

Myra Nawabi

BA ‘02 & MS '04, Liberal Studies and 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

Transforming Politics

Shanthi Gonzales

BA ‘01, Political Science

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

Sparking Creativity

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

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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