Inspiring Spartans

Every day I feel grateful for the opportunity to tell the stories of Spartans, alumni and faculty of San Jose State University. It has always been my dream to make a living writing meaningful stories, and this semester is no different. I’m proud to share a few of the recent profiles that have been published on Washington Square, SJSU’s alumni magazine blog.

SJSU Kinesiology Professor Shirley Reekie. Courtesy: Shirley Reekie.

SJSU Kinesiology Professor Shirley Reekie. Courtesy: Shirley Reekie.

Kinesiology Professor Shirley Reekie first hopped aboard her father’s sailboat at age two, inspiring a career in athletics and sport history. This Spartan women in sports story shares her connection to Margaret Jenkins, SJSU’s first Olympian.

Climbing Yosemite’s El Capitan. Courtesy: Wayne Merry

Climbing Yosemite’s El Capitan. Courtesy: Wayne Merry

Wayne Merry, ’59 Conservation, was one of the first rock climbers to summit El Capitan.

Dan Fenstermacher. Photo: David Schmitz.

Dan Fenstermacher. Photo: David Schmitz.

Photographer Dan Fenstermacher, ’16 MFA Photography, traveled to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria to capture the stories of survivors.

SJSU Theatre Arts Professor Buddy Butler directed  In the Heights  at the Hammer Theatre in 2018. Courtesy: San Jose State University’s College of Humanities and the Arts marketing team.

SJSU Theatre Arts Professor Buddy Butler directed In the Heights at the Hammer Theatre in 2018. Courtesy: San Jose State University’s College of Humanities and the Arts marketing team.

Theatre Arts Professor Buddy Butler believes his productions can engage young audiences in complex issues and inspire thoughtful dialogue.

Former SJSU swimmer Lisa Covey Peters now competes in Cross Fit. Courtesy: Lisa Covey Peters.

Former SJSU swimmer Lisa Covey Peters now competes in Cross Fit. Courtesy: Lisa Covey Peters.

Spartan swimmer Lisa Covey Peters, ’07 Physics, leads an exciting career as a systems engineer at Lockheed Martin.

SJSU gymnast Shanice Howard is now a physical therapist. Courtesy: SJSU Athletics.

SJSU gymnast Shanice Howard is now a physical therapist. Courtesy: SJSU Athletics.

Gymnast Shanice Howard was named the 2011 Arthur Ashe Jr. Female Sports Scholar of the Year and went on to become a physical therapist.

Silicon Valley advertising pioneer Agnieszka Winkler. Photo: David Schmitz.

Silicon Valley advertising pioneer Agnieszka Winkler. Photo: David Schmitz.

Agnieszka Winkler launched and led one of Silicon Valley’s most successful independent advertising agencies in an era when she was often “the only woman in the room.”

Big thanks to all of these amazing people for sharing their stories with me, and to the designers and photographers who made these stories come to life. Coming this spring: a special series on science research at SJSU. Stay tuned!