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Ryan and Family?2024-07-16
Ryan, Kimberly and Hayden

Director’s Message

Ryan DeLong

Happy Summer A.S. Family!

As we head into summer and you begin to prepare for all the fun and excitement this season brings, I encourage everyone to take a few minutes to reflect on all the wonderful things you have accomplished during the 2023-24 academic year. I want you to know that your dedication and commitment to A.S. has made significant impacts to this campus.

As I reflect on the year, there are many proud moments our Student Union team accomplished but one highlight really resonates with me because of the passion behind it and how quickly our team reacted. Although I witnessed many of our on-going programs continue to thrive and grow, what truly impressed me was how our entire team rallied around the newest A.S. initiative, A.S. Career Advantage. Our team immediately understood the impact this program would have and quickly jumped into action by planning and hosting the heavily attended A.S. Career Advantage Kickoff in our Goldberg Courtyard and launched free, weekly headshots for students in the Backdoor Media Studio. This is one proud example of what our Student Union team does day in and day out — they continually support and back each other up to create the atmosphere we affectionately refer to the Student Union as…the campus living room!

In my personal life, this summer will bring me lots of joy because of the time I plan to spend with my family. My son Hayden has just wrapped up his first year of baseball at Rolando Little League and will be graduating kindergarten in June. That leads to all three of the birthdays in my little family and each will include short trips in California. What I am looking forward to the most are a couple of stay-cations which include a milestone birthday on the 4th of July for my wife, Kimberly, and a week-long visit from my parents in late July. I hope each of you finds some time this summer to do all the things that really bring you joy and happiness…you deserve it!

Thank you for everything you all do and happy summer A.S.!

Ryan DeLong
Aztec Student Union Director

Gold Medal Award?2024-07-16

A.S. Staff Honored

Performance Awards

Exemplary full- and part-time A.S. employees are recognized each semester for their hard work and dedication. A.S. recognizes the following employees:

Aztec Recreation

Melissa Asmar — ARC Office Assistant
Madelynn Alexis Barangan — Multimedia Communications Assistant
Brenden Buckley — Member Services Representative
Nicolas Entrup — Member Services Representative
Marion Gates — Intramural Sports Supervisor 
Berrylou Girodie — Member Services Representative
Greg Hasterok  — Head Wheelchair Tennis Coach
Ray Holden — Group Fitness Instructor 
Megan Hollyfield — Group Fitness Instructor
Jazmin Jackson — Member Services Lead
Isabella Melo — Intramural Sports Supervisor 
Tim Shargel — Building Services Assistant 
Ben Zawadzki — Climbing Wall Attendant Level 2

Aztec Student Union

Jenna Bagongha — ASUB Programs Assistant
Kevin Dieschbourg — Technical Services Supervisor 
Maya Gal — Operations Lead      
Robyn Kaminsky — Media Studio Lead Technician   
Kendall Newton — Lead Reservations Assistant
Nicole Noroian — Events Planner
Oshun Parrish — Operations Lead
Nolan Sulser — Operations Assistant
Karen Trujillo — Operations Assistant 
Bailey Zito — Aztec Lanes Attendant

Business Services

Olivia Li — Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Minh Pham —Student Organization Assistant 
Antonio Rivera — IT Student Technician

Government Affairs

Isabella Todd — Government Secretary          

Mission Bay Aquatic Center

Christopher Bugay — Wakesports Instructor
Seth Lundin — Paddle Instructor
Tyler Paulo — Dockmaster
Cory Reinking  — Sailing Instructor
Daniel Soehlke — Maintenance Assistant
Rachel Trus — Office Assistant Lead
Mickey Weissmann — Surfing Instructor

SDSU Children’s Center

Hennesey Aguilar — Associate Teacher
Hailey Aponte — Kitchen Assistant
Kaya Bautisa — Office Assistant
Noa Blonder — Assistant Teacher
Caroline Chasson — Associate Teacher
Jubaly Gutierrez — Assistant Teacher
Hailey Miller — Associate Teacher|
Maxine Mclnerney — Assistant Teacher
Aoi Mori — Assistant Teacher
Maryam Osman — Assistant Teacher
Melissa Salazar — Assistant Teacher
Makayla Savala — Associate Teacher


A.S. Part-Time Student Employee Scholarship

A.S. awards three $500 scholarships each semester to part-time student employees based on academic performance, contributions to the SDSU and San Diego communities, financial need and length of employment. A.S. awards the following students with scholarships:

Danielle Grippi — Viejas Arena, Event Staff
Moises Bayliss — Aztec Recreation, ARC Office Assistant 
Nikita Tanielian — Mission Bay Aquatic Center, Paddling Instructor

McCarron Scholarship

The McCarron Exemplary Service Endowed Scholarship is a $1,500 scholarship awarded to the A.S. student employee who best exemplifies the service ideals of A.S. through exceptional performance and is a contributing member of the SDSU community. Established in 2014, this scholarship is a generous annual gift from Tom & Virginia McCarron that is awarded in the spring semester each year. The McCarron Scholarship winner is:

Mark Heine — Aztec Student Union, Media Studio Technician


Melvin Ridley III on the steps of the Student Union?2024-07-16

Former Executive Officer Selected for Prestigious Program

By Raquel Herriott, Marketing and Communications Associate Director

2023-24 A.S. Vice President of External Relations, Melvin Ridley III was recently selected for a prestigious Capital Fellows Program in Sacramento. Read below to learn how Melvin’s experience in A.S. paved the way for his career in public policy.

This article previously appeared in SDSU NewsCenter.

Melvin Ridley III's acceptance into a Capital Fellows Program marks a milestone in his journey toward public policy. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science and a double minor in interdisciplinary studies and economics, Ridley is embarking on an 11-month program as a fellow in the Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program, based at California State University, Sacramento’s Center for California Studies. 

Ridley's selection as one of the 18 fellows for his particular fellowship underscores his dedication to effecting positive change in his community and beyond. During his academic journey, Ridley demonstrated a commitment to public service while serving as the Associated Students (A.S.) Vice President of External Relations and through his active participation in the California Higher Education Student Summit.  

“Throughout my four years at SDSU, I have been fortunate enough to have had various experiences that have introduced me to the world of state politics,” said Ridley. “These experiences have not only shaped my understanding of state politics, but have also fueled my aspiration to make a meaningful change.”

Established in 1957, the Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program has a rich history of nurturing future public servants and providing them with invaluable experiential learning opportunities. Looking ahead, Ridley sees the program as a stepping stone towards achieving his ultimate goal of pursuing a career in politics. 

With his eyes set on understanding the inner workings of state government, Ridley is eager to leverage the hands-on experience offered by the program to further his professional growth and contribute meaningfully to the community.

Rachel Gregg, SDSU Director of Government & Community Relations, commends Ridley for his outstanding achievements and notes his unwavering dedication to public service. 

“With a heart for service and an ambitious spirit, Melvin has a bright future,” said Gregg. “The fellowship serves as a pivotal opportunity for him to develop essential skills and expand his network within the realm of public policy.”

Ridley's journey as a fellow is set to begin in October, and he is eager to immerse himself in an environment where he will get assigned to work in an assembly member’s office and assist in the legislative process. 

“I love being in spaces where I know that the work that I am doing is helping the lives of others, and I feel like this fellowship will allow me to give back,” said Ridley. 

Janice and Donna, Best Friends.?2024-07-16

National Best Friend Day

How many people can say they work with their best friend? Well, two of our A.S. staff, Janice Dils, Government Affairs Assistant Director, and Donna Buenafe, A.S. Executive Assistant, can say they do! 

In honor of National Best Friend Day on June 8, learn more about the beginning of Janice and Donna’s friendship which started years before working together in A.S.

By Janice Dils, Government Affairs Assistant Director

I met Donna in the seventh grade. Back in the day, seventh grade was a part of junior high, so we were fresh out of two different elementary schools. We grew up in the South Bay, in Otay Mesa, and both went to Montgomery Junior High. Our friendship formed in the seventh grade honors classes, and we always had classes together, spent lunch together, wrote letters to each other (yes, that was a thing) and visited each other’s houses after school. We were in ASB together in junior high and sold concessions for ASB like soda, candy and personal Pizza Hut pizzas. 

Janice and Donna in the ninth gradeDonna and Janice two years after they first met in ninth grade.

In high school, we were in yearbook class together. We also performed traditional dances for Filipino Cultural Night and traveled together when she played varsity volleyball and I played varsity tennis. We celebrated all the milestones of being a teen: attending school dances, new friendships, heartbreaks, hanging out at the mall and arcades without parents and driving for the first time — going to Chinese buffets and thrift stores. 

In college, we both worked at Cinnabon at the Plaza Bonita Mall where we were both shift leads and trained the staff on processes and customer service (we used to eat one Cinnabon each shift!). We will always have a love of Cinnabon because of the memories and the time we spent there together. 

Janice and Donna in New York CityDespite not seeing each other daily, the two best friends remained close, traveling to New York in 2005.

Donna went to Cal Poly Pomona and I went to SDSU. We always kept in touch and made a point to see each other when we were able to. She met her husband at Cal Poly Pomona and I met my husband at SDSU. We were both in each other’s weddings as a bridesmaid. When Donna moved back to San Diego, she was pregnant with her first child. I was pregnant with my only child and our pregnancies overlapped by three months. Our sons are both in the seventh grade at different middle schools. 

Together, we also went through the loss of our best friend, Michelle, in 2019. We continue to support each other and Michelle’s family and we will always celebrate her life. 

Janice, Donna and friend MichelleJanice and Donna with their best friend, Michelle.

Today, Donna and I are both working together for a wonderful organization and we cannot ask for anything more: to see your best friend everyday! 

Young man holding two donuts in front of his face.?2024-07-16

National Donut Day

National Donut Day, celebrated annually on the first Friday of June, is a sweet day to bring donut lovers from across the country to indulge in their favorite fried delights. However, you may not know that the first National Donut Day was in 1938 as a Salvation Army fundraiser in Chicago to aid those in need during the Great Depression! Read below as some of our full-time staff share their top picks for the best donut shops across San Diego:

Carlos Careaga, Finance Director

Box of donuts

There are a few family-run donut bakeries in the South Bay and normally when it comes to buying anything, my first choice is always to go to the family-run versus corporate business.

However, when it comes to doughnuts, for my family, our choice is the Donut Bar. With a menu of mostly oversized donuts and coffee, the Donut Bar is open as long as it has donuts to sell.

Donut Bar offers a large variety of flavors that include vegan options, which I have tried and found it difficult to tell they were vegan. My most recent trip there included a Mother’s Day special and a maple bacon flavored doughnut, with real bacon bits on the outside. 

Traveler’s tip — if you plan a trip anywhere, be sure to check and see if where you are going has a Voodoo Doughnut. The magic is in the hole! They are super famous with a variety of donuts that are larger than any I have ever seen. Their original store is in Portland, Oregon.

Enjoy — be well.


Lorena Ramirez, A.S. Office Coordinator

Display case filled with donuts

My favorite donut shop is Donuts Plus in City Heights where I grew up. It's my favorite because they are just good, classic donuts — they aren't trying to be fancy or be the new trendy thing, they are just good, quality donuts for a good price. My favorite is the old fashioned maple for no particular reason other than it's good. And if you buy a dozen, they give you free donut holes. Support your local, small businesses!


Marcos Avila, SDSU Children’s Center Master Teacher

I really love mom and pop shops because they are always fresh and high quality but recently I tried Donut Bar.

I usually love to get anything with chocolate or chocolate glazed and I can never say no to sprinkles. But this one time, they had a good deal on this limited edition doughnut. I believe it was just a regular doughnut but this one had fondant and mermaid decorations. It was really a tasty treat and I would love to try them again.


Carlos Guillen, Assistant Director of A.S. Programs

Carlos with a dount

Sunny Donuts in Chula Vista is my go-to spot — mostly because it's the closest to where I live, but also because it offers a nostalgic, diner vibe where you can sit at the counter and chat with regulars.

I always judge a donut shop by the quality of its plain old fashioned (crunchy exterior, soft interior), but this froot loops donut is definitely an honorable mention.

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” cover?2024-07-16

A.S. Book Club

At the April A.S. Book Club meeting, the members had a lively discussion about “First Lie Wins” by Ashley Elston, an intriguing, complex story of hidden identity. Here are a few comments from club members: 

“Full of very interesting plot twists and turns that I didn’t expect.”
“Very well written.”
“It was like watching a movie in my head.”
“Very interesting characters.”
“Action packed.”

“First Lie Wins” received a Book Club rating of 4.8 stars.

Here is what the Club is reading next:

June 13: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual and widely heralded novels in recent years.

July 11: “The Housemaid” by Freida McFadden

Every day I clean the Winchesters’ beautiful house top to bottom. I collect their daughter from school. And I cook a delicious meal for the whole family before heading up to eat alone in my tiny room on the top floor. I try to ignore how Nina makes a mess just to watch me clean it up. How she tells strange lies about her own daughter. And how her husband Andrew seems more broken every day. But as I look into Andrew’s handsome brown eyes, so full of pain, it’s hard not to imagine what it would be like to live Nina’s life. The walk-in closet, the fancy car, the perfect husband. I only tried on one of Nina’s pristine white dresses once. Just to see what it’s like. But she soon finds out… and by the time I realize my attic bedroom door only locks from the outside, it’s far too late. But I reassure myself: the Winchesters don’t know who I really am.

The Club meets at 4:30 p.m. in the Presidential Suite of the Union every second Thursday of each month and is open to all A.S. full- and part-time employees. For more information or to join, contact Quentin at 42303 or email or just stop by one of the meetings.

The Club's Top Five Favorite Books (…so far.)

  1. “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus
  2. “Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt
  3. “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  4. “First Lie Wins” by Ashley Elston
  5. “Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead” by Emily Austin

The A.S. Book Club has its own website, check it out.

Adam and Odette at Yosemite?2024-07-16
Adam and his wife, Odette, in Yosemite after a 10-mile hike up two waterfalls.

15 Questions

Adam McClanahan

    1. What is your name and title?
    2. Hey, I am Adam McClanahan, the Competitive Sports Coordinator.

    3. Which A.S. department do you work in?
    4. I work in Aztec Recreation. I manage the competitive sports program, consisting of intramural sports and sport clubs.

    5. How long have you worked for A.S.?
    6. I started with A.S. in July of 2021 so I will have been with A.S. for 3 years this summer.

    7. What do you like most about working for A.S.?
    8. What I like most about working for A.S. is the ability to witness and contribute to the growth of my student staff and sport club leaders throughout their collegiate journey.

    9. Which three people (living or dead) you would like to have dinner with? 
    10. Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. They are the greatest action movie stars of all time and have all lived crazy lives. I would just want to listen to them tell each other those stories for hours. 

    11. If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
    12. Italy. Other than the free healthcare and delicious cuisine, I have always been a history buff so you could say Italy is my Roman Empire.

    13. Which famous person from history would you most like to meet?
    14. Eminem, insert laughs here, but I would “lose myself” in conversation and would be “not afraid” to learn more about he could “stan”d up to be successful. 

    15. If you could start a charity, what would it be for?
    16. I would start a charity that put lights into parks, schools and community centers with after-school sports programs. The longer kids can play their sports, the less time they have to get into trouble and will have a greater chance at success.

    17. What type of pets do you have and what are their names?
    18. My wife and I have a toothless cat named Tigger Jr., but he goes by Baby. 

      Adam's cat, Baby

    19. What is your favorite breakfast food?
    20. Bagel breakfast sandwich with cream cheese, eggs, bacon and American cheese on a freshly toasted jalapeño cheddar bagel. Specifically at Liberty Bagel in NYC.

    21. You have your own late-night talk show, who do you invite as your first guest?
    22. Ryan Reynolds. He's the best Green Lantern — no, but seriously, he played two superheroes and who else has done that, plus the phone company, gin company and Wrexham A.F.C. Just seems like he would have a lot to talk about. 

    23. “Most people don’t know that I like to…
    24. …clean; honestly, I enjoy cleaning around the house. I asked for a vacuum for my birthday and it's pretty great.”

    25. When you visit the Zoo, which animal do you make sure you see, and why?
    26. Snow leopards. I have always been a big cat lover and I just gravitate towards the snow leopards at the zoo.

    27. What does your perfect burger have on it?
    28. Brioche bun, one-third pound medium patty, American cheese, thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, fried onion straws, dill pickle slivers. and a sweet BBQ sauce.

    29. If you had to sing karaoke right now, which song would you pick? 
    30. You might be able to guess it from earlier, but Eminem is “Not Afraid.” In 6th grade, I listened to that song so much I was saying the lyrics in my sleep.  





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WITH: Little Feat
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WITH: Lido Pimienta


JUNE 2024

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All Day
Eureka! SDSU
Fundraiser for the SDSU Children's Center
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Campus Closed
Children's Center
Everyone gets muddy!
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