Filipinx American History Month, Fall and Favorite Tacos!
Hello A.S. Family!
I hope that your 2023-24 academic year is off to a great start! As many of you know, this fall semester for me has been filled with both joy and sadness as my husband and I transitioned to the role of “empty nesters.” Both of our daughters are now away at college and we are still getting used to the quiet in the house. For those of you who have already experienced what I’m talking about, I’m open to all of your advice! And for those of you students that are living life on the other side and have perhaps made your parents empty nesters...I hope that you are enjoying your time at SDSU (especially in your role at Associated Students!) and that you’re making amazing memories…oh, and call your mom!
As the academic year progresses, I encourage you to continue to watch for professional development opportunities. Associated Students is committed to the professional development of all of our staff. We are working diligently to ensure that students graduate with tangible career experiences and strong resumes. Also, I am excited to be part of the launch in making A.S. a “strengths-based organization” utilizing Gallup’s CliftonStrengths. More information to come on these exciting opportunities as the year goes on!
Thank you for your continued commitment to Associated Students! I’m looking forward to seeing you grow throughout the year!
Associate Executive Director
Filipinx American History Month
This month, we celebrate Filipinx American History Month! Since 2009, Filipinx American History Month has been celebrated every October, the same month that the first Filipinx Americans arrived in the United States in what is now Morro Bay, Calif. on Oct. 18, 1587. We recognize the events, experiences, and lives of Filipinx Americans and their impact on our society.
Read below as some of our full-time employees reflect on what Filipinx American History Month means to them:
Janice Dils, Government Affairs Assistant Director
“To me, Filipinx American History Month can be described in many ways. My Filipino heritage and culture is a source of pride, where I can proudly say that I am a Filipina-American. I believe it means a strong connection to family and the Filipinx community, as every person you meet is your auntie, uncle, kuya (big brother), ate (‘ah-teh,’ big sister) and/or kaibigan (friend). My Filipino heritage also means that we have a love for delicious cuisine that brings family and friends together, no matter what the occasion is.”
Isabel Richter, SDSU Children’s Center Supervising Teacher
“Filipinx American History Month has so many different meanings. It is an opportunity to actively celebrate a part of my heritage, recognizing the Filipinx culture and never forgetting the contributions and struggles of our ancestors here in America. I love participating in Filipinx festivals and gatherings, especially for the food. The food gives me a sense of home and community. I hope to share this with my growing family to foster a sense of unity and belonging and to share with them the history and culture that I hold so dear.”
Adam Zamora, Systems Analyst
“Food, family and traditions (mahjong). Mahjong has been part of my family’s traditions as long as I can remember. Playing at family gatherings is a normal occurrence — it goes hand in hand with lumpia, pancit and chicken adobo. Mahjong was so impactful to my family that when my great Aunt Remy passed last month, each member of the family got a piece of her Mahjong set to remember her. Filipinx American History Month allows me to remember the generations that came before me, the foods that they have taught us to make and the games they brought with them, especially mahjong.”
Cybersecurity Awareness Month
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and also includes National Techie Day! Read below for some techie tips from our favorite techies, our A.S. IT department, in addition to tips from the SDSU IT Security Office on how to elevate your cybersecurity game this month.
By Ernest Arreola, Vic Ly, Jonathan McGrew and Adam Zamora
- Proper disposal of old electronic devices is important and can be done though any local e-waste collection location. Best practices when doing so involve wiping hard drives or physically destroying them to prevent data leakage. Also, factory reset your gaming consoles, tablets, phones and other smart (IoT) devices before donating or recycling them. This helps prevent data from falling into undesirable hands.
- The virtual desktop feature on Windows 10 is a feature to better organize your virtual space by separating work tasks through different desktops. To access this feature, press the Windows logo key + tab key.
- Never send passwords through email in plain text. To better combat this, we recommend using a one-time link which allows for anyone to create a link that will not be accessible once it has been viewed.
- VirusTotal offers security scans on downloads and other resources to combat potential malicious items. This site helps to determine if a URL, file or other search options are considered malicious or suspicious. Specifically use this tool for internet downloads that seem suspicious by checking the URL and the downloaded file itself before any install is conducted.
- Wipe temporary memory and potential malicious items by rebooting/shutting down your phone once a week (if not daily) to better combat against potential security risk. For more information, refer to this USA Today article.
Elevate Your Cybersecurity Game This Awareness Month
By the SDSU IT Security Department
Since October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it's the perfect time to sharpen your digital safety skills. You've likely heard of the essentials: strong passwords, password managers and multi-factor authentication (MFA). Cybersecurity is a multi-layered effort that goes beyond just login credentials.
Let's delve into Cyber Hygiene 101. Think of it as the digital equivalent to washing your hands before a meal. Regular software updates, secure Wi-Fi connections and cautious downloading are foundational practices that can significantly reduce online risk.
Now, let's talk about phishing. These attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and your first line of defense is awareness. Always scrutinize emails or messages from unfamiliar sources. Don't hesitate to report something to email@example.com and delete it if something seems off. Your proactive stance could prevent your data from being stolen.
Lastly, consider your online privacy. In an era where data is the new currency, being selective about what you share online is crucial. Utilize privacy settings on social media and be mindful of the personal information you disclose.
This Cybersecurity Awareness Month, let's commit to being more vigilant and proactive. After all, in the interconnected world we live in, cybersecurity is not just an IT issue, it's a life skill.
Visit the SDSU IT Security Department website for more information.
A.S. Taco Shop Recommendations
Let's taco-bout tacos! We all know that San Diegans take their tacos seriously but what taco shop has the best tacos in San Diego? Try a new taco shop at one of the recommendations below!
Carlos Careaga, Finance Director
Favorite taco place in San Diego? Difficult to answer, but I'll go with The Taco Stand. Their al pastor always comes with pineapple (which it must be in order to be proper pastor), the proteins are top notch, the corn tortillas are made fresh when you order and they do not smother their tacos with guacamole — they let the protein and tortilla standout. Great thing about The Taco Stand is there are several in San Diego but the downtown location is the best in my opinion.
The South Bay also has several good taco and dessert places very close to each other including:
Tacos Revolucion on Bonita Road next to Sadie’s Ice Cream
Tacos Machin on Bonita Road next to Holy Paleta
Taco Lounge on Escaya next to Broady's House of Flavor
Rubio’s on Eastlake next to Handel's Homemade Ice Cream
And not to be outdone:
Salud Tacos in Barrio Logan has their own churro and vanilla ice cream dessert (decadent)
Bonus suggestion — best tacos I've ever had? El Rey de Suadero in the Polano neighborhood in Mexico City.
Adam McClanahan, Competitive Sports Supervisor
I would like to submit the following for my favorite local taco place:
Taqueria Imperial (6911 Imperial Ave, San Diego, CA 92114)
My personal favorite item to order and the best way to know if a taco shop is good is the carne asada fries but here at Taqueria Imperial, they have campechana fries which are half carne asada and half adobada (spicy pork) on fresh french fries covered in sour cream, guacamole and cheese. If you strictly want tacos I recommend the carne asada, adobada and carnitas tacos!
Carlos Payan, Aztec Recreation Building Services Engineer
I have been fortunate to try many great taco places in the area. However, I highly recommend Mr. Birria (8926 Carlton Hills Blvd, Santee, CA 92071) as a hidden gem that you should check out. It is located in Santee off of the 125 North.
Carne Asada Tacos
Jonathan Olvera, Aztec Student Union Building Services Supervisor
Tacos El Gordo in Chula Vista is my favorite taco stop. Their commitment to consistent quality is why I love it so much! You cannot go wrong with al pastor tacos (not to be mistaken for adobada) and carne asada tacos. Their style is authentic to the taquerias you'll find in Tijuana/Mexico! The flavor and the portions will not leave you disappointed. Unfortunately, the location off Broadway and H Street is no longer open in Chula Vista due to a lack of talent. I truly respect this decision but it did take away a convenient drive through location. If you are in the area and have never tried them, it is a must try!
Becky Villaseñor, Payroll Manager
Vine and Tap in San Elijo. This is not a taco shop but their tacos on Tuesdays are phenomenal.
My favorites are the shrimp and bacon and birria tacos.
A.S. Sustainability Tip
By Charlotte Roberts, A.S. Sustainability Coordinator
It’s Fall, Y’all!
Whether you celebrate autumn by going all out on festive decor, dressing up as your favorite character for Halloween or just getting cozy with lots of books and burning candles, you can enjoy “spooky season” sustainably by following a few tips!
October Sustainability Tip: Spooky Secondhand Swaps
Do you or your family members enjoy plotting creative costumes or filling every corner of your house with charming (or creepy) decorations? Do you feel conflicted because of the cost to your wallet and the environment? So do I! Have no fear, because this fall you can substitute Home Goods and Spirit Halloween for thrift stores and fun swaps with friends!
Every Halloween, I challenge myself to create a costume using pieces I already have or funky finds from secondhand stores such as Goodwill, Flashbacks, Buffalo Exchange or online platforms like Facebook Marketplace. Please enjoy my costume from last year as a Viking shield maiden!
My friends and I also compete to see who can curate the cutest interior environment with thrifted candelabras, organic gourds, locally made soy wax candles and witchy herb bundles. Pinterest has tons of fun inspiration for any aesthetic, mine being “cottage-core” vintage vibes. Just search your favorite style terms plus the words “thrifted decor” and prepare to get way too excited about old brooms and leather-bound books.
Lastly, our A.S. Swap Shop is conveniently timed for Oct. 12 this semester, so please stop by Montezuma Hall to donate your used costumes, casual clothes and professional pieces for our students to “slay” sustainably! Half of all clothing ends up in a landfill, so help prevent that by giving your garments a new life.
If you would like additional information or have questions about anything listed above, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Favorite Fall Activities
Pumpkins, apple picking and colder weather, oh my! Fall is finally here! Read below to hear some of our full-time staff’s favorite fall activities:
Richard Benson, Human Resources Technician
“My favorite fall activity is watching the NFL football season on TV with my family, especially when my Kansas City Chiefs are playing. After winning the Superbowl, we are hoping to get another one this year. From the explosive offense led by superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes to the tenacious defense making game-changing plays, the Chiefs consistently deliver exciting and unforgettable moments that make watching them play an absolute joy.”
Liza Bennett, Events Planner
“My favorite fall activity is simple and silly but such a good time with my littles. When at the store we, and I mean I, love to buy "unique" pumpkins so I have my daughters pick one out each time we go. Then throughout the season we will wash them, sometimes paint them and then wash them again, but washing in my opinion is the most fun! I grab a bunch of random tools from around the house including sponges, scrub brushes, squeeze bottles, cups, get some water and soap in a tub and go for it! The joy is just too good and so simple!”
Christina Goergen, Aztec Recreation Marketing Coordinator
“One of my favorite fall activities would have to be watching scary movies and making the holiday-themed Pillsbury sugar cookies!”
A.S. Book Club
The A.S. Book Club recently had a very fun discussion about “Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead: A Novel” by Emily Austin. Gilda, a twenty-something, atheist, animal-loving lesbian, cannot stop ruminating about death. Desperate for relief from her panicky mind, she responds to a flier for free therapy at a local Catholic church and finds herself being greeted by Father Jeff, who assumes she’s there for a job interview. Too embarrassed to correct him, she is hired as the church secretary. It received an A.S. Book Club rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.
Here is what the Club is reading next…
October 12: “The Cruelest Month” by Louise Penny
When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a seance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil until one of their party dies of fright. Brilliant, compassionate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec is called to investigate the case that will force him to face his own ghosts as well as those of the seemingly idyllic town of Three Pines.
November 9: “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky
December 14: Readers Become Writers by A.S. Book Club Members
Join in on the fun every second Thursday of month at 4:30 p.m. in Presidential Suite in the Student Union. Whether you read a printed book, listen to the audio version or read the eBook on your phone or tablet, join us for our lively discussions. The Book Club is open to all A.S. full- and part-time employees. If you have any questions or would like to join the club, please contact Quentin at 42303 or email email@example.com.
The San Diego Public Library offers print books as well as eBooks and/or audiobooks, for most titles. You just need a library card, which is free. The books are available through an app: Libby App: Free ebooks & audiobooks from your library by OverDrive.
To learn more about the A.S. Book Club, visit as.sdsu.edu/bookclub.
New A.S. Employees
Gema Rodriguez, SDSU Children’s Center Food Service Supervisor
Hello everyone! I am the new Food Service Supervisor at the Children’s Center. My passion for food started very early when I was about five years old. I decided to attend Culinary Art School in Tijuana, Baja California, where I got life-changing opportunities to cook with some of the best chefs in the world. I did my internships in Tijuana at Caesars, where the original Caesar salad was created, Barcelona, Spain (ABaC Hotel and Spa) and in Tulum, Mexico (Noma Mexico) — all at Michelin Star restaurants.
I have also been babysitting for my family and friends ever since I was 12 years old. Throughout the years, I continued to babysit and the love for being around kids just keeps growing. It makes my heart so happy knowing I finally have a job where the two things that don’t feel like a job are blended and come together as one. I am very proud to have such an important role and responsibility at the Children’s Center.
In my free time, I absolutely love to travel. It’s my goal to make it out on one international trip and one national trip per year. I also love to try different restaurants and learn how to cook different cuisines and their techniques. I am going to continue my education and get my masters degree in Cocinas de Mexico (Mexican cuisine) as well as Nutrition and Child Development classes.
Emily Taylor, Climbing Supervisor
Hello, Associated Students! My name is Emily Taylor and I am the new Climbing Supervisor with Aztec Recreation.
I am originally from the East Coast, and recently made the trek to California from Massachusetts. Previously, I was a high school wellness teacher in the greater Boston area, and was fortunate to be at a school that emphasized group dynamics and blended climbing into its curriculum. Beyond the classroom, I worked as an expedition instructor with a local non-profit organization.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in Health Education and a master’s degree in Physical Education from Springfield College, where I was a basketball student-athlete. As a graduate associate, I worked extensively with the outdoor programs department teaching skills classes, developing challenge course programming, and leading multi-day trips with summer camp groups.
I’m passionate about creating spaces for people to challenge their comfort zones and build community and am excited to continue to do so here at SDSU! I’m thrilled to be part of the growth and continuation of the valuable programs Aztec Adventures offers.
My favorite outdoor pursuits include climbing, biking, and paddling (and surfing, soon enough!). I also enjoy hikes with my dog, exploring new music venues and film photography.
Lance Walker, Marine Maintenance Technician
Hello everyone, my name is Lance Walker and I am the new Marine Maintenance Technician at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center!
I was born and raised in San Diego and started sailing around 8 years old. As I got older, I started taking sailing lessons at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center. In high school, I got involved with a group called Sea Scouts which helped cultivate my love for boats and sailing on the water.
After high school, I attended Mesa College for a few years. During my summer break of 2016, I was hired at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center as a sailing instructor. After a few summers there, I also started working as a dock master and in maintenance.
In 2021, I took a bit of a hiatus to pursue other work. While I was away from MBAC, I got a captain’s license to do charter work. I also worked for a small fishing boat company assembling hulls and then working for a sailboat rigging company.
After gaining some experience, I made my way back to MBAC once again to rejoin the maintenance team!
- What is your name, job title and major?
Hi, my name is JD Obedicen and I’m an IT Student Lead for Associated Students as well as a computer science major.
- Which A.S. department do you work in?
I work in the IT department where we manage A.S. affiliated workstations across campus as well as help with any technical problems that may arise.
- How long have you worked for A.S.?
I’ve worked at A.S. for about two and a half to three years. About half a year before COVID and then two years and a half after COVID.
- What is your favorite part of working for A.S.?
As an IT Technician, I enjoy going to different departments and areas and meeting and catching up with co-workers.
- What was the last movie you saw? Thumbs up or thumbs down?
The last movie I saw was Avatar 2, the one with the blue aliens. I would give it a thumbs up; the movie was beautiful, the story was okay, but I was more interested in the world of Pandora rather than the story of it. I am excited for the sequel — I think there are going to be fire tribe aliens.
- If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
I think I would go back to my home country, the Philippines. I have relatives living there that would be able to keep me sheltered and fed until I can get back up on my feet or until I find a more suitable place to stay. I would also be able to visit most Asian countries relatively easily, making traveling cheaper than what it would be here in the United States.
- Which famous person from history would you most like to meet?
A famous person I would like to meet would probably be Leonardo da Vinci. I would probably show him today's technology and see if he has any thoughts on our progression or if he has any insights on what’s next for the future. Otherwise, da Vinci seems to be pretty cultured and smart so it would be a fun discussion.
- What is your favorite book?
My favorite western book would probably be a series rather than just a singular book. It would be the Heroes of Olympus novels. Good end to a long running series, good point of view changes (which is pretty hard to do) and a memorable read.
- If you could start a charity, what would it be for?
I would probably start a charity for people who were down in life but are trying to recover and stand back up again. Examples: recovering addicts, those recovering in physical therapy or after an accident and the homeless actively looking for work.
- If you had to sing karaoke right now, which song would you pick?
I don’t like singing but if I were to sing a song it would be “Price Tag” by Jessie J because it’s a throwback to the first song I sang in karaoke.
- If you could go back or forward in time, where would you go?
If I could go back in time at any point, I would first look at what the winning numbers are for the lottery and then go back to a day or two before they’re shown and win it big.
- “Most people don’t know that I like to…
fish, I guess? I think everyone I speak to regularly knows I like to fish but other people maybe not so much."
- Would you rather speak all languages or be able to talk with animals?
I would like to speak all languages because that would probably look better in a resume than talking to animals. What would animals sound like and how would talking to animals work? Do you just make animal noises like a madman to outside people? Or is it an auto translate kind of thing?
- What does your perfect burger have on it?
Ten million dollars preferably. Sure, the top and bottom would be greasy but the other parts should remain relatively untouched. Jokes aside, probably a nice wagyu beef, some onions, cheese, egg, pickles and some lettuce. No tomatoes though, they make the burger too moist for my liking.
- Which of your teachers is/was most memorable and why?
I think I have a good amount of memorable teachers, one or two in each subject. Mrs. Babbey would be for science,biology and chemistry — down to earth, great teacher, good sense of humor. Mr. Boyd/Defraites and Mrs. Mooney were pretty funny teachers with a lot of sass to them. Most people don’t like them at the start because of how direct they are but they grow on you. Lastly, my writing teachers Ms. Strasser, Mrs. Ten and Mr. Coolican. Mr. Coolican was a hyperactive and very supportive teacher that always praised you for your efforts and always found joy and mysticism in the tiniest bits of writing. I hope he’s doing well. Mrs. Strasser and Mrs. Ten taught us the fundamentals of writing and the components of what makes good writing. Not specifically what and how to write all the time, but a way to channel your own voice into writing and speaking in an organic way.