Faces of SF State

Written by Mariana Barrera
Photos by Rebekah Didlake

From pizza lovers to commuter-students, meet the spectrum of people that roam our campus.

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  • Beril Bosnalier, 23, International Relations

    What is the biggest difference you've seen between Turkey and San Francisco?
    "I’m used to seeing animals on the street, but here there are people on the street. That’s the biggest difference."
  • Danny Posadas, 21, Biology

    Why did you decide to study at SF State?
    "I live here, I grew up in San Francisco and I didn’t want to move. I’d be a little home sick and it’s just easier, I don’t have to pay for boarding."
  • Brian Smyth, Marketing

    Have you found anything cool while exploring the city?
    "The Mission District. Me and my friends walked up and down it and at the very end almost towards the excelsior we found a really cool record store, and that was probably the coolest part of the exploration."

    "I’ve never been photographed before, I don’t know what to do. Should I include the pizza? Pizza is tight."
  • Gibran Leon, 23, Criminal Justice

    "There’s a school magazine?"
  • Emerald Wisner-Johnson, Criminal Justice

    "It’s a big move coming up here to Northern California, being from SoCal it’s not bad or anything. People are different, but I’m open to change and everything."

    Do you feel like you’ve changed since you moved out here?
    "I haven’t changed one bit. I’m still trying to find my niche here. I don’t think i’ve changed and it hasn’t changed me."
  • Shahne Belveal, 23, Geography

    What is your biggest struggle at the moment?
    "Dealing with transportation and not living walking distance. I have a car ­and its a drain on my wallet having to drive, and the parking sucks."
    What is the coolest thing that’s happened to you at SF State?
    "The coolest thing that’s happened to me is the organizations. I’ve joined Hermanos Unidos and La Raza."
  • Jose Leon, 24, Marketing Management

    Are you originally from San Francisco?
    "I was born in Panama. My parents are immigrants, and we came here in 1999."
    What has been your biggest struggle as an immigrant student?
    "Probably adapting to the language barrier when I first came in. I remember going to the ELD and ESL classes. Just adapting the way people do things differently here than in Latin American Countries."
    What are some barriers you’ve had?
    "It was pretty hard, I needed to take things step by step in junior high, high school and now college. It’s a barrier everyday, just getting up is a struggle coming here, trying to pass your classes, going to work, and paying for your tuition it’s pretty expensive. With your parents especially, that's probably the biggest struggle. You don’t want to let them down or disappoint them."
  • Cynthia Munoz, 18, Nursing

    "I commute, but I want to move out, hopefully soon. I haven’t found the right place that I’m looking for yet so I’m still looking around."
    What is your biggest struggle as a commuter?
    "I just get lazy sometimes, but I still come to school everyday so it doesn’t get in the way."
  • Sherilyn Trach, 18, Cell and Molecular Biology

    Are you in a sorority?
    "Fraternity actually. It’s a co-ed service fraternity and we just do community service. We meet lots of people from other schools. While we’re doing all that community service and social events we like to help other students refine and develop more leadership skills."
    What’s your favorite thing about the fraternity?
    "I really love the people, I love how outgoing and open and everybody is. Everybody is welcome, nobody will be shunned because of who they are. That’s what I really like, everybody is safe."
  • Donna Soutar, 25, Art Education

    What do you want to do after you graduate?
    "Teach, so I’m going to get my credentials in SoCal, substitute while I do that, and then I will go to grad school while I teach."
    What is your favorite thing about SF State?
    "How tight knit the art department is."
  • Kath Olivares, 20, Anthropology

    "I just came back from a journey, I’m kind of tired."
  • Ipek Akin, 22, Sociology and Psycology

    "I like the city very much, it has really different dynamics."