2006.05.16: May 16, 2006: Headlines: Figures: COS - El Salvador: Politics: Congress: The Spartan Daily : Mike Honda to give San Jose State University commencement

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Mike Honda to give San Jose State University commencement

Mike Honda to give San Jose State University  commencement

"I think Mike's a perfect speaker," Terry Christensen said. "He's an alum who has stayed connected to SJSU all through his career. It's really appropriate that he is our speaker." Congressman Mike Honda of California served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador in the 1960's.

Mike Honda to give San Jose State University commencement

U.S. Congressman to give commencement
By Erin Keilah Chin
Date: 5/16/06 Section: News

U.S. Congressman and San Jose State University alumnus Mike Honda will be speaking at SJSU's 149th commencement ceremony on May 27.

Honda received his bachelor's degrees in biological sciences and Spanish from SJSU in 1968, where he also earned his master's degree in education in 1974.

According to his Web site, he was a science teacher and a principal at two public elementary schools, and he also conducted educational research at Stanford University before he began his career in politics.

Terry Christensen, a political science professor, said Honda has always been involved with the university and has helped SJSU students.

"I think Mike's a perfect speaker," Christensen said. "He's an alum who has stayed connected to SJSU all through his career. It's really appropriate that he is our speaker."

SJSU alumni work for Honda in Washington, D.C., and Honda also takes on interns who are SJSU students, according to Christensen.

Honda, D-San Jose, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000.

While he is here, Honda will also be visiting with SJSU nanotechnology students and faculty members on May 30.

Christensen said students should be able to relate to Honda.

"He really should be a role model for our students," Christensen said, "in a sense that he's the first generation (of his family) to go to college. He's got a powerful story."

Jenna Mabalatan, a senior majoring in communications, said she thinks the featured speaker at graduation should give advice for the future.

"I would want a speaker that would motivate me to apply my education in the real world, kind of give advice to help prepare myself," Mabalatan said.

Pat Harris, an SJSU media relations officer, said speakers for graduation are chosen because they are good role models for students.

"Mike, in that respect, is a good choice," Harris said. "I think the students may be able to identify with him. He did attend SJSU. He's been through many of the same places that our students have been through and (has) many of the same aspirations. Hopefully students will be able to identify with him and take more than their diploma away with them on (that) Saturday."

His Web site also said, "As a long-time public servant before the birth of Silicon Valley, Mike has also focused his energy on important issues such as education, transportation, the environment and civil rights."

SJSU President Don Kassing said in an SJSU press release that Honda is a positive model for SJSU students.

"Congressman Honda has been a public servant for decades and he is a role model for our students," Kassing said in the press release. "He has been widely recognized for his work on education, transportation, civil rights and the environment, and for his leadership in high-tech issues. We are proud that he is also an alumnus of San Jose State."

Honda was born in California, but he spent time in an internment camp in Colorado during his early childhood.

He served in the Peace Corps in 1965 for two years in El Salvador and returned fluent in Spanish.

Honda was a member of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in 1990 and the California State Assembly from 1996 to 2001, according to Internet encyclopedia Web site Wikipedia. "He also is a member of the Science Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and serves as Regional Whip for Northern California and Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus," according to the Web site.

When this story was posted in July 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: The Spartan Daily

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