Q & A with President Hirshman

by Staff

1. What should students consider when choosing a college?

Look for a university whose core curriculum helps you develop the ability to learn new approaches and to adapt to whatever the future may hold. San Diego State’s core liberal arts curriculum emphasizes the development of the abilities to reason critically and creatively, apply scientific and quantitative methods and understand diverse cultures and societies. These abilities can be applied in as-yet-unimagined situations and are essential to personal and societal success in our global, technological society.



2. What is it about San Diego State that makes it different from other California State universities?

Our focus at San Diego State is to provide students with transformational educational experiences. For example, we are one of the nation’s leaders in the number of students who study abroad. Similarly, as a leading public research university, our undergraduate students are mentored and educated by faculty and staff researchers who provide access to state-of-the art knowledge and cutting-edge technologies. The campus also is a hotbed of entrepreneurship and innovation, led by the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center and the Zahn Center for innovation in technology. We have a new minor in entrepreneurship open to students in all majors, and there are now 15 student teams on campus that have started their own businesses while still in college. Couple these strengths with a vibrant student life—including nationally renowned athletics programs and the lowest tuition in the country and you can see why numerous national publications rank us as a “best value” university.



3. What makes you proud to be an Aztec?

One can cite our academic distinctions, the breadth of student opportunities and achievements, the practical impact of our research accomplishments and the diversity of our student body as exceptional points of pride. But it is even more important to recognize that these accomplishments reflect the spirit and ethos of a very special place. Every day, no matter what the challenge, our students, faculty and staff aspire to excellence. This spirit is the heart of our university.



4. What’s one tip you can give to incoming SDSU students to ensure academic success?

Get involved inside and outside the classroom! Make the most of your opportunities—explore new ideas, study abroad, conduct research, lead a student organization. Dream of who you will be here and for the rest of your life, and use your years at San Diego State to make those dreams a reality! Live our motto: “Leadership Starts Here.”