Success Stories

​San Jose City College Success Stories

All colleges talk about Success…we live it and breathe it. 


We’ve selected some examples of Success with our Faculty, Staff and Students.

Join us and be part of the excitement!



 Lucy Ghelfi is a second generation Californian.  She began life as a daughter and granddaughter of migrant farm workers and seasonal cannery workers. She currently lives and works in San Jose.  Soon after retiring as an educator, Lucy started her training and education as a visual and ceramic artist. Studio art classes at San Jose City College and West Valley Community College served as a catalyst to launch her into a fulltime career as a visual artist. Since 2009, she has shown her work in several local, public and private exhibitions including a gallery exhibit and competition in Oakland, Ca. Several of her works are held in private collections in Portland, OR, Sacramento, Los Angeles and various Bay Area Cities.


Lucy's work has been selected to be displayed at the Mexican Consulate in San Jose and a Artist Reception is being held in her honor on Friday, October 23, 2015 from 6:00 - 9;00 PM.  Admission is free.  Click here to download flyer.    Video interview with Lucy here.



Professor Shiva "Sid" Singh, Mathematics, received an Excellence in Education Award

Professor Shiva 'Sid' Singh, who teaches mathematics at San Jose City College in Northern California, received an Excellence in Education award Dec. 6 from the California Math Council for Community Colleges.

Singh, who took up teaching 13 years ago after a long career with IBM, received the award during CMC3's fall conference in Monterey, Calif. The Indian American academic was chosen from a pool of more than 900 professors across the state.

CMC3 president-elect Joseph Conrad presented the award to Singh, noting: "Professor Singh has been a valuable contributor to San Jose City College. He motivates students by using real world examples."

"Professor Singh believes teaching is healing," said Conrad, adding that the award was well-deserved.

"I love teaching," Singh said shortly after receiving the honor. "I have never missed a single session in 13 years and I have never been late," he said proudly, believing that he may hold the district's record for attendance. Singh said he has always taught his classes, even in the midst of a rare cold. "I feel much better when I'm in the classroom."

The part-time professor said he puts in a full-time schedule to be available to his students whenever they need him. His students in turn have acknowledged his dedication with rave reviews on the Web site.

"He is a very good teacher who knows how to explain well and doesn't move on until everyone gets it right," said one former student. "He says 'Math is fun if you get the equation and know how to do it.' From there on everything gets easier."

When Singh first started to teach at San Jose City College, he encountered a student who could not afford the text books she needed for his class. Singh gave her the money to buy the books and was thus inspired to set up a foundation dedicated to his parents, which provides a $1,000 scholarship per year to a mathematics student.

SJCC Success Stories!

SACNAS, Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science

SACNAS, Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science group photoSACNAS—Society for Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Science--is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano & Native American scientists, from college students to professionals, to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership.

SACNAS’ goals are to increase the number of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in science research, leadership and teaching careers at all levels; to increase governmental commitment to advancing Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in science, resulting in increased resources, elimination of barriers, and greater equity. One of the many ways that SACNAS achieves its goals is through student chapters. SACNAS student chapters throughout the nation provide year round, local support, strength and leadership development for students and professional scientists from underrepresented backgrounds.

The idea of a SACNAS chapter at San Jose City College began in the summer of 2010 as an intangible idea shared between a few faculty members and students. The need for the development of an environment where students in STEM majors could share ideas, support one another, and allow the development of creative thinking was apparent. It all began with only three student members taking the lead in the first organized meeting in the fall of 2010. The National SACNAS office officially chartered the SJCC-SACNAS chapter in the spring of 2010. Although our chapter is fairly young it has flourished into a successful chapter on campus earning a number of local and national awards. 2010, 2011, and 2012 SJCC Outstanding Club Award, 2011 SACNAS-Role Model Chapter Award, 2012 and 2013 SACNAS Community College Chapter of the year. These recognitions speak volumes as to the dedicated STEM students, supportive faculty and administrators on our campus. When we empower our students to take the lead and thus ownership of their education, amazing things result. Led by our adopted motto, "We play hard and work harder", student members of the SJCC-SACNAS chapter, are taking the lead in creating the next generation of scientists, entrepreneurs, and community leaders.


Ms. Aaqilah Brown, one of our STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) STARS (STudious And Rigorous Student), is transferring to the Oregon State Marine Science Research Program and is very excited about conducting research associated with this paid internship.  Ms. Brown will be carrying out experiments on host-parasite interactions between anadromous and marine fishes in the Columbia River estuary and Northeast Pacific, respectively with the goal, to better understand fish diet, migration, and habitat use and conditions.  Just when she/we thought the news couldn't get any better, she informed us that she also accepted University of California at Berkeley's offer where she will become a member of the Biology Scholars Program (BSP).  The Biology Scholars Program at UC Berkeley is a STEM Diversity Program that aims to create pathways to success for students of color, first generation students, and Women in science.  As a UCB-BSP Scholar, Ms. Brown plans to focus her studies on earning a BS degree in Molecular Environmental Biology. 

Aaqilah Brown wishes to extend her deepest appreciation to the opportunities afforded to her while at SJCC, with special thanks to Dr. Jose Cabrera and the Metas team for guiding her toward her academic success and career goals.  In her own words, she writes, "I hope students read this and realize that they too can accomplish these things. If it weren't for your hard work for all of us peer leaders, I wouldn't be where I am today in my academic career".

Let's all congratulate Ms. Aaqilah Brown as she joins the ranks of our SJCC alumni and, forever remains, a member of our jaguar and Metas families.


Share Your Success

We want to hear about your San Jose City College Success Story!

No success is too small or too great to share. Send an email with your story to 

Fall 2013 Success Stories

Bibiana Vega

Bibiana Vega, a recent graduate and transfer student of San Jose City College, has not had an easy life, but she has met life’s challenges with optimism, determination, and hard work.

As a young immigrant who came to the United States at the age of nine, Bibiana was determined to learn the English language.  She overcame tremendous obstacles to assimilate and excel in this new country she called home.

While attending San Jose City College, Bibiana juggled two jobs and served as a community volunteer for various programs serving youth. She also volunteered as an ESL/AB540 consultant for a UC Extension Teacher Program, where she helped para-educators understand how to work with undocumented/second language learners.  

Through Bibiana’s efforts, she accomplished three Associate of Art degrees and transferred to the University of California, Santa Cruz where she is currently majoring in Sociology and is a recipient of the prestigious Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Award. As a Pister scholar, she is receiving a full scholarship award of $20,000, to cover the full cost of her education. Bibiana’s future goal is to become a teacher to help encourage students, who come from low-income families, achieve a higher education.  

Without this scholarship from the Karl S. Pister Foundation at UC Santa Cruz, Bibiana believes that her goals would be much harder to achieve. Her hope is that she can set a good example for others desiring a higher education. She believes that hard work and sacrifice are the keys to accomplishing her dreams. Bibiana is a portrait of success through her own hard work, persistence, and determination.

Bibiana shares the philosophy of Malcolm X “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” As a dreamer and first generation student she is both empowered and humbled to be a college graduate and university student.

SJCC Supporting Page
San Jose City College