Presidential Scholars

SF State Presidential Scholars - Spring 2019 Luncheon

Dean Danny with SF State’s Presidential Scholars class at the Spring 2019 Luncheon.


San Francisco State University provides an outstanding mix of access and excellence for the approximately 30,000 students it enrolls.  Distinguished by its record of serving low-income students, first-generation college students, and underrepresented ethnic minorities, SF State strives to create pathways of opportunity for students from California, the nation and the globe in order to make their educational and occupational dreams become a reality.  The SF State Presidential Scholars Program, with the support and oversight of the Division of Student Life, promotes exceptional learning and adheres to the highest standards of academic quality in the spirit of inclusive excellence.

In the Fall 2017 semester, four-year scholarships were awarded on the basis of academic merit to an entering freshman cohort of 12 SF State Presidential Scholars.  Awarding criteria was based on academic performance and leadership contributions and service activities while in high school; continuation criteria is based on academic performance and participation in cohort-based activities.  An emphasis on first generation, low income students from the San Francisco Bay Area is a hallmark of the program.  In addition to a four-year scholarship covering tuition/fees, students participate in cohort-building co-curricular activities that are planned, implemented, and coordinated by a faculty coordinator, with developmentally appropriate programs designed specifically for the cohort of students.  During their first year, students lived together in a learning community in one of the residence halls on-campus and during their junior year, students will study abroad.  Scholars will also be recognized at Commencement upon graduation.



Presidential Scholars Cohort 2021

Eleven of the 12 members of SF State’s Presidential Scholars class gathered as new students at a welcome event at the beginning of fall 2017.

Presidential Scholars Hometowns Service Learning Projects
Kena Delong Santa Cruz TBD
Faith Ewere Oakland Pride in Women’s Health Initiative
Talia Israel San Diego Death Theatre Programming
Imani Jackson San Diego Pride in Women’s Health Initiative
Christopher Jones Compton Community Engagement Through Fraternity Life
Yatziry Luna-Palomo Sonoma County

Family Day at Young Workers United – Dia de la Familia

Ocean Noah Lawndale Service & Travel: Rebuilding in Houston after Hurricane Harvey
Miranda Pokomy Petaluma Queer Rights & Inclusion in SFUSD
Willy Soto Santa Barbara Pride in Women’s Health Initiative
Christian Suriben Livemore CMPC Davies Sutter Health Talent Showcase
Alfonso Torres Coarsegold Queer Rights & Inclusion in SFUSD
Claire Weeks-Young Los Angeles Queer Rights & Inclusion in SFUSD


Dr. Cristina Azocar - Faculty Coordinator of the SF State Presidential ScholarsDr. Cristina Azocar (she/her/hers) serves as the current Faculty Coordinator of the Presidential Scholars Program and is an Associate Professor of Journalism at SF State. She served six years as Department Chair, and prior to becoming Chair she directed the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism for more than 10 years.  Azocar is an Editor of American Indian Issues for the Media Diversity Forum. She is a past President of the Native American Journalists Association and served on the Board of the Women’s Media Center. Azocar earned her Doctorate in Communication Studies at the University of Michigan in 2001. Her research and teaching focuses on portrayals of people of color in the news. She is a member of the Upper Mattaponi Tribe of the Powhatan Nation.

In her role as Faculty Coordinator, Dr. Azocar is responsible for the selection and orientation of new Presidential Scholars, providing regularly and individually scheduled advising for Presidential Scholars, planning and managing a schedule of co-curricular and extracurricular enrichment events, and conducting periodic meetings of the Presidential Scholars to provide information, discuss relevant issues, and promote meaningful interactions among and between the Scholars.

Previously, Dr. Andrew Jolivétte (former Professor and Chair of the American Indian Studies Department at SF State) served as the Faculty Coordinator of the Presidential Scholars Program from 2017-2019.

For any questions or request more information about the Presidential Scholars Program at SF State, please contact Faculty Coordinator Dr. Cristina Azocar at or the Division of Student Life at