Volume 10 Issue 4

In this issue:

Front Page

  • Genuine Interest
    • Attend The Montys!
  • Raising the Roof
    • Project Pave the Way


  • Aztecs for Life
  • Thousands Attend Explore SDSU Events
  • Volunteers Make it Happen
  • Give the Perfect Graduation Gift
  • Post-Season Play
  • KPBS Seeks Volunteers
  • “The Natural History of Babies”

Chapter News

  • Bay Area Aztecs
  • Hypnotic Mixer

Event Listings

  • Calendar of Events

Front Page

Genuine Interest
Curiosity Becomes a Career for Montys Mistress of Ceremonies

As a kid growing up in Northern and Central California, Perette Godwin (’86) was never satisfied with simple answers. She needed more complete explanations.

Perette Godwin ('86) will serve as mistress of ceremonies for the 2009 Monty Awards. KSWB Fox 5 photo.

“I was always asking why,” she laughingly recalls, “and that was one thing that drove my mom nuts.”

Now a reporter and anchor for San Diego’s KSWB Fox 5, Godwin has transformed a childhood trait into a successful career as a broadcast journalist. On April 11 she will host this year’s Monty Awards gala at the new Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel in downtown San Diego.

“It’s truly an honor,” she says of her role as the event’s mistress of ceremonies. “The Montys are a cool thing, bottom line. The people we’re honoring are really some inspirational alumni.”


In her profession, Godwin is accustomed to chatting up interesting and inspirational people. Fortunately for her, the inquisitive nature that so annoyed her mother has always seemed to affect others differently.

“I always knew I was - I hate to use the term nosey, so I’ll use curious – rather curious and that people tended to answer my questions no matter what they were,” she says. “Out of curiosity I would ask some really - I don’t know if they would be considered rude - personal questions, and people would answer them and I found that fascinating.

“Certain reporters are confrontational and they kind of have a bulldog attitude,” she continues, “and as much as I wish I had a little bit of that, I think the way I interview works for me and that is that I’m much more relaxed and I’m genuinely interested.”

Which is not to say that all of Godwin’s interviews are easy.

“I interviewed a family who had just days before found out their son had died in Iraq,” she remembers, describing the conversation as the hardest interview she had ever done. “I was shaking going in there because I did not want to impose upon their grief, but it was also probably one of the best stories I’ve done and I learned a lot from that.”

Perette Godwin records voice tracks for 2009 Monty Awards presentation.


Godwin says she also learned a lot as a journalism major at SDSU, where she laid the educational foundation for her career.

“I would not be doing what I do today without what I learned here at San Diego State,” she declares. “I had some incredible professors and I think I had the best education I could have gotten anywhere.”

Although she lived off campus during her three years as a student, Godwin was involved in Associated Students and served as an SDSU Ambassador.

“I got involved with the campus and that really made a huge difference,” she remembers. “It was a lot of fun being able to give tours of the campus and really show off San Diego State and what it represented for me and many of my friends.”


One of the things Godwin believes SDSU represents is a sense of friendliness and belonging. “Even if you leave home to come here, you’re still with family, so to speak,” she observes. “I think that’s the way it is from the professors to the staff members to everyone – they kind of treat you as such.”

And long after many Aztecs graduate, she says, that feeling of connection continues.

“Like the Monty winners - people who’ve done some magnificent things either as part of their career or something else - they didn’t just (get an SDSU education and) leave,” Godwin observes. “They’re all giving back in some way, shape, or form and I admire that.”

On the evening of the gala, she hopes to convey a sense of comfort, of family, of welcoming home.

“I want people to enjoy themselves and hopefully I can make them laugh a little and enjoy the evening,” she says.

And try not to ask too many questions.

Attend The Montys!
Tickets Available for Saturday’s Awards Gala

It’s not too late to reserve your seat at the 2009 Monty Awards. This year’s gala dinner and awards presentation celebrating minds that move the world and honoring 11 distinguished alumni and friends of the university will be held this Saturday, April 11, at 6:00 p.m. at the new Hilton San Diego Bayfront downtown. Individual tickets are $175 or $1,650 for a table seating 10.

For tickets and additional information, visit alumni.sdsu.edu/montys or contact Cheryl Trtan at (619) 594-ALUM (2586) or ctrtan@mail.sdsu.edu.

Raising the Roof
New Alumni Center “Getting Buttoned Up”

As stucco is applied to the outside walls, the roof is now being built over the structure that will soon serve as the campus home to more than 200,000 SDSU alumni. Glass is installed in most windows of the new Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center and according to the project’s manager, construction pace is picking up.

A green mesh screen covers the rotunda of the new Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center.

“The exterior walls are basically weather-tight, the glass is in, and the roof is getting buttoned up,” reports construction manager Steve Nelson (’96) of Midwest General, Inc. “Once you get it to that point you can almost race to the finish line.”

Nelson expects work on the roof to be completed in two or three weeks. In the meantime, scaffolding surrounds the structure to facilitate the stucco application. Currently, the site’s prominent feature is a giant green mesh screen encircling the building’s rotunda.

“That’s a protective cloth to keep plaster and stuff from flying all over,” Nelson explains. “It’s a mess. I just walked under that area where it was basically raining stucco.”


According to Nelson, scaffolding will likely be removed from the site at the northwest corner of 55th Street and Hardy Avenue at the end of the month. In fact, he says, much of the construction focus is already shifting toward interior work.

“They’ve really kicked it into gear,” he says of the workers’ progress. “They’ve come a long way.”

Nelson says he is also impressed by the high quality of the work and materials going into the project. “Institutional grade is the best way of putting it - it’s very high end,” he observes. “They want it to last. It’s going to have a lot of heavy duty use for a lot of years and it’s built to withstand that.”

A grand opening for the new $11 million home of the SDSU Alumni Association is planned for this fall.

For information on the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center, visit alumnicenter.sdsu.edu.

Project Pave the Way
Time is Growing Short to Leave Your Legacy

Etching forms have gone out to those sponsoring pavers in the new Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center. Although sponsors are already determining the messages they intend to leave on hundreds of pavers to be installed in the center’s rotunda as part of Project Pave the Way, there is still time to make sure your name is among them.

Project Pave the Way is the campaign to fill the rotunda with stone pavers bearing the names and messages of SDSU alumni and friends. With construction progressing rapidly, the pavers will soon be installed.

Right now you may still order a rotunda paver in one of four sizes. A gift of $500 sponsors a 4” x 14” stone. A 6” x 28” paver comes with a donation of $1,000 and for $2,500 a much larger message may be left on a stone measuring 8” x 42”. Sponsorship at the $5,000 level provides the most engraved characters on a paver measuring 16” x 42”.

Convenient payment plans are still available, but time is running out. For details, visit www.sdsualumni.org/pavers or contact Kelley Suminski at (619) 594-3406. Donations must be paid in full before pavers may be etched and installed.

Additional naming opportunities within the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center are:

Alumni Center Ballroom $500,000
Executive Board Room $500,00
North Columns $25,000
Alumni Center Donor Wall $10,000 - $24,999

To build your legacy into the new alumni center with a naming gift, contact SDSU Alumni Association Executive Director Jim Herrick at (619) 594-0213. All naming gifts and pavers are 100% tax deductible.



Aztecs for Life
Alumni Couple Shares Passions with SDSU

After almost 49 years of marriage, Karen (’67) and John (’68) Hedrick have separately rekindled old flames. And the passions they now individually pursue add considerable spark to their relationship of half a century.

Karen ('67) and John ('68) Hedrick in Guatemala.

“I fell in love with Guatemala,” admits Karen, who taught elementary students in the San Diego Unified School District for 25 years. “I fell in love with it and I retired that year (2005).”

At the urging of friends, Karen had visited a rural school outside the town of Santiago Atitlán where most of the residents are indigenous Mayans and students generally receive only a few years of formal education. She was stunned by the lack of basic instructional resources.

“The schools just had nothing,” she recalls, “I saw the kids picking up stones for little math manipulatives. They had nothing else in the classroom. I thought, ‘that’s something I’m passionate about as a school teacher and just maybe I can help.’”


She began collecting books and supplies to help start and equip a new community library. “It’s called La Puerta Abierta,” she explains. “That means ‘open door,’ which means it’s free to anyone who wants to come in and use the books.”

Karen now travels between San Diego and Santiago Atitlán several times each year taking along as many donated books and instructional materials as she can pack. This year, she worked with SDSU’s Center for Latin American Studies to arrange a visit to the library by a group of SDSU Study Abroad students. Doreen Mattingly, who is a faculty member with SDSU’s Women’s Studies and Latin American Studies programs, worked with Karen to coordinate the visit.

Karen Hedrick displays a book to Guatemalan students.

“We brought something like 12 suitcases full of books that had been donated to her for the library,” Mattingly says. “I was really thrilled to be able to bring our students and to bring the books. It was nice that experience was available to us. Karen is a bundle of energy and I’m glad she includes us in her projects.”


Although John supports Karen in her efforts in Guatemala, he is working through SDSU to get back in touch with his own passion – anthropology. He recently accepted the position of vice president of community education for SDSU’s Friends of Anthropology group, which promotes and supports the university’s widely respected Department of Anthropology.

“I had a very good time at San Diego State when I was a graduate student,” John explains, “so it sounded really fun when they asked me about becoming a member of the board of Friends of Anthropology.”

John, who recently sold an ocean instruments business he ran for more than 30 years and who still operates a business with one of the couple’s two sons, will now focus on community outreach on behalf of SDSU and the field of anthropology. “My emphasis will be to help people understand the interrelationship between archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, and physical anthropology – how human beings have developed and how that relates to their environment and their everyday life,” he says.

Former SDSU Anthropology Department head and Friends of Anthropology President-Elect, Betty Shutler, says the role John is taking on is significant.

Karen Hedrick sings with Guatemalan students.

“He’ll be expanding understanding of what anthropology is to begin with,” Shutler explains. “It’s very important because people don’t really understand what we do and why the understanding of man, holistically, as we do, is important for whatever line of work you’re in.”


It sounds like quite an undertaking for a guy who, along with his wife, could easily be enjoying a quiet retirement. But the Hedricks say pursuing varied passions makes their marriage more interesting and not particularly complicated.

“We just figured it out after 48 years,” John says of the give-and-take nature of the Hedricks’ relationship.

Is it tough?

“No, not at all,” John insists, “because we both support each other in the things we do. We’re really kind of best friends who look at each other’s projects as something new and exciting. We like the education value of these kinds of things. It keeps your brain sharp.”

“It’s pretty exciting,” Karen agrees. “I just feel really lucky. We keep each other interested and energized about projects and we support each other and it’s always been that way. It’s a symbiotic relationship.”

And one that keeps SDSU close to its core. John and Karen share a strong allegiance to San Diego State. Both are lifetime members of the SDSU Alumni Association. It’s a commitment they believe is important.

John Hedrick plays a recorder with Guatemalan students.

“I think the more you understand and know about an institution, the more you can help and talk to other people about what’s going on there,” John explains, “and the more interest you can generate in the institution itself.”


So exactly what do the Hedricks tell other Aztec alums who might want to reconnect with SDSU?

“My advice is to pick up the phone and call one of the departments, maybe the one you graduated from or some area you care about,” Karen suggests. “Let them know, ‘here I am and I’m interested in getting involved.’

“We have several friends who graduated from San Diego State,” she continues. “They’ve been busy raising kids and working, but now that’s done and they have a chance to pull back and give back to the community. I think one of the best places to start is San Diego State.

“San Diego State will get you in touch with all sorts of projects in this area or outside this area. And they’re supportive. They’re fun. The people I’ve met have been so fun and interesting and I’ve always felt treated as a colleague and I like that, too.”

Be an Aztec for Life! Join the SDSU Alumni Association as a lifetime member at www.sdsualumni.org/memberships.htm.

Thousands Attend Explore SDSU Events
Campus Open House Highlights “Aztec For Life”

Explore SDSU 2009

An estimated 10,000 visitors attended the March 21 Explore SDSU Open House, a day-long celebration filled with activities spread across campus. The event is held every March during SDSU Month, a celebration of San Diego State's robust and synergistic relationship with the San Diego community. This year’s SDSU Month theme was “Aztec for Life.”

Explore SDSU is a free annual event for the San Diego community and SDSU alumni, staff, faculty, students and prospective students and families. This year’s open house featured everything from campus tours, workshops, and presentations to an Aztecs baseball game against BYU and a pair of NCAA women’s basketball first round tournament games that included an Aztec victory over DePaul.

Special guests at Explore included SDSU head football coach Brady Hoke and quarterbacks coach Brian Sipe, who met fans and signed autographs. View their Aztec for Life interviews along with others from Explore SDSU at www.sdsumonth.com.

Volunteers Make it Happen
Alumni to Staff Gradfest 2009

When the call went out to alumni for volunteers to staff the Alumni Association booth at next week’s Gradfest, Bruce Urquhart (’78) jumped at the opportunity.

Graduating students visit Alumni Association booth at Gradfest 2008.

“I really do enjoy it,” Urquhart says of the three-day campus event where graduating students arrange for their commencement. “It’s a very uplifting time.”

Two dozen alumni have stepped up to staff Gradfest 2009, set for April 14 – 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Almost 5,000 graduating Aztecs are expected to file through the giant tent near the SDSU Bookstore where they will secure everything from caps and gowns to diploma frames and class rings.

Urquhart will be among the volunteers answering students’ questions and helping them fill out applications for Alumni Association membership. For $20, each graduating student receives a one-year membership in the Alumni Association along with a Gradpack containing an alumni t-shirt and a $10 gift card for Aztec Shops.


Urquhart is a part-time faculty member in SDSU’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. He enjoys seeing his former students as they near the end of their hard work toward a degree.

Alumni volunteers assist graduating students at Gradfest 2008.

“It’s one of the gratifying things about Gradfest,” he says. “To see all those students who are just about at the finish line with their beaming parents is a really positive thing. It’s where all the good things about the university – the cap and gown and all the other stuff associated with it – culminates.

“But then, of course, many students will say, ‘yes, I still want to be connected with the university,’ and that’s where the Alumni Association comes in.”

Urquhart is a lifetime member of the Alumni Association. This year will be the third time he has volunteered at Gradfest. “The time just flies by,” he says of the four hours he’ll spend on each of two days he staffs the booth, “and I enjoy being with the other volunteers.”

He also believes volunteering is a good way for alumni to stay connected with SDSU. “This is a great opportunity to give back to the university,” he says. “For people who haven’t been active in the Alumni Association, this is the perfect way to get introduced to it.”

View a list of Aztecs who are the newest lifetime members at alumni.sdsu.edu/lifetime_members.

Give the Perfect Graduation Gift
Lifetime Membership With Cap and Gown

Graduating students receive a cap, gown, medallion, and tassel with a lifetime membership in the SDSU Alumni Association.

Are you celebrating the accomplishments of an Aztec grad? Now you can mark the occasion of commencement with a graduation gift that will last a lifetime!

Just for 2009 graduates, the SDSU Alumni Association has assembled a special lifetime membership package that includes all the benefits of membership with some great perks. Graduating lifetime members receive their cap, gown, medallion, and tassel in addition to an alumni gift basket with an SDSU beach chair, alumni t-shirt, alumni hat, SDSU coffee mug and alumni sunglass holder.

More significantly, there’s the lifetime membership itself. It’s a gesture that’s both practical and enduring. The $500 membership may be covered through a special affordable payment plan designed for the Class of 2009 grads. The first payment towards the lifetime membership is only $80, then $20 per month for only 21 months.

Through your thoughtful gift, a 2009 graduate will stay connected to SDSU for a lifetime no matter where life’s amazing adventures may lead. It’s a fitting tribute to your grad’s achievement, pride, and Aztec spirit. This is one gift that will never be forgotten.

To take advantage of this exclusive offer, join online at www.sdsualumni.org/sdsugrad or visit the Alumni table at Gradfest, April 14-16!

If you have questions, call Robin Breen at (619) 594-5097.

Post-Season Play
Aztec Basketball Teams Celebrate Successful Seasons

2008-2009 Aztec women's basketball team. Ernie Anderson photo.

Aztec men’s and women’s basketball teams last month both completed their 2008-09 schedules with play in post-season tournaments. The women were invited to their first NCAA tournament in 12 years. The men played in the NIT, where they managed the program’s best-ever Division I tournament run.

SDSU’s women finished the year at 24-8 including an undefeated regular season record at home. Coach Beth Burns’ Aztecs defeated DePaul at Cox Arena in the first round of the NCAA before falling to Stanford in the second round. The victory over DePaul was the program’s first NCAA tournament victory in 15 seasons.

The Aztec men completed their season with the most wins ever with a record of 26-10. The Aztecs were a number 1 seed in the NIT and defeated Weber State, Kansas State, and St. Mary’s on their way to the tournament semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York where they lost to Baylor. The 2008-09 season was the Aztecs’ tenth with Steve Fisher as head coach.

On March 31, almost 200 Aztec fans attended the NIT watch party at San Diego’s Players Sports Bar co-sponsored by the SDSU Alumni Association and Aztec Athletic Foundation. Aztec alumni also gathered for watch parties in Orange County, the Bay Area, Sacramento, and New York.

View a photo album of the San Diego and Bay Area watch parties at alumni.sdsu.edu/photo_album.htm.

KPBS Seeks Volunteers
Groups Welcome for April Radio Pledge Campaign

Want to experience behind-the-scenes studio work, meet great people, and help a great cause? The KPBS April radio campaign is rapidly approaching and the station needs volunteers to help answer phones and enter data into a simple computer system.

Groups of six or more people receive on-air recognition twice during the shift for which they volunteer. Every morning, fresh bagels from Einstein Bros. and lots of steaming hot Peet's coffee will be offered for volunteers who may also choose a parting gift from the KPBS "Thank you volunteers" box of goodies. Official documents verifying community volunteer work are also available.

Open volunteer dates and times include:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 6:30-9:30 am
3-6 pm
Friday, April 24, 2009 6:30-9:30 am
3-6 pm
Saturday, April 25, 2009 6:30-9:30 am
9:30-12 pm
4-9 pm (National TV airing)
Monday, April 27, 2009

6:30-9:30 am
3-6 pm

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

6:30-9:30 am
3-6 pm

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

6:30-9:30 am
9:30-12:30 pm
12:30-3 pm
3-6 pm

To volunteer, please contact KPBS Volunteer Services at (619) 594-8754 or volunteers@kpbs.org.

“The Natural History of Babies”
Aztec Author Visits Campus for Lecture and Book Signing

On behalf of the Friends of Anthropology at SDSU, alumni and community members are invited to a lecture and book signing by SDSU alumna and Cornell University Professor Meredith F. Small (’73), Ph.D., author of “Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent.”

Small will deliver the lecture, “The Natural History of Babies: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent” on campus Thursday, April 16 from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in Tula Hall. A dessert reception and book signing will immediately follow the lecture.

The event is free and open to the public. Parking will be free in PS3 levels 1 and 2. For more information, please contact the Department of Anthropology at (619) 594.5527 or anthro@mail.sdsu.edu.


Chapter News

Bay Area Aztecs
San Francisco Financial District Mixer

Bay Area Aztecs

The Bay Area Aztecs Alumni Chapter will hold its first business networking mixer Friday, April 17 at the Royal Exchange in San Francisco’s Financial District. The theme is business networking and all Bay Area Aztecs from recent graduates to experienced professionals are invited and encouraged to attend.

Admission is $15 for SDSU Alumni Association members and $20 for future members and guests and for all RSVPs after April 13th or at the door. The cost includes a raffle for great Aztec Alumni gear, appetizers and soda, coffee, or tea. A cash bar for alcohol will also be available.

Please register by April 13 at chapters.sdsu.edu/bay_area. For more information, contact Keith Harris at keith@sdsualumni.org.

Hypnotic Mixer
BAN Networking Event Features Hypnosis Counselor

Can hypnosis change your life? You have a chance to find out at the Business Alumni Network’s spring mixer set for April 23 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Pacifica Breeze Cafe in Del Mar.

The event is billed as a networking opportunity. All SDSU alumni, students, and San Diego business community members are invited.

BAN vice president for professional development, J. Kingston Cowart, is a counselor specializing in hypnosis. He will provide free brief sessions of rapid-induction hypnosis and quick-flash suggestion for those who wish to work on a business-related or other specific focus of change.

Admission is $15 for SDSU Alumni Association members and $20 for future members, guests, and all registrants after April 16 or at the door. For more information and to register by April 16, please visit chapters.sdsu.edu/business.


Event Listings

April 11 The Montys 2009
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Hilton San Diego Bayfront - 1 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA
For information, visit alumni.sdsu.edu/montys.

April 16 The Natural History of Babies: How biology and culture shape the way we parent
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Tula Hall - SDSU Campus
For information, contact the Department of Anthropology at anthro@mail.sdsu.edu.

April 17 Bay Area Alumni Networking Spring Mixer
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Royal Exchange - 301 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA
For information, visit the Bay Area Aztecs Web page.

April 22 Associated Students Alumni Spring Networking Mixer
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Sammy's Woodfired Pizza - 1620 Camino de la Reina, San Diego, CA
For information, visit the Associated Students Alumni Web page.

April 23 Business Alumni Network Spring Mixer
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Pacifica Breeze Café (on outdoor patio) - 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA
For information, visit the Business Alumni Network Web page.

April 29 Student/Alumni Networking Mixer
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Aztec Athletics Center - SDSU Campus
For information, visit the 20/30s Alumni Web site.

May 3 Aztecs vs. Santa Clara Baseball game
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Stephen Schott Stadium, Santa Clara University
For information, visit the Bay Area Aztecs Web page.

May 8 Transforming Nursing Practice in a New Age for Healthcare
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: SDSU Campus – Arts & Letters Building, Room 201
For information, visit the Nursing Alumni Web page.

For a complete listing of Alumni Association events, visit our event calendar. For SDSU events, visit the SDSU Event Resource Center.


Contact Information

Mailing Address:
San Diego State University Alumni Association
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-1690

Phone Number:
(619) 594-ALUM (2586)

Fax Number:
(619) 594-0548

E-mail: alumni@sdsu.edu
Web address: www.sdsualumni.org