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Winter Newsletter

February 2019
As MESA Day is approaching, remember that innovation is important. Try new things, you never know what will happen until you try. 

Looking Back

Welcome to the New Year! We hope that you had a great Winter Break and that you are ready to hit the ground running in 2019. During the Winter Break, the MESA SJSU Team has worked hard making sure we have a successful MESA Day at SJSU.  We are excited Google is hosting the Regional MESA Day.
This year we are introducing our two pilot competitions, the Escape Room Math Challenge as well as the Ultimate Disc Competition. On January 31st we held the Escape Room Math Challenge at Mt. Pleasant High School where students competed in our new math based competition with a twist.The MESA Math Challenge is an exciting quick-paced math competition that focuses on speed, accuracy, and group collaboration. In groups of two to three, students competed against one another to see who could escape the fastest. 

The Ultimate Disc Competition challenges students to design and build a lightweight and durable concrete disc meant to fly in the air. Students across the SJSU MESA Center will compete to see if their disc can survive the ultimate test. The date is to be determined and will notify everyone when we have a date. 
We look forward to an amazing year, and also to seeing all the great progress that everyone will have.

MESA Spotlight

Crisanto J. Fernandez

1) Tell us about yourself and how long have you been with the MESA Schools Program.
My name is Crisanto Jesus Fernandez and I am an English Major with a focus in Creative Writing and Minor in Chicano/Chicana Studies. At the moment I am in the second semester of my Second Year of college here at San Jose State University. I was involved with MESA ever since I was in middle school over at Adelante Dual Language Academy and later got involved in my high school at Mt. Pleasant High School on the Eastside of San Jose. Though I grew up in San Jose, I was born in Mexico, Michoacan. As a Latino my teachers from all grade levels always encouraged me to pursue a higher education such as attending college, yet, I never simply believed that college was for me because I was an undocumented, Mexican, Single-Parent family, oldest sibling and first generation kid. At an early age, I had believed that I was not smart enough to be in a college lecture hall. Yet, if it wouldn't have been for programs such as MESA and advisors that continued to motivate me to not become a statistic but to pursue a college career, I wouldn't be here today. 

2) What is your most memorable memory of MESA?
One of the most memorable memories I have from being in MESA was in middle school and going over to my MESA advisor, Mrs. Meza’s, classroom after school to work on a Lego Mindstorm robot that we were building for MESA Day. I remember my friend Arturo Martinez was working on a program for our robot and I was trying to find a way to connect two Lego pieces together, and at that moment it had dawned on me, “I am a smart Mexicano”. My belief that I was not capable of ever achieving my goals and my dreams had begun to shift. That year our Lego Mindstorms team had won first place and every year after that until we all went to high school. 

3) Favorite MESA Day competition and why?
One of my favorite MESA Day competitions that unfortunately is not around anymore was the Egg Drop, otherwise known as the EggExpress. The competition was to see what student could build a device that can protect an egg from being dropped from a height of 6 stories. It was amazing to see all the creative and put together projects that students from all over San Jose had built. When the time came to see the eggs being dropped from the 6th floor of Duncan Hall, everybody wanted to see if their egg had survived the fall. The funniest drop that I was able to witness was from a student who had dropped about 4 dozen eggs that were protected by a single plastic trash bag. Surprisingly, I believe 2 or 3 eggs had survived the fall.  I don't know why but I know that I would never forget that MESA Day.

4) How has MESA changed from your first day in the program to now?
Over the course of the 8 years that I was involved in MESA, I have to say that the MESA program has grown and developed into an outstanding program in order to give students a kickstart into what a STEM Career is really all about. Yet, not only that, but it has also continued to encourage students, such as I, to pursue a college career. 

5) Any words of advice for current MESA students?
In all honesty, if I had the opportunity to go back in time and tell myself anything while I was involved with MESA, I would say, “Keep going, you will not be disappointed.” No matter how many odds are against you or how many people say you will never be able to achieve whom you want to be, just remember, the only person that could ever stop you from what you want to do is Yourself. Keep pursuing your drive and never let go of what makes you, you. ¡Si Se Puede!




What is it?

The overall mission of the United Council of MESA Chapters (UCMC) is to develop academic and leadership skills, raise educational exceptions, and instill confidence in educationally disadvantaged students to pursue successfully college-preparatory course work, promote careers in math and science, and develop their pre-professional and leadership skills.

What have they been doing?

UCMC Officers have shown their commitment to the MESA Schools Program by showing up to UCMC meetings ready to be leaders for their chapters. We have middle school and high schools students working together to make this program better. They have helped rebuild and reshape the purpose of UCMC meetings. In our meetings, UCMC officers are treated as advisors for their own chapter, and have done a great job at keeping the MESA staff updated on their overall progress as a chapter. We are currently working on bringing new ideas to the table, perhaps a new competition for the SJSU MESA Schools Program Center. We hope to make the UCMC Program grow next school year!

How do I join?

Interested in joining UCMC, reach out to Mayra at mayrarodmesa@gmail.com.

Industry Corner

William McZeek

William McZeek works with Intel and has been with us ever since he was a student. William started his journey as a MESA Student who has climbed the ladder and is now not only working for Intel, but also serves on the MESA Advisory Board! 

1) What is your most memorable memory of MESA? As a MESA student I enjoyed going out on the field trips. We took a field trip to BART the still impress me today on how complex their operation is. As an adult member, I think the competitions are amazing. I look forward to the energy and emotions from the students each year.
2) Favorite MESA Day competition and why? My knowledge base is centered around the prosthetic arm. The different approaches that are taken to arrive at the designs of the arm that show how the students think and solve problems. 
3) What is your favorite part of working with Intel? Problem solving that gives way to learning.  There are days that start off where I don’t know how to solve an issue.    
4) What skills from MESA are you using at Intel? Math is important because it builds up skills for problem solving.
5) Any words of advice to current MESA students? Always be open to learning and growing.  (Even hard things and they will become easy.)
6) What are your favorite hobbies? These days it is fishing and bike riding. 


Students have been hard at work getting ready for MESA Day. We are now just a month away from the big day, and we wanted to show off the hard work they have been putting in. 

Santa Teresa

Yerba Buena


Important Dates


11th - NEDC Papers Due


29th - Senior Petitions Due

Upcoming Events


2nd - MESA Day
15th - SJSU Biology Shadow Day
Interested in Volunteering? Click Here.
© 2018 | MESA SJSU | All Rights Reserved

San Jose State University
MESA Schools Program/MSP
One Washington Square
College of Science, Duncan Hall 241
San Jose, CA 95192

 Phone: 408.924.3798
Fax: 408.924.4026

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