University to honor outstanding graduates at in-person Commencement
As part of a longstanding tradition, each of the University’s six academic colleges selects an undergraduate and a graduate student to represent their classmates and wear their college’s academic hood during the ceremony. Read below about the students selected for the honor of wearing the College of Health & Social Sciences academic hood. More details about the ceremony are available on the Commencement website.
Graduate Hood: Azisa Todd
Born and raised in Oakland, Azisa “Zi” Todd says she has the Oakland public education system to thank for grounding her in the principles of academic and community organizing. Upon graduating from high school, Azisa went to University of California, Los Angeles, where she served as a member (later director) of BlaQue, UCLA’s Black LGBTQ+ organization. Azisa developed and facilitated mandated anti-racism/Blackness workshops at UCLA, organized cross-campus conferences and spoke across the state. After graduating with a B.A. in Gender Studies, she decided to jump back into academia — and back to the Bay Area — to pursue a Master of Public Health at SF State.
As a graduate student, Azisa was instrumental in supporting the redesign of a cross-college minor in Feminist Health Studies. She also serves as an education and training coordinator within San Mateo County, leading LGBTQ+ awareness trainings for health systems and local organizations.
Azisa’s public health interests are in LGBTQ+ health and wellness, the intersectionality of Black and LGBTQ+ experiences, and community health education and training. She hopes to earn a Doctor of Public Health and share what she’s learned with college-level students.
Undergraduate Hood: Davina A. Wizzard
Late in her senior year of high school in Valencia, California, Davina A. Wizzard had a nerve-wracking experience: She learned that her brother had been pulled over by police for a “routine stop.” The fear of what those stops could result in set her back to the summer of 2016. The horrifying stories she’d read online — about Black motorists and pedestrians killed by police during “routine stops” — had stayed with her.
For Wizzard, the experience was an awakening that shaped her college career at SF State. She sought out a job with the University’s Division of Equity and Community Inclusion, ultimately creating and coordinating programs on inclusion, diversity and the upliftment of marginalized communities. Those activities didn’t detract from Wizzard’s academics, however, and she graduated in three years with majors in Criminal Justice Studies and Creative Writing and a minor in Africana Studies, Summa Cum Laude.
Wizzard has begun applying to law schools so that she can continue her work for justice and inclusion in the nation’s courts.