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San Diego State University

Student Life and Leadership

Quest for the Best

logo: Quest fo the Best Vice Presidential Student Service Award

The measure of a university is more than the sum of its buildings, the size of its enrollment, its array of degrees, its number of graduates, or its cumulative grade point average. It is instead the qualities of the people which comprise its community: students, faculty, and staff. The educational mission is more than certification of degrees; it is instead a series of quests. It is a quest for knowledge about our present world, its past, and its possible future. It is an internal quest, to discover and develop the potential within each person. It is a quest to serve and improve the community outside the university and to further human understanding and the qualities of leadership.

The “Quest for the Best” awards seek to recognize outstanding student leaders who have typified and promoted the mission of the university. This Vice Presidential Student Service award is given each April to the “best of the best” at SDSU – those students who excel academically and through community and campus involvement. This award recognizes individual excellence in academics, campus involvement, and community service. 

The “Quest for the Best” awards are presented at a gala banquet in April. The ceremony is attended by winning students two special guests of each winner, and faculty honorees.

Applicants are evaluated in four areas:

  1. Academic excellence, including grade point average (a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 is required), individual research, participation in professional and academic societies, involvement in departmental activities, etc.;
  2. Student involvement and commitment, including student organizations, student government and college councils, The Daily Aztec, housing, fraternity/sorority life, athletics, honor societies, etc.;
  3. Community service outside the SDSU campus, including volunteer work with medical, social service, theatrical, artistic, cultural, political entities, etc.;
  4. Leadership qualities and development, including the degree of involvement and initiative within activities, the furtherance of intercultural understanding, and evidence of the development of positive, ethical decision-making.

Nominations are open to regularly enrolled SDSU students who have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, have completed at least one year at SDSU and at least 75 units of college work. Applications of students on probation of any kind will not be reviewed.

Questions? Contact Student Life & Leadership at 619-594-5221 

Congratulations to the 2018 Quest for the Best award winners!


Dominic Gialdini (pronouns: he/him/his)

Senior, Recreation Administration, minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies


Vanessa Girard (pronouns: she/her/hers)

Senior, Hospitality and Tourism Management, minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies


Alex Henriques da Silva B. (pronouns: she/her/hers)

Senior, Business Administration


Leona Koxha (pronouns: she/her/hers)

Senior, International Security & Conflict Resolution, minor in Political Science


Samantha Ledesma (pronouns: she/her/hers)
Senior, Criminal Justice and Spanish, minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies


Farris Nabulsi (pronouns: he/him/his)

Senior, Computer Science


Nancy Nguyen (pronouns: she/her/hers)

Senior, Sociology, minors in Public Health and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies


Holly Norman (pronouns: she/her/hers)

Senior, Microbiology, minors in Chemistry and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies


Christian Onwuka (pronouns: he/him/his)

Junior, Business, minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies


Cristal Ramirez (pronouns: she/her/hers)

Senior, Interdisciplinary Studies, minor in Cultural Proficiency 

Congratulations to the 2017 Quest for the Best award winners! 


Mustafa Alemi

Junior, Political Science, Islamic-Arabic Studies

Asha Alshabazz

SeniorCommunication, minor in Africana Studies 

Ceinna Bush

Junior, Communication, minor in Leadership

Erika Grecia Meza

Senior, Psychology, minor on Counseling & Social Change

Yaneth Mora Lopez
SeniorChild & Family Development, minors in Spanish and Counseling & Social Change 

Carolina Mozee

Senior, Psychology, minors in Spanish and Counseling & Social Change 

Jason Ogbeide 

Senior, Accounting, minor in Marketing 

Annelle Sambile

SeniorEnglish and Communication 

Mark Sanders

SeniorMicrobiology, minors in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies and Chemistry 

Grant Varnau

Senior, Physics, minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

Congratulations to the 2016 Quest for the Best award winners!


Makayla Bradford

Senior, Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences, minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies and Psychology

Raiyah Harris

Senior, Psychology and Criminal Justice, minor in Counseling & Social Change

Janiel Jones 

SeniorPsychology, minor in Counseling & Social Change

Anthony Lee 
JuniorCommunication, minor in Business Administration and Digital & Social Media

Zachariah Martinez

Bogdan Matuszynski

Senior, International Security & Conflict Resolution, minor in Islamic & Arabic Studies and Latin American Studies

Anthony Meadows 

Senior, Kinesiology

Anachristina  Morino

SeniorAerospace Engineering, minor in Business Management

Adriana Rodarte-Reynoso

SeniorChild & Family Development, minor in Counseling & Social Change

Shannon Yandall

Senior, Psychology, minor in Interdisciplinary Studies 

Congratulations to the 2015 Quest for the Best award winners!


Trevor Auldridge
Junior, Sociology, minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

Kiana Caton
Senior, Child & Family Development, minor in Spanish

Jessica Coleman
Senior, Psychology, minor in Women’s Studies and English

Karl Maes
Senior, Business Administration Emphasis in Finance & Economics Specializing in Quantitative Analysis, minor in Management

Susana Najera
Senior, Cell & Molecular Biology and Spanish, minor in Chemistry

Anthony Rodriguez
Senior, Biology, minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

Sara Roldan
Graduate Student, Homeland Security

Tenille Taggart
Senior, Psychology, minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies

Ryan Vanshur
Senior, International Business (Latin America/Spanish), minor in International Studies

Congratulations to the 2014 Quest for the Best award winners!

photo of Yousef

Estefania Castañeda Pérez,
Senior, Political Science; minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies
See Estefania's video submission
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photo of AlexanderJonathan Cole,
Junior, Finance
See Jonathan's video submission
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photo of AlexanderJordan Harrison,
Senior, Business Marketing, minor in Social and Personality Psychology
See Jordan's video submission
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photo of AlexanderJasmine Henderson,
Senior, Political Science and Psychology
See Jasmine's video submission
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photo of AlexanderMegan Isaacson,
Senior, Psychology
See Megan's video submission
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photo of BrandonBrandon Ishikata,
Junior, Liberal Studies with a literacy/performing arts emphasis
See Brandon's video submission
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photo of MarinaMarina Mantos,
Senior, Communication
See Marina's video submission
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photo of JavonJavon Ogbeide,
Junior, Business Administration Emphasis in Management Specializing in Entrepreneurship; minor in Interdisciplinary Studies
See Javon's video submission
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photo of SavannaSavanna Tierney,
Senior, Psychology, minor in Biology
See Savanna's video submission
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photo of AmandaAmanda Willis,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering, minor in Music with a classical emphasis
See Amanda's video submission
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The 2013 Quest for the Best award winners

photo of Yousef

Yousef Abraham, senior, Criminal Justice, minor in Sociology

photo of AlexanderAlexander Arena, senior, Biology and Political Science, minor in Chemistry


photo of JuliaJulia Bussberg, senior, Psychology

photo of ErinErin Fletcher, senior, Microbiology, minor in Public Health

photo of GenaroGenaro Hernandez, senior, Biology: Emphasis in Cell and Molecular Biology, minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

photo of LydiaLydia Keema, senior, Psychology, minor in Sociology, Counseling and Social Change

photo of MariahMariah Kelly, junior, Business Administration: Management ENT, minor in English

photo of JoshuaJoshua Morse, junior, Finance, minor in Political Science

photo of TomTom Rivera, senior, Political Science, minor in Classics Language, Latin

photo of CatherineCatherine Woods, senior, Psychology, minor in Counseling and Social Change


The 2012 Quest for the Best award winners

photo: Juan Garcia Juan Garcia, senior, Business Administration: Management – Entrepreneurship

photo: Katie Martin Katie Martin, senior, International Security and Conflict Resolution, Political Science; Honors Interdisciplinary Studies minor

photo: Channelle McNutt Channelle McNutt, senior, Political Science and Communication

photo: Phillip Patague Phillip Patague, senior, Civil Engineering

photo: Jeremy Poincenot  Jeremy Poincenot, senior, Business Entrepreneurship; French minor

photo: Kristine Rezny Kristine Rezny, senior, Psychology; Social Work; Counseling & Social Change minor

photo: Joanne Segoviano Joanna Segoviano, senior, Psychology and Spanish

photo: Kristin SwordKristin Sword, junior, Economics and Media Studies

photo: Natalia Zora Natalia Zora, senior, Biology; Psychology; Honors Interdisciplinary Studies minor


The 2011 Quest for the Best award winners

Ryan Fowler  Ryan Fowler, senior, Journalism and Media Studies with an emphasis in Advertising; International Studies minor

Lindsay Goulet Lindsay Goulet, senior, Social Science in preparation for single subject teaching

Breena Loraine  Breena Loraine, senior, Business Administration, Management and Music, Vocal performance; Interdisciplinary Studies minor

Marcela Meave Marcela Meave, senior, Psychology; Leadership Development and Spanish minor

Christina Moran Christina Moran, senior, Marketing

Kayleigh Neel Kayleigh Neel, senior, Liberal Studies and Math

Tina Ngo Tina Ngo, senior, Biology; Interdisciplinary Studies minor

Laura Schofield Laura Schofield, senior, Criminal Justice


The 2010 Quest for the Best award winners

photo of Brianna Brianna Bennett, senior, Journalism with an emphasis in Media Studies

photo of Daniel  Daniel Brown, junior,  Jazz Studies and Psychology

photo of Jemalyn  Jemalyn Chavez, junior,  Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations

photo of Amanda  Amanda Cheyney, senior, Business Management

photo of Stephanie  Stephanie Guarino, senior, Interdisciplinary Studies: Counseling and  School Psychology, Women's Studies, and Sociology

photo of Karina  Karina Kangas, junior, Chemistry

photo of Kevin  Kevin Kwoka, senior, Economics and Finance

photo of Nicole  Nicole Levin, senior, Nursing and International Security and Conflict Resolution

photo of Kyla  Kyla Power, senior, Psychology

photo of Tristany  Tristany Wagner, senior, Geography with an emphasis in Environmental Analysis


The 2009 Quest for the Best award winners

Picture of Fiyinofoluwa Ani

Fiyinfoluwa Ani, senior, Biology

Picture of Rex Brown Jr.

Rex Brown Jr., junior, Management, with a specialization in Entrepreneurship

Picture of Nancy Calderon

Nancy Calderón, senior, Psychology and Political Science

Picture of Alexander Chavez

Alexander Chávez, senior, International Business and Economics

Picture of Gene Gonzaga

Gene Gonzaga, senior, Psychology and Biology

Picture of Stephanie Hubbell

Stephanie Hubbell, senior, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Picture of Diana Lazo

Diana Lazo, senior, Biology

Picture of Lakeisha Nacoste

Lakeisha Nacoste, senior, Nursing

Picture of Anastacia Tobin

Anastacia Tobin, senior, Psychology

Picture of Tracie Ugamoto

Tracie Ugamoto, senior, Communication and Spanish