Congratulations to our Class of 2020 Graduates!


“Because of your hard work and perseverance, your families’ and loved ones’ support and sacrifice, and your friends' and colleagues’ encouragement and love, you have made it to this moment.”

— Amy Kilgard, Professor and Department of Communication Studies Chair


Communication Studies Student Honorees

Derek Chung

Derek Cheung

Comm Major, ‘20

Derek Cheung is a detail-oriented and prepared student who makes significant effort in and out of the classroom. Derek is an active member in both our department and the Asian American Studies department, where he completed his Complementary Studies requirement, and his ability to effectively integrate ideas from the two has been apparent. He is graduating from SF State with a 3.96 GPA.

In his first year as a transfer student, Derek participated in SF State’s President's Leadership Fellows Program. Derek took COMM 695 in fall 2019 and he excelled in a PR internship at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Throughout the semester, he consistently brought his thoughts and questions about career development to the class. Last fall, he also participated in the Career Preparation in Communication Studies Program and attended the Salesforce field-trip. He made lasting connections with our career center on-campus and with the contacts he met at Salesforce. In spring 2020, Derek generously offered to coordinate a field-trip to his current job site at the Port of Oakland. He completed the port’s competitive summer internship program last summer and was offered a part-time job after his internship because they were so impressed by him; that had never been done before! For the field-trip, Derek organized a wonderful panel for his fellow students with people who are currently working in communication related careers. His thoughtfulness and generosity really stand out. We are proud to recognize Derek Cheung as the Communication Studies Department’s Undergraduate Honors recipient this year.

Paul Francis Marino Edwards

Paul Francis Marino-Edwards

Comm Major, ‘20

Paul Marino-Edwards is a determined student who excels at every task that is given to him. Paul is intellectually engaged, deeply committed, theoretically sophisticated, highly motivated, and hard working. In his graduate seminars, Paul came to class ready and willing to learn, and with each session, proved that he had not only read the material, but understood it, and was able to apply that knowledge in his work. If ever the room was silent, Paul would raise his hand and offer a fresh perspective. If a classmate stumbled with an answer, Paul would jump in to help them out. Further, there were many times when a classmate would have a question, and Paul would volunteer to explain the concept and give examples to his peers, ensuring everyone in the room was on the same page. We are proud to see this kind of intellectual generosity at such an early career stage. We also want to note that Paul is graduating from our program with a 4.0 GPA.

Currently, Paul is working on a thesis project exploring the marginalization of female gamers in the online gaming community. Through his work, he advocates for structural change in the online gaming community to allow for a safer space for women as well as other vulnerable communities. Paul was also the only student from his cohort to get to present a competitively selected paper at Western States Communication Association Conference in Denver, Colorado 2020. Paul presented his paper, "Mapping Queer Game Studies: Where it Has Been and Where it Could Go" to a room full of senior scholars. During the question and answer session, he was able to respond to questions confidently, while also engaging with the other panelists and the audience. Paul was able to mobilize and inspire the rest of his cohort to travel to the conference and grow with him.

Paul is also an excellent Teaching Assistant; he is always there for the students to listen to them and help them. All in all, Paul Marino-Edwards has demonstrated that he has truly benefited and grown from the MA program in Communication Studies and we are proud that he is this year’s Graduate Honors recipient.

Related Events

For details on SF State’s plans to celebrate the class of 2020, please visit the Commencement website.