Student Spotlight | Henry Fan

The SJSU Lurie College of Education provides a range of grants to students to support their academic endeavors to become transformative educators.  We spoke with SJSU student Henry Fan after he attended the CA STEAM Symposium to learn more about his experience and how it shaped him going forward.  Give his insights a listen below!

“As an aspiring educator, I’m developing the skills of thinking about the art and science of teaching and learning and just how complex that can be” said SJSU student Henry Fan, who recently received a grant from Lurie College to attend the annual California STEAM Symposium, “and that’s been a really rewarding journey to embark on.”

Connect with Lurie College at to receive more news about academic and student life!  Audio recorded and edited by Brian Cheung Dooley.  “Adventure” provided royalty free by

What is the CA STEAM Symposium?
A conference where professional STEAM educators collaborate, demonstrate, and articulate their ideas on the problems that exist in education.
Why were you interested in attending?
After working for 6 years in hospitality and 2 years in tech, I strongly believe that the problems that exist in education are far more interesting than the ones that exist in those spaces.
What was an experience that you had that will have a lasting impact on you?
The four keynote speakers were the most impactful to me even though I enjoyed the makers’ fair as well as individual breakout sessions related to equity and classroom engagement.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the NBA fireside Chat with Tony K. Thurmond an American politician who is the 28th and current California State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Takeaway: knowledge is power, don’t give up on yourself
Ellen L. Ochoa is a Hispanic-American engineer, former astronaut and former Director of the Johnson Space Center. In 1993 Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.
Takeaway: you can’t be what you cannot see, visualize yourself in the future
Christopher “Chris” Emdin is a tenured professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University. At Columbia, he launched the Center for Health Equity and Urban Science Education with Dr. Barbara Wallace in 2013. In 2013, he was a fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois Research Institute at Harvard University
Takeaway: educator’s should think of their roles as healers: think about inspiring and the art and science behind teaching & learning, just as much as delivering content.
How has attending this symposium shaped you going forward?
I recognize that society has created a large number of problems including but not limited to racism, income inequality, exponential return on capital investment, climate change, and education.
In education: there’s a broken talent pipeline. Around 1.2 million students enroll in college every year. Only about half of those graduate in 6 years then another small fraction of those who graduate, actually find jobs. And for the ones that do have jobs, the vast majority are disengaged with their work and admit to procrastinating ~2 hours a day during their working hours.
I look forward to hosting my own workshops and building a website, with the guidance of people who have similar interests, on the art of storytelling and the specific study skills students use to achieve their academic/professional/personal goals.
My feeling is that we are in this journey together, and the sooner we can build community for ourselves the better off we’ll be to be equipped to solve these demanding problems society is facing, no matter how deficient the system we’re in is.

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