Grayce Honsa selected CAL Overall Outstanding Graduating Senior

A double major in political science and women’s studies, Honsa is an activist and community builder at the top of her class.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024
two women stand in front of colorful background
(From left) Interim Dean Ronnee Schreiber and Grayce Honsa

Grayce Honsa is a first-generation student who began their academic journey in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic during a time of widespread social and political division. Honsa’s passion was piqued as a result, and they worked diligently in pursuit of social justice and community building during their years at San Diego State University.

Kimala Price, chair of the Department of Women’s Studies, notes that Honsa excels academically. “Professors Whatcott and Donadey both attest to their very strong academic performance and excellent papers in feminist disability studies and feminist theory,” Price said. “Grayce has been indispensable as the undergraduate intern for the Department of Women's Studies, working on its newsletter and promoting the major, minor, faculty, and alumni throughout campus and beyond.”

A foundational part of their scholarship in women's studies is Black-feminist and scholar-activist Angela Davis. “Davis' revolutionary work exploring LGBTQ+ rights, prison abolition, and political philosophy has always resonated deeply with me and inspired me to explore those topics in my own academic and activist work,” Honsa said. “I hope one day to meet Angela Davis in person and tell her how much she has inspired me to foster these passions in pursuit of liberation.”

Some of Honsa’s fondest memories at SDSU come from their time working at the Women's Resource Center. ”The professional staff and student assistants there have been the biggest support and source of community for me at SDSU, and I truly believe that I would not be who I am today without them,” Honsa said.

The WRC provided Honsa a nurturing environment to grow as a “student, activist, and human being.” Honsa said that their time working with the WRC will forever be cherished.

Though busy with work and academics, Honsa found time to attend events to support the many diverse and creative communities within SDSU student organizations. For the past three years, Honsa was a member of IGNITE SDSU, a club focused on educating and empowering young women in politics. 

Honsa won a number of scholarships and awards to include: the Andrea O'Donnell Memorial Scholarship, which honors the memory of an activist student at SDSU. The scholarships are designed for women’s studies majors who demonstrate commitment to community activism and leadership in developing, promoting, or supporting activities which empower women, and the Cotton Metzger Scholarship for LGBTQ+ Students that provides support for students who are members of the LGBT community and contribute to enhancing perceptions of members of their community.

After graduation, Honsa will work during the summer at the State Bar Association of California as a human resources intern in San Francisco. In a few years, they plan to return to graduate school, but in the meantime they are looking forward to developing professional skills, engaging in community activism, and continuing to advocate for more equitable public policy.

“The work that I have done in and out of the classroom during my time at SDSU has never felt like a chore, but a privilege to be able to learn, work, and grow in so many unique spaces,” Honsa said. “I am so incredibly grateful for this recognition of my hard work and resilience while a student at SDSU.” 

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