A Graduation Story: Kanika Minocha Aiming For A Ph.D.

Imagine a 16,000-mile round trip to visit the United States and participate in San Jose State University's annual commencement exercise. That is what the parents of women's golfer Kanika Minocha did to see their daughter with graduate summa cum laude honors recently.

Minocha was a member of the 2007 through 2010 women's golf teams.  The Spartans were the 2009 and 2010 Western Athletic Conference champion. As her college career progressed, her stroke average went down. That's a good thing.

In the classroom, her grade-point average started high and stayed atop a lofty plateau. That, too, was a good thing for the psychology major who earned a resume full of academic honors. Minocha was a Dean's List student, President's Scholar, a San Jose State University Scholar-Athlete, a member of the Western Athletic Conference All-Academic team and a Scholar All-America selection by the National Golf Coaches Association.

A native from the country of India, Minocha found out about San Jose State from a secondary school friend who came to the United States for a college education and play American college golf. Until then, she admits to not knowing anything about the university.

According to Minocha, being a student-athlete greatly eased the transition from teenager into adulthood and moving to and living in a foreign country.

"The golf team was my family here. I really think I would not have gone through college at all and I would have given up without the team, (head coach) John (Dormann) and (assistant coach) Dana (Dormann)," said Minocha, who was inspired by a school counselor at age 15 to pursue a career in psychology. Her ultimate goal is to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Before starting on her advanced degree program, she has a job lined up 3,000 miles away from San Jose State in Virginia as the director of operations for a company specializing in tennis camps, instruction and tournaments. She won't be alone, since her boyfriend is a member of the nationally-ranked University of Virginia men's tennis team.

With her travels with the San Jose State University women's golf team and her imminent move to Virginia, Minocha is likely to experience a lot of what the United States has to offer. And, her parents did the same for a week in May.

"I'm really happy my parents could make it. They're really proud and I'm really happy I can make them that proud," she said.

More 2010 Graduation Stories
Kyle Reed, football - Cheers Again In Spartan Stadium
Katey Nelson, swimming and diving - "Awesome"
Ronnie Castillo, football - A Landmark Accomplishment
Alise Blackwell, gymnastics - In Tune With Her Future
Garrett Faulconer, football - An Incredible Experience
Aumornai Edinburgh, women's basketball - Going For More
Ward Farris, men's basketball/football - The Comeback Kid
Amanda Villa, soccer - Loading Up To Finish
Eric Bulcholz, football - Earning A Family First
Karson Klauer, Corey Valine, Alex Sofranac, baseball - Standout Trio
Bridget McKee, water polo - University's Top Of The Class
92 Student-Athletes Eligible For Commencement