Mineta Transportation Institute Receives Community Partnership Recognition Award

On March 2 the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) presented the Mineta Transportation Institute with their Community Partnership Recognition award. Specifically, VTA recognized the efforts of MTI Research associates Dr. Frances Edwards and Mr. Dan Goodrich for the expert training they provided to VTA on emergency management.

“We are recognizing the Mineta Transportation Institute for being a valued community partner,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo and VTA Board of Directors Vice Chairperson.  “VTA reached out to MTI to educate VTA on its roles and responsibilities in the event of a wide-scale emergency or disaster. The MTI instructors brought multiple decades of emergency management and security experience to VTA and provided a depth of knowledge of the four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. VTA continues to partner with MTI to deliver quality emergency management education to its employees.”

Dr. Edwards, deputy director of MTI’s National Transportation Safety and Security Center, and Mr. Goodrich bring decades of experience in emergency management to their work with transportation agencies. Their most recent research, Emergency Management Training for Transportation Agencies, identifies best practices in providing training courses to adults, with a particular emphasis on the effectiveness of interactive training materials.

ABOUT THE MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE
At the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State University (SJSU) our mission is to increase mobility for all by improving the safety, efficiency, accessibility, and convenience of our nation’s’ transportation system through research, education, workforce development and technology transfer. We help create a connected world.

MTI was founded in 1991 and is funded through the US Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security, the California Department of Transportation, and public and private grants. MTI is affiliated with SJSU’s Lucas College and Graduate School of Business.

SJSU and William Randolph Hearst Foundation Honor NY Times Reporter

William Randolph Hearst Award Flier

William Randolph Hearst Award Flier

San Jose State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications presented the William Randolph Hearst Foundation Professional Award for Excellence to David Streitfeld, a New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner. On March 13, he visited the campus to talk about global issues and concerns specific to Silicon Valley, as well as the ways in which the New York Times had responded to the Presidential transition.

“Our William Randolph Hearst honoree ended his day at SJSU Monday saying how much he appreciated the award and the wonderful time with us,” said Bob Rucker, a professor of journalism. “He made note several times of how impressed he was with the depth of questions asked by our JMC students.”

Streitfeld was part of a newspaper team that received a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for “its penetrating look into business practices by Apple and other technology companies that illustrate the darker side of a changing global economy.” He also won his first “Best in Business” award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for his investigation of fake online reviews, and his second for an in-depth look at Amazon’s employment practices that he co-wrote with Jodi Kantor.

Previously, David Streitfeld worked for the Los Angeles Times and, before that, the Washington Post. He has written for New York, Vogue, Wired and other magazines. He is also the editor of books about Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Philip K. Dick and J.D. Salinger.

SJSU History Associate Professor Interviewed on C-SPAN

Dr. Libra Hilde

Dr. Libra Hilde

San Jose State university’s Libra Hilde, an associate professor of history, was interviewed on C-SPAN in February about her book “Worth a Dozen Men: Women and Nursing in the Civil War South.” During her interview, she shared highlights from her book about how the involvement of women in providing medical care during the Civil War.

“These women had to deal with some pretty horrific sights and sounds and things they were not accustomed to, but they also had to deal with the fact that a lot of men didn’t want them there,” Hilde said during the interview.

The interview was part of C-SPAN’s Local Content Vehicles (LCVs) series, in which media crews visit different cities across the nation. The stop in San Jose from Feb. 4-10 featured pieces on history and literature with interviews of local historians, authors and civic leaders. Hilde’s piece aired on American History TV on C-SPAN3 and online.

 

SJSU Students Illustrate Their Perceptions of ‘Fake News’ During Adobe Creative Jam

 

By Barry Zepel

San Jose State University students used their creative wits, quick thinking and ability to collaborate using Adobe Creative Cloud Applications when challenged to design graphics in a tournament sponsored by the university’s eCampus Department and Silicon Valley-based Adobe Systems, Inc. Students applied to participate and nine pairs were selected to compete.

It was all part of the Feb. 24 “Adobe Creative Jam,” where the competing teams had three hours to produce computer-generated graphics that represent — to their imaginations — the theme “Fake News.” They were only informed of the topic, a phrase coined following the 2016 presidential election, by the event host at the start of the evening competition held in the Student Union.

Following the contest, each team’s design was projected on a screen while the competitors explained what the “fake news” catchphrase, used regularly by President Donald Trump, meant to them. Listening was an audience of more than 100 fellow students and six design and creative professionals. The creative professionals judged the submissions while the audience members also had a chance to cast a vote for the “People’s Choice Award.”

The artwork produced by the team of Mariella Perez and Miles Vallejos, both senior graphic design majors, was judged best by both voting bodies. Their design depicted many current national issues, including “Immigration,” being swept under a rug portrayed by the American flag.

“It was a fun challenge,” according to Vallejos. “It definitely took me out of my comfort zone.”

Perez explained how they approached the Creative Jam challenge. “We devoted the first hour to ideation and the final two hours to execution,” she said.

While the general audience honored just one team, the panel of judges recognized an additional twosome. Earning that second place nod, for their entry “News is Defined by Truth,” was the team of Vasudha Varma, a graduate student working on her master’s degree in human factors, and Ashley Chung, a freshman majoring in animation. Varma and Chung became acquainted online and only met in person for the first time just before the Creative Jam began.

In addition to getting a trophy, each winning competitor received a year of creative cloud membership from Adobe that allows them to use the software package for free after they complete their studies. As current SJSU students, they already have complimentary access to Adobe products.

Additional students who attended, while not selected for the design competition, still benefitted from the event. They were able to have their personal design portfolios reviewed and evaluated by creative directors and design professionals from organizations such as Facebook, Yahoo and other Silicon Valley-based agencies and technology companies.

Jennifer Redd, director of SJSU’s eCampus, noted that the Creative Jam is an example of the university’s partnership with Adobe.

“Tonight’s event was an opportunity for our students to showcase their skills as it relates to the Adobe Creative Cloud,” Redd said. “We work closely with Adobe and offer their software applications for the benefit of our students, faculty and staff.”

The company also hosts an annual Adobe Day in which SJSU faculty and staff visit the downtown San Jose headquarters to learn more about new products or features of existing products that can be used to enhance teaching and learning.

Adobe, which sponsors similar events for other universities around the country, is able to promote its software products on campus to discover how the students use them.

“Our goal tonight was to show what is available to San Jose State students and faculty, in terms of our mobile applications and desktop applications, while extending that into other disciplines outside of just the creative ones,” said Liz Arias, Adobe’s customer success manager whose clients include SJSU and other CSU campuses.

The graphic designs of each of the teams that competed in the Creative Jam, can be viewed online via Adobe’s Behance Portfolio Review website.

SJSU Alumna Premieres Feature Film at Cinequest on March 3

As in previous years, students and faculty from San Jose State University will be well represented at the 2017 Cinequest Film and VR Festival staged at various venues throughout San Jose and Redwood City starting this week.

A 2008 alumna of the TRFT program, Los Altos resident Saila Kariat, will be represented at Cinequest with her dramatic, one-hour, 38-minute film titled “The Valley” that she wrote, directed and co-produced. The movie will premiere at 7 p.m. March 5 at the California Theatre, 345 S. First St., San Jose. The feature-length film centers on an Indian-American entrepreneur who has an existential crisis following the suicide of his young-adult daughter.

Kariat — who grew up in India, Canada and the United States — said the film project took three years to complete. Professor Scott Sublett, chair of the SJSU’s TRFT department, said Kariat studied film and screenwriting and distinguished herself in student screenwriting competitions before becoming the department’s Valedictorian.

Kariat partially self-funded the production, which cost $500,000, but also attracted several investors. It had a cast of 30 and crew of 35. She said its international cast includes actors from Pakistan, Alyy Khan; India, Suchitra Pillai; and American Jake T. Austin.

For those who miss the premier, “The Valley” will also be shown on March 6, at 4:15 p.m.; March 9, at 9:15 p.m., and March 11, at 4:15 p.m., at the Cinemark Century 20 theater complex in Redwood City.

“Disaffected Youth,” billed as a “punk rock coming-of-age” film directed by Patrick Mattes and co-written and produced by Jacob Ohlhausen, is a short film produced by Spartan Film Studios.

Patrick Mattes, left, and Jacob Ohlhausen pose for a photograph at their home in Milpitas, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2016. The two have a short film, produced by Spartan Studio Films, playing at Cinequest this year called “Disaffected Youth”.(Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

Patrick Mattes, left, and Jacob Ohlhausen pose for a photograph at their home in Milpitas, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2016. The two have a short film, produced by Spartan Studio Films, playing at Cinequest this year called “Disaffected Youth”.(Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

“I’m very excited,” said Mattes, a December graduate of the university’s Television, Radio, Film and Theatre (TRFT) department, about his film’s inclusion at Cinequest. “We’re both excited. I texted Jake the moment I heard.”

It will be shown as part of the College Shorts program on March 7, at 8:45 p.m.; March 10, at 7:15 p.m.; and March 11, at 12:45 p.m. at the Cinemark Century 20 theater complex, 825 Middlefield Road, Redwood City.

Also selected for Cinequest was “swiPed”, a four-minute, 38-second animated film both humorous and poignant about the detrimental impacts of smartphones on society. It’s the creation of David Chai, associate professor of Design and Animation/Illustration in the Department of Design, whose tagline for the film is: “Texters texting, tweeters tweeting, likers liking, posters posting, Googlers Googling, Amazonians Amazoning, webheads surfing, snappers chatting, pinnters pinning, tubers tubing, tenders tindering, Netflixers chilling — are we binging too much? More connected than ever, but more distant by the day. Is humanity being swiped away?”

Chai was a Silicon Valley smartphone holdout until recently.

“I had a flip phone until last year,” he said. “I don’t want to be emailing when I can be out enjoying life. People have become so disconnected from one another through technology. Even when you are with them, you’re often not.”

Chai’s film debuts on March 3, at 9:30 p.m. It will subsequently be screened March 5, at 1:05 p.m.; March 7, at 4:30 p.m.; and March 11, at 6:45 p.m. All presentations will be at the Cinemark Century 20 in Redwood City.

 

The annual festival, which has grown dramatically in size and prestige in recent years, provides matchless industry exposure for SJSU film students.

“We want our students to have a professional experience and Cinequest provides a great opportunity for them,” said Barnaby Dallas, coordinator of production for Film and Theatre, and the director of Film Production for Spartan Film Studios, which produced “Disaffected Youth” last summer. “Every year, the film industry comes to San Jose for 10 or 12 days.”

Tickets for events and more information about the Cinequest Film and VR Festival are available online.