Faculty Notes for January 2017: Publications, Quotes and More

Department of Computer Science Assistant Professor Margareta Ackerman, who co-developed ALYSIA, a machine learning system that creates melodies for lyrics, was profiled by New Scientist about the current iteration of her brainchild and plans for further development. Originally conceived as a system for the electronic music community, Ackerman has since expanded the target audience to include professional songwriters as well. Ultimately “we want to design a program able to generate the music, the lyrics and, ideally, even the production and singing by itself,” she said. Read more online.

Professor Emeritus Mike Adams, Department of TV, Radio, Film and Theatre, writes about the evolution of radio in Columbus, Ohio, in Columbus Radio (Arcadia Publishing, 2016), crediting “two professors and a preacher” for pioneering radio in that city. The author of seven books and recipient of the AWA Houck Award, the RCA Ralph Batcher Award and the TCA Stokes Award for his broadcast history research, Adams developed a passion for radio as a kid when his parents bought him a “rounded-top cathedral radio.” After that, he began “taking radios apart and became a nerd,” he told the Columbus Dispatch.

Professor Charlie Bullock, Department of Health Science and Recreation, chair of the Santa Clara County’s Health Trust since 2014, is serving as interim CEO of the nonprofit while the agency searches for a permanent replacement for former CEO Fred Ferrer, who stepped down in December. Founded in 1996, the Health Trust serves as a catalyst for community partnerships in Silicon Valley to work on initiatives that support healthy eating, healthy aging and an end to chronic homelessness in Silicon Valley.

School of Music and Dance Professor Ed Harris served as guest band conductor at the 2017 High School Honors Concert, an event that also included choir and string orchestra performances by students from 22 schools within San Joaquin County. The free concert took place at Atherton Auditorium at San Joaquin Delta College on January 14.

In an article for the Desert Sun, Associate Professor Dustin Mulvaney, Department of Environmental Studies, called for further study of the Eagle Crest Hydroelectric Pumped Storage Project by the Bureau of Land Management, specifically addressing the project’s environmental impact on groundwater resources, desert tortoises, bighorn sheep and the preservation and management of Joshua Tree National Park.

Scott Myers-Lipton

Scott Myers-Lipton

The San Jose Mercury News profiled Professor Scott Myers-Lipton, Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, about his career and activism in December. In the wake of the November elections and President-elect Trump’s stated intentions to create a national registry for Muslims, repeal the Affordable Care Act and build a border wall, Myers-Lipton co-organized and spoke at a San Jose unity rally held at City Hall on November 20. Myers-Lipton’s new book, CHANGE! A Student Guide to Social Action, will be published by Routledge in 2018.

iSchool Lecturer Penny Peck was reelected to the governing board of the San Lorenzo Unified School District and currently serves as its president. An alumna of SJSU, she holds a master’s degree in library science and worked as children’s librarian in the San Leandro Public Library system from 1986 to 2010. Her publications include Crash Course in Storytime Fundamentals (2015, second edition) and Crash Course in Children’s Services (2014, second edition), both published by Libraries Unlimited.

Department of English Professor Susan Shillinglaw signed copies of her book Carol and John Steinbeck: Portrait of a Marriage (University of Nevada Press, 2013) at the California Welcome Center in Salinas in December and was profiled by the Salinas Californian. Asked to name her favorite Steinbeck story, she replied: “It’s like asking who is your favorite child.” As director of the National Steinbeck Center, she also oversaw the center’s Salinas Valley Comic Con, held at Hartnell College in December.

Faculty Notes for November 2016: Publications, Quotes and More

The Kite Runner Poster

The Kite Runner Poster

Department of Journalism Lecturer Lisa Fernandez was recognized and applauded by NBC Bay Area news for the “small act of kindness” that helped student Brandon Beebe get back into the classroom after a series of financial setbacks left him homeless. Fernandez reached out to her Facebook community who “within minutes jumped in and asked what they could do to help,” Fernandez reported—help that ranged from direct financial assistance to connections to other sources of financial aid and housing assistance. For more of the story, including information about Beebe’s GoFundMe page.

Mother Nature Network interviewed Department of Physics and Astronomy Lecturer Friedemann Freund about the “earthquake lights” that appeared over New Zealand during the peak of the recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Freund, who co-authored a paper on the topic, theorizes that earthquake lights result when certain types of rock, under stress, produce electrical charges. Read more online.

Published this month through Cornell University’s East Asia Series: Department of History Assistant Professor Xiaojia Hou’s Negotiating Socialism in Rural China: Mao, Peasants and Local Cadres in Shanxi 1949-1953, the first monograph in English about the beginnings of China’s agricultural collectivization. Hou specializes in research about China’s socialist transformation in the 1950s and joined SJSU’s history faculty in the fall of 2015.

Dean Walter Jacobs, College of Social Sciences, was elected to the executive board of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, a national association based at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. The council provides professional development programming to its member deans and works to sustain the arts and sciences as a leading influence in American higher education.

With help from her public relations class, Department of Journalism Lecturer Halima Kazem is spearheading a fundraiser for Syrian refugees living in a refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece, selling the brightly colored bags those refugees fashioned from life vests worn while fleeing their country by boat. The bags sell between $14 and $40 and Kazem hopes to sell all 130 bags by Christmas, raising approximately $3,000 for the refugees. For more information, contact Kazem at halima.kazem@sjsu.edu.

Department of Biomedical, Chemical and Materials Engineering Professor Claire Komives’s antivenom research made the news again in a Pensacola News Journal report extolling the role of the possum in developing snakebite antivenom. (Possums are immune to the poison inflicted by snakebites.) Komives has previously presented her research findings at the American Chemical Society’s national conference.

Both Popular Science and inverse.com noted iSchool Lecturer Susan Maret’s Freedom of Information Act request regarding the role of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in “the development and application of Hybrid Insect Microelectromechanical Systems.” The 88-page document Maret received in response details the feasibility of using flying insects for purposes of espionage. Read more online and at Maret’s blog.

Department of Communication Studies Associate Professor Matthew Spangler’s adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling novel The Kite Runner will open at Wyndham’s Theatre in London’s West End on December 21 and run through March 11, 2017. Spangler’s adaptation was staged at San José Repertory Theatre in 2009 for its U.S. premiere and at the Nottingham Playhouse in 2013 for its European premiere.

Professor Emeritus Karl Eric Toepfer, Department of Television, Radio, Film and Theatre, is a contributing writer to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, an online research resource. Toepfer’s articles focus on two important figures in modern dance in Germany, Dore Hoyer and Harald Kreutzberg.

The San Jose Mercury News interviewed Dean Lisa Vollendorf, College of Humanities and the Arts, about the inspiration behind the Hammer Theatre Center and the city/university collaboration that resulted in an approximately $1 million refurbishment of the San José Repertory Theatre, turning that facility into a first-class performing arts venue for SJSU students and the larger South Bay community.

NPR affiliate KTEP in El Paso, Texas, interviewed Department of Physics and Astronomy Professor Ken Wharton for a Science Studio: Quantum Theory segment that aired on November 20. Listen online.

Professor Fritz Yambrach, Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging, is concept designer and team organizer of the Fritz Water Vest, a flexible device designed to help populations in disaster or impoverished areas more easily transport water. The vest is currently being beta tested in Ethiopia, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Burundi.

Faculty Notes for September 2016: Publications, Quotes and More

Craig Clements

Craig Clements

Wildfire expert Associate Professor Craig Clements, Department of Meteorology, was interviewed by CBS-SF regarding Monterey County’s Soberanes Fire and its effects on the air quality of the Bay Area. “The winds in the Bay Area are very complex,” Clements explained. “The wind may be moving in one direction…but the plume of smoke can get injected into the upper atmosphere and transported from the south to the north.” As of September 13, the fire burning in the Ventana Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest, started by an illegal, unattended campfire on the Soberanes Canyon trail, has consumed more than 100,000 acres.

Professor Jan English-Lueck, Department of Anthropology, was interviewed in June by the Mercury News about “Silicon Valley speak” and “learning to talk tech.” English-Lueck is also a research affiliate at Palo Alto’s Institute for the Future.

Department of Art and Art History Professors Craig Hobbs and Robin Lasser collaborated on a large-scale video, Migratory Cultures: Mapping the Distance from Me to You, projected outside the San Jose Museum of Art after sunset on July 21. Featuring stories from San Jose and Bay Area immigrants, the video has also been shown outside the Pajaro Valley Arts Gallery in Watsonville and the Sunset Magazine building in Jack London Square, Oakland. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Professor Joseph Pesek, Department of Chemistry, was named a CASSS Distinguished Fellow in July, honoring his service to the biopharmaceutical community and his retirement from the CASSS board of directors. “Being a board member for eight years gave me the opportunity to meet scientists from all over the world and provide input into the direction…of CASSS,” he said. A not-for-profit professional scientific society, CASSS is comprised of more than 4,000 industry-based, academic and regulatory professionals.

Associate Professor Aaron Romanowsky, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, recently had an article published in the Astrophysical Journal in July, “High Stellar Velocity Dispersion and ~ 100 Globular Clusters for the Ultra Diffuse Galaxy Dragonfly 44. Working with a team of international astronomers, Romanowsky and his colleaues found a massive galaxy that exists entirely of dark matter. Read the abstract online. Romanowsky has another article pending in Nature.

Assistant Professor Emily Slusser and Professor Maureen Smith, Department of Child and Adolescent Development, were interviewed by the Mercury News on the subject of elementary school-age kids, their activities and development. “Overscheduled kids lose the value of free play, whether it’s playing with Barbies or climbing a tree. Unstructured free time—daydreaming—is how we find our identity,” Smith said.

iSchool Assistant Professor Michael Stephens published The Heart of Librarianship: Attentive, Positive, and Purposeful Change (ALA Editions) in June, a collection of essays first written for his “Office Hours” column in Library Journal. Visit his website and blog online.

Carolyn Guidry Chair in Engineering Education and Innovative Learning Belle Wei co-authored an op-ed for the Mercury News calling for a “systematic change to provide technology education to more women.”

Faculty Notes for April 2016: Publications, Quotes and More

Richard Kos, back left, poses for a photo with students who worked on the Greater Washington report.

Richard Kos, back left, poses for a photo with students who worked on the Greater Washington report.

Professor Emeritus Donald Anthrop, Department of Environmental Studies, published an op-ed in the East Bay Times on California’s need for additional water storage and the proposed enlargement of Los Vaqueros Reservoir.

Department of English and Comparative Literature Lecturer Sally Ashton and Professor Emeritus Nils Peterson, both former Santa Clara County Poet Laureates, were among the poets featured in the Legacy of Poetry Day, held on campus May 5. In celebration of the tenth year of this annual event, Director of Creative Writing Alan Soldofsky spoke with SFGate, crediting College of Business Professor Annette Nellen with the idea to “celebrate and remind people how far back poetry on our campus goes,” he said. (In 1899, alumnus Edwin Markham published his world-famous poem: “The Man with the Hoe.”) Current U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera gave the keynote reading at this year’s event.

Coinciding with rallies in Sacramento and Stockton this month in support of Bernie Sanders, KCRA Sacramento interviewed Professor Emeritus Larry Gerston, Department of Political Science, about Sanders’ effect on the presidential election. “Sanders wants to make sure that his values and the values of his followers are heard all the way up to and through the convention,” Gerston said. “The more Sanders campaigns prior to (Clinton) winning the nomination, the more he inserts himself into the discussion and perhaps the future of the Democratic Party.”

Richard Kos, a lecturer and practioner-in-residence in the College of Social Sciences’ Urban and Regional Planning department, and CommUniverCity have been recognized with the American Planning Association’s California Northern Chapter Academic Award. They will receive the award in June for the “Greater Washington: Voices of the Community Report,” a planning document that was produced in both English and Spanish for the downtown San Jose neighborhood. Kos also received the CommUniverCitan award at CommUniverCity’s 11th anniversary celebration in April for his work on the report, the East Santa Clara Street Urban Village plan and his dedication to teaching his students.

Virginia Lehmkuhl-Dakhwe, director of the Jay Pinson STEM Education Program, was quoted in an opinion piece published at InsideSources, citing the need to train more students in cybersecurity education. “The number of jobs in information security is going to grow tenfold in the next 10 years,” said Lehmkuhl-Dakhwe. “We have to do much more if we want to meet that demand at the university level as well as K-12.”

College of Education Associate Professor Roxana Marachi was interviewed about the success rates and outcomes associated with online and blended learning educational programs by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on innovation in education. Read more at: http://hechingerreport.org/hit-pause-button-online-blended-learning.

School of Music and Dance Keyboard Studies Coordinator Gwendolyn Mok, a member of the chamber music group The Eos Ensemble, performed with the group at the Bankhead Theatre in Livermore, the concluding concert in the 2015-2016 Dell Velle Fine Arts chamber music series. Mok performed selections from French composer Maurice Ravel’s “Miroirs,” a suite for solo piano. Earlier in her career, Mok studied with Vlado Perlemuter, a pianist who studied with Ravel himself.

This summer marks the beginning of a new role at our school for Dr. Virginia Tucker who has been a lecturer since 2005 and completed her doctorate through the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ School of Information San Jose Gateway PhD program in 2013. Tucker accepted a new position as assistant professor with a specialization in information systems and knowledge structures. “I am thrilled to join the iSchool faculty in this new role and contribute to both research and instruction in information retrieval systems design,” she said.  Read more in the iSchool April newsletter.

Faculty Notes for April 2016: Publications, Quotes and More

Emeritus Professor of Political Science Larry Gerston was interviewed in the Los Angeles Times about the Republican primary.

Emeritus Professor of Political Science Larry Gerston was interviewed in the Los Angeles Times about the Republican primary.

Former Lucas College and Graduate School of Business Associate Dean Natalya Delcoure received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Federation of Business Disciplines at the 2016 conference of the Southwestern Finance Association in Oklahoma City. She has been dean of the College of Business Administration at Texas A&M University – Kingsville since August 2013.

Seattle-based photographer Peter de Lory, who previously taught in SJSU’s Department of Art and Art History as well as at the University of New Mexico and The Art Institute of Chicago, is currently photographer-in-residence for Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority. An exhibition of his work, “Walk in the Woods,” at Basecamp Books and Bites in Roslyn, Wash., runs through June 6.

Department of Sociology Professor Hien Do, director of the College of Social Sciences’ Student Success Center, was interviewed by ABC News San Francisco about Assembly Bill 1726, proposed legislation that would require higher education institutions and public health institutions to collect more information on Asian American and Pacific Islander populations, including specific ethnicity.

Professor Emeritus Larry Gerston, Department of Political Science, contributed a Los Angeles Times op-ed on California’s 2016 Republican primary, published April 7. “California has a long history of its political parties fracturing over philosophical extremism, competing racial and ethnic differences and stark geographic contrasts,” he wrote. “Given so many sources of division, any sudden unity in the California delegation would be a remarkable and unprecedented change in political behavior. But then, again, so far 2016 has been a remarkable year.”

Frederika Harmsen, previous visiting scientist at Moss Landing Marine Laboratory and current special assistant to the president on sustainability initiatives at CSU Sacramento, is a finalist for the position of provost/vice president of Academic and Student Life at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. Her recent research focuses on climate change and sustainability, marine habitat mapping and STEM education.

Assistant Professor Funie Hsu, American Studies Program, took part in a panel discussion celebrating Asian Pacific American History Month at Ohlone College. The first such panel hosted by the college, Hsu and other participants shared the significance of the Asian American community in their own lives and discussed the media’s representation of Asian Americans, among other topics.

Department of Pscyhology Professor Emerita Ellyn Kaschak, author of Endangered Lives: A New Psychology of Women’s Experience (Basic Books), established a grant for undergraduate students at New York’s Binghamton University to support summer research in the field of social justice for women and girls. As reported in the university’s student newspaper, Kaschak hopes the grant will present a “different experience” than the classroom experience and persuade recipients of  “the need for social change.” Known as a founder of feminist psychology, Kaschak credits the feminist movement of the 1970s with developing her “consciousness of the power differences among people and nations” and prompting her decision “to do something about it.”

Professor Melody Moh, Department of Computer Science, spearheaded a collaboration with Aeris, a market leader in the Internet of Things (IoT), to introduce SJSU students to IoT. Eight student teams presented their final projects to a panel of senior industry leaders. “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to work with Aeris,” Moh said. In addition to hands-on training, each student received a certificate of participation.

Photographer Mimi Plumb, who taught for 28 years in the Department of Art and Art History, recently rediscovered a trove of her photographs documenting Cesar Chavez’s campaign to organize farm labor in the summer and fall of 1975. Those images are now part of a new National Steinbeck Center multimedia website, “Democracy in the Fields” and some were featured in an article in the Salinas Californian. Plumb received a California Humanities Grant in 2015, and her photographs have been collected by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Houston Museum of Fine Art, the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art and the Yale University Art Gallery.

Department of Mathematics Professor Tatiana Shubin, co-director of the Navajo Nation Math Circles Project, spoke about the project at San Francisco’s Exploratorium earlier this month and screened, with filmmaker George Csicery, the film Navajo Math Circles, a documentary that reveals Navajo Nation challenges in education and demonstrates the math circles approach. The goal of the NNMCP is to attract more Native Americans into STEM fields, particularly mathematics.

Pride Center and Gender Equity Center Director Bonnie Sugiyama organized the Bay Area’s first ever LGBT Japanese American conference, held on campus earlier this month. The conference addressed Japanese American and Hawaiian LGBT identities, family, Japanese American queer art, Buddhist and Christian faiths and other topics. More than 150 people attended. “It’s been great to bring this opportunity to talk about issues of multiple identities…they really do have an impact on how we grow up and how we come out and how we are treated by society,” Sugiyama said.