Academic Affairs Celebrates Staff Contributions

On Nov. 9, the Academic Affairs Leadership Team showed their gratitude for the nearly 500 dedicated staff members in the division who support students, faculty and administrators at the annual Academic Affairs Division Staff Appreciation Breakfast.

“I want to personally express my gratitude for your year-round commitment to supporting our division,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Andy Feinstein, noting that some staff members provide positive touchpoints for students while others have important behind-the-scenes roles. “All of you have an important hand in the success of our students and the university on a daily basis. You are integral to the quality of life on our campus and I thank each and every one of you.”

At the breakfast, each of the college deans and unit heads took a turn sharing a personal thank you to their employees. The festivities included drawings for gift baskets – one per college or unit – as well as other prizes.

This year, staff members were asked to share their own “shouts outs” to coworkers for doing exemplary work. The dozens of comments exemplified the characteristics and actions that make Spartan staff members so great: they greet students with grace and enthusiasm; they go the extra mile; they are patient and funny; they are team players.

Entertainment this year again included a photo booth where coworkers took silly snapshots with props (photos can be viewed online) and Grupo Folklorico Luna y Sol de San Jose State, a group of SJSU students who perform traditional Mexican dances. See more photos from the event online.

October 2017 Newsletter: Provost Update – Greatness Happens When Disciplines Intersect

While Halloween is still a day away, I had the pleasure of celebrating early this month at McKinley Elementary School during the 10th Annual Safe and Green Halloween Festival. The yearly event hosted by SJSU’s CommUniverCity and the city of San Jose brings together neighborhood children and families for an afternoon of fun while also teaching them about sustainability and healthy living. SJSU students and faculty from the health science, business and environmental studies programs worked with dozens of officials to make the event a success.

As economist Robert J. Shiller once said, “In the longer run and for wide-reaching issues, more creative solutions tend to come from imaginative interdisciplinary collaboration.” We take this to heart at our university. The October event is just one example of the multi-disciplinary learning opportunities we provide for our students. Through these experiences, they are prepared for a world that increasingly requires collaboration on interdisciplinary teams. Whether our students pursue careers in the arts, sciences, technology, business, healthcare, the public sector or nonprofits, they will be prepared for the kind of thoughtful interactions that can lead to groundbreaking developments.

We have a long history of taking an interdisciplinary approach to education, as with our Humanities Honors Program founded in 1954. The program appeals to students from a variety of majors who understand that a strong foundation in communication and critical thinking will benefit them – in engineering, business, psychology or any one of a multitude of majors. In another unique course, students enrolled in a Global Climate Change benefit from natural science, environmental studies and communications perspectives in a team-taught course that highlights how climate scientists and advocates need to find an effective way to communicate to the public.

Our university is a rich environment for people with different skill sets and interests to connect, and sometimes this intersection of passions happen within one individual. This is surely the case for Chemistry Professor Bradley Stone who recently won an award for a weekly jazz music program and for Professor Gordon Douglas whose teaching and research explores the connection between urban political-economy, community studies and the cultures of planning and design.

As we continue to focus on student success, I am excited to explore more ways we can foster interdisciplinary learning, teaching and research on our campus.

Happy Halloween!

Provost Office Celebrates Homecoming

As part of the week-long Homecoming festivities, San Jose State University hosted an inaugural golf cart parade on Wednesday, Oct. 4 as an opportunity for Spartans to show their pride. The Office of the Provost Office staff members decorated a cart and donned superhero capes in Spartan gold and blue. The parade participants included student organizations, athletes, cheerleaders and campus departments. The Spartan football team will compete against Fresno State on Oct. 7, at 4:30 p.m. in CEFCU Stadium.

 

More Homecoming Week activities:

Thursday, October 5th

Photo Bus with Homecoming Court Candidates
12:00pm-3:00pm
7th Street Plaza

6th Annual Student Services Center (SSC) Open House

2:00pm-4:00pm
SSC on 9th & San Fernando Street
The Student Services Center (SSC) is celebrating our Spartans by hosting our sixth annual Open House. Come enjoy refreshments, meet the staff and learn more about how the SSC serves over 120,000 students and prospective students each year. Play games to discover the amazing departments that are housed in the SSC and meet Sammy! Prizes, food and fun!
Fire On The Fountain
4:00pm-9:00pm
Tower Lawn
Associated Students continues the homecoming tradition at SJSU with the annual Fire on the Fountain Homecoming celebration. The event begins at 4pm with free food, student organization activities, and performances. The pep rally ignites later at 8pm with fire dancers, athletics, and homecoming royalty.
SAMMY-Look-A-Like Contest!
Ongoing
SJSU (Various Locations)
Campus-Wide Door Decorating
Ongoing
SJSU (Various Locations)

Friday, October 6th

Spartan Men’s Soccer vs UNLV
1:00pm
South Campus Soccer Field

Saturday, October 7th

Spartan Women’s Volleyball vs. New Mexico
12:00pm
Spartan Gym
Homecoming Tailgate
2:00pm-4:30pm
South Campus – Soccer Practice Field
Pre-game festivities – food, giveaways, music and much more! Buses available beginning at 1:30pm to shuttle students from Campus Village Quad area to South Campus
Spartan Football vs. Fresno State
4:30pm
CEFCU Stadium

AVP for Student and Faculty Success Appointed

Dr. Stacy Gleixner has been appointed as the associate vice president for Student and Faculty Success following a thorough search process, effective immediately.

Gleixner started as the interim AVP for Student and Academic Success Services in February 2016 and oversaw the reorganization of units to the Office of Faculty and Student Success in fall 2017. She has been an integral leader in implementing SJSU’s Four Pillars of Student Success plan. Her appointment will allow us to maintain momentum around our initiatives and make movement toward our 2025 graduation rate targets.

She served as a lecturer at SJSU in the Davidson College of Engineering. She joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical, Chemical and Materials Engineering in 1999, and became a full professor in 2011. She served as associate chair of the department from 2008 to 2014; and as chief of staff to the president from 2014 to 2016.

During her tenure on campus, she has been committed to improving student success as well as increasing access to STEM programs for women and underrepresented minority students. As interim AVP, she has worked closely on increasing student average unit load; communicating with faculty about high-impact practices that can increase engagement; and on refining metrics to measure the success of SJSU’s Four Pillars initiatives.

Gleixner, who is herself a first-generation college student, holds a bachelor’s in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and a master’s and a doctorate in materials science and engineering, from Stanford University.

Winifred Schultz-Krohn chaired the search and worked with committee members to select a top candidate.

University Scholars Series Continues March 22

SJSU’s University Scholars Series continues March 22, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Room 225/229 with a lecture by Associate Professor Shannon Rose Riley, who will discuss her book “Performing Race and Erasure: Cuba, Haiti, and US Culture, 1898-1940.”

When Riley was a graduate student at the University of California, Davis – with a background in fine arts, performance art and video, among other artistic disciplines – a conversation with a respected colleague more than a decade ago encouraged her to follow her passion for the nations of Cuba and Haiti and their impact on American arts, culture and society.

Riley said the spark that led to her book grew out of a conversation she had with the late Marc Blanchard, a highly regarded UC Davis comparative literature professor, who was impressed with her passion on the subject.

“I was talking about my belief that those countries, which are on opposite sides of the Windward Passage and provide a corridor for travel between the U.S. East Coast and the Panama Canal, have had a major impact on culture in the United States,” Riley said.

The proximity has been significant to the nation’s artistic culture as well as perceptions of race and racial relations in the U.S. Riley’s interest in the Caribbean grew out of a trip she made to Haiti through the Art Institute of Chicago as a young art student.

Sharon Rose Riley poses for a photograph at San Jose State University, on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. Riley will be participating in the Spring University Scholars Series. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Sharon Rose Riley poses for a photograph at San Jose State University, on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. Riley will be participating in the Spring University Scholars Series. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)