‘One Carbon Footprint At A Time’ Airs on KQED

San Jose State University Emeritus Professor Bob Gliner’s latest documentary will premiere on KQED on Jan. 2 at 11:30 p.m. and repeat on Jan. 3, at 5:30 a.m.

The former Sociology professor is a prolific filmmaker who has traveled the world to produced documentaries focused on social issues and social change. He combines his interest in education and climate change in his latest half-hour documentary, “One Carbon Footprint At a Time.” The film highlights how education can inspire everyday actions that play a critical and potentially transformative role in affecting climate change. The film explores a unique interdisciplinary Global Climate course at SJSU as well as classes at two San Jose area middle schools to see how the curriculum influences students to make changes in their daily lives.

The documentary features SJSU students, alumni and two faculty members, Eugene Cordero, from Meteorology and Climate Science, and Anne Marie Todd, from Communications Studies.

Gliner has received more than 16 awards for his films and was named as San Jose State’s 2002 President’s Scholar. For more information on Gliner’s latest documentary as well as other work, visit his website. DocMakerOnline.com. For updates on the SJSU alumni featured in the film, visit the program’s website.

SJSU Plans Spring Pilot of 21st Century Skills Badge Program

San Jose State University is pilot testing a new 21st Century Skills Badge program in collaboration with Education Design Lab and two of SJSU’s top employers: Cisco and Enterprise Holdings.  The effort aims to identify which skills are most needed for entry-level positions with these employers and validate that students who have earned badges for the desired skills successfully transition to work with the employers.

SJSU is one of seven institutions selected to work with Education Design Lab, a nonprofit that specializes in designing and implementing new learning models, to evaluate the efficacy of the digital skills badge program that has been in development for nearly four years.

Don Fraser, an education designer and director of 21st Century Skills Badging, visited San Jose State University Dec. 10 to host a focus group with representatives from employer partners, SJSU’s Career Center, faculty and administrators, as well as a second workshop with students.

“We established this program to address the school-to-work pipeline,” Fraser said, of the #TeeUpTheSkills campaign.  The idea is that employers are looking for a skill set that resembles a T – with critical skills across the top of the t that are needed in all fields, and technical skills that are unique to each industry or position that form the base of the T.

Education Design Lab has developed curriculum around eight skills that they identify as key needs for employers from all disciplines including initiative, collaboration, critical thinking, resilience, oral communication, empathy, intercultural fluency and creative problem-solving.

During the first focus group with employers, Fraser walked them through an exercise that helped them identify the top three or four skills needed for their positions.

During the focus group with seniors who will graduate in 2019, Fraser helped students identify what they thought employees would most want to see, what activities they are involved in that might help them develop some of the skills listed, and what skills they most would want to develop.

Christian Orozco, Justice Studies, ’19, said he could see critical thinking developing as he watches sports.

“I am trying to identify patterns in mixed martial arts, so I can see what could the other person do to adapt to the moves,” he said, of one of the subskills under critical thinking.

Annol Pannu, Business, HR concentration, ’19, saw one of the skills in the Ted Talks she watches.

“I am gathering and assessing relevant information,” she said.

Anita Manuel, the associate director of career education in SJSU’s Career Center, said the university will pilot two of the eight badges in the spring.  The badge areas will be selected based on areas that line up for the employee partners and students.

“We want this to be accessible to all students, but as we pilot it we may reach out to capstone courses or senior seminars,” Manuel said, noting that the badges will likely be available as modules in Canvas, SJSU’s learning management system. “The goal is to have at least 50 students participate in the spring where students can get feedback from the Career Center, peers, faculty and employer partners.”

 

“New, AI-driven recruiting methods enable employers to assess fit for roles based on disaggregated bundles of skills rather than college majors alone,” said Catherine Voss Plaxton, SJSU Career Center director. “In other words, the sociology student may be a perfect fit for a user-experience position if they can provide evidence they have right mix of skills.  The process of earning a 21st Century Skills Badge can be a strong way to shift student understanding of those skills from the abstract to the specific behaviors valued in workplaces.”

Meg Virick, interim associate dean of Undergraduate Programs in the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, attended the focus group with other colleagues.

“Preparing students for the workforce has always been a high priority for us, and the focus group held Dec. 10 exemplified that effort – bringing together representatives from industry, academia and the non-profit world around the table,” she said.

Spartan Completion Grant Helps Grads Get to Finish Line

Lean Columna, ’18 Civil Engineering, is one of 122 fall graduates who are part of a new pilot program for Spartan Completion Grants.

“I have always been intrigued by the various structures that I’ve come across in my life,” he said, noting his interest in the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. “When I visited that place, I was fascinated on how the structure was built and the features constructed through engineering.”

As he worked toward his degree, Columna found support in his department, with peers studying for exams and doing homework together, and sharing ideas.

“It means a lot for me and my family,” he said, of completing his degree this fall. “My father is the only one in the family that has a degree. As the first born, it sets a great example for my siblings who are also on their way to achieving goals.”

His advice to other students: “Reach out to one another in your department. Find people you can work well together with and help one another out. You’re not alone in all of this.”

The Spartan Completion Grant program provides funds to students who are on track to graduate within one year, in good academic standing and have a financial need. Students are not required to apply for the grants, but those who meet the eligibility criteria are selected by a campus committee. For more information on the grant program, visit the site.

Academic Spotlight November 2018: Provost Update – A Moment of Thanks in a Busy Year

As the season changes, some significant changes here at SJSU have begun to take effect as well, although they will always be mixed with the important traditions that honor our past. Most notably, this month we will be reviewing a record number of applications for the Staff Professional Development Grant; we will be announcing the first ever selected faculty for our new Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Reassigned Time program; AND we will find time to celebrate a holiday or two.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I especially want to share with all of you my gratitude for the support I have received in these few months that I have served as Interim Provost and Senior VP. Thank you first and foremost to the team in the Office of the Provost, who make every day joyful; thank you to the President and her Cabinet; the AALT Leadership Team and a very heartfelt thank you to so many of the faculty and staff with whom I have had the pleasure to interact and to work beside. Taken together, this is a wonderful community that takes its humanity and its work seriously, with kindness and tact.

A few important informational items, starting with our Graduation Initiative 2025 goals. Our four-year graduation rates hit 19 percent this year, up 10 percentage points in the past five years. We continue to make substantial gains on six-year graduation rates, transfer student graduation rates and we are two percentage points away from eliminating our Pell-eligible equity gap. We also continue to move forward with eliminating the underrepresented minority equity gap, which dropped to 10.5 percent this year.

Speaking of graduation, we will be celebrating our fall graduates in just a few weeks with two days of commencement ceremonies on December 19 and 20. These ceremonies allow us to recognize the achievements of our fall graduates with the same fanfare as those who graduate in the spring ceremonies. Students LOVE to see their faculty, introduce them to friends and family, and just basically celebrate with their faculty and staff. I do hope you can be available for these occasions. As a reminder, faculty who would like to rent regalia for the ceremonies can do so for free through the Spartan Bookstore website; the deadline to rent regalia is Nov. 21.

Last month, I had the opportunity to say a special thank you to the hardworking staff members in the Academic Affairs Division at our annual Staff Appreciation Breakfast. It was heartwarming to hear each dean and AVP give thanks to the employees in their college or unit, but especially to see some of the notes of appreciation from colleague to colleague. As our breakfast was held on Halloween, I was very impressed with everyone’s ingenuity and costume design!

On the evening of Nov. 2, I had the chance to interact with honored faculty and staff at the Annual Author and Artist Awards. The dozens of pieces completed this year by SJSU authors and artists have a significant impact on the world: this work adds to knowledge in your disciplines; spurs conversations about societally important topics such as politics, technology and diversity; and provides engaging curricular opportunities for students. As we focus this year on creating more balance for our faculty members to be teacher-scholars, it is especially imperative that we also take the time to celebrate accomplishments like these at events like these.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving break and I look forward to our continuing work together.

Sincerely,

Joan C. Ficke
Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

October 2018 Newsletter: Student Researchers Look at Sport and Social Change

Students Aurelyn Ancheta, Joanna Peet and Anthony Abuyen will present their analysis of content on ESPN and ESPNW at a Student Research Fair October 15. Photo: Melissa Anderson

Students Aurelyn Ancheta, Joanna Peet and Anthony Abuyen will present their analysis of content on ESPN and ESPNW at a Student Research Fair October 15. Photo: Melissa Anderson

As San Jose State University’s Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Spartans Tommie Smith and John Carlos taking a stand for human rights at the 1968 Olympics, a new crop of students will be sharing their own research and ideas around how sports and athletes can change the world. The inaugural Institute for the Study of Sports, Society and Social Change Student Research Fair will feature the research and scholarly work of more than 50 students from several departments across campus, according to Interim Director of the Institute and Professor of Sport Sociology and Sport Psychology Ted Butryn.

The Student Research Fair will be Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. to noon, in the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom. It will kick off with a keynote address by Marques Dexter, a third-year PhD student from the University of Georgia. Dexter is studying sports management and policy with a research focused on the racial, athletic and academic identities of African-American male athletes.

“There are three central pillars for the Institute—research, programming and education,” Butryn said. “This ties into all three. Monday morning on the 15th (of October) will be the kick off of an incredible week of events.”

The students involved in the research fair fall into three categories: some will be presenting proposals for future research studies, others will be presenting posters related to the subject of this year’s Campus Reading Program book The John Carlos Story, and several teams of students have completed research and analyzed data.

Many of the student research teams worked on their projects over the summer, not for course credit, but for the experience of participating in important scholarly work. Aurelyn Ancheta, Joanna Peet and Anthony Abuyen, all kinesiology undergraduates who plan to graduate in 2019, were encouraged by Professor Bethany Shifflett to work on a research project. They all were enrolled in Shifflett’s Measurement and Evaluation course, where they formed a study group.

“I thought, ‘Yes, it’s finally my first chance to do research,’” said Ancheta, who also shared that the experience has opened her to the possibility of pursuing a career in research.

The students set about analyzing the content on ESPN and ESPNW, a spin-off site that targets female readers, to see how much coverage each provided of female athletes. They will represent their findings from analyzing the content on both sites for three weeks over the summer at the Student Research Fair.

Abuyen found working as part of a team to be the most rewarding part of the experience.

“We all have school, work and exams, but if I wasn’t there I felt like I was letting them down,” he said.

Ancheta estimated the team spent well over 160 hours setting up their hypothesis, creating a method for collecting data, reviewing articles and analyzing their findings.

“I learned hard work and dedication is important to answer the questions that we need to answer,” said Peet, who wants to become an adaptive physical education teacher after she graduates. “Even with more awareness of female sports since Title IX started, women athletes are still underrepresented. In Sports Illustrated only two percent of the coverage consists of women. We are fighting for more female representation.”

Butryn said his department has taken the first step toward creating a new interdisciplinary minor in sports and social change that will broaden the opportunity for undergraduate students to engage in research in the coming years. The proposed minor is being reviewed at the College of Health and Human Sciences Curriculum Committee. After any revisions, if it the minor is approved at the college level, it will go to the University level for review.

“We look forward to making any necessary modifications so that, if all goes well, a year from now the research fair is one of the central experiences of all students in the minor,” Butryn said.

For a full list of events and activities, including tickets to the Oct. 17 Words to Action: Landmarks and Legacy of Athlete Activism Town Hall, visit the Institute website.