April 2018 Newsletter: Honors Convocation Celebrates Top Students

San Jose State University celebrated the 56th Annual Honors Convocation April 20, with a record number of students earning the distinction of Dean’s Scholars and President’s Scholars. This year, 4,105 Dean’s Scholars maintained a GPA of 3.65 or higher in two contiguous semesters of the last three while 505 President’s Scholars maintained a 4.0 during the same period. Read personal stories of some of the 2018 scholars online.

Faculty May Nominate Students For Bertha Kalm Scholarship, Due May 4

The Office of Graduate Studies, Graduate and Undergraduate Programs, is pleased to offer the Bertha Kalm Scholarship for graduate students attending SJSU. From a donation made several years ago, this endowment has grown enough to provide six $5,000 awards to “support graduate students in any field of instruction, who need financial assistance to continue their education, and who demonstrate a desire to make a difference for humanity” (Bertha Kalm
Memorandum of Understanding).

Awards are restricted to first-year students in a master’s degree program at SJSU. Only faculty members who mentor graduate students can put forward for consideration the name and supporting documents of an applicant. Students may not self-apply. Applicants will be evaluated on the quality of scholarship that established eligibility for admission to a graduate program, application information including the student’s personal statement regarding the goals to be achieved by obtaining a master’s degree, the mentor’s letter of support, and an additional letter of recommendation from a professional source (another professor, business contact, volunteer organization). Additional consideration will be given to applicants with financial need.

This is a significant scholarship award. We are looking for the best and most rewarding of your graduate students. Please push this message out to all faculty in your programs. Only one award per program will be granted. Faculty should contact those students they believe are deserving of this generous scholarship. Students must complete the application available online and provide all of the supporting documentation to their mentor. Supporting documents include graduate and undergraduate transcripts, a letter of support from the student’s mentor, a second letter of recommendation, and a Statement of Purpose from the student.

The mentor will thereafter deliver the completed application package to Graduate Studies, ADM 146. Applications will not be accepted from students. The application is due by May 4, 2018 by 5:00 p.m. Please direct any questions you may have to Cheryl Cowan at 408.924.2485 or cheryl.cowan@sjsu.edu.

Support for Undocumented Students

Editor’s Note: The following message was emailed to all students April 5, 2018.

Dear SJSU Community,

We hope you had a restful spring break and are looking forward to these last few weeks of the semester. We want to make sure all of our students complete the term successfully, and we know that some of our undocumented students continue to face uncertainty about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation as well as reported increases in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in the Bay Area. We are aware that many in our Spartan community have been and continue to be seriously impacted. SJSU remains committed to ensuring access to a quality education for all our students.

This spring semester we hired the first program coordinator for our UndocuSpartan Resource Center (USRC), Ana Navarrete Avina. The resource center is now open and located on the second floor of the Student Union, room 2450. We have held workshops about DACA renewals, and Associated Students has offered funding for renewal fees. We have partnered with local non-profit immigration rights organizations including Asian Law Alliance and SIREN to bring legal experts to campus for undocumented students, and the Counseling and Psychological Services department has facilitated a support group for undocumented students.

We have also communicated to our employees that any inquiries from ICE or any federal, state or local official requesting information about a student’s immigration status should be directed to the University Police Department at 408-924-2222.

To answer questions about DACA and related matters, and how the campus can support our undocumented students, we will be engaging in outreach to students. If you are interested in learning more information about these efforts, please contact the USRC at 408-924-2762 or undocuspartan@sjsu.edu.

Later in April, we will be providing an UndocuAlly training program that will provide information on how to be prepared for an ICE raid. While unlikely to occur on campus, we want to ensure students have the information needed to be prepared. If you are not able to attend but have questions, please reach out to USRC at 408-924-2762 or via email at undocuspartan@sjsu.edu.

SJSU stands with the leadership of the California State University (CSU) in its unwavering commitment to our undocumented students. The CSU Office of the Chancellor recently revised its CSU Resources for Undocumented Students website that is also a useful tool for students.

Each of our students deserves an educational environment that is welcoming and safe. We are committed to every student’s success on our campus. Look for more information soon about future workshops and outreach opportunities. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Andy Feinstein, Provost

Sharon Willey, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs

Kathy Wong(Lau), Chief Diversity Officer

 

Celebrate Student Research April 17

San Jose State University’s Office of Research and Research Foundation will host the 39th Annual Student Research Forum April 17, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Dr. Marthin Luther King Jr. Library, Room 225.

The event is an opportunity to congratulate the outstanding SJSU Student Research Competition finalists who will be representing the university the CSU-wide competition May 4 and 5, at CSU, Sacramento. The event will include an awards ceremony recognizing the students and their faculty mentors, followed by a reception and poster session.

The following SJSU Research Competition finalists will go on to represent San José State University at the 2018 CSU Student Research Competition May 4, 2018, and May 5, 2018, at California State University, Sacramento:

Israel Juarez Contreras – Chemical Engineering
Kelly Cricchio – Art History
Vijay Lalith Cuppala – Mechanical Engineering
Unnikrishnan Sreekumar, Revathy Devaraj, Qi Li – Computer Engineering and Software Engineering
Simon Jarrar – Applied Anthropology
Vandana Kannan – Computer Science
Khiem Pham – Computer Science
Jeffrey Tseng – Economics

Please RSVP no later than Monday, April 9, 2018, to foundation-osp-infoservices@sjsu.edu

Interns at New Student Success Centers Guide URM Students

Photo: David Schmitz Janely Cerda, left, and Paola Quintanilla, welcomed students back to campus at the Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center Welcome in January. They are both interns with the center.

Photo: David Schmitz
Janely Cerda, left, and Paola Quintanilla, welcomed students back to campus at the Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center Welcome in January. They are both interns with the center.

This spring semester marks the opening of the African American/Black Student Success Center and Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center, both located in the Diaz Compean Student Union. The goal of these new centers is to retain, empower, and graduate under-represented minority students, while providing support and guidance personally, professionally and academically. These spaces are dedicated to providing a welcoming environment, while enhancing student success through community building.

Alongside program directors, Lilly Pinedo Gangai (CLSSC) and Paula L. Powell (AABSSC) and faculty fellows, the student success interns are vital members contributing to the center’s mission and vision. They develop pre-professional skills by assisting students as peer mentors, liaisons and academic cheerleaders. Just a few of their responsibilities may include the planning and development of events, programs, marketing and research; however, they also serve as student ambassadors to increase awareness about resources around campus. We reached out to a dozen student interns to ask them why they got involved and why diversity is important on our campus. Below, we highlight responses from some of the students

 

 

David Mapapa

African American/Black Student Success Center

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Graduation Date: Spring 2019

Why did you apply to be a student intern in our new student success center?

I applied for the student intern position at the African American Black Student Success Center (AABSSC), because I wanted to be involved on campus. I am a Mechanical Engineer, therefore I wanted to help STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related activities. I had met Ms. Paula Powell (Director of the AABSSC) few days before the opening of the center and she expressed a great interest in improving student resources in those specific fields, then I knew I wanted to be on board.

What do you most hope to accomplish as an intern?

As an intern, I wish to be able to improve the opportunities that students will have from this center as far as STEM related topics. Therefore, holding events such as study nights, having programs that would allow freshmen or sophomores aspiring to be engineers or scientists to be matched with a senior that was successful doing so, informing students about any career fairs on campus also having as many students as possible integrate the NSBE (National Society of Black Engineering) would be a great start.

How does SJSU benefit from its diverse student and faculty population?

I truly believe that the more diverse the student and faculty body is, the better. Simply based on the fact that a more diverse team can easily benefit from different inputs, opinions, views that can be the motor of great improvement in problem solving.

What would you share with incoming students to help them on their college journey?

I would also like to encourage incoming students, whether they are freshmen or transfer to get involved on campus activities as much as they can. Based on my experience, being able to reach out to different students through orgs or even knowing what resources were available to me, was very crucial in my college experience success.

 

Ana Ferretiz

Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center

Major: Kinesiology

Graduation Date: Spring 18

Why did you apply to be a student intern in our new student success center?

I applied to this position to continue helping people navigate this institution. Many first generation students, including myself, have no idea how to navigate through this institution. With various trials and errors, and working closely with the Chicanx Latinx Student Success Task Force, I saw this role as an opportunity to continue helping my peers navigate through this experience without feeling intimidated or embarrassed to ask. Many of us carry a lot of pride and sometimes it gets in the way of asking for help, but this center will be a safe haven where people will be able to ask without feeling ignorant

What do you most hope to accomplish as an intern?

As intern I hope my fellow interns are able to create and foster this sense of community and familia in and out of the center, which then leads to more students coming into our space and our events, and connect them to various opportunities and organizations.

How does SJSU benefit from its diverse student and faculty population?

Diversity in SJSU, in our country, is here to stay. Our workplaces are colored with various people from different culturas and different upbringings. We must be able to learn to interact and be open to listen to our similarities and differences. We are fortunate to live in a community where there are so many people from various backgrounds, we learn from the time we attend that we can all work together for similar causes, that we are all human most importantly. Diversity promotes understanding, which in turn can enhance the positive human experience, and therefore work collectively for the rights of all.

What would you share with incoming students to help them on their college journey?

Do not be afraid to ask questions, seek for help, join an organization, participate in on campus activities, and remember, there are so many people here that want to see you succeed!

Is there anything else you would like to add about diversity and inclusion at SJSU or the new student success center?

Please take advantage of our services and the center itself! This center came together due to the work and effort of various students, staff, and faculty members. Our center open to all walks of life, please join us!

 

Chandlor Jenkins

African American/Black Student Success Center

Major: Television, Radio, Film and Theatre 

Graduation Date: Spring 2019

Why did you apply to be a student intern in our new student success center?

I applied to be an intern because I love being involved and giving

back to this campus and the community. I feel that this success center brings a lot of positive potential to our African American community and being apart of the inaugural group that will foster change within us, is something that I hope inspires not only me, but my peers as well.

What do you most hope to accomplish as an intern?

I hope that I’m able to impact the lives of everyone who enters the doors of the center. I hope that everyone is inspired to take their education and success as Spartans seriously. I also hope to unite all of our African American/Black orgs within the community.

How does SJSU benefit from its diverse student and faculty population?

Having such a diverse campus allows SJSU students the opportunity to learn and grow, not only as individuals within their own culture, but coexisting with other cultures as well. The combination of backgrounds and ideologies inside and outside of the classroom has given me insight and perspective. Although at times it’s challenging to be on the lower end of the population spectrum here, the AABSSC is a beautiful start to the creation of more inclusive spaces for all of our students.

What would you share with incoming students to help them on their college journey?

As an advocate for change and the youth within the community, I think the biggest advice I would give is to not count the days. As college students it’s easy to get caught up in the future— what’s due, the next project, the next break, as opposed to feeling every moment as it comes. The biggest lesson I’ve learned thus far is that the time will never stop, so there’s no need to rush. Even though things get hard, the good and bad will come at the same pace, but it’s about

staying focused on what’s right in front of you.

 

Flor Sabrio

Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center

Major: Management Information Systems, minor: Mexican American Studies

Graduation Date: Spring 2021

Why did you apply to be a student intern in our new student success center?

I applied to be an intern at the Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center (CLSSC) because I have always been passionate about empowering our Chicanx/Latinx population on campus. San Jose State is a very big school, which is great, but it can sometimes be alienating especially when many of our students are first-generation college students. This is why I believe it is critical for us to have spaces like CLSSC because it gives students a sense of belonging and I absolutely love being part of the progress that will hopefully close the graduation gap within my community.

What do you most hope to accomplish as an intern?

What I hope to accomplish most as an intern at the CLSSC is to ensure that our students graduate with a better sense of self and their culture.  Unfortunately, often times, we as Chicanx/Latinx students think that we have to choose between higher education and our culture. My hope is for the center to prove otherwise.

How does SJSU benefit from its diverse student and faculty population?

San Jose State benefits from its diverse student and faculty population in many ways. I’m a strong believer that college should be a place where people become educated, not just go for a degree and being on a campus that offers different experiences and different people is crucial to become a well rounded individual.

What would you like to share with incoming students to help the on their college journey?

As an intern, my message to all my peers is that college is not meant to be easy. Failure is part of the journey as much as success is. For every good grade, there are countless sleepless nights that go into it. However, in the Chicanx/Latinx culture, it is frowned upon to ask for help because we were raised to be self-sufficient. My message to all my peers is that there is no shame in needing help and that the CLSSC has been established to do just that.

 

Chidinma Kalu

African American/Black Student Success Center

Major: Psychology

Graduation Date: Spring 2018

Why did you apply to be a student intern in our new student success center?

I applied to work as a student success intern at the African American/Black Success Center, to work close to campus and to become a more active and contributing student at San Jose State University.

What do you most hope to accomplish as an intern?

As a student intern, I hope to help students find their paths to professionalism by helping the center to coordinate events that focus on developing professionalism. I will do this by helping with resume writing, mock interviews, informational interviews and school and career advice. I’d also like to contribute to student success by providing an effective environment and methods for productive studying.  As an incoming transfer student in Fall 2016, I had to seek out mentorship, guidance and opportunities outside of school that enabled me develop the skill sets for the real world and great professional experience at fortune 500 companies like Facebook. I was also able to pursue my interests and talents and also build a network of people I could turn to with an idea or for advice. Knowing what I know now, I feel that I am in a better place to inform the decisions of students help them to reach their academic and career goals.

How does SJSU benefit from its diverse student and faculty population?

I believe SJSU benefits from its diverse student and faculty population by allowing classrooms and campus experiences that are open to diverse points of views and cultures. I believe these are the things that help build empathy and teamwork, and this is also what the country needs to collectively grow. Students from different backgrounds, especially international students, have different ways of learning and succeeding, they also have different values developed through family upbringing and ambition that have motivated them to be a student at SJSU.

What would you share with incoming students to help them on their college journey?

To incoming students, I would advise them to be explorative inside and outside of the school campus through internships, attending of networking events, STEM and Arts competitions and explore more of their interests towards what makes them happy and is impactful to the world. I will also advise students to have a goal towards graduating in 2-4 years or less. To seek out advising, and follow an academic plan, that will help them with those goals as well as too seek out resources to help them excel.  I believe the diverse student success center is a place where students can feel safe, seen and connected to people like them who seek the best interests.

 

 

Erick Ignacio Macias-Chavez

Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center

Major: Sociology

Graduation Date: 2020

Why did you apply to be a student intern in our new student success center?

I pursued the opportunity at the CLSSC because creating community in educational environments is my passion. In my academic experience, I’ve had limited opportunities to create inclusive spaces, but the opening of the CLSSC at SJSU came as a blessing. A space dedicated to the Latinx community, specially having it exist in a university, is important to me because it motivates me to continue on, and assures me that those in my community are welcomed in the university.

What do you most hope to accomplish as an intern?

As an intern I hope to contribute to the education of my peers. I wish to build the support systems they are in search for and so desperate to create. I hope to build relationships founded on principles of community and trust, so that the campus reflects the cultures of our homes.

How does SJSU benefit from its diverse student and faculty population?

The array of voices and ways of thinking contribute to creating intersectional and international forces that fuel our love for our societies. The presence of peoples from around the world helps create a global and understanding community. Our experiences not only help distinguish our beauties but too help see the similarities. We benefit through the presences of many perspectives.

What would you like to share with incoming students to help the on their college journey?

For the upcoming student, I say to you that this is simply another challenge of the many you’ve already faced and will continue to face. Don’t not be frightened, rather, be excited. You recognize the growth you’ve been through, and just as you have grown through your previous struggles, you will only continue to grow through this one. You are powerful! Come find out how powerful you can truly be.

 

Janely Cerda

Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center

Major: Psychology

Graduation Date: Summer 2018

Why did you apply to be a student intern in our new student success center?

I applied to this position because I wanted to make a change in the lives of students of color and serve as a role model to them. This is an amazing opportunity for me to connect with students and provide advice from what I learned throughout my college experience.

What do you most hope to accomplish as an intern?

My goal is to help guide and maintain a diverse community in the educational career. I want to make sure students understand that they are not alone and that they can count on me, or the other interns in the center. Everyday, each and every one of us are learning something new from each other and as the days go by, I hope that we can continue to grow as a whole. Lastly, as an intern, I hope to be able to provide students with any necessity that they need in order to achieve their goals.

How does SJSU benefit from its diverse student and faculty population?

With everything going on in the world, I believe it is important that people understand that diversity enriches a college students experience in different ways. SJSU benefits from its diverse student and faculty population because it increases a students self-insight by engaging and interacting with others whose lifestyle or customs are different from their own. As a student or faculty member, you learn from one another and gain knowledge and understandings that will also help you navigate through life. Having a diverse community opens many doors of opportunities and builds an inclusive community.

What would you share with incoming students to help them on their college journey?

After being a Spartan for fours years, some advice I would share is to explore their interests but to remember to always take care of themselves first. Get involved, step out of your comfort zone, and get to know your professors. You have a big support system guiding you every step of the way, you just need to seek it.

Is there anything else you would like to add about diversity and inclusion at SJSU or the new student success center?

Do not miss out on the opportunities that the school or the center offers. I am extremely happy that the center is finally open and that we are able to provide students with comfort and assistance. Diversity is such an important factor in our school and our center; therefore, never be ashamed of who you are or where you come from.