Author and Artist Awards Celebrate New Publications, Pieces and Performances

The Author and Artist Awards on Nov. 3 celebrated the work of 39 Spartans who completed significant publications or performances in 2017. The evening event this year was held in the Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Grand Reading Room on the eighth floor with President Mary Papazian offering opening remarks while Provost Andy Feinstein shared some closing thoughts. The annual campus event sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Office of Research, Spartan Bookstore and University Library is designed to recognize faculty and staff who have recently published a book or other major works of general interest and significance.

“As I shared in my fall welcome address, amazing things happen when liberal arts and STEM connect,” Papazian said at the event. “That is evident in the publications we celebrate today with an anthropologist who studies Silicon Valley culture, a librarian who provides a guide to massive open online courses and a composer who uses computers to make music. The work you do that leads to these publications exposes our students to research, scholarship and creative activity. RSCA is uniquely important to a comprehensive university because it is a critical aspect of experiential learning.”

At the celebration, authors and artists from all seven colleges and multiple disciplines were recognized, including Feinstein who is the co-author of a hospitality textbook, Purchasing: Selection and Procurement for the Hospitality Industry, that was updated this year.

“Your work supports our students by providing up-to-date textbooks, by enhancing your disciplines and by generating new creative efforts such as musical recordings, literary collections and live performance art,” Feinstein said. “I have enjoyed learning about all the pieces written, composed or edited by faculty and staff members completed in 2017 and sharing a bit about my updated hospitality textbook.

All publications are now listed in SJSU ScholarWorks. Many are also available at the Spartan Bookstore.More photos can be viewed online.

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.

Faculty Matter Tip #30: This One is For You – the Importance of Self-Care

Our lives – as well as those of our students – are complex, and the final weeks of the semester always seem to bring a large number (and great variety) of unexpected and challenging complications and disruptions.  It can be very difficult to keep our many spinning plates  “strategically counterpoised”, a phrase I borrow from our colleague Cindy Baer, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature. As research on stress and coping suggest, it is much easier to marshal the energy and patience and compassion to arrive at good solutions when we don’t already feel exhausted and tapped out.

The gist of this tip is fairly simple. Most of us are familiar with the instructions on the laminated card found in airplane seat-back pockets: Put your own oxygen mask on first, and then help others around you with theirs.  As we approach the Thanksgiving Break and then the final push of the semester, we encourage you to tend to your own needs – for sleep, for exercise, for nutritious food, for calm, for uplifting and affirming human contact, for spiritual renewal, for opportunities to connect with what matters most to you, for time to catch your breath.

SJSU has an institutional membership to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity.  This entitles all faculty to free access to a number of resources focused on self-care and work-life balance.  Our own Center for Faculty Development also offers sessions on these and related topics.  Coming up later this month: Self-care and time-management strategies for the end of the semester and beyond, Monday 11/27 from 1-2pm and Tuesday 11/28 from 12-1 both in IRC 210. Please sign up online.

Note:  Below, please find a section of an earlier Faculty Matter post, to remind you of the many resources our students can draw upon as they gear up for the next few weeks:

Peer Connections provides one on one appointments for peer mentoring and tutoring. They also offer several workshops a month on academic success skills. The Writing Center offers one on one tutoring for writing, online resources, and workshops. The Communications Center has drop-in17 and one on one appointments for oral and written communication. There are also numerous tutoring centers in the departments and colleges listed on the Tutoring Hub.

Educational Counseling provides one on one appointments, workshops, and online resources for academic success. The library has technology workshops. In addition, the library offers resources to support students in research, including details online to help the student define the type of resources and help they need and how to connect with a librarian. The library also has laptop and iPad rentals, meeting rooms that can be reserved for teamwork or collaboration, and online resources on referencing and literature reviews and tutorials on plagiarism. The Spartan Success Portal has a range of online, academic success modules.

You can read all previous tips on the Faculty Matter Tips page of the CFD website, and share your own thoughts and ideas on the Provost’s Academic Spotlight blog by commenting below.

Faculty Matter Tip #29: Helping students pull things together – Writing a letter to a future student   

One of the themes running through many of our Faculty Matter Teaching Tips is the notion of setting up one’s courses so as to enable students to be intentional about their approach to their academic work. The goal is to lead them to “engage” more thoughtfully and actively, to reflect constructively on challenges they encounter, and to “own” their academic trajectory.

As you set the stage for the end-of-semester push, it can be useful to include opportunities for students to think about your course content overall, as well as what they have done to succeed in mastering it. One activity that has been implemented by at least two SJSU colleagues I know of is to have students write anonymous letters to hypothetical future students in the course. Prompts might include the following – or other questions you think might be helpful:

  • What, in a nutshell, was this course about?
  • What was the most interesting part, for you (the letter-writer)?  Why?
  • What did you learn about yourself, from taking this course? (About you as a student?  About your interests?)
  • How might what you learned in this course apply, to your future studies or to your life outside of SJSU?
  • What advice do you have for someone about to embark on this course? Be specific here – why have you selected these recommendations?

Both faculty members mentioned above have compiled the letters they have gathered over several semesters. They frequently share some of them with students at the start of each semester, to get the new cohorts off to an informed and inspired start.

You can read all previous tips on the Faculty Matter Tips page of the CFD website, and share your own thoughts and ideas on the comment link below.

Download a PDF version of the tip: FMTT29

CS Professor Recognized for Educational Contributions to Computing

Python for Everyone book cover.

Python for Everyone book cover.

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) named San Jose State University’s Cay S. Horstmann as a distinguished member for educational contributions to computing. A computer science professor in the College of Science, Horstmann has written several books that are used in introductory computer science courses including Big Java, Big C++, Python for Everyone and others. His books for professional programmers include Core Java and Scala for the Impatient and are also well regarded.

In addition to his publications, Horstmann has been a long-time member of the College Board AP Computer Science development committee and has been an associate editor of the ACM Transactions on Computing Education. He developed a Udacity/SJSU course that is still used by many AP CS instructors and created educational software including Violet, GridWorld and Codecheck that he has made freely available to the community.

“I was very happy to have received this recognition,” Horstmann said. “I have worked on computer science education for many years and am glad that our professional society considers me to have ‘achieved significant accomplishments.’”

Department Chair of Computer Science Sami Khuri noted that Horstmann’s books are used around the world, and that he has participated in educational panels and given international talks.

“We, the Department of Computer Science, are extremely honored and proud to have one of our own get such a distinguished recognition,” Khuri said. “ACM is the best-regarded society for Computer Science and they are extremely selective with their awards/recognitions.”

Horstmann noted that SJSU has supported his efforts and allowed him to build up a portfolio of accomplishments over the years. Horstmann participated in the first cohort of the University Grants Academy in 2015-16. He said one of the key things he appreciated about the grant academy was the opportunity to learn about other research interests on campus.

“It put us together with other people – otherwise you are a lone player,” he said, noting that he connected with other professors with whom he could collaborate in the future.

The CS professor is one of five 2017 ACM Distinguished Members recognized for educational contributions to computing this year, with 43 total members recognized in all arenas including engineering and scientific contributions to computing.

“Computing technology is becoming an increasingly dominant force in our daily lives and is transforming society at every level,” said ACM President Vicki L. Hanson. “In naming a new roster of Distinguished Members each year, ACM underscores that the innovations which improve our lives do not come about by accident, but rather are the result of the hard work, inspiration and creativity of leading professionals in the field. We honor the 2017 class of ACM Distinguished Members for the essential role their accomplishments play in how we live and work.”

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery www.acm.orgis the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.