Faculty Notes for October 2016: Publications, Quotes and More


In September, Professor Katherine Abriam-Yago, Valley Foundation School of Nursing, spoke at a gathering of California minority nurses at Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, addressing the role of nurses in patient advocacy and leadership.

Former SJSU President John Bunzel, who began performing a stand-up comedy routine titled “From Here to Hilarity” at Stanford University during alumni weekend in the 1990s, is still at it, comedy-wise, at age 92. Considered “comedian in residence” at his senior living residence in Mount Pleasant, S.C., he performed his latest gig in September. “The trick is to make it look easy,” he explained. “The great comedians put a lot of hard work into rehearsing their routines so that it looks casual and fresh.” After serving as SJSU’s president, Bunzel became a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and in 1982 served on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

On October 2, Department of Theatre Arts Lecturer Nancy Carlin directed a one-night-only reading of Jerome Kilty’s play Dear Liar, starring Annette Bening, at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater. The play is based on letters exchanged between playwright George Bernard Shaw and his leading lady, Mrs. Patrick Campbell. The event kicked off a series of special events for A.C.T.’s 50th anniversary season. Both Bening and Carlin are American Conservatory Theater alumni.

Kepler’s Dream, Department of Theatre Arts Professor Amy Glazer’s latest film, will premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival this month. Based on a coming-of-age novel by Juliet Bell, the film stars include Kelly Lynch, Holland Taylor and cinematic New Mexico. The film is also a Julien Dubuque International Film Festival “Best Film” nominee.

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Gross, Department of Mathematics, co-organized the 2016 Mathematics Research Community’s workshop in algebraic statistics in Utah. The MRC program, started in 2008 by the American Mathematical Society, brings together groups of early-career mathematicians for research and mentoring by established faculty.

Department of Art and Art History Professor Robin Lasser, in collaboration with her former student Adrienne Pao, created what has been dubbed by the press as a “fun and fantastical exploration of female identity and politics” in their “Dress Tents: Nomadic Wearable Architecture” series. The tent dresses are constructed for interactive viewing. “Edible Garden Dress Tent,” a recent installation at the Montalvo Center for the Arts in Saratoga, includes a swing and garden inside. Other dresses from the series were on display at the Center for Photographic Art in September.

Navajo Math Circles, a documentary based on a project co-founded by Department of Mathematics Professor Tatiana Shubin, aired nationwide on PBS in September. Shubin introduced the math circles method of teaching to the Navajo community in 2012 with the goal of attracting more Navajo students to the field of mathematics. The documentary by George Csicsery was a 2016 official selection of the One Nation Film Festival, the Arizona International Film Festival and the Vision Maker Film Festival. Learn more online.

iSchool Lecturer and San Antonio Public Library teen services coordinator Jennifer Velasquez published an article about how to attract teens to libraries in American Libraries Magazine. “A cornerstone of teen library services is the principle that teens must be actively involved in decisions about their library experience,” she writes. Velasquez is the recipient of the 2005 New York Times Librarian Award. Read more online.


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.