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.

University Grants Academy Applications Due Nov. 6

Professors applying for grants listen to Amy D'Andrade speak during the start of the University Grants Academy at San Jose State University on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Professors applying for grants listen to Amy D’Andrade speak during the start of the University Grants Academy at San Jose State University on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

Applications for the 2017-18 Universtiy Grants Academy (UGA) are now available and due by Nov. 6, at 5 p.m. The UGA supports faculty members from across the campus through the process of writing a substantial external grant proposal to fund their research, scholarship or creative activity (RSCA). The UGA is a developmental experience designed for faculty members new to external grant-writing. Tenured/tenure track (T/TT) faculty who have not yet received major external grants are eligible to apply. Faculty members developing proposals to fund their research, their scholarly endeavors or their creative activity work will have priority, but those seeking other types of extramural grants (e.g., training grants or program or curriculum development) may be considered if space permits.

Faculty who are accepted into the program receive 0.2 assigned time for T/TT faculty and the resources covering the supporting tools at the disposition of the T/TT faculty during the UGA program:

  • Workshops by campus experts on various asinto of proposal development in fall 2017;
  • A spring program providing technical support, resources and mentoring from campus experts and successful SJSU grant writers in spring 2018;
  • Proposal reviews by senior scholars in the field;
  • $500 in O&E funds if proposal submitted by the first open submission window after UGA completion; and
  • Individualized coaching to support the completion and submission of an external grant proposal.

Applications are due to the Office of Research by November 6, 2017 by 5:00pm.

The UGA application is available via DocuSign. Once the information is completed, it will be sent to department chair and then the College Dean for review/approvals, then sent to the Office of Research once it is completed. If you need assistance with DocuSign, please visit the DocuSign support page. Application Form 2017-18 (PDF) i is also available to be printed and may be submitted via email to the Office of Research (officeofresearch@sjsu.edu)

Proposals must contain the following:

  1. The UGA application form;
  2. A current CV;
  3. A proposal budget and budget justification; and
  4. A draft proposal narrative containing at minimum:
    1. 5-6 pages outlining the scope and methodology of the project to be funded (what you propose to do and how it will be implemented; aka the Research Strategy/Project Description); and
    2. 1-2 pages introducing the problem or issue being targeted and why the problem is important.

Applications will be reviewed and evaluated by members of the RSCA Advisory Council. Final participants will be selected by the Office of Research informed by the RSCA Advisory Council recommendations. The following criteria will be used to evaluate proposals:

  • Completeness of application;
  • Strength of application elements and likelihood of potential funding;
  • Evidence of faculty member’s ability to complete a proposal within the UGA timeframe;
  • Fit of faculty interests and needs with the goals of the UGA.

If you have questions about whether your project would be categorized as RSCA, consult with your chair, your college’s Associate Dean for Research (or relevant contact), and/or your college’s RSCA metrics. You may also email the Associate Dean for Research in the Office of Research at SJSU, Gilles Muller (gilles.muller@sjsu.edu) or the Assistant Vice President for Faculty Development, Amy Strage (amy.strage@sjsu.edu).

Additional Information

Univeristy Scholars Series Continues Oct. 11

Early Career Investigator Award Winner Miranda Worthen poses for a photograph at San Jose State University on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Early Career Investigator Award Winner Miranda Worthen poses for a photograph at San Jose State University on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

The Fall 2017 University Scholar Series continues Oct. 11, from noon to 1 p.m., in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library 225/229. Dr. Miranda Worthen, an associate professor in the Department of Health Science and Recreation in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts and coordinator of the undergraduate Public Health Program, will present a lecture on “Risk and Protective Factors for Anger and Violent Behavior in U.S. Military Service Members.”

Worthen received San Jose State University’s Early Career Investigator Award in 2016 for her strong publication track record. Her research examines the psychosocial experiences of vulnerable populations that have undergone high levels of trauma, with an emphasis on those who have participated in armed forces or have been impacted by exposure to war.

At the lecture, she will discuss the findings of her recent mixed-methods study that aims to increase understanding of the reintegration challenges that U.S. Veterans and members of service face.

The last lecture for the fall series will be Nov. 29, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library 225/229 when Dr. Randall Stross, a professor in the School of Management in the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, presents on his latest book “A Practical Education: Why Liberal Arts Majors Make Great Employees.”

The University Scholars Series is supported by University Library, the Spartan Bookstore, RSCA Advisory Council, the Office of Research and the Office of the Provost.

September 2017 Newsletter: Provost Update: SJSU Faculty Achievements, the Strategic Planning Kickoff Event and Community Conversations, and a Busy Fall 2017

Welcome back.

Fall 2017 is well underway. The campus is energized after the calm summer months. Approximately 4,500 first-time freshmen can be seen between classes admiring the 23-foot statue of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City or on skateboards darting to the Student Union. Professors head to lecture halls focused on their classes ahead. College Success Centers are abuzz with students seeking support to change majors, see advisors –we’ve added 20 new ones — and to learn about MyGPS, a suite of technology tools that put academic and graduation support in the palms of students’ hands. MyGPS is a great resource for staff, allowing departments increased accessibility to information to excel student success. Advisors and chairs can access the Student Data Warehouse (SDW) to access reports related to enrollment planning and student progress.

As we begin another academic year, the accomplishments of our colleagues since last May leaves me inspired. Dr. Matthew Spangler became the first San José State University faculty member to win the prestigious Leslie Irene Coger Award for Distinguished Performance. At the same time, the 15th production of his stage-adapted version of the novel, “The Kite Runner,” wrapped its eight-month run in London’s famed West End theater district.

Dr. Peg Hughes and Everett Smith worked diligently over the summer to reinstate and prepare the four courses that make up the new Deaf minor on hiatus from San José State University for approximately a decade. Dr. Hughes and Smith talk passionately in their interview about Deaf culture, adapting and creating new curricula for the minor, and the future of special education.

Dr. Essam Marouf, an electrical engineering professor and associate dean of Research, had an emotionally charged September as he gathered with other researchers to witness the last radio signal from the Cassini spacecraft, one of the largest spacecraft ever launched from Earth. Dr. Marouf spent 26 years on the Cassini Radio Science research team interpreting data transmitted via radio signals during Cassini’s 293 orbits of Saturn.

In just five weeks, so much has happened. More than 33,000 students enrolled and began classes. On September 13, 300 faculty, staff, administrators, campus leadership, and students attended the Strategic Planning Kickoff Event. In her opening remarks, President Mary Papazian challenged our campus community to embrace bold visions for our University’s future.

The following week we hosted Campus Conversations and asked tenured and tenure-track faculty, lecturers, staff, and students how they wanted SJSU to evolve. Their answers laid the foundation for this year’s strategic planning process, and, ultimately, our next decade of growth.

We continue our search for new academic deans in the College of Humanities and the Arts, the Lurie College of Education, and the College of Science. Last week brought a visit from the Western Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) accreditation team to gather information and monitor our advances in the areas of leadership, organizational climate, shared governance and a campus climate. Upon leaving, they provided a video exit review with their conclusions, the WSCUC Team Special Visit Report.

The world around us is just as busy. We had the first total solar eclipse visible on U.S. soil in a generation, only seen as a partial eclipse for San José, and a heat wave where we couldn’t escape the sun’s blaze. Hurricanes struck Houston, Florida, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico, and earthquakes devastated Mexico. The recent mass shooting in Las Vegas further destabilized our nation’s sense of unity and safety. Political storms continue to divide the country and challenge the very fabric of diversity San José State celebrates and holds dear.

We as Spartans must stay united, remain vigilant, and focus on what great things we may accomplish in the future. The Office of the Provost, University Library, Office of Research and Spartan Bookstore are sponsoring the Annual Author & Artists Awards for 2017 on Friday, November 3, 2017, from 6:30-8:30 PM in King Library on the 8th floor in the Grand Reading Room. The celebratory event is designed to recognize faculty and staff who have published a book or other major works of general interest and significance in 2017.

The Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association will again award two faculty members the ERFA Faculty Research and Creative Activity Awards to support their scholarly and creative activity. Each year since 2014, ERFA has given two faculty members $2,500 to advance their careers.

May we all be a challenged and inspired this semester and may our academic, research, and scholarship pursuits provide us wisdom, knowledge, and achievement.

Sincerely,
Andy Feinstein
Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs

April 2017 Newsletter: SJSU Professor Yambrach Develops Water Vest for Developing Countries

Fritz Yambrach, a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging help to develop a way to package water to transport to disaster areas or areas where water is not readily available. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Fritz Yambrach, a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging help to develop a way to package water to transport to disaster areas or areas where water is not readily available. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

By David Goll

In parts of the world where potable water is difficult to reach and even harder to transport, a San Jose State University professor has devised an invention that could dramatically improve the quality of daily life.

Fritz Yambrach, a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging, has developed the Fritz Water Vest, a 10-liter, double-pouch “vest” made of sturdy, multi-layer plastic material that can serve as an alternative to transporting water in heavy buckets, vases or other containers. Such tasks in developing countries are typically handled by women and children. The work can result in injuries to those transporting water-filled containers, which carry up to five gallons, atop their heads.

The vest-like water carrier that can be worn over the head — with the pouches suspended over the chest and back — could also find application in more affluent nations like the United States during emergency situations resulting from floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters that interrupt the supply and availability of clean water.

Yambrach, who arrived at San Jose State in 2007, is a veteran of the packaging industry, starting his career 40 years ago at the Chrysler automobile company in Michigan. He went on to work in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors before moving into academia, including at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.

Yambrach said he first became aware of the phenomenon of people in impoverished nations having to walk long distances on a daily basis to fetch clean water for drinking and cooking purposes during his childhood. He attended a Catholic elementary school and heard church missionaries talk of seeing women and girls hauling water long distances on their heads.

According to the United Nations, women and girls in sub-Saharan African nations spend 40 billion hours annually collecting water — equivalent to a year’s worth of labor by the entire workforce of France, which numbers about 30 million. Water for the Ages, a blog written by water activist Abigail Brown, estimates the average distance traveled daily by those fetching water in Africa and Asia is 3.7 miles. Brown said water carriers can suffer severe neck and spine damage from toting heavy, inflexible water containers.

Yambrach said he has tried to take everything into account in designing his life-saving vest.

A prototype of the water vest. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

A prototype of the water vest. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

“The construction of the vest makes it very robust,” Yambrach said, noting the edges of the vest are heat-sealed to make it leakproof. “We have even included an additive in the material to inhibit microbial growth,” he said.

The vest is being beta tested in the African nations of Ethiopia and Burundi, as well as Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean region.

Manufacturing of the vest is being overseen by Heritage Packaging of Victor, N.Y. News of Yambrach’s invention has attracted the attention of former colleagues and students. One of those is Eric Steigelman, a student in Yambrach’s packaging science class at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2006. Now a San Diego-based entrepreneur, Steigelman is handling marketing of the vest and the beta-testing projects.

“I am helping the organization find strategic partnerships,” Steigelman said, adding that he hopes to partner with larger companies to “leverage their strengths in funding and distribution. The beauty of this solution is that it is so intuitive. It doesn’t require a lot of instruction or direction. It can help millions of people who struggle every day with water issues, or temporarily because of an emergency.”

Steigelman said one such situation here in the U.S. that has occurred to him as an opportunity for the water vest is the contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., where cost-cutting measures by state officials led to the city’s water supply becoming polluted with lead and other toxins.

“The worldwide problem is so big and broad, you need a simple, inexpensive solution to have any chance of success,” he said. “Whether it is a daily need or an emergency, the water vest is a really effective solution.”