November Newsletter 2017: Provost Update – Countless Reasons to be Thankful

As we return from Thanksgiving break – refreshed and ready for the final weeks of the fall term – I want to take a moment to express gratitude for our students, staff, faculty and alumni. One of my favorite duties as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs is working with inspirational colleagues who are dedicated, hardworking and generous.

Provost Andy Feinstein and the Academic Affairs Leadership team host an appreciation breakfast to say thanks to the 500+ staff members who support faculty and students in the division. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Provost Andy Feinstein and the Academic Affairs Leadership team host an appreciation breakfast to say thanks to the 500+ staff members who support faculty and students in the division. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

Earlier this month, I hosted the Academic Affairs Staff Appreciation Breakfast with the division’s leadership team – a great opportunity to see our staff members come together and to hear from their supervisors about the great work they do each day. This year, we invited peers to share positive stories about their colleagues. The shout-outs, as we called them, highlighted the many great things I see in our hardworking staff – greeting students with grace and enthusiasm; going the extra mile; acting with patience and good humor; seeking ways to help colleagues.

I also had the honor of recognizing some of our longest-serving employees at the 50th Spartan Service Celebration, where 116 Spartan staff members were recognized for service milestones. I was moved by videos during which honorees shared personal memories.

An especially poignant story was Jack Harding’s. Jack began working as a lab technician 35 years ago in the aeronautics department (now Aviation and Technology) and since has moved on to become a telecommunications network analyst in IT.

Jack’s two sons grew up on our campus, regularly attending football games and campus events. Both eventually enrolled here as college students. His oldest son, Jack Jr., joined the Marines after graduation, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He was welcomed back to the campus in 2011 when Jack Sr. and his wife were invited to present his lieutenant stripes in a stirring ceremony.

All of our staff – whether they have served SJSU for months, or decades – deserve our support. That includes professional development opportunities; I am pleased that we have the resources this year to again offer the Staff Professional Development Grant Program. These stipends allow staff members to develop skills that can enhance their capacity to serve our students. We have approved 229 proposals to date, and hope to issue another call for applications in early spring.

Many members of our campus community “pay it forward” by helping those following in their path. This includes our Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association (ERFA), which created a research, scholarship and creative activities (RSCA) grant program to help current faculty members advance their professional growth. Last year’s recipients included Anthropology Department Assistant Professor AJ Faas and School of Social Work Assistant Professor Nicole Dubus.

Another reason for gratitude is the many alumni whose financial support helps current and future students achieve their goals. A generous gift from Marion Cilker, ’39, established a scholarship for students interested in infusing arts into education and funded an annual conference. While Ms. Cilker passed away in 2012, her generosity lives on, supporting current and aspiring teachers seeking ways to incorporate art into diverse curricula for K-12 students.

Students also are benefiting from strategic collaborations. A partnership with nonprofit Braven Bay Area fueled a program for first-generation, underrepresented minority students that connects them with community mentors at high-tech companies and nonprofits and develops personal skills for future career searches.

These are just some of the people, programs and connections that are empowering us to power student success. In this season of gratitude, I’m especially mindful of your remarkable contributions. Thank you!

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.

2016 Spartans Supporting Spartans Campaign launches

Diana Fitts, an occupational therapy student who works with clients on art projects and other activities that help with rehabilitation, received a Support Our Staff Scholarship for 2015-16.

Diana Fitts, an occupational therapy student who works with clients on art projects and other activities that help with rehabilitation, received a Support Our Staff Scholarship for 2015-16.

The 2016 Spartans Supporting Spartans campaign started in March, with SJSU staff and faculty from all divisions invited to donate to University Advancement. The theme again this year is “My Grounds For Giving at SJSU” and Spartans Supporting Spartans committee members will be hosting coffee breaks around campus, with free coffee and snacks for faculty and staff.

Donations support such programs as Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity; SJSU’s General Scholarship Fund; Support Our Staff Scholarship Fund; or donors can select any program or fund they want to support. Those who make one-time donation of at least $53 or enroll in payroll deductions to donate $5 or more a month will receive a t-shirt.

Last year, 36 percent of donors were from Academic Affairs and 64 percent of overall donations benefited students directly. Last year’s Support Our Staff Scholarship Fund received enough donations to give five $500 scholarships to San Jose State staff members who are completing a degree at SJSU.

Diana Fitts works as an assistant residential life coordinator while she is completing her master’s in occupational therapy. Fitts said she was inspired to pursue occupational therapy after spending time in El Salvador and the Philippines.

“People were in need of assistance, but they didn’t have resources,” she said. “I like figuring out what someone’s needs are and how to meet those needs.”

Fitts, who is scheduled to graduate in spring 2016, said the “Support Our Staff” scholarship allowed her to purchase books that will help her prepare for licensing exams and board certification.

Learn more about the Spartans Supporting Spartans campaign.

Upcoming events include:

  • March 15: 9 to 11 a.m. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library and Student Union
  • March 23: 9 to 11 a.m. – Administration and Clark Hall
  • March 29: 9 to 11 a.m. – Student Services Center, Corporation Yard and FD&O
  • April 7: 9 to 11 a.m. – Human Resources and Student Wellness Center
  • April 14: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Faculty and Staff Dining Room, Student Union