Blog Content

JMC grad lands job at community newspaper

July 25th, 2014 by Melissa Anderson

Leeta-Rose Ballester, a recent graduate from the School of Journalism at San José State University, landed a job as a reporter at the Silicon Valley Community Newspaper’s Cambrian Resident. The community newspapers cover neighborhood news in the South Bay Area. Stories are published online at the San Jose Mercury’s website,, for those interested in reading some of Ballester’s work. One of her most recent stories is a feature on a live action role play group that meets up once a month in the South Bay. To read the story on NEROCali, visit

The Mercury News reported on the hire in May, when Ballester first joined the staff. Before graduating, Ballester wrote for the Spartan Daily, SJSU’s student-run campus newspaper. She wrote the crime log, opinion pieces and features.

For more on the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ School of Journalism and Mass Communication, visit

Profile: New chair prepares for first year as head of Kinesiology

July 24th, 2014 by Melissa Anderson

While he is less than a month into his tenure as chair of the Kinesiology department, Associate Professor Matthew Masucci is already aware of his biggest challenges as he assumes his role at the helm of one of the largest departments in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts at San José State University.

“Learning the ropes is the big part,” he said. “The other part is learning to balance the day to day with the bigger picture stuff.”

Matthew Masucci is the new chair for the Kinesiology Department. He takes the helm after 12 years teaching in the department.

Matthew Masucci is the new chair for the Kinesiology Department. He takes the helm after 12 years teaching in the department.

The day to day stuff entails making sure the estimated 1,000 students enrolled in kinesiology (around a hundred of whom are graduate students) are connected to the resources they need to complete their degrees. Within the department, there are eight different concentrations ranging from adapted physical activity to exercise and fitness to athletic training to societal studies, among others. The bigger picture will include strategic visioning to determine the future of the department.

Masucci said the hardest part of his decision to take the chair position was knowing he would need to step away from teaching for the first year he is chair.

“I do enjoy the energy it gives,” Masucci said, of being in the classroom with students. “At least for the first two semesters, I will be stepping away. It makes sense to get through everything once and get my bearings and then look back to the possibility of teaching (again.)”

Masucci has been a professor of Interdisciplinary Sports Studies in the Kinesiology department since 2002, when he joined SJSU as a full-time temporary faculty member. His background when he joined the faculty included a strong interdisciplinary focus. He earned a bachelor’s in philosophy and psychology at Salisbury University, a master’s in philosophy from Ohio University and had started his Ph.D in Socialcultural Foundations of Sport and Cultural Studies at the University of Tennessee when he came to the Bay Area.

“Teaching was always in the back of my mind,” said Masucci, whose parents are also teachers.

When his faculty position became a tenure-track position he said some sound advice had put him in a good position to take on the challenge of gaining tenure.

“I had a lot of good feedback to treat the temporary position as if it were tenure track,” he said, of vying for tenure while also completing his Ph.D. “I did research and was involved in scholarly and service work. I was engaged as if I were tenure track so it wasn’t as harsh.”

He was first drawn to the SJSU Kinesiology program because of its balance of sub-disciplines encompassing the field, such as biomechanics and exercise physiology as well as cultural studies of sport, sport psychology and sports sociology, among others. A colleague from graduate school, Ted Butryn, was working at SJSU and the two have been involved in research projects together since Masucci joined the staff.

Masucci and Butryn most recently worked together on a project funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that investigated if new professional female triathletes’ understanding and awareness of doping culture and prevention differed from the knowledge more established professional female triatheltes had.

One of Masucci’s other recent research projects included an examination of mixed martial arts (MMA) from cultural, historical and psychological perspectives. For the project, he spent a year conducting participant-ethnography where he was both a student and researcher, interviewing participants from a local MMA studio in San Jose.

The new chair of Kinesiology Matthew Masucci enjoys biking and hiking in his spare time.

The new chair of Kinesiology Matthew Masucci enjoys biking and hiking in his spare time.

Several of Masucci’s other research projects relate to cycling, a sport that has remained part of his life through the years. He said when he was younger he enjoyed competing in races, but more recently he has not competed but still rides for health and fitness.

Along with Dr. Jay Johnson, a Canadian colleague from the University of Manitoba, Masucci has studied the phenomena of the San Jose Bike Party, a community group that coordinates once-a-month group rides in the South Bay.

“It’s fascinating,” Masucci said. “They get up to 4,000 people and it’s a 20-mile ride where you get people who haven’t ridden a bike in years.”

He’s also studied tragic loss and memorialization within the cycling community and investigated the impact of indoor and outdoor sporting participation on environmentalism.

While he is chair, Masucci said he will keep in touch with the partners involved in his ongoing research but will have a less active role as he focuses on the department’s administrative needs.

“I am putting on a different hat as a quasi-administrator,” Masucci said. “I am learning all the functions that as a faculty member you only know vaguely. I knew it had to be done, but didn’t know the details.”

He said he has the support of a strong staff and faculty in his department as well as the support of the upper administration in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts as he transitions into his new role.

And he is hoping to continue to carve out personal time to continue with his biking and his other favorite activity, hiking. His favorite spots for hiking include Almaden Quicksilver and Los Gatos area trails. For biking he enjoys spending time in the East San Jose foothills around Mt. Hamilton, the Sunol Regional Wilderness area and Woodside.

“The good thing is one of the principal outcomes of my field…is to keep healthy both mentally and physically,” he said. “You have to carve out time for it.”


CSI camp comes to SJSU

July 15th, 2014 by Melissa Anderson

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts Justice Studies will be hosting dozens of teenagers this summer as part of the Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation Camps July 28-Aug. 1 at San José State  University.

During the camp, middle school and high school students with an interest in science will have a chance to learn some of the basic skills of solving crimes. Campers will learn about crime scene security, documentation and evidence collection; fingerprints; shoeprints; blood stain patterns and DNA. Activities at the day camp will involve crime scene reconstruction, forensic anthropology, courtroom procedures and testimony and more.

Justice Studies Professor Steven B. Lee, the camp director, has nearly 20 years of experience in forensic science, according to his bio on the camp website. Lee has a Ph.D in molecular biology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the director of the Forensic Science program at SJSU. He formerly served as director of Research and Development at the California Department of Justice’s DNA Laboratory;  is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the California Association of Criminalists; and a fellow in the Criminalistics Division of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He also serves as a certified inspector for the Laboratory Accreditation Board of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, on the Department of Defense Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory Quality Assurance Board as a technical reviewer for NIJ research grants and reports and has served on the FBI Technical Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods.

Visit for a video of the CSI camp activities from 2012.

For more on the Justice Studies Forensic Science program, visit

Library and Information Science master’s program gets approval from accreditation board

July 8th, 2014 by Melissa Anderson

The American Library Association recently granted reaccreditation to the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ School of Library and Information Science’s master’s of library and information science program. The San Jose State University program went through a vigorous review with the ALA accreditation committee to receive the full accreditation for another seven years, through 2021.

“We are elated to receive full reaccreditation from ALA,” said Director Dr. Sandra Hirsh, in a blog post on the School of Library and Information Science’s website. “Over the past year, our faculty and staff have worked extremely hard to demonstrate our adherence to ALA standards and represent the excellence of our MLIS program. I am grateful to everyone who played a role in the reaccreditation process.”

The School of Library and Information Science offers a fully-online MLIS program as well as a master’s degree in Archives and Records Administration and a post-master’s certificate in Library and Information Science.

For more information on the accreditation, visit the SLIS blog at For more information on the School of Library and Information Science, visit

SLIS students receive grant for summer institute

June 25th, 2014 by Melissa Anderson

Two School of Library and Information Science students from the College of Applied Sciences and Arts at San José State University received grants to attend the Women’s Institute in Summer Enrichment, according to their cybersecurity professor Tonia San Nicolas-Rocca.

Erin Clark and Kate Dillion will be among the graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and professors from a variety of disciplines to attend the one-week residential summer program hosted at Cornell University. The program is focused on Ubiquitous Secure Technology along with the social, political and economic ramifications that are associated with the technology, according to Nicolas-Rocca. Leaders in academia, industry and government will all gather to teach courses in computer science, engineering, economics, law and public policy.

For more on the summer program, visit the SLIS blog at For more on programs offered by SLIS, visit




Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.