School of Journalism and Mass Communications Partners with Adobe

True to San José State University’s (SJSU) reputation as the best place in Silicon Valley to learn how to prosper in the 21st century economy, SJSU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) faculty and student staff members from SHiFT Magazine and South Bay Pulse are pushing the limits of digital technology. Like so many successful Silicon Valley start-ups, seed money came from experienced players and visionaries. Early contributors to the magazine program included SJSU’s Lucas College of Business and Hewlett-Packard (HP) Labs in Palo Alto, California.

“HP Labs helped us overcome the cost and distribution challenges,” says SJSU professor Tom Ulrich, magazine sequence advisor and digital publication program manager. “Our beautifully rendered magazines are available to a worldwide audience via HP’s print-on-demand service for about fifteen cents per page.”

Students create new digital magazine "The South Bay Pulse"

Journalism students create new digital magazine “The South Bay Pulse” to cover 25th Annual Cinequest Film Festival (photo: Christina Olivas)

With cost of printing and world-wide distribution in hand, Ulrich and engineers at Adobe Systems agreed to explore the most sophisticated tools for producing groundbreaking print and digital publications.

Last February, the staff produced the red carpet event at Cinequest. Staff members streamed the event live to subscribers across the world with Adobe software and $6,000 worth of off-the-shelf electronic equipment. They replaced the million dollar transmission trucks parked in front of the California Theater with portable electronic gear that every department on campus can afford.

“While still in its infancy,” Ulrich says, “we are convinced that these digital tools allow our students to rewrite the rules of broadcast journalism.”

As part of our ongoing experiment, the journalism program added South Bay Pulse, a digital weekly entertainment guide, to its stable of publications. In the summer of 2015 as part of the Adobe Challenge, staff members tested the December 2015 release of Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) software.

“With SHiFT magazine and South Bay Pulse, we are performing primary research in the undergraduate classroom,” says Ulrich. “In addition to contributing our ideas to Adobe’s next product release, we are the only group on campus to own an Apple developer’s ID.”

Adobe Systems professionals train South Bay Pulse students

Adobe Systems professionals train South Bay Pulse students

While Adobe created DPS in 2010 to clear the path for a prominent magazine publisher to move from print to the digital world, students from JMC are now helping to move the new industry standard forward.

“Staff members were chosen over students from other Bay Area universities to join seasoned programmers at Adobe to help develop the next generation of digital publication software,” Ulrich says. “Our students graduate not just knowing how to use these visionary tools. They are prepared to lead the industry.”

SLA Silicon Valley Hosts Dr. Sandra Hirsh for Inaugural Book Club Meeting

Information Services Today: An Introduction

Information Services Today: An Introduction

The Silicon Valley Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) hosted its inaugural book club gathering with a very special book and guest: Dr. Sandra Hirsh, professor and director of San José State University’s College of Applied Sciences and Arts School of Information and editor of Information Services Today: An Introduction. SLA is an association of information professionals with chapters in more than 80 countries.

An SLA Silicon Valley chapter member, Hirsh was invited to join the lively discussion of her textbook, which includes the perspectives of many iSchool instructors such as Wayne T. Disher, Dr. Mary Ann Harlan, Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom and Dr. Michael Stephens. Since its release in March 2015, the book has been adopted by a number of library and information science instructors around the country.

“It was really an honor to speak about my new book with the Silicon Valley SLA Chapter,” Hirsh says, describing the text as “a valuable foundational textbook for Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) students as well as current information professionals who want to learn new areas, brush up on topics which have evolved since they were in school, and learn from the leading thought leaders (both from academia and practice) in the field.”

Over dinner at Billy Burke’s in San José, Hirsh shared the goals and key themes of the book, special features like webcasts, discussion questions, and an online supplement. The group discussed everything from reference services to managing technology and demonstrating value through assessment, to issues like open access and information licensing.

Chrystelle Browman, SLA director-at-large and programs chair, notes that one topic of particular interest to the group fostered a discussion on “leadership vs. management, and the limitations on the words ‘library’ and ‘librarian’.” In response, Hirsh shared her own background in the LIS field, and the role that played in the perspectives represented in the textbook, such as the use of the terms “information professionals” and “information organizations.” “We also talked about the importance of continuing to learn—even after getting the master’s degree,” Hirsh adds.

As chapter president Cory Laurence explained in her invitation to join the book club, “there’s a lot of reading to be done as a librarian, and it’s the kind of reading that is really enhanced with discussion.” Information Services Today highlights current issues and trends, and provides expert insight into the emerging challenges and opportunities of the future, identifying career management strategies and leadership opportunities in the information profession. Hirsh was inspired to create this new textbook because “the underlying principles of our field are valuable, no matter what.”

With Hirsh and Information Services Today, the book club event was a bona fide success!

SLA Silicon Valley members take a photo during the Inaugural Book Club Meeting at Billy Burke's in San José, CA.

SLA Silicon Valley members take a photo during the Inaugural Book Club Meeting at Billy Burke’s in San José, CA.

New Vietnamese Fellows Complete 3-Week Social Work Academy

The Social Work Education Enhancement Project (SWEEP) completed its third Fellows Academy on July 11, with eight Vietnamese faculty members participating in a three-week training session at San José State University (SJSU).

The members of the SJSU SWEEP Fellows Academy III gather for a group photo with College of Applied Sciences and Arts staff and faculty.

The members of the SJSU SWEEP Fellows Academy III gather for a group photo with College of Applied Sciences and Arts staff and faculty.

The eight Fellows were:

Tung Nguyen, of Vietnam National University/HCM, University of Social Sciences and Humanities

Thao Do, of Dong Thap University

Sy Pham, of Hue University, College of Sciences

Cam Ly Vo, of Vinh University

Minh Bui, of Vietnam Natioinal University/Hanoi, University of Social Sciences and Humanities

Bich Do, of University of Labor and Social Affairs

Hien Nguyen, of DaLat University

Trang Nguyen, of Hanoi University of Education

SWEEP is an international consortium which includes the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), SJSU, eight universities in Vietnam, Vietnamese government Ministries, Cisco Systems, Inc., and community agencies and stakeholders. The purpose of SWEEP is to assist eight universities in Vietnam with improving their undergraduate social work educational programs. The project, which is funded with a grant from USAID and support from CISCO through September, 2015, aims to improve:

  • The administration of social work programs
  • Faculty capabilities in teaching and research
  • Social work curriculum, and
  • Network communication among the universities through the use of improved technology

Fast-emerging social problems in Vietnam are creating a high demand for professionally-trained social workers. Bich Do emphasized how important it is for young faculty members to gain knowledge in order to effectively improve social work in Vietnamese higher education. She was appointed by the SWEEP coordinator from her university.

Social Work Education Enhancement Program, eight Vietnamese faculty members were presented with certificates on the last day of the Fellows Academy.

Social Work Education Enhancement Program, eight Vietnamese faculty members were presented with certificates on the last day of the Fellows Academy.

“I learned how to design a syllabus for assignments and assessments through the competency-based curriculum training,” Do said during a short break from a workshop. She explained the importance of building a foundation to teach social work. “I will apply the training and use of technology I learned here to the way I teach.”

Throughout the three weeks, the Fellows were able to use Cisco telepresence equipment for workshops and meetings. The use of improved technology promotes easier access of communication among the universities.

Hien Nguyen expressed how this technology could be used to keep a connection with SJSU and for her own teaching approach. “I will look for ways to include technology to my teaching methods and network with colleagues and social services in Vietnam.”

In addition to workshops on campus, the Fellows were able to visit various social service agencies in the Bay Area, including the Santa Clara County Child Protective Services, Mekong Community Center, Gardner Family Care Mental Health Services and the California Social Work Education Center in Berkeley.

Sy Pham said he likes to learn new things and the site visits gave him an opportunity to study how these social services operate. “The field of social work is new and limited in Vietnam, so I will share the practices of social work we observed here which is very useful to help create a foundation” said Pham.

The Fellows gained much knowledge from the program and were pleased with how hospitable SJSU faculty and staff were. Do said she enjoyed the “spirit of collaboration and openness.”

Hien Nguyen said she would like to “continue the connection with SJSU faculty for support and hopefully bring Vietnamese social workers from the U.S. to Vietnam to share knowledge.”

“The faculty and staff were very informative and showed me an integrated way to apply the competency-based training where I will provide a seminar on it back home,” said Pham.

The Fellows were the third and final group to participate in SWEEP.

SJSU SWEEP Fellows Academy III gather for a group photo on the last day of the program

SJSU SWEEP Fellows Academy III gather for a group photo on the last day of the program

Visit a Spartans Supporting Spartans Cart

San José State University’s Advancement team is midway through it’s annual Spartans Supporting Spartans campaign in which committee members solicit donations from campus faculty and staff to support the many exciting things that are happening on campus. The goal this year is to collect donations from at least 300 donors, or about 10 percent of the faculty and staff on campus.

Members of the SJSU night custodial staff hold up Spartan Supporting Spartans pennants after making a donation to support students on campus.

Members of the SJSU night custodial staff hold up Spartan Supporting Spartans pennants after making a donation to support students on campus.

The theme this year is “My Grounds for Giving…” and team members are taking out moveable coffee carts with treats to various locations on campus.

Upcoming events are:

  • April 2, from 9-10:30 a.m. near the Library
  • April 8, from 2-3:30 p.m. near MacQuarrie Hall and HR
  • April 15, from 9-10:30 a.m. near Washington Square Hall

Donors will receive a free T-shirt while supplies last and can make a donation in honor of a colleague. Donation forms allow donors to write in which department/scholarship they want to support or to select from a few general options including RSCA, general scholarship funds or scholarships for SJSU staff.

Watch a video to learn why some committee members are Spartans Supporting Spartans.

Learn to use social media to support research

CASA’s Center for Applied Research on Human Services (CARHS) offered a Brown Bag session on April 2 on “Using social media to support research, scholarship and creative activity” with faculty from the College of Applied Sciences and Arts available to speak on their own experiences using such online resources as LinkedIn, Twitter, and electronic journals. Scheduled speakers included Michael Stephens and Lili Luo, from the School of Information; Alessandro DiGiorgio, from Justice Studies; John Delacruz, from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and Daniel Murphy, from Kinesiology. The speakers were anticipated to talk about how they use the online resources to disseminate and support their scholarly work and connect with other scholars with shared interests.

CARHS will host one more Brown Bag session, “Preparing internal grant applications,” with a time and date to be determined. CARHS Director Amy D’Andrade is also continuing to facilitate the CARHS mentored grant writing group and the Qualitative Research group.

For more information on any or all of these supports, visit the CARHS website or email CARHS Director and CASA Faculty Associate Dean for Research Amy D’Andrade at