Blog Content

Hospitality profs look to future of international travel in Vietnam

January 28th, 2015 by Melissa Anderson

Dr. Tsu-Hong Yen, the chair of the San José State University Hospitality Management department, and Professor Kate Sullivan co-hosted a conference in Danang, Vietnam in December. The College of Applied Sciences and Arts department was invited to participate in the Duy Tan University Hospitality Management conference on the future of international tourism and hospitality in Danang.

Yen served as the keynote speaker at the event, with a lecture on leisure and entertainment city models while Sullivan spoke about customer service. University faculty from the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Canada and Vietnam were in attendance. More than 500 people attended in person, with parts of the conference airing on Vietnamese national television.

Following the conference, a city-wide press conference was held to announce that Danang had received Trip Advisor’s 2015 award for “Up and coming City in the World.” The online travel website allows users to post recommendations of places they have stayed in the United States and around the world as well as allow users to search for travel needs such as hotels, airfare and more.

Sullivan said she is hoping to return to Danang in March to continue to work on creating a partnership between SJSU and the universities there.

Donate for annual ‘Love for the Troops’

January 23rd, 2015 by Melissa Anderson

San José State University’s Associated Students will be hosting its annul “Love for the Troops” event Feb. 11, where students will have a chance to put together care packages and write thank you letters for United States military members. Last year students put together 186 care packages with items donated and purchased by the SJSU community.

For those who would like to donate items, AS members put together a wish list of the most needed items. Donations can be dropped off at the Associated Student House on campus by Feb. 9, or a pick up can be scheduled for departments that collect a large number of items.

All individual items need to be able to fit in a quart-size Ziploc bag. Suggested items include:

  • Paracord survival bracelets
  • Travel-size games, such as board games, handheld games and playing cards
  • Pens and unsharpened pencils
  • Snacks such as energy bars, beef/turkey jerky, trail mix, fun-size candy bars, single-serving food packets (noodles, oatmeal, cold/hot cereal), Pringles snack stacks, single-serving sunflower seeds, ready-to-eat tuna or chicken salad packets, girl scout cookies, single-serving beverage mixes, such as Gatorade, Kool-Aid, MiO, Crystal light,
  • Personal care products such as lip balm, mini tissue/toilet paper packs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mini hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, individual packets of moist towelettes, deodorant, instant hand/foot warmers, foot powder (travel size) and socks (unused and unopened, preferably not white)

Hospitality students prep for Pro-Am tournament

January 22nd, 2015 by Melissa Anderson

San José State University Hospitality Management graduate Jennifer Hill is an assistant manager at the The Bench Restaurant, one of many eateries that dot the Pebble Beach Resort property in Carmel. For the last three years, she has come back to SJSU to train students as part of the Special Event Management Team program that will bring 35 students to the resort in February to serve as supervisors at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

As a student in 2010, Hill participated in the internship program.

San Jose State University students enrolled in the Pebble Beach Special Event Management Team internship class play a game that quizzes them on professional language.

San Jose State University students enrolled in the Pebble Beach Special Event Management Team internship class play a game that quizzes them on professional language.

“They really set you up for success,” she said of the week-long internship that requires intense training for the students in the months leading up to the Pro-Am. “They make sure they are right behind you, but they let you make decisions.”

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts Hospitality Management department has had a partnership with Pebble Beach since 2006 that allows 30-35 students a year to work at the golf tournament as interns. Pebble Beach managers and SJSU Professor Rich Larson oversee selection of the students, which includes an application and an interview with a panel of professionals. After being selected, the students participated in an orientation on Dec. 6. By the time the tournament starts, the students will have completed seven full-day training sessions on campus and at Pebble Beach. During the tournament, they will work up to 12 hours a day to keep food and beverage concessions running smoothly Feb. 9-15.

On Jan. 15, during their second day of on-campus training, Hill talked about why she came back as a trainer and what she learned from the program.

“I like their willingness to learn,” she said, “I can share my experience from a different perspective (than the other Pebble Beach trainers.)”

She said when she participated in the program, she had already had internships and had worked on planning weddings.

“I had experience with delegating and management so it wasn’t unfamiliar,” she said. “I think the confidence was the biggest thing (I gained.) Another is polish, professional language and how to problem solve – but the most important was confidence.”

Marissa Giacomo, a current hospitality management major, said she heard about the program shortly after she transferred to SJSU.

“I was interested in the opportunities that came with it,” she said. “It is a good way to get involved in the industry.”

She said during the first days of training they had learned about the history of Pebble Beach.

Adil Charki, a business student, said he had some friends who were in the program in past years.

“They really enjoyed it and said it was rewarding,” he said, noting that the students come from different backgrounds, including different majors on campus.

Dayna Miya, a hospitality and event management student, said she heard about the internship in her second year on campus in a hospitality class. She applied twice to the program before she was accepted this year.

“I didn’t really know what they were looking for,” she said. “But this year I knew the process. I’ve had a lot of experience with events for family and friends, but not with corporate and professional settings.”

SJSU students listening intently to managers from Pebble Beach who providing training for the Special Event Mangement Team who will intern at the AT&T National Pro-am in February.

SJSU students listening intently to managers from Pebble Beach who providing training for the Special Event Mangement Team who will intern at the AT&T National Pro-am in February.

On the second morning of training on Jan. 15, the conversations focused on professionalism for the students who will be tasked with managing Skyboxes and Chalet hospitality rooms for VIP guests along the fairway as well as other on-course food and beverage operations.

During their training sessions on campus, the students met in rooms in the Boccardo Business Center, where they transformed classrooms into a conference room. The students were even critiqued on their set up of the room’s food and beverage tables.

“For breakfast, I walked in and some of the set up was very well done,” said Jeff Wallace, the food and beverage director for Pebble Beach. “But the napkins and silverware – not so much. I noticed it was spaced too far apart.”

He advised that as supervisors, the students should seek out those with experience in table set up from their crew when they are setting up their areas at the golf tournament.

As part of the morning’s training, the students broke into groups and discussed the one most important thing that contributes to a customer’s first impression. The students mentioned such things as having someone to greet clients, cleanliness of the room, noise level, proper signage and directions, the flow of a room and how the outside of a restaurant looks.

Donn Achen, a training and communication manager from Pebble Beach, said it was his second year working with the students.

“It is important they understand how much their customer service skills come into play,” he said. “They need to listen. They will work with a variety of people and circumstances. They need to keep the same standards and values, whether it is a temporary or permanent position.”

Achen said the student interns are a critical part of the success of the tournament each year.

“They get a chance to work in a world-class hospitality spot and get coached by the best in the business,” he said.

Get answers to questions on affordable healthcare

January 21st, 2015 by Melissa Anderson

San José State University’s California State University Health Insurance Education Project coordinators will be busy on campus at the start of the semester offering support to students, faculty and staff who have questions about Covered California during the open enrollment period that ends Feb. 15.

The student coordinators will host three open enrollment support days – on Jan. 26, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, from noon to 5 p.m. in the Clark Hall Fishbowl rooms. For more information on the support days, email or for a full list of events at CSU campuses statewide, visit

Anji Buckner, a health science professor in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, has been working closely with the state coordinators on the CSU HIEP project and oversees the student coordinators on campus. At SJSU, there are two student coordinators this semester who are working to decrease the number of students on campus who are still uninsured, which they estimate at 10 percent (not including new transfer students.)

Covered California is the state’s implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act that has expanded Medicaid to more low-income families, including adults without children. Covered California also includes a healthcare exchange for those who have incomes above the threshold for Medi-Cal (the state’s implementation of Medicaid) that provides financial assistance to cover the cost of premiums based on income and family size. In 2014, part of the ACA that went into effect requires all U.S. citizens to have some form of health insurance.

The CSU Health Insurance Education Project was started in 2013 to assist CSU students in learning about the new insurance options, with funding from a grant from Covered California. Last year, the program was anticipated to reduce the number of uninsured students on the 15 largest CSU campuses by 60 percent. In Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, CSU HIEP coordinators hosted informational sessions on campus, visited classrooms to talk directly with students and offered enrollment assistance during the open enrollment period.

A spring 2014 poll of seven of the campuses that had CSU HIEP student coordinators on campus found that a third of students on the campus reported that they had signed up for some type of health insurance, either through Covered California or Medi-Cal. Another third reported that at least one family member had signed up for health insurance. The poll found the number one reason students cited for not having insurance was that it was not affordable, but the poll also found that some students remained uninsured because “they did not know enough about insurance or how to get it.”

Get open enrollment assistance at SJSU:  Jan. 26, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, from noon to 5 p.m. in the Clark Hall Fishbowl rooms. For more information on the support days, email or for a full list of events at CSU campuses statewide, visit

Campus magazine ‘Shift’ updates delivery

January 16th, 2015 by Melissa Anderson


The latest edition of the San José State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s news magazine “Shift” is out in print on campus and for the first time is also available for download form the iTunes Apple store for viewing on iPads.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications 'Shift' Magazine is now available in a digital format for iPads.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications ‘Shift’ Magazine is now available in a digital format for iPads.

The new delivery system of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ JMC student-produced magazine was made possible by Professor Tom Ulrich who worked with Adobe to get the software necessary to create the interactive, digital version. For the first digital version of the magazine, released in Winter 2015, the theme of the magazine is “Food Chains: Building sustainable change starts from the bottom up.”

The digital edition includes a letter from Editor Amanda Holst, but it also includes a video welcome from Holst who says, “We are proud to launch our first digital edition. We worked very closely with Adobe this semester in creating this interactive experience. We hope you find it engaging.”

The most recent edition of the news magazine includes news briefs related to food topics as well as feature stories on how activism changes the lives of people who prepare and serve food; a piece that compares lifestyles and food prices in Germany and America; an article that observes the journey of lobsters from Maine to California and more.

Advisers for the magazine include Ulrich, Timothy Mitchell and Dona Nichols, with more than 20 students involved in designing, editing and writing the content of the magazine.

To download the following digital edition to an iPad, visit:

Hard copies of the magazine are also available on campus.




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