Dr. Sandy Hirsh Invited as Visiting Scholar at Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan

When Dr. Sandy Hirsh, Director, School of Information, received an invitation to be a visiting scholar at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, Japan, she was thrilled. “It was an honor to be invited by Rikkyo University to work with Professor Yuriko Nakamura and her colleagues.” Dr. Hirsh first met Professor Nakamura when she attended the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) conference, August 2016. “Dr. Nakamura approached me to apply for their university’s Visiting Scholar program because she thought that people in Japan would be interested in my expertise in e-learning as well as my career path that involved working in the Silicon Valley in R&D and consumer product development and then in academic leadership as the Director of the School of Information,” says Dr. Hirsh.

During Dr. Hirsh’s two-week visit in October 2017, she delivered two large public lectures, “The Global Transformation of Libraries, Library and Informational Science Education, and Library and Informational Science Professionals.” In these presentations, she addressed some of the disruptive and emerging technology trends in the information field, and what these mean for libraries, librarians, and library and information science education. In addition to these formal lectures, she also led two classroom discussions with library and information science students. These discussions focused on career development, time management, balancing career and family life, and career paths. “The students asked great questions! We discussed some of the professional and cultural differences in Japan and the United States,” says Dr. Hirsh. She also visited libraries in Tokyo and met with university officials and researchers.


Rikkyo University host Dr. Nakamura (left) with Dr. Hirsh (right).

“I tried to prepare myself for this trip,” says Dr. Hirsh. “The month before I left, my Japanese neighbor tutored me in some common Japanese words and phrases and prepared a script for me to say at the beginning of my large formal talks and at the end of my talks. While I didn’t have good pronunciation, my audiences were very appreciative of my effort to do a formal introduction and conclusion in Japanese. My neighbor also helped me prepare my business cards in Japanese and this was well received too.”

In addition to her commitments at the university, Dr. Hirsh also explored different parts of Japan, including Kanazawa, Kamakura, Kurashiki, Hiroshima, and Nara. When asked what some of her most memorable experiences were, Dr. Hirsh said: “I enjoyed experiencing a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, trying on a kimono, visiting many shrines, biking through the rice fields, tasting different types of Japanese cuisine, and riding the bullet trains.”

Dr. Hirsh visiting the Great Buddha of Kamakura.

Harlem Reimagined, A New Exhibition in Celebration of Black History Month

It was a very powerful day on campus Thursday, February 8, when students and faculty members from New York City’s Satellite Academy, an alternative high school in Manhattan, came to SJSU for the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Library opening reception of Dr. Michael Cheer’s Harlem Reimagined Exhibit, a new exhibition in celebration of Black History Month.

The students were awestruck to see their photos collected together with historical items on the second-floor of the Jennifer and Philip DiNapoli Gallery.

A century after photographer James Van Der Zee began capturing images of the Harlem Renaissance, a group of SJSU photojournalism students, along with high school students from New York, set out last fall to take a fresh look at the historic neighborhood. Some of the results of their digital storytelling project, which included video interviews with Harlem shopkeepers, is on display.

“I wanted them to walk the same avenues that he did,” said Dr. Cheers, Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC). Dr. Cheers organized the trip with Principal Steve Zbaida, Satellite Academy.

SJSU President Mary Papazian joined the exhibit celebration and praised the efforts by Dr. Cheers, the SJSU photojournalism students, and the faculty and students from Satellite Academy.

The SJSU photojournalism students include Payje Redmond, Savannah Harding, Lovetta Jackson and Franchesca Natividad. They were joined by SJSU alum, Jennifer Gonzalez; Larry Jackson, Boynton High School, San José; and students from both Satellite Academy and James Baldwin High School in New York.

Principle Steve Zbaida and Dr. Michael Cheers discussing the Harlem Reimagined Exhibit with Satellite Academy and SJSU Photojournalism students.

Their photos in the Harlem Reimagined Exhibit depict the changing face of Harlem, where African-American culture holds on in the face of growing gentrification.

“It’s come full circle from last October to see them installed here,” said Jelani Dixon, one of the Satellite Academy students. The photos are shown without credits, but Dixon said, “That makes it better because it shows that it was a collective effort.”

Don’t miss the Harlem Reimagined Exhibit, MLK Library 2nd floor, SJSU campus, through March 31, 2018.

Satellite Academy students experiencing the JMC TV Productions studio.

Satellite Academy faculty and students interviewed in the JMC TV Production Studio.

Reflections on Solitary Confinement: Art, Rights, and Resistance

Professors Oona Hatton, Communication Studies, and Edith Kinney, Justice Studies, invite you to an upcoming discussion event exploring solitary confinement in California’s Pelican Bay Prison.

The event features Jack L. Morris, who survived decades in Pelican Bay’s “Secured Housing Unit” (SHU) before his recent parole, along with Shelia Pinkel, an artist, advocate, and Professor Emerita in Pomona College’s Art and Art History Department.

Morris will be speaking about his experiences in long-term solitary confinement and his work as an artist. The speakers will explore the role of art as a mode of survival, resistance, and a way to illustrate the rights violations of incarceration and solitary.

Join the discussion on February 16, 2018, 12:00 – 1:15 p.m. in Hugh Gillis Hall 219. Feel free to email Edith Kinney (edith.kinney@sjsu.edu) or Oona Hatton (oona.hatton@sjsu.edu) with questions.

Click here to see Pinkel’s artistic work on mass incarceration

Click here to see Morris’ artwork

Harlem Reimagined Exhibit at MLK Library

Thirty-four years after the death of James Van Der Zee, renowned photographer, who chronicled the Harlem Renaissance and the greater Black community from 1906-1983, SJSU students led by Dr. D. Michael Cheers, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, along with David Early, retired columnist, San Jose Mercury News, conducted a four-day cross country journey to experience the unique global diversity of New York City, November 2017.

A team of photojournalists from San Jose State University joined students from George Washington University and three high schools to capture life in Harlem today, as it deals with gentrification. Forty-five students, teachers and community members participated in the four-day project.

You are invited to attend the opening of the Harlem Reimagined exhibition today, Thursday, February 8th, with a reception from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.  It will be held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 2nd floor.

At the exhibition opening​​, the SJSU photojournalism students will be joined by students from Satellite Academy High School in New York, along with several San Jose community photographers who participated in the project.