School of Information News

The Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) board of directors is pleased to announce Sandra Hirsh, Professor and Director, School of Information has been elected as its 2019 President Elect.

Congratulations to Bill Fisher, Professor Emeritus who will be inducted into the Special Libraries Association (SLA ) Hall of Fame at the SLA conference in June in Cleveland.  This award is in recognition of Bill’s tremendous contributions to SLA throughout his career.  Fisher is a professor emeritus at San Jose State University’s School of Information, where he joined the faculty in 1988 after a teaching stint at UCLA. He was named a Fellow of SLA in 1998, served as president of SLA in 2002-2003, and received the John Cotton Dana Award in 2008. He served as president of the SLA Southern California Chapter in 1986-1987, as president of the San Andreas Chapter in 1996-1997, and as chair of the Leadership and Management Division in 2010.

Dr. Michele Villagran’s publication, Celebrating Diversity: A Legacy of Minority Leadership in the American Association of Law Libraries, 2nd edition, is one of the recipients of the Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award.

In addition, Dr. Villagran received a grant from Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section (AALL) to continue her work with cultural intelligence in law libraries. Dr. Villagran spoke about this topic in the recent faculty research committee meet-up.

Public Health Students Visit the State Capitol

2019 SJSU Public Health Students meet Evan Low in the California State Assembly Chamber

Thirteen students from the undergraduate and graduate public health programs in the Health Science Department attended the 7th Annual CSU Health Policy Conference in Sacramento in late April.

The event brings together students and faculty throughout the CSU to the Capitol for a two-day conference on health policy and careers in state government. This annual conference draws high profile, dedicated state leaders, legislators, lobbyists, public health professionals, and student interns as invited speakers. Student participants learn about state history, observe legislative hearings, hear from fellow students about undergraduate and graduate programs in public health throughout the CSU, and engage in conversations with public health and policy professionals about careers in public health and state government.

Following two days of listening and observing, each school presents a one-minute summary of their experience and this is where everyone in the audience can hear and feel the dedication and the passion of public health students in their visions for improvement, equity, and justice.  Intermixed throughout these testimonials are commitments for continued engagement in health policy and a clear understanding of the power and impact of policy in our lives.

Each of the participating CSU Public Health programs continue to support this event because of what our students tell us about the experience. The event is meaningful and important to all who attend. Here are some overarching thoughts that this year’s group of SJSU students shared about their experience.

“This conference was inspiring. Being exposed to the state policy makers – I thought – wow – this is where things really happen!”

“Being there was really impactful. It made me re-evaluate my own life and the choices that I am making to better myself and my own knowledge.”

“The trip is really important because we learn a lot, but also because of the scale of the event. We are up there with students from other campus and seeing the ways in which the discipline and the profession spans so many topics and we are all working together for social justice. Wherever we all are, we have to come together and advocate for health and justice for all.”

“I was honored to be part of SJSU and it made me feel really proud to be a student here.  I felt it first when we had our picture taken with State Assembly member Evan Low. I felt so good about my decision to be a SJSU student.”

“Policy influences every facet of our life and regardless of our careers, policy will affect us and we all need to be engaged. Engagement might look different to different people, but it means we have to vote – at the very least – we have to read and we have to pay attention.”

“The system is for us and it is our job to hold our policy makers accountable for representing us.”

Student Leadership Awards Winner – PRSSA

The Public Relations Student Society of America chapter at SJSU was presented Executive Board of the Year at the 2019 Student Leadership Gala Awards on May 7, 2019. The group is comprised of nine board members who serve to connect students to public relations and mass communications professional development opportunities.

In the photo left to right, Nayelli Lopez, Elsabete Kebede, Sierra Fatlowitz, and Oscar Acevedo.

Notably, the board facilitated weekly meetings with over 60 members, organized career fairs and partnered with local Bay Area organizations for workshops, panels and company tours. PRSSA SJSU has a strong relationship with its internal alumni network and their Public Relations Society of America parent chapter in Silicon Valley.

Through networking and building professional relationships, PRSSA partnered with communications leaders from organizations for tours and speaking engagements, including Alaska Airlines, Apple, eBay, Dropbox, HP, IBM, Intel, Intuit and Juniper Networks. The student organization also collaborated with local communications firms and PR agencies to place students at internships and entry-level job opportunities, including Connext, Edelman PR, Finn Partners, Hoffman Agency, Ink House PR, Lumina Communications, Praytell, Sterling PR, Weber Shandwick and more.

This student organization is dedicated to enhancing the “future of the profession” and attended conferences in 2018-2019 in Austin, Fullerton, Portland, Sacramento and Scottsdale. PRSSA SJSU relies on fundraisers and charitable giving from donors collected by University Advancement at to fund these exciting professional development experiences in order to make them accessible and equitable to all members. They are looking forward to the 2019 PRSSA International Conference this October and connecting students to more opportunities. More information about PRSSA SJSU and their university involvement can be found at and on social media at @PRSSASJSU.

School of Journalism and Mass Communications Advertising Students Win Northern California American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition

On March 30, 2019, SJSU’s Spartan Ad Club hosted the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) for District 14. Wienerschnitzel was this year’s sponsor, with over 200 colleges across the country creating marketing campaigns for the largest hot dog chain in the United States.

The SJSU NSAC team are a mix of eight advertising and public relations students from the on-campus ad and PR agency Dwight Bentel & Hall Communications. “We worked on the campaign for seven months, starting in September, then winding down both strategic and creative findings to a 20-page plans book summarizing an integrated marketing campaign,” says Dannah Magbanua, student team lead.

In addition to a proposal, the students were required to create a 20-minute live pitch to perform in front of four judges comprised of industry professionals and Doug Koegeboehn, the chief marketing officer of Wienerschnitzel.

On the morning of the competition, the SJSU Student Union theater was packed with eager students from various universities looking to claim first place. With five schools lined up to pitch, SJSU’s  team went fourth and delivered an energetic delivery of the campaign, “Unleash the Dog.”  Capitalizing on the hot dog’s lighthearted nature, the students created social media strategies, bumper ads, magazine copy, and a television commercial.

The SJSU student team won first place, beating schools such as University of Califorina,  Berkeley and University of Nevado, Reno. “ We were very please and felt that this was a testimony to the hard work that the team and I put into the project,” says Dannah.  I can personally say that being on the NSAC team has been the most gratifying moment of my college experience. Finding guidance and mentorship through Dwight Bentel & Hall Communications gave me the skills and determination to take on the advertising world as I graduate this spring, while working with my colleagues creating life-long friendships that are worth far more than winning the competition.”

Other team members included Brett Barlow, Annie Coleman, Sergio Fermor, Sarah Helwig, Stephanie Herevia, Maneek Rajasansi, Kendra Rodenburg and Cosette Velazquez.

Justice Studies Adjunct Professor Inspires Students to Write Letters to the Editor

When Joseph Di Salvo, Adjunct Lecturer, Justice Studies, teaches JS 132 Race, Gender, Inequality and Law, he not only brings in well know community leaders as expert speakers but this semester he inspired his students to have an amplified voice about justice issues for which they felt strongly.

Professor Di Salvo assigned his class of 35 to write a letter to the editor about a current issue in the news relative to class topics of race, gender and/or inequality. He then challenged them to go the extra mile and send their 150-word letter into their local paper to get their comments published.

As an incentive, if their letters were published they would not have to take the midterm. According to Di Salvo, six outstanding students were delighted and inspired that their letters were published in print in the San Jose Mercury News on various days in March.

These students are:

Jessica Andrade-Villanueva
Jasiyot Atwal
Cerina Cervantes
Carlos Ponce Sanchez
Raghav Sharma
Lizeth Valtierra Lule

The subjects of the student’s letters ranged from questioning whether California’s Attorney General is wrong in shielding “bad” cops to the issues of hypermasculinity and its adverse effect on the life of R. Kelly.

Here are three of the student’s published letters:

Jasiyot Atwal
Recent controversy is over Attorney General Xavier Becerra pursuing politics over reform on misconduct officers. What alarms my attention is that the public records list contains 12,000 officers who have gotten away with repulsive, and unlawful crimes committed. These officers are waived of any major discipline or charges.

Instead of prosecuting these officers, Becerra makes threats to the reporters for having the list of the cops who have broken the law. Personally, Attorney General Becerra needs action taken against him for protecting these corrupt officers and should be shunned from all political advancement. Instead of helping the community and being strict on bad cops. But rather, he cares more about his political status advancing more in that field, than setting the law on the officers. I wouldn’t want police officers in my community who commit domestic abuse, sexual assault, money laundering, and other illegal acts.

Carlos Ponce Sanchez
I grew up in San Jose and the discrepancy between schools in the same school district let alone the same county is absolutely astonishing. Because of my involvement in sports, I traveled to many other schools in the county and district. The difference between their equipment, their uniforms, how clean their campus was compared to our school (predominantly minority) was day and night. The teams we face were mostly predominantly white boys, with some colored kids. Even at my young age (in high school), I question why my school faced budget problems to maintain the bare minimum to have sports. While, this schools in the same county or district, have all brand name equipment and financial academical advantages etc. I question how can we ask low-income students to perform equally as good as kids from middle to high income neighborhood, if the financial and community investment is not equal?

Lizeth Valtierra Lule
With various films/documentaries that have been produced regarding the topic of hypermasculinity, people are becoming more aware of it. For years, cartoons, films, and other media focused on making males seem strong, and violent, and they were taught that hypersexualizing women made them men. Even toys have become more masculine and violent in order to teach males that this is the idea of how they should be. Males grow up to believe they cannot cry or show any emotions, leading them to a life of frustration, confusion and hate towards the opposite sex. As a result, men become insecure and believe women should be treated as objects. A prime example of this would be R. Kelly, as he was allegedly sexually involved with various women and underaged girls and forced them to obey him and treat him as their master. Even with solid evidence, victims are seen as liars.