SJSU’s Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies to Recognize Mumford & Sons Sept. 18

Mumford & Sons

SJSU’s Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies will present Mumford & Sons with the Steinbeck Award Sept. 18.

San Jose State University’s Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies will present the 2019 John Steinbeck Award to musical band Mumford & Sons Sept. 18, as part of the Stanford Live Program. The sold-out event will feature a conversation and acoustic performance by the band.

SJSU’s Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies presents the John Steinbeck Award annually, celebrating writers, thinkers, artists, and activists who embody the empathetic spirit and values of John Steinbeck. Mumford & Sons demonstrates this commitment to social engagement through Gentlemen of the Roadthe fund they founded in 2006 that supports global and local charities fighting for social justice.

“Mumford & Sons can also be linked to John Steinbeck through their music, especially songs such as ‘Timshel,’ ‘Dust Bowl Dance,’ and ‘Rose of Sharon,’ and through their advocacy of Steinbeck’s writings,” said Ted Cady, chair of the Steinbeck Award committee.

In 2012, the band performed in the heart of Steinbeck Country at “Mumford & Sons in Monterey: A Salute to John Steinbeck.” Now, the band will again honor Steinbeck in a performance that marks the 80th anniversary of the publication of his novel The Grapes of Wrath.

Past awardees include notable musicians Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne, and Joan Baez.

Proceeds from the event will benefit The Steinbeck Service Fellowship created by SJSU Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the Marth Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies Nick Taylor and Stanford English professor Gavin Jones. The fellowship will allow students to participate in service projects across the region that embody Steinbeck’s work and continue his legacy for compassionate community engagement.

For more information about the John Steinbeck Award and the award ceremony at Bing Concert Hall, visit steinbeckaward.com and live.stanford.edu.

About SJSU’s Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies 

In operation since 1973, the Cox Center promotes Steinbeck’s goals of empathy and mutual understanding through public programming, free curriculum for teachers, and fellowships for emerging writers.

School of Information Researchers Recognized By Emerald Publishing

Emerald Publishing, a firm that has a portfolio of 300 journals, 2,500+ book titles and more than 1,500 case studies on the impact of research, recognized articles authored by two SJSU professors and one alumna.

Their annual Literati Awards recognizes articles in four categories: Highly Commended Paper, Outstanding Paper, Outstanding Reviewer and Outstanding Author Contribution.

College of Professional and Global Education School of Information Associate Professor Hsuanwei “Michelle” Chen and Professor Patricia Franks received an award for Highly Commended Paper for “Voices in the Cloud: Social Media and Trust in Canadian and U.S. Local Governments” in Records Management Journal. Their study examined two questions: Can local government use social media to increase citizen trust and if local government can use social media, what can be learned about the administration of social media that results in an incrase in citizen trust of government. The pair examined 20 local governments in Canada and the USA.

Emily Coyne, ’16 MLIS, received an award for Outstanding Paper for “Big data information governance by accountants” in International Journal of Accounting and Information Management. Her work with colleagues from the University of Memphis, Tennessee, aims to address a lack of understanding about Big Data in the accounting field. The researchers look at ways to address how accountants can turn Big Data into useful information as well as how they can assist with information governance.

SJSU Ranks #6 Among West’s Top Public Universities and #5 Overall for the Region in Social Mobility in U.S. News and World Report College Lists

Graduates of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering celebrate at Spring 2019 commencement. SJSU ranked among the top public engineering programs on U.S. News and World Report's 2020 college rankings. Photo by Josie Lepe

Graduates of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering celebrate at Spring 2019 commencement. SJSU ranked among the top public engineering programs on U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 college rankings. ( Photo: Josie Lepe, ’03 BFA Photography )

U.S. News and World Report released its 2020 college rankings today, with San Jose State University ranked #6 among the West’s top public universities offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees. New this year, the publication added a ranking for social mobility that compares how well universities and colleges do in graduating Pell grant-eligible students. SJSU ranked #3 among public universities in the West, and #5 overall for the region.

SJSU also performed well in a category called “Most Innovative Schools,” ranking #5 among public universities in the West. This ranking is based on nominations by college presidents, provosts and admissions deans of 15 colleges or universities within their Carnegie Classification that they believe are making the “most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.”

SJSU Ranked among the most diverse public universities in the West. Here students from the College of Humanities and the Arts celebrate Spring 2019 Commencements at the Event Center in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. ( Photo: Josie Lepe, '03 BFA Photography )

SJSU Ranked among the most diverse public universities in the West. Here students from the College of Humanities and the Arts celebrate Spring 2019 Commencements at the Event Center in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. ( Photo: Josie Lepe, ’03 BFA Photography )

“San Jose State’s high rankings in such a wide variety of categories reflect our diverse and welcoming nature, and our appeal to students from all walks of life,” said Mary A. Papazian, president of San Jose State. “People are learning what we have known all along. San Jose State offers a superb educational experience, talented staff and faculty, and unmatched opportunities that we are in a unique position to provide as Silicon Valley’s only public university.”

The Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering held fast at #3 among best public engineering program for university’s offering master’s and bachelor’s. The college ranked #17 in the nation among all private, public and service academies offering master’s and bachelor’s.

“We are honored by this recognition from U.S. News & World Report as one of the top engineering programs in the country,” said Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering Dean Sheryl Ehrman, upon learning of the rankings. “Our engineering students and faculty come from different backgrounds, life experiences and often non-traditional paths. Their exchange of ideas and perspectives, coupled with our location in the heart of Silicon Valley, makes this a very special place to study and launch their careers.”

Other notable rankings

  • #3 among universities in the public universities in the West for ethnic diversity up from #5 in the 2019 rankings (#11 nationwide)
  • #4 among the West’s top public universities for best value up from #7 last year
  • #13 best university or college in the nation for veterans, up from #18 last year

2019 Campus Reading Program Kicks Off in September

Spare Parts Book Cover

Spare Parts Book Cover

San Jose State University’s Campus Reading Program for 2019 will kick off on September 11, with movie screenings, discussions and guest speaker events planned through the middle of November.

The book selection this year, Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot and the Battle for the American Dream, by Joshua Davis, is an underdog story about four Mexican American Teenagers from Phoenix who form a robotics team with the encouragement of their high school teachers. The teens go on to challenge reigning champions from MIT at a national robotics competition. The book, a gift from President Mary Papazian, was given to all incoming first-time frosh as well as all new tenure-track faculty.

The campus reading program committee selected Spare Parts because it reflects SJSU’s commitment to inclusion, diversity and understanding across differences.

“We are pleased that the book documents how teachers can make a significant difference in the lives of students, particularly students from underrepresented backgrounds,” said Kathleen McSharry, a professor of English who coordinates the Campus Reading Program. “Our diverse array of programming is designed to stimulate discussion about critical issues surrounding immigration and undocumented families, access to educational opportunities, and STEM education.”

Oscar Vazquez, a student featured in Spare Parts, will speak on campus and sign books on Monday, September 16, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Hammer Theatre.  Julio Navarette, an SJSU alumnus who was undocumented while in college, will share his journey on Tuesday, October 8, at 7 p.m. in Student Union 1A. He now teaches at American High School in Fremont and was voted Teacher of the Year by his students.

In conjunction with Campus Life’s Spartan Speakers Series, Orange is the New Black actress and activist Diane Guerrero will speak on campus, Monday, September 30, at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.

The Center for Community Learning and Leadership will host three “craftivism” sessions in which participants will discuss the book while creating community art.

See the full list of events and activities: http://www.sjsu.edu/reading/events_discussions/

The diversity of Campus Reading Program events is matched by the wide array of campus units sponsoring the events, including the College of Education, the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, the College of Humanities and the Arts, the School of Journalism, the University Library, the UndocuSpartan Resource Center, the Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center, Campus Life and the Center for Community Learning and Leadership.

University Scholars Series Starts Sept. 11

Saili Kulkarni

Saili Kulkarni

The University Scholar Series starts on Sept. 11, with a talk by Saili Kulkarni, an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education in the Connie L. Lurie College of Education. The event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Room 225/229. The series is free and open to the public, with a light lunch provided.

Understanding Intersections of Disability and Race: PK-12 Education, Justice Studies and Higher Education

Kulkarni will be presenting her research on “Understanding Intersections of Disability and Race: PK-12 Education, Justice Studies and Higher Education.” Kulkarni draws from the experiences of teachers and school professionals who support restorative practices for young children to create more inclusive, safe school environments for all learners. These practices help educators and professionals become proactive in their approaches to discipline rather than reactive. Kulkarni applies Disability Studies and Critical Race Theory (DisCrit) within teacher education to develop resistance-oriented teachers of color who will disrupt inequities for children of color with disabilities.

Kulkarni has a doctorate and master’s in special education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a bachelor’s in psychology from Boston University. She earned a teaching credential from San Francisco State University.

“Like many of my students at SJSU, I earned my credential while working as an intern teacher, so I truly understand first-hand what it’s like,” she said. “Ultimately, the support of the professors in my credential program propelled me to ask more questions and pursue a PhD in special education.

Kulkarni previously worked as an inclusive educator in the Oakland Unified School District where she supported K-5 students with dis/abilities in general education classrooms.  Her work on special education teachers of color was selected for the 2018 Curriculum Inquiry Writing Fellowship through the University of Toronto Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Save-the-date for upcoming events

The Kent State Shootings at 50: Rage, Reflection and Remembrance
Craig Simpson, Director of Special Collections and Archives
Wednesday, Oct. 9, noon to 1 p.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Room 225/229

Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement, 1890-1920
Wendy Rouse, Associate Professor of History
Wednesday, Nov. 13, noon to 1 p.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Room 225/229

The series is hosted by Provost Vincent Del Casino, and sponsored by the Academic Affairs Division, the Spartan Bookstore and the University Library.

Governor Signs Bill Allowing CSUs to Offer Doctor of OT Degree

An Occupational Therapy master's student works with clients during an on-campus clinic to help them improve dexterity. A new bill has cleared the path for SJSU and other CSUs to develop doctoral programs in OT.

An Occupational Therapy master’s student works with clients during an on-campus clinic to help them improve dexterity by using a cotton candy machine. A new bill has cleared the path for SJSU and other CSUs to develop doctoral programs in OT.

Governor Gavin Newsom approved Assembly Bill 829 Aug. 30, clearing the way for San Jose State University to offer a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree. The next step will be for the Chancellor’s Office to approve an executive order that will set the scope and guidelines for the new degree

In anticipation of the approval of this bill and pending approval by the Chancellor’s Office, faculty in the College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) Department of Occupational Therapy have already begun work on developing curriculum for a doctoral degree.

“They started about a year ago in anticipation of this going through,” said HHS Interim Dean Pamela Richardson. “We are looking at what the balance will be between the master’s and doctoral programs.”

The college anticipates admitting the first cohort in 2022-23.

“The OTD gives graduates additional training in research and evidence, more coursework in program evaluation and program development, and will have a capstone project and experience,” Richardson said. “They will have more potential for leadership opportunities.”

A doctoral program also will build a pipeline for future educators.

“Most academic programs hire OTDs as faculty so it creates opportunities for teaching as well,” Richardson said.

The College of Health and Human Sciences already offers one doctoral program with another in development. This year marks the first year SJSU is offering a Doctor of Nursing Practice on its own following six years of offering a joint program with Fresno State University. The College is also working on the final stages of a  doctoral degree in its newly created Department of Audiology. Faculty are in the final stages of developing the curriculum, gaining conditional accreditation and recruiting audiology students for the first cohort to begin in fall 2020.

“These are certainly elevated health degrees and there will be lots of opportunity for interprofessional education,” Richardson said. “It will increase the visibility of our College as producing healthcare leaders across a variety of disciplines.”

She noted that accrediting boards in most healthcare disciplines require programs to provide interprofessional education so that graduates are prepared to work effectively on healthcare teams.

“This gives us an opportunity to build robust doctoral programs and ramp up the amount of collaborative research opportunities for faculty and students,” she said. “It takes research active faculty to appropriately train and mentor doctoral students.”

New Executive Director Joins Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change

Akilah Carter-Francique, the new executive director of the Institute for the Study of Sport Society and Social Change, poses for a photo during SJSU's Words to Action Town Hall at Levi Stadium. (Photo by David Schmitz)

Akilah Carter-Francique, the new executive director of the Institute for the Study of Sport Society and Social Change, poses for a photo during SJSU’s Words to Action Town Hall at Levi Stadium. (Photo by David Schmitz)

Akilah Carter-Francique said she never pictured moving to Silicon Valley as a step in her career trajectory, but when she saw the job posting for the executive director of the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change at San Jose State University she had to apply. She first connected with SJSU when she was invited to be a faculty affiliate with the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change (ISSSSC). She visited the campus for the first time in October 2018 for the Words to Action: Landmarks and Legacy of Athlete Activism Town Hall.

“It was great to have an opportunity to see the programming with Dr. Harry Edwards, Tommie Smith and John Carlos,” she said. “And especially to hear Wyomia Tyus—to sit in the audience and listen to one of my ‘sheroes’ talk about her experiences at the ’68 Games and learn about the challenges she faced and how she overcame them was a treasured experience.”

In July, Carter-Francique began her tenure as executive director of ISSSSC and will guide the Institute in honoring the university’s history of social justice while also looking toward the future. She aims to move the Institute into a position to not only host important discussions about issues of race, gender equity, and activism but to be able to educate through workshops and provide thought and research that will influence practice and inform policy creation.

Her personal and professional experience made her an ideal choice for the position. She grew up in Topeka, Kansas as the daughter of two K-12 educators. She herself was a student-athlete in track and field in college. She completed a doctorate at the University of Georgia and has experience working in in higher education as a professor and administrator in campus recreation. She also worked a short period of time in K-12 education stimulating her passion for young people and student engagement.

Her scholarly endeavors and field of focus encompasses the intersection of sport, society and social justice that is inclusive of issues of diversity, social movements, and the dynamics of social change and development. She will also serve as an associate professor in the Department of African American Studies, in addition to her work with the Institute. She is the co-editor of Athletic Experience at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Past Present, and Persistence and Critical Race Theory: Black Athletic Experience in the United States.

Carter-Francique is using her first semester to get to know institutional entities and people on and off campus to find ways to connect on programming and research opportunities. For example, on-campus she is meeting with representatives from the African American Black Student Success Center, the PRIDE Center, the Gender Equity Center and Counseling and Psychological Services, among others.

“I have a student-first mentality, so I want to understand the student groups, who they serve, and how they can be involved,” she said. “I am excited to be here and excited for the opportunity to work with others here.”

While she continues to get to know stakeholders, both on and off campus, Carter-Francique said ISSSSC will focus on a theme of public health and wellness this year, looking at both physical and mental health issues that intersect with sport at all levels.

She noted that her own experience as a student-athlete as well as her husband’s experience as a student-athlete and professional athlete in his native country of Grenada, and who now coaches Grenada’s track and field team, allows her to understand the importance of helping athletes see that they are multidimensional individuals.

“Who do you want to be to make an impact?” she said. “How can you influence and inspire people? You as an individual have value—you can be more than an athlete. You are many things. Maybe you are a sister, a mother, a mentor.”

Carter-Francique is the 2018-19 President of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), where she has worked to enhance student involvement in conferences with student poster presentation sessions that support the established “take a student to lunch” program.

“There are a number of undergraduate and master’s students who want to go to graduate school,” she said. “Having the opportunity to present research on a national and international level are very important educational opportunities because they are future scholars and leaders.”

Carter-Francique’s discussions of social and global issues extend to her home, where her children’s rooms are decorated with maps. When she or her husband travel to other countries, they discuss with their children the languages that are spoken, the foods that are eaten, sports that are played and other age-appropriate social issues.

“In my daughter’s last school she was learning Mandarin, so when my husband was traveling to China, she taught him how to say hello. She was thrilled that she could share that knowledge with him,” she said. “We are helping our children, and others we interact with, understand sport and its global, diverse communities.”

Department of African American Studies Lecture Series

Carter-Francique will be giving a talk on Thursday, September 12, 2019 in the Martin Luther King Library Room 225 6 to 8 p.m. as a part of the Department of African American Studies Lecture Series.

Cheruzel Receives 2019 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

Professor Lionel Cheruzel, front left, has received the 2019 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award for his research with undergraduate students. Here he poses with colleagues involved in a freshmen research initiative. (Photo: Jim Gensheimer)

Professor Lionel Cheruzel, front left, has received the 2019 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award for his research with undergraduate students. Here he poses with colleagues involved in a freshmen research initiative. (Photo: Jim Gensheimer)

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has awarded SJSU Professor of Chemistry Lionel Cheruzel with a 2019 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award for his commitment to research and teaching with undergraduates.

Nominated by his department chair Prof. Karen Singmaster, Cheruzel is one of eight faculty members nationwide to receive the prestigious award. The honor recognizes the accomplishments of faculty in scholarly research with undergraduates.

Since joining SJSU in 2009, Cheruzel has engaged more than 160 undergraduates in cutting-edge research in light-driven biocatalysis to achieve chemical transformations otherwise challenging to obtain using traditional methods. His scholarly activities have resulted in the publication of 18 manuscripts with more than 35 undergraduate students as coauthors and invitations to more than 50 seminars worldwide. He has also secured 16 internal grants and nine federal grants totaling close to $2 million dollars to support his research endeavors at SJSU.

Last year, he secured a $325,000 grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation to launch a new Freshman Initiative: Research to Engage Students (F.I.R.E.S) program. Through the grant, he and three faculty members encourage freshman students from the Departments of Chemistry and Biology to develop their research interests and integrate research laboratories early in their academic careers.

According to the nomination, Dr. Cheruzel has always shared “a deep enthusiasm for chemistry and discovery with budding scientists.”

As part of the award, Cheruzel will receive an unrestricted research grant of $75,000.

CSU Plan Offers Free Immigration Legal Services at All Campuses

Ana Navarrete Avina, the program coordinator of the UndocuSpartan Resource Center, speaks at an opening celebration for the center that was established in 2018. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Ana Navarrete Avina, the program coordinator of the UndocuSpartan Student Resource Center, speaks at an opening celebration for the center that was established in 2018. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

The California State University (CSU) announced Aug. 28 a systemwide plan for the provision of free immigration legal services for CSU students and employees that includes SJSU.

“This is an important service for SJSU, for our community and the CSU system,” said Patrick Day, vice president for the Division of Student Affairs.  “We are committed to providing support, resources and opportunities for all students regardless of their citizenship status.”

Immigrant Legal Defense (ILD) will provide services for San Jose State University as well as other Bay Area and Central California campuses. ILD’s attorneys and accredited representatives will visit SJSU beginning in September with availability throughout the year. ILD has expertise in covering the full scope of immigration law and procedure. The office has represented thousands of unaccompanied minors and families seeking asylum, and individuals involved in detained and non-detained immigration proceedings throughout California. In addition to providing legal consultations, the attorneys are also available to consult with departments that deal with immigration policies on questions they may have.

Approximately 9,500 CSU students are undocumented and receive AB 540 waivers across the system’s 23 campuses. Undocumented students will receive priority in scheduling of appointments and receiving legal assistance, followed by students and employees who have questions about legal immigration and rights.

The UndocuSpartan Student Resource Center will support the new services by scheduling appointments and providing meeting space. Ana Navarrete Avina, the UndocuSpartan Student Resource Center program coordinator shared an email to student, faculty and staff groups on Aug. 29 about the new services, inviting interested parties to sign up for appointments on one of the dates ILD will be on campus. Students and employees may also request a consultation with an immigration attorney outside of the scheduled dates by contacting the UndocuSpartan Student Resource Center. More information about signing up for appointments can be found on the Center’s website.

All representatives of ILD and SJSU staff will practice strict confidentiality and any information provided while receiving services will remain protected, as has always been the case for students with AB 540 or undocumented statuses

The legal services are an expansion of SJSU’s existing support provided through the UndocuSpartan Student Resource Center, established in 2018. The center provides a number of program services including personal and academic support, UndocuAlly Training, information for prospective students on paying for college, and connects enrolled students with community resources, among other services.

“I am delighted that we will be able to increase the availability of immigration legal services to the California State University community,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy White. “We remain committed to ensuring that all CSU students have the opportunity to pursue their higher education goals regardless of their country of origin. This inclusive foundation extends to our employees, who demonstrate their dedication to student achievement and success on a daily basis. These thousands of Californians are pursuing their dreams for a better future every day on CSU campuses. The expanded services and resources that will soon be available will bring support, legal guidance and some peace of mind to enable our students and employees to focus on academic and professional pursuits.”

Funding for the services initially was provided by a one-time allocation of $7 million from the 2018 Budget Act to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to implement direct immigration legal services programs on CSU campuses. California’s 2019-20 budget converted the same amount to recurring funding to maintain the services. Staff from CSU’s Office of the Chancellor have been working with the CDSS to design a systemwide delivery model for implementation.

To learn more about the rollout of services or for information about support services currently available for students and employees, please visit the CSU’s Resources for Undocumented Students website.

SJSU’s Tina Korani receives 2019 CSU Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award

Tina Korani, second from left, poses with School of Journalism and Mass Communications students during a graduate student showcase.

Tina Korani, second from left, poses with School of Journalism and Mass Communications students during a graduate student showcase.

Assistant Professor of Media Design Tina Korani joined San Jose State University in fall 2017. In just two short years, she has made a lasting impression on her students and how media design is taught at SJSU. She has been named by the California State University Chancellor’s Office as a 2019 Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award recipient for her dedication to experiential learning.

Korani is passionate about using new technologies to improve the learning experience. She believes that developing students’ digital skills and literacy should be a key focus of higher education. She said, “technology is moving our world forward at a rapid pace and we as educators should prepare our students for the workforce of tomorrow by incorporating digital literacy into our teaching to help students become successful in their careers.”

“I seek to provide my students with the necessary tools to move well beyond foundational skills and forward in their design thinking and creativity,” she said. “I provide relevant, real life application and foster collaboration, as I help them become stronger thinkers, collaborators, explorers, communicators, and designers.”

Tina Korani

Tina Korani

Her teaching philosophy is to empower students to be: confident, creative thinkers with exceptional presentation skills, compassionate, curious collaborators who seek opportunities to contribute to various projects, mindful explorers who look to expand their knowledge in solving problems with persistence and know-how to communicate their ideas and document this process effectively.

“I believe that undergraduate design education should connect to the real world and as a course of action I actively plan and devise practical experiences in and outside the classroom. These play a role in developing critical problem-solving skills, creativity, and communication skills and at the same time drive student engagement and retention,” she said.

Her students present their concepts and the process of their designs for each project to the entire class during weekly critique sessions, then they complete a mid-critique where students hear feedback before finalizing their designs. She said she believes critiques are a strong core to students’ learning that teaches them how to approach ideas critically while strengthening their communication and presentation skills. She also requires students to submit a process book that contains their sources of inspiration, research, sketches, and the steps on how they came up with their idea and final product.

“By documenting these steps for each project, my students learn value in this process and see personal growth,” she said.

Korani also engages students in research and conference presentations. She mentored a team of graduate students who developed “Bridge Brain: Engaging with the Next-Generation of Academic Scholars,” a web-based, peer-to-peer collaborative platform for university networking for research projects. The students were invited to present their work at the 2018 DECIPHER (Design Educators Research Conference). The students also won the 2018 Best Education Innovation Award in SJSU’s Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge.

Korani was selected for CSU’s Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award after being nominated by peers in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications as well as students, who created a video testimonial touting their professor.

“Her class provides students with unique experiential learning that is different than the typical lecture format of many other professors,” said Jihye Woo, a graduate student in Mass Communications. “The newly learned skills are more easily transferable outside the classroom and to our future careers.”

Professor Korani and students in MCOM 284: Advanced User experience class.

Professor Korani and students in MCOM 284: Advanced User experience class.

Woo noted that five of the graduate students in her program selected Korani as an advisor because of her “dedication, perseverance and compassion.”

“The School of Journalism and Mass Communications lives and dies on our ability to keep up with a rapidly advancing technological media landscape,” wrote Professor Scott Fosdick, graduate coordinator, in his nomination letter. “Assistant Professor Korani was hired to keep us on the cutting edge. She hasn’t let us down.”

Associate Professor Diane Guerrazzi shared in her nomination letter Korani’s interactions with journalists from the country of Georgia who visited SJSU as part of a Media Education Partnership through the U.S. State Department.

“In hands-on sessions, they designed infographics to visualize data, giving them valuable new tools of expression in their storytelling for their television, web and print media outlets,” Guerrazzi wrote. “I observed the way Professor Korani took care to explain the steps, in spite of a language barrier.  She patiently answered questions and encouraged participants to ask questions.”

Korani has presented her work and led workshops in the Adobe San Jose office during CSU/Adobe Digital Literacy Day and is honored to serve as an Adobe Education Leader (Adobe Education Leaders are dedicated to enhancing creativity and collaboration and improving the teaching and learning experience. They share their expertise through workshops and conferences and help develop standards-based curriculums that are used worldwide).

In service to her community, she has started teaching free mobile application design bootcamps for youth at Central Park Library in Santa Clara. She has also been helping to organize and served as a juror in many art contests, such as International Mother Language Day Art Contest and exhibition at the Children Discovery Museum in San Jose.

Korani holds an M.F.A. in graphic design from Louisiana State University and a bachelor’s in visual communication from Art University of Tehran. Her research centers on the use of interactive technologies to enhance learner engagement, education equity, and accessibility. She has introduced the use of emerging technologies into her teaching, and overall within the School of Journalism & Mass Communications. She is involved in multiple grants, and her projects range from training at-risk students on new media literacy in area high schools to creating a mobile app within her role as a co-investigator in a Breast Cancer Survivorship Project.

She is the recipient of multiple awards from the American Advertising Federation, including a National ADDY Award, and a Gold District 7 ADDY Award in 2017. As a speaker and educator, Korani has presented her work at numerous academic and professional conferences.

Move-In Day 2019

Watch a video of new and returning students moving into San Jose State University residence halls on Aug. 16, 2019. More than 4,200 students moved into the residence halls last week.

 

Stan and Marilyn Gadway Commit $1 Million  to SJSU Athletics

Stan Gadway, ’64 Civil Engineering, and his wife Marilyn Gadway, ’60 Recreation, have announced a $1million gift to the Spartan AthleticsCenter and plans to create an endowment to support the Scott Gadway Academic Center, which they established in 2003.

Stan Gadway, ’64 Civil Engineering, and his wife Marilyn Gadway, ’60 Recreation, have announced a $1million gift to the Spartan AthleticsCenter and plans to create an endowment to support the Scott Gadway Academic Center, which they established in 2003. Photo: Terrell Lloyd

Media contacts:
Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics media relations director, 408-924-1217, lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu Robin McElhatton, SJSU media relations specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

 San Jose, Calif. —San Jose State University is pleased to announce that it has received a $1 million gift through a charitable trust to support the Spartan Athletics Center, which will be the new home of Spartan football and women’s and men’s soccer. Stan Gadway, ’64 Civil Engineering, and his wife Marilyn Gadway, ’60 Recreation, also plan to create an endowment to support the Scott Gadway Academic Center, which they established in 2003.

 Marilyn and Stan Gadway have a history of supporting San Jose State that spans more than 60 years,” said Marie Tuite, SJSU director of intercollegiate athletics. “They are keenly committed to the academic mission of SJSU. Nothing thrills them more than to see an athlete or any student graduate from their beloved alma mater. ‘Thank you’ hardly seems enough to express my gratitude for this gracious gift. Their first date was an SJSU football game, where they sat on the east side of CEFCU Stadium (formerly Spartan Stadium) and cheered loudly for the Spartans. They’ve been cheering ever since.”

These gifts will benefit student-athletes on the football, and men’s and women’s soccer teams. The Spartan Athletics Center will provide new locker rooms, an auditorium, coaches’ offices, position-specific classrooms, stadium game day suites, and a state-of-the-art athletic training room that will be accessible to all student-athletes.

“The Gadways have been incredibly committed to SJSU Athletics over the years,” said SJSU Football Head Coach Brent Brennan. “Their investment years ago in the Gadway Academic Center has been a terrific resource for all of our student-athletes. This new commitment will have an incredible impact on our football program, Spartan soccer and the entire athletics department. We are grateful for their continued support.” 

The Gadway Legacy

Stan and Marilyn Gadway’s first date was a San Jose State football game against the University of Hawaii in 1958. Originally from Nebraska, Stan came to San Jose State on the G.I. Bill after four years of military service. Marilyn’s own path to college was supported in part by a $100 scholarship given by a businesswomen’s club in Barstow, Calif., where she graduated high school. She never forgot the gesture, which validated her desire to pursue an education. Together the Gadways raised two sons, Dean, ’89 English, Multi-Subject Teaching Credential, and Scott, ’92 Aviation, while Stan ran Gadway Construction, Inc. and Marilyn managed their investment properties.

Longtime supporters of Spartan football, the Gadways established a charitable remainder trust with the goal of supporting SJSU Athletics with the remainder proceeds. When Scott died in a 1996 skydiving accident, Marilyn and Stan recognized his memory by creating the Scott Gadway Academic Center to support the academic achievements of student-athletes.

 “We funded the academic center because our main interest is not wins or losses in sports, but in educating kids,” said Stan. “Over the years we have been thanked by hundreds of coaches and student-athletes for the academic support provided by the center. We see the Spartan Athletics Center as an expansion of that vision. By investing in athletics we can help bring in needed funds for scholarships. The education we received at San Jose State changed our lives tremendously, to the point where we are now able to pay back to the college what it did for us. The students’ diplomas are what will make their lives successful.” 

It is important to the Gadways that Scott’s memory live on in the Academic Center, which is why they are establishing an endowment. They also serve as ambassadors to the women’s gymnastics team, rooting for them at home and away meets. For the Gadways, athletics is a gateway to an education.

 “We have seen a lot of young kids come through SJSU Athletics,” said Marilyn. “The most important thing they can get is that college degree. Athletics is a good avenue for many to get an education.”

 “This gift from Stan and Marilyn Gadway is a magnificent example of private support of San José that makes an enormous difference in the University and our athletics program,” said  Interim Vice President of University Advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation Peter Smits. “The Spartan Athletics Center is an important part of the future success of Spartan Athletics, and we are grateful for the Gadways’ generosity and thoughtfulness.”

To track fundraising progress and learn how you can support Spartan Athletics, please contact Josh Thiel, deputy athletics director for athletics advancement, at 408-924-1697 or joshua.thiel@sjsu.edu.


 About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study offered through its nine colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is proud of the accomplishments of its more than 270,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

About San Jose State Athletics

 San Jose State sponsors 22 NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports programs for 500+ student-athletes annually. Spartan football is a member of Division I’s Football Bowl Subdivision, the NCAA’s highest level of competition.

 The Spartans’ primary conference affiliation is with the Mountain West. Selected teams belong to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, the Western Athletic Conference and the Golden Coast Conference.

 San Jose State has 10 NCAA team championships and 52 NCAA individual titles. Sixty-two Spartans competed in one or more Olympic Games. San Jose State athletes have won seven gold, six silver and seven bronze medals at the Olympics.

 Annually, about one-third of the student-athlete population earns either an institutional, conference or national recognition based on outstanding academic performance.

SJSU MLIS Student Receives Award from Society of American Archivists

Angela Osbourne, a master’s in Library and Information Science student, received the Harold T. Pinkett Student of Color Award from the Society of American Archivists.

Angela Osbourne said she grew up without access to a lot of books. She had access to a Bible, and it helped her learn to read and speak well. Now the master’s of Library and Information Science student in the College of Professional and Global Education is helping community members access archives in Sacramento.

“As a child I had a dream one night of collecting books and allowing anyone to come and borrow them or keep them if they would like,” she said. “And if they wanted, they could come back and add books of their own.”

Osbourne said she rushed to tell her mother the idea she had dreamed up.

“She told me it had already been invented and it was called a library,” Osbourne said. “I was excited, feeling like I knew what I was going to do with my life.”

Osbourne recently received the 2019 Harold T. Pinkett Student of Color Award at the Society of American Archivists (SAA) conference in Austin, Texas, July 31 to Aug. 6. She said she was welcomed by the Association of Research Libraries/SAA Leadership Forum coordinators and panelists as well as the Archivists and Archives of Color Section. The award included conference and travel fees, and one-year membership in SAA.

“I was blessed to be chosen to go and learn more about the archival profession there,” she said.

Established in 1993, the award recognizes and acknowledges graduate students of color who through scholastic and personal achievement, manifest an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of the SAA. The award is named for Pinkett, who served with distinction during his long tenure at the National Archives and Records Administration as well as a Fellow with SAA.

As a volunteer with the Sacramento Central Library’s Special Collections, she helped with an annual Archive crawl. She noticed during the 2018 event that there were a lack of African American visitors during the event.

“Further investigation revealed that the African American community may not have had information on this event and how it applied to them and their legacy,” Osbourne said. “This issue, however is not isolated. Archives across our nation are now recognizing how parts of the community, namely African Americans, have been excluded and it is past time to move and work to include them.”

She took it as her personal mission to gather input on how to create a more welcoming environment and inform diverse community members about events.

“As an African American woman, I know it can be far more comfortable to walk into any event or room to see a wide variety of different hues of color reflected in the people there,” she said.

Osbourne also works to let community members know hat the archives can do for them and what they can do for the archives in return, such as saving historical records.

“As a future archivist, Osbourne is committed to preserving and providing access to the history of African Americans for African American communities,” SAA wrote in a press release. “In her studies and volunteer experiences, she has worked to become aware of the complexities that surround information needs in a modern library and has demonstrated her ability to learn and master the necessary technical skills required for an archivist and librarian.”

SJSU and Provident Credit Union Announce Partnership Agreement for Event Center

Event Center

Event Center

 

 

Media Contacts:

Robin McElhatton

Media Relations Specialist

408-924-1749

robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

Lawrence Fan

SJSU Associate
Athletics Director

408-924-1217

lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu

John Haggarty

VP marketing,
Provident Credit Union

650-508-0300, ext. 2611

jhaggarty@providentcu.org

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University and Provident Credit Union have forged an $8.1 million, 20-year partnership agreement to rename The Event Center at San Jose State University to Provident Credit Union Event Center. The California State University Board of Trustees approved the venue renaming and broader agreement at its July 24 meeting.

“Maintaining a modern, inviting event center is vital for San Jose State, our students and student-athletes, faculty and staff, the City of San Jose, and the entire campus community,” said Mary A. Papazian, president of San Jose State. “Regional collaborations like this one demonstrate how the university can work with industry in mutually-beneficial ways. And, as an SJSU alum, President Jim Ernest is another great example of our graduates who make a difference in their own backyard.”

Funds from the annual payments will be used to make improvements, upgrades, renovations and for ongoing maintenance to the Event Center, a 30-year-old facility managed by Student Union, Inc., a student auxiliary. The building is a prominent feature of the campus and is visited by students, faculty and staff members during such events as Commencement, Honors Convocation and Spartan Athletics contests. The university and greater Bay Area community visit the center regularly when it is rented by outside promoters for concerts, comedy shows and a variety of other entertainment events.

“Provident Credit Union looks forward to supporting and serving the staff, students, and alumni of San Jose State University with financial services. The credit union has had a 70-year relationship with not only educators in Northern California but all communities in the five Bay Area counties. As an alumnus, I am very proud that Provident has been given the opportunity to provide the San Jose State University community with our exceptional products, outstanding services and comprehensive financial education. We are very excited about this partnership and eager to get started,” said Jim Ernest, president and CEO of Provident Credit Union.

Ernest is a San Jose State alumnus who holds a bachelor’s in economics and an MBA from St. Mary’s College. He serves on the board of directors of Easter Seals Bay Area and is the Finance Committee chair.

The agreement includes signage at the facility and on nearby roadways; the opportunity to sponsor or participate in university events; and the opportunity to provide the campus with financial literacy awareness clinics.

San Jose State University and Provident Credit Union thank PIVOT Agency (PIVOT), a nationally- known full-service sports marketing and sponsorship agency for its support and assistance on this naming rights agreement.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations — offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 32,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

About San Jose State University Athletics

San Jose State University’s athletics program sponsors 22 NCAA Division I sports (9 men’s and 13 women’s) and offers an intercollegiate athletics experience to at least 490 student-athletes annually. The Spartans compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the highest level of college football. San Jose State is a member of the Mountain West — a conference of 12 football-playing schools in the Pacific, Mountain and Hawaiian time zones.

About Provident Credit Union

Provident Credit Union is a full-service retail financial cooperative with over $2.7 Billion in assets, over 350 employees and 20 community branches in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Redwood Shores based credit union offers a full range of financial products and services from checking and savings accounts to credit cards and mortgage loans and has proudly served the San Francisco Bay Area since 1950. Provident has earned Bauer Financials 5 Star Sustained Superiority rating for over 20 years and has been ranked as one of the Top 200 healthiest credit unions in the country by depositaccounts.com for the past 4 consecutive years. The credit union is open to anyone who lives or works in the surrounding counties of the Bay Area. For more information about Provident please visit providentcu.org.

SJSU and Google Offer Computer Science Summer Institute Extension

SJSU students and educators celebrate on the last day of Google's Computer Science Summer Institute Extension Program. Photo by David Schmitz

SJSU students and educators celebrate on the last day of Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute Extension Program. Photo by David Schmitz

This July, 18 incoming freshmen engineering and computer science students got a head start on their studies at Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) Extension. The students spent two weeks learning programming fundamentals and a mix of languages such as HTML, CSS, Python, JavaScript and others, then spent a week developing their own web-based application.

On Aug. 2, representatives from Google, SJSU, family and friends gathered to watch the students’ final presentations. When the students started the program, three weeks before, most of them had no experience with programming. 

Ray Sawyer, a student development specialist at Google, said a few words before the students shared their apps.

“Our main goal is the opportunity to create and increase confidence and passion for technology,” he said, noting that Google engineers volunteered with the summer institute and the students toured the Mountain View headquarters. “I was here on Day 1 and I can see these students are sitting a little taller, smiling a little more and they are more confident. To witness this right here—that is success.”

SJSU Assistant Professor of Computer Science Nada Attar completed a course herself to learn how to teach the CSSI curriculum. Blanca Sanchez-Cruz, the assistant director for Student Support Programs in the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering and director of SJSU’s MESA Engineering program, helped to recruit students from the College of Science and the College of Engineering.

“We did not want to limit it to computer science or software engineering majors,” Sanchez-Cruz said. “Most engineering majors have to take an intro to coding course. We are seeing a need for coding across disciplines.”

Students work on their final assignments during Google's Computer Science Summer Institute Extension. Photo By David Schmitz

Students work on their final assignments during Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute Extension. Photo By David Schmitz

The students were presented with a simple prompt for their app design – create something that solves a problem. The groups came up with ideas for self-improvement, such as an app to help students make healthy choices around diet and exercise, or focused on supporting the campus community, such as an app to help students find professors and classes that match their learning styles.

“We are seeing students with social awareness and social consciousness,” said Sanchez-Cruz.

While the students presented and demonstrated their apps, a panel of judges that included Attar, Sawyer and two teaching assistants, took notes to determine three awards: outstanding presentation, innovative idea, and technical skills. Audience members also voted using a Google form to select an Audience Choice Award.

The first team to present won the Technical Skills award. The trio created a website they called SHOCK – Students Helping Our Community Kindly – that listed references for homeless residents and included a donate button. They deployed their site using Google Cloud Platform and said if they had more time, they would have made the site more interactive.

Ray Sawyer, third from the right, poses with students during the final day of Google's CSSI Extension program. Photo by David Schmitz

Ray Sawyer, third from the right, a student development specialist at Google, poses with students during the final day of the CSSI Extension program. Photo by David Schmitz

Of the teams, four students who worked on an app called “Find My Classmate” received the Outstanding Presentation Award. They created a web app that allows students to register and find other colleagues in their same major, then connect via social media apps. 

Two other students received the Innovative Idea award for creating Bimonthly Improvement. The website allows users to spend two months focused on a specific self-improvement topic such as sleep.

The duo enjoyed getting to know each other through the challenge.

“We made many errors when coding, but we had a fun time fixing them,” said Jesse Nguyen, of working with his partner Alexander Lane.

The team to win Audience Choice included three students who created an app for people to give away free items to other people in their community.

“When we were brainstorming, we had trouble balancing ideas with what’s doable,” said student Jennifer Yang. “We settled on a donating app.”

She and colleague Jared Garcia did most of the back-end coding.

“There were lots of errors and getting lost and finding the solutions,” Yang said. “That’s what software engineering is.”

Meet SJSU’s 2019 Orientation Leaders: Evelyn Ramirez

As nearly 10,000 undergraduate students prepare to begin classes in the fall, 34 orientation leaders have been busy this summer welcoming these new freshmen and transfer students, and their families, to campus. Orientation leaders show students and their families the ins and outs of campus, offer insights on how to connect with resources and share plenty of Spartan spirit at a total of 16 orientation sessions.

We are pleased to share a series that introduces some of the orientation leaders who shared their own educational goals, why they are involved as an orientation leader and their favorite Spartan memory.

Evelyn Ramirez

Evelyn Ramirez

Evelyn Ramirez

Major and expected Graduation date:

International Business, minor in Communication Studies, Fall 2019

Why did you become an orientation leader?

I decided to become an orientation leader because I wanted to be involved on campus and guide students in their transition from High School or Community College to SJSU.

What is your favorite part of orientation?

My favorite part of orientation is being able to connect with others on the team and the students and families. 

What advice would you give to incoming students?

My advice for incoming students is to get out of their comfort zones and get involved in order to take advantage of all the opportunities SJSU has to offer. 

What is your favorite SJSU experience?

My favorite experience at SJSU so far has been all meaningful connections I have made with other Spartans. 

What has been your favorite class?

My favorite class has been Strategic Management (BUS3 189) with Thomas Shirley through the Rio de Janeiro FLP.

SJSU’s Yoshihiro Uchida Honored for “Pioneering Spirit”

Yoshihiro Uchida, '47 Biological Sciences, walks to the stage with President Mary Papazian during the 2018 Faculty Service and Recognition Awards when he was honored for 70 years of service to SJSU. Photo by David Schmitz

Yoshihiro Uchida, ’47 Biological Sciences, walks to the stage with President Mary Papazian during the 2018 Faculty Service and Recognition Awards when he was honored for 70 years of service to SJSU.
Photo by David Schmitz

The Nisei Week Foundation is celebrating the 79th Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival Aug 10-18 in Southern California. San Jose State University alumnus and long-time judo coach Yoshihiro Uchida, ’47 Biological Sciences, will be recognized as a Pioneer Spirit during the festivities on Aug. 14.

Uchida was nominated by the Orange County Nikkei Coordinating Council for his dedication to the Japanese American community and his long-time support of judo.

Yoshihiro Uchida, center, poses with members of the 1964 Olympic Judo Team.

Yoshihiro Uchida, center, poses with members of the 1964 Olympic Judo Team.

Uchida brought the sport of judo to SJSU in the 1940s when he was a chemical engineering student. He coached police students on how to use the martial art, a sport in which he had competed since he was a 10-year-old in Garden Grove, Calif.

Before completing his degree, Uchida was drafted into the U.S. military during World War II while his family members were incarcerated in internment camps in Poston and Tule Lake. The former men’s gymnasium in the then-Spartan Complex West building was used as a registration center for Santa Clara County Japanese Americans before they were sent to internment camps during World War II. The building was renamed in his honor in 1997. It was rededicated in 2014 following a renovation of the building and a plaque was placed outside the gymnasium to denote its historic significance.

When Uchida returned to campus after World War II, he re-enrolled at SJSU and graduated with a degree in biological sciences in 1947. He continued to teach judo and was instrumental in creating a judo program on campus as well as bringing the sport to national and international attention. Uchida helped to establish a weight class system for judo that allowed it to be practiced by anyone, providing a framework for the sport’s expansion throughout collegiate circles. He also worked to establish judo as a sport in the Amateur Athletic Union.

Yoshihiro Uchida stands in the judo dojo in the building named for him at SJSU.  Photo by Christina Olivas

Yoshihiro Uchida stands in the judo dojo in the building named for him at SJSU.
Photo by Christina Olivas

The first National AAU championships were hosted by San José State in 1953. Uchida was the tournament director. On an international level, he was able to qualify judo as an Olympic event and was the first Olympic judo coach for the United States, which resulted in his traveling to the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. In 2016, he attended his 11th summer Olympics in Brazil to watch SJSU’s Marti Malloy and Colton Brown compete.

In addition, Uchida has been involved in the Japanese American community. In 1996, he founded the Japanese American Chamber of Commerce of Silicon Valley (JACCSV) and currently serves as chairman of the advisory board. He has been the chairman emeritus of the board of trustees of the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), and the chairman of the JACL advisory board. He started the San Jose Nihonmachi Corp, which worked on the Miraido Village project or Road to the Future, focused on the revitalization of the city’s Japantown.

He was inducted into the SJSU Hall of Fame in 1999 and into the SJSU “Legends Hall of Fame” in 2012, to name a few of the honors and awards bestowed on him through the years.

In 2018, Uchida was recognized at SJSU’s Faculty Service and Recognition Awards for 70 years of service to the university community. He continues to attend judo practice in Uchida Hall’s dojo.

Meet SJSU’s 2019 Orientation Leaders: Haley Tang

As nearly 10,000 undergraduate students prepare to begin classes in the fall, 34 orientation leaders have been busy this summer welcoming these new freshmen and transfer students, and their families, to campus. Orientation leaders show students and their families the ins and outs of campus, offer insights on how to connect with resources and share plenty of Spartan spirit at a total of 16 orientation sessions.

We are pleased to share a series that introduces some of the orientation leaders who shared their own educational goals, why they are involved as an orientation leader and their favorite Spartan memory.

Haley Tang

Haley Tang

Haley Tang

Major and expected Graduation date:
Advertising with a minor in Graphic Design, Spring 2020

Why did you become an orientation leader?

There were two main reasons why I wanted to become an orientation leader. The first was because I wanted to be able to have the same impact that my orientation leader had on me. I was one of the many students that was reluctant to attend SJSU. I wasn’t too optimistic going into orientation either. It wasn’t until I was able to meet my orientation leader and hear more about him when I was able to appreciate SJSU for more than the stereotypes I had heard from high school. This also ties into my second reason, in that I wanted to be able to share my story in order to encourage students that might have the same feelings about SJSU, showing them that there’s a place for them.

What is your favorite part of orientation?

My favorite part about orientation is when I’m able to see the students be themselves not only around me but also each other. Each student is different and responds to certain activities and personality types differently. It warms my heart when I’m able to joke around with the students and have the nervous energy disappear. One way that usually helps break the ice is through our Spartan to Spartan time. I love being able to collaborate with the other orientation leaders (specifically Jeanne Trang and Jeffrey Tran) in order for our students to hear multiple perspectives about SJSU. Genuine conversations lead to genuine connections. Being able to talk about how my negatives turned into positives seems to help open the door for students to share their insecurities and anxieties about college life. 

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Take every moment day by day. Don’t compare your experience based on everyone else’s. These four to five years fly by so fast so make the most of it. Make those initially awkward conversations with your classmates. Join that club even if your friends don’t want to do it with you. Apply for that job even if you don’t think you’re qualified. Fail hard and fail fast but trust the process we call college. You never know what life has in store for you.

What is your favorite SJSU experience?

My favorite experience at SJSU has been being apart of the New Student and Families Program. As cheesy as it sounds, I’ve found a support group like no other through this program. Not only have I grown as a leader but also as a person. This program has given me a new appreciation and a new purpose as an SJSU student. I wouldn’t trade this experience or these memories for the world.

What has been your favorite class?

My favorite class at SJSU has been my MCOM 100W. A lot of students don’t think too highly of their Area Z course, but I loved the open dialogue Professor Dowdy would provide. I was able to write in styles and formats that related to my major. Not being the strongest writer made me feel inadequate to take the class. Over the course of the semester, I saw my writing improve and my confidence in writing grow.

Meet SJSU’s 2019 Orientation Leaders: CeeJay Fangonilo

As nearly 10,000 undergraduate students prepare to begin classes in the fall, 34 orientation leaders have been busy this summer welcoming these new freshmen and transfer students, and their families, to campus. Orientation leaders show students and their families the ins and outs of campus, offer insights on how to connect with resources and share plenty of Spartan spirit at a total of 16 orientation sessions.

We are pleased to share a series that introduces some of the orientation leaders who shared their own educational goals, why they are involved as an orientation leader and their favorite Spartan memory.

CeeJay Fangonilo

CeeJay Fangonilo

CeeJay Fangonilo
Major and expected Graduation date:
Business Administration with a concentration in marketing, Fall 2019

Why did you become an orientation leader?
I decided to become an orientation leader here at SJSU ever since I volunteered to be one at my community college. I wanted to inspire students to really grasp their vision and goals of who they envision themselves to be within their first semester or first year at this institution and what goals they want to accomplish by then. I want to help them feel less anxious about their first day of school, I want them to be more prepared, to encourage them to utilize all their resources offered by SJSU, and to not be afraid of failures and challenges that come along the way in their first year of college. Impacting at least one student in any way during my sessions, will be the thing I’ll be most grateful for in my heart.

What is your favorite part of orientation?
My favorite part of orientation is when I’m able to break through to my students and have them open up more and be more comfortable around me because I feel that once I make that connection with them, they ask me more questions about SJSU, campus life, my own college journey, and so much more. In this way, I know that they’re enjoying their first interaction/experience here at SJSU to make their transition to college easier.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
My number one piece of advice I would offer to incoming students is to get involved on campus in any way, shape, or form. It’s important to do more than just go to class, study, do your homework, and go home. You’ll start to really find SJSU to be your home away from home once you get yourself involved on campus because that’s how you get to really connect and network with other students at your institution. When you’re ready and comfortable, get out of your comfort zone, do something new, and discover something new about yourself! Another important advice is to never forget about your mental health! It’s just as important because if you’re not in the right headspace, things can get difficult and if you ever find yourself in a tough situation, we have resources students can take advantage of in the Wellness Center. Don’t ever invalidate your feelings and just know you’re never alone although that might seem hard to remember when you’re caught up in the moment. 

What is your favorite SJSU experience?
My favorite experience at SJSU so far has to be meeting the people I’ve met through the orientation program, through Greek life, and through the clubs I decided to get myself involved in because they really made my time here at SJSU special and worthwhile. SJSU wasn’t my first choice at all but since I decided to get myself involved, I’ve fallen in love with this institution and I don’t regret my choice of coming here. I’ve grown so much in the short time I was here at SJSU and I’m glad that this orientation program played a really big part in that. Without this opportunity to interact with thousands of students who come from different walks of life with such diverse backgrounds for two summers even with my diverse group of teammates I work with and leading the new orientation leaders my second year, I wouldn’t be the person I’ve become without this program. Much love and support to my orientation family! You’ll always have a special place in my heart.

What has been your favorite class?
My favorite class I’ve taken here at SJSU was probably my social media marketing class (a marketing elective) because it really geared my curiosity to really learn about this topic in the business realm and it made me realize that I want to have my future job involved within social media marketing. My professor even went as far as getting our whole class certified with the Hootsuite program that is a very useful tool in marketing and I’m thankful for that because that puts me one up from others when I apply for jobs and it shows how professors like her really care about their students and their future, wanting them to succeed in life.

Other thoughts on SJSU?
I would also like to add that It’s never too late to get involved! As a transfer here at SJSU, I know we feel older and feel a little bit out of place. Just remember that this is your college experience, so don’t let anything or anyone else’s opinion hold you back from going after what you want! You’re only an undergraduate once, so do all you can, but remember to balance it all out.

Meet SJSU’s 2019 Orientation Leaders: Jeanne Trang

As nearly 10,000 undergraduate students prepare to begin classes in the fall, 34 orientation leaders have been busy this summer welcoming these new freshmen and transfer students, and their families, to campus. Orientation leaders show students and their families the ins and outs of campus, offer insights on how to connect with resources and share plenty of Spartan spirit at a total of 16 orientation sessions.

We are pleased to share a series that introduces some of the orientation leaders who shared their own educational goals, why they are involved as an orientation leader and their favorite Spartan memory.

Jeanne Trang

Jeanne Trang

Jeanne Trang

Major and expected Graduation date: 

Social Science in Prep for Teaching, Spring 2020

Why did you become an orientation leader?

During my own orientation in Summer 2017, my orientation leader — Natalya B., allowed me to feel at ease and excited for my first year here at SJSU. Which in turn inspired me to apply and become an orientation leader myself. I was a bit nervous in the beginning because I wasn’t sure if I was ready for this role. But knowing how big of an impact I can have on the incoming students motivated me to apply because I wanted to provide that same experience for them!

What is your favorite part of orientation?

My favorite part about orientation is the different connections that I have built with my students and the knowledge I now have about my campus because it truly helped me realize the number of amazing resources and support my campus has to offer — which has to lead me to fall in love with this school and program even more! 

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Think of yourself as a rubber band. You can only be stretched so far before you snap. So prioritize yourself and your mental health. But also don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something you normally wouldn’t try. Take college as a platform for test trials and errors. Because you for sure would rather live a life filled with “Oh” rather than “What ifs”!

What is your favorite SJSU experience?

My favorite experience so far at SJSU would be the number of opportunities I have been able to experience. Whether it is getting involved within orientation, Associated Students, or even other clubs and organizations — I strongly feel like it has allowed me to become a better individual as well as a leader and student. 

What has been your favorite class?

My favorite class that I have taken so far would be the UNVS 199 course. This class is definitely a highlight for me because it allowed me to self explore my leadership style as well as providing me skills that I can use for other experiences. It is definitely something that is hard to explain and something you need to experience yourself.