Ten Things to Know about SJSU and the Super Bowl

  1. San Jose State is proud to serve as the practice site for the Carolina Panthers. Following Super Bowl custom, practice will be closed to the public. But you’re bound to catch a glimpse of the Carolina Panthers caravan making its way from the San Jose Marriott to South Campus. And who knows? You might even spot a Panther because…
  2. A Spartan is on a Super Bowl team! Bené Benwikere, ’13 Sociology, is a cornerback for the Carolina Panthers. He’ll travel with the team, although he’s on injured reserve as he recovers from a leg fracture. It’s still a dream come true. What advice does he have for students? “Challenges are essential to your personal growth as a person; so do not shy away from any challenge,” Benwikere said.
  3. Photo via Twitter.

    Photo via Twitter @BigPlayBene

  4. Make that two Spartans on the field! Keith Ferguson, ’82 Accounting, will be the back judge, wearing jersey number 61.  This will be his second Super Bowl. Three more Spartans have officiated the NFL’s biggest game. They include alumnus Darrell Jenkins, who served as the umpire in Super Bowl XLVIII (Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks). He was a running back on the 1973, 1974 and 1975 SJSU football teams.
  5. There will be plenty more Super Bowl events right here in downtown San Jose. Super Bowl Opening Night is Feb. 1 at the SAP Center. Every major sports network in the nation will be there. So will Lauren Hernandez, ’15 Journalism, and Randy Vazquez, ’15 Journalism, representing the SJSU School of Journalism and Mass Communications. In addition, you’ll see SJSU students seated near the NFL Network set, thanks to a special connection with NFL Marketing Manager Jason Whitcomb, ’11 Kinesiology.
  6. Photo: Tom Cherrey

    Neal Dahlen earned seven Super Bowl rings as a team executive (Photo: Tom Cherrey).

  7. Many Spartans have Super Bowl rings, but only one has seven of them. Neal Dahlen, ’63 BA ’64 MS Kinesiology/Physical Education, earned his rings during a 25-year career as an executive with the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos.
  8. The Spartans-Broncos connection runs deep. The late Jack Elway, father of Broncos General Manager John Elway, served as Spartan football head coach from 1979 to 1983. The late Jana Elway-Sever, ’83 Kinesiology/Physical Education and John’s twin sister, played on SJSU’s tennis team for two years. Janet Elway, John’s mother, worked at SJSU’s Department of Industrial Technology. Back then, John Elway was the quarterback at Stanford, where this son of an SJSU coach was on the road to becoming one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. “The San Jose State-Stanford football games were magical: Stanford won in 1979 and 1980; San Jose State won in 1981 and 1982. The 1980, 1981 and 1982 games each drew more than 60,000 fans to Stanford Stadium,” SJSU Sports Information Director Lawrence Fan said.
  9. David Diaz-Infante, ’91 Social Science, was an offensive lineman on the Denver Broncos teams that won Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII (Photo: David Schmitz).

    David Diaz-Infante was an offensive lineman on the Denver Broncos teams that won Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII (Photo: David Schmitz).

  10. SJSU is the alma mater to five former Super Bowl head or assistant coaches including two legends: Bill Walsh, ’55 BA, ’58 MA, Education, led the San Francisco 49ers to victories in 1982, 1985 and 1989, and Dick Vermeil, ’58 Physical Education, ’59 MA Education, took the Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams to the Super Bowl in 1981 and 2000.
  11. Nineteen former Spartan football players have played for Super Bowl teams, including three in the past 15 years: wide receiver Rashied Davis, ’06 Sociology (Chicago Bears) wide receiver James Jones, ’06 Sociology (Green Bay Packers); and defensive back Duke Ihenacho, ’11 Speech Communication (Denver Broncos). David Diaz-Infante, ’91 Social Science, was an offensive lineman on the Denver Broncos teams that won Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII. Today, he is an ESPN college football analyst. Steve DeBerg, ’80 Physical Education, was 45 years old when he played backup quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII. Teased for being much older than Super Bowl 50 Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is just 39.
  12. Photo: David Schmitz

    Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications John Delacruz (Photo: David Schmitz).

  13. Many Spartans played leading roles in bringing the Super Bowl to the South Bay. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, ’82 Chemistry, is a Super Bowl 50 Host Committee Advisory Group member. Alumnus Jamie Matthews is mayor of the city of Santa Clara, home to Levi’s Stadium. Jill Bryant Meyers ’91 BA Journalism, ’98 MA History, is executive director of the Triton Museum of Art, including “Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.” William Kelly, ’89 BS Aeronautics/Business Administration, ’14 MA Public Administration, is the Santa Clara Fire Department chief. He helped develop the security and emergency management plan for Super Bowl 50 and related events. “The knowledge gained through  completing the MPA program was extremely helpful in that effort,” he said.
  14. Photo: David Schmitz

    San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy and Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications Diane Guerrazzi (Photo: David Schmitz).

  15. Did you know all pro football players wear tiny devices that track speed, distance and orientation? This was one of many insights shared at two Super Bowl symposiums held right here at SJSU. Moderators included Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Cole Armstrong, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications John Delacruz, and Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications Diane Guerrazzi. Jill Stelfox, vice president and general manager for location solutions at San Jose-based Zebra Technologies, described Zebra’s nickel-sized RFID chips, which are embedded inside the shoulder pads of every NFL player.

 

How the Super Bowl Will Impact SJSU

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Jan. 29. 2016. 

Dear campus community,

Super Bowl 50 in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara is just nine days away. San Jose State has many direct ties to this game and the activities throughout our region.  This message is intended as a guide to what to expect during Super Bowl Week.

SJSU and the Super Bowl

The National Football Conference champion Carolina Panthers will utilize SJSU’s South Campus facilities next week for practices and team activities. (These are all closed to the public.) We are proud to be a host site and the opportunity it affords us to showcase many of SJSU’s distinctions to a global audience.

For example, SJSU alumnus Bene Benwikere, ’13 Sociology, will return to San Jose with the Panthers next week despite a mid-season injury that prematurely ended his season. Bene, a starting cornerback before his injury, is an inspiration to current and future Spartans.

SJSU and the American Football Conference champion Denver Broncos also have legacy connections. The parents of Broncos general manager and executive vice-president and two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback John Elway are Spartans. Jack Elway, John’s dad, was our head football coach from 1979 to 1983. Janet Elway, John’s mom, was an administrative assistant in the industrial technology department.

Many on campus are working to celebrate these and other connections. In collaboration with the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, University Advancement sponsored SportsTech symposia in December and earlier this month, exploring the many ways technology has influenced professional sports.

University communications staff members and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics are working on several features, and are collaborating with regional and national media on other stories that we expect to see in the days leading up to the game. You may see media on or around campus.

You can follow all stories on SJSU web properties and social media platforms, including theSJSU Newsroom blog, Twitter @SJSU, Twitter @sjsuathletics, the SJSU Facebook page,SJSU Alumni Association Facebook page and SJSUSpartans on Instagram.

Facility enhancements 

In collaboration with and support from the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee and the San Jose Sports Authority, improvements have been made to some of SJSU’s practice facilities and locker rooms, including a new turf installation last week. These enhancements will benefit students, coaches and staff for years to come.

Impacts

SJSU athletics representatives and UPD officials have been closely collaborating with the NFL and law enforcement to ensure a safe environment for everyone. Following Super Bowl custom, the practice site will be closed to the public. Authorized personnel only will be permitted at South Campus during this time. While the stadium and athletic facilities will not be accessible, the Park and Ride lot will remain open to students, staff and faculty.

Next week, downtown San Jose will welcome many visitors attending public events and activities. Hotels and restaurants, parking facilities and some surface streets will be considerably busier than usual. Traffic mitigation measures have been carefully considered, and few street closures are expected. The San Jose Mercury News has created a Super Bowl Street Guide infographic that you may find helpful and you can stay updated by downloading the Nixle app (text SB 50 to 888777).

Other sites offering updates on activities and impacts in our area include:

City of San Jose

City of Santa Clara

Super Bowl 50

Following last December’s exciting win by our own Spartans in the inaugural AutoNation Cure Bowl, Super Bowl 50 is an exciting opportunity for San Jose State to showcase its legacy and future. Let’s take full advantage of it!

Sincerely,

Sue Martin

SJSU Meteorologist Forecasts Super Bowl Weather

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

Jan Null (Photo: David Schmitz)

Jan Null (Photo: David Schmitz)

By Jan Null, Lecturer of Meteorology and Climate Science and Certified Consulting Meteorologist

This week will see the eyes of the world focused on the San Francisco Bay Area for Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, 2016, and the days preceding. Game day is still at the far end of the meteorological forecast model’s capabilities, and consequently, it is still a tossup as to whether it will actually rain in Santa Clara on that day. There is even a lesser chance of rain during the four-hour period of play.

The general trend for the entire week of activities preceding the Super Bowl is both good news and bad news.  The good news is that only a couple weak weather systems will move through the region during that time, but the bad news is that most Californians would rather see more rain toward the mitigation of the drought.

Looking at the past 49 years during the week preceding the Super Bowl, it has rained on average two days, with an average rainfall amount of 0.81 inches at the Mineta-San Jose International Airport, just three miles away from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. That rain occurred on 37 of the 49 weeks, or 76 percent of the time. It is also interesting to note that the two wettest Super Bowl weeks were during the strong El Nino events of 1997-98 (6.76 inches) and 1972-73 (2.23 inches).

Over the past 49 February 7ths it has rained 41 percent of the time on game day, but probably on the order of 15 percent of the time during the late afternoon.

The bottom line looks like any precipitation will be more of nuisance and not a deluge.

 

Community Music Institute Receives $10,000 from 50 Fund

Photo: Mathew Imaging

Gustavo Dudamel, who will perform at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, has been a key figure in the launch of YOLA, a youth orchestra in Los Angeles, California. SJSU is developing a similar initiative. (Photo: Craig T. Mathew/ Mathew Imaging for LA Phil).

An SJSU initiative inspired by the success of Super Bowl 50 halftime performer Gustavo Dudamel has received a $10,000 gift from a game-related charity and could receive $10,000 more with your help.

All you need to do is go to the StubHub Fan Fair website, scroll down to “StubHub Gives Back to the Bay Area,” and vote for the SJSU Community Music Institute before Feb. 5. The five organizations that receive the most votes will get an extra $10,000.

The winners will be announced Super Bowl Sunday.


Inspiration

Coordinator of Music Education Diana Hollinger founded the Community Music Institute in 2006. A branch of the SJSU School of Music and Dance, the program provides musical instruments and lessons to children.

Hollinger’s inspiration, and the subject of her dissertation, is Venezuela’s El Sistema music education program, which offers a classical music education to disadvantaged youth. Dudamel, the exuberant musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is among its best-known alumni. He will perform at this year’s halftime show.

“SJSU resides in a diverse, creative, and vibrant local cultural life, yet many of our resident urban schools have high levels of student poverty and little or no music education. We hold that every child deserves a complete and quality music education, and that this improves the lives of children and their communities,” Hollinger said.

Projects

The Young Musicians’ Project is one of CMI’s initiatives. It pairs music majors with local elementary, middle, and high school musicians for one-on-one lessons. Now, Hollinger would like to start a String Project, focusing specifically on string instruments.

SJSU student gives a one-on-one violin lesson to a boy.

Photo: Brian Stanley, ’16 Journalism

“The first $10,000 finances the instruments. The extra $10,000 would allow us to provide stipends to the SJSU music students who will teach on these instruments. This is an important piece, as so many of our own students struggle to pay tuition and living expenses,” Hollinger said.

These projects provide the SJSU music majors with hands-on teaching experience, while offering private lessons to young people who would otherwise lack access to such opportunities.

Approximately 15 SJSU students worked with 30 children on the Young Musicians’ Project last semester. There’s room for growth. With more than 100 music education majors, SJSU is one a top provider of music teachers and band directors to Bay Area schools.

Changing lives

Hugo Garcia, ’17 MA Music Education, is the program director for the Young Musicians’ Project. He’s motivated by personal experience.

I come from a low socioeconomic background, and I didn’t have much of a music education because the majority of opportunities to get a good quality music education were and still are very expensive. However, I loved music, and I found that it helped me learn and it helped me find my focus,” he said.

“I think that if I had more of an opportunity to study music, my schooling would not have been as difficult as it became. I had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get the music education that I now believe should be free.”

SJSU connected with StubHub through the 50 Fund, which provided SJSU the initial $10,000 gift. The 50 Fund is the signature philanthropic initiative of Super Bowl 50. Its goal is to help close the opportunity gap that exists for Bay Area children, youth, and young adults living in low-income communities.

 

CSU Trustees Appoint Mary A. Papazian as President of SJSU

Mary A. Papazian

Mary A. Papazian

Media Contacts:
Laurie Weidner, lweidner@calstate.edu (562) 951-4800
Pat Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu (408) 924-1748

(January 27, 2016) – The California State University Board of Trustees has appointed Mary A. Papazian, Ph.D., as president of San José State University effective July 1. A seasoned higher education leader with more than 25 years of teaching and administrative experience, Papazian is currently serving as the president of Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in New Haven, Connecticut. She replaces Susan Martin, Ph.D., who was appointed as the interim president in August 2015. Papazian will be the university’s 29th president and the third female president in its 159-year history. Read more.

Civil Rights Icon Ruby Bridges to Receive Steinbeck Award

Ruby Bridges enters William Frantz Elementary School, surrounded by federal marshals (AP image).

Ruby Bridges enters William Frantz Elementary School in 1960, surrounded by federal marshals (AP image).

SJSU Media Relations Contact: Pat Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1748

Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges today (photo courtesy of Ms. Bridges).

SAN JOSE, CA – Civil rights icon Ruby Bridges, the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in Louisiana, will be on campus Feb. 24 to receive the John Steinbeck Award.

“An Evening with Ruby Bridges” is slated for 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) in the Student Union. The award presentation will culminate an evening featuring an onstage interview of Bridges by KQED’s Joshua Johnson. Tickets are available at the Event Center box office (408-924-6333) or at ticketmaster.com.

Ruby Bridges has been called the youngest foot soldier of the civil rights movement. In 1960, the NAACP selected a six-year-old girl to break the color barrier of an all-white elementary school in New Orleans. White parents removed their children from classes, and angry protesters jeered at Ruby as she walked the steps of William Frantz Elementary School surrounded by federal marshals. For months, Ruby sat alone in her classroom, instructed one-on-one by Barbara Henry, a white teacher from Boston. John Steinbeck was moved by Bridges’ courage and wrote about her in his 1962 book “Travels with Charley.”

More information is available on the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies’ website.

 

Police Activity: King Library Closed Jan. 11

King Library

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library


SJSU Media Relations Contact: Pat Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library on the grounds of San Jose State University has been closed for the remainder of Monday, Jan. 11. The library is expected to re-open Tuesday, Jan. 12.

At 3 p.m. Jan. 11, an individual fell from the sixth floor interior atrium to the ground floor. The University Police Department and Santa Clara County Medical Examiner are investigating the death. There is no evidence to suggest foul play or any on-going safety threat.

The medical examiner will release the victim’s identity after contacting next of kin. The individual is not an SJSU student or employee. Anyone with information on the case should call UPD at (408) 924-2222.

SJSU and the city of San Jose co-manage King Library, which serves the public and all university community members. SJSU is extending condolences to all who have been affected by this tragedy.

SJSU provides counseling at no cost to students and employees. Students may contact Counseling and Psychological Services at (408) 924-5910. Faculty and staff may contact the Employee Assistance Program offered through SJSU Human Resources at (800) 367-7474.

SJSU Remembers Former President Gail Fullerton

Gail Fullerton (courtesy of SJSU Special Collections and Archive)

Gail Fullerton (courtesy of SJSU Special Collections and Archive)

Gail Fullerton, the first woman ever to serve as SJSU’s president, passed away on Jan. 1 in Oregon. She was 88.

“Our warmest thoughts are with the Fullerton family during this difficult loss,” said Interim President Susan Martin.

Appointed in 1978, President Fullerton led our campus until her retirement in 1991. She was the first faculty member promoted to the university’s top leadership post since 1900.

Her professional and personal accomplishments and other anecdotes are captured in an obituary published Wednesday afternoon. Funeral arrangements are pending.

 

Alumnus Receives NCAA’s Highest Honor

Peter Ueberroth

Peter Ueberroth (right) continues to support the SJSU men’s water polo program (photo: Terrell Lloyd).

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an NCAA news release posted on Dec. 16. 

Marking a successful career in business and sports, Peter Ueberroth will be recognized in January at the NCAA Convention with the NCAA’s highest honor, the Theodore Roosevelt Award. Named after the former president whose concern for the conduct of college athletics led to the formation of the NCAA in 1906, the award is given annually at the NCAA Honors Celebration to an individual who exemplifies the ideals of college sports. Ueberroth was previously named a 1984 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award honoree commemorating the 25thanniversary of his graduation from college.

The young man peered at a striped yellow ball – he had never encountered one like it before.

It was four weeks before his graduation from Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, California, and Peter Ueberroth was about to be presented with a life-altering opportunity. After swimming a few laps, a cinch given his background as a lifeguard, he fired that ball into a target, again and again.

Six decades later, Ueberroth still remembers trying that strange new sport in front of San Jose State University water polo coach Ed Rudloff. The meeting was arranged by Ueberroth’s high school football coach, Ken Stanger, a former San Jose State football player who recommended Rudloff take a look at the strong-armed football and baseball player.

If not for the opportunity provided by the water polo scholarship that resulted from that tryout, the future Time magazine Man of the Year said he wouldn’t even have attended college. Ueberroth’s experience at San Jose State served as a springboard to a career spent at the highest levels of business and sports.

Read the full release.

Provost Releases Report on Why Students Leave SJSU

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Dec. 11, 2015.

Dear campus community,

As we work toward increasing graduation and retention rates at San Jose State, we have a new report that offers some insights into why some students leave before completing their degrees. The report, “Why Do Students Leave? A Study of Student Departure from San Jose State University,” was conducted during summer and fall 2015 by Dr. Michael Cheers, Dr. Rona Halualani, Dr. Lisa Oliver and Dr. Marcos Pizzaro.

I would like to thank these four professors for their work on this valuable report, the first of its kind on our campus.  The goal of this study was to learn more about the experiences of SJSU first-time freshmen who have either stopped out (meaning they left SJSU with the intention of returning in the future), dropped out or are persisting at a different institution.

The percentage of first-generation students, underrepresented minorities in particular, who left SJSU after attending for just one year was significantly higher than the overall population.  Using telephone and online surveys, and online focus groups, the researchers discovered four recurring factors that influenced students when they made the decision to leave. These factors include:

  • Difficulty in attaining classes
  • Precipitating event or crisis point in a student’s life, and a perceived lack of assistance from staff, faculty or advisors
  • Feeling no connection to the campus
  • Difficult encounters with advisors

A summary of the study and the full report are available online. I encourage you to review the data now and attend forums in the spring when the team will further discuss the results of the study.

I invite you to work with us as Academic Affairs continues to collaborate with the campus community to develop a student success strategic plan. The information from this study and your input will be integral in addressing the needs of all of our students.

Sincerely,

Andy Feinstein
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Spartans Recognized for Volunteer Work on Downtown Mural

Randy Vazquez, senior journalism major; Danny McLane, junior industrial systems engineer major and Jahmal C. Williams, Spartan Connect Coordinator, Peer Connections, pose with their community service certificates presented by the City of San Jose. McLane and Williams are members of the AfricanAmerican/Black Task Force. Vazquez is a member of the Latino@ Student Success Task  Force. All contributed community service hours for the recently completed SJ Downtown Community Mural project.

Randy Vazquez, Danny McLane and Jahmal Williams pose with their community service certificates presented by the city of San Jose (photo by Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications Michael Cheers).

Three Spartans have been recognized by the city for volunteering to help with San Jose’s latest street mural project.

“I’ve learned so much about the people who helped shape our culture and society. I’m in awe at artistry and what it represents,” said Danny McLane, ’16 Industrial and Systems Engineering.

McLane, Randy Vazquez, ’15 Photojournalism, and Spartan Connect Coordinator Jahmal Williams received certificates commemorating their contributions at a dedication ceremony held Dec. 2.

Barbershop mural

photo by Randy Vazquez, ’15 Photojournalism

Design

McLane, Vazquez and Williams are active in SJSU’s African American and Chicano/Latino student success task forces. The related “Fades and Fellowship” support group meets regularly on campus and at the Barbers, Inc. barbershop at East Santa Clara and South Eighth streets, where the mural is located.

The mural began as six separate studies or canvases now hanging inside the shop. Each shows one of the shop’s barbers styling a public figure, ranging from Muhammad Ali to Bruce Lee.

Vazquez recently completed a video, “Interview With An Icon: A Collection of Art and History.” The piece is part of an exhibit on the making of the mural, opening at the King Library Cultural Heritage Center in mid-January.

Inspiration

SJSU alumnus Dave Diggs, who owns the shop, said his support grew from his recent trips to Europe, where he saw street art everywhere.

He wanted to bring the same appreciation for the arts to his corner of downtown San Jose, and found in his very own shop Ian Young, a barber and artist perfect for the project.

The end result is a mural that boosts pride for all kinds of people and brings prominence to an all too often overlooked part of town.

Sponsors

A number of local sponsors contributed to the mural project. They include the San Jose Downtown Foundation, Maranatha Christian Center, Big Rentz, Sherwin-Williams and The Home Depot.

 

President Releases Statement on Divestment

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Nov. 19. 2015. 

Dear SJSU community,

The SJSU Associated Students (A.S.) board on Wednesday adopted a resolution calling for divestment of invested assets in several companies doing business in Israel, one of which is part of a fund maintained by the SJSU Tower Foundation.

After public comment and board discussion, the resolution was passed on a 10-5 vote, with no abstentions.

I was returning late Wednesday from a CSU trustees meeting in Long Beach and couldn’t be present. But I am told that the debate was vigorous and civil, and that A.S. worked hard to provide equal time for supporters and opponents to speak.

Ensuring room for debate and dissent is essential to the fabric of a public university. I respect our Associated Students leaders for embracing this challenge, and thank all who invested time in expressing their views on such a complex and contentious subject.

The Tower Foundation Board will review, study and discuss the resolution.

Sincerely,

Sue Martin
Interim President

Provost Releases Graduation Rate Report

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Nov. 20, 2015.

Dear campus community,

I am pleased to announce that graduation rates of SJSU undergraduates continue to improve. As you will see, we have both good news and challenges to address. Your input will be important as we move forward.

Six-year and four-year graduation rates

The six-year baccalaureate rate reached 56.8 percent for our fall 2009 freshmen cohort, up five percentage points over last year’s rate.

As with other campuses in the CSU system, graduation within four years remains the exception rather than the norm. Only 10 percent of the freshmen who started in fall 2011 graduated within four years. Few students enter college ready or, for a variety of reasons, cannot take the course load required to graduate within four years. Going forward, summer programming will allow more students to start the fall semester on an even footing with their college-ready peers. In addition, the campus has plans to support all undergraduates by allowing students to increase their average unit load so they can take courses needed to complete their degree.

Transfer graduation rates

At the same time, the three-year rate for transfers from California Community Colleges rose to 58.4 percent this year from 56.9 percent last year, while the four-year rate for transfers held steady at 69.6 percent. Among both freshmen and transfers, SJSU is well on its way toward surpassing the 2025 graduation goals set forth for the campus by the CSU Chancellor’s Office earlier this year.

Underrepresented minority (URM) graduation rates

While we continue to improve graduation rates for underrepresented minority (URM) students (specifically African-American, Hispanic and Native American) with rates up nearly 2 percent from last year, the new data tells us we still have significant work ahead. Although both URM and non-URM graduation rates improved, the rate of improvement was much higher among non-URM students, increasing the graduation difference for URM students from 12 percent last year to 17 percent this year.

Student Success Task Forces

The news about our growing underrepresented minority achievement gap is disheartening. We must work together to reverse this. As a start, the African American Student Success Task Force and Chicano/Latino Student Success Task Force have introduced a number of community-building events and academic activities, including group study sessions with opportunities to meet with an academic advisor, graduate school workshops, and resiliency workshops. This semester, Student Academic Success Services has expanded its early alert system to all underrepresented students to identify and assist those who are struggling in their classes.

Also happening this year, members of the task forces and other researchers at SJSU are studying factors that influence persistence of URM students to better understand why some leave. This in-depth research will help to inform the actions SJSU must take to retain and graduate our underrepresented minority students.

Moving forward

We need to do much more. As a start, we are developing a strategic plan to support student success broadly across the campus. All of the colleges have also developed ambitious graduation rate goals, including enhancements in URM degree attainment rates. The deputy provost has inventoried our existing student support programs, with the inventory available on a Graduation Rate Strategic Plan website, and completed a preliminary degree completion needs assessment. In the spring, we will be presenting findings broadly and will be soliciting feedback through a variety of venues from students, staff and faculty to inform our strategic plan for student success.

As we develop our strategic plan, I welcome your engagement and feedback through the website, where you can share input and review up-to-date information on our progress. We each have an essential role to play in fostering a sense of belonging and empowering our students to succeed. I look forward to our continued work together.

Sincerely,

​Andy Feinstein
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

SJSU, LinkedIn Launch Mobile App

CSU Chancellor Tim White visits the LinkedIn Photo Studio at SJSU Nov. 4.

CSU Chancellor Tim White visits the LinkedIn Photo Studio at SJSU Nov. 4 (photo by Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’16 MS Mass Communications).

SJSU Media Relations contact:
Daniel Newell, 408-924-6028, daniel.newell@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State University and LinkedIn have formed a unique partnership that aims to assist college students in exploring career interests and career pathways. The SJSU Career Center and LinkedIn have launched a new pilot program, an exciting mobile app that assist students in developing a professional social network that targets potential industries and occupations of interest based on alumni who have graduated from SJSU and are now working in the field.

Pilot of a New Mobile App

Recently, Business Insider announced SJSU as the #1 supplier of talent to Silicon Valley; it’s no surprise that SJSU was selected to be the first university in the nation to pilot this new and engaging mobile app. Through this education-industry partnership, future hopes are that students will engage in their professional development and network early to prepare to enter the workforce. The app tailors its content to each student’s profile, providing a high level of customization in the role, company, content, and alumni recommendations it surfaces.

Closing the Skills-gap

The app highlights top skills that are self-reported by alumni, introducing current students to areas they should look to develop if they choose to enter the same field. Students can reach out to an alumnus to connect for an informational interview or mentoring, providing the next generation workforce with the access necessary to learn from those who came before them. Closing the skills and achievement gaps is a process. From the SJSU LinkedIn pilot program – providing career exploration tools, resources, and access to potential mentors – we believe we are taking an important step in the right direction.

Celebrating a New Partnership

To celebrate its new partnership, on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015, the SJSU Career Center, SJSU Student Alumni Association, and LinkedIn launched a “LinkedIn to Your Career” event that involved a LinkedIn Photo Studio known as the “Headshot Truck,” a cutting-edge mobile head shot photography studio. The celebration also included an evening workshop and mixer. At the event, students were able to create LinkedIn profiles, take head shots for their profile picture, and learn how to maximize their job search through networking.

The event attracted more than 600 students and even caught the attention of Chancellor Tim White, who stopped by to take a head shot for his LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn invited SJSU students to network with LinkedIn employees who graduated from SJSU. Alumni guests represented majors from health science, international business, computer science, graphic design/digital media art, management information systems, accounting, and engineering.

About San Jose State

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 more than 140 areas of study and 100 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 33,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State 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.

SJSU to Host African American College Readiness Summit

African American students at commencement

photo by Christina Olivas

The third annual African American College Readiness Summit, sponsored by San Jose State University, the Santa Clara County Office of Education and community organizations, will be held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at SJSU.

Organizers will provide 500 high school students with the tools, information and contacts they need to pursue higher education. The keynote speaker is teacher, minister and aspiring charter school founder Sean Gardere, ’08 Sociology.

This year’s summit is informed by the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative, which encourages all students to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school.

The day will begin with entertainment by the Gunderson High and Independence High step teams, plus Akoma Arts. Speakers include SJSU Vice President for Student Affairs Reginald Blaylock and Associate Vice President for Student Services Romando Nash. Workshops will cover financial aid, fields of study, trade school, community college, and career planning.

For the first time, two sessions will be offered this academic year. Friday’s session will focus on high school students. A second session this spring will bring middle school students to SJSU. Organizers are responding to growing interest in the event and the need to customize offerings for each age group.

 

SJSU Honors 95 Employees at 48th Annual Spartan Service Celebration

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

Ninety-five staff members and administrators were honored at the 48th Annual Spartan Service Celebration held Oct. 29 in the Student Union Ballroom.

If there was one attribute that fit the honorees, it was modesty. Even people who spent most of their adult lives at SJSU had to be coaxed to stand up and take a bow.

Sitting in the very last row of the packed room was Margaret Soto, an administrative analyst in the Office of the President.

Thirty-five years of service

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

She was among five individuals honored for 35 years at San Jose State, where her five sisters and her father-in-law also worked.

And that’s not all. Her brothers worked Saturdays administering placement tests. So for years, Soto’s family has been touching every corner of campus, from housing, to chemistry, to UPD.

In a video tribute to all honorees played on a giant screen at the front of the room, she was asked to describe her favorite memory.

“Meeting my husband,” she said. Enrique Lopez is yet another family member who worked on campus. “After 26 years, he still makes me smile.”

There were plenty of smiles to go around as SJSU’s vice presidents and athletics director took turns reading the names of every single employee reaching milestones of 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service.

Favorite memories

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

In between the batches of names, the videotape rolled. Staff members who work across campus, and all the way out to Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, recalled their first years on campus and their favorite memories.

For Erlinda Yanez of the Department of Mexican American Studies, it was senior staff members who showed her the ropes when she was brand new.

For John Douglas of Moss Landing, it was the constant influx of new students and researchers from around the world.

For Vic Soares of Facilities Development and Operations, it was giving the athletics field an extra close cut, just the way coaches liked it.

For Lawrence Fan of the Athletics Department, it was being offered a job close to home and leveraging his sports media acumen.

Dreams for the future

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

Sonia Lieu of Student Affairs has yet to experience what she hopes will be her best memory: posing for graduation photos with her daughter, an engineering major at SJSU.

So while the details varied, the stories all returned to the same theme. People who come here to work gain a second family in the process, one that cares for them, and they care for just the same.

 

 

 

Nursing Student Rallies SJSU to Erect Peace Pole

Photo: Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group

Photo: Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group

Inspired by her belief in world peace, a nursing student rallied the SJSU community to install and unveil its very own Peace Pole.

Navpreet Kaur, ’17 Nursing, delivered the keynote address at the unveiling of SJSU’s newest monument Oct. 12.

A crowd of students, faculty and staff gathered along a busy walkway between Tower Hall and a grove of trees and roses near Clark Hall to hear from her.

“I believe we do have the potential to reach peace. It’s just a very difficult process,” she said.

One message, 12 languages

The Peace Pole is much smaller than SJSU’s Smith/Carlos sculpture and the Cesar E. Chavez monument, but it packs a punch.

“May Peace Prevail on Earth” is inscribed on the pole in the 12 languages most common in Santa Clara County.

Kaur was inspired to pursue the project after taking a semester off from San Jose State, and enrolling in classes at San Jose City College.

She knew nothing about Peace Poles when she stumbled upon one there. The inscription, in so many languages, intrigued her.

So she did what everyone does nowadays to record the moment: She took a photo of the pole, Instagrammed it, and then Googled it.

An international movement

Photo By Leo Reynolds

Peacemarker by Leo Reynolds / Three photos, combined.

She learned that the Peace Pole movement was born in post World War II Japan. Today, there are more than 200,000 poles worldwide.

“I remember just feeling an instant connection, and I thought I wanted to see this on my home campus,” Kaur said.

Back at SJSU, Kaur spent a day contacting everyone she could, from the president on down, until she got a reply.

The response came from Aditya Mairal, ’17 Mechanical Engineering. At the time, he was the Associated Students director of intercultural affairs.

“I gave her that push and told her that ‘yes, you can do this,’” Mairal said to Spartan Daily.

Kaur took that to heart, and her dream came true, with a good dose of mentoring from The Valley Foundation School of Nursing Director Katherine Abriam-Yago.

A faculty mentor

“She was just a constant support system,” Kaur said. “She would tell me, ‘This is your idea and if you’re envisioning it in a certain way, then you need to fight for that vision.’”

Raised in East San Jose’s cultural melting pot, Kaur was particularly concerned about the languages.

“My number one goal was to make sure there was no bias with the language selection,” she said, so she turned to U.S. Census data to keep the peace.

Interestingly, one reason she is drawn to nursing is, in her eyes, it’s also all about mediation.

“A lot of the time, patients don’t express what their true concerns are in fear of being judged by their healthcare professionals,” she said. “As a nurse, I am an advocate for my patient. I’m an advocate for their concerns. Standing up for those who are afraid to raise their voice is a beautiful thing.”

 

“The Blue & the Beyond” Captures Film Festival Audiences

A film produced by Animation/Illustration students–on their own time outside the classroom–has succeeded in capturing the attention of film festivals across the United States and Canada.

Youri Dekker, ’15 Animation/Illustration, originally proposed “The Blue & the Beyond” as a capstone class project for his bachelor’s of fine arts program.

When his instructors took a different route, Dekker hunkered down in an empty classroom with nine classmates, re-worked the story, and began sketching.

“There was a level of excitement because this project was so big and no one in our program had ever done anything like this before, to this scale, and with so many characters,” Dekker said.

Help from 117 classmates

Photo: Courtesy of Youri Dekker

Photo: Courtesy of Youri Dekker

Part way through, Dekker went back to his instructors for advice on the story, production process and managing everyone coming on board, including a good portion of the Shrunkenheadman club.

One year and one day later, in August 2015, they completed the 9.5-minute animated short, with help from 117 classmates total, inspired by Dekker’s vision.

Described as “the story of a young, imaginative man named Charlie, who is searching to find someone like him in a world where he is different in every way,” the film was shown at the Barrie Film Festival Oct. 17 in Ontario and SPARK Animation 2015 Oct. 25 in Vancouver.

Bay Area audiences will get their chance at the Pictoclik film festival and Bay Area Women in Film & Media 2015 Shorts Showcase this November in San Francisco.

Gratitude

Photo: Courtesy of Youri Dekker

Photo: Courtesy of Youri Dekker

Kimberly Mucha and Samia Khalaf, who also graduated with BFAs in Animation/Illustration this past May, served as producers.

A Netherlands native raised near Fresno, Dekker plans to pursue a career in animation. He interned with Pixar on “The Good Dinosaur.”

But for now, this recent graduate’s just feeling grateful for this dream come true, made possible by his friends at San Jose State.

“I told our crew, ‘We’re making this for an audience,’” Dekker said. “‘We’re making this so not only we can enjoy the film, but so other people can enjoy what we created and made.’”

 

California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White to Visit San Jose State Nov. 4

SJSU Media Relations contact:
Pat Harris, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, CA – California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White will visit San Jose State on Nov. 4 to meet with faculty, staff and students. The chancellor’s visit reflects the priority he places on visiting all 23 campuses on a regular basis, with an emphasis on research, innovation and student success.

The visit will include the following events open to the news media:

  • A media availability at 10:25 a.m. in Clark Hall 300. Interim President Susan Martin will provide brief opening remarks and will introduce the chancellor. Reporters will be welcome to ask questions on any topic.
  • An open forum at 11 a.m. in the Student Union Theater (enter off the Ninth Street Plaza). Academic Senate Chair Michael Kimbarow will serve as the moderator. All students, faculty, staff and the public are welcome to attend.
  • Two sessions showing innovative examples of learning within the campus environment. Please contact SJSU Media Relations for more information.

Chancellor White will round out the visit with a campus tour and gatherings with campus community members.

About San Jose State

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 33,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State 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.

 

 

Candlelight Vigil for Ryan Harryman

SJSU Interim President Susan Martin has emailed the following message to the campus community. This event is open to the public.

Dear students, faculty and staff,

I am writing to let you know about plans to honor the life and memory of SJSU student Ryan Harryman, who passed away Saturday night.

A senior anthropology major from Sunnyvale, Ryan collapsed during club water polo practice last Tuesday evening and never regained consciousness.

In close collaboration with his family, we have scheduled a candlelight vigil for this Friday, Oct. 23, beginning at 6 p.m. in front of the Smith/Carlos sculpture near Clark Hall. Students and others are invited to join in this informal celebration, during which participants will have the opportunity to share personal memories of Ryan.

We all stand with Ryan’s parents, siblings, extended family, teammates and friends during this very difficult time.

Sincerely,

Susan Martin
Interim President