Faculty Awards 2 Slideshow

2012-2013 Outstanding Lecturer: Kathleen Normington

2012-2013 Outstanding Lecturer: Kathleen Normington

2012-2013 Outstanding Lecturer Kathleen Normington (Peter Caravalho photo)

The Outstanding Lecturer Award recognizes a lecturer for excellence in teaching effectiveness and service to the San Jose State campus community. This year’s winner comes from the College of Humanities and the Arts.

Kathleen Normington enjoys staging guerrilla theatre performances on campus and in the community, where her students are taken out of the “theatre space.” Creating innovative approaches to learning outside of the classroom has helped her earn the 2012-2013 Outstanding Lecturer Award.

A lecturer since earning her master’s in theatre arts from San Jose State in 2004, Normington uses her 12 years of teaching experience to bring creativity to her students. She supplies the opportunity for them to genuinely experience theatre by providing them with the tools to put their coursework into practice and by teaching them to be fearless and to take risks.

One student said: “The engaging exercises and skills practiced and rehearsed during lecture and laboratory hours provide an open, supportive and safe creative environment where artists find themselves grounded, present and connected to the work and, perhaps most importantly, themselves and each other.”

“As a researcher, director and teacher Kathleen has a natural curiosity. It is her enthusiasm for and understanding of a broad spectrum of performing art that makes her such an eclectic artist and teacher,” said one nominator. “She also has an exacting eye. As a director, and really in every aspect of her work, she brings taste and specificity. From her understanding of language and story to her intuition about staging and character, Kathleen brings intelligence and restraint to her work.”

Normington’s service to San Jose State extends beyond the classroom. She has directed 11 plays at SJSU and four plays in the community. Normington is co-author of Simply Acting: A Handbook for the Student Actor and Simply Theatre: Appreciating Performance of the 21st Century, two textbooks that support courses taught at San Jose State. She was actively involved in revamping the theatre arts curriculum, and has created course certification reports. Normington serves as lead instructor for sizeable multi-section general education courses that are essential components to the theatre program.

“I hope that students realize that the humanity of theatre is what connects us all,” Normington said. “There is not just one way, but many ways to connect that in their lives.”

Normington earned a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree from San Jose State.

2012-2013 Outstanding Professor: Alejandro Garcia

2012-2013 Outstanding Professor: Alejandro Garcia

2012-2013 Outstanding Professor: Alejandro Garcia

2012-2013 Outstanding Professor Alejandro Garcia (Peter Caravalho photo)

The Outstanding Professor Award recognizes a faculty member for overall excellence in academic assignment. This year’s winner comes from the College of Science.

San Jose State Professor of Physics and Astronomy Alejandro Garcia insists that there is no secret recipe for teaching, but he tries to instill in his students that they must always look with “keen, fresh eyes” in order to understand how things move in the world. This approach to teaching helped him earn the 2012-2013 Outstanding Professor Award.

Garcia’s effectiveness as a professor can be seen through his professional work in physics and animation, and the input he brings to the classroom.  Garcia has been recognized for his commitment to bringing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to the visual arts, having developed a MUSE class entitled The Nexus of Art and Science in 2006 and an SJSU Studies class entitled Physics of Animation in 2009. The latter course, which is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the physics and animation departments within the College of Science and the College of Humanities and the Arts, is the product of one of two NSF Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM grants Garcia has earned; the most recent one looks into the optics of animation.

As physics consultant at DreamWorks Animation SKG, Garcia applied traditional physics to the art of animation in the film Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and, in this capacity, was able to bring valuable information back to his students about how physics is used in a major feature film studio.

In addition to his physics of animation work, Garcia actively participates in the fluctuating hydrodynamics research program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and regularly organizes international conferences. He has published more than 80 technical journal manuscripts and his work has been cited 1,400 since 2007.

The physics scholar is also dedicated in the classroom. According to one student, Garcia “takes the time to ensure that the material, no matter how complex, was presented in such a manner that would easily be absorbed by all students.”

“He is not opposed to resorting to dynamic (occasionally fearsome) demonstrations or wildly comic delivery,” said one colleague. “Exploding pumpkins, beds of nails, and hair-raising electrical currents find a place in a curriculum designed to help visually oriented students understand the importance of science in the production of convincing imagery.”

“I make it very clear that sometimes they specifically need to violate the laws of physics in what they are doing, because if they want to create a compelling story, they have to use the right tools for the job,” he said.

Garcia earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University, a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin and completed post-docs at Free University of Brussels and the University of California in Los Angeles.

Corporate Finance Major Interns in London

Corporate Finance Major Interns in London

Corporate Finance Major Interns in London

Thompson Global Internship Program participant Diane Leija, ’12 business administration, at the Parliament building in London (photo courtesy of Diane Leija).

Each morning, Diane Leija, ’12 business administration, walks 15 minutes from the Tower Bridge near London’s financial district to a train station, where she hitches a ride to the London borough of Enfield.

“[In London], everyone walks fast, so don’t be surprised to see people wearing walking shoes with slacks and business attire,” Leija said. “You literally hit the ground running when you get here.”

Leija is one of four students participating this winter in the Thompson Global Internship Program, designed to offer College of Business students the opportunity to live abroad while working on a project for Crown Worldwide Group, founded by alumnus Jim Thompson, ’62 aeronautical engineering.

This winter’s group brings to 43 the total number of students who have participated in this unique program since its inception in late 2009.

As a marketing research intern, Leija is applying her two-semester experience in the College of Business Gary J. Sbona Honors Program to complete research for Thompson Global entitled “Market and Competitive Analysis for the Records Management Industry.”

“I get to access the threats and strengths of competitors and look at the different angles of dissecting a company,” Leija said.

Besides learning to work in the real world with real companies that have real problems, Leija has appreciated working with people from different cultures and seeing how they interact.

“The world is in London. There are people form Africa, Asia and other parts of Europe,” Leija said. “If you think Silicon Valley is diverse, you should see this!”

The 13-day internship concludes next week, but Leija plans to extend her trip to visit Paris and Rome. She is a Hollister native and first-generation college graduate.

A business major with a concentration in corporate financial management, Leija also accepted a position at Ernst & Young and plans to pursue CPA certification this year.

Young Entrepreneurs Showcase Ideas

Students Showcase Biz Ideas

Young Entrepreneurs Showcase Ideas

Business majors Vanissa Hernandez, Sandhya Kodippily and Danny Vongkhamchah won third place in the Elevator Pitch competition (Robert Bain photo).

The Student Union was buzzing with confidence Dec. 6 as students rivaled for top prizes at the 2012 Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge.

Only the cream of the crop made it to the poster and elevator pitch competitions this year because all entrants were pre-screened online.

“Through the use of social media, we were able to build a community of 1,200 members from all over the world,” Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship Director Anu Basu said.

Judges selected forty-seven finalists from more than 250 submissions from all seven SJSU colleges and, for the very first time, West Valley College and Mission College.

Cash Prizes

Cash prizes ranged from $1,500 for Best Innovative Idea to $500 for the top elevator pitch. Partners and sponsors include Bridge Bank, Cisco, TechShop and Signature Building Maintenance.

Many entrants focused on highly technical topics, such as Brandon Schlinker, Stephanie Fung and Phil Cyrthe, who took the top prize with “Smart Bulb,” a lighting system that adapts to your needs.

But among the ideas wowing the poster session’s 400 attendees and judges was third place elevator pitch winner “Froyotini.” You got that right — it’s a combination of frozen yogurt and your favorite mixed drink, plus toppings.

Business majors Vanissa Hernandez, Sandhya Kodippily and Danny Vongkhamchah pitched the idea, which was of course an instant hit with the student crowd.

“We brought a lot of color and glitz and glam and we do appeal to Generation Y through the Las Vegas beauty and glamor,” Hernandez said.

Practical Thinking

To help students outsmart bike thieves, economics major Roy Vera came up with MyCycle, which uses NFC (Near Field Communications).

The bike only works when the owner’s in the saddle, carrying a special device embedded in many cell phones that communicates with a receiver in the bike itself, unlocking the chain and wheels.

So a thief can take the bike, but can’t peddle away without the phone that goes with it. Vera received a “special mention” from judges for his idea.

View a complete list of this year’s Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge winners.

 

SJSU Hosts 21st Century Teaching Symposium

21st Century Teaching Symposium

SJSU Hosts 21st Century Teaching Symposium

“Technology is changing everything, and teaching should be no different. But what stays the same is the learning process: reflection, discussion, and problem solving,” said keynote speaker Candace Thille, director of Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative.

To strengthen the faculty’s interest in next-generation technologies, SJSU hosted the “21st Century Teaching: Opportunities and Incentives” symposium Sept. 24 at King Library.

The one-day workshop focused on using online educational resources to enhance student learning. More than 150 faculty members attended, building on SJSU’s Next Generation Technology Initiative.

“It is so exciting that faculty members want to learn something new to help our students and leverage technology we have here in Silicon Valley,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Junn.

Keynote speaker Candace Thille, professor and director of the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University, discussed developing better tools for teaching today’s student within an open-source learning environment.

“There is a great diversity in how well prepared students are and what skills they have to engage [in university life] once they get here,” Thille said.

She also discussed developing goal-directed practices, building fluency in open-source learning environments, and using interactive student data to guide teaching.

“Technology is changing everything, and teaching should be no different,” Thille said. “But what stays the same is the learning process: reflection, discussion, and problem solving.”

After Thille’s address, SJSU faculty members from the colleges of engineering, education, business and social sciences presented existing online education initiatives and the results of these experiences.

Over lunch, faculty members discussed and joined various technology-related Faculty Learning Communities to explore the new teaching landscape with colleagues.

Topics include Affordable Learning Solutions, Big Datalecture capture/video conferencing, and learning and games.

You can view the full symposium here.

Join SJSU on Pinterest!

Join SJSU on Pinterest!

Join SJSU on Pinterest!

SJSU is now on Pinterest, a visual bookmarking website for bringing together online themes. Users collect and combine their own themes by “repining” items onto their boards, creating their own virtual spaces.

This week, SJSU launched its official presence on Pinterest, a visual bookmarking website for bringing together online themes. Users collect and combine their own themes by “repining” items onto their boards, create their own virtual spaces.

We’ve posted 18 boards including Sammy Spartan, Helping and Caring, and Bright Ideas, side by side with our top hits, South Bay Eats and Dorm Décor. So far we have received great responses, not to mention 48 followers. up from 13 followers since our launch Oct. 8.

We carefully crafted pins that we think represent SJSU and Spartan culture. The use of Pinterest allows us to bring awareness to our campus and show off our community.

We are also supporting our fellow SJSU pinners who have joined the Pinterest community, including our friends at the College of Applied Arts and Sciences, Department of Justice Studies, Department of Kinesiology, Don and Sally Lucas Graduate School of Business, SJSU Special Collections and Archives, SJSU Career Center and King Library,

Michael Brito’s MCOM 139 Social Business class is a good way to see how Pinterest can be used as a medium for the classroom.

Stay tuned for opportunities to add your own flavor to SJSU culture with upcoming community boards.

We hope you’ll visit and repin us.

Visit us at pinterest.com/sjsu/.

 

Experimental Class Promotes Interdisciplinary "Big Data"

Class Promotes Interdisciplinary “Big Data”

Experimental Class Promotes Interdisciplinary "Big Data"

CS185C : Introduction to Big Data takes a look at wrangling data that can be used for establishing business trends, tracking infection rates, fighting cyber crime, or even screening potential employees.

This semester, the Department of Computer Science introduced an experimental class that is expected to fill a huge unmet need for businesses to pull together and analyze “Big Data” from their growing databases.

“If you understood some of these techniques and could do this, you would be invaluable, instantly employable, and have a ton of job security,” said Department of Computer Science Chair Jon Pearce.

CS185C: Introduction to Big Data takes a look at wrangling the giant amount of data generated by the explosive growth in online communications to address all sorts of issues including establishing business trends, tracking infection rates, fighting cyber crime, or even screening potential employees.

According to class instructor Peter Zadrozny, with the exception of a few master’s programs back East, no other universities are producing graduates that can read Big Data. The class is expected to turn into a four-course certificate program by next semester and hopefully increase interdisciplinary studies on campus.

“We have the tools, we have the techniques, we have the understanding of how to do big data analytics, but we need other departments to tell us what the problem is,” Zadronzy said.

The focus of the course is hands-on, designed with employers in mind. Students in CS185C work in a real-work environment and on a real network and real cloud, thanks to a collaboration with Cloudera, a data management company. Other sponsors for the class include Splunk and GoGrid.

Academic Tech Officer Seeks to "Capture Peoples’ Imagination"

Picture of Catheryn Cheal, new Senior Academic Technology Officer, wearing a black jacket and light pink dress shirt. Her hair is light blonde, short and feathered.

Associate Vice President and Senior Academic Technology Officer Catheryn Cheal (Robert Bain photo)

As San Jose State embarks on reinventing the classroom experience through its Next Generation initiative, our new Associate Vice President and Senior Academic Technology Officer Catheryn Cheal talked to SJSU Today about her passion and vision for the field.

An expert in classical archaeology, Cheal has extensive experience with academic technology. She was an assistant vice president of e-learning and instructional support at Oakland University, Michigan, and she helped create and direct the Office of Online Instruction at CSU Northridge.

The following was edited for length and clarity.

Our president emphasizes “agility through technology” and “blended learning,” which combines in-person and online classes. Can you tell us what you meant when you said “the efficiencies of online teaching are not as important as the variety of good online pedagogical methods available?”

Certainly you need to choose between the vast amount of software that is out there and adapt to the constantly changing landscape of what is available and what students are interested in and the direction things are going. You need the agility to hop from one thing to the next and to determine how to use it in teaching. One tool might be good for a specific subject matter but not work for another. It varies a great deal as to what people do with it and so we are going to try to provide as much as possible from a central unit in academic technology.

Learning management systems are good at offering different tools within one program. I think teaching hybrid courses means that a university needs to offer an entire suite of tools such as learning management systems with course evaluations, web conferencing systems for synching, virtual worlds such as Second Life, iclickers, and GPS software. With these tools, you improve efficiency and pedagogy. Both are important.

You talk about using discussion boards as a method of teaching. Do people like to teach each other?

People love to teach each other. Just go online in any community. People like to say what they know and they like to ask questions of others to find out things. We can take advantage of that ability among people. The lecture doesn’t take advantage of that in quite the same way. When you have 50 people seated in a room, they all can’t talk at once. It’s just chaotic. The discussion board, which has always been the heart of online teaching, can do that in an orderly fashion that you can’t do in a classroom. Basically what I am trying to find was a way to keep people active and interested in their learning and realize the fun of it. And they get that when they begin to share with one another. There is something about the back and forth that gives people energy.

Tell us about a course you taught online — subject, number of students, methods. What worked? What didn’t?

I started with art history. It was a general art appreciation GE course. It was about 40 students. The method was: do the reading, and then take an online quiz. Then they did a discussion board, activity, or we all got online at the same time and did small group chats. It worked. Everyone got to the same place at the end and they learned just as much as in the classroom. A lot of them felt better about it because they did a lot more one-on-one talking with me. The textbook was useful because students had to go through the textbook to do the online work. There are always things you can refine. And then there are always some technical difficulties gradually over time, but these things worked out. I became very interested in making things very clear and very simple to follow for the student, and that way I got a lot less questions over time.

Tell us about the ideal online course. What’s in it for students? for faculty?

There is not really an ideal because every subject matter has to use different methods and there are a lot of different methods out there. You can do a class that is entirely synchronous-video conferencing that has much the same teaching methods as a live class. Or you can re-conceptualize your lectures as discussion boards, where an interactive discussion board becomes the lecture. Other choices include videos, followed by quizzes. There are many different teaching methods out there. The goal is to be very supportive of the subject and what the faculty member thinks would be the best method. Maybe the ideal is what captures peoples’ attention and imagination and projects that are exciting to do. Real-life projects are usually what engage people; that’s always the ideal I think we’re aiming at.

What is your mandate here at SJSU? What’s the first thing you would like to change?

My mandate here is to initiate a number of different technological implementations. We have a new learning management system called Canvas. We have a new video conferencing system through Cisco called WebEx and a new lecture-capture system called Show and Share, also through WebEx. We are also updating a lot of the hardware in the classrooms to support the new and different technologies. One of the things I want to do is reorganize our web pages to show faculty everything that is available to them. Right now, it is not as clear. We have a lot to offer on campus. I would like to have a unified front for everything that is available so that any faculty member that is new on campus can chose from all of these different possibilities.

Security in the Cyber Age

A discussion panel of industry professionals are sitting in chairs at a table on a stage

Speakers in the The Employment Landscape (left to right): Mark Iwanowski, Vice President Cognizant Technology; John Serafini, Director of National Labs at Allied Minds; Tami Gallupe, Director, Global Privacy & North America Information Security at Oracle, Nathan Nayman, Head of State & Local Relations at VISA, and Stephanie Sparks, Business & Intellectual Property Litigation Lawyer for Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel Law (Robert Bain photo).

By: Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Are you interested in entering a field that has zero unemployment and endless opportunity? In a new effort to highlight a huge shortage of skilled workers in IT security, SJSU hosted the Edward Oates Symposium on Security in the Cyber Age Sept. 14 at the Student Union.

The one-day forum, sponsored by the College of Science and Ed Oates, alumnus and co-founder of Oracle, was intended to bring to light how SJSU can play a significant role in workforce development and educational training for cybersecurity.

“With this symposium, we hoped to achieve an increased awareness and sense of urgency in how important our role at SJSU is in preparing students in this critical STEM and interdisciplinary curricula and program,” said Director of Development Carol Beattie, who helped organize the event.

The event’s 300 participants included SJSU students, faculty, staff, and administrators, in addition to representatives from the private sector, government and higher education.

Panel discussions focused on the threats and roles of cybersecurity, as well as higher education’s contributions and employment opportunities in this emerging field.

Employment Landscape Panel Discussion

The symposium concluded with an employment landscape panel discussion probing insightful questions from the audience including: Who benefits from policy risks? What kinds of expertise and training are needed?  What are the first steps in setting curriculum for a discipline in cyber security?

President Mohammad Qayoumi provided closing comments, focusing on SJSU efforts to develop a program for cybersecurity training and certification in Silicon Valley. Qayoumi listed the corporate environment, the law, psychology, education and licensing as just a few aspects of an interdisciplinary approach to workforce development.

“We have to be a part of providing basic knowledge to kids down to the K-6 grade levels,” Qayoumi said. “Cybersecurity hygiene will become one of those survival skills that each and everyone of us needs to have.”

Qayoumi is working with the Bay Area Council on implementing infrastructure for SJSU’s planned Center for Security in the Cyber Age. Programs would include high school camps and community colleges programs, as well as graduate degrees and partnerships with corporations in Silicon Valley.

SJSU Hosts Edward Oates Symposium on Security in the Cyber Age

SJSU Hosts Edward Oates Symposium on Security in the Cyber Age

A discussion panel of industry professionals are sitting in chairs at a table on a stage

Speakers in the The Employment Landscape (left to right): Mark Iwanowski, Vice President Cognizant Technology; John Serafini, Director of National Labs at Allied Minds; Tami Gallupe, Director, Global Privacy & North America Information Security at Oracle, Nathan Nayman, Head of State & Local Relations at VISA, and Stephanie Sparks, Business & Intellectual Property Litigation Lawyer for Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel Law (Robert Bain photo).

By: Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Are you interested in entering a field that has zero unemployment and endless opportunity? In a new effort to highlight a huge shortage of skilled workers in IT security, SJSU hosted the Edward Oates Symposium on Security in the Cyber Age Sept. 14 at the Student Union.

The one-day forum, sponsored by the College of Science and Ed Oates, alumnus and co-founder of Oracle, was intended to bring to light how SJSU can play a significant role in workforce development and educational training for cybersecurity.

“With this symposium, we hoped to achieve an increased awareness and sense of urgency in how important our role at SJSU is in preparing students in this critical STEM and interdisciplinary curricula and program,” said Director of Development Carol Beattie, who helped organize the event.

The event’s 300 participants included SJSU students, faculty, staff, and administrators, in addition to representatives from the private sector, government and higher education.

Panel discussions focused on the threats and roles of cybersecurity, as well as higher education’s contributions and employment opportunities in this emerging field.

Employment Landscape Panel Discussion

The symposium concluded with an employment landscape panel discussion probing insightful questions from the audience including: Who benefits from policy risks? What kinds of expertise and training are needed?  What are the first steps in setting curriculum for a discipline in cyber security?

President Mohammad Qayoumi provided closing comments, focusing on SJSU efforts to develop a program for cybersecurity training and certification in Silicon Valley. Qayoumi listed the corporate environment, the law, psychology, education and licensing as just a few aspects of an interdisciplinary approach to workforce development.

“We have to be a part of providing basic knowledge to kids down to the K-6 grade levels,” Qayoumi said. “Cybersecurity hygiene will become one of those survival skills that each and everyone of us needs to have.”

Qayoumi is working with the Bay Area Council on implementing infrastructure for SJSU’s planned Center for Security in the Cyber Age. Programs would include high school camps and community colleges programs, as well as graduate degrees and partnerships with corporations in Silicon Valley.

ACCESS Offers Advising and Support to Social Sciences Students

Academic Counseling Center for Excellence Offers Advising and Support to Social Sciences Students

ACCESS Director Hien Do speaks at the center’s grand opening (Kevin Johnson photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Just a week or so after classes started, Beatrice Cervantes, ’13 Forensic Science, was already hard at work inside the  Academic Counseling Center for Excellence in the Social Sciences (ACCESS).

“I come here every time I need to read, need a quiet place to study, or need to borrow a computer,” Cervantes said.

Social Sciences is one of several colleges, including Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Arts, that have opened centers to connect students to support services in a convenient and comfortable setting.

ACCESS Director Hien Do talked to SJSU Today about what students, faculty, and staff can expect from the center, located in Clark 240. The following was edited for length and clarity.

SJSU Today: What is the center’s mission?

Hien Do: Our mission is to assist students at any level who need help navigating SJSU.

SJSU: What services does the center offer?

Do: We provide Social Sciences students and others a place to talk to advisers regarding General Education courses and graduation requirements for majors. We help students on academic probation get back on track. We offer workshops on how to apply to graduate school and write essays. We have two breakout rooms for advisers to work with students. We also try to stay open during finals week as a quiet place to study.

SJSU Today: How are students responding to your center?

Do: We have new students coming to see us after learning about the center during orientation this past summer and we have returning students. Study-abroad students book our center for meetings. We also have an office supporting students who are veterans. Overall, it’s a warm and cozy place. It’s also inspiring because we have our professors’ manuscripts and books on the shelves.

SJSU Today: What do you see as the center’s main goal?

Do: The main goal that I have is ensure each College of Social Sciences student graduates from SJSU with no complaints.

Spartans at Work: At Lucas Arts, “I’m Learning That I Have Certain Assets That Can Help and Serve a Purpose”

Female intern wearing a brown t-shirt stands in front of the Palace of Fine Arts

Jeanie Chang, ’13 Animation/Illustration, spent the summer working as a concept artist with the Lucasfilm University Jedi Academy Summer Internship Program at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco (Dillon Adams photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

(This summer, SJSU Today hit the road, visiting students and recent grads on the job across the country and around the world. Our Spartans at Work series continues with the class of 2013’s Jeanie Chang.)

For Jeanie Chang, ’13 Animation/Illustration, being “on the job” means having the right attitude and work ethic.

“You can’t just create a pretty picture, it has to serve a purpose,” she said.

Chang  spent the summer working as a concept artist for LucasArts, a top developer of interactive video games, at the 12-week Lucasfilm University Jedi Academy Summer Internship Program at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco.

Her team recently released a trailer for the third-person action video game Star Wars 1313, due out next year.

“As a concept artist, I worked on coming up with ideas and the storytelling for the environment,” meaning the scenery behind the characters, Chang said.

In addition to visually representing ideas, Chang worked on reference-gathering and organizing to help the other artists on the team.

Much to Offer

At Lucas Arts, “I’m Learning That I Have Certain Assets That Can Help and Serve a Purpose”

Jeanie Chang’s skills building an environment, or background, are clear in this example from her porfolio at http://jeaniechang.blogspot.com/.

The summer program provided her with many learning opportunities, all of which have helped her to “know better what to expect” in the gaming industry. The most rewarding aspect was learning she has much to offer.

“After to talking to people her, I’ve realized that I know how to really dress up a set and put history behind it,” Chang said. “I have certain assets that can help the company.”

Other rewarding opportunities for Change included seeing behind-the-scenes artwork and working with her concept artist mentors, three SJSU alums.

“We’ve had the same teachers and know the same people,” Chang said. “We speak the same language about art.”

What’s Chang’s advice to those thinking about taking an internship?

“This is your time to really focus on learning and take advantage of all of the opportunities,” she said.

Spartans at Work: At SLAC, “Everything That I’m Doing Here is Completely Brand New”

Spartans at Work: At SLAC, I am Learning to “Quantify the Energy of Terahertz Fields Using Electro-Optical Sampling”

Intern standing in front of the two-mile linear accelerator at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

Tom George, Electrical Engineering’15, is an intern for this year’s SLAC Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship summer program, where he uses lasers to test the terahertz signals on energy (Peter Caravalho photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

(This summer, SJSU Today hits the road, visiting students and recent grads on the job across the country and around the world. Our Spartans at Work series continues with the class of 2015’s Tom George.)

Every day, Tom George, ’15 Electrical Engineering, walks a mile and a half to get to the facility where he works, but he doesn’t mind.

George is spending summer at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) just outside of Palo Alto, tucked away on top of a hill and across 426 acres. George is one of 20 interns chosen to participate in this year’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship summer program, which teaches students how to effectively do research, make a presentation and write a paper.

“People here are showing me how much more interesting physics can be than from what we get in the classroom experience,” George said.

SLAC is a research lab operated by Stanford for the U.S. Department of Energy. For over 40 years, the two-mile linear accelerator has been on the forefront of physics research and is famous for looking into the structure of molecules.

George works in the Linac Coherent Light Source facility, using cutting-edge lasers to test the recent progress of terahertz signals on energy.

Learning to Persevere

According to George, everything that he has worked on is brand new. He has had to learn a new lab program in order to take measurements and conduct experiments, not to mention working with lasers that use pump probe techniques. He’s even learning something about himself.

“I’m learning that I get frustrated at times when things don’t work, but that I have to persevere and keep working and even start over if I have to,” George said.

George’s experiences with professors and fellow students in SJSU’s Department of Electrical Engineering have helped him find a passion for teaching.

“SJSU is more like a family and I love that about SJSU,” George said

Chemistry Unlocks the Key to How Wildflowers Beat Wildfires

female research student wearing safety google and blue latex glove. She is holding a flask sample of a solution she's purfied

In the lab, researcher Jia Lu separates and tests the components of a karrikin solution, giving her insight into how to improve the process (Christina Olivas photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Did you know that there are certain plants that grow more abundantly or only after a fire?

Deer Weed, Ithuriel’s Spear and Whispering Bells are examples of what Department of Chemistry Professor Daniel Straus calls “fire-followers.”

“These plants can lay dormant in the soil for 100 years, but after an intense fire, chemicals soak the soil and germinate seeds, causing them to grow,” Straus explained.

Straus studies compounds that affect the germination of geophytes, bulb plants that adapt to unfavorable climates and conditions, even blazing hot wildfires.

Professor Straus is specifically interested in reproducing the highly active germination stimulant karrikin, a molecule discovered in Australia less than 10 years ago and produced amid the smoke and water of wildfires.

“It can take up to two months to purify,” said researcher Jia Lu, ’11 forensic science. “So far I can make only a couple of milligrams because there are so many steps, but the process is getting better.”

Whispering Bells are among the wildflowers resilient after wildfires (californiachaparral.com photo).

Whispering Bells are entirely fire dependent (californiachaparral.com photo)

Learning From “Fire-Followers”

Field studies on how the reproduced karakin compound affects germination have been conducted at Henry W. Coe State Park. Modifying the process to make more karakin faster raises a new question: Would the substance have the same effect on vegetative plants, such as crop plants?

Straus is currently working with the Carnegie Institute for Science’s Department of Global Ecology on a first batch of tests focusing on flowering responses in bulb plants.

“So far there is a very strong vegetative response,” Straus said. “We’re noticing plants watered with the karrikin solution were growing very vigorously in comparison to the plants not watered with karrikin. That’s exciting, and worth trying on other kinds of plants.”

"Capture The Flag" Wraps Up 2012 U.S. Cyber Challenge Summer Boot Camp

"Capture The Flag" Competition Wraps Up 2012 U.S. Cyber Challenge Summer Boot Camp

A three-and-a-half hour time crunch and heart-pumping trance music playing in the background was not enough to thwart members from the winning team, 1stworldproblems (Robert Bain photo).

By Amanda Holst, Pubic Affairs Assistant

Forty-six campers, ages 18 to 40, competed Aug. 10 in the “Capture the Flag” competition, wrapping up the U.S. Cyber Challenge Northern California Cyber Security Summer Boot Camp.

Contestants, working in teams of threes and fours, raced to hack into nine servers, using individual skill sets and what they learned at camp to capture files, passwords or any other flags containing secure information.

A three-and-a-half hour time crunch and heart-pumping trance music playing in the background was not enough to thwart members from the winning team, 1stworldproblems.

“There were a number of instances where we went a while without accomplishing anything,” said Cal State San Bernardino computer science senior Paul Cummings. “Our approach was to try not to stress out and try to look at things in a different way.”

The camp was supported in part through sponsorships with Juniper, Avue Technologies, Safegov.org and partnerships with SANS Institute, Booz Allen Hamilton, and San Jose State University.  Local sponsors include Facebook, McAfee, nCircle, Symantec, Veracode and Visa.

The objective of the penetration exercise, arranged and monitored by the U.S. Cyber Challenge, was more than taking over target machines.

“It’s a test to assimilate and test the vulnerabilities of a system,” Teaching Assistant Alex Levinson said.

“Shake In Your Pants Factor”

According to Levinson, the purpose of the competition was to get rid of the “shake in your pants factor” in order to offer preparedness for real-life work experiences.

Top SANS Institute instructors and other cyber-security experts in the field taught classes for the week. Topics included forensics, security testing and vulnerability assessment.

Jordan Jennings, ’12 Computer Science’, was one of two students representing SJSU in the competition.

“It was nice to be exposed to the competition and have an idea of what it might be like in the future if I wanted to” pursue cyber security work, Jennings said.

Cyber security consortium ISC2 awarded each of the capture-the-flag winners $1,000 scholarships.

 

Two young men wearing ties and collared shirtschat during the Cyber Challenge job fair.

SJSU Represents the West, Hosts 2012 U.S. Cyber Challenge Summer Boot Camp

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Two young men wearing ties and collared shirtschat during the Cyber Challenge job fair.

U.S. Cyber Challenge Summer Cyber Security Boot Camp participants attend a job fair during the week-long camp (Christina Olivas photo).

As a part of a larger effort to supply Silicon Valley and the nation with much-needed cybersecurity professionals, SJSU is hosting the 2012 U.S. Cyber Challenge Northern California Cyber Security Summer Boot Camp August 6-10.

“It’s a great opportunity to get involved in this early exposure in an industry that is going to have explosive growth,” said Rudy Pamintuan, a spokesperson for the U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC).

The camp was supported in part through sponsorships with Juniper, Avue Technologies, Safegov.org and partnerships with SANS Institute, Booz Allen Hamilton, and San Jose State University.  Local sponsors include Facebook, McAfee, nCircle, Symantec, Veracode and Visa.

Events are focused on the goal of finding the next generation of the “best and brightest” cybersecurity experts throughout the U.S. This week, campers receiving the highest scores from April’s online Cyber Quest Cyber Challenge competition, hosted by (USCC), and various other Cyber Challenge competitions held throughout the U.S., have been invited to experience hands-on information security training through in-depth workshops taught by top security instructors at SANS Institute and other experts in the field.

To address the gap of the shortage of skilled security professionals in the workplace, an Executive Roundtable was held August 7 at the Student Union in the Umunhum Room in conjunction with the camp.

Speakers included Ernest McDuffie, lead for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), Keith Tresh, California director and chief information security officer, and various national cybersecurity industry professionals.

The Executive Round Table

On August 7, President Qayoumi welcomed the 2012 California Regional Cyber Security Boot Camp Round Table Discussion, which featured national experts from government, technology and academia.

“The future of our country will be up to individuals like you,” Qayoumi told campers, addressing the current need for security professionals in the workplace.

McDuffie spoke on current national cybersecurity efforts and initiatives, including the standards for training and forming the framework for emerging skill sets and job titles. In addition, he stressed the importance of forming public partnerships with academia and industry.

“The cybersecurity issue is so big that it’s well beyond the ability of one federal government agency,” McDuffie said.

Visa Chief Information Security Officer Gary Warzala said that passion and commitment are the two qualities his company looks for when hiring employees.

“Imagine spending your career doing something you love,” Warzala said. “We need skilled people to come into the workforce immediately to hit the ground running.”

The remainder of the discussion was dedicated to moderated discussions between camp participants and national cybersecurity experts. Discussions ranged from the challenges each sector faces outside of human capital to obtaining offensive and top secret security clearances. Campers also inquired about what to teach at the college level and how to break away from entry-level jobs.

The most wide-ranging views received, however, were on the topic of certification.

“We have to provide a way to map our skills,” argued Sean Catlett, COO, iSight Partners.

Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan had a different view on certification qualifications for contributors to Facebook’s Bug Bounty Program, a program that encourages its users to seek security weaknesses.

“We look at different factors,” Sullivan said. “Our objective is to measure if a person can solve problems.”

A job fair to connect campers with big name companies took place at 7 p.m. August 8 in the Barrett Ballroom at the Student Union.

The week will end with a virtual “capture the flag” competition and an awards ceremony at 1 p.m. August 10 in the Barrett Ballroom.

Female student in brown sweater is sitting in front of a PC labtop working and reading notes from a person journal.

Spartans at Work: At Crown Worldwide, I’ve Learned SJSU’s Diversity “Really Prepares You” to Go Anywhere

Female student in brown sweater is sitting in front of a PC labtop working and reading notes from a person journal.

Diane Pham, '12 business management and global studies, is a global alliance intern at Crown Worldwide Group, where she is standardizing the process the company employs to build relationships with business partners (Diane Pham photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

(This summer, SJSU Today hits the road, visiting students and recent grads on the job across the country and around the world. Our Spartans at Work series continues with the Class of 2012’s Diane Pham.)

Improving business operations in Hong Kong and auditing in South Africa are just some of the unique opportunities available through the Thompson Global Internship Program. The SJSU program sends students abroad to complete projects for Crown Worldwide Group, founded by Jim Thompson, ’62 aeronautical engineering.

Diane Pham, ’12 business management and global studies, is just wrapping up work as a global alliance intern at Crown Worldwide. This summer, she is in London, standardizing the process the company employs to build relationships with global service partners and to create an accreditation program for future partnerships.

“Up until this point, the service partners have not been very consistent, so we’re building and making proposals for an identity that will create a mutually beneficial relationship,” Pham said.

Located in more than 50 countries and serving 200 locations, Crown Worldwide is the largest group of international moving companies, leading the way in relocation, records management, logistics and storage services. The company is credited with moving the Mona Lisa and two giant pandas.

In addition to learning about culture abroad, Pham says she’s getting a “big view on a global company and what it takes to manage one.”

She also says being a student at SJSU helped prepared her for work in a multinational business.

“I think the diversity that you are exposed to at SJSU just really prepares you to go to any new location and just take advantage of it,” Pham said.

Spartans at Work: At Cisco, “I am Finding There are No Limits to What I Can Achieve”

Spartans at Work: At Cisco, “I am Finding There are No Limits to What I Can Achieve”

Female Cisco student dressed in a black jacket and turquiose shirt is standing with arms opened in front of a giant Cisco sign

Tanya D’Silva, a business major with a concentration in Management Information Systems, works on a team that helps businesses’ IT departments implement Cisco’s Operating Model framework (Peter Caravalho photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

(This summer, SJSU Today hits the road, visiting students and recent grads on the job across the country and around the world. Our Spartans at Work series continues with the Class of 2013’s Tanya D’Silva.)

After giving her resume to Cisco at a SJSU job fair and applying for an internship position through Sparta Jobs, Tanya D’Silva, a business major with a concentration in Management Information Systems, wasn’t sure that her five years of restaurant experience was enough to land an internship at the prestigious company. What seemed like a long shot turned out to be the opportunity of a lifetime.

“They took a leap of faith in me, trusting that I would do well in this environment,” D’Silva said. “If you are active around campus, and prove that you are well-rounded and are eager to learn, you have as good of a shot as anyone else.”

D’Silva is an IT analyst intern, working in Cisco’s Enterprise Release Management Organization within Connected IT Services.  She works on a team that helps businesses’ IT departments implement Cisco’s Operating Model framework in order to move information from data center to data center.

Getting the Most Out of Her Internship

Cisco, one of the largest employers in Silicon Valley, is a multinational leader in designing, manufacturing and selling networking equipment. The corporation was founded in 1984 in San Francisco but is now based in San Jose.

D’Silva says her two-month internship is teaching her the “ins and outs” of a corporation and helping her figure out her future goals.

“Since I am contemplating management positions or becoming a project manager, the team I am working on is helping me to see how the business operates and the various functions of a company,” D’Silva said.

D’Silva says she wishes she found out earlier that being a 4.0 student isn’t the only way to achieve a good job. According to her, what she’s learning in the classroom and what she takes with her into the work world is what counts.

“I am finding there are no limits to what I can achieve. My internship is what I make of it. If I choose to stay immersed in intern activities and take on more projects then I will get more out of my internship experience,” D’Silva said.

Young Special Agents Get Hands-On Experience at SJSU's First-Ever CSI Camp

Young Special Agents Get Hands-On Experience at SJSU's First-Ever CSI Camp

Young Special Agents Get Hands-On Experience at SJSU's First-Ever CSI Camp

A camper studies fingerprints uncovered with magnetic powder (Department of Justice Studies photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Sixteen middle and high school students, ages 13 to 17, got a chance to uncover the secrets of a crime scene at SJSU’s first-ever Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation Camp, offered by SJSU’s Department of Justice Studies July 9-13.

“The goal is to inspire students into careers where they are helping to solve crimes,” said Steven Lee, the camp’s director and a professor of justice studies.

Wearing crime scene “do not enter” tape as sashes, campers worked in teams of four to look at evidential material used during a crime scene investigation. Each team carefully observed, collected and interpreted fingerprints, bloodstain patterns and DNA, applying tools they learned in forensic science, criminology, neurology and forensic anthropology workshops.

“Everyday I see them, I get a chance to see the light inside them that ignites on how they really like forensic science,” said lead camp counselor Phillip Nhan, ’11 Justice Studies.

The CSI camp was held simultaneously with the AAFS Forensic Science Educators Conference, which seeks to raise and strengthen overall science education in the United States. Last year, SJSU was the first West Coast university to sponsor the teacher conference.

Working With Real-Life Crime Scene Investigators

According to Lee, the collaboration brings students the latest information, allows them the opportunity to work with real-life crime scene investigators and forensic scientists in the field, and dispels fallacies on how crime scenes are being portrayed on television.

“Everything is so predictable on those shows,” said 17-year-old camper Matthew Shull, whose favorite part of camp was uncovering fingerprints with magnetic powder. “Everything always happens the right way and they always find the right evidence and the right person.”

According to Lee, this year’s camp will serve as a national model for future CSI camps. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences donated 10 scholarships to cover registration fees and supplies.

Young Special Agents Get Hands-On Experience at SJSU's First-Ever CSI Camp

Young Special Agents Get Hands-On Experience at SJSU’s First-Ever CSI Camp

Young Special Agents Get Hands-On Experience at SJSU's First-Ever CSI Camp

A camper studies fingerprints uncovered with magnetic powder (Department of Justice Studies photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Sixteen middle and high school students, ages 13 to 17, got a chance to uncover the secrets of a crime scene at SJSU’s first-ever Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation Camp, offered by SJSU’s Department of Justice Studies July 9-13.

“The goal is to inspire students into careers where they are helping to solve crimes,” said Steven Lee, the camp’s director and a professor of justice studies.

Wearing crime scene “do not enter” tape as sashes, campers worked in teams of four to look at evidential material used during a crime scene investigation. Each team carefully observed, collected and interpreted fingerprints, bloodstain patterns and DNA, applying tools they learned in forensic science, criminology, neurology and forensic anthropology workshops.

“Everyday I see them, I get a chance to see the light inside them that ignites on how they really like forensic science,” said lead camp counselor Phillip Nhan, ’11 Justice Studies.

The CSI camp was held simultaneously with the AAFS Forensic Science Educators Conference, which seeks to raise and strengthen overall science education in the United States. Last year, SJSU was the first West Coast university to sponsor the teacher conference.

Working With Real-Life Crime Scene Investigators

According to Lee, the collaboration brings students the latest information, allows them the opportunity to work with real-life crime scene investigators and forensic scientists in the field, and dispels fallacies on how crime scenes are being portrayed on television.

“Everything is so predictable on those shows,” said 17-year-old camper Matthew Shull, whose favorite part of camp was uncovering fingerprints with magnetic powder. “Everything always happens the right way and they always find the right evidence and the right person.”

According to Lee, this year’s camp will serve as a national model for future CSI camps. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences donated 10 scholarships to cover registration fees and supplies.