Animation student wearing a pink jacket and black-and-white checkered shirt is standing in fron of the Nickelodeon sign in Burbank California

Spartans at Work: At Nickelodeon, “I’m Learning How To Move Artwork Through The Pipeline”

Animation student wearing a pink jacket and black-and-white checkered shirt is standing in fron of the Nickelodeon sign in Burbank California

Hillary Bradfield, '13 Animation, has the opportunity to turn her love for cartoons into a summer internship at Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank (Hillary Bradfield 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 Hillary Bradfield.)

Hillary Bradfield, ’13 Animation/Illustration, has turned her love for cartoons into a summer internship at Nickelodeon Animation Studios.

“You are surrounded by all of this art; you learn just by being around it,” she said.

Bradfield is one of 30 intern production assistants this summer working on the “Spongebob Square Pants” cartoon. Nickelodeon is a children’s network known for popular TV shows such as “Kung Fu Panda Legends of Awesomeness,” “T.U.F.F. Puppy” and “The Legend of Korra.”

She has spent the last six weeks learning how to make cartoons from beginning to end, including putting together storyboards and preparing to send them out to studios that animate them.

Even though her internship is a non-art one, Bradfield has learned valuable behind-the-scenes skills in the industry.

“It’s more important to really prepare yourself for making your work good enough to pass off to the next person in the pipeline, and being a person who could be useful on a team,” she said.

Bradfield says the most rewarding aspect of her internship is that she’s been able to set up meetings with artists and other production assistants to get her artwork critiqued.

“Right now, I am working on a revision for artwork I showed a story artist,” Bradfield said. “It’s really great to get tips from them.”

Onya Baby product strapped onto a mother, holding a baby.

Second Place Silicon Valley Business Plan Competition Winner Gains Industry Support

Onya Baby product strapped onto a mother, holding a baby.

The patent-pending integrated chair harness and support system is what sets Onya Baby apart from the competition (Aleshia Rickard photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

When Aleshia Rickard, second place winner at the 2012 Silicon Valley Business Plan Competition, was asked to partner with her sister-in-law on a baby carrier business three years ago, it was an offer she could not refuse.

“I was able to utilize my background in the sports industry and my contacts to help bring the baby carrier to more of a final, market-ready, sellable product,” said Rickard, ’12 Business Administration with a Concentration in Entrepreneurship.

Onya Baby, which won the $5,000 Larry Boucher Second Prize, makes soft-structured baby carriers designed to help families with young children retain their active, social lifestyles.

According to Rickard, Onya Baby’s patent-pending integrated chair harness and support system is what sets Onya Baby apart from its competition.

“I travel a lot and it’s been really helpful to have family meals together,” said customer Osha Maloney. “I’ve also tried other carriers and the shoulder straps are just not as comfortable.”

The product is gaining momentum in the industry just nine months into launch. Onya Baby has already won two gold awards for new baby gear including a Mom’s Choice Award and a National Parenting Publication Award.

Entering the business plan competition gave Rickard a chance to fine-tune her business plan and take a look at how she’s doing.

“It gave me a lot of confidence that I was doing the proper things at the right time and that I have a good strategy,” Rickard said.

Rickard plans to use the $5,000 prize money toward trade show booths for October’s ABC Kids Expo, the largest industry trade show in the world being held in Louisville, KY.

Spartans@Work: At Ventana Medical Systems, “We Attack an Important Problem in the World”

Spartans at Work: At Ventana Medical Systems, “We Attack an Important Problem in the World”

Student standing in front of his company sign

Alex Kalogrides, '11 MBA, is an online community manager in in the Digital Pathology and Workflow Unit at Ventana Medical Systems (Christina Olivas 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 2011′s Alex Kalogrides.)

It’s only been eight months on the job for Alex Kalogrides, ’11 MBA, but he feels his work adds to the impact his company makes on Silicon Valley and beyond.

“We are a very innovative company; in the business unit where I work in, we develop new imaging and software solutions that are improving cancer diagnostics around the world,” Kalogrides said.

Kalogrides works at Ventana Medical Systems in the Digital Pathology and Workflow Unit, which develops instruments to turn glass pathology slides into digital images, software to manage these images, and algorithms to help analyze the images.

Ventana, a member of the Roche Group, focuses on accelerating the discovery and development of new cancer tests that allow pathologists to analyze patient biopsies at the molecular level to help determine the best course of therapy for each individual patient.

As an online community manager, Kalogrides works on web and mobile development and manages a forum-platform website. Kalogrides says his strategic thinking skills, class diversity and project management training from SJSU’s MBA One Program has prepared him for his job today.

“Being in a culturally diverse class setting was an important experience for me as I regularly collaborate with colleagues around the world in my job,” Kalorides said.

What does Kalogrides love the most about his job?

“The fact that everything is so new and talking to customers about new products,” he said.

He also loves that what he does attacks a real problem in the world.

“We are working toward making more accurate, more rapid diagnoses for cancer patients,” he explained. “That’s something you feel good about each day.”

"Celebrate Yourself, Celebrate Your Culture" Pilipino Commencement

“Celebrate Yourself, Celebrate Your Culture” Pilipino Commencement

"Celebrate Yourself, Celebrate Your Culture" Pilipino Commencement

Spirit resonated in the halls of Morris Dailey Auditorium May 23, as 32 Filipino graduates and their friends and family joined to commemorate the 19th Annual SJSU Pilipino Commencement (Christina Olivas photos).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

(This week, SJSU Today’s small but mighty band of writers and photographers will take a peek at graduation receptions and convocations campuswide so we can share with you the excitement of the more than 8,000 members of the Class of 2012. We’ll post more photos on Facebook.)

Spirit resonated in the halls of Morris Dailey Auditorium May 23, as 32 Filipino graduates and their friends and family joined to commemorate the 19th Annual SJSU Pilipino Commencement. The Akbayan Choir opened the intimate event with a harmonious singing of the Philippine National Anthem.

More colorful than the LED rope light covered seats situated center-stage were each of the graduates, adorned with their own intracacies. Leis ranged from traditional maile-styled and orchid to the more novel ones fashioned out of homemade ribbon and fanned-out dollar bills.

Dr. Jovina Navarro warmly welcomed the crowd and introduced renowned Filipino speakers Juanita Tamayo Lott and Robert Ragsac. Lott encouraged graduates to “think globally and act locally,” while Ragsac urged graduates to hold onto their youthful energy and drive.

Graduates had the opportunity to express gratitude to their supporters in a two-minute speech. Some speeches started off with a memory or a heartfelt story, while others offered shout-outs to an affiliation that made an impact in their lives. The sweetest “awwwws” in the auditorium came from the recognition of a significant other, while most backtracked to support received from family. The audience reciprocated with air horns, standing parade-like ovations, and even a surprise burst of fuchsia confetti cascade from the top balcony.

The DJ nicely combined elements by offering tricky lighting, beat music, and a final snippet from Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Spartans@Work: With General Motors, "I Get to Work with New Tech No One Has Ever Seen"

Spartans at Work: At GM, "I Get to Work with New Tech No One Has Ever Seen"

Randy Floresca, Mechanical Engineering '10, sets up a battery cell in a thermal chamber (Chris Clor 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 series begins with the Class of 2010’s Randy Floresca.)

Ever want to grow up and play with cars for a living? One Mechanical Engineering grad has turned a childhood interest into a reality.

For the last two years, Randy Floresca, Mechanical Engineering ’10, has worked as a technical engineer for GM’s Global Battery Systems Laboratory, in Detroit. The decision to leave California was an easy one.

“I was ready to try something new,” Floresca recalled. “I think it was a great career move, especially since I was graduating.”

Floresca tests and validates the performance of new battery technology for hybrid, plug-in, and electric vehicles.

“In my job I learn about the different battery chemistries and their capabilities,” he said.

Getting the job

For Floresca, participation in Spartan Racing, the SJSU student chapter of SAE International, played a huge role in landing the job at General Motors’ headquarters.

“The year I graduated, our SAE student chapter started formula hybrid car,” Floresca said. “We went to compete in New Hampshire and I gave my resume to GM recruiters at their booth. GM is one of the biggest sponsors for the event.”

What’s Floresca’s favorite part about his job?

“I get to work with new technology that no one knows about or has ever seen.”

GM benefits, too. Floresca says the performance testing he does for General Motors helps the company plan for the future.

Close-up photo of a graduation cap with yellow tassel that has a green-and-white toadstool with the phrase 1up from the Mario video games. Photo by Christina Olivas

Chemistry Convocation Offers Each Grad a Moment to Share

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

A man at a podium on the left looks at a young woman wearing her graduation cap and gown, holding a microphone. Photo by Christina Olivas

Graduates at the Department of Chemistry convocation each had an opportunity to give thanks to their family, peers and professors (Christina Olivas photo).

Between Fifth and San Fernando streets, lying snugly between King Library and Dudley Moorhead Hall, the University Theatre was the perfect venue to welcome family, friends, faculty and staff to the Department of Chemistry convocation, held May 26. Audience members socialized intermission-like as they filled the contour rows of the theater, awaiting the ceremony.

Forty-three graduates obtaining recognition for B.A., B.S., and M.S. degrees were cued in to the “Star Wars” theme song. The well-received faculty processional cross-faded next with Darth Vader’s dark theme song “The Imperial March” playing in the background.

Chair Brad Stone opened the curtain by emphasizing the importance of having convocation and recognized the department team individually. Special recognition went out to College of Science Dean Michael Parrish and Associate Dean Elaine Collins.

Professor Marc d’Alarcao called each member of the Class of 2012 by name, and provided everyone with the opportunity to offer their thanks to family, peers and professors for their support during years of “blood, sweat and many, many tears,” as graduate Jeffery Berry puts it.

Among the accolades, 2012 Outstanding Graduating Senior Philip Calabretta thanked professors d’Alarcao and Daryl Eggers for allowing him to “tinker in their labs,” and professors Karen Singmaster, Brad Stone and Roy Okuda for inspiring him to teach.

The production crew for the event was the chemistry department staff, which worked seamlessly to make the ceremony memorable.

"Persevere" College Of Business Convocation

“Willing to Do What It Takes” College Of Business Convocation

"Persevere" College Of Business Convocation

Graduates from the college's four departments and range of graduate programs seemed to have no problem locating their supporters in the 5,000-seat tiered venue (Christina Olivas photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

(This week, SJSU Today’s small but mighty band of writers and photographers took a peek at graduation receptions and convocations campuswide so we could share with you the excitement of the more than 8,000 members of the Class of 2012. We’ll post more photos on Facebook.)

Family members and friends proudly crowded SJSU’s Event Center May 25 to honor the College of Business spring 2012 graduates. No matter how big the arena seemed, students from the college’s four departments and range of graduate programs had no problem locating their supporters in the 5,000-seat tiered venue.

Dean David Steele opened the ceremony by congratulating graduates and welcoming family and friends. Before turning the event over to the presentation of student awards and scholarships, Steele told graduates to never underestimate the power of networking, giving back and being passionate about success. “Have confidence in your abilities to succeed in these exciting and tough times,” he advised.

An engaging address followed shortly after by student Annesh Nair, who opened quoting Confucius, who said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.” Nair reflected on his personal lesson in perseverance and determination throughout his years at SJSU.

In his address, Bridge Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Boothe continued the perseverance theme by adding,“If you work hard, do the job well, and act ethically, you will get noticed.” Before the presentation of graduates, Boothe reminded the audience that Spartans have an integral role to play in Silicon Valley. “SJSU students are well rounded, grounded, and willing to do what it takes,” he said.

White bird on blue background.

Justice Studies to Incorporate Social Media Into Curriculum

Ever wonder what it would be like to tweet your answers in class instead of raising your hand? Justice Studies students will soon find out.

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Ever wonder what it would be like to tweet your answers in class instead of raising your hand?

This multilayered interaction between professor and student is just one way Department of Justice Studies Chair Mark Correia hopes to integrate social media into his department next semester.

“SJSU has the luxury of being in the middle of Silicon Valley, however, if you browse our websites, we are far behind in terms of the use of social media,” Correia said. “One of our goals is to really upgrade the face of the department and the experiences students have.”

In the fall, Justice Studies 100W classes and senior seminars will integrate social media and wiki (a website whose users can add, modify, or delete content using a web browser) into their curriculum. In addition, students will be asked to write blog entries and tweet as part of their coursework.

Making a Difference

“The students who graduate with these skill sets are going to be in better position to make a difference in society,” Correia said.

Associate Professor of Social Justice and Vice Chair Alessandro De Giorgi plans to use social media to engage his students in current social issues.

“We generally discuss socially relevant issues on prison, racial inequalities, and economic inequalities,” De Giorgi said. “It makes sense for students to express themselves in a way that is not mainstream, but nonetheless scholarly and critical.”

According to Correia, using social media will also give faculty the opportunity to share information and research without peer-review restrictions, as well as build stronger connections within the local and broader communities.

Bridging Theory and Practice

Senior justice studies and political science major Tyson Peltz believes social media has great potential for the classroom.

“This level of interaction and problem solving is paramount to bridging the gap between theory and practicality within the real word,” Peltz said.

New Stutter Clinic Supports Young Adults

New Stutter Clinic Supports Young Adults

A client is practicing speech techniques while giving a speech, while a graduate clinician is providing feedback

The Adult Voice and Fluency Clinic offers activities that apply to clients' daily lives (Communicative Disorders and Sciences photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

For some, the fear of giving a class presentation or interviewing for a job can be overwhelming, especially for those who stutter.

The Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences has added an Adult Voice and Fluency Clinic to its list of specialty clinics, providing clients, including SJSU students, the opportunity to work together to improve their communication skills.

“A lot of times, people who stutter want to hide it,” Assistant Professor Pei-Tzu Tsai said. “In therapy, we aren’t only addressing the stuttering part, but also the feelings and attitudes that come with it.”

The clinic, within the Kay Armstead Center for Communicative Disorders, helps clients minimize their fear of talking and stuttering, becoming more effective communicators.

“They work on their speech techniques to help them move through the moments when they get stuck,” Tsai said. “They also talk to each other about their feelings and attitudes which helps them to open up.”

Clients apply through the Kay Armstead Center, and then are evaluated by student clinicians, who admit them to a weekly group therapy program based on their individual needs.

Student Clinicians

“As a student clinician, I have the opportunity to apply what I learn in class to different clients,” said communicative disorders graduate student Chenjie Gu. “My favorite part is helping clients develop better communication skills.”

Nick Puzar is one of five students taking part in the program.

“The clinic has helped me understand what stuttering is, what parts of stuttering can be treated, how different types of treatment work, and what resources are available to myself and others in the clinic,” Puzar said.

Tsai hopes to expand the clinic to serve children and teenagers and wants to gradually implement clinical research that will test therapy and improve efficacy.

New AS President Looks To Build On Community

Student Calvin Worsnup is standing in front of the Associated Student Office

Incoming Associated Students President Calvin Worsnup plans to build a sense of community on campus (Dillon Adams photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

The election is over, the votes are in, and although senior computer science major Calvin Worsnup was just elected Associated Students of SJSU president, his passion for student government started much sooner. While attending Branham High School, Worsnup served as publicity officer, producing videos, events, and media to promote school activities. The native San Jose resident came to SJSU for its advertising program, but has since changed his focus to computer science networking. Worsup welcomes his new position as an opportunity to stay involved on campus, and explore his interest in politics.

“I really like being an advocate for students and a representative,” Worsnup said. “If it goes well and I do a good job, I might consider this as a possible future career for me.”

The new AS president talked to SJSU Today about why he ran for office and his plans for the coming year. The following is edited for length and clarity.

SJSUToday: What are your top priorities for AS in the coming year?

Calvin Worsnup: My two priorities are to try to organize students and build a sense of community. I really want to work with all of the organizations that we built. I want to get together and really talk about the issues. To go along with community and having more collaboration, I’d like to provide more opportunities for citizenship. It’s really important for student to feel like they are a part of AS, to feel like there is an avenue for them to express their opinions and make changes, and to know that AS supports them.

SJSU
: What are your plans in the future, professionally and personally?

Worsnup
: I might try to go for a more political avenue. My main plan for right now would be to continue on to my graduate degree. I want to go into some sort of administration; whether it be public or nonprofit, I’m quite not sure.

SJSU
: Why did you run for office?

Worsnup
: I had been apart of AS for two years and I really like it. I see the potential that it has to be a better organization and I want an opportunity to show the campus what AS can do. I want to help students live and fulfill their dreams and AS is a great opportunity to do that.

SJSU
: What’s new and cool for fall 2012?

Worsnup
: I want to have one general assembly at the beginning of the year. I don’t want to share too many secrets but definitely look for some different things that you haven’t seen on campus before. I am looking to turn heads and get students’ attention.

65th Annual AeroCrash Carries On Long-Standing Aviation Tradition

65th Annual “AeroCrash” Carries On Long-Standing Aviation Tradition

65th Annual AeroCrash Carries On Long-Standing Aviation Tradition

A snapshot from the 1960s, when Aerocrash was held in Santa Cruz (Glynn Falcon image).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Alpha Eta Rho, the business fraternity for aviation majors, hosted its 65th annual Aerocrash April 21-22 as a way to celebrate graduation and connect alumni to new members.

“This event gave them a chance to hang out with the friends they don’t see as much anymore since graduating,” said Briana Peterson, club president. “It’s a relaxing weekend where we can all just be together and have fun.”

Students in SJSU’s aviation program prepare for careers in aviation management, avionics, maintenance management, operations and professional flying.

The two-day annual alumni camping trip and barbecue took place at Big Basin State Park in Santa Cruz.

Approximately 45 participants gathered in the redwoods state park and rallied up a good time through camping and outdoor sports. Carly Smith, aviation operations ’10, was one of 10 alumni present.

“One of our goals is to promote closer affiliation among the students,” Smith said. “It’s really great for us to see how the chapter is progressing and who is being involved.”

The weekend concluded with an alumni barbecue, providing another opportunity for current members to network with alums in the aviation field.

For Glynn Falcon, adjunct professor, Alpha Eta Rho adviser and an aviation alum who graduated in 1971, the annual weekend offers a chance for alumni to show appreciation and be a part of SJSU aviation history.

“Alpha Eta Rho is the glue which cements the Aviation Department together,” Falcon wrote. “They are active, involved, inventive and ahead of their time.”

elementary school classroom filled with children

Attention Future Teachers! This Class is for You!

elementary school classroom filled with children

"The number one reason why teachers leave after a couple of years is that they are having a tough time managing their classrooms. We are offering this class to meet a need," said instructor Nicole Ramos-Beban (Lurie College of Education image).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

How do you keep the attention of a class of 30 squirming students? And what you do when that attention is lost?

It all depends on how you manage your classroom, according to Secondary Education Lecturer and Placement Coordinator Nicole Ramos-Beban.

“There needs to be a baseline of structure in order for productive learning to happen,” Ramos-Beban said. “If there is a hole in the curriculum or structure, students will walk through it.”

For the second semester, The Connie L. Lurie College of Education is offering EDSC 246 “Learning Environments: Methods and Management.”

The class is part of SJSU’s five credential programs for educators: multiple subjects (elementary education), single subject (secondary education), special education, administrative services, and counseling.

“She pushed us to consider the populations that we will be teaching and to examine our own ideas about race and class,” teaching credential candidate Jane DeRosa said.

Ramos-Beban talked to SJSU Today about how environment plays into learning and what students should get out of taking her class.

SJSU: What is the purpose of your class and why do we need to offer it now?

Ramos-Beban: The number one reason why teachers leave after a couple of years is that they are having a tough time managing their classrooms. We are offering this class to meet a need. The most well-structured, student-centered classrooms are the ones where you see the most time on-task and the deepest learning.

SJSU: What do you teach students in your class?

Ramos-Beban: In the first third of the semester, we learn about building a learning community, and look at theories around putting together an inclusive learning community. The second third looks at different management theories and approaches where we focus on rules and routines. The last third is focused on students putting together their own classroom management plan.

How do students benefit from taking your class?

Ramos-Beban: Students leave the class with a pretty large toolkit of practical strategies. Students not only raise their ability level related to the subject, but also put learning routines in place for entering the classroom, turning in homework, and responding when their students miss class.

SJSU Faculty, Staff, and Student Pose for a picture on the grass in The Village Quad

Spartan Wellness Challenge Rewards Healthy Lifestyles

SJSU Faculty, Staff, and Student Pose for a picture on the grass in The Village Quad

Students, faculty and staff members shared experiences and celebrated Spartan Wellness Challenge winners at the closing awards ceremony April 20 in Campus Village quad. (Amanda Holst photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

“It gave me energy” and  “it kept me on track” were just some of the accolades given by participants about the fourth annual Spartan Wellness Challenge at the closing awards ceremony held in the Campus Village quad April 20.

Well U, the employee wellness program, teamed up with AS Campus Recreation, Wellness & Health Promotion and the HR diversity program to encourage participants to maintain a healthy diet, be physically active, and keep up with day-to-day general wellness.

“The main focus was trying to make people more aware of what they are doing in their lives to make them healthier,” Fitness Coordinator Christina Maino said.

Over 130 students, faculty and staff members earned points in teams of four for healthy choices such as replacing fruit juice with a whole piece of fruit, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Teams earned additional points for attending seminars, activities and fitness challenges throughout the six-week course.

Activities included stress-management and healthy body image seminars, a virtual climb of Mt. Aconcagua, and Dance Around the World, a series of workshops that taught Bhangra, Tahitian, Tinikling and Folklorico dances.

“I feel like all of the faculty and staff are coming out of their shells and want to participate,” Maino said. “It’s great to have more people that want to better their health.”

To fulfill a growing demand for student interest in the program, Housing Services sponsored 10 student teams this year.

“It’s about awareness and taking good care of yourself all through college,” Residential Life Coordinator Amanda Dohse said.

At Friday’s celebration, “Phoenix 12” was awarded the top team with an overall score of 1,624 points. Awards were also given out for top female, top male, and team fitness challenge winners.

For Well U Coordinator Julie Inouye Wong, the most rewarding aspects of the program were team motivation and helping to organize the event.

“It is our way of showing the campus community that we value their health and wellness,” Wong said.

King Library Awarded Silver LEED Certification

King Library Awarded LEED Silver Certification

A close-up of a bamboo tree that was re-used during construction as a sustainable feature

A giant tree that had to be removed during construction was cut and used to cover a column from the lower level all the way up to the 8th floor, one of many environmentally friendly practices incorporated into the library's development (King Library photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Hard work by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library design and operations teams has paid off. The seminal structure was recently awarded LEED© silver certification for its environmentally friendly features.

“It’s a significant achievement for our campus community to have a library that is energy efficient, healthy for its occupants, and doesn’t harm the environment,” said Tung Pham, library facilities and purchasing coordinator.

The United States Green Building Council administers the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, a rating system used to measure green building design, construction and function.

Buildings are measured against a 100-point scale, and credits are weighted to reflect potential environmental impacts. The four levels of certification are certified, silver, gold and platinum.

“In the long run, I believe the way we operate the building can be more important that how it was built,” Pham said.

Over the last three years, a committee worked on LEED certification requirements in the following categories: water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation and design, and sustainable sites.

The design team incorporated the following “green” features into the library, which was completed in 2003:

  • placed study tables along the windows to benefit from natural light and placed shelving inward to minimize sunlight damage to books
  • combined the San Jose Public Library and San Jose State University Library into one building, saving resources and freeing up other buildings for re-use
  • designed bicycle storage and shower/changing area for library staff
  • implemented dual plumbing that uses recycled water for flushing toilets and urinals
  • used non-traditional recycling, including reupholstering aging furniture and incorporating a redwood tree removed during construction as a piece of public art

Tours focusing on the library’s design and green/sustainable features (in addition to collections and art) are available every Thursday at 11:30 a.m.

First Ever "Hackathon" Taps Entrepreneurial Spirit

Student contestant standing behind a podium presenting a powerpoint on his idea for a business.

Freshman software engineering student Amru Eilwat took first prize for his online cloud storage prototype, which allows consumers to share files quickly online (Daniel Peterson photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Computer science, engineering, economics and business were just some of the majors who competed in the first ever SJSU StartUp Weekend April 7-8.

“It was an excellent way to hone your craft and meet smart people,“ said senior computer science major Erich Blume.

The three-day hackathon and business plan competition was organized by recent management information systems grad SoonKhen OwYong of the SJSU Entrepreneurial Society, and sponsored by local startup tech company, SendHub.

“The main purpose is to ultimately build a community where everyone can keep in touch and build a support network,” OwYong said.

Approximately 30 contestants gathered in the SJSU Dining Commons and worked through the weekend to form teams, pitch ideas and develop software applications. The weekend concluded with a demo, providing contestants the opportunity to present their prototypes and business plans to a panel of judges.

“A lot of what we were looking for was what you would look for when you fund a company, “ said judge Andrew Manoske, an associate at GGV Capital in Palo Alto.

Freshman software engineering student Amru Eilwat took first prize for his online cloud storage prototype Cloudous, which allows consumers to share files quickly over the Internet.

Cash awards ranged from $50 to $300. In addition, SendHub awarded a new iPad to third-place textbook sharing application winners BiblioBridge, for integrating SendHub’s application programming interface into BiblioBridge. SendHub’s technology allows businesses and consumers to send out group text messages.

According to Manoske, contestants were judged on how well each team worked together and how well they were able to demonstrate solutions to problems.

“It was refreshing to see the entrepreneurial energy and a variety of different majors working together in the same room,” Manoske said.

six students using oars to row a boat

Beginning Rowing: It’s All About Teamwork!

six students using oars to row a boat

Students in a beginning rowing class practice at the Los Gatos Rowing Club at the Lexington Reservoir (Brittany Manrubia photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Ever wonder what it’s like to glide the open waters?

Looking to increase strength, to have fun, or just for a change of pace, students are loving SJSU’s new beginning rowing class.

“I enjoy being out on the lake with such beautiful surroundings instead of being in a gym,” says junior kinesiology major Brittany Manrubia.

The idea for the class, now in its second semester, came from Department of Kinesiology Chair and Professor Shirley Reekie.

“Since this is our department’s 150th anniversary year, I did research and came across an attempt to start a rowing club in 1915,” Reekie said. “Starting a class seemed like the right thing.”

According Reekie, a master rower and instructor, the sport incorporates all of the major muscle groups, working the legs, back, and arms.

“There is no other class on campus that works on the physical body,” Reekie said. “It’s truly a whole-body workout.”

On the water, students learn endurance, balance, timing, and the mental and physical aspects becoming a skillful rower. In addition, students learn the value of team work and collaboration.

“I think it is the ultimate team sport because, unlike just about any other team sport, there is no star,” Reekie said. “If you don’t participate and pull your weight, everybody knows about it.”

Interest for the class spawned a rowing club this semester.

“It’s a great place to have fun and learn with others that share the same interests,” says Manrubia, club president. “It’s an opportunity to be competitive and a great way to stay in shape.”

The class is offered to students in any major and during both semesters. The only mandatory requirement is that students know how to swim.

six students using oars to row a boat

Beginning Rowing: It's All About Teamwork!

six students using oars to row a boat

Students in a beginning rowing class practice at the Los Gatos Rowing Club at the Lexington Reservoir (Brittany Manrubia photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Ever wonder what it’s like to glide the open waters?

Looking to increase strength, to have fun, or just for a change of pace, students are loving SJSU’s new beginning rowing class.

“I enjoy being out on the lake with such beautiful surroundings instead of being in a gym,” says junior kinesiology major Brittany Manrubia.

The idea for the class, now in its second semester, came from Department of Kinesiology Chair and Professor Shirley Reekie.

“Since this is our department’s 150th anniversary year, I did research and came across an attempt to start a rowing club in 1915,” Reekie said. “Starting a class seemed like the right thing.”

According Reekie, a master rower and instructor, the sport incorporates all of the major muscle groups, working the legs, back, and arms.

“There is no other class on campus that works on the physical body,” Reekie said. “It’s truly a whole-body workout.”

On the water, students learn endurance, balance, timing, and the mental and physical aspects becoming a skillful rower. In addition, students learn the value of team work and collaboration.

“I think it is the ultimate team sport because, unlike just about any other team sport, there is no star,” Reekie said. “If you don’t participate and pull your weight, everybody knows about it.”

Interest for the class spawned a rowing club this semester.

“It’s a great place to have fun and learn with others that share the same interests,” says Manrubia, club president. “It’s an opportunity to be competitive and a great way to stay in shape.”

The class is offered to students in any major and during both semesters. The only mandatory requirement is that students know how to swim.

student thumbing through a book

Spartan Bookstore Rental Program Saves Students $800K

A student stands in front of books to rent in the bookstore

Senior finance student Zach Harris searches rentable titles at the Spartan Bookstore. The bookstore currently has 60 percent of titles required by faculty members (Amanda Holst image).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

In just two semesters, the new management team at Spartan Bookstore has saved SJSU students a total of $800,000 with its textbook rental program.

“It was just tapping the skill sets of the employees and getting everyone working toward a common goal,” said Spartan Bookstore Director Ryland Metzinger.

According to Metzinger, 60 percent of all of the titles that have been adopted by faculty are available for rent, but his goal is to increase that to 80 percent by next year.

Junior design studies major Olivia Lopez saved around $40 on her art history books this semester.

“Some books I do not plan to use much after I take the class; therefore I rent them,” Lopez said.

Bookstore Rental Program

Books on the shelves with green inserts are rentable and apply to both new and used books. Students save approximately 50 percent of the new retail price.

At the rental counter, students are required to provide basic contact information and a debit or credit card to use as collateral. In addition, students sign a rental agreement, requiring they return the book on a specific date and in good condition.

“The biggest problem we have with the condition of the books when they come back is spilled liquids,” Metzinger said.

Students that do not meet the terms of the agreement are required to pay a 75 percent replacement fee and a 7.5 percent restocking fee. In addition, students that do not bring books back at the end of the semester pay a penalty.

On The Horizon

According to Metzinger, the bookstore will continue to think outside of the box with promotions and hopes to save students over a million dollars this time next year.

“We want to help the students with as many options as possible with their education and course material,” Metzinger said. “It’s a very competitive market out there and we have to be on the front lines of offering students valued alternatives.”

Physics Professor Uses Smartphones to Engage Students

Physics Professor Uses Smartphones to Engage Students

Peter Beyersdorf

Peter Beyersdorf

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Cell phones are usually discouraged in the classroom. But you won’t find Department of Physics and Astronomy Associate Professor Peter Beyersdorf asking his students to put their phones away.

“Students have always liked being engaged in interactive classes,” Beyersdorf said. “Anytime you can make class fun, it has benefits to learning,”

At the end of every class, Beyersdorf asks his Physics 51 students to turn on their smartphones to take a quiz.

“The students can either go to a URL or take a picture of a QR code to get to the webpage,” Beyersdorf said.

According to Beyersdorf, hardware devices that allow students to electronically answer multiple-choice questions, known as multiple-choice clickers, have been around for sometime.

However, questions about who buys them, who brings them to class, and what to do with the students who forget theirs or have a dead battery remained.

Once services that allowed interactive learning became available on cell phones a few years back, Beyersdorf started to implement cell phones as learning devices. This has paid off for sophomore aerospace engineering student Chao Lao.

“After seven years, watching professors lecturing and writing on the black board gets kind of boring, but when technology is put into use, it makes it a bit more enjoyable,” he said.

According to Beyersdorf, the results of the quizzes give him an overall assessment of the class and keep him interested in developing new material.

“For the most part, technology isn’t changing the way people teach and learn, it’s giving them more avenues and opportunity to tap into learning in less traditional environments,” Beyersdorf said.

In addition to using cell phones, Beyersdorf records all of his lectures and publishes them as podcasts on iTunes U.

Beyersdorf serves as a faculty-in-residence for technology innovations for the Center for Faculty Development. Once a month, Beyersdorf teaches faculty about new technology being adopted at SJSU.

“Most of the faculty that come to these workshops are quite interested in engaging their students, but often times are not comfortable using these new technologies,” Beyersdorf said. “I try to encourage them to use technology to deliver the material they are already using and to try new things out.”

Physics Prof Uses Smartphones to Engage Students

Peter Beyersdorf

Peter Beyersdorf

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Cell phones are usually discouraged in the classroom. But you won’t find Department of Physics and Astronomy Associate Professor Peter Beyersdorf asking his students to put their phones away.

“Students have always liked being engaged in interactive classes,” Beyersdorf said. “Anytime you can make class fun, it has benefits to learning,”

At the end of every class, Beyersdorf asks his Physics 51 students to turn on their smartphones to take a quiz.

“The students can either go to a URL or take a picture of a QR code to get to the webpage,” Beyersdorf said.

According to Beyersdorf, hardware devices that allow students to electronically answer multiple-choice questions, known as multiple-choice clickers, have been around for sometime.

However, questions about who buys them, who brings them to class, and what to do with the students who forget theirs or have a dead battery remained.

Once services that allowed interactive learning became available on cell phones a few years back, Beyersdorf started to implement cell phones as learning devices. This has paid off for sophomore aerospace engineering student Chao Lao.

“After seven years, watching professors lecturing and writing on the black board gets kind of boring, but when technology is put into use, it makes it a bit more enjoyable,” he said.

According to Beyersdorf, the results of the quizzes give him an overall assessment of the class and keep him interested in developing new material.

“For the most part, technology isn’t changing the way people teach and learn, it’s giving them more avenues and opportunity to tap into learning in less traditional environments,” Beyersdorf said.

In addition to using cell phones, Beyersdorf records all of his lectures and publishes them as podcasts on iTunes U.

Beyersdorf serves as a faculty-in-residence for technology innovations for the Center for Faculty Development. Once a month, Beyersdorf teaches faculty about new technology being adopted at SJSU.

“Most of the faculty that come to these workshops are quite interested in engaging their students, but often times are not comfortable using these new technologies,” Beyersdorf said. “I try to encourage them to use technology to deliver the material they are already using and to try new things out.”