The Impact of Acceleration: $25 Million Already at Work

Acceleration: The Campaign for San Jose State

By Jody Ulate, University Writer

Acceleration: The Campaign for San Jose State University is moving at a powerful pace toward its $200 million fundraising goal, with over $142 million in gifts committed and $68 million in cash received to date. While some of that funding is dedicated to supporting the long-term financial health of the university, students and faculty have already felt the direct benefits of more than $25 million.

All over campus, Acceleration is moving San Jose State’s people and programs forward.

The Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering has used campaign dollars to send more students on life-changing research trips to China and India. The School of Music and Dance has built a computer lab that allows students and faculty members to integrate imagery and recording technology into digital musical compositions.

Elaine Chin, dean of the Connie L. Lurie College of Education, reports that private funds have given the college the ability to turn out more teachers prepared to work with pre-K children with special needs. Her college has also been able to install five state-of-the-art whiteboard systems to help students become adept with technology they will eventually use in their own classrooms.

To learn more about how private funds benefit SJSU, keep up with the campaign’s progress at

Associate Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science Eugene Cordero

Eugene Cordero Named Google Science Communication Fellow

Associate Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science Eugene Cordero

Associate Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science Eugene Cordero.

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Associate Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science Eugene Cordero has been named a Google Science Communication Fellow.

Google announced the selection of its 21 fellows last week. The fellows all have some history of outreach working with the general public in the climate science field, and were chosen based on their ability to communicate their expertise in ways that the general public can understand. Other considerations included technical and social media skills, and the use of Google products.

“We will together explore technology and ways of interacting with people to come up with new ways to communicate climate science to a broader community,” said Cordero.

Google took interest in Cordero because of his public-education and outreach experience with climate change. In addition to eight years at San Jose State, Cordero spent five years at an Australian research university studying ozone depletion, and has given over 100 public talks on a book he co-authored. “Cool Cuisine: Taking the Bite out of Global Warming” focuses on food choices and the connection they have with the environment. Cordero has also created a climate-action superhero, the Green Ninja, to educate online audiences about climate science.

A three-day workshop at Google, designed to open up scientific dialogue, is set for June.  After the workshop, the Google Science Communication Fellows will be given the opportunity to apply for grants to continue with their projects. The most influential projects will win a Lindblad Expeditions & National Geographic trip to the Arctic, representing the voyage as a science communicator.

“I look forward to interacting with people and making this information mainstream,” says Cordero.

The Department of Meteorology and Climate Science added climate science as a new major last fall. The new concentration focuses on weather climate and using modules to see what affect humans are having on the planet. The main focus is on climate and weather, but other broader topics include the energy of water, agriculture and carbon emissions.#

VP of Student Affairs Jason Laker in discussion with attendees of event.

SJSU Looks at African American Student Achievement Gap

VP of Student Affairs Jason Laker in discussion with attendees of event.

VP of Student Affairs Jason Laker discusses the achievement gap and ways SJSU assists students.

By Keith Bryant, Digital Communications Assistant

On Feb. 16, Vice President of Student Affairs Jason Laker was a special guest of the African-American Faculty and Staff Association for an African-American History Month event. Laker had an open conversation with a group of students and faculty about African-American male students’ academic success at SJSU. He presented research about this topic that analyzed the achievement gap between black and white males on campus.

Laker noted that the office of Student Affairs encourages students’ to succeed in their academic endeavors.

“We send each student a letter in writing saying we believe you can do this,” he said.

Laker also mentioned that a committee of faculty is working to address the achievement gap on campus examining areas where black students are thriving and failing at SJSU.

SJSU in the News: San Jose State Earns A-plus in Transparency

Mercury News editorial: UC schools need remedial work on open government

Originally published in the San Jose Mercury News on Feb. 15, 2011

It’s disconcerting, to say the least, that the University of California flunked a transparency test from a major open-government group. But the Bay Area’s four California State University schools — including San Jose State — got an A-plus.

May we suggest some peer tutoring?

Californians Aware, a respected nonprofit, public-access watchdog group, gave the 10-campus UC system a failing grade for its response to a request for records. UC Berkeley’s C grade was the highest in the system. That’s pathetic.

The 24-campus CSU system got an overall B, which is pretty good. But Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State, San Jose State and Sonoma State all made the honor roll with A-pluses.

The information sought by the advocacy group was not hard to find. It was contracts, ethics forms and spending reports — according to a CSU spokesman, “fairly standardized” requests.

The UC system disputes some of the findings and argued that some information was indeed sent, although long after the deadline set in state law. But there’s no question the UCs did a lousy job. They’ve got to improve.

Californians Aware and the Bay Area CSU schools could team up to help educate the rest of the institutions. That may be hard for the more prestigious UCs to swallow, but they’re the ones that need remedial work.

SJSU in the News: SJSU, CSU Campuses Urged to Give Local Students Priority

Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 15, 2011.

Students applying to jam-packed California State University don’t always get into their campus of choice, but they’ve always been able to count on priority admission to their local CSU.

Read more:

Thomasina Wallace

Wallace Named WAC Gymnast Of The Week

Thomasina Wallace

Thomasina Wallace, WAC Gymnast of the Week

San Jose State’s Thomasina Wallace has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Gymnast of the Week for the week of Feb. 7-13.

Wallace, a junior from Pomona, Calif. (Charter Oak Gliders) won the all-around title in a quad meet against Boise State, UC Davis and Seattle Pacific with a 39.325 last Friday night. The score is the fourth-best mark in SJSU history. Wallace tied for individual titles on bars (9.900) and beam (9.900). She also added a 9.825 on vault and a 9.700 on floor, helping the Spartans to the second-highest team score (195.550) in school history.

San Jose State competes at Southern Utah this Friday night beginning at 7 p.m. MST. Story on

SJSU students and Chevrolet representatives stand near silver Chevy car with doors open.

SJSU Students Take First Place Honors in National Chevrolet Competition

SJSU students and Chevrolet representatives stand near silver Chevy car with doors open.

Dwight, Bentel & Hall Communications students with Chevrolet representatives and the new Chevrolet Cruze.

By Ashley Albert

A team of eight San Jose State students earned national honors for their marketing plan to help increase student interest in Chevrolet cars. The team’s inventive marketing techniques earned the top score in a competition involving 23 colleges nationwide. Prizes included a new laptop for each SJSU team member.

Part of the marketing plan for the auto manufacturer included a chalking campaign where the team chalked a teaser message, “Where You Going?” on campus sidewalks, along with the link to a Facebook page for student interaction. The group also placed fake car keys around campus with codes that drove people to the Chevrolet and promoted “The Going Gets Easy” event, where cars were brought to San Jose State for students to check out.

The team represented SJSU in the competition as part of the Chevrolet Campus Promotions Program. The program gives students real-life experience in marketing on a limited budget, while also increasing awareness and influencing car buying decisions for the Chevrolet brand. Each team was given $3,000 and had only a few months to research, implement and evaluate an integrated marketing communications campaign that would grab the attention of their peers.

“Being recognized for our hard work is more rewarding than any prize we could’ve received,” said SJSU student Juan Luna. “Having competed against 22 other schools, and winning reassures us that we are capable of taking on real-life clients.” Luna and the other seven members of the winning team are also part of San Jose State’s Dwight, Bentel & Hall Communications, a student-run advertising and public relations agency.

SJSU student Ashley Albert is a public relations specialist at Dwight, Bentel & Hall Communications.

Spartan Daily students watch Jonathan Stypula demonstrating Tackable on iPhone.

Spartan Daily Tests New iPhone App, Transforming Photojournalism

SJSU student newspaper editors are testing a new iPhone application created by fellow Spartans that could transform the way we collect and share news images. In a nutshell, it’s all about crowd sourcing.

“We’re really excited to try this app out as an experiment,” said Salman Haqqi, Spartan Daily executive editor. “The integration of mobile apps is the future of journalism in the coming years. We’re thrilled to be at the forefront of emerging technologies that give our readers a chance to be part of what we do at the Spartan Daily.”

Here’s how it works: Spartan Daily uses the app, Tackable, to invite users to take photos of an event. People attend the event, take photos and upload the pics to a site for all to see. Editors review the photos, select the best ones, and print them in the paper.

The app combines the most popular features of social networking and social gaming sites. People can make comments, receive points, compete for spots on the leader board, and unlock an “entourage” for tips and encouragement.

Tackable’s co-founders have big ambitions. Marketing major Jonathan Stypula and recent journalism graduate Luke Stangel are also working with the Bay Area News Group’s 20 papers including the San Jose Mercury News.

“We believe this is an application that will revolutionize news and has the potential to change the world,” said Stypula. “Breaking news won’t be able to hide.”

Read more in about Tackable and the San Jose Mercury News on

Interested Tackable for the Spartan Daily? Download the app, and give it a whirl. Then send your comments to Tackable at

Scales on pile of books. "Ethics" on spine of top book.

SJSU in the News: Team Qualifies for National Ethics Bowl, Needs a Lift Getting There

Doing the Right Thing

Originally published in the San Jose Mercury News on Feb. 13, 2011.

By Sal Pizarro

Congratulations to San Jose State, which qualified a team for the National Ethics Bowl on March 3 in Cincinnati.

The competition challenges students to analyze ethical problems drawn from real-life and real-work experiences. The Spartans team, coached by philosophy professor Rita Manning, includes political-science students Cassandra Agbayani and James Gold and philosophy students Hiram Alvarez, Aaron Adams, Fiza Najeeb and Duy Nguyen.

The issue they’re tackling right now, though, is how to pay for the trip to Ohio. The team is about $5,000 short and is reaching out to the community for help. If you’re interested in donating, contact Manning at

At least you know the money will be put to good use.

It wouldn’t be very ethical of them to do otherwise.

Peace rally sign "Justice for All"

February is African American History Month

By Amanda Holst
Photo by Keith Bryant

Peace rally sign "Justice for All"

This month's African American history month events include a freedom march.

Over the weekend, about 100 people demonstrated support for the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Expanding My Visions Freedom March, launching San Jose State University’s annual celebration of African American History Month. The march was intended to promote support for cultural and ethnic diversity, equality and justice, and economic progress.

“Our basic goal is to help people understand that freedom and justice do not come free. You have to develop a commitment to make it happen, and work at it rather than wait for it to happen politically,” said Dr. Oscar Battle Jr., president of the African American Faculty and Staff Association.

AAFSA is hosting a variety of events throughout February to promote the achievements of African American faculty, staff and students, increase knowledge of African American contributions to society, and encourage support for King’s ideals in critical thinking in higher education.

Also, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Maranatha Christian Center, and Bible Way Christian Center will welcome Interim President Don W. Kassing and Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Laker for CSU Super Sunday on Feb. 13.

Schedule of Events

7 p.m. Feb. 8, KING 525: Learn about the relevance of Dr. King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” his message empowering congregations to seek justice while on Earth.

Noon, Feb. 16, Almaden Room, Student Union: Discuss African American male student development and implications for SJSU.

7 p.m. Feb. 16, KING 525: Explore the role of students in advancing civil rights.

7 p.m. Feb. 22, Morris Daily Auditorium: View a free encore screening of the award-winning documentary film, “Soul Sanctuary.”

James Jones holds the Lombardi Trophy following Super Bowl XLV.

James Jones – Super Bowl XLV Winner

James Jones holds the Lombardi Trophy following Super Bowl XLV.

James Jones holds the Lombardi Trophy following Super Bowl XLV. Courtesy: San Jose State Athletics

For the first time since Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000, a San Jose State University football player is a Super Bowl champion.

James Jones, a wide receiver for the Spartans during the 2003 through 2006 seasons, caught five passes for 50 yards helping the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25, for the Super Bowl XLV championship. Full story on

University police cadets assist with a vehicle stop.

Spartans In Action: Students Get Hands-on Experience at SJSU

San Jose State is a leading metropolitan university, providing students hands-on career experience through three outstanding programs. The University Police Department cadet program teaches students how to become civil servants and weed out crime. Dwight, Bentel & Hall Communications, part of MCOM 199, gives students the opportunity to plan, produce and create major advertising campaigns for big name companies such as JC Penney and Chevrolet. The Event Center apprenticeship program provides students hands-on experience working with equipment for large-scale productions. Every day, SJSU is preparing students to go out into a competitive global workforce and succeed. #

Begin transcript:

Spartans in Action

Dwight Bentel Hall Communications Agency

Advertising Major Amanda Geannapoulos analyzes her competition for the American Advertising Federation – JC Penny National Student Competition.

Juan Luna, advertising major and team leader of the Chevrolet client competition  is on a conference call with Chevrolet marketing department.

The Chevrolet ad team is on a conference call with Chevrolet’s marketing department.

Public Relations Majors Laura Blanpied and Katherine Cadavid collaborate on a press release.

Event Center Apprenticeship

Radio-TV- Film major Sacha Johnson is testing the follow spotlight in the control booth for the Lady Antebellum concert.

Technical Services Coordinator and Crew Chief Anthony Ricalde works with  Radio-TV-Film major Luke Sharkey in the SJSU Event Center control booth, operating the house lights for the Lady Antebellum Concert.

Radio-TV-Film major Christian Garrucho captures audio and video interviews of the presenters at a gogoNet LIVE! conference in the Student Union.

Business Management Major Mitchell Williams operates the camera for a live broadcast for the gogoNet conference in the Student Union Ballroom.

SJSU Graduate Anthony Ricalde is rigging and patching a moving lighting fixture for the SJSU Men’s Basketall game against Whitman College.

University Police Department Cadet Program

Officer Thomas Lee teaches cadets crowd control in a UPD classroom.

SJSU Behavioral Science Linh Phan processes materials to be booked into evidence.

UPD cadets prepare to get into formation for inspection by Officer Thomas Lee.

SJSU computer engineering major Hung Nguyen and sociology major Keith Busmire assist Officer Lee with a vehicle stop.

SJSU Sociology major Keith Busmire practices collecting information from a “suspect” by completing a filed interview card.

Photos by Anna Bagiriov

Video produced and edited by Digital Communications Assistant Keith Bryant

Dan'l Lewin

Silicon Valley Leaders Symposium: Dan’l Lewin, Microsoft Corporation


Dan'l Lewin

Dan'l Lewin

Date: Feb. 10, 2011

Time: 12-1 p.m.

Location: ENG 189

Summary: Since Fall 2002, the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering has hosted the Silicon Valley Leaders Symposium (SVLS). The Symposium hosts industry and technology leaders to talk about business and technology trends. It also features prominent leaders who discuss broader societal and political issues that shape our life and society. Dan’l Lewin is the Corporate Vice President of Strategic and Emerging Business Development at Microsoft Corporation.

Community college student and SJSU admissions staff member at Super Sunday 2010

CSU Super Sunday: Northern California

Community college student and SJSU admissions staff member at Super Sunday 2010

Tirus Ashford of San Jose asks questions about transfering to SJSU from community college at Super Sunday 2010.

Date: Feb. 13, 2011
Time: Varies, check  site for details.
Location: Varies, check site for details.
Summary: Super Sunday is a CSU program to connect with and inform African American students and their families about what it takes to get into college. On Sundays each February, CSU leaders speak at various churches across the state to share information with students, parents and community mentors about preparing for college, applying to a CSU campus, and financial aid. SJSU speakers will attend services at three area churches.

Rebecca Solnit

Center for Literary Arts Speaker: Rebecca Solnit


Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit

Date: Feb. 8, 2011

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: MLK Library 225/229

Summary: Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of twelve books, including A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster, Storming the Gates of Paradise, and River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West. Solnit will hold a reading and book signing.