University Scholar Series Presents ‘Math Circles’

Professor Tatiana Shubin, center, works with students.

Professor Tatiana Shubin, center, works with students.

The next talk in the University Scholar Series is scheduled for March 27, at noon, when award-winning Professor Tatiana Shubin will give a talk on “Moving in Circles: the Beauty and Joy of Mathematics for Everyone.” In 2017, she received the Mary P. Dolciani Award, which recognizes a pure or applied mathematician for making distinguished contributions to the math education of students in the United States or Canada. She is credited with creating the San José Math Circle as a weekly space for middle and high school students to gather to engage in problem-solving work.

She is also a co-founder of the first Math Teachers’ Circle Network in the U.S., as a professional community of K-12 mathematics teachers and mathematicians. Groups meet regularly to work on rich mathematics problems, allowing teachers to enrich their knowledge and experience of math while building meaningful partnerships with other teachers and mathematicians.

In 2012, she launched the Navajo Nation Math Circles project and became co-founder/co-director of the Alliance of Indigenous Math Circles.  She aims to spread the culture of problem-solving and the joy of mathematics to Native American students and teachers.

Upcoming University Scholar Series events
Tatiana Shubin, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, on “Moving in Circles: the Beauty and Joy of Mathematics for Everyone”
March 27, noon to 1 p.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Room 225/229

Ellen Middaugh, Department of Child and Adolescent Development, on “Coming of Age in the Era of Outrage: Digital Media and Youth Civic Development”
April 24, noon to 1 p.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Room 225/229

Sandra Hirsh, School of Information, on “Blockchain: Transformative Applications for Libraries and Education”
May 8, noon to 1 p.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Room 225/229

All events are free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.

The University Scholars Series was expanded this spring to include four talks by faculty members who are engaged in world-class research, scholarship or creative activities that connect to San Joes Staté University to hot topic global issues, such as social justice, civic engagement, emerging technology and STEM education.

Fulbright Scholar Helps Indian Universities Rethink Engineering Education

Professor Claire Komives stands in front of a welcome banner at a university in India. She will again travel to the country as a Fulbright Scholar in fall 2019, when she will visit as many as 75 colleges and universities in hopes of enhancing engineering education.

Professor Claire Komives stands in front of a welcome banner at a university in India. She will again travel to the country as a Fulbright Scholar in fall 2019, when she will visit as many as 75 colleges and universities in hopes of enhancing engineering education.

While San Jose State was recently named as a Fulbright top-producing institution for the number of scholars who visit from other universities, SJSU faculty are regularly award Fulbright grants or awards to visit other countries and universities to conduct research and teach. In 2018, Associate Professor of English Cathleen Miller served as the Distinguished Chair of the Humanities at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom while also studying the phenomenon of women’s migration throughout the world. Humanities Lecturer Victoria Rue visited Dar al-Kalima University in the West Bank to teach and conduct scholarly work.

In fall 2019, chemical engineering Professor Claire Komives will travel to India on her second Fulbright Scholar Grant. In 2104-15, she traveled to the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, where she conducted research on creating a low-cost antivenom solution for developing nations. Now she plans to return with a new focus.

“I have proposed to go to India and work with faculty and administrators of engineering colleges to try to improve the quality of teaching,” Komives said, noting that many institutions in India use traditional teaching methods such as lectures and often use outdated curriculum.

She will be bringing a model of education that has proven successful at San Jose State – active, project-based learning.

“I want to try to help them learn about new methods of teaching such as inquiry-based learning,” she said.

Claire Komives, in the center by the screen, offers training on using active learning techniques at the end of her last Fulbright Scholar year in 2014-15.

Claire Komives, in the center by the screen, offers training on using active learning techniques at the end of her last Fulbright Scholar year in 2014-15.

Near the end of her first Fulbright experience, she went to an Indo Universal Collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE) conference, where she arrived was invited to give one workshop on active learning and she ended up giving eight workshops in different cities all over the country.“I met so many faculty who really want to learn to be better teachers,” she said.

From there, she developed an Effective Teaching workshop that became part of a certificate program for faculty. For this next phase of the project, Komives will be based in Mumbai, but will travel to as many as 75 universities and colleges so she can give workshops, engage in peer review of teaching through class visitations and generally sharing how to make class more interactive and effective.

“There is so much poverty in India,” Komives said. “Right now only five percent of students graduating from the more than 3,000 private engineering colleges are employable…If they can be employable they can actually contribute in the Indian economic system and help to raise their families up.”

Another benefit of her work on enhancing engineering education in India?

“Some of our students are coming from these types of universities,” she said. “So working with the faculty will help the professors there educate students more effectively who may then be coming to graduate programs here.”

Fulbright Scholars Enhance Teaching While Engaging in Research

Ling Yu (Melody) Wen is visiting San Jose State as a Fulbright Scholar as she conducts in-depth interviews with CEOs and top managers in the high-tech industry to explore what skill sets they believe are the most important in creating an innovative atmosphere and corporates’ human capital management.

Fulbright Scholars Enhance Teaching While Engaging in Research

In 2018-19, San Jose State University has been host to three Fulbright Scholars from other countries who are adding to their research portfolio while also teaching courses to Spartan students. The scholars include Ling Yu (Melody) Wen, whose area of expertise is human resources management and corporate training; Lela Mirtshkulava, who is engaged in computer engineering and computer science; and Monika Petraite, who worked on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial strategies.Fulbright Logo

Their presence has landed SJSU on the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s list of top producers of Fulbright Scholars, master’s institutions. The list is compiled each year with information from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which runs the nation’s flagship international educational exchange program.

Education and Silicon Valley

Wen specifically selected SJSU for its location in Silicon Valley, its history as the oldest public university on the West Coast and its ranking as the number one provider of employees to high-tech firms in Silicon Valley.

Since arriving on campus in September 2018 with a Senior Fulbright Scholar Grant, she has conducted in-depth interviews with CEOs and top managers in the high-tech industry to explore what skill sets they believe are the most important in creating an innovative atmosphere and corporates’ human capital management. Wen also interviewed students, professors and career center staff at SJSU for their input.

“The research provides a successful model of establishing a link from school to workplace—San Jose State University and the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley as an example,” she said. “The future perceptions of differential talents and the needs of human capital in the high-tech industry would be beneficial for educational policies and strategies of talent development mechanisms in both Taiwan and America.”

During the Fulbright year, Wen was invited by the Namibia University of Science and Technology and University of Missouri-Columbia as a visiting professor to share the results of the Fulbright research.

Wen is a senior professor in the Department of Finance at the National Changhua University of Education in Taiwan and has also served in as a department chair, college dean, dean of International Affairs, and in a variety of administrative roles. She earned her PhD in business education from the University of Missouri, with a focus on human resource management. She has been honored with Teaching Excellence and Service Excellence awards four times during her 24-year tenure in Taiwan, and has been a visiting professor in Germany, Mainland China, Malaysia and Namibia. She was appointed as a distinguished professor at Beijing Forestry University, China since 2015. She also has more than 20-year experiences as a consultant and corporate trainer, as well as the coordinator of National Curriculum and chief judge of National Talent Competitions for High School Students, Ministry of Education, Taiwan.

“Without SJSU and the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business providing the opportunity, I couldn’t complete my Fulbright study,” she said. “I would like to extend my appreciation to Dean Dan Moshavi and Associate Dean Meghna Virick of the Lucas College and Graduate School, and Camille Johnson, interim director of the School of Management, as well as all of the faculty, professors and students of SJSU and CEOs of high-tech industry in Silicon Valley who devoted their time and effort to my Fulbright research. Words are not enough to express my gratitude.”

Lela Mirtskhulava was a featured speaker at DataAI National Summit (DANS), Silicon Valley organized by American Association of Precision Medicine and presented the results of the project she has been working since arriving at San Jose State as a Fulbright Scholar.

Lela Mirtskhulava was a featured speaker at DataAI National Summit (DANS), Silicon Valley organized by American Association of Precision Medicine and presented the results of the project she has been working since arriving at San Jose State as a Fulbright Scholar.

Balancing Teaching and Research

Lela Mirtskhulava experience in the realm of artificial intelligence is unique. She was the first to develop an artificial intelligence capable of diagnosing stroke patients: her prototype artificial intelligence distinguishes between stroke patients and normal subjects with > 99 percent accuracy. She has been honored with the Best Paper Award in 2013 at the University of Cambridge, UK. She was invited as a featured speaker at the AIMed 2017 and AIMed 2018 conferences in Los Angeles.

“I have been working for more than eight months as a Fulbright Research scholar at San Jose State University with most amazing faculty and staff,” she said. “I enjoyed auditing the classes besides my research project thanks to Dr. Xiao Su giving me this opportunity. For academics, both the teaching and research are so attractive and interconnected things. To promote the teaching processes as well as to advance our field requires much time devoted to research, publication and presentation. On the other hand, teaching is one of our primary obligations as a scholar. Only putting them both together makes possible to reach the right balance in our academic life.”

She said at SJSU she has been able to prolong her research and teaching, while her daughter completes a full academic year at a local middle school. Her daughter has been inspired by her teachers while Mirtskhulava is inspiring her own set of students in the two courses she is teaching to postgraduate students; one on deep learning and one on system software.

“This gives me an excellent opportunity to teach the students and promote them to work on their research projects as it is required within these courses,” she said. “I’ve learned about SJSU’s teaching methodology by attending the classes as well my experience of teaching at San Diego State University where I hold an associate professor position.”

Prototyping Artificial Intelligence

Mirtskhulava was a featured speaker at DataAI National Summit (DANS), Silicon Valley organized by American Association of Precision Medicine and presented the results of the project she is currently working on. The main idea of the project is brainwave monitoring that focuses on neurological monitoring which incorporates the monitoring of brainwaves electroencephalography (EEG). Ischemic stroke occurs as a result of disruption of cerebral blood flow which results in neuronal cell death. Brainwave monitoring over EEG has been a commonly used method in neurological monitoring to diagnose and monitor various neurological diseases such as ischemic stroke. In the given project, Android Neural Network (ANN) is designed and a direct neural interface (DNI) is implemented using NeuroSky’s EEG biosensor for brainwaves recognition. A mobile EEG monitor is connected to a patient’s smartphone over Bluetooth that can transmit real-time brainwave data.

Mirtskhulava is an associate professor of computer science at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University in the country of Georgia as well as San Diego State University Georgia (a collaborative progam between SDSU and Georgian partner universities that offers select STEM degrees). As a Fulbright Research Scholar, she is teaching part-time in the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering this year. Mirtskhulava received her PhD in computer science. She has served in various capacities at several Georgian universities and has 15 years of industry work experience as an ICT senior engineer at Ericsson Ltd and Geocell LLC, Georgia. She Mirtskhulava was invited to the University of Cambridge in England to conduct the scientific workshops in 2013. She was the recipient of DAAD Scholarship Certificate in scope of Academic staff exchange program, at Westsaxson University of Applied Sciences Zwickau, Germany in 2016. She has also developed new curriculum in computer engineering and technologies at International Black Sea University, Georgia where she served as program coordinator of bachelor programs in Informatics and as a quality assurance manager at the same university. She participated in new program development in computer science for ABET at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. She is supervising master students and PhD students in Georgia.

College of Ed Professors Received Teacher Residency Grant

In light of that, Lurie College of Education faculty David Whitenack and Lisa Simpson recently applied for and were awarded a Teacher Residency Grant through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to create opportunities for Lurie College students to complete special education, STEM, and/or bilingual education residency programs.

Read more on the Connie L. Lurie College of Education blog.

New College, New Dean: Graduate Studies and Marc d’Alarcao

Marc d'Alarcao

Marc d’Alarcao

As a professor of chemistry with 30 years of experience in higher education split between San José State University and Tufts University, Marc d’Alarcao said his favorite part of teaching is when he sees students begin to understand how new knowledge is created.

“Knowledge is always continuing to grow,” he said.

Now d’Alarcao will be essential in creating a new college at SJSU as the interim dean of the College of Graduate Studies, designed to support graduate students in a variety of ways, including in advancing their fields through their research, scholarship and creative activities.

“We have a very large graduate student population of about 8,000,” he said. “They deserve to have an advocate who is solely focused on their needs.”

Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs announced the creation of a new College of Graduate Studies in fall 2018.

“The creation of a College of Graduate Studies has been front and center inAcademic Affairs for well over a year and a half,” Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Joan Ficke wrote in a January announcement about d’Alarcao’s appointment. “It dovetails with increasing commitments to our faculty administering graduate programs, and to our substantial graduate students’ population. It also signifies our re-visioning what SJSU contributes to Silicon Valley and to the world beyond.”

At Tufts, d’Alarcao mentored graduate students, including both master’s and PhD candidates, and regularly involved students at all levels in his research. His work at both universities has focused on biological and medicinal chemistry including the design and synthesis of potential antitumor agents, and a study of insulin action by synthesis of molecules related to insulin signal transduction with potential utility as treatments for type II diabetes mellitus.

“The thing that attracted me to SJSU was the outstanding faculty and students,” he said.

He has been working to expand research, scholarship and creative activities since his arrival at SJSU–as a faculty member, as a member of the AcademicSenate, and most recently, as the associate dean of research for the College of Science.

“Marc is an excellent choice to lead the College of Graduate Studies,” said Michael Kaufman, dean of the College of Science. “He has deep knowledge of the university and great skill in leading transformation both within and beyond college boundaries. His thoughtful approaches to challenges and opportunities make him the ideal person to enhance and expand SJSU’s graduate educational endeavors.”

Aside from advocating for graduate students, d’Alarcao articulated a few other reasons the new college is essential to the university’s priorities. First, he said it will continue to enhance research, scholarship, and creative activity, especially engaging graduate students. Second, it will position SJSU to expand its doctoral offerings — the university currently offers a doctorate in education and a doctor of nursing practice. Lastly, it will serve as a platform to better highlight the extraordinary work of our talented graduate students, both for internal and external audiences.

“For graduate students, success often means excellence in research or creative activity,” he said, adding that many of SJSU’s graduate programs require the generation of new knowledge or other creative products as a central component of the students’ experience.

d’Alarcao received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Bridgewater State College, in Massachusetts, during which he worked as a research assistant in microbiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. He completed his PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, followed by postdoctoral studies at Harvard University under the mentorship of E. J. Corey, who would later become a Nobel laureate.

Ruth Huard to Be Honored at YWCA Tribute to Women Awards

Ruth Huard

Ruth Huard

Dean of the College of Professional and Global Education (CPGE) Ruth Huard is among the outstanding leaders who will be honored by YWCA Silicon Valley at its annual Tribute to Women Awards on April 25. The organization released the list of 2019 honorees at its March 13 meeting. In its 35th year, the awards are an effort to encourage women’s leadership and promote equal advancement opportunities for women of diverse backgrounds.

“I am thrilled that our dean of the College of Professional and Global Education Ruth Huard will be recognized at this year’s YWCA Silicon Valley’s Tribute to Women Awards for her dedicated leadership and her commitment to transforming students into global citizens,” said SJSU President Mary A. Papazian, who nominated Huard for the honor. “Ruth is certainly an innovative thinker and role model for women everywhere.”

Huard, who oversees a team of 85 staff members that provide a wide range of services to more than 11,000 students, has been integral in raising San Jose State University’s reputation as an educational destination for scholars from around the world. SJSU serves one of the largest populations of international students among master’s granting institutions in the United States, is recognized as Fulbright top-producing institution, and offers more than 60 destinations for local students to engage in a study abroad opportunity.

In addition to support for global education and initiatives, Huard has reinvigorated SJSU’s professional education offerings through degree programs in emerging technologies such as data analytics, certificate programs and professional development programs.

Dean Ruth Huard, right, poses for a photo with Dr. Mototaka Senda during a trip to San Jose's sister city Okayama in Japan.

Dean Ruth Huard, right, poses for a photo with Dr. Mototaka Senda during a trip to San Jose’s sister city Okayama in Japan.

Working with the leadership team in her college as well as collaborating with colleagues across the university, Huard is focused on ensuring that the College of Professional and Global Education serves as nexus for globalizing the campus, particularly in developing students as global citizens and ensuring international student success; evolving the college into the leading provider of educational programs that meet the workforce demands of the region and the world; and maintaining a financially and operationally sound organization that contributes to the university’s top initiatives and priorities.

Huard has served as dean of the college for four and a half years, and has worked in higher education for 15 years. She has a PhD from Stanford University in the area of Human-Computer Interaction and Intelligent Systems. As a faculty member at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, she taught courses on emerging technologies, research methods and applied organizational communication and leadership. She started her career in leadership positions in Silicon Valley technology startups in product research and artificial intelligence.

She was the principal investigator on a State Department-sponsored project, Pakistan Distance Education Enhancement Program. The project built distance education capacity to deliver foundational courses in computer science and teacher education to remote students, particularly women, in the outlying areas of Pakistan where education is rarely available. In 2013, Huard was selected as an SJSU Salzburg Fellow and participated in the Global Citizenship Alliance in Austria.

President Papazian’s nomination was accompanied by a recommendation from Interim Provost Joan Ficke. Through its Tribute to Women Awards, YWCA Silicon Valley’s goal is to cultivate a Silicon Valley where women are not only welcomed in leadership positions and STEM fields, but respected as well. The nonprofit provides pathways to well-paying, growth careers through youth engagement in STEM and removing barriers for families in accessing quality early learning and school-age opportunities.

Faculty Award Winners Will Be Recognized March 21

San Jose State University will host the 20th Annual Faculty Service Recognition and Awards Luncheon Thursday, March 21, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom. Ticket sales will end on Tuesday, March 12. Please visit the event website to purchase tickets.

During the celebratory event, four exemplary educators will be recognized with the 2018-2019 Faculty Awards along with more than 115 faculty who have reached milestones of service for 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years.

The four distinguished faculty members are selected for noteworthy achievement in teaching, scholarship and service. Read more about each recipient:

President’s Scholar: Jan English-Lueck, Department of Anthropology

Outstanding Professor: Susan Verducci, Department of Humanities

Outstanding Lecturer: Melody Esfandiari, Department of Chemistry

Distinguished Service: Jonathan Roth, Department of History

Two Major Gifts Support SJSU Football Operations Center

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

San Jose, Calif. — San Jose State University is pleased to announce that it has received two major gifts to support a new football operations center on the east side of CEFCU Stadium, Home of the Spartans. Thomas Thompson, ’72 Behavioral Science, and his wife, Jane Bradley, have committed $500,000 to support the development of the new football facility, with a remaining percentage of their trust to establish the Thomas E. Thompson Athletics Scholarship. SJSU Athletics is also proud to share that an additional gift of $500,000 has been committed to support the football center by an anonymous donor.

“Both of these gifts come from long-time football season ticket holders and steadfast supporters of our Athletics program,” said Marie Tuite, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. “They are also keenly aware of the importance and significance of completing the funding for the football operations center. Tom and Jane believe in San Jose State and support the mission of the entire university. Our anonymous donor may be one of my favorite individuals–he simply wants us to build the football center and enhance the opportunities for our football program. I’m offering a sincere and gracious ‘thank you’ to these terrific Spartans.”

By supporting the creation of the new SJSU football operations building, these gifts will enable future generations of Spartan athletes to pursue an education while playing NCAA Division I sports.

Bringing Sport to New Heights

At 6 feet 8 inches, Thompson gravitated toward basketball at a young age, playing in high school and community college. He later transferred to San Jose State. Thompson was the first in his family to graduate from both high school and college–achievements that made it possible for him to pursue careers in juvenile probation, construction management, trade association management and real estate. He and his wife are grateful for the opportunity to give back to his alma mater.

“Jane and I want to show our appreciation to SJSU and to assist future students,” said Thompson, a long-time fan of SJSU football and basketball. “San Jose State provided my only opportunity for a good education at essentially no cost, and a great foundation to help me later earn a graduate degree. With the scholarship, we hope that students will have the chance to play football or basketball while earning a degree, just like I did.”

The anonymous donor, who graduated from San Jose State in the 1960s, is also a loyal fan of Spartan football.

“I am making this gift because I believe the football program is moving in the right direction under the leadership of Marie Tuite and Coach Brennan,” the anonymous donor said. “I know there are other Spartans like me who care deeply about this program and want to see it thrive. It is my hope that other Spartans will join the growing group of donors in doing what they can to provide Coach Brennan and the program with the resources necessary to compete in the Mountain West.”

“Our momentum continues to build as we move closer to our goal of creating modern, vibrant spaces for our student-athletes and our fans,” said Paul Lanning, vice president for university advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation. “We are so excited to see donors like these and so many others investing in the future of SJSU football, Athletics and the university.”

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


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study—offered through its eight colleges. With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce. The university is proud of the accomplishments of its more than 270,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

About San Jose State Athletics

San Jose State sponsors 22 (nine men’s and 13 women’s) NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports programs for approximately 470 student-athletes annually. In football, the Spartans are a member of Division I’s Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the NCAA’s highest level of competition.

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

San Jose State has 10 NCAA team championships and 52 NCAA individual titles. Sixty-two (62) Spartans competed in one or more Olympic Games. San Jose State athletes have won seven gold, six silver and seven bronze medals at the Olympics.

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

SJSU Artist Adds Color to Pediatric Clinic and Promotes Learning

Renae McCollum, a master’s student in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in art and education, spent a week volunteering with a brush in hand at Valley Health Center Bascom, a primary care clinic of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center: Hospitals and Clinics. She collaborated with Chair of Pediatrics, Christina Sheridan, and Ren Bruguera, a research assistant with Stanford’s Pediatric Advocacy Program, to create a mural that promotes literacy at the health clinic that serves many low-income families in San Jose.

“Children of lower income families face disadvantages in access to education even before entering kindergarten,” said Bruguera. “While many can’t attend preschool, most regularly attend their pediatric clinic. Through this mural project, we hope to turn the Bascom Clinic into a School Readiness Friendly Clinic to provide opportunities for families to engage in their children’s learning as early as possible – from the moment they step foot in the clinic.”

Renae McCollum started with a sketch for her mural project at Valley Health Center Bascom, a primary care clinic of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center: Hospitals and Clinics.

Renae McCollum started with a sketch for her mural project at Valley Health Center Bascom, a primary care clinic of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center: Hospitals and Clinics.

The under-the-sea theme promotes school readiness through numbers, words in Spanish and English and a call to "dive into a book."

The under-the-sea theme promotes school readiness through numbers, words in Spanish and English and a call to “dive into a book.”

McCollum learned about the project from a professor who shared the call for a muralist to work with the clinic. After conversations with Bruguera about the general vision for the mural to be interactive and educational, she submitted a preliminary sketch to the clinic.  Dr. Sheridan, meanwhile, was already making strides to brighten up the walls with paint and an under-the-sea theme for the medical clinic. McCollum began designing an underwater scene in late December and early January that included bright colors, sea creatures, numbers and a shout out to “Dive into a Book!”

Starting on February 9, she spent about 43 hours total in one week transforming a bare white wall of one of the waiting rooms into a vivid 10’ x 22’ mural. The underwater scene includes groups of sea creatures to promote counting, both in Spanish and English, and a cave where a young boy in snorkeling gear sits reading next to a treasure chest of books.  While patients wait for appointments, children and parents will be able to engage with the numbers and words on the mural that promote school readiness.

For McCollum, the artwork is also about school readiness—preparing for possible future classes she might teach.

“I am using this project to fuel independent research and create curriculum to teach muralism and public art,” she said.

Her own background in art includes taking classes, painting and drawing on her own, and an internship at a nonprofit that advocated for murals.

“I learned a lot of best practices from them,” she said about community-based art organization SPARC, who coincidently was behind the Cesar Chavez arch on San Jose State’s campus.

McCollum, initially enrolled at SJSU for a teaching credential and decided to pursue a master’s in art education. When she realized that particular degree did not exist, she worked with faculty to develop her own curriculum for a master’s in interdisciplinary studies that combined both areas of interest. Upon graduating this spring, she hopes to land a job that allows her to teach art in a California public school.

The mural project is the latest in a series of similar projects that were completed working with other artists at the Fair Oaks Clinic in Redwood City and the Mayview Community Health Center in Palo Alto, which were recently highlighted in an article in the American Journal of Public Health.

“We hope our collaboration between SJSU, Stanford, and Valley Medical Center will address disparities in access to early education faced by families in the South Bay,” Bruguera said. “We also hope to inspire similar collaborations in the future to support families throughout other parts of the Bay Area.”

For more photos and information about McCollum’s mural process, visit her blog.

Research Foundation Names 2018 Early Career Investigator Award Recipients

The Research Foundation announced the 2018 Early Career Investigator Award recipients March 8. Assistant Professor Minghui Diao, Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, College of Science, left, and Assistant Professor Susan Snycerski, from the Department of Psychology, College of Social Sciences, will receive their awards on April 23 at the SJSU Celebration of Research.

The Research Foundation announced the 2018 Early Career Investigator Award recipients March 8. Assistant Professor Minghui Diao, Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, College of Science, left, and Assistant Professor Susan Snycerski, from the Department of Psychology, College of Social Sciences, will receive their awards on April 23 at the SJSU Celebration of Research.

Assistant Professor Minghui Diao, Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, College of Science, and Assistant Professor Susan Snycerski, from the Department of Psychology, College of Social Sciences, have been chosen to receive the Early Career Investigator Award for 2018. The pair will be honored at the annual SJSU Celebration of Research on April 23, 2019, from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Diaz Compean Student Union ballroom. The event is open to the entire SJSU campus community.

 

Research with a global impact

Diao’s research focuses on the impact of clouds and aerosols on global climate change and regional air quality. Her work includes aircraft-based field campaigns to study regions as remote as Antarctica and the Southern Ocean; high precision laser instrument development; and computational global model simulations for comparisons with aircraft-based measurements and satellite remote sensing data. Since arriving at SJSU in 2015, she has secured a substantial amount of extramural sponsored funding for her research, primarily from the National Science Foundation and NASA.

She has published peer-reviewed articles in top tier journals, including Science, Nature Geoscience, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmosphere, Bulletin of American Meteorology, and Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry.

In addition to these activities, Diao has been a science team member for eight major NSF flight campaigns. She has taken part in field campaigns to Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, Germany, New Zealand, the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as Alaska, Hawaii, and other parts of the United States.

Diao is active in her field on a national level, having chaired numerous sessions at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) annual meetings in 2016, 2017 and 2018. She served as a NASA panel reviewer in 2017, and has been a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Cloud Physics Committee since 2016, which is in charge of updating the Glossary of Meteorology.

Also of significance is Diao’s engagement of students in her research. One graduate student was the lead author on a published paper, and is now pursuing his PhD in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. She brought graduate and undergraduate students with her to the National Center for Atmospheric Research to do summer research with aircraft instruments and global climate model simulations in 2016 and 2018. Since 2016, her students have given five oral presentations at AMS and AGU annual meetings.

A behavioral theory and motivation expert

Snycerski’s interdisciplinary research combines concepts and topics from the fields of behavior analysis, consumer behavior, and psychopharmacology. Her recent studies, conducted in collaboration with current and former SJSU graduate students, have investigated sports fans’ perceptions of cannabis use by professional athletes, alcohol use and aggression in sports fans, and educational attainment and employment status of Bay Area medical cannabis patients.

Snycerski is considered a subject matter expert on the behavioral theory and study of motivation, having co-developed The Motivating Operations Concept (MOC), a leading theory in behavior analysis that is included in undergraduate and graduate textbooks and training materials worldwide. The MOC is also used in the examination to earn a Board Certified Behavior Analyst license, which is the only professional credential in her field.

Since 2017, she has served as the principal investigator of a previously awarded cooperative agreement that funds advanced rotorcraft research in collaboration with scientists from the U.S. Army Aviation Development Directorate. In the last year, she has significantly increased extramural sponsored funding for SJSU’s human factors and aerospace engineering research at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field. This research has resulted in technological advances in the areas of adaptive autonomy, future lift systems, and human-centered display design.

In 2018, Snycerski was awarded a new cooperative agreement at NASA Ames. This three-year agreement funds research conducted entirely by students working at NASA’s Arc Jet Complex at Moffett Field, where materials that can withstand the heat environments to which spacecraft will be exposed are extensively tested. Such tests are imperative for NASA’s Journey to Mars mission, as well as other space travel missions. Both undergraduate and graduate students will apply the science of macroergonomics (a subdiscipline of human factors/ergonomics) to the complex research processes and tasks conducted at this facility.

Snycerski is an active scholar with more than 1,000 citations to her work (Google Scholar). She has published in the primary journals in her field, including Journal of Organizational Behavior ManagementJournal of Applied Behavior AnalysisJournal of the Experimental Analysis of BehaviorThe Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and Perspectives on Behavior Science. She has actively included SJSU students in her research, resulting in several conference presentations with SJSU students as co-authors.

About the award

The SJSU Research Foundation Early Career Investigator Awards recognize tenure-track SJSU faculty who have excelled in areas of research, scholarship, and creative activity. Consideration is given to both 1) externally funded contract and grant activity, and demonstration of ways in which such awards contribute to the improvement of the infrastructure, research capability, and recognition of San José State University; and 2) publications in top-ranked peer-reviewed journals, authorship of respected scholarly books, exhibits in renowned galleries, or other artistic endeavors.

Two award categories have been created to ensure the broadest participation possible from all academic units: Category 1 awards a faculty member in the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering or in the College of Science, and Category 2 awards a faculty member in all other colleges and the SJSU Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.

SJSU Celebrates Staff for Milestones of Service

San Jose State University recognized 133 employees at the Spartan Service Celebration March 7 for reaching milestones of service to the university. Spartans gathered in the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom to celebrate their friends, colleagues and for some, their spouses who they met during long careers at San Jose State.

President Mary A. Papazian started the program off with a welcome and expression of gratitude for the hard work and dedication of university staff members.

“Staff members are the driving force behind the university, connected in some way, shape, or form to all that we do,” she said.

For each milestone of service – 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40, members of the president’s cabinet shared their own thanks for the staff members who work within their divisions and collaborations across campus. See the full list of honorees who reached their milestones by Dec. 31, 2018. For each year celebrated, a video highlighting the year – with top movies, music and news events –played before videos of some of the Spartan staff members reminiscing about their time at SJSU.

Ester Burton, an administrative support coordinator with the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering Student Success Center, who was honored for 20 years of service shared how she met her husband at SJSU. Coleetta McElroy, president of the SJSU Alumni Association and director of the SJSU Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, who has accumulated 30 years of service said she most values the connections she’s made with students. Alan Leventhal, an information technology consultant in anthropology with 40 years of service said much of his career at SJSU has been devoted to studying the Ohlone tribe.

Following the videos, the names of each honoree were read aloud, some to shouts, hoots, and whistles from colleagues. Some even waved SJSU banners, pompoms or wooden sticks with paper cutouts of the honorees’ faces.

Students Show Car Creations at Silicon Valley Auto Show

Visitors to the Silicon Valley Auto Show look at SJSU Formula SAE racing cars. Photo courtesy of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering.

Visitors to the Silicon Valley Auto Show look at SJSU Formula SAE racing cars. Photo courtesy of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering.

San Jose State University students are showing some of the custom vehicles they have built from scratch at the Silicon Valley Auto Show at San Jose McEnery Convention Center through March 10. The student-built models include a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Formula Combustion vehicle, an SAE Formula Electric Vehicle, an SAE Mini Baja, an autonomous vehicle and a formula electric vehicle.

Working closely with Mechanical Engineering Professor Fred Barez for the past 10 years, the Spartan Racing team designs, builds and tests a new Formula-style race car every year. They follow the same regulations and standards that are imposed on motor sport teams. The experience allows students to experience a competitive work environment while applying the theories they are learning in their courses. Dozens of students are involved each year, with seven student leads focused on everything from the business needs of the team to the chassis and suspension of the vehicle.

SJSU engineering students talk to visitors at the Silicon Valley Auto Show March 7. Photos courtesy of Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering.

SJSU engineering students talk to visitors at the Silicon Valley Auto Show March 7. Photos courtesy of Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering.

In 2015, the team took first place at the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers Collegiate Design Series competition in Lincoln, Nebraska, and have continued to compete in the U.S. and Canada as well as the international circuit.

Barez looks forward to the opportunity for his students to show off their work at the Auto Show while also inspiring a new generation of engineers.

“As a kid, you’re excited to receive cars, trains, and planes. We want to develop pathways for kids,” Barez said at the 2018 show. “They all get excited to see the cars. Where else would you see an 8-year-old kid with an opportunity to drive a car?”

SJSU Celebrates Womxn’s Herstory Month

Calendar of Events

San Jose State University’s Gender Equity Center, in collaboration with campus departments and organizations, will be presenting a variety of talks and activities in celebration of Womxn’s Herstory Month. See the list below for upcoming events.

2019 Event Schedule  

 
image.png

Menstrual Week!!

Lunch and Learn: Medicalization of Womxn’s Bodies

Tuesday, March 12 | Student Union Rm 3B | 12:00-1:00 pm

Gender Equity Center & Professor Bakhru

Dr. Bakhru will discuss the ways in which women’s bodies have been constructed as the “wrong” body and how women’s embodied experiences and conditions become defined as medical problems and require medical intervention and discipline.  Lunch provided, all are welcome!

Podcast: Culture and Menstruation

Wednesday, March 13 | MOSAIC Station | sjsu.edu/mosaic/podcast/

Gender Equity Center & MOSAIC

Can’t make our programs but would like to listen to it on your own time? Download our podcast on Culture and Menstruation!

Reusable Menstrual Products

Thursday, March 14 | Student Union Rm 3A | 12:00 – 1:30 pm

Gender Equity Center

This is an interactive discussion about menstruation, stigma, & reusable menstrual products! All genders welcome! Free food provided!

image.png
Movie Screening: Hidden Figures

Wednesday, March 13  | Student Union Theater | 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Gender Equity Center & MOSAIC & Student Union

Join us for a film screening of Hidden Figures, a moving reminder of the achievements women have made in STEM. Snack provided!

image.png

New Womxn, New Vision

Thursday, March 14 | African American/Black Student Success Center | 4 – 7 pm

African American/Black Student Success Center  

A vision board activity for Black womxn to engage in community and crafts. We are officially in 2019 and need to take control of our time and goals for the year and beyond. RSVP: bit.ly/aabssc-womxn

image.png

Si Se Puede! Latinas in Leadership

Monday, March 18 | Student Union Room 1B | 6:00 – 7:30 pm

Student Involvement & Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center

Latinas in Leadership panel features SJSU alumnas and Latinas from various industries as part of Womxn’s Herstory Month. Open to students, community members, and SJSU alumni.

image.png
Workshop on Hair: Culture and Identity

Monday, March 25 | Student Union Rm 2B | 3:00 – 4:00 pm

Gender Equity Center

We will be hosting a discussion about how hair connects to our culture and identity. All are welcome!

image.png

Lunch and Learn: Womxn Who Lead

Tuesday, March 26 | Student Wellness Center 122A/B | 1:30 – 3:00 pm

Student Involvement & Gender Equity Center

The ‘Womxn Who Lead’ Panel seeks to give students the opportunity to engage in conversation about leadership equity. Free food provided, all are welcome!

image.png

Paint Night: Don’t Brush it Off

Wednesday, March 27 | Student Union Rm 4A | 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Caesar Chavez Community Action Center

Celebrating Womxn’s Herstory Month. Enjoy art, dialogue, and snacks! RSVP: tinyurl.com/paint-sjsu

SJSU To Send a Dozen Student Researchers to CSU Competition

Kauionalani Kekuawela, right, of the College of Health and Human Sciences works with a patient on her study “Differential Cardiovascular Responses to Acute Exercise in Children.” She is one of a dozen Spartans who will represent SJSU at the CSU Student Research Competition in April.

Kauionalani Kekuawela, right, of the College of Health and Human Sciences, works with a patient. She presented her study “Differential Cardiovascular Responses to Acute Exercise in Children” at the SJSU Student Research Competition Feb. 26 and is one of a dozen Spartans who will represent SJSU at the CSU Student Research Competition in April.

By David Goll

Described as one of the strongest field of competitors in several years, San Jose State University will be sending the maximum number of student researchers allowed per campus to the California State University Student Research Competition in April. The finalists include two teams of two students each as well as eight individuals who will compete against hundreds of students from across the system for top honors.

“We had some very strong presentations this year,” said Gilles Muller, associate dean of Research for SJSU’s Office of Research. The finalists made pitches to a panel of faculty judges Feb. 26 and 27 at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library as part of SJSU’s Student Research Competition.

This year marked the 40th anniversary of SJSU’s campus competition, with individuals and student teams competing from five colleges in five categories. This year, the discipline categories included Biological and Agricultural Sciences; Health, Nutrition and Clinical Sciences; Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Engineering and Computer Science; and Business, Economics and Public Administration.

Richard Bridges, a graduate student in the SJSU College of Health and Human Sciences, is among the students moving onto the CSU-wide competition. He presented his project, titled “Tertiary Treatment of Hepatitis C as Prevention for End Stage Liver Disease: A Qualitative Study Examining the Barriers and Facilitator to Treatment of Chronic HCV Among Current and Former Intravenous Drug Users”. His faculty mentor was Dr. Monica Allen.

Conducting his research among a group of nine black men in San Francisco’s Bayview district, Bridges wanted to investigate reasons for the sharp increase in deaths related to Hep C noted nationally by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2003 and 2013, and what type of barriers people of color, some of whom contract the disease through intravenous drug use, face in trying to obtain treatment, among other issues.

One barrier that Bridges discovered was a concern by health insurers and providers that drug users could be reinfected after treatment. One of the faculty judges asked Bridges if he found many studies on the subject already available.

“There has been very little research into this disease among this population, and it’s because of the stigma of IV drug use,” he said. “The population in my study does not get the press.”

He added that a new emphasis is being put on the disease by big pharmaceutical companies given its prevalence among baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, most of whom are assumed to have health insurance.

Another team of student researchers who made the cut were Jobelle Peralta and Blake DuPriest, students in the College of Science. Dr. Bree Grillo-Hill served as faculty mentor for the project titled “A New Paradigm for Regulation of Cell Death by Intracellular pH Dynamics in the Fly Eye.”

The pair used cells from the eyes of the insect to assess how the levels of acidity and alkalinity could determine whether those cells would remain healthy or become cancerous. They also examined the causes of cell death in the fly so they could devise strategies to block those causes.

“We were surprised by the results, but that is science,” Peralta said. “You’re always surprised by the results.”

Other finalists in the SJSU competition heading to Fullerton for the competition on April 26 and 27 include:

  • Eric Anderson, Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, — “Can 3D Printing Compete with Mass Production: A Mechanical Reliability Approach.” Faculty Mentor: Ozgur Keles
  • Sky Eurich and Shivangi Agarwal, Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering — “Takeover Response Times Following Disengagements in Semi-Autonomous Vehicles.” Faculty Mentor: Francesca M. Favaro
  • Avni Gulati, Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering — “Social Recommendation Systems.” Faculty Mentor: Magdalini Eirinaki
  • Sambhav Gupta, Lucas College and Graduate School of Business — “Artificially Intelligent (AI) Tutors in the Classroom: A Needs Assessment Study of Designing Chatbots to Support Student Success.” Faculty Mentor: Yu Chen
  • Vanshika Gupta, College of Science — “Investigating Macromolecular Structures for the Transformation of Greenhouse Gases Into Liquid Fuels.” Faculty Mentor: Madalyn Radlauer
  • Kauionalani Kekuawela, College of Health and Human Sciences — “Differential Cardiovascular Responses to Acute Exercise in Children.” Faculty Mentor: Areum Jensen
  • Sarah Ortega, Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering — “Exploring a Hybrid Design for a Short to Medium Range Transport Aircraft.” Faculty Mentor: Nikos Mourtos
  • Noe Vidales, College of Science — “Clustering Mixed Type Data Sets Using Probability Distance Clustering and Gower’s Metric.” Faculty Mentor: Cristina Tortora

SJSU Filmmakers Race to 2019 Cinequest Film Festival

Media Contact:

Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

San Jose, CA – Filmmakers at San Jose State University are anxiously awaiting the showing of their new short film “American Muscle” at the 2019 Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival, a highly acclaimed international film festival held in San Jose each spring.

The film crew for Spartan Film Studios works on a scene from "American Muscle."

The film crew for Spartan Film Studios works on a scene from “American Muscle.”

Their 22-minute action drama is about an overlooked driver who exploits her brother’s reputation in the underground world of drag racing to finally get a shot at proving herself in the streets.

Nick Martinez, coordinator of studio operations at Spartan Film Studios and general manager of KSJS radio station, wrote and directed the short film. “I wanted to make the most authentic representation of what the world of drag racing is like in a narrative form,” Martinez said.  “I wanted to show everyone this underground world in a way that had not been seen yet.”

It seems the audience at the LA Indie Film Festival, where the film debuted recently, resonated with the short. Martinez won Best Director at the festival.

Being an experienced film writer, director and producer, Martinez wanted to share the professional filmmaking experience with students at Spartan Film Studios. Forty-five current and former SJSU students had the opportunity to work on “American Muscle.”  Riley Leggin, ’17 RTVF said all the students were part of the filmmaking team. “There’s no stand on the sides and watch the pros,” she said. “Everyone gets their hands dirty and we came away with a lot more knowledge and confidence on set.”

The film was shot over five days in San Jose, Sacramento and Alameda. It’s scheduled to show four times during the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival, which runs March 5 through March 17.

Ticket and Show Times

In addition to the “American Muscle” film, three SJSU faculty members from the Department of Film and Theatre are sharing their expertise and script writing knowledge at a panel discussion: “Taking a Script to Screen Successfully.” Screenwriting Lecturers Larry Schapiro and Barnaby Dallas put together the panel of industry insiders. Schapiro will participate in the panel, and Professor Scott Sublett will serve as the moderator. The panel discussion takes place on Saturday, March 16 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the California Theatre Rehearsal Hall.


About San Jose State University

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

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

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

Selection for RSCA Assigned Time Cycle 2 Starts

As San José State University continues its commitment to expanding its research, scholarship and creative activities enterprise, eligible faculty are invited to apply for the next cycle of the Faculty Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities (RSCA) Assigned Time Program. Applications for the second cycle are due to respective dean’s offices in each college on March 28, 2019, and should include a cover sheet, curriculum vitae, scholarly agendas for the next five years and RSCA metric data.

The first cycle provided awards to 141 individuals, including 49 tenured faculty members and 92 probationary faculty members, who now have university support to balance their teaching and scholarly pursuits. As the university moves forward with phase-in, increasing numbers of faculty members will receive awards until all RSCA productive faculty are teaching not more than 18 weighted teaching units per year.

Each college has created field-appropriate metrics that are used to select participants in the program and to evaluate their progress on their RSCA agenda. Each award is for a period of five years, with a formal review after year three and RSCA metric data submitted annually.

The benefits of the RSCA Assigned Time program extend beyond faculty. The program expands opportunities for students to engage with dedicated mentors while developing critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills that are key for the workforce. In addition, the outcomes of RSCA at San José State have local and global impacts on innovation and entrepreneurship.

For more information, visit the Office of Research online or faculty can contact their dean’s office for more information.

Assemblymember Evan Low Honors SJSU President Papazian with Woman of the Year Award

San Jose State University President Mary A. Papazian has been named Woman of the Year for the state’s 28th Assembly District by State Assemblymember Evan Low, an SJSU alumnus.

Papazian received the honor today at a ceremony during the California Legislative Women’s Caucus in Sacramento. She was one of a select group of women who were so honored by state senators and assemblymembers to mark Women’s History Month.

SJSU President Mary A. Papazian poses for a photo with Assemblymember Evan Low March 4.

“I am both grateful for and honored by this distinction, and for Assemblymember Low’s strong support of San Jose State and our students,” Papazian said. “But none of us succeed alone, and women especially know the immense value of professional networks and collaboration in helping us achieve our goals. This honor is a testament to the generosity, hard work and support of my colleagues and peers at SJSU and throughout the CSU system.”

Since 1987, the Legislative Women’s Caucus has set aside a day in March to honor those women who are having a positive impact in their California communities.

The event has become a signature event for the California State Legislature. Both the Assembly and Senate pause from their daily routines to celebrate and encourage women of all ages to pursue lives of service.

Assemblymember Evan Low, second from the left, presented the Woman of the Year Award for District 28 to SJSU President Mary A. Papazian, center, at the California State Capitol March 4. Photo courtesy of Assembly Low's Office.

Assemblymember Evan Low, second from the left, presented the Woman of the Year Award for District 28 to SJSU President Mary A. Papazian, center, at the California State Capitol March 4. Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Low’s Office.

“Since becoming San Jose State University’s 30th president in 2016, Dr. Papazian has had a track record of strong leadership that centers on her core commitment to the success of students,” said Assemblymember Evan Low. “As a proud alumnus of San Jose State University, I am proud to recognize President Papazian with this award.”

Papazian joined San Jose State University as its 30th president on July 1, 2016. As the leader of the founding campus of the California State University and Silicon Valley’s only public university, she is firmly committed to student success; open, transparent and inclusive leadership; fostering a culture of curiosity and discovery; and building enduring campus and community partnerships.

Papazian is currently focused on revitalizing communication among and between campus leaders, students, faculty and staff; energizing alumni, supporters and friends of the university; meaningfully elevating engagement with elected, industry and community leaders on important regional policy issues; empowering people across the university singularly to focus on student success; inclusively assessing opportunities to enhance operational effectiveness; and articulating an aspirational vision for SJSU to be America’s preeminent urban public university.

Notable milestones at SJSU since Papazian’s appointment include approval of plans to build a Science and Innovation Complex (the first planned expansion of academic facilities in more than three decades); and the launch of an Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change.

Papazian is actively engaged in national and regional volunteer leadership, serving on the boards of Higher Education Resource Services, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Bay Area Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

Papazian holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. She and husband Dr. Dennis R. Papazian, founding director of the Armenian Research Center at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, have two adult daughters.

City of San Jose Offers Commendation to SJSU TechEd Team

San Jose city officials presented a commendation to San Jose State University students and faculty members for their work with NASA Ames' technology education satellite program, following the successful launch of their latest satellite in January. At Council Chambers at City Hall in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. ( Josie Lepe/San Jose State University )

San Jose city officials presented a commendation to San Jose State University students and faculty members for their work with NASA Ames’ technology education satellite program, following the successful launch of their latest satellite in January. At Council Chambers at City Hall in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. ( Josie Lepe/San Jose State University )

City of San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Councilmember Raul Peralez offered a commendation at their February 26 council meeting to San Jose State University Aerospace Engineering professors and students for their ongoing collaboration with NASA Ames Research Center on the Technology Education Satellite Program. In partnership with NASA, the most recent satellite was launched from the International Space Station in January.

“You may have caught it in the news and it sparked my interest,” said San Jose Councilmember Raul Peralez, an SJSU alumnus, during the presentation. “I want to show recognition for my alma mater.”

He and the mayor invited students and professors to the front of the council chambers to receive the commendation.

“We are like a family with eight generations,” said Aerospace Engineering Professor Periklis Papadopoulos. “Students graduate and go on to power the Aerospace industry.”

Read a story about the launch online.

Acclaimed Author and Visiting Professor Speaks at SJSU Feb. 28

Nayomi Munaweera

Nayomi Munaweera

Acclaimed Bay Area novelist and nonfiction writer Nayomi Munaweera has been appointed as the 2019 Connie and Robert Lurie Distinguished Author-in-Residence at San Jose State University. Munaweera is the award-winning author of Island of A Thousand Mirrors and What Lies Between Us, and has been named one of Bustle Magazine’s “Twelve Women of Color Writers You Need to Know.” She is teaching the Graduate Fiction Workshop for spring 2019. Munaweera will present a public reading of her fiction followed by an onstage conversation with SJSU Professor of English Revathi Krishnaswamy on Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Room 225/229 as part of the Center for Literary Arts 2018-19 season.

Both of Munaweera’s novels have Sri Lanka as a backdrop, the place where she was born. Munaweera grew up in Nigeria before immigrating with her family at the age of 12 to Los Angeles. In Island of a Thousand Mirrors, a story that explores the Sri Lankan civil war, she had little first-hand experience of the conflict so “it took a lot of research to get the book right.”

Munaweera earned her bachelor’s in literature and a master’s in South Asian Literature from University of California, Riverside. She is an alumna of Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation’s (VONA) Voices of Our Ancestors Writing Workshop and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. She teaches at Mills College and at the Ashland University low-residency MFA Program. She holds writing workshops in Sri Lanka through a program called Write to Reconcile in which she co-teaches with legendary Sri Lankan writer, Shyam Selvadurai. Their aim is to use creative writing as a tool of reconciliation and healing for both Tamil and Sinhala survivors of the civil war.

Her first novel was the Commonwealth Regional Prize Winner and her work has been shortlisted for the Northern California Book Award and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. She has presented her work around the world at literary festivals in Jaipur, Mumbai, Galle and the Bay Area.

The Lurie Distinguished Visiting Author-in-Residence in Creative Writing was established in 1999, offering students the opportunity to study with nationally and internationally known authors. The most recent authors have included award-winning travel writer and editor of National Geographic Traveler Don George and author of a New York Times Notable Book Vendela Vida. See the full list of previous authors-in-residence. Read more about Munaweera online.

National Engineers Week: Fuel of the Future

National Engineers Week is February 17-23, with more than 70 engineering, education and cultural societies and more than 50 corporations and government agencies involved in events and activities to celebrate the profession and promote STEM education around the nation. Ranked #3 in the nation among public engineering programs offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, according to U.S. News & World Report 2019, and a top contributor of talent to Silicon Valley, San Jose State University will be celebrating the faculty, students and programs that make up our Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering in a series of stories on our Newsroom and social media channels. The College of Engineering offers 13 engineering disciplines with 7,400 students enrolled and works closely with its Engineering Industry Advisory Council to ensure the curriculum and learning experiences offered to its students align with workforce needs.

Mohamed Badawy

Mohamed Badawy

San Jose State University Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Mohamed Badawy is the director of the Center of Power Electronic Converters (CPEC), where students learn about and research how to better power electronics from cars electric vehicles to cell phones to solar cells.

He was recently interviewed in a California State University news story on “The Fuels of the Future.” In the article, Badawy shares his thoughts about the viability of electric vehicles and future improvements that will make charging them accesible. Read the full article online.

His research interest extends beyond electric vehicles. Working with undergraduate and graduate students in the CPEC lab, he is also interested in developing novel photovoltaic (PV) power processing technologies that could improve energy capture in solar technology. He is also engaged in research that supports the adoption of highly efficient electrical loads that could improve cell phone charges, laptop chargers, power supplies and LED drives.