Business Leader and Philanthropist Phillip R. Boyce to Receive Honorary Degree

Phil Boyce

Phillip R. Boyce (Photo: David Schmitz)

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

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University announced today that business leader and philanthropist Phillip R. Boyce, ’66 Business Administration, will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Commencement. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. May 27 at CEFCU Stadium, Home of the Spartans. The event will be streamed live on the university’s website.

“Through a decades-long commitment to giving back, alumnus Phillip R. Boyce epitomizes Spartan pride. In recognition of his outstanding accomplishments and dedication, the California State University Board of Trustees and San Jose State University are proud to confer upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters,” President Mary A. Papazian said.

This academic year, an estimated 10,000 San Jose State students will earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

Phillip R. Boyce

Boyce founded Pacific Valley Bank, serving Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, in 1975. Under his leadership as chairman and CEO, the bank grew to $1.4 billion in assets. He served as chairman and CEO of Pacific Western Bancshares, the bank’s holding company, as it evolved into Western Capital Management and eventually merged with Comerica. He has served as president of Boyce Associates since his retirement in 1994.

A 1997 recipient of San Jose State’s Tower Award and distinguished alumnus from SJSU’s Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, Boyce has devoted his career to investing in and cultivating healthy communities. As chairman of the board of the Valley Foundation, he helped establish a simulation nursing lab at SJSU’s School of Nursing and created an endowment to support the school, now known as the Valley Foundation School of Nursing.

Boyce has served in leadership capacities for dozens of Silicon Valley causes, including the Montalvo Center for the Arts, the Technology Center of Silicon Valley, the Community Foundation of Santa Clara County, the Hakone Foundation, the Silicon Valley Children’s Fund, and the Heritage Bank, among others. He currently serves as director of Goodwill Industries International, Inc.


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José 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 José 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.

 

 

Returning Student Finishes His Degree 61 Years Later

Robert Lewis George in Yosemite, 1960 (all photos courtesy of the George family).

Robert Lewis George in Yosemite, 1960 (all photos courtesy of the George family).

In May 2017, Robert Lewis George visited San Jose State to deliver his senior project to his faculty committee—61 years after first enrolling at SJSU. His final presentation, entitled “Visualizations,” detailed a photography workshop he took with Ansel Adams in Yosemite in 1960, and covered his 50-year career since leaving San Jose. The two-week workshop, which was conducted all over the park, made a lasting impact on the way George took photos—and saw the world.

“Learning with him was an anticipated challenge, a memorable experience and an appreciation of true genius,” George, age 83, writes in his senior paper. “The way he inspired me, shared his perspective, and taught us to see the photographic possibilities as well as the sheer pleasure of being with Ansel for those two weeks will be with me always.”

Though George will not be present to participate in the university’s Commencement ceremony May 27, he enjoyed visiting San Jose State for his presentation earlier this month. When asked if he recognized the campus, he said, “Only the Tower. Everything else is different.”

George originally enrolled at SJSU in 1956 after returning from the military, where one of his jobs was to take photos. Photography became especially important to him after meeting San Jose State Art and Art History Professor Morton Boss. Though he was a Life Sciences, Preparation for Teaching major at the time, his passion for photography led him in 1960 to open the Town and Country Camera store in San Jose with his father-in-law. Boss worked there for several years, maintaining a friendship with George that lasted decades.

George at the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah. His team won gold medal in an age bracket for players in their 80s).

Robert Lewis George at the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah. His team won the gold medal for its age bracket.

In the early 1970s, George and his wife moved to Oregon with their children. He sold school buses before working as a transportation consultant for Oregon’s Department of Education. Following his retirement in 1995, George and his wife wintered in Arizona and stayed busy with family, fishing and playing senior softball. Watching his children and grandchildren pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees and delighting in their success, he realized that something still remained on his bucket list: a college degree.

George worked with a team of deans, professors and evaluators at San Jose State to determine his pathway to a degree. The team included Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies Wendy Ng, Associate Dean of the College of Sciences Elaine Collins, University Articulation Officer Delia Chavez and Admissions Evaluator Yvette Fierro. In early 2017, he declared a special major entitled Life Sciences Visualization with Preparation for Teaching and enrolled in an independent study course with Ng, who is also a sociology professor at SJSU.

“It feels absolutely wonderful to complete my degree,” he said. “I’m not going to get a better job because of it, I’m not going to make more money because of it—it’s just something that needed to be done. Once I identified that, then it took some work, but it was not as hard as I thought it would be. Wendy was a great mentor for me. I would do it again in a minute.”

SJSU Presents 2017 Top Seniors and Outstanding Thesis Awards

San Jose State President Mary A. Papazian will recognize this year’s top graduates at Commencement, beginning at 9:30 a.m. May 27 in Spartan Stadium. Lauren Cordova and Fatema Elbakoury have been named Outstanding Graduating Seniors for their leadership roles on and off campus, contributions to the community and personal achievements as undergraduates. Mary Okin and Paul Zimmer have received the Outstanding Thesis Award in recognition of the quality of their research.

Lauren Cordova (all photos courtesy of the students)

Lauren Cordova (all photos courtesy of the students)

Lauren Cordova, ’17 Behavioral Science and Sociology, has been involved in LGBTQ+ organizations since her freshman year at San Jose State and during a year studying abroad at the University College Dublin in 2014. In leadership positions at SJSU’s Queers Thoughtfully Interrupting Prejudice, Peers in Pride and Peer Connections, and through her work at San Jose’s LGBTQ+ Youth Space Speaker’s Bureau, Cordova has demonstrated her commitment to her fellow Spartans while maintaining a 3.846 GPA. Her research on underrepresented minority students in the College of Social Sciences, conducted alongside Professor Amy Leisenring, resulted in a paper which they presented at the Pacific Sociological Association conference in April. Cordova will be attending the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

Fatema Elbakoury

Fatema Elbakoury

Fatema Elbakoury, ’17 English, has enriched San Jose State through her work as a diversity advocate intern at SJSU’s MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center, as a peer mentor through Peer Connections and as a Salzburg Scholar. She offered workshops on feminism, Islam, whiteness, transphobia, mass incarceration and body image through MOSAIC. Upon returning from Salzburg, she developed a workshop addressing complacency in the globalized world. She represented SJSU at Harvard Divinity School’s Diversity and Explorations program and Northwestern University’s Community for Human Rights conference—while maintaining a 3.974 GPA. Elbakoury was one of 47 scholarship recipients nationwide chosen by the Islamic Scholarship Fund in recognition of her work using the arts to shift the perception of Muslim Americans.

Mary Okin

Mary Okin

Mary Okin, ’11 BA Liberal Studies, ’16 MA Art History, worked for San Jose State’s Humanities Honors Program, became an SJSU Salzburg Scholar and helped develop this campus’ Cultural Showcase. She is also a California State University Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar who won awards at the San Jose State and CSU student research competitions and conducted summer research at University of California, Berkeley. Her master’s thesis, “Uncovering ‘New Man’ Feminism: Arthur F. Mathews at the San Francisco School of Design, 1890-1896,” is the first feminist reading of this 19th century California painter. She is in her first year of doctoral study at University of California, Santa Barbara, and is revising her master’s thesis for publication.

Paul Zimmer

Paul Zimmer

Paul Zimmer, ’17 Geology, analyzed 27,000 cross-sections derived from Sierra Nevada bedrock valleys in pursuit of his master’s degree in geology—challenging conventional understandings of how glacial erosion modifies the shape of mountain ranges. He developed his master’s thesis, “Assessing Glacial Modification of Bedrock Valleys in the Sierra Nevada, California, Using a Novel Approach,” by creating a new, semi-automated technique for extracting valley cross-sections from digital elevation models using custom scripts written in the programming languages MATLAB and Python. He used this approach to produce an unparalleled dataset and to validate a new method for quantifying the geomorphology of bedrock valleys.

SJSU Names Seasoned Administrator and Committed Spartan Marie Tuite to Serve as Athletics Director

Media contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations Director, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu
Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics Media Relations Director, 408-924-1217, lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu

San Jose, Calif. — President Mary A. Papazian announced today that she has appointed Marie Tuite to serve as the university’s next athletics director. A seasoned administrator and committed Spartan who had been heading Spartan Athletics on an interim basis, Tuite brings to the office a lifetime of professional experience in athletics leadership that she began as an aspiring teacher and outstanding collegiate basketball and field hockey player.

“We searched nationally for the best athletics director we could find—and we found her, right here,” President Papazian said. “Marie Tuite has demonstrated a genuine commitment to the success of all students, to our university’s mission, and to the principle that athletics should be woven into the fabric of the university.”

As the search committee found (members listed below), Tuite’s accomplishments are many. She spent five years working in the NCAA head office. She has served in leadership roles on six college campuses including the past seven years at San Jose State. She played an integral role in major initiatives such as securing SJSU’s membership in the Mountain West, cultivating new revenue sources, recruiting and supporting key personnel, and the planning and implementation of a massive update to SJSU’s athletics facilities.

“I am delighted that we have found in Marie Tuite an outstanding leader who has so clearly and amply demonstrated what we were seeking: an enthusiastic, committed, hardworking, forward thinking athletics director firmly focused on the success of all our students during their time here and after graduation,” said Annette Nellen, search committee chair, SJSU Athletics Board chair, and professor of accounting and finance.

Accomplished collegiate sports leader

Tuite will also leave her mark in SJSU history as the first woman to serve as athletics director since San Jose State combined its men’s and women’s programs in 1987 and one of just a handful of women to lead an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) program. At a news conference announcing her appointment, she thanked colleagues, mentors, family and friends for their support, and she vowed to make the same opportunities available to everyone aspiring to follow in her footsteps.

“I’m excited to take on these new responsibilities as San Jose State’s next athletics director. I’m looking forward to working with our campus and community partners, donors, and most importantly, our student athletes, coaches and Athletics Department staff,” Tuite said. “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to work closely with President Papazian, and I’m elated with the new opportunity.”

During her tenure, the Spartans played in and won two football bowl games and won 11 conference championships in seven sports, including incredible performances this year by tennis and softball, earning both teams NCAA tournament berths.

Tuite’s many contributions since arriving at SJSU in 2010 include:

  • administering the athletics department’s $26 million budget in support of 450 student athletes, 110 staff members and 20 sports;
  • helping cinch a naming rights agreement for CEFCU Stadium, the Home of the Spartans, and an all-sports apparel partnership with Adidas;
  • eliminating a $2.3 million department deficit while bringing five new sports to campus: men’s water polo, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, beach volleyball, men’s track and field;
  • serving as the administrative lead for the football, men’s and women’s basketball and women’s golf programs.

Committed teacher and mentor

Previous to San Jose State, Tuite served as senior associate athletics director for sports programs at the University of Washington, assistant women’s athletics director at UC Berkeley, assistant director of championships for the NCAA, and special assistant to the athletics director at Seattle University. She began her career as a physical education instructor at primary and secondary schools before moving on to coaching and teaching at Alma College, all in her home state of Michigan.

Tuite remains committed to teaching and mentoring, serving as an adjunct professor for the University of Washington Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership master’s program. She earned a bachelor’s in education and a master’s in athletics administration from Central Michigan University, where she was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Tuite holds memberships in the National Association of College Directors of Athletics, Women Leaders in College Sports, and the Women’s Sports Foundation. She is the proud mother of two grown sons.

Search committee members

  • Annette Nellen, Search Committee Chair, SJSU Athletics Board Chair, and Professor of Accounting and Finance
  • Stefan Frazier, Associate Professor of Linguistics and Language Development and Academic Senate Vice Chair
  • Brandon Clarke and Nicole Iloanya, Students
  • Wayne Wright, Women’s Gymnastics Head Coach
  • Steve Caplan, Alumnus and Tower Board Member
  • Walt Jacobs, Dean of the College of Social Sciences
  • Jaye Bailey, Vice President for Organizational Development and Chief of Staff
  • Paul Lanning, Vice President for University Advancement and Tower Board CEO
  • Andy Feinstein, Provost and Senior Vice President

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José 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 José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.


About San Jose State University Athletics

San Jose State University’s athletics program sponsors 20 NCAA Division I sports (7 men’s and 13 women’s) and offers an intercollegiate athletics experience to at least 450 student-athletes annually. The Spartans compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the highest level of college football. San Jose State is a member of the Mountain West — a conference of 12 football-playing schools in the Pacific, Mountain and Hawaiian time zones.

 

A 1973 Graduate Returns to Participate in Commencement

When Elizabeth López learned that her uncle Jesse Musquez, ’73 Math, had completed his degree but never walked in Commencement, she asked why. As an undergraduate graduation evaluator at San Jose State’s Office of the Registrar, she knew how important it is for college students to celebrate their graduation.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in graduation,” López said. “It’s a celebration of a big achievement, and I thought he would enjoy being a part of it.”

Back in 1973, Musquez was a young father of two, with a third on the way. As a Vietnam veteran, Musquez had already overcome significant obstacles in pursuing his education. When he was a young child, his family had worked for the automotive industry in Michigan before moving out west to pick apricots, cotton and grapes in the Valley of Heart’s Delight.

Musquez family 2017

The Musquez family in the 1970s. From left to right, Christopher Daniel, Maria, Jesse, Marcos and Anna (all photos courtesy of the Musquez family).

Determined to be the first in his family to complete a college degree, Musquez put himself through school on the G.I. Bill and worked full-time to support his wife and children. Just as he was completing the final requirements for graduation, his sister-in-law passed away unexpectedly, leaving three small children. Instead of donning his cap and gown, Musquez, along with his wife and his in-laws, focused on providing care for their family—a consistent theme throughout his life.

When she heard this story, López felt moved to do something. She investigated what it would take to bring her uncle to CEFCU Stadium on May 27 in cap and gown.

Achieving the American Dream

“My father is a fantastic example of someone who came from very simple means and has accomplished so much. He is an example of the American dream,” said Musquez’s daughter Anna Martorana, ’99 Molecular Biology.

Musquez, age 73, had originally pursued math as a pathway to coding, though at the time that he graduated, there weren’t any jobs in the field. Instead he chose a career in electronics, working for several years for Fairchild Semiconductor before entering international sales.

Musquez family today

The Musquez family today.

“For being someone who picked cotton and worked in the fields to graduating from San Jose State, it’s been a long journey,” Musquez said.

Throughout his successful career, the focus has always been on family. It’s no surprise that he’ll be surrounded by 15 family members on the big day, many of them flying in from out of town.

Family man

Jesse Musquez in cap and gown

Jesse Musquez in cap and gown.

“My dad is so much about everyone else in the family,” said Martorana, who attended San Jose State as a young parent herself and now works for Novartis Pharmaceuticals. “He is the foundation of the family but he is often in the background. We’re thrilled to get this opportunity to recognize him and what he’s accomplished.”

When he went to pick up his cap and gown, surrounded by graduates of the Class of 2017, he says the excitement was palpable.

“It’s going to be fun to put on a gown and sit there with all these young people,” he said. “When I went to get my gown, you could feel the energy of all the students. You can feel their hard work and you can sense that their families have done the work to get them where they’re at. I’m happy to do this.”

Award-winning TV News Journalist and Latinas Contra Cancer Founder Ysabel Duron to Serve as 2017 Commencement Speaker

Ysabel Duron

Ysabel Duron

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

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University announced today that award-winning retired television news journalist and founder and CEO of Latinas Contra Cancer Ysabel Duron, ’70 Journalism, will serve as its 2017 Commencement speaker. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. May 27 at CEFCU Stadium, Home of the Spartans. The event will be streamed live on the university’s website.

“We know that students—indeed, all of us—find inspiration in others’ life experiences. I have no doubt that Ysabel Duron’s story will inspire everyone,” SJSU President Mary Papazian said. “Duron’s hard work and sacrifice in service to her community will resonate with our students, families and friends.”

This academic year, an estimated 10,000 San Jose State students will earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

Ysabel Duron

A Salinas native, Ysabel Duron was inspired to pursue a college degree by her mother, who worked nights in a cannery to help support her six children’s education. Duron was a pioneering Latina broadcast journalist. During a 43-year career, she covered regional, national and international events, culminating in two decades as a Bay Area reporter and anchor.

Duron received a 1974 Emmy for her coverage of the Patty Hearst kidnapping and a Radio Television News Directors Association award for “The Child I Never Held,” a 1991 series about her reunion with a son she gave up for adoption while she was a San José State student.

Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1999, Duron covered her treatment and recovery in another award-winning series, “Life With Cancer.” Struck by the absence of Latinos receiving similar care, she founded Latinas Contra Cancer in 2003 to provide education and support services to low income, Spanish-speaking cancer patients and families.

Dedicated to increasing Latino engagement in genetics testing and research, Duron works with UCSF, Stanford University, Georgetown University and others. In addition, she serves on the Institutional Review Board for the All of Us Research Program and is active on a committee reporting to the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute.


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José 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 José 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.

 

 

Mary A. Papazian Inaugurated as SJSU’s 30th President

SJSU President Mary A. Papazian shortly after her formal investiture ceremony (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Photojournalism).

SJSU President Mary A. Papazian shortly after her formal investiture ceremony (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Photojournalism).

At her inauguration May 4 as San Jose State University’s 30th president, Mary A. Papazian brought her father and brothers to tears when she took to the podium to describe her late mother as a teacher who inspired generations of students to excel.

“A mentor strongly encouraged my mom to pursue her doctoral degree in education at Stanford,” Papazian said in her inaugural address. “But she had already met my father at UCLA, and they married young—which is what you did in those days—and my three brothers and I were born in short order. So rather than pursue her doctoral degree, my mom earned a teaching credential.”

She said her mother prepared all her students—her own children included—for college. Papazian followed through with her mother’s dream of completing a doctorate and has eclipsed it by becoming the first woman of Armenian descent to become president of a major public university.

Spartans, educational leaders, local and state officials, faith leaders and community members gathered at 9:30 a.m. on Tower Lawn for the festivities. A recording of the event is available on the SJSU website.

Association of American Colleges and Universities President Lynn Pasquerella lauds Papazian's commitment to education (Photo: David Schmitz).

Association of American Colleges and Universities President Lynn Pasquerella lauds Papazian’s commitment to education (Photo: David Schmitz).

Chancellor Tim White secures a medallion President Papazian received to mark the occasion (Photo: David Schmitz).

Chancellor Tim White secures a medallion President Papazian received to mark the occasion (Photo: David Schmitz).

The ceremony started off with a procession of visiting honorees and SJSU community members decked out in a rainbow of regalia colors. Papazian was the last one to enter the ceremony, aptly dressed in robes of Spartan blue and gold.

“It is with enormous gratitude and deep humility that I embrace the opportunity to lead this storied institution,” she said.

Hundreds of people gathered on the sunny morning, with President Papazian’s husband Dennis, her two daughters, and extended family who traveled from as far as Taiwan and Switzerland, present to celebrate the momentous occasion. Papazian, who joined SJSU in July, was officially invested as university president in the moment when CSU Chancellor Timothy White placed a ceremonial gold medallion around her neck after dozens of campus and community members lauded her.

The theme for the morning’s festivities included the legacy of SJSU as the founding CSU campus and the promise that the university holds for the future, especially as a leader in the community.

Academic Senate Chair Michael Kimbarow, a professor of communicative disorders and sciences, and Mayor Sam Liccardo acknowledged the important connection between the campus and the neighboring community.

“A great city like San Jose is even greater for having a world-class university in its midst,” Liccardo said.

When Liccardo presented Papazian with a resolution from the city, he mentioned the exuberance and joy she expresses when she talks about the university. He touted the institution’s importance to driving innovation in the most technologically-advanced region in the world. He also noted the sense of community she has built since joining the campus.

“It’s more than just Mary’s 30 family members here today,” Liccardo said. “It’s Mary’s 35,000 family members.”

CSU Fullerton Mildred Garcia, who has known Papazian for many years, remarked on her accomplishments through the years.

“There are shards of glass on her shoulders because of all the glass ceilings she had to crash through to be here,” Garcia said, adding that Papazian joins 10 other female CSU presidents. “Welcome to the CSU, Sister Mary Papazian.”

After the event, President Papazian receives hugs from daughters Ani and Marie Papazian (Photo: David Schmitz).

President Papazian's father, Hagop Arshagouni, was among 30 family members who attended the inauguration (Photo: David Schmitz).

President Papazian’s father, Hagop Arshagouni, was among 30 family members who attended the inauguration (Photo: David Schmitz).

Papazian weaved in personal anecdotes about her background as the daughter of immigrants, as a scholar of Renaissance literature and as a mother of two with thoughts on the university’s future during her inaugural address.

She mused about how she came to lead a university in the middle of Silicon Valley that is best known for its science, technology, engineering and math programs.

“The Renaissance was a transformative moment in human history,” she said. “And we now are in the midst of another period of transformative change.”

Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and a long-time friend of Papazian’s, offered some personal reflections during the morning ceremony and lauded her commitment to education.

“It is a dedication informed by her profound empathy, moral imagination, her own lived experience and her Armenian heritage,” Pasquerella said. “She understands the link between liberal education and civic engagement….Her leadership holds a potential for the re-envisioning of the landscape of higher education because of her moral courage, intellect and commitment to the community.”

Papazian closed the ceremony with a reflection on the greatest asset of the university.

“The true greatness of San Jose State University is revealed in its people,” Papazian said during her inaugural address. “In each of you. Our people are our legacy. And they are our promise.”

 

Mary A. Papazian to be Inaugurated as San Jose State University’s 30th President

Dr. Mary A. Papazian (Photo by: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’16 MS Mass Communications)

Dr. Mary A. Papazian (Photo by: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’16 MS Mass Communications)

Media contacts:
Pat Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1748
Robin McElhatton, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1749

SAN JOSE, CA — In accordance with academic tradition, Dr. Mary A. Papazian will be inaugurated as San José State University’s 30th president at the end of her first academic year in office. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. May 4 on Tower Lawn.

The ceremony will be enriched by Papazian’s personal history and journey as the descendant of Armenian immigrants, as an English literature professor, as one of 11 women to serve as presidents of Cal State campuses.

SJSU asks members of the media to RSVP now so that arrangements can be made for parking and reserved seating.

Distinguished speakers

She will be joined by Cal State and San José State leaders, and friends and family including her husband and daughters. Confirmed speakers are listed below.

Among the symbols of office to be bestowed upon her is a bronze and glass medallion designed and forged at San José State, reflecting her ethnic heritage and her love for learning and the poetry of John Donne.

Papazian and Pasquerella each will deliver a major address. Papazian will describe her dreams of leveraging San José State’s legacy and Silicon Valley location to transform the university into the world-class urban college campus. Pasquerella will speak about demonstrating the value of the humanities at public universities like SJSU and in this time of science and technology.

Inauguration Week events

During the evening after the inauguration, the university community will gather for “Inspiration to Innovation,” a gala that this year will honor Papazian and world-renowned playwright and alumnus Luis Valdez, who will receive the 2017 Tower Award. Through his work, Valdez elevated the real-life experiences of the Chicano community while exploring universal themes of social justice and human rights.

The inauguration and gala will be preceded by a related series of events including Legacy of Poetry Day featuring acclaimed author and poet Maxine Hong Kingston and two films on Armenian history, the documentary “They Shall Not Perish” and the historical drama “The Promise.”

More information on the inauguration and gala is available on the SJSU website.

Speakers:

  • Mary A. Papazian, President, San José State University
  • Sam Liccardo, Mayor, City of San Jose
  • Timothy P. White, Chancellor, California State University
  • Debra S. Farar, Member, CSU Board of Trustees
  • Lynn Pasquerella, President, American Association of Colleges and Universities
  • Mildred Garcia, President, California State University, Fullerton
  • Michael Kimbarow, Professor and Chair, SJSU Academic Senate
  • Hector Perea, ’17 Business Administration, President, Associated Students of SJSU
  • Coleetta McElroy, ’97 Public Administration, President, SJSU Alumni Association
  • Edward A. Oates, ’68 Mathematics, Chair, Tower Foundation of SJSU
  • Archpriest Father Datev Harutyunian, The Reverend Jethroe Moore II and a cross-denominational group of Bay Area faith leaders

About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José 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 José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

 

Conference Aims to Attract More Women to Tech Careers

Shellye Archambeau, MetricStream CEO and a keynote speaker, said "I believe that you can do anything you want to do, and that you can be anybody you want to be, as long as you make a pact with yourself.” (David Schmitz photo)

“I believe that you can do anything you want to do, and that you can be anybody you want to be, as long as you make a pact with yourself,” said Shellye Archambeau, MetricStream CEO and a keynote speaker (David Schmitz photo).

By Barry Zepel, Contributing Writer

While women make up a solid majority of this country’s college students, they represent only a small fraction of those training for careers in engineering, technology and the sciences.

The dramatic growth of the Silicon Valley Women in Engineering (WiE) Conference, hosted annually since 2015 by San Jose State University’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, figures to have a robust impact on closing that gap. Educating greater numbers of women for such careers has been the objective of Belle Wei during her three decades at the university, the last two as Guidry Chair for Engineering Education.

“Women account for 58 percent of college graduates, but they make up only 18 percent of engineering and computing graduates,” said Wei, who served 10 years as dean of the college.

Record attendance

She reported a record attendance for the third annual WiE conference held on campus on March 25. The 365 attendees who registered included 178 SJSU students, 56 from other universities, 105 community college students, and 13 recently admitted to SJSU. They came to learn from 84 faculty members as well as presenters and panelists made up of Silicon Valley technology leaders and San Jose State alumni.

The day-long conference featured two major categories, professional development and emerging technologies. Wei said that the latter one was expanded for this year’s symposium.

“We’re in Silicon Valley, where emerging technologies are being developed every day,” she explained.

Conferees chose from eight break-out tracks – Leadership, Communication, Careers, Climate Solutions, Foundational Technologies, Smart Living, Individual and Social Well-Being, and Human/Computer Interactions. Each track offered three related sessions.

The full conference reconvened at lunch and in the early evening for inspirational keynote presentations (David Schmitz photo).

This year’s conference broke attendance records, with 365 student attending to learn from 84 faculty members as well as presenters and panelists made up of Silicon Valley technology leaders and San Jose State alumni (David Schmitz photo).

Keynote speakers

The full conference reconvened at lunch and in the early evening for inspirational keynote presentations by Shellye Archambeau, CEO of MetricStream, and Selina Lo, CEO of Ruckus Wireless.

Archambeau, named one of the top 2 “most influential African Americans in technology” in 2013 by Business Insider, spoke of the challenges she faced as a young person preparing to enter the business world.

“I decided early, while I was in high school, that I wanted to run a business,” she said. “But when I looked around, I realized that the odds were not in my favor because I didn’t see a lot of people who looked like me. That didn’t stop me and it shouldn’t stop you. I believe that you can do anything you want to do, and that you can be anybody you want to be, as long as you make a pact with yourself.”

Archambeau, whose Silicon Valley-based software firm helps other companies improve their business performance, emphasized the immensity of future career opportunities in technology.

“Of the top 25 jobs in terms of growth and pay, 10 of them are in technology,” she said. “Technology is in our workplaces, in our homes, in our cars, and it’s on our bodies. It is everywhere. A U.S. Department of Labor study reported that between 2014 and 2024 there will be more than a half-million new jobs in technology and computing. That means opportunity for all of us.”

“Be brutally honest with yourself”

Like Archambeau, Lo talked about her movement up the career ladder, noting that her first job was taking real estate listings from a binder and typing them on to a computer so that her employer’s branch offices could share the information. This was before the arrival of PCs and Macs. The UC Berkeley computer science graduate went on to work for HP and eventually became vice president of marketing for a startup called Centillion.

To prepare the conferees for career advice, Lo shared her “most difficult assignment” for an employer, when a piece for a product arrived too late and the ensuing product was too expensive and not performing properly. She said she had to do “a complete technical and marketing pivot” to save the product, and in doing so, defined a new market for load-balancing switches.

Lo urged students to “be brutally honest with yourself about what is not working. Build great teams, and remember that open, direct communication eliminates most of the politics. And hard work is the foundation for everything.”

SJSU alumna Erica Lockheimer senior director of engineering for LinkedIn, was the first member of her family to earn a college degree (David Schmitz photo).

SJSU alumna Erica Lockheimer senior director of engineering for LinkedIn, was the first member of her family to earn a college degree (David Schmitz photo).

“Pay it forward”

Attendees also learned about opportunities in the tech and engineering fields from San Jose State alumni successful in those industries. Erica Lockheimer, a 2000 SJSU grad, was one of many to speak at one of the four career panels, the topics of which included: Information Technology; Electronics and Biomedical; Semiconductor Equipment and Aerospace; and Building, Infrastructure and the Environment.

Lockheimer, senior director of engineering for LinkedIn, was the first member of her family to earn a college degree. She said she feels a responsibility to “pay it forward” by offering insight and advice to current students checking out the industry.

“I realize the struggles I went through early in college and early in my career,” she said. “I wish I had a version of myself talking to me 17 years ago to help me.”

This was the second year that she spoke at the WiE conference. Lockheimer also participated in a campus career session a month earlier hosted by the SJSU Alumni Association.

“San Jose State is one of those schools that, anytime they ask me, I’m here to volunteer.”

“Your goals and success can be reached”

One of the beneficiaries, SJSU sophomore Desiree Rodriguez, was thrilled with what she learned and who she was able to network with at the conference.

“There’s many takeaways from this conference,” the aerospace engineering major said. “The most valuable are the inspiration that I drew and the added motivation to continue going, regardless of how hard it is. I met people from Lockheed Martin and NASA Ames, to name a few. The professionals who came today let us know it is difficult, and that there are not a lot of women in engineering.

“However, it doesn’t mean that we can’t change that. If you work hard, your goals and success can be reached.”

World-Renowned Playwright Luis Valdez to Receive the Tower Award

Luiz Valdez at SJSU in for a revival of his landmark play, "Zoot Suit." (photo by Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications)

Luis Valdez at SJSU in 2015 for a revival of his landmark play, “Zoot Suit” (photo by Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications).

Media contacts:
Pat Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1748
Robin McElhatton, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1749

SAN JOSE, CA — San José State University will present its 2017 Tower Award to SJSU alumnus, activist, playwright and father of Chicano theater Luis Valdez at Inspiration to Innovation, a gala event to be held May 4, 2017, at the SJSU Event Center. Ticket information is available on the university website.

“Luis Valdez is an extraordinary example of the contributions San José State University’s alumni make to our social fabric,” President Mary A. Papazian said. “Drawing on his gifts as a writer and director, Valdez gives us unforgettable stories elevating the real-life experiences of the Chicano community, while exploring universal themes of social justice and human rights.”

The Tower Award, San José State’s highest honor, recognizes service to the university, community and society. Among the more than 40 recipients since 1972 are Susan Hammer; Norm Mineta; Peter Ueberroth, ’59 Business Administration, ’86 Honorary Doctorate; and Bill Walsh, ‘55 BA, ‘59 MA, Education.

The Father of Chicano Theater

Awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama in 2015, Valdez is perhaps best known as the force behind “La Bamba,” the 1987 film chronicling the life of rock-and-roll star Ritchie Valens. The popular movie is just one project from more than a half century of productions drawn from personal experience.

Valdez was born in 1940 in Delano to migrant farmworkers. After graduating from James Lick High School in East San José, he went on to produce his first full-length play and earn a bachelor’s in English at San José State in 1964. The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa shows the absurdity of Mexican American stereotypes and it is an excellent example of the timelessness of Valdez’s work.

Soon after graduating from SJSU, the young playwright went on to lend his talents to a cause he knew well. During the Delano grape strike, he collaborated with civil rights leader Cesar Chavez to produce short skits highlighting the plight of the farmworker.

El Teatro Campesino (The Farmworker Theater) in San Juan Bautista would become Valdez’s lifelong professional home and the inspiration for another timeless masterpiece, Zoot Suit. Commissioned by the Mark Taper Forum, the musical explores the complexities of a real murder trial compromised by racism.

In 1979, Valdez took “Zoot Suit” to Broadway, a first in the history of Chicano directors. He earned Golden Globe nominations for the “Zoot Suit” and “La Bamba” films, both of which he directed. He received an honorary doctorate at SJSU in 1988 and returned in 2015 to stage a revival of “Zoot Suit” with his son Kinan Valdez as director. Valdez remains active in the theater community.


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José 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 José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

 

Sixteen SJSU Student Teams to Share Their Innovative Prototypes at April 8 Paseo Public Prototyping Festival

Ian Lee, Ryanne Zertuche, Natasha Mislang, Matthew Montero, Alberto Reyes

Team Illuminate seeks to bring light driven sculptures to downtown San Jose. Members include Ian Lee, Ryanne Zertuche, Natasha Mislang, Matthew Montero and Alberto Reyes (photo by Assistant Professor Craig Hobbs).

Media contacts:
Pat Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1748
Robin McElhatton, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1749

SAN JOSE, CA — Sixteen teams of creative and imaginative San José State University students will showcase their technological solutions for many of their city’s most pressing issues – including downtown safety, traffic congestion, the homeless, and support of local small business entrepreneurs – on Saturday, April 8, at the Paseo Public Prototyping Festival in downtown San Jose.

The Paseo Festival Expo will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Hammer Theatre Plaza, 101 Paseo De San Antonio. In the evening, teams will present their final pitches from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the Hammer Theatre Center main stage.

Along with the student team competition, the festival will feature other exhibitions and speakers focused on art and technology, science and engineering, as well as civic engagement.

Admission is free and the public is invited.

Students tackling pressing issues

In preparation for the festival, students majoring in art, design, engineering, business and the sciences have spent the past year in collaboration with fellow team members to develop and refine their proposed solutions for improving life for the people of the city of San José.

The student teams, selected by a competitive review process headed by university faculty members, as well as industry professionals, will demonstrate their prototype devices and apps and be available to answer questions throughout the daylong festival.

Concepts to be exhibited by the SJSU teams include:

  • A skateboard modified to generate electricity that can be used to charge a cell phone or power a headlight for the board to be safer at night;
  • An app to better control city traffic and enhance access to public transportation;
  • Devices to collect solar energy during the day in order to light up pedestrian walkways at night;
  • A social app enabling residents to follow the actions of their local government, while communicating with it to access services and report problems;
  • An inventory-tracking module to help local food entrepreneurs provide fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods to city residents;
  • An app to help drivers more efficiently locate available parking spaces near their downtown destinations, while eliminating excess traffic jams;
  • A collaborative educational game that encourages learning and offers first-hand experience, while keeping students continuously engaged; and
  • An app that helps individuals with niche interests and hobbies find other like-minded persons as well as events and organizations related to those pursuits.

A skateboard that generates electricity

“San José State University students are making a difference through their creative and technical talents,” said Gary Craig Hobbs, faculty director of the Paseo Prototyping Challenge and Festival. “The festival is the culmination of a year-long civic innovation challenge designed to incubate solutions to pressing social and environmental problems in San Jose.”

One of the teams – Traxis Design – created the modified skateboard that features an axle team members call “a truck” that allows the moving board to generate electricity while it is used during daylight hours. The collected electricity can then be used later for multiple purposes.

“We ride a skateboard to get around, so one of our team members thought it would be really convenient to add features to create and generate a source of electricity that can be used later,” said Josh Siqueido, a senior finance major from Oxnard.

His collaborators on the Traxis Design team are Connie Jiang, a graduate student in human factors and ergonomics from San Francisco; Aaron Caprino, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from San Jose; John Chaloeicheep, a junior aerospace engineering major from San Jose; and Omar Riaz, a freshman software engineering student from San Jose.

Siqueido indicated that he and his Traxis Design team plan to stay together to market their creation and work to develop other innovative products in the future. A similar goal was expressed by members of other participating festival teams.

Collaborating with industry

In September of last year, San José State University – in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the City of San José, Intel, Microsoft and Autodesk – launched the Paseo Public Prototyping Challenge and Festival.

The “Challenge” portion of the partnership was designed to create model solutions to social and environmental challenges in the city through student-focused multidisciplinary collaboration and technological innovation, according to Hobbs. “The festival will celebrate the culminating prototypes.”

A panel will announce the top three innovative creations from among the 16 teams, with first place winning $5,000; second place earning $3,000; and third place awarded $2,000.

(Editor’s note: SJSU Contributing Writer Barry Zepel wrote this release.)

 


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José 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 José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

 

Maxine Hong Kingston to Serve as Keynote Reader at Legacy of Poetry Festival

Maxine Hong Kingston (photo by Alexander Warnow)

Maxine Hong Kingston (photo by Alexander Warnow)

Media contacts:
Pat Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1748
Robin McElhatton, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1749

SAN JOSE, CA – Iconic author Maxine Hong Kingston will be the keynote reader at San José State University’s 2017 Legacy of Poetry Day Festival to be held from 5-9 p.m. May 3 at the Hammer Theatre Center in downtown San Jose. Kingston will be presented during the main stage reading at 7 p.m. All Legacy of Poetry Day festival events are free and open to the public.

“The event will feature an all-star cast of Bay Area-based Asian American poets. This will extend SJSU’s celebration of National Poetry Month into May, and also kick-off Asian Pacific Heritage Month,” said Alan Soldofsky, professor of English and Comparative Literature and director of SJSU’s creative writing program.

Schedule of events

The 7 p.m. main stage program will include poets, spoken-word artists and musicians including: Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Arlene Biala; California Poet Laureate emeritus Al Young; award-winning San Francisco poet Barbara Jane Reyes; Metro columnist, SJSU Steinbeck Fellow and poet Gary Singh; poet/performer Genny Lim, accompanied by pianist Jon Jang, percussionist Jimmy Biala and saxophonist Francis Wong of the Pan-Asian Arkestra; San Jose spoken-word artists and poets ASHA, Lorenz Dumuk and Quyhn Nguyen. And musicians P.J. and Roy Hirabayashi, founders of San Jose Taiko.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. in the Hammer Theatre Center lobby with readings by SJSU President Mary Papazian and Senior Vice President and Provost Andy Feinstein. They will be joined by other SJSU officials, alumni, students, faculty members and staff poets. President Papazian’s appearance will be one of several public programs she will take part in during her official inaugural week beginning May 1. The SJSU readings will feature works from SJSU’s long legacy of poetry, going back to Edwin Markham (1852-1940), and including other acclaimed SJSU alumni and faculty poets spanning 150 years.

Sponsors

SJSU’s 2017 Legacy of Poetry Day Festival is sponsored by: Associated Students of SJSU, Poets and Writers Coalition, College of Humanities and the Arts, Department of English and Comparative Literature, the MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center, and the SJSU Office of the President. The festival is produced in association with co-sponsors CATS (Contemporary Asian Theater Scene), the 2016-17 Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, Poetry Center San Jose and Poets & Writers, Inc.


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José 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 José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

 

Spartan Alumna Premieres Feature Film at Cinequest

BY DAVID GOLL

As in previous years, students and faculty from San Jose State University will be well represented at the 2017 Cinequest Film and VR Festival staged at various venues throughout San Jose and Redwood City starting this week.

“Disaffected Youth,” billed as a “punk-rock coming-of-age” film directed by Patrick Mattes and co-written and produced by Jacob Ohlhausen, is a short film produced by Spartan Film Studios.

“I’m very excited,” said Mattes, a December graduate of the university’s Television, Radio, Film and Theatre (TRFT) department, about his film’s inclusion at Cinequest. “We’re both excited. I texted Jake the moment I heard.”

It will be shown as part of the College Shorts program on March 7, at 8:45 p.m.; March 10, at 7:15 p.m.; and March 11, at 12:45 p.m. at the Cinemark Century 20 theater complex, 825 Middlefield Road, Redwood City.

Also selected for Cinequest was “swiPed”, a four-minute, 38-second animated film both humorous and poignant about the detrimental impacts of smartphones on society. It’s the creation of David Chai, associate professor of Design and Animation/Illustration in the Department of Design, whose tagline for the film is: “Texters texting, tweeters tweeting, likers liking, posters posting, Googlers Googling, Amazonians Amazoning, webheads surfing, snappers chatting, pinnters pinning, tubers tubing, tenders tindering, Netflixers chilling — are we binging too much? More connected than ever, but more distant by the day. Is humanity being swiped away?”

Chai was a Silicon Valley smartphone holdout until recently.

“I had a flip phone until last year,” he said. “I don’t want to be emailing when I can be out enjoying life. People have become so disconnected from one another through technology. Even when you are with them, you’re often not.”

Chai’s film debuts on March 3, at 9:30 p.m. It will subsequently be screened March 5, at 1:05 p.m.; March 7, at 4:30 p.m.; and March 11, at 6:45 p.m. All presentations will be at the Cinemark Century 20 in Redwood City.

A 2008 alumna of the TRFT program, Los Altos resident Saila Kariat, will also be represented at Cinequest with her dramatic, one-hour, 38-minute film titled “The Valley” that she wrote, directed and co-produced. The movie will premiere at 7 p.m. March 5 at the California Theatre, 345 S. First St., San Jose. The feature-length film centers on an Indian-American entrepreneur who has an existential crisis following the suicide of his young-adult daughter.

Kariat — who grew up in India, Canada and the United States — said the film project took three years to complete. Professor Scott Sublett, chair of the SJSU’s TRFT department, said Kariat studied film and screenwriting and distinguished herself in student screenwriting competitions before becoming the department’s Valedictorian.

Kariat partially self-funded the production, which cost $500,000, but also attracted several investors. It had a cast of 30 and crew of 35. She said its international cast includes actors from Pakistan, Alyy Khan; India, Suchitra Pillai; and American Jake T. Austin.

For those who miss the premier, “The Valley” will also be shown on March 6, at 4:15 p.m.; March 9, at 9:15 p.m., and March 11, at 4:15 p.m., at the Cinemark Century 20 theater complex in Redwood City.

The annual festival, which has grown dramatically in size and prestige in recent years, provides matchless industry exposure for SJSU film students.

“We want our students to have a professional experience and Cinequest provides a great opportunity for them,” said Barnaby Dallas, coordinator of production for Film and Theatre, and the director of Film Production for Spartan Film Studios, which produced “Disaffected Youth” last summer. “Every year, the film industry comes to San Jose for 10 or 12 days.”

Tickets for events and more information about the Cinequest Film and VR Festival are available online.

SJSU Announces Athletics Department Leadership Changes

Media contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations Director, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu
Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics Media Relations Director, 408-924-1217, lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu

San Jose State University announced Thursday that Athletics Director Gene Bleymaier has taken on a new role as special advisor to the president, with responsibility for ensuring momentum and progress on development plans for our athletics facilities.

“I am looking forward to this opportunity to focus fully on our South Campus master plan, which is critical to the future success of our athletics programs,” Bleymaier said.

The multi-phased South Campus plan, which relies on private financial support, is now transitioning into its second phase after the successful completion of a golf practice facility that will open this spring. Bleymaier will immediately focus on the transition to the project’s next phase.

“I want to express gratitude on behalf of the SJSU community, including our devoted alumni and other friends of athletics, for all that Gene has done since his arrival in 2012 to advance Spartan athletics,” Papazian said.

In a letter to the campus community, Papazian commended Bleymaier for a variety of successes since his arrival in 2012:

  • Full transition of SJSU’s intercollegiate sports programs into the highly competitive Mountain West conference.
  • Completion of the first phase of South Campus renovations, including a new golf practice facility.
  • Two post-season bowl victories for the football program (2012 Military Bowl and 2015 Cure Bowl).
  • Partnership agreement between SJSU and Citizens Equity First Credit Union, providing funding for renovations to newly-named CEFCU Stadium-Home of the Spartans.
  • Sustained competitive excellence in numerous sports.
  • Sustained improvements in the academic performance and graduation rates of SJSU’s student-athletes.

Deputy Athletics Director Marie Tuite has been named interim director. A national search for a permanent successor will begin soon.

Bob Woodruff to Receive Steinbeck Award

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

SAN JOSE, CA –Journalist and philanthropist Bob Woodruff will receive the 2017 John Steinbeck Award at an event beginning at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Diaz Compean Student Union on the grounds of San Jose State University. Tickets are on sale now ($25 general / $15 SJSU faculty and staff / $10 SJSU student) at the Event Center Box Office (408-924-6333) or at ticketmaster.com.

This marks the first time in 20 years that the Steinbeck Award has been presented to a journalist with experience covering America’s foreign wars. Steinbeck was proud of his reporting on World War II and Vietnam, and like Bob Woodruff, he was an outspoken advocate for veterans.

“It’s an honor to receive an award named for one of America’s greatest storytellers; the fact that John Steinbeck turned his writer’s eye on the ravages and stories of war makes him doubly my hero,” Woodruff said.

In conversation with Dan Ashley

Dan Ashley of ABC7 News will conduct an interview with Bob Woodruff, who will be joined onstage by his wife Lee Woodruff, co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. The event is a fundraiser for San Jose State’s new Veterans Resource Center.

While in Iraq as an embedded reporter for ABC’s World News Tonight, Bob Woodruff was seriously injured on Jan. 29, 2006, by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle near Taji, Iraq. A traumatic brain injury nearly killed him.

In a miraculous recovery, just 13 months later, Woodruff returned to ABC News with “To Iraq and Back: Bob Woodruff Reports.” Since then, he has reported for the network from around the globe, earning a prestigious Peabody Award.

Bob Woodruff Foundation

Together with his wife, Lee, he also runs the Bob Woodruff Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that post-9/11 injured service members, veterans, and their families thrive long after they return home. To date, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has raised over $33 million to support veterans’ causes.

The “In the Souls of the People” John Steinbeck Award is presented by SJSU’s Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies to artists and activists whose works embody the spirit of Steinbeck’s social engagement. Previous recipients of the award include Bruce Springsteen, Arthur Miller, Dolores Huerta, Garrison Keillor, Rachel Maddow, John Mellencamp, Ken Burns and Ruby Bridges.


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José 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 José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

 

San Jose State University Launches Institute, Convenes Town Hall on Athlete Activism

Media contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, CA–San Jose State University today will announce the launch of the SJSU Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change at “From Words to Action,” a town hall meeting featuring sports, media and social leaders discussing the past, present and future of athlete activism.

“San Jose State is the ideal home for a center of academic and research excellence and community engagement focused on sport, activism and social change,” SJSU President Mary Papazian said. “We are thrilled to welcome so many luminaries to San Jose today, and we look forward to building an institute that will enable and empower voices representing diverse viewpoints.”

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Hammer Theatre Center in downtown San Jose. A live stream will be available here. The event is sold out.

Leaders and legends

Today’s event brings together many of the nation’s leading voices in athlete activism, from the early moments of the civil rights movement to the present. Two panel discussions will feature seven world-class athletes:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member, six-time league MVP
  • Anquan Boldin, 2015 NFL Man of the Year
  • Jim Brown, Pro Football Hall of Fame member, three-time league MVP
  • Danielle Slaton, 2000 Olympics silver medalist, soccer
  • Tommie Smith, 1968 Olympics gold medalist, 200 meters, track and field, SJSU alumnus
  • Takeo Spikes, two-time NFL All-Pro
  • Chris Webber, five-time NBA All-Star

More leaders and legends will attend today’s event:

  • Al Guido, San Francisco 49ers president
  • Ronnie Lott, Pro Football Hall of Fame member, eight-time NFL All-Pro
  • Marti Malloy, 2012 bronze medalist, judo, SJSU alumna
  • Jared Shawlee, San Jose Earthquakes chief operating officer
  • Keena Turner, San Francisco 49ers vice president of football affairs and retired 49ers linebacker
  • Jed York, San Francisco 49ers CEO

“We are proud to partner with SJSU alumnus Harry Edwards, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, several Bay Area professional sports franchises and others in staging today’s event,” said SJSU Vice President for University Advancement Paul Lanning. “We have assembled an impressive group of men and women who have leveraged their careers in sports to push for social change.”

The heart and soul of an institute

At the heart of today’s event and the SJSU Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change is Harry Edwards, ’64 Sociology. This SJSU record-setting discus thrower and former faculty member rose to prominence as the spokesperson for the Olympic Project for Human Rights. The initiative inspired SJSU student-athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith to take their stand at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

Edwards earned a doctoral degree from Cornell University; served for three decades as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley; and served as counselor and adviser to the 49ers, Major League Baseball, the University of Florida and many more professional and collegiate organizations seeking to provide all athletes with a foundation for success.

SJSU’s institute represents Edwards’ vision for an academic center that sponsors research and dialogue on issues at the intersection of sport and society, and leverages the power of sport as an agent for positive social change. Pending review by the SJSU Academic Senate and SJSU Office of the Provost, the multi-disciplinary institute will have three focus areas:

  • sport and social justice curriculum and research;
  • continuing education and experiential learning activities; and
  • community engagement, commencing with today’s event.

“I am proud to see an academic institute devoted to the study of sport, society and social change established at my alma mater,” Edwards said. “SJSU has historically been at the forefront of social justice issues, and there is no better place for that work to be undertaken, and no better time for us to begin than right now.”

SJSU and RISE: A common purpose

Founded in 2015 by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) seeks to harness the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress.

RISE CEO Jocelyn Benson will moderate a panel discussion, and she will preview a special report that will be presented in full during the Super Bowl 51 weekend in Houston. The report will analyze the activism of NFL athletes in 2016 and make recommendations for a path forward that will ensure a sustained impact.

“RISE is grateful for the opportunity to partner with San Jose State University in elevating the conversation surrounding sports and social action,” Benson said. “This is essential to our mission. We are looking forward to being a part of the development of SJSU’s institute as a way to create more opportunities for richer, deeper dialogue.”

Draymond Green and “Sideline Racism”

During today’s event, a unique pair of Nike sneakers will take center stage. Emblazoned with the words “Sideline Racism” near the swoosh, and stamped with the RISE logo across the back, these shoes were worn by Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green at a Dec. 3 game against the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

In a pre-recorded video, Green will offer a greeting. The shoes will be donated to the Dr. Harry Edwards Collection: Sport, Society and Social Change at San Jose State. The collection includes historic photos, autographed books, Olympic Project for Human Rights memorabilia, and correspondence from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama.

SJSU Special Collections and Archives will curate the collection, in alignment with the research component of the SJSU Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change.

Carrying this work forward

San Jose State is grateful for the generous support for today’s program provided by the San Francisco 49ers and CEO Jed York, and the continuing generous support for programs for community and civic betterment provided by Denise DeBartolo York, John York and the York family. The Golden State Warriors, San Jose Sharks and San Jose Earthquakes have provided critical guidance and assistance.

A 13-member advisory board will carry forward the SJSU institute’s work, which will be informed by members of SJSU’s faculty with interest and expertise in various related disciplines.

“These times call for thoughtful, courageous research and education in the arenas of social justice and human rights,” said SJSU Associate Professor and Human Rights Program Director William Armaline. “I am committed, along with my colleagues, to enriching the work of this institute and to extending its reach and impact.”


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José 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 José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

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SJSU to Launch Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change

Media Advisory

(This event is sold out for the general public. Reporters should contact SJSU Media Relations for more information.)

Who:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Basketball Hall of Famer, six-time league MVP
Anquan Boldin, 2015 NFL Man of the Year
Jim Brown, Pro Football Hall of Famer, three-time league MVP
Danielle Slaton, 2000 Olympics silver medalist, soccer
Tommie Smith, 1968 Olympics gold medalist, 200 meters, SJSU alumnus
Takeo Spikes, two-time NFL All-Pro
Chris Webber, five-time NBA All-Star
Jocelyn Benson, Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality CEO
Harry Edwards, sports sociologist, SJSU alumnus
Al Guido, San Francisco 49ers President
Mary Papazian, SJSU President

What:
Sports legends, leaders and academics will participate in a dialogue about athlete activism.

San Jose State will launch the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change, building on the university’s rich civil rights history.

The Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality will provide an overview of preliminary findings for “When Colin Knelt: Athletes and Activism in the NFL in 2016.” The report will be released in full at this year’s Super Bowl.

When:
8:30 a.m. – noon, Jan. 24, 2017
(agenda)

Where:
Hammer Theatre Center in downtown San Jose
(parking information)

Media contacts:
Robin McElhatton, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1749
Pat Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1748

Members of the media should RSVP now. Journalists must be credentialed to attend the event and a news conference at noon. The event and news conference will be streamed live on the university’s website.

More information:
http://www.sjsu.edu/wordstoaction/


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José 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 José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

Alumnus, World Renowned Sociologist Remembers Carrie Fisher

TO ALL THOSE WHO GREW UP WITH THE STAR WARS SERIES AND ARE TRYING TO COME TO GRIPS WITH YET ANOTHER DEEPLY FELT LOSS IN A YEAR OF SUCH LOSSES, thank you for your interest in my assessment and I hope that this brief comment brings some solace.

We should not just sit in stunned silence when those who have positively impacted some aspect of our lives—if only our imaginations—pass from among us. Our shared humanity mandates that for our own good, we acknowledge such a loss.

As a huge Star Wars fan, I too have had to try to wrap my mind around this very sad sequence of events. Perhaps an acknowledgement and view appropriate to Star Wars is in order:

Death, with its inescapable icy embrace, eventually casts its sardonic smile upon all things—people, planets, stars, galaxies, and—cosmologically  speaking—at some unimaginably distant time in the future and far, far away, even upon the Universe itself. But the Universe, in its incomprehensibly profound greatness, has endowed people not only with a consciousness of itself, but with the potential character and courage to reciprocate death’s greeting, to smile back. So though death comes like a malevolent intruder, a thief in the night, the Grim Reaper, need not have the last laugh.

Princess Leia and Mom, thanks for all the joy and memories. R.I.P. and—may the force be with you!

—Dr. Harry Edwards, ’64 Sociology, ’16 Honorary Doctorate

King Library Photo Exhibit Explores Shared Experiences of Discrimination and Resilience

exhibit photo

So I have some stickers on my face. These stickers have some writings; Prophet Mohammad narratives. Those narratives have different meanings about the importance of work in our life, about being good and cooperative to people, about giving money to the poor, and about not harming people. My mind is always occupied with thinking about how I can reflect my culture and religion to the American community. I’ve been taught totally different from what is being perceived in this country. Those stickers push me forward to think about a positive way to explain my culture and religion! —Moodi, Palestinian American Muslim man

Living in an Unfinished America

“Living in an Unfinished America” will be on display at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (second floor exhibit area) Dec. 2-21.

A Photovoice exhibit on Islamophobia and anti-Arab prejudice will be on display at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (second floor exhibit area) Dec. 2-21. Sponsored by the San Jose State University Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, this community-based project is entitled, “Living in an Unfinished America: Shared Experiences of Discrimination and Resilience by Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Americans.”

Edward Mamary, professor of public health in the Department of Health Science and Recreation, served as the principal investigator on this project. Community participants used photography and narrative as tools for personal expression, sharing their reflections on cultural identity, experiences with prejudice, and their sources of strength for countering discrimination. The project goal is to bring awareness of these issues to policymakers, health and social service providers, educators, and the general public.

The project was commissioned by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and conducted in collaboration with its community partners: the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Arab Cultural & Community Center, the Islamic Networks Group, the Sikh Coalition, the Asian Law Caucus, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.