SJSU Hosts More Than 50 Higher Ed Leaders for Presidential Experience Lab

More than 50 college presidents and chancellors attended the second day of the Presidential Experience Lab at San Jose State University. Photo: Robert Bain

San Jose State University served as the epicenter of higher education Friday, as more than 50 university presidents and chancellors from across the country gathered to discuss how to better prepare students for jobs of the future.

The visit was part of the two-day Presidential Experience Lab, presented by education firm EAB, which included a private tour of LinkedIn headquarters on Thursday.

From left: Ron Rogers, Dan Moshavi and Catherine Voss Plaxton discussed how the innovative partnership between SJSU and LinkedIn is reimagining higher education workforce development. Photo: Robert Bain

During the SJSU campus visit Friday, Dan Moshavi, dean of the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, Ron Rogers, associate dean of the College of Social Sciences and Catherine Voss Plaxton, interim associate vice president of Student Services and director of the Career Center, presented on how the innovative partnership between the university and LinkedIn is reimagining higher education workforce development. Topics included how to use customized insight from LinkedIn to inform curriculum development, match students’ skills to jobs, identify skill gaps in the student body and track career outcomes.

“Education—both higher education and pre-college education—must adapt to the new realities of today’s workplace and enable today’s students to master the foundational digital skills needed for success in our 21st century economy,” President Mary A. Papazian said. “For us here at San Jose State, industry partnerships like this one are helping us to achieve these goals. This strategy leverages our competitive advantage—which, for us, is our regional location here in the heart of Silicon Valley.”

On the first day of the event, participants toured LinkedIn’s facility in Sunnyvale, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s professional network and perspectives on the ever-changing workforce and future of work.

EAB’s Higher Education Strategy Forum partners with presidents and chancellors at more than 175 colleges and universities to address the challenges of setting institution-wide strategy in a fast-changing higher education landscape.

“EAB, on behalf of our university president and chancellor partners, has been exploring key questions as to how we must prepare our students for the future workplace and career paths that are non-linear,” said EAB Chief Partner Officer Sally Amoruso. “LinkedIn’s data insights and SJSU’s application of those insights served as a great launchpad for deepening our understanding.”

Updates and Advisories: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

**This page is no longer being updated. Visit the Current Update section on the SJSU Health Advisories website for more information.**

 

The latest Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) information.


March 9, 2020 6:15 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the SJSU campus community on March 9, 2020.

Dear campus community,

Sadly, a resident of Santa Clara County died earlier today from the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed 37 cases at the time of this email. This number will escalate as more people report and are tested.

After consulting with California State University System Chancellor Tim White and a variety of other leaders representing our unions, the Academic Senate, and the student body, I have made decisions regarding in-person classes. The campus, however, remains open for normal business. This decision is meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community, reduce the potential of people being infected, and protect those who are most vulnerable to severe illness.

For these reasons, please note the following: 

  • All in-person classes are suspended from March 10-13. This time is to be used for faculty and staff to prepare for the transition from in-person instruction to “distributed” or “fully online” instruction. See below.
  • Current online classes will continue to be held. 
  • In-person classes will move to either distributed or fully online instruction from March 16-27 when a determination will be made and communicated regarding in-person classes. 

From March 10-13, Academic Affairs will provide support and training to assist faculty and teaching associates, as applicable, with moving their in-person classes to distributed or fully online modalities. Whereas fully online means that all course material is delivered through an online format, a distributed class may include aspects, such as synchronous live lectures delivered from one’s office or distributed materials that are returned to the instructor via a variety of modalities. This provides maximum flexibility to each instructor within the confines of this very challenging public health care environment. 

To reiterate, these classes will resume as distributed or fully online instruction from March 16-27. Faculty must obtain permission to continue teaching in an in-person format (e.g., in smaller lab courses, field schools, art studios, etc.). In each case of approval, the dean may ask for clarification about how the course design can be modified to reduce transmission risk (e.g., lab classes broken up into different rooms, or art studio design time spread out). We know that this work is not easy and appreciate everyone’s best effort to meet the needs of our students while also keeping our community safe. 

In the coming weeks, we will make a decision about whether to resume in-person classes after spring break. We will notify the campus community when the decision has been made.

Please refer to the campus message sent out Sunday evening for information on operations other than course instruction.

We understand this is a time of great uncertainty, and we appreciate the contributions and patience of the Spartan community as we continue to work through the changing landscape caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have any questions, please email healthadvisories@sjsu.edu

 

Sincerely,

Mary A. Papazian

President


March 9, 2020 3:12 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 9, 2020.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed the first death from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county. The full press release can be found online.


March 8, 2020 10:00 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the SJSU campus community on March 8, 2020.

Dear campus community,

To date, SJSU does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 identified in our own community. Campus leadership has been in consultation with the California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy White, other senior leaders in the CSU Office, as well as public health officials. As a public university, we must continue to follow the guidelines of the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health and the guidelines of the California Department of Public Health. These guidelines suggest that the decision to cancel classes or close campus should be done in consultation with local health officials and only after determining confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the institution.

Based on consultation with these agencies and the Chancellor’s Office leadership as well as the fact that there are no known cases of COVID-19 in our SJSU community, we will continue to operate our classes (see New FAQ below for more detail). This is consistent with the guidelines published this weekend by the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is important to remember that universities that have moved to online classes, such as Stanford University and the University of Washington, have confirmed cases amongst their faculty, staff, or students. I have heard from many of you about the concerns you have, which often are about your loved ones rather than yourselves. I share your desire to care for those around you and those in our community who are most vulnerable and will work with the leadership mentioned above to preserve our community’s health and well-being. 

Clearly, this disease progression is dynamic and ever changing. As many of you know, the Santa Clara County of Public Health has confirmed 37 cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county at the time of this email. So please be attentive to future communications that may be activated immediately which could change our pathway forward.

Although we remain open as a campus, we must be flexible in supporting members of our community who wish to engage in social distancing practices, which are believed to mitigate the spread of the disease. 

For members of our community who may be at greater risk for contracting COVID-19, they should adhere to the following:

  • Students may contact the Accessible Education Center for temporary disability accommodations as appropriate. They are also urged to contact their course instructors immediately to work out the best accommodations for their courses. Students should not feel as if they are at risk by coming to campus. Nor will students be penalized in any way if they request accommodations because they or those with whom they are in regular contact are at greater risk.
  • Faculty and staff who feel that they are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 may utilize campus resources to limit their exposure through, for example, remote work (call the Employee Accommodation Resource Center. See New FAQ below for other campus resources). Student employees may have similar risk factors. 

With the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, we must exercise as many precautions as are reasonable to reduce the potential of person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. Our students, faculty, and staff are on the front lines of many of the efforts to contain this outbreak, as nurses, doctors, public health practitioners, city officials, and corporate leaders, to name a few. And, many members of our community live in multi-generational homes. Though they themselves may be resilient against COVID-19, they could carry the virus into their homes, work environments, and our campus potentially infecting more vulnerable campus community members.

Furthermore, I have decided to cancel the State of the University address previously scheduled for tomorrow, March 9. In lieu of that address, I will continue to discuss with my Cabinet and wider President’s Leadership Council the emerging circumstances and planning efforts surrounding COVID-19, and San Jose State’s response to this ever-changing public health crisis. Conversations are already underway regarding other campus events. (See New FAQ below for more information). 

Regarding new information on travel restrictions, please also see New FAQ below. 

We understand this is a time of great uncertainty, and we appreciate the contributions and patience of the Spartan community as we continue to work through the changing landscape caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. At the same time, we cannot tolerate harassment from or of our SJSU community simply because we are in a time of uncertainty. Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem. It can also lead to decreased willingness to report possible exposure to COVID-19. 

We can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support as well as learning and sharing facts about how the virus spreads. We can all do our part to raise awareness about COVID-19 without increasing fear. Guidelines for social distancing are on the CDC website. Campus-specific FAQs are currently in our SJSU Newsroom

If you have any questions, please email healthadvisories@sjsu.edu.

 

Sincerely,

Mary A. Papazian

President

New FAQ (as of March 8, 2020)

Will campus remain open?

Faculty and staff should continue to report to campus for work and carry out their normal responsibilities. For faculty and staff on campus who may have conditions that put them at higher risk for COVID-19, we take this very seriously. Please contact your supervisor and/or the following offices immediately if you need accommodations, sick/medical or other leave, or wish to discuss other options or concerns:

  • Employee Accommodation Resource Center: Cindy Marota: x4-6003
  • University Personnel, Leaves Manager: Josh Etherington: x4-2155
  • University Personnel, Employee Relations: Stacey Elsibai: x4-2142, Julie Paisant: x4-2255, Joanne Wright: x4-2458

Faculty and staff who have fevers or respiratory infections should stay home. We will ensure that sick time is applied so that you will not lose pay or applicable benefits and will work with you if you have exhausted your sick time balance. 

What will happen if SJSU closes?

The President will notify the campus by email. The information will also be announced through Twitter and the SJSU Newsroom. In the event we need to close campus, “essential personnel” will still provide on-campus services that relate directly to the health, safety, and welfare of the university, ensure continuity of key operations, and maintain and protect university properties. When appropriate and feasible, these responsibilities may be carried out remotely. Guidance for essential personnel will be distributed this week.

Will classes be moved online?

We have a number of resources already available for faculty to adapt their courses to a “remote teaching” modality, either distributed or online. We encourage faculty to begin to engage this process in case it becomes necessary. In addition to these resources, this week, the division of Academic Affairs will begin providing additional support and training to assist faculty and teaching associates, as applicable, with moving their in-person classes to distributed or fully online modalities. Where fully online means that all course material is delivered through an online format, a distributed class may include aspects, such as synchronous live lectures delivered from one’s office or distributed materials that are returned to the instructor via a variety of modalities. This provides maximum flexibility to each instructor within the confines of this very challenging public health care environment. 

If our campus has a reported case of COVID-19, we will activate a plan to move in-person classes to either a distributed or fully-online model. We will notify the campus community when the decision has been made.

What are the guidelines for travel?

Effective immediately, San Jose State University and its auxiliary organizations will suspend all international and non-essential domestic travel from now through the end of the spring semester (May 31, 2020). This includes suspension of travel approved prior to March 8, 2020. 

  • If you have upcoming travel that was approved before March 8, 2020, you will be contacted with information on how to request reauthorization.
  • Many conference organizers and airlines are issuing full refunds. In the event that a traveler is unable to obtain a refund, expenses for approved travel incurred prior to March 8, 2020 are eligible for reimbursement.
  • Future travel, including summer and fall 2020, will be determined as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Will upcoming events continue as planned?

We are evaluating meetings, gatherings, and events through the end of spring break. The President’s Leadership Council, in consultation with faculty, staff, and student groups responsible for the events, will make decisions that will best serve our mission and our community’s health, safety, and well-being. More information and guidance will be distributed this week.

How should I handle information about others’ health?

As stated above, certain members of our campus community are charged with providing guidance and assistance concerning individuals who may need accommodation or leave, have returned from international travel, or have possibly come in contact, either through acquaintance/relationship or work in health care, to individuals exposed to COVID-19. 

As part of our community responsibility, I ask that you respect the privacy of all members of our community and refrain from sharing information outside appropriate reporting channels about the identity or identifying characteristics (e.g., staff position, undergraduate/graduate status, faculty position, department, unit) of individuals in our community who may have been asked to self-quarantine, seek testing, or may themselves, at some point, be diagnosed with COVID-19.

Exercise caution so as not to contribute to unintended consequences of speculation, unfounded fear, stigmatization, or behavior that may increase the likelihood of individuals not self-reporting their possible risk of exposure to COVID-19.

How do we address the stigma that often emerges with such diseases? 

It is very important to remember that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups. So, although people are understandably worried about the spread of COVID-19, we want to avoid fear and anxiety turning to social stigma. Unfortunately, we have already seen some of this reported anecdotally on campus, as some people show concerns about Chinese or other Asian Americans, international students generally, people wearing protective masks, or those who were in quarantine.


March 8, 2020 1:12 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was originally added at 11:16 a.m. on March 8, 2020. It has been edited to account for additional confirmed cases from Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

At the time of this posting, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed several more new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 37 cases. More information can be found online.


March 7, 2020 9:14 a.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 7, 2020.

At the time of this posting, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has announced four new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 24 cases. More information can be found online.

Visit the FAQ page to learn more about how SJSU is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.


March 5, 2020 8:26 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 5, 2020.

At the time of this posting, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) has announced six new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 20 cases. The SCCPHD has also issued new guidelines for workplaces and businesses, large events and schools, among other groups. For schools, the SCCPHD recommends not closing at this time. More information can be found online.


March 5, 2020 12:18 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the SJSU campus community on March 5, 2020.

Dear Campus Community,

At this time, there are no reported cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at San Jose State University. The campus remains open and classes continue as scheduled

Due to the rapidly evolving public health concern regarding COVID-19, SJSU has activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), focused on coordinating the university’s response. The EOC, which includes campus leaders from the Academic Affairs, University Police Department, Student Affairs, Facilities Development and Operations, among other groups, consults regularly with President Papazian and her cabinet who will make large-scale policy decisions.

In the event of a campus closure, information will be shared through Alert SJSU, our primary means of communication in the event of an emergency. Information will also be distributed through email, Twitter, Facebook, and the SJSU Newsroom.

Travel: Domestic University-Sponsored, International University-Sponsored, and Personal

Among the many concerns COVID-19 has produced is travel. For domestic university-sponsored business travel, we strongly recommend reducing all non-essential travel. Please note you can find recent places where COVID-19 has been identified online. Also, even though a trip may be for domestic business purposes, the event could attract large numbers of international travelers. Please be cautious, therefore, in making travel choices. 

For international university-sponsored travel, whether it is for business or personal reasons, note that reducing all international travel is strongly recommended at this time because of COVID-19. There are already a number of countries that are banned from travel by the CSU system. We will ensure that everyone is kept up-to-date on those places. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also mandated that if you travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, you will be asked to stay home for 14 days. 

For domestic or international personal travel, it is imperative that you are thoughtful in deciding the mode of transportation and where you are going. With spring break on the horizon, consider where you may be planning to travel, whether it is in the U.S. or abroad. Not only is it important to keep yourself and your family safe, but as a member of the Spartan family, we have an inherent responsibility to engage in practices that ensure everyone has the opportunity to come to a secure campus.

Preventive Self-Care and Hygiene

To protect yourself, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based rub if soap and water are not available.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.  
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.  
  • Stay home when you are sick and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.

Since it is still flu season, the CDC also recommends persons getting the flu shot to help prevent the spread of germs and diseases.

There is an ongoing effort to sanitize as many public spaces as possible, including classrooms, keyboards, mouse, monitors, etc. to minimize spread of COVID-19 as well as other diseases, such as the flu. This is, of course, difficult to do given the size, breadth, and scope of this cleaning effort. To assist with sanitizing efforts, please consider regularly wiping down surfaces, telephones, smartphone devices, and computer keyboards in your work and study spaces with disinfectant.

To reiterate, we are all encouraged to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by handwashing, covering when sneezing or coughing, or, in worst case scenarios, the use of self-quarantine and testing should you suspect you have been exposed. 

Potential Exposure to COVID-19

If you believe you may have had exposure and thus will need to self-quarantine, please contact the following people immediately: for students, contact the Student Health Center at 408-924-6122; for staff, contact your direct supervisor; for faculty, contact your dean and/or department chair. 

If you develop even mild symptoms related and/or similar to COVID-19, you should stay home and notify/consult with your health care provider and/or public health officials.

For those with autoimmune or other underlying conditions that might increase the risk to contract COVID-19, we encourage you to contact your health care providers for recommendations. 

Forthcoming Guidance

We understand there are still many questions from the campus community regarding attendance, coursework, travel, campus sponsored and affiliated events, as well as other areas, related to COVID-19. The university is currently discussing these issues and will provide updates in the coming days. 

SJSU Spring Events

The spring semester is often filled with large gatherings to celebrate the end of the academic year. While the university continues to have internal discussions on best practices for these upcoming events, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department recently released recommended guidelines for large gatherings.

  • For individuals who are considered to be at a higher risk of serious medical complications if they contract COVID-19, the County Public Health Department encourages them to avoid mass gatherings where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another. 
  • Office environments, grocery stores and shopping centers are not considered harmful venues because it is unusual for large numbers of people to be within arm’s length of one another.

Health Advisories Website Coming Soon

The university is in the process of creating a Health Advisories webpage that will become the main site for COVID-19 information. The site will house updates and advisories, FAQs, resources and other pertinent information regarding COVID-19. The campus community will be updated as soon as the Health Advisories site is launched.

Please continue to access the Updates and Advisories and FAQ pages on the SJSU Newsroom site for the time being. These pages will be moved to the Health Advisories webpage when it is complete.

Stigma Related to COVID-19

Finally, please be mindful that fear and anxiety surrounding COVID-19 can lead to social stigma towards certain ethnicities. It is important during these uncertain times to support one another and understand that racism, anti-immigrant messaging and stereotyping of certain races and cultures is not reflective of the values of San Jose State. COVID-19 is a virus that can affect all humans. As Spartans, we are committed to inclusion and to being a caring campus. 

Sincerely,

Vincent J. Del Casino, Jr., Provost and SVP for Academic Affairs

Charlie Faas, VP for Administration and Finance

Patrick Day, VP for Student Affairs


March 4, 2020 5:16 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 4, 2020.

As of this posting, there are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has announced three new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 14 cases. More information on the new cases can be found online.

Visit the FAQ page to learn more about how SJSU is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.


March 3, 2020 6:01 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 3, 2020.

As of this posting, there are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. Along with announcing two new cases of COVID-19 in the county, now totaling 11 cases, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department is providing new guidance to the community to protect persons at higher-risk of serious illness due to COVID-19. The full press release can be found online.

Visit the FAQ page to learn more about how SJSU is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.


March 2, 2020 1:34 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 2, 2020.

As of this posting, there are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed two new cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county, bringing the total to nine. The latest press release can be found online.

For the latest updates on Santa Clara County COVID-19 cases, visit their website.


March 1, 2020 7:04 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 1, 2020.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed three new cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county, bringing the total to seven. Two of the individuals had recently traveled to Egypt, and all three are hospitalized. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SJSU. The full press release can be found online.


February 29, 2020 6:04 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on February 28, 2020.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed a fourth case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county. The individual had contact with the third Santa Clara County case that was announced on Friday, February 28. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SJSU. The full press release can be found online.


February 28, 2020 5:06 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on February 28, 2020.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed a third case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SJSU. The full press release can be found online.


February 28, 2020 2:18 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following is a message sent by President Mary A. Papazian to the SJSU campus community on February 28, 2020.

Dear Campus Community,

Despite the increasing severity of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak globally, at the time of this email on February 28, 2020, there are no reported cases of Coronavirus within the SJSU community of students, faculty, and staff.

At this time, San Jose State is open and classes will continue as usual. In the event of a campus closure, information will be shared through Alert SJSU, our primary means of communication in the event of an emergency. Information will also be distributed through email, Twitter, Facebook, and the SJSU Newsroom.

I understand the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has created anxiety, concern and, in many cases, fear. It is important during these uncertain times to support one another and understand that racism, anti-immigrant messaging and stereotyping of certain races and cultures is not reflective of the values of San Jose State. COVID-19 is a virus that can affect all humans and as Spartans, we are committed to inclusion and to being a caring campus.

San Jose State University continues to consult with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and provides updates and advisories via our SJSU Newsroom site by referencing various sources, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of State.

I know that questions and comments have been raised by members of the campus community. We have assembled a FAQ page on SJSU Newsroom. Some of the questions that are answered in the FAQ include:

  • What will happen if an SJSU student, faculty, or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Under what circumstances will classes be cancelled or the campus closed?
  • Is there a plan to conduct some classes by teleconference such as Zoom?
  • What do I do if I believe members of my household or myself have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
  • Whom should I contact with questions?

The health and well-being of the SJSU campus community is our top priority. If you are feeling ill, please take care of yourself. Together, we will navigate through this time of uncertainty.

Sincerely,

Mary A. Papazian
President


February 26, 2020 5:09 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an updated travel advisory regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The following update was added on February 26, 2020.

The CDC has issued an updated travel advisory regarding international travel due to the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The following countries have restricted travel:

Impact on SJSU’s Study Abroad Program

San Jose State University continues to actively monitor COVID-19 in Santa Clara County and around the world.

After careful consideration of the CDC’s recent travel advisory update of South Korea to Warning – Level 3 Avoid Nonessential Travel, SJSU has decided to suspend a study abroad program and a student exchange program set to begin next month in South Korea. We are working on alternatives so our students can study abroad in other countries if they would like to do so.

For SJSU students currently studying abroad in Milan, Italy, we are continuing to monitor the situation and are assessing the risk through consultation with numerous sources, including, but not limited to, the U.S. Department of State and CDC, to determine the process for evacuation if needed.

The safety and well-being of students are our top priorities. To assess the risks regionally and abroad, we continue to consult with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department the U.S. Department of State, the CDC and other sources.


February 24, 2020 5:47 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Updates regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be posted in SJSU Newsroom. The following update was added February 24, 2020. The title and subtitle for this blog have been updated to reflect the recent change in identification for COVID-19.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department recently released an update:

“The first confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Santa Clara County has fully recovered and has been released from isolation. He was never sick enough to be hospitalized. He isolated at home and was monitored by public health staff for the duration of his isolation. The second case remains in isolation.”

Currently, there is not an increased risk to residents of Santa Clara County.

To read the full update, visit the Santa Clara County Public Health Department website.


February 7, 2020, 8:29 a.m.

Editor’s Note: Updates regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus will be posted in SJSU Newsroom. The following update was added February 7, 2020.
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department recently released an update in regards to students, staff and faculty who may be returning from China.

If a student, staff or faculty member returned to the U.S. from mainland China on or before February 2, per SCCPHD advice, they may wish to consider staying home for 14 days since their return but it is not mandatory. They should also self monitor themselves for symptoms until the end of the 14 days.

If a student, staff or faculty member returned to the U.S. from mainland China on or after February 2, they should follow the federal travel screening guidance.

To see the update from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, click here.


February 4, 2020, 3:53 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Updates regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus will be posted in SJSU Newsroom. The following update was added February 4, 2020.

On Sunday, February 2, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCC Public Health) announced a second confirmed case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Santa Clara County. The second case was confirmed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on Sunday. The two cases in Santa Clara County are not related to each other.

In their message, SCC Public Health said there is no evidence to suggest that novel coronavirus is circulating in Santa Clara County and that the public is still at low risk. Both of the people affected by 2019-nCoV self-isolated themselves upon their return from Wuhan, China. Asymptomatic transmission of the virus has been documented, prompting the federal government to ask people returning from some parts of China to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days from their last day in China. In addition, a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers from the Hubei Province in China, where Wuhan is located, has been instituted. Upon arrival to the United States, travelers undergo health screening, and those with signs and symptoms of illness (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) will undergo an additional health assessment.

The U.S. Department of State has also declared travel to China a Level 4: Do Not Travel.

San Jose State University continues to monitor the 2019-nCoV outbreak through regular communication with SCC Public Health. For symptoms, preventative care and other resources, scroll to the bottom of the page.

SCC Public Health said Santa Clara County residents, students, workers, and visitors should continue to engage in their regular activities and practice good health hygiene since this is the height of flu season. Anyone with respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, or fever, should stay home, practice proper cough etiquette and hand hygiene, and limit their contact with other people.

At this time, it is very important that faculty and staff accommodate those who may have recently traveled to China and are engaging in self-quarantine. It is equally important that we treat everyone with respect and make sure our community remains inclusive while taking appropriate preventative measures. For faculty and staff, please consult with your dean or supervisor if there are any concerns. For students, you are encouraged to talk with professional staff or faculty.


January 31, 2020, 5:45 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Updates regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus will be posted in SJSU Newsroom. The following update was added January 31, 2020.

In light of this afternoon’s announcement by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCC Public Health) of the first reported case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Santa Clara County, it is important to note that there have been no cases reported to the university at this time.

The SJSU Student Health Center is continuing to monitor 2019-nCoV outbreak and is in communication with SCC Public Health.


The campus message sent January 29 from SJSU Student Health Medical Chief, Dr. Barbara Fu, regarding information about symptoms, preventive care, and avoidance of nonessential travel to China, is reiterated below:

Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Symptoms of the 2019-nCoV infection include respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and fever. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure. A severe infection with coronaviruses can lead to serious acute respiratory and systemic disease.

Preventive Care

To protect yourself, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol- based rub if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are sick and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.

Since it is flu season, the CDC also recommends persons getting the flu shot to help prevent the spread of germs and diseases.

Avoid Nonessential Travel to China

SJSU concurs with CDC recommendations that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China at this time. This advisement will be evaluated and updated as public health concerns related to 2019-nCoV and conditions evolve.

Seek Treatment Quickly if Symptoms Appear

If you have recently traveled to China within the past two weeks and feel ill with symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or you have had contact with a person confirmed to have 2019-nCoV, please:

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others, except when seeking medical care.
  • Call your healthcare provider or the Student Health Center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. While traveling to see a healthcare provider, you should wear a face mask.

All visits to the SJSU Student Health Center are confidential as the university complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

If you have further questions, call your healthcare provider or the SJSU Student Health Center at (408) 924-6122.

Other Available Resources

The following resources are available with information on 2019-nCoV:


January 29, 2020, 11:35 a.m.

Editor’s Note: This message was emailed to the campus community on January 29, 2020 at 11:35 a.m.

The ongoing coverage of the recent outbreak of illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus, 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov), in Wuhan, China, may be a source of concern for our community. I want to provide you with timely and relevant information as the health and well-being of our SJSU students, faculty and staff are important priorities.

The SJSU Student Health Center is actively monitoring the 2019-nCoV outbreak, following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines as well as communicating with the Santa Clara Public Health Department. I encourage you to learn more about nCoV and practice healthy habits highlighted below to avoid contracting or spreading illness.

Latest Update

There are no reported cases of novel coronavirus at San Jose State University or in Santa Clara County. The cases that have been detected in the U.S. are related to individuals who were exposed while traveling abroad. Due to the rapidly evolving public health concern, it is important to note that this situation can change and individuals should monitor news for the latest developments.

Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Symptoms of 2019-nCoV infection include respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and fever. Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. A severe infection with coronaviruses can lead to serious acute respiratory and systemic disease.

Preventive Care

To protect yourself, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol- based rub if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are sick and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Since it is flu season, the CDC also recommends persons getting the flu shot to help prevent the spread of germs and diseases.

Avoid Nonessential Travel to China

SJSU concurs with CDC recommendations that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China at this time. This advisement will be evaluated and updated as public health concerns related to 2019-nCoV and conditions evolve.

Seek Treatment Quickly if Symptoms Appear

If you have recently traveled to China within the past two weeks and feel ill with symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or you have had contact with a person confirmed to have 2019-nCoV, please:

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others, except when seeking medical care.
  • Call your healthcare provider or the Student Health Center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. While traveling to see a healthcare provider, you should wear a face mask.

All visits to the SJSU Student Health Center are confidential as the university complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

If you have further questions, call your healthcare provider or the SJSU Student Health Center at (408) 924-6122.

Other Available Resources

The following resources are available with information on 2019-nCoV:

 

Kim Blisniuk and Yue “Wilson” Yuan Receive Early Career Investigator Awards

Assistant Professor Kim Blisniuk from the Department of Geology in the College of Science and Assistant Professor Yue “Wilson” Yuan from the Department of Justice Studies in the College of Health and Human Sciences have been chosen to receive the SJSU Research Foundation Early Career Investigator Awards for calendar year 2019. The award recognizes tenure-track SJSU faculty members who have excelled in areas of research, scholarship and creative activity at an early or beginning point in their careers.

Kim Blisniuk

Kim Blisniuk

Geology Assistant Professor Kim Blisniuk. Photo: Robert Bain.

Kim Blisniuk’s research investigates and quantifies how landscapes evolve through time due to earthquakes and climate change. She is particularly interested in earthquakes that are preserved in the landscape along active faults because the rate at which a fault moves is proportional to the fault’s seismic hazard potential. The societal impact of her research is high because data she collects will help refine earthquake hazard models that forecast the potential of future earthquakes and their recurrence in California.

In 2019 Blisniuk received the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, the organization’s most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty. This added to her remarkable track record of funded research grants and awards from organizations such as the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program and the Southern California Earthquake Center. She has made presentations at the American Geophysical Union, the U.S. Geological Survey, Boston University, the California Institute of Technology, UCLA and Université Grenoble. Her publication record is equally impressive.In addition, she has been interviewed as a subject matter expert by Earth and Space Science News, National Geographic Magazine, the New York Times and major television networks.

Yue “Wilson” Yuan

Justice Studies Assistant Professor Yue “Wilson” Yuan

Justice Studies Assistant Professor Yue “Wilson” Yuan. Photo: Robert Bain.

Wilson Yuan’s research examines the origins of fear of crime and how individuals and communities react to criminal victimization, particularly in Asian and Latino immigrant communities. He explores whether an immigrant’s status is associated with victimization and how immigrants of different racial and ethnic groups mobilize formal and informal resources in response to crime.

Funded by a grant award from the National Institute of Justice, Yuan and six SJSU graduate students are launching an extensive mixed-methods city-level victimization study focused on the city of San José, California. A survey of local residents’ victimization experiences will be conducted, as will in-depth interviews with residents, police department officials, victim services providers and members of community organizations.

Since arriving at SJSU in 2016, Yuan has published eight peer-reviewed articles on criminal justice and criminology in high-impact journals. With one of his graduate students as lead author, he co-authored “Surveillance-Oriented Security Measures, School Climate, Student Fear of Crime, and Avoidance Behavior,” which appeared in Victims and Offenders. He regularly presents at criminology conferences and has made invited research presentations at law schools (Nankai University and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics) and at Harvard University.

Blisniuk and Yuan will be honored at the SJSU Celebration of Research on March 26, 2020 from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom. A short video profiling their research will be shown at this festive event. A showcase of research posters developed by more than 100 SJSU undergraduate and graduate students also will be presented. The event is open to the entire SJSU campus community.

Read more about Blisniuk and Yuan’s research.

Mumford and Sons Funds SJSU Service Fellowship

Photo: Joel Simon Images

San Jose State University’s Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies honored the British folk-rock band Mumford and Sons with the annual John Steinbeck Award on September 18, 2019 at a sold-out event in Stanford University’s Bing Concert Hall. Proceeds of the event funded a new Steinbeck Service Fellowship that encourages engaged collaboration between students at SJSU and Stanford.

The service program launches in the summer of 2020, and current SJSU undergraduates are eligible to apply for the fellowship until February 29, 2020.

The fellowship is funded by “Gentlemen of the Road,” the community organization the band founded in 2006, which connects with communities that share its passion for social justice and common good around the world.

Every year, San Jose State’s Center for Steinbeck Studies presents the John Steinbeck Award, celebrating writers, thinkers, artists and activists who embody Steinbeck’s commitment to social justice.

Mumford and Sons is the first musical band to receive the Steinbeck Award, and also its youngest recipients to date. The award ceremony featured a conversation with the band members, as well as an acoustic performance.

It was a fitting venue since 2019 marked the 100th anniversary of Steinbeck beginning his college studies at Stanford. The band’s pianist Ben Lovett also was an undergraduate at Stanford for a year, studying astrophysics before he left to become a musician.

In its inaugural year, the fellowship will bring together students from San Jose State and Stanford to engage in a summer of reflective writing and community service in California’s Salinas Valley, the land that birthed and shaped Steinbeck’s creative vision.

The unique and celebratory aspect of the fellowship is the intersection of English literature and community service—one that was championed by Steinbeck throughout his lifetime.

Professor of English and Director of SJSU’s Center for Steinbeck Studies Nick Taylor teamed up with his colleague Professor Gavin Jones from Stanford to design the fellowship and propose the idea to the band. The two professors decided to model the fellowship on the Cardinal Quarter at Stanford, a program of the Haas Center for Public Service that pays students a stipend so they can engage in a quarter or summer of service-learning projects in the community.

SJSU students will be able to apply though the Center for Steinbeck Studies and Stanford students will route their applications through the Haas Center.

Students who are chosen will work with their community partners at least 35 hours per week for nine consecutive weeks and receive a stipend of $5,500.

“We decided to do a pilot in summer 2020 with three students from San Jose State and three from Stanford. We are planning on assembling a cohort in February. It’s a great opportunity to bring students from SJSU and Stanford together. They are so close but don’t have much interaction,” said Taylor.

SJSU’s Center for Community Learning and Leadership (CCLL), celebrating two decades on campus, was also involved in the San Jose State iteration of the experience. CCLL supports classes that have a service-learning requirement embedded in the curriculum so students can apply what they are learning in the classroom by serving the community. Over the past 20 years, an  estimated 80,000 SJSU students have contributed more than 1,400,000 hours to the community through service-learning.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our San Jose State students to receive funding for their service,” said Andrea Tully, CCLL assistant director. “In a recent study of SJSU service-learning alumni, we found that one of the biggest obstacles to their experience was being able to work, often full time, complete school work and serve. The stipend will likely alleviate some of the burden of needing to work and serve.”

Although the program will sync well with students studying American literature and social work, it is open to all SJSU and Stanford students across disciplines.

Professor of Psychology and CCLL Faculty Director Elena Klaw said the program also fits with SJSU’s ideals and objectives as a center. It emphasizes that academic learning and service should not be separate.

“The focus is to take Steinbeck’s scholarly work and bring it to life in real communities in which people are currently working. And there are still plenty of inequities to highlight, transform and address while engaging with Steinbeck’s fiction, both as a historical body of work but also as a literary body of work,” Klaw said.


Apply for the Fellowship

Get more information and apply for the Steinbeck/Gentlemen of the Road Service Fellowship by February 29, 2020.


Watch Mumford and Sons accept the 2019 Steinbeck Award

 

Press Conference: Comprehensive Housing Solutions for SJSU Students, Faculty and Staff

 

View and Download Photos.

University addresses student, faculty and staff housing concerns in one of America’s most expensive cities

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University has proactively developed a comprehensive housing solution that will provide short- and long-term plans for student, faculty and staff needs. A cross-sector collaboration between the university, city, county, state officials, and student representatives has been instrumental in making this unique housing solution possible in an area affected greatly by the national housing crisis.

The comprehensive housing solution has six major components: (1) more than $3 million in grants from the California State University Chancellor’s Office; (2) a housing grant program for SJSU’s students who have the least financial resources; (3) development and planning of the Campus Village 3 residential housing facility; (4) exploratory discussion of a comprehensive multi-sector residential community concept off-campus; (5) concrete measures to address student housing insecurity issues developed collaboratively with student representatives; and (6) plans for the Alfred E. Alquist Building in downtown San Jose.

Addressing Student Housing and Basic Needs Insecurity

The San Jose State University SJSU Cares team developed and submitted several proposals to address students’ basic needs insecurity to California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office. As a result, SJSU has been awarded three grants from the Chancellor’s Office that will support the university’s comprehensive housing solution to develop, enhance, and integrate basic needs programs and resources — namely to address the housing insecurity concerns affecting students.

The grants total $2.265 million in funding for the next 18 months and will be dedicated to student housing insecurity and basic needs support at SJSU. The total will be $3.135 million in 2022.

“San Jose State University is committed to working with elected officials, community organizations and the student population on resolving the issue of student housing and basic needs insecurity — national epidemics that affect students here,” said President Mary A. Papazian. “Creating student housing programs that provide a learning environment with wrap-around services that support student success are vital. I am grateful to the SJSU Cares team whose commitment to enhancing students’ basic needs resulted in the award of these important grants based on their submitted proposals. These grants play a major role in the short- and long-term solutions the comprehensive housing solution aims to address with regards to student housing and basic needs insecurity.”

The three CSU grants consist of:

  • The College-Focused Rapid Re-Housing funding earmarks $870,000 annually for three years, divided between campus and housing partners.
  • The Basic Needs Partnerships funding provides $400,332 to be used through June 30, 2021.
  • The Mental Health Partnerships funding provides $125,000 to be used through June 30, 2021.

Separate from the CSU grants, SJSU will initiate a housing grant program during the 2020-2021 academic year. Awards will be provided to students who have the highest demonstrated financial need as determined by the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CA Dream Application consistent with California State University policy. Students who qualify for this grant may be eligible for up to $2,000. This housing grant can make a difference for more students to afford an on-campus living experience.

The Next Level of Student Housing at SJSU

San Jose State University believes student housing on campus should provide residential life opportunities and resources that have been shown to contribute to higher retention and graduation levels. In an effort to continue to keep pace with the needs of the student body, SJSU is in the development and planning stages of Campus Village 3 (CV3).

Similar to Campus Villages 1 and 2, CV3 will allow students to live with their peers and become immersed in living learning communities and student life activities. This residential housing facility will be located on campus targeting ongoing demand among undergraduate and transfer students. It will include on-site student services, offer nine and twelve month leases along with limited per-night commuter housing, and include a new dining complex. The residence hall will also include a defined number of rooms for students who may be experiencing housing insecurity.

Understanding that housing insecurity is not only affecting our students, but also college students in the region, San Jose State University is exploring the opportunity to develop a comprehensive multi-sector postsecondary residential community off-campus. This proposed mixed-use concept would provide off-campus subsidized housing opportunities that address the needs of the community and could work as a possible partnership between SJSU, community colleges, community organizations, businesses, the city of San Jose, and Santa Clara County. SJSU welcomes interested multi-sector partners to join this game-changing conversation and explore this concept further.

Ongoing Collaboration with Student Leaders

The comprehensive housing solution for students has included ongoing collaborative efforts by the university, Student Homeless Alliance (SHA) and Associated Students (AS). Through these discussions, three initiatives are anticipated to launch or expand services currently offered.

  • The establishment of a pilot program in fall of 2020 that will set aside 12 or more beds for emergency housing purposes to better understand the scope of need.
  • The expansion of rapid re-housing and rental assistance services for students facing an urgent housing insecurity situation.
  • The opening of a dedicated SJSU Cares space in Clark Hall designed collaboratively by students and staff at the university. This space will include a satellite office of the Bill Wilson Center, which the university has partnered with on the 100-Day Challenge.

“Many members of the campus came together to support the collaboration between the Student Homeless Alliance and the Administration,” said SHA president Diana Rendler. “Some located an appropriate central space for SJSUCares, the Student Homeless Alliance provided recommendations for the 12 or more emergency bed pilot program, a rental assistance program, and introduced the idea of the centralized location based on student voices while the Administration secured grant funds.”

Alquist Building: Future Plan for SJSU Faculty, Staff, Graduate and Family Housing

San Jose State University has plans to construct a mixed-use project that includes parking, retail, office space, food service, and between 800-1,200 units of housing intended primarily for SJSU faculty, staff, graduate students and students with families on the site of the Alfred E. Alquist Building. Most of the units would be available below market value. The site is owned by the California Department of General Services. Discussions to transfer the property to SJSU to make this project a reality have been positive and have been furthered by the advocacy of Senator Jim Beall and Assemblymember Ash Kalra.

The 130,000 square foot building, located at 100 Paseo de San Antonio in downtown San Jose, is just one block from the San Jose State University campus. It sits directly across from the Hammer Theatre, which SJSU operates in partnership with the City of San Jose. Paseo de San Antonio is one of the main corridors between San Jose State and Valley Transportation Authority light rail and bus lines. “This comprehensive housing solution works to keep our faculty and staff engaged with a campus that is in and of San Jose,” Papazian said. “We recognize that our faculty and staff are faced with the challenge of the cost of living in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. Our goal is to create a solution that encourages them to be a part of creating a very dynamic downtown San Jose.”

The Alfred E. Alquist building was dedicated in 1983 after its namesake, a long-serving state legislator, passed away in 2006. His wife, Elaine, succeeded him in office and served in California’s 13th Senate District for six years. Over the years, the site has housed multiple state government offices. San Jose State University would honor the Alquist legacy with a memorial on the building site.

In April 2019, Senator Beall and Assemblymember Kalra helped to secure funds for SJSU to conduct a planning study for a mixed-use housing initiative on the Alquist site. SJSU will launch a planning study this year and, in the process, gather input from members of the campus community.

“Redeveloping the Alquist building for a multi-use housing and campus facility would help address SJSU’s growing need for campus community housing and expand the campus facilities,” said Assemblymember Kalra. “The Alquist building has great potential to enhance the connection between San José State and the downtown esplanade. I am excited to work with Senator Beall in helping SJSU with the process of redeveloping an underused facility that will bring great value to the university and the City of San José.”

“We heartily embrace the partnership with San Jose State University to transform the Alquist Building to a multi-use high-rise that will provide affordable housing critically needed by our educators and students,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “This project will activate this important corridor of our Downtown, linking our anchor institution, SJSU, with the rapid growth of technology employers and housing to the West.”


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 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations — offered through its nine colleges.

With approximately 36,000 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 about 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 280,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

CONTACT:
Kenneth Mashinchi
Senior Director of Media Relations
O: 408-924-1167
C: 209-556-3202
E: ken.mashinchi@sjsu.edu

Robin McElhatton
Media Relations Specialist
O: 408-924-1749
C: 408-799-3373
E: robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu
 

2019 William Randolph Hearst Foundation Award

Photo: Robert Bain

SJSU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications faculty presented the distinguished 2019 William Randolph Hearst Foundation Award for Outstanding Professional Service to journalists Alexander Shebanow and Dan Rather on Thursday, November 14, 2019 in Yoshihiro Uchida Hall.

Professors Bob Rucker, a former CNN news correspondent and Hearst Award coordinator, and Dona Nichols, a veteran television news producer and assignment editor for NBC Bay Area, presented the award to the duo amidst a campus community and Bay Area media leaders.

This was the first time the School of Journalism and Mass Communications decided to honor journalists from across generations. The two honorees represent the bridging of several generations of journalistic instincts and critical thinking to produce a necessary and powerful public service in mass communications.

The 88-year-old Emmy Award-winning journalist Dan Rather first entered the national scene with his live, on‐site coverage of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, Texas in November 1963. He went on to make extraordinary strides in the field of journalism.

More recently, Rather heads News and Guts, a company he founded that specializes in high‐quality nonfiction content across a range of traditional and digital distribution channels.

Shebanow, a 29-year-old award-winning filmmaker, who has been working on his directorial debut documentary feature for six years, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Foothill Community College before finishing his studies at the University of Southern California.

Shebanow teamed up with investigative journalist Dan Rather for his expansive documentary exposé Fail State, which targets “predatory for‐profit colleges and worsening inequality in American higher education.” Rather served as its executive producer.

“News is something that the public needs to know that somebody, particularly some powerful person or force, doesn’t want the public to know. That is why I find this film and work not only so important, but so timely,” said Rather.

The film narrates the stories of low-income and minority students who talk about the emotional and financial stress they endured for failing to see through the scam recruiting trap and eventually enrolling in sham institutions. Shebanow skillfully chronicles the decades of policy decisions in Washington, D.C., to create a powerful political story filled with outrage toward stymied government reforms and inaction.

“We are so honored and humbled by this immense recognition and want to deeply thank the journalism school faculty at San Jose State for this award. As investigative journalists, we hope that our work can inspire other journalists to take on powerful forces and uncover the stories that need to be exposed,” said Shebanow.

Besides successful screening at several educational institutions, this hard-hitting exposé also premiered to packed houses at film festivals nationwide, garnering major press attention, awards and critical acclaim. Leading media outlets like The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, among others, ran rave reviews and the film has since debuted to 30 million subscribers on STARZ cable and satellite TV network.

In 2019, Alexander Shebanow became a policy fellow and resident filmmaker at the National Student Legal Defense Network (Student Defense), where he investigates for‐profit college issues with a focus on amplifying student voices and strengthening student protections.

2019: A Spartan Year in Review

From breaking ground on San Jose State’s Interdisciplinary Science Building to the grand opening of the Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center to the launch of Transformation 2030, SJSU’s strategic plan, 2019 was a year of growth at One Washington Square. The following 13 stories feature exciting interdisciplinary research, award-winning new facilities, important university rankings, campus initiatives, innovative projects and alumni giving.


Spartan Football Receives $1 Million Gift from Kevin and Sandy Swanson, January 2019

San Jose State alumnus Kevin Swanson and his wife Sandy Swanson committed to give $1 million to Spartan football.

Kevin and Sandy Swanson at the Spartan football All In campaign event in 2017. Photo: David Schmitz.


SJSU Student Engineers Launch Latest TechEd Satellite with NASA, March 2019

After a year of hard work, collaboration and many late nights subsisting on Costco pizzas, a group of SJSU students, faculty and alumni gathered with guests from NASA Ames Research Center to watch the deployment of a technology education satellite (TechEdSat) from the International Space Station (ISS) on March 5.

TechEdSat group in N-244 Lab 9 with mentors Mark Murbach (standing back left) and Ali Guarneros Luna (kneeling on right). Photo courtesy of NASA Ames Research Center.


SJSU Opens $130 Million Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center, April 2019

SJSU hosted a grand opening ceremony for the new Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center (SRAC), a facility that provides new modern recreation facilities and services for students and the entire university community.

Photo: David Schmitz


Forbes Names SJSU to 2019 Best Value College List, April 2019

Forbes named SJSU to its 2019 list of America’s Best Value Colleges. The university moved up from #55 on the list in 2018 to #40. SJSU was listed as #13 in California.

Graduates celebrate at Avaya Stadium during San Jose State University’s College of Social Sciences Graduation in 2018.
Photo: David Schmitz.


San Jose State University Celebrates Historic Groundbreaking on Interdisciplinary Science Building, April 2019

SJSU celebrated the historic groundbreaking for its new Interdisciplinary Science Building.

An artistic rendering shows what the Interdisciplinary Science Building will look like in 2021 when it is completed.


SJSU Community Invited to Spartan Food Pantry Open House, April 2019

The SJSU Cares Program and the SJSU Student Hunger Committee hosted a Spartan Food Pantry Opening Celebration.

Ben Falter, left, a senior student affairs case manager, helps a student at the Spartan Food Pantry. Photo: Brandon Chew


State of the University Address and Strategic Plan Announcement, April 2019

SJSU introduced Transformation 2030, its new strategic plan.

Photo: Javier Duarte


SJSU Celebrates the Class of 2019 at Commencement May 22-24, May 2019

SJSU honored more than 6,800 graduates during spring 2019 commencement with seven ceremonies.

College of Engineering students cheer during commencement in fall 2018. Photo courtesy of Best Grad.


On Fire, Washington Square spring/summer 2019

The only team of its kind in the United States, SJSU Associate Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science Craig Clements’ Fire Weather Research Laboratory studies and decodes wildfire behavior to improve fire management and prevention.

Photo courtesy of the Fire Weather Research Lab.


Where Research Leads, Washington Square spring/summer 2019

From engineers to medical doctors, four alumni reflect on how their SJSU experiences have helped them make an impact.

Noemi “Nicky” Espinosa, ’81 Chemical Engineering. Photo by David Schmitz.


Danielle Ishak: Robots for Seniors, Washington Square spring/summer 2019

Danielle Ishak, ’16 MS Human Factors and Ergonomics, is helping develop products to support the elderly.

Photo: David Schmitz


SJSU Ranks #6 Among West’s Top Public Universities and #5 Overall for the Region in Social Mobility in U.S. News and World Report College Lists, September 2019

U.S. News and World Report ranked SJSU #6 among the West’s top public universities offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The publication added a ranking for social mobility that compares how well universities and colleges do in graduating Pell grant-eligible students. SJSU ranked #3 among public universities in the West, and #5 overall for the region.

Graduates of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering celebrate at Spring 2019 commencement. SJSU ranked among the top public engineering programs on U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 college rankings. Photo: Josie Lepe, ’03 BFA Photography.


Jianna Salinas, ‘13 CHAD, Receives Special Message During Commencement, December 2019


It was an eventful year at San Jose State, full of student, faculty and alumni accomplishments. How would you describe your #SJSU2019YearInReview?

SJSU Welcomes Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai and Apple CEO Tim Cook at Special Dialogue

Tim Cook, Malala Yousafzai and Mary Papazian

Apple CEO Tim Cook, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai and SJSU President Mary A. Papazian. Photo: Jim Gensheimer.

San Jose, Calif. — San Jose State University was delighted to welcome Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai and Apple CEO Tim Cook for a special discussion moderated by SJSU President Mary A. Papazian, 2 to 3 p.m. Monday, December 16, 2019, in the university’s Diaz Compean Student Union.

“We are pleased to welcome Tim Cook and Malala Yousafzai to campus,” said Papazian. “They have done extraordinary work to empower women around the world.”  

In front of a small audience of San Jose State students, faculty and staff members, Yousafzai and Cook discussed the impact of their partnership on expanding access in girls’ education around the world. 

In January 2018, Apple and Yousafzai announced a long-term partnership that aims to get more than 100,000 girls into education. The partnership is helping the Malala Fund scale its organization by assisting with technology, curriculum and research into policy changes needed to help girls everywhere attend school and complete their education. Cook also joined the Malala Fund leadership council. 

“In some areas, it is very difficult for girls to get to school because of lack of transport. Technology can act as a resource for girls to access schools,” Yousafzai said. “We are really glad to work with a company that can bring their ideas for approaching such a problem.” 

Papazian noted that the traditional approach to educational change is through government and NGOs, and asked Cook and Yousafzai how business makes a difference.

“When Steve Jobs founded Apple, he initially said education is a key market for us. The vision was to get a computer in every classroom. That vision expanded,” said Cook. “Education is a great equalizer for people, if you can fix that one, a lot of other issues fall by the wayside. I talked to Malala about the 130 million girls who were not able to go to secondary school, the injustice of it all. If you focused on girls and the family, the whole family benefits in a significant way. It’s exponential.”

Yousafazi said they are hoping to expand the number of champions and activists they are supporting over the next five years and to expand to new countries. The partnership will focus on countries where the number of girls not in school is the highest, where there is the greatest gender disparity.

“In 10 years, the partnership with Malala and Apple will still be thriving,” Cook said. “We will be touching more people and the 130 million will be a lot less.” 

Yousafzai asked the audience to imagine this room without the girls and women. “That’s the world you get without education. When you educate girls, it introduces equality, giving them a presence and voice in society,” she said.

This special opportunity came about on short notice. Given final exams, commencement and security needs, SJSU reached out to a diverse group of students about participating in this dialogue. The university will ensure that all students have access to this unique opportunity by making available photos and a recording of the event.

View and Download Photos.


About the Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is co-founder and board member of Malala Fund. Yousafzai began her campaign for education at age 11 when she anonymously blogged for the BBC about life under the Taliban in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. Inspired by her father’s activism, Yousafzai soon began advocating publicly for girls’ education—attracting international media attention and awards.

At age 15, she was shot by the Taliban for speaking out. Yousafzai recovered in the United Kingdom and continued her fight for girls. In 2013 she founded Malala Fund with her father, Ziauddin. A year later, Yousafzai received the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her efforts to see every girl complete 12 years of free, safe, quality education.

Yousafzai is currently a student at Oxford University pursuing a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. 

About Tim Cook

Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple and serves on its board of directors. Before being named CEO in August 2011, Tim was Apple’s chief operating officer and was responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.

Prior to joining Apple, Tim was vice president of Corporate Materials for Compaq and was responsible for procuring and managing all of Compaq’s product inventory. Previous to his work at Compaq, Tim was the chief operating officer of the Reseller Division at Intelligent Electronics. Tim also spent 12 years with IBM, most recently as director of North American Fulfillment where he led manufacturing and distribution functions for IBM’s Personal Computer Company in North and Latin America.

Tim earned an MBA from Duke University, where he was a Fuqua Scholar, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University.

About San Jose State University

As Silicon Valley’s public university, San Jose State is one of the most transformative universities in the nation. 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 nine colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State 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 270,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

SJSU Fall Graduates to be Honored and Celebrated Dec. 18-19

SJSU Fall 2018 Commencement
Photo: Best Grad Photos/San Jose State University

SAN JOSE, CA – More than 2,200 fall graduates of San Jose State University are expected to be in attendance at five separate fall commencement ceremonies, with more than 4,300 total graduates from summer and fall semesters being celebrated and honored.

The events take place Dec. 18 and 19 on the SJSU campus at the Provident Credit Union Event Center:

Wednesday, December 18

Thursday, December 19

A live stream of each of the five ceremonies will be provided.

SJSU’s Class of Fall 2019

There will be 2,226 graduates in attendance at the two days of fall commencement ceremonies. Additional highlights:

  • Of the 1,261 master’s degrees expected to be conferred for summer and fall of this year, 339 will participate in fall commencement ceremonies this week.
  • The university will graduate 513 new business professionals, 130 future educators, 519 new engineers, 276 health and human sciences future professionals, 206 humanities and arts graduates, 168 new scientists and 414 new social scientists.
  • The Lucas College and Graduate School of Business ceremony will feature remarks by alumna Sara Macdonald,’04 Accounting, currently a partner in the San Jose office of Ernst and Young and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
  • The speaker at the Connie L. Lurie College of Education ceremony will be Megan Nebesnick, ’17 Liberal Studies, a master’s student graduating this fall from the Lurie College.
  • At the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering ceremony, Michael Grace will be the featured speaker. Grace, ’12 Mechanical Engineering, is currently a research and development mechanical systems engineer at Applied Materials and worked previously at Lockheed Martin Space Systems as a control system hardware engineer.
  • The College of Health and Human Sciences featured speaker will be student Markis Derr, graduating this year in public health.

San Jose State has a total of 4,377 graduates in the class of 2019’s summer and fall semesters.

San Jose State University and County of Santa Clara Renew Multi-Year Agreement for Timpany Center

Interior shot of the Timpany Center therapeutic pool

Photo by David Schmitz/San Jose State University

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF – San Jose State University’s Research Foundation (SJSURF) and The County of Santa Clara (SCC) have reached agreement on a new, multi-year partnership to continue operation of the Timpany Center.

The Timpany Center, a non-profit educational and therapeutic service center, has served community members for 10 years. The center offers a wide range of aquatic and land fitness and training programs, as well as therapeutic and safety courses for individuals of all ages and abilities. Its specialized services and facilities, including a warm water pool and spa, gymnasium, weight room and classroom, are operated by San Jose State University’s Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Sciences in conjunction with SCC.

“The Timpany Center is a critical health and wellness resource to County residents. I am pleased to confirm a renewed agreement between the County and San Jose State University to keep the Timpany Center open through 2024,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. “Our County is always committed to exploring the best practices to expand these much-needed services.”

The new agreement, from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2024, is meant to position the facility as an operationally and financially sound service-learning program for our students and an inclusive wellness resource for our community, well into the future, said Mohamed Abousalem, SJSU’s vice president for research and innovation and president of the board of directors at SJSURF.

“SJSU values the importance of the Timpany Center to our community and greatly appreciates the hard work of its employees,” said Abousalem. “We are grateful for the support and loyal patronage of our community members these past 10 years, and we have every reason to believe that the facility will continue to provide important services for years to come.”

“The County of Santa Clara and San Jose State University Research Foundation (SJSURF) worked together to reach an agreement that will keep resources from the Timpany Center such as the pool, gym and other services open for business,” added  Jeff Draper,  director of County of Santa Clara Facilities and Fleet Department. “We are appreciative of SJSURF for working with us and their dedication to assisting the community.”

San Jose State University, Mayor Liccardo and Bill Wilson Center Launch Partnership with Airbnb to Address Student Homelessness

Editor’s Note:  This news release was sent to the media on November 13, 2019


Media Contacts

Robin McElhatton, San Jose State University, (408) 799-3373 or robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu
Chloe Meyere, Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, (408) 535-4833 or chloe.meyere@sanjsoeca.gov
Mattie Zazueta, Airbnb, (323) 448-6974 or mattie.zazueta@airbnb.com
Robin Reynolds, Bill Wilson Center, (408) 850-6156 or rreynolds@billwilsoncenter.org

San Jose State University, Mayor Liccardo and Bill Wilson Center Launch Partnership with Airbnb to Address Student Homelessness

First-of-its-kind pilot program will provide short-term housing solutions for homeless and housing-insecure college students in San Jose ahead of the holiday season

San Jose, Calif. — Today, San Jose State University, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Bill Wilson Center joined Airbnb to announce a first-of-its-kind partnership-in-the-country to provide a community-based solution that will offer free, temporary housing to college students experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. San Jose is the first city in the country to pilot Airbnb for Work’s third-party booking tool — where an administrator can book and manage stays on behalf of others — to address student homelessness. 

The partnership was borne out of initial conversations with Mayor Liccardo, Airbnb, Bill Wilson Center, and San Jose State University over the summer, and will pay additional focus to ensure students have housing over the holiday season.

“College students should worry about final exams, not about where they’ll sleep each night,” said Mayor Liccardo. “We are proud to forge this partnership with Airbnb, Bill Wilson Center, and San Jose State to do better for our next generation of leaders.” 

Leveraging Airbnb for Work’s third-party booking tool, Bill Wilson Center will book temporary accommodations on behalf of participating students. Airbnb will refund its host and guest booking fees to Bill Wilson Center for the pilot program. 

“We need to work together in Silicon Valley to assure vulnerable college students have a place to stay when they face homelessness,” said Sparky Harlan, Bill Wilson Center CEO. “Thanks to Airbnb, Bill Wilson Center will have access to rooms in hosted homes where we can temporarily place a student while we work to find them longer-term, stable housing.”

Students’ short-term stays will range between a few days to a few weeks and up to several months — as determined by individual need — while Bill Wilson Center works to identify a long-term, stable housing solution for participating students. The center will use existing federal, state, and local funding sources to cover the short-term rents.

“Across the country, too many students are going to bed every night without a roof over their heads,” said Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Communications. “We are honored that Mayor Liccardo is leading this work and grateful for the opportunity to bring public, private and nonprofit resources together to support local students in need. We look forward to working with the Bill Wilson Center in the coming months to leverage our host community and place students in a safe place they can call home.”

Mayor Liccardo hopes partners can leverage and grow this partnership to help homeless and housing insecure students at other higher education institutions in San Jose, and the region. 

“San Jose State, particularly students who may need support during the upcoming winter recess when the campus is closed, will find the funds earmarked for this initiative to be a welcome and timely gift as we approach the holiday season,” said Patrick Day, San Jose State University Vice President of Student Affairs. “We know that a comforting and supportive environment for our students—including housing—is an important building block for meeting their basic needs. Partnerships like this are a must when tackling such an urgent and critical issue, so this collaborative effort is a step in the right direction.”

The pilot program follows City of San Jose’s declaration of November as National Homeless Youth Awareness Month and will launch ahead of the holidays when on-campus housing and services become less accessible. It also aligns with Bill Wilson Center’s recently-announced 100-Day Challenge to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness, launched in partnership with Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. 


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 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations — offered through its eight colleges. With approximately 36,000 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 the City of San Jose

With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California’s largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City’s anticipated growth through the year 2040.

About Airbnb

Airbnb is one of the world’s largest marketplaces for unique, authentic places to stay and things to do, offering over 7 million accommodations and 40,000 handcrafted activities, all powered by local hosts. An economic empowerment engine, Airbnb has helped millions of hospitality entrepreneurs monetize their spaces and their passions while keeping the financial benefits of tourism in their own communities. With more than half a billion guest arrivals to date, and accessible in 62 languages across 191 countries and regions, Airbnb promotes people-to-people connection, community, and trust around the world. Airbnb For Work provides a suite of tools for travelers and travel managers to make it easier to travel for work without sacrificing the comforts of home. 

About Bill Wilson Center

The Bill Wilson Center is a non-profit that provides housing, education and counseling services to more than 4,100 children, young adults, and families in Santa Clara County. The organization is committed to working with the community to ensure that every youth has access to the range of services needed to grow to be healthy and self-sufficient adults. Bill Wilson Center has been providing services to runaway and homeless youth since 1973.

 

San Jose State Celebrates CommUniverCity’s 15th Anniversary

CommUniverCity partners and participants gather for the 15th anniversary celebration. Photo by Brandon Chew.

SJSU’s student mariachi group. Photo by Brandon Chew.

San Jose, Calif. — San Jose State University’s student mariachi group opened CommUniverCity’s Celebrating Partnerships: A Quinceañera on Wednesday, November 13 in the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom. The event highlighted CommUniverCity’s 15 years of work to create healthy and vibrant neighborhoods through a unique partnership between underserved communities in central San Jose, San Jose State and the city of San Jose.

“CommUniverCity has come a long way over the past 15 years. We are fortunate to have trusted neighborhood leaders, collaborative city of San Jose staff, and engaged SJSU faculty members and students,” said CommUniverCity SJSU Executive Director Katherine Kao Cushing. “Our collaboration is the strongest it’s ever been and we can’t wait to see what the next 15 years have in store for us.”

More than 115,000 community members have engaged with more than 21,000 SJSU students in community-based projects. SJSU students alone have invested more than 394,000 hours in community service, valued at $8.4 million.

“Community engagement is a centerpiece of SJSU’s strategic plan, Transformation 2030,” said SJSU President Mary Papazian. “CommUniverCity’s work brings together dozens of SJSU faculty in departments ranging from materials engineering to urban planning, and this kind of interdisciplinary collaboration is critical to achieving our future goals.”

CommUniverCity received commendations from the city of San Jose, CA State Senator’s Jim Beall and U.S. House of Representative Zoe Lofgren’s Office. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo learned of CommUniverCity as a city council member. He said it is a model for bringing the classroom out into the community.

“I’m honored to be here to celebrate 15 years of partnership,” said Liccardo. “As long as I’m around, I want to do all we can to cultivate this incredible partnership.”

SJSU Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Thalia Anagnos presented CommUniverCity’s awards to partners and community members. The Golden Brick award was presented to Paul Pereira, senior policy advisor for the San Jose Mayor’s Office. The Community Partner Award was presented to Jaime Torres, CORAL site manager at Olinder Elementary School. And the Government Partner Award was given to the city of San Jose’s Housing Department.

“The event was a powerful evidence that town-gown collaboration can be transformative for cities and college students,” said Cushing. “Seeing elected officials at the municipal, regional, state and national levels all voice their support for the collaboration is a wonderful affirmation of the partnership’s positive impact in San Jose.”

University Scholars Series Features Wendy Rouse on Origins of Women’s Self-Defense Movement

Wendy Rouse

Wendy Rouse

The University Scholar Series for fall 2019 will continue on Nov. 13 The event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Room 225/229. The series is free and open to the public, with a light lunch provided.

Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement, 1890-1920

Associate Professor of History Wendy Rouse will present her research on the history of women and children in the Progressive Era during the final University Scholar Series talk of the semester. She will be discussing her latest book, Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement, 1890-1920. The book explores the way in which the proliferation of women’s self defense during the Progressive Era helped to debunk patriarchal myths about feminine weakness.

Her research has focused on methods of teaching history as well as women and children in the Progressive era, and she has penned a chapter on film portrayals of women’s suffrage for Hollywood or History? An Inquiry-Based Strategy for Using Film to Teach U.S. History and a journal article on Chinese exclusion and resistance published in Teaching History: A Journal of Methods. She is currently working on a project that examines the lives of queer suffragists in preparation of the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 2020.

Rouse has doctorate in American History from University of California, Davis, a master’s in history and archaeology from California State University, Sacramento, as well as a bachelor’s in history from CSU Sacramento.

The series is hosted by Provost Vincent Del Casino, and sponsored by the Academic Affairs Division, the Spartan Bookstore and the University Library.

For Love of a Veteran: Grad Student Erin Cerasaro Inspired by Husband’s Service

Erin Cerasaro, left, works with Professor Elena Klaw on research to support veterans on transitioning to college. She was inspired to pursue a master's by her husband, a former Marine.

Erin Cerasaro, left, works with Professor Elena Klaw on research to support veterans on transitioning to college. She was inspired to pursue a master’s by her husband, a former Marine.

Erin Cerasaro is a graduate student who is part of the Research and Experimental Psychology program in the College of Social Sciences at San Jose State University. When she first moved to the Bay Area and started thinking about completing a graduate degree, she reached out to SJSU Psychology Professor Elena Klaw to volunteer in her research lab.

“I was trying to figure out how to go back to school and I needed another letter,” she said. “I reached out to several professors and Dr. Klaw gave me the opportunity to volunteer in her lab.”

Cerasaro had initially started a graduate program years before in Southern California, but she took a leave of absence. Her husband, a veteran who served as a Marine in Afghanistan, inspired her to again pursue a graduate degree.

“He was medically separated from the Marines because of a back injury,” she said. “A chiropractor saved his life and helped him to be capable of living his life again.”

Her husband decided to pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and they moved from San Diego when he enrolled in a program in Northern California.

“I watched him to go school and saw how he was thriving,” Cerasaro said. “I saw how much it meant to him to help people and it made me want to do that as well.”

The psychology program at SJSU and Klaw’s research lab offered that opportunity. Klaw is the director of the Veterans Embracing Transition (VET) Connect Program, which focuses on developing best practices for serving military veterans in their pursuit of higher education.

“I’ve learned to do qualitative research and it has been inspiring to watch her work,” Cerasaro said of Klaw. “She’s always on the go and it’s amazing to watch her teach a class, run VET Connect, run her lab, and work on Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. It’s helped me see where I want to be when I graduate. I want to go on to get my PhD.”

Cerasaro continues to look to her husband for motivation.

“He has had issues with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and I’ve watched him overcome so many obstacles to get where he is today, to maintain and go beyond what is normal for him,” she said, adding, “Studying for hours, exercising to maintain his back and the things he does to maintain his mental health just truly is an inspiration.”

San Jose State University Joins Amicus Brief in Support of DACA

Media Contacts:
Christine Hutchins, 408-924-1141, 650-644-9329, christine.hutchins@sjsu.edu
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, 408-799-3373, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

San Jose State University joined over 164 colleges and universities from across the country in signing an amicus brief supporting the approximately 700,000 young immigrants who came to the United States as children and who hold Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This “friend of the court” brief in the case before the Supreme Court can be viewed and downloaded at this link: bit.ly/DACAAmicus.

Two years ago, on September 5, 2017, the administration rescinded DACA, an initiative that provides work permits and protection from deportation for undocumented students, often known as “Dreamers.” Oral arguments on this rescission will be held at the Supreme Court on November 12. The court could hand down a ruling as soon as February 2020, determining if Dreamers will lose the ability to live, study and work in the United States.

SJSU joined this “friend of the court” brief because the university believes that it is important to publicly show its unwavering support for DACA and immigrant students. 

“San Jose State is proud to be one of the most diverse campus communities in the nation, and it is a distinction that sets us apart from other public universities,” said SJSU President Mary A. Papazian. “We will continue to invest in the success of all of our students. The continued existence of DACA is essential, and this support affirms our values of inclusion, equity, respect and diversity of all cultures and people.”

SJSU encourages all eligible students and employees who have less than one year left of their DACA to submit their renewal application immediately. SJSU and CSU have many support services for DACA recipients, undocumented students and alumni in the campus community.

Support Services:

Diversity and inclusion are core values of San Jose State University and the California State University system. SJSU will continue to support DACA students and employees. The university will make every effort to provide a safe and welcoming campus environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the campus community.

 

Today’s Tech Revolution Requires Some Humanity, Papazian Tells Sacramento Bee Readers in Opinion Piece

President Mary A. Papazain is a strong proponent of the value of the humanities, liberal arts and social sciences in higher education. Here, she served as a featured guest for the Frankenstein Bicentennial Monster Discussion Panel in 2018. Photo by David Schmitz.

An op-ed by San Jose State University President Mary A. Papazian published in the October 29 edition of the Sacramento Bee asserts that “the liberal arts must remain a vital part of higher education for the sake of the future of our students, our economy, and our society.”

Drawing largely on her academic background and expertise on the English Renaissance era, Papazian writes that “Just as the Renaissance opened mankind’s eyes to the reality that we do not sit at the center of the universe, today’s technology age has expanded our capabilities beyond the imaginations of only decades ago.” She goes on to note how Renaissance figures such as John Donne and Leonardo di Vinci exemplified many of the humanist principles lacking in today’s technology innovators.

Papazian said the messages conveyed in her op-ed piece are more vital than ever, particularly given the perils of technology and social media that have manifested in attacks on elections and the democratic process.

“It is vital that we understand the true impact of the technology-driven world in which we now live,” she said. “We need to be able to guard our global society against the dangers of this digital age. How we ensure that the next generation interacts more responsibility with technology than we have done this far is critical, and refocusing on the talents of humanists and liberal arts is an excellent place to start.”

In July, Papazian delivered a well-received speech at the Council of Graduate Schools Summer Workshop titled “Humanities for the 21st Century: Innovation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” There, she pointed out that “the hard skills learned from STEM programs are essential, but employers actually are desperate for candidates who have balanced their personal portfolios with both digital capabilities and human understanding.”

The partnering of STEM disciplines with the liberal arts, she asserted, can lead to true academic impact at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

“Students will work in groups all their professional lives, and they must be able to collaborate effectively with people from a broad array of backgrounds and working styles,” said Papazian. “They must be able to communicate in a variety of ways, using digital tools that we know are evolving with stunning rapidity. And they will be required to be creative and confident.

“Where better to learn all of this than in our labs and studios on our campuses? Where better to learn the capacity for these things than in our classrooms and our community-based projects?” she asks.

Developing the tools and the ability to talk about ethics, unconscious bias and the complexity of emotions within individuals and cultures, Papazian said, can help students recognize the choices that lead to collaboration rather than conflict.

“The liberal arts need to be a vital part of the education spectrum if we are to have any hope of addressing the problems we are seeing and reading about on almost a daily basis,” she said.

“Our challenge—and our opportunity—is to seize the moment to influence and shape history meaningfully in this, our present Renaissance.”

 

Campus Message on Information Regarding Possible PG&E Power Shutoff Oct. 29–30

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on October 28, 2019 at 12:02 p.m. from President Mary A. Papazian. We will post updates on this web page as new information becomes available.

Dear Campus Community,

Today, the SJSU campus is open.

Last Thursday, October 24, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) announced a Public Safety Power Shutoff event (PSPS) due to weather conditions including gusty winds and dry conditions that created a heightened fire risk which impacted a number of counties and residents living in their respective cities. Due to the next anticipated extreme wind event from Tuesday, October 29 through Wednesday, October 30, PG&E may be issuing another PSPS. You can check PG&E’s potential PSPS outage maps in advance to see if the power will be shut off at your home or a family member’s home. 

For faculty and staff, if you live in an area impacted by last week’s power outage, contact your supervisor if you are not able to make it to work. If you need to take time off during this impacted period, your time away will not be charged against your personal, vacation, or sick leave time. 

For faculty, who might have students affected, please provide them with flexible alternatives to continue to move forward in the class even if they can’t be in attendance. 

For students who live in an impacted area, please contact your professors right away so that they understand your situation.

San Jose State University is closely monitoring weather alerts and advisories from PG&E and will notify you if our campus will be affected. Please continue to check the following SJSU channels for updates: 

In the case of an emergency, Alert SJSU is utilized for timely, campus alert notifications. Faculty and staff must enroll through their My SJSU account. We strongly urge you to review your contact information by logging onto your “My SJSU” account and clicking on the Alert SJSU tab. Students are automatically enrolled. If you are not receiving Alert SJSU, please check with your cell phone provider. For more information: Alert SJSU

Lastly, as a reminder, here are things you can do to prepare for an outage and during an outage: PG&E Preparation Steps

Additional resources:

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SJSU and IBM Announce New Collaboration—First of its Kind on the West Coast

Preparing Students for high tech jobs of the future

Photo by Francisco Mendoza, ’21 Photography/San Jose State University

On October 18, 2019, San Jose State University and IBM announced a strategic collaboration designed to provide today’s students with advanced skills needed for high tech jobs of the future.

The use of emerging technologies such as the Internet of things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), data science, security, and blockchain are growing. AI is expected to contribute $15.7T to the global economy by 2030* as the U.S. skills gap widens. Over 11.5 million workers in the United States alone may need to be retrained or reskilled as a result of AI and intelligent automation alone in the next three years.**

“It makes perfect sense for Silicon Valley’s public university to collaborate with IBM, a giant in the tech world,” said San Jose State University President Mary A. Papazian. “Growing our research and scholarship is a priority of ours and ties directly to our student success goals. This collaboration will help San Jose State students gain the skills they need to compete in tomorrow’s workforce, and it will solidify SJSU as the top provider of talent to Silicon Valley companies.”    

The strategic skills-based collaboration, the first of its kind on the west coast, will feature three key components on campus: IBM Academic Initiative, SJSU Technology Office, and IBM Skills Academy.  

  • IBM Academic Initiative. IBM will provide a unique, customized portal for SJSU students, staff, and faculty to access IBM Academic Initiatives resources for teaching and research purposes. The Academic Initiative also provides faculty and researchers with IBM’s cloud technology and software in fast-growing fields such as AI, blockchain, cybersecurity, data science, high-performance computing, and quantum computing. 
  • SJSU Technology Office. IBM will help SJSU establish a technology office to support faculty research, student growth, and campus-wide innovation through regular workshops and training. A cybersecurity training center will also be developed and located on the SJSU campus in the future.
  • IBM Skills Academy. This Skills Academy will offer practical curriculum, learning tools, and labs created by IBM subject experts. Courses will cover a variety of advanced skills, and SJSU’s Information Technology department will evaluate pilot programs in data science, AI, data engineering and cybersecurity. IBM’s new AI tools and related education initiatives are drawn from methods and technologies IBM developed in-house to drive its own workforce transformation. The IBM Skills Academy transforms how cultures and people will operate with digital technology including ethics and human bias in coding.

“Skills are the most important issue of our time and we need to fully equip students with the right skills to participate in the digital economy,” said Naguib Attia, vice president, IBM Global University Programs. “Through this new collaboration, we will work closely with San Jose State University to ensure curricula aligns with industry needs and trends so both students and faculty can earn digital badges and develop the skills they need today, for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The collaboration between San Jose State University and IBM takes effect immediately.

**PwC’s Global Artificial Intelligence Study: Exploiting the AI Revolution

**IBM Institute of Business Value, “The Enterprise Guide to Closing the Skills Gap”, September 2019.

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University Library Hosts Diverse Exhibits For Fall Semester

Treasures from the Vault 

Sheet Music

Medieval musical notation

Writing quills, missal leaves, rabbit skin glue, agate burnisher, medieval music and notation, illuminated manuscripts—are by all means a rare glimpse of a fascinating moment in history. 

SJSU Special Collections & Archives celebrates the rich and beautiful legacy of medieval history with a new exhibit, Treasures from the Vault: Medieval Manuscripts and Beyond, that is on display on the fifth-floor exhibit gallery of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library from Aug. 15 through Dec. 9.

The exhibit showcases illuminated manuscripts and incunabula made in the late middle ages that draw from a fascinating array of subjects like medieval music, personal devotional books and religious scholarship.

Two SJSU students from the MLIS program Jacob Rabinowitz and Fiona Du Brock, came upon these illuminated manuscripts while working on a cataloging project, and decided they should be shared with others. 

“These beautiful handmade documents were sitting in the vault without having any indication that they exist,” said Rabinowitz. “I like the idea of getting them available to the public. The archives and special collections exist for people so they can use our materials for research.”

The exhibit is a unique opportunity for people to witness handwritten documents that go back hundreds of years. 

“These are the oldest materials we have in our archives,” Du Brock added. “It should be noted that all of the manuscripts on display are fragments, we don’t have any complete manuscripts.”

Both Rabinowitz and Du Brock thought a cool display of this kind would pique general interest as well as make people engage more with the archives. 

The special collection library figures prominently in the university map as it supports diverse teaching and research needs of students, faculty and the larger community. 

The Art of Remembrance

The University Library hosted an opening reception for the Art of Remembrance exhibit. Photo by Lesley Seacrist.

The University Library hosted an opening reception for the Art of Remembrance exhibit. Photo by Lesley Seacrist.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library often displays exhibits curated from its special collections, from other departments on campus or from arts organizations that enrich the community and appeal to a diverse audience.  

This month the library is holding its 13th Annual Art of Remembrance Altar Exhibit in collaboration with the San José Multicultural Artists Guild. The exhibit features traditional and contemporary visual arts and altars by local and Bay Area artists, in the tradition of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). 

This visually vibrant Mexican tradition offers a space for the community to pause, reflect and remember the spirit of their loved ones by celebrating their legacy. Altars are elaborately decorated with flowers, photos, mementos and food for their departed loved ones.

The exhibit, which opened for the public on Oct. 10 with a reception featuring tamales, pan de muerto and hot chocolate, is curated by SJSU Librarian Kathryn Blackmer Reyes and BFA student Nanzi Muro. The reception also marked the official launch of $50k & Beyond, a campaign for the Africana, Asian American, Chicano and Native American (AAACNA) Studies Center Endowment to support the Center’s important work. The exhibit is open through Nov. 8.

Bay Area Pride

In addition, the Bay Area Pride: 50 Years of LGBTQ History, Politics, and Culture Exhibit will be on display through Dec. 20 in the Special Collections Exhibit Hall on the Fifth Floor. The exhibit includes original photos from the Ted Sahl Archives, Billy DeFrank LGBT Silicon Valley Community Center Papers and much more. A reception will be held in the Schiro Room on Oct. 17, from 4 to 6 p.m.

 

Larry and Elaine Sparling Give $500,000 to the Spartan Athletics 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 a $500,000 gift commitment from Larry and Elaine Sparling. The gift will support the Spartan Athletics Center, the future home of San Jose State football and men’s and women’s soccer.

“Larry and Elaine Sparling believe in the direction of this Athletics program and understand the importance of the Spartan Athletics Center,” said Marie Tuite, San Jose State’s director of intercollegiate athletics. “I spend quite a bit of time with this wonderful couple and I can tell you they support the efforts of our coaches and student-athletes. They are so positive and encouraging when it comes to the important work our coaches are doing. They are terrific Spartans and we are so thankful and appreciative of their generous gift.”

The Spartan Athletics Center will include new locker rooms, an auditorium, coaches’ offices, position-specific classrooms, stadium game day suites and a state-of-the-art athletic training room that will be accessible to all student-athletes.

About the Sparlings

Elaine and Larry Sparling.

Elaine and Larry Sparling. Photo by David Schmitz.

Though the Sparlings did not graduate from San Jose State, they are longtime supporters of Spartan football. Over the years, they have driven their RV all over the U.S. to watch the football team compete. The Sparlings are leadership donors to the Spartan Athletics Fund and attend many Spartan sporting events. They believe that by supporting San Jose State, they are investing in their community and helping their neighbors and friends succeed.

“I love the fact that at San Jose State we can be so connected to everybody, from the coaching staff to the athletic director and the university president,” said Larry. “We know how crucial the Spartan Athletics Center is for all the athletes at San Jose State. I like donating to student-athletes because we can tell how much it means to them to play their sport and get a degree from a great college.”

In 1966, the Sparling family took over Tiny Tots, a cotton diaper home pick-up and delivery service based in Campbell. At that time, they had only 80 customers, two Kenmore washer-dryers and a delivery vehicle. The couple helped grow the business before Larry’s sister and brother-in-law took the reins. Over the past 50 years, Tiny Tots has laundered more than 680 million diapers. Tiny Tots has offered free Diapering 101 classes to members of the community since 1980, as well as monthly support groups, workshops and CPR trainings. Larry went on to found Healthcare Laundry Services.

“This gift from Larry and Elaine Sparling is a tremendous support to the university and our athletics program,” said Interim Vice President of University Advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation Peter Smits. “By investing in the Spartan Athletics Center, they are establishing a legacy that will help countless generations of Spartan student-athletes. We thank them for their contribution to San Jose State.”

“The Sparlings have always been very dedicated supporters of SJSU Athletics,” said SJSU Football Head Coach Brent Brennan. “This gift will make a huge difference to our football program, as well as Spartan soccer and all of athletics. Thank you, Larry and Elaine!”

To learn how you can support Spartan Athletics, please contact Joshua Thiel, deputy athletics director for 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 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 Spartans have 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 an institutional, conference or national recognition based on outstanding academic performance.