Silicon Valley Business Journal: Grad programs Training Tech Leaders

Posted Dec. 9 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

By Jose Fermoso

Due to its presence in Silicon Valley, San Jose State funnels plenty of business and IT students to local companies.

The process is facilitated by the school’s Silicon Valley Center for Business Solutions, which helps “small, medium and large sized companies with their business and technical challenges.” The center serves as a liaison between students and local companies, with faculty members leading the connections.

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The New York Times: E-Sports at College, With Stars and Scholarships

Posted Dec. 8, 2013 by The New York Times.

Loc Tran is a big man on campus at San Jose State University in Northern California.

“A lot of people stop me when I’m walking,” said Mr. Tran, a 19-year-old sophomore, who speaks in quick and confident bursts. “They congratulate me.”

But Mr. Tran is not a star on the football team, or a leader in student government. He is a top player on the school’s competitive video game team, helping San Jose State claw its way to victory in June over California State University, Fullerton, in a tournament watched online by nearly 90,000 people. When the new school year started this fall, classmates’ heads swiveled toward him when professors said his name during roll call.

“I thought that was pretty cool,” Mr. Tran said.

Video game competitions, also known as e-sports, have taken off on campuses across the country, including Harvard and Florida State University. More than 10,000 students now play in the biggest college league, 4,400 more than last year and 4,600 more than the number of men who play on Division I college basketball teams.

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San Jose Mercury News: Cooperative Effort Helps Western Burrowing Owl Population Rebound

Posted Nov. 12, 2014 by the San Jose Mercury News.

By Alia Wilson

Between the Zanker Materials Recovery and Landfill, the San Jose Water Pollution Control Plant and a business park lies an unsuspecting haven for wildlife.

Some 180 acres of dedicated habitat have been maintained and improved specifically to cater to the western burrowing owl, a California Bird Species of Special Concern.

The open grassland with patches of wildflowers and man-made dirt berms have breathed new life into the previously dwindling owl population.

The Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, members of the San Jose State University Environmental Studies Department and San Jose’s Environmental Services staff have worked for two years to protect the owl, and the effort is paying off big time.

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San Jose Mercury News: San Jose State Rededicates Refurbished Athletics Building

Posted Nov. 7, 2014 by the San Jose Mercury News.

By Sal Pizarro

Even at age 94, legendary San Jose State judo coach Yosh Uchida retains a quiet dignity that demands respect. Uchida was speaking Friday on campus at the rededication of Yosh Uchida Hall, the refurbished athletics building named in his honor, when a stream of skateboarders rolled by the ceremony.

The last two in the line stopped, dismounted their boards and walked quietly by, as though they could feel the eyes of the old judo master on them from behind his oversize sunglasses. No wonder this guy can still prepare college kids to stand on the Olympic stage.

“Uchida Hall is an important part of this university’s legacy,” said SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi. “Coach Uchida’s life embodies what it means to be a Spartan. Today is about much more than the dedication of a building on campus.”

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ABC 7: San Jose State Features Conference on the Grateful Dead

Posted Nov. 5, 2014 by ABC 7.

By Wayne Freedman

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) –Counterculture is going mainstream at San Jose State University this week, as an academic conference on The Grateful Dead is underway. The band actually played its first gig in San Jose and it’s now become a topic of rigorous study.

When you know a subject well enough, you can use it to make a name for yourself. Rock and roll photographer Jay Blakesberg certainly did after years of following The Grateful Dead.

When asked if he ever thought this would turn into a Ph.D.-type of subject, Blakesberg replied, “No. When we were following The Grateful Dead, we were just there to have fun.”

But the Ph.D.’s will be listening on Thursday at San Jose State University where for four days academics from around the world will study papers about this iconic traveling band, its influences, history, music and lyrics.

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KQED: 140 Characters or Less: Aliteracy & Silicon Valley Youth

Posted Nov. 4 by KQED Arts.

By Adrienne Blaine

The popular Internet abbreviation “TLDR” stands for “too long, didn’t read.” As social media springing from Silicon Valley condenses messaging to shorter and shorter character counts, local educators struggle with “aliterate” students. Unlike illiteracy, aliteracy means, “I can read, but I won’t read,” or “I can read, but I don’t care,” according to Dr. Mary Warner, an English professor at San Jose State University who specializes in young adult literature and literacy.

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60 Minutes: Quarterback Guru Steve Clarkson

Posted Dec. 22, 2013 by 60 Minutes.

The following is a script from “Quarterback Guru” which aired on Dec. 22, 2013. Morley Safer is the correspondent. Jonathan Schienberg, producer.

Quarterbacks: the superheroes of America’s favorite pastime: watching football. Chances are, you were just watching a game, and throughout, your eyes were fixed on the quarterbacks, those cool commanders of the gridiron. You fathers out there might have been dreaming about what might have been, but your sons, even the toddlers, would have been dreaming about future glory.

Tonight, we meet the man who sometimes makes their dreams come true – Steve Clarkson, quarterback guru, the man parents of  8 and 9 year olds turn to — and despite the obvious dangers of the game — spend tens-of-thousands of dollars seeking the magic touch that’s sent more than 25 Clarkson quarterbacks to the NFL. He’s so successful, that college recruiters are offering football scholarships to some of his students, some as young as 13…

Clarkson was one of the nation’s top quarterbacks at San Jose State, but just couldn’t make it to the NFL. So he went into the guru business. And word soon spread about his success, parents across the country sought him out. Among them, Joe Montana, who sent his two sons to the Clarkson camp. That’s some endorsement.

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Silicon Valley Business Journal: Public Use/Civic Project Finalist, SJSU Student Union Expansion

Posted Sept. 26, 2014 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

By Nicole Sheree Saunders, Contributor

When Ernest J. Kump Jr., a local architect known for innovative school planning, designed the student union at San Jose State University in the 1960s, it was considered forward thinking for the time.

Decades later, the 144,000-square-foot structure no longer served the needs of the school or the students, said Nick Seierup, design director for the Los Angeles office of the architectural firm Perkins + Will. “As schools have evolved, the ways in which students interact has also evolved,” Seierup said.

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Today: NFL Player David Quessenberry on His Lymphoma Battle

Posted Aug. 14, 2014 by Today.

By Chris Serico

From his Houston Texans teammates and National Football League opponents to family members and an 8-year-old superfan, David Quessenberry [a San Jose State graduate] has countless allies in his fight against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

At Thursday morning’s practice in Houston, players and coaches sported “Texans for DQ” T-shirts for DQ Strong Day, the team’s tribute to the second-year offensive tackle in support of the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

“It’s overwhelming, and it motivates me to fight my fight even harder,” Quessenberry told “I wake up every day knowing that I have an army behind me.”

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Silicon Valley Business Journal: SJSU Kicks Off $126M Student Housing Project

P0sted July 8, 2014 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

By Nathan Donato-Weinstein

San Jose State University is starting construction on a large student housing project that will add 850 beds to the burgeoning campus’s capacity.

The project is the $126 million Campus Village Phase 2, to be built across from the existing Campus Village Phase 1 complex.

That project, completed in 2005, added 2,279 beds among three mid- and high-rise buildings, the tallest stretching 15 stories. It was called a major step toward turning San Jose State from a commuter school to more of an urban university.

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San Jose Mercury News: Laser Surgery Shows Promise in Halting Seizures in Epilepsy Sufferers

Posted Aug. 20, 2014 by the San Jose Mercury News.

By Joyce Tsai

PLEASANTON — Justin Wan is not one to radiate unfettered optimism or make bold statements about his future.

More than 10 years of battling epilepsy will do that to a person who never knows when the next seizure will strike. Wan can’t drive, swim alone or live by himself. Crossing streets, taking a bath, riding a bike and new environments in general can pose unforeseen perils and pitfalls.

This time last year, Wan, 20, often couldn’t make it more than week without an epileptic attack and his senses were dulled by heavy doses of anti-seizure medications. But today, the only outward sign that he suffered from debilitating seizures is a small staple scar on the top of his head, hidden by a headful of thick black hair — where surgeons in December inserted a tiny laser that zapped out a lesion in his brain. He hasn’t had a seizure since.

“It was on this side somewhere,” the San Jose State junior said, feeling around with his fingers on his cranium’s right side.

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Santa Cruz Sentinel: San Jose State Researcher’s Never-Seen Sharks Featured on ‘Shark Week’

Posted Aug. 12, 2014 by the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

By Kara Guzman

After 60 days on a commercial fishing boat, 1,000 miles from land, San Jose State researcher Paul Clerkin discovered never-before-seen sharks, which will be featured on Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” on Tuesday.

Clerkin, 29, first ventured to the southern Indian Ocean with the fishing crew to catalog their shark bycatch in 2012. In two months, he encountered 23 types of sharks, eight of which were new species.

Clerkin, a master’s student researching at Moss Landing Marine Labs, returned to the boat in March, this time with a Discovery Channel film crew for “Alien Sharks.” Clerkin said he’s not allowed to say how many new species he discovered this year, but he’s pleased with the trip’s success.

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San Jose Mercury News: SJSU Program Gives Reformed Criminals a Second Chance

Posted May 22, 2014 by the San Jose Mercury News.

By Mark Gomez

SAN JOSE — Armando Aguilar was tired of living in the shadow of his rap sheet.

Six years removed from his last conviction — for second-degree commercial burglary, under influence of meth and possession of a stolen check — and after he cleaned up his life, Aguilar graduated from San Jose City College in 2009 with a state certification to work as an alcohol and drug counselor. He soon found a job working with adults.

But when he applied for a job counseling youth, his criminal history killed his chances.

Soon after that, Aguilar heard about a free program at San Jose State that helps people who have turned their lives around remove certain misdemeanor and felony convictions from the public record. With the help of SJSU justice studies students, Aguilar’s criminal history was wiped clean by a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge.

“The fact I got everything expunged was a relief for me,” said Aguilar, 38, who was hired in October to work with at-risk youth in the East Bay and has informed his employer about his past. “I was able to close a chapter on that part of my life.”

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San Jose Mercury News: San Jose State Students Report Major Discovery in Space

Posted May 25, 2014 by the San Jose Mercury News.

By Katy Murphy

SAN JOSE — A San Jose State undergrad grieving the loss of his mother shifted his gaze to outer space and made what could prove to be a remarkable discovery: a system of stars so dense, his professor said, astronomy has no word for it.

In only a week 21-year-old Michael Sandoval stumbled upon what he and his professor have named a hypercompact cluster, which they argue is the intensely starry remains of one galaxy that has been consumed by another.

Astrophysics professor Aaron Romanowsky said it’s astounding how quickly his student may have discovered what “some people take years and never find.”

The stellar search was a welcome diversion for Sandoval, whose mother, Holly Houser, died of cancer in October. In the last years of his mom’s life, the physics major lived at home, juggling her care with his education, sometimes rushing her to the emergency room at night and dragging himself to class the next day from Fremont.

Months later, enrolled in his first astrophysics course, he learned classmate Richard Vo had discovered an unusual stellar object — possibly the densest ever found.

His reaction was immediate: “I want to find one too.”

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San Jose Mercury News: SJSU Graduation Celebrates Grit, Sacrifice

Posted May 24, 2014 by the San Jose Mercury News.

By Lisa Krieger

Some of the biggest lessons that electrical engineer Donald Flowers II, learned at school happened outside the classroom. Discipline. Time management. Financial budgeting. Focus.

“You cannot give up,” said the 34-year-old Flowers, one of several thousand ebullient San Jose State students celebrating their Saturday graduation in Spartan Stadium’s bright morning sun.

“It takes sacrifice,” he said. “At holidays, I’d be sitting around the table with my whole family, with my laptop open.”

Flowers reflects the kind of success the university has made its mission: offering working students — many of them older or immigrants and transfers from two-year campuses — the intellectual rigor and credentials needed to lift themselves securely into the middle class.

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Silicon Valley Business Journal: SJSU’s Answer to Gender Disparity

Posted by the Silicon Valley Business Journal April 8, 2014.

By Jon Xavier

The solution to the tech industry’s gender problem must start with schools. After all, it’s hard to hire more women for tech jobs if there aren’t enough female applicants entering the job market. But faculty and administrators are fighting a hard battle. They have to smash stereotypes that prevent women from applying to science and engineering schools to begin with.

Melanie McNeil is a chemical engineering professor at San Jose State University and the head of the College of Engineering’s Women in Engineering program, which seeks to provide mentorship, outreach and events to bring more women into engineering majors and increase their leadership opportunities.

In this interview, McNeil outlines what schools are doing to close the gender gap.

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San Jose Mercury News: San Jose Conference Held to Boost Latino College Graduation

Posted by the San Jose Mercury News March 15, 2014.

By Steve Johnson

SAN JOSE — Joining hundreds of other Latinos, Robert and Robyn Rodriguez hustled through San Jose State‘s sprawling campus early Saturday morning with their 10-year-old son, Ceasar, so they could find a seat at a conference intended to boost Latino college attendance and graduation rates.

Ceasar, a student at Horace Mann Elementary in San Jose, is doing well in school. He said he wants a college degree “to get a good job.” And his parents share his enthusiasm.

Noting that neither he nor his wife went to college, Robert Rodriguez said, “We’re real excited about him having a chance.”

Latinos make up 38 percent of California’s population and are expected this year to surpass non-Hispanic whites as the state’s biggest ethnic or racial group, yet they lag worrisomely behind many other racial and ethnic groups in higher education.

Although seven out of 10 Latino high school graduates enroll in college, according to the nonprofit Campaign for College Opportunity, they are less likely than whites and people of Asian descent to get into top schools, attend full time and earn a bachelor’s degree.

Indeed, a 2011 study by the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley found that just 14 percent of local Latinos have a bachelor’s degree compared with 52 percent of non-Latinos.

That’s a costly educational gap. By some estimates, people with college degrees over their lifetimes on average earn at least $1 million more than those with just a high-school diploma.

“Education offers a golden opportunity for each and every one of you,” San Jose State President Mohammad Qayoumi told the crowd at the university’s event center. “Education is the passport for your future.”

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KCBS: San Jose Marks One Year Of Minimum Wage Increase, Other Cities Look To Follow Suit

Posted by KCBS March 11, 2014.

SAN JOSE (KCBS)— San Jose State University marked the city’s one-year anniversary of the passage of Measure D that increased minimum wage, by holding a rally with guest speakers on Tuesday. Now other cities are looking to follow suit.

The idea for the law to raise the wage from $8 to $10 an hour began at the university and has now gone up to $10.15 with a recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase.

Executive Director of Sunnyvale Community Services, Marie Bernard, said her city is now exploring raising their minimum wage by city ordinance.

“We’re the second largest city in Santa Clara County, so to follow in the San Jose footsteps [it] makes a lot of good economic sense for the local economy and it’s also the right thing to do,” she said.

Read full story and listen to the radio report. 


San Jose Mercury News: Walt Disney Museum Exhibit Focuses on Bold Colorful World of Mary Blair

Posted by the San Jose Mercury News March 11, 2014.

By Robert Taylor

You may not know the name of artist Mary Blair, but you know her work: the design elements of “Cinderella” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan,” which brought Disney animation into the modern era. She was also behind the vigor of Disney’s World War II-era “Saludos Amigos,” “The Three Caballeros” and the charming illustrations for Golden Books, treasured by adults and children alike.

And as a culmination of her travels, her zest for life, her innovative, international style, there’s the musical journey that Walt Disney himself recruited her to design. Perhaps you’ve heard the theme song: “It’s A Small World.”

“She was very proud of it — thrilled, because it would make so many children happy,” recalls Blair’s niece, Jeanne Chamberlain who, with her sister Maggie Richardson, is carrying on Blair’s legacy. Richardson notes that, though the song by the Sherman brothers “can make people crazy,” the project was always a part of Blair’s life.

And there’s so much more, from California landscapes that tell dramatic stories in watercolor to tropical-looking Maxwell House coffee ads to window designs for Bonwit Teller in New York. Blair was even the “color designer” for the eye-popping musical film “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

It’s all ready to be discovered — much of it for the first time by the public — in “Magic, Color, Flair: The World of Mary Blair” at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco’s Presidio. (Beware, your GPS device may take you to Montgomery Street in the financial district, instead.) The exhibit, opening today and running through Sept. 7, includes more than 200 drawings, paintings, designs and photographs.

The exhibit was originally proposed by the late Diane Disney Miller, Walt Disney’s daughter, and represents something of a homecoming for Blair’s artwork. Born in McAlester, Okla., in 1911, Blair moved with her family in the early 1920s to Morgan Hill, south of San Jose. She studied art at San Jose State College from 1929 to 1931, then won a scholarship to the prestigious Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles.

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San Jose Mercury News: San Jose State’s Festering Racial Issues Challenge Black Students

Posted by the San Jose Mercury News March 1, 2014.

By David E. Early and Katy Murphy

SAN JOSE — Whenever touring black high school seniors consider the sprawling San Jose State University campus, they are impressed by the main library named for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and by the majestic statue depicting alums Tommie Smith and John Carlos, raising their fists in the Black Power salute on the medal stand at the 1968 Olympics.

“Look at this,” is what an awed Zhane Gay, now a sophomore health science major, thought when she saw the 20-foot-high sculpture on her visit from Southern California. Like so many others, she decided, “This is where I need to be.”

But the recent turmoil over a racial bullying scandal has rattled the campus, and many black students are questioning how a university with these outward symbols of diversity leaves so many of them feeling isolated and lost inside.

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