Covered.CA registration session

Coffee or Health Care?

With the deadline quickly approaching to sign up for health care through Covered California, there’s a big push on campus to educate students, their families and part-time SJSU employees about the program, and help them sign up. An estimated six percent of the SJSU student population or 1,800 students are uninsured.

“One thing we learned from a survey last year is that students aren’t coming from the perspective that they feel invincible, or aren’t interested in health insurance. They just assumed they couldn’t afford it,” said Professor Anji Buckner, SJSU health science lecturer and faculty lead on the CSU Health Insurance Education Project (HIEP).

As Low As $1 Monthly

Professor Buckner says students are surprised to find out that health coverage through Covered California can cost as little as a dollar a month. She says, in general, SJSU students are paying anywhere from $1 to $100 month, depending on the type of plan they choose, and the subsidies they qualify for.

Students who earn less than $16,000 a year, and who are not dependents, are eligible for free health insurance through Medi -Cal. Professor Buckner asks students, “How many cups of coffee do you buy a week, because you may be able to buy health insurance for about the same price.”

$325 Fine

The CSU Health Insurance Education Project has emphasized the tax penalty more this year because the fine for not having health insurance in 2015 has tripled to $325, or two percent of annual income, whichever is greater. The deadline to apply for Covered California is Feb. 15.

“I think it’s important for students to understand what their rights and responsibilities are in order to make informed decisions and realize the consequences,” said Professor Buckner.

Students can learn more about different health care plans and costs by attending an enrollment support event 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Clark Hall Fishbowl rooms.

Students Invite Obama to SJSU

With an ingenious video, a student group has formally invited the First Lady to a campus event.

“The White House has communicated that they are reviewing our event and the First Lady’s schedule,” said Amanda Aldama, First-Generation College Student Programs coordinator.

“In an effort to get their attention, we have followed the model of several other campuses who were successful in securing her attendance by making an invitation video. It is our hope that, if this video gets trending, as it did for other campuses, then she may say yes.”

The video connects Michelle Obama’s college experience to that of many San Jose State students who are first in their families to seek universities degrees.

GENERATE: The First-Generation College Student Program will host its inaugural First-Generation Scholarship Luncheon noon Feb. 25 in the Student Union. The first lady would serve as the keynote speaker.

The Obama video is part of GENERATE’s “I Relate!” campaign, designed to inform prospective and current Spartans about first-generation college student achievements at SJSU.

 

 

 

Lights, Camera, Action: New TV Studio Opens

Update Crew

A large green screen spans the wall behind the wood and glass anchor desk, which was donated by NBC Bay Area (School of Journalism and Mass Communications image).

Next time you watch the student TV news program “Update News,” you’ll be catching more than just the latest news stories.

You’ll see a crisp, high-definition picture, next generation LED lighting, professional graphics and a sleek news set – all made possible by a new technically advanced studio.  The facility will be used for all kinds of video productions.

Students can practice being on camera on a professional set for delivering news, making commercials, even an audition tape. It’s wonderful,” said Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications Diane Guerrazzi.

Students are producing “Update News” in the new space now, and will begin taping the PBS news magazine “Equal Time” there this semester. Studio and Engineering Manager Juan Serna says with new skills, “students can leave here and get a job” in the profession.

Master control room and studio

Crews gutted the 30-year old analog studio, and built the new structure from scratch in 2014. The facility has two rooms: a 420-square-foot master control room, and a 900-square-foot studio.

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

The master control room is the operation’s central command center, containing large HD monitors, a multi-camera switcher, news computer system and a motion graphics system.

The studio is where the anchors sit. A large green screen spans the wall behind the wood and glass anchor desk, which was donated by NBC Bay Area. Three Sony HD cameras sit in front of the news set, and an LED light grid hangs overhead.  Both rooms are handicap accessible.

The new technology and advanced facility is allowing students to produce the same high quality newscasts that professional broadcasters do. They can create professional newscasts including shots from other locations, write copy with sophisticated newsroom software, and create motion graphics to help tell their stories.

Open for business

The $800,000 studio was paid for by an $8.7 million dollar endowment from the late Jack and Emma Anderson.  Guerazzi says, “the endowment was an amazing gift. So needed.”

Photo: Christina Olivas

Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications Diane Guerrazzi and Studio and Engineering Manager Juan Serna. Photo: Christina Olivas

The journalism school plans to work with other SJSU departments and outside groups. It wants to generate enough revenue from projects to pay costs and for advances over time. For now, the value for media students getting a unique, hands-on learning experience is priceless.

Guna

Five Reasons to be a Proud Spartan

Kevin Jordan

Professor Kevin Jordan at a NASA event with Associate Administrator of NASA Robert Lightfoot and NASA Ames Director Pete Worden (photo courtesy of the Department of Psychology).

An SJSU professor who conducts research with graduate students and NASA scientists to make air travel safer has received a $20,000 Wang Family Excellence Award. Professor of Psychology Kevin Jordan will be honored Jan. 27 by the CSU Board of Trustees in Long Beach. Jordan has been a faculty member for more than 30 years, and has served as a committee chair for more than 80 completed master’s theses.

A student team is a finalist in Walt Disney Imagineering’s 24th Imaginations competition, culminating Jan. 31. Zaid Karajeh, ’16 Aerospace Engineering, Dondel Briones, ’16 Aerospace Engineering, Amanda Sharpe, ’15 Animation and Illustration, and Simone Getty, ’16 Mechanical Engineering, each received a five-day, all expenses paid trip to the company’s headquarters in Glendale, where they will present their entry and interview for internships.

Guna Selvaduray

Professor Guna Selvaduray with Daniel Khuc, ’15 Biomedical Engineering, and College of Engineering Dean Andrew Hsu (photo by Kyle Chesser).

Professor of Biomedical Engineering Guna Selvaduray received the 2015 Andreoli Faculty Service Award at the CSU Annual Biotechnology Symposium held Jan. 8-10 here in Silicon Valley. One CSU faculty member is selected annually for the honor, which recognizes outstanding contributions to biotech programs. Selvaduray led the development of new bioengineering programs at SJSU and the establishment of the Biomedical Engineering Society.

James Jones

James and Tamika Jones (courtesy of @LoveJones4Kids)

Everyone knows SJSU has sports champions. But do you know about our e-sports champion? Sophomore Loc Tran is a top player on SJSU’s video game team, according to The New York Times. “Video game competitions…have taken off on campuses across the country,” the paper said. “More than 10,000 students now play in the biggest college league.” Tran helped SJSU beat CSU Fullerton at a tournament last fall.

Oakland Raiders wide receiver James Jones, ’06 Sociology, and his wife Tamika Jones, ’05 Child and Adolescent Development, received the Drum Major Award at the 35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon on presented Jan. 19 by the African American Community Service Agency. The couple founded the Love Jones 4 Kids Foundation, building on James’s start as a homeless child. Also honored at the luncheon with the Facing the Challenge Award was Congressman Mike Honda, ’68 Biological  Sciences and Spanish, ’74 MA Education.

Going Digital

If anyone’s nimble enough to keep up with all the demands of editing a magazine in the Internet age, it’s Amanda Holst, ’14 Journalism and Nutritional Sciences, especially now that she has served as SHiFT editor.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications produces the student-run periodical to teach all the traditional and emerging aspects of the publishing world.

“While a great story still requires shoe leather reporting, new electronic tools are transforming the way we design, distribute and deliver our magazine,” said Tom Ulrich, a lecturer focusing on magazine journalism.

With just weeks to go during her final semester at SJSU, Holst pulled together the staff for a review of the publication’s print and digital issues. This term, students made full use of Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite.

The downtown San Jose-based tech titan even provided several mentors for SHiFT’s Digital Publishing Editor Douglas Rider, who incorporated drag-and-drop and Apple AccelerometerGraph functions into stories to create a digital issue “to sit back in a chair and really read,” he said.

“For example, we have a food photo essay,” Holst said. “When you click on the food item, it takes you to an audio clip of the chef talking about it. You can tilt your mobile device in order to unlock text. A reader scrolls up, down and sideways to view content interactively.

“We have an interactive game where you can put your food items in a grocery bag and it will tell you how much time is needed in order to burn off the calories from those specific food items.”

How hot is this technology? Content magazine, which prides itself in displaying and discovering Silicon Valley’s innovative and creative culture, attended the SHiFT design review.

“For Holst, her tenure as SHiFT editor comes at the end of an undergraduate career chock-full of internships, part-time jobs and freelance work that helped her hone her interests, support herself, and meet degree requirements while gaining a wealth of hands-on learning.

“I’ve always worked on a team but have never led one,” she said. “From this experience, I learned that I have a passion for leadership and a natural ability to empower people.

“I learned that the reward is in the process and not so much about the end result…Every staff member had something different to offer–it was my job to tap into that and bring it to light!”

Up next for this McNair Scholar: graduate school.
“I’m fascinated by the topic of motivation so I’m switching gears and would like to focus my graduate studies on social psychology,” she said. “This class will help me in understanding the elements of community, vital to success in any organization.”

Feeding the Hungry

As the semester ends and the weather cools, students from the Afghan Student Association, the Muslim Student Association, and supporters took to the streets to feed the hungry.

Established this year by President Matt Mohammed, ’16 Civil Engineering, the Afghan Student Association led the distribution of homemade sandwiches, snacks and bottled water to homeless people on the streets surrounding campus following their usual Jummah prayer on Friday, Dec. 5, in Clark Hall.

“As a Muslim, it is our duty to do charity,” said Mohammed, explaining that giving alms, or Zakat, is one of the five pillars of Islam.

“Not everyone here is Muslim,” he continued, gesturing to the group of about 25 students packing food. “Anyone is welcome. This is about just about giving back. It’s cold out and people are hungry.”

Mohammed’s parents emigrated from Afghanistan nearly 40 years ago and he remains closely connected with his cultural heritage.

“It’s hard to help overseas in impoverished Afghanistan,” he says, “but it’s easy to help here in our own community.”

Disney finalists

SJSU Team Named a Finalist in Disney Competition

Disney finalists

Zaid Karajeh, Dondel Briones, Amanda Sharpe and Simone Getty (courtesy of Zaid Karajeh).

Contacts:
Pat Harris, SJSU, 408-924-1748
Frank Reifsnyder, Walt Disney Imagineering, 818-544-2142
Tim Choy, Peter Goldman, Davidson & Choy Publicity, 323-954-7510

San Jose, CA–A San Jose State student team has been named one of six finalists in Walt Disney Imagineering’s 24th Imaginations competition.

From the art to the engineering, it was all amazing work,” said Zaid Karajeh, ’16 Aerospace Engineering.

Contestants were asked to imagine a Disney transportation experience, including station/stops and vehicle designs that reflect the diversity of the city, and are accessible, energy-friendly, and fun.

Interdisciplinary

In the beginning, Karajeh had one teammate: Dondel Briones, ’16 Aerospace Engineering. But they soon realized “we would need someone to bring our concepts to life,” Karajeh said.

Amanda Sharpe, ’15 Animation and Illustration, added an artist’s touch, and brought along Simone Getty, ’16 Mechanical Engineering, who applied her expertise.

The SJSU team proposed Aether, a breathtaking journey lifting passengers above Toronto to transport them to commuter and tourist destinations.

While onboard, guests are entertained by 3-D projected artificial intelligence tour-guides, smart glass projections, interactive seat-backs, and automated photo stops, all of which provide for a unique experience immersed in the imaginative realm known as steampunk.

“The project could not have been possible without those three,” Karajeh said. “Their hard work and dedication is what made Aether standout to Disney.”

Dream internship

Walt Disney Imagineering is the design and development arm of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. With Imaginations, the company seeks out and nurtures the next generation of diverse Imagineers.

The other finalists are from Art Center College of Design, Drexel University, Ringling College of Art + Design, Texas Tech University, and University of Nevada, Reno.

All will receive a five-day, all-expense-paid trip to Glendale, Calif., where they will present their project to Imagineering executives and take part in an awards ceremony on Jan. 31.

The top three teams will be awarded cash prizes, with the first place team receiving $3,000. An additional $1,000 grant will be awarded to the first place team, to be equally divided among its sponsoring universities and/or organizations.

Finalists will also have an opportunity to meet and network with Imagineers, go behind the scenes where Disney magic is created, and interview for paid internships during their visit.

“Regardless of the outcome, I hope my teammates and I get the internships!” Karajeh said.

About San Jose State

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

About Imaginations 

The projects and concepts presented are not necessarily intended to be built by Disney – they are a way for the entrants to demonstrate their skills and creative abilities. In consideration for the opportunities provided by Imagineering, submissions become the sole property of Walt Disney Imagineering and Imagineering retains all rights to use and/or display the submissions and the materials contained in them.

Students Compete in Innovation Challenge

Students present their ideas at the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge Showcase Nov. 19 in the Student Union (Robert C. Bain photo).

Students present their ideas at the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge Showcase Nov. 19 in the Student Union (Robert C. Bain photo).

Registering for classes at a university as large and complicated as San Jose State can be like solving a complex puzzle.

That’s where the college scheduling application Saryan comes in. What used to take a few hours now takes a few minutes for the app’s 900 unique users.

Created by student entrepreneurs Sargon Jacob, ’15 Business Administration, and Bryan Miller, ’17 Computer Science, the fledgling business won first place in the Best Overall Innovation category of the 2014 Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge.

Organized annually by the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, SVIC promotes creativity and entrepreneurship by generating and showcasing innovative business ideas.

This year, the ideas ranged from the edible (FarmersAreHere tells you where to find farmers’ markets) to the technical (wireless charging for your electric cars).

The Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge is a great event for students from all across the university, plus our international partners, because it gives them the opportunity to develop ‘ideation’ skills in an area of interest,” said Bill Nance, SVIC director and professor of Management Information Systems.

This is exactly how it what happened for Jacob. He came up with the idea for his app based on a personal experience.

“I typically spent, in totality each semester, at least 10 to 14 hours scheduling my classes over a few days,” Jacob said. “I knew this was an issue.”

After conducting research, he learned many other students struggled to find the right classes at the right times. He reached out to Miller for technical assistance, and to his professors for overall support.

Sargon Jacob (center) received first  first place in the Best Overall Innovation category of the 2014 Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge (Robert C. Bain photo).

Sargon Jacob (center) with Dean David M. Steele and SVIC Director and Professor Bill Nance (Robert C. Bain photo).

“I have been extremely fortunate to be able to get access to professors in the MIS department,” Jacob said. “Richard Sessions was extremely influential early on. He introduced me to Bill Nance, who has been very supportive.

“Both professors literally opened their doors to me. Without them, Bryan and I would not have pursued this project with such intensity. At our peak, we each dedicated around 60 hours a week — with me, a full-time student, and Bryan, a part-time student with a day job.”

SVIC recruits more than twenty judges to evaluate all the ideas, provide feedback and select finalists as well as winners, many of whom drew their ideas from college life.

From Bike Commuters to Entrepreneurs

Four electrical engineering majors refined their plan to provide blinkers to bicyclists based on their commutes.

“Most of us bike from campus to our apartments after school, so we implemented things that we thought would be crucial for our safety,” said Vignesh Ramachandran, ’14 Electrical Engineering.

And so Night Square was born, with assistance from Professor of Electrical Engineering Ping Hsu.

Ramachandran and teammates Aaron Romero, Pratiek Pathak and Travis Johnson designed the flexible 15-by-15-inch LED display for bicyclists to wear on their backs, making the bikers more visible at night.

A student demonstrates Night Square during the Elevator Pitch Competition (Robert C. Bain photo).

Vignesh Ramachandran presents Night Square during the Elevator Pitch Competition (Robert C. Bain photo).

“Buttons on the bike’s handle bar will allow the Night Square to display right and left turn arrows and brake signals,” Ramachandran said. “Also, there are buzzers that will be placed conveniently near each ear so that the rider will know which turn signal is on, similar to the ticking from car turn signals.”

The Night Square prototype was an eye-catcher at the SVIC Showcase Nov. 19 in the Student Union Ballroom, and it received second place in the Best Overall Innovation category. The team has big dreams for Night Square.

Our plans for the future are to take this as far as possible,” Ramachandran said. “Our goal is to incorporate and sell this product to our target market.”

His thinking reflects the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge’s goals.

“Students learn how to present their ideas to experienced innovators and entrepreneurs, who provides feedback they can use to enhance or extend their initial ideas,” Nance said.

“It’s fascinating to watch the students grow through the event, as they learn to refine their explanations and pitch their projects.”

Dreaming of a Greener Silicon Valley

“Most living Christmas tree programs just offer potted trees that eventually die in pots or in backyards where they shouldn’t have been planted,” says Tree Care Manager Kevin Lee, ’11 BS, ’16 MS Environmental Studies. (Christina Olivas photo)

Many South Bay lots boast Christmas conifers this time of year, but the trees at one sprawling lot stand apart. At the Our City Forest nonprofit nursery on Spring Street, you’ll find Spartans engaged in a novel effort to make a greener, merrier Silicon Valley through a new Holiday Rent-A-Tree program.

Come January, the majority of the 30 million trees that are cut and sold every year in the United States get tossed out with the trash. Bringing a living tree into your home allows you to enjoy the look and smell of a real tree with less waste, clean-up and fire hazard—and without the carbon footprint of artificial trees, 80 percent of which are imported from China.

“Most living Christmas tree programs just offer potted trees that eventually die in pots or in backyards where they shouldn’t have been planted,” says Tree Care Manager Kevin Lee, ’11 BS, ’16 MS Environmental Studies. “What makes our program different is that we offer specific trees that do well in San Jose; after the holidays, we’ll take them back and plant them in community parks and at schools where they will thrive.”

Today_xmastree_01

After the holidays, the Rent-A-Tree program will plant the evergreens at parks and schools. (Christina Olivas photo)

While you won’t find a Noble Fir at the Our City Forest nursery, the organization does offer 10 different Christmas tree species, such as the Deodar Cedar. Like the two mature Deodar Cedars towering some 80 feet over Tower Lawn, the potted Deodars have fine, blue-green needles. About hip high, they will run you $25 (tax deductible) for the holiday season. A long-term goal of the program is to let renters know where their Christmas trees are planted so they can visit them and watch them grow.

Lee is one of four SJSU grads working for the nonprofit—which has planted about 60,000 trees in the area since its 1994 inception—and his love for trees goes far beyond the holidays.

“Trees are my passion,” says Lee. Originally a bio major, Lee switched to environmental science and “everything fell into place.” Strolling among the 200 Christmas trees available for holiday rental with canine nursery mascots Bodie and Poppy following at his heels, Lee says, “I’m in a master’s program now for additional learning opportunities, but this is my dream job.”

Visit Our City Forest for more information or to reserve your tree.

President’s Commission on Diversity to Host Forum

The President's Commission on Diversity Fall Open Forum will take place 4-6 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Morris Dailey Auditorium.

The President’s Commission on Diversity Fall Open Forum will take place 4-6 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Morris Dailey Auditorium.

Media Contact: Pat Harris, 408-924-1748

San Jose, CA—Everyone is invited to discuss how to foster a welcoming community at San Jose State.

The President’s Commission on Diversity Fall Open Forum will take place 4-6 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Morris Dailey Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, and will be streamed live on the SJSU home page.

Judge LaDoris Cordell (retired) will serve as moderator. Cordell was chair of the Special Task Force on Racial Discrimination, which was appointed by President Qayoumi in January to review all of the facts and make recommendations addressing an alleged hate crime that occurred last fall in a campus residence hall.

In April, the task force submitted more than 50 recommendations and in May, the President’s Commission on Diversity completed an action plan based on those recommendations.

The Oct. 8 forum, the first event of the new academic year on this topic, will bring the campus community together to discuss recent activity, including the consolidation of more than 50 recommendations into 22 action items as well as the Commission on Diversity’s role advising the president and overseeing implementation of the action plan.

Speakers will include President Qayoumi and the commission chairs: Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Renee Barnett and Provost Andrew Hale Feinstein. Representatives from Housing Services, Faculty Affairs, Human Resources, Student Academic Success Services, and the Center for Faculty Development will also be on hand to discuss work underway in specific units.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

 

spartan logo

Associated Students Launches Campus-to-the-City Initiative

Have you seen the Spartan at South Ninth and East San Fernando?

Measuring 15 feet across, the large symbol was installed Sept. 15. It’s the product of the Associated Students of SJSU’s Campus-to-the-City initiative.

“The goal is to bring Spartan pride into downtown and surrounding sections of the city so that SJSU is recognizable not just on campus but in the entire area,” said Mykel Jeffrey, ’15 Political Science and A.S. director of internal affairs.

spartan logo

The Spartan logo near the Student Services Center is part of an effort to build a sense of community (photo courtesy of A.S.).

The initiative began with last year’s A.S. board, headed by then-President Nicholas Ayala, ’14 Management Information Systems, who was inspired by a similar effort at other campuses.

Cultivating community

“Cultivating Spartan pride beyond SJSU’s walls will help students feel more at home while they’re in school and help foster the everlasting memories they’ll want to come back to and revisit as alumni,” Ayala said.

More than 40 street banners will be installed this fall. The buffer zone around bike lanes will take on a gold-and-blue hue this spring. With both projects, A.S. seeks to connect the main and south campuses to foster a sense of community and safety.

Next year may bring three more Spartan symbols to intersections around campus. But first, officials would like to see how the initial Spartan stands up to wear and tear over the next six months.

Practical experience

The initiative has been a lesson in how to get things done in a complex city. The A.S. board has been working with the San Jose Department of Transportation and Office of Cultural Affairs. The group has also met with the Office of the Mayor and Councilmember and mayor candidate Sam Liccardo.

“This doesn’t feel like a college town (and) we’re trying to change that,” Liccardo told the Spartan Daily. “I know this is something folks have been trying to do in various ways…this is needed.”

dan and jaime

Alumni Association Celebrates Scholarship Recipients

Cuong Truong

Cuong Truong, ’14 Nursing, plans to work toward ensuring all elderly patients receive quality care. She is a recipient of a San Jose Woman’s Club Scholarship (photo by Brandon Chew).

Aspiring professionals preparing to contribute to every part of our community and economy are recipients of 2014-15 SJSU Alumni Association Scholarships.

“These students truly define the Spartan spirit,” said Brian Bates, associate vice president for alumni relations. “They are achievers, innovators, dreamers and leaders in their classrooms, communities and even the world.”

The more than 30 recipients were invited to gather for a reception Sept. 16  in the Student Union ballroom. The group includes a future art professor, nurse and business owner as well as multiple engineers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, teachers, social workers and fine artists.

Supporting Inspiring Students

Student recipients apply each spring through the SJSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The specific criteria and amount for each scholarship varies. But the overall objective is the same: to provide alumni with the opportunity to give back by supporting current students.

Onette Morales-Alcazar

Onette Morales-Alcazar, ’13 English, is seeking a teaching credential so she can support students learning English as a second language. Named a Connie L. Lurie College of Education Dean’s Scholar, she received the Pat Porter Memorial Scholarship (photo by Brandon Chew).

An excellent example is Angelina Loyola, ’10 Sociology, ’15 Mexican American Studies. Recipient of a College of  Social Sciences Dean’s Scholarship, she plans to teach at the high school or community college level so that she may empower her students to advance not just themselves but the entire community.

I hold steadfast to the words of the late Maya Angelou, ‘When you get, give. When you learn, teach,’” Loyola said.  “Thank you for acknowledging me as a scholar, and an individual that will take with her into this world the teachings from some of the greatest teachers I’ve encountered.”

Joshua Cruz, ’16 Computer Engineering, has taken advantage of the many leadership opportunities available to students at SJSU. A recipient of a Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering Dean’s Scholarship, he has served as a resident assistant, orientation leader, student instructional assistant and Spartan Marching Band member.

This scholarship…is a true validation that my involvements inside and outside of the classroom have an impact on my campus community,” Cruz said. “I will take the inspiration coming from those who have supported me through this scholarship to reach my scholastic goals.”

Tristan Pulliam

Tristan Pulliam plans to go to medical school. The recipient of a College of Science Dean’s Scholarship, he said, “I hope to one day reciprocate this investment by investing in the lives of future SJSU students” (photo by Brandon Chew).

Daniel Fenstermacher, ’16 Fine Arts, expresses his aspirations and sense of community through photography. The recipient of the Hoover Langdon Scholarship has his own business, currently specializing in aerial photography, including remarkable images of downtown San Jose captured using a drone.

Receiving the Hoover Langdon Scholarship gave me a great feeling of accomplishment and pride as a member of the SJSU community,” Fenstermacher said. “I feel fortunate to be rewarded with this recognition and this scholarship motivates me to keep improving every day both in school and in life.”

The generous support of alumni and friends makes these scholarships possible. Learn more about supporting the Alumni Association scholarship program.

 

career center

Career Center Introduces New Service

career center

SlingShot Connections and Expandability recruiters meet with student Jessica Puentes at the SJSU Career Center (Brandon Chew photo)

Media Contact: Daniel Newell408-924-6028

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State University Career Center has partnered with two off-campus organizations to take an innovative approach to helping students, alumni and even the general public advance professionally.

SJSU Spartan Staffing operates like an employment agency, actively connecting job seekers and employers with common interests. SlingShot Connections and Expandability provide the personnel who make the connections, working together to serve San Jose State’s diverse community.

We believe San Jose State is the first institution of higher learning in the nation to add the employment agency concept to its suite of career development services,” said Daniel Newell, program manager for workforce and economic development at the SJSU Career Center.

A Unique Opportunity

“This unique opportunity will be of enormous assistance to our students, alumni and area employers,” Newell continued. “The SJSU service is facilitated by private organizations that are nimble and adapt at the pace of industry to meet regional needs.”

SJSU Spartan Staffing complements the Career Center’s many other services, which take students from choosing a major to fine tuning resumes to attending interviews and job fairs. The new service brings together job seekers with specific employers. This comes at no cost to the job seeker. The employer remits a fee, typically a percentage of a new hire’s salary. 

There are benefits for community members as well. SJSU Spartan Staffing offers positions that go unfilled by students and alumni to local residents, in collaboration with organizations such as the Veterans Administration, the California Department of Rehabilitation, and the American Job Center.

At the same time, SJSU Spartan Staffing supports businesses of all sizes. For example, the service can serve as the employer of record for small businesses, handling workers’ compensation, state and federal tax allocations as well as liability and unemployment insurance.

Connecting Students With Start-ups

In addition, SJSU Spartan Staffing levels the playing field for start-ups, giving these emerging businesses the opportunity to compete for talent with more prominent employers. The service does this by utilizing corporate recruiters to identify, attract, and recruit for opportunities with companies that would otherwise be unfamiliar to students.

Ancillary services include assistance with visa requirements for international students, academic credit requirements for interns, and federal law compliance, which calls upon contractors to provide opportunities to the disabled, a specialty of Expandability. 

Slingshot and Expandability receive 90 percent of the revenue, with Spartan Staffing taking the remaining 10 percent. More than 20 employers have signed on in the technology, medical device, health care, education and government sectors. Approximately 75 percent of the placements have been full-time positions and 25 percent have been internships.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

Social Work Major Receives Top CSU Honor

Today-Inpost-david-090214

A straight-A student, David Elliott plans to pursue a master’s in social work so that he can work with youths who are involved with social services or the justice system (Photo: Thomas Sanders, ’15 MFA Photography).

Media contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – In 2007, David Elliott was paroled from Folsom State Prison after a period of incarceration that resulted from a lifelong battle with drug addiction.

“Everything I owned fit into a backpack,” he said.

Now a San Jose State senior majoring in social work, Elliott has received the California State University system’s highest honor for students who overcome incredible odds to attend college.

As the 2014-15 Trustee Emeritus William Hauck Scholar, one of 23 CSU Trustees Awards for Outstanding Achievement, Elliott will fly to the chancellor’s office in Long Beach on Sept. 9 to pick up the award and meet the other recipients.

Extraordinary Commitment

While their commitment, drive and perseverance are extraordinary, these students are like thousands more who look to the CSU each year for high-quality, accessible, affordable educational opportunities.

After leaving Folsom, Elliott became homeless and lived at a shelter in San Jose. Fearing that he would turn to drugs again, he asked his parole officer for help and was placed into a drug treatment program.

Six years later, Elliott is completely clean and sober and works for the program that helped save his life. As a chemical dependency technician, he assists people in some of their darkest times by supervising their medical detox and encouraging them to continue treatment.

He has also served for four years as a volunteer facilitation and facility coordinator of a drug and alcohol support group at a local homeless shelter for people with mental health and substance abuse problems.

A Second Chance

“All of this work is an attempt to repay what has been given to me: a second chance,” he said.

A straight-A student, Elliott plans to pursue a master’s in social work so that he can work with youths who are involved with social services or the justice system.

“I have found a path leading to a career that employs me in useful service to others,” Elliott said.

The late William Hauck, ’63 social studies, served as deputy chief of staff to Governor Pete Wilson and chief of staff to Assembly speakers Bob Morretti and Willie L. Brown, Jr. The Hauck endowment will provide $6,000 to this year’s CSU Trustees Award recipient.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

 

Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program

Five Reasons to be a Proud Spartan

Five engineering students experienced 15 minutes of zero gravity flight in Houston this summer. The SJSU team’s research proposal, selected by NASA from more than 60 proposals, gave the students the opportunity to design, build, fly and test their experiments aboard an aircraft dubbed the “Weightless Wonder.” And the experience? “Phenomenal, exhilarating, amazing!” students report.

Paul Clerkin

Willing to travel thousands of miles out to sea, graduate student Paul Clerkin discovered eight shark species (Save Our Seas Foundation image).

Featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week”: a new species of shark and the Moss Landing Marine Labs master’s degree candidate Paul Clerkin who discovered the animal during a research trip to the Indian Ocean. Included in the program are glimpses of the as-yet-named shark, the size of a watermelon with purple fins and a “venomous, barbed spine.”

How many inspire a Hollywood film? Bob Ladouceur, ’77 Criminal Justice, former head football coach at De La Salle High School, has spent the last several months walking red carpets, being interviewed by “Entertainment Tonight” and attending premieres of When the Game Stands Tall, a film about Coach Ladouceur and De La Salle’s historic 151-game winning streak. Actor Jim Caviezel portrays Ladouceur in the film. 

To become a performer, the late comic genius Robin Williams had to overcome a crippling case of shyness. First step: joining his high school drama club. For his 1997 film Flubber, Williams came to San Jose. Sharp-eyed Spartans will recognize several city and campus locations that made the film’s final cut.

Spartan football alums David Quessenberry (Houston Texans), ’12 History, and James Jones (Oakland Raiders) aren’t acquainted with the word “quit.” Jones, a sociology major who recently returned to the San Jose homeless shelter where he and his mother lived for several months, shared the story of his own escape from poverty with residents. “You’re here, but this isn’t the end,” he assured them. Battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the 6-foot-five, 307-pound Quessenberry is inspired by the support of teammates and fans. “I wake up every day knowing that I have an army behind me,” he said. “It motivates me to fight even harder.”

 

 

SJSU Breaks Ground on Residence Hall

Campus Village 2

An artist’s rendering of Campus Village 2.

Media contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – Seeking to modernize student housing and foster a sense of community, San Jose State has broken ground on a residence hall.

“Campus Village 2 was designed to support student learning and activities,” said Victor Culatta, director of University Housing Services. 

The building will accommodate 850 students over ten floors. Current plans call for the building to open to freshmen in fall 2016.

The 193,000-square-foot tower is under construction in the southeast corner of campus, near existing housing including the first phase of Campus Village, completed in 2005.

Fostering Community

University Housing Services worked with Facilities Development and Operations to envision living spaces that will support social interaction.

Residential units will be organized in L-shaped wings of 25 double-occupancy bedrooms, with two wings per floor. The rooms will open onto shared halls, encouraging residents to get to know each other.

Each residential floor will feature a quiet study room, an activity room and a laundry room. Offices and meetings space for student groups and the university community as a whole will be on the first two floors.

Courtyards on the east and west side of the building will be available for student activities. Decorative details will evoke a strong sense of historical continuity and campus connections.

Exterior accent walls will feature a brick facade reminiscent of the traditional, three-story dorms. Inside, plans call for décor featuring symbols of school spirit and iconic landmarks such as Tower Hall.

Overall, Campus Village 2 will achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver equivalency standards, including a good deal of natural lighting.

Promoting Student Success

“Studies have demonstrated that on-campus residential living plays a significant role in promoting student engagement and improving academic success and student retention,” SJSU said when securing approval for the project from the California State University Board of Trustees.

The architect is Solomon Cordwell Buenz and the design-build contractor is Sundt Construction.

The budget is $126.1 million, and will be financed through the CSU Systemwide Revenue Bond Program and from housing program reserves. Housing revenue will repay the bond financing.

The new residence hall’s completion will clear the way for the next step in efforts to update the southeast corner of campus. Plans call for an expanded aquatics and recreation center that will cover space currently occupied by two traditional dorms dating back to 1960.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

 

 

 

Dwight Bentel Hall

Dwight Bentel Hall Reopens

Dwight Bentel Hall

Dwight Bentel Hall (Bruce Cramer photo)

Media contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – Dwight Bentel Hall will reopen for classes on Tuesday, Sept. 2. Faculty and staff who requested temporary office space elsewhere on campus will return as well.

I am grateful to Facilities Development and Operations staff and the work crews that worked diligently to address this situation, and to the affected faculty, staff and students for their patience,” said Andrew Hale Feinstein, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Repair crews have completed virtually all repairs related to water damage that resulted from a steam valve leak. A few remedial steps remain, but they should not materially affect building occupants.

Independent air quality tests on Wednesday determined that being inside DBH poses “no greater risk of exposure to fungal spores than the general public walking on campus in the outdoor air.”

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

 

SJSU Begins 2014-15 Academic Year

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The east wing of the Student Union is open. On the first floor are eight new eateries and beautiful indoor and outdoor seating areas line the first floor (Stan Olszewski photo).

Blue skies greeted more than 32,000 students and 4,500 faculty and staff members for the start of San Jose State’s 2014-15 academic year.

The crowd included 3,500 first-time freshmen, 3,700 new undergraduate transfers, 2,000 new graduate students and 33 new tenure-track faculty members.

The arrival of so many tenure-track faculty members shows the benefit of a stable budget and signals a strong commitment to long-term planning.

Helping newcomers

In addition, SJSU is extending a special welcome to 80 transfers from National Hispanic University. Orientation events held during the summer should help everyone settle in.

If anyone needs a hand, “Ask Me” volunteers are once again stationed outdoors throughout campus. 

Do we have an app for that? Yes, we do! SJSU Guide is loaded with information including a campus map.

Downloading the guide? You’ll find campus WiFi now covers very close to all six million square feet of classroom and office space.

Perhaps the most visible change for those arriving this week–from the parking garages, Park & Ride Lot or alternative transportation–is the construction.

Facility improvements

Yes! Our 150-year-old campus is receiving a major renovation.

The east wing of the Student Union is open. On the first floor are eight new eateries and beautiful indoor and outdoor seating areas line the first floor.

A gleaming new ballroom large enough for 850 dinner guests is open on the second floor.

In addition, the Spartan Bookstore has moved into temporary digs in the east wing while the rest of the Student Union is completed.

Meanwhile, construction crews are putting finishing touches on Yoshihiro Uchida Hall. The exterior walls are up on the Student Health and Counseling Center.

Also on the way are a new dormitory and new landscaping for the Art Building, Sweeney Hall and El Paseo de Cesar Chavez (check out the beautiful new palm trees!).

Major events

Later this term, the Student Union will host two special guests speakers: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and bestselling novelist Khaled Hosseini.

Tower Lawn remains a gorgeous green, thanks to recycled water that has reduced SJSU’s potable water consumption by 45 percent annually.

So Tower Lawn will be the place to be this term for many gatherings including the Spartan Squad kick-off 6 p.m. Aug. 27 and the Student Organization Fair 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 3.

Both of these events are part of Fall Welcome Days, a series of outstanding opportunities to reach out, meet people and learn something in the process.

Also coming up this week is Spartan Football’s season opener against North Dakota. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Aug. 28. Go early, get a Bill Walsh bobble head, and then stay for the fireworks.

Admission to home football games is free for all students with a Tower ID card. The president has extended a very similar offer to all faculty and staff (check your email!).

Staying safe

Speaking of major events, there is nothing like a 6.0-magnitude trembler the day before classes begin to send the message that safety comes first.

The University Police Department keeps in touch with campus via Alert-SJSU (update your contact information now) and offers an Evening Guide Escort Program and Evening Shuttle.

UPD’s website contains lots of prevention and preparedness information. The Spartans for Safety website also consolidates many services available at SJSU.

 

SJSU Outdoor Adventures Unites Students

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Backpackers at Hetch Hetchy Damn after trek from Rancheria Falls, Yosemite National Park 2013 (Jay J. Manalo photo).

By Kelly Curtis

Sunset in Hetch Hetchy Valley. Granite hillsides reach toward a lavender sky, pine trees sway in the breeze and tents dot the needle-covered flat at Rancheria Falls backpacker campground. After a six-mile hike, leader Kristine Kirkendall and her group of San Jose State students relax around a fire. They are in Yosemite National Park with the Outdoor Adventures program.

Kirkendall, ’89 Speech Communication, ’11 MA Sports Psychology, is the Associated Students Campus Recreation manager and director of Outdoor Adventures, where students sign up for off-campus trips such as backpacking, kayaking and hiking. The new perspectives gained on these adventures are helping shape a more united SJSU community.

Phil Priolo White Water Rafting 2013 (Phil Priolo photo).

Phil Priolo white water rafting 2013 (Phil Priolo photo).

On her first adventure, senior Janine Tram, learned how much people rely on modern technology. “In nature, people need to do things on their own,” said Tram. “Backpacking in Yosemite taught me it’s hard to live off the land. Now I don’t take home amenities for granted.”

“Experiential learning: take people away from ordinary life, technology and social confines. Make them practice new skills,” said Kirkendall. “Setting up a tent or building a fire for the first time is challenging, but these new experiences grow the whole person.”

Phil Priolo, also a junior, joined Outdoor Adventures because he was seeking more friendship than traditional sports offered. The adventures helped him connect with others because there wasn’t a sense of competition.

“Usually, I’m a wallflower,” Priolo said. “But in an outdoor activity I can be social. It’s a safe environment.”

Kirkendall said social skills are where students grow the fastest. She believes that even though nature is rugged, it’s a place where students don’t feel judged.

“Outdoors,” she said, “students can express themselves. The normal social barriers don’t exist. You have to look people in the eye, speak to them and problem solve.”

On campus, social groups are often founded on cultural differences. Kirkendall acknowledges this is healthy for a diverse student body, but Outdoor Adventures is about uniting the SJSU community.

Erika Ghose overlooking Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Yosemite National Park 2013. (Kevin Brown photo)

Erika Ghose overlooking Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Yosemite National Park 2013 (Kevin Brown photo).

“On trips, everyone is responsible for their own food,” she said. “People show up with Taiwanese lettuce wraps or Korean noodles. Someone always has curry. They share everything. Sharing makes a stronger community.”

Erika Ghose, a junior, lost count of her adventures. Her appreciation for what she calls “The Big Quiet,” has helped enlarge her circle of friends.

“On campus, we rarely make deep connections,” Ghose said. “On adventures, I see the other side of people, the raw person. I hear their stories and experience the world with them.”

As if an appreciation for nature, more self-confidence and a greater sense of community weren’t enough, Ghose said the outdoors help her decompress from academic life.

“The Big Quiet,” she said, “is the stillness and peace of nature. I can’t help but sit and listen, which sounds ironic. Who listens to the quiet? It’s something that’s understood away from the city and the chaos, out in the sun and the mountains, surrounded by trees.”

Admitted Spartan Day

More than 3,500 admitted students and 7,000 family members attended Admitted Spartan Day on April 12. This year’s annual event included a keynote address by SJSU alumnus and Mayor Evan Low of Campbell as well as campus tours, informational workshops and a campus resource fair comprised of 85 departments and student organizations. Over 250 campus community members welcomed our newly admitted class to campus.