Once in a Lifetime: Professor Participates in NASA’s Cassini-Huygens Mission

Professor Essam Marouf, an original member of NASA's Radio Science Team for the Cassini-Huygens Mission, meets with the media on Sept. 13 in the Engineering building on the grounds of SJSU. (James Tensuan/San Jose State University)

Professor Essam Marouf in his lab (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Photojournalism).

One of the most remarkable space explorations ever conducted is coming to an end on Sept. 15, and a San Jose State professor has played an important role.

“It has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, providing more knowledge than what was known before by orders of magnitude,” Professor of Electrical Engineering Essam Marouf said. “It changed the way we think about giant planets.”

Design work for the Cassini-Huygens Mission began 26 years ago with the goal of providing mankind its first close-up view of Saturn and its rings, atmosphere and moons.

The 22-foot-long spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral in 1997, and spent the next seven years traveling to Saturn.

Marouf is one of the original members of the Cassini Radio Science Team, which used radio waves to learn about the Saturn system. The Huygens probe even landed on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons.

Professor Essam Marouf, an original member of NASA's Radio Science Team for the Cassini-Huygens Mission, meets with the media on Sept. 13 in the Engineering building on the grounds of SJSU. (James Tensuan/San Jose State University)

Professor Marouf is interviewed by Mercury News reporter Lisa Krieger (James Tensuan, ’15 Photojournalism).

From his lab right here at SJSU, Marouf and his students have been analyzing data collected by Cassini, making important discoveries, along with scientists from 26 nations.

Among the most significant is the discovery of a methane sea on Titan, described by NASA as strikingly similar to Earth in a deep freeze of minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit.

Many news reporters came to campus Sept. 13 to interview Marouf before he departed for Pasadena, where he will witness the disintegration of Cassini.

The spacecraft is almost out of fuel, so operators are deliberately plunging Cassini into Saturn to ensure its moons will remain pristine for future exploration.

“I have mixed emotions,” said Marouf, who has celebrated Cassini milestones with his family including his wife, daughter and two granddaughters.

“Part of me is sad because the last 26 years have been an integral part of my daily life, planning experiments and analyzing data.”

Department of Counselor Education Message

Editor’s note: This was emailed to the department on Aug. 24, 2017.

Hello Counselor Education Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As some of you know, the EDCO department will undertake a complete review of its program offerings and departmental structures during the 2017-2018 academic year.  Such an undertaking will occur in response to student input collected during the Spring, 2017 semester and data collected from recent program graduates. Students (and faculty members) have expressed myriad concerns about, for example, the department’s admissions, advising, course offerings, communications, instructional quality, curriculum, program reputation, and student-faculty dynamics.  More recently, other concerns have been raised which also deserve to be addressed.  We have taken short-term steps to respond to the immediate concerns.  Our long-term goal is to carefully examine and work toward repairing all concerns within this department.

Please know that I welcome student input that helps the EDCO program repair its program offerings, processes, and structures.  To that end, students will be invited to attend two meetings in mid-September that focus on the 2017-2018 departmental plan for helping EDCO move forward. Additional information about the meetings will be forthcoming.

Thank you,

Paul W. Cascella, Ph.D., CCC
Interim Dean, Lurie College of Education

SJSU Receives $2.5 Million from Business Leaders Gloria and Michael Chiang

Gloria and Michael Chiang (photo courtesy of the Chiangs)

Gloria and Michael Chiang (photo courtesy of the Chiangs)

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

SAN JOSE, CA — San Jose State University is pleased to announce that it has received a $2.5 million gift commitment from South Bay business leaders Gloria and Michael Chiang. The gift will support scholarships and pre-professional endeavors at the Don and Sally Lucas College and Graduate School of Business. A proud alumna, Gloria Chiang holds two degrees from SJSU.

“On behalf of San Jose State University, I would like to express my profound gratitude to Gloria and Michael Chiang for their generous gift,” said Lucas College and Graduate School of Business Dean Dan Moshavi. “It is especially touching when a graduate expresses gratitude for the wonderful opportunities she has enjoyed by supporting others so they may experience the same.”

Two Full-Ride Scholarships

The Gloria and Michael Chiang Scholarship will provide full-ride, renewable annual scholarships to two undergraduate students majoring in business who have demonstrated academic excellence and financial need.  In addition, the Chiangs have committed to providing financial support for the business college’s new Professional and Career Readiness initiative.

“This gift will help us begin to scale touch points so that every student in the college has multiple professional development experiences,” Moshavi said.

From Backpack to Briefcase

The Professional and Career Readiness initiative takes business students from backpack to briefcase through integrated curricular and co-curricular offerings that enhance their professional and soft skills. Examples include business etiquette and job search skills.

“Gloria and Michael Chiang’s gift to the endowment fund managed by the Tower Foundation of San Jose State University will enhance our ability to provide consistent and lasting support for our students as they prepare to enter the workforce and contribute to our community and the world beyond,” said Vice President for Advancement and Tower Foundation CEO Paul Lanning.

Outstanding Student, Proud Alumna

Gloria Chiang earned a bachelor’s in business administration in 1978 and an M.B.A. in 1979 from SJSU. An excellent student, she was elected to the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

“I was lucky enough to have attended SJSU when tuition was free, and I realize how expensive it is nowadays to go to college, especially after my experience with helping a niece through her graduate degrees.  I think even student loans are outrageously expensive and onerous,” Gloria Chiang said.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to establish a scholarship fund at the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business.  Being able to be in a position to help some deserving students attain their goals in college gives me and my husband great satisfaction,” she continued.

Chiang went on to a successful career in business and banking before serving as chief financial officer for DKB Homes and Charles W. Davidson Co. In addition, she serves as president of the Davidson Family Foundation.

All three organizations were founded by real estate developer Charles W. Davidson, himself an SJSU graduate. Davidson earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering in 1957, and made a $15 million gift to SJSU in 2007. The College of Engineering was named in his honor.


About San Jose State University

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

With more than 33,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

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

SJSU Students Join Nationwide Solar Eclipse Weather Data Project

SJSU meteorology lecturer Arthur Eiserloh and a student team, under the supervision of Professor Sen Chiao, will travel to Oregon, where they will take radiosonde measurements during the eclipse. (James Tensuan/San Jose State University)

SJSU meteorology lecturer Arthur Eiserloh (right of the monitor) and a student team prepare to study the eclipse (Photos: James Tensuan, ’15 Photojournalism).

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

SAN JOSE, CA — San Jose State University students will travel to Oregon to be among the first researchers in the nation to measure atmospheric conditions during the total solar eclipse Aug. 21.

NBC Bay Area catches a demo.

NBC Bay Area catches a demo.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our meteorology students to investigate how the atmosphere responds during a brief disruption in the sun’s energy. They will be part of the most well-documented and most studied total solar eclipse so far,” said Arthur Eiserloh, lecturer in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science.

The SJSU group will team up with students from Oregon Coast Community College in Newport, Ore. They will release eight radiosonde devices. Each device will be carried by a balloon to various levels of the atmosphere and will transmit measurements by radio. The team will study air temperature, air pressure, moisture and winds.

Lecturer Arthur Eiserloh and a student team, including Arianna Jordan (second from the right) study the radiosonde instrument (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Photojournalism).

Eiserloh and students, including Arianna Jordan (second from the right) study the radiosonde instrument.

“When I first heard about this project, it seemed like a really good opportunity. Projects like this motivate people in STEM majors,” said Arianna Jordan, ’18 Meteorology and Climate Science. “It’s going to be a really amazing experience and I’m excited to share what we find with the world.”

The San Jose-Oregon team members are joining students from 13 universities nationwide in the Solar Eclipse Radiosonde Project. The SJSU group is working under the auspices of the SJSU Center for Applied Atmospheric Research and Education, directed by Sen Chiao, associate professor of meteorology and climate science.

The center is a NASA Minority University Research and Education Project, which seeks to support underrepresented minorities in atmospheric-related disciplines, including meteorology, climate, physics, hydrology, public health, and engineering, at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Eiserloh and students practice using instruments that will measure the meteorological impact of the eclipse.

Eiserloh and students practice using instruments that will measure the meteorological impact of the eclipse.


About San Jose State University

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

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

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

A 1973 Graduate Returns to Participate in Commencement

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

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

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

Musquez family 2017

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

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

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

Achieving the American Dream

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

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

Musquez family today

The Musquez family today.

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

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

Family man

Jesse Musquez in cap and gown

Jesse Musquez in cap and gown.

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

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

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

Conference Aims to Attract More Women to Tech Careers

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

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

By Barry Zepel, Contributing Writer

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

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

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

Record attendance

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keynote speakers

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

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

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

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

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

“Be brutally honest with yourself”

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

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

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

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

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

“Pay it forward”

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

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

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

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

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

“Your goals and success can be reached”

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

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

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

World-Renowned Playwright Luis Valdez to Receive the Tower Award

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Father of Chicano Theater

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

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

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

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

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


About San José State University

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

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Admission is free and the public is invited.

Students tackling pressing issues

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

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

Concepts to be exhibited by the SJSU teams include:

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

A skateboard that generates electricity

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

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

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

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

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

Collaborating with industry

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

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

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

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

 


About San José State University

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

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

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

 

 

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

Maxine Hong Kingston (photo by Alexander Warnow)

Maxine Hong Kingston (photo by Alexander Warnow)

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

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

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

Schedule of events

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

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

Sponsors

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


About San José State University

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

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

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

 

 

Alumnus, World Renowned Sociologist Remembers Carrie Fisher

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

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

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

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

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

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

King Library Photo Exhibit Explores Shared Experiences of Discrimination and Resilience

exhibit photo

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

Living in an Unfinished America

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

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

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

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

Journalism Students Gain Practical Experience on Election Night

SJSU students Stephanie Gersh and Lloyd Alaban help NBC Bay Area Digital Editor Kris Noceda finalize election night stories (Photo: Jennifer Gonzalez, '17 Journalism and English).

SJSU students Stephanie Gersh and Lloyd Alaban help NBC Bay Area Digital Editor Kris Noceda finalize election night stories (Photo: Jennifer Gonzalez, ’17 Journalism and English).

As the votes were being counted and reported on election night 2016, graduate students from the SJSU School of Journalism and Mass Communications played a part in one local television station’s extensive coverage.

Thirteen students in Mass Communications 210: Media & Social Issues volunteered to help NBC Bay Area news staff members gather and report the latest developments as they happened.

“Our grad students come from many academic backgrounds,” Professor Bob Rucker said. “This will give them an up close, eye-opening and unique media learning experience on one of the busiest and most exciting nights in the TV news business.”

NBC Bay Area Vice President of News Stephanie Adrouny and Professor Rucker planned the joint project weeks ahead of time. On Nov. 1, newsroom Executive Producer Dan Pyryt visited the class and explained to students how they would be helping individual newsroom producers and reporters identify and share late-breaking election developments, address voter concerns called into the station, and support NBC social media reporting efforts that night.

While on campus, Pyryt also met with several staff members of the Spartan Daily student newspaper, and congratulated them on their efforts. He told the student staff members and Professor Rucker’s class that the NBC Bay Area news team reads the campus newspaper every day, and many times they develop SJSU stories after reading the student reporting.

The long-time motto of the SJSU journalism program is “Learn by Doing.” Rucker, a former CNN correspondent and NBC local news election night anchor and reporter in Philadelphia, covered the 1980 Ronald Reagan-Jimmy Carter vote count.

“I will never forget how thrilling it was to be a part of that history making evening,” Rucker said.

 

Bay Area Media Turn to SJSU on Election Night 2016

Sergio Bejar-Lopez, Melinda Jackson, Larry Gerston and Garrick Percival. Photo Illustration: SJSU Strategic Communications and Public Affairs

Sharing their expertise with millions of television viewers and radio listeners will be professors Sergio Bejar-Lopez, Melinda Jackson, Larry Gerston and Garrick Percival. Photo Illustration: SJSU Strategic Communications and Public Affairs

San Jose State University political science professors will be sharing their expertise with millions of television viewers and radio listeners across the Bay Area on election night. Four professors will be providing reaction and expert commentary on six television and radio stations Nov. 8 and 9.

Our political science faculty is excited to be able to share its expertise with the community,” said Melinda Jackson, department chair. “SJSU has a long tradition of engaged scholarship and public service, one of the things we love about teaching here.”

How to Tune In

Associate Professor Jackson will appear on ABC affiliate KGO-TV on election night beginning at 8 p.m. She will also offer post-election analysis the next morning on KGO-TV’s newscasts.

Assistant Professor Sergio Bejar-Lopez will be on-set analyzing the election for Telemundo affiliate KSTS-TV and Univision affiliate KDTV-TV.

For the 36th year, Professor Emeritus Larry Gerston will share his political expertise with NBC Bay Area viewers and KCBS radio listeners.

Associate Professor Garrick Percival will offer analysis of some of the 17 propositions on this year’s ballot with Fox affiliate KTVU and others. 

A Wealth of Knowledge

“We are especially proud of the fact that so many of our department’s faculty members have been asked to provide political analysis on the important issues and races at the local, state and national level this year,” Professor Jackson said. “We have a wealth of expert knowledge on this campus!”

Labor Activist and MacArthur Fellow Baldemar Velásquez to Deliver Human Rights Lecture

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Event Poster

Media Contact:
Professor William Armaline, william.armaline@sjsu.edu

We are elated to announce the Fall 2016 Human Rights Lecture Event, Economic Human Rights and the Dignity of Working People, on Oct. 27 and 28 at San José State University. Please visit our site for registration and tickets.

This year’s event is a collaborative effort, led by the SJSU Human Rights Program and MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center, the California Association of Human Relations Organizations [CAHRO], the Santa Clara County Human Relations Commission [SCC HRC], and SCC Office of Human Relations [SCC OHR]. Students, educators, activists, public officials, community members, and human relations commissioners from across California are invited to the SJSU main campus for two days of talks, workshops, and organizing activities on economic human rights, discrimination, and effective practices for realizing human rights in the workplace and our communities at-large.

DAY 1 (Thur., Oct. 27) features the Annual Human Rights Keynote Lecture by Farm Labor Organizing Committee [FLOC] President, MacArthur Fellow, AFL-CIO Executive Council member, and internationally recognized organizer Baldemar Velásquez. The keynote talk will be held at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) in Morris Dailey Auditorium, and is open to all with a free ticket.

DAY 2 (Fri., Oct. 28) features the CAHRO Bi-Annual Human Relations Conference, including workshops, plenary talks, and lunch keynote presentation by the Kirwan Institute’s Robin Wright (The Ohio State University), a nationally recognized researcher and expert on how to address implicit bias in the public sector. Multiple ticketing options are available for students, faculty, community members, and CAHRO members for Day 2 plenaries and workshops.

For event updates and coverage, follow us on Twitter. Join the conversation using our hashtag, #EconHumanRights2016.

We hope you can join us for what will be an informative and inspiring conference on economic human rights in California!


About San José State University

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

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

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

 

Celebration of Life Set for Dr. Gus Lease

Dr. Gus Lease, a beloved faculty member of San Jose State University who taught music for 66 years in the College of Humanities and Arts School of Music and Dance, passed away on Sept 4. He was 93.

A celebration of life for Dr. Gus Lease will be held Saturday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m. in the Concert Hall (Music 176) at SJSU.

“Gus loved San Jose State University and his students, so much so that he simply didn’t want to leave or ever retire,” said Janet Averett, the associate director of Music and Dance at SJSU.

Even after his retirement and attainment of emeritus professor status, Lease continued to teach in the School of Music and Dance, as well as the history department.

Averett first met Lease in 1986, when he was chair of the music department. Lease had hired her straight out of graduate school from the University of Michigan. Averett said that she was young and felt alone after her cross-country move.

“I was very appreciative of the hospitality that he and his wife Lois displayed in having me over for dinner at their lovely home in the east San Jose foothills,” she said. “He was always very supportive of me.”

Before coming to SJSU in 1950, Lease taught vocal music at the University of Colorado and the University of Oklahoma. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music from Morningside College, a master’s in music from the University of Colorado, and his Ed.D. from the University of South Dakota.

Throughout his years at SJSU, Lease was dedicated to expanding musical opportunities on campus. He organized and directed a 350-voice chorale ensemble in 1950, which performed many oratorios and cantatas. In 1955, he founded the first Men’s Glee Club at the university. Lease served as chair of the Department of Music from 1982-1989.

Lease raised many Spartan spirits with his rendition of the alma mater “Hail, Spartans Hail,” along with the national anthem, through the years. He performed as vocal soloist at more than 63 homecoming football games and 65 commencement ceremonies.

“Gus was a loyal Spartan who was dedicated to enhancing SJSU through music,” said Provost Andy Feinstein. “He always brought a smile to my face when I saw him because of his enthusiasm and his good-natured sense of humor.”

The Director of the School of Music and Dance, Fred Cohen, added, “Gus was a direct link to the storied and proud past of the Department of Music at SJSU. He often shared memorabilia from his days as professor and chair, from newspaper articles about the new music building in the 1950s to his personal minutes from faculty meetings in the 1960s-70s. Gus always had a story to tell, and I inevitably walked away from a conversation with a greater sense of the wonderful and life-changing accomplishments achieved during the long history of music at SJSU.”

Averett said, “I especially admired the fact that nothing ever seemed to get him down,” noting that he bounced back after a serious car accident left him with hip injuries that affected him for the rest of this life. “He proudly walked to his office and classroom every day he was on campus, even with the aid of a walker, always with a smile.”

Beyond campus, Lease remained active in his craft. He was a member of the San Francisco Opera Company, and for 17 years he produced “The Gus Lease Show,” which performed on military bases throughout the world. He was the music director of the San Jose downtown Kiwanis Club for more than 50 years, and served as music director at many churches.

Lease’s community service extended beyond music. He was past president of the Tennessee Ernie Ford Chapter of the Air Force Association and past vice president of the Santa Clara County Navy League. His awards include “National Outstanding Professor” from Vector Marketing, as well as awards from the Department of the Army. He was active in the California Faculty Association, California State Employees Association, California Teachers Association, California State Retirees, and the National Education Association.

For more information about the celebration of life scheduled for October 1, please call the School of Music and Dance Office at 408-924-4673.

 

SJSU Student William “Billy” Nguyen

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Sept. 19, 2016.

Dear Campus Community,

I am writing with a heavy heart to let you know that second-year kinesiology major William “Billy” Nguyen, a San Jose native, passed away Saturday while hiking in Sequoia National Park with a group of fellow SJSU students and staff members as part of SJSU’s Outdoor Adventures recreation program (read the National Park Service release).

Members of the traveling party were swimming in a lake when Billy reportedly struggled and sank beneath the water’s surface. The group tried unsuccessfully to rescue him. A search and rescue team has recovered his body; the Tulare County Medical Examiner is determining the cause of death.

Along with counseling and other university staff, I was on campus to meet the traveling party when their bus returned Sunday evening. As one would imagine, they have been badly shaken by this tragedy. I assured them that the SJSU community is and will continue to be here for them.

Our students and staff acted with remarkable courage, composure and thoughtfulness. On behalf of the entire university community, I want them to know how proud we are of them.

Billy was an Outdoor Adventures student assistant who completed a training course last year so that he could serve as a student leader this year. He was among five staff members on this trip.

He has been described to me as someone who, while sometimes reserved, loved group activities and wanted to inspire others to join in and be active. His interests included fitness and outdoors activities. He enjoyed working out and getting others to do the same.

Earlier today I spoke personally with Billy’s mother. As your president and as a parent, I am heartbroken for the Nguyen family and for all who knew and loved their son. Please keep Billy, his family and friends in your thoughts and your hearts during this difficult time. Counseling services are available if you need them.

Mary A. Papazian
President

Francisco Jiménez to Receive Steinbeck Award

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

SAN JOSE, CA – Educator, author, and advocate for social justice Francisco Jiménez will receive the John Steinbeck Award at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) on Wednesday, September 28, in the Student Union Theater at San Jose State University. A highlight of the university’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the event will feature a conversation between Jiménez and Chicano political cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz.

Proceeds from the event benefit SJSU’s Cesar E. Chavez Community Action Center. Camino Arts, a non-profit arts initiative, is a pro bono co-producer of this event. Tickets ($20 general, $10 student) are available at the Event Center Box Office (408-924-6333) or at ticketmaster.com.

Like the Joad family in Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath, the Jiménez family came to California looking for a better life but found mostly hardship and struggle. Born in Mexico in 1943, Jiménez spent much of his childhood moving around California with no permanent home or regular schooling. Against incredible odds he went on to earn a Ph.D. and become a professor at his alma mater, Santa Clara University. His accolades include the CASE/Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year in 2002.

His critically-acclaimed books for young readers, including The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child, have given voice to families like his and introduced a generation of American children to the plight of migrant laborers in our country.

More information is available on the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies’ website.

SJSU Hosts Celebration of Life for Charlie Whitcomb

Dr. Charlie Whitcomb

Dr. Charlie Whitcomb

Dr. Charles (Charlie) Whitcomb, a beloved member of the SJSU community for more than four decades, passed away July 15. He earned two degrees from San Jose State, and then served as a faculty member, department chair and academic leader.

At his request, a celebration of life will be held on campus in the Music Concert Hall on July 25, at 11 a.m., with a reception to follow immediately (directions to campus and parking).

In lieu of flowers, friends can donate to the Charlie Whitcomb Scholarship Fund. Gifts can be made online or by mail (Tower Foundation of SJSU, One Washington Square, San Jose, Calif., 95192-0183).

Statesman

His impact is readily apparent from the many personal reflections and expressions of affection for Whitcomb received since his family shared news of his passing.

“He was the kindest person you ever met,” said Jessica Larsen, who worked with him in the Provost’s Office. “He was always positive, cheerful and never said anything bad about anybody. He always took bad situations and found the goodness in it.”

Larsen noted that he was an advocate for SJSU students from less fortunate backgrounds, who didn’t have as many opportunities.

“I will always remember his smile,” she said. “That is how I remember him.”

Devoted to diversity

Whitcomb was especially devoted to diversity and his passion is reflected in his many speaking engagements during his tenure as a faculty member and chair. He presented on issues related to diversity and athletics at multiple National Collegiate Athletic Association events and served as SJSU’s NCAA faculty representative for 20 years. In 1991, Whitcomb was appointed the first chair of the NCAA’s Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee. The group was, by any measure, incredibly impactful during his 10-year tenure.

In addition, he served on dozens of college and university-wide committees, including the University Commencement Committee, the Accommodations Review Board, the University Campus Climate Committee, Academic Senate and multiple search committees, among others.

He started his distinguished career at SJSU in 1971 as a faculty member in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies (now part of Health Science and Recreation), serving as a department chair from 1988 to 2002. He was appointed executive assistant to the provost in 2003, eventually serving as vice provost of academic administration and personnel through his retirement in 2012.

He earned two degrees from SJSU: a bachelor’s in Justice Studies with a minor in Psychology in 1971 and a master’s in Recreation Management in 1975, before going on to earn his doctorate in higher education from the University of Northern Colorado.

Positive and hopeful spirit

Those who knew him best describe Whitcomb as bringing a positive and hopeful spirit to every situation, with an infectious laugh and smile, and an unwavering dedication to our students.

“He took with him his fun, playful spirit, his undeniable dedication to SJSU for over 44 years, his belief in dignity and justice across all people, his love of students, athletes, faculty, staff and friends, regardless of race,” said colleague Dr. Kate Sullivan, a hospitality management professor. “He listened AND he heard. So many considered him a friend on this campus! I will always see his smile and hear his laughter and remember all the things he taught me as my dear mentor over the last 28 years.”

Before joining SJSU as a tenure-track faculty member in 1972, he worked as a counselor for Santa Clara County Juvenile Probation Department Children’s Shelter for six years. He was involved with many community organizations as well. He served on the board of directors for the National Park and Recreation Association from 1978 to 1981 and as a board director with Community Kids to Camp from 1985 to 1988,

 

SJSU Names 2016 Outstanding Thesis

Amanda Feldman

Amanda Feldman

Amanda Feldman is the 2016 Outstanding Thesis Award recipient, in recognition of the quality of her research. She will be recognized at Commencement, beginning at 9:30 a.m. May 28 in Spartan Stadium.

Feldman’s interest in sharp force trauma research was spurred by “the magnitude of the domestic violence problem in America” and the prevalence of knife attacks in these cases.

Learning that domestic disputes accounted for the majority of knife-related homicides, Feldman’s study included research about the motives and mindsets of perpetrators, which she hopes “will contribute to the improvement of validation standards in forensic studies.”

While researching her award-winning thesis, “From Trauma to Trial: Proposing New Methods for Examining the Variability of Sharp Force Trauma on Bone,” Feldman says she “became passionate about collaborating with students.”

Having graduated with a master’s in applied anthropology in December, She plans to pursue a Ph.D. and become a professor.