SJSU in the News: 100th Birthday Party Doubles as Women’s Golf Fundraiser

Pizarro: San Jose woman celebrating 100th birthday with a round of golf

Originally published by the San Jose Mercury News Oct. 26, 2011.

By Sal Pizarro

There should be quite a celebration at the San Jose Country Club on Thursday for Ida Pieracci’s 100th birthday.

She’s been a member of the club since 1964, so it’s only fitting that the festivities will begin with a morning golf tournament, followed by lunch and a party.

Pieracci, who grew up on a farm in the Berryessa area, started playing golf in the 1950s at the Hillview course that was razed to make room for Reid-Hillview Airport. Pieracci has notched 11 holes-in-one since she started playing and still gets in 18 holes twice a week. I’ve heard that until a few years ago, she still walked the course and carried her own clubs.

Donations are being raised at the birthday party that will be given to the San Jose State women’s golf program in Pieracci’s name.

SJSU nisei commencement

California State University Unveils Nisei Diploma Project Videos

SJSU nisei commencement

SJSU's nisei honorary degree recipients enter Spartan Stadium in May 2010 (photo by Bob Bain).

Contacts:
Colleen Bentley
, (562) 951-4801
Kim Shibata, (562) 951-4811

(October 18, 2011) – Nearly 70 years after Executive Order 9066 forced 250 California State University students to leave their campuses without completing their degrees, several former students’ stories will be brought to light at various locations the last week of October 2011 with the screenings of the videos “The California State University: Sharing and Celebrating Stories from Nisei Honorary Degree Recipients.”

“The project is a memorial dedicated to the CSU students who were removed from our campuses in 1941-42 and sent to internment camps, unable to complete their educations,” said Colleen Bentley, CSU director of special projects. “The CSU Board of Trustees awarded these students honorary bachelor’s degrees in 2010, and the videos capture the dignity of the ceremonies as well as the celebration of the families.”

The scheduled screenings include:

October 27 – San José
Japanese American Museum of San José (JAMsj)
535 N. Fifth St. San José
4 p.m.

View a complete list of scheduled screenings and read more on the nisei honorary degree recipients.

Alumnus Rings NASDAQ Opening Bell

Alumnus Rings NASDAQ Opening Bell

Alumnus Rings NASDAQ Opening Bell

Eric Kelly rings the opening bell (photo courtesy of his wife Valarie Kelly, political science '82).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

When Overland Storage Inc. visited the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York City’s Times Square Oct. 14, the company’s CEO, an SJSU alumnus, rang the opening bell. Eric Kelly has served as the data protection and management solutions provider’s CEO since January 2009 and as a board member since 2007. Previously, Kelly was president of Silicon Valley Management Partners Inc., a management consulting and M&A advisory firm, which he co-founded in 2007. Mr. Kelly spent nearly 30 years in computer technology developing distinct operational, marketing and sales expertise. His most recent corporate position was vice president and general manager of storage systems solutions at Adaptec, Inc. Prior to that, he served as president and CEO of Snap Appliance, which was acquired by Adaptec. Two years earlier, Kelly engineered the purchase of Snap from Quantum Corp., having recognized the inherent value in Snap, where the main product he drove became the volume market leader in Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances. His previous corporate affiliations include Maxtor Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Diamond Multimedia, Conner Peripherals and IBM. Mr. Kelly earned an M.B.A. from San Francisco State University and a B.S. in Business from San Jose State University.

SJSU in the News: Nonprofit Exec, a Politics Grad, Honored “For What I Believe So Strongly”

Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits exec recognized by United Way

Originally published by the San Jose Mercury News Oct. 7, 2011.

By Mary Gottschalk

Patricia Gardner, a Rose Garden resident, has been recognized by United Way Silicon Valley with its Community Builder Award.

Gardner has served as executive director of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits for the past 10 years.

The council represents more than 200 health and human service nonprofit agencies in Santa Clara County.

In her role, Gardner mobilizes the nonprofit sector and the people they serve to be advocates and to educate policy makers on the importance of the nonprofit sector and the impact of budget reductions on client care. The council works to ensure that government funding is not cut for critical services.

Prior to taking the helm of SVCN, Gardner was development director of AchieveKids.

She earned her B.A. in political science at San Jose State University and her master’s in public administration nonprofits at California State University Hayward.

“To be recognized for what I believe so strongly in for our community is truly an honor. I feel so overwhelmed to receive this honor, given to me by my peers, by my sector, by my friends,” Gardner said.

The annual community breakfast held at Villa Ragusa in Campbell also honored Ned and Jimi Barnholt as philanthropists of the year; Live Oak Adult Day Services with its partner agency excellence award; and Intel with its corporate support award.

SJSU in the News: After Defeating Colorado State, “Spartans Must Feel As If They Can Do Anything”

San Jose State snaps 13-game road losing streak

Originally posted by the San Jose Mercury News Oct. 1, 2011.

By Brian Howell
Correspondent

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Breaking a 13-game losing streak last week was a relief for San Jose State.

After winning their second in a row Saturday, the Spartans must feel as if they can do anything.

“We’re going to fly the plane back ourselves, I think,” SJSU coach Mike MacIntyre quipped.

Matt Faulkner threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Jabari Carr with 54 seconds to play, lifting SJSU to a 38-31 win over Colorado State at Hughes Stadium. The win snapped the Spartans’ 16-game road losing streak. It also gave them consecutive wins for the first time since October 2008.

“It is huge for our program,” MacIntyre said. “Last week was huge. This week is huge. We’re taking steps in the right way. We broke the dam down, we’re driving the boat now, and we’re seeing some success.”

The win nearly slipped through the fingers of the Spartans (2-3), though.

They led 24-7 in the first half and took a 31-17 lead late in the third quarter. That lead completely evaporated, however, after Colorado State quarterback Pete Thomas scored on a 9-yard run to tie the game at 31 with 11:33 to play.

At that point, it sure seemed as if SJSU was doomed. Two big turnovers led directly to CSU touchdowns. Starting cornerback Brandon Driver went out with a likely season-ending Achilles injury in the first half. And senior star running back Brandon Rutley left midway through the third quarter with an ankle injury that cut short another great day.

“I think it crosses people’s minds,” Faulkner said of the here-we-go-again feelings. “You’re just like, ‘Gosh, we can’t let this happen. We can’t let another game like this get away from us.’ “Then, eight plays after CSU (3-2) tied the game, Faulkner was sacked, fumbled and lost the ball. CSU took over at the Spartans 45.

“That was a real good chance for them to end the game,” Faulkner said.

The Spartans defense rose to the occasion, however, forcing the Rams to punt. After SJSU had to punt, the Rams had another opportunity, at the Spartans 34. Again, the defense stepped up and forced CSU to try a 48-yard field goal, which sailed wide left with 3:30 to go.

“That was the whole difference in the game,” MacIntyre said of the two defensive stops. “After they missed that field goal, I honestly didn’t think they would stop us.”

The Rams didn’t. Filling in for Rutley, who gained 131 yards, Jason Simpson got 16 key yards on four rushes and then Faulkner connected with Carr for the game-winning score.

“I just thought to myself, ‘Just put it out there and he’ll go get it,’ ” said Faulkner, who threw for a career-best 313 yards and two touchdowns. “He ran a great route. It’s an awesome feeling. Almost indescribable.”

CSU had one last chance, but Ronnie Yell intercepted a Thomas pass to seal the win.

“Games like this in the past we would lose because we hadn’t won one; they didn’t feel like they could do it,” MacIntyre said. “Now they know they can. I just think that confidence level is there.”

Facing another trip this week — to Brigham Young — the Spartans hope the momentum can continue.

“This is one of those wins that I think can define a season, get us going in the right direction,” said tight end Ryan Otten, who had 112 receiving yards and a touchdown. “Especially the way we won it.”

  • Rutley has 340 rushing yards in the past two games. Those are the only two 100-yard games of his career. Although he walked out of the stadium on crutches, he called the injury a “minor” one. “It’s disappointing, but it happens,” he said. “I’ll be back next week, ready to rock.” His return is considered day-to-day.
  • Aside from Rutley, SJSU had 6 yards on 16 rushing attempts.
  • MacIntyre said Driver is likely done for the season, and Driver didn’t seem any more optimistic than that. “It’s definitely devastating,” he said.
  • Starting left guard Fred Koloto left with a sprained knee. His return also is considered day-to-day. Cornerback Peyton Thompson, who missed last week’s game with an elbow injury, started against Colorado State. He left briefly after tweaking his arm, but came back.
  • For the first time this season, backup quarterback Dasmen Stewart did not play. SJSU had used two quarterbacks in each of the first four games.
  • In addition to the road losing streak, SJSU snapped a streak of 18 straight road losses to nonconference foes.
  • In the first half, SJSU safety Duke Ihenacho became the first Spartan to return a fumble for a touchdown since Tony Ficklin did it Nov. 20, 2004.
  • Taking advantage of the high altitude, Harrison Waid had three punts of at least 60 yards, including a career-best of 72 yards. It’s the second time in school history a Spartan has had three punts more than 60 yards in one game.
  • Before Saturday, Colorado State was one of two teams in the country (also Stanford) that hadn’t allowed a first-quarter point. The Spartans scored 10 first quarter points.
  • CSU came into the weekend leading the country with 16 sacks. The Rams got three Saturday.
  • The Spartans scored 30-plus points in back-to-back games for the first time since 2008.
  • SJSU in the News: Spartan Football Makes Significant Progress

    Jon Wilner on college football: San Jose State has made significant progress

    Originally posted by the San Jose Mercury News Sept. 30, 2011.

    By Jon Wilner

    For the first time in longer than anyone associated with the program cares to remember, San Jose State looks like a legitimate major college football team.

    After injuries, NCAA-mandated scholarship reductions, second-rate talent and brutal schedules resulted in a two-year record of 1-21 against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents, the Spartans have made significant progress this season.

    They aren’t good. They may not even be mediocre. But clearly, they’re functional.

    Three areas stand out as SJSU (1-3) visits Colorado State on Saturday:

    The running game.

    Inept for years, the Spartans have averaged 190 yards per game over the past three games — the success rooted in a veteran offensive line, blossoming tailback (senior Brandon Rutley) and blocking support from the tight ends.

    There also is a strong commitment to the run game. Second-year coach Mike MacIntyre has Southeastern Conference football in his blood, and the SEC is all about running between the tackles.

    The play-calling.

    Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo sees the field well, makes effective use of misdirection and plays to the strengths of senior quarterback Matt Faulkner.

    With input from the staff, including MacIntyre and Gary Bernardi, the savvy offensive line coach, DeFilippo’s play-calling is neither predictable nor conservative.

    The defensive line.

    Led by end Mohamed Marah, who’s healthy after missing most of two seasons with shoulder problems, the Spartans have turned a long-standing weakness into a strength.

    They’re 10 deep up front, quick off the ball and relentless. Redshirt freshman Travis Raciti has the makings of an all-conference tackle, while ends Sean Bacon and Vincent Abbott have chaos-causing speed off the edge.

    “They play extremely hard,” MacIntyre said. “(Because of the depth) they don’t have to pace themselves.”

    That said, let’s keep SJSU’s progress in perspective. The Spartans have miles to go before challenging for a bowl bid or the conference title.

    But they’re also miles ahead of where they’ve been.

    For more on college sports, see Jon Wilner’s College Hotline at blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports. Contact him at jwilner@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5716.

    James Jones in yoga pose outdoors on campus.

    Get Healthy with Tips from Spartan Fitness Experts Like the NFL’s James Jones

    Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver James Jones in a Warrior II yoga pose

    James Jones has worked on his Warrior II pose, among others, in sessions of Bikram yoga.

    From sun salutations to Russian kettlebell presses, learn how to get fit like the pros. Alumni fitness experts, including Super Bowl winner James Jones, share their advice for lifelong health.

    James Jones won the 2011 Super Bowl with the Packers, but he has not forgotten his roots. As a child growing up in and out of Bay Area homeless shelters, Jones always carried around a football. Youth football camps and teams were luxuries his mother could not afford. Jones and his wife, Tamika, run the nonprofit Love Jones 4 Kids, which helps disadvantaged children. They host an annual free youth football camp at Gunderson High School, his alma mater in San Jose. For Jones, the Offensive MVP at the 2006 New Mexico Bowl Game, being healthy is more than just exercising his body.

    Read student writer Sarah Kyo’s full story, “Fit for Life,” and  other stories in the Fall 2011 issue of the SJSU Washington Square.

    Black and white photo of Amelia Reid with an airplane.

    Alumna’s NASA Internship Leads to New Job and Award

    Black and white photo of Amelia Reid with an airplane.

    A recent alumna processed the papers of an alumna from long ago, NASA "human computer" and aviation enthusiast Amelia Reid.

    Editor’s note: The following first appeared in the School of Library and Information Science Community Profiles blog. For an internship, alumna Ratana Ngaotheppitak processed the papers of the late Amelia Reid, a NASA “human computer” who was also an SJSU mathematics alumna.

    Alumna Ratana Ngaotheppitak’s seven-month internship at the NASA Ames Research Center helped her secure a job as a NASA Archivist and earn the 2011 SLIS Jean Wichers Professional Practice Award.

    “The internship at NASA was the perfect opportunity to gain experience and start working for an agency that will put me on the path to a career in government archives,” said Ngaotheppitak, who graduated from SJSU SLIS in May 2011.

    During her Fall 2010 archives internship, Ngaotheppitak worked with a collection documenting one of the “human computers” at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in the 1940s and 1950s. She processed the Amelia Reid Papers from start to finish by completing the accession record, taking an inventory of the materials, performing preservation work, creating a finding aid and a MARC record, and encoding the finding aid for display in the Online Archive of California.

    Her professional experience at NASA made Ngaotheppitak a strong candidate for the position of Life Sciences Data Archivist, which she was offered in March 2011. She was subsequently awarded the Jean Wichers Professional Practice Award by SJSU SLIS faculty to recognize her achievements.

    As a student, Ngaotheppitak worked hard to develop a professional network and to find learning opportunities. She contacted NASA to arrange a tour of the History Office when she first moved to San Jose, and established a relationship with the History Office Archivist before applying for her internship.

    “When you’re a student you have to be really proactive to get the experience that will help you find a job,” explained Ngaotheppitak. “Internships are so valuable, because you really start to network and you have the opportunity to get your foot in the door in a career that you want.”

    Ngaotheppitak grew up attending air shows with her father, a mechanical engineer, and has dreamed of working for NASA ever since she decided to become an archivist. One of the reasons she enrolled at SJSU SLIS in Spring 2009 was because of our School’s professional internship opportunities with the NASA Ames Research Center’s History Office and with other institutions.

    At SJSU SLIS Ngaotheppitak focused on the Archival Studies Career Pathway and took elective courses in web usability and cataloging, which now support her work in the Life Sciences Data Archive. Ngaotheppitak’s job involves cataloging data from NASA’s space flight experiments, preserving audio and visual materials, and working with the documents collection. She also provides reference services to researchers in the small science library.

    “I’m so lucky to be working here, and I’m learning so much,” Ngaotheppitak said.

    Read more from the School of Library and Information Science Blog.

    SJSU in the News: Spartans Inducted Into Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame

    San Jose State grad and current KCBSAM Radio sports director Hal Ramey and San Jose State radio/TV/film porfessor Mike Adams are two of the 19 inductees this year into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame.

    Originally published by the San Francisco Chronicle Aug. 7, 2011 (page 2 of the online story).

    Meet the new class: The Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame has announced 19 new inductees for its class of 2011. The 19 will be enshrined in ceremonies in mid-October, along with KFRC, which goes into the hall as a “Legendary Station” on the strength of its run as a Top 40 powerhouse, “The Big 610.”

    The new Hall of Famers were voted in by public balloting. In the announcer (or host) category, winners were Rosalie Howarth, longtime KFOG DJ, and Laurie Roberts, veteran San Jose DJ and programmer now on KUFX (“KFOX”) and KPIG. Newscasters being inducted are Jan Black of KCBS and Chet Casselman of KSFO. For their work in sports, the hall will honor Ralph Barbieri, one of KNBR’s major stars, and Hal Ramey of KCBS.

    KGO managers Don Curran and Russ Coughlan will be inducted in the owner/manager category, while the pioneer inductees are Sybil Herrold, DJ “Bouncin’ Bill DoubledayDon Thompson, and Francis J. McCarty. In the specialty division, KCBS traffic anchor Kim Wonderley and Dr. Dean Edell will be enshrined. And, representing engineers, Shingo Kamada of Entercom (KOIT, KUFX, Sports 95.7) is in.

    In addition, the Hall of Fame chose to honor four educators who were not on the ballot. They are Mike AdamsGordon GrebDan Odum and Dr. Stuart Hyde.

    This column has been edited since it appeared in print editions.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/05/PKC51KG06S.DTL&ao=2#ixzz1V6ptaomX

    SJSU in the News: Togo’s Founder, an Alumnus, Celebrated With Valley’s Unheralded Inventors

    Cassidy: Facebook and the iPad are swell, but how about what came before?

    Originally published by the San Jose Mercury News July 24, 2011

    By Mike Cassidy
    Mercury News Columnist

    I think we can all stipulate that there’s no way we’d survive without the wondrous inventions of Silicon Valley.

    No, I’m not talking about the computer chip or personal computer or the Internet or Facebook or the iPad. Those are nifty, but they’ve gotten their fair share of attention.

    I’m talking about our everyday bread and butter — or batter and butter or bread and pastrami with mustard, for that matter. Like Eggo waffles — invented in San Jose. And Togo’s sandwiches — also born in San Jose. And that’s just for starters.

    I blame a rare culinary coincidence for my new found fixation on Silicon Valley inventions that have nothing to do with silicon. Not everything invented here, after all, requires a power cord or battery.

    Did you know that 2011 is both the 75th anniversary of the toaster-ready Eggo and the 40th anniversary of Togo’s — our own hometown hero? The original Togo’s shop on William Street with its funky wooden facade is gone, having moved out in 1999. But its memory lives on in a few framed mementos at the nearby Paseo de San Antonio location, one of 242 Togo’s now sating the lunchtime crush.

    “We have all the paraphernalia and memorabilia from its founding days,” CEO Tony Gioia says by phone from Togo’s world headquarters on San Pedro Street. “That’s how we memorialize Togo’s.”

    And let’s not forget the Oral-B toothbrush and all its bristly softness, which was invented by a San Jose dentist perhaps in anticipation of cleaning up after all those waffles and sandwiches. And first, but not least, there’s the 100-plus-year-old Macabee Gopher Trap Co., a great leap forward when it launched, unless of course you were a gopher.

    Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you’ve taken these mundane innovations for granted. Good inventions are like that. They become a seamless part of life. But taken together these products are a reminder that this place has always been on the cutting edge of whatever needed cutting at the time.

    “Something about this valley seems to generate that,” says former Mercury News columnist Leigh Weimers, who annually hosts the First Festival, an online celebration of personal and famous firsts in Silicon Valley. “It has for years.”

    No, he isn’t sure why. Maybe it’s because for generations, pioneers have traveled west, landed in California and realized, “We can’t go any farther. And shoot, we have to do something.”

    Something like the Togo’s sandwich, stuffed with meat, cheese, toppings and assembled with lightning speed, which is what then-San Jose State student Mike Cobler decided to do. Or a toothbrush that cleaned teeth without tearing up gums, which is the call that Willow Glen dentist Robert Hutson answered in the 1950s. These inventors leave behind fast waffles, quick lunches, sparkling smiles, dead gophers and a legacy — a legacy that means something to those who knew them best.

    Frank Dorsa Jr. is still proud of his father’s role in propelling waffles into the modern, six-second breakfast era. They’re still making Eggos in the factory that his dad and uncles opened over on what’s now Eggo Way in San Jose. Kellogg’s owns the business now, and earlier this year the company invited the younger Dorsa to the plant for a celebration.

    “They were having a breakfast for the employees,” Dorsa says. “You’d never guess what they were serving.”

    OK, you would.

    Ron Fink, who in 1959 started working at the gopher trap company started by Zephyr A. Macabee, says he feels like the steward of the company’s history. The headquarters is still in the Los Gatos Victorian where Macabee launched his business more than 100 years ago. “It’s an old place with a lot of cobwebs, squeaky floors,” Fink says. “Nothing has changed very much.”

    With one big exception: Fink, now general manager, says that in 2008 he moved manufacturing from the Victorian’s basement to China. He put eight employees out of work, which eats at him still. But he’s not sure the company could have survived the competition otherwise. And who really wants a 100-year-old company to go under on his watch?

    The grandkids own the business now — grandkids who are in their 80s, Fink says. And sure, they want to see the operation survive far into the future.

    Fink likes Macabee’s chances. After all, there will always be more gophers than traps. That’s just nature’s way.

    SJSU in the News: Togo's Founder, an Alumnus, Celebrated With Valley's Unheralded Inventors

    Cassidy: Facebook and the iPad are swell, but how about what came before?

    Originally published by the San Jose Mercury News July 24, 2011

    By Mike Cassidy
    Mercury News Columnist

    I think we can all stipulate that there’s no way we’d survive without the wondrous inventions of Silicon Valley.

    No, I’m not talking about the computer chip or personal computer or the Internet or Facebook or the iPad. Those are nifty, but they’ve gotten their fair share of attention.

    I’m talking about our everyday bread and butter — or batter and butter or bread and pastrami with mustard, for that matter. Like Eggo waffles — invented in San Jose. And Togo’s sandwiches — also born in San Jose. And that’s just for starters.

    I blame a rare culinary coincidence for my new found fixation on Silicon Valley inventions that have nothing to do with silicon. Not everything invented here, after all, requires a power cord or battery.

    Did you know that 2011 is both the 75th anniversary of the toaster-ready Eggo and the 40th anniversary of Togo’s — our own hometown hero? The original Togo’s shop on William Street with its funky wooden facade is gone, having moved out in 1999. But its memory lives on in a few framed mementos at the nearby Paseo de San Antonio location, one of 242 Togo’s now sating the lunchtime crush.

    “We have all the paraphernalia and memorabilia from its founding days,” CEO Tony Gioia says by phone from Togo’s world headquarters on San Pedro Street. “That’s how we memorialize Togo’s.”

    And let’s not forget the Oral-B toothbrush and all its bristly softness, which was invented by a San Jose dentist perhaps in anticipation of cleaning up after all those waffles and sandwiches. And first, but not least, there’s the 100-plus-year-old Macabee Gopher Trap Co., a great leap forward when it launched, unless of course you were a gopher.

    Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you’ve taken these mundane innovations for granted. Good inventions are like that. They become a seamless part of life. But taken together these products are a reminder that this place has always been on the cutting edge of whatever needed cutting at the time.

    “Something about this valley seems to generate that,” says former Mercury News columnist Leigh Weimers, who annually hosts the First Festival, an online celebration of personal and famous firsts in Silicon Valley. “It has for years.”

    No, he isn’t sure why. Maybe it’s because for generations, pioneers have traveled west, landed in California and realized, “We can’t go any farther. And shoot, we have to do something.”

    Something like the Togo’s sandwich, stuffed with meat, cheese, toppings and assembled with lightning speed, which is what then-San Jose State student Mike Cobler decided to do. Or a toothbrush that cleaned teeth without tearing up gums, which is the call that Willow Glen dentist Robert Hutson answered in the 1950s. These inventors leave behind fast waffles, quick lunches, sparkling smiles, dead gophers and a legacy — a legacy that means something to those who knew them best.

    Frank Dorsa Jr. is still proud of his father’s role in propelling waffles into the modern, six-second breakfast era. They’re still making Eggos in the factory that his dad and uncles opened over on what’s now Eggo Way in San Jose. Kellogg’s owns the business now, and earlier this year the company invited the younger Dorsa to the plant for a celebration.

    “They were having a breakfast for the employees,” Dorsa says. “You’d never guess what they were serving.”

    OK, you would.

    Ron Fink, who in 1959 started working at the gopher trap company started by Zephyr A. Macabee, says he feels like the steward of the company’s history. The headquarters is still in the Los Gatos Victorian where Macabee launched his business more than 100 years ago. “It’s an old place with a lot of cobwebs, squeaky floors,” Fink says. “Nothing has changed very much.”

    With one big exception: Fink, now general manager, says that in 2008 he moved manufacturing from the Victorian’s basement to China. He put eight employees out of work, which eats at him still. But he’s not sure the company could have survived the competition otherwise. And who really wants a 100-year-old company to go under on his watch?

    The grandkids own the business now — grandkids who are in their 80s, Fink says. And sure, they want to see the operation survive far into the future.

    Fink likes Macabee’s chances. After all, there will always be more gophers than traps. That’s just nature’s way.

    SJSU in the News: Alumna Contributes to Economic Rebirth of Historic Commercial Strip With New Store

    New shop opening on The Alameda in San Jose will carry art supplies

    Originally posted by the San Jose Mercury News July 28, 2011.

    By Mary Gottschalk

    For Sean Boyles and Roan Victor their new artist-owned art store is a matter of more options.

    “We thought about what San Jose really needs in terms of art, and they’re lacking an arts supply store,” says Boyles, 33.

    “There’s only one other one and if they don’t have what you want or need, you have to go to Palo Alto or Berkeley or buy online.”

    Victor, 30, adds, “We could use more options in San Jose.”

    The two are co-owners of the soon-to-open art supply and merchandise store they’ve named The Arsenal at 1202 The Alameda, at Race Street.

    Boyles earned degrees at California College of the Arts, Oakland, and Mills College, and in addition to his art, he now teaches drawing at Santa Clara University.

    Victor is completing her BFA in painting at San Jose State University and also works as an artist.

    “We’re kind of nerds when it comes to the types of brushes, pens, paints or even the paper we use in our sketchbooks. We’re very interested in medium materials,” Victor says.

    They plan to carry a wide range of materials used in painting, printmaking and sculpture, although they won’t carry clay.

    “There’s already a clay maker in San Jose,” Boyles says.

    “As far as brands, we’re carrying a student grade, a middle grade and a professional grade. There will be a low-, middle- and high-end price range. We’re trying to get the best quality with the best price.”

    They picked their store name, they say, because an artist needs an arsenal of tools and supplies.In addition to selling supplies, Boyles and Victor plan to offer classes for children and workshops for adults.

    “Sometimes there’s a mystery of what this tube of paint will do or why is this paint that much and that paint is this much. We want to help out and demonstrate,” Boyles says.

    Early workshops will be in silk screening, mixed media and why some artists prefer gouache to watercolor.

    “We plan to have local professional artists come in and demonstrate,” Boyles says.

    The new store will have a definite visual impact on The Alameda.

    Unlike its predecessor in that space, Bee’s Photography, Boyles and Victor plan to use the doors on The Alameda as an entry and turn the large front windows into installation spaces for artists.

    “We’re not really a gallery, but we are going to invite different professional artists to do installations, probably changing every three months,” Boyles says.

    There also plan to do a limited edition T-shirt for each featured artist.

    While both Boyles and Victor have experience working in retail, including Nordstrom, this is their first time as owners.

    The two say they decided on The Alameda as a location because of existing retailers and their clientele.

    “It’s a very appealing neighborhood,” Victor says, citing other retailers The Usuals and Black and Brown, 5 Color Cowboy salon, Metamorphic Tattoo and the artists at Alameda ArtWorks.

    Boyles and Victor hope to open The Arsenal by the end of July, but won’t hold their grand opening until mid-September.

    “We want to make sure things are going smoothly before we hold the grand opening,” Victor says.

    The Arsenal, 1202 The Alameda, www.thearsenalsj.com.

    SJSU in the News: Nursing Alumna Launches “Buck for a Bike” Campaign

    Bicycle charity joins fight against childhood obesity

    Originally published by the San Jose Mercury News July 6, 2011.

    By Joe Rodriguez

    The 8-year-old boy wasn’t going to get on a pink bike. No way, no how.

    “No!” Jesus Arteaga said.

    And no amount of gender-correctness from older folks at a free bike-repair clinic the other day in San Jose was going to change his mind. But the bike was free, a hand-me-down from his sister, so Jesus shyly asked a bicycle mechanic whether he could make it look more, you know, like a boy’s bike.

    “When I heard that, my heart sank,” said Sue Runsvold, a nurse whose bicycle charity put on the free repair clinic. She gave the OK for a macho makeover. Off came the pink chain guard, rosy pedals and white tires. On went black ones. Although Jesus was happy with the results, the bike frame remained a pinkish purple.

    “I wish I had brought a can of black spray paint,” Runsvold said. “I’ll have to remember that for next time. Boys won’t ride girlie bikes.”

    Six years after starting the nonprofit Turning Wheels for Kids, Runsvold has delivered about 11,000 bikes to needy children in Silicon Valley at Christmastime. That alone would put her on the road to sainthood in the eyes of many if she stopped there, but the nurse who manages a postsurgery unit at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center isn’t done. The follow-up counts just as much.

    Away from the hoopla of the Christmas bike deliveries and bike-repair clinics, Turning Wheels quietly donates 200 bikes a year to overweight or obese children at the hospital’s Pediatric Healthy Lifestyles Center. The center treats 1,000 new kids every year.”It’s been an amazing aspect for us,” said Dr. Patricia Barreto, one of three supervising doctors there. “Anything that makes a child more active is going to make them more healthy.”

    By age 5, a third of all children in Santa Clara County are overweight or obese, according to a 2007 survey. That statistic jumps to almost half of all children by age 11. The prevalence of obesity at all ages is highest among Hispanic children, and lowest among Asian kids.

    Getting families to adopt healthier diets is one thing, but the doctors don’t have to lecture the kids to mount the bikes. They simply take off. All Barreto tells them is to include cycling in the 60 minutes of exercise they should do every day. The center hasn’t measured the direct health benefits from the biking, but Barreto is convinced it works.

    “Physical activity is a cornerstone, metabolically,” she said. “You should see the smiles on these kids’ faces when they leave here with their new bikes.”

    Growing up in Fullerton, a working-class town in Orange County, Runsvold said she always dreaded answering the question, “What did you get for Christmas?”

    Her father, who drank too much and spent time in prison, wasn’t around much. Her mother, a secretary, simply couldn’t afford new bikes for her three kids.

    “We were lower middle-class, but I thought we were lower than that,” Runsvold said. “I was just like the kids we serve today.”

    Married and a mother at age 21, she showered her children with Christmas presents because she didn’t want them to dread the Christmas question. “They’d get five, six or seven presents just from Santa Claus.”

    The years and decades flew by. The Runsvolds moved around the country, eventually settling in San Jose in 1994. She earned a nursing degree from San Jose State. Her children gave her grandchildren.

    Then her marriage collapsed, and so did the gratification of seeing wall-to-wall gifts under the Christmas tree. “I now saw opulence under the tree,” Runsvold said.

    She thought about her struggling mother, who accepted donated toys for her children at Christmastime and baked cookies as gifts for friends and relatives.

    “I asked myself, ‘What was hard for me to get as a kid?’ A bike!”

    Two weeks before Christmas 2002, she and a few friends raised enough money to buy 12 bikes from a toy store and gave them to San Jose firefighters to give to poor children. Runsvold and her friends gave away 40 bikes the second year.

    Word spread, volunteers signed on, and Turning Wheels was born. Bicycle manufacturers Raleigh and Dynacraft jumped on board with hefty discounts.

    Last Christmas, the charity raised $257,000 and gave away more than 2,000 bikes.

    It sounds as if Turning Wheels is cruising, but Runsvold said it’s still pedaling uphill.

    A new “Buck for a Bike” campaign hopes to raise the equivalent of $1 from everyone in Silicon Valley, to create an endowment of $1.7 million. That would give Turning Wheels a base income and allow it to think ahead and add educational and health programs.

    “I work 40 hours as a nurse, and then I go home and work 40 hours doing this,” Runsvold said. “This is my passion.”

    She doesn’t like being called director or chairwoman, but given Turning Wheels’ growth and popularity, Runsvold just might be creating a second career.

    Do you have a story for Eastside/Westside? Contact Joe Rodriguez at 408-920-5767 or jrodriguez@mercurynews.com.

    TO HELP

    For more information or to make a donation, go to www.turningwheelsforkids.org.

    SJSU in the News: Nursing Alumna Launches "Buck for a Bike" Campaign

    Bicycle charity joins fight against childhood obesity

    Originally published by the San Jose Mercury News July 6, 2011.

    By Joe Rodriguez

    The 8-year-old boy wasn’t going to get on a pink bike. No way, no how.

    “No!” Jesus Arteaga said.

    And no amount of gender-correctness from older folks at a free bike-repair clinic the other day in San Jose was going to change his mind. But the bike was free, a hand-me-down from his sister, so Jesus shyly asked a bicycle mechanic whether he could make it look more, you know, like a boy’s bike.

    “When I heard that, my heart sank,” said Sue Runsvold, a nurse whose bicycle charity put on the free repair clinic. She gave the OK for a macho makeover. Off came the pink chain guard, rosy pedals and white tires. On went black ones. Although Jesus was happy with the results, the bike frame remained a pinkish purple.

    “I wish I had brought a can of black spray paint,” Runsvold said. “I’ll have to remember that for next time. Boys won’t ride girlie bikes.”

    Six years after starting the nonprofit Turning Wheels for Kids, Runsvold has delivered about 11,000 bikes to needy children in Silicon Valley at Christmastime. That alone would put her on the road to sainthood in the eyes of many if she stopped there, but the nurse who manages a postsurgery unit at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center isn’t done. The follow-up counts just as much.

    Away from the hoopla of the Christmas bike deliveries and bike-repair clinics, Turning Wheels quietly donates 200 bikes a year to overweight or obese children at the hospital’s Pediatric Healthy Lifestyles Center. The center treats 1,000 new kids every year.”It’s been an amazing aspect for us,” said Dr. Patricia Barreto, one of three supervising doctors there. “Anything that makes a child more active is going to make them more healthy.”

    By age 5, a third of all children in Santa Clara County are overweight or obese, according to a 2007 survey. That statistic jumps to almost half of all children by age 11. The prevalence of obesity at all ages is highest among Hispanic children, and lowest among Asian kids.

    Getting families to adopt healthier diets is one thing, but the doctors don’t have to lecture the kids to mount the bikes. They simply take off. All Barreto tells them is to include cycling in the 60 minutes of exercise they should do every day. The center hasn’t measured the direct health benefits from the biking, but Barreto is convinced it works.

    “Physical activity is a cornerstone, metabolically,” she said. “You should see the smiles on these kids’ faces when they leave here with their new bikes.”

    Growing up in Fullerton, a working-class town in Orange County, Runsvold said she always dreaded answering the question, “What did you get for Christmas?”

    Her father, who drank too much and spent time in prison, wasn’t around much. Her mother, a secretary, simply couldn’t afford new bikes for her three kids.

    “We were lower middle-class, but I thought we were lower than that,” Runsvold said. “I was just like the kids we serve today.”

    Married and a mother at age 21, she showered her children with Christmas presents because she didn’t want them to dread the Christmas question. “They’d get five, six or seven presents just from Santa Claus.”

    The years and decades flew by. The Runsvolds moved around the country, eventually settling in San Jose in 1994. She earned a nursing degree from San Jose State. Her children gave her grandchildren.

    Then her marriage collapsed, and so did the gratification of seeing wall-to-wall gifts under the Christmas tree. “I now saw opulence under the tree,” Runsvold said.

    She thought about her struggling mother, who accepted donated toys for her children at Christmastime and baked cookies as gifts for friends and relatives.

    “I asked myself, ‘What was hard for me to get as a kid?’ A bike!”

    Two weeks before Christmas 2002, she and a few friends raised enough money to buy 12 bikes from a toy store and gave them to San Jose firefighters to give to poor children. Runsvold and her friends gave away 40 bikes the second year.

    Word spread, volunteers signed on, and Turning Wheels was born. Bicycle manufacturers Raleigh and Dynacraft jumped on board with hefty discounts.

    Last Christmas, the charity raised $257,000 and gave away more than 2,000 bikes.

    It sounds as if Turning Wheels is cruising, but Runsvold said it’s still pedaling uphill.

    A new “Buck for a Bike” campaign hopes to raise the equivalent of $1 from everyone in Silicon Valley, to create an endowment of $1.7 million. That would give Turning Wheels a base income and allow it to think ahead and add educational and health programs.

    “I work 40 hours as a nurse, and then I go home and work 40 hours doing this,” Runsvold said. “This is my passion.”

    She doesn’t like being called director or chairwoman, but given Turning Wheels’ growth and popularity, Runsvold just might be creating a second career.

    Do you have a story for Eastside/Westside? Contact Joe Rodriguez at 408-920-5767 or jrodriguez@mercurynews.com.

    TO HELP

    For more information or to make a donation, go to www.turningwheelsforkids.org.

    SJSU in the News: July 19 Celebration of Life Planned for Alumnus, “Tireless Advocate for Individuals With Disabilities”

    Richard W. Patterson, Resident of San Jose

    Originally published in the San Jose Mercury News July 3, 2011

    Richard died unexpectedly from a stroke on June 22, 2011 at Valley Medical Center, surrounded by family and friends and colleagues. He was 48 years old. Richard was employed by the Rehabilitation Research Center at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. He was the Clinical Support Coordinator for Persons with Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries since 1995 and led the peer-support counseling program there for the past 15 years. He was a tireless advocate for individuals with disabilities, committee member for the Public Authority for In-Home-Supportive-Services, a co-chair of the Disability Advisory Commission for the City of San Jose, and instrumental in the start-up and success of Accessible Adventures for People with Disabilities. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Adapted Physical Education in 1996, and his Master’s Degree in Counseling Education with an emphasis in Traumatic Injury and Lifestyle Counseling in 1998, both from San Jose State University.

    At the age of 19, Richard himself suffered an accident which left him a quadriplegic. He spent a year in the very hospital where he would later come to be a very valued employee. At the time of his accident, Richard’s goals were unclear but he loved life in the fast lane and especially race car driving.

    Richard’s life turned out very different than anyone could have imagined. Once he decided, not to accept his fate, but instead to make the most of the life, he did just that. He became an inspiration for thousands, and his legacy will continue to inspire thousands more.

    Richard never let his disability keep him from doing what he wanted to do. He loved skydiving and eventually set the world record for the highest tandem parachute jump by a disabled person. He took scuba diving lessons, drove a race car, piloted an airplane and competed in the Special Olympics in swimming. He was a spokesperson for Canine Companions of Santa Rosa and received three assistance dogs. He loved his dogs! He was also on the board of the Tapestry in Arts event in San Jose.

    Richard was preceded in death by his mother, Edna Daigh, less than a year ago. He is survived by his father, Robert Patterson of Las Vegas, NV, his step-father Lawrence Daigh of Groveland, CA, his sisters, Susan Hellsten of Sunsites, AZ, Robin Patterson of Groveland, CA, and Sally Patterson of San Jose, CA, his step-sister, Kirsten Lennen of Groveland, CA, and step-brothers, Steve, Eric and Kurt Daigh of Idaho. He is also survived by the love of his life, his fiance, Ligia Andrade of San Jose, CA.

    A Memorial and Celebration of Richard’s life will be held on July 19th at The Pointe, 3695 Rose Terrasse Circle, San Jose, CA from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., refreshments to follow. A foundation has been set up in Richard’s name to continue the work that was so important to him. Please visit www.vmcfoundation.org/donate.html if you wish to donate or if you just want to browse the website.

    SJSU in the News: From His Wheelchair, Alumnus Mentors Injured Soldiers to Victory at Olympic-Style Games

    U.S. Marine Corps calls on Williams to coach wheelchair basketball team in Wounded Warriors Games

    Originally published in the San Jose Mercury News June 27, 2011

    By Marianne L. Hamilton, for Silicon Valley Community Newspapers

    On his laptop screen, Rod Williams traces a fingertip over a sea of faces. Softly, he recites the grim inventory of their injuries.

    “Double amputee. Post-traumatic stress syndrome. Shattered legs and arm. Brain injury. Quadriplegic. Blind.”

    But look: All are smiling widely into the camera’s lens. Attired in scarlet T-shirts and sweats emblazoned with the logo of the U.S. Marine Corps, they are flushed with the thrill of recent victories.

    Williams is now grinning as well, his pride in his team apparent. With his powerful biceps and chest, it’s no stretch to imagine Williams putting this crew through its paces–or through Marine Boot Camp, for that matter.

    But Williams does his coaching from a wheelchair. And today the Los Gatos resident is recounting his experiences in mentoring the Marines’ wheelchair basketball team at the recent 2011 Wounded Warriors Games.

    Held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, the Paralympic-style Games included 200 wounded, ill or injured soldiers from every branch of the military. Most incurred their disabilities during active duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Williams, who is the laboratory information manager at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, shares an intimate bond with his team. At just nine months old, he contracted polio. His legs withered; braces and crutches became his sole source of mobility. Still, the Campbell native attended mainstream schools, graduating with the Campbell High School class of 1969. He went on to earn degrees in microbiology and chemistry from San Jose State University, but not before friends ignored his protests one evening and convinced him to join them at a fraternity party. There he met one Kathleen LaFrom, a pretty 16-year-old from Saratoga. This month Williams and the former Ms. LaFrom (who is semi-retired from a successful real estate career, and the pianist at St. Mary’s church) celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary. The couple has two grown sons and two grandchildren.

    During his senior year at SJSU, Williams was introduced to wheelchair basketball. Sitting in a chair was a revelation, he recalls. “I found that I could do so much more. It was so much faster and easier to get around, and didn’t put so much stress on my shoulders.” Still, learning to play ball while seated took some doing. “I wasn’t very good, but I was fast. I’d been doing pretty well at track and field events,” Williams says.

    Indeed, Williams eventually set several international records in wheelchair track and field. He qualified for a berth on the track team at the 1976 Paralympic Games in Canada. He returned to the Games 12 years later, this time winning a gold medal in wheelchair basketball (the last time the U.S. has earned the top honors). Williams has participated in and coached the sport ever since, both in the U.S. and abroad. He plays with a team in San Jose weekly; with his help the group went to the national championships in Denver after just one year on the courts together.

    Despite these successes, Williams says he was surprised when he received a phone call asking if he’d consider training the Marines’ Wounded Warrior Regiment for the Warrior Games trials at Camp Pendleton in February. “Someone had recommended me; I don’t really know what kind of reputation I have,” he says, shaking his head. “I was certainly flattered that they asked me to help teach the guys to play wheelchair basketball.”

    The Wounded Warrior Regiment was formed in 2007 as a way to aid in the rehabilitation process for Marines returning from the Middle East with life-altering injuries and other issues. “Reports say there’s an average of 18 suicides a day among guys coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan,” Williams says. “The Marine Corps wanted to help these guys get reintegrated, get them motivated and back into the spirits they were in before they joined the service.”

    Williams’ work at the VA Hospital–where he interacts daily with vets who are dealing with PTSD, brain injuries and other challenges–uniquely prepared him for the task at hand. “It’s really helpful to know how to work with them, what they’re dealing with and what can trigger an anxiety attack,” Williams notes.

    More than 100 Marines converged on Camp Pendleton, each with a single goal in mind: to secure one of the 50 spots on the team that would compete in the games. Along with the tryouts for wheelchair basketball, the athletes were tested in swimming, track and field, archery, shooting and “sit volleyball,” in which participants compete while seated on the court.

    According to the games’ eligibility requirements, any athlete who plays in a team sport such as volleyball or basketball must also compete in an individual sport such as shooting or archery. Thus, even though only 10 of the 50 vets who tried out for the wheelchair basketball team were chosen, many of those not selected still were able to make the trip to Colorado.

    All gave it their best, Williams says. “These guys are fairly competitive by nature. I imagine some people would have a phobia about being in a chair; like if they got in one, they’d never get out. But these guys have such a tremendous attitude. “… They were all so excited to be a part of the games.”

    The most difficult part of the process, says Williams, is teaching an athlete how to navigate and shoot from a wheelchair. Less than 20 pounds and lighting fast, with the distinctive “bow-legged” wheels that have a tiny turning-radius, the vehicles can–and often do–send inexperienced occupants tumbling to the hardwood. In video footage of a wheelchair basketball contest, defensive play is somewhat akin to a hockey dust-up.

    “The chairs are pretty high tech, and the guys are strapped in,” Williams says. “But still there are parts of the body that come into contact, and crashes. It’s a very physical game.”

    During the trials, the determination of the vets to overcome their disabilities was a constant source of wonder for Williams. “The Marines brought me out there to inspire these guys, but I was the one who was always inspired.”

    In one instance, Williams noticed that a player was not using his peripheral vision on the court. Not wishing to single him out publicly, Williams stopped play and began a lecture about the importance of being aware of one’s surroundings at all times. In the middle of a sentence, Williams was interrupted.

    “The guy said, ‘Hey, coach, I know you’re talking about me. But I just had one-fourth of my brain removed two months ago, and they took out the part that controls all of that. I don’t have any peripheral vision left!’

    “The really incredible thing about this guy was that he’d never shot a bow and arrow before, but he decided to try archery. By the time the games came around, he ended up winning a bronze medal. In a way I think the fact that he has that tunnel vision, that focus really ended up helping him.”

    Williams identified 10 wheelchair basketball players for the team, and then returned home to Northern California. He was resigned to the idea that he would not be a member of the coaching staff at the games–particularly since the trials at Camp Pendleton had drawn the head coaches of the Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks and the Utah Wheeling Jazz (the nation’s fifth-ranked wheelchair team). However, Williams’ team had eked out a dramatic 25-24 victory over their opponents during the final game of the trials.

    And then in April, the phone rang.

    On the line was Col. Jay Krail, executive officer of the Wounded Warriors Regiment. Was Williams planning to go to Colorado Springs, Krail inquired?

    “I said I hadn’t really thought about it; I figured I was just doing the trials.” No, Krail replied, Williams was wanted in Colorado. “I told him I’d have to check with my work. He said, ‘No, that’s been taken care of; you’re going to Colorado Springs.’ I was pretty sure that if I said I had to check with my wife, he’d say, ‘No, that’s been taken care of, too.’ ”

    Two weeks before the opening ceremonies, Williams made the trip to the Olympic Training Center to begin working with the basketball team. Despite the need to train in multiple sports–and to become acclimated to the 6,400-foot altitude–the Marines performed admirably. Outfitted with prosthetics, one double amputee who played for Williams also posted a 12-second time for the 100-yard dash (barely two seconds behind the world’s fastest able-bodied sprinters). The Wounded Warriors Regiment swept the track and field competition, winning gold in 16 out of 20 events. They also dominated in the shooting contests, ascending the podium in 20 out of 24 events.

    Not to be outdone, Williams’s basketball team thrashed their Navy and Air Force competitors in preliminary rounds before facing the Army in the finals. The red and gold gave it their all but in the end they fell to their rivals 44-19, relinquishing last year’s gold medal for a silver.

    Lance Cpl. Austin “Red” Allen, a resident of South Carolina, never made it to the Middle East. Just before he was to be deployed, a rifle accidentally discharged during a hunting trip, taking with it 75 percent of his kneecap. Multiple surgeries (including one that removed his calf muscle) followed; wheelchair basketball at Camp Lejeune was prescribed to help him regain his strength. His innate athletic ability–Allen played basketball and football prior to enlisting in the Marine Corps–combined with the training he received from Williams landed him a spot on the wheelchair basketball team.

    “The games are really a big deal; I guess it’s a pride thing,” Allen says. “And the camaraderie with my team was so cool. I learned a lot from coach Williams. When I got to the trials, I didn’t know that much about the game. But he taught me a whole bunch; I would never have made the Warrior Games without him.”

    For Cpl. Richard (“Rejy”) Bacchus, preparing for his deployment to Iraq proved nearly as dangerous as an actual tour of duty. During a fast-paced training hike–weighed down by a 50-caliber machine gun, a backpack and the rest of his gear–Bacchus stepped into a hole, severely damaging his left ankle. Barely recovered from that injury, two weeks later another hole claimed his right ankle. He’s just had his seventh surgery to repair torn ligaments and cartilage and buy a few more years of mobility. Eventually, he has been told, his right leg will be amputated.

    Still, Bacchus is an avid sit volleyball player, and next month will become a resident athlete with the national team. He says that adding wheelchair basketball to his exercise regimen (and meeting Williams) has expanded his vision of what’s possible in unanticipated ways.

    “Being a part of this team has really molded my attitude and my perceptions about my life,” he says. “It takes you from what you can’t do to what you can do. Playing this sport has been one of the best parts of my reconditioning program that I’ve ever found.”

    Asked about Williams’s coaching abilities, Bacchus has nothing but positives to share. “Coach is a really smart guy, and he’s a great player. I didn’t realize that he’d been in the Paralympics. He’s really humble.”

    Scrolling through the Wounded Warriors Regiment’s Facebook page, Williams stops to click on videos showing his team’s prowess in all sports. Here’s a swimmer, a double amputee whose subsequent brain tumor robbed him of his sight. There’s the track star whose legs and one arm shattered like glass following the explosion of an IED (improvised explosive device). Heading over the finish line at a cycling event are still more double amputees.

    “I was so “… amazed to be asked to be their coach,” Williams says haltingly, his azure eyes misting over behind his glasses. “I still get very emotional every time I think about it.” Then, shifting his gaze back to his team, Williams smiles again. “The important thing is that these guys know that it’s not like it was after everyone came home from Vietnam; they don’t have to deal with these issues on their own. There’s a support group out there to help them.”

    Will Williams ever hang up his coach’s whistle? “I’ll do it when these young guys start kicking my butt. Until then, they’re going to have to scrape me off of the court with a spatula.”

    In other words, Williams is definitely on a roll.

    More information about the Wounded Warriors Regiment can be found at www.woundedwarriorregiment.org/index.cfm.

    SJSU in the News: Homeless as a Child, Super Bowl Champion and SJSU Alumnus Returns to Offer Free Football Camp

    James Jones gives back to community with free football camp

    Originally published by the San Jose Mercury News June 25, 2011

    By Daniel Brown

    James Jones remembers seeing fliers for youth football camps when he was a kid. He also remembers how badly he wanted to go.

    “But they all cost money,” the Green Bay Packers receiver said Saturday. “Living in homeless shelters, I knew my mom didn’t have $150 for me to go to a camp. If she did have $150, it was for us to survive.”

    Nearly 20 years and one Super Bowl triumph later, there is Jones surveying the field at Gunderson High School. More than 200 kids are catching footballs, zigzagging through orange cones or smashing into tackling dummies.

    Anyone want to guess the price?

    “This is his dream,” said his wife, Tamika Jones, after working the sign-in table. “He talked about it even when we were at San Jose State. He used to say, ‘If I ever get to the NFL, I’m going to give something back to the community. And it’s going to be free.’ ”

    The third annual free NTAF Football Camp — the initials stand for “Never Think About Failure” — got a boost this year when its organizer won a Super Bowl. Jones had 50 catches and five touchdowns during the season and 11 more catches and two TDs during the playoffs.

    Jones, who said he rarely cries, admitted he broke down in tears as confetti rained after the Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl. “Not because of the game,” he said, “but because of the journey.”

    Jones, 27, lived in homeless shelters from age 5 until the start of high school. There were nights hewent to bed hungry. One of his few toys was a football he carried everywhere.

    “If I took the football out of his hand, he would throw a fit,” his mom, Janet, recalled Saturday. “I could take it out when he was asleep, but even that was a struggle.”

    Jones’ rise to NFL fame would be a standard rags-to-riches story — if not for Jones’ definition of “riches.” His wife can’t get him to spend a dime on himself, as Jones splurges mostly on events such as Saturday’s camp.

    Kids aged 7 to 14 got four hours of instruction from Jones and his 19 assistant coaches. The former San Jose State standout roamed from drill to drill barking out instructions.

    When one of the littlest campers lost his shoe, the 6-foot-1, 208-pound Jones knelt and laced the cleats up tight. When a drill required kids to be whopped with a foam pad as they tried to make a catch, Jones personally handled the whopping. He nailed ’em good, too, sending the boys giggling to the turf.

    “We’re going to rough you up a little bit. We don’t need no crybabies,” Jones cracked.

    Jones later explained that he never wanted his charitable work to end when the ink was dry on the check. Being an inspiration meant being seen.

    “You never know how many of these kids are going through what I went through, living in shelters, but I want to show them that it’s possible to make it,” he said.

    “Growing up in a homeless shelter, there were so many times when you ask yourself why. Why do these other kids have new shoes and toys and everything they want and you’re in the homeless shelter struggling? You wonder, ‘Am I going to be here my whole life?’ ”

    Jones said he designed his camp in hopes of making a lasting impact. Rather than import famous NFL names, he stocked his staff with members of the local football community. Many of them were his former teammates at Gunderson or San Jose State.

    The sidelines, meanwhile, looked like a family reunion — James enlisted the help of his parents, sister, in-laws, uncles and cousins. (He and Tamika are expecting their first child, a boy, on Oct. 15.)

    Jones is eligible for free agency when the NFL lockout ends. But whether he signs with Green Bay or another team, Jones figures to receive a substantial contract.

    When he does, the kid whose family couldn’t afford food — let alone a $150 football camp — might finally make an extravagant purchase for himself. Just don’t count on it. His biggest expenditure to date is an unpretentious home in Green Bay.

    “It’s not anything you’re going to see on ‘Cribs,’ ” Tamika joked, referring to the MTV show that celebrates opulent living. “We’re very modest people. James always said, ‘As long as we have a roof over our heads and food to eat, we’re blessed.’ ”

    Reed Magazine, cover

    Reed Magazine Features Spartan Writers

    By Jody Ulate, University Writer/Producer

    Reed Magazine, cover

    Cover art for this issue is by Erik Madsen.

    A collection of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and artwork, the latest issue of Reed Magazine includes pieces from San Jose State alumni, students and faculty members, and an exclusive interview with writer Carl Phillips.

    In “Dedication to 45,” alumna Christine Pham learns about the value of life and the power of guilt while completing a community service project. Students Erica Zimmerman (“Unprotected Tanning”), Dave Kern (“Replacement”) and Katrina Swanson (“Quatrain”), along with Professor Samuel Maio (“The Plans, Obsessed”), contribute poetry. Animation/illustration student Aaron Lindley’s artwork “Toaster, Chill” appears in color.

    Reed Magazine is published every spring and is one of the oldest student publications west of the Mississippi, based from the beginning at San Jose State. Purchase a copy of Reed Magazine.#

    Dishcrawl founder Tracy Lee poses for a picture.

    Restaurant Marketing Entrepreneur Turns Lessons Learned at SJSU into Successful Venture

    Dishcrawl founder Tracy Lee poses in The 88 Sales Center in downtown San Jose, while Dishcrawl participants eat food from the Oaxacan Kitchen Mobile in the background.

    Tracy Lee poses during an April 26 Dishcrawl in San Jose, as patrons eat food from the Oaxacan Kitchen Mobile at The 88 Sales Center.

    By Sarah Kyo, Public Affairs Assistant

    The lobby of downtown San Jose’s condos buzzed with activity. On a windy April evening, 150 people gathered for dining and socializing at a few of East San Fernando Street’s foodie hotspots.

    At the helm of the festivities was Tracy Lee, a SJSU alumna. Lee is the founder of Dishcrawl, a series of organized food events.

    Participants walk to and experience different restaurants within the span of a few hours. Current locations include various Bay Area cities, Sacramento, Montreal, Ottawa and New York. Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. are upcoming sites, according to Dishcrawl’s website.

    In 2009, Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. Lee credits her SJSU education for some of her success.

    “It wasn’t until I transferred to SJSU, I suddenly became an organizer,” Lee said. “I started organizing things and bringing people together.”

    While enrolled in what she describes as “practical” and “high-level” courses, she started seeing that she was also developing strong leadership skills.

    Lee said one of her most influential professors was Marilyn Easter, a professor of marketing and decision sciences. Lee was in Easter’s integrated marketing communications class.

    “She was so precise about what we needed to do,” Lee said of Easter.

    Easter noted that Lee always came to her class dressed professionally, as if attending “a high-level business meeting.”

    “She was the most driven student I’ve ever met while at San José State University,” Easter said.

    For the semester-long project in Easter’s class, small groups came up with products and designed marketing plans. Lee came up with the idea of selling jewelry and turned it into a full-fledged business.

    “I was amazed, I was surprised and I was happy for her,” Easter said.

    Lee said she wants to give back to her alma mater and would be interested in speaking to students about social media and entrepreneurship.  Lee advised students to apply what they learn in school to their job without being boxed in by those concepts, a lesson that she has applied to her own business.

    “When I first started, I thought had to follow marketing guidelines,” Lee said. But “what we learn in school are guidelines, not strict, rigid rules.”

    Dishcrawl started out as a marketing tool for a start-up website called Battledish, which provided a list of restaurant recommendations based on the user’s tastes. The marketing tool ended up becoming more successful and so popular that the business was re-launched within a couple weeks as Dishcrawl.

    Lee described Dishcrawl as a fun way to bridge the gap between consumers and business owners through social media and bringing people together. She would like to see restaurants organizing similar events for marketing themselves.

    SJSU in the News: Super Bowl Champion James Jones Remembers His Roots

    San Jose native who went from shelter to Super Bowl returns

    Originally posted in San Jose Mercury News May 4, 2011

    By Mike Rosenberg

    When San Jose native James Jones scored his first NFL contract, he gave money to his wife, Tamika, for the big spending spree he had been dreaming about: a shopping cart full of name-brand food.

    For Jones — who went from living in homeless shelters as a child to winning the Super Bowl in February — a normal life, including a kitchen filled with normal food, was more important than diamond jewelry or a sports car.

    “He lets you know, he thinks (growing up in homeless shelters) is something that had to happen to him,” Tamika Jones, 27, said Wednesday during a visit to one of those shelters, the San Jose Family Shelter on Las Plumas Avenue. “It’s the thing that made him the man he is today.”

    Jones caught 50 passes and scored five touchdowns as a key cog in the lethal passing attack that helped the Green Bay Packers win it all this year, after going down as one of the top receivers in San Jose State history. Now 27, he returned with his family to the shelter to show the 35 families there that going from homeless to star athlete isn’t impossible.

    He should know. He stayed there and at another shelter from age 5 until he moved in with his grandmother at the start of high school. Determined to “be like Joe Montana,” he started playing football as a 4-year-old and eventually won an athletic scholarship to San Jose State.

    “Now, he’s more like Jerry Rice,” said his stepfather, Levon Jones.

    In an age where athletes, and often wide receivers, are sometimes perceived as flashy and arrogant, Jones served drumsticks and spaghetti to families, posed for pictures and even tossed the football around with the kids.

    He walked into the old room he lived in for three months during the mid-’90s, with three bed bunks crammed into a small space, and gazed around with a look of amazement. He went outside the room, where he played basketball growing up, and immediately picked up a ball and started shooting, surprised that the hoop now had a net.

    Later, during an interview, he talked about how his upbringing has been a constant source of motivation.

    “When we won the Super Bowl, it’s kind of like, you completed your journey,” James Jones said. “I cried as soon as the confetti came down, because of the journey I went through. I’ll never forget where I came from.”

    James, his mother, Janet, his sister and stepfather stayed at the shelter before finding an apartment. Now the families in the shelter are going through the same process: They get 90 days of support there, including professional help on budgeting and finding a job. At the end, about three-quarters of them find permanent housing, where they get a helping hand for nine more months, said Patricia Crowder, executive director of Family Supportive Housing, which runs the shelter on donations and government subsidies, mostly from the city.

    Thomas Hirshon and his fiance, Emily Hughes, are set to leave the shelter with their two young children later this week for their own apartment.

    As tough as it has been, seeing Jones go from rags to riches gave them a mental boost Wednesday.

    “He came from a rough childhood and broke through that barrier, and that’s inspiring,” Hughes said. “It gives us hope.”

    But it was not easy. In addition to cramped quarters, having to walk everywhere and struggling for food, Jones remembers the little things, like having no television or going into the bathroom as a young boy and seeing grown men.

    “That’s a little scary,” he said.

    He said the key through it all was his mother, who worked several jobs to help her family.

    His wife says kids in the shelters they visit always ask them why the NFL player does not resent his parents for his upbringing. But Jones said it was the opposite — his mom kept him on the right track.

    “I never wanted to call my mother from jail or a troubled situation,” he said.

    Janet Jones isn’t concerned about her son’s head getting too big for its shoulders.

    “Seeing what it is to be at the bottom, and then make it to the top,” she said, “he appreciates it so much more.”

    The appreciation isn’t just about winning titles. It’s also about those Fruity Pebbles he loves, and now he can afford to buy whatever cereal he wants.