Journalism Gift Slideshow

Journalism Receives $8.7 Million

Journalism Receives $8.7 Million Gift

Jack Anderson with colleague Irene Epstein in an undated photo (courtesy of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications).

Chris Di Salvo, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, 408-506-0455
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations, 408-656-6999

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications has received an $8.7 million bequest from the estate of the late Jack and Emma Anderson, who owned the press where the Spartan Daily student newspaper was published for 20 years beginning in the mid-1950s. The gift, among the 10 largest ever for SJSU, will be used to help fund the school’s transition to the digital era.

“The Jack and Emma Anderson Fund will support our dynamic vision to be recognized internationally as a leader in new media and social media research in higher education, reflecting Silicon Valley’s energy and innovative spirit,” said School of Journalism and Mass Communications Director Bob Rucker.

A Well-Equipped Classroom

The Andersons knew the importance of providing journalism majors with hands-on experience. Jack, who headed press operations at Globe Printing Company, and Emma, who was bookkeeper, made sure the Spartan Daily staff had a room at their South First Street shop to finalize page layouts before the newspaper was printed each evening.

“The print shop became a well-equipped classroom for the students who took turns putting the paper ‘to bed’ each weeknight,” wrote the late Professor Dolores Spurgeon in her JMC history, The First Fifty Years. “The physical arrangement thus provided a close working relationship between students, typographers and pressmen, constituting an instructional facility far beyond the financial means of the department.”

As progress and changes in the industry made it possible for Spartan Daily staff to do everything needed to layout and design the paper inside the newsroom in Dwight Bentel Hall, the couple rolled along with the times, recalled Professor Emeritus of Advertising Clyde Lawrence.

“When we did move the production of the paper to offset printing,” the professor said, “Jack actually had a ceremony for the students by burying the old press and place it in a concrete slab.”

After her husband’s death in 1989, Emma ran the print shop for eight years before retiring. She died in March 2012.

Timely Curriculum

When the time came for estate planning, the Andersons chose to continue to support journalism students through the changes the couple was seeing in the industry, changes that are very apparent today with the advent of the Internet and social media.

“The School of Journalism and Mass Communications will continue prioritizing timely curriculum advancements that accommodate changing times, student needs and media industry expectations for a fully prepared graduate workforce,” Rucker said.

The Anderson gift will support the School of Journalism and Mass Communications’ following initiatives:

  • Developing mutually beneficial partnerships with individuals and companies who share our enthusiasm for top quality, innovative and dynamic uses of new technology to deliver specialized certificate training and advanced degree online instruction.
  • Establishing a Center for New Media and Social Media Research focused on gathering, interpreting and sharing timely information and successful analyses of trends and expectations to help companies and organizations target, attract, motivate and maintain new consumers.

The SJSU School of Journalism and Mass Communications is one of only two at California universities named among the 50 best in the U.S. by College Media Matters, a leading student journalism publication sponsored by the Associated College Press. JMC graduates over 200 students annually with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism, advertising, public relations and mass communications.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,500 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city. Learn more about Acceleration: The Campaign for San Jose State University.


A computer is connected to a projector displaying a Skype conversation with CEO of Fancorp, a brand advocacy company. The guest speaker was for Michael Brito's Developing Strategies for Socia Media Class.

Edelman Digital Executive Teaches New Social Media Class

A computer is connected to a projector displaying a Skype conversation with CEO of Fancorp, a brand advocacy company. The guest speaker was for Michael Brito's Developing Strategies for Socia Media Class.

A guest speaker from Fancorps, a word-of-mouth marketing and brand advocacy firm, connects with a new social media class via Skype (Michael Brito photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

This semester, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications introduced a new social media elective taught by industry leader Michael Brito.

“Developing Strategies For Social Media” takes a look at fostering more effective and meaningful conversations with the social customer by breaking down the internal structure of an organization.

The author of Smart Business Social Business: A Playbook for Social Media in Your Organization, Brito has worked in a variety of social media capacities and for major brands including HP, Yahoo! and Intel.

Brito is senior vice president of social business planning at Edelman Digital, the interactive arm of the world’s largest independently owned public relations firm.

“I already know that everything I learned so far this semester will add to my experience in whatever career I chose in my field,” said Jean Philippe Rastrullo, Public Relations ’13.

Brito talked to SJSU Today about what students who take the course should expect and what role the class plays in today’s world. The following was edited for length and clarity.

SJSU: What is the purpose of the class and why do we need to offer it now?

Brito: I get a lot of resumes from students when we look to hire people and I am noticing there is huge disconnect in what they are teaching in universities [and what is needed professionally]. We are looking for people who use tools and understand the influence of the social customer. If they are not using Twitter or blogging, it’s hard to justify bringing them in. What I am seeing in the industry is that companies are focused on how to change behavior, but there is still a disconnect in how to change behavior using social business. A lot of companies are trying to figure this out and I think that is where the opportunity is.

SJSU: What are some of things you are teaching in your class?

Brito: This is the first class where public relations and journalism students are learning about social business, not just marketing and overall communications. In my class, we talk about the customer and the brand and how the brand communicates with the customer. We also talk about the business and how the business is changing the way it operates internally to enable all of that great communication.  In addition, we spend about 15 to 20 minutes a week talking about students’ personal brand.

SJSU: What kind of tools are you using in the classroom?

Brito: We created a hashtag so that anyone in the industry can watch the class. We are also using Pinterest, a virtual tool where the entire class can post pictures, infographics and articles to post on a pinboard. We are using Skype video chat for guest speakers and different vendors in the space.

SJSU: What is your goal for the class?

Brito: My goal for students as they leave the class is to prepare them for jobs.  I want to share with them how to stand out from the rest to get them jobs and internships. I want to enable them and prepare them to blow that hiring manager out of the water based on what they have learned over the last four months.

Image from essay showing everyday people examining a fancy sports car.

SJSU in the News: Alumnus Creates Visual Essay Displaying Beijing’s “Canvas of Contrasts”

SJSU in the News: Grad's Spectacular Visual Essay Shows Beijing's "Canvas of Contrasts"

Click on the image to view Sugano's visual essay.

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

San Jose Mercury News photographer Dai Sugano, an SJSU journalism grad, created this spectacular visual essay after traveling to Beijing. Demonstrating a new direction for photo journalism, the essay blends still and video images with captions to show how “this sprawling metropolis of 20 million is a canvas of contrasts.” Sugano’s colleague, John Boudreau, writes: “China’s communist political system is nominally committed to socialist egalitarianism, but its capital city contains some of the world’s greatest disparities between the haves and have-nots … Urban sophisticates in designer clothes pack nightclubs and sip champagne while migrant workers huddle in makeshift housing along construction sites, slurping noodles out of large tin cups.” Sugano is a frequent classroom speaker at SJSU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications, which offers hands on instruction in multimedia and emerging new media technologies. Read Boudreau’s story below.


Beijing is a study in contrasts

Originally published by the San Jose Mercury News Dec. 13, 2011.

By John Boudreau

BEIJING — This sprawling metropolis of 20 million is a canvas of contrasts.

China’s communist political system is nominally committed to socialist egalitarianism, but its capital city contains some of the world’s greatest disparities between the haves and have-nots. The newly rich in Bentleys and Mercedes-Benzes rush by street vendors in donkey carts who come in daily from the countryside, some who earn barely $100 a year. Urban sophisticates in designer clothes pack nightclubs and sip champagne while migrant workers huddle in makeshift housing along construction sites, slurping noodles out of large tin cups.

China’s emergence has also created opportunities for well-educated Chinese to work and live abroad, including tens of thousands of tech workers now employed in Silicon Valley. The 2010 Census tallied 630,467 Chinese-Americans in the Bay Area, up 25 percent from the 2000 Census and more Chinese-American residents than anywhere in the United States other than New York City.

On a recent reporting trip to China, staff photographer Dai Sugano captured in images and video the contradictions on display every day in this rising economic giant.

Now the world’s second-largest economy, China is also its fastest-growing major economy, continuing to post impressive growth rates after three decades of spectacular economic performance, and despite the painful global recession. Hundreds of millions of Chinese have been lifted out of poverty as China has become the world’s largest exporter of goods and its second-largest importer.

Yet many Chinese have been left out of the nation’s economic miracle. Hundreds of millions of people living in the countryside remain mired in poverty.

China’s capital city is a tableau of the new and the old. In and around Tiananmen Square, flashes of patriotic images of the rising nation are displayed in two jumbo screens. “Firmly pushing forward the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics!” reads one slogan on a screen. iPhone-toting hipsters pose in front of a huge portrait of former Chairman Mao Zedong.

Images from the revolutionary era in which Chinese Communists violently opposed capitalism are juxtaposed with gleaming citadels created by China’s new heroes — captains of industry. China’s headlong embrace of a market economy, though, comes with caveats. The government plays a major role in guiding the economy and many of the nation’s most important companies are state-owned.

In the rush to be a leading 21st-century city, Beijing’s government has bulldozed many historic neighborhoods to make room for reach-for-the-sky development. The bustling city is crammed with towering office buildings containing high-end stores, from Gucci to Apple, filled with shoppers snatching up Tiffany jewelry, designer bags and bottles of $4,000 Château Pétrus wine. The quaint courtyard houses and labyrinthine hutong neighborhoods that defined Beijing for hundreds of years are mostly gone, and the few that remain are overshadowed by high-rise complexes.

The city is a magnet for migrant workers, with millions of rural Chinese pouring in to find their own Chinese Dream. But they often end up as second-class citizens: Under the country’s household registration system, migrant workers don’t qualify for many services, from public education to health care, unless they remain in their home province. Still, they stay because being a second-class citizen in Beijing often seems better than being a first-class citizen of a village with no jobs or future prospects.

Addressing the widening gap between the rich and poor is just one of many daunting tasks China faces as it transitions to the modern industrial society. The world awaits, with both anticipation and dread, the next chapter of its emergence as an economic powerhouse.

Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.


19.6 million in 2010 (up from 13.6 million in 2000)

Gross domestic product per capita in 2010: $10,672 (up 6.2 percent over 2008)

Disposable income per capita in urban area: $3,914 (up 8.1 percent over 2008); in rural area: $1,754 (up 11.5 percent over 2008)

Home to 26 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, behind only Tokyo and Paris, and just ahead of New York

Source: National Bureau of Statistics of China, Beijing Government Statistics, Fortune Magazine

Access Magazine Takes Readers Behind the Scenes at Ballet San Jose's "The Nutcracker"

Access Magazine Takes Readers Behind the Scenes at Ballet San Jose’s “The Nutcracker”

Access Magazine Takes Readers Behind the Scenes at Ballet San Jose's "The Nutcracker"

The infamous hats of the Nutcracker and King Mouse from Ballet San Jose (Jesse Jones photo).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

“The Nutcracker” has captivated audiences for generations with characters drawn from a child’s imagination. Who could forget the fearsome Mouse King or the delicate Sugar Plum Fairy?

In the November 2011 issue of Access Magazine, two journalism students takes readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Ballet San Jose costume shop.

Thanks to a partnership with digital publishing platform Issuu, you can read the story, view photos, and flip through the entire issue online.

In “With Every Stitch,” writer Amanda Holst and photographer Jesse Jones reveal how the costumes are designed, altered, laundered and stored with great attention to the smallest of details so that each piece dazzles audiences for decades.

Access Magazine, also distributed in print as a Spartan Daily insert, is an arts and entertainment publication created by students of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Keep up with Access on Facebook.

Jennifer Elias

Inspirational Student Receives Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award

Jennifer Elias

Jennifer Elias

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

San Jose State’s Jennifer Elias is one of 23 students who will receive a 2011-2012 William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. The trustees will honor the scholars on Sept. 20 at the CSU Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach, California. Elias will receive a total of $4,000, including $1,000 from a scholarship fund endowed by CSU trustee and SJSU alumnus William Hauck.

Elias is a standout member of SJSU’s student newspaper, the Spartan Daily. She decided to use that platform during her junior year to share with others her story of sexual assault and violence, and to provide resources to others who may be afraid to speak out about their own experiences.

Elias and her family have struggled financially, and this year has been extremely difficult with multiple family medical issues. This award will keep her on the path of success and help her attain her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication.

The Hearst/CSU Trustees’ award is among the highest forms of recognition for student achievement in the CSU. The students receiving the awards have all demonstrated inspirational resolve along the path to college success.

The William Randolph Hearst Foundation originally established the endowed scholarship fund in 1984. In 1999, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation partnered with the CSU Board of Trustees to supplement the endowment with contributions from CSU Trustees and private donors.

Read more on the Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award.

AIDS awareness ribbon

Spartan Daily Inspires Fulbright Scholar

photo of Denver Lewellen

Denver Lewellen

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

The same year the world marks the 30th anniversary of the reported case of AIDS, SJSU alumnus Denver Lewellen has been received a Fulbright Award to conduct research on the disease at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Beginning this month, Lewellen will spend nine months at Dalhousie focusing on “Understanding the Impact of Globalization on Community Health Care Services for Persons with HIV in Nova Scotia.”

Lewellen describes in the following post how his decision to pursue a PhD in medical anthropology was inspired by his work as a Spartan Daily reporter covering AIDS awareness events on campus in 1985.

“All of this progress goes back to my time at San Jose State University, where I met the best people, and I had the best teachers and mentors, many of whom I am still in touch with,” he said.

Lewellen has been a Visiting Scholar and John A. Sproul Research Fellow in the Canadian Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley. Read a related Spartan Daily story.


I graduated from San Jose State University in 1987 with a double major in journalism and anthropology.  As a reporter on SJSU’s Spartan Daily, I covered the university’s AIDS Awareness Week in 1985.

This week was a special event full of guest speakers and presentations from the CDC and local health departments that was designed to bring awareness and education of the disease to the SJSU community.  To my knowledge, it was the first such event in any university on the West Coast – if not the nation.  For my news coverage of the event I was given an award by my editors for “Outstanding Achievement.”

I had originally planned to be a foreign news correspondent – thus the double major.  However, I was so affected by AIDS Awareness Week that I decided to follow a track in medical anthropology – a field that focuses on cross-cultural, interdisciplinary studies of health and medicine for the purpose of impacting health policy, health journalism and health education.

I obtained my master’s degree and then my Ph.D. in medical anthropology from the New School for Social Research in 1998.  My field work for my Ph.D. was completed Montreal, Quebec, where I conducted an ethnographic study of HIV patients receiving services under Canada’s single-payer health plan, and I compared this research to my Masters’ research project, which was a needs assessment of persons with AIDS in New Jersey, conducted out of Rutgers University.

At the post doctorate-level I have been the principal investigator for studies related to Veteran’s health and the homeless mentally ill.  In 2009 I moved back to California – after 22 years – to be a visiting scholar and research fellow in the Canadian Studies department at UC Berkeley, where I am working on publishing a series of articles about the Canadian health experience for persons with HIV.  Last month I was informed that I have been selected as the next Fulbright Research Scholar in Society and Culture at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

I will be in a Nova Scotia for a year and my project there will mark my third decade as a researcher of health care policy issues related to HIV.   The impact of this work, hopefully, will go beyond the attention of planners and providers of HIV care, but also to those interested in comparative research on health care delivery systems.

All of this progress goes back to my time at San Jose State University, where I met the best people, and I had the best teachers and mentors – many of whom I am still in touch with.

SJSU in the News: Celebrated Local TV Newsman Marks Milestone in Career Nurtured at SJSU

From farm to tube, TV host true to his roots

Originally published in the San Jose Mercury News July 21, 2011

By Joe Rodriguez, Mercury News Columnist

When KNTV reporter Damian Trujillo thought about his “quinceañera” — or 15th anniversary as host of the “Comunidad del Valle” Sunday morning television show, he never considered an on-air party, fancy tribute or even a cake. That’s just not his style.

Instead, he invited Little Joe Hernandez, the Willie Nelson of Tex-Mex music, to fly in from Austin to talk about Chicano music and identity and plug his upcoming concert in Santa Clara.

“Damian has a big heart,” Hernandez said at the station in North San Jose, “and the talent to go with it.” Viewers who tune in at 10:30 a.m. Sunday will get a short look back at the show in Trujillo’s hands. The clip starts with a hip, young reporter sporting wire-rim glasses and interviewing the members of Culture Clash. Then comes Trujillo sporting a thick, black mustache on assignment in Mexico City, followed by the 41-year-old Trujillo today with close-cropped, graying hair.

Mostly, the anniversary show is vintage Trujillo, a relaxed conversation with a guest who, famous or not, has something interesting to say about Latino life, art, work or politics in the Bay Area. Most of his guests over the years have been people who work quietly inside the community, often with nonprofit organizations, addressing long-standing issues and problems.

“The show is really a conduit for them, the nonprofits, and what they do for the community,” Trujillo said during an interview. “I’m just trying to help their voices be heard.””Comunidad del Valle” dates to 1980, when it was hosted by Mario del Castillo. Two other former KNTV reporters, Daniel Garza and Judy Garcia, hosted the show before Trujillo took over in 1996.

“I wanted it badly,” Trujillo said. “I used to watch the show when I was a kid. I had never seen a show about Latinos hosted by a Latino.”

He grew up in Greenfield, a farming town in Monterey County, the fifth of eight children. His father had migrated from Mexico in the 1950s as a bracero, or agricultural guest worker, and with only a first-grade education. His mother did slightly better, making it through second grade in Mexico.

Trujillo recalled clearing weeds from tomato fields on weekends and summers and dreaming of becoming a tractor driver because the tractor cabins were air-conditioned. He figured he’d drop out of school because that’s what his older brothers and sister did, but he didn’t want to end up in the fields, either.

“So I took auto mechanics, wood shop and welding classes,” he said.

Still, “something from within” persuaded him to study hard. He took some classes with the college-bound kids, and he liked writing.

A short story he wrote at age 11, “Antonio’s Cafe,” was printed in a youth publication in Santa Cruz. He published another in high school, where the journalism adviser invited him to join the campus newspaper or yearbook staff.

“Journalism, that’s for sissies,” he remembered thinking at the time. He rejected the offer.

He graduated and enrolled at San Jose State to study computer science.

“I thought that was something I might like.” However, a future as a geek fizzled when a friend, noticing Trujillo’s fluency in Spanish and English, asked him to fill in as host for Radio Aztlan, a campus program.

“What I liked was meeting interesting people and interviewing them face to face,” he said. “I switched my major to journalism.”

But he didn’t sail through. One of his early mentors, professor Bob Rucker, gave him an “F” on his first paper. Rucker, now director of journalism at SJSU, remembers Trujillo well.

“He was never a ‘know-it-all,'” Rucker said. “He was always willing to learn from setbacks, plus offer fresh and challenging story ideas that forced him to go beyond the easy.”

Finding a calling in broadcast journalism, Trujillo won a coveted internship at KNTV-11. After a brief stint behind a desk with Telemundo, a Spanish-language station, he returned to KNTV as a full-time reporter and has remained there ever since.

His reporting has taken him all over the Bay Area on breaking news, hot-button issues such as police profiling and occasionally to Mexico for special reports. The Associated Press of California named him television Reporter of the Year in 2004, and his coverage of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Mexico won a first-place award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2001. Along the way, he became the most sought-after master of ceremonies for Latino events in Silicon Valley.

Meanwhile, Trujillo married, started a family and moved to Morgan Hill. Every year on Cesar Chavez Day, he and his wife, Monica, and friends pack about 200 sandwich lunches and deliver them to farmworkers in Greenfield. Each year in May, the Trujillos give a $500 college scholarship to a graduating Greenfield high school student from a farmworker family.

On the day he interviewed Little Joe Hernandez, Trujillo also taped a segment with Susanna Zaraysky, author of a book on how to teach foreign languages through music.

“Sometimes talking with journalists, you get the feeling they don’t understand the people we’re working with,” Zaraysky said. “But Damian does. He gets it.”