SJSU Hosts Celebration of Life for Charlie Whitcomb

Dr. Charlie Whitcomb

Dr. Charlie Whitcomb

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

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

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

Statesman

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

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

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

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

Devoted to diversity

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

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

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

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

Positive and hopeful spirit

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

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

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

 

Honors Convocation Recognizes Top Academic Achievers

Photo: David Schmitz

Photo: David Schmitz

When Kenney Chiu, ’15 Business Finance, joined 4,127 Dean’s and President’s Scholars as part of the Honors Convocation in the Event Center on April 15, someone special shared a seat with him — his baby boy Abraham Charles.

“I snuck him in to sit on my lap,” Chiu said with a laugh. “All the honorees that sat around me were playing with him and they just loved it, too.”

Chiu joined a record number of 3,714 students honored with recognition for earning a 3.65 or higher GPA in at least two contiguous of the past three semesters at San Jose State.

Although Chiu credited his honor with the exceptional teaching found in his home Lucas College of Business, he stressed the impact that his baby boy has had on his academic accomplishments.

“That’s where my motivation comes from,” Chiu said. “I just want to show my kid that he can be proud of his dad.”

Supporters

Interim President Sue Martin took a moment during the ceremony to praise the “unsung heroes,” including family members, friends and spouses who helped support and guide the student scholars.

Photo: David Schmitz

Photo: David Schmitz

For Emily Vann, ’16 Public Relations, her President’s Scholar recognition was a testament to her mother Olivia and her coaches both on and off the basketball court.

Vann joined a record setting 59 student-athletes recognized for academic excellence, including eight student-athletes who maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA for at least two contiguous of the past three semesters.

“You have to kind of go into another gear to kind of get this distinction,” Vann said. “I know firsthand how much it takes and how much time, dedication and effort it takes to go through the everyday process of waking up and having to wear two hats as a student and an athlete.”

Vann, a forward on the SJSU women’s basketball team, said she could not have reached the academic milestone without the support of her mother.

“My mom is a teacher and I just feel really blessed to have had her in my life. She helped me and coached me from the time I was little,” Vann said. “[She’s] always letting me know that my academics come first even though I’m an athlete.”

Provost Andy Feinstein said such support by loved ones and faculty members alike married with personal sacrifice helped usher in the record number of honored scholars this year.

“These students have shown a commitment to their studies, through personal, economic, social and educational circumstances, to be among the top one percent at this university,” Feinstein said.

Sacrifice

Kenneth Peter, 2016 Outstanding Professor, said in his keynote speech that students should be fueled by the various sacrifices they make in their quest for higher education.

Photo: David Schmitz

Photo: David Schmitz

“Your talents are not only exhibited in your academic success, but are profound when viewed in light of the struggles you have overcome,” Peter said. “When many of you are first generation college students, when most of you worked more than half time, when many of you have family obligations, when most of you come from public schools with inadequate resources, you are remarkably talented and you have proven this by being in this room tonight.”

Peter’s assertion rang particularly close to home for Jamil Elbanna, ’16 Mechanical Engineering, who spent most of his academic career working two jobs in addition to his schoolwork.

In order to finance his way through college, Elbanna took a job as a courtesy clerk at Safeway and a security officer at a hospital, all while pursuing a degree.

“It’s definitely not the easiest thing but having passion for my major and what I want to study is important,” Elbanna said. “There were times where it almost felt impossible, but I just keep at it and pushed at it day and night.”

Peter concluded his keynote speech by reminding the student honorees that by receiving recognition for their academic accomplishments, they are also receiving an important responsibility.

“Your talent must not be wasted. Each of you should leave SJSU with the kind of education you will need to fight for greater fairness and equality than this world has yet seen fit to offer,” Peters said. “You have likely experienced some hardships. Let those light the fire within.”

 

books only

Celebrating SJSU’s Authors

books with people 530

Founded three years ago, the SJSU Author Awards have recognized more than 80 members of the faculty, staff and administration who authored, co-authored or edited books (James Tensuan image).

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

SAN JOSE, CA — The remarkable intellectual breadth and depth of the faculty, staff and administration will be on display at the third annual SJSU Author Awards 3 p.m. Oct. 27 in King 225/229. This event is free and open to all university community members.

“By presenting a framework for understanding human rights, exploring the complexity of software creation, or delving into the challenge of screenwriting, these authors inform their readers and move them to think in new ways,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Andy Feinstein.

Lawrence Quill

Lawrence Quill

One of the many satisfactions of publishing is reaching beyond the people you know to influence people you will never meet. These authors are contributing to ongoing intellectual debate and their ideas now have a worldwide reach.”

Each of this year’s honorees will be individually recognized. The guest speaker will be Lawrence Quill, chair of the Department of Political Science and author of “Secrets And Democracy: From Arcana Imperii to Wikileaks” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Worldwide reach

Quill’s work considers the role that secrets plays within liberal democracies and the impact this has on the public’s right to know, the individual’s right to privacy, and the government’s penchant for secrecy and data collection.

Founded three years ago, the SJSU Author Awards have recognized more than 80 members of the faculty, staff and administration who authored, co-authored or edited books. The Office of the Provost, University Library and Spartan Bookstore sponsor the event.

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

 

Andy Feinstein

SJSU Appoints Provost

Andy Feinstein

Andrew (Andy) Hale Feinstein

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

Dr. Andrew (Andy) Hale Feinstein has been appointed provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, effective April 21.

“Please join me and the members of my cabinet in welcoming Dr. Andy Feinstein as our provost and vice president for Academic Affairs,”  President Mohammad Qayoumi said. “I would like to extend my gratitude to all the members of the search committee, who worked tirelessly to review an applicant pool of more than 70 highly qualified candidates.”

Upon learning of the appointment, search committee chair and Professor of Accounting and Finance Annette Nellen said she was pleased to hear SJSU’s interim provost would have the opportunity to serve the SJSU community on a permanent basis. Feinstein was appointed deputy provost in July 2013 and interim provost in January 2014.

“I am humbled to serve this great institution. My family and I are happy to be here, and look forward to further engaging with the university community,” Feinstein said.

At SJSU, Feinstein focused on improving retention and graduation rates; addressing diversity and campus climate issues; streamlining the transfer process for community college students; creating a new budget model that will be implemented for the 2014/15 academic year; developing new resource allocation and reporting methods for self-support programs; and establishing a new divisional enrollment planning model.  

Throughout this time, Dr. Feinstein has worked collaboratively across the campus and earned the respect of his colleagues,” President Qayoumi said.

Professional Experience

Prior to SJSU, Feinstein was dean and James A. Collins Distinguished Chair of The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona. Cal Poly Pomona ranks among the top public universities in the western United States and serves approximately 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students who reflect the diversity of Southern California. The Collins College is the first and largest hospitality program in California and ranked as one of the best programs in the country. During his time at the college, Feinstein implemented a strategic plan resulting in the elevation of the program to a college, the development of a successful self-supported Masters of Science program currently ranked among the top 10 in the nation, the raising of more than $14 million in gifts, and the design and oversight of a $10 million facility expansion expected to open in 2015.

In 2008, the chancellor of the California State University appointed Feinstein as the system-wide director of Hospitality Management Education. The CSU is the largest university system in the country and graduates 94 percent of all California hospitality management students from its programs. Feinstein provided support for 14 hospitality programs and managed two advisory boards. He has engaged in successful lobbying efforts on behalf of the CSU, created outreach programs targeting underrepresented groups, and expedited the approval of more than 200 articulation agreements between the CSU and community colleges throughout California.

Scholarly Achievements

Prior to becoming dean, Feinstein served as senior adviser to the president at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This cabinet-level position managed the president’s relationship with internal and external constituents. In this role, Feinstein oversaw the awarding and funding of several presidential research grants, participated in Board of Regents meetings, and coordinated presidential advancement activities. Previously, Feinstein was associate dean for strategic initiatives at the UNLV’s Harrah Hotel College. He also served on launch and steering committees for a successful $500 million comprehensive campaign and was a member of the Biomedical Institutional Review Board.

Feinstein holds a B.S. and M.S. in Hotel Administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He received his doctoral degree from Pennsylvania State University, where he held an Academic Computing Fellowship. He has published more than 30 refereed journal articles and presented at dozens of meetings and conferences. Areas of focus have included instructional systems, simulation modeling, and food service operations. Feinstein is a fellow and past president of the Association of Business Simulation and Experiential Learning. He is the co-author of two hospitality purchasing textbooks, one of which is currently adopted at more than 250 colleges and universities worldwide.

San Jose State University — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 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.

Provost Resigns to Accept Position at CSU Dominguez Hills

Provost Resigns, Accepts New CSU Position

Ellen Junn

Ellen Junn

Media contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-656-6999

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Ellen Junn has accepted an offer to become provost at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Her last day at SJSU will be Jan. 17.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone in the SJSU community,” Junn said.

It has been a joy getting to know and work with so many wonderful colleagues and students here. The opportunity to return to Southern California to be near my family has been a critical factor in my decision.”

“While I am very saddened to leave this remarkable campus, I know San Jose State has the strength and integrity to flourish,” she continued. “I will miss you all and send you my warmest wishes for a continued and bright future.”

Prior to coming to San Jose, Junn served at CSU Fresno, where she established a center for the advancement of teaching and learning, reconfigured academic technology, and secured WASC accreditation and approval for a variety of new graduate, doctoral, international and online degree programs.

“San Jose State has gained much from Ellen’s passion for fostering student success,” President Mohammad Qayoumi said.

Arriving at SJSU in January 2012, Junn re-energized SJSU’s graduation rate initiative, developed the university’s academic plan through 2017, and established departmental grants designed to improve retention and graduation rates while supporting new methods of teaching and learning.

Qayoumi has begun seeking input on a succession plan, and will name an interim provost prior to Junn’s departure.

 

books on a shelf

Celebrating San Jose State’s Authors

Celebrating SJSU Authors

More than 50 members of our faculty, staff and administration authored, co-authored or edited 61 books published in 2011 and 2012 (photo courtesy of King Library).

Join us as we celebrate the 53 members of our faculty, staff and administration who authored, co-authored or edited 61 books published in 2011 and 2012. This event will recognize these truly outstanding authors and researchers, all of whom have made significant contributions.

San Jose State University Annual Author Awards
Date: Monday, Nov. 5, 2012
Time: 3–5 p.m.
Location: King 225/229

Please RSVP by Nov. 1.

View a complete list of authors who have had a book published in 2011 and 2012.

The Office of the Provost, University Library and Spartan Bookstore are proud to sponsor this event. If you have any questions, please contact Elisabeth Thomas at (408) 808-2193.

SJSU Hosts 21st Century Teaching Symposium

21st Century Teaching Symposium

SJSU Hosts 21st Century Teaching Symposium

“Technology is changing everything, and teaching should be no different. But what stays the same is the learning process: reflection, discussion, and problem solving,” said keynote speaker Candace Thille, director of Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative.

To strengthen the faculty’s interest in next-generation technologies, SJSU hosted the “21st Century Teaching: Opportunities and Incentives” symposium Sept. 24 at King Library.

The one-day workshop focused on using online educational resources to enhance student learning. More than 150 faculty members attended, building on SJSU’s Next Generation Technology Initiative.

“It is so exciting that faculty members want to learn something new to help our students and leverage technology we have here in Silicon Valley,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Junn.

Keynote speaker Candace Thille, professor and director of the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University, discussed developing better tools for teaching today’s student within an open-source learning environment.

“There is a great diversity in how well prepared students are and what skills they have to engage [in university life] once they get here,” Thille said.

She also discussed developing goal-directed practices, building fluency in open-source learning environments, and using interactive student data to guide teaching.

“Technology is changing everything, and teaching should be no different,” Thille said. “But what stays the same is the learning process: reflection, discussion, and problem solving.”

After Thille’s address, SJSU faculty members from the colleges of engineering, education, business and social sciences presented existing online education initiatives and the results of these experiences.

Over lunch, faculty members discussed and joined various technology-related Faculty Learning Communities to explore the new teaching landscape with colleagues.

Topics include Affordable Learning Solutions, Big Datalecture capture/video conferencing, and learning and games.

You can view the full symposium here.

A Celebration of SJSU Research

A Celebration of SJSU Research

A Celebration of SJSU Research

Professor of Chemistry Lionel Cheruzel has been tremendously productive in his field of bioinorganic chemistry. He leads an active research group comprised of eight undergraduate students and one graduate student focused on Cytochrome P450 and the synthetic potential for biotechnological applications (photo courtesy of SJSU Research Foundation).

President Mohammad Qayoumi, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Junn, and Research Foundation Chief Operating Office Mary Sidney cordially invite you to “A Celebration of SJSU Sponsored Research” 3-5 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Student Union’s Barrett Ballroom. Join the entire SJSU community in a celebration of campus-wide research endeavors. Visit research program exhibits. Enjoy presentations by Early Career Investigator Awardees Dr. Lionel Cheruzel (College of Science) and Dr. Lili Luo (College of Applied Sciences and Arts). Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.