Cheer Team Defends National Title

The SJSU Cheerleading team will defend its national title at the United Spirit Association Collegiate Championships on March 22 and 23 in the Anaheim Convention Center.

They’ll compete against a dozen schools from across the country in a category for four-year colleges with co-ed teams including no more than four men.

Now more than ever, cheerleading routines require a great deal of strength and agility. The 22 women and two men bring to SJSU’s squad a wide range of experiences, from soccer to marching band.

What do they have in common? A strong desire to compete and win, said Coach Kelvin Lam, now in his fourth year with the Spartans. Of course it’s about much more than a trophy.

“In the bigger picture, it’s about self discovery, including learning your weaknesses and strengths,” Lam said. “This is another opportunity to help our students grow.”

Follow the team’s progress on Facebook.

Alumni Win at the Academy Awards

Congratulations to three SJSU alumni! The Walt Disney film they worked on, “Big Hero 6,” won an Oscar for best animated film at this year’s Academy Awards.

“Big Hero 6” is a 3-D animated comedy about a plus-size inflatable robot and a prodigy who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.

Scott Watanabe was the lead art director. His wife, Kendelle Hoyer, worked as a story artist on the film, and Lauren Brown, ’13 Animation/Illustration, is a publicist.

This is the second win for Hoyer, who also worked as one of the main story board artists on “Paperman,” which won an Oscar for the Academy Award’s Best Animated Short in 2013. Watanabe and Hoyer met in the SJSU Animation/Illustration Program and graduated as art majors in 2006.

The student Animation/Illustration club, ShrunkenHeadMan, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The club started in room ART 218.

“Our alumni try to sneak either ‘SHM’ or ‘218’ into the films, games and shows they produce. You can catch a ‘218’ on one of the buildings in the credits of ‘Big Hero 6,’” said Associate Professor of Animation/Illustration David Chai.

SJSU alumni worked on two other films that were nominees in this year’s Academy Awards:

Animated Feature Film Category
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
Andrew Harkins

Short Film, Animated Category
“The Dam Keeper”
Jeanie Chang
Cody Gramstad
Kristy Kay
Becky Roberts
Lucie Roberts

Students Invite Obama to SJSU

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

“The Barbershop Diaries” Debuts

What’s in a barbershop? One heck of a story.

At a shop just blocks from campus, meet the owner, an engineering college dropout seeking salvation after serving time; his old college buddy, now a Hollywood star; a lesbian barber juggling a domestic relationship and her mother’s stage-four breast cancer; a Muslim struggling to find a quiet place to pray between cuts; an Ethiopian immigrant spending his jobless benefits on barber school; and many more people who have found a home at the Barbers Inc.

Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications Michael Cheers and his students premiere their documentary “The Barbershop Diaries” 3 p.m. Feb. 8 at Morris Dailey Auditorium. They’ll also unveil an online portrait gallery saluting South Bay barbers and beauty salon owners.

 

Big Dreams for Spring 2015

Just a touch of rain greeted 30,000 Spartans heading to campus for the first week of spring term 2015.

This includes 500 new transfer students and 450 new graduate students making the transition to SJSU.

It’s time to dream big, with everyone is settling into new classes in hopes of earning good grades.

Check out the new student success centers and growing Student Academic Success Services staff, along with Ask Me tables across campus.

Of course friends can help, too. Many of our over 400 student organizations are recruiting new members outdoors this week.

The discussion continues on how to help San Jose State become an even more welcoming community.

Famed Princeton Professor Cornel West, author of “Race Matters,” will speak at April 9. You might remember him from “The Matrix” movies.

Spring term ends with Honors Convocation and Commencement. Finally, all that hard work pays off for more than 7,000 new grads.

Does this include you? Claim your place in history and enter a drawing for a $10,000 scholarship for you or someone of your choice.

List your profile on the CSU Class of 3 Million yearbook. This major milestone signifies the huge influence our alumni have in shaping California.

It’s true SJSU students and alumni are excelling every day in many ways. There are lots of reasons to be a proud Spartan!

Spartans at Work: NASA Ames

Where will an SJSU degree take you? We hit the road to find out, visiting summer interns and recent grads on the job in the Bay Area and beyond. Our video series continues with Ali Guarneros Luna, ’10 ’12 Aerospace Engineering. She is a systems engineer at NASA Ames Research Center. Read more about her experience! http://bit.ly/sjsu-aluna-post

Spartans at Work: San Jose Rep

Where will an SJSU degree take you? We hit the road to find out, visiting summer interns and recent grads on the job in the Bay Area and beyond. Our video series continues with Oluchi Nwokocha, ’11 Theatre Arts and African-American Studies. Read more about her experience! http://bit.ly/sjsu-rep-post

Spartans at Work: The Walt Disney Family Museum

Where will an SJSU degree take you? We hit the road to find out, visiting summer interns and recent grads on the job in the Bay Area and beyond. Our video series continues with Alex Turner, ’14 Animation/Illustration. He’s an education intern at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. The museum’s collection includes some 25,000 works Disney and his staff used in creating his characters and films. Educational programs include a summer camp, where Alex works. Read more about his experience! http://bit.ly/sjsu-alex-post

Spartans at Work: SolutionSet

Where will an SJSU degree take you? We hit the road to find out, visiting summer interns and recent grads on the job in the Bay Area and beyond. Our video series begins with Miguel Martinez, ’13 Advertising. He’s a summer intern at the San Francisco office of SolutionSet, the second largest independent marketing services company in the U.S. Read more about his experience! http://bit.ly/sjsu-mmartinez

Major Decisions: Music

Daniel Matthews shares how his passion for music has grown as he works towards his major in music with an emphasis in jazz studies. The music program at SJSU brings people together from all over the world. SJSU’s prime location gives music majors many opportunities to find gigs throughout the Bay Area, including venues in SF and Santa Cruz.

Major Decisions: Sports Management

Alyssa Wong is working toward a master’s degree in sports management through San José State University’s Kinesiology Department. In this feature, Alyssa explains how her original interest in athletic training soon changed after she started to explore the business aspect of sports. Alyssa currently works at the Timpany Center, a non-profit therapeutic facility providing a 92° warm-water pool and 102° spa, operated by SJSU’s department of kinesiology. Find out how a love for sports and business can set the stage for a fulfilling career in athletics.