SJSU News SJSU Today offers the latest news and shares the stories of the people at San Jose State University. Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:07:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Honorable Sonia Sotomayor on Law and Hope Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:23:19 +0000 “You have to have some idealism to go into lawyering. You have to want to help people,” said Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the crowd gathered in the Student Union Ballroom. During the October 20 event, Sotomayor discussed how her memoir, ”My Beloved World,” has given her a platform to talk about her passion—the law—and to share the stories of her life in order to help others, particularly young people.

In conversation with UC Berkeley Professor of Law Melissa Murray, who teaches constitutional law and clerked for Sotomayor on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, Sotomayor candidly recounted stories of adversity that spurred her on instead of knocking her down. She also admitted that there are “a lot of emotions that come along with being a Supreme Court justice,” and that she often has to pinch herself to make sure it’s all real.

While she now walks the corridors of the White House (and occasionally spends time at the homes of celebrities like Jennifer Lopez), she said that staying connected to her family and bringing them along with her on her professional journey keeps her grounded. Everyone needs help sometimes, Sotomayor explained.

Throughout the event, Sotomayor spoke directly to the students seated in the first several rows in front of her. When asked about balancing family needs with pursuing an education, she explained to one student, who she welcomed on stage to take a photo with her, that getting an education is the best way to support your family in the long term, no matter the immediate needs. Most of you are here [at San Jose State], despite the economy, because you have hope, she said.

“There isn’t a student in this room who should ever give up, “ said Sotomayor. “You got into college. You’re here! If you can defy all odds to get in, you’ve got what it takes to make it.”

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Faculty Notes: Research, Recognition and Global Impact Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:13:56 +0000 rockfish

Assistant Professor Scott Hamilton will investigate the responses of juvenile rockfish to a marine environment that contains elevated levels of carbon dioxide and reduced levels of oxygen (image courtesy of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories).

Assistant Professor Scott Hamilton, Moss Landing Marine Labs, was awarded a multi-year $330,000 National Science Foundation grant to investigate the responses of juvenile rockfish to a marine environment that contains elevated levels of carbon dioxide and reduced levels of oxygen. How well the rockfish adapt will provide key information for fisheries and fishery managers. This research, incorporating both field and laboratory studies, builds on Hamilton’s previous scientific investigations of temperate marine fishes.

School of Social Work Professor Laurie Drabble received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study the rates of alcohol consumption, hazardous drinking patterns and illicit drug use among sexual minority women. One of the aims of the study is to identify individual, community and societal factors that contribute—positively or negatively—to substance use, including such factors as social support and psychological distress. A member of California’s Women’s Health Survey Committee, Drabble also serves as an affiliate associate scientist with the Alcohol Research Group in Berkeley.

Produced and directed by Department of Linguistics and Language Development Professor Rosemary Henze, the documentary “Just a Piece of Cloth” received a Making a Difference Award at the Toronto Community Film Festival in September. The film, featuring Bay Area Muslim women, has also had screenings at UC Berkeley’s Conference on Islamophobia, the Monterey Institute of International Studies and elsewhere.

Department of Sociology Lecturer and Center for Community Learning and Leadership Co-Director Michael Fallon helped organize the 2014 Silicon Valley Neighborhood Development Training Conference. The day-long, annual campus event brings together local neighborhood leaders and veteran community development practitioners to participate in workshops focused on public safety, health and neighborhood improvement. Among this year’s workshop topics: “20 Tips for Growing Healthy Neighborhoods,” “The Future of Transportation in Silicon Valley” and “Supporting and Working with Youth in Our Community.”

School of Information Director Sandra Hirsh co-chaired the fourth annual Library 2.014 Worldwide Virtual Conference, held October 8 and 9. Conducted in multiple languages in multiple time zones over the course of two days, the free online conference provided participants with the opportunity to learn about the issues impacting the information profession from an international perspective. Presentations addressed such timely topics as MOOCs, e-books, mobile services, green libraries and more. Keynote and session recordings are available on the Library 2.0 YouTube channel.

Department of Economics Professor Jeffrey Rogers Hummel was one of a panel of experts asked by, a web-based personal finance resource, to weigh in on the challenge of creating a skilled and educated workforce. The site, which published a list of the most and least educated cities among the largest cities in the United States in 2014, ranked San Jose seventh in a field of 150. Hummel’s suggestion: “The most important step toward developing a more educated and skillful workforce would be to eliminate all federal involvement entirely.”

set up man 300

Writing as T.T. Monday, Professor Taylor spins a tale about a baseball player/private investigator that “succeeds as both a mystery and a baseball novel,” according to Publishers Weekly.

President Mohammad Qayoumi’s appreciation of Afghanistan’s new president, “Ashraf Ghani and Afghanistan’s future,” was posted on the U.S. Congress blog The Hill, a forum for lawmakers and policy professionals. Dr. Ashraf Ghani, Qayoumi’s roommate at the American University of Beirut more than four decades ago, was inaugurated as Afghanistan’s president this month. “If anyone can keep Afghanistan on a road to coherent self government and democracy, it is Ghani.  From his earliest years he has had total clarity of purpose, great vision, and an incandescent passion to serve Afghanistan,” Qayoumi wrote. 

Department of English Associate Professor and Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies Director Nick Taylor discussed his new thriller, “The Setup Man” (Doubleday), at the Menlo Park Civic Center on Oct. 4. Writing as T.T. Monday, Taylor spins a tale about a baseball player/private investigator that “succeeds as both a mystery and a baseball novel,” according to Publishers Weekly. Taylor is the author of two previous historical novels, “The Disagreement” (Simon & Schuster, 2008) and “Father Junípero’s Confessor” (Heyday, 2013).

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Celebrating SJSU’s Authors Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:46:59 +0000 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.


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Cal Water Gift Funds Students Research Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:13:30 +0000 Civil engineering students on a field trip to field trip to Los Gatos Creek and Vasona Reservoir (courtesy of Juneseok Lee).

Civil engineering students visit Los Gatos Creek and Vasona Reservoir (courtesy of Juneseok Lee).

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

SAN JOSE, CA – Scores of San Jose State engineering students will have the opportunity to conduct applied research on a critical natural resource, thanks to a five-year, $450,000 gift commitment from the California Water Service Company.

“This gift will allow students to apply theory-based knowledge to solve real-world problems facing California now and in the future,” said Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Juneseok Lee, who has been named the California Water Service Company Chair.

Having this direct relationship with Cal Water is very exciting because our students will receive the opportunity to get their hands dirty in the field, working alongside the technical staff. I can’t think of anything more amazing than that.”

Juneseok Lee

Juneseok Lee

Professor Lee of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering created a list of 60 potential projects, and is in the process of selecting the top 10 for efforts that will begin later this fall.

Best and brightest

“This opportunity allows our industry professionals and academia to work together on real business issues facing the water industry,” said California Water Service Group President and CEO Martin A. Kropelnicki, ’85 ’92 Economics.

Having the best and brightest of Cal Water and the university working together on one team will create many opportunities, and I look forward to the enhancements in efficiency and service that will result from our collaborative approach.”

Each project was carefully designed to enable undergraduate and graduate students to conduct hands-on research with a focus on one or more vital themes at the intersection of civil engineering and water services in the West.

These themes include:

  • water infrastructure asset management
  • drinking water quality
  • drinking water infrastructure systems operations and performance
  • sustainability of water resources and infrastructure under climate change/ effective utility management
  • implementation of hydroinformatics
  • water economics and finances

Alumni network

The gift also exemplifies the power of SJSU’s network of alumni, a group that is over 200,000 strong in the Bay Area and supportive of its alma mater’s efforts to continue providing the theoretical and practical training that has been SJSU’s hallmark for generations.

Cal Water’s gift to SJSU was championed by retired Cal Water Vice President of Engineering, Water Quality and Operations Robert Guzzetta, ’77 ’84 Civil Engineering. Kropelnicki was named a Graduate of the Decade in 2002 and is one many Cal Water employees with SJSU degrees.

Cal Water is the largest subsidiary of California Water Service Group, which provides regulated and non-regulated water service to approximately two million people in more than 100 California, Washington, New Mexico and Hawaii communities.

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.

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Where Were You on Oct. 17, 1989? Wed, 15 Oct 2014 19:21:55 +0000 Spartan Daily

The Spartan Daily student newspaper front page the day after the Loma Prieta earthquake (photo by Peter Caravalho, ’97 Graphic Design).

Much of San Jose State’s current student body was not born when the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake hit the Bay Area 25 years ago on Oct. 17, 1989.

Yet the fact that San Jose State took the need to prepare for the next big one seriously is clear to anyone on campus today.

“I was serving as SJSU’s associate vice president for administration when the earthquake hit,” said President Mohammad Qayoumi.

Starting the moment the shaking stopped, SJSU has been working with the California State University system to plan, fund and complete numerous projects with the goal of improving campus safety.”

Spartan Daily quake story

This Spartan Daily story, published shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake, made clear the need to seismically retrofit many campus buildings (photo by Peter Caravalho, ’97 Graphic Design).

Three large construction projects underway now began after structural engineers recommended SJSU retrofit 10 buildings to make them safer.

The $55 million seismic retrofit of Yoshihiro Uchida Hall and Spartan Complex spans an entire block from South Fourth Street to El Paseo de Cesar E. Chavez.

In addition, the $90 million seismic retrofit and expansion of the Student Union spans another block from El Paseo de Cesar E. Chavez to the Ninth Street Plaza.

One more project is in the works and six others have been completed as follows:

  • North Parking Garage Seismic Retrofit, 1993
  • South Parking Garage Seismic Retrofit, 1993
  • Tower Hall and Morris Dailey Auditorium, 1996
  • Duncan Hall, 1997
  • Sweeney Hall, 1998
  • Trades Building, 2009
  • North Parking Garage Stair Tower, planned

What should you do if an earthquake hit campus today?

“Although I have been a California resident for most of my life, the power of the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake was astounding,” said SJSU Chief of Police Pete Decena.

If there is one thing I would like the campus community to remember in the event of a major earthquake, it is to Drop, Cover and Hold On. Then, when the shaking stops, leave if it is safe to do so.”

The University Police Department website offers more information including assistance for the disabled. A refresher course on how to protect yourself during an earthquake is available online.

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H&A Showcase Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:43:51 +0000 It’s the caliber of the students and faculty members that draws crowds to the College of Humanities and the Arts Showcase. Visitors learn about the college by experiencing everything from students performing the lead roles from the musical “West Side Story” to the opportunity to view the exquisite details of costumes and lighting designed for SJSU stage performances to the option of inviting an English student to compose a poem on the spot on the topic of the visitor’s choice. This year’s event, held in the Student Union ballroom the afternoon of Oct. 10, featured all of the colleges departments and many of its majors including Music and Dance; Art and Art History; Design; English and Comparative Literature; Humanities; Linguistics and Language Development; Philosophy; Radio, Film and TV; Theatre Arts; and World Languages and Literature.

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Innovation Lab Opens Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:30:56 +0000 Caption text

Plaques and an iPad offer information on the more than 300 patents earned by the late Calvin Seid, ’83 Industrial Design (photo by Michelle Vaquilar, ’15 BFA Graphic Design).

While sorting through the belongings of his younger brother, who died suddenly of heart disease, Vincent Seid was stunned to find scores of plaques his brother received for his contributions to more than 300 Apple patents.

Calvin Seid, ’83 Industrial Design, was a member and director of the company’s Industrial Design Group from 1993 until his death in 2007.

“He was very unassuming,” said Vincent, who was 16 years older than Calvin. “He didn’t like to blow his own horn and you didn’t know much about him until you got to know him very well.”

Generations of Industrial Design majors joined members of the faculty, staff and administration at the Calvin Seid Innovation Lab opening reception the evening of Oct. 9.


Classmates and colleagues remember Seid as a teacher and mentor (photo by Michelle Vaquilar, ’15 BFA Graphic Design).

Guests included Vincent and his wife Zenaida, whose gifts to the university provided the initial funding and an endowment for the lab. Also in attendance were many of Calvin’s classmates.

When Professor John F. McClusky asked classmates and colleagues to describe Calvin, they settled on the same thought: He was an outstanding teacher and mentor.

Thus, McClusky explained, it is fitting that Seid’s name now graces the lab, equipped with the latest technology including 3-D printers to help faculty members show students how to take a product from start to finish, from design concept to completed prototype.

In between comes lots of problem solving, said Lawrence Lam, ’85 Industrial Design, and it is precisely that practical knowledge, which he described as “working around the environment to get the job done,” that distinguishes SJSU Industrial Design alumni.


Seid’s patents are for familiar products, from an ear-bud case to chargers (photo by Michelle Vaquilar, ’15 BFA Graphic Design).

You can check out the enormous breadth of this Spartan’s contributions to Apple’s design acumen, including the ear bud case, charging devices, the Power Mac and much more, in an exhibit open on the first floor of the Art Building, below the lab itself.

“We are putting on display,” McClusky said, “the story of someone who is really the story of San Jose State.”

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SJSU Hosts Latino Comics Expo Tue, 07 Oct 2014 18:55:25 +0000 Kathryn Blackmer Reyes

Kathryn Blackmer Reyes, sketched by comic book artist Rafael Navarro (courtesy of Blackmer Reyes).

Librarian Kathryn Blackmer Reyes walked into the 2011 Latino Comics Expo in San Francisco and sensed a tremendous opportunity for the artists and for San Jose State.

She could see how the comics, meticulously created to authentically incorporate the Latino and Chicano experience, had the potential to inspire all kinds of students, from animation/illustration majors to ethnic studies majors.

So Blackmer Reyes began a Latino comics special collection, and this year, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library will host the 2014 Latino Comics Expo on Oct. 11 and 12. The event is free and open to the public.

The expo will include two exhibit rooms featuring cartoonists, writers, illustrators, zine makers and book vendors, as well as panels, presentations and children’s workshops.

Latino comics is about far more than eye-catching imagery, Blackmer Reyes explains. The following was edited for length.

Q. Do you need to know Spanish to read Latino comics?

A. This is about the U.S. experience so primarily, the text is going to be in English, but the artists are going to incorporate that U.S.-Latino feel. They use a lot of icons, like Lucha Libre, so the art includes pop culture that speaks to many in the vast Latino (U.S. and international) populations. They can be personal stories. We are also getting more women represented in the field and they’re bringing in their stories and characters as well. We are also seeing more indigenous images. I’m asked if this is Chicano Studies and frankly Chicano Studies is anything that represents and speaks to the Latino population regardless of its format. It’s about a people and it’s a story that can be told in the social sciences or the arts and humanities.

Latino Comics Expo poster features Lalo Alcaraz.

The Latino Comics Expo poster features artist Lalo Alcaraz.

Q. Who’s your favorite character?

A. As a librarian, I am interested in the entire field but when I first discovered this, it was through the Bros. Hernandez, who are considered the godfathers of Chicano comics. Their “Love & Rockets” series is incredibly important. It tells stories of individuals from the barrio. That was my first exposure. Later I was introduced to Lalo Alcaraz who does the comic strip “La Cucaracha,” and who is currently working on a TV show with Seth McFarlane called “Bordertown.” These artists are probably the most successful Chicano comic artists commercially.

Q. What’s your background?

A. I was born and raised in San Francisco and for my first 15 years, when school was out, I would be in Mexico City for the summer. I completed my B.A. in Chicano Studies at UC Davis. At UC Davis, my professors would send us to UC Berkeley to do research and that’s where I was introduced to my first Chicano Studies Library. Then I went to graduate school for sociology at Binghamton University. I was in a Ph.D. program and found myself showing undergraduates how to do research in the library. I really liked the idea of working in libraries, so on my return to the Bay Area, I entered the School of Information program here at SJSU. Before becoming a librarian here, I worked at UC Santa Cruz and then Sacramento State.

Aztec of the City, a comic book created and written by Fernando Rodriguez, will be joining us once again at the Latino Comics Expo. Launched in San José back in 1993

Latino Comics Expo participants will include San Jose native Fernando Rodriguez, who created “Aztec of the City” (image courtesy of Latino Comics Expo).

Q. Why collect comics?

A. I work at King Library’s Cultural Heritage Center, which houses the U.S. race and ethnic materials (Africana, Asian American, Chicano, and Comparative Ethnic Studies). So you’ll see collections with books that students can check out. My job is somewhat different from others in that I’m purchasing materials to provide a vision for these special collections. My hope is that students will be able to find topics that not only interest them but also “speak” to them. You want the collections to connect to them so that they can write that research paper. What I do, be it through the comics or books, is help students to succeed in that effort. Through my collections, I’m hoping they connect. Alone, comic books may serve of little scholarly value but put scholarly books in the mix and you can get a research paper. Comics have come a long way, and it’s also not just Latinos who are actively producing these works. It has become an outlet to present the U.S. ethnic experience in another voice.

Q. Was it hard to convince the library to collect Latino comics?

A. These are things that are left to the librarian to pick and choose, depending on what you think is important, and it’s also a question of what’s being taught. You hope there’s going to be interest and you’re reacting to what you see as growth in the field. It’s a treasure for San Jose to have this start-up collection.


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Faculty Notes: Securing Scholarships Tue, 07 Oct 2014 16:28:40 +0000 Professor Thalia Anagnos

Professor Thalia Anagnos (photo by Christina Olivas)

Professor Thalia Anagnos, Department of General Engineering, has been awarded a second five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to fund the Engineering Leadership Pathway Scholars Program. ELPS2, building on the success of the original ELPS, will provide approximately 86 annual scholarships to academically talented undergraduate engineering students in financial need.

World Languages and Literatures Professor Anne Fountain’s new book, “José Martí, the United States, and Race” (University Press of Florida), examines the evolution of Martí’s thinking about race and delves into how his time in the United States, with its legacy of slavery, deeply influenced Cuba’s national hero.

Essential reading for those who increasingly appreciate the enormous importance of Martí as one of the nineteenth century’s most influential and most original thinkers,” praised John Kirk, coeditor of Redefining Cuban Foreign Policy.

Associate Professor Colleen Haight, Department of Economics, appeared on the podcast series “Research on Religion” to discuss her work on the Oracle of Delphi, a shrine in ancient Greece where the wealthy and powerful congregated to have their questions about war, trade and the future answered by virgin priestesses. Haight and her colleagues applied the tools of economic analysis and game theory to explain the seemingly irrational behavior of relying on an oracle’s supernatural judgment in matters of life and death.

Professor Emeritus Gus Lease, Department of Music, currently president of SJSU’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter, attended the honor society’s 43rd Biennial Convention in St. Louis, Mo., in August as a voting delegate. Since its founding in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi has inducted more than a million students, faculty and professional staff as members.

Gus Lease (photo by Bob Bain)

Professor Emeritus Gus Lease (photo by Bob Bain)

School of Information Professors Lili Luo and Michael Stephens collaborated with Loyola Marymount University scholars to develop the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL). Created to help academic and research librarians become skilled researchers, the program is funded by a three-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The first institute was held at LMU Library in Los Angeles in June.

President Mohammad Qayoumi contributed an article titled “A Checklist for a New Afghanistan” to Foreign Policy, a journal founded to “question commonplace views” and “give voice to alternative views about American foreign policy.” In February 2002, Qayoumi returned to Afghanistan for the first time in 26 years. Despite the challenges facing the new government of his native country, he foresees opportunities for economic growth and progress.

The end of the fall 2014 semester marks the retirement of current World Languages and Literatures Professor Carmen Sigler, whose distinguished career at SJSU has included serving as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, dean of the College of Humanities & the Arts and chair of the Department of World Languages and Literature. After retiring as provost in 2009, Sigler returned to teaching in the Spanish program, whose media center bears her name. 

Every role Carmen has had, she has handled so well. She’s just outstanding, ” former President Don W. Kassing told the overflow crowd of well wishers at the center’s dedication ceremony in 2011.

School of Information Professor Judith Weedman, whose research explores the growth of knowledge in the sciences and humanities, retired this past summer after a 19-year career at SJSU. Her work with the core class LIBR 202 Information Retrieval System Design remains a highly regarded contribution to the iSchool’s curriculum. “Doing original research is one way of learning new things and teaching is another. Our students are wonderful, intelligent, highly motivated people, and I have learned both from them and from preparing classes for them,” Weedman said. Her retirement plans? Traveling the West, riding her horse and hiking.

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Creating a New Paradigm: SJSU’s Tech Upgrade Sun, 05 Oct 2014 16:57:50 +0000

By Information Technology Services and the Division of Academic Affairs

Two years ago, San Jose State University launched a five-year, $28 million initiative to support faculty members in using and applying next generation collaboration technologies to student learning. This series of investments is addressing specific information technology infrastructure areas deemed essential to realizing the “Unbounded Learning” capabilities envisioned in SJSU’s Strategic Plan: Vision 2017. Although the roll out will continue for several more years, SJSU is already experiencing tangible, positive results detailed below and in these frequently asked questions.


SJSU’s Wi-Fi service now spans nearly six million square feet of indoor space (Steve Proehl photo).

SJSU’s Wi-Fi service now spans nearly six million square feet of indoor space (Steve Proehl photo).

In fall 2012, Wi-Fi coverage was spotty and unreliable. It was impossible to teach a class or conduct an exam with materials on the web. Students drifted around campus, searching for a signal. There was no Wi-Fi access for guests and students living in our residence halls. All this has changed.

Over the past two years, SJSU has expanded its free, secure, wireless Internet service to serve all students, faculty, staff and guests, including prospective students and family members. Wi-Fi is reliable and available in all classrooms, campus buildings and student residences. The number of concurrent Wi-Fi connections during the day is more than 11,000 devices, double what was possible two years ago. Students have reported seeing Internet speeds over 100 megabytes.

Two years ago, students living in SJSU’s residence halls had to bring their own Internet routers to campus if they wanted to access the web. Today, SJSU provides Internet access to students living on campus, allowing them to connect with the content they need from the desks in their rooms.

Collaboration Technologies

Essential to realizing SJSU’s Strategic Plan are several key technologies that support robust, ubiquitous connectivity and unfettered video and audio communications among students, faculty, staff and experts worldwide.

For example, WebEx web conferencing allows professors to mix traditional and virtual class sessions throughout the semester, adding flexibility to their curricula and making the classroom an unbounded space for collaboration, anytime and anywhere.

Next Generation Classrooms

In the past two years, SJSU outfitted five classrooms and one auditorium with high-definition, interactive video conferencing that includes recording, indexing and word-search capabilities for all classroom exercises including lectures. Additionally, 17 conference rooms and offices were upgraded with similar functionalities.

In these rooms, students, faculty and staff can access interactive lectures by professors or industry experts worldwide. Students can even see exhibits shared by those speaking from remote locations.

Before this technology was installed, the best we could do was a few people sitting around a speaker phone. Now, classrooms feature high-speed, interactive video streaming.

Instructors have found the technology productive and useful. Based on faculty experience and feedback, additional classroom configurations will be developed and implemented.

Here are specific examples of how Next Gen classrooms are being used today.

Delacruz's class

An advertising class uses new tech tools to collaborate with industry experts (Wes Dorman photo).

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication 

  • Student groups present advertising projects to industry experts including a New York ad agency.
  • Previously, presentations were filmed and sent to New York. Feedback came days or weeks later.
  • Now, a classroom connection is made with the ad agency using Telepresence.
  • Recordings are available for playback later. This demonstrates how IT supports the academic mission.
  • The results include enhanced experiential learning capabilities; real-time feedback from industry experts; and the ability to review feedback from industry experts.

Public health students gain real-world and global experience by connecting with an Alebrije artisan community in Mexico (CASA Blog image).

The Master’s in Public Health Program

  • From admissions to graduation, the program has been redesigned to incorporate new technology.
  • For example, virtual classes are conducted via WebEx and multimedia course content is provided online.
  • In addition, the program connects with an Alebrije artisan community in Mexico to provide real-world experiences to students. Video conferencing with the artisan families enables more frequent and personal contact.
  • Results include enhanced experiential learning capabilities; a new social responsibility program for high school students interested in the Alebrije project; reduced costs for students traveling to and from campus; and flexibility for students seeking to meet personal and job responsibilities.
college of education

The Connie L. Lurie College of Education established a research effort to evaluate 21st century classrooms (Carl Best photo).

The Connie L. Lurie College of Education

  • The college seeks to develop tomorrow’s leading educators.
  • Instructors teach a program demonstrating how to bring tech innovations into today’s schools.
  • The SJSU classroom solution includes SmartBoards, mobile and flexible furniture, room archetypes, Wi-Fi, and Mediascape video booths.
  • The college instituted collaborative applications such as Skype, WebEx and Canvas to extend the classroom and support a flipped-classroom approach.
  • Results include the establishment of a research effort to evaluate the qualitative and quantitative impacts of the 21st century classroom program.

Computer Labs

Outdated computer labs were once all too common at SJSU. In the past two years, more than 1,600 computers have been refreshed including the replacement of hundreds of machines that were eight or more years old. Next steps include virtualizing the labs to allow students the freedom to use any Internet device to access the computer labs and up-to-date software.

Unified Communication

Before infrastructure improvements began in 2012, SJSU had five distinct phone systems of various ages and capabilities. SJSU’s commitment to agility through technology strongly suggested the need for a modern campus communication system. This resulted in plans to replace all the antiquated phone systems in favor of a single solution with capabilities beyond anything previously experienced on campus.

Four of the five systems have been replaced. New phone instruments utilizing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) are being distributed to faculty, staff, and classrooms. These phones support advanced services including audio and video communication from hardwired, wireless and mobile devices.

Now, faculty and staff phone numbers can “go mobile.” This means all phone features, including video, forwarding and voicemail, can be accessed on laptops, desktops and mobile phones. Additional unified communication functions include instant messaging with SJSU employees and instant WebEx meetings, allowing faculty and staff to better support students and each other.

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