SJSU News http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today SJSU Today offers the latest news and shares the stories of the people at San Jose State University. Tue, 23 Sep 2014 20:05:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://blogs.sjsu.edu/?v=3.8.1.1 Associated Students Launches Campus-to-the-City Initiative http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/associated-students-launches-new-initiative/ http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/associated-students-launches-new-initiative/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 19:20:25 +0000 http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/?p=27628

Have you seen the Spartan at South Ninth and East San Fernando?

Measuring 15 feet across, the large symbol was installed Sept. 15. It’s the product of the Associated Students of SJSU’s Campus-to-the-City initiative.

“The goal is to bring Spartan pride into downtown and surrounding sections of the city so that SJSU is recognizable not just on campus but in the entire area,” said Mykel Jeffrey, ’15 Political Science and A.S. director of internal affairs.

spartan logo

The Spartan logo near the Student Services Center is part of an effort to build a sense of community (photo courtesy of A.S.).

The initiative began with last year’s A.S. board, headed by then-President Nicholas Ayala, ’14 Management Information Systems, who was inspired by a similar effort at other campuses.

Cultivating community

“Cultivating Spartan pride beyond SJSU’s walls will help students feel more at home while they’re in school and help foster the everlasting memories they’ll want to come back to and revisit as alumni,” Ayala said.

More than 40 street banners will be installed this fall. The buffer zone around bike lanes will take on a gold-and-blue hue this spring. With both projects, A.S. seeks to connect the main and south campuses to foster a sense of community and safety.

Next year may bring three more Spartan symbols to intersections around campus. But first, officials would like to see how the initial Spartan stands up to wear and tear over the next six months.

Practical experience

The initiative has been a lesson in how to get things done in a complex city. The A.S. board has been working with the San Jose Department of Transportation and Office of Cultural Affairs. The group has also met with the Office of the Mayor and Councilmember and mayor candidate Sam Liccardo.

“This doesn’t feel like a college town (and) we’re trying to change that,” Liccardo told the Spartan Daily. “I know this is something folks have been trying to do in various ways…this is needed.”

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Alumni Association Celebrates Scholarship Recipients http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/alumni-association-celebrates-scholarship-recipients/ http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/alumni-association-celebrates-scholarship-recipients/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:21:10 +0000 http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/?p=27610 Cuong Truong

Cuong Truong, ’14 Nursing, plans to work toward ensuring all elderly patients receive quality care. She is a recipient of a San Jose Woman’s Club Scholarship (photo by Brandon Chew).

Aspiring professionals preparing to contribute to every part of our community and economy are recipients of 2014-15 SJSU Alumni Association Scholarships.

“These students truly define the Spartan spirit,” said Brian Bates, associate vice president for alumni relations. “They are achievers, innovators, dreamers and leaders in their classrooms, communities and even the world.”

The more than 30 recipients were invited to gather for a reception Sept. 16  in the Student Union ballroom. The group includes a future art professor, nurse and business owner as well as multiple engineers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, teachers, social workers and fine artists.

Supporting Inspiring Students

Student recipients apply each spring through the SJSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The specific criteria and amount for each scholarship varies. But the overall objective is the same: to provide alumni with the opportunity to give back by supporting current students.

Onette Morales-Alcazar

Onette Morales-Alcazar, ’13 English, is seeking a teaching credential so she can support students learning English as a second language. Named a Connie L. Lurie College of Education Dean’s Scholar, she received the Pat Porter Memorial Scholarship (photo by Brandon Chew).

An excellent example is Angelina Loyola, ’10 Sociology, ’15 Mexican American Studies. Recipient of a College of  Social Sciences Dean’s Scholarship, she plans to teach at the high school or community college level so that she may empower her students to advance not just themselves but the entire community.

I hold steadfast to the words of the late Maya Angelou, ‘When you get, give. When you learn, teach,’” Loyola said.  “Thank you for acknowledging me as a scholar, and an individual that will take with her into this world the teachings from some of the greatest teachers I’ve encountered.”

Joshua Cruz, ’16 Computer Engineering, has taken advantage of the many leadership opportunities available to students at SJSU. A recipient of a Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering Dean’s Scholarship, he has served as a resident assistant, orientation leader, student instructional assistant and Spartan Marching Band member.

This scholarship…is a true validation that my involvements inside and outside of the classroom have an impact on my campus community,” Cruz said. “I will take the inspiration coming from those who have supported me through this scholarship to reach my scholastic goals.”

Tristan Pulliam

Tristan Pulliam plans to go to medical school. The recipient of a College of Science Dean’s Scholarship, he said, “I hope to one day reciprocate this investment by investing in the lives of future SJSU students” (photo by Brandon Chew).

Daniel Fenstermacher, ’16 Fine Arts, expresses his aspirations and sense of community through photography. The recipient of the Hoover Langdon Scholarship has his own business, currently specializing in aerial photography, including remarkable images of downtown San Jose captured using a drone.

Receiving the Hoover Langdon Scholarship gave me a great feeling of accomplishment and pride as a member of the SJSU community,” Fenstermacher said. “I feel fortunate to be rewarded with this recognition and this scholarship motivates me to keep improving every day both in school and in life.”

The generous support of alumni and friends makes these scholarships possible. Learn more about supporting the Alumni Association scholarship program.

 

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Grateful Dead Scholars Gather at SJSU http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/grateful-dead-conference/ http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/grateful-dead-conference/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 18:45:52 +0000 http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/?p=27600 SoManyRoadsPosterLowRes

Media contact: Pat Harris, 408-924-1748

“So Many Roads: The World in the Grateful Dead,” an academic conference showcasing the wide-ranging scholarship devoted to the band and its impact on culture and history, is scheduled for November 5-8 at the San Jose State University Student Union. 

Reduced-fee registration is available through October 6, and a block of hotel rooms has been reserved at the nearby Fairmont San Jose hotel. Sponsors include SJSU in partnership with the Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Rhino Entertainment, Grateful Dead Productions, and Ice Nine Publishing. San Jose holds a special place in the band’s history.

Garcia and Pigpen played folk clubs in and around the SJSU campus in the early 1960s,” said Michael Parrish, conference co-organizer, music journalist, and dean of SJSU’s College of Science. “The San Jose Acid Test, where the band first performed as the Grateful Dead, took place two blocks away, on the current site of the San Jose City Hall, and the Dead was the first musical act to play in the SJSU Student Union on Halloween night in 1969.”

As the band approaches its 50th anniversary in 2015, the issues and events surrounding the Grateful Dead remain compelling to scholars working in a wide range of disciplines. The SJSU event will build on the success and ripple effects of “Unbroken Chain: The Grateful Dead in Music, Culture, and Memory” held in 2007 at the University of Massachusetts.

The conference title refers to a remarkable discourse and a compelling and growing body of work,” Nicholas Meriwether, Grateful Dead archivist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, explained. “The Grateful Dead were always a uniquely American institution, but the range of its influence and the scope of its achievements are truly international. That’s why the title of the conference is ‘The World in the Grateful Dead’—for they truly did capture the world in their music.”

Over 50 speakers are confirmed. The international roster includes academics, family members and associates of the band, journalists, artists, musicians, and over 15 authors of Dead-related books.  On Friday, a celebration of San Francisco poster art featuring work by Stanley Mouse, David Singer, Dennis Larkins, Gary Houston and Chris Shaw will be held in conjunction with a major exhibit of Grateful Dead art in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library. Panels will explore the band’s influence in such diverse areas as politics, business, journalism, religious studies, and even gourmet cooking.

Confirmed participants include Grateful Dead Vault Archivist and Legacy Manager David Lemieux; Rhino Records President Mark Pinkus; acoustician Elizabeth Cohen; technology investor and Moonalice founder Roger McNamee; journalists David Dodd, David Gans, Blair Jackson and Steve Silberman; musicologists Graeme Boone, Shaugn O’Donnell and Brian Felix; historians Michael Kramer and Peter Richardson; photographers Susana Millman, Jay Blakesberg, Ed Perlstein and Bob Minkin; and master chefs Kimball Jones, Kevin Weinberg and Ray Sewell. Family members of the band include Trixie Garcia, Rosie McGee, and Rhoney Stanley.

 

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Career Center Introduces New Service http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/career-center-introduces-new-service/ http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/career-center-introduces-new-service/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:28:08 +0000 http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/?p=27558 career center

SlingShot Connections and Expandability recruiters meet with student Jessica Puentes at the SJSU Career Center (Brandon Chew photo)

Media Contact: Daniel Newell408-924-6028

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State University Career Center has partnered with two off-campus organizations to take an innovative approach to helping students, alumni and even the general public advance professionally.

SJSU Spartan Staffing operates like an employment agency, actively connecting job seekers and employers with common interests. SlingShot Connections and Expandability provide the personnel who make the connections, working together to serve San Jose State’s diverse community.

We believe San Jose State is the first institution of higher learning in the nation to add the employment agency concept to its suite of career development services,” said Daniel Newell, program manager for workforce and economic development at the SJSU Career Center.

A Unique Opportunity

“This unique opportunity will be of enormous assistance to our students, alumni and area employers,” Newell continued. “The SJSU service is facilitated by private organizations that are nimble and adapt at the pace of industry to meet regional needs.”

SJSU Spartan Staffing complements the Career Center’s many other services, which take students from choosing a major to fine tuning resumes to attending interviews and job fairs. The new service brings together job seekers with specific employers. This comes at no cost to the job seeker. The employer remits a fee, typically a percentage of a new hire’s salary. 

There are benefits for community members as well. SJSU Spartan Staffing offers positions that go unfilled by students and alumni to local residents, in collaboration with organizations such as the Veterans Administration, the California Department of Rehabilitation, and the American Job Center.

At the same time, SJSU Spartan Staffing supports businesses of all sizes. For example, the service can serve as the employer of record for small businesses, handling workers’ compensation, state and federal tax allocations as well as liability and unemployment insurance.

Connecting Students With Start-ups

In addition, SJSU Spartan Staffing levels the playing field for start-ups, giving these emerging businesses the opportunity to compete for talent with more prominent employers. The service does this by utilizing corporate recruiters to identify, attract, and recruit for opportunities with companies that would otherwise be unfamiliar to students.

Ancillary services include assistance with visa requirements for international students, academic credit requirements for interns, and federal law compliance, which calls upon contractors to provide opportunities to the disabled, a specialty of Expandability. 

Slingshot and Expandability receive 90 percent of the revenue, with Spartan Staffing taking the remaining 10 percent. More than 20 employers have signed on in the technology, medical device, health care, education and government sectors. Approximately 75 percent of the placements have been full-time positions and 25 percent have been internships.

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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What is the “Next Generation Technology” initiative?

A five-year plan, launched in 2012, to upgrade SJSU’s technology infrastructure to a level necessary to meet the basic needs of students, faculty and staff members, and the campus community.

Why is it needed?

SJSU’s technology infrastructure had become outdated, inadequate and inefficient. This was not a sudden revelation; numerous campus committees had studied the issue for years. While there was a general understanding that the campus’s technology assets were inadequate, there was no strategy or plan to address this deficiency.

Define “inadequate.”

Faculty members, students, staff and others complained about the lack of basic technology for classrooms and common meeting spaces. The campus relied on five telephone systems, two nearing obsolescence. Wireless Internet access was unreliable and unavailable in many parts of campus.

How was the so-called “Next Generation Technology” strategy developed?

In fall 2011, the campus held 49 town hall meetings to discuss SJSU’s future. Technology was a recurring theme. Input from those sessions became the basis for a five-year campus strategic plan, Vision 2017. (One of its five priorities is “agility through technology.”)

There have also been regular IT open forums, which included updates on this initiative and opportunities to ask questions and offer input.

Did faculty play a role in developing this strategy?

Yes. The 2011 town hall meetings were widely publicized, open to anyone, and faculty participated. SJSU’s academic plan, created with faculty input, further refined our thinking about technology needs.

Why did the campus decide to work with an outside technology partner?

Once the campus needs were documented, there were multiple decisions to make. The first was whether to acquire separate technology “pieces” and implement them internally or work with an outside partner that could build and support a unified technology network.

Based on documented needs, the decision was made to approach large technology companies that had done similar work and would be around in the future to support and refine the network. That approach also would free up the capacity of internal resources to work on other important campus technology initiatives.

Why was Cisco chosen?

Campus officials visited with the few leading tech companies in Silicon Valley capable of handling a complex project like this. Cisco emerged as the strongest candidate. (It is also worth noting that at the time, Cisco was providing networking services to the CSU.)

Why wasn’t there a competitive bidding process?

State law permits public agencies to work with single vendors as long as the agencies demonstrate good-faith efforts to secure a fair price. SJSU negotiated deeper discounts with Cisco than other public agencies using competitive bid processes had obtained for similar services. This was well documented in project plans.

With this safeguard, and knowing how many years the campus’s technology needs had been neglected, it made sense to proceed.

Why didn’t SJSU work with the CSU’s networking provider, Alcatel?

SJSU’s technology plans were significantly broader in scope, and the campus was ready to begin implementation months before the CSU’s plans were finalized.

How much has SJSU spent on this?

The budget for the Next Generation Technology project was $28 million.

How was it funded?

Through equal contributions from three sources: the Continuing Education Reserve Fund (CERF); lease and eventual sale of campus broadband capacity, and campus operating funds.

Hasn’t SJSU spent more than $28 million on technology?

SJSU’s Next Generation Technology project is akin to a major home renovation, a significant one-time investment. In addition, the campus technology infrastructure is routinely maintained and upgraded using other funds.

What is SJSU getting for such a big investment?

The project has many initiatives being worked on concurrently.

What about student fees?

A portion of Student Success, Excellence and Technology Fees (SSETF) are set aside for ongoing technology investments.

What has been accomplished?

• In two years, the campus network capacity has tripled. This is important: During the first week of the fall 2014 semester, the number of devices connecting to SJSU’s network doubled compared to a year ago. Total wireless traffic the same week nearly tripled.

• After years of complaints, students, faculty and staff members, and visitors are now able to access the Internet wirelessly from most anywhere on campus.

• Data security and support services have been enhanced. This is less noticeable to the naked eye, but critically important in an age of increased data security threats.

• Six classrooms have been outfitted with enhancements including video lecture-capture and video conferencing. These tools allow students to access class lectures, and enable faculty to bring guest lecturers and other experts “into” the classroom. More than 30 faculty members and their students are now using these rooms.

• Web-based conferencing tools have been installed in hundreds of campus classrooms, conference rooms and offices and are widely available to faculty and staff members and students.

• An internet-based (so-called voice-over-IP, or VoIP) unified communication system, replacing five independent, aging phone systems.

There was much talk when this initiative started of “51 new classrooms.” Why have only a handful been upgraded?

This is a five-year project. The first several fully outfitted classrooms became available this past spring. Faculty members now teaching in these classrooms will provide critical input on their experiences; additional classrooms will be outfitted over the next three years based on this input.

In the end, more than 51 classrooms may well be enhanced with varying degrees of technology upgrades. The plan allows for adaptation to evolving needs and available solutions.

There are rumors of missing technology equipment. Is that true?

Several hundred Wireless Access Points (WAPs) and numerous other items couldn’t be accounted for at delivery. Fortunately, it did not affect initial implementation plans. Campus police are investigating.

 

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Khaled Hosseini Receives Steinbeck Award http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/khaled-hosseini-receives-the-steinbeck-award/ http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/khaled-hosseini-receives-the-steinbeck-award/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:17:53 +0000 http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/?p=27532 Today-Inpost-Hosseini-091714-03

Novelist Khaled Hosseini in conversation with KGO’s Pat Thurston at San Jose State (Robert C. Bain Photo).

It’s not often that teachers sit in rapt attention, listening to a student.

Yet that was the case Sept. 10 at the Student Union, where novelist Khaled Hosseini received the John Steinbeck Award: In the Souls of the People from the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State.

In the audience were his mother, a teacher of Farsi and history while the family was living in Afghanistan; his English teacher from Independence High School after his family sought asylum in the United States; many more school teachers; and of course faculty members from San Jose State.

I don’t think teachers understand the extent of the influence they have on their students, especially after the class is over, when it all comes echoing back,” Hosseini said.

The author refused to be compared with the great Steinbeck in terms of their stature, but during an on-stage conversation with KGO’s Pat Thurston, he did describe a direct connection between the migrant farm workers of Salinas, described in the “Grapes of Wrath,” and the refugees Hosseini follows in his bestselling novels: “And the Mountain Echoes,” “A Thousand Splendid Sun,” and “The Kite Runner.”

His comments were timely, given President Obama had just a few hours earlier addressed the nation about deteriorating situation in Syria and neighboring countries, which will most certainly unmoor even more refugees.

“If John Steinbeck was alive today, he would really be in his element in Afghanistan,” Hosseini said.

Today-Inpost-Hosseini-091714

Hosseini with the John Steinbeck Award. The honor is presented to artists and activists whose works exemplify the spirit of Steinbeck’s social engagement (Robert C. Bain Photo).

Gathering Stories, Experiencing Lives

Like Steinbeck, who once lived and worked as a migrant farm worker to, as Hosseini said, “gathering their stories and experiencing their lives,” the author has returned many times to his homeland to see how the wars of the past three decades have impacted everyday people.

“I really wanted to understand on a human level what had happened to my country, to gain that human dimension,” he said. “It was through their stories that I began to understand what really happened and some of their stories were so vivid that they landed in the pages of my book.”

Working with the United Nations Refugee Commission, he observed that like migrants escaping the Dust Bowl, the refugees in the Middle East–mothers, fathers, children and grandparents–are packing their belongings on their backs and leaving their homes because they can no longer forge a living there.

I suspect there are a lot of Ma Joads in Afghanistan right now, trying to keep their families together,” Hosseini said. “Every tent is occupied by a human being” he continued, who wants the same things we do, “a sense of predictability, a place you call home.”

At one point, eight million people in Afghanistan were displaced, one-third of the population. Ethnic groups had a long history of clinging together, and the warlords who emerged to fill the vacuum when the Soviets left plunged the country in chaos until the Taliban dominated.

A Higher Purpose

“I’m not a politician. I’m not a bureaucrat. My role is to be a storyteller,” he said. “I try to remind people that there is a human behind each one of those statistics. Refugee crises happen because of very complicated conflicts that have no easy answers…At the end of the day, it’s people who have to flee across the borders.”

During the award presentation, Nicholas Taylor, associate professor of English and director of the Steinbeck Center, noted it was fitting that on the 75th anniversary of the publication of “Grapes of Wrath,” the Steinbeck Award was going for the first time to a novelist.

Authorized by the Steinbeck estate, the honor is presented to artists and activists whose works exemplify the spirit of Steinbeck’s social engagement. Previous recipients include Bruce Springsteen, Ken Burns, Rachel Maddow, John Mellencamp and Michael Moore.

Hosseini did not intend to become a published author when he began writing for the pure joy of it as a teenager, first in Farsi, then French when his family lived in Paris, and finally in English.  Yet he acknowledged that he recognized a higher purpose in his novels, which he resumed writing after graduating from the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine.

Much as Steinbeck opened a window into a world unacknowledged and unfamiliar to many Americans, Hosseini “understood as I was writing that these books, if done right, if I am honest about the storytelling, then these books can be a kind of a window into Afghan life, into its culture, its religion.”

 

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Social Work Major Receives Top CSU Honor http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/social-work-major-receives-top-csu-honor/ http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/social-work-major-receives-top-csu-honor/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 18:15:43 +0000 http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/?p=27299 Today-Inpost-david-090214

A straight-A student, David Elliott plans to pursue a master’s in social work so that he can work with youths who are involved with social services or the justice system (Photo: Thomas Sanders, ’15 MFA Photography).

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

SAN JOSE, CA – In 2007, David Elliott was paroled from Folsom State Prison after a period of incarceration that resulted from a lifelong battle with drug addiction.

“Everything I owned fit into a backpack,” he said.

Now a San Jose State senior majoring in social work, Elliott has received the California State University system’s highest honor for students who overcome incredible odds to attend college.

As the 2014-15 Trustee Emeritus William Hauck Scholar, one of 23 CSU Trustees Awards for Outstanding Achievement, Elliott will fly to the chancellor’s office in Long Beach on Sept. 9 to pick up the award and meet the other recipients.

Extraordinary Commitment

While their commitment, drive and perseverance are extraordinary, these students are like thousands more who look to the CSU each year for high-quality, accessible, affordable educational opportunities.

After leaving Folsom, Elliott became homeless and lived at a shelter in San Jose. Fearing that he would turn to drugs again, he asked his parole officer for help and was placed into a drug treatment program.

Six years later, Elliott is completely clean and sober and works for the program that helped save his life. As a chemical dependency technician, he assists people in some of their darkest times by supervising their medical detox and encouraging them to continue treatment.

He has also served for four years as a volunteer facilitation and facility coordinator of a drug and alcohol support group at a local homeless shelter for people with mental health and substance abuse problems.

A Second Chance

“All of this work is an attempt to repay what has been given to me: a second chance,” he said.

A straight-A student, Elliott plans to pursue a master’s in social work so that he can work with youths who are involved with social services or the justice system.

“I have found a path leading to a career that employs me in useful service to others,” Elliott said.

The late William Hauck, ’63 social studies, served as deputy chief of staff to Governor Pete Wilson and chief of staff to Assembly speakers Bob Morretti and Willie L. Brown, Jr. The Hauck endowment will provide $6,000 to this year’s CSU Trustees Award recipient.

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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Honoring Alumnus and United Airlines Captain Jason Dahl http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/on-911-remembering-alumnus-and-united-airlines-captain-james-dahl/ http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/on-911-remembering-alumnus-and-united-airlines-captain-james-dahl/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 20:46:34 +0000 http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/?p=27464 dahl 530

Below a flag signed by his family and a plaque bearing his likeness, students, faculty and staff remember Jason Dahl, alumnus and captain of UA 93 (Department of Aviation and Technology photo).

At 10:14 a.m. Sept. 11, as they have done for the past 13 years, the students, faculty and staff of San Jose State’s aviation program paused for a moment of silence in memory of Jason Dahl, ’80 Aeronautics Operations.

Dahl portrait

Capt. Jason Dahl

Dahl was the captain of United Airlines Flight 93, which terrorists crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside at 10:14 a.m. Sept. 11, 2001. He began taking flying lessons before he was old enough to drive, and was the first in his family to graduate from college.

“His entire life was about milestones…He was really proud to be a Spartan,” said Dahl’s brother-in-law, Bill Heindrich, who attended the event, held in the Industrial Sciences building, home to the Department of Aviation and Technology.

This year, in Shanksville, Pa., a Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the 40 passengers and crew members who died aboard UA 93. Meanwhile, at SJSU, Dahl’s legacy lives on. The Captain Jason Dahl Scholarship Fund makes a gift to one San Jose State student annually.

As intimate and solemn as ever, this year’s event remembered Dahl with a traditional toast for pilots who lose their lives in the line of duty.

“In honor of all those innocents who had ‘gone west’ during that horrific day 13 years ago, including our very own Jason Dahl,” said Professor and Aviation Advisor Dan Neal, “let us stand towards the West, raise our glasses and toast ‘to all those who have gone West.’”

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Creating a New Paradigm: SJSU’s Tech Upgrade http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/technology-upgrade-brings-new-tools-to-campus-classroom/ http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/technology-upgrade-brings-new-tools-to-campus-classroom/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 23:57:50 +0000 http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/?p=27440

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.

Wi-Fi

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.
alebrije

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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Yoshihiro Uchida Hall, Renewed http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/yosh-uchida-hall-renewed/ http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2014/yosh-uchida-hall-renewed/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 03:56:58 +0000 http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/?p=27393 Walking through the newly renovated Yoshihiro Uchida Hall is a study in old meeting new. Much of the year-long construction project includes seismic retrofitting and other refurbishments not visible to the naked eye, yet threaded throughout and around the historic building, modern amenities cannot be missed.

The building’s signature spiraled turrets are still in place, but a new, glass-front main entrance encases the structure on the west side, bringing the old exterior in. What used to be a dilapidated swimming pool now houses an instructional gym. Above it, a world-class dojo lit by original floor-to-ceiling windows finally provides a venue befitting San Jose State’s premiere judo program.

Shared by the kinesiology, athletics, and health science and recreation departments, Uchida Hall houses state-of-the-art academic facilities such as an exercise physiology research lab, a stress management lab and classroom, a sports medicine center and many fully equipped, modern classrooms, as well as beautiful new locker rooms for men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball and gymnastics—all centered around the heart of the building, the retrofitted gymnasium.

To top it off, a second-floor outdoor patio is open to the university community for enjoyment. A grand opening celebration and rededication with attendance from Yoshihiro Uchida and other local dignitaries is tentatively set for early November.

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