As a university, we are determined to be an anchor institution that brings vibrancy, diversity and energy to our downtown community and our region. We also have talked a great deal these past few years about our commitment to partnerships, collaboration and dialogue, and to growing our relevance and influence.
It makes perfect sense, then, for Silicon Valley’s public university to collaborate with IBM, a giant in the tech world. This collaboration, which we announced in October, will help San Jose State students gain the skills they need to compete in tomorrow’s workforce, and will further solidify SJSU as the top provider of talent to Silicon Valley companies.
In this issue of Washington Square, you’ll learn about some of the other ways our university is convening students, faculty members and alumni who seek to solve local and global problems. We have incredible expertise to guide those pursuits. Learn about the impact of research on the safety of self-driving cars done through our Mineta Transportation Institute. The Lurie College of Education has created innovative ways to address equity through math teacher preparation. As part of our Beyond Football program, players and at-risk children experience the mutual benefit of mentoring.
In all that we do, educators need to see the public good and civic responsibility as central to the mission of higher education. A fine example of this is SJSU’s Center for Community Learning and Leadership. Over the course of 20 years, 80,000 students have contributed 1,400,000 hours of service. Our alumni also are conveners for the public good, whether that’s by running for political office, creating public art or conducting genetic research.
We strive to be a public square of sorts, right here in the heart of San Jose and Silicon Valley, where students and faculty members can work together to influence change on local and global issues that matter to them. Our job is to create an environment that inspires big ideas and collaboration. We need the support and participation of alumni as we make progress toward this and other strategic goals. I hope you’ll join us.
Mary A. Papazian, Ph.D.