May 2018 Newsletter: Famed Judo Coach Honored for 70 Years of Service at SJSU

Yoshihiro Uchida, left, with SJSU President Mary A. Papazian, still helps coach team practice sessions every night. (Photo: David Schmitz)

Yoshihiro Uchida, who was honored this spring for seven decades of service, is a living legend at San Jose State University. When he was honored for 70 years of service at the April Faculty Service Recognition and Awards at SJSU, many news outlets reported on his long history at the university. Watch a video from ABC7News and read about him in the San Jose Mercury News. Uchida, 98, founded the university’s judo program in 1946, transformed the fledgling program into a collegiate powerhouse, and is still going strong by helping coach team practice sessions every night. The coach of the U.S. Olympic judo team the last time the Summer Olympics were held in Tokyo in 1964, Uchida said he hopes to attend the 32nd Summer Games when they return to Japan’s capital city in 2020.

May 2018 Newsletter: Design Team Uses 3D Printing to Address Housing Issues

A “Cabin of Curiosities” tucked away into an Oakland backyard — composed of 3D printed walls, tiles, furniture and assorted objects — has the distinct imprint of Virginia San Fratello, associate professor of interior design at San Jose State. San Fratello and her award-winning design studio partner Ronald Rael, associate professor of architecture at University of California, Berkeley, were featured on CBS SF Bay Area for their collaboration on designing and building the structure after the city of Oakland relaxed its restrictions on secondary housing units amidst the Bay Area’s severe affordable housing crisis. “I think in the world of 3D printing and architecture, there is a race of who can print the fastest and the cheapest and it’s a race to the bottom,” San Fratello said, adding she and Rael were more interested in “making something really beautiful.”

May 2018 Newsletter: SJSU Professors Discuss Facebook F8 Conference

Professor Jan English-Lueck, an expert on Silicon Valley culture, talked to KQED about how language was used at the Facebook event. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

In the wake of Facebook’s privacy scandals and public hearings in Washington, two San Jose State University professors were quoted in news stories this month about the tech company. Jan English-Lueck, an anthropology professor and expert on Silicon Valley culture, responded to the use of human words like “community” throughout the event in a KQED interview. Ahmed Banafa, an engineering professor, commented on cybersecurity concerns for the social media giant as it rolls out new tools such as an online dating platform, for CBS This Morning and ABC7 News.

May 2018 Newsletter: Provost Update — Spartan Endeavors Make the News

Dear Campus Community,

Thank you to those who stopped by the farewell reception in my honor on May 7. I was struck by the number of people who dropped in to spend a few moments with me. I appreciate President Mary Papazian and others who shared some heartfelt thoughts with the crowd before allowing me to offer my thanks to all those with whom I’ve worked. I am still realizing just how much I am going to miss all of you, even as I look forward to my new adventure in Colorado. I want to express again that it has been an extraordinary honor to serve San Jose State University.

We are in our last stretch of the semester, with final exams under way and commencement in sight. I am especially looking forward to celebrating with our students on May 23-25, and it is bittersweet that this will be my last graduation season at San Jose State. Thank you to all the faculty and staff members who support our students, and propel them toward this momentous occasion. I hope to see many of you at the ceremonies next week.

Through the Academic Spotlight newsletter, I have welcomed the opportunity to share with you campus and division priorities, to tell stories about faculty and staff, and to reflect on events I have participated in throughout the year.

For this final newsletter of the year — and my final message as provost — I hope you will enjoy reading and watching recent news pieces that have featured members of our Spartan community. We have tremendous talent and experience in our ranks, and it is no surprise that regional, national and global media outlets turn to San Jose State. We hear from reporters who request an expert to speak on timely topics such as mudslides in Southern California, minimum wage increases or Women’s Marches. We have a robust roster of Faculty and Staff Experts who are prepared to provide a quick response on such issues as affordable housing, the evolution of technology, upcoming elections and many other subjects.

Other times we receive media coverage about the research conducted by students and faculty such as a study on how the flu spreads that made the New York Times California Report (scroll to the bottom of the story), or events we host like the Institute for the Study of Sports, Society and Social Change Town Hall on Gender and Equity. We also hear from news outlets who just want to share the compelling stories of Spartans, such as the team of engineering students who displayed unique vehicles at the SV Auto Show.

I am pleased to share with you some of the ways in which Spartans have been newsworthy in recent weeks. It is reassuring to know that when I am in Colorado, I will still be able to check in on San Jose State through the robust media coverage this university receives. Though we may be parting, I know that we all have wonderful journeys ahead of us and I wish you the best.

April 2018 Newsletter: Honors Convocation Celebrates Top Students

San Jose State University celebrated the 56th Annual Honors Convocation April 20, with a record number of students earning the distinction of Dean’s Scholars and President’s Scholars. This year, 4,105 Dean’s Scholars maintained a GPA of 3.65 or higher in two contiguous semesters of the last three while 505 President’s Scholars maintained a 4.0 during the same period. Read personal stories of some of the 2018 scholars online.