President and provost meet with student journalists

Interim President Susan Martin and Provost Andy Feinstein participated in a Student Media News Conference Oct. 26. During the one-hour news conference, the administrators fielded questions from Journalism and Mass Communications students involved in campus news organizations including Update News, the Spartan Daily and Equal Time.

Held once a semester, the conference allows student journalists to practice their interview skills with high-level administrators. Students took the opportunity to ask questions ranging from what plans are in place to keep the campus safe given recent shooting incidents at other universities to what building plans are next for the campus, specifically in terms of academic spaces. The event was coordinated by Associate Professor Diana Guerrazzi and Pat Harris, the media relations director for the university.

The conference ended on a light-hearted note when one of the final questions posed asked Martin and Feinstein what they think is the most important thing students should do before they graduate.

“Either live or work on campus,” Martin said. “You get to know a lot of people just by being here.”

Martin spent her first weeks as president living in campus housing, where she interacted with students frequently.

“Be actively involved in student leadership and extracurricular activities,” said Feinstein, who attends many events on campus. “There is dance, music and art exhibits. It’s not just about going to class.”

SJSU receives First in the World grant

A student works in a chemical engineering lab at SJSU. Photo by Bob Bains.

A student works in a chemical engineering lab at SJSU.
Photo by Bob Bains.

San Jose State University is one of 17 colleges and universities in the nation to receive a First in the World grant from the United States Department of Education.

The $3 million grant will support the university-wide priority of improving student success. The grant proposal focused on strengthening foundational science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes to improve retention and graduation rates with an emphasis on high-impact practices such as training faculty on active learning and flipped classrooms.

SJSU’s grant application was selected from more than 300 submissions nationwide for a share of the $60 million.

“We all know that innovation can take many forms and as a key part of the Administration’s goal to promote college access and affordability, the First in the World program aims to support a wide range of innovation to improve student success,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in a press release. “We are pleased to support these educational leaders who are driving exciting innovations to achieve those goals.”

The grant will be administered through the SJSU Research Foundation with Provost Andy Feinstein serving as the principal investigator working collaboratively with faculty in STEM disciplines.

The competition this year solicited applications in focus areas that included improving teaching and learning, improving student support services, developing and using new assessments of learning and improving success in developmental education. The 17 recipients are from 14 states, including CSU Los Angeles.