May 2016 Newsletter: Social Science Students Address Critical Issues

This year, the College of Social Sciences established a Graduate Student Colloquia to share research, scholarship and creative activity (RSCA) accomplishments. The April event focused on “Environmental Factors and their Impact on American Communities.”

“In the College of Social Sciences, we value research that addresses critical issues facing 21st century society and beyond,” Dean Walt Jacobs said. “Our graduate students are the next generation to lead this effort, so we wanted to highlight their initial investigations. After our first graduate student research colloquium, a student approached CoSS Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Director Ruma Chopra to express her enjoyment of the event and to volunteer for next year’s colloquium, so we will definitely continue.”

The research projects undertaken by students and their faculty mentors investigated vulnerable populations in the community. Matthew Gloria-Dalton, a communications studies student, reviewed portrayals of mental illness in mass media. Christal West, a Mexican American studies student, explored the role of ethnic studies in informing trauma intervention for youth of color. Ida Wilson, an anthropology student, examined the underground economy in Oakland. Other presenters included John Linford and Joseph Holman, economics students who studied automobile collisions in California, and Ana Lucrecia Rivera, a geography and global studies student, who identified urban heat islands that can impact vulnerable residents in Santa Clara County.

The colloquia was supported by the Academic Affairs RSCA and Professional Development priority group work from 2014-16. Research opportunities are an integral high-impact practice in SJSU’s Four Pillars of Student Success student engagement pillar.

College newsletters published throughout the year

The University Library has published the Fall 2015 edition of “Academic Gateway,” a newsletter about the University Library. Contents include an article on a grant to digitize World War II Japanese Internment items, a letter from Dean Ruth Kifer and more. It is available for download from ScholarWorks.

Current and archived newsletters from other academic units and colleges are also available online:

College of Applied Sciences and Arts

Lucas College of Business and Graduate School

Connie L. Lurie College of Education

Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering

College of Humanities and the Arts

College of Science

College of Social Sciences

SJSU Research Foundation Office of Sponsored Programs Bulletin 12.15 (2)


December 2015 Newsletter: CommUniverCity – A Model of Learning and Service

An SJSU student volunteer works with elementary school children through CommUniverCity.

An SJSU student volunteer works with elementary school children through CommUniverCity.

San Jose State’s unique CommUniverCity program, which marked 10 years of service to the San Jose community this year, was honored at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) annual meeting Nov. 17 with the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award.

For a decade, San Jose State students, faculty and staff have fostered a unique partnership with the City of San Jose and community organizations through CommUniverCity. The collaboration supports residents in neighborhoods that surround the campus with such activities as after-school tutoring, nutrition education, adult financial literacy classes and much more.

For the last five years, CommUniverCity has been involved in College Day with volunteers visiting 13 downtown schools this year. Volunteers included SJSU students, staff, faculty and alumni who spent an hour each visiting 50 K-12 classrooms in an effort to get younger students thinking about college.

Lorri Capizzi, a lecturer in the counselor education department in the Connie L. Lurie College of Education, motivated students in one of her courses to adopt Lowell Elementary School for College Day.

“Her class usually has 25 to 40 students,” said Elizabeth Figueroa, the Education Programs manager for CommUniverCity. “They provide great visuals and get a lot out of the experience.”

College Day participation is just one of more than 50 community action projects that together brought national recognition to CommUniverCity this fall. Representatives from each college are involved in projects.

Provost Andy Feinstein and CommUniverCity Associate Director Katherine Cushing, who is also an associate professor in the College of Social Sciences environmental studies department, traveled to Indianapolis to represent SJSU at the APLU meeting where the winner of the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award was announced.

Dayana Salazar, the executive director of CommUniverCity and a professor in the College of Social Sciences urban and regional planning department, said she and her office colleagues jumped up and down when they got the news from Feinstein that they had won.

“It’s national visibility, which is something we have been intentionally putting more effort into,” Salazar said. “It deserves a lot more recognition. It is quite special. It keeps bearing fruit and taking new directions — it is renewed every year.”

Salazar said there is potential for sharing the model with other universities and cities as well as more opportunities to delve deeper into the established programs in San Jose.

“We do a lot of work day to day,” she said. “We know we all put a lot of heart in our work. We don’t have a lot of opportunities to stop and take a look at the larger picture. It’s time to take pause and look back and celebrate.”