SJSU Salzburg Scholars Discuss Global Citizenship in Austria

Eve Allums, ’18 Political Science, took her first trip outside the United States this summer along with 16 other SJSU students who were selected as Salzburg Scholars this year. She and the other students attended the Global Citizenship Alliance Seminar in Salzburg, Austria, from June 9-16.

Allums said she first learned about the Salzburg Scholars program, in which SJSU students take a global citizenship course in the spring semester, attend a week-long summer seminar in Austria, and then work on a campus project the following year, when she was a freshman.

Her English 1A lecturer Jessy Goodman, ’14 MFA, incorporated global citizenship topics into her English 1A course. The lectures prompted Allums to switch her major to political science and to get involved with former Salzburg Scholars who created SJSU’s Cultural Showcase Event. Goodman herself was an SJSU Salzburg Scholar as a graduate student, and later served as a Fellow.

The SJSU Salzburg program was established in 2005 by Dr. William Reckmeyer, current program director, and Dr. Mark Novak, as a way to enhance the education of global citizens at SJSU. Since its inception, student scholars and faculty/staff fellows have participated as part of the Salzburg Global Seminar (now known as the Global Citizenship Alliance) each summer with a requirement to return to campus in the fall to work on a year-long project to promote global citizenship on campus.

Allums said the program cemented for her that she wants to pursue international law after she finishes her bachelor’s degree.

The program was honored as one of the “Top 10 Programs on Global Citizen Diplomacy,” in U.S. higher education in 2010 by the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy, NAFSA, and the U.S. State Department.

During the week-long seminar in Salzburg, SJSU students met with students from other U.S. universities to learn about global citizenship through topics such as refugees, economics, and the Holocaust.

Aaron Friedman, ’17 Marketing, said the part of the program that really struck him was the visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site and time with a speaker who survived the Holocaust.

“It shows how brutal history can be and how we need to keep talking about it so we don’t repeat it,” he said. “It was a very powerful example of how we really do need to remember history.”

During the week, the students divided into small groups to discuss some topics more in depth and made a presentation on the last day. Friedman’s group focused on ethnocentrism.

“It was interesting how we find ourselves classifying other people,” Friedman said. “There is ‘us’ and there is ‘them.’ Breaking away from these words helps us see the world from a more objective point of view.”

Allums’ group discussed refugees and came up with the concept of creating a support system called the “Beehive” where refugees would be able to connect with resources in their new homes for networking, job hunting and help with integrating into a new society.

“We want to make it a real thing,” Allums said, noting that a few of the students in her group were from SJSU and San Francisco State University. “We can start off small, but our ideas are to make it self-sustaining.”

The 2016-17 Salzburg Scholars also include:

Kristen Anderson, senior, College of Social Sciences

Celina Cesena, graduate student, Connie L. Lurie College of Education

Raissa Chiri-Zarzosa, senior, College of Social Sciences

Taylor Colunga, graduate student, Connie L. Lurie College of Education

Grecia Cuellar, junior, Lucas College and Graduate School of Business

Shriel Deogracias, junior, College of Social Sciences

Brandon Do, junior, College of Applied Sciences and Arts

Yen Huynh, freshman, College of Science

Jatinder Kaur, senior, Lucas College and Graduate School of Business

Sabrina Leung, junior, Lucas College and Graduate School of Business

Adriana Muratalla-Morales, junior, College of Humanities and the Arts

Nyantara Narasimhan, junior, College of Applied Sciences and Arts

Tony Nguyen, Lucas College and Graduate School of Business

Lisa Ruder, junior, College of Social Sciences

Matthew Vella, senior, College of Humanities and the Arts

SJSU Tops List for International Students

New engineering graduate students line up outside the student union on Aug. 14 for orientation. More than 1,700 students attended.

New engineering graduate students line up outside the student union on Aug. 14 for orientation. More than 1,700 students attended.

San Jose State ranked No. 1 as the master’s college or universities in the United States that hosted the most international students in 2014-15. The Top 40 rankings are put together by the Institute of International Education (IIE), a nonprofit that is focused on supporting global higher education.

For 2014-15, 3,639 international students enrolled in degree programs at San Jose State.

One of the Academic Affairs priorities, Educational Excellence and Student Experience, is focused on providing global citizenship opportunities for both international students and local students. The division funded an enhanced orientation in fall 2015 that included activities to foster connections between local and international students. Of the 1,700 students who attended graduate orientation, 650 were international students.

Xilu Wang, who is from Shanghai, said SJSU is well-known among her friends in her native country.

“(SJSU) is located in Silicon Valley,” she said, of her reason for choosing the Lucas Graduate School of Business. “(Silicon Valley) is a great location. Its reputation is good and it is growing very fast. My friends all want to study business and computer science here.”

The College of International and Extended Studies works in collaboration with Student Affairs in providing support to international students.

Committee works on new GE pathways


Freshmen attend orientation to learn about SJSU.

Freshmen attend orientation to learn about SJSU.

A group of San Jose State faculty, students and staff are looking at a new way to offer general education courses to Spartans in their first two years on campus as part of the Educational Excellence and Student Experience priority. Katherine Cushing, an associate professor of environmental studies, got involved in the discussions about creating general education pathways around themes last spring.

As a professor of water resource management, she said she was interested in working on a pathway related to sustainability. The other potential themes include creativity and global citizenship. Cushing said the University Sustainability Board members spoke at freshmen orientations over the summer to increase awareness of activities on campus and also mentioned some of the sustainability-related lower division general education courses.

Joyce Lum, a business major, is also part of the committee focused on general education pathways. As an Associated Student Board of Director, she said she made an effort to get involved in committees to be a voice for students.

As a business major she took GE courses in her first two years that related to globalization and sustainability.

“When I took classes that were related to each other, I found it a lot easier to pay attention in class because I could actually connect what I previously learned with what I was currently learning,” she said.

Lum said she wants to change the perspective students have of general education courses as she has heard negative comments from some students.

“It’s disheartening to hear this because I know the professors that teach these courses are very passionate about teaching and knowledgeable about their subjects,” she said.

The group working on the sustainability pathways has identified three clusters of courses that include climate change, sustainability policy and ethics, and art and sustainability.

“We’re still in the beginning stages of coordinating these pathways, but I can’t wait to see it implemented,” Lum said.