Faculty News and Notes for March 2018: Publications, Quotes and More

The Mercury News interviewed Department of Journalism and Mass Communications Associate Professor Richard Craig and Department of Engineering Lecturer Ahmed Banafa about how “internet giants” are “scrambling to contain” the “misinformation and abuse” appearing on their platforms in the wake of the Florida school shooting. Tech companies are increasingly “having to make editorial judgments, although they prefer to stay out of it,” said Craig. Read more.

Led by Associate Professor Duane Michael Cheers, Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, 45 students, educators and activists spent four days in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, photographing the changes being brought about by gentrification. The result, a 100-image exhibit titled “Harlem Reimagined,” is on display at the King Library until March 31, when it will move to NYC.

Grammy-winning saxophonist and Department of Music and Dance Professor Aaron Lington performed with the Southern Utah University Jazz Ensemble on February 17 at the Heritage Center Theatre in Cedar City, Utah. Lington also taught a jazz improvisation session following the afternoon concert.

Department of Economics Professor Lydia Ortega, a Republican, announced her candidacy for lieutenant governor of California last month, pledging to make college affordable and to “restore dignity to the halls of our state Capitol.” The announcement was covered by multiple news outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle and the Mercury News. “It’s time for an academic, an economist, to be in the state government,” Ortega said. A member of SJSU’s faculty for 29 years, Ortega chaired the Department of Economics for 15 years.

Professor Matthew Spangler, Department of Communication Studies, delivered the inaugural Mary Power Lecture in Irish Studies at the University of New Mexico on February 22. An acclaimed playwright and director, Spangler has published extensively on Irish and intercultural theatre. His lecture, “Between the Idealized and the Undeserving: Representing Refugees in Irish and American Theatre,” focused on recent initiatives in the performing arts that represent refugee and asylum seeker experiences in Ireland and the United States.

Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging Chair Ashwini Wagle was interviewed by the Mercury News about the recent Stanford study that compared low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets. The findings—each of the two groups lost roughly the same amount of weight—came as a surprise to many. But people who practice “mindful eating and eat more healthfully” often lose more weight than those who merely “follow a trend,” Wagle said. The study, which focused on encouraging healthier food choices, received $8 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health along with other health- and wellness-focused organizations.