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 of Social Sciences Celebrates RSCA

The College of Social Sciences will host its first-ever Graduate Student Colloquia and the second installment of the Dean’s Symposium this semester. Using RSCA-infusion funding, the College of Social Sciences created the faculty and graduate student speaker series to raise awareness of research in its departments.

The College also launched a centralized RSCA website –  the Applied Research Center or ARC website – to provide information to student and faculty researchers on internal and external funding opportunities while also highlighting recent RSCA accomplishments. The website also includes research-centered profiles of CoSS faculty.

The College of Social Sciences Graduate Student Colloquia is Wednesday, April 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. in Engineering 287. The event will feature the work of five graduate students from different disciplines who all researched “Environmental Factors and their Impact on American Communities.”

The students worked closely with faculty mentors to develop their research and the students met in advance of the lecture to coordinate their presentations. The presenters include:

Matthew Gloria-Dalton, Communication Studies

“Authenticity, Accuracy, Fact, or Fiction: Dimensions of Mental Illness Portrayals in Primetime Cable News.”

Christal West, Mexican American Students

“Recovering Pathways of Resiliency: Approaches to Trauma Intervention for Youth of Color.”

Ida Wilson, Anthropology

“Understanding Participation in the Underground Economy in Oakland.”

John Linford and Joseph Holman, Economics

“Traffic Collision Fatalities for the 25 Largest California Cities.”

Ana Lucrecia Rivera, Geography and Global Studies

“Characterizing Vulnerable Populations Living Under Urban Heat Islands (UHI) in Santa Clara County.”

View the attached flier for more details about the lecture series: 2016 CoSS Student Colloquia_on_Apr27

The College of Social Sciences Dean’s Symposium on “Social Support and Adjustment to Stressful Life Experiences” is Wednesday, May 4, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Clark 222.

The presentation will address the ways in which people provide and receive social support in order to cope with and adapt to stressful life experiences.

The presenters include:

Annabel Prins, professor of Psychology

“Emotional support in the development and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

Faustina DuCross, assistant professor of Sociology

“’This Big Village of People’: Louisiana Migrants and the Supportive Role of Catholic Parish Networks in the City of Angels.”

A.J. Faas, assistant professor of Anthropology

“Minga Practice in the Shadow of the Volcano: Reciprocity, Cooperation, and the Complexities of Social Support in Disasters.”

Garrick Percival, associate professor of Political Science

“Mass Incarceration in California: The Long Unwind.”

View the attached flier for more details: 2016 COSS Dean’s Symposium_on_May4

Light refreshments will be served. For more information, email

New Center to focus on applied atmospheric research

Sen Chiao

Sen Chiao

San Jose State’s College of Science Department of Meteorology and Climate Science is establishing a new research center that will give students more opportunities for research and educational activities in applied atmospheric sciences.

Associate Professor Sen Chiao successfully received a NASA Minority University Research and Education Project  (MUREP) Institutional Research Opportunity (MIRO) award of $1 million a year for up to five years to support the creation of the NASA MIRO Center for Applied Atmospheric Research and Education (CAARE) at San Jose State.

In his NASA proposal, Chiao wrote that the mission of CAARE is to “promote STEM literacy and to enhance and sustain the capability to support NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.” As the director of CAARE, Chiao is working with colleagues to establish research and educational opportunities for students, with a specific focus on supporting underrepresented minority students in the STEM programs.

Proposed educational activities for the center include training and hands-on field experiences and research involving faculty and students; workshops and short courses; summer internships at NASA centers; and expanding educational degrees and transfer opportunities.

Proposed research will focus on urban heat islands and climate variability; aerosol and its impact on air quality, weather and regional climate; wildfire impacts on air quality; and public health linkages to air quality, weather and climate.

Chiao’s proposal was one of 10 selected nationawide through a rigorous review of 75 applicants.