Faculty Early Tenure and Promotion: A.J. Faas

A.J. Faas

A.J. Faas
(Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

A.J. Faas

Early Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor

Years at SJSU: 4

Department: Anthropology

RSCA focus: Disasters, environmental crises, and displacement and resettlement, with a focus on the historical production of vulnerability, postcolonial practice, social memory, and community organizing and social support. His research has primarily been in Latin America, with some work conducted in the American northwest and the San Jose area.

Associate Professor A.J. Faas’s work in post-disaster resettlements in highland Ecuador has led to several recent publications including a study on reciprocity and vernacular statecraft and one on  the conversion of peasants into “entrepreneurs.” Closer to home, he has studied wildfire responses in the Pacific Northwest.

In his time at San Jose State University, Faas has also enjoyed planning and organizing his department’s annual AnthROX! event.  It is one part party with refreshments and live music, one part expo of the best of Applied Anthropology at SJSU, with multimedia exhibits and “Ignite Talks” by graduate students, alumni, and emeritus faculty.

As a first-generation student himself, he encourages anthropology majors to get involved beyond their classrooms.

“My entire career began nearly two decades ago when I shyly walked into my department chair’s office and asked if there was a way for me to get experience working on a real study,” Faas recalls. “He got me working that day, and I’ve never looked back.”

Note: Congratulations to the 43 faculty members who received tenure and/or promotion for 2017-18. We have invited each faculty member to participate in a series of posts profiling their teaching, service, and research, scholarship and creativity activities. Those faculty who opted to participate will be featured throughout the fall semester on the Academic Spotlight blog and the digital sign in the Administration Building lobby.

Faculty Notes for September 2016: Publications, Quotes and More

Craig Clements

Craig Clements

Wildfire expert Associate Professor Craig Clements, Department of Meteorology, was interviewed by CBS-SF regarding Monterey County’s Soberanes Fire and its effects on the air quality of the Bay Area. “The winds in the Bay Area are very complex,” Clements explained. “The wind may be moving in one direction…but the plume of smoke can get injected into the upper atmosphere and transported from the south to the north.” As of September 13, the fire burning in the Ventana Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest, started by an illegal, unattended campfire on the Soberanes Canyon trail, has consumed more than 100,000 acres.

Professor Jan English-Lueck, Department of Anthropology, was interviewed in June by the Mercury News about “Silicon Valley speak” and “learning to talk tech.” English-Lueck is also a research affiliate at Palo Alto’s Institute for the Future.

Department of Art and Art History Professors Craig Hobbs and Robin Lasser collaborated on a large-scale video, Migratory Cultures: Mapping the Distance from Me to You, projected outside the San Jose Museum of Art after sunset on July 21. Featuring stories from San Jose and Bay Area immigrants, the video has also been shown outside the Pajaro Valley Arts Gallery in Watsonville and the Sunset Magazine building in Jack London Square, Oakland. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Professor Joseph Pesek, Department of Chemistry, was named a CASSS Distinguished Fellow in July, honoring his service to the biopharmaceutical community and his retirement from the CASSS board of directors. “Being a board member for eight years gave me the opportunity to meet scientists from all over the world and provide input into the direction…of CASSS,” he said. A not-for-profit professional scientific society, CASSS is comprised of more than 4,000 industry-based, academic and regulatory professionals.

Associate Professor Aaron Romanowsky, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, recently had an article published in the Astrophysical Journal in July, “High Stellar Velocity Dispersion and ~ 100 Globular Clusters for the Ultra Diffuse Galaxy Dragonfly 44. Working with a team of international astronomers, Romanowsky and his colleaues found a massive galaxy that exists entirely of dark matter. Read the abstract online. Romanowsky has another article pending in Nature.

Assistant Professor Emily Slusser and Professor Maureen Smith, Department of Child and Adolescent Development, were interviewed by the Mercury News on the subject of elementary school-age kids, their activities and development. “Overscheduled kids lose the value of free play, whether it’s playing with Barbies or climbing a tree. Unstructured free time—daydreaming—is how we find our identity,” Smith said.

iSchool Assistant Professor Michael Stephens published The Heart of Librarianship: Attentive, Positive, and Purposeful Change (ALA Editions) in June, a collection of essays first written for his “Office Hours” column in Library Journal. Visit his website and blog online.

Carolyn Guidry Chair in Engineering Education and Innovative Learning Belle Wei co-authored an op-ed for the Mercury News calling for a “systematic change to provide technology education to more women.”

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.