Career Center Helps New Alumni Connect With Employers at “Grad Blast” June 7

Career Center Hosts "Grad Blast" Connecting News Alums, Employers

The SJSU Career Center will be hosting a “Grad Blast” beginning at 1 p.m. June 7 in Engineering 285/287.

By Ryan Whitchurch, Public Affairs Assistant

The SJSU Career Center will be hosting a “Grad Blast” beginning at 1 p.m. June 7 in Engineering 285/287 to help graduates connect with a panel of employers. The panel will discuss advice on how to launch a successful career after graduation.

“The job market is picking up for 2012,” said Career Center Employment Specialist Moira Srago. “Grads can gain their competitive edge by coming to Grad Blast and hearing from employers about how to distinguish themselves in their job search.”

This is just one of the many functions the Career Center offers to SJSU undergrads and alumni. A variety of programs help Spartans search for jobs including workshops and one-on-one consulting.

The Career Center also hosts special events every semester that provide SJSU undergraduates the opportunity to connect with employers to find jobs or internships directly out of college. These events include career fairs, information sessions held on campus, and networking mixers.

“I met my future employer at the Career Fair last spring,” said Edward Barshow, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s in business management. “I met a representative from Kohl’s, got a paid summer internship, and was offered a job after I graduate.”

The Career Center offers virtual resources that are available to all undergraduates and alumni members 24/7 including its blog, Facebook fan page, and a job and internship website called SpartaJobs. All SJSU alumni can take part in these programs for a small membership fee.

“Times are looking up for graduates,” said Srago, “According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Job Outlook Spring Update Survey, employers expect to hire 10.2 percent more from the class of 2012 than they did from the class of 2011.”

To learn more about the Career Center, get connected with its website, blog, and Facebook fan page.

UPD Expands Evening Guide Escort Program

CSU police badge

The new SJSU Evening Shuttle will offer campus community members safe transportation to nearby destinations.

Jan. 25, 2012 – San Jose, Calif. – The San Jose State University Police Department has expanded its Evening Guide Escort Program to include an Evening Shuttle that provides service beyond the previous two-block off-campus limit.

The new boundaries for the Evening Guide Escort Program and Evening Shuttle include South 16th Street, Julian Street, First Street, and Interstate 280.

The Evening Guide Escort Program and Evening Shuttle provide a safe means of nighttime travel for campus community members who need to get to their nearby residences, workplaces, classrooms, study areas, cars, or public transportation stations.

The off-campus Evening Shuttle is only available to current SJSU faculty, staff, students with Tower Cards or on-campus employment identification, and it will operate Monday through Friday from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., excluding holidays. Traditional on-campus Evening Guide services do not require ID.

The Evening Shuttle is limited to groups of three at a time and one single round-trip per rider/group per night. The Evening Shuttle does not provide transportation to and from alcohol related establishments, such as nightclubs, bars, or taverns, and visibly intoxicated individuals will not be allowed to ride.

Those wishing to receive an Evening Guide escort on or off campus must call the UPD directly at the Evening Guide Hotline at (408) 924-2000, or use a campus blue light phone. The Evening Shuttle will not stop for flag-downs.

Read more on the Evening Guide Escort Program and Evening Shuttle Service.

“Hemp Plastic Water Bottles” Steals the Show at Innovation Challenge

Junior JD Leadam stands to the left of his project poster board for Hemp Plastic Water Bottles presented his idea to a passerby. Poster board includes a picture of the design and an explanation of his project

Junior business major J.D. Leadam won first place in several categories at the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge for his entry, Hemp Plastic Water Bottles (Dillon Adams photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Nearly 200 Spartans competed Dec. 1 in the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge, including junior business major J.D. Leadam, who took first place in several categories, winning $2,000.

“I learned that if I truly believe in an idea, then I can sell anyone on it,” Leadam said.

Leadam won Most Innovative Idea, Best Elevator Pitch, and People’s Choice awards for his entry, “Hemp Plastic Water Bottles,” an idea that replaces single-use water bottles with biodegradable plastic water bottles made from industrial hemp.

“Regular water bottles will release toxins over time and when they are buried in our landfills, they last for all eternity,” Leadam said. “We want to replace them with bottles made out of hemp, which are 100 percent safe and biodegradable.”

Leadam plans on entering the Silicon Valley Business Plan Competition this spring, using the money that he won from the challenge to make a prototype and contact manufacturers in China.

“I am really looking to make this happen,” he said.

Teaching Innovation

Other projects included ePrepared, an online community providing counseling sources for high school and college students; Applications Complete, an innovative way to track everyday receipts; and Spherical Drive System, a new concept for a motorcycle designed to balance like a Segway.

This was the first time The Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship, within the College of Business, extended its signature fall event to all majors.

Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as  alumni from all seven colleges participated. President Mohammad Qayoumi and College of Business Dean David Steele presented the winning awards.

“I think that we were successful in creating a cross-disciplinary collaboration for our first year,” SVCE Director Anuradha Basu said.

Industry Professionals

Over 25 community members helped with judging the exhibits and the elevator pitch contest. They included 11 CEOs/founders, two attorneys, two angel investors, two venture capitalists, a banker, and four managers from Cisco and Intel. Around 10 judges were SJSU alumni.

Included on the panel of judges were Arlo Inc. Co-founder Dave Hadden and Tower Foundation of SJSU Board Member Wanda Ginner, who headed her own independent CPA firm for several decades.

“I noticed that the personal appearance and presentations of the students were better than last year, and the elevator pitches were significantly better,” Ginner said. “I just had the feeling that the students were really invested.”

Hadden felt his experience was his biggest contribution.

“Without being critical, we can point out things to help students,” he said. “You could tell having a real world experience was meaningful to them.”

Recent Grad Wins VTA Mobile App Contest

Passengers boarding VTA light rail.

Vashishtha Jogi, who recently graduated with a master's in computer engineering, won with "San Jose Transit."

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

In June, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority launched a contest challenging professional developers and hobbyists to create a mobile app to enhance the VTA travel experience.  Members of the public submitted a variety of apps that are supported by Apple’s operating system, Google’s Android platform, or both. After carefully evaluating all contest submittals, “San Jose Transit” designed by Vashishtha Jogi was declared the winner! When asked why he entered the VTA contest, Jogi cited his interest in public transit and desire to make it easier for the public to navigate the system. “I love learning new technology, and this industry plays a huge role in my desired career path,” said Jogi.  “I aspire to be someone who builds something useful for other people and not done by anybody else.” Jogi recently completed his master’s in software engineering at San Jose State in August. The app offers schedules for light rail, bus and train service. Read more.

Bike Share Program on the Horizon for SJSU

A picture of a red bike share bicycle taken in China during a Global Technology Initiative trip. Bikes include a modular shape and contains a basket for carrying items.

Hangzhou, China, is often credited with hosting one of the world's largest bike share fleets. Soon, SJSU will join a similar effort funded by a Bay Area regional grant. The Bay Area program is expected to be in operation by the end of next summer (photo by Karin McKie).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Bike sharing, a popular trend in Europe, will soon be making a paceline to SJSU. Associated Students’ President Tomasz Kolodziejak said the program, expected to be completed in September 2012, will add a sense of community to the city and campus.

“It will give students the freedom to explore the city if they don’t own a bicycle, if they don’t have enough room to store one, or don’t want to go through the trouble of maintaining one,” Kolodzejak said.

Eyedin Zonobi, manager of the A.S. Transportation Solutions office, said a bike share program would play well with the estimated 1,000 bicycles on campus per day each semester.

“Although we have six cages to accommodate parking for bikes, plus open racks in front of every building, parking for bikes is reaching its limits,” Zonobi said. “This program would alleviate some of the impact.”

Bike Share Grant

The project is being funded by a $4.29 million Metropolitan Transportation Commission grant to provide bicycles and kiosk stations to the cities of San Francisco, Redwood City, Mountain View, Palo Alto and San Jose. In addition, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties will contribute matching funds, making this a $7 million project.

San Jose is expected to receive 150 bikes, placed in up to a dozen automated pods around the downtown area, linking the San Jose Diridon Transit Center to other high-activity locations, according to Bike and Pedestrian Program Director John Brazil.

Transportation Solutions is joining efforts with Parking Services and Facilities Development and Operations on campus to work with the City of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. An SJSU planning committee will find three or four locations on the campus perimeter for bike share hubs. VTA is in the process of issuing a request for proposals for vendors.

Features, depending on the vendor, may include modular bike stands, metal baskets, solar or electric locking and tracking technology, and GPS capabilities. Bikes will be inexpensive to rent and there will be different payment and membership options to chose from.