Alumni news: JMC grad publishes book on treatment of natives at CA missions

San José State University School of Journalism and Mass Communications graduate Elias Castillo has recently published a book entitled “A Cross of Thorns: the Enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions.”

The cover of Elias Castillo's book.

The cover of Elias Castillo’s book.

Castillo, a three-time Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist, describes the Spanish missions in his book as “death camps where more than 60,000 Indian workers died, many as a result of whippings, disease and malnutrition,” according to press release. During his research of the book, he closely examined records kept by the Catholic religious order, the Franciscans, that founded the missions. He asserts that from 1769-1833, indigenous people were held captive and treated brutally, with letters from Father Junipero Serra confirming such treatment.

The book was released in February by publisher Craven Street Books. It is available in hardback or e-book.

Castillo graduated from SJSU in 1962 with a bachelor’s of art, returning to the school to complete a master’s in 1997. He has had a distinguished career in journalism. He has earned three Pulitzer Prize nominations and 13 journalism awards for his work at the San Jose Mercury News, the Santa Barbara News Press, the Reno Gazette and the Associated Press.

Castillo and his wife Cathy Neville Castillo signed an agreement with the San José State University School of Journalism and Mass Communications to give back with a planned gift in 2013 that will establish the Castillo Journalism Technology Fund.


Health Science partnership with elementary school earns award

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Health Science and Recreation department received the Program Excellence Award from the Society for Public Health Education for its “Salud Familiar” program.

San Jose State University students work with kids at McKinley Elementary School as part of the Salud Familiar program, which won a Program Excellence Award from the Society for Public Health Education.

San Jose State University students work with kids at McKinley Elementary School as part of the Salud Familiar program, which won a Program Excellence Award from the Society for Public Health Education.

The program is a partnership between San José State University and McKinley Elementary School to create “cultures, confidence, environments and resources for health and academic success among the McKinley community,” according to the elementary school website. The program allows SJSU students an opportunity to host activities and events at the school that promote healthy lifestyles.

The program was founded by Health Science professor Kathleen Roe and Aurora Garcia. SOPHE will be honoring the 35 award and scholarship recipients at its 66th Annual Meeting April 23-25, in Portland.

Ann Lucas Lecture series spring event set for March 11

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Justice Studies Department at San José State University will host a debate with Hadar Aviram on her recently published book, “Cheap on Crime: Recession-Era Politics and the Transformation of American Punishment,” as part of the Spring 2015 Ann Lucas Lecture in Law and Justice, on March 11, from 5-7 p.m. in the Student Union Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

Hadar Aviram

Hadar Aviram

The debate will feature Aviram, of the University of California, Hastings College of Law; Alessandro De Giorgi, a Justice Studies professor at SJSU; Jay Borchert, from the University of Michigan and Selena Teji, of the California Budget Project.

According to a press release, Aviram’s book uses archival and news reports as well as social history and economics literature to show the powerful impact of recession-era discourse on the death penalty, the war on drugs, incarceration practices, prison health care and other aspects of the American correctional landscape. In her book, Aviram posits that the 2008 financial crisis demonstrated the unsustainable nature of incarceration and empowered policy makers to reform punishment through fiscal prudence and austerity.

Aviram is a professor of law at UC Hastings College of Law. She has a masters of art in criminology from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ph.D in U.C. Berkley’s Jurisprudence and Social Policy program. Her research focuses on the criminal justice system and examines policing, courtroom practices and broad policy decisions through social science perspectives. She codirects the Hastings Institute for Criminal Justice and publishes the California Correctional Crisis blog.

Cheap on Crime 2-25 FINAL (Event Flier – PDF)

SWEEP: Vietnamese fellows settle in for Social Work Academy in March

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts at San José State University is hosting its second Social Work Education Enhancement Project Fellows Academy, with eight Vietnamese professors visiting for three weeks in March to learn skills they will be able to bring home to their own universities in Vietnam. The 2015 fellows arrived in San José on March 1 and have been involved in lectures and workshops all week. The Fellows Academy is March 2-20.

Many SJSU social work faculty are involved in sharing knowledge about how to teach social work for the fellows, but other departments at SJSU are also providing support including the School of Information, the Center for Faculty Development, the SJSU Global Leadership Advancement Center, Academic Technology, and the University Library. The fellows will also have a chance to visit social service agencies in the Bay Area to see what types of services are provided in the United States as the field of Social Work is relatively new in Vietnam, established 10 years ago.

Interim Dean Alice Hines is the director of SWEEP, while Social Work Professor Ed Cohen serves as a co-director. SWEEP is an international consortium which includes USAID, SJSU, eight universities in Vietnam, government ministries, Cisco Systems, Inc., and community agencies and stakeholders. The purpose of SWEEP is to assist eight universities in Vietnam with improving their undergraduate social work educational programs. The project, which is funded through September, 2015, aims to improve:

  • The administration of social work programs
  • Faculty capabilities in teaching and research
  • Social work curriculum, and
  • Network communication among the universities through the use of improved technology

Spartan Daily receives Best of Show, other honors from collegiate press associations

San José State University’s student-run newspaper, the Spartan Daily, received more than a dozen statewide awards as well as national accolades from two collegiate journalism organizations in February.Daily header

At the California College Media Association awards banquet at the Sheraton Universal in Los Angeles Feb. 28, the College of Applied Sciences and Arts School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s newspaper program took home 16 awards. In 2014, they earned nine awards, making the 2015 haul a record.

The local campus paper competed against 44 student publications in the state, according to Prof. Richard Craig, including a third place finish in the Best Daily Newspaper category.

Sixteen different students won or shared awards, and three honors were awarded to the full Daily staff, according to Craig. Jonathan Marinaro won three awards, including second place honors for Best Newspaper Page/Design Spread and Best Headline Portfolio, and a shared third place award for Best Overall Newspaper Design. Rafael Ochoa took home three awards, including third place for Best Black and White Advertisement and Best Group Promotion, as well as an Honorable Mention for Best Online Promotion.

Sol Granados shared a first-place award with Brandon Chew for Best Photo Series, for their coverage of the Oakland riots after the Ferguson court decision, and Granados also took a third place honor for Best News Photo. Jerica Lowman won for Best Newspaper Column and shared the award for Best Overall Newspaper Design. Philip Beadle also took home two awards, one as part of a team (along with Jasmine Leyva and Sarah Kenoyer) that took third place for Best News Series, and also shared the award for Best Overall Newspaper Design.

Other Daily students who won awards included Austin Belisle, Jenny Bennett, Sam Brannan, Lauren Hernandez, Nick Ibarra, Patricia Lee, Colton Seike and Alicia Simpson. The Daily staff took first place for Best Photo Illustration and third place for Best Special Issue/Section.

Craig said the newspaper team was only topped by UCLA and UC Berkeley for number of awards won.

“Given the enormous advantages some of our well-funded competitors enjoy, this is a triumph for the Spartan Daily and its student reporters and editors,” Craig said in an email.

In addition to the state competition, the newspaper placed second nationwide among four-year daily newspapers in the Associated Collegiate Press Best of Show award at its 31st Annual National College Journalism Convention in Los Angeles in February. Out of 143 entrants nationwide, the Oct. 14, 2014 edition of The Spartan Daily placed second with lead stories by Nick Ibarra and Lauren Hernandez.

Professor Robert Rucker also shared news that two advertising students were selected to participate in internships in New York. The students include Vu Tran, who will be going to McCann, NY and Kaitlin Horner, who will be going to Havas, NY. More than 400 applicants applied for the 87 internships available.