Community-Engaged Student and Alumni Activities and Research

By: Dr. Jie Gao, Dr. Yinghua Huang, Dr. Faranak Memarzadeh and Dr. Jooyeon Ha

HTEM Community-Engaged Teaching Practices

The Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management (HTEM) has been using community engaged teaching practices to enhance students’ learning in hospitality, tourism and event management. In Spring 2021, students in HSPM 130 (Events Production) and HSPM 140 (Meeting, Convention and Event Industry) engage in planning and producing two major virtual events to apply their learning into practice: (1) Spring 2021 HTEM Graduation Celebration Virtual Event and (2) Learning in Events Virtual Showcase, an exhibit to showcase learning in event management curriculum. With the leadership of student Event Directors, Esther Roldan Cervantes and Jordan Partida formed two student groups for both events, built their core team organizational structure, created a proposal and timeline, set up regular team meetings, and have progressed well on the events. Jordan extended the showcase invitations to HSPM 86 (Special Events Management) and HSPM 142 (Tradeshow Management), and her event team has created a website to promote the event across the campus. In addition, students in HSPM 175 (Entrepreneurship in Hospitality) teamed up with students in Jordan through the Global Solution program, which is a virtual exchange initiative supporting workforce development in the U.S., Iraq, and   Jordan. The program improves global citizenship, strengthens problem-solving skills, and develops enduring connections while enhancing students’ job skills through online collaboration. Senior students in HSPM 177 (Hospitality Service Management) and HSPM 184 (Directed Reading) also participated in Castell@College Panel Session with many executives, who talked about hospitality careers and leadership, their real-life experiences, work-life balance, opportunities and obstacles. Given the practical needs of the industry, these community-engaged teaching practices are of great value to HTEM students who can learn by participating in hands-on opportunities.

Connecting Alumni with HTEM Students

The HTEM department was proud of holding the first Alumni Career Panel and Workshop in February by inviting five alumni with diverse backgrounds and working experiences, who were Mika Barrett (What If Syndicate Restaurant Group), Katalina Beltran (Comtel Systems Technology), Brea Carrillo (Owner, Events by Brea), Melissa Leong (Apple), Sarah Welker (Salesforce). The workshop aims were (1) to provide career advice to current students, (2) to connect HTEM alumni with students, and (3) engage alumni into higher education in HTEM. The workshop generated many career tips from the alumni panel, including adapting to changes in the industry, using the versatile hospitality skillset, being creative in response to COVID-19, thinking outside the box, professionalism and networking. Participants enjoyed learning about alumni’s stories, experiences and active interactions:

“It was very informative and helpful. Everything went smoothly. I enjoyed so much the event. The breakout rooms particularly helped narrow down everyone’s interest.”

Collaborative Research on Community Food Security

Dr. Yinghua Huang collaborates with Dr. Wencen Wu (College of Engineering) and a local food rescue organization on a collaborative research of developing a blockchain-based intelligence system to improve community food security, which was funded by the 2020-2021 SJSU Multidisciplinary RSCA Stimulus Grant. Dr. Huang’s team has developed and published a blockchain-based mobile app in Apple App Store and Google Play that enables food-related stakeholders (e.g., donors, rescue organizations, assistance agencies) to share data, secure food safety, and track food delivery. Hunger at Home, a food rescue organization, has used the app for food rescue operations since this March. Other food donors (e.g., restaurants, farms) and assistance agencies (e.g., food pantries, homeless shelters) can submit food requests, schedule food delivery time, access food order information, and track food rescue logistics in real-time. The app is Helping Hunger at Home and its partners to improve traceability, transparency, food safety, and logistic efficiency for serving people in need.

Spring 2017 Series 2 of 10: Department of Hospitality Management’s Pebble Beach Program Provides Students with on the Job Hospitality Experience and Assists Students in Building a Better Business Network

If you plan on visiting the AT&T Pro Am Golf Tournament, Pebble Beach California, February 6-12, there is a good chance you may be served by one of SJSU’s Special Event Management students. “We have 32 students going down this year. Of those, the majority are Hospitality majors, with a couple of Kinesiology majors and a few majoring in public relations,” says Terry Thompson, Professor, Special Event Management Training.

Students setting up an On Course Food and Beverage tent prior to the tournament beginning.

The Department of Hospitality Management is excited to celebrate its 12th year of partnership with Pebble Beach Resorts to assist with the 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. “Our students will be working On Course Food and Beverage, Sky Suites and Chalets,” says Thompson.

“They will be managing anywhere from 5 to 50 volunteers and paid employees during the tournament depending on where they are working. Students will work directly with Pebble Beach representatives to manage, plan, coordinate, and oversee these hospitality areas at one of the PGA’s most celebrated golf tournaments.”

In order to be chosen for this opportunity, students must complete an application, write an essay and complete a panel interview. “There are over 100 students that apply every year and we only choose 32,” says Thompson.

Students gearing up for golf cart training.

Once students have been accepted in the program, they must attend over 60 hours of training that is conducted in conjunction with the Pebble Beach staff. In this training, they learn how to set a table properly, adjust shades and lights, and prepare a proper break service according to the Lodge at Pebble Beach standards.

“It is a real commitment,” recalls Anissa Sanders, public relations major and member of last year’s student team. “We are required to stay near Pebble Beach for a week, waking up at 4 a.m. to eat breakfast and be at the courses by 6 a.m. Then, back to our lodging at 6 p.m. and have dinner with the team, and then to bed by 10 p.m. to do it all over again the next day.”

From left to right: Advisor Richard Larson, student assistants Anissa Sanders and Victoria Wright, and Advisor Terry Thompson.

If they perform well, students can be invited back a second time for management and paid positions. Ms. Sanders has been invited back this week to manage three VIP rooms in the Lodge. She was also invited to work the 2016 Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival and Concours d’ Elegance this past year.  “Being a part of the Special Event Management Team taught me not only about the hospitality industry, but also about myself with the help of amazing advisors and Pebble Beach Managers. They help you grow and become confident in your choices as a manager. I’m happy to have done the program because I have built a network of friendships and ultimately a family.”

Sky Suite Team posed for a photo on the 18th Fairway.

The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is one of golf’s most celebrated and beloved events. Spanning three beautiful courses on the Monterey Peninsula (Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore Course, and Pebble Beach Golf Links), it attracts the PGA’s top professionals and some of the best-known celebrities. The goal of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is not only to provide a highly competitive and entertaining PGA event, but also raise money for philanthropic causes.

It is truly exciting that San José State University has the opportunity to participate in this incredible event. The Hospitality Management Program is always on the lookout for some of San José State’s most responsible, enthusiastic, and professional students to join the Special Event Management Team.

SJSU Special Event Management Team.

Committee to Enhance Equity and Diversity Awards

The 2015-16 CEED Award winners were recognized on April 26, 2016, for their excellence in promoting and fostering a deeper understanding of equity and diversity.

The 2015-16 CEED Award winners were recognized on April 26, 2016, for their excellence in promoting and fostering a deeper understanding of equity and diversity.

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Committee to Enhance Equity and Diversity (CEED) reception was held on Tuesday, April 26, honoring six recipients whose combined effort and activities have made an important contribution to enhance equity and diversity at San José State University (SJSU) and/or in the community. CEED Award categories consist of an Undergraduate Student Award, Graduate Student Award, Faculty Award, Staff Award, and Student Organization Award.

The purpose of the CEED Awards is to recognize those individuals and groups that have demonstrated excellence in promoting and fostering a deeper understanding of equity and diversity as they relate to issues of age, class, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion and/or sexual orientation.

The recipients for the CEED Distinguished Service Award are:

Undergraduate Student Award – Navpreet Kaur, the Valley Foundation School of Nursing

Navpreet has led or been involved in several projects that promote equity and diversity on campus. In 2015, she led the Peace Pole Monument project that helped to place an official monument on campus. The Peace Pole is a hand-crafted wooden monument that has the message “May Peace Prevail On Earth” in the 12 most frequently used languages in Santa Clara County.

Navpreet also serves on the President’s Commission on Diversity which provides “input, recommendations, and advice to the President on effective ways to create a campus environment that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.” She initiated this project in an effort to counteract negative publicity related to diversity issues that were occurring on campus.

Graduate Student Award – Essraa Nawar, School of Information

Essraa Nawar is pursuing her passion to be a librarian focusing on programming and outreach in bringing diverse programming to the life of the libraries and the academic institutions she serves. One of Essraa’s strengths is her ability to create an atmosphere of awareness regarding ethnicity, gender, and religious diversity across campus.

She serves on the Chancellor’s Diversity Advisory Committee and developed a program on empowering Muslim women. Essraa coordinated the support of the Sikh American Community through Vaisakhi programming, an exhibition on demystifying the turban. She also spoke at a TED Talk in Munich, Germany, to further her diversity message to change the narrative of how people see Muslim women specifically and Muslim people in general.

Graduate Student Award – Cotton Stevenson, School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Cotton conceived the slogan “Diversity University” as part of a class project to make a difference at SJSU. He didn’t stop there. Cotton decided to make issues surrounding diversity and acceptance on the SJSU campus the focus of his second master’s degree. Because of him, we now have an annual Diversity Day at SJSU.

As a graphic artist, Stevenson created the logo for the event as well. He is now in the final stages of a documentary about the history and importance of diversity on this campus. He’s already completed several impressive interviews for this project which include Jeanne Wakatsuki, the author of Farewell to Manzanar, Erik Grotz, the student who suggested the Tommie Smith-John Carlos sculptures as well as with the artist who created it.

He was also awarded a proclamation by Rep. Zoe Lofgren for his commitment to “Diversity University.”

Faculty Award – Dr. William Armaline, Justice Studies

Dr. Armaline established and serves as coordinator of the Human Rights Program at SJSU. As a part of that initiative, he implemented the  popular Human Rights Minor, a program through which students gain an understanding of various human rights problems that affect their community, including racism, discrimination, and inequality. He is committed to raising awareness on campus to issues of equity and diversity.  As a part of this effort, he founded and continues to coordinate the annual human rights event.

He chairs the Human Rights Working Group, which serves as a platform for faculty to engage in issues of equity and diversity. Throughout his work, Dr. Armaline single handedly serves as a hub for students who are interested in increasing equity on campus.  He informally advises students on activism both on and off campus.

Dr. Armaline is also involved in numerous activities in the community.  He authored reports on social justice issues, served as a National Board Member in Save the Kids, a grass-roots organization dedicated to alternatives to end of the incarceration of youth, is a Council Member in the Santa Clara County Child Abuse Council. He most recently initiated a partnership with DeBug, a San José media, community organizing, and entrepreneurial collective that leads successful social justice campaigns to advance the rights of youth, workers, immigrants and those impacted by the criminal justice system.

Staff Award – Silvia La Rosa, School of Journalism and Mass Communications

In addition to providing extensive administrative support for more than 500 School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) students and 22 faculty, Silvia is a committed advocate for SJSU diversity students.

Silvia offers extraordinary time and effort to advising and mentoring all students. She connects on a powerful level with JMC School Spanish speaking students. Her translation skills combined with her knowledge of university procedures and her deep passion for helping students find their voice and express their creativity has resulted in numerous success stories that are greatly admired and appreciated in our program.

In Fall 2015, she was a leading advocate for fundraising of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts international learning initiative. She played a significant role in helping persuade a special JMC guest, CNN Correspondent Sara Sidner from Los Angeles, to donate her William Randolph Hearst honorarium to start a newly created fund and campaign to raise scholarship money to help SJSU students from poor and under-represented communities to participate. She plays an instrumental role in helping the school director create Spanish community messages and promotions that invite Bay Area business and schools to partner with JMC.

Silvia always finds the time to encourage students and faculty.

Student Organization Award – Alpha Phi Sigma Iota Chapter, Justice Studies

A team of Iota Chapter members and alumni volunteered at the Center with the Prison Education Project (PEP), teaching the 7 week Academic Orientation Course.  They met every Friday with a group of formerly incarcerated individuals currently on parole.  They created presentations about college as well as give mini-lectures based on topics in Justice Studies majors (e.g. consequences of mass incarceration and juvenile justice).  A big component of this program is engaging the program participants in discussions about the topics presented as well as their interests and needs.  In addition, Iota chapter collected and donated 100 backpacks with everyday necessities and held a clothing drive on campus for the Santa Clara County Resource Reentry Center to give to their clients.

Congratulations to all 2015-16 CEED Award winners!


CASA Faculty Recognized for Years of Service

San José State University held its 17th Annual Faculty Service Recognition and Awards Luncheon on March 15, 2016, to celebrate faculty who have reached a significant milestone year. Honorees were given a special gift with the years of service engraved.

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts (CASA) is very grateful for its wonderful faculty and is proud to acknowledge our faculty who were recognized for 15, 20, 25, 30 and 40 years of service.

15 Years of Service

  • Antoinette Bloom, Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging
  • Richard Craig, Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Ziming Liu, School of Information
  • Jennifer Schachner, Kinesiology

20 Years of Service

  • Lisa Arieta Hayes, Social Work
  • Christine Di Salvo, Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Alice Hines, Social Work
  • Clarie Hollenbeck, Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging
  • Geoffrey Liu, School of Information
  • Lee Pate, Kinesiology
  • Diane Stuenkel, Nursing
  • Gilbert Villagran, Social Work

25 Years of Service

  • Yoko Baba, Justice Studies
  • Elizabeth Cara, Occupational Therapy
  • Gong Chen, Kinesiology
  • Buddy Gerstman, Health Science and Recreation
  • Nancy Megginson, Kinesiology
  • Fred Prochaska, Social Work
  • Bob Rucker, Journalism and Mass Communications

30 Years of Service

  • Kathy Abriam-Yago, Nursing
  • Christine Hooper, Nursing
  • Linda Main, School of Information
  • Jacquelyn McClure, Justice Studies
  • Judi Morrill, Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging
  • Kathleen Roe, Health Science and Recreation

40 Years of Service

  • William Tillinghast, Journalism and Mass Communications

Congratulations to all on reaching this service milestone with SJSU and thank you for your hard work and much dedication to the success of our students. We look forward to your ongoing contributions and a successful future!

The Department of Hospitality Management Shines at Super Bowl 50

Super Bowl 50 Front of Stadium

Hospitality Management students were hard at work on Feb. 7 for Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. Prior to the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos kick-off, 40 students worked the VIP Tailgate along with College of Applied Sciences and Arts Dean Mary Schutten and Hospitality Management Professor Kate Sullivan.

Professor Kate Sullivan (left) and Dean Mary Schutten (right) prepare for the Super Bowl 50 VIP Tailgate.

Professor Kate Sullivan (left) and Dean Mary Schutten (right) prepare for the Super Bowl 50 VIP Tailgate.

Their jobs consisted of bartenders, servers and bussers for over 1,000 patrons including celebrities. After the big game, students decided to take up the offer to stick around and work extra hours for the after-party event.

Hospitality Management students working the bar at the Super Bowl 50 VIP Tailgate.

Hospitality Management students working the bar at the Super Bowl 50 VIP Tailgate.

Yvette Acosta, fourth year Hospitality Management student, worked as a bartender for the tailgate. She took the opportunity to work a large event and earn some extra cash. Acosta learned that an event of this caliber takes a lot of hard work from beginning to end and experienced how she and others contributed to creating a successful event.

“I got to see what it takes to make a mega event happen. Everything from the setup, equipment and technology used,” said Acosta.

Assistant Professor Faranak Memarzadeh and a group of 16 students participated in the halftime show to represent the department of Hospitality Management. The group practiced long hours prior to Super Bowl 50 where they would play a big part during the performance of Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. Memarzadeh appreciated the opportunity to get to know her students better and work as a team.

Hospitality Management Halftime Show Team.

Hospitality Management Halftime Show Team.

The Hospitality Management group heading backstage for the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show.

The Hospitality Management team heading backstage for the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show.

“Being involved with real case activities can affect a student’s social and professional life,” said Memarzadeh while explaining how this amazing experience led to new friendships for the students.

Hospitality Management Assistant Professor, Faranak Memarzadeh, snaps a photo of Coldplay during the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show.

Hospitality Management team member Shane Kaczmarek snaps a photo of Coldplay during the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show.

Point of view for the team before running onto the field at Levi's Stadium for the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show

Point of view for the Hospitality Management team before running onto the field at Levi’s Stadium for the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show

Recent graduates from Hospitality Management were also working hard to ensure a memorable game day experience. They supervised employees in areas of the stadium such as the United Airlines Club, Yahoo Fantasy Football Lounge, and Levi’s 501 Club serving food and beverages, maintaining high levels of cleanliness and customer service, and creating an atmosphere of Super Bowl fun.

Kudos to all the current students and recent graduates for their hard work during one of the world’s biggest games!