Mark Your Calendar: Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge

Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge

Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge

The Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge (SVIC) is taking place all-day on Monday, November 16 in the new Student Union Ballroom. We encourage CASA students to enter the competition. It is a great way to showcase the innovations conceived by our creative, talented students and celebrate at this year’s event.

The new “Best Sport-Tech” award, sponsored by University Advancement, will be made available this year in addition to the Best Overall Innovation, Best Elevator Pitch, and Best Social Innovation award categories. Each winner will receive a cash prize.

SVIC is a fantastic networking and career building opportunity for students. Judges include faculty and industry professionals from leading Silicon Valley companies such as Cisco Systems, Applied Materials, AT&T, LinkedIn, Citrix, Ericsson, WMware, NetApp, and more.

Cisco Systems in particular plans to use SVIC as a talent recruitment platform. Eligible students with a GPA of 3.2 or higher should visit the Career Center to improve resume writing and interviewing skills prior to the event.


  • October 5: Submission opens for students, alumni, faculty, etc.
  • October 26: Submission closes at midnight
  • October 28: Online judging begins
  • November 9: Finalists Notified
  • November 16: SVIC Finalist Showcase, Student Union Ballroom, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Visit SVIC to learn more.

Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge Poster

School of Journalism and Mass Communications Partners with Adobe

True to San José State University’s (SJSU) reputation as the best place in Silicon Valley to learn how to prosper in the 21st century economy, SJSU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) faculty and student staff members from SHiFT Magazine and South Bay Pulse are pushing the limits of digital technology. Like so many successful Silicon Valley start-ups, seed money came from experienced players and visionaries. Early contributors to the magazine program included SJSU’s Lucas College of Business and Hewlett-Packard (HP) Labs in Palo Alto, California.

“HP Labs helped us overcome the cost and distribution challenges,” says SJSU professor Tom Ulrich, magazine sequence advisor and digital publication program manager. “Our beautifully rendered magazines are available to a worldwide audience via HP’s print-on-demand service for about fifteen cents per page.”

Students create new digital magazine "The South Bay Pulse"

Journalism students create new digital magazine “The South Bay Pulse” to cover 25th Annual Cinequest Film Festival (photo: Christina Olivas)

With cost of printing and world-wide distribution in hand, Ulrich and engineers at Adobe Systems agreed to explore the most sophisticated tools for producing groundbreaking print and digital publications.

Last February, the staff produced the red carpet event at Cinequest. Staff members streamed the event live to subscribers across the world with Adobe software and $6,000 worth of off-the-shelf electronic equipment. They replaced the million dollar transmission trucks parked in front of the California Theater with portable electronic gear that every department on campus can afford.

“While still in its infancy,” Ulrich says, “we are convinced that these digital tools allow our students to rewrite the rules of broadcast journalism.”

As part of our ongoing experiment, the journalism program added South Bay Pulse, a digital weekly entertainment guide, to its stable of publications. In the summer of 2015 as part of the Adobe Challenge, staff members tested the December 2015 release of Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) software.

“With SHiFT magazine and South Bay Pulse, we are performing primary research in the undergraduate classroom,” says Ulrich. “In addition to contributing our ideas to Adobe’s next product release, we are the only group on campus to own an Apple developer’s ID.”

Adobe Systems professionals train South Bay Pulse students

Adobe Systems professionals train South Bay Pulse students

While Adobe created DPS in 2010 to clear the path for a prominent magazine publisher to move from print to the digital world, students from JMC are now helping to move the new industry standard forward.

“Staff members were chosen over students from other Bay Area universities to join seasoned programmers at Adobe to help develop the next generation of digital publication software,” Ulrich says. “Our students graduate not just knowing how to use these visionary tools. They are prepared to lead the industry.”

Campus magazine ‘Shift’ updates delivery


The latest edition of the San José State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s news magazine “Shift” is out in print on campus and for the first time is also available for download form the iTunes Apple store for viewing on iPads.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications 'Shift' Magazine is now available in a digital format for iPads.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications ‘Shift’ Magazine is now available in a digital format for iPads.

The new delivery system of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ JMC student-produced magazine was made possible by Professor Tom Ulrich who worked with Adobe to get the software necessary to create the interactive, digital version. For the first digital version of the magazine, released in Winter 2015, the theme of the magazine is “Food Chains: Building sustainable change starts from the bottom up.”

The digital edition includes a letter from Editor Amanda Holst, but it also includes a video welcome from Holst who says, “We are proud to launch our first digital edition. We worked very closely with Adobe this semester in creating this interactive experience. We hope you find it engaging.”

The most recent edition of the news magazine includes news briefs related to food topics as well as feature stories on how activism changes the lives of people who prepare and serve food; a piece that compares lifestyles and food prices in Germany and America; an article that observes the journey of lobsters from Maine to California and more.

Advisers for the magazine include Ulrich, Timothy Mitchell and Dona Nichols, with more than 20 students involved in designing, editing and writing the content of the magazine.

To download the following digital edition to an iPad, visit:

Hard copies of the magazine are also available on campus.

College launches new website for international experience initiative

Students in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts have the opportunity to participate in 10 faculty-led study abroad programs this summer including programs in Turkey, Spain, France, Grenada and other countries (some courses are still pending approval.)

Program details can be found at a new website launched by the College of Applied Sciences and Arts that is devoted to its International Experience Initiative.

The website is part of an effort to inform incoming students of a new requirement for students enrolling in Fall 2015 and later in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, the Valley Foundation School of Nursing and the Department of Occupational Therapy, and the School of Information starting in Spring 2015 to have an international experience before they graduate. The four departments and schools are piloting the initiative with plans to expand to all the schools and departments in the College in future years.

The newly launched website has a description of the types of study abroad that will be accepted as well as contact information for advisers who will be able to answer questions students might have.

Some of the suggested ways to meet the requirement include:

  • SJSU Semester Exchange Program (Semester or Academic Year, some summer only available)
  • SJSU Faculty Led Program through College of International and Extended Studies (Semester, Summer, Winter & Spring Break)
  • CSU International Program (Full Academic Year)
  • Academic program through an international university
  • Study abroad program through another university or a community college
  • Approved Independent Study Abroad Program

For more on the programs, visit the new website at:


Former Spartan Daily editor honored with scholarship

The family of Christopher Marian, who died in his sleep on May 15 at the age of 28, has chosen to remember him with an endowed scholarship in his name. The $2,000 scholarship will go to a San Jose State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication student each year. Marian’s family signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tower Foundation to create the Chris Marian Journalism Scholarship on Oct. 29.

Marian worked on the Spartan Daily for four semesters while attending SJSU, as a staff writer, copy editor and most recently as the opinion editor. He wrote a column entitled “Nuke the Whales.” His sister Alicia Marian described her brother as “very intelligent, kind, articulate, witty and funny with a ‘sardonic, sarcastic slant’” in a press release from the signing ceremony.

As a child, Marian was interested in military and aviation history. He started flight lessons as an eighth-grade student and originally pursued an aviation degree at SJSU. He was part of the university’s Precision Flight Team from 2003 to 2005. He studied off and on at SJSU from 2003 on, switching to journalism.

“Chris was one of our excellent senior editors on Access who kept the grammar coordinated with the writing intent,” said Tim Mitchell, a journalism design professor, in a press release about the scholarship. “If Chris was a Western gunslinger, he would have been the fastest draw with an AP Style Guide in his holster.”