Distinguished PR Graduate Jon Iwata Delivers Keynote Speech at JMC School PR Day Event


by Bob Rucker

Distinguished SJSU Public Relations graduate Jon Iwata, Senior VP of Marketing for IBM, served as the keynote speaker at the PR Day Event held in the SJSU Student Union this past May 1st. Iwata was a classmate of PR Professor Chris Di Salvo, who invited Iwata and other PR graduates to return to campus for this event that brought together faculty, students, and professionals in diverse communications and PR fields. PR Day drew a crowd of 160 people for his noon hour address. Many other PR graduates, now accomplished professionals, returned to campus to share their expertise and advice with current PR students.

Amongst his many accomplishments, Iwata oversaw IBM’s Watson project on the nationally televised game show Jeopardy. IBM states that, “Cognitive systems like Watson may transform how organizations think, act, and operate in the future. Learning through interactions, they deliver evidence based responses driving better outcomes.”

The main thrust of Iwata’s keynote focused on the importance of understanding how new technology is being used to track and gather public information, and how that research Big Data needs to be studied carefully and used by businesses in an ethical manner.

Iwata said universities around the country need to teach these concepts, citing IBM, which is teaching employees how to understand and use social media as branding tools. Currently, more marketing resources go into social media channels, with reduced funding into traditional forms of company advertising and marketing.

Click below for select short videos from his keynote:

Iwata discusses digital media approaches: IMG_5660

Iwata discusses Big Data science and PR: IMG_5661

Iwata on Big Data, computer science, and technology:  IMG_5671

Iwata discusses Watson, decision-making, and Jeopardy: IMG_5672

Iwata shows and discusses a clip of Watson in action on Jeopardy: IMG_5675 (pt.1) ; IMG_5676  (pt.2)

PR Day was a huge success for the JMC School. Congratulations to PR Professor Christine Di Salvo and all her public relations students who did an excellent job developing this event!


SJSU Journalism Program Named Among 50 Best in US

by JMC Department

San Jose State University’s Journalism program was named as among the 50 best in the U.S. today by College Media Matters, a leading student journalism publication sponsored by the Associated College Press.

CMM’s editor, Dan Reimold, said that schools on this list were ones in which “I would strongly consider enrolling if I woke up tomorrow back in high school.”  Accreditation by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism was an important factor, as were innovation in the digital realm, quality campus media and professional publishing opportunities.

SJSU is one of only two California universities on the list, along with the University of Southern California.

“This was original goal and dream of JMC School founder, Dr. Dwight Bentel,” says current Director Bob Rucker. “He wanted SJSU to always compete with the big programs by teaching with the same values,  principles and national accreditation, while being innovative in approach and determined to offer high quality journalism education to people from all communities. Today’s JMC School advertising, journalism and public relations faculty are very proud to continue and expand on this vision and legacy to benefit many generations of students to come.”