National Engineers Week: SJSU Teaches Top Tech Trends

National Engineers Week is February 17-23, with more than 70 engineering, education and cultural societies and more than 50 corporations and government agencies involved in events and activities to celebrate the profession and promote STEM education around the nation. Ranked #3 in the nation among public engineering programs offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, according to U.S. News & World Report 2019, and a top contributor of talent to Silicon Valley, San Jose State University will be celebrating the faculty, students and programs that make up our Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering in a series of stories on our Newsroom and social media channels. The College of Engineering offers 13 engineering disciplines with 7,400 students enrolled and works closely with its Engineering Industry Advisory Council to ensure the curriculum and learning experiences offered to its students align with workforce needs.

Ahmed Banafa Photo by David Schmitz

Ahmed Banafa
Photo by David Schmitz

Teaching the Top Trends in Technology

Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering Professor Ahmed Banafa, who was recently ranked by LinkedIn as the number one voice to follow in technology, has identified four hot tech trends for 2019. For anyone who uses a fitness tracker, smart phone, email or other applications, asks Alexa or Google Home what the weather will be like today, or accesses public records, these hot trends have potential to impact all these devices and technologies.

An image depicts the hot tech trends of 2019: Internet of Things, Blockchain, AI, and Cybersecurity. Infographic courtesy of Ahmed Banafa.

An image depicts the hot tech trends of 2019: Internet of Things, Blockchain, AI, and Cybersecurity. Infographic courtesy of Ahmed Banafa.

The trends include the Internet of Things, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity, or as Banafa has dubbed them “IBAC.” SJSU students are learning about these cutting edge technologies in their classrooms, with students and faculty engaged in research in each area.

“SJSU is at the leading edge in all these trends,” Banafa said. “We have classes covering all of them. We teach IoT and we have an excellent lab for that class. I teach the Blockchain class and I show the students how to tap into and use the blockchain network as well as how to create their own cryptocurrency.”

Banafa shares why each area is a boon.

“IoT is what you see now in Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant,” he said. “They are the hubs of IoT future devices and there is a war between the mentioned companies to dominate this market of $1.7 trillion.”

In December, he shared his top predictions for IoT in the coming year. Banafa noted that the number of devices using IoT technology is likely to increase to 3.6 billion that are actively connected to the Internet and used for daily tasks, with their ability to collect data expanding as 5G technology is introduced. He noted as well that digital transformations in industries such as manufacturing and healthcare have tremendous  impact to improve either production performance and patient care, respectively.

In a similar post last September, Banafa shared his predictions for emerging blockchain technology, one of the newer topics covered at SJSU, as providing security a new perspective where human logic is involved at the top of encryption.

“I am really proud of SJSU for covering all the areas mentioned in IBAC with the last piece of the puzzle, Blockchain,” Banafa said. “Few universities in the world teach it. We are in good company with Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Berkeley.”

AI continues to gain traction, he said, with the development of “smart devices” including speakers, homes and now cities.

Cybersecurity remains a critical issue, one that is being tackled on multiple fronts through SJSU’s interdisciplinary Silicon Valley Big Data and Cybersecurity Center.

“Just read the news and you will see that we have daily breaches,” he said, noting a recent Marriott Hotels breach that impacted up to 500 million guests along with a Facebook breach that exposed 50 million accounts.

The college has more than 400 faculty members who teach in its 13 departments, many who are engaged in research or work in industries that keep them up to date on the latest trends in engineering, and the program offers interdisciplinary service learning experiences for students.

“Our engineering students at SJSU are positioned better, perhaps, than any other public university in the country to quickly adapt to the newest needs of a rapidly evolving technology market,” said Sheryl Ehrman, dean of the College of Engineering. “Our hands-on curriculum focuses on strong fundamentals to enable development of critical thinking skills that will serve students throughout their career. They can choose elective courses in emerging areas such as Blockchain and AI/machine-learning. Student projects often involve other emerging areas such as IoT, alternative transportation, nanomedicine, micro-robotics and cybersecurity.”

Celebrate Black History Month at SJSU

At left, Dr. Theodorea Berry, chair of the Department of African-American Studies, poses for a photo with Pastor Jason C. Reynolds during San Jose State University's Super Sunday event Feb. 10 at Emanuel Baptist Church.

At left, Dr. Theodorea Berry, chair of the Department of African-American Studies, poses for a photo with Pastor Jason C. Reynolds during San Jose State University’s Super Sunday event Feb. 10 at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

This February, San Jose State University is recognizing Black History Month with a series of exciting and educational events, part of an ongoing effort to promote diversity and inclusion on campus. The various activities are sponsored by Student Involvement, the African American/Black Student Success Center, the Department of African-American Studies, Mosaic Cross Cultural Center and Student Affairs.

“These heritage month celebrations provide visible representation of our students on campus,” said Christopher Yang, the director of the Mosaic Cross Cultural Center, noting that SJSU celebrates four ethnic heritage months. “Students are so busy with all the things they need to work on–class, jobs, family. These events offer a chance to take a break and notice the efforts the campus is making.”

Yang noted that the events allow students of various identities to feel they have support on campus while also allowing an opportunity for campus communities who don’t identify with a particular ethnicity to learn about different cultures.

This year’s Black History Month events got an early start with a 30th anniversary celebration of African studies and a Legends and Legacies talk in January, with many more events planned into March.

For the remainder of the month, students are encouraged to attend weekly events such as the Black Male Collective: Barbershop Talk, the African History Film and Dialogue Series, the Leadership Drop-In Series, and monthly events hosted by the Black Student Union and the Black Women’s Collective. Topics include leadership, intersectionality, spirituality, and African and African-American history.

Visiting Scholar Lecture

On February 14 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Fifth Floor Shiro Room, David G. Holmes, a professor of English and associate dean of curriculum and general education at Pepperdine University, will give a visiting scholar lecture on “Black Religion Matters.” Holmes will examine the influence of Black religious rhetoric on mass civil rights meetings in Birmingham in the 1960s. The event is sponsored by the College of Humanities and the Arts, the Department of Communications, the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies, the Mosaic Cross Cultural Center and the Department of Justice Studies. RSVP to ryan.skinnell@sjsu.edu.

Super Sunday

San Jose State University staff members from Student Outreach and Recruitment and the Financial Aid Office attend Super Sunday to talk with community members about preparing for college. Photo provided by Coleeta McElroy.

San Jose State University staff members from Student Outreach and Recruitment and the Financial Aid Office attend Super Sunday to talk with community members about preparing for college. Photo provided by Coleeta McElroy.

President Mary Papazian visited San Jose’s Emmanuel Baptist Church February 10 as part of the California State University’s annual Super Sunday event, an effort to engage and serve underrepresented students. She and Theodorea Berry, chair of the department of African-American Studies at SJSU spoke with community members about planning for college, with representatives from Student Outreach and Recruitment and the Financial Aid Office also available to answer questions. Vice President for Student Affairs Patrick Day will be visiting the Maranatha Christian Center on February 24, as part of the Super Sunday effort.

“Yesterday’s services at Emmanuel Baptist, part of the CSU’s Super Sunday activities, were warm, welcoming and joyful,” President Papazian (@PrezPapazian) following the services. “I was delighted to see many Spartans, which contributed to the energy and enthusiasm. Thank you, Pastor Reynolds, and thanks to your congregation for having me.”

Other Upcoming Events

Special events include a film screening of Black Panther (February 12), mardi gras celebration (February 13), Meet and Greet: Black Students, Faculty and Staff (February 25), and the Spartan Speakers Series on February 20, which features Broadway actor Bryan Terrell Clark, who played the role of George Washington in Hamilton.

Black Panther screening
Tuesday, February 12, 6 – 8 p.m., Student Union Theatre

Mardi Gras
Wednesday, February 13, 4 – 7 p.m., Student Union Ballroom

National Panhellenic Showcase
Wednesday, February 13, 7 – 9 p.m., Student Union Theatre

Black Male Collective: Barbershop Talk

  • Wednesday, February 13, 5 p.m. at Barbers, Inc.
    Wednesday, February 27, 5 p.m. at Mosaic Cross Cultural Center
    Wednesday, March 13, 5 p.m. at Barbers Inc.

Leadership Drop-In Series

  • What Famous Black Leader(s) Inspire You?
    Tuesday, February 12, 1:30 – 3 pm, Student Involvement
  • Leading While Black
    Tuesday, February 19, 1:30 – 3 pm, African-American/Black Student Success Center
  • Calling in Black: Handling Racial Battle Fatigue
    Tuesday, February 26, 1:30 – 3 pm, African-American/Black Student Success Center

African History Film and Dialogue Series

  • African Children and Youth
    Tuesday, February 12, 6 pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library 225
  • Health and Nutrition in the African Community
    Tuesday, February 19, 6 pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library 225
  • African Women
    Tuesday, February 26, 6 pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library 225

Black Student Union Meeting
Wednesday, February 13, 6:45 pm, Peer Connections

Spartan Speaker Series
Bryan Terrell Clark
Wednesday, February 20, 12 pm, Student Union

Black Women’s Collective
Intersectionality: Being Both Black and a Woman
Thursday, February 21, 6 – 8 pm, TBD’

Meet and Greet: Black Students, Faculty and Staff
Monday, February 25, 11:30 am – 3 pm, Student Union, Meeting Room 3A/3B’

Community Conversation: Black Love
Thursday, February 28, 7 – 9 pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library 225

Black Cultural Showcase
Friday, March 1, 6 p.m., Student Union Theatre

Spirituality and Activism
Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., First AME Zion Church

Yard on the Green
Friday, March 8, noon to 3 p.m., Smith and Carlos Sculpture

Hidden Figures Screening
Wednesday, March 13, 6 to 8 p.m, Student Union Theatre

Book Discussion: Becoming
Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m., Washington Square Hall, Room 281H

 

“Portraying Possibility” Presidential Portrait Exhibit Celebration on February 13

Portraits of former San Jose State University presidents are reviewed for the "Portraying Possibilities" exhibit. Photo By Michelle Frey.

Portraits of former San Jose State University presidents are reviewed for the “Portraying Possibilities” exhibit. Photo By Michelle Frey.

As President’s Day approaches, San Jose State University is proud to unveil the first-ever exhibit of SJSU presidential portraits on the fourth floor of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library with an opening reception 3 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13.

Entitled “Portraying Possibility,” the exhibit provides a glimpse of San Jose State University’s history through its leaders and will be on display through March 22. The nine oil portraits in this collection reflect the vision, values and dreams of the university’s presidents—including a new portrait of current SJSU President Mary A. Papazian, painted by artist and MFA candidate Daniel Cruit. Photographs of additional past presidents and university leaders are included in the exhibit, along with two LCD screens featuring films that demonstrate the artistic process of creating a portrait, as well as current student artwork.

Daniel works on his painting of President Mary Papazian in the Art Building at San Jose Sate University on Wednesday, May 8, 2018. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Daniel works on his painting of President Mary Papazian in the Art Building at San Jose Sate University on Wednesday, May 8, 2018. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

Cruit is an artist trained in illustration who earned a bachelor’s of fine art from Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) in Florida. His work has earned accolades and been shown at several exhibitions including the Ringling College of Art and Design Senior Thesis Show, the Sketchbook Ringling College of Art and Design Sketchbook Show, and the Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Exhibition in New York, among others.

Daniel Cruit works on some of the details of his painting. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Daniel Cruit works on some of the details of his painting. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

The show and reception is a collaboration of the College of Humanities and the Arts, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library and SJSU’s Special Collections and Archives. The reception will include remarks from College of the Humanities and Arts Dean Shannon Miller, followed by a short lecture by renaissance art historian and art lecturer Christy Junkerman. Junkerman has a bachelor’s in English from the University of Wisconsin, a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and teaches introductory theory as well as late medieval and early modern Italian art. She will discuss the history of portraiture. Following Junkerman’s lecture, Cruit will share insights into setting the scene for President Papazian’s portrait.

The historic paintings and images displayed are both a reflection of a long tradition of portraiture as well as a commemoration of people who have provided vision and direction to San Jose State University during its long history. While many visitors will be seeing the paintings for the first times, the names of some of these leaders will be familiar. In addition to President Papazian’s image and a group portrait of some of the earliest leaders, the exhibit displays the artwork of the following presidents:

  • Thomas William MacQuarrie, who led the university from 1927-1952 and has his name adorned on the south side of campus, expanding the campus and the curriculum while it was still known as a teacher’s college.
  • John T. Wahlquist, who led from 1952-1964, established general education course requirements and promoted graduate programs.
  • Robert. D. Clark, who led from 1964-1969, was the first president screened and nominated by a representative faculty group, and was known for setting an example of mutual cooperation and community relations.
  • John H. Bunzel, who led from 1970-1978, who led the transition from a college to a university, and helped to establish programs in Religious Studies, Jewish Studies and Women’s Studies.
  • Gail Fullerton, who led from 1978-1991, was the first woman to serve as president and the first faculty member to be promoted to the presidency since 1990, who promoted facilities enhancement that included a new engineering complex and the event center.
  • J. Handel Evans, who served as acting president from 1991-1994, he led SJSU through accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • Robert L. Caret, who led the university from 1995-2003, who promoted SJSU as the metropolitan university of Silicon Valley.

Julia Halprin-Jackson contributed to this report.

‘One Carbon Footprint at a Time’ Documentary Airs on PBS This Week

San Jose State University Emeritus Professor Bob Gliner’s latest documentary will air throughout the San Francisco Bay Area on PBS station KRCB on Feb. 12, at 9 .m., Feb. 13, at 3 a.m. and Feb. 15, at noon (Comcast 22 in the Northday, Comcast 200 in the South Bay.

The former Sociology professor is a prolific filmmaker who has traveled the world to produced documentaries focused on social issues and social change. He combines his interest in education and climate change in his latest half-hour documentary, “One Carbon Footprint At a Time.” The film highlights how education can inspire everyday actions that play a critical and potentially transformative role in affecting climate change. The film explores a unique interdisciplinary Global Climate course at SJSU as well as classes at two San Jose area middle schools to see how the curriculum influences students to make changes in their daily lives.

The documentary features SJSU students, alumni and two faculty members, Eugene Cordero, from Meteorology and Climate Science, and Anne Marie Todd, from Communications Studies.

Gliner has received more than 16 awards for his films and was named as San Jose State’s 2002 President’s Scholar. For more information on Gliner’s latest documentary as well as other work, visit his website. DocMakerOnline.com. For updates on the SJSU alumni featured in the film, visit the program’s website.

Stellar student researches stellar noise

SJSU physics student Stephanie Striegel is involved in research that could help scientists discover new exoplanets.

SJSU physics student Stephanie Striegel is involved in research that could help scientists discover new exoplanets.

Stephanie Striegel is set to graduate this spring with a bachelor’s in physics but she already has her sights set high — beyond this galaxy to be exact. Last summer, Striegel interned at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena with Dr. Johanna Teske, where they conducted research on mitigating stellar noise using high cadence radial velocity observations for the purpose of detecting small exoplanets. Exoplanets are planets that orbit a sun other than our sun, according to NASA. Scientists are particularly interested in identifying these bodies beyond our galaxy in their search to find a place that might be habitable.

Striegel’s summer internship was offered through the CAMPARE program, which recruits students from California State University and California community colleges to engage in research, with a goal of increasing underrepresented students in the sciences. She was awarded a $3,000 grant from Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research program to fund an observing run at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile to collect more data on her stellar noise project with Teske during the school year. According to Sigma Xi, 12 percent of the 810 applicants who applied were approved for funding, and of those approved, only 17 percent were undergraduate students.

While she completes the final courses of her undergraduate career, Striegel is also engaged in an internship at NASA’s Ames Research Center (ARC). She is working with Dr. Tom Greene on reducing laboratory data and performing detector characterization for infrared instruments to enable future studies of habitable exoplanets.

“The classes at SJSU have prepared me for my internships both at Carnegie Observatories and NASA ARC,” she said. “Our physics department has a focus on computational physics, which has been especially useful since a lot of astronomy research requires programming skills.”

Before beginning her internships, Striegel worked with Associate Professor Aaron Romanowsky’s student research team. His research group was focused on ultra-compact dwarf  (UCD) galaxies, which are brighter and more compact than typical dwarf galaxies. Her task included mining the Sloan Digital Sky Survey catalogue for possible candidates by analyzing the characteristics of confirmed UCDs and using SQL queries to do comparisons around galaxies in the local universe. Along with other scientists, Romanowsky’s team hopes to discover how UCDs were formed, specifically if they were part of larger galaxies.

“I’m very grateful for the Physics and Astronomy department at SJSU,” she said. “My peers and the faculty here have been nothing but supportive, and every internship or opportunity I’ve had, I owe to them.”

SJSU Student Engineers Launch Latest TechEd Satellite with NASA

TechEdSat group in N-244 Lab 9 with mentors Mark Murbach (standing back left) and Ali Guarneros Luna (kneeling on right). Photo courtesy of NASA Ames Research Center.

TechEdSat group in N-244 Lab 9 with mentors Mark Murbach (standing back left) and Ali Guarneros Luna (kneeling on right). Photo courtesy of NASA Ames Research Center.

After a year of hard work, collaboration and many late nights subsisting on Costco pizzas, a group of San Jose State students, faculty and alumni gathered with guests from NASA Ames Research Center to watch the deployment of a technology education satellite (TechEdSat) from the International Space Station (ISS).

At 8:43 a.m. Ali Guarneros-Luna, ’10 BS, ’12 MS Aerospace Engineering, who now works at NASA Ames as the Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) program manager for the Safety and Mission Assurance Division, called attention to screens at the front of the room in preparation of the countdown to deployment. The screens displayed a view from the space station looking down toward earth with radiant blue skies and patches of bright, white clouds.

Just before the scheduled 8:45 a.m. launch the countdown came over a live stream of the deployment.

“Five, four, three, two, one,” a disembodied voice announced. “We have visual confirmation from the cameras on the ISS.”

A seemingly small, dark rectangular object appeared on the screen for a second, against the white clouds. The successful deployment of the cube satellite isn’t the end of the work for the interdisciplinary student teams from the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering and the College of Science. The next wave of work will start when they begin to collect data packets from the satellite.

“I’ve been grateful to the students,” said Professor Periklis Papadopoulos from the Department of Aerospace Engineering. “Most of them are not students anymore because they have graduated and are working in the industry.”

San Jose State University faculty and students gathered in the Diaz Compean Student Union Jan. 31 to watch the launch of the latest satellite created in partnership with NASA Ames Research Center.

San Jose State University faculty and students gathered in the Diaz Compean Student Union Jan. 31 to watch the launch of the latest satellite created in partnership with NASA Ames Research Center.

Jesus Rosila Mares, ’19 Aerospace Engineering, and his brother Roberto Rosila Mares, ’17 BS, ’19 MS Aerospace Engineering, worked together to create a virtual reality (VR) experiment for the satellite. They believe theirs is the first VR payload experiment in space and they had to turn around their hardware and software in less than six months.

The best part of the collaboration with NASA Ames has been “putting something into space with my brother,” Roberto said. “It’s been great working on this with my brother. Not a lot of people can say that. We both rely on each other.”

The two both discovered their love of engineering in high school in an AP physics class — with the same teacher.

“We did a projectile motion experiment,” Roberto said. “I realized you can calculate where an object will go and it was mindblowing. That opened the gates.”

With both brothers graduating this spring — Roberto is already working and Jesus has a job lined up upon graduation — they said they will be planning to hand off their work to a new batch of students who will be able to continue it.

Marcus Murbach, an adjunct professor and a principal investigator with the Sub-Orbital Aerodynamic Re-Entry Experiments, shared background on the flights series dating back to 2005. His focus has been on creating cube satellites that are smaller than traditional satellites and can be built and deployed in a shorter time. The latest satellite has a primary mission of improving the exobrake which could allow the satellite to orbit longer and better target its landing and testing three radios with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In addition, the satellite will allow researchers to test WiFi capabilities in space, VR and more.

“I want to recognize my esteemed colleagues and collaborators,” Murbach said noting Guarneros-Luna’s important role. “And Ali, we don’t fly into space without her.”

In the News

San Jose State University Names Vincent Del Casino Jr. as Provost

Vincent Del Casino Jr.

Vincent Del Casino Jr.

Media contacts:

Robin McElhatton, SJSU Media Relations Specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

San Jose, Calif.— San Jose State University has named Vincent Del Casino, Jr. as the university’s next provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs after a competitive, comprehensive and national search. Del Casino is currently interim senior vice provost and vice president for Academic Initiatives and Student Success at University of Arizona. He will join SJSU to begin his duties as provost starting on July 15.

Del Casino will report directly to President Mary A. Papazian, serving as a key member of the leadership team with primary responsibility for ensuring academic excellence in undergraduate and graduate studies as well as continual investment in research, scholarship, and creative activity that benefits all students and society at large.

“Vincent will join us at an extraordinary time in our history, as we unveil a new strategic plan that captures our bold vision for SJSU’s next decade. I have great confidence that he will bring a strong foundation to this key leadership position while fostering collaboration across colleges and departments. Vincent is a visionary who will chart a course for our Academic Affairs division into the future,” President Mary A. Papazian said. “He is an exemplary fit to lead our continuing efforts to support students and faculty, build community partnerships, and expand innovative teaching and learning at our university.”

At the University of Arizona, Del Casino provided leadership and administrative oversight as the campus redeveloped central spaces for student support activities; re-organized its central administrative areas; and enhanced student success and retention. During his tenure, the university greatly increased its online undergraduate enrollment and program offerings. He was also integral in implementing the University of Arizona’s 100% Engagement Initiative that allows students to participate in “extra-classroom” activities through credit-bearing and non-credit engaged learning experiences. With more than 18 years of academic and administrative experience in higher education, Del Casino also served as a professor and chair at California State University, Long Beach, in the Department of Geography.

“I am thrilled to be joining the San José State University community as the next provost,” Del Casino said. “I am excited to begin working with faculty and staff to advance the mission of the campus, to serve our students, and deliver on the promise of high-quality, high-value degrees to the next generation of undergraduate and graduate students.”

When Del Casino visited campus, he said he recognized SJSU is a very special place with a bright future. “The faculty are engaged in outstanding scholarly and creative activity while also supporting a highly diverse undergraduate and graduate student population,” he said. “The students are passionate and committed to their campus, and the staff are doing exceptional work in support of the larger enterprise in ways that make possible the campus’ future growth. I look forward to joining this community.”

Del Casino is a prolific writer and researcher who has authored the book Social Geography: A Critical Introduction. He has also edited and co-authored multiple books and published dozens of articles and book chapters on topics ranging from health, robots and tourism, in the context of geography. His numerous commentaries on higher education have been published in The Evolllution and Inside Higher Education, including “Machine Learning, Big Data, and the Future of Higher Education.”

Prior to earning his doctorate in geography from the University of Kentucky, Vincent received his master’s in geography from the University of Wisconsin and bachelor’s in international relations and East Asian studies from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

SJSU’s Julia Curry Rodriguez Named Wang Family Excellence Award Recipient

Dr. Julia E. Curry Rodriguez has received the 2019 Wang Family Excellence Award for Outstanding Faculty Service.

Dr. Julia E. Curry Rodriguez has received the 2019 Wang Family Excellence Award for Outstanding Faculty Service.

Media contacts:

Robin McElhatton, SJSU Media Relations Specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

San Jose, Calif.—The California State University Chancellor’s Office announced today that San Jose State University’s Julia E. Curry Rodríguez, an associate professor of Mexican American Studies, is the recipient of the 2019 Wang Family Excellence Award for Outstanding Faculty Service.

Curry was selected for the prestigious award for her unwavering support of students, specifically immigrant and undocumented students in her two decades of service to SJSU. Since 2009, she has worked with the Chicano/Latino Faculty and Staff Association to provide scholarships for undocumented students, including the establishment of full-semester scholarships. She advocated institutionalizing services, support and resources for immigrant students, leading to the development of SJSU’s UndocuSpartan Resource Center in 2018.

“I have worked with thousands of students—many of whom are first-generation, immigrants or of immigrant origin,” says Curry. “Their tenacity, perseverance, humility, dignity and grace inspire me daily. Their example of lived commitment and struggle guide how I live out my profession.”

Curry has mentored five doctoral students through the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP), two of whom are now CSU faculty. She also serves as the faculty advisor to Student Advocates for Higher Education, an undocumented student support group founded in 2003, and the Chicano/a/x Graduate Council.

Julia Curry Rodriguez received SJSU's Distinguished Service Award in 2014.

Julia Curry Rodriguez received SJSU’s Distinguished Service Award in 2014.

She was instrumental in developing a new bachelor’s degree in Mexican American Studies, coordinates with the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies to address legal challenges, such as the Supreme Court Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)/Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) case, and organizes symposia covering policies related to in-state tuition and the California Dream Act.

Curry has also maintained an active research, scholarship and creative activities agenda. In 2003, she received a grant from the Ford Foundation to document services for binational students who immigrate to the U.S., then migrate back to their home regions in Mexico. Other recent research includes an article on “Decolonial Food for Thought: Mexican-Origin Food, Foodways, and Social Movements” in the Journal of Equity and Excellence in Education and a reader entitled Mothers, Mothering and Motherhood Across Cultural Differences.

The SJSU 2014 Distinguished Service Award recipient, Curry has been featured in SJSU’s My Story is Here campaign and in Washington Square magazine.

The Wang Family Excellence Award recognizes four outstanding faculty members and one outstanding staff member who, through extraordinary commitment and dedication, have distinguished themselves by exemplary contributions and achievements. Learn more about the CSU 2019 Wang Excellence Award recipients online.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

CSU Shares Profile of SJSU’s Fritz Yambrach, Professor and Inventor

San Jose State University’s Professor Fritz Yambrach brings the same innovative and practical approach to his work, whether rebuilding the packaging program in the College of Health and Human Sciences’ Department of Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging, creating internships for students with industry partners or developing a new way for people to carry water in developing countries.

When he was hired in 2006, the packaging program had five students enrolled and four courses. He has since developed 10 courses that include packaging for medical devices, pharmaceuticals and food processing, and built the program to an enrollment of 70 students.

Fritz Yambrach, a professor in Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging helped to develop a way to package water to transport to disaster areas or areas where water is not readily available. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Fritz Yambrach, a professor in Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging helped to develop a way to package water to transport to disaster areas or areas where water is not readily available. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

“I created course content I believed was useful to a working professional in the field,” Yambrach says. “Packaging is simply problem solving. I’ll give [students] relationships between items and then see how they put it together and make creative extensions.”

Yambrach is the latest San Jose State University faculty member to be featured in the CSU Spotlight with a new profile and video about his teaching philosophy and his research. He is the inventor of a water vest that is being tested in Haiti, Burundi and Ethiopia as an ergonomic, hygienic alternative to carrying water in buckets over long distances.

Fritz, who received the 2017 DuPont Diamond Packaging Innovation Award, said those who have tested the vest since 2006 found an unexpected benefit: “Young girls in Ethiopia were typically tasked with collecting water and it often meant they couldn’t go to school,” he explained. “The vest is allowing more girls to attend school since it makes transporting water much easier.”

Read more about Yambrach’s teaching and research in the CSU Profile, an SJSU Academic Spotlight story and an SJSU Washington Square profile.

SJSU Ranked No. 22 on List of Best Schools for Transfers in the Nation

Incoming students pose for a photo with their orientation leader at San Jose State University on Thursday, June 28, 2018. (Photo: Jim Gensheimer)

Incoming students pose for a photo with their orientation leader at San Jose State University on Thursday, June 28, 2018. (Photo: Jim Gensheimer)

San Jose State University made Money Magazine’s list of the top 50 best schools for transfer students ranking at No. 22. The institutions on the top 50 list were selected from an original list of 727 best-value institutions. The field was narrowed based on transfer enrollment of more than 15 percent, rate of transfer students earning degrees compared to first-time peers, and four-and-six year graduation rates for transfer students.

In fall 2018, SJSU enrolled more than 3,800 new transfer students who made up 40 percent of incoming undergraduate students.

Transfer students also fare well at SJSU in terms of graduation rates. The percentage of students completing their degrees in two years increased from 19 percent in 2013/14 to 31.7 percent in 2017/18. The number of Spartan transfers completing a degree in four years is at 74.3 percent, up from 67 percent in 2013/14.

California State University and University of California campuses dominated the list, largely due to a statewide set of general education courses that allow students to more easily transfer course credit between institutions.

For more information on transferring to SJSU, visit the Transfer Admissions website.

SJSU Physics Professor’s Groundbreaking Research Featured in ‘Science’

Ehsan Khatami is one of two San Jose State University faculty members selected as an Early Career Investigator Award winners in 2017-18. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Ehsan Khatami is one of two San Jose State University faculty members selected as Early Career Investigator Award winners in 2017-18. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

San Jose State University Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Ehsan Khatami in collaboration with a group of professors from MIT and the MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms published today in the journal Science their latest experimental discovery about conduction in a tiny system of atoms in a vacuum.

Khatami, who was granted early tenure and promotion to associate professor this year, received a funding from the National Science Foundation with colleague Sen Chiao, of the Meteorology Department to build the first high-performance computing cluster on campus. The equipment has proven essential to his research as well as the work of students and faculty in other disciplines that require big data analysis.

In his most recent article, Khatami and his colleagues discuss an experiment that is impossible to perform using real materials. They were able to focus on the movement of atoms’ intrinsic magnetic field, or “spin,” across a few microns without disturbing their charge arrangement (charge is another intrinsic property of atoms) as the first of its kind with a quantum system. The results shed light on the mostly unexplored spin transport property of models condensed matter scientists use to describe the unusual behavior of solids at very low temperatures.

Atoms are like small magnets, so applying a magnetic force pushes them around, here to the left (top left). Since these atoms repel each other, they cannot move if there are no empty sites (top middle). But the atomic “magnetic needles” are still free to move, with stronger magnets (red) diffusing to the left in the image, and weaker magnets (blue) having to make room and move to the right (bottom row). This so-called spin transport is resolved atom by atom in the cold atom quantum emulator.

Atoms are like small magnets, so applying a magnetic force pushes them around, here to the left (top left). Since these atoms repel each other, they cannot move if there are no empty sites (top middle). But the atomic “magnetic needles” are still free to move, with stronger magnets (red) diffusing to the left in the image, and weaker magnets (blue) having to make room and move to the right (bottom row). This so-called spin transport is resolved atom by atom in the cold atom quantum emulator.

Khatami’s research aims to help scientists understand how superconductivity works—a finding that could potentially pave the way for a room-temperature superconductor, which would improve transportation and data storage and make homes more energy efficient by creating materials that allow better use of electricity. That is, as electricity goes through a device such as a phone or laptop, none of the electronic components would heat up. Superconductivity is the property of zero electrical resistance in some substances at very low temperatures (<-135 degrees Celsius).

The experiment was carried out using 400 atoms cooled down to just a hair above absolute zero temperature (<-273 degrees Celsius). The atoms were manipulated to be two different types and to act as if they were electrons in a solid with two species of spin. The atoms were then trapped in a square box to see how they would respond when magnetic fields keeping one species on the left side and one species on the right side of the box were turned off. Scientists watched the process by using an electron gas microscope to measure the speed at which mixing takes place and deduce the “spin” current.

Khatami compares the box of atoms to a shallow pool of water – if there was a divider in the middle with clear water on one side and water dyed black on the other side when the divider is suddenly removed the water would mix together and turn gray. The two shades of water would be similar to the two spin species in the quantum experiment, with the behavior of the atoms governed by quantum mechanics.

To support the experiment, Khatami used more than 300,000 CPU hours on SJSU’s Spartan High-Performance Computer to solve the underlying theoretical model that was emulated in the experiment to support experimental observations.

“As exciting as these findings have been, there are still so many unanswered questions we can explore using similar setups,” he said. “For example, the dependence of spin transport on the temperature or the concentration of atoms in the box can be studied.”

Khatami received the SJSU 2017-18 Early Career Investigator Award and has offered insights into his research on the web series Physics Girl. He was featured in the Fall/Winter 2018 edition of Washington Square alumni magazine.

President Papazian’s Message on Thousand Oaks

Dear Campus Community,

We learned this morning about another inexplicable mass shooting, this time in southern California. Though details continue to emerge, the news media has reported at least 12 deaths.

We also know that the shootings took place in Thousand Oaks, not far from a sister campus, CSU-Channel Islands. In fact, several other college campuses are in close proximity to where the incident took place and were likely impacted in some way by this latest act of indiscriminate violence.

There is a gut-wrenching feeling many of us experience when such events take place, particularly when we may have personal connections with the victims and those close to them. It seems like only yesterday that we mourned the loss of life in Pittsburgh and Kentucky after the recent shootings there.

The SJSU community grieves for those impacted by last night’s horrific events. We join our CSU-Channel Islands colleagues and peers, as well as others in the greater Thousand Oaks community, in solidarity, sadness, and mourning.

Again, I would remind everyone about the range of services we offer to students and employees who may feel weighed down by grief, fear, anxiety, anger, or isolation. Those services include counseling and psychological services, and support through our Employee Assistance Program.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and those close to you. Especially at times like this, it is important that we affirm our values for inclusion, equity, diversity, and basic safety for all of our campus communities.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mary A. Papazian

First Steps in A.S. House Relocation Start

The Associated Student (A.S.) House, seen in the background, will be relocated to Tenth Street in January. Photo: David Schmitz

The Associated Student (A.S.) House, seen in the background, will be relocated to Tenth Street in January. Photo: David Schmitz

SJSU Media Relations:
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

Following approval by the California State University Board of Trustees for the design of an eight-story high rise Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB) in September that will be built in front of Duncan Hall, Facilities Development and Operations has started preparation for breaking ground this spring on the first new academic building in decades.

One of the first steps to prepare the area will be relocating the Associated Student (A.S.) House from its existing location to the eastern part of campus in a space that is currently used as a parking lot off Tenth Street.

“This has been a long process and I am thrilled about the design, location and cooperation that all disciplines have worked very hard to achieve,” said Charlie Faas, vice president for Administration and Finance.

Associated Student marketing, events and human resources departments have moved to temporary workspaces in the Student Services Center on Tenth Street. Blach Construction began preparation work November 3 for moving the A.S. House that will include attaching beams to the foundation of the house, designing a frame for it and putting wheels on it. Around December 20, additional work will include disassembling the campus gates on San Carlos and Fourth streets as well as San Fernando and Ninth streets, along the route to the new location for the house.

The house is scheduled to be moved on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The campus and Blach Construction team will work with the City of San Jose, PG&E, Comcast, and Bill Brown Contractor to move traffic lights and disconnect overhead utilities during the move, which is anticipated to take six to eight hours. A consultant is working on a traffic plan as well.

Parking Lot 4, located near the Boccardo Business Complex, will be partially closed starting November 12, so the contractor can begin preparing the site for the move and will also be closed the day of the move. There will be 59 spaces lost in Lot 4 permanently once the A.S. House is relocated. The handicap parking area behind the A.S. House will be closed beginning November 12. Additional handicap spaces will be relocated to the South Parking Garage.

Parking Lot 13, located between Duncan Hall and the West garage will be closed, beginning April 15, 2019, when McCarthy Building Company will start mobilizing for construction on the ISB.

The ISB project primarily will serve San Jose State’s College of Science, which currently enrolls more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students in programs for biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics and statistics, meteorology and climate science, physics and astronomy, and science education. The college also administers the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

“San Jose State University’s new Interdisciplinary Science Building will provide essential teaching, research and collaboration space for our STEM students, extending learning beyond the classroom. In addition, the building will enhance our growing partnerships with industry leaders in Silicon Valley,” Dean Michael Kaufman said.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area. 

 

Allied Telesis Pledges $500K Endowment Gift to SJSU’s MTI

Takayoshi Oshima, chairman and CEO of Allied Telesis, signed a gift agreement for $500,000 to the Mineta Transportation Institute in October.

Takayoshi Oshima, chairman and CEO of Allied Telesis, signed a gift agreement for $500,000 with the Mineta Transportation Institute in October. Photo: Nanzi Muro

Media Contact:
Robin McElhatton, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1749

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University (SJSU) is pleased to announce a $500,000 gift commitment from Allied Telesis, Inc. to the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) Strategic Initiatives Fund. The generous gift will establish a permanent endowment to provide long-term sustaining support to MTI’s cybersecurity program. Subject to approval by the Campus Naming Committee and the Academic Senate, the new program will be known as the Allied Telesis National Transportation Security Center.

Lucas College and Graduate School of Business Dean Dan Moshavi, center, signs a gift agreement with Allied Telesis.

Lucas College and Graduate School of Business Dean Dan Moshavi, center, signs a gift agreement with Allied Telesis. Photo: Nanzi Muro

The gift was formally announced Oct. 9 at a reception celebrating the opening of the Mineta Archives in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at San Jose State University. Takayoshi Oshima, chairman and CEO of Allied Telesis, a long-time friend of MTI founder and former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, has served on the Board of the Mineta Transportation Institute since August 2018. He was recently elected advisor emeritus to the US High Speed Rail Association (USHSR.)

Oshima founded Allied Telesis more than 30 years ago. Allied Telesis has headquarters in Silicon Valley and Japan. The company provides hardware and software products that allow customers to build secure, feature-rich and scalable data exchange solutions. Allied Telesis works with many of the same agencies as MTI in the public transit sector, including the Valley Transportation Authority.

“We started talking about synergy in how we could work together to improve cybersecurity in transportation on a national level,” said Karen Philbrick, executive director of MTI. “Thanks to Allied Telesis’s commitment to a permanent endowment, we can expand our work in this critical area.”

Paul Lanning, vice president for University Advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation, congratulated Philbrick and her team on cultivating a strong partnership with Oshima and Allied Telesis.

“Allied Telesis has provided a tremendous gift that will add value for years to come in the transit sector,” Lanning said. “We hope to continue to build on the success of the Mineta Transportation Institute with this and future industry partnerships.”


About the Mineta Transportation Institute

At the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State University (SJSU) our mission is to increase mobility for all by improving the safety, efficiency, accessibility, and convenience of our nation’s’ transportation system through research, education, workforce development and technology transfer. We help create a connected world. MTI was founded in 1991 and is funded through the US Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security, the California Department of Transportation, and public and private grants. MTI is affiliated with SJSU’s Lucas College and Graduate School of Business.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area. 

MONEY Rankings: SJSU One of Top 10 Colleges for Business Majors

Lucas College and Graduate School of Business students celebrate following commencement in 2017.

Lucas College and Graduate School of Business students celebrate following commencement in 2017.

Media Contacts:
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University (SJSU) is pleased to announce that the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business has been named as second among public universities and No. 8 overall on MONEY magazine’s list of the top 10 colleges for business majors in the nation. Earlier this year, MONEY listed the university overall as fourth on a list of most transformative colleges based on alumni earning high salaries while incurring little debt.

“MONEY magazine’s ranking of the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business as number eight of the top 10 colleges for business majors in the nation is a testament to the world-class programs we offer to our students,” said Dean Dan Moshavi. “It is an honor to have our college recognized for the exceptional preparation we offer our students for careers in Silicon Valley and beyond.”

After analyzing 727 colleges and universities for its list of top universities in August, MONEY magazine decided to dig deeper into the data for majors with the highest number of graduates.

“Business is now the most popular undergraduate degree of all,” MONEY said. “In fact, nearly one in five 2017 graduates studied a subject that falls in the category.”

The top 10 colleges for business majors list was created to help future CEOs and budding entrepreneurs find colleges that stand out for accounting, finance, marketing and management classes. MONEY looked at schools that perform best in terms of affordability, educational quality and alumni success, then looked at how many business degrees are awarded each year as well as earnings reported to Payscale.com within three years of graduation.

The Lucas College and Graduate School of business graduated 1,000 students in spring 2018. MONEY listed average starting salaries for recent graduates as $59,900. SJSU is one of two public universities to make the list that includes elite private institutions and one Ivy League campus.

“Thanks to its Silicon Valley location, business grads from SJSU regularly have a foot in the door at Google, Intel, Oracle and other competitive technology firms,” MONEY said.

“This recognition from MONEY magazine reinforces the top education we provide to all our graduates, especially those from our Lucas College and Graduate School of Business,” said SJSU President Mary A. Papazian. “These students have tremendous opportunities whether working on a team of international students through our Thompson Global Internship Program, launching a startup through our IDEAS Lab or engaging in global research through our Mineta Transportation Institute that prepares them to be future leaders in business.”


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

SJSU Reflects on the History and Future of Athlete Activism

Photo: Josie Lepe Tommie Smith, '69 Social Science, '05 Honorary Doctorate, and John Carlos, '05 Honorary Doctorate, pose with the sculpture at San Jose State University that commemorates the courageous stand they took 50 years ago at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

Tommie Smith, ’69 Social Science, ’05 Honorary Doctorate, and John Carlos, ’05 Honorary Doctorate, pose with the sculpture at San Jose State University that commemorates the courageous stand they took 50 years ago at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Photo: Josie Lepe

Olympians, athletes, scholars and journalists discussed how the history of athlete activism will influence future waves of social justice at San Jose State University’s Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change Words to Action: Landmarks and Legacy of Athlete Activism town hall on Oct. 17.

Follow @SJSUwordstoaction on Twitter for more photos and quotes.

“Let’s understand that this is all part of history,” said Harry Edwards, ’64 Sociology, ’16 Honorary Doctorate, founder with Ken Noel, ’66 BA, ’68 MA, Social Science, of the Olympic Project for Human Rights(OPHR) at SJSU. “Movements are in the DNA of American democracy … the Abolitionist Movement, the Women’s Suffragist Movement, the Civil Rights Movement … They are all an expression of a more perfect union of ‘we the people.’ These movements and activities will continue, wave after wave, with athlete involvement.”

During three sessions, panelists reflected on the history and future of athlete activism. This October marks the 50th anniversary of the historic moment in athlete activism and SJSU history when Tommie Smith, ’69 Social Science, ’05 Honorary Doctorate, and John Carlos, ’05 Honorary Doctorate, raised their fists on the medal stand in Mexico City during the 1968 Olympics to protest racial inequality, drawing international attention to athlete activism and the core goals of OPHR.

Panelists Spencer Haywood, Cleve Livingston, Paul Hoffman, Wyomia Tyus, John Carlos and Tommie Smith discuss athlete activism in the 1960s with Moderator Kenneth Shropshire. Photo: Josie Lepe

Panelists Spencer Haywood, Cleve Livingston, Paul Hoffman, Wyomia Tyus, John Carlos and Tommie Smith discuss athlete activism in the 1960s with Moderator Kenneth Shropshire. Photo: Josie Lepe

The Voices of 1968

“It was in the wake of assassinations, of cities burning … you need to understand that to understand the depth of their commitment,” Edwards said. “These two men, along with Lee Evans, are among the most courageous men I have had the privilege of being associated with and working with.”

Smith said he felt a charge to use his talent and access to the world stage to do something for black students in San Jose and around the world.

I was asked to be part of OPHR, to dedicate some part of my running to better America,” Smith said.

Carlos shared the sentiment, adding that their purpose was to bring awareness to social issues.

“We were like a road mapa new paradigm,” Carlos said. “Like with Kaepernick, people said we were anti-flag, anti-military. We wore black gloves because it was the first year the Olympics were televised in color. America had pushed black people down and we were always substandard citizens.”

Panelist Wyomia Tyus, the first person to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter dash, was in the stadium the day of Smith and Carlos’ victory stand.

“I can remember it so vividly,” she said. “I remember thinking, ‘What are those guys doing? What is going on at the victory stand?’ The stadium got very quiet, then there was booing and cheering. I started thinking, ‘I hope nothing happens to them.’”

Carlos reflected on the influence of his and Smith’s actions 50 years later.

“Once you make a statement, if you live or die, they can’t take the statement away,” he said.

Bridging the Gap: Perspectives on Athlete Activism in an Era of Growth Panelists Damion Thomas, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Toni Smith-Thompson, and C. Keith Harrison (right) pose with Moderator Bill Rhoden, (second from the right.)

Bridging the Gap: Perspectives on Athlete Activism in an Era of Growth Panelists Damion Thomas, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Toni Smith-Thompson, and C. Keith Harrison (right) pose with Moderator Bill Rhoden, (second from the right.) Photo: Josie Lepe

Bridging the Gap: Perspectives on Athlete Activism in an Era of Growth

Bill Rhoden, an award-winning sports journalist, moderated the second panel, Bridging the Gap: Perspectives on Athlete Activism in an Era of Growth.

Long before former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick ignited controversy by sitting, and then kneeling, during the national anthem, in 1996 then-Denver Nuggets NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf sat out the anthem during a game as he felt it conflicted with his Muslim religion. He was suspended from a game for his actions.

“People have a sense that there is a separation of politics and sports,” Abdul-Rauf said. “But if you stand for a flag, that has a political meaning of its own.”

Panelist Toni Thompson-Smith, a former college athlete and activist who now works with the New York Civil Liberties Union, reflected on a recent Nike ad that features Kaepernick.

“What is the ad selling?” she asked, invoking a 1970 Gil Scott-Heron song. “The revolution will not be televised. It is not selling activism. It is selling inspiration … If activism becomes profitable, is it still the message that we started out with?”

SJSU Alumnus Marc Spears, '95 Journalism, (left) discusses athlete activism from his perspective as a journalist. during The Kaepernick Era panel. Photo: Josie Lepe

SJSU Alumnus Marc Spears, ’95 Journalism, (left) discusses athlete activism from his perspective as a journalist. during The Kaepernick Era panel. Photo: Josie Lepe

The Kaepernick Era

During the final panel on The Kaepernick Era journalists and scholars discussed the role of media in the latest wave of athlete activism.

“We have Colin who makes this move that is important and historic,” said Howard Bryant, senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com. “But more important is the reaction to him on both sides and the way so many players decided not to react.”

Nate Boyer, a former active duty Green Beret and former professional football player with the Seattle Seahawks, had his own view on Kaepernick’s actions. Boyer is credited with encouraging Kaepernick to kneel, rather than sit, during the anthem.

“The flag is a beacon of hope,” he said. “I don’t think it’s an oppressive symbol. We need to continue to fight oppression in this country. It’s got to be with people like Colin Kaepernick to take that lead, to be a voice but also to listen.”

SJSU alumnus and a senior writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated Marc Spears suggested diversifying newsrooms as a way to further conversations.

“That’s why Mr. Rhoden is such a legend,” said Spears, ’95 Journalism. “He is such a legend. I wanted to be him for so long. There needs to be more Mr. Rhodens and Ms. Rhodens. If there are any women out there that want to be sports journalists, we need those voices.”

The town hall was sponsored in part by the San Francisco 49ers, ESPN and Associated Students of SJSU.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

SJSU Art Alumnus Receives MacArthur ‘Genius’ Award

Titus Kaphar, '01 B.F.A., is a painter and sculptor who addresses the lack of representation of people of color in the history of Western art by appropriating Western art’s styles and mediums. Here he is pictured in his studio in New haven, CT. (Photo by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

Titus Kaphar, ’01 B.F.A., is a painter and sculptor who addresses the lack of representation of people of color in the history of Western art by appropriating Western art’s styles and mediums. Here he is pictured in his studio in New haven, CT. (Photo by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

Media Contact:
Robin McElhatton, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1749

SAN JOSE, CA – The MacArthur Foundation announced its 2018 MacArthur Fellows October 4, with San Jose State University Alumnus Titus Kaphar, ’01 B.F.A., among this year’s recipients of the “genius” award. Kaphar is an artist whose paintings, sculptures and installations explore the intersection of art, history and civic agency.

“I make paintings that people perceive often as being very social or political, but for the most part they are very personal. Everything stems from my relationship to a situation, to a narrative, to a story.”

“I make paintings that people perceive often as being very social or political, but for the most part they are very personal,” he said. “Everything stems from my relationship to a situation, to a narrative, to a story.”

This is especially on display in the work he calls the Jerome Project, inspired by his father. His father, whose first name is Jerome, was in and out of jail.  At one point Kaphar searched for his father’s name online. He found his father’s mug shot, along with police photos of 97 men with the same first and last name. He began to paint the images to look like small devotionals that he then partially covered with tar.

Much of Kaphar’s work highlights the lack of representation of people of color in the canon of Western Art with works that deconstruct the literal and visual structure of the artwork. His canvases often have top layers cut away to reveal hidden images underneath. He recalled that during his time as a university student he had one art history book that had a chapter focused on black people or people of color.

“These characters are often enslaved, in servitude, or impoverished,” he said. “So it drew me to wanting to understand how this all came about in representing black people.”

Titus Kaphar displays some of his work in his New Haven, Connecticut studio.(Photo by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

Titus Kaphar displays some of his work in his New Haven, Connecticut studio. (Photo by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

Kaphar’s work has been exhibited at MoMA PS1, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Chrysler Museum of Art (Norfolk, Virginia), the Seattle Art Museum, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and Princeton University, among other venues; and he is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Pérez Art Museum Miami, and the Equal Justice Initiative Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, among other public collections.

In addition to his artwork and installations, Kaphar is the founder and president of NXTHVN, pronounced Next Haven. The nonprofit is creating an artist community that will provide mentorship, studio practice and professional development opportunities for recent art school graduates.

“They get a year to engage in professional art,” he said. “I was in my mid-20s when I found art so I want to help other young folks who come from the communities I came from discover their passion and what motivates them.”

Kaphar is one of 25 Fellows selected for exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on past accomplishments and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

“Working in diverse fields, from the arts and sciences to public health and civil liberties, these 25 MacArthur Fellows are solving long-standing scientific and mathematical problems, pushing art forms into new and emerging territories, and addressing the urgent needs of under-resourced communities,” said Cecilia Conrad, Managing Director, MacArthur Fellows Program. “Their exceptional creativity inspires hope in us all.”


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area. 

SJSU Presents Words to Action: Landmarks and Legacy of Athlete Activism

 

This October is the 50th anniversary of a historic moment in athlete activism and San Jose State University history. During the 1968 Olympic Games, Tommie Smith, ’69 Social Science, ’05 Honorary Doctorate, and John Carlos, ’05 Honorary Doctorate, raised their fists on the medal stand in Mexico City to protest racial inequality, drawing international attention to athlete activism and the core goals of the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR).

Join us for our town hall, Words to Action: Landmarks and Legacy of Athlete Activism, on October 17. We have an exciting lineup of panelists who will reflect on OPHR’s 50-year legacy and its connection to the current wave of athlete activism.

Date:

October 17, 2018
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Location:

The Event Center at SJSU
290 S. 7th St., San Jose, CA 95112 (parking)

Panelists:

  • Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, former basketball player, Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings and the Vancouver Grizzlies
  • Nate Boyer, former active duty Green Beret and professional football player with the Seattle Seahawks
  • Howard Bryant, author and senior writer, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com
  • John Carlos, ’05 Honorary Doctorate, Olympic medalist and OPHR member
  • Harry Edwards, ’64 Sociology, ’16 Honorary Doctorate, OPHR and ISSSSC founder
  • Spencer Haywood, former basketball player and Olympic gold medalist
  • Paul Hoffman, coxswain, U.S. Olympic rowing team for the 1968 Olympics
  • Cleve Livingston, member, U.S. Olympic rowing team for the 1968 Olympics
  • Bill Rhoden, author and former Peabody-award winning sports columnist, writer-at-large for ESPN’s The Undefeated
  • Kenneth Shropshire, Adidas Distinguished Professor of Global Sport and CEO of the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University
  • Tommie Smith, ’69 Social Science, ’05 Honorary Doctorate, Olympic gold medalist and world record setter
  • Toni Smith-Thompson, former college athlete and activist, advocacy department organizer, New York Civil Liberties Union
  • Marc Spears, ’95 Journalism, senior writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated
  • Damion Thomas, author and curator of sports at the National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Wyomia Tyus, Olympic gold medalist
  • Steve Wyche, reporter, NFL Network

Agenda:

8 a.m. Media registration

8:30 a.m. Program begins

Introduction

Paul Lanning, CEO, Tower Foundation of SJSU

Welcome

Mary A. Papazian, President, SJSU

SJSU Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change

Ted Butryn, ISSSSC Interim Director

Panel 1: The Voices of 1968

Olympians who both experienced and actively participated in the events of Mexico City in 1968 share their stories and the repercussions of their actions when they returned home.

Moderator:

  • Kenneth Shropshire

Panelists:

  • John Carlos
  • Spencer Haywood
  • Paul Hoffman
  • Cleve Livingston
  • Tommie Smith
  • Wyomia Tyus

Break

Panel 2: Bridging the Gap: Perspectives on Athlete Activism in an Era of Growth

In the 1980s and 90s, athletes gained economic and social capital, but were less likely to engage in athlete activism. Athlete-activists and scholars discuss those who came forward to stand for social justice issues.

Moderator:

  • Bill Rhoden

Panelists:

  • Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
  • C. Keith Harrison
  • Toni Smith-Thompson
  • Damion Thomas

Panel 3 – The Kaepernick Era

What is the social impact of today’s activism by professional, college and high school athletes against police brutality and social injustices, and the larger trend against the “shut up and dribble” sentiment? Panelists discuss how a 50-year history has led to a new wave of activism.

Moderator:

  • Maureen Smith

Panelists:

  • Nate Boyer
  • Jules Boykoff
  • Howard Bryant
  • Marc Spears
  • Steve Wyche

Concluding Remarks: The Arc of Athlete Activism

Harry Edwards lends perspective and insight on the waves of athlete activism to date, from the earliest pioneers to the voices of today, and provides his thoughts on the power of protest and what we can expect to see next in the politically charged era in which we find ourselves today.

Press opportunity immediately follows

Media:

Members of the media should RSVP now to:

Robin McElhatton
robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu,
408-924-1749

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About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study—offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

Cal-Bridge Grant Readies SJSU Undergrads to Apply for PhDs in Physics and Astronomy

Students, faculty and administrators for the Cal-Bridge North program pose for a photo. Cal-Bridge scholars prepare to apply for PhD programs in physics and astronomy.

Students, faculty and administrators for the Cal-Bridge North program pose for a photo. Cal-Bridge scholars prepare to apply for PhD programs in physics and astronomy.

Media Contact:
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, CA– San Jose State University joins a consortium of 15 California State University (CSU) and nine University of California (UC) campuses collectively awarded a five-year, $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to dramatically increase diversity within the fields of physics and astronomy through the Cal-Bridge program.

The Cal-Bridge program launched four years ago. It creates a pathway for underrepresented minority students from multiple CSU campuses to gain the experience needed to apply for doctoral programs in physics and astronomy at UC campuses across California. Currently, students from underrepresented minority groups represent 30 percent of the U.S. population, but represent less than 4 percent of physics and astronomy PhDs recipients nationwide. The national average of underrepresented minorities, or URM students, earning a PhD in these fields is about 80 per year.

“Cal-Bridge has already shown spectacular results in its first phase in Southern California, with a 95 percent admission rate for CSU undergraduates into doctoral programs,” said Aaron Romanowsky, an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at SJSU and co-director of the Cal-Bridge North Leadership Council. “Now with the expansion of the program into Northern California, and into physics as well as astronomy, we are excited to begin seeing even more access enabled for CSU students going into advanced STEM education and careers.”

Expanding into Northern California

The recent grant allows Cal-Bridge to expand from about a dozen scholars per year to as many as 50 statewide, with the addition of students from SJSU, San Francisco State, CSU East Bay and CSU Sacramento. SJSU is serving as a lead institution for Cal-Bridge North, with the support of Romanowsky and College of Science Dean Michael Kaufman, former chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. SJSU students Jean Donet and Javier Bustamante joined the first cohort of Cal-Bridge North. Participating Cal-Bridge Scholars receive a full scholarship for the final two years of their undergraduate degree, based on demonstrated need; a year of scholarship funding to cover the first year of graduate school at a participating UC campus; mentoring from faculty members at both CSU and UC campuses; professional development opportunities and research opportunities.

Cal-Bridge is led by Principal Investigator and Director Alexander Rudolph, a Cal Poly Pomona professor of physics and astronomy. Cal-Bridge Scholars are recruited from the 15 CSU campuses and more than 30 community colleges in the Cal-Bridge network, with the help of local faculty and staff liaisons at each campus.

Success for Early Cohorts

The program has been highly successful in its first five years in developing a pipeline of highly diverse, qualified scholars, many of whom have already successfully matriculated to a PhD program in physics or astronomy. The program just selected its fifth cohort of 27 scholars from 10 different CSU campuses across the state, bringing the total number of scholars to 61 in five cohorts, including 35 Latinos, seven African-Americans and 27 women (16 of the 27 women are from underrepresented minority groups).

In the last three years, 19 of 21 Cal-Bridge Scholars who have earned their bachelor’s degree in physics have begun or will attend PhD programs in physics or astronomy at top programs nationally, including UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, Harvard University, Northwestern University, the University of Maryland, Michigan State University and Penn State University.

Learn more about Cal-Bridge and watch a video about the program online.

CAL-BRIDGE CONTACT

Alexander Rudolph

Director, Cal-Bridge

Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Cal Poly Pomona

Email: alrudolph@cpp.edu

Cell Phone: 909-717-1851

LOCAL CONTACT

Aaron Romanowsky

Co-Director, Cal-Bridge North Leadership Council

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

San Jose State University

Email: aaron.romanowsky@sjsu.edu

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area. 

PayScale Ranks SJSU Education Majors #6 in the Nation for Salary Potential

Graduates from the Connie L. Lurie College of Education line up outside the Event Center for Commencement in spring 2018. (Photo: Brandon Chew)

Graduates from the Connie L. Lurie College of Education line up outside the Event Center for Commencement in spring 2018. (Photo: Brandon Chew)

Media Contact:
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, CA – Payscale, an online platform that analyzes salaries, listed San Jose State University as the sixth best school in the nation for education majors for salary potential. The company released its College Salary Report for 2018 on September 25. The report found that SJSU graduates with a bachelor’s degree in education had an early-career pay rate of $45,500 and a mid-career pay rate of $75,300. The list includes more than 380 nonprofit and public universities that offer undergraduate degrees in education.

In spring 2018, SJSU recognized 300 newly credentialed teachers and conferred 14 doctoral degrees in educational leadership.

“We are immensely proud of the talented and dedicated educators that graduate from SJSU,” said Dean Heather Lattimer, of the Connie L. Lurie College of Education. “They are having a significant impact as classroom teachers, counselors, and school leaders working to strengthen educational outcomes and close opportunity gaps. It is rewarding to have our college recognized as #6 in the nation for salary potential for education majors.”

Assistant Professor Ellen Middaugh interacts with students in her Sweeney Hall classroom on September 26, 2018. (Photo: Jim Gensheimer)

Assistant Professor Ellen Middaugh interacts with students in her Sweeney Hall classroom on September 26, 2018. (Photo: Jim Gensheimer)

The university ranked #28 overall out of 600 public universities in the nation, with early-career pay rates of $61,300 and mid-career pay rates of $112,400. Of those Spartan alumni who participated in the survey, 54 percent of respondents also said they felt their work makes the world a better place.

PayScale is a software company that uses big data and algorithms to help companies make compensation decisions while also providing information to employees about their industries salary trends.

Recent Rankings

In addition to this week’s announcement from PayScale, MONEY Magazine recently named SJSU as the fourth most transformative universities for students while U.S. News & World Report ranked it fifth among the West’s top public universities offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Diverse Issues in Higher Education also ranked SJSU among the nation’s top universities for granting degrees to minority students.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.