Students Learn #ItCanWait

Did you know…

  • taking your eyes off the interstate to read a text is like driving blind for the length of a football field?
  • driving while texting is like piloting a 3,000-pound metal missile with your eyes closed?
  • more than 100,000 crashes annually involve drivers who are texting?
  • drivers who text are almost 25 times more likely to crash?

Speakers shared these facts and more at a “Txtng & Drivng… It Can Wait” news conference Jan. 25 in the SJSU Event Center. Vice President for Student Affairs William Nance opened the event by recalling his response when AT&T offered to help: “I said, ‘Absolutely, we’ll figure out how and when to do it.’” AT&T Regional Vice President for External Affairs Marc Blakeman announced an Apple version of DriveMode is in the works. This Android and Blackberry app sends auto-replies to people who text, email and call while you’re on the road so you can keep your hands on the wheel. University Police Department Chief of Police Peter Decena, San Jose Police Department Commander of Traffic Enforcement Jason Ta and SJPD Officer Jim Hagen (all SJSU alumni!) noted police will hold 23 texting and driving enforcement events this year.  Associated Students of SJSU President Calvin Worsnup was the first of many to take a spin on AT&T’s texting and driving simulator, which looks alot like an arcade driving game equipped with a cell phone for texting. Some students were super cautious, both most crashed within minutes. KGO Bay Area News, the San Jose Mercury News, Spartan Daily and Update News covered the event to help spread the word. To learn more, check out the “Txtng & Drivng… It Can Wait” website, where you can watch videos and take the pledge “to never txt and drive.”

Governor Helps Launch SJSU Plus

Top elected and higher education officials joined Silicon Valley’s leading entrepreneurs at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library on Jan. 15 for the advent of a groundbreaking partnership aimed at bridging public higher education with a promising Silicon Valley startup.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. spoke at the event about the long-term potential for San Jose State Plus before SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi and Udacity Inc. CEO and Co-Founder Sebastian Thrun signed the official agreement.

In his first public appearance at SJSU, recently appointed California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White provided a systemwide perspective on the announcement and online education. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Marc Andreessen attended to lend his support.

SJSU community members joined the media and officials to participate in a rigorous question and answer session including Brown, Qayoumi, Thrun, White and SJSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Junn.

Read the full news release about today’s announcement. View a recording of the news conference and join the conversation about #SJSUPlus on Twitter.

 

 

 

BFA Graphic Design Exhibition

This week marks a pivotal moment for 22 students graduating this fall from SJSU’s bachelor of fine arts in graphic design program. Their senior design show opened Dec. 7 at Works/San Jose, and will remain on display through Dec. 14. Their goal? To show how “graphic design is an experience that seeks to influence audiences through visual communication. It accomplishes this by utilizing the creative process to fuse form and content.” Students and faculty members are also inviting employers that need graphic design talent to meet these soon-to-be-alumni at professional nights 6-9 p.m. Dec. 12 and 13. Read more about MAKESHIFT.

 

 

Isabel Allende Day

Isabel Allende Day began November 27 with a tour of animation/illustration sketches inspired by her first novel for young adults, “City of Beasts,” and then continued with a stage adaption of her short story “Tosca.” But it wasn’t until after Allende and her husband William C. Gordon settled into arm chairs on stage at Morris Dailey Auditorium that people really got to hear from the world-renowned author.

She shared a few frightening details from the death of her 26-year-old daughter, a moment she said “broke my heart and changed my life.” And she recalled how it felt after a military dictatorship drove her and her children from their Chilean home:

“As an immigrant, you are nobody. You have to stand on your own strength.”

Yet the conversation was filled with lighter moments and clear affection between the the couple, who claimed to have contrasting approaches to everything from writing to walking the dog, though they clearly share a love of writing and living together in their Marin County home. Their connection to San Jose State? They met through a Spanish professor, who gave Allende one of Gordon’s books 35 years ago.

The day also included a short awards ceremony, when Allende was named a Fulbright Global Citizen for marrying art and activism in literature that resonates worldwide. She first won international acclaim in 1982 after the publication of her novel, The House of Spirits. Since then, she has published 19 books translated into more than 30 languages.

Isabel Allende Day was presented by SJSU, Circulo Hispanico, the Center for Literary Arts and the Department of World Languages and Literatures.

SJSU Choir Accompanies Bocelli

During the summer, SJSU Concert Choir Director Jeffrey Benson received a telephone call asking if his students would consider providing back up vocals for the superstar tenor. The result? A night to remember at HP Pavilion Nov. 23.

We caught up with the students during rehearsal a few hours before the show. The 60-voice choir later performed eight numbers with Bocelli, plus a ninth on their own.

If you’re on Facebook, you can also watch a video posted by a fan. Hear more SJSU choir music on the program’s YouTube channel.