2020 ISSSSC Sport, Society and Social Change Conference

A single black line morphs midway into a person running with golden wings.

San José State University’s Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change (ISSSSC) will host its inaugural Sport, Society and Social Change Conference: Dream With Your Eyes Open: (Re) Imagining Sport in the Age of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter.

The two-day virtual conference takes place on November 12 – 13 from 9:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. (PST).

Thought leaders, scholars, social change organizations, athletic administrators, athletes, and students will discuss the legacy of social activism and ways to promote social change and equity.

ISSSSC Executive Director and Associate Professor of African American Studies Akilah R. Carter-Francique says the inspiration for the conference comes from the musings of C. Wright Mills’ ‘The Sociological Imagination’ (1959). “Mills’ concept of sociological imagination promotes “the awareness of the relationship between personal experience and the wider society.”

The event includes keynote speakers, panel discussions, presentations, and community conversations highlighting personal experiences, on-going challenges and acknowledging people, groups, and organizations’ efforts to promote social change.

“The ISSSSC wanted to create a space that brings a variety of communities together to discuss the state and role of sport locally to globally, to educate, to network, to share ideas, research and innovations, and to support one another in efforts to promote social justice and social change. We especially want to use this space to engage the next generation in the legacy of equity and social justice and to, in the words of Dr. Harry Edwards, ‘ . . . teach our children to dream with their eyes open, Carter-Francique says.

Keynote speakers on November 12

  • Shireen Ahmed, Sports Activist, Public Speaker, Writer, Independent Journalist, CA
  • Dr. Jules Boykoff, Professor and Department Chair, Political Science, Pacific University, USA
  • Dr. Amira Rose Davis, Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies, Penn State University, USA
  • Dr. Jamil Northcutt, Vice President, Player Engagement, Major League Soccer, USA

Keynote speakers on November 13

  • Dr. Algerian Hart, Associate Dean of the Graduate College and Professor of Kinesiology at Missouri State University and President (2020-2021) North American Society for the Sociology of Sport
  • Dr. Kevin Hylton, Emeritus Professor of Equality and Diversity in Sport, Leisure, and Education, Leeds University, UK and Chair Sheffield Race Equality Commission, UK
  • Dr. Nicole LaVoi, Director, Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women, University of Minnesota, USA
  • Rachelle Patel, Director of Marketing and Events, Laureus Sport for Good, USA

Conference Agenda

The conference will also feature pre-recorded 5-minute lightning talks from SJSU students on topics related to sport and social justice. Students who submitted presentations are eligible for awards ranging from $50.00 to $150.00

Conference Registration

The ISSSSC will continue conversations about the legacy of social justice and equity through its “Sport Conversations for Change” webinar series, internship program and educational collaborations.

Bay Area Media Turn to SJSU on Election Night 2020

Four political science professors are lined up on top of a red, white and blue graphic with the SJSU logo and title "2020 Elections."

(L-R) Adjunct Professor Donna Crane, Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science Garrick Percival, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and Political Science Professor Melinda Jackson, Emeritus Professor Larry Gerston.

San José State University political science professors will share their insights and expertise with millions of Bay Area television and online viewers on election night, November 3, 2020, and beyond.

Political Expertise

For months leading up to the 2020 elections, faculty members in the SJSU Department of Political Science participated in interviews with local, regional, national, and international media outlets. They offered commentary and analysis on the presidential campaign, national, state and Bay Area races and propositions.

“The 2020 elections is one of the most consequential in generations,” said Associate Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department Garrick Percival. “The political science faculty at SJSU has a long tradition of offering our expertise in politics and government to help inform the broader community. We see it as a crucial part of being faculty members at a public university. It’s a great way to give back.”

Where to Watch

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and Political Science Professor Melinda Jackson will join NBC Bay Area as it provides continuous election night coverage of local election results on its digital platform, nbcbayarea.com.The online coverage, which runs from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m., will also be available on Roku and Apple TV.

Professor Emeritus Larry Gerston will share his political expertise with NBC Bay Area broadcast and online viewers on election night, including an election wrap-up newscast at 11:00 p.m. Professor Gerston has provided expert political analysis to NBC Bay Area viewers for 40 years.

Adjunct Professor Donna Crane will join the news team at KRON-TV election night each hour from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. to discuss national, state and Bay Area election results.

Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science Garrick Percival will appear on the ABC affiliate KGO-TV the morning after the election. As an expert on state and Bay Area politics, he will comment on the 12 state-wide propositions and many Bay Area measures and races.

SJSU’s political science department, established in 1962, is dedicated to educating students and the Bay Area community about political and social issues.

SJSU Establishes the Nation’s Largest Academic Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center

Largest Cluster Hire of Wildfire Scientists at a University

Photo: Robert Bain/San José State University

San José State University has established the largest academic Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center (WIRC) in the United States with five new tenure-track faculty members and millions of dollars in new technology. The purpose of the new center is to serve as the leading institution in California, providing modern, state-of-knowledge on wildfire science and management.

“In just the past few years, wildfires have scorched California’s landscape, burning millions of acres, injuring and killing hundreds of people and causing billions of dollars in damages. Dealing with this challenge requires interdisciplinary solutions,” said College of Science Dean Michael Kaufman. “The advanced wildfire research enabled by this new center is needed now more than ever before.”

WIRC is housed in the College of Science and will work through an interdisciplinary model with the College of Social Sciences and the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering. WIRC’s new integrated and interdisciplinary academic team specialize in the following areas:

  • Fire Ecology (Biology)
  • Fire and Fluid Dynamics (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Wildfire Behavior Modeling and Wildfire Meteorology (Meteorology)
  • Wildfire Remote Sensing (Meteorology)
  • Wildfire Management and Policy (Environmental Studies)

Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science and Director of the Fire Weather Research Lab Craig Clements will serve as director of the new Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center. Four newly hired tenure-track faculty members join him in wildfire science and management:

Adam Kochanski

Assistant Professor of Wildfire Meteorology

His research interests include fire-atmosphere interactions, including air quality impacts of wildland fires. He is an international leader in wildfire modeling with extensive experience in running numerical simulations of fire, smoke and regional climate on high-performance computing platforms.

Amanda M. Stasiewicz

Assistant Professor of Wildfire Management in the Department of Environmental Studies

Her research focuses on the human dimensions of wildfire, community adaptation to wildfire risk in the wildland-urban interface, and citizen-agency conflict and cooperation during wildfire preparation, prevention and wildfire response (e.g., suppression, evacuation).

Ali Tohidi

Assistant Professor of Fire and Fluid Dynamics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering

His research interests are at the nexus of experimental, data-driven and mathematical modeling of nonlinear spatiotemporal processes across different scales. His current research focus is understanding wildfire spread mechanisms, including firebrand (ember) generation, transport and spot fire ignition, as well as applications of data-driven methods in physics-based models.

Kate Wilkin

Assistant Professor of Fire Ecology in the Department of Biological Sciences

She has nearly 20 years of experience in natural resource management, outreach and research. Her research focuses on living sustainability in fire-prone ecosystems: wildfire recovery of communities and natural lands, prescribed fire on private lands and wildfire mitigation, including fire-resistant homes, defensible space and fuel treatments.

A fifth tenure-track faculty member in wildfire remote sensing with expertise in monitoring wildfire behavior and developing novel airborne remote sensing technologies will join the team in January 2021.

These new faculty members will join three other faculty members at SJSU:

Craig Clements

Director of the WIRC and Fire Weather Research Laboratory and Professor of Meteorology

He has more than 20 years of experience designing meteorological and wildfire field experiments. His research aims to better understand the complexities of fire weather in mountain areas, including extreme fire behavior in canyons and wildfire plume dynamics. His work has pioneered the deployment of novel observation systems to wildfire incidents to study fire weather phenomena.

Patrick Brown

Assistant Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science

He is a climate scientist who conducts research on weather and climate and how they interact with society. He currently conducts research on the relationship between climate and wildfire risk.

Mike Voss

Staff Meteorologist and Technician; Lecturer in the Meteorology and Climate Science Department

He has more than 25 years of experience forecasting California weather, focusing on fire weather and extreme weather events.

“San José State is bringing together some of the top academic experts in the world who have extensive experience in wildfire science, management, climate and meteorological research,” said Clements. “This is truly a world-class group that is passionate about advancing wildfire science.”

The WIRC will employ an advanced, next-generation, wildfire-atmosphere forecasting system and a suite of mobile assets to conduct research in the field. These assets include two customized trucks equipped with Doppler radar and one truck equipped with Doppler LiDAR. These are the only mobile fire weather units in the United States. They are also the only fire weather research units in the nation qualified to go behind fire lines.

“These new technologies will strengthen the prediction, monitoring and management of wildfire throughout California,” said Clements.

“San José State University’s initial investment in the Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center demonstrates our commitment to advancing wildfire research and to the state of California as it faces one of the most pressing problems the 21st century,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Vincent J. Del Casino Jr. “I am confident there is more to come.”

NSF Awards $1.5M to Fund STEM Curricula for Students with Visual Impairments

A student with visual impairment touches a 3D model.

A student explores a 3D printed tactile model of the constellation Orion. The spherical stars have diameters that represent their true relative brightnesses and are attached to posts whose lengths indicate the stars’ true relative distances from the Earth. Photo: Professor Thomas Madura/San José State University.

Multiple 3D printers assembled by students with visual impairment.

3D printers assembled by students with VI at the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons in Kalamazoo, MI. Photo: Professor Thomas Madura/San José State University.

Researchers from San José State University, The Ohio State University and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) located at John Hopkins University have been awarded a $1.5 million dollar Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curricula for students with blindness and visual impairments (VI).

The funding will be used to research and develop STEM Career Exploration Labs (CELs) where students with VI can learn about STEM, career opportunities in STEM and develop STEM skills.

“Students will participate in hands-on activities such as assembling and using desktop 3D printers and using 3D printed models and sound to learn astronomical topics, such as celestial motion and lunar phases,” said Principal Investigator and San José State University Assistant Professor Thomas Madura. “Spatial thinking is particularly important for students with VI, who touch their surroundings and gather information via sound to form mental images and make sense of the world.”

The STEM Career Exploration Labs will also include interactions with STEM professionals with VI and field trips to local businesses that offer insights into STEM careers. The CELs will serve high school students from ages 14 to 20 with VI, their sighted peers, STEM high school teachers and teachers of the visually impaired.  The Council of Schools for the Blind will help recruit students and teachers for the program.

Previously, researchers conducted two pilot workshops including one in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ Bureau of Services for Blind Persons and the South Carolina Commission For the Blind in Columbia, South Carolina.

“In the workshops, the students explored current research data obtained with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope through 3D prints,” said Hubble Space Telescope Outreach Project Scientist at STScI Dr. Carol Christian. “The use of such tactile materials allows students to discover the wonder as well as some of the scientific detail of the astrophysical universe.”

A student with visual impairment holds a 3D printed model of the Eta Carinae Homunculus nebula.

A student explores a 3D printed model of the Eta Carinae Homunculus nebula created using observations obtained from the European Southern Observatory’s telescope in Chile. Photo: Professor Thomas Madura/San José State University.

According to Assistant Professor Thomas Madura, there is very little research to date on how students with VI learn science and fewer studies on the impact of technological tools designed for students with VI. Researchers will collect and provide new data by investigating:

  • The effect on students with VI’s understanding of scientific concepts
  • How students participate in the inquiry-based STEM work
  • How the project affects student attitudes towards STEM, STEM careers, and astronomy
  • Assess understanding of spatial thinking skills and astronomy concepts
  • Identify STEM high school teachers’ attitudes towards students with disabilities in STEM classes

Data results will be distributed in a variety of ways, including peer-reviewed research journals, presentations, and workshops at various STEM, astronomy, VI, education, 3D printing, persons with disabilities and related domestic and international conferences.

“We know very little about how persons with visual impairments understand abstract concepts, such as astronomy, as they are presented through 3D models,” said Project Researcher and Associate Professor at The Ohio State University Tiffany Wild. “The results of this research can impact the way we teach astronomy to students with visual impairments and ultimately increase accessibility for all those with visual impairments to the world of astronomy.”

Depending on the current COVID-19 pandemic, researchers plan to set up STEM Career Exploration Labs in public high schools, schools for the blind, and state agencies in 12 states beginning in spring 2021.

San José State University and the City of San José Extend Operating Agreement of Hammer Theatre Center for 35-Year Period

Editors note: This media advisory was distributed on June 25, 2020.

Corner view of the Hammer Theatre Center Box Office entrance.

Hammer Theatre Center. Photo: Christina Olivas.

Media Contacts:
Robin McElhatton, San José State University
O: 408-924-1749
E: robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

Steph Keay, Carla Befera & Co
O: 650-327-1200
E: steph@cb-pr.com

SAN JOSÉ, CA – June 25, 2020– The city of San José and San José State University have agreed to a new contract that allows the university to continue operating the Hammer Theatre Center for up to 35 years. The theatre, which is owned by the city of San José, is a state-of-the-art performance venue located in the heart of downtown San José at 101 Paseo De San Antonio.

In March, San City Council voted unanimously to proceed with the contract, which builds on a successful partnership initiated in 2016. San José Director of Cultural Affairs Kerry Adams Hapner told the council, “This has been such a successful model in so many ways.” She says, “We are looking forward to continuing a fruitful partnership that increases the cultural vibrancy of the downtown and brings long-lasting benefits to the city and SJSU.”

San José State has signed the agreement, which allows SJSU to operate the Hammer for the next fifteen years with additional options to renew through the year 2055. “This contract allows the Hammer Theatre to bring high-quality arts programming to San José for decades to come,” said College of Humanities and the Arts Dean Shannon Miller. “It also gives our music, theater, and dance students the opportunity to perform on the Hammer’s professional stage, and connects our campus community to the cultural and economic corridors throughout the downtown area.”

Formerly the home of San José Repertory Theatre, the architecturally striking, bright blue building sat vacant from June 2014 until SJSU took the helm in early 2016, investing approximately $2 million to renovate the facilities. “One of the hallmarks of the Hammer has been the diversity of our programming,” said Hammer Executive Director Christopher Burrill. “We have been attracting new audiences with a wide range of interests—not only theatre lovers, but also fans of dance, music, film, live talks, and much more, with programs that speak to all sectors of our multicultural community.”

For the past four years, the 528-seat theatre has presented an array of offerings including outstanding professional productions, community-based works, SJSU shows, and concerts, as well as dance, music, talks, film screenings—even live aerial performances with dancers suspended outside, scaling the sides of the iconic blue building. In addition to a complete renovation of the stage, and updated audio and lighting equipment to reflect the latest technology, an upstairs rehearsal space was transformed into Hammer 4, a black box theatre space designed for intimate productions such as Hammer’s “Black Cab Jazz” collaboration with San José Jazz.

In the last season, the Hammer presented nearly 200 events, drawing more than 57,000 audience members. From jazz performances to mariachi extravaganzas, the popular National Geographic Live! speaker series to the acclaimed National Theatre Live film screenings, Cinequest film festival presentations, ballet and modern dance shows, kid-friendly performances, live art and more, the Hammer’s mission is to serve the community through artistic and educational programming that express the unique characteristics and diverse cultures of Silicon Valley. The Mercury News raved, “It’s safe to say San José State has exceeded anyone’s expectations for the reactivation of the theater and have kept it as a vital community asset. That is certainly worth applauding.”

On June 15, 2020, the Hammer announced its plan to invest in additional technology to create a studio-quality, high-definition, multi-camera video environment that will allow the theatre to offer its audiences live stream events to view from home. These tech upgrades provide the Hammer the opportunity to offer high-quality alternatives for the short term—while large public gatherings are prohibited by COVID-19—and long term—for those who may not be able to attend a live event in person for accessibility reasons. To help with the effort, the Hammer has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $30,000 to pay for the refit of the theatre and to offer live stream content from its stage. For more information visit: power.sjsu.edu/hammertheatre.

About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations—offered through its nine colleges.

With approximately 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José 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 280,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

NOAA Selects Moss Landing Marine Labs For New CIMEAS Institute

A boat on the water with partial view of being underwater with seaweed.

Photo credit: Scott Gabara, ’14 MS Phycology

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has selected San José State University’s Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) to be a founding member of the agency’s new Cooperative Institute for Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Systems (CIMEAS).

The CIMEAS will conduct collaborative, multidisciplinary research on climate, ocean and ecosystems. Its goal is to advance the regional, national, and global understanding of natural and human-caused impacts on our ecosystems and develop sustainable ways to strengthen our environmental and economic well-being.

“Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) is excited to join the new CIMEAS organization because it provides extraordinary opportunities for our students and researchers to collaborate on important marine research and aquaculture issues,” said MLML Director Jim Harvey. “Our graduate students will benefit greatly by collaborating with NOAA scientists and others to investigate relevant oceanographic problems and to gain important skills as they become the leaders and researchers of the future.”

In partnership with NOAA and other agencies, CIMEAS will conduct research in four main areas focusing on the western U.S., California Current System and the Pacific and Southern oceans. The science will support:

  • ecosystem-based management of living marine resources
  • research, development, and technology innovation for global ocean observations and monitoring
  • coastal and oceanic observations, analysis, and prediction
  • weather, water, and climate research

The institute, led by UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is comprised of a consortium of graduate degree-granting institutions, including MLML, Humboldt State University, Cal State University Los Angeles, Farallon Institute, University of California Davis, University of California Los Angeles, University of California Santa Barbara, and University of California Santa Cruz.

“MLML and SJSU have an excellent reputation for research and education globally, and MLML students have moved on to different levels of research and management that serve the needs of California and the nation,” said MLML Director Jim Harvey. “There are many pressing issues associated with the oceans and coastlines, and MLML is excited to be joining an Institute that will partner with NOAA to understand and help solve these important problems.”

Editors Note:  To learn more about Moss Landing Marine Labs go to Washington Square Magazine

Message from Chief Diversity Officer about Upcoming DACA Ruling

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on June 2, 2020

The Cesar E. Chavez Monument: Arch of Dignity, Equality and Justice on the grounds of SJSU.

The Cesar E. Chavez Monument: Arch of Dignity, Equality and Justice on the grounds of San Jose State. Photo: David Schmitz.

Dear campus community,

We are living in a time when our values for community, social justice and denouncement of racist police brutality is foremost in our minds. Yet, I must write to you to remind you of another urgent matter that continues to impact members of our campus community.

President Papazian shared a message on May 8, 2020, regarding the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)—a decision that could negatively impact DACA recipients’ ability to live, study and work in the United States. San José State’s commitment to rights for undocumented students, including those with DACA, AB540 or non-DACA, non-AB540 students, faculty and staff remains unwavering, and we will continue to support them to the fullest degree possible, irrespective of the ruling. The ruling that will come out sometime this month will have an immediate impact whether it is to preserve, limit or eliminate the DACA program. Students, staff and their families who are directly affected have been experiencing incredible stress and fear waiting for this ruling to be released.

Our mission to provide an equitable, inclusive and caring environment and to help students complete their education is especially critical now with the potential earth-shattering change to the immigration status of a significant number of students and some of our staff. Members of our campus community must be informed and able to refer individuals to various resources.

There are some things to remember that may provide assistance to you as you support our affected students, faculty and staff.

The best source of current information about AB540 eligibility and the implications of one’s immigration status is our own UndocuSpartan Student Resource Center. It serves as a point of contact for individuals who are seeking guidance and resources. The Center remains fully staffed remotely Monday through Friday during regular business hours and reachable via email during and outside of business hours.

You can also become familiar with and reference reliable sources of information about services, resources, and rights for undocumented students regardless of DACA or AB540 eligibility.

Understand that we operate within the California State University system. The Chancellor’s Office posted information and answers to frequently asked questions about DACA and undocumented status on these websites.

Finally, as you work with students, please respect their rights to privacy in terms of their immigration status, health status and other identities. Resist making assumptions about the immigration status of students, staff and faculty based on appearance. But do offer information and help to connect those students, staff or faculty who indicate they are experiencing distress, housing, food, or economic insecurity, or the inability to complete their studies or work because of the impact of a potential ruling terminating the DACA program. And remember that even those who are not DACA recipients themselves may experience anxiety because they may come from a mixed immigration status household or may themselves feel a magnification of distress about their own undocumented status. Support services are available through the following two groups.

After the Supreme Court issues its decision, SJSU will hold a virtual town hall on the Wednesday following the decision, and Immigrant Legal Defense, (ILD) will hold a webinar the day after the decision is issued to answer questions.

In the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed the mode and nature of our daily interactions drastically, we ask members of our campus community to remain steadfast in their support and professionalism to educate and work with all members of our campus community. Please share the resources in this message with others so everyone can experience an equitable, inclusive and caring environment at San José State.

I am conscious of the fact so many members of our community are experiencing so much pain, anger and fear. We have been living with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has separated us physically and drastically altered lives. We are angered by systemic racist police brutality. In the midst of this, the ongoing fear of losing DACA has been ever-present and its existence is now coming to an important inflection point. This is an unprecedented time in our nation. Please know that our administration and campus leaders are here to support you and are committed to inclusion, equity, fairness, acceptance and respect for all members of the SJSU community.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Wong(Lau), PhD
Chief Diversity Officer, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
 

SJSU Celebrates Spring 2020 Graduates

SJSU graduates smile while taking a selfie.

Photo: David Schmitz.

San Jose State University is honoring and celebrating the spring class of 2020 in a new way. On May 22, San Jose State will launch the Spring Class of 2020 graduate recognition websites—one site for eight of the colleges. Now, no matter where they are, grads can share their pride and excitement about earning their degree from SJSU with friends, family and loved ones anywhere in the world.

The traditional in-person commencement ceremony was made impossible this year due to the mandatory shelter-in-place order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“No matter the circumstances, this truly is a time of celebration, a time of pride and a time of joy,” said SJSU President Mary A. Papazian. “All of the Spartans who are a part of this resilient and historic graduating class are now part of San Jose State’s celebrated legacy. They will never be forgotten, and we are so proud of what they have achieved.”

The Spring Class of 2020 graduate recognition websites are not a virtual commencement ceremony or replacement for a live commencement ceremony. Instead, each college website will showcase the accomplishments of SJSU’s more than 7,000 spring 2020 graduates. Each college site will have searchable, shareable content, including personalized graduate slides that include their names, degrees, and applicable latin honors for all Spartans completing undergraduate and graduate degrees and those earning certificates from the Connie L. Lurie College of Education. Graduates will be able to share their personalized slides with family, friends and fellow students. They will also see congratulatory messages from President Papazian, Provost Vincent J. Del Casino Jr. and the deans of eight colleges.

Spring 2020 graduates will receive their diplomas, diploma covers and commencement books in the mail and are invited to return to campus to walk across the stage in-person at a future commencement ceremony: fall 2020 is scheduled for the week of December 14, 2020, or spring 2021, scheduled for the week of May 24, 2021.

“The beginning of 2020 will be a year to remember for many reasons, but I will remember it as the time we overcame adversity,” said Associated Students President Branden Parent. “I have seen students support others, triumph over obstacles and finish their last semester strong. I am glad to be graduating with such a resilient and diverse group of students who can face any odds. I look forward to seeing fellow grads on the new graduate recognition websites.”

The Spring Class of 2020 graduate recognition websites will remain on the SJSU homepage and commencement website throughout the summer.

SJSU Receives $28M in Federal Funds To Help Cope With COVID-19 Hardship

San Jose State University has received more than $28.7 million dollars from the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help students and the campus deal with COVID-19 related hardships.

Half of the funding, or approximately $14.4 million, will go directly to students in the form of emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Eligible expenses include a student’s cost of attending college, food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and childcare. The funding can not be used to pay tuition or registration fees.

CARES Act SJSU Grant

“This is an unprecedented time and many of our students are dealing with unexpected hardships because of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Patrick Day. “We want our students to continue on their educational journey and get their degrees. This emergency federal funding will help them do that.”

Eligible students can apply for an emergency aid grant through SJSU Cares and the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office and. The amount of individual grants will be determined by the number and scope of the requests that are received. All grant money will be distributed by the end of the spring semester.

Although the CARES Act requires recipients to meet certain qualifications related to enrollment, citizenship, residency and how they are impacted by COVID-19, SJSU Cares distributes funds from a variety of other sources.  Any student in need of emergency funding is encouraged to contact SJSU Cares.

San Jose State will use the remaining funds to enhance distance learning programs and other critical needs to meet the university’s core mission.

The CARES Act, passed by Congress on March 27, 2020, is a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill, the largest emergency aid package in U.S. history.

SJSU Takes on Pandemics 100 Years Apart

The Spanish flu swept across the campus of the San Jose Normal School, now known as San Jose State University, in October 1918. Then, like now, the school took steps to protect the campus community. Students, faculty, and staff volunteered their time and resources to help the campus and the San Jose region weather the pandemic.

According to the June 1919 LaTorre yearbook, the school closed on October 11, reopened a month later, then closed again December 3 for another month. Students were charged with making their own reusable cloth masks and were required to wear them when classes resumed.

The Normal Hospital

San Jose Normal School Students in 1918

Students at the San Jose Normal School wore masks during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Source: 1918 La Torre yearbook, courtesy of SJSU Special Collections and Archives.

Hospitals in San Jose were so overcrowded at the time that the Intermediate Building on campus was converted into The Normal Hospital and a house on 12th Street was rented and made into a convalescent ward. Some 75 volunteer nurses worked at both makeshift hospitals. The Household Arts Department made meals for the patients. Students and faculty volunteered to care for patients; they donated cots, bedding, clothing, food, and flowers.

“One remarkable feature of the Normal School’s response was how its student body, mainly women, volunteered to serve as untrained nurses, literally putting their lives on the line to serve their community,” said History Professor and Director of the Burdick Military History Project Jonathan Roth.

According to the yearbook, the response and outpouring from the campus and the local community were wonderful. Here’s an excerpt: “And we are proud to know that in a time of great testing, our faculty and students proved themselves loyal and true in the highest sense.”

One hundred and two years later, the San Jose State community is once again being tested by another pandemic— Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Once again, the SJSU community is stepping up, rallying resources to fight the disease.

Similar to the 1918 flu outbreak, campus leaders have taken measures to protect students, faculty and staff. In an effort to promote social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus, SJSU administrators moved classes online.

Two SJSU alumni, working on the cutting edge of biotechnology, have helped their company, Cepheid, develop the first rapid COVID-19 test that can be administered at hospitals and urgent care centers and deliver test results within 45 minutes.

As local hospitals and emergency rooms run out of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies, SJSU’s College of Science stepped in to help.

Boxes of gloves and masks going to Valley Medical Foundation.

Boxes of gloves and masks going to Valley Medical Foundation. Photo: Dean Michael Kaufman

“A group of biology and College of Science staff and faculty contacted me about our stock of gloves and masks, which normally would have been used in spring 2020 biology labs that are no longer meeting,” said College of Science Dean Michael Kaufman. “We quickly inventoried the materials and contacted Valley Medical Foundation. In the end we were able to contribute 56 cases of gloves, plus a smaller supply of N95 and surgical masks. We know that many SJSU graduates are part of the healthcare teams there, so it was especially meaningful to be able to contribute this personal protective equipment to Valley Medical.”

  • The university also donated hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl to a local company to make hand sanitizer, said SJSU Vice President of Administration of Finance Charlie Faas.
  • Faculty in the industrial design department are using 3-D printers to make test kit swabs and badly needed ventilator parts for front line medical staff.
3D printer

SJSU Industrial Design faculty members are using 3-D printers to make ventilator parts, test swab kits and face shield parts. Photo: Jesus Hernandez.

Although the times and the resources are different, students, faculty and staff at the Normal School, and now San Jose State, are uniting, supporting each other, proving themselves loyal and true to help overcome the global pandemics of 1918 and 2020.

SJSU Alumni Develop Test for Rapid COVID-19 Results

Two San Jose State University alumni are part of the team that developed the first rapid COVID-19 test that delivers results in 45 minutes.

David Persing

David Persing, ’79 Biochemistry, is one of two SJSU alumni working at Cepheid to develop a COVID-19 diagnostic test. Photo: David Schmitz.

Dr. David Persing,‘79, Biochemistry, and Rich Nolasco, ‘08, Mechanical Engineering, work for Sunnyvale-based Cepheid. The molecular diagnostic testing company announced on March 21 that it has received emergency authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its SAR-CoV-2 Xpert Xpress test. It is the first rapid COVID-19 test that can be administered at point-of-contact locations, such as hospitals, emergency rooms and urgent care centers, and delivers rapid results.

Persing is the executive vice president, chief medical and technology officer for Cepheid. He explains in this video how the COVID-19 rapid test works and why it’s so important.

Persing graduated from SJSU with a degree in biochemistry and then earned an MD-PhD in genetics. He founded the Mayo Clinic’s Molecular Microbiology Laboratory. Eventually, he left academia to focus on cancer and infectious diseases in the biotech industry. In an interview with Washington Square Magazine in 2019, Persing said “It was gratifying to treat one patient at a time, but I ultimately decided I needed to amplify the impact of my research and touch the lives of many people simultaneously.”

Richard Nolasco

Richard Nolasco, ’08 Mechanical Engineering, is a member of a team at Cepheid working on a COVID-19 diagnostic test. Photo: Courtesy of Rich Nolasco.

SJSU alumnus Rich Nolasco graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and works as a failure investigation engineer at Cepheid.

“When I joined the Cepheid team in late 2015, I knew that the company and my work directly affected lives around the world in a positive way,” said Nolasco. “When I found out that Cepheid was coming up with a test to detect the virus, I knew it would make a huge and positive impact.”

Cepheid expects to begin rolling out the COVID-19 rapid test at the end of March.

History Professor Ruma Chopra Named 2020-21 ACE Fellow

The American Council on Education (ACE) has named San Jose State History Professor Ruma Chopra an ACE Fellow for the 2020-21 academic year. She is one of 38 fellows selected for this prestigious program, which prepares faculty, staff, and administrators for senior positions in college and university leadership.

Ruma Chopra has been named an 2020-2021 ACE Fellow. Photo: Josie Lepe.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” said Ruma Chopra. “I am excited to work with and learn from innovative leaders in higher education.”

Chopra joined San Jose State in 2008. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses related to immigration, urbanization, racialization, poverty, and violence. She has published three books related to colonialism and slavery; her fourth book project examines the global consequences of pre-Darwinian climatic theories.

Her research has taken her to archives in the United States as well as in Sierra Leone, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Britain. Last year, she received fellowships from the Rachel Carson Center (Munich), the Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington DC) and the John Carter Brown Library (Providence).

“As a scholar, Professor Chopra continues to have a passion for learning, as she thinks of multiple ways to contribute to the mission of our institution,” said SJSU Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Vincent Del Casino, Jr. “The ACE Fellowship provides her with a unique learning space to think about how to extend her intellect to higher education administration. I am excited to see what she brings back to SJSU.”

Chopra holds a doctoral degree from the University of California, Davis, and a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

The ACE Fellows program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses and other higher education-related organizations, and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year.

At the conclusion of the fellowship year, fellows return to their home institution with new knowledge and skills that contribute to capacity-building efforts, along with a network of peers across the country and abroad.

Connie L. Lurie College of Education Impresses in Best Graduate School Rankings

San Jose State’s Connie L. Lurie College of Education had an impressive showing in the 2021 U.S. News and World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings.

Lurie College Rankings

The Lurie College of Education ranked well in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

The rankings, released on March 17, show the Lurie College placed in these four categories:

  • Tied for #2 among CSU schools of education
  • In the top 5 for schools of education in the Bay Area
  • Tied for #16 among schools of education in California
  • Debuted at #158 for best education schools in the country

“All of us in the Lurie College of Education are proud that we have been recognized for our efforts to prepare transformative educators, counselors, therapists, school and community leaders,” said Lurie College Dean Heather Lattimer. “We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community partners to expand our college’s opportunities and impact in the region!”

The magazine bases its ranking of best graduate schools of education on two types of data: reputational surveys of deans and other academic officials and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. They also assess both the preparedness of a school’s incoming students and the career or academic outcomes of a school’s graduates.
 

SJSU Chief Diversity Officer Kathleen Wong(Lau) Honored by YWCA Silicon Valley

SJSU Chief Diversity Officer Kathleen Wong(Lau).

SJSU Chief Diversity Officer Kathleen Wong(Lau) was selected as an honoree for the 2020 Tribute to Women Awards by YWCA Silicon Valley.

San Jose State Chief Diversity Officer Kathleen Wong(Lau) has been selected as an honoree for the 2020 YWCA Silicon Valley Tribute to Women Award. She is among 53 outstanding women leaders who will be honored by YWCA Silicon Valley at its annual Tribute to Women Awards. Now in its 36th year, the YWCA Awards honor women who have excelled in their fields and have made significant contributions to Silicon Valley through their leadership.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by an organization whose work and history has focused on gender equity, not only through celebration but also through its hard work on the ground,” said Wong(Lau).

Wong(Lau) joined SJSU in 2016 and leads the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. With a clear vision and strong direction, she has worked to ensure SJSU has a safe and welcoming climate for all 36,000 students and 4,500 faculty and staff in the Spartan community.

She’s made significant advances in diversity, inclusion, and equity on campus by designing and implementing university-based diversity programs. The Intergroup Dialogue program is an eight-week session where small groups of people from different social identity groups meet to discuss various scenarios. The purpose of the program is to foster greater understanding and better relations between different groups on campus. Wong(Lau) launched faculty training on inclusive teaching, and designed and led mandatory diversity training for incoming freshmen. She also provides counsel and instruction on diversifying faculty through reducing bias in recruitment and serves as an advisor and liaison to community partners and constituents on a wide variety of diversity initiatives.

“Kathy has been instrumental in making San Jose State a much stronger institution, and her influence has changed the culture of our campus for the better,” said SJSU President Mary A. Papazian. “Her vast knowledge of diversity issues, coupled with an empathetic and people-centric approach, has made her an indispensable member of my leadership team.”

Kathy Wong(Lau)

Wong(Lau) spoke at the fall welcome for the Chicanx-Latinx fall student welcome in 2017. Photo by David Schmitz.

Over the course of her career, Wong(Lau) has become known as a nationally recognized leader in diversity and inclusion initiatives. She joined SJSU from the University of Oklahoma, where she served as director of the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE). At the University of Oklahoma and Michigan State University, Wong(Lau) trained faculty on inclusive teaching in STEM and administrators on diversity management. On the national landscape, she consults with other academic institutions on ways faculty and staff can support underrepresented and first-generation students.

Wong(Lau) holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from CSU East Bay and completed a dual master’s/doctorate program in communication with an intercultural concentration at Arizona State University. In 2015, Diverse Issues in Higher Education named her one of “Top 25 Women in Higher Education.”

YWCA Silicon Valley plans to honor Wong(Lau) at an upcoming Tribute to Women Awards dinner, date still to be determined. The awards are an effort to encourage women’s leadership and promote equal advancement opportunities for women of diverse backgrounds.

San Jose State University, Mayor Liccardo and Bill Wilson Center Launch Partnership with Airbnb to Address Student Homelessness

Editor’s Note:  This news release was sent to the media on November 13, 2019


Media Contacts

Robin McElhatton, San Jose State University, (408) 799-3373 or robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu
Chloe Meyere, Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, (408) 535-4833 or chloe.meyere@sanjsoeca.gov
Mattie Zazueta, Airbnb, (323) 448-6974 or mattie.zazueta@airbnb.com
Robin Reynolds, Bill Wilson Center, (408) 850-6156 or rreynolds@billwilsoncenter.org

San Jose State University, Mayor Liccardo and Bill Wilson Center Launch Partnership with Airbnb to Address Student Homelessness

First-of-its-kind pilot program will provide short-term housing solutions for homeless and housing-insecure college students in San Jose ahead of the holiday season

San Jose, Calif. — Today, San Jose State University, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Bill Wilson Center joined Airbnb to announce a first-of-its-kind partnership-in-the-country to provide a community-based solution that will offer free, temporary housing to college students experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. San Jose is the first city in the country to pilot Airbnb for Work’s third-party booking tool — where an administrator can book and manage stays on behalf of others — to address student homelessness. 

The partnership was borne out of initial conversations with Mayor Liccardo, Airbnb, Bill Wilson Center, and San Jose State University over the summer, and will pay additional focus to ensure students have housing over the holiday season.

“College students should worry about final exams, not about where they’ll sleep each night,” said Mayor Liccardo. “We are proud to forge this partnership with Airbnb, Bill Wilson Center, and San Jose State to do better for our next generation of leaders.” 

Leveraging Airbnb for Work’s third-party booking tool, Bill Wilson Center will book temporary accommodations on behalf of participating students. Airbnb will refund its host and guest booking fees to Bill Wilson Center for the pilot program. 

“We need to work together in Silicon Valley to assure vulnerable college students have a place to stay when they face homelessness,” said Sparky Harlan, Bill Wilson Center CEO. “Thanks to Airbnb, Bill Wilson Center will have access to rooms in hosted homes where we can temporarily place a student while we work to find them longer-term, stable housing.”

Students’ short-term stays will range between a few days to a few weeks and up to several months — as determined by individual need — while Bill Wilson Center works to identify a long-term, stable housing solution for participating students. The center will use existing federal, state, and local funding sources to cover the short-term rents.

“Across the country, too many students are going to bed every night without a roof over their heads,” said Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Communications. “We are honored that Mayor Liccardo is leading this work and grateful for the opportunity to bring public, private and nonprofit resources together to support local students in need. We look forward to working with the Bill Wilson Center in the coming months to leverage our host community and place students in a safe place they can call home.”

Mayor Liccardo hopes partners can leverage and grow this partnership to help homeless and housing insecure students at other higher education institutions in San Jose, and the region. 

“San Jose State, particularly students who may need support during the upcoming winter recess when the campus is closed, will find the funds earmarked for this initiative to be a welcome and timely gift as we approach the holiday season,” said Patrick Day, San Jose State University Vice President of Student Affairs. “We know that a comforting and supportive environment for our students—including housing—is an important building block for meeting their basic needs. Partnerships like this are a must when tackling such an urgent and critical issue, so this collaborative effort is a step in the right direction.”

The pilot program follows City of San Jose’s declaration of November as National Homeless Youth Awareness Month and will launch ahead of the holidays when on-campus housing and services become less accessible. It also aligns with Bill Wilson Center’s recently-announced 100-Day Challenge to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness, launched in partnership with Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. 


About San Jose State University 

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations — offered through its eight colleges. With approximately 36,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José 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.

About the City of San Jose

With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California’s largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City’s anticipated growth through the year 2040.

About Airbnb

Airbnb is one of the world’s largest marketplaces for unique, authentic places to stay and things to do, offering over 7 million accommodations and 40,000 handcrafted activities, all powered by local hosts. An economic empowerment engine, Airbnb has helped millions of hospitality entrepreneurs monetize their spaces and their passions while keeping the financial benefits of tourism in their own communities. With more than half a billion guest arrivals to date, and accessible in 62 languages across 191 countries and regions, Airbnb promotes people-to-people connection, community, and trust around the world. Airbnb For Work provides a suite of tools for travelers and travel managers to make it easier to travel for work without sacrificing the comforts of home. 

About Bill Wilson Center

The Bill Wilson Center is a non-profit that provides housing, education and counseling services to more than 4,100 children, young adults, and families in Santa Clara County. The organization is committed to working with the community to ensure that every youth has access to the range of services needed to grow to be healthy and self-sufficient adults. Bill Wilson Center has been providing services to runaway and homeless youth since 1973.

 

Public, Private Partners Vow to House 100 Homeless College Students in 100 Days

Editor’s Note:  This news release was sent to the media on November 4, 2019


CONTACT:

Mayra Flores, Communications Director
408-963-1373 c | Mayra.flores@bos.sccgov.org

Robin Reynolds, Communications Manager
408-313-3269 c | rreynolds@bwcmail.org

Public, Private Partners Vow to House 100 Homeless College Students in 100 Days

San Jose, Calif. –Santa Clara County stakeholders join the national call to action as leaders from Bill Wilson Center, San Jose State University, West Valley-Mission Community College District, and County of Santa Clara Supervisor Susan Ellenberg come together to tackle college student homelessness through the 100-Day Challenge.

“The 100-Day Challenge focuses our community to step up and house the increasing number of homeless college students in Silicon Valley,” said Sparky Harland, Bill Wilson Center CEO.

The goal of this effort is to house 100 college students experiencing homelessness in 100 days by working with a multitude of stakeholders and service providers to connect students with available resources.

Along with Bill Wilson Center, the County of Santa Clara’s District 4, West Valley-Mission Community College District, San Jose State University, County Office of Supportive Housing, Community Solutions, and Foothill College will also be collaborating to house these college students.

“No student should live in a car, on someone’s couch, or under an overpass, especially when they’re working toward their dreams and careers,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. “I am proud to see all these stakeholders step up and come together to put these students first and find them stable housing.”

“Homelessness is a regional challenge shared by the entire Bay Area, one that cries out for meaningful solutions,” said Mary A. Papazian, President of San Jose State University. “Long-term answers can only emerge through joint efforts between government, civic organization and the broader community, and the 100 Day Challenge checks all the right boxes. At SJSU, addressing student housing is a critical part of meeting our students’ overall basic needs, so we are pleased to be part of this important initiative.”

Along with the kick-off of the 100-Day Challenge, the County is proclaiming the month of November as “National Homeless Youth Awareness Month” in the County of Santa Clara and Bill Wilson Center is unveiling a new report focused on homeless youth in Santa Clara County.

According to the 2019 Homeless Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, 22% of the homeless respondents (ages 18-25) are currently enrolled in college. Of those currently experiencing homelessness, 14% of respondents noted they are living outside and 10% are living in their car.

“For a growing number of students in Santa Clara County, housing insecurity presents the largest obstacle to higher education,” said Brad Davis, West Valley-Mission Community College District Chancellor. “Our county is blessed with outstanding educators across the entire continuum of public and private education, but as rents climb to an all-time high our students are increasingly priced out of higher education, not by tuition and fees, but because they must choose between a roof over their head today or career tomorrow.”


About Santa Clara County

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, the sixth-largest county in California. With more than 70 agencies/departments and nearly 22,000 employees, the County of Santa Clara plans for the needs of a dynamic community, offers quality services, and promotes a healthy, safe and prosperous community for all. The County provides essential services including public health and environmental protection, medical services through Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) hospitals and clinics, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, parks, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and scores of other services, particularly for those members of our community in the greatest need. Visit us at: http://www​.sccgov.org

About Bill Wilson Center

Bill Wilson Center is a nationally and regionally recognized leader for providing services to at-risk, homeless youth and families. More than 4,100 children, youth, young adults and families in Santa Clara County are directly serviced with another 30,000 clients assisted by BWC’s street outreach and crisis line programs. BWC provides services that meet the cultural and linguistic needs of our whole community. We value our unique ethnic diversity as well as the LGBTQ community and non-able community.  BWC is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).

 

San Jose State University Joins Amicus Brief in Support of DACA

Media Contacts:
Christine Hutchins, 408-924-1141, 650-644-9329, christine.hutchins@sjsu.edu
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, 408-799-3373, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

San Jose State University joined over 164 colleges and universities from across the country in signing an amicus brief supporting the approximately 700,000 young immigrants who came to the United States as children and who hold Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This “friend of the court” brief in the case before the Supreme Court can be viewed and downloaded at this link: bit.ly/DACAAmicus.

Two years ago, on September 5, 2017, the administration rescinded DACA, an initiative that provides work permits and protection from deportation for undocumented students, often known as “Dreamers.” Oral arguments on this rescission will be held at the Supreme Court on November 12. The court could hand down a ruling as soon as February 2020, determining if Dreamers will lose the ability to live, study and work in the United States.

SJSU joined this “friend of the court” brief because the university believes that it is important to publicly show its unwavering support for DACA and immigrant students. 

“San Jose State is proud to be one of the most diverse campus communities in the nation, and it is a distinction that sets us apart from other public universities,” said SJSU President Mary A. Papazian. “We will continue to invest in the success of all of our students. The continued existence of DACA is essential, and this support affirms our values of inclusion, equity, respect and diversity of all cultures and people.”

SJSU encourages all eligible students and employees who have less than one year left of their DACA to submit their renewal application immediately. SJSU and CSU have many support services for DACA recipients, undocumented students and alumni in the campus community.

Support Services:

Diversity and inclusion are core values of San Jose State University and the California State University system. SJSU will continue to support DACA students and employees. The university will make every effort to provide a safe and welcoming campus environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the campus community.

 

Campus Message on Information Regarding Possible PG&E Power Shutoff Oct. 29–30

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on October 28, 2019 at 12:02 p.m. from President Mary A. Papazian. We will post updates on this web page as new information becomes available.

Dear Campus Community,

Today, the SJSU campus is open.

Last Thursday, October 24, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) announced a Public Safety Power Shutoff event (PSPS) due to weather conditions including gusty winds and dry conditions that created a heightened fire risk which impacted a number of counties and residents living in their respective cities. Due to the next anticipated extreme wind event from Tuesday, October 29 through Wednesday, October 30, PG&E may be issuing another PSPS. You can check PG&E’s potential PSPS outage maps in advance to see if the power will be shut off at your home or a family member’s home. 

For faculty and staff, if you live in an area impacted by last week’s power outage, contact your supervisor if you are not able to make it to work. If you need to take time off during this impacted period, your time away will not be charged against your personal, vacation, or sick leave time. 

For faculty, who might have students affected, please provide them with flexible alternatives to continue to move forward in the class even if they can’t be in attendance. 

For students who live in an impacted area, please contact your professors right away so that they understand your situation.

San Jose State University is closely monitoring weather alerts and advisories from PG&E and will notify you if our campus will be affected. Please continue to check the following SJSU channels for updates: 

In the case of an emergency, Alert SJSU is utilized for timely, campus alert notifications. Faculty and staff must enroll through their My SJSU account. We strongly urge you to review your contact information by logging onto your “My SJSU” account and clicking on the Alert SJSU tab. Students are automatically enrolled. If you are not receiving Alert SJSU, please check with your cell phone provider. For more information: Alert SJSU

Lastly, as a reminder, here are things you can do to prepare for an outage and during an outage: PG&E Preparation Steps

Additional resources:

###

SJSU and IBM Announce New Collaboration—First of its Kind on the West Coast

Preparing Students for high tech jobs of the future

Photo by Francisco Mendoza, ’21 Photography/San Jose State University

On October 18, 2019, San Jose State University and IBM announced a strategic collaboration designed to provide today’s students with advanced skills needed for high tech jobs of the future.

The use of emerging technologies such as the Internet of things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), data science, security, and blockchain are growing. AI is expected to contribute $15.7T to the global economy by 2030* as the U.S. skills gap widens. Over 11.5 million workers in the United States alone may need to be retrained or reskilled as a result of AI and intelligent automation alone in the next three years.**

“It makes perfect sense for Silicon Valley’s public university to collaborate with IBM, a giant in the tech world,” said San Jose State University President Mary A. Papazian. “Growing our research and scholarship is a priority of ours and ties directly to our student success goals. This collaboration will help San Jose State students gain the skills they need to compete in tomorrow’s workforce, and it will solidify SJSU as the top provider of talent to Silicon Valley companies.”    

The strategic skills-based collaboration, the first of its kind on the west coast, will feature three key components on campus: IBM Academic Initiative, SJSU Technology Office, and IBM Skills Academy.  

  • IBM Academic Initiative. IBM will provide a unique, customized portal for SJSU students, staff, and faculty to access IBM Academic Initiatives resources for teaching and research purposes. The Academic Initiative also provides faculty and researchers with IBM’s cloud technology and software in fast-growing fields such as AI, blockchain, cybersecurity, data science, high-performance computing, and quantum computing. 
  • SJSU Technology Office. IBM will help SJSU establish a technology office to support faculty research, student growth, and campus-wide innovation through regular workshops and training. A cybersecurity training center will also be developed and located on the SJSU campus in the future.
  • IBM Skills Academy. This Skills Academy will offer practical curriculum, learning tools, and labs created by IBM subject experts. Courses will cover a variety of advanced skills, and SJSU’s Information Technology department will evaluate pilot programs in data science, AI, data engineering and cybersecurity. IBM’s new AI tools and related education initiatives are drawn from methods and technologies IBM developed in-house to drive its own workforce transformation. The IBM Skills Academy transforms how cultures and people will operate with digital technology including ethics and human bias in coding.

“Skills are the most important issue of our time and we need to fully equip students with the right skills to participate in the digital economy,” said Naguib Attia, vice president, IBM Global University Programs. “Through this new collaboration, we will work closely with San Jose State University to ensure curricula aligns with industry needs and trends so both students and faculty can earn digital badges and develop the skills they need today, for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The collaboration between San Jose State University and IBM takes effect immediately.

**PwC’s Global Artificial Intelligence Study: Exploiting the AI Revolution

**IBM Institute of Business Value, “The Enterprise Guide to Closing the Skills Gap”, September 2019.

###

                                                                                                                                                   

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

Update: Campus Food Eateries Gradually Re-opening – October 10, 2019

Campus Message on food eateries at Diaz Compean Student Union on Oct. 10


Editor’s note: The following update was posted on October 10, 2019, at 1:15 p.m.

As Facilities, Development and Operations (FDO) has been able to quickly address unexpected facilities maintenance at the Diaz Compean Student Union today, hot food items are gradually re-opening at this time in the following sequence

  • Panda Express
  • Steak ‘n Shake
  • Taco Bell
  • Japanese Kitchen 

Alternative Options Remain the Same: The following eateries also continue to be open at this time:

  • The Commons dining hall (between Washburn and Joe West Hall)
    • For today, there is a special promotion of an “All You Care To Eat” buffet for $7 per person. 
  • Paseo Fresh (Student Union)
  • Student Union Market (Student Union)
  • Starbucks (Student Union)
  • Subway (Student Union)
  • Tea Degree (Student Union)
  • Jamba Juice (Student Union)
  • Fresh on Fourth (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library)
  • Village Market (Campus Village Building B)
    • Options include pizza, chicken strips, and a variety of grab-n-go items. 
  • Ginger Market  (MacQuarrie Hall)
    • Options include sushi and banh mi sandwiches

We will continue to provide updates when additional information is available.


Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on October 10, 2019  at 12:02 p.m. from Charlie Faas, vice president of administration and finance. 

Dear Campus Community,

Due to unexpected facilities maintenance at the Diaz Compean Student Union today, hot food items cannot be offered. The following eateries will be closed until further notice

  • Panda Express
  • Steak ‘n Shake
  • Taco Bell
  • Japanese Kitchen 

Alternative Options: The following eateries will remain open at this time:

  • The Commons Dining Hall (between Washburn and Joe West Hall)
    • For today, there is a special promotion of an “All You Care To Eat” buffet for $7 per person
  • Paseo Fresh (Student Union)
  • Student Union Market (Student Union)
  • Starbucks (Student Union)
  • Subway (Student Union)
  • Tea Degree (Student Union)
  • Jamba Juice (Student Union)
  • Fresh on Fourth (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library)
  • Village Market (Campus Village Building B)
    • Options include pizza, chicken strips and a variety of grab-n-go items
  • Ginger Market  (MacQuarrie Hall)
    • Options include sushi and banh mi sandwiches

We will provide updates when additional information is available.