Updates on Air Quality and Campus Impact: Fall 2020

September 15, 2020 5:37 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on September 15, 2020.

SJSU campus community,

As we continue to closely monitor the air quality levels around San José State University, we have noticed an improvement in the past 24 hours. Based on current conditions and predicted air quality levels for Wednesday (September 16), the SJSU campus will REOPEN tomorrow. 

In-person classes and services will resume as well. Although we are hopeful for favorable air quality levels tomorrow, please note that we may need to close the physical campus if the air quality changes. If this becomes the case, an update will be communicated by email, the SJSU Newsroom site and SJSU’s Twitter

The continued toll of COVID-19 and the poor air quality caused by wildfires across the state can lead to mental and emotional stress. Please remember SJSU is here to help. Students can access counseling through Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) and employees can utilize the confidential Employee Assistance Program. The SJSU Cares Program is also available to address any unforeseen financial crises, including housing or food needs.

Sincerely,

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs


September 14, 2020 6:23 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on September 14, 2020.

SJSU campus community,

After reviewing monitoring station observations throughout the day and the air quality forecast from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the San José State University campus will remain CLOSED Tuesday, September 15. Online classes and services will continue as scheduled. In-person classes are canceled.

Due to the campus closure, all buildings will be closed with the exception of:

  • Residence halls and University Housing Services
  • Dining Commons and Village Market
  • Student Health Center (8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Spartan Food Pantry (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

The Moss Landing Marine Laboratories will remain closed. 

Only those whose presence is deemed essential by your supervisor should be on campus on Tuesday.

We will update the campus community by email, Twitter and on the SJSU Newsroom site late Tuesday afternoon as we continue to assess the air quality in the area. 

We must continue to practice patience, flexibility and kindness as our fall semester has been interrupted again. Continue to keep all first responders and those directly affected by the fires in your thoughts.

Sincerely,

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs


September 13, 2020 6:28 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on September 13, 2020.

SJSU campus community,

With unhealthy air quality levels expected to continue around the campus, the San José State University campus will remain CLOSED Monday, September 14. Online classes and services will continue as scheduled. 

Due to the campus closure, all buildings will be closed with the exception of:

  • Residence halls and University Housing Services
  • Dining Commons
  • Student Health Center (8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Spartan Food Pantry (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

The Moss Landing Marine Laboratories will also remain closed. 

Only those whose presence is deemed essential by your supervisor should be on campus on Monday.

Current projections indicate that it may be safe to reopen campus on Tuesday. We will update the campus community by email, Twitter and on the SJSU Newsroom site late Monday afternoon as we continue to assess the air quality in the area. 

Please continue to keep the firefighters, first responders and our fellow Spartans who may be affected by these fires in your thoughts.

Sincerely,

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs


September 11, 2020 9:56 a.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on September 11, 2020.

SJSU campus community,

Due to a recent spike of unhealthy air quality levels on and around the campus caused by wildfires north of San José, effective immediately, the San José State University campus is CLOSED. Online classes and services will continue as scheduled. 

As a result of the campus closure, all buildings will be closed with the exception of:

  • Residence halls and University Housing Services
  • Dining Commons

Note that the Student Health Center is closed, but access to Student Health Center services and personnel is available Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. by calling 408-924-6122. For assistance after hours, visit the Student Health Center website

The Moss Landing Marine Laboratories are also closed. 

If you are working on campus and your presence is not deemed essential by your supervisor, you are asked to leave the campus as soon as possible. 

The campus will remain closed through the weekend as we continue to assess the air quality. When it is safe to reopen the campus, we will notify the campus community by email, Twitter and on the SJSU Newsroom site

Sincerely,

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs


August 26, 2020 6:22 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on August 26, 2020.

SJSU campus community,

Air quality levels appear to have stabilized at a level where campus can reopen as previously outlined in the SJSU Adapt plan, including in-person classes, which can continue as scheduled. 

A reminder for students, faculty and staff: We understand that you may be directly impacted by the fires. I encourage you to reach out to your professor, students or supervisor if you are unable to attend class or conduct your work duties. We must continue to practice patience, kindness and flexibility as campus community members care for their safety, health and well-being.

Student Specialized Instructional Support Center

SJSU has converted Ballroom A/B in the Diaz Compean Student Union into a Student Specialized Instructional Support Center. The area will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students may enter the Student Union using their Tower ID cards at the West Entrance (7th Street Paseo) and must complete the self-check requirements. 

FEMA Assistance

For those affected by the wildfires, FEMA recently activated its Individual Assistance program for residents in Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo counties. Eligible individuals and families have 60 days to apply for direct grants from FEMA for damages that are not covered by insurance. Contact FEMA by visiting their website, downloading the FEMA app and registering on your smartphone or tablet, or by calling 800-621-3362.

At this time, we encourage you to continue to follow the running blog on the SJSU Newsroom site. We will email the campus community again if air quality concerns worsen to the point where we would need to close campus again.

We continue to keep those affected and our firefighters and first responders in our thoughts. 

Sincerely,

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


August 25, 2020 5:08 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on August 25, 2020.

SJSU campus community,

As we continue to closely monitor the air quality levels around San José State University, we have noticed an improvement in the past 24 hours. Based on current conditions and predicted fire and wind conditions for Wednesday (August 26), the SJSU campus will reopen tomorrow. 

In-person classes will resume as well. Although we are hopeful for favorable air quality levels tomorrow, please note that we may need to close the physical campus if the air quality changes. If this becomes the case, an update will be communicated during the day via email and SJSU’s Twitter

For students: Even though we are making in-person courses available, you should check with your faculty member before class, as we know some faculty, staff, and students have been directly impacted by the fires. Thank you for continuing to be patient as our campus community members focus on addressing their personal health, safety, and well-being.

For Faculty and Staff: We know that you may be directly impacted by the fires. If you can’t make it to class or work, please advise your supervisor and, if needed, students as well. Please remember that students may also be directly impacted by the fires. Please make sure that we are being flexible in completing early assignments and course requirements. If students are not present in either an online or in-person class, please give them time to get in contact with you. 

The limited services on campus include:

  • Residence halls and University Housing Services
  • Dining Commons
  • Spartan Food Pantry
  • Spartan Bookstore
  • Diaz Compean Student Union

An update will be provided to the campus community late Wednesday afternoon as we continue to assess the air quality and wildfires in the area. 

The continued toll of COVID-19 and the wildfires can lead to mental and emotional stress. Please remember SJSU is here to help. Students can access counseling through Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) and employees can utilize the confidential Employee Assistance Program. The SJSU Cares Program is also available to address any unforeseen financial crises, including housing or food needs.

Kindness, patience and flexibility continue to be the attributes we need the most during this time. Our Spartan family remains strong, and we will continue to look out for one another.

Sincerely,

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


August 23, 2020 5:24 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on August 23, 2020.

SJSU campus community,

We continue to experience unhealthy levels of air quality around the SJSU campus. Because of this, the physical campus will remain closed on Monday and Tuesday (August 24-25). Online classes and services will continue as scheduled. In-person classes are canceled. Only essential personnel who have been cleared by their supervisor to work on campus will be allowed on campus. Faculty and students who are approved to come to campus for research-related purposes are also allowed on campus. 

Our current decisions are based on data from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and Cal Fire concerning air quality, fire incident information, evacuation orders, and our understanding of where our community members live. SJSU’s leadership team is actively monitoring weather and air quality forecasts, evacuation orders and warnings for these areas. 

We will update the campus community late Tuesday afternoon as we continue to assess the air quality and wildfires in the area. Please continue to monitor the running blog on the SJSU Newsroom site should conditions change rapidly and a decision on the campus’ status for later in the week is made sooner than Tuesday afternoon. 

Consistent with our decisions last week, all buildings will be closed with the exception of:

Note that the Student Health Center is closed, but access to Student Health Center services and personnel is available Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. by calling 408-924-6122. For assistance after hours, visit the Student Health Center website

Please continue to keep the firefighters, first responders and our fellow Spartans who are affected by these fires in your thoughts. It is important that we show patience, kindness and flexibility to one another during this trying time. 

Sincerely,

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


August 22, 2020 6:00 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on August 22, 2020.

SJSU campus community,

We continue to experience unhealthy levels of air quality around the SJSU campus. Because of this, campus will remain closed Sunday, August 23. Only essential personnel who have been cleared by their supervisor to work on campus Sunday will be allowed on campus.

As a result of the campus closure, all buildings will be closed with the exception of:

  • Residence halls and University Housing Services
  • Dining Commons
  • Student Health Center 

An update will be provided to the campus community late Sunday afternoon as we continue to assess the air quality and wildfires in the area ahead of the start of the first full week of the fall semester. Sunday’s update will include the status of in-person classes for Monday, August 24. At this time, all online classes and services should expect to continue as scheduled on Monday.

Please keep the firefighters, first responders and our fellow Spartans who are affected by these fires in your thoughts. It is important that we continue to show patience, kindness and flexibility to one another during this trying time. 

Sincerely,

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


August 21, 2020 3:23 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on August 21, 2020.

SJSU campus community,

Due to a recent spike to unhealthy levels of air quality on and around the campus, effective immediately, San José State University is CLOSED for the remainder of the day and Saturday. Online classes and services can continue as scheduled. 

As a result of the campus closure, all buildings will be closed with the exception of:

  • Residence halls and University Housing Services
  • Dining Commons
  • Student Health Center 

If you are working on campus and your presence is not deemed essential by your supervisor, you are asked to leave the campus as soon as possible. 

An update will be provided to the campus community late tomorrow afternoon in regards to the status of the campus for Sunday as we continue to assess the air quality and wildfires in the area. 

Our thoughts continue to be with our fellow Spartans and others who are affected by these fires. We must continue to be supportive of one another during this time of uncertainty and anxiety.

Sincerely,

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs


August 20, 2020 6:54 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on August 20, 2020.

Dear Spartan Community,

As California and the surrounding Bay Area is grappling with numerous forest fires, San José State University is thinking of your safety and wellness. If you have been impacted by evacuation orders or the effects of fires, staying focused on academics may be challenging amid worries about personal, family, and community needs. Please know that SJSU is ready to help. As we realize that many people are being displaced by the fires that surround our community, we have listed below some immediate resources available to members of our community. 

Support Services Available

For Students: 

  • SJSU Cares Program: To address unforeseen financial crises, including those related to housing or food needs, contact the SJSU Cares Program.
  • Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS): To address social or emotional impacts, contact the CAPS office at 408-924-5910 (after hours assistance available via phone).
  • Please reach out to your faculty should you need help making connections to any of these support services noted. 

For Faculty/Staff:

Status of Campus Operations and Classes

SJSU will re-open the campus tomorrow for limited services. This includes the work of essential personnel as well as faculty and students who are approved to come to campus for research-related purposes. The Air Quality Index around campus has remained at a “moderate” level. Because of this, we will have restricted access to campus, but we are no longer at an emergency status caused by the wildfires and air quality concerns. 

Online classes will continue to operate under the same principles as today, with the continued understanding that we will excuse those who cannot attend because of the fires. In-person classes will not be offered because we will only have limited services available on campus. 

Normal campus activity will resume Saturday, and we hope to start in-person courses on Monday, August 24. An update will be provided to the campus community over the weekend as we continue to assess the air quality and wildfires in the area. 

These are trying times, and the health and well-being of ourselves and our campus community members are always the top priority. Let us continue to show kindness, patience and flexibility to one another as we navigate this unsettling period of time.

Sincerely,

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Patrick K. Day

Vice President for Student Affairs


August 19, 2020 6:24 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on August 19, 2020. 

Editor’s note 2: All buildings will be closed with the exception of University Housing, Dining Commons and the Student Health Center.

Dear SJSU Campus Community,

We have been monitoring the wildfire situation closely and it is predicted that the air quality for tomorrow will remain at an unhealthy level. Therefore, operations on the physical campus will remain closed for Thursday and Friday (August 20-21). This means that no in-person courses or services will take place on campus. And, only essential personnel, as officially notified by their supervisors, will be on the campus. 

As context, we closed campus today because the Air Quality Index was at an “unhealthy” level and large numbers of students, faculty, and staff live in areas affected by the wildfires. These current wildfires, in fact, are much closer to San José State than recent ones. Given this, and knowing that many in our campus community live in evacuation zones, we wanted everyone to have ample opportunity to prepare should they have to relocate at a moment’s notice. We hope that with anticipated shifts in the winds and some level of containment, more students, faculty, and staff can find the time and space to engage in their education and work tomorrow. 

So, given that the majority of our courses and services are already planned for remote delivery, we have decided to hold online classes and resume support services beginning tomorrow morning (August 20). 

There are some caveats. If you are directly impacted by the fires (e.g., you might be evacuated tomorrow or over the weekend) or rolling power outages and:

  • You are Faculty: If you cannot find a way to teach your class tomorrow, you may cancel the class by notifying your department chair and messaging students in your class. Please note, because the physical campus is closed, faculty cannot come to campus to teach remote classes. 
  • You are a Student: If you are unable to make the assigned class time, you must do your best to notify your instructor as soon as possible.
  • You are Staff: If you are unable to perform your responsibilities remotely, please contact your supervisor. Otherwise, you are expected to resume your responsibilities remotely tomorrow morning, holding meetings, answering calls and questions, and managing the day-to-day operations of our offices.

We have to be patient, thoughtful, and supportive when and if classes are not able to meet or office staff are not available. We also have to be cognizant of our students and colleagues and their current situations. We can’t penalize each other for circumstances that are beyond the control of any one individual. Someone recently asked me, “are we going to have a policy if there are fires or rolling blackouts?” My answer, “kindness.” That stands. It’s a simple policy.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep everyone informed about next steps. We hope that those in our community who are directly impacted by the fires remain safe. We are here to support you. 

Sincerely,

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


August 19, 2020 11:41 a.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on August 19, 2020.

SJSU campus community,

Today, August 19, San José State University is CLOSED and cancelling all in person and online classes for the remainder of the day. This decision is based on air quality levels that are expected to rise to unhealthy levels throughout the day and health concerns already heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic for our SJSU community, including for those who are facing evacuations due to fires near their homes. With wildfires raging directly east and west of San José, we are monitoring air quality on and around the San José State University campus. 

As a result of the campus closure, all buildings will be closed with the exception of:

  • Residence halls and University Housing Services
  • Dining Commons
  • Student Health Center 

Other than offices necessary for essential work, all operational- and service-related offices will also be closed today. Meetings, including those that are being held remotely, are canceled because no one should be working other than those officially identified as essential by their supervisors. We recognize that our campus community is dispersed throughout the Bay Area, and we want to ensure that we are not creating a disadvantage for those who are located in areas more impacted by the air quality, wildfires, or power outages. 

Our thoughts are with those who are having to evacuate their homes and the fire crews who are tirelessly working to put out the fires. 

By 6 p.m. today, we will re-evaluate air quality levels and update you on campus closure status through email and SJSU Twitter.

The expected weather conditions in the Bay Area for the rest of the week will likely cause the air quality to remain unhealthy. Precautions we can all consider include:

  • Limiting outdoor activities
  • Setting air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate (to prevent outside air from moving inside)
  • Reducing exposure to smoky air by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed, if possible

A good resource to refer to is the Bay Area Air Quality Management District website. The site offers current information on “Spare the Air” alerts, environmental news, and other advisories. Another good resource is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Now Index

We understand this is not an ideal start to an already unprecedented fall semester. The health and safety of the campus community is always the top priority, especially when it comes to discussions of campus closure. We will continue to post updates at http://go.sjsu.edu/air-quality-2020.

Sincerely,

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

SJSU Remembers Civil Rights Icon, Congressman John Lewis (1940-2020)



Click on the “i” icon in the toolbar to view photo captions.

Photography by D. Michael Cheers

For a 2017 Alternative Spring Break trip to Harlem and Washington, D.C., Associate Professor of Journalism and Photojournalism Coordinator D. Michael Cheers created an unforgettable experience for his students. He arranged a meeting with Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights leader who served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until his death in 2020.

“I started planning the alternative spring break trip in November 2016,” said Cheers. “I wanted to provide a meaningful experience for our African American students. Once the logistics were worked out in early 2017, and the trip was a ‘go,’ I still felt something was missing.”

Cheers had secured complimentary tickets to visit the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., but felt the students needed some context before the museum visit. Cheers knew Lewis through his many years as a photojournalist for Jet and Ebony magazines, so he contacted Lewis’s chief of staff in Washington.

Cheers was persistent, as members of Congress are always busy. A week before departing, he received word that the congressman would see the group, but only for a brief meet and greet. “I gambled that perhaps he would have more time,” said Cheers. “He did!”

Lewis talked to SJSU students in his Capitol Hill office in Washington, D.C. for more than an hour about his work with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement.

“Congressman Lewis mesmerized the students with his civil rights history lesson and a Q&A,” said Cheers. “And he brought tears to my eyes when he agreed to sign the many books the students had purchased and posed for photos.”

In 2018, Cheers and Sociology Lecturer Chris Cox led students and Bay Area community elders on an alternative spring break trip across the civil rights south to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The group visited many civil rights landmarks.

“In my 15 years on the SJSU faculty, I’ve tried my best to share the experiences I had covering the civil rights movement with SJSU students,” said Cheers. “In January 2009, I took a van load of journalism students through the civil rights movement south to the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Of all the landmarks we visited in 2009 and in 2018, walking with our students across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, the site where Lewis was badly beaten on Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965, remains a precious and reflective memory for me and our students.”

SJSU Alumnus and Artist Titus Kaphar’s Work Featured on Time Magazine Cover

A Black mother with her eyes closed and eyebrows furrowed, holds a white cut out of her baby. Her hand below the baby is blue.

Cover of June 15, 2020, issue of Time, featuring Analogous Colors (2020) by Titus Kaphar. Artwork © Titus Kaphar.

For its June 15, 2020, cover on the protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, Time turned to Titus Kaphar, ’01 BFA Art/Pictorial Arts. The cover features Analogous Colors (2020).

To accompany the cover, Kaphar wrote “I Cannot Sell You This Painting,” which also appeared in Time.

A 2018 MacArthur Fellow, Kaphar says art can be used to shift perspectives and sees painting as a language that offers diverse perspectives on history, justice and change.

Read a Spring/Summer 2019 Washington Square alumni profile on Kaphar.

 

FAQ – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

**This page is no longer being updated. Visit the FAQ section on the SJSU Health Advisories website for more information.**

 

Frequently asked questions about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).


New FAQ (March 8, 2020)

Editor’s Note: The FAQ section has been updated as of March 9, 2020 to reflect new content.

Will campus remain open?

Faculty and staff should continue to report to campus for work and carry out their normal responsibilities. For faculty and staff on campus who may have conditions that put them at higher risk for COVID-19, we take this very seriously. Please contact your supervisor and/or the following offices immediately if you need accommodations, sick/medical or other leave, or wish to discuss other options or concerns:

  • Employment Accommodations Resource Center: Cindy Marota: x4-6003
  • University Personnel, Leaves Manager: Josh Etherington: x4-2155
  • University Personnel, Employee Relations: Stacey Elsibai: x4-2142, Julie Paisant: x4-2255, Joanne Wright: x4-2458

Faculty and staff who have fevers or respiratory infections should stay home. We will ensure that sick time is applied so that you will not lose pay or applicable benefits and will work with you if you have exhausted your sick time balance.

What will happen if SJSU closes?

The President will notify the campus by email. The information will also be announced through Twitter and the SJSU Newsroom. In the event we need to close campus, “essential personnel” will still provide on-campus services that relate directly to the health, safety, and welfare of the university, ensure continuity of key operations, and maintain and protect university properties. When appropriate and feasible, these responsibilities may be carried out remotely. Guidance for essential personnel will be distributed this week.

Will classes be moved online?

We have a number of resources already available for faculty to adapt their courses to a “remote teaching” modality, either distributed or online. We encourage faculty to begin to engage this process in case it becomes necessary. In addition to these resources, this week, the division of Academic Affairs will begin providing additional support and training to assist faculty and teaching associates, as applicable, with moving their in-person classes to distributed or fully online modalities. Where fully online means that all course material is delivered through an online format, a distributed class may include aspects, such as synchronous live lectures delivered from one’s office or distributed materials that are returned to the instructor via a variety of modalities. This provides maximum flexibility to each instructor within the confines of this very challenging public health care environment.

If our campus has a reported case of COVID-19, we will activate a plan to move in-person classes to either a distributed or fully-online model. We will notify the campus community when the decision has been made.

What are the guidelines for travel?

Effective immediately, San Jose State University and its auxiliary organizations will suspend all international and non-essential domestic travel from now through the end of the spring semester (May 31, 2020). This includes suspension of travel approved prior to March 8, 2020.

  • If you have upcoming travel that was approved before March 8, 2020, you will be contacted with information on how to request reauthorization.
  • Many conference organizers and airlines are issuing full refunds. In the event that a traveler is unable to obtain a refund, expenses for approved travel incurred prior to March 8, 2020 are eligible for reimbursement.
  • Future travel, including summer and fall 2020, will be determined as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Will upcoming events continue as planned?

We are evaluating meetings, gatherings, and events through the end of spring break. The President’s Leadership Council, in consultation with faculty, staff, and student groups responsible for the events, will make decisions that will best serve our mission and our community’s health, safety, and well-being. More information and guidance will be distributed this week.

How should I handle information about others’ health?

As stated above, certain members of our campus community are charged with providing guidance and assistance concerning individuals who may need accommodation or leave, have returned from international travel, or have possibly come in contact, either through acquaintance/relationship or work in health care, to individuals exposed to COVID-19.

As part of our community responsibility, I ask that you respect the privacy of all members of our community and refrain from sharing information outside appropriate reporting channels about the identity or identifying characteristics (e.g., staff position, undergraduate/graduate status, faculty position, department, unit) of individuals in our community who may have been asked to self-quarantine, seek testing, or may themselves, at some point, be diagnosed with COVID-19.

Exercise caution so as not to contribute to unintended consequences of speculation, unfounded fear, stigmatization, or behavior that may increase the likelihood of individuals not self-reporting their possible risk of exposure to COVID-19.

How do we address the stigma that often emerges with such diseases?

It is very important to remember that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups. So, although people are understandably worried about the spread of COVID-19, we want to avoid fear and anxiety turning to social stigma. Unfortunately, we have already seen some of this reported anecdotally on campus, as some people show concerns about Chinese or other Asian Americans, international students generally, people wearing protective masks, or those who were in quarantine.


Editor’s Note: The FAQ section was last updated March 5, 2020 to reflect new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).



Medical Questions

How is COVID-19 spread?

According to the CDC, as of March 5, there are 148 identified cases of COVID-19 in the United States out of the more than 93,000 worldwide (WHO, March 4 report). This includes confirmed cases, cases under investigation and cases among people expatriated to the U.S. There have been 10 deaths related to COVID-19 in the United States. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

How do I protect myself and others from COVID-19?

Guide on how to stop the spread of germs.

CDC guide on how to stop the spread of germs. Graphic courtesy of CDC.

  • Treat Yourself Well
    • Maintain good sleep habits.
    • Manage stress.
    • Drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
  • Make It Hard for Viruses to Spread
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; or cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Check with your heath-care provider whether obtaining the influenza vaccine is advisable for you.
  • Think of Others
    • If you feel ill, call or email a health provider for advice.
    • Stay home or reduce contact with others until your symptoms subside.

As with all communicable diseases, employees should stay home when sick and practice respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene. See also the CDC guidelines on their website.

As stated on the CDC website, to prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, use only the guidance described on the website to determine risk of COVID-19. Do not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin, and be sure to maintain confidentiality of people with confirmed COVID-19. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features of COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing. Updates are available here.

What do I do if I believe I have been exposed to COVID-19 (but have no symptoms and feel well)?

The CDC strongly recommends that you self-quarantine. Students should contact your faculty instructors to discuss how you can continue to make progress on your coursework. Staff and faculty who may self-quarantine and can fulfill their responsibilities without physically reporting to campus should contact their supervisors to make arrangements to work remotely. For those who may need to self-quarantine but cannot work remotely—sick, vacation and/or personal holidays as well as leave programs may be applied.

What do I do if I believe members of my household or myself have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms consistent with COVID-19?

Stay home if you have any concerns or symptoms of acute respiratory illness. Do not come to work until you are free of fever (100.4°F), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours. Notify your supervisor and stay home if you are sick. As with other communicable diseases such as the flu, supervisors should send home employees who become sick during the day to prevent others from becoming ill. Call your healthcare professional for guidance on whether to be tested and what to do.

Has anyone in the United States gotten infected?

The first COVID-19 case in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. The first confirmed instance of person-to-person infection of this virus in the U.S. was reported on January 30, 2020. See the current U.S. case count of COVID-19.


Monitoring and Managing

Who is in charge of monitoring the ongoing outbreak and managing SJSU’s response?

SJSU is monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and managing the university’s response via the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which includes campus leaders from the Academic Affairs, University Police Department, Student Affairs, Facilities Development and Operations, and other groups. The EOC consults regularly with the President and her staff who will make large-scale policy decisions.


Classes, Work, and Campus Closure

Is there a plan to conduct some classes by teleconference such as Zoom?

With no reported cases on campus, we will continue to operate the campus and its classes as normal. If a case is reported, and there is concern that coming to campus can put our community at risk, we will ask that faculty provide alternative access to course content – this could take place through Zoom (we have a campus-wide site license) or alternative assignments.

Under what circumstances will classes be cancelled or the campus closed? How will I be notified?

The EOC will continue to monitor and assess the situation. They will also manage any operations necessary to respond to or address an outbreak. One case, with no identifiable route of contagion (exposure) may be enough to trigger closure, while one case with a clear epidemiology and low exposure on campus may not trigger a closure.
Ultimately, the President, in consultation with her Cabinet, will determine whether to cancel classes or close campus. This information will be distributed by the following communication channels: Email, Twitter, Facebook, and the SJSU Newsroom.


Potential Outbreak on Campus

What will happen if an SJSU student, faculty, or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19?

The campus community will be notified through email, Twitter, Facebook, and the SJSU Newsroom about potential class cancellation or campus closure.

What will happen if students, faculty, or staff living in the residence halls are diagnosed with COVID-19?

The EOC and University Housing Services will initially coordinate with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department on the most appropriate response that protects the safety of individual students and the larger campus community. University Housing is currently preparing for multiple response scenarios and will communicate with students, families, and the university community in the event of an emergency situation.

Whom should I contact with questions?

  • Students should contact their faculty instructors for questions about specific classes.
  • Employees should contact their healthcare providers. Students may contact the SJSU Student Health Center at (408) 924-6122 with questions about symptoms.
  • Faculty should contact their department chairs with questions about their classes.
  • Staff should contact their supervisors with questions about working remotely in the case of self quarantine.
  • Faculty and staff should contact University Personnel (408) 924-2250 with questions about sick time and leave programs.

 

2020 State of the University Address

Media contacts:
Ken Mashinchi, Senior Director of Media Relations, 408-924-1167, ken.mashinchi@sjsu.edu
Robin McElhatton, Media Relations Specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

 
San Jose State will live stream President Mary Papazian’s second annual State of the University address from 2–3 p.m. Monday, March 9, 2020.

Updates and Advisories: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

**This page is no longer being updated. Visit the Current Update section on the SJSU Health Advisories website for more information.**

 

The latest Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) information.


March 9, 2020 6:15 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the SJSU campus community on March 9, 2020.

Dear campus community,

Sadly, a resident of Santa Clara County died earlier today from the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed 37 cases at the time of this email. This number will escalate as more people report and are tested.

After consulting with California State University System Chancellor Tim White and a variety of other leaders representing our unions, the Academic Senate, and the student body, I have made decisions regarding in-person classes. The campus, however, remains open for normal business. This decision is meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community, reduce the potential of people being infected, and protect those who are most vulnerable to severe illness.

For these reasons, please note the following: 

  • All in-person classes are suspended from March 10-13. This time is to be used for faculty and staff to prepare for the transition from in-person instruction to “distributed” or “fully online” instruction. See below.
  • Current online classes will continue to be held. 
  • In-person classes will move to either distributed or fully online instruction from March 16-27 when a determination will be made and communicated regarding in-person classes. 

From March 10-13, Academic Affairs will provide support and training to assist faculty and teaching associates, as applicable, with moving their in-person classes to distributed or fully online modalities. Whereas fully online means that all course material is delivered through an online format, a distributed class may include aspects, such as synchronous live lectures delivered from one’s office or distributed materials that are returned to the instructor via a variety of modalities. This provides maximum flexibility to each instructor within the confines of this very challenging public health care environment. 

To reiterate, these classes will resume as distributed or fully online instruction from March 16-27. Faculty must obtain permission to continue teaching in an in-person format (e.g., in smaller lab courses, field schools, art studios, etc.). In each case of approval, the dean may ask for clarification about how the course design can be modified to reduce transmission risk (e.g., lab classes broken up into different rooms, or art studio design time spread out). We know that this work is not easy and appreciate everyone’s best effort to meet the needs of our students while also keeping our community safe. 

In the coming weeks, we will make a decision about whether to resume in-person classes after spring break. We will notify the campus community when the decision has been made.

Please refer to the campus message sent out Sunday evening for information on operations other than course instruction.

We understand this is a time of great uncertainty, and we appreciate the contributions and patience of the Spartan community as we continue to work through the changing landscape caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have any questions, please email healthadvisories@sjsu.edu

 

Sincerely,

Mary A. Papazian

President


March 9, 2020 3:12 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 9, 2020.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed the first death from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county. The full press release can be found online.


March 8, 2020 10:00 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the SJSU campus community on March 8, 2020.

Dear campus community,

To date, SJSU does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 identified in our own community. Campus leadership has been in consultation with the California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy White, other senior leaders in the CSU Office, as well as public health officials. As a public university, we must continue to follow the guidelines of the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health and the guidelines of the California Department of Public Health. These guidelines suggest that the decision to cancel classes or close campus should be done in consultation with local health officials and only after determining confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the institution.

Based on consultation with these agencies and the Chancellor’s Office leadership as well as the fact that there are no known cases of COVID-19 in our SJSU community, we will continue to operate our classes (see New FAQ below for more detail). This is consistent with the guidelines published this weekend by the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is important to remember that universities that have moved to online classes, such as Stanford University and the University of Washington, have confirmed cases amongst their faculty, staff, or students. I have heard from many of you about the concerns you have, which often are about your loved ones rather than yourselves. I share your desire to care for those around you and those in our community who are most vulnerable and will work with the leadership mentioned above to preserve our community’s health and well-being. 

Clearly, this disease progression is dynamic and ever changing. As many of you know, the Santa Clara County of Public Health has confirmed 37 cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county at the time of this email. So please be attentive to future communications that may be activated immediately which could change our pathway forward.

Although we remain open as a campus, we must be flexible in supporting members of our community who wish to engage in social distancing practices, which are believed to mitigate the spread of the disease. 

For members of our community who may be at greater risk for contracting COVID-19, they should adhere to the following:

  • Students may contact the Accessible Education Center for temporary disability accommodations as appropriate. They are also urged to contact their course instructors immediately to work out the best accommodations for their courses. Students should not feel as if they are at risk by coming to campus. Nor will students be penalized in any way if they request accommodations because they or those with whom they are in regular contact are at greater risk.
  • Faculty and staff who feel that they are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 may utilize campus resources to limit their exposure through, for example, remote work (call the Employee Accommodation Resource Center. See New FAQ below for other campus resources). Student employees may have similar risk factors. 

With the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, we must exercise as many precautions as are reasonable to reduce the potential of person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. Our students, faculty, and staff are on the front lines of many of the efforts to contain this outbreak, as nurses, doctors, public health practitioners, city officials, and corporate leaders, to name a few. And, many members of our community live in multi-generational homes. Though they themselves may be resilient against COVID-19, they could carry the virus into their homes, work environments, and our campus potentially infecting more vulnerable campus community members.

Furthermore, I have decided to cancel the State of the University address previously scheduled for tomorrow, March 9. In lieu of that address, I will continue to discuss with my Cabinet and wider President’s Leadership Council the emerging circumstances and planning efforts surrounding COVID-19, and San Jose State’s response to this ever-changing public health crisis. Conversations are already underway regarding other campus events. (See New FAQ below for more information). 

Regarding new information on travel restrictions, please also see New FAQ below. 

We understand this is a time of great uncertainty, and we appreciate the contributions and patience of the Spartan community as we continue to work through the changing landscape caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. At the same time, we cannot tolerate harassment from or of our SJSU community simply because we are in a time of uncertainty. Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem. It can also lead to decreased willingness to report possible exposure to COVID-19. 

We can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support as well as learning and sharing facts about how the virus spreads. We can all do our part to raise awareness about COVID-19 without increasing fear. Guidelines for social distancing are on the CDC website. Campus-specific FAQs are currently in our SJSU Newsroom

If you have any questions, please email healthadvisories@sjsu.edu.

 

Sincerely,

Mary A. Papazian

President

New FAQ (as of March 8, 2020)

Will campus remain open?

Faculty and staff should continue to report to campus for work and carry out their normal responsibilities. For faculty and staff on campus who may have conditions that put them at higher risk for COVID-19, we take this very seriously. Please contact your supervisor and/or the following offices immediately if you need accommodations, sick/medical or other leave, or wish to discuss other options or concerns:

  • Employee Accommodation Resource Center: Cindy Marota: x4-6003
  • University Personnel, Leaves Manager: Josh Etherington: x4-2155
  • University Personnel, Employee Relations: Stacey Elsibai: x4-2142, Julie Paisant: x4-2255, Joanne Wright: x4-2458

Faculty and staff who have fevers or respiratory infections should stay home. We will ensure that sick time is applied so that you will not lose pay or applicable benefits and will work with you if you have exhausted your sick time balance. 

What will happen if SJSU closes?

The President will notify the campus by email. The information will also be announced through Twitter and the SJSU Newsroom. In the event we need to close campus, “essential personnel” will still provide on-campus services that relate directly to the health, safety, and welfare of the university, ensure continuity of key operations, and maintain and protect university properties. When appropriate and feasible, these responsibilities may be carried out remotely. Guidance for essential personnel will be distributed this week.

Will classes be moved online?

We have a number of resources already available for faculty to adapt their courses to a “remote teaching” modality, either distributed or online. We encourage faculty to begin to engage this process in case it becomes necessary. In addition to these resources, this week, the division of Academic Affairs will begin providing additional support and training to assist faculty and teaching associates, as applicable, with moving their in-person classes to distributed or fully online modalities. Where fully online means that all course material is delivered through an online format, a distributed class may include aspects, such as synchronous live lectures delivered from one’s office or distributed materials that are returned to the instructor via a variety of modalities. This provides maximum flexibility to each instructor within the confines of this very challenging public health care environment. 

If our campus has a reported case of COVID-19, we will activate a plan to move in-person classes to either a distributed or fully-online model. We will notify the campus community when the decision has been made.

What are the guidelines for travel?

Effective immediately, San Jose State University and its auxiliary organizations will suspend all international and non-essential domestic travel from now through the end of the spring semester (May 31, 2020). This includes suspension of travel approved prior to March 8, 2020. 

  • If you have upcoming travel that was approved before March 8, 2020, you will be contacted with information on how to request reauthorization.
  • Many conference organizers and airlines are issuing full refunds. In the event that a traveler is unable to obtain a refund, expenses for approved travel incurred prior to March 8, 2020 are eligible for reimbursement.
  • Future travel, including summer and fall 2020, will be determined as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Will upcoming events continue as planned?

We are evaluating meetings, gatherings, and events through the end of spring break. The President’s Leadership Council, in consultation with faculty, staff, and student groups responsible for the events, will make decisions that will best serve our mission and our community’s health, safety, and well-being. More information and guidance will be distributed this week.

How should I handle information about others’ health?

As stated above, certain members of our campus community are charged with providing guidance and assistance concerning individuals who may need accommodation or leave, have returned from international travel, or have possibly come in contact, either through acquaintance/relationship or work in health care, to individuals exposed to COVID-19. 

As part of our community responsibility, I ask that you respect the privacy of all members of our community and refrain from sharing information outside appropriate reporting channels about the identity or identifying characteristics (e.g., staff position, undergraduate/graduate status, faculty position, department, unit) of individuals in our community who may have been asked to self-quarantine, seek testing, or may themselves, at some point, be diagnosed with COVID-19.

Exercise caution so as not to contribute to unintended consequences of speculation, unfounded fear, stigmatization, or behavior that may increase the likelihood of individuals not self-reporting their possible risk of exposure to COVID-19.

How do we address the stigma that often emerges with such diseases? 

It is very important to remember that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups. So, although people are understandably worried about the spread of COVID-19, we want to avoid fear and anxiety turning to social stigma. Unfortunately, we have already seen some of this reported anecdotally on campus, as some people show concerns about Chinese or other Asian Americans, international students generally, people wearing protective masks, or those who were in quarantine.


March 8, 2020 1:12 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was originally added at 11:16 a.m. on March 8, 2020. It has been edited to account for additional confirmed cases from Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

At the time of this posting, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed several more new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 37 cases. More information can be found online.


March 7, 2020 9:14 a.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 7, 2020.

At the time of this posting, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has announced four new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 24 cases. More information can be found online.

Visit the FAQ page to learn more about how SJSU is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.


March 5, 2020 8:26 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 5, 2020.

At the time of this posting, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) has announced six new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 20 cases. The SCCPHD has also issued new guidelines for workplaces and businesses, large events and schools, among other groups. For schools, the SCCPHD recommends not closing at this time. More information can be found online.


March 5, 2020 12:18 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the SJSU campus community on March 5, 2020.

Dear Campus Community,

At this time, there are no reported cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at San Jose State University. The campus remains open and classes continue as scheduled

Due to the rapidly evolving public health concern regarding COVID-19, SJSU has activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), focused on coordinating the university’s response. The EOC, which includes campus leaders from the Academic Affairs, University Police Department, Student Affairs, Facilities Development and Operations, among other groups, consults regularly with President Papazian and her cabinet who will make large-scale policy decisions.

In the event of a campus closure, information will be shared through Alert SJSU, our primary means of communication in the event of an emergency. Information will also be distributed through email, Twitter, Facebook, and the SJSU Newsroom.

Travel: Domestic University-Sponsored, International University-Sponsored, and Personal

Among the many concerns COVID-19 has produced is travel. For domestic university-sponsored business travel, we strongly recommend reducing all non-essential travel. Please note you can find recent places where COVID-19 has been identified online. Also, even though a trip may be for domestic business purposes, the event could attract large numbers of international travelers. Please be cautious, therefore, in making travel choices. 

For international university-sponsored travel, whether it is for business or personal reasons, note that reducing all international travel is strongly recommended at this time because of COVID-19. There are already a number of countries that are banned from travel by the CSU system. We will ensure that everyone is kept up-to-date on those places. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also mandated that if you travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, you will be asked to stay home for 14 days. 

For domestic or international personal travel, it is imperative that you are thoughtful in deciding the mode of transportation and where you are going. With spring break on the horizon, consider where you may be planning to travel, whether it is in the U.S. or abroad. Not only is it important to keep yourself and your family safe, but as a member of the Spartan family, we have an inherent responsibility to engage in practices that ensure everyone has the opportunity to come to a secure campus.

Preventive Self-Care and Hygiene

To protect yourself, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based rub if soap and water are not available.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.  
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.  
  • Stay home when you are sick and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.

Since it is still flu season, the CDC also recommends persons getting the flu shot to help prevent the spread of germs and diseases.

There is an ongoing effort to sanitize as many public spaces as possible, including classrooms, keyboards, mouse, monitors, etc. to minimize spread of COVID-19 as well as other diseases, such as the flu. This is, of course, difficult to do given the size, breadth, and scope of this cleaning effort. To assist with sanitizing efforts, please consider regularly wiping down surfaces, telephones, smartphone devices, and computer keyboards in your work and study spaces with disinfectant.

To reiterate, we are all encouraged to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by handwashing, covering when sneezing or coughing, or, in worst case scenarios, the use of self-quarantine and testing should you suspect you have been exposed. 

Potential Exposure to COVID-19

If you believe you may have had exposure and thus will need to self-quarantine, please contact the following people immediately: for students, contact the Student Health Center at 408-924-6122; for staff, contact your direct supervisor; for faculty, contact your dean and/or department chair. 

If you develop even mild symptoms related and/or similar to COVID-19, you should stay home and notify/consult with your health care provider and/or public health officials.

For those with autoimmune or other underlying conditions that might increase the risk to contract COVID-19, we encourage you to contact your health care providers for recommendations. 

Forthcoming Guidance

We understand there are still many questions from the campus community regarding attendance, coursework, travel, campus sponsored and affiliated events, as well as other areas, related to COVID-19. The university is currently discussing these issues and will provide updates in the coming days. 

SJSU Spring Events

The spring semester is often filled with large gatherings to celebrate the end of the academic year. While the university continues to have internal discussions on best practices for these upcoming events, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department recently released recommended guidelines for large gatherings.

  • For individuals who are considered to be at a higher risk of serious medical complications if they contract COVID-19, the County Public Health Department encourages them to avoid mass gatherings where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another. 
  • Office environments, grocery stores and shopping centers are not considered harmful venues because it is unusual for large numbers of people to be within arm’s length of one another.

Health Advisories Website Coming Soon

The university is in the process of creating a Health Advisories webpage that will become the main site for COVID-19 information. The site will house updates and advisories, FAQs, resources and other pertinent information regarding COVID-19. The campus community will be updated as soon as the Health Advisories site is launched.

Please continue to access the Updates and Advisories and FAQ pages on the SJSU Newsroom site for the time being. These pages will be moved to the Health Advisories webpage when it is complete.

Stigma Related to COVID-19

Finally, please be mindful that fear and anxiety surrounding COVID-19 can lead to social stigma towards certain ethnicities. It is important during these uncertain times to support one another and understand that racism, anti-immigrant messaging and stereotyping of certain races and cultures is not reflective of the values of San Jose State. COVID-19 is a virus that can affect all humans. As Spartans, we are committed to inclusion and to being a caring campus. 

Sincerely,

Vincent J. Del Casino, Jr., Provost and SVP for Academic Affairs

Charlie Faas, VP for Administration and Finance

Patrick Day, VP for Student Affairs


March 4, 2020 5:16 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 4, 2020.

As of this posting, there are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has announced three new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 14 cases. More information on the new cases can be found online.

Visit the FAQ page to learn more about how SJSU is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.


March 3, 2020 6:01 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 3, 2020.

As of this posting, there are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. Along with announcing two new cases of COVID-19 in the county, now totaling 11 cases, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department is providing new guidance to the community to protect persons at higher-risk of serious illness due to COVID-19. The full press release can be found online.

Visit the FAQ page to learn more about how SJSU is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.


March 2, 2020 1:34 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 2, 2020.

As of this posting, there are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed two new cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county, bringing the total to nine. The latest press release can be found online.

For the latest updates on Santa Clara County COVID-19 cases, visit their website.


March 1, 2020 7:04 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 1, 2020.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed three new cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county, bringing the total to seven. Two of the individuals had recently traveled to Egypt, and all three are hospitalized. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SJSU. The full press release can be found online.


February 29, 2020 6:04 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on February 28, 2020.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed a fourth case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county. The individual had contact with the third Santa Clara County case that was announced on Friday, February 28. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SJSU. The full press release can be found online.


February 28, 2020 5:06 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on February 28, 2020.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed a third case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SJSU. The full press release can be found online.


February 28, 2020 2:18 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following is a message sent by President Mary A. Papazian to the SJSU campus community on February 28, 2020.

Dear Campus Community,

Despite the increasing severity of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak globally, at the time of this email on February 28, 2020, there are no reported cases of Coronavirus within the SJSU community of students, faculty, and staff.

At this time, San Jose State is open and classes will continue as usual. In the event of a campus closure, information will be shared through Alert SJSU, our primary means of communication in the event of an emergency. Information will also be distributed through email, Twitter, Facebook, and the SJSU Newsroom.

I understand the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has created anxiety, concern and, in many cases, fear. It is important during these uncertain times to support one another and understand that racism, anti-immigrant messaging and stereotyping of certain races and cultures is not reflective of the values of San Jose State. COVID-19 is a virus that can affect all humans and as Spartans, we are committed to inclusion and to being a caring campus.

San Jose State University continues to consult with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and provides updates and advisories via our SJSU Newsroom site by referencing various sources, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of State.

I know that questions and comments have been raised by members of the campus community. We have assembled a FAQ page on SJSU Newsroom. Some of the questions that are answered in the FAQ include:

  • What will happen if an SJSU student, faculty, or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Under what circumstances will classes be cancelled or the campus closed?
  • Is there a plan to conduct some classes by teleconference such as Zoom?
  • What do I do if I believe members of my household or myself have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
  • Whom should I contact with questions?

The health and well-being of the SJSU campus community is our top priority. If you are feeling ill, please take care of yourself. Together, we will navigate through this time of uncertainty.

Sincerely,

Mary A. Papazian
President


February 26, 2020 5:09 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an updated travel advisory regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The following update was added on February 26, 2020.

The CDC has issued an updated travel advisory regarding international travel due to the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The following countries have restricted travel:

Impact on SJSU’s Study Abroad Program

San Jose State University continues to actively monitor COVID-19 in Santa Clara County and around the world.

After careful consideration of the CDC’s recent travel advisory update of South Korea to Warning – Level 3 Avoid Nonessential Travel, SJSU has decided to suspend a study abroad program and a student exchange program set to begin next month in South Korea. We are working on alternatives so our students can study abroad in other countries if they would like to do so.

For SJSU students currently studying abroad in Milan, Italy, we are continuing to monitor the situation and are assessing the risk through consultation with numerous sources, including, but not limited to, the U.S. Department of State and CDC, to determine the process for evacuation if needed.

The safety and well-being of students are our top priorities. To assess the risks regionally and abroad, we continue to consult with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department the U.S. Department of State, the CDC and other sources.


February 24, 2020 5:47 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Updates regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be posted in SJSU Newsroom. The following update was added February 24, 2020. The title and subtitle for this blog have been updated to reflect the recent change in identification for COVID-19.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department recently released an update:

“The first confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Santa Clara County has fully recovered and has been released from isolation. He was never sick enough to be hospitalized. He isolated at home and was monitored by public health staff for the duration of his isolation. The second case remains in isolation.”

Currently, there is not an increased risk to residents of Santa Clara County.

To read the full update, visit the Santa Clara County Public Health Department website.


February 7, 2020, 8:29 a.m.

Editor’s Note: Updates regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus will be posted in SJSU Newsroom. The following update was added February 7, 2020.
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department recently released an update in regards to students, staff and faculty who may be returning from China.

If a student, staff or faculty member returned to the U.S. from mainland China on or before February 2, per SCCPHD advice, they may wish to consider staying home for 14 days since their return but it is not mandatory. They should also self monitor themselves for symptoms until the end of the 14 days.

If a student, staff or faculty member returned to the U.S. from mainland China on or after February 2, they should follow the federal travel screening guidance.

To see the update from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, click here.


February 4, 2020, 3:53 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Updates regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus will be posted in SJSU Newsroom. The following update was added February 4, 2020.

On Sunday, February 2, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCC Public Health) announced a second confirmed case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Santa Clara County. The second case was confirmed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on Sunday. The two cases in Santa Clara County are not related to each other.

In their message, SCC Public Health said there is no evidence to suggest that novel coronavirus is circulating in Santa Clara County and that the public is still at low risk. Both of the people affected by 2019-nCoV self-isolated themselves upon their return from Wuhan, China. Asymptomatic transmission of the virus has been documented, prompting the federal government to ask people returning from some parts of China to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days from their last day in China. In addition, a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers from the Hubei Province in China, where Wuhan is located, has been instituted. Upon arrival to the United States, travelers undergo health screening, and those with signs and symptoms of illness (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) will undergo an additional health assessment.

The U.S. Department of State has also declared travel to China a Level 4: Do Not Travel.

San Jose State University continues to monitor the 2019-nCoV outbreak through regular communication with SCC Public Health. For symptoms, preventative care and other resources, scroll to the bottom of the page.

SCC Public Health said Santa Clara County residents, students, workers, and visitors should continue to engage in their regular activities and practice good health hygiene since this is the height of flu season. Anyone with respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, or fever, should stay home, practice proper cough etiquette and hand hygiene, and limit their contact with other people.

At this time, it is very important that faculty and staff accommodate those who may have recently traveled to China and are engaging in self-quarantine. It is equally important that we treat everyone with respect and make sure our community remains inclusive while taking appropriate preventative measures. For faculty and staff, please consult with your dean or supervisor if there are any concerns. For students, you are encouraged to talk with professional staff or faculty.


January 31, 2020, 5:45 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Updates regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus will be posted in SJSU Newsroom. The following update was added January 31, 2020.

In light of this afternoon’s announcement by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCC Public Health) of the first reported case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Santa Clara County, it is important to note that there have been no cases reported to the university at this time.

The SJSU Student Health Center is continuing to monitor 2019-nCoV outbreak and is in communication with SCC Public Health.


The campus message sent January 29 from SJSU Student Health Medical Chief, Dr. Barbara Fu, regarding information about symptoms, preventive care, and avoidance of nonessential travel to China, is reiterated below:

Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Symptoms of the 2019-nCoV infection include respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and fever. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure. A severe infection with coronaviruses can lead to serious acute respiratory and systemic disease.

Preventive Care

To protect yourself, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol- based rub if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are sick and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.

Since it is flu season, the CDC also recommends persons getting the flu shot to help prevent the spread of germs and diseases.

Avoid Nonessential Travel to China

SJSU concurs with CDC recommendations that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China at this time. This advisement will be evaluated and updated as public health concerns related to 2019-nCoV and conditions evolve.

Seek Treatment Quickly if Symptoms Appear

If you have recently traveled to China within the past two weeks and feel ill with symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or you have had contact with a person confirmed to have 2019-nCoV, please:

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others, except when seeking medical care.
  • Call your healthcare provider or the Student Health Center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. While traveling to see a healthcare provider, you should wear a face mask.

All visits to the SJSU Student Health Center are confidential as the university complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

If you have further questions, call your healthcare provider or the SJSU Student Health Center at (408) 924-6122.

Other Available Resources

The following resources are available with information on 2019-nCoV:


January 29, 2020, 11:35 a.m.

Editor’s Note: This message was emailed to the campus community on January 29, 2020 at 11:35 a.m.

The ongoing coverage of the recent outbreak of illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus, 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov), in Wuhan, China, may be a source of concern for our community. I want to provide you with timely and relevant information as the health and well-being of our SJSU students, faculty and staff are important priorities.

The SJSU Student Health Center is actively monitoring the 2019-nCoV outbreak, following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines as well as communicating with the Santa Clara Public Health Department. I encourage you to learn more about nCoV and practice healthy habits highlighted below to avoid contracting or spreading illness.

Latest Update

There are no reported cases of novel coronavirus at San Jose State University or in Santa Clara County. The cases that have been detected in the U.S. are related to individuals who were exposed while traveling abroad. Due to the rapidly evolving public health concern, it is important to note that this situation can change and individuals should monitor news for the latest developments.

Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Symptoms of 2019-nCoV infection include respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and fever. Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. A severe infection with coronaviruses can lead to serious acute respiratory and systemic disease.

Preventive Care

To protect yourself, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol- based rub if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are sick and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Since it is flu season, the CDC also recommends persons getting the flu shot to help prevent the spread of germs and diseases.

Avoid Nonessential Travel to China

SJSU concurs with CDC recommendations that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China at this time. This advisement will be evaluated and updated as public health concerns related to 2019-nCoV and conditions evolve.

Seek Treatment Quickly if Symptoms Appear

If you have recently traveled to China within the past two weeks and feel ill with symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or you have had contact with a person confirmed to have 2019-nCoV, please:

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others, except when seeking medical care.
  • Call your healthcare provider or the Student Health Center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. While traveling to see a healthcare provider, you should wear a face mask.

All visits to the SJSU Student Health Center are confidential as the university complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

If you have further questions, call your healthcare provider or the SJSU Student Health Center at (408) 924-6122.

Other Available Resources

The following resources are available with information on 2019-nCoV:

 

Kim Blisniuk and Yue “Wilson” Yuan Receive Early Career Investigator Awards

Assistant Professor Kim Blisniuk from the Department of Geology in the College of Science and Assistant Professor Yue “Wilson” Yuan from the Department of Justice Studies in the College of Health and Human Sciences have been chosen to receive the SJSU Research Foundation Early Career Investigator Awards for calendar year 2019. The award recognizes tenure-track SJSU faculty members who have excelled in areas of research, scholarship and creative activity at an early or beginning point in their careers.

Kim Blisniuk

Kim Blisniuk

Geology Assistant Professor Kim Blisniuk. Photo: Robert Bain.

Kim Blisniuk’s research investigates and quantifies how landscapes evolve through time due to earthquakes and climate change. She is particularly interested in earthquakes that are preserved in the landscape along active faults because the rate at which a fault moves is proportional to the fault’s seismic hazard potential. The societal impact of her research is high because data she collects will help refine earthquake hazard models that forecast the potential of future earthquakes and their recurrence in California.

In 2019 Blisniuk received the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, the organization’s most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty. This added to her remarkable track record of funded research grants and awards from organizations such as the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program and the Southern California Earthquake Center. She has made presentations at the American Geophysical Union, the U.S. Geological Survey, Boston University, the California Institute of Technology, UCLA and Université Grenoble. Her publication record is equally impressive.In addition, she has been interviewed as a subject matter expert by Earth and Space Science News, National Geographic Magazine, the New York Times and major television networks.

Yue “Wilson” Yuan

Justice Studies Assistant Professor Yue “Wilson” Yuan

Justice Studies Assistant Professor Yue “Wilson” Yuan. Photo: Robert Bain.

Wilson Yuan’s research examines the origins of fear of crime and how individuals and communities react to criminal victimization, particularly in Asian and Latino immigrant communities. He explores whether an immigrant’s status is associated with victimization and how immigrants of different racial and ethnic groups mobilize formal and informal resources in response to crime.

Funded by a grant award from the National Institute of Justice, Yuan and six SJSU graduate students are launching an extensive mixed-methods city-level victimization study focused on the city of San José, California. A survey of local residents’ victimization experiences will be conducted, as will in-depth interviews with residents, police department officials, victim services providers and members of community organizations.

Since arriving at SJSU in 2016, Yuan has published eight peer-reviewed articles on criminal justice and criminology in high-impact journals. With one of his graduate students as lead author, he co-authored “Surveillance-Oriented Security Measures, School Climate, Student Fear of Crime, and Avoidance Behavior,” which appeared in Victims and Offenders. He regularly presents at criminology conferences and has made invited research presentations at law schools (Nankai University and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics) and at Harvard University.

Blisniuk and Yuan will be honored at the SJSU Celebration of Research on March 26, 2020 from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom. A short video profiling their research will be shown at this festive event. A showcase of research posters developed by more than 100 SJSU undergraduate and graduate students also will be presented. The event is open to the entire SJSU campus community.

Read more about Blisniuk and Yuan’s research.

Press Conference: Comprehensive Housing Solutions for SJSU Students, Faculty and Staff

 

View and Download Photos.

University addresses student, faculty and staff housing concerns in one of America’s most expensive cities

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University has proactively developed a comprehensive housing solution that will provide short- and long-term plans for student, faculty and staff needs. A cross-sector collaboration between the university, city, county, state officials, and student representatives has been instrumental in making this unique housing solution possible in an area affected greatly by the national housing crisis.

The comprehensive housing solution has six major components: (1) more than $3 million in grants from the California State University Chancellor’s Office; (2) a housing grant program for SJSU’s students who have the least financial resources; (3) development and planning of the Campus Village 3 residential housing facility; (4) exploratory discussion of a comprehensive multi-sector residential community concept off-campus; (5) concrete measures to address student housing insecurity issues developed collaboratively with student representatives; and (6) plans for the Alfred E. Alquist Building in downtown San Jose.

Addressing Student Housing and Basic Needs Insecurity

The San Jose State University SJSU Cares team developed and submitted several proposals to address students’ basic needs insecurity to California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office. As a result, SJSU has been awarded three grants from the Chancellor’s Office that will support the university’s comprehensive housing solution to develop, enhance, and integrate basic needs programs and resources — namely to address the housing insecurity concerns affecting students.

The grants total $2.265 million in funding for the next 18 months and will be dedicated to student housing insecurity and basic needs support at SJSU. The total will be $3.135 million in 2022.

“San Jose State University is committed to working with elected officials, community organizations and the student population on resolving the issue of student housing and basic needs insecurity — national epidemics that affect students here,” said President Mary A. Papazian. “Creating student housing programs that provide a learning environment with wrap-around services that support student success are vital. I am grateful to the SJSU Cares team whose commitment to enhancing students’ basic needs resulted in the award of these important grants based on their submitted proposals. These grants play a major role in the short- and long-term solutions the comprehensive housing solution aims to address with regards to student housing and basic needs insecurity.”

The three CSU grants consist of:

  • The College-Focused Rapid Re-Housing funding earmarks $870,000 annually for three years, divided between campus and housing partners.
  • The Basic Needs Partnerships funding provides $400,332 to be used through June 30, 2021.
  • The Mental Health Partnerships funding provides $125,000 to be used through June 30, 2021.

Separate from the CSU grants, SJSU will initiate a housing grant program during the 2020-2021 academic year. Awards will be provided to students who have the highest demonstrated financial need as determined by the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CA Dream Application consistent with California State University policy. Students who qualify for this grant may be eligible for up to $2,000. This housing grant can make a difference for more students to afford an on-campus living experience.

The Next Level of Student Housing at SJSU

San Jose State University believes student housing on campus should provide residential life opportunities and resources that have been shown to contribute to higher retention and graduation levels. In an effort to continue to keep pace with the needs of the student body, SJSU is in the development and planning stages of Campus Village 3 (CV3).

Similar to Campus Villages 1 and 2, CV3 will allow students to live with their peers and become immersed in living learning communities and student life activities. This residential housing facility will be located on campus targeting ongoing demand among undergraduate and transfer students. It will include on-site student services, offer nine and twelve month leases along with limited per-night commuter housing, and include a new dining complex. The residence hall will also include a defined number of rooms for students who may be experiencing housing insecurity.

Understanding that housing insecurity is not only affecting our students, but also college students in the region, San Jose State University is exploring the opportunity to develop a comprehensive multi-sector postsecondary residential community off-campus. This proposed mixed-use concept would provide off-campus subsidized housing opportunities that address the needs of the community and could work as a possible partnership between SJSU, community colleges, community organizations, businesses, the city of San Jose, and Santa Clara County. SJSU welcomes interested multi-sector partners to join this game-changing conversation and explore this concept further.

Ongoing Collaboration with Student Leaders

The comprehensive housing solution for students has included ongoing collaborative efforts by the university, Student Homeless Alliance (SHA) and Associated Students (AS). Through these discussions, three initiatives are anticipated to launch or expand services currently offered.

  • The establishment of a pilot program in fall of 2020 that will set aside 12 or more beds for emergency housing purposes to better understand the scope of need.
  • The expansion of rapid re-housing and rental assistance services for students facing an urgent housing insecurity situation.
  • The opening of a dedicated SJSU Cares space in Clark Hall designed collaboratively by students and staff at the university. This space will include a satellite office of the Bill Wilson Center, which the university has partnered with on the 100-Day Challenge.

“Many members of the campus came together to support the collaboration between the Student Homeless Alliance and the Administration,” said SHA president Diana Rendler. “Some located an appropriate central space for SJSUCares, the Student Homeless Alliance provided recommendations for the 12 or more emergency bed pilot program, a rental assistance program, and introduced the idea of the centralized location based on student voices while the Administration secured grant funds.”

Alquist Building: Future Plan for SJSU Faculty, Staff, Graduate and Family Housing

San Jose State University has plans to construct a mixed-use project that includes parking, retail, office space, food service, and between 800-1,200 units of housing intended primarily for SJSU faculty, staff, graduate students and students with families on the site of the Alfred E. Alquist Building. Most of the units would be available below market value. The site is owned by the California Department of General Services. Discussions to transfer the property to SJSU to make this project a reality have been positive and have been furthered by the advocacy of Senator Jim Beall and Assemblymember Ash Kalra.

The 130,000 square foot building, located at 100 Paseo de San Antonio in downtown San Jose, is just one block from the San Jose State University campus. It sits directly across from the Hammer Theatre, which SJSU operates in partnership with the City of San Jose. Paseo de San Antonio is one of the main corridors between San Jose State and Valley Transportation Authority light rail and bus lines. “This comprehensive housing solution works to keep our faculty and staff engaged with a campus that is in and of San Jose,” Papazian said. “We recognize that our faculty and staff are faced with the challenge of the cost of living in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. Our goal is to create a solution that encourages them to be a part of creating a very dynamic downtown San Jose.”

The Alfred E. Alquist building was dedicated in 1983 after its namesake, a long-serving state legislator, passed away in 2006. His wife, Elaine, succeeded him in office and served in California’s 13th Senate District for six years. Over the years, the site has housed multiple state government offices. San Jose State University would honor the Alquist legacy with a memorial on the building site.

In April 2019, Senator Beall and Assemblymember Kalra helped to secure funds for SJSU to conduct a planning study for a mixed-use housing initiative on the Alquist site. SJSU will launch a planning study this year and, in the process, gather input from members of the campus community.

“Redeveloping the Alquist building for a multi-use housing and campus facility would help address SJSU’s growing need for campus community housing and expand the campus facilities,” said Assemblymember Kalra. “The Alquist building has great potential to enhance the connection between San José State and the downtown esplanade. I am excited to work with Senator Beall in helping SJSU with the process of redeveloping an underused facility that will bring great value to the university and the City of San José.”

“We heartily embrace the partnership with San Jose State University to transform the Alquist Building to a multi-use high-rise that will provide affordable housing critically needed by our educators and students,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “This project will activate this important corridor of our Downtown, linking our anchor institution, SJSU, with the rapid growth of technology employers and housing to the West.”


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 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations — offered through its nine colleges.

With approximately 36,000 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 about 10,000 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.

CONTACT:
Kenneth Mashinchi
Senior Director of Media Relations
O: 408-924-1167
C: 209-556-3202
E: ken.mashinchi@sjsu.edu

Robin McElhatton
Media Relations Specialist
O: 408-924-1749
C: 408-799-3373
E: robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu
 

FAQ – PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Event

The latest PG&E public safety power shutoff and campus information.


Editor’s Note: The following update was posted on October 10 at 8:45 p.m.

San Jose State University remains open on Friday, October 11 for classes and all activities. As PG&E restores power to areas of San Jose, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to use public transportation. This is the final update on the PGE4Me Public Safety Power Shutoff.


Editor’s Note: The following update was posted on October 10 at 6:40 a.m.

San Jose State University will remain open today, Thursday, October 10 for classes and all activities. PG&E’s anticipated Public Safety Power Shutoff began last night in the eastern foothills and southern San Jose area near the Almaden Valley, but it does not affect the SJSU campus. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to use public transportation whenever possible this week. Further updates will be posted as new information becomes available


Editor’s Note: The following update was posted on October 9 at 8:45 p.m.

San Jose State University will remain open tomorrow, Thursday, October 10 for classes and all activities. PG&E’s anticipated Public Safety Power Shutoff tonight in the eastern foothills and southern San Jose area near the Almaden Valley area is not expected to affect the campus. SJSU encourages students, faculty and staff to use public transportation whenever possible this week. Further updates will be posted as new information becomes available.


Editor’s Note: The following update was posted on October 9 at 4:45 p.m.

PG&E has delayed the previously announced Public Safety Power Shutoff until 8:00 p.m. tonight. The power shutoff is still expected to occur in the eastern foothills and southern San Jose area near Almaden Valley. At this time, no power outage is expected in downtown San Jose.

San Jose State University will remain open for classes and all activities on Thursday, October 10. SJSU recommends faculty, staff and students use public transportation whenever possible this week to limit congestion on city streets. Further updates will be posted as new information becomes available.


Editor’s Note: The following update was posted on October 9 at 6:30 a.m.

San Jose State University will remain open for classes and all activities on Wednesday, October 9. Further updates will be posted as new information becomes available.


Editor’s Note: The following update was posted on October 8 at 8:54 p.m.

PG&E’s planned Public Safety Power Shutoff is still in place. The National Weather Service has no changes to its forecast.

As of this time, the SJSU campus will be open for classes and all activities on Wednesday, October 9.

Updates will be posted as additional information becomes available.


Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on October 8, 2019. We will post updates on this web page as new information becomes available.

Campus Message on Information Regarding Possible PG&E Power Shutoff Oct. 9 – 10. Sent on Oct. 8, at 5:30 p.m. from Vincent J. Del Casino Jr., Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Dear Campus Community,

As of Tuesday, October 8, the SJSU campus is not expected to be impacted and we anticipate remaining open.

On Monday, October 7, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) announced a Public Safety Power Shutoff event (PSPS) due to potential weather conditions including gusty winds and dry conditions that create a heightened fire risk. This high wind event is forecast to begin on Wednesday, October 9 at approximately 4 a.m. and continue through the evening hours of Thursday, October 10.

PG&E may proactively turn off power to customers in 30 counties, including Santa Clara County in the Bay Area. While customers in high fire-threat areas are more likely to be affected, PG&E advises that more than 5 million electric customers across Northern California could have their power shut off. This is because the energy system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across California.

You can check in advance to see if the power will be shut off at your home or a family member’s home here.

To reiterate, the SJSU campus is not expected to be impacted and we anticipate remaining open. We operate our own Central Energy Plant which supplies much of our own electricity. We also have back-up generators to cover key areas that might be impacted. The campus will continue to supply power to critical infrastructure.
For faculty and staff, if you live in an area impacted by this 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.

In the event that our campus will be impacted, all residence hall students will receive specific guidance from University Housing Services regarding contingency plans including generators for residence halls as well as food service plans.

Essential personnel who work in University Housing Services, SJSU Dining Commons, Diaz Compean Student Union, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center, Student Health Center, University Police and Strategic Communications personnel will be required to report to campus. If you are essential personnel and are unable to get to campus due to the power outage, contact your supervisor who will make arrangements to cover your duties.

Furthermore, we are collecting information about research spaces that require power and how to support them if we lose power. Faculty who have any concerns about research spaces should contact John Skyberg, senior director of facility services, at john.skyberg@sjsu.edu.

Here are things you can do to prepare for an outage and during an outage:

PG&E Preparation Steps

San Jose State University is closely monitoring weather alerts and advisories from PG&E and will notify you if PG&E decides to shut off power on campus. We will continue to provide updates to keep you informed.

  • Watch for SJSU text alerts on Tuesday (10/8) and Wednesday (10/9) as more information becomes available
  • We will provide updates on the SJSU Newsroom on Tuesday (10/8) at 9:00 p.m. and Wednesday (10/9) at 7:00 a.m. Additional updates will be provided throughout the week
  • Follow us on Twitter at #SJSU for updates

Alert SJSU is SJSU’s campus alert notification system. 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, but if you are not receiving SJSU alerts, check with your cell phone provider.  Faculty and staff must enroll through their My SJSU Account. For more information: Alert SJSU

Additional resources:


Frequently Asked Questions

Updated as of October 8, 2019

What is a PG&E public safety power shutoff?

For public safety, it may be necessary for PG&E to turn off electricity when gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with heightened fire risk, are forecasted. This is called a “Public Safety Power Shutoff” or “PSPS.”

When is the PG&E public safety power shutdown?

Weather conditions, including potential fire risk, have been forecast that may impact electric service to the PG&E service area.  If a decision is made to turn the power off, it will occur between Wednesday, October 9 at approximately 4 a.m. and continue through the evening hours of Thursday, October 10.

Will campus be shut down?

As of Tuesday, October 8 at (5:30 p.m.), the SJSU campus is not impacted and we anticipate remaining open. We have our own Central Energy Plant which supplies much of our own electricity. We also have backup generators to cover key areas that might be impacted. The campus will continue to supply power to critical infrastructure

How Will SJSU communicate updates?

  • Watch for SJSU text alerts on Tuesday (10/8) evening or Wednesday (10/9) as more information becomes available
  • We will provide updates on the SJSU Newsroom at 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Follow us on Twitter at #SJSU for updates

How will I know if PG&E decides to cut off the power?

PG&E updates can be found here.

How can I find out if the campus is affected or if my house is affected?

You can check on the PSPS of any specific address at: https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/psps-service-impact-map.page

Will campus housing be open?

Yes, all residence halls will remain open. In the event that SJSU is impacted by PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff, all residence hall students will receive specific guidance from University Housing Services regarding contingency plans including generators for residence halls as well as foodservice plans.

Will faculty or staff need to use sick or vacation time if the campus shuts down?

No, if campus shuts down faculty and staff will not be required to use personal, vacation, or sick leave during the closure.

Do essential personnel need to report to campus in case of a closure?

Yes, essential personnel including those who work in University Housing Services, SJSU Dining Commons, Diaz Compean Student Union, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center and Student Health Center will be required to report to campus.

As a supervisor, what should I do to support my team members?

We need to be as flexible as possible with the directly impacted areas. We will not be requiring people to take a vacation, personal, or sick leave if they live in an area directly impacted by the shutoff. Please do your best to cover the functions of your area. If you need additional guidance, contact your supervisor.

What should I do to prepare for a power shutdown?

  • Create a safety plan for all members of your family, including pets
  • Stock up on non-perishable food
  • Prepare an emergency supply kit
  • Charge your mobile phone
  • Have flashlights ready.  Avoid using candles
  • Have a battery-powered or crank radio
  • Stock up on batteries
  • Keep cash on hand and a full tank of gas

Additional resources:

International Engineering Students Visit SJSU for Summer in Silicon Valley

International Engineering Students visit Intel with mentors as part of the Summer in Silicon Valley Program.

International Engineering Students visit Intel with mentors as part of the Summer in Silicon Valley Program.

By Lisa Francesca, Communications Director, Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering

Sang Woo Son, from Korea, was surprised to find that cars stop for pedestrians in the Bay Area. For Hao Peng, from China, the sight of Pier 39 and the seawater “was really amazing and helped me release my stress.”

Every year, a handful of international engineering students who seek an innovative design and entrepreneurship experience arrive in Silicon Valley for a three-week intensive program at San Jose State. They learn about Silicon Valley through lectures and field trips, but they also learn about collaboration, project management and presentation — and they have a lot of fun along the way.

Keyri Moreira Ruiz coordinated this year’s Summer in Silicon Valley Program, hosted by International Gateways in the College of Professional and Global Education. Ruiz reported on the student activities, which included field trips to company sites. This summer, students from Zhejiang University in China, Chung Yuan Christian University in Taiwan, and Gyeongsang National University in South Korea, attended.

“During the first week the students took two company tours of EAG Laboratories and Intel,” said Ruiz. “At EAG Labs, students learned about material engineering and the different machines used to study particles including their surface and molecules. At Intel, a group of engineers spoke about their responsibilities and experiences, and how networking is important in today’s world. They also shared that, being international students themselves, it was a bit difficult to adjust to the American culture, but they persevered.”

For Song Ei Jin from Gyeongsang National University, Intel was a favorite company trip. “It was good because they had Korean workers giving advice about how to go abroad. They gave us a lot of confidence.”

Working together on a team project was an essential part of the intensive experience. When asked about what she learned, HeeJung Kwak from Gyeongsang said, “[At first] it was hard to discuss and speak my ideas in English, but it became natural after talking regularly. It was interesting that people from different countries have different perspectives, and that was helpful to widen my own perspective.”

Lingchang Zhou from Zhejiang University added, “Even though there is an obstacle for communication, I enjoyed the project. I learned how to cooperate with people from different backgrounds. This will be helpful if I work in international companies.”

Students also visited San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and tried different restaurants to expand their horizons. They also toured the Exploratorium, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. In the South Bay, they learned about American culture at Levi’s Stadium, the Computer History Museum, the NASA Ames Visiting Center, and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. For some, this was their first visit to a beach.

Back on campus, Ruiz and International Gateways kept the students occupied with events such as Coffee, Tea and Karaoke Night; Bar-B-Que Night; Bowling Night and a pool party. Ruiz explained, “What was wonderful about this was that students were able to meet other students from different countries. In some cases, students met others attending the same university they were enrolled in.”

For Chengjun Kong (from Zhejiang University), one highlight was lunch at the Cheesecake Factory — but it was about more than the food. “We had a great time enjoying each other’s company and we broke down some of the barriers that language [differences] had presented—we talked about life, social life, relationships, food, etc. We had effective communication all throughout the day, making it seem like a normal day with friends we’ve known for a long time.”

Learn more about Summer in Silicon Valley.

Prepare for Heavy Traffic On Early Days of Semester

During the first weeks of the semester, campus visitors may experience higher than normal traffic and parking garages at full capacity. Photo by David Schmitz

During the first weeks of the semester, campus visitors may experience higher than normal traffic and parking garages at full capacity. Photo by David Schmitz

During the first few weeks of instruction, traffic is unusually heavy and finding parking is difficult!  Please plan accordingly and consider using the SJSU Park & Ride Lot (see below) or your VTA EcoPass for public transportation.

  • Throughout the semester, the parking garages usually fill to capacity prior to 9:00 a.m. and remain full past noon.  After 8:30 a.m., it is recommended that you go to the Park & Ride Lot. For real-time parking capacity in garages, please go to the ParkStash App.
Virtual parking permits for new permit purchases
Parking Services at San Jose State University is using virtual permits for students. Virtual permits allow you to park in your designated area without being required to display a physical permit.  Your vehicle license plate is your parking permit. Make sure you take a picture of your license plate to have it ready when you purchase your virtual parking permit. Visit virtual permit FAQ for additional information.

There Is No Grace Period for Parking

A valid virtual or physical parking permit is required at all times, including the first day of classes. Parking rules are enforced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Possession of a permit does not guarantee a space in the main campus garages. There is NO free parking on Campus.

Use SJSU Park & Ride Lot!

On Thursday, August 29, 2019, due to a SJSU Football Game, parking will not be available in the Park & Ride Lot after 11 a.m.  Park & Ride virtual semester permits will be honored after 3 p.m. in the West Garage located at S. 4th and E. San Salvador Street and in the North garage located at 9th and San Fernando Streets.
  • Location:  The “SJSU Park & Ride Lot” is located eight blocks south of the main campus on S. 7th Street at E. Humboldt Street across from Spartan Stadium.
  • Shuttle:  Free, frequent shuttle service is provided to/from the main campus Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 10:20 p.m. during Fall & Spring Semesters only.  The shuttle provides all-day service to Duncan Hall.  There is NO Fri/Sat/Sun service.
  • For Park & Ride Virtual Semester Permit information, please visit our webpage at http://www.sjsu.edu/parking/permits/park_n_ride/
  • To access real time shuttle location, please go to DoubleMap App

Buy Parking Permits or Pay Citations Online!

Go to www.sjsu.edu/parking to conveniently purchase your virtual parking permit or pay citations.  All virtual semester and academic year permits are available online.

  • No Additional Fees
  • No Lines – No Waiting

Hourly and Daily Permits

Hourly and daily virtual permit can be purchased via ParkMobile App or via new Digital pay stations, available within parking facilities.

  • Coins, $1/$5/$10 bills, Visa & MasterCard accepted at pay stations
  • Pay station takes exact change only
  • Permits purchased via pay stations within garages and via ParkMobile main campus zones are valid only in General Parking in all garages.

For more information or to review the Parking Rules and Regulations, visit our website: www.sjsu.edu/parking or call (408) 924-6556.

UPD Officers provide traffic control during the beginning of each semester. It is important for the safety of everyone that you follow their directions!

ANNUAL SAFETY, SECURITY AND FIRE REPORT

The latest Annual Safety, Security and Fire Report is available online at:
A pamphlet can be obtained at the University Police Department (call 408-924–2172 or visit the UPD web site at www.sjsu.edu/police for more information).

Venus Williams to visit SJSU to Compete in Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic

SAN JOSE, CA – AUGUST 03: Venus Williams of the United States returns a shot to Maria Sakkari of Greece during Day 5 of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at Spartan Tennis Complex on August 3, 2018 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

SAN JOSÉ, CA (July 16, 2019) – Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has joined the player field for the 2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, July 29 – August 4 at San José State University. This will be Williams’ 15th appearance at the event and her second consecutive at San José, having advanced to the quarterfinals last year.

Williams, a two-time singles champion at the event, will be the featured evening session match (Session 4) on Tuesday, July 30 at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, which returns for its second year at San José State University, start as low as $36 and are on sale now at www.MubadalaSVC.com.

“We are very excited to have Venus join our player field,” said Tournament Director Vickie Gunnasson. “She is a tennis icon and tremendous ambassador for the sport. Having her competing at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is truly special and boosts our already great player field.”

A winner of 49 career WTA singles titles, Williams enhances an already star-studded line-up that includes fellow Grand Slam winners Garbiñe Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka and Jelena Ostapenko.

Six of the women in this year’s player field have already won singles titles in 2019. Overall, the list of players have combined to win 115 career WTA singles titles.

Other featured players coming to San José include defending champion Mihaela Buzarnescu, 2018 finalist Maria Sakkari, 17-year-old French Open semifinalist Amanda Anisimova, World No. 7 and Wimbledon semifinalist Elina Svitolina, World No. 10 Aryna Sabalenka, Chinese No. 1 Qiang Wang, Belgian star Elise Mertens and Australian Open semifinalist Danielle Collins.

In addition to the impressive list of WTA players set to compete in San José, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic will be hosting four former ATP stars as part of the Invesco Series on Saturday, August 3 following the evening women’s semifinal match.

The Invesco Series is a legends tour event that features three one-set matches consisting of two semifinals and one final. The line-up for the San José event is one of the best of the legends season and includes 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick, 1989 French Open champion Michael Chang, 10-time ATP tour winner James Blake and 11-time tour singles champion Mark Philippoussis.

Now entering its 49th year, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is a weeklong WTA Premier event bringing the worlds of tennis and technology together in a festival of sports and entertainment. Highlighting the best the region has to offer, the tournament showcases locally sourced cuisine, fine wine and cheese selections, interactive fan exhibitions, premier hospitality options, and of course, incredible tennis action.

Featuring a 28-player singles draw as well as a 16-team doubles draw the tournament boasts $876,183 in prize money and serves as the opening women’s event of the US Open Series.

With several different ticket options available, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic has something for everyone. To purchase tickets go to www.MubadalaSVC.com or call 1-866-982-8497.


ABOUT THE MUBADALA SILICON VALLEY CLASSIC: The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is the longest-running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world and is the first women’s stop of the US Open Series. Owned and operated by IMG, the WTA Premier event features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $876,183.

ABOUT MUBADALA: Mubadala Investment Company actively manages a worldwide portfolio supporting the vision of a globally integrated and diversified economy, through sustainable returns to its shareholder, the Government of Abu Dhabi. In March 2018, Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC) joined the Group. Mubadala’s US $225 billion portfolio spans five continents with interests in aerospace, ICT, semiconductors, metals and mining, renewable energy, oil and gas, petrochemicals, utilities, healthcare, real estate, defense services, pharmaceuticals and medical technology, agribusiness and a global portfolio of financial holdings. Mubadala is a trusted partner, an engaged shareholder and a responsible global company that is committed to ethics and world-class standards.  For more information about Mubadala, please visit: www.mubadala.com.

ABOUT THE US OPEN SERIES: Now in its 16th season, the world’s best players on the WTA and ATP Tour are coming together for the US Open Series. Linking seven summer WTA and ATP Tour tournaments to the US Open, the US Open Series serves as a true “regular season” of hard court tennis. Featuring a cohesive schedule, the Series centralizes the way tennis is viewed in North America, across multiple television and digital platforms. Fans will see today’s top champions go head-to-head with tomorrow’s emerging stars, as storylines develop throughout the summer season. Each tournament also engages its local community with a variety of outreach initiatives, including grass-roots youth tennis clinics and activities.

ABOUT IMG: IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.

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 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.  With more than 33,000 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 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.

Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Players Announced

The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic takes place at the new tennis courts at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

San Jose State University will host the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic for the second year. Tickets are on sale for the tournament that will run July 29-August 4. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

SAN JOSÉ, CA (June 19, 2019) – The official WTA acceptance list for the 2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic has been announced, and with three Grand Slam champions, two former World No. 1s, and 15 WTA title holders in the player field this year’s event will once again bring the best women’s players in the world to the Bay Area.

Of the 20 players on the acceptance list, 15 have won at least one career WTA singles title including Grand Slam winners Garbiñe Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka and Jelena Ostapenko. Six of the women in this year’s player field have already won singles titles in 2019. Overall, the list of players has combined to win 66 career WTA singles titles.

The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic will be hosted at SJSU’s South Campus tennis courts July 29-August 4. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

The event returns for its second year at San José State University and will take place July 29-August 4, 2019. Tickets start as low as $36 and are on-sale now at www.MubadalaSVC.com.

Two notable titlists in 2019 are 17-year-old American Amanda Anisimova and 2018 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic finalist Maria Sakkari.

Anisimova won her first career title in Bogotá earlier this year before her meteoric rise during her semifinal run at Roland Garros, which included a win over defending French Open champion Simona Halep. Sakkari used her finals appearance at the 2018 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic as a stepping stone up the rankings. This year the Greek star won her first career title at Rabat and reached a career-high ranking of 29 in May.

Other featured players coming to San José include defending champion Mihaela Buzarnescu, World No. 7 Elina Svitolina, World No. 10 Aryna Sabalenka, Chinese No. 1 Qiang Wang, Belgian star Elise Mertens and Australian Open semifinalist Danielle Collins.

The tournament will announce four additional wildcard players in the next few weeks as the 28-player singles draw rounds out with four tournament qualifiers. The qualifying tournament will take place July 27-28. Qualifying is open to the public.

In addition to the impressive list of WTA players set to compete in San José, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic will be hosting four former ATP stars as part of the Invesco Series on Saturday, August 3 following the evening women’s semifinal match.

The Invesco Series is a legends tour event that features three one-set matches consisting of two semifinals and one final. The line-up for the San José event is one of the best of the legend’s season and includes 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick, 1989 French Open champion Michael Chang, 10-time ATP tour winner James Blake and 11-time tour singles champion Mark Philippoussis.

Now entering its 49th year, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is a weeklong WTA Premier event bringing the worlds of tennis and technology together in a festival of sports and entertainment. Highlighting the best the region has to offer, the tournament showcases locally sourced cuisine, fine wine and cheese selections, interactive fan exhibitions, premier hospitality options, and of course, incredible tennis action.

Featuring a 28-player singles draw as well as a 16-team doubles draw the tournament boasts $876,183 in prize money and serves as the opening women’s event of the US Open Series.

With several different ticket options available, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic has something for everyone. To purchase tickets go to www.MubadalaSVC.com or call 1-866-982-8497.

2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Player Field
Name Country Ranking
Elina Svitolina Ukraine 7
Aryna Sabalenka Belarus 10
Qiang Wang China 15
Elise Mertens Belgium 21
Donna Vekic Croatia 22
Petra Martic Croatia 25
Garbiñe Muguruza Spain 26
Amanda Anisimova USA 27
Carla Suárez Navarro Spain 31
Maria Sakkari Greece 33
Danielle Collins USA 34
Jelena Ostapenko Latvia 37
Victoria Azarenka Belarus 41
Mihaela Buzarnescu Roumania 42
Saisai Zheng China 44
Ajla Tomljanovic Australia 47
Ekaterina Alexandrova Russia 50
Shuai Zhang China 52
Andrea Petkovic Germany 71
Magda Linette Poland 75

ABOUT THE MUBADALA SILICON VALLEY CLASSIC: The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is the longest-running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world and is the first women’s stop of the US Open Series. Owned and operated by IMG, the WTA Premier event features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $876,183.

ABOUT MUBADALA: Mubadala Investment Company actively manages a worldwide portfolio supporting the vision of a globally integrated and diversified economy, through sustainable returns to its shareholder, the Government of Abu Dhabi. In March 2018, Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC) joined the Group. Mubadala’s US $225 billion portfolio spans five continents with interests in aerospace, ICT, semiconductors, metals and mining, renewable energy, oil and gas, petrochemicals, utilities, healthcare, real estate, defense services, pharmaceuticals and medical technology, agribusiness and a global portfolio of financial holdings. Mubadala is a trusted partner, an engaged shareholder and a responsible global company that is committed to ethics and world-class standards.  For more information about Mubadala, please visit: www.mubadala.com.

ABOUT THE US OPEN SERIES: Now in its 16th season, the world’s best players on the WTA and ATP Tour are coming together for the US Open Series. Linking seven summer WTA and ATP Tour tournaments to the US Open, the US Open Series serves as a true “regular season” of hard court tennis. Featuring a cohesive schedule, the Series centralizes the way tennis is viewed in North America, across multiple television and digital platforms. Fans will see today’s top champions go head-to-head with tomorrow’s emerging stars, as storylines develop throughout the summer season. Each tournament also engages its local community with a variety of outreach initiatives, including grass-roots youth tennis clinics and activities.

ABOUT IMG: IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.

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 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.  With more than 33,000 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 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.

A New SJSU.edu Coming July 2019

A new, improved and more accessible San Jose State website will launch July 1. A partnership between University Advancement and Information Technology, the new website helps Spartans efficiently find what they need and enhances the technical functionality of a vital communication tool.

Informed by Transformation 2030, the new content and site architecture showcases the excellent work happening on campus, and connects who San Jose State is as a university to where it is headed. The new website also features a mobile-friendly, responsive design and improved navigation, along with a new set of templates and customizable components designed for adoption by departments throughout campus.

Based on research and feedback from university users, the new design addresses substantial technical challenges and will allow users to more easily navigate the university website.

Preparing to Launch

The new templates have been created in OmniUpdates OU Campus to enhance the experience of both web editors and visitors. SJSU first piloted this new design with the IT website, the university homepage and other pages maintained by Strategic Communications and Marketing in spring 2019. The new templates were then tested on several initial pilot sites to allow the project team to address technical issues and to develop a migration guide with best practices.

Following the pilot phase, departments will be responsible for reviewing their websites. IT and University Advancement will support the migration by sharing best practices, training videos and in-person workshops.

Building the SJSU Brand

The new website content and design aligns with SJSU’s identity. In 2014, SJSU launched its “power” brand that includes storytelling and an integrated visual identity. SJSU’s storytelling focuses on presenting how Spartans use what inspires them to make the world a better place. With the launch of Transformation 2030, SJSU will build on the foundation of the “power” brand and communicate a future-forward vision that places the university and its impact both locally and globally. 

The SJSU story has been expressed in physical spaces such as the Diaz Compean Student Union, at strategic events and throughout the region. SJSU’s recent efforts to build a strong connection to and presence in Silicon Valley include updated street banners and shuttle buses, signage in Avaya and Levi’s stadiums, and a seating area with a 70-foot mural and digital ads at the San Jose International Airport.

Digital communication is vital to strengthening SJSU’s connections with the campus community, locally and around the globe. The website relaunch is an opportunity to better serve the members of the SJSU community. Students, faculty and staff members, and external stakeholders are increasingly using mobile devices and platforms to access SJSU’s website. As Silicon Valley’s public university, SJSU must modernize its web presence to meet the needs of the community—and create more effective digital communications that can be accessed from any device.

The Giving to SJSU and All In: The Campaign for Spartan Football are two examples of the work University Advancement has done to build a more modern online presence. These projects helped SJSU prepare for a university-wide web modernization, as well as drive support for SJSU’s strategic priorities.

For questions or feedback on the website modernization project, please contact website-feedback-group@sjsu.edu.

 

CSU Chancellor Statement on Parking Program and Outside Accounts Audit Report

California State University (CSU) issued a statement from Chancellor Timothy P. White on the Parking Program and Outside Accounts Audit Report. The California State Auditor conducted an audit of the CSU’s accounts held outside the state treasury, including designated reserve funds and its parking programs. The audit covers a period of 10 years from fiscal years 2008-09 through 2017-18.

The audit report focuses on how CSU reports its fund balances and its policy for maintaining economic reserves. It mischaracterizes CSU Reserve Policy as “discretionary surplus,” which misrepresents the role reserve funds play. According to CSU, reserve funds are “monies associated with campus operations that are held by the campus for specific, designated purposes” used to pay for one-time expenses or to protect against economic uncertainties, not ongoing expenses.

The audit report fails to make clear that CSU’s fund management process aligns with standard industry practice. CSU’s reserves as it stands today would support operations for only two-and-a-half (2.5) months.

CSU has a long-standing commitment to transparency and accountability in its financial operations. In keeping with this commitment, CSU’s financial transparency portal provides the public with the opportunity to view five years of actual revenues and expensesby year, campus and fund.

 

 

SJSU Media Relations Submits List of 22 Corrections to Spartan Daily’s May 15, 2019 Published Stories

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the Spartan Daily on June 13.

Spartan Daily published a series of stories in its May 15, 2019 special edition that contained 22 inaccuracies ranging from allegations of mishandled Spartan Foundation funds and endowments to mismanagement of donor money. On June 13, SJSU Media Relations formally submitted a list of inaccuracies to Spartan Daily with a request to provide readers an accurate account of information by making corrections on its online and print editions. This page provides a full summary of the list submitted to the student newspaper with the inaccuracies highlighted in blue for each statement.

Spartan Daily “Millions Misused” article (05/15/19, print publication, page one)

Statement

Less than 5% of Spartan Foundation money intended for athletic scholarships was distributed to San Jose State athletes from 2013-2016 according to sources and confirmed by document reviewed by the Spartan Daily

Correction

Every donation designated by the donor for athletics scholarships was used for that purpose.


Statement

The Spartan Foundation was marketed to donors on SJSU athletics’ website as a fund that provides athletic scholarships, and was managed as part of the Tower Foundation since 2014.

Correction

Spartan Foundation (SF) is a separate 501(c)3. SF is not managed by Tower Foundation. It deposited its donations into accounts at the Tower Foundation.


Statement

The Spartan Foundation was marketed to donors on SJSU athletics’ website as a fund that provides athletic scholarships, and was managed as part of the Tower Foundation since 2014.

Correction

Bylaws of Spartan Foundation, Inc. (revised, June 20, 2012) articulate the primary purpose of the Spartan Foundation as described below. Fundraising for scholarships was not the only or sole purpose.

BYLAWS OF SPARTAN FOUNDATION, INC. (source document)

ARTICLE II FOUNDATION PURPOSE

Section 1. THE PRIMARY PURPOSE. The primary purpose of the Spartan Foundation is to raise funds to support nearly 450 student-athletes annually for the following;
A. Scholarships for all varsity sports.
B. Assist with the operating budgets and Sports Improvement Funds (coaches’ salaries, travel, equipment, recruiting) for the varsity teams.
C. Building, renovating and maintaining facilities for these teams.
D. Student-Athletes Academic Center and provide support to our academic staff.


Statement

“The Spartan Foundation is the fundraising arm of the San Jose State University Athletics Department,” the website previously stated. “As its primary objective, the Spartan Foundation provides scholarship support for all of San Jose State’s NCAA Division I athletic teams.”

Correction

Primary objective does not equal sole objective.

Bylaws of Spartan Foundation, Inc. (revised, June 20, 2012) articulate the primary purpose of the Spartan Foundation as described below. Fundraising for scholarships was not the only or sole purpose.

BYLAWS OF SPARTAN FOUNDATION, INC. (source document)

ARTICLE II FOUNDATION PURPOSE

Section 1. THE PRIMARY PURPOSE. The primary purpose of the Spartan Foundation is to raise funds to support nearly 450 student-athletes annually for the following;
A. Scholarships for all varsity sports.
B. Assist with the operating budgets and Sports Improvement Funds (coaches’ salaries, travel, equipment, recruiting) for the varsity teams.
C. Building, renovating and maintaining facilities for these teams.
D. Student-Athletes Academic Center and provide support to our academic staff.


Statement

$4.5 million was not distributed per year for athletic scholarships through the foundation fund, according to Spartan Foundation account details.

Correction

As Spartan Foundation fundraising was inadequate to fund all scholarships, SJSU Athletics used other sources of revenue, beyond Spartan Foundation donations, to fully fund all scholarships. Most importantly, all student-athletes who were selected to receive scholarships received them.

Specifically, from 2013 – 2016, SJSU Athletics provided over $25M in student-athlete scholarship aid through multiple revenue sources such as but not limited to sponsorship agreements, television contracts, game guarantees, and ticket sales.

The following data of athletically-related student aid is sourced from EADA (Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act) as SJSU Athletics submits required information to the Department of Education and reported to the NCAA.

Source: EADA (Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act)

Department of Education site:
Survey Year | Athletically-Related Student Aid
2013 | $5,167,667
2014 | $5,733,710
2015 | $6,813,951
2016 | $7,604,545
Total | $25,319,873


Spartan Daily “Demystiying endowments and donations to Tower Foundation” article (05/15/19, print publication, page two)

Statement

Endowment #5. After three years of accruing interest, the revenue from the principal investment is sent from the Tower Foundation to the intended area of use.

Correction

A distribution from the endowment is made every spring based on the trailing three-year average market value of the fund. Distributions from scholarship endowments are directed to the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office; distributions from other endowments are retained in separate accounts at the Tower Foundation. Distributions are not sent to any department other than Financial Aid.


Statement

Donation #2. A donor contract is signed, including the agreed upon amount and where the money will be going. There is no minimum for single-time or recurring donations given.

Correction

Donation #2. Donor contracts are not required for non-endowed donations unless the purpose of the gift is complicated or involves naming a facility or program.


Spartan Daily “What actually happened” (5/15/19, printed version, page three)

Statement

#2. Donors sign a contract, including the agreed upon amount and where the money will be going. There is no minimum amount for single-time or recurring donations.

Correction

#2. Donor contracts are not required for non-endowed donations unless the purpose of the gift is complex or involves naming a facility or program.


Statement

#3. The money should be processed through the Tower Foundation, and then distributed to the area of use based on the donors’ original intent. Donations are given out the same year as donated unless specified in the donor contract.

Correction

#3. The money should be processed through the Tower Foundation, where it is available for the purpose specified for the donor. Donations are not given out in the same year as they are on deposit in a Tower account for the area (college/division/department/program) designated by the donor to utilize for the intended purpose depending when the funds are needed. It could be next month or even the following year – as it depends upon variables such as donation amount, timing of the gift, and other funds available for the area’s needs.


Spartan Daily “San Jose State’s commitment. Donor Bill of Rights” (5/15/19, printed version, page three)

Statement

The Donor Bill of Rights is an agreed upon list of rights and regulations for donors and San Jose State respectively.

Correction

The Donor Bill of Rights is an agreed upon list of donor rights considered best practices for charitable organizations. San Jose State and the Tower Foundation subscribe to the Donor Bill of Rights.


Spartan Daily “Timeline” (printed version, page four and five)

Statement

According to Spartan Foundation documents reviewed by the Spartan Daily, the foundation had more than $4.5 million in total revenue that year and $0 was transferred to athletic scholarships..

Correction

Of the $4.5 million of revenue, almost $3.3 million was a transfer of Spartan Foundation balances from SJSU to the Tower Foundation.


Statement

The Tower Foundation sets up a separate branch strictly for athletic donations, hiring Josh Thiel to be the university’s first-ever deputy athletics director for advancement.

Correction

University Advancement sets up a separate branch strictly for athletic donations, hiring Josh Thiel to be the university’s first-ever deputy athletics director for advancement. However, prior to the establishment of Athletics Advancement, different individuals in Athletics were involved with fundraising.


Spartan Daily “Address confusion leads to incorrect deposits of donor money” (05/15/19, printed version, page eight)

Statement

The university then announced in 2014 that the Spartan Foundation account was moved out of athletics and into the Tower Foundation, according to the Spartan Athletics website.

Correction

In 2013, Athletics opened accounts for the Spartan Foundation with the Tower Foundation, which it subsequently used for depositing donations.


Statement

In 2016, four individuals received more than $150,000 in compensation from the Tower Foundation and “related organizations,” including Faas, Bleymaier, Andy Feinstein, the provost and vice president of academic affairs, and Coleetta McElroy, the president of the SJSU Alumni Association

Correction

As an authorized auxiliary of SJSU, Tower and SJSU are related entities. The IRS requires disclosure of board directors’ compensation from related entities. In 2016, the Tower Foundation’s 990 listed 26 individuals who were affiliated with Tower Foundation. Eight individuals, not four as listed in the article, were from related entities. Other than Bleymaier, none of the eight individuals were paid by the Tower Foundation.


Spartan Daily “Endowments mishandled” (05/15/19, printed version, page eight)

Statement

“Endowments held by each school are not even all distributed,” one source said.

Correction

Endowment distributions are made annually unless the donor requests distributions only be made after a certain date.


Statement

“There are cases where endowments have not been spent with donor intent.”

Correction

In the rare instances that endowment spending isn’t aligned with the donor’s intention for the funds, department personnel are advised what permitted uses are.


Statement

The sources said they saw Tower Foundation money distributed to individual colleges, but the deans spent the money against donors’ intent. When the donors came back to ask where the money went, the Tower Foundation realized the mistakes made by individual colleges.

Correction

This broad statement falsely implies all distributions were mishandled by the colleges. In the rare instances that spending is outside the donor’s intent, Tower Foundation requests the expenditure be paid from another account. At times, Tower has sought donor permission for exceptions.


Statement

Student scholarships sit in the Tower Foundation because sometimes the deans have a hard time reading the Tower Foundation quarterly report or the deans didn’t know the scholarship money existed, sources said.

Correction

Within 90 days of a new dean or vice president starting, Tower Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer meets with each of them and reviews every single endowment and current use account in their college, answering questions and providing copies of source documents they need. Donations for student scholarships were transferred to the Financial Aid and Scholarship office two years ago after a Chancellor’s Office audit recommended that scholarships be held in a single location.


Statement

The sources also said that when development officers in charge of donor accounts leave their job, their endowment accounts were forgotten about.

Correction

Endowment account holders (whether they be the dean, department chair or program director) receive monthly reports showing endowment distribution balances and spending. The focus of development officers is on cultivating major gifts rather than accounting for funds in their colleges. Tower Foundation has a senior accountant whose focus is the endowment; this individual not only answers questions, but also alerts the dean or department when an endowment isn’t being used.


Statement

Kuehn was hired in December of 2016, and since then, Tower Foundation employees said an accounting system in the Tower Foundation has been instituted to ensure donor money is properly logged and going exactly where it is intended.

Correction

The endowment system referred to as an accounting system was brought online in 2015 by Kuehn’s predecessor. The endowment system streamlined many processes, but prior to it there were internal controls which were designed to ensure donor funds were appropriately used. Tower Foundation has an annual financial audit by an accounting firm approved by the campus and the Chancellor’s Office. There have been no findings nor deficiencies identified by the auditors. The Tower Foundation also has a rigorous triennial Chancellor’s Office audit. There have been no endowment findings or deficiencies identified by the Chancellor’s Office auditors.


Spartan Daily “Tower reforms and resignation” (05/15/19, printed version, page eight)

Statement

In 2018, the Tower Foundation set up a separate branch strictly for athletic donations, hiring Josh Thiel to be the university’s first-ever deputy athletics director for athletics advanement.

Correction

University Advancement sets up a separate branch strictly for athletic donations, hiring Josh Thiel to be the university’s first-ever deputy athletics director for advancement. However, prior to the establishment of Athletics Advancement, different individuals in Athletics were involved with fundraising.


Statement

Then, after being called the Spartan Foundation since 1958, the Spartan Foundation was renamed the Spartan Athletics Fund in August of 2018.

Correction

The Spartan Foundation wasn’t renamed. The annual fundraising Spartan Foundation used to do was taken over by Athletics Advancement. The annual fund was named Spartan Athletics Fund.


Statement

President Papazian announced the resignation of Paul Lanning, who was the CEO of the Tower Foundation

Correction

Paul Lanning was VP for University Advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation


Spartan Daily “Budget reports disguise fund” (05/15/19, print publication, page eight)

Statement

The Spartan Foundation reported in its 2014 990 EZ tax filings that it had received $0 in gifts, grants, contributions and membership fees. However, according to the documents reviewed by the Spartan Daily, almost $1.5 million was collected that year.

Correction

Spartan Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, utilized its accounts at the Tower Foundation for depositing funds raised starting in 2013. As a result, the Spartan Foundation was no longer the legal recipient and therefore its 990 EZ tax form stated $0 received in gifts, grants, contributions and membership fees.


 

Read past related media statements and university communications regarding the Spartan Foundation.

 

University Communications Regarding Spartan Foundation

Editor’s Note: The following statement was issued to the media on May 17, 2019.

I want to assure the SJSU community that I take very seriously the recent allegations that the university misused donor funds. We hold ourselves to the highest values of honesty, integrity, and transparency. First, I want to state that between 2013 and 2016, every student who was eligible and selected for a scholarship received one, and no student scholarship was denied or withdrawn based on the availability of funds. I am looking closely into questions about whether the university’s use of funds honored donors’ intent. I will be asking an independent auditor to do a financial review relating to Athletics donations and will address any unknown problems that surface. If we discover that we have not fulfilled the intent of donors who gave to the Spartan Foundation, we will identify other resources to fulfill donors’ intent or we will return the gift.

Dr. Mary A. Papazian
President


Editor’s Note: The following statement was issued to the media on May 15, 2019.

San Jose State University remains deeply committed to conducting its fundraising and accounting practices in all areas with the highest levels of honesty, integrity, and transparency.

Any donation that is received which is specified for scholarships is directed to scholarships. Student-athletes who were selected for a scholarship received one.
In the past, the Spartan Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, raised funds to support Spartan Athletics in conjunction with University Advancement (UA).

Several years ago, SJSU leadership learned that some of the Spartan Foundation’s marketing and communications did not adequately convey how financial gifts were being used. The university responded in multiple ways. The university changed its marketing and communications to clearly state how donor gifts would be used. In addition, in early 2017, the university began the process of moving the athletics fundraising operation solely to the division of University Advancement to improve management and stewardship of financial gifts to SJSU Athletics.

University Advancement now houses all of SJSU fundraising operations, including Athletics Advancement, with experienced fundraising professionals and improved processes to better support management and stewardship of financial gifts to SJSU.

Dr. Mary A. Papazian
President


Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on May 15, 2019.

Dear Campus Community,

Many of you may have read today’s Spartan Daily article alleging the mishandling of donor funds from the Spartan Foundation during the 2013 to 2016 timeframe.

For many years, the Spartan Foundation, a 501(c)(3) entity, raised money to support our athletics program. In July 2013, accounts were opened in the Tower Foundation for the express purpose of depositing Spartan Foundation funds. The Tower Foundation is SJSU’s auxiliary organization dedicated solely to philanthropy.

Following this transition, and soon after I arrived in 2016, I was made aware that communication to Spartan Foundation donors was not consistently clear regarding use of donor funds to support student athlete scholarships. I understand that from 2013 to 2016, money specifically designated for student scholarships was in fact used for that purpose and that every student selected to receive a scholarship received one. However, I realized that we needed to review our communications with donors and pay closer attention to our internal processes. We have done just that.

Specifically, we began a systematic process of examining our athletic fundraising with respect to accounting, marketing, and communications. We took the following important steps:

The university changed its marketing and communications with donors to clearly state how donor gifts would be used.

In early 2017, the university began the process of moving the athletics fundraising operation solely to the division of University Advancement to improve management and stewardship of gifts to SJSU Athletics.

University Advancement now houses all of SJSU fundraising operations, including Athletics Advancement, with experienced fundraising professionals and improved processes to better support management and stewardship of financial gifts to SJSU.

While there remains some work to be done, our transition to a more streamlined, effective system of fundraising and stewardship is well underway.

We remain deeply committed to conducting our fundraising and accounting practices in all areas with the highest levels of honesty, integrity, and transparency.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mary A. Papazian
President


Read SJSU Media Relations Submits List of 22 Corrections to Spartan Daily’s May 15, 2019 Published Stories.

 

Campus Message on an Investigation of Fraternity Behavior

Dear campus community,

Building an inclusive, welcoming climate at SJSU demands sustained effort and contributions from all of us. And these efforts need to support the unique academic, cultural and socio-economic needs of a highly diverse student population and campus community.

On Tuesday afternoon, the university was notified about a photo circulating on social media that caused serious concern, hurt and anger. The picture suggests questionable behavior on the part of members of an SJSU fraternity that, if determined to be true, is deeply inappropriate and completely misaligned with the values of one of the nation’s most diverse universities. It also unfortunately misrepresents the many members of our Greek community who have committed themselves to leadership and service, and are currently focused on closing out the academic year.

An investigation of the fraternity’s activities is underway by the university. To be clear, this investigation does not include the political views being expressed in the photo. SJSU respects and affirms the free speech rights of our community. Rather, this investigation will fairly consider the facts and behavior of the students involved. It will also listen to their perspectives and evaluate the impact of this incident on the SJSU community.

Patrick K. Day
Vice President for Student Affairs

 

Campus Message on Measles Information and Prevention

Dear campus community,

According to Santa Clara County Public Health, as of April, nationwide “measles cases now total 704 in 2019, the highest since 1994.” Last month, two universities in Southern California experienced a case of measles exposure requiring public health officials to quarantine some of their unvaccinated employees and students.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that can be spread by person-to-person contact or through the air. The virus can remain in the air for up to two hours. About nine out of 10 people who have not had the measles vaccine will get measles if they are exposed to it.

At SJSU, the well-being and safety of our students, faculty and staff are important priorities. Due to the highly contagious nature of this virus, SJSU is strongly recommending that students, faculty and staff members take steps to protect their health and the health of those around them by making sure their measles vaccination is up to date.

For Students

Students who do not have evidence of immunity need two doses of the measles (MMR) vaccine, separated by at least 28 days. SJSU students may visit the Student Health Center or their medical provider for the MMR vaccine, or to check their immune status with a blood test. Students can also contact the Student Health Center at 408-924-6122.

For Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff members who do not have evidence of immunity should receive at least one dose of the MMR vaccine. Those who are unsure of their immunity are encouraged to check with their medical provider to determine their vaccination status or to get vaccinated. Persons born before 1957 are considered immune.

Measles Symptoms

Symptoms can include a high fever, cough, runny nose, watery, red eyes and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Complications from measles can be serious and can include deafness, pneumonia and infections in the brain.

If you suspect you have measles, call your primary care provider or the Student Health Center first before visiting your care provider’s office.

Additional Information

Additional information on measles and the MMR vaccine is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Santa Clara County Public Health.

Sincerely,

Barbara Fu, MD
Medical Chief of Staff, SJSU Student Health Center

 

Spring Graduate Cassandra Villicana Set for Stanford with NSF Fellowship

Cassandra Villicana, '19 Biomedical Engineering, poses for a photo at a Biomedical Engineering Society of SJSU event.

Cassandra Villicana, ’19 Biomedical Engineering, poses for a photo at a Biomedical Engineering Society of SJSU event.

By Abby McConnell, Office of Research

Cassandra Villicana, ’19 Biomedical Engineering, didn’t speak English before she enrolled in kindergarten in East San Jose, but by the time she started first grade, she was bilingual and doing math at a 4th grade level. Her parents, who emigrated from Mexico, emphasized the value of education to all of their children from a very young age. When Villicana’s brothers were in elementary school, her parents enrolled in an adult school to learn English, and when Villicana was born, they made sure their daughter had a head start when it came to numbers.

Cassandra Villicana has been involved in interdisciplinary research in a biochemistry lab at SJSU as well as other research projects.

Cassandra Villicana has been involved in interdisciplinary research in a biochemistry lab at SJSU as well as other research projects.

“Although my father did not receive any formal education and my mother only attended primary school, they knew core math concepts that they wanted me to understand. I remember sitting at the kitchen table after school and doing my times tables and learning long division with my mom, while my father took out card games and dominoes to help me understand statistics,” she said.

Villicana is one of two SJSU students who has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP). The NSF received more than 12,000 applicants in 2018 and made 2,000 offers nationwide.

The GRFP is the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, and recognizes outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees. NSF Fellows often become knowledge experts who contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering.

From Multiplication to MESA

While Villacana’s early talent for math might have been a sign of her future in STEM, she said she didn’t fall in love with science until she was a freshman at Mt. Pleasant High School in East San Jose. There, she discovered the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement Program (MESA), an organization that fosters early interest in math and science and prepares California middle and high school students to successfully pursue STEM majors in college.

Her first MESA competition introduced her to biomedical engineering and inadvertently, San Jose State. Her team was tasked with building and presenting a prosthetic arm for the National Engineering Competition, and regionals were held on SJSU’s campus. Villicana has been hooked on the possibilities of science and engineering ever since.

“It was the real world application of science and math concepts that I loved, especially the ability to translate that into an actual device that could help people. That transfer of knowledge was incredibly powerful to me,” Villicana said.

Research and Outreach

Cassandra Villicana presented her research at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students.

Cassandra Villicana presented her research at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students.

Helping others and transferring knowledge The values of transferring knowledge and helping people speak to the core of who Villicana is, both personally and academically. Through MESA in high school, she mentored younger students in STEM activities, and once at SJSU, through the college-level MESA Engineering Program (MEP) she continued that work. In her undergraduate career she has supported educational outreach to local schools, coordinated corporate sponsors for the Science Extravaganza and judged the MESA Engineering Design Competition. She also managed to earn the title of “Youngest Hired Chemistry Workshop Instructor” by running a support class for fellow undergraduates to help them pass one of the most failed courses on campus.

“As an engineering student, while service and outreach may be on your to-do list, it takes effort and focus to find the time to give back,” said Blanca Sanchez-Cruz, assistant director of Student Support Programs in the College of Engineering. “As Cassandra has moved forward academically and professionally, her priorities have remained linked to the local community. While she has always possessed a clear vision of what she wants to achieve, her priority is building bridges to student whose backgrounds are similar to her own, so they can see a path to college and careers in STEM.”

Villicana has been involved in a range of research activities, from collaborating on a real-time heart rate monitor prototype at Chung Yuan Christian University in Taiwan through the Global Technology Institute Program at SJSU to laser development at Boston Scientific Corporation, researching ways of destroying kidney stones and prostate scar tissue without invasive surgery. For the past two years, she has conducted research in Dr. Laura Miller Conrad’s biochemistry lab, working to reverse the effectiveness of antibiotic-resistant pathogens from the inside-out, by blocking the pathways that make them immune to some of the world’s most commonly used antibiotics.

Taking the Next Step

This research was at the core of Villicana’s proposal for the NSF fellowship, and she also incorporated her interest in microfluidic device design.

After gaining admission to twelve graduate programs, Villicana decided to take her NSF support with her to Stanford in the fall. Choosing Stanford had much to do with the sense of community she experienced during her campus visit, which felt very similar to the one she was a part of at SJSU. She acknowledges it will be challenging to leave behind supportive professors and advisors, including Dr. Karen Singmaster, Susan Arias, MESA Program Director at SJSU, Miller-Conrad and Sanchez-Cruz, not to mention peers and friends from programs like the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE), Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) and MEP.

“At least at Stanford, I won’t be far,” Villicana said. “For me, it’s a huge bonus that I can stay local. I love the idea of being able to come back to SJSU and support the organizations that helped me, while using my experiences to show underrepresented students what is possible.”