Four people with big checks from the milk board.

Nutrition Professor Nominates Winning “Maestra Positiva”

Four people with big checks from the milk board.

Steve James of the California Milk Processor Board awards ceremonial checks to Christina Rodriguez and Father Eddie Samaniego, accompanied by Associate Professor Marjorie Freedman (GOT MILK photo).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

When the California Milk Processor Board, creator of GOT MILK? and its Spanish-language counterpart TOMA LECHE, launched a statewide contest in search of three “Maestros Positivos,” they found just who they were looking for right here in San Jose, with help from an SJSU faculty member. Associate Professor Marjorie Freedman of the Department of Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging nominated Christina Rodriguez, who serves on a steering committee for an SJSU food justice program Freedman oversees. A registered nurse, Rodriguez provides basic health care and nutrition services through Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church’s Health & Nutrition Ministries. She hosts monthly health fairs at her church to test blood sugar and pressure, donating her time and money to purchase testing equipment. The California Milk Processor Board awarded each of three “Maestros Positivos” $5,000 ($2,500 for each winner and $2,500 for each winner’s charity of choice) for exemplifying positivity in the area of health and nutrition in their respective communities. Freedman joined Rodriguez at a celebratory event Jan. 25 at the church.

Mr. Thomspon with 2 students in Hong Kong

Thompson Global Internship Program Receives $950,000 Gift

two students with Crown truck in Hong Kong

Students Jimmy Sigona (left) and Artem Shevchuk (right) in Hong Kong with the Thompson Global Internship Program (photo courtesy of Jimmy Sigona).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

James E. Thompson, ’62 Aeronautical Engineering, has made a $950,000 gift commitment to San Jose State University supporting a College of Business program he helped establish in 2010. The gift is expected to support student participants over the next ten years. The competitive Thompson Global Internship Program sends undergraduate business students to tackle challenging, real-life projects identified by Crown Worldwide Group in cities where it operates such as Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Thompson is founder and chairman of the Hong Kong-based business, the world’s largest privately-held international moving company. He created the internship so students could develop a truly global worldview. “My interest in funding this program was to encourage San Jose State students to realize the fact that globalization is now part of all our lives and we should embrace it,” he said in May as SJSU’s commencement speaker. “We’ve come very far in making the world a global society, and in my opinion there’s no turning back.”

To learn more, please contact Program Director William DeVincenzi, (408) 924-3488.

Kevin Jordan and colleagues in flight simulator

SJSU Receives $73.3 Million Award to Participate in NASA Research

Kevin Jordan and colleagues in flight simulator

Kevin Jordan (front) with Tom Prevot (back left) and Vern Battiste (SJSU Research Foundation photo).

Cooperative Agreement Seeks to Enhance Safety and Efficiency of Air and Space Travel

Contact: Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations, 408-656-6999

SAN JOSE, Calif., — The NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., has selected San Jose State University Research Foundation for a five-year, $73.3 million cooperative agreement to participate in the development of systems for improving the safety and efficiency of air and space travel. NASA scientists, along with SJSU faculty members and graduate students, will collaborate on this effort, funded by the largest federal award in SJSU history. The principal investigator will be Professor of Psychology and of Human Factors and Ergonomics, Kevin Jordan.

“San Jose State University is both proud and grateful to be selected to partner in Human System Integration Research at NASA Ames,” Jordan said.  “We are proud of the many accomplishments during our 26-year collaboration.  We are grateful for the opportunity to build on that collaboration to meet the design challenges of initiatives such as the Next Generation Air Transportation System and the Space Launch System. We are well positioned to face those challenges and we are committed to partnering with Human Systems Integration researchers in advancing NASA missions.”

This cooperative agreement will build upon Jordan’s 26-year association working with NASA to conduct research focusing on human factors in aeronautics and space exploration. A human factor is a physical or cognitive property that is specific to humans and influences functioning of technological systems.  Human Systems Integration Research studies how relationships between humans and machines can be optimized.

Under this cooperative agreement, San Jose State students and employees will work side-by-side with NASA scientists on a range of projects.  Examples include the Next Generation Air Transportation System, which seeks to modernize the nation’s air traffic system by increasing the capacity and safety of U.S. airspace and the Space Launch System, an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle designed to take a crew vehicle, as well as important cargo, equipment and science experiments to Earth’s orbit and beyond.

The proposed projects will investigate the integration of unique human capabilities with future flight-deck (cockpit), air-traffic control, and mission planning and scheduling technologies. An important aspect of this award is that it will further SJSU and NASA’s efforts to provide graduate students with academic and professional training.

Dr. Kevin Jordan

In the past year, Jordan has overseen three cooperative agreements with NASA representing more than $10 million in funding and employing 75 researchers, including graduate students working toward degrees in psychology and human factors in ergonomics. Jordan has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in visual perception at San Jose State since 1984. During his career, Jordan has authored proposals resulting in over $125 million in funding to support collaborative research in aerospace human systems integration.

The San Jose State University Research Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation established to enable and promote externally-funded programs that further SJSU’s comprehensive educational mission, impact, and public benefit. Each year hundreds of local, state, and federal agencies, businesses, and other organizations partner with the research foundation to engage SJSU faculty and other university specialists to perform basic and applied research, public service and community projects, consulting, and other specialized educational activities impacting the region, the nation and the world.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 28,000 students and 3,190 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

Councilmember Sam Liccardo addresses meeting.

San Jose Mayor, City Council Commend CommUniverCity

CommUniverCity Executive Director Dayana Salazar addresses city council with volunteers standing behind her.

Flanked by volunteers, CommUniverCity San Jose Executive Director Dayana Salazar accepts the commendation in city council chambers (photo courtesy of Dayana Salazar).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

In December, the San Jose mayor and city council commended CommUniverCity for having orchestrated more than 100,000 volunteer hours in the community.

CommUniverCity San Jose is a collaborative project of the Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrace communities, San Jose State University and the city of San Jose.

SJSU concentrates service-learning classes in these neighborhoods in cooperation with the Neighborhood Advisory Council and the city.

The Commendation

WHEREAS: CommUniverCity builds community by engaging residents and students in service-learning projects that accomplish neighborhood-driven goals; and,

WHEREAS: CommUniverCity creates and supports community action projects that provide rich educational opportunities for residents of all ages that promote a “college-going” culture and instill a desire for life-long learning; and,

WHEREAS: CommUniverCity works to strengthen the community’s capacity to bring about vibrant, healthy, and engaged neighborhoods; and,

WHEREAS: CommUniverCity has served the Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrace community for six years, and completed more than 100,000 hours of community development work, valued at over $2 million.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Chuck Reed, Mayor of San José, together with Councilmember Sam Liccardo, and our colleagues on the City Council, on this 13th of December, 2011, do hereby congratulate and commend COMMUNIVERCITY SAN JOSE for their dedication to improving the quality of life in our downtown neighborhoods.

My VIP: Janie Scott, Professor of Music & Dance

My VIP: Janie Scott, Professor of Music & Dance

My VIP: Janie Scott, Professor of Music & Dance

Professor Janie Scott (David Schmitz photo)

Izetta Fang Klein ’99 Dance nominated Professor Janie Scott of the School of of Music & Dance for this feature in the winter 2012 issue of Washington Square Magazine. Klein said: “During my time at SJSU, Janie Scott was in charge of Company One, which I’m sure was and still is a huge undertaking for one person. It still amazes me today where she finds the energy to not only prep her everyday classes, but also offer her personal time outside of school at Company One Christmas parties, private vocal lessons and outside work as a contract director of Cabrillo Stage. All of these outlets provide additional opportunities for SJSU students to gain top-notch training and experience. Her energy and spirit have done nothing but inspire. Janie Scott definitely deserves recognition!”

If you would like to nominate a VIP, send a 100-word statement telling us why. Include your name, major, year of graduation and telephone number. Send the information to: WSQ Editor, SJSU, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0005.

Photo of Arabic building through etch glass.

SJSU Documentary Receives Top Honors at CreaTiVE Awards

group shot, SJSU students in the foreground, sand dunes behind

Assistant Professor Diane Guerrazzi and seven students on SJSU's first faculty-led trip to a region of the world capturing headlines and captivating Americans (Desert Safari photo).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

“From the USA to the UAE,” a documentary produced by an SJSU School of Journalism and Mass Communications professor and seven students, received top honors in the “Educator” category at the CreaTiVE Awards held Jan. 7 at the California Theatre. The SJSU team visited the United Arab Emirates one year ago “keeping our sights set on cultural perception as perpetuated by the media,” Assistant Professor Diane Guerrazzi said. The group toured three emirates, interviewing cultural experts and media expats, as well as students, workers and shopkeepers. While their goal was to collect material capturing cultural differences and laws governing media content, “this is more than a study of media differences; this is an examination of a cultural divide, perceptions and misperceptions,” Guerrazzi said. The CreaTiVE Awards honors community media makers throughout the Bay Area who promote and celebrate individual expression, learning, diversity, arts and civic engagement. View “From the USA to the UAE.” Read the blog.

"Hemp Plastic Water Bottles" Steals the Show at Innovation Challenge

“Hemp Plastic Water Bottles” Steals the Show at Innovation Challenge

Junior JD Leadam stands to the left of his project poster board for Hemp Plastic Water Bottles presented his idea to a passerby. Poster board includes a picture of the design and an explanation of his project

Junior business major J.D. Leadam won first place in several categories at the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge for his entry, Hemp Plastic Water Bottles (Dillon Adams photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Nearly 200 Spartans competed Dec. 1 in the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge, including junior business major J.D. Leadam, who took first place in several categories, winning $2,000.

“I learned that if I truly believe in an idea, then I can sell anyone on it,” Leadam said.

Leadam won Most Innovative Idea, Best Elevator Pitch, and People’s Choice awards for his entry, “Hemp Plastic Water Bottles,” an idea that replaces single-use water bottles with biodegradable plastic water bottles made from industrial hemp.

“Regular water bottles will release toxins over time and when they are buried in our landfills, they last for all eternity,” Leadam said. “We want to replace them with bottles made out of hemp, which are 100 percent safe and biodegradable.”

Leadam plans on entering the Silicon Valley Business Plan Competition this spring, using the money that he won from the challenge to make a prototype and contact manufacturers in China.

“I am really looking to make this happen,” he said.

Teaching Innovation

Other projects included ePrepared, an online community providing counseling sources for high school and college students; Applications Complete, an innovative way to track everyday receipts; and Spherical Drive System, a new concept for a motorcycle designed to balance like a Segway.

This was the first time The Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship, within the College of Business, extended its signature fall event to all majors.

Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as  alumni from all seven colleges participated. President Mohammad Qayoumi and College of Business Dean David Steele presented the winning awards.

“I think that we were successful in creating a cross-disciplinary collaboration for our first year,” SVCE Director Anuradha Basu said.

Industry Professionals

Over 25 community members helped with judging the exhibits and the elevator pitch contest. They included 11 CEOs/founders, two attorneys, two angel investors, two venture capitalists, a banker, and four managers from Cisco and Intel. Around 10 judges were SJSU alumni.

Included on the panel of judges were Arlo Inc. Co-founder Dave Hadden and Tower Foundation of SJSU Board Member Wanda Ginner, who headed her own independent CPA firm for several decades.

“I noticed that the personal appearance and presentations of the students were better than last year, and the elevator pitches were significantly better,” Ginner said. “I just had the feeling that the students were really invested.”

Hadden felt his experience was his biggest contribution.

“Without being critical, we can point out things to help students,” he said. “You could tell having a real world experience was meaningful to them.”

Mix of students and professional crew shooting film.

Critics Applaud Professor’s Indie Film

Amy Glazer

Amy Glazer (Arc Entertainment photo)

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

“Seducing Charlie Barker” by SJSU Professor of Theater and Film Amy Glazer opened to high acclaim at theaters on both coasts in December.

“It’s a sad, hilarious, witty and right-on rendering of a talented but unemployed New York actor who, as his own worst enemy, makes all the wrong decisions,” Doris Toumarkine wrote in Film Journal International. “Casting throughout is pitch-perfect, as is the writing, direction and storytelling.”

Glazer is a recent convert to film. For many years, she “focused on directing plays — mostly new ones — at prominent Bay Area theaters and teaching theater and film,” wrote the San Francisco Chronicle’s Chad Jones. “As a film teacher, though, she was feeling somewhat inauthentic. ‘How can I teach it if I’m not doing it myself?’”

So she put her students to work, and in the process taught herself how to teach them more effectively. How many Spartans pitched in?

“Many!” she said. “It was part of our curriculum so students in my advanced projects class worked on the pre-production play-to-film part, then production, and then six months of editing and post-production over a three-year period. Most of them have just graduated. Many students from the film class are in the background, including former students who play Daphne’s assistants and Clea’s friend at the beginning and end of the film.

“And the final shot, when they call ‘cut,’ there are several of my film directing students playing filmmakers. It always makes me smile. I even have a cut of two of my TA’s in the same shot at the party. Then behind the scenes, much of my crew was made up of students and former students who got internship credits for their efforts along with film credits. Several students working professionally in Los Angeles came back to help me out as well.

“The first day of shooting, when I realized I was surrounded by so many of my students and former students, was filled with so much joy and satisfaction — both as an artist and a professor.”

Read a San Francisco Chronicle review.

Read a San Jose Mercury News review.

View the official movie website.

MESA Schools Receives $30,000 Grant from Boston Scientific Foundation

MESA Schools Receives $30,000 Grant from Boston Scientific Foundation

Young student operating a simple machine created with MESA Schools support.

San José State’s MESA Schools Program works with secondary school teachers to encourage educationally disadvantaged students to pursue college degrees in science, technology engineering and math related majors.

Robot parts and computers to program the robots. Balsa wood for building bridges. Paper and pencils. A $30,000 grant from the Boston Scientific Foundation will, among other things, finance an interesting list of supplies for SJSU’s MESA group.

The MESA Schools Program, which worked with the San José State’s Corporate and Foundation Relations team to apply for the grant, was informed that it was being awarded the generous gift in October. Boston Scientific is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices. Its products are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties.

This year’s grant follows on a prior grant for $10,000. The increase in grant funding developed out of a multi-level relationship between SJSU and Boston Scientific including Spartan alumni within the company, Boston Scientific volunteer participation with MESA kids and the demonstrable success of the program.

San José State’s MESA Schools Program—its name is an acronym for Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement—has worked since 1979 with secondary school teachers in the Santa Clara Valley to encourage educationally disadvantaged students to pursue college degrees in science, technology engineering and math related majors.

Read more.

Spartans Swimmers Rank Among Nation's Best

Swim Team Nationally Ranked

Spartans Swimmers Rank Among Nation's Best

The Spartans own 14 national top-50 times, including seven in the top-10, across 10 different individual and relay events (photo by SJSU Athletics).

A number of San Jose State swimmers find themselves among the nation’s best this week after an outstanding performance at the prestigious Arena Invitational in Long Beach. In addition, SJSU was recently ranked the number two Mid-Major Division I swim team in the nation by The Spartans own 14 national top-50 times, including seven in the top-10, across 10 different individual and relay events. Seven different athletes represent San Jose State among the nation’s elite in individual events, while two more join forces with them to form some of the fastest relay teams in the country. “We’re very pleased with our early-season progress,” said Head Coach Sage Hopkins. “I think it’s a great indication of the progress the team has been making and the sacrifices they have made.” The group is led by the 200 freestyle relay team of Meghan McCurley, Marisa DeWames, Kiley Foster and Erika Harvey, which holds the fourth-best time in the country at 1 minute, 31.15 seconds. The team set a new school record and earned an NCAA “B” standard with the performance at last week’s Arena Invitational on Nov. 17.

Read more from SJSU Athletics.

CSU Media Arts Festival Features Six SJSU Projects

Spartans Score at CSU Media Arts Festival

CSU Media Arts Festival Features Six SJSU Projects

An image from "Bye Bye bruce" by SJSU animation/illustration student Yung-Han Chang.

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Drawing from the excellent work of students throughout the California State University system, the 2011 CSU Media Arts Festival awards competition screened 39 finalist projects including six from SJSU.  A total of $9,000 was awarded to 12 of the finalists Nov. 12 at CSU Fullerton’s Steven G. Mihaylo Hall.

Spartan Wins Rosebud Award

SJSU’s Christine Mahady received a Rosebud Award and $500 check for her feature screenplay “The Domestic Slut.” Other SJSU prize winners included:

Second Place – Bloom, Brian Kistler and Emily Johnstone
Third Place – Bye-Bye, bruce, Yung Han Chang

Feature Screenplay
Fifth Place – Loser, Tony Tallarico
Sixth Place – Turkey Day, Tull Jordan

Video Games
Second Place – MFA Prep Course, Marek Kapolka and John Bruneau

“The students tap into the most cutting-edge and exciting elements of media arts,” said Joanne Sharp, Media Arts Festival Director.  “The competition sharpens student skills and gives them a chance to prove themselves in front of industry professionals and their peers.”

A panel of distinguished CSU faculty and industry professionals reviewed 162 entries before selecting the 39 finalists.  The finalists represent ten CSU campuses: Channel Islands, Fullerton, Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and San Marcos.  Entry categories include:  Animation, Documentary, Experimental, Interactive, Music Video, Narrative, Television, Video Games, Feature Screenplay, and Short Screenplay.

Cash prizes during the award ceremony include:  $1,000 and Rosebud Award to winner of best in show; $500 and Rosebud Award to winner in each category; $250 to the campus department of each winning category.  Place Awards are also given in each category.

San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Inducts Two Spartans

San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Inducts Ueberroth, Lambert

San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Inducts Two Spartans

Art Lambert (above) and Peter Ueberroth were inducted Nov. 9 (photos courtesy of the San Jose Sports Authority).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Two San Jose State alumni were among five athletes inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Nov. 9 at HP Pavilion.

Peter Ueberroth served as an Olympic leader and baseball commissioner. Art Lambert was an SJSU and Stanford water polo player and coach.

Other inductees this year included figure skaters Rudy Galindo and Kristi Yamaguchi, and Santa Clara University and NFL quarterback Dan Pastorini.

The 2011 Class brings the total number to 81 of South Bay sports figures in the hall of fame, which recognizes each honoree with a bronze plaque permanently installed on the concourse at HP Pavilion.

The annual induction is an event of the San Jose Sports Authority, San Jose Arena Authority, HP Pavilion Management/San Jose Sharks and the City of San José.

The event benefits Special Olympics Northern California and high school sports programs. Read more.

Passengers boarding VTA light rail.

Recent Grad Wins VTA Mobile App Contest

Passengers boarding VTA light rail.

Vashishtha Jogi, who recently graduated with a master's in computer engineering, won with "San Jose Transit."

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

In June, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority launched a contest challenging professional developers and hobbyists to create a mobile app to enhance the VTA travel experience.  Members of the public submitted a variety of apps that are supported by Apple’s operating system, Google’s Android platform, or both. After carefully evaluating all contest submittals, “San Jose Transit” designed by Vashishtha Jogi was declared the winner! When asked why he entered the VTA contest, Jogi cited his interest in public transit and desire to make it easier for the public to navigate the system. “I love learning new technology, and this industry plays a huge role in my desired career path,” said Jogi.  “I aspire to be someone who builds something useful for other people and not done by anybody else.” Jogi recently completed his master’s in software engineering at San Jose State in August. The app offers schedules for light rail, bus and train service. Read more.

Illustration by Suhita Shirodkar

CommUniverCity Receives National Award for Innovative Partnership That Reduced Crime

Illustration by Suhita Shirodkar

The community of Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrace, including the Olinder and Bonita/McKinley neighborhoods, envision replacing a rail line east of campus with a neighborhood pathway (illustration by Suhita Shirodkar).

MetLife Foundation honors CommUniverCity San José, City of San José Strong Neighborhoods Initiative and San José Police Department at November 4th service event

Dayana Salazar (CommUniverCity), (408) 924-5854
Julia Ryan (LISC), (212) 455-1618
Sgt. Jason Dwyer (SJPD), (408) 409-5339

SAN JOSÉ, Calif.  – An innovative partnership between CommUniverCity San José and the San José Police Department that has reduced crime, eliminated blight and renewed economic vitality in several neighborhoods is being recognized on Friday, November 4, 2011 with a national MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Award.

A public award celebration will be held at 8 a.m. during Friday’s kickoff of San José State University’s 2011 Day of Service on the lawn in front of Tower Hall. An estimated 1,000 students, faculty and staff will remove graffiti, improve landscaping and otherwise beautify neighborhoods surrounding the campus later in the day. Councilmember Sam Liccardo (District 3) is scheduled to speak. Members of the media are invited to attend.

“I’d like to thank the MetLife Foundation for recognizing our unique and successful partnership,” said Mayor Chuck Reed. “This honor is a testament to the hard work of our dedicated police force, the commitment of our partners at San José State University and the numerous residents who volunteer their time to build a stronger and safer neighborhood.”

The San José award winners were selected from a pool of more than 700 applicants for one of 10 MetLife Foundation honors, which specifically recognizes their creative efforts to integrate policing with economic development. CommUniverCity will receive $20,000 to advance its public safety partnership with the San José Police Department.

The award is funded by MetLife Foundation – which has long supported neighborhood-based efforts to tackle crime and improve safety – and is administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), whose national Community Safety Initiative promotes strategic community development and policing through creative partnerships.

“Collaboration between community-based groups and police departments can reduce crime, stimulate housing and other development, and improve the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “These partners in San José present an exemplary model for groups nationwide facing similar challenges and opportunities. We are pleased to join LISC in recognizing and sharing their impressive work.”

That work includes the transformation of an abandoned railroad site known for illegal dumping, drug dealing and other criminal activity into an attractive, safe community. Infrastructure improvements orchestrated by the City of San José Strong Neighborhoods Initiative were key to the change, including streetscape upgrades and a shopping center renovation. KB Homes built more than 100 new homes utilizing principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, an approach which honored the community’s desire to bridge a historical divide between the McKinley and Olinder neighborhoods. With contributions by many public and private partners, both old and new residents are now united behind a vision for a safe and integrated community.

“Congratulations to our dedicated police force and CommUniverCity for their innovation in community policing and their commitment to safe neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Sam Liccardo.

“Strong partnerships are at the heart of community policing,” noted Chief Moore. “The San José Police Department has a long tradition of working with our community members to solve crime and eliminate neighborhood conditions that lead to crime. We are proud to be recognized for our efforts in working with the community to make San José a safe place to live, work and learn.”

From 2008 to 2010, the partners’ target area experienced a 17% decrease in overall crime incidents, a 34% decline in gang-related incidents and $4.8 million in public investment.

“This recognition from MetLife Foundation and LISC is a powerful validation of the positive, long lasting impact the collaborative work of residents, university students, and City staff has had on our local communities,” said Dayana Salazar, executive director of CommUniverCity.

“The dramatic change in the McKinley and Olinder neighborhoods proves that community groups, the City, and police can turn neighborhood dreams into reality when they work together, integrate their strategies, and share resources. In this case, we can clearly see how strong partnerships really do help build strong neighborhoods,” said Stephanie Forbes, executive director of Bay Area LISC. “We are thrilled to join MetLife Foundation in recognizing the creative and successful work of all of the CommUniverCity partners in making our city a better place to live and work.”


Event Information: San José State University Day of Service Kickoff with the MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Award presentation
Location: San José State University Tower Lawn (in front of Tower Hall)
Date/Time: Friday, November 4, 8 a.m.

About CommUniverCity: CommUniverCity is a partnership between a local community in San José (community), San José State University (university), and the City of San José (city). CommUniverCity builds community by engaging residents and students in service learning projects that accomplish neighborhood-driven goals. Established in 2005, CommUniverCity San José has engaged 33,551 residents, over 7,754 students and 1,295 corporate volunteers have invested more than 105,543 hours in community service valued at over $2 million. More information.

About the City of San José: From its founding in 1777 as California’s first city, San José has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San José stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley – the world’s leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, to work and to live. More information.

About LISC: Bay Area Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) works to make neighborhood dreams a reality by working with cities, residents, nonprofit organizations, and key public and private partners to build the capacity of community revitalization efforts. As part of LISC’s national operations, the Community Safety Initiative supports strategic alliances between police and community developers to reduce crime, disorder and fear in troubled neighborhoods; it has administered the MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Awards since 2002. More information.

About MetLife Foundation: MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to carry on MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. The Foundation is committed to building a secure future for individuals and communities worldwide. Through programs focusing on empowering older adults, preparing young people and building livable communities, MetLife Foundation increases access and opportunities for people of all ages. Since it was established, MetLife Foundation has made more than $500 million in grants and $75 million in program related investments. More information.

Alumnus Rings NASDAQ Opening Bell

Alumnus Rings NASDAQ Opening Bell

Alumnus Rings NASDAQ Opening Bell

Eric Kelly rings the opening bell (photo courtesy of his wife Valarie Kelly, political science '82).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

When Overland Storage Inc. visited the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York City’s Times Square Oct. 14, the company’s CEO, an SJSU alumnus, rang the opening bell. Eric Kelly has served as the data protection and management solutions provider’s CEO since January 2009 and as a board member since 2007. Previously, Kelly was president of Silicon Valley Management Partners Inc., a management consulting and M&A advisory firm, which he co-founded in 2007. Mr. Kelly spent nearly 30 years in computer technology developing distinct operational, marketing and sales expertise. His most recent corporate position was vice president and general manager of storage systems solutions at Adaptec, Inc. Prior to that, he served as president and CEO of Snap Appliance, which was acquired by Adaptec. Two years earlier, Kelly engineered the purchase of Snap from Quantum Corp., having recognized the inherent value in Snap, where the main product he drove became the volume market leader in Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances. His previous corporate affiliations include Maxtor Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Diamond Multimedia, Conner Peripherals and IBM. Mr. Kelly earned an M.B.A. from San Francisco State University and a B.S. in Business from San Jose State University.

Johnson in her classroom

Best of SJSU: Biology’s Victoria Johnson

Best of SJSU mark

Victoria Johnson’s slogan is "Teach Tolerance.”

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

We recently asked SJSU Facebook fans, all 12,000 of them, to tell us “What is the best class you’ve taken at SJSU?” Congratulations to Victoria Johnson, whose Biology 140 Human Sexuality class was mentioned several times.

Mechanical and aerospace engineering major Kelli Riley was among the respondents on Facebook. She enthusiastically posted, “Human Sexuality with Victoria Johnson is a must!”

Johnson knew she wanted to teach since the first day of first grade. She was asked to pick up the Human Sexuality course 11 years and never regretted the decision.

“I like it because I think it matters,” Johnson said. “I think that all of the stuff that I teach to people is directly relevant to their life, their well-being, and to having a happy and healthy society.”

Graduate advertising student Monir Monfared said Johnson’s Human Sexuality class was “one of those classes that stood out for her” and she remembers Johnson as “approachable and nice.”

She added, “After the class, I felt more comfortable and more open to discuss the issues about sexuality and the problems and advantages around the whole issue.”

This matches the lecturer’s approach, which is “Teach Tolerance.”

“We specifically look at how other cultures handle certain things and then compare them to our own,” she said.

On connecting with her students, Johnson said, “I think getting the feedback and deliberately designing the class to be what the students need and want is why they like it so much.”

Human Sexuality is an elective course that meets the area S general requirement for graduation and focuses on cross-cultural perspectives and modern American sexuality, according to SJSU’s course listing.

Thanks to all who participated in our “Best of Series.”

Lecturer Morris Jones, wearing a blue-collared shirt and black slacks, uses gestures during his general engineering class, Green Electronics. Photo by Elena Polanco.

Best of SJSU: Engineering Lecturer Has a Student Following

Best of SJSU mark

Thanks to all who participated in our Facebook "Best of SJSU" series!

By Sarah Kyo, Public Affairs Assistant

When SJSU recently asked students on Facebook about the best SJSU classes, engineering lecturer Morris Jones’ name popped up multiple times.

What also popped up in the comment of Ram Kumar, an electrical engineering graduate student, was a student-created Facebook fan page for Jones. “Share what you like about him and those jokes he makes in classes that you remember!” said the info section of the fan page.

Kumar said Jones keeps students interested and engaged by cracking jokes during class.

“My goal is to have enthusiasm,” Jones said. “The professor shouldn’t be there on the verge of death.”

Jones said he wants his students to really know the material because “one day it’ll be really important.” Jones, who came to SJSU from Intel, said he tries to challenge students in order to prepare them for their future job interviews and careers, not just to pass his class. That’s why his exams are closed book, he uses multiple versions of a test, and he switches the class seating periodically.

Kumar said Jones brings ample experience into the classroom and is “the one-stop source students run to for advising their projects.”

“He is very passionate in what he does,” Kumar said. “He is very dedicated and helpful to students. That is why you always see him surrounded by lot of students all the time.”

Besides advising student projects, this semester Jones teaches a graduate-level electrical engineering course and a new upper division SJSU Studies course called Green Electronics. According to the SJSU catalog, this general engineering class focuses on “scientific principles underlying electronic and computer devices for non-engineers,” including energy efficiency and electricity consumption.

Joe Monzel, a senior anthropology student who is taking Green Electronics, described Jones as “very light-hearted and casual.” He also said it’s good that the class encourages students to think about how much energy they use.

John Carlos in sculpture

Alumnus John Carlos Releases Autobiography

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

John Carlos, one of two Spartans memorialized in an iconic sculpture at SJSU after taking a controversial stand at the 1968 Olympic Games, has released his autobiography. “The John Carlos Story” was co-written by Dave Zirin with a forward by Cornel West. The Princeton University scholar notes Carlos’ “incredible political courage, indisputable athletic excellence, and indestructible spiritual fortitude set him apart from contemporary celebrities.” Carlos recalls “what was truly special was not the statue, but how it came about … students on campus organized a movement that made the statue happen.” He also describes how “I made a proposal to the people at San Jose State … that I would like to see them bestow honorary doctorate degrees on Tommie and me … The ‘Dr.’ in front of my name was important because I was dyslexic as a young man, and now I spend my days talking to kids about education. I wanted them to know it could be done.” John Carlos and fellow Olympian Tommie Smith received honorary Ph.D.s from San Jose State in May 2005.  Together, they received the 2008 Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Watch an ESPN video narrated by Tom Cruise. Read a San Francisco Chronicle book review.

portrait of Art Dunklin

Arthur Dunklin Diversity Award Winners Named

portrait of Art Dunklin

The award recognizes individuals who reflect the work of the late Arthur Dunklin, an SJSU staff member who was dedicated to creating a welcoming, inclusive and supportive campus climate.

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

President Mohammad Qayoumi and the Campus Climate Committee are pleased to announce the recipients of the first Arthur Dunklin Diversity Awards. There are four awards, one each for a student, staff member, faculty member and administrator.

“It was gratifying to receive so many nominations of individuals who embody the principles of inclusive excellence,” the committee said. “Thank yous go to all the faculty, staff, students, and administrators who help to make San Jose State University a place of deep mutual respect for all.”

The Campus Climate Committee received nominations and reviewed the qualifications of all nominees. The recipients are:

  • Yan Yin K. Choy, Student, Environmental Studies
  • Maribel Martinez, Staff, Associated Students
  • Kathleen Roe, Professor, Health Science
  • Debra Griffith, Administrator, Educational Opportunity Program

Please join us in congratulating these individuals at the awards ceremony scheduled for 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, October 12, at the Smith/Carlos sculpture lawn area. Please RSVP by emailing Melanie Schlitzkus at

Yan Yin K. Choy has been studying environmental studies and anthropology with a focus on the barriers and benefits of sustainable food systems, service-learning, and community engagement. She has been empowered by her peers, mentors, and kindred to advocate for diversity, human rights, and food security through spoken word, community theatre, and nonviolent direct action. Yan Yin now serves as the Associated Students of SJSU director of student rights and responsibilities, community intern with the SJSU Women’s Resource Center organizer for the 10th annual performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” and multimedia coordinator of the first South Bay Womyn’s Conference.

Maribel Martinez joined the staff of the Associated Students of SJSU in 2007 as the first full-time employee to head the Cesar E. Chavez Community Action Center. Prior to SJSU, she worked in the non-profit field focusing on leadership development, community organizing and outreach. She is an alumna of SJSU with studies is political science, sociology and applied anthropology, and is a former AS President. As an artist, Ms. Martinez uses theatre, spokenword, music and visual arts to explore complex social issues in the community.

Dr. Kathleen Roe earned all her degrees from the UC Berkeley, culminating in a doctorate in public health, before joining the Department of Health Science in 1988 and serving as chair since 2001. Over her career, Dr. Roe has been involved in many community-based education and research projects including Salud Familiar en McKinley; the Intercambio of the Department of Health Science, the McKinley community, and a pueblo of artisans in Arrazola, Oaxaca, Mexico; and, for over 12 years, the process evaluator for the San Francisco HIV Prevention Planning Council. Among her numerous awards, Dr. Roe is the recipient of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Faculty Award for Commitment to Equity and Diversity, the Outstanding Professor of SJSU in 2002, and in May, Dean Charles Bullock selected Salud Familiar as the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Dean’s Award, the College of Applied Sciences and Art’s highest recognition.

Debra Y. Griffith is the current director of the Educational Opportunity Program at SJSU. From 2001-2003, she served as a resident director in University Housing Services. She was named the director of the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development in 2003, where she managed student discipline and led educational, proactive programming for seven years. Ms. Griffith received a bachelor’s from Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus and a master’s from SJSU. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate in organizational leadership at Argosy University.

Best of SJSU mark

Best of SJSU: Most Helpful Resources

Best of SJSU mark

Thanks to all who participated in our Facebook "Best of SJSU" series.

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

A few weeks back, we asked SJSU Facebook’s 12,000 fans, “Who or what has been your most helpful resource at SJSU?”

Incentivized by a Spartan Shops resource (Gold Points!), over 75 people responded, including Carlos Fletes, who went with the Latino Business Students Association.

“This organization has definitely made me grow as a person and I thank them everyday for it,” he wrote. “I advise everyone else to join an organization like LBSA.”

David Galán Angüiano also did a great job making the case for another solid resource offered at no cost to all students 24-7.

“Going to SJSU Counseling Services was the BEST decision I have ever made in my LIFE,” he said. “Now, I am motivated, hard working, proud of myself. I am accomplishing so much.”

Go David! Though Fletes and Angüiano won the prizes, it was a tough call. Many campus resources received multiple mentions.

So here’s to the Student Health Center (“the massage chair … is miraculous”), King Library (“I’ve never seen a more helpful staff”), and Resident Assistants (“every time I have a problem or question, he’s there for me”).

Kudos also to the Educational Opportunity Program, Guardian Scholars, Career Center, Freshmen Orientation, Peer Mentors, Student Union, and Associated Students’ Eco Pass Program.

“Jedi Master of the Spartan Daily”

Many faculty and staff members scored a shout out including Mokhtar Zoubeidi in mathematics (“he helped me almost every day in his office), Mack Lundstrom in journalism (“Jedi Master of the Spartan Daily”), and Kathleen Simel in admissions (“great help for graduate students”).

When it comes to one very important off-campus resource, we couldn’t say it better than Noel Garcia Estrella, who zeroed in on “my parents for sure.”

And last, but certainly not least, Miguel Mtz wrote, “SJSU’s students themselves. I know I can ask a classmate or any student anything. Everyone is friendly and True Spartans.”

We agree! Thanks to all who participated!

Join SJSU on Facebook.