Civil Engineering Student Andrea Coto Earns NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

SJSU student Andrea Coto presented work with SJSU AVP for Undergraduate Programs Thalia Anagnos at the Stanford Blume Center/SURI Affiliates/Alumni Meeting in fall 2018. Coto, '19 Civil Engineering, has received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue a graduate degree at Stanford.

SJSU student Andrea Coto presented research with SJSU AVP for Undergraduate Education Thalia Anagnos at the Stanford Blume Center/SURI Affiliates/Alumni Meeting in fall 2018. Coto, ’19 Civil Engineering, has received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue a graduate degree at Stanford.

By Abby McConnell, SJSU Office of Research

Despite her acceptance to graduate school at Stanford in the fall and an impressive undergraduate career, which boasts three associate degrees, internships with NASA and the Port of San Francisco, along with participation in the McNair Scholars Program, the Engineering Leadership Pathways Scholars Program (ELPS) and the Stanford Summer Undergraduate Research Programs (SURF), Andrea Coto is still a bit shocked that she was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP). Securing a fellowship is intensely competitive: For the 2018 competition, NSF received over 12,000 applications and made 2,000 award offers.

Andrea Coto poses at a project at the Port of San Francisco in 2019.

Andrea Coto poses at a project at the Port of San Francisco in 2019.

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.

In the more immediate future, the fellowship will fund three years of Coto’s graduate program. While still processing the news, she is already mapping out the possibilities. Her NSF proposal and anticipated graduate research will focus on one of her passions: sustainable design and construction as it relates to extreme environments, specifically outer space.

“Space exploration is really a giant lab, right?” she said. “I want to bring that research back to earth.”

When asked how she’s achieved so much in such a short time, she shrugged and smiled. “I apply to programs I’m interested in,” she said. “I figure they have to pick someone, so why not me?’”

From El Salvador to the Mission District

Several years ago, Coto herself might have doubted this kind of self-assuredness. If not for a handful of key mentors, she said, she wouldn’t have made it this far.

Coto was born in the Bay Area, but much of her young life was spent in El Salvador, the native county of both her parents. After their separation and divorce, Coto’s mother was left to raise Coto and her brother on her own.

“My mom is the most resilient and resourceful person I have ever met,” Coto said. “She even learned to bake so she could sell bread to pay our bills.”

Although Coto earned a technical degree in civil engineering in El Salvador, upon graduation, there were no job opportunities. Soon afterward, relatives in San Francisco invited her to come live with them. Coincidently, she had saved just enough money for a flight to the Bay Area. She was hesitant to leave her family and her boyfriend behind, but she knew it was the only way.

Her early days here were challenging, from trying to learn conversational English to working at a Dollar Store in the Mission for $6 an hour. Things shifted when she started taking non-credit ESL classes at City College of San Francisco, and her English language skills were buoyed by her work in retail, which included selling shoes at Macy’s.

Andrea Coto, '19 Civil Engineering, participated in NASA's Community College Aerospace Scholars program while earning an associate's degree.

Andrea Coto, ’19 Civil Engineering, participated in NASA’s Community College Aerospace Scholars program while earning an associate’s degree.

She eventually matriculated at the Ocean City College campus, where she met a key mentor, Dr. Edgar Torres. After a difficult semester juggling three jobs and failing Calculus II, she told Torres she was going to drop out.

“I told him I wasn’t smart enough to be an engineer,” she said. “He told me that wasn’t the problem, and that I should take the class again with a different professor. I did, and got a B+.”

Early mentors like Torres were invaluable to Coto, and she has consistently sought out female and Hispanic engineers, graduate students and professors as role models along the way.

“I don’t believe in the ‘you can’t see, you can’t be’ philosophy, but representation is incredibly important,” Coto said.

Finding a ‘Pathway’ at SJSU

Andrea Coto joined SJSU as a transfer student. Here she poses for a photo on Admitted Spartans Day after she accepted admissions to SJSU.

Andrea Coto joined SJSU as a transfer student. Here she poses for a photo on Admitted Spartans Day after she accepted admissions to SJSU.

Once at SJSU, she worked diligently to leverage the resources available to her. She also credits professors and administrators such as Dr. Laura Sullivan Green from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, McNair Scholars Director Dr. Maria Elena Cruz, and Engineering Leadership Pathway Scholars program founder Dr. Thalia Anagnos, for guiding her and showing her what was possible.

Anagnos created the ELPS program in partnership with the NSF, and it has provided scholarships, mentoring, leadership and career development to more than 70 low-income, academically talented students at SJSU.

While they have all been exceptional, Anagnos said Coto stands out. “From her first weeks at SJSU, she sought opportunities to both better herself and give back,” she said. “Andrea is a natural leader in all areas of her life—academic, professional and personal—but she also brings a genuine optimism to her every interaction.”

Even when discussing the recent death of her father, that optimism is evident. Coto learned he had terminal cancer in the midst of applying to graduate schools and the NSF program. As she toured places like MIT and Stanford, she sent him photos and videos so that he could share in the experience. She also returned to El Salvador several times last fall to visit him.

“Being there with him before he died healed a lot of things,” she said.

Looking Toward the Future

Despite this loss, she continues to move forward. Her mother, brother and her boyfriend (who is now her husband) were able to join her in the U.S. in 2013, and she views her accomplishments as collective achievements. “All that really matters is that we are together,” she said.

As graduation nears, Coto is focused on yet another goal: outreach. She wants underrepresented students like herself to hear her story and see where they can go, and in the process, hopefully shift negative narratives around Latino immigrants.

“Storytelling is powerful. I believe it’s the way we change lives and perspectives, especially in light of the current administration,” she said. “I want to fight the misconceptions about El Salvadorians and other immigrants from my own ‘trench’ in this way, in order to increase knowledge and understanding.”

San Jose State University Celebrates Historic Groundbreaking on Interdisciplinary Science Building

Media contact:

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

San Jose, Calif. — San Jose State University will celebrate the historic groundbreaking for its new Interdisciplinary Science Building on Thursday, April 25, at 10 a.m. on the university’s campus in front of Duncan Hall.

The first new academic building in 30 years, the Interdisciplinary Science Building construction is the first phase of the university’s new Science Park, part of San Jose State’s commitment to dynamic research and innovation environment in the heart of Silicon Valley.

“The breadth of scientific discovery and research that will take place at the ISB and our future Science Park will be astonishing,” said SJSU President Mary Papazian. “It will truly put us on the map, and we will rightly take our place among the most modern and innovative of all science colleges in the Bay Area and, indeed, the country.”

San Jose State’s research endeavors play a critical role in preparing graduate and undergraduate students who work side by side with faculty mentors. With $60 million in annual research expenditures, SJSU is a top-200 school nationally in terms of research spending. The university’s 33,000 students—including approximately 7,600 graduate students —bring an inherent creativity and diversity of thought and experience that can address and solve the most pressing problems facing society today.

“San Jose State has been meeting the needs of our region since our founding 160 years ago,” said Paul Lanning, vice president for university advancement. “The vision for the Science Park—and the impact it will have for our students and faculty—is unparalleled in SJSU’s history.”

“Our goal is to make research, teaching and collaboration inseparable,” said Michael Kaufman, College of Science dean. “The Interdisciplinary Science Building will be a huge leap forward in San Jose State’s ability to provide modern research experiences and enhanced faculty mentoring opportunities for our students.”

An artistic rendering shows what the Interdisciplinary Science Building will look like in 2021 when it is completed.

An artistic rendering shows what the Interdisciplinary Science Building will look like in 2021 when it is completed.

The Interdisciplinary Science Building will have eight floors of modern science laboratories and research facilities, as well as collaborative, flexible learning environments. The building will be home to chemistry and biology teaching and research spaces, an interdisciplinary Center for High Performance Computing, data and information science labs, and science administration. Each floor will seamlessly integrate teaching and research. Students who move through these programs will graduate with the theoretical background, hands-on skills and collaboration experience necessary to succeed in industry and advanced studies.  

Following the ceremonial groundbreaking and program, attendees can see the future of SJSU science firsthand at the College of Science 15th Annual College of Science Student Research Day, located nearby in the Duncan Hall breezeway. More than 100 student-faculty teams will present original work in all science disciplines. In addition, SJSU’s Celebration of Research will take place 3 – 6 p.m. April 23 in the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom.

Complete ISB groundbreaking event information may be found at sjsu.edu/sciencepark.


About San Jose State University

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

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

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

Annual Event Celebrates Faculty and Student Research April 23

Professor Emily Wughalter, Aqdas Lilani, Tiffany Raczynski and Tania Rojas pose for a photo at the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change Student Research Fair in 2018. Photo by David Schmitz

Professor Emily Wughalter, right, and recent graduates Aqdas Lilani, Tiffany Raczynski and Tania Rojas pose for a photo at the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change Student Research Fair in 2018. Photo by David Schmitz

SJSU’s Annual Celebration of Research on April 23, from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom features a full program to celebrate student and faculty research. Students, faculty and staff are invited to watch presentations from 2018-19 Early Career Investigator Award recipients Assistant Professor of meteorology and climate science Minghui Diao and Assistant Professor of Psychology Susan Syncerski. During the event, SJSU Student Research Competition finalists will be recognized. The 12 undergraduate and graduate students will represent SJSU at the CSU Student Research Competition on April 26 and 27 at CSU Fullerton. In addition, 50 Undergraduate-Faculty Research Pairs will share posters of the work they’ve completed in the last year. The event is sponsored by the SJSU Research Foundation, the Office of Research and the Center for Faculty Development.

The Undergraduate-Faculty Research Pairs program offers grants to students who are engaged in research, scholarship or creative activities across a broad spectrum of disciplines, including the students who worked with kinesiology Professor Emily Wughalter on understanding how women athletes portray themselves on social media.

Women in Sports

Wughalter along with doctoral candidate from Oregon State University Jafra Thomas mentored four undergraduate students: Aqdas Lilani, Tiffany Raczynski, Tania Rojas and Bernice Fan. The SJSU students who graduated in spring 2018 reviewed studies from the 1970s that found women athletes to be “apologetic” and studied the way current-day female athletes presented themselves to see if attitudes had shifted.

“It was empowering to meet other women who felt the same way about how women should be allowed to be unapologetic about the sport they participate in,” said Bernice Fan, ’Kinesiology 18. “This experience empowered me to be more convicted in my beliefs and gave me an opportunity to not only learn from the individuals in the project but to learn from a woman in the past (Professor Jan Felshin) who shared the same perspective 45 years ago.”

Lilani, ’18 Kinesiology, minor, Nutrition and Food Science, said her focus on the research project was examining the behavior of a women’s rugby team.

“My favorite experience has been presenting our research because I felt empowered by the women in the room who connected with our research,” she said. “All the minutes our team spent on diving into literature and discussing our reflections came to life in that room.”

Thomas, who met Wughalter at the 2017 National Association of Kinesiology in Higher Education, said working on the student-led project offered insight into the portrayal of women in sports that he had not studied in his own coursework, but that he believed it would be helpful in his future teaching and research.

“I was pleased to work with these students and to introduce them to the design of research,” Wughalter said. “Their work has already been presented at the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change Undergraduate Research Fair in October 2018 and then at a Western Society for Physical Education of College Women national conference. I am extremely proud of these students and their work.

Understanding Particles and Electrons

Kris McBrian, who will graduate in May 2019, and Elena Fader, who plans to graduate in May 2020, have been working with physics and astronomy Professor Ehsan Khatami. Fader is studying the properties of electrons moving around in an ionic crystal while McBrian has shown that a specific artificial neural network called a restricted Boltzmann machine can be used to simulate how quantum particles behave on a lattice.

“I’ve learned that being part of research is not only ideal for graduate school and experience, but it gives me an idea of which field I would like to pursue in the future,” Fader said. “Fortunately, the faculty in the physics and astronomy department are always looking for students interested in research.”

The experience has helped Fader move outside of her comfort zone and allowed her to network with a guest professor. McBrian said he was so intrigued with running simulations and machine learning he wanted to continue his work beyond a computational physics course project.

“As frustrating as it was at first, I’ll never forget the day when the simulation finally started agreeing with theory or the humbling experience of presenting this research at a physics conference,” he said.

Safer Li-ion Batteries

Victor Leong Gin He, a materials engineering student who will graduate in spring 2020, has been working with Assistant Professor of chemical and materials engineering Professor Dahyun Oh on creating safe Li-ion batteries in both aqueous and solid states.

“I joined the lab out of a curiosity to learn,” He said. “I wanted an opportunity to gain valuable experiences and a skill set before graduating. I stepped in with no knowledge of batteries and I’ve been growing at a steady pace thanks to the opportunity and guidance given by Dr. Oh.”

He said he is hoping to make a significant contribution to the electrochemical industry in the years to come.

Learning Numbers

Working with Associate Professor of child and adolescent development Emily Slusser, Sandra Arellano, who will graduate in May 2019, studied how children come to understand that number words refer only to discrete numerosity and not continuous spatial extent. They used three fun games to measure 3-5 year old’s understanding of number and counting as well as their executive functioning and control (a measure of general thinking and intelligence.) Results will be shared at an upcoming Western Psychological Association Conference in Pasadena.

Arellano signed on for the project because she wanted to gain research experience to better understand the field. She is now interested in pursuing a PhD in cognitive science.

“I enjoyed observing children’s cognitive abilities during the administered tasks and understanding that the data analysis can be applied to support children’s academics in the long run,” Arellano said.

ISB Groundbreaking

San Jose State University will break ground on its new Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB) on Thursday, April 25, at 10 a.m. on the university’s campus in front of Duncan Hall, with the 15th Annual College of Science Student Research Fair taking place in the Duncan Hall breezeway following the groundbreaking ceremony. The building will expand opportunities for faculty and student research. Complete groundbreaking event information may be found at sjsu.edu/sciencepark.

Lucas College and Graduate School of Business Launches Dean’s Fellowship

As part of the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business Dean's Fellowship, two MBA students are working with city and nonprofit partners this spring.

As part of the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business Dean’s Fellowship, two MBA students are working with city and nonprofit partners this spring. Photo by David Schmitz

When Madhumitha Sarveswaran was accepted into the MBA program at the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, she was interested in finding ways to promote holistic growth in society. She attended the Economic Summit in 2018 when city officials discussed some of the challenges facing the region. When the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business Dean’s Fellowship program was announced this spring in partnership with the City of San Jose Mayor’s Office, she was excited to apply for it as a chance to work on solutions for some of those issues.

During the pilot semester, the Dean’s Fellowship program partnered with San Jose Public Library (SJPL) Works, ICA Fund Good Jobs, a nonprofit that helps develop small businesses, the city’s Office of Economic Development, and the Mayor’s Office. The students are particularly focused on helping small businesses in East San Jose.

“In a classroom, everyone comes up with ideas and wants to test and see if those ideas work,” Sarveswaran said. “When you develop an idea in the classroom you have all the ideal conditions. How do you scale it or how do you find out if it might be impractical?”

For Sarveswaran, who will complete her MBA in May 2019, and Lori Okamoto, who will complete her MBA in August 2019, the fellowship was that opportunity to explore ideas with real-world conditions.

“My favorite part of this internship thus far has been learning about small businesses in San Jose,” Okamoto said. “I am not originally from the Bay Area so most of this information is new to me. I think learning about small business displacement has really helped me broaden my knowledge of this area.”

Sarveswaran said she has appreciated the opportunity to network with professionals from city departments, nonprofits and businesses.

“We attended a BusinessOwnerSpace.com meeting and it was eyeopener that there were 17 other organizations that offer services to help small businesses scale or deal with issues of funding,” she said. “There are so many things out there, but how do we help them bridge the gap?”

Through the fellowship the students have been researching small business community needs through secondary and primary research that includes data review and analysis as well as direct outreach.

“I applied to this fellowship in order to gain more business-related knowledge and then have a chance to apply this in real-world situations,” said Okamoto, who said the program allows her to connect her undergraduate degree in sociology to her MBA work. “In the future, I hope to get into business operations or business data analytics, as both these jobs require understanding and analyzing data.”

As an international student from India, Sarveswaran said she would encourage other international students to apply for the fellowship in the future.

“I never thought this experience would be so big,” she said. “Everything you do is actually impacting somebody and it is something that will stand out for you in your career.”

After completing her MBA this spring, she plans to complete a course on project management and will take a job in that field. The fellowship has offered her plenty of experience in that arena, from time tracking, assigning tasks and managing deliverables, as well as the market research and survey work.

SJSU Opens $130 Million Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center

Students and community members are invited to a ribbon cutting for the Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center on April 18. Photo by David Schmitz

Students and community members are invited to a ribbon cutting for the Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center on April 18. Photo by David Schmitz

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

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University will hold a grand opening ceremony for the new Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center (SRAC), a facility that provides new modern recreation facilities and services for students and the entire university community, on Thursday, April 18. San Jose State President Mary Papazian will be in attendance to welcome the campus community and share remarks.

Students can begin queuing east on San Carlos Street at 11:30 a.m. for the ribbon cutting, which will begin at noon. The first 4,000 students will receive an SRAC beach towel, cake, and light food, and will be able to enter a drawing for giveaways.

During the weeks before its grand opening, construction crews put the finishing touches on the Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center. Photo by David Schmitz

During the weeks before its grand opening, construction crews put the finishing touches on the Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center. Photo by David Schmitz

“This contemporary facility will provide another important gathering spot for our university community—especially our students—to recreate, swim, exercise and keep fit,” said Charlie Faas, SJSU vice president for administration and finance. “It was envisioned for and by students, and we are proud to continue providing them and our entire campus community with modern amenities both inside and outside the classroom.”

The facility, said Faas, features something for every student. There will be fitness classes, various sporting and recreation clubs, rock-climbing, pick-up game availability and other activities for all skill and fitness levels.

The SRAC offers a variety of features and amenities:

  • Five workout areas featuring 20,000 ft2 of cardio and strength equipment
  • Three full-court gyms for basketball, volleyball, and badminton
  • Four exercise studios for yoga, spin, Les Milles GRIT Strength training, and aerobics
  • 1/8-mile indoor track
  • Rock wall and bouldering area
  • 50-meter lap pool
  • Recreation pool with sundeck and barbecue area
  • Two casual lounges
  • Numerous exercise classes, and personal trainers
The new Spartan Recreation and Aquatics Center will include a variety of features and amenities for students as well as faculty, staff and community members with paid memberships. Photo by David Schmitz

The new Spartan Recreation and Aquatics Center will include a variety of features and amenities for students as well as faculty, staff and community members with paid memberships. Photo by David Schmitz

“The new Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center is more than a recreation center. The state-of-the-art, open, inviting design creates another key destination on campus (like the Student Union) for students to relax, socialize, and study,” said Cathy Busalacchi, ’76 Recreation, executive director for the Student Union, Inc. “It is a home away from home for all our students, including Clubs Sport teams, intramurals and the Athletics’ aquatic teams.”

Gensler, a world-renowned architecture firm, designed the new SRAC, with Hunt Construction serving as the general contractor. The 128,000-square-foot structure sits at the site that previously housed an aquatic center and two residence halls.

The $130 million project is funded through a non-tuition Student Union mandatory student fee, which covers the bond for construction, the annual operational costs, and any future major or minor maintenance repairs. In 2006, the university presented two fees, a Student Union mandatory student fee that funded the Student Union renovation and expansion (completed in 2016) and also funded the new SRAC project, and a Health Center fee that funded the Student Wellness Center (completed in 2015).

SRAC is free to all enrolled SJSU students. Paid memberships are available to faculty, staff, alumni and community members. Visit the Spartan Recreation website for more information.


About San Jose State University

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

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

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

SJSU Community Invited to Spartan Food Pantry Open House

Ben Falter, left, a senior student affairs case manager, helps a student at the Spartan Food Pantry. Photo by Brandon Chew

Ben Falter, left, a senior student affairs case manager, helps a student at the Spartan Food Pantry. Photo by Brandon Chew

The SJSU Cares Program and the SJSU Student Hunger Committee are hosting a Spartan Food Pantry Opening Celebration Thursday, April 18 from 3:15 to 5 p.m. just outside the Spartan Food Pantry (between the Engineering Building and the Diaz Compean Student Union). This is an opportunity to welcome campus and community partners to get a first look inside the pantry. Opening comments and ribbon cutting will take place at 3:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Non-students attending the opening are encouraged to bring a food or toiletry item for donation.

Spartan Food Pantry opened its doors March 25 at 2 p.m. for the first participants. The new pantry is an expansion of SJSU’s commitment to supporting students who are experiencing food insecurity, and is a partnership between SJSU Cares, Second Harvest of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties (SHFB), and donations.

“SJSU would like to thank Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties for working with us every step of the way as we open the Spartan Food Pantry, which will ensure our students have what they need to prepare nutritious meals while completing their studies,” President Mary A. Papazian said.

Those involved in the pantry are planning an open house for staff and faculty to tour the facility this semester with a date and time still to be determined.

At SJSU’s fall 2018 Inspiration to Innovation Gala, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties was recognized with the Community Partner Award for its support of students through Just In Time mobile food pantries. In 2017, Second Harvest began providing fresh fruit, vegetables and groceries to SJSU students at monthly mobile food pantry events on campus. During the 2017-2018 school year, the Just in Time program served 4,513 students a total of 156,086 pounds of free food, providing groceries for over 500 Spartans at every event—equivalent to $430,000 in groceries.

The new pantry is set up like a grocery store and eligible students will be able to “shop” through six zones including fresh produce, chilled items, dry goods and toiletries, among others. Once students complete the Spartan Food Pantry intake and agreement form, students can stop in once every seven days for groceries.

“The time has come for a permanent food pantry at San Jose State University, and we could not have asked for a better partner than Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties,” Vice President for Student Affairs Patrick Day said. “On behalf of the entire SJSU community, including those who have been working hard for years to address this basic human need, I would like to thank everyone at Second Harvest Food Bank.”

The pantry is located in the Diaz Compean Student Union, with an exterior entrance across from the Engineering Building rotunda.

SJSU Cares

San Jose State is proactively addressing issues of homelessness and food insecurity on campus through a program called SJSU Cares (www.sjsu.edu/sjsucares) that offers individualized support by connecting students experiencing economic crisis, housing or food insecurity to a number of resources.  SJSU is committed to identifying strategic ways to address the challenge of informing our students about all of the resources accessible to them.

San Jose State to Build Recreational Field, Tribute to Speed City Legacy and Parking Garage

Media contacts
Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics media relations director, 408-924-1217, lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu
Robin McElhatton, SJSU media relations specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

Bud Winter Field Track at 10th and Alma.

Future south campus.

San Jose State University will break ground in June on a project to build an intramural recreation field, walking path and multi-level parking garage at the university’s Bud Winter Field. San Jose State plans to build a special tribute at the site to honor those known as the “Speed City” athletes and their legendary track and field coach, Bud Winter.

The new recreational field will be used by thousands of San Jose State students. This field will be home to SJSU clubs, intramurals, ROTC practice, kinesiology classes, marching band practice, Greek life competition and other activities. A walking path around it will be open to the community members who currently use the Bud Winter Field track at South 10th Street and East Alma Avenue, which will be removed.

The university recently informed its track and field athletes that it cannot proceed with a previously announced plan to build a new track at the site, where some of its world-class Speed City athletes once trained. “After requesting proposals for construction of a track atop a planned multi-level parking structure, university administrators learned the track would cost up to $20 million more than originally anticipated, due to building-code changes,” said Charlie Faas, the university’s vice president of administration and finance. After learning of the higher-than-expected track cost, the university considered whether to build a replacement track at the university’s park-and-ride lot in the area—but the space was insufficient.

San Jose State’s Student Union, Inc. gave a $3 million donation: $2.5 million for track and field and $500,000 for a new softball field. When administrators learned that a track atop the proposed parking garage would cost far more than expected, the Student Union, Inc. donation was reallocated to be used for the intramural field, which will benefit a wide variety of students, Faas said.

“It was heartbreaking to me to realize that we wouldn’t have a new track facility,” said Marie Tuite, the university’s director of intercollegiate athletics. “As the enduring success of our athletics programs remain a key priority and a point of pride for the university and alumni, we are committed to sponsoring all 22 sport programs,” Tuite said. “We will continue to support and fund activity for our men’s and women’s track programs off campus.”

As the 51-year-old Bud Winter Field facilities have long fallen into disrepair, the men’s and women’s track teams have been practicing at San Jose City College for some time. “Our current goal is to secure a long-term agreement there or at another facility to ensure our track and field teams have a high-quality venue at which to practice and train for competition,” said Tuite.

History of SJSU’s Two Tracks: Bud Winter Field and 7th Street Track

Coach Bud Winter (left) and legendary John Carlos on the Bud Winter Field Track at 10th and Alma.

Before the Bud Winter Field was built in the late 1960s at South 10th Street and East Alma Avenue, Winter trained many world-class caliber athletes at another track, located nearby at South 7th and East Humboldt streets on the South Campus. “San Jose State’s track and field legacy gained a sprinter’s momentum when Bud Winter was named head coach in 1941. For three decades, he attracted record-setting athletes that were ranked among the best in the world. These athletes made Speed City famous competing at the old 7th Street track, later training and racing at Bud Winter Field on 10th Street and around the world for nearly 40 years,” said Lawrence Fan, the university’s athletics media relations director.

Years later, the Koret Athletic Training Center was opened in 2001 over a portion of the old 7th Street track, for use by San Jose State’s intercollegiate athletics program. That building also now houses the Jeff Garcia Hall of Champions, which honors all those inducted into San Jose State’s Sports Hall of Fame—including track and field stars.

The Simpkins Stadium Center also now covers a portion of the old 7th Street track, Fan said.

Bob Griffin (left), Coach Bud Winter, and Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith at Spartan Track previously located at the corner of 7th and Humboldt.

Some Speed City athletes who qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team trained at Bud Winter Field in preparation for the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics. Those Games are remembered in part for San Jose State track stars Tommie Smith, a gold medalist in the 200-meter dash, and John Carlos, a bronze medalist in the same event. They raised their fists atop the medals stand in Mexico City to protest racial injustice for African-Americans.

Today, the iconic sculpture of Smith and Carlos—with fists raised—represents a silent stand for human rights and is prominently located on the university’s main campus to honor their courage. Their athletics feats and others associated with the Speed City era are on display at the Jeff Garcia Hall of Champions inside the Koret Athletic Training Center and at the SJSU Special Collections and Archives in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.

In addition to the Sports Hall of Fame displays located on South Campus and the sculpture of Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the main campus, San Jose State will continue to honor the Speed City athletes’ legacy by building a special tribute at the site where Bud Winter Field currently stands. The university’s track and field stars have demonstrated athletic excellence, and also made a stand for human and racial equality on the world stage.

“The ’60s was a time of civil unrest throughout this country,” Tuite said. “The actions of the men’s track and field athletes served as a benchmark for social justice and for belief in human equality. SJSU athletes led the movement in the ’60s, and that moment has stood the test of time. This university was built on their voices of democracy, fairness, inclusion and love—and we will honor those voices every single day.”

A Plan for Multi-level Parking Garage

San Jose State has approximately 20,000 commuters who drive to campus each day. With only 5,121 parking spots in three on-campus parking garages and approximately 1,200 parking spots on campus surface lots, there is a real and existing parking challenge. The proposed multi-level parking garage will provide 1,530 new parking spaces which will offer much-needed parking for students, faculty and staff. In addition, the new structure will raise money from parking fees paid by fans of the San Jose Giants minor league baseball team and by those who use the Solar4America Ice venue, also known as “Sharks Ice,” near the university’s south campus, Faas said.

Pending completion of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) study and final approval, construction of this new facility is scheduled to begin in June 2019 and is expected to open in the fall of 2020.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study—offered through its eight colleges. With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce. The university is proud of the accomplishments of its more than 270,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

About San Jose State Athletics

San Jose State sponsors 22 (nine men’s and 13 women’s) NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports programs for approximately 470 student-athletes annually. In football, the Spartans are a member of Division I’s Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the NCAA’s highest level of competition.

The Spartans’ primary conference affiliation is with the Mountain West. Selected teams belong to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and the Golden Coast Conference (GCC).

San Jose State has 10 NCAA team championships and 52 NCAA individual titles. Sixty-two (62) Spartans competed in one or more Olympic Games. San Jose State athletes have won seven gold, six silver and seven bronze medals at the Olympics.

Annually, about one-third of the student-athlete population earns either institutional, conference or national recognition based on outstanding academic performance.

SJSU Launches Solo DNP Program This Fall

SJSU is accepting applicants for its solo doctor of nursing practice program to start this fall. Here, 2014 DNP graduate Mercy Egbujor works with patients in the field.

SJSU is accepting applicants for its solo doctor of nursing practice program to start this fall. Here, 2014 DNP graduate Mercy Egbujor works with patients in the field.

San Jose State’s Valley Foundation School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program has evolved into a program offered solely by SJSU, and is now recruiting applicants for fall 2019. The new program will allow a more local, Silicon Valley approach to curriculum and deliverables.

“Now that the program is localized to SJSU, there is greater potential for partnership with the state of the art medical centers and healthcare systems in Silicon Valley to work collaboratively toward promoting a culture of excellence in evidence-based practice and improved healthcare quality and safety for residents of Santa Clara County and Northern California,” said Michelle DeCroux Hampton, RN, PhD, MS and DNP program co-coordinator with Ruth Rosenblum.

Formerly part of the California State University Northern California Consortium of Nursing Practice program offered jointly with CSU Fresno, the inaugural cohort presented their oral defenses in 2014, with a total of five cohorts completing the program to date, with graduates going onto to do influential work across the region and state. Mercy Egjubor, a graduate of the inaugural class, created a backpack medical unit. Many of the graduates have gone on to teach in nursing programs across the state. Sharon Castellanos, another 2014 graduate created a nonprofit to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation in Hispanic neighborhoods. Yet another graduate, Christopher Patty led a medication safety program for the clinics in which he worked.

The SJSU DNP program is a focused program, taking place over five semesters (or 23 months). Almost exclusively proctored online, through the online learning platform Canvas, the course curriculum is designed to mesh with the busy lives of professionally active, working nurses. Once a semester, before formal classes begin, there is an on-campus meeting of all students in the program, encouraging networking and providing vital information for the semester to come. Over the five-semester program, practicum experience will be recorded in order to meet the regulatory requirement of 1,000 post-Baccalaureate clinical hours.

The application deadline for fall 2019 is May 15, and Interested candidates should apply concurrently through www.nursingcas.org and https://www2.calstate.edu/apply in order to be considered.

The Coordinators of the program will be available for questions through a series of Online Info Sessions, held via Zoom Meetings. The current schedule is listed below:

Zoom Information Sessions will be held at the following dates/times:

April 16th, 2019 – 7:00 PM https://sjsu.zoom.us/j/943182617

April 22nd, 2019 – 7:00 PM https://sjsu.zoom.us/j/917638186

April 29th, 2019 – 7:00 PM https://sjsu.zoom.us/j/917638186

A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is designed to prepare experts in nursing practice – cultivating advanced practitioners, future educators, clinical leaders, and change agents. This program is in keeping with the practice-focused healthcare education model where advanced practitioners with demonstrated expertise culminate their work into a doctoral-level degree (such as an MD, or Doctor of Medicine). Graduating DNP nurses will be practitioners who, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), will develop “a blend of clinical, organizational, economic, and leadership skills [ ] to be able to critique nursing… and design programs of care delivery that are locally acceptable, economically feasible, and which significantly impact health care outcomes.”

For more information or questions, contact the DNP team via email at doctornursingpractice@sjsu.edu

SJSU OT Students Raise Money and Awareness of Important Role of Research in Their Field

San Jose State Occupational Therapy students and Department Chair Wynn Schultz-Krohn, far right, were honored at the American Occupational Therapy Association Conference for raising the most money as part of the St. Catherine Challenge, which benefits professional research in the field.

San Jose State Occupational Therapy students and Department Chair Wynn Schultz-Krohn, far right, were honored at the American Occupational Therapy Association Conference for raising the most money as part of the St. Catherine Challenge, which benefits professional research in the field.

Members of San Jose State University’s American Occupational Therapy Foundation Student Honor Society, Phi Theta Epsilon (PTE) and the Student Occupational Therapy Association, outdid themselves this year during an annual fundraising event that supports professional research initiatives. The Spartan students raised more than $9,000, exceeding the efforts of any other PTE chapters in the nation.

“As a public institution, many of our students have significant financial aid needs so the typical top fundraisers are PTE groups from private institutions,” said faculty advisor and chair of Occupational Therapy Wynn Schultz-Krohn. “This is really an example of ‘paying it forward.’”

Chelsea Holsonbake, whose research group is working on a retrospective program evaluation of a multifactorial fall prevention program for older adults, said the students even got some clients involved in the fundraising efforts.

“Some worked on integrating affected limbs while making cotton candy while others worked on community reintegration and social skills while selling cotton candy,” she said.

Clients to the on-campus OT clinic helped with the fundraising efforts through they worked on integrating affected limbs while making cotton candy while others worked on community reintegration and social skills while selling cotton candy.

Clients to the on-campus OT clinic helped with the fundraising efforts through they worked on integrating affected limbs while making cotton candy while others worked on community reintegration and social skills while selling cotton candy.

Research opportunities are key to the graduate student experience in OT, and at SJSU, students engage in three research classes and complete a final research project. During spring break nearly 40 students presented their research projects at the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, a peer-reviewed professional conference.

“Research is so important in the field of OT because we want to know our interventions are best for our clients, not just from our own observations but also from research and replicable data,” said Millie Book, who anticipates completing her master’s in OT in fall 2019.

Her research on friendships and social participation among young adults with autism will prove useful after graduation when she hopes to work in a rehabilitative or pediatric setting helping individuals with sensory integration techniques.

Monica Ondriezek, who will also graduate in fall 2019, has been conducting a historical narrative analysis of the OT department chairs.

“Although this study is not directly client focused, it seeks to identify core values that continue to influence OT education and the profession as a whole,” she said. “It helps to develop future occupational therapists who are dedicated to their clients.”

Kimiko McNeill, who plans to graduate in fall 2019, is working on the same research team as Ondriezek on the history of the OT program.

“Historical inquiry allows researchers to examine past, current and future trends that impact the profession,” she said. “The results of my research will have an impact on the curriculum and education of OT programs throughout the country and will also highlight the enduring values that persist through time in the OT department at SJSU.”

Department chair Wynn Schultz-Krohn and OT students pose with their first-place award for raising the most money of any other student group in the St. Catherine's Challenge.

Department chair Wynn Schultz-Krohn and OT students pose with their first-place award for raising the most money of any other student group in the St. Catherine’s Challenge.

Katie Poisson, who plans to finish her master’s in fall 2020 said she was initially drawn to SJSU’s program for its location, faculty and the opportunity to study abroad.

“I am really excited that we raised the most money (in the fundraising competition) and spotlighted this incredible institution,” she said. “Research is important because it allows us to expand into more settings where our work could be really valuable.”

Serina Murphy, also an intended fall 2019 graduate, is involved in research aimed at understanding how simulations, in comparison to traditional didactic teaching, effects social problem solving to potentially enhance the occupational therapy curriculum.

“Social problem-solving skills are particularly important to occupational therapy practitioners as it contributes to critical thinking skills necessary to work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals and understand the patients’ needs while reducing errors,” she said. “We have been working collaboratively with the SJSU’s  Valley Foundation School of Nursing to use the simulation lab.”

Murphy noted that occupational therapists can work with clients across the lifespan and she is considering the possibility of working in a neonatal intensive care unit.

“I’m looking forward to experiencing all I can to build a strong foundation and become a successful occupational therapist,” she said.

Diverse Issues In Higher Education Honors Two SJSU Scholar-Athletes

Announcement of 2019 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Award

Announcement of 2019 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Award

Media contacts
Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics media relations director, 408-924-1217, lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu
Robin McElhatton, SJSU media relations specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

San Jose State University seniors Stephanie Relova and Michelle Taikeff were named this year’s Arthur Ashe, Jr., Sports Scholars national award winners in the sports of women’s gymnastics and women’s water polo, respectively, in the April 4 edition of Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Relova, from San Ramon Valley High in Danville, Calif., was named the publication’s #1 female gymnast scholar-athlete, a national semifinalist among the 20 female sports categories and the overall national runner-up for the 2019 Arthur Ashe Jr., Sports Scholar female scholar-athlete of color.

She is a three-time All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) award-winning gymnast. The San Jose State University President’s Scholar award winner is a business management major with conference and national academic honors. Her volunteer activities include teaching youngsters how to compete at the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation, visiting local elementary schools and participating in campus clothing and food drives.

Taikeff, from Pioneer High in San Jose, Calif., was this year’s women’s water polo national scholar-athlete of color. Like Relova, Taikeff is a team captain, a San Jose State University President’s Scholar and has received conference and national academic honors. This year’s San Jose State University Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) elected secretary is in her second year of service to her fellow student-athletes. In the community, Taikeff served an internship as a legal aid preparing court petitions for low-income citizens to gain access to the legal system.

Named after the late tennis great Arthur Ashe, Jr. (1943-1993), an African-American men’s Wimbledon and U.S. Open tennis champion who devoted much of his adult life to identifying and providing solutions to end discrimination in all facets of life, the awards program now is in its 27th year.

Student-athletes of color possessing a 3.50 cumulative grade-point average, have sophomore standing or higher, are contributing members to their team and are active in community activities are eligible to be nominated.

“We thank Diverse: Issues in Higher Education for honoring our outstanding San Jose State scholar-athletes of color. To be attached to the legacy of Arthur Ashe, Jr., and what he personified is very meaningful,” says Eileen Daley, San Jose State University senior associate athletics director for academics and student support. “We are proud of our student-athletes that earned this award and especially Stephanie and Michelle who were named as the top sports scholars in their sports.”

In the last four years, San Jose State student-athletes of color have received 102 Arthur Ashe, Jr., Sports Scholar awards from Diverse Issues in High Education and have been named the top scholar-athlete of color in the sports of football (Tim Crawley in 2017), women’s gymnastics and women’s water polo.

Recipients of Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar awards

***Megan Au, Women’s Swimming & Diving – 1st Team, Kinesiology

Kai Bohannon, Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field – 1st Team, Mathematics

****Brenna Bushey, Women’s Swimming & Diving – 2nd Team, Public Relations

**Carmen Contreras, Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field – 2nd Team, Psychology

**Jeff Dukes, Men’s Soccer – 1st Team, Business Administration

**Makayla Englestad, Softball – 3rd Team, Business Administration

**Kate Hanf, Women’s Swimming & Diving – 2nd Team, Psychology

**Gabby Heng, Women’s Swimming & Diving – 1st Team, Anthropology

**Carlie James, Women’s Soccer – 3rd Team, Art/Graphic Design

**Janessa Lozano, Softball – 2nd Team, Justice Studies

***Stephanie Relova, Women’s Gymnastics – top scholar-athlete; national finalist; national runner-up, Business Management

**Michelle Shalit, Women’s Gymnastics, Psychology

**Michelle Taikeff, Women’s Water Polo – top scholar-athlete, Justice Studies

* – number of Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar Awards earned


About San Jose State University

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

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

The university is proud of the accomplishments of its more than 280,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.


About San Jose State Athletics

San Jose State sponsors 22 (nine men’s and 13 women’s) NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports programs for approximately 470 student-athletes annually. In football, the Spartans are a member of Division I’s Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the NCAA’s highest level of competition.

The Spartans’ primary conference affiliation is with the Mountain West. Selected teams belong to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and the Golden Coast Conference (GCC).

San Jose State has 10 NCAA team championships and 52 NCAA individual titles. Sixty-two (62) Spartans competed in one or more Olympic Games. San Jose State athletes have won seven gold, six silver and seven bronze medals at the Olympics.

Annually, about one-third of the student-athlete population earns either an institutional, conference or national recognition based on outstanding academic performance.

State of the University Address and Strategic Plan Announcement

Media contact: Robin McElhatton, SJSU media relations specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

San Jose State will live stream President Mary Papazian’s inaugural State of the University address and formal announcement of SJSU’s strategic plan noon to 1 p.m. Monday, April 8, 2019.

Visit the relaunched strategic plan website to learn more.

School of Information Leads Research on Blockchain use in Higher Ed and Libraries

Dr. Sandy Hirsh, left, and Dr. Sue Alman, presented their research at the National Blockchain Forum in August 2018.

Dr. Sandy Hirsh, left, and Dr. Sue Alman, presented their research at the National Blockchain Forum in August 2018.

For the past 18 months, Dr. Sandra Hirsh, director and professor in the School of Information, and Dr. Sue Alman, a lecturer in the School of Information, have been investigating how a revolutionary new technology could be used in libraries and universities. Their work was recently featured as a cover story in American Libraries, in an article entitled “Blockchain Reaction: How library professionals are approaching blockchain technology and its potential impact.”

Starting in 2017, Hirsh and Alman recognized an expanding literature about how blockchain technology was on the brink of revolutionizing the public and private sectors, including mentions of the emerging tool at conferences, in books, white papers, and more.

“Librarians had not been evidenced in these mainstream discussions,” Hirsh and Alman said. “However, the use of blockchain technology in libraries was on the radar of many information professionals.”

SJSU researchers Dr. Sandy Hirsh, second from the left, and Dr. Sue Alman, far right, served on a panel with colleagues Eric Meyer, of the University of Texas at Austin, and Vicki Lemieux, University of British Columbia, at the Association for Information Science and Technology Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

SJSU researchers Dr. Sandy Hirsh, second from the left, and Dr. Sue Alman, far right, served on a panel with colleagues Eric Meyer, of the University of Texas at Austin, and Vicki Lemieux, University of British Columbia, at the Association for Information Science and Technology Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded the pair a $100,000 grant to investigate applications of blockchain technology in libraries. As part of the project, they created a dedicated website and blog; organized a virtual conference as part of the Library 2.0 Conference series; hosted a Blockchain National Forum; sponsored a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) entitled “Blockchain & Decentralization for the Information Industries”; presented findings at numerous national and international professional conferences and webinars; and plan to publish a book this spring.

“While there are many individuals within the information professions who do have a technical understanding of blockchain, we quickly found that information professionals in general do not have a clear understanding about what blockchain is and what the possibilities are and they need training to help build that knowledge base,” the pair said.

They also discovered a wide range of ideas about possible applications of the technology in libraries, and realized it would be helpful to provide concrete examples of applications and opportunity to pilot some applications in a sandbox environment in order to understand what the next steps should be.

As they wrap up the grant with IMLS, Hirsh and Alman hope to pursue funding to continue with pilot blockchain projects for libraries. One idea they have discussed is developing an international interlibrary loan pilot for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institution’s voucher system.

“IFLA provides re-usable vouchers to help libraries easily pay for international interlibrary loan requests,” they said. “Each voucher represents a standard payment for one transaction. Blockchain would lend itself well because of the foreign currency transactions that happen and due to the transactional nature of interlibrary loans.”

Other ideas include creating a universal library card in public libraries as some library systems require a mailing address or limit access to a hometown or local library system; issuing credentials to library users who achieve certain skills; and determining the accuracy and consistency of archival records.

“We are currently working to develop one of more of these ideas into more robust proposals and to seek funding to build them out so that our field can have a good test case for blockchain technology,” they said.

Participants at the National Blockchain Forum in August 2018.

Participants at the National Blockchain Forum in August 2018.

The researchers continue to share their findings throughout this spring, including at a University Scholar Series talk by Hirsh on May 8 at noon in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Room 225/229.

“The initiatives of the iSchool faculty are trend-setting in multiple areas, and our international reputation for educational and research excellence is widening,” they said.

Hirsh and Alman have attended or will attend more than 14 conferences or presentations by this summer including:

  • Blockchain: Transforming the Technological Future. (2019, June). Panel to be presented at the 2019 American Library Association Conference. Washington, DC.
  • Blockchain: The New Technology and Its Application for Libraries. (2019, June). Invited speaker at the 2019 Special Libraries Association Conference, Cleveland, OH.
  • Blockchain Technology in Education. (2019, June). Panel to be presented at the SIAA Ed Tech Industry Conference & CODiE Awards. San Francisco, CA.
  • Blockchain: Transformative Applications for Libraries and Education. (2019, May). Keynote to be presented at the San Jose State University’s 2019 University Scholar Series, San Jose, CA.
  • Blockchain & Opportunities for Libraries. (2019, March). Panel to be presented at the 2019 Computers in Libraries conference. Washington, DC.
  • Blockchain Possibilities: Investigation Findings. (2019, March). Paper presented at the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Trending Technology Webinar, Online Presentation.
  • Blockchain: An Investigation of Possible Library Applications. (2019, February). Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference on Changing Landscape of Science & Technology Libraries (CLSTL 2019), Gandhinagar, India, Online Presentation.
  • Blockchain: One Emerging Technology—So Many Applications. (2018, November). Refereed panel presented at the 81st Association for Information Science & Technology Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Trendsetting at the SJSU iSchool : Blockchain and Information Services. (2018, November). Paper presented at the 2018 California Library Association conference, Santa Clara, CA.
  • Pros and Cons of Blockchain. (2018, October). Paper presented on a panel at Blockchain in Education West conference, Sunnyvale, CA.
  • Blockchain: Recommendations for the Information Professions. (2018, September). Paper presented as a free ALA Webinar, Online.
  • Blockchain – is it worth the fuss? – Flash Session.  (2018, August). Paper presented on a panel at the 2018 IFLA conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Blockchain Technology. (2018, March). Paper presented on a panel at a webinar for the SLA Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Chapters, Online.  
  • Blockchain, Open Civic Data, and TV WhiteSpace – Three New Projects. (2018, February). Paper presented at an invited panel at the 2018 American Library Association Midwinter Conference, Denver, CO.

 

 

New Diversity Trainer/Educator Joins SJSU

By David Goll

Craig Alimo

Craig Alimo

Dr. Craig John Alimo joined the San Jose State University Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) in February to fill a new position as a diversity trainer/educator. He will oversee curriculum and professional development, and conduct outreach efforts for a student population of more than 33,000. He joins SJSU’s Chief Diversity Officer Kathy Wong(Lau), Deputy Diversity Officer Fernanda Perdomo-Arciniegas, and other staff members in the office who are engaged at a university with a storied and long history of student civil rights activism and service to a diverse student population.

Dr. Kathleen Wong(Lau), SJSU’s Chief Diversity Officer since 2016, said Alimo’s lengthy and extensive experience in educational diversity and familiarity with academia is a strong advantage.

“He knows from a hands-on perspective what it takes to do the work and the forethought it requires,” Wong(Lau) said. “Universities are complicated places and sometimes, you push on one part, and something else emerges. He has a very thoughtful approach based on his experience.”

Wong(Lau) said Alimo will be taking over many of the tasks she’s been handling since arriving at SJSU, freeing her to oversee additional comprehensive campus-wide diversity projects. Logging 23 years of work in social justice and diversity education, Alimo most recently worked as director for equity and inclusivity for the Napa Valley Community College District. He also previously worked at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Maryland, among other educational institutions.

“I’m totally tickled, excited and humbled to be working with Kathy,” Alimo said. He and Wong(Lau) worked cooperatively on a nationwide research project examining the educational benefits of Intergroup Dialogue programs, a small-group, face-to-face discussion format that encourages participants of two or more different social identity groups to reach new levels of understanding, relationships and action through talk with an extensive list of reading assignments.

“I’ve known her for many years,” he said. “She has done amazing things here and elsewhere. This job is more aligned with my scholarship and skill set, so I’m so happy to be here.”

Among other duties, Alimo will oversee the university’s intergroup dialogue initiative, started a year ago. The groups of 12 to 15 people each meet weekly over an eight-week period. ODEI initiated the program, helping train faculty, staff and students from across campus who volunteered for training to become group facilitators. This spring, 170 SJSU students, faculty and staff volunteered to participate in these discussions, far outpacing the initial capacity.

Diversity “touches all aspects of a university,” Alimo said. Campuses can be places where students from often-segregated communities or circumstances first meet substantial numbers of people from different racial, ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds as well as sexual orientation and gender identities, he said.

“Campuses are like social science laboratories. Everything out in society is here, too, and affects us,” he said. “What we know from research is that people with exposure to diverse environments often have amazing educational outcomes, can think with more complexity, do better on grad-school exams, and have a tendency to volunteer and vote more often [amongst other outcomes].”

Alimo expressed excitement about how intergroup dialogue can foster greater understanding and better relations between and within various groups on campus. The pedagogical approach that  Intergroup Dialogue uses to creating an anti-bias, anti-racist, multicultural and social justice educational system has its roots to the 1940s and ‘50s. Its more recent incarnation on university campuses was initially created during the 1980s when the University of Michigan created its Program on Intergroup Relations. Wong(Lau) said SJSU’s program is based on that model.

University-based diversity programs can have ripple effects on the rest of society, Alimo noted. He recently attended a presentation by a collection of local high-tech companies addressing the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace and corporate world. Silicon Valley companies on how they can capitalize on the presence of diversity in the workforce up to the executive level.

Wong(Lau) expressed excitement that adding Alimo to her team will greatly enhance the work of her office, which she described as having “a good reputation for delivering good work.” Another program of which she’s proud is an eight-week session for white faculty members to recognize how their comparatively privileged status and still-majority position at SJSU can be used to foster greater awareness and understanding for their colleagues and students of color.

Other goals await.

“One of our biggest challenges is remaining nimble yet helping campus leaders focus on long-term goals of building organizational capacity for diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Wong(Lau) said. “It is a community of 40,000 people and we want to support everyone’s success, engagement, and growth.

 

Steve and Cheryl Caplan Commit $2 Million Gift

$1 Million to Spartan Football and $1 Million to Endowments


Media contacts

Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics media relations director, 408-924-1217, lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu
Robin McElhatton, SJSU media relations specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

San Jose, Calif. — San Jose State University is pleased to announce that it has received a $1 million gift commitment from Steve and Cheryl Caplan. The gift is the latest commitment in a growing list of seven-figure gifts that will support a new football operations center on the east side of CEFCU Stadium, Home of the Spartans.

An additional $1 million from their estate will establish the Caplan Family Faculty Fellowship in the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, the Caplan Family Teacher Innovation Fund in the Connie L. Lurie College of Education, and a Spartan Athletics Fund Scholarship endowment.

“My favorite donor stories are those that begin with ‘They met while they were students at SJSU.’ Throughout a lifetime of giving back, Steve and Cheryl’s passion, commitment and love for San Jose State has never wavered,” said Marie Tuite, director of intercollegiate athletics. “This gracious gift reflects their strong belief in and support of SJSU Athletics. However, more importantly, this gift also confirms their pledge to the educational mission of the university. Countless students will benefit from their impactful and inspirational gift. A sincere ‘thank you’ to two great Spartans.”

The Caplans met at San Jose State and recognize the role that the university plays in the economic well-being of Silicon Valley. They hope this gift will enable SJSU to continue its good work for future generations, help build a stronger foundation for Spartan football and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, and inspire friends and fellow alumni to invest in the university.

Spartans For Life

Photo courtesy of Steve and Cheryl Caplan

A 1965 graduate of San Jose State’s College of Business, Steve is the retired owner and president of KBM Workspace, an office furniture and design company. He joined the firm when he was a senior at San Jose State and purchased the company in 1984, helping it grow from a local dealership to a large company with business throughout the U.S. and Canada. He is a founding board member of the Tower Foundation of SJSU, an auxiliary organization whose sole mission is to serve the philanthropic purposes of San Jose State. Currently serving his third term as a board member, Steve is also an active volunteer, helping alumni discover ways to support athletics, including the development of a new football operations center.

Cheryl taught public school after graduating from San Jose State’s College of Education in 1967. The mother of two boys, she served as a volunteer in the rural Loma Prieta School District and worked with the principal and superintendent, researching and implementing curriculum, and creating a preschool testing program that helped parents, teachers and children prepare for kindergarten. She became well-versed in the issues challenging education, including communication between families and schools, adequate funding and teacher preparation.

Steve’s goal with Spartan Athletics is to raise awareness and support the funding effort for the renovation of the east side of CEFCU Stadium. The Caplans believe that the future of San Jose State Athletics is very bright, they said, as there is a very cohesive team in place that understands the critical nature of the need for competitive facilities that will put the university on equal footing with others in the conference.

The Caplans have been on the boards of service organizations such as the San Jose Hospital, Samaritan Health Systems, The Health Trust, YMCA of Silicon Valley, KTEH/KQED Public Television, Santa Clara County Boy Scouts of America, the San Jose Rotary Club and Tahoe Maritime Museum and Gardens.

“Through this magnificent gift and with hearts full of appreciation, Cheryl and I acknowledge the gift of education we received as young adults,” said Steve. “We hope these gifts will enable San Jose State to continue its good work for future generations of students and student-athletes alike. We also wish to model philanthropic behavior for our family members, friends and future generations of Spartans.”

“The Caplans are longtime, incredibly dedicated supporters of San Jose State. This generous commitment is a testament to their deep and abiding passion for this institution,” said Vice President for University Advancement and Tower Foundation CEO Paul Lanning. “They believe in the importance of both academics and athletics as vital elements of a comprehensive university. We’re so thankful for their leadership as dedicated alumni, volunteers and donors to their alma mater.”

“Steve and Cheryl Caplan have been incredible partners with San Jose State football over the years,” said SJSU Football Head Coach Brent Brennan. “They are helping us connect with and inspire Spartans to invest in our program, and they’re leading by example through this most generous gift. I am grateful to the Caplans, as this gift represents another step forward in providing our program the facilities it needs to compete at the highest level in the Mountain West.”

To track fundraising progress and learn how you can support Spartan football, please visit sjsufootball.com or contact Josh Thiel, deputy athletics director for athletics advancement, at 408-924-1697 or joshua.thiel@sjsu.edu.


About San Jose State University

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

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

The university is proud of the accomplishments of its more than 280,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.


About San Jose State Athletics

San Jose State sponsors 22 (nine men’s and 13 women’s) NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports programs for approximately 470 student-athletes annually. In football, the Spartans are a member of Division I’s Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the NCAA’s highest level of competition.

The Spartans’ primary conference affiliation is with the Mountain West. Selected teams belong to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and the Golden Coast Conference (GCC).

San Jose State has 10 NCAA team championships and 52 NCAA individual titles. Sixty-two (62) Spartans competed in one or more Olympic Games. San Jose State athletes have won seven gold, six silver and seven bronze medals at the Olympics.

Annually, about one-third of the student-athlete population earns either an institutional, conference or national recognition based on outstanding academic performance.

Research Foundation Fuels Faculty and Student Discoveries

Whether one is a seasoned researcher or someone just launching a scholarly agenda, San José State University’s Research Foundation has long offered administrative support to faculty members and students as they pursue intellectual exploration.

“The Research Foundation is the bridge between us researchers and our sponsors,” said David Schuster, an associate professor of psychology, who has a grant through the National Science Foundation. “With my current work, I sleep well knowing that I can turn to the foundation to help me navigate new situations that come up in my funded research, especially ones they may have seen many times already.”

He added that early in his career, he appreciated resources to help with grant proposals.

“At times, the hardest part is keeping up to date with the current regulations and grant formatting requirements, and the foundation has a lot of expertise in this area,” he said. “Last, but not least, my post-award manager, Luann Chu, helps me to manage my research budget.”

Rajnesh Prasad, executive director of the Research Foundation

Rajnesh Prasad, executive director of the Research Foundation

SJSU’s Research Foundation is one of the oldest nonprofit corporations associated with the California State University system, founded in 1932 and known initially as the San José State College Corporation.

“As the campus organization that supports the SJSU research community, we continue to be inspired by the talent and passion evidenced by faculty, staff, and student endeavors,” said Rajnesh Prasad, executive director of the foundation and senior director of Sponsored Programs.

Key services include:

  • Actively seeking out funding opportunities for faculty research.
  • Partnering with investigators in all aspects of proposal development and submission.
  • Supporting investigators with the management of the administrative and financial details of their projects after they have been awarded a grant.

Like Schuster, Meteorology and Climate Science Professor Eugene Cordero is working on a project funded by the National Science Foundation and works closely with a Research Foundation analyst to manage his grant, noting that he “can’t imagine this grant going so well without post-award manager Diem Trang Vo — she’s amazing.”

“The Research Foundation plays a key role in helping support my scholarly research,” he said. “And because Meteorology and Climate Science is one of the most research-active departments on campus, I also appreciate the advice and support that the Research Foundation provides to me and my department colleagues. We all realize it’s really a team effort to bring cutting-edge research to our university and students.”

Laurie Drabble, a professor in the School of Social Work, connected with the Research Foundation early on in her career at SJSU through workshops and training sessions. More recently she receives support as a principal investigator on two grants, one with the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and one with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (both in collaboration with the Public Health Institute).

“One of the things I’ve found most useful is getting assistance with budget spreadsheets early on,” she said, of the pre-award phase. “It allows me to work out the grant concept in parallel with mapping out the budget and aligning resources.”

In some cases, Research Foundation services enable faculty to move the products of their work from the laboratory, classroom, and field into local, national, and international businesses and communities. This often results in initiatives that create strategically productive partnerships with Silicon Valley and its culture of creativity, diversity, and technology.

By the numbers for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018:

  • #2 out of 23 CSU campuses in terms of extramurally funded sponsored grants and contracts (San Diego State is first)
  • $1.1 million in indirect revenue and strategic investment into the campus community
  • 290 proposals valued at more than $94 million submitted
  • 244 awards valued at more than $54 million received
  • 300 grants and contracts under management annually
  • 433 students employed as research project employees or Central Office Staff
  • 176 faculty members engaged in sponsored grants or research projects managed by the Research Foundation

The Research Foundation will be hosting the Annual SJSU Celebration of Research on April 23, from 3 to 6 p.m., in the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom. Faculty and student researchers will be honored at the event and the 2019 Research Foundation Annual Report will be released there. For more information on services, resources, and to view previous annual reports, visit the Research Foundation website.

University Scholar Series Presents ‘Math Circles’

Professor Tatiana Shubin, center, works with students.

Professor Tatiana Shubin, center, works with students.

The next talk in the University Scholar Series is scheduled for March 27, at noon, when award-winning Professor Tatiana Shubin will give a talk on “Moving in Circles: the Beauty and Joy of Mathematics for Everyone.” In 2017, she received the Mary P. Dolciani Award, which recognizes a pure or applied mathematician for making distinguished contributions to the math education of students in the United States or Canada. She is credited with creating the San José Math Circle as a weekly space for middle and high school students to gather to engage in problem-solving work.

She is also a co-founder of the first Math Teachers’ Circle Network in the U.S., as a professional community of K-12 mathematics teachers and mathematicians. Groups meet regularly to work on rich mathematics problems, allowing teachers to enrich their knowledge and experience of math while building meaningful partnerships with other teachers and mathematicians.

In 2012, she launched the Navajo Nation Math Circles project and became co-founder/co-director of the Alliance of Indigenous Math Circles.  She aims to spread the culture of problem-solving and the joy of mathematics to Native American students and teachers.

Upcoming University Scholar Series events
Tatiana Shubin, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, on “Moving in Circles: the Beauty and Joy of Mathematics for Everyone”
March 27, noon to 1 p.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Room 225/229

Ellen Middaugh, Department of Child and Adolescent Development, on “Coming of Age in the Era of Outrage: Digital Media and Youth Civic Development”
April 24, noon to 1 p.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Room 225/229

Sandra Hirsh, School of Information, on “Blockchain: Transformative Applications for Libraries and Education”
May 8, noon to 1 p.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Room 225/229

All events are free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.

The University Scholars Series was expanded this spring to include four talks by faculty members who are engaged in world-class research, scholarship or creative activities that connect to San Joes Staté University to hot topic global issues, such as social justice, civic engagement, emerging technology and STEM education.

Fulbright Scholar Helps Indian Universities Rethink Engineering Education

Professor Claire Komives stands in front of a welcome banner at a university in India. She will again travel to the country as a Fulbright Scholar in fall 2019, when she will visit as many as 75 colleges and universities in hopes of enhancing engineering education.

Professor Claire Komives stands in front of a welcome banner at a university in India. She will again travel to the country as a Fulbright Scholar in fall 2019, when she will visit as many as 75 colleges and universities in hopes of enhancing engineering education.

While San Jose State was recently named as a Fulbright top-producing institution for the number of scholars who visit from other universities, SJSU faculty are regularly award Fulbright grants or awards to visit other countries and universities to conduct research and teach. In 2018, Associate Professor of English Cathleen Miller served as the Distinguished Chair of the Humanities at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom while also studying the phenomenon of women’s migration throughout the world. Humanities Lecturer Victoria Rue visited Dar al-Kalima University in the West Bank to teach and conduct scholarly work.

In fall 2019, chemical engineering Professor Claire Komives will travel to India on her second Fulbright Scholar Grant. In 2104-15, she traveled to the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, where she conducted research on creating a low-cost antivenom solution for developing nations. Now she plans to return with a new focus.

“I have proposed to go to India and work with faculty and administrators of engineering colleges to try to improve the quality of teaching,” Komives said, noting that many institutions in India use traditional teaching methods such as lectures and often use outdated curriculum.

She will be bringing a model of education that has proven successful at San Jose State – active, project-based learning.

“I want to try to help them learn about new methods of teaching such as inquiry-based learning,” she said.

Claire Komives, in the center by the screen, offers training on using active learning techniques at the end of her last Fulbright Scholar year in 2014-15.

Claire Komives, in the center by the screen, offers training on using active learning techniques at the end of her last Fulbright Scholar year in 2014-15.

Near the end of her first Fulbright experience, she went to an Indo Universal Collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE) conference, where she arrived was invited to give one workshop on active learning and she ended up giving eight workshops in different cities all over the country.“I met so many faculty who really want to learn to be better teachers,” she said.

From there, she developed an Effective Teaching workshop that became part of a certificate program for faculty. For this next phase of the project, Komives will be based in Mumbai, but will travel to as many as 75 universities and colleges so she can give workshops, engage in peer review of teaching through class visitations and generally sharing how to make class more interactive and effective.

“There is so much poverty in India,” Komives said. “Right now only five percent of students graduating from the more than 3,000 private engineering colleges are employable…If they can be employable they can actually contribute in the Indian economic system and help to raise their families up.”

Another benefit of her work on enhancing engineering education in India?

“Some of our students are coming from these types of universities,” she said. “So working with the faculty will help the professors there educate students more effectively who may then be coming to graduate programs here.”

Fulbright Scholars Enhance Teaching While Engaging in Research

Ling Yu (Melody) Wen is visiting San Jose State as a Fulbright Scholar as she conducts in-depth interviews with CEOs and top managers in the high-tech industry to explore what skill sets they believe are the most important in creating an innovative atmosphere and corporates’ human capital management.

Fulbright Scholars Enhance Teaching While Engaging in Research

In 2018-19, San Jose State University has been host to three Fulbright Scholars from other countries who are adding to their research portfolio while also teaching courses to Spartan students. The scholars include Ling Yu (Melody) Wen, whose area of expertise is human resources management and corporate training; Lela Mirtshkulava, who is engaged in computer engineering and computer science; and Monika Petraite, who worked on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial strategies.Fulbright Logo

Their presence has landed SJSU on the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s list of top producers of Fulbright Scholars, master’s institutions. The list is compiled each year with information from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which runs the nation’s flagship international educational exchange program.

Education and Silicon Valley

Wen specifically selected SJSU for its location in Silicon Valley, its history as the oldest public university on the West Coast and its ranking as the number one provider of employees to high-tech firms in Silicon Valley.

Since arriving on campus in September 2018 with a Senior Fulbright Scholar Grant, she has conducted in-depth interviews with CEOs and top managers in the high-tech industry to explore what skill sets they believe are the most important in creating an innovative atmosphere and corporates’ human capital management. Wen also interviewed students, professors and career center staff at SJSU for their input.

“The research provides a successful model of establishing a link from school to workplace—San Jose State University and the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley as an example,” she said. “The future perceptions of differential talents and the needs of human capital in the high-tech industry would be beneficial for educational policies and strategies of talent development mechanisms in both Taiwan and America.”

During the Fulbright year, Wen was invited by the Namibia University of Science and Technology and University of Missouri-Columbia as a visiting professor to share the results of the Fulbright research.

Wen is a senior professor in the Department of Finance at the National Changhua University of Education in Taiwan and has also served in as a department chair, college dean, dean of International Affairs, and in a variety of administrative roles. She earned her PhD in business education from the University of Missouri, with a focus on human resource management. She has been honored with Teaching Excellence and Service Excellence awards four times during her 24-year tenure in Taiwan, and has been a visiting professor in Germany, Mainland China, Malaysia and Namibia. She was appointed as a distinguished professor at Beijing Forestry University, China since 2015. She also has more than 20-year experiences as a consultant and corporate trainer, as well as the coordinator of National Curriculum and chief judge of National Talent Competitions for High School Students, Ministry of Education, Taiwan.

“Without SJSU and the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business providing the opportunity, I couldn’t complete my Fulbright study,” she said. “I would like to extend my appreciation to Dean Dan Moshavi and Associate Dean Meghna Virick of the Lucas College and Graduate School, and Camille Johnson, interim director of the School of Management, as well as all of the faculty, professors and students of SJSU and CEOs of high-tech industry in Silicon Valley who devoted their time and effort to my Fulbright research. Words are not enough to express my gratitude.”

Lela Mirtskhulava was a featured speaker at DataAI National Summit (DANS), Silicon Valley organized by American Association of Precision Medicine and presented the results of the project she has been working since arriving at San Jose State as a Fulbright Scholar.

Lela Mirtskhulava was a featured speaker at DataAI National Summit (DANS), Silicon Valley organized by American Association of Precision Medicine and presented the results of the project she has been working since arriving at San Jose State as a Fulbright Scholar.

Balancing Teaching and Research

Lela Mirtskhulava experience in the realm of artificial intelligence is unique. She was the first to develop an artificial intelligence capable of diagnosing stroke patients: her prototype artificial intelligence distinguishes between stroke patients and normal subjects with > 99 percent accuracy. She has been honored with the Best Paper Award in 2013 at the University of Cambridge, UK. She was invited as a featured speaker at the AIMed 2017 and AIMed 2018 conferences in Los Angeles.

“I have been working for more than eight months as a Fulbright Research scholar at San Jose State University with most amazing faculty and staff,” she said. “I enjoyed auditing the classes besides my research project thanks to Dr. Xiao Su giving me this opportunity. For academics, both the teaching and research are so attractive and interconnected things. To promote the teaching processes as well as to advance our field requires much time devoted to research, publication and presentation. On the other hand, teaching is one of our primary obligations as a scholar. Only putting them both together makes possible to reach the right balance in our academic life.”

She said at SJSU she has been able to prolong her research and teaching, while her daughter completes a full academic year at a local middle school. Her daughter has been inspired by her teachers while Mirtskhulava is inspiring her own set of students in the two courses she is teaching to postgraduate students; one on deep learning and one on system software.

“This gives me an excellent opportunity to teach the students and promote them to work on their research projects as it is required within these courses,” she said. “I’ve learned about SJSU’s teaching methodology by attending the classes as well my experience of teaching at San Diego State University where I hold an associate professor position.”

Prototyping Artificial Intelligence

Mirtskhulava was a featured speaker at DataAI National Summit (DANS), Silicon Valley organized by American Association of Precision Medicine and presented the results of the project she is currently working on. The main idea of the project is brainwave monitoring that focuses on neurological monitoring which incorporates the monitoring of brainwaves electroencephalography (EEG). Ischemic stroke occurs as a result of disruption of cerebral blood flow which results in neuronal cell death. Brainwave monitoring over EEG has been a commonly used method in neurological monitoring to diagnose and monitor various neurological diseases such as ischemic stroke. In the given project, Android Neural Network (ANN) is designed and a direct neural interface (DNI) is implemented using NeuroSky’s EEG biosensor for brainwaves recognition. A mobile EEG monitor is connected to a patient’s smartphone over Bluetooth that can transmit real-time brainwave data.

Mirtskhulava is an associate professor of computer science at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University in the country of Georgia as well as San Diego State University Georgia (a collaborative progam between SDSU and Georgian partner universities that offers select STEM degrees). As a Fulbright Research Scholar, she is teaching part-time in the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering this year. Mirtskhulava received her PhD in computer science. She has served in various capacities at several Georgian universities and has 15 years of industry work experience as an ICT senior engineer at Ericsson Ltd and Geocell LLC, Georgia. She Mirtskhulava was invited to the University of Cambridge in England to conduct the scientific workshops in 2013. She was the recipient of DAAD Scholarship Certificate in scope of Academic staff exchange program, at Westsaxson University of Applied Sciences Zwickau, Germany in 2016. She has also developed new curriculum in computer engineering and technologies at International Black Sea University, Georgia where she served as program coordinator of bachelor programs in Informatics and as a quality assurance manager at the same university. She participated in new program development in computer science for ABET at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. She is supervising master students and PhD students in Georgia.

College of Ed Professors Received Teacher Residency Grant

In light of that, Lurie College of Education faculty David Whitenack and Lisa Simpson recently applied for and were awarded a Teacher Residency Grant through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to create opportunities for Lurie College students to complete special education, STEM, and/or bilingual education residency programs.

Read more on the Connie L. Lurie College of Education blog.

New College, New Dean: Graduate Studies and Marc d’Alarcao

Marc d'Alarcao

Marc d’Alarcao

As a professor of chemistry with 30 years of experience in higher education split between San José State University and Tufts University, Marc d’Alarcao said his favorite part of teaching is when he sees students begin to understand how new knowledge is created.

“Knowledge is always continuing to grow,” he said.

Now d’Alarcao will be essential in creating a new college at SJSU as the interim dean of the College of Graduate Studies, designed to support graduate students in a variety of ways, including in advancing their fields through their research, scholarship and creative activities.

“We have a very large graduate student population of about 8,000,” he said. “They deserve to have an advocate who is solely focused on their needs.”

Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs announced the creation of a new College of Graduate Studies in fall 2018.

“The creation of a College of Graduate Studies has been front and center inAcademic Affairs for well over a year and a half,” Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Joan Ficke wrote in a January announcement about d’Alarcao’s appointment. “It dovetails with increasing commitments to our faculty administering graduate programs, and to our substantial graduate students’ population. It also signifies our re-visioning what SJSU contributes to Silicon Valley and to the world beyond.”

At Tufts, d’Alarcao mentored graduate students, including both master’s and PhD candidates, and regularly involved students at all levels in his research. His work at both universities has focused on biological and medicinal chemistry including the design and synthesis of potential antitumor agents, and a study of insulin action by synthesis of molecules related to insulin signal transduction with potential utility as treatments for type II diabetes mellitus.

“The thing that attracted me to SJSU was the outstanding faculty and students,” he said.

He has been working to expand research, scholarship and creative activities since his arrival at SJSU–as a faculty member, as a member of the AcademicSenate, and most recently, as the associate dean of research for the College of Science.

“Marc is an excellent choice to lead the College of Graduate Studies,” said Michael Kaufman, dean of the College of Science. “He has deep knowledge of the university and great skill in leading transformation both within and beyond college boundaries. His thoughtful approaches to challenges and opportunities make him the ideal person to enhance and expand SJSU’s graduate educational endeavors.”

Aside from advocating for graduate students, d’Alarcao articulated a few other reasons the new college is essential to the university’s priorities. First, he said it will continue to enhance research, scholarship, and creative activity, especially engaging graduate students. Second, it will position SJSU to expand its doctoral offerings — the university currently offers a doctorate in education and a doctor of nursing practice. Lastly, it will serve as a platform to better highlight the extraordinary work of our talented graduate students, both for internal and external audiences.

“For graduate students, success often means excellence in research or creative activity,” he said, adding that many of SJSU’s graduate programs require the generation of new knowledge or other creative products as a central component of the students’ experience.

d’Alarcao received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Bridgewater State College, in Massachusetts, during which he worked as a research assistant in microbiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. He completed his PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, followed by postdoctoral studies at Harvard University under the mentorship of E. J. Corey, who would later become a Nobel laureate.