National Engineers Week: SJSU Teaches Top Tech Trends

National Engineers Week is February 17-23, with more than 70 engineering, education and cultural societies and more than 50 corporations and government agencies involved in events and activities to celebrate the profession and promote STEM education around the nation. Ranked #3 in the nation among public engineering programs offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, according to U.S. News & World Report 2019, and a top contributor of talent to Silicon Valley, San Jose State University will be celebrating the faculty, students and programs that make up our Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering in a series of stories on our Newsroom and social media channels. The College of Engineering offers 13 engineering disciplines with 7,400 students enrolled and works closely with its Engineering Industry Advisory Council to ensure the curriculum and learning experiences offered to its students align with workforce needs.

Ahmed Banafa Photo by David Schmitz

Ahmed Banafa
Photo by David Schmitz

Teaching the Top Trends in Technology

Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering Professor Ahmed Banafa, who was recently ranked by LinkedIn as the number one voice to follow in technology, has identified four hot tech trends for 2019. For anyone who uses a fitness tracker, smart phone, email or other applications, asks Alexa or Google Home what the weather will be like today, or accesses public records, these hot trends have potential to impact all these devices and technologies.

An image depicts the hot tech trends of 2019: Internet of Things, Blockchain, AI, and Cybersecurity. Infographic courtesy of Ahmed Banafa.

An image depicts the hot tech trends of 2019: Internet of Things, Blockchain, AI, and Cybersecurity. Infographic courtesy of Ahmed Banafa.

The trends include the Internet of Things, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity, or as Banafa has dubbed them “IBAC.” SJSU students are learning about these cutting edge technologies in their classrooms, with students and faculty engaged in research in each area.

“SJSU is at the leading edge in all these trends,” Banafa said. “We have classes covering all of them. We teach IoT and we have an excellent lab for that class. I teach the Blockchain class and I show the students how to tap into and use the blockchain network as well as how to create their own cryptocurrency.”

Banafa shares why each area is a boon.

“IoT is what you see now in Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant,” he said. “They are the hubs of IoT future devices and there is a war between the mentioned companies to dominate this market of $1.7 trillion.”

In December, he shared his top predictions for IoT in the coming year. Banafa noted that the number of devices using IoT technology is likely to increase to 3.6 billion that are actively connected to the Internet and used for daily tasks, with their ability to collect data expanding as 5G technology is introduced. He noted as well that digital transformations in industries such as manufacturing and healthcare have tremendous  impact to improve either production performance and patient care, respectively.

In a similar post last September, Banafa shared his predictions for emerging blockchain technology, one of the newer topics covered at SJSU, as providing security a new perspective where human logic is involved at the top of encryption.

“I am really proud of SJSU for covering all the areas mentioned in IBAC with the last piece of the puzzle, Blockchain,” Banafa said. “Few universities in the world teach it. We are in good company with Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Berkeley.”

AI continues to gain traction, he said, with the development of “smart devices” including speakers, homes and now cities.

Cybersecurity remains a critical issue, one that is being tackled on multiple fronts through SJSU’s interdisciplinary Silicon Valley Big Data and Cybersecurity Center.

“Just read the news and you will see that we have daily breaches,” he said, noting a recent Marriott Hotels breach that impacted up to 500 million guests along with a Facebook breach that exposed 50 million accounts.

The college has more than 400 faculty members who teach in its 13 departments, many who are engaged in research or work in industries that keep them up to date on the latest trends in engineering, and the program offers interdisciplinary service learning experiences for students.

“Our engineering students at SJSU are positioned better, perhaps, than any other public university in the country to quickly adapt to the newest needs of a rapidly evolving technology market,” said Sheryl Ehrman, dean of the College of Engineering. “Our hands-on curriculum focuses on strong fundamentals to enable development of critical thinking skills that will serve students throughout their career. They can choose elective courses in emerging areas such as Blockchain and AI/machine-learning. Student projects often involve other emerging areas such as IoT, alternative transportation, nanomedicine, micro-robotics and cybersecurity.”

Celebrate Black History Month at SJSU

At left, Dr. Theodorea Berry, chair of the Department of African-American Studies, poses for a photo with Pastor Jason C. Reynolds during San Jose State University's Super Sunday event Feb. 10 at Emanuel Baptist Church.

At left, Dr. Theodorea Berry, chair of the Department of African-American Studies, poses for a photo with Pastor Jason C. Reynolds during San Jose State University’s Super Sunday event Feb. 10 at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

This February, San Jose State University is recognizing Black History Month with a series of exciting and educational events, part of an ongoing effort to promote diversity and inclusion on campus. The various activities are sponsored by Student Involvement, the African American/Black Student Success Center, the Department of African-American Studies, Mosaic Cross Cultural Center and Student Affairs.

“These heritage month celebrations provide visible representation of our students on campus,” said Christopher Yang, the director of the Mosaic Cross Cultural Center, noting that SJSU celebrates four ethnic heritage months. “Students are so busy with all the things they need to work on–class, jobs, family. These events offer a chance to take a break and notice the efforts the campus is making.”

Yang noted that the events allow students of various identities to feel they have support on campus while also allowing an opportunity for campus communities who don’t identify with a particular ethnicity to learn about different cultures.

This year’s Black History Month events got an early start with a 30th anniversary celebration of African studies and a Legends and Legacies talk in January, with many more events planned into March.

For the remainder of the month, students are encouraged to attend weekly events such as the Black Male Collective: Barbershop Talk, the African History Film and Dialogue Series, the Leadership Drop-In Series, and monthly events hosted by the Black Student Union and the Black Women’s Collective. Topics include leadership, intersectionality, spirituality, and African and African-American history.

Visiting Scholar Lecture

On February 14 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Fifth Floor Shiro Room, David G. Holmes, a professor of English and associate dean of curriculum and general education at Pepperdine University, will give a visiting scholar lecture on “Black Religion Matters.” Holmes will examine the influence of Black religious rhetoric on mass civil rights meetings in Birmingham in the 1960s. The event is sponsored by the College of Humanities and the Arts, the Department of Communications, the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies, the Mosaic Cross Cultural Center and the Department of Justice Studies. RSVP to ryan.skinnell@sjsu.edu.

Super Sunday

San Jose State University staff members from Student Outreach and Recruitment and the Financial Aid Office attend Super Sunday to talk with community members about preparing for college. Photo provided by Coleeta McElroy.

San Jose State University staff members from Student Outreach and Recruitment and the Financial Aid Office attend Super Sunday to talk with community members about preparing for college. Photo provided by Coleeta McElroy.

President Mary Papazian visited San Jose’s Emmanuel Baptist Church February 10 as part of the California State University’s annual Super Sunday event, an effort to engage and serve underrepresented students. She and Theodorea Berry, chair of the department of African-American Studies at SJSU spoke with community members about planning for college, with representatives from Student Outreach and Recruitment and the Financial Aid Office also available to answer questions. Vice President for Student Affairs Patrick Day will be visiting the Maranatha Christian Center on February 24, as part of the Super Sunday effort.

“Yesterday’s services at Emmanuel Baptist, part of the CSU’s Super Sunday activities, were warm, welcoming and joyful,” President Papazian (@PrezPapazian) following the services. “I was delighted to see many Spartans, which contributed to the energy and enthusiasm. Thank you, Pastor Reynolds, and thanks to your congregation for having me.”

Other Upcoming Events

Special events include a film screening of Black Panther (February 12), mardi gras celebration (February 13), Meet and Greet: Black Students, Faculty and Staff (February 25), and the Spartan Speakers Series on February 20, which features Broadway actor Bryan Terrell Clark, who played the role of George Washington in Hamilton.

Black Panther screening
Tuesday, February 12, 6 – 8 p.m., Student Union Theatre

Mardi Gras
Wednesday, February 13, 4 – 7 p.m., Student Union Ballroom

National Panhellenic Showcase
Wednesday, February 13, 7 – 9 p.m., Student Union Theatre

Black Male Collective: Barbershop Talk

  • Wednesday, February 13, 5 p.m. at Barbers, Inc.
    Wednesday, February 27, 5 p.m. at Mosaic Cross Cultural Center
    Wednesday, March 13, 5 p.m. at Barbers Inc.

Leadership Drop-In Series

  • What Famous Black Leader(s) Inspire You?
    Tuesday, February 12, 1:30 – 3 pm, Student Involvement
  • Leading While Black
    Tuesday, February 19, 1:30 – 3 pm, African-American/Black Student Success Center
  • Calling in Black: Handling Racial Battle Fatigue
    Tuesday, February 26, 1:30 – 3 pm, African-American/Black Student Success Center

African History Film and Dialogue Series

  • African Children and Youth
    Tuesday, February 12, 6 pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library 225
  • Health and Nutrition in the African Community
    Tuesday, February 19, 6 pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library 225
  • African Women
    Tuesday, February 26, 6 pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library 225

Black Student Union Meeting
Wednesday, February 13, 6:45 pm, Peer Connections

Spartan Speaker Series
Bryan Terrell Clark
Wednesday, February 20, 12 pm, Student Union

Black Women’s Collective
Intersectionality: Being Both Black and a Woman
Thursday, February 21, 6 – 8 pm, TBD’

Meet and Greet: Black Students, Faculty and Staff
Monday, February 25, 11:30 am – 3 pm, Student Union, Meeting Room 3A/3B’

Community Conversation: Black Love
Thursday, February 28, 7 – 9 pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library 225

Black Cultural Showcase
Friday, March 1, 6 p.m., Student Union Theatre

Spirituality and Activism
Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., First AME Zion Church

Yard on the Green
Friday, March 8, noon to 3 p.m., Smith and Carlos Sculpture

Hidden Figures Screening
Wednesday, March 13, 6 to 8 p.m, Student Union Theatre

Book Discussion: Becoming
Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m., Washington Square Hall, Room 281H

 

“Portraying Possibility” Presidential Portrait Exhibit Celebration on February 13

Portraits of former San Jose State University presidents are reviewed for the "Portraying Possibilities" exhibit. Photo By Michelle Frey.

Portraits of former San Jose State University presidents are reviewed for the “Portraying Possibilities” exhibit. Photo By Michelle Frey.

As President’s Day approaches, San Jose State University is proud to unveil the first-ever exhibit of SJSU presidential portraits on the fourth floor of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library with an opening reception 3 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13.

Entitled “Portraying Possibility,” the exhibit provides a glimpse of San Jose State University’s history through its leaders and will be on display through March 22. The nine oil portraits in this collection reflect the vision, values and dreams of the university’s presidents—including a new portrait of current SJSU President Mary A. Papazian, painted by artist and MFA candidate Daniel Cruit. Photographs of additional past presidents and university leaders are included in the exhibit, along with two LCD screens featuring films that demonstrate the artistic process of creating a portrait, as well as current student artwork.

Daniel works on his painting of President Mary Papazian in the Art Building at San Jose Sate University on Wednesday, May 8, 2018. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Daniel works on his painting of President Mary Papazian in the Art Building at San Jose Sate University on Wednesday, May 8, 2018. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

Cruit is an artist trained in illustration who earned a bachelor’s of fine art from Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) in Florida. His work has earned accolades and been shown at several exhibitions including the Ringling College of Art and Design Senior Thesis Show, the Sketchbook Ringling College of Art and Design Sketchbook Show, and the Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Exhibition in New York, among others.

Daniel Cruit works on some of the details of his painting. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Daniel Cruit works on some of the details of his painting. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

The show and reception is a collaboration of the College of Humanities and the Arts, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library and SJSU’s Special Collections and Archives. The reception will include remarks from College of the Humanities and Arts Dean Shannon Miller, followed by a short lecture by renaissance art historian and art lecturer Christy Junkerman. Junkerman has a bachelor’s in English from the University of Wisconsin, a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and teaches introductory theory as well as late medieval and early modern Italian art. She will discuss the history of portraiture. Following Junkerman’s lecture, Cruit will share insights into setting the scene for President Papazian’s portrait.

The historic paintings and images displayed are both a reflection of a long tradition of portraiture as well as a commemoration of people who have provided vision and direction to San Jose State University during its long history. While many visitors will be seeing the paintings for the first times, the names of some of these leaders will be familiar. In addition to President Papazian’s image and a group portrait of some of the earliest leaders, the exhibit displays the artwork of the following presidents:

  • Thomas William MacQuarrie, who led the university from 1927-1952 and has his name adorned on the south side of campus, expanding the campus and the curriculum while it was still known as a teacher’s college.
  • John T. Wahlquist, who led from 1952-1964, established general education course requirements and promoted graduate programs.
  • Robert. D. Clark, who led from 1964-1969, was the first president screened and nominated by a representative faculty group, and was known for setting an example of mutual cooperation and community relations.
  • John H. Bunzel, who led from 1970-1978, who led the transition from a college to a university, and helped to establish programs in Religious Studies, Jewish Studies and Women’s Studies.
  • Gail Fullerton, who led from 1978-1991, was the first woman to serve as president and the first faculty member to be promoted to the presidency since 1990, who promoted facilities enhancement that included a new engineering complex and the event center.
  • J. Handel Evans, who served as acting president from 1991-1994, he led SJSU through accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • Robert L. Caret, who led the university from 1995-2003, who promoted SJSU as the metropolitan university of Silicon Valley.

Julia Halprin-Jackson contributed to this report.

‘One Carbon Footprint at a Time’ Documentary Airs on PBS This Week

San Jose State University Emeritus Professor Bob Gliner’s latest documentary will air throughout the San Francisco Bay Area on PBS station KRCB on Feb. 12, at 9 .m., Feb. 13, at 3 a.m. and Feb. 15, at noon (Comcast 22 in the Northday, Comcast 200 in the South Bay.

The former Sociology professor is a prolific filmmaker who has traveled the world to produced documentaries focused on social issues and social change. He combines his interest in education and climate change in his latest half-hour documentary, “One Carbon Footprint At a Time.” The film highlights how education can inspire everyday actions that play a critical and potentially transformative role in affecting climate change. The film explores a unique interdisciplinary Global Climate course at SJSU as well as classes at two San Jose area middle schools to see how the curriculum influences students to make changes in their daily lives.

The documentary features SJSU students, alumni and two faculty members, Eugene Cordero, from Meteorology and Climate Science, and Anne Marie Todd, from Communications Studies.

Gliner has received more than 16 awards for his films and was named as San Jose State’s 2002 President’s Scholar. For more information on Gliner’s latest documentary as well as other work, visit his website. DocMakerOnline.com. For updates on the SJSU alumni featured in the film, visit the program’s website.

Stellar student researches stellar noise

SJSU physics student Stephanie Striegel is involved in research that could help scientists discover new exoplanets.

SJSU physics student Stephanie Striegel is involved in research that could help scientists discover new exoplanets.

Stephanie Striegel is set to graduate this spring with a bachelor’s in physics but she already has her sights set high — beyond this galaxy to be exact. Last summer, Striegel interned at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena with Dr. Johanna Teske, where they conducted research on mitigating stellar noise using high cadence radial velocity observations for the purpose of detecting small exoplanets. Exoplanets are planets that orbit a sun other than our sun, according to NASA. Scientists are particularly interested in identifying these bodies beyond our galaxy in their search to find a place that might be habitable.

Striegel’s summer internship was offered through the CAMPARE program, which recruits students from California State University and California community colleges to engage in research, with a goal of increasing underrepresented students in the sciences. She was awarded a $3,000 grant from Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research program to fund an observing run at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile to collect more data on her stellar noise project with Teske during the school year. According to Sigma Xi, 12 percent of the 810 applicants who applied were approved for funding, and of those approved, only 17 percent were undergraduate students.

While she completes the final courses of her undergraduate career, Striegel is also engaged in an internship at NASA’s Ames Research Center (ARC). She is working with Dr. Tom Greene on reducing laboratory data and performing detector characterization for infrared instruments to enable future studies of habitable exoplanets.

“The classes at SJSU have prepared me for my internships both at Carnegie Observatories and NASA ARC,” she said. “Our physics department has a focus on computational physics, which has been especially useful since a lot of astronomy research requires programming skills.”

Before beginning her internships, Striegel worked with Associate Professor Aaron Romanowsky’s student research team. His research group was focused on ultra-compact dwarf  (UCD) galaxies, which are brighter and more compact than typical dwarf galaxies. Her task included mining the Sloan Digital Sky Survey catalogue for possible candidates by analyzing the characteristics of confirmed UCDs and using SQL queries to do comparisons around galaxies in the local universe. Along with other scientists, Romanowsky’s team hopes to discover how UCDs were formed, specifically if they were part of larger galaxies.

“I’m very grateful for the Physics and Astronomy department at SJSU,” she said. “My peers and the faculty here have been nothing but supportive, and every internship or opportunity I’ve had, I owe to them.”

SJSU Student Engineers Launch Latest TechEd Satellite with NASA

TechEdSat group in N-244 Lab 9 with mentors Mark Murbach (standing back left) and Ali Guarneros Luna (kneeling on right). Photo courtesy of NASA Ames Research Center.

TechEdSat group in N-244 Lab 9 with mentors Mark Murbach (standing back left) and Ali Guarneros Luna (kneeling on right). Photo courtesy of NASA Ames Research Center.

After a year of hard work, collaboration and many late nights subsisting on Costco pizzas, a group of San Jose State students, faculty and alumni gathered with guests from NASA Ames Research Center to watch the deployment of a technology education satellite (TechEdSat) from the International Space Station (ISS).

At 8:43 a.m. Ali Guarneros-Luna, ’10 BS, ’12 MS Aerospace Engineering, who now works at NASA Ames as the Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) program manager for the Safety and Mission Assurance Division, called attention to screens at the front of the room in preparation of the countdown to deployment. The screens displayed a view from the space station looking down toward earth with radiant blue skies and patches of bright, white clouds.

Just before the scheduled 8:45 a.m. launch the countdown came over a live stream of the deployment.

“Five, four, three, two, one,” a disembodied voice announced. “We have visual confirmation from the cameras on the ISS.”

A seemingly small, dark rectangular object appeared on the screen for a second, against the white clouds. The successful deployment of the cube satellite isn’t the end of the work for the interdisciplinary student teams from the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering and the College of Science. The next wave of work will start when they begin to collect data packets from the satellite.

“I’ve been grateful to the students,” said Professor Periklis Papadopoulos from the Department of Aerospace Engineering. “Most of them are not students anymore because they have graduated and are working in the industry.”

San Jose State University faculty and students gathered in the Diaz Compean Student Union Jan. 31 to watch the launch of the latest satellite created in partnership with NASA Ames Research Center.

San Jose State University faculty and students gathered in the Diaz Compean Student Union Jan. 31 to watch the launch of the latest satellite created in partnership with NASA Ames Research Center.

Jesus Rosila Mares, ’19 Aerospace Engineering, and his brother Roberto Rosila Mares, ’17 BS, ’19 MS Aerospace Engineering, worked together to create a virtual reality (VR) experiment for the satellite. They believe theirs is the first VR payload experiment in space and they had to turn around their hardware and software in less than six months.

The best part of the collaboration with NASA Ames has been “putting something into space with my brother,” Roberto said. “It’s been great working on this with my brother. Not a lot of people can say that. We both rely on each other.”

The two both discovered their love of engineering in high school in an AP physics class — with the same teacher.

“We did a projectile motion experiment,” Roberto said. “I realized you can calculate where an object will go and it was mindblowing. That opened the gates.”

With both brothers graduating this spring — Roberto is already working and Jesus has a job lined up upon graduation — they said they will be planning to hand off their work to a new batch of students who will be able to continue it.

Marcus Murbach, an adjunct professor and a principal investigator with the Sub-Orbital Aerodynamic Re-Entry Experiments, shared background on the flights series dating back to 2005. His focus has been on creating cube satellites that are smaller than traditional satellites and can be built and deployed in a shorter time. The latest satellite has a primary mission of improving the exobrake which could allow the satellite to orbit longer and better target its landing and testing three radios with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In addition, the satellite will allow researchers to test WiFi capabilities in space, VR and more.

“I want to recognize my esteemed colleagues and collaborators,” Murbach said noting Guarneros-Luna’s important role. “And Ali, we don’t fly into space without her.”

In the News

Founder of “Me Too” Movement Tarana Burke Speaks at SJSU

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

San Jose, CA – The Spartan Speaker Series will present an evening with 2017 Time Person of the Year, Tarana Burke. She is the founder of the “Me Too” movement and has dedicated 25 years of her life to social justice. Burke will be speaking on campus Monday, Feb. 4 from 7 to 8:30 p.m at the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom. The event is free for all students, staff, faculty and community members.

The “Me Too” movement, or #MeToo movement as it is better known, began in 2017 as a hashtag on social media to bring attention to the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and sexual harassment. The movement quickly turned into an international sensation. Time recognized Burke, along with a group of other activists known as “The Silence Breakers” in its iconic Person of the Year edition in 2017.

Since 2016, the Spartan Speakers Series has aimed to present a broad range of timely content and diverse voices including distinguished authors, critics, artists, scientists and more. Past speakers have included Kamau Bell, Lisa Ling, and Ana Navarro, among others.

The next Spartan Speakers Series event will be Feb. 20 with activist and actor Bryan Terrell Clark.

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.

Spartan Football Receives $1 Million Gift

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

SAN JOSE, CA—San Jose State University is pleased to announce that it has received a $1 million gift commitment from donors who plan to remain anonymous. This gift will provide new lockers and Spartan-themed graphics for the football team locker room in the existing Simpkins Stadium Center adjacent to CEFCU Stadium, Home of the Spartans. The upgrades are expected to be completed in May 2019. In addition to the refurbished locker room, the gift will support Head Coach Brent Brennan’s efforts to position the football program for success in the immediate future.

“These gracious donors looked Coach Brennan right in the eye and said, ‘We believe in you, coach, and we want to help you now,’” said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Marie Tuite. “This is a unique gift by two extraordinary folks who are simply vested in moving San Jose State football forward. I’m especially appreciative because our senior class will be able to conclude their careers in a first-class locker room. On behalf of our remarkable student-athletes and our entire department, a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to these two significant donors.”

“Locker rooms are a great place for the team to bond,” said the donors, who are long-time Spartan football season ticket holders. “We hope the new locker room will show the team that we support them 100 percent.”

“We were blown away by the generosity of this gift,” said Brennan. “While we are building our new football complex, this gives a huge boost to the Simpkins Stadium Center, which has housed many Spartan greats. This will directly impact our next recruiting class and give a sense of pride to the space where the players spend so much of their time.”

Brennan added that the expansion and upgrade to the training room will help Spartan football players with the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries, aided by SJSU’s certified athletic training staff.

“We are excited to see the momentum continue to build around our football program,” said Vice President for University Advancement and Tower Foundation CEO Paul Lanning. “This gift will have an immediate positive impact on the experience of our student-athletes and will greatly enhance recruiting efforts of our coaches. We’re so thankful to our donors for their investment in the future of Spartan football.”

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 via email at 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 260,000 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.

San Jose State University Names Vincent Del Casino Jr. as Provost

Vincent Del Casino Jr.

Vincent Del Casino Jr.

Media contacts:

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

San Jose, Calif.— San Jose State University has named Vincent Del Casino, Jr. as the university’s next provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs after a competitive, comprehensive and national search. Del Casino is currently interim senior vice provost and vice president for Academic Initiatives and Student Success at University of Arizona. He will join SJSU to begin his duties as provost starting on July 15.

Del Casino will report directly to President Mary A. Papazian, serving as a key member of the leadership team with primary responsibility for ensuring academic excellence in undergraduate and graduate studies as well as continual investment in research, scholarship, and creative activity that benefits all students and society at large.

“Vincent will join us at an extraordinary time in our history, as we unveil a new strategic plan that captures our bold vision for SJSU’s next decade. I have great confidence that he will bring a strong foundation to this key leadership position while fostering collaboration across colleges and departments. Vincent is a visionary who will chart a course for our Academic Affairs division into the future,” President Mary A. Papazian said. “He is an exemplary fit to lead our continuing efforts to support students and faculty, build community partnerships, and expand innovative teaching and learning at our university.”

At the University of Arizona, Del Casino provided leadership and administrative oversight as the campus redeveloped central spaces for student support activities; re-organized its central administrative areas; and enhanced student success and retention. During his tenure, the university greatly increased its online undergraduate enrollment and program offerings. He was also integral in implementing the University of Arizona’s 100% Engagement Initiative that allows students to participate in “extra-classroom” activities through credit-bearing and non-credit engaged learning experiences. With more than 18 years of academic and administrative experience in higher education, Del Casino also served as a professor and chair at California State University, Long Beach, in the Department of Geography.

“I am thrilled to be joining the San José State University community as the next provost,” Del Casino said. “I am excited to begin working with faculty and staff to advance the mission of the campus, to serve our students, and deliver on the promise of high-quality, high-value degrees to the next generation of undergraduate and graduate students.”

When Del Casino visited campus, he said he recognized SJSU is a very special place with a bright future. “The faculty are engaged in outstanding scholarly and creative activity while also supporting a highly diverse undergraduate and graduate student population,” he said. “The students are passionate and committed to their campus, and the staff are doing exceptional work in support of the larger enterprise in ways that make possible the campus’ future growth. I look forward to joining this community.”

Del Casino is a prolific writer and researcher who has authored the book Social Geography: A Critical Introduction. He has also edited and co-authored multiple books and published dozens of articles and book chapters on topics ranging from health, robots and tourism, in the context of geography. His numerous commentaries on higher education have been published in The Evolllution and Inside Higher Education, including “Machine Learning, Big Data, and the Future of Higher Education.”

Prior to earning his doctorate in geography from the University of Kentucky, Vincent received his master’s in geography from the University of Wisconsin and bachelor’s in international relations and East Asian studies from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.


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.

SJSU’s Julia Curry Rodriguez Named Wang Family Excellence Award Recipient

Dr. Julia E. Curry Rodriguez has received the 2019 Wang Family Excellence Award for Outstanding Faculty Service.

Dr. Julia E. Curry Rodriguez has received the 2019 Wang Family Excellence Award for Outstanding Faculty Service.

Media contacts:

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

San Jose, Calif.—The California State University Chancellor’s Office announced today that San Jose State University’s Julia E. Curry Rodríguez, an associate professor of Mexican American Studies, is the recipient of the 2019 Wang Family Excellence Award for Outstanding Faculty Service.

Curry was selected for the prestigious award for her unwavering support of students, specifically immigrant and undocumented students in her two decades of service to SJSU. Since 2009, she has worked with the Chicano/Latino Faculty and Staff Association to provide scholarships for undocumented students, including the establishment of full-semester scholarships. She advocated institutionalizing services, support and resources for immigrant students, leading to the development of SJSU’s UndocuSpartan Resource Center in 2018.

“I have worked with thousands of students—many of whom are first-generation, immigrants or of immigrant origin,” says Curry. “Their tenacity, perseverance, humility, dignity and grace inspire me daily. Their example of lived commitment and struggle guide how I live out my profession.”

Curry has mentored five doctoral students through the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP), two of whom are now CSU faculty. She also serves as the faculty advisor to Student Advocates for Higher Education, an undocumented student support group founded in 2003, and the Chicano/a/x Graduate Council.

Julia Curry Rodriguez received SJSU's Distinguished Service Award in 2014.

Julia Curry Rodriguez received SJSU’s Distinguished Service Award in 2014.

She was instrumental in developing a new bachelor’s degree in Mexican American Studies, coordinates with the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies to address legal challenges, such as the Supreme Court Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)/Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) case, and organizes symposia covering policies related to in-state tuition and the California Dream Act.

Curry has also maintained an active research, scholarship and creative activities agenda. In 2003, she received a grant from the Ford Foundation to document services for binational students who immigrate to the U.S., then migrate back to their home regions in Mexico. Other recent research includes an article on “Decolonial Food for Thought: Mexican-Origin Food, Foodways, and Social Movements” in the Journal of Equity and Excellence in Education and a reader entitled Mothers, Mothering and Motherhood Across Cultural Differences.

The SJSU 2014 Distinguished Service Award recipient, Curry has been featured in SJSU’s My Story is Here campaign and in Washington Square magazine.

The Wang Family Excellence Award recognizes four outstanding faculty members and one outstanding staff member who, through extraordinary commitment and dedication, have distinguished themselves by exemplary contributions and achievements. Learn more about the CSU 2019 Wang Excellence Award recipients online.


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.

Spartan Football Receives $1 Million Gift from Kevin and Sandy Swanson

Kevin and Sandy Swanson at the Spartan football All In campaign event in 2017. Photo: David Schmitz

Media contacts:

Robin McElhatton, SJSU Media Relations Specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu
Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics Media Relations Director, 408-924-1217, lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu

San Jose, Calif.— San Jose State University is pleased to announce that it has received a $1 million gift commitment from alumnus Kevin Swanson, ’87 Finance, and his wife Sandy Swanson. Their gift will contribute to a new football operations center on the east side of the CEFCU Stadium, Home of the Spartans.

“This gift reflects the support and love Kevin and Sandy have for our football program and for San Jose State University,” said Director of Athletics Marie Tuite. “Win or lose, they are committed to improving the experiences and well-being of our student-athletes through their generous donation. They understand the value of the football operations center to San Jose State, and their generosity is an indication of their belief in Coach Brent Brennan and his staff. We offer a sincere and heartfelt ‘thank you’ to two of the best Spartans in our community.”

Supporting Common Goals

The Swansons’ San Jose financial services office is decorated in Spartan regalia, from a SJSU flag hanging on the wall to Kevin’s diploma. As an undergraduate, Kevin was active in the Delta Upsilon fraternity, a network of friends and colleagues who invited him back after graduating to serve as a fraternity advisor. For 11 years, he mentored Spartans and Sandy attended countless pledge dances and university events. The chance to connect with students on a personal and professional level inspired the Swansons to attend Spartan football games, enjoying tailgates with a community of friends.

“One thing I love about athletics is the opportunity it brings to students who wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to pursue an education,” said Kevin. “It offers the opportunity for young men and women to learn more about themselves and to work on a team with a common goal as a community.”

In 2018, the couple learned about Beyond Football, which offers unique programming for Spartan football players to develop career and life skills that extend beyond the sport. Together, they volunteered to offer mock interviews alongside a cohort of Silicon Valley professionals to critique the students’ interview techniques. The chance to interact one-on-one with football players in a professional capacity inspired them to find a lasting way to give back.

“It really struck us that the football team and the Beyond Football program were really making a difference in these young men’s lives,” said Sandy, a CSU Hayward graduate who calls San Jose State her adopted alma mater. “That type of foresight on the part of the athletics department is inspirational for us, and we’d love to see those types of things continue.”

“Kevin and Sandy Swanson have been amazing to us since we came on board two years ago,” said SJSU Head Football Coach Brent Brennan. “They believe, like many of us do, that in the process of building a top-flight football program, we need to invest at a high level. This gift is another huge step in the direction of giving our program the facilities it needs to compete at the highest level in the Mountain West. I am so thankful for their belief in what we are building here.”

Football Matters

The Swansons believe that by supporting the football program, they can multiply their impact for all student-athletes at San Jose State.

“The impact that athletics has on athletes in any sport is significant and one of the reasons we are making this donation,” said Kevin. “We believe that on most campuses football is a major factor in fundraising and revenue generation for the entire campus. When you have a strong football program, you have a strong athletics program. Athletics really does change students’ lives.”

“Kevin and Sandy are longtime passionate supporters of San José State University and of Spartan football, and this commitment speaks volumes about just how passionate they are,” said Paul Lanning, vice president for university advancement and CEO of SJSU’s Tower Foundation. “We’re grateful and proud to count them among the growing number of major benefactors who believe in this project and want to see it happen as quickly as possible.”

To track fundraising progress and learn how you can support the football operations center, please visit sjsufootball.com or contact Joshua Thiel, deputy athletics director for athletics advancement, at 408-924-1697 or via email at 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 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

About San Jose State Athletics

San Jose State University 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.

Insights Speaker Series Features Economists Robert Reich and Ben Stein

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

San Jose, CA – Economists Robert Reich and Ben Stein will participate in a powerful and entertaining conversation on the future of the U.S. economy during San Jose State University’s Insights Speaker Series, “The Way Forward: Perspectives on the U.S. Economy.” Moderated by SJSU President Mary A. Papazian and underwritten by the Valley Foundation, this event is the second in a new university-wide speaker series that exposes the San Jose State community to a variety of perspectives in the areas of economics, business and global affairs.

The Way Forward: Perspectives on the U.S. Economy

Event Details

Tuesday, February 5
7 p.m.
Hammer Theatre Center, 101 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113

Tickets

Students: Reserve your free ticket with Tower ID at the Hammer Theatre Box Office
Faculty, staff, alumni and community: $20 tickets available online

Speakers

Robert Reich, the author of 15 books and now a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, has served under three national administrations, most recently as Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton. In 2008, TIME magazine named him one of the 10 most successful cabinet secretaries of the past century.

Ben Stein has an eclectic background. He was a speechwriter for Presidents Nixon and Ford, an actor and game show host, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, and the author or co-author of more than 30 books. He is currently a regular commentator on CBS Sunday Morning, Fox News and CNN.

For more information, visit the Hammer Theatre website.


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.

 

Associated Students House Relocation: Street Closures on Jan. 12, 2019

The Associated Student (A.S.) House will be relocated to Tenth Street on January 12. Photo: Roman Goshev, ’07 Graphic Design

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

Associated Students (A.S.) House relocation is scheduled for Saturday, January 12, 2019. Street closures will occur between 12 a.m. and 8 p.m. The streets affected are:

  • 4th St., between San Fernando and San Carlos St.
  • San Fernando St., between 4th St. and Ninth St.

The purpose of the street closures is to relocate San Jose State University’s Associated Students House to its new location on the north side of the campus. All sidewalks are open to the public. Street closures and detours are shown on the road closure map (PDF).

Read the original announcement for additional 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 immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area. 

 

CSU Shares Profile of SJSU’s Fritz Yambrach, Professor and Inventor

San Jose State University’s Professor Fritz Yambrach brings the same innovative and practical approach to his work, whether rebuilding the packaging program in the College of Health and Human Sciences’ Department of Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging, creating internships for students with industry partners or developing a new way for people to carry water in developing countries.

When he was hired in 2006, the packaging program had five students enrolled and four courses. He has since developed 10 courses that include packaging for medical devices, pharmaceuticals and food processing, and built the program to an enrollment of 70 students.

Fritz Yambrach, a professor in Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging helped to develop a way to package water to transport to disaster areas or areas where water is not readily available. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Fritz Yambrach, a professor in Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging helped to develop a way to package water to transport to disaster areas or areas where water is not readily available. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

“I created course content I believed was useful to a working professional in the field,” Yambrach says. “Packaging is simply problem solving. I’ll give [students] relationships between items and then see how they put it together and make creative extensions.”

Yambrach is the latest San Jose State University faculty member to be featured in the CSU Spotlight with a new profile and video about his teaching philosophy and his research. He is the inventor of a water vest that is being tested in Haiti, Burundi and Ethiopia as an ergonomic, hygienic alternative to carrying water in buckets over long distances.

Fritz, who received the 2017 DuPont Diamond Packaging Innovation Award, said those who have tested the vest since 2006 found an unexpected benefit: “Young girls in Ethiopia were typically tasked with collecting water and it often meant they couldn’t go to school,” he explained. “The vest is allowing more girls to attend school since it makes transporting water much easier.”

Read more about Yambrach’s teaching and research in the CSU Profile, an SJSU Academic Spotlight story and an SJSU Washington Square profile.

SJSU Ranked No. 22 on List of Best Schools for Transfers in the Nation

Incoming students pose for a photo with their orientation leader at San Jose State University on Thursday, June 28, 2018. (Photo: Jim Gensheimer)

Incoming students pose for a photo with their orientation leader at San Jose State University on Thursday, June 28, 2018. (Photo: Jim Gensheimer)

San Jose State University made Money Magazine’s list of the top 50 best schools for transfer students ranking at No. 22. The institutions on the top 50 list were selected from an original list of 727 best-value institutions. The field was narrowed based on transfer enrollment of more than 15 percent, rate of transfer students earning degrees compared to first-time peers, and four-and-six year graduation rates for transfer students.

In fall 2018, SJSU enrolled more than 3,800 new transfer students who made up 40 percent of incoming undergraduate students.

Transfer students also fare well at SJSU in terms of graduation rates. The percentage of students completing their degrees in two years increased from 19 percent in 2013/14 to 31.7 percent in 2017/18. The number of Spartan transfers completing a degree in four years is at 74.3 percent, up from 67 percent in 2013/14.

California State University and University of California campuses dominated the list, largely due to a statewide set of general education courses that allow students to more easily transfer course credit between institutions.

For more information on transferring to SJSU, visit the Transfer Admissions website.

SJSU Physics Professor’s Groundbreaking Research Featured in ‘Science’

Ehsan Khatami is one of two San Jose State University faculty members selected as an Early Career Investigator Award winners in 2017-18. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Ehsan Khatami is one of two San Jose State University faculty members selected as Early Career Investigator Award winners in 2017-18. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

San Jose State University Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Ehsan Khatami in collaboration with a group of professors from MIT and the MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms published today in the journal Science their latest experimental discovery about conduction in a tiny system of atoms in a vacuum.

Khatami, who was granted early tenure and promotion to associate professor this year, received a funding from the National Science Foundation with colleague Sen Chiao, of the Meteorology Department to build the first high-performance computing cluster on campus. The equipment has proven essential to his research as well as the work of students and faculty in other disciplines that require big data analysis.

In his most recent article, Khatami and his colleagues discuss an experiment that is impossible to perform using real materials. They were able to focus on the movement of atoms’ intrinsic magnetic field, or “spin,” across a few microns without disturbing their charge arrangement (charge is another intrinsic property of atoms) as the first of its kind with a quantum system. The results shed light on the mostly unexplored spin transport property of models condensed matter scientists use to describe the unusual behavior of solids at very low temperatures.

Atoms are like small magnets, so applying a magnetic force pushes them around, here to the left (top left). Since these atoms repel each other, they cannot move if there are no empty sites (top middle). But the atomic “magnetic needles” are still free to move, with stronger magnets (red) diffusing to the left in the image, and weaker magnets (blue) having to make room and move to the right (bottom row). This so-called spin transport is resolved atom by atom in the cold atom quantum emulator.

Atoms are like small magnets, so applying a magnetic force pushes them around, here to the left (top left). Since these atoms repel each other, they cannot move if there are no empty sites (top middle). But the atomic “magnetic needles” are still free to move, with stronger magnets (red) diffusing to the left in the image, and weaker magnets (blue) having to make room and move to the right (bottom row). This so-called spin transport is resolved atom by atom in the cold atom quantum emulator.

Khatami’s research aims to help scientists understand how superconductivity works—a finding that could potentially pave the way for a room-temperature superconductor, which would improve transportation and data storage and make homes more energy efficient by creating materials that allow better use of electricity. That is, as electricity goes through a device such as a phone or laptop, none of the electronic components would heat up. Superconductivity is the property of zero electrical resistance in some substances at very low temperatures (<-135 degrees Celsius).

The experiment was carried out using 400 atoms cooled down to just a hair above absolute zero temperature (<-273 degrees Celsius). The atoms were manipulated to be two different types and to act as if they were electrons in a solid with two species of spin. The atoms were then trapped in a square box to see how they would respond when magnetic fields keeping one species on the left side and one species on the right side of the box were turned off. Scientists watched the process by using an electron gas microscope to measure the speed at which mixing takes place and deduce the “spin” current.

Khatami compares the box of atoms to a shallow pool of water – if there was a divider in the middle with clear water on one side and water dyed black on the other side when the divider is suddenly removed the water would mix together and turn gray. The two shades of water would be similar to the two spin species in the quantum experiment, with the behavior of the atoms governed by quantum mechanics.

To support the experiment, Khatami used more than 300,000 CPU hours on SJSU’s Spartan High-Performance Computer to solve the underlying theoretical model that was emulated in the experiment to support experimental observations.

“As exciting as these findings have been, there are still so many unanswered questions we can explore using similar setups,” he said. “For example, the dependence of spin transport on the temperature or the concentration of atoms in the box can be studied.”

Khatami received the SJSU 2017-18 Early Career Investigator Award and has offered insights into his research on the web series Physics Girl. He was featured in the Fall/Winter 2018 edition of Washington Square alumni magazine.

SJSU, Spartan Football Receive $2 Million Gift from Alumnus John Hopkirk and Anne Murphy

Media contacts:
Robin McElhatton, SJSU Media Relations Specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu
Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics Media Relations Director, 408-924-1217, lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu

San Jose, Calif. — San Jose State University is pleased to announce that it has received a $2 million gift commitment from alumnus John Hopkirk and his wife Anne Murphy. Their gift will support a critical resource for the Spartan football program; a new state-of-the-art football operations center on the east side of CEFCU Stadium, Home of the Spartans.

“John and Anne have been long-time Spartan supporters and their gift to the football operations center demonstrates their love for San Jose State University,” said Athletics Director Marie Tuite. “They understand and support the priority of investing in football to provide Coach Brennan and his staff the tools they need to build a championship program.  In addition, John and Anne understand the value and impact their gift will have on changing the lives of the student-athletes we serve. We are so grateful for their generosity.”

The football operations center will include locker rooms, offices, a student-athlete lounge, an auditorium and premium seating options on the 50-yard line. The project will rebuild the stadium’s east side. The gift will add to improvements underway throughout South Campus, including the recently completed soccer, tennis, golf, and softball facilities.

Proud Spartans: John Hopkirk and Anne Murphy

John Hopkirk worked his way through school at San Jose State while pursuing a degree in business accounting. Hopkirk’s love for SJSU athletics took off after he graduated and began his professional career as a certified public accountant. As an avid supporter of SJSU football and basketball, Hopkirk believes he may be the only fan who has seen every SJSU men’s post-season basketball game since he first enrolled at San Jose State in the late 1960s.  

In 1987, John met his wife, Anne Murphy, a University of San Francisco graduate. Anne has embraced John’s passion for SJSU athletics and the couple travels all over the country to watch the Spartans compete.

“I have been following Spartan football for over 50 years.  It has brought me much joy, and we have made many great friends through our common love of Spartan football,” said Hopkirk. “I received a great education from San Jose State, and Anne and I thought we needed to give back to the university to show our appreciation. I hope our gift inspires others to do the same.

“San Jose State must have the facilities in place to attract the best and brightest student-athletes,” Hopkirk continued. “Hopefully our donation will enhance Spartan football’s chance to be a championship program and result in many more talented student-athletes proudly earning their diplomas from San Jose State University.”

“This critical project will have a major impact on Spartan football and our entire athletics program, as well as the gameday experience for our students and all who attend our games,” stated Paul Lanning, vice president for university advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation. “Building a modern football operations center that revitalizes CEFCU Stadium is our most urgent fundraising priorities, and we’re thrilled to see two of our greatest fans make such a generous commitment to this project.”

“I am so grateful for John and Anne’s tremendous commitment and generosity to support and build a championship football program at San Jose State,” added Head Football Coach Brent Brennan. “Their gift provides us with a critical recruiting tool, enhances the student-athlete experience and helps SJSU compete in the Mountain West. I can’t thank John and Anne enough for their commitment to the program.”

To learn how you can support the football operations center, please visit www.sjsufootball.com or contact Joshua Thiel, Deputy Athletics Director for Athletics Advancement, at (408) 924-1697 or via email at 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 immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

Updates on Air Quality/Health Concerns

The latest air quality and campus closure information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Editor’s Note: The FAQ was updated Nov. 19, 2018 to reflect answers to additional inquiries.

What level of ventilation and filtration is used in university buildings?

We use Merv 11 HVAC Filters. This is one of the best filtering systems on the market. They are changed typically every six months. However, we have been looking at the air flow through the filters monthly. If we see restrictions, we are replacing them ahead of schedule. All buildings on campus have been reduced to minimal make up air from the outside.  All make up air passes through the Merv 11 filters. (MERV 9 to 12 furnace air filters capture up to 95% of airborne particles and contaminants like pollen, dust mites and mold spores, as small as 1.0 microns.)

What type of air mask should I be using?

Typically the N95 is best for most people, including the 3M 8210 (N95) mask with double elastic. This is recommended by the California Department of Public Health and the California Air Resources Board. recommended general public use.  Mostly it’s the N95 rating.  But for as many people who are buying masks, the county public health officer warns that the N95 is not recommended for all. People with chronic medical conditions should check with their health provider to determine if a mask is appropriate for them.

“You would think people who have asthma, emphysema, chronic heart disease would actually benefit most from these masks,” said Sacramento County’s Director of Health Services Dr. Peter Beilenson. “That is actually not true. They are most at risk from these masks because it actually makes it harder to breathe.”  Recommended by CDPH and the California air resources board.

For more information, visit CDPH or ARB.

Are masks available on campus?

Yes, the Student Wellness Center has N95 masks available for SJSU students and employees who present an ID.

Why did SJSU administrators decide to keep campus open Nov. 19-21?

The safety and well-being of our students is a top concern for us, that’s why we closed campus last Thursday and Friday. The air quality index at the time was near 200, a very unhealthy level. Since then, we’ve continuously been monitoring multiple air services to determine when to re-open campus. The air quality has improved (near 156 this morning) and the forecast is for continued improvement over the next few days

There is a student petition with more than 10,000 signatures asking to close the campus. What are you saying to those students?

We truly respect the thoughtful perspective of our students and have been communicating with them through social media and other communication channels. The air quality monitoring services and our own Environmental and Health Safety team indicate the air quality is getting better today and will continue to do so.

Do classrooms in Sweeney Hall require the windows to remain open during lecture because of the lack of air flow?

Sweeney Hall has operable windows.  The HVAC system will condition the space if the windows remain shut.  We have addressed increasing the airflow within the classrooms. Going into the next couple of days the windows should be shut to keep in the heat.

Will staff or faculty need to use sick or vacation time during the closure?

No, staff and faculty will not be required to use or vacation time during the closure.

Will deadlines for petitions be extended due to the closure?

SJSU will be extending deadlines for petitions due this week from Friday, Nov. 16 to Monday, Nov. 26 to allow more time for students who need to:

1.  Submit a petition to withdraw from the semester through Academic Advising and Retention Services

2.  Submit a petition to late drop a course through Academic Advising and Retention Services

3.  Submit a petition for post-census enrollment through the Office of the Registrar

Please feel free to send any questions to vp.adminfinance@sjsu.edu.

 


November 18, 2018, 10:30 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on November 18, 2018. We will post updates on this web page as new information becomes available.

To the Spartan Community,

We have received a number of inquiries and requests for reconsideration of our announcement that the campus will be open for classes tomorrow. We truly respect the thoughtful perspectives that were shared by many SJSU students and other university community members. Decisions to close a campus are never made lightly. The needs and well-being of SJSU’s students, faculty, and staff, as well as the surrounding community, are paramount in any discussion regarding the operation of the campus.

A compelling case for closure was made this past week, and we responded by closing the institution last Thursday and Friday. We made the decision to close as the Air Quality Index (AQI) levels were approaching the very unhealthy (above 200) range. Since that time the levels have dropped markedly. While the air quality in the San Jose area is currently in the unhealthy range, the AQI readings this evening are much improved over what they were Thursday and Friday, and the forecast is for continued improvement over the next couple of days.

As previously stated, we encourage any students experiencing health issues to seek medical advice, and we discourage prolonged outdoor activity while the air quality is still less than ideal. However, barring any unforeseen worsening of air quality conditions in the coming hours we anticipate that campus will be available and open, and classes will be in session tomorrow and Tuesday as scheduled. We will continue to monitor conditions and communicate to the university community should conditions change.

Please visit go.sjsu.edu/air and our Twitter and Facebook feeds for any additional updates.

 


November 18, 2018, 2:40 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on November 18, 2018.

Dear University Community,

As we shared last week, the San José State University campus will be open for classes and all other business tomorrow and Tuesday, with a regular employee workday and faculty duty day (no classes scheduled) on Wednesday prior to the Thanksgiving holiday break.

We share the concerns of many who have written regarding ongoing air quality issues in our region. Our leadership team is in continual contact with local and regional air quality and environmental agencies to monitor conditions. While we suggest limiting extensive outdoor activity while poor air quality persists, we are assured that conditions are improving and the campus can return to business as usual. Should there be any significant change in conditions we will respond accordingly, but at this time the campus will resume business as usual tomorrow.

We understand that some individuals may experience greater sensitivity to changing environmental conditions. Please consult the Student Wellness Center or your health care provider should you experience health issues.

Our latest updates on current air quality conditions continue to be available at go.sjsu.edu/air and via Twitter and Facebook.

Charlie Faas
Vice President, Administration and Finance


November 15, 2018, 3:10 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on November 15, 2018.

Dear University Community,

As announced last evening, San Jose State University is closed today and tomorrow. The campus is currently scheduled to re-open for classes and other campus activities Saturday morning, and will be open as scheduled for classes Monday and Tuesday of next week, and a duty day for employees on Wednesday prior to the Thanksgiving holiday break.

We will continue to monitor air quality and consult with environmental and health experts as we proceed, and will provide any additional updates as needed. Please visit go.sjsu.edu/air and/or SJSU’s Twitter and Facebook accounts for the latest updates.

 


November 14, 2018, 10:58 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on November 14, 2018.

Dear University Community,

San Jose State University’s campus will be closed Thursday, Nov. 15 and Friday, Nov. 16 due to unhealthy air quality levels in the Bay Area caused by wildfires throughout the state. The health and well being of students, faculty and staff are of utmost importance to us; we encourage you to continue to heed the advice shared in our earlier campus message to stay safe over the next few days.

Below are answers to some of the questions you may have about the closure:

Will any campus services remain open?

Yes, residence halls, the Dining Commons and Village Market will remain open during the closure Nov. 15-16. All other campus buildings will be closed, including the Spartan Memorial Chapel and Spartan Recreation facilities.

Will the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library remain open?

Yes, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will remain open during the campus closure Nov. 15-16, but SJSU services will not be available. The library will be open until 9 p.m. on Nov. 15 and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 16.

Will the Student Wellness Center remain open?

The Student Wellness Center will be closed Friday, Nov. 16, with plans to reopen on Monday, Nov. 19.

Are campus events and extracurricular activities canceled?

Yes, campus events including the Truth Effect have been postponed or canceled; check the SJSU events calendar or connect with event organizers for information on rescheduled dates and times.

Will Saturday classes be canceled?

At this time, the campus closure is effective through Friday, Nov 16. The university leadership team will continue to monitor the air quality situation and will determine if the closure should be extended.

Will online classes continue?

All classes Nov. 15-16 will be canceled, including online classes.

Will anyone be required to report to campus during the closure?

Essential employees should report to work; if you are unclear about your status, please check in with your direct supervisor.

 


November 14, 2018, 4:09 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on November 14, 2018.

Dear Campus Community,

On top of the human tragedy caused by the California fires, we are also facing concerns with air quality and our immediate environment. We continue to monitor air quality levels and believe remaining open is still safe and in the best interests of our community, but we encourage people to stay indoors as much as possible. While there are currently no plans to close the campus, some of us may experience health challenges due to the reported air quality. When scheduling classes and activities, faculty should exercise consideration and be sensitive to the fact that people react in different ways to poor air quality.

Precautions we can all consider include:

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

A good resource is the Bay Area Air Quality Management District website. The site offers current information on “Spare the Air” alerts, environmental news, and other advisories. Another good resource is the EPA’s Air Quality Index, or AQI, which acts like an air quality “thermometer.”

The safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff here at San Jose State are always my utmost concern. Please continue to keep attuned to any further concerns you might hear from students and colleagues, and share those with us at vp.adminfinance@sjsu.edu. We can then do our collective best to respond appropriately.

Thank you,
Charlie Faas
Vice President, Administration and Finance

 

First Steps in A.S. House Relocation Start

The Associated Student (A.S.) House, seen in the background, will be relocated to Tenth Street in January. Photo: David Schmitz

The Associated Student (A.S.) House, seen in the background, will be relocated to Tenth Street in January. Photo: David Schmitz

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

Following approval by the California State University Board of Trustees for the design of an eight-story high rise Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB) in September that will be built in front of Duncan Hall, Facilities Development and Operations has started preparation for breaking ground this spring on the first new academic building in decades.

One of the first steps to prepare the area will be relocating the Associated Student (A.S.) House from its existing location to the eastern part of campus in a space that is currently used as a parking lot off Tenth Street.

“This has been a long process and I am thrilled about the design, location and cooperation that all disciplines have worked very hard to achieve,” said Charlie Faas, vice president for Administration and Finance.

Associated Student marketing, events and human resources departments have moved to temporary workspaces in the Student Services Center on Tenth Street. Blach Construction began preparation work November 3 for moving the A.S. House that will include attaching beams to the foundation of the house, designing a frame for it and putting wheels on it. Around December 20, additional work will include disassembling the campus gates on San Carlos and Fourth streets as well as San Fernando and Ninth streets, along the route to the new location for the house.

The house is scheduled to be moved on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The campus and Blach Construction team will work with the City of San Jose, PG&E, Comcast, and Bill Brown Contractor to move traffic lights and disconnect overhead utilities during the move, which is anticipated to take six to eight hours. A consultant is working on a traffic plan as well.

Parking Lot 4, located near the Boccardo Business Complex, will be partially closed starting November 12, so the contractor can begin preparing the site for the move and will also be closed the day of the move. There will be 59 spaces lost in Lot 4 permanently once the A.S. House is relocated. The handicap parking area behind the A.S. House will be closed beginning November 12. Additional handicap spaces will be relocated to the South Parking Garage.

Parking Lot 13, located between Duncan Hall and the West garage will be closed, beginning April 15, 2019, when McCarthy Building Company will start mobilizing for construction on the ISB.

The ISB project primarily will serve San Jose State’s College of Science, which currently enrolls more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students in programs for biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics and statistics, meteorology and climate science, physics and astronomy, and science education. The college also administers the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

“San Jose State University’s new Interdisciplinary Science Building will provide essential teaching, research and collaboration space for our STEM students, extending learning beyond the classroom. In addition, the building will enhance our growing partnerships with industry leaders in Silicon Valley,” Dean Michael Kaufman said.


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. 

 

Allied Telesis Pledges $500K Endowment Gift to SJSU’s MTI

Takayoshi Oshima, chairman and CEO of Allied Telesis, signed a gift agreement for $500,000 to the Mineta Transportation Institute in October.

Takayoshi Oshima, chairman and CEO of Allied Telesis, signed a gift agreement for $500,000 with the Mineta Transportation Institute in October. Photo: Nanzi Muro

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

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University (SJSU) is pleased to announce a $500,000 gift commitment from Allied Telesis, Inc. to the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) Strategic Initiatives Fund. The generous gift will establish a permanent endowment to provide long-term sustaining support to MTI’s cybersecurity program. Subject to approval by the Campus Naming Committee and the Academic Senate, the new program will be known as the Allied Telesis National Transportation Security Center.

Lucas College and Graduate School of Business Dean Dan Moshavi, center, signs a gift agreement with Allied Telesis.

Lucas College and Graduate School of Business Dean Dan Moshavi, center, signs a gift agreement with Allied Telesis. Photo: Nanzi Muro

The gift was formally announced Oct. 9 at a reception celebrating the opening of the Mineta Archives in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at San Jose State University. Takayoshi Oshima, chairman and CEO of Allied Telesis, a long-time friend of MTI founder and former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, has served on the Board of the Mineta Transportation Institute since August 2018. He was recently elected advisor emeritus to the US High Speed Rail Association (USHSR.)

Oshima founded Allied Telesis more than 30 years ago. Allied Telesis has headquarters in Silicon Valley and Japan. The company provides hardware and software products that allow customers to build secure, feature-rich and scalable data exchange solutions. Allied Telesis works with many of the same agencies as MTI in the public transit sector, including the Valley Transportation Authority.

“We started talking about synergy in how we could work together to improve cybersecurity in transportation on a national level,” said Karen Philbrick, executive director of MTI. “Thanks to Allied Telesis’s commitment to a permanent endowment, we can expand our work in this critical area.”

Paul Lanning, vice president for University Advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation, congratulated Philbrick and her team on cultivating a strong partnership with Oshima and Allied Telesis.

“Allied Telesis has provided a tremendous gift that will add value for years to come in the transit sector,” Lanning said. “We hope to continue to build on the success of the Mineta Transportation Institute with this and future industry partnerships.”


About the Mineta Transportation Institute

At the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State University (SJSU) our mission is to increase mobility for all by improving the safety, efficiency, accessibility, and convenience of our nation’s’ transportation system through research, education, workforce development and technology transfer. We help create a connected world. MTI was founded in 1991 and is funded through the US Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security, the California Department of Transportation, and public and private grants. MTI is affiliated with SJSU’s Lucas College and Graduate School of Business.

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.