Congrats, 2015 Graduates!

By Melissa Anderson, Executive Communications Specialist

Photo: David Schmitz

Photo: David Schmitz

San Jose State University graduates received congratulations and advice on being prepared for the circuitous route life often takes from U.S. House of Representative Leader Nancy Pelosi and honorary degree recipient Bob Ladouceur at Commencement May 23 in Spartan Stadium.

The Saturday event celebrated this year’s more than 8,500 students who earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in a wide range of disciplines from seven colleges at SJSU.

Family members and guests arrived as early as 7:30 a.m. to find an optimal seat to see graduates on the stadium floor. Occasional bubbles floated up from the stadium on the cool morning breeze as guests waited for the ceremony to start. One mother waited along the edge of the stands and dropped an orchid lei down to her child as the graduates processed into the stadium.

Many graduates donned decorated caps acknowledging the hard work to complete their degrees, while others emphasized their future plans. Others decorated their caps to evoke solidarity with their classmates—a swath of students from the College of Humanities and the Arts sat together with the same design on their caps.

“You become part of Spartan Nation,” said President Mohammad Qayoumi, during the ceremony. “Well over 200,000 Spartan alumni from all walks of life are making a difference in every corner of the world.”

Pelosi congratulated the students on joining the CSU Class of 3 Million. The 23-campus system has conferred degrees to 1 in 20 college graduates in the United States, with the alumni roster growing to three million with the class of 2015 graduates.

Nancy Pelosi is the perfect candidate to speak to us today because she embodies the grit and determination that make us Spartans,” Qayoumi said, introducing Pelosi.

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

In her remarks, Pelosi touched on the beauty of diversity at SJSU.

“Have confidence in your education and be proud of your experience as one of the most diverse classes in America—and I might add 50 percent women,” she said. “The beauty is in the mix. It is true of San Francisco and it is true of this graduating class. Trust in the value of diverse and different perspectives.”

She also reflected on San Jose State’s influence on its surrounding community.

“You have been studying and living in the cradle of innovation,” she said. “You haven’t just been living here and going to school here. This school has contributed to the success of Silicon Valley in important ways.”

Pelosi shared a personal story of how she consulted her youngest child, a high school senior, before running for Congress.

“I never imagined one day I would go from the kitchen to Congress, from being a homemaker to a House speaker,” she said. “The opportunity was presented and I had to take inventory to be sure I was ready.”

Pelosi ran and has represented California’s 12th House district for more than 27 years.

“Leave here with the confidence that you are ready,” Pelosi said. “Know that you have been empowered by the strength of your value, the excellence of your education and the support of your families. When you encounter opportunities, be ready.”

During the ceremony, President Qayoumi conferred an honorary doctorate of humane letters to Bob Ladouceur, ’77 Criminal Justice, whose astounding 12-season, 151-game winning streak coaching football at De La Salle High School is the subject of the movie, When the Game Stands Tall.

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

Ladouceur, who played on the Spartan football team for two years as a student, shared how his journey to becoming a legendary football coach was indirect.

“My graduation from San Jose State was not an end point, but another beginning in my education,” he said, noting that his chosen field of criminal justice had few openings the year he completed his degree. “It was one of the curveballs life throws you. I retooled (my goals.) Two years later on a whim I answered a job announcement and that was where I spent the last 35 years.”

Ladouceur credited his education at SJSU with making him a lifelong learner who has always sought the truth.

“Continue your education independently or formally,” he said. “Be proud and be thankful. Seek out your parents, support groups and show gratitude. As we said after every practice on this field and every game, ‘It’s great to be a Spartan.’”

Following the speeches, the deans each took the podium to confer the master’s and bachelor’s degrees upon the graduates. As the ceremony finished, the graduates joined in singing the alma mater while guests cheered.

See and share photos and messages from commencement with #SJSU15 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Green Ninja stickers

Pedaling for the Planet

Green Ninja team

The Green Ninja Climate Ride Team (courtesy of The Green Ninja Project).

Green Ninja in the classroom.

In the classroom (courtesy of The Green Ninja Project).

After months of training and fundraising, the Green Ninja Climate Ride Team is set to take off in the Northern California Climate Ride. The ride starts in Eureka on May 17, and ends five days later in San Francisco on May 21.

The eight team members will bike 320-miles along the Northern California coastline to raise awareness about climate change and support environmental non-profit organizations like the Green Nina Project — an SJSU environmental outreach program that teaches middle school students about climate change and inspires them to take action.

300 ninja

A custom-designed jersey (courtesy of The Green Ninja Project).

We are excited about the ride, but also a little nervous,” says Professor Eugene Cordero, a climate scientist in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science.

The team is made up of two professors, one alumna, one staff member and three students. Some are avid cyclists, while others are beginning bicyclists. Even though their skill level varies, they all share a common goal — a commitment to maintaining a healthy planet and reducing climate change.

Follow the team

You can follow the team and encourage them on via SJSU’s official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, using the hashtag #SJSUclimateride.

White House Honors Professor

“As a member of an under-represented minority group, I am committed to making the unlimited intellectual possibilities of modern biology accessible to all students,”—Professor Julio Soto.

“As a member of an under-represented minority group, I am committed to making the unlimited intellectual possibilities of modern biology accessible to all students.”—Professor Julio Soto (photo by Christina Olivas)

Media contact:
Pat Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – SJSU Professor of Biological Sciences Julio Soto will receive a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, the White House announced March 27.

The honor, received by just 14 individuals and one organization in the past two years, recognizes the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering—particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in these fields.

“These educators are helping to cultivate America’s future scientists, engineers and mathematicians,” President Obama said. “They open new worlds to their students, and give them the encouragement they need to learn, discover and innovate. That’s transforming those students’ futures, and our nation’s future, too.”

Principal investigator

Soto served as the principal investigator on two groundbreaking grants at San Jose State. Under HHMI-SCRIBE, Soto and colleagues transformed the core curriculum for biology majors. With NSF-RUMBA, Soto coordinates summer research opportunities for under-represented students.

Among his students inspired in the classroom to take part in the summer research program is Pareet Raju, ’15 Molecular Biology. “Dr. Soto helped me understand the lecture by providing research articles as a reference…Recently I joined his lab, where he has been guiding me through my research project,” she said.

Together, the programs equip students with the academic and applied opportunities they need to excel in graduate school and beyond, reflecting the department’s emphasis on hands-on, inquiry-based learning activities at the bench and in the field.

“As a member of an under-represented minority group, I am committed to making the unlimited intellectual possibilities of modern biology accessible to all students,” Professor Soto said.

Professor and mentor

Soto arrived at SJSU in 1999, with degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey.

“Dr. Soto has a unique and refreshing approach as a lab mentor,” said Nicko Ly, ’15 Molecular Biology, and a RUMBA participant. “Although he has high expectations for his undergraduate lab researchers and challenges his students to be independent thinkers, he genuinely is passionate and determined to have his students pursuing a career in the sciences.”

In addition to being honored in Washington later this year, Soto will receive an award of $10,000 from the National Science Foundation. The mentors and organization announced March 27 represent the winners for 2012 and 2013.

San Jose State—Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees—is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

Spartan Fund

SJSU Students Rock the Financial World

Spartan Fund

The Spartan Gold Team (courtesy of the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business).

Facing tough competition, a four-student team from SJSU walked away with a first-place trophy at the CFA Institute Investment Research Challenge for the Northern California region.

They were up against teams from the Stanford MBA program, the Wharton executive MBA program, Santa Clara University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco.

The win was a major accomplishment,” said Stoyu Ivanov, associate professor of accounting and finance, Nancie Fimbel Investment Fellow, and assistant director of the Center for Banking and Financial Services.

The teams

Two teams from SJSU took part in the competition March 5 in San Francisco’s financial district. Earning the top spot at the competition was the Spartan Gold Team made up of Joel Gonzales, ’15 Finance; Shayan Khales, ’15 Accounting; Valeriya Razdyakonova, ’18 Corporate Accounting and Finance; and Nirav Shah, ’15 MBA.

A second SJSU team, the Spartan Blue Team, consisted of Aaron Foster, Tarriq Hansrajh, Michael Farrell and Mark Smith, all finance majors.

The teams were required to research and analyze Gilead Sciences, a Bay Area biotech company. As part of their pitch, they wrote a paper, gave a presentation, and participated in a question-and-answer session.

We applied a lot from what we learned in the Spartan Fund and our finance classes,” Gonzales said.

Spartan Fund

The Financial Navigator Student Managed Investment Fund, also known as the Spartan Fund, was established with a $100,000 donation from Nancie Fimbel, and her husband C. Edward Van Deman, CEO of Financial Navigator.

Fimbel, who capped a 28-year career at SJSU by serving as acting MBA director and senior director of development for the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, wanted to give back to the university.

I’m very proud of having started this,” Fimbel said. “I had dreamed of this, and it’s really a kick to see the students pitch to each other.”

Students manage the $50,000 Spartan fund using 12 Bloomberg terminals in their classroom. They’ve raised the fund to $52,000 in just six months.

Next up for the Spartan Gold Team is the national competition on April 15 in Atlanta. A win there will send them to the Global Final, where they’ll face teams from the Europe and Asia Pacific regions.

SJSU Cheer

Spartan Cheerleaders are National Champions—Again!

SJSU Cheer

The SJSU cheerleading team wins the national pennant (photo courtesy of Kelvin Lam).

For the second year in a row, the SJSU cheerleading team walked away with first place at the United Spirit Association Collegiate Championships.  They competed against 10 other four-year schools March 22 and 23 in Anaheim.

Head Coach Kelvin Lam says the team prepares physically and mentally all year long for this one competition.

If you compare it to football, you only have one chance to run a play to make a touchdown.  There are no second chances, so everything has to be perfect. That tells you the amount of pressure the cheerleaders face,” Lam said.

Acrobatics

The 22 women and two men team performed a two-and-a-half-minute routine choreographed to customized music and sound effects. Lam says their acrobatics, tumbling and stunts were nearly perfect on the first day, but less so on the second day.


Because of that, many team members were nervous going into the awards ceremony, uncertain of the outcome. But the Spartan cheerleaders were judged best overall in the two-day competition.

Lam says when they heard they won first place, “everyone was just ecstatic, jumping everywhere, just so full of excitement.”

Sweet victory

Cheerleader Paige Collins, ’15 Child and Adolescent Development, is one of seven seniors who will leave SJSU with a national win in hand.

The team this year was absolutely amazing, and it feels amazing to share a title with people who worked so hard and deserved it,” Collins said.

The win was even sweeter given the team had faced some adversity throughout the year, including a weight room injury just two weeks before the Anaheim competition, forcing major changes in the routine.

“It always feels good to win and it always feels great to get pats on the back from other people, but the most satisfying thing for me is to see how the team handled itself before, during and after the event,” Lam says. “I couldn’t have picked a better group of people to represent SJSU.”

Aaron Lington

Faculty Notes: How to Win a Grammy

At a University Scholar Series event, Associate Professor Aaron Lington, School of Music and Dance, shared some of the behind-the-scenes realities of producing and recording the album that won a 2014 Grammy for Best Tropical Latin Album. He and his 20-piece jazz ensemble, Pacific Mambo Orchestra, “had to do the recording in a little bit of an unorthodox way,” Lington admitted. A $10,000 Kickstarter campaign paid for studio time, artwork, copyright fees and other necessities. Lington plays baritone saxophone.

COOL4ED, a digital library project whose goal is to bring low-cost textbooks to CSU, CCU and UC students, received the Outstanding Instructional Technology Website award at the annual Directors of Educational Technology/California Higher Education conference in December. COOL4ED partners with California Open Educational Resources Council, chaired by Associate Professor Katherine Harris, Department of English and Comparative Literature.

Two Department of Television, Radio, Film and Theatre Arts lecturers, York Kennedy and Michael Locher, received 2014 Theatre Bay Area Award nominations. Kennedy’s work on Cutting Ball Theatre’s new translation of Samuel Gallet’s Communiqué n° 10 earned him an Outstanding Lighting Design nomination. Locher garnered an Outstanding Scenic Design nomination for his work on Center REP Theatre’s production of Anthony Shaffer’s Sleuth.

Lecturer Linda Levine, Department of Health Science and Recreation, and Associate Professor Yasue Yani, Department of World Languages and Literatures, received Helen L. Stevens Outstanding International Educator Awards in October, honored for creating opportunities for SJSU students to study abroad. Stevens is the retired director of International Programs and Services.

Gwen Mok

Gwendolyn Mok, Coordinator of Keyboard Studies

Pianist Gwendolyn Mok, coordinator of Keyboard Studies, performed Robert Schumann’s “Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44” with the Pražák Quartet at San Jose’s Le Petit Trianon Theatre. “It is a joyful piece. (The composer) wrote it for his wife Clara when he was in a very happy, bucolic period,” Mok said of the work. Mok and the Czech string quartet last performed at the Le Petit Trianon in 2011, collaborating on a piece by Dvořák. Both performances were sponsored by the San Jose Chamber Music Society.

Professor Annette Nellen, Department of Accounting and Finance and director of the master’s program in taxation, announced the publication of the sixth issue of The Contemporary Tax Journal, a student-managed online journal. Launched in 2011, the journal investigates and explains tax law and features the work of SJSU MST students alongside original articles by other academics and tax practitioners.

Congratulations to Joyce Osland, director of the Global Leadership Advancement Center and Lucas Endowed Professor of Global Leadership, for receiving the Scholarship and Critical Thinking Award at the Outstanding Leadership Book Awards in San Diego. Osland shared the honor with the co-editors of Advances in Global Leadership, volume eight (Emerald Group Publishing), a guide for both researchers and practitioners. “It’s a privilege to have a hand in growing this field of study, given its importance on the global stage,” Osland said.

Professor and Chair Lawrence Quill, Department of Political Science, published Secrets and Democracy: From Arcana Imperii to WikiLeaks (Palgrave Macmillan), an investigation of the role secrets play in liberal democracies and the impact of those secrets on the individual citizen’s “right to know.” Quill is a 2015 visiting fellow at the Center for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Wolfson College, Cambridge University.

Quake Column

Professor San Fratello’s “Quake Column” (courtesy of Emerging Objects).

Working with her partner at Emerging Objects, a 3D printing MAKE-tank based in San Francisco, Assistant Professor of Design Virginia San Fratello invented a 3-D printed earthquake-proof column designed to withstand major seismic activity. “Quake Column” was inspired by Incan earthquake architecture and uses no bricks or mortar.

Humanities Lecturer Emily Leah Silverman, author of Edith Stein and Regina Jonas: Religious Visionaries of the Death Camps (Routledge), talked about her book and research at an event sponsored by Florida International University’s Program in the Study of Spirituality. Edith Stein, a Catholic Jewish Carmelite nun, and Regina Jonas, the first female rabbi, were both executed by the Nazis in Auschwitz.

KQED Arts interviewed Associate Professor Mary Warner, Department of English and Comparative Literature, about the challenges of teaching aliterate students (students who can read but don’t care to do so). Of particular concern: students who identify themselves as non-readers but aspire to become teachers.

Guna

Five Reasons to be a Proud Spartan

Kevin Jordan

Professor Kevin Jordan at a NASA event with Associate Administrator of NASA Robert Lightfoot and NASA Ames Director Pete Worden (photo courtesy of the Department of Psychology).

An SJSU professor who conducts research with graduate students and NASA scientists to make air travel safer has received a $20,000 Wang Family Excellence Award. Professor of Psychology Kevin Jordan will be honored Jan. 27 by the CSU Board of Trustees in Long Beach. Jordan has been a faculty member for more than 30 years, and has served as a committee chair for more than 80 completed master’s theses.

A student team is a finalist in Walt Disney Imagineering’s 24th Imaginations competition, culminating Jan. 31. Zaid Karajeh, ’16 Aerospace Engineering, Dondel Briones, ’16 Aerospace Engineering, Amanda Sharpe, ’15 Animation and Illustration, and Simone Getty, ’16 Mechanical Engineering, each received a five-day, all expenses paid trip to the company’s headquarters in Glendale, where they will present their entry and interview for internships.

Guna Selvaduray

Professor Guna Selvaduray with Daniel Khuc, ’15 Biomedical Engineering, and College of Engineering Dean Andrew Hsu (photo by Kyle Chesser).

Professor of Biomedical Engineering Guna Selvaduray received the 2015 Andreoli Faculty Service Award at the CSU Annual Biotechnology Symposium held Jan. 8-10 here in Silicon Valley. One CSU faculty member is selected annually for the honor, which recognizes outstanding contributions to biotech programs. Selvaduray led the development of new bioengineering programs at SJSU and the establishment of the Biomedical Engineering Society.

James Jones

James and Tamika Jones (courtesy of @LoveJones4Kids)

Everyone knows SJSU has sports champions. But do you know about our e-sports champion? Sophomore Loc Tran is a top player on SJSU’s video game team, according to The New York Times. “Video game competitions…have taken off on campuses across the country,” the paper said. “More than 10,000 students now play in the biggest college league.” Tran helped SJSU beat CSU Fullerton at a tournament last fall.

Oakland Raiders wide receiver James Jones, ’06 Sociology, and his wife Tamika Jones, ’05 Child and Adolescent Development, received the Drum Major Award at the 35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon on presented Jan. 19 by the African American Community Service Agency. The couple founded the Love Jones 4 Kids Foundation, building on James’s start as a homeless child. Also honored at the luncheon with the Facing the Challenge Award was Congressman Mike Honda, ’68 Biological  Sciences and Spanish, ’74 MA Education.

SJSU Remembers Irene Dalis

Irene Dalis

Irene Dalis

San Jose lost one of its finest teachers Sunday with the death of Irene Dalis, ’46 Music. The acclaimed opera star, former professor, and founder of Opera San Jose was 89.

Irene Dalis poured all of her energy into providing young people with the greatest gift any teacher can give, the gift of opportunity,” President Mohammad Qayoumi said.

Raised on Delmas Avenue on downtown’s edge, Dalis arrived at San Jose State with the intention of studying piano.

An older sister encouraged her to pursue a master’s in music education at Columbia University in New York. While a Fulbright Scholar in Italy, Dalis auditioned as a singer.

Finding her voice

She went on to spend more than two decades as the highest-paid mezzo-soprano with the Metropolitan Opera, sharing the stages with superstars such as Leontyne Price and Placido Domingo.

It’s hard to know when you are young what your real talent is,” Dalis told the Spartan Daily in 2010. “Don’t be surprised to find that you don’t end up doing what you set out to do.”

After retiring in 1976, she came home to San Jose with her husband and daughter. Soon thereafter, SJSU President John H. Bunzel invited Dalis to return to her alma mater as a professor of music.

She didn’t teach voice, sensing her vocal technique was specific to her. Instead, Dalis drew on San Jose State’s homegrown talent to build an opera workshop that developed so many strong singers that she sought an even larger stage for them.

Dalis founded Opera San Jose in 1984, providing her singers with all the support they needed to grow, including two-year residencies and housing.

Commitment

At the same time, she remained deeply committed to San Jose State, inviting students to audition for Opera San Jose principal and second roles and chorus in addition to providing props and costumes for campus productions.

“The effect she had had on my life was tremendous,” said Chloe Smart, ’14 Vocal Performance. “She was always supportive of me and constantly let me know that she was on my side. As a young singer, I can’t tell you how important those words were to me at that time and even now.”

She also recommended that a mezzo-soprano she hand-picked for Opera San Jose take on the campus position Dalis once held.

She changed my life,” said Layna Chianakas, an Illinois native who made San Jose her home after becoming a resident artist with the company in 1995, and director of the university’s Opera Theatre program in 2007.

The Marriage of Figaro was the program’s first performance under Chianakas in 2012. Dalis attended, although she was still struggling to recover from a debilitating car crash in 2010.

“The curtains were still closed but tears were already streaming down her cheeks,” Chianakas recalled. “She was so happy to see the program thriving.”

Students Compete in Innovation Challenge

Students present their ideas at the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge Showcase Nov. 19 in the Student Union (Robert C. Bain photo).

Students present their ideas at the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge Showcase Nov. 19 in the Student Union (Robert C. Bain photo).

Registering for classes at a university as large and complicated as San Jose State can be like solving a complex puzzle.

That’s where the college scheduling application Saryan comes in. What used to take a few hours now takes a few minutes for the app’s 900 unique users.

Created by student entrepreneurs Sargon Jacob, ’15 Business Administration, and Bryan Miller, ’17 Computer Science, the fledgling business won first place in the Best Overall Innovation category of the 2014 Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge.

Organized annually by the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, SVIC promotes creativity and entrepreneurship by generating and showcasing innovative business ideas.

This year, the ideas ranged from the edible (FarmersAreHere tells you where to find farmers’ markets) to the technical (wireless charging for your electric cars).

The Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge is a great event for students from all across the university, plus our international partners, because it gives them the opportunity to develop ‘ideation’ skills in an area of interest,” said Bill Nance, SVIC director and professor of Management Information Systems.

This is exactly how it what happened for Jacob. He came up with the idea for his app based on a personal experience.

“I typically spent, in totality each semester, at least 10 to 14 hours scheduling my classes over a few days,” Jacob said. “I knew this was an issue.”

After conducting research, he learned many other students struggled to find the right classes at the right times. He reached out to Miller for technical assistance, and to his professors for overall support.

Sargon Jacob (center) received first  first place in the Best Overall Innovation category of the 2014 Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge (Robert C. Bain photo).

Sargon Jacob (center) with Dean David M. Steele and SVIC Director and Professor Bill Nance (Robert C. Bain photo).

“I have been extremely fortunate to be able to get access to professors in the MIS department,” Jacob said. “Richard Sessions was extremely influential early on. He introduced me to Bill Nance, who has been very supportive.

“Both professors literally opened their doors to me. Without them, Bryan and I would not have pursued this project with such intensity. At our peak, we each dedicated around 60 hours a week — with me, a full-time student, and Bryan, a part-time student with a day job.”

SVIC recruits more than twenty judges to evaluate all the ideas, provide feedback and select finalists as well as winners, many of whom drew their ideas from college life.

From Bike Commuters to Entrepreneurs

Four electrical engineering majors refined their plan to provide blinkers to bicyclists based on their commutes.

“Most of us bike from campus to our apartments after school, so we implemented things that we thought would be crucial for our safety,” said Vignesh Ramachandran, ’14 Electrical Engineering.

And so Night Square was born, with assistance from Professor of Electrical Engineering Ping Hsu.

Ramachandran and teammates Aaron Romero, Pratiek Pathak and Travis Johnson designed the flexible 15-by-15-inch LED display for bicyclists to wear on their backs, making the bikers more visible at night.

A student demonstrates Night Square during the Elevator Pitch Competition (Robert C. Bain photo).

Vignesh Ramachandran presents Night Square during the Elevator Pitch Competition (Robert C. Bain photo).

“Buttons on the bike’s handle bar will allow the Night Square to display right and left turn arrows and brake signals,” Ramachandran said. “Also, there are buzzers that will be placed conveniently near each ear so that the rider will know which turn signal is on, similar to the ticking from car turn signals.”

The Night Square prototype was an eye-catcher at the SVIC Showcase Nov. 19 in the Student Union Ballroom, and it received second place in the Best Overall Innovation category. The team has big dreams for Night Square.

Our plans for the future are to take this as far as possible,” Ramachandran said. “Our goal is to incorporate and sell this product to our target market.”

His thinking reflects the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge’s goals.

“Students learn how to present their ideas to experienced innovators and entrepreneurs, who provides feedback they can use to enhance or extend their initial ideas,” Nance said.

“It’s fascinating to watch the students grow through the event, as they learn to refine their explanations and pitch their projects.”

Dreaming of a Greener Silicon Valley

“Most living Christmas tree programs just offer potted trees that eventually die in pots or in backyards where they shouldn’t have been planted,” says Tree Care Manager Kevin Lee, ’11 BS, ’16 MS Environmental Studies. (Christina Olivas photo)

Many South Bay lots boast Christmas conifers this time of year, but the trees at one sprawling lot stand apart. At the Our City Forest nonprofit nursery on Spring Street, you’ll find Spartans engaged in a novel effort to make a greener, merrier Silicon Valley through a new Holiday Rent-A-Tree program.

Come January, the majority of the 30 million trees that are cut and sold every year in the United States get tossed out with the trash. Bringing a living tree into your home allows you to enjoy the look and smell of a real tree with less waste, clean-up and fire hazard—and without the carbon footprint of artificial trees, 80 percent of which are imported from China.

“Most living Christmas tree programs just offer potted trees that eventually die in pots or in backyards where they shouldn’t have been planted,” says Tree Care Manager Kevin Lee, ’11 BS, ’16 MS Environmental Studies. “What makes our program different is that we offer specific trees that do well in San Jose; after the holidays, we’ll take them back and plant them in community parks and at schools where they will thrive.”

Today_xmastree_01

After the holidays, the Rent-A-Tree program will plant the evergreens at parks and schools. (Christina Olivas photo)

While you won’t find a Noble Fir at the Our City Forest nursery, the organization does offer 10 different Christmas tree species, such as the Deodar Cedar. Like the two mature Deodar Cedars towering some 80 feet over Tower Lawn, the potted Deodars have fine, blue-green needles. About hip high, they will run you $25 (tax deductible) for the holiday season. A long-term goal of the program is to let renters know where their Christmas trees are planted so they can visit them and watch them grow.

Lee is one of four SJSU grads working for the nonprofit—which has planted about 60,000 trees in the area since its 1994 inception—and his love for trees goes far beyond the holidays.

“Trees are my passion,” says Lee. Originally a bio major, Lee switched to environmental science and “everything fell into place.” Strolling among the 200 Christmas trees available for holiday rental with canine nursery mascots Bodie and Poppy following at his heels, Lee says, “I’m in a master’s program now for additional learning opportunities, but this is my dream job.”

Visit Our City Forest for more information or to reserve your tree.

Kenneth H. Coale

Professor Receives National Honor

Kenneth H. Coale (courtesy of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories)

Kenneth H. Coale (courtesy of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories)

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Kenneth H. Coale has been Named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Media contacts:
Brynn Kaufman, MLML, 831-771-4401
Kenneth Coale, MLML, 831-771-4406
Kat Zambon, AAAS, 202-326-6434

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Professor of Marine Biogeochemistry Kenneth H. Coale has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for groundbreaking experiments linking iron to plankton growth, marine production and climate change. Coale is among a select number of California State University faculty members to receive this distinction.

“It is truly an honor for our little institution in Moss Landing to be recognized by such a prominent and respected scientific body,” Coale said.

Coale was elected as an AAAS Fellow for studies of trace element biogeochemistry in marine waters and the response of marine phytoplankton to exogenous iron deposition.  He is a marine biogeochemist who studies the cycles of chemicals in the sea and the natural and anthropogenic processes that influence these cycles.

Climate change research

The professor was the chief scientist/principal investigator on all the U.S.-led open ocean iron fertilization experiments in both the equatorial Pacific and Southern Ocean that have advanced the “Iron Hypothesis” of phytoplankton production and climate forcing.

His research interests include trace element, carbon and nutrient cycling in ocean, coastal and freshwater systems; the application of natural and anthropogenic radionuclides in the study of marine rate processes; the biogeochemical cycling of mercury in aquatic and atmospheric systems, and the transport of mercury from the oceans to terrestrial systems via fog.

Coale serves on the California Ocean Protection Council’s Science Advisory Team and is a trustee for the Ocean Science Trust. In a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Coale and coworkers identified a neurotoxin produced in iron-fertilized open ocean regions.

“This work definitely reveals a wrinkle in plans to use iron fertilization of the oceans as a way to combat global warming,” Coale said. “It is much easier to break an ecosystem than it is to fix one. In light of these findings, we should redouble our efforts to reduce carbon emissions, the primary culprit for ocean ecosystem damage worldwide.”

Advancing science

Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. This year, 401 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on at the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting to be held in February in San Jose.

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) are the graduate program and research facilities administered by San Jose State University serving seven California State University (CSU) campuses located in Fresno, Stanislaus, Sacramento, San Francisco, Hayward, San Jose and Monterey Bay.  MLML, the second oldest marine lab in the Monterey Bay region, has grown from its humble beginnings in a converted cannery building in 1966, to an internationally renowned program for excellence in all marine science disciplines.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science as well as Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling. AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes 254 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert! the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

47th Annual Spartan Service Celebration

Linda Garcia-Young

Linda Garcia-Young (photo by Robert C. Bain)

Much changed in the 45 years that Linda Garcia-Young has worked at San Jose State, but one thing remained the same: The value she places in listening to and helping everyone she meets as an administrative analyst in the College of Social Sciences.

Garcia-Young received a standing ovation as the San Jose State staff member with the longest tenure of the 98 individuals honored at the 2014 Spartan Service Celebration held Oct. 30 in the Student Union ballroom. Review a list of all honorees.

“Linda is an impeccable professional, but even more important than that, she’s a great human being,” said retired Dean Sheila Bienenfeld. “She is the person who troubled faculty go to talk to when they’ve got problems, troubled staff, students, anybody that comes to her with any kind of problem finds a warm, caring and generous soul to listen to them and to do her best to help.”

She knows everyone on campus. She knows who to call and she does it. She shows up every day when times are rough and when times are good. I am very honored to call her my friend.”

The celebration included a video during which individual honorees shared favorite memories. Although the questions prompting these memories varied, one theme emerged: SJSU is a place where staff members make lifelong friends while working together for students.

Helping Students, Shaping Lives

Honorees included Spartan Dining Systems Manager Brian Mitchler, ’87 Nutrition, who recently completed 25 years of service. When asked, in the video, to name his favorite spot on campus, he replied with a very sweet story about his days as a student living in Moulder Hall, which has since been replaced by Campus Village.

Brian Mitchler

Brian Mitchler (photo by Robert C. Bain)

“The reason is that’s where I met my future wife,” Mitchler said. “I remember the day she moved into [her residence] hall. I had already been there for a year so I was kind of established as a hall veteran and I remember meeting her little three-year-old brother at the time, and her step-mother, and helping move things into her dorm.”

“I remember also the first time she came and asked me for help with an English paper, which just so happened to be about her favorite wedding spots…it was at that point that I got an inkling that we might actually have a developing relationship.

I remember the first couple of times we took a walk across campus. We found reasons to walk together and I especially remember the first time we got to hold hands walking across campus, how special that was.”

Vice President for Administration and Finance Shawn Bibb, Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Renee Barnett Terry, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Andy Feinstein took turns reading the names of all honorees.

“Staff members play an essential role in our community, providing the infrastructure our students need to learn and pursue knowledge,” President Mohammad Qayoumi said. “I look forward to this event each year, as it is an opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of our staff.”

 

Celebration of Research

RF event

Please join us in congratulating the extraordinary achievements of professors Hamilton and Holian, two outstanding members of the San José State University faculty.

Assistant Professor Scott Hamilton from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, College of Science, and Associate Professor Matthew Holian from the Department of Economics, College of Social Sciences, have been chosen to receive the San José State University Research Foundation Early Career Investigator Award for 2014.  Their selection has been made at the recommendation of the Early Career Investigator Subcommittee of the Research Foundation Board of Directors.

Please join us in congratulating the extraordinary achievements of professors Hamilton and Holian, two outstanding members of the San José State University faculty. They will be honored at the SJSU Celebration of Research on Monday, November 17, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. Both professors will present short talks on their research.

The SJSU Research Foundation Early Career Investigator Award recognizes tenure-track SJSU faculty who have excelled in areas of research, scholarship or creative activity as evidenced by their success in securing funds for research, publishing in peer-reviewed journals, and carrying out other important scholarly and creative activities at an early or beginning point in their careers at SJSU. Our two recipients are excellent examples of individuals who have achieved this level of success.

Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton has been tremendously productive in his field of study, Ichthyology, and specializes in the ecology of coastal marine fish, their role in nearshore ecosystems, and the response of these ecosystems to environmental change and human impacts. Since joining SJSU in 2011, he has successfully competed for multiple grants, receiving over $165,000 in funding to date. These grants have come from the Regents of the University of California, California Sea Grant, and the Council on Ocean Affairs Science and Technology. He has co-authored two journal articles since arriving at SJSU, bringing his total to 14 publications, including an individual authorship and two conference proceedings. Looking into the life history traits and the reproductive function of the California sheephead, a kelp forest fish, Hamilton is also collaborating on exploring the effects of climate change on the vital kelp forest communities.

Matthew Holian

Matthew Holian

Matthew Holian has demonstrated an outstanding record of research and scholarship, making a name for himself in the field of transportation economics. Since joining SJSU in 2008, he has successfully competed for numerous grants, receiving $350,000 in funding to date. These grants have come from the California Debt and Investment Advisory Committee, the Charles Koch Foundation, along with federal and state sponsored research funding through the Mineta Transportation Institute. Since 2008, he has published nine journal articles, three of which he authored individually; research reports; and a book chapter. Holian’s research studies include Cities, Suburbs, and the Environment in India; Greenhouse Gas Emissions Generated by Urban Transportation and Land Use Patterns; and Integrating Highway and Transit Data into Benefit-Cost Analysis.

The SJSU Research Foundation established two Early Career Investigator Awards in order to encourage participation beyond those colleges where large numbers of faculty have traditionally participated in external funding pursuits. One award goes to a faculty member in the colleges of Science or Engineering and another is made to a faculty member from one of the other colleges. Each awardee will receive a cash award of $1,000 to be used at their discretion.

SJSU and the 2014 Elections

Evan Low

Evan Low, ’03 Political Science, was elected to the California State Assembly, District 28 (photo courtesy of Evan Low for State Assembly).

Media contact: Pat Harris, 408-924-1748

San Jose, CA – Nearly a dozen Spartans are poised to make an impact on their communities after winning local elections on Nov. 4.

“One reason we see so many Spartan candidates locally is that SJSU students come from this region and when they graduate–unlike alumni of most universities–they tend to stay here,” said Professor Emeritus of Political Science Terry Christensen. “They come from the community and they are committed to the community and this includes public service in elected office.”

Most Spartans who run for office studied political science or public administration. Some majored in other fields. For example, Congressman Mike Honda graduated with a bachelor’s in Biological Sciences and Spanish in 1968 and a master’s in Education in 1974.

However, just about all SJSU alumni who run for office share experiences and traits that will shape their political careers and the communities they serve.

Our students and alumni reflect the diversity of California, with many coming from immigrant and working class families, and representing the first generation to attend and graduate for college,” said Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Political Science Melinda Jackson.

“Issues like immigration reform, public education funding, minimum wage increases and other efforts to address income inequality are not just academic for our students. They have a very real passion for these policy issues that comes from their own life experience.

“Many of our SJSU grads are inspired to pursue a career in public service in order to give back to their communities and to help the next generation of Californians succeed. The ongoing tradition of Spartan civic and political engagement is a point of great pride for SJSU!”

Legacy of Service

All of these alumni are building upon a long legacy of Spartans serving the South Bay and beyond, including Ben Nighthorse Campbell, ’57 Physical Education/Fine Arts, the first Native American to serve in the U.S. Senate, and Gaylord Nelson, ’39 Political Science, Earth Day founder, U.S. senator and Wisconsin governor from 1959 to 1981.

Spartans make good candidates and office holders in part because of this closeness to the community–a genuine grassroots connection because they are of this community,” Christensen said. “But they also make good candidates and office holders because SJSU gives them a hands-on, practical education.”

“Our classes have a real-world orientation and our political science majors (and students in other majors) invariably do internships–sometimes more than one–that give them not only practical experience in politics and public policy but also connections to an extensive local network of alumni who are eager to include and mentor recent graduates.”

These alumni were elected or re-elected Nov. 4. Know of more? Drop us a line by commenting below this story.

  • Frank Biehl, ’75 Political Science, East Side Union High School District Board
  • Dennis Hawkins, ’94 Business Administration, Oak Grove School District
  • Mike Honda, ’68 Biological Sciences and Spanish, ’74 Education, U.S. House of Representatives, District 17
  • Evan Low, ’03 Political Science, California State Assembly, District 28
  • Raul Peralez, ’04 Mathematics, San Jose City Council District 3
  • Andres Quintero, ’06 Political Science, ’11 MA Public Administration, Alum Rock Union School Board
  • David Terrazas, ’92 Political Science, Santa Cruz City Council
  • Omar Torres, ’11 Political Science, Franklin-McKinley School Board
  • Roland Velasco, ’97 Political Science, Gilroy City Council

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

books only

Celebrating SJSU’s Authors

books with people 530

Founded three years ago, the SJSU Author Awards have recognized more than 80 members of the faculty, staff and administration who authored, co-authored or edited books (James Tensuan image).

Media contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA — The remarkable intellectual breadth and depth of the faculty, staff and administration will be on display at the third annual SJSU Author Awards 3 p.m. Oct. 27 in King 225/229. This event is free and open to all university community members.

“By presenting a framework for understanding human rights, exploring the complexity of software creation, or delving into the challenge of screenwriting, these authors inform their readers and move them to think in new ways,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Andy Feinstein.

Lawrence Quill

Lawrence Quill

One of the many satisfactions of publishing is reaching beyond the people you know to influence people you will never meet. These authors are contributing to ongoing intellectual debate and their ideas now have a worldwide reach.”

Each of this year’s honorees will be individually recognized. The guest speaker will be Lawrence Quill, chair of the Department of Political Science and author of “Secrets And Democracy: From Arcana Imperii to Wikileaks” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Worldwide reach

Quill’s work considers the role that secrets plays within liberal democracies and the impact this has on the public’s right to know, the individual’s right to privacy, and the government’s penchant for secrecy and data collection.

Founded three years ago, the SJSU Author Awards have recognized more than 80 members of the faculty, staff and administration who authored, co-authored or edited books. The Office of the Provost, University Library and Spartan Bookstore sponsor the event.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

 

Innovation Lab Opens

Caption text

Plaques and an iPad offer information on the more than 300 patents earned by the late Calvin Seid, ’83 Industrial Design (photo by Michelle Vaquilar, ’15 BFA Graphic Design).

While sorting through the belongings of his younger brother, who died suddenly of heart disease, Vincent Seid was stunned to find scores of plaques his brother received for his contributions to more than 300 Apple patents.

Calvin Seid, ’83 Industrial Design, was a member and director of the company’s Industrial Design Group from 1993 until his death in 2007.

“He was very unassuming,” said Vincent, who was 16 years older than Calvin. “He didn’t like to blow his own horn and you didn’t know much about him until you got to know him very well.”

Generations of Industrial Design majors joined members of the faculty, staff and administration at the Calvin Seid Innovation Lab opening reception the evening of Oct. 9.

Today-Inpost-Seid-101414

Classmates and colleagues remember Seid as a teacher and mentor (photo by Michelle Vaquilar, ’15 BFA Graphic Design).

Guests included Vincent and his wife Zenaida, whose gifts to the university provided the initial funding and an endowment for the lab. Also in attendance were many of Calvin’s classmates.

When Professor John F. McClusky asked classmates and colleagues to describe Calvin, they settled on the same thought: He was an outstanding teacher and mentor.

Thus, McClusky explained, it is fitting that Seid’s name now graces the lab, equipped with the latest technology including 3-D printers to help faculty members show students how to take a product from start to finish, from design concept to completed prototype.

In between comes lots of problem solving, said Lawrence Lam, ’85 Industrial Design, and it is precisely that practical knowledge, which he described as “working around the environment to get the job done,” that distinguishes SJSU Industrial Design alumni.

Today-Inpost-Seid-101414-02

Seid’s patents are for familiar products, from an ear-bud case to chargers (photo by Michelle Vaquilar, ’15 BFA Graphic Design).

You can check out the enormous breadth of this Spartan’s contributions to Apple’s design acumen, including the ear bud case, charging devices, the Power Mac and much more, in an exhibit open on the first floor of the Art Building, below the lab itself.

“We are putting on display,” McClusky said, “the story of someone who is really the story of San Jose State.”

Green Ninja Receives 2014 STEM Innovator Award

ninja 530

The Green Ninja takes action with recycled oil (Green Ninja Project image).

Contact: Pat Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, Calif.— San Jose State’s Green Ninja Project is one of four endeavors to receive a 2014 Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Innovation Award from the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. The project will be recognized during the foundation’s signature annual event, Pioneers & Purpose, on Oct. 1 at the Fairmont San Jose.

“These organizations represent the best in the country working to provide STEM experiences that strengthen and inspire students to explore their curiosity in STEM fields,” Silicon Valley Education Foundation CEO Muhammed Chaudhry said.

Green Ninja project pupet

“The Green Ninja Show” features animation, live action and puppetry (Green Ninja Project image).

Multidisciplinary Initiative

The national award recognizes pioneering programs that have demonstrated innovative methods in STEM education and includes a cash prize.  The Green Ninja Project uses a collection of humorous films and hands-on learning experiences to help young people develop the inspiration and tools to do something about our changing climate.

“By blending science, engineering and the arts, the Green Ninja Project aims to become a nationally recognized icon for education and action on climate change,” said Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science Eugene Cordero.

Million YouTube Views

The project is a multi-platform climate science education initiative that is driven by a strong collaboration between faculty members and students across various departments including Meteorology and Climate Science; Geology; Computer Science; Science Education; Primary Education; Television, Radio, Film and Theatre; and Animation and Illustration.

To date, the project has worked with more than 100 teachers and reached more than 2,000 students. Episodes of “The Green Ninja Show” have had more than a million views on YouTube and TeacherTube. The $5,000 prize will support students working on the show’s second season.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

Social Work Major Receives Top CSU Honor

Today-Inpost-david-090214

A straight-A student, David Elliott plans to pursue a master’s in social work so that he can work with youths who are involved with social services or the justice system (Photo: Thomas Sanders, ’15 MFA Photography).

Media contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – In 2007, David Elliott was paroled from Folsom State Prison after a period of incarceration that resulted from a lifelong battle with drug addiction.

“Everything I owned fit into a backpack,” he said.

Now a San Jose State senior majoring in social work, Elliott has received the California State University system’s highest honor for students who overcome incredible odds to attend college.

As the 2014-15 Trustee Emeritus William Hauck Scholar, one of 23 CSU Trustees Awards for Outstanding Achievement, Elliott will fly to the chancellor’s office in Long Beach on Sept. 9 to pick up the award and meet the other recipients.

Extraordinary Commitment

While their commitment, drive and perseverance are extraordinary, these students are like thousands more who look to the CSU each year for high-quality, accessible, affordable educational opportunities.

After leaving Folsom, Elliott became homeless and lived at a shelter in San Jose. Fearing that he would turn to drugs again, he asked his parole officer for help and was placed into a drug treatment program.

Six years later, Elliott is completely clean and sober and works for the program that helped save his life. As a chemical dependency technician, he assists people in some of their darkest times by supervising their medical detox and encouraging them to continue treatment.

He has also served for four years as a volunteer facilitation and facility coordinator of a drug and alcohol support group at a local homeless shelter for people with mental health and substance abuse problems.

A Second Chance

“All of this work is an attempt to repay what has been given to me: a second chance,” he said.

A straight-A student, Elliott plans to pursue a master’s in social work so that he can work with youths who are involved with social services or the justice system.

“I have found a path leading to a career that employs me in useful service to others,” Elliott said.

The late William Hauck, ’63 social studies, served as deputy chief of staff to Governor Pete Wilson and chief of staff to Assembly speakers Bob Morretti and Willie L. Brown, Jr. The Hauck endowment will provide $6,000 to this year’s CSU Trustees Award recipient.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

 

U.S. News Rankings: SJSU Eighth Overall

Students shop for books in the newly renovated Student Union (Stan Olszewski photo).

Media contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-656-6999

SAN JOSE, Calif., — The 2015 edition of the U.S. News & World Report college rankings, available now online, shows San Jose State University at eighth overall among the West’s top public universities offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, keeping SJSU in the region’s top 10.

“San Jose State has firmly established its reputation as a leading institution of higher learning in the West,” said President Mohammad Qayoumi. “SJSU offers more than 130 degree programs and 400 student organizations, providing a wide range of opportunities including hands-on learning in a global setting provided by our Silicon Valley location.”

San Jose State’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering received top marks, ranking third in the nation among public engineering programs offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, excluding service academies. In addition, SJSU’s computer engineering program was ranked first in the nation among public engineering programs offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

“The Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering has earned its reputation for being among the best in the nation by providing our students with outstanding opportunities for hands-on learning directly addressing 21st century challenges here in Silicon Valley,” Dean Andrew Hsu said.

Read more from U.S. News & World Report.

San Jose State University — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program

Five Reasons to be a Proud Spartan

Five engineering students experienced 15 minutes of zero gravity flight in Houston this summer. The SJSU team’s research proposal, selected by NASA from more than 60 proposals, gave the students the opportunity to design, build, fly and test their experiments aboard an aircraft dubbed the “Weightless Wonder.” And the experience? “Phenomenal, exhilarating, amazing!” students report.

Paul Clerkin

Willing to travel thousands of miles out to sea, graduate student Paul Clerkin discovered eight shark species (Save Our Seas Foundation image).

Featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week”: a new species of shark and the Moss Landing Marine Labs master’s degree candidate Paul Clerkin who discovered the animal during a research trip to the Indian Ocean. Included in the program are glimpses of the as-yet-named shark, the size of a watermelon with purple fins and a “venomous, barbed spine.”

How many inspire a Hollywood film? Bob Ladouceur, ’77 Criminal Justice, former head football coach at De La Salle High School, has spent the last several months walking red carpets, being interviewed by “Entertainment Tonight” and attending premieres of When the Game Stands Tall, a film about Coach Ladouceur and De La Salle’s historic 151-game winning streak. Actor Jim Caviezel portrays Ladouceur in the film. 

To become a performer, the late comic genius Robin Williams had to overcome a crippling case of shyness. First step: joining his high school drama club. For his 1997 film Flubber, Williams came to San Jose. Sharp-eyed Spartans will recognize several city and campus locations that made the film’s final cut.

Spartan football alums David Quessenberry (Houston Texans), ’12 History, and James Jones (Oakland Raiders) aren’t acquainted with the word “quit.” Jones, a sociology major who recently returned to the San Jose homeless shelter where he and his mother lived for several months, shared the story of his own escape from poverty with residents. “You’re here, but this isn’t the end,” he assured them. Battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the 6-foot-five, 307-pound Quessenberry is inspired by the support of teammates and fans. “I wake up every day knowing that I have an army behind me,” he said. “It motivates me to fight even harder.”