Update: Presidential Message on University Advancement

President Mohammad Qayoumi emailed the following message on the Division of University Advancement to all faculty, staff and students.

Dear Campus Community,

Vice President for University Advancement Rebecca Dukes earlier today announced her resignation to the advancement division staff. Today is her final day on campus, and we wish her well.

While at San Jose State, her achievements included completing SJSU’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign and beginning planning for the next campaign; launching an integrated university brand platform; and initiating programs to deepen a culture of philanthropy on campus.

I hope to soon provide an update on plans for interim division leadership.

Mo Qayoumi
President

Update: Presidential Message on the Tower Foundation

President Mohammad Qayoumi emailed the following message on the Tower Foundation to all faculty, staff and students.

Dear Campus Community,

As I shared in Monday’s campus update, we recently received and have been reviewing the results of an external investigation into remarks made by a Tower Foundation board member during a February meeting on campus with several university employees including a member of my cabinet.

There are two additional developments:

  • Official notice of the outcome of the external investigation has been sent to the board member and complainant. Per CSU and SJSU protocol and in an effort to preserve the privacy rights of the parties, the university is limiting distribution of this information to these individuals.
  • Wanda Ginner, an alumna of the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business and Tower Board member since 2007, has resigned from the board.

Although many efforts are already underway, a great deal of work lies ahead as we seek to be the welcoming, inclusive community all Spartans aspire to. I will share some additional thoughts very soon.

Thank you for your patience as we work through these challenging and important issues.

Mo Qayoumi
President

Update: Presidential Message on the Recent Student Protest

President Mohammad Qayoumi emailed the following message on today’s student protest to all faculty, staff and students.

Dear Campus Community,

Ensuring a tolerant, inclusive and welcoming environment for every SJSU community member is a campus and personal priority. A group of concerned students has announced its intent to gather today to discuss an incident of concern that occurred earlier this year.

Although confidentiality considerations limit what can be shared today, I want to do my best to clarify what has been and is being done to address this situation.

The incident itself involves remarks by a member of the Tower Foundation Board during a meeting in February with a small group of SJSU staff members, including a member of my Cabinet. These alleged remarks were the subject of some follow up discussion, and informal remedies were discussed at various levels.

In August, a formal complaint was lodged with our Human Resources office and a formal external review has been ongoing since then. A report based on that review was provided to my office just days ago, and we are now closely reviewing it to determine appropriate next steps.

We are especially sensitive to issues of tolerance and civility in the wake of the racially motivated actions against a student in our residence halls in 2013. Although I know some have been frustrated by a perceived lack of action since this incident occurred, we owe it to everyone to thoughtfully, thoroughly and factually determine what occurred before taking action.

Thank you for your patience.

Mo Qayoumi
President

San Jose Mercury News: San Jose State Rededicates Refurbished Athletics Building

Posted Nov. 7, 2014 by the San Jose Mercury News.

By Sal Pizarro

Even at age 94, legendary San Jose State judo coach Yosh Uchida retains a quiet dignity that demands respect. Uchida was speaking Friday on campus at the rededication of Yosh Uchida Hall, the refurbished athletics building named in his honor, when a stream of skateboarders rolled by the ceremony.

The last two in the line stopped, dismounted their boards and walked quietly by, as though they could feel the eyes of the old judo master on them from behind his oversize sunglasses. No wonder this guy can still prepare college kids to stand on the Olympic stage.

“Uchida Hall is an important part of this university’s legacy,” said SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi. “Coach Uchida’s life embodies what it means to be a Spartan. Today is about much more than the dedication of a building on campus.”

Read the full story.

 

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.

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Grateful Dead Scholars Gather at SJSU

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Media contact: Pat Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – “So Many Roads: The World in the Grateful Dead,” an academic conference showcasing the wide-ranging scholarship devoted to the band and its impact on culture and history, will be held Nov. 5-8 at the San Jose State University Student Union. 

Reduced-fee registration is available through October 6, and a block of hotel rooms has been reserved at the nearby Fairmont San Jose hotel. Sponsors include SJSU in partnership with the Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Rhino Entertainment, Grateful Dead Productions, and Ice Nine Publishing. San Jose holds a special place in the band’s history.

Garcia and Pigpen played folk clubs in and around the SJSU campus in the early 1960s,” said Michael Parrish, conference co-organizer, music journalist, and dean of SJSU’s College of Science. “The San Jose Acid Test, where the band first performed as the Grateful Dead, took place two blocks away, on the current site of the San Jose City Hall, and the Dead was the first musical act to play in the SJSU Student Union on Halloween night in 1969.”

As the band approaches its 50th anniversary in 2015, the issues and events surrounding the Grateful Dead remain compelling to scholars working in a wide range of disciplines. The SJSU event will build on the success and ripple effects of “Unbroken Chain: The Grateful Dead in Music, Culture, and Memory” held in 2007 at the University of Massachusetts.

The conference title refers to a remarkable discourse and a compelling and growing body of work,” Nicholas Meriwether, Grateful Dead archivist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, explained. “The Grateful Dead were always a uniquely American institution, but the range of its influence and the scope of its achievements are truly international. That’s why the title of the conference is ‘The World in the Grateful Dead’—for they truly did capture the world in their music.”

Over 50 speakers are confirmed. The international roster includes academics, family members and associates of the band, journalists, artists, musicians, and over 15 authors of Dead-related books.  On Friday, a celebration of San Francisco poster art featuring work by Stanley Mouse, David Singer, Dennis Larkins, Gary Houston and Chris Shaw will be held in conjunction with a major exhibit of Grateful Dead art in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library. Panels will explore the band’s influence in such diverse areas as politics, business, journalism, religious studies, and even gourmet cooking.

Confirmed participants include Grateful Dead Vault Archivist and Legacy Manager David Lemieux; Rhino Records President Mark Pinkus; acoustician Elizabeth Cohen; technology investor and Moonalice founder Roger McNamee; journalists David Dodd, David Gans, Blair Jackson and Steve Silberman; musicologists Graeme Boone, Shaugn O’Donnell and Brian Felix; historians Michael Kramer and Peter Richardson; photographers Susana Millman, Jay Blakesberg, Ed Perlstein and Bob Minkin; and master chefs Kimball Jones, Kevin Weinberg and Ray Sewell. Family members of the band include Trixie Garcia, Rosie McGee, and Rhoney Stanley.

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 Honorable Sonia Sotomayor on Law and Hope

“You have to have some idealism to go into lawyering. You have to want to help people,” said Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the crowd gathered in the Student Union Ballroom. During the October 20 event, Sotomayor discussed how her memoir, “My Beloved World,” has given her a platform to talk about her passion—the law—and to share the stories of her life in order to help others, particularly young people. View the video.

In conversation with UC Berkeley Professor of Law Melissa Murray, who teaches constitutional law and clerked for Sotomayor on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, Sotomayor candidly recounted stories of adversity that spurred her on instead of knocking her down. She also admitted that there are “a lot of emotions that come along with being a Supreme Court justice,” and that she often has to pinch herself to make sure it’s all real.

While she now walks the corridors of the White House (and occasionally spends time at the homes of celebrities like Jennifer Lopez), she said that staying connected to her family and bringing them along with her on her professional journey keeps her grounded. Everyone needs help sometimes, Sotomayor explained.

Throughout the event, Sotomayor spoke directly to the students seated in the first several rows in front of her. When asked about balancing family needs with pursuing an education, she explained to one student, who she welcomed on stage to take a photo with her, that getting an education is the best way to support your family in the long term, no matter the immediate needs. Most of you are here [at San Jose State], despite the economy, because you have hope, she said.

“There isn’t a student in this room who should ever give up, “ said Sotomayor. “You got into college. You’re here! If you can defy all odds to get in, you’ve got what it takes to make it.”

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Where Were You on Oct. 17, 1989?

Spartan Daily

The Spartan Daily student newspaper front page the day after the Loma Prieta earthquake (photo by Peter Caravalho, ’97 Graphic Design).

Much of San Jose State’s current student body was not born when the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake hit the Bay Area 25 years ago on Oct. 17, 1989.

Yet the fact that San Jose State took the need to prepare for the next big one seriously is clear to anyone on campus today.

“I was serving as SJSU’s associate vice president for administration when the earthquake hit,” said President Mohammad Qayoumi.

Starting the moment the shaking stopped, SJSU has been working with the California State University system to plan, fund and complete numerous projects with the goal of improving campus safety.”

Spartan Daily quake story

This Spartan Daily story, published shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake, made clear the need to seismically retrofit many campus buildings (photo by Peter Caravalho, ’97 Graphic Design).

Three large construction projects underway now began after structural engineers recommended SJSU retrofit 10 buildings to make them safer.

The $55 million seismic retrofit of Yoshihiro Uchida Hall and Spartan Complex spans an entire block from South Fourth Street to El Paseo de Cesar E. Chavez.

In addition, the $90 million seismic retrofit and expansion of the Student Union spans another block from El Paseo de Cesar E. Chavez to the Ninth Street Plaza.

One more project is in the works and six others have been completed as follows:

  • North Parking Garage Seismic Retrofit, 1993
  • South Parking Garage Seismic Retrofit, 1993
  • Tower Hall and Morris Dailey Auditorium, 1996
  • Duncan Hall, 1997
  • Sweeney Hall, 1998
  • Trades Building, 2009
  • North Parking Garage Stair Tower, planned

What should you do if an earthquake hit campus today?

“Although I have been a California resident for most of my life, the power of the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake was astounding,” said SJSU Chief of Police Pete Decena.

If there is one thing I would like the campus community to remember in the event of a major earthquake, it is to Drop, Cover and Hold On. Then, when the shaking stops, leave if it is safe to do so.”

The University Police Department website offers more information including assistance for the disabled. A refresher course on how to protect yourself during an earthquake is available online.

Innovation Lab Opens

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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.

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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.

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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.”

dan and jaime

Alumni Association Celebrates Scholarship Recipients

Cuong Truong

Cuong Truong, ’14 Nursing, plans to work toward ensuring all elderly patients receive quality care. She is a recipient of a San Jose Woman’s Club Scholarship (photo by Brandon Chew).

Aspiring professionals preparing to contribute to every part of our community and economy are recipients of 2014-15 SJSU Alumni Association Scholarships.

“These students truly define the Spartan spirit,” said Brian Bates, associate vice president for alumni relations. “They are achievers, innovators, dreamers and leaders in their classrooms, communities and even the world.”

The more than 30 recipients were invited to gather for a reception Sept. 16  in the Student Union ballroom. The group includes a future art professor, nurse and business owner as well as multiple engineers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, teachers, social workers and fine artists.

Supporting Inspiring Students

Student recipients apply each spring through the SJSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The specific criteria and amount for each scholarship varies. But the overall objective is the same: to provide alumni with the opportunity to give back by supporting current students.

Onette Morales-Alcazar

Onette Morales-Alcazar, ’13 English, is seeking a teaching credential so she can support students learning English as a second language. Named a Connie L. Lurie College of Education Dean’s Scholar, she received the Pat Porter Memorial Scholarship (photo by Brandon Chew).

An excellent example is Angelina Loyola, ’10 Sociology, ’15 Mexican American Studies. Recipient of a College of  Social Sciences Dean’s Scholarship, she plans to teach at the high school or community college level so that she may empower her students to advance not just themselves but the entire community.

I hold steadfast to the words of the late Maya Angelou, ‘When you get, give. When you learn, teach,’” Loyola said.  “Thank you for acknowledging me as a scholar, and an individual that will take with her into this world the teachings from some of the greatest teachers I’ve encountered.”

Joshua Cruz, ’16 Computer Engineering, has taken advantage of the many leadership opportunities available to students at SJSU. A recipient of a Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering Dean’s Scholarship, he has served as a resident assistant, orientation leader, student instructional assistant and Spartan Marching Band member.

This scholarship…is a true validation that my involvements inside and outside of the classroom have an impact on my campus community,” Cruz said. “I will take the inspiration coming from those who have supported me through this scholarship to reach my scholastic goals.”

Tristan Pulliam

Tristan Pulliam plans to go to medical school. The recipient of a College of Science Dean’s Scholarship, he said, “I hope to one day reciprocate this investment by investing in the lives of future SJSU students” (photo by Brandon Chew).

Daniel Fenstermacher, ’16 Fine Arts, expresses his aspirations and sense of community through photography. The recipient of the Hoover Langdon Scholarship has his own business, currently specializing in aerial photography, including remarkable images of downtown San Jose captured using a drone.

Receiving the Hoover Langdon Scholarship gave me a great feeling of accomplishment and pride as a member of the SJSU community,” Fenstermacher said. “I feel fortunate to be rewarded with this recognition and this scholarship motivates me to keep improving every day both in school and in life.”

The generous support of alumni and friends makes these scholarships possible. Learn more about supporting the Alumni Association scholarship program.

 

Social Work Major Receives Top CSU Honor

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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.

 

Yoshihiro Uchida Hall, Renewed

Walking through the newly renovated Yoshihiro Uchida Hall is a study in old meeting new. Much of the year-long construction project includes seismic retrofitting and other refurbishments not visible to the naked eye, yet threaded throughout and around the historic building, modern amenities cannot be missed.

The building’s signature spiraled turrets are still in place, but a new, glass-front main entrance encases the structure on the west side, bringing the old exterior in. What used to be a dilapidated swimming pool now houses an instructional gym. Above it, a world-class dojo lit by original floor-to-ceiling windows finally provides a venue befitting San Jose State’s premiere judo program.

Shared by the kinesiology, athletics, and health science and recreation departments, Uchida Hall houses state-of-the-art academic facilities such as an exercise physiology research lab, a stress management lab and classroom, a sports medicine center and many fully equipped, modern classrooms, as well as beautiful new locker rooms for men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball and gymnastics—all centered around the heart of the building, the retrofitted gymnasium.

To top it off, a second-floor outdoor patio is open to the university community for enjoyment. A grand opening celebration and rededication with attendance from Yoshihiro Uchida and other local dignitaries is tentatively set for early November.

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.

Silicon Valley Business Journal: SJSU Kicks Off $126M Student Housing Project

P0sted July 8, 2014 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

By Nathan Donato-Weinstein

San Jose State University is starting construction on a large student housing project that will add 850 beds to the burgeoning campus’s capacity.

The project is the $126 million Campus Village Phase 2, to be built across from the existing Campus Village Phase 1 complex.

That project, completed in 2005, added 2,279 beds among three mid- and high-rise buildings, the tallest stretching 15 stories. It was called a major step toward turning San Jose State from a commuter school to more of an urban university.

Read the full story.

Dwight Bentel Hall

Dwight Bentel Hall Reopens

Dwight Bentel Hall

Dwight Bentel Hall (Bruce Cramer photo)

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

SAN JOSE, CA – Dwight Bentel Hall will reopen for classes on Tuesday, Sept. 2. Faculty and staff who requested temporary office space elsewhere on campus will return as well.

I am grateful to Facilities Development and Operations staff and the work crews that worked diligently to address this situation, and to the affected faculty, staff and students for their patience,” said Andrew Hale Feinstein, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Repair crews have completed virtually all repairs related to water damage that resulted from a steam valve leak. A few remedial steps remain, but they should not materially affect building occupants.

Independent air quality tests on Wednesday determined that being inside DBH poses “no greater risk of exposure to fungal spores than the general public walking on campus in the outdoor air.”

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.

 

SJSU Begins 2014-15 Academic Year

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The east wing of the Student Union is open. On the first floor are eight new eateries and beautiful indoor and outdoor seating areas line the first floor (Stan Olszewski photo).

Blue skies greeted more than 32,000 students and 4,500 faculty and staff members for the start of San Jose State’s 2014-15 academic year.

The crowd included 3,500 first-time freshmen, 3,700 new undergraduate transfers, 2,000 new graduate students and 33 new tenure-track faculty members.

The arrival of so many tenure-track faculty members shows the benefit of a stable budget and signals a strong commitment to long-term planning.

Helping newcomers

In addition, SJSU is extending a special welcome to 80 transfers from National Hispanic University. Orientation events held during the summer should help everyone settle in.

If anyone needs a hand, “Ask Me” volunteers are once again stationed outdoors throughout campus. 

Do we have an app for that? Yes, we do! SJSU Guide is loaded with information including a campus map.

Downloading the guide? You’ll find campus WiFi now covers very close to all six million square feet of classroom and office space.

Perhaps the most visible change for those arriving this week–from the parking garages, Park & Ride Lot or alternative transportation–is the construction.

Facility improvements

Yes! Our 150-year-old campus is receiving a major renovation.

The east wing of the Student Union is open. On the first floor are eight new eateries and beautiful indoor and outdoor seating areas line the first floor.

A gleaming new ballroom large enough for 850 dinner guests is open on the second floor.

In addition, the Spartan Bookstore has moved into temporary digs in the east wing while the rest of the Student Union is completed.

Meanwhile, construction crews are putting finishing touches on Yoshihiro Uchida Hall. The exterior walls are up on the Student Health and Counseling Center.

Also on the way are a new dormitory and new landscaping for the Art Building, Sweeney Hall and El Paseo de Cesar Chavez (check out the beautiful new palm trees!).

Major events

Later this term, the Student Union will host two special guests speakers: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and bestselling novelist Khaled Hosseini.

Tower Lawn remains a gorgeous green, thanks to recycled water that has reduced SJSU’s potable water consumption by 45 percent annually.

So Tower Lawn will be the place to be this term for many gatherings including the Spartan Squad kick-off 6 p.m. Aug. 27 and the Student Organization Fair 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 3.

Both of these events are part of Fall Welcome Days, a series of outstanding opportunities to reach out, meet people and learn something in the process.

Also coming up this week is Spartan Football’s season opener against North Dakota. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Aug. 28. Go early, get a Bill Walsh bobble head, and then stay for the fireworks.

Admission to home football games is free for all students with a Tower ID card. The president has extended a very similar offer to all faculty and staff (check your email!).

Staying safe

Speaking of major events, there is nothing like a 6.0-magnitude trembler the day before classes begin to send the message that safety comes first.

The University Police Department keeps in touch with campus via Alert-SJSU (update your contact information now) and offers an Evening Guide Escort Program and Evening Shuttle.

UPD’s website contains lots of prevention and preparedness information. The Spartans for Safety website also consolidates many services available at SJSU.

 

Santa Cruz Sentinel: San Jose State Researcher’s Never-Seen Sharks Featured on ‘Shark Week’

Posted Aug. 12, 2014 by the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

By Kara Guzman

After 60 days on a commercial fishing boat, 1,000 miles from land, San Jose State researcher Paul Clerkin discovered never-before-seen sharks, which will be featured on Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” on Tuesday.

Clerkin, 29, first ventured to the southern Indian Ocean with the fishing crew to catalog their shark bycatch in 2012. In two months, he encountered 23 types of sharks, eight of which were new species.

Clerkin, a master’s student researching at Moss Landing Marine Labs, returned to the boat in March, this time with a Discovery Channel film crew for “Alien Sharks.” Clerkin said he’s not allowed to say how many new species he discovered this year, but he’s pleased with the trip’s success.

View the full story. 

San Jose Mercury News: San Jose State Students Report Major Discovery in Space

Posted May 25, 2014 by the San Jose Mercury News.

By Katy Murphy

SAN JOSE — A San Jose State undergrad grieving the loss of his mother shifted his gaze to outer space and made what could prove to be a remarkable discovery: a system of stars so dense, his professor said, astronomy has no word for it.

In only a week 21-year-old Michael Sandoval stumbled upon what he and his professor have named a hypercompact cluster, which they argue is the intensely starry remains of one galaxy that has been consumed by another.

Astrophysics professor Aaron Romanowsky said it’s astounding how quickly his student may have discovered what “some people take years and never find.”

The stellar search was a welcome diversion for Sandoval, whose mother, Holly Houser, died of cancer in October. In the last years of his mom’s life, the physics major lived at home, juggling her care with his education, sometimes rushing her to the emergency room at night and dragging himself to class the next day from Fremont.

Months later, enrolled in his first astrophysics course, he learned classmate Richard Vo had discovered an unusual stellar object — possibly the densest ever found.

His reaction was immediate: “I want to find one too.”

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San Jose Mercury News: SJSU Graduation Celebrates Grit, Sacrifice

Posted May 24, 2014 by the San Jose Mercury News.

By Lisa Krieger

Some of the biggest lessons that electrical engineer Donald Flowers II, learned at school happened outside the classroom. Discipline. Time management. Financial budgeting. Focus.

“You cannot give up,” said the 34-year-old Flowers, one of several thousand ebullient San Jose State students celebrating their Saturday graduation in Spartan Stadium’s bright morning sun.

“It takes sacrifice,” he said. “At holidays, I’d be sitting around the table with my whole family, with my laptop open.”

Flowers reflects the kind of success the university has made its mission: offering working students — many of them older or immigrants and transfers from two-year campuses — the intellectual rigor and credentials needed to lift themselves securely into the middle class.

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Admitted Spartan Day

More than 3,500 admitted students and 7,000 family members attended Admitted Spartan Day on April 12. This year’s annual event included a keynote address by SJSU alumnus and Mayor Evan Low of Campbell as well as campus tours, informational workshops and a campus resource fair comprised of 85 departments and student organizations. Over 250 campus community members welcomed our newly admitted class to campus.