Faculty Notes: Securing Scholarships

Professor Thalia Anagnos

Professor Thalia Anagnos (photo by Christina Olivas)

Professor Thalia Anagnos, Department of General Engineering, has been awarded a second five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to fund the Engineering Leadership Pathway Scholars Program. ELPS2, building on the success of the original ELPS, will provide approximately 86 annual scholarships to academically talented undergraduate engineering students in financial need.

World Languages and Literatures Professor Anne Fountain’s new book, “José Martí, the United States, and Race” (University Press of Florida), examines the evolution of Martí’s thinking about race and delves into how his time in the United States, with its legacy of slavery, deeply influenced Cuba’s national hero.

Essential reading for those who increasingly appreciate the enormous importance of Martí as one of the nineteenth century’s most influential and most original thinkers,” praised John Kirk, coeditor of Redefining Cuban Foreign Policy.

Associate Professor Colleen Haight, Department of Economics, appeared on the podcast series “Research on Religion” to discuss her work on the Oracle of Delphi, a shrine in ancient Greece where the wealthy and powerful congregated to have their questions about war, trade and the future answered by virgin priestesses. Haight and her colleagues applied the tools of economic analysis and game theory to explain the seemingly irrational behavior of relying on an oracle’s supernatural judgment in matters of life and death.

Professor Emeritus Gus Lease, Department of Music, currently president of SJSU’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter, attended the honor society’s 43rd Biennial Convention in St. Louis, Mo., in August as a voting delegate. Since its founding in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi has inducted more than a million students, faculty and professional staff as members.

Gus Lease (photo by Bob Bain)

Professor Emeritus Gus Lease (photo by Bob Bain)

School of Information Professors Lili Luo and Michael Stephens collaborated with Loyola Marymount University scholars to develop the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL). Created to help academic and research librarians become skilled researchers, the program is funded by a three-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The first institute was held at LMU Library in Los Angeles in June.

President Mohammad Qayoumi contributed an article titled “A Checklist for a New Afghanistan” to Foreign Policy, a journal founded to “question commonplace views” and “give voice to alternative views about American foreign policy.” In February 2002, Qayoumi returned to Afghanistan for the first time in 26 years. Despite the challenges facing the new government of his native country, he foresees opportunities for economic growth and progress.

The end of the fall 2014 semester marks the retirement of current World Languages and Literatures Professor Carmen Sigler, whose distinguished career at SJSU has included serving as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, dean of the College of Humanities & the Arts and chair of the Department of World Languages and Literature. After retiring as provost in 2009, Sigler returned to teaching in the Spanish program, whose media center bears her name. 

Every role Carmen has had, she has handled so well. She’s just outstanding, ” former President Don W. Kassing told the overflow crowd of well wishers at the center’s dedication ceremony in 2011.

School of Information Professor Judith Weedman, whose research explores the growth of knowledge in the sciences and humanities, retired this past summer after a 19-year career at SJSU. Her work with the core class LIBR 202 Information Retrieval System Design remains a highly regarded contribution to the iSchool’s curriculum. “Doing original research is one way of learning new things and teaching is another. Our students are wonderful, intelligent, highly motivated people, and I have learned both from them and from preparing classes for them,” Weedman said. Her retirement plans? Traveling the West, riding her horse and hiking.

SJSU in the News: San Jose State Plans New Nursing Doctorate

SJSU Planning to Offer Doctorate in Nursing

Originally published in the San Jose Mercury News 1/26/2011

By Lisa M. Krieger

San Jose State is preparing to open its doors next year to nursing students seeking to earn the highest degree in academia: the doctorate.

Marking a significant moment in the history of the California State University system, the university’s board of trustees voted Wednesday to create a doctorate in nursing practice, called a DNP, on several CSU campuses — including a joint nursing program at SJSU and Fresno State.

For 40 years, California’s master plan for higher education has made doctorates the sole domain of the University of California. Then, a decade ago, CSU added one in education. And last year, it successfully petitioned for the right to award them in physical therapy at five campuses and nursing practice at three campuses.

While the UC campuses will continue to offer doctor of philosophy, or Ph.D, degrees, which are primarily research-focused, CSU seeks to grant a more practice-focused advanced degree.

“This is a real response to real need. It is important that we help meet the labor needs of the state,” said John Douglass, a senior research fellow at UC Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education.

“The lines (between UC and CSU) are definitely blurring,” he said, “but I think some marginal expansion of CSU’s authority makes sense in certain areas of graduate training.”

At SJSU, the new doctorate “will enable its graduates to be at the forefront of implementing research,” said Jayne Cohen, director of SJSU’s nursing school.”In addition, this new program will vastly add to the cadre of nursing faculty well-qualified to educate new nursing professionals.”

She did not outline how SJSU and Fresno State would collaborate in the pilot program. Before being finalized, the program needs professional accreditation and approval by the university’s chancellor.

More nurses needed

The U.S. Bureau of Health Professionals projects that California will have a severe shortfall of about 100,000 nurses in 10 years. The state already ranks last in the nation in the number of nurses per capita — 589 per 100,000 residents, compared with the U.S. average of 825.

A big obstacle to closing this projected shortfall has been a limited number of slots available in California nursing programs — which is tied to a limited number of people qualified to serve as nursing faculty.

But CSU’s advanced degree programs could pose new problems: funding, with a potential squeeze on undergraduates, said Judith E. Heiman of the Legislative Analyst’s Office in Sacramento.

“Does it make sense for CSU to offer these degrees? Perhaps,” Heiman said. “Does it make sense at this time, when campuses are having difficulty accommodating demand for existing undergraduate programs? That’s a judgment call we’d like the Legislature to weigh in on.”

In the bills authorizing CSU to offer each of these degrees, the Legislature showed concern about these programs crowding out undergraduates. And it specified that each campus must fund the programs out of its existing budget.

“CSU is facing a budget proposal that not only lacks growth funding, but reduces base funding significantly,” Heiman said. “Under these circumstances, it is not possible to use state or institutional resources for developing and starting a new program without affecting existing enrollment.”

Catch-up mode

The California Nurses Association would prefer expansion of nursing programs at the bachelor’s and master’s level.

While the organization welcomes new programs to train nurse educators, “even more importantly, we need to train greater numbers of bedside nurses to meet the needs of California’s patients,” said the association’s Liz Jacobs. “We call for more resources to be put into all levels of nursing education.”

The current nursing shortage has its roots in massive layoffs in the 1990s, she said, as the introduction of the “managed care” system shortened patient stays and reduced the need for nurses.

And potential students disliked “the de-skilling of the work force, as RNs (registered nurses) were replaced by LVNs (licensed vocational nurses) and assistants,” Jacobs said. And work got harder, because patients in the hospital tended to be very sick.

“Now, we’re in a catch-up mode,” she said, because of new laws that require more nurses, as well as the retiring of an aging work force.

Despite plenty of eager and academically qualified candidates, Jacobs notes that there are not enough seats in schools to educate every student.

The SJSU-Fresno State program, planned to start in the fall of 2012, will be one of three future DNP programs. A second jointly run program is planned by CSU campuses in Fullerton, Long Beach and Los Angeles. The third will be based in San Diego.

A doctorate in physical therapy, planned for the summer of 2012, will be offered at CSU campuses in Fresno, Long Beach, Northridge, Sacramento and San Diego.

Before creating any more CSU doctoral programs, Douglass urged the state to conduct a careful analysis of its labor needs — then decide the best way to structure higher education.#

President Kassing, Provost Selter and students cut the ribbon at the CASA Student Success Center grand opening Feb. 2.

CASA Opens Student Success Center

President Kassing, Provost Selter and students cut the ribbon at the CASA Student Success Center grand opening Feb. 2.

President Don Kassing, Provost Gerry Selter and students cut the ribbon at the CASA Student Success Center grand opening Feb. 2.

The SJSU College of Applied Sciences and Arts opened a Student Success Center Feb. 2, with the goal of helping students access the university’s many resources.

“The center will help new students get connected with the college and the university,” said Charles Bullock, dean of the college. “In particular, we’ll reach out to those who are first in their families to seek college degrees.”

The nearly 2,500-square-foot space features four nooks for peer mentors and student services professionals offering assistance with study skills, selecting classes, career counseling and generally navigating college life.

“The opening of CASA’s Student Success Center represents another significant milestone for SJSU,” said Maureen Scharberg, associate vice president for student academic success services  “Now, four out of the seven colleges have centrally located centers to assist their students succeed at SJSU through academic advising and related services.  These centers are a critical component of SJSU’s initiative to improve our retention and graduation rates.”

The room was also built to provide space for students to meet informally. Nearly all the furniture is mobile, including a 22-person conference table that can be pulled apart for up to four groups.

“We are seeking to offer a wide range of resources that will make students successful,” Bullock said. “We really hope that the center becomes very busy very soon.”

That will undoubtedly happen, given the center’s services, modern decor, comfortable seating and convenient location on the fifth floor of MacQuarrie Hall. Then there’s the iPads the college plans to loan to students for use within the center, served by WiFi.

The center’s director is Kathryn Sucher, a professor of nutrition, food science and packaging. Once a darkroom, the renovation cost around $300,000, all from non-general fund sources including private gifts.

Bullock is careful to emphasize that this is just the beginning. He envisions a center that will evolve over time, acting on the suggestions of students and faculty.

“We hope the center will be dynamic and ever changing to meet the needs of student success,” he said.#