SJSU Celebrates International Week

Why should you check out International Education Week Nov. 12-15?

Because going abroad will set you apart, give you competitive jobs skills and, most important of all, expand your world view.

Campus events

At SJSU, highlights include study and work abroad fairs Nov. 13; a lunchtime talk on preparing for success in a globalized world Nov. 14; and the International House Quiz (that’s “IQ” for short!) Nov. 15.

The Department of World Languages and Literatures will host the lunchtime talk. Speakers will include Professor of French Dominique van Hooff, Professor of Organization and Management Asbjorn Osland and Professor of History and Global Studies Michael Conniff.

Prefer something hands-on? Check out the Great Global Breakfast Nov. 14; try a turban with the Sikh Students Association Nov. 14; or take a swing at cricket with the Indian Student Association Nov. 15.

Events abroad

Meanwhile, President Mohammad Qayoumi and Dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Charles Bullock are in Vietnam this week building ties with their counterparts.

SJSU was recently tapped by the the U.S. Agency for International Development to coordinate an international consortium enhancing social work education in Vietnam.

SJSU Celebrates International Week

President Qayoumi and Dean Bullock with Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vice President Nguyen Kim Som (center, between Qayoumi and Bullock) and his colleagues after a morning of meetings Nov. 12 at their campus (photo courtesy of Tuan Tran).

The trip’s timing and purpose dovetails well with International Education Week, a national series of events celebrating the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

Sixth in the nation

Officials at The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education kicked off the week by releasing “Open Doors 2013,” an international student census.

SJSU ranks sixth in the nation among colleges and universities granting bachelor’s and master’s degrees, with 2,194 international students on campus in 2012-2013.

View a complete list of SJSU International Education Week events.

Silicon Valley Center for Global Studies Launches Annual Global Lens Contest

looking through open door onto beach and barrios

“Looking Outside,” by alumna Natasha Greenhouse, October 2009, Brazil.

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

The Silicon Valley Center for Global Studies has launched the Global Lens Photo Contest for 2012-2013.

The contest is open to everyone in the SJSU community, including students, faculty, staff, retirees and alumni.

Submissions are due via email or U.S. mail Nov. 2, 2012. Everything you need to know to enter has been posted on the center’s blog.

The Silicon Valley Center for Global Studies, within International and Extended Studies, was created in 2009 to enhance the international dimensions of teaching, research and outreach at the university.

The center provides leadership and support for programs and experiences that contribute to the education of informed, skilled, open-minded citizens of the world.

Immigration Symposium flyer

Immigration Symposium Showcases Diverse Presentations

By Sarah Kyo, Public Affairs Assistant

A woman resting her head on her clasped hands

Kelly Lytle Hernandez

Photo of man with his head resting on his clasped hands

Andrew Lam

The Indian diaspora, international migration and immigrant workers were a few of the topics discussed at the Immigration Symposium, sponsored by the Silicon Valley Center for Global Studies.

Presenters, including SJSU professors and alumni, spoke at this conference April 12 and 13 at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library. This was the fourth symposium within the last five years. This year’s theme was “Immigration: Policy and Reality.”

“The center tries to maintain ongoing discussions about immigration-related issues by hosting conferences and symposiums regularly,” said Yoko Baba, a justice studies professor who coordinated the event. “The symposium attempts to bring academics, practitioners and community members together to have meaningful dialogues and conversations about these issues.”

Andrew Lam, author and editor of New America Media, and Kelly Lytle Hernandez, a history professor at UCLA, provided keynote addresses. Lam recently wrote a collection of personal essays titled “East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres.” Hernandez’s book, “MIGRA! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol,” is the first scholarly study of the U.S. Border Patrol, according to the Immigration Symposium program.

image of a CD

Faculty Members Showcase Media Integration

Faculty Members to Showcase Media Integration in Classrooms

Faculty members Peter Young and James Morgan and a student panel will talk about engaging students with media tools, which are becoming essential in achieving the university’s mission (eCampus image).

By Carmen Shiu, Student Assistant, eCampus
International and Extended Studies

San Jose State University faculty members who are incorporating the use of media in the classroom will showcase some of their innovative work at the Spring ’12 eCampus Faculty Showcase on Wednesday, April 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in rooms 225/229 of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library.

Media have transformed how people learn and communicate in ways that were never done before. Moving forward, media will only become more advanced and more integrated into everyday life. Two SJSU faculty members and a student panel will talk about engaging students with media tools, which are becoming essential in achieving the university’s mission.

New media Lecturer Peter Young from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, who believes good instructors are entertainers, will showcase different tools he finds useful in the classroom.

“New media is important, not unto itself, but rather what it allows one to do,” said Young. “Teaching is entertainment and using some of the new media that is available can be motivating.”

The second faculty member on board to present is James Morgan, who is an area coordinator and advisor for digital media art. He has found success in incorporating media into his teaching, such as screen casting and using YouTube videos.

“It’s all in the balance of an interesting class to be able to show media and do discussions and group work,” said Morgan. “Recently, I’ve heavily integrated videos, allowing students to hear another voice and perspective, and it’s a pleasant change.”

The student panel is returning after its successful debut in the Fall ’11 eCampus Faculty Showcase. Selected students will be on hand to talk about what media they use to help them excel in school and what kinds of media they wish instructors would use in their classes.

Following each presentation is a Q&A session, allowing audience members to ask the presenters any questions they may have. In addition to lunch being served, there is a raffle drawing for a $20 SJSU Gold Points Card for those who preregister at and are present at the showcase. This showcase is free and open to all SJSU faculty and staff members only.

“All of us share the same passion for teaching and learning,” said Mark Adams, the lead instructional developer of eCampus. “Our showcase serves as a chance for everyone to come together, relax, eat and be inspired by our colleagues’ work.”

WHAT: Spring ’12 eCampus Faculty Showcase

WHO: Open to all SJSU faculty and staff members

WHY: Learn how to engage students with media tools

WHEN: Wednesday, April 4, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Rooms 225/229, Martin Luther King Jr. Library

INFO: To register, visit

CONTACT: Jessica Gonzalez, eCampus Administrative Assistant, at 408-924-2742 or

sign post pointing to many countries

San Jose State Celebrates International Week

sign post pointing to many countries

International Week helps Spartans learn about studying abroad, and celebrates international students visiting SJSU (International Programs and Services image).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

International Week spring 2012 festivities will begin with the International Pancake Breakfast, and include a travel photo contest, study abroad fair featuring over 200 universities, “Norooz” (Happy Persian New Year) celebration, and International Scholarship Fundraising Banquet.

At the banquet, “we will be honoring Helen Stevens for her long-time devotion to international education and commitment to supporting our students, faculty and staff at SJSU,” said International House Director Leann Cherkasky Makhni.

Stevens, who recently retired, was the director of International Programs and Services. During her tenure, SJSU was named a Fulbright Scholar Top Producing University. Also, the Institute of International Education consistently ranked SJSU among the top masters degree institutions in the nation based on the total number of international students on campus.

New this year will be “Women of the World: Spotlight Afghanistan,” featuring Najia Karim, Cultural Society of Afghan Women in the Bay Area founder and the wife of SJSU President Mo Qayoumi. More info on all events follow.


I-Week Photo Contest  – Win Prizes!
To download the flyer, click here.
Photo submission deadline March 8.
Show off your talent and travel pictures by submitting up to three photos from your travel or study abroad experiences around the world.  The theme is “International Experiences”.  This contest is open to the whole SJSU community.  Digital entries only.  Email photos to Pick up an application at the IPS office, Clark 543 or download one here.  Winners will be announced on March 13 during the International House’s Coffee Night at 8:30 p.m.

International Pancake Breakfast | 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
International House, 360 South 11th St.
$5 Students / $10 Non-students / $25 Family of four
Join the campus and neighborhood communities to enjoy international foods, traditional dress worn by residents, and international entertainment.


International Programs & Services Bowling Competition 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Bowling Center, Student Union
Free bowling party! Sign up at the IPS Office Clark 543 now – space is limited!  Table tennis and billiards available as well.

Study Abroad Fair | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Student Union, ground level
Check out information about 255 different overseas universities where you can study abroad! Pay SJSU tuition rates, get guaranteed SJSU credit for every class you take abroad! Go for a year, a semester or a summer.  SJSU Study Abroad alumni will be available to answer questions.

Fulbright Scholarship Information Session for Students | noon – 1 p.m.
Costanoan Room, Student Union
Come to learn about the Fulbright Scholarship opportunities for U.S. students abroad, hosted by International Programs and Services. Get a head start in anticipation of the opportunities for 2014-2015 to be announced in early May!

International Student Employment for Faculty & Staff | noon – 1 p.m.
Clark 547
This workshop for SJSU faculty and staff will review immigration rules and policies governing on and off campus work permission for F-1 International students.

F-1 Tax Workshop | 2 – 5 p.m.
Engineering 189
Learn about which tax forms international students need to submit to be in compliance with federal and California state tax laws.

Coffee Night | 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
International House, 360 South 11th Street
Photo contest winners to be announced at 9pm.
Casual Open House for SJSU students.  Coffee Nights are a fun and interactive way to meet new American and international people from the surrounding community

Beyond OPT Attorney Presentation | 2 – 4 p.m.
Washington Square Hall 109
Immigration Attorney Gali Gordon reviews work authorization avenues for students looking to work beyond the optional practical training period.

International Gateways Boulevard of Languages Reception | 5 – 6 p.m.
International Scholarship Fundraising Banquet |  6 – 8 p.m.
International House, 360 South 11 St.
Reservations required. Obtain reservation form. Banquet proceeds benefit the Louie Barozzi Scholarship Fund that rewards international students and study abroad participants for academic excellence and community service. Enter through the Boulevard of Languages, hosted by International Gateways, to a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception followed by dinner.

Happy Norooz Persian New Year | noon – 1 p.m.
Learn how it’s celebrated.
MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center, Student Union, second floor

Counseling Services and Resources for International Students | 2 – 3 p.m.
International House, 360 South 11 St.

Women of the World: Spotlight Afghanistan | 10 a.m. – noon
San Jose Public Library, Willow Glen Branch, 1157 Minnesota Ave.
Sponsored by American Association University Women San José Branch

In celebration of International Women’s Month, Najia Karim, founder of the Cultural Society of Afghan Women in the Bay Area and wife of SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi, will be joined by CSAW members in presenting original artwork and poetry and a slide show contrasting Afghan women of the 1960s and now. Audience participants will receive English translations of three original Afghan poems by women artists. A reception will follow next door at the AAUW headquarters, 1165 Minnesota Ave.

Happy Persian New Year “Norooz” | 3 – 7 p.m.
Afternoon Tea and Celebration. Free tickets available at 3/16 Norooz event.

Café Pomegranate, 221 E. San Fernando St., will be transformed into the Happy Norooz spot to celebrate Persian New Year. Santa Claus may not be coming to town, but Baba Norooz will be there – with gifts!  Enjoy Persian teas, snacks, music, dancing, and a slide show.  There is no charge for the party.

4 students standing before steaming volcano

Counselor Education Students Go Global in Costa Rica

Students with baskets prepare to pick coffee beans

Students learn about coffee production and its relationship to the local, national and global economy at La Bella Tica Coffee Farm in Monteverde, Costa Rica (photo courtesy of Jason Larker).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Nineteen graduate students from the College of Education’s Department of Counselor Education participated in a faculty-led trip to Costa Rica January 3- 20, led by Professor Jason Laker and Assistant Professor Dolores Mena.

“This program prepared counselors to advance social justice principles and become effective at cross-cultural issues,” Laker said.

Students received credit for two counseling classes that focused on service learning and supervised experience. Master’s counseling education student Rebecca Frank appreciated the exposure to a different point of view.

“You can go across the world and there are the same problems,” Frank said. “To be more a competent global citizen, you have to be aware of things that are happening globally.”

According to Mena, students were required to journal before the trip and answer prompting questions when they got back. The students also presented group projects the first week in Costa Rica that “brought together concepts and theories for cultural teaching.”

In addition to applying critical thinking and educational theory,  students experienced first-hand barriers to learning. They rolled up their sleeves to clear trails, prune education gardens, and build safe sidewalks for K-12 school children.

Innovative Thinking

“We learned how to become innovative in maximizing people’s strength in working with clients and embrace new experiences with different lenses,” said student Daisy Villicana.

SJSU students partnered with The University for Peace and the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation on social service projects while in Costa Rica.

In addition to service learning, students experienced Costa Rica’s eco-tourism and triple-bottom line businesses through cultural activities including visits to the Poas Volcano National Park, Costa Rican Entomological Supply (a butterfly farm), and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

Students also had the opportunity to explore on their own and participate in canopying, water rapelling, ziplining, and horseback riding.

Click here to see photos from their trip.

U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren hands certificate to President Qayoumi.

U.S. Commerce Department Honors SJSU for International Student Recruitment Efforts

U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren hands certificate to President Qayoumi.

The Institute of International Education ranks San Jose State University as number three in the country for international students among masters degree institutions (photo by Robert Bain).

William Goodrich, SJSU International & Extended Studies, (408) 924-2619
Gabriela Zelaya, Department of Commerce, U.S. Export Assistance Center, (408) 535-2757, ext.107

SAN JOSE, CA. – November 28, 2011 – Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-16th District) presented to President Mohammad Qayoumi of San Jose State University the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Achievement Certificate at the “Bringing International Business to Silicon Valley” event today at SJSU.

San Jose State University is one of the 200 top research universities in the nation, with more than 30,000 students enrolled. The award recognizes U.S. businesses and educational organizations that have benefited from the export services of the Department’s U.S. Commercial Service. This award was presented to San Jose State University for its international student recruitment efforts.

San Jose State University, through its office of International and Extended Studies, has engaged with the Commercial Service for the last 15 years to expand their international student population and international partnerships around the world. Since that time, the U.S. Commercial Service’s global network of trade professionals and programs has supported San Jose State University’s efforts through trade counseling, business matchmaking, and the recruitment of academic delegations and partnering activities with educational organizations in countries such as China, India, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, among a number of other markets.

The assistance of the U.S. Commercial Service has helped to grow San Jose State University’s international student population to more than 2,000 international students enrolled in the university’s degree programs, as of fall 2011. The Institute of International Education ranks San Jose State University as number three in the country for international students among masters degree institutions. Furthermore, the growth of international student enrollment has enabled San Jose State University to hire ten new employees for its international admissions department.

Higher education ranks among the United State’s top 10 service exports. The U.S. is also the largest destination for international students seeking higher education—and tuition and living expenses paid by those students and their families brought nearly $20 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2009-10 academic year. According to the Institute of International Education, that dollar figure is expected to continue rising. In the 2009/2010 academic year, 127,628 students from China and 104,897 students from India studied at U.S. institutions, making them the two leading countries of origin for foreign university students in the United States.

With offices in 108 U.S. cities and in U.S. Embassies and Consulates in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service connects U.S. exporters with international partners. More information on the U.S. Commercial Service, and its education industry work.

About San Jose State University

San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 134 areas of study. Quality teaching and small classes are a priority at SJSU, where tenured professors teach introductory as well as advanced courses. One of the 200 top research universities in the nation, SJSU offers rigorous course work and research opportunities to more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students in seven colleges. San Jose State University’s location in the Silicon Valley makes it an exceptionally rewarding learning environment for students. Silicon Valley firms and agencies seek SJSU students for internships, summer work programs and for assistance with research and development projects. Silicon Valley firms employ more graduates from SJSU than from any other university in the nation.

outdoor fair

Celebrate Diversity at SJSU’s International Week

Students displaying traditional clothing of Korea

Students display traditional attire on the Boulevard of Languages.

By William Goodrich, IES Marketing Lead

Don’t miss the upcoming annual celebration of SJSU International Week. When you see the flags of the world hung in the lobby of King Library, one can’t help but be proud of our diverse campus community. International Week provides an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to broaden their cultural perspective, experience thought-provoking lectures on global subjects and collaboratively examine issues of diversity. This year’s program includes a powerhouse line-up of dynamic female voices from all walks of life. We recommend International Week events for all students, particularly those whose focus of study includes social sciences, humanities, global studies, business and communication. Departments are invited to take part in “I Week” by hosting their own specific cultural events or by bringing classes to the events listed below. We look forward to celebrating International Week with you. For more information, contact us.

Global Breakfast, hosted by Jennifer Waldrop, nutritionist from the Student Health Center –

Understanding global breakfast options to better understand global cultures.

Monday, November 14 from 8 – 11 a.m., located between Sweeney Hall and the Spartan Complex

The Human Condition, an Ethnographic Presentation by Bridget Stevens –

A cross-cultural exploration into the human need for hope.

Tuesday, November 15 at 3:15 p.m. in King 225/229

Torn Apart; United by Love, Divided by Law, with author Judy Rickard –

Immigration issues impacting same-sex couples.

Thursday, Nov. 17 at noon in King 225/229

From the USA to the UAE a Documentary by Diane Guerrazzi –

SJSU short-term study abroad students document issues such as censorship, torture and hierarchical class systems.

Monday, November 14 at noon in King 255/257

Wednesday, November 16 at noon in King 255/257

Friday, November 18 at 11 a.m. in King 255/257

International IQ Quiz, hosted by International House and Int’l Programs & Services –

Join us to test your global knowledge, win prizes and enjoy lunch.

Friday, November 18 from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. in the Dining Commons

***All events are open and free to the campus community.

SJSU Students pose with the Faculty of Social Work in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by: Iliam Parra

Students Gain Perspective During Vietnam Social Work Trip

Tearing through a village along the Mekong Delta with a lady of few words and her flower decored horse, Vietnam. Photo by: Stan Olszewski/

Tearing through a village along the Mekong Delta with a lady of few words and her flower adorned horse, Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Social work in Vietnam is on a light speed track to success due to outside, developed-countries’ influences (photo by Stan Olszewski/

By Stan Olszewski

(Editor’s Note: Olszewski is a biological forensic science major and photography minor who joined faculty and students on a Faculty-Led Student Abroad Program summer trip to Vietnam. Read more about the School of Social Work’s partnership with Vietnam.)

Vietnam is a land of history and youth.  Its history includes decades of war and struggle, fighting the French, Chinese, Americans, and themselves, facing famine and poverty.  The list goes on and it’s not looking good.

Yet a recent reunification and doi moi economic reform promotes an updated and sophisticated Asian nation.  A land of hope and strength, power and courage, independence and unity.  The Vietnamese are strong, proud, people.  They have overcome every speed bump in the road thus far; they will continue to overcome speed bumps in the future.  From what I have experienced, the Vietnamese will charge speed bumps at thirty kilometers an hour, horns blaring, carrying a dozen live, caged, pigs, several bags of rice, and two small children. Beep Beep!

So why were eight SJSU students studying in Vietnam this summer?  Why were SJSU faculty members Dr. Huong Nguyen and Tuan Tran translating lectures by Vietnamese social workers?  For the inexpensive beer of course!

The historic pains and recent changes have uncovered social issues in Vietnamese communities.  Issues America dealt with fifty years ago, but Vietnam only began to address yesterday.  Issues including poverty, drug abuse, elder abandonment, water purification, and unemployment.

Enter social workers. Enter San Jose State.

American social work developed early in the 19th century to repair Industrial Revolution socioeconomic issues.  Less than a decade ago, Vietnam started to recognize social work as a profession.  To develop Vietnam’s new social work infrastructure, collaboration took place this July.  SJSU students shared their thoughts regarding social issues in Vietnam.  Vietnamese social workers, lecturers, and students shared their experiences and expressed their concerns.  SJSU helped Vietnam understand issues from the outside in, from the perspective of a developed country, from a school with a well-established social work curriculum.  Vietnam showed SJSU where work is needed and the difference one person can make.  It was productive and inspiring.

Vietnam is inspiring.

Nursing students work at a clinic in Belize to check people's blood pressure. Photo by Ruth Rosenblum.

Nursing Students Gain Hands-On Experience in Belize

Nursing students jump as a group in front of a pyramid, Xunantunich Mayan ruins, in Belize. Photo by Paige Le.

Nursing students jump as a group in front of the Mayan ruins Xunantunich in Belize. Photo by Paige Le.

By Sarah Kyo, Public Affairs Assistant

Helping others and learning more about another culture went hand in hand, as 23 nursing students and two faculty members traveled to Belize for three weeks ending June 27.

Professor Ruth Rosenblum said the School of Nursing has offered faculty-led programs in the past, but not in the last few years. She chose Belize, a Central American country located south of Mexico and next to the Caribbean Sea, partially because its official language is English. Also, the country was recommended by ProWorld, an organization that offers international volunteer opportunities and internships.

“Although our cultures are very different in our beliefs, our values and our way of life, we all have the same basic needs and desires: to be healthy and cared for,” said Danielle Pepi, a senior nursing major.

The students set up free clinics and performed basic health check-ups in villages near their home base in the town of San Ignacio. Pepi said hypertension and diabetes are a couple physical conditions that afflict many Belizeans. A patient with unusually high blood pressure and blood sugar would be offered a ride to the nearest hospital or clinic to receive tools and prescription medicine.

Lecturer Arlene Spilker, who co-led the program with Rosenblum, said challenges during the trip included the humid, hot weather and “the feeling that we could have done more.”

“It would have been nice to do more, but what we did was very good and much appreciated,” Spilker said.

Pepi agreed, saying, “We could only do the best we can and I think this is something that rings true in any culture as a nurse.”

The students and faculty participated in weekend excursions, including hiking to the Mayan ruins Cahal Pech and Xunantunich, river tubing on the Mopan River, playing in the water of the Big Rock Falls, exploring the cave Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) and visiting the island Ambergris Caye.

My Lam, who recently graduated from SJSU, said she is working with ProWorld to gather data from SJSU’s trip and would like to use the information as the basis for a graduate research project in the future.

Lam said she enjoyed getting to know the locals and gaining exposure to a different environment. The trip also confirmed her nursing interests.

“I enjoyed working and I enjoyed health care,” Lam said. “I enjoy the whole idea of preventative health care as opposed to working in a hospital.”

The faculty members both said one of their favorite things was seeing the students grow during the course of the trip.

“It gave them a lot more autonomy,” Rosenblum said. “A lot of them said it was their first time feeling like a nurse and to do something without someone looking over their shoulder.”

SJSU and exchange students share a meal and conversation at a nearby restaurant.

International Gateways Program Links Arabic Language Students With Native Speakers

SJSU and exchange students share a meal and conversation at a nearby restaurant.

SJSU students studying Arabic meet Kuwaiti students studying English for conversation at a nearby eatery.

By Karen O’Neill, International Gateways Director

In Silicon Valley, we’re accustomed to hearing world languages all around us. On Fridays this summer at the Pomegranate Cafe near campus, there’s an interesting twist to the conversation. Students from the SJSU Arabic Language and Culture program were joined by students from the International Gateways program to share lunch and language.

The SJSU students are in an intensive Arabic language study program; the International Gateways students are in an intensive English language study program. The U.S. students practiced their conversational Arabic with students from Kuwait, while giving the Kuwaitis a chance to use English in an informal setting. Hand gestures seemed to play a big role in getting the message across.

“The American students asked us questions about our experiences to compare between each other,” said Mubarak Ismail, an International Gateways student. “Moreover, they asked about the syllabus and our culture. We shared about the difference between and American and Arabic culture.  Last Sunday, we went hiking for three hours in Santa Cruz with all of them and then we had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.” What a terrific way to get a taste of international cultures and languages!

Le Doan Hop and translator speak to SJSU and San Jose officials

Vietnam’s Minister of Information and Communications Visits San Jose State

Le Doan Hop and translator speak to SJSU and San Jose officials

Vietnam's Minister of Information and Communications Le Doan Hop (right) speaks to SJSU and city officials through a translator. Photo by Elena Polanco.

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Vietnam’s Minister of Information and Communications Le Doan Hop visited SJSU June 10, one stop on a mission that will take him to colleges and corporations throughout the region.

Traveling with a delegation of several dozen Vietnamese government and business leaders, Le is seeking to learn more about information and communications technologies, with the ultimate goal of doubling the number of Vietnamese workers in related industries by 2020.

He came to the right place. Joe Hedges, representing the city of San Jose’s International Programs, explained San Jose’s population boomed from 100,000 to almost one million residents on the strength of the tech industry.

Given Le’s stated interest in workforce development, College of Business Dean David Steele provided an overview of California’s higher education system and International and Extended Studies Associate Vice President and Dean Mark Novak discussed SJSU’s International Leadership Program.

The event was hosted by Professor of Management Information Systems Professor Stephen Kwan, who along with Industrial and Systems Engineering Professor Louis Freund discussed SJSU’s new Service Science, Management and Engineering Program.

These classes teach students to apply engineering techniques in areas such as quality control to complex systems within various service sector industries including health care and aviation. IBM put Le in touch with Kwan based on the professor’s work with the company on service science.

Students gathered around a table working on a group project.

Honors Seminar Prepares Students for International Work

Students gathered around a table working on a group project.

This spring, 25 of SJSU's brightest students met for a special honors seminar where they carried out a National Security Council simulation.

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

“To think like a global citizen is to live like one,” says Bill Reckmeyer. This is the leadership and systems professor’s mantra, and this spring, he got 25 of our best and brightest to live by it.

Reckmeyer taught SJSU’s first Provost’s Honors Seminar, a special interdisciplinary course to be offered on an annual basis. Reckmeyer initiated the effort after he was named SJSU’s Outstanding Professor for 2010-2011.

His course, Global Citizenship: US National Strategy for a Complex World, transformed students into staff members on the National Security Council in a semester-long simulation exploring our country’s strategic policy-making.

The 25 exceptional students who were handpicked for this seminar from hundreds of accomplished applicants had more than exemplary academic records, according to Reckmeyer.

“They represented a diverse range of students from all seven of our colleges. Not only did they have an average GPA of 3.87, but every one of them also exhibited impressive achievements outside the classroom that helped broaden their work all semester,” Reckmeyer said.

NSC simulation

The simulation focused on five major strategic issues facing the United States: energy, infrastructure, pandemics, security, and water. Each team of five students prepared a high-level strategic policy memorandum for the president.

The memos summarized the country’s vulnerabilities on its respective strategic challenge, highlighted the strategic priorities for that issue, and spelled out its strategic recommendations to address the challenge. According to Reckmeyer the interplay between these very complex issues exercised the students’ analytical abilities.

“Even though these concerns are highly complex and vitally important to enhancing the strength and well-being of the United States, the meta-challenge is that each of these strategic issues – and many others that were not examined in the course – are so interconnected that efforts to improve one can often trigger unintended adverse consequences in other issues,” Reckmeyer said.

Students benefited from Reckmeyer’s experience as a strategic consultant helping senior leadership in the federal governments of the United States and Australia during the past 40 years, as well as from his connections with practitioners and policy experts.

Expert connections

In addition to the semester-long simulation, students met with more than a dozen special guests who shared their substantial experiences and perspectives on global concerns and policy making. Guest speakers included Richard Goldstone, a Stanford University School of Law lecturer and former South African jurist who was instrumental in dismantling apartheid.

“The opportunity for extended private discussions with a variety of noted speakers made a huge difference for students, especially in terms of enabling them to explore the practical and personal realities of crafting strategies for complicated issues in a global world,” Reckemeyer said.

Reckmeyer’s leadership on campus and his commitment to providing opportunities that promote collaboration in an international context will keep on preparing SJSU students for global work and encouraging their development as global citizens.

Reckmeyer is also director of the SJSU Salzburg Program, which is dedicated to globalizing the university by discussing worldwide issues and providing students with opportunities to become better global citizens.

Argentina Lends Students Broader Perspectives, Deeper Convictions

By William Goodrich,  Senior Lead,  International and Extended Studies Marketing and Communications

Students with Professor Hector Aguilar, architect & art historian.

Students with Professor Hector Aguilar, architect & art historian.

Michael Gorman, associate professor in the School of Social Work, spent three weeks this past summer in Argentina. No, it wasn’t for vacationing or sightseeing or relaxing. It was to empower 12 students to gain a global perspective of social work, social justice and human rights in a country that has struggled with these issues and is still coming to grips with its history of human rights abuses and the economic crisis of 2002. Continue reading