Inaugural Economic and Social Impact Report Shows SJSU Contributes $4.1 Billion to California Economy

As the most transformative university in the nation, San José State’s impact on the lives of its students, faculty, staff and alumni is apparent in a multitude of ways. Thanks to a new economic and social impact report conducted by Beacon Economics using 2018-2019 fiscal year data, SJSU’s contribution to the state of California is quantifiable — generating more than $4.1 billion in total economic output for the Golden State. 

As the only public university in the Silicon Valley — a haven for investment in global innovation, entrepreneurship, and cutting-edge technology — SJSU’s return on investment is transformative for the city of San José, the region and the state. For every dollar in state funding, SJSU generates $24 in economic output in California. 

“This report highlights the tremendous value our campus brings to our communities and neighborhoods,” said President Mary A. Papazian. “Our local businesses thrive, our arts districts crackle and our civic pride swells, all due to the tens of thousands of students, staff, faculty members and other university supporters and stakeholders who populate and visit our campus.”

The report shows Spartan pride is present throughout the state, with SJSU supporting 25,462 jobs in California. A little more than 52 percent of those jobs are in the Bay Area — meaning SJSU generates employment opportunities that support the region while also maintaining and expanding existing jobs at other companies through SJSU-related spending. Overall, SJSU generates $2.4 billion in economic output for the Bay Area.

It’s not all about the money

SJSU’s impact is much more than just dollars and cents. SJSU’s true value, a direct reflection of the university’s mission to help students achieve their higher education goals in pursuit of a career, is showcased throughout the 84-page report. 

The university’s student population is 83 percent people of color and 42 percent first generation. As a top seven public school in the West, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 rankings, underrepresented students are gaining access to a world-class California State University (CSU) education at an affordable rate. This leads to upward social mobility, the foundation of the #1 Most Transformative University ranking by Money magazine.

“With a degree from a university located in the heart of innovation and creativity, students are laying the foundation for generations of their families and communities to not only have their voice be heard but also be the leading voice in important conversations in our world,” said Vincent Del Casino, Jr., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Beacon’s report says, on average, SJSU undergraduates graduate with $15,720 in student debt, less than half the average debt of California college graduates ($34,861). In turn, SJSU graduates are recruited by the world’s most influential companies, some of which are in Silicon Valley.

“SJSU’s alumni demonstrate that spending tens of thousands of dollars more on education is not necessary to achieve success or to work for competitive companies,” writes Beacon in their report. 

“SJSU’s College of Engineering provides more entry-level engineers to Silicon Valley’s Cisco Systems and Apple than any other university, and SJSU’s Lucas College and Graduate School of Business is the largest provider of business graduates to Silicon Valley.”

Local impact is global impact

Undergraduates are also well equipped with research experience as early as their first year of college. SJSU is a top 200 research university in the nation in spending, second in the CSU system. Along with pioneering research collaborations, SJSU’s cutting-edge exploration in areas like wildfires and marine science — through the nation’s largest wildfire research center, the Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center, and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, respectively — help students begin to transform the world during their time in downtown San Jose. 

“Given the far-reaching nature of Silicon Valley, research done at SJSU on a local level truly has a global impact,” said Mohamed Abousalem, vice president for research and innovation. “Our emphasis on having students participate in research early in their academic careers leads to experience with top-notch faculty that helps prepare them for success once they graduate.”

SJSU’s research, curriculum, and activities are community-centered. Spartans give back in a variety of ways, including:

  • CommUniverCity, which contributed $982,900 worth of community service in one year alone. Since its inception in 2005, CommUniverCity has contributed over $8.4 million in service to the local community, engaging over 115,000 residents directly.
  • Partnerships with the City of San Jose expand arts and cultural resources to city residents through the Hammer Theatre and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.
  • The Center for Development of Recycling provides research and technical support to the Counties of Santa Clara and San Mateo on their recycling programs. Students contributed over $1.7 million in in-kind services to the counties.
  • Giving community members a second chance at building their lives. The Records Clearance Project (RCP) allows Justice Studies students to provide legal assistance to low-income community members. With a 99 percent success rate, RCP has helped residents remove over $120,000 worth of debt and helped dismiss over 1,600 convictions for more than 550 individuals.
  • The Beyond Sparta program. Beyond Sparta engages all student-athletes with the community to not only provide service, but also provide them opportunities to professionally develop their own skills.

Editor’s Note: Beacon Economics’ full report is available on the SJSU Economic and Social Impact Report website.

New “21@2021” Virtual Exhibit Elevates an Ancient Chinese Artform to a New Realm

21@2021 Virtual Exhibit

What do the ancient art of Chinese brush painting and virtual reality have in common? Hint: It’s not their age.

SJSU’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Library’s new “21@2021” virtual exhibit showcases the more than 6,000-year-old art of Chinese painting done on colorful lanterns — including a virtual reality (VR) experience that puts guests literally in touch with the artwork — in celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

As one of the oldest styles of painting in the world, Chinese brush painting is considered a living art. Its themes typically reflect serenity and peace and easily lend themselves to contemporary execution for modern day artists and enthusiasts.

The exhibition highlights the artwork of three generations of the Chan Lim family, who have been pioneering new media, styles and techniques that integrate Western art with the Chinese brush style in the United States and around the world for more than half a century.

Unlike Western brushes, the Chinese brush features a handle made of bamboo and topped with animal hair used for making meticulous strokes on rice paper — which is also very difficult to correct if mistakes are made. The finished works are then stretched and mounted on thicker paper to make them stronger and often attached to scrolls, or in this case lanterns, for hanging.

The driving force behind “21@2021” is Lucas College and Graduate School of Business faculty member Bobbi Makani-Lim, PhD, who contributed to and curated the exhibit along with her husband Felix Chan Lim, PhD, a faculty member of Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program who works in the Silicon Valley semiconductor industry. The pair also co-teach a course about the tradition of Chinese brush painting at Stanford.

Art binds the family together

As Makani-Lim describes, it is a common language among them: “When you talk about Chinese brush painting, everyone understands this is what we do as a family.”

Pre-COVID-19, the family would put on exhibits of their work around the world, including Japan, Taiwan, Philippines and China; in shopping malls in Asia, thousands would attend to view the 300-400 works of art in a given show. The Chan Lim family currently has artworks on exhibit at the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport.

They held their first art exhibition at San José State in 2018. In addition to the Chinese brush, they displayed oil and acrylic paintings, Chinese fans as well as ceramics. The show was so well received, they decided to return for the 20th anniversary of the Chan Lim family’s artistic collaborations in 2020, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The family had already begun shipping lanterns from overseas to contribute to what had originally been planned as an in-person exhibit. They pivoted quickly and came up with a new gameplan: a digital experience that would include a virtual reality component.

“The digital format allows our guests to have a feeling of being in a natural exhibit, and if they have VR goggles, they can go in and actually play with some of the lanterns,” said Makani-Lim.

“VR isn’t just for gaming, it can be for art exhibits,” too, she added.

Taking art to the next level

For the King Library, “It is the first example of an interactive VR experience,” says Lesley Seacrist, the library’s ‎project and communications manager. “That means multiple users can be in the same room at the same time and can interact with each other. It’s like being in an actual museum.”

All visitors can enter seven different themed “rooms” and use their keyboard to navigate around and view the hanging lanterns and paintings on the virtual walls. There are also slide shows that play in the background that describe the themes and their popularity in Chinese painting.

More than 500 hours of human and computer time went into creating the virtual reality piece, including setting the scenes, rendering the lanterns, and developing digital galleries for the artwork, according to Jon Oakes, the library’s technology labs coordinator. They had to take photos and videos of the more than 70 lanterns to capture every angle, horizontal and vertical, over several weeks.

With VR goggles, guests can reach out and touch the lanterns, a feature that would not normally be possible in a physical environment because of their delicate nature.

Sharing culture and tradition

It’s been over a year since students, faculty, staff and community members have been able to freely wander the halls of the King Library’s fifth floor, where “21@2021” would have been held.

The fifth floor is also where the Africana, Asian American, Chicano, and Native American Studies Center’s (AAACNA) collections of art, artifacts, books, resources and other documents of cultural heritage are housed. Among the goals of the center is to provide a gathering space for SJSU and community members that promotes and supports programming that celebrates historically underrepresented groups.

“We are bringing a very traditional art into a very modern sort of space,” said Kathryn Blackmer Reyes, librarian and director of the AAACNA center and curator of its multifaceted collections. To her, it’s an exciting space — a gallery of art and culture — with a lot of room and potential for creativity and technology to come together.

“I think what’s so beautiful is that we are exhibiting this very traditional art with contemporary artists, and to bring it to students and communities who don’t necessarily know [Chinese brush painting], it’s exciting that we are incorporating people into the art in a very innovative format,” she added.

Ultimately, postponing the exhibit brought the opportunity to reimagine how visitors can experience the art into a new realm of virtual reality — one that allows them to experience art in a tangible way again, interacting with others while remaining in the comfort of their own spaces.

“We’re hoping we’re able to reach different generations and help them get that feeling that this art is thousands of years old,” said Makani-Lim. “We’ve got to keep it going, so it doesn’t end up like another one of those things that you just read about but no longer exists,” she added.

“Usually for younger generations, Chinese painting is not something that they like to do, but because you’re adding technology, now you’re doing something different, enticing them to look at the art another way,” said Lim.

Learn more and view the “21@2021″ virtual exhibit, including a recording of a recent special talk about Chinese culture and brush painting, and demonstrations from exhibition artists and of the virtual reality experience.

Police Activity: King Library Closed Jan. 11

King Library

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

SJSU Media Relations Contact: Pat Harris,, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library on the grounds of San Jose State University has been closed for the remainder of Monday, Jan. 11. The library is expected to re-open Tuesday, Jan. 12.

At 3 p.m. Jan. 11, an individual fell from the sixth floor interior atrium to the ground floor. The University Police Department and Santa Clara County Medical Examiner are investigating the death. There is no evidence to suggest foul play or any on-going safety threat.

The medical examiner will release the victim’s identity after contacting next of kin. The individual is not an SJSU student or employee. Anyone with information on the case should call UPD at (408) 924-2222.

SJSU and the city of San Jose co-manage King Library, which serves the public and all university community members. SJSU is extending condolences to all who have been affected by this tragedy.

SJSU provides counseling at no cost to students and employees. Students may contact Counseling and Psychological Services at (408) 924-5910. Faculty and staff may contact the Employee Assistance Program offered through SJSU Human Resources at (800) 367-7474.

San Jose Mercury News: San Jose State’s Japanese Internment Camp Archives to be Digitized

Posted by the San Jose Mercury News on July 2, 2015.

SAN JOSE — Jimi Yamaichi was 19 when he and his family were torn away from their farm in San Jose and incarcerated in a desolate, treeless internment camp in northern Wyoming with thousands of other Japanese-Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“When we were leaving home and going to the camps, I saw Mom and Dad with tears in their eyes, looking at the green fields ready to be harvested, and they had to leave,” said Yamaichi, a 92-year-old San Jose resident and the curator of the San Jose Japanese-American Museum. “After 20 years of work, their investment had gone down the tubes.”

For Yamaichi and the dwindling number of surviving Japanese-Americans who were forced into the camps, this dark period of American history is an indelible part of their own stories.

But before their recollections fade with the passing generations, a new project is under way to preserve the family letters, photographs and government documents connected to the World War II internment camps.

Over the next two years, San Jose State and 14 other campuses in the California State University system will be digitizing 10,000 documents into a searchable database called the CSU Japanese American History Digitization Project. A $320,000 grant from the National Park Service will soon make these pieces of history available to the public online.

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.


Latino Comics Expo poster

SJSU Hosts Latino Comics Expo

Kathryn Blackmer Reyes

Kathryn Blackmer Reyes, sketched by comic book artist Rafael Navarro (courtesy of Blackmer Reyes).

Librarian Kathryn Blackmer Reyes walked into the 2011 Latino Comics Expo in San Francisco and sensed a tremendous opportunity for the artists and for San Jose State.

She could see how the comics, meticulously created to authentically incorporate the Latino and Chicano experience, had the potential to inspire all kinds of students, from animation/illustration majors to ethnic studies majors.

So Blackmer Reyes began a Latino comics special collection, and this year, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library will host the 2014 Latino Comics Expo on Oct. 11 and 12. The event is free and open to the public.

The expo will include two exhibit rooms featuring cartoonists, writers, illustrators, zine makers and book vendors, as well as panels, presentations and children’s workshops.

Latino comics is about far more than eye-catching imagery, Blackmer Reyes explains. The following was edited for length.

Q. Do you need to know Spanish to read Latino comics?

A. This is about the U.S. experience so primarily, the text is going to be in English, but the artists are going to incorporate that U.S.-Latino feel. They use a lot of icons, like Lucha Libre, so the art includes pop culture that speaks to many in the vast Latino (U.S. and international) populations. They can be personal stories. We are also getting more women represented in the field and they’re bringing in their stories and characters as well. We are also seeing more indigenous images. I’m asked if this is Chicano Studies and frankly Chicano Studies is anything that represents and speaks to the Latino population regardless of its format. It’s about a people and it’s a story that can be told in the social sciences or the arts and humanities.

Latino Comics Expo poster features Lalo Alcaraz.

The Latino Comics Expo poster features artist Lalo Alcaraz.

Q. Who’s your favorite character?

A. As a librarian, I am interested in the entire field but when I first discovered this, it was through the Bros. Hernandez, who are considered the godfathers of Chicano comics. Their “Love & Rockets” series is incredibly important. It tells stories of individuals from the barrio. That was my first exposure. Later I was introduced to Lalo Alcaraz who does the comic strip “La Cucaracha,” and who is currently working on a TV show with Seth McFarlane called “Bordertown.” These artists are probably the most successful Chicano comic artists commercially.

Q. What’s your background?

A. I was born and raised in San Francisco and for my first 15 years, when school was out, I would be in Mexico City for the summer. I completed my B.A. in Chicano Studies at UC Davis. At UC Davis, my professors would send us to UC Berkeley to do research and that’s where I was introduced to my first Chicano Studies Library. Then I went to graduate school for sociology at Binghamton University. I was in a Ph.D. program and found myself showing undergraduates how to do research in the library. I really liked the idea of working in libraries, so on my return to the Bay Area, I entered the School of Information program here at SJSU. Before becoming a librarian here, I worked at UC Santa Cruz and then Sacramento State.

Aztec of the City, a comic book created and written by Fernando Rodriguez, will be joining us once again at the Latino Comics Expo. Launched in San José back in 1993

Latino Comics Expo participants will include San Jose native Fernando Rodriguez, who created “Aztec of the City” (image courtesy of Latino Comics Expo).

Q. Why collect comics?

A. I work at King Library’s Cultural Heritage Center, which houses the U.S. race and ethnic materials (Africana, Asian American, Chicano, and Comparative Ethnic Studies). So you’ll see collections with books that students can check out. My job is somewhat different from others in that I’m purchasing materials to provide a vision for these special collections. My hope is that students will be able to find topics that not only interest them but also “speak” to them. You want the collections to connect to them so that they can write that research paper. What I do, be it through the comics or books, is help students to succeed in that effort. Through my collections, I’m hoping they connect. Alone, comic books may serve of little scholarly value but put scholarly books in the mix and you can get a research paper. Comics have come a long way, and it’s also not just Latinos who are actively producing these works. It has become an outlet to present the U.S. ethnic experience in another voice.

Q. Was it hard to convince the library to collect Latino comics?

A. These are things that are left to the librarian to pick and choose, depending on what you think is important, and it’s also a question of what’s being taught. You hope there’s going to be interest and you’re reacting to what you see as growth in the field. It’s a treasure for San Jose to have this start-up collection.


What would Dr. King say?

Bronze bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by renowned artist Sascha Schnittmann at King Library (Christina Olivas photo).

Bronze bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by renowned artist Sascha Schnittmann at King Library (Christina Olivas photo).

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The students of San Jose State have long stood on the frontlines of civic and social justice movements. Over the decades, Spartans have rallied against everything from environmental pollution and unfair wages to chemical weapons and, most famously, racial inequality, as immortalized by the statue of Tommie Smith and John Carlos in their 1968 Olympics Black Power salute. This statue, along with the Cesar Chavez Memorial Arch and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, represents the dream of social justice that San Jose State strives to embody.

But, given the recent alleged hate crimes in our residence hall, is true equality still just a dream? With Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day upon us, we’ve turned our ear to the community. Below is a small selection of comments posted on news stories and social media by individuals near and far, along with some of King’s most poignant words.

What do you think King would say today?

“I read that a university freshman was harassed for three months in a dorm community regarding his racial identification, yet the problem was not identified by the university until a parent intervened. I worry that the university is losing the battle of survival in the 21st century.”

-Gerald McMinn, ’72, posted on Washington Square online

King: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus characterthat is the goal of true education.”

“Don’t deny him his education. Make him do community service in the inner city.”

Tim Nourie, posted on KTVU Channel 2’s Facebook page 

King: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

“Haven’t any of you people heard of hazing? I am not saying it’s right; hazing is stupid and unnecessary and causes a lot of BS. Despite what I think, it happens. I agree this kid and his accessories should definitely be slapped with some consequences because of what they did. It doesn’t matter if the victim was black and the perpetrators were white. It was people doing stupid things to a person.”

Brianna Marie, posted on KTVU Channel 2’s Facebook page

King: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“Being a blond-haired, blue-eyed, white guy around enough people who assume I probably don’t care for some non-whites and feel free to express their true feelings, I can tell you racism is alive and well in mainstream America. There is still a long fight that needs to be waged, and the fight only gets worse the longer some folks continue to deny that racism is still a factor in America. It is, be embarrassed by it, and don’t perpetuate it by pretending it isn’t.”

Andy, posted on CNN’s website

King: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

“Perhaps a little jail time might help…but that costs money and it’s time to stop trying to jail or imprison everyone who doesn’t think like you. Could there perhaps be a teach-in, and allow them to admit they were wrong without resorting to jail or prison? Unless you’re hell-bent on vengeance, I think that’s a better direction to go in.”

Blair Whitney, posted on the Mercury News’ website

King: “I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.”

Remembering Dr. King

As sunlight streamed through the 20-foot-tall glass walls of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library foyer, people from all walks of life gathered Jan. 15 to sing, dance and speak in memory of the nation’s beloved civil rights leader.

Organizers dedicated this year’s King Day event to Nelson Mandela, given both men were “united in the struggle to combat human suffering.”

SJSU students Diana Crumedy and Gary L. Daniels received the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” said Dorothy Poole, chief of staff for the Office of the President.

Quoting King during her remarks, she noted that while conditions in our country have improved in some ways, college graduation rates for people of color continue to lag, a point especially relevant in this library, which jointly serves the city and university.

As the program ended, the voices of everyone in attendance echoed up through a permanent banner display overhead. One featuring Dr. King is especially poignant this year.

His quote? “The complete education gives one not only the power of concentration but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.”

10 Reasons to be a Proud Spartan

Spartan Squad Students

Students earn points and prizes for attending home games. Everyone who registers will be entered into a drawing for an all-expenses paid trip to the Oct. 5 football game in Hawaii. (Christina Olivas Photo)

1. Register for Spartan Squad Student Rewards and win a trip to Hawaii!

2. ESPN will broadcast Friday night’s football game. During breaks in the action, see spots on judo, animation, Spartan Racing and Grupo Folklorico Luna y Sol.

3. After receiving the Positive Coaching Alliance’s Double-Goal Coaching Award, kinesiology alumna Valerie Garcia Quintero said this:

“At a banquet last week, I was given the opportunity to speak and when I did, I made sure to speak about how wonderful and amazing the faculty and my department was at SJSU and how much I learned from them. I’ve been asked how I know how to coach and I tell them that I have had great coaches to learn from but I was extremely lucky to have had professionals in the field to teach me through my major.”

4. Check out this video showing how donors power all majors, including nursing, business, and urban and regional planning.

5. The SJSU chapter of political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha was named the best in the nation for the 2012-13 academic year.

“My department is very proud of these students for achieving this national recognition for the first time in SJSU’s history,” Professor Ken Peter said. “Sol Jobrack, chapter president, is a full-time student and new father and commutes daily from Stockton on the train, on which he works as a transit officer. Bill McCraw, who is marking his 50th year teaching at SJSU, was one of the founding faculty members of SJSU’s chapter.”

6. Three Silicon Valley Startup Cup finalists are from SJSU. Their ideas? A gamer lounge, laboratory supply service and cranium x-ray shield.

10 Reasons to be a Proud Spartan

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library presents this six-week series focusing on film history and popular music.

7. Where else can you go to the library to check out the shared history of film and pop music from the blues and Broadway to rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop? Live performances included!

8. George Whaley, professor emeritus of human resource management, has received the 2013 Trailblazer Award from The PhD Project, which helps African American, Native American and Hispanic students earn their PhDs and become business professors.

9. SJSU’s renowned occupational therapy program is celebrating its 70th anniversary. Think of all the people living better lives with help from our graduates.

10. Spartans stay connected online. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.

Student Assistant Amanda Holst contributed to this report.

Celebrating East African Immigrants

Celebrating East African Immigrants

Celebrating East African Immigrants

The Silicon Valley East African Diaspora Project represents immigrants from six nations: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan (Michael Cheers photo).

The uncertain future of the diversity visa program and a novel online timeline tool are heightening interest in a new King Library exhibit sharing immigration stories of Silicon Valley’s East Africans.

But equally important is the way “Celebrate!” tells the story of an immigrant experience familiar to so many in the South Bay, perhaps the most ethnically diverse community in the nation.

The show opens Aug. 31 and continues through Sept. 29 at the Jennifer and Philip Di Napoli Gallery on the second floor of King Library.

Expect photojournalism, digital technology, films, cultural memorabilia, and text to introduce immigrants from six East African nations: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan.

“‘The exhibit will increase the visibility of our region’s East African immigrants and their contributions to its economic, cultural, religious, and intellectual growth,” said Project Director and Professor of African American Studies Ruth P. Wilson.

Here are more details from SJSU’s Silicon Valley East African Diaspora Project.


Along the surfaces of seven gallery walls will hang portraits of East Africans engaged in work, family life, community events and faith. Most poignantly captured is the intensity of the commitment of persons engaged in collective worship activities, family life and work. Whether in an evangelical healing service, a mosque or a Coptic church, immigrant communities of faith seek meaning in their new home away from home, find hope as they work to survive and thrive, and find comfort in celebrating the cultural rituals that make life more meaningful for individuals and families.

They consistently strive to support family members here, and in their home countries, who depend on them for some of the basic necessities: food, shelter, school fees, medicine, hospital care and funeral expenses. This collection of more than 50 photographs by photojournalist Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications D. Michael Cheers captures the similarities and diversities of gendered, ethnic, religious, socio-economic and family experiences in these East African diaspora communities.

Telling Our Stories

TimeShaker, a Silicon Valley start-up, presents a new way to tell our immigrants’  stories. “What was the sequence of events that brought you to the U.S.?” and “What were the key events that have happened since arriving?” View these immigrants’ stories on a timeline, and overlay other pieces of history such as the history of their homeland or the history of U.S. immigration policies.

This allows you to see their stories relative to the world around them. These stories seek to evoke the audience’s sense of connection not only to these immigrants, but all immigrants as they face the challenges of adjusting to living in another country. In this part of the exhibit, visitors will view a short video that introduces the East African immigrants’ stories, then log into

Visit TimeShaker’s online portal to read the rest of the stories using an interactive, digital storytelling tool.


Film screenings will evoke discussions, sharing of insights, and education of the general public about issues confronting East Africans in the United States and on the African continent. Some of these provocatively informative films, including but not limited to Salem Mekuria’s documentary “Deluge- Yewenze Meabel,” Kobina Aidoo’s “The Neo-African Americans”, and Vulcan Productions and Intel Corporation’s “Girl Rising,” will be shown on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, in Room 227, right
across from the main exhibit. Each film addresses important issues for immigrant communities in the valley, in their home countries, and in diaspora communities throughout the world. Scholars and community activists will lead the discussions and panels after the screenings.

Cultural Memorabilia

Six display cases will be dispersed throughout the exhibit, one for each of the six East African nationalities represented in the exhibit. Each case will contain cultural memorabilia treasured by immigrant communities. While viewing jewelry, beaded objects, woven tapestries, stoneware, religious relics, carvings, coffee pots used in coffee ceremonies, cooking utensils, prayer beads, etc., visitors will realize the homogeneity and diversity of some of humanity’s most ancient human civilizations and cultures.

The Meaning of Democracy

This text-based visual display seeks to explore themes in immigrant interviews on the meaning of democracy. It attempts to bridge the gap between a concept that has special meaning for immigrants’ nascent democracies, and America’s, where many citizens take the right to participate in governance for granted, often foregoing the most basic of civil responsibilities—
participation in the selection of candidates for office, and the right to vote. Featured are East Africans’ thoughts on the promise of democracy and their hopes for more opportunities offered in the Valley and in their distant homelands.

When Africa calls, East Africans answer. They travel throughout California, the nation and abroad for worship, weddings, sporting events, funerals, graduations, birthday parties, christenings, and feasts.

And, family members from the home country come to America to celebrate many other important family events. No matter what, East Africans’ enthusiastic celebrations include cultural foods, dance, music, colorful dress, and congregating as a community. Join them at “Celebrate!”

Participating community organizations include: Bay Area Somali Association, Bay Area South Sudan Association, Eritrean Community and Cultural Center of San Jose, the Eritrean Community Center of  Santa Clara, and the Ethiopian Cultural and Community Center.

Sponsors include the African Women’s Development Fund USA and the Cal Humanities California Documentaries Project.

Celebrating a Partnership

Ten years ago, when the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library on the grounds of San Jose State opened its doors, it was the only example nationwide of a city and university coming together to co-develop and co-manage a library.

And not just any library, but a crown jewel, with distinctive architecture and art installations designed to inspire learners from all walks of life in a valley whose hallmark is innovation and education.

So when library officials set out to produce materials celebrating the 10th anniversary of the city-university partnership, they sought artwork reflecting the library’s unique attributes.

For this, they turned to a very talented group of SJSU art students under the instruction of Professor Gale Antokal. Their assignment? To paint the library from their own perspectives as students and patrons but to also weave in the city-university connections, the pathways from the city onto campus and vice versa.

The result is these gorgeous watercolors, which adorn street banners and posters getting the word out about the kickoff for the month-long celebration. President Mohammad Qayoumi will join Mayor Chuck Reed 11 a.m. Sept. 5 in the the lobby of King Library, born of a partnership that remains unique a full decade later.

“Picturing Our Library: Watercolors by SJSU Art Students,” an exhibition featuring 18 of the student watercolors, opens Sept. 3 on the fourth floor, and will continue through the end of the month. Rendered this spring, these paintings captures the remarkable vantage points of interior and exterior landscapes of the King Library.

Here’s how organizers summarized the show:

“Our library is a center for knowledge, a symbol of innovation, a place of reflection, and it is a playground for the curious and imaginative. Highlighting the multiplicity our library, each watercolor presents our library as a monumental feat of architecture, intellectual resources, and cumulative experiences from our community. Our library gives its patrons as much as we give it, and the heart of our library is the bond we have chosen to cherish and develop over the past 10 years.  Our library is a hub of possibility—whether inside it, outside it, or beyond it—our library is always with us.”

Learn more about the King Library 10th Anniversary Celebration.

Sammy Spartan in class

Cramming? We’re Here to Help!

Sammy Spartan in class

It’s time to take those exams! Go Sammy go!

Check out all the exam week specials offered by Parking Services, King Library, Spartan Shops, Spartan Bookstore, Associated Students and Housing Services:

“Any holders of park-and-ride permits or one-day-a-week or two-day-a-week parking permits can park on campus May 15 through May 22. So even if you don’t have a full-price permit, you can park in campus garages during exam week. The park-and-ride shuttles will operate Wed., May 15, through Tues., May 21.” — Denny Yau, Parking Services assistant manager

“King Library will be open all night during much of exam week. Get the details here. On Fourth Cafe will be open until midnight on May 14, 15, 16, 19 and 20. Before cafe workers leave for the night, they will set up a free coffee stand for students hitting the books through the night. On May 17, the cafe closes at 5 p.m., so coffee will be available beginning around 5:30 p.m.” — Bridget Kowalczyk, King Library senior assistant librarian

“Spartan Shops is ready to help you prepare for finals! Our eateries will have special, extended hours during finals week, including On Fourth Cafe which will close at midnight for everyone studying late at King Library. To start the first day of finals, find our Nesquik team in front of the Village Market 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wed., May 15, and get a free bottle of Nesquik chocolate milk! Plus, find pencils, scantrons, green books, and drinks at our various dining locations.” — Stephanie Fabian, Spartan Shops marketing manager

“The Spartan Bookstore is here for all of your exam and graduation needs!! We have blue books, scantrons, pencils and smiling employees ready to wish you the best on your final exams! For your convenience, we will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sat., May 18 and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sat., May 25. Good Luck Spartans!!” — Ryland Metzinger, Spartan Bookstore director

“Students can usually find a quiet space in the A.S. House Fireside Room during business hours. The A.S. Student Programming Board hands out snacks and other giveaways across campus during exam week. The Computer Services Center will open early at 7:30 a.m., and the Print Shop will be open extended hours 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fri., May 24.” — Kelli Williams, Associated Students associate executive director

“In order to better meet the study needs of all housing residents, the Living Learning Center (LLC) located on the first floor of Campus Village Building B has expanded its hours during finals. The LLC will now be open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily through Tues., May 21. This space is designed for group and individual study, with quiet study after 8 p.m.” — Stephanie G. Hubbard, Residential Life associate director

Commencement is right around the corner! Check out what Sammy’s been up to as he prepares to graduate.

Student Learning and Research Commons

Student Learning & Research Commons

Student Learning and Research Commons

The view from the SJSU Student Learning and Research Commons (Elisabeth Thomas photo).

Are you a student looking for a comfortable place to work on a research paper, where you can borrow a computer and get help from a librarian?

Then you might want to check out the SJSU Student Learning and Research Commons at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library. A grand opening and dedication will be held 1 p.m. Jan. 31 in the space, which is above the Children’s Room.

“This new space brings technology and support together in one physical place, and it will continue to grow and change as technology and student needs grow and change,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Junn.

The commons also offers a glimpse of the future for libraries.

“Today information comes to us. With e-books and databases, students can do much of their research from home or even while riding public transit,” said University Library Dean Ruth Kifer. “But even as information becomes increasingly digital, students still need a physical space to talk, plan and learn.”

Need a printer or wifi? No problem. Both will be available at the commons, along with desktops, laptops and iPads. You’ll also find meeting space with whiteboards for group projects. And in case you’ve got a question, library staff will be right there for research and technical support.

You’ll need your Tower Card to get in. This commons is for SJSU only. On Jan. 31, everyone will be treated to complimentary coffee and hourly giveaways.

For the rest of spring term, the commons will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

“Beethoven’s Vienna” Comes to Life

“Beethoven’s Vienna” Comes to Life

“Beethoven’s Vienna” Comes to Life

Hand-colored, perspective-view engraving of the Schwarzenberg Palace (courtesy of Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies).

Engravings of battle scenes and palaces. A Viennese cookbook from 1803. A zograscope and vue d’optique prints. A lock of hair. A quill pen. Music manuscripts. Period instruments. What do these items have in common?

They allow us to look into the years between 1792 and 1827 when Ludwig van Beethoven lived and worked in Vienna. “Beethoven’s Vienna – Music-Making, Machinery and Technology, the Imperial Capital and Its Surroundings, and Everyday Life” opens Jan. 26 at the King Library Special Collections exhibit hall and Beethoven Center.

The exhibit is free and open to the public through May 25. The pieces were curated by the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies.  The center is the only institution in North America devoted solely to the life, works and accomplishments of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Established in 1983 when Ira F. Brilliant donated his Beethoven collection to San Jose State, the center officially opened in September 1985 with a gala co-sponsored by the San Jose Symphony. Building on Brilliant’s original donation, the center now has the largest collection of Beethoven materials outside of Europe.

In addition to functioning as a research library and museum, the center is involved in a variety of educational programs and sponsors concerts, lectures, tours, and other events.

books on a shelf

Celebrating San Jose State’s Authors

Celebrating SJSU Authors

More than 50 members of our faculty, staff and administration authored, co-authored or edited 61 books published in 2011 and 2012 (photo courtesy of King Library).

Join us as we celebrate the 53 members of our faculty, staff and administration who authored, co-authored or edited 61 books published in 2011 and 2012. This event will recognize these truly outstanding authors and researchers, all of whom have made significant contributions.

San Jose State University Annual Author Awards
Date: Monday, Nov. 5, 2012
Time: 3–5 p.m.
Location: King 225/229

Please RSVP by Nov. 1.

View a complete list of authors who have had a book published in 2011 and 2012.

The Office of the Provost, University Library and Spartan Bookstore are proud to sponsor this event. If you have any questions, please contact Elisabeth Thomas at (408) 808-2193.

King Library's Academic Gateway

King Library’s Academic Gateway

King Library Offers "Academic Gateway"

“Day of the Dead 2012: The Art of Remembrance” exhibit continues through Oct. 31 at the DiNapoli Gallery on the second floor (Elisabeth Thomas photo).

An event celebrating SJSU book authors, new databases for scholarly research, an information literacy skills symposium, the Affordable Learning Solutions initiative and upcoming events (including “Day of the Dead 2012: The Art of Remembrance” exhibit through Oct. 31 at the DiNapoli Gallery on the second floor) are among the many topics covered in the latest issue of King Library’s “Academic Gateway” newsletter. It’s oriented toward the faculty, but it’s a great resource for everyone. Check it out now [PDF].

RSVP by Nov. 1 if you would like to attend the SJSU authors event 3-5 p.m. Nov. 5 in King 225–229. The Office of the Provost, University Library and Spartan Bookstore are jointly hosting what they hope will become an annual celebration. Faculty and staff members who have recently published a book will be honored. Their work includes scholarly books, fiction and nonfiction, poetry, art and textbooks, anthologies and edited books.

Join SJSU on Pinterest!

Join SJSU on Pinterest!

Join SJSU on Pinterest!

SJSU is now on Pinterest, a visual bookmarking website for bringing together online themes. Users collect and combine their own themes by “repining” items onto their boards, creating their own virtual spaces.

This week, SJSU launched its official presence on Pinterest, a visual bookmarking website for bringing together online themes. Users collect and combine their own themes by “repining” items onto their boards, create their own virtual spaces.

We’ve posted 18 boards including Sammy Spartan, Helping and Caring, and Bright Ideas, side by side with our top hits, South Bay Eats and Dorm Décor. So far we have received great responses, not to mention 48 followers. up from 13 followers since our launch Oct. 8.

We carefully crafted pins that we think represent SJSU and Spartan culture. The use of Pinterest allows us to bring awareness to our campus and show off our community.

We are also supporting our fellow SJSU pinners who have joined the Pinterest community, including our friends at the College of Applied Arts and Sciences, Department of Justice Studies, Department of Kinesiology, Don and Sally Lucas Graduate School of Business, SJSU Special Collections and Archives, SJSU Career Center and King Library,

Michael Brito’s MCOM 139 Social Business class is a good way to see how Pinterest can be used as a medium for the classroom.

Stay tuned for opportunities to add your own flavor to SJSU culture with upcoming community boards.

We hope you’ll visit and repin us.

Visit us at


King Library Awarded Silver LEED Certification

King Library Awarded LEED Silver Certification

A close-up of a bamboo tree that was re-used during construction as a sustainable feature

A giant tree that had to be removed during construction was cut and used to cover a column from the lower level all the way up to the 8th floor, one of many environmentally friendly practices incorporated into the library's development (King Library photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Hard work by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library design and operations teams has paid off. The seminal structure was recently awarded LEED© silver certification for its environmentally friendly features.

“It’s a significant achievement for our campus community to have a library that is energy efficient, healthy for its occupants, and doesn’t harm the environment,” said Tung Pham, library facilities and purchasing coordinator.

The United States Green Building Council administers the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, a rating system used to measure green building design, construction and function.

Buildings are measured against a 100-point scale, and credits are weighted to reflect potential environmental impacts. The four levels of certification are certified, silver, gold and platinum.

“In the long run, I believe the way we operate the building can be more important that how it was built,” Pham said.

Over the last three years, a committee worked on LEED certification requirements in the following categories: water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation and design, and sustainable sites.

The design team incorporated the following “green” features into the library, which was completed in 2003:

  • placed study tables along the windows to benefit from natural light and placed shelving inward to minimize sunlight damage to books
  • combined the San Jose Public Library and San Jose State University Library into one building, saving resources and freeing up other buildings for re-use
  • designed bicycle storage and shower/changing area for library staff
  • implemented dual plumbing that uses recycled water for flushing toilets and urinals
  • used non-traditional recycling, including reupholstering aging furniture and incorporating a redwood tree removed during construction as a piece of public art

Tours focusing on the library’s design and green/sustainable features (in addition to collections and art) are available every Thursday at 11:30 a.m.

Philip Ahn's Hollywood star

King Library Highlights Pioneering Korean Americans

Philip Ahn's Hollywood star

Philip Ahn, the first Asian American actor to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is one of 10 individuals featured in King Library's “The Lives and Contributions of Pioneering Korean Americans” exhibit.

By Diana Wu, Librarian, University Library

“The Lives and Contributions of Pioneering Korean Americans” exhibit at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library showcases ten individuals who have made outstanding and significant contributions to the community and their professions.

A bibliography is also provided for further study on those people’s lives and Korean American.

The featured individuals are Philip Ahn, Judge Herbert Choy, Philip Jaisohn, Yanghill Kang, Harry Hyung-Soon Kim, Willa Kim, Young Oak Kim, Sammy Lee, Nam June Paik, and Grace Lyu-Volckhausen.

Philip Ahn is the first Asian American actor to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Judge Herbert Young Choy is the first Asian American judge named to a federal court and the first Korean American to be admitted to the bar.

Philip Jaisohn is the first Korean to be naturalized as an American citizen and the first U.S.-educated Korean to receive a medical degree. Dr. Jaisohn was a physician, civil servant, political activist and newspaper publisher.

Younghill Kang is known as the father of Korean American Literature.

Harry Hyung-Soon Kim established the Kim Brothers company and, along with his brothers, became the first Korean American millionaire by producing and distributing nectarines, known as “fuzzless peaches.”

Willa Kim is the first Korean American to win Tony and Emmy awards for costume design and was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2007.

Colonel Young Oak Kim is the first Asian to lead an Army division and was a highly decorated World War II and Korean War veteran.

Sammy Lee is the first non-white American-born Asian to win an Olympic gold medal in diving. He is a physician.

Grace Lyu-Volckhausen has been a community activist and advocate for immigrants for over 35 years.

Nam June Paik is the father of video art.

The display runs through May 30 at the Cultural Heritage Center exhibit area on the fifth floor, and is one portion of the university’s Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration.

Sponsors include the Asian American Advisory Committee, Cultural Heritage Center and King Library.

“Affordable Learning $olutions” Lowers Textbook Costs

poster for event

Affordable Learning $olutions flier (University Library image)

The Affordable Learning $olutions Fair at 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 9 in King Library will kick off the university’s initiative to work as a community to help lower the costs of textbooks for SJSU students.  The SJSU bookstore estimates that on average students pay up to $1,700 per year on textbooks.  This is an enormous financial burden for students who must balance the higher cost of student fees, textbooks, groceries, and other living expenses.  This daylong event will identify ways that the faculty can help keep the cost of course materials affordable for students.  Attend and learn about ways to utilize technology to create interactive learning resources or to adopt ebooks that may be available freely to students via the library.  The program for the day is below.  All faculty members and students are invited to attend for part of the day or for the entire day if you are available.

Lunch will be provided by the Spartan Bookstore and two iPads and several iTunes gift cards will be raffled during the course of the day. A special thank you to the Spartan Bookstore for its generosity.

Please RSVP by Friday, April 6 to (408) 808-2419 or


Affordable Learning $olutions Fair
April 9, 2012
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
King Library:  Room 225/229


10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
President Qayoumi
“Opening Remarks”

10:15 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.
Provost Junn

10:25 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Ryland Metzinger, Manager, Spartan Bookstore
“Textbooks in Spartan Bookstore”

11 a.m. – noon
Gerry Hanley, Senior Director of Academic Technology, CSU Chancellor’s Office
“Affordable Learning $olutions – What the CSU is Doing”

Noon – 1 p.m.
Student and Faculty Panels during lunch
Lunch provided courtesy of Spartan Bookstore from Spartan Shops

1 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Jay Matheson, Education Development Executive, Apple
“Ibooks, IPads, ITunes U”

1:45 p.m. – 1:55 p.m.
Break/Raffle iPad

1:55 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.
Jennifer Redd introduces Jeff Shelstad, CEO, Flatworld
“Flatworld Demonstration”

2:40 p.m. – 3:25 p.m.
Emily Puckett Rogers, Open Education Coordinator, University of Michigan

3:25 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Gerry Hanley
“Closing remarks”
Raffle iPad