The University Scholar Series is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the University Library, the Spartan Bookstore, Faculty Affairs and Graduate Studies & Research. Hosted by Interim Provost Joan Ficke, this series provides a unique opportunity for showcasing the important research and scholarly activities of SJSU faculty members. During each semester there are typically three speakers. The presentations included here date from the Fall 2010 semester to the present.
All students, faculty, and staff members are invited to attend these events. Members of the public are welcome as well.
If you would like additional information, please contact Lesley Seacrist in the University Library at 808-2431.
Blockchain: Transformative Applications for Libraries and Education
Blockchain applications and use cases for libraries have been at the center of an 18-month research investigation headed by Dr. Sandra Hirsh in the SJSU School of Information. This exploration has been informed by technology experts representing libraries, blockchain development, and urban planning. Forbes identified some current uses of blockchain that included student records and transcripts, and this project was highlighted as one of the 20 ways that blockchain will transform education. In Spring 2019, her book Blockchain will be published in the Library Future Series, and the Blockchain and Decentralization for Library and Information Science MOOC will be offered as part of this project. Dr. Hirsh is the Director of the School of Information. Prior to that, she worked in the Silicon Valley at Hewlett Packard Labs, Microsoft, and LinkedIn. She co-founded the Library 2.0 global virtual conference series in 2011 and is past president of the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T). The second edition of her book, Information Services Today: An Introduction, was published in 2018.
lntersectional Pilgrims in Canterbury: The Story of America's First Female Academy for African-American Women
Jennifer Rycenga is a Professor of Comparative Religious Studies in the Humanities Department at San Jose State University. Rycenga is finishing a comprehensive cultural biography of white Abolitionist educator Prudence Crandall (1803-1890). This talk will share the context and success of the Canterbury Female Academy, highlighting its place in both Black history and women's history. One story comes from Canterbury, Connecticut in the early 1830s, where Black and white, women and men, young and old, worked together to offer an advanced formal education for Black women. The teacher was a white woman, Prudence Crandall, who welcomed high-school-aged students from free Black families in the northeast. While the school was subject to constant racist vigilante and legal violence, the education and learning there were genuine. Many of the students went on to be leaders Qulia Williams Garnet), political activists (Sarah Harris Fayerweather, Mary Elizabeth Miles Bibb), and teachers (Mary Harris, Miranda Glasko) in the antebellum and post-Civil War eras. Rycenga's areas of interest include Abolition history, women's religious history, feminist theories of music, and theoretical issues concerning philosophies of immanence and panentheism.
Dr. Carlos Alberto Sanchez's current research focuses on the philosophy of violence, particularly on the distinction between "violence" and "brutality." To highlight this difference, violence and brutality are thought within the context of Mexican narco-culture, a socio-political and historico-cultural phenomenon that challenges the very conception of violence, personhood, and culture itself. His talk will deal with issues surrounding this current work.
Professor Sanchez is currently the graduate advisor for the MA program in philosophy, Editor of the American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy, Chair of Inter-American Relations for the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, and author of three books, co-editor of two critical anthologies, and has penned a couple of dozen articles on phenomenology or Mexican philosophy.
Neurological Accidents - Brain, Behavior and the Power of Rehabilitation in Alzheimer's Disease and Stroke
Dr. Mahendra's recent research focuses on developing evidence-based approaches for the clinical evaluation and rehabilitation of cognitive-communicative function in persons who have Alzheimer's dementia and strokes (including post-stroke language disorders called aphasia). Her research is motivated by a deep commitment to improving the quality of life of persons diagnosed with chronic, long-term neurological diseases that result in impaired cognitive function and communication. She has studied the effects of language and memory intervention, computer-based cognitive stimulation, video-modeling for rehabilitation training, and the clinical application of music and singing to improve speech in persons with dementia and aphasia.
Dr. Mahendra is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences in the Lurie College of Education.
On October 28, 2015, Dr. Michael Kaufman spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Andy Feinstein at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. His talk was titled “H2O in Interstellar Space: How the Universe Conspires to Make Water, Water Everywhere.” Dr. Kaufman's astrophysics research focuses on the interactions and feedback between newly formed stars and the interstellar medium—the raw material from which stars form. He constructs computational models of the radiative transfer, dynamics and chemistry that occur in regions of active star formation, and uses these models to interpret observations with ground-based, airborne, and space-based telescopes. Dr. Kaufman is Professor and Chair in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Matthew J. Holian
On September 30, 2015, Dr. Matthew J. Holian spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Andy Feinstein at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. His talk was titled “Trends and Relationships Related to Air Pollution, Regulations, and Economic Growth.” Dr. Holian’s recent research involves air pollution in California and India. His analysis of data from numerous sources reveals trends and relationships related to air pollution, regulations, and economic growth among other factors. His most recent article, “Household Carbon Emissions from Driving and Center City Quality of Life,” explores the relationship between a dynamic city center and carbon emissions. Dr. Holian is an Associate Professor of Economics at San José State University. In 2014, he was awarded the Early Career Investigator Award at SJSU, which is given to only two junior faculty members annually to recognize success in research.
On May 6, 2015, Dr. Ed Cohen spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Andy Feinstein at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. In this presentation, Dr. Cohen explored current research about mental illness and approaches to treatment in Vietnam, in addition to this country’s world view about illness, wellness and emotional health. Cohen is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and a Co-Investigator of SJSU's Social Work Education Enhancement Program in Vietnam.
On March 18, 2015, Dr. Nadia Sorkhabi spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Andy Feinstein at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Her talk, titled "Cultural Similarities in Parenting Styles and Practices of Mothers and Father," explored parenting styles and how domain-specific practices of mothers and fathers are related to the academic achievement, social competence, and mental health of children and adolescents. Her research includes frequency and intensity of parent-adolescent conflicts, conflict resolution strategies, and adolescent disclosure of their activities to their parents. Sorkhabi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Development at SJSU, and is an Associate Researcher at the Institute of Human Development, University of California, Berkeley
Alison L. McKee
On February 25, 2015, Dr. Alison L. McKee spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Andy Feinstein at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Dr. McKee discussed her recent book, The Woman’s Film of the 1940s: Gender, Narrative, and History, which addresses the terrain between official public histories and private experiences of love, desire, and loss against the backdrop of World War II. McKee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Television, Radio, Film, and Theatre Arts at SJSU. She specializes in film history, theory and criticism, and gender issues. In particular, her interests include how gender and sexuality shape and inform narratives across different media.
Emergence of multiplicative thinking structures in children and adults: Building a solid foundation for successful learning in mathematics.
On September 24, 2014, Dr. Ferdinand Rivera spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Andy Feinstein at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Dr. Ferdinand Rivera’s research focuses on understanding the emergence of structures among children and adults in mathematical activities that involve patterns. His findings are synthesized in his most recent book, Teaching and Learning Patterns in School Mathematics: Psychological and Pedagogical Perspectives. Rivera is a full professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Science, and Chair of the Department of Elementary Education, College of Education.
On April 30, 2014, Dr. Ruma Chopra spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Interim Provost Andy Feinstein at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. In this talk, Dr. Chopra discusses colonial resistance to the American Revolution. Dr. Chopra’s book, Choosing Sides: Loyalists in Revolutionary America, details arguments given by America’s original colonists, including slaves and Native Americans, against the formation of the United States. Even hundreds of years into America’s existence, these arguments are echoed and championed both within and beyond our borders. Dr. Chopra is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at SJSU.
On March 19, 2014, Cathleen Miller spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Interim Provost Andy Feinstein at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Dr. Miller spoke about her book, Champion of Choice: The Life and Legacy of Women's Advocate Nafis Sadik. Viewed as “one of the most powerful women in the world,” by the London Times, obstetrician Dr. Sadik took a post at the United Nations Population Fund in 1971. By 2000, the average birthrate had been cut in half because of Sadik’s new approach to provide females with the education and tools needed to control their own fertility. Cathleen Miller is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Her biography of UN leader Nafis Sadik was named one of Booklist's Top 10 Biographies for 2013.
Theodore Butryn and Matthew Masucci
On February 26, 2014, Dr. Ted Butryn and Dr. Matthew Masucci spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Interim Provost Andy Feinstein at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. SJSU professors Ted Butryn and Matthew Masucci co-investigated on a two-year World Anti-Doping Agency grant, which examined female triathletes and their awareness of doping and the anti-doping movement. Dr. Butryn is a 2012 Salzburg Fellow and Professor of Sport Sociology and Sport Psychology in the Department of Kinesiology. Dr. Masucci is an Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Sport Studies in Kinesiology. Both Butryn and Masucci co-direct the Department of Kinesiology's Qualitative Research Lab.
Frances L. Edwards and Daniel Goodrich
On November 13, 2013, Dr. Frances Edwards and Daniel Goodrich gave a talk titled “Transportation Security After 9/11” as part of the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Ellen Junn at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Dr. Frances L. Edwards is Deputy Director of the National Transportation Security Center at Mineta Transportation Institute, professor of political science, and director of the MPA program at SJSU. Dan Goodrich is a Research Associate with Mineta Transportation Institute at SJSU, and a lecturer in the MSTM and MPA programs. Together, they have authored the textbook Introduction to Transportation Security. They will discuss the role of transportation in the economy and the challenges of maintaining the security of these critical infrastructure systems.
On October 29, 2013, Dr. Carlos Sánchez gave a talk titled “The History of Philosophy in Latin America” in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Ellen Junn at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Dr. Carlos Sánchez’s research focuses on the history of philosophy in Latin America. His latest work proposes that Latin American philosophy, particularly in the last century, manifests itself as a form of “decolonial critique,” or a critical confrontation with the lingering force of colonialism in Latin America. Sánchez has recently published a book about the phenomenology of the Mexican philosopher Jorge Portilla, entitled The Suspension of Seriousness.
On September 25, 2013, Dr. Scott Shaffer gave a talk titled “A New Form Of Biotechnology: Novel Data Logging Devices Reveal Secrets About The Lives Of Marine Animals” as part of the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Ellen Junn at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Dr. Shaffer’s research focuses on the ecology, physiology, and conservation of marine vertebrate species. Specifically, he uses novel smart technologies to study long-range movements, distribution, and behavior of wild seabirds and marine mammals. This new form of biotechnology is shedding light on the secret lives of marine animals that range widely over the open sea. Dr. Shaffer has used this technology to study animals in Alaska, Antarctica, the Arctic, and the tropical Pacific. Dr. Shaffer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.
On April 24, 2013 Joel Franks spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Ellen Junn at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Dr. Joel Franks spoke about race, colonization, and baseball in the twentieth century. Dr. Franks teaches Asian American Studies and American Studies. He has done extensive research and writing in the area of Asian Pacific American sports. His most recent work, The Barnstorming Hawaiian Travelers: A Multiethnic Baseball Team Tours the Mainland, 1912- 1916, tells the story of a multiethnic, multiracial team of Hawaiian ballplayers who played across the continental U.S. from 1912 through 1916. This book sheds light on a little known tale of baseball, race, and colonization in the United States during the early decades of the twentieth century.
Natalie C. Boero
On March 20, 2013 Natalie Boero spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Ellen Junn at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Natalie Boero talked about how and why obesity emerged as a public health concern and her book "Killer Fat: Media, Medicine, and Morals in the American 'Obesity Epidemic,'" which examines how and why obesity emerged as a public health concern and national obsession in recent years. It enters the world of bariatric surgeries and diet programs to show how common expectations of what bodies should look like help determine what interventions and policies are considered urgent in containing this epidemic. This book offers an alternate framing of obesity based on the insights of the “Health at Every Size” movement. Natalie Boero is an associate professor in the Sociology Department.
On February 27, 2013 Sally Ashton spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Ellen Junn at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Sally Ashton is currently the Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, lecturer in the English and Creative Writing Departments at SJSU, and Editor-in-Chief of DMQ Review, an online journal featuring poetry and art. As Poet Laureate, and as a poet and teacher, she has spent the past several years familiarizing people with poetry and making a case for its place in their lives. Ashton talks about these experiences and discuss "how a poem means," her own writing, and how someone might come to enjoy contemporary poetry.
Craig B. Clements
On November 28, 2012 Craig B. Clements spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Ellen Junn at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Craig Clements is an associate professor in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science who received a $900,000 National Science Foundation CAREER grant for his work in tracking atmospheric conditions in and around wildfires. His work will better help predict wildfire behavior and conditions that could lead to increased wildfire danger.
On October 24, 2012 Dr. Jan English-Lueck spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Ellen Junn at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Dr. Jan English-Lueck is the associate dean of the College of Social Sciences and a distinguished anthropologist. She has written ethnographies detailing the lives of California's alternative healers and China's scientists. She is also the author of several books on Silicon Valley that explore how working in Silicon Valley shapes our communities, families, and bodies.
On September 26, 2012 Dr. Amy D'Andrade spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Ellen Junn at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Dr. Amy D'Andrade is an associate professor in the School of Social Work in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts (CASA) and director of the CASA Center for Applied Research in Human Services (CARHS). Her recent research focuses on the process of reunification between parents and their children placed in foster care. D'Andrade's studies provide a deeper understanding of the problems that parents attempting reunification confront, and explore challenges in the social service system designed to help parents resolve their problems.
On April 25, 2012 Professor Alejandro Garcia spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Ellen Junn at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Professor Alejandro Garcia developed and teaches Physics of Animation, a science course for visual artists. During 2011, he took a professional leave and worked in Dreamworks Animation's department of Artistic Development as a physics consultant on Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. In this seminar, Alejandro Garcia describes the animation industry from both the scientific and artistic perspectives
On March 21, 2012, SJSU Assistant Professor Kim Komenich spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Ellen Junn at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Kim Komenich worked for 30 years as a photojournalist for the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner. He was awarded the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Spot News Photography for photographs of the Philippine Revolution he made while on assignment for the Examiner. Komenich’s current creative project, “Revolution Revisited,” is a 25th Anniversary look back at the 1986 Philippine “People Power” Revolution. In 2012, he will publish the book, Revolution Revisited, and a full-length documentary film by the same name.
On February 29, 2012 Dr. Ruth Wilson spoke in the University Scholar Series hosted by Provost Ellen Junn at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Ruth Wilson is a Professor and the Chair of the African-American Studies Department at SJSU. Her current research focuses on African American women and the new black diversity in the African-American community. In this seminar, Ruth Wilson provides an overview of three women "She-roes" in American history: Lucy Terry Prince, Maria Stewart, and Henrietta Lacks, whose contributions add texture to the characteristic descriptions of the 18th, 19th, and 20th century American woman. Their pursuits of life, liberty, and happiness included extraordinary acts of courage, intellect, strength, and generosity.