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Work that matters
 
  Improving Health Treatments

  CommUniverCity: Empowering Neighborhoods

  Driving Transportation Policy

  Educating Innovators

  Child Welfare Services: Differences Matter

  Lights, Camera, Action!

  Recyclestuff.org Aids Local Waste Management

  Israeli and Arab Scientists Partner Against Pollution

  Physics Professor Helps Animators Create "Believable Yet Wacky Worlds of Their Own"

  Accelerating Nursing Education

  East Asian Regional Materials and Resources Center

  SJSU and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services

  SJSU and the National Institutes of Health

  SJSU and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  SJSU and the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies

  SJSU and Silicon Valley Business and Government Agencies

Improving Health Treatments

Image of Joe Pesek  
SJSU professor of chemistry Joe Pesek is proving that long-term investment in the studies of complex chemical separations can yield significant returns. Among Pesek's recent accomplishments: important new and emerging applications for health treatment ranging from drug manufacturing to health diagnosis.
 
Pesek's expertise involved manipulating chemical separations, a process that divides mixtures into their component materials. According to the 20 year veteran of chemical studies, "when a chemist seeks to create a new mixture -- a lifesaving drug, for example -- the resulting materials often include impurities and other extraneous matter that can be difficult to remove." Now he is able to use his understanding to help medical device manufacturers produce specialized equipment that increase the speed and efficacy of chemical separation and consequently reduce manufacturing costs. Results reported by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies include not only purer drugs, but significantly increased potential for innovative research using Pesek's separation techniques to experiment with more chemical combinations.
 
Another emerging application of Pesek's work involves the creation of biomarkers, compounds that determine the presence of disease or other metabolic malfunction. His goal is to create inexpensive chemical "chips" that a lab worker can insert into a machine to study patient samples. "A clinical laboratory can inject the sample into the system and get a yes or no answer as to whether this compound is present," Pesek says. "I think this is the wave of the future for clinical laboratories, that there will be a lot of these chip-type devices that assist in diagnosis."
 
Joe Pesek's chemical separations research was recently recognized by the National Science Foundation as one of fifty projects that have had a broad impact nationwide. He has given lectures on his research in china, Sweden, and Germany, as well as at pharmaceutical companies including Abbott, Pfizer and Roche.
 
Even though Pesek's research is being applied to produce useful devices today, he emphasizes the importance of fundamental research that explores chemistry without requiring an immediate payoff: "You can't get new plastics, you can't get new microchips, you can't get new anything unless you've done a lot of fundamental research, " Pesek says.
 

For more information about the SJSU Department of Chemistry, visit http://www.chemistry.sjsu.edu/.


CommUniverCity: Empowering Neighborhoods

Image of CommUniverCity 
In an era where neighbors often don't seem to know each other's names, one San Jose community is working with the city and university to significantly enhance its voice and its potential for positive impact on the lives of its members. The Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrace (FWBT) neighborhood has teamed up with CommUniverCity, a consortium that includes SJSU, the city of San Jose, Americorps, The Health Trust, and other organizations dedicated to meeting the needs of many underserved communities.
 
Terry Christensen, SJSU professor of political science and executive director of CommUniverCity, explains how FWBT, working with the City of San Jose Strong Neighborhood Initiative Project, has identified education, health, and neighborhood environment as three community priorities. "This is a neighborhood that hadn't had the kind of focus from as many non-profit groups and the university and other kinds of projects," Christensen says. "So there was a need, there was proximity, and there was an eager partner."
 
One example of CommUniverCity supporting empowerment for FWBT is in helping the community develop a Town Square Plan, including crafting a professional proposal for a high-density, mixed use, pedestrian oriented center as an alternative to the parking lot and BART station being planned. Working with CommUniverCity, the neighborhood will ensure that its voice is well-articulated in the planning process
 
Susan Meyers, Dean of the College of Education and SJSU Research Foundation Board Director is co-chair of CommUniverCity. She adds that, beyond the community engagement, "It's about planting seeds. One of the most important long-term goals is to inspire a college-going culture among FWBT children."
 
Other CommUniverCity partnership areas include voter registration drives, health fairs, and solar power projects. FWBT is just one of 19 communities identified in the City of San Jose Strong Neighborhood Initiative and other neighborhoods are looking to form similar alliances and apply lessons learned from CommUniverCity Meyers advises, "It's about helping families recognize that San Jose State University is their university. This concept is something that will become a part of the way we do business at the university in partnership with the city and the school districts and local agencies and the communities."
 

For more information about CommUniverCity, visit http://www.communivercitysanjose.org.


Driving Transportation Policy

Image of Rod Diridon 
San Jose State University's Norman Y. Mineta Institute for Surface Transportation Policy Studies (MTI) brings together thought leaders and industry experts to assess critical and timely policy issues ranging from transportation tax planning to homeland security. Now in its fifteenth year of operations, MTI recently was awarded the status of being one of only ten university-based Tier One transportation centers in the country in recognition of their unique capabilities and considerable accomplishments.
 
MTI's hands-on approach to transportation research pairs SJSU faculty/student teams with experts often recruited from around the world to help answer questions that cannot be addressed by local specialists. According to Executive Director Rod Diridon, "Faculty/student teams are essential to the research done with the Mineta Transportation Institute and allow the university to continually deepen the extensive international transportation policy knowledge base established here."
 
Some of the current challenges tackled by MTI include the threat of terror attacks on surface transportation systems. Thanks to an expansive network of contacts in transportation agencies worldwide, MTI is often asked to produce sophisticated security reports for both internal and external use. Indeed, right after the terror attacks of 9/11, MTI was asked to host the National Transportation Security Summit, and they will do so again in March 2007.
 
Beyond their focus on security, MTI produces research and policy proposals related to transportation finance. There the challenge is to create new funding sources for critical transportation projects when traditional financing models based upon gas taxes are becoming less viable as more fuel efficient vehicles utilize those same roads needing support. MTI has taken the lead in efforts to create innovative finance models. Additionally, MTI is producing research on land use and concentrating on smarter mass transit models that draw from lessons learned in Europe and Japan.
 
"There is a very real demand for the policy work MTI produces," Diridon explains. "Our emphasis is not on theoretical research, but on specific deliverables that can be used by the California and the U.S. Departments of Transportation to solve current problems. "
 

For more information about MTI, visit http://transweb.sjsu.edu.


Educating Innovators

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As the alarm continues to sound concerning the shrinking number of U.S.-born students heading into science and math fields, SJSU professor of engineering Kurt McMullin and SJSU professor and chair of the department of secondary education Carolyn Nelson have teamed up with the Partnership for Student Success in Science ("PS3") to help stem the tide. PS3, a coalition of university professors, school teachers, and industry leaders from Synopsys and Agilent Technologies, is working to transform science education for 26,000 K-8 students and teachers throughout nine south bay area school districts.
 
McMullin and Nelson have departed from the traditionally passive way in which K-8 science is taught to stress inquiry-based teaching and learning. According to the co-principal investigators, many math and science teachers focus their efforts on chalkboard lectures, limiting their students' learning to the rote memorization of abstract facts. In contrast, "Inquiry based teaching/learning gives students a chance to engage science problems and the opportunity to see how real science works, as much as possible in a classroom context," Nelson says. Moreover, educators are inspired to enhance their own teaching methods when they employ this approach.
 
Agilent Technologies and Synopsys contribute to the project with funding and space, demonstrating that Silicon Valley businesses are concerned about and are working to improve pipeline of future engineers. But just as importantly, PS3 is committed to expanding the understanding of science beyond the professional community. The goal is to ensure that all graduates of regional schools can understand the impact of science on our everyday lives, and that they can participate in the debates about technological innovation that will only continue in coming years. McMullin states, "Science touches so many major facets of life and we need an educated populace."
 
The Palo Alto Unified School District is lead partner for the collaborative's total $6,766,846 five-year National Science Foundation grant award which is one of only seven Math Science Partnership grants funded throughout the country in 2006. From those funds, SJSU will be awarded $670,000 to support the efforts of Professors McMullin and Nelson.
 

For more information about PS3, visit http://www.pscubed.org.


Child Welfare Services: Differences Matter

Image of Dr.Alice Hines 
Director of SJSU's School of Social Work Dr. Alice Hines and her colleagues train the largest group of child health and mental health care workers in Santa Clara and surrounding Counties. That's why when the Santa Clara County wanted to understand how better to provide services to its neediest children and their families it turned to Hines to study the gaps within the County's child welfare case management procedures and to recommend improvements.
 
Hines and her research team found inadequate accounting for the numbers of children from different cultural and ethnic groups entering the system, despite the fact that the County's child welfare system includes a disproportionate amount of persons of color. Based on study findings, the County is now working to transform a one-size-fits-all approach into one that meets the specific needs of individual children and their families. Hines explains, "Santa Clara County is pioneering in this area in trying to offer more culturally specific interventions."
 
Beyond the county project, Dr. Hines and her colleagues pursued research on another population of young people whose needs require special attention. Hines received a report of foster youth SJSU students who were sleeping in cars during winter break because the dorms were closed and they had nowhere else to go. The incident was one of a number of foster youth student experiences and special needs examined by the School, whose researchers have begun to explore the characteristics of such students when they successfully complete their degrees, despite the odds. "This was the first research in the nation that really looked at positive outcomes for foster youth," Hines explains.
 
Following the pilot study at SJSU, the research was expanded to include ten other California State University sites and their neighboring counties from San Diego to Humboldt. Their work is helping the counties and university campuses make important changes in addressing the practical needs of vulnerable youth populations.
 

For more information about Child Welfare Research, visit http://www.sjsu.edu/cwrt/.


Lights, Camera, Action!

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As one of only a handful of university-based film production houses in the country, the founders of SJSU-based South Bay Film Studios imagine their enterprise as a baseball team whose every game brings home field advantage. Residing within the Television, Radio, Film and Theatre Department, South Bay Films gives students training and work experience both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. And while the students may be the rookies, the training provides "major league" experience.
 
The first feature length drama, Drifting Elegant is set in San Francisco, although careful observers will spot some San Jose landmarks. Directed by SJSU professor Amy Glazer, the film has already generated critical buzz, including garnering a coveted slot in the Mill Valley Film Festival and landing a laudatory review in Variety. And more films are currently in production.
 
Drifting Elegant showcases South Bay Films' twin goals of producing great projects and training a new generation of film production students. For co-production head Nick Martinez the goal is to place students in each phase of production, to "give them as much of a real world experience as possible, from raising money to hiring talent and production staff, to final editing and distribution." Part of this experience includes working not only with university faculty, but Hollywood industry professionals who have worked with such well-recognized talents as George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. One of those industry professionals plays a lead role in Drifting Elegant, SJSU alumni Coby Bell, who starred in the popular weekly television series "90210."
 
South Bay Films' second co-production head and faculty member Barnaby Dallas emphasizes that South Bay Films does not try to build a multi-million dollar studio producing films with huge special effects. Instead, the company shoots many of its interiors inside SJSU's Hugh Gillis Hall. According to Dallas, "We don't blow up cars, we can't make the X-Men. What we can do is make intelligent dramas and comedies with a lot of realism. .and we can do that very well." With that approach SJSU students working at South Bay Film Studios have a chance to advance from being rookies in the game of filmmaking to the big leagues.
 

For more information on South Bay Film Studios, visit http://www.tvradiofilmtheatre.org.


Recyclestuff.org Aids Local Waste Management

Image of Bruce Olszewski 
SJSU lecturer in the Department of Environmental Studies Bruce Olszewski is not afraid of an 800-pound gorilla. In fact, he's spent the last 15 plus years of his life working on keeping one at bay. Olszewski's nemesis is waste. According to Olszewski, waste paper and scrap steel are among California's top exports. "Californians throw away more stuff than anyone else in the country, and the U.S. throws away more than any other country," says Olszewski. "There's a lot of room for improvement."
 
Olszewski's brainchild, the non-profit Center for Development of Recycling (CDR), first funded by Santa Clara County, has been waging the county's war against waste since 1991. Staffed by a cadre of faculty-managed students, CDR operates the Recycling Hotline where individuals and institutions can access recycling and reuse information by phone, fax, or email. County residents can also access the Center's "Recyclopedia" database for a wide range of recycle and reuse programs. The Center's popular Junk Mail Reduction Kit provides users with step-by-step instructions on reducing millions of pieces of unwanted mail that are delivered to U.S. mailboxes every day.
 
Since CDR's inception, the county has consistently met its state recycling goals, and the program has become an important resource for the region's waste management work force via internships and graduates assuming full-time positions. CDR has also worked on commercial recycling and water conservation projects for local government and established a beverage container-recycling program at SJSU.
 
Since 1991 the Center has operated with the financial support of more than 20 different government and agency contracts, totaling some $2 million.
 
Though Olszewski is proud of the Center's work and the accomplishments of its students, he has even greater ambitions: procure state funding to replicate the SJSU/Santa Clara County CDR program throughout the California State University System.
 
Funding for the CDR hotline comes from a contract with the County of Santa Clara Integrated Waste Management Program. The hotline serves the county's 1.8 million people and the 15 cities in which they live.

For more information about recycling, visit http://www.recyclestuff.org/.


Israeli and Arab Scientists Partner Against Pollution

While unending war has taken the most obvious toll on those living throughout the Middle East, the growth in population along the Israel-Gaza Mediterranean Coast during the past two decades has left a special mark of its own. Increased pollutants from motor vehicles and power plants have compromised the air quality to unacceptable levels. Air pollution can now be added to the region's list of troubles.

 
With the support of USAID's Middle East Regional Cooperation Program (MERC), SJSU meteorology Professor Bob Bornstein has assembled a multi-country team to set up environmental testing sites, collect data, model the current air quality conditions, and advise local government air quality planning bodies on ways to improve air quality throughout the region.
 
Bornstein's multi-country team includes faculty and students from SJSU; the Environmental Protection Research Institute, Gaza; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, Bethlehem; and the Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nev. Together, the team has gathered and analyzed photochemical data from a dozen monitoring stations located between Tel Aviv and Bethlehem. This cooperation of scientists has produced important results for the region and supports MERC's goals to improve the region's quality of life through the use of research and technology, and to establish lasting relationships between Israeli and Arab scientists working on a common problem.
 
The Israel and West Bank/Gaza project is the latest externally-funded project for Bornstein. His 35-year academic career at San José State has included research ranging from the environmental impact of man-made lakes on the production of Parmesan cheese in Italy to assisting in the development of an emergency response system for the City of New York in the event of an airborne biochemical terrorist attack.
 

The Israel/Gaza Air Quality Project was made possible through a $1.5 million grant from the USAID Middle East Cooperation Program. Bornstein is currently seeking funding to expand the Israel and West Bank/Gaza project to include Jordan, where air currents, originating as far away as the Mediterranean Coast, are depositing pollutants.


Physics Professor Helps Animators Create "Believable Yet Wacky Worlds of Their Own"

Image of Physics Professor Helps Animators Create “Believable Yet Wacky Worlds of Their Own” 
How do they make it look so real? When it comes to ensuring creatures like Toothless in “How to Train Your Dragon” are true to life, animators turn to experts, including SJSU physics Professor Alejandro Garcia. The National Science Foundation’s “Science Nation” online magazine recently created a fantastic video covering Garcia’s work with professional animators at DreamWorks and aspiring animators at SJSU. A course the professor developed with support from the NSF is invaluable for students. “I learned about the physics of jumps,” Carlos Nunez said. “I learned about light and how light is affected by the world around us and how sound is affected.” View the video.

Accelerating Nursing Education

Image of nurses 
U.S. higher education has suffered serious financial setbacks in the last two decades, and California's programs rank among the nation's hardest hit. In the area of nursing education, funding cuts have proved particularly paralyzing. Lack of resources-money for programs and an inadequate supply of trained nursing educators-have forced nursing schools to shrink their programs and turn away thousands of students interested in nursing careers at a time when the demand for nurses is on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2010, the shortfall of registered nurses in the U.S. will reach one million.
 
A $5.5 million partnership between the San José State University School of Nursing and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is designed to increase the number of new nursing graduates and to educate additional nursing faculty through two separate projects: the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Boot Camp and the Master of Science Nurse Educators for Tomorrow: A Teacher Scholar Model.
 
The five-year grant for the boot camp project will support three cohorts of 30 honors students in an 18-month accelerated bachelor of nursing education program. Five local hospitals will underwrite the educational costs. In turn, graduates agree to work at one of the participating hospitals for up to three years.
 

Over the next five years, 36 new master's of science nursing candidates are expected to graduate and assume a faculty role. In addition, 12 current MS-prepared students in other specialties will complete the Nurse Educator Certificate program. Students' course fees are fully funded and each student receives a generous stipend from the Moore Foundation. Master's graduates pay back by teaching at a nursing school in the local Bay Area for up to three years.

 
"The goal," says School of Nursing Director Jayne Cohen , "is to shorten the time it takes for nursing students and faculty to complete their degrees and get them into the work place and into the classrooms teaching others as quickly as possible."
 

The two SJSU nursing education programs were made possible by a five-year, $5.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The objective of the Foundation's Betty Irene Moore Nursing initiative is to measurably improve the quality of nursing-related patient care in acute care hospitals within the five San Francisco Bay Area counties.


East Asian Regional Materials and Resources Center

Image of Professor E. Bruce Reynolds  
History Professor, E. Bruce Reynolds is Project Director for the East Asian Regional Materials and Resources Center (EAMARC). The Center provides audio-visual materials for high school and college students in Northern California. It currently holds hundreds of videos and many films which are related to China, Japan, and Korea. The collection also includes slide sets and audio materials. Almost all areas of East Asian society and culture are covered. Items are available on request to teachers in a university, college, or secondary school in Northern California as long as they are to be used for education purposes. As a special incentive to use the center's services, a free, comprehensive catalog of EARMARC resources is provided on request. Also, holdings can be searched through the Online Catalog of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.
 
About 100 university faculty and other teachers use the center's resources throughout the year. Of those who use the center on a regular basis, most are outside of the SJSU campus and solicit services by phone or mail. EARMARC services over 500 transactions each academic year. EARMARC is federally funded through grants from the East Asia National Resource Centers at Stanford University and at the University of California at Berkeley. The Center also receives space (Dudley Morehead Hall 229) from SJSU for EARMARC and a small Asian Studies library. Contact Dr. Reynolds at (408) 924-5523.

SJSU and the Governor's Office of Emergency

Image of Guna Selvaduray  
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services know the importance of minimizing the effects of disasters. Major disasters such as earthquakes, floods or even terrorist attacks can cause devastating injuries and loss of life, with physical damages running into the billions of dollars. So when SJSU Professor of Engineering Guna Selvaduray and local emergency services professionals proposed an integrated emergency management approach that could significantly reduce the impact of disasters and accelerate economic recovery, it got FEMA's attention.
 
Selvaduray suggests that one of the best ways in which communities can prepare for disasters, and also reduce it effects, is by forming partnerships of academia, local government emergency services organizations, businesses, and non-profits such as the Red Cross. Working proactively and cooperatively, these organizations can maximize relevant resources and expertise, minimize duplication of effort, and leverage the vast technical and multi-disciplinary capabilities of a university like SJSU.
 
"For example, because California has put in place stringent building codes for seismic resistance," says Selvaduray, "communities are less vulnerable. But where many businesses fall short is in protecting what's inside the buildings, including expensive equipment and business infrastructure, which can be damaged by the loss of power typically associated with earthquakes and other disasters." On the recommendation of public and private sector partners, Selvaduray developed a fully equipped "model laboratory," complete with seismic retrofit, which has been toured by various professionals to see first hand how equipment can be protected from seismic forces. "The dollars that need to be spent on mitigation are really minimal," says Selvaduray, "and the payback is quite extensive."
 

The Collaborative for Disaster Mitigation (CDM), a model academic-public-private partnership, was launched with a $500,000 Hazard Mitigation Grant from FEMA through the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. CDM is the only disaster mitigation collaborative of its kind.

For more information contact Professor Selvaduray at gunas@email.sjsu.edu.


SJSU and the National Institutes of Health

Image of people dancing  

AIDS research and treatment has come a long way since the epidemic was first identified in the early to mid-80s. In fact, with the help of advanced drug research, in the United States the disease is now often viewed as an acute chronic disease rather than a disease that is acute and eventually fatal.

Though advanced drug treatment is unquestionably saving lives, it is also creating a false sense of security among individuals at risk for contracting the disease, heightening the importance of targeted preventions programs. That's why the National Institutes of Health viewed with interest the community-based research of SJSU social work professor Michael Gorman on the possible ties between the use of methamphetamines – speed, crank or meth – and other "club drugs," and HIV on the West Coast.

 
"If we are to mount effective prevention education programs," says Gorman, "we need to understand at-risk populations and their behaviors. People live in the context of a particular cultural, social and economic system, not in a vacuum."
 
NIH policy makers know that the success of AIDS prevention programs depends heavily upon their understanding of the demographics and behaviors of each at- risk population. They hope Gorman's work on the relationship between HIV and the use of club drugs will help them better target this particular population.
 

The National Institutes of Health has provided support for Gorman's research through a 5-year, $900,000 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

For more information, contact Professor Gorman at emgorman@email.sjsu.edu.


SJSU and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Image of Kenneth Coale  
Since the mid-80s, the 65-million-year-old leatherback turtle population has decreased by as much as 95% placing it on the list of endangered species. While preservationists lobby the United Nations to place a moratorium on fishing practices that are killing these gigantic creatures, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) marine scientists, working out of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML), are tagging and tracking the turtles from their feeding grounds in Monterey Bay. What they are learning about the leatherbacks' habits as they travel thousands of miles to their nesting beaches in the western Pacific helps them teach fishermen how to fish smarter and to avoid snagging this prehistoric species in their fishing lines.
 
"These turtles are part of an important marine-life food chain that, if interrupted, will negatively affect the fishing industry worldwide," says Scott Benson a recent graduate from MLML's Marine Science Program. In the past three years, Benson and his team have tagged 13 of these giant creatures and have tracked them in some cases across the Pacific to tropical waters adjacent to nesting grounds in Indonesia where they have historically been a source of food for indigenous people there.
 
According to Kenneth Coale, Director of Moss Landing Marine Labs and Professor of Marine Biology, Benson's research reflects the lab's overall mission to protect marine environments.
 

"The more we study the oceans, the more we find ourselves as forensic ecologists," says Coale. "What we're doing is trying to get ahead of the destruction of these environments."

 

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories is a consortium of seven California State Universities including San José State. The Marine Laboratory receives as much as $14 million annually in federal, state, and private foundation funding for a wide range of research and education projects in ocean sciences.

For more information, contact Kenneth Coale at coale@mlml.calstate.edu.


SJSU and the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies

Image of children learning music  
The data is clear. According to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining music education in American classrooms, studying music helps children develop skills such as critical thinking and self-discipline. It improves early cognitive development, basic math and reading skills, self-esteem, and SAT scores. Researchers have also found that children involved with music education have better school attendance records and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. But in spite of what we know, every year, financially strapped school districts across the country are eliminating music and arts programs.
 
Since 1996, with the support of the American Beethoven Society, the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies at San José State University has brought music education to more than 7,000 elementary school children in Santa Clara County. Taught by music educator, pianist and school psychologist John Boehm, the program brings Beethoven's story and music to life through a variety of multi-sensory learning activities in intensive three-day class sessions. The results are impressive. In post-program evaluations, teachers have consistently given high ratings to their students' participation in the program and its overall effectiveness.
 
"Many of these children would never have known the wonders of Beethoven," said one fifth grade teacher. "You've opened a door that I know will never, ever close."
 

The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies is the only study center in North America devoted entirely to promoting the work and accomplishments of Ludwig von Beethoven. The Beethoven in the Schools Program has been funded by the Valley Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.


SJSU and Silicon Valley Business and Government Agencies

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Since 1946, the University of Michigan's national Survey of Consumer Attitudes has been viewed as the authoritative forecaster of broad changes in our nation's economy. In fact, it's so established that the U.S. Department of Commerce considers it one of the nation's leading economic indicators.

While the University of Michigan survey is considered a benchmark for economic forecasting, it does have one considerable shortcoming: for businesses and organizations that depend on a local or regional sales market, the UM consumer attitude barometer is simply too global.

 
That's what Phil Trounstine, director of SJSU's Survey and Policy Research Institute (SPRI) had in mind when he launched the first Silicon Valley Consumer Confidence Survey in 2001. Based on the methods used by the University of Michigan, Trounstine's more locally-focused consumer index has quickly assumed a position of authority among Silicon Valley and Bay Area government leaders and business owners.
 
"The value of having this kind of regional economic data is incredible," says John Kennett of the San José Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. "In particular, the ability to add customized questions to the survey provides a very cost-effective way for almost any industry to gather important marketing and business planning data that they may not otherwise be able to afford."
 

Trounstine, former Communications Director for California Governor Gray Davis and former Political Editor of the San José Mercury News, anticipates growing SPRI's client base one region or organization at a time until decision makers across the state look to SJSU for their market research and business forecasting needs.

 

In addition to the Silicon Valley Consumer Confidence Survey, SPRI has developed and conducted surveys for such clients as the California Wellness Foundation, the San José Mercury News, the City of Morgan Hill and the City of San José on topics including youth violence, health care, the war in Iraq, growth control, and the neighborhood impact of low and moderate income housing.

For more information contact Phil Trounstine at phil.trounstine@sjsu.edu.


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