The CoSS Outstanding Alumni Award recognizes outstanding professional attainment, civic engagement, and exceptional contribution to the welfare of the College of Social Sciences and SJSU.
Robert G. Foster (Public Administration)
Bob Foster is the 27th mayor of Long Beach, an office to which he was first elected in 2006. Prior to becoming mayor, he served as president of Southern California Edison. He was at Edison for more than 20 years, during which time he led California’s largest electric company through the 1999 energy crisis. During his tenure, Edison developed the largest renewable, clean energy programs—solar, geothermal, biomass, and wind—in the United States.
Foster began his career in public service as a staffer in the California State Senate and California Energy Commission, where he established statewide energy efficiency standards that are still enforced today. He is active in the U.S. Conference of Mayors and was appointed Environment Committee chair in 2008 and elected to the Advisory Board in 2009. He currently serves as chair of the Mayors Business Council and as a trustee. He was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the Board of Governors for the California Independent Systems Operators and was reappointed by Governor Brown in 2013. Foster was born in Brooklyn, New York, and received his bachelor’s degree in public administration from San José State in 1969. Before being elected mayor, he served as a trustee to the California State University system and co-taught a political science class at San José State with Professor Larry Gerston.
This award recognizes alumni who have contributed to the core mission of CoSS, to help bring about a more just, adaptable, and sustainable society which supports lives that are meaningful, creative, and productive.
Roseanne Duncan (Communication Studies)
Changing the World Together Social Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement Alumnus Award
Roseanne Duncan is a communications and marketing manager at Hewlett Packard and has been working in education services for more than 16 years. She is an active member of the special needs community and has served on the board of directors of two local nonprofits, the Autism Project PTA and Angels on Stage (AoS). Duncan is also a member of the Bay Area Professionals Special Needs Network (BAP). In recognition for her volunteer work at AoS, she was a 2011 recipient of Service Above Self award from SARC. She has served as a production manager and in a variety of other volunteer roles at AoS for five years. She has provided in-kind marketing support and web design services to AoS, CAA, Netta for Special Ed, Golf4Autism, and BAP. Additionally, she has volunteered in theatre support roles, such as costume designer, entertainment coordinator, and stage manager, for other special needs events, including Take Flight for Kids, ViaWest, Walk Now, and Magic Makers. Her passion comes from being a caregiver of two children with autism. Duncan strongly believes in giving back to the community and feels that sharing your time and talent for a cause you are passionate about can bring positive change in both you and those you are serving.
Jeanne Sheldon (History)
Jeanne Sheldon, '70 History, is corporate vice president of Office Reading and Authoring Applications for the Microsoft Office Division. In this role, she leads the product development teams for Microsoft Word, One-Note and Publisher, as well as the Microsoft Education team, which works to contextualize Microsoft products for the education market. She joined Microsoft in 1989 as a software test manager for Microsoft Word and a variety of workgroup applications. She subsequently became general manager of Microsoft Office's Sustaining Engineering Services, which focuses on maintenance and continuous improvement of Microsoft Office in-market products. Before joining Microsoft, she served as a section manager in software quality assurance for Software Publishing Corporation. Sheldon has also been an active participant in Microsoft recruiting and in scholarship programs for minorities and women. Her extraordinary achievements have not gone unnoticed in the industry, and Women in Technology International showcased her career accomplishments, determination and dedication as early as 1996, during Women in Technology Month. Sheldon grew up in San José and graduated from San José's Pioneer High School, as did her future husband, Marvin Parsons, who is an alumnus of San José State and Microsoft. In addition to earning an SJSU bachelor's degree, she also did graduate work in history of science and urban planning at San José.
Steven E. Bochner (Political Science)
Steve E. Bochner is the chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati, the largest law firm in Silicon Valley, widely considered the premier provider of legal services to technology, life sciences and growth enterprises worldwide. He earned a bachelor’s in political science from San José State University in 1977 and a law degree from the UC Berkeley School of Law in 1981. Bochner has served on the Nasdaq Listing and Hearing Review Council, the SEC’s Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies, and the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network board of directors. In November 2010, he presented the San José State David E. Saurman Provocative Lecture, and has been a lecturer at UC Berkeley and Stanford University. Bochner is a frequent speaker and author on securities and business law topics. He has received numerous honors and awards, including being named one of Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America” and a “Northern California Super Lawyer,” as well as being listed in Chambers U.S.A.: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, the Legal 500 US, and The Best Lawyers in America.
Keith Barnes (Environmental Studies)
Keith Barnes is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Verigy US Inc., a Cupertino-based company that designs, develops and manufactures advanced test systems and solutions for the semiconductor industry. From 2003 through 2006, he was Chairman and CEO of Electroglas, Inc., having been brought in by the board to execute a turnaround of the manufacturer of integrated circuit probers. Prior to that he was Chairman and CEO of Integrated Measurement Systems, a leader in digital, mixed-signal and memory-IC verification, until its acquisition by Credence Systems Corporation in 2001. Before assuming his role at IMS, Mr. Barnes was a division president at Cadence Design Systems and at Valid Logic Systems. Just three years after earning his degree in Environmental Studies at San Jose State, he co-founded Kontron Electronics, Inc., which was acquired by BMW in 1985. Mr. Barnes has served on numerous boards and industry associations during his career, including three terms as a regent of University of Portland. He is currently on the board of Cascade Microtech, Inc. He is an inaugural member of the College of Social Sciences' Dean's Circle and spoke on campus in November 2008 as part of the Alumni Association's Alumni Legends Speaker Series. He and his wife Sharon have three children and live in Portland, Oregon.
Bob Pisano (Public Administration)
The College of Social Sciences has announced that A. Robert Pisano '65 will be the recipient of its 2009 Outstanding Alumnus Award. The award, the highest honor given to an alumnus or alumna of the College, recognizes outstanding professional attainment, civic engagement and contributions to the welfare of the College of Social Sciences and San Jose State University. Bob will receive the award at the College's annual faculty and staff meeting on August 21, 2009. Bob is president and chief operating officer of the Motion Picture Association of America and was previously national executive director and chief executive officer of the Screen Actors Guild. Prior to this, he was vice chairman of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Before joining MGM he served as executive vice president and general counsel of Paramount Pictures and was a partner in the Los Angeles-based law firm of O'Melveny & Myers. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Entertainment Council, and he serves on the boards of several other organizations. Bob received his B.A. in Public Administration from San Jose State and a law degree from University of California, Berkeley. While at San Jose State, he served as president of the Associated Students and was a member of Theta Chi fraternity. In February 2009, Bob returned to campus to talk to students as part of the Alumni Association's Alumni Legends Speaker Series.
James L. McGaugh (Psychology)
James L. McGaugh is a Research Professor and Founding Chair (1964) of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and a Fellow and Founding Director (1981) of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California, Irvine. He completed his undergraduate studies at San José State University and received his Ph.D. degree from Berkeley. He was on the faculty of the Department of Psychology at SJSU from 1957-1961. McGaugh's research investigates stress hormone influences on brain systems that modulate the consolidation of lasting memories. He has over 500 scientific publications, including over two dozen authored and edited books. His honors include election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as election as a Foreign Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and the Mexican Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the Laurea Honoris Causa from the University of L'Aquila in Italy. He is a William James Fellow and past president of the Association for Psychological Science and received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the McGovern Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Norman Anderson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Experimental Psychologists. At UC Irvine, McGaugh has received the Distinguished Faculty Lectureship Award, the Extraordinarius Award and the highest honor offered at UCI, the UC Irvine Medal. McGaugh Hall, on the UCI campus, is named in his honor. Dr. McGaugh has long had a keen interest in the success of SJSU. He endowed a scholarship for an SJSU Psychology student through the Western Psychological Association.
Susanne B. Wilson (Political Science)
Susie Wilson has a superb record of community service as well as service to San José State University. She was County Supervisor for District 1 from 1979-1991, and served the Board three terms as Chair. From 1973-1978, she sat as a member of the San Jose City Council, and was Vice-Mayor from 1976-1978. Since 1999 she has been CEO of WKW Mechanical Contractors, Inc. and sole proprietor of a governmental consulting firm, Solutions by Wilson. In addition to these key governmental and professional positions, Susie has served as Chair of the Valley Transit District Board, and was the first woman to become President of the Association of Bay Area Governments. She was a founding member in 1974 of California Elected Women for Education and Research (CEWEAR), as well as past president and life member. In 1990, she became a member of the Valley Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors, and is presently serving as Chair. She is a founding and continuing member of the Board of Directors of Bridge Housing. Susie played an integral role in insuring that the 100-year history of the YWCA was written and published in 2005. She was chair of the YWCA Capital Campaign from 1990-1993. In turn, the YWCA named its 63 low-income, housing units the Susanne B. Wilson Residence. Susie has been an active volunteer for the YWCA for 45 years. In 1975, Susie team-taught (as a student) a summer workshop on Politics with Prof. Terry Christensen. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science in 1976. She became the first "Leader In Residence" in 1995, team-teaching with Prof. Betsy Carroll. Susie currently serves on the Alumni Steering Committee for the Political Science Department, has been a member of the Spartan Foundation since 1982, and was the Foundation's past president from 2004-2006. She has also lent regular support to the Don Edwards lecture series. In 1980-1991, she co-founded with President Gail Fullerton, the Walk for Women of Sparta, which raised over $1 million for women's athletic scholarships over ten years. Susie also received the prestigious Tower Award from the university for the 1995-96 academic year.
Leslie C. Francis (Social Science)
Leslie C. Francis is a native of San José and a graduate of San José State University. He received his BA in Social Science (1965) and Secondary Teaching Credential (1966). Les Francis began his career in 1967, when he became the youngest person ever to join the ranks of the professional staff of the California Teachers Association. During his time there, he also played an instrumental role in the national campaign to amend the U.S. Constitution to permit 18-year olds the right to vote, an effort that was spearheaded and funded by the National Education Association. Les Francis currently is with Goddard Claussen Strategic Advocacy, one of America's most successful public affairs and issue advocacy firms, where he serves as Executive Vice President in the company's Washington, D.C. office. Previously, Les served as Vice President for Communications & Public Affairs, for Educational Testing Service, the world's largest private educational research and assessment organization. Prior to joining ETS, he was Vice President of Winner & Associates and a partner in Winner/Wagner & Mandabach Campaigns. He has lived and worked in Washington, D.C., since January 1975, when he joined the staff of Congressman Norman Y. Mineta of San José, as chief of staff and principal political adviser. He served as deputy chief of staff in President Jimmy Carter's White House. His White House responsibilities included devising legislative strategies for presidential policy initiatives and coordinating the various Cabinet departments' congressional relations operations. Francis has served as a staff member, manager, or senior adviser in campaigns for almost every office from city council to president. He also served as executive director of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In 1981, Francis launched his own business, The FMR Group, which was a pioneer in the grassroots-lobbying field. He and his firm won national recognition from the Public Relations Society of America and the American Association of Political Consultants. Francis is a board member of several nonprofit organizations, including the Council for Excellence in Government, the Civic Mission of Schools Campaign, and the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate. He also serves as a volunteer consultant to the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and has advised democratic movements and parties in Northern Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bolivia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Bosnia. Francis has authored and co-authored articles for such newspapers as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Sacramento Bee, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the San Jose Mercury-News, among others. He spent eleven years as an adjunct instructor of Political Communications at the George Washington University, and has been a guest lecturer at several other universities.