SJSU’s Inaugural Public Voices Fellows

Public Voices Fellowship

A group of 22 faculty members have made SJSU history as the inaugural cohort of the Public Voices Fellows program. Public Voices is an exciting new professional development opportunity launched by the Office of the Provost, the Center for Faculty Development, and the OpEd Project, which aims to amplify expert voices that have been underrepresented in efforts to address today’s most pressing issues. Fellows learned what makes an idea contagious in the public sphere, how to frame ideas in ways that will have public impact, and strategies for influencing discourse on a broad scale.

Provost Vincent Del Casino underscored the long-term impacts of Public Voices at SJSU. "This cohort has not only developed their skills as public intellectuals, they have also developed skills as interdisciplinary thinkers and leaders,” he explained. “This will not only enhance the reputation of our faculty but also help SJSU push for real change in the communities we want to serve in the Silicon Valley and beyond."  

To date, fellows have produced more than 50 op-eds and interviews that have appeared in outlets such as The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times, Psychology Today, The Hill, Newsweek, and the U.S. News & World Report, among many others. SJSU faculty in the program have written about anti-Black racism, the 2020 presidential election, the COVID-19 pandemic, migrant children separated from their families at the US-Mexico border, tax reform, gender parity in science, and beyond. The list of fellows’ publications continues to grow.

Faculty described the meaning of Public Voices to their overall career development. Shaun Fletcher (Journalism and Mass Communications) observed, “My journey as a Public Voices Fellow challenged me to reflect and deeply assess my true convictions for social justice. It helped me develop my skills to refine and articulate my thoughts for public consumption, while remaining true to the substance of my advocacy.” Katie Wilkinson (Biology) enthused, “The Public Voices Fellowship has been one of the most impactful experiences that I've had at SJSU.” The cohort has made plans to continue meeting to provide feedback on each other’s work, a reflection of Ryan Skinnell (English and Comparative Literature) observation, “I came into this program expecting to learn how to be a better writer for new audiences, but I didn't expect to learn so much about the amazing work other SJSU faculty are doing, and it's been such an enlightening experience.”

Provost Vincent Del Casino is extending this fellowship opportunity to more SJSU faculty, making a multi-year commitment to the Public Voices program. Faculty who would like to become part of the next cohort and SJSU’s Public Voices legacy can find application information at the CFD’s fellowship page

2020-2021 Public Voices Fellows:

Rebeca Burciaga, Chicana and Chicano Studies and Educational Leadership

Marion Campisi, Mathematics

Katherine Cushing, Environmental Studies

Winncy Du, Mechanical Engineering

Nicole Dubus, Social Work

Faustina DuCros, Sociology & Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

Nancy Dudley, Nursing

Deepika Goyal, Nursing

Shaun Fletcher, Journalism and Mass Communication

Tanvi Kothari, Global Innovation and Leadership

Saili Kulkarni, Special Education

Nidhi Mahendra, Communicative Disorders and Sciences

Annette Nellen, Accounting & Finance

Keenan Norris, English and Comparative Literature

Ruth Rosenblum, Nursing

Carlos Sanchez, Philosophy

Soma Sen, Social Work

Ryan Skinnell, English and Comparative Literature

Susan Snycerski, Psychology

Jodie Warren, Justice Studies

Katherine Wilkinson, Biological Sciences

Wilson Yuan, Justice Studies