Student Success

The grants awarded to SJSU are not always for traditional “research.” Some grants with the greatest impact provide direct support to students.

Maureen Scharberg

Grant Awards Increase Student Success

Maureen ScharbergMaureen Scharberg has amassed a robust array of grant awards in support of student success. These awards are funding programs for first generation and under-represented minority students, research-based summer bridge programs for incoming freshmen, and improved student advising services.

“One of my favorites was our National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. It helped us jump start student success in the College of Science by establishing the College of Science Advising Center,” says Dr. Scharberg. “It also made it possible for faculty to do research on best practices for the classroom in math, computer science, and physics.”

Grants from the U.S. Department of Education are funding SJSU’s writing support services. Proactive models of active engagement in writing are fostering a campus-wide culture of writing excellence. Professional development for faculty in teaching writing strategies is also part of this program.

Project Succeed, also funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is strengthening SJSU’s climate with respect to increasing retention and graduation rates. Research-based systems for transitioning freshmen to SJSU are being implemented, such as block scheduling, learning communities and peer mentoring.

“Student success is about learning and academics, but it is also about feeing connected to the campus,” explains Dr. Scharberg. “Targeted advising and a supportive environment are key to helping our students succeed.”

Ahmed Hambaba and Jacob Tsao

Scholarships for Prospective Entrepreneurs

Ahmed Hambaba, Jacob TsaoThanks to the $600,000 four-year Silicon Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholarships Program (SVIES), graduate engineering students at SJSU have new opportunities to learn about innovation, with direct support from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

Founded by Ahmed Hambaba and Jacob Tsao the program provides $10,000 annual scholarships to academically talented, financially needy graduate engineering students at SJSU. These scholarships come with significant educational and research components that teach about thinking creatively, visualizing new products, and starting new companies. Drs. Tsao and Hambaba have already solicited participation and mentoring support from founders of both well-known and start-up Silicon Valley businesses.

“Hearing innovators’ stories fi rst-hand sparks the imagination,” explains Dr. Hambaba. “Students learn what exactly happens in the mind of the innovator: what drives their creativity, what the context was for the innovator’s idea, and how they developed that idea into a product.”

Both professors hope for a broad expansion of the SVIES program over time.

“Eventually we would like to see an Innovation & Entrepreneurship certificate program in the College of Engineering,” said Dr. Tsao. “We hope to institutionalize innovation education at SJSU.”

SJSU Research Foundation Annual Report 2015