Engineering Students Make Terrific Presence at CommUniverCity Event

Students with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo visits with CME Lecturer Michael Oye and a group of engineering students. Oye is also a project supervisor and associate director of CommUniverCity SJSU.

Mechanical Engineering students Samuel Schoenstein ('20) and Ronnel Fetalvo ('20) demoed an Engineering in Action (EIA) project that could reclaim waste from Makerspace. In EIA, which includes several projects, SJSU engineering students provide hands-on STEM demonstrations to k-12 students.

Schoenstein and Fetalvo stood next to Computer Engineering students Lee-yu Lai (‘19) and Lok Hin Yu ('19) (not shown), who discussed improvements (such as a water quality tester) to the ongoing EPICS aquaponics project installed at the Tech Museum.

A little further down the row, Mechanical Engineering student Collin Rikkelman ('21) showed how he and his team took hands-on water pH testing to sixth graders as part of a Watershed-in-a-Box Project

Fourteen of CommUniverCity’s 580+ community-based projects (developed by SJSU faculty and students since 2004) were on display at CommUniverCity’s Quinceanera, a celebration of partnership between SJSU and the San Jose community.

Mayor Sam Liccardo said the CommUniverCity provides a model for many other cities because of its student and faculty engagement. Earlier this year CommUniverCity was recognized as a national leader in service-learning opportunities when it received the 2019 Outstanding Leader in Experiential Education: Community-Based Organization Award by the National Society of Experiential Education (NSEE).

Last year, CommUniverCity led more than 40 community projects in underserved areas of Central San Jose. It focuses on improving community health, promoting a college-going culture and enhancing neighborhood infrastructure. This semester approximately 250 engineering students were involved, along with nine Engineering Faculty members:

  • Michael Oye (CME)
  • Keith Perry (EPICS)
  • Julia Thompson (EPICS)
  • Ozgur Keles (CME)
  • Santosh KC (CME)
  • Emi Ishida (CME)
  • Vincent Wawrzynski (AVIA)
  • Francesca Favaro (AVIA)
  • Burford Furman (ME)

By the Numbers (2004-2019):

  • 115,556 residents engaged
  • 21,130 SJSU students participated in projects
  • 394,382 volunteer hours
  • $8.38 million (estimated value to the community)