Reflections on Solitary Confinement: Art, Rights, and Resistance

Professors Oona Hatton, Communication Studies, and Edith Kinney, Justice Studies, invite you to an upcoming discussion event exploring solitary confinement in California’s Pelican Bay Prison.

The event features Jack L. Morris, who survived decades in Pelican Bay’s “Secured Housing Unit” (SHU) before his recent parole, along with Shelia Pinkel, an artist, advocate, and Professor Emerita in Pomona College’s Art and Art History Department.

Morris will be speaking about his experiences in long-term solitary confinement and his work as an artist. The speakers will explore the role of art as a mode of survival, resistance, and a way to illustrate the rights violations of incarceration and solitary.

Join the discussion on February 16, 2018, 12:00 – 1:15 p.m. in Hugh Gillis Hall 219. Feel free to email Edith Kinney ( or Oona Hatton ( with questions.

Click here to see Pinkel’s artistic work on mass incarceration

Click here to see Morris’ artwork

Harlem Reimagined Exhibit at MLK Library

Thirty-four years after the death of James Van Der Zee, renowned photographer, who chronicled the Harlem Renaissance and the greater Black community from 1906-1983, SJSU students led by Dr. D. Michael Cheers, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, along with David Early, retired columnist, San Jose Mercury News, conducted a four-day cross country journey to experience the unique global diversity of New York City, November 2017.

A team of photojournalists from San Jose State University joined students from George Washington University and three high schools to capture life in Harlem today, as it deals with gentrification. Forty-five students, teachers and community members participated in the four-day project.

You are invited to attend the opening of the Harlem Reimagined exhibition today, Thursday, February 8th, with a reception from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.  It will be held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 2nd floor.

At the exhibition opening​​, the SJSU photojournalism students will be joined by students from Satellite Academy High School in New York, along with several San Jose community photographers who participated in the project.

Dr. Meekyung Han Named Society for Social Work and Research Fellow

Congratulations to Dr. Meekyung Han, Master of Social Work Online/Hybrid Program Coordinator and Professor in the School of Social Work!

Dr. Han was named a 2018 Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Fellow at the annual SSWR conference in January, 2018. There are approximately 1,300 SSWR members annually and Dr. Han was 1 of 18 awardees this year and the only awardee from the entire California State University System since 2014.

To view the list of SSWR Fellows for 2018 and for more information about the fellowship program, click here.

2017-18 CEED Awards Presented at the CASA Spring Welcome Assembly

At the CASA Spring Welcome Assembly on January 22, 2018, the 2017-18 CASA Committee to Enhance Equity and Diversity (CEED) Awards were announced. The mission of the CEED Awards is “to enhance the mission of CASA by promoting a deeper understanding of equity and diversity by recognizing and being responsive to issues on age, class, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation.”

To qualify for these awards, the nominees must satisfy one or more of the following criteria:

  • Outstanding service to equity and diversity enhancement on the San José State University campus
  • Outstanding service to equity and diversity enhancement in the community
  • Outstanding activities and projects that contribute to a better understanding of equity and diversity issues

The CEED Awards were coordinated by the CEED committee which included Ed Cohen, CEED Chair, School of Social Work; Suzy Ross, Health Science & Recreation; Faranak Memarzadeh, Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management; Phylis West-Johnson, School of Journalism & Mass Communications; Shawna Bolton, Justice Studies; Seung Ho Chang, Kinesiology; Virginia Tucker, School of Information; Ruth Rosenblum, Valley Foundation School of Nursing; Kate Liu, Nutrition, Food Science & Packaging; Deb Bolding, Occupational Therapy and Pam Richardson, CASA College representative.

Christopher Rosalejos, student, Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management, received the Undergraduate Student Service Award. As with many of CASA’s students, Christopher is more than an outstanding student. Besides being employed at a Silicon Valley semiconductor company and raising a seven-year old daughter, Christopher has found time to pursue his passions. As a Filipino, Christopher decided to artistically collaborate with the Akbayan Pilipino-American Organization at SJSU. He directed a fusion dance of modern choreography with traditional folk dances from the Philippines. Christopher feels that promoting his Filipino culture to today’s modern dance community is very important. He has composed folk dances: Tinikling and Pandanggo Sa Ilaw with Hip-Hop styles for presentation at the 2018 Filipino Cultural Night at the Golden State Warriors Halftime Show. Christopher is the Vice President of Professional Activities for the F.I.N.E.S.S.E. Class, Delta Sigma Pi, a co-ed professional fraternity.

Giovanni Sumulong, student, Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging also received the Undergraduate Student Award. Giovanni participates and helps with marketing and recruiting efforts for Faculty Led Programs in the College of International and Extended Studies. He is a Health Ambassador to the Santa Clara County Food Bank and has led fundraising efforts for the Chicano Commencement and fundraising efforts for Sigma Alpha Zeta to raise awareness of domestic violence issues. Giovanni is an active volunteer within the Nutrition and Food Science Club for convocation activities. He is also a veteran, having served in the United States Air Force which paved the way for him to attend SJSU.

Layling Chang, student, School of Social Work received the Graduate Student Award. Layling is the Outreach Chair Member of the Social Work Graduate Student Association. Layling is passionate about the work she does with our community to have healthier families. She has connected with organizations to improve the level of education of marginalized communities by obtaining laptops for their children.  She volunteers her time to give back to the community by gathering, organizing, and delivering meals, hygiene products and blankets to the homeless population around the Bay Area. She has demonstrated leadership qualities and dedication to the mission of social work.

The CEED Student Organization Award was presented to the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA). SOTA has a rich history of planning and participating in community service and volunteer opportunities within the local community. The students are dedicated to reaching under-served and at-risk populations within our community. During the AARP and AOTA sponsored CarFit event for older adults, SOTA members volunteer as technicians to offer older drivers adjustments to seats, pedals and mirrors to ensure a proper and safe fit. At the annual San José Walk to End Alzheimer’s event, SOTA volunteers assisted with event setup on campus and cheered on participants as they approach the finish line. At the Spring Special Olympics, SOTA volunteers assisted event staff and chaperoned, supported, and provided encouragement for disabled adult athletes. SOTA has consistently participated in these events each year for the past several years. Additionally, this year during the Thanksgiving break, SOTA volunteers assisted Sacred Heart Community Service with their Thanksgiving food distribution event for homeless families in Santa Clara County. This is an annual community event that SOTA plans to participate in each year. These are just a few examples of events SOTA has partnered with organizations in our community to promote equity and diversity. Kaylene DeBord, Lisa Benjamin and Erin Lubniewski represented SOTA at the CASA Spring Welcome Assembly.

The CEED Faculty Award was presented to Deepa Singamsetti, Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging. Deepa has successfully promoted and fostered a deeper understanding of equity and diversity as it relates to ethnicity, nationality and cultural food practices in SJSU students. Over the past 10 years, Deepa has educated approximately 1,500 students on cultural food practices through NUFS 144 and issues related to hunger and environmental nutrition through NUFS 139. Course work includes students interviewing other students on their cultural food practices and developing a presentation. In addition, students engage in community service related to poverty and hunger in the San José Area. Students’ evaluations illustrate Deepa’s approachability, guidance and mentorship strengths.

Above and beyond her job requirements, Deepa has wholeheartedly embraced SJSU Faculty-Led Programs (FLP). Although she does not describe herself as a ‘traveled person,’ she has stepped out of her comfort zone to offer students an opportunity to be global citizens. Ashwini Wagle, Chair of the Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging, accepted the award on behalf of Deepa.

Congratulations to all the CEED awardees!

From left to right: Christopher Rosalejos, Ashwini Wagle, SOTA Members (Lisa Benjamin, Kaylene DeBord and Erin Lubniewski), Giovanni Sumulong, and Layling Chang


2nd Annual CASA Service Awards

The 2nd Annual CASA Service Awards were presented by Dean Mary Schutten and Associate Dean Pamela Richardson on Wednesday, November 15, at the San José State University Student Union Theater. There were four service awards given to deserving faculty and staff. Service and putting others first is so important to the culture of the college, university, and society.

Congratulations to the following CASA Service Award Winners!

CASA Administrative & Professional Service Award:

Mai Phan, School of Social Work

CASA Annual Faculty Service Award for Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty: 

Yinghua (Michelle) Huang, Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management

CASA Lifetime Faculty Service Award for Lecturer:

Daniel Murphy, Department of Kinesiology

CASA Lifetime Faculty Service Award :

Caroline Haas, Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging

Alice Hines, Associate Dean, College of Applied Sciences and Arts

None of this could have taken place without the work of the CASA Service Award Selection Committee which included: John Delacruz, School of Journalism and Mass Communications; Emily Bruce, School of Social Work; Kristina Luna, School of Information; Faranak Memarzadeh, Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management; and Emily Wughalter, Department of Kinesiology.

Ysabel Duron, 22nd Century Medicine: Life Care Not Health Care

After the awards were presented, Dean Schutten introduced Ysabel Duron who spoke on 22nd Century Medicine: Life Care Not Healthcare. Duron is a 1970 SJSU Journalism graduate and was SJSU’S  2017 commencement speaker. Her career paths are filled with a service oriented approach to life.

Duron stepped away from a 4+ decade, multi award-winning television journalism career, to focus on a non-profit she launched in 2003, to serve low income, Spanish speaking and immigrant Latinos around issues of cancer. The Silicon Valley based agency, Latinas Contra Cancer (LCC), created programs to address gaps in services, contracted with public health and clinic delivery systems to provide patient navigation and psycho-social support, engaged and trained community health workers as part of a workforce development plan to increase the numbers of linguistically and culturally appropriate employees to serve the underserved.

Duron convened the Biennial National Latino Cancer Summit starting in 2008 to turn the spotlight on the increasing cancer incidence and mortality rate in the Latino community. Since then, participants across the sectors gather to network, learn from each other and find ways to collaborate in research and translation programs in community.

Recently, Duron left LCC to roll out her third startup – the Latino Cancer Institute – a national non-profit, currently in development stage.

Through Duron’s involvement as Executive Director of Latinas Contra Cancer, she shared with the audience where you live, work and play is an indicator of not only your quality of life but your future health outcome. This is because where you live and work determines your access to health care.

Duron longs for a healthier equitable society. She said, “research shows that in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Latino children are actually born with mutations in cancer cells.”  This means they are prone to get the disease from birth.

She also shared statistics that from 2010-2014, Texas had the highest maternal mortality rate among Hispanic women. She said these statistics could be attributed to Texas removing all Planned Parenthood Clinics.

Through research from the LCC, Duron says “breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer and death among Latino women.” Duron’s parting words were “in order to change the system, you’ve got to shock the system to change the system.”

To view the CASA Service Awards and Duron’s speech, click here.