New Vietnamese Fellows Complete 3-Week Social Work Academy

The Social Work Education Enhancement Project (SWEEP) completed its third Fellows Academy on July 11, with eight Vietnamese faculty members participating in a three-week training session at San José State University (SJSU).

The members of the SJSU SWEEP Fellows Academy III gather for a group photo with College of Applied Sciences and Arts staff and faculty.

The members of the SJSU SWEEP Fellows Academy III gather for a group photo with College of Applied Sciences and Arts staff and faculty.

The eight Fellows were:

Tung Nguyen, of Vietnam National University/HCM, University of Social Sciences and Humanities

Thao Do, of Dong Thap University

Sy Pham, of Hue University, College of Sciences

Cam Ly Vo, of Vinh University

Minh Bui, of Vietnam Natioinal University/Hanoi, University of Social Sciences and Humanities

Bich Do, of University of Labor and Social Affairs

Hien Nguyen, of DaLat University

Trang Nguyen, of Hanoi University of Education

SWEEP is an international consortium which includes the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), SJSU, eight universities in Vietnam, Vietnamese government Ministries, Cisco Systems, Inc., and community agencies and stakeholders. The purpose of SWEEP is to assist eight universities in Vietnam with improving their undergraduate social work educational programs. The project, which is funded with a grant from USAID and support from CISCO through September, 2015, aims to improve:

  • The administration of social work programs
  • Faculty capabilities in teaching and research
  • Social work curriculum, and
  • Network communication among the universities through the use of improved technology

Fast-emerging social problems in Vietnam are creating a high demand for professionally-trained social workers. Bich Do emphasized how important it is for young faculty members to gain knowledge in order to effectively improve social work in Vietnamese higher education. She was appointed by the SWEEP coordinator from her university.

Social Work Education Enhancement Program, eight Vietnamese faculty members were presented with certificates on the last day of the Fellows Academy.

Social Work Education Enhancement Program, eight Vietnamese faculty members were presented with certificates on the last day of the Fellows Academy.

“I learned how to design a syllabus for assignments and assessments through the competency-based curriculum training,” Do said during a short break from a workshop. She explained the importance of building a foundation to teach social work. “I will apply the training and use of technology I learned here to the way I teach.”

Throughout the three weeks, the Fellows were able to use Cisco telepresence equipment for workshops and meetings. The use of improved technology promotes easier access of communication among the universities.

Hien Nguyen expressed how this technology could be used to keep a connection with SJSU and for her own teaching approach. “I will look for ways to include technology to my teaching methods and network with colleagues and social services in Vietnam.”

In addition to workshops on campus, the Fellows were able to visit various social service agencies in the Bay Area, including the Santa Clara County Child Protective Services, Mekong Community Center, Gardner Family Care Mental Health Services and the California Social Work Education Center in Berkeley.

Sy Pham said he likes to learn new things and the site visits gave him an opportunity to study how these social services operate. “The field of social work is new and limited in Vietnam, so I will share the practices of social work we observed here which is very useful to help create a foundation” said Pham.

The Fellows gained much knowledge from the program and were pleased with how hospitable SJSU faculty and staff were. Do said she enjoyed the “spirit of collaboration and openness.”

Hien Nguyen said she would like to “continue the connection with SJSU faculty for support and hopefully bring Vietnamese social workers from the U.S. to Vietnam to share knowledge.”

“The faculty and staff were very informative and showed me an integrated way to apply the competency-based training where I will provide a seminar on it back home,” said Pham.

The Fellows were the third and final group to participate in SWEEP.

SJSU SWEEP Fellows Academy III gather for a group photo on the last day of the program

SJSU SWEEP Fellows Academy III gather for a group photo on the last day of the program

Visit a Spartans Supporting Spartans Cart

San José State University’s Advancement team is midway through it’s annual Spartans Supporting Spartans campaign in which committee members solicit donations from campus faculty and staff to support the many exciting things that are happening on campus. The goal this year is to collect donations from at least 300 donors, or about 10 percent of the faculty and staff on campus.

Members of the SJSU night custodial staff hold up Spartan Supporting Spartans pennants after making a donation to support students on campus.

Members of the SJSU night custodial staff hold up Spartan Supporting Spartans pennants after making a donation to support students on campus.

The theme this year is “My Grounds for Giving…” and team members are taking out moveable coffee carts with treats to various locations on campus.

Upcoming events are:

  • April 2, from 9-10:30 a.m. near the Library
  • April 8, from 2-3:30 p.m. near MacQuarrie Hall and HR
  • April 15, from 9-10:30 a.m. near Washington Square Hall

Donors will receive a free T-shirt while supplies last and can make a donation in honor of a colleague. Donation forms allow donors to write in which department/scholarship they want to support or to select from a few general options including RSCA, general scholarship funds or scholarships for SJSU staff.

Watch a video to learn why some committee members are Spartans Supporting Spartans.

Learn to use social media to support research

CASA’s Center for Applied Research on Human Services (CARHS) offered a Brown Bag session on April 2 on “Using social media to support research, scholarship and creative activity” with faculty from the College of Applied Sciences and Arts available to speak on their own experiences using such online resources as LinkedIn, Twitter, Academia.edu and electronic journals. Scheduled speakers included Michael Stephens and Lili Luo, from the School of Information; Alessandro DiGiorgio, from Justice Studies; John Delacruz, from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and Daniel Murphy, from Kinesiology. The speakers were anticipated to talk about how they use the online resources to disseminate and support their scholarly work and connect with other scholars with shared interests.

CARHS will host one more Brown Bag session, “Preparing internal grant applications,” with a time and date to be determined. CARHS Director Amy D’Andrade is also continuing to facilitate the CARHS mentored grant writing group and the Qualitative Research group.

For more information on any or all of these supports, visit the CARHS website or email CARHS Director and CASA Faculty Associate Dean for Research Amy D’Andrade at amy.dandrade@sjsu.edu.

SJSU’s Ed Cohen to participate in Fulbright grant in 2015-16

Ed Cohen, an associate professor in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts School of Social Work, has been selected to receive a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant to teach in Vietnam during the Spring 2016 semester.

Ed Cohen, far left, works with a group of Vietnamese faculty members as part of the Social Work Education Enhancement Project. He has received a Fulbright grant to work in Vietnam in Spring 2016.

Ed Cohen, far left, works with a group of Vietnamese faculty members as part of the Social Work Education Enhancement Project. He has received a Fulbright grant to work in Vietnam in Spring 2016.

He will teach a course in mental health policy and services, conduct research in the implementation of new legislation in the country to improve community-based mental health services, and provide seminars for faculty in teaching and scholarship. Cohen is Co-Investigator, with Alice Hines, of San José State University’s USAID-funded Social Work Education Enhancement Program (SWEEP) aimed at improving social work education, for Vietnam’s newly established social work profession.

As the co-investigator of SWEEP, Cohen has traveled to conferences in Vietnam for the last several years to work with eight partner universities. He has also participated in hosting visitors to SJSU from Vietnam including university administrators and faculty member who attended workshops on improving social work education in Vietnam.

SWEEP is an international consortium which includes USAID, SJSU, eight universities in Vietnam, government ministries, Cisco Systems, Inc., community agencies and stakeholders. The purpose of SWEEP is to assist eight universities in Vietnam with improving their undergraduate social work educational programs. The project, which is funded through September 2015, aims to improve:

  • The administration of social work programs
  • Faculty capabilities in teaching and research
  • Social work curriculum, and
  • Network communication among the universities through the use of improved technology

 

Columbia Law students assist SJSU’s Records Clearance Project

From March 16-20, eight Columbia Law students visited San José State University to assist the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Justice Studies department’s Records Clearance Project during their spring break. The students are the fourth group that has opted to use their spring break from Columbia Law School to help Santa Clara residents who want to expunge their records.

During the week, the law students worked with SJSU undergraduate students to interview eight clients, prepare petitions to have their records expunged and provided a rap sheet analysis of paths to expungement to 19 women in Elmwood County Jail.

Each law student was partnered with an SJSU undergraduate student for a week of intense work on the project.

“It’s been a great week and it’s been fun for me even though it has been a ton of work,” said Peggy Stevenson, the founder and director of the Records Clearance Project.

Since 2008, Record Clearance Project students and volunteers have provided more than 32,000 hours of service, not including the time put in for the Spring 2015 semester. According to the team’s estimates the market value of RCP services is 10 times the actual cost to run the program.

As of March 2015, the Records Clearance Project volunteers and students have prepared 823 petitions for 242 clients since the start of the program, with 99 percent of the convictions expunged and 94 percent of eligible felonies reduced to misdemeanors.

With luggage filling the corners of the room just before some of the law students flew home on the last day of their spring break, Stevenson asked them for feedback on the week’s work.

“Help us see what worked well and help us see what didn’t,” she said.

Preetha Reddy said she thought the activities were well timed to give them a sense that they had started and completed a project in the short time they had at SJSU.

“It was a good balance of being here, working along and with partners,” she said. “We did a lot of work, but it was well-timed and organized.”

She said that working on preparing petitions for future court hearings and also working with the women in the jail offered the chance to see clients of the Record Clearance Project as they neared the end of their journey while seeing others just beginning their journey.

“We got more than we gave,” Mindy Lin said. “We learned so much…I feel like we could do more.”

Some of the law students commented on how much the undergraduate students knew about the process of expungement while they were learning it on the spot.

“I was really impressed with how much we fit into five days,” Josh Dell said. “It’s more than in two weeks of law school…I lucked out that my client was very forth coming and really deserving.”

All the law students said they felt that their clients were deserving and working to change their lives for the better.

“I learned a lot about other people’s stories and wanting a new life,” Wendy Ren said, noting that her parents were skeptical that someone who had committed a crime would want to start a new life. “I didn’t know until I went through the process. It is a turning point for me as well.”

Some of the law students felt the same way.

“When you look at a client on paper, it’s just work,” Lin said. “It seems like it’s not that bad – it should be straight forward. But it’s not just legal. It (affects) marriages, families and self-esteem.”

The full list of Columbia Law students who participated in the alternative spring break at SJSU includes:

Wendy Ren

Kim Hyo

Mindy Lin

Josh Dell

Bryant Cobb

Joseph Niczky

Bram Schumer

Preetha Reddy