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Dwight Bentel Hall closed for construction; students to meet in SU ballrooms

August 25th, 2014 by Melissa Anderson

Due to ongoing construction, classes scheduled in Dwight Bentel Hall on Monday, Aug. 25 and Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 have been relocated to the Student Union, Ballrooms A and B. Students can check in with their faculty at tables labeled with their classroom number and instructor. The ballroom in the new student union is upstairs and can be accessed by entering the Student Union through the Seventh Street entrance. Signs will be posted to direct faculty and students to the ballrooms.

Interim Dean Alice Hines has directed faculty to go to the Student Union ballroom at their scheduled class time to meet with their students. Faculty members will be using the first meeting with their classes to:

1.  Have students on roster check in to claim their seat in the class.

2.     Take waitlist names if seats will or may be available

3.     Provide instructions for class reading or other assignments.

4.     Be prepared to send roster messages to students to notify them of any changes or updates.

5.     If using Canvas, make assignments and instructions available there.

Academic Scheduling will be looking for alternative locations for classes to meet after the first two days of instruction. They will notify faculty and students as soon as locations have been assigned.

CASA Dean’s Office staff have posted signs to notify faculty and staff of the relocation of classes to the Ballroom. They will be available at DBH and in the new Ballroom to redirect students and faculty.

Enterprising students find unique ways to fund study abroad

August 20th, 2014 by Melissa Anderson

SJSU students solicited sponsorships, baked and found other ways to raise money to head to Paris

By Linda Levine, Health Science and Recreation, College of Applied Sciences and Arts, and David Buseck, Global Studies, College of Social Science

Nearly everyone I have ever met who has studied abroad agrees that to do so is worth every penny spent. Unfortunately, the steep price tag frightens many students off before they begin. While the numbers might deter interested students away, it’s important to note that not only the wealthy students travel – it is the creative and determined ones who find themselves studying in France with us each summer on the Faculty-Led Program “Paris: City of Cultures!”

Students in Linda Levine and David Buseck's faculty-led studio abroad program visited the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Students in Linda Levine and David Buseck’s faculty-led study abroad program visited the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

For our 2013 Faculty-Led Program to Paris, Hospitality Management Student Sarah Moline took our suggestion to write a letter to potential supporters and she was delighted at the response. Sarah made contact with potential sponsors through snail mail and e-mail. Her list included friends, relatives, co-workers, old teachers, service agencies, her religious institution and others. She reminded people who she was, she included photos of herself and iconic French locations. She emitted a contagious enthusiasm for her upcoming experience highlighting how learning about French culture and visiting businesses in France would support her career goals. She included details about the program and how she believed our study abroad experience was an investment in her future. She said that sponsorship for this experience would be the perfect graduation present in advance. She followed up with individual thank you notes, a group newsletter during the trip and a personal post card to donors who gave $100 or more.

Health Science major Jayne Baltazar baked her way to “Paris: City of Cultures” ’14 by selling delicious macarons, the favorite sweet of the French. This was not a small bake sale: Jayne paid for her airfare, tuition, housing, food and everything associated with the trip by selling 7,000 macarons at approximately a $1 a piece. If you do the math that is $7,000 raised from the time of acceptance in the Fall until the plane took off in June! She has been so successful that she now intends to pay off her student loans this way to be debt free at graduation. She is also considering baking as part of her future.

In 2012, two creative students got their families and friends involved by saving glass bottles to recycle. Other resourceful student travellers reached out to family friends offering to cater or act as servers and dishwashers for fall and winter holiday meals and parties around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. They earned hundreds of dollars each night. Students who were committed to our study abroad moved home for the semester, took out loans, took second jobs or drastically restricted spending to ensure they had the money to make the trip possible.

Health Science student Jayne Baltazar baked and sold macarons to raise money to attend a faculty-led program in Paris.

Health Science student Jayne Baltazar baked and sold macarons to raise money to attend a faculty-led program in Paris.

With the benefit of ingenuity, creativity, confidence and perseverance students can embark on a fundraising journey that paves the way for their global experience. When Jayne was asked about her favorite aspects of her study abroad experience she said paying for it herself through her new business endeavor, Macaron by Jayne, was high on the list of associated joys and personal accomplishments. Eating macarons at famous boulangeries (bakeries) and patisseries (pastry shops) while fulfilling her dream to travel to Paris was a close second. And, making the “Paris: City of Cultures” video to entice future students to study abroad with us was a near third!

For more information on the Faculty-Led Program “Paris: City of Cultures” contact

To view a video promoting the program by Jayne Baltazar, visit: Video Link:

Seven professors prepare for 2014-15 sabbaticals

August 15th, 2014 by Melissa Anderson

During the 2014-15 academic year, seven professors within the College of Applied Sciences and Arts at San José State University were awarded a sabbatical to conduct research related to their fields. Here are summaries of some of the work those on sabbatical will be conducting this year.

School of Social Work

Amy D’Andrade, the Associate Dean of Research for the College and Director for the CASA Center for Applied Research on Human Services, will be on sabbatical for Fall 2014. She is planning to use the time to focus on several projects related to her ongoing research focused on reunification between parents and children who have been removed from the home due to maltreatment, with an emphasis on the role fathers play in the reunification process. Her projects include a secondary analysis and journal manuscript on parent constellations and parent-specific outcomes in child welfare reunification and a grant proposal to fund a research study using dyadic analysis to understand fathers’ contributions to reunification outcomes.

Dr. D’Andrade received her MSW and PhD in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. She is an Associate Professor in the SJSU School of Social Work, teaching graduate courses on social welfare policy and research. She also serves as the Director of the Center for Applied Research in Human Services (CARHS), and the faculty Associate Dean for Research for the College. Her research interests focus on the public child welfare system, particularly issues affecting parental reunification with children removed for maltreatment. She has conducted studies on reunification service delivery, reunification for incarcerated parents, and California’s reduction of reunification timeframes for parents of children under three. She received the 2010 Early Career Investigator Award from the San Jose State University Research Foundation. Prior to her academic career, Dr. D’Andrade was a child welfare services social worker in San Diego County for over six years, working in a variety of programs including Residential Services, Independent Living Services, and data systems administration.

Meekyung Han, of the School of Social Work, will be on a two-semester, half-pay sabbatical during which she will work on two projects that will expand the depth and breadth of her professional and academic experiences.  For one of her projects, Han will be the principal investigator who will look at “long-term effects of parental interpersonal violence and child maltreatment on internalizing and externalizing mental health problems with Asian college students: The role of social support.” For this project, she will be working with professors from four Asian countries including Japan, China, Hong Kong and South Korea, along with a collaborator at SJSU. For her second project, Han and a collaborator received the Silberman Fund Faculty Grant to study “Vicarious trauma and its impact on well-being among family caregivers of persons with mental illness: A Comparative Exploration of self-care practices among Asians and Caucasians.” At the end of the study, Han and her colleague will submit a manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and she will develop a grant proposal for external funding.

Han said her first project will help to build a strong international scholarly partnership that will benefit SJSU and the College of Applied Sciences and Arts by building a global academic community. The second project will build upon her existing knowledge of the well-being of people with mental illness in general and with Asians in particular.

Soma Sen, a professor in the School of Social Work, received a grant along with a colleague from the department of Health Science and Recreation to explore the impact of HIV-related stigma on HIV testing behavior among Asian American Pacific Islander populations with community partner Asian Americans for Community Involvement. During her sabbatical, Sen plans to complete a manuscript for submission in a peer-reviewed journal and prepare for external funding from the National Institute of Health to support research to characterize and reduce the stigma to improve health.

Justice Studies

Dr. Steven Lee, the director of the Forensic Science Program, will use his sabbatical to conduct empirical research at the International Forensic Research Institute at Florida International University with next generation sequencing to uncover forensically significant, age and tissue specific genetic markers and with newly developed, inhibitor resistant enzymes for expanding and enhancing rapid 25 minute, direct DNA typing of samples.

Lee said his research will provide data for presentation and publication, future collaborative external grants and significant potential improvements in accuracy and speed of DNA typing.  He will also complete the analysis of a three-year program of research on PCR enhancers, leading to the resubmission of a peer-reviewed manuscript. He will develop a new course on Forensic Science in Human Rights Investigations, leading to a new permanent course at SJSU.

Valley Foundation School of Nursing

Lori Rodriguez will be taking a sabbatical leave in Spring 2015 to conduct surveys and interviews with the graduates of the DNP class of 2014 to determine the degree to which the program prepared the graduates to be faculty, advanced practice clinicians, and/or leaders. Beyond this basic required information, she will capitalize on her background as a qualitative researcher and hold interviews and/or focus groups with graduates to discuss their role change, and allow them to reflect on their experience. Rodriguez has been one of the integral faculty members involved in the pilot DNP program at SJSU, which is a joint effort with California State University, Fresno.

Sabbaticals were also granted to the following professors:

Kathy Lemon – School of Social Work

Tamar Semerjian – Kinesiology

Six CASA professors granted tenure/promotion

August 15th, 2014 by Melissa Anderson

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts at San José State University is pleased to announce six professors completed the rigorous process of receiving tenure, promotion or both.

Dr. Danielle Harris received tenure and was promoted to an associate professor in Justice Studies.

Dr. Danielle Harris received tenure and was promoted to an associate professor in Justice Studies.

Danielle Harris, a Justice Studies professor, received early tenure and early promotion to an associate professor in her fifth year.

Dr. Harris’ research interests include sexual offending and aggression; developmental and life course criminology; the criminal career paradigm; desistance; public policy; female criminality; criminological theory; sexuality and justice. She has published several articles related to sexual offenders about both male and female offenders.

Dr. Harris received her doctorate in Criminology in 2008 from Griffith University, Australia. Prior to that, she completed a Master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland (College Park) and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Justice Studies (with Honors) at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane and the University of Westminster, London. Dr Harris is the Director of Research for the Art of Yoga Project, a nonprofit organization that provides a yoga and creative arts curriculum to girls in custody. She is also actively involved in the SJSU Record Clearance Project. When she is not grading or writing, she enjoys travel, theatre, and sleep.

Jessica Chin, a Kinesiology professor, received tenure and promotion to an associate professor.

Dr. Jessica Chin received tenure and promotion to an associate professor in Kinesiology.

Dr. Jessica Chin received tenure and promotion to an associate professor in Kinesiology.

Dr. Chin is the research and core specialist for the department of Kinesiology.

She said her favorite part of being a professor is watching her students grow and learn.

“It is rewarding to see my students succeed in and outside the classroom,” she said, “whether by applying a concept in class, demonstrating deep knowledge of a topic on an exam, completing a high-quality research paper, being hired for a dream job, confidently defending a master’s project or thesis, or receiving admission to a highly respected doctoral program.”

She said the most challenging part of the RTP process is trying to excel in all areas of research, teaching and service.

“It’s hard to excel in one area without making sacrifices in another, let alone reserving time and energy to look after my own health,” she said, via email.

Moving forward she is going to continue her research projects and look for new research opportunities. She is part of a research team that recently received a three-year grant to conduct hazing research among college athletes in Canada.

Chin earned her Ph.D. in Kinesiology at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD., where she was a member of the Physical Cultural Studies (PCS) research group. After receiving a national language training grant, she moved to Romania to learn the language and pursue her research examining the physical activity and bodily experiences of women in postcommunist Romania. With the goal of improving the social and cultural climate of sport for girls and women, her current research is centered on examinations of initiation and hazing among female collegiate athletes in the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Chin is passionate about physical activity and remains an advocate for underserved and underrepresented populations through her teaching, research, and community service.

Dr. Chin is an active member of the Western Society for the Physical Education of College Women (WSPECW), the International Sociology of Sport Association (ISSA), and the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), regularly presenting her research at their annual conferences. For NASSS, she serves on the Elections Committee and the Environmental Impact Committee; she has also played an active role on the Diversity and Conference Climate Committee. Further, Dr. Chin served as Chair of the Committee to Enhance Equity and Diversity (CEED) in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts (CASA) from 2010-2014 and was also as an academic consultant to the Bay Area Physical Education-Health Program (Bay PE-HP).

With a strong desire to include students in work that promotes diversity and social justice, Dr. Chin has mentored and advised students in various capacities. As an example, she leads and advises RePlay, a nonprofit, student-based group that seeks to benefit and initiate positive change in local communities and educational institutions. Following the core principles of promoting social justice and a green lifestyle, RePlay collects used sporting goods and equipment, which they refurbish and distribute at events specially organized for underserved community groups. RePlay has organized events and made significant donations to foster children, homeless shelters, underfunded physical education programs, and summer camps. Each event focuses on providing equipment and opportunities for physical activity that otherwise might not be available for these communities.

For leisure, Dr. Chin enjoys training and competing in various sports. Though she is a former powerlifter, she has shifted her focus to triathlons (swimming, biking, running). She is currently a coach and advisor for SJSU’s Triathlon Club and has also advised the Boxing Club and Track & Field Club. She remains engaged in the local sporting community as a U.S. certified umpire for field hockey and girls’ and women’s lacrosse. Since moving to California, she has enjoyed making the most of the beautiful weather offered year round, jumping on every chance she has to ride her bike, run her favorite routes, and explore new hiking trails.

Susan McNiesh, a professor in the Valley Foundation School of Nursing, received tenure and promotion to an associate professor.

Dr. Susan McNiesh received tenure and promotion to an associate professor in the Valley Foundation School of Nursing.

Dr. Susan McNiesh received tenure and promotion to an associate professor in the Valley Foundation School of Nursing.

Dr. McNiesh’ s primary research interest is how students learn to be practitioners.

“Practice learning requires learning a certain way of thinking to be open to ambiguity and uncertainty, while being guided by a strong moral compass,” she said, via emial. “For that reason simulation of situations that unfold over time are of interest to me in both my teaching and research.”

She said she enjoys having a dialogue with her students.

“Unfortunately undergraduate students rarely take advantage of office hours just to chat, but graduate students are much more apt to come in and talk about their project ideas,” she said.

She said the most challenging part of the RTP process for her is that she is not a detailed-oriented person so the charts, lists and indexes were a challenge to complete.

She worked as a labor and delivery nurse for 17 years before enrolling at SJSU to complete a master’s in nursing, followed by a PhD in nursing from University of California, San Francisco.

Toby Adelman, a professor in the Valley Foundation School of Nursing, received tenure.

Dr. Toby Adelman, right, pictured at the Grand Canyon with her daughter Shy, received tenure in the Valley Foundation School of Nursing.

Dr. Toby Adelman, right, pictured at the Grand Canyon with her daughter Shy, received tenure in the Valley Foundation School of Nursing.

Toby Adelman RN, PhD, has been an Associate Professor at the SJSU The Valley Foundation School of Nursing since 2008 and she said she is honored to have received tenure in Spring 2014.

“My career in nursing has been exciting and varied in form,” she said. “I worked primarily in neurosurgery for a decade at UCSF Medical Center, followed by shorter positions in cardiac telemetry, oncology, and outpatient case management, all in San Francisco.”

During her five years at the Institute on Aging in SF, she returned to University California, San Francisco to complete a doctorate in nursing, with a focus on gerontology and health policy. She was selected as a Betty Irene Moore Fellow, requiring her to complete her PhD in three years.

“As a single parent with an eight-year-old daughter at the time, that was a challenge, and very fulfilling when completed,” she said.

In her time at SJSU, she has taught more than 1,000 seniors in addition to supporting a number of masters in nursing students in classes on community/public health and professional role development.

“I have complete confidence that the next generation of registered nurses coming out of SJSU are poised to take on the incredible challenges ahead,” she said. “Our students are bright, inquisitive men and women who are dedicated to life-long learning and providing the best possible nursing care. It is always an engaging experience, being in the classroom and clinical settings with our students.”

She said her favorite part of being at SJSU’s Valley Foundation School of Nursing is seeing graduates obtain employment as RNs and “hearing them share their excitement about being a part of the art and science of nursing, and appreciating the faculty’s part in them being where they are. It feels great to see them succeeding.”

In her off time this summer, she took a two-week, cross-country road trip with her 18-year-old daughter as a graduation present before her daughter heads off to college. They drove Route 66 before heading north to Dr. Adelman’s hometown in Maine, then driving to Boston to turn in the rental car and fly home. In the fall, she will be adjusting as her daughter heads off to college in New York.

She said the most challenging part of the RTP process was to stay on top of everything she does and document it to be evaluated. She said while she was willing to take on lots of projects and is good at executing them, her challenge is documenting all the work.

“I love being a part of the SJSU The Valley Foundation School of Nursing Nurse Managed Centers,” she said. “We are actively engaged in research and practice throughout Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz.”

Her clinical research allows her to engage with many partners on and off-campus, including: The Santa Clara County Public Health Nurse Department; the Stanford Geriatric Education Center; The Health Trust; and The SJSU Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations.

She recommended those who are starting the RTP process to be organized in documenting all that they do and to learn from department colleagues who have been through the process.

“My nursing faculty colleagues were readily helpful and I appreciate their assistance greatly,” she said.

Her plans for the coming year at the School of Nursing are to continue a research project on incorporating electronic records into the Nurse Managed Centers, presenting the research utilizing the Stanford Geriatric Education Center’s ethno-geriatric teaching modules at an international conference in Jerusalem, Israel in November, and continuing to work with faculty and community partners  to provide students with current, effective knowledge in the art and science of nursing.

Lori Rodriguez, a professor in the Valley Foundation School of Nursing, received tenure and promotion to a full professor.

Dr. Lori Rodriguez, back, hoods Dr. Diane Crayton at the CSU, Fresno DNP graduation ceremony, a joint program between SJSU and CSU, Fresno. Dr. Rodriguez received tenure and promotion to a full professor in the Valley Foundation School of Nursing.

Dr. Lori Rodriguez, back, hoods Dr. Diane Crayton at the CSU, Fresno DNP graduation ceremony, a joint program between SJSU and CSU, Fresno. Dr. Rodriguez received tenure and promotion to a full professor in the Valley Foundation School of Nursing.

Dr. Rodriguez started working at SJSU in the Fall of 2007. As a former intensive care nurse, manager, nurse practitioner and educator, she came to the university with a strong service background. With previous teaching experience and publications, she was fortunate to have a head start on two of the areas required in the RTP process. Whether designing courses or programs, she loves to experiment with new ways of teaching and has found the Learning Management Systems (webCT, D2L, Canvas) to be great support to her teaching. Her greatest joy was to be a part of the graduation of doctors of nursing practice this spring.  The RTP process is a nosebleed, she said, and the most challenging part was the detail work involved. Plans for the future include supporting the process of bringing the Family Nurse Practitioner program back to San Jose State to meet the health care needs of the community.  In Spring 2015, she will be on sabbatical to conduct surveys and interviews with the graduates of the DNP class of 2014 to determine the degree to which the program prepared the graduates to be faculty, advanced practice clinicians, and/or leaders.

Claudio Vera Sanchez, a professor in Justice Studies, received tenure and promotion to an associate professor.

Dr. Claudio Vera-Sanchez received tenure and was promoted to an associate professor in Justice Studies.

Dr. Claudio Vera-Sanchez received tenure and was promoted to an associate professor in Justice Studies.

Vera Sanchez’ research interests are centered on how Latino and African American juveniles from underprivileged neighborhoods are criminalized by both nurturing (schools, etc.) and non-nurturing (police, etc.) institutions. His work has also involved channeling at-risk Latino and African American youth, some who have been previously gang affiliated to a path of success. He has taught courses on statistics, qualitative research methods, juvenile delinquency, and the policing of Latino and African American youth.


New faces take on leadership roles in College of Applied Sciences and Arts

August 14th, 2014 by Melissa Anderson
Vinh City2

Alice Hines, right, meets with representatives at partner universities in Vietnam as part of the Social Work Education Enhancement Program.

Alice Hines, Interim Dean

Dr. Alice Hines took over the top administrative role in San José State University’s College of Applied Sciences and Arts as interim dean on July 1, 2014, after three years of serving as an Associate Dean for the College. In her three years as an Associate Dean, Hines oversaw curriculum and scheduling processes for the college, reviewed student petitions, and worked closely with departments and schools to foster international partnerships. She is the co-director of the Social Work Education Enhancement Program, which is funded with a grant from USAID to provide Social Work training for educators in Vietnam. She and her team hosted a fellowship and conference in 2013-14 that brought representatives from partner universities in Vietnam to SJSU for intensive training.  In her role, she has also traveled to Vietnam to visit the partner universities.

As Associate Dean, Hines helped to shepherd in a new scholarship with donor Helen L. Stevens, dedicated to supplementing the cost of faculty-led study abroad programs. For the first year, Stevens donated 12- $500 scholarships to CASA students enrolled in faculty-led study abroad programs for the summer. Hines has expressed a dedication to continued expansion of the international experience initiative in the College beyond the first three pilot programs started this summer so more CASA students have the opportunity to study in other countries.

Before joining the dean’s office staff, Hines worked in the School of Social Work, where her scholarly work focused on: substance abuse and risk of AIDS, particularly among ethnic and cultural minority groups; methodological issues in research especially as they pertain to diverse cultural and ethnic groups; and, research on child and family-related issues with a particular focus on examining family-based correlates of adolescent and young adult development. She served as director of the School of Social work from 2004-2011. Hines has an M.S.W and Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley.

Pamela Richardson, Acting Associate Dean

Dr. Pamela Richardson joined the Dean's Office staff for the College of Applied Sciences and Arts in July as acting associate chair.

Dr. Pamela Richardson joined the Dean’s Office staff for the College of Applied Sciences and Arts in July as acting associate chair.

Pamela Richardson joined the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, Dean’s Office staff as Acting Associate Dean in July 2014. As acting associate dean, she will have a role in facilitating curriculum development, scheduling and the expansion of international programs for the College. She served as Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy for the past two years, coordinating a major curriculum revision and program update. Dr. Richardson is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Dr. Richardson was the 2011 Honored Lecturer for the California Foundation for Occupational Therapy and received the California Occupational Therapy Association Award of Excellence in 2013.

Dr. Richardson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma , Wash.; a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Medicine and a Ph.D in Early Childhood Special Education/ Rehabilitation Medicine from the University of Washington, in Seattle. Her research and clinical interests include social participation of children with disabilities, play-based and peer-mediated interventions for children with autism, family-centered therapy services, occupational justice issues for youth, transition services for youth with autism, international occupational therapy practice and online teaching. She has taught and presented recently from the inaugural interdisciplinary study abroad course focused on community health in Grenada with OT and nursing faculty and students. She developed and managed a bilateral study abroad program between the departments of occupational therapy at SJSU and the University of Western Sydney, one of the first study abroad programs for students in an occupational therapy curriculum. She helped to design the curriculum for the online Master’s degree in occupational therapy at SJSU and coordinated and taught in the program for several years.

Matthew Masucci, Chair, Kinesiology

Matthew Masucci is the new chair for the Kinesiology Department. He takes the helm after 12 years teaching in the department.

Matthew Masucci is the new chair for the Kinesiology Department. He takes the helm after 12 years teaching in the department.

Dr. Matthew Masucci started as the chair of Kinesiology on July 1, 2014. He oversees a department with an estimated 1,000 students enrolled, including a hundred whom are graduate students. Within the department, there are eight different concentrations ranging from adapted physical activity to exercise and fitness to athletic training to societal studies, among others. Masucci has been a professor of Interdisciplinary Sports Studies in the Kinesiology department since 2002, when he joined SJSU as a full-time temporary faculty member. His background when he joined the faculty included a strong interdisciplinary focus. He earned a bachelor’s in philosophy and psychology at Salisbury University, a master’s in philosophy from Ohio University and had started his Ph.D in Socialcultural Foundations of Sport and Cultural Studies at the University of Tennessee when he came to the Bay Area. He completed his Ph.D while vying for a tenure-track position in the department. Masucci’s research includes an examination of mixed martial arts (MMA) from cultural, historical and psychological perspectives. For the project, he spent a year conducting participant-ethnography where he was both a student and researcher, interviewing participants from a local MMA studio in San Jose, among other projects. For more on Masucci, visit


Anne Demers, Interim Chair, Health Science and Recreation

Anne Demers will serve as interim chair for Health Science and Recreation.

Anne Demers will serve as interim chair for Health Science and Recreation.

Dr. Anne Demers will take on the role of interim chair of Health Science and Recreation in Fall 2014. Her goals for 2014-15 include:

  • Conducting successful searches for HS&R open faculty lines;
  • Working with faculty to begin developing a strategic plan; and
  • Working with faculty to explore the possibilities for fully integrating Health Science and Recreation.

She has a master’s of Public Health from SJSU and an EdD from University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Demers is an Associate Professor of Public Health at SJSU. She is past chair of the university’s Veterans Advisory Committee and is a current member of the Santa Clara County Collaborative for Veterans and Military Families. She has many years of experience in the study of organizations, social systems, education and community change. Her research interests include anthropological methods; the related areas of disenfranchisement from community, identity, and mental health; and evaluation of the policy and service interventions designed to support re-integration into communities. Dr. Demers is a content area expert in the mental health issues of veterans’ and their loved ones. Her work includes an ethnographic study documenting the experiences of veterans and their loved ones in San Francisco Bay Area and the San Diego area. This project was funded by California Endowment and the Iraq Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund. She is currently a Co-Principal Investigator on Exploring Intimate Partner Relationship Issues among Veterans and Their Partners on College Campuses in California, funded by Blue Shield of California Foundation. She has co-developed curriculum to assist veterans (in their transition from military to civilian life) and their loved ones (in supporting their veterans). She co-designed a course to assist veterans with transition and reintegration – Warriors at Home: Succeeding in College, Life and Relationships and designed a course, specifically for veterans, to meet the California State University writing requirement -Writing for Professionals: Skills for Veterans. Dr. Demers’ work has been published in the mental health literature, and she has been an invited keynote speaker and presented her work at numerous professional conferences, including the American Public Health Association and the Society for Public Health Education. In addition, she has been an invited speaker at various local, state, and national summits, including the Department Of Defense Task Force on Veterans’ Mental Health; the Northern California Grantmakers Briefing on veterans’ issues; Combat to Community: A Community Summit on the Mental Health and Wellness of Veterans and Their Families; and The Aspen Institute’s Veterans Initiative.

Liz Cara, Acting Chair, Occupational Therapy

Dr. Liz Cara is the acting chair of Occupational Therapy.

Dr. Liz Cara is the acting chair of Occupational Therapy.

Dr. Liz Cara took over the role of acting chair for the Occupational Therapy department in July 2014. Dr. Cara  is responsible for all administrative and personnel issues concerning the faculty and students of the department. These include: hiring and supervision of faculty, budget, department resource allocation, scheduling and supervision of staff. She is the representative of the department on various College and University committees. She serves as the liaison to the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education in matters of accreditation, certification of students, and compliance with Standards. Dr. Cara, PhD, OTR/L, MFCC, received her Certificate of Proficiency in occupational therapy from the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Santa Clara University, a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the Fielding Graduate University. Dr. Cara’s clinical experience is in the rehabilitation of people with mental disabilities. She is the co-editor and co-author of a popular text with both students and professors, Psychosocial Occupational Therapy: A Clinical Practice, currently in its 3rd. edition. She has published papers on clinical fieldwork, infant mental health, and Dian Fossey, the occupational therapist and primatologist, one of program’s most famous graduates. Dr. Cara was selected for San Jose State University’s Teacher-Scholar program for 2006-2007 and served as President of the SJSU California Faculty Association for more than 700 faculty members. Her scholarly interests include psychobiography, clinical supervision, infant and family mental health, group dynamics, interpersonal communication, and psychosocial disorders, and causes and prevention of genocide. Dr. Cara is a native of San Francisco and fervent follower of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers.




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