The mission of the CEED Awards is “to enhance the mission of CHHS 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.” Congratulations to the 2018-19 CEED Award recipients:
CEED Undergraduate Student Award
Yovanna Gonzalez, Department of Health Science and Recreation
Yovanna had the opportunity to be president of the “Vamos A Oaxaca – Intercambio” club on campus for 2017-18 academic year. This trip, previously known as the “Alternative Spring Break”, is a 13-year cultural exchange and tradition between SJSU and the artisan association of Arrazola, Oaxaca, Mexico. This trip has empowered over 250 SJSU students by exposing them to diversity and expanding their knowledge as professionals beyond borders. This trip has proven to be beneficial to SJSU students and the artisans of Oaxaca.
When Yovanna found out that Spring 2017 was the last year this trip was expected to take place, she was astonished that such a successful and impactful trip on campus would be cancelled. Vamos a Oaxaca is the “Gold Standard” for cultural exchange trips. It is a powerful tool and educational reference that has been used by SJSU professors in their classes; because of the public health work, reforestation efforts, and the cultural competency aspect that is integral to its core. This service trip was once a defining factor for the Health Science and Recreation Department.
In 2017, Yovanna began a groundworks effort to ensure future students may learn from this trip. Yovanna worked with Dr. Kathleen Roe to take 21 students to Mexico last Spring break and it was a complete success. This academic year Yovanna has continued her dedication to this program and to both communities, SJSU and Arrazola.
She believes in the relationship fostered and its dedication to health. She is acting treasurer for the club, which is entirely student led. The Mesa Directive (student leadership) is committed to taking students to this trip once more, in hopes of proving to this campus the treasure that they have. The trip is more than a week long and works with communities, teaches true leadership and equality in power. Yovanna is dedicated to the current and future students of SJSU, because she believes in giving all students the opportunity to experience this journey.
CEED Graduate Student Award
Serina Murphy, Department of Occupational Therapy.
Serena demonstrates her leadership through her commitment to serving others and her position of vice president to the Occupational Therapy Honors Society, Phi Theta Epsilon. Serina has been instrumental in providing educational opportunities for students and community members while promoting the profession of occupational therapy.
She led a group of volunteers at the San Jose Bridge Communities’ 1st Annual Health Resource Fair where she taught community members about occupational therapy services. She has also volunteered at many multiple college career fairs to encourage students to apply to SJSU’s program. Serina has facilitated many workshops for students about high risk populations, such as older adults in skilled nursing facilities and individuals with diabetes.
Serina is in the process of developing workshops about serving LQBTQ populations and the Pad Project, an organization that makes much needed menstrual products for women in Africa. Serina has raised over $1,000 for this organization through her fundraising efforts. She is also in the planning stage of a fundraiser to raise money for occupational therapy research. Serina contributes so much to our San Jose State community, and she is able to do this while raising two small children.
CEED Award for Student Organization
The Assembly of Nurse Scholars, The Valley Foundation School of Nursing
The Assembly of Nurse Scholars partnered with the Muscular Dystrophy Association by participating in fundraising activities. Members also volunteer in their one-week summer camp that focuses on giving children who live with muscular dystrophy the “best week of their lives” and the chance to feel “normal” with their peers. The Assembly of Nurse Scholars supports this community agency and advocates for this vulnerable population. Another community program the Assembly of Nurse Scholars has been involved with is Project Ohana in the Bay Area and Asian American Recovery Services to provide HIV/AIDS prevention information through a series of workshops and fun events. Other collaboration activities with other healthcare organizations include the American Nurse Association, American Red Cross, and Dementia Friends USA.
In Spring 2018, the Assembly of Nurse Scholars partnered with American Kidney Fund to host their Kidney Action Day. The Kidney Action Day was a free, family fun day to educate individuals on their risk for kidney disease and how to prevent it. Members had the opportunity to do blood pressure screening, health counseling and education for thousands of attendants.
During the Fall 2018 semester, the Assembly of Nurse Scholars partnered with Suncrest Hospice to provide their members the opportunity to volunteer and gain experience in caring for hospice patients. The members provided companionship, participated in activities and assisted with administrative tasks. These students provided much comfort and quality of life to patients.
San Jose State University Associated Students and Solidarity Network awarded the Assembly of Nurse Scholars the Organization of the Year. The Assembly of Nurse Scholars has demonstrated excellence in promoting an understanding of equity and diversity on the San Jose State University campus, in the community and projects that contribute to a better understanding of equity and diversity issues.
CEED Faculty Award
Fritz Yambrach, Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging
Fritz has campus and world-wide influence on cultural-inclusion, equity and service. As head of the Packaging Program at SJSU, Fritz is instrumental in creating a culture that embraces and celebrates the diverse cultures of all the students. The ethnicities of students in the program are as diverse as the multiple disciplines that make up the field of Packaging.
Every semester Fritz opens the Packaging Lab and hosts a “Foods of my People” potluck for all students in the program, providing an opportunity to make everyone feel valued and included. For many years, he has hosted 10-20 students at his home for Thanksgiving and other holiday meals, knowing many students are far from home and family or may simply not have known a traditional American celebration.
In addition to Fritz’s work at SJSU, he was recently awarded the Dupont Diamond Award (2017) for the Fritz Water Vest which he designed. This water vest utilizes innovative packaging technology to solve a pressing world problem – transporting clean water in impoverished and disaster-ridden areas. Made from the same material that is used to make a fillable plastic bag to hold wine, the Frtiz Water Vest, is worn over the head resting on the shoulders to distribute the weight of the water ergonomically. Because it is a closed container, loss of water is avoided. This water vest is a life changing invention, improving quality of life for those lacking access to clean water. Not only are people able to transport water safely and more comfortably, young girls who may not have had the opportunity to go to school because they were needed to carry water, are able to carry the water vest with them to school and return home with a full vest of water.
After conceiving the concept of the Fritz Water Vest, Fritz recruited several former students and industry colleagues, founding a non-profit, Solutions Inc., in order to make the water vest available for use globally. It should be further noted that the Diamond Award is the very highest level award given in this long-running, globally-recognized, independently-judged competitive awards program.