Meet Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Sullivan

By: Cadet Third Class Jun

Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Sullivan is the new AFROTC Detachment 045 Commander, as well as the new Department of Aerospace Studies Chair. He was commissioned into the Air Force in 2003 through the United States Air Force Academy with a BS in Behavioral Science. In the 17 years since, Lt Col Sullivan has flown numerous aircraft and has over 2,800 hours of flight experience. He is from Liberty, Texas and is married to Heather L. (nee Hudson) of California. They have five children, Nicholas, Ashley, Johnathan, Jackson, and Taylor.

Q: How did you get interested in joining the Air Force?
As a young man entering my junior year of high school, I knew nothing about the military. I was playing football and baseball at the time, so I assumed I’d end up at some college playing sports. Like most kids, my plans didn’t extend that far in front of what I could see. Fortunately, my mother and grandmother played a major role in helping me look into the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

With nothing to lose, I thought I’d begin the process of admission. Throughout the interviews and paperwork, the gravity of the decision I was making never really sank in until stepping off the bus into basic training with bleach blonde hair (the whole baseball team dyed their hair for the playoffs a few weeks earlier) and a borrowed Naval Academy shirt from my buddy (because he promised to wear an AF Academy shirt on his first day at the Naval Academy). Needless to say, I drew a lot of attention and found out later my buddy never held up his end of the bargain. Through the ups and downs, I’ve loved it ever since!

Q: What and where was your previous assignment?
My previous assignment was AC-130W evaluator pilot and Deputy Director of Air Force Special Operations Command Operations Training Division at beautiful Hurlburt Field, FL.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
I love hanging out with my family, camping (or glamping in our camper), playing guitar and harmonica, and staying in shape. I also intend to pick up fly fishing again given our proximity to some great terrain and rivers. I’m also a collector of any and all dad joke material; nothing’s too corny. 

Q: Where would you like to be after this assignment at San Jose State University?
Heather (my wife) and I haven’t quite decided what’s next as we’ve just started this adventure, but we are keeping as many options open as possible. My current focus is pouring into my family, the detachment, and the community around me. Heather and I will serve [at least] 21 years to allow our son to graduate from the same high school he started from here in San Jose, then we’ll make a decision on retiring or continuing this AF adventure to another duty assignment.

Q: What do you think the ROTC detachment brings to the SJSU community?
The value AFROTC brings to the SJSU community cannot be overstated. SJSU’s mission of enriching student lives, transmitting knowledge and application of knowledge in society, and expanding that knowledge through scholarship nest perfectly within the standards of character every cadet of Detachment 045 holds dear: Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do. Spartan Airmen are being developed to become servant-leaders who embody these attributes to not only become a guide to what they do but to also become core to who they are as they prepare to lead the USAF and USSF in 21st century operations and beyond. When done correctly, my hope is that this integrity, selflessness, and excellence cannot help but to pour out into the community at large complimenting the SJSU community’s already impressive character and diversity.

Upon graduation, Spartan Airmen become immediate ambassadors for SJSU’s vision, mission, and values bringing the best parts of San Jose to other cities, states, and even nations around the globe. Detachment 045 cadets are commissioned as officers in the USAF and USSF and instantly put into positions of authority and responsibility within the Department of Defense accounting for only 18% of its 2.9 million members. Most Spartan Airmen Alumni, if not all, will follow their military service entering corporate leadership roles utilizing their core values and experiences to better their own communities, including pouring back into the SJSU Alumni community.

In closing, AFROTC Detachment 045, Spartan Airmen, are being developed to be intelligent leaders and warriors of integrity, selflessness, and excellence. Our hope is that these Spartan Airmen core values become so essential to who they are they overflow into every interaction they have, changing our community for the better one person at a time.

“The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.” -Thucydides (c. 460 – c. 400 BC)

HTEM Stays Strong in the COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Dr. Yinghua Huang & Dr. Jie Gao

Student Research
A team of five undergraduate students, advised by Dr. Yinghua Huang at the Department of Hospitality, Tourism, and Event Management (HTEM), ranked in 9th place in the 2020 STR Virtual Student Market Study Competition. The international competition was hosted by Smith Travel Research Global (STR), the leading data analytics provider for the lodging industry. This year, 36 undergraduate and 13 graduate teams, representing 43 schools from 17 countries, participated in this global competition. Ten undergraduate teams and five graduate teams made it to the finals. Our SJSU undergraduate team is among the four finalists from U.S, while other six undergraduate teams are from other countries. Our student team participated in the finalists’ online presentation contest on Nov. 21, finishing in 9th place. Virginia Tech ranked in the 1st place among all undergraduate teams, followed by Michigan State University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

This is the third time that Dr. Yinghua Huang advised a team of HTEM students to participate in the global competition. Our team consists of Phuc Dinh, Jaewan Son, Mehdi Karamloo, Jyoti Lama, and Jiaxin Liu. The students devoted great efforts in summer and this Fall semester to conduct an extensive analysis of hotel performance in Santa Clara County. The students examined the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on local hotel business performance and identify some post-pandemic trends for hotels in the Silicon Valley market. Our students shared that the whole process of participating in the competition helped them to improve skills in data analytics, story-telling, data-visualization, and teamwork. Notably, all teamwork, collaboration, and the competition itself were done virtually. A team member Phuc Dinh said, “This is such a rewarding experience! I have learned so many things that I can apply in my career!

Student Chapter Award
The Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) SJSU student chapter recently received the 2020 HFTP Membership Award by HFTP Global. The HFTP is an international organization for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry, with thousands of members across the world. The organization is headquartered in Austin, Texas,  and consists of dozens of professional chapters and student chapters worldwide. Dr. Yinghua Huang established the HFTP SJSU student chapter in 2012, and this is the third time the student chapter received an annual student chapter award. This year, the Chapter Membership Award recognized a chapter that exceeded serving the needs of its chapter membership during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SJSU student chapter was selected for its outstanding support and service to student members. Since the HTEM department moved to an online teaching mode, the student chapter officers organized several virtual events for the faculty and students in the Spring semester. The student chapter officers carefully planned and coordinated their virtual events and provided various opportunities for their members to exchange ideas and support each other. The chapter also demonstrated great adaptability and resilience in supporting their student members. The student chapter officers said that they learned different types of event planning tools that numerous companies are using in the real-world. They felt very proud to receive the 2020 Chapter Membership Award.

Faculty Research
Dr. Yinghua Huang and Dr. Jie Gao conducted a series of studies in order to examine the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on individuals and their coping strategies in the context of hospitality and tourism. They presented their findings at the 39th Annual Virtual Conference of International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators (ISTTE) in October, 2020. Dr. Huang and Dr. Gao first looked at the life of US college students majoring in hospitality and their coping strategies. Major stressors were identified in their college life amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including academic study, family, financial situation, social relationships, career development, and health concerns. Hospitality students reported being negative at the beginning of the pandemic outbreak, but some of them gradually clammed down. They hope for higher-quality online teaching and learning experiences, and to receive more assistance to find an internship or job. Dr. Gao and Dr. Huang also examined individuals’ emotional experiences and stress during the COVID 19 pandemic, and strategies they have used to regulate emotions and cope with stress, as well as explored the role played by staycations in the process of stress coping. Results suggested that staycations have become a new trend in COVID-times, because of the reduced stress related to organizing a trip, allowed carrying out unusual activities (e.g. visit the permanent collections of museums, play sports in the nearby parks), re-discovered the beauty of a city or region, allowed people to learn how to take advantage of the present moment, and promoted the local economy.

Virtual International Partners for Impactful Student Learning

By: Liliana Gomez

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)  has upended day-to-day lives across our community, state, country, and globe. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how students work, learn, and interact as social distancing guidelines have led to more virtual interactions, both personally and academically.

Due to COVID-19, all travel came to a halt. In addition, the College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS) understood that students were facing financial implications and hardships related to the pandemic and would not be able to complete a study abroad program. In response to this unprecedented time, CHHS partnered with SJSU Study Abroad and Away to create the Virtual International Partners (VIP) program that allows students to continue to complete their International Experience requirement virtually. Director of Study Abroad and Away, Susie Morris states that “we live in a global world. I think one of the greatest benefits of this program is that it starts a global conversation on our campus and in our community. This program helps us grow our community and provide opportunities to continue intercultural learning even in a time of restricted travel.”

Students that are required to complete their international experience requirement for graduation are able to opt in to the new VIP program. Students enroll in a one-unit course (APSC 198-ITL) after consultation with an Academic Advisor from the CHHS Student Success Center. Students who enroll in the VIP program are matched for the semester with an international student with the help of the Office of Study Abroad and Away. Director of Study Abroad and Away, Susie Morris emphasizes that, “We want our students who have had a global experience to share that with others on campus! The VIP program is perfect in this way, because our students are able to connect in a really authentic way to a peer who has grown up in a different cultural environment.” Throughout the semester the CHHS students and international students will have multiple conversations through Zoom, Skype or similar technology to learn about each other’s cultures in a meaningful way. The conversation topics include family and friendships, education, food culture, holidays and celebrations, etc. “What has been great to observe is how these questions have been a jumping off point into extended spontaneous discussions between partners and have gone so much further into areas that are of interest to each partner,” Susie Morris says. After these conversations, students are expected to reflect, write journals, share with other classmates and participate in discussion posts about what they have learned from each other. The program also includes a food cultural exchange activity, which they have learned from each other, as well as an end of the semester celebration where students and their international partners come together for a virtual get-together. CHHS stands behind what Study Abroad and Away, Susie Morris says that “for students to have cultural experience during the pandemic, being able to connect with and learn from each other is even more important when we are often isolated from our communities. The program helps SJSU students grow our community and provide the opportunities for intercultural learning even in a time of restricted travel.”

The VIP program launched this fall semester, and currently 60 CHHS students are participating in this program. The international students with which CHHS students are paired are from a variety of countries including France, Germany, UK, Norway, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, and India! It has been a great way for students to learn about different cultures and make a meaningful connection with an international student all the while fulfilling their international experience requirement at the same time.

A CHHS student, Ryan Reid (Kinesiology Fall ‘20) shares that he enjoys learning about his partner’s culture and perspectives on the world which has opened up his eyes to a new perspective in finding time to work and rest. In addition, he has also been able to learn new delicious recipes to cook and has been able to connect with his partner through food which has allowed them to open up about their culture and home experience.

Child Welfare Social Work Simulation Training

By: Meekyung Han, Pnina Paulette Green, Peter Allen Lee, and Coleen Kohtz

If you subscribe to the adage that “there is no substitute for experience,” then you will be pleased to find out that simulation in social work is a close second. The development of student competencies is becoming more important as social work has emerged as more necessary in different aspects of life. Using simulations enables students to integrate social work theory, knowledge, skills, and values into practice to become competent social workers upon graduation. Based on experiential learning theory and collaboration with the Valley Foundation School of Nursing (i.e., the use of their residential and hospital emergency room simulation labs), the School of Social Work Title IV-E Child Welfare Program designed the advanced simulation course for second-year Master of Social Work (MSW) students specializing in child welfare practice. The course entitled “Advancing Child Welfare Practice through Simulation” was launched as the pilot seminar in the 2017-2018 academic year. The pilot was a success and is now an official course.

The simulation course was developed to create child welfare case situations on the key child welfare skills such as initial field visits, engagement, emergency safety assessments, decision-making, and collaboration with medical and law enforcement professionals. Utilizing a simulation model, the child welfare scenarios and activities are designed to provide students with a focused, practice-oriented learning environment that builds on their social work skills in the public child welfare setting and helps students incorporate critical thinking, problem-solving, and learning from a realistic environment. Furthermore, students were briefed on the case scenario beforehand, and at the end of each scenario, a debrief and group discussion followed. Faculty as the coach or facilitator provided immediate feedback to the student at the completion of the scenario. What is particularly instructive in the simulation exercises is the student (trainee) live interaction with “actors (child welfare subject experts from community partners such as child welfare social workers and law enforcement).”

While the students naturally experienced some level of anxiety before and during simulation, they reported feeling positive about their learning experiences, given the safe and supportive environment. The evaluative findings showed significant improvement in students’ competencies, practice skills, and abilities through the simulation course. Below are a few examples of students’ responses:
I felt the entire simulation training helped me learn about child welfare social work. It was very helpful to review the case before and talk about important risk factors, protective factors, and important questions and things to look out for in sim practice. I also thought it was helpful to debrief after each simulation.

Simulation labs are an awesome way to practice what to say and see other techniques used by classmates.

These real-life scenarios promote us with the ability to engage with clients and assess for risk and safety.

In addition to students’ testimonials, faculty see the invaluable benefits of this simulation training. Professor Pnina Green, Title IV-E Project Coordinator, said:
Simulation training allows students preparing for professional child welfare social work a safe space to practice their clinical case management skills through real-life child welfare case examples and to receive immediate constructive feedback from facilitators to apply in their field practice. Students also debrief with facilitators prior and following simulation scenarios, which facilitates questions and discussion on engagement, critical thinking, decision making, and investigation in child welfare practice. Although most of our students are nervous a bit initially, once they experience the value of learning and training through simulation, they are surprisingly agile and confident, and most importantly, enjoy this innovative learning experience.

Dr. Meekyung Han also affirmed the value of this training by stating:
This training has been successfully excelling the training objectives. The two-and-a-half-hour session of each simulation exercise allows each student to participate in the role of “social worker” in a scene during the scenario with a debriefing between the scenes. The course surely enables students to integrate knowledge and practice to reinforce the idea that learning occurs through doing and reflecting. I am extremely proud to be one of the founding members of this invaluable simulation training.

The simulation training provides students the opportunities to develop and practice social work skills in simulated real-life situations in a safe and supportive environment. Given the current COVID-19 situation, where in-person training may not be an optimal choice, we are exploring a few options presented in either a hybrid format (using Syminar, a live 360-video capture and broadcasting service) or in an online format (using virtual reality).

Dr. Peter Allen Lee, Director of the School, expressed: I am very excited about this child welfare simulation training and how it will prepare us for opportunities to use simulation in other aspects of our curriculum.

Adapting Graduate Fieldwork in Occupational Therapy due to the Pandemic

By: Dr. Winifred Schultz-Krohn

For the past 20 years a unique fieldwork (FW) opportunity has been provided for two graduate occupational therapy students at the Family Supportive Housing Homeless Shelter. Dr. Winifred Schultz-Krohn has provided pro bono occupational therapy services there for over 20 years and has served as the FW educator for the students at SJSU. The program was developed to meet the needs for family members using age related groups such as those for parents, teens, children 7 to 12 years old, children ages 4 to 6, and infant/toddler massage classes with mothers. These occupational therapy groups were designed to create support among members from different families while also supporting various family members during the stressful time of experiencing homelessness. The groups focused on various topics such as stress reduction, parent-child bonding, social skill development, financial management, work readiness, and parenting skills.

The shelter-in-place (SIP) restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic created substantial disruptions to FW opportunities for occupational therapy students. Fieldwork placements were cancelled for many SJSU occupational therapy students, as was the case nationally. Dr. Schultz-Krohn worked with the Executive Director of the shelter to preserve the FW experience and created a new plan for students to provide occupational therapy services to families at the shelter. This necessitated changing the program dramatically and focusing on supporting family engagement in meaningful occupations instead of providing group occupational therapy sessions. The revisions also included the need for extensive cleaning protocols to be developed given sessions were in-person, albeit with social distancing and mask-use, but within the same room.

The two graduate occupational therapy students displayed a high degree of flexibility and adaptability as the FW program needed to pivot to provide services to families and not through age related groups. They successfully worked with the FW educator to blend theoretical models that supported this process. A focus on meaningful family occupations was used throughout the FW experience and addressed not only the stress of being homeless but the additional stress of COVID-19 pandemic. Families responded well to the support provided along with the care to clean the room thoroughly between appointments with each family.

The students gained a valuable experience of being able to pivot during a pandemic and still provide authentic occupational therapy services. The students collaborated with the FW educator to submit a poster describing their experience to the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference and are awaiting the results of the blinded peer review.  Many parents were able to locate employment, often part time jobs, during this stressful period of time with the support of the occupational therapy students. Stress reducing family routines were introduced and supported as a means to mitigate the deleterious effects of homelessness. Family members repeatedly thanked the students for their support and guidance during their FW experience.

The students were so kind and wrote Dr. Winifred Schultz-Krohn a letter after they had completed their fieldwork experience. They commented that they had developed a “real OT brain!” One of the case managers commented “we love having the OTs here to help our families.” It was the last week of the internship and one family commented “You always made us feel accepted and supported; you were like our extra family here.” On the last day another family repeatedly visited the OTs and said “you really cared about us, about how we were feeling.”