Dr. Colleen O’Leary-Kelley, Director/Professor, The Valley Foundation School of Nursing Meets with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, District 19

Dr. Colleen O’Leary-Kelley had the opportunity to meet with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, District 19, Oct. 21, 2019 in her Washington D.C. office. Dr. O’Leary was attending the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Academic Leadership meeting with a colleague in Washington DC and was able to schedule an appointment with Congresswoman Lofgren to discuss issues relating to nursing education and research. “She is the representative for the San Jose area and welcomed us for a brief visit,” says Dr. O’Leary. “She is a strong supporter of San Jose State University.”

Dr. Meekyung Han, Professor, School of Social Work Receives Momentum for Mental Health “Shining Stars Award of Excellence”

In recognition of her diligent work to eliminate the stigma of mental illness and to improve access to effective mental health treatment around the world, Momentum for Mental Health presented Dr. Meekyung Han, professor, School of Social Works, the “Shining Stars Award of Excellence” at the 22nd annual Shining Stars Benefit event, which recognizes “extraordinary people and organizations doing extraordinary things in the name of advancing mental health services and reducing the stigma that prevents so many from seeking recovery services.” The event was held on October 4th, 2019 at the Rotary Summit Center in San Jose.

At this event, Dr. Han also received the City of San Jose Commendation from the mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo. and his colleagues on the San Jose City Council, which recognizes and commends Dr. Han’s professional achievements and contributions.

Dr. Meekyung Han’s primary research interests focus on mental health issues, the general wellbeing of Asian Americans, and the enhancement of culturally sensitive practices among ethnic minority populations.  She has established a strong research agenda with which she secured multiple external and internal grants and significantly engaged in interdisciplinary research with faculty, community-based agencies, and international scholars.

When delivering her speech at the podium, Dr. Han emphasized the importance of advancing mental health services and reducing the stigma as a community by stating that “tonight, we are here to reaffirm our commitment to working together to combat stigma and enhance the quality of life of those with mental health conditions…. With this encouragement, I am more determined than ever to continue advocating for stigma reduction; to enhance, advance, disseminate, and transform research addressing social issues that include mental health disparity; and to foster and promote a more diverse, equitable, and just society.”

This award is evidence of Dr. Han’s passion for and commitment to expanding her professional and academic contribution to the behavioral health field through research and collaboration with domestic and international partners.

Congratulations Dr. Han on your fine work in the behavioral health field!

Mari Matsumura Receives Graduate Equity Fellowship Award

Congratulations to Mari Matsumura, master’s student in public health as a recipient of a Graduate Equity Fellowship (GEF) award for the academic year 2019-2020.

The graduate equity fellowship is a need-based scholarship awarded by the university to a diverse group of students. The scholarship encourages and assists people to successfully complete the program. “One great feature of the award is the faculty mentorship. “With Dr. Michael Harvey’s mentorship, I feel more confident to successfully finish the program and start a career in public health after graduating,” says Ms. Matsumura.

Separate from the fellowship, Mari has been participating in a research project related to the topic of opioid use disorder in the United States with Dr. Harvey. Mari and Dr. Harvey will be presenting a poster for the research at the upcoming American Public Health Association conference.

Wilson Yuan Assistant Professor, Justice Studies Wins Significant Grant from National Institute of Justice

Congratulations to Wilson Yuan, assistant professor, Justice Studies, who was awarded a significant grant from the National Institute of Justice. He submitted the grant with time and support of the University Grants Academy.

Dr. Yuan and his research team propose a mixed-methods, city-wide victimization study focused on criminal victimization across Hispanic and Asian subgroups. The goals of this study are to: (1) identify patterns of criminal victimization across first-, second-, and third-generations of immigrants, (2) identify patterns of criminal victimization across Hispanic and Asian subgroups; (3) identify correlates of crime reporting among immigrants; (4) identify whether perceptions of immigration policies among immigrants are associated with responses to crime and victimization; (5) examine how neighborhood immigration concentration levels are associated with criminal victimization; (6) explore how immigrants view the threat of victimization for themselves and their local community; and (7) explore how victims of crime who are legal and illegal residents cope with victimization and utilize different resources (e.g., police, courts, and community organizations).

Dr. Yuan and his research team plan to address these aims in three ways. They will conduct a cross-sectional survey of local residents’ victimization experiences, in-depth interviews with both legal and illegal local residents, and focus groups with police officers, victim services providers, and members of community organizations.

California Governor Gavin Newsom Approves Assembly Bill 829 to Pave the Way for Doctor of Occupational Therapy Degree

The College of Health and Human Sciences is pleased to announce that Governor Gavin Newsom approved Assembly Bill 829 Aug. 30, clearing the way for San Jose State University to offer a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree. “The next step will be for the Chancellor’s Office to approve an executive order that will set the scope and guidelines for the new degree,” says Pamela Richardson, Interim Dean, College of Health and Human Sciences.

In anticipation of the approval of this bill and pending approval by the Chancellor’s Office, faculty in the College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) Department of Occupational Therapy have already begun work on developing curriculum for a doctoral degree.

“They started about a year ago in anticipation of this going through,” said Richardson. “We are looking at what the balance will be between the master’s and doctoral programs.”

The college anticipates admitting the first cohort in 2022-23.

“The OTD gives graduates additional training in research and evidence, more coursework in program evaluation and program development, and will have a capstone project and experience,” Richardson said. “They will have more potential for leadership opportunities.”

A doctoral program also will build a pipeline for future educators.

“Most academic programs hire OTDs as faculty so it creates opportunities for teaching as well,” Richardson said.

The College of Health and Human Sciences already offers one doctoral program with another in development. This year marks the first year SJSU is offering a Doctor of Nursing Practice on its own following six years of offering a joint program with Fresno State University. The College is also working on the final stages of a  doctoral degree in its newly created Department of Audiology. Faculty are in the final stages of developing the curriculum, gaining conditional accreditation and recruiting audiology students for the first cohort to begin Fall 2020.

“These are certainly elevated health degrees and there will be lots of opportunity for interprofessional education,” Richardson said. “It will increase the visibility of our College as producing healthcare leaders across a variety of disciplines.”

She noted that accrediting boards in most healthcare disciplines require programs to provide interprofessional education so that graduates are prepared to work effectively on healthcare teams.

“This gives us an opportunity to build robust doctoral programs and ramp up the amount of collaborative research opportunities for faculty and students,” she said. “It takes research active faculty to appropriately train and mentor doctoral students.”