College launches new website for international experience initiative

Students in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts have the opportunity to participate in 10 faculty-led study abroad programs this summer including programs in Turkey, Spain, France, Grenada and other countries (some courses are still pending approval.)

Program details can be found at a new website launched by the College of Applied Sciences and Arts that is devoted to its International Experience Initiative.

The website is part of an effort to inform incoming students of a new requirement for students enrolling in Fall 2015 and later in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, the Valley Foundation School of Nursing and the Department of Occupational Therapy, and the School of Information starting in Spring 2015 to have an international experience before they graduate. The four departments and schools are piloting the initiative with plans to expand to all the schools and departments in the College in future years.

The newly launched website has a description of the types of study abroad that will be accepted as well as contact information for advisers who will be able to answer questions students might have.

Some of the suggested ways to meet the requirement include:

  • SJSU Semester Exchange Program (Semester or Academic Year, some summer only available)
  • SJSU Faculty Led Program through College of International and Extended Studies (Semester, Summer, Winter & Spring Break)
  • CSU International Program (Full Academic Year)
  • Academic program through an international university
  • Study abroad program through another university or a community college
  • Approved Independent Study Abroad Program

For more on the programs, visit the new website at:


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

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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 2005-2011. 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.

Helen L. stevens scholarship help students learn overseas

This summer, San José State University students Aly Mauro and Cynthia Ting will take their occupational therapy education abroad on two very different faculty-led programs to islands far from California. Mauro will be part of a pilot program of the Valley Foundation School of Nursing’s Health Promotion class in Grenada while Ting will be learning about healthcare in parts of Taiwan.

“I chose this specific program because it is an interdisciplinary experience,” Mauro said, via email this week, of the program that is open to nursing and occupational therapy students. “It is a unique trip where I can learn from both an OT professor and nursing professors about the realm of public health.”

Dean Charles Bullock, right, hands a thank you card to Helen Stevens that was signed by the scholarship recipients. Stevens helped select the 12 students who each received $500 to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs this summer.

Dean Charles Bullock, right, hands a thank you card to Helen Stevens that was signed by the scholarship recipients. Stevens helped select the 12 students who each received $500 to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs this summer.

College of Applied Sciences and Arts students pose with Helen Stevens, center with the flowers, at a reception in Dean Charlees bullock's office with some of the faculty members with whom they will traveling this summer.

College of Applied Sciences and Arts students pose with Helen Stevens, center with the flowers, at a reception in Dean Charles Bullock’s office with some of the faculty members with whom they will traveling this summer.

Ting said on her program she will learn about accessibility of healthcare in rural and urban parts of Taiwan.

“We will get the opportunity to travel around the island to various community settings, including one aboriginal tribe, which I am looking forward to,” she said via email.

Ting and Mauro were among the 12 students to receive the inaugural Helen L. Stevens Faculty-Led Program Scholarship for the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.  Stevens helped to select the 12 students who received $500 toward their summer travel programs. The students are also part of a pilot effort to increase opportunities for international experiences being undertaken by the College of Applied Sciences and Arts students, with an ultimate goal of making some type of international education required for all graduates of the 10 departments and schools in the college.

To thank Stevens for her donation, Dean Charles Bullock and his Associate Deans Alice Hines and Greg Payne hosted a small reception for the scholarship recipients to celebrate.

“When I put my name tag on, which only had my first name, (Stevens) looked at me and greeted me with my full name, with a giant smile,” Ting said. “I was surprised and touched.”

Ting said she was also excited to learn about Stevens own travels as a student.

Mauro said she was glad to attend the reception because she was appreciative of Stevens’ generosity and “genuine interest in our experiences abroad.”

“It was a huge relief to receive the email that I was a recipient, as cost of these programs is a limiting factor for many interested students,” Mauro said. “This scholarship helps relieve some of the stress associated with the financials of the trip.”

Mauro said study abroad will broaden her perspective on the potential ways she will be able to exercise her degree in OT. She said the hands-on program will allow her to apply the knowledge she has gained in the second year of the master’s in Occupational Therapy program in which she is enrolled. She was especially excited to have the opportunity to study abroad because she did not have the chance as an undergraduate student.

Ting also said she looked forward to using her skills from the classroom.

“Having the opportunity to feel uncomfortable and out of place in a society that has a different world view will help me grow into a better practitioner in the future,” she said.

Bullock, faculty and staff in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts are researching ways to make international programs accessible to all students, financially and in meeting their graduation requirements. For 2014, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Occupational Therapy department and the Valley Foundation School of Nursing are serving as pilot programs.

The following students, who come from a variety of departments and schools in CASA, also received scholarships:

  • Aleli Blanco
  • Cedric Tumanut
  • Jayne Baltazar
  • Jennifer Leocadio
  • Lesley Paige
  • Michael Celso
  • Samantha Rodgers
  • Crystal Diaz
  • Kelli Daley
  • Kayla Koterbay

Applied Sciences and Arts recognized for community engagement

On May 2, San José State University’s Community Engagement Collaborative, Office of the Provost and Undergraduate Studies held the 13th Annual Service-Learning and Community Engagement Awards to recognize students and faculty who are making a difference in the community.

Students, faculty and community members were all recognized for their collaborative efforts to give students hands-on learning experience while also making a difference in the community. For the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, Tamara McKinnon and Suzy Ross received Awards for Excellence as faculty lecturers while Lynne Andonian received the Award for Excellence for faculty professors.

Ross, from the Health Science and Recreation department, was recognized because she has “commitment to strengthening community at the forefront of her teaching content and course requirements,” according to the event program. Ross has requirements in her classes that engage students in service in hopes that they will continue to be engaged throughout their lifetimes.

McKinnon, who teaches Community Health Nursing, was recognized for developing study abroad programs and Global Service Learning Programs that allow students to use their skills overseas. She has served as the interim director for International Health Programs, working with the Director of Health and Human Services. She continues to work with the Nurse Managed Center in Santa Cruz.

Andonian teaches the Psychosocial Occupational Therapy Clinic which provides services to adults with mental health issues in the community. Her graduate level OT students provide group and individual treatment twice a week, which provides the clients with opportunities for goal setting, skill development and diverse occupational experiences.

Faculty from other colleges as well as students and community partners were all recognized at the event.

OT student innovates for Maddak Award

Occupational Therapy student Abby Barton poses with the sling she created to help a child with cerebral palsy use swings at a playground.

Occupational Therapy student Abby Barton poses with the sling she created to help a child with cerebral palsy use swings at a playground.

Abby Barton, an occupational therapy student at San José State University, received first place in the student division of the 2014 Maddak Awards. The Maddak Awards program honors Occupational Therapy professionals and students who use their creativity, ingenuity and dedication to find new ways to enhance the rehabilitation of their clients.

For a class assignment in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ OT department, Barton was challenged to create a positioning device for a child with whom she works who has cerebral palsy. The girl had difficulties playing on swings at the park with other children. Barton said bucket swings were an issue for the child because she has difficulty bending her knees and wears leg braces. Barton created a sling that attaches to swing to allow the girl to use the playground equipment.