Communicative Disorders & Sciences Department Awarded $333k Grant

Congratulations to our Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, who earned a $333,000 grant from the CSU Chancellor’s Office earlier this year!  This grant couldn’t have come at a better time as there are so many priorities that have arisen in recent months in response to shortages of speech-language pathologists and audiologists, the impact of COVID-19, and ongoing acts of racial injustice.  We spoke with Department Chair Nidhi Mahendra to learn more about the grant and the impact it will have on the Communicative Disorders & Sciences program and beyond – listen to or read through the interview with Dr. Mahendra below.

SJSU Lurie College of Education Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences CSU Grant

“COVID has really upended the way we trained and did clinical practica for our students in the graduate and undergraduate programs, and having this pot of money has allowed us to very quickly move to spending on student memberships in a simulation platform and look at how we might use this as a resource to look at online platforms for clinical observation and telepractice resources.”

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Apply to Co-Host Emancipatory Education Now

Emancipatory Education Now is a new student-led initiative at the SJSU Lurie College of Education that examines what emancipatory education looks like in today’s society and advocates for the expansion of emancipatory education research, policies, and practices!

Student co-hosts from across Lurie College’s academic programs will meet regularly throughout the fall semester to engage in dialogue about critical topics in education and share those thoughts out with the Lurie College, SJSU, and local community.  Co-hosts will be compensated hourly for their participation and receive a high-quality USB microphone.

All current SJSU Lurie College of Education students are eligible to apply to become a co-host by Saturday, August 22, by completing this Google form.

Emancipatory Education Now

Connect with Lurie College and SJSU

Connect with SJSU Lurie College of Education Social Media

Get connected to helpful online resources as we prepare for the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester!  Here are some initial Lurie College of Education and SJSU resources:

Lurie College Hardship Fund Requests

As the fall payment deadline approaches, remember that Lurie College has a limited amount of grant funds available to support its students who have experienced an unforeseen financial hardship that will prevent them from continuing their enrollment at Lurie College and SJSU. Awards are processed fall and spring semesters only, but advisors are available year-round. If you are a currently-enrolled Lurie College undergraduate, graduate, credential, or doctoral student who has experienced this type of hardship, please complete this brief Google form so that a Lurie College advisor can contact you.

SJSU Lurie College of Education Hardship Fund

New Lurie College Course: Social Media & Social Issues

SJSU Lurie College of Education faculty Ellen Middaugh and Mark Felton have organized a new experimental undergraduate course – “Social Media & Social Issues” – at SJSU for the Fall 2020 semester!  The course will take place on Wednesdays from 10:30am-11:45am, is open to undergraduates of all majors, and will explore the impact that social media is having on the next generation of voters, activists, and politicians.

SJSU Lurie College of Education Child and Adolescent Development Department CHAD 196 Social Media and Social Issues

Lurie College Faculty Edits Issue of Topics in Language Disorders

Congratulations to Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences chair, Nidhi Mahendra, who served as the issue editor of the recently published “Palliative Care and Speech-Language Pathologists: From Training to Practice.” Lurie College student Ashlyn Tadokoro also contributed to the issue. Check it out at

SJSU Lurie College of Education Communicative Disorders and Sciences Department Faculty Nidhi Mahendra

Welcome New Lurie College Faculty Member Megan Cuellar!

Lurie College is excited to welcome its newest faculty member in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, Dr. Megan Cuellar, to join our community beginning in the Fall 2020 semester!

SJSU Lurie College of Education Communicative Disorders and Sciences Faculty Megan Cuellar

Megan Cuellar is excited to join the faculty in the Communicative Disorders and Sciences department at SJSU in the fall of 2020 as an Assistant Professor.  Megan is currently an Associate Professor in the Speech-Language Pathology Program at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, IL where she serves as an instructor in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology for the osteopathic medicine students, dental students, and physician assistant students.  She also researches and teaches coursework in neurological communication disorders with a specific interest in swallowing disorders and motor speech disorders.  Megan’s research aims to use whole EEG neuroimaging techniques to explore the effects of stimulating mirror neurons in order to enhance swallowing and motor speech communication abilities in clinical populations.  She also uses EEG to explore the functional neurophysiology of verb naming abilities in individuals with Aphasia.

Lurie College Learning Showcase | Alexandra Murueta

During the Spring 2020 transition to remote teaching and learning, we asked a handful of our Lurie College students to share their insights on learning as they relate to our priority areas – community-engaged, culturally sustaining, interdisciplinary, and holistic.  Learn more about Alexandra Murueta, a transfer student and student leader who recently received her bachelor’s degree. In this video, Ali highlights the holistic support services and experiences in the Lurie College of Education.

Watch all of the student features and view some additional course features from our Lurie College Learning Showcase at

Connect with Lurie College at to receive more news about academic and student life!  Video edited by Sydney Ahmadian.

Ask Me Anything – with CD&S Professor, Paul Cascella

This summer, professors from the SJSU Lurie College Departments of Child & Adolescent Development and Communicative Disorders & Sciences will be joining us in conversation and community.  You can learn a little about their background, what inspired them to teach, and ask all of your questions about life at the Lurie College of Education and beyond.  On Tuesday, July 21, at 2pm, chat with Dr. Paul Cascella, Professor in the Department of Communiciative Disorders & Sciences.  Register today to receive a Zoom link for this workshop!

SJSU Lurie College of Education Communicative Disorders and Sciences Department Faculty Paul Cascella

Student Spotlight | Kyah Cobb and Robert Abarca

The SJSU Lurie College of Education provides a range of opportunities to support students in their academic endeavors to become transformative educators, counselors, therapists, and leaders.  We spoke with our Communicative Disorders and Sciences students Kyah Cobb and Robert Abarca, who were able to collaborate with Professor Paul Cascella on a research project that explores communication supports for elders dually diagnosed with intellectual disability and dementia.  Listen to their insights in the podcast below!

The project has two focus areas: 1) a systematic review of the literature, and 2) the development of a new rating scale identifying positive communication supports for people with dual diagnoses. To date, the systematic review has surveyed and analyzed contemporary peer-reviewed academic journal articles, doctoral dissertations, professional organizations’ webpages, and professional blogs. Initial results suggest two findings. First, there is a gap in literature
describing communication supports for people with dual diagnoses versus people with dementia. Second, dementia-alone recommendations are rarely applied to people with a dual diagnoses. To date, a draft of the new rating scale is in the pilot-phase of verifying its reliability and validity.

SJSU Lurie College of Education Communicative Disorders and Sciences Students Kyah Cobb and Robby Abarca

“The whole research project is about the connection between intellectual disabilities and dementia.  What we have been looking into focuses on aspects of Down syndrome and the correlation in communication strategies for those who are also dual diagnosed with dementia.”

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Statement from Dean Heather Lattimer and Associate Dean Marcos Pizarro | July 13, 2020

Dear Lurie College of Education Students,

We hope you each are taking care of yourselves and your loved ones.  It has been an intense few months for all of us.  The protests and calls for addressing institutional anti-black racism and white supremacy have inspired SJSU and the Lurie College of Education to dedicate resources and significant energy towards taking our work for racial justice and equity to a deeper level.  We want to share what we are envisioning for the new year that we hope you will be involved in:

  1. First of all, we want to hear from you, current students and recent alumni, with your ideas, needs, and priorities: we will hold a college-wide forum, you can reach out to us directly, you can share anonymously via this Google form, and departments will also provide program-specific opportunities for your input.

  2. We are working with faculty and staff to confront all the different forms and manifestations of racism that have dominated higher education for far too long.  We will identify and address the language, norms, policies, practices as well as the underlying thinking and ideologies that perpetuate racism and oppression within our college, departments, and programs.  One specific example will be to increase access of historically under-represented students to Lurie College programs by rethinking admission requirements to reflect a holistic assessment of applicants’ potential and strengths rather than an over-reliance on standardized tests.
  3. We will emphasize and grow existing and newly created opportunities to both learn about and engage in racial justice work, including:
    • a) an anti-racist Inquiry to Action Group (ITAG) that will build on key racial justice readings;
    • b) film discussion groups that will similarly use innovative racial justice themed films to explore how we can build on their insights through actions in our daily lives and collective work as a college;
    • c) launching the newest program in the college, the MA in Emancipatory School Leadership program, which will be a training ground for principals and other school leaders to do innovative equity work in our surrounding schools;
    • d) an Ethnic Studies Residency Program in East Side Union High School District where teacher candidates in secondary social science will be trained to implement transformative approaches to ethnic studies to enhance engagement and success of students of Color;
    • e) the Impact San Jose fellowship, which provides mentorship and scholarships for those dedicated to working in historically underserved communities in the San Jose area;
    • f) the Lurie College Promise Group, which supports first-generation college students to achieve success as undergrads and beyond;
    • g) including students in shaping the vision for the college through the Strategic Plan work and other leadership initiatives;
  4. Through our Student Success Center, we are also building a support network with one-on-one and group opportunities for those struggling with the realities of our past and on-going personal experiences with racism, as we create pathways for collective efforts to confront and upend the ways in which our own programs and SJSU as an institution have perpetuated inequities.
  5. We are developing a resource guide to support the entire Lurie College community in our own learning to become racial justice educators, advocates and leaders because we see this as essential to our lifelong commitment to work for justice and equity through our learning, teaching, counseling, mentorship and advocacy.  More details on this will be shared soon.

It is our collective responsibility to actively engage in anti-racist work through our daily lives as educators, counselors, therapists, school and community leaders.  Lurie College is committed to growing in this work and supporting all members of the college in being fierce anti-racist advocates.  Please reach out to us with ideas, needs, suggestions, concerns or if you need any support in pursuing our shared goals for racial justice and equity, and feel free to use this anonymous Google form to give us feedback.

In Solidarity – 

Marcos Pizarro, Associate Dean –
Heather Lattimer, Dean –

Statement from Dean Heather Lattimer | June 2, 2020

Last week’s murder of an unarmed Black man was shocking, horrifying, and infuriatingly familiar.  George Floyd and his family have now joined a grievously long list of Black and Brown Americans who have had their lives and their liberties taken away by individuals and systems that perpetuate injustice and inequality.  Eric Garner.  Sandra Bland.  Philando Castile.  Freddie Gray.  Terence Crutcher.  Alton Sterling.  Walter Scott.  Tamir Rice.  Michael Brown.  Ahmaud Arbery.  Breonna Taylor.  The list of names seems endless and the pain behind each one is overwhelming.

So many in our community are hurting.  We’ve witnessed a modern-day lynching and it has brought fresh trauma to those who have suffered personal and generational wounds of injustice, racism, and oppression.  These are not isolated incidents but part of a larger culture which privileges some and oppresses others in ways that manifest in everything from the disproportional rates of COVID-19 deaths in Black and Brown communities to the flagrant abuse of privilege by a white dog walker calling the police and falsely claiming that her life was threatened by a Black birdwatcher who had simply asked her to follow the posted leash laws.

Our college is committed to the preparation of transformative educators, counselors, therapists, school and community leaders.  In the face of such glaring and graphic evidence of the deep roots of racism and the brokenness of our society, this work has taken on even greater importance and added urgency.

Our society needs transformative leaders in education-related fields now more than ever.  We need teachers who recognize the racist and hegemonic roots of our society and seek to understand how that reality impacts the lived experiences of our students.  We need counselors and therapists who believe that an integral part of being an advocate for the children and clients in our care is the willingness to call out discriminatory structures and systems that continue to breed inequity.  We educators who are willing to interrogate our own assumptions and engage in hard conversations about privilege, marginalization, bias, and inequity.  We need leaders who consistently and repeatedly stand with marginalized communities and vulnerable individuals and take bold action to make transformative change happen.

In the midst of heartache and outrage, I take solace in the knowledge that Lurie College is a community that is deeply committed to equity, inclusion, and racial and social justice.  I see strength in the dedication of our faculty, staff, and community partners.  I see hope in the passion and tenacity of our students and alumni.  Together, we will continue to work toward the promise of transformative change and the realization of a more just and equitable society.

Watch the Lurie College Spring 2020 Graduation Celebration

Spring 2020 Graduation Celebration

The Spring 2020 SJSU Lurie College of Education Graduation Celebration took place on Friday, May 22, at 4pm!  The full recording is available above and at  You can also skip to a section of the recording below.

Order of Events

  • 9:56 – Video acknowledgment of Spring 2020 Lurie College graduates (alphabetized by last name) and remarks from Dean Heather Lattimer
  • 13: 29 – Remarks from Associate Dean Marcos Pizarro
  • 18:14 – Remarks from Lurie College Commencement Speaker, Giselle Arellano (undergraduate, child development)
  • 33:17 – Slideshow of collages submitted by graduates (alphabetized by last name)

If you have any questions about the Lurie College Graduation Celebration, please contact

SJSU Spring 2020 Graduate Recognition Websites

SJSU has also created a website to recognize all of the Spring 2020 graduates for the entire university.  Visit the recognition webpage for Lurie College of Education Spring 2020 graduates.

Congratulations, New Lurie College Alumni

SJSU Lurie College of Education Commencement Graduation Counselor Education Department New Alumni

Congratulations to our new SJSU Lurie College of Education alumni.  We have no doubt that you are prepared to be transformative educators, counselors, therapists, school and community leaders!

We would love for you to stay connected with us as you transition into your next chapters.  Visit our Alumni webpage to take advantage of the many opportunities to connect with one another, stay connected with the college, and actively participate in the continued growth of the college.

If you plan to enroll in a graduate program, credential program, or doctoral program in the future, we have numerous opportunities available and our Student Success Center Advisors are happy to assist you with your application process.

Congratulations from Lurie College Dean Heather Lattimer

Congratulations to all of our SJSU Lurie College of Education undergraduate, graduate, credential, and doctoral students for completing a very challenging and unconventional semester! Watch this video for a shoutout from Dean Heather Lattimer.  The transcription of the message is available below.

Congratulations!  You have made it through what has been one of the craziest, most unpredictable, most challenging semesters that I’ve experienced in more than 20 years as a member of a university community.  I hope that you recognize your accomplishment and that you take great pride in the fact that you made it through.

You deserve huge admiration.

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Lurie College Set to Celebrate Spring 2020 Graduates

SJSU Lurie College of Education Spring 2020 Graduation Celebration

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted so many facets of society over the past couple of months, that’s not stopping the Lurie College of Education at San Jose State University from organizing a live graduation celebration to recognize its more than 500 Spring 2020 graduates (and soon-to-be alumni)!

This is an incredibly significant moment for our graduates, their support networks, our Lurie College of Education community, and our society as a whole. College commencement ceremonies are a rite of passage for students every year who have worked tirelessly to prepare themselves for the next chapters in their lives. While we are saddened that we are not able to celebrate with our graduates in person at this time as a result of COVID-19, we are proud of how our entire Lurie College community of students, faculty, and staff have responded and persevered during this pandemic, and so it’s our priority to celebrate virtually with our graduates to acknowledge their accomplishments and bring some closure to their academic experiences with us.  We look forward to welcoming our graduates back to campus and celebrating in person together at the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 Commencement events. – Dean Heather Lattimer

The Lurie College Graduation Celebration will take place online on Friday, May 22, at 4pm and begin with a college-wide ceremony that will include remarks from Dean Heather Lattimer, Associate Dean Marcos Pizarro, and student speaker Giselle Arellano, who is graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Development.

It feels really special to be the graduation speaker, especially during these times.  When I was first selected as the speaker, it was more of an ‘I did it’ moment as a first-generation student of an immigrant family and someone who is representing that small percentage of graduating Latinas all over the world.  Now it feels like I am the person who is able to voice what I’m hearing from my fellow classmates, my friends, from those who are graduating from other departments.  Many of us are feeling the same sadness about not being able to celebrate in person, but we still feel very accomplished and made it to a point where, even though the odds may not be in our favor right now, we still can celebrate and know that ‘we did it’! – Giselle Arellano

Each Spring 2020 graduate will also be recognized during the college-wide ceremony.  Lurie College graduates, faculty, and staff have been invited to attend the event live and family and friends are invited to watch the ceremony live on the Lurie College YouTube channel.

After the college-wide ceremony, each Lurie College department – Child & Adolescent Development, Communicative Disorders & Sciences, Counselor Education, EdD Leadership, Special Education, and Teacher Education – is hosting an online reception to include remarks from faculty chairpersons, individualized slideshows, and socializing among graduates, faculty, and staff to close out the academic year.

Since this year’s experience is entirely digital, Lurie College has created some other digital items to enhance the experience, such as:

San Jose State University as a whole is honoring and celebrating all Spring 2020 graduates by launching graduate recognition websites, which will go live on Friday, May 22.  Learn more about the San Jose State University graduate recognition websites on the SJSU Newsroom website.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s faces and feeling that overall sense of relief in knowing that, while this journey seemed daunting at first, I’m finally able to say ‘I’m a graduate’ and complete something that I’ve been working towards for so long.  Overall, this all feels very surreal and amazing! – Giselle Arellano

SJSU Lurie College of Education Child and Adolescent Development Student Giselle Arellano

Giselle Arellano, SJSU Lurie College of Education Graduation Speaker

Lurie College Students Curate Activist Playlist

Lurie College students who have been enrolled in EDSE 102: Typical and Atypical Development, Speech and Language Development recently read We Want to Do More Than Survive by Bettina Love and then curated an activist playlist!  Give the playlist a listen at

We Want to do More Than Survive Bettina Love

SJSU Lurie College of Education EDSE 102 Activist Playlist

Watch the Lurie College President’s and Dean’s Scholars Recognition

Congratulations to our 88 undergraduate President’s Scholars (4.0 GPA) and 218 undergraduate Dean’s Scholars (3.65 GPA or above) from the Spring 2019 and/or Fall 2019 semesters!

Connect with Lurie College at to receive more news about academic and student life!  Video edited by Brian Cheung Dooley. “Adventure” “Going Higher” “Once Again” and “Summer” provided royalty free by

Upcoming Scholarship and Grant Application Deadlines

  • Scholarships:  Watch this recording to learn from staff in the SJSU Scholarships Office and faculty on the Lurie College Scholarship Review committee about the 2020-2021 Lurie College scholarship application process.  More details about all of the Lurie College scholarship and grant opportunities are available at  The deadline to apply for SJSU and Lurie College scholarships is Friday, May 1, 2020, so start your application process as soon as you can!
  • Student-Research Awards:  Supports students to be mentored by a faculty mentor on a student-initiated research project.  Students can receive an award of $2,000 per semester and $4,000 a year.  The deadline to apply for these awards for the 2020-2021 academic year is Thursday, April 30, 2020, at 4pm via this Google form.  Learn about research projects by Department of Special Education graduate student Monica Gonzalez and Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences student James Chow who each received a student-research award for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Statement from Lurie College Dean Heather Lattimer | April 23, 2020

Watch this video message from Dean Heather Lattimer following the announcement from SJSU about planning for the Fall 2020 semester in response to COVID-19.  The transcription of the message is available below.

Hello Lurie College.  The message that we received earlier this week that we’re not coming back to campus as usual this fall was hard to hear.  Although many of us might have suspected that such a message was coming, based on news reports that we’re seeing from across the country and around the world, it was nevertheless hard to see in print.  Many of us are grieving a sense of normalcy, missing rites of passage that were supposed to take place this spring, especially commencement, and frustrated that this sense of limbo that we’re all in might continue for weeks and even months ahead.

I want you to know that we see you, and we understand.

We see how hard you’re working in your academic classes, we see how many challenges you are navigating in school, at home, with family and finances.  We see the pain, the exhaustion and the fear that many of you are experiencing.  We also see your successes.  We see the triumphs, large and small, academic and personal.  We see the kindness that you’ve shown to one another and to our larger community and we’re grateful.

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Plans Underway for Lurie College Graduation Celebration

While we at the Lurie College of Education are saddened that we are unable to have an in-person commencement ceremony during the Spring 2020 semester as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, we also realize the importance of continuing to follow our current public health orders for the health and safety of our families, our communities, and society as a whole.  Despite these constraints, we still want to celebrate with all of our Lurie College graduates this semester to recognize their accomplishments and perseverance, even if we must do so in a virtual environment.  Plans are underway for a live Lurie College of Education Graduation Celebration on Friday, May 22, at 4pm and we will send out an invitation with more detailed information to our graduates, faculty, and staff in the near future!

SJSU Lurie College Graduation Celebration Zoom Background

Call for Nominations for Educators of Impact

COVID-19 has made it clear how critical educators are in our society.  Help us recognize SJSU Lurie College of Education alumni who have made a transformative difference in the lives of children, families, and communities!  Nominate an Educator of Impact at

SJSU Lurie College of Education Alumni Irene Castillon

Why All SJSU Undergraduate Students Should Experience EDCO 004!

Watch this brief video to learn more about the EDCO 004 course – Personal, Academic and Career Exploration – at San Jose State University from Adjunct Faculty Amna Jaffer and current students Eskarleen Salgado and Jeremy Parish!  Students who enroll in this course are able to explore the concepts and applications of personal decision-making, gain an introductory understanding to life-span development concepts through the use of self-assessment instruments and procedures, become better oriented to San Jose State University, and fulfill their area E GE requirement.


Connect with Lurie College at to receive more news about academic and student life! Video and audio recorded by Brian Cheung Dooley and recorded and edited by Sydney Torrens.  Music by Bad Snacks.

Attend the Lurie College NSSLHA Virtual Happy Hours

The SJSU Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) Chapter is hosting a series of virtual happy hours for the remainder of the semester!  If you are a Communicative Disorders & Sciences students, you should have received the links to participate in these events in your email.

  • Fri., Apr. 17, 4pm | Crafty Happy Hour
  • Wed., Apr. 22, 3pm | Grad Application Panel
  • Fri., May 1, 4pm | Yoga & Pets Happy Hour
  • Fri., May 15, 4pm | QuaranTEA Party & Trivia

SJSU Lurie College NSSLHA Happy Hour Series

#IBelongAtLurieCollege | Luz Nicacio

What provides you with a sense of belonging at Lurie College?  Is it your drive to become a transformative educator, counselor, therapist, school or community leader?  A faculty member, advisor, your friends or student groups?  The events and culture?  Share with us on Instagram by tagging @sjsulurie and using the hashtag #IBelongAtLurieCollege in your caption or email us at so we can share uplifting stories from our community.  Learn about Luz Nicacio, Department of Child and Adolescent Development undergraduate student, and what provides her with a sense of belonging!

“Being a part of the Lurie College of Education means you are a part of a family.  We have amazing faculty, staff, and professors who go above and beyond to get to know you which makes you feel like you matter and that they genuinely care, which is an important thing to have in a college.  The Lurie College family wants their students to be successful and it shows by the amount of support it provides for their students and their future students.  Once you become a part of the College of Education you won’t want to leave.”

SJSU Lurie College of Education Child and Adolescent Development Student Luz Nicacio

Lurie College Hardship Fund Requests and Contributions

Lurie College has a limited amount of grant funds available to support its students who have experienced an unforeseen financial hardship that will prevent them from continuing their enrollment at Lurie College and SJSU. Awards are processed fall and spring semesters only, but advisors are available year-round. If you are a currently-enrolled Lurie College undergraduate, graduate, credential, or doctoral student who has experienced this type of hardship, please complete this brief Google form so that a Lurie College advisor can contact you.

We’ve recently had two donors who have agreed to match additional contributions to the Lurie College Hardship Fund.  If you have the means to contribute to the fund, you can do so by visiting the Lurie College Giving webpage and indicating “Student Financial Hardship Grant” in the special instructions section.  Contributions of any size are greatly appreciated since they will become tripled after matching – $10 will become $30, $25 will become $75, $50 will become $150, etc.

SJSU Lurie College of Education Hardship Fund