Nursing Student Rallies SJSU to Erect Peace Pole

Photo: Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group

Photo: Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group

Inspired by her belief in world peace, a nursing student rallied the SJSU community to install and unveil its very own Peace Pole.

Navpreet Kaur, ’17 Nursing, delivered the keynote address at the unveiling of SJSU’s newest monument Oct. 12.

A crowd of students, faculty and staff gathered along a busy walkway between Tower Hall and a grove of trees and roses near Clark Hall to hear from her.

“I believe we do have the potential to reach peace. It’s just a very difficult process,” she said.

One message, 12 languages

The Peace Pole is much smaller than SJSU’s Smith/Carlos sculpture and the Cesar E. Chavez monument, but it packs a punch.

“May Peace Prevail on Earth” is inscribed on the pole in the 12 languages most common in Santa Clara County.

Kaur was inspired to pursue the project after taking a semester off from San Jose State, and enrolling in classes at San Jose City College.

She knew nothing about Peace Poles when she stumbled upon one there. The inscription, in so many languages, intrigued her.

So she did what everyone does nowadays to record the moment: She took a photo of the pole, Instagrammed it, and then Googled it.

An international movement

Photo By Leo Reynolds

Peacemarker by Leo Reynolds / Three photos, combined.

She learned that the Peace Pole movement was born in post World War II Japan. Today, there are more than 200,000 poles worldwide.

“I remember just feeling an instant connection, and I thought I wanted to see this on my home campus,” Kaur said.

Back at SJSU, Kaur spent a day contacting everyone she could, from the president on down, until she got a reply.

The response came from Aditya Mairal, ’17 Mechanical Engineering. At the time, he was the Associated Students director of intercultural affairs.

“I gave her that push and told her that ‘yes, you can do this,’” Mairal said to Spartan Daily.

Kaur took that to heart, and her dream came true, with a good dose of mentoring from The Valley Foundation School of Nursing Director Katherine Abriam-Yago.

A faculty mentor

“She was just a constant support system,” Kaur said. “She would tell me, ‘This is your idea and if you’re envisioning it in a certain way, then you need to fight for that vision.’”

Raised in East San Jose’s cultural melting pot, Kaur was particularly concerned about the languages.

“My number one goal was to make sure there was no bias with the language selection,” she said, so she turned to U.S. Census data to keep the peace.

Interestingly, one reason she is drawn to nursing is, in her eyes, it’s also all about mediation.

“A lot of the time, patients don’t express what their true concerns are in fear of being judged by their healthcare professionals,” she said. “As a nurse, I am an advocate for my patient. I’m an advocate for their concerns. Standing up for those who are afraid to raise their voice is a beautiful thing.”

 

SJSU in the News: Nursing Alumna Launches “Buck for a Bike” Campaign

Bicycle charity joins fight against childhood obesity

Originally published by the San Jose Mercury News July 6, 2011.

By Joe Rodriguez

The 8-year-old boy wasn’t going to get on a pink bike. No way, no how.

“No!” Jesus Arteaga said.

And no amount of gender-correctness from older folks at a free bike-repair clinic the other day in San Jose was going to change his mind. But the bike was free, a hand-me-down from his sister, so Jesus shyly asked a bicycle mechanic whether he could make it look more, you know, like a boy’s bike.

“When I heard that, my heart sank,” said Sue Runsvold, a nurse whose bicycle charity put on the free repair clinic. She gave the OK for a macho makeover. Off came the pink chain guard, rosy pedals and white tires. On went black ones. Although Jesus was happy with the results, the bike frame remained a pinkish purple.

“I wish I had brought a can of black spray paint,” Runsvold said. “I’ll have to remember that for next time. Boys won’t ride girlie bikes.”

Six years after starting the nonprofit Turning Wheels for Kids, Runsvold has delivered about 11,000 bikes to needy children in Silicon Valley at Christmastime. That alone would put her on the road to sainthood in the eyes of many if she stopped there, but the nurse who manages a postsurgery unit at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center isn’t done. The follow-up counts just as much.

Away from the hoopla of the Christmas bike deliveries and bike-repair clinics, Turning Wheels quietly donates 200 bikes a year to overweight or obese children at the hospital’s Pediatric Healthy Lifestyles Center. The center treats 1,000 new kids every year.”It’s been an amazing aspect for us,” said Dr. Patricia Barreto, one of three supervising doctors there. “Anything that makes a child more active is going to make them more healthy.”

By age 5, a third of all children in Santa Clara County are overweight or obese, according to a 2007 survey. That statistic jumps to almost half of all children by age 11. The prevalence of obesity at all ages is highest among Hispanic children, and lowest among Asian kids.

Getting families to adopt healthier diets is one thing, but the doctors don’t have to lecture the kids to mount the bikes. They simply take off. All Barreto tells them is to include cycling in the 60 minutes of exercise they should do every day. The center hasn’t measured the direct health benefits from the biking, but Barreto is convinced it works.

“Physical activity is a cornerstone, metabolically,” she said. “You should see the smiles on these kids’ faces when they leave here with their new bikes.”

Growing up in Fullerton, a working-class town in Orange County, Runsvold said she always dreaded answering the question, “What did you get for Christmas?”

Her father, who drank too much and spent time in prison, wasn’t around much. Her mother, a secretary, simply couldn’t afford new bikes for her three kids.

“We were lower middle-class, but I thought we were lower than that,” Runsvold said. “I was just like the kids we serve today.”

Married and a mother at age 21, she showered her children with Christmas presents because she didn’t want them to dread the Christmas question. “They’d get five, six or seven presents just from Santa Claus.”

The years and decades flew by. The Runsvolds moved around the country, eventually settling in San Jose in 1994. She earned a nursing degree from San Jose State. Her children gave her grandchildren.

Then her marriage collapsed, and so did the gratification of seeing wall-to-wall gifts under the Christmas tree. “I now saw opulence under the tree,” Runsvold said.

She thought about her struggling mother, who accepted donated toys for her children at Christmastime and baked cookies as gifts for friends and relatives.

“I asked myself, ‘What was hard for me to get as a kid?’ A bike!”

Two weeks before Christmas 2002, she and a few friends raised enough money to buy 12 bikes from a toy store and gave them to San Jose firefighters to give to poor children. Runsvold and her friends gave away 40 bikes the second year.

Word spread, volunteers signed on, and Turning Wheels was born. Bicycle manufacturers Raleigh and Dynacraft jumped on board with hefty discounts.

Last Christmas, the charity raised $257,000 and gave away more than 2,000 bikes.

It sounds as if Turning Wheels is cruising, but Runsvold said it’s still pedaling uphill.

A new “Buck for a Bike” campaign hopes to raise the equivalent of $1 from everyone in Silicon Valley, to create an endowment of $1.7 million. That would give Turning Wheels a base income and allow it to think ahead and add educational and health programs.

“I work 40 hours as a nurse, and then I go home and work 40 hours doing this,” Runsvold said. “This is my passion.”

She doesn’t like being called director or chairwoman, but given Turning Wheels’ growth and popularity, Runsvold just might be creating a second career.

Do you have a story for Eastside/Westside? Contact Joe Rodriguez at 408-920-5767 or jrodriguez@mercurynews.com.

TO HELP

For more information or to make a donation, go to www.turningwheelsforkids.org.

SJSU in the News: Nursing Alumna Launches "Buck for a Bike" Campaign

Bicycle charity joins fight against childhood obesity

Originally published by the San Jose Mercury News July 6, 2011.

By Joe Rodriguez

The 8-year-old boy wasn’t going to get on a pink bike. No way, no how.

“No!” Jesus Arteaga said.

And no amount of gender-correctness from older folks at a free bike-repair clinic the other day in San Jose was going to change his mind. But the bike was free, a hand-me-down from his sister, so Jesus shyly asked a bicycle mechanic whether he could make it look more, you know, like a boy’s bike.

“When I heard that, my heart sank,” said Sue Runsvold, a nurse whose bicycle charity put on the free repair clinic. She gave the OK for a macho makeover. Off came the pink chain guard, rosy pedals and white tires. On went black ones. Although Jesus was happy with the results, the bike frame remained a pinkish purple.

“I wish I had brought a can of black spray paint,” Runsvold said. “I’ll have to remember that for next time. Boys won’t ride girlie bikes.”

Six years after starting the nonprofit Turning Wheels for Kids, Runsvold has delivered about 11,000 bikes to needy children in Silicon Valley at Christmastime. That alone would put her on the road to sainthood in the eyes of many if she stopped there, but the nurse who manages a postsurgery unit at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center isn’t done. The follow-up counts just as much.

Away from the hoopla of the Christmas bike deliveries and bike-repair clinics, Turning Wheels quietly donates 200 bikes a year to overweight or obese children at the hospital’s Pediatric Healthy Lifestyles Center. The center treats 1,000 new kids every year.”It’s been an amazing aspect for us,” said Dr. Patricia Barreto, one of three supervising doctors there. “Anything that makes a child more active is going to make them more healthy.”

By age 5, a third of all children in Santa Clara County are overweight or obese, according to a 2007 survey. That statistic jumps to almost half of all children by age 11. The prevalence of obesity at all ages is highest among Hispanic children, and lowest among Asian kids.

Getting families to adopt healthier diets is one thing, but the doctors don’t have to lecture the kids to mount the bikes. They simply take off. All Barreto tells them is to include cycling in the 60 minutes of exercise they should do every day. The center hasn’t measured the direct health benefits from the biking, but Barreto is convinced it works.

“Physical activity is a cornerstone, metabolically,” she said. “You should see the smiles on these kids’ faces when they leave here with their new bikes.”

Growing up in Fullerton, a working-class town in Orange County, Runsvold said she always dreaded answering the question, “What did you get for Christmas?”

Her father, who drank too much and spent time in prison, wasn’t around much. Her mother, a secretary, simply couldn’t afford new bikes for her three kids.

“We were lower middle-class, but I thought we were lower than that,” Runsvold said. “I was just like the kids we serve today.”

Married and a mother at age 21, she showered her children with Christmas presents because she didn’t want them to dread the Christmas question. “They’d get five, six or seven presents just from Santa Claus.”

The years and decades flew by. The Runsvolds moved around the country, eventually settling in San Jose in 1994. She earned a nursing degree from San Jose State. Her children gave her grandchildren.

Then her marriage collapsed, and so did the gratification of seeing wall-to-wall gifts under the Christmas tree. “I now saw opulence under the tree,” Runsvold said.

She thought about her struggling mother, who accepted donated toys for her children at Christmastime and baked cookies as gifts for friends and relatives.

“I asked myself, ‘What was hard for me to get as a kid?’ A bike!”

Two weeks before Christmas 2002, she and a few friends raised enough money to buy 12 bikes from a toy store and gave them to San Jose firefighters to give to poor children. Runsvold and her friends gave away 40 bikes the second year.

Word spread, volunteers signed on, and Turning Wheels was born. Bicycle manufacturers Raleigh and Dynacraft jumped on board with hefty discounts.

Last Christmas, the charity raised $257,000 and gave away more than 2,000 bikes.

It sounds as if Turning Wheels is cruising, but Runsvold said it’s still pedaling uphill.

A new “Buck for a Bike” campaign hopes to raise the equivalent of $1 from everyone in Silicon Valley, to create an endowment of $1.7 million. That would give Turning Wheels a base income and allow it to think ahead and add educational and health programs.

“I work 40 hours as a nurse, and then I go home and work 40 hours doing this,” Runsvold said. “This is my passion.”

She doesn’t like being called director or chairwoman, but given Turning Wheels’ growth and popularity, Runsvold just might be creating a second career.

Do you have a story for Eastside/Westside? Contact Joe Rodriguez at 408-920-5767 or jrodriguez@mercurynews.com.

TO HELP

For more information or to make a donation, go to www.turningwheelsforkids.org.

SJSU in the News: San Jose State Plans New Nursing Doctorate

SJSU Planning to Offer Doctorate in Nursing

Originally published in the San Jose Mercury News 1/26/2011

By Lisa M. Krieger

San Jose State is preparing to open its doors next year to nursing students seeking to earn the highest degree in academia: the doctorate.

Marking a significant moment in the history of the California State University system, the university’s board of trustees voted Wednesday to create a doctorate in nursing practice, called a DNP, on several CSU campuses — including a joint nursing program at SJSU and Fresno State.

For 40 years, California’s master plan for higher education has made doctorates the sole domain of the University of California. Then, a decade ago, CSU added one in education. And last year, it successfully petitioned for the right to award them in physical therapy at five campuses and nursing practice at three campuses.

While the UC campuses will continue to offer doctor of philosophy, or Ph.D, degrees, which are primarily research-focused, CSU seeks to grant a more practice-focused advanced degree.

“This is a real response to real need. It is important that we help meet the labor needs of the state,” said John Douglass, a senior research fellow at UC Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education.

“The lines (between UC and CSU) are definitely blurring,” he said, “but I think some marginal expansion of CSU’s authority makes sense in certain areas of graduate training.”

At SJSU, the new doctorate “will enable its graduates to be at the forefront of implementing research,” said Jayne Cohen, director of SJSU’s nursing school.”In addition, this new program will vastly add to the cadre of nursing faculty well-qualified to educate new nursing professionals.”

She did not outline how SJSU and Fresno State would collaborate in the pilot program. Before being finalized, the program needs professional accreditation and approval by the university’s chancellor.

More nurses needed

The U.S. Bureau of Health Professionals projects that California will have a severe shortfall of about 100,000 nurses in 10 years. The state already ranks last in the nation in the number of nurses per capita — 589 per 100,000 residents, compared with the U.S. average of 825.

A big obstacle to closing this projected shortfall has been a limited number of slots available in California nursing programs — which is tied to a limited number of people qualified to serve as nursing faculty.

But CSU’s advanced degree programs could pose new problems: funding, with a potential squeeze on undergraduates, said Judith E. Heiman of the Legislative Analyst’s Office in Sacramento.

“Does it make sense for CSU to offer these degrees? Perhaps,” Heiman said. “Does it make sense at this time, when campuses are having difficulty accommodating demand for existing undergraduate programs? That’s a judgment call we’d like the Legislature to weigh in on.”

In the bills authorizing CSU to offer each of these degrees, the Legislature showed concern about these programs crowding out undergraduates. And it specified that each campus must fund the programs out of its existing budget.

“CSU is facing a budget proposal that not only lacks growth funding, but reduces base funding significantly,” Heiman said. “Under these circumstances, it is not possible to use state or institutional resources for developing and starting a new program without affecting existing enrollment.”

Catch-up mode

The California Nurses Association would prefer expansion of nursing programs at the bachelor’s and master’s level.

While the organization welcomes new programs to train nurse educators, “even more importantly, we need to train greater numbers of bedside nurses to meet the needs of California’s patients,” said the association’s Liz Jacobs. “We call for more resources to be put into all levels of nursing education.”

The current nursing shortage has its roots in massive layoffs in the 1990s, she said, as the introduction of the “managed care” system shortened patient stays and reduced the need for nurses.

And potential students disliked “the de-skilling of the work force, as RNs (registered nurses) were replaced by LVNs (licensed vocational nurses) and assistants,” Jacobs said. And work got harder, because patients in the hospital tended to be very sick.

“Now, we’re in a catch-up mode,” she said, because of new laws that require more nurses, as well as the retiring of an aging work force.

Despite plenty of eager and academically qualified candidates, Jacobs notes that there are not enough seats in schools to educate every student.

The SJSU-Fresno State program, planned to start in the fall of 2012, will be one of three future DNP programs. A second jointly run program is planned by CSU campuses in Fullerton, Long Beach and Los Angeles. The third will be based in San Diego.

A doctorate in physical therapy, planned for the summer of 2012, will be offered at CSU campuses in Fresno, Long Beach, Northridge, Sacramento and San Diego.

Before creating any more CSU doctoral programs, Douglass urged the state to conduct a careful analysis of its labor needs — then decide the best way to structure higher education.#

SJSU, Fresno State to Plan Joint Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

In an effort to boost the number of instructors qualified to serve as nursing faculty members, SJSU and Fresno State will soon begin planning a joint doctor of nursing practice program (DNP). The program will be launched as early as fall 2012, pending approval by the CSU Board of Trustees at their meeting Jan. 25 and 26. Continue reading

SJSU Launches First-Ever Comprehensive Campaign

“Acceleration” Begins With $5 Million Gift Commitment From The Valley Foundation

Contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-656-6999

SAN JOSE, Calif., — At an evening event Oct. 21, Interim President Don W. Kassing launched “Acceleration: The Campaign for San Jose State University” by announcing The Valley Foundation has made a $5 million gift commitment to the School of Nursing. In gratitude for this gift and over $3.5 million in past donations, the school will be named the San Jose State University Valley Foundation School of Nursing, pending approval from the California State University Board of Trustees in November. The dinner, for over 300 SJSU supporters at the Event Center, opened the public phase of SJSU’s first-ever comprehensive campaign with a $200 million goal by 2014. SJSU raised over $129 million during the private phase, beginning in 2006. Continue reading