Why New Moms Need the COVID-19 Vaccine

By: Dr. Deepika Goyal, The Valley Foundation School of Nursing

Article from U.S. News Health – https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-02-12/new-moms-need-the-covid-vaccine

COVID-19 vaccinations are well under way, with more than 44 million doses of coronavirus vaccine administered to date. Though states make their own calls, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has published guidelines for who should be vaccinated, with health care workers and long-term care residents first in line.

Amid much conversation about who should be vaccinated next – and as officials work their way down eligibility lists that include older adults, teachers and food-service workers – women who have given birth during the pandemic are among the millions of Americans patiently waiting for their turn. Many new moms are anticipating getting the vaccine so their family members and friends can safely visit and provide much needed help and support.

Based on current eligibility guidelines, they’ll likely be waiting at least until the fall or later as states look to ACIP’s recommendation for Phase 1c eligibility, which includes people ages 16 to 74 with underlying medical conditions.

But they should be able to get the vaccine sooner, because their health – apart from the risk posed by COVID-19 itself – depends on it.

Social support is well documented as a preventative factor for the development of postpartum mood disorders. Although the birth of a new child is a time of joy for the family, 1 in 5 women will experience a PMD – such as anxiety, baby blues, post-traumatic stress or postpartum depression – after giving birth and anytime within the first year after childbirth.

In fact, postpartum depression is the most common complication in the first postpartum year. But isolation due to the pandemic has left many new moms managing without the crucial social support of family and friends, which places them at increased risk of developing a PMD. When left unidentified and untreated, PMDs can contribute to poor maternal-infant bonding, lower breastfeeding rates and the more serious consequences of suicide and infanticide.

I have been researching PMDs for the past 18 years and have personally experienced postpartum depression. Although more than 30 years ago and before COVID-19, I experienced loneliness as a young mother after the birth of my first child. I was living in Japan, far away from family and friends. I felt alone, abandoned and incredibly sad when none of my family members were able to come and visit me.

More recently, I have been talking to new moms about their birth and postpartum experiences during the pandemic, which has taken me back to my own experience. As one mom told me, “The first six weeks were tough as a new mom. You’re already super careful about who comes in contact with your baby so they don’t get COVID-19. Now the only option is complete isolation.”

Another mother recalled, “We will never get back the opportunity for those early memories with family. COVID really turned a shared family event into a totally isolated blip.”

And another mom concluded: “I’d say the toughest part of this COVID isolation has been not having ‘my village.'”

Today, distance itself is not the reason family and friends have not been visiting; sheltering in place or keeping distance to decrease the risk of COVID-19 are the culprits.

Some help appears to be on the way: Congress recently provided $3 million to establish a maternal mental health hotline that will be staffed by qualified counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Until then, new moms should consider getting a COVID-19 vaccine if one is available, which is in line with recommendations by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Health care providers caring for new mothers and their infants also need to be vigilant for PMDs, screening for any depressive symptoms through the first postpartum year and providing needed help and resources.

Together, we need to care for potentially vulnerable new mothers as they care for the most vulnerable among us.

Meet the New CHHS Faculty

Name: Dr. Adam Svec
Title: Assistant Professor
Department:
Audiology
Research Topics:
Psychoacoustics
Hearing Aids

Fun Fact: Dr. Svec was awarded black belt in Tae Kwon Do at the age of 11 years.

What has been the biggest challenge as a new faculty at SJSU so far?
In a program that is so dependent on in-person demonstration and clinical practice, it has been difficult to figure out ways for the students to get the proper amount of training for routine clinical protocols. Additionally, it has been challenging to gauge how the students have been doing, mental-health-wise and emotionally, outside of the virtual classroom. When the wildfires were stacked on top of the pandemic at the start of the term, the variability of experiences for each individual student made it difficult to figure out whether or not they were holding up well. I also haven’t been able to set up my research lab yet due to Covid.

What one piece of advice would you give to current/new incoming students starting at SJSU?
One of the largest challenges for certain students, staff, and faculty is the epidemic of loneliness that was beginning to surface even before the pandemic led to physical isolation. To the extent that is possible, I suggest finding safe ways to engage with friends and family during the semester. If you’re an extrovert like me, curbing loneliness will help stabilize the world, bringing certain priorities back into focus. Be kind to yourself during these trying times.


Name: Dr. Wei-Chen Tung
Title: Professor
Department: Valley Foundation School of Nursing
Research Topics:
HPV/HIV Prevention
Women’s Health
Health Promotion
Cultural Behaviors, Acculturation, Transtheoretical Model, and Social Media Use

Fun Fact: Dr. Tung loves to shop and hike. These activities reduce her stress and promote creativity in her research and teaching.

What has been the biggest challenge as a new faculty at SJSU so far?
My biggest challenges are unable to visit different university buildings and access in-person campus and community resources.

What one piece of advice would you give to current/new incoming students starting at SJSU?
Students could create/join a study group which can help them clarify course materials, build better communication and critical thinking skills, and maybe provide support to get through classes.


Name: Dr. Melisa Kaye
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Occupational Therapy
Research Topics:

  • Technology to Enhance Healthcare Education
  • Sensory Processing and Integration
  • Trauma-Informed Care
  • Development of Cognitive and Perceptual Skills in Children

Fun Fact: Founder and Director of Firefly Center for Children in Burlingame, CA


Name: Dr. Katrina Long
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Occupational Therapy
Research Topics:

  • Assessments and Interventions for Individuals with Neurological Disorders
  • Holistic Health and Movement of the Human Body
  • Motor Control and Motor Learning Processes
  • Behavioral Interventions that Facilitate Health-Promoting Habits and Routines as Part of an Effective Self-Management Program

Fun Fact:  Dr. Long enjoys hiking, cycling, figure skating, skiing, yoga and cooking.


Name: Dr. Charles Park
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Public Health and Recreation
Research Topics:

  • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)
  • Immigrant Health
  • Global Health
  • Health Education
  • Controlling Infectious Diseases

Fun Fact: Dr. Park is a salsa dancer!


Name: Jennifer Price Wolf
Title: Associate Professor
Department: Social Work
Research Topics:

  • Community Effects
  • Substance Abuse
  • Child Maltreatment

Fun Fact: Dr. Wolf grew up in Quincy, CA (population of 5,000)

What has been the biggest challenge as a new faculty at SJSU so far?
The biggest challenge has been not getting to meet my students in person! Although we’ve been able to make connections online, I value getting more opportunities to chat before and after class and during breaks.

What one piece of advice would you give to current/new incoming students starting at SJSU?
SJSU has so much to offer! I would advise students to try and take a mix of classes to try out different majors and to come to faculty office hours just to say hi- we love getting to know our students.  Also- social work is a great major-check out the many opportunities in the field.


Name: Moctezuma Garcia
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Social Work
Research Topics:
Health Inequities Among Historically Oppressed and Highly Marginalized Populations

Fun Fact: Dr. Garcia is a first generation XicanX from the Southside of Chicago

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.