CHAMP wins SJSU Service-Learning & Community Award


by Sadhna Diwan

Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP) was selected to receive the Collaborative Project Award from the SJSU Center for Community Learning & Leadership.

It’s great to see the collaborative efforts of CASA faculty recognized by the University. Congratulations to all and thanks for our team members without which this would not have been possible.

The Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP) was created in the College of Applied Sciences & Arts in 2009. With faculty affiliates from all academic disciplines at SJSU, the Center facilitates interdisciplinary applied research, education, and strategic partnerships with community-based organizations working with older adults. For each of the past three years, CHAMP has partnered with the Timpany Center, Santa Clara County’s Department of Adult & Aging Services (DAAS), CommUniverCity, and the Roosevelt Community Center to host Senior Wellness & Resource Fairs to promote healthy aging among older adults in the community. The fairs, which are half-day events, have promoted interprofessional education through service learning among more than 200 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in courses in health sciences, nutrition, nursing, occupational therapy, social work, psychology, kinesiology, and communicative disorders.

The students provide wellness education and screenings to seniors, learn about available community resources, and build their skills by applying their knowledge to working with older persons. Student evaluations of the fairs are extremely positive: they show increased awareness of their own strengths and challenges such as communication skills; they express positive attitudes towards working with older persons; and better understanding of inter-professional roles in wellness promotion among seniors.

As one student noted, “I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given to work with the project. This was not only my first volunteer effort, but it was also the first time I worked with and for an older population. Getting involved with this project allowed me to see the need for resources for the general local population. The best part of this experience was the ability to connect those who were in search for resources with their professionals- whether it was the table I sat in or not. It was absolutely wonderful to see so many different disciplines come together for a common goal- the wellbeing of a population who often get looked over.

Another noted, “The most enjoyable aspect of this project is that I have an opportunity to interact with seniors. It is a valuable and precious experience to practice what I have learned from classes.

DAAS has expressed interest in continuing this partnership with CHAMP in order to engage more of our students in service learning.

The Service-Learning & Community Engagement Awards are presented for course-inspired community engagement learning, distinguished from non-academic community service. The awards ceremony will be held on Friday, April 26th from 8:45-11:00am in ENG 285/287.

CASA-CHAMPS faculty can invite friends and family. Parking permits are available upon request.

Congratulations on the Award! Go CHAMPions!

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