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.”
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