CASA students get in the holiday spirit

Members of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Student Affairs Committee got into the holiday spirit before Thanksgiving when they decorated a tree for Christmas in the Park. The community trees will be on display at downtown San Jose’s Christmas in the Park through Jan. 1.

Members of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts' Student Affairs community decorated a tree for Christmas in the Park.

Members of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Student Affairs community decorated a tree for Christmas in the Park.

Christie Martinez, the president of the 2014-15 Student Affairs committee, said the group came up with the idea as a way to be social with other departments and within the committee – one representative is assigned to serve each year from each of the 11 departments and schools in CASA.

Some of the volunteers who helped to decorate the tree included: Claudia Gonzalez, of Health Science and Recreation, Martinez, of Justice Studies, Valerie Ruiz, of Kinesiology, Rebecca Robinson, of the Valley Foundation School of Nursing, Becky Ringer, of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging, Sara Wykoff, of Occupational Therapy, OT Professor Gigi Smith, and David Hoffman, of Social Work.

The tree is one of many decorated by community groups for the annual Christmas in the Park event, which is open and free to the public from the end of November through Jan. 1.

“We all decided at our committee meeting that our tree would represent all 11 departments within the college,” Martinez said, via email.

Each committee member was asked to collect or make ornaments that represent the students or staff of the department. Many of the decorations include the name or abbreviation for the department, with some coming up with unique ideas such as a tree skirt made of copies of the Spartan Daily to represent the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

“My favorite part was trying to find ideas to make the ornaments and also asking for my department’s help with ideas,” Martinez said.

Wykoff said her favorite part was seeing how unique each tree looked.

“Ours is so neat because of the variety of programs that it represents,” she said.

Martinez said she was planning to bring her children to see the tree she and other students decorated, which is located in space 449, across from the Fairmont Hotel.

“I want them to know that there is a lot more than just classes and homework at SJSU,” she said.

Wykoff said many of her classmates plan to go every year and even more plan to trek downtown to see the tree this year.

“Sometimes it seems that people are always so busy that the holidays are less of value, but Christmas in the Park is a reminder that there are still people out there that still value the holidays,” Martinez said.

Emeritus and Retired Faculty lunch with current CASA affiliates

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts hosted its annual Emeritus and Retired Faculty Luncheon Oct. 29, at Flames Eatery and Banquet.
Emeritus and Retired

Faculty were invited to join Assistant Chair of Kinesiology Shirley Reekie and Associate Dean Greg Payne for a tour of some of the newly completed construction on campus. About a half dozen faculty members participated in the tour of the newly renovated Yoshihiro Uchida Hall and the new Student Union.

“This is one of our favorite events to host each year because it gives us a chance to catch you up on what has been going on in CASA and around campus and also for us to hear what you’ve done this past year,” said Interim Dean Alice Hines in her welcome.

The highlight of the program included three College of Applied Sciences and Arts students who attended summer study abroad programs who shared how the experience left a strong impression on them. The students speakers included Aly Mauro, an Occupational Therapy student, Mia Gonzalez, a Journalism and Mass Communications student and Michael Celso, a Social Work student. The students each received the Helen L. Stevens Faculty-Led Program Scholarship, helping to off-set $500 of the cost of the summer programs. The College is currently working to develop more scholarships to support study abroad opportunities for students.

Emeritus and retired faculty from seven CASA departments, including some that have merged with other departments, attended the luncheon with current faculty from nine of the departments offering updates on their activities. The attendees included a former dean and emeritus faculty member, Robert Moore, who taught in the Division of Technology. Moore, who is in his mid-90s, said he recalled hiring Helen Ross Mico, a retired Health Science professor in attendance, and Lee Walton, a retired kinesiology professor in attendance.

CHAMP Senior Wellness Fair draws nearly 800 visitors

On Oct. 23, Leticia Medrano walked through the gymnasium at the Timpany Center, visiting vendor booths at the fourth annual Senior Wellness Fair.

With a bag full of pamphlets about community resources for seniors and free giveaways she had collected throughout the morning, she sat down to have her blood pressure taken by one of the many student volunteers from San José State University’s College of Applied Sciences and Arts Valley Foundation School of Nursing.

Medrano said she was having a great time at the Timpany Center, where she takes water classes and a better bones and balance class.

Nursing student Heather Bishop noted that the blood pressure booth was one of the few with a line.

“The seniors are usually on top of their blood pressure, but they like to check it,” said Jonathan Dinson, who took Medrano’s readings and said his class has been volunteering at the Timpany Center all semester. “She’s one of the regulars.”

The students said they do not diagnosis high blood pressure, but they can write a reading down for visitors that they can share with a doctor who can decide what they need.

College of Applied Sciences and Arts Interim Dean Alice Hines meets with Occupational Therapy Professor Megan Chang along with OT students Julie Rahan and Ashley Dawson at the Senior Wellness Fair.

College of Applied Sciences and Arts Interim Dean Alice Hines, from left, meets with Occupational Therapy Professor Megan Chang along with OT students Julie Rahan and Ashley Dawson at the Senior Wellness Fair.

Veronica Cavillo, a student in the School of Social Work, interviews a senior about his mood at the Seniro Wellness Fair Oct. 23. The event is a collaboration between San Jose State University Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP,) the Santa Clara County Department of Aging and Adult Services and the Timpany Center.

Veronica Cavillo, a student in the School of Social Work, interviews a senior about his mood at the Senior Wellness Fair Oct. 23. The event is a collaboration between San Jose State University Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP,) the Santa Clara County Department of Aging and Adult Services and the Timpany Center.

 

Jonathan Dinson, left, takes Leticia Medrano's blood pressure at the Senior Wellness Fair on Oct. 23. Dinson, a student in SJSU's Valley Foundation School of Nursing, was just one of dozens of students to volunteer at the wellness fair from the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Jonathan Dinson, left, takes Leticia Medrano’s blood pressure at the Senior Wellness Fair on Oct. 23. Dinson, a student in SJSU’s Valley Foundation School of Nursing, was just one of dozens of students to volunteer at the wellness fair from the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Bishop noted that in addition to giving the nursing students a chance to practice a skill, they also learned about resources in the community.

“We are working with seniors a lot this semester so there are a lot of resources we can share with patients,” she said.

The Senior Wellness Fair hosted at the Timpany Center on Oct. 23 brought in more than 789 attendees this year, with many students from SJSU’s College of Applied Sciences and Arts volunteering to interact with the population.

The Senior Wellness Fair is a partnership between SJSU’s Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations, the Santa Clara County Department of Aging and Adult Services and the Timpany Center, now in its fourth year. CHAMP is an interdisciplinary effort that includes faculty from the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ School of Social Work, the Valley Foundation School of Nursing, Nutrition and Food Science, Kinesiology, Occupational Therapy as well as the departments of Psychology and Communicative Disorders and Sciences.

Sadhna Diwan, a professor of Social Work and the director of CHAMP, said the goals for students at the event are to practice implementing health promotion education with seniors; engage in interprofessional learning through exposure to the work of other disciplines or professions and learn about vital community resources that can be helpful to older adults and their families.

Martha Ortiz, a recreation therapy major, said she and her fellow students were giving a survey to seniors to find out if they are feeling unfilled in any part of their lives – physical, mental, social, spiritual or cognitive.

“We help them realize which area they should focus on and give them resources,” she said.

Ortiz said they were trying to help seniors understand that they can define their leisure time to help them feel more fulfilled, such as getting outdoors for a hike or a picnic.

Danelle Willey, a Nutrition and Food Science major, said she and the students at her booth were working with seniors to educate them on the sodium in different food products.

They had printed out labels of several condiments and popular food items, such as fish sauce and a frozen meal.

“We want to bring to light the high amount of sodium we can eat without realizing it,” Willey said. “It can put people at risk for high blood pressure, osteoporosis and other chronic diseases. By lower intake now, they can lessen the effects or not have them get them as early in life.”

One of the surprise items with a high level of sodium was the fish sauce, which contains 99 percent of the daily recommended amount of sodium. The students handed out free samples of a salt-free Mrs. Dash seasoning.

“They’ve been very receptive,” Willey said, of the seniors visiting the booth.

Students in the School of Social Work did a short survey with seniors to determine their mood to see if they might be in need of services to deal with a depressed mood.

“It can be a sensitive topic if they have a low mood,” said Lindsay Lytle. “We can tell them where to go for help and how to talk about it.”

The students had a sheet with community resources to share with seniors. Lytle said if anyone had a low mood they recommended the person speaking with a primary doctor to follow up.

Ashley Dawson and Julie Rahan, two Occupational Therapy students, worked with seniors to assess their risk of falls. At their booth, they first surveyed seniors to get their perception of their risk of falling and then did an assessment with the seniors.

“Depending on how they do physically, we make some recommendations,” Rahan said, of how they can prevent falls.

At the event, they offered a Falls Prevention workshop.

“Their perception is usually similar to the assessment,” Dawson said, noting that the seniors they had encountered in the morning were happy to do the assessment.

For more on CHAMP, visit: http://www.sjsu.edu/champ/

Alumni Assoc. honors CASA students with scholarships

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts was well represented Sept. 16 at the San José State University Alumni Association Scholarship Reception. Of the dozens of honorees who were recognized at the event, seven hail from CASA majors.

CASA Associate Dean Greg Payne attended the celebration and had the honor of introducing the two students selected to receive the Alumni Association Dean’s Scholarship for Applied Sciences and Arts. David Elliott, a

David Elliott received the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Alumni Association Dean's Scholarship for 2014-15.

David Elliott received the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Alumni Association Dean’s Scholarship for 2014-15.

Social Work major, said he hopes to continue his studies in the Master of Social Work program, according to a bio provided by the Alumni Association. He has an upcoming internship with Unity Care, a nonprofit focused on youth and family development, to provide services to foster youth with behavioral and emotional problems. In the past, he has gained crisis intervention and facility management experience, including at Foothill College where he supported students working in the Pass the Torch program.

On the Alumni Association website, he said, “It is an honor and a privilege to be selected to receive the Alumni Association Deans’ Scholarship. Maintaining a balance between school, work and family can be challenging. I can be certain now that I will continue my education by working towards a MSW at SJSU. My wife, Theresa, and I have recently been gifted with a beautiful son, and financially we are working very hard to provide for our family. This scholarship has renewed my excitement about working towards an advanced degree. We are grateful and will continue our personal efforts to serve our community.”

Michelle Mussett received the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Alumni Association Dean's Scholarship for 2014-15.

Michelle Mussett received the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Alumni Association Dean’s Scholarship for 2014-15.

Michelle Mussett, a graduate student in Social Work, also received the Dean’s Scholarship. She has interned with the Record Clearance Project, a program in the Justice Studies department that helps eligible people clear their criminal records, and she also volunteers at the library advising clients in a free weekly program, according to the Alumni Association website. Prior to enrolling in her master’s program at SJSU, Mussett served in the Peace Corps in Benin, in West Africa, where she developed training materials and education programs to address gender and health issues. She is an intern at the CSU Monterey Bay Campus Health Center.

On the Alumni Association website, she said,  “I’m so excited about receiving the Alumni Association Dean’s Scholarship, because it will allow me to concentrate on my passion – my upcoming internship work as a therapist at the California State University, Monterey Bay campus health center. The internship requires a three-day a week commitment, and my full time classes require another two. This scholarship makes it possible for me to pursue my academic and professional goals without having to also take part-time work to cover living expenses. This is crucial at this time in my study, as my final year also includes a year-long thesis project. This scholarship makes it possible for me to put my best work into my final year internship and academics, allowing me to absorb as much as I can from these incredible opportunities.”

Gina Guglielmoni was awarded the Phyllis and Alan Simpkins Leadership Award to pursue a graduate degree in kinesiology so she can start a career helping athletes rehabilitate sports-related injuries with treatments their school or general practitioner do not provide, according to her bio. She volunteered as a trainer’s assistant and manager for the football and softball teams at El Camino High School as well as with groups supporting disabled veterans and at St. Veronica Parish. She noted that she comes from a family of Spartans.

“Being a third generation Spartan means a lot to me and my family as well as receiving the Alan and Phyllis Simpkins Alumni Leadership Award. Six of my family members are alumni of San José State and are part of the large group that makes this scholarship possible. The scholarship will aid in achieving my ultimate dream of obtaining a masters degree in Kinesiology (Athletic Training) and start a career as an Athletic Trainer.”

Three CASA students received the Santa Cruz Area Chapter Scholarships, including Nutritional Science student Anna Sramek, Nursing student Kelly McGuckin and Social work student Nancy Zuniga. Cuong Truong, a nursing major, received the San Jose Woman’s Club Scholarship. For more on these honorees, visit the Alumni Association website at http://www.sjsu.edu/alumni/scholarships/.

Community nutrition class raises money for soup kitchen

San José State University students enrolled in a community nutrition class put their classroom knowledge to the test by planning a fundraiser to benefit a local soup kitchen.

On April 24, more than 100 people attended a fundraiser for Martha’s Kitchen, a community soup kitchen near downtown San Jose, coordinated by students in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging department.

Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging students Annie Su, Jovanna Ponco, Anna Dong, Tracey Nguyen and Vi Tran with Martha's Kitchen Executive Director Edita Cruz and their professor, Marjorie Freedman, pose for a photo at the Martha's Kitchen Empty Bowl event.

Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging students Annie Su, Jovanna Ponco, Anna Dong, Tracey Nguyen and Vi Tran with Martha’s Kitchen Executive Director Edita Cruz and their professor, Marjorie Freedman, pose for a photo at the Martha’s Kitchen Empty Bowl event.

The students who are enrolled in Marjorie Freedman’s Community Nutrition class organized the fundraiser, called “Empty Bowls” as part of a service learning requirement for the class. Organizers included Anna Dong, Annie Su, Tracey Nguyen, Jovanna Ponco and Vi Tran. The students raised more than $1,700 for Martha’s Kitchen.

Since 1981, Martha’s Kitchen has had the mission to “feed the hungry with dignity, no questions asked, no judgment made.” The organization has served more than 2.75 million meals since it opened. The SJSU Nutrition students decided to join forces with Edita Cruz, the executive director, to raise money for  the Kitchen’s essential nutrition services.

The students coordinated all aspects of the dinner fundraiser, from soliciting donations for raffle prizes, menu planning, ticket sales and marketing the event. Attendees were entertained by the SJSU Mambo Club, King Library Rockers and the SJSU Polynesian Club. Some of the donations included a signed puck from the San Jose Sharks hockey team and a signed picture from Steve Blake, of the Golden State Warriors basketball team.

The week before the event, the students had raised $900 but only had 10 people signed up to attend the event. They worked with some Nutrition professors to offer attendance at the event as an extra-credit activity or to use the time for a professional meeting. Their last-minute marketing efforts paid off when more than 100 people showed up for the fundraiser.

The students learned how to navigate event planning, solicit donations and learn about marketing while working effectively as a team.

Student Jovanna Ponco said in a press release, “If we had been missing just one team member, the event would not have gone as smoothly and as successfully as it did. As seniors in our last semester of the Dietetics program at San Jose State, we will graduate not only with the skills and experience that we gained through this event, but the bonds of friendship that we strengthened as well.”

The students also thanked Freedman and Cruz for their support in coordinating the fundraiser.