University and Community Collaboration: The People’s Budget of San Jose Research Project

By: Dr. Michael Dao

People's Budget of San Jose

The San José State University Human Rights Institute (SJSU HRI) is a university “organizational research and training unit” under the California State University system that specifically focuses on human rights research, journalism, and policy design. The SJSU HRI studies pressing social problems and works with community-based organizations, stakeholders and policymakers to inform and enact progressive social change. In Spring 2021, I was awarded the inaugural SJSU HRI Summer Faculty Research Grant. The grant provided me the opportunity to work on a cross-campus, multi and interdisciplinary research team. As a tenure-track faculty member, joining the SJSU HRI as a working group member is the epitome of scholarship and service to the San José community and broader Silicon Valley that this university aspires to.

With that in mind, during the Summer and continuing into the Fall semester, I have been working on the People’s Budget of San José (PBSJ) research project. The PBSJ project was inspired by persistent public protests and testimony in San José coming at a time that reflected the global Black Lives Matter movement following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many more by police. For the PBSJ Project, the SJSU HRI, in partnership with Sacred Heart Community Services (SHCS) and members of the REAL Coalition, designed a mixed-method study to determine the interests, needs, and perspectives of community members concerning public spending for the provision of “public safety” or “community safety.” Considering the ongoing discussion of police reform and public safety, the findings of the PBSJ project will inform the new “Re-imagining Public Safety and Community Advisory Committee,” a committee tasked to re-envision criminal justice and police reform in San José.

Dr. Michael Dao, Kinesiology

Dr. Michael Dao, Department of Kinesiology

Working alongside Dr. Miranda Worthen (Public Health and Recreation), Dr. Soma de Bourbon (Sociology and Interdisciplinary Studies), Professor Melissa McClure Fuller (Public Health and Recreation), and Dr. William Armaline (Sociology and Interdisciplinary Studies), we spent the summer analyzing focus group data collected by the HRI and SHCS to determine how communities in San José perceived and experienced community safety. As a team with different academic backgrounds, we worked all summer, having intense discussions about what the data meant. These conversations were important as we wanted to represent the communities honestly and respectfully. I must say, these discussions were invigorating as we learned from each other and all brought our own disciplines to the forefront. Ultimately, we developed an analysis and wrote a report that spoke to the participants’ ideals of community safety and policing. In the spirit of collaboration and promoting cross-campus connections, the PBSJ project certainly provided space for critical and thoughtful discussion.

At this time, we are still soliciting participants for the survey portion of the study. For those reading this, please consider taking the PBSJ survey to contextualize better the re-imagining of public safety in San José. And for those wanting to expand their SJSU community, please consider joining the SJSU HRI. It is worthwhile to think about how your research and service can align with human rights and address systemic societal issues.

Timpany Center: Addressing Community Health Needs

By: Dr. Jennifer Schachner and Dr. Cole Armstrong

As the College of Health and Human Sciences embarks on new initiatives to address the newly developed mission and vision, a lesser known part of the college continues to make a difference at San Jose State University and in the heart of Santa Clara County. The Timpany Center, which is an accessible physical activity and therapeutic recreation center, looks to continue its legacy of serving Santa Clara County communities and the students of SJSU for years to come.

In the Fall of 2009, the SJSU Kinesiology Department along with support from The Research Foundation, entered a partnership with Santa Clara County to manage the Timpany Center.  Located behind Valley Medical Center, the Timpany Center was originally designed to cater to the unique needs of children with disabilities and was the vision of Russell Timpany, a superintendent at the County office of education in the later 1970’s.

Housing a 100,000 gallon warm water, zero entry therapy pool, adapted land fitness center, full sized basketball court, a classroom and large locker rooms, the Timpany Center now caters to a wide variety of residents from Santa Clara County and beyond.  All of the programs focus on providing access to individuals who may be experiencing disability, mobility issues, advanced age or other health conditions that would require specialized equipment, facilities and staff. “The Timpany Center offers programming across the lifespan, and across a range of ability levels. There are no other centers that offer what the Timpany Center offers in Santa Clara County. The services provided demonstrate SJSU’s commitment to serving our community. They also are a place where our students learn, ensuring that we have qualified professionals who can continue to give back to the community once they have graduated,” says Department of Kinesiology Chair, Dr. Tamar Semerjian.

With swim lessons for all ages, land and water fitness classes, personal training, on site physical therapy (managed by Imotion Physical Therapy) and open pool and adapted fitness programs, the center has become not only a place for the community to gather, but an integral part of the Kinesiology program at SJSU and CHHS. Each semester, the center hosts interns from departments such as Kinesiology and Recreation and partners with Nutrition, Nursing,  Occupational Therapy and others to support student and faculty research.  Interns work one on one and in group settings to facilitate programs that provide in the field experiences while the community benefits from the knowledge and expertise that these various students can provide. According to Kathryn Dayharsh, a student intern stated,”As an intern, I have felt especially privileged to be able to work on my own course curriculum, and with the help of Dr. Jenn, I have seen that course become a reality that I am now able to teach to our members at the Timpany Center. I truly believe my knowledge and future career have benefitted from having this wonderful opportunity, and I encourage anyone interested in learning teaching skills to apply!”

Dr. Jennifer Schachner

As the center continues to adapt to the challenges presented by the pandemic, the opportunity exists to rebuild and grow new programs.  With the availability of online fitness and wellness classes such as Stretching, Falls Prevention, Seated Fitness, Seated Kickboxing, Aerobics, Tai Chi, Seated Yoga, Band exercise, and Arthritis, the center can reach further into the community bringing wellness and fitness classes into peoples homes along with providing the traditional in person programs the community has become accustomed to. Program and Operations Director, Dr. Jennifer Schachner stated, “We have such a potential for growth with the further inclusion of online community programs, no longer are we limited to class sizes or classroom spaces.  We can run concurrent programs in multiple areas of wellness not just through Kinesiology, but with our continued partnerships with Nutrition, Occupation Therapy, Recreation, Nursing etc. and have the opportunities to branch out with other programs across the campus.  If we have learned anything from this pandemic it is that we are no longer constrained by what can happen inside the walls of the center.” Upon reopening (post COVID)  the Timpany Center has plans for a dedicated teaching space for online classes using the newest technologies in video and audio equipment to continue to reach those in need. New innovations in fitness equipment that promote activity for all abilities and ages will allow Timpany Center to grow in new directions not only for the members, but help to enrich the education of students from various SJSU programs.

Dr. Emily Wughalter Named as 42nd Fellow of the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education

Congratulations to Dr. Emily Wughalter, Professor, Department of Kinesiology, on being named the 42nd Fellow of the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education (NAKHE). Emily’s ongoing commitment to NAKHE leadership, scholarship, and the training of young professionals makes her an outstanding choice for this recognition.

The Fellows designation is given to professionals in the field of Kinesiology who have made significant contributions to NAKHE for ten years or more. Emily’s leadership in the association has been exceptional, and for this leadership she is being recognized. Leadership in NAKHE is not the only criteria for Fellow status. Emily’s scholarly productivity has added to the body of knowledge in Kinesiology in a meaningful way, one of the most important criteria for Fellowship. “Your leadership and scholarly contributions have extended beyond the field of Kinesiology to your home institution, community, and beyond – contributions that bring distinction to university professors in Kinesiology,” says Steven Estes, Fellow #12, NAKHE.

In addition, Emily has been invited to deliver the Rachel Bryant Lecture at the Society of Health and Physical Educators, (SHAPE America) National Convention in Tampa, Florida in April. “This is a tremendous honor to be invited to deliver a lecture in Rachel Bryant’s name and to be recognized by national colleagues in Kinesiology,” says Emily Wughalter. Rachel Bryant was the Executive Director of the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport for 21 years when she led an organization that inspired tremendous change and created sporting opportunities for girls and women. This lecture in her name is to honor an individual who continues her legacy by leading, developing, participating, and organizing programs for sporting girls and women.

Spring 2017 Series 2 of 10: Department of Hospitality Management’s Pebble Beach Program Provides Students with on the Job Hospitality Experience and Assists Students in Building a Better Business Network

If you plan on visiting the AT&T Pro Am Golf Tournament, Pebble Beach California, February 6-12, there is a good chance you may be served by one of SJSU’s Special Event Management students. “We have 32 students going down this year. Of those, the majority are Hospitality majors, with a couple of Kinesiology majors and a few majoring in public relations,” says Terry Thompson, Professor, Special Event Management Training.

Students setting up an On Course Food and Beverage tent prior to the tournament beginning.

The Department of Hospitality Management is excited to celebrate its 12th year of partnership with Pebble Beach Resorts to assist with the 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. “Our students will be working On Course Food and Beverage, Sky Suites and Chalets,” says Thompson.

“They will be managing anywhere from 5 to 50 volunteers and paid employees during the tournament depending on where they are working. Students will work directly with Pebble Beach representatives to manage, plan, coordinate, and oversee these hospitality areas at one of the PGA’s most celebrated golf tournaments.”

In order to be chosen for this opportunity, students must complete an application, write an essay and complete a panel interview. “There are over 100 students that apply every year and we only choose 32,” says Thompson.

Students gearing up for golf cart training.

Once students have been accepted in the program, they must attend over 60 hours of training that is conducted in conjunction with the Pebble Beach staff. In this training, they learn how to set a table properly, adjust shades and lights, and prepare a proper break service according to the Lodge at Pebble Beach standards.

“It is a real commitment,” recalls Anissa Sanders, public relations major and member of last year’s student team. “We are required to stay near Pebble Beach for a week, waking up at 4 a.m. to eat breakfast and be at the courses by 6 a.m. Then, back to our lodging at 6 p.m. and have dinner with the team, and then to bed by 10 p.m. to do it all over again the next day.”

From left to right: Advisor Richard Larson, student assistants Anissa Sanders and Victoria Wright, and Advisor Terry Thompson.

If they perform well, students can be invited back a second time for management and paid positions. Ms. Sanders has been invited back this week to manage three VIP rooms in the Lodge. She was also invited to work the 2016 Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival and Concours d’ Elegance this past year.  “Being a part of the Special Event Management Team taught me not only about the hospitality industry, but also about myself with the help of amazing advisors and Pebble Beach Managers. They help you grow and become confident in your choices as a manager. I’m happy to have done the program because I have built a network of friendships and ultimately a family.”

Sky Suite Team posed for a photo on the 18th Fairway.

The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is one of golf’s most celebrated and beloved events. Spanning three beautiful courses on the Monterey Peninsula (Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore Course, and Pebble Beach Golf Links), it attracts the PGA’s top professionals and some of the best-known celebrities. The goal of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is not only to provide a highly competitive and entertaining PGA event, but also raise money for philanthropic causes.

It is truly exciting that San José State University has the opportunity to participate in this incredible event. The Hospitality Management Program is always on the lookout for some of San José State’s most responsible, enthusiastic, and professional students to join the Special Event Management Team.

SJSU Special Event Management Team.

SJSU’s Center For Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP) Offers San Jose’s Seniors Health Screenings and Information

On Thursday, September 29, the 24th Annual Senior Resource & Wellness Fair, presented by the County of Santa Clara Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), in partnership with the City of San Jose Parks & Recreation Department, and SJSU’s Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP), took place at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose.

Approximately 400 people in the community came out to the Wellness Fair to receive information from 85 different programs that provide information and services to the senior population.  There were about 70 vendors from community agencies. Participants were able to receive a multitude of health screenings – flu shots, blood pressure, glucose, dental, spine alignment, skin, mood, cognitive function, falls prevention, fitness, biofeedback, and hearing tests which were provided by Walgreens, SJSU students and other agencies.  Several workshops and fitness demonstrations were also held throughout the day, including Laughter Yoga, Fair Housing Rights, Cal Medi-Connect, and Nutrition.

More than 40 students, led by faculty from six San Jose State departments, participated in offering screenings or healthy living advice to older adults at the event. Students from the following departments offered information/screenings on the following topics:

  • Social work – Mood and wellness screening
  • Nursing – Blood pressure screening
  • Kinesiology – Information on evidence-based exercise
  • Occupational Therapy – Falls and balance
  • Recreation Therapy – Biofeedback to improve breathing and managing stress
  • Communicative Disorders – Ear inspections; and Cognitive wellness screening

“The Wellness fair offers SJSU students a wonderful opportunity to practice their communications skills, learn how to engage seniors in screenings and health education, and learn about the role of multiple disciplines and the array of community services available to promote wellness and healthy aging,” says Sadhna Diwan, Ph.D.,Professor, School of Social Work, Director, Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations.

Photos by Lauren Chun, Megan Dejan and Mickie Lau, students from Dwight Bentel & Hall Student Advertising and Public Relations Agency, School of Journalism and Mass Communications:

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