The Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging Department welcomes their first SAGE cohort

By Jacqueline J. Bergman

Spring 2023 marks an exciting milestone for San José State University’s Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging (NUFS) Department as it welcomes its inaugural SAGE (Spartan Accelerated Graduate Education) cohort into its groundbreaking program. The NUFS SAGE program opens up a fast-track pathway to a graduate degree in nutritional science for undergraduate students pursuing the Nutritional Science program. Offering three specialized concentrations—Food Management, Applied Nutrition and Food Sciences, and Dietetics—the program equips students with invaluable skills tailored to their career aspirations.

Enrolling in the Food Management concentration prepares students for dynamic roles in the food industry, with esteemed companies like Bon Appetit, Compass, and Marriott eagerly seeking their talents. Those pursuing Applied Nutrition and Food Sciences delve into the realm of food science, health education, and nutrition, while Dietetics students gain eligibility to become registered dietitians with a master’s degree—a requirement set to take effect in 2024.

The NUFS department is thrilled to announce the recent approval of an additional SAGE pathway within the packaging program, solidifying its pioneering position in SAGE initiatives. This innovative program empowers students to thrive in the industry as package design engineers, sustainability engineers, and other related roles, equipping them with the expertise and abilities essential for success.

The SAGE programs at San José State University are just the tip of the iceberg, as the university continues to expand its offerings to enrich students’ education and career prospects. By completing both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in less time and with reduced expenses, participants gain a competitive edge in the job market. The future holds immense promise for the SAGE programs and the exceptional students who embark on this transformative journey.

For more information about the NUFS SAGE programs, please contact SAGE Program Coordinator, Dr. Xi (Alex) Feng,, 408-924-3105.

Explore the Mediterranean with Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging this Summer!

By: Dr. Kasuen Mauldin

This Summer 2022, Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging faculty are leading three exciting international programs to broaden SJSU students’ perspectives in global citizenship.

Seaside in Sorrento

Professors Kasuen Mauldin and Giselle Pignotti are co-leading a 2-week Faculty-Led Program experience in one of the most beautiful areas of Italy: Sorrento. History, culture, scenic views and most importantly cuisine will be the focus of this Faculty-Led Program. Twenty-two students will spend time this summer visiting the beautiful seaside city of Sorrento. This area is known for its seafood dishes, olive oil, gelato, pizza, pasta and coffee. They will have hands-on experience learning from locals and creating their own delicious versions of many of these foods. The area is rich with history, including the ancient ruins of Pompeii and famous spots such as the Amalfi Coast, the island of Capri and Naples, where pizza began. This will be an extraordinary learning experience! Program highlights include:

  • Creating a 3-course meal at a local farm
  • Taking a guided tour of Naples
  • Sampling olive oils at a local olive oil factory
  • Spending a day on the island of Capri
  • Participating in gelato making
  • Assisting at a coffee factory in the processing of the beans from start to finish
  • Touring the Amalfi Coast
  • Attending a pizza making class
  • Tasting fresh pasta at the factory where pasta originated

Hummus, Yogurt and Honey in Greece 

Professor Deepa Singamasetti is leading two separate Faculty-Led Programs this summer. The one to Greece provides the opportunity to transport students to a place filled with archeological wonders, unforgettable mouth watering food and traditional culture. Fourteen students will spend two weeks discovering the Greek island of Crete, as well as the world famous city of Athens. Greece is known for its UNESCO world heritage sites, and the group will have the opportunity to visit important monuments and learn about Greek history, food, and culture. Program highlights include:

  • Touring the world famous Acropolis – a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Strolling the old historic district of Athens
  • Discovering culinary delights during walking tours of Heraklion and Athens
  • Participating in hands-on cooking class and learn traditional Greek dishes
  • Learning about ancient seeds and roll up your sleeves to make the traditional bread Paximadi
  • Discovering indigenous Cretan wines
  • Visiting a typical shepherd’s hut (mitato) in the heart of the Psiloritis mountains
  • Participating in the various stages of cheese making (and cheese tasting!)
  • Walking with an archeologist in the valley of Kavousi and meeting the island’s oldest olive tree (3200 years old!)
  • Enjoying traditional Greek meals family style in some of the most popular restaurants on Crete

A Taste of Spain

Professor Deepa Singamasetti’s second Faculty-Led Program will be an unforgettable experience in Catalonia, Spain. Known for its Mediterranean flair, this region boasts the finest in fresh ingredients: bountiful fruits and vegetables, amazing cheeses, main courses including seafood paella, desserts, and  sparkling wine. Fifteen students will get to know the beautiful cities of Barcelona and Girona as well as travel to charming villages in Catalonia, all the while learning about different aspects of its food and culture. Program highlights include:

  • Learning about the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle
  • Enjoying an authentic tapas dinner
  • Marveling at art at the Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali Museums
  • Tasting artisanal cheeses produced in the region
  • Visiting the famous Costa Brava near the Greek ruins of Empuries
  • Walking through an olive production area and then taste the olive oil produced
  • Cooking the Spanish dish paella the local way
  • Visiting small medieval towns in the Catalan region of Spain
  • Admiring the world famous architecture of Sagrada Familia and other famous Gaudi buildings
  • Learning about fermentation techniques used in the production of Cava (sparkling wine) in Catalonia

Photos from previous years’ trips.
Follow CHHS Students on their Faculty-Led Program adventures via Instagram @sjsuchhs.

Food as Art: A Cross-College Collaboration

By: Liza Madrid and Winnie Liao

The Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging Department had an amazing opportunity to showcase their skills sets with the Art Department late this year. This event was held in the Art Department within the Community Table Art Exhibition at San José State University on November 4, 2021. In the NuFS 22, Catering and Beverage Management course, students were displaying their knowledge of basic catering through extravagant foods. Professor Jamie Kubota and Chef Todd Engstrom were the stars of the menu creation which featured: Smoked turkey bacon cranberry pinwheels, cauliflower ceviche, crostini with carrot top pesto and whipped goat cheese, pumpkin whoopie pies, and dark chocolate truffles. Each of these appetizers was carefully crafted by the nutrition students in Chef Todd’s NuFS 22 class. This event was a great opportunity for the NuFS 22 students to showcase their culinary skills to the art department and the community. Not only was the art department able to get a deeper sense of the skills, teachings, and techniques that can be learned in the nutrition department, but the nutrition students were also able to get more of an understanding of the projects and artwork that the art students work on throughout the semester. Essentially, both departments were able to get a new perspective on each other’s work. This is extremely significant as it may inspire students to get involved in other departments, community events, and volunteer with other organizations.

Nutrition students, Winne Liao and Liza Madrid, both stated that the Community Table Art Exhibition was the perfect event to get hands-on experience in the culinary field. Liza Madrid stated that “…the best part of the event was that it allowed us to see what Chef Todd Engstrom used to do as a full-time caterer and how hard he has worked to become extremely knowledgeable in his field. His passion for the culinary field is truly inspiring.”Winnie Liao was quoted saying, “I really enjoyed this event. I was able to apply my previous experiences and skills of baking to this event, which made it even more fun! I hope for more events like this in the future.”

Overall, the Community Table Art Exhibition was a tremendous success among the students, faculty, and visitors. Each and every student from both departments should be proud of the hard work put in to make this community event possible!

SJSU Ranked 2nd Among Best Packaging Programs

Great news for the College of Applied Sciences and Arts as the Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging (NUFS) ranked 2nd in the top 20 best value packaging programs of 2017 in the United States, according to Value Colleges.

Ashwini Wagle, Department Chair of NUFS, was excited to hear the news and is eager to become the best packaging program in the country. “We will strive for the number one spot,” said Wagle.

Value Colleges offers researched, straightforward, and practical answers about value and affordability for college bound students making college decisions. The website features articles about college costs and benefits, as well as numerical rankings of institutions and degree programs.

Click here to read Value Colleges’ article on the top 20 best value packaging programs of 2017.

Committee to Enhance Equity and Diversity Awards

The 2015-16 CEED Award winners were recognized on April 26, 2016, for their excellence in promoting and fostering a deeper understanding of equity and diversity.

The 2015-16 CEED Award winners were recognized on April 26, 2016, for their excellence in promoting and fostering a deeper understanding of equity and diversity.

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Committee to Enhance Equity and Diversity (CEED) reception was held on Tuesday, April 26, honoring six recipients whose combined effort and activities have made an important contribution to enhance equity and diversity at San José State University (SJSU) and/or in the community. CEED Award categories consist of an Undergraduate Student Award, Graduate Student Award, Faculty Award, Staff Award, and Student Organization Award.

The purpose of the CEED Awards is to recognize those individuals and groups that have demonstrated excellence in promoting and fostering a deeper understanding of equity and diversity as they relate to issues of age, class, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion and/or sexual orientation.

The recipients for the CEED Distinguished Service Award are:

Undergraduate Student Award – Navpreet Kaur, the Valley Foundation School of Nursing

Navpreet has led or been involved in several projects that promote equity and diversity on campus. In 2015, she led the Peace Pole Monument project that helped to place an official monument on campus. The Peace Pole is a hand-crafted wooden monument that has the message “May Peace Prevail On Earth” in the 12 most frequently used languages in Santa Clara County.

Navpreet also serves on the President’s Commission on Diversity which provides “input, recommendations, and advice to the President on effective ways to create a campus environment that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.” She initiated this project in an effort to counteract negative publicity related to diversity issues that were occurring on campus.

Graduate Student Award – Essraa Nawar, School of Information

Essraa Nawar is pursuing her passion to be a librarian focusing on programming and outreach in bringing diverse programming to the life of the libraries and the academic institutions she serves. One of Essraa’s strengths is her ability to create an atmosphere of awareness regarding ethnicity, gender, and religious diversity across campus.

She serves on the Chancellor’s Diversity Advisory Committee and developed a program on empowering Muslim women. Essraa coordinated the support of the Sikh American Community through Vaisakhi programming, an exhibition on demystifying the turban. She also spoke at a TED Talk in Munich, Germany, to further her diversity message to change the narrative of how people see Muslim women specifically and Muslim people in general.

Graduate Student Award – Cotton Stevenson, School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Cotton conceived the slogan “Diversity University” as part of a class project to make a difference at SJSU. He didn’t stop there. Cotton decided to make issues surrounding diversity and acceptance on the SJSU campus the focus of his second master’s degree. Because of him, we now have an annual Diversity Day at SJSU.

As a graphic artist, Stevenson created the logo for the event as well. He is now in the final stages of a documentary about the history and importance of diversity on this campus. He’s already completed several impressive interviews for this project which include Jeanne Wakatsuki, the author of Farewell to Manzanar, Erik Grotz, the student who suggested the Tommie Smith-John Carlos sculptures as well as with the artist who created it.

He was also awarded a proclamation by Rep. Zoe Lofgren for his commitment to “Diversity University.”

Faculty Award – Dr. William Armaline, Justice Studies

Dr. Armaline established and serves as coordinator of the Human Rights Program at SJSU. As a part of that initiative, he implemented the  popular Human Rights Minor, a program through which students gain an understanding of various human rights problems that affect their community, including racism, discrimination, and inequality. He is committed to raising awareness on campus to issues of equity and diversity.  As a part of this effort, he founded and continues to coordinate the annual human rights event.

He chairs the Human Rights Working Group, which serves as a platform for faculty to engage in issues of equity and diversity. Throughout his work, Dr. Armaline single handedly serves as a hub for students who are interested in increasing equity on campus.  He informally advises students on activism both on and off campus.

Dr. Armaline is also involved in numerous activities in the community.  He authored reports on social justice issues, served as a National Board Member in Save the Kids, a grass-roots organization dedicated to alternatives to end of the incarceration of youth, is a Council Member in the Santa Clara County Child Abuse Council. He most recently initiated a partnership with DeBug, a San José media, community organizing, and entrepreneurial collective that leads successful social justice campaigns to advance the rights of youth, workers, immigrants and those impacted by the criminal justice system.

Staff Award – Silvia La Rosa, School of Journalism and Mass Communications

In addition to providing extensive administrative support for more than 500 School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) students and 22 faculty, Silvia is a committed advocate for SJSU diversity students.

Silvia offers extraordinary time and effort to advising and mentoring all students. She connects on a powerful level with JMC School Spanish speaking students. Her translation skills combined with her knowledge of university procedures and her deep passion for helping students find their voice and express their creativity has resulted in numerous success stories that are greatly admired and appreciated in our program.

In Fall 2015, she was a leading advocate for fundraising of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts international learning initiative. She played a significant role in helping persuade a special JMC guest, CNN Correspondent Sara Sidner from Los Angeles, to donate her William Randolph Hearst honorarium to start a newly created fund and campaign to raise scholarship money to help SJSU students from poor and under-represented communities to participate. She plays an instrumental role in helping the school director create Spanish community messages and promotions that invite Bay Area business and schools to partner with JMC.

Silvia always finds the time to encourage students and faculty.

Student Organization Award – Alpha Phi Sigma Iota Chapter, Justice Studies

A team of Iota Chapter members and alumni volunteered at the Center with the Prison Education Project (PEP), teaching the 7 week Academic Orientation Course.  They met every Friday with a group of formerly incarcerated individuals currently on parole.  They created presentations about college as well as give mini-lectures based on topics in Justice Studies majors (e.g. consequences of mass incarceration and juvenile justice).  A big component of this program is engaging the program participants in discussions about the topics presented as well as their interests and needs.  In addition, Iota chapter collected and donated 100 backpacks with everyday necessities and held a clothing drive on campus for the Santa Clara County Resource Reentry Center to give to their clients.

Congratulations to all 2015-16 CEED Award winners!