Meet Our New CHHS Faculty

Dr. Matthew Bejar

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Kinesiology
  • Area of Research: Organizational diversity and inclusion in exercise and sport psychology; Exercise adherence in POTS and mTBI patients.



Dr. Jacqueline Bergman

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging
  • Area of Research: Explore the interrelationship between psychosocial and physiological factors and health-related behaviors such as food intake in marginalized groups.


Dr. Yang Hu

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Kinesiology
  • Area of Research: Neuromechanics, Exercise Technology, Investigate cortical control of mobility and balance in humans



Dr. Nayoun Lee

  • Assistant Professor
  • School of Social Work
  • Area of Research: Racial/ethnic resilience of minority groups in the U.S., Examine the mental and behavioral health in adolescence and emerging adulthood



Dr. Edmund Tang

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging
  • Area of Research: Physical testing of materials, products, and packages to determine how they will perform during real life simulations



Dr. Mi Zhou

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging
  • Area of Research: Food marketing policy and practice and the influence on people’s diet choices and nutrition communication among diverse populations

Dean’s Message – Fall 2022

Dean Audrey ShillingtonDear Friends and Colleagues.

When I reflect upon my work at SJSU I recognize that I am surrounded by hope.  Hope appears in Greek mythology and can be found throughout a myriad of cultures and religions. Hope is especially important in difficult times.

We have tens of thousands of hopeful students who show up every day engaged in their educational experience, contributing and learning in community-partnered practicums and internships, and doing so while often balancing one or multiple jobs.  The students hope for many things but among them is to be the first in their family with a college degree, be a role model to their own children or siblings, or to obtain a degree in order to help others in need and change the world.  Hope has been found to be important to recovery and healing.

Once again there is a flurry of activity.  Our students are busy wrapping up their semester and preparing for finals.  Faculty and staff are all doing what is needed to support our students to a successful completion of the fall and, for some, a successful completion of their time here at SJSU.  Fall Commencement marks the nexus of both the ending and beginning of our students’ continued journey as lifetime learners, thinkers, and leaders.

In the College of Health and Human Sciences our students and faculty are making an impact within our communities and industry.  In this newsletter you will catch just a glimpse of the award-winning efforts that take place all year long both on and off campus.  We live our mission to improve lives and address the barriers resulting in health and behavioral health inequities through our teaching, scientific research, and community engaged collaborations.

I invite you to read about the incredible accomplishments taking place in the College of Health and Human Sciences.  You will see that there is hope present throughout.

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama

Recognizing Department of Audiology Student and Faculty Accomplishments in Fall 2022

By: Shaum Bhagat

A number of positive developments in the Department of Audiology have occurred during the Fall 2022 semester. Doctor of Audiology student Danielle Hall received an award from the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology for her work in creating a visual presentation for patients or professionals concerning a topic in Aural Rehabilitation. The focus of Danielle Hall’s visual presentation concerned hearing aid selection, and information regarding different hearing aid devices was included in the presentation. The Food and Drug Administration has recently established rules concerning over the counter (OTC) hearing devices. While these are devices, they are not conventional hearing aids. Ms. Hall’s visual presentation provides information to help distinguish the conventional hearing aids typically available for hearing aid candidates.

Assistant Professor Adam Svec hosted a hearing screening event as part of the Transforming Communities initiative, co-sponsored by the CHHS Committee to Enhance Equity and Diversity (CEED) on November 1st. Dr. Svec was assisted by three Doctor of Audiology students, and several community members received a hearing screening test. Dr. Svec also awarded the Hearing Industry Research Consortium grant for a research project in partnership with two colleagues, Dr. Marc Brennan of the University of Nebraska and Dr. Laurel Carney of the University of Rochester. Dr. Svec will serve as the Principal Investigator for the project, and funding for the project will begin in January of 2023.

We wish to recognize the ongoing accomplishments of our Doctor of Audiology students and faculty members in the Department of Audiology. We look forward to celebrating student and faculty achievements and marking the passage of program milestones in the year ahead.

Not Your Average Summer Vacation

By: Capt Victor Salum, SSgt Dat Trinh

One might think that being part of the Aerospace Studies Department at San José State University is limited to having an impact on local Bay Area cadets who seek a future as officers in the Department of the Air Force (DAF).  Though that statement is true, we also have an impact on cadets across the nation.

Each summer we are called upon to train and evaluate the future leaders of the DAF during what, in AFROTC (Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corp), we call  Field Training.  This year’s Field Training took place in Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.  Those that have been in the southern part of the United States during the summertime (90+ degree weather, 100% humidity, mosquitos & large sized insects) know that it’s probably not the ideal place to spend a summer vacation.

Field Training is a rigorous boot-camp-style program of physical training, weapons training, survival training, and deployment skills.  Aerospace Studies Department faculty members, Captain Victor Salum and Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Dat Trinh, had the opportunity this past summer to train and evaluate the leadership potential of cadets who attended universities from all over the country –  UCLA, Purdue, Boston University, University of Miami, Auburn, Clemson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard to name a few.  Each day was a challenge with early mornings to prep for the day, marching in the heat and sometimes the pouring rain, more planning after your work shift to prep for the next day, and continuous evaluation of cadets.  Field Training allows cadets to hone their followership, teamwork, and most importantly, leadership skills. The program is designed to evaluate military leadership and discipline and determine potential for entry into the AFROTC upper-class, also known as the Professional Officer Course.  One of the toughest parts of Field Training is having to tell a cadet that they do not meet the standards of the program and having to send them home after all the time that they have devoted to the AFROTC program.  But that is the purpose of Field Training, to seek those that have the potential to become future Air or Space Force officers and dismiss those that do not meet the standards.  Successful completion of Field Training is mandatory for completing the AFROTC program and obtaining a commission in the Air Force or Space Force.

But as Colonel Corey Ramsby, AFROTC Commander, mentioned to cadets who graduated Field Training this past summer, “You’re only half-way to the starting point.”  That starting point is what cadets work so hard to be, a commissioned officer in the US Air or Space Force.

Second Career Nursing, and the Impact of Loving One’s Community

By: Maya Carlyle

Bree Casas (she/they) joined The Valley Foundation School of Nursing (TVFSON) as a student in 2020 as a pathway to a second career, and began making the most of her time in the school; from student group participation, to sharing their thoughts on Nursing’s simulation labs.

Shortly after the interview, I had the honor of watching Bree’s December graduation be pre-celebrated during the Native American/Indigenous students graduation celebration in May 2022. Fall of 2022 finds her a senior nursing student in her last semester, and Bree seems poised to continue on as a compassionate leader in the nursing world.


MC, interviewer: First and foremost, Bree – thank you so much for joining me today. To jump right in — what made you think about pursuing nursing?

Bree Casas: I always love that question.

Originally my path was in education and teaching, specializing in Special Education. But, then, I [ ] made the switch to nursing.

[ ] For me, I have a younger brother who had a speech and language delay. And he was, quite frankly, always sick, constantly sick and needing to be hospitalized.

The drive to pursue nursing… really, I think it was the time I spent with my younger brother. Just in and out of the healthcare system and trying to navigate all these different things, for him and with him, really made me want to switch to nursing and I think that’s also why I want to specialize in pediatrics because it’s amazing. It makes me really excited to see people in general succeed, but definitely children… and again, goes back to my brother.

He has now graduated college and has a bachelor’s degree – he was able to overcome so much, personal challenges and a world not set up for his needs, and all of that just with the proper support, and people on his side.

MC, Interviewer: Why did you pick SJSU, and The Valley Foundation School of Nursing, for your nursing education?

Bree: Well, I grew up in Hollister. My first Bachelor’s I got in sociology at UC Santa Barbara and after that… and, I was ready to move home.

And, I think the second part was because I am a second-career, second-bachelor’s nurse, and I had just heard so many great things about the San José State programs, specifically, and how many opportunities there were with it being centrally located in the Bay Area. Hearing about people being hired at great hospitals and other healthcare places — the opportunities were so impressive to me.

And I thought; well, maybe I can do it too. [ ]

MC, Interview: As a student nurse, I believe you are involved at several levels in the university and in the community. What are some of the ways that you are involved?

Bree: Oh, wow – yeah.

One of the big ones I’m involved with is CNSA, which is the California Nursing Students’ Association. I’m on the State Board as the Breakthrough To Nursing Director, as well as the San José State University chapter Breakthrough To Nursing Director, which is really fun to have that kind of overlap. I focus on recruitment and retention for non-traditional nursing students, nursing students of color, and students from lower income backgrounds. I find that really fulfilling, I enjoy making those connections [ ].

Some other things I’m involved in are the Public Health Nursing Club; I’m the president, and a lot of our fundraisers started out as things I proposed – like, this semester [Spring 2022] we’ve been doing our big book drive for lower income K-to-12 schools. Last semester [Fall 2021], in combination with CNSA, we ran a period poverty and menstruation donation drive where we were able to donate hundreds of pads to six Eastside High School District schools.

Denise Arevalo, a classmate of mine, and I spearheaded the project, working with Community Health Partnership and School Health Clinics of Santa Clara County. We met with (Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors member) Cindy Chavez’s team to talk more about period poverty and its impacts.

It was just so interesting to get on the policy side of healthcare issues, and being invited into different conversations and meetings, because sometimes even when the money is there, we realized the action wasn’t happening – so even though the schools were getting funded they weren’t receiving adequate menstrual supplies for the students.

So, I think I’m also headed in that direction, because I’d never realized that we could make a difference in policy on such a local level.

MC, Interviewer: What about some of your on-campus involvement?

Bree: The School of Nursing’s parent college, the College of Health and Human Sciences, has a CEED group (Committee to Enhance Equity and Diversity), and I was really excited to join that. I am currently the only student that serves on this committee, and I love being a part of a group that addresses systemic inequities in education.

MC, Interviewer: Do you peer-mentor, as well?

Bree: I have a mentee, if that’s what you mean. And, when I do have free time I like to help tutor other nursing students that are in earlier semesters, like, in med-surg and pediatric theory.

Oh, also! I am, just, really proud of all the work that I do with BILSNOC — that’s a big one. Black, Indigenous, Latinx & Student Nurses Of Color. Dr Sheri Rickman Patrick is our faculty advisor, and has been great to work with.

This particular club came about after me, and another student, did some research with Dr Michelle Hampton on a couple of things, like ‘sense of belonging’ and ‘culture within the program.’ We found that a lot of students of color felt that they didn’t really have a place where they could connect with other students of color, especially during COVID-19. So we decided to pursue that.

We’re a small, new club, but I feel that those members that we do have are very excited to be able to connect with one another.


Bree was recently second author on an article published in the Evidence-Based Nursing journal, October 2022 issue.

In “Professional discrimination toward nurses increases nurse silence, threatening patient safety outcomes,” the relationship between discrimination and hesitance to act on potentially patient-saving actions were explored. While the impact of discrimination has been widely documented, this study found that nurses who had experience  in the professional landscape – such as reporting having been prevented from adequately voicing concerns to their superiors – became less communicative, thus potentially risking patient safety. In this way, the environment created by nursing leadership and interdisciplinary superiors has the capacity to create hesitancy and silence, and to inhibit bedside nurses’ interventions in patient safety.

Of the article, and work that went into it, Bree stated: “As someone that is passionate about advocacy in the nursing profession, this was very important for me to write about. To me, advocacy is an extension of social care and essential to ensure that all our patients’ needs are being met.”

Read more of the interview, and get to know Bree Casas a little better, here:


General, 408-924-3131 /

Maya Carlyle, Recruitment and Events Associate
408-924-3182 /

Learn more about SJSU’s School of Nursing.