Dr. Cohen Completes Fulbright Scholar Activities

Dr. Ed Cohen, School of Social Work, spent the Spring 2016 semester in Vietnam on a Fulbright Scholar grant. Dr. Cohen developed and taught a course on mental health for undergraduate students majoring in social work at Dalat University, located in the country’s Central Highlands.

The course is the first of its kind in Vietnam for the new profession of social work. Since Vietnam does not have a recent textbook about mental illness, Dr. Cohen developed a course textbook on the prevalence, etiology, assessment, and treatment of mental illnesses specifically geared towards Vietnam and translated into Vietnamese. The course was an elective for a class of 36 final-year students from many surrounding provinces.

“In Vietnam, there is a very powerful stigma about mental illness which is similar to other regions in Asia – made even worse by the intense shame of having a mental illness or being in the family.”

Due to the stigma regarding mental illness, Dr. Cohen said that there is a lack of general knowledge about common problems such as depression and anxiety. However, people want to talk about these problems since the majority of people are suffering from these problems, has a family member, or knows someone with emotional problems. Enter social workers and it provides the people with someone to start the conversation.

During a reception by the U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission in Vietnam, Dr. Cohen received recognition of his contributions to the curriculum, which will be used by the faculty at Dalat University starting Fall 2016, as well as disseminated to other universities offering social work degrees in Vietnam. During his stay in Vietnam, Dr. Cohen also provided conference presentations, workshops on social work in healthcare settings, and faculty seminars on research methods in the social sciences.

Dr. Cohen said that the Vietnamese students show more outward affection to their professors because educators are held in very high esteem. However, the Vietnamese students are much more similar than different to SJSU students. Even though most students told Dr. Cohen that their parents would rather have them study engineering or business, they were proud to major in social work.

“Even though there aren’t enough social work jobs for graduates, they have a lot of class spirit and identify strongly as social work majors.”

The Fulbright Scholar grant gave Dr. Cohen the opportunity to live abroad for the first time, but it wasn’t hard to make friends. He said people are very warm and his university colleagues invited him to many family gatherings. He enjoyed the food while eating at small family-run kitchens and adjusted well even though the communication was difficult at times as the general public did not speak much English.

“I feel like I have just scratched the surface learning about the culture!”

Click here to see a photo journal of Dr. Cohen’s experience in Vietnam.

JMC promotes Diversity pledge today

Students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Diversity in the Media course at San José State University will be hosting a “Diversity University” event Dec. 2, in Dwight Bentel Hall, from 1:30-2:45 p.m.

The event is designed to provide fun, activities and awareness while celebrating the diversity at SJSU, according to a press release written by the students. The afternoon activities will include a chance for students to take a pledge “to be more diverse around campus and in their daily lives.”

Students will have a chance to write down what they love most about their culture to post on a diversity board and they will also be able to write about stereotypes they hear or experience with advice on how to break those stereotypes. A video presentation will be aired that shows diversity and what it means to students across campus.

MCOM 150 is taught by Profess Dona Nichols in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts. Students in the class seek “to identify and evaluate the impact of ethnicity/culture, alternative lifestyles and gender issues in all facets of mass communications and media. It examines attitudes, trends and perceptions that help shape mass communications messages.”

Students: Travel to South Korea this summer

San José State University students have an opportunity to find out more about an opportunity to travel to South Korea this summer on a faculty-led, three unit course offered through the School of Social Work in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts. Professors Meekyung Han and Sang E. Lee will be leading the proposed course, which is open to undergraduate and graduate students.

The course, “Social Services and Social Work in S. Korea: History, Cultures and Social Changes,” will run June 15-29. It will provide students with a framework for understanding and critically analyzing the important cultural, economic, historical, social, political and global factors that inform the challenges facing social services and social workers in contemporary South Korea.

Informational sessions will be held Feb. 25, at 3 p.m. and Feb. 26, at 3 p.m. in the School of Social Work, Washington Square Hall 215. Additional informational sessions will be held in March.

For a full list of faculty-led programs, visit http://www.sjsu.edu/studyabroad/programs/. Programs are offered in the summer, winter and by the semester.

Additional summer programs offered through the College of Applied Sciences and Arts include RECL 111/GLST 188: Paris: City of Cultures, taught by Linda Levine and David Buseck, and MCOM 180: Global Leadership, taught by Mathew Cabot. More courses may be pending approval.

For more information on the program in Korea, email Professors Meekyung Han at meekyun.han@sjsu.edu or Sang E. Lee at sang.lee@sjsu.edu.

East African Immigrants Invite You to “Celebrate: Part I”

repost from SJSU blogs.

East African Immigrants Invite You to "Celebrate: Part I"

Proud, competent woman entrepreneur at Michael’s Styling Salon in Santa Clara (photo by D. Michael Cheers).

“Celebrate: Part I,” comprised of 60 photographs by photojournalist D. Michael Cheers and nine display cases of cultural memorabilia donated by East African immigrant and refugee families, opened March 10 in the Cultural Heritage Center on the fifth floor of King Library.

Part I features photographs of East Africans as they engage in their families, work, communities and faith. Part II, slated to open in August, will include films, digitized stories, photographs and more memorabilia.

The exhibits are the work of the Silicon Valley East African Diaspora Project, which is seeking to profile the newest East African immigrant groups to Silicon Valley: Eritrean, Ethiopian, Kenyan, Somali, South Sudanese and Sudanese immigrant families.

Unlike earlier African diaspora groups, there is little documentation of their immigrant stories, challenges and contributions to our democracy or our region.

The multimedia pieces are designed to bring more visibility to Silicon Valley’s diverse black groups, identify and address social justice issues they face, support local self-help groups in their efforts to navigate the complexity of our society, and educate Californians of the widening diversity of blacks in our communities.

The project team includes Chair of African American Studies Ruth P. Wilson and Cheers, an associate professor of journalism and mass communications. The effort is funded by grants from Cal Humanities and the College of Social Sciences.  “Celebrate: Part I” continues through March 30.

Original article can be found here.