2016-17 Committee to Enhance Equity and Diversity Awards

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Committee to Enhance Equity and Diversity (CEED) reception was held on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 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, Student Organization Award, Faculty Award, and Staff 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 – Francisco (Frankie) Garcia, Department of Kinesiology

Frankie could not wait to celebrate his 21st birthday and it wasn’t for the typical 21 year old reasons. At 21, Frankie was legally able to petition for U.S. citizenship for his parents. The oldest of four children, Frankie grew up in Highland Park, Los Angeles, a neighborhood known for gang violence and low socioeconomic status.  Frankie is a Kinesiology major and Mexican American studies minor. He attended Dr. Kasuen Mauldin’s faculty led program to Hong Kong where he learned about Chinese/Cantonese culture. Frankie currently serves as an Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) mentor to freshmen and transfer students. In this role, Frankie guides new students through online advising, facilities, key campus contacts, etc. and ensures they have a successful first semester at SJSU. He has also coordinated panels and presentations through EOP to help motivate and inspire high school students to pursue higher education.

Congratulations Frankie Garcia!

Undergraduate Student Award – Joseph (Joey) Montoya, School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Joey has been very active in Native American issues and spreading awareness among a number of channels both on and off campus. He set up Urban Native Era during his first year of college, Fall 2012. Urban Native Era spreads awareness of indigenous issues throughout the world. As well as educating people through different mediums and forms such as social media, artwork, and apparel to let people know that Native and Indigenous people are still here and strong.

Through Urban Native Era, Joey became involved with standing rock after traveling to the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Joey had heard about youth runners running from Standing Rock to D.C. to deliver a 150,000 signature petition to the White House and President Obama to reject and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. After the DNC, Joey met up with runners in Ohio and brought them food, snacks, clothes, and other essentials they needed for the rest of the trip. He then met with the runners in D.C. to protest at the Army Corps of Engineers Building and in front of the White House and later to New York City. Soon after, Joey organized through Urban Native Era and UpToUs to help the tribe and people at Standing Rock.

Today, students across campus recognize his stickers and images that bring awareness of Indigenous peoples issues.

Congratulations Joey Montoya!

Graduate Student Award – Natsuko Tsuji, Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging

Natsuko’s activities included conducting a research project examining if participation in multicultural cooking classes had an impact on cultural competence of SJSU students. Natsuko designed, planned and taught five multicultural cooking classes to expose students to different cultures. The cooking classes were Japanese, Thai, Caribbean, Indian, and French.

Natsuko worked with Cassie Barmore, SJSU campus dietician and Dr Kasuen Mauldin, Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging Assistant Professor. They wanted to know if participating in a fun social ethnic cooking class was one way a person could increase his/her cultural competence. Natsuko administered a cultural competence survey before the class and one month after the class.  She found that even limited exposure to only one or two multicultural cooking classes improved cultural competency, particularly in the area of helping students become more aware and accepting of similarities and differences of people from different cultures. Her work has created opportunities to present at conferences and expos and she has published a summary of her work in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Natsuko’s research findings have the potential to inspire other universities to invest in similar multicultural activities and impact the cultural competence of students world-wide.

Congratulations Natsuko!

Student Organization Award – Social Work Graduate Student Association (SWGSA), School of Social Work

Two years ago, students expressed concern about the expression of unfavorable racial comments in the classroom and requested several faculty and student initiatives to engage the school community in a dialogue. Alisia Murphy, Master of Social Work (MSW) alumni founded the  “Authentic Conversations” that was developed as open and explorative discussions about race, power, and all forms of oppression spoken from our lived experiences. Today, the SWGSA has shown leadership in keeping the momentum going. Because of their initiative, all social work classes now include a shared agreement for maintaining a safe learning environment and openness of communication.

Congratulations SWGSA!

Faculty Award – Dr. Edith Kinney, Department of Justice Studies

Dr. Kinney has worked on numerous initiatives related to social justice, equity and diversity on our campus. She developed a partnership with the MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center. The MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center promotes diversity, awareness, social change, and cultural empowerment.

Dr. Kinney continues to play a key role in the planning and implementation of the annual Human Rights Lecture Series. In Spring 2015, Dr. Kinney assisted in a very successful and widely recognized event to date, where many founding members of the Black Lives Matter movement and a keynote lecture by Angela Davis presented to a standing room only crowd.

Dr. Kinney is almost constantly involved in human rights related programming on campus, including her upcoming event in partnership with the Campus Reads and Records Clearance Programs – a panel discussion on prisoner re-entry.

Congratulations to Dr. Edith Kinney!

Staff Award – Cassie Barmore, Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging

Cassie Barmore has successfully promoted and fostered a deeper understanding of equity and diversity as it relates to socio-economic status and cultural food practice among SJSU students, faculty, and administrators. Cassie identified that food scarcity due to a lack of money was a major barrier to student success. She took it upon herself, outside of her job duties, to collaborate on projects to feed low socio-economic status students and teach students how to cook the food they receive. Cassie believes that all students, regardless of income status should have access to three, healthy and well balanced meals per day.

Congratulations Cassie!

The Valley Foundation School of Nursing’s Professors Colleen O’Leary-Kelley, Dr. Tamara McKinnon and Students Conduct Continuing Education Program at Faculty Led Program in Ireland this Past Summer


While preparing for a faculty led program in Ireland this past summer, Professor Colleen O’Leary-Kelley and Dr. Tamara McKinnon investigated the process of providing continuing education for nurses.

Last Spring, their contacts at the Nursing Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) instructed the two professors to submit their proposed CE program to the board online at http://www.nmbi.ie/Education/Short-Courses-Online/course-submissions.

SJSU Nursing students provided an interactive presentation about utilizing effective communications skills to nurses, social workers, and other health care professionals at the Markievicz House in Sligo, Ireland, during the Faculty Led Program.

“Within a few weeks we received approval from the NMBI for three category 1 Continuing Education Units for the course. The course was focused on Motivational Interviewing, and was prepared by the 12 senior nursing students as a required project for their FLP/Credit Toward Major summer course, “ says Professor O’Leary-Kelley.

“The students provided an excellent, interactive presentation that was well received by the public health nurses and social workers. The following day students provided a repeat presentation for staff nurses and administration at Sligo Regional Hospital and faculty from St. Angela’s College in Sligo, Ireland.” St. Angela’s College is an affiliate of the National University of Ireland–Galway.

School of Nursing Faculty Led Program 2016 in Ireland.

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.

U.S. Air Force Senior Leader Visits SJSU’s Air Force ROTC Program

The Department of Aerospace Studies hosted Mr. Gabe Camarillo, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Taking time out from his immensely busy schedule, Camarillo carved out time to visit the Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) program to discuss how the Air Force cares about its present and future personnel.

Rose Herrera, Vice Mayor, city of San José, joined the group to welcome Camarillo to San José State University (SJSU) and recognize the great work SJSU’s AFROTC it has accomplished. Herrera noted that SJSU’s AFROTC program provides great leadership skills and received highly effective scores during the 2015 inspection by the Air Force.

“How grateful and honored we are to have Assistant Secretary Camarillo here in San José. Thank you to all of the men and women in the Air Force for their commitment to serve,” said Herrera as she wanted to let cadets know that elected leaders care about their service.

Herrera is an Air Force veteran and the San José City Council Liaison for Veteran’s Affairs.

Vice Mayor, Gabe Camarillo and SJSU AFROTC

Camarillo talked about the issues that are relevant with future careers and how ROTC programs influences change. He focused on the talent pool coming into the Air Force and shared his ideas on how to bring in talent.

Leveraging technology and using more determined efforts through ROTC programs, promoting the range of careers in the Air Force, recognizing changing demographics, and promoting diversity. Camarillo said that diversity is a key aspect in the Air Force.

“Critical to the Air Force and its success is to maintain knowledge from diverse perspectives, experiences and cultures.”

Gabe speaking

Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.) Michael Pecher, Department Chair of Aerospace Studies, said that the visit from Camarillo allowed cadets to see and know that senior leaders in the Air Force care about them, the AFROTC program and the staff, academic community and local community. It gave the cadets a perspective on where things are headed in the future for recruiting, retention, and career aspects. In addition, cadets were able to voice their own thoughts on how to improve the AFROTC program.

“Resources are never unlimited, so we have to find creative ways to do what we’d like with the resources we have. This takes creativity and good ideas, to include ideas from young people of this generation, a theme that came up a couple of times during the visit,” said Lt. Col. Pecher.

It’s not often that cadets get the opportunity to meet senior leaders in the Air Force. Usually cadets attend an event outside of SJSU or at a base. However, within the last six months, SJSU has had two senior leader visits. The AFROTC program presented Camarillo with a challenge coin as a token of appreciation. Challenge coins in the military are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale.

Click here to read more about Mr. Gabe Camarillo.

Gabe Camarillo and Rose Herrera met with University Officials after the visit with AFROTC Cadets.

Alpha Tau Delta Gives Back

ATD in front of Heritage Home

Just a few blocks away from the SJSU campus on North Third Street is the Cityteam’s Heritage Home, a place that, according to their website, we have been providing a long-term compassionate ministry for years to homeless, poor and abandoned women who are pregnant and have nowhere else to turn but the streets. Often these pregnant women who are without food or shelter resort to their dark thoughts of abortion. In the United States 48% of pregnancies are unintended, and half of those are terminated by abortion*. We are trying to be a light of hope in these women’s lives – looking at the whole situation – to meet their immediate needs and work out long-term solutions through our multiple programs. The historic Victorian home in the Hensley District uses its largest room to care for these pregnant women, and it was in need of renovation.

Enter Alpha Tau Delta (ATD), The Valley Foundation School of Nursing’s co-ed professional nursing fraternity. ATD decided that the best way to celebrate their second year as a chapter would be to renovate the Heritage Home’s large room as their largest, original community service project.

Mackenzie Thomas, ATD’s Founding President and current Vice President, said that the fraternity wanted to create a room full of positive energy to lift the spirits for those women who enter.

Heritage Home remodeled Heritage Home upgraded bedroom

“We wanted to share the nursing spirit of care and compassion through this project, and we hope its impact is felt for years to come.”

After months of planning and securing donations from home improvement stores, ATD set a goal to finish the project in a timely manner and ensure it was done professionally. The renovation had to be completed within a two-day time frame. This included painting, creating decorations, building beds, installing ceiling fans, moving furniture, and tidying up the room before the revealing ceremony. “We had to do something many only see on TV,” said Mackenzie when describing the amount of work that had to be done with such limited time.

With the help of over 60 students and some of their parents, ATD turned the room into a beautiful, bright and motivating sanctuary. During the revealing ceremony, ATD celebrated with the mothers to be with home-made treats and drinks outside the home. The Heritage Home is now an even more special place thanks to the determined, hard work that ATD put into the renovation.

Alpha Tau Delta Fraternity