Dr. Kristen Rebmann Awarded Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant

Dr. Kristen Rebmann

Dr. Kristen Rebmann

The School of Information is proud to announce that Associate Professor Dr. Kristen Rebmann has received an Institute of Museum and Library Services National (IMLS) Grant.

Dr. Rebmann received $244,998 to help libraries explore dramatically expanding internet access in their communities by using TVWhiteSpace (TVWS), a new low-cost wireless technology.

This project will be led by San Jose State University’s School of Information (iSchool). Key collaborators, including the Gigabit Libraries Network, the School, Health, & Libraries Broadband Coalition, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, and the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center will explore dramatically expanding digital access/inclusion and modes to provide connectivity as part of disaster preparedness.

According to the IMLS press release September 26, 2016, “These recipients represent the best of the best,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The grantees’ projects were selected from a competitive pool of proposals and rose to the top of our rigorous peer-review process. Their leading-edge work will provide fresh ideas for the museum and library fields and will lead to better programs and services for all served by these valued institutions.”

The National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG-L) program received 85 preliminary applications. Nineteen full proposals were invited, and 15 grants were made during this second 2016 cycle. The library grants total $5,017,937 and will be matched with $1,571,008 of non-federal funds.

About Dr. Kristen Rebmann:

Dr. Rebmann joined the iSchool in Fall 2007 after completing her Ph.D. in Communication at University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation research explored the design of interventions to support critical multiliteracies among children participating in community-based informal learning environments. Dr. Rebmann has worked as an academic librarian focused on web design and instructional technology. Her current research interests include studying relationships between information behavior and human development.

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.

Dr. Van Ta Park Receives Funding from the Alzheimer’s Association

On Feb. 19, 2016, Dr. Van Ta Park was awarded funding by the Alzheimer's Association to develop a culturally-tailored program for Vietnamese dementia caregivers.

On Feb. 19, 2016, Dr. Van Ta Park was awarded funding by the Alzheimer’s Association to develop a culturally-tailored program for Vietnamese dementia caregivers.

The Alzheimer’s Association recently awarded funding to the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Department of Health Science and Recreation Associate Professor Dr. Van Ta Park for $150,000 over the next three years to develop a culturally-tailored program to reduce stress and depression among Vietnamese dementia caregivers.

William Fisher, the CEO of the Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, presented Dr. Ta Park with the grant check on February 19, 2016. Only the top eight percent of proposals receive funding.

Through prior research, Dr. Ta Park found that Vietnamese Americans are less likely to utilize mental health services and family caregivers caring for a family member with dementia increase their risk of depression and stress.

Dr. Ta Park is developing a face-to-face, four week cognitive behavioral skill training program that will meet at the homes of Vietnamese caregivers in small groups with up to six caregivers at a time.

Participants will be recruited through community organizations that serve local Vietnamese residents and will be divided into two groups. One group will receive existing resources from the Alzheimer’s Association website that have been translated from English into Vietnamese and the other group will receive newly developed resources that have been created specifically for the program. Outcomes of the two groups will be compared using pre- and post-test measures of stress and depression.

Dr. Ta Park will be working with her mentors, Dr. Dolores Gallagher-Thompson and Dr. Gwen Yeo from Stanford University, School of Medicine, and has recruited bilingual and bicultural Vietnamese SJSU students to be research assistants.

SJSU’s Ed Cohen to participate in Fulbright grant in 2015-16

Ed Cohen, an associate professor in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts School of Social Work, has been selected to receive a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant to teach in Vietnam during the Spring 2016 semester.

Ed Cohen, far left, works with a group of Vietnamese faculty members as part of the Social Work Education Enhancement Project. He has received a Fulbright grant to work in Vietnam in Spring 2016.

Ed Cohen, far left, works with a group of Vietnamese faculty members as part of the Social Work Education Enhancement Project. He has received a Fulbright grant to work in Vietnam in Spring 2016.

He will teach a course in mental health policy and services, conduct research in the implementation of new legislation in the country to improve community-based mental health services, and provide seminars for faculty in teaching and scholarship. Cohen is Co-Investigator, with Alice Hines, of San José State University’s USAID-funded Social Work Education Enhancement Program (SWEEP) aimed at improving social work education, for Vietnam’s newly established social work profession.

As the co-investigator of SWEEP, Cohen has traveled to conferences in Vietnam for the last several years to work with eight partner universities. He has also participated in hosting visitors to SJSU from Vietnam including university administrators and faculty member who attended workshops on improving social work education in Vietnam.

SWEEP is an international consortium which includes USAID, SJSU, eight universities in Vietnam, government ministries, Cisco Systems, Inc., community agencies and stakeholders. The purpose of SWEEP is to assist eight universities in Vietnam with improving their undergraduate social work educational programs. The project, which is funded through September 2015, aims to improve:

  • The administration of social work programs
  • Faculty capabilities in teaching and research
  • Social work curriculum, and
  • Network communication among the universities through the use of improved technology


Faculty Writing Workshop Opportunity: AANAPISI

by AANAPISI staff

Faculty Writing Workshop

Sponsored by U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education & Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI)

You will leave this two-day workshop with models of strong lesson plans on practical writing topics. Using what you learn from the model lesson plans on day one, you will then create and present your own lesson plan on day two. Twelve San José State faculty members will be selected to participate in this workshop. Participants will be chosen based upon the strength of their applications. Upon successful completion of the workshop, each participant will receive a $500 stipend. Successful completion of this workshop is a prerequisite for applying for future faculty release time under the AANAPISI grant.

Information and requirements:

  • Participants will meet for the first session of the workshop on Friday, August 23, 2013 (8:30-4:30). On day one of the workshop, facilitators will teach their lesson plans. During the last hour of day one, participants will work on drafts of their lesson plans.
  • Participants will submit a draft of their full lesson plan to the workshop facilitators (Dr. Linda C. Mitchell and Michelle Hager) prior to the date of the second session, with adequate time given for review and feedback.
  • Participants will meet for a second session on Friday, September 13, 2013; Friday, September 20, 2013; OR Friday, September 27, 2013 (8:30-4:30). During the second session, participants will present their 50-minute lesson plans and receive feedback from their peers. For each workshop day, a continental breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack will be served.


Workshop rules:

  • No tardiness or early departures
  • No cell phones
  • No time missed
  • No excuses for missed time
  • 110% effort
  • Original lesson plan content
  • Submission of a complete, formal, polished lesson plan on your “due date”
  • Full engagement during the sessions

Please note: You will only be eligible for the workshop stipend and future release time if you satisfy all the workshop requirements. No exceptions! You have officially completed the workshop when your lesson plan has been approved for posting on the San José State University AANAPISI website.

To apply:
Send a complete application packet to the workshop facilitators, Dr. Linda C. Mitchell (Linda.Mitchell@sjsu.edu) AND Michelle Hager (Michelle.Hager@sjsu.edu). The application is due Friday, August 9, 2013.

The following materials are required:
1. A signed copy of the workshop contract (see the next page).
2. A 250-word statement detailing the 50-minute lesson plan on writing you would like to develop for your classes. Answer the following questions in your statement:

Why did you choose your topic? What is your motivation for choosing to work on this lesson? (50 words)
How is this lesson relevant to your classes? (50 words)

How will your plan be structured? (100 words) Example: “I will do a lesson on „so what?‟ since I have noticed that students in my discipline do not develop their ideas. First, I will explain what I mean by a „so what?‟ Next, I will have the group read a paragraph that is missing the „so what?‟ The group will then read the revised paragraph with the added „so what?‟ and then a third revision with specific examples added. For an exercise, each participant will write a general paragraph, then test the „so what?‟ and add information. All writing in all disciplines needs a „so what?‟ so the topic is useful to everyone.”

How will other faculty members adapt your plan to other