SJSU’s Center For Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP) Offers San Jose’s Seniors Health Screenings and Information

On Thursday, September 29, the 24th Annual Senior Resource & Wellness Fair, presented by the County of Santa Clara Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), in partnership with the City of San Jose Parks & Recreation Department, and SJSU’s Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP), took place at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose.

Approximately 400 people in the community came out to the Wellness Fair to receive information from 85 different programs that provide information and services to the senior population.  There were about 70 vendors from community agencies. Participants were able to receive a multitude of health screenings – flu shots, blood pressure, glucose, dental, spine alignment, skin, mood, cognitive function, falls prevention, fitness, biofeedback, and hearing tests which were provided by Walgreens, SJSU students and other agencies.  Several workshops and fitness demonstrations were also held throughout the day, including Laughter Yoga, Fair Housing Rights, Cal Medi-Connect, and Nutrition.

More than 40 students, led by faculty from six San Jose State departments, participated in offering screenings or healthy living advice to older adults at the event. Students from the following departments offered information/screenings on the following topics:

  • Social work – Mood and wellness screening
  • Nursing – Blood pressure screening
  • Kinesiology – Information on evidence-based exercise
  • Occupational Therapy – Falls and balance
  • Recreation Therapy – Biofeedback to improve breathing and managing stress
  • Communicative Disorders – Ear inspections; and Cognitive wellness screening

“The Wellness fair offers SJSU students a wonderful opportunity to practice their communications skills, learn how to engage seniors in screenings and health education, and learn about the role of multiple disciplines and the array of community services available to promote wellness and healthy aging,” says Sadhna Diwan, Ph.D.,Professor, School of Social Work, Director, Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations.

Photos by Lauren Chun, Megan Dejan and Mickie Lau, students from Dwight Bentel & Hall Student Advertising and Public Relations Agency, School of Journalism and Mass Communications:

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5th Annual CHAMP Senior Wellness Fair

CHAMP Senior Wellness Fair 2015

CHAMP Senior Wellness Fair 2015

The Timpany Center hosted the annual Senior Wellness Fair on October 24, 2015. The fair brought in over 500 attendees, with many students from San José State University’s (SJSU) College of Applied Sciences and Arts (CASA) volunteering to interact with the population.

The Senior Wellness Fair is a partnership between SJSU’s Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP), the Santa Clara County Department of Aging and Adult Services and the Timpany Center, now in its fifth year. CHAMP is an interdisciplinary effort that includes faculty from the School of Social Work, The Valley Foundation School of Nursing, Nutrition and Food Science, Kinesiology, Occupational Therapy as well as the departments of Psychology and Communicative Disorders and Sciences.

Sadhna Diwan, School of Social Work professor and director of CHAMP, said the fair offers SJSU students an opportunity to practice their communication skills, learn how to engage seniors in screenings and health education, and learn about the role of multiple disciplines and the array of community services available to promote wellness and healthy aging.

Students from the School of Social Work interacted with seniors using a poster board displaying facial expressions to identify mood change and depression. The students handed out community resource sheets and gave recommendations on how to seek help if some seniors are experiencing a low mood change.

Social Work graduate students volunteer at the Senior Wellness Fair on Oct. 24, 2015.

Social Work graduate students volunteer at the Senior Wellness Fair on Oct. 24, 2015.

Naomi Gomez, a social work graduate student, said she and her fellow students were there to educate seniors on mood changes that lead into depression in the aging population. “We are offering seniors today different support systems and referrals to help lift their moods or if they know of someone they can pass this useful information to,” said Gomez.

Don Tran, a public health graduate student, greeted seniors with his fellow students and provided body mass index screenings and blood pressure testing. Tran is working with the Pathways to American Indian and Alaska Native (PAAW) to introduce a diabetes prevention program. Tran said that the fair provides an opportunity to seek out potential participants to take part in the program that will provide participants with gym memberships, walking shoes, healthy meals and more.

“We are focused on improving health for American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and all indigenous heritage population of Santa Clara County,” Tran said while handing out information packets to participants during the fair.

The Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging (NuFS) students provided information on food insecurities and healthy hydration methods. Kristian Ghazal, NuFS graduate student, said she volunteered to encourage seniors to buy local foods and where they can use CalFresh EBT cards.

Ghazal presented each visitor with an informational poster that highlighted healthy food options during each season of the year and reasons why the community should buy foods from local farmers. “Everyone attending the fair today should know where and how to get fresh foods from local farmers,” said Ghazal as she talked about the importance of seniors needing to maintain a healthy diet and supporting local farmers.

Kristian Ghazal, student volunteer, holds informational poster about local farmers and healthy seasonal foods.

Kristian Ghazal, student volunteer, holds informational poster about local farmers and healthy seasonal foods.

Susan Ross, Health Science and Recreation lecturer, and undergraduate students offered leisure interest screenings. Lovegifty Dudero, HSR undergraduate student, said she used the screening to talk with seniors about what they like to do on their free time. The results of the assessment identifies strengths and weaknesses of leisure activities such as physical, outdoor, mechanical, artistic, service, social, cultural and reading activities.

“From the results we can provide different leisure activities to help improve their weaknesses,” Dudero said, after finishing an assessment.

Lovegifty Dudero, student volunteer, administering a leisure screening with Senior Wellness Fair participant.

Lovegifty Dudero, student volunteer, administering a leisure screening with Senior Wellness Fair participant.

“Learning is one of the most life giving things a person can do,” said Ross, as she explained the goal of the student volunteers to teach people how to gain more novelty using the leisure screening. Other activities from NuFS included aging myths and aroma therapy.

An additional amount of students from SJSU volunteered their time to assist with various tasks at the fair. Desiree Barton, Daniela Zea and Chantelle Patel, School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) undergraduate students, volunteered to take pictures of the event and interview seniors who attend.

“One of the most resourceful things for them is that everything is in one place and the free flu shots,” said Patel, after interviewing senior participants.

The JMC students plan to use the pictures and video interviews to create a video for CHAMP to spread awareness of the Senior Wellness Fair.

For more on CHAMP, click here.


Mark Your Calendar: Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge

Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge

Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge

The Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge (SVIC) is taking place all-day on Monday, November 16 in the new Student Union Ballroom. We encourage CASA students to enter the competition. It is a great way to showcase the innovations conceived by our creative, talented students and celebrate at this year’s event.

The new “Best Sport-Tech” award, sponsored by University Advancement, will be made available this year in addition to the Best Overall Innovation, Best Elevator Pitch, and Best Social Innovation award categories. Each winner will receive a cash prize.

SVIC is a fantastic networking and career building opportunity for students. Judges include faculty and industry professionals from leading Silicon Valley companies such as Cisco Systems, Applied Materials, AT&T, LinkedIn, Citrix, Ericsson, WMware, NetApp, and more.

Cisco Systems in particular plans to use SVIC as a talent recruitment platform. Eligible students with a GPA of 3.2 or higher should visit the Career Center to improve resume writing and interviewing skills prior to the event.


  • October 5: Submission opens for students, alumni, faculty, etc.
  • October 26: Submission closes at midnight
  • October 28: Online judging begins
  • November 9: Finalists Notified
  • November 16: SVIC Finalist Showcase, Student Union Ballroom, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Visit SVIC to learn more.

Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge Poster

Applied Sciences and Arts International program pilots launch

During the summer, three departments and schools in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts launched international programs for what Interim Dean Alice Hines hopes will eventually encompass all the departments and schools within the college.

Students in Occupational Therapy, the Valley Foundation School of Nursing and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication participated in various Faculty-Led Study Abroad programs that took them to places such as Europe, Grenada, Vietnam and Taiwan.


While the ultimate goal is that all students who graduate with a degree from the College of Applied Sciences and Arts will participate in some sort of international experience, nine OT students participated in the summer pilot.  For a course in Vietnam, students were expected to examine the relationship between the cultures and environment in Vietnam by looking at the ways humans adapt and impact their natural environments.  During the trip, students visited temples, pagodas and cultural sites where they conducted a type of ethnographic research called “thick descriptions.”

Liz Cara, the acting chair for OT, said the students “have an awareness of other people and cultures and of themselves as global citizens and advocates for the well-being in international health.” While OT faculty visited universities to talk about Occupational Therapy, the students had a chance to present to faculty at Da Lat University. They also participated in “Tea Talks” at Sozo Café, in Saigon, which is a café that employees people with disabilities and sponsors students who do volunteer work with disadvantaged groups.  The SJSU students met with groups to answer questions about the US and discuss experiences with cultural aspects and health systems in Vietnam. They also presented a slide show presentation on occupational therapy at the café.


Debbie Nelson oversees screenings and health education at Health Fair in Guave during the Grenada study abroad program.

Debbie Nelson oversees screenings and health education at the Health Fair in Guave during the Grenada study abroad program.

A group of 23 students from Nursing and Occupational Therapy traveled to Grenada, West Indies for a global service-learning course. Nursing Faculty Tamara McKinnon, Deborah Nelson and then Occupational Therapy Chair Pamela Richardson traveled with students to the Caribbean island where students were able to achieve clinical course objectives through on-site activities as well as through the use of simulation prior to and following the global experience.

During their visit, students met with the Ministry of Health, Hospitals and clinics and also had an opportunity to visit clinical sites throughout the island. The students participated in a health fair in a rural part of the island, conducting home visits to train family members and local students, and conducted television and radio interviews. The students all kept a reflective journal during their trip with photos and narrative.

The core principles of the program included compassion, curiosity, courage, collaboration, creativity, capacity building and competence, according to McKinnon.

France, Spain and Belgium

Twenty-two SJSU students joined Dr. Matt Cabot, associate professor in SJSU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications, on a four-week global leadership program in Europe. The students spent three weeks in Paris, and one week in Madrid, visiting some of Europe’s top strategic communication firms and experiencing a wide variety of cultural activities. Students also spent a day in Brussels, Belgium, where they attended two lectures at the European Commission. All the

SJSU students enrolled in the faculty-led program "Paris: City of Culture," took a book tour around Paris.

SJSU students enrolled in the faculty-led program “Paris: City of Culture,” took a bike tour around Paris.

activities were designed to help students develop the kind of “global mindset” necessary to think, act, and lead globally.

Linda Levine, a professor in the department of Health Science and Recreation, along with David Buseck, of International and Exte

nd Studies, created an FLP called “Paris: City of Culture.” This summer 14 students were able to attend the program to learn about the history and diversity of France, with an emphasis on Paris. During their trip, which provided credit in two GE areas, students learned about various cultures that included different religious backgrounds, occupational backgrounds and other aspects of identity. During the trip students had the opportunity to visit the Chateau de Marseilles, Musee D’Orsay and to take a Thai/French cooking class, among other places.


After a successful pilot program last summer, Chia-Ling Mao, from the Valley Foundation School of Nursing, ran another Faculty Led Program to Taiwan this summer, with Megan Chang, of Occupational Therapy. This year’s group consisted of nursing and occupational therapy students. Having students from different departments participate in this year’s program gave the students an opportunity to foster interdisciplinary relationships and learn from each other. The main goal of this program was to increase students’ cultural competency, promote and facilitate cultural exchange, and expand students’ worldview. The adventure in Taiwan exposed student to the three levels of healthcare. Seeing Taiwan’s National Health Insurance program in action was an eye-opening experience for the students. During the trip, the students were tasked to design a health promotion activity for the elderly. The students were able to incorporate occupational therapy and nursing activities together to design a range of motion exercise suitable for the geriatric population.  By the end of the program, the students all expressed aspects of their experiences in which they could implement into their future practices as health-care providers.

Students showed their SJSU spirit with a banner as they traveled through Taiwan.

Students showed their SJSU spirit with a banner as they traveled through Taiwan.

Advice for students and faculty

“We learn to be curious and educate ourselves, rather than to be judgmental and walk away,” said Levine, in an email. “Students actively engaged in learning about the histories and governments and currencies, business, educational and health care systems” that share similarities and differences with American systems.

Levine said, though she grew up with many travel experiences with parents who were international tour directors, it wasn’t until she traveled on her own as a college student “that the light bulb of personal transformation was illuminated.”

“The students of today are so much more connected to the resources of the world than even we were a generation ago, but there is nothing like leaving the comforts of home to experience a new culture first hand,” she said.

For the OT students, the goals of the course included demonstrating knowledge of global social issues and prevailing health and welfare needs of populations with or at risk for disabilities and chronic health conditions; analysis of the current policy issues and the social, economic, political, cultural, geographic and demographic factors that influence the practice of occupational therapy outside of the United States; to evaluate and address the various contexts of health care, education, community, political and social systems as they relate to the practice of occupational therapy outside of the United States; Articulate how occupational therapists collaborate with Interprofessional teams, clients, families, and communities in the design and implementation of sustainable and culturally relevant services; and reflect on the impact of the international experience on their professional development and identity as an occupational therapist and as a global citizen.

Cara said she recommended departments interested in developing new FLPs start early.

“The first experience is primarily exploratory and will hopefully lead to fuller experiences with more hands-on practical experiences,” she said via email. “The orientations prior to traveling are tremendously valuable so make sure they are well-planned.”

Levine said the time and work put in for the first one to two years “pays off in spades after that,” though she added that it does take patience to complete the Faculty-Led Program paperwork required to create a new international program.

“My advice would be to stay on top of all the SJSU requirements and demands,” she said.

Cara also recommended preparing students for traveling by letting them know it can be unpredictable.

“It is unpredictable and accommodations are not always what you envision so be flexible,” she said. “If you are flexible, you will be rewarded with memories and self-awareness that will last for a life time.”

Cara said for her students the opportunity to spend time overseas has allowed to think with more of a “worldcentric” lens and to think about how they will be global citizens.



UPDATED: First set of DNP students to present project results in April

The first group of students to enroll in the California State University Northern California Consortium Doctor of Nursing Practice program are preparing to graduate in May, with 21 months of studying and research completed. But before they hit that milestone, the students are preparing for their oral defenses on April 4, at San José State University and April 11, at CSU, Fresno.DNP logo draft3

The cohort includes 31 students from across Northern California in a legislatively mandated pilot program that offers online education to post-master’s prepared nurses who have extensive work experience in healthcare. “During the initial interview process, we were looking for leadership potential,” said Lori Rodriguez, the director of the DNP Consortium at San José State University.  “We were fortunate to enroll students with initiative, leadership potential, integrity and rich practice backgrounds.”

For the first cohort, 31 students are nearing completion of the program. At least 90 percent of the students reported they have been working 30 or more hours since enrolling in the full-time program. Their average age is 49 years old and average time in practice is 20 years.

Sylvia Ruiz, an administrative support coordinator with the DNP program, said some of the students have already received promotions and others are anticipating promotions upon graduation.

“They’ve received scholarly recognition,” Ruiz said, with Rodriguez noting that five students were accepted to speak at the National DNP Conference in Nashville, Tenn. next fall, in addition to numerous local, state and national invitations to present. Publications from this program are beginning to emerge.

While the program has been online, with students meeting in person for one to four days a semester of intensive training at one of the two campuses, Ruiz said the students formed bonds quickly.

“They found a network of people across the state with ‘like minds’,” Rodriguez added.

The culmination of the program includes the doctoral projects the students started on in their first year to change a healthcare outcome in the community. The projects had to focus on a group or community rather than an individual, with potential for a long-lasting impact. Of the graduating class, 16 students are scheduled to present their findings during their oral defense on April 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Room 225/229, with the public invited. The other 15 students will present their oral defenses April 11, from 8:30-5:30 p.m. at CSU, Fresno, in McLane Hall, Room 193. Rodriguez said faculty members, other students and members of the healthcare community are welcome to attend.

The students tackled a variety of projects, some in hospital-based settings and others in community locations.  Some projects to be presented at SJSU include:

  • “Intent of High School Hispanic/Latino Adolescents Toward Tissue and Organ Donation: A Study of the Impact of a Culturally Sensitive Educational Intervention,” completed by Sharon Castellanos and overseen by Dr. Lynn Van Hofwegan
  • “Backpack Homeless Healthcare Program: What Knowledge, Attitudes and Skills Do Backpack Homeless Healthcare Program’s Multidisciplinary Teams Believe are Critical in Order to Provide Effective Patient Centered Health Care Services to Unsheltered Homeless Population in Santa Clara County?” completed by Mercy Egbujor and overseen by Dr. Tamara McKinnon
  • “The Experience of Latino Parents of Hospitalized Children During Family Centered Bedside Rounds,” completed by Lisa Walker-Vischer and overseen by Dr. Constance Hill

For more information on the CSU Northern California Consortium Doctor of Nursing Practice, visit or visit

For the full schedule on oral defenses at SJSU, click on the PDF DNP Oral Schedule April 2014 Updated.