Dr. Lela Llorens, Past Chair of Occupational Therapy to Deliver Keynote Address at Occupational Therapy Association of California’s Annual Conference

Dr. Lela Llorens, past Chair of Occupational Therapy and former Associate Academic Vice President of Faculty Affairs at SJSU, has been chosen to deliver the keynote address at the California Foundation of Occupational Therapy luncheon at the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) Annual Conference. “Although our program is relatively small in size and exclusively a graduate program, we have well over 50 graduate students (out of a graduating class of 78) presenting their research projects during the poster session at the OTAC Annual Conference in Pasadena, says Winifred Schultz-Krohn PhD, Professor and Chair, Occupational Therapy.

Dr. Krohn says “the poster session is not designed for student presentations. It is designed for practicing occupational therapists. This represents quite an accomplishment since these presentations undergo a blind review and acceptance is quite competitive!”

In addition to all the student research projects there are four faculty members and two lecturers presenting at the OTAC conference. The presentations undergo a blinded peer review prior to acceptance. “We are excited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of OTAC and our very proud of our small department which has a very big footprint at this conference!”

At A Glance:

Here are the presenters and topics from SJSU’s Occupational Therapy Department:

Presentations at OTAC 2016: October 27-30, 2016

Dr. Lela Llorens – California Foundation of Occupational Therapy Honored Lecturer (this is the second time she has been so honored) Implementing Occupations for Health and Wellbeing: A Personal Story

Dr. Winifred Schultz-Krohn and Dr. Gigi Smith – Evidence-based Practice for Clinical Dysphagia Intervention

Dr. Deborah Bolding and Lecturer Graham Teaford – Facilitating Behavioral Changes to Prevent Falls

Dr. Winifred Schultz-Krohn and Asha Asher – Professional Development: AOTA Board and Specialty Certification

Professional Poster sessions:

Lecturer Alison George – Interprofessional Collaboration During an International Faculty-led Program

Rebecca Bobell, Christy Goulet, Lauren Hendrick (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Bolding – A Matter of Balance: Program Evaluation

Jessica Kepes, Kailey Payne, Jennifer Balich, Mollie Sepahmansour, Chelsea McMillen (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Schultz-Krohn – Clinical Reasoning used by Experienced Pediatric Occupational Therapists

Clorinda LemMon, Annabelle Bewicke, Aisa Poniente, Sarah Falter (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Schutlz-Krohn – Effects of Infant Massage on stress Levels of Homeless Mothers

Nancy Huang, Monique Afram, Cameren Muller, Ashley Sanches, Tiffant Tzuang (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Schultz-Krohn – Efficacy of Cognitive Orientation to Daily Occupations (CO-OP)

Celeste Morgan (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Schultz-Krohn – Family Mealtime Experiences with Children with ASD

Anne Elliott, Renee Demaree, Casey Millerick, Priscilla Ng (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Schultz-Krohn – Fostering Imaginative Play in Homeless Preschool Children

Chelle Tateishi, Diana Fitts, Maggie Jo Green, Jennifer Scherba, Hillary Wartinger (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Glogoski – Life Skills – Transition Age Youth with Mental Illness

Carley Wade, Emma Stern, Michelle Rice, Lauren Okajima (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Schultz-Krohn – Occupation-based Financial Literacy Program with Homeless Adolescents

Jazmin Arellano, Tiffant Young, Amanda Huang, Tiffany Que-Smith (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Bolding – Personal Emergency Response System Class for Older Adults

Lee Sonko (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Chang – Relating Stress Factors to Life Satisfaction in OT Graduate Students

Krista Yee, Nathan Nam, Christine Huynh, Larkin Petralli (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Chang – Relationships Between Sensory Processing Patterns and Play Experiences

Justin Lin, Brian Huynh, Inge Verschueren (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Chang – Stress Factors and Sleep Quality Among Occupational Therapy Graduate Students

Megan Moreno, Jessica Pham, Alrice Lai, Jennafer Hope, Kristine Young (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Chang – Stress Factors and Engagement Among Occupational Therapy Graduate Students

Nicole Pearlmen, Angeliki Bundros-Menig, Rebecca Huniu, Sarah Sherman, Carly Rosada (All SJSU OT Graduate Students), Faculty Adviser: Dr. Schultz-Krohn – Work Readiness Program for Transitional Age Foster Youth

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.

Karly Comfort, SJSU MSW Student Receives MSW Research Award

Karly Comfort

Karly Comfort, SJSU master’s student in social work was one of two students who received the MSW Research Award from the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) for her research entitled, “Thinking Positive, Being Connected, and Staying Active: The Impact of Mental Illness Stigma on Caregiving, Well-Being, and Self-Care’s Role as a Buffer.”

CalSWEC’s Research & Development Committee, in conjunction with the California Association of Deans and Directors, established the Research Award for MSW Students to encourage and support student research that will contribute to the evidence base for policy and practice for public human services. The research competition is open to all MSW students attending universities in CalSWEC’s consortium.

When Karly was asked why she decided to pursue this particular topic, she stated, “When you think of someone with schizophrenia living at home, what are the first five things that come to mind? Most likely you’d think about the factors that contribute to their safety and how to keep them safe. These factors probably include food, clothing, transportation, medical appointments, and activities of daily living.

In the background, beyond what you think of first, is the support person providing such items, the caregiver who is most likely a family member. That person gives so much of their time, energy, and heart to supporting, caring for, and providing for their loved one. Family caregivers are rarely thought about in the realm of mental health, which is a significant missed opportunity.

In the months leading up to my having to complete a final research project for the MSW program at SJSU, I met a few family caregivers of people with mental illness that provided me with a window into the unique demands and stressors that caregivers face. Therefore, I used my culminating research paper to examine what caregivers need in order to support their well-being.

My project showed that people with mental illness do better when their caregivers do better and have substantial support structures. I examined the well-being of family caregivers of people with severe mental illness and looked at how mental illness stigma and self-care impact their well-being. With the new knowledge and understanding I gained from my research, I am much more able to empathize with their efforts in caring for their loved ones, as well as for themselves.”

Awardees received $250 for the initial proposal and $500 as a winner. Congratulations Karly Comfort.

For more information: MSW Research Award-Winning Projects Delve into Aspects of Mental Health.

Miranda Worthen Recognized for Early Career Achievements

Congratulations to Miranda Worthen, Department of Health Science and Recreation Assistant Professor, for receiving the Early Career Investigator Award for 2016!

According to the Research Foundation, the award recognizes tenure-track faculty who have excelled in the areas of research, scholarship or creative activity as evidenced by their success in securing external funds for their research, publishing in peer reviewed publications, and demonstrating other scholarly and creative activities, at an early or beginning point in their career.

“I felt really honored to be recognized,” said Miranda as she was surprised to be awarded and had not considered applying for the award. She received a nomination from Anne Demers, Department Chair of Health Science and Recreation, soon after being encouraged to submit an application from the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Associate Dean of Research, Amy D’Andrade. Amy said that Miranda’s work is competitive and that she should apply.

Miranda’s work is interdisciplinary and includes epidemiology of psychosocial factors, the development of context-appropriate mixed methodologies that emphasize academic rigor and community validity, and intervention research. She focuses on social factors that mitigate or exacerbate the physical and mental health impact of exposure to violence and stress.

Strongly believing in paying it forward, Miranda plans to encourage other faculty to apply for grants and support them through the application process. She also believes that the award is a great example for her students as she promotes nominating themselves for scholarships and awards as sometimes it is hard for students to apply as they may have never won academic competitions.

“It is especially important to encourage our students to try their Luck. I’ll definitely share this experience to illustrate for my students that even when you don’t think you will be competitive, you might actually win.”

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts is proud of Miranda and looks forward to her continued success.

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.