Alumni Assoc. honors CASA students with scholarships

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts was well represented Sept. 16 at the San José State University Alumni Association Scholarship Reception. Of the dozens of honorees who were recognized at the event, seven hail from CASA majors.

CASA Associate Dean Greg Payne attended the celebration and had the honor of introducing the two students selected to receive the Alumni Association Dean’s Scholarship for Applied Sciences and Arts. David Elliott, a

David Elliott received the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Alumni Association Dean's Scholarship for 2014-15.

David Elliott received the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Alumni Association Dean’s Scholarship for 2014-15.

Social Work major, said he hopes to continue his studies in the Master of Social Work program, according to a bio provided by the Alumni Association. He has an upcoming internship with Unity Care, a nonprofit focused on youth and family development, to provide services to foster youth with behavioral and emotional problems. In the past, he has gained crisis intervention and facility management experience, including at Foothill College where he supported students working in the Pass the Torch program.

On the Alumni Association website, he said, “It is an honor and a privilege to be selected to receive the Alumni Association Deans’ Scholarship. Maintaining a balance between school, work and family can be challenging. I can be certain now that I will continue my education by working towards a MSW at SJSU. My wife, Theresa, and I have recently been gifted with a beautiful son, and financially we are working very hard to provide for our family. This scholarship has renewed my excitement about working towards an advanced degree. We are grateful and will continue our personal efforts to serve our community.”

Michelle Mussett received the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Alumni Association Dean's Scholarship for 2014-15.

Michelle Mussett received the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Alumni Association Dean’s Scholarship for 2014-15.

Michelle Mussett, a graduate student in Social Work, also received the Dean’s Scholarship. She has interned with the Record Clearance Project, a program in the Justice Studies department that helps eligible people clear their criminal records, and she also volunteers at the library advising clients in a free weekly program, according to the Alumni Association website. Prior to enrolling in her master’s program at SJSU, Mussett served in the Peace Corps in Benin, in West Africa, where she developed training materials and education programs to address gender and health issues. She is an intern at the CSU Monterey Bay Campus Health Center.

On the Alumni Association website, she said,  “I’m so excited about receiving the Alumni Association Dean’s Scholarship, because it will allow me to concentrate on my passion – my upcoming internship work as a therapist at the California State University, Monterey Bay campus health center. The internship requires a three-day a week commitment, and my full time classes require another two. This scholarship makes it possible for me to pursue my academic and professional goals without having to also take part-time work to cover living expenses. This is crucial at this time in my study, as my final year also includes a year-long thesis project. This scholarship makes it possible for me to put my best work into my final year internship and academics, allowing me to absorb as much as I can from these incredible opportunities.”

Gina Guglielmoni was awarded the Phyllis and Alan Simpkins Leadership Award to pursue a graduate degree in kinesiology so she can start a career helping athletes rehabilitate sports-related injuries with treatments their school or general practitioner do not provide, according to her bio. She volunteered as a trainer’s assistant and manager for the football and softball teams at El Camino High School as well as with groups supporting disabled veterans and at St. Veronica Parish. She noted that she comes from a family of Spartans.

“Being a third generation Spartan means a lot to me and my family as well as receiving the Alan and Phyllis Simpkins Alumni Leadership Award. Six of my family members are alumni of San José State and are part of the large group that makes this scholarship possible. The scholarship will aid in achieving my ultimate dream of obtaining a masters degree in Kinesiology (Athletic Training) and start a career as an Athletic Trainer.”

Three CASA students received the Santa Cruz Area Chapter Scholarships, including Nutritional Science student Anna Sramek, Nursing student Kelly McGuckin and Social work student Nancy Zuniga. Cuong Truong, a nursing major, received the San Jose Woman’s Club Scholarship. For more on these honorees, visit the Alumni Association website at

Social Work professor awarded NIDA grant

Important new study looks at differences in substance use among sexual minorities using an innovative sampling method.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently awarded funding to College of Applied Sciences and Arts School of Social Work Professor Laurie Drabble and Alcohol Research Group Scientist Karen Trocki for their study on rates of alcohol consumption, hazardous drinking patterns, and tobacco and illicit drug use among sexual minority women (SMW).The researchers will apply and test innovative methods and techniques for sampling rare populations in addition to comparing outcomes between populations.

Drabble and Trocki also hope to identify individual, community and societal factors that may contribute, either positively or negatively, to substance use outcomes. Such factors may include policies on same-sex marriage, social support and psychological distress.

Drabble said she had the support of a San José State University Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity grant to support her work with her research colleagues to put together the collaborative National Institute of Health grant proposal. The Alcohol Research Group is an Oakland-based Public Health Institute that is a leader in epidemiological and public health studies of alcohol consumption patterns and problems from over-consumption, as well as innovative studies of the many ways communities and agencies mitigate harms and treat alcohol dependence, according to its website.


New website shares SWEEP collaboration

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts Social Work Education Enhancement Program launched a new website last week to keep visitors informed about past and upcoming activities of the collaborative.

Alice Hines, the interim dean for the college of Applied Sciences and Arts and director of the Social Work Education Enhancement Program, announced the launch of the website via email on Sept. 10.

The site can be found at:

According to the website:

SWEEP is an international consortium which includes USAID, SJSU, eight universities in Vietnam, government Ministries, Cisco Systems, Inc., and 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

“This site includes important resources from past SWEEP activities in the areas of professional development, research, curriculum development and collaboration,” Hines said in an email. “Lists of participant names and affiliations, photographs and information about upcoming events are also available on the site.”

The site will be updated as new events and activities occur, such as the upcoming SWEEP Leadership Academy at San José State University in October.

For more on SWEEP, visit:

Seven professors prepare for 2014-15 sabbaticals

During the 2014-15 academic year, seven professors within the College of Applied Sciences and Arts at San José State University were awarded a sabbatical to conduct research related to their fields. Here are summaries of some of the work those on sabbatical will be conducting this year.

School of Social Work

Amy D’Andrade, the Associate Dean of Research for the College and Director for the CASA Center for Applied Research on Human Services, will be on sabbatical for Fall 2014. She is planning to use the time to focus on several projects related to her ongoing research focused on reunification between parents and children who have been removed from the home due to maltreatment, with an emphasis on the role fathers play in the reunification process. Her projects include a secondary analysis and journal manuscript on parent constellations and parent-specific outcomes in child welfare reunification and a grant proposal to fund a research study using dyadic analysis to understand fathers’ contributions to reunification outcomes.

Dr. D’Andrade received her MSW and PhD in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. She is an Associate Professor in the SJSU School of Social Work, teaching graduate courses on social welfare policy and research. She also serves as the Director of the Center for Applied Research in Human Services (CARHS), and the faculty Associate Dean for Research for the College. Her research interests focus on the public child welfare system, particularly issues affecting parental reunification with children removed for maltreatment. She has conducted studies on reunification service delivery, reunification for incarcerated parents, and California’s reduction of reunification timeframes for parents of children under three. She received the 2010 Early Career Investigator Award from the San Jose State University Research Foundation. Prior to her academic career, Dr. D’Andrade was a child welfare services social worker in San Diego County for over six years, working in a variety of programs including Residential Services, Independent Living Services, and data systems administration.

Meekyung Han, of the School of Social Work, will be on a two-semester, half-pay sabbatical during which she will work on two projects that will expand the depth and breadth of her professional and academic experiences.  For one of her projects, Han will be the principal investigator who will look at “long-term effects of parental interpersonal violence and child maltreatment on internalizing and externalizing mental health problems with Asian college students: The role of social support.” For this project, she will be working with professors from four Asian countries including Japan, China, Hong Kong and South Korea, along with a collaborator at SJSU. For her second project, Han and a collaborator received the Silberman Fund Faculty Grant to study “Vicarious trauma and its impact on well-being among family caregivers of persons with mental illness: A Comparative Exploration of self-care practices among Asians and Caucasians.” At the end of the study, Han and her colleague will submit a manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and she will develop a grant proposal for external funding.

Han said her first project will help to build a strong international scholarly partnership that will benefit SJSU and the College of Applied Sciences and Arts by building a global academic community. The second project will build upon her existing knowledge of the well-being of people with mental illness in general and with Asians in particular.

Soma Sen, a professor in the School of Social Work, received a grant along with a colleague from the department of Health Science and Recreation to explore the impact of HIV-related stigma on HIV testing behavior among Asian American Pacific Islander populations with community partner Asian Americans for Community Involvement. During her sabbatical, Sen plans to complete a manuscript for submission in a peer-reviewed journal and prepare for external funding from the National Institute of Health to support research to characterize and reduce the stigma to improve health.

Justice Studies

Dr. Steven Lee, the director of the Forensic Science Program, will use his sabbatical to conduct empirical research at the International Forensic Research Institute at Florida International University with next generation sequencing to uncover forensically significant, age and tissue specific genetic markers and with newly developed, inhibitor resistant enzymes for expanding and enhancing rapid 25 minute, direct DNA typing of samples.

Lee said his research will provide data for presentation and publication, future collaborative external grants and significant potential improvements in accuracy and speed of DNA typing.  He will also complete the analysis of a three-year program of research on PCR enhancers, leading to the resubmission of a peer-reviewed manuscript. He will develop a new course on Forensic Science in Human Rights Investigations, leading to a new permanent course at SJSU.

Valley Foundation School of Nursing

Lori Rodriguez will be taking a sabbatical leave in Spring 2015 to conduct surveys and interviews with the graduates of the DNP class of 2014 to determine the degree to which the program prepared the graduates to be faculty, advanced practice clinicians, and/or leaders. Beyond this basic required information, she will capitalize on her background as a qualitative researcher and hold interviews and/or focus groups with graduates to discuss their role change, and allow them to reflect on their experience. Rodriguez has been one of the integral faculty members involved in the pilot DNP program at SJSU, which is a joint effort with California State University, Fresno.

Sabbaticals were also granted to the following professors:

Kathy Lemon – School of Social Work

Tamar Semerjian – Kinesiology

SWEEP: Vietnamese faculty visit SJSU for 3+ weeks in March

The Social Work Education Enhancement Program started its Faculty Fellows Academy at San José State University on March 3. During the three and a half week visit, the eight faculty members from SWEEP’s partner universities in Vietnam will be working closely with faculty from the College of Applied Sciences and Arts School of Social Work as well as others on and off campus. Seminars, lectures and workshops will focus on areas of faculty development including: research and scholarship, teaching, curriculum development, collaboration and global leadership skills, and the use of cutting edge technology.

SWEEP is funded by USAID and an an in-kind match by Cisco Systems, Inc.

Sweep academy

The Social Work Education Enhancement Project is hosting eight faculty members from Vietnam in March.