Spring 2017 Blog Series 9 of 10: Nutrition Students Are a Step Ahead in Dietary Employment

If you visit a health care facility, school district, or food bank there is a good chance that an SJSU Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging student is completing an internship. That’s because Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging students are required to obtain an internship working in their field.

When students enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science program, they can specialize in two concentrations which includes a concentration in dietetics or packaging. They can also specialize in environmental food and health, food management, nutrition education, nutrition science and sports nutrition.

“The Dietetics students who go on to become Registered Dietitians have to complete 1,200 hours of accredited competency-based dietetic internship program as well as pass the national Registered Dietitian Examination,” says Dr. Lucy McProud, Chair, Department of Nutrition Food Science and Packaging. “In addition, after completing a dietetic internship, students must take a national exam to become a registered dietitian.” SJSU’s program boasts a 90 percent passing rate on the exam and according to Dr. McProud “all get employed.”

The Nutrition and Food Science program teaches students about nutrition aspects that includes food borne illnesses, diet and disease and community nutrition. If students want to major in the sports field, they learn which foods can help an athlete’s best performance.

Professor Karen Harvey, lecturer, teaches four classes in the program and is also a consultant dietician. She is especially fond of teaching Nutrition 139 Hunger and the Environment. “This class is a current events class where we discuss poverty in our community. Unfortunately, this topic has become more and more relevant,” says Professor Harvey. “Right now there is such a need and so many students are hungry that we have five food banks on campus.”

Professor Harvey has a master’s degree in nutrition specializing in dietetics and also works for Nutrition Therapy Essentials. “Our interns are all over the place,” says Professor Harvey. “By requiring an internship, students can transition to see what the job is all about and if they really want to go in this direction.”

Many universities do not require an internship in a nutritional program. “If students are enrolled in a program that requires them to have an internship, they have a much greater chance of getting an internship,” says Professor Harvey. “And they also have a greater chance of passing the registered dietitian exam.”

Spring 2017 Blog Series 7 of 10: The Valley Foundation School of Nursing – Nurse Managed Centers Provide Free Services to Well and Frail Elders

For over 30 years, The Valley Foundation School of Nursing Nurse Managed Centers has provided quality community based health care services in an innovative educational environment. The focus of the Nurse Managed Centers is health promotion and illness prevention for populations across the lifespan. The Nurse Managed Centers provide free services to well and frail elders and persons with chronic mental illness.

“Today, there are nine Nurse Managed Centers and two psych mental health clinics,” says Dr. Daryl Canham, Nursing Professor. Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County John XXIII is one of the nine Nurse Managed Centers that SJSU students serve. Each semester approximately 10 students perform community health practices for John XXIII clients. “Primarily they work with multi ethnic seniors,” says Dr. Canham.

The Nurse Managed Centers give undergraduate students an opportunity to apply their skills that they have learned in the classroom. “Students provide assessment for the patients as well as advocate for client’s well- being. They take the client’s blood pressure as well as talk with the clients about their health concerns such as medications they may be taking and if they need to see a physician,” says Dr. Canham.

Other Nurse Managed Centers where nursing students perform services are: Cambrian Senior Complex, High House, Timpany Center, Hilltop Manor, Family Shelter, Beach Flats in Santa Cruz, and Sunnyvale Life Garden.

“We have approximately 450 nursing students,” says Dr. Canham. “And at least 60 students every semester has the opportunity to assist the community in our Nurse Managed Centers.”

Spring 2017 Blog Series 6 of 10: CASA Students Apply Their Learned Skills to Real Clients at Timpany Center

Photo credit: David Schmitz | San José State University

When Kinesiology Professor Nancy Megginson heard about the closing of Timpany Center in December, 2008, little did she realize that eight years later, the College of Applied Sciences and Arts (CASA) would be managing the center in conjunction with the County of Santa Clara.

“A colleague of mine was leaving and I learned that the management of the center was up for bid,” recalls Professor Megginson. “I mentioned it to then Kinesiology department chair, Shirley Reekie and she said ‘go for it.’”

On April 6, 2009, CASA opened the doors of Timpany Center with 22 members. “Everything had been taken out of the building and the only thing left was the therapeutic pool,” remembers Professor Megginson. “Lucky for us, the County of Santa Clara provided a $3 million renovation of the pool.”

Timpany Center opened in Fall 2009 to the general public with a large celebration that included many community leaders and elected officials. From the start, the center was used as a service learning vehicle for CASA students.

Professor Christine Di Salvo required her Public Relations Campaigns class to write a public relations plan for the center. The nursing students provide Healing Bones and Body classes as well as provide blood pressure screenings for members. The Nutrition majors teach members about healthy eating habits. In addition, the departments of Kinesiology and Health Science received a $750,000 grant with Stanford regarding diabetes prevention and research aimed for persons of native heritage that include American Indians, African Americans, South Americans and Samoans. Yearly, SJSU’s Center for Healthy Aging and Multicultural Populations (CHAMP) and the Santa Clara County Department of Health and Aging Services holds its annual senior population health fair at the center.

Photo credit: David Schmitz | San José State University

Timpany Center offers specialized services within a warm water pool, as well as a spa. Both the pool and spa have accessible ramps and small steps. Wheelchairs and walkers are available to use for easy pool and spa entry and transfer. The center’s low $50 monthly membership gives members access to up to 12 hours/day of pool and spa use. In addition, clients have access to open aquatic exercise, a wide range of aquatic based classes, land based classes, swim lessons and personal training for individuals of all ages and abilities.

All employees at the Center are SJSU students.  This is an opportunity for students to be employed while attending college. In addition, there are approximately 24 interns completing at least 125 hours at one time. “These students are working with clients in adapted physical activities,” says Professor Megginson.

“The Timpany Center memberships have increased instrumentally,” says Professor Megginson. “The very first day we had 22 members, now we have about 7500 people who use the Center monthly.” Four years ago, a scholarship program was instituted. Low income residents can apply and if they meet the criteria in regards to income and need the services their monthly fee is $25. “The center has a great community reputation and folks find out about it through word of mouth,” says Professor Megginson.

Photo credit: David Schmitz | San José State University

The Timpany Center was built in 1979 and is located behind the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System. “Timpany Center has proven to be a great relationship between SJSU and the County of Santa Clara, however the winners are our students who have a unique opportunity to apply their learned skills on real clients,” says Professor Megginson.

Spring 2017 Blog Series 5 of 10: School of Information – Magical and Whimsical Pinterest Boards Earn Scholarships for Incoming iSchool Students

The San José State University School of Information has awarded five incoming students the Director’s Scholarship for Excellence for demonstrating enthusiasm for the information profession.

Using creativity and research skills, Mary Barnett, Kimberly Cole, Theresa Berger, Farima Kafai, and Lauren Abel were awarded $1,000 each for creating Pinterest boards that reflect their specific career interests. The Director’s Scholarship for Excellence “recognizes the potential of new students to serve as information professionals and take a leading role in shaping our profession.”

Mary BarnettBarnett considers herself a “pretty hardcore Pinterest user,” but she wasn’t satisfied with her original board before curating the one she submitted for review, “My Magical Library (link is external).”

“My [Pinterest board] is an expression of who I like to imagine myself as when I close my eyes and go to my mind palace,” she said. “I wanted to create a place where your eyes can wander, you can sip a cup of tea beside a crackling fire, and you can explore gorgeous pins that represent both who I am as a person and as a future information professional.”

Barnett said she’s the first person in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree and “my masters is a great undertaking.” The Director’s Scholarship for Excellence will help her cover the cost of tuition.

“I am so excited to continue my journey toward my goal of becoming a librarian, and this scholarship from SJSU will help immensely. I found out that I had been awarded the scholarship on my birthday when I was in Scotland, and it made my birthday trip so much more amazing,” she said.

Kimberly ColeAs an active member of the Harry Potter fandom, Cole had no trouble deciding what the theme of her Pinterest board, aptly named “The Hogwarts Library School (link is external),” would be.

“The Hogwarts houses are an instinctive way for me to think about personality traits and social behaviors, and I knew I could come up with something valuable to say using those terms,” she said. “I wanted my board to include a balance of pins about what libraries can do in their communities, my experiences in the library world so far, and pins related to the Harry Potter theme.”

Cole, who manages the teen and graphic novel collections at a public library in Denver, said she would like to continue working in public libraries but hasn’t made her mind up about where she’d like to specialize.

“I love the large-scale creative events of children’s programming and the relationships you develop with kids and their families. But I also love the challenge of a difficult reader’s advisory question from a lifelong reader, and I’m curious to know more about Makerspaces. There are so many possibilities to explore,” she said.

Theresa Berger

A running joke among family and friends over Berger’s love of history and desire to become an archivist inspired her new student scholarship Pinterest board, “An Archivist? So you’re gonna steal the Declaration of Independence? (link is external)

“I want to be Nicolas Cage’s character in ‘National Treasure.’ I thought about the film, its plot, and how much fun it is to watch, and I realized my experiences with archival science and volunteering in archives have been just as, if not more exciting,” she said. “So, I decided to run with the idea that indeed, I do want to have a career much like the adventure portrayed in the film, and there was my board: use images and quotes from the movie that embody what I love about archives.”

Berger said it was “humbling” and “validating” to be awarded the scholarship. She looks forward to refining her library science and archival studies skills, learning news ones such as coding, and making new connections while at SJSU.

“Not only did [the scholarship] relieve some of the financial stress I was experiencing as I geared up to start my first semester of graduate school, it also boosted my confidence in making the right choice to pursue a degree in library science. I am so glad my passions and commitment to the field were recognized,” she said.

Farima KafaiKafai spent several months casually perusing the Internet and collecting pins that caught her eye. As the application period approached, she decided she wanted to showcase the many services available at public libraries.

“I wanted to guide viewers through a day of discovery spent at the library, and that’s where ‘Let’s Play ‘I Spy’ at the Library! (link is external)‘ came into play,” she said. “What better way to stimulate the senses and spark curiosity than with an engaging game that invites exploration? I gathered programs and design elements from libraries around the world, and with the added twist of what you might hear, smell and feel, I created my own version of ‘I Spy,’ at the library.”

Kafai said she was “thrilled” to receive the scholarship, noting that it was a relief to have part of her tuition covered for her first semester at SJSU.

“I can focus more on my classes and less on finances. I’m really excited about the range of electives offered at the iSchool. I hope to try a bit of everything, from courses on library services for diverse communities to web design for improving the usability of information retrieval systems. I’m especially looking forward to learning about archives, records and preservation management and trying out different internships,” she said.

Using 29 pins organized by chapters, Abel’s board, “The Librarian Awakens (link is external),” follows the hero’s journey from “Padawan to “full-fledged Jedi.” In chapter 3 (link is external), she explains, “No padawan could ever progress to the Jedi trials without knowing a thing or two about coding. I was inspired to start a computer coding program for children after attending a training. This helps introduce youngsters to the ever evolving world of computer science. I hope to use my formal training to improve how I conduct such programs.”

Abel became interested in librarianship in her “schooldays” when she assisted a librarian. She now “eagerly awaits the start of her formal training to become a full-fledged librarian; a custodian of knowledge and information that aids others as they seek guidance through a galaxy of information known as the Internet.”

Lauren Abel Pin Description

The Director’s Scholarship for Excellence is open to all first-time iSchool students who have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5 and is funded by donations from faculty, alumni and friends of the iSchool. To date, 20 students have been awarded the scholarship to aid them on their journey toward earning a Master of Library and Information Science degree. For students who have been admitted to the MLIS program and are starting the program in fall 2017, applications will be accepted beginning Feb. 1, and the deadline to apply for a Director’s Scholarship for Excellence is May 1.

For more information on how to apply, visit the scholarship page. To donate to the School of Information to support student scholarships, visit the iSchool donation page.

Thank you to the School of Information for this article.

Spring 2017 Blog Series 4 of 10: School of Social Work – Masters of Social Work Student Assists Syrian Refugees

When Masters of Social Work student, Shabnam Sharifi, was reading and hearing about the Syrian refugee crisis in Fall, 2015, she immediately wanted to help. “I happened to search the Internet to see what I could do and I came upon sktwusa.org, a United Kingdom organization that was planning a trip to supply families with winter gear and clothing,” says Ms. Sharifi.

Ms. Sharifi learned that many children of refugees had not survived the past winter because it was very cold and they did not have the proper clothing and winter gear. “I decided to sign up. However, in order to go on this excursion, I not only had to pay my own airfare but raise $4500 to contribute to purchasing winter gear and clothing.”

Setting up a Go Fund Me account allowed Ms. Sharifi to raise the needed funds. “I remember expressing my concern to my sister about raising this amount of money in a short amount of time.” Within four days, Ms. Sharifi raised $4500 and in just a few short weeks, raised $20,000 for the cause.

With the power of social media, Ms. Sharifi utilized her Facebook page to spread her story. “I asked all of my friends to share my post,” recalls Ms. Sharifi. “People are amazing, I couldn’t have done this without everyone sharing my story and I was amazed at how giving people were.”

In preparation for her journey, Ms. Sharifi even visited an Islamic School in Milpitas and presented a power point presentation to the students to educate them about the Syrian refugees.

Ms. Sharifi, as the last child in her family and the only one born in the United States, grew up listening to the stories of her parents and siblings. “My parents are refugees who fled Afghanistan when they were at war with Russia in 1990,” recalls Ms. Sharifi. “As I grew up I was fascinated with my parent’s stories. When my family left Afghanistan, my mom was pregnant with my older sister, plus had three other children in tow. They first settled in Pakistan and then decided they could not stay there. They had family in the Bay Area and here we are.”

In October, 2015, Ms. Sharifi flew to Istanbul where she spent the night and met about 19 others at the Ataturk Airport, Istanbul. “My travel mates included people from the Middle East, Chicago and the Bay Area, the rest were from the United Kingdom,” recalls Ms. Sharifi.

Spending a week in Reyhanli, which is on the border of Turkey and Syria, Ms. Sharifi had the opportunity of visiting an orphanage for children and widows. “This experience changed my life and has put my life in perspective,” says Ms. Sharifi. “I have more appreciation for my parents and what they have gone through. The children were so happy, even with scars on their bodies from being near bombs going off.”

Shabnam Sharifi is graduating in May, 2017 with a Masters in Social Work. Currently, she is working with foster children in Alameda County. She feels growing up in a family of refugees drew her to a career in social work.