Accepting Applications for Faculty Led Programs Summer 2016

Get culture, get credit! The College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging (NuFS) department are offering three different Faculty Led Programs (FLP) for summer 2016. Applications are being accepted now. This is a great opportunity for students to experience Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Puerto Rico all while earning 3-6 San José State University (SJSU) credits.

FLPs are short-term summer opportunities for students to travel abroad in order to study or participate in a service learning experience. SJSU faculty members organize this program to different parts of the world every summer. Scholarship opportunities are available throughout the year.

Hong KongFLP to Hong Kong, June 12 – 25, 2016 offers students 6 GE units:

  • NuFS 144i – Food Culture – Consuming Passions
  • NuFS 135i – Health Issues in a Multicultural Society

Example of activities:

  • Food exploration and food tasting adventures
  • Walking tours of Hong Kong’s diverse neighborhoods; learn about its colonial history and modern-day Chinese influence
  • Explore Hong Kong’s mega shopping culture
  • Learn about & experience traditional Chinese medicine
  • Join a host family for a home-cooked meal

Kasuen Mauldin, NuFS professor, and Van Ta, Health Science and Recreation associate professor, will co-lead the Hong Kong trip. For more information about Mauldin, Ta and the Hong Kong program visit FLP Hong Kong.

TaiwanFLP to Taiwan, June 13 – 23, 2016 offers students 3 GE units:

  • NuFS 115i – Issues in Food Toxicology

Example of activities:

  • Visit agricultural institute
  • Learn tea production and tea culture
  • Visit food processing factories in Taiwan
  • Experiencing Taiwanese culture

Irene Chou, NuFS profressor, will lead the Taiwan trip. For more information about Chou and the Taiwan program visit FLP Taiwan.

Puerto RicoFLP to Puerto Rico, June 14 – 28, offers 6 GE units:

  • NuFS 144i – Food and Culture: Consuming Passions
  • NuFS 139i – Hunger and Environmental Nutrition

Examples of activities:

  • El Yunque National Rainforest
  • Arecibo National Observatory
  • Bioluminescent Bay experience
  • Local open air markets
  • Organic coffee plantation tour
  • Artisanal cheese making

Deepa Singamsetti, NuFS lecturer, will lead the Puerto Rico trip. For more information about Singamesetti and the Puerto Rico program visit FLP Puerto Rico.

Find out what other FLP programs are offered by the College of Applied Sciences and Arts and apply today!

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.



Helen L. stevens scholarship help students learn overseas

This summer, San José State University students Aly Mauro and Cynthia Ting will take their occupational therapy education abroad on two very different faculty-led programs to islands far from California. Mauro will be part of a pilot program of the Valley Foundation School of Nursing’s Health Promotion class in Grenada while Ting will be learning about healthcare in parts of Taiwan.

“I chose this specific program because it is an interdisciplinary experience,” Mauro said, via email this week, of the program that is open to nursing and occupational therapy students. “It is a unique trip where I can learn from both an OT professor and nursing professors about the realm of public health.”

Dean Charles Bullock, right, hands a thank you card to Helen Stevens that was signed by the scholarship recipients. Stevens helped select the 12 students who each received $500 to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs this summer.

Dean Charles Bullock, right, hands a thank you card to Helen Stevens that was signed by the scholarship recipients. Stevens helped select the 12 students who each received $500 to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs this summer.

College of Applied Sciences and Arts students pose with Helen Stevens, center with the flowers, at a reception in Dean Charlees bullock's office with some of the faculty members with whom they will traveling this summer.

College of Applied Sciences and Arts students pose with Helen Stevens, center with the flowers, at a reception in Dean Charles Bullock’s office with some of the faculty members with whom they will traveling this summer.

Ting said on her program she will learn about accessibility of healthcare in rural and urban parts of Taiwan.

“We will get the opportunity to travel around the island to various community settings, including one aboriginal tribe, which I am looking forward to,” she said via email.

Ting and Mauro were among the 12 students to receive the inaugural Helen L. Stevens Faculty-Led Program Scholarship for the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.  Stevens helped to select the 12 students who received $500 toward their summer travel programs. The students are also part of a pilot effort to increase opportunities for international experiences being undertaken by the College of Applied Sciences and Arts students, with an ultimate goal of making some type of international education required for all graduates of the 10 departments and schools in the college.

To thank Stevens for her donation, Dean Charles Bullock and his Associate Deans Alice Hines and Greg Payne hosted a small reception for the scholarship recipients to celebrate.

“When I put my name tag on, which only had my first name, (Stevens) looked at me and greeted me with my full name, with a giant smile,” Ting said. “I was surprised and touched.”

Ting said she was also excited to learn about Stevens own travels as a student.

Mauro said she was glad to attend the reception because she was appreciative of Stevens’ generosity and “genuine interest in our experiences abroad.”

“It was a huge relief to receive the email that I was a recipient, as cost of these programs is a limiting factor for many interested students,” Mauro said. “This scholarship helps relieve some of the stress associated with the financials of the trip.”

Mauro said study abroad will broaden her perspective on the potential ways she will be able to exercise her degree in OT. She said the hands-on program will allow her to apply the knowledge she has gained in the second year of the master’s in Occupational Therapy program in which she is enrolled. She was especially excited to have the opportunity to study abroad because she did not have the chance as an undergraduate student.

Ting also said she looked forward to using her skills from the classroom.

“Having the opportunity to feel uncomfortable and out of place in a society that has a different world view will help me grow into a better practitioner in the future,” she said.

Bullock, faculty and staff in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts are researching ways to make international programs accessible to all students, financially and in meeting their graduation requirements. For 2014, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Occupational Therapy department and the Valley Foundation School of Nursing are serving as pilot programs.

The following students, who come from a variety of departments and schools in CASA, also received scholarships:

  • Aleli Blanco
  • Cedric Tumanut
  • Jayne Baltazar
  • Jennifer Leocadio
  • Lesley Paige
  • Michael Celso
  • Samantha Rodgers
  • Crystal Diaz
  • Kelli Daley
  • Kayla Koterbay