Social Work Professor Finds Online Substance-Abuse Prevention Programs Work During a Pandemic

Edward Cohen, Professor of Social Work

Most in-person gatherings went virtual when the pandemic hit in March 2020 — including substance abuse prevention groups. Turns out, virtual meetings like these can still yield positive outcomes for the participants.

That’s what Edward Cohen, professor for San José State’s School of Social Work, discovered when the in-person Celebrating Families!, an intervention program that focuses on improving parental skills and relationships in families where at least one parent has a substance abuse problem, moved to an online format. He studied participants’ outcomes and satisfaction in the program over 16 weeks, then published his findings in the journal Research on Social Work Practice.

What can we do with this information now that it’s becoming safer to meet in-person? The SJSU News and Editorial Team sat down with Cohen, who shared his insight on the wider implications of his study.

You define Celebrating Families! (CF!) as a family-based intervention program. What does that mean?

Edward Cohen (EC): Family-based interventions are those that attempt to strengthen families, reduce harm caused by poverty and traumatic experiences, improve parenting, and prevent future problems for family members such as child abuse, substance use problems and family violence.

These programs work by recognizing the centrality of the family in child development and strengthening resiliencies — those factors that help people deal with adversity. These interventions draw from the theories and practices of family therapy, child development, neuropsychology, trauma-informed care, peer support and cognitive behavioral therapies.

CF! is one of several programs that serve families in groups and provide classes focused on parenting skills development, improved family communication, improved healthy living, reduced violence in the home and reduced harmful substance use, among other goals.

What were the main concerns about moving this program online?

EC: CF! is a very relational type of program: It focuses on engaging families who need but have not made the best use of formal treatment services. The classes include a lot of experiential exercises, role modeling of positive behavior and personal support — all easier to do in person. And because all family members are involved in each class, they also include breakout groups for children and adolescents.

The program developers and treatment sites had concerns initially about the ability of group leaders to do similar work with online classes. Also, these families tend to have fewer technology resources, such as newer computers and Internet connectivity, which could limit participation.

However, our hope was that it would have a wider reach, and that delivering the content directly to families’ homes would provide a more realistic setting for families to practice new skills.

What surprised you about your findings?

EC: The online program performed much better than anyone expected. Some sites — CF! has sites all over the U.S. — reported better attendance in the online classes, especially in the early days of the pandemic when most people were home. Later in the year, however, some sites reported a lot of distractions — family members Zooming in from the car or while shopping, for example.

Nevertheless, the outcomes, measured by valid and reliable instruments, consistently have shown improved parenting skills, emotional health, relationships and self-confidence of parents. There were very few differences in outcomes comparing the previous in-person classes to those delivered online; both modes showed improvement.

The access to technology was also better than expected and did not pose a problem for most families. And Latinx families, which comprised 65 percent of one large sample in California, improved at the same rate as non-Latinx families in both the in-person and online classes. We’re hoping to see similar results in other sites, including Native American tribal authorities that have implemented CF!.

Now that we know CF! was effective online, would a family-based intervention online program serve as a suitable stand-in when an in-person program might not be available?

EC: It seems that it could. However, one area of concern is the difficulty in delivering the program to young children.

Most sites using the specialized curriculum for children up to 7 years old could only work online with the parents, whereas the in-person classes were able to provide therapeutic play activities for children on similar topics discussed by the adults at the same time.

Also, as the pandemic progressed, middle-school children seemed to suffer “Zoom burnout” from online schoolwork and were less interested in participating in the online activities. Adolescents seemed to have a better sustained response to the online activities.

Increased substance use seems to be a recurring theme during the pandemic. That makes us think that there may be an increase in issues relating to substance abuse and families. What has your research uncovered about how we can deal with this issue moving forward?

EC: The developers of CF! hope to break the cycle of substance-use problems, which tend to be intergenerational, as is family violence. Such programs have a place in the continuum of care: as a way to engage families in treatment and get them on the road to recovery.

However, there are gaps in our treatment systems, and for various reasons, people fall through the cracks and don’t get the treatment they need in formal outpatient clinics. The hope is that interventions like CF! will be expanded beyond the current families whose problems have already reached a crisis point — and extended to families early enough before major crises occur, like child maltreatment or intimate partner violence related to substance abuse.

CF! is currently expanding implementation of its newer early childhood programs. Both early prevention and later-stage interventions are needed to address the current increase in substance addiction problems.

As we start to open back up and in-person interactions become more and more safe, what can we do with these findings?

EC: I think that the online experience will have a lasting impact on how these sites deliver this program, even when they return to full in-person mode. I can imagine a hybrid type of intervention, especially in rural areas, similar to how telemedicine was initially developed to provide medical care to rural communities. Even in urban areas like San José, I expect we will see more online communication, such as special “homework” to practice at home what is learned in-person at the agency.

In terms of future research, we don’t know the longer term impact of this program. Sixteen weeks is such a short time period in these families’ lives, so we will be conducting more research from program graduates, and we will be trying to collect data about long-term avoidance of child maltreatment, violence and substance use problems.

To learn more about Cohen’s work, read the entire published study.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduates Look Ahead to Improving Health Care

The SJSU Valley Foundation School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice program graduated its first cohort in May.

Eleven members of the San José State class of 2021 are graduates of the university’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program — and they are prepared to make a difference in health care in California and beyond.

The cohort is the first to graduate from the SJSU Valley Foundation School of Nursing DNP program since the university launched its own in 2019. Previously, SJSU partnered with Fresno State University to provide a joint program.

Offered mostly online and designed for working professionals, the SJSU program was created to develop leaders in nursing, including advanced practice clinicians and nursing faculty.

California faces a nursing faculty shortage, which affects the amount of nurses graduating from programs. This contributes overall to a lack of practicing nurses in the state, said Associate Professor Michelle Hampton, who coordinates the program alongside Ruth Rosenblum, also an associate professor in the School of Nursing.

“This [faculty] shortage severely limits the capacity to enroll qualified students,” Hampton explained.

So in 2012, the California State University system launched two joint DNP programs — one in Northern California and one in Southern California — to increase the potential pool of future nursing faculty. SJSU was part of the northern consortium, which graduated seven cohorts.

Then, as part of an overall strategy to help improve health care throughout the state of California, starting with Silicon Valley, SJSU launched its own DNP program.

“This doctoral program has helped us reposition the College of Health and Human Sciences as a conduit to the ever-expanding healthcare industry,” said President Mary A. Papazian. “Not only do we want to contribute to one of the fastest growing sectors in Silicon Valley, but in doing so, we must be at the forefront of understanding and addressing the health disparities that exist within our communities’ most marginalized populations.”

Using research to enact change

While a PhD in nursing focuses on advanced research and investigation, earning a DNP degree means learning how to put that research into practice and evaluate its efficacy. Each graduate completed a doctoral project allowing them to do just that.

“Some of these students have been in practice for awhile, and they’re seeing clinical issues that they think warrant further study,” explained Colleen O’Leary-Kelly, director of the School of Nursing. “They want to look a little deeper and expand the knowledge base of these areas. And these projects that I see them working on — they’re just fantastic.”

Vanndy Loth-Kumar

Vanndy Loth-Kumar

Vanndy Loth-Kumar, for example, used existing literature and guidelines on caring for patients with schizophrenia to execute her project, “Evaluation of a Wellness and Recovery Medication Services Program” at her workplace, AACI (formerly known as Asian Americans for Community Involvement).

Established patients at AACI had been required to receive therapy in order to qualify for medication services. But the Wellness and Recovery Medication Services (WARMS) pilot program explored whether or not some patients could successfully forgo therapy and still receive the medication.

“Therapy only lasts so long for some people,” Loth-Kumar said. “Once you learn coping skills, how long do you need to continue? The pilot program allowed us to see that some people didn’t need therapy for 15 years; they were able to stay stable. It also freed up counselors to provide care for new patients.”

Because Loth-Kumar was familiarized with WARMS through her project, she was promoted to integrated services lead of the program. She looks forward to “growing and shaping the program, while being mindful of who might fall through the cracks in the system.”

“Before this program, there was a lot of me just complaining about the way things are done,” she shared. “Now, after the program, it’s a lot more of looking into the research to see what can be done. I think it really helped me develop a proactive approach to problem solving in a professional setting.”

Sandy Phan

Sandy Phan

Meanwhile, Sandy Phan, a nursing professional development specialist at Stanford Health Care, wants to improve health outcomes by addressing the nursing culture within.

Through her project, “Promoting Civility in the Workplace: Addressing Bullying in New Graduate Nurses Using Simulation and Cognitive Rehearsal,” Phan created and implemented a curriculum to help recent nursing graduates, who occupy the lowest ranks of the hierarchy and are less experienced, to develop skills to identify and address bullying.

“Bullying fractures communication and teamwork, which ultimately can trickle down into patient care,” Phan said. “Units that have bullies can cause more infections and errors, because nursing is a team-based practice.”

“The research indicates that 64 to 97 percent of nurses witness or encounter nurse bullying in their practice,” she explained. “It’s a well-known phenomenon. I think it’s because of the way nursing was founded, in a very patriarchal society. But now, we’re an integral part of the team. We’re leaders.”

Envisioning a healthier future

Lynette Apen

Lynette Apen

Lynette Apen, division dean of nursing and allied health at Evergreen Valley College, always had professional goals of serving as an advocate in nursing education, and thanks to the DNP program, she says she’s more prepared than ever to take that on.

She recently stepped into the role of president of the northern region of the California Organization of Associate Degree Nursing, which she says she might not have done as early in her career had it not been for the program.

“This degree has given me the foundation and vocabulary and — though I’m still working on it — the confidence in having conversations with legislators, these decision makers who impact the work of nurses every day,” Apen said.

Last fall, she even testified in favor of the passage of AB 2288, which allowed for flexibility in clinical hours requirements for nursing students during the pandemic and contributed to more California nursing students being able to graduate during COVID-19.

Ultimately, her doctoral project, “Nursing Academic Leadership: An Urgent Workforce Shortage in California Nursing Education,” could increase understanding of how to address a particular shortage of nursing program directors, which is critical to the success of nursing programs.

Apen examined trends in nursing academic leadership positions that will soon leave several vacancies with few options to fill them as well as immediate and long-term interventions to improve the workforce pipeline.

Audrey Shillington, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, noted that the pandemic has demonstrated how vital nurses are to health and well-being.

“Despite all the health-care challenges we faced in recent months, both our faculty and students stepped up and leaned into the community needs in addition to what are already demanding roles of teacher and learner. There is no other time when such a stellar group of nursing leaders are needed,” she said.

“I am so proud of all the hard work that our faculty, staff and students have been engaged in during recent years to bring us to this celebration of our first DNP graduating cohort.”

The DNP Class of 2021 and their doctoral projects:

Lynette Vallecillo Apen
Division Dean, Nursing and Allied Health, Evergreen Valley College
“Nursing Academic Leadership: An Urgent Workforce Shortage in California Nursing Education”

Ena Andrea Arce
Health Center Manager, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
“Programmatic Colorectal (CRC) Screening During a Pandemic: Nursing Telemedicine Education Among Latinx Adults in an Ambulatory Safety Net Clinic”

Vanndy Linda Loth-Kumar
Integration Services Lead, AACI
Public Health Nurse, Santa Clara County Public Health Department
“Evaluation of a Wellness and Recovery Medication Services Program”

Elisa Nguyen
Director of Clinical Services, Stanford Health Care
“The Effectiveness of Resilience Training for Nurse Managers: A Case Study”

Sandy Phan
Nursing Professional Development Specialist, Stanford Health Care
“Promoting Civility in the Workplace: Addressing Bullying in New Graduate Nurses Using Simulation and Cognitive Rehearsal”

Tammi K. Reeves-Messner
Assistant Nurse Manager, Kaiser Permanente
“Neuroprotective Care in the NICU: A Quality Improvement Project”

Reynaldo G. Rosario Jr.
Enterprise Quality Manager – Accreditation, Regulatory Affairs, & Licensing (Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, O’Connor Hospital, St. Louise Regional Hospital, and DePaul Health Center)
“Quality Improvement Initiative: To Improve Surgical Wound Classification”

Dominique Ellen Teaford
Supervising Public Health Nurse III, County of Santa Cruz – Health Services Agency
“Website Redesign Project to Improve the Quality and Usefulness of the Perinatal Mental Health Coalition’s Resource Website”

Stacey L. Teicher
Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Kaiser Permanente
“The Effects of Telehealth on Patient Satisfaction and Information Recall for Breast Cancer Survivors During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Silvia L. Turner
Nurse Educator, New Nurse Employee Orientation Coordinator, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System
“Virtual Training Impact on Nurses’ Self-Efficacy of Safe Patient Handling Equipment Usage”

Colleen A. Vega
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Stanford Health Care
Lecturer, San Francisco State University
“The Effects of Virtual Reality on Symptom Distress in Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant”

How Has COVID-19 Impacted the Health and Well-being of the LGBTQ+ Community?: A Q&A With Laurie Drabble

Laurie Drabble.

Laurie Drabble, associate dean for research and faculty.

It’s known that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning+ (LGBTQ+) community face health disparities driven by social stigma and discrimination. But what happens when you introduce a global pandemic?

Laurie Drabble, associate dean for research and faculty with the San José State University College of Health and Human Sciences, explored the impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ+ community by serving as co-editor of a special issue of the Journal of Homosexuality, which was published earlier this year.

The issue also featured her recent research exploring alcohol and marijuana use among LGBTQ+ women during the pandemic.

The SJSU Editorial and News team sat down with Drabble to learn more:

What is the biggest takeaway from this special issue?

Laurie Drabble (LD): Social stigma and discrimination are important drivers of disparities in risk for depression, anxiety and suicidality among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender non-binary groups. LGBTQ+ people also reported more job loss and financial difficulty compared to heterosexual and cisgender people. These risks were amplified during the with COVID-19 pandemic and need to be addressed.

What surprised you about the research findings?

LD: Research in the special issue found that LGBTQ+ individuals were more likely than heterosexual people to adhere to social distancing guidelines. This may not be entirely surprising, given collective experience with the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.

That past experience heightened community buy-in about the importance of public health strategies to curb disease transmission—and contributed to viewing adherence to public health guidelines as more of a collective responsibility than an individual choice.

However, adhering to guidelines was also associated with psychological distress, which underscores the importance of both formal and social support in public health crises.

This issue pulls together data and research that spans the globe. Did the U.S. stand out?

LD: I was struck by the commonalities between countries. In particular, studies described the negative impact of losing access to LGBTQ+ positive spaces, reduced access to social support, and concerns about invisibility and potential discrimination.

It was also notable that LGBTQ+ people across countries use technology to connect with community, friends and family more than heterosexual and cisgender groups. This is likely a consequence of being part of a community that is defined by common identity rather than location. So, many LGBTQ+ people already used apps, social media and technology tools to find community before the pandemic.

Health disparities already existed in the LGBTQ+ community. Are we making any progress in closing these gaps?

LD: We were making progress in some ways. For example, research has consistently found that reducing structural stigma—such as the legalization of same-sex marriage—has helped reduce disparities in mental health outcomes.

However, research from our special issue and other studies suggest that LGBTQ+ people—particularly LGBTQ people of color—are disproportionately experiencing health and economic harms associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to make sure that policies and services intended to address the impact of the pandemic include the needs of LGBTQ+ populations.

Let’s talk about your research focusing on LGBTQ+ women and marijuana and alcohol use during the pandemic. What surprised you about what you learned?

LD: One of the more interesting findings was the degree to which routines or norms associated with alcohol and marijuana use were disrupted or changed.

For example, some study participants described drinking more because they used alcohol to mark the end of the day, and many described using more alcohol and marijuana to simply relieve stress or boredom. Others used less, because they were not spending time in social settings where they would typically drink alcohol or use marijuana with friends.

Sexual minority women had greater risks for hazardous drinking and drug use compared to heterosexual women before the pandemic, so it will be important to continue to study [post pandemic] whether or not these risks have been amplified over time.

Now that we have this information, what do we need to do about it?

LD: First, we need to continue to reduce stigma and address the economic impacts of the pandemic that disproportionately impact people of color and sexual and gender minorities.

For example, a growing number of states have passed harmful laws allowing health and social service providers to be exempt on religious grounds from laws prohibiting discrimination based on sex or gender identity. These trends are deeply concerning, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Second, given our research suggesting that LGBTQ+ people are frequent users of Internet-based communications and apps, enhancing access to online and remote health and mental health services would be timely.

Third, the research in this issue highlighted the importance of access to community and social support. So it is critical to provide financial support to ensure the survival of LGBTQ+ health and social service organizations, as well as LGBTQ+-centered physical spaces.

How can this information help us better care for the LGBTQ+ members of our SJSU community?

LD: For many LGBTQ+ young adults, university communities are important for finding safe and affirming support, particularly for students who may need to live with unsupportive families for financial reasons. Providing opportunities for social support and counseling—such as those provided by the SJSU PRIDE Center and Student Services—are crucial.

Read more about Drabble’s research and these topics.

Sue Howland Gift Creates Scholarship for Nursing Students

San José, Calif. — San José State University is pleased to announce that it has received a $1.9 million gift from the late Sue Howland, ’64 Business Administration. The gift creates the Judy Howland and Sue Howland Nursing Tuition/Books Scholarship for single parents and other eligible undergraduate and graduate students at The Valley Foundation School of Nursing at the College of Health and Human Sciences. Scholarships cover the full cost of tuition and required books for students to earn their nursing degrees.

“The Valley Foundation School of Nursing is grateful for the generous gift provided by the Judy Howland and Sue Howland Nursing Tuition/Books Scholarship,” said Colleen O’Leary-Kelley, director of the Valley Foundation School of Nursing and nursing professor. “Our student population is diverse, and many are single parents with significant financial need. Scholarship support is vital for students who strive to improve their family’s future while working full time or part time. Their ability to succeed in a rigorous educational program is greatly enhanced. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the generosity of people like Sue Howland, who enable students to make their dreams become a reality.”

About Sue Howland

Sue Howland smiling in a bright read embroidered top.

Alumna Sue Howland established a planned gift that will create a scholarship for nursing students who are parents. Photo courtesy of Ana Espejo.

Born in Berkeley and raised in San José, Howland enrolled in a number of nursing courses at San José State before ultimately majoring in business. Ever the caretaker, Howland raised her son Scott while working for the San Jose Mercury News, Stanford University and McWhorter’s stationery in Los Gatos. When her grandmother fell ill, she quit her job to become her full-time caregiver, and later did the same for her mother. While she never became a nurse, Howland was a dedicated friend to many, including Ana Espejo, who she met when she hired Espejo’s husband to help with her garden.

“Sue was very compassionate and she had a lot of integrity and kindness,” said Espejo. “We became very close; she was my adopted mom. She was there for me when I was, at one point, a single mother. She treated my son as her grandson. She wanted to give single parents the resources to go to school, which is why she created the scholarship.”

Howland made arrangements in her trust to donate the proceeds from the sale of her house to create an endowed fund at San José State. The fund provides full-tuition scholarships named after Howland and her mother Julia (Judy) Howland to single parents so they may continue their studies while parenting. In her final years, Howland was grateful for the medical care she received as she was being treated for various illnesses and before she succumbed to cancer in 2019. Espejo said that it was this care that reinforced Howland’s desire to support future nurses.

“Throughout all of her surgeries and treatments, she appreciated that the nurses and medical assistants took such good care of her,” said Espejo. “This is part of why she wanted to support the nursing program at San José State, though she had planned her gift years before.”

“Sue Howland understood the challenges of single parenting while attending college and the impact that a scholarship like this could have. Students receiving this scholarship concentrate on their studies, and still spend valuable time with their children,” said Theresa Davis, vice president for university advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation. “We are grateful for her thoughtful planning many years ago to leave a meaningful legacy at San José State.”

“I stand in awe of Sue Howland. It is remarkable that she and her family would share with such generosity their treasures with the College of Health and Human Science’s Valley Foundation School of Nursing,” said Audrey Shillington, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. “So many of our students face challenges, working their way through school, often juggling multiple jobs on top of coursework and practicum commitments. Ms. Howland had the insight to recognize that single parents face additional barriers and that they are much more likely to drop out due to all the financial burdens facing them. This gift will change the lives of all the parents who receive it. Beyond this though, the gift will impact the lives of the students’ children. This will lead to intergenerational transformation.”

To learn how you can support the university with a planned gift, please contact Randy Balogh, director of Planned Giving, at 408-924-1123 or via email at randy.balogh@sjsu.edu.

About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study—offered through its nine colleges. With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce. The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 280,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center Achieves LEED Gold Certification

Night shot of the SRAC pool and exterior building.

Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center Photo: Kevin Korczyk

For its energy efficiency and green building sustainability achievements, the Student Union at SJSU Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center (SRAC) received confirmation of its LEED Gold Certification on October 8.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)—the world standard for green buildings—is a certified rating system offered through the US Green Building Council. SRAC’s LEED Gold certification marks its superior achievement of numerous sustainable and environmental stewardship measures. For example, SRAC met USGBC’s world-class standards for energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, and indoor environmental quality.

Traci Ferdolage, senior associate vice president for Facilities Development and Operations (FD&O), said “SRAC is a beautiful building and an amazing asset for the campus and the community. But it’s always extra special when we can attain a level of sustainability that contributes over time to our goals around having a lighter footprint. Achieving a LEED Gold certification certainly is something we can point to that aligns with campus and CSU goals around achieving carbon neutrality, as we move forward in the future.”

Tamsen Burke, executive director of the Student Union, Inc. at SJSU who oversees SRAC, Provident Credit Union Event Center, and the Campion Diaz Student Union, said, “Leading the industry in sustainability practices, building construction and design allows us to minimize our carbon footprint by reducing energy, lower operating costs, and creating a healthy environment for the recruitment and retention of employees and prospective students to SJSU.

Ashraf Fouad, FD&O senior director of planning, design and construction, said the long process of achieving the distinction was much more complex than is commonly understood. “LEED Gold certification is not as simple as people might think,” Fouad said. His team examined everything from choosing flooring materials that don’t release volatile organic chemicals to planning an efficient HVAC system for cooling large spaces. “I want to highlight that it’s not easy to do,” he emphasized. “Every decision affects the target.”

LEED certification requires not just green design, but meticulous attention at each stage of construction, Fouad said. Even the handling of the building’s waste construction materials—leftover bits of two-by-four or sheet metal, for example—must be precisely accounted for. Details like vehicle miles driven while disposing of construction waste are counted. The LEED certification process tracked sustainability practices from design through construction, Fouad said. “You have to maintain it throughout, with checkpoints every single step of the way.” Fouad credited “the willingness of our design and construction partners” for their persistence during the process. To win LEED Gold, he said, exhaustive documentation of each sustainability measure is essential, “because maybe you’re doing it—but if you’re not documenting it, it’s not counted.”

The interior of the SRAC with curving blue, grey and gold ceiling with workout equipment on the floor.

Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center interior Photo: Kevin Korczyk

Numerous credits toward the Gold certification were awarded in the indoor environmental quality category for SRAC features such as outdoor air delivery monitoring, air circulation, and minimizing dust. Fouad said large gymnasium spaces were challenging because “people generate a lot of heat, playing basketball and so on. We did computer modeling of where that heat is, where you can push and extract air.” Ventilation systems were sited based on the model. Ferdolage said SRAC’s ventilation design efficiently moved warm air away, taking advantage of natural heat flows. Exterior wall vents draw in outside air, and destratification ceiling fans help keep temperature consistent. “It takes a lot of creativity,” she said.

The project received points for its half-mile proximity to public transportation and its accommodations for bicycle parking and storage. Lights activated by motion sensors reduce wasted electricity. Showers and bathroom facilities were designed for water efficiency. To top it off, SRAC’s special roof has a high solar reflectance index—reflecting more than 75 percent of sunshine that hits it—keeping it cooler on the inside. Moreover, Ferdolage said, its roof is an example of how SRAC planners thought carefully about ongoing life cycle costs, with an eye to future savings.

“When they constructed the building, they made it solar ready,” Ferdolage said.  “We just now learned of our LEED certification, but through a separate project we’re already starting to install PV panels. The campus didn’t just think about LEED rating points; we plumbed it for future solar, which also demonstrates our commitment to sustainability overall. It’s a wonderful use of that flat roof to further decrease our carbon footprint.” Ferdolage said she was pleased to pass by recently and see workers “on the roof tugging some panels around.” Sustainability improvements are ongoing.

Fouad said, “Our campus user group, stakeholders from the Student Union and others, were very supportive of making the goal a reality.”

Ferdolage said any new CSU building must now achieve LEED Silver equivalency status—but the SRAC planners aspired for more. By achieving Gold, the team far exceeded the CSU minimum. “It demonstrates a commitment by the campus to ensure that it’s taking steps to achieve our carbon neutrality goals,” Ferdolage said. “Not every project in the CSU ends up LEED Gold. It takes a client and a campus valuing the goal. It took leadership and desire. It’s not easy to achieve these levels of certification while also managing a project that meets the budget. It’s something we’re quite proud of.”

“It’s a healthy building,” Fouad said. “You will be healthier inside that building, using it or breathing the air inside. That’s very important, because you will feel it.”

“As operators and managers of SRAC, one of our main responsibilities once you receive the LEED Gold standard is to continue to maintain the life of the building to that standard,” Burke said. “Moreover, strategically, it is how we complement the overall CSU and university sustainability plan which provides a healthier space for students and for the environment.”

LEED-certified buildings not only save resources, they save money and offer the university many economic benefits. From 2015–2018, LEED-certified buildings worldwide saved an estimated $1.2 billion in energy savings, $149.5 million in water savings, $715.3 million in maintenance savings, and $54.2 million in waste savings. Reduced energy use means green buildings also reduce carbon emissions, to help protect the climate. A USGBC scorecard details each LEED points-winning category the SRAC was awarded.

“My hat’s off to the entire SJSU team that worked on this important project,” Ferdolage said, “and for delivering a facility that not only exceeds the CSU goals but also is sustainable into the future with regard to its operation and maintenance lifecycle.”

Fouad added, “As an educational institution, we’re proud that we’re actually practicing what we’re teaching. We teach students how to do better, more thoughtful engineering—of buildings or roads or what have you. So we’re actually practicing that as well.”

Senior Utilities and Sustainability Analyst Debbie Andres said, “the great thing about LEED certification for any of our buildings is that it allows a broad campus coalition to be involved with implementing sustainability at the facility level. Not only is the building an amazing achievement on its own, but we ensured that the building functions as an integral part of the sustainability mission of the whole campus. For example, shower facilities and bike storage are available to our students, faculty and staff to complement biking to campus efforts. Recycled water usage was expanded to use for irrigation and will be used in toilets. Educational materials and signage will be available for students to learn about environmentally friendly buildings. And construction waste was virtually all diverted, contributing to our zero waste efforts. We even show that green cleaning procedures that are in place for the campus are in place for the SRAC.”

A 128,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility for reaching and maintaining fitness goals, SRAC has three full-court gyms for basketball, volleyball, badminton and more, four fitness studios, an indoor track, a climbing wall and bouldering area, and a 50-meter lap pool. SRAC’s Gold certification recognized not only its electricity savings, water savings and maintenance savings—but also the design innovations that amplify the sensory human experience of using the space.

SJSU Celebrates Dr. Anthony Fauci With William Randolph Hearst Award Virtual Event

 

Public opinion surveys nationwide have consistently reported Dr. Anthony Fauci is one of the voices most Americans trust and seek out for timely information during the pandemic. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the annual William Randolph Hearst Award to be held virtually, it was fitting that Dr. Fauci was honored with the award for excellence in mass communication.

San José State University and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC School) presented the award to Dr. Fauci on Tuesday. More than 2,500 SJSU students, faculty, staff and community members took part in the virtual ceremony, which included remarks from Dr. Fauci and a short Q&A session.

“It is an extraordinary honor to be chosen by the faculty of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications to receive this William Randolph Hearst Award, and I thank you so much for this recognition,” Dr. Fauci said. “Knowing that great communicators have received this award before me, people I have long respected, such as Dan Rather (2019 recipient) and Jim Acosta (2018 recipient), makes this day extra special with me.

“To be honored by your great JMC School and to now be a small part of your long legacy of excellence is very meaningful to me,” Dr. Fauci said.

Dr. Fauci discussed the commonalities he has found between being a renowned public health official and a journalist, including the need to always ask questions and the importance of accurately sharing information. He added that communicating to the country during the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced lessons he learned while managing several public health crises in a career that has spanned six presidential administrations.

“People need to hear the truth as it is, rather than as they might want it to be,” said Dr. Fauci, who has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAID) since 1984. “Over time, truth telling builds credibility. We must always tell the truth, even if it means ‘I just do not know.’ Consistency in truth telling is critical because consistency means integrity.”

During the virtual ceremony, President Mary A. Papazian also shared remarks, expressing appreciation for Dr. Fauci’s leadership during a time of great stress and pressure.

“We are all thankful to have had you with us throughout this global pandemic, helping us to understand this virus, and explaining how we can best deal with it in a way that keeps us and our loved ones safe,” Papazian said.

The JMC School announced that they are in the early planning stages of an endowed scholarship in Dr. Fauci’s name that would attract students with a strong interest in science, public health and journalism. The school also announced that it is in the beginning stages of developing a new interdisciplinary curriculum between the JMC School and the College of Health and Human Sciences.

Before his work during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Fauci was best known for his groundbreaking work in HIV-AIDS research, helping to develop effective drugs to scale back its mortality rate. Dr. Fauci has also spearheaded the federal government’s public response to combat West Nile Virus, SARS and Ebola.

“Dr. Fauci’s unparalleled commitment to science, public health and saving human lives has been documented over 40 years of service to his country, and it would be his tireless moonlighting in media that would assure and calm millions of people across generations and secure his legacy in American history,” said Bob Rucker, professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and host of the virtual event.

History of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation Award

In the 1990s, the SJSU Journalism School received a William Randolph Hearst Foundation Endowment for Visiting Professionals. It established the creation of a special honor for outstanding professional media service in journalism, public relations, advertising and mass communications. Each year, an honoree’s work is showcased for students and celebrated for efforts that meet the expectations and high standards for public service by a free press, as provided in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications was founded in 1936 and is the largest of its kind in Northern California. It remains dedicated to the proposition that the free flow of ideas, together with accurate and timely information, is vital to developing and improving democratic societies. Today, the school is recognized worldwide for producing outstanding graduates who become leaders in global communications.

Dr. Anthony Fauci to Receive SJSU’s William Randolph Hearst Foundation Award

 

Please note the time for this event has been changed to 2:00 p.m. (PST). The media availability has been changed to 3:30 p.m. (PST)


On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, the faculty in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San José State University will present the William Randolph Hearst Foundation Award for excellence in mass communication to Dr. Anthony Fauci. 

Throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic, public opinion surveys nationwide have consistently reported Dr. Fauci as the medical expert most Americans trust and sought out for timely and reliable information about the deadly virus. 

As Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAID) since 1984, Dr. Fauci has earned a national reputation for timely and astute professional public communications about developing health threats to the United States. Before his work during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Fauci was best known for his groundbreaking work in HIV-AIDS research, helping to develop effective drugs to scale back its mortality rate. Dr. Fauci has also spearheaded the federal government’s public responses to combat West Nile Virus, SARS and Ebola.

“Dr. Anthony Fauci was the unanimous choice of our faculty because it was obvious by late spring 2020 that most Americans prioritized knowing what his thoughts were to help them understand the gravity of COVID-19 and determine how to save lives,” says Bob Rucker, professor in the SJSU School of Journalism and Mass Communications and coordinator of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s annual award and national media education top honor. Rucker, a former CNN correspondent in San Francisco who covered the initial outbreak of the AIDS epidemic, said “Dr. Fauci has once again masterfully drawn on his extensive medical training and experiences to educate and advise people while maintaining a calming, reassuring doctor’s tone and bedside manner that inspires confidence.”   

SJSU students, faculty and staff, and community leaders will participate in the celebration of Dr. Anthony Fauci in a virtual ceremony Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 2 p.m. Space is limited, and registration is required

A picture of Dr. Anthony Fauci with the William Randolph Hearst Award text and medallion

History of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation Award

In the 1990s, the SJSU Journalism School received a William Randolph Hearst Foundation Endowment for Visiting Professionals. It established the creation of a special honor for outstanding professional media service in journalism, public relations, advertising and mass communications. Each year, an honoree’s work is showcased for students and celebrated for efforts that meet the expectations and high standards for public service by a free press, as provided in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) was founded in 1936 and is the largest of its kind in Northern California. It remains dedicated to the proposition that the free flow of ideas, together with accurate and timely information, is vital to developing and improving democratic societies. Today, the JMC School is recognized worldwide for producing outstanding graduates who become leaders in global communications.

SJSU Clinical Lab Scientist Training Program Expands in a Crisis

A professor in a lab coat watches her student conduct research in a lab.

Photo: Robert Bain / San José State University.

Waiting on medical test results can be unpleasant, and the expansion of San José State’s Clinical Laboratory Scientist Training program could reduce those painful wait times. By building new hospital partnerships, the program serves as a crucial component in California’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Bakersfield to Chico, from Oroville to Newport Beach—across the state, 38 hospitals,  laboratories and medical centers are now state-approved SJSU affiliates, partnering with the university to train clinical laboratory scientists and get them to work where they are desperately needed.

“California has a shortage of clinical laboratory scientists,” said Michael Bowling, director of the Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) and Clinical Genetic Molecular Biology Scientist (CGMBS) Training programs. “People are coming to us.”

SJSU is the largest training program in California in number of hospital affiliates, many of which serve rural populations. At those affiliates, the CLS trainees take SJSU coursework remotely and train in laboratories throughout the state. Within one year, they can earn a state CLS license and get to work, easing the laboratory staffing crisis.

A student in a lab coat and goggles dispenses liquid into a test tube.

Photo: Robert Bain / San José State University.

CLSs examine the sample taken at your medical facility after you have blood drawn, for example. “They’re the ones running the tests. They are licensed by the State of California to perform the highest complexity testing,” said Bowling. That might mean differentiating types of cancer cells or identifying COVID-19.

Together, Bowling and longtime program coordinator Sharlene Washington run the program. “We send 50 licensed CLSs into the workforce every year,” Bowling said, “which is especially important when qualified hospital professionals are needed more than ever.” Since Bowling began as program director in 2018, the program has added five new affiliates—which means arranging contracts, insurance, state approval and many other complex, time-intensive challenges. “We’re really proud of that,” he said.

Students who are accepted to the program do their SJSU coursework remotely on Mondays, then train the rest of the week on site at their local affiliate laboratory or medical center. Such locations include Adventist Health Bakersfield, Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San José. Bowling said the course instructors are also practicing clinical laboratory scientists from all over the Bay Area, experts in the latest techniques and methods.

Each six-month cycle the SJSU program receives about 140 applications. A cohort of about 25 accepted students will then study and train for 52 consecutive weeks to meet State of California requirements. Students who complete the graduate level program may then obtain national certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology and a California Clinical Laboratory Scientist license.

“It’s quite rigorous,” Bowling said. To become licensed, CLS trainees must master every laboratory in the hospital—microbiology, hematology, chemistry, immunology. “They’ll have a basic competency to perform any of the tests a doctor may order,” he said.

At orientation, Bowling tells new CLS trainees, “If you love working in a laboratory, if you love science—that’s enough, as it is. But it’s such a bonus that we get to help people too. And with starting salaries of $50 an hour, CLS is a good career choice.”

“What’s unique about our program is that we have a lot of remote affiliates,” Bowling said. “Hospitals all over the state have staffing shortages, so it is appealing to both urban and rural hospitals that students can take classes online while training anywhere in the state. Hospital administrators are reaching out to us to train more students right now during this crisis.” The result? More opportunities for students, more university revenue, and training more clinical laboratory scientists for the workforce.

Bowling said the CLS program was scaling up while other programs, hindered by the pandemic and campus closures, had suspended training. “We are still trucking along and actually expanding during the COVID-19 crisis,” he said. “Our students are working with our hospital affiliates’ doctors and other laboratory professionals to get patients diagnosed and treated, and it is very rewarding to be part of this great work.”

SJSU Launches SJSU Adapt Plan for Fall 2020

Note: The following message from President Mary A. Papazian was shared with the SJSU campus community on Monday, July 13, 2020.

SJSU campus community, 

I’m sure we can all agree the past few months adapting to the challenges of COVID-19 has tested us physically, emotionally, psychologically and, for some, spiritually. Although every one of us has been affected by the pandemic in their own way, as Spartans, we have shown strength in taking on whatever has come our way, while continuing to show compassion, care and a helping hand for others. 

The SJSU Adapt plan is now available after months of planning and responding to constantly evolving external guidelines. I want to thank everyone who played an integral part ensuring this plan addresses the needs of the entire campus community. I also want to thank the campus community for their patience as we developed the plan and obtained needed approvals from the California State University Chancellor’s Office.The SJSU Adapt logo, an infinity symbol with blue and gold colors The multi-phased approach of the SJSU Adapt plan purposely aligns with health orders of Santa Clara County and California Department of Public Health Departments. This plan serves as a roadmap for us to navigate the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic and adjust to the continued gradual reopening or potential future closing of Santa Clara County and the state of California.

The new website features an explanation of the four phases of the plan, FAQs, and health and safety guidelines. SJSU is currently in “Phase 2: Modified Campus” of the SJSU Adapt plan.

A depiction of the four phases of the SJSU Adapt plan, with Phase 2 of the picture being highlighted to signify that SJSU is in Phase 2.

SJSU could move backwards or forwards in phases if it is deemed necessary, due to new or revised health ordinances from local and state public health departments. 

The following information from SJSU Adapt has been posted:

The icons for information that is available in the SJSU Adapt plan.

Please note that the fall plan for Athletics is still being reviewed by the California State University Chancellor’s Office. When information has been approved to share, the site will be updated and a follow up message will alert you to the update. 

After the community has had some time to review the details of the SJSU Adapt plan, there will be an opportunity to discuss parts of the plan and answer questions in one of two virtual town halls in late July. Details will be communicated soon.

Thank you again for your flexibility and patience during these last several trying months. I look forward to the time we can all be together, once again.

Sincerely,

Mary A. Papazian

President

SJSU’s Response to Student and Exchange Visitor Program Modifications

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the SJSU campus community on July 7, 2020.

Dear campus community,

The recent development from the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) regarding the status of international students is troubling. The COVID-19 pandemic has already put added pressure on all students, with many international students having to navigate the uncertainty several thousand miles away from their homes and families. We know the recent changes to SEVP produces additional stress and uncertainty that has rippled across our campus community, affecting international students who are part of our Spartan family. I share in the great concern of our faculty, staff and student peers who care deeply about our international students. 

SJSU will continue to search for and implement solutions that meet this new criteria presented by SEVP. Our International Student and Scholar Services Office in the College of Professional and Global Education is among the many campus departments that are gathering information on the new guidelines and connecting with our international students to assist them with questions and concerns. 

It is particularly crucial to remind the campus community that SJSU is implementing a hybrid course offering (in-person and online) in the fall as we adhere to public health guidelines that will keep our campus community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our university housing will operate around 50 percent capacity and several campus services will be open for students, faculty and staff who will be on campus. International students and their pursuit of a higher education degree should not be hampered by the circumstances caused by COVID-19, especially when there are opportunities for student life available on campus in the fall. 

I firmly believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to pursue a degree in higher education, and given that we are all members of the San José State University community, I know this is a shared belief that unites us. As the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted, the bonds created and shared while on campus and online with classmates, colleagues and friends are as important as those we make virtually. 

Sincerely,

Mary A. Papazian

President

SJSU Appoints New Dean of College of Health and Human Sciences

Audrey Mengwasser Shillington has been appointed dean of SJSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS), effective July 1.

Shillington joins SJSU from Colorado State University, where she has held the positions of Director of the School of Social Work, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Interim Associate Dean for Research in the College of Health and Human Sciences. She will be replacing Pamela Richardson, who served as interim dean of CHHS for the past year.

“Dr. Shillington brings an energy, creativity and background that will allow her to facilitate the larger strategic conversation in CHHS and on the campus in academic affairs,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Vincent Del Casino, Jr. “More importantly, Dr. Shillington has a clear commitment to the mission of the California State University system and SJSU.”

New dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences Audrey Mengwasser Shillington

Audrey Mengwasser Shillington has been appointed dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, effective July 1.

Prior to her leadership roles at Colorado State University, Shillington was a professor at San Diego State University’s School of Social Work, where she helped create and co-led the Center for Alcohol and Drug Studies and Services. She also served as Senior Investigator at SDSU’s School of Public Health Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health. Upon arriving at Colorado State University, Shillington helped develop an interdisciplinary Cannabis Research Group.

“I am excited to join the SJSU team — my work has always been interdisciplinary and collaborative throughout my training, research and leadership — and I look forward to working with leadership, faculty, staff, students, alumni, industry, and community partners to build the College of Health and Human Sciences,” Shillington said. “In light of recent COVID-19 impacts, there has been no other time in recent history when the call and need to better understand and address health disparities has been stronger. SJSU’s CHHS is poised to be at the forefront of this important work.”

Shillington is currently a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and also Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior — both preeminent national organizations for disciplinary researchers and practitioners.

Shillington earned her MSW and PhD in social work at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and her undergraduate degrees at Drury University in Springfield, MO. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer for three years in Benin, West Africa, where she was involved in projects on energy conservation and food insecurity for rural communities. She was a NIH National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellow for three years and received a master’s in psychiatric epidemiology from the Washington University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. Shillington also spent two years as a National Institute of Drug Abuse trainee for the Hispanic Drug Abuse and HIV/AIDS Research Training through the Yale University School of Medicine.

Shillington’s research has focused on the prevention and intervention of substance use behaviors among youth and young adults. She has over 70 publications and been Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator for $16 million in NIH and state grants and contracts. Her research focused on addressing disparities that exist in the nosology and measurement of mental and behavioral health. Shillington has also led work aimed at reducing problematic alcohol use and issues related to the legalization of recreational marijuana use among young adults.

Deadline for Student Crisis Support Fund Extended Through April 30

 

Updated April 28. 2020

In March 2020, San Jose State’s Annual Giving partnered with SJSU Cares to launch a crowdfunding campaign to support the university’s Student Crisis Support Fund in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health pandemic. The Student Crisis Support Fund, administered by SJSU staff as part of the SJSU Cares initiative, provides immediate assistance to SJSU students who are facing unforeseen economic crises. This fund is entirely supported by charitable donations and helps meet students’ time-sensitive needs. Requests are increasing dramatically due to the ramifications of COVID-19.

Since the crowdfunding campaign’s launch on March 25, more than 550 donors have helped SJSU surpass its initial $50,000 goal. As of 48 hours before the April 30 campaign deadline, SJSU announced that corporate partner, Cisco Systems, agreed to match all donations in the final week up to a total of $10,000. This, combined with a $10,000 donation from Joan and Don Beall, San Jose State alumni, has brought SJSU close to reaching the goal of $125,000. Funds will address ongoing, anticipated and unforeseen economic needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has already disrupted the lives of life of SJSU students significantly, creating unexpected housing and food expenses, restricting travel and potentially stranding them away from home, limiting their income from hourly jobs, work-study positions, or internships or jobs that have been cancelled or put on hold, and creating other unforeseen challenges such as medical costs and technology resources they need to attend online classes. Some federal emergency funds exist to help students who are Pell- and FAFSA-eligible, but the funds won’t be available to help many other students, including international and undocumented and Dreamer students.

“By helping meet their immediate needs, the Student Crisis Support Fund can give SJSU students the ability to overcome the immediate difficult setbacks the pandemic poses,” said Ben Falter, SJSU behavioral intervention chair and senior student affairs case manager, who also responds to students requesting assistance from SJSU Cares. “However, recovery from the pandemic may take years, so the need will continue.”

“It’s encouraging to have so many in our Spartan community, especially San Jose State alumni and faculty and staff members, willing to support our students even as they too cope with the pandemic,” said Nancy Stewart, senior director of annual giving.

SJSU Takes on Pandemics 100 Years Apart

The Spanish flu swept across the campus of the San Jose Normal School, now known as San Jose State University, in October 1918. Then, like now, the school took steps to protect the campus community. Students, faculty, and staff volunteered their time and resources to help the campus and the San Jose region weather the pandemic.

According to the June 1919 LaTorre yearbook, the school closed on October 11, reopened a month later, then closed again December 3 for another month. Students were charged with making their own reusable cloth masks and were required to wear them when classes resumed.

The Normal Hospital

San Jose Normal School Students in 1918

Students at the San Jose Normal School wore masks during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Source: 1918 La Torre yearbook, courtesy of SJSU Special Collections and Archives.

Hospitals in San Jose were so overcrowded at the time that the Intermediate Building on campus was converted into The Normal Hospital and a house on 12th Street was rented and made into a convalescent ward. Some 75 volunteer nurses worked at both makeshift hospitals. The Household Arts Department made meals for the patients. Students and faculty volunteered to care for patients; they donated cots, bedding, clothing, food, and flowers.

“One remarkable feature of the Normal School’s response was how its student body, mainly women, volunteered to serve as untrained nurses, literally putting their lives on the line to serve their community,” said History Professor and Director of the Burdick Military History Project Jonathan Roth.

According to the yearbook, the response and outpouring from the campus and the local community were wonderful. Here’s an excerpt: “And we are proud to know that in a time of great testing, our faculty and students proved themselves loyal and true in the highest sense.”

One hundred and two years later, the San Jose State community is once again being tested by another pandemic— Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Once again, the SJSU community is stepping up, rallying resources to fight the disease.

Similar to the 1918 flu outbreak, campus leaders have taken measures to protect students, faculty and staff. In an effort to promote social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus, SJSU administrators moved classes online.

Two SJSU alumni, working on the cutting edge of biotechnology, have helped their company, Cepheid, develop the first rapid COVID-19 test that can be administered at hospitals and urgent care centers and deliver test results within 45 minutes.

As local hospitals and emergency rooms run out of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies, SJSU’s College of Science stepped in to help.

Boxes of gloves and masks going to Valley Medical Foundation.

Boxes of gloves and masks going to Valley Medical Foundation. Photo: Dean Michael Kaufman

“A group of biology and College of Science staff and faculty contacted me about our stock of gloves and masks, which normally would have been used in spring 2020 biology labs that are no longer meeting,” said College of Science Dean Michael Kaufman. “We quickly inventoried the materials and contacted Valley Medical Foundation. In the end we were able to contribute 56 cases of gloves, plus a smaller supply of N95 and surgical masks. We know that many SJSU graduates are part of the healthcare teams there, so it was especially meaningful to be able to contribute this personal protective equipment to Valley Medical.”

  • The university also donated hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl to a local company to make hand sanitizer, said SJSU Vice President of Administration of Finance Charlie Faas.
  • Faculty in the industrial design department are using 3-D printers to make test kit swabs and badly needed ventilator parts for front line medical staff.
3D printer

SJSU Industrial Design faculty members are using 3-D printers to make ventilator parts, test swab kits and face shield parts. Photo: Jesus Hernandez.

Although the times and the resources are different, students, faculty and staff at the Normal School, and now San Jose State, are uniting, supporting each other, proving themselves loyal and true to help overcome the global pandemics of 1918 and 2020.

Occupational Therapy Professors Earn National Recognition

Two San Jose State Occupational Therapy professors have received national recognition from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Assistant Professor Luis de Leon Arabit and Associate Professor Megan C. Chang have been named AOTA fellows, an honor that recognizes occupational therapists who have made significant contributions to the profession with a measured impact on the consumers of occupational therapy services and/or members of the Association. Arabit is recognized as an “occupational therapy expert clinician, leader and advocate,” while Chang is being honored for “supporting the profession through evidence-based research.”

Occupational Therapy Association Fellow, Luis de Leon Arabit.

SJSU Occupational Therapy faculty member Luis de Leon Arabit has been named an American Occupational Therapy Association Fellow. Photo courtesy of Luis Arabit.

Arabit says that occupational therapists are health professionals and experts who help improve and support people across the lifespan in their everyday activities or “occupations,” which includes self-care, work, leisure, play, physical activity, sleep and much more.

“When you participate in meaningful activities that occupy your time and your life, it stimulates and promotes your own physical and mental health,” says Arabit, who specializes in neurorehabilitation and physical rehabilitation. He holds numerous certifications in practice, including board certification in physical rehabilitation and neurorehabilitation as well as neuro-developmental treatment techniques.

Growing up in the Philippines, he was first introduced to the field after his grandfather suffered a stroke and was treated by an occupational therapist. A practitioner and clinician for many years, Arabit transitioned into academia because he has a passion for teaching and loves working with students who share his goal of helping clients live their healthiest lives. He is an advocate and leader of the occupational therapy profession, serving in volunteer leadership positions as a former vice president and chair of the Advocacy and Government Affairs Committee of the Occupational Therapy Association of California. He serves on the American Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee, where he is director of the western region states.

“If there is a piece of legislation that affects our practice or affects the way we deliver care for our clients, or if we are prevented or limited from providing certain treatments, then our clients suffer,” Arabit says. “That’s the reason I became an advocate for clients, as well as for the occupational therapy profession.”

Chang says that occupational therapists help people increase their quality of life by overcoming barriers that might impede daily activities. She worked in a hospital daycare in Taiwan where she collaborated with a psychiatrist and a music therapist to create a music therapy group for young adults living with intellectual disabilities, including those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. Chang observed that many of the young adults exhibited sensory processing issues and wondered how occupational therapists could best support clients by assessing their senses. While pursuing her PhD at USC, she worked in the department of Public Health, where she developed research skills in biostatistics that later translated into her own academic pursuits. Her work revolves around “the three Ss: sleep, sensory processing and stress.”

Occupational Therapy Association Fellow, Megan Chang

Megan Chang is one of two SJSU faculty members to receive an AOTA fellowship. Photo courtesy of Megan Chang.

“Occupational therapists also help disease prevention,” says Chang. “We focus on mind and body interactions and adopt a holistic approach.”

Chang has collaborated with SJSU Lecturer Rochelle McLoughlin, ’00 MS Occupational Therapy, on the Mindfulness-Based Healthcare and Human Services (MBHH) Advanced Certificate Program, which is designed to help healthcare providers integrate mindfulness skills into their personal and professional lives. Chang has also recruited students to help her research how to assess sensory processing disorders in adults—a gap in OT research that she believes needs to be addressed. She wants to cultivate a love for research in her students, both for their growth and for the benefit of their future clients.

“My students are scholar-practitioners, which means they not only collaborate on research projects, but they can be research producers,” she says. “They can contribute to the field with clinical expertise. Students are our future and I am glad that that I get a chance to be a small part of their learning process and OT journey. I have learned a lot, not only from my mentors and colleagues, but also my students. They enrich my occupational experience and nourish my research soul.”

Arabit and Chang join Assistant Professor Deborah Bolding, Professor Heidi Pendleton, Associate Professor Gigi Smith and Department Chair Winifred Schultz-Krohn, current OT faculty who have also been honored with this prestigious award.

SJSU Launches Health Advisory Website

Homepage of the Health Advisories website.

Homepage of the Health Advisories website.

In an effort to ensure campus messaging and resources around Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) are easily accessible, SJSU has launched the Health Advisories website. This site will serve as the headquarters for COVID-19 information, including advisories, FAQs, resources, and travel information.

This site will replace the Updates and Advisories and FAQ pages on the SJSU Newsroom site. These two pages will be sunsetted now that the Health Advisories site has launched.

FAQ – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

**This page is no longer being updated. Visit the FAQ section on the SJSU Health Advisories website for more information.**

 

Frequently asked questions about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).


New FAQ (March 8, 2020)

Editor’s Note: The FAQ section has been updated as of March 9, 2020 to reflect new content.

Will campus remain open?

Faculty and staff should continue to report to campus for work and carry out their normal responsibilities. For faculty and staff on campus who may have conditions that put them at higher risk for COVID-19, we take this very seriously. Please contact your supervisor and/or the following offices immediately if you need accommodations, sick/medical or other leave, or wish to discuss other options or concerns:

  • Employment Accommodations Resource Center: Cindy Marota: x4-6003
  • University Personnel, Leaves Manager: Josh Etherington: x4-2155
  • University Personnel, Employee Relations: Stacey Elsibai: x4-2142, Julie Paisant: x4-2255, Joanne Wright: x4-2458

Faculty and staff who have fevers or respiratory infections should stay home. We will ensure that sick time is applied so that you will not lose pay or applicable benefits and will work with you if you have exhausted your sick time balance.

What will happen if SJSU closes?

The President will notify the campus by email. The information will also be announced through Twitter and the SJSU Newsroom. In the event we need to close campus, “essential personnel” will still provide on-campus services that relate directly to the health, safety, and welfare of the university, ensure continuity of key operations, and maintain and protect university properties. When appropriate and feasible, these responsibilities may be carried out remotely. Guidance for essential personnel will be distributed this week.

Will classes be moved online?

We have a number of resources already available for faculty to adapt their courses to a “remote teaching” modality, either distributed or online. We encourage faculty to begin to engage this process in case it becomes necessary. In addition to these resources, this week, the division of Academic Affairs will begin providing additional support and training to assist faculty and teaching associates, as applicable, with moving their in-person classes to distributed or fully online modalities. Where fully online means that all course material is delivered through an online format, a distributed class may include aspects, such as synchronous live lectures delivered from one’s office or distributed materials that are returned to the instructor via a variety of modalities. This provides maximum flexibility to each instructor within the confines of this very challenging public health care environment.

If our campus has a reported case of COVID-19, we will activate a plan to move in-person classes to either a distributed or fully-online model. We will notify the campus community when the decision has been made.

What are the guidelines for travel?

Effective immediately, San Jose State University and its auxiliary organizations will suspend all international and non-essential domestic travel from now through the end of the spring semester (May 31, 2020). This includes suspension of travel approved prior to March 8, 2020.

  • If you have upcoming travel that was approved before March 8, 2020, you will be contacted with information on how to request reauthorization.
  • Many conference organizers and airlines are issuing full refunds. In the event that a traveler is unable to obtain a refund, expenses for approved travel incurred prior to March 8, 2020 are eligible for reimbursement.
  • Future travel, including summer and fall 2020, will be determined as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Will upcoming events continue as planned?

We are evaluating meetings, gatherings, and events through the end of spring break. The President’s Leadership Council, in consultation with faculty, staff, and student groups responsible for the events, will make decisions that will best serve our mission and our community’s health, safety, and well-being. More information and guidance will be distributed this week.

How should I handle information about others’ health?

As stated above, certain members of our campus community are charged with providing guidance and assistance concerning individuals who may need accommodation or leave, have returned from international travel, or have possibly come in contact, either through acquaintance/relationship or work in health care, to individuals exposed to COVID-19.

As part of our community responsibility, I ask that you respect the privacy of all members of our community and refrain from sharing information outside appropriate reporting channels about the identity or identifying characteristics (e.g., staff position, undergraduate/graduate status, faculty position, department, unit) of individuals in our community who may have been asked to self-quarantine, seek testing, or may themselves, at some point, be diagnosed with COVID-19.

Exercise caution so as not to contribute to unintended consequences of speculation, unfounded fear, stigmatization, or behavior that may increase the likelihood of individuals not self-reporting their possible risk of exposure to COVID-19.

How do we address the stigma that often emerges with such diseases?

It is very important to remember that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups. So, although people are understandably worried about the spread of COVID-19, we want to avoid fear and anxiety turning to social stigma. Unfortunately, we have already seen some of this reported anecdotally on campus, as some people show concerns about Chinese or other Asian Americans, international students generally, people wearing protective masks, or those who were in quarantine.


Editor’s Note: The FAQ section was last updated March 5, 2020 to reflect new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).



Medical Questions

How is COVID-19 spread?

According to the CDC, as of March 5, there are 148 identified cases of COVID-19 in the United States out of the more than 93,000 worldwide (WHO, March 4 report). This includes confirmed cases, cases under investigation and cases among people expatriated to the U.S. There have been 10 deaths related to COVID-19 in the United States. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

How do I protect myself and others from COVID-19?

Guide on how to stop the spread of germs.

CDC guide on how to stop the spread of germs. Graphic courtesy of CDC.

  • Treat Yourself Well
    • Maintain good sleep habits.
    • Manage stress.
    • Drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
  • Make It Hard for Viruses to Spread
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; or cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Check with your heath-care provider whether obtaining the influenza vaccine is advisable for you.
  • Think of Others
    • If you feel ill, call or email a health provider for advice.
    • Stay home or reduce contact with others until your symptoms subside.

As with all communicable diseases, employees should stay home when sick and practice respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene. See also the CDC guidelines on their website.

As stated on the CDC website, to prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, use only the guidance described on the website to determine risk of COVID-19. Do not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin, and be sure to maintain confidentiality of people with confirmed COVID-19. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features of COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing. Updates are available here.

What do I do if I believe I have been exposed to COVID-19 (but have no symptoms and feel well)?

The CDC strongly recommends that you self-quarantine. Students should contact your faculty instructors to discuss how you can continue to make progress on your coursework. Staff and faculty who may self-quarantine and can fulfill their responsibilities without physically reporting to campus should contact their supervisors to make arrangements to work remotely. For those who may need to self-quarantine but cannot work remotely—sick, vacation and/or personal holidays as well as leave programs may be applied.

What do I do if I believe members of my household or myself have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms consistent with COVID-19?

Stay home if you have any concerns or symptoms of acute respiratory illness. Do not come to work until you are free of fever (100.4°F), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours. Notify your supervisor and stay home if you are sick. As with other communicable diseases such as the flu, supervisors should send home employees who become sick during the day to prevent others from becoming ill. Call your healthcare professional for guidance on whether to be tested and what to do.

Has anyone in the United States gotten infected?

The first COVID-19 case in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. The first confirmed instance of person-to-person infection of this virus in the U.S. was reported on January 30, 2020. See the current U.S. case count of COVID-19.


Monitoring and Managing

Who is in charge of monitoring the ongoing outbreak and managing SJSU’s response?

SJSU is monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and managing the university’s response via the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which includes campus leaders from the Academic Affairs, University Police Department, Student Affairs, Facilities Development and Operations, and other groups. The EOC consults regularly with the President and her staff who will make large-scale policy decisions.


Classes, Work, and Campus Closure

Is there a plan to conduct some classes by teleconference such as Zoom?

With no reported cases on campus, we will continue to operate the campus and its classes as normal. If a case is reported, and there is concern that coming to campus can put our community at risk, we will ask that faculty provide alternative access to course content – this could take place through Zoom (we have a campus-wide site license) or alternative assignments.

Under what circumstances will classes be cancelled or the campus closed? How will I be notified?

The EOC will continue to monitor and assess the situation. They will also manage any operations necessary to respond to or address an outbreak. One case, with no identifiable route of contagion (exposure) may be enough to trigger closure, while one case with a clear epidemiology and low exposure on campus may not trigger a closure.
Ultimately, the President, in consultation with her Cabinet, will determine whether to cancel classes or close campus. This information will be distributed by the following communication channels: Email, Twitter, Facebook, and the SJSU Newsroom.


Potential Outbreak on Campus

What will happen if an SJSU student, faculty, or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19?

The campus community will be notified through email, Twitter, Facebook, and the SJSU Newsroom about potential class cancellation or campus closure.

What will happen if students, faculty, or staff living in the residence halls are diagnosed with COVID-19?

The EOC and University Housing Services will initially coordinate with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department on the most appropriate response that protects the safety of individual students and the larger campus community. University Housing is currently preparing for multiple response scenarios and will communicate with students, families, and the university community in the event of an emergency situation.

Whom should I contact with questions?

  • Students should contact their faculty instructors for questions about specific classes.
  • Employees should contact their healthcare providers. Students may contact the SJSU Student Health Center at (408) 924-6122 with questions about symptoms.
  • Faculty should contact their department chairs with questions about their classes.
  • Staff should contact their supervisors with questions about working remotely in the case of self quarantine.
  • Faculty and staff should contact University Personnel (408) 924-2250 with questions about sick time and leave programs.

 

Updates and Advisories: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

**This page is no longer being updated. Visit the Current Update section on the SJSU Health Advisories website for more information.**

 

The latest Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) information.


March 9, 2020 6:15 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the SJSU campus community on March 9, 2020.

Dear campus community,

Sadly, a resident of Santa Clara County died earlier today from the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed 37 cases at the time of this email. This number will escalate as more people report and are tested.

After consulting with California State University System Chancellor Tim White and a variety of other leaders representing our unions, the Academic Senate, and the student body, I have made decisions regarding in-person classes. The campus, however, remains open for normal business. This decision is meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community, reduce the potential of people being infected, and protect those who are most vulnerable to severe illness.

For these reasons, please note the following: 

  • All in-person classes are suspended from March 10-13. This time is to be used for faculty and staff to prepare for the transition from in-person instruction to “distributed” or “fully online” instruction. See below.
  • Current online classes will continue to be held. 
  • In-person classes will move to either distributed or fully online instruction from March 16-27 when a determination will be made and communicated regarding in-person classes. 

From March 10-13, Academic Affairs will provide support and training to assist faculty and teaching associates, as applicable, with moving their in-person classes to distributed or fully online modalities. Whereas fully online means that all course material is delivered through an online format, a distributed class may include aspects, such as synchronous live lectures delivered from one’s office or distributed materials that are returned to the instructor via a variety of modalities. This provides maximum flexibility to each instructor within the confines of this very challenging public health care environment. 

To reiterate, these classes will resume as distributed or fully online instruction from March 16-27. Faculty must obtain permission to continue teaching in an in-person format (e.g., in smaller lab courses, field schools, art studios, etc.). In each case of approval, the dean may ask for clarification about how the course design can be modified to reduce transmission risk (e.g., lab classes broken up into different rooms, or art studio design time spread out). We know that this work is not easy and appreciate everyone’s best effort to meet the needs of our students while also keeping our community safe. 

In the coming weeks, we will make a decision about whether to resume in-person classes after spring break. We will notify the campus community when the decision has been made.

Please refer to the campus message sent out Sunday evening for information on operations other than course instruction.

We understand this is a time of great uncertainty, and we appreciate the contributions and patience of the Spartan community as we continue to work through the changing landscape caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have any questions, please email healthadvisories@sjsu.edu

 

Sincerely,

Mary A. Papazian

President


March 9, 2020 3:12 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 9, 2020.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed the first death from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county. The full press release can be found online.


March 8, 2020 10:00 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the SJSU campus community on March 8, 2020.

Dear campus community,

To date, SJSU does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 identified in our own community. Campus leadership has been in consultation with the California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy White, other senior leaders in the CSU Office, as well as public health officials. As a public university, we must continue to follow the guidelines of the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health and the guidelines of the California Department of Public Health. These guidelines suggest that the decision to cancel classes or close campus should be done in consultation with local health officials and only after determining confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the institution.

Based on consultation with these agencies and the Chancellor’s Office leadership as well as the fact that there are no known cases of COVID-19 in our SJSU community, we will continue to operate our classes (see New FAQ below for more detail). This is consistent with the guidelines published this weekend by the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is important to remember that universities that have moved to online classes, such as Stanford University and the University of Washington, have confirmed cases amongst their faculty, staff, or students. I have heard from many of you about the concerns you have, which often are about your loved ones rather than yourselves. I share your desire to care for those around you and those in our community who are most vulnerable and will work with the leadership mentioned above to preserve our community’s health and well-being. 

Clearly, this disease progression is dynamic and ever changing. As many of you know, the Santa Clara County of Public Health has confirmed 37 cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county at the time of this email. So please be attentive to future communications that may be activated immediately which could change our pathway forward.

Although we remain open as a campus, we must be flexible in supporting members of our community who wish to engage in social distancing practices, which are believed to mitigate the spread of the disease. 

For members of our community who may be at greater risk for contracting COVID-19, they should adhere to the following:

  • Students may contact the Accessible Education Center for temporary disability accommodations as appropriate. They are also urged to contact their course instructors immediately to work out the best accommodations for their courses. Students should not feel as if they are at risk by coming to campus. Nor will students be penalized in any way if they request accommodations because they or those with whom they are in regular contact are at greater risk.
  • Faculty and staff who feel that they are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 may utilize campus resources to limit their exposure through, for example, remote work (call the Employee Accommodation Resource Center. See New FAQ below for other campus resources). Student employees may have similar risk factors. 

With the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, we must exercise as many precautions as are reasonable to reduce the potential of person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. Our students, faculty, and staff are on the front lines of many of the efforts to contain this outbreak, as nurses, doctors, public health practitioners, city officials, and corporate leaders, to name a few. And, many members of our community live in multi-generational homes. Though they themselves may be resilient against COVID-19, they could carry the virus into their homes, work environments, and our campus potentially infecting more vulnerable campus community members.

Furthermore, I have decided to cancel the State of the University address previously scheduled for tomorrow, March 9. In lieu of that address, I will continue to discuss with my Cabinet and wider President’s Leadership Council the emerging circumstances and planning efforts surrounding COVID-19, and San Jose State’s response to this ever-changing public health crisis. Conversations are already underway regarding other campus events. (See New FAQ below for more information). 

Regarding new information on travel restrictions, please also see New FAQ below. 

We understand this is a time of great uncertainty, and we appreciate the contributions and patience of the Spartan community as we continue to work through the changing landscape caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. At the same time, we cannot tolerate harassment from or of our SJSU community simply because we are in a time of uncertainty. Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem. It can also lead to decreased willingness to report possible exposure to COVID-19. 

We can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support as well as learning and sharing facts about how the virus spreads. We can all do our part to raise awareness about COVID-19 without increasing fear. Guidelines for social distancing are on the CDC website. Campus-specific FAQs are currently in our SJSU Newsroom

If you have any questions, please email healthadvisories@sjsu.edu.

 

Sincerely,

Mary A. Papazian

President

New FAQ (as of March 8, 2020)

Will campus remain open?

Faculty and staff should continue to report to campus for work and carry out their normal responsibilities. For faculty and staff on campus who may have conditions that put them at higher risk for COVID-19, we take this very seriously. Please contact your supervisor and/or the following offices immediately if you need accommodations, sick/medical or other leave, or wish to discuss other options or concerns:

  • Employee Accommodation Resource Center: Cindy Marota: x4-6003
  • University Personnel, Leaves Manager: Josh Etherington: x4-2155
  • University Personnel, Employee Relations: Stacey Elsibai: x4-2142, Julie Paisant: x4-2255, Joanne Wright: x4-2458

Faculty and staff who have fevers or respiratory infections should stay home. We will ensure that sick time is applied so that you will not lose pay or applicable benefits and will work with you if you have exhausted your sick time balance. 

What will happen if SJSU closes?

The President will notify the campus by email. The information will also be announced through Twitter and the SJSU Newsroom. In the event we need to close campus, “essential personnel” will still provide on-campus services that relate directly to the health, safety, and welfare of the university, ensure continuity of key operations, and maintain and protect university properties. When appropriate and feasible, these responsibilities may be carried out remotely. Guidance for essential personnel will be distributed this week.

Will classes be moved online?

We have a number of resources already available for faculty to adapt their courses to a “remote teaching” modality, either distributed or online. We encourage faculty to begin to engage this process in case it becomes necessary. In addition to these resources, this week, the division of Academic Affairs will begin providing additional support and training to assist faculty and teaching associates, as applicable, with moving their in-person classes to distributed or fully online modalities. Where fully online means that all course material is delivered through an online format, a distributed class may include aspects, such as synchronous live lectures delivered from one’s office or distributed materials that are returned to the instructor via a variety of modalities. This provides maximum flexibility to each instructor within the confines of this very challenging public health care environment. 

If our campus has a reported case of COVID-19, we will activate a plan to move in-person classes to either a distributed or fully-online model. We will notify the campus community when the decision has been made.

What are the guidelines for travel?

Effective immediately, San Jose State University and its auxiliary organizations will suspend all international and non-essential domestic travel from now through the end of the spring semester (May 31, 2020). This includes suspension of travel approved prior to March 8, 2020. 

  • If you have upcoming travel that was approved before March 8, 2020, you will be contacted with information on how to request reauthorization.
  • Many conference organizers and airlines are issuing full refunds. In the event that a traveler is unable to obtain a refund, expenses for approved travel incurred prior to March 8, 2020 are eligible for reimbursement.
  • Future travel, including summer and fall 2020, will be determined as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Will upcoming events continue as planned?

We are evaluating meetings, gatherings, and events through the end of spring break. The President’s Leadership Council, in consultation with faculty, staff, and student groups responsible for the events, will make decisions that will best serve our mission and our community’s health, safety, and well-being. More information and guidance will be distributed this week.

How should I handle information about others’ health?

As stated above, certain members of our campus community are charged with providing guidance and assistance concerning individuals who may need accommodation or leave, have returned from international travel, or have possibly come in contact, either through acquaintance/relationship or work in health care, to individuals exposed to COVID-19. 

As part of our community responsibility, I ask that you respect the privacy of all members of our community and refrain from sharing information outside appropriate reporting channels about the identity or identifying characteristics (e.g., staff position, undergraduate/graduate status, faculty position, department, unit) of individuals in our community who may have been asked to self-quarantine, seek testing, or may themselves, at some point, be diagnosed with COVID-19.

Exercise caution so as not to contribute to unintended consequences of speculation, unfounded fear, stigmatization, or behavior that may increase the likelihood of individuals not self-reporting their possible risk of exposure to COVID-19.

How do we address the stigma that often emerges with such diseases? 

It is very important to remember that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups. So, although people are understandably worried about the spread of COVID-19, we want to avoid fear and anxiety turning to social stigma. Unfortunately, we have already seen some of this reported anecdotally on campus, as some people show concerns about Chinese or other Asian Americans, international students generally, people wearing protective masks, or those who were in quarantine.


March 8, 2020 1:12 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was originally added at 11:16 a.m. on March 8, 2020. It has been edited to account for additional confirmed cases from Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

At the time of this posting, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed several more new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 37 cases. More information can be found online.


March 7, 2020 9:14 a.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 7, 2020.

At the time of this posting, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has announced four new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 24 cases. More information can be found online.

Visit the FAQ page to learn more about how SJSU is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.


March 5, 2020 8:26 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 5, 2020.

At the time of this posting, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) has announced six new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 20 cases. The SCCPHD has also issued new guidelines for workplaces and businesses, large events and schools, among other groups. For schools, the SCCPHD recommends not closing at this time. More information can be found online.


March 5, 2020 12:18 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the SJSU campus community on March 5, 2020.

Dear Campus Community,

At this time, there are no reported cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at San Jose State University. The campus remains open and classes continue as scheduled

Due to the rapidly evolving public health concern regarding COVID-19, SJSU has activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), focused on coordinating the university’s response. The EOC, which includes campus leaders from the Academic Affairs, University Police Department, Student Affairs, Facilities Development and Operations, among other groups, consults regularly with President Papazian and her cabinet who will make large-scale policy decisions.

In the event of a campus closure, information will be shared through Alert SJSU, our primary means of communication in the event of an emergency. Information will also be distributed through email, Twitter, Facebook, and the SJSU Newsroom.

Travel: Domestic University-Sponsored, International University-Sponsored, and Personal

Among the many concerns COVID-19 has produced is travel. For domestic university-sponsored business travel, we strongly recommend reducing all non-essential travel. Please note you can find recent places where COVID-19 has been identified online. Also, even though a trip may be for domestic business purposes, the event could attract large numbers of international travelers. Please be cautious, therefore, in making travel choices. 

For international university-sponsored travel, whether it is for business or personal reasons, note that reducing all international travel is strongly recommended at this time because of COVID-19. There are already a number of countries that are banned from travel by the CSU system. We will ensure that everyone is kept up-to-date on those places. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also mandated that if you travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, you will be asked to stay home for 14 days. 

For domestic or international personal travel, it is imperative that you are thoughtful in deciding the mode of transportation and where you are going. With spring break on the horizon, consider where you may be planning to travel, whether it is in the U.S. or abroad. Not only is it important to keep yourself and your family safe, but as a member of the Spartan family, we have an inherent responsibility to engage in practices that ensure everyone has the opportunity to come to a secure campus.

Preventive Self-Care and Hygiene

To protect yourself, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based rub if soap and water are not available.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.  
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.  
  • Stay home when you are sick and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.

Since it is still flu season, the CDC also recommends persons getting the flu shot to help prevent the spread of germs and diseases.

There is an ongoing effort to sanitize as many public spaces as possible, including classrooms, keyboards, mouse, monitors, etc. to minimize spread of COVID-19 as well as other diseases, such as the flu. This is, of course, difficult to do given the size, breadth, and scope of this cleaning effort. To assist with sanitizing efforts, please consider regularly wiping down surfaces, telephones, smartphone devices, and computer keyboards in your work and study spaces with disinfectant.

To reiterate, we are all encouraged to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by handwashing, covering when sneezing or coughing, or, in worst case scenarios, the use of self-quarantine and testing should you suspect you have been exposed. 

Potential Exposure to COVID-19

If you believe you may have had exposure and thus will need to self-quarantine, please contact the following people immediately: for students, contact the Student Health Center at 408-924-6122; for staff, contact your direct supervisor; for faculty, contact your dean and/or department chair. 

If you develop even mild symptoms related and/or similar to COVID-19, you should stay home and notify/consult with your health care provider and/or public health officials.

For those with autoimmune or other underlying conditions that might increase the risk to contract COVID-19, we encourage you to contact your health care providers for recommendations. 

Forthcoming Guidance

We understand there are still many questions from the campus community regarding attendance, coursework, travel, campus sponsored and affiliated events, as well as other areas, related to COVID-19. The university is currently discussing these issues and will provide updates in the coming days. 

SJSU Spring Events

The spring semester is often filled with large gatherings to celebrate the end of the academic year. While the university continues to have internal discussions on best practices for these upcoming events, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department recently released recommended guidelines for large gatherings.

  • For individuals who are considered to be at a higher risk of serious medical complications if they contract COVID-19, the County Public Health Department encourages them to avoid mass gatherings where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another. 
  • Office environments, grocery stores and shopping centers are not considered harmful venues because it is unusual for large numbers of people to be within arm’s length of one another.

Health Advisories Website Coming Soon

The university is in the process of creating a Health Advisories webpage that will become the main site for COVID-19 information. The site will house updates and advisories, FAQs, resources and other pertinent information regarding COVID-19. The campus community will be updated as soon as the Health Advisories site is launched.

Please continue to access the Updates and Advisories and FAQ pages on the SJSU Newsroom site for the time being. These pages will be moved to the Health Advisories webpage when it is complete.

Stigma Related to COVID-19

Finally, please be mindful that fear and anxiety surrounding COVID-19 can lead to social stigma towards certain ethnicities. It is important during these uncertain times to support one another and understand that racism, anti-immigrant messaging and stereotyping of certain races and cultures is not reflective of the values of San Jose State. COVID-19 is a virus that can affect all humans. As Spartans, we are committed to inclusion and to being a caring campus. 

Sincerely,

Vincent J. Del Casino, Jr., Provost and SVP for Academic Affairs

Charlie Faas, VP for Administration and Finance

Patrick Day, VP for Student Affairs


March 4, 2020 5:16 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 4, 2020.

As of this posting, there are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has announced three new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 14 cases. More information on the new cases can be found online.

Visit the FAQ page to learn more about how SJSU is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.


March 3, 2020 6:01 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 3, 2020.

As of this posting, there are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. Along with announcing two new cases of COVID-19 in the county, now totaling 11 cases, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department is providing new guidance to the community to protect persons at higher-risk of serious illness due to COVID-19. The full press release can be found online.

Visit the FAQ page to learn more about how SJSU is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.


March 2, 2020 1:34 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 2, 2020.

As of this posting, there are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at SJSU. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed two new cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county, bringing the total to nine. The latest press release can be found online.

For the latest updates on Santa Clara County COVID-19 cases, visit their website.


March 1, 2020 7:04 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on March 1, 2020.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed three new cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county, bringing the total to seven. Two of the individuals had recently traveled to Egypt, and all three are hospitalized. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SJSU. The full press release can be found online.


February 29, 2020 6:04 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on February 28, 2020.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed a fourth case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county. The individual had contact with the third Santa Clara County case that was announced on Friday, February 28. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SJSU. The full press release can be found online.


February 28, 2020 5:06 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following update was added on February 28, 2020.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed a third case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the county. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SJSU. The full press release can be found online.


February 28, 2020 2:18 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The following is a message sent by President Mary A. Papazian to the SJSU campus community on February 28, 2020.

Dear Campus Community,

Despite the increasing severity of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak globally, at the time of this email on February 28, 2020, there are no reported cases of Coronavirus within the SJSU community of students, faculty, and staff.

At this time, San Jose State is open and classes will continue as usual. In the event of a campus closure, information will be shared through Alert SJSU, our primary means of communication in the event of an emergency. Information will also be distributed through email, Twitter, Facebook, and the SJSU Newsroom.

I understand the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has created anxiety, concern and, in many cases, fear. It is important during these uncertain times to support one another and understand that racism, anti-immigrant messaging and stereotyping of certain races and cultures is not reflective of the values of San Jose State. COVID-19 is a virus that can affect all humans and as Spartans, we are committed to inclusion and to being a caring campus.

San Jose State University continues to consult with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and provides updates and advisories via our SJSU Newsroom site by referencing various sources, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of State.

I know that questions and comments have been raised by members of the campus community. We have assembled a FAQ page on SJSU Newsroom. Some of the questions that are answered in the FAQ include:

  • What will happen if an SJSU student, faculty, or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Under what circumstances will classes be cancelled or the campus closed?
  • Is there a plan to conduct some classes by teleconference such as Zoom?
  • What do I do if I believe members of my household or myself have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
  • Whom should I contact with questions?

The health and well-being of the SJSU campus community is our top priority. If you are feeling ill, please take care of yourself. Together, we will navigate through this time of uncertainty.

Sincerely,

Mary A. Papazian
President


February 26, 2020 5:09 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an updated travel advisory regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The following update was added on February 26, 2020.

The CDC has issued an updated travel advisory regarding international travel due to the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The following countries have restricted travel:

Impact on SJSU’s Study Abroad Program

San Jose State University continues to actively monitor COVID-19 in Santa Clara County and around the world.

After careful consideration of the CDC’s recent travel advisory update of South Korea to Warning – Level 3 Avoid Nonessential Travel, SJSU has decided to suspend a study abroad program and a student exchange program set to begin next month in South Korea. We are working on alternatives so our students can study abroad in other countries if they would like to do so.

For SJSU students currently studying abroad in Milan, Italy, we are continuing to monitor the situation and are assessing the risk through consultation with numerous sources, including, but not limited to, the U.S. Department of State and CDC, to determine the process for evacuation if needed.

The safety and well-being of students are our top priorities. To assess the risks regionally and abroad, we continue to consult with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department the U.S. Department of State, the CDC and other sources.


February 24, 2020 5:47 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Updates regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be posted in SJSU Newsroom. The following update was added February 24, 2020. The title and subtitle for this blog have been updated to reflect the recent change in identification for COVID-19.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department recently released an update:

“The first confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Santa Clara County has fully recovered and has been released from isolation. He was never sick enough to be hospitalized. He isolated at home and was monitored by public health staff for the duration of his isolation. The second case remains in isolation.”

Currently, there is not an increased risk to residents of Santa Clara County.

To read the full update, visit the Santa Clara County Public Health Department website.


February 7, 2020, 8:29 a.m.

Editor’s Note: Updates regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus will be posted in SJSU Newsroom. The following update was added February 7, 2020.
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department recently released an update in regards to students, staff and faculty who may be returning from China.

If a student, staff or faculty member returned to the U.S. from mainland China on or before February 2, per SCCPHD advice, they may wish to consider staying home for 14 days since their return but it is not mandatory. They should also self monitor themselves for symptoms until the end of the 14 days.

If a student, staff or faculty member returned to the U.S. from mainland China on or after February 2, they should follow the federal travel screening guidance.

To see the update from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, click here.


February 4, 2020, 3:53 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Updates regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus will be posted in SJSU Newsroom. The following update was added February 4, 2020.

On Sunday, February 2, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCC Public Health) announced a second confirmed case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Santa Clara County. The second case was confirmed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on Sunday. The two cases in Santa Clara County are not related to each other.

In their message, SCC Public Health said there is no evidence to suggest that novel coronavirus is circulating in Santa Clara County and that the public is still at low risk. Both of the people affected by 2019-nCoV self-isolated themselves upon their return from Wuhan, China. Asymptomatic transmission of the virus has been documented, prompting the federal government to ask people returning from some parts of China to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days from their last day in China. In addition, a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers from the Hubei Province in China, where Wuhan is located, has been instituted. Upon arrival to the United States, travelers undergo health screening, and those with signs and symptoms of illness (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) will undergo an additional health assessment.

The U.S. Department of State has also declared travel to China a Level 4: Do Not Travel.

San Jose State University continues to monitor the 2019-nCoV outbreak through regular communication with SCC Public Health. For symptoms, preventative care and other resources, scroll to the bottom of the page.

SCC Public Health said Santa Clara County residents, students, workers, and visitors should continue to engage in their regular activities and practice good health hygiene since this is the height of flu season. Anyone with respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, or fever, should stay home, practice proper cough etiquette and hand hygiene, and limit their contact with other people.

At this time, it is very important that faculty and staff accommodate those who may have recently traveled to China and are engaging in self-quarantine. It is equally important that we treat everyone with respect and make sure our community remains inclusive while taking appropriate preventative measures. For faculty and staff, please consult with your dean or supervisor if there are any concerns. For students, you are encouraged to talk with professional staff or faculty.


January 31, 2020, 5:45 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Updates regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus will be posted in SJSU Newsroom. The following update was added January 31, 2020.

In light of this afternoon’s announcement by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCC Public Health) of the first reported case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Santa Clara County, it is important to note that there have been no cases reported to the university at this time.

The SJSU Student Health Center is continuing to monitor 2019-nCoV outbreak and is in communication with SCC Public Health.


The campus message sent January 29 from SJSU Student Health Medical Chief, Dr. Barbara Fu, regarding information about symptoms, preventive care, and avoidance of nonessential travel to China, is reiterated below:

Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Symptoms of the 2019-nCoV infection include respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and fever. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure. A severe infection with coronaviruses can lead to serious acute respiratory and systemic disease.

Preventive Care

To protect yourself, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol- based rub if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are sick and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.

Since it is flu season, the CDC also recommends persons getting the flu shot to help prevent the spread of germs and diseases.

Avoid Nonessential Travel to China

SJSU concurs with CDC recommendations that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China at this time. This advisement will be evaluated and updated as public health concerns related to 2019-nCoV and conditions evolve.

Seek Treatment Quickly if Symptoms Appear

If you have recently traveled to China within the past two weeks and feel ill with symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or you have had contact with a person confirmed to have 2019-nCoV, please:

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others, except when seeking medical care.
  • Call your healthcare provider or the Student Health Center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. While traveling to see a healthcare provider, you should wear a face mask.

All visits to the SJSU Student Health Center are confidential as the university complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

If you have further questions, call your healthcare provider or the SJSU Student Health Center at (408) 924-6122.

Other Available Resources

The following resources are available with information on 2019-nCoV:


January 29, 2020, 11:35 a.m.

Editor’s Note: This message was emailed to the campus community on January 29, 2020 at 11:35 a.m.

The ongoing coverage of the recent outbreak of illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus, 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov), in Wuhan, China, may be a source of concern for our community. I want to provide you with timely and relevant information as the health and well-being of our SJSU students, faculty and staff are important priorities.

The SJSU Student Health Center is actively monitoring the 2019-nCoV outbreak, following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines as well as communicating with the Santa Clara Public Health Department. I encourage you to learn more about nCoV and practice healthy habits highlighted below to avoid contracting or spreading illness.

Latest Update

There are no reported cases of novel coronavirus at San Jose State University or in Santa Clara County. The cases that have been detected in the U.S. are related to individuals who were exposed while traveling abroad. Due to the rapidly evolving public health concern, it is important to note that this situation can change and individuals should monitor news for the latest developments.

Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Symptoms of 2019-nCoV infection include respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and fever. Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. A severe infection with coronaviruses can lead to serious acute respiratory and systemic disease.

Preventive Care

To protect yourself, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol- based rub if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are sick and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Since it is flu season, the CDC also recommends persons getting the flu shot to help prevent the spread of germs and diseases.

Avoid Nonessential Travel to China

SJSU concurs with CDC recommendations that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China at this time. This advisement will be evaluated and updated as public health concerns related to 2019-nCoV and conditions evolve.

Seek Treatment Quickly if Symptoms Appear

If you have recently traveled to China within the past two weeks and feel ill with symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or you have had contact with a person confirmed to have 2019-nCoV, please:

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others, except when seeking medical care.
  • Call your healthcare provider or the Student Health Center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. While traveling to see a healthcare provider, you should wear a face mask.

All visits to the SJSU Student Health Center are confidential as the university complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

If you have further questions, call your healthcare provider or the SJSU Student Health Center at (408) 924-6122.

Other Available Resources

The following resources are available with information on 2019-nCoV:

 

SJSU Fall Graduates to be Honored and Celebrated Dec. 18-19

SJSU Fall 2018 Commencement
Photo: Best Grad Photos/San Jose State University

SAN JOSE, CA – More than 2,200 fall graduates of San Jose State University are expected to be in attendance at five separate fall commencement ceremonies, with more than 4,300 total graduates from summer and fall semesters being celebrated and honored.

The events take place Dec. 18 and 19 on the SJSU campus at the Provident Credit Union Event Center:

Wednesday, December 18

Thursday, December 19

A live stream of each of the five ceremonies will be provided.

SJSU’s Class of Fall 2019

There will be 2,226 graduates in attendance at the two days of fall commencement ceremonies. Additional highlights:

  • Of the 1,261 master’s degrees expected to be conferred for summer and fall of this year, 339 will participate in fall commencement ceremonies this week.
  • The university will graduate 513 new business professionals, 130 future educators, 519 new engineers, 276 health and human sciences future professionals, 206 humanities and arts graduates, 168 new scientists and 414 new social scientists.
  • The Lucas College and Graduate School of Business ceremony will feature remarks by alumna Sara Macdonald,’04 Accounting, currently a partner in the San Jose office of Ernst and Young and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
  • The speaker at the Connie L. Lurie College of Education ceremony will be Megan Nebesnick, ’17 Liberal Studies, a master’s student graduating this fall from the Lurie College.
  • At the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering ceremony, Michael Grace will be the featured speaker. Grace, ’12 Mechanical Engineering, is currently a research and development mechanical systems engineer at Applied Materials and worked previously at Lockheed Martin Space Systems as a control system hardware engineer.
  • The College of Health and Human Sciences featured speaker will be student Markis Derr, graduating this year in public health.

San Jose State has a total of 4,377 graduates in the class of 2019’s summer and fall semesters.

Governor Signs Bill Allowing CSUs to Offer Doctor of OT Degree

An Occupational Therapy master's student works with clients during an on-campus clinic to help them improve dexterity. A new bill has cleared the path for SJSU and other CSUs to develop doctoral programs in OT.

An Occupational Therapy master’s student works with clients during an on-campus clinic to help them improve dexterity by using a cotton candy machine. A new bill has cleared the path for SJSU and other CSUs to develop doctoral programs in OT.

Governor Gavin Newsom approved Assembly Bill 829 Aug. 30, clearing the way for San Jose State University to offer a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree. The next step will be for the Chancellor’s Office to approve an executive order that will set the scope and guidelines for the new degree

In anticipation of the approval of this bill and pending approval by the Chancellor’s Office, faculty in the College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) Department of Occupational Therapy have already begun work on developing curriculum for a doctoral degree.

“They started about a year ago in anticipation of this going through,” said HHS Interim Dean Pamela Richardson. “We are looking at what the balance will be between the master’s and doctoral programs.”

The college anticipates admitting the first cohort in 2022-23.

“The OTD gives graduates additional training in research and evidence, more coursework in program evaluation and program development, and will have a capstone project and experience,” Richardson said. “They will have more potential for leadership opportunities.”

A doctoral program also will build a pipeline for future educators.

“Most academic programs hire OTDs as faculty so it creates opportunities for teaching as well,” Richardson said.

The College of Health and Human Sciences already offers one doctoral program with another in development. This year marks the first year SJSU is offering a Doctor of Nursing Practice on its own following six years of offering a joint program with Fresno State University. The College is also working on the final stages of a  doctoral degree in its newly created Department of Audiology. Faculty are in the final stages of developing the curriculum, gaining conditional accreditation and recruiting audiology students for the first cohort to begin in fall 2020.

“These are certainly elevated health degrees and there will be lots of opportunity for interprofessional education,” Richardson said. “It will increase the visibility of our College as producing healthcare leaders across a variety of disciplines.”

She noted that accrediting boards in most healthcare disciplines require programs to provide interprofessional education so that graduates are prepared to work effectively on healthcare teams.

“This gives us an opportunity to build robust doctoral programs and ramp up the amount of collaborative research opportunities for faculty and students,” she said. “It takes research active faculty to appropriately train and mentor doctoral students.”

SJSU to Zero: Combating HIV Stigma

SJSU to Zero is the first campaign to promote HIV prevention and combat stigmatization.

By SJSU Research Foundation

SJSU to Zero is the university’s first formal campaign to focus on both HIV prevention and HIV stigma reduction. Its message promotes the availability of screening for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections at the Student Health Center and at off-campus locations throughout Santa Clara County.

Peer health educators promoted SJSU to Zero during the College of Health and Human Sciences Health and Wellness Week in 2018. ( Josie Lepe/San Jose State University )

Peer health educators promoted SJSU to Zero during the College of Health and Human Sciences Health and Wellness Week in 2018. ( Josie Lepe/San Jose State University )

Led by Matthew Capriotti and Director of SJSU’s PRIDE Center and Gender Equity Center Bonnie Sugiyama, the campaign also seeks to create an environment where students feel at ease communicating about their sexual health.

“If our students are comfortable with hearing about and talking about HIV, it destigmatizes the disease and they are more likely to seek out testing and treatment,” explains Sugiyama.

SJSU to Zero student health educators spearhead the project. They table on 7th Street Paseo to educate students one-on-one, collaborate with other campuses to conduct joint events, and partner with SJSU instructors to create innovative assignments that infuse HIV education into course curricula.

Capriotti’s research focuses on the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as on the delivery of evidence-based treatments for Tourette Syndrome and other tic disorders. Yet it is seeing his students become excited about this field of study that is the most rewarding part of his work.

“Our students genuinely care about this project. They enthusiastically engage in the day-to-day work of getting out there on campus and have turned our campaign from an idea to a reality.”

The SJSU to Zero project is sponsored by The Health Trust.