New Faculty Members Joining the College

CHHS will welcome eleven new faculty members in the 2014/2015 school year. Eight will be joining us in the fall. In addition, President Elliot Hirshman recently appointed Dr. Chukuka Enwemeka as the new provost and senior vice president for academic affairs for SDSU. Provost Enwemeka received his physical therapy degree from USC and his doctorate in pathokinesiology from New York University and has an extensive research record. So in addition to being provost, he will also be a member of the faculty in the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences.

Alyson Abel
Alyson Abel

Dr. Alyson Abel will be an assistant professor in the School of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences as part of the Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience center of excellence. Dr. Abel uses behavioral and neurophysiological methods to examine word learning in typical and atypical children and adults. Dr. Abel received her clinical training in speech-language pathology from Vanderbilt University and her PhD from the interdisciplinary Child Language Doctoral Program at the University of Kansas. She is currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she has had the opportunity to develop her research program using a cross-disciplinary perspective, bringing together the fields of neuroscience, linguistics, and communication sciences and disorders to address her broad research goals.

Dr. Eric R. Buhi will join the Graduate School of Public Health this fall as part of the Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age center of excellence. He is coming from the University of Florida, where he has been on the faculty since 2006 and, more recently, has been the director of the Collaborative for Research Understanding Sexual Health. Dr. Buhi has a two-pronged research focus: a) understand and promote sexual health among young people; and b) employ innovative technologies for health promotion and behavioral change. Dr. Buhi earned a PhD from Texas A&M University and Master’s of Public Health from Indiana University-Bloomington.

Harsimran BawejaDr. Harsimran Baweja will join the Exercise and Nutritional Sciences team as a member of the faculty for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. He has a PhD in Neuromuscular Physiology from the University of Florida. He did his postdoctoral fellowship at Pennsylvania State University’s Departments of Kinesiology and Neurology. Dr. Baweja’s research focuses on the neural mechanisms underlying movement lateralization, control and learning in younger and older adults and in persons with unilateral hemispheric damage.

Dr. Beverly Carlson will continue in the School of Nursing, where she has been serving as a lecturer. Dr. Carlson is the graduate advisor for the advanced practice nursing program. She is a critical care clinical nurse specialist with an extensive background in critical care nursing and education. She also has a substantial background in disease management and outcomes research, primarily pertaining to patients with heart failure. She is widely published in the professional literature and serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, the Journal of Cardiac Failure, and the American Journal of Critical Care Nursing.

Katrina Maluf Dr. Katrina Maluf will join the faculty in Exercise and Nutritional Sciences in August as part of the faculty for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Dr. Maluf received her MS degree in Physical Therapy and her PhD degree in Movement Science from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuromuscular physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder. As a clinically trained scientist, the goal of Dr. Maluf’s research is to translate physiologic discoveries into innovative strategies to prevent and treat stress-related musculoskeletal pain. Her research program combines expertise in neurophysiology, tissue biomechanics, and clinical rehabilitation.

Ijeoma Nwabuzor OgbonnayaDr. Ijeoma Nwabuzor Ogbonnaya will join the School of Social Work. She earned her BA degree in psychology from Spelman College, MA in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Pennsylvania, and PhD in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Following her PhD program she worked at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work as a postdoctoral research associate for the Child Development and Children’s Services research cluster. Her primary research interests are domestic violence, mental health, and racial/ethnic disparities among child welfare populations.

Dr. Melody Schiaffino will be joining the Graduate School of Public Health. She completed her PhD at the University of Florida. Her primary research interests include organizational theory, spatial and quantitative methods to identify and address disparities and variation in the delivery of health services, GIS, and health outcomes. Dr. Schiaffino’s background includes a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology with a certificate in Biostatistics from the University of South Florida. In addition she has published and presented on cultural competency, community-based participatory research, and cancer prevention from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida as well as mild traumatic brain injury while at the James A. Haley VA Hospital.

Dr. Margarita Villagrana will join the School of Social Work. She received her PhD from the University of Southern California and then completed a fellowship at the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley, working at the Public Health Institute. Her areas of research are family violence, ethnic disparities and mental health services, particularly with substance/alcohol abuse.

Development Office

Your Power to Improve SDSU’s Reputation

Rebecca Williamson
Rebecca Williamson
Development Officer
(619) 594-2868

Many donors think about supporting students with scholarships when they are approached for a gift to support SDSU. And the students and school assuredly need those scholarship opportunities. But there are other types of gifts that are also beneficial to the students. The more prestige SDSU has in the wider community, the better the value of each student’s degree. Currently, SDSU is ranked 14th on the U.S. News and World Report list of Up-and-Coming Schools for “making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty and student life.” The university also ranked in the top 100 public schools, moving up nine spots to number 81. But the school is not content to stay there, it strives to increase its rank and prestige in all ways possible.

One way to increase the rankings for publications such as U.S. News and World Report is alumni giving. And I hope that all of you who are alumni are giving something back to SDSU each year. Remember “Every Aztec, Any Amount, Every Year”. Even small donations make a big difference in the alumni participation rates used to calculate the university’s U.S. News ranking.

For those donors be in a position to make larger gifts, consider supporting a graduate fellowship or a professorship. With this financial support of our advanced students and professors, the school is able to attract and retain top talent for teaching and research. Additional grant dollars come with professors who are top researchers in their fields. Doctoral students also bring new and exciting research possibilities to SDSU. Fellowships make SDSU competitive for the top talent in those programs, such as Audiology, Global Health, or the other seven programs that offer doctoral degrees.

If you are considering a gift to SDSU, consider supporting a professorship or fellowship. Remember that gifts do not need to be made all at once and a planned or estate gift can be a wonderful way to support the school at this level.

I am always available to answer questions and facilitate your philanthropy to SDSU and I hope to talk to you soon.

Letter from the Dean

Dear Friends,

Marilyn NewhoffAs the school year comes to a close, the college will be saying goodbye to several administrators who have been part of the life of the college for many years.

Beverly Wulfeck, director of the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences will retire in June after serving as director since 2004. She started as a lecturer at SDSU in 1976, then left for a time to get her PhD and pursue post-doctoral work at UCSD. She returned as a tenured faculty member in 1994 to launch and direct the PhD program. She was part of the faculty when I returned to SDSU in Fall 1978 to become department chair of communicative disorders (the predecessor of SLHS), so we worked together for many years. During her time at SDSU the school moved to its present state-of-the-art building, the doctorate in Audiology was started and the community clinics in speech-pathology and audiology were expanded. She is looking forward to more leisure time for music and traveling with her husband.

Thom Reilly, director of the School of Social Work for the past six years, will be retiring from SDSU. He has taken a position as the director of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University, where he will also serve as a professor of public affairs. Thom brought a wealth of experience from both the private and public sectors to his position as director and that has influenced the school, making it more responsive to today’s issues in social work.

Carleen Stoskopf will be stepping down as the director of the Graduate School of Public Health and returning to the classroom. She came to SDSU to be the director of the school in 2007, after serving as professor and chair of the Health Services Policy and Management department at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health. She is looking forward to returning to teaching and investigating health care disparities and environmental health issues.

Associate Dean Stephen Williams will be retiring as well. He is looking forward to putting his academic career to rest but isn’t sure what he will do next. He has some long-delayed travel destinations in mind. Dr. Williams joined the faculty of the Graduate School of Public Health at SDSU in 1980 and was appointed dean in 2005. Since then he has been of immeasurable help with the administration of the college and everyone here will miss him greatly.

Each of these people has contributed immensely to our college and the university as a whole, and I wish them well in their new endeavors. They will be greatly missed and remembered with great fondness. I expect them all to keep in touch and, for those whose plans include travel, to send postcards!

Warmest wishes,


Marilyn Newhoff, Dean

Outstanding Aztecs

Doug Harvey – Hall of Fame Umpire and CHHS’s 2014 Monty Honoree

awardHarold Douglas Harvey came to SDSU in 1955. When he came to campus to meet Coach Smith he quickly found himself accepted, enrolled and granted a scholarship, “I came in and Charlie Smith walked me down into the old gymnasium. He walked me through a line and introduced me to people and had me sign a few pieces of paper and the next thing I know we walked across to the bookstore and he starts putting books in my arms and I said, ‘What are you doing?’ and he said, ‘Well, I got your transcript and you have a B average through junior college and you played every sport. I need a shortstop and you’re my shortstop.’ So he put me on a partial scholarship.”

Doug Harvey, 1955
Doug Harvey, 1955

Harvey had no illusion that he would play major league baseball. In fact, he preferred playing football and played both offense and defense for the SDSU football team. He was hoping to get a degree in coaching when he started at SDSU. Unfortunately, a football injury ended his SDSU career prematurely. During a game against Pepperdine, “They broke my left leg and split the bone eight inches,” Harvey explains. “I was in a cast for something like 22 weeks, so I had to quit school. The (baseball) coach took away my partial scholarship and I couldn’t afford it.”

Nonetheless, he is an “Aztec for Life” and was honored with the 2014 Monty award for CHHS in April. Monty awards are bestowed by the SDSU Alumni Association to those who have made significant contributions to the university, the San Diego community, California, nationally or internationally.

Doug Harvey at his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010
Doug Harvey at his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010

This is not the first award Harvey has won, of course. In 2010 he was inducted into both the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Aztec Hall of Fame. Although his Monty award celebrated his life in sports, it was also to honor of his work educating players, fans and students regarding the danger of tobacco usage.

After leaving SDSU in 1956, Harvey decided he would umpire, even if he could no longer play. “I was working at a bar part time,” he remembers, “and we were sitting there one day and (Yankees pitcher) Don Larsen threw a perfect game (in the World Series). It was on TV and I told the guys sitting there, ‘I’m going to go become a major league umpire.’ I told them that someday they would be watching me umpire a World Series. They laughed me out of the bar, but 11 years later they were watching me work my first World Series.”

Harvey went on to umpire five World Series during his 30-year National League career. He gained a reputation as one of the best umpires the game has ever seen. In fact, he earned the nickname “God” because he was all-seeing and what he said was law. His recently published book, with co-author Peter Golenbock, is titled, They Called Me God: The Best Umpire Who Ever Lived.

Dean Newhoff, Doug Harvey, President Hirshman
In addition to the Monty statuette, Dean Newhoff and President Hirshman
also presented Harvey with a baseball bat signed by each of them.

He was diagnosed with oral cancer in 1997 and he attributed it to chewing tobacco. After his recovery, he made
it his mission to educate others about the danger of chewing tobacco. He traveled the country giving talks and presentations until his voice failed and he had to retire. “You can tell that I’ve lost my voice. I lost my voice speaking out against cancer. The cancer I had was caused by spit tobacco. So I got people to sponsor me and I traveled all over the U.S. With the TV that I worked and the radio that I worked, they figured that I reached two-and-a-half million people. Well, I was talking one day and my voice just quit. Luckily, I had my wife with me that day and she knew quite a bit about it and I put her in there and she finished my speech. That was the last speech I gave, but my voice never has come back.”

Luckily for him and for the Aztec family, you don’t need a voice to serve as a great example.

Robert Price Honored with Degree

robert priceSan Diegans know the Price family for their success pioneering the concept of membership warehouse club merchandising and founding Price Club, but the SDSU community also knows them for their philanthropic support.

In 2000, SDSU and the Price Family Charitable Fund formed a partnership to connect SDSU to the City Heights neighborhood. Led by Price, the partnership has improved learning outcomes, social services and health care for neighborhood families, while providing opportunities for SDSU faculty and students to research and reform urban education and social services.

The partnership includes the College Avenue Compact, which guarantees admission to graduates of Hoover High School who meet scholastic standards; and the Price Community Scholars Program, which provides scholarships to students from San Diego inner city communities who in turn mentor City Heights middle- and high-school students.

In recognition of his accomplishments as a visionary entrepreneur, community advocate and champion of higher education, CHHS conferred upon Price the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters during commencement in May. A reception in his honor was held in June at University House.

Price and his father Sol—who received an honorary degree from SDSU in 2003—are the first father and son pair to receive honorary degrees from SDSU.

School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences

Outstanding Student Nutrition Organization

SNO studentsThe mission of the Student Nutrition Organization (SNO) is to serve the San Diego community through nutrition education, advocacy for nutrition and wellness causes and philanthropic ventures, as well as to provide its student membership with practical field experiences, community involvement, and an understanding of the diverse opportunities in nutrition. At this year’s CHHS awards banquet, the organization was recognized as the outstanding organization of the year and their advisor, Dr. Mark Kern, was named the outstanding faculty advisor of the year. In addition, the President’s Award went to SNO President Carl Barnes and the Embodiment Award went to SNO Treasurer Yenina Vereda.

The organization had two large accomplishments this year. In the fall they hosted a benefit that raised $2000 for the Kids Eat Right program. The group organized a gala and silent auction at their annual conference in November. SNO President, Carl Barnes, said, “I had a vision of stepping up our efforts to a large scale fundraising and educational event. The Kids Eat Right campaign matched perfectly with our objectives and the SNO officers unanimously agreed that Kids Eat Right is a more than admirable cause to support. With an objective in mind, we set out to put together an event that brought excitement, revenue, and community education for Kids Eat Right.” This was the first experience for the SNO in organizing an event of this magnitude. The event included a keynote speaker on child nutrition, information on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and Kids Eat Right. The event attracted 94 attendees and just over $2,000 was raised to support the SDSU Student Dietetic Association and Kids Eat Right.

students with awardsIn the spring, the SNO students worked with the San Diego Language Academy, a kindergarten to eighth grade San Diego Unified elementary school near the SDSU campus. The students helped build an outdoor classroom/garden area for the school, and on March 20, hosted a “Health Passport Fair” to celebrate National Nutrition Month. The fair included several display tables to educate students about good food choices and other nutrition topics.

The organization closed its year with an end of the year banquet at the Riverwalk Golf Club. SNO members performed, outstanding members where recognized, graduation cords were distributed, special guests were in attendance, elections results were announced, and gifts and goodbyes given by the outgoing officers.


Professor Emeritus Honored

Dr. Thom McKenzie
Dr. Thom McKenzie

The Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK) program received the 2014 President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Community Leadership Award. The national award is given annually to individuals or organizations who improve the lives of others within their community by providing or enhancing opportunities to engage in sports, physical activities, fitness or nutrition-related programs.

SPARK provides teachers and schools with curricula and training that improve standard PE and health-related activities to promote lifelong wellness. The program was recognized by the President’s Council for the impact it has made on over one million children, including its vital role in obesity prevention programs in communities nationwide. The award also honors more than 25 years of research, scholarship and program development by the SPARK principals: Dr. Thom McKenzie, Dr. Jim Sallis and Paul Rosengard. McKenzie is a professor emeritus of ENS.

children playing“SPARK has worked to consistently promote the importance of physical activity, sports and/or good nutrition throughout the community,” stated Shellie Pfohl, executive director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. “Because of SPARK’s efforts and contributions, our communities can embrace a healthier and more active lifestyle. Together we are all working to make our nation a healthier one.”
Dr. McKenzie commented, “We appreciate this esteemed recognition of the SPARK Programs by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Overwhelming evidence shows the great impact that physical activity has on reducing the risk for serious public health problems including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.”


ENS Prepares to Celebrate it’s Centennial Year

During Fall 2014, the school will celebrate it’s 100th birthday. Although physical education classes were first offered in the school in the early 1900s, 1914 appears to be the first year that there was a PE department and a chairperson. Household arts, including nutrition, were offered starting in 1910 but became an official department that year as well.

Plans are currently underway to mark the occasion with a variety of events. Although the details aren’t settled yet, discussion include the possibility of a lecture series, a “fun run” around campus and a celebratory banquet.
Once plans have been finalized, information and invitations will be sent to alumni and friends of the school. If you want to make sure you get the details, this would be a great time to update your information by contacting Rebecca Williamson at rwilliamson@

Graduate School of Public Health

The Institute of Public Health—Moving Ideas From Research into Practice

fresh produceEstablished in 1992, the Institute for Public Health (IPH) serves as a bridge between the public health academic community and public health practice. It facilitates the partnerships between SDSU, the Graduate School of Public Health, local public health agencies, and private organizations.

One area of IPH work is to evaluate the effectiveness of public health programs. Recently, an IPH team
worked with San Diego County Health and Human Services to implement and evaluate the Fresh Fund program.

Dr. Suzanne Lindsay
Dr. Suzanne Lindsay

Public health experts everywhere advocate eating a healthy diet that includes a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. For San Diegans using government assisted nutritional aid, the Fresh Fund program made it possible to purchase fruits and vegetables at local farmers markets. Federal funding from the Center for Disease Control’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative kick-started Fresh Fund, as well as similar programs across the United States. People using government assisted nutritional aid could use their credits to purchase produce at five San Diego farmers markets. For every dollar spent, participants received up to $20 in matched incentives.

IPH’s executive director, Dr. Suzanne Lindsay, describes the geographical areas in need of nutritional aid as “food deserts” where shopping at a gas station might be more convenient than finding a grocery store. Participants living in these food deserts were the most enthusiastic and receptive to Fresh Fund. “We saw a huge surge of people coming to the markets that had never come before,” said Lindsay, a professor of epidemiology. “A whole new demographic began to show up.”

More than 7,000 individuals enrolled in Fresh Fund, which was well over the initial goal of 3,000 participants. In order to track the program’s progress, surveys were administered at the beginning of enrollment, after 3 to 6 months, and again after 12 months. An overwhelming majority of participants stated that Fresh Fund was an important part of their life and reported healthier overall eating habits.

more produceNot only did the customers benefit, but also the farmers. Forty-eight percent of all market revenue was brought in by Fresh Fund participants.

The County of San Diego took particular interest in this project because of the county-wide Live Well program, a long-term strategy to help all county inhabitants become healthy, safe and thriving. Fresh Fund’s dual impact on the health of San Diego citizens and the farmers market economy set the initiative in motion.

“Dr. Lindsay and her team’s interests aligned well with the Live Well vision of making a long term impact,” said Lindsey McDermid, program director of the San Diego Chronic Disease and Equity Unit. “The IHP was chosen to evaluate the program because of shared objectives and ultimate goals.”

Although funding for the program has run out, there are still farmer’s markets using the same type of incentive program created by Fresh Fund because of its success and high demand. In the future, Lindsay would like to conduct studies which quantitatively measure the health of Fresh Fund participants in order to continue improving the health of San Diego’s citizens.


Dr. Richard Gersberg to be New Director

Dr. Gersberg
Dr. Gersberg

Dr. Richard M. Gersberg is a professor of Environmental Health. He has an MS degree in biology from the University of Houston, and a PhD degree in microbiology from the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Gersberg specializes in water quality research and limnology, and has broad experience working with both chemical and microbiological pollutants and risk assessments. He has over 70 scientific publications in these areas.

Dr. Gersberg has conducted a number of studies on the fate of bacterial indicators and toxics in both freshwater and estuarine ecosystems. Dr. Gersberg has served as scientific director of an EPA-funded project on the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment at Santee, CA , and is now considered one of the pioneers in the field of constructed wetland treatment. He currently serves as a technical advisor and doctoral mentor on several research programs on Constructed Wetlands and Bioretention for Stormwater Treatment at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and also has a similar international research exchange at the University of Applied Sciences in Magdeburg, Germany. He has served as technical consultant on aquatic and human health risk issues in impaired waters all over the nation and internationally, including the Venice Lagoon, Italy, the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Victoria, Canada, the Tijuana River Watershed, Mexico, the Elbe River, Germany, Fountain Creek, Colorado, and numerous water bodies in California including the San Francisco Bay Delta, Mission Bay, Newport Bay, San Diego Bay, and Santa Monica Bay.

Dr. Gersberg is currently a member of the County of San Diego’s Environmental Health Advisory Board, the Technical Advisory Committee for the Santa Monica Coastkeeper Watershed Study, and the Environmental Advisory Committee for the Port of San Diego.

School of Nursing

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses Expand Their Role in Health Care

student group photoAs the United States faces an increased need for primary care, many people are looking beyond the traditional MD to provide that care. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRN’s) can, and do, supply much of that care and their role is expanding. Nurse-midwives have improved primary health and OB/GYN care services for women in rural and inner-city areas. In its 2010 publication, The Future of Nursing, the National Institute of Medicine recommended that nurse-midwives be given a larger role in providing women’s health care.

SDSU offers a Master’s Degree in Nursing with the ability to specialize in school nursing, adult health and gerontological nursing, nurse-midwifery and women’s health. SDSU is one of only three nurse-midwife programs in California and is ranked within the top 30 programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

Although midwifery is as old as childbirth, the fi nurse-midwifery education program in the U.S. began in 1932. Nurse-midwifery programs are accredited by the American Midwifery Certification Board and graduates take a national certification exam to become certified as nurse-midwifes. SDSU currently has 25 nurse-midwife students in their program.

According to the American College of Nurse-Mid- wives, studies over the past 20-30 years have shown that certified nurse-midwives can manage most perinatal (prenatal, delivery, and post-partum) care. They are also qualified to offer family planning and meet the gynecological needs of women of all ages. Nurse-midwives may also manage common adult primary care acute or chronic illnesses. Although nurse-midwives are well-known for attending births, 53% of certified nurse-midwives identify reproductive care and 33% identify primary care as their main responsibilities. Examples include annual exams, family planning, furnishing medications, parent and patient education, and reproductive health visits. In 2012, 95% of nurse-midwife-attended births occurred in hospitals, 3% occurred in free- standing birth centers, and 2% occurred in homes.

SDSU student nurse-midwives and women’s health care nurse practitioners have completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing, hold an RN license, and have valuable work experience. The certified nurse-midwife or women’s health nurse practitioner program takes four to six semesters to complete. In addition to classroom study, students complete outpatient rotations at community clinics, Planned Parenthood, uro-gynecology clinics, and private physician offices, Nurse-midwifery students also complete rotations in labor and birth, postpartum, newborn and outpatient obstetric clinics at Kaiser Permanente, UCSD Medical Center, Navy Medical Centers at Balboa, Twenty Nine Palms, Camp Pendleton, and some home birth practices.

“Graduates of the nurse-midwifery and women’s health nurse practitioner program are highly respected and sought after by local and national institutions because of their rigorous academic preparation and extensive clinical experience prior to graduation” stated Dr. Lauren Hunter, Certified Nurse Mid-Wife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner concentration chair. Dr. Philip Greiner, Director of the School of Nursing , sees this program as a valuable resource for the health and welfare of the people of California.



School of Social Work

The Rising Importance of Gerontology

Victoria Owens
Victoria Owens

Gerontology is a field of academics and professionals dedicated to understanding the unique needs of older adults and their families. Gerontologists explore the physical, mental, and social changes older individuals experience as they age. They also work to understand the mutual impact between society and older persons and develop programs and services to assist this group. Ultimately, gerontologists assist older persons to make the most of their lives.

Like other social work fields, completing a degree in gerontology requires field work. This practicum learning allows students to integrate classroom theory, knowledge, and practice skills to develop professional competence and identity. Students use theory in practice situations under the professional supervision of qualified gerontologist field instructors.

Second year student Victoria Owens used her summer to complete her field experience requirement. She interned at a board and care facility for elders with dementia. She chose this facility because her grandfather had lived there and she wanted to do something tangible to say “thank you” for the care he received. During her internship she completed a major project—a mosaic to brighten the facility’s hallway. She wrote a poem about her experiences that expresses her joy in her internship experience.

According to the Health & Human Services Department’s Administration on Aging, the older population–persons 65 years or older– represented 12.4% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans in 2000. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000 and 19% of the population. As the population of older Americans increases, there will be an increased need for individuals who are trained to help them continue to live their lives with joy and dignity and the gerontology department is training professionals to do just that.


Social Work Welcomes New Director Mindy Hohman

mindy hohmanDr. Thom Reilly is retiring and leaving SDSU to take a position at Arizona State University. Mindy Hohman will be the director starting next fall. Dr. Hohman has a BASW and MSW from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD from Arizona State University. She joined the faculty at SDSU in 1995. She has taught courses on substance use disorders and social work practice, including Motivational Interviewing. Dr. Hohman has served as the Undergraduate Program Coordinator and developed the Criminal Justice Specialty. Her areas of research include addiction assessment and treatment, particularly for women, and teaching Motivational Interviewing.

“I am excited and pleased to serve as the next Director of the School of Social Work. We have a dynamic and talented faculty who are extremely dedicated to providing a first rate social work education to our students. Working as a member of such team has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to our continued growth in research, scholarship, and service to the community.”


My Summer (abridged) – By Victoria Owens

My summer was probably different than most,
But mine was way better, just listen to me boast.
I spent over 400 hours with dementia clients,
And I got working with them down to a science.
To you it may not sound all that fun,
But I’m sure you’d change your mind if you had done what I’ve done.

ssw3In May, I was unsure of myself, timid and shy,
And I was just waiting for my hours to go by.
But day by day, I started to grow,
And I could feel myself improving and it was starting to show.
I no longer asked what I was supposed to do,
I just worked the day away until my hours were through.

I went on walks with the elderly, both ambulatory and not.
We talked to every person we saw, and let me just tell you, it was a lot.
We played catch in the hallway every day,
And their hand eye coordination improved greatly, let me say.
We colored and read and baked and more,
It was fun getting there at 8 seeing what the day had in store.

One day, I got to thinking of something fun to do,
But I knew it would have to involve the community too.
I wanted to raise awareness for both the facility and the disease,
So I dreamt up a project that was way too big for me.
But I was destined to make it work and I am so glad I did,
Because what I did, the families think is so big.

I advertised Greenhill’s Alzheimer’s care home to my community,
and collected lots in donations to go towards the facility.
I then drew and painted a 4 foot mural on ceramic tiles,
and showed it to the residents to be greeted by large smiles.
It was then I knew I wanted them to help me in some way,
And I knew just how in about a day.
I painted their thumbs in bright orange paint,
And had them add their thumbprints, some dark and some faint.
I then turned their thumbprints into a school of fish,
It is something I hope their families adore, I just wish.

After the mural was glazed, I began to put it up on the wall.
All of the ambulatory residents admired in the halls.
They were so happy to see something new and bright,
The joy in their eyes was such a breathtaking sight.
The next day I applied the grout,
And many residents began to pout.
They thought I was taking the mural away,
But I promised them it was there to stay.
As of now, the project is all complete,
Up on the wall, it looks really neat.

If anyone has issues about giving their time,
Just know a smile means so much more than a dime.
It is such a simple way to give back to your community,
and the benefits of your service, multiply infinitely.
I have no regrets of serving my whole summer away,
Actually, I couldn’t imagine it any other way.



School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

SLHS Presents The History Project

SLHS History Project

SLHS alumna and professor emeritus Darlene Davis has been engaged in a “labor of love” for the past several years and has created the SLHS History Project. Contained on the school’s website ( is an amazing collection of the stories and people who have contributed to the school’s growth since its inception in 1925. Dean Marilyn Newhoff introduces the project, saying, “To know the history of an institution is to understand where it came from, to appreciate the contributions and sacrifices of so many that led to its current standing, and to gain invaluable insights so that wise and thoughtful decisions are made to assure the institution’s future. It is also just plain interesting to understand your roots. The project provides our alums, faculty, staff, students, administrators and “history buffs” alike have a unique opportunity to remember, appreciate and honor the wonderful people from our past.”

School director Beverly Wulfeck adds, “Although Darlene is the driving force who compiled our history, it belongs to all of us. As such, we invite your comments, corrections,suggestions and contributions. Welcome and enjoy the history project!” She continues, “Every effort has been made to be accurate. However, we recognize that errors or omissions may have been made and many details have not been included. This is where you come in. We invite your additions, corrections and suggestions through the comment box. You also can tell us a special memory and even send us a favorite photo.”


Dr. Lew Shapiro to be New Director

Lew ShapiroDr. Shapiro has a BA from the University of Florida, an MA from the University of Memphis, and a PhD from Brandeis University. He joined the faculty at SDSU in 1995. His areas of research include the linguistic, cognitive, and neuroscience underpinnings of language processing. His work often focuses on clinical populations, including adult stroke survivors who have aphasia and children who have been diagnosed with language disorders. Dr. Shapiro co-directs the Language and Neuroscience Group laboratory, where several doctoral, masters and undergraduate students are mentored. He is also a member of SDSU’s Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience area of research excellence. He has had continuous NIH funding since 1988.

“As the new Director of the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, I look forward to working with our excellent academic and clinical faculty, our undergraduate and graduate students, and our community partners in support of our nationally ranked programs.”


SDSU Students and Preschoolers–
A Chance to Learn and Grow Together

preschoolers in classEvery day a team of SLHS undergraduate and graduate students travel to Rosa Parks Elementary School in City Heights. Through a program funded by Price Charities, they spend time in five preschool classrooms helping students develop their language and literacy skills. About 25 SDSU students each semester participate in the program, with about 150 having participated in total. A team of PhD audiology students also visit each semester to conduct hearing tests.

The speech-language students work with the preschool teachers to design literacy and dramatic play lesson plans, they model language facilitation techniques and they identify students with potential speech and/or language disorders. They also screen for students who might need a little extra help to develop their language skills and they work with these students individually and in small groups. They coach teachers and parents in techniques to develop a child’s language skills. They do this while reading to the children, playing games with them and engaging in the silly play preschoolers enjoy so much. It’s a great chance for the SDSU students to reconnect with the community as well as help the young students develop new skills. Although the SDSU students often coach in both English and Spanish to accommodate the diversity in the students and their parents, the program is concentrated on learning English words and language.

A research study on the pilot program demonstrated that the preschoolers in the study classroom had better syntax, a larger vocabulary and better scores on standardized preliteracy tests. This was true of both the preschoolers the SDSU students worked with individually as well as those who participated in the larger classroom wide activities. Now the program has expanded to include all of the classrooms at the preschool, but the research team continues to track the progress of the original test group. They hope to track these students through at least the third grade to see if the earlier language teaching advantage remains over time.

Parents, preschool teachers and SDSU students are all very positive about the program. The parents say that it is really nice for their children to get the attention of the college students and that it’s important that the SDSU students think the preschoolers are smart and capable. They note that working with the SDSU students brings out the best in each child. The preschool teachers are grateful for the extra help and have received compliments on their student’s abilities by Head Start executives and others. SDSU students become passionate about serving children in an underserved area and appreciate the opportunity to practice skills they are learning in the classroom.