SDSU: A Sustainable Campus

cover1San Diego State University has a thriving culture of sustainability. As a campus, SDSU strives to increase its energy efficiency, reduce its water consumption and institute “green” practices. Over the last few years, SDSU has worked hard on becoming a green and sustainable campus.

Perhaps the most obvious of these efforts is the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. It is LEED Platinum Certified, the highest possible certification from the Green Building Council. It uses recyled materials and has a commercial-scale rainwater collection system, a radiant heat flooring system and trusses made from layers of forest stewardship council-certified wood.

To expand on the campus’ dedication to sustainability, President Elliot Hirshman signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment. “As signatories to the climate commitment, we are pledging to work as a community toward the elimination of net greenhouse gas emissions and to promote research and education that builds a more sustainable world,” Hirshman said.

Recently, SDSU was also recognized by the Green Restaurant Association both as the first campus to require all of its tenants to meet the Certified Green Restaurant environmental standards and as the campus with the world’s most certified stadiums/arenas.

cover2In 2013, SDSU began offering a sustainability major for students especially interested in environmental issues. Sustainability is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to study environmental issues with a more conceptual and cultural approach, rather than a technical one. Sustainability co- director, undergraduate adviser and anthropology professor Matthew Laurer said he was excited to see students pushing to make sustainability an official degree CHHS has several programs that demonstrate the college’s dedication to environmentalism as well. Many of the faculty in the Graduate School of Public Health study the impact of environmental issues on our health. Interim Director Rick Gersberg has studied the effect of sea level rise on coastal wetlands and their habitat as well as human health risk assessment for drinking and/or bathing in contaminated waters. Dr. Eunha Hoh’s current research proj- ects also focus on ocean and human health and environmental exposure to tobacco smoke residue (third-hand smoke) and tobacco product waste. Lastly, Dr. Tom Novotny has also done extensive research into the environmental impact of cigarette butts as well as their acknowledged danger to smokers.

This year the School of Social Work also jumped into studying environmentalism and introduced the Environmental Social Work and Community Engagement Specialization. “The Environmental Social Work and Community Engagement Specialization prepares BSW graduates for work in environmental advocacy; community organizing regarding local ecological issues; outreach with family and community members and education and local leadership development”, notes director Melinda Hohman.

From simple things like recycling bins throughout the campus to the ability to study enviornmental social work, SDSU is promoting sustainability and ensuring that tomorrow’s leaders understand the importance of “being green”.

Development Office

Planned Gifts: Giving Now and Later

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

As much as we try to avoid thinking about it, our time here is limited. And while we cannot physically live on forever, our legacy can be ever- lasting. Through advanced planning, we can ensure that one ending can be the beginning of something new to benefit others.

Many people find that providing for others through their estate plans is an easy way to share their values and leave a lasting legacy. SDSU and our students have benefited greatly from such gifts and are grateful for the impact they have made. Recently, a family set up a memorial scholar- ship in the name of a loved one and the entire family is contributing to fulfilling an endowment that also received many memorial gifts. This endowment will create a perpetual scholarship for social work students. A professor emeritus and his wife have gifted us with what is anticipated to be more than $1 million in scholarship funds in the future.

One of the joys of arranging for these planned gifts is that the university is able to thank and acknowledge the giver now. SDSU is currently in its first comprehensive fundraising campaign and these gifts are helping us to build our endowment to ensure student success for years to come. It is wonderful to be able to say, “Thank you for your generosity!” to all of our donors.

There are a number of options that are available for planned giving, and SDSU is blessed with a team of people who know the ins and outs of all of them. The team keeps up-to- date on the various tax implications of gifts and how to maximize your gift. The planned giving team can help you determine what options might fit your circumstances best, as well as guide you through all of the paperwork necessary to ensure that your gift is used according to your intentions. Being able to ensure that your gift is used as you wish is a good reason to involve the planned giving team in the arrangements, besides providing the opportunity to thank donors properly.

The wide variety of options for giving include:

  • Gifts of Stocks and Bonds.
  • Gifts of Real Estate.
  • Gifts of Retirement
  • Gifts of Cash.
  • Gift of Insurance.
  • Charitable Gift Annuity

If you are interested in learning more about making a planned gift to SDSU, please contact me (contact information to the left) or Amy Walling, Assistant Vice President for Planned Giving & Estates at 619-594-0286 or The planned giving team also offers periodic information sessions to learn about planned giving options and there is a website with additional information at


Letter from the Dean

Marilyn NewhoffDear Friends,

It seems that, with the close of each school year, my staff experiences a retirement. It started three years ago with the retirement of Dr. Olita Harris as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Dr. Larry Verity joined my staff, moving from ENS, where he had been a professor for the past 29 years.

Last year, Dr. Steven Williams retired as Associate Dean for Research. Dr. Guadalupe (Suchi) Xochitl Ayala was chosen to replace him. Suchi was previously a professor in the Graduate School of Public Health, in the division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science. In a short time she has become an invaluable member of my staff.

This summer Dr. Donna Daly will retire as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Donna has served faithfully for the last eight years, handling countless student challenges and guiding the CHHS student council in successful endeavors, such as being claimed the best student organization in the “Aztecs Rock Hunger” food drive. She will be sorely missed and I have not yet determined who will step into her very large shoes.

This year also marked the death of staff member Jeff Phinney. Jeff was integral in keeping all of our technology up-to-date and working and he is missed so much.

This year has also seen a number of triumphs, firsts and honors. We graduated our first class of physical therapists. We extended our international experience options to include Germany and Vietnam and Roxanne Riedel joined the office to oversee the undergraduate international experiences and serve as advisor on meeting the international experience requirement. We continue to receive the most grant and contract funding per faculty member of all of the colleges at SDSU. ENS student Kathleen McCarty-Baker, mentored by Dr. Jong Won Min, received a President’s Award at the Student Research Symposium and will go onto the statewide CSU competition. And the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences celebrated it’s centennial!

It has been a great year and I thank all of our donors, friends, faculty, students and staff who have made it all happen. Without each of you, we would not be nearly so successful.

Warmest wishes,



Marilyn Newhoff, Dean

Outstanding Aztecs

Emily Proves that Outstanding Aztecs Dance

ao1Emily Carper is a junior in the School of Exercise and Nutritional Science, where she is majoring in kinesiology, with the eventual goal of becoming a physical therapist. She is particularly interested in this field as she suffered several injuries while playing basketball and understands the difference good physical therapy can make.

She also understands the importance of community and philanthropy. She has served on the student council for CHHS for two years. Emily’s biggest accomplish- ment has been bringing the Dance Marathon to SDSU. The Dance Marathon event is a national effort of the Children’s Miracle Network, a non-profit organization raising funds for children’s hospitals. College campuses host a dance marathon, with the proceeds going to the nearest Children’s Miracle Network-affiliated hospital. In San Diego, that is Rady Children’s Hospital. Emily heard about how well this had gone at other colleges and was eager to bring the concept to SDSU.

Emily worked with Edwin Darrell, associate director of residential education for the Office of Housing Administration, who had participated in Dance Marathons at other universities. He told her that events of this magnitude took a year to plan. Emily and her associates pulled off a very successful event in three months. Since she also serves on the Panhellenic Council, Emily brought sororities and fraternities into the effort, including her own sorority of Gamma Phi Beta.

ao2On March 6, some 460 students gathered in the Aztec Recreation Center to dance the night away. For the next 12 hours they would stand or dance – they were not allowed to sit down. As Emily said, ‘We stand for those who cannot.” Interspersed with dancing were moving accounts from children and their families about what the Children’s Miracle Network and Rady Children’s Hospital had meant to them. There were other forms of entertainment sprinkled throughout the evening as well, so that students had some rest time. The event was so popular that they had more entertainment volunteers than they could use.

At the end of the event, the participants learned that they had raised $40,314.57 for Rady Children’s Hospital!

Next year Emily hopes that the event will be so big that they need to hold it in Viejas Arena. She hopes this becomes an annual event, continuing long after she leaves SDSU. In the meantime, Emily is planning a summer volunteering at a physical therapy clinic to strengthen her application to graduate school and looks forward to returning next fall for her senior year.

Marine to Musician to Outstanding Aztec

ao3James Hughes is a San Diego native, a just-graduated social work student, a musician, a Marine veteran, a husband, a father and an outstanding example of Aztec pride.

James came to SDSU after already having several different careers. He joined the Marines directly after graduating from high school and served four years on active duty and four years in the reserves.

After leaving the Marines, James pursued a career as a professional musician. His band, The Transit War, toured the United States and released two albums of indie rock music. That music experience shaped his desire to pursue a degree in audio engineering and music production from San Diego Miramar Community College in 2013. He also earned an associate’s degree in behavioral science from San Diego City College.

It was the behavioral health background that he took to the next step, enrolling in SDSU in 2013 to pursue a degree in social work for a “hands on” way to use his education.

During the summer of his junior year, James participated in the SDSU Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP). He conducted research under the mentorship of Professor Susan Woodruff, on the relationship between deployment, posttraumatic stress and misuse of alcohol among Marines. James later went on to pres- ent his research findings at the 2014 University of California San Diego Summer Research Conference.

At SDSU he also became involved with the Black Social Work Student Caucus (BSWSC). The mission of the group is to bring awareness of black culture within the social work profession, to recognize black social work professionals, to network and provide outreach and community service. He also played a significant role in the founding of the Upsilon Sigma chapter of Phi Alpha National Honor Society for social work students within the School of Social Work.

In his senior year he became president of both student organizations. As president of the BSWSC, James was instrumental in organizing an event exploring the impact of racial inequality in the education system. The event, The Whipping Post: US Contemporary Black Male Perspectives on the Social, Psychological and Economic Effects of Racism and Social Control in Education, featured Dr. Terence Fitzgerald, a professor at the USC School of Social Work who specializes in racial issues. The event used a grant from the student success fee funds. This fee was implemented by student agreement in 2014 to “allow the university to hire additional tenure-track faculty and provide funds to the colleges for enhancing student success through expanded academic related programs.”

James graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in social work and will now work on his master’s degree at USC, focusing on clinical work with veterans. He decided on social work “because that way I can make a difference in people’s lives. I want to empower people, to help people get to where they can realize their value.” He adds, “That is what is rewarding to me.”

School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences

The First Doctors of Physical Therapy

ens1On May 15, the first class from ENS’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program graduated and the faculty and administration couldn’t be prouder of them. These 35 students spent three years learning the ins and outs of physical therapy through this new program.

In April the program received full accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Accreditation means that these newly-minted physical therapists can take the national board examination for their licensure – the last step before being able to fully practice physical therapy.

This program was designed to provide a generalist approach to physical therapy – providing maximum flexibility in employment for the new graduates. A few of these new graduates already have jobs lined up, where they will work as student physical therapists until they take and pass the board examination. Most of the class, however, will take the next six weeks to study for that examination. They will learn their results in August and then begin their job search in a wide variety of settings including inpatient and outpatient clinics as well as specialized practices such as those found in sports medicine.

The DPT program combines classroom and hands-on education. Students join the program with foundational science courses completed, as well as at least 100 hours of volunteer time in a variety of physical therapy environments. During the program they complete class work, a doctoral research project and hands-on patient work. Their entire third year is a hands-on internship as a student physical therapist, supervised and mentored by a licensed therapist. The program relies on 7 core faculty and 12 clinical faculty members, and is headed by Dr. Mitchell Rauh.

Each of the core faculty is also pursuing research in a chosen area. As with many of the other CHHS programs, this research is largely focused on producing the evidence needed for evidence-based practice in the physical therapy profession. Research areas include motor learning, robotics for individuals with spinal cord injuries, improving balance in elderly patients, decreasing low back pain, sports injuries and pelvic floor dysfunction.

The results from these and other research projects will result in students who approach physical therapy using evidence-based best practices.

These new professionals enter their practices after graduating from a program designed around three themes: professionalism, academics and community service. Although the program is young, it has already won awards for its commitment to the community and for the academic performance of the students. Dr. Rauh reflects on this program and says, “I have a great faculty and I can’t express that enough. Without them, we couldn’t produce the quality education that the students receive. Our students are ready to professionally provide a stellar patient experience and I am very proud of them.

Festive Banquet and Reunion Close a Year of Celebration and History

ens2ENS capped off a year-long celebration of its first 100 years as a department with a grand banquet and reunion on April 17. More than 120 guests gathered in Montezuma Hall in the new Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union to reconnect with faculty and fellow alumni, to look back on the successes of the first 100 years and hear a little about plans for the next 100 years.

Master of Ceremonies faculty emeritus Peter Francis kept the evening moving through an ambitious agenda. During the cocktail hour guests enjoyed a slide show covering 100 years of history, put together by faculty emeritus Ronald Josephson and faculty member Patricia Patterson, with considerable help from Margo Kasch (daughter of former director Fred Kasch) and faculty emeritus Lindsay Carter.

Dinner began with a welcome from ENS Director Fred Kolkhost and SDSU Provost Chukuka Enwemeka. Groups of alumni from various decades and programs were recognized, as were scholarship donors, faculty emeriti, current faculty, current students and the ENS administrative staff.

ENS Director Fred Kolkhorst, alumna and faculty emeritus Jean
Landis, and Dean Marilyn Newhoff. Ms. Landis will be honored
with the 2015/16 Alumni Association Monty Award for Outstanding
Alumni in September.

The evening’s keynote speaker was Steven N. Blair, PED, Departments of Exercise Science and Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of South Carolina. His topic was “We Will Never Manage the Obesity Epidemic without a Better Understanding of Energy Balance”. He noted that obesity rates have been increasing in most countries around the world. Although positive energy bal- ance can be caused by increases in intake, decreases in expenditure, or a combina- tion of the two, most of the attention in the scientific and lay press focuses on the intake side of the equation.  This imbalance in attention to the energy expenditure side of energy balance and a major focus on the intake side is unlikely to produce policies, strategies, and tactics that will be effective in reducing the obesity epidemic.

The evening concluded with wishes for an even more successful 100 years to come.

Graduate School of Public Health

Dedicated to Improving Health in the Latino Community, Here and Beyond

gsph1Chronic health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity are more common in the Latino community than in the general population. Lower income, low literacy rates and less access to health insurance and health care further exacerbate the problem. Public health researcher and professor Dr. Greg Talavera is working hard to understand why this is so, and how to manage, or better yet, prevent, these chronic conditions. He is the co-director of the Institute for Behavioral and Community Health (IBACH), a research institute within GSPH.

Dr. Talavera’s commitment to the Latino community has been a constant in his life. As a child, he was part of a socially conscious and politically active family – his older brother was a union organizer for the United Farmworkers. He was aware of the disparity in healthcare access by the time he was in high school. He started college thinking that he would study public policy in order to help his community. In college he realized he would have a larger impact and more influence as a doctor. Dr. Talavera’s commitment to helping the community as a whole is reflected in his medical specialty of preventative medicine and public health. After practicing as a physician for many years, he returned to SDSU to get his degree in Public Health in 1991.

gsph2At the San Ysidro Health Center, Dr. Talavera worked as a primary care physician, administrator and health promotion researcher until a management change did not support his research and public health focus. Simultaneously, a position at SDSU opened and he joined the faculty of the Graduate School of Public Health in 1996. “I thought it would be temporary,” he said, “but I really enjoyed the blend of teaching and doing clinical research. And it was a great way to balance my family life as well. So here I am, almost 20 years later.”

Dr. Talavera’s research has always concentrated on practical solutions to health problems within the low-income Latino community. His research is clinically based and most of his subjects come from the San Ysidro Health Center. He concentrates on finding evidence- based practices that address health issues while remaining culturally sensitive. For example, his recommendations take into account the customary diet and cooking preparations, cultural norms and what is available in the local community. They also take into account people’s use of complementary and alternative practices.

gsph3His current research project concentrates on how to get patients to adhere to recommended treatment regimens. The Latinos Understanding the Need for Adherence (LUNA) project is currently funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research. It compares adherence among patients receiving standard care and patients receiving special intervention by a clinical care team consisting of a specially trained mid-level clinician, a promotora (a health educator who comes from the community), a behavioral health counselor and a care coordinator. Another current project is exploring the use of electronic health record systems to promote health screenings for cervical, , breast and colorectal cancer in the Latino community. His previous research includes promoting healthy eating and physical activity; managing chronic disease care, especially diabetes; smok- ing cessation; and childhood obesity. Dr. Talavera is also part of the Hispanic Community Health Study, the largest epidemiologic study of Latino health in the United States. It seeks to document the prevalence of major health conditions in Latinos across the country.

Dr. Talavera is proud of the research he has done and the difference his findings have made in healthcare within his community. He is also proud of the participation of undergraduate and graduate students in his research and the train- ing of his research staff. He is gratified to see his research translated into practical, implemented solutions at the San Ysidro Health Center and beyond. He notes that, because he has been doing work with and for this clinic for so long, there is an extraordinary level of trust between them.

Dr. Talavera and IBACH have received numerous awards and recognition for their outstanding work over the years. In 2014 they received the “outstanding organization” award from the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency in the Live Well San Diego Public Health Champion Awards. Dr. Talavera was named as the 2010, Monty winner for CHHS, which recognizes outstanding faculty by the SDSU Alumni Association. He also received the 2014 Helen Rodriguez- Trìas Social Justice Award, which honors public health workers who have worked toward social justice for underserved and disadvantaged. Many of his research students have won awards in the SDSU Student Research Symposium.

All of Dr. Talavera’s work is focused on providing practical, culturally aware ways to improve the health of his community, whether that is in South San Diego or across the country. His dedication to this goal is absolute and inspiring.

School of Nursing

Inspiring Alumni Demonstrate the Many Different Career Paths for Nurses

son1Most people, when they hear the word “nurse”, envision a hospital nurse in scrubs and working with patients or the nurse in the doctor’s office who takes your blood pressure and medical history. Indeed, these are probably the most common nursing positions, but there are many more career paths that nurses take that are less known and often unseen by the public. Three alumni of the School Of Nursing have pursued very different paths in their careers.

Cheryl Odell is the Chief Nursing Officer, a nursing leadership position, at Sharp Mesa Vista hospital. As an executive of the hospital, she oversees the care provided by all the nurses in the hospital. This includes designing hiring and training programs and ensuring the budget to support them. She is involved in the leadership decisions at the hospital. She spends her days in meetings dis- cussing ways to improve patient care, staff development, and the physical appearance of the hospital. She also interacts with patients and their families who have concerns about their treatment, and nurses who have concerns about safety. As she says, “I spend my time in meetings…lots and lots of meetings working with others to improve care.”

son2Before receiving this senior position, Cheryl held many other positions. She joined the Sharp HealthCare nursing staff immediately after graduating in 1978. She started as a floor nurse and quickly moved up to a lead position. Over the years she took on many different assignments, many of which she didn’t feel quite ready for at the time. “But I always said, ‘OK, I can do that!’ each time I was asked to take a new assignment”, she notes. She returned to SDSU to receive her master’s degree in Nursing in 1989. Cheryl credits her success to always being willing to try new things and to grow in her career.

Rebecca Long took a slightly different path to combine hands-on nursing and academia. She currently works for both the Veteran’s Affairs San Diego and as a lecturer at SDSU. After graduating from SDSU with a master’s degree in 1992, she went to Washington, DC on a fellowship from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), where she was able to work as an advocate and help shape healthcare policy legislation. She continued her association with AACN, chaired their national certification board of directors, and helped create standards for advanced practice nursing. She returned to San Diego to a career at the VA as a clinical nurse specialist. In 2001, she joined the faculty at SDSU as part of a partnership between the VA and SDSU. In addition to lecturing on nursing leadership, she is program director for new nurses through a one year transition program at the VA and is part of the nursing leadership team there. As such she says, “Now I touch patients through those I teach and mentor, and by helping create a superior care environment.” In addition, she has served as an expert witness for medical-surgical nurs- ing for over 150 medical malpractice cases. “It is work that I enjoy; it helps to make me a better nurse. I share my experiences with the students and new nurses to impact patient safety.”

son3She notes that the experience in Washington changed her forever, as did working with several mentors over the years. Now she is passionate about conveying “the heart of nursing” to students and new nurses, showing them how to use their intellect, knowledge, compassion and joy as they provide patient care and advocate for the best practices possible in their area.

Alumna April King went from nurse to entrepreneur as her career took a surprising twist. After graduating in 1989, she worked in a typical hospital environment. It wasn’t until several years later that she learned about Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA). CRNAs provide anesthetics to patients in every practice setting, and for all types of surgery or procedures. April chose the Nurse Anesthesia master’s program at USC to prepare for this new nursing career.

Even as a student, she recognized how challenging it can be to keep a patient’s airway open during deep sedation as she juggled elevating a patient’s jaw (which took two hands) and at the same time, administering anesthesia. For many years she assumed that it must be a problem just for her since no one came forward with a solution. Finally she recognized that many anesthesia providers had this challenge. She also realized that she had a potential solution – a device that elevated the patient’s jaw, leaving her hands free to better administer anesthesia. She thought, “I have to try. If this doesn’t work, then at least I don’t have to say, ‘What if…’ the rest of my life.”

son4With this idea in her head and data that showed many deaths could be prevented by such a device, she set about making it a reality. She founded Hypnoz Therapeutic Devices, raised revenue via shareholders and formed a team to help her create a working prototype. She was excited when she tested this new device on a patient and it worked! Soon she was creating a business, marketing her Jaw Elevation Device (JED®), finding a manufacturer, mastering distribution channels and all of the other challenges that come with a startup business. She was also continuing her career as a CRNA, raising a family, and volunteering in international surgery efforts in poor and underserved areas. Although the business has suffered the typical ups and downs of any startup, she is excited to be distributing her product around the world. She says, “It is just the best feeling when I walk into an operating room and see my device is being used.”

Each of these alumni from the SDSU School of Nursing have taken a different path over their careers. Yet each of them offers the same advice for students and those starting their careers, “Go for it! Do not be afraid to try new things, to branch out, to take on new challenges. Even if you don’t feel you are ready, do it anyway. You never know where your path might lead or how one opportunity will lead to another. There are so many opportunities out there, be bold!”

School of Social Work

The Consensus Oganizing Center Brings Together Communities and Students

ssw1Consensus organizing is a particular type of community organizing. Although more traditional community organizing methods will often result in a winner and a loser, consensus organizing, as the name implies, seeks to find a creative solution so that everyone’s needs are met. In the process, community connections are strengthened, bringing about long-term benefits. Before starting the Consensus Organizing Center (COC) at SDSU in 1999, Mike Eichler had made a career of helping communities find such solutions, proving that this model worked.

Given its emphasis on bringing people together and building communities, it is perhaps natural that practicing consensus organizing lead to forming a center where the methodology could be taught to others and increase the number of trained organizers able to work with communities. Eichler started the COC in order to do just that – train more organizers so that more communities could be helped. At SDSU, he found University President Stephen Weber and the School of Social Work director Anita Harbert who supported his vision and provided the means to move forward.

Once the center was established, Eichler needed a project for current students to experience consensus organizing first-hand and to attract future students to the program. He established the Step Up program as a working demonstration of how consensus organizing can transform a community. As this corresponded to the beginnings of SDSU’s involvement in the City Heights neighborhood, it made sense to start there. He met with teachers and administrators at Hoover High School and confirmed the need for a program that would help underserved students recognize the value and potential of a college education, help the students get accepted and finally provide the necessary assistance for these students so they could achieve a degree. He also learned about other challenges in the City Heights community and the needs of SDSU social work students for community internship experiences.

The Step Up program was designed to meet all of these needs. SDSU students work with the faculty of Hoover High School to identify students who could achieve a college degree but might not consider it for a variety of reasons. The students accepted into the program attend an introductory social work class on the SDSU campus, allowing them to experience college first-hand and observe students like themselves finding success. During the program, teaching assistants are available to help them gain study skills for college courses. The program also includes a requirement for internships in their community, allowing the Step Up students and undergraduate social workers to apply what they are learning about consensus organizing. It also allows community members and younger students to see the students succeed, as well as helps social service agencies with their work. The program has demonstrated remarkable success with approximately 90% of youth participants going on to a four-year college and 80% of those graduating with a bachelor’s degree.

Out of this success came a textbook written by Eichler and used in universities around the world, including Greece and Israel. In 2012, he retired as the center’s director and moved on to his next challenge: using the consensus organizing method outside of the social service and community organizing environment. He is currently applying it in the realm of theater, working with theater companies in Pasadena and New York. As part of this work he has written several plays that have been performed in these theaters as well as in San Diego to benefit the COC.

ssw2Eichler notes that he is very proud of the number of students of his who have gone on to complete advanced degrees and become professors. One of these students is Jessica Robinson, an SDSU alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and master’s in Administrative Social Work, who joined the SDSU faculty and is now executive director of the COC. She is currently working on her doctoral degree, examining the Step Up pro- gram to establish how and why it works so well, and paving the way for other schools and communities to replicate its success. She says, “We know it works, but I want to make sure we know why it works and to establish the evidence necessary to replicate this program.”

Robinson’s vision for the future of the COC is to ensure that all social work students at SDSU are exposed on the idea of consensus organizing. She notes that social workers who are in a clinical practice setting still work within a community. She wants future social workers to look beyond the individual they are working with to the wider community, to work within that community and achieve desired outcomes for the entire community. She would also like to see the Step Up program replicated in other colleges and communities as a vehicle for college attainment amongst disadvantaged young people. “I want my legacy to be a fully- developed, evidence-based model of the Step Up program that can be replicated. Students from marginalized communities can succeed in college. They can become examples for their community to encourage further success. Using this base, an entire community can be elevated. That is the goal of this center and its programs.”

School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Helping Stroke Patients with Community Outreach, Therapy and Research

slhs-1On April 27, the school held an event to connect students, faculty, stroke survivors, caregivers and community resources. The first annual SAID (Stroke Awareness and Information Day) attracted more than 200 people from around San Diego to SDSU. The event was sponsored by the school; the Language And Neuroscience Group; the National Student Speech, Language And Hearing Association, SDSU Chapter; and CHHS. Funding was also supplied by the NIH/NIDCD Training Grant: Neurocognitive Approaches to Communication Disorders. DSU Student Disability Services and Aztec Shops (the university’s catering and hospitality division) were also instrumental in the day’s success.

The day began with welcoming remarks, followed by a series of community talks. These short presentations were intended to help stroke (and brain injury) survivors and those who care for them understand what new thera- pies, medications and resources are available to them. Topics included: Basic Neuroanatomy Of A Stroke (Heike Kessler-Heiberg, MA CCC- SLPof the Acquired Brain Injury Program at SDCC); Recreational Therapy—Active Leisure After Stroke (Grace Latimer and Liz Clarno, CTRS of Sharp Hospital); Stroke Prevention— Knowing The Signs (Sherry Braheny, M.D. of Sharp Grossmont Hospital); Using Apps For Communication And Swallowing (Amelia Cheikh, MA CCC-SLP of Sharp Hospitals); The Yess Group – A Supportive Community After Stroke (Grace Latimer, CTRS and Marissa Pabis, MA CCC-SLP). In addition to these talks, there were multiple community resource tables with staff members providing information about their services.

In addition, there was a clinical presentation from Royya Modir, M.D. of the University Of California, San Diego Stroke Center. This presentation targeted students, faculty and those involved in treating stroke survivors, though most of the stroke survivors also attended. The presentation gave an overview of multiple aspects of stroke including etiol- ogy, epidemiology, prevention, and acute stroke care. Dr. Modir noted that acute stroke care has drastically changed in 2015 as a result of the findings of the newest endovascular therapy trials, and she discussed the findings of these trials and how these findings could be translated into best clinical practices.

slhs-2SLHS professor Tracy Love, one of the two event organizers, was very enthusiastic about the event’s success. She noted that all of the feedback they received was very positive and that many people asked when the next event would take place. She was touched that many of the SLHS MA speech-pathology graduate students attended the event with their stroke-survivor clients and then used the information presented in follow-up clini- cal sessions. She was also pleased by how many professors allowed their students to miss class to attend or received extra credit for attending. Professor Sonja Pruitt-Lord, the other event organizer, was also very pleased with the day.

The SAID event was a natural outgrowth of the many different ways the school is already helping stroke (and brain injury) survivors. The student clinicians in the graduate speech- language pathology program provide individual and group therapy for many members of the community as part of the school’s speech-pathology clinic. These students are super- vised by licensed speech-language pathologists and the hands-on experience the students receive is a major component of their graduate training. The clinic also has several groups for stroke clients so that they can continue to practice their speech and language skills in a supportive environment with other clients.

slhs-3Several of the laboratories are also pursuing research on various issues surrounding the impact of a stroke on language and cognition. Drs. Love and Shapiro are co-directors of the Language And Neuroscience Group and are researching language processing and how it is impacted by brain trauma. In the Bilingualism and Cognition Lab, Dr. Henrike Blumendeld is working on how strokes impact the language skills of people who are bilingual, and how that might differ from those who speak a single language. Dr. Karen Emmorey directs the Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Neuroscience and has studied how a stroke might impact someone who is hearing impaired or deaf and uses American Sign Language. Together, these researchers are striving to determine how our brains are impacted by a stroke, especially in the area of language and communication. More importantly, they are trying to better understand the neural organization of language and cogni- tion so as to develop the most effective treatments.

Dr. Love is already planning for next year’s SAID event. She is hoping it can grow to include more community resources and other schools within CHHS, as well as welcome more members of the community to the campus. The goal of the event was to promote stroke-related services in the San Diego area to stroke survivors, family members and friends, and other allied professionals; to foster greater collaboration and cooperation amongst groups working to advance stroke/aphasia research and outcomes; and advocate for community awareness about stroke/aphasia related issues. These goals were clearly met in the first annual event and Dr. Love envisions an even more successful event next year.