College of Health & Social Sciences | CHSS Connection
May 2016
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Announcing our new publication

Welcome to the first issue of CHSS Connection, the newsletter for faculty and staff at the College of Health & Social Sciences! The purpose of this publication is to foster a College community by sharing news and information about our achievements, collaborations and projects. If someone from your unit has won an award, published a paper, or is doing interesting work that exemplifies SF State’s core values, your colleagues want to know. Send newsletter submissions and story ideas to Michael Broder, director of college relations, at Send photos too! 
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Heartfelt thanks and best wishes to our retiring chairs

Nancy Rabolt       Ed McCaughan
Nancy Rabolt, professor and chair of the Department of Consumer & Family Studies/Dietetics, and Ed McCaughan, professor and interim director of the School of Social Work, will both be retiring as of the end of this semester. Our thanks to both of them for their many years of distinguished service. They will be missed!
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CHSS scholars receive SF BUILD mini-grant

Pictured: Sherria Taylor, Juliana van Olphen (standing) and Maria Veri
This spring a team of six CHSS scholars received a mini-grant from the SF BUILD project, an NIH-funded collaboration of SF State CoSE faculty and UCSF to increase underrepresented minority students in science, technology and math careers. The team proposed to test its SAFE model, a theoretical framework that proposes that stereotype threat undermines the performance of many students in our classrooms, and particularly affects their confidence in quantitative courses. The team is redesigning the research and statistics introductory courses for undergraduates in three departments and will test the new courses in the fall.
Pictured (left to right): Team members Sherria Taylor, Juliana van Olphen (standing), Maria Veri, Nicole Bolter and Jocelyn Hermoso. Not pictured: Mickey Eliason
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2016 Spring Showcase

Pictured: Jerry Lam, Aiko Yoshino, and Dominique Bumb were among the many poster presenters.
A packed house attended this year’s Spring Showcase, where the integration of teaching, scholarship and service was the overarching theme of three keynotes and 30 poster presentations. The event was held May 5 at Seven Hills Conference Center.
Pictured: Jerry Lam, Aiko Yoshino, and Dominique Bumb were among the many poster presenters.
View photos
Read abstracts

Staff admitted to master’s degree programs

Two Associate Dean’s Office staff members will be continuing their educations at SF State: Tianne Feliciano, administrative analyst/specialist in academic operations in the Associate Dean’s Office, has been admitted to the master’s of arts degree program in instructional technologies. Susan Cuong, administrative support coordinator for the Associate Dean’s Office and the Student Resource Center, has been admitted to the master’s of science degree program in counseling with a concentration in college counseling. Both will begin their graduate programs in the fall. Congratulations Tianne and Susan!


SRC staff members demonstrate the power of technology to engage students

Representatives from the CHSS Student Resource Center (SRC) and the Student Outreach and Academic Retention-TRIO Program (SOAR TRIO) presented a workshop at the 38th WESTOP (Western Association of Educational Opportunity Personnel) Annual Conference on April 5 in Reno, Nevada. The workshop, titled “Engaging Students Using Social Media and Technology in a TRIO First Year Experience (FYE) Course,” was presented by Amie T. Brady (M.S. candidate, Counseling; academic counselor/SRC advising coordinator/lecturer) and Taryn Wong (M.S. candidate, Counseling; SOAR academic coordinator/instructor).
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Faculty writing groups

Summer writing groups are forming, with the summer kick-off on Wednesday, June 1, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Copy-editing is also available. If interested, contact Mickey Eliason, assistant dean for faculty development and scholarship, at

Walsh wins Distinguished Faculty Award

Criminal Justice lecturer Ken Walsh was recognized with a Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award was established to designed to highlight the outstanding accomplishments of faculty members at San Francisco State University. Walsh was noted for his consistent teaching effectiveness; his fostering of student learning, achievement and enthusiasm; his positive impact on students; and his pedagogical and curricular innovations.


Department of Child & Adolescent Development

EDvance hosts evening of activities and networking

Photo: Child & Adolescent Development Department held its second annual symposium
The EDvance SF Program of the Child & Adolescent Development Department held its second annual symposium on April 11. Current students, alumni, prospective students and community members came together for an evening filled with activities and networking. Highlights of the event included student poster presentations of their work in early childhood education, poster-making activities for the annual SF advocacy event Walk Around the Block, a live graphic recorder capturing SF State students voices on their college experience and a keynote presentation by Darrick Smith, assistant professor of educational leadership at the University of San Francisco.

Platas delivers presentations on mathematics teaching and assessment

Assistant professor Linda Platas spoke at two national conferences this spring. At the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), she presented “AERA: 25 years of mathematics teaching in the classroom: Recommendations for the field.” At the 2016 conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), she presented “CIES: Trends in the Use of Mathematics Assessment at the Policy Level – Early Childhood.” She also became co-chair of the CIES Global Math Education special interest group.

Department of Consumer & Family Studies/Dietetics

Runway 2016: Emerge event poster

‘Runway 2016: Emerge’

On April 28, seniors in Apparel Design and Merchandising presented “Runway 2016: Emerge,” a fashion show at the SF Design Center Galleria. At the event, future designers and merchandisers showcased their distinctive creations that incorporate wearable technology and up-cycled garments made from merchandise donated by the SF State Bookstore. The event was produced in collaboration with Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts.
Read more in the Golden Gate Xpress

Dietetics student wins scholarship, stages food safety event

Laura Duggan, a dietetics major, received a $5,000 scholarship from the ConAgra Foods Foundation, which will pay for her graduate internship that leads to her RD certification. (She was accepted to the very competitive dietetic internship at UCSF). Part of the requirement was to develop an interactive event which ConAgra funded as part of its home food safety campaign. Her project title was “cooking clean is cool,” and it consisted of a cooking event on April 20 in our Miele Lab in Burk Hall, where students competed in a 50-minute meatball-making contest. Products were judged on appearance, taste, smell, and overall acceptability; but learning about food safety was the main goal of the project.

Department of Counseling

Orozco honored for for leadership in school counseling

Professor Graciela Orozco, chair of the Department of Counseling, received the 2016 43rd H.B. McDaniel Foundation Award for her professional contributions to the field counseling, in particular, for her leadership and advocacy in the area of school counseling. She received the award on April 30 at an awards banquet at the Stanford University Faculty Club. The award is named for H.B. McDaniel, the founder of the counseling program at Stanford University and first director of guidance for the California State Department of Education. It is one of the most prestigious awards in the counseling profession in California.
Alex Locust

Locust receives graduate student award for rehabilitation 

Alex Locust was named the National Council on Rehabilitation Education’s 2016 Graduate Student of the Year. He is a student in the Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Program in the Department of Counseling. The award, which was presented to him at an awards ceremony on April 22, recognizes a master’s level student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, advocacy, and/or research contributions in rehabilitation and/or with individuals with disabilities.

Students help homeless individuals prepare resumes

Professor Rebecca Toporek and four graduate students (Henry Ta, Jessica Lopez, Arlette Marcial-Santana, and Francesca Mauricio in the Career Counseling Specialization, provided employment counseling at the most recent Project Homeless Connect (PHC) event on March 23 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The On-the-Spot Resume Service was developed by the SF State Career Counseling Specialization five years ago and is part of an ongoing partnership between the Career Counseling Specialization and the Tenderloin Workforce Development Office. The project was designed specifically for PHC to assist homeless and near homeless individuals in developing resumes, preparing for interviews and learning job search strategies.

Presentation explores use of collaborative empowerment models

Pictured: Rebecca Toporek, Cynthia Yee
Rebecca Toporek, professor in Department of Counseling, and Cynthia Yee, master’s student, presented at the Convention of the American Counseling Association in Montreal on April 1. The presentation featured preliminary work on a project exploring the use of collaborative empowerment models and how organizations actively involve community/clients as partners and leaders within the organization. The larger project is focused on understanding how these practices can inform the field of counseling, generally, and career development and employment counseling more specifically, to increase strength-based practices for greater inclusion and to amplify the voices of clients.
Book Cover: The Cost of Racism for People of Color

New book examines the cost of racism

Dean and Professor of Counseling Alvin Alvarez published “The Cost of Racism for People of Color: Contextualizing Experiences of Discrimination” this spring. The work is a collaboration with Christopher Liang of Lehigh University and Helen Neville of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and was published by the American Psychological Association. It is a compilation of the most current theoretical, empirical and applied research that examines the racial discrimination experiences of people of color. The book examines the subtle but persistent links between everyday microaggressions and historical racial trauma and offer practical tools to assess and measure racial discrimination.

Department of Health Education

Journal article by Elia, Tokunaga, commended for excellence

Associate Dean and Professor John P. Elia and co-author Jessica Tokunaga received high honors for their recent publication “Sexuality education: Implications for health, equity, and social justice in the United States.” The article, published in the journal Health Education, was selected by the journal’s editorial team as a Highly Commended Paper in the 2016 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence.

Fernández-Peña testifies on occupational licensing barriers

On March 30, California's Little Hoover Commission held a hearing on the impact of occupational licensing on upward mobility and opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation for Californians. Dr. José Ramón Fernández-Peña, associate chair of the Department of Health Education, provided expert testimony on the challenges that current licensing guidelines pose to foreign-trained health professionals as they attempt to re-establish their careers in the state. He was also representing IMPRINT, a national coalition of agencies working on immigrant professional integration. The commissioners were surprised to learn about how the current licensure guidelines effectively prevent many foreign trained health professionals from utilizing their skills and experience to help solve the critical health workforce shortages in California.
Read testimony

Chávez awarded Changemaker fellowship

Associate Professor Vivian Chávez was awarded a Changemaker fellowship from the Pacific School of Religion (PSR) to develop skills in transformative leadership. The fellowship covered tuition for PSR’s certificate of Spirituality and Social Change and included the opportunity to travel to Guatemala for an immersion course titled “The Roots of Migration.” She studied the conditions of oppression that force people to leave their homeland and the range of experiences, from violence to resilience and community support, in crossing borders.
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Humanistic psychology think tank explores core issues of our times

SF State’s Institute for Holistic Health Studies hosted a conference titled “Humanistic (R)evolution 2.0: Re-visioning Human Potential, Education, & Healthcare” in March. Humanistic psychologists and invited thought leaders came together to share research and act as a collective think tank to help clarify a new cultural story for our times—a story that could unite people across our differences and support humanity in its evolution. The conference focused on five key conversations to help civil society face the challenges of this new century: mindful use of technology and media; integrative healthcare; eco-psychology and the new spirituality; integral education and art-infused, transformative learning; and violence v. collaboration, peace and justice. The conference was sponsored with the Society for Humanistic Psychology (American Psychological Association, Division 32).

MPH students address police violence as public health issue

Three MPH students—Liz Kroboth, Jade Rivera and Emma Rubin—took the lead on writing and submitting a 12-page policy statement on the public health impacts of police violence for the American Public Health Association (APHA). The statement focuses on addressing root causes of police violence and critiques mainstream reforms that do not address underlying relations of power. With the support of 12 APHA sections and caucuses and 38 individual members of APHA, they submitted the statement for review this March and are currently awaiting comments from the APHA Joint Policy Committee. Earlier, in their program planning class, the three students developed a program proposal addressing the public health issue of police violence and harassment against communities of color in San Francisco. Their theoretical plan proposes a grassroots campaign to influence the SF Board of Supervisors to pass a policy diverting 1% of general funds from policing to community-based approaches to public safety, such as conflict resolution and restorative justice.

Department of Kinesiology

Kinesiology students receive prestigious honors

Three students were recently recognized for their excellent scholarship. Michael Morrisroe has been elected to the Omicron Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa; Carl Ketcham has been named a 2016 American Kinesiology Association Masters Scholar; and Wesley Kelii Elsu Turner received a 2016 American Kinesiology Association Undergraduate Scholar award.
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Kinesiology team wins faculty-undergraduate student award for collaboration

Photo of: Alvain Alvarez, Jimmy Bagley, Elizabeth Yuen
Jimmy Bagley, assistant professor in the Dept. of Kinesiology, and undergraduate student Elizabeth Yuen won the Award for Faculty-Undergraduate Student Collaboration for “Benefits of exercise and special considerations for individuals with systemic lupus erythematosus.” The award was presented at the CHSS 2016 Spring Showcase on May 5.
Pictured: Dean Alvin Alvarez presents the award to Elizabeth Yuen and Jimmy Bagley.

Zieff receives fellowship, publishes journal article

Professor Susan Zieff was awarded a 2017 Brocher Foundation Fellowship for bioethics. Fellowship offers visiting researchers the opportunity to work at the Brocher Centre in Geneva on projects on the ethical, legal and social implications for humankind of recent medical research and new technologies. Zieff also has an article in press, “Leveraging Citizen Science and Information Technology for Population Physical Activity Promotion” in the Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

School of Nursing

Nursing lecturer, student, and alumna honored at home of Japanese consul general

Diana Huang, Consul General Jun Yamada, Kristine Tulio, Larry Vitale
This spring, lecturer Larry Vitale, master’s student Kristine Tulio and alumna Diana Huang were recognized at a reception at the private residence of Jun Yamada, consul general of Japan. The reception was hosted by the SF Hepatitis B Free Coalition and was attended by approximately 100 members of the SF community representing a diverse set of interests from the business, civic, and health care communities. The SF State School of Nursing and the Nursing Student Association’s Hep B Free SF Ambassador Program, which links student nurse volunteers with the outreach and educational activities of the SF Hep B Free Coalition, received special acknowledgment its work in the local Asian & Pacific Islander community. In Japan, approximately 1.5 million people are infected by hepatitis B, and more than 30,000 die each year from liver cancer. In the United States, the incidence of hepatitis B and liver cancer constitutes the greatest health disparity between Asian & Pacific Islanders and the general U.S. population, and San Francisco has the highest rate of hepatitis B and liver cancer in the country. 
Pictured (left to right): Diana Huang, Consul General Jun Yamada, Kristine Tulio, Larry Vitale

School of Public Affairs & Civic Engagement 

Macallair publishes book on history of youth corrections

Dan Macallair, practitioner-in-residence and executive director of the nonprofit Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, authored the recently published book, After the Doors Were Locked: A History of Youth Corrections in California and the Origins of 21st Century Reform. The work traces the sometimes brutal history of California's juvenile justice system and the various attempts to reform it, from the Gold Rush onwards.
Hear him discuss the book on KQED’s Forum with Michael Krasny.

Undergrad discusses community service learning

Sterling Heinz, an undergraduate student, participated in a panel session, “Undergraduate Involvement in Relational Poverty Studies,” at the Association of American Geographers annual meeting. He presented on his Community Service Learning (CSL) experience from the course USP 560: Urban Poverty and Policy taught by Assistant Professor Tony Sparks.

Speed mentoring event jumpstarts justice careers

On April 26, the Criminal Justice Student Association and PACE hosted the first annual Speed Mentoring event. Current and former members of criminal justice professions met with students to discuss their career paths and offer advice and opportunities for student to jump-start their justice careers. Students were offered a broad range of experiences and approaches from which to draw lessons. The mentors’ career experience ranged from retired captain of the San Francisco Police Department to chief of investigations with the San Francisco District Attorney. In the area of service, the mentors represented a variety of experience including the vice president of the International Police Association, board member of the San Francisco Housing Authority and an SF State Criminal Justice lecturer. Alumni participation spanned the classes of 1971 to 2003.

Department of Physical Therapy 

New lab space allows for patient-handling practice

The Physical Therapy program has remodeled space in the Gym building to create an in-patient lab for students to practice their patient handling skills. The space features hospital beds, a hi-lo mat, automated blood pressure monitors and other medical equipment that will allow for students and faculty to simulate patient care situations, from evaluation to interventions.  The space has already been used with success in several of Assistant Professor Jet Lee's PT 700 Multi-systems Pathokinesiology labs this spring.

Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism

Roped in: The Pacific Leadership Institute helps kids find their path

Pictured: Ian Mosier
The Pacific Leadership Institute (PLI) uses outdoor, experience-based activities to teach teamwork, leadership, self-esteem and life skills. Ian Mosier, who came to PLI as a high school student and now manages the ropes course, is great example of someone who has successfully applied the leadership skills he learned at PLI.
Read the story

Two students awarded national outdoor leader scholarships

Albia Cruz and Miah Taylor, juniors graduating in 2017, have received Gateway Scholarships for National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) courses. Cruz will take the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Educators course, designed for those currently working in or planning to enter the field of outdoor education. Taylor will take the Pacific Northwest Trip Leader course to develop on- and off-trail hiking skills while learning what it takes to run a smooth expedition. SF State is a Gateway Partner with NOLS, with Professor Nina Roberts as the campus liaison. The Gateway Partnership provides educational opportunities to underserved populations.

Tierney investigates Yampa River

Professor Patrick Tierney has made six multimedia presentations in Colorado, Utah and California on the unique natural resource values, threats and need to protect the wild Yampa River in northwest Colorado. The presentations were based on his investigations of the entire 249 mile river corridor and his new book on the Yampa titled Colorado’s Yampa River; Free Flowing and Wild from the Flattops to the Green. His book is a finalist for the Colorado Book of the Year Award.

Students in the RPT 520 Parks and Outdoor Recreation class

Students learn, collaborate and provide digital data for two organizations during field study

Students in the RPT 520 Parks and Outdoor Recreation class prepared materials, learned from two organizations and used advanced digital mapping programs and hand-held tablets to collect data needed by the organizations during a field study program to Sweeney Ridge, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, located outside of San Bruno. It was organized by Professor Patrick Tierney.
Read more

School of Social Work

Students convene for California Lobby Days

On April 17, graduate and undergraduate social work students from universities across California convened at the Sacramento Convention Center for this year’s Lobby Days, sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers California Chapter. SF State’s School of Social work students participated in the two-day event as they do every year. The event’s purpose is to educate students on the state policy and budgetary process, as well as their role in influencing state officials on matters affecting low income and marginalized populations. Students participated in a full day of learning about the budget and the issues and bills for which to advocate, followed by a second day of visits at the capitol with members of the state assembly and senate. Students were educated and advocated on behalf of SB 23 (Eliminates the Maximum Family Grant in CalWORKs), AB 2590 (Sentencing: Restorative Justice) and AB 1584 (SSI/SSP Grant Increase and Restoration of the Cost-Of-Living-Adjustment).

Department of Sociology/Sexuality Studies

Photo: Alvin Alvarez, John Elia, John P. DeCecco

Sexuality Studies pioneer honored with inaugural Founders Award

John P. De Cecco, professor emeritus of psychology, received the first-ever Founders Award from Sexuality Studies on April 26 at the first lecture of the Dr. John P. De Cecco Endowed Lecture Series. The award, which will hereafter be named for him, recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to teaching, learning and social change in the SF State Sexuality Studies Department.
Read more
Pictured: John. P. De Cecco (seated), Dean Alvin Alvarez, Associate Dean John Elia

Symposium addresses justice for Latinx immigrants

A March 10 symposium at SF State brought together scholars, service providers and activists to address multiple dimensions of “Justice for Latinx Immigrants”. It was cosponsored by the Departments of Sociology and Sexuality Studies, the Rachel Kahn-Hut Public Sociology Lecture Fund, CREGS, HEI, and the César Chávez Institute.
Read more


Many of our College faculty have recently been in the media. Below is a selection of stories:
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