Stoked on a Summer Internship at Hurley

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By Margaret Chantung

You could say the Hurley International Icon Internship Program is competitive. Approximately 2,000 enthusiastic undergrads apply annually for only 37 coveted spots at Hurley’s Costa Mesa headquarters. This year 2015 CSUSM graduate Makenzie Stade landed one of them.

During the 10-week summer program, Makenzie is getting an insider’s view on how the company, a subsidiary of Nike, continually pushes the boundaries of surfing through apparel and gear.

Hurley interns work in departments across the organization based on their skills and interests. As an innovation and design intern, Makenzie is assigned to the team responsible for some of the most forward-thinking products in the surf industry.

“Right now I’m working on two projects – one within my department and a group project with five other interns,” Makenzie said.

The group project will culminate the internship experience, with student teams presenting to visiting Nike executives.

“It’s a very big deal,” she commented.

This is the first time that a Cal State San Marcos student has interned in the Icon program, and Makenzie is working alongside students who hail from MIT and other top research institutions.

Sean Newcomer, assistant professor of kinesiology at CSUSM, says that Makenzie’s academic training in kinesiology and her hands-on experience working on his ongoing study measuring the biomechanics and physiological benefits of surfing for amateur surfers gave her a solid foundation for success at the internationally-recognized surf brand.

In addition, Makenzie credits other previous internship experience for making her Hurley application strong, including a position at Saddleback Hospital in cardiac rehabilitation where she worked with patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease.

At the end of the summer, Makenzie, who just graduated from CSUSM with her Bachelor of Science in kinesiology, will attend Cal State Long Beach to pursue a master’s degree in exercise science.

“My time at Hurley has shown me a whole other side to exercise science,” she said. “I can definitely see a future career for myself in sports performance – everything that I’m doing here could be the basis for my thesis in grad school.

Every day I come home from Hurley and I’m stoked – it’s an amazing opportunity to be part of this team and get to apply my passion for kinesiology in new ways.”

Innovations in Teaching Math to All Children

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By Marilyn Huerta
June 15, 2015

In June, the summer breeze blew through the CSUSM campus as North County elementary school teachers gathered to learn new methods for teaching math. They attended the Innovations in Elementary Mathematics Instruction for All Children: A Symposium for Multilingual Educators at California State University San Marcos. Hosted by the School of Education, and funded by the Virginia Hansen Family Endowment, this dynamic two-day workshop was deemed a success by the teachers, each of whom had an opportunity to attend a session in either English or Spanish.

Kamii, who has past experience working with the renown philosopher and developmental psychologist, Jean Piaget, lead the session in English and focused her discussion on the importance of children better understanding the concepts of math logic and making sense of numbers. She spoke about the significance of child development and mentioned that it was best for students to first explore how to solve a problem before they are introduced to symbols and math language.

Teachers inquired about using technology in the classroom as a part of common core requirements. Kamii was not a big fan of using technology in the early years of development, as it requires skipping some essential brain development steps. She recommended that children needed to first try to solve the math problems before they are taught the process or before they use any technology. Once students attempt to solve the equations, they are to explain “how” they produced the answer. She points out that students do not simply memorize steps in the problem, but rather they need to be permitted to choose a method that they best understand. Children need to be encouraged to become independent thinkers.

“Give the kids a chance to struggle with it first and then ask them to reflect on their answer,” Catherine Weldon, teacher attending the workshop recalls. She goes on to say, “This is a different process then the traditional process when teachers write math steps on the board and the students are expected to just follow them. Some children develop at different stages, so some will need to use a process that makes sense to them,” Weldon shares.

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Professor Gustavo Saldaña, an engineer and teacher educator at the National University of Mexico, employed creativity in leading the Spanish workshop. His participants interacted with hands-on board games and playful activities that provided them with new methods and strategies in teaching geometric concepts. This group shared how much they appreciated the introduction to new teaching techniques, and also appreciated the opportunity to hear the explanations in Spanish. “This is so helpful,” said one of the teachers, “I wish we could attend more workshops in Spanish.”

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In both sessions, the presenters discussed how children’s cultural background influences their education. Why doesn’t a child speak up in class and ask for help when s/he is struggling? As the conversation continued, teachers explored math reasoning and they gained a better understanding as to why children struggle with math. Teachers agreed that they must continue to encourage their students to ask questions and they understand that the children must be part of the teaching process.

These information-packed workshops ended with a time for reflection and debrief of the value of the workshops. Teachers left feeling inspired and excited about implementing new strategies in their classrooms. For many, the conversation will continue.

The Virginia Hanson Symposium Foundation supported this symposium.

Helping the Elderly Prevent Falls

By Triveni Sheshadr
March 25, 2015

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The statistics are sobering. Every year one in three adults ages 65 and older experiences a fall. As a result many suffer fractures, injuries and, in some cases, even death. Falls are a leading cause of hospitalizations among the elderly.

Hyun Gu Kang, assistant professor of kinesiology at Cal State San Marcos, is intrigued by why falls occur and what can be done to prevent them.

“In kinesiology, we learn about how balance, stability and postural control systems work,” Kang said. “I want to know what is happening when they don’t work. Two of my great grandparents lived up to 100. Both had falls and passed away within a week of the incidents. They were healthy and it was the fall that took them.”

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In February Kang launched a nine-week fall prevention program at the San Marcos Senior Center. Nine elderly men and women enrolled in the twice-weekly class taught by certified FallProof™ instructor Mary Jo Preti. The class allows the seniors to learn valuable fall prevention strategies while giving CSUSM’s kinesiology, nursing and human development students the opportunity to collaborate and practice their classroom learning in a real world setting.

Kang believes that falls are not an inevitable part of aging.

“Falls are preventable,” he said. “The prevention is not always expensive or complicated. I wanted our students to have the knowledge and skills to do something about it. They have a responsibility to the community.”

The class is based on FallProofTM, a prevention program developed by Debra Rose, professor of kinesiology at Cal State Fullerton. Rose’s program, used in retirement communities and senior centers all over the country, includes screening and assessment, and exercises to improve balance, gait, flexibility, posture, strength and endurance. Instructors use devices such as stability balls, cones and foam pads in the exercise routines.

“We improve balance by taking away the things we use to help ourselves,” Kang said. “We ask the seniors to place their feet on squishy foam pads so that they cannot use their feet to balance. Sometimes we ask them to close their eyes so that they cannot use their vision. We take away the use of the arms, so that they find other ways to balance.”

On a recent afternoon, about a dozen CSUSM students stood alert, watchful and ready to help as the seniors began their exercises. Among them was Chris Dobson, a kinesiology major, who walked with Mary Wood as she made her way around numerous orange cones placed on the floor.“It’s been a great experience,” Chris said. “I’m learning how to interact and engage with seniors, and practice safety protocols. I am thinking of becoming a certified fall prevention instructor.”

For seniors like Wood, the class is an opportunity to learn exercises that can keep her safe.

“I move too fast and I tend to fall,” Wood said. “I’m also trying to improve my balance and the strength in my legs. If you don’t use it, you lose it.”

As they work together the CSUSM students and the seniors in the class have developed an easy camaraderie. While the seniors are appreciative of the attentive help in the class, the students are learning from the intergenerational experience.

Audrey Oliver took slow and steady steps as she walked backwards while kinesiology major Breanna Merson kept a close watch on her.

Oliver beamed at the student.

“She reminds me of my granddaughter,” she said.

Merson said she enjoyed working with the seniors.

“It’s great to work with Audrey and all the wonderful people here,” she said. “I have grown attached to all of them.”

Nursing student Lea Lewis has seen many instances of seniors who end up in hospitals after falls.

“It’s a great idea to teach fall prevention to seniors because it’s such a big issue in health care and the aging population is growing so much,” Lewis said. “Falls can lead to so many complications and hospitalizations.”

Class instructor Mary Jo Preti said it was a great benefit to have the CSUSM students assist her in the class.

“They are very good,” Preti said. “I can do so much more in the class with their help. They have great suggestions. There’s a lot of give and take both ways.”

As the class wrapped up, Preti stood in the center of the room and looked around.

“That was very nicely done interns,” she said to the CSUSM students. “Let’s have a round of applause all around.”

Healthcare with Heart: Clinics Provide Free Services Across San Diego County

By Triveni Sheshadri
March 18, 2015
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During a rare lull in her busy afternoon, Alia Holyfield loaded a washer in the back room of an Oceanside health clinic. Before that she had answered phones, took a patient’s blood pressure and medical history, and checked inventory in the supply room.

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It’s all in a day’s work for Holyfield, a student manager at the free clinic, one of four in San Diego County run by the School of Nursing (SoN) at Cal State San Marcos. Known collectively as the Student Healthcare Project, the clinics are managed by students who work under the supervision of licensed volunteer physicians, nurse practitioners and SoN faculty to provide free services to poor and uninsured community residents.

Holyfield, who will graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, hones her clinical skills by performing EKGs, changing catheters and doing pregnancy tests. She is learning about clinic operations as she manages inventory and updates electronic medical records.

The experience has made her keenly attuned to the needs of the clinic’s patients—the working poor, uninsured, the homeless and those who struggle with mental health and substance abuse issues.

“Working here has been an amazing experience for me,” Holyfield said. “This allows me to give back to patients who have had very little access to care. I have learned how to build trust and rapport with our patients. It’s wonderful to see that they look upon the clinic as a place they can come to.”

Dr. William “Gerry” Hardison, volunteer medical director of the Student Healthcare Project, has observed firsthand the impact of the clinic experience.

“The experience is unique for student nurses,” said Hardison, a retired physician. “They are case managers. They are social workers. The patient clientele that they see here, they will never see anywhere else. They learn a tremendous amount. I have learned a lot.”

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The Student Healthcare Project was the brainchild of SoN faculty member Linnea Axman who broached the idea to her graduate students five years ago. Mary Baker and Michelle Alfe, now faculty members at SoN, jumped at the opportunity. The group began to work on the details of opening the first free clinic that could serve the homeless population in Ocean Beach while providing SoN’s baccalaureate and graduate students the opportunity to fulfill clinical rotation, community service and leadership requirements.

The Ocean Beach clinic opened in 2010. Three other locations were added in Ocean Beach, Oceanside and National City.

Baker is a teacher, mentor and sounding board for the nursing students who run the four clinics. As clinic co-director, she splits her time between all four sites as she guides students through every aspect of clinic operations, whether it’s writing grants, finding the best source for supplies or securing space for a wellness class.

One patient the students have come to know well is Terry Tyler. Soft spoken with a ready smile, the Philadelphia native had not seen a doctor in more than a decade until his swollen legs brought him to the Oceanside clinic about a year ago. Since then, the clinic has become his medical home. He comes in for regular checkups and has been able to manage his blood pressure. He helps around the clinic in any way he can. He pointed out with pride the pictures he had hung in the hallways and exam rooms for a recent fundraiser.

“I would be near death if it were not for the clinic,” said Tyler who lives in an Escondido shelter. “These people are my family. I feel at home here.”

The clinics offer a wide array of services including primary care, health education, mental health services, lab tests and case management for patients of all ages. In 2014 there were a combined 3,000 patient visits at the four locations. Nursing students also assist patients with enrollment in Medi-Cal and Covered California health plans, the CalFresh nutrition program and services such as transitional housing.

“We try to pick students that we feel would be the best fit here,” Baker said. “They have to be independent. They are responsible for everything from cleaning the bathroom to calling 911 if it’s necessary.”

Laketa Ducat, a nursing senior, fits the bill. She came to the Oceanside clinic to fulfill leadership requirements last fall and organized group walks, yoga classes and nutrition programs for patients and area residents. Energized by her experience, she returned in January as a clinic manager. Her responsibilities range from greeting patients to maintaining electronic health records, supervising volunteer staff and ordering clinic supplies.

Like many other students who work at the clinic, Ducat is grateful for the opportunity to serve patients who have had little access to health care.

“I hear from them about their struggles and needs, and celebrate their triumphs no matter how small,” she said. “I am given a daily opportunity to put a new face on a health care system that previously represented poor experiences or even failures in the past for our clients. I don’t take that charge lightly. Our entire society benefits when we empower individuals to manage and care for their health.”

Like their students, SoN faculty members are drawn to the clinic for the chance to make a difference. Among them is Susan Andera.

“We are the medical home for people of all ages. Many did not have one before we came along,” said Andera, a nurse practitioner. “There’s definitely a great need. It’s challenging work. We give a lot but we get a lot more back.”

The SoN Student Health Project depends on donations from individuals and grants from private foundations for funding. Baker and her students write grants. They have reined in costs by securing free space donated by churches. They have formed partnerships with pharmacies and labs for subsidized medications and lab services. Recently, students organized a sale of art donated by local artists.

“We have some great partners who help us but it still costs a lot of money,” Baker said.

To learn more about how you can support the Student Healthcare Project, contact Mary Baker at sonhealthproject@csusm.edu.

“Being here teaches students some things they can’t learn in a classroom,” Baker said. “It changes the way they look at homeless people and others who are underserved. They hear their back stories and get to know them as people.”

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One patient the students have come to know well is Terry Tyler. Soft spoken with a ready smile, the Philadelphia native had not seen a doctor in more than a decade until his swollen legs brought him to the Oceanside clinic about a year ago. Since then, the clinic has become his medical home. He comes in for regular checkups and has been able to manage his blood pressure. He helps around the clinic in any way he can. He pointed out with pride the pictures he had hung in the hallways and exam rooms for a recent fundraiser.

“I would be near death if it were not for the clinic,” said Tyler who lives in an Escondido shelter. “These people are my family. I feel at home here.”

The clinics offer a wide array of services including primary care, health education, mental health services, lab tests and case management for patients of all ages. In 2014 there were a combined 3,000 patient visits at the four locations. Nursing students also assist patients with enrollment in Medi-Cal and Covered California health plans, the CalFresh nutrition program and services such as transitional housing.

“We try to pick students that we feel would be the best fit here,” Baker said. “They have to be independent. They are responsible for everything from cleaning the bathroom to calling 911 if it’s necessary.”

Laketa Ducat, a nursing senior, fits the bill. She came to the Oceanside clinic to fulfill leadership requirements last fall and organized group walks, yoga classes and nutrition programs for patients and area residents. Energized by her experience, she returned in January as a clinic manager. Her responsibilities range from greeting patients to maintaining electronic health records, supervising volunteer staff and ordering clinic supplies.

Like many other students who work at the clinic, Ducat is grateful for the opportunity to serve patients who have had little access to health care.

“I hear from them about their struggles and needs, and celebrate their triumphs no matter how small,” she said. “I am given a daily opportunity to put a new face on a health care system that previously represented poor experiences or even failures in the past for our clients. I don’t take that charge lightly. Our entire society benefits when we empower individuals to manage and care for their health.”

Like their students, SoN faculty members are drawn to the clinic for the chance to make a difference. Among them is Susan Andera.

“We are the medical home for people of all ages. Many did not have one before we came along,” said Andera, a nurse practitioner. “There’s definitely a great need. It’s challenging work. We give a lot but we get a lot more back.”

The SoN Student Health Project depends on donations from individuals and grants from private foundations for funding. Baker and her students write grants. They have reined in costs by securing free space donated by churches. They have formed partnerships with pharmacies and labs for subsidized medications and lab services. Recently, students organized a sale of art donated by local artists.

“We have some great partners who help us but it still costs a lot of money,” Baker said.

To learn more about how you can support the Student Healthcare Project, contact Mary Baker at sonhealthproject@csusm.edu.

Collaborative Learning Thrives at CEHHS

by Triveni Sheshadri

On the last day of the fall semester, students in Erika Daniels’ Applications in Youth and Child Development class milled about their classroom in University Hall as they took in the work of their peers. They checked out colorful poster boards, watched PowerPoint presentations and participated in an inventive game designed by a classmate.

The projects were part of Gallery Walk, a collaborative learning exercise where students shared with their classmates what they had observed in their semester-long service learning projects in preschools, elementary school classrooms and after-school programs.

Senior Jason Bandong scrolled through a PowerPoint presentation that summarized what he took away from his work with third-graders.

“I learned how technology is integrated into the classroom,” he explained to his classmate Jennifer Hickey. “I learned how to interact with young children. You have to be patient, lower yourself to their eye level when you talk to them.”

Jennifer Azhadi, a senior, said collaborative activities like Gallery Walk augmented her learning from textbooks and lectures.

“You get a chance to discuss what you have learned with your classmates,” Azhadi said. “I retain so much more information.”

Collaborative learning is thriving in many classrooms at the College of Education, Health and Human Services (CEHHS), giving students many opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences. Activities like Gallery Walk are credited with deeper learning, an appreciation of diverse perspectives and the honing of creative problem solving skills.

“Gallery Walk is incredibly fun,” said Daniels, associate professor of Literacy in the School of Education. “It is a visual representation of everything that they have learned, of the connections they observe in what they learn in the classroom and the real world. They walk around, ask questions of their classmates and discover the similarities in their experiences. The learning is really powerful.”

In Hyun Gu Kang’s kinesiology classes, students take quizzes individually and come together in groups to discuss questions.

“They are given a “scratch off” quiz sheet with answers,” said Kang, assistant professor of Kinesiology. “Students have to discuss and agree on an answer before scratching to see if their guess is correct. If it’s not correct, they have to discuss again. They benefit from having to discuss answer choices, which facilitates peer teaching.”

Kang also assigns group projects that involve study and protocol design, recruitment of participants, analysis of results and presentation.

“They benefit from having to make each of their parts fit into the whole picture, both in visual presentation and in content,” Kang said.

Laura Wendling, professor of Social Studies Education, weaves collaborative learning projects into many course activities. Her teaching credential students bring in artifacts like letters, photographs and medals to create a classroom museum. In another exercise related to collecting oral histories, pairs of students interview each other. At the end of reading chapters, students view and discuss their responses to questions that Wendling posts around the classroom.

“All these activities get students to ask questions. They are learning about each other, learning from one another,” Wendling said. “They are gaining new knowledge, finding new sources of information that’s not in the text book. We are creating a classroom community and an interactive learning environment.”

From Remedial Classes to Honor Society

by Triveni Sheshadri

Featured speaker Tiffany Tooley, an honor student who is working toward degrees in Human Development and Medical Anthropology, shared her inspirational story of hard work and persistence.

“The test that I took told me I was not smart enough to take college courses. My heart told me otherwise. I passed my remedial classes with flying colors,” Tooley told her cheering audience. “Whenever I got down I would always remember what my mother told me. She would say, “As long as you try your hardest, you shall never fail.”

The conference was also an opportunity to recognize fall graduates. Among them was Lorena Davies, a Human Development major.

“The event was a really fun way to present the research that we have been working on all semester,” Davies said. “It was a great way to celebrate all the hard work we have done together. As a graduate this fall, I felt honored to have attended the event and I thank Dr. Bigham for encouraging us to attend.”

The Nu Upsilon chapter of Kappa Omicron Nu was established in CSUSM in 2006. Membership is open to Human Development and Kinesiology majors with a GPA of at least 3.28 and who have completed 45 semester units. For more information, contact Elizabeth Bigham at ebigham@csusm.edu.

Nurturing the Scientists of the Future

by Triveni Sheshadri

Since 2006, the fall Nu Upsilon Research Conference at CSUSM has given Kinesiology and Human Development students the opportunity to present the findings of their undergraduate research before an audience of peers and faculty. The 2014 conference, held in early December at the Student Union, featured the work of more than three dozen students in classes taught by Elizabeth Bigham, Kathy Fuller and Yujiro Shimagori. The presentations spanned a wide array of research interests, from attitudes toward disabilities to stress triggers for college students, from the impact of caffeine on well being to the relationship between fast food and sleep.

Bigham, a Human Development lecturer, started the conference in 2006 to give undergraduate students in her Applied Research class a chance to present the results of their research projects before an audience.

“The conference gives students the opportunity to discuss their work with peers and faculty, and gain recognition for their work,” Bigham said. “It increases their confidence in understanding the research process and they obtain additional mentoring from faculty. Many students comment that the experience of presenting at the conference encouraged them to consider advancing to graduate school.”

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