Fresno State honors longtime employees at STAR Day

Fresno State held their annual Staff Training and Recognition (STAR) Day on Thursday, May 21st. This event gives staff across the campus and an opportunity to come together to learn new skills and gain personal development through a series of workshops and inspiring discussions. Our own Dr. Mark Baldis, faculty of exercise science in the Department of Kinesiology, presented a workshop on “How Activity and Nutrition Affect Mood/Overall Well-Being”, along with Dr. Lisa Herzig. Dr. Virginia Rondero Hernandez, chair in the Department of Social Work Education, also presented a workshop, entitled “The Power of Owning Our Stories”. We thank them for sharing their expertise!

StarDayFaculty2In collaboration with this STAR Day, the 49th Annual Service Awards Luncheon was held to honor the employees that have made a long-standing impact in the Fresno State community through their service, dedication and excellence to the university. A few of our own staff and administrators within CHHS were honored for their year of service, including:

1. Marlene Bengiamin, Research Director, Central Valley Health Policy Institute (10 years)

2. Jody Hironaka-Juteau, Dean, College of Health and Human Services (15 years)

3. Diannia House, Administrative Support Coordinator, Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies (15 years)

4. Mitzi Lowe, Associate Dean (interim), College of Health and Human Services (15 years)

5. Terry Luna, Project Coordinator, Central California Training Academy (15 years)

6. Karen Lowe, Administrative Support Coordinator, Dean’s Office (20 years)

7. Andrew Hoff, former Dean, College of Health and Human Services (retiree)

We congratulate them on their respective 10-, 15-, and 20-year anniversaries with the university…and look forward to many more! Their dedication to our college and Fresno State as a whole, is what truly makes our campus thrive.

Development Director, Dana Lucka (l), and Dean’s Assistant, Sue Shaw (r), were volunteers at STAR Day and ran into these awesome Lego men!

Student Highlights: Bold Athletes & the Class of 2015

As the 2015 semester comes to a close, we’d like to recognize just a few of many wonderful students who have shined this past semester, some of whom will be graduating on Saturday. Each has a great story to tell and fantastic accomplishments. Here is just some of them.


“Our faith in humanity hasn’t diminished; we’re wanting to go out and actually make the world a better place from our experiences.” – Jamie Navarro, Social Work graduate

Wow, so inspiring. Congratulations to all nine of the Renaissance Scholars from the c/o 2015 – some of whom will be obtaining their bachelor’s degrees in social work (Navarro and Cassandra Alvarez) and public health (Karina Perez). The Renaissance Scholars Program supports ambitious, college-bound individuals, formerly in foster care. We are so proud of their resilience and amazing journey!



RGarcia_15Third-year Doctor of Physical Therapy student, Rebeka Garcia of Livingston, beat out 120 other entries throughout the Central Valley to win the “Best Presentation” award at the 36th Annual Central California Research Symposium. In her abstract, “Fall Incidence and the Use of Psychotropic, Opioid, or Cardiovascular Medications”, Rebekah contributed to an issue of great  importance for older adults and their families – falling.

“Her findings were important and will have implications for any health care practitioner or family member working with older adults,” said Dr. Peggy Trueblood, chair in the Department of Physical Therapy. “I have no doubt Rebeka will excel in her career as a physical therapist”

Rebekah says she plans to stay in the Central Valley following graduation and hopes to establish herself professionally in this community. As for winning the award, Rebekah says, “I was thrilled. It was very gratifying to receive recognition for a project that reflected the culmination of my last year in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.”



Several Public Health students have taken away great honors this past semester, including a couple of Dean’s Medalist recognitions! Community Health senior Marine Vardanyan received the College of Health and Human Services’ Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist award and Master’s of Public Health student Rosendo Iniguez received the Graduate Dean’s Medalist Award for the Division of Student Affairs.

Nereida Boyle received the Outstanding Master’s Degree Project Award and Rhonda Dick-Newell received the Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award award.

In additon, MPH student Anju Abraham was offered an internship with the National Cancer Institute under the Office of Communications and Public Liaison. She will begin her one-year health communication internship on July 13th in Bethesda, Maryland. Her thesis, which explored the topic of “Behaviors, Experiences, and Perceptions of Sexting Among College Students” was referenced for a KSEE24 news segment.



Madchen Ly (L)
Madchen Ly (L)

Senior Kinesiology major Madchen Ly closed out her impressive career with the Bulldogs at the NCAA Golf Regionals in South Bend, Indiana, where she went on to tie for 26th overall. Madchen represented Fresno State as one of six individual participants selected to compete at the regional, alongside 18 teams that qualified for the postseason tournament. Ly was the No. 1 seed among the six individual participants. Congratulations Madchen!

The Women’s Softball team recently became the Mountain West champions and will be competing in the NCAA Eugene Regionals today against North Dakota State. Many of the players are CHHS students, including seven from Kinesiology and one from Public Health. We wish them and the entire team the best of luck. ‪#‎GoDogs‬!



CooleysHow neat is this? Public health senior Stephen Cooley will be graduating this Saturday – AND so will his mom, Sheri! Stephen will receive his bachelor’s in Community Health and Sheri will obtain her bachelor’s of science in Nursing! We congratulate this awesome mother/son duo on their collective accomplishments! We love sharing stories like this.



The very first class of Doctor of Physical Therapy will be receiving their doctoral degrees on May 16, 2015. Since its inception in 2012, an average of 32 students have been enrolled in the three-year program each year, with the inaugural class set be honored in a separate ceremony on May 15, 2015 at the Satellite Student Union at 12:30 p.m. As of January 2015, students must hold a doctoral degree to become a licensed physical therapist according to the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education. One of only three doctorate programs at Fresno State, the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is the only one of its kind in Central California

“Many of our students are first- or second-generation college students,” said Dr. Peggy Trueblood, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. “To graduate with a doctoral degree in physical therapy is an incredible accomplishment.


Congratulations to all our CHHS student on another fantastic year – and to all of graduates, we wish you the best of luck and are proud to have you represent our college as future alumni! Tweet or share your stories and/or photos at #FresnoStateGrad15!

College of Health and Human Services 2015 Commencement Schedule

10390038_10152849045288000_9178547217792987698_nDid you know? Due to the large number of graduates within our college, each of our of 7 departments hosts their OWN commencement ceremonies. With the addition of hooding ceremonies, that brings the total number of commencements this year to 10! We’re the only college on campus that does this year after year! Here is a list of the commencement ceremonies this year:

May 6: School of Nursing, Master’s Hooding – Satellite Student Union, 5 p.m.

May 15:

Department of Social Work Education – Woodward Park Rotary Ampitheater, 9 a.m.

Department of Public Health – North Gym 118, 11:30 a.m.

Doctor of Physical Therapy – Satellite Student Union, 12:30 p.m.

Department of Recreation Administration – North Gym 118, 2 p.m.

Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies – Student Rec Center, 3 p.m.

Department of Kinesiology, Master’s Hooding – North Gym 118, 4:30 p.m.

School of Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice – Satellite Student Union, 6 p.m.

Department of Kinesiology, Athletic Training Program – North Gym 118, 7 p.m.

May 16: University Commencement Ceremony – Save Mart Center, 9:30 a.m.

May 17: School of Nursing, Undergraduate Pinning Ceremony – Satellite Student Union, 10 a.m.

10317783_10154188511445721_6835996022343889771_oWe extend our sincere ‘congratulations’ to each of our 2015 graduates! Go forward on your professional and academic journey, be bold and help Central California ‘Live Well’! We are proud of your accomplishments and wish you continued success. #GoDogs

Programming course provides lessons in inclusion for Recreation Administration students

When third year Recreation Administration student Jesus Luviano was 14, his family moved from Mexico to Fresno. He did not speak a single word of English and as a result, had feelings of fear and isolation. That all changed a few years later when he entered Fresno State’s American English Institute (AEI).

In existence since 1972, the AEI program offers English language instruction to international students who intend to enter Fresno State or another college or university within the U.S. The courses provided through the program are designed to prepare students for academic study at the college or university level. For a minimum of 20 hours per week, students are given the opportunity to improve their communication and English-speaking skills.

Photo Credit: American English Institute
Photo Credit: American English Institute

“I was in the program from three years before I was considered English proficient,” said Luviano. “Those years were really beneficial in helping me prepare for courses at Fresno State. I remember how happy I felt when there were visitors who were so engaged in what we had to say. When the professor announced that they were leaving and we would not see them again until the end of the semester, I was sad. But it made me feel happy and appreciated, and I looked forward to the day I would see them again.”

Now Luviano, along with his classmates in RA 77 (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Programming), are able to provide a similar support system for students currently in the AEI Program, which consists of students from Asia, India, and South America to name a few.

Brandon Taylor, lecturer of the course, said this collaborative effort between the Department of Recreation Administration and AEI began as a way to give AEI students a “taste of America” through recreational type activities they have not yet experienced. Combining this with the programming course was the perfect opportunity to do so.

A few years back, Taylor was approached by Cheryl Chen, director of the AEI, who was seeking a partnership and in spring 2012, the course began. The course is two-fold as it benefits both the AEI and RA students and provides a positive and fulfilling learning experience for both.

Through the Programming course, students are divided into groups of 6-7 individuals. Their goal is to design a program from start to finish, which would be implemented at the end of the semester. It is also designed as a service learning course, in which students are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer work in the area of planning and recreational programming. Working with AEI was a natural choice, said Taylor.

“AEI is perfect as it is on campus and easy for students to locate and work with. This collaboration gives RA 77 students the opportunity to facilitate American activities for them and allows them the opportunity to work with diverse participants.”

Photo Credit: American English Institute

Over the years, the course has been taught by both Taylor and Dr. L-Jay Fine, professor of Adventure Recreation and Tourism, who each teach it once per semester. Fine taught the spring 2015 semester, as well as previous semesters, and says the students in the course come away feeling good about their work.

“Once they do it, they are just on cloud nine,” said Fine. “Working with the AEI students makes it real for the RA students. It allows them to hone their skills and learn about inclusion.”

Cora Cha and her four group mates, The Pioneers, formed their program around the All-American theme of baseball. She found that cultural and religious restrictions played a big role in deciding what to base their program on.

“Some students were not allowed to run, so we had to change from running to each base, to walking,” said Cha. “I didn’t think something like running would be such restriction. Other females are not allowed to be touched by males, so we learned there is definitely a difference from American culture. With this course, you’re really behind the scenes of how to plan a program. You have to be prepared and you have to know the ins and outs of it all.”

Luviano and his five group mates, Rec-ing Ball, formed their program around a treasure hunt, using the various statues of historical figures on campus as a way to teach AEI students about American holidays. At the start of the semester, each of the groups met with the AEI students to conduct assessments in order to gather ideas to formulate their program.

Just like with The Pioneers, the Rec-ing Ball group also faced cultural barriers in communicating with the AEI students, but Luviano says overcoming those barriers to include everyone was satisfying.

“If you can do a multicultural event where everyone is engaged and involved, then that puts me in a good position to have that fluent communication background,” says Luviano. “Learning how to put those programs together to meet everyone’s needs and allowing them to have a good experience is a great accomplishment.”

Taylor says that is precisely what this course is all about – adapting their program to meet the needs and cultural requirements of AEI students. “From this experience students are able to take the theoretical contents of the course and apply them in real life situations. Students gain experience in facilitating programming in real time and having to make the needed decisions prior to their program presentation date. Additionally, students find that even with the best planning, something is often overlooked in the planning process and students must use skills from other classes, on that day, to deliver a successful program. Lastly, students are able to work with diverse populations through this experience.”

DSC_0244AEI students were not the only population the RA students worked with. The Red Wave group actually worked with youth from fifth to eighth grade from West Park Elementary’s After School Program. Themed around “The Hunger Games”, the group of six worked with 40 kids, providing two hours of fun challenges and competitive games.

“A lot of the students in the group have never worked with kids,” said Kassandra Padilla, fifth year RA major. “So this was a good experience for them. It taught them how to instruct and build communication skills with all age groups. We wanted to create an experience that the younger students would remember and be able to take away from.”

The same sentiment was mirrored by Luviano and Cha of their experiences with the Programming course and their newfound collaboration with the AEI students.

Cha, who would like to one day open a nonprofit on global awareness issues, said through the Programming course, she’s gained more understanding of event planning and knows the skills she’s learned will play a big role in her future career goals.

Because of this course and the relationship he’s built with the AEI students, Luviano ended up going back week after week to volunteer his time, spending it with the AEI students who just simply needed someone to talk to or interact with. He came away with a great sense of gratitude.

“It was just really fun,” said Luviano of his experience. “Super fun. Nothing is better than feeling appreciated or helping others to feel that way. I looked forward to seeing them every week.”

The Red Wave group with West Park Elementary students. Because of photo restrictions, AEI students could not be photographed.

Learn more about Commerical Recreation and Event Planning at the LINK.

School of Nursing Faculty Recognized with Nurse of the Year Distinctions

In honor of National Nurses Week, we’d like to profile the wonderful faculty, students and alumni within our School of Nursing. Two nursing faculty, Drs. Terea Giannetta and Kathleen Rindahl, were recently recognized for their extraordinary work as nursing professionals.

Terea Giannetta: Valley Children’s Healthcare 2015 Nurse of the Year – Advanced Practice

Terea GiannettaWhen Giannetta is not in the classroom teaching nursing skills and theory, she is impacting patients at Valley Children’s Hospital, in her role as chief pediatric nurse practitioner. With her career at Valley Children’s, which spans over 23 years, she continues to make a positive influence to her patients, peers and community. In the May 2015 Nursing Excellence Annual Report, Valley Children’s says of Giannetta,

“Terea has inspired generations of nurses to achieve more than they thought possible. Hundreds of nurses at Valley Children’s and throughout Central California have been touched by her influence. The majority of master’s prepared nurses at Valley Children’s were taught by Terea. They frequently acknowledge her ability to inspire, challenge and link theory to practice.”

Giannetta has achieved numerous accolades at Valley Children’s and was instrumental in the establishment of the Nursing Research Council, which received support from the Magnet Recognition Program. She is also credited for advancing the care of pediatric patients locally, nationally and internationally. But above else, it is her steadfast leadership that is her greatest asset.

At Valley Children’s, she is responsible for reviewing and approving standardized procedures within the organization and continuously encourages nurses to practice the latest evidence-based care. She ensures the use of the new electronic medical records system meets the needs of advanced practice nurses.

The nursing profession has close family ties to Giannetta, who says her aunt’s life as a travel nurse in the 1940s was the inspiration for her own career path.

“I so admired her and then decided that nursing would be  a way to really understand not just helping people in  health care settings, but would give me the tools for life: communication skills, hands-on technical and nursing skills, scientific knowledge of how the body works and just plain common sense for dealing with life,” said Giannetta.

Photo Credit: Valley Children’s Healthcare

Giannetta joined the faculty of Fresno State’s nursing program in 1984, just one year after receiving her Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University. For the past three decades, she has taught up and coming nursing students courses that include basic nursing concepts, pharmacology in nursing, advanced pathophysiology, graduate theory and practicum and much more. In 2012, she received her Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree from Brandman University – and subsequently became the first nurse in Valley Children’s history to obtain a DNP degree.

Please read more about Giannetta’s accomplishment at Valley Children’s at the LINK or in the image above (right).


Kathleen Rindahl: Nursing Leadership Coalition 2015 Nurse of the Year – Education

KathyRindahlEducating others in the health care field is at the heart of Rindahl  – an Assisant Professor in the School of Nursing. Even though her teaching career at Fresno State is relatively new, she has made a strong impact since her arrival and elsewhere, having served as a migrant health nurse with the Fresno County Office of Education for 10 years prior to the teaching at the University.

It was during that time period that Rindahl became an impassioned advocate for addressing the health needs of the underserved in the Central Valley. Through outreach clinics and leading a mobile health care team, Rindahl and her team of nurses were able to provide health screenings and health care services to populations in rural areas where health access was not readily available.

She joined the faculty of Fresno State in 2013 and brought the idea of the health care mobile unit with her. The School of Nursing mobile unit, which got its start this past spring, allows current nursing students to travel around the Valley providing preventative health screenings, coordination of care and much-needed health education services. This has resulted in two ongoing research projects involving patient satisfaction of nursing care provided by student nurses and the effect of nursing education in rural and community health.

In fall 2014, though Rindahl’s staunch efforts, the School of Nursing received a grant to fund the “Spirit of Health” clinic – an onsite clinic located at the Spirit of Woman shelter, which provides housing to women recovering from substance abuse issues and their children. Under Rindahl’s supervision, bachelor’s and master’s students in the nursing program are able to get first-hand experience in community health and psychosocial health.

“I want to make sure they have the knowledge, skills, and most importantly, empathy, to be great nurse,” said Rindahl. “I frequently tell my students there will be a point in time when you will be taking care of me, and I want to feel safe in your care.”

The Nursing Leadership Coalition of the Central San Joaquin County is a professional organization that facilitates the progression of nursing through recognition of excellence, promoting professional practice, developing nurse leaders and influencing health policy. Each year, an RN in the region is nominated by his/her peers. Rindahl says she is humbled by her nomination and honor.

“So many of the nursing faculty and staff have helped me in my role as assistant professor this past two years at Fresno State, I would not have been able to accomplish the things I have with out their guidance and  support,” said Rindahl. “So I must share the honor with all of them as well.  We are a team. I love being a nurse and I really enjoy helping others! Whether is is educating them on self care, getting them out of pain, or providing them needed resources, I find very rewarding. As for me educating nurses, I never thought I would earn a degree that would allow me to do so, but it is the same thing, helping the students reach their goals.”

Rindahl and nursing student in the Spirit of Health Clinic.
Rindahl and nursing student in the Spirit of Health Clinic.
We congratulate Drs. Terea Giannetta and Kathleen Rindahl on their latest recognition! Also receiving honors from Valley Children’s Hospital are School of Nursing alumni, Shelly Reyes (Nurse of the Year, Clinical Practice) and Dana Ferris (Nurse of the Year, Education). Please click images below to read more about them. [Images courtesy of Valley Children’s Healthcare]

Nursing Students: Trained to serve their community

Troy me and student, May 1, 1015
Rivera, a student and Doyland. May 1, 2015.

In honor of National Nurses Week, we’d like to profile the wonderful faculty, students and alumni within our School of Nursing. If you’ve ever been in the Nursing Resource Center (NRC), you’ve most likely come across LuAnne Doyland. As an adjunct professor in the School and a Registered Nurse, she teaches nursing skills to students in the NRC using a hands-on approach.

In addition to their roles at their clinical sites and studying for exams, students in the School of Nursing also take time out to provide health education to their peers and the community. On May 1st, student Troy Rivera and Doyland presented at West Fresno Middle School’s Career Day. They were joined by 14 other professionals, including an attorney, chiropractor, artist, chef, engineer, animal rehabilitation specialist and a current enlisted serviceman.

This gave the middle school students, who ranged from age 11-14, the opportunity to learn about different career paths and hear from those in the field. Doyland and Rivera presented a power point about the profession, including the types of nursing positions available and academic degrees that can be obtained. They also gave away items such as pencils, stickers, pennants and hand sanitizer.

Overall, Doyland said this provided not only the middle school students with a great way to learn, but also her student as well.

“I am so proud of my student Troy,” said Doyland. “In the middle of finals and term papers he volunteered to accompany me.”

150210Academics043Students serving their community

All year long, nursing students could be seen at various campus events including health fairs and balance screenings – and also providing health education and flu shots to their peers. For all their dedicated and great work, we applaud them and know they will continue to be wonderful health leaders, serving our Central Valley region!

Learn more about the School of Nursing!

Athletic Training students present research at inaugural showcase

DSC_0986The Department of Kinesiology’s Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) presented their first student showcase on April 30th. Twenty seniors in the program had the opportunity to present their year-long research to a crowd of guests that included fellow students, faculty, professionals and family.

The first-time event was coordinated by Assistant Professor in Athletic Training Dr. Stephanie Moore-Reed and Brittany Castro-Conde, clinical coordinator of ATEP.

DSC_1024“The Student Showcase provides our undergraduate athletic training students with an opportunity to conduct and present case studies with which they were directly involved,” said Moore-Reed. “We feel this will provide the students with research and practical skills that will valuable as they go on graduate school or clinical work. This is an event we hope to hold annually.”

Over the past academic year, students compiled a case study of patients they’ve personally worked with. They were required to gather information about the patient’s case, write an abstract, and write a case report before presenting at the Showcase. Several students received accolades for their presentations, including:

Most unique case for oral presentation:Comminuted Patella Fracture in a 22 Year Old Baseball Pitcher: A Case Report” by Katelynn Newton

Most engaging oral presentation:Therapeutic Hypothermia in the Acute Management of Traumatic Spinal Injury: A Critically Appraised Topic” by Tyler Healy

Most unique case for poster presentation:Eccentric Exercise: The Answer to Chronic Tendinopathies?” by Christian Maldonado

Most visually appealing poster:Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in a 24-year-old Dairy Worker: A Case Report” by Joshua Adame

DSC_0990Students in the Athletic Training Program are prepared to work as an allied health professionals that are responsible for the prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. This also includes the education and counseling of athletes, parents and coaches along with administration and organizations of athletic medicine programs. Athletic trainers collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients. The profession is recognized by the American Medical Association.

View more photos from the showcase below:

Learn more about the program at the ATEP website. View more photos on the Kinesiology Facebook page.

Our College empowers students to take a whole body approach to improving the quality of life. Our faculty and students are dedicated to helping Central California live well. Click through the slideshow to the right to learn about each of our seven departments within our college: Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies, Kinesiology, Physical Therapy, Public Health, Recreation Administration, School of Nursing and Social Work Education and Gerontology.


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