College of Health and Human Development News Now, Summer, 2023

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Mechelle BestWelcome Summer!

Another season of Commencement and Honors Convocation has come and gone, and by the end of this summer approximately 2,078 HHD students will have graduated from the College of Health and Human Development with their baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Some 1,650 of those graduates participated in our commencement ceremonies in May, including many who graduated with honors for exemplary scholarship and/or community service. You will learn more about them in this issue of HHD News Now. This season we also celebrated our inaugural class of Audiologists with seven students completing their doctorate in Audiology. You’ll also get a view into some of the scholarly and community-based activities of the spring semester, including a sneak peek into the projects motivated by the inaugural HHD Innovation and Collaboration Challenge.

Summer can present opportunities for restoration of ourselves, families, and communities. I hope you are able to take advantage, whether a single day off at the beach or at a park, or enjoying the plethora of entertainment available in California or wherever this newsletter finds you. I am biased towards travel because it often means experiencing new places, enjoying the outdoors and having new adventures. Sometimes I get to meet new people and with them discover and appreciate our commonalities and differences. I hope you too experience the joy of travel this summer, whether your trips take you across Southern California or across the globe.

As always, we want to express our appreciation and gratitude for your involvement and engagement to enhance, enrich, and empower our students’ experience, the cohesiveness of our communities, and the vibrancy of the campus. We wish you all the best for a happy, healthy summer!

We are happy to announce the official appointment of Dr. Mechelle Best as Dean of the College of Health and Human Development. She had been serving as Interim since November, 2021.
Read more about Dean Best.



CSUN graduating senior Tania Parker

Meet Tania Parker, 2023 CSUN Outstanding Graduating Senior from HHD

Every year, CSUN selects four Outstanding Graduating Seniors for recognition at Honors Convocation. One of this year’s four was from the College of Health and Human Development. Tania K. Parker creates opportunities in the face of obstacles.

CSUN graduating senior Kiona Williams

Meet Kiona Williams, 2023 Wolfson Scholar Nominee from HHD

Meet Kiona Williams, the 2023 Wolfson Scholar Nominee from the College of Health and Human Development. Kiona has two areas of specialization: Maternal and infant health among the African American Community, and addressing homelessness.


News Now

Meet HHD’s 2023 Dean’s College Scholars

2023 HHD Dean's College Scholars (Williams, Oz, Schneider)

Each spring, department faculty nominate graduating seniors for the CSUN Wolfson Scholar Award. These nominees are also recognized by the Dean and are named HHD Dean’s College Scholars. Meet HHD’s Wolfson Nominee, Kiona Williams (Health Sciences/Public Health); and runners up, Kenneth Oz (Family and Consumer Sciences/Interior Design), and Madison Schneider (Kinesiology/Dance).

Find Out More About these Scholars >

HHD’s Innovation and Collaboration Challenge

2023 HHD-Innovation

HHD’S Innovation and Collaboration Challenge is a grant program for faculty, students, and staff to promote collaboration across campus through new research, creative work, or programs. Unveiled last fall, the first grant funded 14 projects. Here’s a sneak peek – more to come in fall:

Read More About These Projects >

EOH Faculty Awarded for Helping Student in the National
Guard Maintain Academic Continuity while Deployed

John Beer granted ESGR Award

John Beer just graduated with his degree in Environmental and Occupational Health. He is an Army National Guard Staff Sergeant, so at any moment, he is 12 hours away from deployment. For the EOH faculty’s diligent academic support, he nominated them for the Patriot Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The award was presented in April.

Read More About the ESGR Award >

HHD Staff Profiles Series: Baldemar Soto

Polished Apple Award received by Baldemar Soto & Mayra Velazquez Jacobo

Baldemar Soto is an EOP Coordinator/Academic Advisor in the HHD Student Services Center/EOP office. He started his journey at CSUN five years ago with the Advising Resource Center/EOP advising exploratory students before he came to the College of Health and Human Development Student Services Center/EOP. This spring he was recognized by the University Ambassadors with the Polished Apple Award.

Read More about Baldemar >

More News Now

CSUN’s Newest Deans Push for Collaboration Across the University
Two new deans are at the helms of CSUN’s Colleges of Humanities and Health and Human Development, Jeffrey Reeder and Mechelle Best. “We call ourselves the ‘College of Life’ because the professions that we represent, and are focused on, help people to achieve their highest quality of life across their lifespan. Moving forward, we want to collaborate more because we know that taking care of an individual or family is not just about how these services come together," Best said.
Read More About these New Deans >

The CSUN Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing is Now Part of HHD
We are pleased to announce that the CSUN Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing, established in 2009 as a campus-wide institute, is now under the auspices of HHD as of the spring semester. The Institute promotes collaboration across-campus and with community partners. Dianne Philibosian (former Institute director and Professor Emeritus, RTM) is serving as Interim Director, with Associate Director, Elizabeth Sussman-Dabach (FCS).
Find Out More About the Institute >

Meet the 2023 Dodgers/Campanella Physical Therapy Scholars
The road to becoming a physical therapist is challenging. It takes extreme dedication to get the nearly 4.0 GPA to gain admissions to PT school, and the three-year Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree program is rigorous. This scholarship makes a significant difference in these students' lives.
Meet the Scholars >

Amgen Team Memorializes Co-Worker Matt Winn with CSUN EOH Scholarship
Those who knew Matt Winn remember his big personality and knack for inducing laughter. He had a passion for success for those around him. That spirit led his co-workers at Amgen to drive an effort to create a scholarship in his name. The Amgen-Matt Winn Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability Memorial Scholarship is an investment in students in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health in HHD.
Get the Full Story on the Scholarship >

After 12 Years, Student-Led 3 WINS Keeps Inspiring Community Health
It’s been more than 12 years since the idea for the 3 WINS Fitness program was born in a CSUN Kinesiology classroom: Professor Steven Loy challenged his students to come up with ways to navigate America’s ongoing health crisis related to insufficient physical activity. “If my generation has failed, what can yours do about it?” asked Loy. The answer was to create a free, community-based, student-led, easy access, health training and nutrition education program.
Find Out More About 3 WINS >

The Impact of Familial Incarceration on Youth Outcomes
Myriam Forster (Health Sciences) presented the outcomes of her research as the CSUN Jerome Richfield Scholar for 2023 in April at the 2023 Provost's Colloquium. Forster's work focuses on the role adversity in adolescent and young adult health outcomes, and more specifically, the challenges that come with familial incarceration, which impacts millions of US children. These are children who are predominantly youth of color and youth living in low-income communities.
Find Out More About this Research >

Research Highlights More Ethical Approach to Surveying Minority Populations Impacted by COVID
A team of CSUN researchers is examining the social, ethical, and behavioral implications of COVID-19 testing, vaccination, and its long-term impacts among the four largest southeast Asian communities in Los Angeles: Cambodian, Filipino, Thai, and Vietnamese communities. Their study is titled “Southeast Asians in the US: Health Equity and Research to Understand Covid-19 Stories (SEA US, HEAR US).”
Learn About this Project >

CSUN Dance, 2023: Kinesis, Emerging Choreography
The Spring dance concert is a series of dances choreographed and performed by CSUN student dancers.
Watch the video >

Enhance Enrich Empower: GIVEEvery Gift Enriches Lives
Your donation to the College of Health and Human Development strengthens projects, programs, and events like the ones we are sharing about today. Your gift helps our students and faculty improve the quality of life across the lifespan locally, and globally.

Making a donation to CSUN HHD can fund scholarships, deep-impact learning experiences, innovative projects and technology, and much more. Your generosity can enhance, enrich, and empower the human experience.

Find Out About Ways to Give to HHD. Get all the HHD News Anytime! >


Land acknowledgement
The CSUN College of Health and Human Development recognizes and acknowledges the Sesevitam, the first people of this ancestral and unceded territory of Sesevenga that is now occupied by our institution and our college; and it honors their elders, past and present, and the Sesevitam descendants who are citizens of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. We recognize that the Sesevitam are still here and we are committed to lifting up their stories, culture, and community. Learn more about the Land Acknowledgement >

HHD News Now is the newsletter for the alumni, community partners, friends, faculty and staff of the CSUN College of Health and Human Development.

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