Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program Award Recipients

Congratulations to the following students who have been selected into the 2014/2015 California State University Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program.

Melisa Kaye

Melisa Kaye is the process of obtaining her Ed.D. with a specialization in Special Education/Learning and Instruction, from the University of San Francisco.  She obtained both her M.S. and her B.S. in Occupational Therapy from San José State University.  She is the Director and Founder of the Firefly Center, providing occupational therapy for over 150 children.  She has bridged her clinical work into consultation with schools and communities seeking to expand developmentally appropriate educational practices for young children with the public school climate.  She is also currently a lecturer at both San José State University and Dominican University of California.  She has taught curricula in the areas of pediatrics, educational principles in health care, culture in health care, and community preparation and practice.  Her mentor believes that Melisa’s doctoral program in special education is an excellent match for her occupational therapist background as she prepares to enter academia.  She has a solid grounding in the study of issues of diversity and wishes to apply herself practically teaching students about diversity and cultural competence.  Her collaborative plan is aggressive and varied, providing her with practical teaching, research and service experience.    Melisa’s program mentor is Dr. Pamela Richardson, Professor and Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy.

Rho Olaisen

Rho Olaisen received his B.S. in Biochemistry and his M.P.H. from San José State University.  During the time between obtaining these degrees, Rho pursued his passion for athletics, working as a coach with a tremendously varied group of people including US National Team teens, Ironman Triathletes, Gay Games participants and disabled Paralympic national-record holders.  These accomplishments propelled him to a managerial position in the wellness industry, leading an evidence-based program at a nationally renowned sports resort.  The development of that program, eventually scaled across the entire company, brought him to the attention of Smith College, who recruited him as a teaching fellow.  The combination of industry and teaching experience led Rho to San José State University’s Public Health program, only one of two such programs in the country, where he could gain depth and breadth in his research into health promotion and epidemiology.  He is an adjunct faculty member of San José State University, and wishes to return to the Public Health program upon completion of his Ph.D.  He is also currently a Director at the Betty Wright Aquatic Center focusing on wellness services for people with arthritis, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease.  His mentors all speak to his experience and dedication to the community and diverse student body at San José State University. Rho has been accepted into Case Western University’s Ph.D. program next year.  His program mentor is Dr. Van Ta Park, Associate Professor of Health Science & Recreation.