Around the World

SJSU faculty researchers are making an impact across the globe.

Alice Hines

Building a Social Work Infrastructure in Vietnam

Alice HinesIn collaboration with universities across Vietnam, Alice Hines and a team of SJSU faculty have developed rigorous and cutting edge programs of social work training and education, with the goal of meeting that country’s need for highly skilled professional social workers.

Partners in the Social Work Education Enhancement Program (SWEEP) include San Jos. State University, eight universities in Vietnam, Vietnam’s government ministries, Cisco Systems, Inc., and US Aid for International Development (USAID), which provided funding for the program.

“Even though it is a communist country, Vietnam has developed a strong free market economy,” explains Dr. Hines. “As a result there has been a migration of people from rural to urban areas. In many cases women and children are left behind, the family breaks down, and consequently we are seeing problems similar to those we see as social workers in the United States: domestic violence, child and elder abuse, and substance abuse.”

The project’s primary focus is to strengthen Vietnam’s undergraduate social work education programs to prepare trained, job-ready social workers. To do so, SWEEP program leaders have developed the professional social work knowledge of Vietnamese university faculty, delivered a comprehensive social work curriculum, and implemented Cisco technology to facilitate networking among participating universities and social work agencies. Cisco technology is also used for monthly teleconferences with the leaders of the participating universities, which are located in major cities as well as outlying rural areas.

The SJSU SWEEP team includes five faculty members, experts from the School of Social Work and the School of Information: Ed Cohen, Laurie Drabble, Meekyun Han, Soma Sen, and Debbie Faires, and administrative assistant Quyen Grant. The team also includes three staff based in the SWEEP Hanoi office: Tuan Tran, Hoa Nguyen, and Thao Nguyen.

Yinghua (Michelle) Huang

Chinese Real Estate Company Explores
Silicon Valley Hotel Market

Yinghua (Michelle) HuangWhen a real estate company in China sought to diversify its business into the hotel industry, it initiated a search for information about investing in an active hotel market: Silicon Valley. A referral from a mutual colleague in Beijing led the company’s CEO to Yinghua (Michelle) Huang in SJSU’s Department of Hospitality Management. 

The company provided grant funding for Dr. Huang to evaluate the Silicon Valley hotel market. In examining the industry, she researched business performance in diff erent hotel segments based on star ratings. She also forecasted market trends in each segment, and looked at the competitiveness of hotel brands already operating in the area. Projection of income and expense for establishing a new upscale hotel in San José was included as well.  The methods applied in this project were based on market research and hotel valuation techniques.

Dr. Huang teaches courses relating to hotel revenue management and marketing in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Swathi Vanniarajan, Roula Svorou

Historic Linguistic Exchange with
Pakistan Universities

Swathi VanniarajanRoula SvorouIn an exceptional exchange of scholarship, ideas, and culture, SJSU is supporting the development of a world class applied linguistics center at the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (UAJK) in Pakistan. Led by Linguistics and Language Development Department Chair Swathi Vanniarajan and Co-PI Soteria (Roula) Svorou, the PALEEP project (Pakistan English Linguistics Education Enhancement Program) is enhancing UAJK’s linguistics curriculum and research capacity through collaborative research, resource sharing, distance education, and professional development for UAJK professors.

Faculty exchanges are a key component of the program. Dr. Vanniarajan and Dr. Svorou have made multiple trips to UAJK campuses. Both have been named adjunct faculty at UAJK – a rare honor – and officially take part in faculty research there.

Of even greater significance, eight UAJK faculty members have made trips to SJSU since 2013, and three more will spend the entire Spring 2016 semester here. For most of these visitors, the trip included their first flight, their first access to a major library facility (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library), and their first exposure to another country’s social, political, and academic culture.

Response from the visitors has been wholly positive. As one professor reflected, “I frequently talked to the SJSU professors and students. These productive encounters provoked inspiration and motivation in me alongside familiarizing me with the American way of academic business and pedagogy. After all these interactions it was quite natural for one to revere the country’s academic standing.”

June McCullough, Wendy Quach

Speech-Language Pathology Students in
Pacific Islands Obtain SJSU Master’s Degrees

June McCullough and Wendy QuachA master’s level distance-learning program developed by SJSU professors June McCullough (left) and Wendy Quach (right) is providing training for 20 speech-language pathology graduate students who reside on islands across the Pacific Ocean. Upon completion of the program, these trained clinicians will provide speech therapy services to children living on the islands, which include Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

A severe shortage of qualified speech-language professionals in these locations led to the project’s grant award and subsequent program development.

“Our graduates will provide services to underserved children in their own communities,” explains Dr. McCullough. “They will gain the theoretical and clinical skills to improve educational outcomes for children with speech disabilities. Without early intervention services, these children may never be able to reach their personal best in the classroom.”

Advanced technology for conferencing has expanded the reach of the program to remote sites on these islands. From their own countries, students can attend classes taught by SJSU professors live, which many do, or they can stream the professors’ presentations at any point after the live class ends. The program does require that students spend one semester on site at SJSU during the program, during which they will take part in full-time externships.

SJSU Research Foundation Annual Report 2015 [pdf]