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HD Faculty Research

An Innovative Interdisciplinary Approach to Providing Internships for College Seniors

The undergraduate Business and Human Development (HD) Departments at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), are collaborating in an innovative interdisciplinary approach to supporting internships with local businesses in order to provide college seniors with experiences in the area of career development known as the “Senior Experience.” Three local companies associated with serving the community in the area of healthcare or counseling, will hire a team of 5 college seniors (3 Business majors and 2 HD majors) to create a project for the company. The selected project will be agreed upon and supervised by both the company and university representatives from both departments. This research project looks at creating a successful collaborative interdisciplinary internship for college seniors exploring possible career options. (Dr. Kathy Fuller, Internship Coordinator/Lecturer)

Student Reflections on an Interdepartmental Internship Experience

The College of Business Administration (COBA) and the Human Development Department (HD) at California State University, San Marcos have united to provide an innovative collaborative interdepartmental internship for college seniors. Groups of five students (2 HD students and 3 COBA students) are hired by local businesses to complete a specified project. Projects vary depending on the company, including interpreting data, social media projects, promotional ventures and fundraising for nonprofits. In addition to these projects, students attend a class requiring a research paper on their project; participation in a trade show to share their project with peers, faculty and local business partners; and a recorded presentation of their project presentation. This qualitative study looks at the students’ individual responses to their experiences throughout their “Collaborative Senior Experience.”  (Dr. Kathy Fuller, Internship Coordinator/Lecturer)

4 Paws 4 Patriots

The purpose of this research project is to explore the perceptions of veterans who have been mentored through a program entitled “4 Paws 4 Patriots.” 4 Paws 4 Patriots is an organization that seeks to meet the physical and emotional needs of returning veterans through mentoring individual participants with an appropriate service dog. This match is based on the needs of each veteran (such as physical or emotional support) and the personality, temperament and abilities of the dog. Many of these dogs are rescue dogs, hand selected by 4 Paws 4 Patriots dog trainers who are certified by the American Kennel Association.  (Dr. Kathy Fuller, Internship Coordinator/Lecturer)

F. U. E. RZA Mentoring Program

Rates of U.S. Latinx college degree attainment are among the lowest of all major racial/ethnic groups (Krogstad & Fry, 2014) and are especially low for Latino males (Kena et al., 2015). F.U.E.RZA is a mentoring program developed within the Pathways to Academic Success and Opportunities (PASO) Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) grant. The mentoring program is designed to meet the needs of Latino male students in their second year with resources and support that are not currently available to them. This project is a collaboration between Marisol Clark Ibáñez (Faculty Lead; Professor, Sociology), Rafael Hernández (Lead Mentor; Assistant Professor, Human Development), Leo Melena (Lead Mentor; Director of Student Success, CHABSS), Leandro Galaz (Lead Mentor; Full Time Lecturer, Master of Social Work), Crystal Guerrero, and Nancy Peñaloza (Peer Mentors; MSW students). The goal of F.U.E.RZA is to promote academic success and ethnic consciousness development in a culturally validating mentoring program driven by Latinx students’ experiences, strengths, and voices. Research on the mentoring program examines how F.U.E.RZA Mentors manage their intersecting identities, navigate their own personal journeys through higher education, and “reach back” to help others overcome obstacles on the path to graduation.  (Dr. Rafael Hernández, Assistant Professor)

A Critical Discourse Analysis of Teacher-Student Relationships in a Third-Grade Literacy Lesson: Dynamics of Microaggression

This study focuses on a recording from a week of third-grade classroom sessions. The recording was used to train new teachers in a certification program and provided data for a learning community that was studying classroom discourse. The third-grade teacher was described as being “outstanding” and “culturally responsive” by the university professor who had been using the recording to train teacher candidates. The teacher was indeed innovative in supporting cultural diversity and was responsive to all students throughout the week, except during a particular literacy lesson, the subject of this study. Critical discourse analysis revealed prioritizing White males, disrespecting a Mexican-American boy and neglecting females. The recording was later withdrawn from the certification program because it did not reflect exemplary teaching, yet its initial use points to an urgent educational problem: even experienced teachers exhibit microaggressions toward students of color and female students, and experts in teacher education do not readily recognize them when they occur. Microaggressions can appear subtle and inconsequential, yet they have a negative impact on the teacher–student relationship.  (recently published Cogent Education by Dr. Rodney Beaulieu, Assistant Professor)

The Resiliency Project - Psychophyiological Research

In counseling, stress and anxiety management are two key strategies that are used with most clients.  In session strategies work well but one session, or even weekly sessions, is not sufficient to provide a physiological environment that supports the emotional challenges that brought the client to counseling.  Many clients feel an impact after three weeks of daily practice, however, client compliance with daily practice can be a challenge. With the arrival of cell phone apps that provide measures of physiological functioning, there may be an opportunity to increase client compliance by asking them to report their physiology (in numbers), holding them more accountable for their practice. Another benefit may be that they become more aware of their ability to impact their physiology. This project is examining the impact of passive mind-body conditioning on psychophysiological functioning and social-emotional resources. The project initially examines the impact of a brief meditation on heart rate and blood oxygenation as well as the relationship to other health variables, such as activity level, stress, anxiety, etc.  The project then examines the impact of participants self-reporting measurements taken with a cell phone app while participating in a brief meditation for 7 days to explore whether reporting impacts compliance and which health variables support the ability of a one week training to cause a change in autonomic functioning. (Dr. Elizabeth Bigham, Lecturer)

iCare Health Monitor - Phone App Research

As in when the VHS arrived and some speculated that it would hurt the movie industry, there are some that question both the accuracy and the potential negative impact of people having ready access to their own vitals. This project is examining the "iCare Health Monitor" phone app which offers blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, lung capacity as well as vision, hearing, and psychological screenings. The project compares the iCare Health Monitor pulse rate and oxygen saturation to traditional portable Pulse Oximetry equipment before and after guided meditation with different populations. The project is also exploring how professionals in health fields are using apps with their patients, teachers using apps to teach physiological lessons, and counselors using apps to guide stress reduction home assignments. (Dr. Elizabeth Bigham, Lecturer)

Mechanisms of pain - Psychophysiological Research

Chronic pain can often be associated with autonomic dysregulation and thus, effective treatments (i.e. dietary changes, stress management techniques, physical therapy, yoga, etc.) tend to support regulation, either directly or indirectly. Yet, clinical effectiveness caries widely by participant – providing inconsistent support for autonomic regulation as a primary mechanism of pain. This project is investigating the mechanisms of pain by examining autonomic regulation and health related behaviors, such as diet and exercise, and examining the psychophysiological impact of paced breathing (direct) and progressive muscle relaxation (indirect). Biofeedback equipment is used to assess autonomic regulation via heart rate variability, heart rate, skin conductance/resistance, and peripheral skin temperature. (Dr. Elizabeth Bigham, Lecturer)

Early Developmental Exposure to Violence Among College Students

This project assesses the childhood and adolescent exposure to violence among university students. A total of 272 college students participated in an online survey. Preliminary findings show that 89 percent of all respondents experienced at least one form of community violence either by witnessing it, experiencing it, perpetrating it or simply knowing that it happened near them all before turning 18. Additional analyses are currently being conducted to examine the exposure to violence among various cultural groups including Hispanics and other cultural minorities and to identify risk and protective factors.  (Dr. Fernando Soriano, Professor)

Youth University Mentorship and Food Culinary Skills Training Program

This project is working to engage Human Development and College of Business undergraduates in mentoring and training a group of students from alternative high schools in the area in culinary arts and food services with the intent to start a self-supported university-based food cart entrepreneurial endeavor that intends to sell prepared food to university students and others on campus. The program proposes to use the University’s kitchen and other facilities to train students in food preparation, business management, accounting and in customer service. An important outcome is to prepare students for various occupations in food service sectors. The mentorship and training program also incorporates programmatic components that intend to enhance the self-concept, self-esteem and help to develop healthy and positive psychosocial and cultural identities among at-risk adolescent youth as a way of preventing violence, delinquency and poor academic performance among at-risk multicultural youth.  (Dr. Fernando Soriano, Professor)

Surfing Youth Prevention Program (SYPP)

The focus of this research and prevention project is on developing a pilot prevention program that will use training in swimming and surfing as means of integrating low-income multicultural high-school youth within mainline society and culture while enhancing their self-concept and positive identity. Other intended outcomes of the project include improvements in their academic achievement and future outlook, as well as reductions in violence victimization and perpetration. The project is a collaborative effort with Kinesiology Department professor Dr. Sean Newcomer who is also interested in physical endurance and fitness training in the same population. The project is working with Murray High School faculty and staff in Vista, California.  (Dr. Fernando Soriano, Professor)

An Action Research Approach to Adapting Jaques-Dalcroze Eurythmics as a Community Fall Prevention Program for American Older Adults

Falls are a leading cause of hospitalizations among older adults, yet community-based prevention programs are modest in efficacy.  A program known to reduce fall rates in half was implemented at San Marcos Senior Center.  Designed from the Jaques-Dalcroze Eurythmics music education method, the program uses live improvised music to cue synchronized and improvised body movements, memory and attention tasks, active listening and cognitive-motor games.  A professional musician trained and licensed in the Dalcroze method directed activities, while kinesiology interns from California State University San Marcos supported the clients.  Since the inception in September 2015, 8.6 ± 4.0 participants attended 10 to 14 classes, meeting once or twice weekly.  Using action research methods, focus group sessions were periodically conducted with the clients and the interns to identify the strengths and challenges of the program, and to solicit recommendations for making program improvements.  Clients reported that the strengths of the program included improved mobility, balance and health, greater confidence in mobility, enhanced recovery after injury, social stimulation, appreciation for music and dance, enhanced creativity, greater understanding of health promotion and fall prevention, and having a self-paced environment.  Challenges included transportation, physical mobility, scheduling, and differences in skill levels among participants.  Recommendations included having more classes with different skill levels and developing individualized transportation options.  Interns reported similar findings to support the clients’ perceptions of the program, and they offered feedback for improving the associated non-laboratory classroom sessions.  Publication of this study is in preparation by Rodney Beaulieu of the Human Development Department, Hyun Gu Kang and Shoko Hino, both from the Kinesiology Department.  (Dr. Rodney Beaulieu, Assistant Professor)