Womens Month

Nearly 60% of the full- and part-time employees at TUC are women. For 20 years, women at TUC have upheld the university’s standard of excellence in the fields of health sciences, public health, and education. Starting March 8, 2018 on International Women's Day, 20 of the countless women leaders who make a difference at Touro will offer their thoughts on what Women's Month means to them. Stay tuned as these different voices reflect on the great achievements that have been made by women, the challenges of today, and how we can go forward from here.

Shelley Berkley

Shelley Berkley, JD
Chief Executive Office and Senior Provost for Touro University Western Division

While in congress, she earned the title of “hardest working woman in politics” for her tireless work on job creation, education, healthcare, renewable energy, and veterans issues. 

At TUC, she initiated Bagels with Berkley to meet with students each month. Along with Dr. Lisa Waits, she established a mandatory prevention and education program about sexual assault for all incoming students.

CEO and Senior Provost Berkley has pushed for diversity at TUC by supporting scholarship fundraisers, including the annual Mosaic Celebration: Diversity Scholarship Fundraiser and last year’s 20th Anniversary Gala. She has also advocated for a closer relationship with the community with the launch last March of the Mobile Diabetes Education Center (MOBEC), which provides free health screenings and education throughout Solano County.

What Does Women’s Month Mean to Me?

Women’s Month is the ideal time to look back and evaluate the progress and impact women have made in so many areas and look forward and determine what else needs to be done. During my 14 years in congress, I worked with countless women from all walks of life to advocate for issues that improve the lives of others. In the face of resistance and doubt, these women persisted.

At Touro, I see the same energy and commitment in so many remarkable women on campus. They reach out to the underserved and inspire so many others to be the best they can possibly be. Whether in the lab, the classroom, or the community, Touro women are making an impact on healthcare, public health, and education that will be felt for years to come.

Provost and Chief Academic Officer Sarah Sweitzer, PhD

Sarah Sweitzer, PhD
Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Sweitzer, a Vallejo native, brings more than 13 years of successful and innovative higher education experience to the Mare Island campus. She began her academic career at the University of South Carolina, School of Medicine and quickly became a National Institute of Health funded biomedical researcher where she collaborated with colleagues at Johns Hopkins, Albany Medical School, UC Davis Medical School, and biotechnology companies in the Bay Area.

What Does Women’s History Month Mean to Me?

Women’s history month is about celebrating the women who came before us and challenged societal norms so that women can become professors, scientists, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and healthcare leaders. These heroic women include: Laura Bassi - first female professor in Europe, Marie Curie - first female Nobel Prize winner, Florence Nightingale - founder of modern nursing, The Edinburgh Seven - advocates for legislation that allowed women to study medicine, Elizabeth Blackwell - first woman to receive a medical degree in the USA, and Mary Corrina Putnam Jacobi – the first woman pharmacist.  This month is about thanking the many women who have been mentors in your own career journey.  It is about serving as a mentor to the next generation of women leaders in healthcare.

Interim Dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences, Lisa Norton, EdD

Lisa Norton, EdD
Interim Dean & Associate Dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences

Dr. Norton's recent accomplishments at Touro University California include:

  • Leading the college of education and health sciences in a time of much transition
  • Advocating for students, faculty and staff on issues of social justice, equity, and diversity
  • Connecting CEHS/TUC to the city and regional community by expanding continued partnerships and initiating new ones
  • Collaborating with CEHS staff and faculty to initiate new ideas to help with CEHS continued growth and expansion

What Does Women’s Month Mean to Me?

As a feminist researcher I think we need to focus on women’s issues throughout the year. While women have made much progress over the centuries, this progression is place and time bound and occurs in fits and waves, as the last few years have demonstrated. Patriarchy is still very much alive and well in my experience and observations. It is also very important to examine the intersections of women’s experiences based on points of power privilege including that of class, race, sexuality, education level, et. Al. Honoring Women’s Month is of extreme value to me as it does shine a light on the accomplishments of those identifying as Women as well as the continued struggles around the world for women’s rights.

Dean of the College of Pharmacy, Rae Matsumoto, PhD

Rae Matsumoto, PhD

Dean of the College of Pharmacy

Dr. Matsumoto is a multidisciplinary-trained scientist, educator, and administrator. She joined Touro University California as the Dean of the College of Pharmacy, where she continues to cultivate future leaders for the pharmacy profession by promoting innovation, excellence, and service.

What Does Women’s Month Mean to Me?

Women’s History Month is a time to reflect on the challenges and accomplishments of women who have inspired and influenced us. For me, these women have included pioneering doctors and researchers, as well as unsung heroes, like my aunt, who supported my college education. I am grateful for the legacy of strong women who preceded me, as well as the men who have mentored and supported their female colleagues. As the first woman in my family to earn a doctorate degree, I am committed to empowering others to create their own stories of success.

Dr. Tina Mason

Tina C. Mason, MD, MPH, FACOG

Associate Professor, College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. Mason teaches first and second year medical students in the Primary Care Department at the College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is also a preceptor for third and fourth year medical students while she provides gynecological services at a Federally Qualified Health Clinic in Vallejo, CA. TUC is the 4th medical school in which she has served as Assistant or Associate Professor.

What Does Women’s Month Mean to Me?

As a female physician of color, every day is ‘Women’s Month’. I focus on the needs of women and children. By empowering women to seek healthier lifestyles, we will have healthy families. With healthy families, we have healthier communities.  With healthy communities, we can change the world!

I am a partner with my patients, and throughout the years, I’ve found that most women already ‘know what to do’ to make their lives better. We’ve never encouraged each other to ‘step out and reach for that star’. Women will share not only their health concerns, but the concerns regarding their children, family members, careers, etc. I listen and encourage them to ‘do what they think is best’. Most women have never been allowed to picture a future that is different from the present.

Selene Jamall

Selene Jamall, MS
College of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2020, Executive Director (Emeritus), Touro Student-Run Free Clinic

For the past year, Student Doctor Jamall has been the Executive Director of the Student-Run Free Clinic. She has been deeply inspired by the opportunity to better connect Touro students with the health needs of the greater Vallejo community, and she hopes to continue to build on the clinic to reach the populations who cannot come to us.

What Does Women’s Month Mean to Me?

Women’s month is a reminder that I have been granted a very special privilege. Physicians hold incredible authority in representing the people they serve, and as a medical student, I have already been humbled by my power in being able to represent current issues relevant to my generation. I am ever aware of the tireless, unseen sacrifices women make every day for their families and their communities. Knowing that as a physician, that I will be able to further these efforts and elevate these voices, is what it means to me to be a woman in medicine.


Grace Landel

Grace Landel, PA-C, MEd
Program Director of the Joint MSPAS/MPH Program

Professor Landel has been in PA education since 1990 and the Program Director for the Joint MSPAS/MPH Program since 2010. After her arrival at TUC, she has brought in $3.8M in grant funding, 85% for student scholarships and stipends. She is professionally active on the state, regional and national levels, most recently completing a 7-year term on the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.

What Does Women’s Month Mean to Me?

Women’s Month reminds me to take time to reflect on the women who have served as my mentors and role models. Some of them, like my mom, know they made an impact. Some don’t, like my high school English teacher. All have held themselves and others to high standards. All have believed that women can and do make a difference. This year it is especially important to recognize the contributions women have made. We need to continue to push forward for change, but not in the backward direction of our misogynist political environment. This is the month to acknowledge the power of women and for women to embrace that power for positive change. Then, we need to work for this change over the following 11 months.

Dr. Barbara Kriz

Barbara M Kriz, PhD
Professor Emeritus, former Associate Dean for Preclinical Education, College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. Kriz's history with Touro begins in San Francisco, where the College of Osteopathic Medicine was founded in 1997, and officially ended when she retired in 2010. But she says that she will always follow her progress. Dr. Kriz considers it her greatest accomplishment that she was able to hire great faculty and staff and then let them exercise their creativity, i.e., “do their thing”. She proudly states that they have never disappointed.

What Does Women’s Month Mean to Me?

The worldwide participation in Women’s Month events is very impressive. I am also particularly encouraged that more women are running for public office at all levels, as this can bring lasting change.

I do hope that all these activities are a stepping stone to the day when we can celebrate everyone equally. I guess I am still an idealist. I am sure that my perspective was influenced by my 1960’s UC Berkeley experience, whether I was aware of it or not.  I have always felt that I had a voice and that, if I worked hard and did my job to the best of my ability (I do think that is important!) I would be treated fairly. I have been fortunate to have had exceptional male and female mentors throughout my career - in this, I recognize that I have been very lucky. In my experience, TUC has generally been a supportive and encouraging environment for women - and the result is that you have had some amazing women contribute significantly to her development. My best wishes for all women and men of Touro for the future!

Golnoush Golshan

Golnoush Golshan, MA
Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate, Class of 2018

Student Doctor Golshan has served as the President of the Student Government Association from 2015-2016. Along with her colleagues from College of Pharmacy, Medicine, and Public Health, Ms. Golshan established TUC’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and has helped numerous professional clubs host healthcare events in the Vallejo community. Ms. Golshan is an advocate for research and strongly believes in the advancement of the healthcare profession through clinical publications.

What Does Women’s Month Mean to Me?

Women’s month is a time to honor the contributions of extraordinary women in our lives and throughout history. It was through the sacrifices and courageousness of our mothers and the generations before them that we have been able to break down barriers and achieve the impossible. This month is a reminder that as females we must continue moving forward with the impact we have made in our respective fields and to help empower other women along the path to success.

Gayle Cummings

Gayle Cummings, PsyDc, MPH
Program Director of the Public Health Program

Dr. Cummings co-founded the Center for the Analysis of Multicultural Issues (CAMI), a program planning and evaluation firm, responsible for conducting program and research evaluation, strategic planning and analysis for disease prevention, and health promotion programs. For the last 15 years, as co-principal and consultant for CAMI, she helped develop, implement, and evaluate programs primarily focused on assisting under-served communities throughout California and in and around the Bay Area.

What Does Women’s Month Mean to Me?

Current research shows that when women make up more than 50 percent of an  organization, the unit’s collective intelligence rises above average. Therefore, more gender diverse groups make for smarter, more impactful organizations, particularly in leadership and management.  I’m a firm believer that mentorship is key to the increasing the numbers of women in leadership positions and I encourage men and women to take the time to mentor women in their workplace as one way to honor National Women’s month.

Lisa Gottfried

Lisa Gottfried, MEd
Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Education, Alumna of the Class of 2016

Professor Gottfried is in her fifth year of teaching Digital Design, Game Design, and Video Storytelling for the flagship New Technology High School in Napa. She is currently an adjunct professor for Touro University California in the Innovative Education Masters program. She has taught other educators through the Napa Learns Digital Innovators program on how to use and teach project management by stealing from the tech start-up company playbook. 

What Does Women’s Month Mean to Me?

As we celebrate National Women's Month, I am both looking backward and forward to commemorate the month. My mother and mother-in-law have served as trail blazers and role models for me as they became professionals in the fields of business and biotech, at a time when they were among a handful of women doing so. All of the choices I have made in life are possible through the hard work and determination of the women who came before me.

Teenage girls are coming into their own and looking at traditionally male dominated fields, and I love having an active role in supporting them in participating in all levels of the job force. We have GOT to continue to open doors for women, work with men to create equitable and supportive work relationships, and change the way we do business in our country. Political leaders must reflect the true makeup our populous. More women are needed to take up leadership roles in business as well. It's appropriate that we celebrate this March. I can't wait to see how the world will be changed for the good for my teenage daughter and all her friends as she comes into her own.

Dr. Meiling Tang

Meiling Tang, PhD

Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, WASC Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO)

Dr. Tang, who's earned the nickname “Dr. WASC”, is currently preparing the campus for the April WASC team visit. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness integrates multiple functions in institutional research, assessment, program review, strategic planning, and accreditation to promote and support evidence-based planning and improvement. 

What Does Women’s Month Mean to Me?

Women’s month is about celebrating women’s accomplishments and also recognizing the challenges we face. We are at a time when we can take inspiration from those women who came generations before us and fought for women’s rights, and we can see the difference we can make when women come together today. Growing up in a family with a sister and no brothers in a rural area in China, I witnessed prejudice, and it is still part of my childhood memories. This month is a reminder that women have to continue to fight to celebrate and follow our dreams.