Congratulations Newest Alumni of Touro University California!
Families watched loved ones take to the stage in caps and gowns at Zellerbach Theater in Berkeley, CA, May 22nd and 23rd for the 18th commencement of Touro University California (TUC). This year saw the conferral of 551 degrees to 470 students, all fully prepared to embrace promising futures as medical care providers, educators, and practitioners of public health.
Three ceremonies were held over two days, representing the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM), the College of Education and Health Sciences, and the College of Pharmacy. And in a commencement of their own,the COM Master’s of Science in Medical Health Science class of 2018 celebrated at home on Mare Island in TUC’s Lander Auditorium.
Attendees listened to remarks from Ms. Constance Kadish, wife of Touro College and University System president, Dr. Alan Kadish, and other distinguished guests. Guest speakers at the ceremonies included Robert Hendren, DO, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at UCSF, and Liz Helms, President and CEO of the California Chronic Care Coalition. Dr. Michael Stacey, Director of Medical Services at Solano County Medical Services, commissioned those entering the armed services.
“It is my sincerest wish for each and every one of our graduates that you do well, and you will, and as you do well, that you also do good,” stressed Shelley Berkley, CEO and Senior Provost of the Touro Western Division, to the new graduates.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer Sarah Sweitzer presided over her first commencement at TUC. Dr. Sweitzer asked that as the graduates leave the university they remember how TUC’s mission will carry forward into their lives, entrusting that, “every graduate will use this experience to live a life of great impact while continually upholding these values: respect for the inherent value and dignity of each individual, acceptance and appreciation of diversity, and compassion and service to society.”
The inaugural Doctor of Nursing Practice cohort also became the first at the university to achieve the highest level of education in advanced nursing practice. The Doctor of Nursing Practice combines advanced practice nursing skills and knowledge of evidence-based research and practice to enable working nurses to become both leaders in their field efficient and effective practitioners.
Student speakers included Brendan Leach for the College of Osteopathic Medicine; Erin Payton for the Graduate School of Education; Kara Lugtu of the Public Health Program; Sagar Rana of the Joint Physician Assistant/Public Health Program; Andrew Lloyd-Flynn of the School of Nursing; and Golnoush Golshan of the College of Pharmacy.
See photos of the ceremony
With their futures bright ahead of them, 100 local rising high school juniors got a hands-on look at the health care professions during the first Health Care and Your World event. Filling up Farragut Inn with their youthful vigor, the students from Vallejo High School and Jesse Bethel Biomedical Academy gained a taste of the graduate work that happens in their own back yard and learned the pathways for them to become a part of it.
“It is crucial that students see the diversity of programs on this campus, even if they’re looking in other directions that serve their community,” stressed Superintendent of Vallejo City Unified School District, Dr. Adam Clark. “They all have the opportunity to do great things.”
Throughout the day, students were watched the simulated patient symptoms of the Interprofessional Simulation Lab and discovered how effective community outreach is made possible at the Mobile Diabetes Education Center (MOBEC).
Students were also able to meet with professionals throughout the different health care professions and ask questions in an open dialogue. Volunteer Laurel Nielson, RN, BSN, and student in TUC’s MSN Program, reflected on the value of what they were trying to provide.
“I didn’t really have a mentor to explain the field for me,” she said. ”I think it’s great if they can have someone to talk to really see if something like this is the right fit.”
The event, hosted by the College of Education and Health Sciences, was a brain child that stemmed from the project that brings working nurses into the classroom at Jesse Bethel High School Biomedical Academy to present real world applications on the subjects that the students are currently studying. For more, visit here.
Scholarship recipient from the California Retired Teachers Association of Solano County
2018 Mosaic Scholarship Recipient
Juanisha Cox, Master’s student in the Graduate School of Educaiton, runs a high energy, interactive 3rd grade classroom at Cooper Elementary School in Vallejo. For two years, she has used a mix of traditional learning and hands on technology. Each of her students learns with his or her own chrome book, which is used for both assignments and classroom communication, all with a focus on how to find and use reliable online sources.
Ms. Cox was recently awarded the C. Shirley Michel Scholarship from California Retired Teachers Association, Division 24 of Solano County. She is also a recipient of April’s 2018 Mosaic Diversity Scholarship at TUC.
What is your main focus in the classroom?
My goal is to move every student up from where they are by the time they leave my classroom. I look at where they are individually, and we work together to set some goals that establish some accountability for both me and for them. It’s something that they agree to.
How has your master’s level work in the Graduate School of Education had an impact on your classroom?
Because we’re in a cohort together, we’re able to share our different experiences in taking what we learn in the program and using it in the classroom. It’s encouraged me to try different things out with my students. That way it’s no longer what you read in a book or in research; you get to see your own personal experience develop with it.
After attending college in Georgia, what made you want to return to Vallejo to teach?
I’ve benefited so much from other people giving back when I was a student. I wanted to be sure that I could pay forward what’s already been given to me here in Vallejo where their work can carry on to the next generation.
We often work in silos in education, but that’s not the way the world works. I want to be part of more collaboration wherever I am, whether that’s the classroom or outside it in the community, all with our students at the center.
Meet Our Staff: Christina Alvarez, Program Coordinator of the College of Pharmacy’s Master’s and Residency Programs
Part of a blended family of eight, Christina Alvarez keeps busy at home and at TUC where she serves as the Program Coordinator for the College of Pharmacy’s Master’s and Residency Programs. Christina also makes time to be in Touro University Worldwide’s MBA program, from which she plans to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry. But when she can unwind with friends, it’s often in the company of her favorite dessert wine, Angelica from V. Sattui.
What’s one of the best parts for students in the M.S. Medical Health Sciences with an emphasis in Pharmacy Studies program?
In the beginning of the school year, everyone is shy. At the end of the school year, they describe each other as family.
What pharmacy rotation would you like to go on yourself, if you could?
It would probably be an acute care rotation. It’s clinical, and it’s direct patient care.
What do you like most about being in Touro University Worldwide’s MBA program?
I like the fact I can interact with people across the world! The program is helping me prioritize more and improve my writing skills.
Can you tell us a bit more about your family? How do they shape who you are?
I recently married my first love from high school, and we have a blended family. My kids keep me on my toes. Raising children in this generation can be challenging, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
What is your ideal Saturday afternoon?
I love being outdoors and drinking wine at the wineries with family and friends. I love watching the Niners play on Sundays. It gets hectic during football season because my husband is a diehard Raider fan.
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