May 2013 Edition

The Record

 Touro University California - The Record 

 In this issue…

As the spring semester winds to a close and graduation quickly approaches, I am reminded of the uniqueness of our campus. Foremost in my thoughts is the academic strength of our faculty and student body.

For the fourth consecutive year, Touro University California’s College of Osteopathic Medicine was ranked in the top 10 of U.S. News & World Report for schools with the most graduates accepted for primary care residencies.  In addition, COM research faculty gained national recognition for their innovative research supported by the National Institutes of Health.

A generous grant from the Long Foundation helped the College of Pharmacy open a state of the art Pharmacy Practice Center and COP students distinguished themselves and their program by winning the 2013 CPhA Quiz Bowl.

The College of Education and Health Sciences continued this campus tradition of excellence. MPH students swept the awards at the 2013 California Public Health Association-North annual meeting. The  Joint MSPAS/MPH program became the sixth consecutive graduating class to beat the national average for first-time PANCE pass rates ( 93% in 2012) and the Graduate School of Education secured a prestigious Intel grant to create online learning modules and digital learning tools.

As we prepare to graduate our students in June, I am confident  that our graduates are well prepared to be skilled practitioners and effective leaders in their disciplines.  Congratulations to all for a job well done!

Marilyn Hopkins, Ph.D.
Provost and Chief Operating Officer

Campus Updates 

Professional Activities

Upcoming Events

Faculty/Staff Feature

Meet Robin Wempe

New Faces

Tech Tips

Assessment and Accreditation

Have You Heard

TUC in the News


Do you have campus updates, professional accomplishments or upcoming events you’d like to see featured?  If so, email with details.

  Campus Updates

Health Jobs

More than 70 students from both Vallejo and Vacaville High Schools filled the Farragut Inn Ballroom on May 8, 2013 for the Joint MSPAS/MPH Program’s fourth annual “Healthy Jobs Vallejo.  Students were excited as they gained hands-on experience from representatives of five health professions: Ultrasound techs, Paramedics, Ortho Technicians, Public Health Epidemiologists, andPhysician Assistantstudents each led a station. The high school students wrapped wrists, made casts, used ultrasound to see their jugular veins at work, and managed a virtual disease outbreak in this half-day event. The high school students and the professionals were assisted by twenty-six current students from the Physician Assistant program. The Physician Assistant students provided a link to the high school students between being a student and being a professional, helping them visualize the paths that can lead to a healthcare career. This event is held every year in early May; inquiries can be sent to Julie Charles at


Employee AppreciationEmployees were treated to a “Western” Appreciation Luncheon on May 9th at the Grove, where dozens of TUC faculty and staff enjoyed food, music, games, karaoke, and laughter! To see pictures of the event, visit our Facebook page at





The College of Osteopathic Medicine hosted the “Class of 2015 Pinning Ceremony” on May 10th inside Lander Hall Auditorium. More than 100 family members and friends attended the ceremony.  The event included recognition to Drs. Catherine West, Janet M. Burns, and Athena W. Lin, who were selected by the students as Teachers of the Year. Additionally, the Student of the Year award was presented to Kira Bendixen, OMSIII. Congratulations to all four! The event ended with a memorial to COM student Zach Hauser, with students and faculty performing a touching rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama.”

MSMHS Graduation

The graduation ceremony for the Master of Science in Medical Health Sciences was held on May 10th at the Farragut Inn Ballroom. This is the program’s third and largest graduating class (16 students). Congratulation to the Class of 2013!

Congratulations to COP whose students garnered the “Script Your Future Team Challenge’s Health Disparities, Under-represented Community Outreach Award.”  This motivated group has been recognized among peers from across the U.S. for targeting underserved populations in outreach efforts, including uninsured Hispanic, African American, and South and Southeast Asian populations.

six flagsTUC has just partnered with Six Flags to offer substantial savings for its members and employees! The online benefit program also offers “print and go,” which eliminates waiting in line at the park. Human Resources will send out more information and access for tickets – watch your emails!






Congratulations to students John Gorman (COM 2014) and David Lash (COP/CEHS 2014), who were selected by the TUC Alumni Association Board for this year’s scholarship award.  Both students successfully exemplified leadership skills, a commitment to community improvement, and good academic standing. Five additional students – Kira Bendixen (COM 2014), Savitha Bonthala (COM/CEHS 2013), Mirian Murphy (COM 2013), Diana Pena (CEHS 2014), and Eber Resendiz (CEHS 2015) – were also recognized as TUC’s Distinguished Students.

Construction on the north side of the Library will begin Monday, June 3, and is tentatively scheduled to be finished around mid-July.  The Library restrooms will be closed to traffic and will not be available until approx. June 25th.  The closest restrooms will be in the back part of the Library Building or in Lander Hall. 

The College of Pharmacy organized a Multicultural Fashion Show in the Pharmacy classroom, where Touro faculty, students, and staff dressed in traditional and colorful attire. Congratulations on a successful event!

Deasy AwardThe Physician Assistant Program recently announced the renaming of their annual award to “The Deasy Teaching Award,” in honor of retiring adjunct professor JoAnn Deasy, PA-C, MPH, who has garnered this prestigious recognition countless times. Congratulations!





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  Upcoming Events

June 2nd: TUC will hold its 13th Annual Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, June 2nd at the Masonic Auditorium, 1111 California Street in San Francisco. The 2013 graduating students represent 137 from the College of Osteopathic Medicine; 103 from the College of Pharmacy; 89 from the Master of Public Health Program; 65 from the Graduate School of Education; 43 from the Physician’s Assistant Program; 16 from the Master of Science in Medical Health Sciences; and 10 from the Master of Science in Medical Health Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Read more.

June 6th: The faculty development workshop on Interprofessional Education will host its next session from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Farragut Inn Ballroom. The concept behind these workshops is to develop educational infrastructure, discover ways to integrate IPE into the educational process, and link IPE to the curriculum. To RSVP, click here. For more information, click here.

June 7th: TUC will be offering a fun and interactive learning opportunity exclusively for staff members at the “Developing Emotional Intelligence” workshop on June 7th from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Farragut Inn Ballroom. For more information, contact Human Resources.

July 19-21: The Class of 2003 will celebrate its 10-year Reunion July 19-21, 2013 on our Mare Island campus as well as in other locations around the Bay Area. A committee of five 2003 alumni have already collaborated with Jen Whitty, Director of Alumni Relations, to create a fun-filled weekend. Read more.

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  Professional Activities


Congratulations to Sharanjeet Sandu, teacher candidate in the Multiple Subject Teacher Credential Program, who was selected to receive the C. Shirley Michel scholarship for $2,500, which is awarded annually by the California Retired Teacher Association, Solano County, Division 24.

Dr. Pamela Redmond attended the 2013 WIRED Business Conference in New York earlier this month, which centered on revolutionary change. “It’s about people who are trying to reinvent the building blocks of business and culture.”

Elizabeth Corey, teacher candidate in the Multiple Subject Teacher Credential Program was awarded a $250 scholarship by Delta Kappa Gamma, an International Women’s Educational Sorority, Theta Iota Chapter, which is located in Solano and Napa counties. Congratulations!

Ramsey Musallam, adjunct faculty member in the online Masters of Education in Innovative Learning program, presented on PBS and TED Talks Education on May 7th. To view a six-minute video, click here.

Students and faculty from TUC’s MPH program were selected as winners in various categories during The California Public Health Association – North annual meeting earlier this month. Navin Bhandari, Abbas Charlie, Liana Dolan, Josh Hewitt, and Ted Mamoulelis took 1st place for “Vitamin C as an Analgesic: A Review of the Literature;” Lien Le, Jennifer Phan, Tra Truong, and Pricilla VanLiew took 2nd place for “The Association of Soy Intake and Breast Cancer Among Asian American Women;” and Mey S. Saephan, Ruby E. Warnock, Lan N. Doan, Maria-Alexandra Moraitis, Annette Aalborg and Gayle Cummings took 3rd place for “School-Based Comprehensive Oral Health Services in North Vallejo: Service Providers’ Perspectives.” Students Ted Mamoulelis and Ruby Warnock won the 2013 Public Health Student Awards. Congratulations to all!


Students at TUC selected three professors in COM as their Teacher of the Year. They are (in no particular order): Dr. Athena Lin, Basic Sciences; Dr. Janet Burns, OMM; and Dr. Catherine West, Primary Care Department. Congratulations to all three for their outstanding work at Touro!

Dr. Phil Malouf, Pediatrician, has been selected as a contributing author in the “Teacher’s Guide - COMSEP Problem Sets; a Clinical Reasoning Case Based Review.” This initial publication of the Teacher’s Guide consists of 101 individual case guides. This is the first volume of what will eventually cover all 225 cases.

Dr. Peter Baginsky will be presenting a poster in June at the annual American Diabetes Association conference in Chicago entitled, “Capillary Glucose Testing after Oral Glucose Load: A Convenient Screening for Type 2 Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes in Latino Adults.” An abstract of this poster will also be published in Diabetes, volume 62, supplement 1. Congratulations!

Earlier this month, Drs. Robert Anderson and Jennifer Weiss, both from TUC’s Primary Care Department (PCD), attended the Reynolds Mini-Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at UCLA. They will be called upon to share lessons they learned during this fellowship with other PCD faculty.

Congratulations to Dr. Melissa Pearce, who has been appointed as the OMM Vice-Chair!

Dr. Karl Meszaros will be given access to biological materials and related information at Children’s Hospital & Research Center at Oakland (CHRCO) for the purpose of measuring the levels of endotoxin and inflammatory cytokines in plasma samples obtained from the “Dairy Families, Very Low-Fat Diet in Children” study performed in his laboratory. This is an important interdisciplinary collaboration between two colleges at TUC (COP and COM - assays will be performed at the stable isotope core lab headed by Dr. Jean-Marc Schwarz) and a major local reference laboratory in lipidology.

A recent investigation by Dr. Alejandro Gugliucci and his team to develop methods of studying “HDL function” attracted the attention of Indena SPA, an Italian company from Milano. A mutual agreement between TUC and Indena SPA will permit our campus to provide specialized analysis of HDL function for several natural products.

Congratulations to Dr. Gregg C. Lund, who was elected to the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO) during the annual AAO Convocation in Florida. He will serve a three-year term.

Dr. Alejandro Gugliucci has been invited to present a seminar at the 18th annual meeting of the “Israeli Society for Research, Prevention and Treatment of Atherosclerosis,” which will take place in Eilat, Israel on October 24-26, 2013.  The annual meetings of the Israeli Atherosclerosis Society provide a great opportunity for scientific knowledge exchange between leading experts in the field of atherosclerosis. Thumbs up to Dr. Gugliucci!

Demonstrating commitment and keeping with TUC’s mission, COM student Donovan Jeffcoat garnered the TOUCH POINTS Platinum Award for having the highest total hours of community service of any OMS2 student. FACT: TUC students have the highest totals in the country. Congratulations!


A study by Drs. Eric Ip, Bijal Shah, and Junhua Yu of TUC’s College of Pharmacy and Dr. Jim Chan of Kaiser Permanente was published in the May 15th edition of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. The study, “Enhancing Diabetes Care by Adding a Pharmacist to the Primary Care Team,” addresses the impact of pharmacist interventions on short-term clinical markers and long-term cardiovascular risk in patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Read more.

The Touro COP Team including Dr. Tristan Lindfelt, Dr. Kajua Lor, Dr. Jerry Gonzales, Dr. Terrill Tang, Dr. Robert Schoenhaus, Dr. Debra Sasaki-Hill and Dr. Katherine Knapp returned from the 2013 Western States Residency Conference in San Diego, where many Touro alumni and our own Touro residents presented at the meeting. “Everyone did a wonderful job presenting their projects and we had many compliments about Touro grads and residents from Residency Program Directors and Directors of Pharmacy. It was truly an inspiring meeting to attend,” said Dr. Knapp.

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  New Faces

  • Amal Harrati, Adjunct Faculty, CEHS, Public Health Program
  • Paterson Rene, Adjunct Faculty, CEHS, Joint MSPAS/MPH Program, Clinical Applications Skills lab
  • Anda Sniedze, Administrative Coordinator, COM, Academic Affairs

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  Meet Robin Wempe

Robin WempeThe professor in the Joint Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies/Master of Public Health (MSPAS/MPH) program takes a deep breath and ponders before answering a specific question about her life. 

“What do people not know about me? Or what do I want them to know about me?” Robin Wempe says in jest, then adds, “Well, in my previous life, I was the lead cook for a center in Southern California.” 

Before high-tailing it to Touro University California almost seven years ago to teach in the Joint PA/MPH Program, Robin spent five years working in a field she fondly revered – cooking. 

“I loved working as a cook but it’s really back-breaking work,” she says. “Financially, it’s not really good unless you’re running the French Laundry, but I loved it.” 

Considered a “military brat,” the 5’5” professor, who’s donned purple streaks in her hair for the past four years, moved roughly six times across the States while both parents served in the U.S. Air Force.  She credits her parents, laden with colorful backgrounds, on helping to create the person she is today. 

“My mom was the first woman in the State of Pennsylvania to join the US Air Force – because someone told her that women couldn’t be in the military,” she says. “My dad retired as a lieutenant colonel and went on to work as an engineer for TRW Inc.” 

Although her childhood background was military, Wempe admits that it was a bit “hippy.” 

“I am pretty much a byproduct of that,” she proudly states. Wempe also adds that she worked for many years as a medical assistant and physician assistant at Planned Parenthood. 

Dedicated to her profession and keeping with the University’s goal of working in the community, Wempe spends about 12 hours a week with underserved clients at La Clinica in North Vallejo, a Federally Qualified Health Center. 

Adding to her already full plate, Wempe is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies online through Touro College in New York. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree and Physician Assistant certification at Hahnemann University in Pennsylvania. 

The Touro PA master’s program “has a certain set of objectives that need to be finished within a certain time,” she says. “This program is good for someone in a situation like mine – working fulltime-plus, and a life full of other things. You need flexibility.” 

As for her students, Wempe has a few guidelines she requires them to follow with, of course, a little twist. 

“I have high expectations of my students to be in class, on time, and respectful of all lecturers,” she states. “But I also celebrate creativity.”

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  Tech Tips

Classroom technologies are always in focus for the Information Technology Department. Most TUC classrooms have projection and sound systems installed. For those that don’t, you can request pick-up or delivery of projectors, laptops and conference phones by contacting the IT Department Service Desk at 707-638-5424 or at A complete list of campus classrooms and the technologies they offer can be found at

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Assessment and Accreditation

In 2010, TUC, and its branch campus in Henderson, Nevada, were reaffirmed Institutional Accreditation by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) with the next accreditation review scheduled for spring 2018.  An Interim Report will be due on March 1st, 2014.   The WASC Executive Team kicked off the Interim Report process at the May 6th, 2013 teleconference.  Stakeholders from the two campuses will work together in the next few months to complete the report on time. Read more.

TUC, in conjunction with Touro Nevada, has developed eight Institutional Student Learning Outcomes (ISLOs), of which two have been focused each year.  Academic programs will complete assessing the first cycle of the 8 ISLOs in October 2013. Student services department started the ISLOs assessment activities in the year of 2011-2012. Read more.

All Academic Programs at TUC are subject to systematic program review. The program review includes three components: a self-study, an external review and a Memorandum of Understanding. The Joint MSPAS/MPH program went through the review in the year of 2011-2012. The MSMHS program in the College of Osteopathic Medicine is undergoing the process. The Doctor of Osteopathic and Masters of Public Health programs are in the agenda for next year.

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  Have You Heard?

Disaster drill helps prepare Travis Air Force Base, Solano area hospitals (The Reporter)

10 tips for a healthier life (We Magazine)

Touro University holds research day (Daily Republic)

Author takes on weighty issue at Touro University event (Vallejo Times Herald)

Touro University plans information night (Daily Republic)

Vallejo ferry terminal construction slated (Mercury News)

Team including pharmacist improves diabetes treatment (Pharmacy Times)

Student grassroots advocate the right prescription to bridge California’s provider gap (CSHP)

2013 California Pharmacy Legislative Day (CSHP)

Chef of the Stars (SoFit Magazine)

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