March 2014 Edition

The Record

 Touro University California - The Record 

 In this issue…

Welcome to the 2014 March Newsletter! Our campus continues to demonstrate a commitment to serve, to lead, and to teach as proven through our faculty’s outstanding teaching, research, service  and their many distinct accomplishments, as you’ll read below. 

Touro College and University System appointed in December 2013 Shelley Berkley, new CEO and Senior Provost for Touro’s Western Division. Shelley’s addition to our University represents a significant step towards fulfilling the ambition to lift TUC among the best universities of its kind. 

In her brief time at the campus, Shelley has already connected with community leaders, elected officials, and many of our faculty, staff and students. She is eager to meet all of you and become a part of the communities we serve. To read more about Shelley, click here.


Campus Updates 

Professional Activities

Upcoming Events

Faculty/Staff Feature

Meet Tamara Trujillo

New Faces

Tech Tips

Assessment and Accreditation

Institutional Advancement

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

Katherine Knapp

Dr. Katherine K. Knapp, the founding Dean of TUC’s College of Pharmacy, has announced her retirement as of July 2014. Dr. Knapp has served since 2004 and has achieved national recognition for instituting a very successful “2 + 2” Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum.  The COP has achieved high acclaim through the success of its students in community service, state and national skills competitions, high passing rates on state licensure and national board exams, and competitive residency placements. In addition, Dr. Knapp recently began a Masters of Science program in Medical Health Sciences in the college to improve the opportunities for and quality of bench and outcomes research. An active search to find a new Dean is currently underway.  Please watch the website for details.

The CEHS is excited to announce the launch of its new Master of Science in Nursing Program (MSN), led by Program Director Ann Stoltz, PhD., RN, beginning August 2014! Building upon a level of excellence, the MSN program is designed to meet the educational needs of licensed, practicing Registered Nurses, with either an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing, who desire to obtain the MSN. For more information on the program, click here.

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Clearfield, dean of the COM, who was selected as the 2013 Researcher of the Year by the American College of Osteopathic Internists for producing a major contribution to clinical or basic research related to Osteopathic internal medicine.  

TUC will be a sponsor of the Bay Area broadcast of two public television documentaries on Jewish Life.  The documentaries are “The Story of the Jews and American Jerusalem”, and “Jews and the Making of San Francisco.” (Five episodes running 3/25 and 4/1/14) on KQED television.

TUC is in the final phase of design for Building H89. The next step involves the drawing phase, which will be submitted to the Vallejo City Planner for review and permits. The drawings will also allow Facilities to go out to bid with general contractors, where the actual cost of the project will be revealed. More to follow!

Both electrical charging stations have been put into service! They are located in the parking lot adjacent to the library. Those interested may contact Facilities to learn how to access the charging stations. 

Safety is our priority! Bids are being collected to install emergency call boxes around the campus. This is the first phase and will put emergency call boxes throughout the occupied areas of the campus. The project includes speaker towers that will aid the campus with mass notifications in case of an emergency or other emergency. 

Lander HallExpect exciting changes to Lander Hall this spring. The cream-colored building, a namesake of Touro’s founder, Bernard Lander, is getting a face lift! We are currently in the process of collecting bids to paint the exterior of the building. The project is estimated to begin when the weather turns warm. 

The department of Research of the COM and the Office of Sponsored Programs recently moved to remodeled office space in Lander Hall, liberating at least two large office spaces for COM faculty. New spaces were also developed for storage, freezers and a poster printer. A new two-bench laboratory has also been remodeled. Stay tuned for an open house!

The second COP Open House held in February was a well-organized, effective event. Dr. Susan Heimer, the principal organizer, and her team of staff, students and faculty, made the event meaningful and special. Emails that circulated afterward suggest that participants felt they gained as much as the student guests. Good job, COP! 

The PA Program was recently awarded a $185,000 Song-Brown Base Grant followed by a $150,000 (over two years) Song Brown Special Projects Grant.  Since its first award in 2008, the PA Program has used Song-Brown funds to increase the service of our PA alumni in sites that serve medically underserved populations. Last year, a Song-Brown grant also funded the Bridge Program, which is available to incoming students before matriculation. 

The Library recently introduced a new online bookstore operated by the company Akademos, Inc. Students and faculty can purchase new and used books, as well as eBooks, book rentals, and more. To visit their site, CLICK HERE

Touro’s Physician Assistant Program has much to celebrate! The entire Class of 2013 passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) on their first try! The PANCE is a computerized, multiple-choice exam comprised of 360 questions that assess basic medical and surgical knowledge.  Congratulations! Read more

James FoyAfter 11 years of service, Dr. James Foy will retire at the end of the academic year. His accomplishments include 37 years as a pediatrician as well as collaboration with TUC faculty and the local community. Dr. Foy will remain connected to TUC as a member of the adjunct family and will continue to work with the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners. We wish you the best, Dr. Foy. 



TUC’s Research Department reached a few milestones by the end of 2013, including the news of Dr. Jean-Marc Schwarz and his Research team receiving a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to explore meal composition and frequency and how it affects cardiovascular disease. Read more on Research. 

Looking for some leisure reading? The Library acquired the “Images of America” this month, which features a pictorial series that chronicles the history of towns across the U.S. The books include many vintage photos and are often written in conjunction with a local historical society. The collection includes: Napa Valley’s Jewish Heritage; Vallejo; World War II Shipyards by the Bay; and Jewish San Francisco. Check them out!

The 2012 Faculty Publications of Touro College and University System, highlighting research and scholarship from throughout the Touro College and University System, is now available to read. This database includes journal articles, books and book chapters, conference proceedings, creative works, patents, and published dissertations and translations, among other items. Read more.

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  Upcoming Events

March 6: Teen Life Conference:  This annual conference, led by TUC students and faculty from COM, COP and CEHS, offers local teenagers an array of resources that address relevant health care issues and post high-school career options through lectures, health screenings, information booths, and physical fitness activities. The event is held from 3-6:30 p.m. at the Lander Hall gym. Read more

March 9: FAMS Seafood City Event: Now in its 8th year and held at Seafood City, this event has expanded into an Interprofessional event, which includes students and faculty from COM, COP and MPH. The event offers various health services to the public, including free blood pressure screening, OMM treatments, and pharmacy consultations. The event will be held at 2495 Sonoma Blvd., Vallejo, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

April 3: The BIG GAME against TUN is back at TUC, as TUC defends the Hammer! Get ready for another nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat championship basketball game between TUC and TUN. This is a game you don’t want to miss! The amazing Dance Team will also dazzle the crowd with their half-game routine. The fun begins at 7 p.m. inside Lander Hall’s gymnasium. Let’s keep the Hammer at TUC! 

April 30: Research Day: All are invited to this campus-wide event held at Farragut Inn, featuring the most recent work of our faculty and students and celebrating the contributions of our researchers in science, clinical practice, education and public health. Keynote speaker will be Ira Schwartz, professor and chairman of Microbiology and Immunology at NYMC and head of the Touro-wide research task force. Read more

Commencement 2013May 23: TUC’s 2014 Commencement Ceremony: Held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel Ballroom, 55 Fourth Street in San Francisco, beginning at 10 a.m. All three of our colleges will present their students for graduation. Hotel rooms at discounted rates are still available. For more information, click here.




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  Professional Activities


Student Run Free ClinicTouro’s Student Run Free Clinic (SRFC) began offering Vallejo’s first free comprehensive diabetes education program in January under the supervision of COM faculty member, Joy Dugan, MPH, PA-C. The classes were designed and are taught by a team of students from TUC’s COP, GSOE, Public Health, and COM. Touro’s SRFC diabetes education program is geared toward people with newly diagnosed and existing Type II diabetes as well as family members.  Read more


The 32nd annual PK1 Conference of the California Kindergarten Association created a new strand focused on technology that includes a series of presentations from TUC students and their faculty mentor, Dr. Pamela Redmond of GSOE.  Together with three of her current and former Master's degree students in Innovative Learning and Educational Technology, Kim Floyd, Martha McCoy, and Pam Rubel, the group presented their research into digital early literacy and its effect on improving English language proficiency and school success for Napa County students at the CKA Conference. 

Congratulations to GSOE, who recently had one of their students, Angelo “Ang” Bracco of Vallejo, named as one of five outstanding educators in California by the State Department of Education. Bracco is a special education teacher from Solano Middle School in the Vallejo City Unified School District. 

Cheers to new GSOE faculty member in the Master’s program, Dr. Crystal Jensen, who is a member of the Choctaw tribe and received a National Center for American Indian Economic Development 40 Under 40 Native American Leaders award. Read more

An array of abstracts from faculty, students, and alumni were selected from the PA and MPH program to present at the American Public Health Association’s 141th Annual Meeting & Expo on November 2-6 in Boston, Ma. These include work from Lucy Thairu, MS, PhD; Carinne Brody, DrPH; Garland Brinkley, CPH, MPH, PhD; Annette Aalborg, DrPH; Trina Mackie, PhD; Le’Anna St. John, PA-C, MPAS; Assefaw Tekeste Ghebrekidan, MD, DrPH; Keely Molina Johnson, Ruby Warnock, Rachel Jeriko, Linae Young, and Manjot Multani. Congratulations to all! 

The PA Program is proud to announce that Ana Maldonado was elected as a Director-at-Large for the California Academy of Physician Assistants. She will be responsible for participating in the development and establishment of policies throughout the board, serve as an advisor to appointed committees, as well as other appointed duties at the discretion of the President.


Congratulations to Dr. Abraham Pera, who accepted the role as new Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California (OPSC) Vice President, and Dr. Patricia Rehfield, who is also a new OPSC board member. Dr. Alesia Wagner also just completed a year as OPSC president and will remain on the Board of Directors as immediate past president. 

Dr. Alesia Wagner represented the Osteopathic profession and TUC COM as a speaker at the California Association of Physicians Assistants (CAPA) mid-year conference in Napa this month. Dr. Wagner spoke on the navigation of California Workers’ Compensation highway, discussing the changes and challenges of SB 863 for medical care providers in California. 

Congratulations to Dr. Richard Reimer, neurologist and Adjunct Clinical Faculty for Touro, for being selected as the Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California Physician of the Year! 

The Office of Sponsored Programs is proud to report that six federal grant submissions have already been processed in 2014. TUC has had a good presence in the seed grants program and news from those awards should become available soon. 

Congratulations to Drs. Michael Clearfield, Melissa Pearce, Yasmin Nibbe, David Crotty, and Alesia Wagner for their publication of the “New Deadly Quartet for Cardiovascular Disease in the 21st Century: Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, Inflammation and Climate Change: How Does Statin Therapy Fit into this Equation?” in the Current Atherosclerosis Reports, Volume 16 Number 1, 380-392. 

Dr. Alejandro Gugliucci, M. Numaguchi, Russell Caccavello, and S. Kimura recently published “Small-dense low-density lipoproteins are the predominant apoB-100-containing lipoproteins in cord blood,” which appeared in the Clin Biochem 2014 Epub ahead of print DOI: 10.1016/j.cca.2013.12.027. 

Michelle Burk ResearchStudent Dr. Michelle Burk (OMSI) represented TUC at the annual Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California meeting in San Diego on February 7th 2014, where she presented a poster of her research work on campus. Dr. Gugliucci also gave a Faculty Development session, hosted by the PCD department on “Writing an abstract, making and presenting a poster: 101.” The session was enthusiastically attended by faculty from several departments. Good job!




Three faculty members from COP – Drs. Junhua Yu, Bijal M. Shah, and Eric Ip – as well as Dr. James Chan from Kaiser Permanente, co-authored a study that has been cited by the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy (JMCP). Their article, “Model of the Cost-Effectiveness of Pharmacist Care for Diabetes in Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases: Evidence from Kaiser Permanente Northern California” received an Honorable Mention for the JMCP Award for Excellence. 

Alison McCormickCongratulations to Dr. Alison McCormick, who was selected to receive funding from the Bridge Funding Grant Program for her proposal, “Single Dose Subunit Vaccine for Pandemic Influenza.” The Funding Grant Program, set up by President Kadish, received proposals from the cross-campus Biomedical and Health Sciences Research Council.  Dr. McCormick was selected through a stringent peer review process with a panel of representatives from all Touro and NYMC campuses. 




TUC’s COP held its first SNPhA Clinical Skills + Patient Counseling Competition, where eight teams participated. Winners include: 1st Place – Jackie Ho and Megan Pokorney; 2nd Place – Aleyna Fong and Ashley Butler; and 3rd Place – Sebastian Al-Saiegh and Ken Mak. First place winners will be competing at the Regional Competition in March in Columbus, OH and in the National Competition in July in Arlington, VA. 

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  New Faces

  • Miriam Atienza, Administrative Coordinator, Clinical Education, COM
  • Angela Blandon, Event Staff, Food Services
  • Bridget Canfield, Coordinator of Assessment, COP
  • Julie Carreon, Human Resources Assistant
  • Roswitha Childress, Administrative Coordinator, Student Services
  • Austin Cornell, Event Staff, Food Services
  • Errol Dempster, Event Staff, Food Services
  • Jacob Elmore, Event Staff, Food Services
  • Dennis Forfa, Library Assistant
  • Holly E. Garcia, Instructor, Public Health Program, CEHS
  • Gary Grout, Field Supervisor, Graduate School of Education, CEHS
  • Lesley Gutierrez, 4th yr. Rotations Coordinator, Clinical Education, COM
  • Tayonia Hasket, Event Staff, Food Services
  • John Inciardi, Adjunct Faculty Professor, Bio and Pharmaceutical Sciences, COP
  • David Jackson, Custodian, Facilities
  • Evan Kobari, Lab Assistant, COM
  • Shruti Kumar, Learning Specialist, Joint MSPAS/MPH Program, CEHS
  • Leroy Lee Jr., Custodian, Facilties
  • May Lin, Assistant Professor, Primary Care, COM
  • Charlesett Ohlson, Event Staff, Food Services
  • Sarah Passage, CME Coordinator, COM
  • Anya Platt, Lab Assistant, COM
  • Jacquelyn Ray, Librarian, Library
  • Thomas Reece, Instructor, OMM, COM
  • Cathy Rice, Adjunct Instructor, Graduate School of Education, CEHS
  • Steven Ritter, Adjunct Faculty, Primary Care, COM
  • Ann Stoltz, Director, School of Nursing, CEHS
  • Moises Velasco-Alin, Laboratory Assistant, Research, COM
  • Adrian Wong, Coordinator of Experiential Programs, COP

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  Meet Tamara Trujillo

Tamara Trujillo

Director of TUC’s Library Tamara Trujillo doesn’t skip a beat when stating that she finds her job most fascinating. In fact, she couldn’t fathom it being “uninteresting.” 

“One never knows what question or request for help will come to you on a daily basis,” Trujillo said. “I feel that librarianship is a job which allows one to personally keep learning in the course of helping others. It is satisfying to help students, faculty, and staff and it allows one to be creative.” 

Trujillo, a resident of Berkeley, came to TUC in May 2011 after working at university libraries almost her entire career. Her robust resume includes appointments at the California State University, Sacramento library, as well as the role of librarian at Stanford University, SUNY Buffalo and Texas A&M University. 

She admits that she was originally interested in being a teacher – and was certified to be a secondary teacher in Ohio – but was convinced by a friend, who was a librarian, to get a Masters in Library Science. 

“Her advice was that I would have more career options. So I went to the University of Denver, earned my MA degree and have been in the library field ever since,” she said. 

The TUC Library consists of a very efficient and talented group of individuals, including four librarians, one half-time library assistant, and 20 student assistants. Their primary focus is to help students, faculty and staff. 

But note - working at the library entails more than checking out books or reserving items, Trujillo said. Librarians teach students, faculty and staff library use through one-on-one sessions; give special classes on research tools and skills; maintain collections; preserve the library catalog and other finding tools; and run the library as a physical plant reporting any problems to facilities. Librarians each also hold a set of backup responsibilities in case of absences or vacancies. 

Just recently, the library underwent an extensive $2.4 million renovation, which provided new study rooms, carpeting, electrical outlets under the study tables, and a newly renovated circulation area. 

“The renovation has made a major improvement to the Library’s appearance and functionality, which has received a positive reaction by the returning students,” she said. 

And just in case you didn’t know, most of the Library collection is “virtual,” meaning they only have 400 print journal titles but more than 50,000 e-journals. Additionally, they hold between 2,000-3,000 print books on campus but have more than 110,000 online books. 

Three facts about Tamara Trujillo:

  • Trujillo’s first librarian job and only non-academic librarian position was as a civilian librarian with the US Army in Europe.
  • She loves outdoor adventures, including backpacking around the circumference of Mt. Hood and weeklong treks into the Sierra backcountry.
  • Trujillo is passionate about animal welfare and helped to found an humane society in Texas.

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  Tech Tips

TUC Faculty and Staff members are able to securely access network resources via a Virtual Private Network (VPN).  A VPN is a set of technologies that create secure communication paths between the TUC campus network and computers on insecure networks such as the Public Internet. VPN allows TUC Faculty and Staff members to securely access their S-Drive, department or college directories, or AV-Share from remote locations that have an Internet connection. Read more.

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Assessment and Accreditation

Great news! Thanks to the TUC individuals who provided content and those who helped review the document, the 10-month project is completed. Touro University California (and its branch campus TUN) submitted the Interim Report to WASC on February 25th, 2014.  In this report, we responded to WASC in five areas: institutional outcomes, clinical education, program review, system relationships, and faculty development.   Within 90 days a panel of the WASC Interim Report Committee will review the report. Representatives of TUC and TUN will be invited to participate in the conference call to respond to questions from the panel.  An action letter will be issued to document the outcome of the review. 


All the seven academic programs and student services division are in the process of assessing ISLOs 1 & 2. These two ISLOs focus on [TUC students ability to]:

  • Apply knowledge from their discipline in a context reflecting real, complex situations in their profession, and
  • Think critically to make evidence-informed decisions and evaluate conclusions.


The two programs: the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program in the COM and the Masters of Public Health program in the CEHS are finishing their self-studies for the program review. The Program Review Committee will begin reviewing the documents in the next few weeks. 

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   Institutional Advancement 

If you want to make a difference in the life of a TUC student, you can make a tax deductible gift through the website. Go to our home page and click on the gray bar that says “Make a Gift.” It will take you to a Commerce Manager page that accepts credit card payments. You can make a gift to a student scholarship in a particular college, the university Student Emergency Loan Fund or a general category called “Where the Need is Greatest.” Every dollar stays on our campus and helps our own students.

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  Have You Heard?

New Touro provost has big plans for Vallejo campus (Daily Republic) 

Ask the doctor – HIV News (Adelante) 

Solano creates environment to nurture newcomers (North Bay Business Journal) 

Richard Rico: Getting into the act (The Vacaville Reporter) 

After leaving Congress, Touro’s new CEO Shelley Berkley is optimistic with new job (Vallejo Times Herald) 

The Pharmacist role in transitions of care (Drug Topics) 

Touro University CEO hopes to land residences in Sacramento (Sacramento Business Journal) 

Former congresswoman visits Touro in new role as CEO, senior provost (Vallejo Times Herald) 

Former member of Congress takes senior Touro post (JWeekly) 

Free diabetes classes for Vallejo residents offered by Touro clinic (Vallejo Times Herald) 

Stable funding, construction projects on syllabus for local colleges in 2013 (Vallejo Times-Herald) 

Ex-congresswoman to head Touro system in Vallejo, Nevada (Vallejo Times-Herald) 

Business summit draws educators, politicians to Vallejo (Vallejo Times-Herald)

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