SJSU School of Social Work Monthly Newsletter November 2023

This newsletter was created by Student Assistant, Paola Quintanilla, on behalf of the School of Social Work. For any accessibility or broken link problems, please email socialworkmedia@sjsu.edu


We thrive to build a connection with our social work community by sharing resources, community events, and by shining a spotlight on our school, students, alumni, and faculty! Follow us today!




We honor this month along Indigenous people around the world to celebrate and amplify our diverse histories, languages, traditions, resilience, and ways of caring for the land. Many of our communities here and around the world continue to fight for self-determination, sovereignty, and our land back. We invite you to engage in your learning while supporting the efforts of Native American Indigenous people in our surrounding area and around the globe.

Check out this calendar full of events happening on campus and in local community. Various groups on campus like GAIN, NASO, MOSAIC, NAISSC and other will be hosting the events throughout the month.

Dear SJSU Community, did you know we had a Native American Indigenous Student Success Center (NAISSC) on campus?

NAISSC aims to create an inclusive environment for all Native American/Indigenous students by cultivating a more nuanced understanding of Indigenous peoples and cultures as we exist today. We do this by hosting various events, programs, and services that honor our communities and histories. Additionally, we support students by promoting cultural, ancestral, and community relationship as unique factors that advance Native American Indigenous student success.

I invite you to engage with NAISSC community by visiting our center located on the first floor of Clarke hall right by the EOP lounge. We also offer virtual and hybrid engagement opportunities, visit us to learn more about student organizations such as Native American Student Organization (NASO), Gathering of Academic Indigenous and Native Americans (GAIN).

You can learn more about the Native American Student Success Center by following us on Instagram @naissc_sjsu

Program Director,

Elisa Aquino (Bini' Zaa), she/hers


school of social work updates

The School of Social Work, SWGSA, USWA, & NASW South Bay reps invite you to FRIENDSGIVING! Friendsgiving was an event created pre-covid19 and held annually for our students, alumni, and family members. We are excited to be hosting this event for you all again! We hope you can make it, RSVP here: https://forms.gle/SmXct1oK2bNReooUA

Are you an MSW On Campus Student, full-time in your first year of field, or part-time students, in your second year of MSW and first year of field? Want to learn more about the PPSC Program? Join us on this Informational!

When: Saturday December 2nd, 2023

Time: 10am

Zoom Link: https://sjsu.zoom.us/j/81053372056?pwd=dkpha1drbmUvMFQrek9rWS90MUZjdz09 Password: 077352




This month, we highlight MSW Student & PPSC recipient Helen Huang and the amazing work she is doing at her internship placement.

"I am completing my school social work internship at San Lorenzo Unified School District and one of my school placements is at San Lorenzo High. At the beginning of the school year, it was mentioned by multiple staff that there was a gap in access to basic needs for our students. The district has connections to health centers and a family resource center however, there are barriers to accessing these resources. For example, the family resource center is located off campus and the student health center may not be the right fit for some of the basic needs requests.

When I caught wind of this conversation among staff, I immediately asked how can I help. My field instructor had mentioned this would be a really great addition for our Wellness Center to go with our community resources corner but funding would be our biggest barrier. I suggested that we create a Donors Choose page so that we can share the page ahead of the holidays to garner enough funds to get the community resources corner started in the Spring semester. She agreed and once the page was created we shared it with our networks. From my experience with Donors Choose in the past, I knew how important it was to get exposure and traction for our page so I started sharing on my personal social media and texting the page to friends and family.

Within a week we were able to fully fund our project and months ahead of our anticipated start day! The great thing about Donors Choose is their large network of donors on the platform so past staff, alumni, and anonymous donors are able to donate directly to projects. Our fully funded project included items such as: tissue, soap, shampoo, lotion, chapstick, combs, hair brushes, oral hygiene, deodorant, and snacks. We’ve also tapped into our connections with the Family Resource Center and the on campus health center to get first aid items, reusable water bottles, and back packs.

Looking ahead, we hope that we can use this project as a kick start to apply for grants to sustain the community resources corner. I’m super happy and proud that we were able to identify this gap in access and then find an immediate solution and brainstorm potential ideas to sustain it in the future. I hope this inspires other social workers and interns to start their own projects. Here’s a photo of our humble community resources corner!"




Duc-Trung Tong is a recipient of the Public Behavioral Health MSW Training Program. Training sites include publicly-funded behavioral health programs in community clinics, outpatient and residential treatment programs, inpatient psychiatric units, schools, SELPAs, regional centers, inpatient and outpatient health care settings, child welfare units, juvenile delinquency programs, and adult corrections settings, among others. Specialized training content will focus on preparing students for the realities of public behavioral health practice and emphasize the coordination and integration of services provided to adults, children, and families through multiple systems of care. Check out what Trung has to say about his experience!

"Hello! My name is Duc-Trung Tong. I go by just Trung. My pronouns are he/him/his, and I am currently in my final year of my MSW with the Online/Hybrid program.

I am currently interning with Gardner Health Services in San Jose. The specific program I am assigned to is the Forensic, Diversion, and Reintegration (FDR) program which is a full-service partnership (FSP) program that provides intensive mental health and substance use treatment to individuals in the criminal justice system. In the past two months, I have gained many new experiences working in behavioral health as the bulk of my work in the internship requires direct services in the community with my clients. Compared to my employment which is based in an outpatient substance use treatment program, I work with clients in some of the most vulnerable times of their lives. Whether clients are recently released from incarceration or emergency psychiatric services (EPS), I am pushed to provide much-needed case management and therapeutic services to ensure success in their reintegration back into society. I believe the skills I will continue to gain for the remainder of this internship will prepare me for many situations and environments in my career within behavioral health.

The Public Behavioral Health Program (PBH) aligns with my goals and aspirations in the field of behavioral health. Years before applying to the MSW program, I hoped to eventually earn the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) credential to provide therapeutic services in mental health and substance use for underserved communities in Santa Clara County. The PBH program not only will support me financially in paying for my college tuition but will also provide me with the training to expand my scope of practice and clinical skills.

My goal post-graduation is to work towards earning the LCSW and continue working in a public-funded community-based organization. I also plan on advancing my current credential in substance use to become a Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LAADC). With the dual credential and specialization in substance use, I hope to contribute to advancing the field of substance use as the professionals and field as a whole have been historically under-appreciated compared to solely mental health professionals. Furthermore, my overall goal is to rewrite the narratives of formerly incarcerated individuals as I will join the small number of therapists who have been impacted by the criminal justice system.

The stipend has validated the existing goals and purpose I have of serving my community. I feel honored to be chosen as one of the final candidates and will continue dedicating myself to the path I envisioned many years ago."


Season 2, Episode 3 - Out Now!

Listen to our newest episode on Apple podcast or Spotify:


The Social Work Graduate Student Association or SWGSA is a student organization created by and for MSW students at SJSU. All students in the MSW program at SJSU are automatically enrolled as members. ​SWGSA thrives to build connections and enact social change on every level as well as be a voice for the students.

Contact Information

General Email: swgsaboard@gmail.com

President: swgsa.president@gmail.com

Website: https://sjsuswgsa.godaddysites.com/home

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SJSU.SWGSA/

Instagram: @sjsuswgsa


All funds raised go towards the annual BASW & MSW Convocation & other SWGSA events.

Office Hours will be held on the 3rd Thursday of the month: November 16, 2023, and December 14th, 2023 from 6 pm - 8 pm.

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM will be office hours for First-Year, Second-Year, and Part-time MSW students.

7:00 PM to 8:00 PM will be office hours for all Final-year students, including Advanced Standing.

Office hours allow students to share feedback and concerns or provide insight to the MSW program director, Dr.Sen.

Zoom link: https://sjsu.zoom.us/j/81433094425


The Undergraduate Social Work Association (USWA) is a student-led organization created by and for BASW students at SJSU. All BASW students are automatically registered as members of USWA. Follow USWA on social media today!

Contact Information

Instagram: @uswasjsu

Facebook Group: Undergraduate Social Work Association

Email Address: uswasjsuofficers@gmail.com

Looking to get involved? Apply Here:



Would you like to nominate a person to be highlighted in our newsletter? Do you have a story or idea that you would like us to consider? If so, submit your idea to our Student Assistant, Paola Quintanilla, by completing out this google form: https://forms.gle/C4HR6o9q2eFH2QFW9