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Alum Spotlight: The Grateful Garment Project

The Grateful Garment Project began as a Senior Capstone project a few years ago and has grown to support multiple counties and serve a population that numbers in the millions. Their mission – explained in the video – is to support Sexual Assault Resource Centers by providing practical items that help restore dignity to victims of sexual assault. They also advocate on behalf of education and awareness to reduce sexual violence. Check out this 30 second advertisement that they just made as a fundraiser:

Congratulations to Lisa Blanchard, William Cotter, Zita Agassi, and everyone else from NDNU who has worked to promote this project!

Alumnus in the Spotlight: Jennifer Murray

Jennifer MurrayJennifer Murray recently accepted a position as the Director of Homecare and Support Services at the Institute on Aging, where PSP faculty member and nationally renowned gerontologist Dr. Patrick Arbore also works. Her Facebook post announcing her new job shows her enthusiasm:

Words cannot express how excited I am to have accepted today an amazing position at my DREAM company! I came into contact with IOA while completing my B.S and dreamed of a day that I may be able enhance the quality of life of others through their work. DREAM BIG, WORK HARD; HAVE FAITH!”

Love it!

Congratulations, Jennifer!

Alumni Spotlight: Katie Ritchie of Deborah’s Palm

As you may know, when Katie Ritchie was a Human Services senior, she used her capstone project to start Palo Alto’s only nonprofit women’s community center.  The following are highlights from her August newsletter, much of which might be of interest to current students, alumni, and your friends and family from career and personal perspectives.  Note that some events are free whereas others charge a small fee.  For more information, be sure to see their website for a cornucopia of resources.


Deborah's Palm

Welcoming August at Deborah’s Palm
All the latest updates, classes & activities!

Dear Friends,
Well, Hello August! The summer is flying by, but we anticipate a great early Fall and have some wonderful, new programming ready for you coming soon! This newsletter highlights some of the new offerings:
Chess Class w/ Lauren
New night! Starting Mondays, 7:30-8:30 PM, all skill levels are welcome! 1/2 hour of instruction & 1/2 hour of play! Tactics, strategies and coaching. Meets weekly. Registration is required; Please email:

Career Exploration Panel: Is There Life Beyond the Cubicle?
Meet five women entrepreneurs who were fed up with corporate life & found fulfillment beyond the cubicle. Wednesday, August 6, 7-9 PM. RSVP: 650/473-0664

Women’s Support Group
A new 6-week session starts this week, on Thursday, August 7, 6:30-8:30 PM. Wonderful & supportive group, learning & sharing together. Registration is required. Please email:

Free Workshop!
Phone Interview Prep
Wednesday, August 13, 5:30-7:00 PM. Come and find out how to best prepare yourself for this interview process! Session is free & registration is required. To register, go to:

Assertive Woman Workshop w/ Philippa
4-week workshop designed to educate and empower women in the skill of assertiveness. Monday nights, starting August 18, 7-8:30 PM. Contact Philippa for more details and to register:


Live Your Vision
A Coaching/Mastermind Program for Women Business Owners, led by Anne Martin. Are you making your business vision a reality or are you lost in the fog? Group work, coaching, and workbook. 8 weeks. Starts August 21; Thursdays, 10-12 Noon. For more information, please call Anne at 415/830-2373.
Strong & Beautiful Women
Do you need a confidence boost? Would you like to explore your strengths? Does your attitude affect your overall happiness? Facilitated by Susan Thomas, this 4-session series starts Thursday, August 21, 6:30-8:00 PM. For more info & to register, contact Susan:

Origami Lotus Flower Workshop: Thursday, September 4 @ 6:30 PM
Cherishing the Non-Mom in You: A Self-Care Group for Women with Young Children: Friday, September 5 @ 7:30 PM
For Women 50+ In Transition: Get Clear About What’s Next, with Donna: Starts on Mondays @ 1-3 PM, September 8-Ocotber 20
From Difficult Teen to Empowered Family Team, with Kiran Gaind: 9-month group starts on Tuesday, September 9, 10 AM to 12 Noon
From Empty Nest to Fulfilled Flight: Led by Kiran Gaind. A group for 8-10 Moms to explore life after the kids have left the house; 9-month group starts on September 11, Thursdays, 1-3 PM
For details and registration information, please visit our website:

BOOK CLUB: Will be meeting on Friday night, August 22 @ 7 PM. The book for August is: “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd.

LUNCHTIME MEET-UPS: Every Wednesday at Noon for FREE!
8/6: Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence by Rick Hanson Learn about the mechanisms in our brain that manage our reactions and how we can re-wire them to be happier, healthier, and more at peace.
8/13: Women’s Salon (Discussion Group)
8/20: Speaker @ Noon: Our friends at the Ecumenical Hunger Program will be sharing about what they are currently doing in our surrounding community.
8/27: Speaker @ Noon: Annie Ritchey will be sharing “Tips and Tricks to Selling on Etsy.”

Be sure to check out Deborah’s Palm Italian Soda Booth during the Festival of the Arts, Saturday and Sunday, August 23 & 24, 10-6 PM. The booth is located on Tasso Street, where the Italian Chalk Art Paintings are. Come by & say HI!

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
William W. Purkey

Alumni News: Wilber Hurley

Mission Senior SeminarWilber is both a Human Services alum and a current MPA student; he let us know earlier this week that he was just hired as a Human Resources Specialist at the VA in Palo Alto.

Congratulations, Wilber!  They are lucky to have you…


(This is a photo from our Senior Seminar class, S13.  Wilber is the tall man in the middle of the back row.)

Nancy Sivy: An Inspiration on the Front Page

nancy sivy2014 Human Services graduate Nancy Sivy recently made front-page news for the San Mateo Daily Journal. Congratulations, Nancy! It was always a pleasure having you in class and we miss you already.

Click here for the article, including Nancy’s revelation about the identity of her favorite professor !

Applying to Grad School: Part I


This is part one of a three-part article written by recent NDNU grad Jonathan Gonzalezs

Part I gives tips for researching options;

Part II will cover the application process (including helpful tips); and

Part III will discuss getting letters of recommendation and writing the essay.

Stay tuned for more; thanks so much, Jon!





Researching possibilities:

For many of us deciding on which school to attend or what program to pursue can be a challenging task. From my own personal experience with the research I recommend going directly to the school’s webpage. Each university has an academic link that explains each and every program that is offered. Most universities offer the same graduate programs, but each school has a different reputation and application process. These are also factors that come into play, but us future grad school graduates usually have an idea as to where we want to go. So with you thinking about it before you search you’re already two steps ahead.

If you’re not, don’t worry. Lucky for us there are many options to help research the different possibilities of graduate school. is one that offers many features and profiles on many graduate programs throughout the country. Grad source is a very easy way to research schools and graduate programs. Another good source is the Princeton review found at This source has great information on many schools and programs. This particular source offers information on the GRE, which for some master programs is a required exam, and the essay.

NEXT TIME: Stay tuned for more on the application process, including helpful  tips!


Photo courtesy

Human Services Student Family in the News

Daniel LThe San Mateo County Times and the San Jose Mercury News each ran an article yesterday that profiled recent NDNU graduate Aya Lanzarin, who graduated with a degree in graphic design, and her husband, Human Services student and Student Leadership award recipient Daniel Lanzarin.    Their stories are inspiring as are their accomplishments!

Those of you in this spring’s Belmont Senior Seminar will remember both Daniel and their daughter, who attended the last class.  At four, she was already eagerly participating in class discussions, responding to my “are there any questions” query with her own commentary about her toys.  Such gregarious intelligence is clearly the result of remarkable parents and it is great that local news outlets chose to honor their story.

Be sure to check it out!


Image courtesy San Mateo County Times