Our Students

The HHS buildingSince Holistic Health Studies is not an SFSU major our 'grads' come from all of the colleges on campus. This diversity of student backgrounds adds to the holistic perspective in each class. Our students take classes to earn a minor, GE Segment II & III credit, a Holistic Health Studies Certificate, work with faculty in research or as teaching assistants, or doing university and community service work. We are honored to work with the inspired and motivated students who come through our program. Here is a snapshot of a few of them who embody the IHHS motto of being Awake-Engaged-Alive.

HHS Student Profiles

Abbie Scianamblo Rockwell (SFSU, 2001)

Abbie holds a BS in Industrial Design (2001), with an emphasis in product design, and a certificate in Holistic Health Studies from San Francisco State University. After graduating from San Francisco State she continued her holistic health studies at the California College of Ayurveda and the Kerala Ayurveda Academy. Integrating the food wisdom of Ayurveda and inspired by her Tuscan roots of growing olives, Abbie co-founded Sorelle Paradiso Estate Organic Olives & Extra Virgin Olive Oil. One of a handful of certified organic California olive producers, Abbie transitioned her family's olive orchard to biodynamic farming practices and offered her award-winning products through Whole Foods Markets and specialty food stores nationally. Formerly, Abbie served as a board member on the California Olive Oil Council, a non-profit trade organization dedicated to promoting quality extra virgin olive oil. Alongside her interest in holistic health and sustainable farming, she earned a MS in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University (2010) and graduated with honors.

"The Holistic Health Studies program at San Francisco State University was an integral part of my personal and professional life path. Shortly after graduation I began working in the olive farming industry where I could see the direct relationship between preventive healthcare and sustainable agriculture. Whether it is maintaining a productive cycle in the olive orchard, living a balanced life, or sharing positive relationships, I have come to find that all aspects of life can be approached more effectively from a holistic perspective."

Nikhol Esteras Roberts (SFSU, 2007)

Nikhol graduated with honors in 2007 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Holistic Health Studies. She received IHHS’s George S. Araki Award for Academic Achievement. After graduation Nikhol traveled extensively in Mexico to study Spanish, learn more about the people, the cultures, and issues surrounding emigration. Her travels inspired her to relocate in Nayarit, Mexico, where she currently works for PeaceMexico. She serves as the director of the Casa Comunidad education program, working with community members to improve life quality and financial stability. Nikhol plans to return to the US in the next few years to continue her education, pursuing either a masters in Latin American Studies or Sustainable Development.

"I am very grateful for the amazing experiences and inspiring people the Holistic Health Studies program brought into my life. I met students from all over the world while learning different perspectives on health and life from exceptional professors. I was encouraged to take on leadership roles, given opportunities to participate in research projects, and worked collaboratively with my peers as a coordinator in the holistic health internship, all of which has assisted me in reaching my personal and professional goals. One nice example, the program introduced me to yoga. Now in addition to managing Casa Comunidad, I have started a yoga project where I teach free classes to local children in the villages where I work. I have even received donated yoga supplies from Manduka Mats and the Boulder Mat Company in support of this effort! My experience in the Holistic Health Studies program ignited a passion to learn more about other cultures, traditions, peoples, medicines and language. Gracias al Programa de Salud Holistica. Saludos desde Mexico."

Autumn Jerumbo (SFSU, 2010)

Autumn graduated with honors from SFSU with a BA in psychology, completed the minor and certificate in Holistic Health Studies, and received the program's George S. Araki Academic Achievement award. Following a research fellowship focused on work with seriously ill children she continued her education and completed a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Palo Alto University. Autumn is now in private practice in northern Arizona working to support her clients' health and well-being through counseling, coaching, and behavioral consultation. She’s specializes in treating compulsive and addictive behaviors with an emphasis on addressing underlying complex trauma. She works with families and children impacted by addiction and violence, and has been an advocate within the legal system, assisting both survivors of domestic violence and other crimes, and supporting the rehabilitation and healing of those who commit acts of violence.

“My experience in the Holistic Health Studies Program shaped the lens through which I work in healthcare. I learned incredible skills in this program that I apply to my counseling and consultation work on a daily basis, nearly a decade after graduation. It is an honor to teach meditation and relaxation skills (learned through IHHS) to persons suffering with addiction, trauma, and history of aggression. Additionally, I love teaching mindfulness to children, as a skill set to build into their early development. Holistic Health Studies helped me to view the systemic challenges that individuals and families face. By understanding people though a holistic lens, I better support my clients in

integrative-care, treating the mind, body, heart, and spirit. This is not only a medicine to our suffering, but allows for a thriving and meaningful life.”

Andrew Parsons (SFSU, 2011)

After several years fighting wildfires across the West as part of the California Hotshot and Alaska Smokejumper organizations, Andrew enrolled in SFSU to pursue a college education. He is now completing a double-majored in Biochemistry and Cell and Molecular Biology, with a minor in Holistic Health Studies, overall GPA of 3.90 and 4.0 for Holistic Health courses. Andrew has worked in SFSU's Biochemistry Lab as an undergraduate research fellow, was a clinical research intern in the Emergency Department of SF General Hospital, and currently volunteers as a medical aide at the San Francisco Free Clinic. After graduation Andrew plans to attend medical school and become a primary care physician.

"I cannot overstate the value of what I have learned from the Holistic Health Studies program. Exposure to the efficacy and variety of health promotion and treatment possibilities available, including meditation, biofeedback, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurvedic techniques, was eye-opening, instructive, and will certainly be incorporated into my future professional work. Most importantly, the program’s holistic perspective was critical in expanding my view beyond a cellular and molecular focus to consider the physical, social, environmental and spiritual connections crucial to all human health and happiness."