David, Debra

David, Debra

Date Updated



Health Science, College of Applied Sciences and Arts

Academic Rank

Professor Emerita

Year Retired from SJSU


Facebook or Website URL



Educational Background

University of California, Berkeley, Sociology, Ph.D. 1981

University of California, Berkeley, Sociology, M.A. 1970

Michigan State University, Interdisciplinary Social Science, B.A. 1969

Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá Colombia, 1968

Dissertation Title

"The uses of memory: Social aspects of reminiscence in old age”

Teaching Experience

San José State University, Gerontology Program/Health Science Department, 1987-2009

Northwestern University, Counseling Psychology Department, School of Education, 1985-1987

National College of Education, Human Services Program, 1980-1985

University of Missouri, Kansas City, Sociology Department, 1975-1976

Administrative and Professional Experience

Project Director, California Faculty Collaborative, Academic Affairs, California State University Office of the Chancellor, 2015-2016.

Project Director, Give Students a Compass, Academic Affairs, California State University Office of the Chancellor, 2011-2015.

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies, San José State University, 2007-2010

Director, Center for Community Learning and Leadership, San José State University, 2000-2007

Director, Gerontology Program, College of Applied Sciences and Arts, San José State University, 1987-2000

Director, Graduate Programs, Human Services Department, National College of Education, 1983-1985

Director, Aging and Mental Health Program, Human Services Department, Elgin Community College, 1978-1982.


Project Co-Director. “Difficult Dialogues Initiative @ SJSU.” With Shawn Spano and Richard Keady, Ford Foundation, New York (2006-2008).

Chair, Curriculum Committee, Academic Senate, San José State University, 2006-2007

Steering Committee, CommUniverCity San José, 2004-2010

Program Director, Bridging Borders AmeriCorps Program, California Volunteers, Sacramento, 2003-2009

President, California Council on Geriatrics and Gerontology, 1995-1997; Board of Directors, 1990-1999

Core Faculty, Stanford Geriatric Education Center, Division of Family & Community Medicine, Stanford University, 1990-1995

Executive Committee, Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, 1983-1985 and 1999-2001

President, Illinois Gerontology Consortium, 1983-1985

Selected Publications

Chavez-Reyes, C., Magruder, E.D., & David, D. (2017). From Faculty Fellows to equity-minded collaborators: The California Faculty Collaborative’s story. Peer Review, 19(3), 10-11

David, D. (2016). Innovations in General Education: Giving California Students a Compass. Long Beach, CA: California State University Office of the Chancellor.

O’Donnell, K., Hecsh, J., Underwood, T., Loker, W., Trechter, S., David, D., & White, A. (2011). Putting high-impact practices and inclusive excellence at the center of GE Reform: Lessons from the California State University LEAP Initiative, Peer Review, 13(2), 22-25.

David, D. (2007). "Aging." In N. A. Dolch, L. Deutschmann, & H. Wise (Eds.), Social Problems: A Case Study Approach, 2nd.ed., pp. 127-144. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Roldan, M., Strage, A., & David, D. (2004). A framework for assessing academic service-learning. In M.Welch & S. Billig (Eds.), New Perspectives in Service-learning: Research to Advance the Field, pp.39-59. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishers.

Yeo, G., David, D., & Llorens, L. (1996). Faculty development in ethnogeriatrics. Educational Gerontology, 22, 79-91.

David, D. (1990). Reminiscence, adaptation, and social context in old age. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 30, 175-188.

David, D. (1990). Autonomy in health care for elders. In S. M. Stahl (Ed.), The legacy of longevity: Health and health care in later life (pp. 217-231). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

David, D. (1988). Overview of project findings: Personal autonomy and long term care initiative, phase I. [Monograph]. Park Ridge, IL: Retirement Research Foundation.

Personal Commentary

Over my 23 years at San José State, I had an amazingly varied and rewarding career. I was hired to direct the Gerontology Program. My students – including two department chairs – told me that I helped them to see aging in a much more optimistic light. After 13 years, I switched gears to become the founding director of the Center for Community Learning and Leadership (initially called the Center for Service-Learning). The Center has involved thousands of students from every campus department in meaningful service to and with thousands of community members. My last role at SJSU was as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, where my “portfolio” expanded to include the Center, First Year Experience, Peer Mentors, and special majors.

For the first six years of “retirement,” I eased into post-SJSU life by working half-time at the CSU Chancellor’s Office on exciting projects to improve undergraduate curriculum and faculty development through partnerships between the CSU and California Community Colleges.

It is gratifying to have had the opportunity to shape positive change for students, colleagues, and communities.


David, Debra